Category Archives: Blog

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!

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.

 

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

 

       

 

Season Change of Winter

As the season changes from fall to winter and the leaves begin to disappear into the neighbor’s lawn we can be thankful for all the wonderful things this world has given us.  Although these times have been difficult we are stronger and we will survive.

Here are couple of facts about the Brooklyn Blue Door and No.14.  They are both Junmai meaning these sakes made with nothing other than rice, water, yeast and koji.  The rice is milled or polished at a minimum of 40% are the preferred service temperature is room temperature or chilled.

Brooklyn Blue Door is bright and fruit forward without being sweet. It’s like jelly beans and wild flowers, honeydew melon and juicy ruby grapefruit.

Brooklyn No.14 is incredibly aromatic, fruit forward and clean Sake with notes of white flowers, ripe apple and tropical fruit. Keep refrigerated and enjoy with all light, fresh foods.

La Colombera Derthona, Timorasso 2018

I cannot believe I am doing this again because it is just that awesome.  It’s back and even better than ever.  Just a refresher course for this varietal. This grape was nearly extinct during the 1970’s but has come back and made a strong resurgence.  Timorasso is the grape variety that best represents the hills around Tortona (Dertona is the old name for city), as this white grape was born here. It can be considered as a noble or ancient variety, which has similar characteristics to a Chenin Blanc or Savennieres and has the tendency to botrytize (noble rot) which can give the wine a slight mandarin note to accompany the full, minerally, fleshy flavors.  This wine is structured and elegant, capable of aging for a surprisingly long time in bottle.

This opens with a fruity peach fragrance, acacia and earthy rose bud blossoms that is accentuated by a scent of honey.  As this wine matures in three or four years the hidden minerality will begin to appear on the nose and palate for wonderfully surprising change.  Hold on to your britches, we have a limited availability (less than 24 bottles) of this wine but if you had the chance of tasting last year this baby is even bigger with just a touch less acid than the 2017.  Therefore, I can hardly wait to lay another two bottles down and drinking them in the coming years.

Thank You,

Ivars Spons

Samuel Louis Smith Sandstone Terrace Syrah

Samuel Louis Smith Sandstone Terrace Syrah

This surprising cool-climate Syrah is coming from the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is incredibly reminiscent of Cote Rotie in its wild and savory nature with tart dark fruits and florals of lavender and lilac. Organic and minimal-intervention with only 6 barrels made.

Pair with roasted leg of lamb and root vegetables seasoned with rosemary.

Analemma Mosier Hills Mencia

Analemma Mosier Hills Mencia

The Mencia grape originally hails from Galicia in Spain, but we have stumbled upon this super cool and rare expression from the Columbia Gorge! This bottling is very structured with tight tannins. But is all about purity of fruit with crushed blueberry & marionberry, violets, & cracked black pepper.

Grilled venison tenderloin with blackberry sauce would mirror this Mencia beautifully.

Only 147 cases made.

Walter Scott X Novo Vineyard Chardonnay

Walter Scott X Novo Vineyard Chardonnay
Sourced from a very small vineyard in the cool and windy Eola-Amity Hills, Walter Scott wines prove that Burgundian styles can be gracefully achieved in the Willamette Valley. There is nerve, tension, and balance that will reward those patient enough to age these Chardonnays.
*This particular selection is very limited and only available in our walk-in wine cellar.*
Pair with a cozy oven-roasted chicken with lemon, garlic, & natural jus.

Laherte “Ultradition” Champagne Brut Rose

Laherte “Ultradition” Champagne Brut Rose

We (Ivars & myself)  have a thing for varietal Pinot Meunier at the shop.  So, this is like our liquid candy. This rockstar small producer practices organic and biodynamic viticulture.  The elegance of this Champagne happens to be super approachable for a cornucopia of Autumn fare.

Notes of raspberry lollipop, sweet herbs, & liqueur de rose will sing with a dish like pumpkin ravioli with sage and parmesan.

Pumpkin Beers

Did you find your Gourd!!

With the arrival of fall, the season is here for pumpkin beer.  Pumpkin beers are all too often given a squishy review and that’s because it’s easy to make a glove bomber of beer when all else fails.  The magic comes when there is a development of spices between cinnamon, glove, ginger and notes of vanilla to perfectly extract the pumpkin essence into a flowing and grandeur pour.

For the next two months we will see many examples of pumpkin beers on the shelves.  We’ve done the smashing work to ensure your next six-pack is full of sugar, (pumpkin) spice, and everything nice.  One disclaimer: We didn’t include delicious variants of some of these beers because they’re generally impossible to find — and what the hell’s the fun in that if you can’t drink it?  But if one of the specialties does make to the shelf we will certainly let you know.

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin Beer

Need a little heat with your gourd.  There are habanero peppers and Saigon cinnamon in this brew to accentuate the spicier side of pumpkin spice. At 6% alcohol, it’s a nice beer to end the night if you don’t want something sweet.

Elysian Brewing, Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

This is one hell pumpkin stout goes down so easy it’s almost spooky! Night Owl is brewed with both pumpkin puree and pumpkin juice—along with spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. A deep amber color and lots of pumpkin bewitchingly good.

Dogfish Head, Punkin

For the lighter affair of pumpkin this has a nice balance of malt and pumpkin notes on the nose which lead into a hint of brown sugar blend with spices to give a malt sweetness and caramel finish.

Samuel Adams, Pumpkin Batch

Pumpkin Saison is the style of this one using a Belgian yeast character with white pepper blend with mace, nutmeg and cinnamon spices. The flavor is loaded with pumpkin pie spices but no malt character rather woody, earthy hops, and a touch of pumpkin gourd to the finish.

Downeast, Pumpkin Cider

There always needs to be a twisted in a good story.  Correct it is not beer but rather a cider from the east coast made with apples, pumpkin, and chai. It’s sweet but satisfying.

Bristol, Venetucci Farm Pumkin Beer

We mustn’t forget the great local beer that shows up in October.  This baby is made from hand picked pumpkin, roasted and smashed locally which adds just that special touch of wow!!  A wonderful subtle touch of spice, pumpkin flavor and note of malt.

Paldies, Ivars