The 2022 Newsletter -Volume 1 · Spring Edition- is Here
Wines of the Month
2018 Accadia Angelo Verdicchiodei Castelli di Jesi Classico
Marche, Italy · $14.99 | Sale $12.99
In 1983, Angelo Accadia purchased a small property in the Marche. With only 10 acres of Verdicchio, he was able to partner up with his wife to start an incredible winery that focuses on quality over quantity. Verdicchio means "slightly greenish," which is what the wine looks like in its younger years. It turns a more golden hue as it ages, but holds on to that delicate, fragrant and persistent quality that makes it so delicious. Famed wine writer Ian d'Agata calls it "Italy's greatest native white grape variety." Hints of yellow peach and wildflowers waft up from the glass followed by a fresh and fruity mouthful of juicy stone fruit and almonds. This wine sees no oak, thus you are left with the purity of the grape to enjoy. This is a fabulous pairing with antipasti, chicken, white fish or vegetables, perfect to enjoy in the sunshine as we start enjoying more and more spring weather!
2016 Monna Lisa Chianti Classico
Tuscany, Italy · $16.99 | Sale $12.99
Way back in the 14th century in Tuscany, the estate of Vignamaggio was owned and developed by the prosperous Gherardini family. It is said that the first use of the name Chianti was made in 1404 in reference to the wines of Vignamaggio. The Gherardini family sold the estate in 1422, but most importantly (and confusingly), 57 years later a scion of the family was born, Lisa Gherardini. She would eventually marry a wealthy merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, who arranged to have her portrait painted by one Leonardo Da Vinci. The rest is art history (or #herstory, as it may). This has always been one of the most important estates in Tuscany. Aside from wine, they make outstanding olive oil and grow fruits, vegetables, and grains - all organically. Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" was filmed there. Their flagship Chianti Gran Selezione is named after Monna Lisa. We have managed to secure some of their Chianti Classico normale, which for the American market is also named Monna Lisa. At this price, this is a great value. Made from organically-grown Sangiovese grapes, and hailing from the heralded 2016 vintage, this is an excellent accompaniment to any meat dishes, and of course pasta and, yes, even pizza!
Buon vino fa buon sangue!
Grüner Veltliner | The Wine of Austria & Beyond
2020 Schödl Grüner Veltliner
Lower Austria, Austria · $15.99 | Sale $13.99
Biodiversity is the name of the game for the three siblings who run Schödl. One look at the vineyards will show you just how important sustainability is in the creation of their wines. Wild grasses, chamomile and wild herbs flower between the rows, which are only fertilized with natural compost. The emphasis on their entry level Grüner Veltliner is freshness. Zippy citrus and green apple burst onto the palate with fresh grapefruit following on the clean and pretty finish. 2021 Jules Taylor Grüner Veltliner
Marlborough, New Zealand · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
Born in Marlborough in the same year that the first vines were planted, Jules Taylor has literally grown up with Sauvignon Blanc. Since the beginning, New Zealand has been overwhelmed by corporate wineries that punch out millions of bottles each year of generic, blasé Sauvignon Blanc for the masses. Few small wineries can compete. Jules Taylor is a force of nature, having personally traveled the globe introducing her wines to an industry focused on the inexpensive bulk. I still remember sitting down with her and taking in her joy and passion towards what she had created. The wines were sublime. The one that really stood out was her Grüner Veltliner. In her own words, Jules describes Grüner by saying, "Imagine the illegitimate lovechild of Riesling and Pinot Gris - what's not to love?" Layered and creamy with softened acidity and nutty, savory herb nuances, this wine has delicious lemon, white peach and green apple flavors with a dry palate.
Great Grapes · Grenache
In a world awash with literally thousands of different grape varieties, there are few as ubiquitous and versatile as Grenache. There are over 400,000 acres of Grenache vines planted throughout the world. Grenache can make hearty reds or fruity, easy-drinking reds, light and elegant rosés, powerful vin de gardes that require years of aging, delicious sweet dessert wines, and pretty much any kind of other wine style you may desire. Its cousin, Grenache Blanc, which is thought to have come about from a mutation several centuries ago in northern Spain, can make soft, full-bodied white wines that are often used to flesh out blends where other varietals may need a bit of stuffing. There is also a rarely seen Grenache Gris, which is a pinkish-grey mutation occasionally used for blending in southern France.
The earliest records of Grenache come from Aragon in northern Spain where it is known as Garnacha. Vintners in Sardinia claim it is the original source of Grenache, where it is locally known as Cannonau, but there is little historical data to support that theory. Garnacha is one of the most widely-planted red wine grapes in Spain and is prominent in such wine regions as Rioja, Navarra, Aragon, Catalunya, Montsant, and especially Priorat. By the 1800s, Grenache was firmly established in southern France in Roussillon, and eventually in the Rhône Valley. Because it grows well in hot arid climates, it is perfect for these regions.
Many of the earliest plantings in Australia were Grenache, and until the emergence of Shiraz in the 1960s it was Australia's most widely planted red grape. Older vines exist in South Africa and newer experimental plantings are happening up and down the west coast of the United States. Come along while we showcase a sampling of this most amazing varietal from Spain, France, Australia and around the world.
Grenache delivers what Pinot Noir promises. -Manfred Krankl | Sine Qua Non
2019 Exedra 'Amphora' Garnacha
Catalunya, Spain · $24.99 | Sale $21.99
100% Garnatxa (local Catalan spelling) from organically-farmed vineyards. Aged in amphora. Fresh red and blue fruits, violet and a spices on the nose with mineral-tinged black raspberry and blueberry flavors and a long complex earthy finish.
2020 Thistledown Gorgeous Grenache
South Australia, Australia
$20.99 | Sale $17.99
From the famous Thistledown winery. Old vines from South Australia with a surprising earthy texture and interesting smoky finish.
2020 Domaine De La Damase Grenache
Vin de Pays, France · $16.99 | Sale $13.99
This would be classified as Côtes-du-Rhône if the owner's didn’t insist on putting Grenache predominantly on the label. 100% Grenache and a prototypical, easygoing, everyday Rhône red.
2019 Château Font du Loup "Le Puy Rolland"
Châteauneuf de Pape, France · $64.99 | Sale $59.99
From a plot of 120-year-old vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, home of some of the most sought after Grenache wines. 100% Grenache. "A classic perfume of wild strawberries, iodine, violets, and Provençal spice. This is Grenache at its most feminine and elegant, with light tannins, a seamless, elegant texture, and outstanding length."
96 points | Jeb Dunnuck
Allis Ranch Grenache Blend
Grand Valley, Colorado · $24.99 | Sale $22.99
David Rhyne continues to make some of Colorado's best Rhône varietals at his micro-winery in Sedalia. This Grenache-dominant blend comes from the Guy Parker Vineyard in Grand Valley and is one of Colorado's best.
2020 Piekenierskloof Grenache Blanc
Western Cape, South Africa · $18.99 | Sale $15.99
From the remote Piekenierskloof region, 30 miles north of Swartland, comes this lush Grenache Blanc fermented in third use French oak barrels. Quince, herbs and lemon on the nose. Good acidity on the lush, creamy palate with touches of lime and grapefruit, and a hint of almond on the finish. 91 points | Tim Atkin
The first 2021 rosés we received all came from California, are all based around Grenache, and are all delicious!
2021 A Tribute To Grace Rosé
Santa Barbara County, CA · $26.99 | Sale $24.99
2021 Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Rosé
Central Coast, CA · $19.99 | Sale $15.99
2021 Sea Shell Cellars Rosé
Paso Robles, CA · $24.99 | Sale $20.99
A Tribute to Grace makes only 100% Grenache wines, and their rosé is always highly- allocated. Love You Bunches is a value line from Stolpman Vineyards in Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County. Always bright and fresh. Sea Shell Cellars Rosé comes from Paso Robles and has a little more weight and that unique Paso spice. All exceptional rosés from an exceptional varietal.
2016 Domaine Specht Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Mandelberg
Alsace, France · $32.99 | Sale $29.99
Perfectly aged and showcasing soft notes of apricot, honey, golden fruit, and spiced pear on the finish. Juicy and beautifully balanced, this is an exceptional white, with or without food. 90 points | Wine Enthusiast
2020 Babylonstoren Candide White
Paarl, South Africa · $17.99 | Sale $14.99
A blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, and Sémillon - every white varietal grown at the winery. The blend is a crisp, clean, fruit driven white bursting with tropical fruits, peach, lime, and lychee.
2017 Jermann "Red Angel on the Moonlight" Pinot Nero
Fruili, Italy · $29.99 | Sale $25.99
Red berry, smoke & underbrush set off this elegant Italian answer to the Burgundian style of Pinot Noir. Fruit balances with earth tones creating a balanced, easy drinking Pinot.
92 points | Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate
2000 Chateau Musar
Bequaa Valley, Lebanaon · $79.99 | Sale $72.99
Musar has been synonymous with class, elegance, and quality for the past century. Though wars have raged around the property, the winery has remained strong, producing the best wines in the country that are sought out around the globe. We were ever so lucky to land a handful of bottles of the 2000 vintage which is drinking perfectly. It is approximately 1/3 each Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Carignan, fermented in cement vats and then aged in french barriques for one year. Figs, ripe cherries, prunes, leather, dark tea, tobacco, black olives and spices all lead to an earthy finish. There is a beautifully-balanced acidity and a nice, smooth tannic quality, which makes for an incredibly elegant wine. Fans of classic French Bordeaux and Rhône wines should take a chance on this iconic bottling!
2019 Brendel "Everbloom" Sauvignon Blanc
Napa, CA · $29.99 | Sale $26.99
As we head into warmer days, we start looking for more crisp, refreshing white wines. We love the racy acidity of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, but sometimes we like the classic Napa style Sauvignon Blancs too. The Napa style tends to be a little heavier in weight, a little more round, but not flabby, and the really stellar ones have some minerality. Cue Brendal winery. Founded in the early 1950s by Leon Brendel, the winery is 100% organically-farmed and believes in minimal interference. Their Sauvignon Blanc is vibrant and fresh with layers of bright citrus fruit and backed by beautiful minerality. Match this up with goat cheese, ceviche, or crab cakes. This could be your go-to wine for this spring and summer so load up now!
2019 Airfield Estates Winery Merlot
Yakima Valley, WA · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
Deeply rooted in the chronicle of Washington winemaking, Airfield Winery can date their history in Yakima back to 1907. Founder H. Lloyd Miller was the first to invest in large-scale farming operations and was integral in bringing irrigation water to the valley. It was not until 2005, though, that descendant Mike Miller created his own winery using the grapes that the farm had previously been selling to other companies. The 2019 Merlot is made with 100% estate-grown Merlot and sees 16 months in French oak, 40% of which is new oak. The goal was to take a cool vintage and create a friendly, fruit- forward, and well-balanced wine. They more than succeeded with this Merlot. Bountiful dark fruit emerges from the glass, intertwining with notes of fig, cassis, and blackberry that are followed by smoked caramel and vanilla espresso finish. What a wine!
2019 Trefethen Eshcol Red
Napa, CA · $27.99 | Sale $24.99
One of the first wineries that you will see when you drive up Highway 29 into Napa is Trefethen. The main house has stood strong since 1886, a historical landmark that is a sacred spot for the crafting of distinctly-Napa wines. Eshcol is the fresh, vibrant, Cabernet-led Bordeaux-style blend made every year. It is sourced entirely from their Main Ranch Vineyard. Fruit-forward aromas of dried cherry and fresh blackberry give way to modest tannins and a balanced acidity, making this an extremely pleasant wine to sip on any day of the week.
2012 Hernando Cortes Mission Red Blend
Napa, CA · $22.99 | Sale $19.99
This will be touted as the back-vintage Napa wine of the year. What a perfectly-cellared masterpiece of full-bodied rusticity at an unbelievable price! The sourcing is a mystery, as is the identity of the winemaker, but both are prestigious. Only half of the wine was released, initially. Half was held back for aging and has just been re-released at the same price! Unheard of! This is a wonderfully balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah, and Petite Sirah. Toasted fruit fills the nose with wild herb fragrances that are followed by an explosive burst of vibrancy on the palate.
2018 DeLille Cellars D2 Red
Columbia Valley, WA · $54.99 | Sale $51.99
In 1992, Charles and Greg Lill, along with two other friends, broke ground and created a boutique winery in Woodinville, Washington. They named it DeLille, or "from Lille," a small town in Bordeaux where Charles and Greg's family dates back to. It's no surprise, that their mission was to create Bordeaux-style wines in the northwest. Well, mission accomplished! It wasn't easy, but over the years the team at DeLille has chosen only the best vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA and take great care and passion in crafting European-influenced wines. Robert Parker called DeLille Cellars the Château Lafite Rothschild of Washington! The D2 is no exception. Named after a famed road that runs from Bordeaux up to the Medoc, this is a Merlot- based red blend, true to the style of that region. Full of plum and black cherry flavors with hints of dark chocolate, spices and cedar. Soft, yet full-bodied with a long lingering finish. Drink now or age. Excellent with game, steak, and other bold dishes.
92 points | Wine Enthusiast
2020 Domaine Passy le Clou Petit Chablis
Burgundy · $24.99 | Sale $22.99
Chablis is becoming more and more an important source for Chardonnay as prices for the white Burgundies of the famed Côte-d'Or continue their inexorable climb to the stratosphere and beyond. The Domaine Passy Le Clou had always sold their wine in bulk to local négociants until the estate was purchased by the Descombe family of Beaujolais fame in 2017. They immediately converted the estate to a strict sustainable regimen without the use of herbicides and an emphasis on water conservation. Their Petit Chablis comes from a small plot just outside of the Chablis appellation. Although it is on limestone soil, it is not the same type of limestone as the famed Kimmeridgian limestone of true Chablis. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel. Here, there is a bit more emphasis on fruit than the mineral aspects of classic Chablis. Still, the wine shows true Chablisien restraint, with citrus and lemon nuances and a trace of minerality. If you wish to move on from the fruit forward, manipulated "butter bombs" of many entry-level New World Chardonnays, this is a good place to begin.
2020 Chais Saint Laurent Touraine
Loire · $15.99 | Sale $13.99
In 2009, Jean Mounard, a Parisian fine wine merchant, joined the small négociant firm of Foucher-Lebrun with the goal of raising its image and developing business overseas. They created the Chais Saint Laurent brand, specializing in small lots of Loire Valley wines at very affordable prices. Their Touraine Sauvignon Blanc "Les Jarriers" aptly fits the definition of a baby Sancerre. Vouvray, famous for its sparkling wines and Chenin Blancs is the largest sub appellation in Touraine. However, the vast majority of white wine made in the Touraine appellation is Sauvignon Blanc. These tend to be a tad more full-bodied than their brethren from Sancerre, and perhaps a bit less refined, but they still carry the unmistakable character of Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Green apple, pear, gooseberry, orange blossom, lemon, and a touch herbs without the overwhelming citrus flavors that can appear in many New World Sauvignon Blancs. Delightful at every level. Boire!
2018 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae" Carignan
Côtes Catalanes · $19.99 | Sale $15.99
Carignan has had a rather tumultuous history in France. Throughout the past century, it has fallen from being one of the most important plantings due to its ability to produce high yields in the wake of the decimation of phylloxera to being viewed as nothing more than a footnote blending varietal. "Nobler varieties" such as Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre have taken the lead in most reds, especially in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Jean-Marc Lafage resisted the call to replace his Carignan in this region, and the reward has been handsome. His vines are well over 70 years old, giving his Tessellae layers of gorgeous complexity. Ripe, lush notes of cherry and cola are balanced by underlying wild lavender and thyme, giving the impression of a wine far above its price point.
92 points | Jeb Dunnuck
2019 Château de la Selve "Petite Selve"
Vin de France · $19.99 | Sale $17.99
In 2002, Benoît Chazallon procured the domaine which would become Château de la Selve. He immediately stopped all use of weed killers and other chemicals and began the arduous but rewarding task of certifying the land as not just organic, but also bio-dynamically-farmed. In Petite Selve, he shows us the true soul of his winery. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah is completely unoaked, revealing layers of pure, deep fruit. Earthy spices, freshly crushed cherries and cranberries, currants, bitters, and an underlying vein of herbs develop in the glass and leave you shocked that this bottle is under $20!
2018 Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rouge
Rhône · $14.99 | Sale $11.99
The firm of Paul Jaboulet has been making stellar Rhône wines for nearly 200 years. Their Hermitage "La Chapelle" is one of the world's most iconic wines; the epitome of premium Rhône Vally Syrah. Unfortunately, it's also the epitome of not being cheap. Enter Parallele 45. In the 1950s, Jaboulet began making an everyday, affordable Côtes-du-Rhône named after the winery's location near the 45th parallel. The Frey family, current owners of the estate, have been converting all of their vineyards and contracted growers to organic farming. The 2018 is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah. After a long, slow, temperature-controlled fermentation, the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks to retain freshness. "Deep red cherry and spiced berry notes on the nose. This has a nice mouthfeel where the soft tannins subtly coat the mouth. There's spice and soft, chewy, jammy fruit on the palate. Balanced and enjoyable packing a punch in terms of fruit flavour but doesn't feel heavy on the palate."
90 Points + Top 20 French Wines Under $20 Decanter
2020 Mary Taylor Wines Marine Descombe Beaujolais-Villages
Beaujolais-Villages · $19.99 | Sale $16.99
Mary Taylor is obsessed with France. She has used her passion and connections to create this incredible portfolio of French wines that bring a sense of place to each bottle. Mary's goal is to bring the Old World style to the everyday table at an affordable price without skimping on quality. One of her first discoveries was at the southern edge of Burgundy in the Beaujolais. Marine Descombe is known as one of the great female winemakers of France. Done in a Brouilly style, very elegant and clean, this sustainably-grown Gamay sees cement rather than oak and shows an incredible purity of fruit. Sweet dark berries, cassis and smoked meat create a balanced, smooth red that can be enjoyed on its own or with an array of meals.
2020 Domaine Les Gryphées Julienas
Beaujolais · $26.99 | Sale $24.99
Gryphées are fossilized seashells that are found throughout the vineyards of Domaine Les Gryphées. Here, along with the classic granite of Beaujolais, the Durdilly family make some of Beaujolais' finest wines. Aside from Julienas, they make wines from many of the regions top crus including Morgon and Moulin-à-Vent. Their Julienas comes from sustainably-farmed, 60-year-old vines vinified with a combination of carbonic maceration and traditional techniques. There is a brightness to the fruit, but also the depth that great Beaujolais Cru can attain. Aromas of violets and brambly red and black fruits lead to flavors of ripe cherries and darker fruits with a touch of spice. There is structure here that will reward cellaring, but the wine is perfectly approachable now. The appropriate descriptor is "DELICIOUS!"
2020 Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Rhône · $24.99 | Sale $19.99
Sooner or later the world will wake up to the glories of Syrah and abandon the bevy of many overpriced and monochromatic Cabernet Sauvignons. But until they do, we have wines from the likes of the Domaine Remizières. The Remizières is one of the few family-owned domaines to own land on the Hermitage hill, but the majority of their holdings are in the surrounding vineyards of Crozes-Hermitage. Here, they make five different bottlings. Their basic Crozes-Hermitage is an outstanding value made from 100% Syrah and fermented in traditional large vessels. The wine is then aged for 12 months in large oak foudres. Unlike their other cuvées, this is made for immediate consumption. Deep red color with aromas of violets, red fruits, blackcurrent and raspberries. Cherries and red fruits with some pepper on the palate. A quaffable Syrah for accompanying almost any grilled meats, white or red. If you are ambitious, they recommend it with goat. No kidding!
2019 Antinori Conte della Vipera Sauvignon
Umbria · $34.99 | Sale $29.99
In the medieval heart of Italy known as Umbria, you will find a castle called Castello della Sala tucked away just outside of Orvieto. Apart from a small plot of Pinot Noir, this sprawling property is planted solely to white varietals due to the heavy marine fossil deposits running through the soil. The Conte della Vipera is Sauvignon Blanc blended in the Bordeaux style with Semillon. The flavors are bold and fresh, bursting forth a bouquet of lemon cream, salty grapefruit, elegant floral notes, and a hint of tropical fruit. The palate is full and the finish is long lasting. Sauvignon Blanc does not get better than this! 97 points | James Suckling
2020 Masseria Frattasi Falanghina del Sannio Taburno
Campania · $19.99 | Sale $16.99
Italy has been described as one giant vineyard, from the toe of the boot all the way up to the Alps. Italy produces more wine and grows more grape varietals than any other country. One of their finest white wine varietals is Falanghina. Grown primarily in Campania, outside of Naples, Falanghina is rarely seen outside of the region. The Masseri Frattasi winery is in the Taburno appellation at the foot of the Magnum Taburnum, an ancient volcanic rock responsible for the soils that are so important to the character of the wines. These are some of the highest vineyards in all of Italy. The vines are left to grow as naturally as possible, with some red varietals approaching 200 years of age. Their Falanghina is made entirely in stainless steel to maintain freshness. This is one of the finest Falanghinas we've had to date, reflecting its high altitude vineyards. Dry with good acidity but also bright fruit and traces of jasmine, pear, and even a subtle hint of chives. A beautiful white wine for almost any lighter cuisine.