Beaumont des Crayères Grand Rosé Champagne (France) Reg. $49.99, Sale $19.99 – This is so good, I probably shouldn’t sell it. I should keep it and drink it! I’d never heard of this Champagne producer before. This is a beautiful salmon color rather than being a pink rosé. The winery is a small Epernay-based cooperative of about 200 small family-growers. Aromas and flavors of red berries, citrus and toast. Beautiful, small bubbles.
Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2007 (California) Reg. $59.99, Sale $29.99 – This is a GREAT Napa Valley Chardonnay! It should be an iconic Napa Valley Chardonnay, but this winery is lesser known than some. That’s why the price is so low. Newton flat-out is not selling as much wine in this economy as they did a few years ago. Aromas and flavors of baking spices, caramel, apples and pears. Flavors of baking spices, vanilla, caramel, apple pie and fresh bread. This has a long, creamy finish. Big, big wine. Aged 16 months in French oak (30% new). Sustainable agriculture and buildings. Food pairing – lobster, chowders, pasta with cream sauces.
Wild Horse Unbridled Chardonnay 2007 (California) Reg. $26.99, Sale $18.99 – If you like California Chardonnay, you should grab this! Aromas and flavors of citrus, pear and apples. It’s rich and creamy with hints of nuts and caramel. The acidity in this wine is bright and fresh. The wine is full-bodied and rich. It’s delicious! This wine is from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley in the Central Coast of California. The Bien Nacido Vineyard is truly one of the greatest vineyards in California. The grapes are hand-harvested. Aged 10 months in oak barrels (American, French and Hungarian), but only 35% of them are new barrels, so this isn’t over-oaked. The lees were stirred weekly for 3 months – this adds richness and texture to the wine. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation – this makes the Chardonnay buttery and creamy. Food pairing - grilled fish, especially mahi-mahi, grilled chicken, chicken salad.
Dona Paula Estate Chardonnay 2008 (Argentina) Reg. $15.99, Sale $9.99 – When I placed the order for this wine, I was expecting to get the 2006 vintage (which was fine). The distributor wanted to clear out the last 8 cases of the ’06 vintage and the price was right, so I bit and bought. Then, it shows up and is the 2008 vintage! It’s even better! This is wonderful! Big hit at recent tasting! Great value Chardonnay! Aromas and flavors of pears, apples, citrus, figs and toast. Baking spices. Crisp acidity. Great balance of fruit and acidity! Nice minerality to the wine! 70% aged in new French (70%) and American (30%) oak barriques. 10% goes through malolactic fermentation (so, this is somewhat creamy and buttery). Food pairing – roasts, steaks, grilled meats, stews, mushroom dishes, etc. Aged cheeses. Drinks well on its own!
Domaine Foivos Robola 2006 (Greece) Reg. $17.99, Sale $8.99 – This is from Kefalonia on the Ionian Coast of Greece. It’s a sizeable island (the largest Ionian one). Homer mentions the wines of Kefalonia in The Illiad. The Venetians occupied this island for over 100 years around the 17th century and made winemaking a large part of the island’s economy. Domaine Foivos farms organically. Robola is the grape and it is local to the area. This has aromas and flavors of pineapple, oranges, white flowers, butter and vanilla. It’s creamy and zesty. Really good wine! Food pairing - goes well with grilled fish, such as tuna, swordfish or salmon sprinkled with lemon juice. It is also a nice accompaniment to simply grilled chicken as well as to cooked vegetables and almost any seafood dish. It is also refreshing when served as an aperitif on a hot summer’s day. Serve it lightly chilled.
Re Manfredi Basilicata Bianco 2008 (Italy) Reg. $22.99, Sale $9.99 – The Re Manfredi/Terre degli Svevi estate is on the slopes of Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano in the Lucanian Apennines. This area is best known for producing grapes such as Aglianico. This is a blend of Muller Thurgau (70%) and Traminer (30%). These grapes love the volcanic soil in the vineyards. This is a full, round, rich wine with aromas and flavors of tropical fruit. It finishes dry with nice minerality. Food pairing – chicken, sushi, soft cheeses, shellfish, lobster, crab, etc.
Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris Rosé 2008 (France) Reg. $16.99, Sale $8.99 – You’ve probably heard us preach about drinking rosés when they are only one year old. We’ll continue to preach that, but occasionally, some rosés age well. This is one of them! It’s drinking beautifully. It’s dry, crisp and refreshing with wonderful aromas and flavors of raspberries and strawberries and a little Southern French herbiness! It’s from Corbières. 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, 10% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan and 10% Cinsault.
Chateau Souverain Zinfandel 2003 (California) Reg. $19.99, Sale $9.99 – We often hear that Zinfandel doesn’t age well, but then I open a bottle that’s nearly 7 years old and the wine is FABULOUS! This has loads of ripe dark berry fruit and great pepperiness. The baking spices, vanilla and overall spiciness from the French oak is really nice. Grill a steak or make a pizza and enjoy this!
Beringer Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2004 (California) Reg. $26.99, Sale $18.99 – Excellent Pinot Noir with great dark berry fruit and a pleasing amount of earthiness. The tannins are soft and silky without being drying. This is classic California Pinot – meaning it’s darker and fruitier than most Oregon Pinots.
Clarendelle Bordeaux 2003 (France) Reg. $24.99, Sale $12.99 – This is a medium-bodied, silky Bordeaux. Delicious! Aromas and flavors of red and cark berries, dark chocolate and cedar. The tannins are fine-grained. Blend of 67% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Cabernet Franc.
Domaine Clape Côtes du Rhône 2002 (France) Reg. $32.99, Sale $12.99 – If you know the Rhône, you know Domaine Clape is one of the best winemakers in the area, indeed in the world. Auguste Clape is renowned for his wines from Cornas and the Côtes du Rhône. You also likely know that 2002 isn’t one of the best vintages. This wine proves that great winemakers make really good wine even in bad vintages. This is a beautiful, deep dark color. It shows no brick from being 8 years old. This has great aromas and flavors of olives, pepper, dark fruit and earth. It’s dry and smooth. You can smell limestone minerals in it. The wine is fabulous! My only regret is that I didn’t buy more.
Chateau du Trignon Rasteau Côtes du Rhône Villages 2002 (France) Reg. $24.99, Sale $11.99 – We tasted this and just loved it! Fortunately, I was able to buy more of it (5 cases). This is soft and lush! It has a long, smooth finish. Aromas and flavors of fresh figs, dark fruit, earth, peppery spice, herbs and more. The wine is excellent! Rasteau is a village in the Southern Rhône. Today, it is its own appellation. This is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Mourvèdre.
Château Tayac Prestige Côtes de Bourg 2000 (France) Reg. $29.99, Sale $13.99 – This is a delicious Bordeaux that is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. This has classic Bordeaux notes of red and dark berries, dark chocolate, curing tobacco and earth. It’s full-bodied and smooth with the soft, caressing finish that outstanding Merlot should have! The Côtes de Bourg is on the right of the Dordogne River at the point where it meets the Gironde River. 2000 is a GREAT, GREAT vintage from Bordeaux’s Right Bank.
Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz “Black Label” 2000 (Australia) Reg. $62.99, Sale $24.99 – This is a big, powerful red from one of Australia’s leading wineries! This is Wolf Blass’s flagship wine. Aromas and flavors of dark chocolate, plums, dark fruit, baking spices, vanilla and more. This is lush and opulent. 51% Cabernet and 49% Shiraz. Aged in new and old French and American oak for at least 24 months. Blend of the best grapes Wolf Blass finds in McClaren Vale, Barossa and Adelaide Hills. Will drink well through 2015. Wine Spectator, 92 points
Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 (California) Reg. $39.99, Sale $24.99 – Hall is a classic Napa Valley producer. This is rich, concentrated and deliciously big! Aromas and flavors of plums, black currants, blackberries, ripe cherries, vanilla, baking spices and leather. 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. Aged 18 months in French oak (55% new). Organic, sustainable farming. Food pairings – lamb, beef, steak. Drinks well without food.
Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California) Reg. $28.99, Sale $19.99 – This is a new label from the winery, Provenance Vineyards. This is a big, lush, rich Cabernet. Flavors and aromas of vanilla, baking spices, black currants, blackberries, caramel and toast. Fine tannins. Elegant and balanced wine. 100% Cabernet. Aged 17 months in oak (40% new). Food pairings – steak, portabello mushrooms, osso bucco.
Cricket Hill Brewery Reserve #4 Maibock (New Jersey) Reg. $5.99, Sale $3.99 - This is a wonderful hot weather beer! This has the crispness of a lager and the rich malty sweetness of an ale. German hops add the right amount of bitterness. Aromas and flavors of fresh bread, stone fruits, caramel and nutty toast. 7% alcohol. 22oz. bottle.
Fuller's London Pride Premium Beer (England) Reg. $6.99, Sale $4.99 - This is a beautiful amber color with a great head on it in the glass! It's full-bodied and rich. Nice hoppiness throughout. This has nice citrus and hoppy flavors and aromas to balance the malty character. 4.7% alcohol. 16.9 oz. can (the can is the best way to package beer - no light and no oxygen). 4-pack. 90 points, Ratebeer.com
Ridgeway Santa's Butt Porter (England) Reg. $6.99, Sale $3.50 - Yes, these are from last Christmas. Yes, this is still good - it's a bottle-conditioned beer that can last for ages. This special holiday porter is made for winter - rich and warming, the way they like it at the North Pole. In England, "butt" refers to a certain sized barrel, in fact, holding 108 Imperial gallons. Back in the day it was quite a normal thing for a brewery to put its beer up in a large butt for storage. 6% alcohol. 16.9 oz. bottle.