6 for $120 – June 22nd, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

I’m excited to announce the release of the newest “6 for $120-Something” Sampler! The concept is simple; in the course of my tastings each month, I put together a mix of what I think are the best wines I’ve tasted in that $20-ish range. It is true that I used to simply call this the “6 for $120,” but in the interest of me having more flexibility, I’ve decided to not be so exact.

All of these wines are available by the bottle as well as the case, but the idea here is to give you a selection of wines that you will want to have stocked in your wine rack at home!

So email me to order your sampler, and pick it up at your convenience. They are in stock and ready to go!

Have a great weekend,

6 for $120-Something

The ultimate summer wine is back! There are very few things more refreshing than this dry Lambrusco from superstar producer, Lini!

Lambrusco is nothing new, look at the Lini family who has been producing since 1910 from their base of Coreggio, Emilia-Romagna. Dry Lambrusco is all the fashion in Emilia-Romagna, and it is starting to catch on throughout the world.

This Lambrusco Rosé is a wine that I have to special order, as it isn’t mass produced and not normally stocked in Chicago. It was well worth the wait!

A blend of Lambrusco Salamino with Lambrusco di Sorbara, vinified with the Charmat method, it is kept near freezing in pressurized tanks until bottling. You want to drink Lambrusco fresh, and Lini who is a big advocate of the traceability of their wines uses a lot number on the back so you know it was bottled this year.

While this is great as an apértif, it is a great wine to bring to your favorite BYOB Sushi restaurant! I only got 5 cases of this, so grab some today!
$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE – ONLY 5 CASES AVAILABLE

Pays Basque is my slice of heaven. My favorite wine trip took me to this rarely visited place a couple years ago. I stayed in the village of Saint Étienne de Baïgorry at the Hotel Arcé. Nestled at the base of the Pyrénées Mountains, close to the village and appellation of Irouléguy. This is one of France’s smallest appellations with just a handful of producers estate bottling, and a few growers that sell to the local co-op. I was able to get a chance to visit a couple of producers, and taste most of the rest of the wines from the appellation at lunches and dinners.

Domaine Etxegaraya is one of the top producers of the appellation, owned by the Hillau family. This red wine is a perfect introduction into the region. It is a blend of 60% Tannat and 40% Cabernet Franc. The Tannat vines are aroudn 150 years-old.

A delicious Irouléguy such as this really brings me back to that time and place. It is such a singular wine, as the sandstone, mica, silica, iron oxide and dolomite soil of the region gives the wines a distinct, nuanced minerality .

Wines of this region are meant to go with food. Try grilled duck breast with fresh porcini mushrooms, a combination I had one day while I sipped on a delicious bottle of Irouléguy.
$25.00 BTL. / $300.00 CASE – ONLY 24 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

Sancerre earned its reputation as one of, if not the great appellation of the world for Sauvignon Blanc. So much so that many people that drink Sancerre don’t even know it is Sauvignon Blanc, they simply know that they love it and must drink it!

With the popularity of Sancerre and the costs associated with the land and producing such a delicate grape, the prices have moved beyond “every day” consumption. Yet there are those rare exceptions, such as this brand new arrival from one of my favorite names in Sancerre, Thomas-Labaille.

Jean-Paul Labaille, took over from his father-in-law Claude Thomas, keeping much of the traditions of the past. The vineyards are what makes these wines so special. Their vineyard holdings include many prize sites located Chavignol, one of the best areas in the Sancerre appellation.

“L”Authentique” is the entry level wine of the state, but it is anything but “entry level” in the world of Sancerre. Come from the rocky limestone soils of Chavignol, 20 year-old vines, hand harvested, using only indigenous yeasts.

The 2011 just arrived, and is a beautiful, classic interpretation of a Sancerre. Lovely citrus fruits and fine herbs, with long lasting flavors and hints of mineral. Grab a little wheel of Crottin de Chavignol, and enjoy a great pairing!
$22.00 BTL. / $264.00 CASE

I’m very excited to announce the arrival of the new vintage of McKinlay Vineyards Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Matt Kinne may not be well-known around these parts, but in Oregon he has a loyal legion of fans that know when they pop a bottle of one of his wines, they will get to taste a very elegantly styled bottle of Pinot Noir.

Matt trained at legendary Sonoma County producer Hanzell, before embarking on his own venture. His 20+ years in the Oregon wine biz has given him the time to finely tune his skills and knowledge of the fruit that he sources from the Chehalem Moutain AVA in the Willamette Valley. In my mind, he does everything right – using only native yeasts, a minimal amount of new oak, and bottling unfined and unfiltered.

The 2010 is gorgeous and true to Matt’s style. Beautiful cherry and wild strawberry notes with nicely framed acidity and an ethereal quality that keeps you coming back for more. If you are tired of 14.5% Oregon Pinot’s, don’t miss this! Only 12.5%
$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE

I always love finding wines that would stump even the biggest wine geek. Tell any friend that fits in this category that you were just sipping on a Merseguera blend from near Valencia and see what they say!

Bodegas Mustiguillo is a prominent producer near Valencia whose focus is on the indigenous red varietal Bobal. Their relentless pursuit for quality has paid off having been awarded Vino de Pago status in 2010 for Terrerazo.

Mustiguillo is also an advocate for an indigenous varietal called Merseguera, which they use in this blend called Mestís Blanco. 20% Malvasía and 5% Viognier are blended with 75% Merseguera. Vinified and aged in tank, it is a fresh, crisp and delicious white, with a mixture of tropical and citrus notes. This has enough texture to pair with richer shellfish dishes, but it also tastes great on its on. It is a fabulous value!
$14.00 BTL. / $168.00 CASE

I’m having a bit of a Paul Revere moment when it comes to the recent arrivals of the Dorigo wines from Friuli. I simply want to let the whole world know that they are here!

Girolamo Dorigo has an amazing line-up of white and red wines from his small estate in Butrio, northeast of Venice. The estate was founded in 1966 based on two vineyards that were purchased, Ronc di Juri and Montsclapade.

Today’s featured wine is one of the most delicious examples of Ribolla Gialla you will ever try. Ribolla Gialla is a native vine to the region, and many interpretations can be found. Dorigo is aiming to show off the aromatic complexity that comes from a fresher style.

They go so far as to blanket the grapes immediately after harvest with a blanket of carbon dioxide “snow” to prevent any aromatic evaporation. In the winery malolactic fermentation is blocked and only stainless tank is used in vinification and aging.

Mineral, citrus, and utterly refreshing a phenomenal wine to pair with shellfish.
$21.00 BTL. / $252.00 CASE

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