MAAL Biutiful Malbec 2015
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Maal Wines was founded by two young Argentines who shared a passion for winemaking, viticulture and Malbec. Alfredo Merlo worked at Harlan and Achaval Ferrer, and Matias Fraga worked for the Catena family for over ten years. Their pure, unoaked ‘Biutiful’ Malbec is so named because they believe that real beauty is found on the inside and needs no make-up. Made from fruit from Altamira, San Carlos in Mendoza from mostly stony and sandy soils with calcareous in small areas. The age of the vineyard is 25 years, the grapes are picked by hand and the wines are made with indigenous yeasts.
Wine EnthusiastEarthy, mulchy berry aromas lack freshness and clarity. This is a dense, meaty, thick Malbec with stewed black-plum and woodspice flavors. Used tea bag and baked berry flavors show on the finish.
Monte Antico Rosso 2013This is a delicious Tuscan red made of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Monte Antico means 'Ancient Mountain,' and the wine is made from hillside vineyards with at least 25 years of age from Pisa, Maremma and Chianti Classico. Monte Antico is the proprietary label of respected Italian wine importers, Neil and Maria Empson who have been promoting Italian wines for over 30 years. Their winemaker is Franco Bernabei who fashions the wines from vineyards which have the perfect combination of complex soils including fine limestone, rich clay, and the famous Tuscan galestro (a unique rocky soil). Although this is considered a Super Tuscan, due to the addition of Cab and Merlot, we thought it tasted traditionally Italian, and that the expression of Sangiovese was perfectly enhanced by the Bordeaux varieties. It has warm aromas of red fruits, vanilla and hints of spice and earth with more of the same on the palate. Serve with pasta, pizza, steak and arugula salad, or after-dinner with fine Italian cheeses.
Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc 2017Southern Right is a small production Sauvignon Blanc and Pinotage specialist located in the cool, maritime, Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation of South Africa. Founded by Anthony Hamilton Russell in 1994, Southern Right's Sauvignon Blanc remains a local and international best seller with its classic, tight minerality complementing the prominent varietal fruit. It has been rated the best South African Sauvignon Blanc in the Wall Street Journal and has won numerous Gold and Silver Medals. The wines are named after the rare Southern Right whales, which frequent the cool South Atlantic Walker Bay, 3 kilometres from the vineyards. With each bottle sold, Southern Right makes a contribution to Southern Right whale conservation. We tasted and loved this Sauvignon B which is bright, juicy, and delicious with loads of aromatics and a long, clean, dry finish. It is super complex in the pricepoint for Sauvignon Blanc from anywhere in the world, and it truly gives the New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs at $15-20 a run for their money.
Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva 2014The Cantele (cahn-teh-lay) family originally hailed from Veneto, but Paolo Cantele's grandfather emigrated to Puglia and founded this family estate in 1979. We met Paolo here in Spring Lake when he visited the Bottle Shop for the first time, and tasted through the Cantele wines. We were impressed by the complexity, consistency and value across the board. He told us that this wine, the Salice Salentino Riserva, was chosen by the Gambero Rosso as the #1 Best Value Wine in Italy last year---that is a great compliment! Made from very old vines, up to 60 years in age, this Salice is aged for 6 months in older barriques. Another interesting fact he shared with us is that Cantele adds even less sulfites than allowed by the legal organic limit. The estate is not organic, per se, but the vineyards are farmed as sustainably as possible. It helps that 80% of his family's vineyards are on the Adriatic Coast side of Puglia, giving the benefit of NW winds which keep the vines breezy and not too hot. This is simply an extraordinary value for a very high quality red wine. THIS SUSTAINABLE RED WINE HAS LOW SULFITES
Rhiannon Red 2015 BottleRhiannon Wines was named Family Owned Winery of the Year at the 2012 New York International Wine Competition. 'Rhiannon' pays homage to this family's Welsh roots. The Goddess Rhiannon is a figure of power and mystery in Celtic mythology, associated with magical birds and horses and the contrasting qualities of change and steadfastness. Crafting a distinctive blend, likewise, balances change and steadfastness: the uniqueness of each harvest must consistently express the winemaker's personal vision. Rhiannon is a blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Barbera. 2015 is the fifth vintage of this luscious, red fruit-driven,
Nadia Cabernet Sauvignon 2016Far from the windswept coastal foothills of Laetitia Vineyard & Winery lies a land of elevated, quiet grace. Framed by chalky cliffs and planted to vines that are drenched in sun by day and chilled by the cover of night – this is the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard, the home of NADIA. It was on this stretch of remote earth that, several years ago, the Laetitia Vineyard & Winery team decided to take a chance. Owner Selim Zilkha asked himself and several others 'Could this be the place?' And after tireless examination, the answer came back an unqualified yes. The soil, the sun, the altitude; every scrap of evidence announced definitively that Rhône and Bordeaux varietals would find their truest expression in such a place as this – and even rival the finest in the world. With Lino Bozzano and Eric Hickey rising to the challenge in the vineyard and the cellar, respectively, thus was the concept of NADIA born: a limited collection of Rhône and Bordeaux-varietal wines whose sole purpose is to champion the secluded beauty and inexhaustible potential of the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. Armed with a top-shelf estate vineyard, a purpose, and a collaborative vineyard and winemaking team, Lino and Eric went about the work of creating these special wines from the ground up – ground whose uncannily amenable growing conditions are fundamental to the depth, complexity and value of NADIA wines. NADIA, which translates to mean “hope” in Russian and “delicate” in Arabic, is a Bordeaux blend made of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Look for rich aromas and flavors of ripe blackberry, spice, toast and chocolate. Balanced and pure, with medium to full-bodied richness and sweet tannin, it is approachable and delicious in its youth. Serve with steaks, burgers, grilled vegetables, and cheeses; especially Cheddars from Canada, Ireland and England, Comte Gruyere from France and Cotswold from England.
Ca' Momi Chardonnay 2016This rich, full-bodied Napa Chardonnay shows lots of rich butterscotch flavors and notes of toasted vanilla. Lush pear, pineapple fruit and hazelnuts fill the palate. This opulent Chardonnay will pair well with shellfish dishes and buttery cheeses such as Delice de Bourgogne, Saint Andre, Brie and Fromage d'Affinois. Ca’ Momi is owned by three quality-driven Italians: Dario De Conti, Stefano Migotto and Stefano's wife Valentina. Ca’ Momi means ‘House of Momi,’ the endearing name of the Migotto family home in Veneto.
Complicated Pinot Noir 2015Taken Wine Company was founded in 2009 when next generation winemakers, Carlo Trinchero and Josh Phelps realized their mutual dream to start their own wine label. Josh and Carlo grew up together in the town of St. Helena, in the Napa Valley with their winemaking families. Wine is most certainly in their DNA! The wines are crafted to appeal to the millennial generation in terms of both what’s inside and outside the bottle. The names (Taken, Complicated, and Available) all tie into social media and are relevant to their generation. Crushed raspberries and ripe red cherry burst out of the glass from this perfectly balanced Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. A full midpalate of red berries and plum lead to a lingering finish of fruit and acid with lightly toasted oak and subtle earthy notes. There is a distinctive silky and caramelized taste and texture to this wine.
Castello d'Albola Chianti Classico 2015The Castello d'Albola state is situated in Radda at the heart of the Chianti Classico DOCG appellation, where grape cultivation has a legacy dating back to the time of the Etruscans. In the 15th century, the Acciaiuoli family commissioned Castello d'Albola to plant the highest vineyard in Chianti Classico because it was perceived as a symbol of status. Over the centuries, many noble Tuscan families have owned the property and the estate has earned many accolades for its wines. In 1979, the Zonin family acquired Castello d'Albola promising to uphold the estate's excellence for future generations. Castello d'Albola wines have earned the iconic 'Gallo Nero' symbol from the Chianti Classico Wine Consortium that guarantees the highest winemaking standards. The estate is planted to Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Canaiolo, Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia del Chianti and this Chianti is made of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Canaiolo. The estate is also a stunning example of Tuscan Renaissance architecture. The Zonin family owns important vineyard sites across the Italian peninsula, but this property is where Gianni Zonin, his wife and three sons enjoy an intimate family connection. With some of the most historically important vineyards in the Chianti Classico denomination, Castello d’Albola represents the tip of the Zonin- quality pyramid. The 2011 vintage was named TOP 100 WINE OF THE YEAR 2015 #46
Les Dauphins Côtes du Rhône Reserve Rouge 2016This is the perfect French café style red wine…easy-to-drink yet full of flavor, this has ripe red fruit and spicy licorice notes which are smooth and supple in a medium-bodied style. Côtes-du-Rhône is typically made of mostly Grenache, a red fruit-driven grape which picks up hints of thyme, pepper and purple flowers from the soils of the beautiful sun drenched vineyards in the south of France. Serve with chicken with Provencale herbs, Mediterranean fare, spicy bean soups, cheeses, olives, rosemary flatbreads and more...
Tortoise Creek Mission Grove Pinot Noir 2017This delightful Pinot Noir is made by the Masters family in California. Pinot Noir is a delicate grape variety that requires optimum growing conditions so the Masters' are careful to source fruit from the best vineyards. 60% comes from the Clarksburg region where the clay and loam soils coupled with the cool weather of the Sacramento Delta balances the acidity and the fruit. 40% is from Monterey with its sunshine, Pacific winds and Santa Lucia Mountain influence. Look for violets, red berries, cherries and vanilla. Aged 12 months in French oak, pair with salmon, chicken, sushi rolls, cheeses and more...
Cavicchioli 1928 ProseccoThe Cavicchioli family has been cultivating vines in the San Prospero province of Modena in the Sorbara DOC for over 100 years. Then in 1928, Umberto Cavicchioli began bottling the wine under his family name; today, it is Umberto’s two grandsons, brothers Sandro and Claudio, who are in charge. Claudio looks after the commercial side of the family business and Sandro is the winemaker. The family’s focus on vineyard ownership, low yields and DOC production has been instrumental in establishing Cavicchioli as one of a leader in high-quality Lambrusco and Sparkling wines. This Prosecco is a DOC Spumante Extra Dry. Spumante simply means sparklilng in Italian, and Extra Dry is usually fruitier than a Brut. But in this case, this Prosecco is actually on the drier side, making it crisper and more food-friendly. Made of 100% Glera grapes in the province of Treviso, the grapes are handpicked in the vineyard before heading to the winery for temperature controlled fermentations. Look for ripe lemon, white flower, ginger and bread aromas followed by a crisp, thirst quenching palate of more citrus, flowers and green apple with hints of mint and minerals on the finish. Serve as an aperitif or with white fishes, shellfish, goat and sheep's milk cheeses and more... As seen on the The Today Show Author: Edward Deitch Date: Monday, November 24, 2014 'To lighten things up on Thanksgiving, have it with a glass of bubbly, such as Cavicchiolis 1928 Extra Dry Prosecco from Italy. The 1928 refers to the year the Cavicchioli family started to bottle the wine under its own name. This refreshing sparkler has just a touch of sweetness (extra dry in the sometimes odd parlance of wine) with apple, lemon and herb notes that will easily invite you to pour yourself another glass. Consider it as an aperitif before dinner as well.'
Mitolo Jester Shiraz 2016Mitolo is recognized as one of the finest producers in McLaren Vale. With brilliant young winemaker Ben Glaetzer, Frank and Simone produce individual, hand-crafted wines built on passion and an uncompromising commitment to quality. Mitolo's philosophy has always been to focus on the vineyard, ensuring that the grapes are picked on flavor ripeness and that the right balance of aromas and structure are achieved. Parker raves : "For a winery only established in 1999 and dedicated to hand crafted artisinal wines, Mitolo has consistently been a revolution in my tastings." The Jester wines share the pedigree of the top Mitolo wines, but are more accessible and fruit-forward. Jester Shiraz is a blend of several blocks within the Lopresti vineyard in the Willunga district, all the way at the southern tip of McLaren Vale overlooking the coast. Being so close to the coast, the vines experience warm summer days that contribute to fruit intensity and excellent tannin ripeness, and cooling afternoon sea breezes and nights maintain good acid levels in the grapes, allowing extended maturation on the vine and resulting in complexity of the flavor profile. The soils are heavy gray loam over sandstone, intermixed with black Biscay clay. The excellent water holding capacity of these soils mean minimal irrigation is required giving the wines maximum flavor. The vines are an average age of 25 years old. Each parcel of fruit for Jester is fermented on skins for 5-6 days at a cool temperature to enhance the pure berry fruit. The wine is then pressed and undergoes partial barrel fermentation. A natural malolactic fermentation is completed before the wine is racked. it is then aged in 2-4 year old French oak for 14 months.
Pierre Prieur & Fils Sancerre La Damnée Des Prieur 2017For ten generations, the history of the Prieur family has been written in the prestigious terroirs of Sancerre such as Monts-Damnés, Coinches, Bouffants in Chavignol, Chêne Marchand in Bué, and Perriers in Verdigny. Today this family estate is run by Bruno and Thierry Prieur. The 42-acre estate has 30 acres planted to Sauvignon Blanc, and the balance with Pinot Noir, in three types of soils : chalky-clay, pebbly-chalk and flinty soils. We tasted and loved this with its elegant, classic style. Made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc (as are all Sancerre white wines), this has citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit, green pear and peach skin along with lovely terroir notes of flinty chalk and minerals. Serve with French goat’s milk cheeses in particular, or with raw oysters, shellfish and white fish dishes.