While the Rhone region is constantly a source for great value red wines, their white wine values are a bit fewer and farther between. Plantings of many varieties (other than Viognier) are on the decrease in favor of more 'trendy' white grapes like Chardonnay, and there is actually more growth in white Rhone variety production over the last few years in California than the actual Rhone. That is why wines like this are so attractive to us. Roussanne is one of the most distinctive white varieties, full and intense with a uniquely dry spice and exotic tea aromatic, and is often the base for the most sought after White Chateauneuf-du-Papes produced. It's highly prized, so getting the chance to taste a value bottling from one of our most trusted producers in the Rhone is a real treat every year. Cool white fruit aroma with fresh mint and tea give a lot more aromatic complexity than usually found in a white at this price point, and the naturally fat texture fills the palate with those flavors. A great multi-purpose wine for warmer weather that will bring a lot of pleasure to the more adventurous-minded drinker.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
2013 JOAO PORTUGAL RAMOS ALENTEJANO TINTO RESERVA
A lot of the attention for Portuguese wines is focused, deservedly, on the regions around the Douro River valley in the North. But there is a lot of improvement over the last few decades in the wine regions to the South as well, creating better balanced wines in one of the hottest climates found in Europe. Tempranillo is popular here the way it is in Spain (locally called Aragonez), but also sees a lot of blending with other popular hot weather varieties like Syrah, Alicante Bouchet, and Touriga Nacional of Port-making fame. The wines tend to be lower in acidity, and lesser bottlings can get a raisiny character from overripe or sunburned grapes, but there are also fine examples like this one that provides a delicious and unique experience. Deep in color with loads of warm spice and red fruits on the nose, with a palate that is equally warm and inviting with no hard edged astringency or heat on the palate from excessive alcohol. Softer than a Cotes du Rhone but with a similar richness, this will make for a fun everyday drinker with your spicier red meat dishes.
Regular Price $13.99, $11.89/case
2014 Romuald Petit Bourgogne Chardonnay
Another instance where Small >Big in the game of wine enjoyment. The broad region of the Macon at the southern end of Burgundy is a hodge-podge of vineyard sites pocketed around areas of quality, as well as some very pedestrian and everyday ones. There are lots of chances for values here, but also a lot of wines where you get barely what you pay for. This 'basic' Bourgogne is constructed by a small domaine from small vineyard plots individually vinified before assemblage to create more distinctive character; this particular bottling comes mostly from a site with a unique red limestone soil, which provides a vibrancy not usually found in wines from the Macon. The wine is also aged on its lees (unfiltered pulp and skin) which provides a lusher, fuller texture to the wine without the need for barrel aging. Vibrant and fresh aromas of apple and pear and a touch of seashell, clean and quenching on the palate with plenty of texture and minerality to take on all sorts of seafood or poultry dishes, but also pleasant enough on its own to enjoy a glass solo.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
2014 GAUDOU MALBEC ROSE COTES DU LOT
Dry Rose shows off its versatility again by playing the role of a red wine in this month's Select Six, and a very unique one this time at that. The Lot River is an offshoot of the Garonne River that extends well into the center of France, and its name has very little little impact on most wine drinkers. But the most famous wine region on its banks, Cahors, is very well known for dark, intensive Malbec based wines that can rival Bordeaux for tannic intensity. We haven't really seen much in the way of dry Rose from here until recently when the appellation system was adjusted to provide a place name that would cover this type of wine. And we are so thankful for it, because it puts such a great spin on what the varietal can do. Made from the saignee (or 'bleed-off') process, this gets a juicier red color from the dark skinned Malbec but retains a dry, earthy aroma and flavor, full of dark cherry skins and strawberry leaf, and a quenching palate that sees more tannin than many Rose on the finish. Surprisingly sturdy with food as the full on Cahors reds are, but with a pretty, refreshing side as well.
Regular Price$13.99, $11.89/case
2013 JOAO PORTUGAL RAMOS VINHO VERDE LOUREIRO
Another unique wine from Portugal, and also from the collections of wines from Joao Portugal Ramos, but this time from the northern region of Vinho Verde. Most consumers recognize the name 'Vinho Verde' as a particular type of wine; crisp, inexpensive whites usually with a touch of pinpoint-sized fizz that makes the wine that much more exciting on the palate. While this type of wine makes up a very large portion of the region's production, there is more to be had, including the occasional red. This wine represents a slightly more 'serious' variation on the white Vinho Verde in that it features a single grape varietal (Loureiro) instead of a blend, and is made without the carbonation. The juicy ripe pear and white fruit is refreshing and mouthfilling for the price, with a touch of lime zest on the palate to bring enough acidity in that you don't miss the carbonation at all. A delicious wine to keep in the fridge for light seafood or surprise company.
Regular Price $10.99, $9.34/case
2013 LA CELESTIERE VIN DE PAYS DE VAUCLUSE
This bottling has made repeated appearances in our Select Six the last few vintages because it's a great example of the diversity found in the wines of the Rhone. La Celestiere is a very well regarded and established producer with several levels of Cotes du Rhone and Chateauneuf-du-Papes, but like any good producer is always on the lookout for new opportunities to make quality wines that are also good values. They are doing what many producers in the Rhone are, and instead of taking on the expensive battle of purchasing land from others in their appellation, they are looking just outside their boundaries to Ventoux and Vaucluse, where the same grapes have been grown for centuries but the cost of land isn't as expensive becuse the wines have not become as famous. An expert hand here can turn ordinary vines into some pretty stellar values. This bottling carries a very unique mix of grapes, with near-equal parts of Grenache and Syrah (no surprises), small amounts of Carignan and Cinsault (not too unusual) and Alicante (hey now!) an underused hybrid that brings a spicy red fruit to the wine similar to a Zinfandel. Classic dark Rhone fruits on the nose with a pop of spice and cherry from the Alicante, and lots of weight on the palate without much dark tannin, making the fruit very soft and approachable, which is exactly what you want from an everyday wine. Another great option to bring to the cookout that won't be like anything anyone else brought over.
Regular Price $11.99, $10.19/case
These wines regularly sell for $82.94
For Select Six June they are $70.99
You Save $11.95!
Select Six Red is $67.99
Select Six White is $73.99
Pick ANY three bottles from the Select Six lineup and receive 10% off