6 for $60-Something – July 27th, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

Upcoming Tastings:

August 2 – Sparkling Wines
August 8 – Provence & Corsica
August 15 – Jura & Savoie

Visit https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/adm/home.asp?studioid=26380 to book your seats!

It is time to introduce the newest “Six for $60-Something” Sampler!

Never heard of this sampler and want to know what it’s about?

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 recommended 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!” Some people are challenged by some of the wines that I put in to my sampler. If Blaufränkisch makes you itchy, or you wake up in a cold sweat after drinking Treixadura or any other interesting reason why you can not drink one of the following wines, then 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 “6 for $60-Something” is in stock and ready to be picked up any time!

Thanks again for all your support!



2011 Principe Pallavicini Frascati
It’s August in Rome, and you are sitting outside at a café looking over a beautiful piazza.  Chances are, while taking in the sights and sounds, you are sipping on a glass of Frascati.  Think of it as as the wine mascot of Rome.  Frascati is both the name of a town and an appellation, just a stones throw from Rome.

Principe Pallavicini is one of the names to know in the world of Frascati.  It is the largest private estate in Frascati.  With 300 years of experience in growing grapes, there has been plenty of time spent learning what works best in the vineyard, and the results are textbook examples of Frascati.

This delicious white wine is a blend of 50% Malvasia di Candia, 30% Malvasia del Lazio, with the remainder Trebbiano Toscano.  Fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks, the aromas and flavors are vibrant.  Notes of apple, lemon, and flowers can be found on the nose and palate.  It is a perfect “porch pounder,” that is, if you can’t sit along that piazza!
$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE


2011 Viña Reboreda Ribeiro
The appellation of Ribeiro in Galicia is one of the most beautiful regions I’ve ever visited.  Situated inland from the coast along the Miño, Arvia and Arnoia rivers.  It is one of Spain’s oldest growing regions, believed to be first planted by the Romans.

While many wine lovers know the Albariño grape variety which thrives along the Atlantic coast and near the Portuguese border, the Ribeiro appellation specializes in blends, mainly consisting of Treixadura, Loureira and other white and red grape varieties that are native to the area.

As in any other growing region, their is quite a diversity in style, due to the situation of the producer, the blend they use and their beliefs in viticulture and vinification.

Bodegas Compante is one of the major players in the Ribeiro region.  The Méndez family is an incredibly nice and thoughtful family, really dedicated to showing off what the region can accomplish with quality winemaking.  There is no better way to show this off, then to introduce the world to the region with an excellent value.  This is the best under $15 value in the region, where you normally see prices in the $18-$30 range per bottle.

Viña Reboreda is a blend of 40% Treixadura and 20% each, Godello, Torrontés, and Palomino.  It is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and aged in tank thereafter.

The result is a very fresh, aromatic white wine, with classic notes of fresh peach, pear and mineral.  This too, is easy to drink on its own, and can compliment simple fish preparations, like baked cod.
$11.00 BTL. / $132.00 CASE


2010 Punto Niño Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva
The development of infrastructure in the wine world in South America has exploded over the last quarter century.  In Argentina, you see a lot of development from outside influences, many from Italy and America.  In Chile, the French have embraced the country’s wine regions, and have helped turn many of the various regions into excellent sources of Bordeaux varietals.

This is another great example of French development into the Chilean wine scene.  Domaine Laroche, along with some business partners, expanded into Chile in 2002.  They now own and partner on three separate projects with several hundred acres of vineyards.

Here is a really exciting value in the world of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Punto Niño range of Laroche.  This is composed of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alto Maïpo sub-region of the Maïpo Valley.  Very low yields of only 35 hectoliters per hectare, fermentation in stainless steel tanks, and aging for one year in a combination of French and American oak barrels and stainless steel.

The 2010 vintage was very challenging for many reasons in Chile.  Between the devastation of the earthquake and the frost damage and rain damage early in the season, the yields in 2010 were small.  Low yields can mean excellent concentration, and this wine has it.  Oozing with dark berry fruits, and hints of mocha and chocolate.  I had a bottle of this open for a couple days, and it showed no oxidation on day two, maybe even drinking better.  A classic Cabernet for a classic steak dinner.
$10.50 BTL. / $63.00 SIX-PACK CASE


2011 Domaine de Mirail Côtes de Gascogne
Those of you who have been purchasing the 6 for $60-something for a while, know you can expect to see a Côtes de Gascogne once in a while.  Gascony, home of the great spirit Armagnac, also produces lots of still wines from the same varietals that give you those spirits. The majority of what I taste from the region is extremely juicy and fruity, and very reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc.

This is not your average Côtes de Gascogne.  Great care is taken in the vineyards at Domaine de Mirail.  High density plantings, the rare use of any treatments in the vineyard (only by necessity), and even green harvests, all things that aren’t commonly seen in the region.

This Côtes de Gascogne is a blend of 80% Colombard and 20% Sauvignon Blanc.  From a high density vineyard planted on clay-limestone soil, the vines are picked at night to bring in cool grapes and allow for a long cold skin maceration.  All the vinification takes place in stainless steel tanks, and the wine is aged on its lees for three months.

The result is a more mineral-driven style of Côtes de Gascogne, one laden with classic citrus notes, and nicely balanced herbs.  It is still true to the style of the region, making for an excellent apéritif or a natural pairing with shellfish.  A terrific value.
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00


2006 Umberto Bortolotti “Pinot Coupage” Brut
Valdobbiadene is at the same time both a boring and exciting sparkling wine producing appellation.  Located in the province of Treviso in Northeast Italy it is home to one of the biggest sparkling wine production regions in all of Italy.  Prosecco is what the region is most noted for, and as I know from first hand experience, there is more bad than good in the region.

It is important to know the names of a handful of top-notch producers.  One producer that I always carry in the store is that of Umberto Bortolotti.  Make no mistake about it, Bortolotti is pretty good size operation.  Yet, their range of sparkling wines from top to bottom is terrific.

I scored an incredible deal on this excellent sparkling wine from Bortolotti.   The grapes come from outside of Valdobbiadene, rather they come from Trentino, which is also known for its sparkling wines.  This is a blend of 80% Pinot Blanc and 20% Pinot Noir, made in the Charmat method.  Bortolotti allows a long Charmat process with some time on its lees.  They also age it in bottle for at least a year.

This vintage dated sparkler is drinking perfectly right now, with notes of black cherry, orange peel, and spice on the nose and palate.  This has a nice, rich and creamy texture to it, and finishes long and dry.

I am able to offer a very limited supply to you at a special price.  Get some now, because at the end of August it will return to its normal pricing for $22.
Please inquire for pricing


2008 Winzerkeller Neckenmarkt “Frank” Blaufränkisch “Classic”
This time of year customers are always asking me for “summer reds.”  What is a summer red?

It has a different definition for everyone, but to me it falls into one of two categories.  The first is a wine that goes great with grilled foods, as many people go to BBQ’s each weekend and need a good wine to pour alongside dishes like burgers, steaks and ribs.

The second, and what I believe is more common, is a low-alcohol red, with soft tannins, nice balancing acidity, that sometimes even benefits from a slight chill.

Pinot Noir is often the default summer wine, as it is one of the most popular varietals.  Looking beyond that you have grapes like Gamay Noir, Barbera, Mencía, and yes, even my good friend the Blaufränkisch grape!

As many of you know, a couple years ago I had a chance to visit Austria for the first time, and simply fell in love.  Amazing country, great people, and while I knew the white wines were world-class, I also discovered the amazing range of red wines.

Blaufränkisch is probably the most noble grape variety of Austria and in particular the region of Burgenland.  In ranges in style from light and juicy to amazingly silky, rich, earth driven – a rival to top-notch Burgundy!

The “light and juicy” side is perfect for the summer time.  This example from the cooperative called Winzerkeller Neckenmarkt is the type of Blaufränkisch you find on a restaurant table at lunch.  It is an every day wine, vinified and aged in tank, bottled in a screw top, and pours great right from the bottle.

Classic mineral notes and brambly dark berry on the nose.  Very bright and juicy on the palate with a mix of red and dark fruits, a little spice, and good acidity on the finish.  It is your turn to meet Frank; he will become part of your summertime fun!
$8.00 BTL. / $96.00 CASE

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