The Summer 2019 Newsletter Has Arrived
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRINTABLE IMAGE VERSION (complete with images & additional information) WINES OF THE MONTH
2018 Principe Pallavicini Frascati | Lazio, Italy · $12.99 | Sale $10.99 The wines of Frascati can be traced back to the 5th century BC. They have proved a refreshing quaffer to ancient Rome, Popes and the glitterati of Rome today. The Pallavicini Family have raised this ancient white to new heights. They use the traditional varietals of Malvasia, Bombino, Greco and Trebbiano grown on ancient volcanic soils. The grapes are hand harvested and selected, then macerated and fermented at low temperatures to retain freshness. It is bottled fresh and sent to the masses. Light yellow in color with greenish hints, the nose is vibrant with floral notes. It has a light citrus palate with bright acids and slight honey notes - a lovely porch sipper for scorching summer days as those in the Roman countryside. It is a great accompaniment to fruits of the sea or angel hair pasta with garlic, olive oil and crushed red peppers. Experience what Julius, Augustus and the Popes so appreciated! Organic.
2016 Château Bourbon La Chapelle Médoc | Bordeaux, France · $15.99 | Sale $13.99
Bordeaux is often best known for its justifiably famous and often astronomically priced classified growths. However, as the largest fine wine region in France, it is home to nearly 6,000 châteaux. Château Castera dates from the 14th century and is located in the Medoc region north of the city of Bordeaux. It is here that Château Bourbon La Chapelle is made. Featuring the classic Bordeaux blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, Bourbon La Chapelle belies the myth that all good Bordeaux must be expensive. Medium bodied with notes of blackberry, plum, coffee, sandalwood and very fine tannins, this is an excellent introduction to the ancestral home Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
2018 Château de Vauclaire Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence | Provence, France
$15.99 | Sale $13.99
The Sallier family has owned the estate for over 200 years. Third generation winemaker Charlotte studied wine making in Burgundy and worked at estates around the world before returning to take over winemaking at the Château. The estate is located on a plateau 10 miles north of Aix-en-Provence. The Rosè is blend of Syrah, Cinsault and a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine only stays in contact with the grape skins for a few hours, which results in the very delicate color. The juice is fermented at low temperatures to maintain freshness. The nose is delicate with floral and red berry notes. The berry notes continue on the palate balanced by bright acidity. A perfect sipper for Colorado sunsets or to wash down grilled large shrimp as they do along the coast in Marseille.
2017 Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc | California · $12.99 | Sale $10.99
In 2005, Sean and Nicole Minor decided to turn their love of wine into their family business. A small portion of the juice is fermented in neutral oak with lees aging, while the majority is sent to stainless steel tanks. This results in a Sauvignon Blanc with balanced acid and a rich and slightly rounder mouthfeel. While grapefruit and tropical notes are still abundant on the bouquet, as is typical with most Sauvignon Blancs, the oak and lees aged portion that is delicately blended in creates characteristics of melon and fig, which would pair wonderfully with crab or scallops in a lemon garlic sauce, as well as soft goat cheeses. In fact, if you ever find yourself wondering what to pair with that especially stinky cheese at your next cocktail party, wonder no more! A bottle of this wine makes that decision a no-brainer!
2018 Big Salt White | Oregon · $18.99 | Sale $16.99
Big Salt is a wine that tries to capture a day at the beach in a bottle. Made from a proprietary blend of Riesling and Gewürztraminer, sustainable and organic vineyards across Oregon are the building blocks for this wine. Winemaker John House has been cited by several publications as being one of Oregon’s finest winemakers, and Big Salt is a perfect example of why. As with most great winemakers, John believes that great wine is produced in the vineyard not the winery, which is why he accepts only the finest Oregon fruit available. Whether at home on the porch, or brought along to a barbecue with friends, Big Salt is the perfect summer wine.
2017 Jean-Paul Brun “Terres Dorées” Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay | Beaujolais, France
$19.99 | Sale $17.99
Mention Beaujolais and most will think of the light, somewhat fruity red made from the Gamay grape. However in the northern regions of Beaujolais, near the border with Macon, the soil turns from granite (good for Gamay) to limestone (good for Chardonnay). Here Jean-Paul Brun makes an excellent affordable Chardonnay from 80-year-old vines all grown organically and, unusual for the region, utilizing native yeasts. Unoaked with a hint of green apples and an undercurrent of minerality, this medium weight wine is one the great values of the region. Decanter magazine called it “Quite serious and worth every penny” and listed it as a “Must Try White.” Don’t miss it. 91 points | James Suckling
Attimo Bianco | Piedmont, Italy · $14.99 | Sale $12.99
Attimo, Italian for “Moment,” is the brainchild of Denver Restaurateur Jon Schlegel of Snooze fame. This project he created when he was living in Monforte d'Alba in the Barolo Zone. He has teamed up with the winemaker from the Ceretto winery to make this quaffable 100% Arneis. A great aperitif or an accompaniment to lighter meals.
2018 Berger Grüner Veltliner | Lower Austria · $16.99 | Sale $12.99
We’ve been selling this wine for decades and have never been disappointed. The grapes are grown on steep loess terraces. These terraces store heat during the day and reflect it onto the vines at night, resulting in wines with fresh, bright flavors. It is one of our favorite summertime wines for everyday drinking. Such a great value… only $12.99, and that’s for a LITER (25% more wine than in a standard 750 ml bottle)!
2016 Mt. Beautiful Riesling | North Canterbury, New Zealand · $23.99 | Sale $21.99
From a pioneering winery in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand, 70 miles north of Christchurch, comes this certified sustainable, estate-grown Riesling. Cool climate varietals grow well on the South Island, and we are big fans of Kiwi Rieslings. This one has a touch of sweetness, but it is balanced beautifully by the acidity. The classic petrol nose precedes flavors of citrus and apple, with a honeysuckle note on the finish. Fresh and zingy, this is a great addition to your summer white wine line-up. Great with Thai food.
2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc | North Canterbury, New Zealand · $18.99 | Sale $16.99
This Sauvignon Blanc pushes the boundaries of the typical New Zealand flavor profile. North Canterbury is south of Marlborough, where a great majority of the country’s Sauvignon Blancs are produced. Tropical fruit and lime flavors dominate, rather than the usual grassiness, and a bit of time in barrel brings a mid-palate creaminess. But the finish is crisp, bright and minerally - as you’d expect from this varietal in the Southern Hemisphere. Great with shellfish, chicken or just an evening on the deck. 89 points | Wine Spectator
2017 No. 33 Pinot Noir | Willamette Valley, OR · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
If you are looking for value priced Oregon Pinot Noir that doesn’t taste like it was made by (and for) cyborgs, look no further. Cultavin Cellars is a custom crush operation using purchased fruit to make small lots of affordable Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley. Their No. 33 Pinot Noir is not a fruit-centric wine, but it way over delivers with its rich but not heavy palate of dark cherries with fine ripe tannins.
2016 Huntington Pinot Noir | Santa Barbara, CA · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
Pali Wine Co. was founded in 2005 in Lompoc, California with the express purpose of making small lots of affordable Pinot Noir. Their Huntington Pinot Noir is sourced from a vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and one in the Santa Maria Valley, both in Santa Barbara County. Medium to full-bodied with notes of cherry, strawberry and spice on the nose. Rounder and more fruit on the palate than No.33, but a well realized example of its origins. Another small production affordable Pinot Noir with some personality. 92 points + Editor's Choice | Wine Enthusiast
2018 Post Flirtation Red | Contra Costa, CA · $24.99 | Sale $21.99
Martha Stoumen is the 'it girl' these past couple years, playing with all the cool kids in Sebastopol, California at Pax Winery. Her own label by her name focused on rare, beautiful old vineyards. Here, in Post Flirt, you have Carignan - planted in 1948 and Zinfandel - planted in 1960. The wine is such an enjoyable blend of ripe, rich fruits and that textbook savory, floral note from the Carignan. Somehow these grapes, from warm climates, still have a beautiful fragrance. This is an exceptional minimally intervened "natural" wine (native yeast, no fining/filtering, minimal to no sulfur additions) that is great for al fresco sipping during spring, summer and fall. Only 1540 cases produced.
2017 Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon | Paso Robles, CA · $16.99 | Sale $13.99
This Cabernet Sauvignon from Foxglove definitely over delivers for a wine at this price point. Twin brothers Bob and Jim Varner have created fabulous wines under the Varner label, most notably Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They created Foxglove as their second label and have given these wines the same care and finesse that gave Varner wines their remarkable following. This is truly a great wine at a great value. The grapes come from organic farms and are treated as naturally as possible, including the use of indigenous yeast. The dark, ripe fruit, such as cherries and plums, are slightly softer in this wine than in other Cabernets, however it is still beautifully rich, with soft, silky tannins, notes licorice and tobacco, and a full and luscious mouthfeel. Another glass will be impossible to resist!
2016 Michele Tete “Cuvée Tradition” Juliénas | Beaujolais, France · $24.99 | Sale $21.99
Vines have been grown in Juliénas since the days of the Roman legions. In fact the town is named after Julius Caesar. Juliénas is famous for its blue granite which is perfect soil for the Gamay grape. Here Michel Tete utilizes many Burgundian techniques including extended barrel aging to make wines of unusual depth and power for Beaujolais. “Spicy and sharply focused on the highly aromatic nose, displaying fresh cherry and dark berry aromas. Taut and energetic on the palate, offering bitter cherry and boysenberry flavors that are supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Powerful and lively, showing firm harmonious tannins."
92 points | Vinous - Antonio Galloni
2017 Prá Valpolicella | Veneto, Italy · $23.99 | Sale $21.99
We have long been fans of the Prá Soave in all its forms. They are new to the Valpo game, though. They purchased a vineyard in 2001 in the Eastern part of the Triveneto zone. Due to the climate in that part of the zone, a lighter, more complex wine is produced. This wine is made from traditional Valpolicella grapes, which are organically farmed. The fruit is expressive and has balanced acidity. A delightful summer red.
2017 High Note Malbec | Uco Valley, Argentina · $12.99 | Sale $10.99
Altitude is everything! High Note hails from the foothills of the Andes, where altitude is essential in providing the vineyards intense sunlight and cool temperatures. 93% Malbec and 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, this spicy, ripe and round wine is the perfect foil for grilled meats or vegetables, even pasta. 92 points | James Suckling
2017 Tyler Chardonnay | Santa Barbara County, CA · $29.99 | Sale $27.99
Justin Willet of Tyler winery might be making some of the most compelling wines in Santa Barbara right now, if you are into incredibly pristine, clear, complex Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Even he explains, "Tyler is dedicated to producing wines of delicacy and balance, where structure and nuance are favored above all else." Think Burgundy with a little more fruit, this Chardonnay is not your old-school butter bomb dipped in oak. The acidity is refreshing, the fruit defined, the texture thoughtfully integrated into the full wine from first to last sip. Truly beautiful, exciting newer producer.
2017 Stolpman Roussanne | Ballard Canyon, CA · $27.99 | Sale $24.99
We’ve been fans of Stolpman Syrah for many years and have just recently had the opportunity to taste this white wine from them. Roussanne, a Rhône varietal, is not often grown in California. It is extremely slow to grow and mature, but the southern location of Stolpman allows for even, late ripening. The limestone and cold nights combine to maintain the acidity in the grapes. Roussanne can be weighty, but this one, while having a nice amount of richness and body, retains an element of delicacy which makes it very charming. Try it this summer. It would go well with a great variety of seafood and can stand up to pork and poultry as well.
90 points | Wine Enthusiast
2017 Hitching Post "Gen Red" Blend | Paso Robles, CA · $21.99 | Sale $18.99
Aficionados of the classic wine country movie Sideways will recognize Hitching Post, the name of the restaurant prominently featured in the film. Owner and Chef Frank Ostini and friend Gary Hartley started Hitching Post Wines in the 1980s, primarily to supply the restaurant. With the advent of Sideways, demand soared and they ended up moving into a much larger facility. Along with a bevy of fine Pinot Noirs they also make Gen Red, a delicious red with an unusual blend of Sangiovese, Valdiguié, Tempranillo, Merlot and Nebbiolo. Soft and guzzle-able. What some would call a crusher, with notes of berry and earth on a soft, round palate. A great picnic red.