Hello and Happy Friday!
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
It is the second-to-last Friday of the month and that means it’s time for the latest iteration of the “6 for $120-Something” Sampler.
For those unfamiliar with the sampler, each month I choose 6 individual bottles that are standouts from my monthly tastings. I group them together in an exciting sampler pack, complete with descriptions of each.
All selections are typically available by the bottle, but for maximum pleasure you should get the whole sampler.
During this season of gift-giving, this makes an excellent gift to a loved one, valued employee or yourself!
I’m in the store until 7pm tonight, and will resume normal hours tomorrow.
Have a great weekend,
2010 Domaine Roche Cairanne “La Bousquette” Côtes du Rhône Villages
A very special and limited offering to start this month’s sampler.
30-year-old Romain Roche is a rising star in the appellation of Cairanne, located a stone’s throw from the more well-known Châteauneuf-du-Pape. He recently took over from his parents and was fortunate to take over some amazing vineyards with very old vines. Previously, the grapes were sold off to a famous négociant.
Roche makes a range of wines, but towards the top of the range is this wine named after the family home at the top of the vineyards. Anyone who follows Southern Rhône wines will know how special a vintage 2010 is.
I was fortunate to be allocated 48 bottles of this wine, as with the following review, it has virtually disappeared from around the United States. I’m making two cases available for purchase outside of the sampler, the other 24 bottles will be first offered to those who buy the sampler. Don’t miss this!
“Let me begin with what is probably the most remarkable Cairanne I have ever tasted, Domaine Roche’s 2010 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Cairanne La Bousquette. This amazing wine was cropped at 25 hectoliters per hectare, and was fashioned from a parcel of old vine Grenache planted in 1870, just after the phylloxera crisis began to destroy vineyards throughout western Europe. It is one of the most extraordinary Cotes du Rhone-Villages one could ever taste. It is a tank-aged blend of 85% Grenache and 15% old Carignan (also from the same time period). Proprietor Roman Roche has hit pay dirt with this full-bodied, majestic 2010. It possesses lavish quantities of kirsch, black raspberries, blackberries, licorice, pepper and Provencal garrigue. A crushed rock-like minerality is interwoven into this full-bodied, astonishingly concentrated wine that should age beautifully for 10-15+ years, if you can resist it now. 95 Points, Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate.”
$25.00 BTL. / ONLY 48 BOTTLES AVAILABLE, 24 OF WHICH ARE AVAILABLE OUTSIDE OF THOSE THAT PURCHASE THE SAMPLER
2010 Clos Marie “Manon” Languedoc Blanc
Staying in the south of France, I am offering the newest vintage of the white wine from the great cult producer, Clos Marie. Based in the Eastern Languedoc in the appellation of Pic St. Loup, Christophe Peyrus is a noted practitioner of biodynamics, and similar to the Roche story, took over from his family who had previously sold off the fruit to the cooperative. Peyrus is well-studied and has learned from some of the great names in French wine such as the late Didier Dagueneau and the Foucault brothers of Clos Rougeard.
I’m excited to introduce the absolutely fantastic new vintage of the white cuvée called “Manon.” A blend of Rhône varietals, it is an incredibly exotic, complex and food-friendly wine that I would pair with simply prepared crab or langoustines.
“Tasted in its final assemblage, and due to be bottled in late May, the Clos Marie 2010 Coteaux du Languedoc Manon – blending Rolle and Roussanne, with diminishing amounts of Macabeu, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Carignan Blanc and Clairette – offers a perfumed profusion of iris, narcissus, and lily-of-the-valley accompanied by ripe pear and fresh lime that follow on a bright, polished palate, finishing with the sort of intriguingly zesty, invigorating, and seemingly mineral impingement that I associate in particular with Grenache Gris and Carignan Blanc. This should prove delightfully versatile for at least 3-4 years. 90-91 Points, David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate.”
$27.00 BTL. / ONLY AVAILABLE WITH THE SAMPLER, ANY LEFTOVER WINE WILL BE SOLD TO THOSE WHO REQUEST IT
2010 Montepeloso “A Quo” Toscana I.G.T.
I love the wines of Fabio Chiarelotto of Agricola Montepeloso. The only problem is, they are not only difficult to get, but also luxuriously-priced. His wines “Gabbro” and “Nardo” sell for between $100-$200 a bottle, far from everyday drinking for me.
Good thing that in the 2008 vintage Chiarelotto introduced the wine “A Quo,” a blended wine that shows off the terroir of the Maremma of coastal Tuscany.
Located right next door to Tua Rita in Suvereto, the Montepeloso vineyards are situated on hillsides with a chalky gravel and clay terroir. An exceptional site that produces really delicious and complex wines. While impossible to compare “A Quo” to the top wines “Gabbro” and “Nardo,” it does offer incredible value, so much so that if you love the wines of coastal Tuscany it would be silly not to stock up on this!
“The 2010 A Quo is insanely beautiful. It boasts gorgeous, well-delineated aromatics and tons of energy. The vibrancy of the fruit is impossible not to admire. Red plums, raspberries, berries and graphite give the wine a cool intensity and minerality that are striking. Layers of fruit build to the vinous yet structured finish. This is a great wine that captures the full personality of the 2010 vintage in Tuscany. It also happens to be a steal. In 2010 the blend is 30% Montepulciano, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 10% Marselan and 10% Alicante Bouschet. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. 92 Points, Antonio Galloni, The Wine Advocate.”
$22.00 BTL. / $264.00 CASE – SUPER-TUSCAN FANS, BUY THIS BY THE CASE
2009 Johanneshof Reinisch St. Laurent
In my continuing effort to introduce each an every one of my customers to the brilliance of the wines of Austria, I have included not one but two wines from the country on this sampler. While many of you know the great white wines of the country, the red wines are incredibly exciting, unique and fun to drink.
The Thermenregion located a half hour drive south of Vienna is well-known for its red wine production. The name of the appellation comes from the geothermal hot springs that flow underground, through many of the vineyards. Pinot Noir and local varietals such as Zweigelt and St. Laurent are all planted with great success.
Johanneshof Reinisch is one of the great producers of the region, run by three brothers, the fourth generation to preside. They make wonderfully pure wines that have such great drinkability.
St. Laurent is one of the specialities. No one knows quite where this varietal comes from, but the Austrians have made it their own. This is textbook, juicy St. Laurent.
Such great aromatics! Bright brambly red berry fruit, wild strawberry and pepper spice. Wonderfully pure on the palate with juicy red and dark fruit, mineral and the perfect balance of mouthfeel and acidity. This feels lightweight and glides across the palate. Pinot drinkers will be delighted with this as an alternative.
Roasted duck or squab would be a great match!
$19.00 BTL. / $228.00 CASE
2011 Brandl Grüner Veltliner, Kamptal
You will never see Gunther Brandl in the United States. Possibly the nicest man in the world, it’s not that he doesn’t want to meet, greet and talk about his wines. He simply won’t leave his utopia, the village of Zöbing in the Kamptal region of Austria. Here is a man so proud of where he comes from, the work he does with the earth and so close to his family that he just isn’t going to get on that plane.
You don’t need to meet Gunther Brandl to know him. You simply need to drink one of his wines, because that is who he is.
Brandl is a very small producer, making only 60,000 bottles per year, and selling most of it locally. His top wines come from Kogelberg, Heiligenstein and Pfaffenberg in the Kamptal.
This wine from various estate vineyard sources is an excellent introduction into the Brandl range. The 2011 is absolutely wonderful! Zesty citrus notes, including hints of pea shoots and herbs, it finishes long and wonderfully refreshing. There is a surprising richness to this wine that goes beyond its price point.
This is a truly wonderful Grüner Veltliner that works great with a wide range of foods, from simple preparations of fish, to spicier Chinese food. A killer value!
$18.00 BTL. / $216.00 CASE
2009 Los Maquis “Viña Maquis” Cabernet Sauvignon
Strength to strength – Viña Maquis is one of those producers that makes excellent wine across the board. Located in the Colchagua Valley of Chile, some of you may recognize the name as I’ve featured their Syrah blend “Lien” and Bordeaux-varietal blend “Calcu” on previous samplers.
The Hurtado family that owns Viña Maquis has owned the property for more than a century, but just a decade ago started to produce their own wines. They have built a state-of-the-art gravity flow winery, and brought in famed consultant Xavier Choné to help with the vineyards.
This is the first ever release of their estate Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes come from a vineyard bock located on the estate between the Chimbarongo Creek and Tinguiririca River. Alluvial soil with 25% clay is the perfect platform for Cabernet Sauvignon.
This excellent Cabernet Sauvignon value offer notes of dark fruits and spice on the nose. Rich and silky up front, finishing with a gently coating of tannins and complex spice notes.
Enjoy this with a grilled New York strip or a grilled hamburger.
$17.00 BTL. / $204.00 CASE