October 20, 2011

Wine Tasting, Friday, Oct. 21st

Wine Tasting

Friday, October 21st

3:30 – 7:30pm

The Wines

The Whites:

Giocato Pinot Grigio 2009 (Primorska, Slovenia) $12.99 - We love this! Fresh, bright, lively and fun to drink! This is crisp and fresh with beautiful tropical fruit and a light kiss of lime/lemon. Great for just sipping! PERFECT label for Halloween! Made by CULT Winemaker Aleks Simcic, perhaps Eastern Europe’s best! Italian – “Giocare” – to play; gamble; deceive; trick. Food pairing – lobster, seafood, lighter chicken dishes, salads. Organic Farming.

Marchetti Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2009 (Marche, Italy) $13.99 - This is one of the best Mediterranean whites under $15 I've ever tasted! Wonderful citrus & mineral flavors & aromas. This also has notes of green apples & tropical fruits. Vibrant acidity and loads of minerality throughout the wine. Has a little nuttiness (almonds?) on the finish. Long, crisp finish! Maurizio Marchetti, the winemaker, only uses the best grapes (most years he gets no more than 1/2 a bottle from a single vine). 900 cases made. Organic Farming. Food pairing - seafood, shellfish, swordfish, etc. Great with poultry.

Betts and Scholl Chardonnay 2009 (California) $14.99 – Richard Betts is a master sommelier. He believes that “wine should be a grocery, not a luxury.” So, he created a set of wines that are high quality, but priced well below $20. He is a négociant – buying wines from outstanding wineries and blending it to create his wines. The 2009 Chardonnay is sourced from the cool and crisp Monterey area. This wine has a nice balance between the over-oaked style and the austere stainless steel style. This is intense, with nice notes of nectarines and peaches. Clean, rich finish.

The Reds:

Pietra Santa Winery Sacred Stone Master’s Red Blend Cask #6 (California) $10.99 – Delicious. Smooth! Rich! Soft! Juicy! Loads of ripe plums and cherries. Dark and lush! Crisp acidity and a rich, soft finish! Blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and Dolcetto. 18,088 cases made. 24 months in French and American oak. Food pairing – great wine for a party – your guests will thank you for serving this! Drinks well with or without food. Grilled foods! Barbecue. Pizza. Pasta. Poultry. Mushrooms. Etc.

Palamà "Arcangelo" Primitivo IGT 2009 (Puglia, Italy) Reg. $17.99, Sale $14.99 - This is a delicious, smooth, rich red! The winery's goal is to make great everyday wines.....bright, fresh fruit.....power....fun....taste! They are succeeding! Named for the winemaker's father, Arcangelo. The grape is Primitivo. In the USA, we know the grape as Zinfandel. Primitivo and Zinfandel are NOT the same style of wine. This estate is on a tiny speck of land in Puglia. Food pairing - crostini with olive tapenade, steak, venison. Organic & Sustainable Farming.

Tre Donne Joan d’Arc 2008 (Italy) Reg. $24.99, Sale $21.99 - Antonella, Rosanna and Daniela Lequio are 3 sisters who run this wonderful Piedmontese winery. They took over the running of the winery from their somewhat chauvinistic father who wasn't that sure about women as winemakers and he had no son! Turns out the 3 sisters are great at this! This is a great blend from Piedmont that definitely expresses the phrase, "the sum is greater than the parts," and the parts are pretty darn good! It's a blend of mostly Barbera and Pinot Noir with 20% Dolcetto with 10% Friesa, a native Langhe white wine. The Friesa adds freshness and a zippy acidity as well as nice floral aromas (frequently, Châteauneuf-du-Pape producers add white wine to the red blends). The tannins are soft and the blend adds a lot of complexity to the wine! Aromas and flavors of dark cherries, baking spices, roses, peaches, almonds and more. It has a really smooth and soft texture. Notes of mocha on the finish. Organic & Sustainable Farming.

Podere Ciona Sangiovese Montegrossoli 2008 (Italy) Reg. $24.99, Sale $14.99 – We’ve gotten to know winemaker Lorenzo Gatteschi over the years with his work with a fabulous importing company, Small Vineyards. This is his wine. I love his wines (we also carry his Chianti Classico Riserva – the family on makes 800 cases of wine total!). This has nice red fruit, soft tannins…soft, subtle dusty tannins…classic Sangiovese from the heart of the Chianti Classico area! We first tasted this at a small tasting with Lorenzo in September. This is a wonderful wine and a great value. Sustainable farming. Food pairing - meats, roasts, mushrooms, pasta dishes.

Summers Charbono 2007 (California) Reg. $25.99, Sale $19.99 – Only 85 acres of Charbono are planted in California. Summers has most of it. Charbono is a rare grape. It is believed that it comes from the southeastern France or Piedmont in Italy. This is an estate-grown wine. Wonderful aromas of dusty flowers, raspberries and blueberries This is ripe and full-bodied. Aged 11 months in 80% American and 20% French oak (50% new). Food pairing – rack of lamb, grilled steak.

Truchard Zinfandel 2008 (California) $27.99 – This is the only Napa Valley Zin to come from only Carneros fruit. This is a ripe, jammy Zin with aromas of cherries, cranberries, cassis, cedar and mint. The flavors are rich and full – plums, wild berries and vanilla. Good acidty. Only 4 acres of vineyards. The vines are 11-18 years. 60% French and 40% American oak (35% new). 735 cases made.

October 7, 2011

October's Fancy Tasting

Wine Tasting

Thursday, October 13th

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.

We are also going to ask you to pick a time to come. The times are 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30. We will have a finite number of people at each time slot. We will also have 2 tables for the wines. That way, if you are starting at 6:30, the people that started at 6:00 will either be done or they will be at the 2nd table and you will be at the 1st table.

10% discount on any of the tasting wines you purchase.

If we run out of any wines (we have a lot of wine for the tasting – don’t worry about that), we will have them in the store on Friday, Oct. 14th. If we’ve run out of wines, and you want a case (mixed or full), I’ll deliver it to your home or office.

Without further ado – the tasting wines in the order WE THINK we will be tasting them. We might make adjustments during the tasting as the wines open and develop.

The Wines

The Whites:

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2007 (France) $78.99 – This offers floral aromas that are similar to Viognier – which is a bit odd because it doesn’t have any Viognier in it. Aromas of flowers, honey, limes and white fruit. Nice minerality. It’s medium- to full-bodied. This just feels beautiful and refined. Vibrant acidity. The Vieux Telégraphe Blanc represents 7% of this estate’s CNP production. It’s a relatively unusual blend of 40% Clairette, 30% Grenache Blanc and the rest is evenly divided between Roussanne and Bourboulenc. 40% sees oak barrels, but the wine isn’t “oaky.” Aged 9 months before bottling. 35 year-old vines. Hand-harvested grapes. Sustainable agriculture. 2000 cases made. Wine Spectator, 93 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 2009 (France) $56.99 – This is a golden color that is typical for this appellation. Aromas of pears, vanilla and almonds. It’s long and complex with flavors of yellow stone fruits. Rich and voluptuous. Hand-picked grapes. Naturall yeast fermentation – no yeast is added to the barrels. Fermented in oak barrels and aged sur-lie for 9-10 months in small oak barriques (no more than 40% are new). Sustainable farming. Food pairing – poultry dishes, particularly white meat, veal, fish with delicate sauces.

Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill 2007 (California) $89.99 – This vineyard Is immediately in front of the winery. This is a big, powerful, masculine Chardonnay. It’s dense. Aromas of peaches and spice, tropical fruit. The texture is also smooth and silky. Excellent minerality. 2007 was a relatively cool growing season – this helped produce crisp acidity. Yields were low in 2007, but the grapes were excellent. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 93-95 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 92 points

The Reds:

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir 2008 (Oregon) $44.99 – After a couple of Oregon Pinot Noirs showed well in wine competitions, the Drouhin family went to Oregon to see what was happening. They liked the area so much; they bought land and created Domaine Drouhin in the Dundee Hills. In 1988, they produced their first wine from its vineyards. This is a beautiful Pinot with aromas of baking spices, black cherry, cedar, dark berries and more. It’s ripe, spicy, well-balanced. Elegant with a long finish. 2008 was a great vintage in Oregon. Aged in 20% new French oak. Sustainable agriculture. Hand-harvested. This will age well. Drink from 2012 through 2020. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 91 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Prunotto Barbaresco 2006 (Italy) $49.99 – The 2006 Barbaresco is a pretty wine. It’s medium-bodied. It has a floral aroma that I love in Nebbiolo. The aromas move on to include smoke, mocha, red fruits and garrigue. It has strong acidity. The tannins are still lively. This has plenty of fruit in its youthful innocence. The fruit will come more to the fore as it ages. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 90+ points

Marina Cvetic Merlot 2007 (Abruzzo, Italy) Reg. $42.99, Sale $32.99 – The 2006 was THE HIT at our high-end Italian tasting in April! The new vintage is rich & elegant, with both power and finesse! This smells like Abruzzo (according to the winemaker who was here a several months back). Fine tannins and a velvety feel (which, Merlot should have. It has aromas & flavors of dark chocolate, dark berries & a peppery spiciness midway. It’s a deep dark color. 100% Merlot. Aged one year in French oak. Drink 2013-2019. Food pairing – lamb, grilled meat, aged cheeses, game. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

Licinia Vina de Madrid 2008 (Spain) $57.99 – Brand new to Maine! I first tasted in September at a tasting with the owners of Olé Importers, a fabulous importer of Spanish wines. This is a beautiful wine that impressed everyone at the tasting. Located in the Vinos de Madrid. The winery is in the town of Morata, called “Licinia” during Roman times. In a blind tasting of 200 wines held in early 2009 by a panel of 50 distinguished winemakers, Licinia was named the best red wine in Spain. The 3 proprietors focus on one wine. This is no grand winery with fancy gardens, buildings or tasting rooms. They farm biodynamically. 1,000 cases made. 150 cases imported. I have 2 of them.

This has a wonderful red fruit, black cherry and herbal combination with notes of graphite, smoke, exotic spices and flowers. It’s juicy, almost chewy, and is easy to drink. It’s well-balanced. Some nice spiciness in the flavors to go with savory fruit. This should drink well through 2020 after maturing for another 2-3 years.

Blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Tempranillo. Biodynamic farming. The grapes are hand-harvested and transported in small boxes by refrigerated vans to avoid oxidation. The grapes are kept refrigerated for 48 hours to increase their fresh aromas. Then the best clusters and berries are selected. Fermentation is done at cool temperatures in stainless steel. Then the wine goes into 225-liter barrels where it undergoes malolactic fermentation. Aged for 12 months in 50% new and 50% one-use oak barrels (95% French and 5% American). Batonnage, or stirring of the lees, occurs every during aging. The wine is racked every 3 months. Food pairing – grilled beef, steak, burgers, Indian curry, Tex-Mex. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 92 points; “Best Red Wine of Spain,” Twice, by Enoforum.

Altesino Brunello 2006 (Italy) $76.99 – One of the first winemakers I met after opening the store was Guido from Altesino. Wonderful guy and great wines. I have standing invite to visit – gotta take him up on that! This is an impressive wine – fresh, balanced and nuanced. Aromas of red cherries, raspberries, flowers, graphite, mocha and dark chocolate. Medium-weight. Flavors of red raspberry, leather, minerals and black cherries. Long finish. This is aged for 36-42 months in large Slovenian oak barrels before bottling. Aged another 6 months in the bottle before release. 100% Sangiovese Grosso. This will drink well through 2020. It might need another year or so of aging. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 94 points; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points; Wine Spectator, 91 points

Treana Red Blend 2008 (Paso Robles, California) Reg. $49.99, Sale $42.99 – This is a full-throated red with finesse. The Hope Family has been growing grapes in the Paso area since 1978. This Cabernet-based red is their flagship. The 2008 is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah. It’s aged 10-14 months in French oak (50% new). This has aromas of red cherries, pomegranates and plums. The flavors cover the gamut from figs, chocolate, baking spices, pepper, licorice and black fruit. It’s smooth and long.

Galardi Terra di Lavoro 2008 (Campania, Italy) $89.99 – This is beautiful, big, dark wine. It’s rich and ripe. Aromas and flavors of dark fruit, luxurious leather, minerals, spice, licorice and more. This wine is still quite young. If you age this, you will be rewarded. Terra di Lavoro, first made in 1994, quickly established itself as one of Italy’s cult wines. The Celantano family owns and runs this winery. Famed oenologist Riccardo Cotarella planted the vines for their vineyards ion 1991. The grapes are strictly harvested by ripeness rather than by varietal. This means that sometimes the Aglianico and the Piedirosso are picked and vinified together. This is 80% Aglianico and 20% Piedirosso. Anticipated maturity: The wine is aged on lees for several months in French oak. Cotarella says that Aglianico is a hard grape to take through malolactic fermentation, so the final blend is made before malo. Then the wine goes through a very slow malo, with 80-90% of the wine in stainless steel. After malo, the wine returns to French oak. Without a doubt, the malolactic fermentation in stainless steel contributes to this wines significant freshness and aging potential. 2018-2038. Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 97+ points

October 6, 2011

Wilbur's Chocolate, Etc. Tasting

Wilbur’s Tasting

October 6th, 2011

Any of these wines that you purchase from Freeport Cheese & Wine will be 10% off!

The Wines

The White Wines:

Chateau Cabezac Cuvée Alice 2010 (France) $14.99 - Fabulous, crisp, clean white! This has great aromas of peaches, pears, tropical fruit and limes! Flavors of white peaches and green apples. Nice minerals and hints of sea salt on the finish. 80% Grenache Blanc and 20% Maccabeu. Stainless steel fermentation and aging 600 cases made. Food pairing – seafood, lobster, grilled scallops, mussels and more. Drinks well without food.

Casa de Campo Chardonnay 2009 (Argentina) Reg. $10.99, Sale $8.99 - Delicious little white wine from Argentina! This has a bright yellow color. Aromas of tropical fruit such as pineapple and banana. This is smooth and well-balanced. It has a full, soft texture. Just a soft, soft hint of oak. This only sees a touch of oak aging – most of it is fermented and aged in stainless steel. Food pairing – poultry, pasta and fish.

The Red Wines:

Georges DuBœuf Beaujolais-Villages 2009 (France) Reg. $10.99, Sale $8.99 - This is a really good wine…easy-to-drink…food-friendly…fun quaffing! Aromas and flavors of fresh cherries, cranberries, blackpepper and a touch of whitepepper. Deeply colored. Soft mouth-feel. Soft tannins. Lots of fruit! 100% Gamay. Hand-harvested grapes. Food pairing - Goes well with lots of foods – roasted or grilled chicken or pork, salmon, pizza, lasagna, etc.

Le Vin de l’Uncle Charles Cabernet Sauvignon – Merlot Nonvintage (France) $11.99 - From one of our favorite wineries, Chateau de Flaugergues! This is a nice blend of 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot. Aromas and flavors of ripe red and dark fruit and some notes of chocolate. This is a tasty, solid red that’s perfect for a party or just cracking open with a meal. Food pairing – grilled meats, pasta dishes, stews and more.

The Dessert Wine:

Chocovine Espresso Chocolate Liqueur $12.99 - If you like Kahlua, give this a shot! Tastes like a White Russian! Rich, mocha and chocolaty. Drink over ice or use it to make mixed drinks! Or, come up with your own drink with it!

October 5, 2011

Merriam Vineyards Wine Tasting, Friday, Oct. 7th

Wine Tasting

Featuring Peter Merriam, Owner and Proprietor, Merriam Vineyards

4:00 – 7:00 PM


Oct. 7th

Peter and his wife are both native New Englanders. Peter is actually from Livermore, right here in Maine. One of their sons is at Bates College.

For 18 years they owned a wine store in the Boston area. In 1995, they started looking for a winery and vineyards in Sonoma. In 2000, they bought Windacre Vineyard.

Windacre has been a vineyard since 1890. In 1980 it was replanted with Bordeaux varietals. These grapes are happier here than most others because this is a warmer part of the Russian River Valley, so it is not as conducive to producing Pinot Noir.

They practice sustainable agriculture, including minimizing water usage and recycling what water they do use back into the land. They built an innovative pond system with aquatic plants to help do this.

The Wines

The White Wines

Merriam Vineyards Chardonnay Alexander Valley 2010 (California) $17.99 – This has a nice weighty feel to it because it was aged on its lees; at the same time it retains a nice crispness because it doesn’t see any new oak barrels. Definitely tropical fruit – peaches, nectarines, pears, melons, etc. 250 cases made. Aged sur-lie. Aged in 20% stainless steel and 80% neutral oak barrels. From a vineyard near Mayacamas Mountain. Food pairing – scallops, lobster, mussels, light meat poultry dishes..

Merriam Vineyards Chardonnay Simoneau Ranch 2009 (California) $23.99 – This has that characteristic Alexander Valley tropical fruit in the flavors and aromas. It has a lush and viscous mouthfeel after nearly a year of aging sur-lie with weekly stirrings while in the barrel. Aromas and flavors of kiwi, honeysuckle, mango, pears and peaches with subtle hints of baking spices and toasty oak. Single vineyard Chardonnay. 20-25 year-old vines. Planted to a bunch of clones – Wente #4, #5, Robert Young #15 and Musquet. Malolactic fermentation. Aged sur-lie. Aged 10 months in 33% new oak barrels. 225 cases made. Food pairing – salmon, roasted or grilled poultry.

The Red Wines

Merriam Vineyards SNED Red 2008 (California) $16.99 – This is inky dark. Aromas of black currants, dark chocolate, toast and mint. It’s mouth-filling and full. Flavors of dark chocolate, black fruit and a hint of pepper. Well-integrated tannins. This Sonoma County red is named for the Merriam children – Stefan, Nicholas, Evan & Danielle. Blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Petite Verdot. 462 cases made. Food pairing –.grilled ribs, duck, lamb, meats with hearty glazes.

Merriam Vineyards Merlot Windacre 2005 (California) $26.99 – This is a fabulously smooth and delicious Merlot. It has a wonderful balance of fruit and earth. Aromas of cherry cola and leather give way to flavors of blueberries and flowers. This is velvety with soft tannins. Windacre is in the Russion River Valley where the grapes benefit from the cool fog-driven micro-climate. At the same time this is the warmest part of the Russian River Valley, so it is planted to Bordeaux varietals rather than Pinot Noir. Blend of 93% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc. Aged 15 months in 40% French oak barrels. 1,100 cases made. Food pairing – lamb or duck dishes would work great. Gold Medal – Merlot over $20, International Eastern Winemaking Competition 2010

Merriam Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Dunnsden 2006 (California) $36.99 – This is supple and rich. The aromas show a lot of dark fruit, dark cherries, dark berries and more. The flavors add dark chocolate, raspberries, baking spices and vanilla to the mix. Long finish with soft tannings. Single vineyard wine from a gravelly hillside near Healdsburg. Blend of 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petite Verdot. Aged 18 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Bottle unfiltered and unfined. 150 cases made. Food pairing – grilled and roasted meats. Sitting in front of a fire. Gold Medal, San Francisco International Wine Competition 2011

Merriam Vineyards Cabernet Franc Jones Vineyard 2007 (California) $42.99 – This is only bottled in the best years. Aromas of plums, pepper, a touch of vanilla and some exotic fruit I can’t place. Flavors of blueberries, dark berries and white pepper. Single vineyard from the upper reaches of the Dry Creek Valley. This is just about the warmest vineyard in the area – which is critical for getting Cabernet Franc to fully ripen. Blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petite Verdot. Aged 24 months in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels. 400 cases made. Food pairing – A dark chocolate dessert. Gold Medal, Grand Harvest Awards 2011; Gold Medal, Tasters Guild International Wine Judging 2011; Wine Enthusiast, 90 points Merriam Vineyards Miktos 2007 (California) $49.99 – Diana Merriam is Greek; so this wine pays homage to her heritage. Miktos – Greek, meaning to blend. This is the Merriams take on a Bordeaux red. This picks up currents, power and more from the Cab. Sauv., a softness from the Merlot and a little pepper from the Cab. Franc. It’s smooth and well-integrated. Blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petite Verdot. Aged 24 months in French oak barrels. 150 cases made.

October 4, 2011

October Wine Sale!


Domaine Collin Crémant de Limoux Brut (France) Reg. $16.99, Sale $9.99 – You’re likely buying sparkling wine over the next few months for the holidays. Why not make it this one? It’s delicious! It’s too cheap not to buy! This has a light, frothy mousse, wonderful fresh bread aromas and it is crisp and clean! Made from a “Champagne” blend of 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay and bottle-fermented in the méthode traditionelle. Many people credit the area around Limoux with being the first place sparkling wine was made. Supposedly, the monks at Saint-Hilaire made the world’s first sparkling wine in 1531. Limoux is in the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France. Despite being at a southerly latitude, this is a cooler and wetter area than most of southern France since it at a higher altitude.



Écluse Syrah Paso Robles 2005 (California) Reg. $35.99, Sale $19.99 – This is an approachable, smooth and balanced Syrah. This has aromas and flavors of dark fruit, peppery spice and chocolate. It is layered and complex. Smooth feel. From Lock Vineyards. In French, écluse means a lock on a canal. Family-owned and –operated. Sustainable agriculture. 212 cases made. 90 points, Affairs of the Vine

Écluse Ensemble 2006 (California) Reg. $39.99, Sale $21.99 – This is an inky, masculine wine – it’s deep, dark and dry. Satiny feel at the start and then the tannins join in for the finish. This is lush, supple and elegant. Aromas and flavors of black cherries and currants, spices and more fruit. Good balance of tannins and fruit. A Bordeaux-style blend of 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Petit Verdot and 18% Merlot. From Lock Vineyards. In French, écluse means a lock on a canal. Family-owned and –operated. Sustainable agriculture. 392 cases made. 95 points, Affairs of the Vine; Gold Medal, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, 2010

Kenwood “Jack London Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 (California) Reg. $32.99, Sale $22.99 – This is a big, bold Sonoma Cabernet! It’s ripe and elegant with intense fruit and spicy herbs. Aromas and flavors of mint, coffee, currants, black tea, olives and blackberries. The vineyard property was actually a winery and vineyard before Jack London moved to Sonoma. For many years, London himself owned this land. The wolf logo on the bottle is the label plate used on “Call of the Wild.” Decanter, 3 Stars

MacRostie Pinot Noir Carneros 2006 (California) Reg. $35.99, Sale $22.99 – This is a luscious, velvety full-bodied Pinot. The grapes come from both the Napa and the Sonoma sides of Carneros. This is a dark color. Aromas and flavors of ripe black cherries, baking spices and toasty vanilla. This has a long, lush finish. Grapes are hand-picked and completely destemmed before crushing. Aged in 30% new French oak.



Okay, Chenin Blanc lovers – we have 3 outstanding ones here!

Chateau Soucherie Clos des Perrieres Savennières 2005 (France) Reg. $29.99, Sale $17.99 – This is a classic Savennières! If you aren’t familiar with Chenin Blanc from the Savennières appellation, you should check it out. These wines age well. This has wonderful aromas of smoke, orange zest, flowers, wet stones and quince. It’s a fabulous combination of freshness, cut and richness. Great flavors of citrus, quince and schist-licking minerality.

Chateau Soucherie Clos des Perrieres Savennières 2007 (France) Reg. $29.99, Sale $17.99 – This is from the same vineyard, but it is a different vintage and it is in a completely different bottle-style. I wonder if the Savennières AOC rules have changed? This shows the typical Loire Valley Chenin notes of a snuffed out candle, wet stone and saline. Along with those notes are fresh citrus, melons and quince. The wine has a very smooth, creamy texture.

Foreau “Domaine du Clos Naudin” Vouvray Sec 2006 (France) Reg. $38.99, Sale $19.99 – This is still drinking young and fresh. It has friendly tropical fruit, honeysuckle and nice minerals. It’s dry and powerful. A wonderful chalkiness in the aromas. At times, this aroma leads us to think that the wine will be lean. Instead, it is rich and has this wonderful honey-like weight to it. Hand-harvested. What makes great Vouvray is the tuffeau soil – a soft limestone-clay soil that is laced with minerals. Food pairing – all manner of shellfish, white meat poultry. You may cellar this for years.


Château Moine Blanc Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2005 (France) Reg. $38.99, Sale $24.99 - A superb wine and a great value from one of Bordeaux’s best vintages ever! Smooth, complex and full of rich, ripe blackberries, black currants, anise and baking spices with just a touch of vanilla. Rich, lush wine that drinks well now and will age well for a number of years! Moine Blanc was the first Saint-Emilion estate to adopt biodynamic agriculture in 1982. This property dates to the 14th century. The brilliant “garagiste” winemaker Jean-Luc Thunevin made this wine! 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet France. Aged in 30% new oak barrels. Organic AND Biodynamic Farming.



La Bellanotte Armonico Bianco 2009 (Friuli, Italy) Reg. $16.99, Sale $9.99 – This is a fabulous white from northeastern Italy. It’s vibrant, zesty and has crisp acidity. Aromas and flavors of apples, yellow nectarines, tropical fruit, nuts and citrus. Blend of 40% Friuliana, 30% Malvasia Istriana and 30% Chardonnay. Stainless steel fermentation. This is a small winery. It only has 8 hectares (about 20 acres) of vineyards in the Collio hills near the border with Slovenia. The winery was refurbished in the early ‘80’s.

La Bellanotte Pinot Grigio Contelucio 2008 (Italy) Reg. $28.99, Sale $14.99 – This is NOT your normal Pinot Grigio. When Pinot Grigio (grey Pinot) is left on the vine until fully ripe the skin takes on a dark pinkish hue. Maceration with the skins results in a copper colored wine, which is traditionally called 'Ramato.' Ramato (rama means copper in Italian) is the traditional style of production for Pinot Grigio in Friuli. In fact, before 1970 all Pinot Grigio produced in Friuli was made in the ramato style. After de-stemming, the juice is left on the skins in steel tanks for three days. After fermentation, the wine is matured 50% in stainless steel and 50% in 500 liter barrels, 1/3 new, 1/3, one year old and 1/3 two year old, for four months and then held in bottle.

This is a GREAT bottle of Pinot Grigio, but almost no one spends $25-30 on Pinot Grigio. This has a beautiful coppery color. It has aromas of strawberries, hay, dried roses, almonds and more. The fruit and crisp acidity are well-balanced. 600 cases made.


Podere Ciona Sangiovese Montegrossoli 2008 (Italy) Reg. $24.99, Sale $14.99 – We’ve gotten to know winemaker Lorenzo Gatteschi over the years with his work with a fabulous importing company, Small Vineyards. This is his wine. I love his wines (we also carry his Chianti Classico Riserva – the family on makes 800 cases of wine total!). This has nice red fruit, soft tannins…soft, subtle dusty tannins…classic Sangiovese from the heart of the Chianti Classico area! We first tasted this at a small tasting with Lorenzo in September. This is a wonderful wine and a great value. Sustainable farming. Food pairing - meats, roasts, mushrooms, pasta dishes.

Pietro Rinaldi Barbaresco Vigna San Cristoforo 2004 (Italy) Reg. $49.99, Sale $24.99 – Wonderful aromas of violets, roses, balsamic and minerals. Velvety tannins. This is from a specific vineyard site. 2004 is an outstanding vintage for Barbaresco. Aged 16-18 months in oak Tonneau barrels, which are 70% first use and 30% second use. Tonneaus are 4 times larger than barriques, so the oakiness of the wine is really subtle. Food pairing – robust meat dishes, meals with truffles or mushrooms.



Buil & Giné Priorat Joan Giné 2003 (Spain) Reg. $34.99, Sale $22.99 – This definitely shows the minerality for which Priorat is known. Priorat’s soil is as rocky as can be and this is evident in the wines. Aromas and flavors of dark fruits, figs, mint, mushrooms, vanilla and dried fruits. This is a powerful wine, but it isn’t overpowering. The tannins are well-integrated. Blend of 45% Grenache, 45% Carignan and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in French and American oak for 12 months. Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, 91 points

Bodegas Ponce P.F. Bobal 2008 (Spain) Reg. $29.99, Sale $23.99 – This wine, this grape and this winemaking area are being put on the map by a young he winemaker!

He is Juan Antonio Ponce (Pon-THAY). He’s 29 now. At age 17 he became Spain’s youngest certified winemaker. At 23 he founded this winery, Bodegas Ponce. He makes wines as naturally as one can – no irrigation, hand-harvested, foot trodden. Organic, biodynamic farming. 60% less sulphur than conventional winemaking. Blessed with old vine grapes that his family has been farming for generations.

The wine is opaque, inky and dark purple. The aromas are blackberry, black plum, minerals, black pepper and flowers. The flavors are figs, black cherries and subtle touches of oak – vanilla and spice. It’s soft and supple with refined tannins. Elegant finish. Medium full wine.

100% Bobal. Bobal is known as Valenciano in much of Spain. This is an unknown, obscure grape from an equally unknown and obscure winemaking area. The grape is thick-sknned and inky dark. It needs the thick skin in this growing area to develop the phenols that make wine more than just fruity. The wine spends 11 months in French oak barrels. 3,500 cases made.

From the Manchuela area, which is between the Mediterranean seacoast of Valencia and the plateau of La Mancha.