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Putting together the wine list at a brewery might seem like a futile task. After all, who orders a glass of chardonnay when there are more than 20 craft beers made onsite?
But The Arsenal at Bluejacket, opening today, anticipates the answer is somebody. And so while all the buzz around the Navy Yard brewery from Neighborhood Restaurant Group has been about the beer, wine director Brent Kroll has been quietly putting together a menu of 50 international wines, including 10 by the glass, that he says he hopes will leave drinkers thinking, “Holy shit, I can’t believe a beer place puts this much thought into wine.”
Rather than choosing predictable wines that will cover the bases and simply appease people looking for anything other than beer, Kroll wanted to echo Bluejacket’s creativity with beer in his bottle selection. He hopes oenophiles will be pleasantly surprised to find older vintages like a 1998 Rioja Gran Reserva from Spain and a 1999 Muscadet, a French wine from the Loire Valley. There’s also some funky stuff, too, including a wine from Serbia that smells like jasmine and some orange wines (white wines that ferment in contact with the grape skins), which have been gaining buzz at other restaurants like The Red Hen, Ripple, and Dino.
By the glass selections range from $9 to $13, while bottles are $35 to $95.
Kroll also wants to make sure the staff is just as well-versed about the wine as it is about the beer. “I’ve done a lot of staff training,” Kroll says. “I don’t want the wine to be a drop off…I want them to crossover from beer to wine with the same ease and complex descriptions.”
The challenge, though, is that Kroll has no clue how much wine The Arsenal will sell. “When I’m buying things I’m thinking, ‘If this doesn’t move for a year, is it going to improve or be as good?’ And if the answer is no, then I absolutely cannot put it on the list,” he says.
Wine isn’t totally separate from the beer at Bluejacket, either. Kroll is helping Beer Director Greg Engert and Head Brewer Megan Parisi source wine barrels from Brotherhood Winery in New York, Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia, and elsewhere to use for aging certain beers. Kroll is also planning to get whole grapes and lees (the residual yeast left from the wine after fermentation) to integrate into brews as well. The barrel-aged beers won’t be immediately available, so in the meantime, check out the full wine list below.
BY THE GLASS
NV Thibaut-Janisson, Chardonnay “Fizz”, Monticello, Virginia $12
Made in the Champagne Method from 100% Chardonnay. This is the entry level wine from Claude Thibaut and Manuel Janisson, who made their first Vintage in ’07. Considered one of the best sparkling wine producers in the US, with notes of green apple, green pear and peach.
’12 Barboursville, Riesling, Virginia $11
An off dry Riesling with notes of Nectarine and pear from one of Virginia’s best wineries. This is the first Virginia Winery to have wines featured in Michelin Star restaurants. Located around the area of Charlottesville in Barboursville.
’12 Vina Falernia, Pedro Ximenez, Elqui Valee, Chile $9
A savory wine with notes of spiced pear, orange blossom and almond. Wines are at 2000 meters altitude and used to be used for pisco production before it was realized how good the grapes were for still wine.
’12 Trefethen, Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $13
This is a pretty classic Chardonnay made by Janet Trefethen who’s a female wine pioneer for the region. This wine is barrel fermented and spends 9 months in oak given it a rich, toasty character. In 1979, Trefethen 1976 Chardonnay was named “Best Chardonnay in the World” at the Gault Millau World Wine Olympics in France.
’12 Ameztoi, Hondarribi Zuri, Txakoli de Getaria, Basque, Spain $10
A wine that’s picked when the grapes are slightly under ripe and high in malic acid. This causes the wines to have a little trapped CO2 which gives it a slight spritz. The wine has flavors of tart, bone-dry citrus that comes off as under ripe green pear and lemon.
’12 Armani, Denavolo di Giulio, Malvasia, “Catavela” Emilia-Romagna, Italy $12
This wine is made orange by spending 4 days on the skins. It has notes of orange blossom, honey suckle and is dry/bitter. It comes from a small 8HA estate; this wine has tannin which makes it great with heavy/creamy/fatty dishes.
’11 24 Knots, Pinot Noir, Sonoma, California $13
24 knots is a terms that’s the equivalent of 30mph wines which can flow through these vineyards in Monterey. This wine spends 18 months in French Oak and has notes of black cherries, strawberries, vanilla and toast.
’12 Lucignano, Sangiovese, Chianti, Colli Fiorentini, Tuscany, Italy $10
Not that his opinion means everything but Parker calls this the most consistently good inexpensive Chianti made. This wine is fermented in cement form vines planted as far back as 1970. This wine is soft, fruity and medium bodied with notes of dark cherry and violet’s.
’11 Altos los Hormigas, Malbec “Terroir” Mendoza, Argentina $11
Hand harvested Malbec from the UCO valle, which is a high quality sub-district of Mendoza. The wine is rich and soft with notes of wildberry, vanilla and pepper.
’11 Andre Brunel, Grenache/Syrah, Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France $9
A famous wine maker known for his Chateaneuf du Pape’s made just west on the Rhone River. The Grenache vines in this wine are over 40 years old. Classic Grenache flavors of dark cherry, dark plum, leather and white pepper highlight this wine.
BY THE BOTTLE
’08 Hansen Lauer, Riesling Sekt, Mosel, Germany $40
‘12 Fiorini, Grasparossa, “Becca Rosso” Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy $40
NV Alma Negra, Malbec Rose, Brut, Mendoza, Argentina $45
NV Veuve Fourny, Chardonnay, Brut Nature, Champagne, France $90
Fruity, Mineral driven, Sometimes Floral
’12 Craggy Range, Sauvignon Blanc, “Te Muna Vineyard” Martinborough, New Zealand $50
’12 Wiemer, Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York $40
’11 Zarate, Albarino, Rias Biaxas, Spain $50
’12 San Valentino, Gewurztraminer, Alto Adige, Italy $40
’12 Malabailia di Canale, Roero Arneis “Pradvaj” Piedmont, Italy $40
Soft, Round, Complex
’11 Celia Romano, Fiano di Avellino, “Colli di Lapio” Campania, Italy $60
’12 Michael Schaps, Petite Manseng, “Honch Lee Vineyard” Virginia $55
’11 DeLille Cellars, Sauv Blanc/Semillon “Chealur Estate”, Columbia Valley, Washington $55
’11 St. Innocent, Pinot Gris, “Vitae Springs Vineyard” Willamette Valley, Oregon $50
’12 Rudi Pichler, Gruner Veltliner, Federspiel, Wachau, Austria $65
’11 Weinbach, Sylvaner, Alsace, France $40
Rich, Powerful, Sometimes Toasty
’11 Pierre Gaillard, Marsanne, Rhone, France $35
’11 Hamilton-Russell, Chardonnay, Walker Bay, South Africa $70
’10 Vincent Giardin, Chardonnay, Puligny-Montrachet, “Les Vielles Vignes” Burgundy, France $95
Earthy, Old School, Sometimes Funky
’04 Lopez de Heredia, Viura, “Vina Tondonia” Rioja, Spain $85
’11 Milijan Jelic, Morava, Pocerina, Serbia $55
’99 Ch du Coing de Saint-Fiacre, Melon de Bourgogne, Muscadet-Sevre-et-Maine, Loire, France $50
Dry, Mild and Mineral Driven
’12 Domaine Reuilly, Pinot Gris, Loire Valley, France $50
Floral, Funky, Bitter
’09 Nino Barraco, Zibbio Bianco(Muscat of Alexandrea), Sicily, Italy $70
Complex, Elegant, Mild Tannin
’11 Chahalem, Pinot Noir “Three Vineyards” Willamette Valley, Oregon $70
’10 La Giaretta, Corvina/Veronese/Rondinella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Italy $45
’09 Domaine Tortochot, Pinot Noir, Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France $75
High Tannin, High Acid, Structured
’10 Moratis, Mandilaria/Monemvassia(Malvasia) Paros Reserve, Greece $45
’98 Marquis di Arienzo, Tempranillo/Garnacha, Rioja Gran Reserva, Spain $70
’08 Seghesio, Nebbiolo, Barolo, Piedmont, Italy $75
’06 Alejandro Fernandez, Tempranillo, Dehesa la Granja, Castilla y Leon, Spain $50
Dark Fruit, Soft, Spiced
’10 Ridge, Zinfandel, “Panzo Vineyard” Napa Valley, California $65
’08 Terranoble, Carmenere Reserva, Central Valle, Chile $40
’10 Larkin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California $95
’10 Renacier, Malbec/Syrah/Bonarda/Cab Franc, “Enamore” Mendoza, Argentina $55
’10 Chrysalis, Norton, “Locksley Reserve” Virginia $45
’11 Barbousville, Cabernet Franc Reserve, Virginia $60
Earthy, Old School, Sometimes Funky
’10 Fatalone “Gioia del Colle” Primitivo, Puglia, Italy $40
’10 Charles Jouget, Cabernet Franc, Chinon “Cuvee de la Cure” Loire, France $55
’01 Ch Lancassen, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, Haut-Medoc, Bordeaux, France $65
’10 La Bastide St Dominique, Grenache/Syrah/Mouvedre, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone, France $80
’11 Alvero Palacios, Carinena/Grenacha/Cab Sauvignon, Priorat “Camins” Spain $60