Adrian's wine of the week. 1/10/18

January 10th, 2018 10:17am - Posted By: Adrian Zabolitzki

Condado de Haza –
Ribera del Duero 2014
Regular Price: $25.99
Sale Price:  $21.99

Meat lovers, I have a great Spanish Wine for you!  Sister winery to Pesquera, the Condado de Haza estate was started in the late 80s by Alejandro Fernandez.  It is a traditional Chateau styled winery, with its vineyards planted to the south-facing slopes surrounding the winery on the slopes of the Duero River in North Central Spain.  Alejandro began replanting and focusing Ribera del Duero on Tempranillo back in the 1970’s and the site for Condado de Haza is the coolest of his four projects.  Focused on sustainable practices, the winery also has a wine cellar built into the side of a hill, underground, in order to maintain constant temperarture and humidity.  The style of Condado de Haza makes it a food wine, particularly well suited for meat dishes.  It is a complex wine that initially shows animal aromas and bacon fat with red berry fruit and herbal tones.  Patience pays off with the wine opening up to show off dried dark fruit with an interesting tart twang alongside the vanilla hints.  It isn’t as big as some other Ribera del Dueros out there, but is smooth and medium bodied with a long finish.  Pair this with your favorite steak and it would be absolutely perfect for lamb.  Cheers!

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Sarah's wine of the week. 1/10/18

January 10th, 2018 10:16am - Posted By: Sarah Strasser

Kopke -
Fine Tawny Port
Regular Price: $17.99
Sale Price: $13.99

Even though the holidays are long off again, one thing that you should continue to enjoy year round is dessert wine. Port is perfect after dinner and I am particularly fond of it in the colder months. Whether having it with chocolates after dinner or a cigar in front of the fire, port is something to keep on hand. Kopke is universally acknowledged as the first Port house since it was founded in 1638 by German brothers Cristiano and Nicolaus Kopke. That means that they have continuously been producing port for 380 years! They still continue to hand paint each bottle as is the tradition in the Port region. Fine Tawny means that the port was aged for a minimum of 2 years in wood and is ready to drink when it is bottled. A classic pairing is chocolate but unlike Peter Pan my boyfriend apparently had no childhood because he had never had bread pudding. This tawny is still very youthful and has pronounced cherry notes so I used dried cherries in the place of raisins and the pairing was fantastic. Bright cherry notes, rich texture and toffee undertones make this a great all purpose port. Cheers! 


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Matt's wine of the week. 1/10/18

January 10th, 2018 10:15am - Posted By: Matt Modrzejewski

Domaine Maestracci
Clos Reginu Corse Calvi 2016
Regular Price: $20.99
Sale Price: $15.99

We are now into the second week of this 2018 calendar year and many of the new year resolutions like, work out more, eat healthier and lose weight are well underway. Many of the regiments that go along with these resolutions involve meals that are light and lean with proteins like chicken, fish and pork. While allowing yourself to still have a glass of wine with a dinner like this and not move away from the reds that we have enjoyed over the holidays this Corsican red blend pairs so perfectly here. Winemaker Camille-Anaïs Raoust, granddaughter of Roger Maestracci, draws from the unique micro climate on the plateau of Reginu or U Vinu di E Prove, the wine of the Prove and showcases the clay, sand and granite soils with the iodized ocean breeze. Regional varieties like Niellucio (35%) and Sciacarello (15%) mingle with Grenache (35%) and Syrah (15%) to create a red fruit medley with hints of wet leather and anise. A lighter red with great personality! -Cheers!

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Sarah's Wine of the Week 1/3/2018

January 3rd, 2018 9:57am - Posted By: Sarah Strasser

Mas Janeil – Grenache/Syrah blend 2015
Sale $6.99
Reg. $11.99

Rolling into the new year after all of the festivities it’s time to relax! How can you relax with tax season looming and holiday credit card bills rolling in you ask? With a delicious bottle of wine that’s only $7! Francois Lurton’s Mas Janeil red blend comes to us from southern France which in my opinion has some of the best values in red wine in our store. The blend is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah with rich, silky texture coming from the Grenache and bright acidity and peppery notes coming from the Syrah. Notes of dark cherry, boysenberry, ripe raspberry and balanced earthiness make up the palate on this straight forward but delightful bistro style wine. I cracked open the bottle, poured myself a glass and splashed some of the wine into the gnocchi dish I was making with my partner in crime. Made for my kind of relaxing night and was delicious without breaking the bank. Cheers!

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Matt's Wine of the Week 1/3/2018

January 3rd, 2018 9:55am - Posted By: Matt Modrzejewski

Protocolo - Tinto 2015
Regular Price: $11.99
Sale Price: $7.99

When I started in this wine and spirits business at twenty-one I certainly experimented with the usual suspects in the cheap beer and spirits categories. It was all about the biggest bang-for-your-buck in college and some nights we definitely went out with a bang! As I began navigating through some of the craft beers that had just been coming out at the time and trying to refine my taste in better spirits, I asked myself one day, “what’s this wine stuff all about?” So, I picked up a bottle of Protocolo Tinto as a recommendation from our wine manager at the time that insisted that I skip over the “sweet phase” that a lot of times can be the beginning of most folks entry into experiencing wine. That night I was forever changed and my search for the biggest bang-for-your-buck turned into a search for the best values different parts of this vast world of wine have to offer. Protocolo Tinto 2014 is from the DO (Denominación de Origen) of Spain, Castilla-Lamancha and is produced by the Eguren family with the vision of making fine wines at a reasonable price. The family has been growing grapes and producing wine since 1870 and with a long pedigree of accoladed vintages this Spanish red absolutely tows that chain. 100% Tempranillo, smooth but packed with flavor, this wine offers up colorful red fruits like blackberry, raspberry and pomegranate that balance out nicely with vanilla bean, coffee and soft tannin. Great with some spicy sausage off the grill and medley of veggies! -Cheers

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Adrian's Wine of the Week 1/3/2018

January 3rd, 2018 9:49am - Posted By: Adrian Zabolitzki

Foxglove – Zinfandel 2015
Sale Price:  $13.99
Regular Price:  $16.99

Happy New Year everyone!  Now that we’re past the whirlwind of the holidays, I thought I would treat myself to a delicious, decadent but balanced red that I could just sit with and sip on while avoiding the frigid temperatures outside.  Zinfandel is the perfect varietal for this style, but I wanted something balanced and fresh tasting without the porty weight that some carry.  While Varner Wines is devoted to the production of handmade, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles wines, the Varner brothers also make Foxglove, their second label that is great for everyday drinking.  Aging takes place in stainless steel to preserve bright freshness of fruit and keep the prices down.  Foxglove Zinfandel was everything I was hoping for.  Bright ripe cherry and berries burst from the glass while little floral and cigar box hints add nice complexity.  Medium bodied and velvety smooth, this is a great bang for the buck for these cold, wintry days.  Cheers!

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Matt's wine of the week. 12/27/17

December 27th, 2017 10:38am - Posted By: Matt Modrzejewski

Innocent Bystander
Pink Moscato 2015
Regular Price: $15.99
Sale Price: $11.99

The magic of this great season is in full swing and the magic in this bottle is waiting to brighten up the next few evenings or just pop with the coming of the new year! If I had a silly straw, it would go in to this playfully pink sparkler that bursts with red apple, pear and pop rocks. This Innocent Bystander Pink Moscato is like an unexpected kiss from a promising courter that you wake up thinking about the next day. Excitingly floral with tulip and melon, followed up with a volume of bright fruit and dancing bubbles on the palate! Everything about this wine is as titular as its name and the 100% Gordo and Black Muscat deliver a beautiful, full, unapologetic bottle that is only short of putting a straw in. Make sure you check out the split bottles as well! - Cheers

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Sarah's wine of the week. 12/27/17

December 27th, 2017 10:37am - Posted By: Sarah Davidson

Etienne Calsac -
Extra Brut Champagne NV
Regular Price: $47.99
Sale Price: $39.99

True Champagne is one of my favorite things and there are a lot of small producers out there making amazing stuff. Etienne Calsac took over his grandparent's 2.8 hectare vineyard (roughly 6.5 acres) in 2010 and started making incredible Champagne. The vineyards are around Avize and Etienne makes sure that the vineyards are maintained with cover crops and farmed using lutte raisonnée methods. Lutte raisonnée translates to the "reasoned fight" in French and is a more sustainable and organic method using manure and brings the natural biodiversity back to the vineyards. Etienne vinifies each parcel separately before aging the wine on the lees in bottle for 36 months. He ages the wine an additional 3 months after disgorgement before the wine is released. His extra brut Champagne is 95% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir from limestone and clay soils in the Côte des blancs and the Grande Vallée de la marne and malolactic fermentation is completed. He only made 465 cases of this beauty! Pronounced chalky minerality, lime zest and a subdued brioche note, this Champagne is focused and linear without being overly lean. Treat yourself right to start off the new year and get some of this limited beauty! Cheers!

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Adrian's wine of the week. 12/27/17

December 27th, 2017 10:35am - Posted By: Adrian Zabolitzki

Bereche et Fils -
Brut Reserve NV
Regular Price: $47.99
Sale Price: $43.99 

2017 has been a whirlwind, passing in the blink of an eye.  Now, with New Year’s Eve right around the corner, you may be looking for a great bottle of Champagne to celebrate.  Bereche Brut Reserve would be a great option!  Like many landowners in the Champagne region, the Bereche family sold their grapes to the large houses for many years.  But for the last few decades, they have focused their efforts into producing their own wines from their 9.5 hectares in the Montagne de Reims.  When sons Raphael and Vincent joined the estate in the 2000's they took it to another level, by going in the direction of natural winemaking methods without the use of herbicides and treatments in the vineyards and the use of spontaneous fermentation in the cellar.  A blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, this delicious bubbly has distinct focused energy at the core.  The low dosage puts it towards the dry side for Brut but not to the point of being too nervy.  They avoid malolactic fermentation, allowing fresh minerality and acid to complement the red and citrus fruits, while floral and spicy tones round out the complexity.  Happy New Year everyone!

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Adrian's wine of the week. 12/20/17

December 20th, 2017 10:06am - Posted By: Adrian Zabolitzki

May Georges –
Cremant de Loire
Regular Price: $21.99
Sale Price:  $15.99

I have written about the ‘Garden of France’, the Loire Valley, before.  It runs the length of the Loire River from the eastern side near Orléans, all the way to the west coast where it hits the Atlantic.  In between, the valley is dotted with wine appellations of different microclimates planted to a wide range of varietals, producing many different styles of wine ranging from reds to whites to off dry whites and even to sparkling.  In keeping with my theme this month, I jumped on the opportunity to take home and review this sparkling blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.  Crémant de Loire is one of 8 regions allowed to use the Crémant name, and is made in the same way as Champagne, but outside the Champagne  region, and the laws governing their production are only slightly less stringent.  The fruit comes from three single vineyards in Touraine, Montlouis, and along the central Loire River.  This is a fantastic Crémant!  It's like drinking a Vouvray Brut at half the price.  White fruit, floral, mouthwatering acidity, and even biscuity aromatics make this another great choice, not only for your holiday festivities, but as an aperitif after work or with fresh fish and seafood, and of course fried chicken!  Cheers!


Please email if you are interested in the lottery for Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2014. #1 on this years top 100 list!!

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Sarah's wine of the week. 12/20/17

December 20th, 2017 10:04am - Posted By: Sarah Strasser

Chateau La Grace Dieu –
St. Emilion 2009
Regular Price: $35.99
Sale Price: $28.99

What I love most about Christmas probably has to be Christmas dinner with the special people in my life and killer wine. Few things seem as decadent as Bordeaux and when you have a perfectly aged one for this price point it’s a pretty special thing. This wine definitely deserves to be enjoyed with a rich and hearty dish like steaks or cassoulet to let those aromatics really sing. I was surprised at how drinkable this was as soon as I poured a glass. I would recommend gentle decanting for the sediment at the bottom but you can begin enjoying this as soon as you pop the cork. Just wait to see how this opens up and becomes more and more gorgeous as time goes on. The tension between the earthiness and remaining fruit is perfect and I think this is nearing its peak drinking window although it does have a few mores years left. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc with notes of spiced plum, subtle serrano pepper, luxardo cherry, anise, leather, and toffee. Integrated tannins and subtle acidity are perfectly in harmony with this elegant Merlot. Everyone have a safe and happy holiday! Merry Christmas!

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Matt's wine of the week. 12/20/17

December 20th, 2017 10:03am - Posted By: Matt Modrzejewski

Duckhorn Decoy
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Regular Price: $25.99
Sale Price: $18.99

Being a man of tradition and consistency I love things that I can count on. This 2015 Cabernet from Duckhorn's line of Decoy varietals is certainly a vintage and varietal worthy offering. Deep red fruits of cherry, blackberry and dewberry frolic with a rich mouthfeel and easy tannin and acidity that make this true New World Cab effortless at a party. I am all about this wine before during and after an easy steak or any of the fare that we will be loading our plates with over the next couple of weeks. This Cabernet has Holiday written all over it and the only trap here is that you may want to fill your glass more than once! And to wrap this up with a little teaser, I might have a bottle of the #1 Spectator Top 100 Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2014 randomly drawn from anyone that clicks the link in Adrian's writeup this week on our website for $99.99. -Cheers!

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Matt's wine of the week. 12/13/17

December 13th, 2017 8:21am - Posted By: Matt Modrzejewski

Warrior Porto
Regular Price: $19.99
Sale Price: 2 for $24

Happy holidays everyone! It is with my warmest of welcomes that I introduce Warre’s Warrior Porto to our two for $24 section for this holiday season. Some of the best value to quality wines we have available in the store are located in our esteemed “2 for” sections and for the first time ever we have a port in the mix. Founded in 1670, Warre’s is the oldest British Port house in Portugal and is currently owned and operated by the Symington family. The history and tradition in the making of this port spans two hundred years, with their first port produced in the early 1700s by William Warre himself, the family were long established members of the East India Company when they began to go to market, and with this strong relationship the Warre brand was shared with the world as they knew it then. To this day, the rich and full bodied Warre’s ports are enjoyed across the globe and this Warrior in particular is stellar, with great red fruits that pop in the nose and have a savory balance of spice and tannin that accompany decadent desserts and hearty cheeses. My choice for an after dinner beverage that is pleasant and contemplative. -Cheers  

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Sarah's wine of the week. 12/13/17

December 13th, 2017 8:18am - Posted By: Sarah Strasser

Double Canyon –
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Regular Price: $23.99
Sale Price: $18.99

If this Cabernet was born in California I could hardly keep it on the shelf at this price. Done. Sometimes I wish it were that easy to sell wine! I honestly think if I had this gorgeous Cabernet from Horse Heaven Hills in the Columbia Valley on the California shelf if would fly out of here. Washington continues to be overlooked by consumers for Cabernet even though the state has proved their worth in the wine world and the prices are hard to beat. The Horse Heaven Hills AVA within the Columbia Valley is known for being one of the premier regions for Cabernet and is where Double Canyon set up camp. Double Canyon got their name from their 90 acre vineyard that has two deep ravines crossing through it and has very distinct terroir including volcanic activity and ancient glacier deposits. The vineyard has double the average vine density in Washington to force the vines to fight for nutrients and yields less fruit but of higher quality. This Cabernet is chewy and dense with notes of blueberry, black currant and dark plum with undertones of leather and anise. Chewy tannins and balanced acidity make this the perfect pairing for a steak or roast. Your guests will be blown away and you'll be smiling that you spent less than $20. Cheers! 

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Adrian's wine of the week. 12/13/17

December 13th, 2017 8:16am - Posted By: Adrian Zabolitzki

Andé et Mireille Tissot -
Crémant du Jura
Regular Price: $25.99
Sale Price:  $21.99

I'm continuing with reviewing sparkling wine through the end of the year, and this week's bubbly from the French region of Jura is a fantastic find for all of you wine geeks out there.  A steal for the price and undoubtedly one of the top examples of Crémant from the Jura, Tissot's blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Poulsard, and Trousseau truly approaches the wines of Champagne, France.  Half of the wine is fermented in barriques, adding a toasty and smokey quality to the ripe orchard fruit character.  It has nice concentration and the plentiful bubbles lend a light and refreshing lift to the rich palate of apple and pear.  Hints of anise, floral and mineral notes add nice complexity to this easy-to-drink value sparkler!  Cheers!

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