Friday Feature 2/28/14: The New 6 for $60-Something Sampler!

Hello and Happy Friday!
It’s that time again, the release of our 6 for $60 Something sampler. This month, we’ve got a whole bunch of tasty reds and one fresh n’ tasty white.
But before we get to that we wanted to send out an event update:

There are 2 spots available for our tasting next Thursday, March 6th, “The Other Piemonte”, at 7pm. Call to reserve your slot.

 

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A reminder about our referral program. We ardently believe that the driving force behind a small business like ours is your word of mouth referral. When you tell your friends and colleagues to come on over, we are always thrilled and very appreciative. We want to thank you for that.

 

So each month, we will be doing a drawing. If you send someone in, please let them know that they should mention your name as they are checking out- we will immediately put your name in a fancy Champagne bucket, and at the end of each month we will pull one of the names. That person will win a free bottle (sometimes bottles) of great wine. February’s prize is a MAGNUM of Prieler Blaufränkisch “Leithaberge” !! ( We will be contacting the winner tomorrow)

 

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It is the last Friday of the month, and that means time to unveil another Six for $60-Something sampler!

 

The 6 for $60-Something is Chicago (and the world’s) best monthly value wine sampler!

 

We take great pride in sorting through all the terrible $10-ish dollar bottles of wine, to find you the good stuff.  It’s hard work but someone has to do it!

 

We think seasonally around these parts – and so during these cold winter months you will find mainly red wine samplers.

 

All of these selections are available by the bottle and the case, but there is no better way to learn wine than by trying a variety of new wines.

 

If interested in a sampler, simply stop by the store, or send us an email and we can coordinate delivery or shipping.

 

Craig & Sheb

 

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6 for $60-Something Sampler

 

A TALE OF TWO BORDEAUX

taille2

2010 Château de la Taille Bordeaux Rouge

Château de la Taille is one of those inexpensive charmers known in Bordeaux as a “petit château”. It’s a very simple premise: a lot of Merlot and a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon, rooted in classic clay and gravel soils of the right bank. This property is close to the village of Blaye and a mere 23 hectares, which is very small for Bordeaux.

Bordeaux occupies two drastically different drinking scenarios in the complex and often confusing world of wine. There are the classified growths, the collector’s trophies and the wines acclaimed by Parker, and then there is a whole bunch of affordable Merlot earmarked for the rest of us.

What I like about this particular bottle is the amount of complexity it offers for so few dollars. Ripe plum and cherry flavors, a surprising depth of palate and a pleasing amount of mineral.

 

$10.00/BTL.-$120.00 CASE OF 12

 

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  briot
 2012  Château Briot Bordeaux Blanc
White Bordeaux does not carry the kind of reputation for Sauvignon Blanc that Sancerre or Marlborough does and I have always wondered about this. There certainly is a ginormous amount of inexpensive wine available, made from Sauvignon Blanc (with Semillon and Muscadelle thrown in sometimes).

The area known for this fresh, vibrant style of Sauvignon Blanc is called “Entre Deux Mers” (between two seas). Here you will find acre after acre of vines, a literal sea of grapes bordered by the two inland bodies of water that form the mouths of the Dordogne & Garonne rivers.

Château Briot is one of several large holdings of the successful Ducourt family. This dry white wine is composed of 72% Sauvignon Blanc, zesty and bracingly herbacious and 28% Muscadelle. The Muscadelle, floral and fruity too, contributes to the aromatic complexity and perfumes the wine with acacia blossom, honey and adds a layer of richness.

$11.00/BTL.-$132.00 CASE OF 12

 

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 A TALE OF TWO GRENACHES

Lechuza

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

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Duc

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

 

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AND LASTLY, TWO NEW WORLD FRIENDS

HYATT  

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

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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

 

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