Sottimano Barbera d'Alba Pairolero 2016
This is an exceptional Barbera from the Sottimano family who is well-known for high quality Barbaresco wines. While Nebbiolo may be 'king' in Piedmont (Nebbiolo is the grape used in Barbaresco and Barolo), the other two main red grapes of the region, Dolcetto and Barbera, are becoming more exciting due to the commitment of high quality growers such as Sottimano, Sandrone and Clerico. The 'Pairolero' Barbera is a blend of two different vineyards of Barbera in Neive; Curra' and Basarin. Winemaker Andrea Sottimano uses only natural, indigenous yeasts in the winemaking and the malolactic fermentation is completed in French barrels, where the wine remains for approximately 15-16 months. 25% of the barrels used for aging are new, the remaining 75% have previously been used for up to 4 times. There is no filtering and no fining prior to bottling. Barbera has become one of our favorite 'everyday' reds with a full range of foods. Serve with white meats, light red meat dishes, bright tomato-based sauces, cheeses, olives, cured meats and more.
|Region||Italy, Piedmont, Barbera d'Alba|
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut RoséMade of 100% Pinot Noir using the classic methode champenoise , this has strawberry red raspberry and vanilla suggestions that are enhanced by the wine's wonderful ripeness and freshness, with saline and toast notes on the creamy, lush finish. The history of the Albrecht family as winegrowers can be traced back to 1425 with Romanu Albrecht, who lived in the town of Thann in the Haut-Rhin department of Alsace. During this time in the fifteenth century, Alsace experience a golden era. The Winegrowers Guild of Alsace was founded and each year, the most deserving wine grower was elected by the guild as Bangard, a highly respected position. Between 1520 and 1698, it was held by 8 generations of Albrecht's. Domaine Albrecht experienced a major development under the guidance of Lucien Albrecht, the father of Jean, to become one of the most important in Alsace with holdings in 9 villages surrounding Orschwihr. In 1972 Lucien Albrecht was also a pioneer of Cremant d'Alsace. Today the Cremant is one of the house's specialties. The cellar dates back to 1772 and houses large oak barrels, some of which are over 100 years of age…
Domaine Dominique Gruhier Bourgogne Epineuil Cuvée Juliette 2015The village of Epineuil is located just northeast of Chablis, sharing the same Kimmeridgian soils. Bourgogne Epineuil is the regional AOC, created in 1993, for the reds which are 100% Pinot Noir. We tasted and positively adored this Cuvée Juliette, made from 50% whole cluster, 15 months in oak, only 10% new and no added sulfites. It’s ripe, velvety, delicious, and has oodles of violets, lavender, red berries…this is classic Burgundian Pinot Noir from a lesser-known AOC, and very worth seeking out. Dominique only makes about 600 cases of Juliette each year from his oldest vines. Dominique Gruhier hasn't had it easy, getting his domaine to this point. Throughout his many troubles which included frozen vineyards, fires and lawsuits, he remained one of the warmest, most charming, welcoming, well-mannered, and smiling men in Burgundy. As his domaine and his relatively obscure appellation began to attract more customers, he has been able to make the investments and changes that were necessary to let his talent shine. What beautiful wines have emerged! Fine, sexy, juicy, vivacious, saline and chalky. They are some of the greatest values we have tasted in Burgundy, and what we like to think of as 'Chablisien Pinot Noir'.
Domaine Dominique Gruhier Bourgogne Blanc 2016The village of Epineuil is located just northeast of Chablis, sharing the same Kimmeridgian soils. Bourgogne Epineuil is the regional AOC, created in 1993, for the reds which are 100% Pinot Noir. For the whites, the wines are labelled either as a simple Bourgogne like this one, as Bourgogne Tonnerre, the regional AOC for whites made of 100% Chardonnay, for an area that includes six villages: Epineuil, Dannemoine, Junay, Molosmes, Tonnerre and Vézinnes. The AOC was created in 2006, prior to that the whites were also part of the Bourgogne Epineuil AOC. We tasted and positively adored this Bourgogne Blanc, made only a stone's throw from Chablis. Fresh, clean, crisp and juicy, the minerals from the soils mingle perfectly with citrus, apricot, wflowers and hints of vanilla. Dominique Gruhier hasn't had it easy, getting his domaine to this point. Throughout his many troubles which included frozen vineyards, fires and lawsuits, he remained one of the warmest, most charming, welcoming, well-mannered, and smiling men in Burgundy. As his domaine and his relatively obscure appellation began to attract more customers, he has been able to make the investments and changes that were necessary to let his talent shine. What beautiful wines have emerged!
Chateau Prieure-Lichine Margaux 2016The history of Châteaux Prieure Lichine is long and interesting. It started out as a priory for Benedictine monks. The monks produced Bordeaux wine for dinner and various religious ceremonies. Like many estates during the French Revolution, Prieure Lichine was seized, split up and sold at auction. In 1789 parts of Prieure Lichine were bought by numerous surrounding Châteaux in the Margaux appellation. Since that time, the vineyard has sold wine under several different names including La Prieure and Prieure-Cantenac. By the time the noted author and merchant Alexis Lichine arrived in the Medoc to buy Château Prieure, the vineyard was down to only 11 planted hectares. Because the estate was no longer in the best condition, Château Prieure-Lichine was sold for a song. Rumors are, the estate was bought for the ridiculous sum of only 8,000 British Pounds! In 1951, Alexis Lichine put together a group to purchase the chateau along with several other chateaux in Margaux at the time, including Château Lascombes.After the estate was purchased, it was renamed Château Prieure Lichine, to honor the previous name and history of the property they retained the first part of the name, Prieure, and next they added the last name of the new owner. Thus Château Prieure Lichine was born.
Domaine Dominique Gruhier Cote de Grisey Bourgogne Epineuil 2015This small Pinot Noir vineyard of less than 3 acres in size is located in the up and coming appellation of Epineuil just northeast of Chablis. It has a steep slope up to 45% for excellent draining, shallow Kimmeridgian argilo-calcaire soil, facing south, east, and southeast. The domaine has been certified organic since 2015 and winemaker Dominique Gruhier vinifies this wine with 30% whole cluster in a pneumatic press and aged for 15 months in older barrels. The village of Epineuil is located just northeast of Chablis, sharing the same Kimmeridgian soils. Bourgogne Epineuil is the regional AOC, created in 1993, for the reds which are 100% Pinot Noir. We tasted and positively adored the wines of Gruhier for two years in a row at Frederick Wildman's famous barrel tasting of new Burgundy wines. Dominique does not add any sulfites to his wines, making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a very natural way. His wines are ripe, velvety, delicious, and very fresh…Gruhier wines are classic Burgundian Pinot Noirs from a lesser-known AOC, and very worth seeking out. Dominique Gruhier hasn't had it easy, getting his domaine to this point. Throughout his many troubles which included frozen vineyards, fires and lawsuits, he remained one of the warmest, most charming, welcoming, well-mannered, and smiling men in Burgundy. As his domaine and his relatively obscure appellation began to attract more customers, he has been able to make the investments and changes that were necessary to let his talent shine. What beautiful wines have emerged! Fine, sexy, juicy, vivacious, saline and chalky. They are some of the greatest values we have tasted in Burgundy, and what we like to think of as 'Chablisien Pinot Noir'.
Francois Baur Sang du Dragon Pinot Noir 2015This Pinot Noir from the Alsace region is an absolute beauty and a wonderful example from northern France. Continuous vine growing in Alsace dates back to Roman times; viticulture in the Brand area was recorded in 1328 from documents of Paris and the abbeys of Munster. Red wines have been traditionally rare in Alsace because of the region's cool growing season and northerly location, but today we are seeing more and more reds produced with changing climates and organic winemaking methods. The name for this Pinot, 'Sang du Dragon' comes from an old legend...when the valley of the Rhine was still underwater, a dragon emerged from the waves to rest on the protruding Brand hilltop. The sun was too fierce, however, and its rays eventually pierced the dragon's scales, drawing blood. Gravely wounded, the dragon dragged itself to a cave where it then died. Many centuries later, wine growers came to plant vines in this area. Still fertile with the dragon's blood, legend has it that the vines even today produce a wine of fire. Today, Baur's wines carry the dragon's image. In an email we received from Virginie Baur, she told us : "Sang du Dragon means dragon's blood. There is a legend that a dragon was slain in this vineyard (the Brand vineyard), and the blood of the dragon made the vines strong. 'Brand' means "land of fire" in German and is a Grand Cru Vineyard but only Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Riesling can have the Grand Cru Appellation according to the AC laws, so we named the wine 'Sang du Dragon'." The story is fun for sure, but the wine itself is amazing. We drink it at home often, it is a wonderfully terroir -driven treat! Over the past several years, Baur has converted his vineyards to fully biodynamic production--a totally natural approach to the cultivation of vines that makes every attempt to respect the plants, the soil and the environment. No weed killers or insecticides are used; instead, certain types of grasses are encouraged to grow between the vines which actually strengthen the soil. To provide aeration, the earth is plowed manually a few times a year. Only natural products are used on the leaves of the vine itself: Work is scheduled according to the phases of the moon, often at night while the vines are resting and not fatigued by the sun. Studying in the same biodynamics class as Jean-Michel Deiss, one notes the fervor with which Pierre Baur (Virginie's father) now addresses his work; it has become a religion to him and, he trusts nature explicitly in his vineyards.
Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Rosso di Montalcino 2016Ciacci Piccolmini is one of the most sought-after producers in Montalcino. This ancient estate has 35 hectares of superior holdings in the prized Castelnuovo dell'Abate zone, including the 'Pianrosso' vineyard (from which the best grapes are selected for the Brunello di Montalcino) and the 'Fonte' vineyard, which produces grapes for the Rosso di Montalcino. This Rosso is made of 100% Sangiovese Grosso, with bright and rich red fruit, earth, dried citrus zest and gentle spices. The vineyard is organically farmed and the wine is fermented in stainless steel and concrete vats before being transferred to large Slovenian oak where it rests for 12 months. Only 1000 cases are typically produced in each vintage.
Château-Siaurac Lalande de Pomerol 2015Our family has had a long-time love affair with Ch â teau Siaurac in Lalande-de-Pomerol. The estate has been producing beautiful wines for 200 years, in the 'satellite' appellation of Lalande-de-Pomerol. Long associated and marketed with Château Pétrus in Pomerol, we always considered Siaurac such an incredible value for an authentic, velvety, delicious red Bordeaux. As a 'satellite' of the esteemed Pomerol area, Lalande-de-Pomerol has a similar climate and similar soils to its famous, luxurious neighbor. The owners of Siaurac are oriented toward quality, not quantity, and strive to express the unique typicity of the soils and climate (which we call the terroir ) . The Ch â teau has also been certified organic since January 2009. The average age of the vineyard is between 25 and 30 years. Today, Siaurac is owned by the owner of Château Latour, Francois Pinault and the Artemis group. It i s therefore made by an exceptional, world class team : the technical director from Chateau Latour, Penelope Godefroy, has worked with Jean-Claude Berrouet, the winemaker at Pétrus for 40 years. The 2015 Siaurac is a blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. It tastes rich, velvety and pure with notes of cherry, mocha, licorice and rose petals. We have enjoyed many bottles at home over the last 25 years of this under-the-radar, classic Bordeaux red. Pair with filet mignon, lamb chops, roasted pork, Comté Gruyere cheese, Petit Basque sheep's milk cheese, meat pâté and/or cured meats.
Robert Moncuit Grand Cru Brut ChampagneA family-run estate with organic vineyards, Champagne Robert Moncuit has a five generation history. Alex Moncuit started the vineyard in 1889, and in 1928 his grandson Robert created his first cuvée and Champagne Robert Moncuit was born. Robert continued to produce this exceptional Champagne until his death in 1987. His daughter Francoise took over the estate, and her son Pierre has been winemaker since 2000. Until 2000 all the wine was sold in France. The estate has 8 hectares under vine in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger which is the same renowned village where Krug's famous 'Clos du Mesnil' vineyard designate is made, and the Le Mesnil-sur-Oger is where the Salon family first realized and then convinced the world that this area was beautifully suited for Champagne made from 100% Chardonnay. The Moncuit family produces all 'Blanc de Blancs' Champagne, meaning 100% Chardonnay. Their vines are tended without the use of pesticides and herbicides. The fruit is hand-harvested and sorted, with each parcel vinified separately to optimize the outcome of blending. All of the wines are fermented and raised in tank, the goal being contact with the lees. The malos happen naturally, they don't filter or chapitalize. The base wine for this Brut is 2010 with about 20% reserve from 2009. Approximately 30% of the cuvée is aged in oak. This is the only wine in his range that sees any oak so as not to mask the beautiful chalkiness of the Mesnil soils. Made with 8g dosage.
Domaine Drouhin Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2015Domaine Drouhin Oregon is a long-time favorite wine estate of the Murray family. We met winemaker Véronique Drouhin-Boss when she first embarked upon her Oregon winemaking adventure in the early 1990's and was releasing her first vintages of 1988, 1989 and 1990. Visiting Oregon wine country was a revelation back then, and the Drouhin family's positive influence on the Willamette Valley is legendary. Véronique Drouhin-Boss always seeks to capture the essence of what nature has provided in the estate's vineyards each year, rather than trying to dictate a particular style. The wines at Domaine Drouhin are hallmarked by elegance, finesse, purity, and the capacity to improve gracefully with age. Domaine Drouhin Oregon uses approximately 20% new oak for their Pinot Noirs, which allows the character of the wine and vintage to show through. Barrels are custom made in Burgundy, using oak from France's best forests. The goal is to produce Pinot Noirs with balance, elegance and finesse. Domaine Drouhin is home to 90 acres of hillside vineyards in the heart of Oregon's Red Hills of the Willamette Valley, producing stunning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that are noted internationally for their pure expression of fruit, superior balance, silky texture, and classical elegance. The 90 acres of hillside vineyards that ribbon the 225-acre estate are at the very heart of Domaine Drouhin wines. Situated atop the Dundee Hills, between 400 and 800 feet in elevation, the site was selected for its remarkable similarity in climate, latitude and aspect to the legendary vineyards of Burgundy. ' Domaine Drouhin remains one of the standards against which other Oregon Pinot Noirs must be measured.' - The Wine Advocate
Melville Estate Pinot Noir 2014Owned by father and son Ron and Chad Melville, Melville is an estate driven winery, which focuses upon Burgundy and Northern Rhone style wines. Located in the heart of Santa Rita Hills, in Santa Barbara County, the estate has 85 acres planted to vineyards. Winemaker Greg Brewer makes Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Viognier for the family. After having owned vineyards in Napa, Ron Melville came to Santa Rita and never looked back. Calculated composting, complex cover cropping practice and deficit irrigation, matched with a tremendous amount of crop reduction and canopy management are the critical components to Melville’s strength as wine growers. This is 100% Melville fruit from Melville's Sta. Rita Hills estate, and is a collection of 16 pinot noir clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de-stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2 + weeks of fermentation and 1 + week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly into neutral barrel (old French oak), where it remained sur lie without sulfur until June, when it was gently racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August. Yields were 3.6 lbs/vine (3.3 tons/acre).
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2018Loveblock is the project of husband and wife team, Kim and Erica Crawford. After selling their enormously popular brand Kim Crawford, they forged ahead with this organic vineyard in Marlborough, believing deeply in embracing a natural life and protecting the environment. Kim is the winemaker and has fashioned a deliciously pure and balanced Sauvignon with white peach, fig and herb notes in the nose and mouth. This will pair particularly well with sushi and sashimi, lemon grass-accented Asian fare, green salads and crispy asparagus dishes.