February 24, 2011

Wine Tasting, Saturday, Feb. 26th

Wine Tasting

Saturday, Feb. 26th

2:00 – 6:00pm

Donate the 10% savings to the Freeport Community Services Food and Fuel Fund and Freeport Cheese & Wine will match each donation 100% (if you donate $10, so will we).


10% off on all wine tasting wines into your pocket!

SOPO has a new guy, Joe Ricchio, working for them and we truly enjoy working with Joe…..we are still working closely with Doug and Cat; and, they bring passion and knowledge in big amounts….Joe brings passion in SPADES…..and, he is a bit of a legend in the wine and restaurant world in Maine. If you ate at Evangeline in its early days, Joe put together that wine list….it was an AWESOME wine list….. Joe has been the “public face” of Miyake and its new restaurant, Pai Men (the noodle place) for a long time…..if you’ve been to either, you’ve seen Joe…..he’s likely waited on your table or advised you on what is best…..he’s a guy you can trust…..b/c, if he doesn’t like it, he’ll tell you that as well!

This is a guy who is PASSIONATE about food and wine…..off-the-charts passionate…..he’s into it.

So, Joe and I wanted to do a tasting as soon as possible and this weekend is a GREAT opportunity to taste some really good wines….(remember, the weather on Friday is supposed to suck, so Saturday’s skiing is going to be poor….stay home and come taste some great wines!).

Here are the wines:

The Whites:

J. & H. Selbach Riesling Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay 2009 (Germany) $11.99 - We first tasted this about 2 weeks ago….great fruit, great acidity, a touch of sweetness…..before you poo-pooh “sweetness” in a wine, please be aware that great acidity that balances the sweetness makes for a delicious, well-balanced wine. This is a well-balanced wine….Sweetness without the acidity makes for a syrupy, unbalanced, not tasty wine…..if you don’t like well-made Riesling with the balancing acidity, I’ll be shocked. Food pairing – Thai food, smoked fish, shellfish, ham, sushi.

Vinum Cellars Chenin-Viognier Wilson Vineyard 2008 (California) $11.99 – We love this wine and this winery. A couple of young guys and they keep making superlative wine that they want to drink and so do we! They only deal with growers who practice sustainable agriculture and their environmental bent carries over to their packaging, bottles, labels and ink. This is a beautiful combination of both grapes. The Viognier adds a wonderful clove characteristic to the wine. The aromas are of apricots, peaches, coriander and honey. The flavors are super ripe – mandarin oranges, tropical fruit, Meyer lemon, key lime and more. This has vibrant, refreshing acidity which helps it pair up with a lot of foods, especially spicy ones. Food pairing – Thai curries, Indian food. Salads. Sushi.

R. Stuart & Co. Big Fire Pinot Gris 2009 (Oregon) $13.99 – We’ve sold each vintage of this wine since Doug and Cat first brought it into Maine and we keep loving it more and more! Maybe it’s that it’s delicious! Maybe it’s that each time Rob Stuart (R. Stuart & Co.) comes to Maine, we see him and taste his wines again and again…..and they are excellent! This is a fabulous Pinot Gris! Delicious! Fresh and vibrant! Aromas of flowers, vanilla, apples and pears. Wonderful fruit and acidity in the flavors - apples, pears and vanilla. Crisp, vibrant finish! Rob Stuart was here in January and we were able to taste this with him (along with all his wines!). Great guy and great winemaker! 100% stainless steel fermentation. Food pairing - shellfish, creamy pasta dishes, light appetizers, spicier foods & sipping on its own. Great with spicy Thai dishes.

The Reds:

Gode’ II Rosso di Toscana IGT 2007 (Italy) Reg. $13.99, Sale $12.99 - This is the same wine as Poggio Amorelli’s Chianti Classico. Given the slower economy, the more expensive Chianti Classico is selling more slowly than they’d wish. So, you get to enjoy the same wine for A LOT less money with a different label! Classic Italian red - a little earth and dusty tannins and it has that red cherry, raspberry fruit profile that signifies Sangiovese. Blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo (20%). Aged in oak barriques. Food pairing - Hearty pasta dishes, pork sausages and grilled meats.

Leese-Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (California) $10.99 - This packs a lot of flavor into a moderate-priced wine. This is smooth and lush! Aromas and flavors of dark cherries, figs, currants, dark chocolate, blueberries, toast and vanilla. The tannins are soft. Rich, good tasting finish. This Cabernet is very complex, with integrated French oak and layered sweet fruit and savory nuances. Food pairing - hearty fare such as seared flank steak with a port reduction sauce, roasted venison or a good beef burger topped with cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. It also closes with a ZORK! The Zork is a stopper that opens easily and then reseals the bottle.

Clos Mimi “Petite Rousse” Syrah 2006 (California) – a couple of years ago, it was $25.99, now, $19.99 – We tasted this at a tasting a couple of years ago – same vintage…..unfortunately for the winery, sales have been slow…..fortunately for you, sales have been slow…..SO, the price is better…..the wine has aged into its better life……This is a superb wine, distinctively unique… This is not a wimpy wine...aromas of herbs, pepper, dark berries, licorice and currants. Big and full-bodied in the mouth. Just a load of flavor. A powerhouse of a wine! 100% Syrah. All of the fruit is destemmed by hand and crushed by foot. Only 4,067 cases made. Drinking well now, but you SHOULD decant it to open it up. Will age well for 3-5 years. Organic, biodynamic farming. Food pairing – grilled meats. Big dishes! Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Plungerhead Zinfandel Old Vine Lodi 2008 (California) $14.99 - The Lodi area in California is home to some of the oldest vine Zinfandel in the country. Old vines make better wine! This is a deep, dark color and it is bursting with flavors and aromas. This just puts a smile on your face! Aromas of dark chocolate, baking spices, vanilla and ripe cherries. Flavors of dark berries, raspberries, vanilla, cococa, cedar and more. Soft tannins and just a mouthful of wine! Food pairing – grilled meats, pizza, sipping. It also closes with a ZORK!

Arizona Stronghold “Nachise” Red 2008 (Arizona) $22.99 - This has a lot of spice, dark fruit, red berry and a brambly earthy quality (wet leaves in the fall). The aromas also have lavender, sage, blueberries, blackberries and ground pepper notes. The mouth is loaded with lush, rich fruit. The long finish has nice drying tannins and a wildberry characteristic. Blend of Syrah, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Mourvèdre and Counoise. Aged in neutral oak barrels. The Syrah is from a clone from Australia (Shiraz-1) so this has some Australian as well as Côtes-du-Rhône characteristics. 2009 barrels made. Food pairing - Great with any type of game, roast lamb and grilled vegetables.

Arizona Stronghold is a winery founded by Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer for Tool, as well as being a moviemaker and more. He is best known as the lead singer of the multi-platinum rock bands Tool and A Perfect Circle. Moving to Arizona in 1995, Keenan began his quest to make wine and has produced excellent wines through his labels Caduceus, Merkin and Arizona Stronghold.

Many Americans know of the “Four Corners” area where Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah border each other. This area is also home to the great Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range arcing northward from Mexico into the US. This is another “Four Corners,” the Madrean. Sonora, Chihuahua, New Mexico and Arizona were once the homeland of the Chiracahua Apache, the mighty Chocise’s tribe.

The Arizona Stronghold Winery and Vineyards are near Sedona (just south of Flagstaff). The vineyards are at altitudes of 3,200 – 4,800 feet.

Maynard's documentary about making wine:


February 16, 2011

New Maine Beers

New Maine beers in the store! See the details Thursday!
  • Maine Beer Company "Mean Old Tom" Stout - limited edition winter beer. I have 24 bottles. The distributor is out. The brewery is out. 16.9 oz bottle. $6.99.
  • Baxter Brewing Company "Pamola" Pale Ale - Maine's 1st microbrewery using cans! Maine''s newest brewery. From Lewiston. 12 oz cans. $8.99.

Sale - R. Stuart & Co. "Autograph" Pinot Noir 2007


R. Stuart & Co.
"Autograph" Pinot Noir 2007

Reg. $39.99, Sale $21.99

SOPO bought about 30 cases of R. Stuart Autograph Pinot Noir 2007 and it just arrived.....it's on a great sale price and I have 8 cases of it coming.

Why the great price?

Several reasons:
  1. The slow economy. Wine above $30 is barely selling anywhere in the world. Enough on the economy.
  2. The 2008 vintage is the greatest ever in Oregon and people are waiting to buy those wines. What they might not also know is that they are going to need to wait to drink them because they will need time to achieve greatness.
  3. The 2007 vintage was a challenging one....especially for people new to Oregon winemaking. Rob Stuart has been at this for over 25 years. He knows what to do when the weather starts throwing curve balls.

Rob Stuart was just here a week or so ago and we tasted through several of his wines with Doug from SOPO. The 2007 "Autograph" Pinot Noir stood out.

Will the 2008 be a greater wine? I'd bet money on it.

Would you prefer to have really good Pinot to drink now at a great price? I'd bet money on that as well!

Rob, a longtime veteran of the Oregon wine world, was formerly the winemaker at Erath Vineyards. He started his own winery in early 2002. Rob has a degree in biochemistry from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in New York. He worked in chemistry briefly and then started in the wine industry at Hans Kornell (one of the California pioneer winemakers) in Napa Valley. Then he joined Valley View Vineyards (Southern Oregon's original winery in the 1850's) and after that on to Station Hills in Yakima, Washington where he made wine for ten years. Finally, Rob returned to Oregon in 1994 as the winemaker at Erath Vineyards - working for and with Oregon legend AND PIONEER Dick Erath. Now, he makes the wines he loves: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and sparkling wine!

He's as nice a guy as you'll ever met and as engaging and unpretentious as can be! No winemaker ego here! He's passionate about making fabulous, hand-crafted wines.

Why was 2007 such a tough year? It was a wet summer. Normally, it's a dry summer and the grapes ripen before the fall rains come. The winemakers usually harvest before the rain arrives. Well, the grapes weren't ripe and if you harvested at the normal time, the wine was so-so. Rob waited and waited. The fall rains came....and came....Then, they stopped on Oct. 23rd and Rob gave it time to dry out and ripen up.....and BAM! An excellent wine.

R. Stuart & Co. "Autograph" Pinot Noir 2007 (Oregon) Reg. $39.99, Sale $21.99 - This is the wine Rob considers his best and his signature wine. He says of the 2007, that is "made him feel like an Oregon summer." This is just drinking so well right now! It's from 4 vineyards - Weber and Winderlea in the Dundee Hills and Temperance Hill and Daffodil Hill in Eola Hills. It has great red fruit, floral and spice notes from the Dundee grapes. The Eola Hills grapes bring in blue fruit, mushrooms, earth, forest floor and add structure. This is aged 10 months in new to 7-year-old French oak barrels so it is not oaky. 1,657 cases made. Organic, sustainable and/or biodynamic practices in the 4 vineyards.

Orin Swift Mercury Head Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Orin Swift
Mercury Head
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

This is a rare wine from Napa Valley. Orin Swift is a winery that is in the cult status. 150 bottles of this came into Maine. It is $74.99.

More details to follow.

Re-modelling of the store - Phase 1

The store is new and improved!

We've been working hard the last couple of weeks redoing the store.

Phase 1 is done aside from tweaking a beer fixture, some signage, re-arranging this or that. The store LOOKS GREAT!

The only thing that hasn't moved (YET) is the cheese case. That's Phase 2 of the re-model.

Wine is where food was. Food is where wine was. Beer is where wine was. We've repainted the walls white.

Why? It opens up the store. It's more cohesive. Easy to shop. Brighter. We like. We hope you will as well.

Wine Tasting, Friday, Feb. 18th

Wine Tasting

Friday, Feb. 18th

3:30 – 7:30pm

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

We also have a donation jar on the table for the Freeport Community Services Food and Fuel Fund. You may opt to donate the tasting discount to Freeport Community Services. Our store will match all donations with a check to Freeport Community Services for the Food and Fuel Fund.

All NEW wines to Maine!

Ned Swain of Devenish Wines will be here! Ned took time to write a “manifesto” and mission statement for Devenish Wines and himself…..it sums up Ned’s thoughts regarding wine quite well – wines should be made in small amounts as naturally as possible and they should taste well and of a place. They should have soul and a heart. I agree with him.

Last year, Ned started working with a wonderful importer of wines from France, Maximilien Selections. This guy knows how to pick wines at great prices. We've sold a lot of his wines.

These are superb wines and killer values! The wines are organically farmed as a rule (or shifting to organic farming and production). These wines are all from small producers that are family-owned.

So, here are the wines:

The Sparkling:

Alexandre Monmousseau Cremant de Loire NV (France) $16.99 – This is a sparkling that is made in Vouvray in the Loire Valley. It’s 50/50 Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. This is very clean with a hint of fresh baked bread. It goes through the 2nd fermentation in the bottle, but, it isn’t aged long (Champagne is). Therefore, it is different from Champagne (that, and the addition of Chenin Blanc). Food pairing – great with almost all seafood, especially shellfish. Great for a cocktail party.

The Whites:

Château Clare Graves 2009 (France) $12.99 - Beautiful wine and a great value from Bordeaux from a great vintage! This is rich and full (that’s the Semillon grapes) with great stony minerality. The soil is Graves is all about being rocky and that minerality comes through in the wine. Aromas and flavors of citrus, nuts and grass. Blend of 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Stainless steel aging and fermenting. Organic farming. Food pairing – seafood, poached fish, shellfish. Salads.

Domaine Grand Cotes de Jura Chardonnay 2008 (France) $16.99 – Intriguing Chardonnay from the Jura Mountains. This has bright fresh fruit and a zesty, refreshing mid-palate. It is aged in casks that formerly held “Vin Jaune,” which is a common practice in these parts. That gives the wine a completely other dimension – aromas and flavors of nuts and spice. Vin Jaune is a wine that is similar to a dry Fino Sherry. It ages in a barrel for 6 years and 3 months under a layer of yeast – this is similar to the “flor” that sits atop Sherry while it ages and is called “voile.” You don’t see a lot of Vin Jaune in the USA – a partial reason is that it is bottled in a 21-ounce bottle (62 centiliters) and the US government TIGHTLY regulates bottle sizes. The 62 centiliter size corresponds to the percentage (62%) of the wine that is left in the cask after the 6+ years are over. This winery was founded in 1976 in Jura’s Revermont region, one of France’s oldest appellations. Food pairing – scallops, roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes, stuffed chicken breast.

The Reds:

Domaine Boudau Côtes du Roussillon 2009 (France) $11.99 – A naturally-farmed, single vineyard blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. This is a very drinkable, chewy, fruit-forward Mediterranean red. Hippolyte Boudau created this estate in the 1920’s. For over 70 years it focused on sweet wines. His grandchildren, Véronique and Pierre Boudau, run the estate today after taking over from their father. In 1993, they led the winery into making dry wines as well. Food pairing – salmon, duck, roasted chicken.

Michel Guignier Beaujolais 2009 (France) $14.99 – From the great, great 2009 vintage! Michel Guignier owns land across several Beaujolais crus and farms his land organically. This is vibrant, beautiful, “drink now Gamay” from a great producer. The owner of another store calls this “one of the two most perfect wines he has drunk in recent memory.” If you are thinking this is similar to Beaujolais Nouveau or Beaujolais-Villages, please think again. This is a great wine! Food pairing – roasted poultry, salmon, grilled chicken.

Château de Grandchamp Montagne-Saint Émilion 2007 (France) $16.99 – Gonzague Maurice acquired this domaine in 2005 and is transforming it to organic agriculture. This is a blend of 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Classic Merlot-based Bordeaux with aromas and flavors of earth, black pepper, lush fruit and great structure. This has well-integrated tannins that are nicely there, but not obnoxiously there. This is a “drink now” Bordeaux from a really good producer from a good vintage. Food pairing – beef tenderloin, lamb chops, crown roast of pork, rich meals.

Chateau La Reyne Cahors “Le Prestige” 2007 (France) $16.99 - This is a big, dark, rich red! This is smooth, well-structured and has firm tannins. Red and dark berries and cherries are prominent in the flavors and aromas. It’s elegant! The tannins are smooth and big. Aged in French oak. 100% Malbec. From 35 year-old vines. Organic farming. Food pairing – aged cheeses, red meats and stews.

Cesca Vicent Priorat 2008 (Spain) $21.99 – Okay….yes….we are not in France! Still, this is a wonderful wine….and one just rarely finds a lot of wine from Priorat for this price! This is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This is a well-balanced, approachable Priorat. It’s concentrated and it has notes of iron and slate mixed in with the bright cherry fruit and it doesn’t weigh you down. It’s organically farmed (look at pictures of Priorat – they don’t have much worries about bugs or fungi – so, herbicides and fungicides are not needed….and the soil provides plenty of minerals….plus vines work best when stressed, so this soil certainly doesn’t need chemical fertilizers). Priorat, along with Rioja, is one of only 2 D.O.Ca.’s in Spain (Denominación de Origen Calificada) – these are the highest quality producing areas in Spain. Francesca Vincent Robert’s ancestors have made wine here since the 15th century. She had a soil survey done many years ago. The vineyards are on 11 kinds of soil (gravel, slate, granite, lime, etc.) and are planted with grapes best suited to that soil and microclimate. The area sees temperature swings from XXF in the day to XXF at night and little rainfall during the summer months.

February 4, 2011

Wines of the Month - February

February Wines of the Month

It’s February and sure has been snowing a lot!

I spoke with Ned and said that I really needed some wines new to Maine…..and he helped me come up with some gems.

It’s Maine shrimp season, as well as scallops….plus, this is a great time of year for mussels and oysters, so we really focused the whites on wines that are great with shellfish.

Tier One


For Tier One, we are in France and two of my favorite areas…..in the Loire Valley for a delicious white and then we head south to Provence for a great little red.

The White

Château La Morinière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine 2009 (France) $12.99 – This old-vine Muscadet picks up a lot of minerality from the gravelly vineyards that are home to the grapes. This has an almost Sancerre-like focus to it and minerally mid-palate. It has a great combination of fruit and minerals and a refreshing taste! 100% Melon de Bourgogne – the name comes from the round shape of the leaves. Burgundian monks brought this grape to the area around Nantes in the 18th century. The vines survived a brutal winter in 1709 and found a great home in the gravelly vineyards in the area. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Aged on the lees (the yeast and residue that collects in the bottom of vats and barrels during fermentation) for 8 months. This will age well for 2-6 years. This area is in the western Loire Valley near Nantes. The vines are 40-45 years old and the vineyard is one of the highest in terms of altitude in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine. It faces south-southeast. The Couillard Brothers are 6th generation winemakers. Organic, sustainable farming. Food pairing – shrimp scampi, mussels, oysters, shellfish, lobster.

The Red

Domaine Le Grand Rouvière Côtes de Provence Rouge 2009 (France) $13.99 – This is enjoyably earthy at the start and then it opens up into a very unpretentious table wine. The tannins aren’t aggressive, but it has a nice dry, earthy mid-palate and aromas of Provencal herbs behind its bright cherry fruit. Blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache. Organic, sustainable farming. Fifth generation winemaking family. Food pairing – grilled steak, grilled pork chops or pork tenderloin, baby back ribs.

Tier Two


For Tier 2, we are in Spain in a winemaking area that is recently emerging and is a “place to watch.” Terra Alta is a D.O. (Denominacio D’Origen – classified winemaking area) in the province of Tarragona in remote northeastern Spain. This area is near the famed Priorat region. Residents have made wine here since before the Roman Empire occupied the area. The Romans, monks and Knights Templar have all made wine in this area. Pablo Picasso was a frequent summer visitor. Terra Alta means “high land.” The winters are cold and the summers are long, hot and dry. The vineyards are on plateaus and in valley floors surrounded by jagged mountains. The winery, Edetaria, takes its name and that of some of its wines from the Via Edetana, the Roman trade route between Tortosa and Zaragosa. .

The White

Edetaria Edetana Blanco 2009 (Terra Alta, Spain) $21.99 – You know this is going to be interesting as soon as you see the blend – 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Viognier. The Viognier is aged on its lees for 4 months in stainless steel vats. The Grenache Blanc is aged on its lees as well, but it is aged for months in neutral French oak barrels.

This has aromas and flavors of roses, minerals, white stone fruit and lychee fruit. The finish is long and creamy with a long finish that has a nice minerality to it. Food pairing – scallops, shellfish, poultry, ham.

The Red

Edetaria Vinya D’irto Garnatza Negra (Terra Alta, Spain) $16.99 – The grapes for this vineyards right next to Priorat. It’s a blend of Grenache and Carignan. This has aromas and flavors of fresh, ripe cherries, dry, sun-baked earth, pepper and lingering extracted fruit. This is a crowd-pleasing, fruit-forward red. It has softer, “sweet” tannins (this has nothing to do with the wine being sweet or not – the tannins are not drying or heavy). It has a nice spicy finish. Blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Food pairing – pork chops, grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, pasta with red sauce, lasagna.

Tier Three


The White

Domaine Cherrier Et Fils Sancerre 2009 (France) $26.99 - Delicious Sancerre from a 3rd generation winemaker! 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 Spectator, 89 points

The Red

Edetaria Edetana Tinto 2007 (Terra Alta, Spain) $26.99 – This is a dark, brooding wine that you can sink your teeth into! This is dense and ripe and a wine that is great for sitting and sipping with friends in front of a fire. The grapes are from older vines. The wine spends 18 months in French oak barrels (300 liters). Blend of 40% Garnacha Peluda, 35% Syrah and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. Food pairing - steak, beef, lamb, pasta dishes, lasagna, etc.

Wine Tasting, Thursday, Feb. 10th

Wine Tasting
Feb. 10th
4:30 - 7:30

Featuring Iain Cardus from Pine State.

We'll be tasting wines to give you some ideas for Valentine's Day.

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

The Sparkling:

Bisol Jeio Cuvée Rosé (Italy) $14.99 – This is a lighter color in terms of rosé sparklers. This has beautiful floral notes and aromas. This has fine bubbles and they last a long time. Crisp, clean and dry. Great length on the finish. 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Merlot. Aged three months on its lees and then bottled and aged 3 months before release. Food pairing – great for a cocktail party.

The Whites:

MandraRossa Fiano 2009 (Sicily) $9.99 – Fiano is an unusual grape – you usually find it in the Campania area in Italy (near Mt. Vesuvius). Here it is grown in the western part of Sicily. I first tasted this at the very end of January and loved it. It’s a little weightier, rounder, fleshier and more fruit-forward than Fianos from Campania. This has citrus and tropical fruit aromas. It’s medium-bodied and dry with great balance between fruit and acidity. Flavors of citrus and melon and tropical fruit. Food pairing – chicken and turkey entrées, fish, fettuccini alfredo and grilled vegetables.

Chalone Vineyards Chardonnay 2009 Monterey County (California) $11.99 – Chalone is one of the few vineyards in the USA that has limestone-based soils. It’s actually it’s own AVA (American Viticultural Area). This is a delicious Chardonnay from an outstanding winery in the Central Coast area. Aromas and flavors of baked pears, apples, tangerines, flowers and baking spices. This is juicy and well-balanced. It has a distinct creaminess partway through your mouth. The soil lends a distinct minerality to this wine and vibrant acidity. 60% is aged for 6 months in French and American oak. Food pairing – scallops, roasted chicken, creamy pasta dishes, stuffed chicken breast.

The Reds:

Garnacha de Fuego 2009 (Spain) $9.99 - This is an unbelievably good wine and a GREAT value at this price! Aromas of raspberry, red cherry, baking spices and earth. Rich flavors of red berries and wild cherries. Soft tannins. Unoaked. 100% Grenache from 60-80 year-old high altitude vines. This will drink well for 2-3 years, but why wait!!! Food pairing - grilled meats, salmon, roasted meats, lasagna, etc. Drinks well on its own! Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Riserva 2006 (Sardinia, Italy) $14.99 - We had this wine with dinner & loved it! I took it to a private wine tasting and it was the hit of the night! Rich, complex, enjoyable. Beautiful, pale, translucent color. Rich aromas of violets, red berries and more. Good fruit (cherries, red berries). Good spice. Medium-bodied. Nice long finish. Can’t say enough about this wine! We had a great halibut dish & a rich seafood stew (spicy Italian version of bouillabaisse). Cannonau is Sardinia’s primary red grape – in France it is Grenache. Food pairing - Goes great with rich foods, red meats and flavorful cheeses. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 89 points, “…among Italy’s finest values.”

Dry Creek Vineyards “Heritage” Zinfandel 2008 (California) $17.99 – The Heritage Zinfandel is a blend of Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley fruit. This is beautifully ripe with aromas and flavors of raspberries, cherries, blueberry pie, dark chocolate, vanilla and toasty oak. Smooth, Zesty. Well-balanced and loaded with flavor. Blend of 82% Zinfandel and 18% Petite Sirah. Aged 10 months in American and French oak. Food pairing – pasta with red sauce, anything grilled, pizza, lamb or beef stew. Wine Spectator, 88 points

Llai Llai Pinot Noir 2009 (Chile) $14.99 – This is a delicious, juicy, ripe Pinot that we tasted for the first time last week. We really liked it! This is from the Bio Bio Valley (about 300 miles south of Santiago). The valley has a cool, maritime climate – making it a great place to grow Pinot Noir. This has aromas and flavors of earth, dark cherries, smoke and herbs. Moderate tannins. It’s really at the alcohol level that Pinot should be – 13%. This can easily pass for a good village wine from the Cote de Nuits. Hand-harvested, cold-fermented and partially aged in 1-year old French oak. Llai Llai (“Lie-Lie”) means wind in the indigenous Mapuche language. Food pairing – salmon, duck, roasted chicken.

Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 Spring Mountain District (California) $34.99 - This is a beautiful, tasty, rich Cabernet! Deep, dark rich color. Aromas of dark berries & currants, black tea, baking spices, cedar & just a hint of earth. Rich flavors of cassis, blackberries, dark cherries & vanilla. Nicely integrated tannins & well-balanced acidity. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Merlot and 2%Cabernet Franc. Aged 22 months in 33% new French oak. 5,586 cases made. Estate-grown grapes from 2 vineyards, Yverdon and Wurtele, in Napa Valley. Food pairing - A good steak, rich meats & meals. Drinks well on its own! Wine Spectator, 88 points

The Dessert:

CHAMBERS Rutherglen Muscat NV (Australia) $17.99 - Ohhhh…my goodness…this is good…nectar of the gods good…Truly great…wonderful, HEART-WARMING to drink! Wonderful aromas…silky, supple feel… it goes down as smooth as it smells and starts. Often a dessert wine; try it as an aperitif, particularly on a cool day. A small glass goes a long way – warming the soul as well as the stomach. This wine will keep for months after opening, providing you recork it after each serving. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93 points

More Wine Deals!



Winter Deals

Here is the UPDATED list (current as of 1 PM on Friday), descriptions and all! With deletions for what is already gone.

This list has A LOT more WHITE WINES on it than the 1st list did.

Again, we are STILL changing around the ENTIRE store and in the midst of the chaos of doing that….66 cases of wine showed up last Friday and another 45 cases on Monday & Tuesday….so, it is a bit chaotic.…..GREAT PRICES, ALL of THEM! This is a GREAT sale! The store has come a long way this week with Jessica doing yeoman’s work making everything look nice.

The descriptions are all here.

Quantities for some of these wines are extremely limited.

If you want any of these, please e-mail your hopes, desires and/or requests to me at efullagar@gmail.com.

We are open each day……most days 10-6 and Sundays from 12-5. I’ll be open until 7 this Friday and Saturday.



The Wines

White Wines


Flora Springs Chardonnay 2007 (California) Reg. $16.99, Sale $11.99 – We sold out of the 2006 and National sent us 5 cases of the 2007! This has really nice toasty aromas of pineapple, pears and peaches. The wine does not go through malolactic fermentation so it has a lot of bright, fresh acidity. The wine does have the weight, texture and heft of a buttery, creamy Chardonnay due to its aging on lees for months. This is a well-balanced Chardonnay. This is not overly oaked. Balanced, balanced Chardonnay. Organically farmed. Solar-powered winery. 50% aged in French oak that is 1/3 new barrels, 1/3 2nd usage and 1/3 3rd usage (what all that means is that the wine is not oaky – the 1st time you use an oak barrel, you leech out 80% of the oaky flavors and aromas). Food pairing – roasted chicken, lobster, scallops.

Flora Springs Sauvignon Blanc Soliloquy Vineyard 2007 (California) Reg. $24.99, Sale $15.99 – This is a single vineyard wine from Oakville. Rounded, rich and fuller bodied than many SB’s. This has bright, fresh fruit, acidity and minerality. Aromas and flavors of citrus, peaches, gooseberries with a little honey and spice. Long, silky smooth finish with hints of figs and fennel. Organically farmed. Solar-powered winery. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from 2 distinct clones – 70% Sauvignon Musqué and 30% Proprietary Soliloquy Clone. Fermented in stainless steel tanks and concrete vats. Aged sur lees for 8 months in 60-year-old upright oak barrels. This aging softens the wine without adding any oaky flavors or aromas. Drink now through 2012. Food pairing – roasted chicken, spicy foods, scallops, lobster.

Sbragia Sauvignon Blanc Home Ranch 2008 (California) Reg. $22.99, Sale $11.99 – This is a single vineyard wine from Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma. Ed Sbragia made wine for Beringer for years and started his own winery, Sbragia Family Vineyards. This is a juicy, delicious Sauvignon Blanc! Aromas of pears, pineapples, grapefruit and more. Flavors of citrus peel, honeysuckle, tropical fruit and green apples. Long, zippy finish. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from a single vineyard, Home Ranch. The grapes were all hand-harvested on one day. 1,200 cases made. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged in 3rd use oak barrels, so this isn’t oaky at all. The bottle is closed with a cool glass stopper – the Vino-Seal. It’s worth saving the bottle and stopper to use to bottle vinegar at home. Food pairing – seafood, Asian food, lighter chicken dishes. Drinking. Wine Spectator, 89 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 88 points


Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 2006 (Burgundy, France) Reg. 69.99, Sale $35.99 – This is such a classic Burgundy! Aromas of white peaches and white apricots and honey. Great acidity that levels out the fruit and the wines depth and richness. Great floral aromas as well. This is supple and lush. At the same time it has this verve and élan and a cut to the flavors that makes it pair well with rich seafood and dishes with cream sauces. 13% alcohol. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90 points


Falesco Ferentano 2006 (Lazio, Italy) Reg. $29.99, Sale $16.99 – This is one of my favorite white wines. Much like a very good white Burgundy. Definitely a "red wine lover's" white wine! A great, unusual white wine! Aromas and flavors of pineapples, bananas, fresh herbs, vanilla, minerals & more. Rich & full-bodied. Long finish that is just complex as can be! From a rare grape unique to Umbria - 100% estate-grown Roscetto, a red grape that makes a full-bodied white wine. Aged 3 months in 2-year-old French oak barriques. Bottled unfined & unfiltered. Aged 1 month in the bottle before release. 1,000 cases made. Organic farming. Food pairing - This white wine screams for "big" meats dishes. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points (I respect Robert Parker, but he is severely undergrading this wine)

Cantina Girlan Gewürztraminer Aimé 2008 (Italy) Reg. $24.99, Sale $11.99 – This is a dry Gewürz. Nice wine with an excellent spiciness! This is from the Alto Adige in Northeastern Italy, an area renowned for excellent white wines. This is one of them. This area is also known as the Sudtirol and it is birthplace of this grape varietal. This has a deep, golden color. Aromas of flowers, honey and lychee nuts. The wine is soft and smooth in the glass – really viscous. Medium-bodied. It’s spicy – anise and pepper. Tropical fruit and stone fruit flavors. It needs to breathe a bit after opening. 100% Gewurztraminer. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing – fish, sausages, ham, Thai food. Wine Enthusiast, 89 points

Cantina Girlan Pinot Bianco San Martino 2006 (Italy) Reg. $17.99, Sale $8.99 -

We just tasted this two weeks ago with Art from National and we really liked it. It has a depth and complexity that comes to good white wines after a couple of years in the bottle. This is from the Alto Adige in Northeastern Italy, an area renowned for excellent white wines. This is one of them. This area is also known as the Sudtirol. This has aromas of apples, flowers, citrus, tropical fruit and peaches. The wine has a rich, soft texture to it and a smooth finish. 100% Pinot Blanc. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing – Pinot Biancos are extremely versatile wines when it comes to food. Pair with fish, Thai food, Sunday brunch, shellfish, creamy soups, etc.


Lagoalva Espirito Branco 2008 (Portugal) Reg. $14.99, Sale $7.99 – This estate was owned by the Order of Santiago de Espada (Military Order of Saint James of the Sword). It’s in the Ribatejo region along the south bank of the Tagus River For centuries, grapes, olives, cork, sheep, bulls, heifers and horses have been raised on this land. In 1991, Isabel Juliana Campilho bought the property (over 12,000 acres) and founded the winery. Today, it has 113 acres devoted to grapes. Blend of 25% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Alvarinho, 20% Verdelho, 20% Fernao Pires and 15% Arinto. This has bright acidity and aromas and flavors of peaches, melons and kiwi. Nice minerality on the finish. Crisp and clean. Aged and fermented in stainless steel. Food pairing – seafood, lighter dishes and as a cocktail wine.

Red Wines


Flora Springs Merlot 2006 (California) Reg. $24.99, Sale $15.99 This is a velvety smooth Merlot from a top winery in Napa. When Merlot is done right, it is so good. This is done right! Winemaking on this land dates back to the 19th century, but it was Jerry and Flora Komes who brought the property into the modern era and to GREAT winemaking over 30 years ago. Aromas and flavors of strawberries, raspberries, plums and cherries with hints of spice. Soft tannins. Delicious! 100% Merlot. Aged 15 months in French, American and Eastern European oak (just a small amount of the oak is new). Drink now through 2012. Organically farmed. Solar-powered winery. 4 bottles left.

Hyde & De Villaine (HdV) Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2003 (Carneros, California) Reg. $63.99, Sale $29.99 Just over 10 years ago, Aubert de Villaine, co-owner and director of Burgundy's famed Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC to its fans) and Larry Hyde, owner of famed Hyde Vineyards in California, joined forces to produce a Chardonnay and a Merlot-Cabernet blend from the Carneros district. This venture is HdV, named after the two families. De Villaine’s wife is Larry Hyde’s 1st cousin. Hyde Vineyards doesn’t make wine. They grow some of California’s greatest grapes – Patz & Hall, Staglin, Dave Ramey, Paul Hobbs, Kistler, Duckhorn and more buy grapes from Larry Hyde. Hyde Vineyards is the equivalent of a Grand Cru vineyard in France. The coat of arms on the label is that of the De la Guerra family, one of California’s oldest and one that won a winemaking gold medal at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Fair; so, their ancestors have a long history of making wine in California. This joint venture is making no more than 5,000 cases per year. 1 bottle left.

Aromas of blackberries, black cherries, herbs, pepper and baking spices. Flavors of black fruit, cinnamon, leather, pepper and vanilla. It has that velvety feel that Merlot adds to wine. The tannins are fine-grained and soft. This has that characteristic Hyde Vineyard acidity so the wine ages well and has this vibrant refreshing finish. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 18 months in French oak (35% new). Bottled unfiltered. 1,287 cases made. Organic and sustainable farming. Food pairing – steak, fillet mignon, venison, quail, duck. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 89 points

TAZ Pinot Noir 2007 (Santa Barbara, California) Reg. $24.99, Sale $12.99 – I first tasted this wine about 4-6 months ago. I liked it a lot. At the same time, in this economy, I was thinking, “What am I going to do with an unknown $25 Pinot?” Well, it’s no longer $25 and it is still unknown and it still tastes good! Aromas of strawberries, black tea, black cherries and baking spices. Flavors of vanilla, baking spices, red cherries, dark berries and a bit of earth. The founder, Bob Steinhauer, is nicknamed the “Tasmanian Devil.” 100% Pinot Noir from 2 distinctly different vineyard areas. One is in the Santa Maria Valley and these grapes add a silky, soft texture with red fruit and floral notes. The second is the Fiddlestix Vineyard and that is a weightier Pinot with more dark fruit. Each lot of grapes is vinified separately and aged in French oak (40% new) for 9 months. Food pairing – roasted or grilled poultry, salmon, leg of lamb, lamb chops..


Baron Philippe de Rothshild Almaviva 2002 (Chile) Reg. $99.99, Sale $59.99 – If you like California-style big reds, you’ll love this Franco-Chilean blend featuring 3 noble Bordeaux grapes! This is concentrated, robust with aromas of dark, dark fruits, baking spices and toasty vanilla and new oak. The flavors are loaded with blackberries, cassis, black cherries and vanilla. This is medium-to-full bodied. The tannins are ripe and well-integrated. This has a super long finish. While Almaviva has a Hispanic ring to the name, the wine is named after Count Almaviva, the hero of “The Marriage of Figaro.” This wine is the result of a joint venture between Mouton Rothschild and Concha y Toro. Cabernet Sauvignon-based wine (67% Cabernet, 29% Carménère and the rest is 4% Cabernet Franc). Aged 18 months in new French oak. Drink now through 2016. Food pairing – while this would pair up well with steak, lamb and other robust meals, I think this is a sit and sip wine after dinner. While you may buy a bottle of this, if you buy 6 of them, you get the nice wood box that comes with it. Wine Spectator, 93 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93 points. 8 bottles left.


Cru Beaujolais are among the greatest values in the wine world and great food wines. We have 1 of them left from a great producer from Cotes de Brouilly. Cru Beaujolais is more akin to good Pinot Noir than it is to Beaujolais Nouveau or Villages.

Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly 2006 (France) Reg. $26.99, Sale $15.99 – This is a fabulous wine from a great winery. Aromas of toasted nuts, smoke, cranberries, cherries, earth and more. Flavors of nuts, cranberries, saline, roasted tomatoes, black fruit and more. This is substantial and weighty. Really nice wine. Long finish that has bright, fresh fruit. Food pairing – roasted chicken, duck, salmon, cold cuts, paté. 13 bottles left.

Domaine A. et P. De Villaine Mercurey Les Montots 2008 (Burgundy, France) Reg. $41.99, Sale $19.99 This is an excellent Burgundy that will age well for at least 6-12 years. This wine will significantly improve with age and you’d be doing both it and yourself a disservice if you drink this right away. I’d buy this for Thanksgiving Dinner in 2015-2018. Aromas of raspberries, red currants, bing cherries and flowers. This has a silky texture and a pleasant tartness at the finish. De Villaine reduces yields/acre more than 20% from the already strict A.O.C. guidelines for Mercurey. This helps ensure that the grapes are of the highest quality. Fermented in traditional open-topped, small oak vats and then aged in oak barriques for a year. Bottled unfiltered. 158 cases imported. Organic Farming. Food pairing – red meat, game, mushroom dishes. Harder cheeses. Serve at about 64 degrees. Wine Spectator, 88 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 88 points


Giuseppe Cortese Trifolera Dolcetto D’Alba DOC 2007 (Italy) Reg. $16.99, Sale $9.99 – The Trifolera vineyard is named after the prized white truffles that can be found in the region. The vines are 25-35 years old. This is a small, family-run winery dating to 1971. The wine is a lighter style red, which is typical for Dolcetto. This is elegant and velvety with a pleasant bitter note at the finish. That might not sound right or good, but it is. This has really nice red berry fruit all the way through the wine. Food pairing – roasted poultry, vegetable pasta or risotto dishes, pork tenderloin with a cranberry sauce.

Tuttobene Toscano Rosso IGT 2006 (Italy) Reg. $14.99, Sale $7.99 – Blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Canaiolo from the highly acclaimed Tuscan winery Tenimenti Angelini. This winery is a Tre Bicchieri winner producing wines in the 3 major areas of Tuscany: Chianti, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Tuttobene means “All is well.” This has that classic Sangiovese red brick color. It’s medium-bodied with soft tannins. The Sangiovese brings that red fruit characteristic and the Merlot adds a soft roundness to the wine. Aromas and flavors of red currants, raspberries, plums and Tuscan herbs. Crisp acidity. Food pairing – lighter dishes, roast chicken, pasta, pizza, Pecorino Toscano or Manchego.

New Zealand

Giesen South Island Pinot Noir 2008 (New Zealand) Reg. $16.99, Sale $9.99 - Wonderful, juicy Pinot Noir! Aromas and flavors of ripe, fresh blackberries and cherries with hints of mushrooms and bramble and some spice! Medium-bodied. Just shows a hint of oak. The tannins are soft and the wine is silky! Nice, refreshing finish. 100% Pinot Noir. Aged 8 months in oak barriques (15% new & the balance in older barrels). Food pairing – spicy dishes, mushroom dishes, grilled or roasted meats.


Maysara Pinot Noir Estate Cuvée 2004 (Oregon) Reg. $29.99, Sale $15.99 – This is an excellent Pinot Noir that is drinking great right now and will drink well for another 2 years or so! This has ripe dark fruit aromas with additional notes of baking spices, pepper and cardamom. The flavors are of dark fruit, earth, pepper, cherries and pomegranates. Smooth. Well-integrated tannins. 743 cases made. Aged in French oak barrels (about 30% are new). Owner Moe Momtazi immigrated from Iran in 1971 as a young man. He’d spent a lot of time with his grandfather watching him farm naturally. This winery began in 1997 with the planting of 13 acres of Pommard-clone Pinot Noir. Today, they have over 200 acres of vines and they’ve never used a pesticide, herbicide or fungicide in their vineyards. Organic and Biodynamic Sustainable farming. Food pairing – salmon, duck, pork tenderloin, rare tuna. Wine Spectator, 89 points. 9 bottles left.


Lagoalva Espirito Tinto 2005 (Portugal) Reg. $14.99, Sale $7.99 – This estate was owned by the Order of Santiago de Espada (Military Order of Saint James of the Sword). It’s in the Ribatejo region along the south bank of the Tagus River For centuries, grapes, olives, cork, sheep, bulls, heifers and horses have been raised on this land. In 1991, Isabel Juliana Campilho bought the property (over 12,000 acres) and founded the winery. Today, it has 113 acres devoted to grapes. This is a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional (one of the most important grapes for Port) and 50% Castelao. This has aromas and flavors of dark berries, raspberries, cola, a little earth. Fine-grained, soft, soft tannins. Good length on the finish that is not drying….rather it is refreshing and has good length. Aged 6 months in French oak (2nd, 3rd and 4th use) and another 6 months in the bottle before release. Food pairing – robust vegetarian dishes, spicy tomato sauce dishes, lots of meat dishes, aged cheeses.


Raimat Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 (Spain) Reg. $12.99, Sale $6.99 – This is a solid Cabernet that is holding up surprisingly well for a moderately priced wine. We cracked one open on Monday after it arrived and really liked it. It’s more of a medium-bodied wine. This has aromas and flavors of cooked, stewed dark fruit, a little earthiness, dark chocolate, vanilla and spice. It’s good….it’s not great….certainly a good bottle to crack open on a Tuesday night. 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Aged 24 months in American oak and 6 months in the bottle before release. Food pairing – lamb or beef stew, chili, comfort food dishes.