September 2015

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Volume 8, Issue 5             September 2015

Inside this issue:

September Selections; Siegrist, Rombauer , Greywacke, Borsci, Luminary, High West, Betsy’s Corner


Special points of interest: Wine of the Month Club

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September Selections

Guenoc Claret 2012

Claret is an old word that has generally meant Bordeaux, in other words, a blend. In this wine it is  Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Malbec. This is a full bodied wine filled with spices and tannins and dark fruits. It is aged in American and French oak but only a portion of the oak was new so it isn’t overwhelmed with lots of oak. This definitely is a good one for the steaks or mushrooms on the
grill…because Summer doesn’t have to end!

$13.99 reg $11.99 club

Flor de Verano Albarino 2014

Flor de Verano means
“the flower of summer”! The warm days of Summer continue well beyond Labor Day and this Albarino is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. It has great brightness, acidity and citrusy flavors. The Rias Baixas region in Spain is creating some of the most wonderful white wines. The winery practices minimal intervention and thus brings you a wine that hasn’t been overly manipulated. Just pour!

$15.99 reg $14.29 club

El Coto Rioja 2010

Spain keeps serving up unbelievable good value. This wine made from Tempranillo has awesome fruit and body. It’s not going to hit you over the head but it will seduce your palate. The wine spends 12 months in American oak barrels and at least 6 months in bottle before being released. One of the great things about Spain is you can get aged wines for a lot less than other regions.

$13.99 reg $11.99 club

trio 38.27

Going back to Cali…

Honig  Sauvignon Blanc 2013

Honig Sauvignon Blanc 2013Sauvignon Blanc is a chameleon: New Zealand’s have a reputation for being grassy; French ones  have a rep for being more tart citrus. This wine being from California has it’s own unique take. Yes, it is citrusy but it also takes on a slight bit of richness with the use of a small amount of Semillon and a very tiny amount of Muscat — a grape so aromatic it is like perfume. This is a wine that takes you straight from sipping as an aperitif to having it go with some lighter fish to cheese to “oh there’s still some left” after dinner.


Germany: Not just Riesling

Siegrist  Blanc de Noir 2013

Siegrist Blanc de Noir 2013It can safely be said that Germany’s reputation in the wine business has rested upon Riesling. It is one of the great noble grapes but it is not the only game in town. There are many other grapes and many other styles of Riesling other than the sweet one that is currently making the rounds. Quite often you don’t hear about wineries that are smaller and have a passion and devotion for making great quality wine. The Siegrist Winery is all about quality of wine and diversity of grapes. It is located in the Palatinate region of Germany, part of which borders France’s famed Alsace region—a region well known for its wine. This region is also known as Pfalz. The winery has just about 14 hectares it farms and makes wine in a very traditional way. Although they haven’t been making wine for a very long time it wasn’t until 1974 that they decided to gradually change the focus to making quality wine. This Blanc de Noir is made from Pinot Noir and is called Blanc de Noir — white from black, because the flesh of the Pinot Noir grape is white but the skin is black, i.e. purple. Thus they are able to make a white wine by pressing it but not leaving it on the skins. At 12.5% alcohol it is well balanced and has great minerality. Its depth will remind you of Burgundy.

$18.99 / btl

Come back to Merlot

 Rombauer Merlot 2010

 Rombauer Merlot 2010 Ah…Merlot. The grape maligned in the movie Sideways. Yes, it got unfair treatment in that movie but the fact is that it is a wonderful grape. After all it is the grape of the famous Chateau Petrus. Rombauer, the maker of the famous Chardonnay makes other wines of course. This wine is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Petit Verdot. A blend that you can find in Bordeaux and of course would be a good option for those of you who like blends. The Carneros region where the grapes for this wine were grown has a reputation for excellence. We don’t think we can describe it better than the winery does: “aromas of tobacco and cedar intertwine with plum and boysenberry…subtle tannins round out the texture”. Also it will age nicely for a least a few more years.

$29.99/ btl

This Month’s Cellar Selection

Greywacke  Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc 2014Cellar selection doesn’t necessarily mean wines that you can put away to age for a while. Sometimes they are wine you can just have on hand when you have a hankering for a wine and the store isn’t open. Sauvignon Blanc is always a good wine to have on hand as an aperitif or just for general drinking. This one is a bit more complex than a lot of the Sauvignon Blancs you get from New Zealand. To start, part of it is fermented with indigenous yeast also it is kept on the lees. Lees are spent yeast that add flavor to wine. In the end we are talking about a wine that is deliciously decadent “reminiscent of star jasmine and citrus blossom…citrus and cassis flavors…ripe and succulent”.

$21.99/ btl


Borsci S. Marzano Liqueur

Borsci S. Marzano LiqueurEvery wine, liquor and beer has a story. Some of those stories are recent and others are so old and historic that the recipe for making them is a closely held secret.  Italy has so many liqueurs, digestives and elixirs that we only see a few of them in the USA. Technically, the label of this bottle states that it is an “elisir”— an elixir. The word is derived from the Ara-bic word Al Iksir and generally has meant an herbal treatment. It’s all a very long and interesting history and quite often involves monks. So what exactly do we have here? Quite often in Europe you will end a meal with a digestif, something to settle your stomach after a meal.  The very short but complicated history of Borsci S. Marzano is that Guiseppe Borsci back in 1840 inherited a recipe and worked on the formula until he got what we essentially have today as this liqueur.  What’s in it? It’s a secret. It is herbs and spices and alcohol. It is dark and complex but also very versatile.  You can put it in your coffee or you can pour it over ice cream. You can make cocktails with it or you can end your evening with it—contemplating the essence of the universe, reflecting on what a great meal you just had, discerning the flavors of some magical elixir composed by men and thought of as a “philosophical stone.” Oh and from what we hear, it is part of the original Tiramisu recipe which you can find on their website

$32.99/ bottle

Marvelous Night for a Moondance

Luminary Red Blend 2012

Luminary Red Blend 2012Imagine a full moon. Imagine being on a boat, looking at completely calm water and the light reflecting off the glasslike surface. That is what the label of this wine is like. The wine is unlike anything we have seen. It is a blend made from arguably some of the best vineyards in the western United States—, Horse Heaven Hills, Edna, Alexander, and Napa. The wineries? Pine Ridge, Double Canyon, Chamisal, and Seghesio. The grapes? Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot. All of it matured in French oak and only some of it new. The flavors and aromas “cherries…berries…cocoa…spice. ..bright acid…subtle wood nuances.” Be one of the first to get on board this never seen before project.


No Hiking Required

High West Whiskey American Prairie Bourbon

High West Whiskey American Prairie Bourbon High West has legions of devotees and the goal of making ex-cellent and diverse spirits. This Bourbon is no different. The mashbill is 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley malt so you know it’s going to have some nice sweet flavors but there will be a little bit of rye spice in there. A great sipping whiskey or one to use in a cocktail—perhaps a Boulevardier or Manhattan. Also they donate 10% of the sales of this whiskey to the American Prairie Reserve—a place that is aiming to be just like Lewis and Clark would have seen.


Betsy Betsy’s Corner

Sono Montenidoli Il Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi 2012 and Sono Montenidoli  Il Garrulo Chianti Colli Senesi Ω2012 and 2013

A Garrulo is a noisy bird which the winery encountered during the making of the first harvest of this wine in 1989. It had been a difficult year to make the wine. It had been a cold and rainy Summer and the grapes were waterlogged. Still, they harvested them, dried them on trellises and did the best they knew how. They combined some grapes that had dried with some of the unblemished grapes. The results were phenomenal. The wine turned out to be rich and with a beautiful color. It also turned out to be about 12% alcohol which meant it wasn’t an overwhelmingly alcoholic wine. It would work well with food and was well suited for those who were watching their alcohol intake. After that they just couldn’t abandon this great wine. Ever since then they have been making this wine with the traditional grape combination consisting of 75% Sangiovese, 20% Canaiolo, 3% Trebbiano Gentile, and 2% Malvasia del Chianti. Yes, the last two grapes are white but they add a subtleness and an aroma that makes this a more complex wine than your average Chianti. This is the Chianti to buy if you are looking for tradition. Both 2012 and 2013 vintages were very good with 2012 being hotter than 2013. If you were to look up the ratings the difference between the two is very minimal. Here you have the opportunity to examine, taste and enjoy two different vintages from the same estate — this doesn’t happen often.

$23.99/btl (each)