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Category Archives: 6 for “Everyday” Wine Club
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – the $15 & under Edition
2015 Heitlinger Pinot Meunier
Baden, situated in the far south of Germany, just over the Rhine from Alsace, is the warmest wine region in Germany. It is home to grape varieties such as Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Wines from Baden are dry, full-bodied and sometimes with a touch of oak; they provide a unique experience of the Alsatian grapes made in Germany.
Weingut Heitlinger, regarded as one of the leading wineries in Baden, was founded in 1960 by Albert Heitlinger and now managed by winemaker Claus Burmeister since 2009. This innovative estate was certified organic in 2010, and became a member of the VDP in 2012.
Heitlinger wines are full bodied and with strong characters and expression in this warm region. They all maintain an impressive purity of fruit, intense mineral flavors, and tons complexity.
The Pinot Meunier isn’t even part of their lineup. On a recent visit, one of the partners of Robert Houde Wines tasted it straight out of the barrel and begged them to bottle a couple hundred cases for him as a single varietal wine.
He loved it because it drinks very much like a Pinot Noir and it’s rather unique, since varietal Pinot Meunier is rarely made into still red wine – we drink plenty of it in our Champagne, and now you’ll see why it’s such a special grape.
Fermented in a combination of steel and 1000 liter casks, it displays notes of dark cherries and sappy red fruits, forest floor, spices, and cinnamon. There is good oak integration in which combines well with the elegance, power, and varietal characteristics.
$14.00 BTL / $168.00 CASE
2014 Espaço Rural “Bojador” Tinto
Month after month, our wine club features new wines from all over the world. Sometimes certain wines are so popular with our customers that we take notice and make sure to offer the next great vintage.
Such is the case with the Esaço Rural wines. Last month’s “6 for Everyday” featured the new vintage of white “Bojador” and this month we’re happy to show off its tasty red counterpart!
As a refresher, Espaço Rural is a winery located in the Alentejo region of Southern Portugal. Let by husband and wife team, Pedro Ribeiro and Catarina Vieira, they produce four wines from local Portuguese varieties.
Alentejo is a large wine region, that is sub-divided into 8 different sub zones. Espaço Rural works in one of the Southernmost sub-regions called Vidigueira. There is no doubt that this is a hot region, in fact most produces irrigate because of the lack of rainfall. Espaço Rural dry farms their vines, which are located on limestone and sandy soil. Dry-farming promotes deep roots, which in turn gives wines more energy and complexity.
When we first tasted the Bojador Tinto, we each tried a little glass, and put the cork back in the bottle to try later. And later we did. Our second try was on the second day, our third a few days later, and even after a week and a half of being open, this was still unoxidized and fresh. Really amazing! We doubt you will repeat this, as the wine really is so good that you will drink it all on day one!
The Bojador Tinto is a blend of Aragonez, Trincadeira, Touriga Nacional, and yes a little bit of Syrah. Fermentation is done in stainless steel tanks, and aging in neutral, older French oak for nine months.
Big notes of dark cherry and blackberry on the nose lead into a textured, fruit-driven wine on the palate. Very well balanced, its richness never comes across as “jammy” and its freshness keeps you coming back for more. A great wine for the grill.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2012 “Seis” de Luberri Cosecha
Rioja Alavesa, Spain
Owned by Florentino Martínez Monje, Luberri is located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. Florentino farms 35 hectares of old vines located principally between the villages of Elciego and La- guardia and in considered to be one of the best producers in the entire region of Rioja.
A farmer at heart, Florentino was the original winemaker at the prestigious winery Artadi before establishing his own winery in 1992. He made a name for himself and his estate by resurrecting the traditional style of semi-carbonic maceration of Rioja wine of Rioja.
Florentino is very hands-on at the winery, participating in all aspects of production, but his true love is working in the vineyards. All the plots are farmed with minimal treatment of the soils and vines. Yields are intentionally kept low, which allows Florentino to harvest grapes with great concentration and flavor.
This wine, named “Seis” for the six months that it spends in barrel, is made from 100% Tempranillo grown around the town of Elciego in Rioja Alavesa. It is fermented in stainless steel and then aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels for six months.
Balanced and complex, with a nose full of bright cherry fruit surrounded by spices. Rich mouthfeel full of sweet round fruit and complementary spicy undertones. A fantastic crowd-pleaser and great with hearty cold weather dishes!
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2013 Vale da Capucha “Fossil” Branco
The catch-all appellation of Lisboa (Vinho Regional Lisboa), which used to be called Estremadura and can be somewhat confusing even to those very familiar with Portuguese wine.
It incorporates 9 sub-regions, and is quite large. Even worse than the confusing nature of the appellation is the common notion that it is a region that prizes quantity over quality.
Thankfully this is not the case with the wines of Val de Capucha.
Pedro Marques is intent on producing wines that are reflective of his family’s 13 hectare estate located in the sub-region of Torres Vedras. Located just 8 kilometers off the Atlantic Ocean, the family vineyards are marked by limestone inflected hillsides with lots of fossils to be found.
“Fossil” is a blend of indigenous grapes Arinto, Gouveio & Fernão Pires, harvested and fermented together. The grapes are left to hang out with their skins for 8 hours. Typically in white wine making, the skins are immediately pressed away, so barely any color is imparted. The first thing you may notice about the wine is the deep golden color, which comes from this contact. The next thing you might notice is the rich, tropical fruit quality of the nose (also thanks to the skin contact). The mouth is mineral driven, but also there is a sense of great texture, that harken to the skin of just ripe fruits.
This new vintage is complex and unqiue – a wine that benefits from oxygen and a bit of warmth. This is a GREAT choice for Indian food, especially the vegetarian cuisines of Southern India.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2015 Az. Agr. F.lli Cigliuti Dolcetto d’Alba
By now, you are not strangers to the wines of Claudia Cigliuti and her family, as we’ve featured various bottlings from the winery in our last two newsletters. She was also in town a few weeks ago and poured some of the new wines for us to try.
It’s a small, family-run production – the history of this winery extends back 4 generations, and today Renato, his wife Dina, and daughters Claudia and Silvia run this winery with great precision. The vineyards are top-notch and include two of Barbaresco’s most famous Crus, Serraboella and Bricco di Neive. To keep the essence of the terroir, only natural yeasts are used, fermentation is in stainless steel and aging is done in large oak barrels, except for this Dolcetto which stays in tank.
The Dolcetto d’Alba hails from 20+ year-old vines in the Serraboella vineyard. This gives us everything we love about the variety: the freshness, the mixture of red and black fruits, the integrated herbal notes, and the ability to work with virtually everything at the table.
We so often are on a search for authenticity in wine, and very few wines speak to it more than this. Delicious Dolcetto! It’s normally $16.99 a bottle, but we’re putting in on special through the end of the year so we can feature it as part of the “everyday” wines.
$15.00 BTL / $180.00 CASE
2015 Cave de Saumur “Les Pouches”
Loire Valley, France
The Cave de Saumur, founded in 1956 by 40 growers, is a co-operative in the Loire Valley region of France. It now handles fruit from 160 growers from the region.
The Cave has put an emphasis on sustainable viticulture and all its members have signed up to a plan of action aimed at the conservation of water resources, air quality and biodiversity. They also own a labyrinth of subterranean cellars, some 10 km of them, cut into the soft, pale tufa rock so typical of the Loire, that complements their modern winery built in 2000. Red and rosé wines are made from cabernet franc grapes and whites from chenin blanc.
The “Les Pouches” is a fantastic example of dry Chenin Blanc from Saumur. The grapes come from a small vineyard of sandy, silty, clay over limestone, which delivers intense aromas and flavors of white orchard fruit, white flowers, and lemon/lime zest.
Mouthwatering but very generous, it finishes with a hint of lemon, green peach, and dusty mineral. Great with any roasted fish dishes, chicken, or anything with fall root vegetables, squash or mushrooms!
$13.00 BTL. / $156.00 CASE
Today’s newsletter announces the new release of “The 6 for ‘Everyday’ – $30 and Under Edition” wine club.
As a reminder we recently made some changes to our wine club. We renamed them “6 for Everyday.” There are two version of this. The “$30 and Under Edition” and the “$15 and Under Edition.”
Our goal is to provide you with 6 different bottles of wine from around the world, all from some of the best producers in their respective regions. These are great “everyday” wines that you can drink on a nightly basis.
As we head into Fall we’ve shifted our focus to red wines. This month you have 4 red wines, 1 white wine, and a Pét-Nat (bubbly to the layperson). It’s an incredible line-up, filled with discovery.
They are available for pick up, and as a reminder we do have delivery and shipping options available.
Enjoy the weekend!
Craig & Jamie
6 for “Everyday” Wine Club – The $30 & under Edition
2012 Domaine de Marcoux “La Lorentine” Lirac
Rhône Valley, France
Let’s face it, we all love a good deal.
So if you are a fan of wines from the deservedly-so famous appellation of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, you know deals can be tough to come by these days.
Luckily for us, we have wines like this. Domaine de Marcoux is one of the Southern Rhône’s best, run by the Armenier sisters. They are most well-know for their two incredible red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but this wine from just across the river in Lirac offers great wine at a great price.
Lirac is a relatively new offering from Marcoux, having purchased a neglected parcel, and nursing it back to health using Biodynamic principles. The vineyard is planted to Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the soil is a mixture of sand, limestone and gravelly red clay.
The 2012 Lirac is a gorgeous Rhône red. Aromatics and flavors of raspberry, herbs, and cracked black pepper. Typical to the style of Marcoux, this has intensity, but at the same time displays great balance. Perfect with a roasted leg of lamb.
$23.00 BTL / $276.00 CASE
2013 Domaine Chignard “Les Moriers” Fleurie
How do we prepare to write a newsletter?
Research and Development, of course.
In this case, we cracked open a bottle of the Chignard “Les Moriers” Fleurie, a wine we have tasted on several occasions before.
Each time we open a bottle of this fantastic Cru Beaujolais from 5th generation winemaker Cédric Chignard it evokes an emotional response.
We wonder why more people don’t revere Beaujolais as one of the world’s great wines? We also wonder why consumption of this wine is often relegated only to drinking around Thanksgiving.
In our minds this beautiful Fleurie, from a single parcel called “Les Moriers” is so delicious, so simple and complex at the same time, that we want to drink it all the time.
This is Gamay at its best. Perfumed, with hints of cherry, wild strawberry, and mineral. It is ethereal and silky on the palate, with a weightlessness that is rarely achieved from other grapes. Its place at the dinner table is never in question as it can pair alongside a wealth of food, from all kinds of vegetables, to salmon, to poultry, to pork.
We encourage you to buy a few extra bottles of this wine. Its delicious now, but you can drink it over the next 5+ years as it will gain in complexity. A great Beaujolais from Chignard!
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE
2015 Aphros “Phaunus” Pét-Nat
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Vasco Croft has become well-known for his forward thinking wines from the Vinho Verde region of Portugal, and specifically the sub-region of Ponte de Lima.
He is one of a handful of producers who eschew the “traditional” and often innocuous lightly spritzy, over-cropped versions of Vinho Verde that dot the supermarket shelves.
Instead, he is a farmer first, managing his farm and winemaking practices according to the biodynamic principles.
This past February, I had the opportunity to taste a line-up from Vasco, including some newly introduced wines.
One of the absolutely highlights of the tasting was this “gluggable” Pét-Nat made entirely of Loureiro. Pétillant-Naturel is a style of wine produced when a primary fermentation is finished in a bottle under a crown cap. This is sparkling wine, different than the traditional Champagne method bubbles that you are used to, but certainly as refreshing as a style.
In a phrase, “thirst-quenching” is a perfect description of the “Phaunus” Pét-Nat.” Incredibly aromatic, almost like smelling fresh crushed grapes, along with hints of white flowers and jasmine. Crisp, fruit forward, and dangerously drinkable!
Only 48 bottles were brought into Illinois, and we are excited to introduce this to our customers. – CP
$30.00 BTL /$180.00 SIX-PACK CASE – 34 bottles available
2013 Kangarilla Road Shiraz
McLaren Vale, Australia
When Kevin and Helen O’Brien bought the old Cambria Vineyard site, they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them. They set out to create a small winery that would have strong ties to the land – a stark contrast to the massive wine giants already so prevalent in Australia.
Their first task was to rename the property Kangarilla Road – “Kangarilla” from an aboriginal word used to describe a place with abundant resources able to nurture. “Road” simply to mark the journey Kevin and Helen were beginning.
The grapes for Kangarilla Road ripen later than other regions in Australia, which gives us something with balanced alcohol and more accessibility to food pairings.
The 2013 Shiraz is an excellent example of what the McLaren Vale region is all about: pepper and sweet red berry on the nose. Layers of currants, black cherries, macerated strawberries and nasturtiums when you sip. Pairs well with traditional roast beef dishes or barbecue. -JK
$20.00 BTL / $240.00 CASE
2012 Mamete Prevostini Grumello Superiore
If you have a weakness for great Barolo but wish you could find something priced more for “everyday” drinking, you don’t want to miss this.
Think of it as a sort of poor man’s Barolo – 100% Nebbiolo, and like its more northern cousin, it has that appealing dichotomy of stern power and soft elegance.
The Prevostini family has been producing wine on the terraced slopes of Grumello since the mid-1940s. Grumello is one of the five designated sub-zones of Valtellina, sitting up to 670 metres above sea level in the terraced alpine mountains of Lombardia along the Swiss Border.
Wines from Prevostini focus on grapes from the cru of Sassella to best capture the perfumed, silky texture of Nebbiolo. Their wines have a very complex nose of blackberry, blackcurrant and hazelnut.
It’s off the beaten path, but completely worth it! -JK
$26.00 BTL / $312.00 CASE
2014 Neudorf Chardonnay
Nelson, New Zealand
For anyone who thinks making wine is easy, Tim and Judy Finn are here to remind us that, “Making wine is scary.”
They bought their land for Neudorf Winery back in 1978 when the fine wine industry in New Zealand was almost non existent.
Early in their 30 year span they had four mortgages and three jobs each. The old house at Neudorf had electricity in two rooms, an inefficient wood stove and no hot water.
They were products of the “Back to the Land” movement of the 60’s, and take a simplistic approach to winemaking: native yeasts, no fining, minimal intervention. They believe that great wines carry a unique fingerprint of the place they come from and as winemakers they try to preserve that in the bottle.
Their first Chardonnay vintage was in 1981 and still today captures the uniqueness of place. Rich stone fruit, mineral notes from the gravel clay soils, hints of raw cashew and toasted cereal. Even wine drinkers who scoff at Chardonnay will appreciate this one. -JK
$27.00 BTL / $324.00 CASE