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Volume 9, Issue 3 – June/July 2016
Inside this issue:
June/July Selections, Larose Perganson, Thomas Sancerre R., Quenard Les Abymes, Jewel of Russia, The Bruery, B. Gautier Vouvray, 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.
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CUNE CRIANZA 2012
CUNE is the abbreviation for a group of wineries that is well respected and started by five brothers. Weve said it before but Spain continuously offers some of the best values to be had. Its pedigree is that it wanted to make wines like Bordeaux. This is mostly Tempranillo with a little Garnacha and Mazuelo. The wine aged in American oak possesses aromas of cherry, oak and a little spice. The wine was awarded 90 points from The Wine Advocate. An incredible value!
$13.99 reg $12.39 club
TINTERO ARNEIS 2014
There is a beautiful love story of a man who wandered to Piedmont and encountered a widow who was having a hard time doing all of the work herself on an estate. Of course they fell in love and now you have this wine! The grape here is Arneis and it may be-come your favorite white wine for the summer. Made sustainably, it has aromas of “ripe pears and limestone minerals”. It is a great easy drinking wine that won’t break the bank.
$14.99 reg $13.19 club
CHATEAU LAULERIE ROUGE 2014
Bergerac in France is located not too far from the famed Bordeaux region but with very affordable and drinkable wines. This wine is made from 100% Merlot which they treat very carefully in order to ensure the aromatic qualities of the grape and to maintain the very approachable tannins. It is a “full-bodied wine, with dark plum and mocha flavors that linger on the firm, savory finish”.
$11.99reg $10.10 club
Montaribaldi Rosato 2015
So many rosés out there and so little time! If you love Italian wines and particularly Piedmontese wines then this one is for you. It is made from the Nebbiolo grape and aged in stainless steel. It is left on the lees (spent yeast) for a short time. You see this method used in Muscadet and the side benefit is that it adds a bit of complexity to the wine. Here we have flavors of “watermelon, citus, cherry and pink flowers”. It would match well with grilled pork loin as well as salmon and tuna.
Chateau Larose Perganson 2009
Quite often when people think of Bordeaux they think of the incredibly high priced wines. Alas, there is a whole other world of Bordeaux that is not stratospheric in price and has a lot of options for the adventurous wine drinker. Chateau Larose has a long history (and yes, it is related to Larose Trintaudon) that is filled with great parcels of land and great winemaking. The latest news coming out of this Chateau is that it built new facilities for winemaking, barrel aging, bottling and storage. That is great news because it happened the same year as the vintage of this wine: which happened to be a fantastic vintage in Bordeaux. It was a cool and humid spring which then turned into a hot and dry summer. Hot and dry are optimal because the grapes don’t get rot if it rains and they are able to prosper in a healthy environment. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Each of those grapes adds a component that contributes to the whole thing—kind of like a recipe. It is then aged in oak barrels for 12 to 16 months. The winery describes it as having a powerful nose of spices, vanilla, plums, blackberries, dark chocolate, and toasted bread. It is a powerful wine that you should decant and let stand for about two hours. No doubt that you can age this for a while. One of the best values we have seen in a long time.
$25.99 / bottle
Paul Thomas Sancerre (Chavignol) Rouge 2014
The Loire Valley is a large region with many distinct and excellent wines. One of the most popular white wines is the Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre but it also produces red wine. This very small estate is located in the superb region of Chavignol, on the slopes of the even more impressive Les Mont Damnes. It is made from 100% Pinot Noir vines that are on average about 25 years old. The wine is a fantastic alternative to red Burgundy and its heady prices. This wine undergoes carbonic maceration—a technique which allows it to capture the color, delicate fruit and avoid the green tannins that can sometimes happen. Soft tannins and great acidity makes this a great wine to chill
slightly and pair with some hard salami and other charcuterie.
This Month’s Cellar Selection
Andre et Michel Quenard Les Abymes Savoie 2015
Located in the far eastern part of France on what looks like a scene straight out of The Sound of Music is the region of Savoie. While it is definitely snow capped and Alpine, on the estate of Andre and Michel you will also find fig and olive trees. That is because the steepness of the slopes can expose the agriculture in such a way that it benefits from the maximum exposure of the sun.
The grape used here is the local Jacquere and it is the perfect grape to have in your cellar for the summer. It is low in alcohol, just a bit floral and with some minerality that is sure to brighten up your palate. According to Kermit Lynch who is the importer of this wine, it is really a wine meant to be quaffed. We can’t argue with that.
Jewel of Russia Vodka
There was a time when vodka was just vodka. When there were brands but no cachet. Then came Grey Goose and it changed the game. In fact it upped the game because everybody wanted to be in the luxury vodka business. Some have come and gone but others have stayed. The Jewel of Russia is a vodka that flies below the radar but only if you haven’t seen the packaging or tasted it. Although “technically” vodka is supposed to be tasteless and colorless but because of the different ingredients used to make vodka there is definitely a flavor to vodka. Vodka pretty much is made of anything—we’ve seen potato, corn, rye, wheat, etc. If you can distill it you can make vodka from it. The Jewel of Russia is made from the classic hard Russian winter wheat and rye. While wheat has a softer flavor profile, rye is what usually gives spirits a distinct edge and flavor. So although you may not be a rye fan in other things, you may welcome this blend since it is so well balanced. In addition to using wheat and rye it uses “pure deep-well artesian water”. It is a full bodied vodka that can be enjoyed on the rocks or in a classic vodka martini. And if you are still wondering about the bottle design, it is based on a 300 year old bottle design made modern. Everything that is old is new again.
$36.99/ 750ml bottle
Oysters and Beer
The Bruery Terreux Rueuze
We may write a lot about wine, but beer is a big player at the table. The craft beer options of-fer such diversity that there are great options for matching with food. A good example is this one from a brewery in California (even though the name kind of sounds European) that is located in Orange County. The Brewery tends to focus on barrel aged beers and produces several seasonal and experimental beers. We’ve written about aged beers before and this one is a blend of different aged lambics done in a Belgian style. Bruery describes it as having notes of “hay, barnyard funk, apricots and olives”. Bruery also thinks it would pair well with mussels, oysters, ceviche and smoked salmon.
Benoit Gautier Vouvray “Argilex” Sec 2014
Chenin Blanc (the grape in this wine) is truly a chameleon grape. It can be made dry or sweet or in between or sparkling. The wines can be light or intensely complex. You could construct a dinner entirely around Chenin Blanc. Or you could start with just one—this one. Sec means dry so this is a perfect aperitif wine. Stainless steel and maturation on the lees gives this wine a complexity that has included descriptions like quince, yellow apples and almonds. A unique wine worthy of your time.
Cadence Winery Tapteil Vineyard Red Mountain Red Wine 2012
Cadence Winery produces wines that keep coming up in conversation as one of the best kept secrets. It comes up but it never goes far and wide in terms of distribution because it is such a tiny winery: a tiny winery that focuses on Bordeaux varietals. It is a winery that produces several labels such as Red Mountain, Cara Mia, Ciel du Cheval, Urban Winery and of course Tapteil. The Tapteil Vineyard is the oldest vineyard that Cadence has in the Red Mountain appellation. The vineyard sits above the Yakima River where the Indians were called Tapteilmin. This 2012 is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Cabernet Franc, and 25% Merlot. The vintage in general received such amazing accolades that the winery was forced to talk about wine scores even though it doesn’t like to talk about wine scores.
Last year in their newsletter they described the wine as such, “The nose opens with cherries and dust, completely evocative of the vineyard on a warm harvest afternoon. There is beautiful deep berry intensity on the palate. This leads to the supplest Tapteil tannins I’ve tasted in a long time, quiet acidity and a powerful finish that doesn’t stop. An expressive vintage, completely open right now but destined for long term greatness as well”. The newsletter also mentioned the scores: 93 Wine Advocate, 93 Wine Spectator, and from Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 1st Place for “Wines With Sense of Place”. Perhaps there is a place for this wine on your table or in your cellar.