Category Archives: Blog

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!

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.