Newsletter

November 15, 2017 – December 10, 2017

Feasting on Value

redline

Nielson by Byron
2014 Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir (Nielson)
Sale Price $14.99 –– $152.90 case of twelve
Domaine La Bouysse Corbières ValensolSanta Barbara County was once thought too cold to grow Pinot Noir, but today many splendid wines come from there. The Nielson (by Byron) is an excellent, earthy, dry Pinot Noir with subtle raspberry fruit.

redline

Cairanne
2014 Côtes du Rhône Villages (Domaine Alary)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
Château de la Liquière Faugères Vieilles VignesWe have secured the last 40 cases of the Alary family’s 2014, a big yet balanced Côte du Rhône Villages. In the 2015 vintage this wine will have full appellation status as Cairanne. A worthy upgrade for this superior village.

redline

Mama Zin
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours Blaye 2014 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ‘Mother Clone’ (Pedroncelli)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
The Pedroncellis’ 2014 Dry Creek Zinfandel is packed with blackberry fruit and supported by zesty spice. An ideal American wine for roast turkey and mushroom gravy.

redline

Viognier
Château de la Liquière Faugères Vieilles Vignes 2016 Viognier (Balthazar)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
This Viognier charms with its gorgeous floral perfume and big, smooth apricot and peach flavor. A great match for spicy Thai food.

redline

Secco Prosecco
2014 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel ‘Mother Clone’ (Pedroncelli)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours BlayeThe Pedroncellis’ 2014 Dry Creek Zinfandel is packed with blackberry fruit and supported by zesty spice. An ideal American wine for roast turkey and mushroom gravy.

Verdicchio
2016 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi (Santa Barbara)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Château Bouscassé MadiranVerdicchio is the great white grape of the Adriatic province of Le Marche. The 2016 from Santa Barbara features prominent lemon and thyme flavors along with a crisp, dry finish. Great for a fish soup.

redline

Vernaccia
Château La Tuilerie Graves Rouge2016 Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Casa alle Vacche)
Sale Price $10.99 – $112.10 case of twelve
Vernaccia is Tuscany’s best white and Casa alle Vacche makes a wonderful and affordable version. This is crisp and dry, nutty and long.

redline

Castore
Domaine “La Garrigue“ Côtes du Rhône Cuvée Romaine2016 Lazio –IGT Bellone (Cincinnato)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
We welcome back two fascinating wines from the Cincinnato cooperative in Lazio. The ‘Castore’ is produced from the full-flavored native white grape Bellone, and it thrills with its almost salty minerals, dry structure, and citrusy finish.

redline

Polluce
2016 Lazio –IGT Nero Buono di Cori (Cincinnato)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Polluce is the native red from Cincinnato, made from Nero Buono di Cori. This smoky, peppery red is perfect for a pasta cacio e pepe.

redline

Spencer for Ale
Trappist Holiday Ale (Spencer)
Sale Price $10.99 – $59.35 case of twelve
Château Peybonhomme-les-Tours BlayeLocated in Spencer, MA, the jam-making Spencer monastery has branched out into the beer business. We like all their efforts, but are especially enamored of their dark, spicy holiday ale. This rich, elegant ale will grace the holiday table and match well with a cheese and fruit platter before or after.

Listed prices are honored through December 14th, 2017. We will not honor mistyped prices. Vol. 41, No. 12

redline

The Cab Francs
2015 Saumur-Champigny ‘Tuffe’ (Château du Hureau)
Sale Price $15.99 – $163.10 case of twelve
2015 Chinon ‘Les Grézeaux’ (Bernard Baudry)
Sale Price $24.99 – $254.90 case of twelve
Guidobono Barbera d’Alba Due GelsiIf we were ever referred to as the ‘Cave de la Loire’ we would be flattered. Our love of the white grapes Muscadet and Chenin Blanc are undeniable. But you must know by now that we are totally nuts for Cabernet Franc. And who could not be amazed in light of the knowledge that this grape is the more ancient parent of Cabernet Sauvignon? And that Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, and Chinon are world-class values whose producers make wines that drink well young and have an incredible capacity to age? This month we have the juxtaposition of the 2015 vintage and two great producers. Château du Hureau’s Tuffe is a total charmer with its bright cherry and raspberry fruit, spicy tannins, and earthy, mushroomy finish. It’s the perfect weight for a grilled salmon or a roast fowl. Guidobono Barbera d’Alba Due GelsiThe Chinon Grézeaux from Baudry is only made in warm, dry years. This vineyard is a perfect mid-slope with varied soils. The ample exposure to sun and the excellent drainage make this a supple early drinker and an excellent ager – and we recommend aging. After a few years this will be a dream with its truffled fruit, graphite earthiness, and weightless finish. The 2015 is a fabulous Grézeaux.

redline

Truly Super Tuscan
2015 Bolgheri ‘Il Bruciato’ (Tenuta Guado al Tasso)
Sale Price $24.99 – $254.90 case of twelve
Chateau du Breuil Savennières The Guado al Tasso estate was inherited by the Antinoris in the 1830s from the long established Gheradesca family. Included in the massive estate were numerous castles and hundreds of Genovese watchtowers overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The aristocrats of the region planted French grape varieties instead of Sangiovese and kept their wines mainly for themselves. When Sassicaia released their first vintage to rave reviews the Bolgheri revolution had begun. The 2015 Il Bruciato is a great introduction to the region of the Tuscan Coast. A full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah fermented in stainless steel and aged in small barrels, the wine is a seamless mix of Italian sunshine, fine French grapes, expensive oak barrels, and elegant fruit. Try this beauty with a fine porterhouse steak and a side of garlic-laced spinach.

Dolcetto
2016 Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Lorenzino’ (Ettore Germano)
Sale Price $17.99 – $183.50 case of twelve
Cascina Ballarin BaroloThe excellence of wine producers in Piedmont means that even a ripe, young, generous Dolcetto from one producer will be different from their neighbor’s. Ettore Germano’s Lorenzino has lovely aromas of black cherry fruit framed on the palate by gentle tannins. The finish closes the circle with long, earthy, dry character. A good match with braised brisket.

redline

Leflaive Bourgogne
2015 Bourgogne Blanc ‘Les Sétilles’ (Olivier Leflaive) Sale Price $23.99 – $244.70 case of twelve
Bollig-Lehnert Trittenheimer RieslingLeflaive’s 2015 Les Sétilles is a beautifully balanced Chardonnay with mixed notes of lemon curd, spiced apples, and crisp minerality. The ripe vintage gives extra weight, yet the crisp dry flavors carry throughout. Excellent for a roast chicken.

redline

Dr. Heyden Dry…
2015 Oppenheimer Riesling Spätlese Trocken (Dr. Heyden)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Pago de Valdoneje BierzoFrank Heyden hit the ball out of the park in 2015. This Oppenheimer was harvested as a Spätlese and fermented totally dry. The vineyard is planted on limestone and it comes through with an undeniable earthy flavor melded with crisp apple and pear fruit. Both this and the wine below are more intense and lovely than their modest prices might suggest.

redline

… and Sweet
2015 Oppenheimer Sackträger Riesling Auslese (Dr. Heyden)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
Pago de Valdoneje BierzoWhile the above wine was harvested sweet and fermented dry, the Riesling grapes for this Auslese were brought in at Beerenauslese levels and left that way. Frank explained that he wanted to ‘wow’ us with a fabulous Auslese. And he has.


redline

Grand Cru Champagne
Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (Le Mesnil)
Sale Price $44.99 – $485.90 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier En Montre Cul Bourgogne RougeDon’t drink Chardonnay? Try this Blanc de Blancs from the Grand Cru certified village of Mesnil. Other producers use the grapes of this village to produce wines with triple-digit price tags. Here is a modest cooperative that produces exceptional Champagne. Crisp, dry, lean, and long, this is an exceptional aperitif yet great for an oyster stew.

Our Final Quarterly Sale of the Year begins
Friday November 24th and runs through Sunday December 3th.
Details: 10% off six bottles; 20% off twelve bottles. Wines of the Month (back page), fortified wines (Port, Sherry, Vermouth, etc.) and sparkling wines may be included for a 10% discount. Blue tagged (NET) wines and jug wines (1.5L and 3L) are excluded.

Beaune et Nuits
2015 Savigny Aux Serpentières Ier Cru (Domaine Pierre Guillemot)
Sale Price $47.99 – $460.70 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier Les Longeroies MarsannayWe can’t resist this quotation from the Faber and Faber book Burgundy by Anthony Hanson (1982): “For years, at the time of vintage, Pierre Guillemot has sworn at his old vines in Aux Serpentières: ‘You disgust me with your miserable yield. I’ll pull you up.’ And then he tastes the wine they give.”

2015 Gevrey-Chambertin ‘Les Champs Remy’ (Closerie des Alisiers) Sale Price $49.99 – $479.90 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier Les Longeroies MarsannayBy Burgundian standards Gevrey-Chambertin is a large appellation, yet the good wines are hard to find. The 2015 Les Champs Remy is a fine example of a blood-red, iron-rich Gevrey-Chambertin that gives a lot now and will reward more later. Its wild berry fruit and ripe tannins carry the day.


Specialty Foods

redline

Val D’Aosta Fontina DOP
$15.99 per lb.  (Regular price $16.99)

Though there are many versions, true Fontina is a raw cow’s milk alpine cheese made in the Aosta Valley in northwestern Italy. The best wheels are those available between November and February, as they are the ‘alpage’ variety, made with milk from cows that graze on lush mountain pastures at altitude during the summer months. Aged around 3 months, the cheese undergoes repeated washings to develop the rich, nutty, earthy, and grassy flavors typical of an alpine cheese, and the complex flavor profile only develops in intensity as the cheese ages. Fontina is an exceptional melting cheese to use in a fondue or gratin; alternatively, pair with fruit, honey, and a bold Nebbiolo-based red for an easy appetizer.

redline

Montchevre Goat Brie $7.99 each 
(Regular price $8.99)

Beehive Cheese Company SeaHive cheeseAs the leading goat cheese producer in the US after nearly 30 years in the business, Wisconsin’s Montchevre makes a variety of cheeses using fresh, local, and high quality goat’s milk. One of their newer specialty products is a creamy goat milk brie, attractively packaged in a decorative wooden box. This is a straightforward and delicious goat brie, with a bright, clean, and tangy flavor. The mild sweetness from the goat’s milk and a smooth velvety texture make this an enticing choice for holiday gatherings.

Central Formaggi Piccolo with Truffle
$18.99 per lb.  (Regular price $19.99)

Beehive Cheese Company SeaHive cheesePiccolo with Truffle is a young sheep’s milk cheese made by Central Formaggi on the Italian island of Sardinia. Aged only 15-20 days and infused with Black Summer Truffle shavings, it is a balanced semi-firm cheese with a creamy mouthfeel and a subtle earthiness. It is less sharp and intense than Moliterno al Tartufo, an aged pecorino with rich veins of black truffle paste, also produced by Central Formaggi. The truffle flavor complements the creaminess of the young cheese without overpowering it, leaving a relatively mild finish. Enjoy by the slice and paired with olives, nuts, or cured meats.

redline

Champlain Valley Organic Triple Cream $24.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $25.99)

Our focus this month is on cheeses for entertaining, and most would agree that triple creams are an essential component of the holiday cheese plate. Champlain Valley Creamery, based in Middlebury, VT, makes an organic triple cream which is as good as any French offering. Made from cultured whole milk with added cream, this decadent soft cheese features a rich and buttery flavor with an earthy bloomy rind. Sure to please cheese novices and connoisseurs alike, the 4 oz., individually wrapped crottins make for a quick and easy purchase. Simply pair with the sparkling wine of your choice!


redline

Wines of the Month —November 15, 2017 through December 10, 2017

Chateau Grand Billard Bordeaux Rouge2015 Tempranillo (Flaco)
Sale Price $6.99 – $75.49 case of twelve
This value Spanish operation has again produced a classic, earthy, dry Tempranillo with spicy tannins.

redline

Le Montalus Côtes de Thau Blanc

2016 Ventoux Blanc ‘Granges des Dames’ (Les Vignerons du Mont Ventoux)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
The white Ventoux blend of Clairette and Grenache Blanc from Les Vignerons du Mont Ventoux is clean and crisp, floral and fruity.


Casa di Monte Chianti

2015 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo (Masciarelli)
Sale Price $7.99 – $86.29 case of twelve
Masciarelli always delivers a best value Italian red. The 2015 Montepulciano is a big, bold, spicy red that holds its own with all manner of hearty, spicy foods.

redline

2016 Ventoux Rouge ‘Les Boudalles’ (Domaine Brusset)
Sale Price $9.99 – $107.89 case of twelve
Di Filippo GrechettoThis Gigondas producer also makes a savory, delicious red from Mont Ventoux. The Grenache fruit comes through, but a peppery dry finish makes it a thoroughly Rhone red.