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From Italy with Love


02/23/17

Join us for This Week's In-Store Tastings!
Thursday, February 23, 6-8 p.m.

From Italy with Love
 
10% discount applied at checkout
 
Guidobono Roero Arneis 2015$19 $17
Odoardi Savuto 2014$18 $16
Manenti Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2015: $28 $25

Italy competes with France as the biggest exporter of wines in the world. It has a plethora of indigenous grape varieties that make distinctly Italian varietal wines -- such as Barolo -- and unforgettable blends -- such as Amarone. But there are hundreds of Italian wines that are just as superb but do not have the reputation or command as high a price tag. This week, we are pouring three Italian wines that we think are outstanding but cost a fraction of the Barolos and the Amarones. Let us guide you on your discovery of the “other” great Italian wines!

Thursday's Tasting: From Italy with Love
Guidobono Roero Arneis 2015$19 $17

This dry white wine hails from the clay-limestone soils of the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. It is aromatic, suggestive of citrus, ripe apple, melon, and blossoms. On the palate, the ripe stone-fruit flavors of apricot and tropical notes of honeydew balance the refreshing acidity. Finishes with a touch of salinity. Made by the Faccenda family who practice sustainable farming and minimal intervention in the cellar. Very food-friendly. Think easy mid-week supper of baked flounder with brown butter sauce.
Odoardi Savuto 2014$18 $16

From the very south of the Calabria region, a place favored by the ancient Romans for winemaking. Savuto is named after the river that forms the boundary between the Cosenza and Catanzaro provinces. The Odoardo family has owned land there above the dramatic coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea on the “toe” of Italy for centuries. The brothers Gregorio and Giovan Battista brought a revival of indigenous grapes to the region’s winemaking and bottled their reinterpretation of those grapes. Aromas of red currants and blackberries, along with savory notes of smoke and olives are beguiling. Made with Gaglioppo. Nerello Cappuccio, Greco Nero, Magliocco Canino, and Sangiovese.
Manenti Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2015$28 $25

This medium-bodied red wine comes from Siciliy’s only DOCG and is made from the indigenous grapes, Nero d’Avola and Frappato. The resulting blend is a delightful wine with distinctive cherry (cerasuolo means cherry-like) notes, along with strawberry and cranberry. On the palate, spiced plum and blackberry are underscored by savory and spice on the finish. Smooth tannins hold the structure of the wine. Pairs beautifully with any hearty meal.



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An Uncommon Trio


02/23/17

Join us for This Week's In-Store Tastings!
Thursday, February 16, 6-8 p.m.

10% discount applied at checkout

An Uncommon Trio
 
Masseria Frattasi Falanghina 2015: $21 $19
Obermoser St. Magdalener Classico 2013: $22 20

Villa Pinciana Tilaria 2012: $24 $22

Are you getting tired of the same ‘ol wine you gravitate to when thinking about pairing with a home cooked meal? Do you want to bring an interesting bottle of wine to your next dinner party? Do you want to add to your knowledge of grape varieties and the wines they make? If you answered ‘yes’ to any one of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place. This week we are featuring an Uncommon Trio, three wines that are made from grapes you may not have yet heard of or made from interesting blending partners. They are sure to pique your curiosity!
 

Thursday's Tasting: An Uncommon Trio
Masseria Frattasi Falanghina 2015$21 $19

Did you know that in the ancient world Campania was renowned for its wines? This southwestern region of Italy facing the Mediterranean, around the “ankle” of the boot, produces some of the best white wines in Italy because of the cool temperatures found in inland mountainous vineyards. The Cesere family has been growing grapes there since the 16th century, and their Bonea 2015 is a small production, biodynamic, single-vineyard white wine made from the Falanghina grape. Unoaked and matured in stainless steel, it’s fresh and crisp with aromas of lime zest and pear. It has rich and textured mouthfeel with flavors of dried stone fruit and mineral on the palate.
Obermoser St. Magdalener Classico 2013$22 $20

The Dolomites are a mountain range in the northeastern part of the Italian Alps where the distinction of Italian and Austrian cultures are blurred and the natives are bilingual German and Italian speakers. The Rottensteiner family has been making wine in this unique region for 5 generations, and their Obermoser St. Magdalener Classico is made biodynamically from the relatively unknown Schiava grape with a touch of Legrein, which are indigenous to this area. This is a light-bodied aromatic red wine with fragrance of cherry, raspberry, and blossoms. Layers of flavors unveil on the palate, from ruby grapefruit to cranberry, with a hint of savoriness, smoke, and pungent spice on the finish. Its medium acidity and low tannins make this wine very food-friendly.
Villa Pinciana Tilaria 2012$24 $22

The Maremma region in southern Tuscany became famous in the 1970s for wines made from international varieties blended with native Italian grapes. Today, at Villa Tilaria, grapes mature to full ripeness in the warm, sunny vineyards that face the Tyrrhenian Sea and produce wines of depth and flavor. This deep-ruby colored wine’s beautifully rich aromas of dark cherry and plum are balanced by the soft tannins and a firm acidity. Made with 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah, 20% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet France, and 10% Pugnitello.



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Like Wine for Chocolate


02/12/17

Join us for This Weekend's In-Store Tastings!
Saturday, February 11, 4-6 p.m.

Spread the Love Like Wine for Chocolate
 
Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Rosé (NV)$80 $72
Conti di Buscareto Rosa (NV)$20 $18
Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015$23 $21
 
10% discount will be applied at checkout

We are featuring a special Valentine’s Day tasting with two sparkling wines, a Pinot Noir, and Vosges chocolates. Spread the love by bringing your family and friends to taste our specials. Fill up your senses for Valentine‘s Day!
 

Saturday's Tasting: Spread the Love Like Wine for Chocolate 
Billecart-Salmon, Champagne Brut Rosé $80 $72

This is an exquisite pink Champagne from the oldest, continuously family owned and operated house in the Champagne region of France. Current seventh generation brothers manage the family vineyards comprised of many Grand Cru and Premier Cru sites and their own press houses. Utmost care in the grape handling and minimal transit time before pressing guarantee fruit of the highest quality. The alluring pale pink color has a hint of warm gold, and the tiny beaded bubbles rise slowly to give a persistent mousse. The lovely aromas of fresh strawberry and raspberry will entice you to take a sip. On the palate, the zesty citrus flavors and the chalky mineral finish will delight you.
Conti di Buscareto, Rosa (NV)$20 $18

A dry sparkling rosé made from Lacrima Nera, an indigenous Italian red grape variety that means black tears. Lacrima grape berries tend to split when ripe and its juice flows outside the berry clusters, hence the name. Relatively new to winemaking, two tech entrepreneurs bought the ancient wine cellar belonging to the Buscareto family tracing its ancestry in the Marche region of Italy to the 12th century. This pretty pink sparkler with ruby highlights has aromatic floral notes of rose and violet and fresh berry notes of raspberry and cranberry. Its soft mousse gives way to a delectable mouthfeel. Try it as an apéritif, with your main course, or your berry tart for dessert!
Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015$23 $21

A lovely red from the famed Willamette Valley in Oregon, known to have the best micro-climate in the U.S. for producing fine wines from Burgundian varietals such as Pinot Noir. It has fragrant aromas of fresh red cherry and cranberry with a bit of cinnamon. On the palate, the red fruit balances the cool climate acidity and the soft tannins. This wine from a family-run business devoted to dry farming and the most down to earth winemaking principles, is made with hand-harvested, hand-sorted grapes which are 100% de-stemmed to accentuate the high-quality fruit. Aged for 10 months in old French oak. It would pair beautifully with mushroom risotto or a light pasta dish with chicken.
Save the Dates of Our February Weekly Tastings!

Thursday, February 16th – An Uncommon Trio
Thursday, February 23rd – From Italy with Love



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Something Old, Something New, and Something Orange


02/07/17

Join us for This Week's In-Store Tastings!
Thursday, February 9, 6-8 p.m.

Something Old, Something New, and Something Orange

10% discount applied at checkout
 
Tenuta San Jacopo, Poggio ai Grilli Chianti Riserva 2011, $23
Cabot Vineyards, Humboldt Syrah 2011, $24
Al Di La Del Fiume, Fricandò Amphora White 2015, $24

This Old English rhyme and the month of February evoke thoughts of Valentine’s Day and the people we love. For this week’s tasting we are showcasing three wines that represent the old (continuity), the new (optimism), and the trendsetting (future). Come to our tasting and try wines that define the archetype of the Old World, the sophistication of the New World, and the stylishness of orange wine. What better way to start planning for Valentine‘s Day!
 

Thursday's Tasting: Something Old, Something New, and Something Orange
Oenologist and agronomist Adriano Zago with his Albana fermenting on the skins.
Tenuta San Jacopo, Poggio ai Grilli Chianti Riserva 2011, $23

Something old…is our Chianti Riserva made from grapes grown in certified organic vineyards in the hills between Florence and Arezzo. Three wine-loving brothers from Milan purchased the 18thcentury estate and brought it back to its former glory. The wine has a beautiful shade of ruby with aromas of cherry, tobacco, and Balsamic. Juicy cherry flavor balances its natural acidity and velvety tannins. Subtle toasty notes top off this classic example of a Chianti Riserva. Aged for 2 years in barrel. Sangiovese 90% and Montepulciano 10%.
Cabot Vineyards, Humboldt Syrah 2011, $24

Something new…is our New World wine pick, a Syrah from the vineyards of northern California’s Humboldt County. This cool climate wine is marked by its deep inky hue, with aromas of dark fruit and the savory. On the palate, cherry and blackcurrant flavors are layered with brackishness redolent of olives. These wines are made with tender loving care that can only be found in a small family operation. Organic principles are applied in grape growing and minimum intervention is used in the cellar. The results are finely handcrafted wines of the highest caliber. 95% Syrah and 5% Viognier.
Al Di La Del Fiume, Fricandò Amphora White 2015, $24

Something orange…is gaining momentum in the wine world. Our featured orange wine is made from an ancient, almost unknown white grape, Albana, native to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Extensive skin contact produces the golden hue. Aged in terracotta amphora for long, slow fermentation and bottle-aged for three months, this biodynamic wine is richly textured with flavors of citrus, yellow apple, and persimmon. Unfined, unfiltered, and only minimally sulfured. 2015 was one of the great vintages that yielded perfectly ripe fruit for this one of a kind wine. Made with 100% Albana.



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Out of the Ordinary and Organic


02/02/17

Thursday, February 2, 6-8 p.m.

Out of the Ordinary and Organic
 
Venus la Universal Montsant Dido 2014: $24, $21.60
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2015: $23, $20.70

Domaine Mittnacht Cuvée Gyotaku 2014: $24, $21.60

This week’s wines are truly out of the ordinary. Each presents distinguishing features that make them stand out from the crowd. They happen to be organic wines which mean that they come from vineyards that practice organic agriculture, where the use of chemicals is restricted and adhere to sustainable production standards. They are exquisite wines and offer a wide range of food pairing possibilities. Stop by on your way home, sample our selection and start planning your culinary weekend!

Thursday's Tasting: Out of the Ordinary and Organic
Venus la Universal Montsant Dido 2014$24 $21.60

Full-bodied elegant red wine hailing from the Cataluña region of Spain. Marked by concentrated aromas of baked ripe plum and blackberry. Fruit balances the acidity while the tannins are soft and well knitted. Made predominantly from Garnacha with some Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Pair with hearty stew or roast beef.
Tenuta delle Tere Nerre Etna Rosso 2015$23 $20.70

Medium-bodied, easy drinking red wine from the volcanic slopes of Sicily. Delicate notes of fresh raspberry and cherry balance the minerality and subtle tannins. 95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappuccio. Lovely flavors will easily pair with light meat or even pizza.
Domaine Mittnacht Cuvée Gyotaku 2014$24 $21.60

Refreshing and aromatic white wine from Alsace, France. Ripe stone fruit, peach and nectarine, citrus and pretty floral notes entice. Layered with mineral and savoriness. A mélange of Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, and Gewurztraminer from a biodynamic producer. Ideal for sushi, poké, and light fish or enjoy as an apéritif.
Save the Dates of Our February Weekly Tastings!

Thursday, February 9th – Something New, Something Old, and Something Orange
Saturday, February 11th – Like Wine for Chocolate
Thursday, February 23rd – From Italy with Love



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Only Grand Cru Champagne & And More Bubbles


12/28/16


This Week's In-Store Tastings

Only Grand Cru Champagne

Thursday, December 29th, 6-8 p.m.
 
Demière-Ansiot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV: $58, $52.20
Vazart-Coquart Champagne Blanc de Blancs Special Club 2008: $104, $93.60

 
Two days from New Year's Eve, what else could we pour? And not just any Champagne, but the grower stuff, bubbly made by the families working the vines and making the wine, the price lighter by the weight of an advertising budget. And not just grower Champagne, but Grand Cru and Special Club, too!
 
 
And More Bubbles
Saturday, December 31st, 4-6 p.m.

 
Moissenet-Bonnard Crémant de Bourgogne NV: $25, $22.50
Henriet-Bazin Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Villers-Marmery NV: $52, $48.20
Henriet-Bazin Champagne Rosé Grand Cru NV: $55, $49.50

Well, what were you expecting for our New Year's Eve tasting? We're here to prep you for corks popping later on, and a dash of bubbly or three is the perfect pipe-opener for midnight, when the year ticks by. (And aren't we all ready to rid ourselves of this dreadful year?) May 2017 be much better!

A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: Only Grand Cru Champagne
Isn't it gorgeous? Delicious, too. And, yes, the magnums are on sale. 
Demière-Ansiot Champagne Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru NV: $58, $52.20 

Who: Nicolas Demière

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: the Grand Cru village of Oger, Côte de Blancs, Champagne France

When: Non-vintage

Why: Heading a domaine bottling its own Champagne since 1982, Nicolas Demière makes a lean, tight, balanced style of bubbly. Working with Grand Cru Chardonnay, his gravity-driven winery treats the wine gently. Light and zippy, complex and delicious, it shows a core of green and yellow apple with a quartzy sparkle and a soft touch of toast. 
Vazart-Coquart Champagne Blanc de Blancs Special Club 2008: $104, $93.60 

Who: Jean-Pierre Vazart, third-generation vigneron

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: the Grand Cru village of Chouilly, Côte de Blancs, Champagne, France

When: 2008

Why: The Special Club designation goes to the best artisanal Champagne of the year. Vazart's 2008 winner is a gorgeous, rich, balanced bottle with a nose of pear, apple, and spice. Aged under cork for richness, fermented in stainless for freshness, it shows full, textured apple and pear with a lean splash of green apple at the back.
Saturday's Tasting: And More Bubbles
What's in store for you come New Year's Eve.
Not pictured: Henriet-Bazin Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru.
Moissenet-Bonnard Crémant de Bourgogne NV: $25, $22.50

Who: Jean-Louis and daughter Sophie-Emmanuelle Moissenet-Bonnard

What: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Where: Pommard, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France

When: NV

Why: Most Crémants are made from fruit grown elsewhere than the Côte d'Or, but Moissenet-Bonnard uses some of its best parcels for this toasty crowd-pleaser. Rich and golden in style, it's full and delicious with compact, lively bubbles, golden apple, brioche, pear, minerality, overall general mouth-wowing gorgeousness. Just buy it. You won't regret.
Henriet-Bazin Champagne Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Villers-Marmery NV: $52, $46.80

Who: Marie-Noelle Rainon-Bazin

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

When: Non-vintage

Why: A product of ancient geology, the vineyards of Henriet-Bazin are full of exposed chalk which imparts a fine mineral edge to their Blanc de Blancs. Aged three years on the lees, and incorporating base wines back to 1968, it is a clean, rich, rosy wine with spicy yellow and red apple with notes of rhubarb and flowers. 
Henriet-Bazin Champagne Rosé Grand Cru: $55, $49.50

Who: Marie-Noelle Rainon-Bazin

What: Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Where: Montagne de Reims, Champagne, France

When: Non-vintage

Why: Henriet-Bazin's pink Champagne is ravishing to the senses, with its light bronze color, floral nose, and complex, lingering palate. Made with Grand Cru fruit, a dollop of still red wine added to sparkling white makes for a complex blend of morello cherry, currant, and blackberry fruit layered with lemon, apple, yeast, and bread. Toast the New Year with it!



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Terroir In Focus


12/21/16

This Week's In-Store Tastings

Terroir in Focus

Thursday, December 22nd, 6-8 p.m.
 
Domaine Rostaing Syrah "Les Lézardes" 2012: $42, $37.80
Bedrock Old Vines Zinfandel 2014: $30, $27

Laherte Frères Champagne "Les Empreintes" 2009: $70, $63

 
Terroir is a concept wine people struggle to explain, but really it's quite simple: all you have to do is taste. The wines we pour this Thursday are made to be a lens through which the unique grape-growing aspects of their vineyards show through. With little intervention, the greatness of sites is plain to the palate.
 

A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: Terroir In Focus
They may look like wine bottles, but really they're lenses 
through which terroir comes into focus.
Domaine Rostaing Syrah "Les Lézardes" 2012: $42, $37.80

Who: René Rostaing

What: 100% Syrah

Where: Ampuis, northern Rhône River Valley, France

When: 2012

Why: From an iconic producer, this Syrah comes from just outside the appellation limits of Côte-Rotie and partakes in its style but not its price. Light in alcohol while intense on the palate, it shows dusty cherry and pepper, sinewy, well-defined tannins with a savory, meaty tinge. With fantastic length and depth, it will draw you into northern Rhône Syrah.
Bedrock Old Vine Zinfandel 2014: $30, $27

Who: Morgan Twain Peterson, who made his first wine at age five

What: mostly Zinfandel, with a field blend of other undisclosed varieties

Where: parcels in Sonoma County and Lodi, California, USA

When: 2014

Why: Born with a wine thief in his hand, Morgan Twain Peterson has dedicated himself to ferreting out the best of California Zinfandel. His Old Vine cuvée, the "gateway drug to Bedrock" is a blend of Zin bolstered by other red varieties. Dense and purple, with plum, blackberry, and blueberry fruit, classic soft, briary Zin tannins, savory herbs, red fruit for acidity, it's what Zin should be.
Laherte Frères Champagne "Les Empreintes" Extra Brut 2009 .,: $70, $63 

Who: Aurélien Laherte, fifth-generation vigneron

What: 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay

Where: ChavotChampagne, France

When: 2009

Why: Grower-producers in Champagne since 1889, Laherte embraces both tradition and progress. Organic with a biodynamic bent, they age in stainless steel with low dosage to express their terroir. A wine of liveliness and power, "Empreintes" shows the richness of Pinot Noir against the leanness of low dosage. White plum, ginger, limestone, and quince, with a touch of blue fruit.



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Exquisite & Top of Their Game


12/14/16

A Visit From Van Brunt
Friday, December 16, 2016, 6-8 p.m. 

 
Join in the revival of New York spirits! Sourcing local grains and making high-quality liquor is the secret of Brooklyn-based Van Brunt's success. Friday we welcome them for a blood-warming whiskey tasting!
 
Van Brunt American Whiskey $40, $38: Made with New York barley, wheat, corn, and rye, this is a light, slightly sweet spirit with caramel, spice, and a delicate smoothness. 
 
Van Brunt Rye Whiskey $40, $38:  Pure, spicy, toasty, inveigling, make-you-whoop-and-holler rye whiskey. Dried apricots, hazelnut, and smoke, to boot.

Van Brunt Single-Malt Whiskey: $72, 68.40: A bit of Scotland in Red Hook, made with 100% malted barley, and brighter than its Caledonian cousins. Small-barrel aging gives it a dose of toasty wood along with a peaty smokiness.

A 5% discount will be applied during the tasting.


This Week's In-Store Tastings

Exquisite
Thursday, December 15th, 6-8 p.m.
 
Vincent Pinard "Florés" Sancerre 2014: $34, $30.60
Comte Senard "Auguste" Bourgogne Rouge 2014: $29, $26.10

Quinto do Mouro Tinto Gold Label 2008: $45, $40.50

There are big wines, fruity wines, earthy wines, powerful wines, funky wines, and wines that make you swear, but the wines we taste on Thursday are all exquisite wines. Fine, sculpted, with precision and balance, beautifully proportioned even when14.5% alcohol, they show the grace and elegance fermented grape juice can reach.
 
 
Top of Their Game
Saturday, December 17th, 4-6 p.m.

 
Billaud-Simon Chablis 2014: $35, $31.50
Ridge Lytton Springs 2013: $47, $42.30
François Baur Crémant d'Alsace NV: $22, $19.80

 
Not that we ever bring you wines that we think are less than stellar, the wine world being large and our shop small, but this Saturday we bring you wines from makers who are operating at the top of their style and place. Wines of place, indeed, and among the best of their place, Alsace to California.

A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: Exquisite
Thursday we taste wines as exquisite as a da Vinci. Don't miss them!
Vincent Pinard "Florès" Sancerre 2014: $34, $30.60 

Who: Vincent Pinard

What: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Where: Bué, Loire Valley, France, where there's a winery for every ten inhabitants

When: 2014

Why: In Bué, heart of the Sancerre appellation, the Pinards have made wine for twenty generations, so they're pretty good at it. "Florés" is young-vines cuvée farmed organically and aged in stainless steel to preserve the fresh, minerally nature of the wine. Lees aging gives a pleasant texture to this elegant, lime-and-kiwi fruit wine, with notes of jasmine and chalk.
Comte Senard "Auguste" Bourgogne Rouge 2014: $29, $26.10

Who: Lorraine, fifth Senard to make wine on the hill of Corton

What: 100% Pinot Noir

Where: Aloxe-Corton, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France

When: 2014

Why: The entry-level wine of a distinguished domaine, "Auguste" comes from a single vineyard in Chorey-les-Beaune. Cold-soaked for intensity, aged eighteen months in barrel, it emerges as a delicate, rose-petal wine, finely-etched like a miniature. With red cherry, strawberry, and raspberry fruit against brambly tannins, with flourishes of violets and roses, it is fine and complete.
Quinta do Mouro Tinto Gold Label 200: $45, $40.50

Who: Miguel António de Orduña Viegas Louro

What: 45% Alicante Bouchet, 30% Aragonez, 15% Touriga Nacional, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Where: Estremoz, Alentejo, Portugal

When: 2008

Why: Big, balanced, fresh, dark, and powerful, Quinta do Mouro shows the potential of dry Portuguese reds. Sprightly at seven years, we expect it to be gorgeous at twenty. With a nose of herbs and iron, it shows very fresh in the mouth. Dark and full, with blackberry, plum, and spice, with apple fruit to lighten it, and savory herbs for your meat dishes. Get one to drink, one to keep.
Saturday's Tasting: Top of Their Game
Wines from people working at the top of their game.
Your life will be poorer if you don't try them.
François Baur Crémant d'Alsace Brut Tradition NV: $22, $19.80

Who: Pierre and Thomas Baur

What: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay

Where: Turckheim, Alsace, France

When: non-vintage

Why: Biodynamic grapes, Champagne method, and south-facing slopes in France's driest wine region make for a rich, balanced, delicious sparkler. Eighteen months of lees contact gives a rich texture and granite soils a mineral backbone which carries the dried apple, apricot, pear, and kumquat fruit with ease. Exquisitely balanced by fresh acidity, it's a striking value.
Billaud-Simon Chablis 2014: $35, $31.50

Who: Olivier Bailly

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: Chablis, France

When: 2014

Why: From a top Chablis domaine, this entry-level wine is anything but basic. Chardonnay fruit plays off against the cool climate and fine minerality of Kimmeridgian soil. Rich and textured, with golden apple and pear fruit, banana, peach, and lemon notes, sparkling acidity, and a long, vibrant finish, it's a serious Chardonnay. 
Ridge Lytton Springs 2013: $47, $42.30

Who: Original California Wine Geek Paul Draper

What: 74% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 2% Mataro

Where: Dry Creek Valley, California, USA

When: 2013

Why: Paul Draper was into California terroir before it was cool, making site-specific field blends in the old-school California-Italian way. Lytton Springs, is made from a single vineyard co-planted in the early 1900s, and shows brambly, dusty old-vines fruit with black raspberry, plum, and black currant. Lush and dark, layers of fruit lifted by acidity, it's one of the finest expressions of Zinfandel.made.



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Holiday Party, French Style & Holiday Party, Cali Style


12/07/16


Hillrock for the Holidays 
Friday, December 9th, 6-8 p.m.
 
Our never-ending quest for quality potables brings you the unique spirits of Hillrock Distillery. Using organic estate-grown grain, they make small-batch whiskies of exceptional quality.
 
Hillrock Estate Solera-Aged Bourbon: Made with the Solera system of Jerez, in which whiskies of different ages are blended together for greater complexity, an earthy, light-bodied Bourbon with figs, honey, and orange zest. 

Hillrock Estate Single-Malt Whiskey: Malted barley aged in Bourbon barrels and finished in sweet Pedro Ximínez barrels, it shows smoke, caramel, cereal, and a note of pine.

Hillrock Estate Double-Cask Rye: Finished in Port barrels, it shows dried cherry and currant, caramel, Rye spice, cinnamon and earth. Long and rich on the finish.

A 5% discount will be offered on spirits tasted.
This Week's In-Store Tastings

Holiday Party, French Style

Thursday, December 8th, 6-8 p.m.
 
Louis Métaireau Grand Mouton Muscadet 2015: $22, $19.80
Domaine Bernard-Bonin Bourgogne Blanc "Initiales B. B." 2014: $32, $28.80

Château du Cedre Marcel Malbec 2015: $13, $11.70

Now with Holiday Party season upon us, it's time to taste some wine inexpensive enough that you won't regret tossing into a holiday crowd and will enjoy drinking all of, if it comes to that. Making that price/quality matrix work is our whole shtick, and Thursday we'll be sampling some of our favorite French party bottles.
 
 
 
Holiday Party, Cali Style
Saturday, December 10th, 4-6 p.m.

 
Porter and Plot Sauvignon Blanc Santa Barbara 2015: $24, $21.60
Salient Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014: $29, $26.10
Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir Central Coast 2014: $21, $18.90

 
Because holiday parties are endless, bottles are finite, and you should taste as many different kinds of wine as possible while here on this Earth, Saturday will see us opening a trio of California wines suitable for taking to a party. These, like their French cousins above, won't sock your wallet but they will please your palate, and who needs more for a party?


A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: Holiday Party, French Style
It's French, it's snazzy, it's delicious, and it won't hurt your bank account.
Louis Métaireau Grand Mouton Muscadet 2015: $22, $19.80

Who: Marie-Luce Métaireau and husband Jean-François Guilbaud

What: 100% Melon de Bourgogne

Where: Muscadet, at the mouth of the Loire River, France

When: 2015

Why: Louis Métaireau took Muscadet seriously, as does his daughter. Made from 60-year-old vines and aged sur lie for six months, Grand Mouton is a lovely, lightly rich wine with subtle texture, apple and pear fruit, the salinity of the nearby Atlantic (oysters, anyone?) and quartzy minerality. Up a level from your usual Muscadet.
Domaine Bernard-Bonin Bourgogne Blanc "Initiales B. B." 2014: $32, $28.80

Who: Veronique Bonin and Nicolas Bernard

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: Meursault, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France

When: 2014

Why: From a young domaine with deep Burgundian roots, an entry-level wine treated like their Premier Crus: low intervention, about a quarter of new oak, and a careful balance of weight and minerality. With warm spices, yellow apple and pear, brown butter, and shaved coconut nestled in bright acidity, it's Classically beautiful in its proportions.
Château du Cedre Marcel Malbec 2015: $13, $11.70

Who: Pascal and Jean-Marc Verhaeghe

What: 100% Malbec

Where: Cahors, South-West France

When: 2015

Why: Malbec from France? Well, yes, grown in Cahors since Roman times, as a matter of fact. Marcel is an easy-drinking party bottle, unthinkingly delicious but (as with all NWM wines) well-made and of solid quality. Pleasant red raspberry, plum, and blackberry fruit with a mixture of baking spices. Your holiday party bottle, under screwcap.
Saturday's Tasting: Holiday Party, Cali Style
Party on! California wine will keep your holidays rolling, too.
Porter and Plot Sauvignon Blanc Santa Barbara 2015: $24, $21.60

Who: Your tour guides at WINC

What: 100% Sauvignon Blanc

Where: Santa Barbara, California, USA

When: 2015

Why: In Santa Barbara County, the Pacific air cools the vineyards of Porter and Plot, preserving the acidity of Sauvignon Blanc throughout the sunny California summer. Golden in the glass and lean in the mouth, it shows kiwi fruit, lemongrass, and citrus with a touch of savory salinity. So much better than you expect. 
Salient Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2014: $29, $26.10

Who: WINC & their Secret Accomplices

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: Sonoma Coast, California, USA

When: 2014

Why: Opulent, winter-weight Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast, balanced by the cool influence of the frigid Pacific, keeping it honest and fresh. Golden apple and toast layered with baking spice, rich Chardonnay texture, and a lifting finish of acidity right where you want it. Get it for your Chard-loving Mom.
Folly of the Beast Pinot Noir Central Coast 2014: $21, $18.90

Who: The people at WINC, who are no fools

What: 100% Pinot Noir

Where: Central Coast, California, USA

When: 2014

Why: A wine worth the pursuit, no folly at all, this Central Coast Pinot Noir includes a large dollop of premium Sant Lucia Highlands fruit. Carrying its rich California fruit easily, the Bing cherry, plum, and strawberry mingle with soft baking spice and silky tannins, lifted by red-fruit acidity. Almost a miracle for the money.



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Straight From the Grape & Strictly Natural


11/30/16

This Week's In-Store Tastings

Straight From the Grape

Thursday, December 1st, 6-8 p.m.
 
Jean-Paul Dubost Beaujolais-Villages"Tracot" 2015: $17, $15.30
Frank Cornelissen Terre Siciliane Rosso "Contadino" 2015: $29, $26.10

Fredi Torres Priorat "Classic" 2014: $25, $22.50

 
One of our core beliefs is that wine is made of grapes, not grapes plus additives and cellar tricks tamed by loads of sulfur, and we do our best to support those who believe the same. (Nor are we alone in this: check out Eric Asimov in the Times.) The wines we taste on Thursday come straight from the grape to the palate, stopping only to ferment and come together before being bottled in their unmanipulated state. 
 
Homegrown and Organic Spirits
 
Friday, December 2nd6-8 pm

It's always our pleasure to support local producers like McKenzie, a Finger Lakes distillery making lip-smacking small-batch spirits from organic, locally-grown grains.

McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey: A light, slightly sweet style of Bourbon aged in Chardonnay barrels for mellowness and with 30% rye on the mashbill for pleasant spiciness.

McKenzie Rye Whiskey: A young whiskey made from local organic rye, its spicy profile is mellowed by 20% malted barley. With vanilla, mango, and berries laced with savory spices.

McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey: This Upstate take on Irish whiskey is made from both malted and unmalted barley, giving a feel both crisp and earthy. With an apple/pear sweetness, caramel, and silky texture in the mouth.
 
 
Strictly Natural
Saturday, December 3rd, 4-6 p.m.

 
Jurtschitsch Grüner Veltliner Kamptal "Belle Naturelle" 2014: $20, $18
Sky Vineyards Zinfandel Mt Veeder 2012: $40, $36
Luyt Pipeño Coelemu Tinto: $19, $17.10

 
We don't join in the current debate about "natural wine," caring only that what we stock and drink is delicious. These three bottles are undoubtedly delicious, and their makers, without being dogmatic, are making wines which nothing is added to, taken away from, or changed in any way. Organic farming, native yeasts, no manipulation, fining nor filtration equals natural wine.


A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: Straight From the Grape
One of these things is not like the others.
Contadino is a mountain wine, and available in magnums.
Jean-Paul Dubost Beaujolais-Villages "Tracot" 2015: $17, $15.30 

Who: Jean-Paul Dubost

What: 100% Gamay

Where: Beaujolais, France

When: 2015

Why: A single-vineyard Gamay that shows the quality of even basic Beaujolais, Tracot is hand-harvested and aged in concrete. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, its spicy blackberry, raspberry, and blueberry fruit come straight from the grape. Lively and textured, it can change your opinion of Beaujolais.
Frank Cornelissen "Contadino" Terre Siciliane Rosso 2015: $29, $26.10

Who: Frank Cornelissen, a Belgian making wine on Mt Etna

What: 80% Nerello Mascalese, 20% a field blend of Nerello Capuccio, Alicante Bouchet, Minella Nera, and Uva Francesca

Where: Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy

When: 2015

Why: Frank Cornelissen chose Mt Etna for its unique volcanism, and the terroir of his wines is unmistakable. Nothing comes between the vine and the bottle: he farms organically, ferments with native yeasts, and bottles unfiltered. Contadino, his entry-level wine, is light-bodied and spicy on the nose, with brambleberries, pomegranate, clove, allspice, and orange citrus on the palate. 
Fredi Torres Priorat "Classic" 2014: $25, $22.50

Who: Fredi Torres

What: 75% Garnatxa, 20% Cariñena, 3% Syrah, 2% Macabeu

Where: Gratallops, Priorat, Spain

When: 2014

Why: Making Priorat with no messing about, Fredi Torres harvests by hand and ferments with native yeasts, bottling unfined and unfiltered. Lighter than most Priorats, with only 12.5% alcohol, it shows lovely red raspberry and cherry fruit on top with black raspberry, plum, and pomegranate underneath, white pepper spice and fresh herbs around the outside. 
Saturday's Tasting: Strictly Natural
Natural but not dogmatic, delicious above all else, and too tempting to stay under cork long,
even in the shop. 
Jurtschitsch Grüner Veltliner Kamptal "Belle Naturelle" 2015: $20, $18

Who: Alwin Jurtschitsch and Stephanie Hasselbach

What: 100% Grüner Veltliner

Where: Kamptal, Austria

When: 2015

Why: Alwin and Stephanie converted Jurtschitsch, the oldest continuously-producing Kamptal winery, to biodynamic practice. In keeping with their natural inclinations, they leave Belle Naturelle on the must for two weeks, making this pleasing, pungent orange wine with a nose of dried apples, pear skin, and brine. Rich and concentrated in the mouth, it shows dried apples, a nutty undertone, Meyer lemon, slate, all with a textured, saline cast.
Sky Vineyard Zinfandel Mt Veeder 2012: $40, $36

Who: Lore Olds

What: 100% Zinfandel

Where: Mt Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA

When: 2012

Why: This least Napa of Napa wines, least Zin of Zinfandels, has none of the bulky, overwhelming fruit and alcohol we associate with those two things. From high up on Mt Veeder, it has high-altitude acidity and the restraint of its maker, who seeks terroir above all. Rich and well-balanced, with plum, red and black raspberry fruit and classic Zin spice, it's smooth and easy-flowing.
Luyt Pipeño Coelemu 2015: $19, $17.10

Who: Jean-Antoine Luyt

What: 100% País, called Mission in California

Where: Coelemu, Valle del Itata, Chile

When: 2015

Why: Frenchman Jean-Antoine Luyt brings the tutelage of Beaujolais great Marcel Lapierre to southern Chile. Using own-rooted, old-vines País fruit, he makes this complex, medium-bodied wine with red and black raspberry fruit, pomegranate notes, clove and allspice, a dry, chalky background, and brambly tannins. Lovely with food or without.



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Strange and Wonderful


11/21/16


This Week's In-Store Tastings

Strange and Wonderful

Tuesday, November 22nd, 5:30-8 p.m.
 
Les Bêtes Curieuses "Gorges" Muscadet 2004: $35, $31.50
Inteus Rioja Crianza Tempranillo Peludo 2012: $25, $22.50

Aurélien Chatagnier Syrah Collines Rhodaniennes 2015: $23, $20.70

The wines we'll be tasting this Tuesday (note the special time) are familiar, in a way -- a Muscadet, a Rioja, a Syrah -- but each are strange as well, a different angle on a familiar thing. Strange and wonderful, these wines bring that extra dimension that makes wine truly magical.
 
A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.

Tuesday's Tasting: Strange and Wonderful
They may look like any other bottles, but they're really 
Strange & Wonderful.
Les Bêtes Curieuses "Gorges" Muscadet 2004: $35, $31.50 

Who: Jérémie Huchet & Jérémie Mourat, Les Bêtes Curieuses

What: 100% Melon de Bourgogne

Where: near Nantes, at the mouth of the Loire River, France

When: 2004

Why: Who says Muscadet can't age? Not the Curious Beasts, who put this old-vines cuvée of Melon de Bourgogne in an underground tank and let it go. Fourteen years later, it emerges as a beautiful, deep, textured wine that drinks like aged white Burgundy, with pear and dried apple, sherry sheen, lees richness, and fragrant spice.
Aurélien Chatagnier Syrah Collines Rhodaniennes 2015: $23, $20.70

Who: Aurélien Chatagnier

What: 100% Syrah

Where: Northern Rhône Valley, France

When: 2015

Why: Syrah from the Northern Rhône is always special, and usually priced accordingly. Chatagnier's is special, and affordable to boot, with warm red cherry, raspberry and spice on the nose. Smooth and clean in the mouth, full of red and black cherry fruit with raspberry bite and brambly pepper, and a long, vibrant finish.
Inteus Rioja Tempranillo Peludo 2012: $25, $22.50

Who: Luis Palácios

What: 100% Tempranillo Peludo ("Hairy Tempranillo")

Where: Rioja Alavesa, Spain

When: 2012

Why: Luis Palácios built his vineyards from the sesquicentennial Tempranillo Peludo vines, an old clone of the grape which gives this easy-drinking, dark-fruit Rioja with silky tannins. Black cherry and plum fruit over fine-grained tannins, so pretty and smooth, go easily with food or in the glass by themselves.  



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What A Bargain! & Classically French


11/16/16

This Week's In-Store Tastings

What A Bargain!

Thursday, November 17th, 6-8 p.m.
 
Albert Mann Riesling Cuvée Albert 2014: $28, $25.20
Rémi Jobard Bourgogne Blanc "Nouvelle Vignes" 2013: $27, $24.30

Château des Roques Vacqueyras "Hameau des Roques" 2014: $22, $19.80

 
Bargains come in all price ranges & happen when you get more than you expect. All three wines we put on the table this Thursday give you great value for your money and satisfaction for your time. That's what we here at NWM look for. 
 
 
Classically French
Saturday, November 19th, 4-6 p.m.

 
Bechtold Riesling Sussenberg 2012: $27, $24.30
J-M Morey Santenay 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau 2013: $50, $45
Gour de Chaulé Gigondas 2011: $29, $26.10

The wines on the slate for Saturday are all French classics. From Alsace, Burgundy, and the Southern Rhône, each perfectly embodies the quality and depth of their region. More particularly, each is a delicious, ravishing wine, 

A 10% in-store discount will be applied to all wines featured at our in-store tastings.
Thursday's Tasting: What A Bargain!
This is what bargains look like. 
Albert Mann Riesling Cuvée Albert 2014: $28, $25.20 

Who: Maurice and Jacky Barthelme

What: 100% Riesling

Where: WettolsheimAlsace, France

When: 2014

Why: In the world of wine pleasures, little surpasses off-dry Alsatian Riesling for pure hedonism. Hand-harvested grapes make up this cuvée, an lush style packed with textured fruit: green and yellow apple, peach, pear, lime and orange citrus. Rich in the mouth, balanced by firm acidity, it's a definition of gorgeous.
Rémi Jobard Bourgogne Blanc Vignes Nouvelles 2013: $27, $24.30

Who: Rémi Jobard

What: 100% Chardonnay

Where: Meursault, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France

When: 2013

Why: A young-vines ("vignes nouvelles") cuvée made with declassified Meursault fruit, this is a screaming value from young master Rémi Jobard. Picked late, pressed slowly, it has the freshness of young vines and the richness of Meursault. Yellow apple and pear form the core, with bubbles of nectarine on lean acidity.
Château des Roques Hameau des Roques Vacqueyras 2014: $22, $19.80

Who: Pierre Seroul, Andre Fregiere

What: Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre

Where: Vacqueyras, southern Rhône Valley, France

When: 2014

Why: In the Vacqueyras vineyards of des Roques, stones absorb heat all day and release it all night, giving the Hameau bottling a plush purple feel, with baked pum and blackberry fruit, baking spice, and savory tannins. Lifted by subtle acidity, it's easy to drink and a real value.
Saturday's Tasting: Classically French 
Aerial view of Santenay, a classic French village & source of a classic French wine.
Bechtold Riesling Sussenberg 2012: $27, $24.30

Who: Jean-Marie Bechtold, fourth-generation vigneron

What: 100% Riesling

Where: Dahlenheim, Alsace, France

When: 2012

Why: A single-vineyard wine from northern Alsace, Sussenberg shows the dry richness Riesling can reach there. Intense, with a touch of petrol on the nose and a lean frame, it shows nectarine, apple, and gooseberry fruit. Native-yeast fermented, salinity and Alsatian minerality balance its pinch of residual sugar.
J-M Morey Santenay 1er Cru Grand Clos Rousseau 2013: $50, $45

Who: Jean-Marc Morey

What: All Pinot Noir, all the time

Where: Santenay, Côte d'Or, Burgundy, France

When: 2013

Why: From the southern tip of the Côte d'Or, a bargain Premier Cru (all things are relative, okay?). A half-hectare parcel yields this light-bodied, wiry wine with terrific nerve and focus. A touch of sweet strawberry fruit mingled with red cherry and cedary tannins make for a young-drinking bottle, while depth and structure hint at a long cellar life.
Gour de Chaulé Gigondas "Cuvée Tradition" 2011: $29, $26.10

Who: Aline Bonfils and Stephanie Fumoso

What: 100% Grenache

Where: Gigondas, southern Rhône Valley, France

When: 2011

Why: A classic estate making classic Gigondas, Gour de Chaulé is now into its fourth generation and has domaine-bottled since 1970. Low yields and low intervention are the basis of their philosophy; rich, savory wines with depth, dark fruit, and meaty overtones are the result. Rich, lively, and nicely balanced.



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