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Welcome to the Midtown Wine Newsletter archive.  If you would like to get these newsletters straight to your inbox you can click here to be added to our email list.

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November 05, 2019

Tasting Notes Nov 5

November 5

One of the pleasures of my job is discovery. Once I think there could not be anything new for me to find out here comes a new one.

Carcevelos is a wine region in Portugal known for a wine similar to Sherry. Oxidation and unfined. 

Villa O'erias Carvevelos 15 yr  oxidized nose wit tart flavors on the front of the tongue with a touch of caramel and mocha on the finish.

 

Quinta dos Pesos 1996  musty apple cider is my descriptor.

 

Quinta do Noval Porto Late Bottle Vintage 2013   a great value for someone wanting to start in Port. This ruby style has great acidity and tannin with black fruit jam on the back.. still young.

Royal Tokaji Late Harvest 2016  dryish and stubborn in not wanting to give up to much flavor

Royal Tokaji Red Label 5 Puttonyos vintage of 2013.. round mouthfeel and toasted almond 

Domaine du Mas Blanc d'Antan 2006   here is was expecting a sweet wine and got a savory one. balsamic vinegary and off putting. I wonder what food toput with this.

Alvear Pale Cream a fino with a little sweetness, vanilla and lemon zest. pretty

October 28, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 28

October 28

Reilly Keenan/ Keenan Winery/ Pinnacle

 

A well known winery from Spring Mountain, one of the best growing regions in Napa, INHO. Reilly is the 3rd Generation overseeing the winery.

 

Keenan Chardonnay Spring Mountain 2017 

a pretty blend of fruit and acidity. Not the malo bomb that sometimes defines napa Chard.. luscious mouth feel.  3.75/5

 

Keenan Zinfandel Napa Valley 2017  what a nice change to have a balanced wine with fruit and acidity not being a high alcohol fruit bomb. One could describe this as a Bordeaux style Zin with some complexity and finesse.  4.25/5

 

Keenan Merlot Napa Valley 2015  a right bank version of Merlot with grapes from Carneros the cooler side of Napa. tannic and chewy dark cherry fruit coming through. pretty finish. 3.75/5

 

Keenan Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015  5 clones of Cab, and all cab.  A value for the money. 4/5

October 24, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 24

October 24

 

Paul Lato Matinee Chardonnay Santa Barbara 2016  a yeasty bready nose on a golden yello color, finishes with a beautiful mouthfeel.3.75/5

 

Vitticcio Ferraio 2015  sangiovese, merlot, cab blend that doesnt have the sangiovese stink but lots of earthy notes on the palate. 3/5

 

Robert Biale Black Chicken Zinfandel 2017 great name, great story.. briary and bramble.. lots of blackberry fruit.

October 22, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 22

October 22

Vinoteca/ Dana Atwell

2016 Cheveau Saint Amor " Les Champs Grilles" Beaujolais  earthy on the nose and palate.. structure that comes through on the finish. 3.75/5

 

2016 Day Zinfandel Sonoma... not a briary example but full of juicy, fruity zest. great acidity for the long finish. 

 

2015 Ada Nada Barbaresco light in color, savory nose that follows with soft fruit. Tannins are soft and the finish is medium long. 3.5/5

 

Ryan Fry/. Lile Wines

natural wines. Hulk Semillon Australia  bitter and stinky and not much fruit 2.5/5 

 

Negro Arneis Italy another Orange wine sweet aromas good acidity and actually some fruit on the finish. 3.5/5

Vista sauvignon blanc 2018  smells and taste like a poor mans chardonnay... on lees so it has texture but missing some fruit  3./5


Casa Unico Dao Red  a very inexpensive red from  Portugal, easy drinking, light tannin and quick finish. 3.75/5

 

Cedre Heritage Cahors.   malbec from france  dark color and lots of dirt on the front,... surprised there wasnt more fruit though 3.5/5

October 21, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 21

October 21

David Kaleba/ Pinnacle

Schramsberg Brut Blanc de Blankc North Coast 2016

Chardonnay with grace and style and finesse. Beautiful mouth feel and finish. On sale for the rest of the year. 4./5

 

Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay Washington 2016  amazingly sweet for Washington rich and luscious creme brulee finish.  3.5/5

 

Paul Lator Pinot Noir Matinee Santa Barbara County 2017  true california nose of dried fruits and roses.. carries through to the finish with a little cacao nib on the finish. 3.75/5

 

Andrew Will Winery Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2017   vanilla and stone fruit on the nose with a somewhat stewed fruit nose. Good acidity may just need aging. 3/5

October 17, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 17

October 17

Dave Kaleba/ Pinnacle

 

Paper del Mas Cava  Rose  predominantly Trepat, one of those indigenous grapes.  clean bright and good acidity,.3/5

 

Lunaria Civitas Pecorino 2019 an indigenous grape to northern Italy. pretty stone fruit nose and light mineral on the palate.. quick finish.3./5

 

Paolo Scavino Barbera d Alba 2017  everything upfront, front  and tannin. then not much.2.5/5

 

Il Borro Toscano Red Blend 2015 Bordeaux style Italian wine. dense color and slight brett on the palate that gives away to the dark fruit. good grip and finish.4/5

 

Penner Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016.... a masculine style of pinot with lots of dark fruit and texture.. 4/5

 

Riccardo Curbastro/ Tavolo Vigneto

 

Ricci Curbastro Extra Brut... bone dry crisp and minerality... soft on the palate 3.5/5

 

Ricci Curbastro Saten Brut (satin-silky)  100% Chardonnay smooth not yeasty/ peach/ tangerine on the finish.3.75/5

 

Rontana Sangiovese savory through and through. made me want salami or capacole3.75/5

Santella Del Grom Cortafranco made from Carmenere  medicinal and oak... seemed disjointed light body and finish.2.75/5

Susan Cotter/ Trefethen/ Cellar Selections Major Brands

 

Trefethen Riesling 2017 Old World Nose... granny smith apple and lots of acidity. 4/5

 

Trefethen Chardonnay 2017  eases into flavors of bright fruit, well adjusted malo and oak... this wine could actually age for some time. 4/5

 

Double T Red blend 2013  merlot dominate this vintage. a strange bud spray or medicinal nose with hints of cola and cocoa on the back. dense on the palate. hard to get past the initial nose 2/5

 

Trefethen Merlot 2016   slight green nose that turns to cedar.blue fruit on the palate and a little heat on the back end. 3.5/5

 

Trefethen Cabernet Oak Knoll 2016   a very young wine... intense color but the fruit is showing well with silky tannin everything a Napa Cab should be.  4/5

October 15, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 15

October 15

Baracchi Winery

 

O'lilla Chardonnay/ Viognier Blend. disjointed and clumsy  2.5/5

O'lillo Red Blend  25% equal parts Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese... rich texture no Italian stink.. 3.5/ 5

Sangiovese  fresh aromas, no Italian stink, medium to light body and nice cherry on the finish. 3.75/ 5

Merlot there is the stink.. if blind tasting I would have thought that the Sangiovese. lotf of tannin though... grip 3/5

Brut Rose made from 100% Sangiovese... yeasty nose and creamy texture, red berry fruit my first Sangiovese sparkling made in the Methode Champenois.

Fruit of the Vine/Chad Zimmerman

One of the people who I learned a lot about wine is Chad Zimmerman. If Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the classes I am doing are much like the ones I took from Chad.

 

2017 Chateau de la Terriere Beaujolais Village Vielle Vigne   dusty and briary fruit is their but somewhat subdued. 3.5/ 5

 

2016 Domaine du Pequier Cotes du Rhone  a great version of CDR with the addition of Mourvedre it allows for the wine to stand up and age. 4/5

 

2016 Domaine du Pequier Gigondas  one of the sub regions of the southern rhone where Grenache is king. lighter in body.. mineral and vanilla on the finish. 4/5

 

2016 Domaine Alain Voge Cornas Les Chailles  Syrah done right. Dark roasted coffee lots of grit and a touch of saigne and iodine on the finish. I would love this aroma as a cologne. 4.5/5

October 10, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 10

October 10

Jeff Bommarito

Rive Gauche Spumante NV made with Arneis grapes... never had one of these before. Hay and grass along with a round texture.

 

KloofStreet Old Vine Chenin 2018  light easy nice acidity with a stone fruit finish, close to a Loire style.

KloofStreet Rouge 2018 a rhone style wine from South Africa however it came off as sweet and high acid not a lot of depth.

Appellations 

Pi White Spain Grenache Blanc  full bodied white that would outshine Chardonnay

Pedro Martinez Crianza  old world style oak and dirt

Langa Classico new world style much richer and riper.

Cuvee Remy Priorat old style mostly Carignan and Mourvedre.

Chapillon Siendra a blend.. spicy nose and a little blunt on the finish

Cerrogallina Bobal grape nice oak influence with a good fruit finish.

 

 

Classique Wines/ Megan Markel With La Cadeau

Le Cadeau Estate Pinot Noir 2018  baking spice and very soft 

Le Cadeau Diversite 2017 named for the fact they use several clones and soil types. best Pinot I have tried in a long time. Oregon Funk and mushroom, finish is long and  complex.

Aubichon Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016  smoky on the nose and typical Oregon on the palate.

Aubichon Reserve Pinot 2016  heavy oak influence. not subtle

Aubichon Reserve Grenache 2016  a lighter more feminine style of Grenache. good fruit but not the depth.

Jolete Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 bordeaux stinky feet with fruit coming through on the end. a softer finish not so much tannin.

 

Trademark Wines/.Peter Abbey

Pierre Marie Chermette Griottes Beaujolais 2018  dry dry dry a little of the traditional banana, bubble gum on the nose the red fruit shows through well to the end.

Ogier Heritage Cotes du Rhone 2017  Tannic, meaty, burly

Burgo Viejo Rioja 100% Garnacha  old style nose and body... heavy tannin

La Mateo Rioja Tempranillo  came across surprisingly juicy after the older style I had tried today. finished just a little hot though even though alcohol was normal

Casa Los Frailes G-11  Valencia Spain... Good tannin but needs time to settle a little or a good steak. 

 

Lukas Van Loggerenberg/ South Africa/ Appellations.

A well resepected South African vintner new to the market.

 

Geronimo 100% Cinsault one of the parents for Pinotage. Strawberry Rhubarb with mouth watering acidity and savory finish.

Breton 100 Cab Franc... nose not cab franc but the light flavorful body was tasty.

Trust Your Gut Chenin Blanc 2018 New World Style, slightly sweet on the nose but dryish finish. Pretty wine.

 

Descendants Liegeios Dupont Syrah Red Mountain 2015   cedar up front and it stays up front... missing much fruit was hoping for more from Hedges.

 

Pinnacle Imports/ David Kaleba

 

2014 Sierra Cantabria Crianza mineral, earthy and fruit showing through, spanish stink.

Tenuate delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2017 mineral and earthy with dark fruit coming though at the end.

Monteviejo Petite Fleur Malbec 2015  more of an old world style, stinky feet on the nose, savory and blue fruits

Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  rich full bodied not tannic.  almost a cocktail wine,.

Latta Wines Wahluke Slope Malbec Interesting but may be slightly off.

Cocchi Brachetto d'acqui  sweet without being cloying blindfolded I would thought it Moscato.

Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene rich creamy the true style of Prosecco but almost priced out of the market.. using Glara grapes

Domaine Arnaud Lambert, Cremant de Loire Breze Blanc NV  clean, mineral and crisp chenin blanc and chardonnay

Marie-Pierre Mncait Cremant de Bourgogne NV Toasty pear, pretty wine. poor mans champagne

Flaunt Wine Sparkling Brut made buy Diane Lee could pass for Champagne made with Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes.

October 08, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 8

October 8

Woodward Canyon/Selena Kritsonis/ Vintegrity

 

One of the premier wineries in Washington state. 

2018 Washington State Chard  beautiful clear yellow color, round and rich ML on the palate with toast and light rope fruit.

2017 Nelms Road Cabernet Sauvignon tart red fruit.. light tannin..easy

2015 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon first bottle was a touch off with TA second bottle was lush and ripe supple and savory

2017 Old Vines Cabernet young and tight but showing age potential. old vines here being at least 25 years

 

 

Blackwater Wines/ Francois Haasbroek/ Vintegrity

South African Winery

 

2019 High Roller Sauvignon Blanc   surprisingly unctuous, would have thought it a roussaanne or Marsanne  pretty tropical fruit.

2018  Lazy Lucy Rose Western Cape S.A.  100% Cinsault, bone dry.. juicy and structured, maybe one of the best rose I have tried this year. looking forward to the 2019 very soon.

2017 "Daniel" Grenache Botriver S.A.  juicy red berry, long finish. liked

2015 "noir" Syrah Western Cape S.A.  reminded me of the lighter Mendocino style Syrah more than rhone.. fruity but not overly full bodied or interesting

 

Aquitaine Imports/ Jean-Cristophe Calvet/ Cellar Selection/Major Brands

The Aquitaine is the land mass in the southeastern area of France that was part of English control for over 200 years in the early medieval times. 

VillaViva Winery Cotes de Thau Rose 2017  besides being almost a year and half to late it was a tasty rose. made with Carignan but not that tasty

Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Chardonnay 2017  nice and easy chardonnay lemon curd not overly riipe.

Laroque Cite de Carcassonne Pinot Noir 2017  a rustic style of Pinot Noir.probably needs food.

Chsateau Haut-Colombier Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux 2015  french stink, barnyard tobacco leaf finish. Merlot and Malbec... good fruit in the mid palate

Chaateau Blaignan Medoc 2015 really a beatiful aromas and on the palate a touch sweet that turns slightly bitter on the finish.wanted to like this more 

Chateau Mongravey Margaux Cru Bourgeois 2016 dark purple color cab nose and a touch of cassis with good tannin structure but it did finish a little hot.

October 03, 2019

Tasting Notes Oct 3

October 3

Dana Atwell/ Vinoteca Distributor

 

2015 Caparone Cabernet Sauvignon ..Paso Robles. It was presented to me as not the typical Paso cab and that was correct. A very funky natural nose almost barnyard, not a lot of fruit behind it. Supposedly they also do Italian varietals.

 

2015 Terracae Malbec a second time tasting this and still not a fan. eartly with a bit of cherry tart finidh.

 

2016 Le Monde Cabernet Franc A northeastern italy cab franc... really tight nose fresh fruit on the palate though. interesting

 

2016 Newsprint Cabernet Washington  cab graphite nose with a toasty oak finish... may need time to settle down. 

September 26, 2019

Tasting Notes Sept 26

September 26

Sometimes the smaller distributors bring in hidden gems that would never have been discovered by the bigger guys. Unfortunately, this was not one of them.

 

Tagua. Chile/ Waldon wines

 

Chardonnay 2019 thought I was tasting the sauv blanc... acidity no fruit

Sauv Blanc.2019.. a little blunt and young maybe

Carmenere 2017  not the bell peppery green flavors I get with some Carmenere but not a lot of big flavor either

Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 light, light, light

Carmenere Gran Reserva 2017  the winner of the tasting. good tannin rich cherry fruit will be in the store for $18.

Milbrandt Vineyards/ Buck Milbrandt/ Classique Wines

amazingly just had been talking to the Charles Smith winery rep about why one of their Syrahs was named Milbrandt. I assumed they had sold them grapes but was told it was in honor of the Milbrandts who helped him get started and who had a very strong influence in making winemaking in Washington state more successful.

 

Chardonnay 2018... no oak contact and to me a little bitter. Very linear no follow through of fruit.

 

Estate Chardonnay 2016 Evergreen Vineyard. nice touch of oak and comes across a little sweet.

 

Family Merlot 2017  lots of gritty tannin that show its a cooler climate. Tight, needs time.

 

Family Cabernet 2017  good fruit and acidity  quick finish though.

 

Estate Cabernet 2016  cedar, cedar and cedar... very young.

 

Northridge Vineyard Wahluke Slope... wow... rich and luscious lots of dark fruit and quite the long finish.

September 24, 2019

Tasting Notes Sept 24

September 24

Kermit Lynch wines/ Jeff Cambiano/ Bommarito Wines

 

Champagne J. Lasalle NV    fresh, refreshing and vibrant.. quite nice.

 

Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Vacueyras  one of my favorite wine regions in the Rhone.  barnyard on nose and jammy fruit on the finish

 

unAir Domaine Remejeane 2018

Grenache with blueberries and cream. very interesting..not made in the old world style.

 

Jean-Paul Thevenet Morgan 2018  loved by the Wine advocate and I can see why. Juicy and yet firm... exquisite and yet formidable.

 

Domaine Chignard Julienas 2017  whole cluster and a lot of fruit but very little of the bubble gum character that comes from Gamay at times. 

September 17, 2019

Tasting Notes Sept 17

Van with Keenan/ Vintegrity 

Jacquaret Brut Mosaic NV  chard, pinot noir, pinot meunier. Gravely and not yeasty good finish lots of zest.

 

Trentadue Winery

La Storia, or the star is from Trentadue made up mostly of Italian varietals.

except.

Chardonnay 2017 Clunky and chewy.

Merlot  varietal smell of dirty feet and bell pepper, that becomes soft on the palate. red fruits

Cuvee 32 is a Sangiovese and Montepulciano blend.  full bodied almost briary would have thought it Zin had I tasted blind. very juicy and jammy if a little pricey

Zinfandel 2017  thought tohave been a version of Primitivo but brought to the us through long island, long story. also very chewy with lots of tannin.

 

Keenan Merlot Napa 2015  what napa merlot should strive  for, bright and silky long finish.

Kennan Cabernet Napa 2015  true cali cab, graphite and black berry from start to finish.

 

 

 

Kate Shorr/ Wines of Substance/ KVintners/ Pinnacle

Vino Rose 2018.. sangiovese rose that serves the purpose of a cost effective rose

K Vintners Art Den Hoed Viognier 2018  a touch too cold to show great aromatics but it is a pretty wine

Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2018 uncovered because we do  not think of Washington for Chardonnay and this style is very light in style wanting to be burgundian.

Casasmith Porscopino ( Porcupine) Primitvo, 2017  interesting varietal also from Washington, cousin to Zinfandel this wine shows richness in the glass with dark fruit and nice acidity

Milbrandt Syrah 2017, in homage to the Milbrandts who planted Syrah first in Washington this is a more softer version of Syrah, with hints of iron and sange on the finish.

Wines Of Substance Powerline Cabernet 2016  stinky feet, bell pepper... not showing well

K Vinters King Coal a blend of Cab and Syrah.. lots of power and not much finese but that is not why you would drink this.

August 29, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 29

August 29

Jeff Cambiano/ Bommarito Wines

Pietradolce Etna Blanc 2018... stone fruit on the nose. lighter body but good acidity.

Viara Langhe Nebbiolo 2017  forest floor, tannin and lots of ripe fruit on the end. 

Albert Morot Beaune Premier Cru Les Aigrots Rouge 2015   masculine in style, ripe fruit but could use food.

Albert Morot 2015 Savigny-les-Beaune Monopole La Bataillere aux Vergelesses 2015  more feminine in style, forest floor a natural wine dark fruit.maybe a little more on the finish.

 

Brad Everett/ Vintegrity

Huet Vouvray Petulant  a funky wine even if not exactly Pet Nat in style. chenin blanc trying to be sweet then not.

Huet Clos du Bourg Sec (dry) 2018  chenin blanc, clean and linear... not giving a lot of fruit today

Huet Clod du Bourg Demi-sec ( Off dry) 2018  more residual sugar but still showing a lot of lean texture. 

Rhys Chardonnay 2016  flinty and round on the palate. not having a good tasting day.

Rhys Pinot Noir 2014 Alpine Vineyard. floral nose and lush floral taste.

Turley Fredricks Vineyard Zinfandel 2016 cloudy in the glass, juicy and lush lots of acidity. black fruit especially mid palate

Hoopes 2015 Napa Cabernet earthy nose, fruit and tannin like a cab should have but not really integrated.

John Anthhony Cabernet 2016 Napa  fruit, fruit and more fruit. hints of coffee and roasted nuts on the finish.

Booker Tempranillo 2017  dark opaque colors, black cherry and more coffee and tea notes. almost meaty Syrah like.

Booker Vertifo Syrah/Mourvedre and Grenache  my palate wheelhouse, dirt on the nose and dark purple in the glass. i feel like my tongue is still purple. 

Jackalope Wine Cellars/ Corey Schuster/Appelattions

Critters on wines and labels give me pause. Makes we wonder what the marketing move here is. As opposed to Yellow Tail were they go for the cute this wine goes for the more magical and irreverent.From Oregon why could it not.

 

2017 Cabernet Franc Blanc   A white wine being made from a red varietal is becoming more popular in the weird and wild somm world. This wine is made from the fresh pressings of the grapes and then moved away from any skin contact. not quite Pet nat in style, because it has a creamy texture. Definitely an exploratory wine.

 

2017 Merlot  traditional stinky feet bell pepper for Merlot that goes to a rich style on the palate... pretty fast finish though.

 

2017 Cabernet Franc  with touches of other Bordeaux varietals this was taken from the smoky fields after the fires but really the smoke is very subtle, like its meant to be there. rich and lush red fruit through out... fruit day according to when wine.

August 27, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 27

August 27th

Steve Wilhoit/ Winesu/ A Bommarito/

 

Ruggeri Prosecco DOC  yeasty on the nose. very juicy up front fruit. no after taste you get from the cheaper brands. In the store already.

Villa Puccini Pinot Grigio  2018  a flavorful round version of PG> citrusy

 

Villa Puccini Toscana Rossi IGT  sangiovese and other red grapes.. very fruit forward missing the Italian stink. ripe.fruit through

 

642 Maremma Toscana Rosso DOG sangiovese also.. tight nose some red berry fruit with lots of upper type tannin. may have to revisit.

 

Saracco Pinot Noir 2017  earthy and dark fruit definitely Pinot Noir interesting coming from Iitaly.

 

Appellations Fine wines/ Ashes & Diamonds Napa

Blanc 2 (50% Sauvignon Blanc/ 50% Semillon)  Dry, bone dry and you really have to search to find the fruit. made by Tim Matthiasson 

 

Cabernet Franc No 2 2015  85 Cab franc the rest Merlot. strangely in a burgundy bottle... tannin and more tannin needs time

 

Cabernet Sauvignon #1 Red Hen Vineyard 2016  Diana Snowden winemaker. 100% cabernet bright fruit.. again with the tannins black cherry on the long finish.

 

Grand Vin #2 (80% merlot/20% Cab Franc) 2015  right bank in nature california through and through. juicy but probably age worthy to get its full potential.

 

Mount Eden Vineyards/ Domaine Eden with Michele Duckett/ Vintegrity

from Santa Cruz Mountain fruit. combined with the old Cinnabar property that I knew in the 90's.

 

Domaine Eden Chardonnay 2016  would never be confused for Burgundy, but they wouldnt want that... creamy on the palate.. with a slight rustic finish.

 

Mount Eden Chardonnay 2016  golden yellow in color, oaky and savory... ageable for sure

 

Domaine Eden Cabernet 2014  toasty barrel and dark fruit with lots of tannin that could use some beef

 

Domaine Eden Pinot Noir 2016 smoky coffee grounds and earth on the nose, supple tannin through out.

 

Mount Eden Estate Pinot Noir 2015  mushroom on the nose, dark berry fruit but more subtle... more feminine in style than the Domaine. 

August 26, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 26

August 26

Pinnacle Imports /Dave Kaleba

Alma Fria Coastal Chardonnay 2016  

Slight Oxidized taste... no fruit really.. bad bottle my suspect.

 

Matthiasson Linda Vista Chardonnay 2017  

stone fruit nose, bone dry. very clean and linear... no stirring of lees and light ML.

 

Matthison Rose 2018 

Syrah with other rhone types... taste like tomato not a lot of fruit.

 

Perrachon Beaujolias Village 2017  not a fruity wine like some Beaujolais can be, more meaty and substantial.

 

Rose Dieu 2017  Southern rhone style that is overly tannic and chewy with tannin and then....nothing light finish.

 

Matthiasson Napa Cabernet 2015  winner of this tasting. Some oak on the nose and loads of blackberry compote fruit on the long finish. tannin for days. 

August 23, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 23

August 23

Dana Atweel/Vinoteca

 

Bisson Bianchetta Genovese 2017  Bisson is trying to keep the indigenous grape varietals in the north of Italy alive. Bianchetta is one. on the nose it has an almost beaujolais banana nose, almost tropical fruit but not dense

 

Becharas St Joseph Blanc 2016  green olive and mineral on the nose, lots of flavor but not too appealing... needs age. Marsanne and Roussanne blend

 

Domaine De Montcy Cheverny 2017 Pinot Noir, Gamay and Malbec. floral nose almost like Aramis for men. and a touch of that comes through to the end. interesting. we still have the 2016 on the shelf.

 

Terracae (terra-sigh) Cahor 2017 malbec all the way but ripe cherry almost argentine in nature. also put into a burgundy bottle not traditional high shoulder.

 

Chateau de Petit Thouaras 2010   Touraine   cab franc and old.. earthy aromas and flavors not a fan

August 22, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 22

August 22

Thursday another wine day. According to wine when app it is a fruit day.

 

King Estate Steven Morrison/ Glazer D&E

King Estate from King Radio money here in town.

King Estate Pinot Gris 2017  light and easy as it can be. not a lot of minerality or depth

King Estate Pinot Noir 2016  slight oak, easy drinking.

 

Pinot Envy 2016  Freud on the label. rhubarb mushroom nice red fruit on the finish.

 

North by Northwest Red Blend 2014   fruity nose which surprised me with the age. Grit and tannin on the palate but fruity to the finish.

 

North by Northwest Cabernet Sauvignon 2014   stinky feet nose, dark fruit and texture on the palate... 

 

Lile Wine 

 

Avita Leoko  white from the tip of Italy.. Grecho Bianco mostly. Light and zesty.

Swick Only Zuul 2018  Gewurztraminer and Pinot Grigio an orange wine. very interesting and lots of tangerine light fruit

Ver Sacrum Clarete Grenache Syrah blend made with minimum contact and slight spritz

Ver Sacrum Geisha de Jade 2018  sparkling wine with Marsanne and Roussanne, kust not a lot of flavor, may have been too cold.

Swick Verdelho Skin Contact 2018  will take the place of Melon.. another orange wine, long finish of brett

Stay in Bed Red 2018    Carignan and Syrah... bright fruit but gone too fast.

Sleight of Hand/ Jerry Solomon/ Classique

A winery with Neil Patrick Harris connections. All the names ar Magic related.

 

The Magician Riesling 2018  light and refreshing but not much acidity 

 

The Spellbinder 2016 mostly cab with some cab franc and syrah. dense fruit concentrated aromas and a little heat.

 

The conjurer 2016 Bordeaux blend... cab nose for sure. NPH on the label.

 

The Illusionist 2015 85% cabernet savory on the palate.. cinnamon? on the finish

 

The Archimage 2014 archimage is the head magician. very aromatic with hints of  pine and oak... dense fruit again.. but it is a fruit day.

 

 

R Stuart/ Lorbert Imports

a winery out of Oregon specializing in Pinot Noir

Big Fire 2017  new label in the store already. mostly neutral oak, soft.

 

Love, Oregon 2014  darker fruit but the age is showing on the finish.

 

Vignette Pinot Noir a blend of the single vineyards they use. musthroom and dark fruit... juicy with a touch of heat on the finish

Hirschy Vineyard 2014  earthy and slight husk of walnut on the nose, dark fruit.

 

Lazy River 2014  lots of grip, dark fruit and somewhat zesty finish.

August 19, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 19

Melville Estate Winery/Kurt Ammann/ Pinnacle wines

 

Melville Estate Chardonnay Santa Rita Hills 2015... flinty, mineral nose, soft low on the oak and ml... may be just a little old.

 

Melville Estae Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2015   zesty with hints of rhubarb and cranberry... 

 

Melville Estate Sandys Pinot Noir 2017  bell pepper... high notes of red berry. light body

 

Melville Estate Syrah 2016   cool climate syrah with clean zesty tannin not jammy and hints of the bacon fat on the end... maybe a little lean for my style.

August 15, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 15

August 15 the ides of August

 

Silverado Rachel Portell/ Cellar Selectins Major Brands

Owned by Diane Disney Miller now deceased.

Sauvignon Blanc 2018  lean and clean, definitely not overly herbacious.

 

Chardonnay Carneros 2017  also a cleaner style of Calfiornia Chardonnay. Not too much oak and soft of the tropical fruit.

 

Saviovese Rosato 2016 even though they are on the 18 vintage. a little tired but still some red fruit.

 

Merlot 2014  lots of tannin, from cool climate vineyards. 100% merlot,  surprised that it is an older vintage than the cab,

 

Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015  good value cab from the heart of Napa. supple tannin and pretty red cherry touch on the finish. 

 

GEO Coombesville Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, their homage to the earth (geo) dark intense color and fruit.. lots of grip on the upper palate. a cab drinkers cab.

 

 

 

 

Peay Vineyards Sonoma Pinnacle David Kaleba

 

Peay Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2017  round from lees more than oak. nice balance of fruit and acid. pricey though

 

CEP Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017 declassified fruit from Peay. lots of black tea on nose and palate... intense but slightly playful

 

Peay Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2017  light bright aubergine in the glass, long acidity witht the tea component still showing. red fruit on the palate. 

August 13, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 13

Palmez Wines/Shawn Lutwak

 

The incredible story of the Palmez winery. It takes a large fortune to make a small one in the wine business. Developed a stint for hearts and bought this property when they thought there was only 10 acres of land to have vineyards. After discovering a secret vault they learned of heirloom vineyard sites that allowed almost 60 more acres to be planted.

 

Chardonnay 2016. one of the most luxuries chardonnay's I have tasted. All about Umami. Interestingly the oak barrels for this wine are steamed instead of toasted. Quite unusual.

 

Cedar Knoll Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  lush and supple is the best way to describe this wine. A second wine to their Estate bottling only in terms of this is not slated to be second label until all the barrels have been sampled.

 

Estate Cabernet 2016/ and thanks to Stephen Molloy the 2015.  Probably the best Napa Cab I have had in a long time. Long silky tannin and lots of fruit that is not highly extracted.

 

 

 

Ethica Wines/ Patrick La Viola/ Lohr Distributors

 

Montezemolo Arneis 2016  from the Langhe region of Piedmont. Arneis is mostly found in this region of Italy. made in stainless steel it has a sharp flintiness to it that seems appropriate for the wine.  

 

Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi 2017   unique bottle shape pretty simple with citrus notes

 

Nicolis Classico Valpolicella... the winner of this group. Roses on the nose and rich lush fruit made with traditional Valpolicella grapes.  this will be in the store.

 

Nicolis Amarone Classico 2012.... medicinal nose with a little bit of port like finish... not my style

 

Lavis Pinot Nero Trentino... light colored and simple.

 

Montezemolo Barolo Monfalletto 2014  smells of dirty feet but the wine itself was lush and rich on the palate... definitely brickish in color as Nebbiolo can be.

 

 

Dr Loosen. Molly Sweeney/ Glazer D & E 

 

Dr Loosen is a well known riesling producer from the Mosel but does have other verntures with other winemakers around the world. Most notable with Chateau Ste Michelle out of Washington.

 

Dr L. Dry Riesling 2017 mineral slatey high acidity notes.. green apple. riesling

 

Dr Loosen Red Slate Dry Riesling 2017  red slate versus blue gives more tropical fruit character, oak aging happening here. 

 

Dr L Riesling 2017  unctious granny smith apple coming through. in the store

 

Dr Loosen Blue Slate Riesling Kabinett 2017  more stone fruit from the blue slate. juicy mouthwatering acidity and long finish. will age but picking up more of the slate 

 

Dr Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2017   specific vineyard site however I learned that a lot of villages used the Wehlener designation because the land owner would have a Dial of the Sun to keep the villagers in the field until time to stop. bight acidity and very lush on the palate... long finish. I could almost taste the petrol coming on. 

August 09, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 9

August 9

Vinoteca with Dana Atwell.

 

Soucherie Anjou Blanc 2018. granted this was the first wine of the day so tastebuds were a little surprised. Anjou region white is Chenin Blanc known for crisp citrusy with a hint of sweetness. This wine was giving me a lot of acidity and not as much fruit as I was expecting.  seemed to be missing something

 

Grander Beaujolais Blanc 2018... we have this in the store. Beaujolais Blanc is Chardonnay. No oak aging keeps it fresh and lively. clean crisp and mineral

 

Avinyo Cava Rosada Reserva 2016  pinot noir base... sttawberry nose and palate... good acidity but pricy

 

Bisson Portofino Ciliegiolo Rose 2018  the grape Ciliegiolo is a heirloom grape in Italy related to the sangiovese grape. cherry color in the glass and light cherry flavor on palate. Fun.

 

Luberri Orlegi Rioja Alavesa 2018  on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees  this wine has half done in carbonic maceration which comes through in the nose as bubble gum. It smells and tastes like a Beaujolais with a touch more earthiness.

 

Roblet-Monnot Haute Cote de Beaune 2016  old world all the way. french stink and slight oxidation. some fruit showing but just tasted old.

August 08, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 8

August 8

 

Muddy Boots and Gravel Bar. Lohr Wine and Spirits.

 

Sometimes the name says it all. Muddy Boots.

Chenin Blanc 2015... a little old with obvious oxidation. showing a little fruit but not enough.

 

Chardonnay 2017  fruit on the palate but harshly so... not inviting and actually has a little dirty boot aftertaste.

 

Back Road Red 2015   showing good fruit with some  iron or metalic taste on the finish.

 

Gravel Bar Chardonnay Columbia Valley... 2016  lush and round not heavily oaked probably some ml influence. soft finish.

 

Gravel Bar Alluvial Red Bordeaux blend dark purple in glass sweet fruit nose with bing cherry following through to the end. obvious tannins

 

Gravel Bar Cabernet Sauvignon 2016   soft purple in glass, good fruit on the palate and long smooth finish... a winner for sure.

David Kaleba/Pinnacle

 

Nagelsforest Pinot Blanc 2016 Lean style of P. Blanc, yet showing a little apple fruit. mid long finish.

Smith & Perry Chardonnay Oregon 2018  named for the settlers of the Van Duzer corridor in Oregon this chardonnay has pineapple and flint on the nose  The fruit is fine but goes away fast. 

 

Diatom Chardonnay Bar-M 2018  tropical fruit on the nose which is typical of the area of central coast but everything about this wine screams lean no ml a sauvignon blanc drinkers Chardonnay. if there is such a thing.

 

Penner-Ash Willamette Valley  Pinot Noir 2016 a very masculine style black fruit tantalizing tannins and a chalky finish. One of the leaders in Oregon Pinot Noir.

 

Casasmith Barbera 2017 Washington briary nose, blind I would have thought it was a zin. fruit is fine until the finish, a little hollow in the middle.

 

Mira Salinas 2016  rich and extracted up front fruit but not sweet and the finish is too much iron for me, would need food for sure.

August 06, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 6

August 6

LAN Vineyards Rioja Spain/ Hannah Frost representative.

 

If there is blue blood in the KC wine world Hannah would be it. Her father is Doug Frost, KC's premier wine authority and Hannah is picking up quite nicely. After retail experience she has become the ambassador to LAN vineyards, which takes its name from the 3 provences in Spain that make up Rioja. If asked to name a wine from Spain, most people who could would say Rioja first. Rioja is known for predominately Tempranillo based wines that are known to age, this winery is no exception.

 

The winemaker is also very passionate about her barrel program. Today I was introduced to a new term " Hybrid Barrels" which have French wood staves and American Oak heads. Just another flavor profile to use in the recipe.

 

2015 Bodegas Lan Crianza  tempranillo base with the usual spanish earthiness, much like a sangiovese has in Tuscany. The old world dirt carries to the finish were you get some dark fruit on the end..

 

2012 Bodega Lan Reserva   One year in barrel two years in bottle. This one had me at hello. Meaty on the nose and palate. rich full bodied. dark ruby in color... bueno

 

2010 Bodegas Lan Gran Reserva almost coffee in color fruit still going strong hints of oak throughout.

 

 

 

Terra Firma /Kosher wines

Unorthodox Chenin blanc 2018 South Africa... thich, chunky and a little bitter on the finish. Mevushal

 

Unorthodox Sauvignon Blanc 2018 South Africa... also a bit on the thick side... some pineapple and grapefruit just not terribly interesting

 

Unorthodox Cab/Merlot blend from the Paarl region of South Africa. The nose was tempting with an almost syrah sense but on the palate just some high notes of red berry and no depth.

 

Route Victor Lodi 2018 non mevushal and just recently bottled, which causes some bad characteristics to be exaggerated. The Chardonnay had a vegetal nose and the cab was just all knees and elbows... I should try again in a month or so.

 

 

Gabriele Moscato Blue bottle. not as sweet upfront as I thought, not cloying on the palate but I think too dry for most moscato drinkers. Mevushal

 

Gabriele Pink Mosacat  I believe if someone were to ask what pink tastes like I would give them this bottle. Cotton Candy notes abide which is just what this customer is looking for.

August 01, 2019

Tasting Notes Aug 1

Dianna Lee with Flaunt Brut Sonoma County

Made with grapes from The Russian River appellation, this exquisite bottling, the first of its kind, is full of yeasty aromatics and a lush sparkling mouth feel that befits the winemaker.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir base.

 

Lile wines with Ryan Frye

 

Oudia Chablis 2017  everything a chablis should have, minerality, nervosity or tension and clean fresh taste.

 

Union Sacre La Gitano Rose 2018   made from cab franc, one of the prettiest roses I have tried this year. floral and fruity and easy drinking.

 

Maitia Old Vine Carignan 2016   slight medicinal nose, bitter almost clunky finish

 

Jarrate Rioja.. carbonic maceration, lush and sweet but not ovverly so.... 

 

Tinto 1984 La Senda Mencia grape from the Ribera Sacra. really rustic wine from start to finish... may need food or another bottle.

 

Cru Monplaisir Bordeaux Superior 2016   dark ruby in the glass... tight nose but it is young and just opened also. Pretty fruit on the palate with a nice long finish.

 

 

 

Jeff Cambiano/ Bommarito

Ostertag Riesling 2017   honey and mineral bone dry

 

Ostertag Pinot Blanc 2017 more interesting yet... round with lush mouthfeel and dry finish.. a unoaked chardonnay drinkers wine

 

Champlou Vouvray 2018  floral nose, rich and unctuous on the palate... long finish.

 

Gachot-Monot Cotes de Nuits-Village 2017   a california pinot drinkers idea of what wine should be. lots of fruit hardly any dirt.

 

 

Marisco Winery/ Mackenzie Collis/ Classique wines

always fun to hear a New Zealander speak, with intonations and all

 

Fernlands Sauvignon Blanc 2018 not over the top cat pie/ gooseberry. Quaffable for sure

 

The Nes Sauvignon Blanc 2018  interesting the difference betwween the two wines here. The Ned had more depth of flavor, lemon-lime along with the grapefruit tartness. 

 

The Ned Pinot Gris.2018  slight pink color from elevated time with skin contact..light bodied with nice citrus notes.

 

The Kings Bastard Chardonnay 2015  not quite a califronia style even though it has a significant amount of oak and ml going on. The next vintage will be 2018 so I am looking forward to trying that when it comes in

 

The Ned Rose 2018  mostly Pinot Noir but also some Pinot gris. just a little herbal on the nose and palate. a little offputting because of that.

July 30, 2019

Tasting Notes July 30

July 30

Jeff Cambiano Bommarito Wines

 

Alois Legeder Pinot Grigio 2018 from the region Alto Adige in Northwestern Italy were Pinot Grigio became famous. Medium bodied with a pretty straw yellow color in the glass, this PG is more for the food set than the patio set... 

 

Birichino Winery in Santa Cruz 

Birichino means mischievous or slightly off centered. When I commented on the similarity to Randall Graham of Bonny Doon I was informed they cut their teeth at the particular winery.

 

2018 Petulant Naturel Cinsaut   oh my god.. a pet nat I actually like. fund and unique it does not have the dirty earthy brett others I have tried have.

 

2018 Malvasia Bianca  Beautiful aromatics of stone fruit and orange blossoms that turns does not deliver on those flavors, becoming dry tart on the finish. Sweet drinkers will love the nose and hate the finish, dry drinkers would hate the nose and love the finish.

 

2017 Saint Georges Pinot Noir Central Coast    pretty garnet color tight nose and body slight earthy nose with cranberry and earthy finish. 

 

Queen of the Sierra Red blend  a field blend of Barbera, Trousseau, Tempranillo , Graciano, Cabernet Sauvignon. Slightest bubble gum on the nose, and a lot of old world earthy, dirty flavors on the palate but surprisingly light bodied. 

July 29, 2019

Tasting Notes for July 29

July 29

Vanderpump Rose 2018 with  Jason Sabo

It would be easy to make fun of this wine given the "celebrity" the name implies, however, this was a really good rose. Perfect nose and lush fruit on the finish. Handsome representative did not hurt either.

Kysela Wines/ Mike Kotrady/ Trademark

Valminor Albarino 2018  light briny mineral flavors with a full mouth feel. pretty, typical Albarino.

GiorgiioZ Zaglia Pinot Grigio 2018  slight pinkish color, full bodied for pinot grigio. Good product but so much white noise.

Strozzavolpe ( Strangled Wolf) Chianti 2016   not the typical nose for sangiovese, more fruit forward relatively lush.

Strozzavolpe Chianti Classico 2015   light dusty nose, and tannins that need food to help settle. 

Burgo Viejo Garnacha 2016  young fruity red berries , nice finish but I can find so many in this price point that blow my socks off.

Burgo Viejo Crainza 2016 12 months in oak so lots of dill.. almost too mcuhso

Burgo Viejo Reserva 2014 dark fruit could use some time in bottle. spanish rustic

Clos de Sixte Alain Juame beautiful expression of rhone style wines. earthy iron and bacon.

Uncorked Wines Jennifer Edwards

Tigliano Rosso 2016  easy, fruity soft

Filettto  Chianti DOCG clear in the glass, closed nose but fruity with silky tannin on the finish.. will be carrried eventually

Mania by Poggio Nicchiaia Rooso toscano 2015 dark ruby in the glass, fruit forward not overwhelmed but good.

Gioya (Joi-ya) Rosso Toscano ...Pugnitello a rediscovered red grape and Syeah. Very rustic in nose and mouth. Dark fruiit and pepper on the finish but still rustic. 

July 25, 2019

Tasting Notes for July 25

Thursday August 25  another full Thursday of tasting.

Jon-David Headrick with Mandy Nelson/ Cellar Selection Major Brands

 

Domaine de la Fruitiere Chardonnay 2018... chardonny in the region where Muscadet is king. Light and lean like a muscadet, stirred on the lees like a muscadet  I would rather drink Muscadet

La Tour St Martin Menetou-Salon Blanc 17... sauvignon blanc from loire valley that is not Sancerre and not over $25. bright fruit and acidity  in check... will be in the store soon.

Claude Riffault Sancere 2018  sauvignon blanc also... ripe fruit and lemongrass.. sweet but not

Domaine du Viking Vouvray 2017... sweet floral and pretty on the nose the finish was a little light.

Louis de Grenelle Saumur Sparkling Rose Corail. NV  2 years on lees to give it some bready character good acidity on the finish. long

Jean Francois Merieau Gamay Bois Jacou ( forest edge) floral and bright red fruit... a little young can use time to soft its metallic edges

Dimaone del Noblaie Chinon cloudy in glass, bell pepper nose but how pretty the wine was on the palate... very lush and long lived..

 

 

Lorbert wines

El Castro de Valtville, Godello 2015   too old... nose and palate were faded.

Denuziere Cotes du Rhone 2017  pretty fruity nose, iron and roses on the palate.. some pepper on the rough finish... needs food.

Affinitas Kekfurmkos 2016 Blaufrankish or Lemberger in other places. dirty fee and cherry on the nose. kind of lacking something more

Pocas White Port made from indigenous grapes with brandy blended in to stop fermentation. mixing it with soda or tonic makes a refreshing summer drink

 

Lile wines... most were made in natural style here is my ideas of what they represent

 

Koppitsch homok   watermelon punch the next day, sad clowns, melted candy

Swick V Chill  unfulfilled dreams, crowded cars, bitter divorce

Swick Sauvignon not grapefruit, not not grapefruit. kissing your sister

Swick Bring it Red Blend ... unexpected parents visit. eating at mcdonalds

K-Hungus Syrah... watching how to get away with murder followed by everyone loves raymond

Zorzal Malbec Cab 2017  falling in the dirt with your mouth open, cherry in manhattan that sat all night.

Gen del Alma CruChan  2016  licking a bandaid after you licked the wound clean

Shane Pagani Ranch 2017   sitting in a cedar grove while smoking herbal cigarettes. 

 

Gramercy Cellars / Greg Harrington. Vintegrity

 

I felt like my palate had been wrecked for the day by the natural wines earlier but this was a nice test to know it hadnt.

 

2018 Gramercy Cellard Viognier.. drown from a vineyard close to Canadian border. No typiciity for aromas or flavors of Viogner. Lean and crisp. Tight aromatics

 

Olsen Vineyard Rose 2018  beautiful rose of Syrah and Mourvedre floral nose, with a vibrant red fruit palate.

The Third Man Grenache 2015  not from the movie but from a mountain climbing term.

red fruit nose, lots of tannin and long finish. but red meat is needed.

Inigo Montoya Tempranillo Walla Walla blind tasting I would have guessed this a cabernet, pencil lead nose and somewhat aggressive tannin long finish

Gramercy Lower East Syrah 2016  forgot to ask what the lower east was, next time. light in aromas and flavor for a syrah

Gramercy Syrah Columbia Valley, possibly the best wine I tasted all day. Smooth, silky voluptuous.

Gramercy Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Columbia Valley  hits all the Cabernet buttons of tannin, fruit and supple finish. very very pretty. 

July 23, 2019

Tasting Notes for July 23

La Spinetta/Indigenous/Contratto  David Goewey Dubou

 

Contratto Pas Dos Millesimato 2012

Made with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes also has a vintage date. Pas Dos means no sugar was added at the disgorgement, where the temporary cork is popped and the cork cork is put in place. Toasty nose with a light cherry aftertaste which i thought interesting. For the money a really good buy at $30. Been in production for over 150 vintages. 

 

Indigenous Brut Prosecco 2017  also a vintage Prosecco so you can track freshness .floral nose and surprisingly sweet on the finish not cloying. Not sweet but not not sweet to quote a restaurant list. 

 

La Spinetta Rose di Casanova pretty sangiovese rose, easy and strawberry. 2018

 

Indigenous Barbara 2014  I have to say this was my least favorite. Strong old world nose, (italian stink) that overwhelmed me only because none of the other wines in this portfolio had that. there was some cherry fruit but the tannins were out of control for me.

 

La Spinetta Il Nero di Casanova 2015   wine of the group. I would not have guessed this a sangiovese on blind tasting. A cabernet drinkers sangiovese. lush mouthfeel with pretty hints of chocolate cherry on the finish.

July 18, 2019

Tasting Notes For July 18

A.Bommarito with Jack Guinan Aviva Vino Manager

Avivia Vno Vinho Verde 2018… always interesting to learn new things, for instance, Loureiro is one of the names of grapes used to make Vihno Verde and he sole grape in this offering. Crisp clean and everything a Vinho should be

 Naia Las Brisaa  2018 a Spanish blend of Sb and viura and verdelho smells of sb on the nose but the finish is light and easy.

 Nora Albarino 2019  soft aromas on the nose mid weight on the palate smooth

 Filon Garnacha 2017  earthy on the nose a touch medicinal and young on the palate.

 Mano a Mano Tempranillo 2016 dirty feet on the nose, bright highter fruit noites on the palate but ultimately not the value I remembered it being.

 Luzon Altos de Luzon 2015  cedar on the nose, lip smaking tannins. Maybe a cab drinkers Spanish wine since the tannin holds through to the finish and the fruit still needs to show through. 

 

Bokisch Winery Lodi-Appellations Distributor

Elyse Perry winemaker.

 

A winery from Lodi that specializes in Spanish varietals

Verdejo 2016 subtle aromas on the nose and fruit is a little muted. Maybe a little old

Albarino 2018 nose reminds of banana with the fresh tasting on the palate

Garnacha beautiful rose and geranium nose not round like California Garnache can be.

Tempranillo 2015… my pick for best of the bunch. Smoky earthy nose, strong tannin but not overly so. Long finish of black olive and dark fruit.

Graciano 2016 Spicy dark fruit. This wine needs a steak or wild boar ragu to accompamy. Vanilla and cherry on the finish.

 

Pinnacle distributor with David Kaleba

 

Au Bon Climat Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc 2017  surprisingly sweet on the palate with the acidity keeping it from being cloying. Good summer sipper.

Au Bon Climat Chardonnay 2016 just a touch of oak with the creamy mouthfeel. Full ml but not showing that thanks to acidity. I think people who want to get away from Oaky Cali wine would like this.

Aerena Rose 2018 a blend of Mouvedre/ Carnignan.  Red cherry tart at first but it becomes a cleaner finish.

Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir 2017  savory and pretty. Some spice like altar incense black tea. Long finish.

Aerena Cabernet Red Hills Lake County. Plummy.  Wood spice on the palate… soft fruit not overly tannic given the wood notes early.

 

Fess Parker  with brand manager Bob Campbell

Riesling 2018 Traditional Riesling nose of tart green apple but some Moscato canelli notes too

Marcella’s Rhone blend 2016  mineral nose, green olive and stone fruit up front. A little disjointed for me as most Roussanne Marsanne grapes early on are to me. Marcella was the mothers name. This wine I first tried years ago as Melange de Rhone.

Chardonnay Santa Barbara County 2017  golden yellow color, barrel fermented and really the quintessential California Chardonnay. Ripe and unctuous.

 

Frontier Red… earthy dirty nose, a blend of sangiovese, and other red grapes. It came across far more clunky and harsh. Hard to try wine like this when its 100 degrees

Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills 2017  slight mushroomy and dark fruit on the nose, not the traditional cranberry tart that I get from this region. Soft finish. Pleasant

The Big Easy a Syrah. Grenache and Petite Syrah blend. Supposed to be languid and sexy like New Orleans and I get that somewhat. Had an long finish that went from dark berry to dark tea.

Stillman Chardonnay 2016 light easy chard but the finish was a little brusque and a little harsh.

July 12, 2019

Today's Notes

Only one distributor today.

Bordeaux Presale tasting Lauren Hodgson Classique 

 

Chateau Jean de Bel Air 2015  Merlot/ Cabernet 

French stink on the nose, simple light flavors quick finish.

 

Chateau Roland La Garde 2015 Merlot/ Cabernet

not as strong on the french (old world) stink. Loads of fruit with a long finish that belies that cost. I will order 3 cases of this. Cost will be about $16 a bottle.

 

Chateau Grand Clapeau Olivier 2015 Cabernet/ Merlot/ Petite Verdot.

licked the aromas on the nose black cherry on the finish but there was something off, slightly medicinal and bitter.

 

Chateau les Tresquots Medoc Merlot/cab  sawdust on the nose, dirty finish good finish but a little offputting on the start.

 

Chateau Poitevin 2015 Merlot/Cabernet/ Petit Verdot

smoky nose, dried cherry and pretty finish. Best for me of the bunch I ordered 3 cases of this wine. probably around $20 a bottle.

 

Chateau Bellevue Figeac 2016 Saint Emilion Merlot/ Cab Franc/ Cabernet Sauvignon  lip tingling tannins up front mid weight pretty vanilla and cherry finish that was a bit short. expected a more mouth filling experience

July 11, 2019

Gomer's Midtown New Wines

July 11

Hello readers. Starting today I will begin an experiment I started in my last employment, basically blogging about the wine that I am being tasted on day to day. When I do this it allows me to keep my notes and also to share what is being brought into the market. With over 12 distributors to present wines there seems to never be a lack of new things.

Denise with Walden wines

 

Caligore, a good value winery from Argentina.

Bonarda 2017 a grape that originated in Italy and brought with immigrants. As much as America would like to be the melting pot of the world, Argentina really has done more to have that title. 

A little dusty nose followed by black cherry on the finish. Not a long finish but pleasant.

Malbec 2014. from 80 yr old vines, also very ripe. ( I found out today was a flower day according to my biodynamic app so everything is tasting sweeter and pretty today) A little savory on the finish with black berry fruit being predominate. 

Uggiano Rosso di Montalcino 2016 bright in the glass. fruity but not a lot of grip or tannin.

Uggiano Brunello 2013 2 year barrel and one year in bottle. also  very fruit driven maybe 2013 was a hot year causing more ripeness.

Uggiano Vin Santo 2008 from Trebbiano grapes has the typical vin santo nose but not the overwhelming viscous character. Butterscotch and honey notes carry through. pretty

 

 

LORBERT WINES

 

Terre de Touros Arinto 2017 a Portuguese wine I had not heard of before. Simple like a Vinho Verde but with a touch of sweetness. Easy drinking and light , a good summer wine.

Vita Colte Gavi di Gavi 2018 made from the Cortese grape in the region of Gavi minerality on the nose, light stone fruit on the finish. which had some length. 
When I started in the business there were more Gavi available than Pinot Grigio but times have changed.

 

Aguijon de Abeja Bonarda Argentina 2016.. how strange to try another Bonarda. high notes of black berries light on the palate. Honey bee on the label to show ecodiversity??

 

Gran'Arte Touriga Nacional 2012  one of the Port grapes done in a still style. Flinty on the nose and a touch oxidized on the palate. May be a little old.

Vita Colte Moscato Passito Piemonte   Passito describes the process of drying the grapes to bring out more depth in the sweetness. Sweet but not cloying. A little higher alcohol than most Moscato,.

 

 

RYAN FRYE WITH LILE WINES

 

Ca dei Zago Prosecco 2017   Made with the Glera grape in the original style of Prosecco, vintage dating is unusual with more industrial made Prosecco because they often combine vintages. 

J Brix Wild Wild Sea Chenin 2018 not as sweet as expected and finished dry. Made from the Jurassic Vineyard because the oil drilling equipment next to the vineyards look like dinosaurs. 

Shoenheitz Cremant d alsace. non vintage. a blend of alsace grape types.traditional style. Pretty effervescent. 

Roots Chardonnay Willamette Valley Oregon 2017  a little dull after the acidity of the Chenin. and its another Chardonnay.

J Brix Counoise CouCou 2018... maybe natural wine drinkers would like this style, it looks like rose but funky.

Sablonettes Meynard Le Rouge 2017... tastes like strawberry sour beer.

 

VINOTECA with Dana Atwell

Casamaro Verdejo 2018 in the store already... definitely grapefruit... lighter than sauv blanc though with a slight salty finish.

Pence Ranch Chardonnay 2017 .. typical central coast chard over oaked over malo over ripe

Pence Ranch Gamay 2017.. slightly oxidized light body red fruit flavors

Scribe Estate Pinot Noir 2017 one of the prettiest aromas today wish the wine had the body to match. pleasant

Champs Pentus Faugeres Grenache, syrah and Carignan   fruity all the way, not very complex.

Chateau La Rame Bordeaux Rouge 2016  french stink on the nose red cherry fruit with a quick finish.

Rame Saint-Croix-du-Mont ":Tradition: 2016 Bordeaux... not familiar with this aoc and after trying I can understand why. A wine that tries to mimic Sauternes, made with Semillon, medicinal notes on the nose some petrol with herbal notes on the finish... doesnt know if it wants to be sweet or not.

MASSICAN AND LARKMEAD WITH DAN PETROSKI

Dan is the winemaker for both projects. He started the Massican property in homage to his italian background. The Massican mountains I am told are located in Southern Italy. All the wines from here are white and predominately Italian varietals. 

 

Annia, named after his Grandmother, is a Tocai Fruiliano, Pinot Grigio predominate blend. soft finish, not overly complex/

Gemina in homage of the Greco di Tufo found in southern Italy. This is Pinot grigio, Greco di Tufo with a slight briny nose its mid weight and long finish. Beautiful.

Sauvignon Blanc, made in the California style, white grapefruit not the pink acidic of New Zealand. Beautiful aromatics and just a touch of heat on the finish.

Larkmead Cabernet Napa 2016... cedar and pencil lead on the nose, dark in the glass and very pronounced tannin. this is a baby that needs some more time.

 

TRADEMARK WINES 

 

Grands Perrieres Sancerres,2018  I would have to say that this summer the hot wine is Sancerre. Given the price point that is especially interesting. This is another Sauv blanc that pulls off the salty flavors very crisp with a light body.

Jaques Pelvas Brut Rose NV... dry dry dry. some red fruit on the finish

Jardin en Fleurs Vouvray 2017  chenin blanc from the Loire valley. clean crisp and light. starts slightly sweet and finishes on the dry side.

Ca del Monte Valpolicella Ripasso 2013 made with traditional valpol grapes, starts with the Italian stink. the ripasso method means some of the grapes have been dried like the big brother Amarone. Has a little of the raisony character but pleasant and lush on the palate. 

 

KOBRAND with Keith Paden.\

 

Villa Matilde Falanghina Campania. 2018. One of my favorite white wines the wine tastes like summertime to me. Mid weight on the palate. very pretty.  (means little thumbs)

Villa Matilde Greco di Tufo 2018 definitely one of my favorite whites from anywhere in the world. almond, honey minerality and a round long finish.

Michele Chiarlo Il Principe Langhe Nebbiolo 2016.. meaning the prince, this is a fine expression of Nebbiolo without going to the full expense of Barolo. Italian nose for sure, cherry fruit through out with a touch of iron on the long finish. 

Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi sounds Japanese but is actually Sicilian and predominately Carignan which is mostly found in Southern France. Soft sweet nose, pretty spice on the finish with a touch of vanilla.

Insoglio dei Cinghiale Toscana 2017 a super tuscan style. Syrah and Merlot with other Bordeaux grapes in Maremma the up and coming region in Tuscany, 

Guidalberto Toscana 2017  a true super tuscan, Cabernet and Merlot that has a lot of grip and tannin. Needs time to open up. Very young. 

May 14, 2019

Two Everyday Reds From Italy!

The phrase deja vu may be French, but it certainly applies to this Italian offering. Many of you have taken advantage of our knack for finding red wine values from the boot, and this year we have two that have us excited. Both are relatively limited in quantity, and I am hoping there might be more, but there are no guarantees in the world of wine...

 

The first is one of those joyfully distinctive and even more joyfully cheap reds that Italy does so well. Villa Schinosa's 2016 Laghihlione Puglia Rosso is a blend of Syrah and the local Zinfandel clone called Primitivo. It is big and rich with dark cherry fruit and the earth and spice flavors of both those grapes. We're not the only ones who liked it - Wine Enthusiast listed it in their Top 100 Wine Values issue!

 

Villa Schinosa 2016 Laghihlione Puglia Rosso - $9.98/bt!

 

Our other Italian value is a supremely affordable and thoroughly delicious Chianti Classico! Many of the world's great wine regions have expanded over the years to accommodate demand - Chianti among them, but the heart of the region where the best wines are from has its own DOCG - the Classico district. Most Chianti Classico retails for around $20, but the 2016 Chianti Classico from San Crispino delivers the Classico experience for a bargain price!

 

This blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon has dusty cherry notes blended with cooking spice and black tea flavors. There's enough structure and grip to make this super food-friendly now, but it will cellar well for a few years and re-emerge softer, rounder and richer.

 

San Crispino 2016 Chianti Classico - $11.98/bt!

April 10, 2019

Thriller Chianti From Volpaia!

There are few wines more famous and simultaneously misunderstood than Chianti. Italy's most famous and historic red hit a low point in the 1970s. Italy's economy was struggling, so producers sought to make huge volumes of cheap, pedestrian wine from Tuscany's storied vineyards. A lot of this average juice made it to America's wealth of red-check tablecloth Italian eateries, with bottles wrapped in wicker that were usually more interesting than the juice inside.

 

At the same time, several California jug brands took advantage of lax regulation and TV advertising to introduce branded "Chianti," made in the industrial Central Valley of California from a recipe using a "who knows what?" recipe of anonymous grapes.

 

Some of the few remaining conscientious producers of true Chianti decided to distance themselves from this debacle, introducing the "Super Tuscan," in theory coming from the most modest level of Italian wine - vino de tavola - but in practice one of the last refuges of great Sangiovese-based wines.

 

The Volpaia winery dates back to 1172. The family that owns it decided against pursuing the "Super Tuscan" route to prominence. Instead, Carlo and Giovannella Mascheroni took the reigns and dedicated themselves to making world-class examples of Chianti Classico. They keep the winery state-of-the-art, and work their vineyards organically, and they rank among the select few families that sustained Chianti Classico through its dark period.

 

The 2016 Chianti Classico is made from 90% Sangiovese, with the remaining 10% composed of Merlot. The latter adds a bit of roundness and a supple texture, but Sangiovese is the true star here. Middleweight, with dusty tannins, vibrant cherry fruit and a hint of violets and black tea in the nose.

 

The freshness and structure make this a superbly food-friendly wine - think pasta bolognese with a little extra Parmesan grated on top!

 

Volpaia 2016 Chianti Classico - $19.98/bt

December 10, 2018

Bordeaux Holiday Company Wine!

Let us all praise good wine! What exactly do I mean by "good?" Well, in this case. it's the kind of wine you share at a party, or with friends, or with family over a celebration, and when you taste it, you stop for a moment and say "Hey, this wine is good," and then you go right back to celebrating without having to spend a lot of brainpower contemplating the wine.

 

That was my experience with the Comte de Tassin 2016 Bordeaux. When I poured my first glass to smell, the pretty aromas of the wine were striking. Beautiful raspberry and blackberry. and a hint of the cedar/pencil shaving note that might make you laugh, at least until you smell it for yourself. The fruit aromas follow through beautifully - the purity of the fruit is impressive. It's a middleweight, versatile wine with the right amount of structure to do good work at the table.

 

Best of all? It's just $9.98 per bottle. If all you know of Bordeaux is what you've read about astronomically-priced wine, this will show you what the more down-to-earth versions are like. This will probably go fast, so hurry down or email to reserve some!

 

Comte de Tassin 2016 Bordeaux - $9.98/bt!

November 23, 2018

Delicious Italian Holiday Cellar Defender!

Thanksgiving is over. Friends and relatives have depleted your wine stocks. Perhaps they even started eyeing some of those special bottles you're aging for just the right occasion. What you need is a delicious cellar defender!

 

Alberto Conti Toscana Rosso is the perfect red wine for your holiday needs! If you have been following our emails for a while, you'll know that we have a knack for sussing out some great Italian values, and this is another in that long line. Made from a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, this juicy Super Tuscan has enough structure to hold up to hearty holdiay fare, and enough red fruit richness to be fun just to sip on its own.

 

It's the perfect wine to satisfy thirsty guests (and yourself) while keeping their hands (or yours) off your hidden gems. This wine is in stock, so email to reserve yours or hurry down and snag a case!

 

Alberto Conti 2016 Toscana Rosso - $9.98/bt!

October 23, 2018

Brilliant French Wine In A Box!

When I visited the Rhone Valley in 2011, one of the things I was struck by was how many top Chateauneuf-du-Pape producers also released very good Cotes-du-Rhone boxed wines for French consumption. When I asked if they would ever make it to America, I was cheerfully told "no," at least not until American consumers finally embraced them and American importers were willing to take the chance. I got to taste a couple of them, and the quality was striking.

 

Last year. Francoise Le Calvez, one of the proprietors of Chateau Coupe Roses in Minervois in the Languedoc, paid a visit to the store and she ended up asking me lots of questions. I told her about my interest in these higher quality bag-in-box wines, and she mentioned her interest in producing one. Apparently I made an impression, because a few months later I was told I was essentially responsible for their newest product!

 

You may have an eyebrow raised already. Box wine? Seriously. Yes, very. They are, as I said, all over Europe. Because they are less expensive to ship, you are actually paying less per "bottle" than you will for an actual bottle of the equivalent wine. If you only want one glass, or wine to cook with, you don't have to open and potentially waste a whole bottle.

 

Happily, I can report that the Les Treilles de Coupe-Roses 2017 is delicious. The wine is a blend of Carignane and Grenache - Mme La Calvez likes freshness in her wines, and there's an exquisite balance of acidity  and structure against plump, dark, rich black and red fruit. When you dream of that French vacation, this is the wine you would be drinking!

 

Have I mentioned that they are Certified Organic? Have I mentioned that buying this gets you the equivalent of four bottles of Certified Organic, delicious red wine for less than $9 a bottle?

 

Les Treilles de Coupe-Roses 2017 Carignane/Grenache - $34.98/box!

October 02, 2018

Gamay Rising!

Pinot Noir and Gamay have a long, tricky history together. Both grapes take to similar soils and climates, and even though they are different in their vinous flavors and textures, they seem to appeal to the same palates.

 

Pinot Noir is the more aristocratic, elegant and complex of the two. At its best, it produces some of the world's greatest red wines. But it can go through tricky phases in its evolution. In Burgundy and Oregon, it is seldom at its finest on release (not that it's not still pretty delicious), and good examples will improve over 10 years or more. But during that journey, it can provide some frustrating experiences - one bottle may be delightful and open for business, and six months later it might show nothing.

 

Gamay is the happy, joyful, and decidedly not-as-intellectual grape. It is packed with berry fruit, soft tannins and the wines have a supple, velvety texture that is highly appealing. While it will never hit the heights of a top Pinot Noir, Gamay is just a lot of fun to drink - something a new generation of wine lovers has discovered. Beaujolais has been on a tear with consumers for a decade or more, especially as the prices for top Burgundy have launched into the stratosphere.

 

In France, it's simple. Burgundy is for Pinot Noir, and Gamay is for Beaujolais. In America, where the Willamette Valley has made great strides with Pinot Noir, Gamay has been an afterthought. Until now.

 

Brad McLeroy of Ayres admitted last year that he was surprised by how much people wanted Gamay. He made a little, sourced from a vineyard that was partially planted to the grape, and promptly sold out. The next vintage just arrived on our floor, and it is even better than last year's. Delicious raspberry and blackberry fruit with mouthwatering freshness and a lovely texture. 

 

Ayres 2017 Chehalem Mountain Gamay Noir - $21.98/bt!

August 02, 2018

Edelbrand Pure DistillingTasting - 8/3 4-7PM!

Gomer's Midtown is pleased to welcome Lynn DeLean-Weber of Edelbrand Pure Distilling for a tasting of beautiful fruit-based brandies produced by the smallest distillery in Missouri!

 

Lynn's husband Martin is from Switzerland, where his family enjoyed fruit brandies made with local produce. He moved to Marthasville for work many years ago, where he and Lynn met and married. In 2012, the couple began playing with home distilling, using a small copper still to make fruit brandy.

 

The Webers refer to their spirits as vinars, a regional name for the spirits from a Swiss dialect of certain small mountain towns. They are slowly distilled - each bottle requires 15-22 pounds of fruit. The Webers source as much of the fruit as they can locally.

 

Their work is a labor of love - they produce just over thousand bottles per year! They are intense, complex and delicious, whether as a sipped digestif or a cocktail component. Many local mixologists are experimenting with these brandies, and Lynn will be here to talk about how they like to use their vinars.

 

She'll be with us from 4-7PM, on Friday August 3rd. Join us to taste through their whole line, including cherry, apple, pear and apricot!

July 23, 2018

Massican Annia - Lively, Vibrant Refreshing Napa White From Larkmead's Winemaker!

One of the things you'll learn hanging out around winemakers is that they often drink things that are very different from the wines they make. When I've been around some top French wine people, they are often excited to order California wines off the wine list. When I've been around some famous names from Napa Valley, more often than not they are ordering things like Chablis or Barolo.

 

Sometimes you'll find winemakers who are comfortable in multiple idioms of wine. They may make one kind of wine at one winery, but then they are capable of turning around and making something completely different at another project. This requires a lot of talent and a very open mind.

 

That last sentence certainly describes Dan Petroski. I first tasted his work when he took the reins at Larkmead - long one of my very favorite producers of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. I heard he had his own project called Massican, and when he came through town a few weeks ago, I was excited to try them.

 

While Larkmead is focused almost entirely on Cabernet Sauvignon, and a few other traditional Bordeaux varieties, Massican allows Dan to play with some lovely, and obscure Italian varieties. As Napa Valley becomes more and more dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, there remain stubborn holdouts who keep these oddball varieties in production, and we are lucky that they do!

 

Dan's whites were all lovely, but the one that really stood out for me was the 2017 Annia. This beautiful, complex and refreshing white is a blend of two varieties best known in Friuli, Italy - Ribolla Gialla and Friulano. A six percent dollop of Chardonnay adds a bit of body and balance. It hits all the right notes of a good middleweight white - acidity for food-friendliness, complexity and body.

 

This is a pre-arrival offering, and this wine is limited. I expect it to arrive Friday afternoon, and before then you can reserve it at a pre-arrival price. Respond to this email and I will confirm quantity with you.

 

Massican Annia 2017 (55% Ribolla Gialla, 39% Friulano, 6% Chardonnay - $29.98/bt!

July 07, 2018

Brilliant Mature Wine Aged In the Cellars of Chateau Musar!

Most great wines come from famous wine regions. Occasionally, however, there will be a property so unique that it has a truly singular greatness.

 

One of those estates is Chateau Musar, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

 

There's a long tradition of grapegrowing and winemaking in this part of the world, dating back to Biblical times and before. Tragically, the wars that tore through Lebanon in the second half of the 20th century made the wine trade a dangerous one to ply, and many other estates shuttered their doors or dialed back production.

 

But not the Hochar family. Instead, they reached winemaking heights that no one had imagined possible in Lebanon, all while Civil Wars were fought around them. They only missed two commercial vintages because of fighting - 1976 and 1984.

 

The wine is an odd blend - Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignane in slghtly varying proportions from year-to-year - an approximation of some of the top wines of Provence in France, but Musar hits heights of complexity and ageworthy that surpass all but a few top Bandols.

 

I had the good fortune to taste through an assortment of library releases last year, and picked a couple to bring to Gomer's in very limited quality.

 

The 1999 is a legend in the making. At almost 20 years of age, it is just starting to hit a peak where it should stay for many years. It has a wild, funkiness and a unique mix of dark rich fruit, cooking spices and freshly cut herbs. The tannins are beginning to melt into the wine, giving this a lush, silky texture that only time in the cellar can give.

 

The 2002 was equally striking, in different fashion. Even though only a few years separate them, the 2002 struck me as much "younger" in texture and structure. This is one that has a few years to go before truly peaking, though it is lovely now.

 

Both wines are super-limited (and incredible values!), so if you are interested, please respond to this email and I will confirm.

 

Chateau Musar 2002 - $59.98/bt!

Chateau Musar 1999 - $69.98/bt!

June 15, 2018

Stellar Sangiovese For a Song - Sale!

Italy's two greatest gifts to red wine lovers are a pair of indigenous grapes - Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

 

Nebbiolo is the Pinot Noir-ish of the two.It is very finicky about where it is grown - if we are being realistic, only a couple of Northern Italian wine regions make decent examples, and finding a good one under $15 in the U.S. is almost impossible!

 

Sangiovese is more like the Cabernet Sauvignon of the duo. It hits great heights in Tuscany, paticularly around Montalcino (the Napa Valley of Tuscany), but it can also make delicious wines in lesser known corners of Italy.

 

Two wines stood out at a recent importer show for me. You may have already tried the Montepulciano, The other standout was the 2016 Cavaliere Sangiovese from Puglia. This wine is, simply put, a stunning value. Puglia is the "heel" of the Italian boot, and much like the warm corners of California it is easy to ripen fruit there.

 

And that what was struck me about this wine - its has such pretty cherry fruit, with the subtle spice and structure of good Sangiovese. You can hear the echo of a top Tuscan wine, as this delivers so much of what they deliver, but for a ridiculously low price.

 

How low? Less than $10. This is one to consider loading up for a case, as it will see you through Summer grilling and into the more hearty fare of Fall and Winter.

 

The wine is in-store, and, if you are interested in reserving some, respond to this email.

 

And, if you want to maybe try before you buy, I will have this open to taste Saturday, June 16th, so stop on by!

 

2016 Cavaliere Sangiovese IGT Puglia - $8.98/bt!

May 25, 2018

Killer Italian Red For Burgers, Brats and Warm Weather Fun - Sale!

We're always on the hunt for values, and I think we've found a great one for summertime grilling! Outdoor fun and warm weather calls for juicy, sappy reds without a lot of tannin. I test drove this with some burgers and brats a few days ago, and the other people at the party were lining up to secure some of this wine for summer.

 

The 2016 Terre dei Nobili Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a middleweight red, with light tannins, rich cherry fruit, and that burst of acidity that makes Italian red wine so friendly with food. I tasted this for the first time at a large importer show, and I came back to it several times to confirm that it really was as good as I thought it was.

 

It was. For those of you who remember some of the Italian values we've offered, this is another in that line of high quality/low price wines. If you're running low on Chateau St. Nabor, this is your next House Red.

 

Normally this wine would run for $12.99, and I would say it was a good value, but if you respond to this email, you can secure bottles for $9.98 each! Supplies are limited, so hurry.

 

2016 Terre dei Nobili Montepulciano d'Abruzzo - $9.98/bt (or $119.76 for a case full of juicy goodness!)

May 08, 2018

Chateau St. Cyrgues Rosé Is Back!

One of the first things that tells me the holiday season is over is when I begin filling out rosé pre-sales in January. There's not much else to do, so I dream of Spring and Summer Weather and the South of France while the bitter wind whips against the building and I do my research.

 

I've been buying rosé for Gomer's long enough that I have favorites that I buy every years, because I like them and you, dear readers, also come back each year when the weather turns warm to load up on them. Every year I pull in some new and different things, just to keep it fresh, but I really do love knowing and trusting a couple of estates to deliver delicious wines and great value.

 

I can't remember the first year I brought in Chateau St. Crygues' rosé. Ten years, give or take? It's a small estate, organically-farmed in Nimes, where the Rhone begins its transition into Provence. Syrah and Grenache grow wonderfully well here,  and the Father-Son team of Jean-Pierre and Loic Ferraud make a middleweight, aromatically intense rosé with layering, fresh fruit, and a sneaky long finish.

 

Warm weather is here! Come stock up!.

 

 

Chateau St. Cyrgues 2017 Costieres de Nimes Rosé - $9.99/bt

March 13, 2018

A Killer Meritage Value From A Founder Of the Name!

So I'm going to quickly settle a debate that has consumed the wine world since 1988. The word 'meritage' is pronounced such that it essentially rhymes with 'heritage'. This is straight from the horse's mouth, and that horse in the Meritage Alliance, the organization that invented the term in 1988. What was the intention? Well, wineries that wanted to experiment with Bordeaux style blends were having a frustrating time with some of the BATF labeling laws, so the term was created to denote a red blend that contained at least two of the traditional Bordeaux varieties, with no grape consisting of more than 90% of the blend.

 

Estancia was one of the found wineries. The organization has grown to over 350 members from less than 20. Estancia has grown as well, but they still put a lot of energy and passion in the Meritage, which is now produced entirely from Paso Robles fruit.

 

This is normally priced a little bit more than the every day, but we were able to secure some where we can sell it to you for a great price. The 2014 is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, with dollops of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec to round it out. It has an effusive rich, red and blackcurrant nose, with a hint of dried herbs that says Paso Red. It holds up quite well for at least two days, and has enough structure to cellar for five years, perhaps more.

 

This will be a one-time price on this wine - once it's gone, it's gone!

 

Estancia 2014 Paso Robles Reserve Meritage - $14.97/bt! (while supplies last)

March 06, 2018

Like The First Robin, It's The First Rosé Of Spring!

I'm going to be honest. I kind of took last summer off from rosé. It didn't need my help, and it seemed like every huge volume producer jumped on the bandwagon. Pink wine was everywhere last year, and I guess I just wasn't feeling it. Of course, whether something is on trend isn't really that good a reason to like or dislike something - whether something is good is a much better reason for liking, and I lost sight of rosé wine being a good thing.

 

I tried a few over the weekend, and I was reminded of how happy they are. Rosé isn't for people who want to think a lot about what's in the glass. It's joys are both more simple and a little visceral, and this morning I find that I'm back on Team Rosé!

 

The first 2017s are coming, and one of the things I didn't do last year that I did do this year was commit to some killer values from Spain! These expressions of pink wine tend to be a little richer and a little less complex than their best French counterparts. Coto de Hayas was a label we did a lot of work with many years ago, and then their local distributor folded, and we lost track of these rocking values.

 

Fast forward 10 years, and they are finally back. The 2017 rosé features lively strawberry and watermelon notes, with great freshness. You can feel Spring waiting to happen, and I saw my first robin late last week. This wine is Spring in a bottle!

 

Coto de Hayas 2017 Campo de Borja Garnacha Rosado - $7.98/bt!

February 20, 2018

Stunning Syrah From Washington State!

So our Syrah sit-down tasting was fun, and afterwards I enjoyed the aftermath, and a few sips of one of the wines, and I was taken by how strong and how affordable an example of this grape it really was. One of the things that I think Washington does as well as anything is produce Syrah that takes what's best about New World expressions of Syrah, i.e., lush dark fruit, and Old World expressions, i.e., complexity and spice.

 

I ending up springing for a bottle to enjoy with a couple of meals over the weekend, including an Asian-style braised pork belly, and my take on short ribs, and in both cases the lushness and spiciness played wonderfully well with my dinner.

 

Finding under $20 expressions of this grape from the U.S. can be difficult. Finding one this exciting is even more so! This is the kind of wine I wish we saw more often from domestic wineries...

 

Corvidae 'Lenore' 2016 Washington State Syrah - $16.99/bt!

February 13, 2018

The Funky Side of Piedmont!

This week's wine is a blend of four odd grapes grown in Piedmont that not only somehow works, but actually kind of kicks some butt! The 2015 Braida 'Il Bacialé' from the Montferrato DOC is named after an ancient regional figure in Piedmont who would arrange marriages among the local country folk. This is certainly an interesting marriage of grapes - 60% Barbera, 20% Pinot Nero, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot!

 

The Barbera gives this wine great freshness, and there's a lot of rich, tangy red and black fruit and good structure. This is one of those wines that really shines with good food, so if you are braising or roasting something good, this is a lovely match!

 

Braida 2015 'Il Baciale' Montferrato - $17.98/bt!

January 30, 2018

A Trio of 14 Clos de la Chapelle - On Sale!

So I was kicking around in the much more empty Gomer's Midtown cellar, and I came across a few extra Clos de la Chapelle 14s that I want to offer at a nice January price! These are limited.

 

For those of you who have followed us for a while, you might know that we have had a special relationship with the Burgundy producer Clos de la Chapelle - the owner is a Kansas City resident, and I have been fortunate to have many of the greatest wine experiences of my life at his table.

 

Here are notes and scores from John Gilman of A View From The Cellar - one of my favorite resources on top notch Old World wine!

 

2014 Volnay 1er Cru En Carelle

The domaine's vines in En Carelle are planted north/­south, which served to shelter the bunches a bit during the hail at the end of June and there was really quite moderate damage done here in 2014. The wine was raised in twenty percent new oak and these fifty-­five to sixty-year-­old vines have produced an excellent wine in this vintage. The bouquet offers up scents of cherries, red plums, raw cocoa, gamebird, cedar and a lovely top note of spices. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and intensely flavored, with a velvety attack, a good core and a long, suavely ­tannic finish. Just a lovely wine. 92 points.


2014 Volnay 1er Cru Taillepieds

The Taillepieds bottling from Clos de la Chapelle was new in 2013. As readers may recall, this hails from a parcel of forty- to fifty-year­-old vines that lie between the rows of Domaines de Montille and Marquis d'Angerville. The 2014 was another very short crop here, as they only produced three casks, whereas in a normal crop, they should have nine! The wine is superb in 2014, delivering a fine aromatic constellation of red berries, red plums, a beautifully complex base of soil tones, gamebirds, pretty spice notes and cedary wood. On the palate the wine is pure, full­-bodied, complex and shows good stuffing at the core, with fine focus and grip and a moderately chewy finish. 93 points

 

2014 Pommard 1er Cru Grands Epenots  

The 2014 Grands Epenots from Clos de la Chapelle was bottled a bit later than most of the red wines in the cellar, with the mise coming at the start of February of 2016. The wine was showing very well at the time of my visit, offering up a pure and nascently complex nose of red plums, cherries, woodsmoke, gamebird, cocoa, cedar and a superb base of soil tones. On the palate the wine is deep, full-­bodied and very elegant in profile, with a superb core of fruit, lovely soil signature and a very long, ripely tannic and focused finish. A very high class example of this superb terroir. 93+ points

 

 

 

 

 

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Volnay 1er Cru 'En Carelle' 2014 - $69.98/bt (net)

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Volnay 1er Cru 'Les Taillepieds' 2014 - $64.98/bt (net)

Domaine Clos de la Chapelle Pommard 1 Cru 'Grands Epenots 2014 - $74.98/bt (net)

 

The wines are approachable now, but will reward cellaring. These are incredible values in Red Burgundy!

January 15, 2018

Awesome French Value For A "January" Budget!

Well, the holidays are over, and it's brutally cold. At least the days are starting to get longer, right?

 

Two other thing that can be brutal in January are bills and budgets - both from paying off some of those December extravgances! Still, it's hard to go without good red wine, and if your stores have been drained by guests and cheer, we have just the thing that won't break the bank but will fill the rack.

 

The Languedoc in the South of France is home to some of the sunniest values in all the world. This part of the country is where Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet and Merlot bleed into Rhone varieties like Grenache and Syrah.

 

Domaine de Cassagnau is an old estate that has made outstanding values for many years, and we are excited to offer the 2015 vintage at a super-low price. The wine is a blend of nearly equal parts Syrah, Grenache and Merlot. It has a deep, vivid purpley-red color and is full of rich blackberry and cherry fruit, with a subtle kick of pepper in the end. It is, simply put delicious!

 

We're offering this wine to you via email at a low price of $7.50 per bottle, which makes this less than $100 a case including tax! Once it hits our shelves, it will be a little more expensive, so respond to this email today and take this chance to restock your wine rack!

 

Domaine de Cassagnau 2015 VdP d'Oc - $7.50/bt (pre-arrival)

December 28, 2017

Top Notch Champagne at an Affordable Price!

The number one complaint I hear about Champagne is that it is too expensive. I understand. But there's a reason for that. The production costs are high and regulations require Champagne to be aged for several years before it is released. In most top still wine regions - the 15s are the current releases - in Champagne, we're just seeing the 10s and some 12s.

 

And, and at the end of the day, the other sparkling wine regions can come close in quality, but you stick them in a Champagne flight as a ringer, and they invariably stick out like a sore thumb. Champagne has the climate and the soil and pretty much everything perfect to make bubbly.

 

Every now and then you might find a bargain on the shelf somewhere. Most of these are industrially-produced, co-op style Champagnes anonymously blended for your local chain store. Occasionally, you might find a good value from a part of Champagne called the Aube - a region to the South whose soil has more in common with Burgundy than historic Champagne.

 

I always keep an eye out for a good Champagne from the main areas of the region, and last year I found a producer in the Montagne de Reims area, based in the villages of Ludes, that delivered a rocking value for less than $40. The Huré Freres are making great, crowd-pleasing Champagne from primarily estate fruit, with some supplemental purchases from their neighbors.

 

As much as we liked them last year, the current releases are even better. My guess is that the base vintage for the wines is the lovely 2012. The labels have been tastefully redesigned. The wines are red grape heavy, with even splits of the Pinots Noir and Meunier, with a little hit of Chardonnay for freshness and balance.

 

These wines are more fruit and yeast-driven than minerally. They are crowd-pleasing and dry (sometimes you should let a big brand Champagne go flat and taste it to see just how sweet those wines actually are...).

 

The Invitation Brut is a beauty, and the salmon-pink Insouciance is crammed with strawberry and apricot notes. There is nothing close to this quality at the price in the market today!

 

Huré Freres NV Invitation Brut - $35.98/bt

Huré Freres NV Insouciance Rosé - $44.98/bt

December 12, 2017

Monte Antico - Delicious Tuscan Value!

The first Italian wine I every bought at Gomer's, way back when I moved here in 2001, was Neil Empson's juicy little Super Tuscan! Empson has been one of the top importers of Italian wine for many years, and this partnership between he and renowned Tuscan winemaker Fernando Bernabei.

 

The wine is mostly Sangiovese, the great indigenous Tuscan grape, and fleshed out with little bits of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It's juicy, sappy and delicious, with red cherry notes, a hint of Oolong tea, and dusty notes that make it a lively food partner!

 

Monte Antico 2013 Toscana IGT Sangiovese/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon - $9.98/bt

December 06, 2017

Great Wine For A Good Cause!

One of the fun things I have had a chance to do almost every year for the past 15 or so is to judge Doug Frost's Jefferson Cup Wine Competition. It is the only competition that is open to all American wines, so there are days where we might be judging a Missouri Norton one moment, a new variety grown in New Jersey the next, and Napa Cabernet in the next, all blind.

 

The competition is also a major benefit for a charity called Angel Flight - this charity connects generous pilots with airplanes and people with healthcare needs that require air transport in a hurry, for free. The Jefferson Cup and the events that surround it is the #1 donor to Angel Flight.

 

Last year Doug auctioned the opportunity to visit Washington wine country and make a blend that would make one barrel's worth of a commercial release. He approached me a few weeks ago, just before the competition, and offered me a chance to taste the wine.

 

The wine, called Pilot's Share, is a blend of Malbec and Tempranillo, and the person who did the blending did a fantastic job! It's dark, rich and very generous. It's a black and blue mouthful of fruit, with a hint of Tempranillo spice. It will be on our shelves later this week, but in the spirit of generosity I'd like to offer our email clients an opportunity to pre-order the wine at a price we will not see again once its on the shelf.

 

If you are interested in this lovely wine for a great deal, respond to this email and we will confirm your order. Thanks!

 

Pilot's Share 2016 Washington Malbec/Tempranillo - $19.98/bt (email only)

November 28, 2017

The Glorious 15s of Clos de la Chapelle!

Many of you are familiar with the story of Mark O'Connell and Clos de la Chapelle. Mark fell in love with Burgundy many years ago, and eventually became one of the most prominent wine collectors in America. He has many friends in Burgundy, and dreamed of one day becoming one of only a couple of Americans to own land and make wine in this hallowed wine region. He almost pulled off his dream in the mid-aughts, but the magnate who owns Chateau Latour made it clear he would pay almost any price to acquire Domaine Engel, who proprietor had passed unexpectedly.

 

His next chance arose a few years later during the 2009 harvest, when he happened to be on hand when a tiny Domaine in Volnay came on the market. By one of the many quirks of French law, the Domaine had to pass to an individual, rather than a company, and Mark made the snap decision to acquire the tiny Domaine.

 

He began with three 1er Cru vineyards, including the monopole that bears the same name as the estate. Over the next few years, as Burgundy struggled with tiny crops, he was able to expand and acquire three parcels in the Corton Grand Crus, as well as new holdings in Volnay, Pommard and Beaune.

November 21, 2017

A Steal of a Zin Deal Only Available Here!

Why did you sign up for this email? To learn about some incredible deals?

 

Well, we've got one, and the only way it will be available is through this email, so be sure to respond (don't call! Respond here!) to lock in your special pricing on a delicious old vine Zinfandel that will keep the wine rack full through the holidays when guests descend en masse!

 

The Gen 5 2014 is a bright, vibrant, smokey Zin from Lodi - not so big it won't go with food this holiday season, but still packed with the lush, briary fruit of old vines. The price were offering you makes this one of the greatest bargains of the Holiday season.

 

Let us know how much you're looking for, and we can have this as soon as the day before Thanksgiving!

 

Gen 5 2014 Old Vine Zinfandel - $8.75/bt (email only!)

November 07, 2017

Classic Cab Franc at a Throwback Price!

Sometimes you're in the right place at the right time. If you're reading this, you might fall in this category...

 

I have a few cases of the 2013 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon at a price that takes me back twenty years. Baudry is one of the rock stars of the Loire, and this intro level Chinon would be great with Thanksgiving. Cabernet Franc from the Loire has lovely, raspberry and cherry fruit, with a spice and herbal edge that makes is distinctive and a versatile red wine with food.

 

There's not much of this, so call and reserve your bottles!

 

Domaine Bernard Baudry 2013 Chinon - $12.98/bt (limited)

October 31, 2017

Gamay, Gomer's and Ayres!

Pinot Noir and Gamay have a long, contentious relationship, or at least they did in France, where the Kings of Burgundy banished Gamay to the hinterlands to prevent it from being planted in their beloved Cote d'Or - those in Beaujolais say it was because their grape was "too delicious."

 

They have a point. Gamay has a great liveliness and freshness married to lush fruit, and even if they are markedly different in many ways, a lot of what makes Gamay popular Pinot Noir does, albeit in a more "regal" way.

 

Over the past few years, a few of Oregon's top Pinot Noir growers have begun to play with Gamay. The grape is wildly popular with younger wine consumers, and so some of them, like our Brad McLeroy at Ayres, said to themselves "Why not?"

 

Why not, indeed. One might wonder what took them so long, particularly after trying Brad's first vintage. The 2015 Ayres bears a beautiful resemblance to Cru Beaujolais, with a touch more tannic structure, but all the panoply of red and black fruit that makes Gamay so much fun.

 

And, for once, the New World version of the Old World wine doesn't cost twice as much!

 

Ayres 2015 Gamay Willamette Valley - $22.99/bt (limited)

October 18, 2017

Wes Hagen of J. Wilkes!

I met Wes Hagen in real life a few months ago just before he headed off the dazzle a room full of wine professionals. I've known him online for many years, where I followed his adventures in the Santa Rita Hills at the vineyard he and his brother owned called Clos Pepe. He had a remarkable blend of wit and insight into the art of growing grapes and making wine, and I was happy that his real life persona more than matched what I read online.

 

Wes now makes wine at J. Wilkes, and the thing that made me happiest about meeting him was learning how good his wines are for the price! The Cabernet and Pinot Noir are vitually unbeatable in their price range, and all the wines are worth your attention. Wes is the kind of guy the wine world relies upon to do things like intelligently define an entire AVA (the geographical boundaries of specific wine regions.

September 25, 2017

Super-Limited Craft Sparkling Wine - Under the Wire!

There was a time when sparkling wine was almost as important in California as still wine. That was a long time ago, before Prohibition. During the first great post-Prohibition wine boom in the 60s and 70s, outside investment from Champagne and Cava producers gave sparkling wine a new start, and there were a few native California producers like Schramsberg that took the new mantle.

 

But it was never quite the same. There were only a few wineries interested in trying to compete with Champagne as a quality wine region - the rest of the state was content to churn out Andre and the like. Meanwhile, in France, Champagne went from a region dominated by a few large producers to a hotbed of innovation and terroir. A few American winemakers, lovers of Champagne, watched and dreamed that they too could make vineyard-oriented sparkling wine from American sources.

 

Morgan Twain-Peterson and Christ Cottrell of Bedrock believed that great American sparkling wine was possible, from the right places and with the right hand to guide the grapes into the bottle. They named this side project Under the Wire, and bottled the first wines just a couple of vintages ago.

 

We're offering two of their wines, in super-limited quantity (I basically had to beg just to get SOMETHING, but it was well worth it). The first is a ravishing Blanc de Blancs made with Chardonnay from the legendary Alder Spings vineyard in Mendocino. This wine has a richness the Blanc de Blancs from Champagne do not - even in the coolest California climates, the ripeness shines through in rich, layered tropical fruit.

 

The second wine comes from the tiny Brosseau Vineyard, one of the only non Chalone-owned vineyards in this important, limestone-heavy AVA. Limestone is common in Champagne, but rare in California, and this wine seems to have more of the seashell, scallop-y minerality of Champagne while retaining that lush California fruit.

 

Both wines are stunning. I don't have much, so respond ASAP!

 

Under the Wire 2013 'Alder Springs' Mendocino Sparkling Wine - $55.99/bt (limited)

Under the Wire 2013 'Brosseau' Chalone Sparkling Wine - $55.99/bt (also limited)

September 05, 2017

A Dynamic South African Duo!

If I were to try to invent a hypothetical wine region that did as many things as possible backwards, it would be hard to outdo what South Africa did in real life, at least until recently. South Africa is arguably either the last "old world" wine region to be developed, or perhaps the one of the earliest "new world" regions, a riddle that still confuses many consumers. The English developed South Africa as a region to produce high volume, low quality wine - a status quo that was eventually improved the the government-run KWV co-operative.

 

Unfortunately, the KWV co-operative only raised the bar so high, and by the 20th century it was a drag on the kind of innovation and improvements that other major wine regions were undergoing. The country's racial Apartheid policies further isolated it from the wider world.

 

When that policy ended, South African wine began to blossom, though there were still large obstacles - not the least of which was the country's deep stake on a grape crossing called Pinotage. In theory, the grape was intended to combine the quality of Pinot Noir with the high yields of Cinsault, but in practice in turned out a wild, funky, rustic wine that, in a few areas, was genuinely exciting, but in many regions and unskilled hands produced a rubbery, smokey note that created a love/hate relationship with most consumers.

 

Outside investment led to the cultivation of more "international" varieties, and South Africa found significant success with Syrah/Shiraz and the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon (as well as the other Bordeaux varieties.

 

Gomer's Mid has always had a small South African section - which has slowly expanded over the past year, in no small part because we've finally gotten access to the best importer portfolio there - Broadbent Selections. After tasting through many of their top wines, I grabbed two that I though showed what this country is capable of doing.

 

Warwick has always had a magic touch with Pinotage, and its 'Three Cape Ladies' blend combines this unique South African variety with Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. The classic Cabernet blackcurrant is accentuated by Shiraz spice and earthy notes from the Pinotage.

 

Delaire Graff produces a wide variety of wines, but it was their Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend that really grabbed me. It's close to classified growth Bordeaux quality, but with a hint of that distinctive South African earth and spice beneath the rich fruit.

 

Warwick 2012 '3 Cape Ladies' Stellenbosch Red Blend - $27.99/bt (limited)

Delaire Graff 2014 'Botmaskop' Stellenbosch Red Blend - $27.99/bt (also limited)

August 29, 2017

New Napa With Matthiasson!

One of my favorite vintage wine books covers the California wine scene ca. the early 70s. The thing I love most about it (besides the vintage photo stock and crazy fashion) is learning how much the Napa Valley has changed in my lifetime. Where now we think of it as a source for world class Cabernet, some fine Merlot, the occasional classic Chardonnay and a little bit of Zinfandel, back then Napa was a lot more wild, and grapes that no one would take a chance on today were co-planted with what we now think of as the "classics," because when you're getting $100 a bottle for Cabernet, why would you plant some obscure Italian grape, right?

 

Well, because some grape growers love a challenge, and some winemakers think the diversity of the wine world and all it's potential needs some championing, particularly in California, where things have tilted more and more towards the same 10 grapes or so.

 

Enter Steve Matthiasson. He's been a top viticultural consultant for many top Napa propeties, including Stags Leap Wine Cellars, Spottswoode and Araujo. Matthiasson's specialty is pulling the best flavors out of grapes, without letting them get so overwhelmingly ripe the way so many wines have become in Napa over the past 20 years.

 

While he excels at working with the Napa "classics," his own heart goes to oddball varieties and iconoclastic growers. He makes a few wines from the known varieties, but perhaps his most sought after wine is a blend of two Italian grapes - Ribolla Gialla and Tocai Friulano, and two French grapes - Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Matthiasson was named 'Winemaker of the Year' by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2014 - multiple distributors have been trying to land his wines here for years. Someone finally got them, but there's not a whole lot of wine. We received a whopping one case of the 2014 Napa White Blend, which is beautiful, rich, minerally, figgy and tropical. We're not putting this wine on the shelf, and the first 12 people who respond can each have a bottle - so hurry!

 

Mathiasson 2014 Napa Valley White Wine - $39.99/bt (limit 1 per customer - super-limited)

 

 

Lively Pink From Provence!

 

Someone pointed out to me that this seems to have been the summer where I never wrote about rosé. I thought about it, and with one exception, they appear to have been right! They've sold themselves so well this years that I haven't felt the usual obligation to stand up for them...

 

That said, I did just revisit one of our steady workhorse wines - Castel des Maures 'Cuvée Jeanne' Cotes de Provence. This has one of our steady pink superstars for several years now, and the 2016 is every bit the wine we remember. Think classic, fresh, vibrant strawberry, watermelon and tangy cherry fruit in that classic dry style. Summer hasn't left yet (not that it matters, forget rosé all day - rosé all year!), and there's still lots of time to enjoy patios and pink wine!

 

Castel des Maures 2016 'Cuvée Jeanne' Cotes de Provence - $9.98/bt (net)

August 22, 2017

A Wine Party At Affare 8/23!

Katrin Heuser, the owner and GM of Affare Restaurant have long shared similar tastes in wine. So it stood to reason that we both liked the wines of Elena Walch. This winery is located in Northeastern Italy, where the line between Italy, Austria and Germany can get a little blurry, and the wine culture reflects it!

 

Affare does a monthly wine party that features great wines with Chef Martin Heuser's outstanding Modern German Cuisine. The food available will include Rabbit Ravioli, Housemade Gnocchi and more.

 

We'll be tasting Walch's 2016 Pinot Grigio and Pinot Bianco, 2013 Gewurztraminer (they do an amazing job with this challenging grape!), 2015 'Prendo' Pinot Noir and 2016 Schiava. These wines are wonderful food matches, and Chef Martin's food loves to go with wine.

 

The party starts at 5, and goes until 7. Food and wine combined cost $65, and you'll get your fill! Affare is in the Crossroads at 1911 Main Street.

 

For Advance Tickets, visit Affare's Website at affarekc.com - but you can just show up! I hope we see you there.

August 15, 2017

An Affordable Pinot From a Great California AVA!

The quest for great California Pinot Noir kicked into high gear at the turn of the 21st century, but there were already some great efforts with a grape that is as finicky as they come.  Chalone winery pioneered some great Burgundy-styled examples of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grown in some of the only limestone and granite soils in California. This mix is found in Burgundy's best vineyards, and those two grape varieties shine when planted in them.

 

Chalone was one of California's great wineries for many years, but a misguided IPO and mismanagement took the winery out of the top echelon. The vineyards remained top notch, but Chalone expanded into more everyday offerings that helped the bottom line, but took the luster off a name that was once so important their AVA was named for them.

 

There's been significant effort to recapture some of their old glory, and to that end Chalone recently introduced the 'Gavilan' bottling, a throwback that sources fruit only from the Chalone AVA, primarily from the extensive Dijon-clone planted estate vineyards. We have this for a short time at an amazing price, and it is a classic California Pinot, which rich layers of black cherry and raspberry fruit, and the voluptuous and round texture this grape develops in the West. The Gavilan mountain range's cool nights and high elevation preserve freshness in the fruit. 

 

There's not much, so hurry!

 

Chalone Vineyard 'Gavilan' 2013 Pinot Noir Chalone AVA - $19.98/bt

August 11, 2017

Mature Bordeaux from a Legendary Year!

There's not much of this. One of the great wine joys is trying a well-aged Bordeaux and getting a firsthand look at why lunatics like me buy wine and then try not to drink for a long time. The good news? This wine is not the expensive, and it is in a lovely place to drink right now.

 

While classified growth Bordeaux pricing spiraled out of control with the 2005 vintage, smart buyers loaded up on stuff like Cru Bourgeois estates in the Medoc. Many Chateaux like to hold back some of their production to unleash when its mature, and Chateau Citran recently offered some wine from this epic vintage.

 

The tannin spine that defined 2005 has melted into the wine, leaving a silky texture. The blackcurrant and cassis fruit are prominent, with secondary notes of flowers, tobacco leaf and pencil lead showing as well. This is an affordable bottle for a special occasion!

 

Chateau Citran 2005 Haut-Medoc - $34.99/bt

August 02, 2017

Top Cru Beaujolais From Marcel Lapierre!

There's a kind of wine lover who goes crazy for Beaujolais. There's a certain kind of smart wine lover who has gone crazy for the wines of Marcel Lapierre. The wines are hard to come by anywhere in the U.S., as they are in high demand and very short (8,000 cases for the world) supply, and top restaurants in France and New York have been clamoring for these wines for years.

 

That smart wine lover will often look over our Beaujolais selection, and see some of the top names (not Duboeuf - never Duboeuf) and will slowly work the nerve up to ask the question - "Do you guys ever get any Lapierre?" In the past, we have gotten his little Vin de France, but the Crus? Nope. The special Morgon? Hell, no. Then, with the 2014 vintage, they suddenly popped up in the market and on our shelves, and those smart wine lovers freaked out - and now, instead of working up the nerve to ask, they chase me around the store asking if I have the new vintages.

 

Lapierre is the leading light of what Kermit Lynch called "The Gang of Four" - four top producers who decided the turn away from the industrial techniques promoted by the likes of Duboeuf - according to the Kermit Lynch web site, this meant "a return to the old practices of viticulture and vinification: starting with old vines, never using synthetic herbicides or pesticides, harvesting late, rigorously sorting to remove all but the healthiest grapes, adding minimal doses of sulfur dioxide or none at all, and disdaining chaptalization."

 

Marcel passed in 2010, but left the winery in the capable hands of his son, Mathieu and daughter, Camille, who are taking the winery towards full biodynamic growing.

 

We received a little bit of the 2016 - enough to write up, but this won't hit the floor until after this email has a chance to circulate. This is a velevety red, with effusive red berry and flowers aromas, and a voluptuous texture with red and black cherry and red and black raspberry flavors. It's joy in a glass!

 

Marcel LaPierre 2016 Juliénas - $31.99/bt)

June 20, 2017