6 for $60-Something Sampler – September 28th, 2012

Hello and Happy Friday!

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 Grüner Veltliner makes you loopy, Carménère brings back horrible memories from college 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!





2009 Altano Douro Tinto
Portugal can have “bistro wines” too!

In fact, with all the development in regions like the Douro, we continue to see a plethora of value-driven wines that can be enjoyed on an everyday basis.

If you are looking to get adopted into a Portuguese family, I would apply with the Symington family.  After all, they only own 8 different Port producers, including Graham’s, Warre’s, Dow’s and more.  Oh, and add 4 Madeira houses as well as 3 important Douro wine estates and you have a winemaking empire.

Charles Symington along with Pedro Correia are the winemakers behind the Altano wines.  This value-driven wine is made from a blend of Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca.  The grapes are sourced from estate vineyards in Cima Corgo and Vilariça.

Fermented in stainless steel tanks, the wine is aged for a short period of time in used 400-liter French and American oak barrels.

While this wine doesn’t have anywhere near the complexity of the top Douro reds today, it does offer lots of pleasure.  Bright red and dark fruits with hints of pepper and mineral can be found on the nose and palate.  There is enough body to match up with meats, but a seamless, low-tannin quality that will allow you to drink this with lots of different foods.
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE


2010 Fratelli Seghesio Barbera d’Alba
You will not find a better deal on a Barbera d’Alba than this one from Fratelli Seghesio.  Brothers Aldo and Riccardo Seghesio are well-known within the community of Monforte d’Alba.  Famous for their Barolo from the La Villa cru, their wines tend to be packed full of flavor and often times very approachable in their youth.

This Barbera comes from the Castelletto hamlet within Monforte d’Alba.  The Northeast facing vineyard produces a ripe yet fresh style of Barbera.  The Seghesio’s look to preserve that freshness by fermenting the grapes in a steel rotary fermentor, and then maturing it in tank for 1 year.

The result is a red fruit driven wine, with hints at red licorice and herbs.  I often talk about the versatility of the Barbera varietal with food, and I’m not changing my tune.  Barbera is great with those fall and winter soups, stews and braises.  It can offer the acidity to cut through any fattiness from meat, and the texture and flavors that pair well with veggies, poultry or pork.  Fans of Barbera, don’t miss this!
$10.00 BTL. / $120.00 CASE


2007 Anaba “Coriol” Red
Anaba is a dynamic young winery located in the Carneros region of Northern California.  Proprietor John Sweazey has gone to great lengths to provide the best grapes and winemaking facility for his winemaker, Jennifer Marion.  The focus of the winery is on Burgundy and Rhône varietals.

I have offered wines from Anaba before, and they have all been well received, selling out quickly.  I expect this week’s offering to do the same.

Anaba “Coriol” Red is their interpretation of a Rhône-inspired red from Sonoma Valley.  The 2007 vintage is a blend of 38% Grenache, 27% Mourvèdre, 25% Petite Sirah and 10% Counoise.  The fruit comes from three vineyards – Landa for the Grenache, and Teldeschi and Annadel Estate for the rest.

The grapes were kept on their skins for 22 days, basket pressed and aged in French oak, half of which were new barrels.

The resulting wine is a complex, rich and spicy red that should please any Rhône varietal fan.  Classic fresh cracked pepper notes are interwoven with hints of ripe cherry and strawberry.  This full-bodied red has excellent balance and a long finish.  It just calls out for grilled meats.

This wine normally retails for $28 per bottle.  The local distributor amicably parted ways with the winery, and in an effort to clear some space has priced it for me to sell in my sampler pack.  The wine is clearly worth its normal retail price of $28, and its lower price has nothing to do with the quality, as it is a delicious wine.

I will offer this as part of the sampler through the coming month, as my supplies are limited, your requests for additional bottles will be filled at the completion of the sampler.  Take advantage of this great deal.
*please inquire*


2010 Berger Grüner Veltliner
Ever wondered what wine was appropriate to drink for brunch or breakfast?  I do.

For me nothing says ‘wake up’ like the ultimate party wine – Berger Grüner Veltliner.

If you have heard my spiel about the great Austrian varietal Grüner Veltliner, than you will know that I often say that it comes in all shapes and sizes.  From the powerful, Ray Lewis-like examples from the top vineyards of the Wachau, to the gorgeous and refined Sofia Vergara-like Grüners from the hills of the Kamptal, and even the fun, delightfully refreshing Taylor Swift-like wines, like this one, from Berger in the Kremstal.

Berger makes some “serious” white wines from their 18-hectare estate, yet their basic Grüner Veltliner, bottled in 1-Liter bottles is anything but that.  Yes – it is in a 1-Liter format, topped with a crown cap, just encouraging you to drink the whole bottle.

Come discover the light and super refreshing style of Grüner Veltliner.  It offers loads of citrus fruit and minerally goodness with just a hint of herbs.  Next Sunday, I encourage you to invite some friends over for a smörgåsbord featuring oysters, smoked fish and various porky things.  It of course will go, oh-so-well, with this delicious wine from Berger.
$12.00 PER 1-LITER BTL. / $144.00 CASE


2011 Monteabellón “Avaniel” Ribera del Duero
It seems like just a few years ago there was no such thing as a great Ribera del Duero value for under $15.  The values would often be found in that $20-30 range.  Today, I am seeing more well-made wines in that Six for $60-Something price category.

With a modern winemaking history only spanning back 3 decades, Ribera del Duero grew alongside the modern wine boom.  It has also seen the same difficulties as other regions whose majority of wines exceeded “every day” drinking type prices.  It seems that growers and wineries in the region today realize that affordable wine should be part of the Ribera del Duero landscape.

Here, you have an excellent value from Monteabellón; this grower turned winery opened its doors in 2000.  With a wide range of wines from different areas within the region, the Avaniel Tinto comes from the Los Miles vineyard close to the river Duero.  Fermented and aged in tank, it provides a juicy, easy drinking style of Tempranillo.  With dark berry notes, hints at pepper and licorice, this would be well-suited to a regional food staple – roasted baby lamb.
$9.50 BTL. / $114.00 CASE


2011 Punto Niño Caménère Reserva
A couple months ago, I featured the Cabernet Sauvignon from Punto Niño, the value brand of Michel Laroche’s Viña Punto Alto estate in Chile.  With such a great response for the Cabernet Sauvignon, I wanted to feature their excellent interpretation of Carménère.

Carménère was a blending grape used in Bordeaux, but always had the trouble of ripening in such an Atlantic climate.  Phylloxera took care of that problem, killing off almost all the vines in Europe. Today, Chile is the largest producer of Carménère, as its  Mediterranean climate really helps its production. Today, Carménère is Chile’s flagship red varietal.

This Carménère comes from purchased fruit from the Colchagua Valley.  The grapes were fermented on their skins for 15-18 days, and aged for 1 year in 225-Liter French oak barrels, of which only 15% were new.

This is really an outstanding value in Carménère.  Ripe plum and dark berry fruits combine with trademark pepper spice, dark chocolate and soft tannins.  This is a go-to wine when pairing with beef.
$10.50 BTL. / $126.00 CASE

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