Saturday Tasting: January 16th

Happy New Year

With Mardi Gras less than a month away, you will definitely need to have some wine on hand for parade parties and house guests.   Here are two wines that are standard in our selection, for both consistent quality and everyday enjoyment.  We will be offering special pricing on both wines thru Mardi Gras.
Please swing by the shop and see us, as you don’t want to miss the deal on these really good wines.

Special prices in effect through February 8th

Happy Mardi Gras.

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Albert Bichot Saint-Véran 2013 : normally $18.00, special price $15.00
Bichot has particularly good sources to produce a better than average white Burgundy for an attractive price.  The wine is fermented and held in stainless steel to preserve the natural acidity and freshness.  This wine is such a great way to kick off the day, it is bright, clean and has loads of tropical and citrus notes.
Guigal Côtes du Rhone 2011 : normally $14.00, special price $12.00 
I think the first vintage I tasted of Guigal’s basic Rhone wine was 1978.  I can remember a friend who actually kept cases for ten plus years, bringing bottles from the cellar and no one could believe that it was from the Côtes du Rhone appellation.  This is annually one of our best selling red wines, and we like the fact that we are still sourcing 2011 which is still fresh, lively and delicious.  We love being able to offer this particularly interesting wine at such a great price.

Saturday Tasting: December 19th

We love this time of year!  When everyone is celebrating the holidays, and drinking lots of Champagne.  This Saturday we wanted to showcase a few Champagnes from our selection that are under $50.  These wines are great for parties or to assist in your gift giving.

Champagne is a dry, sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of northern France.  The three grape varieties that are allowed in Champagne are: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier.  The process of making Champagne is somewhat of a complicated process involving a secondary fermentation in the bottle.  This process is also used by many sparkling wine producers all over the world, however they are not allowed to call the “sparkling wine” Champagne because Champagne is protected by the EU.

Trouillard “Extra Sélection” Brut  $36

The Trouillard family has been part of the Champagne business in Epernay since the 19th century with Lucien Trouillard, the founder, showing an interest in Champagne at an early age.  He produced his first bottle in 1896.  He passed away in 1966, and his two sons took over the operation, followed by his grandsons.  This wine is selected from 15 different vineyards located in the Marne Valley, Aube, and the small mountain of Reims.  It is made from 45% Pinot Noir, 35% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay.  This wine is fresh, creamy, with notes of hazelnuts and almonds.

Drappier “Carte d’Or” Brut  $42

Drappier is located in Urville which is where Pinot Noir is king.  This wine is made up of 75%, Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier. The vineyards cover about 100 hectares.  The family has been making wine and purchasing land in the Champagne region since 1808.  They have used their expertise and skills over the years to purchase several parcels of land which are particularly well exposed and extremely rich in limestone.  This wine has aromas of stone fruit, with hints of spice and a very powerful and complex palate.

Gobillard “Tradition” Brut  $36

Gobillard is a family owned and operated house located in the heart of the Champagne region, only about five kilometers from Epernay.  The family prides itself on coming from the terroir and not on glitzy grand marque.  The estate now owns 26 hectares of vines, many of which are premier cru vineyards.  Grapes from another 85 hectares are also vinified, with growers selected for their expertise and quality.  This wine is made up of majority Chardonnay, with about 33% Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.  The wine has soft acidity and notes of ripe apple.


Saturday Tasting: December 12th

Chinon makes up one of Loire’s best red wine growing region.  It is located on the western end of the Touraine region of Loire, and is known for Cabernet Franc, which is known as Breton here.  The wines are vigorous, savory, raspberry fruitiness, and freshly sharpened pencil.  Chinon makes the silkiest most tender wine of the district.  The vineyards sit on riverside sand and gravel make a lighter, earlier drinking styles.  The wines of Chinon used to be rated equal to Margaux, in charm, if not in force or structure.

Chinon Olga Raffault “Les Picasses” 2008 (Loire) $24

This winery is run by the granddaughter Sylvie and her husband Eric.  The vines are over 50 years old and on fairly steep slopes.  They sit on alluvial clay with chalk limestone base.  These wines are rich dark fruit with great acidity.  It is always nice to get a wine for this price with some age.

Chinon Bernard Baudry 2013 (Loire) $22

This is unquestionably one of the most outstanding producers in Chinon.  This wine is everything that you want from a Cabernet Franc.  It is hearty, black and red fruits, with a very enjoyable amount of power.  We are so in love with this wine at the shop.  I love paring this with pan seared steaks and lamp dishes.


Saturday Tasting: December 5th

Don’t miss this GREAT deal on world class wine, this Saturday!!

Domaine Jean Collet et Fils Chablis 2013, $25 – special Saturday tasting price $20

While white Burgundy from the Côte d’Or prices continue to rise, Chablis has remained stable.  Recent warmer vintages has resulted in more consistent quality.  The 2013 vintage is an ideal vintage to enjoy as the wines are very good, fresh, and drink well young.  Collet’s Chablis has the classic mineral and edge one expects from the appellation, but is a bit more generous due to the ripeness of the vintage.

Joseph Drouhin Chorey les Beaune 2012, $32 – special Saturday tasting price, $26

Drouhin enjoys a great relationship with vignerons in Chorey, which enables them to provide us with really good Burgundy for a reasonable price.  The 2012 is one of the best in recent years due to the overall consistency of the vintage.


Saturday Tasting: November 21st

I have always enjoyed Beaujolais, but it has been in the last few years that it really started to take a bigger hold on the market.  With the combination of weather problems and other markets scooping up Burgundy allocation we have had to look to other regions for our fix.  We have always had the same philosophy when it comes to any region; the wine must taste like where it comes from.  That may seem like a simple thought, but it is something that we really look at when buying all the wines for the store, and Beaujolais is no exception.


Technically this region is in Burgundy, however it lies closer to the Rhône region then Burgundy.  Primarily a red wine growing region with Gamay being the focus, but you can find a bit of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here as well.  You really have two different styles of Beaujolais that is made; the southern sector which is flatter and has clay based soils, and the northern which is the granite hillsides, which is where the 10 crus sit.  This is truly where the Gamay grape flourishes.  The wines on granite soils are more structured, ageworthy, but are still a great value.

These wines make the perfect pairing for your Thanksgiving!

Morgon Daniel Bouland “Delys” (Beaujolais) ’13

Daniel Bouland makes some of the best old school wines coming from the Gamay grape in Beaujolais.  This wine is deep and muscular, with loads of intensity.  This wine comes from 85 year old vines, and is very ageworthy.  Lots of dark berry fruit, floral, and spice.

Cuvée Traditionnelle Pierre-Marie Chermette “D. Vissoux” (Beaujolais) ’14

Le Vissoux is a single vineyard site that stretches southwest, and contrary to most of southern Beaujolais soil which is limestone-clay, the soil of this single vineyard is the superior granite.  This is what gives the wine more structure.  This wine has loads of power and elegance.  It is dark red fruits, with soft textures.  This is one of my go to wines especially for the price.

We will be CLOSED Thanksgiving day, but will re-open for regular business hours on Friday.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday!


Saturday Tasting: November 14th

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we don’t want you to be caught without any wine to drink!  The next few weeks we will be focusing on Thanksgiving and holiday wines.  So make sure you make it to our Saturday tastings so that you get what you need.

Grüner Veltliner Hirsch (Heiligenstein) ‘13

I am a huge lover of Austrian wines, and this wine is truly a benchmark.  Johannes Hirsch is considered one of the young leaders in Austrian winemaking.  This wine is his entry level Grüner, but don’t be fooled it is absolutely stunning.  It has loads of minerality, great purity, and exotically floral notes. All of his vineyards are farmed organically and biodynamically.  This is a great wine to pair with your lighter Thanksgiving dishes, or just a great way to kick off a party.

Minervois Château Coupe Roses “La Bastide” (Languedoc) ’14

I have really always liked this wine, but didn’t really take it to seriously until this vintage.  This is one of the best vintages of this wine I have ever had.  This wine is made mostly from the Mourvedre, with Carignan and some Syrah in it as well.  The family of this estate has been buying up some really old vineyards and using the juice for this wine, which has really turned out to be a great idea.  This wine is spicy, with some dried fruit, and really truly complex for what it is.  Big fan of this vintage and the direction that this wine is going in.  Would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner.


Saturday Tasting: November 7th

The Chianti DOCG is Tuscany’s most famous wine growing region, and one of Europe’s first delimited zones.  It however didn’t get elevated to DOCG status until 1984, the zone was however established in 1932. There has since been eight sub-zones created for the region: Classico, Rùfina, Colli Fiorentini, Colli Senesi, Colline Pisane, Colli Aretini, Montalbano, and Montespertoli which was added in 1997.

Colli Sensi must contain a minimum of 75% of Sangiovese instead of 70% like the other sup-zones.  The other grapes allowed in the Chianti DOCG are Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia, which this practice dates back to 1870.  Cabernet Sauvignon may also be allowed but it may not exceed a maximum of 15%.

The Chianti Classico zone was upgraded to DOCG alongside Chianti in 1984, this is the heartland of the Chianti zone.  The Classico area which is the original Chianti zone was delimited by Grand Duke Cosimo in 1716.  Like Chianti, the wines may be 100% Sangiovese, or they may be blended with other red grapes, however as of 2006, white grapes are no longer permitted in the wine.  Minimum alcohol level for Classico is 12% compared to 11.5% for Chianti DOCG.

Chianti Colli Sensi Vitanza (Tuscany) 2013

In 1994 Rosalba and Guido Vitanza both had very successful careers in Rome, when they visited Montalcino. Here they fell in love with the region, and decided to buy an old estate.  They came out of the gate strong as their first vintage was in 1995 and it received 93 points from Wine Spectator.  Today they own 66 acres of vines.  Bright, tart cherry, with lots of dried secondary aromas.

Chianti Classico Ama (Tuscany) 2013

Ama takes its name from a small borgo, or agricultural hamlet, nestled in the hills at an altitude of almost 500 meters in the Classico region.  The winery was founded in the 1960’s by a group of families who had fallen under the spell of this magical place. The winemaker was named winemaker of the year in 2003, by the Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most authoritative wine guide.  Ripe red berries with subtle spice, silky tannins, and bold finish.


Saturday Tasting: October 31st

Lirac Domaine du Joncier “Le Classique” (Rhône) 2012

Marine Roussel took over her fathers domaine in 1989.  She farms land in Lirac, which is a wine growing region in southern Rhône valley on the right bank of the Rhône river.  Bordering the neighboring cru Tavel and across the river to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  Her terraced vineyards are of alluvial soils and galets roulés, which provides good drainage and insulation for the vines.  Maximum sun exposure and ripeness the persistent of the mistral comes in to play as well. With regular gusts the vines are free of parasites and mildew throughout the year, as well as it saves them from getting to hot or too cold.  The winery became certified biodynamic in 2011.  This wine is equal parts Syrah and Grenache with 20% Mouvédre and 10% Cinsault and Carignan.   This wine is rustic yet elegant, with red cherry notes and secondary aromas of spice and tobacco.

Grenacha Bernabeleva “Camino de Navaherreros” (Madrid) 2014

San Martín de Valdeiglesias is only 75 miles from Madrid, but the terrain and air are like being 500 miles away.  The land quickly becomes very rugged and mountainous and the air much cooler.  Bernabeleva land was purchased in 1923 by a Spanish dr., and his dream was to plant Grenacha, and create a wine that would showcase its beauty.  It took until 2006 when his grandchildren took over the vineyard, and they vowed to fulfill his dream.  By this time the vines were now over 80 years old, and the terrior would support their ambitions.  They also hired Raúl Pérez to consult in the winemaking process.  They practice both organic and biodynamic, and bush train all of the vines.  This wine is spicy with notes of raspberry and cherry, and a bit floral.



Saturday Tasting: October 24th

The Mâconnais is very much considered Chardonnay country, second in volume only to Chablis.  Chardonnay also happens to be the name of a village about 25 km north of the city of Mâcon, and may have given the grape its name.  In comparison to Chablis Mâcon tends to be fruitier and more open, and lacks the sharp minirality of Chablis.   While Pouilly-Fuissé is considered the best-known appellation in the Mâcon, there are no Premier Cru vineyards.  Pouilly-Fuissé includes the wines of four communes-Fuissé, Solutré-Pouilly, Vergisson, and Chaintré.  Two large limestone escarpments define the landscape of the southern Mâconnais.  This appellation was one of the first white French wines to become a staple of sophistication on American tables.

Pouilly-Fuissé J.A. Ferret (Burgundy) 2003

Domaine J.A. Ferret has long been one of the top producers in Pouilly-Fuissé.  The estate was managed by the family from 1840 until 2008 when it was purchased by Louis Jadot.  Jeanne Ferret who managed the estate well in to her eighties until she died in 1993 was known to be a stickler for detail, her finger was on the pulse of every aspect of the process.  These vines sit on clay and limestone soils in Fuissé amphitheater.  The wine has loads of depth and richness, with notes of fresh hazelnuts, and an intense and very long finish.  The age on this has transformed an already great wine to something spectacular.

Pouilly-Fuissé D. de la Chapelle “Vieilles Vignes” (Burgundy) 2013

The owner of this Domaine is Pascal Rollet.  The 80 year old small parcel of vines sits on the edge of Solutre called Clos de la Chapelle.  He hand harvest all of his vineyards at low yields.  This wine is rich in ripe tropical fruits, with some round acidity, and lots of citrus.