2017 CASALE DEL GIGLIO VIOGNIER LAZIO
While the Latium region around the city of Rome is renowned the world over for its history, culture, and religious impact, the wine reputation is surprisingly lacking in comparison to other parts of the country. There is plenty of wine made there, of course, but outside of a few regional pockets (Frascati, Est! Est!! Est!!!, Orvietto) there are few names that mean much of anything to the outside world. In recent years this has led a lot of the more industrious wineries to experiment with more international grape varieties to try and find a new voice. Casale del Giglio in Aprila North of Rome was among the first to develop their program and has some fascinating wines at their disposal. This Viognier borrows more from the French style, with less of the perfume-y aromatics and more acidity on the palate. Vibrant and racy with cool white flowers and melons on the aroma, extremely fresh on the palate with a nice round texture that holds up to a surprising number of dishes. It may not be 'native' Italian, but it definitely has its sensibilities.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
2015 LES VIGNOBLES GUEISSARD COTES DE PROVENCE 'LES PAPILLES'
The Provence region covers a broad swath of the French Mediterranean from the Italian border to where the Rhone enters the sea near Marseille. In between is a vast spectrum of vineyards that vary wildly in quality and quantity of wines produced. It can be difficult to navigate the oceans of mediocre bottles to find the most interesting ones when there is very little differentiation on the labels from one another. The steeply terraced vineyards of Bandol is one of those standouts, considered among the finest in Southern France, and anything that makes use of grapes here is worth seeking out. Gueissard works vineyards both inside Bandol and just outside to boundaries, making reds (and Roses) under both appellation names. The Cotes de Provence blends some of the Bandol fruit into it, and sees less time in oak to give it a more approachable flavor. A fairly even blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre, with a hearty edge to the gamey dark fruit and just enough ripeness to bring some modern richness to the palate. Something a little different for those that have a Cotes du Rhone as their 'go-to' red wine.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2016 AZ. AG. GIORGIO ZAGLIA FRIULIANO FRIULI
At one time, this native grape of Friuli was called 'Tocai Friuliano'. The name was changed recently to help cut down on the confusion between it and the Tokaji/Tokay wine regions of Hungary and Slovakia. Those wines are noteworthy sweet wines, along the sweetness and quality levels of great Sauternes, while Friuliano is a round and softly fruited wine with a bit of perfume but no actual sweetness. Pinot Grigio reaches some of its highest levels of expression in these hills, but Friuliano makes the wines that best describe the region. This is a great introduction to the variety if you have not had the pleasure, full of fresh pears and white fruits, as well as the tell-tale varietal aroma many will associate with acacia blossoms. Lots of weight on the palate for the money, definitely not a 'shrinking violet' wine with no body, perfect for a cocktail or lighter meals.
Regular Price $11.99, $10.14/case
2014 CLAAR CELLARS CABERNET/MERLOT WHITE BLUFFS COLUMBIA VALLEY
If you like the style of Washington wines, they can provide some of the best value found in American wines. One aspect is the remoteness of the Columbia River valley where many of the best vineyards are located. Even until very recently the cost of vineyard land was remarkably inexpensive, which enabled lots of growers to get started without nearly as much debt. This translates into more production of less expensive wines, and if you enjoy their deeper, plummier fruit character you are in for some real treats. You also find more eco-conscious houses like Claar Cellars out in the Columbia Valley, with all their vineyards certified sustainable and salmon safe, important for the fisherman downriver. This Cab/Merlot blend is classic for Washington, deep and rich with lots of dark currant and cocoa tones and lots of polish on the palate. For those that think Merlot is too tame a grape, the Washington versions generally have more intensity and depth, so its presence here does not lessen the wine at all, just allows a little bit more of a satiny texture to the finish. A tasty everyday option for food and fun.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
NV MARFIL CAVA BRUT
The narrative is changing for Cava, becoming a much improved source for artisan sparkling wines of real character instead of the high volume/low diversity reputation it has carried for so long. In this one sub-region where Marfil is located, there has evolved a variation of the Xarel-Lo grape peculiar to the version used in the rest of Penedes. Here they call it Pansa Blanca, and in much the same way the wines of Brunello use a different Sangiovese clone, these wines are noticeably different than their neighbors. Marfil craft this tasty organic Cava (as well as a still white wine and fascinating Solera style dessert wine) using traditional methods as well as native yeasts to bring out the distinct flavors of their hidden gem. Classic dry aromas of crisp citrus with a touch of yeast from extensive aging on the lees before release, which also brings out extra richness on the palate. The complexity is much more interesting from the use of native yeasts and the Pansa Blanca grape, a touch more savory herbs and notes of green citrus you usually don't get at this price point. A nice match with light seafood or tapas.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
2016 FX BARC CHINON 'LA PETITE TIMONERIE'
The Loire is one of our favorite wine sources in France, if not in all of Europe, and we are constantly fascinated with the continuous stream of new producers that are available to us. Owner/winemaker Francois Xavier was head winemaker at one of the more established estates in Chinon for many years before striking out on his own to create his own wines. Using his connections to growers across the Loire he established sources of grapes for what is now more than a dozen different red, whites, and roses from multiple appellations. And these aren't throw-away vines, either, as the majority of properties are organically run and well established vines of more than 20 years. This bottling comes from two 45 year old vineyards planted in the sandy soils closer to the river which brings out the more delicate aspects of Cabernet Franc. Fragrant crunchy red berries with the soft silky earthiness that the Loire is so well known for. This is built with no oak aging and the intention to be drunk sooner rather than later, so all the delicious flavors are right up front ready to impress. Excellent match with pepper steak.
Regular Price $$18.99, $16.14/case
These wines regularly sell for $97.94
For Select Six July they are $83.99
You Save $13.95!
Select Six White (2 of each white) is $75.99
Select Six Red (2 of each red) is $91.99
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Seasonal Picks at a Great Price
Each month we pick six fantastic wines and give them to you at an even better price when purchased together