August 15, 2011

August Wine Tasting, Friday the 19th

Wine Tasting

Friday, August 19th

3:30 – 7:30pm

10% off on all wine tasting wines!

It’s still summer and the focus for this tasting are wines that are great for the wonderfully beautiful days we’ve been having this summer……wines for picnics, grilled foods, seafood, one the boat, at the beach, relaxing in the backyard and more!

Sigrid Coffin of Easterly Wines will be here. We will also taste one of the Vermouths that are new to Maine this summer. I wrote about the Vermouths in an earlier e-mail. We hope to see you on Friday!

The Wines


Montsarra Cava (Spain) $16.99 - This is just yummy! One of our FAVORITE wines! Great value! Truly wonderful! Crisp, dry, clean tasting, wonderful fruit…lighter than most Champagnes…refreshing…low in alcohol…crisp finish…bubbles last forever because it is Méthode Champénoise. Blend of 3 grapes – roughly 60-70% Macabeo, 15-20% Xarello and 15-20% Parellada. The Parallada adds the rich aromas to the wine. The wine is cellared for a minimum of 18-24 months. The Montsarra vineyard is in the Alt Penedes region of Spain, in eastern Catalonia. This is the part of Spain near the Mediterranean and the French border. The vineyards are at about 800-1,000 feet. 90 points, Wine & Spirits


Broadbent Grüner Veltliner 2009 (Austria) $14.99 - This is a beautiful, elegant, delicious, juicy Grüner! Aromas and flavors of limes, peaches and green apples. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged on the lees for 3 months. For decades, Bartholomew Broadbent has imported excellent wines from family-owned wineries. This is a wine he makes himself partnering with one of the winemakers he works with at that family-owned estate. Food pairing – shellfish, seafood, spicy dishes, salads, white meat dishes, smoked fish.

Domaine Saint-Peyre Picpoul de Pinet 2009 (France) $11.99 - This is one of our favorite white wines! Has HUGE wow factor for a $12 wine! Refreshing! Floral & fruity nose…if you didn’t know any better, you might think this is a sweet wine because of the vibrant fresh fruit aromas and flavors. It’s dry and fruity. Melon, lemon, & grapefruit flavors. Food pairing - Terrific drinking on its own! All shellfish & seafood – from simple steamed mussels to a tomato-infused fish stew, plus flavorful white-meat dishes, cheeses & cured meats. One of the best values in the store! The name is poetic – “Picpoul de Pinet.”

Domaine Henri Bourgeois Sauvignon Blanc “Petit Bourgeois” 2010 (Loire, France) $14.99 - Beautiful, beautiful TASTY wine! This is as good as Sauvignon Blanc gets! Think of this as a “baby” Sancerre & with Sancerre prices sky-rocketing, you must try this! It's a touch softer & lighter than Sancerre, but, it is oh-so-close! Dry, crisp, good citrus nose & fruit. Nice finish. Nice minerality. Just a well-balanced, enjoyable wine to drink. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from old vines & fermented in stainless steel. Food pairing - Perfect with lobster, as well as most seafood and lighter dishes. Great with fresh goat cheese!


Château la Moutète Côtes de Provence Rosé 2010 (France) $16.99 - This wine takes us back to our very first wine tasting – we tasted an earlier vintage of this in October of 2004. At that point, we almost had to harangue people to get them to try PINK wines. Thankfully, those days are over! This is a lovely, dry, crisp rosé with nuance and strength. Strawberry and raspberry aromas meet peach and apricot in the flavors. Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Mourvèdre. Aged in stainless steel for 4 month on fine lees. In the ‘80’s, the Duffort family, from Domaine de l’Hermitage in Bandol, bought and began resurrecting this wonderful property in the heart of the Côtes de Provence’s Golden Triangle. They farm organically and make wines naturally. Food pairing - Great with grilled chicken, roasted poultry, salad nicoise, light seafood dishes including soups, duck, etc.


Aresti Estate Selection Pinot Noir 2009 (Chile) Reg. $13.99, Sale $11.99 – Great tasting, great value Pinot! 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. This has a nice amount of good “earthiness.” The aromas carrying over to the flavors, easy-drinking and yet complex, with a nice, long finish. 100% Pinot Noir. Barrel aged after fermentation. Food pairing - grilled meats, mushroom risotto.

Warwick Estates First Lady Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (South Africa) $14.99 – Aromas of red berries and black currants with hints of chocolate, oak, dried herbs and vanilla. This has ripe, round tannins. Balanced acidity with the fruit in the flavors. Full-bodied and smooth. Nice length on the finish. 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot. Aged 15 months in 2nd and 3rd fill oak barrels. Racked 3 times in the barrel and bottle unfiltered after a light fining. Warwick Estates was known as the farm “Good Success” from 1791 until 1902. After the Boer War, Colonel Alexander Gordon of the Warwickshire regiment bought the farm and renamed it. In 1964, Stan and Norma Ratcliffe bought the farm and soon after they planted Cabernet Sauvignon. At first, they were growers. In 1984, Norma Ratcliffe made their first wine and became South Africa’s 1st female winemaker. Today, their son is the managing director and 3 generations of Ratcliffes work at this family-owned winery. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing – steaks, grilled meats, mushroom dishes.

Domaine de la Maurelle Côtes-du-Rhône 2009 (France) Reg. $16.99, Sale $14.99 - This is an outstanding wine! The fruity, spicy red is a steal! Juicy, with dark cherry herb and mineral notes that linger nicely on the finish. Light- to medium-bodied, an excellent table wine. Darkly colored with a gorgeous nose and flavors of black and red cherries, flowers, plums, stony minerals and Provencal herbs (the French call this garrigue). 55% Grenache, 40% Syrah & 5% Mourvèdre. Sustainable agriculture. Less than 8,000 cases made. Food pairing - Good with steak and other grilled meat, roast pork and lamb, other hearty entrees. Drinks well on its own.

Spann Vineyards Classic Four 2008 (California) $21.99 – Since we opened 7 years ago, we’ve loved the wines of Peter and Betsy Spann – the Mo Zin, Mo Jo, Betsy’s Backacre Red, Betsy’s Backare Bottle Blond, Recovery Red and more! This is their newest wine to us. Like most Spann wines, this has that velvety smoothness that is loaded with rich, dark fruit! It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (for currant flavors), Merlot (for red cherries and the soft, baby’s bottom smoothness that only Merlot adds to reds), Malbec (for the dark cherries and dark color and weight) and Petit Verdot for added structure and oomph. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc & 6% Petit Verdot. 1,500 cases made.


Dolin Vermouth

The French House of Dolin has been in continuous operation since 1821. It is credited with the invention of Blanc Vermouth, later adding Dry and Rouge. In 1932 it won the only Appellation d’Origine for Vermouth in France. It is the last remaining House to produce Vermouth de Chambéry. Vermouth de Chambéry is its own appellation.

All of Dolin’s Vermouths are made from the white wines of Chambéry, including the Rouge. The Rouge gains its color from the infusion of plants and dark, carmelized sugar used in its production. Most of the wine comes from the Armagnac vineyards of the Gers.

Dolin Vermouths are lighter, more dry and less pungent than most mass-produced Vermouths. The plants used to infuse the Dolin vermouths are also from Chambéry, giving these Vermouths even more of a sense of terroir.

Dolin’s exact recipes are a closely guarded secret, but they include as many as 54 different plants, including wormwood, chamomile, hyssop, rose petals, chincona bark and more. The finished product is 75-80% wine, much more than mass-produced varieties.

Each Dolin Vermouth offers a fresh, restrained and elegant nose, with a subtle, complex bittersweet taste. Even the Blanc and Rouge retain great balance, with the sugar never cloyingly sweet and just enough bitterness to whet the appetite.

Each can be enjoyed as an aperitif on ice with a twist of citrus, or in a broad array of cocktails.

This is the Vermouth we will be sampling. We also have the Dry and the Blanc available for sale.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Rouge - $14.99 for a 750ml bottle, $10.99 for a half bottle. This has more pronounced herbal flavors than the Dry or the Blanc. It’s both weightier and softer than the Dry or the Blanc.

Persephone Cocktail

Ice, 1 ounce applejack, ¾ ounce Dolin Rouge Vermouth, ½ ounce Plymouth Sloe Gin, ½ ounce fresh lemon juice, ½ ounce simple syrup. Fill a pint glass with ice. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Dry - $14.99 for a 750ml bottle, $10.99 for a half bottle. Refreshing, complex…..makes a great martini and drinks wonderfully over ice with a twist.

Dolin Vermouth de Chambéry Blanc - $14.99 for a 750ml bottle, $10.99 for a half bottle. This has a wonderfully light and refreshing taste. It’s hugely complex and is more herbal than anything else. It tastes like a meadow full of wildflowers smells – refreshing and pure. This has a touch of sweetness that the Dry Vermouth doesn’t have.

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