November 21, 2008

November Wines & Cheeses We Love!

Freeport Cheese & Wine
27 Bow Street
Freeport, ME
(207) 865-3993

New Cheeses (I'm going to be doing this going forward each month - 2-3 new each month):
  • Vermont Cloth Aged Cheddar - probably the best cheddar I've tasted in a few years!
  • Great Hill Blue - a classic blue from Massachusetts
  • Willow Hill Farm La Fleuire - a camembert style cheese from Vermont
Fra'Mani Salame Salametto - Another of the BEST Salami in the WORLD!!! All natural. Hand-made. Rich. Fatty! In a good way! Look, lean Salumi is just.....leanly lame! Fra'Mani is the best! Pork Salumi at its best....hand-made by a chef in San Francisco from naturally raised pigs.

The WINES......

Sparkling Wines

Familia Oliveda Cava Rosat NV (Spain) $15.99 - Familia Oliveda is a family owned company that has been making wine at this estate north of Barcelona since the mid 1700's. This rose Cava is a blend of Pinot Noir and Grenache grapes. As you'd expect from Pinot Noir it has very pretty delicate floral aromas and cherry fruit. The Grenache gives it a bit more body and a richer finish.

Bisol Jeio Prosecco Brut (Italy) $14.99 - This is a tasty sparkling wine and a great value! Fine, soft bubbles. Starts soft and refreshing. With a touch of flowers and almonds as well as subtle acidity. Flavors of apples and pears. A nice, delicate, lingering finish. Food pairing - Great as an aperitivo or with antipasto, seafood or lighter white meat dishes. Goes great with smoked salmon or trout. This will go great with spicy food, especially Thai and Pacific cuisines. Excellent as a sparkling wine for a party!


Cascina Ca’ Rossa Roero DOCG Arneis “Merica” 2006 (Italy) Reg. $19.99 Sale $14.99 - This is a beautiful wine! Reminds me of a really good, refined, complex Alsatian Pinot Blanc. Medium-bodied & has a smooth, round feel in the mouth. Aromas & flavors of flowers, almonds, tart green apples, white peaches and pears. Much of the flavor is driven by this cool wet minerality halfway through. Well balanced acidity. Nice length on the finish - the finish is driven by acidity, a slightly bitter almond note and minerals. Food pairing - Great as an aperitif or cocktail wine. Perfect with cold salads, especially seafood or chicken salad. Has enough depth to hold up to salamis and other typical Italian antipasta foods.

Jelu Torrontés 2008 (Argentina) $12.99 – New vintage of a wine we just love! Torrontés is the grape and it is the dominant white grape in Argentina! This is really floral, kind of Muscat or Viognier like aroma. Lots of orange, apricot and some pineapple. That fruit is the first thing you taste, but then you get a hint of spice midway à la Gewürztraminer and then the finish is very clean and dry. Totally not what you expect from that first smell. Really cool wine! Food pairing – shellfish, seafood, lighter pasta dishes, grilled chicken or pork. Drinks well with or without food!

Alexander Valley Vineyards Mendocino County “New Gewurz” Gewurztraminer 2008 (CA) $9.99 - Made in celebration of the new harvest each year! Fresh. Delicious. Fruity. Off-dry. Touch of spice. Great floral aroma. Flavors of peaches and ripe pears. This is a crowd-pleaser. Food pairing - Goes well with hors d’oeuvres, fresh fruit, roast pork, poultry, spicy Asian dishes and creamy cheese.

Celestin Blondeau Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (France) Reg. $10.99 Sale $9.99 – Completely different wine than the Kim Crawford! As Sancerre prices have shot through the roof, this winery has done something smart! They source grapes from Touraine and Anjou (both are good growing regions) and they make an excellent Sauvignon Blanc at a great price from the Loire Valley! Crisp with green apple fruit and notes of lemon grass. Food pairing – oysters, fish, pork or chicken.

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (New Zealand) $19.99 - Truly one of the best New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs made! This is a fresh, lively, fun to drink wine. Great grapefruit, passion fruit, melon, lime green apple flavors & aromas in this classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Great depth of fruit. A subtle touch of pepper spice & lemon grass. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - Enjoy with seafood, lobster, grilled tuna, spicy chicken or spicy Asian food. Wine Spectator, 91 points, #40 Top 100 Wines 2008


Georges DuBœuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2008 (France) $10.99 - Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé! "The New Beaujolais has arrived!" It’s balanced, fruit forward and without a lot of tannins….flavors and aromas of raspberries, strawberries, black cherries and a hint of spice. Food pairing – A CLASSIC Thanksgiving Dinner Wine! Food pairing - Good with poultry dishes and lighter foods! Celebrate the season!

Château des Capitans Juliénas Cru Beaujolais 2006 (France) Reg. $15.99 Sale $14.99 – If we’re tasting a Beaujolais Nouveau, we have to taste the “big daddy” from the region – a Cru Beaujolais! This is AWESOME! Ripe, rich dark berries in the nose. Packed with aromas & flavors (cherry, blackberry, raspberry, pepper). Medium-bodied. Well-balanced acidity & tannins. Rich, LONG finish. 100% Gamay. Aged in 20% oak barrels. Joint project of Georges DuBoeuf and William Deutsch. Drink over the next 7-8 years. Great vintage! Food pairing – duck, turkey, pork, chicken, etc. Drinks well on its own.

Cantele Salice Salentino Puglia 2003 (Italy) Reg. $12.99 Sale $10.99 - Excellent wine from this family-owned winery in Southern Italy! Ripe and juicy – this drinks smoothly….lots of ripe, dark fruit. Soft tannins. No bitterness. 85% Negroamaro and 15% Malvasia Nera. Aged 3 years in stainless steel with selected lots in used oak barriques. Aged in bottles for 6 months. 2,500 cases made. Food pairing – pasta and meat dishes, goat cheeses. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 87 points

Vacceos Tempranillo Rueda 2005 (Spain) Reg. $13.99 Sale $12.99 - Rueda is more know fo rproducing white wines, but since 2001 some enterprising 100% Tempranillo made entirely in stainless steel. It has ripe cherry and blackberry fruit with a hint of earth and briars followed by tannins that are soft and polished. but it also has peppery dusty qualities and a dry finish that give the wine more.

Echeverria Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Chile) $12.99 - The Echeverria Family has been making wine in Chile since the 1600's and this excellent Cabernet demonstrates their expirience. Its cherry fruit is ripe and lush but it also has peppery dusty qualities and a dry finish that give the wine more depth.

Joan D’Anguera La Planella Montsant 2006 (Spain) $21.99 - Fabulous wine! Deep purple/ruby color. Rich aromas of dark fruits (black cherries, blackberries, dark plums), minerals & Provencal herbs. Medium-bodied. La Planella is a blend of 40% Mazuelo, 20% Syrah, 20% Grenache, and 20%. Montsant is near Priorat (it’s actually named after a mountain in Priorat) in northeasternmost Spain (southwest of Barcelona). Joan's father, Josep, started replanting his family’s vineyard back in the 70's so the vines are all older now and produce very concentrated fruit from their rocky hillside vineyards. Food pairing - Excellent with grilled and roasted meats, mushrooms dishes and more!

d’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2005 (Australia) Reg. $17.99 Sale $15.99 - Outstanding wine! This is drinking great! A huge hit at a recent wine wine tasting! Bright and fresh. Plum, cherry, blackberry and currant aromas. Subtle hints of licorice, anise, sweet earth, cedar and pepper. Smoky. Nice, soft & long finish. Unfiltered and unfined…classic winemaking…just yummy and big and smooth! Food pairing - Great with hearty foods, roasts, grilled meat. Decant this wine – both to open it up and because it has sediment. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points

Myuge Napa Valley Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California) $34.99 - Ned Swain of Devenish Wines came to me with this wine.....I love it when Ned comes to me with obscure wines he loves.......I taste A LOT of wine. Ned tastes a SCARY HUGE amount of wine. And, he calls a bad wine a bad wine and he RAVES about a really good wine....and he doesn't use geeky wine words (Ned and I have talked about wine for nearly 4 years and we've never gone "wine word geeky" - the big phrase is, "This is good - I like this!). Ned has an e-mail newsletter and he even recommends wines he doesn't sell (that's a BANKABLE recommendation, right there!).

Abe Schoener, a professor of Ancient Greek Philosophy, started making wine in 1998 by interning at the Stag's Leap Winery when he was on sabbatical. Then he became the winemaker at Luna for a few years before starting this very special and specialized project. Everything Abe makes is made in TINY quantities. Less than 100 cases per wine as a rule. He makes everything at his new winery in the Suison Valley just east of Napa. The Suison Valley is listed on the Myuge label. Now we know this wine is from Rutherford.....beyond that, we don't know much - we've asked the broker who sells it to Ned. They don't know. We've tried tracking down luck, yet on that one. So, we don't know the particulars - aside from this is a side project of Abe's AND it tastes really good!

The wine is dark, dark ruby to nearly black in the center. It looks unfiltered - so DECANT this both for sediment reasons and to open up the wine's aromas and flavors!

This is powerful and full-bodied - it's really a mouthful of wine! It opens with black cherry fruit that blends into the mid-palate and picks up hints of juicy plums and cinnamon along the way. At the back are notes of cedar. The finish is long and smooth. There are definitely tannins in this wine - they are dry and dusty in the way Rutherford Cabs are supposed to be, but they are integrated into the wine. This is a young Napa Cabernet with a lot of structure and depth to it. The aromas are seductive and the complex flavors are well-integrated.

I am in love with this wine and think it's a steal at $35 or so. It drinks like a much better Napa Cabernet, in fact all the online websites I've found list it for over $40. Regardless, I'm excited to have found this because so many Napa Cabernets are either really expensive or just simple and don't have the structure Napa is famous for. This wine is really a gem! As another wine merchant said, "Wherever this comes from there is some serious wine making behind it!" Food pairing – steak, lamb, big foods. DECANT this wine when you drink it!


El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximenez Sherry (Spain) $19.99 - This sherry is made entirely from the Pedro Ximenez grape and has beautiful aromas of hazelnuts, caramel, and apricots. The wine is aged in the solera style for 15 years before release, giving the wine time to develop all of its rich depth.