2011 Lechuza Garnacha- Cariñena, Spain
Cariñena is located in the autonomous zone of Aragón, and is the ancestral birthplace of the workhorse grape, Carignan. There is a long history of wine production here, and although the kingdom of Aragón may not be as glorious as it once was, this D.O remains a high quality choice for good everyday drinking.
Lechuza is the local name for owl. as the night skies in Cariñena are full of these birds of prey. The wine is 100% Garnacha, harvested from very old (90+ years) bush vines that grow in the slate soils here. Cool nights coupled with warm days, and fermentation in stainless steel tanks ensure a fruity freshness and tone down some of the spice and pepper often associated with older vines.
$10.00/BTL.- $120.00 CASE OF 12
2007 Santa Duc Côtes du Rhône Vielles Vignes-Southern Rhône Valley, France
Historically and geologically, this is a region of great fascination. The Southern Rhône is an extension of the formation of the Alps, but let’s not get into it from the Pangaea, otherwise we will be here all night!
Viticulture has been alive and well since the time of the Allobroges, a fierce, Gaul tribe that occupied this area in the centuries before the birth of Christ. Wine remained a focus throughout its history, especially important to the papal enclaves that established themselves in the grassy hills here. Chateauneuf-du-Pape was the first appellation registered in the AOC system, in the 1920’s.
This is a beautiful area, and if you ever have the chance to drive through it, I highly recommend it. The weather, save for a few windy winter months, is gloriously Mediterranean and even a trip in early April will show a countryside bursting with new spring growth, flowers and the promise of ripening grapes. This is, fully and entirely, the land of Grenache, with some accessory varieties, of course.
Santa Duc is a long established producer in Gigondas. Like most Gigondas producers, they also own vines in the Côtes du Rhône area, as this tiny village is surrounded by the large wine zone of Côtes du Rhône. The wine we are featuring today is composed of old vines Grenache, Syrah & Mourvedre, a juicy and concentrated wine, heady and satisfying.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/CASE OF 12
AND LASTLY, TWO NEW WORLD FRIENDS
2010 Hyatt Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon-Rattlesnake Hills, WA
Despite its relatively short history of viticulture, Washington State has emerged as the country’s second largest producer of premium wines (behind California, of course).
Most of the vineyards are concentrated in Eastern Washington, between Spokane and Seattle. Rattlesnake Hills is a sub-region of the Yakima Valley, although according to the “Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail”, an organization that promotes tourism there, the danger of actually running into a venomous reptile is pretty minimal.
Hyatt was established in 1983 and is a family affair. The 2010 Cabernet has a little Merlot blended in for a true claret character and a tiny bit of Tempranillo for fun I guess.
The wine is aged in 30% new American oak barrels. It is rare that we have been able to offer such a structured wine on our 6 for $60 something, so grab it while you can!
$12.00/BTL.-$144.00/CASE OF 12
2009 Cava Silva Carmenere “Los Lingues Gran Reserva”-Colhagua Valley, Chile
Another great find from Chile!
Carmenère is often thought of as the “lost” Bordeaux varietal. In 1830, a Frenchman named Claudio Gay set up a Chilean repository of pre-phylloxera vines at the University of Chile’s Quinta Normal department. These vine specimens served Chile well; its geographic isolation, due to the Andes, prevented phylloxera from entering the country. This repository served as a vital resource for European re-planting after the phylloxera devastation in the late 1800s; however, for whatever reason, the Bordelaise had little interest in revitalizing Carmenère, so in Chile it remained.
Carmenère is a fascinatingly complex variety. In Casa Silva’s “Los Lingues” bottling, there is a lush ripeness coupled with herbal and capsicum notes. The wine spends six months in a mix French oak and steel tanks. This combination provides a nice balance of freshness and structure.
This is a big boy, so pair with a big hunk of red meat.
$13.00/BTL.-$156.00/ CASE OF 12