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Volume 9, Issue 2 – February 2016
Inside this issue:
February Selections, Cadence Coda, St Urbans Hof, Portier Quincy, Corsair Triple Smoke, AleSmith Grand Cru, St Michael Eppan PG, 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
Gran Familia NV Rioja
No question—the bottle looks pricey. This love- ly blend of Tempranillo with a little Graciano will do your table and wallet just fine. Located in the Rioja Alta region of Spain, this wine is made from grapes where the average age of the vines is 25 years old. There is no harshness here…just great flavors of fruit and spice with a little bit of vanilla spice from the eight months of aging in both American and French oak. This is a wine you must get a case of!!
$15.99 reg $14.09 club
La Carraia Orvieto 2014
Orvieto is not a wine you hear a lot about these days. A long time ago it was popular along with things like Soave and Lambrusco. Orvieto should come back into your rotation of wines. The grapes in this wine are Grechetto, Procanico and Malvasia. It is the Malvasia with its great fruit quality that will win you over. Citrus and apple aromas will appeal to your nose and palate. No oak here very fresh and tasty. An Old World wine for a Modern World.
$10.99 reg $9.79 club
Marietta Old Vine Red Lot #62
This winery has been a “go-to” winery for quality inexpensive Zinfan- del. In the words of the winery; “Ripe, juicy fruit and a lush mouth feel are the hallmarks of Old Vine Red, with peppery spice and dusty earth adding an extra level of richness. Moderate but focused tannins ensure this blend will stand up to almost any food”. It is primarily a blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah and plain old deliciousness.
$14.99 reg $13.49 club
Nino Negri Sfursat 2010
This is a very rare thing. Sfursat is a method used to raisin the grapes prior to fermentation. The grape is Nebbiolo and known locally as Chiavennasca. Made in the Valtellina region (Northern Italy), it is a rather complex wine featuring aromas of “cloves, cinnamon, and pepper with plum jam, raisins and tar notes”. It has great acidity and is full bodied. The winery suggests that you can age this wine 12 to 15 years—that’s coming from a winery established more than 100 years ago. Your wine education may never be the same.
Cadence Coda 2012
Wine regions don’t become famous overnight. It takes hard work and dedication from the pioneers who first thought that anywhere they stood was a good place to grow grapes. Washington state is well known for one large winery but it has many wineries that succeed both critically and commercially. One of those wineries is Cadence, located in the Red Mountain appelltion. While Cadence does make far more expensive wines it also makes this wine, Coda. According to the winery it means “ A music passage of more or less independent character introduced after the completion of the essential parts of a movement, so as to form a satisfactory conclusion”. That is exactly what this wine is—once the other wines have been made. This blend of 38% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot and 14% Petit Verdot stands on its own as one of the best bargains in excellent Washington wine. The winemaker, Ben Smith, describes it as “Bright raspberries on the nose are accompanied by the subtle wood spice notes and lovely Cabernet Franc floral accents. The palate is rich, plush, and silky textured yet retains surprising energy from the well balanced acidity. Supple tannins caress the long finish as berries and spice refuse to let go”. It consistently ranks well in various publications. If you like blends but would like to skip the price of Bordeaux wines then this is one to try.
$28.99 / bottle
Adult Juice box
St. Urbans-Hof Riesling QbA 2014
Oh Riesling! An absolutely beautiful wine! At your best you are perfect in every way…you can be tart, sweet, fruity, elegant, easy and so many other things. All of that is true and more when you drink real Riesling and not the thing that sometimes passes for Riesling these days. Real Riesling is well balanced and takes into account fruit, sugar and acidity. St. Urbans-Hof has all three. By fruit we mean ripe peachy flavors, by sugar we mean the amount of sweetness, and by acidity we mean it will light up your tongue and delight your taste buds. If you have delayed your Riesling experience wait no more; if you have been waiting to upgrade your Riesling game, your time has arrived
This Month’s Cellar Selection
Philippe Portier Quincy 2012
You need this in your cellar just because! You need it because the grape in this wine may be familiar by name but not by region: Sauvignon Blanc. It is the only grape allowed in the Quincy appellation. It is Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc that is old school without a new school price. It comes from a ridiculously small plot of land made by a man whose family has been making wine in the area for several generations. It is stainless steel Sauvignon Blanc that is nothing but the pure expression of the grape. If you are ready to move on from New Zealand (new world) to Quincy (old world), this bottle will transport you and your friends.
Where there is Smoke…
Corsair Small Batch Triple Smoke
You’d have to live in a cave not to know that whiskey is a hot category in the spirits industry, or living under a rock not to know that American whiskeys have been all the rage. The Corsair Distillery offers up a ridiculous amount of products..24 according to their website. If you have a certain flavor profile you’d like to try, there is a good chance they have a whiskey for you. Corsair was started when a couple of friends were trying to make biodiesel and one of them said it would be easier to make whiskey (pretty sure that’s the very short version of the story). This one though is all about the smoke. If you are a lover of intense smoky single malts or Mezcals then this should be your next bottle. Made from malted barley, it is then smoked by three different types of wood—Cherry, Peat and Beechwood. It is pot distilled and then put into new charred oak barrels. The intensity of this whiskey means that you are getting a complex aroma and flavor that can rarely be matched by anything else. You can drink it neat or put it into a cocktail. We think one of their recipes is a good bet for a cold February night. Triple Smoke Old Fashioned, 3 oz. Triple Smoke Whiskey, 1/4 oz Amber Agave, 2 Dashes Old Fashioned Bitters Combines all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass, add large ice cubes and garnish with a bing cherry.
$46.99/ 750ml bottle
AleSmith Grand Cru
Craft beer is having its moment. The good thing for those of us who love beer is that many different styles of beer have become available. AleSmith was started in 1995 in San Diego and has been inspired by classic European beers. Quite often beer is thought of as just a drink to quench one’s thirst, in this case nothing could be farther from the truth. The Grand Cru is a Belgian style beer that is chestnut colored with “sweet caramel malt, raisin, and plum-like character combines with the complex fermentation profile of our Belgian yeast strain and hints of bittersweet chocolate in the finish”. It pairs well with food and it will age nicely just like good wine.
$13.99/ 750ml bottle
St Michael Eppan Pinot Grigio 2014
Alto Adige in Northern Italy produces some of the best Pinot Grigio in the world. Also known as Pinot Gris, it is a delightful easy wine to like. The winery was started in 1915 and in 2000 was named Best Italian Winery by Gambero Rosso, a well respected Italian wine magazine. Only fermented in stainless steel, this wine has all the qualities you love and come to expect from PG—aromas of pears, apples and some citrus. If you are looking to expand your experience of Pinot Grigio this would be a good choice.
La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza 2007
The full name is Sociedad Vinicola de la Rioja Alta. Today it is simply known as La Rioja Alta. Arguably one of the best wineries in Spain in perhaps the most well known of all wine regions in Spain. Top quality Rioja is one of the best bargains you can get if you compare dollar for dollar to other regions of the world. If you are looking for aged wine you could do no better than Rioja. This particular wine is not made every year. It was made in 2005, not made in 2006, and here we have 2007. The winery is extremely selective when it comes to putting this blend together. Composed of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha, the former comes from their 30 year old La Cuesta and Montecillo vineyards and the latter from old goblet trained vines. The grapes are kept chilled as they are transported to the winery and the wines started barrel aging in 2008. The Tempranillo spent 36 months in American oak barrels and the Garnacha for 30 months! None of it was new barrels! The result? The Wine Advocate gave it 94 points. The wine is described as “outstanding, medium-high depth, dark-cherry red with an intense pinkish rim. Very intense to the nose, with outstanding spicy aromas of black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and vanilla enveloping fine notes of red berries. In the mouth, we enjoy a pleasant structure, balanced acidity and delicate, enveloping tannins. Broad finish, with a round, elegant aftertaste”. If you are looking for a special bottle of wine you can’t do much better than this for the money.