Pretty sure there’s wine for you at Urban Legend Cellars. The tasting notes are double-sided, starting with a crispy Sauvignon Blanc and ending (16 wines later) with a lesser-known Italian beauty, Teroldego, a wine that’s earning ULC a bit of cult status among those in the know.

If you haven’t gone lately to the Jack London Square-area winery, you might want to go soon, as a few favorites are running low, including their Oakland neighborhood refillable “jug” wine, Jingletown, where Grenache, Syrah and Pinot Noir reside in a bright but cohesive blend, much like the namesake’s neighborhood mosaics.


You can also find a few new releases, including a surprising 2013 Grenache Blanc and Pride-party-worthy 2013 Rosato di Barbera (Rosé).

Steve and Marilee Shaffer are geek-meets-nerd winery owners who’ve traded in their molecular biologist and engineer pasts for urban winemaking in a city they love.

Urban Legend practices what Steve calls “minimalist coaching” in winemaking. This includes low additives, little intervention, and a tendency to use organic, “best fruit they can find,” from people who know what they’re doing.

They put the time in to find stellar grapes in surprising places including Shenandoah County and a place called Capay Valley, as well as mainstays like Carneros (90 pt. Wine Enthusiast Pinot Noir), Rutherford, Napa (Merlot anyone?) and Lake County.

Look forward to a new Temescal blend available in a refillable jug sometime in mid-July. It will be smooth, like the neighborhood with Italian roots, but that’s all they’ll divulge.

If you can’t get in to taste soon, you’ll want to make it to the August 2 East Bay Urban Wine Xperience in Jack London Square, where Urban Legend will be pouring along with over 20 other urban wineries. It’s an opportunity to taste some local excellence, get a snapshot of the people involved and snapchat about it with your friends. I’ll be there enjoying the good life, holding my own glass without a wine glass holder necklace. Please join me in not having one either.

If you go:
Urban Legend Cellars
621 4th St., Oakland
(510) 545-4356

Granate Sosnoff is freelance writer, nonprofit communications consultant, Mugsy pop-up wine bar producer, and frequently in need of a glass of wine. @granate

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