Archive for July 27, 2013

Italian Sunday Sippers,

July 28th, 11-5pm

This Sunday we will be tasting two lovely Italians.

2010 Tola Catarratto            ($13)
A Sicilian white grape that has a big round mouthfeel, with flavors of grapefruit and apricot.

2011 Corbanelli Rosso Toscana    ($9)
90% Sangiovese, 10% Trebbiano
An old school style Tuscan red where they blend a bit of white grapes (trebbiano) in with the Sangiovese. A lighter body, nice fresh fruit, summery red.

 

Penedès, Barcelona,

Saturday,July 27th, 2pm

Penedès in the northeast of Spain is considered one of the country’s best wine-producing regions best-known for its Cava, fresh Grenache and highly-regarded, oak-aged reds. In the shadow of the Pyrenees, Penedés is distinctly Catalan, a very food and wine loving culture.  Stop by on Saturday and try some delicious wines from the region.  

2009 Jané Ventura, Reserva de la Música Brut  $15
32% Macabeo, 38% Xarel·lo, 30% Parellada 
Jané Ventura is a family winery in Lower Penedès with a tradition that dates back to 1914. Their distinct Cava has a delicate and aromatic herb and floral aroma and rich creamy palate reminiscent fennel, white flowers and citrusy orange peel jam.  It has silky small bubbles with a wide entry and a long, subtle flowery and toasty finish.

2011 Jané Ventura, Bianco Selecció $13
72% Old Xarel lo vines, 14% Macabeo, 8% Grenache Blanc, 6% Malvasia de Sitges 
The Bianco Selecció is made using a cold-temperature skin maceration to achieve higher aromatic expression and more structure on the palate. The must is then fermented at low temperature in inox vats and spends 3 months “sur lie”. The nose is elegant and complex, showing stone fruit (peaches) tropical fruit (bananas) and white fruit (yellow plumbs). The flavor is elegant and creamy with white flower reminiscences and a long and persistent finish.

2012 Pardas, Rupestris  $17 
81% Xarel lo, 6% Red Xarello, 13% Malvasia de Sitges.
Ramon Parera and Jordi Arnan, oenologist and agronomist respectively, farm more than 40 hectares of organic vineyards in the Alt Penedes.  Their Rupestris has at first sniff citrus fruit followed by Sant Joan pear and ripe melon, quince, soft hazelnut and a feeling of dawn in a Mediterranean landscape: aromas of lavender, weaver’s broom and dried cuttings.  Beyond the fruit, we find the minerality of the soil where the vines thrive in, quite a lot of flint. Pears, apricots and peaches overlay a marked acidic background and provide an excellent tension across the palate which carries over the depth of the fruit towards an electric fresh and slightly bitter aftertaste. One of them likes to wax poetic.

2011 Finca Viladellops, Garnatxa $13
Grenacha
Viladellops is a large organically farmed estate located in the town of the same name 45 km from Barcelona.  The Garnatxa is made from the freshest and fruitiest wines of the harvest.  It has a fresh and fruity aroma of Picota cherry. It is long in the mouth but at the same time it is tasty and rich in clear fruit flavors.

2008 Pardas Negra Franc  $21
60% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 5% Sumoll — Organic.
Made with more continental varietals, the Negra Franc is serious and intense and very fragrant wine with a very present balsamic background, aromas reminiscent of black pepper, fresh plums and grilled peppers along with hints of candied oranges and pencil lead.  It seduces the palate by growing and becoming more ample giving way to plenty fleshy black fruit. Quite a persistence of tannins fills the entire mouth.  A fine long and elegant finish with just the right amount of acidity reverberates and defines the sensation.  They get quite excited describing their wines.

 

Spanish Sunday Sippers,

July 21st, 11-5pm

This Sunday we will be tasting two lovely Spanish wines.

2011 Viña Vilano Verdejo    ($10)
Bodegas Viña Vilano is located in the village of Pedrosa de Duero, province of Burgos, internationally regarded as the most privileged wine-growing region within the Designation of Origin of Ribera del Duero, with 300 hectares of vineyards dating back to its foundation in 1957. A tasty Verdejo with a good mix of tropical fruits and herbal notes. Quaffable.

2007 El Quintanal Joven    ($10)
Tempranillo
Ribera Del Duero
A ripe and fruity old vine Tempranillo was once young but now has a good bit of bottle age on it after 3 months in oak. Still robust. Excellent for appetizers, pastas and red meats.
Was $12 now $10

 

Fundmental French,

Saturday, July 20th, 2pm

This Saturday we’re pouring some wonderful everyday wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Côtes du Rhône. The wines are diverse and delicious, fit a wide variety of occasions. It’s a great reminder that French wine need not be about big names and high prices. Take a break from your Saturday and give them a try.

2010 Chateau Haut-Mongeat, Graves de Vayres Blanc $11
65% Semillon / 30% Muscadelle / 5% Sauvignon Blanc
Haut-Mongeat is made by Isabelle Bouchon who runs her third generation family farm in this small appellation of Entre deux Mers. The wine is fresh and lively with a palate-cleansing racy acidity and bright, ripe fruit. The bouquet is highly aromatic with abundant notes of apple, pear, pineapple, and flowers. 

2011 Domaine Garnier & Fils, Petit Chablis $14  
Chardonnay
The work of two brothers, Garnier’s Petit Chablis is made from grapes harvested from a small single vineyard with soil of sandy clay and limestone. After a five month fermentation, the wine is aged for six months in large steel tanks, which maintains its citrus freshness. There is nothing petit about this unoaked Chardonnay except the price. Its crisp, aromas of flowers and cut grass blend with undertones of chalk and white stones. The generous, rich texture on the palate reveals a slight burst of candied lemon and tastes of citrus and subtle herbs with lots of good fruit and good minerality. 

2010 Chateau Brethous, Bordeaux Clairet $10
50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 50% Cabernet Franc 
Brethous is a small bio-dynamically farmed vineyard. Their Clairet is could be called a dark rose or a light Bordeaux. Either way the wine is loaded with fruit and shows a broad pallet of flavors: Strawberry, raspberry, plus hints of apple, pear, mango and passion fruit. It can be served at room temperature or slightly chilled.

2010 Nicolas Croze Notre Dame de Mélinas, Côtes du Rhône $15   
40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Carignan, 10% Cinsault
Nicolas Croze comes from an estate in the Ardeche, between the north and the south Rhône. The wine comes from a single vineyard and is aged 18 months in large tanks. It is full and rich and shows aromas of cherry and plum with a hint of pepper with depth and power and has a smooth long finish.

2010 Les Hauts de Plaisance, Haut Medoc $14
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
A second wine of Château Pontoise Cabarrus, the Hauts de Plaisance is a great deal on a full Cabernet dominate Bordeaux that has more stuffing than most at its price. The wine has a complex aromatic nose of red fruit, berries, coffee, and spice with a delicious balance of fruit, tannins, and acidity this wine tastes of cherry and blackberry, and a hint of coffee and chocolate.

 

Picking Petit Chablis

Happy La Fête Nationale (Bastille Day)!

Sunday Sippers, July 14th, 11-5pm


This Sunday we are celebrating the National French Holiday with a rosé and a red. It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, French officials and foreign guests.

Come toast the Revolution!


2011 Coer Estérelle    Provence Rosé ($11)
A nice Provence Rosé at a good price. Aromas of rose petal, strawberry, fresh herbs are followed by light peach, apricot and tangerine peel flavors. Was $16 now $11

2010 Domaine Olivier Hillaire Côtes du Rhône
($15)
Vieilles Vignes
60% Grenache, 40% Syrah
Domaine Oliver Hilaire is a small 23 acre estate in France’s southern Rhône Valley just across the Rhône River from Châteaunuef du Pape. Their CDR shows an intense nose of garrigue, blackberries and anise. Medium-to-full-bodied, with low acidity, medium sweet tannins, and a touch of earthiness. Was $18 now $15

Five Corners of Italy,

Saturday, July 13th, 2pm

This Saturday we’ll be traipsing the Italian countryside from Friuli to Sicily as well as Lazio, Maremma and Campania. It’s a lot of ground to cover, but the reward is five great wines to sample. It’s worth the journey.   Meander on in and join us.

2011 Principe Pallavicini Frascati   $12 
50% Malvasia (Bianca di Candia), 30% Malvasia del Lazio, 20% Trebbiano
A white wine from the overlooked area of Lazio, Frascati grows in the Alban hills south of Rome. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish herbal accents mingled with minerality and some gunflint, and underlying airiness.  On the palate it’s bright, with clean warm lemony fruit supported by clean sour acidity that flows into a clean tart finish.

2011 Purato Cataratto Pinot Grigio Terre Siciliane $11
60% Catarratto and 40% Pinot Grigio.
From Sicily, this blend of Pinot Grigio with Cataratto a more local indigenous grape is made from organic grapes and is about as eco-friendly as they can get it (The label is made from recycled paper and vegetable ink, the bottle is made from 85% recycled glass and the cartons are made from recycled cardboard.) The wine has intense aromas of both citrus and tropical fruit.

2011 Bastianich Friulano Adriatico $18
100% (Tocai) Friulano
Friulano is an indigenous grape variety grown in Friuli for hundreds of years. The Bastianich is a classic Friulano, medium bodied with ripe, luscious pear flavors carried by a refreshing mineral flavor and zesty, mouthwatering acidity.

La Mozza, Morelolino di Scansamo I Perazzi $17
85% Morellino (the local name for Sangiovese in Maremma), 5% Syrah, 5% Alicante, 2% Colorino, 3% Ciliegiolo
I Perazzi, was created to be unlike most typical Morellino di Scansano. The blend, which includes Mediterranean varieties, is more expressive and better demonstrates the potential of Maremma’s terroir. I Perazzi is named after the pear like fruit that grow on the estate. The wines juicy dark fruit mingles with spice and licorice on the palate. The bright, ripe cherry and soft texture makes this a natural match with fresh Mediterranean flavors and dishes

2007 Terradora di Paolo, Taurasi $30
100% Aglianico
Aglianico is a native Italian varietal that is widely used in Campania. It is of extremely ancient origin and some experts argue that it was cultivated in the early period of Roman history and was introduced to Italy by the Greeks. Teurasi, like Barolo for Nebbiolo and Brunello for Sangiovesse, are the best expressions of the grape. The wine is aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months. After blending it matures in large oak barrels for 12 months and then in bottle for a further 8-12 months. The Teradora has a pronounced and complex bouquet with hints of cherry, fruits of the forest, spicy scents of violet and tobacco and a suggestion of minerals. Elegant, smooth, velvety and intense it displays characteristic hints of plums, black cherries, black pepper and tar. It is full bodied and austere on the palate with balanced tannins and acidity. It easily will continue to age and develop for more than a decade.

 

Portraits: Man & Beasts

The Artwork of

Eden Hopkins & Laura Grover

July 3rd to August 31st

Artist Eden Hopkins presents six, lively and whimsical portrait paintings of dogs. Several of these lovable canines attentively make eye contact and feature their tongues lolling out. One painting showcases a Chiweenie dog, or a Chihuahua/Dachshund Mix mouthing a tennis ball, ready for play. These original oil paintings are created on 12″ x 12″Wcradled panels. See more of Eden’s artwork at www.edenhopkins.com

Artist Laura Grover’s portraits of her family are a way of reflecting on the time spent with them. It’s a personal time with each individual, to think upon what they look like, conversations we held together and how we first met. Each paint stroke is intimate and comes with personal feeling. These paintings are just moments that gave me pleasure. Not all family moments will be remembered with such joy and surely need to be recorded.

Sunday Sippers, July 7th, 11-5pm

The Wines from the House of Independent Producers

This Sunday we are featuring the wines from the House of
Independent Producers which is the pet project of Christophe Hedges of Hedges Family Estate. The back label sports a compelling mission statement: To capture terroir in its most raw form and to preserve the integrity of the wine world by rebelling against the 100 point rating system. A wine of sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. No advertising.

Come taste for yourself.

2011 Independent Producers La Bourgeoisie    ($13)
Chardonnay
Dionysus Vineyard
The Independent Producers Chardonnay is as close to a Chablis style white as you can find on the west coast. The wine sees no oak, and is a true definition of terroir winemaking, highlighting the beautiful vineyards of Sagemoor Farms, specifically the Dionysus Vineyard. Crisp and refreshing and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sustainable.

 

2011 Independent Producers La Bourgeoisie    ($13)
Merlot
Bacchus Vineyard
With minimal winemaking intervention, Merlots ability to display grace, some say better than that of Pinot Noir, is unmatched. This single vineyard unoaked Merlot is soft and full and comes with a font library and a Manifesto. Sustainable.


Grab Bag Tasting,

July 6th, 2pm-4pm

All our suppliers are slacking off or at the beach with a 5 day weekend — so we decided to put together this Saturdays tasting on our own. No theme, No pitch, just tasty good wine that we like and that we’d like to share with you. They are all very tasty and good values.

2012 Vieux Clocher Côtes du Rhône Blanc $10
Grenache Blanc, Clairette
A good floral nose of lilac and honeysuckle followed by a limy zest attack and a melon flavored finish. Forget about Chardonnay, there is a lot of other white wine out there.

2012 Château De Flaugergues Les Comtes Rosé $14
60% Grencache, 40% Syrah

The Flaugergues is a dry and herbal Rosé from the Languedoc. It’s summer, what more do you need?

2009 Pasquale Pelissero Crosa $12
Dolcetto d’ Alba
The Pelissero is a smooth and silky Dolcetto with lots of ripe dark fruit. It is a great BBQ wine or something to just sip in the shade. It’s on a little bit of a deal — Was $15 Now $12

2006 Tenuta Mormoraia Chianti Colli Senesi $17
Sangiovese
A nicely developed Sangioveseiwith notes of cherry, tobacco, and spice. This is a pretty serious wine for the money.

2008 Triennes, St. Auguste, Provence $18
Syrah , Cabernet, Merlot
This is the winery’s flagship wine from a selection of their best cuvées of Syrah, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine is a rich dark purple with bright ruby highlights, and has alluring aromas of ripe black cherries, nutmeg and clove. It is full and concentrated. Compare to any Washington $20 wine from the same grapes and see what you think — actually any $40 wine for that matter. It’s sustainably farmed so you can feel good about drinking too.

Tuesday Humor.

Seen in a Santa Fe, New Mexico grocery store (in person):

That should be “Clos du Bois“, not Boise, as in Idaho.

Just sayin’

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