April 30, 2010

May Wines of the Month

May Wines of the Month

We’re headed to Italy!
If you are wondering about the Wines of the Month Club, please click here!

Tier One
The White

Villa Antinori Toscano Bianco 2008 (Italy) $14.99 – Antinori has been making wine since 1385.

This is a PERFECT summer wine! It’s crisp, clean and a great price! Aromas of roses, grass and tropical fruit. Flavors of melons, tropical fruit, apples and pears. Crisp acidity at the finish. Blend of 70% Trebbiano and Malvasia and 30% Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio. Stainless steel fermentation.

Food pairing – grilled fish or chicken, lighter dishes, salads.

The Red

Tormaresca Nèprica 2008 (Puglia, Italy) $12.99 – Puglia is the “heel” of the boot, so we are in the extreme southern part of Italy. Tormaresca means “tower by the sea.” 40% Negroamaro, 30% Primitivo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. http://www.tormaresca.it/

Great drinking wine for everyday! This is smooth, rich and loaded with flavor! This packs aromas and flavors of plums, raspberries, black cherries and cola. It has hints of licorice and pepper. Long finish!

Food pairing – spicy pasta dishes. Wine Enthusiast, 90 points, “Best Buy”
Tier Two
The White

Castello della Sala Bramìto Chardonnay 2008 (Umbria, Italy) $21.99
– This is a pale golden color. Aromas of apples, pears, vanilla and toast. This is spicy at the front of your mouth. The flavors are apricots, peaches with a little toasty vanilla. The wine is a soft texture.

Castello della Sala is a 14th century castle. It sits on a hilltop in the Umbrian Apennines near the Tuscan border. It’s a beautiful example of medieval military architecture. The micro-climate in this part of Umbria makes it an ideal location for growing cooler-weather grapes, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The grapes are destemmed. The wine is aged in French oak (Alliers and Troncais) barriques for 5 months, but these are 2nd and 3rd use barrels so the wine is not “oaky.” Some of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, so this has some buttery/creamy characteristics.

The Red

La Braccesca Achelo Syrah 2006 (Tuscany, Italy) $19.99 – on the label is the bull-like face of Achelous, who fought with Hercules. Hercules pulled off one of Achelous’s horns and it was named Cornucopia and it became a symbol of wealth, prosperity and honor.

The wine is a purple color that is typical of Syrah. This has aromas of red berries, white plums, flowers, tar and black pepper. The flavors are dominated with concentrated black fruit. The texture is soft and smooth.

Antinori planted “international” grape varietals such as Syrah and Merlot in the Cortona D.O.C. in the area. Previously, growers produced a lot of mediocre white wine from the local vineyards. Antinori and others saw the opportunity to grow excellent red grapes here and in 1999 their hard work was rewarded when Cortona achieved D.O.C. status. Italian Wine Report, 91 points

Food pairing – steak, beef, lamb.

Tier Three

The White

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2007 (Piedmont, Italy) $38.99
– We are in Piedmont, in Northwestern Italy. Bruno Giacosa is a 3rd generation winemaker in the Langhe part of Piedmont. He is widely respected as both a grape grower and a winemaker.

This is a refreshing wine that is rich, lush and full-bodied. Aromas and flavors of almonds, apricots, peaches, apples and flowers. Roero is a subregion within the Langhe. Arneis is the grape and it is the noble white grape from this area. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing – shellfish, seafood, lobster. Lighter pasta dishes. Decanter, 3 Stars; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

The Red

La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 (Tuscany, Italy) $26.99
– this is from Southern Tuscany. The Antinori family began investing in this area in the early ‘90’s and helped Vino Nobile di Montepulciano start its "Second Renaissance". However Montepulciano wines were famous long before then: the first historical document to mention Montepulciano wines dates back to 789 and they were much appreciated in Medici times, when Montepulciano was an ally of Florence against Siena.

This is a medium-bodied, soft, ripe wine with lots of dark cherries, earthiness, tobacco and chocolate/mocha notes. Hints of flowers and minerals in the aromas. It has a long finish. Dusty tannins.

Aged in oak barrels of many sizes for 12 months. Bottle aged for 12 months before the winery released the wine. Blend of 90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Merlot. Prugnolo Gentile is the local name for Sangiovese Grosso. Sangiovese translates “blood of Jove” (Jupiter).

April 26, 2010

Domaine de la Citadelle Wines

Domaine de la Citadelle Wines

  • Family-owned winery in the Côtes du Luberon in Southern France
  • The village of Ménerbes is one of the most beautiful in all of France
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Rhône-style wines at great prices!
  • Domaine de la Citadelle is the winery. Great website!

The Wines


Domaine de la Citadelle Le Chataignier "Blanc" Côtes du Luberon 2008 (France) $15.99 - Wonderful white from Southern France! Light-to-medium bodied. This has a soft, lush texture that's almost creamy. Flavors of pears and tropical fruit. Clean finish. 80% Clairette, 10% Grenache, 5% Ugni Blanc and 5% Rolle (Vermentino). Hand-harvested and sorted grapes. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Aged "sur lee" with regular stirring - this adds weight and softens the texture. 1,000 cases made. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - Perfect with lighter meals or as a cocktail! Drinks well without food!

Domaine de la Citadelle Côtes du Luberon Les Artèmes Blanc 2008 (France) $26.99 - Delicate, elegant rich blend! This is a GREAT vintage in the south of France! This is both lushly rich and delicate! Aromas of flowers, herbal tea, almonds, green apples & peaches. Flavors of green apples, honey, almonds and peaches. Bracing acidity. Medium bodied. Blend of 20% Roussane, 30% Grenache Blanc, 30% Clairette, 10% Rolle (Vermentino) and 10% Marsanne. Hand-harvested. Fermented in stainless steel. Matured in tank on the lees. The Marsanne is new to the blend this year. 833 cases made. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - seafood, salty dishes, white meats.


Domaine de la Citadelle Le Chataignier Rosé Côtes du Lubéron 2009 (France) $15.99 - This is a light, fruity, tasty rosé! Great aromas and flavors of peaches, raspberries and strawberries. Fruity and dry! Blend of 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre, 15% Cinsault and 5% Bourboulenc. Stainless steel fermentation. 1,667 cases. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - grilled chicken, salmon, Thai food, etc.


Domaine de la Citadelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (France) $17.99 - I've had customers go GA-GA over this wine because they've been to the winery and are shocked I could get this! They should be GA-GA - it's delicious! The wine sees no oak, so it is bright and fresh. Drink it now! Cabernet is an unusual grape from this area; so this is not an AOC wine....it can't be! The growing area is cool at night and hot during the day. Yves Rousset-Rouard resurrected this estate and turned it into one of the best in the Côtes du Luberon! 3,000 cases made per year. Sustainable agriculture. Deux Etoiles dans le Guide Hachette 2007 (2 Stars)

Domaine de la Citadelle Le Chataignier "Rouge" Côtes du Lubéron 2007 (France) $15.99 - Great tasting and a huge value! Medium-to-full bodied. Crisp with lots of berry fruit! This has a little "drying" minerality midway. Finishes clean and crisp. 30% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 30% Carignan and 10% Mourvedre. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. The Carignan undergoes carbonic maceration (the grapes are thrown into the vat in whole clusters and the fermentation starts inside each individual grape) - this adds more fruit flavor to the Carignan. 4,583 cases made. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - spicy dishes, grilled chicken or vegetables, lasagna, pasta! Drinks well without food!

Domaine de la Citadelle Côtes du Luberon Les Artèmes Rouge 2005 (France) $26.99 - This is smooth and has lots of layers! Big, rich aromas. Rich, ripe fruit with a core of raspberries and black cherries and Provencal herbs. Lots of dark fruit in the flavors and notes of anise. Medium bodied. Smooth finish with ripe tannins. Blend of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Carignan. Hand-harvested. Aged in stainless steel and 20% in oak barrels that are 4th and 5th use. 3,333 cases made. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing - meats, game. You can age this for 8-10 years.

Domaine de la Citadelle Gouverneur Saint Auban 2005 (France) $39.99 - Similar to an outstanding Châteauneuf-du-Pape at a fraction of the price! Big, rich wine! Flavors and aromas of dark berries and black plums. Baking spices. Some peppery spice. Tannins are now well-integrated with the wine! Grapes are manually harvested. From the oldest vines on the property. 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah. 100% destemmed. Barrel aged for 12 months, 15% new oak barrels...so this isn't "oaky." Sustainable agriculture. 1,250 cases made. Food pairing - grilled lamb, leg of lamb, meats with rosemary. Game such as venison or birds.

That's the line-up. We hope to see you Wednesday!

If you want any of these wines and won't be here Wednesday, just let us know via phone or e-mail!

April 14, 2010

April Wine Tasting

April Wine Tasting
Friday, April 16th

10% off on all tasting wines!

Art’s table (National Distributors)


Hedges CMS White Blend 2007 (Washington) Reg. $13.99, Sale $12.99 – This is wonderfully crisp, bright & fresh. Each year, this is just a great value! Aromas of pears, freshly mown grass, apples, citrus, honey, figs, minerals, hints of green bananas. Flavors of ripe pears, green apples, lemon grass, minerals, white pepper & white peaches. This has a really nice texture and feel - it starts soft & round, then finishes crisp & clean. Long pleasant finish. 64% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Chardonnay & 1% Marsanne. Stainless steel fermentation. Biodynamic agriculture (think sustainable, organic holistic farming). Food pairing - great with seafood and shellfish. Drinks well without food, but this really shines with food.

Yes, you are reading this next part correctly. We have 3 Chardonnays in a row. This is a great opportunity to taste 3 distinctly different wines made from the same grape!

Joseph Drouhin Saint-Véran 2008 (France) $17.99 – A wine lover traveling through Burgundy would expect, after Pouilly-Fuissé, to be in the Beaujolais area. Not so fast! The lovely village of Saint-Vérand (note the different spelling), wedged between these two areas, is half hidden among the hills. Established by decree on January 6, 1971, it is the latest appellation in the Mâconnais region. Its Jurassic chalky soil, a continuation of the limestone strata found in the Côte d'Or, is ideal for growing Chardonnay grapes. Saint-Véran is very close stylistically to Pouilly-Fuissé, with its golden-green hue, its intense fruity, flowery nose and its refreshing flavors. It can be enjoyed very young, two-to-three months after bottling. Yet, give it one or two more years to fully appreciate its complexity. Hand-harvested. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and is bottled before summer to capture the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. Food pairing - hors d'oeuvres, delicately flavored charcuterie, oysters, mussels and any other shellfish.

Liberty School Chardonnay 2007 (California) Reg. $12.99, Sale $11.99 – This has classic green apple aromas with citrus and a little toast. Flavors of citrus, pineapple, pears and subtle oak. The Viognier adds a little floral note to the wine. Clean, crisp finish. 95% Chardonnay and 5% Viognier. 75% of the wine is barrel aged in French and American oak, but only 10% of the barrels are new, so the “oak” is subtle. This sees no malolactic fermentation to preserve the fruit characteristics of the wine.

Ferrari-Carano Tré Terre Chardonnay 2007 (California) Reg. $34.99, Sale $22.99 - 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. 6,742 cases made. Food pairing – seafood, poultry, dishes with Provencal herbs. Creamy pasta dishes.


Joseph Drouhin La Foret Rouge Pinot Noir 2006 (Burgundy, France) $16.99
– Excellent bottle and a great value! Aromas of crushed red berries. Flavors of fresh red berries and a touch of earth. Light and elegant tannins. Fermented in a mix of oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Destemmed grapes. Sustainable Farming. Food pairings – poultry, au gratin dishes, soft cheeses.

Cloudline Cellars Pinot Noir 2007 (Oregon) $21.99 – This is a new venture for Dreyfus, Ashby – after being an importer for decades and helping Domaine Drouhin build its Oregon property, Dreyfus, Ashby is making wine. Véronique Drouhin-Boss is the consulting winemaker. Cloudline is deep ruby red, a sign of its classic Pinot Noir character. On the palate, the wine is soft and round, with a delightful core of cherries and red fruits. The structure is perhaps even a bit better than the much-admired 2005 Cloudline, and the overall fruit-forwardness makes for a wine that is thoroughly enjoyable now and for the next several years to come.

Miguel Torres Santa Digna Carmenère 2008 (Chile) $12.99 – This has a beautiful cherry color and aromas of blackberries & cassis with balsamic & eucalyptus notes. This is an elegant wine with flavors of dark fruit, leather, licorice, black pepper and baking spices. The oak aging adds vanilla and a pleasing toasty characteristic to it. This winery is owned by the Torres Winery from Spain, whose wines we are tasting tonight. Food pairing - Perfect with beef and veal, as well as with spicy chicken stew. It rises well to every challenge, from fish (tasty chowder) to spicy sauces.

Hedges CMS Red Blend 2008 (Columbia Valley, Washington) Reg. $13.99, Sale $12.99 - We love this blend – it’s a great value from Washington State. Rich black raspberry & currant aromas and flavors. Tasty. Notes of vanilla, hazelnuts, baking spices & a hint of licorice…medium-bodied….firm, chewy tannins, yet this is soft, fruit-forward & easy-to-drink. Nice, long finish. Blend - 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot & 6% Syrah. Aged 12 months in French & American oak. This can age for 5-7 years, but it is drinking nicely right now! Biodynamic agriculture (think sustainable, organic holistic farming). Wine Enthusiast, 89 points, “Best Buy” (12-time “Best Buy”)

Bruce’s table
Bruce Cole works for the importer, Dreyfus, Ashby & Co.


Torres Sangre de Toro White 2008 (Catalonia, Spain) $9.99
– This is fresh and fruity! Fruity aroma with hints of apple and pineapple. Smooth, balanced palate with a fine acidic edge. 100% Parellada, one of the grapes used to make Cava. Food pairings - Excellent as a cocktail wine and with rice dishes, seafood and fish.

3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Marlborough, New Zealand) $16.99This Sauvignon Blanc is a zesty and delicious wine from Marlborough, the famed growing region located on New Zealand’s South Island. Flavors of passion fruit and gooseberry combine with mouth-watering acidity, creating a truly refreshing wine. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairings - Fish, goat cheese, white meat, oysters, and shellfish.


Château de Campuget Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2008 (France) $12.99
- Delicious rosé from France! Flavors and aromas of raspberries and red currants. Long finish that is crisp, dry AND fruity. 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache. Stainless steel fermentation. Bottled young and fresh and meant to be drunk that way! Food pairing – salads, grilled chicken, Thanksgiving Dinner, roast pork. Great with roasted red peppers which are drizzled with good olive oil.


Torres Sangre de Toro Tempranillo 2007 (Catalonia, Spain) $9.99
– This wine delivers a lot of bang for the buck! Delicate floral aromas over a background of very ripe fruit, oak and truffles. Its tannins have a fruity, meaty structure that evolves into velvety touches of smoke and spices acquired during aging. 100% Tempranillo. Food pairing - Ideal with meat, stews, paella, and perfect with creamy cheeses. Stephen Tanzer, Int’l Wine Cellar, 87 points

Enrique Foster “IQUE” Malbec 2008 (Argentina) $12.99 – This is fresh, vibrant and loaded with fruit! Aromas and flavors of fresh red berries and white pepper. This has soft tannins and smooth finish. 100% estate-grown Malbec from 30 year-old vines in Mendoza. Hand-harvested. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairings - meat, pasta and cheese.

Château Campuget 1753 Syrah Costières de Nîmes 2006 (France) $14.99 – This Syrah is done completely in stainless steel - it sees no oak, but it has layers and layers of complexity. This has a soft, smooth mouthfeel. The wine is both elegant and powerful. Aromas and flavors of dark berries, blackcurrants, pepper, baking spices, chocolate and anise. The tannins are fine-grained. Good length on the finish. This is a wine that will evolve for the better over 2 hours of drinking! The winery dates to 1640. The vineyards at Campuget are covered with large round stones that were rolled onto the land when the Rhone River floods. These stones help moderate the temperatures in the vineyards as they do in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Wine Spectator, 88 points

Torres Ibericos 2006 (Spain) $XX.99 – . Food pairing - .

Torres Celeste Ribera del Duero 2006 (Spain) $24.99 - Textbook style from Ribera del Duero. Smooth and big! Intense blackberry color. Spicy and intense nose, with licorice and black pepper hints on a base of well ripened fruits (blackberry and cherry). On the palate, very fruity at first with ripened tannins, also persistent and full bodied. 100% Tempranillo (Tinto Fino) from the Ribera del Duero, known in the region as Tinto Fino. Food pairings - owing to its fruity and tannic characteristics, this wine pairs well with a great variety of meat dishes, including roasts and small game. Wine Enthusiast, 91 points

April 9, 2010


White Wines

Anderson’s Conn Valley Estate Chardonnay 2006 (California) Reg. $49.99, Sale $27.99 – Great bottle of Chardonnay! Beautiful aromas of pear, toasted bread, pineapple, honeysuckle and a hint of buttered corn. Medium rich fruit with good texture. This has not gone through malolactic fermentation, so it is not buttery/creamy….it has lots of texture, great balance between fruit, acid and oak. Some peach and caramel with mineral complexity. Long finish and lingering aftertaste. Should age well for another 4-6 years. 6 bottles

Bergström “Dr. Bergström” Riesling 2007 (Oregon) Reg. $25.99, Sale $15.99 – Wonderful aromas - limes, flowers, minerals, quince and citrus. The mouth feel is rich and concentrated but balanced with great energy and a fine balance between the sweetness and the juicy citrus. Excellent acidity to balance the fruit. This wine is big and juicy and very enticing now but will be at its best between 2012 and 2019. 8 bottles

Taburni Domus Falanghina 2007 (Italy) Reg. $14.99, Sale $9.99 - This Falanghina comes from DOC Falanghina Sannio, where the grapes are grown at some 1700 feet above sea level. Falanghina is a very old grape variety, and is thought to have been one of the components of the legendary Roman drink, Falernum. It shows beautiful and expansive fruit aromas, with a nice floral spice overlay and a wonderful mineral finish. Organic farming. Food pairing - Enjoy with white fish, pasta, tomato salad and cheese. 12 bottles

Red Wines

Chateau de Montpezat Coteaux du Languedoc “Les Palombieres” 2005 (France) Reg. $15.99, Sale $12.99 - This is a knock-dead, wonderful blend of 80% Grenache & 20% Mourvèdre from old vines. This really tastes like it is from somewhere! It flat out ROCKS! Notes of bacon fat & smoke in the nose, as well as herbs cooking in a pan. Touch of anise/licorice & big, dark berries. Medium-to-full-bodied. Loads of big jammy fruit in the mouth, along with acidity & earth. Finishes big, long & powerful. Rich & tasty! Food pairing - Great w/ grilled or roasted meats, stews, mushroom or robust vegetarian dishes & more! 48 bottles

Domaine de la Janasse Côtes-du-Rhône 2008 (France) Reg. $16.99, Sale $12.99 - I love this Côtes du Rhône! Aromas and flavors of strawberry, black cherries, dried cherries, minerals and spices. We like this A LOT! This is a nice cross between an "Old World" (earthy and funky) CdR and a "New World-style" (lots of fruit and no earthiness) one! One of the best Côtes-du-Rhônes from the '08 vintage! Year-after-year this winery makes superb wines! You should drink this over the next 2-3 years ('08 is making good wines for NOW; '07 is the year you buy Rhônes to age). Blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 15% Carignan and 5% Cinsault. Grapes are destemmed before the crush. Stainless steel fermentation and aging (6-9 months). The Sabon Family founded this estate in 1976 and have become a landmark estate in that time! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points

Kangarilla Road Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 (Australia) Reg. $24.99, Sale $16.99 - Aromas of dark berries with peppery spices and a little earth. Flavors of dark, cooked fruit (i.e.; before you add the sugar to jam), with dark chocolate and fine-grained tannins. Aged in French and American oak - the barrels are an even mix of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th use barrels - so, the oak influence is subtle. Wine Spectator, 88 points

Faustino Bodegas Portia 2006 (Spain) Reg. $36.99, Sale $24.99 - Portia Prima is a relatively new endeavor from one of Rioja’s leading producers – they branched out of Rioja 15 years ago and founded a new winery in Ribera del Duero. This has aromas of raspberries and blackberries with hints of vanilla and toasty oak. The flavors are smooth and mirror the aromas. Long, smooth finish. 100% Tempranillo (Tinta Fina as it is known locally) aged in oak barrels for 10 months and in the bottle for 8 months. The name of the new property has a dual origin, both as a reference to the seventh satellite of the planet Uranus (representing the pioneer, inventor, creator and artist according to astrology), and the Latin word for a token offering made in ancient times as a symbol of gratitude toward the elements in return for a healthy and abundant harvest. Food pairing - An ideal match with grilled meats, roasted vegetables and hard cheeses. 21 bottles

Graziano Kazmet Vineyard Zinfandel 2005 (California) Reg. $19.99, Sale $13.99 – Great Zinfandel! Dark purple color. Aromas of raspberries, dark berries, a hint of peppery spice & toast. Flavors of dark berries, ripe raspberries & white pepper. Full-bodied. Wonderful feel in the mouth. Not too tannic, but enough to stand up to rare beef. Long finish with hints of chocolate near the end. Food pairing - Great wine with a grilled burger, especially one with blue cheese on top. Grilled & roasted meats & spicy tomato sauces. 7 bottles

K Vintners Steak House Red 2008 (Washington) Reg. $11.99, Sale $8.99 – this is the twin to their “House Wine” with a different label and rather than being a blend, it’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a killer wine...a STEAL at this price! If cab is king, this one should wear a crown. Big, fleshy black cherries followed by toasty oak-BOLD! One sip of this Cabernet will have you out in the back 40 shooting yourself a steak. Food pairing - steak, pork tenderloin, big, robust tomato sauces, and it will also just sip in front of a fire. 41 bottles

Kilikanoon “Killermans Run” Shiraz 2007 (Australia) Reg. $19.99, Sale $12.99 – The 2006 Shiraz “Killerman’s Run” was also aged for 16 months in French and American hogsheads. It offers aromas of smoke, bacon, licorice, and blueberry. This is followed by a full-bodied yet elegant Shiraz with ample fruit, soft tannins, and 2-3 years of aging potential. Drink it through 2016. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points; 13 bottles

Palacios Herencia Remondo Rioja Crianza “La Montessa” 2005 (Spain) Reg. $19.99, Sale $14.99 – Wonderful Rioja! Aromas of baking spices and earthy forest. Flavors of dark and red fruits with nice acidity! This is delicious. Blend of about 45% Tempranillo, 40% Garnacha and 15% Graciano and Mazuelo from a 90 hectare plot in the Rioja Baja. Aged in French barriques, 50% new, for 10-14 months. 24 bottles

Robert Hall Meritage 2005 (California( Reg. $49.99, Sale $26.99 – A delicious California take on a Bordeaux blend. Aromas and flavors of black currant, cassis and ripe plum, with earth, cedar anddark chocolate. Firm, but velvety tannins. This classic blend of four noble grapes produces a wine of finesse and character featuring estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. Blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot and 2% Malbec. Aged 20 months in oak barrels. 13 bottles

Sterling Vineyards SVR Reserve 2006 (California) Reg. $49.99, Sale $34.99 - This is one of California's classic Cabernet-based blends - and it is on a great deal! Tight, structured and full-bodied, with firm, ripe dried currant, blackberry, mineral, anise and sage flavors that have a touch of black licorice before ending with mocha, spices and fine-grained tannins. The wine is soft in texture. Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Aged 18 months in oak (45% French, 40% American & 15% European). Decant this to taste it as its best. Best from 2011 through 2017. 5,770 cases made. Food pairing - beef, grilled steak, lamb chops. Wine Enthusiast, 94 points

Taburni Aglianico 2005 (Italy) Reg. $16.99, Sale $9.99 – Full-bodied wine with bright and robust red fruits, ripe tannins and a silky texture. Aglianico has its roots in ancient Greek and Roman wines. It thrives in Southern Italy's heat and produces a robust, tannic wine that ages well. This one is very ripe, with deep plum and raisin notes, firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity. Food pairing - A great match for robust Italian flavors like eggplant parmesan, pizza or foods glazed with balsamic vinegar. Great with red meat, game and matured cheese. 12 bottles

April 8, 2010

Flavors of Freeport Tasting

Food and Wine Tasting
Friday, April 9th
Hilton Garden Inn

Chef's Signature Series and Libations Gala
  • 6 P.M. to 9 P.M., Friday, April 9th
  • 20 of Freeport's finest restaurants, offering tastes to showcase their culinary skill and style, plus wine, beer and spirits tasting from local purveyors.
  • Hilton Garden Inn Ballroom
  • Gala tickets: $25 each or 2 for $40 ($25 per person at the door - cash only)
  • For tickets: http://www.flavorsoffreeport.com/purchase-tickets
Three distributors (SOPO, DaVine Wines and National) will be here pouring samples of some great wines! Gritty's will have a big bar with beers! And, Cold River Vodka will be sampling their vodka. Plus, a ton of food from many Freeport restaurants, including Azure, the Harraseeket Inn and more.

The wines are described below.

I'll be there sampling out some cheeses and maybe some other stuff! The cheeses I'll have:
  • Langa La Tur (Italy) - goat, cow and sheep. Soft and creamy. One of the great cheeses in the world!
  • Brillat Savarin (France) - a triple crème! Decadent!
  • Kilchurn Cave-Aged Cheddar (England) - crumbly, sharp with wonderful crunchy crystals in the texture
  • Piave Vecchio (Italy) - one of the great hard cheeses!

If you are interested, go on line to get tickets - they are going fast!

The Wines:

Any of these wines that you purchase from Freeport Cheese & Wine will be 10% off!

South Portland Wine Company (a.k.a.; SOPO)

White Wines (and Sparkling):

  1. 1+1 Cava (Spain) $14.99 - This is as good of a Spanish cava as we've ever tasted! It's flat-out tasty! Aromas of apples, baking spices, honey, hazelnuts and minerals. Dry, fresh and crisp in the mouth....with fine, tiny bubbles. Notes of apples. Limes, lemon and minerals in the flavors. Long, clean, pleasing finish. Finishes soft, dry and crisp. Well-balanced acidity. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points AND named importer, Aurelio Cabestrero, one of his "Wine Personalities of the Year;" Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 88 points
  2. Huber "Hugo" Gruner Veltliner 2008 (Austria) $11.99 - THE "noble" white grape of Austria! This is a wonderful, dry crisp wine from Austria! Beautiful color. Aromas of white pepper, spices, Provencal herbs, yellow peaches, pears and tropical fruit. Flavors of tropical fruit, notes of spicy pepper. Rich, mouth feel. Wonderful wine. Crisp, clean finish. Wonderful vineyard with sandy loamy soil. Fermented in cool temperatures and in stainless steel. Three months of lees contact in stainless steel. Food pairing - seafood, chicken, turkey, smoked fish, etc. Drinks well on its own...but this is a food wine.
  3. Josef Leitz Eins Zwei Dry "123" Riesling 2008 (Germany) $14.99 - This winery keeps delivering outstanding Riesling at great prices (that isn't easy!). This is the "dry" version of the wonderful Leitz Rüdesheimer Drachenstein (Dragonstone) wine. This bottling comes from the Rosenberg vineyard in neighboring Geisenheim, long famed for its rose scented Rieslings but lately hasn't had a great grower working it. Johannes has leased a winery just below the vineyard to give him more space to work and with it came old vines on the steepest section of the vineyard. In years to come we may once again hail the Rosenberg for the great site it is. The wine is bright and dry with a nose that just sings, mingling citrus, apricot and the telltale flowery aroma typical of the vineyard.

Rosé Wine

  1. Domaine de Gournier Vin de Pays des Cévennes Rosé 2009 (France) $9.99 - Just a wonderful summer wine from southern France - refreshing, tasty. Nice red berry (strawberry, raspberry) aromas & flavors with distinctive peachy notes. A soft & elegant wine. Dry. Crisp. Fresh. Drinks easy & smooth. Well-balanced acidity. From Provence, this is handmade, hand-harvested wines. Traditionally made...small-production. This area of Provence smells of rosemary & lavender. Organically farmed & made. Food pairing - Great on its own. Try with lobster, grilled chicken & pork, chicken salad, roasted ham.

Red Wines

  1. André Brunel Grenache Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2008 (France) $9.99 - Just what we all need! A fabulous red from Southern France for less than $10! This is an awesome wine from a winemaker whose Châteauneuf-de-Pape commands big dollars. André Brunel is a truly great, legendary winemaker! 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.
  2. J.M. da Fonseca Domini Douro 2005 (Portugal) $15.99 - Made from traditional "Port" grapes, this is what the Portuguese call a "still" wine (I don't know why - Port isn't bubbly). Fonseca is one of Portugal's leading wineries (7th generation, family-owned). "Domini" is a joint venture of J.M. da Fonseca and winemaker Cristiano van Zeller, one of Portugal's famed "Douro Boys." The "Douro Boys" are revolutionizing winemaking in the Douro Valley - producing world-class red wines! Since 1999, they have acquired 77 acres of prime vineyards, the source for the Domini wines. The vineyards are planted in traditional Douro Valley grapes, such as Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz. While these are traditional grapes, the winemaking is vastly improved from previous generations (Portugal has long made good wine, but a lot of the reds from the Douro Valley were a bit "rustic," in a coarse, harsh way). Wine Enthusiast, 89 points.

DaVine Wines

White Wines

  1. New Age (Mendoza, Argentina) $11.99 - blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia, this has a little effervescence to it! We'll serve this as a cocktail - over ice with a little slice of lime! It's a hugely popular drink in Argentina and is making a big splash in Maine this year! The drink is called "Tincho," after the cocktail's creator, who happens to be the 3rd generation of this family-owned winery in Mendoza. Bodega Valentin Bianchi is one of Argentina's oldest wineries, dating to 1928 and founded by Italian immigrant, Valentin Bianchi. It's delicious and refreshing!
  2. La Tunella Pinot Grigio 2007 (Italy) $21.99 - This is not your Mom's Pinot Grigio! A $20 Pinot Grigio? What? ARE YOU CRAZY? Nope. This is real, serious wine.... Rich....loaded with minerals and many layers of complex fruit.....this is NOT the watered down, thin Pinot Grigio you find on many wine lists at restaurants as a "glass pour" - hint, hint....the restaurant is going to make a ton of money on you for ordering most non-descript glass-pours.......this is SERIOUS wine that is also easy to drink.
  3. Poppy Chardonnay 2008 (California) $13.99 - This is a beautiful Chardonnay! Like most of the best California Chardonnay, this comes from cool-climate vineyards. Aromas of green apples, pears, minerals, pineapple....Flavors of green apples, minerals, lemon zest, peachs, pears & a touch of vanilla. Crisp wine that feels soft halfway in the mouth! Aged in neutral oak barrels...just a hint of oak in this wine...some malolactic fermentation...so, while it is crisp, it picks up some buttery, creamy notes. Food pairing - poultry, salmon, tuna, lobster, shellfish...drinks nicely on its own!

Red Wines

  1. Poppy Pinot Noir 2008 (Monterey County, California) $16.99 - This is a wonderful Pinot Noir and a great value! Aromas of raspberries, plums, baking spices and minerally soil. Light-to-medium weight. Nicely tart flavors of cherries, plums, earth, baking spices and pepper. Dry finish with a nice clean finish....just a good wine! Also contains grapes from Santa Barbara County and a touch from the Russian River Valley. Aged 5 months with oak, 15% new. 10% Pinot Gris. 7,000 cases made. Food pairing - salmon, pork, tuna, duck, poultry...drinks well on its own!
  2. Waterbrook Melange Noir 2007 (Washington) 14.99 - Likely you've heard the word "Meritage" about some California red wines. Well....Meritage means NOTHING aside from being a red blend......now this is a DELICIOUS red blend from Washington! Aromas and flavors of ripe dark and red berries....a little oak and cedar and baking spices and soft tannins....Blend of 40% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese, 13% Cabernet Franc, 1% other. Food pairing - this drinks great without food and pairs up with lamb chops and grilled chicken.
  3. Stanley Lambert "Thoroughbred" Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (Australia) $27.99 - A wine Lindsay loves to make is Cabernet Sauvignon - his is about elegance rather than power! Aromas and flavors of blackcurrants and plums & vanilla. Fine-grained tannins and a rich finish. This will age well for a number of years. Aged in French and American oak casks for 30 months! This was the first wine Lindsay Stanley made under his own label in 1991 & walked away with the "Top Prize" at the Barossa Wine Show. Food pairing - steak, lamb, grilled meats.....drinks well without food. Wine Enthusiast, 90 points, "Best Buy"

National Distributors

White Wines

  1. Kris Pinot Grigio 2008 (Italy) $11.99 - This is a zesty, wine from NE Italy. Crisp, fruity style! Aromas and flavors of citrus, tangerine, apricots and almonds. Clean and refreshing. 100% Pinot Grigio. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - quiche, omelettes, risotto, lighter pasta dishes.
  2. Manu Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (New Zealand) Reg. $12.99, Sale $11.99 - Lots of fresh, bright fruit in this easy drinking wine! Loads of flavor! Tropical fruit, gooseberry and a hint of herbal grassiness that ARE New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc! 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation. Sustainable Agriculture. Food pairing - almost any shellfish or seafood. Has sufficient acidity to serve with light cream sauces - you need that acidity to "cut" the cream.
  3. Bearboat Chardonnay 2007 (Russian River, CA) $17.99 - Aromas and flavors of ripe apples, vanilla, toast and baking spices. This has a buttery texture. 30% fermented in stainless steel and 70% in new French oak for 8 months. Food pairing - shellfish, chicken dishes, creamy pasta dishes.
  4. Peter Lehmann Layers 2008 (Adelaide, Australia) Reg. $15.99, Sale $14.99 - It's delicious! A most unusual blend of 5 grapes - Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Muscat & Sauvignon Blanc. The sum is greater than the parts - which is usual for blends! Stainless steel fermentation. Easy drinking and lots of flavor! "Layers" is the name because each sip gives you a new flavor! Lemon-lime, peach, melon and citrus! Nice acidity at the finish. Food pairing - spicy foods! Drinks great without food, as well!

Red Wines

  1. Angeline Pinot Noir Reserve 2008 (Sonoma/Mendocino, CA) $14.99 - This has big, rich fruit aromas and flavors. Strawberry, raspberry, smoke and baking spices all come out in this wine! Aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Food pairing - salmon, mushroom dishes.
  2. Hawk Crest Merlot 2007 (Napa, CA) $13.99 - Stags Leap Wine Cellars 2nd label. Lively aromas of Italian plum, ripe berries and hints of cardamom introduce this full-bodied merlot. In the mouth, flavors of plum, black cherry, and vanilla fuse together with cedary spice. Supple and rich on the palate, the tannins are seamless and the oak profile is well integrated with the wine's fruit. Food pairing - wild mushroom risotto or a pan sautéed halibut topped with a puttanesca sauce.
  3. Punto Final Malbec 2008 (Mendoza, Argentina) $11.99 - This is a deep, dark wine. Aromas of cherries, wild berries, licorice and minerals. Flavors of cherries, plums, licorice, raspberries, earth and minerals. This has a long finish with some weight to it. Food pairing - steak, grilled meats.
  4. Hedges CMS Red Blend 2008 (Columbia Valley, Washington) $12.99 - We love this blend - it's a great value from Washington State. Rich black raspberry & currant aromas and flavors. Tasty. Notes of vanilla, hazelnuts, baking spices & a hint of licorice...medium-bodied....firm, chewy tannins, yet this is soft, fruit-forward & easy-to-drink. Nice, long finish. Blend - 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 3% Syrah & 2% Cabernet Franc. Aged 12 months in French & American oak. This can age for 5-7 years, but it is drinking nicely right now! Wine Enthusiast, 89 points, "Best Buy" (12-time "Best Buy")

April 5, 2010

April Wines of the Month

April Wines of the Month!

Hello, It's time for the "Wines of the Month."

1 - all the wines are in-stock;

2 - if you are a member of the "Wines of the Month" club; you receive 10% off ALL your wine purchases, even when you stop in for a single bottle.

The Wines

The descriptions are on my website.

Tier 1 ($8-$15/bottle)

The White

Pala "Crabilis" Vermentino 2008 (Sardinia, Italy) $13.99 - "Crabilis" means "goat shelter" in Sardinia. To me this wine means a great wine with shellfish and seafood. Pala is a family-owned property that is in its 2nd generation. The vineyards are heavily influenced by marine breezes. The wine has a hint of fresh salty air (not Maine "mudflat" air)....aromas are floral and spicy. Nice spice and minerality in the flavors....dry finish.....it has a soft, round feel in the mouth......this is just yummy! Food pairing - Great wine with shellfish, seafood, lighter dishes, soups and broths that are lightly seasoned.

The Red

Agua de Piedra Gran Reserva Malbec 2008 (Argentina) Reg. $13.99, Sale $12.99 - Not your run-of-the mill Malbec! This is a full-bodied, elegant Malbec. It's loaded with boysenberry and blackberry aromas and flavors with a little earthiness and spice. The tannins are softer and integrated. It has bright, zippy acidity. Food pairing - roasted or grilled meats. Pasta dishes with meat and/or tomatoes. Grilled chicken with a thick tomato sauce.

Tier 2 ($15-$25/bottle)

The White

Domaine Cherrier et Fils Sancerre 2008 (France) $22.99 - This 3rd generation winemaker produces delicious Sancerre! This is tangy & zesty with aromas and flavors of lemons, pears, minerals (wet rocks and chalky - which are classic Sancerre notes), orange zest, smoky flint and more! This is juicy and spicy. The finish has good length and depth. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented in enameled cement vats and bottled young to preserve the flavors and aromas. Food pairing - seafood, especially lobster, crab or shellfish. Chicken or duck. Creamy pasta dishes. Goat cheese. Wine Review Online, 92 points; Wine Spectator, 89 points

The Red

Michele Satta Bolgheri Rosso 2007 (Italy) Reg. $26.99, Sale $19.99 - This is a fresh, bright and delicious red! This has those classic Tuscan flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries with Provencal/Tuscan herbs and spices. The tannins are well-integrated and have softened with the barrel and bottle aging. Michele Satta is a family-owned winery that is neighbors with such Super Tuscan legends as Sassicaia and Ornellaia; earlier in his winemaking career, Michele Satta was a winemaker at Ornellaia. Blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 10% Teroldego (this last one is a grape that originally was grown in NE Italy). Aged in oak barriques for 12 months and then in the bottle for 6 months before release. This will drink well through 2012. 5,500 cases made. Food pairing - lamb, steak, mushroom risotto and more. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points

Tier 3 ($35+/bottle)

The White

Chateau Montelena Chardonnay 2007 (California) $46.99 - This has a pretty golden color. Aromas of peaches, citrus rind, pineapples, toasted nuts, smoke and apples. The flavors are clean and fresh. The wine starts softly and then builds with layers of tropical fruit, apples, citrus and nectarines. The long finish has subtle hints of vanilla and baking spices. Montelena is the iconic California winery that set the wine world on its ear in 1976 when its 1973 vintage walked away with first place at the "Battle of Paris" Contest (this what the movie "Bottle Shock" is about). 10,500 cases made. 64% of the grapes are whole-cluster pressed (this preserves the fruit characteristics of the grapes) and 36% are destemmed - the destemming tears the skins and opens up more aromas. Aged 8-9 months in oak; this wine sees no malolactic fermentation, so it is not buttery/creamy. Food pairing - Shellfish and fish. Creamy pasta dishes. Roasted chicken. Cheese such as Gruyere, Appenzeller, milder Cheddar. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

The Red

Storybook Mountain Vineyards Zinfandel Napa Estate Mayacamas Range 2007 (California) $38.99 - This is loaded with that dark, peppery fruit that typifies California Zin! Storybook makes wines with power and elegance. Bright, ripe, fresh boysenberry and blackberry fruits in the aromas and flavors at the start. As the wine opens, you'll get more raspberry flavors and aromas. Then the pepperiness will kick in. Great length and structure to the wine - this has nice tannins at the back-end. 100% Zinfandel. 100% estate-grown, organically-grown fruit. Zinfandel has been grown in this part of Napa Valley since the 1880's. This is a Zinfandel that will age well for 7-15 years; but, it is drinking well today. Food pairings - braised, grilled or roasted beef, lamb, pork and venison. Ribs or chicken with a spicy barbecue sauce. Dishes with eggplants, mushrooms, olives and tomatoes. Cheeses such as Manchego, Piave Vecchio or Parmesan. Wine & Spirits Magazine, 92 points

The Other

Charles & Charles Syrah Rosé 2009 (Washington) $11.99 - the 2009 rosés are arriving! A runaway favorite in 2008 (it sold out EARLY), we love this rosé! Imagine a little sage, peaches, rose petal and watermelon Jolly Ranchers thrown into the mix! Well, that's the aroma and flavor profile in this fun drinking rosé! 100% Syrah from the Talcott Vineyard. Charles & Charles, a Charles Smith (K Vintners and House Wine) and Charles Bieler (Chateau Routas and more) production! Food pairing - grilled chicken, grilled fish, salad nicoise, salads, etc. Drinking on a warm day with friends! Those are the wines. Again, they are also described on the website. If you want any, please let us know.

Wines of the Month Club

“Off the Beaten Path”
WINES of the Month Club
Freeport Cheese & Wine
178 Lower Main Street, Freeport, ME 04032
(207) 869-4048;

Why should you join? 4 reasons…

  1. Selection. We carefully select the wines. These are distinctive, unusual and hard-to-find wines.
  2. Education. Wine is as complicated as you want to make it. We want to make it simpler. It’s also a fun topic to study – I love the history and culture of wine areas. Being a part of our wine club will let you learn about wine gradually by trying different wines. The best way to learn is to taste different things. We’ll also include background information about the winery and area.
  3. Support Small Family Wineries…the wines we pick will come from small, family-owned and operated wineries that practice sustainable agriculture. Tasting good is most important – with the wealth of wines out there, it’s also nice to support small producers who are doing it the right way!
  4. You save money! Being a member of our "Wines of the Month" program earns:
  • you 10% savings on all wine purchases (if you are not a member, you still get 10% savings on case purchases) - come in and buy one bottle and if you are a member of the "Wines of the Month," you get 10% off the purchase!
  • "Wines of the Month" members also receive 15% off when buying a complete case (12 bottles of the same wine)
  • "Wines of the Month" members also receive 15% off when buying one of our "12-pack" mixed cases rather than the standard 10% off!

We will pick two wines for you – 1 white & 1 red. These will be interesting, tasty, unusual wines that you won't find everywhere and they'll represent great values! Some months, we'll offer an optional bottle (say a dessert wine or a sparkling wine or a dry rosé).

We have Three Tiers for our Wines of the Month Club (you may sign-up for one, two or all three). The cost each month will fall roughly in the middle of each tier (for example, Tier 1 will have an average cost/bottle at about $12-13).

  • Tier 1 - $9-15/bottle
  • Tier 2 - $16-24/bottle
  • Tier 3 - $25-35/bottle

This is a perfect way for you to try something new. This also makes a great gift - either for a wine lover...or someone new to wine (the gift can be for a month, 2 or 3 months, a year, whatever you want).

How do you pay? You join the club and we will charge your credit card when the wines arrive. The wines will be available within the 1st 7 days of each month; and, we will hold them in the store for you until you can pick them up. You will receive an e-mail describing the wines.

What else?...if you really like one or more of the wines in a particular month, we will get you more if possible.

April 2, 2010

Easter Wines

Easter Wines
Some for Ham,
Some for Lamb

Easter Dinner for many means ham. And, the best pairing with ham is a good Riesling! If you were in Germany, Alsace or much of Europe this Sunday, your hosts would be serving ham and pulling the cork on a nice bottle of Riesling. With the saltiness of the ham (and especially if the ham is glazed), you want a dry Riesling with good acidity to “cut” through the ham.

Easter is also a tough meal to pair with wine because of the Spring vegetables – asparagus, peas, etc. Dry Rieslings and Grüner Veltliners pair well with these and the ham.

Here are some suggestions (both white, rosés, red and sparkling for your Easter Dinner):


Both of these will be delicious with your roast ham and it is always festive opening a bottle of bubbly!

Conde de Subirats Cava Brut (Spain) $12.99 - this wine is made from grapes grown in the heart of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, the HOME of Cava. They harvest the grapes early to preserve the fresh fruit aromas and flavors…..it’s fermented in stainless steel to help keep the wine bright and fresh…..aged in bottle for 18 months on lees before “disgorging” (this is where they dump the yeast sediment from each bottle and add the “dosage” that makes the wine bubbly!)…..55% Macabeo, 40% Parellada and 5% Chardonnay. Aromas and flavors of lemon, kiwi, tropical fruit, apples…..creamy feel….nice bubbles that last.

Conde de Subirats Brut Rosé Cava (Penedes, Spain) $12.99 - Light pink with fine bubbles! Aromas of strawberries, red berries and a hint of fresh bread, baking spices and pepper. Flavors of lighter red fruit and a touch of fresh bread yeastiness. 90% Trepat and 10% Pinot Noir. From the heart of Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, the birthplace of Cava. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged 18 months in the bottle on lees before disgorging. Then the dosage is added to make the wine "bubbly." This is the same time-consuming, expensive method as Champagne and it results in finer, better, longer-lasting bubbles.

White Wines:

Von Schleinitz Slatestone Dry Riesling 2007 (Germany) $14.99
- This is a great sipping wine! One of our favorite Rieslings! Loads of peach, nectarine and white orchard fruit aromas and flavors. Excellent minerality and acidity in the wine – the vines grow right in slate! This is a dry, refreshing, low-alcohol wine that is medium-bodied and a great wine with food or alone. 1,000 cases made. Food pairing - Goes well with fish, seafood, poultry & veal. Great with spicy foods or salty meats such as ham.

Gustav Grüner Veltliner 2008 (Austria) $15.99 - Really cool wine! Refreshing with a nice minerality! Aromas and flavors or pears, lemons and minerals. Lively acidity. A crisp bite to this wine – akin to biting into a crisp, ripe, crunchy apple! This is a dry wine with a nice crisp finish. 100% Gruner Veltliner. Stainless steel fermentation. Grüner Veltliner is the best white grape grown in Austria and it makes superb wines! Organic Farming. Food pairing - lobster, oysters, smoked fish, salads, grilled veggies.

Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2007 (Italy) Reg. $17.99, Sale $15.99 - Outstanding white from NE Italy! Aromas of honey, green apples & peaches. Flavors of tart green apples, white grapefruit, and crisp pears. Dry, crisp and great minerals in the flavors. Medium-bodied & mouth-filling. Refreshing. Nice length on the finish. Zippy, tangy acidity. Fermented in stainless steel tanks and aged on the lees (the residue in the vat from the fermentation) for 3 months – this adds richness & complexity to the wines. This is drinking beautifully right now and will aged well for 2-4 years. Organic Farming. Food pairing – ham, salads, asparagus, seafood of all kinds, pasta dishes. Wine Spectator, 88 points

Castell Silvaner Trocken 2008 (Germany) $16.99 - Big hit at a December tasting! Bigger, richer white wine! This is a lot like a dry Vouvray. The vineyards here are loaded with minerals, gypsum & marl - which are ideal for growing Sylvaner. So, this wine is loaded with minerals! It also has a little lime citrus to it! It's fresh & lively with well-balanced acidity. Medium-bodied with a rich texture. Sustainable Agriculture. Food pairing - food-friendly wine! Appetizers, quiche, onion tarts, grilled or smoked fish, creamy dishes, chicken, ham, sushi, scallops, shrimp (it's Maine shrimp season, after all!).


Rosés are incredibly “food-friendly!”

Domaine de Gournier Vin de Pays des Cévennes Rosé 2009 (France) $9.99 - Just a wonderful summer wine from southern France - refreshing, tasty. Nice red berry (strawberry, raspberry) aromas & flavors with distinctive peachy notes. A soft & elegant wine. Dry. Crisp. Fresh. Drinks easy & smooth. Well-balanced acidity. From Provence, this is handmade, hand-harvested wines. Traditionally made…small-production. This area of Provence smells of rosemary & lavender. Organically farmed & made. Food pairing - Great on its own. Try with lobster, grilled chicken & pork, chicken salad, roasted ham.

Librandi DOC Cirò Rosato 2008 (Italy) $13.99 - This is a GREAT Italian rosé! Aromas of flowers and spice….loads of cherries, herbs and figs in the flavors and aromas. Dry rosé. Great acidity….LONG finish…..this will just SHINE with grilled tuna or similar fish. This is a “weighty” rosé. 100% Gaglioppo (ancient Greek grape), this is the most important red wine grape in Calabria (the tip of the boot). 12 hours of skin contact turns this wine a deep coral color. Food pairing – perfect with grilled fish, spicy sauces, antipasti of meat and cheese, etc.

The Reds:

For ham:

Domaine Pierre Ponnelle Pinot Noir 2007 (France) $12.99
- Nice combination of “Old World” earth and a little funk and “New World” cherry fruit! This is smooth and tastes great! Aromas and flavors of cherries, raspberries and a little earth. The finish is clean and has nice length. 100% Pinot Noir from the Languedoc in southern France. Food Pairing – poultry, meat and pasta dishes. Mushroom dishes. Harder cheeses such as Piave Vecchio.

A to Z Pinot Noir 2008 (Oregon) $19.99 - Wonderful Pinot! Clear and vibrant with a beautiful dark color. Aromas of mixed berries, earth, smoke, violets, Asian spices and minerals. Flavors that mirror the aromas with a lush texture and good acidity. Long finish that shows this wine’s beautifully balance between richness & power, the wine possesses amazing depth and purity. Restrained use of oak – this wine sees about 9-10 months of aging before bottling. Food pairing - Great on its own. Try it with lobster, grilled chicken & pork, chicken salad, smoked salmon, grilled shrimp, sushi, gazpacho and more!

Famille Laurent Saint Pourçain 2007 Tradition (Pinot Noir/Gamay) $14.99 - This unusual blend comes from the St. Pourcain area just southwest of Beaujolais and Burgundy. The grapes are farmed and fermented by the Laurent family which has worked this land for nearly 100 years. The wine is bright and has beautiful berry qualities with a slightly darker undertone from the Pinot Noir.

For Lamb:

Aresti Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2008 (Chile) Reg. $13.99, Sale $11.99
- Aresti has been growing grapes since 1951. In the '90's they started making wine.....and they've been making excellent wines with great values! The Aresti Pinot Noir has vibrant strawberry jam aromas with anise and cinnamon. The aromas carrying over to the flavors, easy-drinking and yet complex, with a nice, long finish. Food pairing - grilled meats, mushroom risotto.

Thunder Stone Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County 2006 (California) $14.99 - This is a tasty, wonderful wine! Aromas of black cherries, cassis, mocha, dark chocolate and spice. Flavors of dark berries, baking spices & dark chocolate. Soft tannins. Soft, smooth feel in the mouth. Long finish. Single vineyard grapes from Alexander Valley. Barrel-aged in both new and used oak barrels. Steve Melchiskey is the winemaker and a Portland, ME resident – he worked in the CA wine industry for 8 years and has learned where to find great grapes. Food pairing – drinks well on its own – a buddy and I enjoyed it over a Red Sox game! Great with steak, lamb, etc. Wine Spectator, “Top Value,” 88 points

Palagetto Chianti Colli Senesi 2007 (Italy) $14.99 – This has an intense ruby red color. The aromas are filled with bright, fresh red berries and subtle hints of chocolate and roasted coffee. The flavors showcase that classic Chianti style of cherries and raspberries with hints of oak and herbs. Blend of 90% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot and 5% Colorino. Chianti covers much of Tuscany and is divided into 7 areas; Colli Senesi is south of Chianti Classico in the Siena hills and includes the areas for Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Food pairing – pasta with red meat sauces, lamb, beef, game and cheese such as Pecorino Toscano.

Angelini Sangiovese Colli Pesaresi 2006 (Italy) $17.99 - This is a delicious, Chianti-style wine from the Marche on the Adriatic Coast of Italy. This is spicy with notes of ripe cherries and a hint of cedar. The tannins are soft and drying. The wine has great acidity. The tannins and acidity help it pair with richer foods. 100% Sangiovese. The winery farms sustainably. Food pairing – lamb, roasts, pasta with tomato and meat sauces, aged cheese such as Piave Vecchio.

Piazzo Barbaresco 2004 (Italy) $36.99 - This is a delicious, full-bodied wine with aromas of jammy red fruit, violets and baking spices. The finish is long and smooth. The flavors are cherries and raspberries and cinnamon with a little toast. Barbaresco is an area in Piedmont. It’s akin to its more familiar cousin, Barolo. 100% Nebbiolo. Food pairing – lamb, beef, steak, duck, rich pasta dishes and aged desserts.

Peter Lehmann Barossa Shiraz 2007 (Australia) Reg. $17.99, Sale $14.99 - A “killer” Shiraz at this price! Aromas of berries, cherries, toffee and herbs. Flavors of intense plums & bittersweet chocolate. Moderate tannins. Clean finish with nice length. Aged in French and American oak hogsheads for 12 months. Not an “oaky” wine – the time in oak just softens the wine! 2010 – 2016. Food pairing - Excellent choice for just drinking, a good steak, lamb chops, curry dishes & aged cheddar!

April 1, 2010

Brownie, Chocolate and Wine Tasting

Wilbur's Chocolates and Simply Divine Brownies are having a tasting TODAY......and they're serving some wines along with the delicious treats and they wanted me to tell you about it!

Wine & Chocolate & Brownie Tasting
Thursday, April 1st

Simply Divine Brownies & Wilbur's Chocolate are hosting a tasting at their store on Lower Main Street.....this is across the parking lot from Freeport Cheese & Wine. It's free and it will feature these wines!

Any of these wines that you purchase from Freeport Cheese & Wine will be 10% off!

The Wines:


Conde de Subirats Cava Brut (Spain) $12.99 - this wine is made from grapes grown in the heart of Sant Sadurni d'Anoia, the HOME of Cava. They harvest the grapes early to preserve the fresh fruit aromas and flavors.....it's fermented in stainless steel to help keep the wine bright and fresh.....aged in bottle for 18 months on lees before "disgorging" (this is where they dump the yeast sediment from each bottle and add the "dosage" that makes the wine bubbly!).....55% Macabeo, 40% Parellada and 5% Chardonnay. Aromas and flavors of lemon, kiwi, tropical fruit, apples.....creamy feel....nice bubbles that last.

The White Wines:

El Portillo Sauvignon Blanc 2008 (Argentina) Reg. $10.99, Sale $8.99 - Bright, crisp, clean! A tasty wine that is just fun to drink! Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, tropical fruits and passion fruit! Crisp acidity and a long finish. Food pairing - lobster, shellfish, mussels, smoked fish, sushi, etc. The Tasting Panel, 88 points

Colosi Sicilia Bianco 2008 (Italy) $10.99 - This interesting wine made of 90% Inzolia and 10% Catarratto, is the true expression of Sicily. The color is straw yellow pale with light greenish hue. Clean and fresh with apple and lemon aromas and flavors. Food pairing - Perfect with fish and seafood, light salads and poultry. It makes a perfect cocktail wine.

The Red Wines:

El Portillo Malbec 2008 (Argentina) Reg. $10.99, Sale $8.99 - Excellent wine! Easy drinking and soft.....just a pleasure! Medium-weight, with a slightly jammy core of red cherries & plum backed by baking spices on the soft finish. 100% Malbec. Stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - Enjoy with grilled steaks, roasts and pasta in richly-flavored sauces.

Fattoria Capannacce Rosso della Maremma Toscana Super Tuscan 2005 (Italy) Reg. $21.99, Sale $14.99 - Fabulous, big & bold Super Tuscan! Aromas and flavors of cherries, blackberries, cedar, toasted baking spices, mocha and licorice. This is rich and lush. Long finish. This area of Tuscany is considered its "Wild West." It is rugged, arid, lightly populated and its people have an independent spirit. The winemaker, Alberto Porta, is called the "happiest man alive." 80% Sangiovese, 10% Syrah, 5% Canaiolo & 5% Grenache. The entire estate only makes 4,000 cases. Organic farming. Food pairing - grilled meats of any kind, roasted lamb or beef, rich mushroom dishes. I like this by itself, but I like really big wines without food!

Root: 1 Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Chile) Reg. $12.99, Sale $11.99 - Soft, smooth red from Chile! Lots of black cherry, plum, vanilla and mocha flavors and aromas! This is smooth and soft - not a tannic red! Well-structured and balanced. Blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah. Aged in 50% French oak and 50% American oak for 12 months. Food pairing - Great BBQ wine! Grilled red meats, ripe cheeses, Italian dishes, etc.