WHAT’S IN MY GLASS
A monthly curation of wines we’re personally pulling the corks on.
Everyone’s palate is different. Some it crisp, high-acid, and mouthwatering. Others prefer deep, concentrated, and high-octane expressions. Naturalists tend toward the kick-down-the-barn-doors-and-roll-around-in-the-hay approach, which tends to be a bit dirtier than your mom's buttery Chard. And that’s what makes tasting, learning, and selling wine so interesting.
1,400 vine varieties, thousands of unique climates, ancient soil combinations, and ever-evolving growing techniques are factors that produce beautifully-ripe bunches of grapes. Add a little vintage variation and an unimaginable amount of winemaking options, and you’ll get the world of wine -- a wildly diverse collection of fermented grape juice -- that we know and love today. As exciting as this all seems, it’s also incredibly daunting.
That’s where we come in. While we love all of the crazy combinations our hearts still lean one way or another. Tulio prefers a strong backbone of acidity. Ian likes things a little earthier. Monica looks for elegance. Gary goes for broke. Isabelle keeps it fun. And Mike enjoys the classics. Welcome to What’s in My Glass, a list of wines curated each month by your favorite wine merchants. So, whether you’re into bright, beautiful, lift-you-into-a-happier-place bubbly, or wine more classically trained than an Oxford graduate, rest assured, one of us is too.
Did we mention there all 10% off?
"If you think that well-crafted Burgundy reds from a top domaine winemaker have become an out-of-reach proposition in today’s wine market, I challenge you to think again! Cyprien Arlaud is a third-generation vintner working with traditional and biodynamic farming methods, and producing fresh and bright, yet elegant and expressive wines that range from entry to level to Grand Cru. This is what Burgundian terroir is all about. On the nose, this beauty is like a fresh bouquet of tart red and black fruits, with notes of pomegranate, cranberry, and black raspberry; on the palate, it packs great minerality to give the berry notes more of a punch. Give this a try, I promise you’ll be back for more before you can say Hautes Cotes de Nuits." -Tulio
"Hailing from Humboldt, one of California's most northerly and undersung sites, Cabot Syrah's savory and salty aromas of cured meat prove more evocative of the Northern Rhone than the North Coast, making this beautifully-aged 2011 a shoo-in with lamb and game meat. The Cabots, a husband and wife team, have thus far resisted a perennial temptation amongst local farmers to uproot their vines in favor of the county's cash crop du jour, though their official tasting note, "olive and cherry-infused beef blood pumped through a rusty iron pipe," is giving this Syrah-lover a weird bout of the munchies." –Ian
"Pinot Noir is a year-round favorite red of mine. And this PN from Santa Rita Hills is a great example of what I look for when the temperatures drop and I crave a wine with savory fruit and spiced notes. I recently visited Raj Parr of Sandhi Wines in Santa Barbara County and toured the famed vineyards of Domaine de la Côte, where most of the grapes for this Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir cuvée are sourced. I got to experience first-hand the cool breezes coming off the Pacific ocean that create a very unique micro climate in this region, allowing grapes to grow slowly and evenly on the vines without ever getting baked by the sweltering California sun. This wine expresses gorgeous acidity and fresh dark fruit notes; it has depth yet remains extremely elegant. Give it a try, you won't regret it!" –Monica
"Sparkling wines are associated with celebration, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s day, and so on. However, I think that bubblies should be part of our everyday celebration. Why not enjoy some as an aperitif, paired with any meal, or simply by itself? We may not want to spend top dollars in an expensive champagne. It is February. Hey, but this Crémant made in the Champagne method, on the lees for 24 months, with fresh and crispy fruit on the nose and fine “mousse”, is gorgeous and will work for every day of the week!" –Isabelle
"This particular bottle is about as classic of a representation of Chinon Cabernet Franc one could find. I have a special place in my heart for Cab Franc because it’s one of the few varieties that ripens in my home state of Michigan. While this isn’t an Old Mission Cab Franc, is does take me on a short journey back home.
Anyway… 2015 had a long, hot, and dry summer season in the Loire, which gave us fruit with incredible ripeness, and a touch lower acidity. This heat drove out some of more herbaceous, green bell pepper, character commonly associated with the variety, and in its place left a roasted red pepper note. Beautiful black fruits, plum, blackberries, and currants are the core of this wine, with more earthy, mineral and smoked meat accents on the finish. Bernard Baudry is one of the top producers in Chinon and this 2015 Les Grézeaux from 65-year-old vines demonstrates why. Enjoy!" –Michael
"It’s February…it’s cold, football season is over and let’s not get started with that silly ‘holiday’ on the 14th. Let’s focus on the positives here…there’s no better time to recalibrate, get back to neutral and discover a new arsenal of wine. With that said, I give you 2013 Roagna Langhe Rosso, a hearty, red, Italian wine made for a cold winter.
This ain’t your run of the mill Langhe Rosso. Although the price might be higher than other wines you’ve tried with that title, this bad boy drinks like a Barolo or Barbaresco twice its price. The grapes are picked, sorted and selected by hand from vines in the same vineyards destined for Roagna’s blockbuster wines.
True to a wine of this quality and varietal (100% Nebbiolo) you’ll get notes of blackberry, tar and the rustic earthiness you’re looking for from a classic Piedmontese wine with the acid and tannins that beg for an Italian steak." –Gary