Avinyo Cava Brut NV (Spain) $19.99 - Extended aging on the lees makes this reserve cava crisper, fuller, and creamier. It also has hints of toasted nuts under the aromas of citrus and pear. This is a complex intriguing sparkler that could pass as Champagne if you closed your eyes. The flavors are perfect to pair with Turkey and the effervescence will remove the fat and grease of gravy from your mouth. Aromas of green apples, citrus, fresh bread and minerals. Fresh and dry flavors of apples, fresh bread, pears and peaches. It’s been aged on its “lees” for 18-22 months, adding a yeasty quality to the wine similar to many Champagnes. Minerally-driven dry finish. This shows as much complexity as many Champagnes at a fraction of the cost! Blend of Macabeo, Xarello, and Parellada. Aged on lees for 18-22 months. Non-vintage. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 88 points
Jelu Torrontés 2010 (Argentina) $12.99 - An earlier vintage was a Huge HIT at a tasting and we just tasted this and wanted to bring it back! Torrontés is the grape and it is the dominant white grape in Argentina! This is really floral, kind of Muscat or Viognier like aroma. Lots of orange, apricot and some pineapple. That fruit is the first thing you taste, but then you get a hint of spice midway à la Gewürztraminer and then the finish is very clean and dry. Totally not what you expect from that first smell. Really cool wine! Food pairing – shellfish, seafood, lighter pasta dishes, grilled chicken or pork. Drinks well with or without food!
Sybille Kuntz Trocken Riesling 2008 (Germany) $22.99 - This is an excellent DRY Riesling from one of Germany’s best new winemakers! Aromas & flavors of pineapples, apricots, minerals and a hint smoke. This is just fabulous! Finishes clean and crisp! Husband-and-wife team. Sybille Kuntz is a rarity in Germany – a woman winemaker. 40-80 year-old vines. Organic & Biodynamic Farming. Food pairing - Goes smoked fish, freshwater fish, seafood & ham, spicy Asian fare, such as Thai food. Great choice for a pork roast.
Napa Station Sauvignon Blanc 2007 (California) Reg. $14.99, Sale $12.99 - The Sauvignon Blanc is lively, crisp, clean and bursting with citrus notes along with honeydew and nectarines. Sustainable farming. 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Semillon. 2,010 cases made. Stainless steel fermentation on the lees (not stirred). Food pairing - perfect as an aperitif, served with grilled seafood, Thanksgiving Dinner, chicken or light pasta, as well as spicy Asian and Latin dishes.
Viña Vistamar Chardonnay 2009 (Chile) $11.99 – This is a soft, smooth, easy-drinking Chard from Chile’s Central Valley. This sees a little oak during fermentation, but it sees no oak during aging, so this isn’t at all oaky. It’s clean and crisp. Aromas and flavors of apples, pears, melons, huts and more.
The Rosé (Ned’s table):
Trésors d’Antan Val de Loire Pineau d’Aunis Rosé 2009 (France) $13.99 – This is an unusual grape from the Coteaux de Vendomis in the Loire Valley. This rosé is unusual because it is made entirely from the rare Pineau d’Aunis grape. This grape is unique to the Loire Valley – even in the Loire it is rare as it has been pulled up for decades in favor of better-known grapes, such as Cabernet Franc. Pineau d’Aunis was born in the Middle Ages at the Priory of Aunis in Dampierre-sur-Loire. It’s also known as Chenin Noir and is one of the oldest grape varietals in the Loire. This has peppery aromas, which is typical of this grape. The flavors definitely include grapefruit, as well as strawberries and raspberries. This also has an interesting and pleasing note of pomegranates. Food pairing – great as a cocktail wine or with most any fish, poultry, softer cheese and desserts with red fruits.
Domaine de Grisy Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre 2008 (France) $18.99 - Perhaps you'd like something brighter, lively, and not too heavy? A red that keeps drawing you back for another sip, but doesn't tire your palate out? Look no further than the Domaine de Grisy. This is bright racy Pinot Noir at it's best.
Mas de Flauzieres Gigondas 2008 (France) - This Gigondas is a Grenache-based Rhône blend that's bigger and sees some oak aging. It's more powerful than the Burgundy and has more pepper, earth, and a touch of sweet vanilla from the oak on the finish. This is right about $20 and is a good choice for hams, pork roasts, and turkey if you simply prefer something bigger than Pinot Noir.
Château Haut-Bayard Montagne Saint-Émilion 2008 (France) $14.99 - Beautiful Bordeaux at a great price! This is rich and chewy. Wonderful aromas of black plums, black currants, leather and wet stones. Flavors of black plums, black cherries, mocha and leather. Long finish. Blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in neutral oak barrels for 6-8 months. Light filtration and fining. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing – beef stews, coq au vin, duck confit, lamb. Even cheddar cheese.
Lockhart Cabernet 2009 (California) $12.99 – This is a great drinking, soft, smooth Cabernet! Rich, lots of fruit….hints of vanilla.
Vistamar Pinot Noir Reserva 2009 (Chilean) $12.99 – This is a lush, smooth Pinot that is a great combination of fruit with a touch of brambliness. Aromas of wild berry fruits and flowers. Light and refreshing flavors with lots of berry flavours like cherries and redcurrants. The finish is smooth and has nice toasty notes.
Cave Saint Desirat Côtes-du-Rhône Villages 2007 (France) $12.99 – This is a really nice wine from a great vintage in the south of France! Full-bodied. Aromas of dark fruits, baking spices and pepper. Blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah and 25% Mourvèdre. Hand-picked grapes. Grapes are 100% destemmed. Sustainable farming. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. Food pairing – roasted meats, game, Thanksgiving Dinner.
Atrea Old Soul Red 2006 (California) $24.99 – Called by many a close relative of “The Prisoner” from Orin Swift. California’s famed David Ramey is a consulting winemaker for this wine. Aromas and flavors of red berries, baking spices, white pepper, mocha and more. This has ripe, full flavors that are loaded with fruit. The tannins are soft and the wine is lush! This drinks well right now and can age. Blend of 39% Zinfandel, 36% Syrah, 15% Petite Sirah and 10% Malbec. 1,891 cases made. From vineyards that are organic and/or sustainably farmed in Mendocino County. Grapes are destemmed. Aged in Burgundian and Hungarian oak (25% new) for 17 months. Bottled unfiltered. 90 Points, Stephen Tanzer
Mooiplaas “The Bean” Pinotage 2009 (South Africa) $13.99 - Unusual, delicious wine! This is a deep, dark color. The aromas and flavors definitely show mocha and roasted coffee as well as dark berry fruit. Aged in French oak barrels whose toasting was done in a way to accent the coffee/mocha flavors. 100% Pinotage. This has good tannins that have softened in the oak. Food pairing - Drinks well on its own. Grilled or roasted meats.