Pere Ventura Cava (TRESOR RESERVA BRUT) ~ Barcelona – Spain $22 Tasting Notes: Vibrant, aromatic and refined, TRESOR RESERVA BRUT is a firm, full cava with well balanced acidity. Pairing:
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut ~ France $90 Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label manages to reconcile two opposing factors - strength and silkiness - and to hold them in perfect balance with aromatic intensity and a lot of freshness. Pairing:
Mas Fi Brut Cavà ~ Penedès, Spain $18 Tasting Notes: white flowers, citrus, green apple, and pear. Pairing: Goat cheese, really creamy dishes, bright spinach salad, apple based salads, cheese board
Emendis ‘Nuallongé Rosado’ (Pinot Noir) Brut ~ Catalonia, Spain $21 Tasting Notes: juicy, creamy, wild strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb Pairing: Duck, pork, salmon, ahi, gougeres, bacon!, really creamy dishes again, but will also work well with BBQ
Les Menil 'Sublime' Blanc de Blancs ~ Champagne, France $90 Tasting Notes: floral, yet deliciously fresh with green apple, sliced pear and a slight almond husk Pairing: To everything! Great bottle for recommending a FULL Champagne to anyone who is celebrating something.
Luca Ferraris Malvasia di Casorzo d'Asti ~ Piedmont, Italy $23 Tasting Notes: big juicy blackberry, black cherry, round raspberry, with a tiche of blk pepper spice. Tannins are a bit present here but in a very velvety, creamy sense. This is your chocolate go to! Pairing: chocolate, blue cheese, graham
Rare Wine Co ‘New York’ Malmsey Madeira ~ Madeira, Portugal $92 Tasting Notes: Powerfully scented bouquet combines cherry compote, cola, molasses and brown sugar. Lush and expansive in the mouth, offering sweet pit fruit and orange marmalade flavors and a deeper note of espresso. Pairing: Again, great for chocolate and caramel desserts!
El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximénez Sherry ~ Jerez, Spain $33 Tasting Notes: exotic spices, 5-spice, caramel, coffee undertones – yet, expressive of light red fruits Pairing: cheese board, chocolate, lots of caramel desserts, cookies, crème brûlée
2016 Kobal Pinot Grigio ~ Podravje, Slovenia $27 Tasting Notes: electrifying, bright and citric, peach pit, sweet tarts + pez, the skin contact here again gives some depth and textured peach skin Pairing: cheese board, poultry, fish, white fish esp., veggie dishes that include squash, cucumbers, and pickled accoutrements
2016 Marisco Vineyards ‘The Ned’ Pinot Gris ~ Marlborough, New Zealand $22 Tasting Notes: Made in a fully fruited style, it owes its power and full flavors to the fact that a portion of the wine spends time on the skins during and after fermentation. There are nice aromas and flavors of golden apples, white flowers, ginger and nectarine. It has nice round and bold fruit with nice acidity and pleasing round finish. The mouth feel is very rich for a Pinot Gris. Unique and worth a try if you like a balanced, bold and fruity white wine. Pairing:
*2016 EvolúcióFurmint ~ Tokaj, Hungary $35 Tasting Notes: Really peachy!, pear, peaches, white florals, strawberry seed. Delicious! Pairing: light fish dishes, sushi, cheese boards, salads, roasted poultry, really almost everything, an insanely versatile wine!
2017 Spy Valley 'Satellite' Sauvignon Blanc ~ Marlborough, New Zealand $22 Aroma: Bright aromas of lime zest, passionfruit and snow pea. Palate: Crisp and refreshing, with lively acidity complementing flavours of kaffir lime, tropical fruit and gooseberry. Pairing: Pairs perfectly with seafood and salads with tomato, lemon and vinaigrette dressings.
2016 Black Cottage Sauvignon Blanc ~ Marlborough, New Zealand $33 Tasting Notes: orange pith, red grapefruit, super fresh, yet balanced and bright Pairing: goat cheese, asparagus, green beans, pickled goods, white fish, poultry like chicken and turkey.
2016 Brooks ‘Amycas’ (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Muscat) ~ Eola-Amity, Willamette Valley, Oregon $33 Tasting Notes: tropical candy fruit, bright citrus; lemon, tangerine, and nectarine. Exotic tropical fruit aromas of passionfruit, papaya and lychee. The Gewürztraminer adds a ginger like spice high note. Pairing: spring rolls or anything Thai, lighter foods with a touch of spice, cheese boards, red/green curries or ginger cookies
2016 Leth Roter Veltliner ~ Niederösterreich, Austria $29 Tasting Notes: so deliciously creamy + juicy, yellow apple, orange citrus, creamsicle, dried pineapple bits Pairing: creamy soups, things with roasted garlic/onion, roasted poultry, fishes (white), creamy cauliflower, salads with roasted nuts/brittles Important Education Note: This is NOT related to Grüner Veltliner. NOT the high acid bomb that Gruner is, it is much creamier + round
2016 De Forville (unoaked) Chardonnay ~ Piedmont, Italy $29 Tasting Notes: let’s start with this wine coming from 36yr. old vines, brisk, super clean, slightly tropical, mouthwatering acidity Pairing: pastas, roasted veggies, creamy garlic soup, big roasted bird dishes, think Italian
2016 Domaine des Terres de Chatenay Viré-Clessé (Chardonnay) ~ Mâconnais, Burgundy, France $30 Tasting Notes: golden-green in color, with intense aromas of honeysuckle, ripe pear and anise. Those old vines pack a punch of limestone-infused concentration, loaded with flavors of green apple and white peach, with a saline minerality that goes forever in the finish. Pairing:
*2015 Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay ~ Santa Barbara, California $35 Tasting Notes: Melty round caramel + butterscotch, supple apple pie and baked pear notes. Great for the person that likes a touch of allspice, baking spice, and caramel notes to their Chardonnay Pairing: Buttered mushrooms, creamy oozy dishes, cheddar cheese + gouda, speaking of apple pie!—yes pls, mac n cheese also
2016 Chappellet Chardonnay ~ Napa, California $45 Tasting Notes: Layers of orange blossom, lemon zest, apricot, lychee, fresh cream and nutmeg. The palate is rich, extremely luxurious and silky. Secondary notes of lemon curd, peach, brioche, smoke and spice carry through to a lingering finish. Pairing: You got it—anything grilled from fish, poultry, peaches to pineapple. Actually, this wine pairs up to tenderloin as well when you go with mushrooms or a creamy béarnaise.
*2015 Primo Sangiovese/Merlot ~ Puglia, Italy $35 Tasting Notes: highly gulp-able, juicy cherry, raspberry, plum bomb with a touch of vanilla + spice Pairing: all things pizza, pasta, tomato, smoked goods, mushrooms, IT herbs
2015 Broc Cellars ‘Love Red’ (Carignan, Valdiguié, Syrah) ~ CA $34 Tasting Notes: Chris Brockway crafts super small batch vibrant and lively wines. This 'Love Red' is 65% Carignan, 20% Valdiguie, and 15% Syrah. Heady aromas of wildflowers followed by juicy damson plum and black cherry. Light bodied and quaffable, this could even be served with a slight chill. Pairing: Perfect picnic wine, but equally happy with a light summer dinner of grilled pork chops and a fresh garden salad.
2014 Pike Road by Elk Cove Vineyards Pinot Noir ~ Willamette Valley, OR $40 Tasting Notes: Ruby red in color with aromas of ripe cherry, cola and sarparilla, this full-bodied and fruity wine is inviting on the palate. Lush black cherry and raspberry fruit are complemented by notes of grilled bread, dusty cocoa and green pepper. Rustic with smooth tannins that round out the finish. Pairing:
2016 McPherson Pinot Noir ~ Victoria, Australia $28 Tasting Notes: lots of great herbal notes, eucalyptus, mouth popping red cherry, also bits of tobacco + smoke Pairing: tenderloin, mushrooms, roasted eggplant, cheddar cheeses, pecorino, red tomato sauces, pork tenderloin, seared scallop with a pesto of sorts or something green
2014 Center of Effort ‘Effort’ Pinot Noir ~ Edna Valley, California $52 Tasting Notes: This is your monster Pinot! A big one with higher points of alcohol. Really rich, ripe plum, cocoa dust + cola. Earthy with a touch of smoke + leather to the underbelly. Pairing: pork belly, BBQ, NY Strip, roasted meat, roasted veggie assortment
2014 Domaine Serene ‘Evenstad Reserve’ Pinot Noir ~ Willamette Valley, Oregon $98 Tasting Notes: The 2014 'Evenstad Reserve' Pinot Noir is another stunning release from Domaine Serene. This beautiful wine begins with layered aromatics of black tea, wild blackberry cobbler, orange rind, black truffles and suggestions of baking spices. The nose is masculine and dense and there are rich flavors of black tea, blackberry, guava, truffle oil, forest floor and black cherry liquor. This possesses tremendous weight and balance, as this gorgeous Pinot Noir will have an exceedingly long future ahead. Pairing:
2015 Viña Sastre Tinto Roble (Tempranillo) ~ Ribera del Duero, Spain $32 Tasting Notes: Lots of flowers on the nose, particularly violets and lavender, and also some roasted coffee notes. This wine is savory and lightly smoky. The finish is long with a rich iron quality. Pairing: pork, beef of all ways, mushrooms, lamb!, goat, and a hearty ragu Education Note: Viña Sastre is a family-run winery located in the heart of the D.O. in the town of La Horra. It boasts some of the oldest vineyards in the Ribera del Duero region. Jesús Sastre is the winemaker and vineyard manager, whose philosophies commit him to organic farming and biodynamic agricultural principles, the level of his expertise is unquestioned. This winery is really next to Flor de Pingus + Vega Sicilia. This is a really important winery in SP.
2016 Les Vignerons d’Estézargues (Grenache, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault) ‘Cuvée des Galets’ ~ Côtes du Rhône, Rhône, France $23 Tasting Notes: freshly ripened strawberry + raspberry, fresh garden herb (basil/thyme), really juicy with a little touch of violet Pairing: BBQ sausage, grilled red meats, lamb again, cassoulet, rabbit, lean pork, great also with farmhouse cheeses like cheddar
2014 Casa Silva ‘Los Lingues Vnyd’ Carménère ~ Colchagua, Chile $31 Tasting Notes: dense + chocolatey, this is NOT your typical SA Carmenere that screams green vegetal spice, this is layered and rich with wild blackberry, bits of pink peppercorn spice, raspberry + blk cherry keep this Carmenere super lifted. This is a show stopper. Pairing: ‘what grows together, goes together’ which means – beef!, also great with chocolate, but could certainly pass with any heavy roasted meat, grilled/smoked meat.
2016 Château de Jau ‘Le Jaja de Jau’ Cabernet ~ Languedoc-Roussillon, France $25 Tasting Notes: really straight-laced Cabernet, very typical example and very easy to drink, coffee beans, dusted cocoa, not too serious—but just so simply perfect for the ‘entry’ Cab drinker. Pairing: lighter meat dishes, sausages, mostly beef, don’t hit this with anything too big like roasted meat, you’ll wipe the wine away, super juicy components make this an awesome pairing to gorgonzola dulce (not picante), also it is not dense enough to hit up a chocolate dessert
*2015 Lone Birch Cabernet ~ Yakima Valley, Washington $35 Tasting Notes: blueberry, boysenberry, dense chocolate, caramel and graham cracker. Good for someone who is looked to get into some oozy, juicy Cab. This is a warm and fuzzy one! Pairing: this little sucker will surprising hit up chocolate really well, although I would go NY strip, burgers, sliders, smoky pork dishes and blue cheese (gorgonzola picante)
2016 Brash Higgins ‘FRNC’ Cabernet Franc ~ Sommerville Vnyd, McLaren Vale, Australia $54 Tasting Notes: this is seriously one of the most refreshing, lifted examples of Cab Franc I have had in so long. Wild strawberry, raspberry, mint, cherry, jalapeno chili and a roasted, sweet charred green capsicum nose, like chili rellenos from a Mexican bodega. Also, notes of violet, pepper, cedar, meat, ashes, rose petals + earthy fragrances like piles of leaves in autumn. Pairing: Osso Bucco might be the key here, veal, lamb, beef shank, beef or lamb tongue tacos, you get the drift
2012 Keenan Cabernet ~ Napa, California $70 Tasting Notes: This wine is so so good right now, you guys. It makes me want to drink it! It is so chocolatey, rich and dense. It’s like a cup of MX hot cocoa in your mouth! I can’t let you go away with this wine, it is so silly good. Plus, Keenan is one of my highly rated vintners on Spring Mtn in Napa. People who know ‘point score’ Cabs should be really excited to see this on our list! Pairing: Go with richer, thicker cut of meat – prime rib would be BFFs with this wine.
2013 Three Wine Company ‘Old Vines Field Blend’ Zinfandel Blend ~ Contra Costa, California $30 Tasting Notes: this is going to be more approachable for your folks than the Force of Nature Zin. I love the blue notes of this wine – violets, blueberry and dark plum. Massive on the attack, showing off all of its 100+ year-old-vine pedigree. Packed with crushed black fruits and black cherry liqueur, yet finishes really firm with some lifted feminine red notes. Pairing: chocolate, manchego, ham, veal, ribs, brisket, BBQ saucy things, this wine would also love charred foods
2013 Andrea Oberto Barolo (Nebbiolo) ~ Piedmont, Italy $90 Tasting Notes: rose petal, sweet red cherry, mint, lavender and sweet spice infuse the seductive finish of this gorgeous Oberto Nebbiolo. Keep in mind, his style is more approachable for a lot of US drinkers – so this is not so rustic. Pairing: truffles, mushrooms, dry aged beef, pecorino, tomato-y dishes, veal, anchovy thingy-s, parmesan, tarragon, sage, squash, pizza, wild rice, fennel Serving Tip: Don’t forget to serve in a Burgundy bowl.
2011 Tommaso Bussola ‘Amarone della Valpolicella Classico’ ~ Veneto, Italy $90 Tasting Notes: dark cherry, condensed chocolate (think melty chocolate), blk licorice, raisins, toffee Pairing: again chocolate, something port-y, with raisins, dates, nuts, toffee, or again, blue cheese or aged pecorino
2015 Casa Santos Lima ‘Monte das Promessas’ (Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Petit Verdot, Alicante Bouschet) ~ Alentejano, Portugal $20 Tasting Notes: extremely fruity wine, with elegant structure and a well-balanced and long aftertaste. Pairing: BBQ, and grilled meats