2013 Deovlet Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CA, $37.99/Sale $29.99: Wow…what a scrumptious Chardonnay! It has a core of richness with flavors of golden delicious apple, baked pear and baking spices. Aging for 16 months in French oak, 16% new, gives if hints of toast. It’s in no way overdone. The great concentration is balanced by vibrant acidity. We like this wine a lot and at this sale price, it’s a steal!
2014 Marcella’s White Blend, Santa Barbara County, CA, $17.99/Sale $13.99: A white blend (Viognier, with some Marsanne, Rousanne and Grenache Blanc) is quintessential Santa Barbara with bright, fresh acidity backing generous peach and apricot fruit flavors, A really pleasant white wine… try this when you are in the mood for something different from the usual Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. 95 pts Best White Rhone Blend, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Best Buy Wine & Spirits
2014 Barrique Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast, $19.99/Sale $17.99: This is a truly wonderful Pinot Noir for every day drinking. It’s medium bodied and easy drinking without sacrificing complexity or depth of flavor. This wine has loads of dark cherry fruit and just enough spice, acidity and earthiness to keep it balanced and interesting. One of the best values we’ve come across in Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Made by Dan Fitzgerald, who was the winemaker at Sinskey for many years.
2013 Presqu’ile Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley, CA, $47.99/Sale $35.99: Presqu’ile (“almost an island”) Winery is located in the Santa Maria Valley on California’s Central Coast, where unique west-to-east flow of cool marine breezes makes the AVA ideal for creating exceptional Pinot Noir. Presqu’ile wines are SIP Certified, which means their Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Certification goes beyond the USDA Organic certification process, to address every level of the winemaking process, from farm labor to agriculture, from energy conservation to water quality. This delightful Pinot offers balance, complexity and the ever-present “Santa Maria spice.” While the wine can be enjoyed at an earlier age, it is still built for the long haul, with excellent structure and a backbone of acidity.
2014 Hook & Ladder Station Ten Red, Russian River, CA, $18.99/Sale $15.99: Hook & Ladder Winery was founded in 2005 by the highly esteemed grape grower and winemaker Cecil DeLoach, after he sold his original winery. Cecil was a fireman before becoming a winery owner and Station Ten is the fire house in San Francisco from which he retired. This amazing value has flavors of blackberry, cherry and powdered cocoa which complement the long cinnamon finish, framed with light pepper notes. Try this Zinfandel blend with any red meats from the grill.
2012 Teira Merlot, Sonoma County, $17.99/Sale $15.99: Winemaker William Knuttle (Saintsbury, Chalk Hill) consults on this classic, sustainably farmed Sonoma County Merlot with a nod towards “Right Bank” Bordeaux. Aromas of plush dark fruit, vanilla and cedar tease the nose, while the palate shows fairly rich fruit, a little spice and some earth. Soft, smooth tannins integrate with the extended structure and lingering finish to make this a balanced, elegant Merlot.
2010 Brutocao Merlot, Mendocino, County, $21.99/Sale $18.99: When the Brutocao family came to California from the Veneto and married into the Bliss family of farmers, it was only natural that they would combine their passions and become grape growers and winemakers. And what a nice Merlot they’ve produced! It is a 2010, and this bit of age has allowed the flavors to meld beautifully. Juicy cherry, blackberry and olive aromas and flavors are woven with spicy cedar notes that extend through the finish. This is drinking beautifully, and at this price, you should stock up. SIDEWAYS be damned!
2014 LaFruitière Chardonnay, Val de Loire, $11.99/Sale $10.99: This Loire Chardonnay comes from 20 year old vines and spends five months in steel tank which gives the nose citrus and exotic fruits as well as brioche touches. It’s a clean, unoaked Chardonnay with just a touch of roundness in the mouthfeel. Great for a summer night out on the porch with friends.
2014 Domaine Bernard Defaix Chablis, Bourgogne, $19.99/Sale $17.99: We love Chablis! This classic Chablis displays a dominance of mineral notes, with delicate touches of citrus fruit (lemon and grapefruit). The crisp acidity on the finish makes it an excellent match for shellfish or white fish of any type.
2015 Pierre Boniface Aprémont, Vin de Savoie, $17.99/Sale $15.99: From the foothills of the Alps comes this delicate and feather-light wine. It has green apple and floral aromas. On the palate, it is dry and lively, with crystal clear purity. Perfect summer refreshment.
2014 Château Pegau, Côtes du Rhone Blanc, $21.99/Sale $18.99: This bright white Rhone blend offers
aromas and flavors of nectarines and pears. Cote du Rhone Blanc has an appealing flavor profile that isn’t as tart as Sauvignon Blanc and doesn’t have the weight, roundness and oaky character often present in Chardonnay. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with a wide variety of lighter dishes…chicken, white fish, and even pork.
2014 Domaine Jean Paul Paquet & Fils Pouilly-Fuissé, Bourgogne, $29.99/Sale $26.99: Quite a robust Pouilly-Fuissé, this wine offers charming aromas and flavors of ripe apple, fig and buttered toast, with a substantial mineral character. There’s some light richness in the mid-palate, while the long and pure finish shows nice acidity. This lovely Chardonnay from Burgundy will pair well with roast pork or turkey dinner.
2014 Plan Pegau, Lot 11-12-13, Rhone Valley. $23.99/Sale $20.99: Plan Pegau is crafted by Laurence Feraud, the female owner and winemaker of the iconic Domaine du Pegau. Produced from estate grown fruit planted just outside of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, this blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot and 20% old vine “others”, offers a true and loud echo of the traditional Pegau style, and is the “little brother” of the Domaine du Pegau Reservee Chateauneuf du-Pape. It shows rich red and dark fruit right out of the bottle. After decanting or leaving in the glass for half an hour or more, the wine transforms into a rustic, savory example of the Southern Rhone. We visited Domaine Pegau and fell in love with her traditional style Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Now, we’re delighted to have a MUCH less expensive wine that still reflects the hallmark personality of Pegau.
2012/2013 François Lumpp a Vigne Rouge Givry Premier Cru, Bourgogne, $41.99/Sale $32.99: An overlooked gem! Supple beautiful fruit, this is a Pinot that does its job so well; balancing strength with elegance, force with ease. From one of the most profound producers in Givry, this is a wine that offers lovely fruit, old world minerality and a kiss of warm, spicy oak to give it a flavor of vanilla and clove on the finish. We have some of the 2012, and then will move on to the equally good 2013. Incredible wine!
2013 Emmanuel Darnaud Crozes-Hermitage, Rhone, $23.99/Sale $21.99: Emmanuel Darnaud is one of the most likeable and enthusiastic vignerons in the northern Rhone. Since his first vintage in 2001, Darnaud has developed a style of brightly fruited Crozes wine with a seductive bouquet and almost ethereal scent that combines olives, violets and blackberries. The Syrah grapes are gathered from older vine parcels, then aged in a selection of new, first and second year Burgundy barrels, producing a medium-bodied wine with a fine tannic-acid equilibrium. This is classic northern Rhone.
2009 Domaine Parent Beaune, 1er Cru Les Epenottes, Bourgogne, $85.99/Sale $74.99: A long established Burgundy family, the Parent dynasty can be traced back to the mid 17th century in Pommard. It was Etienne Parent who guided Thomas Jefferson through the vineyards of the Cote d’Or in 1767. This lovely Burgundy is from Les Epenottes vineyard, located on the border of the Pommard appellation. A bouquet of sweet spices with a touch of tobacco, black plum and dark cherry lead you into an expressive, fairly full bodied wine that has intensity and elegance at the same time. We recently tasted the 2012 vintage which was very good but, obviously, a little young. This 2009 is drinking beautifully now! Very limited in supply.
2010 Château Peyraud, Blaye, Côtes du Bordeaux, $16.99/Sale $13.99: A classic Right Bank Bordeaux with tons of dark chocolate and plums, layered with earth, vanilla and a slight hint of smoke. The tannins are well integrated and balance the fruit with structure. This would pair with any red meat from the grill.
2014 Pra Soave Otto, Veneto, $17.99/Sale $14.99: 100% Garganega from 30-60 year old vines. The vines grow in volcanic soils on the foothills of the Lessini Mountains of Soave. Temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel. The wine has an attractive lemon color and a bouquet bursting with notes of flowers and crisp fruit. Aromas of hawthorn and jasmine are particularly prominent, as are exotic yellow and white fruits such as peach and apricots. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and flavorsome, full of fruit, with clear mineral notes. The wine is easy drinking and has an aftertaste of hazelnuts and nutshells.
2014 Elena Walch Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige, $18.99/Sale $16.99: A classic Alto Adige specialty, this Pinot Bianco presents itself in clear, bright straw yellow, with fruity aromas, fresh apple notes and a touch of herbs in the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine surprises with elegant, mineral depth and a fresh finish. An inviting aperitif wine and an ideal accompaniment for light dishes.
2013 Lucignano Chianti Colli Fior entini, Toscana, $14.99/Sale $11.99: The Chianti from this estate is definitely an Old World style with a rustic bouquet of dark wild cherries, leather, a bit of smoke and earth. It speaks of Italy and is unlike most other Chianti from this appellation – a sign of the unique characteristics of its cru. Would be great with pasta dishes or some aged cheese.
2012 Alan Foresco Barberani, Umbria, $19.99/Sale $16.99: Ripe, dark cherries on the nose and the palate jump out at you on this Central Italian gem. Sangiovese leads the way in the blend with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon helping to create a moderately structured, bone dry, and inexpensive crowd pleaser. Great care is taken to utilize resources responsibly in the winery and the vineyards. Even diffused sunlight is used for most of the indoor lighting, and this continued synergy is reflected in the Foresco.
2012 Pelissero Barbera Piani, Piemonte, $25.99/Sale $21.99: Pelissero is a family owned winery and all of their grapes are estate grown. Their Barbarescos are very well regarded and age beautifully. We have the 1990 which you should try if you want to understand why wine pros rave over aged Nebbiolo. Of course, it costs a lot more ($75.99) than this charming Barbera from the same family so we’re happy to have this option for you as well. The Piani Barbera is really all about the fruit. Red cherry, blackberry and plum intertwine with floral notes. A hint of oak frames the finish. it is a versatile red which will pair with many things…pasta with bolognese sauce, sausage pizza, grilled pork or braised lamb shanks.
2014 Lagar de la Santina Albariño, Rias Baixas, $16.99/Sale $14.99: From northwest Spain comes this exotic white wine filled with aromatic notes of apples laced with subtleties of flowers. Lively acidity and flavors similar to the nose make this a very appealing, refreshing wine. Great for summer sipping!
2011 Besllum, Monsant, $18.99/Sale $16.49: Monsant is a wine growing region just outside of Priorat, located about two hours southwest of Barcelona. With terrain similar to Priorat, Monsant offers a true example of what values can be found in Spain. With five years of aging, this blend of Garnacha, Carinena and Syrah, all organically farmed, is drinking really well right now. It has an alluring bouquet of wood smoke, exotic spices, blueberry and lavender. Deep purple color and full of sweet dark fruit flavors, it is quite opulent. Serve it up with a steak or pork chop right off the grill.
2009 Remelluri Reserva, Rioja, $37.99Sale $32.99: The Remelluri property is one of the storied estates that is now modern Rioja. Founded in 1967 at the base of the Cantabrian mountains, the winery is located in the restored monastery of Toloño. This Riserva is the flagship for the estate. The Tempranillo grapes are grown on the poor soils of the hillside and the wine is made in a bordelaise fashion. Gentle tannins and flavors that gain weight in the glass show great promise for this classic Rioja. It would drink well now with a good decanting or lay down easily for 10 years. A perfect for rack of lamb.
2005 Bodegas Ontañón, Rioja, $25.99/Sale $21.99: On the nose, this opaque and sophisticated red (95% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano) delivers a punch of cherries, plums, spice and tobacco with overtones of smoke and earth. This Rioja shows great acidity, a well-developed body, beautiful fruit and a long, rich finish with integrated tannins. 91 points, Wine Spectator
NV Broadbent Vinho Verde, $8.99/Sale $7.99: Vinho Verde is the largest wine growing area in Portugal, and its name, Vinho Verde, literally means “green wine” which makes sense when you look at the color — it is almost clear with a slight greenish tinge. Broadbent has partnered with family-owned wineries around the globe to produce wines rich with the essence of place and tradition. This is no exception — it is classic Vinho Verde, with lively acidity and slight fizziness. With lime zest and green apple flavors, it is a deliciously refreshing, light wine that is perfect for summer. It pairs brilliantly with white fish and shellfish…and is great on its own.
2014 Esporão Reserva White, Alantejo, $24.99/Sale $19.99: This Portuguese white presents an alluring mix of apricot, mirabelle plum and exotic citrus fruit muddled with a dash of spice, vanilla, nuts, and slightly sweet toasted pie crust…all baked under the Portuguese sun. The nicely weighted body integrated with moderate oak rounds out the mouth feel making it a nice alternative for Chardonnay drinkers. Drink it with grilled halibut with a banana/pineapple chutney.
2014 Vols Wiltinger Kupp Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, $25.99/Sale $20.99: Organic Riesling grown on weathered slate soils along the Sarr river. According to importer Terry Theise, this wine is “charming, crunchy, sinewy and with the most vivid malic penetration. A whisper of sweetness. Perfect, long, insanely refreshing; the essential Saar wine, no need for a silk ascot; it’s noble enough.”
2014 Schloss Gobelsburg Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal, $16.99/Sale $14.99: Grüner veltliner from the Kamptal region of Austria. It is, amazingly, as good as the ’13 and yet entirely different; much fruitier in ’14; super lentilly and fennely and overtly expressive; sweet entry and a firm finish; somewhat like an ’09 but with more hyssop; lingering and concentrated.
2013 Catena Alta Historic Rows Chardonnay, Mendoza, $34.99/Sale $29.99: Generous aromatics fill the nasal cavities with honeyed notes, orchard and stone fruits (apples, pear, almonds), and beautiful nuances of the vineyards’ micro-terroir. This wine has a great mouth feel that delivers lovely acidity and copacetic creaminess that lends a helping hand with its rich fruit and balanced mineral notes. 92 pts Wine Advocate
2011 El Enemigo “The Enemy” Cabernet Franc, Mendoza,$29.99/Sale $26.99: This dark, inky red (92% Cab Franc, 8% Malbec) is stern and sassy. There is a clear spicy, herbal note akin to green peppercorns that is very balsamic and almost minty. This clearly identifies the Cabernet Franc. Black fruit with tobacco and cedar notes, balanced acidity, and developed tannins show off this opulent wine. 92 pts, Robert Parker, 92 pts, Decanter
2013 Errazuriz Max Chardonnay, Aconcagua, $17.99/Sale $15.99: A Chardonnay layered with a dense bouquet of apples and exotic fruits, laced with vanilla and stony subtleties. Flirtatious fruit, coquettish creaminess and modest mineral notes leave your mouth asking for more. 93 pts, James Suckling
2014 El Litoral Sauvignon Blanc, Valle de Leyda, $19.99/Sale $13.99: A zesty wine that has tons of fresh cut limes, gooseberries and fresh cut grass notes with hints of melons and passion fruit in the finish. Pair with a pouched salmon fillet with dill and lemon and enjoy! 90 pts, Wine Advocate
2014 Patagón Pinot Noir, Curico, $11.99/Sale $9.99: This 100% Pinot Noir has an elegant earthiness that is enhanced by perfumed notes of ripe fruit, spice and flowers. The wine shows nice acidity and easy tannins that will help deliver a smile to your day. A great Pinot Noir for under $10!
2015 Wirra Wirra Scrubby Rise White, McLaren Vale, $12.99/Sale $10.99: This blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier, from vineyards right on the coast, is aromatic, fruity and fresh. Think melon, cucumber, gooseberries, lime and seashell aromas, with a clean and fresh palate. A perfect summer sipper.
2012 Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz, McLaren Vale, $18.99/Sale $16.99: Notes of lush chocolate wrapped in ripe blackberry that coat the mouth with this great Shiraz. With a slight touch of Viognier to add a floral note, this wine is great for an evening by the fire on a starry Colorado night. 93pts, Wine Enthusiast
2015 Huia Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, $18.99/Sale $16.99: A New Zealand lover’s dream. This certified organic Sauvignon Blanc offers lots of tropical fruit, starfruit, mango, and of course gooseberries, yet with balance that comes from 10% going into neutral oak. It’s not as aggressively tart as some Kiwi Sauv Blancs. Perfect with shellfish, any grilled fish or a nice summer salad. 92 pts, Editor’s Choice, Wine Enthusiast
2015 Maimai Syrah, Hawke’s Bay, $18.99/Sale $16.99: This Syrah serves up a wonderful density and has nice concentration without being overly extracted. White pepper lingers on the palate and nose to identify this wine with Hawke’s Bay, which is on New Zealand’s north island.
Château Beausoleil Blanquette au Limoux, France, $17.99/Sale $15.99: Blanquette de Limoux stakes its claim over Champagne, Cava and Prosecco as the first sparkling wine ever produced. Made from hand-picked Blanquette grapes (more commonly known as Mauzac), vinification is completed using the méthode champenoise, with 18 months aging on the lees. This delicious sparkling is dry, lightly fruity with toast and mineral notes, balanced by crisp acidity and tiny, delicate bubbles. At this price, you can serve your friends French bubbles at any occasion!
NV Camille Savès Carte Blanche Premier Cru Bouzy, Champagne, France, 750 ml $57.99/Sale $43.99; 375ml $25.99: As many of you know, we are big, big fans of Grower Champagne! In addition, this is the time of year for bubbly. Graduations and weddings are even more reason to uncork a sparkling beauty. When we were offered this beauty at a special price, how could we refuse, or why, for that matter? Camille Savès in Bouzy own 10 hectares of vines in Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards. The vines average 35 years and are farmed in a traditional manner, with natural fertilizers and endemic predators. Brioche and fruit on the nose. Roast fruit and nicely balanced acids on the palate. Santé!