2017 YALUMBA VIOGNIER 'Y SERIES' SOUTH AUSTRALIA
When the resurrection of Australia's wine image is finally complete in the United States, converted back to a country of great diversity from the awful era of mass marketed 'critter labels', Yalumba will be considered one of the great wineries that survived and thrived on both sides. Coming up on 170 years of existence, the winery certainly has roots to the old school, but also lead the way in the Australian emergence during the 1990s-2000. They were among the very first to experiment with alternative closures like screw caps for higher quality wines well before tainted corks made it a worldwide issue, as well as championing grape other Rhone varieties like Grenache and Viognier in the face of large scale Syrah/Shiraz planting and promotion. Their entry level 'Y Series' provides a great value for the grape variety while still maintaining their commitment to environmentally conscious winemaking, even being Vegan friendly. Fresh wildflower fragrances and surprisingly bright, almost minerally white fruits on the nose, leaning more towards a French style than most Aussies usually do. The palate is round and enjoyably juicy, but again there is nice acidity that brings necessary acidity and crisp fruit. A fine cocktail option, even better with foods with a touch of spice or complex seasoning.
Regular Price $12.99, $11.04/case
2014 CASA LAPOSTOLLE MERLOT GRAND SELECTION VALLE DEL RAPEL
The public image of Chilean Merlot took a beating early on in its exportation during the 80s and 90s, as many consumers found them green and weedy when compared to Merlot from the rest of the world. Thanks to early exploration during the 90s into genetic studies of their vines, a large number of Merlot vines were to be mistakenly labeled as such, and were actually the Carmenere grape. Not only did it give Chilean wineries proper info into making their Merlot better, it gave them what was thought to be a long lost variety to start featuring. Now that the proper Merlot vines have been identified, they've had time to make world class wine again. Dark and earthy in aroma and flavor, this shows a lot of the influence Bordeaux has in Chile, with structure and firmer tannins than the typical cocktail Merlot. A little spot of Petit Verdot blended in gives it some inkier fruits and some oomph behind the polished red fruits, as well as some notes of dark chocolate or coffee. Great with hearty foods, and required experimentation for Bordeaux fans looking to see what else is out there in their wheel house.
Regular Price $15.99, $13.59
2017 DOMAINE DE ROQUEFORT 'PETIT SALE DE VILLENEUVE' PAYS DE BOUCES DU RHONE BLANC
While warmer climates generally produce fruitier and lower acidity wines than comparatively cooler ones, there are always tricks that can help a winery fight against those trends. Cooler sub-climates with windier conditions and less fertile soils can restrict a plants vigor, slowing the grape's sugar development which keeps their alcohol levels lower. Farming the vineyards organically or Biodynamic also lowers the plant's vigor, and when the plants are healthy result in big flavors without accompanying high alcohol levels. Producers like Chateau de Roquefort are great examples of those beliefs, a long time independent producer that embraces those philosophies, and their wines are often heralded as standout wines in a region that has a reputation for widespread mediocrity. A blend of Clairette and Vermentino, staples varieties of the Provence wine environment, this has an impressively fresh and expressive aroma of warm flowers, exotic oils, and fresh Mediterranean citrus. The palate surpasses the nose with a surprisingly round and lush mouthfeel (especially for a wine that weighs in at only 11.5%abv), bringing out loads of intensity to the citrus character, as well as a lengthy finish that shows absolutely zero signs of any sweetness. Pair this with a great seafood dish, someplace you would usually try a Muscadet or a Chablis.
Regular Price $18.99, $16.14/case
2015 CHATEAU VALCOMBE 'LES HAUTS VALCOMBE' COTES DE VENTOUX
When looking for values in the wine world, it's often a good idea to go 'next door to' the more famous wine names or growing areas. Adjacent to the southern Cotes du Rhone (known for containing the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Vacqueyras areas) sits the Cotes du Ventoux, containing the rolling foothills of the famous Mount Ventoux but not much in the way of famous wines. Many wineries in the Rhone are looking to source or own vineyards here to make their value wines, as opportunities to get vines in the Rhone become rare and increasingly expensive. Chateau Valcome is one of the very few wineries in Ventoux with a long standing history of independent production and high quality, so they are way ahead of the game, yet are still outstanding values compared to their CDR equivalents. 'Les Hauts' is a 60/40 blend of Grenache and Syrah from uniquely North-facing vineyards, which keeps the vines from ripening too quickly and getting the alcohol levels too high.Full bodied but distinctly less fruit forward than many Rhone wines, with loads of cool cherry and dried cranberry aromas along with notes of wild herbs and dark meats. The cooler vineyard facings allow the Syrah to get more savory flavors like in the Northern Rhone, and the use of cement tanks versus oak barrels for aging allow the wine texture without adding charred tannins or oaky flavors to get in the way of the natural intensity and personality. A wine that deserves a bit more attention than your typical pop and glug Cotes du Rhone, perfect with roasts and hearty simply cooked meat dishes.
Regular Price $17.99, $15.29/case
2017 LA FERLA INZOLIA TERRE SICILIANE
The Inzolia grape (also spelled 'Insolia' with equal frequency) is a workhorse variety native to Sicily. It was primarily known as a base for making Marsala, but now finds its way into blends all across the island. Thanks to improved modern winemaking techniques that help to prevent oxidation, it is even gaining popularity being featured on its own. Naturally light on its feet and lower in alcohol, it presents a tasty alternative to the all-too-often fruity inexpensive white wine options out there. Fresh white peach and pear skin aromas with just a touch of drier melon rind that keeps the aromas from veering into the tropical realm, with similar flavors on the palate. Plenty of body for the price point with no signs of sweetness, and the low 12%abv gives the wine a clean drinkability that almost goes down like water. A great everyday wine to have in the fridge and pull out at a moment's notice when the mood strikes.
Regular Price $10.99, $9.34/case
2013 THEODORAKAKOS ESTATE MAVROUDI LAKONIA
Greece has a wine culture and history as old and storied as that of Italy and other parts of Mediterranean Europe, but unfortunately has missed out on the structure and branding that brings in tourists and helps them get recognized across the rest of the world. Lots of vineyards filled with unique native varieties, but often lost to the draw of planting more 'international' varieties that consumers may know but have no Greek identity or character. Fortunately that pendulum is starting to swing, and consumers seem to desire that local flavor, which exists in spades from this winery in that heart of Spartan historical lands. The Mavroudi grape is dark and hearty with lots of strong flavors and big tannins, giving it a reputation similar to the 'black wines' of Cahors in France which are made from Malbec. And like Cahors, even the inexpensive ones need a few extra years in the bottle to start calming them down. Bordeaux-like earthy tones and initial aromas of cassis and pencil lead, with some warmer red fruits and plums that show as it opens. Still fairly tannic on the palate, but softening enough to show through the complexity and character that makes the wines interesting. Perfect with lamb and other hearty Mediterranean meat dishes.
Regular Price $14.99, $12.74/case
These wines regularly sell for $91.94
For Select Six September they are $78.99
You Save $12.95!
Select Six White (2 of each white) is $73.99
Select Six Red (2 of each red) is $83.99
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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