Monthly Newsletter Specials

Monthly Red
2015 Los Cardos Malbec, Mendoza

Los Cardos refers to the “thistles” or flowers that grow near the property at 3,300 feet above sea level.  Argentina is home to some of the world’s greatest natural resources with a combination of the Andes and the Pacific Ocean.  Together these two influences create one of the most unique and elevated viticulture areas on the planet.  Pure water, bright sunlight, warm days, and cool breezes all contribute to help grapes achieve an ideal balance between ripe sugars and bright acidity.  Malbec is a grape variety that flourishes in this environment showing high-toned blackberry, boysenberry, and black plum fruit flavors.  Violets, mineral and dried herbs all accent the plush, vibrant fruit profile of this value red.  Los Cardos has the perfect fruit profile for summer grilled fare, but is also balanced enough to enjoy as a delicious quaffing wine on the patio.

Monthly White
2016 Caves da Cerca Fâmega Vinho Verde, Portugal

The Minho region of Portugal is the northernmost part of wine growing regions in Portugal, it also happens to be one of Europe’s wettest areas.  Translated as “green wine” or “young wine,” the Vinho Verde wines have historically been defined by a delicate effervescence on the palate that adds texture and style to the bright apple, pear, and mineral flavors.  This was once a result of residual malolactic fermentation taking place in the bottle.  Today, most producers simply add a touch of carbonation to achieve the same effect.  The grapes used are a combination of local varieties: Loureiro, Arinto, Trajadura, Avesso, and Azal, as well as the more famous Alvarinho grape.  Vinho Verde has become wildly popular in recent years and is especially delicious in the month of July when the hot weather outside calls for a refreshing, pétillant glass of wine.

Featured Red Wines

2015 A.A. Badenhorst ‘Curator Red,’ South Africa

Adi Badenhorst is leading the charge in the Swartland region of South Africa with both the upper and lower price categories.  The Badenhorst Family label is known for producing outstanding wines from old vine Chenin Blanc, Cinsault, and Grenache.  As a value alternative Adi created the Curator project that is focused on producing unique blends from great fruit sources at a lower point.  The Swartland is a mountainous region of granitic composition.  The yields in these vineyards are naturally low, producing wines with balance, depth, and finesse.  The blend for the Curator Red is primarily Shiraz, with a portion of Cinsault and Carignan added for complexity and flavor.  Look for flavors of blackberry, blueberry, cocoa, and dried herbs that sit on a frame of moderate tannin and acidity.  This wine is ideal for summer sipping and goes perfectly with grilled foods and simple summer inspired cuisine.

2012 Fattoria di Fubbiano Rosso, Colline Lucchesi

Lovers of traditional Chianti will adore what Marco Corsini of Fattoria di Fubbiano is doing at this small estate situated just 30 minutes outside of Lucca. The winery is situated on a hilltop in the Colline Lucchese and uses Sangiovese blended with Canaiolo to capture the tradition and true style of this region from years ago. The vineyards are farmed using organic practices and the winemaking is simple, straightforward, and done with respect to tradition and passion. The 2011 vintage was outstanding, but this 2012 offering is on a different level. A master class of precision and detailed fresh red fruit combined with dusty mineral and sage that makes Tuscan wines so lovely. The time in large oak “botti” simply adds complexity and polish to a product that is already refined.

2014 Crios de Susana Balbo Red Blend, Mendoza

Susana Balbo was born into a traditional wine growing family in Mendoza and decided to pursue a career in viticulture that led to becoming the first woman winemaker in the region.  Since receiving her degree in enology in 1981 Susana has been recognized as one of the most influential woman winemakers worldwide.  Her Crios wines reflect the entry level offering from the Balbo estate.  This Red Blend is a combination of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Malbec, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Tannat from vines planted in the Uco Valley.  The grapes are all hand harvested and aged in a combination of new and used French Oak barrels for 8 months.  The Crios Red Blend offers a deep ruby color with concentrated fruits of dark currant, blackberry, and black plum.  Hints of bell pepper, truffle, mushroom, and spice add complexity and layers to the powerful fruit profile.

2014 Château Tourteau Chollet 'Elegance,' Graves

The sandy gravelly plateau on the banks of the Garonne River create the perfect backdrop for producing world-class blended red wines.  The additional influence from the woody scents of the Landes pine forest nearby adds character and charm to the velvety textured red wines of Château Tourteau Chollet.  The property has been producing wine since the 18th century, but in 2001 they restructured the vineyards and made significant investments in the winemaking equipment.  Since then, the quality of these wines have far outpaced the price.  This blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, and 4% Malbec reflects a typical style from the Graves.  Flavors of dark cherry, cassis, tobacco, chocolate, and vanilla find harmony together with elegant balance on the finish.

2015 Catherine Le Goeuil, Côtes du Rhône

Catherine Le Goeuil is a pioneer within the Cairanne subset of the Côtes du Rhône Villages.  In 1993 she and her family purchased a 6 hectare domaine and set off on their goal to produce wine.  The domaine immediately started the conversion to organic farming and is now fully certified.  The vineyards are tucked deep into the Vaucluse with exposure to the forceful Mistral winds, which keep the vines dry and free from pests and rot.  Catherine credits the health of the soil for giving her wines finesse and approachability.  This Côtes du Rhône is a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, and 10% Carignan from vines that are over 50 years old and planted to sandy Molasse, limestone, and clay.  Flavors of sun dried strawberries, rhubarb, and stewed raspberries meld with the earth notes of dried sage, scorched earth, and dried roses.

2014 Sandhi Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County

In 2010 Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman set out to establish a new approach to farming in Santa Barbara.  Their harvest dates were well before others in the region giving people the idea that they were actually harvesting with the goal of producing sparkling wine.  In fact, Raj and Sashi were looking for greater balance, lower alcohol, and more finesse driven wines.  Since starting this project they have influenced a tremendous number of producers and have set the standard for a new style of California wine.  Their relationships and business savvy have helped them acquire fruit from the greatest vineyards in the AVA.  While the winery is known for spectacular single site wines, this selection of blended sites shows the range and depth of what is capable from Pinot Noir sourced in this area.  Gorgeous fruit flavors of Bing Cherry, cola, mushroom, and dark mineral find harmonious balance in the glass.

Featured White Wines

2016 Petite Cassagne Costières de Nîmes Rosé

Petite Cassagne is a small, family operated estate located in Costières de Nîmes.  The lovely and talented Diane de Puymorin farms and produces these outstanding wines from her family estate.  She maintains the style and tradition of the area, but adds her own personal touch to the wines that she produces.  The Petite Cassagne Rosé is an example of this style showcasing brilliant aromas of wild strawberry, pomegranate, and bruised peaches with hints of dried herbs and potpourri.  This rosé is a traditional regional blend of  40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, all farmed at a significantly lower yield than the maximum permitted in the appellation.  The lighter color is a result of less skin contact, but the wine is full of flavor and offers plenty of complexity and power on the palate.  This is a superb example of outstanding southern French rosé at a value price point.

2016 Domaine Félines Jourdan, Picpoul de Pinet

Picpoul is known for being one of the oldest Languedoc grapes and has been growing near the Thau Lagoon for centuries. Today, it is primarily grown in the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc regions of France and is often used in the blend of Chateauneuf du Pape wines. It exists both in dark-skinned (Piquepoul noir) and light-skinned (Piquepoul blanc) versions, as well as a very little grown Piquepoul gris. The blanc grape has a color that is crystal clear with green highlights, and offers bright aromas of acacia and hawthorn blossom. It is relatively delicate and fresh on the palate, yet has an excellent acidic structure that neutralizes the salt and iodine in shellfish and serves as the perfect match for shellfish or any combination of fresh vegetables.

2016 Fiore Arneis, Piedmont

Arneis is a slightly waxy, floral white wine grape that originates in the region of Piedmont, Italy.  It is has found success in the hills of Roero where it is labeled under its own DOCG for Roero white wine.  It is also generally produced throughout the hills of Piedmont under the DOC of Langhe.  Arneis translates to “little rascal” in Piemontese dialect since it is somewhat difficult to grow.  That said, the grape produces wines with crisp acidity, and fresh floral aromas to accent the white peach, green melon, and yellow apple fruit flavors.  The Fiore family has been farming their estate holdings in the hills of Piedmont since the 1920’s.  However, it was Andrea Fiore who created the new face of the winery starting in 2011 by taking over the farming and production his family operation.  Since then, Andrea has been producing wines of outstanding quality with amazing value.

2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine

Le Coeur de la Reine is a partnership between Rodolphe and Ludivine Marteau who took over the operations of the family estate starting in 2010.  This 29 hectare property is located on the south bank of the Cher River in an area of confluence formed by the Loire River and its tributaries.  20 hectare of the estate are planted to Sauvignon Blanc vines on clay and flint soils that produce wines with tension and mineral expression.  Touraine is an AOC that stretches from the Anjou region to Solonge with varying soils and sun exposure.  Generally speaking, these wines offer a similar style to the more expensive and intense Sauvignon Blanc grown in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.  There is a softer, rounder fruit profile on the palate that makes Touraine Sauvignon Blanc approachable and ideal to match with simple salads and fresh green vegetables.

2014 Sandhi Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County

Check out this special 30% off price savings on the recently released 2014 vintage of Santa Barbara Chardonnay!  This is an absolutely remarkable deal for wine of this quality.  For 7 years now, Raj Parr and Sashi Moorman have been redefining the style of wine produced in Santa Barbara, favoring wines with lower alcohol, brighter flavors, and limited oak exposure.  The fruit for this wine comes from sites in Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez appellations.  Vine age is an average of 30 years old and offers Chardonnay with complex flavors of ripe citrus, pineapple, white flowers, verbena, and mineral.  There is often a slight flinty character in these wines that is reminiscent of great White Burgundy, although the tropical fruit intensity is a reflection of top quality Santa Barbara terroir.