Aged Bordeaux Pre-Sale

Aged Bordeaux Pre-Sale

Below is a list of aged Bordeaux that we will have in stock around November 1st.  I chose these wines from an extensive list of aged Bordeaux.  I based my selection on winery reputation, score, vintage, and price.  These types of wines need a minimum of 10-15 years of bottle aging before they are ready to drink.  Lucky for you, most of the aging has been done for you!  Most of these wines are from the 2005 and 2009 vintages, which are the best two vintages in the past 20 years for the Bordeaux region of France.  Are these wines expensive?  Absolutely, what finer things in life aren’t?  Are they worth the price?  There is only one way to find out.  If you are interested in getting any of these wines, please give us a call or stop by the store for more information.  They are first come, first get so hurry before they are gone!

Vintage     Winery                                                                  # btls        Size         Cases        Scores                    Price

2009 CH BRANAIRE DUCRU ST JULIEN 09 12 750ml 1 96RP, 95 JS $127.99
2005 CH LA CROIX BEAUCAILLOU ST JULIEN 6PK 05 6 750 ML 1 93JS, 91RP, 91WS $86.99
2006 CH SAINT PIERRE ST JULIEN 06 12 750ml 1 93RP $84.99
2005 LA DAME DE MONTROSE ST ESTEPHE 05 12 750ml 1 90RP $82.99
2009 CH LA COUSPAUDE ST EMILION 09 12 750ml 3 94WS, 93RP $75.99
2009 CH LA DOMINIQUE ST EMILION 09 12 750ml 3 93WE, 93RP, 93SWE $89.99
2009 CH LA CROIX DU CASSE POMEROL 09 12 750ml 3 93WE $45.99
2005 CH HAUT BERGEY PESSAC LEOGNAN 05 12 750ml 2 91WS, 90RP, 90ST $50.99
2005 CH BATAILLEY PAUILLAC 05 12 750 ML 1 93RP, 91JS $123.99
2005 CH D ARMAILHAC PAUILLAC 05 12 750ml 1 92ST, 92W&S $108.99
2009 CH DAUZAC MARGAUX 09 12 750ml 1 92RP, 91WS $74.99

RP- Robert Parker

W&S- Wine & Spirits Magazine

JS – James Suckling

ST- Steven Tanzer

WE – Wine Enthusiast

WS – Wine Spectator

96 Rated Cabernet from Argentina less than $20!

Critical Acclaim

 96 Rating!

James Suckling

A wine with lots of depth and fruit now with dark berry and dark chocolate character. Full body, velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. So much here. Give it four to five years bottle age. Great wine.

Tapiz is one of the most renowned and awarded Argentine wineries, made even more famous by the addition of winemaker Jean Claude Berrouet in 2012, recently retired from Petrus after 44 vintages at the revered Bordeaux chateau. To celebrate his addition to the team, Tapiz created a new “Alta Collection” line of wines using fruit that comes solely from Tapiz’s sustainably farmed San Pablo vineyard in the Uco Valley. San Pablo is one of the highest altitude vineyards in Mendoza (4,600 feet above sea level). This extreme altitude provides for warm days which impart concentration to the grapes, and cold nights which give natural acidity.

Only $19.99 per bottle!

$17.99 by the case!

Stop by The Oconee Cellar and grab a bottle or a case before it’s all gone!

January 2017 Wine Club Selections

The Oconee Wine Club

Winery founder Bruce Cohn was introduced to the music industry at an early age. Prior to moving west from Chicago, Illinois, his father sang Italian Arias and his mother was known to have sung with Frank Sinatra in the Chicago nightclub scene. In 1956, the family relocated to the Bay Area and settled in Sonoma County. While at college, studying broadcasting and communications, Bruce became intimately involved with the San Francisco music scene, running a music rehearsal studio by day and serving as a television engineer at night. It was around this time, in 1970, that Bruce met and became the manager of the Doobie Brothers, which he managed for 45 years as they climbed the charts into Rock-n-Roll stardom.

B.R. Cohn Cabernet 2014 Retail $19.99
A bold, rich Cabernet with aromas of cassis, black cherry, mint and violet combine with a bouquet of pungent oak, anise, and warm vanilla. On the palate, lush cherry, caramel, and clove are wrapped in smooth tannin and a long juicy finish.

Excellent with corned beef and cabbage, bacon wrapped fillet mignon, or old fashion spaghetti and meat balls in marinara. Also serve with strong cheese and flat bread on your next vineyard outing or pair with your favorite dark chocolate.

Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot
B.R. Cohn Chardonnay 2015 Retail $15.99
This Chardonnay is sourced from select vineyards in the acclaimed Russian River Valley region of Sonoma County, where the cool climate allows the grapes to develop ripe, rich flavors, while maintaining a bright and refreshing acidity.

Connoisseur’s Club

The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley since the 1880’s. At the ages of 19 and 16, Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini eloped from their small village in the Tuscany region of Italy, making their way to California looking for land to farm and start a winery. Giuseppe had been a winemaker in Italy and with his viticulture knowledge he was hired to plant a vineyard for a farmer in Forestville. Within two years he earned enough money, and borrowed some from a local wood cutter, to purchase land of his own. Working side by side on a 60 degree slope, Giuseppe and Luisa planted a small area of Zinfandel and Muscat Alexandria vines, which later became known as the Jackass Hill vineyard. Over 100 years later, this south easterly exposure remains the steepest non-terraced vineyard in Sonoma County.

To this day, the Martinellis still sell more grapes then are used to make their own wines; about 90% of the grapes they farm are sold to other Sonoma County wineries. Lee Sr. and his two sons, Lee Jr. and George, continue the proud legacy of care-taking the land, and you may meet one of the Martinelli daughters, Julianna or Regina, on the road at various events or at the winery.

Martinelli Bella Vigna Russian River Pinot Noir 2013  $ 39.99

The 2014 Bella Vigna Pinot Noir is sure to become your go-to wine. This approachable wine is bright and fresh, with wonderful aromas of plum, red apple and hibiscus tea. Flavors include juicy cherry pie, currants and hints of cinnamon and vanilla.

Martinelli Bella Vigna Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 $39.99

90 Points Wine Spectator!

The Chardonnay grapes are picked between 24 and 26 degrees brix to ensure mature ripe fruit flavors. The wine is 100% barrel fermented with wild yeast, resting in 50% new French oak for 10 months before bottling. The wine is neither heat nor cold stabilized, and is un-fined and un-filtered, clarified only by racking before bottling.

Case Production: 495

The 2012 Bella Vigna Chardonnay has aromas of wet slate, lemon oil, lychee and vanilla. The palate is nicely balanced with flavors of green apple, creamy lemon, and touch of minerality.

 

November 2016 Wine Club Selections

november-2016-wine-club-selections

November Wine Club   Selections

Oconee Wine Club

This month we chose two wines from Chateau Clinet, one of the best Chateaus in all of Bordeaux.  Their Ronan line is meant for everyday drinking.  Ronan by Clinet is an approachable wine that reflects the style and savoir-faire of a prestigious Pomerol winery. It is a fresh, fruit-forward and delicately spiced wine, ready to drink now or age for several years.  It also comes in these great wooden boxes!

The red is a 100% Merlot from Bordeaux France.  The nose, very aromatic, has aromas of cherries, raspberries and black currants, decorated with pepper. Of great fruity freshness, bouquet also complemented by floral notes (blueberry flowers).  Retail $13.99ronan-by-clinet

The white is a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon.  This is a friendly wine with a pale golden color and bright reflections. On the nose, fresh scents, elderflower, lemon and white fruit are delicately coated.  Its delicious texture reveals flavors of ripe pears and citrus, embellished with spices such as cardamom and saffron. Retail $13.99
The Connoisuer Club
We chose two Italian wines for this month.  The red wine is called Il Bruciato from Tenuta Guado al Tasso.  This blend of 65% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, and 15% Syrah comes from the village of Bolgheri near the Tuscan coastline.   The Guado al Tasso estate, owned by Antinori,  is located approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri. The property, approximately 2500 acres (1000 hectares) in size, extends from the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the inland hills and includes, in addition to 750 acres (300 hectares) of vineyards, wheat, barley, and oat fields and olive groves in addition to woods which are utilized to raise Cinta Senese pigs, a prized local breed.  A rich and pleasurable wine on the nose with notes of sweet spices, toasted coffee, and ripe red berry fruit. The wine is elegant and balanced on the palate with good length and a highly  pleasurable fruity finish and aftertaste. Retail $31.99
The white is a Pinot Grigio made by Terlato in the famous Friuli region of Northern Italy.  This delicious white is a light gold color with aromas of ripe peach, apricot, citrus fruits and honeysuckle. The palate is lively and fresh with flavors of granny smith apple, stone fruits, and a core of minerality. It displays a mouthfilling texture and a mouthwatering crisp, clean finish.  This is our newest favorite Pinot Grigio and is the house PG for the Augusta National!  Retail $19.99

May 2016 Wine Club Selections

Oconee Wine Club May 2016

Two of Italy’s most acclaimed winemakers, brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, founded Falesco in 1979. Their philosophy is focused on balancing the uniqueness and tradition of native varietals with the versatility of international grapes. The result is a complete portfolio of wines that consumers and critics alike have recognized as exhibiting extreme value and Best of Class offerings.
falesco
Falesco Tellus Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 $13.99
90 Rated by Robert Parker

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Tellus is an amazing value wine and to my palate, it is by far the best of the three wines in the Tellus series. The wine offers true varietal notes of blackberry and dried cherry. It is aged in neutral oak for up to six months. You can taste some of those toasted notes, but they are not invasive.

Falesco Chardonnay 2014 $ 13.99
88 Rating by Robert Parker

Here’s a new wine from Falesco. The 2014 Chardonnay Tellus is made for an international palate and follows in the great success of the Syrah-based red wine Tellus that was first made some eight years ago. This Chardonnay is born from limestone rich soils and is fermented in oak. The wine opens to fragrant tones of yellow flower, stone fruit and Golden Delicious apple.

Connoisseur’s Club

Crossbarn Paul Hobbs Chardonnay 2014 $ 21.99
92 Rating Robert Parker
paul hobbs crossbarn
The less expensive label for Paul Hobbs is his Crossbarn label. He has done a magnificent job of elevating the quality of these wines, which are all made from purchased fruit. Take, for example, the Crossbarn 2014 Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast. There are over 16,000 cases of this wine, which is bone-dry. Ten percent is barrel-fermented, and the rest aged in steel, so it is essentially a naked style of Chardonnay, and the 2014 is just a beauty, with crisp acidity, notes of apple blossom, tangerine oil and honeyed lemons in an extroverted, beautifully pure and natural style. This is delicious, and a terrific value in Chardonnay to drink over the next few years.

rombauer

When founders Koerner and Joan Rombauer moved their two children, two horses and five dogs to Napa Valley in 1972, they arrived armed with an appreciation for the intimate relationship between food and wine. Their appreciation stemmed from Koerner’’s great aunt Irma Rombauer having authored internationally renowned cookbook the Joy of Cooking and his ancestors originating from the winegrowing region of Rheingau, Germany, where wine is considered an essential complement to a meal.

Appreciation bred passion, and Rombauer Vineyards was established in 1980. Thirty-five years later, the winery remains owned and operated by first-, second- and third-generation members of the family.

Rombauer Zinfandel 2013 $ 32.99

The 2013 vintage in California was a friendly one for Zinfandel, with a long, warm, even-keeled ripening season. From the winemaker: “Our classic California Zinfandel is deep purple-red, with a bright, youthful red hue. Lifted aromas of raspberry and cranberry waft from the glass, followed by a wave of licorice and spice. On the palate, the wine is lush and concentrated. Flavors of ripe cherry and vanilla converge toward blackberry and spice. Very fine tannins and great length make for a satisfying finish.”

April Wine Club 2016

Oconee Wine Club Selections

alamos

Both wines this month come from the Alamos winery located in the Mendoza region of Argentina.  The renowned Catena family began making Alamos in 1993. Its name is derived from the poplar trees that line the high altitude vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina (Alamos means “poplar” in Spanish) and protect the vineyards from the mountain winds. Alamos notes that it is among “The Wines of Catena.” This is significant, because the Catena family is considered the “first family” of vintners in Argentina. The vineyards of Mendoza, where this wine comes from, are among the highest elevations in the world planted with vines, as they stretch up the foothills of the Andes Mountains and enjoy the temperate climate that comes along with this location.

There are many levels of vineyards in the vast Mendoza region, which happens to be the world’s largest wine region. This wine comes from some of the highest planted vineyards, above 3,000 feet, giving the wine a dry, exotic touch, whereas malbec from the valley floor can be more fruity and less complex.

This is an interesting wine that, based on its concentration and flavor profile, is an excellent alternative to more traditional cabernets and merlots normally found in the area. It might need about an hour out of the bottle before consumption, but should then provide immense drinking pleasure and will be good for the next five years or so.

Alamos Torrontes 2015   $10.99    90 Rated by Robert Parker!

A delightful expression of the high elevation Salta region, our Alamos Torrontés has bright floral aromas of orange and jasmine blossom. On the palate, this wine offers citrus and peach flavors that lead to a crisp finish.

Although Malbec and Mendoza are the best known names in Argentine winemaking, Torrontés is taking center stage a few hundred miles to the northwest, in the Cafayate region of Salta. It is believed that Argentina’s flagship white varietal was brought to the country by Spanish Jesuits in the 18th century. Torrontés is found in the world’s highest vineyards, resting at 5,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level in Argentina. The high altitude growing conditions translate beautifully to bright floral aromas and delightfully crisp acidity in our Alamos Torrontés wine.

In 2013, the Salta region had an excellent vintage. Cooler temperatures allowed for steady ripening and maturation, creating a great balance between acidity and sugar with great aromatic complexity. These conditions enhanced the fruity and floral aromas in our Torrontes, offering an ideal complement to the crisp acidity.

2014 was a good vintage for Torrontés in Salta, and the 2014 Torrontés from Alamos feels a little like a dry Riesling from Germany as it offers that mixture of lime and white flowers with subtle minerality and pungent, fresh flavors plus spiciness in the palate (curry). This would be ideal for Asian food that is not too hot. It would be interesting to see how this wine behaves with a couple of years in bottle as this has very good stuffing and acidity. Very good value for this quality Torrontés. Some 250,000 bottles produced.–Robert Parker 90 Rating!

 

Alamos Seleccion Malbec 2014

The pinnacle of our portfolio, the Alamos Selección Malbec has enticing ripe black fruit characteristics of plum and blackberry. Intense aromas of violet and dark berry jump right out of the glass and extend to the palate, where they are complemented by hints of brown spice and pepper from oak aging. This full-bodied Malbec culminates in a deep, luscious finish.

Tucked under the massive shoulders of the Andes Mountains in west central Argentina, the province of Mendoza is renowned for housing some of the best winegrowing regions of Argentina. The character of Mendoza wines is forged in high altitude desert vineyards irrigated by mineral-rich snowmelt from glaciers and snowfields. Altitudes range from 1,000 feet to around 5,000 feet, where the foothills rise steeply toward the Andes’ peaks. High altitude means cool temperatures and clear air, and clear air means more sunlight for building flavor in the grapes, helping to make Mendoza the source of Argentina’s well-earned reputation for top quality, unique wines.

Connoisseur Club

With encyclopedic knowledge of the wines and terroirs of the Rhône as well as his native Costieres de Nîmes, Michel Gassier is a restless and innovative vigneron. Usually inquisitive personalities like Michel start as outsiders. Such is not the case with Michel, whose family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Costieres de Nîmes for four generations. Together with his wife Tina, they are helping to establish a new level of quality for Costieres de Nîmes without forsaking the uniqueness of their terroir.

They have achieved this through nurturing their land, farming organically, promoting biodiversity, and respecting their employees as much as their vines. They are proponents of indigenous varieties and taking advantage of the diversity of climates to make wines that are dense and pure but elegantly balanced. Cercius is made in partnership with Eric Solomon and Philippe Cambie from several sites throughout the Rhône valley. Nostre Païs is the epitome of the terroir of the Costieres de Nîmes while Lou Coucardié represents the aspirations of Michel and Tina through conversation with the land and its history.

Mostre Pais 2013 $ 32.99

nostre pais
A blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Bourboulenc planted in red clay, gravel, & sand.  The vines are hand harvested organically and the wine is aged in 50% stainless steel tanks and 50% French Oak barrels for 6 months before released.  The past two vintages have been rated 92 and 93 respectively by Robert Parker.

 

 

Lou Coucardie 2011  $21.99

It’s dark color, almost black, announces a wine of great concentration. Powerful and extremely complex, the nose displays a wide array of aromas such as dark berries, spices, eucalyptus and vanilla welded in great harmony. Rich and velvety, without being heavy, this wine pulls its finish in a aerial display of fresh fruits and ripe tannins.

Blend: 48% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache and 22% Syrah

The Wine Advocate – “The richest and most concentrated cuvee, the 2011 Costieres De Nimes Lou Coucardie, which was bottled earlier in the year, offers up aromas and flavors of ripe black fruits, chocolate, graphite, licorice and hints of smoked herbs. A blend of 48% Mourvedre, 30% Grenache and 22% Syrah that spent 12-18 months in French oak, it is a serious, layered and textured effort that was hard to spit. While hard to resist now, it should have a broad drink window as well. “

February Wine Club Selections 2016

February 2016
Michel Gassier Wines

With encyclopedic knowledge of the wines and terroirs of the Rhône
as well as his native Costieres de Nîmes, Michel Gassier is a restless and
innovative vigneron. Usually inquisitive personalities like Michel start as
outsiders, enfants terribles, iconoclasts. Such is not the case with Michel,
whose family has been growing grapes and making wine in the Costieres de
Nîmes for four generations. Together with his wife Tina, they are helping
to establish a new level of quality for Costieres de Nîmes without forsaking
the uniqueness of their terroir.

cercius

They have achieved this through nurturing their land, farming organically,
promoting biodiversity, and respecting their employees as much as their
vines. They are proponents of indigenous varieties and taking advantage of
the diversity of climats to make wines that are dense and pure but elegantly
balanced. Cercius is made in partnership with Eric Solomon and Philippe
Cambie from several sites throughout the Rhône valley. Nostre Païs is the
epitome of the terroir of the Costieres de Nîmes while Lou Coucardié
represents the aspirations of Michel and Tina through conversation with
the land and its history.

Cercius 2012 Cotes du Rhone   $ 13.99

91 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

 A joint venture between Gassier, Philippe Cambie, and importer Eric Solomon, the 2012 Cercius Vieilles Vignes is a year in, year out ridiculous value that also drinks well past its humble price point. Comprised of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah that was aged for 6 months in concrete, it has loads of raspberry, licorice, mineral and Provencal herbs as well as a soft, supple and silky textured feel on the palate. Coming from old Grenache vines (70-90 years in age) located on the Plateau de Domazan – which lies on the right bank of the Rhone river, just west of Avignon and bottled unfined and unfiltered, it is a quintessential Cotes du Rhone that will deliver the goods for 4-5 years, possibly longer. The leading estate in the potential rich Costieres de Nimes region, these knockout wines are made by the talented Michel Gassier, who is leading the way in this appellation and showing what’s possible when you focus on quality. Both the 2011s (which are as good, if not better than his 2010s) and 2012s are incredibly strong here. (JD)  (12/2013)

SONY DSC

Cercius Blanc 2012  $13.99 

“a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc and 30% Sauvignon that was aged all in concrete, with plenty of lees contact, the 2012 Cercius Blanc delivers a knockout bouquet of peach, tropical, and pit fruits to go with a core of edgy minerality. Containing a full 40% of declassified Nostre Pais, it delivers an absurd amount of quality for a wine that sells at this price. Full-bodied, rich and gorgeously textured, yet also brilliantly pure and precise, it should be purchased by the case load and consumed over the coming 3-5 years.” WA on the 2012

Connoisseur Club  

lagar

Lagar de Costa Albarino 2013  $24.99

This 100% Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain is grown in the Atlantic climate with mild temperatures throughout the year in granite soil with good drainage. On the palate you will experience pale lemon-green, medium-intense balsamic, herbal and citric (grapefruit and lemon) flavors and white fruit aromas. Fresh and penetrating on the palate, recurring citric fruit notes as well as white flowers. Unctuous and long.  This wine received an 89 Rating by Robert Parker and a Gold Medal at the Brussels International Contest.  Perfect with almost any seafood and especially mussels or oysters.

Aster Ribera del Duero 2010  $29.99

aster

100% Tinta del País from the Fuentecojo, Otero Joven and La Cueva estate-owned vineyards surrounding the winery in Anguix, Burgos. They are on silt loam soils located at an altitude close to 780 meters.  They picked the grapes manually, very early in the morning, taking advantage of the cold to preserve the integrity of the clusters until they arrive at the winery sorting table. After destemming, the grapes were crushed and then put in tanks, where alcoholic fermentation took place. 80% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels, with weekly bâttonages for two months. The wine was aged for 22 months in new French oak barrels (70%) and the rest in French oak barrels with two wines.

Flavors of intense dark cherry red; very clean and bright, with a lively ruby-red rim. The nose uncovers intense notes of wild berries and ripe fruit enveloping a rich balsamic core of sweet spices, cocoa, liquorice and mild herb scents. Impressively strong in the mouth, with nerve, a delicate acidity and good balance. Soft, tamed, round tannins give this wine the imprint of Ribera del Duero.

January Wine Club Selections 2016

January 2016

Oconee Wine Club
Tournon Winery by Michel Chapoutier

In 1997, true to his pioneering spirit, Michel Chapoutier set out to explore the terroirs of the oldest continent. He wanted to meet people, people like him with a passionate interest in bringing out the true character of vines. A matter of convictions, too, prompting discovery and observation. He found land awaiting its revelation. Michel Chapoutier’s aim is to invent properties, not to follow the example of others. Michel Chapoutier buys land and joins forces with major winemaking families, playing on their complementary know-how and experience The result is exceptional Shiraz wines, displaying great elegance and mineral purity. In 2002 he joined forces with Ron and Elva Laughton (Jasper Hill) in central Victoria, and at Heathcote, north of Melbourne, on a very unusual, early Cambrian soil. He has also worked with Rick Kinzbrunner on the Giaconda vineyard at Beechworth, in northeast Victoria, on a granite soil. After a brief experimental joint venture with his US importer (Terlato & Chapoutier), Maison M. Chapoutier bought two other Australian vineyards (Shays Flat and Landsborough) in the Victorian Pyrenees and set up the fully owned Domaine Tournon.

Tournon Mathilda Shiraz 2013  $14.99
The wine is entirely aged in cement or stainless steel tanks and it is bottled 12 months later. The wine is brilliant, dark ruby color. The nose is deep with black fruits and pepper aromas with a mouth feel of supple silky tannins.
Rated 89 by Wine Spectator, “Velvety and focused, aiming the plum and black pepper flavors into a lithe structure that settles gently into the long and vivid finish. Best from 2016 through 2019. 4,000 cases imported.”

Tournon Mathilda White Blend 2013 $14.99
The wine is entirely aged in stainless steel tank on lees for 5 months. The color is pale gold with a fresh crisp and fruity with stone fruit in abundance.
Rated 91 Wine Spectator “Stacks a rich parfait of spicy pear and grapefruit flavors over lively acidity, stretching the structure into a supple wrapping. Impressive for the purity and precision of the flavors. Viognier and Marsanne. Drink now through 2020. 1,900 cases imported.”

Connoisseur Club

Mollydooker Winery

Mollydooker-Winery-Entrance

MollyDooker Two Left Feet 2014 Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot  $25.99

A generous array of bright fruit flavour with outstanding depth, gives this wine the approachable and engaging qualities it’s become adored for. Showcasing every character in our flavour spectrum, including raspberry, plum, deep mocha and licorice. All the elements interweave themselves harmoniously throughout each sip and work together in a way that achieves the subtle mouth feel of a truly delightful wine.

Ten Acre Russian River Chardonnay 2013  $31.99

ten acre
Ten Acre is dedicated to producing cool-climate pinot noir and chardonnay from some of the most renowned vineyards in the Russian River Valley. As a winery, they work in small lots, with a focus on discovering the personality and distinctive flavors of these great sites. Flavorful, balanced, intense—they strive to let the vineyard personality burst through the wine. Small by design; each wine is hand crafted, barrel-by-barrel.

This expressive wine perfectly personifies the classic style of chardonnay that the cool-climate Russian River Valley is known for. Fruit from several of their single vineyard chardonnay sources was combined to create this well balanced take on the classic Burgundian varietal. The Russian River Valley is famous for the coastal morning fog that slowly burns off throughout the day, lengthening the hang time of chardonnay fruit during the ripening season.

The 2013 Russian River Chardonnay entices with a bouquet of bright tropical notes and vanilla bean. On the palate, lush texture is balanced by crisp acidity. Eleven months in French oak barrels, combined with full malolactic fermentation gives this versatile chardonnay a rich, memorable mouthfeel and finish.

 

December 2015 Wine Club Selections

December 2015

The Federalist Lodi Cabernet 2014  $14.99

As a leading author, printer, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor and diplomat, Ben Franklin was a true polymath. But perhaps most importantly (we flatter ourselves), he was a lover of wine. Naturally, the best way we could honor this inimitable founding father is with The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon. Sourced from the distinctive sandy soils of the Lodi appellation, it’s a rich full-bodied wine with hints of black cherry and cassis.

The Lodi Cabernet has aromas of blue/black fruits (blackberries, blueberries) and cinnamon spice, a good density, firm tannin structure, and a long, smooth finish.  Our fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Syrah and Sangiovese. The result is a well structured wine that is perfect with any type of beef, lamb as well as hearty stews.

The Federalist Sonoma County Chardonnay 2014  $ 14.99

This golden wine offers rich flavors, ripe fruits and bright acidity, with an aroma of lemon curd, pear and cinnamon. The lemon and cardamon spice flavors shine, with a lush texture and long, smooth finish.  This Chardonnay features aromas of lemon curd, pear and cinnamon/clove spiciness. Classic and crowd-pleasing!  This golden wine offers rich flavors, ripe fruits and bright acidity, with an aroma of lemon curd, pear and cinnamon.

Connoisseur club

Ayres Pinot Noir Lewis Rogers Lane 2012  $34.99 Retail

Founded in 2000, the estate includes 18 acres planted to Pinot Noir Dijon clones 667, 115, 777, 113, and Pommard all situated on a gently eastern sloping hill; Willakenzie soils predominate the vineyard.  They are committed to sustainable growing practices; our health, the earth’s health, and the health of the plant are our top priorities. They limit each plant to less than two pounds of fruit and it shows…our clusters are beautiful.  Ayres Vineyard achieved LIVE and Salmon Safe certification status in early 2011.

Winemaker Brad McLeroy honed his winemaking skills at the famed Domaine Drouhin Oregon under the direction of Veronique Drouhin. His full-time position at Ayres completes his circle of wine experience from retailer to distributor to producer. According to McLeroy, “My wines will always have a soul.” Open a bottle and it shows… They believe their wines give voice to the soil.  It’s about reciprocity. It’s a relationship that begins in the vineyard, from the first sign of bud break to the last cluster harvested. They seem to love what they do at AYRES.

ayres

The Lewis Rogers Lane Pinot Noir is rated 93 by Robert Parker!  This is one of the best Pinot Noir’s I have tasted in a long time.  I believe you will agree!( see below)

The 2012 Pinot Noir Lewis Rogers Lane is a barrel selection from the estate from five clones. It has a more introverted bouquet that Ayres’ other 2012s with dusky mulberry and dark plum scents intertwined with pleasant mineral notes. The palate is medium-bodied with ripe and supple blackberry and bilberry notes, well-judged acidity and then it fans out beautifully in what is quite a sumptuous finish.

Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2013  Retail $ 18.99

In 1980, the Hahns released their first wine from SLH. A mere eight years later, Nicky led the charge to establish SLH as an American Viticultural Area, a dream he saw realized in 1991.  Today, Hahn Family Wines, now run by Nicky and Gaby’s son Philip, owns and sustainably farms 650 acres of estate vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands. SLH enjoys worldwide acclaim for the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay made there.

92 Rating Wine Enthusiast “There’s an exciting array of aromas on the nose of this wine, with honeydew melon, citrus candy and barely ripe cantaloupe gaining complexity thanks to fresh scents of chive, oregano and thyme. It’s light and easy on the palate, with lots of yellow grapefruit freshness, a pithy edge and a singing acidity on the finish.”

 

 

October 2015 Wine Club Selections

October 2015

Bastide Miraflors 2013  Syrah/Grenache $ 16.99

For well over a decade we have worked with Jean-Marc Lafage at his estate in the Roussillon, and across the border in Spain where he consults on several projects. As good as his wines were, when we first met him, they only get better with each vintage. When we first made his acquaintance in Calatayud, he suggested we visit his estate in the Roussillon and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage farm 160 hectares of vines located just south of the capital of French Catalonia, Perpignan. Some of their vineyards are situated a few kilometers from the Mediterranean while others can be found in the foothills of the Pyrenees. This range of sites allow them to make both refreshing whites as well as concentrated reds and, this being the Roussillon, some fortified wines as well. Benefiting from a warm, dry climate, the estate is farmed organically.

They grow primarily Grenache (Blanc, Gris & Noir), Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Marsanne, Roussanne and Chardonnay with a significant proportion of the vines well over 50 years old. The soil, as you near the coast is weathered, alluvial gravel while in the higher elevation sites it is predominantly schist. They harvest by hand and the winemaking is surprisingly uncomplicated with stainlesss steel for the fresher whites but mostly concrete tanks for the rest with a small amount of French oak demi-muids.

Robert Parker  Rated 93!

“I have loved the wines from Domaine Lafage in the past, and this 2013 Bastide Miraflors Cotes Catalanes is one of the greatest red wine values I have tasted in the last year or so. A custom cuvee put together by Eric Solomon and Jean-Marc Lafage, it is a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache that spent one year in 80% concrete tank (Grenache) and 500-liter demi-muids (Syrah). From a Roussillon vineyard dominated by gallets roules that resembles many Chateauneuf du Pape vineyards, the wine undergoes a long maceration of six weeks. The result is an inky/blue/purple-colored wine offering a big, sweet bouquet of blueberries, blackberries, acacia flowers, pepper and spice. This full-bodied, opulent, majestic dry red unleashes tremendous ripeness, richness and intensity. One would normally think such a superb, remarkable wine would cost over $50 a bottle, but this beauty is available for an astonishing $16 a bottle. You’ll have to taste it to believe it! It should drink well for 2-5 years.”

Beau-Rivage 2013 White Bordeaux  $ 10.99

This Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscadelle blend is a lively, vibrant citrine-yellow color with a clean, clear appearance, going out into a faint lemon-yellow to glass-clear rim definition with medium-high viscosity.

The wine has lovely forward floral notes with crushed red apples, honeysuckle, orange blossoms, white currants, apricot jam and pomelo fruit segments with some underlying hints of slight steely volatile acidity and chalky minerals.

The wine features a superbly crisp, balanced flavor profile that denotes a complete harmony between acidity and fruit. There are green apple skins, citrus rind, winter melon, pear sparkler, rose water, white currant juice, toasty, slightly creamy notes of green melon and oodles of fine chalky minerality. The midpalate maintains the excellent balance, and it finishes with yet more white currants and great mineral character. This is a classic example of a good Bordeaux white wine.

Connoisseur’s Club

Ridge Geyserville 2013 Zinfandel, Carignane, Petite Sirah  $ 41.99

The history of Ridge Vineyards begins in 1885, when Osea Perrone, a doctor who became a prominent member of San Francisco’s Italian community, bought 180 acres near the top of Monte Bello Ridge. He terraced the slopes and planted vineyards; using native limestone, he constructed the Monte Bello Winery, producing the first vintage under that name in 1892. This unique cellar, built into the mountainside on three levels, is Ridge’s production facility. At 2600′, it is surrounded by the “upper vineyard.”

The first zinfandel was made in 1964, from a small nineteenth-century vineyard farther down the ridge. This was followed in 1966 by the first Geyserville zinfandel. The founding families reclaimed the Monte Bello terraces, increasing vineyard size from fifteen to forty-five acres.

Forty consecutive vintages of Geyserville attest to yet another stunning combination of location and varietals. Though born in the early sixties to the post-Prohibition world of modern California winemaking, Ridge relies on nature and tradition rather than technology.

94 points Antonio Galloni

 The 2013 Zinfandel Geyserville is every bit as fabulous from bottle as it was from barrel last year. Ripe and voluptuous on the palate – yet with a super-classic conception of structure, the 2013 offers superb depth and impeccable overall balance. Waves of dark red cherry, pomegranate, spice, tobacco lead to more savory/ferrous notes that develop in the glass. Saline notes give the 2013 much of its energy and vivacity. This is a tremendous effort from Ridge. As is my custom, I have included Ridge’s Sonoma wines here for ease of reference. Readers should note that in 2012 Ridge did not produce their Historic Vineyard Series wines, as all the fruit was used for the Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Monte Bello bottlings. Ridge fans can look forward to a number of special bottlings for the 2013 vintage, including a Monte Bello Historic Vines and Monte Bello Steep Terraces, both of which are shaping up to be magnificent. Unfortunately I was not able to taste the 2014 Lytton Springs on this visit, but I report back on that wine as soon as is practical. (6/2015)

Roth Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013  $ 16.99

Roth Estate is located in the  Alexander Valley AVA at the northern end of Sonoma County, best known for classic Bordeaux varietals, this region produces idyllic growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot.  Beginning in 2001, Roth committed to producing classic Bordeaux varietals in Alexander Valley. A decade later the winery expanded its winemaking to include cool-climate varietals from the Sonoma Coast.

he 2013 Sauvgnon Blanc is crisp and balanced with a nice vibrant acidity. On the nose, it displays notes of tropical fruits, citrus zest and floral aromas that carry through to the palate with lively flavors of melon and grapefruit. This wine finishes strong for a long, juicy finish.