Monthly Newsletter Specials

Monthly Red
2015 Primaterra Primitivo, Puglia

The Primiterra brand has always been about relying on great winemakers to help with available fruit sources to produce wines with integrity and value.  This Primitivo is no exception.  Sourced from vineyards in Puglia, the grapes are harvested sooner than many in the region.  Why?  In order to ensure fresh flavors and balance.  Primitivo needs acidity in order to age for any amount of time.  Generally, this grape is all about immediate satisfaction and approachability.  In fact, it is ideal for grilling and simply enjoying as a cocktail wine.  Its moderate acidity, round fruit profile, and immediate drinkability makes it the perfect red wine for all occasions.  While Primitivo is technically the same grape as Zinfandel, it is a completely different wine grown in Puglia than it is in California.  Both are good, they are just different.  Primaterra Primitivo is simply delicious.

Monthly White
2016 Cono Sur Organic Sauvignon Blanc, San Antonio Valley, Chile

Cono Sur has been one of our go-to brands over the years for wines representing outstanding quality.  This Sauvignon Blanc is made from organically grown grapes certified by the BCS Öeko Garantie GmbH and it is a perfect example of this variety.  Produced from the 2016 vintage in Southern Hemisphere, this fresh young white wine has a vibrant yellow color with slight green hues. The nose is full of ripe fruit, mineral, and fresh herbs that also transfer to the palate and finish.  There is a decided characteristic of fresh cut chives, thyme, and white flowers that balances nicely with the ripe Meyer Lemon, passionfruit, and green melon.  This delicious Sauvignon Blanc offers plenty of pairing opportunities with its bright acidity, fresh fruit and lack of oak influence.  It is perfect with spring produce and fresh seafood.

Featured Red Wines

2015 Opstal ‘Sixpence,’ 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 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, and 15% Shiraz - a fun combination of Bordeaux and Rhône inspired varieties with bright acidity and fresh flavors of plum, blueberry, cassis, and violet.  A hint of dried herb, mineral, smoke, and vanilla linger on the finish.

2013 Château Maris ‘Le Carignan de Maris’ Vin de France

Led by winemaker Robert Eden, Château Maris represents an unparalleled commitment to sustainability in the wine world. They have been touted as “the biodynamic Apostles of the Languedoc” by Wine Spectator, and are proud to be the first winery in Europe to be certified as a B-Corporation, using business as a force for good. Their commitment to biodynamics can be seen in their viticultural practices, but it also goes beyond the vineyard: the winery itself is built from hemp bricks! Their Carignan is handpicked and fermented with natural yeasts in large concrete tanks in the hemp winery. The wine is packed with fresh cherry flavors as well as classic plum and purple-fruited notes, accented by hints of charcoal and minerality. The structure is medium-bodied and rich, and has surprisingly polished tannin, which isn’t easy to achieve with single-varietal Carignan.

2016 Adega do Monte Branco ‘Alento’ Portugal

I was fortunate to meet and sit on a panel with Luís Louro this spring in Vail during the Taste of Vail.  Having visited the Alentejo region of Portugal in summer of 2016, I was fortunate to see firsthand what is developing in this region in terms of wine production.  The area is quite arid and has a greater population of cork trees than it does people.  The wines have greatly improved in recent past and are now on par with some of the finest in Portugal.  Luís comes from a winemaking background and spent six years working alongside his father at Quinta do Mouro.  The Alento is 40% each of Aragonez and Trincadeira, with 10% each of Alicante Bouschet and Touriga Nacional, fermented in tank.  The style is clean, pure and bright, with vibrant berry fruit flavors.

2016 Domaine de Fenouillet, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse

This family owned and operated Domaine is located right at the foothills of both Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail.  Since 1902 it has been a grower of fruit, but until 1988 it all went to the local cooperatives.  Since 1988, brothers Patrick and Vincent Soard have committed to producing a full range of estate grown wines.  The winery itself is located in Beaumes de Venise, but they produce a range of different wines from the area.  This particular red blend is a combination of the hybrid grape “Marselan” (Cabernet Sauvignon crossed with Grenache) and Merlot.  The grapes are crushed, destemmed and then macerated and fermented for a week or so before being racked into cement cuve for six months before bottling.  It boasts a vibrant marriage of red and black fruit notes with a touch of dusty earth.

2015 Luberri ‘Orlegi’ Rioja

Owned by Florentino Martínez Monje, Luberri is located in Elciego in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. Florentino farms 35 hectares of old vines located principally between the villages of Elciego and Laguardia. A farmer at heart, Florentino has a passion for working in the vineyard. All the plots are farmed with minimal treatment of the soils and Florentino keeps his yields low. He made a name for himself by resurrecting the traditional style of semi-carbonic Rioja, and the Orlegi is a return to the traditional light, fruit-forward wines of Rioja Alavesa. Utilizing whole-cluster fermentation for some of the grapes and indigenous yeasts, this is a classic, young Tempranillo from Rioja for everyday drinking. The carbonic maceration technique leads to a bright, berry-fruited profile that many don’t necessarily associate with Rioja, but makes this wine dangerously drinkable.

2014 Georges Lignier Bourgogne Passetoutgrains, Burgundy

What a treat!  This is a rare opportunity for us to feature a wine from this traditional producer of great Burgundy wines at value price point.  Georges Lignier is the cousin of Hubert, perhaps a more well known  producer.   That said, today the domaine is led by Benoit Stehly, the nephew of Georges Lignier.  These wines are traditionally produced, with a focus on maximum aromatic style and balance.  This Bourgogne Passetoutgrain is a classic blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay. The grapes are co-fermented using carbonic maceration as well as a traditional fermentation  The wines are aged in French oak barrels for complexity and balance.  Passetoutgrains is released while young with the intention of being consumed immediately.  Enjoy the fresh wild berry character and light earth tones of this delicious wine with vegetables, poultry, fish, and pork.

Featured White Wines

2013 Mas des Bressades, Roussanne/Viognier, Vin de Pays du Gard

Mas des Bressades is a farm in the Rhône Valley with history going back 6 generations in the Marès Family.  The domaine is currently being managed by Alix Marès.  The family winemaking roots are connected with education from experience in Bordeaux.  These techniques have been applied and modified over the decades to best suit the vines that grow at this Costières-based domaine. Costières de Nîmes is home to some of the oldest vineyards in Europe with ties to the Greeks and Romans.  Today, this region thrives with the production of great white, red, and rosé wines.  This full-flavored white wine is a blend of Roussanne and Viognier, both of these varieties offering oily richness, exotic fruit flavors, and vibrant floral aromas.  These wines are awesome with Mediterranean cuisine and come alive with acidic flavors such as tomatoes, capers, and citrus.

2015 Pierre Sparr “One” Alsace

One of the greatest names in Alsace, the Sparr family goes back 9 generations to 1680 when Jean Sparr was born.  After many of the family vineyards were destroyed in World War II, Pierre Sparr rebuilt of the beautiful Domaines at Sigolsheim, and his sons René and Charles have contributed to enlarging the vineyards and developing the reach of Pierre Sparr wines throughout Alsace and the world. The “One” is a blend of three of the four noble grapes of Alsace: Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Muscat. Traditionally vinified in stainless steel tanks, this wine is fresh and minerally with exotic aromas of pineapple, papaya, and lychee. The palate continues with fresh fruit flavors and a long, racy acidity on the finish. This versatile wine is perfect to pair with anything from richer seafood like lobster and scallops to creamy pastas and pork roasts.

2016 Château La Verrière Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux

Alain Bessete is an award-winning winemaker and recognized as one of the most talented in Bordeaux. This wine is attractively opulent, and one for traditionalists and modernists alike. The winery is situated in the Bordeaux, with access to outstanding red and white grapes from the region. Red wines generally dominate the area, but there are some fantastic dry white and sweet wines produced here as well. Château La Verrière is a dry white wine produced using 100% Sauvignon Blanc planted on the gravelly soils that make the region special. Flavors of Meyer Lemon, green apple, lanolin, stones, and delicate herbs mark the character and style of this tasty, dry white wine. It is packed with fruit, orange and lemon zest and a background hint of herbaceousness. A tight, steely texture gives both acidity and the promise of aging.

2015 Reichsrat von Buhl “Bone Dry” Riesling, Pfalz

Since 1849 the Reichsrat von Buhl winery has produced top quality organically farmed wines from the Mittelhaardt region.  Family owned and operated, they produce wines in a timeless style with respect to tradition and terroir. In the Pfalz it is not all about slate, but rather soil variety and more sunshine exposure than regions like the Mosel. This wine is “bone dry” in style, with no residual sugar.  By law, trocken labeled wines can have up to 9 grams of residual sugar and still be called “dry”.  Von Buhl produces this Riesling in a truly dry style with severe acidity, pronounced minerality, and fresh fruit flavors. This wine is unbelievably diverse - complementing a wide range of foods.  Look for ripe citrus, peach, and nectarine fruit flavors along with stony mineral and musky field flowers.

2013 Chessman Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County

The Chessman Santa Barbara Chardonnay is derived about 50% each from the two adjacent vineyards on Curtis Ranch in Santa Barbara County. The vines are over 35 years old, and they share a similar terroir to one another.  The soil is characterized by gravelly shale and sandy loam of the “Ballard Series” and is perfect for steady ripe fruit maturation and balanced fruit.  Chessman is produced by Andrew Murray, one of the shining stars of Santa Barbara.  His wines are sourced from extremely low yielding vines, on hillside vineyards, and with non-interventionist winemaking.  It is amazing to have a barrel fermented and aged wine at this price point!  The 100% French Oak influence adds a nice touch of spice and caramel to the golden colored, ripe tree fruit style of this Central Coast Chardonnay.

2016 Triennes Rosé, Provence

This project started in 1990 by three friends, one of which was Jacques Seysses, founder of Domaine Dujac in Burgundy. As a producer of wines with terroir, the focus of Domaine Triennes has always been in the vineyard. Situated just thirty miles from the Mediterranean coast, the aim is purity with a classic expression of the soil and environment – simple winemaking without cosmetics. From the hillside vineyards south of Aix, the grapes are night harvested to retain freshness of fruit. The 2016 vintage is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Merlot, with a beautiful bouquet of strawberries, white flowers and a hint of vanilla. Light and nimble with a harmonious freshness, this wine has earned appreciation throughout the world of what the great rosés from Provence can offer.