NV RUBUS BLANC DE BLANC BRUT-$10.99
NV CHAMPAGNE TROUILLARD 'EXTRA SELECTION' BRUT-$37.99
NV ROLAND CHAMPION CHAMPAGNE GRAND CRU BLANC DE BLANC 'ECLAT DE CRAIE'-$42.99
2020 PATRICIA RAQUIN BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR-$24.99
We wanted to end the year on a high note, and since it's been a few years since we have been able to do a tasting in the lead-up to New year's Eve, we wanted to do it right. So we have our good friend Bob Widdows from the Winchester based importer Kysela Pere et Fils in the store today to pour you some of their wines that will more than get you into the celebratory spirit. Three sparkling wines and one newly arrived red Burgundy (for those that just aren't in the mood for bubbles) will be available to taste today and tomorrow, and all four will take the Insider's Pick 10% discount on both days. Not pictured, and not available for tasting but eligible for the 10% discount, is the 2016 Rolland Champion Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 'Special Club' ($74.99) while supplies last. If you are looking for something a little more distinctive and unique for your celebration, please ask Bob for all the details about this special wine. Hope to see you here, and if not have a safe and wonderful New Years!
INSIDER'S PICK SPECIAL w/BROCK KAPPERS OF WINEBOW 1-5pm 2021 YALUMBA 'Y SERIES' VIOGNIER SOUTH AUSTRALIA-$14.99 2021 BARBOURSVILLE VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY VIRGINIA-$17.99 2021 G.D. VAJRA VINO ROSATO 'ROSA BELLA' ITALY-$21.99 2020 TURLEY WINE CELLARS OLD V
We wanted to do something a little more special for our last Insider's Pick before Christmas, especially since it's been far too many years since we've been able to do one. Also figured you may need a little bit of extra motivation to get out in this dreary weather. So we invited our long time friend Brock Kappers from Winebow imports to break out a nice selection for a Thursday tasting that would usually be reserved for Saturday. All four wines are available for the Insider's Pick discount, so you have your choice of what you want to take home, and they will all be available or tasting (and discounts) on Friday as well. Brock won't be here tomorrow, unfortunately, so if you want the pleasure of his company while tasting wines today is your day. Hope to see you here!
Though they've only been making wines since 2008, Birichino (pronouonced 'biri-kino', Italian for being mischievous) has made a sizeable impact on the Californian wine scene as one of the best names to know for 'hands-off' winemaking. Their initial focus surprisingly was Malvasia, creating uniquely floral yet dry examples of the grape that few were even attempting, and shortly thereafter finding vineyards to source for making equally unique reds. Their methodology- native yeasts for fermentation, neutral oak, use of whole clusters for both reds and whites- generally creates more of a European/Old World style with less alcohol and extracted character, but adds vibrancy and a distinct racy freshness that has won over many many fans. The bulk of fruit for their St Georges series of wines comes from the Besson Vineyard, a family farm first planted by Italian bootleggers at the turn of the 1900's, and exists merely yards below the southern boundary of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. For the Pinot Noir they source some additional fruit from nearby vineyards in the Chalone AVA and Lime Kiln Valley, with all the fruit handled to the same care as their home vineyard. The resulting wine is definitively Californian, but runs contrary to the stereotype of what Cali Pinot tends to be. Zigs where it usually zags, snappy instead of sappy, a flurry of punches instead of a knockout swing. The nose is full of dark cherry and cool cola with no heady tones or sweetness, with some citrus notes as it opens up more and more. The palate is where the wine either makes it or breaks it for Pinot fans; crunchy, tart red fruits with very fine and light earthy tannins, finishing with a mouthwateringly citrus and blood orange note. If you like it jammy, this won't be your, well, jam. If you like it lithe and racy, you will be in love.
For the last few hundred years the Douro River valley's has been almost exclusively known for it's production of Port, deservedly recognized as one of the world's great fortified wines. Recent decades have seen a continuous decrease in the demand for these types of wines; speculation, but many see it as a general move away from the sweetness and high alcohol in the wine, as well as the perceived 'need' to age them. Many wineries have converted more of their harvest to making regular unfortified table wines, and has helped Portugal emerge recently as a strong source for value wines. It's also spurred a lot of new wave winemakers to explore and embrace the region's history beyond fortified wines, finding forgotten terroirs and elevating them in brand new ways. Luis Seabra is one of the leaders in this movement, described by wine writer Eric Asimov as 'making some of Portugal's most compelling wines, both red and white'. His wines are similar to our favorite old vine Zinfandel producers in California, in that they embrace the whole of the vineyards and all the varietals that may be planted in these older mixed sites instead of cherry picking certain grapes. The Xisto Ilimito bottling is his entry level to his single site 'Cru' wines, a blend from three subzones in the Douro all planted on schist soils and featuring seven different native varietals that, other than Tinta Roriz (Tempranillo), will not be familiar to anyone. This wine breaks a lot of preconceptions about Douro wines, especially the ones of them being heavy and alcoholic. Dark with lots of tarry, briary black fruits on the nose at first, it's young and tight and takes some swirling or even decanting to coax out the floral, almost citrusy side. The palate is earthy with very fine drying tannins, very energetic and minerally, taking some extra time open for the fruit to show up as much as it does on the nose. This has shown the ability to evolve for more than a few years into an exotic, savory and uniquely complex red, and would want a pretty hearty meal and some decanting to show it off now.
The Insider's Pick wine will be available to taste Thursday and Friday and gets a 10% discount during the tasting. Come on by and taste some delicious wine!
In most growing areas, Pinot Blanc tends to be more of a workhorse grape than a superstar. It pops up across much of Europe (called Pinot Bianco or Weissburgunder in some countries) and makes clean, bright wines with nice acidity if not a lot of intensity or aromatics. The term 'quiet' gets applied to their wines with some frequency, sort of a damning with faint praise. In the right hands, with a bit of love and extra labor, it can make wine that rivals its more famous vineyard mates of Riesling and Pinot Gris. One producer we have, Cantina Terlano from the Alto Adige in Italy, makes some of the very best versions of the grape, so our standard here is high, and we have to say this is probably the best domestic version we have had the chance to taste. The big necessity with Pinot Blanc is to give it time to age on the skins and pulp, as well as bottling it with minimal filtration to eek out every last bit of flavor and texture the grape has to give. It takes time, and for most basic wines it may not be worth the effort, but here the rewards are oh so worthwhile. Light gold in the glass with a cool minerality to the nose with some white almond notes, and some surprisingly pretty floral and white peach showing as it opens up. Those 'quiet' characteristics are definitely getting louder here. The palate has wonderful texture, juicy and racy at the same time with lots of quince and peach pulp and a light dose of skin tannin to the dry and crystal clean finish. At its best with lighter white fish/river fish dishes, but that sur lie texture can definitely help it hold its own versus pork or poultry dishes that aren't too aggressively spiced.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!