August 15, 2011

High-end Wine Tasting, August 25th

Wine Tasting

Thursday, August 25th

6:00 – 8:00pm

We are asking that you RSVP if you want to attend this tasting. We will be limiting the number of attendees to make this a more intimate tasting – one in which you can truly enjoy the wines and learn about them. We will be closing the store during the tasting so that we are not interrupted.

10% discount on any of the tasting wines you purchase. If we run out of any wines, we will have them in the store on Friday, August 26th.

The Wines

The Sparkling:

L. Aubry Fils Champagne Brut Rosé (France) $56.99 – This is a “grower Champagne” brought to the USA by the best Champagne importer going, Terry Theise. Terry is the man who introduced Americans to “grower Champagnes.” What is a “grower Champagne?” The grapes are grown by the people making the wine.

This is a serious wine with tremendous focus and power and structure and charm. This wine has minerality running throughout it. Aromas and flavors of wild strawberries, apples, limes and more. This is a wine well-suited to the dinner table. It’s a blend of roughly 60% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier and 25% Pinot Noir. The Aubry Rose Brut is always from a single vintage, although that is not shown on the label. The Aubry family has been growing grapes in this part of Champagne for over 200 years. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

The Whites:

Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2008 (California) $47.99 – One of the leaders of the class in 2008! Aromas and flavors of oranges, peaches, pears and honeysuckle. This is medium-bodied and loaded to the hilt with flavors and aromas. It is lively and fresh. This vineyard in Carneros is named for the red-shouldered hawks that patrol the vineyard and contain the gopher population (gophers and other rodents damage the roots of the vines). 100% Chardonnay from this vineyard. 75% barrel-fermented & aged and 25% stainless steel fermented and aged. 30% of the barrels are American oak to add a little spiciness to the wine. Half of the barrels are new and half are 2nd use barrels. Aged on lees (with weekly stirring) for 15 months to add a creamy richness to the wine. Drink now through 2013. Sustainable agriculture. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92 points

Michel & Stéphane Ogier Condrieu 2009 (France) $93.99 – Condreiu is one of the smallest appellations in France and all the producers in Condreiu make just a few thousand cases of wine combined. The entire area is just about 350 acres of vineyard. It is exclusively Viognier. In fact, the Viognier grape may have originated from here. Viticulture in this part of the Rhone Valley dates to at least the Romans and maybe earlier. The Avignonese Papacy (1305-1377) brought fame to the wines of this area. Michel is the father and Stéphane is the son. They began as growers and became winemakers in the late 1980’s. Their entire estate is less than 15 acres of vineyards and 6 of those acres are in the Côte Rôtie. The wine is classic Condrieu – it has a grippy, full texture that is more robust than most white wines. It’s explosively rich and lush. Aromas and flavors of ripe tropical fruits, spicy herbs, minerals and more. It’s round and silky. Lively and fresh!

The Reds:

Cristom Jessie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007 (Oregon) $47.99 – What makes Cristom so great is a combination of location and talent. The talent is consistent – the same winemaking team with Steve Doerner has been at the helm forever! Jessie’s Vineyard shows darker fruit than some of the Cristom Pinots. This has classic Oregon Pinot aromas and flavors of dark cherries, baking spices, black earth, minerals and black raspberries. This has the structure and ripe tannins to continue to evolve well through 2019. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Descendientes de José Palacios Corullón 2007 (Spain) $43.99 – Alvaro Palacios is one of the famed Spanish winemakers who put Priorat on the map in terms of world-class, outstanding wines. He’s doing it as well with Bierzo and its indigenous grape, Mencia. This area, Bierzo, is relatively new to the United States. We’ve seen some wines from it over the last 3-4 years, but it is still gaining steam and public awareness. This has great aromas of minerals, smoke, black fruits and lavender. It’s full-bodied, lush, rich and complex. 100% Mencia. Vineyards are 60-100 years old. Aged in 80% new French oak. Bottled unfiltered and unfined. Drink now through 2019. Organic, biodynamic farming. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 92 points

Shafer Merlot 2007 (California) $47.99 – Without a doubt, one of California’s best Merlots! And, before you say, “I don’t drink Merlot anymore,” you should try this one! This is lush, smooth, full and delicious. Aromas and flavors of rich, ripe berries and dark chocolate. 2007 is a GREAT vintage! 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 20 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (75% new). The fruit is from the Stags Leap District and Yountville. Drink now through 2018. Sustainable agriculture. Food pairing – poultry, pork and beef dishes with a fruit- or wine-reduction sauce go great with this. Also, a dish of carmelized onions, garlic and mushrooms. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Felsina Chianti Classico Rancia Reserva 2006 (Italy) $42.99 - This is SUPERB Chianti that will just get better and better over the next decade and more! Not only that, but the price/value that the Felsina wines have is rare for wines these good! This is fresh, vibrant, assertive and great! Great length and balance. Aromas and flavors of dark fruit, minerals and flowers. Aged 16 months in French oak (60% new). Hand harvested. De-stemmed. Sustainable agriculture. Drink now through 2026. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 95 points

Ladera Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California) $39.99 – This is a GREAT Cab from a GREAT vintage. This is drinking well TODAY and will age well for at least another 10 years. Wines that cost 2-3 times the price wish they were this good! Aromas of blackberry, cocoa, anise, cola, licorice, toasted oak and vanilla. Flavors of dark plums, blackberries, currants and more. This has silky tannins and a soft, smooth, rich texture. Blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot and 1% Malbec. The fruit is from Howell Mountain (57%) and Lone Canyon (43%), which is along the flanks of Mt. Veeder. Barrel aged in 39% new French oak. Karen Culler is the winemaker for Ladera. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Tomasso Bussola Amarone della Valpollicella Classico 2003 (Italy) $61.99 - The 2003 Amarone took nearly 5 years to finish fermenting! This is an exotic Amarone that is both powerful and light on its feet. Lots of dark fruit, minerals and flowers in this wine. Even with its richness and ripeness, this Amarone is medium-bodied and drinking well today! That said, it’ll age well until at least 2020. Aged 24 months in 25% new Slovenian and 25% new American and 50% 2nd passage French oak barrels. Sustainable agriculture. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points

Two Hands “Lily’s Garden” Shiraz 2008 (Australia) $61.99 – Each year, the blockbuster Two Hands wines win acclaim and fame and sell-out. Each year, the Wine Spectator puts one of the Two Hands wines on its Top 100 list and people clamor for it. By the time the list comes out, that wine has already sold-out. We’ll see if that happens in 2011. Regardless, this wine is delicious and is McLaren Vale Shiraz at its best. Aromas and flavors of dark berries and baking spices. This is more about complexity and depth of flavors than it is pure power. Oh, it’s still powerful! Best from 2011-2018. 1,500 cases made. Wine Spectator, 92 points

No comments: