Wine Information & News

Great Summer Sippers - Vinho Verde White & Rose

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       We don't always think of Portugal when you think about wonderful summer wines.  But the Vinho Verde White and Roses are refreshing and crisp wines.  Vinho Verde is an ideal wine pairing for salads, seafood, and Asian cuisine, and can be served alone or as an aperitif.

Vinho Verde is Portugal’s northernmost wine producing region. It’s located on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula in northern Portugal. The White Vinho Verde wines are made with a blend of several grape varieties including Arinto, Azal, Trajadura, Loureiro, and Alvarinho.  And the Red grape varieties include Alvarelhão, Amaral, Borraçal, Espadeiro, Padeiro. 

Here are our two favorites:
  Ciconia Vinho Verde:   88 Pts Wine & Spirits Magazine - Very lively, with pineapple and peach flavors that are fresh, clean and snappy. Features mineral and cream on the finish. (Grapes:  Arinto, Avesso & Azal)

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  Lima Vinho Verde Rose Encostas:  The aromas are fairly bursting with fresh red berries, such as strawberry and raspberry along with more subtle notes of citrus. (Grapes:  75% Souzao, 15% Borraçal and 10% Espadeiro)IMG 20170814 101425

Refreshing Summer Sippers!

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Riesling wines are great anytime but they are especially refreshing as chilled, summer sippers! We are featuring a classic German Riesling, the 2015 Heinz Eifel Shine Riesling. It has brisk, clean flavors of citrus fruits and apples and pears as well. The slight sweetness is perfectly balanced by a nice crisp tartness. The Shine earned an 87-point rating from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

The Radius Riesling shows how superbly well Riesling has adapted to Washington State. The Radius shows a very similar taste profile as the Shine and both wines are excellent with Asian and Indian cuisines or just by themselves as great aperitifs. Both wines are great values as well!

Refreshing Summer Sparklers

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Sparkling wines from Spain known as Cava are some of the most versatile wines around! They are light, crisp, very flavorful and very reasonably priced. They are great for wedding toasts or for casual parties, they go well with appetizers, Asian food and especially shellfish like clams and mussels. Cava is also perfect for mimosas or any other drink calling for sparkling wine.

The Conde de Caralt Cava is perfectly typical with a fresh perfume of cut flowers and citrus fruits with hint of toasty yeast in the finish. The Rondel Platinum Cava is more of a premium product with the typical nose and flavors plus a much longer finish and more body and structure.

Sauvignon Blanc: Old World vs New World!

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Sauvignon Blanc is originally from France but now it is grown all over the world in a myriad of styles. Here we compare a classic, Old World Sauvignon Blanc from Touraine in the Loire Valley to a New Worlder from New Zealand. The Pure Loire Sauvignon Blanc beautifully expresses the terroir of where it was grown; it shows minerality, crispness, and scents of fresh white flowers.

The Fire Road Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand expresses the bolder aspects of New World winemaking; the wine bursts with bright citrus juice notes, orange peel, and tropical blossoms. The 2015 recently earned an 89 point rating from the Tasting Panel Magazine.

Ready, Set, Grill! Two wines perfect to have at the grill

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We are featuring two wines from two of the greatest grilling cultures in the world; Argentina and Australia! Both countries know their grilling and they make wines to match their grilled cuisine. The 2014 Phebus Mendoza Malbec Reserve earned 88 pts. from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and the 2014 Red Knot Shiraz from McLaren Vale in Australia earned 90 pts from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Both wines are big bold and spicy and will go great with your next grilling adventure!

Two Great Old World Red Blends!

 

 

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Two great Red Blends from the Old World where blending is a way of life!

2012 Villa Lanata Baccanera, 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Barbera, from the Piedmont hills in Northern Italy, one of the greatest wine regions in the world! The native Italian grape Barbera gives the wine the signature earthiness of Italian wines and the Cabernet gives the wine the New World ripeness and deep blackberry and blueberry flavors everyone is looking for in a blend these days! 

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2013 Paxis Red from Portugal. A blend of several indigenous grapes including the Noble Grape, Touriga Nacional which is the most important grape in the blend for Port wine. 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast and it made their Top 100 Best Buys list for 2016. This blend will stun you with its long lasting, deep and complex flavors including red and black fruits, dried figs and tobacco!paxisand 2

Southern Belle Red 2014

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The sought after yet hard to find Pappy Van Winkle bourbon makes its way into the wine world with Southern Belle Red from Spain; this wine is aged in Pappy barrels!

According to the winemaker:

"Southern Belle is a blend of syrah and monestrell from the DO Murcia in Southern Spain which is then aged for a period of time in Van Winkle Bourbon barrels.  The length of time in Van Winkle barrels varies depending on how many uses they've had, the wine, the year, and many other variables.  There is no set formula but I know the wine I'm trying to create and use the barrels as much as needed to get it.  I want the wine to have bourbon influence but still maintain its integrity as a fine wine.  I don't want a freaky bourbon wine.  Bourbon is an element of complexity not dominant.  Many people who taste the wine and don't know there is bourbon influence would not necessarily smell or taste bourbon in the wine. I like that.  I've been making this wine since the 2005 vintage so I've learned a huge amount about the use of these special barrels and I think this 2014 vintage is the best one we've made.  I think with the first couple of wines, we were too discreet with the use of the barrels.  The 2014 is more redolent of Bourbon in the aroma yet more subtle in the mouth. My overall goal, as with all the wines we make, is to make a seamless, delicious, drinkable fine wine.

 

The idea to use the bourbon barrels came over dinner I shared with my buddy Julian Van Winkle at a Southern Foodways Alliance meeting at Blackberry Farm.  It was literally as simple as an idea that came up in conversation.   Hey, let's do something together.  Hey, what about putting wine in used bourbon barrels? Okay, I'll send you some.  I don't know if you've ever seen old, used bourbon barrels, but they're ugly.  When the winemakers first saw the barrels, they flat out refused to put wine anywhere near them.  But, eventually they did and the result is in the bottle."

Grgich Hills Cabernet Sauvignon and Book

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We have the perfect gift for the wine loving reader in your family, or the book loving wine drinker! This Grgich Hill Estate Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon comes with "A Glass Full of Miracles" is the long-awaited autobiography of Miljenko "Mike" Grgich, Napa Valley legend and Vintner Hall of Fame inductee.

 

 This wine is made from some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the Napa Valley, planted in 1959 to the Inglenook clone (also known as Niebaum Cabernet Sauvignon #29) on St. George rootstock in Yountville. Closer to San Pablo Bay than warmer Rutherford, this relatively cool region allows the grapes plenty of time to develop unique flavor characteristics. This complex wine with moderate tannins is aged in French oak for 21 months then moved to large oak casks for six additional months.

Wine Wednesday: Rosé

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Rosé is the perfect summertime wine, and we have some amazing selections! Today we are highlighting three different ones.

 

Armas de Guera is a Spanish Rosé, it is a dry floral rosé with strawberry and mineral notes, and pairs well with white meat and pizza.

Encostas Do Lima is a Portuguese Rosé, it is, according to the wine advocate, "A refreshing, fruit forward, juicy effort that has a touch of effervescence, the 2015 Rose offers tons of ripe red fruits, flowers and spice in a medium-bodied, supple, ever so slightly off dry style."

Last but certainly not least is the Ameztoi rose, this vibrant rosé is made from a mix of red and white indigenous grapes and is bottled with a little residual carbon to give it a light spritz. Candied red fruits combine with a lime infused edge makes this a wildly intriguing rosé.

Monday Motivation: Almodi Petit

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If you're looking for the perfect red to pair with whatever you're grilling after your first day back at work, consider the Almodi Petit Red Blend. 

55% Red Grenache
20% Syrah
15% Merlot
10% Samso

 

What about for fish or something lighter? How about the Almodi Petit white? 

60% White Grenache
30% Chardonnay
10% Sauvignon Blanc

Either of these delicious wines would be great options to pair, or just to enjoy by themselves in a glass. 

Cottesbrook Sauvignon Blanc

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Grapes for this fine Sauvignon Blanc were grown in the vineyards situated in the heart of Marlborough's Central Valley. This is a wine bursting with intense flavours of gooseberry, redcurrant, and citrus fruit. 

Wine Wednesdays: Simi Valley Reserve 1996 Cab

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Simi's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the finest expression from their vineyards in each vintage. They carefully select only fruit with the greatest concentration of flavor. These lots receive a specific regime of skin contact, barrel to barrel racking and French Oak aging. Only those finished lots which demonstrate richness, power, complexity, and ripe tannins make their Reserve selection. The 1996 vintage is a blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petite Verdot. 

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