April 15, 2009

Wolfe's Neck Farm Auction "Ready-made Wine Cellar"

Wolfe’s Neck Farm Auction

A Ready-made Wine Cellar!

60 hand-picked wines from around the world! These wines have all been tasted, tested and vetted by the Eric Fullagar at Freeport Cheese & Wine. They come with descriptions and food pairings.

The retail value of these wines is $1,700. Putting together this collection took over 12 hours of time and that doesn’t include writing the descriptions.

Argentina

Reds

Luigi Bosca Luján de Cuyo Vineyard Reserva Malbec 2006 (Argentina) $19.99 - This is a big, rich Malbec from a century-old, family-owned winery! It was a HUGE hit at a wine tasting! Deep violet color. Aromas of cherries, ripe plums, vanilla & spice. Hints of flowers. Flavors of figs, dark berries, vanilla, pepper & spices. A rich wine! Aged 14 months in oak. High elevation desert vineyard. Single vineyard. Will age for up to 8 years. Food pairing - drinks well with rich grilled meats, aged cheeses such as Parmesan Reggiano or Piave Vecchio. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Pulmary Donaria Bonarda 2004 (Argentina) $22.99 - We love this wine! The winemaker was at our October tasting and this was a HUGE hit! She makes fantastic wines! Full-bodied. Loaded with flavors and aromas. Aromas of red fruit & herbs. Flavors of red and dark berries, black cherries, herbs and spice. Nice balance of tannins, acidity and fruit. Bonardo is a grape originally from Piedmont in Italy where it is a “blending grape.” 627 cases made. Organic farming. Female winemaker. Food pairing – harder cheeses, beef, lamb, pork. Drinks well on its own, but a better food wine.

Tomero Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Argentina) $13.99 - Doug and Cat feel that some of the best wines to come out of Argentina today and in the future are Cabernet! Great value in a Cabernet! Aromas and flavors of jammy dark berry fruit, red berries, baking spices, black cherries and more.....easy to drink. Medium-to-full bodied with softer tannins that kind of have an Italian dustiness to them if you know what I mean (I don't mean dirty earth). Juicy and ripe fruit on the finish. 20% is aged in French oak barrels for 8 months. Bottle aged for 6-12 months at winery. Hand-harvested grapes. Also from the Finca Los Alamos vineyard in the Upper Uco Valley of Mendoza. This is a high desert that is at 3,500 feet above sea level with less than 4 inches of rain per year. During the growing season the temperature differential between night and day is 60 degrees. Food pairing - grill up a steak. Roast a chicken. Sauté a bunch of mushrooms.

Vistalba Corte C 2005 (Argentina) $13.99 - Violet red color. Rich aromas and flavors of red fruits and dried fruits. Notes of eucalyptus. In the mouth, this wine is soft and round with balanced tannins and a nice long finish. Carlos Pulenta's family estate is located in the center of Vistalba within the Lujan de Cuyo region of Argentina. The vineyard sits at the foot of the magnificent Cordon del Plata within the Andes Mountains. The characteristics of the poor soil in this area makes it the perfect home for many grapes, especially Malbec. 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot. From the Finca Vistalba vineyard in the Lujan de Cuyo. The large temperature swings from day to night during the growing season help develop color and tannins. Hand-harvested. 20% is aged in new French oak barrels for 12 months. Food pairing - steak, lamb - this is from Argentina after all!

Weinert Mendoza Malbec 2003 (Argentina) $26.99 - Excellent wine & distinctly different than most Argentine Malbecs – more Bordeaux-like than California Cabernet. More like really good Bordeaux a big, dark, extracted New World wine. Great length on the flavors. The aromas EVOLVE in the glass - dried berries, leather & minerals. Flavors of dark fruit, pepper, licorice, smoke. Well-integrated & smooth tannins. 100% Malbec. 70+ year-old vines. 3 years in French oak casks. Natural yeasts + winemaking.....natural wines. Food pairing - steak. You'll see this a lot when an Argentine red is in the mix! More of a food wine than a cocktail wine.

Australia

Reds

d’Arenberg “d’Arry’s Original Grenache Shiraz 2004 (Australia) $19.99 - This is a wonderful Aussie blend…Great wine! A tremendous hit at a tasting! The original d’Arenberg wine! This is a tasty, big, chewy Côtes-du-Rhone style blend. Dark red. Aromas of red berries, cherries, spices, pepper and mint. Notes of earth & smoke. Food pairing - Serve with grilled or roasted meats, rich mushroom dishes, and mature cheese. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Rolf Binder “Halliwell” Grenache Shiraz 2005 (Australia) $21.99 - This is awesome! This is purposefully a "juicier" style of red wine! Aromas and flavors of blueberries, raspberries, earth, spice, red cherries, a little chocolate and a touch of oak. Full-bodied. Soft tannins and a soft, smooth finish. 60% Shiraz & 40% Grenache. Some barrel aging. Food pairing - steak, grilled meats, roasted meats, etc. Drinks well with or without food! Perfect wine for in front of a warm fire! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92 points; "One of my favorite Australian wineries;" Robert Parker

Shinas Estates “The Guilty” Shiraz 2006 (Australia) $22.99 - This is an EXCELLENT Shiraz! A great companion to “The Innocent” Viognier and “The Verdict” Cab! Aromas of flowers, dark berries and plums and peppery spice. Loads of flavors – ripe dark fruit, cherries, strawberries, blackberries and more. Full-bodied. Well-balanced tannins. Long finish with lots of black cherries. Single vineyard old-vine grapes. Hand-harvested grapes. Aged 20 months in old French oak, concentrating the aromas & flavors. 2,500 cases made. Food pairing – steaks, grilled meats, lamb….drinks well on its own – I like big wines!

Shinas Estates “The Verdict” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Australia) $22.99 - This is an EXCELLENT Cabernet! A great companion to “The Innocent” Viognier and “The Guilty” Shiraz! Aromas of ripe berries, chocolate and vanilla. Flavors of cherries, strawberries, plums, peppery spice and more. Full-bodied. Soft texture. The tannins are integrated. Nice acidity. Great length on the finish. Single vineyard. 100% Cabernet. Hand-harvested grapes. Aged 18 months in old French oak. 1,200 cases made. Food pairing –grilled meats, beef, steak, lamb….drinks well with or without food!

Stanley Lambert “Silent Partner” Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (Australia) $49.99 - Delicious! This winery’s FLAGSHIP wine & a HUGE hit at a recent tasting! Rich and elegant wine. This rivals the best Cabernets from California! Dark, rich fruit – black currants, black cherries and vanilla. Smooth, lush finish that LASTS! Hand-picked grapes. Single vineyard with low-yielding vines. Aged in fine-grained American oak hogsheads for 18 months. 1,000 cases made. Food pairing - rich foods. Drinking with friends who know good wine!

Whites

Elderton “Unwooded” Chardonnay 2006 (Australia) $14.99 - This is a pretty, bright and fresh white! HUGE hit at our December tasting! Aromas of bright, ripe tropical fruits, orchard fruits, mint and stony minerals. Flavors of green apple, pears & melons. Juicy feel to the wine. Clean at the finish! Unoaked Chardonnay. Bottled fresh, young and crisp! 100% Chardonnay. Organic, sustainable agriculture. Food pairing – lighter poultry dishes, seafood, salads, etc.

Shinas Estates “The Innocent” Viognier 2007 (Australia) $22.99 - WOW! What'd I say? Oh, yes, "WOW!" It's marvelous! It’s relatively unknown. This and its red sibling, “The Guilty,” make a great gift. Aromas that just go & go! Peaches, apricots, then dried versions of the same, roses, pepper, & baking spices. Big & soft in the mouth. Stone fruit & citrus flavors, especially subtle lemon & grapefruit. Single vineyard, hand-harvested grapes. Unoaked, concentrating the aromas & flavors. The result - one big, tasty, masterful wine! With layers of flavors & aromas! Food pairing – drink on its own or with shellfish and seafood!

Austria

Whites

Hirsch Gaisberg Zöbing Kamptal Riesling 2006 (Austria) $39.99 - This single vineyard Riesling shows what this winery can do.....!!! Dry Riesling. Aromas & flavors of apricots, peaches, tropical fruit, flowers such as lilac & lavender, herbs, crushed minerals & more. Ripe & juicy & the flavors linger. Gripping wine with lots of finesse & a long finish. Food pairing - poultry, trout & salmon (smoked & otherwise), pork sausages, lots of vegetarian dishes, seafood, aged goat cheeses, etc. I'd lay down a few bottles and pull them out for a Thanksgiving BONANZA in 2012. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 90-91 points

Nigl Kremser Freiheit Gruner Veltliner 2007 (Austria) $19.99 – One of the GREAT, GREAT values in the Michael Skurnik portfolio of wines…..the legendary Terry Theise heads up the German and Austrian and Alsatian selections…….this winery is sublime……AWESOME……this balances tartness, fruitiness and spice….one of Austria’s best……minerally driven…..green apples, spice, herbs, kiwi or sorrel (or wild strawberries)……beautiful wine that I just love! Plus, the first day I tasted this I played poker with Doug from SOPO and, I think, despite his “Good Luck” poker shirt that I won a fair amount of money from him AND drank his wine! Food pairing – A big plate of mussels, Thanksgiving Dinner….Lobster….a nice chair and friends and some time! David Schildknecht, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 89 points

Chile

Reds

Echeverria Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Chile) $12.99
- Excellent wine! Each time I taste this, I’m just wildly impressed! Smooth. Rich. Tasty. Complex. You just can’t go wrong with this wine! Deep, garnet color. Aromas of cassis, mocha, cocoa, vanilla, dark berries. Soft feel in the mouth. Good berry fruit flavors, vanilla and spice on the finish. Medium-bodied. Long, pleasing finish. Hand-harvested grapes. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing – Goes well with grilled meats, flavorful cheese, traditional Latin American dishes.

Terra Andina Altos Malbec – Petite Verdot 2004 (Chile) $19.99 - Smoking good wine from Chile! Aromas of ripe fruits such as figs and plums, licorice, vanilla, toasted nuts & mocha. Soft, smooth tannins. Great velvet-like texture. Smooth & rich! Bordeaux-style blend from 2 of Bordeaux's more obscure grapes. 70% Malbec/30% Petite Verdot. 100% destammed grapes. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged 12-14 months in French (70%) and American (30%) oak barrels. Food pairing - steak, lamb, beef or lamb stews, Filet Mignon.....rich, mature cheeses.

France

Reds

Château Gachon Cuvée Saint-Georges Montagne St. Emilion 2005 (Bordeaux, France) $28.99
- Beautiful wine from the great 2005 vintage! Deep color – garnet/ruby. Lots of ripe red fruit aromas. Plums, cherries, red currants, cassis & baking spices. The fruit & tannins are well-balanced. Well-structured wine. Solid backbone (that means the tannins are there, but they aren’t dominating the wine & the fruit). Silky midway with ripe red berries. Long, pleasing finish asking you to refill your glass! Many locals head to Montagne for the “deepest, richest” reds of Saint-Emilion. Also, the wines here are better values than most of Saint-Emilion! Gérard Arpin, who also owns Château Franc-Maillet in Pomerol, runs this estate. On a hillside amidst Saint-Emilion’s greatest vineyards with the same deep chalk soil. 6,000 cases made. The vines are 35+ years old. They limit yields to 1/3 lower than permitted – producing better quality grapes. Aged for 12 months in 25% new oak barrels. Blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc & 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Food pairing – duck, roast lamb, game birds, pork. More of a “food” wine than a “cocktail” wine.

Château Lamartine Cuvée Particulière Cahors 2004 (Cahors, France) $24.99 - The “black wine of Cahors” because it is DARK! & this tastes great! Reminds me of a good Haut-Medoc Bordeaux! Aromas & flavors of black cherries, blackberries, blueberries, plums, currants, coffee, spice & dried fruits. Concentrated, rich & big without being jammy. A lot going on! Good acidity & structure. Long finish. Blend of 90% Malbec & 10% Merlot. Aged in new French oak for 14 months. Food pairing - grilled or roasted meats, lamb or beef stew, rich mushroom dishes, etc. This will benefit from opening early and decanting.

Château Moine Blanc Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2005 (Bordeaux, France) $38.99 - A superb wine and a great value from one of Bordeaux’s best vintages ever! Smooth, complex and full of rich, ripe blackberries, black currants, anise and baking spices with just a touch of vanilla. Rich, lush wine that drinks well now and will age well for a number of years! Moine Blanc was the first Saint-Emilion estate to adopt biodynamic agriculture in 1982. This property dates to the 14th century. The brilliant “garagiste” winemaker Jean-Luc Thunevin made this wine! 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet France. Aged in 30% new oak barrels. Organic AND Biodynamic Farming.

Château Tour de Mirambeau Cuvée Passion Grand Vin de Bordeaux 2004 (France) $28.99 - This is a superb wine – and just shows what an outstanding winemaker can do – even from a so-called “humble” area (Entre-deux-Mers)! We love it! As a point of information, the legendary Chateau Petrus is made on land that used to be considered “humble.” Aromas of cassis, smoke, licorice, cedar and oak. Medium-to-full-bodied. Rich. Velvety. Lush, long finish. This is a beautifully flavored Bordeaux! Herbal, dark berry and smoky flavors. 70% Merlot & 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Food pairing - Goes well with grilled meat, stews and roasts. This will drink well for 4-7 years.

Domaine André Brunel Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Grenache 2005 (Rhone, France) $9.99 – A definite “star” for a daily “go to red!” This is an awesome wine from a winemaker whose Châteauneuf-de-Pape commands big dollars. André Brunel is one of the world’s truly great winemakers. His wines are legendary, award-winning, powerful wines. Aromas of herbs (rosemary, sage, Provence), peppery spice, black cherries, plums, blackberries. Deep, dark clear color. Juicy, big, spicy mid-palate. Soft, chewy tannins at finish. Unfiltered. Hand-picked & destemmed. 90% Grenache & 10% Carignan. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing - Great wine with grilled or roasted meats, hearty stews, etc. Decant to open up more rapidly.

Domaine Gourt de Mautens Cotes du Rhône Villages Rasteau 2005 (France) $99.99 – This is a bottle you will want to age and cellar. This is not for drinking now! You will do yourself and the wine a disservice! It needs at least 6-7 years right now and could go 15-20 years and still be peaking! This is considered an “insider’s wine” – generally, you have to know someone to get this. Not much is made – 1,700 cases. Little is imported to the United States – 100 cases. 20 cases are in Maine. Less than that are available today! Winemaker Jérôme Bressy farms just over 20 acres of vines. He is fanatical about grape quality. He farms organically. While his old-vine vineyard naturally has low yields, he pushes them lower by “green harvesting” to increase the quality even more. This is one of the best estates in Rasteau. The REVUE DU VIN DE FRANC, France’s famous wine magazine, enthusiastically called Bressy “the new star of the Rhône!” In the “Bible” of French wine writing, Le Grand Guide des Vins de France, famed French wine reviewers Bettane & Desseauve call Gourt de Mautens, “one of the best of the French wineries,” and they put it at the same level as the famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries Chateau Rayas and Domaine Henri Bonneau – yes, they are equating a Rasteau with legendary Châteaneuf-du-Pape wineries! Jerome Bressy – in his own words:

"I’m willing to make the best possible wine and to equal the great wine makers. To do so, I’m always trying new things and I am always questioning myself. I’m not one to make the same wine year after year, there must be an evolution and sometime even a revolution! That’s why one could be surprised tasting the difference between two vintage years of Gourt de Mautens. Nothing’s for granted on the path to perfection, I keep on learning and expressing new things. Each year I try to make the best of what the vine has to offer. But it all depends on nature, on the earth, the weather, and I try to feel that and do the best out from that osmosis.”

The wine:

Beautiful blackberry and black cherry fruits, licorice and spice. Notes of earth, chocolate, pepper…..a little of that Old World dusty rusticity. Right now, this wine is tannic and MASSIVE! You are going to have to think about this one and WONDER what it will taste like in 6-15 years! Unfiltered. Unfined. Natural yeast. Aged 12 months in demi-muids (300 liter barrels) and foudres (larger barrels); then 18 months in concrete vats (these are lined so you aren’t tasting cement). The 2005 harvest was bottled in June 2008 (30 months of aging). 1,700 cases made. This wine is made for LONG-TERM cellaring and aging. It develops very slowly and 2005 was an EXCEPTIONAL vintage. Blend of 70% old-vine Grenache with the rest Syrah, Mourvedre and Carignan. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92+ points (tasted from the barrel)

Whites

Chateau de Chamboureau Savennières Cuvée d’Avant 2004 (Loire, France) $23.99 - Delicious! This is just a flat out wonderful wine –A UNIQUE wine! One of the best white wines, or any wine, under $25! Full-bodied. Smooth & mouth-filling. Not a sweet wine nor is it extremely dry. A rare white wine that really evolves after being opened for a day or so. Aromas of honeysuckle, green apple & crème brulée. Richly flavored with a stony mineral quality. Well-balanced acidity. 100% Chenin Blanc. From a tiny Loire Valley area. Food pairing - Great wine w/ shellfish in cream sauces. 1,200 cases made. Will age well through 2012.

Domaine Saumaize Michelin St. Veran “Les Creches” 2006 (France) $32.99 – if you ever wanted to know what “stirring of the lees” means, look at this picture! (4th picture down). You’ll also see some gorgeous photos of Burgundy and an awesome cliff! This small estate has about 45 acres of Chardonnay and 1 acre of Gamay (for Mâcon Rouge). All of the wines are 100% barrel fermented (10-25% new barrels per vintage) and go through 100% malolactic fermentation. They make about 3,800 cases of wine per vintage. The family estate is owned by Roger and Christine Saumaize-Michelin. They built new cellars in 1991. Anthony Dias Blue, in his “Pocket Guide to Wine 2006,” says of Roger Saumaize, “(he’s a)….meticulous vineyard manager and skilled winemaker, makes Mâcon whites…..dense and rich for the region, they behave more like great Côte de Beaunes.” Elegant and fruity nose with great minerality. Round, rich, fresh and well balanced. You notice this wine is aged on its lees. Aromas of apples, pears, baking spices and citrus peel. The apple notes pick up in the flavors. From vines in Davaye and planted in limestone-based soils. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 89 points

Serge LaLoue Sancerre 2007 (Loire, France) $24.99 - Wonderful Sancerre! Citrus aromas with that great smell of freshly mown grass. Rich wine. Limestone minerality that comes from the soil in Sancerre. Lemon, peach & melon flavors. Juicy. Hints of earth & herbs. Good acidity. Long finish. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation. Organic farming. Family-owned and run winery in the Loire Valley. Food pairing - GREAT with seafood and fresh goat cheese!

Germany

Reds

Von Schleinitz Pinot Noir 2006 (Germany) $19.99
- Yes! A German Pinot Noir! This is light, earthy with nice minerality and acidity. This is an AUSTERE wine and I mean that as a compliment! If you are looking for a big fruit bomb of a Pinot Noir, this is not for you! If you are looking for a more nuanced, layered wine with lots of subtleties......try this! Definitely a food wine. I was at a luncheon with Connie Von Schleinitz this winter at Portland’s Bresca (great restaurant, BTW), and we had this with duck breast, risotto and mushrooms! WOW! Food pairing – pork tenderloin, duck, dark meat chicken, grilled salmon….

Whites

Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Riesling Kabinett Mosel Wehlener Sonnenuhr 2007 (Germany) $28.99 - From the famous "Sundial" vineyard facing the town of Wehlen across the Moselle. This vineyard produces full-bodied wines! The vineyard is 165 acres, but it is divided into a large number of individual parcels. This vineyard led to the citizens of Wehlen being well-off. In the early 20th century they built a suspension bridge across the river - that bridge and the sundial are historical landmarks. Plump, yet well-defined by its lively structure. Peach, lime and mineral notes are accented by strawberry and vanilla in this complex white. Fine length. Drink now through 2022. 700 cases made. Wine Spectator, 90 points

Joseph Leitz “Dragonstone” Rheingau Rudesheimer Drachestein Riesling 2007 (Germany) $19.99 - This is delicious! We love it! Refreshing. Beautiful honey & vanilla aromas. Touch of white flowers (frescia), fennel & caraway seeds. Sniff around & you'll pick up minerals, green apples & pears. Feels great in your mouth! Sweetness in the middle that is balanced with crisp, vibrant acidity – which means the wine is delicious and refreshing! Clean, crisp finish due to the acidity. Food pairing - food friendly! Spicy Asian food, ham, game, smoked fish, shellfish, poultry, etc. This is an IDEAL wine for Thanksgiving Dinner! Drinks well on its own! David Schildknecht, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 90 points; “…the best Riesling value in the world”

Italy

Reds

Allegrini Veronese IGT Villa Giona 2003 (Italy) $89.99
- I love this winery and this wine! Full-bodied red. Lots of stewed black fruit – plums, blackberries, cherries. Provencal herbs, vanilla, baking spices, leather and dark chocolate. Big, rich wine with lots of layers and complexity. Silky texture. Long finish. Blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot & 10% Syrah. Aged 18 months in medium toast oak barriques & 10 months in bottle before release. Food pairing – roasted and grilled meats, stews, etc. Wine Spectator, 89 points

Felsina Chianti Classico 2006 (Italy) $21.99 - Superb Chianti – one you will want to age for 1-2 years to really enjoy! Rich wine loaded with ripe red fruit. Aromas & flavors of lavender, cherries, blackberries, raspberries & notes of cooked fruit. The tannins are still “grippy.” Good acidity. Medium-to-full body. Finishes long with tangy dried cherries! Organic farming. When to drink – 2009-2016! Food pairing - Most any food you'd call Tuscan or Provencal! Lamb, steak, mushrooms, mushroom lasagna, etc. Wine Spectator, 90 points, #51 Top 100 Wines 2008, “Smart Buy”

Librandi Gravello Val di Neto 2003 (Italy) $34.99 - One of Italy's truly great wines! This is a "Super Calabrian." It's 60% Gaglioppo and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged for 3 years; one of those years is in Allier oak barriques. Aromas and flavors of coffee, cassis, cherries. This is kinda "stewed fruit" jammy, not sweet jammy......velvety, rich wine with a smooth and long finish. The tannins are soft. Great wine! Food pairing - Pastas with meat sauces, Piave Vecchio, Aged Provolone, veal, beef, lamb, meat stews, roasted or grilled meats! International Wine Review, 90 points

Giuseppe Lonardi Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2003 (Italy) $69.99
- This is freakishly good! This is one big, bold and powerful wine! Aromas and flavors dried dark fruit, chocolate, cedar and baking spices. Huge and voluptuous in the mouth. Just a massive mouthful of wine! As big as it is, this is well-balanced! 100% Valpolicella (75% Corvina, 20% Rondinella & 5% Molinara). Aged 24 months in 100% 2nd use oak barrels (50% barrique and 50% tonneaux). Aged 6-10 months in the bottle. 750 cases made. This will age for 30 years! Food pairing - lamb or steak. This is one wine I'd rather have after dinner with a good friends & just linger over!

Whites

Alois Lageder Pinot Grigio 2007 (Italy) $17.99
- Excellent wine from a great family producer. Aromas that show flowers and some spices, including a little pepper. Nice green apple and pineapple fruit in the flavors. Nice weight and even a creamy feel. Dry with a crisp finish. Family-owned winery. Aged on lees for 4 months. Organic, sustainable agriculture. Food pairing – fish, shellfish, poultry, whites meats, mushrooms & patés. Wine Spectator, “Top 20 Winery for Great Value White Wines!”

Cascina Ca’ Rossa Roero DOCG Arneis “Merica” 2006 (Italy) $19.99 - 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.

Conti di Buscareto Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2007 (Italy) $15.99 - Delicious white from the Marche in eastern Italy! Wonderful floral, mineral and anise aromas. Medium-bodied. Light citrus, saline, anise and mineral flavors. Pretty wine! Crisp, bright and fresh. Clean finish! 100% Verdicchio. Stainless steel fermentation. Low-yield vineyards producing great grapes. Organic farming. Food pairing – grilled or roasted fish, seafood cream sauces, artichokes, asparagus, prosciutto….most anything Italian!

Mastroberardino Greco di Tufo 2007 (Italy) $27.99 - Campania’s most renowned winery and the winery that put this part of Italy on the world map with wines such as Aglianico, Falanghina and Greco! Aromas & flavors of apricots, peaches, pears and it follows through with strong minerals (remember, this is near Pompeii & Vesuvius). This minerality distinguishes the wines of Campania! Zippy, zesty, refreshing acidity! The finish is long and rich! Greco di Tufo is the grape; the grapes are from the Montefusco vineyard. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - grilled fish, seafood, chicken salad, lobster, lobster roll, shellfish, etc.

Lebanon

Reds

Chateau Musar 1997 (Lebanon) $54.99
- My father’s favorite wine (and the wine the Wall Street Journal calls the “greatest wine value in the world”)! You must try Musar! The legendary red wine of Lebanon. Many people consider this the best wine in the world – and it is truly outstanding and UNIQUE (this wine, given Lebanon’s civil war is a great story – just ask Eric). The passion and love that go into making this wine are just beyond description! It's a rich, warm deep cherry red with a smoky nose full of spice & fruits. On the palate there are mixed berry fruits - cherries, red currants, pomegranates & spices like cinnamon & nutmeg. The fruit is ripe & sweet with a smoky edge. Good acidity with good tannin levels results in a wine of classic structure with long aging potential. Simply put, what it is ELEGANT. Grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon/Cinsault. The 1997 vintage is highly thought of as the best ever - a fresh spring with no hail or frost & a mild summer & sunny September created perfect conditions, resulting in a wine Serge Hochar describes as 'very very beautiful'. Meant for aging and a GREAT gift for a wine lover! If you are a Musar lover and want other vintages, please ask…we can get most vintages going back decades.

New Zealand

Whites

Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (New Zealand) $19.99
- One of the best New Zealand wines! Big, pleasing, aromatic nose – lime, tropical fruit, grass, limestone, hot pepper & mint. Great grapefruit, pear and tropical fruit flavors. Long, full finish with a touch of minerals and fruit. Crisp, bracing acidity. Certified sustainable and organic. Biodynamic farming. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged 4 months on lees – this adds richness and softness to the wine. Food pairing - Great with seafood, shellfish, lighter meats, etc! Wine Spectator, “Smart Buy,” 90 points

South Africa

Reds

Boekenhoutskloof “The Wolftrap” Syrah-Mourvèdre-Viognier 2007 (South Africa) $11.99
– This is a red wine to have around ALL the time! A fantastic wine and a great value! Aromas of red berries, bacon, spice, plums & vanilla. Flavors of mocha, dark & red berries, vanilla and plums. Nice earthiness and soft tannins. 60% Syrah, 39% Mourvèdre & 1% Viognier. Aged up to 8 months in 90% French oak. Pays tribute to the early pioneers on the Cape who built a "wolftrap." Alas, no wolf, real or mythical, has ever been seen here! Food pairing – A+ everyday wine! Tops with roasted & grilled meats, stews & hearty vegetarian dishes!

Whites

Warwick Estate “Professor Black” Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (S. Africa) $21.99
- This is just a wonderful wine! It’s one of my favorites! Pale, light color. Aromas of pear, lime, gooseberry and herbs. Dense and rich in the mouth. Dry. Flavors of pink grapefruit, lime and spices. Finishes crisply with nice mineral notes. Fermented in stainless steel, the wine is clean, crisp and fresh. Food pairing - Great with fresh goat cheeses, salads made with goat cheese, grilled fish, shellfish and lobster. Wine Spectator, 90 points

Spain

Alvaro Palacios “Les Terrasses” Priorat 2005 (Spain) $37.99
- A great value from Priorat and a powerful, rich smooth wine! Deep ruby/purple color. Silky soft texture. Aromas and flavors of black cherries, minerals, herbs, licorice, dark berries, dark chocolate and cooked dark fruit. Smooth, silky texture. Round & juicy. Long finish. 60% Grenache, 30% Carignan, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 12 months in French & American oak. Outstanding vintage in Priorat. Age through 2017. Food pairing – steak, lamb, mushroom dishes, etc. I love just drinking this! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93 points

Muga Rioja Reserva 2004 (Spain) $27.99 - This is an awesome Rioja! Aromas of crushed stones, flowers, pencil lead, black cherries and more! Flavors of cherries, mint, minerals, toast, vanilla and blackberries! The tannins are firm, but well-integrated. The wine has a really nice texture. 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 10% Mazuelo & Graciano. 6 months in traditional Riojan oak vats, 2 years in small barrels & 12 months bottle aging. Food pairing - Excellent with grilled meats & aged cheeses (Piave Vecchio). Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93 points; Wine Spectator, 91 points, #65 Top 100 Wines 2008

Olivares Altos de la Hoya Monastrell Ungrafted Old Vines 2007 (Spain) $11.99 - We just tasted this…it’s marvelous! We love it! Dark, deep purple color. Great aromas of black cherries, blackberries, a touch of smokiness and rich, dark coffee. Lots of depth in the flavors – dark berries, mocha, touch of peppery spice. Well-balanced acidity. Nice tannins on the finish. Big and bold at the finish…medium-to-full-bodied. Food pairing - Excellent choice with grilled meats, rich stews, and other flavorful food. Drinks well on its own! Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Whites

Bodegas Pedro Escudor Fuente Elvira Verdejo 2007 (Spain) $14.99
- Delicious! This is a perfectly bright, fresh and crisp wine. Great value! Aromas of grapefruit and herbs such as chives and freshly mown grass. Flavors of tangerines & tropical fruits. Well-balanced & integrated acidity. Finishes crisp, clean & dry. Rueda is best known for producing dry wines from the Verdejo grape. This is a great example! Single vineyard with vines that average 40 years. Think of this as a Spanish Sauvignon Blanc! Food pairing – oysters, sharp goat cheeses, green olives, lighter poultry dishes, smoked fish, etc.

Licia Albarino Estate 2007 (Spain) $17.99 – This is delicious! Made from Spain’s best and most distinctive and treasured white grape – Albarino. This is from the northwestern corner of Spain – Galicia. The “green” part of Spain. The coast is much like Maine’s – interwoven with bays and estuaries. Great seafood area! If you don’t know Albarino, you should and will! Great value in an Albarino! Flavors and aromas of green apples, minerals and honey. Hints of lemon on the finish. 100% Albarino. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairings – shellfish, seafood, chicken.

United States

California

Reds

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards “Eloge” Napa Valley 2006 (California) $79.99
- Excellent….no…SUPERB blend from one of Napa’s “cult” wineries! Aromas of rich new saddle leather, black & red currants, mint & baking spices. Full-bodied. Really big middle. Flavors of dark chocolate, bing cherries, baking spices and subtle oak. Well-integrated tannins. Medium length on the finish! 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot & 3% Petite Verdot. Aged 21 months in French oak barriques. 800 cases made. When to drink – now – 2012. Food pairing – Drinks well without food. Pair with a steak, lamb, beef, etc.

Bennett Family Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (CA) $29.99 - We love this! Each time we taste this, it wows us! Rich aromas of currants, cassis, plums, cedar, vanilla and spice. Flavors of dark berries, rosemary, ripe fruit, plums, toast and vanilla. Soft, well-integrated tannins. Good length on the finish. Aged 18 months in French oak barrels (60% new). 12,300 cases made. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2015. Food pairing - Great choice for a steak or lamb meal. Drinks well with or without food.

Easton Amador County Zinfandel 2006 (California) $17.99 - The perfect mouthful of Zinfandel - we love it! Aromas of stewed dark and red berries & spices. This has a big, rich feel in the mouth! It's juicy. Has a creamy texture due to 10 months aging in French oak barrels. Well-balanced. A tiny family owned winery. The Wine Spectator & Hugh Johnson rate it the Sierra Foothills’ best winery! Sustainable agricultural. Solar-powered winery. Drinks well now & will age well for a couple of years. Food pairing - grilled meats, foods with blue cheese, roasted meats, really good pizza. Drinks great on its own!

Spann Vineyards Mo Zin 2006 (California) $19.99 - One of my favorite wines! Full-bodied, rich, well-balanced. Aromas of raspberries, red berries, roses and blackberries. Dark berry and plum flavors with good pepper spice. Mouth-filling texture. Zinfandel, Mourvèdre, Petite Sirah & Syrah blend - Mourvèdre adds aromas of jasmine and rose petals and a meaty/beefy taste to the raspberry/blackberry qualities of Zinfandel. The Petite Sirah adds depth and robustness. Organically farmed. Food pairing - Goes well with tuna, lamb chops, and tomato-sauce dishes….not to mention a big steak or sitting in front of a fire!

Vines on the Marycrest Paso Robles “Heart of Gold” 2005 (CA) $23.99 - This wine is available in FOUR states! Without a doubt, one thing I like about the Marycrest wines are the rich aromas from the dominant grape! Grenache dominates the blend, so we get red berries in the nose - lots of strawberries & raspberries in the aromas and flavors. In the flavors the dark earth of the Syrah and the leather from the Mourvedre kick in......Blend of 67% Grenache, 22% Syrah, 11% Mourvedre. The Grenache vines are at least 50+ years-old. 400 cases made. Food pairing – lamb, chicken, turkey, salmon, etc....

White Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 (CA) $29.99 - This is a “knock-dead” beautiful wine from one of our favorite little Napa Valley wineries. Aromas of black currants, vanilla, coffee, red berries & a touch of dusty, earth. Rich, concentrated flavors – currants, dark berries, mocha, anise & coffee. Long, tasty finish. Blend of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon & 7% Merlot. Aged 20 months in a mix of French & American oak (60% new & 40% old). 6,546 cases made. Food pairing - Try this on its own or with steak, lamb chops, a stew, etc. Wine & Spirits, 90 points

Whites

Crinella Vineyards Russian River Valley, Marino Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2005 (CA) $19.99
- This is EXCELLENT! Aromas and flavors of lemon grass, hay, tropical fruit and mint. Soft feel at the start. Wonderful acidity. Crisp, LONG finish! Elegant wine with some oomph! 100% cold-fermented in stainless steel. Aged for 3 months “sur-lie” adding a soft feel. 814 cases made. 50% of the grapes from the same clone as grown at Chateau d’Yquem. Sustainably farmed. Food pairing – An ultimate seafood wine! Also lighter chicken dishes, etc.

Ferrari-Carano “Tre Terre” Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2005 (CA) $34.99 - Made exclusively from Russian River grapes! Delicious, lush, smooth Chardonnay that show little oak. Aromas of green apples, pears, apples, figs & baking spices. The aromas carry through to the flavors. The wine is aged “sur lies” for about 15 months in mostly older oak barrels and it goes through malolactic fermentation, so it is lush and creamy. 7,500 cases made. Food pairing – seafood, poultry, dishes with Provencal herbs. Creamy pasta dishes. Wine Spectator, 90 points

Stuhlmuller Alexander Valley Chardonnay 2006 (CA) $26.99 - We love this Chardonnay. You will not find a better Chardonnay at this price! Rich & ripe aromas - pears, apples, figs, lemons, nutmeg & other baking spices, roasted hazelnuts. Flavors of pears, lemon & baking spices. Nice minerality. Well-balanced. Not "oaky," not too "buttery," just right! This "rocks!” 100% barrel-fermented “sur lies for 8 months in Vosges & Allier barrels (only 15% new oak). 80% Gauer Upper Barn Clone, one of California’s most sought-after Chardonnay grapes. Age through 2011. 4,618 cases made. Food pairing - Great with lobster, salmon, tuna, chicken and on its own! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

White Oak Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (California) $16.99
- This is AWESOME! A tasty, yummy, aromatic wine from the Russian River Valley. Aromas and flavors of nectarines, grapefruit and melons. Just a touch of vanilla on the finish which is clean and crisp with hints of citrus. 100% cold-fermented in stainless steel. Aged “sur-lie” to add complexity & roundness. 5,838 cases made. This is White Oak’s Flagship wine! Food pairing - Great choice with shellfish, lobster, fish, lighter chicken dishes, etc.

Oregon

Reds

Foris Rogue Valley Pinot Noir 2007 (Oregon) $19.99
- We called the 2004, “THE BEST Pinot Noir under $20 we’ve ever tasted!” The 2005 was a different blend. The 2007 is back to the same blend as the 2004. This still earns a “WOO-HOO, 4 STAR!” Aromas of perfectly ripe strawberries & raspberries. Subtle red & dark berry flavors. “Woodiness” that resembles a rosemary bush. Spicy notes on the mid-palate. Crisp acidity. Silky, soft & smooth in the mouth. Long, lingering finish. Food pairing – Drinks well on its own! Pair with grilled or roasted meats and veggies! Excellent with salmon! Wall Street Journal, “Best Buy”

R. Stuart & Co. Autograph Pinot Noir 2006 (Oregon) $39.99
- The wine Rob Stuart calls his best! Intensely flavored and yet, still restrained. Aromas & flavors of black cherry, chocolate, dusty earth, violets, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, lavender, ginger & baking spices. Grapes blended from 5 vineyards – Daffodil Hill, Temperance Hill, Elkhorn Ridge, Goldschmidt and Weber. Unfiltered and unfined. Aged 10 months in new to 5th use oak barrels. When to drink – now through 2012. Food pairing – salmon, duck, tuna, lamb, beef, etc. Decant for an hour.

Whites

Benton Lane Pinot Gris Williamette Valley 2007 (OR) $18.99
- FABULOUS - one of Oregon’s best! Aromas of pears, apples, minerals, vanilla & nutmeg. Flavors of pears, minerals and Granny Smith apples. Refreshing. Rich. Tasty. Long, clean, pleasing finish. Certified organic, sustainable agriculture. Certified Salmon Safe winery – drink their wines & help preserve the Pacific Northwest salmon fishery! 2,912 cases made. Family-owned. Food pairing - shellfish, creamy pasta dishes, light appetizers, spicier foods & sipping on its own. Food & Wine, “Best Buy”

Washington

Reds

Pitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Washington) $18.99
- This is a KILLER, SPECTACULAR wine and a GREAT value! This is a big & rich Columbia Valley Cabernet that has good, dry structure underlying the entire wine! Aromas of thick dark fruits (stewed cherries, plums & raisins), subtle hint of smokiness, dark chocolate, leather and spice. Flavors that mirror the aromas - this is superripe in the mouth - big flavors - ripe, integrated, beautifully mellow tannins at the finish. Food pairing - a nice roast, coq au vin, pork tenderloin, ripe, harder cheeses such as Piave Vecchio.

Whites

Waterbrook Columbia Valley Chardonnay 2006 (Washington) $14.99 - This is a top-notch Chardonnay! Aromas of apples, pears and flowers. Flavors of apples, pears and butterscotch. Faint hints of toast, vanilla and spice. Has a softness to it at the start and a crisp, clean finish. 100% Chardonnay. Aged 10 months in 24% new French and American oak. 47% in 1-3 year oak. 29% in stainless steel. 30% malolactic fermentation. 12,951 cases made. Food pairing – poultry, grilled salmon and tuna, creamy pasta dishes, etc. Wine Spectator, 89 points, “Best Value,” 5 years running

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