Archive for March 29, 2012

Bordeaux — Red and Ready, Saturday, March 31st, 2pm

This Saturday we have a great line up of Bordeaux that should not be missed. Some are from the big and early drinking 2009 vintage and some are from earlier vintages that are starting to stretch out a bit and strut their stuff. If you are a fan of leather, black current and pencil lead you won’t want to miss it.
2007 Château Moulin de Mallet Bordeaux $10
80% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc
Family-owned since 1898, Moulin de Mallet sits high up on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dordogne Valley facing the slopes of Saint Émillion. The estate has been modernized and the vineyard is run by Mr. Couderc and his viticulturist and oenologist son. The Mallet is vat-aged, and displays a whole array of fresh, red and black fruit aromas of black currant, blackberry and cherry.
2006 Château Mayne-Vieil, Fronsac $16
90% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc
From 40 year old vines, this Fronsac spends 3 weeks on its skins before aging in tanks for 18 months.   The Mayne-Vieil is a very concentrated wine that showcases the fruit, with lots of earthy aromas, tart red fruits flavors and riper plum with a silky tannin finish.
2009 Château Sorbey, Medoc $16
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot.
Chateau Sorbey is the second label of Chateau Julien of the Haut-Medoc and Chateau Cap Leon in Listrac. The Sorbey is from the same vineyards as the wines of Chateau Julien. It has a rich ruby color with notes of red and black fruits and some spice from oak aging.
2009 Château Cap León Veyrin, Listrac-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois $30
55% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot.
Chateau Cap Leon Veyrin with Chateau Julien and Chateau Bibian is owned by the Meyre family who have managed the estate since 1810. Today Alain and Maryse Meyre run the Château together with their children Julien and Nathalie. The wine comes from 30 year old vines and is aged in oak barrels for 12 months. The Cap León Veyrin has aromas of red fruit, cassis and blackberries with notes of vanilla and licorice. It tastes great now but should develop over the coming years.
2006 Château Mangot, St Émillion Grand Cru $30
85% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc. 6% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Mangot estate covers some 37 hectares in a single stretch in Saint Etienne De Lisse. Its hillside terraces face due south and are sustainably farmed. The wine is aged in separate batches for 14 months in French oak, 40% of which is new. The Mangot has full aromas of cedar, minerals, licorice and an earthy note, followed by dry tannins and lots of dark fruit flavors that are concentrated, rounded and full on the palate.


Intriguing Italians, Saturday, March 24th, 2 pm

Saturday we’ll be pouring some fascinating and delicious wines from a local Italian importer. We’ve picked through their portfolio and found some really distinct and fantastic wines at great prices. The come from Veneto, Abruzzo, and Tuscany. We’ve tried them all and Saturday you can try them too. We’re sure you like them.Alvise Lanciere Prosecco Extra Dry Doc $14
From Veneto the Lanciere Prosecco is dry and crisp with fruit notes of apples and citrus with a savory tang. 

2010 Vestini Pecorino IGT $10
Pecorino is a favorite local wine all along the Adriatic coast in Abruzzo. The Vestini has bright citrus flavors and crisp acidity make it the perfect accompaniment for all seafood dishes or just a refreshing glass by itself.

2004 Nicolis, Testal del Veronese IGT $14 
94% Corvina, 3% Merlot, 3% Cabernet 
A family run winery in the Veneto, Nicolis makes a full line of Valpolicella and Amarone. The Testal is unique spin on the tradition vintifications. What should it be called? A Super Veronesse? The grapes picked from the end rows of the estate where they get riper and are dried for 3 weeks before fermentation, concentrating the flavors, then blended with a little Cabernet and Merlot. It is aged 16 months in barrel.   The wine has an outstanding bouquet of red fruit, with hints of sweet spice and vanilla. The palate is complex and full, with soft tannins and lots of dried plum and cherry. 

2001 Sant’ Appiano, Monteloro $19 
85% Sangiovese and 15% Colorino 
From the Chianti area in Tuscany, the Monteloro is an unusual Sangiovese blend that has rounded out with a lot of grace. The wine is full of dark fruit, smooth tannins, along with tobacco and savory notes, aged and read to drink.

2008 Tenuta Monteti, Caburnio $27
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante Bouschet.
Monteti is in Tuscany in the southern part of the Maremma. A big bodied Super Tuscan, the Caburnio ages for 12 months in a combination of barriques and stainless and afterwards in bottle for another 4-5 months. It is a complex wine with a good freshness with savory notes of dried herbs and coffee beans along with the dark fruit and full tannins.

March (Madness) Markdowns

Deliciousness at a Discount

Saturday, March 17th


Saturday we’ll be tasting a whole line up of new wines that come to us at really great prices. It makes for an odd assortment, but if you don’t mind jumping around the world a bit, you’ll find something that fits your palette. All these wines drink much better than their current prices. Come take advantage it. We’ll be pouring:

2009 West Cape Chardonnay, Styx Gully              Was $18 now $10

A cooler climate, single-vineyard Chardonnay from Western Australia, the Styx Gully is a modest 12.5% alcohol, all French oak-aged with no malolactic fermentation. It has good citrus and mineral notes. 

2008 Pascal Granger Julienas                                  Was $17 now $13

This cru Beaujolais Gamay from old vine fruit is classic in style with dry cherry fruit, a medium body and a snappy acidity.

2008 Villa Tomino, Baglio Curatolo                       Was $16 now $13

The Baglio Curatolo is a single vineyard Nero d’Avola from an old Sicilian winery. The wine has a big bouquet of blackberry and dried plums along with chocolate and leather notes.

2001 Campo Nuble, Rioja Reserva                          Was $20 now $15

Tempranillo 90% and 10% Grenache

A well-aged Rioja that is still hanging around after most 2001s are gone. The wine has spicy and toasty aromas along with full cherry fruit on the palate and smooth finish.

2000 Tilenus, Bierzo, Pagos de Posada                 Was $30 now $18

The Tilenus wines are made from Mencia an indigenous grape from Bierzo in Spain.

The Pagos de Posada is made from old vines that undergo an extremely long maceration. It is built for the long haul and is drinking great. An elegant, vibrant wine made grown in a steep vineyard planted in decomposed slate (75-100 year old vines), this is a Burgundian-styled red offering notes of blackberries, raspberries, graphite, and minerals. Elegant, precise, and fragrant with medium body as well as beautifully pure fruit, it was aged completely in French oak casks, of which 70% were new. –WA

The Secrets of St Clouds Revealed

An Evening with Gage Tschyekovsky

Wine Steward and Bartender Extraordinaire

Sunday March 18th

5:00 to 6:30

$12 plus tax

Sunday the 18th we get Gage out from behind his bar to talk about wine, food pairing and what he looks for in choosing St. Clouds’ wine list. 

We’ll be pouring some jewels from the list to punctuate his remarks.

We’ll also have an assortment of St. Clouds appetizers to freshen your palate. 

We’ll be tasting:

J. Scott Cellars Roussanne

Trio Vintners Zinfandel

Animale Petite Sirah

Tridente Prieto Picudo

As well as Perucchi Vermouth

Come join us for a fun evening.

Some Very Special Wine

2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils


Last week we got to sample the 2010 Burgundies from Bouchard. It looks to be a very nice vintage. The wines are showing good fruit, but with more structure and acidity than the 2009s. A select few of our favorites (adjusted for price to quality) were:

Beaune Clos de la Mousse 1er cru.

The wine has dark fruit aromas with light toasty notes. It is both rustic and refined with a earthiness on the finish.

Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot 1er cru.

The wine has bright fruit and spicy aromas followed by a big opulent mouthfeel.

Nuits Saint Georges Les Cailles 1er cru.

This wine has everything going for it. Intense notes of black berry fruit blended with some touches of oak and brine, and a bit of earthiness on the finish.

Le Corton Grand Cru

The Corton has an intense bouquet full of fruit and spice and a full and rich mouthfeel and a long finish.

These all are wines that will take 5 to 10 years to fully develop. It pays to plan ahead.

These and the other Bouchard wines (also wonderful and also available) are now just being offered for presale. They will arrive in June. For those who want to order now, we are offering them at a special presale price. No minimum order required. Other discounts don’t apply. Wines need to be paid for at time of order.

All the other Bouchard Cuvées are also offered for presale.

Please inquire if you have a favorite you are interested in. For more info visit

Presale Pricing

Beaune Clos de la Mousse $41 (regularly $54)

Volnay Caillerets Ancienne Cuvée Carnot $63 (regularly $82)

Nuits Saint Georges Les Cailles $84 (regularly $110)

Le Corton $85 (regularly $111)

Orders need to be received by Thursday, March 22nd.

The Perfect Way To Open A Bottle And Pour A Glass Of Wine.

Wines of the French Countryside.

Robert Kacher Selections

Saturday, March 10th – 2pm

This Saturday we continue our tour of French Countryside, this time with Bobby Kacher. Bobby started importing wines from little known Southern French producers over 24 years ago. Today his portfolio is a benchmark of quality. Come sample a small selection of his selections.

2010 Domaine de Pouy, Ugni Blanc, Côtes du Gascogne $9
60% Ugni Blanc, 40% Colombard
Domaine de Pouy is located in the foothills of Pyrénées about two hours southwest of Bordeaux. The wines are made using skin contact and kept cold for four to six hours in order to extract the maximum aromatics and preserve bright fruit flavors. The 2010 Domaine de Pouy is bursting with tangy white grapefruit flavors, lime zest aromatics and a thrilling acid finish.

2009 Domaine des Hauts de Sanziers, Saumur Blanc $17
Chenin Blanc
Located south of Saumur, in the Loire, Hauts de Sanziers has belonged to the Tessier family for two centuries. The estate covers 85 hectares all worked organically. The Samur is a very full bodied Chenin with dry floral aromatics and good minerality.

2009 André Brunel, Côtes du Rhône $12
75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 15% Cinsault
Brunel is a noted Chateauneuf producer who pays great attention to his other Rhônes as well. The wine has a floral nose with notes of herbs and white pepper, the fruit is a luscious rich cherry.

2009 Sainte Eugenie Corbiers $12
40% old vine Carignan (65+ years old) with the rest being a blend of Grenache and Syrah (25-46 year old vines). The Eugenie is vinified for 9 month in barrels varietal by varietal, then blended placed in small casks for up to 15 months before bottling. The result is a marvelously complex and clean wine. The red fruits burst from the glass with mild hints of toast and spice that continue through the impeccably balanced finish.

2009  D’or et de Gueules Rouge, Les Cimels $15
Costières de Nimes
50% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 25% Grenache
D’Or (gold) et Gueules (red, in ancient French) is situated on the south/south-eastern slopes of the Costières de Nîmes. The soil is made up of cailloux –small stones or gravel like those in Chateau Neuf du Pape. The vineyards are organically farmed with limited yields. Les Cimels comes from the old Occitan language meaning fruit bouquet. Blended from Syrah, Carignan and Grenache at controlled yield levels, this wine has a deep purple color and offers notes of red fruit and sweet spice. It is supple and elegant.

The Art – and Science – of the Swirl.

There is more science in swirling your wine before tasting.

Click here for the link to the Wall Street Journal article from March 3rd.

Our just take a gander at the video:

The Corners of France, Saturday March 3rd, 2pm

Saturday afternoon we’re pouring a fine selection of wines from the diverse regions of the French countryside. We’ll have wines from the Loire, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Southwest regions of Gaillac and Jurançon. These wines not only represent geographic diversity, but they are each from small, independent growers who make distinct and interesting wines tucked away in the corners of the wine industry. The wines are delicious. Come try them.

2010 Christophe Thorigny, Vouvray Sec $14

Chenin Blanc

Christophe Thorigny farms 10.5 hectares in the village of Parcay-Meslay, in Vouvray. His family has owned vineyards in the village for four generations. Christophe farms according to the principle of “lutte raisonnée” or minimal intervention and keeps his yields low by severe pruning throughout the season.   It is a very complex and layered wine.

2009 Paul Garaudet, Bourgogne Blanc $17


Paul Garaudet’s 10 hectares of vineyards sit in the heart of the Côte of Beaune, between Volnay and Meursault. Paul is the 4th generation to cultivate the family estate. His Bourgogne Blanc is crisp and clean with good supportive fruit. And it is an excellent value.

2010 Domaine Philémon, Gaillac Rouge, Croix d’Azal $10


Domaine Philémon is located in the small village of Villeneuve-sur-Vere where the Vieules family has had a vineyard since 1804. Today they grow wheat, sunflowers and grapes in equal proportions. The wheat and sunflowers are grown organically and the vineyard is being certified
organic. The vines are traditional Gaillac grape varieties, with a good proportion of them being more than fifty years old. The Croix d’Azal is produced entirely from Braucol. It is a wonderful expression of this grape variety with all of its typical spiciness and woodsy floral aromas.

2004 Chateau Villars, Fronsac $20

70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Chateau Villars has been owned by the Gaudrie family since the beginning of the 19th century. This hillside vineyard faces southwest with 35 years old vines. Harvesting is done in stages to allow each vineyard block to reach full maturity. After careful bunch selection the grapes are vinified in traditional cement vats and receive an extended maceration of up to 4 weeks.
Each vat is tasted throughout the month of November and a rigorous selection is made before the wine is put in barrels. The wine is aged in barrel, one third new for 10 to 14 months. It is a solid Bordeaux that is ready to drink at a great price.

2010 Camin Larredya , Jurançon, Costat Darrèr $20

Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng

Larredya is a small vineyard situated in the Chapelle de Rousse area of Jurançon. The majority of the vineyard, planted 40 years ago, is terraced on steep and curved slopes that form an amphitheater.  It is farmed organically. The Costat Darrèr is a blend of Gros Manseng and Petit Manseng with the exact proportions varying according to the vintage. The wine is fermented in barrel and rests there for eight months “sur lie” The wine is off dry but not quite dessert, just succulent, with enough spice and mineral to keep things interesting.

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