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Volume 8, Issue 4 July / August 2015
Inside this issue:
July / August Selections; Riesling, Kali-Hart, Muga, Duke Bourbon, Gray Sail, Beaujolais Blanc, 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
Redentore Pinot Grigio 2014
Pinot Grigio may be consumed year round but there is no doubt that enjoying this wine in the summer is almost a must. 100% Pinot Grigio, all stainless steel and no oak aging gives this wine a fresh clean flavor. It has all the flavors you have come to expect from PG—fresh citrus fruit liveliness, ripe fleshy fruit flavors and good acidity. Made from younger vines of the De Stefani estate—a well respected producer in Veneto.
$15.99 reg $14.09 club
Domaine Lafage Grenache Noir 2013
Grenache may not be your first thought for a red wine but perhaps it’s time to branch out. This winery is located in the south of France—in fact so far south it is practically on the border with Spain, thus the IGP Cotes Catalanes appellation. This wine has all the flavors of berry fruits, red, black and blue. It is made from old vines Grenache and made in a style that lets the fruit come thru. Perfect for everything from steak to chili, from curry to pasta.
$14.99 reg $13.29 club
Chateau du Rouet Rose 2014
What would summer be without Rose? Sure it would still be nice but Rose in summer is a little like bubbles on New Year’s Eve and so much more if it is a Rose from Provence. It is made from 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah and has carefully been fermented to preserve all the fruity fresh flavors without it being sweet. Still, it will have all the red berry flavors you expect but it will also be a wine of substance.
$14.99 reg $13.19 club
It’s an ART
Artezin Zinfandel 2012
You may realize what this wine is all about: The Art of Zinfandel. Zinfandel is an uniquely American red grape that should not be confused with the ever popular White Zin. Zinfandel has become a much beloved wine for all the flavors it possesses. It has dark fruit flavors and aromas, great spices such as pepper and on quite a few occasions has notes of jam. This is a full bodied Zinfandel—or as the winery calls it, a “zinny zin”. This wine can take you from burger to late night fire pit to good dry aged sausages sliced and accompanied by some cheese.
Domdechant Werner Hochheimer Holle Riesling Kabinett 2011
Yes! We know that Riesling is very popular these days but did you know that Riesling is also one of the greatest grapes in the world? Seriously!!! In Germany, which is arguably the greatest place in the world to grow it, it is accorded a very high level of reverence. Even though you may not understand German, if you took a little time to learn how the labels work, you would be amazed at what you would learn.
First, Domdechant Werner is the name of the winery/estate. Rheingau is the region in Germany that possesses some of the most amazing soil in the world for growing Riesling. As such it is not just the soil but also the climate. This estate possesses land in some of the best parcels of vineyards. Wine at this level of quality should probably cost a lot more. Great Riesling possesses one of the truly great quality-to-price ratios. The 2011 vintage was a spectacular vintage for the estate (mind you, the estate dates back more than 230 years). The Hocheimer Holle part of the label refers to the village (Hochheim) and to one of the vineyards in which the winery has holdings (Holle), Riesling is the grape of course and Kabinett refers to when the grapes were picked. The grapes were picked fully ripe and although this is a sweeter wine, it possesses the kind of acidity you could expect from a top grower of Riesling. This is pure Riesling at its best.
$23.99 / btl
Take it to H(e)art
Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay 2013
Good, fun Chardonnay from California. Good, tasty Chardonnay from Monterey. That’s what this wine is. It is100% Chardonnay grown on the estate of vineyards of Talbott. You want tropical fruit? It has it. You want lush flavors? It has that too. You want some elegant French oak but not crazy over the top? Yes, this has it all in one easy to open screw cap bottle.
Monterey is north of Los Angeles and probably not a place people think of for wine (Napa and Sonoma seem to get the most notice). The weather here is pretty great for growing grapes. There are several tiers of wines at Talbott winery with the Kali Hart Chardonnay probably being the most gulpable of all. This is an easy wine made in a style that is also easy to like. Chill the bottle, unscrew the cap and your summer can begin.
This Month’s Cellar Selection
Muga Rioja Reserva 2010
There is delicious simplicity to the excellence provided by Muga. Yes, you may be thinking traditional Rioja but in this case traditional also means really good. Muga is an exceptional winery that has been making wine for a long time and has not become complacent. This wine is made from Tempranillo with a bit of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. It is aged for 24 months before it is bottled and then spends another 12 months in bottle. In other words, this wine is ready to drink but will definitely keep in your cool cellar for a while. The wine has flavors of cherries and other red fruits, vanilla spice and even a hint of leather perhaps. Muga is one of the best wineries in Spain and it can be one of the best wines in your cellar.
$26.99/ btl 500ml.
It seems that almost every spirit has its day and this is Bourbon’s day. Bourbon and American whiskey are enjoying a renaissance like no other. Everyone it seems is making Bourbon—whether it is a big importer or an independent distiller in some small town in Massachusetts.
Perhaps more than any other spirit Bourbon is a quintessentially American spirit. Bourbon is defined, primarily, as a whiskey made from at least 51% corn mash. This corn mash along with the barrels it’s aged in contribute to the almost sweet like flavor of this spirited libation. One other thing—Bourbon can be made anywhere, it doesn’t only have to be made in Kentucky although many people think it is.
In the case of Duke Bourbon, you would be right to assume that it is made in the land of the Derby. You can also assume, correctly, that it is made in honor of John Wayne, the great American actor. In fact it is made with the cooperation of his son, Ethan. Apparently John Wayne loved a good drink and some people got it in their heads to produce one that reflected The Duke.
Made from the requisite corn along with some rye and barley, it has been distilled in small batches and aged in heavy char new American oak barrels. The distillery talks about it opening with “hints of vanilla…toffee…midpalate of some pepperspice and earthy balance…finishing with richness and complexity”. You could definitely drink this straight after dinner or in a cocktail such as a Manhattan. No matter which way you choose, it will be a satisfying drink.
Grey Sail Hazy Day Beer
Unless you have been a hermit for the past few years you know that Beer has been booming. All styles of beer have become far more prevalent and the regional production of Beer has exploded. A state like Rhode Island, where this brewery is located, has quite a few breweries. Although Grey Sail has only been in existence since 2010, the owners had been thinking about it for over 15 years. The Hazy Day Beer is a Belgian style white (wit) Beer that is unfiltered. It is only avail-able for a short time and makes the perfect summer sipping Beer if you are anywhere near Westerly (if you are local) or with your friends (no matter where you are). Yeast and some spice are characteristic of this Beer…and so will be the quick disappearance once you taste it.
Not Red and Not Nouveau
Jean-Paul Brun Beaujolais Blanc 2014
We’ve said in the past that Beaujolais is not limited to the Nouveau stuff in November and we are now saying it is not limited to Red. Beaujolais Blanc is one of the wines we probably see the least but it deserves a spot at the dining table. Made from Chardonnay and made in stainless steel without any oak, it is a pleasure to drink with an alcohol level of around 12%. This makes it perfect for hot summer days when high alcohol Chardonnays would be too much. If you are a lover of nonoaked Chardonnay, this is for you!
Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico 2013
While the New World of wine (usually anything not in Europe) has been offering terrific wine options, the Old World should not be forgotten. Quite often the New World has looked to the Old World for inspiration or a departure point.
Italy is part of the Old World and one of the most diverse wine regions in the world. If you look at a wine map of Italy you will see that Italians make wine everywhere in the country, a very unique attribute. Chianti is probably one of the first Italian wines everyone know. They probably also know it is made with the Sangiovese grape. Of course it is so much more than that. The region of Chianti—and particularly Chianti Classico is very special and the wines must adhere to the rules and regulations of the DOCG. These rules are strict when it comes to the planting, harvest, yield, grapes, vinification, etc. While there have been changes to the grapes allowed in Chianti Castellare uses only the traditional grapes of Sangioveto, Canaiolo and other complementary grapes. Not only does the winery use traditional grapes, it also harvests lower quantity of grapes for greater quality and the winery is a sanctuary for birds that are rare. The vineyards are devoid of synthetic chemicals and hunting—both of which threaten the birds depicted on the label. The winery describes it as “bright ruby red in color, this Chianti Classico shows well-integrated aromas of tart red cherries, tobacco, sunbaked earth, and a hint of cedar spice”.