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Volume 9, Issue 3 – April/May 2016
Inside this issue:
April/May Selections, Soos Creek Cab Franc, Venge Scout’s Honor, P. Jolivet Sancerre, Barnheim W.W., Rodenbach Vintage, Inama Soave, and Betsy’s Corner
Special points of interest: Wine of the Month Club
Planning a PARTY? Let Betsy help you select just the right beverages!
Stop in, email, or Phone us! Let us help you with your next party.
860.889.4637 Email us! Winetowne@sbcglobal.net
Domaine Bel Eouve Rosé 2015
It is Rosé season again. After what seems like a pretty mild winter here in New England, it’s time to think about warmer weather wine. This Rosé from the classic Rosé region of Provence is mostly made up of Grenache with some Cinsault and Syrah as well. It is a lovely wine which is the color of light pink rose petals that is not sweet but has the elegance of delicious fruit. This is true Provence Rosé at an affordable price.
$12.99 reg $10.79 club
Condes de Albarei 2014
The grape is Albariño from the famous region of Rias Baixas located in the Northwestern corner of Spain. This part of Spain is known as Green Spain because of its lush countryside. This delicious white is a delight to drink with its aromas of tropical fruit and juicy citrus flavors. It is made at the Adega Condes cooperative and what a bar-gain. With an alcohol level of just 12% it makes the perfect aperitif and accompaniment to lighter foods.
$12.99 reg $10.39 club
Marco Porello Barbera d’Alba Filatura 2013
Barbera is one of the best bargain red wines coming out of Italy. You’d be hard pressed to find a wine that provides so much quality for the money. This Piedmontese wine is a single vineyard wine (unusual at this price level). No overly oaky treatment here; it is aged in barriques that lets all the aromas of red fruit come through and it has a long vibrant finish.
$12.99 reg $10.97 club
Sea and Sun
Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay 2013 (Santa Lucia)
Styles of wine are very wide ranging and this one is made in a very popular style. It is rich, intense, creamy, and full of fruit. This wine is grown in Monterey in the splendor of full sun and with proximity to the Monterey Bay. The wine is aged 12 to 15 months in French oak barrels and it is balanced with good acidity. It will make your mouth water for another sip of rich tropical fruit “balanced by warm butterscotch and subtle coconut flavors”.
Into The Spotlight
Soos Creek Cabernet Franc 2012
Cabernet Franc is an unsung hero in the wine business. Sure there are some wines on the right bank of Bordeaux that are Cabernet Franc based and it plays a role in the reds of Loire Valley. It may have a supporting role in other Bordeaux wines but at Soos Creek, a winery in Eastern Washington, it has a starring role. Soos Creek’s approach to winemaking is as art rather than strictly as science. The final goal is to have a wine that “always beckon[s] you back for another sip”. That philosophy must work because the winery is consistently on top rated lists. And yes, while they do think of winemaking as art they have been very deliberate in the grapes they choose to use at their winery (only Bordeaux varietals), particular yeast strains, and vineyard sites. All of this is meticulously plotted to bring the best out of the grape. Here is what Steve Tanzer had to say. “Bright medium red. Expressive aromas of redcurrant , strawberry, cherry, mocha, earth and dried flowers. Lush and silky showing lovely inner-mouth floral complexity to its pliant red berry flavors, finished with a fine dusting of tannins”. Interestingly, this Cabernet Franc shows less of a herbal quality than the 2012s here that are based on Cabernet Sauvignon. A note-worthy value, and already quite appealing owing to its seamless texture( 90 points) .
$38.99 / bottle
Venge Scout’s Honor 2013
The Venge family’s commitment to Napa Valley is strong and establishing outstanding vineyards and making great wine seems to be in their DNA. This wine by Kirk Venge continues the legacy of great winemaking. Named after their late Labrador retriever, it is a blend of 71% Old Vine Zinfandel, 15% Dry Farmed Petite Sirah, 10% Old Vine Charbono, and 4% Mountain Vineyard Syrah. They say it can be cellared for another 5-8 years. This is what they have to say about the wine: “This may be the best Scout’s Honor Venge has yet made. Absolutely glorious blueberry and black raspberry fruit, some truffle, licorice and spice are all present in this full bodied, opulent, fleshy and successful wine. It is a hedonistic fruit bomb, for sure,
but also intellectually pleasing. This is a big, rich, classic Napa wine from a great, great vintage” 94 point Wine Advocate.
This Month’s Cellar Selection
Pascal Jolivet Sancerre 2013
You may know Sauvignon Blanc but do you know Sancerre? The former is a grape and the latter is a region in the Loire Valley of France that uses the aforementioned grape. Before there was New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc there was Sancerre. With its bracing acidity and aromas of bright citrus fruit it is great to have on hand when you want to just hand someone a glass of white wine as an aperitif or with lighter seafood. It is made from three different vineyards that allow for blending of complimentary components and then fermented in stainless steel for a clean fresh taste. It is a good modern example of Sauvignon Blanc from the Old World.
Bernheim Wheat Whiskey 7 Years Aged
Whiskey and particularly bourbon sales have exploded in the last several years. Everyday new whiskeys are presented to consumers. While you may see a lot of bourbons and ryes on the market, you don’t see that many wheat whiskeys. Bourbon has to be at least 51% corn, wheat whiskey has to be at least 51% wheat. This Kentucky wheat whiskey was the first wheat whiskey to be released into national distribution since Prohibition. Bernheim is mostly wheat and thus has a softer mouth feel than whiskey made from corn or rye. It is a good choice if you are not sure whether you will like the stronger tastes of such things as Rittenhouse Rye, Elijah Craig or even Evan Williams. It is aged in new charred oak barrels and has no coloring, flavorings or blending agents. The seven year age statement on the bottle means that the youngest blended whiskey in the bottle is seven years old – that means that there could be older whiskeys in the mix. The mellower wheat flavor is also great in cocktails. You can substitute it for bourbon or rye in many cocktails if you want to try a whiskey cocktail such as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. One of the recipes we saw and found intriguing was the Bernheim Blossom. It doesn’t require esoteric ingredients and is fairly easy to make.Bernheim Blossom
1 1/2 oz. Bernheim Original Wheat Whiskey
1/2 oz. St. Germain
1/4 oz. Cointreau
1/2 oz. Orange juice
Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
$44.99/ 750ml bottle
Yes. Beer can age.
Rodenbach Vintage Oak Aged
We’ve written about Rodenbach before and how unique it is. The craft beer movement has brought more attention to all styles of beer. This beer is bottled only after brewers have selected the cask which has produced the best beer after two years of aging. They describe it as such: “Its taste is complex and rounded, intense and refreshing. It is characterized by an acidic, apply fruitiness combined with caramel, wild honey and oak with a touch of vanilla and cherry. The aroma consists of touches of caramel and oak, as well as green apples mixed with honey and chocolate. The slightly sour, fruity aftertaste is long and nicely balanced, just like a Grand Cru wine”.
$16.49/ 25 oz. bottle
Inama Classico Soave 2014
Luckily for us wineries like Inama are still around. This wine is made from 100% Garganega grapes grown on the hill (i.e. Classico) and it is fermented and matured in stainless steel. This brings a fresh vibrant experience that is unlike many other white wines. The Wine Enthusiast gave it a score of 90 points with the following description: “This crisp, savory white offers layers of white peach, tart Granny Smith apple and lemon-lime flavors. It’s vibrant and well balanced, with refreshing acidity. An almond note signals the close”.
Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2012
When Chuck Wagner graduated from high school, his father offered him the opportunity to start a family winery. You could say that the rest is history. A history filled with exemplary Cabernets that have garnered great reviews and many fans along the way. While they have expanded their fortunes and created other wine brands, it is Caymus Cabernet that is the foundation. They produce two cabernets: Napa and Special Selection. Special Selection is not produced every year. So how is it chosen? Only the very best barrels of Napa Cabernet become Special Selection. This is the kind of wine you buy for a special event. There is nothing like Caymus—especially if you are seeking out a quintessentially Napa Valley California Cabernet to experience. What perhaps sets this wine apart from many others is that it is eminently drinkable. They let the grapes hang on the vines and do some crop thinning to let the sun reach the grapes. It is all about maturation here. Caymus Cabs offer a multitude of aromas including “cocoa, cassis and vanilla” No vintage of this wine has ever received anything below a 90 rating from The Wine Spectator. Both James Laube of The Wine Spectator and Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate shower this winery with high praise. This is a wine that is in high demand. We are lucky to be able to offer it.