Newsletter

July 15, 2017 – August 14, 2017

The Cool North

In the summer months we try to feature light-bodied yet seriously flavored, chillable wines, whether they are white, pink, or red. Many of the wines in this newsletter are relatively low in alcohol (below 13%), so we have indicated this in the text. This page has five delightful German wines and one from Alto Adige in Northern Italy.

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Silvaner is Back
2015 Silvaner (Dr. Heyden)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
Doctor Heyden SilvanerFrank Heyden’s 2105s are seriously good. We offered this wine last year and are glad to see it again. The Old Vine Silvaner is loaded with pear and apple fruit, with a rich dry finish.

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Rowing up the Ruwer
2015 Kaseler Dominikanerberg Riesling Kabinett
(C. von Nell-Breuning)
Sale Price $13.99 – $142.70 case of twelve
Kaseler Dominikanerberg Riesling KabinettThe Ruwer is a mere stream that flows into the Mosel, but there are some great producers along its short meander. We adore the delicate style of the wines from C. von Nell-Breuning, and the 2015 vintage has produced a gorgeous, totally classic Kabinett. This practically weightless Riesling has just 9.5% alcohol, yet has engaging floral and mineral aromas, ethereal fruit, and a wonderfully long, dry finish.

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C.A.I. Dry
2015 Riesling Kabinett ‘C.A.I.’ (Immich-Batterieberg)
Sale Price $17.99 – $183.50 case of twelve
Immich Batterieberg C.A.I. Riesling KabinettThe oldest part of the cellar at Immich-Batterieberg dates back to the 900s. Yes, more than one thousand years. The vines in their Enkirch vineyards are some of the oldest in the Mosel and were ranked in the highest class of the Prussian Vineyard Classification of 1868, which itself was based on Napoleon’s single-plot classification of 1804. The current owners, faced with this long arc of history, have breathed new life into the estate by recreating the dry wines of the past. C.A.I. are the initials of Carl August Immich, whose family owned the property for almost five hundred years. This dry-styled Kabinett is a blend of wines from the Saar and the lower slope of the Batterieberg vineyard. This elegant (10.5%) Riesling is full of citrus aromas, with a lovely balance of crisp acidity and salty minerals.

Lago di Caldaro Scelto
2016 Kalterer See Auslese/Classico (Colterenzio) Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Colterenzio Kalterer See Auslese ClassicoThis is the kind of red that must be consumed slightly chilled, preferably out of doors, with a beautiful salad of farmers market vegetables dressed any way you like. Toss in some prosciutto or smoked trout if you desire. In the bilingual Alto Adige/Sud Tirol the Schiava/Trollinger grape variety is the workhorse red. Grown around the Lago di Caldaro/Kalterer See, it achieves ample ripeness (12.5%), transparent color, and a higher grade of classification – Scelto/Auslese/Classico. That may be a lot of words to swallow for this perfectly gulpable summer red, but it is well worth every cent/cent of its Euro/Dollar price.

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Oppenheimer Unfiltered
2015 Pinot Noir (Dr. Heyden)
Sale Price $12.99 – $132.50 case of twelve
Doctor Heyden Pinot NoirAs with the Silvaner above, Frank Heyden has nailed the 2015 vintage. His Oppenheimer Pinot Noir is a great buy with its beautiful fruit, earthy tannins, and gutsy finish.

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Just in From Württemberg
Weingut Drautz-Able Lemberger 2015 Lemberger (Weingut Drautz-Able)
Sale Price $13.99 – $142.70 case of twelve
If you drew a flattened circle around Southern Germany, Austria, and Hungary you would have pinpointed the major growing area of the Lemberger / Blaufrankisch / Kekfrankos grape variety. We are pleased to offer for the first time a wine from Württemberg’s Weingut Drautz-Able. This underrated red features a spicy, earthy cherry fruit that is wonderful when slightly chilled. Serve with grilled salmon and a spicy salsa.

Listed prices are honored through August 14th, 2017. We will not honor mistyped prices. Vol. 41, No. 8

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Southern French Rosés
Get those summer salads and seafood ready for these delicious dry Southern French rosés.

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Château Grande Cassagne Costières de Nîmes 2016 Pays d’Oc
(Le Petit Balthazar)

Sale Price $7.99 – $81.50 case of twelve
This Languedoc rosé is made from the lively Cinsault grape variety and clocks in at 11%, but it is still packed with crisp, dry flavor.

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2016 Costières de Nîmes (Château Cadenette)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
Domaine du Clos d’Alari Petit Clos Côtes de ProvenceThe countryside around Nimes delivers a fuller, riper style of rosé. Cadenette is packed with plummy fruit and a rich texture. Great for roast cod and a corn salad.

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2016 Costières de Nîmes (Mas Carlot)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
Mas Carlot makes a peppery, dry Nimes rosé that is suited for a grilled tuna nicoise with roasted peppers.

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Couly-Dutheil René Couly Chinon2016 Côtes de Provence Cru Classé (Château du Galoupet)
Sale Price $17.99 – $183.50 case of twelve
Galoupet’s vineyards face the Mediterranean and it shows in this sun-soaked, beautifully balanced Provençal rosé. Great for a simple steamed lobster or a grand Bouillabaisse.

Parés Baltà Ros de Pacs PenedésInstant Spritz
2016 Pignoletto Frizzante ‘Curèna’ (Trerè)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 of twelve
This fizzy white Pignoletto from Trerè in Emilia-Romagna is a joy to drink, from its bright aromas to its crisp, lively finish. At 11.5% it makes for a lovely aperitivo, but also is perfect for fish and pasta.


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Chabliss
2015 Chablis (Billaud-Simon)
Sale Price $31.99 – $326.30 of twelve
Muga Rioja For us the best Chardonnay in the world is French Chablis. The vineyards of Chablis are mainly the remnants of an ancient sea and are dotted with fossils. This terroir gives the wines a crisp saline minerality along with the richness of ripe Chardonnay. The 2015s that are now arriving show impressive concentration and real depth. Billaud-Simon’s village wine is full-flavored and deftly balanced between quince and apple fruit and zesty mineral dryness. Terrific now and ageworthy over the next five years.

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Tradizionale
2015 Vernaccia di San Gimignano ‘Tradizionale’ (Montenidoli) Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 of twelve
In the hands of Montenidoli, Tuscany’s Vernaccia di San Gimignano grape becomes one of Italy’s stronger, denser white wines. The 2015 Tradizionale is a forceful, persistent dry white with floral aromas, apricot fruit, and a pleasant, bitingly dry finish. Try this with a grilled bluefish or spicy crab cakes.


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The Original Malbec
2015 Cahors ‘Le Pur Fruit du Causse’ (Château Combel-la-Serre)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier En Montre Cul Bourgogne RougeDiverging stylistically from the traditional inky tannic beasts of Cahors, Julien Ilbert’s organic family estate wines are fresh-fruited and elegant. This is not your grand-père’s black wine of Cahors. Light in weight and alcohol (12.5%), Le Pur Fruit du Causse has bright raspberry fruit and mellow tannins, making it a lovely companion to a picnic of cheese and charcuterie.

White River Junction
2015 Val de Loire Chenin Blanc ‘Fleuve Blanc’ (Jean-Francois Mérieau)
Sale Price $15.99 – $163.10 case of twelve
Regis Bouvier Les Longeroies MarsannayYou might be familiar with Mérieau’s Sauvignon Blanc, which hopefully will come back in next month, but please give this delicious, earthy, dry Chenin Blanc a try. At 11.5% it is both refreshing and round with mouth-filling flavor. A great match with roasted salmon, new potatoes, and parsley.


Specialty Foods

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Mount Mansfield Inspiration
$22.99 per lb.  (Regular price $24.99)

Fromager D’Affinois Excellence cheeseInspiration from Mount Mansfield Creamery of Morristown, VT is a raw cow’s milk cheese that pays homage to the traditional cheeses of the French Island of Corsica. The cheese is made with milk from their herd of Holstein and Brown Swiss cows, and the rind washed in beer throughout the minimum 60-day aging process. The wheels bear a distinctive ridged pattern from the baskets in which the cheeses are molded. This tangy cheese has a slightly crumbly texture and a rich, nutty flavor.

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Salva Cremasco $15.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $17.99)

Salva Cremasco (DOP) is a raw cow’s milk cheese that was developed in Lombardy over 150 years ago. The name comes from ‘salvare il latte,’ as making cheese was a way for herdsman to ‘save’ excess milk during the plentiful spring milkings when the herds descended into valleys to graze. The cheese is molded in a cube and aged for over 75 days, after which the dense, wrinkled rind becomes mottled with white and yellow mold spores. The paste is ivory and ranges in texture from soft and smooth to dense and crumbly, depending on the age. The flavor is lactic and mildly tangy, and as it is not too aggressive it is perfect for summer— try pairing with a pale ale or a crisp, minerally white wine.

Westfield Farm Classic Blue Log
$5.99 each  (Regular price $6.99)

Westfield Farm has been making award-winning farmstead cheeses in Hubbardston, MA since 1971. Their Classic Blue Log is truly unique – made with pasteurized goat’s milk, its dense and creamy center is surrounded by a fuzzy gray-blue coating of Roquefort mold. The peppery bite of the blue rind balances out the clean and tangy flavors of the interior. Perfect for a cheese plate!

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P’tit Basque $20.99 per lb. 
(Regular price $22.99)

Beehive Cheese Company SeaHive cheeseP’tit Basque is a sheep’s milk cheese made in the Pyrenees Mountains of France’s Basque region. The cheese is relatively new compared to classic Basque sheep’s milk cheeses such as Ossau Iraty, but it utilizes the same traditional cheesemaking methods of the region. This is a semi-hard cheese aged for a minimum of 70 days, and it comes in small, cylindrical wheels weighing around 1 1/2 pounds. It is very accessible for a sheep’s milk cheese. The flavor is sweet and balanced with a slightly nutty finish, and nicely complemented by the smooth and creamy texture.


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

Gorgo Custoza

2016 Rosso Piceno (Stefano Antonucci)
Sale Price $9.99 – $107.89 case of twelve
The wines of Le Marche impress us more and more. This blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese has zesty cherry fruit and a nice, gripping dry finish.

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J. Lohr Wildflower Monterey Valdiguié 2016 Vermentino di Sardegna ‘Aragosta’ (Cantina Santa Maria la Palma)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
This not too heavy Vermentino (12%) has a clean, fresh, fruity aroma plus a smooth, rich finish. Great with, you guessed it, seafood.


Domaine Boisson Côtes du Rhône 2015 Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Kabinett (Schneider)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
The 2015 German Rieslings are superb and, in this case, an amazing bargain. Schneider’s Kabinett is fruity and crisp, light and long. At 10.5% this has admirable depth.

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Maison Philippe Viallet Savoie Blanc

2015 Lisboa (Quinta do Gradil)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
2015 was also a great year in Portugal. This blend of Syrah, Touriga Nacional, and Alicante is loaded with blackberry fruit and spicy tannins. Great for a stuffed pork tenderloin.