February 4, 2011

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

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