Monthly Newsletter Specials

Monthly Red
2017 Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Abruzzo

Founded by Abruzzo native Gianni Masciarelli in 1981, Masciarelli and its wines have become a standard-bearer for the Abruzzo region, and an inspiration to all emerging Italian wine regions. After a summer in Champagne in his youth, Gianni Masciarelli returned home convinced that world-class wines could be produced in Abruzzo. The most well known grape from Abruzzo is undoubtedly Montepulciano. Masciarelli’s Montepulciano comes from 100% estate grown fruit from 9 different parcels that are entirely hand-harvested. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless-steel to preserve freshness and bottled without fining or filtering (an uncommon practice for a wine of this price). The resulting wine shows lots of red fruit, wild berries, and dark cherries, with a hint of spice. The palate is crisp with moderate tannins and a long finish.

Monthly White
2018 Ecaana Pinot Grigio, Delle Venezie

Once the weather starts to warm up sales of Pinot Grigio wines begins to escalate.  This simple, refreshing style of wine from the northern regions of Italy is ideal for any warm weather outdoor activity.  Pinot Grigio pairs well with so many spring vegetable inspired dishes and also compliments cuisine featuring shellfish and grilled fin fish.  When considering Pinot Grigio wines for the store we often discuss the bitter almond and slightly harsh phenolic profile inherent with this grape, but the Ecaana is all about bright and refreshing fruit profile and shows no signs of harsh characteristics.  The focus here is on the freshly cut green melon, golden apple, Bosc Pear, and delicate notes of wet river stones.  This wine has spent plenty of time on the lees adding richness and rounded texture to the palate.  No oak to influence in this fresh and lively Pinot Grigio, just simple, drinkable, pairable, and delicious.

Featured Red Wines

2018 Penley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra

The Tolley family is rooted in the Coonawarra region and produces outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon from the Terra Rossa (Italian for “red soils”) of this special region. Terra Rossa is a type of red clay soil produced by the weathering of limestone. These soils have good drainage and serve Cabernet Sauvignon well. As far as Penley Estate is concerned, it was Kym Tolley who had the foresight to purchase as much land as possible in the region before the area was well known. Kym retired in 2015 and sisters Ang and Bec Tolley have since taken over the family business. Coonawarra sits south in the Limestone Coast with more exposure to the cooler winds of the Southern Ocean. It keeps the style of the wine compact and refined with detailed flavors of dark cherry, currant, mint, and dust.

2019 Château Guilhem "Pot de Vin" (Organic)

Truly a gem, it's not often that you find a compelling, distinctive wine for under $15. The Pot de Vin is the ultimate vin de soif, inexpensive, simple and crushable, bottled in a distinctively shaped bottle with a catchy label, made from biodynamic Merlot, certified organic, fermented with native yeast, and aged in concrete, with barely any SO2.  The property of Château Guilhem spans 35 hectare of vineyards perched on sandstone hills and benefiting from a perfect south and south-east exposure.  The Guilhem family has been established in the Malpère region of the Languedoc for five generations.  In 2015, château owner Bertrand Gourdou was searching through an old desk when he came across a label that his grandfather had made in the early 1970's; that wine was called "Le pot-de-vin" which, in French, translates to "the bribe", which for that era was an audacious play on words for a wine label! This label inspired Bertrand to make this simple, natural wine made in concrete tanks built by his grandfather.  Additionally, the word "pot" also references the old-style bottle shape!  Try this fresh and lively wine, where showcasing the fresh plummy fruit of Merlot with hints of licorice, sage, and cocoa.

2018 Domaine Grange des Moines, Costières de Nîmes (Organic)

The brother and sister team of Fanny and François Beaubois organically farm 54 hectares of grapes and 2 hectares of olives on at Domaine Grange des Moines, a property that dates back to the 13th century.  They are passionate about organic farming and have high standards that fall into the certification requirements for Ecocert.  Since 2009 they have been focused on organic practices and carefully tend to the vineyards that are planted on the classic Galets Roulés and Cailloutis stones.  The vineyards are similar looking to the prestigious Châteauneuf du Pape appellation.  The wines are produced traditionally and handled carefully with minimal sulfur.  The juice is matured in a combination of cuve tanks and 450 liter barrels with minimal filtering before bottling.  The final product offers a stunning depth of rich strawberry and raspberry fruit preserves with hints of dry herbs, licorice, game, and cracked pepper.  Amazing concentration and clarity for a wine under $20.  We were blown away with this organic beauty!

2018 Zorzal Terroir Unico Pinot Noir, Tupungato

Pinot Noir from Argentina you might ask?  Absolutely.  Coming from the land of pristine natural resources, this Pinot Noir is a super example of great wine at a value price.  This is a carefully hand harvested single vineyard coming from Gualtallary at high elevation in Argentina.  It is made without the use of oak to preserve freshness and offer immediate drinkability.  There is a generous combination of red cherry and raspberry fruit that springs from the glass with similar intensity on the palate.  The wine is layered with hints of delicate herbs, mineral, and fresh floral scents.  Slight cola notes that come with Pinot Noir, and also a very specific expression of terroir that is both interesting and unique. We are constantly looking for well made Pinot Noir wines that we can offer at a reasonable price and this wine fits the bill!  Enjoy the layers upon layers of silky, smooth red berry fruits and the long persistent finish that offers so much more than expected for a wine at this price. 

2019 Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda, Mendoza

This amazingly fun wine from Argentina is another example of an Italian variety that has flourished in South America.  Bonarda is now more widely planted in Argentina than in its Italian homeland.  Historically Bonarda has been a widely planted, high yield variety that was used for blending.  On its own, it can produce beautifully dense, flavorful wines with flavors of roasted plums, dark cherry, spice and a hint of smoke for those wines aged in barrel.  The Colonia Las Liebres is a relatively new project for the Las Hormigas winery in Lujan de Cujo, but these 40 year old vines show profound depth and character for a bottle of wine under $15.  Try this wine with steak and Chimichurri sauce for a little South American twist; the richness should balance spice nicely.

Featured White Wines

2019 Elvio Tintero Arneis, Piedmont

Once nearly extinct, Arneis, a white grape varietal native to Piedmont, was revived in the 1980’s. According to local tradition, Arneis, which means “little rascal”, was planted among the Nebbiolo vines to attract birds with its strong flavors, and thus saving the prestigious Nebbiolo grapes. The remaining few Arneis grapes were blended with Nebbiolo, much like Viognier is sometimes added to Syrah in the Northern Rhone. Today, Arneis is considered Piedmont’s highly flavorful, signature dry white wine. The Elvio Tintero Arneis from the Langhe is lively and fairly full-bodied, with exotic floral, pear and apricot flavors followed with a slight nutty element. Enjoy this young and fresh wine with white fish, chicken, pork or pastas dishes with a light sauce.

2018 Gunderloch “Fritz” Riesling, Germany

Fritz Hasselbach is the winemaker at the renowned Gunderloch winery in Germany’s Rheinhessen.  More specifically, Gunderloch is located on the small section of red slate vineyards that stretch from Nierstein to Nachenheim, called the Roter Hang.  These vineyards are planted to a relatively steep slope just off the banks of the Rhein River offering ideal south-east facing sun exposure and reflection from the river - perfect for producing wines with power and intensity.  This is a remarkable value given the quality of the winemaker, winery, and vineyard site.  Fritz makes the wine in an off-dry style leaving roughly 22 g/l of residual sugar that is perfectly balanced by 8 g/l of acidity.  The Fritz Riesling is packed with intense aromas and flavors of ripe peach, green apple, and tart melon.  There is firm acidity with lush texture and highlights of mineral, honey, and white floral tones.  The finish is long and refreshing.  Fritz is the perfect wine for a warm afternoon and also pairs beautifully with dishes that have exotic spice, heat, or salty intensity.

2016 Les Duettiste Bourgogne Blanc, Burgundy

Bruno Lafon and Pierre Meurgey are connected to some of the most famous family names in Burgundy.  Domaine Lafon is regarded as one of the greatest producers of Meursault and Meurgey comes from a reputable broker background and now owner of Maison Champy since 1990.   Between the two men, their relationships and family history set the stage for this amazing partnership.  The Les Duettiste Bourgogne Blanc is a tasty white Burgundy coming from vineyards in Mâcon Uchizy, a sub-zone of the Mâconnais.  This designation was created in 2005, and covers just 43 hectare in the region.  100% Chardonnay as required by law, this fruit comes from 35 year old vines planted on perfectly situated south-facing hillsides of clay and limestone soils. This wine is loaded with bright, racy flavors of lemon custard, passionfruit, pineapple and fresh apple.  As to be expected from any great Burgundy producer, the mineral character is a key component to this Chardonnay and helps define the elegant, yet powerful and detailed finish.

2018 Folk Machine, Chenin Blanc Merritt Island, Clarksburg

The talented Kenny Likitprakong produces this delicious whole cluster pressed Chenin Blanc from the Merritt Island AVA in Clarksburg.  While this is not a super well known area wine production, the Clarksburg area continues to impress with high quality wines.  This small selection of Chenin Blanc shows outstanding complexity and character for a new world Chenin Blanc.  Kenny has worked with Chenin Blanc from a variety of sites throughout California, but has found this Clarksburg terroir to be quite special, yielding wines with mineral intensity and fruit freshness.  The wine is carefully harvested, then whole-cluster fermented in a combination of concrete egg, stainless steel, and neutral barrels.  Time on the lees during malolactic provides richness and texture before bottling in spring.  The Folk Machine Chenin Blanc boasts fruit flavors of ripe apricot, peach, and red apple which create the backbone of flavors for the wine, but followed closely by secondary components of honey, mineral, and mushroom.

2016 Château Guillebot Plaisance Bordeaux Blanc

Château Guillebot Plaisance has belonged to the Villeneuve family for six generations and is located not far from the village of Targon, in the heart of Entre-Deux-Mers. The micro-climate specific to this region (located between the Dordogne and the Garonne) offers ideal conditions for the production of this Bordeaux wine. Guillebot Blanc is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc planted on soils that are a combination of clay and limestone.  The winemaking is relatively simple with a gentle cold maceration prior to fermentation extracting flavor and texture that balance the lively acidity.  This is an outstanding spring and summer wine offering lemon scented citrus notes, with hints of tropical fruit, and freshly cut chives.  Clean and refreshing, the acidity drives the profile of this wine, it serves as a great apéritif wine or paired with fresh vegetables and bright seafood dishes.