Monthly Newsletter Specials

Monthly Red
2016 Sentero Tinta de Toro, Toro

In order to locate the Toro wine region of Spain one just has to picture the north-east corner of Portugal then head 50 miles directly east into the Castilla y Leon region of Spain. The most important regional varietal is Toro, also called Tinta de Toro, which is the local clone of Tempranillo. This month’s red is 100% Tempranillo and showcases the terroir of Toro; hot summer days, cool summer nights, and an altitude of about 2000 feet, yields a soft, juicy yet lively red of ripe strawberry, raspberry, dried cherries, and subtle licorice. This easy-drinking Tempranillo is versatile when pairing with meat dishes, pizza, or traditional pasta dishes. The name Sentero refers to a combination of the Spanish Sendero, “path”, and Sentimiento, “feeling”, with hopes that the wine evokes the feeling of walking a path through the beautiful vineyards of Toro.

Monthly White
2014 Weingut Dr. Fischer ‘Spicy Goat’ Riesling, Mosel

Wines with a touch of sugar are extremely versatile when pairing with sweet (salad with Palisade peaches), salty (pulled pork or salty charcuterie), and spicy (Mexican, Chinese, or Indian cuisine). September’s white wine of the month has a touch of sweetness that serves to balance its bright acidity as well as potentially compliment that sweet, salty, or spicy dish! In March 2014, vintner colleagues Martin Foradori Hofstätter of Weingut J. Hofstätter in Alto Adige and Nik Weis of Weingut St. Urbans-Hof in the Mosel joined forces to become co-owners of the historic Weingut Dr. Fischer in Bocksteinhof, located in the town of Ockfen in the southern part of the Mosel region. The cheeky “Spicy Goat” name comes from the legendary Bockstein vineyard (Bock = Goat, Stein = Rock) and is also harvested by the Dr. Fischer estate. The wine exudes aromas of citrus, peaches, and mineral!

Featured Red Wines

2015 Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup ‘Tour de Pierres,’ Languedoc

After 16 years of effort, in 2017 Pic Saint-Loup was granted its own AOC for its wine region.  Previously it was simply a subregion of the Languedoc.  This new region is the coolest and wettest of the Languedoc situated near the limestone mountain of Pic Saint-Loup. The name Ermitage (not to be confused with the Rhone wine region Hermitage) comes from Bishop Saint Thieri Loup who became a hermit after failing to win the heart of a women. “Tour de Pierres” is biodynamically farmed, hand-harvested, then naturally fermented using about 70% whole cluster, then finally aged for 12 months in mostly older barrel.  The blend is 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvèdre offering a deep, brightly colored wine featuring complex flavors of blackberries, turned earth and dried herbs.  It is spicy and flavorful, and produced with love from a fascinating historical region.

2016 Domaine Durieu, Ventoux

Domaine Durieu is known for producing a number of high-end red and white Chateauneuf-Du-Papes, yet great value can be found in their entry wine from the Ventoux Appellation which lies around Mt. Ventoux, 25 miles east of the town Orange.  A team of two young brothers, Vincent and François have lifted the quality of the domaine since taking over the production and farming at the estate.  The Ventoux is 70% Grenache, 30% Syrah which was completely destemmed for fermentation then aged in concrete vats for 16 month.  The production for this wine is only about 2500 cases so there is plenty of attention given throughout the process.  Stylistically, the wine shows medium tannin and acid with ripe notes of strawberry, cherries, and subtle tones of baking spice.  This easy to drink Southern Rhone wine would pair nicely with most Mediterranean fare, but works well as a cocktail wine too.

2016 Château La Roque Pic Saint Loup Rouge

The winery and vineyards for Château La Roque are situated in a picturesque landscape within the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.  The Romans were said to have planted the first vines at the estate and today the property is in the capable hands of Cyiaque Rozier, who converted the the domaine to organic (certified in 2004), and now biodynamic (certified in 2011).  The combination of clay and limestone soils with the Garriruge (an aromatic scrub brush) of the region contribute both structure and aromatic complexity to these wines.  The Pic Saint Loup Rouge is a blend of 65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre from 40 year old vines.  The grapes are hand harvested and naturally fermented in cement tanks, then aged for a year before bottling.  These wines truly capture the spirit and flavor of this beautiful region and historic property.

2017 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.

Bedrock Wine Company, Shebang Old-Vine Red Cuvée XI

SHEBANG! This is delicious! It’s from a California winery (Bedrock Wine Company) that focuses on old vine wines from heritage vineyards. Having grown up in Sonoma at the Ravenswood winery, Morgan Twain-Peterson is one of the top young talents in the winemaking world.  He is known for making thoughtfully crafted wines from old vineyards in California.  The Shebang is an attractive admixture of Syrah, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon with a soupçon of Sangiovese. A blend of harvests, the Shebang is big, rich and oh-so-smooth. Laden with black cherry and blueberry fruits, it enchants the taste buds with its creamy texture and nuances of vanilla, cinnamon, cocoa and black pepper. Fire up the grill and cook up your favorite meat, fish or vegetable and enjoy a bottle of Shebang.

2016 No Fine Print Cabernet Sauvignon, California

“Good people and good times is what we’re are all about,” says Pat Corcoran, Tim Smith, and Ryan Arnold about their delicious, yet fun Cabernet Sauvignon from California.  This group brings together the enjoyment of wine, music, and good people.  Ryan was a wine director with the Lettuce Entertain You group and worked in wine distribution as well.  Pat is an industry leader in the music industry with a decorated past for his style of grassroots music promotion.  Finally, Tim has deep roots in the artist management sector having managed a large roster of multi-platinum global artists.  Together they are having fun and producing great wines with no frills.  The NFP Cabernet Sauvignon offers loads of bold currant and dark cherry fruits.  A hint of herb, vanilla, chocolate, and dust marry for a complex wine with medium to full body.  Deliciously approachable.

Featured White Wines

2016 Swing Set Chardonnay, Napa Valley

This is a brand new release and an extension for Swing Set.  In 2016 winemaker Ed Killian and Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman got together to produce this top quality Chardonnay from one of Napa’s cooler sites.  This beautifully farmed, hand selected fruit was skillfully produced then aged at our facility in Healdsburg for just over a year. We feel strongly about the slow maturation process in barrel to achieve the delicate and critical components to a truly complex Chardonnay.  This Napa grown fruit offers a Chardonnay with depth, richness, and finesse and as to be expected from a great Napa Chardonnay, the time in high quality French Oak barrels add structure and complexity.   Swing Set is loaded with perfectly ripe apple, pear, and melon fruit flavors, which is delicately framed by the oak influence keeping the wine light on its feet.

2016 Borsao Blanco, Campo de Borja

This white blend of Macabeo and Chardonnay, like our Red of the Month, exhibits the value that can be encountered outside the famous regions of Spain.  The producer is located in the city of Borja which is found where the wine regions of Rioja, Navarra, and Campo de Borja all come together.  Macabeo, also known as Viura, is an important white grape in the production of Rioja and brings nice texture along with freshness to the wines. In Rioja, Macabeo can be aged for years in oak followed by years in the bottle, but this wine only spent three months in oak to add a bit more body and complexity. Borsao Blanco offers a creamy texture full of citrus and tropical fruit would pair nicely with seafood, light buttery, creamy pasta dishes, but could be used with a variety of dishes and food stuffs.

2017 Michael Mondavi ‘Isabel’ Rosé, California

The Isabelle Rose is 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Barbera and made with the Provençal style in mind for a wine that is dry yet offers approachable structure with fruits of strawberry, cranberry and pomegranate.  The acidity pops with brightness, yet remains elegant and quaffable. Cabernet Sauvignon is an interesting choice for rosé given its structure and body, yet the Isabelle is delicately structured with fresh flavors and exotic spice notes.  The Mondavi family has been working in wine since 1943 becoming one of the most important families in California wine history and this wine is named after Robert Mondavi’s Daughter in Law for whom it was originally crafted.  The production has remained small at 5,000 cases so it is a treat that we are able to feature this small production rosé at the end of the summer.

2016 Stonedance Sauvignon Blanc, Swartland

The climate of Swartland can be extreme and harsh for growing grapes. These unirrigated bush vines produce small berries with balanced ripeness, acidity, and freshness. The vineyards are planted to sandy loam soils that are meticulously farmed with respect to certified organic practices and yield less than 8 tons per hectare. Grapes are handpicked and allowed to settle before fermentation, then aged in stainless steel for 12 months. This Sauvignon Blanc is well defined by tart citrus, passion fruit, and apricot. There is a grassy herb note and mineral on the nose that folds together nicely on the palate. Stylistically, the bright tropical fruit flavors stand out and lift this Sauvignon Blanc from the glass.  Refreshing and lively, the Stonedance captures the essence of the grape with a remarkable sense of place.

NV Bouvet Sparkling Rosé, Loire Valley

We were recently introduced to this lovely sparkling Rosé that sources its grapes from the chalky soils of France’s Loire Valley.  The Bouvet-Ladubay winery sources grapes from nearly 100 plots throughout the Loire in order to obtain top quality with every vintage.  These long-standing relationships with the grower provides the quality standard that sets this value sparkling rosé ahead from the rest.  The color is obtained from a quick maceration on the skins of its red Cabernet Franc.  The fermentation takes place in steel, then blended before the second fermentation and bottling.  The Bouvet Rosé has a delicate mousse with supple fruit flavors of dried strawberry, red plum, and red cherry.  The acidity is bright, but not overbearing and the finish is silky and smooth.  A fantastic alternative to the expensive wines of Champagne.

2017 Vale do Homem Alvarinho, Minho

The Vinho Verde wine region spans the Minho province which is in the North-West corner of Portugal on the border with the Rias Baixas region of Spain. Just like Rias Baixas the Atlantic ocean brings lots of rain resulting in a beautiful and lush green landscape, but the Verde, “Green”, in the name comes from the historical use of tart, unripe grapes to make the often 9% alcohol wine and consumed super.  This particular Vinho Verde is 100% Alvarinho and made is a still, rather than the slightly spritzy, fresh, vibrant, fruity style of most Vinho Verde wine. Alvarinho is better known in Spain as Albarino, but they are the same grape. Farming is highly sustainable with no addition of artificial fertilizers resulting in clean wines with vibrant flavors.