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In Store

Whats in store at the Best Little Wine Shop? Find out here. 

Love Caymus? Get into these 2 Rock Star Paso Cabernets. Seriously.
 Austin Hope’s family and the Wagner family have a long history together. Chuck Wagner started buying their grapes for his Liberty School label in the 80’s - recognizing the tremendous quality and value they represented. He was a mentor to Austin who studied and worked with him at Caymus, in addition to traveling Europe and falling in love with Old World wines and techniques.  The Cabernets from Treana and Austin Hope brilliantly walk the line between New World opulence and Old World elegance.     2015 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 92 points Wine Enthusiast. Compare at 29.99 Our Price 22.99.   This is a great buy for those that crave creamy, ripe wines. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, pie crust, salted caramel, snickerdoodle, brown sugar and maple syrup prove intoxicating. The palate is soft, thick and saucy, with more dark fruit flavors alongside vanilla, star anise and roasted cocoa.    2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 97 points Wine Enthusiast - Compare at 56.99 Our Price 44.99 (20% off 6+ bottles).   We sold out of this wine quickly on our last shipment. We have a bit more but it doesn’t hang around long. Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that’s redolent of cappuccino candies.

Austin Hope’s family and the Wagner family have a long history together. Chuck Wagner started buying their grapes for his Liberty School label in the 80’s - recognizing the tremendous quality and value they represented. He was a mentor to Austin who studied and worked with him at Caymus, in addition to traveling Europe and falling in love with Old World wines and techniques.  The Cabernets from Treana and Austin Hope brilliantly walk the line between New World opulence and Old World elegance.

2015 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 92 points Wine Enthusiast. Compare at 29.99 Our Price 22.99.

This is a great buy for those that crave creamy, ripe wines. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, pie crust, salted caramel, snickerdoodle, brown sugar and maple syrup prove intoxicating. The palate is soft, thick and saucy, with more dark fruit flavors alongside vanilla, star anise and roasted cocoa.

2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 97 points Wine Enthusiast - Compare at 56.99 Our Price 44.99 (20% off 6+ bottles).

We sold out of this wine quickly on our last shipment. We have a bit more but it doesn’t hang around long. Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that’s redolent of cappuccino candies.

Kristian Denis
Love Caymus? Then you’ve got to get your hands on these two Rock Star Paso Cabs!
 Austin Hope’s family and the Wagner family have a long history together. Chuck Wagner started buying their grapes for his Liberty School label in the 80’s - recognizing the tremendous quality and value they represented. He was a mentor to Austin who studied and worked with him at Caymus, in addition to traveling Europe and falling in love with Old World wines and techniques.  The Cabernets from Treana and Austin Hope brilliantly walk the line between New World opulence and Old World elegance.    2015 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 92 points Wine Enthusiast. Compare at 29.99 Our Price 22.99.   This is a great buy for those that crave creamy, ripe wines. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, pie crust, salted caramel, snickerdoodle, brown sugar and maple syrup prove intoxicating. The palate is soft, thick and saucy, with more dark fruit flavors alongside vanilla, star anise and roasted cocoa.    2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 97 points Wine Enthusiast - Compare at 56.99 Our Price 44.99 (20% off 6+ bottles).   Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that’s redolent of cappuccino candies.

Austin Hope’s family and the Wagner family have a long history together. Chuck Wagner started buying their grapes for his Liberty School label in the 80’s - recognizing the tremendous quality and value they represented. He was a mentor to Austin who studied and worked with him at Caymus, in addition to traveling Europe and falling in love with Old World wines and techniques.  The Cabernets from Treana and Austin Hope brilliantly walk the line between New World opulence and Old World elegance. 

2015 Treana Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 92 points Wine Enthusiast. Compare at 29.99 Our Price 22.99.

This is a great buy for those that crave creamy, ripe wines. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, pie crust, salted caramel, snickerdoodle, brown sugar and maple syrup prove intoxicating. The palate is soft, thick and saucy, with more dark fruit flavors alongside vanilla, star anise and roasted cocoa.

2015 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles: 97 points Wine Enthusiast - Compare at 56.99 Our Price 44.99 (20% off 6+ bottles).

Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that’s redolent of cappuccino candies.

Kristian Denis
95 Point 2013 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino $45.99

Arriving Thursday - grab this up before it gets away! 

 Wine Spectator Insider 3/14/18:   2013 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino. 95 points:   This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graceful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral  avors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under- brush-tinged  nish. Best from 2021 through 2033. From Italy.—B.S.

Wine Spectator Insider 3/14/18:

2013 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino. 95 points:

This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graceful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral  avors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and under- brush-tinged  nish. Best from 2021 through 2033. From Italy.—B.S.

Kristian Denis
Frog’s Leap: The Brilliant 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a Testament to Organic & Biodynamic Farming.

First certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) in 1988 Frog’s Leap has been a leader in the industry for over two decades.The winery relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control to maintain soil productivity and control pests on a farm. Organic farming excludes the use of manufactured fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators and genetically modified organisms. Organic farming involves mechanical weed control (via cultivating or hoeing) rather than herbicidal weed control.

Biodynamic agriculturalists conceive of the farm as an organically self-contained entity with its own individuality, within which organisms are interdependent. Emphasis is placed on the integration of crops and livestock, recycling of nutrients, maintenance of soil, and the health and well being of crops and animals; the farmer too is part of the whole.Thinking about the interactions within the farm ecosystem naturally leads to a series of holistic management practices that address the environmental, social, and financial aspects of the farm. Frog’s Leap uses cover crops, green manures and crop rotations extensively to foster bio-diversity, soil health and overall farm wellbeing.

Though Frog’s Leap employs the methods of Dry Farming because of the impact it has on wine quality, the practice has been identified by the state of California as an incredible water conservation tool. By not irrigating its grapevines the winery saves enough water each year to fill 40 Olympic-size swimming pools.

    The 2015 Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine, not to mention a tremendous value. It is also the kind of wine that is easy to overlook in a universe of turbo-charged Napa Valley Cabernets. But that would be a mistake. The 2015 is dark and ample on the palate, with a bit more textural richness than normal because of the unique conditions of the year. Succulent black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and new leather all flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that makes the deepest impression. Even better, this is one of the very finest values in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon readers will come across. Don't miss it. - 94 points Vinous $54.99


The 2015 Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine, not to mention a tremendous value. It is also the kind of wine that is easy to overlook in a universe of turbo-charged Napa Valley Cabernets. But that would be a mistake. The 2015 is dark and ample on the palate, with a bit more textural richness than normal because of the unique conditions of the year. Succulent black cherry, plum, lavender, spice and new leather all flesh out in the glass, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that makes the deepest impression. Even better, this is one of the very finest values in Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon readers will come across. Don't miss it. - 94 points Vinous $54.99

Kristian Denis
More New Arrivals! Austrian Pet Nat, Bordeaux, Kistler, Rhys
 2014 Kistler “McRea Vineyard”, Sonoma Mountain: 95 points Wine Advocate  The 2014 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard has a gorgeously intense nose of pineapple paste, honey-nut and guava with touches of cashews and brioche. Medium to full-bodied with a lovely satiny texture, the tropical fruits are open for business with a zippy line of acidity to ensure great cellaring potential. $85.99

2014 Kistler “McRea Vineyard”, Sonoma Mountain: 95 points Wine Advocate

The 2014 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard has a gorgeously intense nose of pineapple paste, honey-nut and guava with touches of cashews and brioche. Medium to full-bodied with a lovely satiny texture, the tropical fruits are open for business with a zippy line of acidity to ensure great cellaring potential. $85.99

 2016 Rhys “Alesia” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley: The Alesia label at Rhys Vineyards has made a re-appearance with an attractively-priced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2016 vintage. As Rhys Vineyards in years-past waited for their estate vineyards to come into production, they had reserved the Alesia label to bottle wines made from purchased fruit. But this 2016 Anderson Valley bottling is made entirely from estate vines that will one day be bottled under the Rhys label or likely even Bearwallow Vineyard. $49.99

2016 Rhys “Alesia” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley: The Alesia label at Rhys Vineyards has made a re-appearance with an attractively-priced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the 2016 vintage. As Rhys Vineyards in years-past waited for their estate vineyards to come into production, they had reserved the Alesia label to bottle wines made from purchased fruit. But this 2016 Anderson Valley bottling is made entirely from estate vines that will one day be bottled under the Rhys label or likely even Bearwallow Vineyard. $49.99

 2015 Tenshen Red, Santa Barbara: A project by Joey Tensley and Alex Guarachi, this is a whopper of a wine for the price tag. Black cherry, oregano, eucalyptus and dried sage show on the nose. The palate packs a mix of herbal seasonings, including anise and spearmint, alongside black cherry and baked blueberry fruit. 92 Wine Enthusiast. $23.99   

2015 Tenshen Red, Santa Barbara: A project by Joey Tensley and Alex Guarachi, this is a whopper of a wine for the price tag. Black cherry, oregano, eucalyptus and dried sage show on the nose. The palate packs a mix of herbal seasonings, including anise and spearmint, alongside black cherry and baked blueberry fruit. 92 Wine Enthusiast. $23.99

 

 2015 Christoph Hoch Kalkspitz, Austria: Christoph has very active, chalky soil much like what is found in the Cote des Blancs in Champagne. Upon learning this, he wanted to try out making a pet nat. In an effort to learn about sparkling wine, he spent time in Champagne with DeSousa, Laherte, and Tarlant. Benoit Tarlant (of Champagne Tarlant) made a bet with Christoph that it would be nearly impossible for him to make a stable pet nat. The bet was that if Christoph succeeded, then Tarlant would give Christoph twelve barrels to use. After his first bottling, Christoph sent him twelve bottles to try and after trying the bottles, Benoit conceded that he lost the bet and Christoph drove to Champagne to collect his barrels!  The Kalkspitz (kalk = chalk, and spitz = acidity) is made mostly of Grüner Veltliner, blended with Zweigelt, Sauvignon Blanc, Blauer Portugieser and Muskat  Ottonel. The 2015 is dry with a maximum alcohol of 11% and a maximum pressure of 3atm’s. It’s savory with a refreshing acidity and creaminess on the palate.   $23.99

2015 Christoph Hoch Kalkspitz, Austria: Christoph has very active, chalky soil much like what is found in the Cote des Blancs in Champagne. Upon learning this, he wanted to try out making a pet nat. In an effort to learn about sparkling wine, he spent time in Champagne with DeSousa, Laherte, and Tarlant. Benoit Tarlant (of Champagne Tarlant) made a bet with Christoph that it would be nearly impossible for him to make a stable pet nat. The bet was that if Christoph succeeded, then Tarlant would give Christoph twelve barrels to use. After his first bottling, Christoph sent him twelve bottles to try and after trying the bottles, Benoit conceded that he lost the bet and Christoph drove to Champagne to collect his barrels!

The Kalkspitz (kalk = chalk, and spitz = acidity) is made mostly of Grüner Veltliner, blended with Zweigelt, Sauvignon Blanc, Blauer Portugieser and Muskat  Ottonel. The 2015 is dry with a maximum alcohol of 11% and a maximum pressure of 3atm’s. It’s savory with a refreshing acidity and creaminess on the palate.

 $23.99
 2014 Chateau de Cruzeau, Pessac-Léognan: 91 Wine Advocate. The Château Cruzeau 2014 has an elegant, harmonious and complex nose, classically tailored but with good fruit intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, delightful tobacco-tinged black fruit with a structured, masculine finish that is your typical “classic claret” made in accomplished fashion. I appreciate the style and terroir-expression already present here.  $29.99

2014 Chateau de Cruzeau, Pessac-Léognan: 91 Wine Advocate. The Château Cruzeau 2014 has an elegant, harmonious and complex nose, classically tailored but with good fruit intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, delightful tobacco-tinged black fruit with a structured, masculine finish that is your typical “classic claret” made in accomplished fashion. I appreciate the style and terroir-expression already present here.

$29.99

 2015 Chateau Saint-Sulpice, Bordeaux: When the vintage is as outstanding as 2015...there are values to be found!   This wine is vinified as if it were a "classified growth": complete de-stemming, eight-day fermentation in new temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and aging in vats for several months before bottling. This approach emphasizes the natural red fruit characters. The wine exhibits black cherry, spice and plum notes, with great depth and balance.  Blend: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc

2015 Chateau Saint-Sulpice, Bordeaux: When the vintage is as outstanding as 2015...there are values to be found! 

This wine is vinified as if it were a "classified growth": complete de-stemming, eight-day fermentation in new temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and aging in vats for several months before bottling. This approach emphasizes the natural red fruit characters. The wine exhibits black cherry, spice and plum notes, with great depth and balance.
Blend: 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc

 2014 Château du Roc in the Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation is a 10 ha estate. It is owned by Eric Prissette, who also works at Villa Symposia, in the Languedoc.  They have been converting to organic farming methods since 2010. The blend of varietals is 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Floral nose with cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Full and soft on the palate with good pure fruit and ripe and nicely textured tannins. 90 pts Wine Enthusiast $19.99

2014 Château du Roc in the Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux appellation is a 10 ha estate. It is owned by Eric Prissette, who also works at Villa Symposia, in the Languedoc.

They have been converting to organic farming methods since 2010. The blend of varietals is 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Floral nose with cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Full and soft on the palate with good pure fruit and ripe and nicely textured tannins. 90 pts Wine Enthusiast $19.99

Kristian Denis
97 Point Monster California Cabernet - Arriving Tomorrow Reg. 56.99 Our Price 44.99

 

Reserve yours now!! Extremely limited.  

Vintner Austin Hope, whose family is intertwined in the rise of Paso Robles, spent years working to release a wine of this caliber. Dark and thick in the glass, aromas of black currant and blueberry meet with roasted coffee, chocolate syrup and baked plum on the wondrous nose. The palate is soft and extremely expressive, with blueberry, black pepper, firm midpalate tannins and a finish that’s redolent of cappuccino candies.

97 points Wine Enthusiast

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Kristian Denis
Tastings 2/21 & 2/22

Please let us know if you are attending! Call 256.808.8860 or email domainesouth@gmail.com

 Thursday 2/22 - Eileen Hallmark presents Grower Wines imports by The Sorting Table  5-7 pm    $10  NV Borgoluce “Lampo” Prosecco Brut, Treviso: The Collaltos carry on a family legacy as owners and tenants of 3200 acres of land north of Venice given to their family over one thousand years ago. The signs of history, culture and nature co-exist with farming practices that fully respect what is a centuries-long tradition passed down by the Collalto family. 160 acres of farmland are given over to vineyards for the production of Borgoluce wines and sparkling wines. The Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. region is home to the vineyards of Borgoluce’s finest Prosecco.     NV Waris Hubert “Albescent” Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut, Champagne: Stéphanie & Olivier are each the fourth generation of grape growing families in Avize, a Grand Cru-classified village of the Côte des Blancs. Thus was born the estate of Waris-Hubert, with vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Aÿ, all classified “Grand Cru”, along with the communes of Grauves, Bisseuil and Sézanne, terroirs of character. Together this is an exceptional collection of vineyards, in all a total of 11 hectares (26 acres).     2016 Portaz “Jacques”, Savoie: only 25 cases imported to US     2014 Jean-Baptiste Adam Pinot L’Auxerrois Vielles Vignes, Alsace: In May 2014, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his family celebrated the 400th anniversary of their family being grape growers and winemakers in Ammerschwihr, Alsace, France. Jean-Baptiste’s daughter, Laure, is the 15th generation to participate in the family wine business. Through the centuries family members have been leaders in their community. Now, Jean-Baptiste can count himself among the leaders of biodynamic farming in Alsace. Jean-Baptiste Adam produces wines of elegance, balance, minerality and longevity.     2016 Triennes Rosé, Provence: Two of Burgundy’s greatest names – Jacques Seysses, founder of Domaine Dujac, and Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – are the partners behind this pioneering property in Provence, northeast of Marseille and due east of Aix-en-Provence. Over the years, they have transformed this stunning 46-hectare site into one of the top wine estates in Southern France.     2015 Dauvergne-Ravier Luberon, Rhône: Jean-François Ranvier has spent over fifteen years in oenology and wine making both in Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. He has worked in the cellars of over 50 properties in the Rhone Valley consulting on viticulture and wine making.     2014 The Left Bank from Neil Ellis Wines, South Africa: Neil Ellis is a South African wine industry icon and one of the early pioneers to bring quality levels up to world class standards. The winery sits 5 miles east of the town of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. It was founded in 1993 with the philosophy to source grapes from the top growers of the region. Neil owns vineyards and sources grapes from the regions of Stellenbosch and Jonkershoek Valley to produce the well balanced and easy to drink wines under The Left Bank label.     2015 Trig Point “Diamond Dust” Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley:  Trig Point is produced by Nick Goldschmidt and his wife Yolyn. After flying the globe for many years as the head-winemaker for the likes of Simi, Allied Domecq, and Beam Estates, Nick decided to start a family company with his wife Yolyn in 1998. The goal of the company was to focus on site specific wine making from great vineyard sites from around the world. Having produced so many world class wines from around the globe, Nick knew exactly from which vineyard sites he would choose to make his wines.  The wines Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt produce are all single vineyard, handcrafted, small production, artisan wines.     A native of Alabama,  Eileen Hallmark brings over 25 years of experience as a wine professional.   She started in the wine industry in North Alabama at Quality Wines, a business started by her parents in the early 1980s.    Presented with an experience of a lifetime she left Alabama to work for the largest wine distributor in the United States,  Southern Wine and Spirits, and became the original Wine Director for their new Hawaii division.  After several years in Hawaii she returned to the South to become part of the Vineyard Brands team where she spent almost 17 years finishing as a Senior Vice President of Sales.  In her spirit of always learning and growing, Eileen accepted a position in January of 2016 with The Sorting Table, an up and coming importer based out of Napa, California.   The Sorting Table represents over thirty artisanal wineries from around the globe with a core vision of representing terroir-driven estates who own and manage their vineyards. These wineries control every step of the winemaking process and are considered an archetype or benchmark for their region.   Ms. Hallmark resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thursday 2/22 - Eileen Hallmark presents Grower Wines imports by The Sorting Table

5-7 pm  

$10

NV Borgoluce “Lampo” Prosecco Brut, Treviso: The Collaltos carry on a family legacy as owners and tenants of 3200 acres of land north of Venice given to their family over one thousand years ago. The signs of history, culture and nature co-exist with farming practices that fully respect what is a centuries-long tradition passed down by the Collalto family. 160 acres of farmland are given over to vineyards for the production of Borgoluce wines and sparkling wines. The Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G. region is home to the vineyards of Borgoluce’s finest Prosecco.


NV Waris Hubert “Albescent” Grand Cru Blanc de Blanc Brut, Champagne: Stéphanie & Olivier are each the fourth generation of grape growing families in Avize, a Grand Cru-classified village of the Côte des Blancs. Thus was born the estate of Waris-Hubert, with vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Aÿ, all classified “Grand Cru”, along with the communes of Grauves, Bisseuil and Sézanne, terroirs of character. Together this is an exceptional collection of vineyards, in all a total of 11 hectares (26 acres).


2016 Portaz “Jacques”, Savoie: only 25 cases imported to US


2014 Jean-Baptiste Adam Pinot L’Auxerrois Vielles Vignes, Alsace: In May 2014, Jean-Baptiste Adam and his family celebrated the 400th anniversary of their family being grape growers and winemakers in Ammerschwihr, Alsace, France. Jean-Baptiste’s daughter, Laure, is the 15th generation to participate in the family wine business. Through the centuries family members have been leaders in their community. Now, Jean-Baptiste can count himself among the leaders of biodynamic farming in Alsace. Jean-Baptiste Adam produces wines of elegance, balance, minerality and longevity.


2016 Triennes Rosé, Provence: Two of Burgundy’s greatest names – Jacques Seysses, founder of Domaine Dujac, and Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – are the partners behind this pioneering property in Provence, northeast of Marseille and due east of Aix-en-Provence. Over the years, they have transformed this stunning 46-hectare site into one of the top wine estates in Southern France.


2015 Dauvergne-Ravier Luberon, Rhône: Jean-François Ranvier has spent over fifteen years in oenology and wine making both in Burgundy and the Rhone Valley. He has worked in the cellars of over 50 properties in the Rhone Valley consulting on viticulture and wine making.


2014 The Left Bank from Neil Ellis Wines, South Africa: Neil Ellis is a South African wine industry icon and one of the early pioneers to bring quality levels up to world class standards. The winery sits 5 miles east of the town of Stellenbosch in the Jonkershoek Valley. It was founded in 1993 with the philosophy to source grapes from the top growers of the region. Neil owns vineyards and sources grapes from the regions of Stellenbosch and Jonkershoek Valley to produce the well balanced and easy to drink wines under The Left Bank label.


2015 Trig Point “Diamond Dust” Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley:  Trig Point is produced by Nick Goldschmidt and his wife Yolyn. After flying the globe for many years as the head-winemaker for the likes of Simi, Allied Domecq, and Beam Estates, Nick decided to start a family company with his wife Yolyn in 1998. The goal of the company was to focus on site specific wine making from great vineyard sites from around the world. Having produced so many world class wines from around the globe, Nick knew exactly from which vineyard sites he would choose to make his wines.

The wines Nick and Yolyn Goldschmidt produce are all single vineyard, handcrafted, small production, artisan wines.


A native of Alabama,  Eileen Hallmark brings over 25 years of experience as a wine professional.  She started in the wine industry in North Alabama at Quality Wines, a business started by her parents in the early 1980s.    Presented with an experience of a lifetime she left Alabama to work for the largest wine distributor in the United States,  Southern Wine and Spirits, and became the original Wine Director for their new Hawaii division.  After several years in Hawaii she returned to the South to become part of the Vineyard Brands team where she spent almost 17 years finishing as a Senior Vice President of Sales.  In her spirit of always learning and growing, Eileen accepted a position in January of 2016 with The Sorting Table, an up and coming importer based out of Napa, California.  The Sorting Table represents over thirty artisanal wineries from around the globe with a core vision of representing terroir-driven estates who own and manage their vineyards. These wineries control every step of the winemaking process and are considered an archetype or benchmark for their region.  Ms. Hallmark resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

 Luke Bullard with Skurnik Wines presents an incredible lineup of German and Austrian wines from Terry Thiese.   2016 Selbach “Incline” Riesling, Mosel  2015 Schlossgut Diel Riesling, Nahe  2015 Weingut Spreitzer Riesling Trocken, Rheingau  2016 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben “Urziger Würtzgarten” Riesling Kabinett, Mosel  2016 Nigl Grüner Veltliner Freiheit, Niederösterreich  2026 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal  2015 Berger Zweigelt, Lower Austria

Luke Bullard with Skurnik Wines presents an incredible lineup of German and Austrian wines from Terry Thiese. 

2016 Selbach “Incline” Riesling, Mosel

2015 Schlossgut Diel Riesling, Nahe

2015 Weingut Spreitzer Riesling Trocken, Rheingau

2016 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben “Urziger Würtzgarten” Riesling Kabinett, Mosel

2016 Nigl Grüner Veltliner Freiheit, Niederösterreich

2026 Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal

2015 Berger Zweigelt, Lower Austria

Terry Theise has been a wine importer and writer for thirty years. His first love is German Riesling which was once a staple at the finest tables in America but had been largely forgotten when Terry began working with a group of small German growers in 1985. Twenty years ago he discovered vastly underappreciated and underrepresented Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, St. Laurent, Blaufränkisch (and even more obscure varieties) from top growers in Austria. Due in no small part to Terry’s work, the landscape of Austrian wine in the United States has shifted from nonexistent to classic, noble, and necessary. A decade and a half ago his love of honest and compelling wines from small growers brought him to Champagne. Terry assembled a portfolio of Grower Champagnes – a category that then hardly existed – and it remains today without equal.

Terry’s approach is vastly divergent from that of many of his colleagues. The growers he works with and the wines he selects must speak to something genuine and real beyond their basic flavor. His wines have in common a distinct character, a point of view, vitality, and a voice. They express the land, the grower, and the time in which they were made. These wines convey to the drinker a sense of beauty, harmony, meaning, and above all pleasure.

Terry’s viewpoint opens a door to a different world of wine, one that does not disconnect this agricultural ‘product’ from its human and emotional element. He speaks his mind openly and without hesitation, connecting his ideas about wine, life, sex, philosophy – even mysticism. While his writing is vivid, colorful, and wildly entertaining (think Monty Python meets George Carlin), the message is clear and essential.

Terry Theise’s philosophy is displayed on the first page of his annual catalogs: Beauty is more important than impact. Harmony is more important than intensity. The whole of any wine must always be more than the sum of its parts. Distinctiveness is more important than conventional prettiness. Soul is more important than anything, and soul is expressed as a trinity of family, soil, and artisanality. Lots of wines, many of them good wines, let you taste the noise. But only the best let you taste the silence.

Kristian Denis
'Tis the Season! Two Grand Cru Champagnes under $50 and much more!

Let the bubbles flow!! Our Champers & Fried Chicken Tasting may be sold out, but our Champagne selection right now is on point. Great prices on both Grower and Grand Marques bottlings! 

 NV Champagne Waris-Hubert "Albescent" Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (Reg. 59.99/Sale 48.99) Often in the region of Champagne, from the hands of matrimony stems the joining not only of two people but plots of vineyard land as well. In 1997, Stéphanie Hubert and Olivier Waris were wed.  Stéphanie & Olivier are each the fourth generation of grape growing families in Avize, a Grand Cru-classified village of the Côte des Blancs. Thus was born the estate of Waris-Hubert, with vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Aÿ, all classified “Grand Cru”, along with the communes of Grauves, Bisseuil and Sézanne, terroirs of character. Together this is an exceptional collection of vineyards, in all a total of 11 hectares (26 acres).  THE WINE  Vineyard Profile   Villages of Cramant and Avize  Average age of vines: 25 years  Calcareous clay soil  Vine husbandry: 100% tillage   Wine Summary   Made from Chardonnay grapes.  Vine age – 25 year average in 2015.  Grown on soils of Calcerous & clay.  Fermented in stainless steel vats at 16°C.  Aged in bottle at 11°C.  Aged for approximately 3 years.   Technical Information   100% Chardonnay Grand Cru  100% cuvée (first press juice)  Cold vinification: cold settling at 4°C for 72 hours then alcoholic fermentation at 16°C.  Vinification in stainless steel vats for 6 months.  Cellar aging for approximately 3 years in racks at a constant temperature of 11°C.  Dosage: Brut 7g/l.            Miscellaneous

NV Champagne Waris-Hubert "Albescent" Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs (Reg. 59.99/Sale 48.99) Often in the region of Champagne, from the hands of matrimony stems the joining not only of two people but plots of vineyard land as well. In 1997, Stéphanie Hubert and Olivier Waris were wed.

Stéphanie & Olivier are each the fourth generation of grape growing families in Avize, a Grand Cru-classified village of the Côte des Blancs. Thus was born the estate of Waris-Hubert, with vineyards in the villages of Avize, Oger, Cramant, Chouilly and Aÿ, all classified “Grand Cru”, along with the communes of Grauves, Bisseuil and Sézanne, terroirs of character. Together this is an exceptional collection of vineyards, in all a total of 11 hectares (26 acres).

THE WINE

Vineyard Profile
  • Villages of Cramant and Avize
  • Average age of vines: 25 years
  • Calcareous clay soil
  • Vine husbandry: 100% tillage
Wine Summary
  • Made from Chardonnay grapes.
  • Vine age – 25 year average in 2015.
  • Grown on soils of Calcerous & clay.
  • Fermented in stainless steel vats at 16°C.
  • Aged in bottle at 11°C.
  • Aged for approximately 3 years.
Technical Information
  • 100% Chardonnay Grand Cru
  • 100% cuvée (first press juice)
  • Cold vinification: cold settling at 4°C for 72 hours then alcoholic fermentation at 16°C.
  • Vinification in stainless steel vats for 6 months.
  • Cellar aging for approximately 3 years in racks at a constant temperature of 11°C.
  • Dosage: Brut 7g/l.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous
 Champagne Waris-Hubert Brut Rosé: (Reg. 65.99 Sale 59.99)      GRAPES / SOILS  Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Noir (15%)  THE WINE  Vineyard Profile   Village d’Avize for the Chardonnay  Pinot Noir de Bouzy for the Rouge   Wine Summary   Made from Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Noir (15%) grapes.  Fermented in stainless steel vats at 16°C.  Aged in in bottle at 11°C.  Aged for 18 months.   Technical Information   85% Chardonnay from Grauves, 15% Pinot Noir (Bouzy red wine)  100% cuvée (first press juice)  Cold settling at 4°C for 72 hours, then alcoholic fermentation at 16°C.  Vinification in stainless steel vats.  Cellar aging for approximately 18 months at a constant temperature of 11°C.  Dosage: 7 g/l.

Champagne Waris-Hubert Brut Rosé: (Reg. 65.99 Sale 59.99) 

 

GRAPES / SOILS

Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Noir (15%)

THE WINE

Vineyard Profile
  • Village d’Avize for the Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir de Bouzy for the Rouge
Wine Summary
  • Made from Chardonnay (85%), Pinot Noir (15%) grapes.
  • Fermented in stainless steel vats at 16°C.
  • Aged in in bottle at 11°C.
  • Aged for 18 months.
Technical Information
  • 85% Chardonnay from Grauves, 15% Pinot Noir (Bouzy red wine)
  • 100% cuvée (first press juice)
  • Cold settling at 4°C for 72 hours, then alcoholic fermentation at 16°C.
  • Vinification in stainless steel vats.
  • Cellar aging for approximately 18 months at a constant temperature of 11°C.
  • Dosage: 7 g/l.
 NV Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé: (Reg 99.99/Sale 85.99). Pure Luxury.   Pale, silvery-pink color, with a strong, frothy mousse. Pure and precise, with penetrating aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, blood orange, kiwi, oyster shell and fresh lavender. Brisk on the palate, showing a range of red berry flavors accented by tangy rhubarb and bergamot notes, which ratchet up the refreshment factor. 

NV Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé: (Reg 99.99/Sale 85.99). Pure Luxury.   Pale, silvery-pink color, with a strong, frothy mousse. Pure and precise, with penetrating aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry, blood orange, kiwi, oyster shell and fresh lavender. Brisk on the palate, showing a range of red berry flavors accented by tangy rhubarb and bergamot notes, which ratchet up the refreshment factor. 

 NV Champagne Lallier "Grande Réserve" Grand Cru: (Reg. 57.99/Sale 48.99) Made from 100% Grand Cru grapes, of which 65% Pinot Noir from Aÿ and Verzenay and 35% Chardonnay from Avize and Cramant, the Brut is an intoxicating blend of 70% of the most recent vintage with 30% reserve wine, matured 24 to 36 months in our cellars. With 9 g/L dosage and 3 to 5 months rest between disgorgement and shipping, the Lallier Brut features a fine golden-yellow color and delicate buttery brioche aromas with hints of apricot and crusty bread. With its creamy mouthfeel, incredible balance, and remarkable minerality, this Brut represents a truly remarkable value.

NV Champagne Lallier "Grande Réserve" Grand Cru: (Reg. 57.99/Sale 48.99) Made from 100% Grand Cru grapes, of which 65% Pinot Noir from Aÿ and Verzenay and 35% Chardonnay from Avize and Cramant, the Brut is an intoxicating blend of 70% of the most recent vintage with 30% reserve wine, matured 24 to 36 months in our cellars. With 9 g/L dosage and 3 to 5 months rest between disgorgement and shipping, the Lallier Brut features a fine golden-yellow color and delicate buttery brioche aromas with hints of apricot and crusty bread. With its creamy mouthfeel, incredible balance, and remarkable minerality, this Brut represents a truly remarkable value.

 NV Champagne Vincent Couch Elégance Brut: (Reg. 46.99/Sale 40.99) Third generation winemaker Vincent Couche produces fine champagnes from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grown using strictly organic and biodynamic methods, on 13 hectares of vineyards in the heart of the Côte des Bar in the Aube, Champagne's southern region (3 hectares of Chardonnay in Montgueux on chalky soil and 10 hectares in Buxeuil, primarily planted to Pinot Noir, on Argilo Calcaire or Argilo Marneux soil). Under conversion since 2008, they received Ecocert and Demeter certification in 2011. Truly passionate about the health of his vines, Vincent believes that great wine is made in the vineyards, and prefers as little intervention as possible in the winery. He uses innovative methods and is constantly testing the results, and has been participating in a scientific study on the use of "protéodies" to fight mildew and Esca vine disease.  Certified organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter

NV Champagne Vincent Couch Elégance Brut: (Reg. 46.99/Sale 40.99) Third generation winemaker Vincent Couche produces fine champagnes from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grown using strictly organic and biodynamic methods, on 13 hectares of vineyards in the heart of the Côte des Bar in the Aube, Champagne's southern region (3 hectares of Chardonnay in Montgueux on chalky soil and 10 hectares in Buxeuil, primarily planted to Pinot Noir, on Argilo Calcaire or Argilo Marneux soil). Under conversion since 2008, they received Ecocert and Demeter certification in 2011. Truly passionate about the health of his vines, Vincent believes that great wine is made in the vineyards, and prefers as little intervention as possible in the winery. He uses innovative methods and is constantly testing the results, and has been participating in a scientific study on the use of "protéodies" to fight mildew and Esca vine disease.

Certified organic and biodynamic by Ecocert and Demeter

Kristian Denis
Smoking Hot New Wines - Oregon Pinot, Sonoma Zin, Brunello, White Burgundy and more...
 2015 The Four Graces Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley - $20.99 93 points Wine Spectator.  Expressive and supple, with a complex core of lively tannins and
acidity, plus accents of black cherry, cinnamon and spice that
linger toward a minerally  nish. Drink now through 2024.— T.F.   Steve and Paula Black began the pursuit of a dream when in 2003 they purchased the 110-acre vineyard located in the Red Hills of Dundee and created The Four Graces. The Four Graces is aptly named after their four daughters – Alexis, Vanessa, Christiana, and Jillian. Brother Nicholas is recognized on the Reserve as "Keeper of The Four Graces." 

2015 The Four Graces Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley - $20.99 93 points Wine Spectator.  Expressive and supple, with a complex core of lively tannins and acidity, plus accents of black cherry, cinnamon and spice that linger toward a minerally  nish. Drink now through 2024.—T.F.

Steve and Paula Black began the pursuit of a dream when in 2003 they purchased the 110-acre vineyard located in the Red Hills of Dundee and created The Four Graces. The Four Graces is aptly named after their four daughters – Alexis, Vanessa, Christiana, and Jillian. Brother Nicholas is recognized on the Reserve as "Keeper of The Four Graces." 

 2015 Bear Flag Zinfandel, Sonoma: 92 points Wine Spectator $21.99. Based on a California Republic Proclamation from 1846, this wine offers a nod to Sonoma’s place in history. It was the location for the Bear Flag Revolt, a fight for Californian independence. We see this as a great representation from one of the state’s best growing regions for this variety. With 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 6% Teroldego, 5% Malbec, and 2% other varieties, the majority of the fruit hails from Dry Creek Valley. With classic Zin aromas of peppered nettle and blueberry tart, the palate is rich, dense, and forward. This plucky Zin shows brightness, with a rustic, textured mouthfeel.

2015 Bear Flag Zinfandel, Sonoma: 92 points Wine Spectator $21.99. Based on a California Republic Proclamation from 1846, this wine offers a nod to Sonoma’s place in history. It was the location for the Bear Flag Revolt, a fight for Californian independence. We see this as a great representation from one of the state’s best growing regions for this variety. With 78% Zinfandel, 9% Petite Sirah, 6% Teroldego, 5% Malbec, and 2% other varieties, the majority of the fruit hails from Dry Creek Valley. With classic Zin aromas of peppered nettle and blueberry tart, the palate is rich, dense, and forward. This plucky Zin shows brightness, with a rustic, textured mouthfeel.

 2015 Frederic Magnien Bourgogne (25.99) -    Of all North Berkeley Wine Imports' producers,  Frédéric Magnien , with his impressive selection of historic premier cru and grand cru terroirs, offers the most complete experience for those passionate about Burgundy wines.  For those just beginning their exploration, Magnien Burgundy is the ideal gateway to truly understanding the myriad tastes that this wine region promises. Each of Magnien’s many exemplary crus brings you closer to the true meaning of terroir—whether the orange essence of grand cru Echezeaux or the chocolaty core of Morey ‘Millandes.’  And for those who have already been seduced by all that is Burgundy, Magnien offers a lifetime of exploration into the region’s most impressive and rare vineyards, now all within reach.  Frédéric is a fifth-generation winemaker from Morey-Saint-Denis, and Burgundy is the family’s lifeblood. Learning the craft first from his father, Michel Magnien (of Domaine Michel Magnien), Fred also traveled to California and Australia to hone his talents before returning home and starting his own négociant domaine in his native village.  There’s no question that Magnien knows every nook and cranny of Burgundy by heart. As a child, he used these vineyards as his off-road bicycle course, riding through premier and grand cru plots.  As a winemaker, Magnien still rides his bike through the fields to greet growers at first light; his are long-lasting partnerships based on trust and respect.   FARMING & WINEMAKING   As a négociant, Magnien differentiates himself in that he works closely with his partner vine growers throughout the year, selecting only older-vine parcels that are cared for to his exacting standards. His own teams pick the grapes at harvest, a further qualitative step. (Most négociants buy juice, not grapes.) Most of the vineyards Magnien purchases grapes from are either certified organic or in the process of conversion.  In the cellar, juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts; wines are aged only in the highest-grade François Frères oak—a practice followed by other exclusive estates, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Comtes de Lafon. Magnien chooses to use mostly older barrels for aging, with approximately 10 percent new oak for premier and grand cru wines. All wines are unfined and unfiltered.  The 2015 Bourgogne  combines peerless Chardonnay fruit from vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny, Fixin, Marsannay and crucially, Meursault.  The best of all worlds!   

2015 Frederic Magnien Bourgogne (25.99) -  

Of all North Berkeley Wine Imports' producers, Frédéric Magnien, with his impressive selection of historic premier cru and grand cru terroirs, offers the most complete experience for those passionate about Burgundy wines.

For those just beginning their exploration, Magnien Burgundy is the ideal gateway to truly understanding the myriad tastes that this wine region promises. Each of Magnien’s many exemplary crus brings you closer to the true meaning of terroir—whether the orange essence of grand cru Echezeaux or the chocolaty core of Morey ‘Millandes.’

And for those who have already been seduced by all that is Burgundy, Magnien offers a lifetime of exploration into the region’s most impressive and rare vineyards, now all within reach.

Frédéric is a fifth-generation winemaker from Morey-Saint-Denis, and Burgundy is the family’s lifeblood. Learning the craft first from his father, Michel Magnien (of Domaine Michel Magnien), Fred also traveled to California and Australia to hone his talents before returning home and starting his own négociant domaine in his native village.

There’s no question that Magnien knows every nook and cranny of Burgundy by heart. As a child, he used these vineyards as his off-road bicycle course, riding through premier and grand cru plots.  As a winemaker, Magnien still rides his bike through the fields to greet growers at first light; his are long-lasting partnerships based on trust and respect.

FARMING & WINEMAKING

As a négociant, Magnien differentiates himself in that he works closely with his partner vine growers throughout the year, selecting only older-vine parcels that are cared for to his exacting standards. His own teams pick the grapes at harvest, a further qualitative step. (Most négociants buy juice, not grapes.) Most of the vineyards Magnien purchases grapes from are either certified organic or in the process of conversion.

In the cellar, juice is fermented on indigenous yeasts; wines are aged only in the highest-grade François Frères oak—a practice followed by other exclusive estates, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Comtes de Lafon. Magnien chooses to use mostly older barrels for aging, with approximately 10 percent new oak for premier and grand cru wines. All wines are unfined and unfiltered.

The 2015 Bourgogne  combines peerless Chardonnay fruit from vineyards in Chambolle-Musigny, Fixin, Marsannay and crucially, Meursault.  The best of all worlds!

 

 Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage 2013 (32.99)     This Port is aged for 4 to 6 years in large old oak vats (as opposed to Vintage Ports, which age for 2-3 years). LBV Ports fill the gap between Ruby and Vintage Ports, as Rubies should be drunk quite young and a Vintage Port may need 15 to 20 years to really open up and show its splendor. This led to the creation of a Port in the 1960s which would undergo 4 to 6 years ageing in large vats before being bottled, resulting in a wine of a Vintage Port style with its deep colour and concentration of fruit but with a more mature character due to the extended ageing period in wood.     VINIFICATION     After a couple of dry winters, the Douro region experienced a wet winter in the lead up to 2013, which was most welcome as it restored water reserves. The spring and summer were relatively cool, with an absence of rain until the beginning of September which brought a few showers, allowing the grapes to ripen fully. Luckily, the majority of the fruit was picked before the rain set in at the end of September! All grapes for the LBV 2013 were sourced from old vineyards in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro Valley.  Harvest took place under fine conditions, and after being carefully sorted, the grapes were crushed with their stems and directly transferred to granite lagares where they were foot-stomped prior to fortification. Following a few cool winter months spent in the Douro, the wines were transported to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia at the beginning of 2014 and aged in large wooden vats. They were bottled in the fourth year – the tradition at Niepoort is to retain plenty of freshness in the wines.     TASTING NOTES     The wine has a dark red appearance and lighter red hues on the rim, with wonderful aromas of dark chocolate and a subtle floral character which enrobes the deep fruits of the forest notes. On the palate it is superbly balanced and fresh, with a most seductive middle palate and good extract, followed by a superb spirit-driven finish. 

Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage 2013 (32.99) 

This Port is aged for 4 to 6 years in large old oak vats (as opposed to Vintage Ports, which age for 2-3 years). LBV Ports fill the gap between Ruby and Vintage Ports, as Rubies should be drunk quite young and a Vintage Port may need 15 to 20 years to really open up and show its splendor. This led to the creation of a Port in the 1960s which would undergo 4 to 6 years ageing in large vats before being bottled, resulting in a wine of a Vintage Port style with its deep colour and concentration of fruit but with a more mature character due to the extended ageing period in wood.

VINIFICATION

After a couple of dry winters, the Douro region experienced a wet winter in the lead up to 2013, which was most welcome as it restored water reserves. The spring and summer were relatively cool, with an absence of rain until the beginning of September which brought a few showers, allowing the grapes to ripen fully. Luckily, the majority of the fruit was picked before the rain set in at the end of September! All grapes for the LBV 2013 were sourced from old vineyards in the Cima Corgo region of the Douro Valley.

Harvest took place under fine conditions, and after being carefully sorted, the grapes were crushed with their stems and directly transferred to granite lagares where they were foot-stomped prior to fortification. Following a few cool winter months spent in the Douro, the wines were transported to the cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia at the beginning of 2014 and aged in large wooden vats. They were bottled in the fourth year – the tradition at Niepoort is to retain plenty of freshness in the wines.

TASTING NOTES

The wine has a dark red appearance and lighter red hues on the rim, with wonderful aromas of dark chocolate and a subtle floral character which enrobes the deep fruits of the forest notes. On the palate it is superbly balanced and fresh, with a most seductive middle palate and good extract, followed by a superb spirit-driven finish. 

 Domaine Lucien Jacob are not only very fine producers of white and red Burgundy but they also produce a highly regarded crème de cassis made from organically farmed blackcurrants grown around Beaune.  This is the real deal. Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant. $17.99 (375 ml)

Domaine Lucien Jacob are not only very fine producers of white and red Burgundy but they also produce a highly regarded crème de cassis made from organically farmed blackcurrants grown around Beaune.  This is the real deal. Imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant. $17.99 (375 ml)

 2012 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino - $47.99   Critical Acclaim 92 Wine Spectator: This is round and laced with cherry, currant, tobacco and iron flavors. Firms up quickly, with a fine matrix of tannins for support. Balanced overall, with a long finish of tobacco and iron. Drink through 2033.

2012 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino - $47.99

Critical Acclaim

92 Wine Spectator: This is round and laced with cherry, currant, tobacco and iron flavors. Firms up quickly, with a fine matrix of tannins for support. Balanced overall, with a long finish of tobacco and iron. Drink through 2033.
Kristian Denis
New Arrivals

A Wine Spectator Top 100 Malbec, two Italian Vermouths imported by Kermit Lynch, a couple zero dosage sparklers from New Mexico, and a single vineyard Washington state Merlot that drinks like really top flight Right Bank Bordeaux....all good things. 

 2015 Kaiken Ultra Malbec, Mendoza: 21.99 -  #45  Wine Spectator  Top 100 of 2017     This Malbec shows a beautiful deep ruby color with violet hues. On the nose, flowery and mineral notes are evident, with spicy touches that make the wine more complex and are finely blended with the elegance of the French oak. On the mouth, it's a wine of great structure and power – sweet plum, mocha and black cherry flavors blend with well-integrated oak and tannins that are both soft and present. It has an outstanding balance and a very long and polished finish.

2015 Kaiken Ultra Malbec, Mendoza: 21.99 -  #45 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2017

This Malbec shows a beautiful deep ruby color with violet hues. On the nose, flowery and mineral notes are evident, with spicy touches that make the wine more complex and are finely blended with the elegance of the French oak. On the mouth, it's a wine of great structure and power – sweet plum, mocha and black cherry flavors blend with well-integrated oak and tannins that are both soft and present. It has an outstanding balance and a very long and polished finish.

 Gilbert Gruet founder of Gruet Winery was born in Bethon, France in 1931. He grew up in a poor family, and began working at a young age. In 1952, Gilbert Gruet, along with his wife Danielle, dreamt of producing fine quality Champagne. Gilbert followed his heart and in 1967 created the U.V.C.B. (Union Vinicole des Coteaux de Bethon), a co-op in the village of Bethon.  In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards In Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequence, 170 miles south of Albuquerque. The land was inexpensive and the opportunity golden. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet, whose Champagne house, Gruet et Fils had produced fine Champagne in Bethon, France, since 1952, made the decision to plant an experimental vineyard, exclusively planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. His children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie, then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure.  The NV Sauvage Blanc de Blancs (20.99) is a 100% Chardonnay bone-dry sparkler, pale straw in color with a delicate but persistent mousse. The aromas of bright mineral and citrus notes tickle the nose followed by touches of green apple, lemon and grapefruit. The finish is structured, flavorful and long.  Made from 100% Pinot Noir and also with zero dosage, Sauvage Rosè's vibrant fruit flavors of wild strawberry and hint of cherry really shine on the nose and palate and are complemented by bright acidity. (20.99)

Gilbert Gruet founder of Gruet Winery was born in Bethon, France in 1931. He grew up in a poor family, and began working at a young age. In 1952, Gilbert Gruet, along with his wife Danielle, dreamt of producing fine quality Champagne. Gilbert followed his heart and in 1967 created the U.V.C.B. (Union Vinicole des Coteaux de Bethon), a co-op in the village of Bethon.

In 1983, the Gruet family was traveling through the Southwestern part of the United States, and while in New Mexico met a group of European winemakers who had successfully planted vineyards In Engle, near the town of Truth or Consequence, 170 miles south of Albuquerque. The land was inexpensive and the opportunity golden. In 1984, Gilbert Gruet, whose Champagne house, Gruet et Fils had produced fine Champagne in Bethon, France, since 1952, made the decision to plant an experimental vineyard, exclusively planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. His children, winemaker Laurent and daughter Nathalie, then relocated to the great state of New Mexico to begin their American wine making adventure.

The NV Sauvage Blanc de Blancs (20.99) is a 100% Chardonnay bone-dry sparkler, pale straw in color with a delicate but persistent mousse. The aromas of bright mineral and citrus notes tickle the nose followed by touches of green apple, lemon and grapefruit. The finish is structured, flavorful and long.

Made from 100% Pinot Noir and also with zero dosage, Sauvage Rosè's vibrant fruit flavors of wild strawberry and hint of cherry really shine on the nose and palate and are complemented by bright acidity. (20.99)

 Founded in 1890, the distillery of Castelnuovo Don Bosco was purchased in 1906 by Carlo Quaglia, the great grandfather of the current distillery director. A succession of fathers passing the historical and traditional knowledge of distillation, liqueur, and vermouth production to their sons, and each son adding their own vision brings us to present day. The current ambition of the distillery is to preserve the multitude of traditional liqueurs and vermouths of Piedmont. Brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino of Barolo introduced us to Carlo Quaglia, who helps them make their Barolo Chinato.      The Bèrto red vermouth (Ross da Travaj) and white vermouth (Aperitiv dla Traddission) are standard-bearers of traditionally and artisanally produced sweet vermouth from Piedmont. The recipe dates back to the 1930s and was resurrected by the Italian chef Federico Ricatto. His vision was to create Piemontese Vermouth that could stand on its own as an  aperitivo  or digestivo. Bèrto is the nickname for Alberto, Federico’s nephew, who was born around the time he was recreating the recipe. Federico recommends consuming their vermouth in wide glasses or in a tumbler with ice and an orange peel. (20.99)  The Berto Rosso is a blend of Freisa, Trebbiano, and Moscato Must, Herbs and Spices (Bitter orange, absinthe, gentian, cardamom, vanilla, coriander, mint, mace, hops, thyme, marjoram, lemon, cinnamon, clove, rhubarb, angelica)

Founded in 1890, the distillery of Castelnuovo Don Bosco was purchased in 1906 by Carlo Quaglia, the great grandfather of the current distillery director. A succession of fathers passing the historical and traditional knowledge of distillation, liqueur, and vermouth production to their sons, and each son adding their own vision brings us to present day. The current ambition of the distillery is to preserve the multitude of traditional liqueurs and vermouths of Piedmont. Brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino of Barolo introduced us to Carlo Quaglia, who helps them make their Barolo Chinato.

 


The Bèrto red vermouth (Ross da Travaj) and white vermouth (Aperitiv dla Traddission) are standard-bearers of traditionally and artisanally produced sweet vermouth from Piedmont. The recipe dates back to the 1930s and was resurrected by the Italian chef Federico Ricatto. His vision was to create Piemontese Vermouth that could stand on its own as an aperitivo or digestivo. Bèrto is the nickname for Alberto, Federico’s nephew, who was born around the time he was recreating the recipe. Federico recommends consuming their vermouth in wide glasses or in a tumbler with ice and an orange peel. (20.99)

The Berto Rosso is a blend of Freisa, Trebbiano, and Moscato Must, Herbs and Spices (Bitter orange, absinthe, gentian, cardamom, vanilla, coriander, mint, mace, hops, thyme, marjoram, lemon, cinnamon, clove, rhubarb, angelica)

 Berto Bianco: Trebbiano and Moscato Must, Herbs and Spices (Bitter orange, absinthe, gentian, cardamom, vanilla, coriander, mint, mace, hops, thyme, marjoram, lemon, cinnamon, clove, rhubarb, angelica)

Berto Bianco: Trebbiano and Moscato Must, Herbs and Spices (Bitter orange, absinthe, gentian, cardamom, vanilla, coriander, mint, mace, hops, thyme, marjoram, lemon, cinnamon, clove, rhubarb, angelica)

 Pretty freaking spectacular wine from one of of my very favorite American winemakers, Charles Smith. This Merlot from Northridge Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA of Washington state, is planted on loamy soil and reminds me of stunning. Right Bank Bordeaux. Not only me, either. Jeb Dunnuck (The Wine Advocate) had this to say.   "Reminiscent of a top-flight Pomerol, the 2014 Merlot Northridge Vineyard is total blockbuster that gives up incredible notes of black cherries, bouquet garni, earth and chocolate. Layered, rich, concentrated, yet seamless and silky, my notes end with "Best Merlot in Washington?" 94 points 49.99

Pretty freaking spectacular wine from one of of my very favorite American winemakers, Charles Smith. This Merlot from Northridge Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA of Washington state, is planted on loamy soil and reminds me of stunning. Right Bank Bordeaux. Not only me, either. Jeb Dunnuck (The Wine Advocate) had this to say. 

"Reminiscent of a top-flight Pomerol, the 2014 Merlot Northridge Vineyard is total blockbuster that gives up incredible notes of black cherries, bouquet garni, earth and chocolate. Layered, rich, concentrated, yet seamless and silky, my notes end with "Best Merlot in Washington?" 94 points 49.99

Kristian Denis
2015 Beaux Freres "The Beaux Freres Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge - 95 points Wine Spectator

 

A perfect ruby jewel in the glass. Twenty-five years later, the beloved original Estate has outdone itself. Silky-textured and vibrant with layers of tart red berries and mulling spice; then like a deep breath on a misty mountain morning eases seamlessly into fragrant damp earth. Captivating, intricate, and refined even in its youth, this wine’s impressive age-worthiness remains strong. Expect increasing complexity and grace for another twenty years or more. 

 Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. 2700 cases made.  Arriving Friday 11/10   $99.99

Offers impressive presence and polish, with a multilayered, complex core wrapped in rich, expressive blueberry and cherry flavors, accented by savory spice and espresso details. Builds depth as this dances toward refined tannins. 2700 cases made.

Arriving Friday 11/10

 $99.99

Kristian Denis
New Today: 93 pt Tuscan Red Blend ($14.99)
 Heady flavors of cassis, blackberry, violet and ink mark this intense red. Powerful, yet fruity and fresh, with a peppery, minerally finish. Grill some beef for this bad boy. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2018 through 2025. 4,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator   Case Discounts - 10% Card/15% Cash or Check

Heady flavors of cassis, blackberry, violet and ink mark this intense red. Powerful, yet fruity and fresh, with a peppery, minerally finish. Grill some beef for this bad boy. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2018 through 2025. 4,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator 

Case Discounts - 10% Card/15% Cash or Check

Kristian Denis
50 Pounds of Cheese, New Cookbooks, A Stunning Young Barolo and More!

Cheese cooler is FULL UP, y'all! Come down and get yourselves ready for the weekend! We have lots of new arrivals - here are just a few!  

    Espresso Bellavitano is a unique Cheddar-Parmesan inspired farmstead cow's cheese rubbed with fresh ground Italian roast espresso beans. The sweet, slightly smoky, roasted flavours of an espresso coffee complements the creamy and sweet BellaVitano. A Sartori-family original, this gourmet cheese is a celebrated gold medal winner at the 2017 World Cheese Awards. This artisan cheese tastes delicious with sweet pastries, nuts, bagels, chocolate and dried apricots.

 

Espresso Bellavitano is a unique Cheddar-Parmesan inspired farmstead cow's cheese rubbed with fresh ground Italian roast espresso beans. The sweet, slightly smoky, roasted flavours of an espresso coffee complements the creamy and sweet BellaVitano. A Sartori-family original, this gourmet cheese is a celebrated gold medal winner at the 2017 World Cheese Awards. This artisan cheese tastes delicious with sweet pastries, nuts, bagels, chocolate and dried apricots.

 From the historic Wensleydale Creamery in England, this latest creation quickly made waves at the New York Fancy Food Show last summer. Creamy, buttery cheddar is perfectly blended with tangy, caramelized onions to produce a new English favorite. Totally addictive. 

From the historic Wensleydale Creamery in England, this latest creation quickly made waves at the New York Fancy Food Show last summer. Creamy, buttery cheddar is perfectly blended with tangy, caramelized onions to produce a new English favorite. Totally addictive. 

 Young Beemster gets a peppery kick from hatch chiles in this cheese. These peppers vary in heat from subtle to fiery hot. Don’t be scared; this sweet and creamy cheese takes you close to the fire without getting burned. This is a great melting cheese, so add it to beans & rice, tacos, nachos and fajitas. You can also spice up a routine turkey sandwich or create a South western burger with a few slices of avocado.  Beemster's production is located in Northern Holland, famous for its rich milk and fertile grazing land.

Young Beemster gets a peppery kick from hatch chiles in this cheese. These peppers vary in heat from subtle to fiery hot. Don’t be scared; this sweet and creamy cheese takes you close to the fire without getting burned. This is a great melting cheese, so add it to beans & rice, tacos, nachos and fajitas. You can also spice up a routine turkey sandwich or create a South western burger with a few slices of avocado.

Beemster's production is located in Northern Holland, famous for its rich milk and fertile grazing land.

 Aged for a full five years, this Triple Aged Gouda is both intense and complex. Like a fine wine, maturity has been generous to this gouda, lending it nuances other cheeses only dream of. A beguiling array of flavors tease the taste buds and leave you wanting more of this very special item.

Aged for a full five years, this Triple Aged Gouda is both intense and complex. Like a fine wine, maturity has been generous to this gouda, lending it nuances other cheeses only dream of. A beguiling array of flavors tease the taste buds and leave you wanting more of this very special item.

   Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalleto 2013 - $45.99 - 94 WE/94 JS/90 WS - Wild berry, aromatic herb, crushed blue flower and exotic spice aromas lead the way in this full-bodied wine. It delivers ripe but elegant Marasca cherry, cranberry, licorice and vanilla hints framed by taut, fine-grained tannins that lend structure and finesse.

 Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalleto 2013 - $45.99 - 94 WE/94 JS/90 WS - Wild berry, aromatic herb, crushed blue flower and exotic spice aromas lead the way in this full-bodied wine. It delivers ripe but elegant Marasca cherry, cranberry, licorice and vanilla hints framed by taut, fine-grained tannins that lend structure and finesse.

 Artadi Vinas de Laguardia, Rioja - $21.99 -    This new Village Series from acclaimed artisanal producer, Artadi,  insures that each wine, which bares the name of its origin, is a unique representation of village where the grapes are grown. They are wines of personality and character, and Artadi's new Vinas de Laguardia is the standard for fruit-forward wines with complex flavors and delicate tannins. Made with 100% Tempranillo  Critical Acclaim  91 Wine Enthusiast   A dense, dark color and ripe and raisinated black fruit aromas welcome one into this multi-vineyard Rioja. On the palate, it's loaded with berry and vanilla flavors, its textured finish showing a hint of toast.  90 Wine Spectator   This tightly knit red shows good density, with plum, blackberry, cola and toast notes shadowed by firm tannins and balsamic acidity. Not giving much now, but has the stuffing to bloom.

Artadi Vinas de Laguardia, Rioja - $21.99 -  

This new Village Series from acclaimed artisanal producer, Artadi,  insures that each wine, which bares the name of its origin, is a unique representation of village where the grapes are grown. They are wines of personality and character, and Artadi's new Vinas de Laguardia is the standard for fruit-forward wines with complex flavors and delicate tannins. Made with 100% Tempranillo

Critical Acclaim

91 Wine Enthusiast 

A dense, dark color and ripe and raisinated black fruit aromas welcome one into this multi-vineyard Rioja. On the palate, it's loaded with berry and vanilla flavors, its textured finish showing a hint of toast.

90 Wine Spectator 

This tightly knit red shows good density, with plum, blackberry, cola and toast notes shadowed by firm tannins and balsamic acidity. Not giving much now, but has the stuffing to bloom.

 2011 Taylor Fladgate LBV Port -  $28.99  The 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port (bottled in October 2015) is a field blend aged for 58 months. It comes with a bar top cork and 106 grams per liter of residual sugar. Inky black, this highly extracted Port has sensual texture and an unctuous finish laced with delicious, primary fruit flavor. It's a rather sexy LBV this year, big, dense and mouth-coating. It has a fair bit of power, too. For an LBV to drink now, this is simply beautiful. It is not necessarily expected to go anywhere--it's made for drinking now--but it can certainly hold if you choose to do so, barring cork failures.

2011 Taylor Fladgate LBV Port -  $28.99

The 2011 Late Bottled Vintage Port (bottled in October 2015) is a field blend aged for 58 months. It comes with a bar top cork and 106 grams per liter of residual sugar. Inky black, this highly extracted Port has sensual texture and an unctuous finish laced with delicious, primary fruit flavor. It's a rather sexy LBV this year, big, dense and mouth-coating. It has a fair bit of power, too. For an LBV to drink now, this is simply beautiful. It is not necessarily expected to go anywhere--it's made for drinking now--but it can certainly hold if you choose to do so, barring cork failures.

 NV Yalumba Museum Reserve Dessert Wine - $24.99  92 -The Wine Advocate  The Non-Vintage Museum Reserve Muscat is medium amber with a superb bouquet of honey, ginger, candied apricots, and peach. Ripe, sweet, and hedonistic, it has a very long finish.  92 - Wine Enthusiast  Yalumba's Muscat includes some lots from outside Rutherglen, but it's still an excellent example of fortified Muscat, featuring hints of caramelized cherries and a sweet, complex melange of caramel, toffee and chocolate balanced by citrusy freshness.  91 -Wine Spectator  Sweet, bordering on syrupy, but nicely held in check by sufficient acidity, allowing the coffee, sassafras, vanilla and clotted cream flavors to glide effortlessly through the expressive finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.

NV Yalumba Museum Reserve Dessert Wine - $24.99

92 -The Wine Advocate

The Non-Vintage Museum Reserve Muscat is medium amber with a superb bouquet of honey, ginger, candied apricots, and peach. Ripe, sweet, and hedonistic, it has a very long finish.

92 - Wine Enthusiast

Yalumba's Muscat includes some lots from outside Rutherglen, but it's still an excellent example of fortified Muscat, featuring hints of caramelized cherries and a sweet, complex melange of caramel, toffee and chocolate balanced by citrusy freshness.

91 -Wine Spectator

Sweet, bordering on syrupy, but nicely held in check by sufficient acidity, allowing the coffee, sassafras, vanilla and clotted cream flavors to glide effortlessly through the expressive finish. Drink now. 2,000 cases imported.

 Fonseca LBV 2011 Port - $28.99  David Guimaraens blends this wine from Fonseca Vintage lots that do not make the final cut, along with wines initially designated for LBV. He bottles the wine unfined and unfiltered, intending it to be decanted. His 2011 is remarkable: It has the succulent fruit depths of the Fonseca style, and the intensity of a Vintage-level wine. You could quibble and say the tannins are not Vintage quality, with some rhubarb-like astringency, or the wine is too big and powerful for an LBV. But you’re not likely to find many LBVs with this full-on ripeness, extraordinary lusciousness and complex flavor length. - 94 points Wine & Spirits

Fonseca LBV 2011 Port - $28.99

David Guimaraens blends this wine from Fonseca Vintage lots that do not make the final cut, along with wines initially designated for LBV. He bottles the wine unfined and unfiltered, intending it to be decanted. His 2011 is remarkable: It has the succulent fruit depths of the Fonseca style, and the intensity of a Vintage-level wine. You could quibble and say the tannins are not Vintage quality, with some rhubarb-like astringency, or the wine is too big and powerful for an LBV. But you’re not likely to find many LBVs with this full-on ripeness, extraordinary lusciousness and complex flavor length. - 94 points Wine & Spirits

  “Thoroughly delicious… Comprised of 225 black-and-white photographs by Paul Child, the husband of Julia Child, taken during the couple's time in France beginning in 1948, this intimate photo album delivers mesmerizing visual addenda to Julia Child's memoir,  My Life in France . Zeroing in on postwar Paris, the book covers the couple's early years in France and yields a unique perspective on postwar Europe as well as on the backstory of the woman whose name is synonymous with French cuisine in 20th-century America. The collection includes photos of Julia's days at the Cordon Bleu with fellow chefs, as well as snapshots of her at work amid pots and pans in the tiny kitchen of the couple's Paris apartment. In other photos, Paul plays with shadows and angles while shooting the streets of Paris or the fields of the French countryside. There are also the more everyday traveler's shots featuring a leggy Julia that illuminate the love story between the photographer and his muse.”     -   Publishers Weekly

 “Thoroughly delicious… Comprised of 225 black-and-white photographs by Paul Child, the husband of Julia Child, taken during the couple's time in France beginning in 1948, this intimate photo album delivers mesmerizing visual addenda to Julia Child's memoir, My Life in France. Zeroing in on postwar Paris, the book covers the couple's early years in France and yields a unique perspective on postwar Europe as well as on the backstory of the woman whose name is synonymous with French cuisine in 20th-century America. The collection includes photos of Julia's days at the Cordon Bleu with fellow chefs, as well as snapshots of her at work amid pots and pans in the tiny kitchen of the couple's Paris apartment. In other photos, Paul plays with shadows and angles while shooting the streets of Paris or the fields of the French countryside. There are also the more everyday traveler's shots featuring a leggy Julia that illuminate the love story between the photographer and his muse.”

- Publishers Weekly

     The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails  is full of tantalizing recipes, beautiful photographs, and wonderful stories of the people and places that helped cocktails flourish in the American South. . . . Though this book is filled with tempting recipes, it is the history of the South, and the stories about how various cocktails came to be, that make this book so fascinating and a pleasure to read. Information on prohibition dance caves, the association between the mint julep and the Antebellum South, or why New Orleans can be considered the center of Southern cocktail making fill the pages of this luscious book. (  ForeWord Reviews (starred) )


The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails is full of tantalizing recipes, beautiful photographs, and wonderful stories of the people and places that helped cocktails flourish in the American South. . . . Though this book is filled with tempting recipes, it is the history of the South, and the stories about how various cocktails came to be, that make this book so fascinating and a pleasure to read. Information on prohibition dance caves, the association between the mint julep and the Antebellum South, or why New Orleans can be considered the center of Southern cocktail making fill the pages of this luscious book. ( ForeWord Reviews (starred))

  "[Acheson] makes a case for the tried-and-true Crock-Pot in  The Chef and the Slow Cooker.  Find rich bone broths and plenty of Southern-accented braises--plus Acheson's fun sketches."--   Food & Wine    "Acheson presents some fresh twists on traditional slow cooker dishes (think braised pork shoulder with fennel and raisins), but where it really stands out from the pack is in showing home cooks how to use the appliances in unexpected ways, from making duck confit and ramen broth to poaching eggs and making preserves. "  --Eater   "[Acheson's] new slow cooker cookbook features plenty of just-fancy-enough recipes like Pot Roast with Charred Onion and Chickpea Salad, along with plenty of cheffy insight into the potential of the humble slow cooker."  --Epicurious   "Cheffed-up recipes for any time of day."  --Tasting Table   "If you’re still using your slow cooker only for retro favorites like chili and beef stew, Chef Acheson is here to rock your world. The master of Atlanta fine dining uses his culinary pedigree to totally rethink the old kitchen workhorse, without sacrificing any of the convenience."-- PureWow  "Acheson pushes Crock-Pot cookery to new heights, capitalizing on a reliable 'shortcut that doesn't sacrifice quality or taste' for convenience."--   Publishers Weekly    Food52's Fall Cookbook Must-Haves   The Kitchn's The New Cookbooks We're Most Excited About This Fall

 "[Acheson] makes a case for the tried-and-true Crock-Pot in The Chef and the Slow Cooker. Find rich bone broths and plenty of Southern-accented braises--plus Acheson's fun sketches."-- Food & Wine

"Acheson presents some fresh twists on traditional slow cooker dishes (think braised pork shoulder with fennel and raisins), but where it really stands out from the pack is in showing home cooks how to use the appliances in unexpected ways, from making duck confit and ramen broth to poaching eggs and making preserves. " --Eater

"[Acheson's] new slow cooker cookbook features plenty of just-fancy-enough recipes like Pot Roast with Charred Onion and Chickpea Salad, along with plenty of cheffy insight into the potential of the humble slow cooker." --Epicurious

"Cheffed-up recipes for any time of day." --Tasting Table

"If you’re still using your slow cooker only for retro favorites like chili and beef stew, Chef Acheson is here to rock your world. The master of Atlanta fine dining uses his culinary pedigree to totally rethink the old kitchen workhorse, without sacrificing any of the convenience."--PureWow "Acheson pushes Crock-Pot cookery to new heights, capitalizing on a reliable 'shortcut that doesn't sacrifice quality or taste' for convenience."-- Publishers Weekly

Food52's Fall Cookbook Must-Haves

The Kitchn's The New Cookbooks We're Most Excited About This Fall

 Now, from the editors of  Garden & Gun  comes this illustrated encyclopedia covering age-old traditions and current culture.  S Is for Southern  contains nearly five hundred entries spanning every letter of the alphabet, with essays from notable Southern writers including:        •           Roy Blount, Jr., on humidity  •           Frances Mayes on the magnolia  •           Jessica B. Harris on field peas  •           Rick Bragg on Harper Lee  •           Jon Meacham on the Civil War  •           Allison Glock on Dolly Parton  •           Randall Kenan on Edna Lewis  •           The Lee Brothers on boiled peanuts  •           Jonathan Miles on Larry Brown  •           Julia Reed on the Delta

Now, from the editors of Garden & Gun comes this illustrated encyclopedia covering age-old traditions and current culture. S Is for Southern contains nearly five hundred entries spanning every letter of the alphabet, with essays from notable Southern writers including:

 

 

•          Roy Blount, Jr., on humidity

•          Frances Mayes on the magnolia

•          Jessica B. Harris on field peas

•          Rick Bragg on Harper Lee

•          Jon Meacham on the Civil War

•          Allison Glock on Dolly Parton

•          Randall Kenan on Edna Lewis

•          The Lee Brothers on boiled peanuts

•          Jonathan Miles on Larry Brown

•          Julia Reed on the Delta

Kristian Denis
2014 Faust (Quintessa) Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley & Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs

Kick some culinary ass and amaze your friends and family! First step - open this very sexy Napa Cab and pour a couple glasses to let it stretch its legs, put some tunes on, and in the time it takes this wine to open up, you're going to have dinner on the table. I like to serve my short ribs over Cheesy Polenta (not going to be too specific with the cheese because it depends on what's in the fridge - Parm, Pecorino, Manchego, Cheddar...they all work) with a warm baguette that's  all slathered up with some good French butter and a little green salad. It's super easy and everyone will think you are like, literally, a rock star.  

P.S. Don't use this wine to cook with. That's silly. I have many very good Cabs that work really well as the wine you're slugging into the pressure cooker and sipping on while you cook and aren't $50 a bottle. Save the Faust for drinking with the meal.

 

The recipe is from Girlandthekitchen.com. 

       Ingredients   4-5 lbs short ribs  1 large onion  2 shallots  2 large carrots  5 cloves garlic  1 sprigof rosemary  4-5 sprigs of parsley  3 cups good red wine  1 cup chicken or beef stock  3 tbsp balsamic vinegar  salt and pepper to taste   Instructions    Preheat the Instapot to the "Saute" option.    Season your short ribs really, really well with salt and pepper. I always use Kosher salt.     Place them in one layer in your pot and let them sear. Don't touch for abut 7-8 minutes.     In the mean time, dice up your onions, shallots and carrots.     After 7-8 minutes are up, your flip the meat to the other side and let it go for another 5 minutes.    Once all the meat is nicely browned, remove it on a plate and turn the heat down to medium. Do this in two different parts if necessary ensuring never to over crown the pot.     Check your pot, if you have a lot of more oil than about 1 tbsp (accumulated from the meat) then pour it out.     Add your onions, shallots, garlic cloves and carrots to the pot and sweat for about 5-7 minutes until aromatic and soft. Toss them in all those glorious pan drippings. Season with salt and pepper.     Add in the red wine. Scrub the bottom as you do this. Pick up all those nice bits that have caramelized from the bottom.     Nestle the short ribs back in and add in about 1 cup of chicken or beef stock. You want the meat about 3/4 of the way.      Add in one sprig of rosemary and the parsley sprigs.     Seal the Instapot insuring that the venting switch is set on to the " Sealing"  position.  Press the " Stew"  option and set the manual time to 35 minutes on high pressure.    Once the timer beeps, allow the Instapot to go into the " Keep Warm"  function for 15 minutes.  Carefully, switch the venting tab to the " Venting"   position and only once all the steam has been released go ahead and carefully remove the lid of the pot.     Remove the meat, skim the sauce off with a spoon concentrating on only removing the fat.  Add in the 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and turn back onto the " Saute"  option.  Allow to boil until it has reached a glossy and glaze consistency.  Pile the polenta in a big bowl, top with short ribs and sauce and get to it, y'all. 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 4-5 lbs short ribs
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 large carrots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprigof rosemary
  • 4-5 sprigs of parsley
  • 3 cups good red wine
  • 1 cup chicken or beef stock
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Instapot to the "Saute" option.

  2. Season your short ribs really, really well with salt and pepper. I always use Kosher salt.

  3. Place them in one layer in your pot and let them sear. Don't touch for abut 7-8 minutes.

  4. In the mean time, dice up your onions, shallots and carrots.

  5. After 7-8 minutes are up, your flip the meat to the other side and let it go for another 5 minutes.

  6. Once all the meat is nicely browned, remove it on a plate and turn the heat down to medium. Do this in two different parts if necessary ensuring never to over crown the pot.

  7. Check your pot, if you have a lot of more oil than about 1 tbsp (accumulated from the meat) then pour it out.

  8. Add your onions, shallots, garlic cloves and carrots to the pot and sweat for about 5-7 minutes until aromatic and soft. Toss them in all those glorious pan drippings. Season with salt and pepper.

  9. Add in the red wine. Scrub the bottom as you do this. Pick up all those nice bits that have caramelized from the bottom.

  10. Nestle the short ribs back in and add in about 1 cup of chicken or beef stock. You want the meat about 3/4 of the way.

  11. Add in one sprig of rosemary and the parsley sprigs.

  12. Seal the Instapot insuring that the venting switch is set on to the "Sealing" position.  Press the "Stew" option and set the manual time to 35 minutes on high pressure.

  13. Once the timer beeps, allow the Instapot to go into the "Keep Warm" function for 15 minutes.  Carefully, switch the venting tab to the "Venting" position and only once all the steam has been released go ahead and carefully remove the lid of the pot.

  14. Remove the meat, skim the sauce off with a spoon concentrating on only removing the fat.  Add in the 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and turn back onto the "Saute" option.  Allow to boil until it has reached a glossy and glaze consistency.

    Pile the polenta in a big bowl, top with short ribs and sauce and get to it, y'all. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

2014 Faust Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 49.99

Faust is the epitome of the style that has made Napa Cabernet Sauvignon world renowned: bold and powerful, yet elegant and concentrated. Dense and inky, the core is a beautiful, rich ruby color. The aromas lift out of the glass with blackberry, black cherry, ripe raspberry and tea leaf. The entry is impressive with a fleshy mouthfeel and notes of cassis, dark chocolate and ripe berries. The layers continue to unfold throughout a long finish.

 

Critical Acclaim

James  Suckling - 94 points

This is very intense with blackberries, dark chocolate, fresh mushrooms and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, fine and fruity yet complex and intense. Structured and lightly austere. Beautiful. Drink in 2020.

The Wine Advocate - 90 points

Another strong effort from Quintessa is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon The Faust. This has an inky blue/purple color and notes of Asian plums, blackcurrants, road tar, and charcoal embers in a deep, wonderfully fruited, rich and savory, lush style. Drink it over the next 10-15 years.

 

Kristian Denis
Tuesday Arrivals: Classic 96 point Brunello di Montalcino and Two of the Finest Sparkling Wines Under $25....
IMG_2529.JPG

Raventós i Blanc is the story of a family inextricably linked to their land, a winemaking tradition going back over 500 years, proven by ancient documents still held at the estate. The Raventós i Blanc estate, which has belonged to the Raventós family since 1497, covers 300 acres of vineyards, woodlands and a lake in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Following this line of succession, in 1872 Josep Raventós Fatjó made the first bottle-fermented wine in Spain using native grapes from this estate. Raventós i Blanc, the longest, documented viticulture tradition in the world, owned by the same family since 1497.

Raventós i Blanc, loyal to its tradition, make the relationship between human and nature central to the winemaking philosophy. In order to achieve wines of the greatest authenticity and typicity they returned to the traditional method of vine-growing, which was already being used on the estate in 1497: the interaction between the land, microclimate, vines, animals and the people who work in the estate. Their goal is to ensure that their estate is treated with the utmost authenticity and tradition, placing an absolute priority on soils, climate and native grape varieties.

In November 2012, the family decided to leave the DO Cava and create their own more strictly defined and geographically specific appellation: Conca del Riu Anoia. It was born to create wines coming from a single estate, a specific climate, native grape varieties and a rigorous, well-defined and respectful form of viticulture, in other words, a faithful reflection of where the wine comes from; the River Anoia Valley. An estate with the perfect terroir for producing, probably, the most mineral sparkling wine.

 Raventos i Blanc's 2015 'De Nit’ is a blend of 42% Macabeo, 37% Xarel.lo and 14% Parrellada with the addition of 7% Monastrell for complexity and its pale pink color. A pale, subdued and elegant pink color with clean, pure and almost crystalline aromas of light citrus, red flowers, white fruit, and a touch of cassis. The clean nose evolves with a smooth, voluminous and fruity texture, pleasant freshness and fine bubbles. Driven by a very good balance, with low dosage (Extra Brut). $21.99  All grapes come from estate-owned, biodynamically-farmed vineyards in the Anoia River valley. The primary fermentation is in stainless steel with the secondary fermentation in bottle. It is aged for at least 18 months on the lees before release. ‘De Nit’ means ‘Of the Night’ in Catalan. 

Raventos i Blanc's 2015 'De Nit’ is a blend of 42% Macabeo, 37% Xarel.lo and 14% Parrellada with the addition of 7% Monastrell for complexity and its pale pink color. A pale, subdued and elegant pink color with clean, pure and almost crystalline aromas of light citrus, red flowers, white fruit, and a touch of cassis. The clean nose evolves with a smooth, voluminous and fruity texture, pleasant freshness and fine bubbles. Driven by a very good balance, with low dosage (Extra Brut). $21.99

All grapes come from estate-owned, biodynamically-farmed vineyards in the Anoia River valley. The primary fermentation is in stainless steel with the secondary fermentation in bottle. It is aged for at least 18 months on the lees before release. ‘De Nit’ means ‘Of the Night’ in Catalan. 

 The 2015 Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs is a structured, fresh and complex wine with white floral notes on the nose. The wine is impeccably balanced with a marked minerality, soft and fresh fruit flavors, and some nutty notes. The small, nicely integrated bubbles and saline qualities are in perfect harmony with the slightly creamy texture.  Extra Brut.  $18.99  From the plots La Barbera, La Plana and El Viader which have deep calcareous soils with a sand-rich loamy texture giving freshness and elegance and El Llac, a 40-year-old plot with marine fossils providing structure and complexity. Biodynamic viticulture.   

The 2015 Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blancs is a structured, fresh and complex wine with white floral notes on the nose. The wine is impeccably balanced with a marked minerality, soft and fresh fruit flavors, and some nutty notes. The small, nicely integrated bubbles and saline qualities are in perfect harmony with the slightly creamy texture.  Extra Brut.  $18.99

From the plots La Barbera, La Plana and El Viader which have deep calcareous soils with a sand-rich loamy texture giving freshness and elegance and El Llac, a 40-year-old plot with marine fossils providing structure and complexity. Biodynamic viticulture.

 

 2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany - 96 points Wine Spectator  $57.99  Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035.   Altesino embodies tradition and history, and at the same time perceptive innovation. Where international renown for Brunello di Montalcino has nudged many winemakers towards conservatism, Altesino has always blazed new wine trails. Founded in 1972 by Milanese entrepreneur Giulio Consonno, in 1975 the winery was the first in Brunello to introduce the concept of single-vineyard crus with its famous Montosoli bottling. The winery was also the first to experiment with French barrique in 1979, yielding wines with more fruit and complexity – a critical turning point in Brunello’s history. 

2012 Altesino Brunello di Montalcino, Tuscany - 96 points Wine Spectator  $57.99

Cherry, leather and iron notes mark this suave, elegant red. A bit reticent now, but the fruit is fresh and long on the finish. The dense tannins leave a mouthcoating impression, but this opens up beautifully over a few hours. Best from 2021 through 2035. 

Altesino embodies tradition and history, and at the same time perceptive innovation. Where international renown for Brunello di Montalcino has nudged many winemakers towards conservatism, Altesino has always blazed new wine trails. Founded in 1972 by Milanese entrepreneur Giulio Consonno, in 1975 the winery was the first in Brunello to introduce the concept of single-vineyard crus with its famous Montosoli bottling. The winery was also the first to experiment with French barrique in 1979, yielding wines with more fruit and complexity – a critical turning point in Brunello’s history. 

Kristian Denis
2014 Mount Peak Gravity - 95 points (Robert Parker) Sonoma Red Blend $44.99
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Arriving Friday - message/email/call to reserve. 10% off through the 31st.  

 "...the incredible 2014 Proprietary Red Blend Gravity, which is an intriguing blend of 33% Petite Sirah, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Zinfandel and the rest Syrah, Grenache and Barbera aged in 28% new French oak. Virtually all of it comes from the Monte Rosso Vineyard with tiny quantities from Frei Ranch and Snows Lake vineyards owned by Gallo. Another exuberant whopper at 15.9% alcohol, the wine is an opaque purple color, with notes of pen ink, creosote, black truffle, blackberry, blueberry, and a hint of white chocolate in a full-bodied, massive, layered, rich and concentrated style. Interesting enough, the alcohol at 15.9% is balanced by the wine’s rather zesty acidity and modest pH of 3.46. This is a killer wine at a great price for something this profound. 5,000 cases were produced." - The Wine Advocate 95 points 

Kristian Denis
New Arrivals: Cru Beaujolais, Pinots & Red Blends
 2014 Lucien Lardy Les Thorins Moulin a Vent $17.99 - This offers plenty of tannins and a dry, firm structure along with the weight of ripe plums, blackberries and a rich character. The wine is certainly going to age, with its solid texture and bold fruit aftertaste. Drink from 2017. 91 pts Wine Enthusiast  2015 Lucien Lardy Les Roches Fleurie $17.99 - Vinified without sulphur, this wine is all about fruit. It has red-berry flavors, ripe tannins and just the right amount of acidity to keep everything bright and fruity. The structure at this stage needs to soften and this fine, ripe wine will be better starting from 2018. 93 pts Wine Enthusiast

2014 Lucien Lardy Les Thorins Moulin a Vent $17.99 - This offers plenty of tannins and a dry, firm structure along with the weight of ripe plums, blackberries and a rich character. The wine is certainly going to age, with its solid texture and bold fruit aftertaste. Drink from 2017. 91 pts Wine Enthusiast

2015 Lucien Lardy Les Roches Fleurie $17.99 - Vinified without sulphur, this wine is all about fruit. It has red-berry flavors, ripe tannins and just the right amount of acidity to keep everything bright and fruity. The structure at this stage needs to soften and this fine, ripe wine will be better starting from 2018. 93 pts Wine Enthusiast

 2015 Laurent Gauthier Grand Cras Morgon $14.99 - Volcanic ash over granite gives this vineyard its structured character, which carries over into this wine. Wood aged in large barrels, it has a rich firm character that will allow the wine to develop. Powered by acidity and tannins, the ripe black fruits are juicy and concentrated. Drink this wine from 2018. 92 points Vinous/91 points Wine Enthusiast 

2015 Laurent Gauthier Grand Cras Morgon $14.99 - Volcanic ash over granite gives this vineyard its structured character, which carries over into this wine. Wood aged in large barrels, it has a rich firm character that will allow the wine to develop. Powered by acidity and tannins, the ripe black fruits are juicy and concentrated. Drink this wine from 2018. 92 points Vinous/91 points Wine Enthusiast 

 2015 Robert Perroud Les Enfers des Balloquets Brouilly $17.99 - Vinous: 92 points    "Brilliant ruby. Fresh and energetic on the nose, displaying fresh raspberry, cherry and spicecake aromas and a hint of smoky minerals. Palate-staining red fruit and floral pastille flavors are lifted and sharpened by a suggestion of white pepper. Smoothly plays depth off vivacity and finishes impressively long and pure, leaving a sweet red berry note behind."

2015 Robert Perroud Les Enfers des Balloquets Brouilly $17.99 - Vinous: 92 points

"Brilliant ruby. Fresh and energetic on the nose, displaying fresh raspberry, cherry and spicecake aromas and a hint of smoky minerals. Palate-staining red fruit and floral pastille flavors are lifted and sharpened by a suggestion of white pepper. Smoothly plays depth off vivacity and finishes impressively long and pure, leaving a sweet red berry note behind."

 2015 Lucien Lardy Beaujolais-Villages Blanc $13.99 - 100% Chardonnay from vineyards around Fleurie and Morgon. Native yeast ferment - all stainless steel. Lovely pale straw colour, surging aromas of pears, apples and
a hint of citrus. Finesse and delicacy on the palate, the defining flavors of a Chardonnay entirely untouched by oak.   

2015 Lucien Lardy Beaujolais-Villages Blanc $13.99 - 100% Chardonnay from vineyards around Fleurie and Morgon. Native yeast ferment - all stainless steel. Lovely pale straw colour, surging aromas of pears, apples and a hint of citrus. Finesse and delicacy on the palate, the defining flavors of a Chardonnay entirely untouched by oak.

 

 2016 Domaine Gerbeaux Mâcon-Villages $17.99 - Only about 200 cases (all biodynamically grown) made from young vines. Clean, fresh and nervy Chardonnay. Domaine des Gerbeaux is a small estate created in 1896 by
Jean-Michel Drouin’s grandfather Jacques Charvet, thus the
high end cuvee in his honor. Domaine des Gerbeaux was cre-
ated by his son Xavier, the 5th generation of winemakers with-
in the family. An estate of 17 acres located in the village of
Solutre, dependent of the commune of Fuisse and the small
village of Pouilly. The average age of the vines is between 35
and 45 years old with parcels as old as 90 years.   

2016 Domaine Gerbeaux Mâcon-Villages $17.99 - Only about 200 cases (all biodynamically grown) made from young vines. Clean, fresh and nervy Chardonnay. Domaine des Gerbeaux is a small estate created in 1896 by Jean-Michel Drouin’s grandfather Jacques Charvet, thus the high end cuvee in his honor. Domaine des Gerbeaux was cre- ated by his son Xavier, the 5th generation of winemakers with- in the family. An estate of 17 acres located in the village of Solutre, dependent of the commune of Fuisse and the small village of Pouilly. The average age of the vines is between 35 and 45 years old with parcels as old as 90 years.

 

 2016 Walter Scott "La Combe Verte" Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $26.99 - For the 2016 vintage, La Combe Verte is composed primarily from Eola-Amity Hills sources, with barrels of Vojtilla and Freedom Hill Vineyards added in order to thoughtfully paint our unique picture of the Willamette Valley. This Pinot Noir is 15% whole cluster, fermented with ambient yeast, and aged in barrel for 10 months with 30% new oak barrels.  The resulting wine is a serious and beautiful example of the 2016 vintage, layered with power and structure giving this wine immediate appeal, alongside the ability to be tucked into your cellar for several years. Layers of red cherries, plums & spicy earth fill the nose. The fruit, tannins and acid all come together to make the wine our version of the complete package.

2016 Walter Scott "La Combe Verte" Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $26.99 - For the 2016 vintage, La Combe Verte is composed primarily from Eola-Amity Hills sources, with barrels of Vojtilla and Freedom Hill Vineyards added in order to thoughtfully paint our unique picture of the Willamette Valley. This Pinot Noir is 15% whole cluster, fermented with ambient yeast, and aged in barrel for 10 months with 30% new oak barrels.

The resulting wine is a serious and beautiful example of the 2016 vintage, layered with power and structure giving this wine immediate appeal, alongside the ability to be tucked into your cellar for several years. Layers of red cherries, plums & spicy earth fill the nose. The fruit, tannins and acid all come together to make the wine our version of the complete package.

 2016 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands $22.99 - A perennial favorite and always a stellar value.    Tasting NotesAromas of bright red cherry, strawberry with hints of earth, spices, and toasty oak. An explosion of red fruit including strawberry, cherry and raspberry welcome the palate finish with refined tannins and a soft mouthfeel.  Vineyard Notes55% Smith Vineyard, 30% Doctors Vineyard, 10% Hook Vineyard, 5% Lone Oak Vineyard  Winemaker NotesAfter the fruit has been carefully picked and sorted, it is fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks. We then age this Pinot Noir for up to 11 months in a selection of small, 60-gallon French oak barrels. When the wine is ready to be blended, our winemaker selects only those barrels that exemplify the aromas and flavors of the Santa Lucia Highlands.

2016 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands $22.99 - A perennial favorite and always a stellar value.  

Tasting NotesAromas of bright red cherry, strawberry with hints of earth, spices, and toasty oak. An explosion of red fruit including strawberry, cherry and raspberry welcome the palate finish with refined tannins and a soft mouthfeel.

Vineyard Notes55% Smith Vineyard, 30% Doctors Vineyard, 10% Hook Vineyard, 5% Lone Oak Vineyard

Winemaker NotesAfter the fruit has been carefully picked and sorted, it is fermented in open-top stainless steel tanks. We then age this Pinot Noir for up to 11 months in a selection of small, 60-gallon French oak barrels. When the wine is ready to be blended, our winemaker selects only those barrels that exemplify the aromas and flavors of the Santa Lucia Highlands.

  Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 66, California - $15.99   The NV Old Vine Red Lot 66 is a multi-vintage red blend from a combination of four vintages: 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. A blend of predominately Zinfandel with some Syrah, Petite Sirah and Carignane plus a small amount of Italian varieties. 60% was barrel aged and 40% was aged in tank. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has quite a meaty / gamey nose over a core of warm blackberries, roses, tar and bacon fat plus suggestions of black pepper and anise. Medium-bodied with a good concentration of fruit supported by rounded tannins and lively backbone, it finishes long and earthy. Great value! 90 pts Robert Parker  2015 Neyers Sage Canyon Red, California $23.99 - from Bruce Neyers:   The tale behind this wine dates back to my first California trip with Daniel Brunier, owner and winemaker of Domaine Vieux Télégraphe, the Châteauneuf du Pape that many refer to as the most legendary wine of the southern Rhône. Daniel and I travel together frequently and he loves America and things American, including the wines of California. During a trip 15 years ago we spent a day traveling through the Central Valley. Daniel was amazed at the endless sea of vineyards, and was especially taken by what was obviously a significant amount of old vines. ‘You should find some old vineyards planted to historical southern Rhône varieties,’ he said, ‘And I’ll help you make a traditional Rhône-style wine from them.’ The search took several years, but it paid off when in 2007 Tadeo found a block of 130 year-old Carignan vines in Oakley. We had already discovered some Grenache from Borden Ranch, along with Mourvèdre from Sonoma County and Syrah from Santa Lucia Highlands.  All four wines were made as separate varietals at our Sage
Canyon winery, but when blended together we knew we had
something special. The whole was far greater than the sum of its
parts. One drawback, however, was that we had no opportunity
to label the finished wine as a variety, or even as a regional blend,
coming as it did from four separate regions in northern
California. Instead we opted to name it after the location of our
winery which is in the Sage Canyon area of the Napa Valley.  The wine is a blend of four wines, each produced using the
traditional Rhône process of ‘Pigeage’ where all of the grapes are
crushed by foot, not by machine. Each wine ferments separately,
and when complete we drain and press the tank, rack the new
wine to used 60-gallon French oak barrels, then let the wine age
on the lees for a year before blending. We then bottle, unfined
and unfiltered.  The finished wine is complex and old-worldly. There’s earth and
mineral along with some wildly exotic fruit, and an attractive soft
finish. We’ve regularly heard it referred to as the best example of
an old-world blend made today in California. We think it’s at
least that. A blend of 45% Carignan (vines are 140 years-old),
25% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.


Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 66, California - $15.99

The NV Old Vine Red Lot 66 is a multi-vintage red blend from a combination of four vintages: 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. A blend of predominately Zinfandel with some Syrah, Petite Sirah and Carignane plus a small amount of Italian varieties. 60% was barrel aged and 40% was aged in tank. Deep garnet-purple colored, it has quite a meaty / gamey nose over a core of warm blackberries, roses, tar and bacon fat plus suggestions of black pepper and anise. Medium-bodied with a good concentration of fruit supported by rounded tannins and lively backbone, it finishes long and earthy. Great value! 90 pts Robert Parker

2015 Neyers Sage Canyon Red, California $23.99 - from Bruce Neyers: 

The tale behind this wine dates back to my first California trip with Daniel Brunier, owner and winemaker of Domaine Vieux Télégraphe, the Châteauneuf du Pape that many refer to as the most legendary wine of the southern Rhône. Daniel and I travel together frequently and he loves America and things American, including the wines of California. During a trip 15 years ago we spent a day traveling through the Central Valley. Daniel was amazed at the endless sea of vineyards, and was especially taken by what was obviously a significant amount of old vines. ‘You should find some old vineyards planted to historical southern Rhône varieties,’ he said, ‘And I’ll help you make a traditional Rhône-style wine from them.’ The search took several years, but it paid off when in 2007 Tadeo found a block of 130 year-old Carignan vines in Oakley. We had already discovered some Grenache from Borden Ranch, along with Mourvèdre from Sonoma County and Syrah from Santa Lucia Highlands.

All four wines were made as separate varietals at our Sage Canyon winery, but when blended together we knew we had something special. The whole was far greater than the sum of its parts. One drawback, however, was that we had no opportunity to label the finished wine as a variety, or even as a regional blend, coming as it did from four separate regions in northern California. Instead we opted to name it after the location of our winery which is in the Sage Canyon area of the Napa Valley.

The wine is a blend of four wines, each produced using the traditional Rhône process of ‘Pigeage’ where all of the grapes are crushed by foot, not by machine. Each wine ferments separately, and when complete we drain and press the tank, rack the new wine to used 60-gallon French oak barrels, then let the wine age on the lees for a year before blending. We then bottle, unfined and unfiltered.

The finished wine is complex and old-worldly. There’s earth and mineral along with some wildly exotic fruit, and an attractive soft finish. We’ve regularly heard it referred to as the best example of an old-world blend made today in California. We think it’s at least that. A blend of 45% Carignan (vines are 140 years-old), 25% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre and 15% Syrah.

 2016 Block Nine "Caiden's Vineyards" Pinot Noir, California - $12.99 The Caiden’s Vineyard Pinot Noir from Block Nine is reliably one of the best value California Pinots available, year in, year out. The quality comes as no surprise when you understand that this wine comes from a producer that makes only Pinot Noir. The varietal receives undivided attention, and the result is exceptional small-production Pinot.    The 2016, the result of a long growing season with consistent temperature, is beautifully long, rich in ripe cherry and berry flavours. Aged entirely in French oak, the nose shows generous bright fruit, with strawberry, violets, plum, tea, and a hint of clove. Lifted and silky on the palate with good body, notes of wild cherry and sandalwood round out the finish. This is proving to be a terrific vintage.     “Aromas that are long and rich in ripe cherry flavours. Flavourful and silky in the mouth with good body.”     93 points, WineX magazine, Aug 2017       “Even more shocking is how good Block Nine’s Pinot Noirs are for their price”     Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Issue 192

2016 Block Nine "Caiden's Vineyards" Pinot Noir, California - $12.99 The Caiden’s Vineyard Pinot Noir from Block Nine is reliably one of the best value California Pinots available, year in, year out. The quality comes as no surprise when you understand that this wine comes from a producer that makes only Pinot Noir. The varietal receives undivided attention, and the result is exceptional small-production Pinot.

The 2016, the result of a long growing season with consistent temperature, is beautifully long, rich in ripe cherry and berry flavours. Aged entirely in French oak, the nose shows generous bright fruit, with strawberry, violets, plum, tea, and a hint of clove. Lifted and silky on the palate with good body, notes of wild cherry and sandalwood round out the finish. This is proving to be a terrific vintage.

“Aromas that are long and rich in ripe cherry flavours. Flavourful and silky in the mouth with good body.”

93 points, WineX magazine, Aug 2017

“Even more shocking is how good Block Nine’s Pinot Noirs are for their price”

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Issue 192

Kristian Denis
Best Selling French Bistro Wines On Sale (2 for $13)

We love these little wines and sell the stew out of them all year long - and we are thrilled to be able to offer them at this very special price! Stock up!!

    2016 Cuvée Jean-Paul Blanc: The rolling hills between the scattered medieval towns and villages of Gascony are predominately white wine country. Designated Pays de Gascogne in 1982, it was to here that Boutinot was drawn to source his white wines from the locally grown Colombard and Ugni Blanc grape varieties. Vines are trained using the Guyot system and vigorous grape selection is used to capture the fresh aromatics and flavour of this Blanc de Blancs from the southwest province of Gascony.    Tasting Note   The deliciously fresh and aromatic nose has intense citrus and pear notes. A soft palate with a delicate floral character.  **********************************************************   2016 Cuvée Jean-Paul Rouge: The southern Rhone valley is swathed in warm sunny vineyards and peppered with hilltop stone-hewn villages on its rocky outcrops. Outside of the delimited areas of the famous village appellations, the wine the local vignerons make and enjoy with their friends in the village cafes and bistros is Pays de Vaucluse. Cuvée Jean Paul Rouge is made predominantly from a blend of Grenache and Syrah from the Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. Traditional Rhone-based viticulture is used with part manual/part machine harvest.  Tasting Note  A classic Rhone red; friendly and warming leafy, autumnal aromas and an ample, baked fruit palate. A delicious, uncomplicated, soft, fruity and very drinkable red... yet serious enough to accompany food.

2016 Cuvée Jean-Paul Blanc: The rolling hills between the scattered medieval towns and villages of Gascony are predominately white wine country. Designated Pays de Gascogne in 1982, it was to here that Boutinot was drawn to source his white wines from the locally grown Colombard and Ugni Blanc grape varieties. Vines are trained using the Guyot system and vigorous grape selection is used to capture the fresh aromatics and flavour of this Blanc de Blancs from the southwest province of Gascony. 

Tasting Note

The deliciously fresh and aromatic nose has intense citrus and pear notes. A soft palate with a delicate floral character.

********************************************************** 

2016 Cuvée Jean-Paul Rouge: The southern Rhone valley is swathed in warm sunny vineyards and peppered with hilltop stone-hewn villages on its rocky outcrops. Outside of the delimited areas of the famous village appellations, the wine the local vignerons make and enjoy with their friends in the village cafes and bistros is Pays de Vaucluse. Cuvée Jean Paul Rouge is made predominantly from a blend of Grenache and Syrah from the Vin de Pays de Vaucluse. Traditional Rhone-based viticulture is used with part manual/part machine harvest.

Tasting Note

A classic Rhone red; friendly and warming leafy, autumnal aromas and an ample, baked fruit palate. A delicious, uncomplicated, soft, fruity and very drinkable red... yet serious enough to accompany food.

Kristian Denis
2013 Beaulieu Vineyard Tapestry Reserve - 50% Off

Arriving in the store Wednesday October 11 - a very special "End of Vintage" deal on one of Napa Valley's classic Bordeaux Blends.  

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Regular Price $75 On Sale $37.50

Quantities limited - please email, call or message us to allocate.  

The 2013 Tapestry reflects the 2013-growing season with its dense, powerful aromas and flavors, with bold structure. This is a wine that shows the artistry of blending five Bordeaux-heritage grape varieties, which contributed layer-upon-layer of flavor complexity. Cabernet Sauvignon gave the wine its generous core of briary blackberry and cassis expression, while we increased the amount of Merlot this year to tame the tannins and add plush mid-palate texture. Malbec contributed deep plum notes, while Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot completed the blend with nuances of rose, forest loam and graphite.

WINE ADVOCATE - 90 POINTS

The 2013 Reserve Tapestry Proprietary Red Wine, which is another Bordeaux blend, raises the question: Is Beaulieu actually producing too many of these proprietary blends, instead of focusing on four or five top wines? In any event, this is a smooth, supple, delicious, front-end loaded style of wine for 2013, with elegant cedar wood, fruitcake and soil undertones intermixed with red and black cherries and blackcurrants. It is ruby/purple, medium to full-bodied, elegant and well-balanced. Drink it over the next 12-15 years. - Robert Parker (10/2015)

JAMES SUCKLING - 94 POINTS

“Complex aromas of blackcurrants, tobacco and stones. Some oyster shell. Medium to full body, very fine tannins and a polished, refined, textured finish. A wine that harkens back to its traditions.” – James Suckling

VINEYARD NOTE

We chose specific blocks of reserve-quality grapes that would give Tapestry the combined attributes of fruit expression and softer tannins for relatively early approachability. Half of the Cabernet Sauvignon was grown on the famous western benchlands of the Rutherford American Viticultural Area (AVA) and the balance from the Stags Leap District, St. Helena and Calistoga AVAs. The Merlot sourcing was split between our vineyards in the warmer parts of Carneros and the Rutherford Bench. The Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec came from our estate vineyards in St. Helena and Calistoga.

VINTAGE NOTE

The 2013 vintage yielded highly concentrated grapes that became generous, intense wines with muscular tannin structure. A very low-rainfall winter was followed by a dry, warm spring and nearly ideal summer, which led to an early harvest. These factors resulted in balanced vine canopies, excellent fruit set and small, concentrated grapes. Perfect weather throughout the harvest fostered intensely expressive and beautifully balanced wines.

WINEMAKER'S NOTE

We tailored the winemaking for each varietal to best capture the personality of both the vintage and specific vineyard block. Cold soaking of the destemmed grapes, gentle punch-downs in open-top fermentors and in-barrel malolactic fermentation all contributed to this wine’s richly textured flavors. Aging in 50 percent new oak barrels balanced the wine impressive depth varietal expression with toffee and spice nuances.

Kristian Denis