Hello and Happy Friday!
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
If you thought I would take today off – you are wrong. Why? Because it is the last Friday of the month, and you know what that means!
It is time for the “Six for $60-something” wine sampler!
Six wines, hand selected by me, that represent a range of styles – all hovering around the $10 price point. Each wine is available by the bottle or case, but as I often say, for maximum pleasure you should take the whole sampler.
The “Six for $60-something” is highly recommend to those learning about wines, trying to stock their wine rack with affordable and tasty adult beverages, or wanting to bring a gift to someone hosting a party.
So how does this work? To order simply e-mail me back and say “Hey Craig, hook me up.” To join the devoted legions of fans who receive them every month you can just say “and keep ’em coming!” All of the wines are available by the bottle or case, but for total jubilation just do the whole sampler. Some people are challenged by some of the wines that I put in to my sampler. If you only drink Sauvignon Blanc in the pool during the summer, Monastrell makes you dizzy, or you just simply hate something I am offering, I will substitute and try to get the sampler as close to $60 as possible.
A suggestion to those folks trying to learn from this as well as get a buzz – print out a copy of the newsletter to keep with your sampler. That way when you are in the mood for a bottle you have your own mini wine lesson on hand. So what are you waiting for? Order yours today!
The sampler is in stock and ready to be consumed today!
A quick schedule note – I will be open today only till 6 pm. As you SHOULD know, the Ducks are playing and they need my support. Go Ducks!
Have a great weekend,
2008 BODEGAS OLIVARES “ALTOS DE LA HOYA” MONASTRELL
As proven time and time again on this sampler, almost nowhere in Spain are the bargains any better, than in the southeastern part of Spain near the Mediterranean coast. I’ve included in previous samplers many different producers of the dominant grape varietal of the region, Monastrell, a synonym for what the French call Mourvèdre.
Jumilla is the a “go-to” region when it comes to seeking out these values – and this month I’ve included the King, probably the best wine for the money of the region from winemaker Paco Selva of Bodegas Olivares.
The Olivares family owns over 65-hectares of vineyards in the northern part of the region, which is notably the coolest section. The area is called La Hoya de Santa Ana, and it was one of the few regions in Europe to escape the dreaded Phylloxera, which destroyed so many vineyards. It is important to note that this Monastrell comes form ungrafted vines, which dig deep into the sandy, lime-rich soils of the area.
This particular wine comes from an 11-hectare vineyard of ungrafted vines – some of which were planted back in 1872. One result of ungrafted rootstock is naturally lower yields. Due to this and the old average vine age, the grapes for this wine come from a yield of just 25 hl/ha, which is truly microscopic.
This wine does have about 8% Garnacha blended into the 92% Monastrell. The wine is aged in oak, a variety of sizes and ages although most of the barrels are 2nd and 3rd use.
Explosively aromatic wine with deep red and black fruits on the nose. Rich and intense on the palate while still remaining fresh. A very spice driven wine, with pepper, licorice and hints at cardamom. While it is enjoyable on its own, this calls out for meat, venison, beef, or duck. An incredible value!
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE
2009 SENTINELLE DE MASSIAC MINERVOIS
Speaking of great Rhône varietal wines, I follow up last month’s sampler, by offering a second straight month with a wine from the Languedoc.
This time I am featuring a wine from the Western Languedoc appellation of Minervois. This spread out appellation is located to the southwest of St. Chinian and north of Corbières. Geographically you can find Montagne Noire to the north and the Canal du Midi at the southern end.
The Massiac estate is located in the small village of Azille. Run by the Bourdouresques family, their estate is at the southern end of the important sub-appellation of Minervois-La Livinière.
Composed of equally parts of Syrah and Carignan, the wine sees no oak. A very spice driven wine as it evokes notes of fresh cracked black pepper, herbs and dark cherry aromas on the nose. Not the fleshiest wine around, this softly coats the palate with more of that pepper spice and mineral notes.
This is the simple, “everyday” wine of the estate and it is best enjoyed with simple foods like burgers – but you can also bring it to your favorite byob Mexican restaurant.
$11.50 BTL. / $138.00 CASE
NV JUMPING GRAPE SPARKLING WHITE
It’s that time of year when sparkling wine is consumed by the bucket load!
For this reason, I wanted to offer a great value sparkling wine for the Six for Sixty-something – not something that is easy to do!
Of course you will never find anything from the Champagne region in this samplers price point, and even quality sparkling wines from the Loire Valley of France, Valdobbiadene of Italy, Anderson Valley of California, or any other high quality sparkling wine region are difficult to find.
I hit the jackpot with the “Jumping Grape” a reference to what the Aussie’s call sparkling wine, made by importer/winemaker/all around good guy, John Larchet. Sourced fruit from the Adelaide Hills region, it is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay. This is REAL sparkling wine made in the “méthode champenoise” – secondary fermentation in bottle followed by aging on its lees for two years. Just try and find another sparkling made in this manner, of this quality, for this price point!
Notes of spiced apple and pear on the nose followed by a medium weight, creamy mouth feel full of citrus and more orchard fruits. A classic Brut style that finishes dry with some baking spice notes. This also manages to capture a nice refreshing quality that keeps you coming back for more!
$11.50 BTL. / $138.00 CASE
2010 NUEVO MUNDO SAUVIGNON BLANC
Wait – it’s 2010 right? You’re making Sauvignon Nouveau in the back room again Perman?
In all seriousness, there is a reason why sometimes the white wine you drink when traveling abroad tastes so good – sometimes it’s better fresh.
With the Southern Hemisphere harvesting when we are still in our Long Johns, you can expect to start drinking the fruits of their labor just a few months later.
This delicious and very fresh Sauvignon Blanc is made from organically grown grapes from the Isla de Maipo in Maipo Valley of Chile. Nuevo Mundo comes from the De Martino family. Nuevo Mundo is South America’s first certified “carbon neutral” line of wines. This means all greenhouse gases produced during production, packaging and transport of this wine have been reduced and offset.
This is about as bright and delicious as an inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc can get. Cold fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, there is nothing but bright citrus and tropical notes on the nose and palate. Vibrant acidity that is also well balanced, this is a great wine to enjoy on its own, or with simply prepared fish such as halibut or hake.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE
2008 CANTINE SAN SILVESTRO BARBERA “OTTONE”
It’s back – the most popular, best buy Barbera previously offered in a “Six for Sixty” sampler has returned with a new and mighty delicious vintage!
It is rare that I repeat a wine on the sampler, but this wine is too good, and such a great buy that I had to offer out the new vintage on this month’s sampler.
My beloved Piedmont in Northwest Italy is the home to the grape varietal Barbera. It is one of the most versatile, food-friendly grapes known to man. In theory it is a low tannin grape that offers fresh acidity and an earth driven, almost Pinot like texture. It is obviously difficult to generalize, but rest assured if you are looking to change up your routine of constantly drinking Pinot Noir, Barbera might be your best new Italian friend.
San Silvestro is a modern, state-of-the-art winery located in Novello. Owned by the Sartirano family, they source grapes for this delicious Barbera from the Monferrato hills.
The vinification is pretty straightforward with a six-day maceration of the skins, daily pumping over the cap to avoid reduction, and maturing in stainless steel tanks.
Wonderfully bright red berry fruit notes, with a hint at plum and mint on the nose and palate. Put this one in to your repertoire of “pizza/pasta” wines!
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE
2006 CHÂTEAU LE MALINAY MOULIS
An amazing “best buy” from the appellation of Moulis in Bordeaux.
Within the Central Médoc region of Boredeaux is the appellation of Moulis. The gravel mounds don’t rise quite as high as they do further north, which leads to well-watered vineyards that don’t have quite as much structure as their northern neighbors. Yet, this is still Cabernet Sauvignon country and in my estimation one of the places to look for values for the varietal in Bordeaux today.
Château Le Malinay sits just above the village of Moulis-en-Médoc. It is owned by the Cordonnier family which owns the neighboring Château Anthonic, of which this wine is considered a second label.
Le Malinay is a blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Vinification is in stainless steel tank with some aging in old oak barrels.
Don’t expect the fullest-bodied wine here, rather a wine that offers complex red currant, mineral and tobacco spices.
This is a food wine – cured meats, grilled steaks, quail – all are good matches.
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE