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The 2022 Newsletter -Volume 1 · Spring Edition- is Here

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Wines of the Month

WHITE

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!


RED

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!


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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.


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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


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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.


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Easter Abroad

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


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Cellar Selection

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!


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United States

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


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France

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