Monthly Newsletter Specials

Monthly Red
2015 Bouchard Pinot Noir, Pays d’Oc

Bouchard Aîné & Fils, founded in 1750 in Beaune has earned acclaim for its expertise in crafting Burgundy’s treasured Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  For over two centuries the Bouchard winery has been associated with producing outstanding wines from Burgundy, but recently they have added wines from regions outside of Burgundy to expand their portfolio of wines.  This Pinot Noir is vinified in the traditional Burgundy method; carefully harvested, crushed and pressed, then followed by a two week fermentation period in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.  A portion of the juice is aged in Burgundy barrels with the rest kept in tank for a wine that is lifted and lively.  The fruit profile is focused with bright cherry and strawberry flavors along with wild herbs, fresh flowers, and a touch of spice.

Monthly White
2015 Tariquet Classic, Côtes de Gascogne

Domaine du Tariquet is a unique winery situated in the Armagnac region in the Côtes de Gascogne growing region in the district of Gascony and the department of Gers. The Grassa family is historically known for their Armagnac production, but it was the children of the family who broke the mold by producing still wines from Ugni Blanc, Colombard, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. The Classic, a blend of 45% Ugni Blanc, 35% Colombard, and 10% Gros Manseng, is refreshing, exotic, oral, and easy drinking. The alluvial clay and sandy soils provide the perfect combination to produce wines that are both light and flavorful. These wines can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with the lighter fare of the season. The Tariquet is deliciously bright and zesty, without any impact from oak.

Featured Red Wines

2016 Domaine Rouge Garance Feuille de Garance, Côtes du Rhône

Domaine Rouge Garance was established in 1996 by Claudie and Bertrand Cortellini in the Rhône Valley of France.  The estate spans a total of 28 hectare producing a total of 9 different wiens.  Since the beginning the Cortellini family has farmed the estate organically,  always handpicking the grapes to ensure that only the highest quality bunches are used for the production of their wines.  The Feuille de Garance is sourced from a 5 hectare, 20 year old parcel and is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault.  The fruit character is quite rich and full for for a value priced wine.  There is a concentrated core of sun dried strawberries and cherries with dried sage, dust, and potpourri.  The texture is smooth and round with layers of bold, lush fruit that unfold on the lengthy finish.

2016 Apaltagua Carménère Reserva, Colchagua

Apaltagua has vineyards planted in the Apalta Valley of Colchagua and produces a total of 235,000 cases of wine from six different valleys in Chile. The diversity of fruit sources allows them to be selective with only producing wines from the best grapes in each region.  The granitic gravel soils of Colchagua provide a fine granular texture that works especially well for the production of grapes like Carménère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.  The 2016  Apaltagua Carménère Reserva boasts an opaque purple color, with notes of tobacco leaf, fresh thyme, violets, and toasty oak.  Loads of concentrated dark cherry, blackberry, and plum fruits fill the glass and are gently accented by the herb and oak components. Generous and quaffable, the soft, round tannin structure of this wine is perfect for smooth sipping.

2016 Château Massiac Minervois Rouge "Cuvée Sentinelle

The Chateau Massiac has a long history that dates back to the Roman Empire.  Today, Bernard Boudouresques and his family recently revived the domaine, planting vineyards and converting the estate to organic viticulture. Production from the estate is now certified organic.  The subsoils are essentially limestone and clay with silex and marble infusions, all of which was formed during the Lutecian geologic era. This soil has particularly good drainage which accounts for the superior concentration that Massiac achieves in its wines.  The tannins in the Cuvée Sentinelle are supple and the fruit has a pleasant ripe quality to the palate.  The fruit is delicately balanced with garrigue, spice, dried flowers, and earth. Fermentation and elevage are completed in tank, and the wine is bottled within a year of harvest. The blend is usually two-thirds Syrah and one-third Carignan.

2015 Château Les Donats, Blaye Côtes de Bordeaux

This tasty little 2015 Bordeaux was impossible to pass up for the September Newsletter.  As the weather cools we start to crave wines with a little more texture, bolder tannin profiles, and a greater density of fruit.  The Les Donats is still only a medium bodied wine, but offers plenty of vibrant and bold fruit flavors.  The 2015 is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon that are sourced from Blaye on the east bank of where the Garonne turns to the Dordogne River and near the town of Lansac.  This fun little Bordeaux wine offers a ton of power, polish, and pleasure with its clean and vibrant fruit style.  There is a whisper of gravelly mineral that highlights the plummy, olive rich fruit, but the focus is all on the utter drinkability of this zippy 2015 blend.

2014 Vallin Syrah, Santa Barbara County

Vallin is a collaboration between sommeliers Eric Railsback, Dustin Wilson, & Brian McClintic, with winemaker Justin Willett. Unified by a love of Santa Barbara County and a belief in the terroir's raw potential, they aim to create wines that highlight the climate and soils that are unique to this region. Santa Barbara's cool climate, and its loam and gravel soils, make it perfect for growing Rhone varieties like Syrah, Marsanne, and Viognier. The wines are picked early, so that they have beautiful texture but still maintain great freshness.  This Syrah comes from vineyards in Santa Maria, Sta. Rita Hills, and Ballard Canyon. 100% whole cluster, the Syrah sat on its skins for 2.5 weeks with minimal extraction, before being transferred to neutral French oak where it saw a longer elevage (18 months).

2015 Brooks “Runaway Red” Pinot Noir, Oregon

Given the cost of producing Pinot Noir in Willamette Valley these days it is rare that we find the opportunity to feature a great wine from a top producer for under $20.  Brooks farms twenty acres in the Eola-Amity Hills, a sub-region with higher altitudes and greater influence from the winds of the Van Duzer Corridor.  Since 2012 the estate obtained Biodynamic certified from Demeter, and since then they have been reintroducing native plants to the property using biodynamic preparations and compost teas to improve the life of the soils and vineyard in general.  This 2015 Pinot Noir is loaded with sour cherry, pomegranate, and cranberry fruits along with herb influences of basil and fresh thyme.  The regional terroir adds earth elements of wild mushroom, potting soil, and forest floor notes.

Featured White Wines

2016 Mas des Cabres Estive Rosé, Languedoc

This charming southern French wine comes from Mas des Cabres, a certified sustainable, family-owned estate from the warm Mediterranean region of the Languedoc. The domaine dates back to the 1700’s and today is owned by Nathalie and Florent Boutin who believe in minimal intervention, allowing the purity of the fruit and the terroir of the Languedoc to really show in their wines. This it the perfect rosé for French wine lovers, a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsaut, 10% Muscat de Hambourg. Lovely aromas of citrus fruits, herbs and dried lavender are followed by flavors of wild strawberry, red apple, raspberry and a distinct mineral edge of salinity. A refreshing acidity runs through the core of the wine keeping it bright and refreshing. Salads, vegetables and seafood prepared with a Mediterranean fare would make a superb match.

2016 Sixpence Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, South Africa

Sixpence was the nickname given to shepherd Daniel Smiles who looked after the flocks of sheep that roamed the farm in the 1950s and 1960s, when current owner Stanley Louw was a boy. Sixpence’s son, Andries who retired in 2008, still lives on the farm. The Opstal Estate is situated at the foot of the Slanghoek mountains in the heart of the breathtakingly beautiful Slanghoek Valley on the Breedekloof Wine Route. The valley forms part of the Breede River Valley with Worcester as the closest, large town. Sixpence is 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon - a traditional combination of Bordeaux varieties with bright acidity and fresh flavors of passion fruit, pineapple, and ripe pear.  There is a hint of dried herb, honey, wax, and fresh flowers that accent the fresh fruit flavors on the nose and palate.

2016 Contrade Malvasia/Chardonnay, Puglia

The Falvo family is known for their Masseria Li Veli winery, but started this new project in 2015 based on long-term partnerships with local growers and with guidance of super-star consulting enologist, Riccardo Cotarella.  The Salento region is situated in the heel of the boot, with influences from the Ionian and Adriatic seas.  The fertile soils and moderate temperatures offer the perfect climate for producing wines with richness and balance.  The Contrade white is a unique blend of Malvasia Bianco 90% and Chardonnay 10%.  Malvasia is an ancient Mediterranean grape with wild floral aromatics, ripe fruit profile, and lush texture.  This fun and interesting white wine offers magical pairings for late summer and fall produce.  Its richness and exotic tones compliment the earthy sweetness of squash, carrots, bitter greens, and fish or chicken with fresh herbs.

2015 Luna Nuda Pinot Grigio, Vigneti delle Dolomiti

Luna Nuda is a delicious Pinot Grigio produced by the 4th generation Giovanette family at their Castelfeder winery in Alto Adige.  The Castelfeder estate produces some of the finest red and white wines from the this cool Alpine region in the foothills of the Dolomites.  The steep hillsides offer the perfect location for grapes to maximize sun exposure while also taking advantage cool alpine breezes that help preserve acidity and freshness.  Luna Nuda shows rich fruit flavors of ripe melon, golden apple, and white peach with wet river stones, field flowers, and almonds.  This wine offers tremendous depth and flavor for a value priced Pinot Grigio.  The combination of estate grown fruit and quality production in the vineyard and cellar make a profound difference in the overall quality of the finished wine.

2016 Cave Courtinat Saint-Pourçain Blanc ‘Cuvée des Perelles,’ Loire

The Saint-Pourçain region in the Loire Valley is a recent addition to the French AOP as of 2009.  Technically part of the Auvergne region of France, it is a relatively unknown wine area compared to some of its more recognized neighbors.  For this reason, Saint-Pourçain offers tremendous value for wine drinkers who enjoy mineral scented, higher acid wines.  This blanc is a blend of 60% Tresallier and 40% Chardonnay and produced using stainless steel tanks for freshness and purity.  Tressalier (or Sacy) has a parentage of Pinot and Gouais Blanc, and serves as an outstanding grape to express the transparency of site.  If you love the wines of Chablis and Sancerre you should be elated with what this wine has to offer.  Pure, raw fruit flavors of quince, green melon, and grapefruit fit beautifully with the mineral tones and racy acidity.

2015 Cantina di Lisandro Alabranno Fiano, Campania

Cantina di Lisandro was started by the husband and wife team, Rosa and Almerigo Bosco.  They have built the winery with respect to Campania traditions for producing regional wines, but have refined the process by using small farmers to source fruit as well as modern equipment in the cellar to ensure quality wine production.  All of their wines feature indigenous grapes from the area with beautiful labels and interesting proprietary names.  "Alabranno" is the local Italian dialect for "early dawn.” This wine is 100% Fiano and produces a wine with aromas of ripe citrus fruits, dried apricots, and herbs.  It is also a grape that offers texture and richness without influence from oak or sugar, which makes it a brilliant match for seafood, poultry, and vegetables.  The rich texture of Fiano and lack of oak influence helps elevate delicate food flavors without overpowering them.