Newsletter

August 15, 2017 – September 14, 2017

La Loire

The Loire Valley is called the Jardin de la France, and in this garden grow many of our favorite grape varieties. Take a trip around Touraine and taste great whites made from Chenin, Sauvignon and the rare Romorantin. Also try a pair of reds made from the noble Cabernet Franc and the lively Gamay. And because it’s still summer... a dry Rosé.

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Chenin Blanc
2016 Saumur Blanc ‘Les Epinats’ (Cave de Saumur)
Sale Price $9.99 -- $101.90 case of twelve
Doctor Heyden SilvanerThe Cave de Saumur always delivers wonderful dry Chenin Blancs. The fantastic value, single-vineyard ‘Les Epinats’ is aromatic and crisp, with deep mineral flavor and a long, dry finish. Great with cold poached salmon with a dill sauce.

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L’Arpent Blanc
2016 Touraine Sauvignon ‘L’Arpent des Vaudons’ (Jean-Francois Mérieau)
Sale Price $14.99 -- $152.90 case of twelve
Kaseler Dominikanerberg Riesling KabinettJean-Francois Mérieau is adroit with virtually all of the Loire Valley’s grape varieties. His biggest seller chez Wine Cask is his zesty dry Sauvignon Blanc with its fruit and mineral components that bring to mind a more expensive Sancerre. The 2016 is packed with pithy citrus and a clean, long finish. Great with a goat cheese and green bean salad.

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Cri de Cour
2014 Cour Cheverny (Francois Cazin)
Sale Price $14.99 -- $152.90 case of twelve
Immich Batterieberg C.A.I. Riesling KabinettYes, we did feature this vintage of Cour-Cheverny from Cazin before, and we are more than happy to have it back in stock because Romorantin is a grape that rewards with age. The 2014 was a textbook Loire vintage, and this wine has now shaken off its nervous youth and broadened in body and weight its delicious stone fruit and almond flavors. Try this with grilled swordfish and a tomatillo salsa.

Le Bois Jacou
2015 Touraine Gamay ‘Le Bois Jacou’ (Jean-Francois Mérieau) Sale Price $14.99 -- $152.90 case of twelve
Colterenzio Kalterer See Auslese ClassicoMérieau’s Gamay is a raspberry-red fruited delight with a gently tannic dry finish. The warm 2015 vintage puts a little more body on the framework of this impressive Gamay. Great with fried chicken and corn on the cob.

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Les Chiens Chiens
2015 Chinon ‘Les Chiens Chiens’ (Domaine de La Noblaie)
Sale Price $17.99 -- $183.50 case of twelve
Doctor Heyden Pinot NoirIn our modest opinion Cabernet Franc is the great red grape that not enough people know about. The communes of Chinon, Bourgueil, and Saumur-Champigny all make red wines of a quality that far exceeds the price on the bottle. The 2015 Chinon from Domaine de la Noblaie is a graceful and generous red with smoky blackberry aromas, a palate of fine-grained tannins, and a long, singing finish. Have this with a grilled chicken and a spicy cole slaw.

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Baudry Encore
2016 Chinon Rosé (Bernard Baudry)
Sale Price $17.99 -- $183.50 case of twelve
Weingut Drautz-Able LembergerAt Baudry the rosé is not rushed. They hand harvest the grapes, let the natural yeasts start the fermentation, and then follow with a complete malolactic fermentation to give the wine total dryness and a round, rich finish. Year after year this is our favorite Loire Valley Rosé.

Listed prices are honored through September 14th, 2017. We will not honor mistyped prices. Vol. 41, No. 9

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Parés Baltà Ros de Pacs PenedésAix en Rosé
2016 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence (Domaine de la Chapelle Saint Victor)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Here is another example of a delicious, delicate, pale dry Rosé from Provence. Plus it’s organic and a great value. Great with grilled eggplant and a tomato salad. Summer lives!

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Del Pino
2015 Barbera d’Alba (Cantina del Pino)
Sale Price $21.99 – $224.30 case of twelve
Muga Rioja With their penetrating aromas and near perfect balance, all of Cantina del Pino’s reds share a transparent purity, but their Barbera d’Alba practically transcends the varietal. This can be partly explained by time and terroir: the vines are 70 years old and located in the Ovello vineyard, one of the best sites in Barbaresco. The 2015 may be a bit riper and darker than the 2014, but it is still a pure expression of Barbera with its spicy raspberry fruit and zesty dry finish.

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Scharzhofberger
2015 Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett (Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt)
Sale Price $17.99 – $183.50 case of twelve
Viña Real RiojaThe Scharzhofberger vineyard is sometimes called the Montrachet of the Mosel because it is so mythic that it does not require its village name of Wiltingen to precede it on the label. Egon Müller is widely recognized as the best producer of Scharzhofberg, but good luck finding his wine, and if you do be ready to pay a steep price. Our best alternative comes from an estate nearly as famous. The Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, with over 650 years of production, is now enjoying a renaissance with its dry-styled Mosels. The great Scharzhofberger shines in 2015 with impressive palate presence in an off-dry style. It hits all the right notes with its ripe, round fruit and crisp, slate-inflected finish. A great wine for a simple meal of charcuterie and fine cheese.

2015 Red Burgundy
Beaune et Nuits
After a few challenging and small harvests, producers exulted in Burgundy in 2015 with an only slightly below average sized harvest of exceptional quality. Understandably, prices went up, but we have been securing our old favorites and trying some new Domaines to offer some affordable, high-quality red Burgundy.

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2015 Chorey-les-Beaune (Joseph Drouhin)
Sale Price $27.99 – $285.50 case of twelve
Château Grande Cassagne Costières de Nîmes In our experience Drouhin’s Chorey-les-Beaune exceeds its price category in warmer, riper years. The location of Chorey at the base of the Corton hill needs a bit of heat for full ripeness. The impressive vine age of 50 plus years certainly helps. The 2015 drinks well now and will age and improve over the next five years.

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2015 Côtes de Nuits Villages (Domaine Gachot-Monot)
Sale Price $29.99 – $305.90 case of twelve
Domaine du Clos d’Alari Petit Clos Côtes de ProvenceBack in 1990’s Making Sense of Burgundy, Burgundy sage Matt Kramer wrote: “Good Côte de Nuits Village should reflect the name. The wine should be fairly dark, with some tannin and a vaguely earthy fruitiness.” This producer’s version comes from their home village of Corgoloin and that of neighboring Prémeaux-Prissey, two of only five villages allowed to contribute to a Côte de Nuits Village. This meaty, dense Nuits is the real deal.

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Julienas
2015 Julienas (Stephane Aviron)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
Viña Real RiojaOf the ten Crus of Beaujolais, the two that please us most are Morgon and Julienas. Morgon is more abundant and available, while Julienas is elusive and discreet. Our most regular visitor from Julienas is Stephane Aviron, whose wines veer towards Burgundian territory with their subtle fruit and more earth-driven style. The 2015 is a delicious, structured Cru with a hint of pepper between the layers of fruit. Have this great Gamay with a roast chicken.


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Spicy and Speziale
2016 Verduno Pelaverga (Fratelli Alessandria)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier En Montre Cul Bourgogne RougeWe are all in for vine diversity and always like to hear a story of an old grape brought back from the brink of extinction. Even better to taste one. The Alessandria family spearheaded the movement to save Pelaverga, a grape variety from their home village of Verduno. An underdog out of central casting, Pelaverga is too light in color for a red grape, lacks tannin, and is late to ripen. But in the hands of a careful grower this delicate variety shines with a spicy aroma and gorgeous lingering red fruit. Have this slightly chilled with seafood risotto and a salad of bitter greens.

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Golden Aligoté
2015 Bouzeron (Domaine De Villaine)
Sale Price $29.99 – $305.90 case of twelve
Viña Real RiojaIf Bouzeron had a theme park it would have to be called Aligoté-ville because this is the village that holds the only appellation dedicated to this grape. It certainly helps to have Aubert de Villaine, one of the directors of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti as a resident and grower. By isolating the Aligoté Doré clone and restricting yields, a fascinating dry white emerges from this part of the Cote Challonaise. The 2015 is rich, ripe and golden, with peach and pear fruit and a crisp, minerally finish. This is a great wine for crab cakes.

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Bird Friendly in Castellina
Viña Real Rioja 2015 Chianti Classico (Castellare)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
Castellare has once again made a ripe, generous Chianti Classico for all-purpose feasting. This is almost pure Sangiovese, purple in color, with peak-season cherry fruit and a sun-baked, earthy, tannic finish. A great wine with pasta and a tomato and eggplant ragu.

Specialty Foods

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Arethusa Farm Diva $21.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $22.99)

Regis Bouvier En Montre Cul Bourgogne RougeThough they only began making cheese in 2011, Arethusa Farm has an impressive number of high-quality offerings across a range of styles for such a young dairy. Diva is a washed-rind cow’s milk cheese, reminiscent of an Italian robiola in size, shape, and texture. The silky paste offers a clean, milky sweetness, while the tacky orange rind hints at nuttiness and slightly more pungent aromas and flavors. This balance makes it incredibly approachable for a washed-rind cheese, sure to please both devotees to the style and those just beginning to explore “stinky” cheeses.

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Jura Erguel $22.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $24.99)

One of the newer products imported from Europe by New York-based Columbia Cheese, Jura Erguel hails from a cooperative-owned dairy in the Jura mountain region of Switzerland. Jura Erguel is a testament to both the quality of the unpasteurized cow’s milk sourced from small family farms and to the skill of the cheesemakers. Its clean, lactic flavor and toothsome texture make it an extremely pleasant and versatile Alpine cheese.

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Cypress Grove Truffle Tremor $28.99 per lb.  (Regular price $30.99)
Cypress Grove out of Arcata, CA has a loyal following for their American original, Humboldt Fog. Less well known but equally deserving of praise is Truffle Tremor. Also a soft-ripened goat’s milk cheese, Truffle Tremor is enhanced by the addition of black truffles. Creamy yet assertive, this is the perfect cheese for the transition from late summer to early fall.

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Grafton Village Shepsog $23.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $25.99)

Regis Bouvier En Montre Cul Bourgogne RougeShepsog is an award-winning sheep and cow’s milk cheese from Grafton Village Cheese Company in southern Vermont. It is made seasonally in small batches from raw milk, and sold only when the wheels have reached their peak flavor. The current batch was made in September 2016, and for the first time was produced in a clothbound format, making it similar in flavor and appearance to a clothbound cheddar. The flavors are tangy, earthy, fruity… it will definitely leave you wanting more, so get some while you can!


The Summer Quarterly Sale begins Friday August 25th and runs through Monday September 4th.
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.

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Wines of the Month —August 15, 2017 through September 14, 2017

Gorgo Custoza

2016 Sangiovese di Romagna ‘Lôna Bôna’ (Trerè)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
The ‘good moon’ of Romagna is a ripe and ready Sangiovese poised for spicy pasta dishes and grilled sausages.

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J. Lohr Wildflower Monterey Valdiguié 2016 Touraine Sauvignon ‘Le Grand St. Vincent’ (Les Vignerons des Coteaux Romanais)
Sale Price $9.99 – $107.89 case of twelve
Vintage after vintage, Le Grand St. Vincent is our best value Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc. The 2016 is crisp and dry, lively, and long.


Domaine Boisson Côtes du Rhône

2016 Veneto Pinot Grigio (Gorgo)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
We know of few better Italian white wine value producers than Gorgo. Their Pinot Grigio is an easygoing delight with its fresh peach fruit and firm dry finish.

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2014 Navarra Graciano (Viña Zorzal)
Sale Price $9.99 – $107.89 case of twelve
Maison Philippe Viallet Savoie BlancGraciano is a polished, smooth northern Spanish grape now making a terrific wine in Navarra. Zorzal’s 2014 has smoky cherry fruit and a nicely structured dry finish. Try with grilled lamb skewers.