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2014 FONDO ANTICO I VERSI BIANCO
Along with perhaps South Africa, Sicily has seen as big an improvement in their wines over the last two decades as any place in the world. With improved techniques in the vineyards and the winery, the focus on quality has provided tremendous results at both the top end and the bottom end. Their focus has also been on nurturing native varieties instead of overdoing the replanting to more 'international' varieties like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, so the improvement shows off their distinctive regional character. This terrific value blends three native grapes-Grillo, Insolia, and Grecanico- and delivers plenty of sun-dried Sicilian character. Lightly golden in color the aromas are mostly warm melon and orange fruits with some hints of rind and anise, much less tropical than you would expect from such a warm climate. The palate is fairly weighty for the price with more melon rind as well as fresh peach and a clean refreshing finish. It's an adventurous everyday wine that works well with all kinds of ingredients, perfect to have in the fridge ready to pull at a moment's notice and not having to worry about the cost.
Regular Price $10.99, $9.34/case
2013 POST HOUSE CELLAR 'BLUEISH BLACK' STELLENBOSCH
This producer is an exciting new addition to our expanding South African selection, brought in by one of our better local importers. The winery was founded on the property of the old post office in the Stellenbosch town of Raithby, and the names for all their wines refer to philately with either historically significant stamps or in this case color terminology (we also have the white wine from this series, called 'Blueish White'). A blend of four varieties that have traditional strength in Stellenbosch (Syrah, Pinotage, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) this is the quintessential South African value wine, showing inky, smoky dark fruits with telltale wild game aromas behind the blackcurrant and cherry, and a deep polished texture on the palate that allows a bit more of the fruit's sweetness to show through than on the nose. A great match with steaks or hearty red meat based dishes, the gamier the better.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2013 HILLINGER PINOT GRIS BURGENLAND
As a long-time Alsatian devotee, it almost pains me to type these words, but this Austrian bottling may just be the best value version of Pinot Gris we've come across in years. Once again Austria has shown it's ability to achieve both high quality ripeness and balancing acidity in dry wines that most other regions have to leave a touch sweeter to avoid tasting under-ripe and shrill. From first pour the aromas are full of juicy pear and melons with just enough green citrus and flowers mixed in to fend off any tropical sweetness, and as it opens up even pulls in a bit of fresh herbs and mintiness, in a sense 'cooling' the fruit aromas. The texture in the mouth is exceptional for a wine in this price point, loaded with pulpy fruit juiciness without a shred of lingering sugar or cloying softness, as the wine finishes with fine but not tongue searing acidity and lightly drying rind/fruit skin tannins. A great all-purpose food wine that works well for Summertime picnics as well as chasing away the humidity on its own.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2013 D&N PUGLIA ROSSO
Another great value from the 'heel' part of Italy, especially for those that find the majority of Italian wine too earthy and austere. Typically one of the warmest regions in the country, the wines carry a lot more fruit and lower acidity than found in Tuscany or the Piedmont. The region is also one of the least advanced, with only the city of Bari as a metropolitan area (barely bigger than Richmond, VA minus the suburbs). Vineyards have been as long as anywhere in Italy, but the lack of international appeal has kept demand and pricing low, meaning there are killer deals like this one out there just waiting to be found. A blend of primarily Negro Amaro with splashes of Malvasia Nera and perhaps even Primitivo (sometimes hard to nails down the exact blend in these wines year to year), the aromas are full of jammy red berries and sweet spices, loaded with warmth and sunshine. The palate is much lower in acidity than most Italian wine fans would expect, but at the same time shows more tannin on the finish and dried spice than your average value Zinfandel or field blend from California, occupying a happy middle ground between. A great wine for the neighborhood grill party.
Regular Price $9.49, $8.07/case
2013 J. FRITSCH GEWURZTRAMINER ALSACE
Most people fear a Gewurztraminer they haven't tasted before because it can be so hard to tell where on the sweetness scale it may fall. Alsace can be especially guilty of this, falling everywhere from bone dry to borderline late harvest with hardly a warning on the label. That is why we are here to screen them for you, and we can tell you with great certainty this one is D-R-Y. Impressively so, without loosing any of that beautiful varietal aromatic or ripe fruit on the palate. The clean, racy acidity brings a vibrant character and hints of citrus to the floral aromas, and cuts through the juicy finish like a knife. It's hard to find a Gewurztraminer that one could call 'refreshing' but this one pulls it off admirably. Great to pair with spicier foods, especially Asian cuisine, but also worthy of being a Summer sipper.
Regular Price $16.99, $14.44/case
2007 CASTELLO DI LUCIGNANO CHIANTI CLASSICO
On the sign in the store for this wine it simply says "Perfectly Aged, Perfectly Priced, Perfect with Dinner". That sentiment captures this wine, well, perfectly, but for the benefit of the Select Six we will go a bit deeper. This is a shining example of having such great importers based in Virginia that can retrieve gems like this from their wineries at fantastic prices. Matured at the winery, the aromas are of earthy red fruits and dried spices with hints of old cedar and truffles, telltale signs of maturity. The weight in the mouth has diminished some with age as there isn't the strong youthful fruit any more, but it has been replaced with silky polished tannins and velvety dark fruits. This is the sort of Chianti that mirrors mature Bordeaux in many ways and will encourage more of us to hide younger wines in this price range so they can bring us this sort of pleasure 4-6 years from now. Until then, we may as well enjoy what we have in hand, certain to make any meal seem a bit more refined.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
These wines regularly sell for $89.44
For Select Six August they are $76.99
You Save $12.45!
Select Six Red is $75.99
Select Six White is $77.99
Pick ANY three bottles from the Select Six lineup and receive 10% off