Friday Feature 9/20/13: The New 6 for $120-Something Sampler!

Hello and Happy Friday!


I’ve got a great newsletter today for you!  This may be my favorite Six for $120 sampler ever!  So please read on!




Sheb is enjoying her last days of vacation and that means that Routier is still on strike this evening.  So no Friday tasting at the store tonight, but we will be back next week!


That also means that the store will return to its normal hours and we will be open on Monday.




It’s the second to last Friday of the month, and that means a brand new edition of Six for $120-Something.


I really do believe this may be the finest line-up for Six for $120-Something that I’ve ever put together!


They are in stock, so stop by this weekend to pick one up.


Have a great weekend,



6 for $120-Something 
2006 Rustenberg “Peter Barlow” Cabernet Sauvignon 

Rustenberg is one of South Africa’s best wineries, based in the Stellenbosch appellation.  They have been producing wine since 1682!

This is the top red wine of the estate and is widely known in South Africa as one of its best examples of Cabernet Sauvignon.  It is named after Peter Barlow who bought the winery in 1941 and restored it to its past glories.

It is composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from their top vineyard planted on a South West slope.  Fermentation and aging is done in barrel, spending 20 months aging in new French oak barrels.

Please decant this wine when you open it.  Beautiful perfume with classic cassis, wild spice and cherries.  Full-bodied, with good fruit concentration on the palate, and a very long finish!  Pair it with very simply prepared grilled rib eye or lamb chops.

This wine is only available as part of the sampler.  I will make the remaining quantities available at the end of this current sampler, that is if there is any left!  This is normally a $50 of wine, and came to me at this price on an end of bin clearance.  It is an absolute steal, and I’m excited that you get to try it at such a great price!


2010 Domaine Rabasse-Charavin Plan de Dieu “Les Cailloux” Côtes du Rhône Villages


I’ve got so much more to tell you about this fantastic mother/daughter team based in the village of Cairanne in the Southern Rhône Valley.  But for now, just a little about his wine.

It is very rare to see any wine from Plan de Dieu, a Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation.  In fact, if you try and Google information on it, the results are largely in French because most of it is consumed there, and only around 50 producers make wine from the appellation.

Plan de Dieu translates to “God’s plain.”  This very dry and rocky terroir is known to producer very low yielding red grapes only.

Rabasse-Charavin makes an exciting Plan de Dieu.     It is primarily Grenache, 40-50 year-old vines.  In 2010 the yields were around 20 hl/ha, which technically speaking is “insanely low.”

This wine displays the classic kirsch and cherry notes that ripe Grenache displays, but does so with an integrated core of spice and structure.  There are Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s at three times the price that I don’t think are as good.

Grill up some dry-aged duck breasts with this.  It can be drunk now, but will hold age through 2018.

$22.00 BTL. / $264.00 CASE

2012 Garciarevalo “Tres Olmos” Verdejo

Has anyone seen my Spanish friend Verdejo?  What happened poor little grape, you were so loved and then poof, seemed to disappear.

Verdejo is a specialty of the Rueda appellation which is located in the province of Castilla y León in the North Central part of Spain.

It’s true that there is a TON of innocuous Verdejo floating through the supermarkets and warehouses of mega wine stores through out the United States.  That glut of terrible Verdejo helped kill my poor friends reputation that he worked so hard to develop in the early part of the decade.

Let me get you excited about the grape again.  I’m going to do it by giving you the finest value Verdejo that exists from producer Garciarevalo.

This isn’t an old winery, founded in 1991.  What are old is many of the vines of the family’s vineyards.  “Tres Olmos” is a wine that comes from vineyards in Matazpozuelos.  The sandy vineyards that Garciarevalo owns are home to ungrafted, pre-Phylloxera vines.  The vine age runs between 100 and 140 years-old.

The new 2012 Tres Olmos is truly a spectacular value, that tows the line between lime-y citrus and stone fruit notes, with a hint of fresh almond.  This is bright and fresh on the palate, but has richness and length lying underneath that sleek exterior.

A great wine to pair with lots of types of fish, but I’m craving this with some grilled sardines.


$15.00 BTL. / $180.00 CASE

 2011 Casaeda Syrah, Russian River Valley 

I’ve said it many times before, Catherine Culler is one of my favorite winemakers in California.  She worked for many years for Mondavi, specializing in Rhône varieties, before starting her own winery in 1997.

Her Casaeda line of wines offer amazing value especially for the complexity.  This Syrah comes from three different parts of Northern California.  85% of the Syrah hails from the Russian Rivery Valley, a vineyard near Graton.  13% is from the Cortese Vineyard in Napa Valley.  The remaining 2% is from the Sawi Vineyard in Sonoma Valley.

As many of you have probably heard, 2011 posed a challenging and in Karen’s words “nail biting” year.  She was happy with the cooler vintage and how it turned out.

She should be, given the beauty of this Syrah!  I love the forward aromatics on this wine, full of bright blue/red fruit and pepper spice.  This certainly doesn’t lack for body, but has such nicely framed acidity which makes it so versatile for pairing.  Don’t be afraid to throw this alongside a lamb dish with red curry.

$22.00 BTL. / $264.00 CASE

2009 Tenuta Cavalier Pepe “Terra del Varo” Irpinia Aglianico 

When I taste wine with distributors during the week, I’m rarely shocked by a price point.

Here I was shocked in the best way possible!  This is a fantastic value!

I really love the Aglianico grape variety from Italy, often called the “Nebbiolo of the South.”  Yet, despite my love, it is not always easy to find really good examples of it.  Especially those that are imminently drinkable.

So we all scored big time when I found this fantastic Irpinia Aglianico from Cavalier Pepe.  This is such a textbook example of Aglianico, albeit without the massive tannins that it sometimes comes along with.

It’s the type of wine that makes you crave food, Italian food.  Aromatic notes of raspberry, grilled herbs and spice.  Medium bodied, yet silky, with some hints at fennel but finishing with more fruit and spice.

You don’t need to get too creative on the pairing, a pasta with a classic ragù will bring you to whole new level of comfort food.

$17.00 BTL. / $204.00 CASE

2010 Pratello “Lieti Conversari” 

I knew instantly when I tasted this wine that I had to introduce it to my customers.

This beautiful winery in the Lake Garda region of Italy specializes in a wide range of wines, some grapes you have probably heard of any many, probably not.

For white wines, this region is well known for Trebbiano, and Pratello makes a very good example of this.

“Lieti Conversari” is a wine that features the grape called Incrocio Manzoni or Manzoni Bianco.  This hybrid varietal was created by Dr. Luigi Manzoni when he crossed Riesling with Pinot Bianco.  It is a grape you don’t come across very often, so I hope that this is your first try of the varietal because it will set your bar high!

Pratello allows the Manzoni Bianco to fully ripen, and then ferments the grapes partially in oak for 1 month, and part in stainless steel tank.  It is aged for a further 6 months in barrel before being bottle aged.

A very complex white wine.  Aromatic notes of citrus, melon, honey and nutmeg.  Layered and rich, yet mineral and crisp this finishes very long.

This would be beautiful with a milk-braised pork loin.

Thanks Dr. Luigi for getting your hybrid on!


$20.00 BTL. / $240.00 CASE


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