Author Archives: Info

October – Wines of the Month

2019 Santini Collective Macon-Villages, France $33.99

Chris Santini is a French-American who studied oenology at the University of Beaune, went on to work all over Burgundy, and even landed a job with the legendary Kermit Lynch whom he travelled and tasted with all over France. Santini Collective is a relatively new project and was launched in 2013; the winery focuses on making “vins de soif” aka wines that quench your thirst and demand casual enjoyment. The fruit is always sourced from environmentally conscious farmers, the wine is vinified completely unmanipulated, and made in microscopic quantities. The Macon-Villages is as raw as it gets: it is foot stomped and then pressed in a wooden basket press!

Racy minerals, an amalgam of pears, and textural honeysuckle/beeswax components -will be delightful on the table with sunchoke gratin or roast chicken with herb jus & frites.

 

Fukucho “Seaside” Junmai Sparkling Sake, Japan $26.99

This is an exciting bubbly sake from the Hiroshima prefecture made by toji (master brewer) Miho Imada; Miho is currently one out of 20 women with the title of toji & she is gaining a reputation as one of the best and most creative sake makers in the world. “Seaside” has bright and refreshing elements of citrus, apples, and demure melon fruit from the use of white koji. It is made from Nakase Shinsenbon rice that has been polished away 30%.

This sake was certainly designed for frutti di mare, Kumamoto oysters, and delicate crudos with a squeeze of yuzu.

 

2017 Rainbow’s End Family Reserve, Stellenbosch, South Africa $47.99

Anton and Francois Malan, direct descendants of the French Huguenot winemaker, Jacques Malan, waited patiently for ten years for their vineyard holdings to mature for this bottling of their Family Reserve.

Only the best quality barrels of each variety were selected, blended and aged for two years in French oak for this profound wine that rivals most classified Bordeaux. The blend is based on nearly equal parts Merlot, Cabernet Franc, & Petit Verdot and will completely sing accompanied by braised lamb shank, oxtail stew, or a creamy wild mushroom pasta.

September Wines

2020 Schplink! Gruner Veltliner, Niederosterreich-Austria 3L Box $31.99

This exciting contemporary box white is made by Weingut Norbert Bauer which was established in 1721 & is now in its 11th generation of winemakers. Located in the Weinviertal in northern Austria, farming practices are organic with emphasis on utilizing herbs for vineyard health; the fruit is hand-picked and then left to macerate for 12 hours to increase aromatic complexity. The results are stunning and emulate white peach, zingy lemon-lime, and delicate white flowers. Schplink! is considered the only box wine coming out of Austria and is a complete game-changer when it comes to the category. Pair with Salade Nicoise, Schnitzel, and listening to Kraftwerk.
2018 Flavia Rebellious Etna Rosso, Sicily-Italy 1L $27.99
Another exclusive, this is the only 1 liter bottle coming off the volcano of Etna; it’s creator, Flavia Rallo, is a young, fourth-generation winemaker who dedicates herself to the production of natural wines from certified organic fruit that are unfiltered, and with very low sulphites. Flavia’s Etna Rosso is 100% old vine Nerello Mascalese from sandy, high altitude sites on the northern slope. The grapes are farmed organically, hand-harvested, wild yeast fermented in stainless steel, then aged 12 months in used Slovenian oak. The wine is incredibly balanced and a must-try for lovers of both Burgundy & Tuscany. It is juicy and vibrant with a definitive spice character. Pair it alongside Creole Jambalaya, baked eggplant & tomato Rigatoni, or a charcuterie board for an easy evening.
2020 Mas Martinet “Ranci Dolc” Garnatxa Negra, Priorat-Spain 375ml $87.99
This is a rare sweet treat that has already been aged 20 years in 100+ year old barrels…a historical style called Rancio. It is made by first harvesting the Garnatxa grapes around 15% alcohol, laying them on wicker beds in the shade to allow them to slowly dry for 7 to 21 days concentrating the sugars and allowing for a naturally sweet wine. Since Mas Martinet only bottles 1/3 of the contents of the aging wine in the centenarian barrels, there is always a portion of aged wine that gets blended into the newer wine, similar to the solera system employed in Sherry production. At around 80g/l of residual sugar, this is the ultimate Fall/Winter dessert wine chock full of hazelnut, chocolate, balsamic, wood smoke, and Christmas spice. Compliments blue-veined cheeses, candied nuts, and caramel-forward desserts.

August – Wines of the Month

2019 La Zorra Teso Rufete, Sierra de la Salamanca, Spain $28.99
This little gem of a wine is made from the very rare grape Rufete which is exclusive to the Sierra de Salamanca appellation west of Madrid close to the border of Portugal. It hails from the single vineyard El Tesoro that is farmed organically. La Zorra performs gorgeously and the oak treatment is brief yet balanced. Herbaceous and plummy with a hint of espresso, it will complement Texas style bbq brisket, fried eggplant, or a spread of Spanish hard cheeses and chorizo.
230 cases produced.
 
 
2019 Sam Vinciullo Red, Cowaramup-Margaret River, Australia $41.99
Forget Beaujolais! This is the wine you want to pick up now for your Fall festivities! Fresh & versatile, this 60% Shiraz / 40% Cabernet Sauvignon from western Australia is purely elegant and fresh. Peppery, sharp, and crunchy, this is a zero-zero wine with no additives, no manipulation, just beautiful & natural fermented grapes. Pair with Korean chicken wings, falafel, or a traditional Thanksgiving feast.
 
 
2020 Volpe Pasini Ribolla Gialla, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy $17.99
Ribolla Gialla is a grape that is indigenous to the Friuli area in northeastern Italy along the Slovenian border. Volpe Pasini is one of the oldest still existing wineries in all of Italy with records dating back to 1596! This expression of Ribolla Gialla is extremely pure, crisp, and bright and demonstrates ethereal minerality coupled with demure citrus and apple blossoms. Refreshing and easy, it will go with an amalgam of foods from artichokes with bagna cauda to veggie risotto.

July – Wines of the Month

2019 Truchard Roussanne, Carneros, Napa Valley $19.99

While Roussanne is typically seen from the Northern Rhone Valley, this expression comes from a 3 acre plot planted in 1998 in Carneros; it is whole cluster-pressed and sees fermentation and brief aging in French oak. It is opulent, sexy, and rich & certainly a fun way to change things up! Think grilled apricot, jasmine, and creme brulee.

Serve it chilled with dover sole, butter mochi, or popcorn on your next movie night!

 

2020 Jaimee Motley ‘Rorick Heritage Vineyard’ Rose of Mondeuse, Calaveras, CA $22.99

The Rorick Heritage Vineyard sits at 2,000 ft in elevation in the Sierra Foothills. It is organically farmed and one of the most exciting vineyards in California with over 40 varieties represented in its patchwork. This rose of Mondeuse is full of character & finesse with blood orange, sage, & lily to compliment dinner on the patio this week or Indian summer sunsets on the horizon. Pair with fondue or buffalo cauliflower.

 

2017 Antonio Pereira “Tinto Bom,” Vinho Verde, Portugal $15.99

This is a red Vinho Verde-a relatively esoteric and elusive category that we don’t see super often in the United States. The grape is Vinhao (or Sousao) which imparts a gorgeous dark concentration in the wine that doesn’t necessarily reflect the prickly and playful palate. “Tinto Bom” is made from Certified Organic farming and biodynamic practice; the grapes are foot-trodden and then aged in steel vats for 3 years. This is head-turning raw wine!

Experiment with red-fleshed fish, feijoada, or grilled octopus!

June Wines of the Month

Sophisticated Summer Sippers!

Jon Goenaga Ecological Txakoli G. 1200 DO, Getariako Txakolina, Spain 2019 $25.99

Let us first state that this is not a conventional effervescent/fresh Txakoli being poured out of a porron at an okay tapas bar; this is a SERIOUS example with some bottle age that contributes to its great complexity and weight. Jon Goenaga is a young voice committed to organic farming. “G” stands for Goenaga and “1200” stands for the amount of bottles made.
He also farms peppers, avocados, and peas which get sold off to local Michelin-starred restaurants.
Pair with grilled or oven-roasted artichokes dressed in lemon, garlic, & rosemary accompanied with white truffle aioli.

LIOCO Rose of Carignan, Mendocino, CA 2020 $21.99

This 100% Carignan comes from part of the Bartolomei vineyard that was planted in the mid-century. LIOCO is a major champion of minimal-intervention Northern California winemaking and is practicing organic farming. This new release is a stunner with hints of guava, prickly pear, and crushed minerals.

 

We are getting some great summertime Mexican market vibes with this wine!

Sip this freshness alongside Camarones a la Diabla or Pollo Asado.

 

Vending Machine Wines “Double Shotgun,” Napa Valley 2018 $26.99

This 75% Petit Verdot and 25% Cabernet Franc was hand-harvested from southwest-facing slopes and saw elevage in 50% new French oak. A great alternative to just snagging an easy Cab Sauv, this wine certainly has the finesse & gravitas you crave with food cooked over a fire.

 

Summer. Burger. Wine.

May – Wines of the Month

2020 Peter Lauer Riesling “Barrel X” Saar-Germany $21.99
This is an energetic and racy Feinherb-style (just a whisper of sweetness) Riesling made by the masterful Florian Lauer reminiscent of white peach, green pineapple, papaya, and rainwater. Farming practices are organic, grapes are hand-harvested, and average vine age is 20 years old. Pairs well with shrimp shumai and Japanese pickled cucumbers (sunomono)
Snag this up before it is gone!
 
2020 The Hermit Ram Field Blend, North Canterbury, NZ $39.99
 
Arguably either a light-bodied red or a deep and serious rose, this is a fascinating skin-fermented blend of Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Gewürztraminer from a 45-year old vineyard in North Canterbury briefly aged in Spanish amphora. Bottled unfined/unfiltered this is as natural & raw as wine gets! Huckleberry, peppercorn, & bright pomegranate. Drink it with pepper-crusted pork loin or roasted chicken with cherries & rosemary.
 
2018 Zuccardi Concreto Malbec Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, Argentina $33.99
 
Perfumed with violets, hyacinths, & dried blueberry, this high-elevation whole-cluster powerhouse of a Malbec gets its namesake from aging in concrete to preserve the gorgeous fruit & florals the grape has to offer. This style by Sebastian Zuccardi  is certainly helming a new wave revolution in Argentina focusing on true terroir; the graphite minerality and firm tight tannins reflect the 3,600 ft elevation of Paraje Altamira. Always a treat! Enjoy with choripan, asado, or black bean empanadas with chimichurri.

 

April – Wines of the Month

2019 La Viarte Pinot Grigio $21.99

Hailing from Prepotto, Italy very close to the Slovenian border, the estate’s namesake is Friulian for springtime! This boutique Pinot Grigio is sustainably farmed, textured and elegant with hues of citrus blossom, almond, and honeydew.
La Viarte is certainly enjoyed on its own or with white asparagus in hollandaise or the local Frico Morbido- a crispy golden cheese-potato-onion pancake.

2019 Chateau Simone Palette Rose $74.99

This is a serious rose that completely transcends the category of pink wine. Mind blowing tonight at dinner, yet also insanely rewarding with age.
Primarily Grenache and Mourvedre with accessory varieties Cinsault, Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castet, Manosquin, Theoulier, Tibouren, Picpoul Noir, and Muscat de Hambourg to impart complexity, Chateau Simone is a trip to the French Riviera in a bottle. Think quince, hibiscus, & Provencal lavender.
1500 bottles imported to the US market.
Compliments a hearty bouillabaisse, carpaccio of chioggia beets, or soup au pistou sitting outside on the patio of course!

2018 Jean-Paul & Charly Thevenet Morgon “Vieilles Vignes” $41.99

This iconic producer of terroir-driven cru Beaujolais is what we call an “original gangster” having learned organic farming and biodynamic practices from a close friend and fellow legend, Marcel Lapierre. The gamay fruit comes from 70 year-old vines from ancient sandy slopes meticulously farmed by Jean-Paul and his son Charly.
Suffice to say this is the best red we have tasted so far this year; it is incredibly compelling and exotic with elements of nori, red currant, and a slight warming madeira finish.
Celebrate Spring and pair with classic chicken with morels in cream sauce.

-Sophie Yoneoka

March Wine Recommendations

Nyetimber Brut Rosé (Multi Vintage), England
With their first vines planted in 1988 to greensand and chalk soils, the team at Nyetimber has truly finessed Methode Champenoise in south England & has been instrumental in putting the country on the map for world class wine. Fruit for this rose (the “holy trinity” being Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier) hails from West Sussex and Hampshire. Their masterful result is sophisticated and manifests fresh raspberry, cherry blossom, & shortbread; pairs with crab cakes, smoked Alaska Coho salmon, and a hot tub soak. $63.99
2018 Boundary Breaks Gewurtztraminer, Finger Lakes, New York
A light and demure expression of Gewurtztraminer coming from the cool-climate of eastern Lake Seneca that proves an easy Springtime sipper. Dry yet spicy, pairs beautifully with Indian butter chicken (Makhani) or asparagus brie soup
475 cases made
$18.99
2017 Azores Wine Co. Isabella a Proibida, Pico-Portugal
Portuguese winemaker-mover-&-shaker Antonio Macanita has rescued an old plot of bush vine Isabella (a vinifera-lambrusca disease-resistant hybrid) on the volcanic island of Pico 1,000 miles off the coast of mainland Portugal. These old vines are very low-yielding & elevage is done in stainless steel resulting in fruit with massive personality, remarkable saltiness, umami, & earthy red fruit. Demands roasted foraged mushrooms and unagi.
166 cases made.
$35.99
2018 Gramenon L’Emouvante, Rhone-France
This is one of the rarest wines from cult icon Gramenon and we are so thrilled Michele made it in 2018! It is 100% Syrah from Montbrison sur Lez in the Southern Rhone made using natural practices while designated Demeter Certified Biodynamic. All labels are original art by winemaker Michele Aubery Laurent.
It emanates serious black fruit, funky earth & garrigue; a glass of Gramenon will only ever smell and taste like Gramenon and no other wine on the planet.
Pair with Kalamata olive tapenade or Peking duck.
12 cases imported into the United States.
$54.99

Sophie’s January Wine Recommendations

2018 Louis-Antoine Luyt Pet-Nat Pais Rose, Bio Bio Valley, Chile $35.99
A light & lovely naturally sparkling rose of País from Southern Chile; it is delicate, floral, & pink-fruited inspiring an amalgam of potential food companions. Think early Springtime. Super cravable with foods such as chili-lime fruta fresca, persimmons with goat cheese, & sashimi.
2018 Radikon Sivi, Friuli, Italy $42.99
Organic, Orange, Oslavia! 100% Pinot Grigio that undergoes skin-contact for 10-14 days then aged a year in old large Slavonian oak. Unfined and unfiltered, Radikon is the criterion for masterful natural wine. Pair with crispy brown butter trout, curried cauliflower, or roasted lion’s mane mushroom.
2017 Pearl Morissette Metis Rouge, Niagara Peninsula, Canada $34.99
Small-production funky fresh Cabernet Franc made by Francois Morissette -an extremely talented winemaker classically trained in Burgundy under the tutelage of icons Frédéric Mugnier and Jean-Marc Roulot. Metis Rouge proves that Pearl Morissette is redefining Ontario wine. Pair with a charcuterie board, tapenade, & beet tartare with truffle aioli.

New Year, New Wine

I want to start off the year by thanking all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm for our business.  You all are in our hearts during these difficult times, thank you.

For all you Bronco and Elway fans this bottle of wine will help you with the winter blues without any playoffs for the Bronco’s.  This wine is made in collaboration with consulting wine maker Rob Mondavi Jr. and John Elway’s 7 Cellar’s.  The 2017 Elway Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon exhibits aromas of ripe blackberry and boysenberry with hints of dark chocolate and sweet oak.  The palate holds bold notes of dark fruits and hints of spiciness, balanced by fresh acidity and lush tannins. This can be enjoyed with a prime rib or filet mignon.

How about something with a bit more class and punch! This is a different type of treat it is a Madeira.  A what?   Here is a quick story.  The island of Madeira has been home to one of the world’s most distinctive and widely drank fortified wines for centuries. Several hundred years ago the island of Madeira was a key port off the coast of Africa and also proved to be a region great for planting vineyards.  So the Portuguese planted grape varietals such as Malvasia and Sercial. These hand-harvest grapes and fortified to an abv of 18-20%.  The fortification was a process to allow the wine differing in styles and bring out different flavors by adding brandy or cognac.

Now specifically the Broadbent Single Cask Sercial Madeira 1997.  This baby gets better with age and the year of 1997 is no lie.  Sercial is smooth with subtle flavors of nuts, especially hazelnuts and almonds, orange peel and exotic spice.  The wine has very gentle overtones of wood and a nice sweetness for a Sercial. Very high acidity while showing a great fruity style. Incredibly long and dry finish.

Thank You,

Ivars Spons