Archive for February 26, 2012

Don’t Forget Champagne For Oscar.

Don’t forget that last minute Champagne for your Oscar viewing. Will have chilled bottles in the cooler ready to pop.

The Grapes of the Piedmont

Saturday, February 25th

2pm on

This Saturday we’ll be taking a trip to Piedmonte the region of North Eastern Italy where Barolo and Barbaresco sit like the King and Queen of Italian wine making. Nebbiolo is the grape and in Barolo comes from select vineyards, and must age for a minimum of two years in barrel and six months in bottle before release. It can take several more years to reach its peak and last for several decades after that. It is a classic wine, and we’ll be tasting the 2007 from Mirafiore which is just hitting its stride. We’ll also be pouring the other major grapes of the region. Cortese, Barbera and Dolcetto have their own charm and distinct personalities. Come taste the terroir.   

2010 Araldica, Gavi, la Luciana $15

Made from the Cortese grape, the la Luciana is a fresh, lively dry white with lemon and grapefruit citrus flavor and a lurking minerality. 

2009 Vietti, Barbera d’Asti, Tre Vigne $18

The Tre Vigne from Vietti is a showcase Barbera with classic ripe red cherry aromas with hints of mineral and vanilla, good integration of oak, good complexity, soft tannins and a finish of more red cherries.

2009 Pecchenino, Dolcetto di Dogliani, San Luigi $16

Pecchenino is a 3rd generation, family run estate winery that specializes in Dolcetto. The San Luigi showcases plump, dark, juicy fruit with an underlying structure and long finish.

2009 Damilano, Nebbiolo, Marghe $15

Not your typical entry level Nebbiolo, the Damilano ages for 16 months in small barrels (40% new, 60% second or third use French oak) The wine has aromas of blueberry, cherry and strawberry with hints of spice, cinnamon, vanilla and pepper. 

2007 Casa E di Mirafiore, Barolo $36

Barolo is the expression of everything Nebbiolo can be. The Mirafiore is from a great year and at a great price. “The 2007 Barolo is a sexy, radiant wine that captures the essence of the year. Soft and inviting through to the finish, the Barolo possesses tremendous class and balance. Succulent red cherries, licorice, rose petals and spices round out the supple finish. This is another overachieving wine. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.” –Wine Advocate 92

An Unconventional Pairing: Wine and ‘Sliders’ at the Castle.

A very amusing article in today’s Wall Street Journal. Click on the picture for the full article.

And my favorite quote: “I find that people who know wine will choose the Moscato,” said the counterman, Ryan Parrott.

McKinley Springs, Cor Cellars and Syncline

Saturday, February 18th

This Saturday we’ll be featuring three Washington wineries that kick out some good juice at a great price. They also have more in common that just good wine. Grape growers first, the Andrews family who own McKinley Springs grow over 20 varietals on their 2000 acre estate vineyard in the southern part of Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills. They sell their fruit to twenty five wineries, including Cor and Syncline. In 2002 they started making wine from their own fruit with the help of James Mantone of Syncline. Luke Bradford started Cor Cellars in 2006 after working for other wineries in both Italy and the Northwest, one of which was Syncline. Syncline, run by James and Poppy Mantone, specializes in Rhône varietals, some of which come from McKinley Springs. Come and see if you can taste all the connections.

2008 McKinley Springs Confluence White $10

56% Chenin Blanc, 44% Viognier

The Confluence is fermented and aged sur lie in stainless steel tanks, with a small portion of the Chenin Blanc aged in new oak to give it structure and a richer mouthfeel. The wine has aromas of ripe apricot, tangerine and floral notes. Its lemon lime citrus, orange zest and juicy ripe pineapple flavors lead to a long, smooth finish with the perfect touch of acidity.

2010 Cor Cellars, Riesling $16

The Riesling comes from Underwood Mountain Vineyards in the Columbia Gorge. Off dry, the wine bursts with lemon, peach and wildflower honey tea and has bright acidity, supple viscosity and a lingering, lip smacking minerality.

2007 McKinley Springs Syrah $15

The Syrah from McKinley Springs is co-fermented with 3.5% Viognier, a common practice in France’s Rhône Valley that adds bright fruit flavors. The wine is aged 17 months in 20% new oak (75% French and 25% American). Blackberry, licorice and black cherry aromas and tangy cranberry sauce, dusty earth, lavender flavors, and an expansive, lush texture.

2008 Cor Cellars Momentum $15

30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Petit Verdot, 21% Merlot, 21% Malbec

McKinley Springs & Alder Ridge Vineyards Horse Heaven Hills

Starting with of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is floral, regal and extensive, Merlot for silky texture, Petit Verdot for spice and then finally Malbec for its earthy and expressive personality, the Momentum is Cor’s dark and Verdot heavy Bordeaux style blend. The wine has notes of blackberry, black cherry, plum and cassis along with hints of dark chocolate, spice and violets.

2010 Syncline, Carignan/Grenache $25

64% Carignan, 36% Grenache from McKinley Springs Vineyard

Syncline describes the wine as “Wild and untamed, this wine contains substance and personality; certainly not prim and proper, but rarely are the best of times. Avant-garde meets tradition, in pioneering vineyards, two ancient varietals find a new home in the eastern Washington desert. Meaty, spicy aromas and bramble fruit flavors cavort with a refined texture and persistent finish.” The wine is as purple as the prose.

Split up for Valentine’s

Half bottles for a Romantic Meal

Saturday, February 11th

2-4pm

You’re planning a special evening for two with a several courses and you want the wine to match, but opening three or four bottles sounds more like a drunken binge instead of a romantic interlude.   Don’t worry, this Saturday we’ll be featuring half bottles to match a gorgeous meal without ending up under the table. And of course we’ll have full bottles available if you want to stick with one thing.

Drappier Carte d’Or Brut $23half, $35 full

90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay

A perfect start or finish to the perfect meal. The Carte d’Or is rich and creamy and very sexy.

2009 Conundrum White, $9 half, $22 full

A sweetheart of a white from Caymus, the Conundrum has a smorgasbord of tropical fruit and spicy notes. Good with rich cheeses, swordfish, cream sauces and a little romance.

2007 Matanzas Creek Merlot $12 half, $22 full

A seductive Californian red, smooth, silky and supple. A good match for lamb, steak or pork chops, as well as a little snuggle.

2009 Lyeth Meritage $15 full bottle only

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot

A Sonoma Bordeaux blend, the Lyeth is rich with aromas of purple fruit with notes of leather, tobacco, and dark chocolate. It only comes in a full bottle you might have to get serious.

2007 Terrebrune Bandol Rouge $18 half, $35 full

85% Mouvedre, 10% Grenache, 5 % Cinsault

Organic.

If you bring out the beast, you need the wine to match. An intense earthy, mineral driven wine with rich elegant fruit. Pair it up with Cassoulet, sausage, or smoked meats. Let your animal run free.

Saturday Super Rhônes.

Taste them 2-4 pm

Sunday Super Bowl

Just because it is Super Bowl Sunday doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with Budweiser.

Come pick up a Bone Crushing Blanc or a Rough Housing Red to guzzle as you cheer on your favorite team and wash down the wings.  And don’t forget the Champagne for the celebration after. Go Giants!

Rhôning Away

Classic Côtes du Rhônes to Go.

Saturday, February 4th, 2-4pm

Things come and things go, and this Saturday we’re having a tasting of things that are going, but not quite gone. We have a great line up of wines that are marked down to move, but before they down plan to enjoy a few of them. The lineup is Pure Classic Rhône. Suspicious of bargains? Come taste for yourself.

2009 Domaine Brusset Les Travers Cairanne Blanc  $10
30% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanche, 20% Roussanne, 10% Marsanne, 10% Viognier
Brusset is a small family run Rhône estate that produces excellent wine vintage after vintage. The Les Travers Blanc comes from 30 years old vines of a classic White Rhône cépage. This was originally $19. We’re getting the last few cases.

2009 Chateau St. Nabor Santonille Côtes du Rhône Villages   $10 
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan.
Made by another 6th generation wine growing family, the Santonille has aromas of black pepper, blueberries and a nice floral note.. It is medium-bodied and smooth with concentrated red fruit that expands on your palate. Originally $13

2009 Domaine de Monpertuis, Vignoble de la Ramiere $17
100% Counoise
This pure Counoise comes from a small Chateauneuf du Pape wine growing family, Paul Jeune, who also has a bit of vines in the Languedoc. No discount here just fun wine.

2008 Domaine Brusset, Tradition Le Grande Montmirail Gigondas $21
65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault.
Another great wine from Brusset, the Montmirail Gigondas is aged in vats and neutral barrels giving you pure full fruit. The wine has overripe red fruit aromas with a touch of mineral, a full bodied flavor, with good and silky tannins. An elegant and harmonious wine. Originally $30

2005 Cave de Tain, Cornas $22
100 % Syrah
Cornas is said to come from a Celtic world (“cair” or “cor”) meaning chalk as a reference to this particular “terroir”. It is the most southern appellation in the Northern Rhône. Cave de Tain is a co-operative of 350 wine growing members. The vineyards of the northern Rhône are much smaller than their southern cousins. Young, these Syrahs are complex and fruity, with aromas of red berries and violets, and a spicy finish. As they age, they take on aromas of black fruits, venison, chocolate and pepper, which highlight their elegant and full bodied structure. Originally $52, now affordable.

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