August 15, 2013 – September 14, 2013

Delicious Lighter Whites and Pinks

These six wines weigh in at between 11.5% and 12.5% alcohol, making them light, zesty, and perfect for summer. While some wine regions will always produce bigger, stronger wines, it is refreshing that many producers are succeeding in making full-flavored wines at lower alcohol levels. We expect this trend to continue.

Please see our Sale below!


Great Grapes of Gaillac
2012 Gaillac Blanc (Cave de Labastide)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve


2012 Gaillac Rosé (Cave de Labastide)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
Producers in Gaillac have a dizzying number of grapes to choose from, but with fair prices, these confusing grape names soon turn into delicious delights. These two great values have arrived just in time to accompany the bounty of late summer. The Blanc is perlé, meaning that it has some micro bubbles which make it all the more fresh. This blend of Loin de l’Oeil, Mauzac, and Sauvignon is floral, appley, and bone dry. The Rosé, a blend of Duras, Syrah, and Braucol, is also very dry and crisp. It barely hints at raspberry fruitiness, has good body and a lively, spicy finish.


La Centenaire
2012 Pouilly-sur-Loire ‘La Centenaire’ (Serge Dagueneau et Filles)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
LaCentenaire Across the Loire River from Sancerre is the town of Pouilly-sur-Loire where an almost indistinguishably similar Sauvignon Blanc is produced under the name Pouilly-Fumé. The wine to which Pouilly-sur-Loire gives its name is made, in diminishing quantities, with the grape Chasselas. This grape thrives in Switzerland, but the only vines left in the Loire are being replaced by the much more profitable Sauvignon. Serge Dagueneau’s daughters lovingly tend their over 100-year-old plot of Chasselas and make a thrilling wine. The inviting aromas are peachy and floral. The palate is smooth and vivacious. The finish is firmly dry and long.

Bone Dry Cava
Brut Nature Reserva (German Gilabert)
Sale Price $14.99 – $161.90 case of twelve
Brut Nature Rosat (German Gilabert)
Sale Price $14.99 – $161.90 case of twelve
When a Cava announces itself as Brut Nature it is as dry as it gets. Importer José Pastor contracts with a Cava producer to make these two delicious, unsugared, traditional-method sparklers. The Reserva is made from the customary trio for Cava – Macabeu, Xarello, and Parellada. It is bone dry, crisp, precise, and clean as a whistle. The Rosat is made from the pale red Trepat grape along with Garnacha. It is totally dry, with light red berry aromas and a hint of cinnamon. Salut.


Fumé sur Loire
VeneauPouillyFumé 2012 Pouilly-Fumé (Hubert Veneau)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
Hubert Veneau was our last winery visit on our most recent Loire Valley excursion. A gracious tasting, tour, and lunch were provided on that snowy Sunday and the 2012 Pouilly-Fumé was most delicious. This fresh, grassy, minerally, dry Sauvignon Blanc is a delightful match with any and all seafood.

Listed prices are honored through August 14th. We will not honor mistyped prices. Vol. 37, No. 9


2011 Macon-Charnay (Domaine Manciat-Poncet)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
MaconCharnay More and more customers are asking for un-oaked Chardonnay, and although producers in California and Australia are adapting to this trend, we most often suggest French Chardonnay from either Chablis or Macon where oak is rarely used. This Macon from the village of Charnay is a current favorite. The 2011 from Manciat-Poncet is soft and ripe, lightly fruity and mildly acidic, with a wonderfully long, dry finish.


2012 Monterrei (Benaza)
Sale Price $13.99 – $142.70 case of twelve
BenazaGodello When considering the white wines of Spain’s Northwest province of Galicia, we can say that Albariño is wonderful, but Godello might be even better. Given that the first varietal Godello was released in the mid-eighties, its progress has been impressive. The 2012 Benaza from the denominacion of Monterrei is a sleek, mineral-rich Godello buttressed by fresh melon fruit with a seamless finish. This fine white calls for lobster and corn outside on a sultry summer evening.


Ribera del Duero
2012 Ribera del Duero (Torremoron)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.30 case of twelve
RiberaDelDueroTorremonTempranillo For a time the wines of Ribera del Duero seemed destined to become some of the most expensive reds of Spain, but with just a few exceptions sane pricing has prevailed. Torremoron is so reasonably priced that it sells out quickly and we go months waiting for the next vintage. Now the 2012 has arrived. As expected, it is a somewhat tannic and youthful wine, typical of a Tempranillo made from old vines. With some aeration it unfolds into a softer, rounder wine that exudes a gamy earthiness. Once again a great value and highly recommended to those who enjoy lamb.

Il Frappato
2012 Vittoria Frappato (Valle dell’Acate)
Sale Price $16.99 – $173.29 case of twelve
ValleDellAcateFrappato The one red grape that deviates from the general rule that Sicilian red wines are powerful and heavy: Frappato. A good Frappato has a charming combination of strawberry fruit with a hint of fresh bay leaves. Vittoria in the province of Ragusa in the south of Sicily is where Frappato is said to have originated. The 2012 from Valle dell’Acate is exceptionally fresh with aromas of berries and flowers along with hints of mellow herbs. Try this with a spicy stuffed eggplant.


The Hip Spätlese
2011 Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese (Georg Albrecht Schneider)
Sale Price $14.99 – $152.90 case of twelve
SchneiderNiersteinerHippingSpaetlese Dry Riesling may be in vogue, but we will go to our graves proclaiming that the later-picked, gently sweet Spätlese is how Riesling will be best enjoyed from here to eternity. Nierstein in the Rheinhessen produces some of the most amazing Riesling values. The bend in the Rhine River creates an amphitheater in which Riesling is the star performer. The Hipping vineyard is literally a sweet spot above the Rhine where excellent exposure yields ripe, balanced grapes. The 2011 from Schneider is a slate-laden, honeyed, crisp Spätlese with gorgeous flavors of summer peaches and apricots. This will make a lovely combination with a grilled trout or a hearty Pad Thai with spicy shrimp.


2011 Valencia Tinto ‘Setze Gallets’ (Celler del Roure)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
SetzeGallets16 Celler del Roure is a new winery for us, as are the red wines grown around the Eastern Spanish city of Valencia. One of Celler del Roure’s goals is to resurrect the nearly extinct grape variety Mandó. The Setze Gallets is a hearty Mediterranean blend with generous fruit and ripe, succulent tannins. The singular blend of Garnacha Tintorera, Monastrell, Merlot, and Mandó is un-oaked to preserve the intense fruit from sunny Valencia. And because it’s Valenciano it naturally goes well with paella.


2011 Côtes du Rhône ‘Réserve’ (Domaine de la Janasse)
Sale Price $15.99 – $163.10 case of twelve
DomJanasseCDRReserve Domaine de la Janasse must be included on any list of the best producers in the Southern Rhone Valley. Their Châteauneuf-du-Papes are legendary and their Côtes du Rhônes offer many of the same pleasures albeit on a lighter scale. The 2011 Réserve is a healthy mix of five different red Rhone staples and delivers the singed herb flavor of the garrigue along with black olive and plummy fruit. Ratatouille sounds good next to this.


2011 Carignan ‘Vieilles Vignes’ (Luc Pirlet)
Sale Price $9.99 – $101.90 case of twelve
PirletCarignan In a few years all the remaining Carignan planted in Languedoc will be Vieilles Vignes because few vignerons continue planting the grape. This may not be all to the bad side of the ledger because Carignan has the best chance to make memorable wine from old vines. Young vine Carignan is capable of incredible yields and insipid wine. Old vine Carignan is deep and sappy with vibrant cherry fruit. The 2011 from Luc Pirlet is a fine value, even if it doesn’t say Minervois or Corbières on the label. This is a fine wine for smoky ribs or a grilled flank steak with salsa.


2012 Pecorino (Colle Seco)
Sale Price $11.99 – $122.300 case of twelve
ColleSeccoPecorinoPecorino from Le Marche could be our new favorite Italian white. Italian whites continue to move away from colorless inoffensive whites toward white wine varieties with real character. It had to happen given how many different grape varieties there are in Italy. In 2000 there were only 215 official acres of Pecorino, but there must be many more today. The 2012 Colle Seco from the IGT Terre di Chieti has a nose full of leafy aromas, an interestingly textured mouth feel, and gentle fruit flavor. This is a fine match with grilled fish and a tomato salad.

2012 Gigondas (Domaine de la Maurelle)
Sale Price $24.99 – $254.90 case of twelve
Domaine de la Maurelle Gigondas This Gigondas is one of many fine wines that pass through the Vignerons de Caractère, a cooperative winery in the village of Vacqueyras. Cooperative wineries were once known for paying their members the same price per kilo regardless of quality, but this organization rewards better growers with separate bottlings and higher pay for superior grapes. The 2012 Domaine de la Maurelle is a full-bodied, classic Gigondas with immense fruit, herbs, olive, and cracked pepper. This dense red calls for a grilled leg of lamb loaded with garlic and rosemary.


Cru Savoie
2012 Chignin Bergeron (Domaine les Cantates)
Sale Price $19.99 – $203.90 case of twelve
LesCantatesChigninBergeronMost white wines from the French Savoie taste like river stones washed by cool glacial water, not a bad combination at all. But some growers have a wild card in their portfolio. The higher designated Cru of Chignin makes a wine from Bergeron (a.k.a. Roussanne) that is unlike other Savoyard whites. This 2012 from Domaine les Cantates has power and grace beyond what is typical from the region. The aromas begin with an almond and flower blossom nuance. There is good weight and rich fruit that heads toward sweet, but retreats into dry and mineral. This rather rich white will be an excellent match with a grilled swordfish and also with a poached salmon with fresh herbs.

Sale Dates

Our Incredibly Long, Overly Generous Third Quarterly Sale of the Year begins
Friday August 23rd and runs through Monday September 9th.

We are open on Labor Day the 2nd of September.

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.


Wines of the Month — August 15, 2013 through September 14, 2013


2011 Costers del Segre ‘Planell’ (Castell del Remei)
Sale Price $7.99 – $86.29 case of twelve
Planell is a crisp dry Catalan blend of Macabeu and Sauvignon. This fine aromatic white is perfect for a simple sauté of sole.


La Haudinière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine2010 Bordeaux Rouge (Château du Pin)
Sale Price $8.99 – $97.09 case of twelve
Château du Pin is once again a great bargain Bordeaux. The 2010 has nice structure, ripe tannins, pleasing fruit and a firm, dry finish.

2011 Carmenere (Cono Sur)
Sale Price $7.99 – $86.29 case of twelve
ConoSurBicycletaCarmenere The long lost Bordeaux grape Carmenere has found a home in Chile, where Cono Sur produces a dark, lush, smooth, plummy red with finely polished tannins. Just right for a roast chicken.

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2012 Pinot Grigio (Ca’ Stella)
Sale Price $7.99 – $86.29 case of twelve
Just when we had almost lost our will to sell Pinot Grigio along came a thoroughly decent example. This one has real character.