Category Archives: Peter Zavialoff

Peter’s thoughts on wine.

December 2014 Dirty Dozen

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11 down, 1 to go. December is here! It’s the most festive season of the year. The time we refer to as “The Holidays.” So during the hustle and bustle that this time of year regularly provides, why not make your wine pantry happy with 12 bottles, all different, all chosen for their versatility, for one incredibly low price? The December Dirty Dozen is just that! Sporting a 30% discount off the retail price, this is as no-brainer as it gets! Happy Holidays!

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines

 

2012 Chardonnay Mirth, Corvidae $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

The team behind Owen Roe makes this stainless steel, tank-fermented Chardonnay sourced mainly from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. It’s a vibrant Chardonnay dripping with snappy green apple fruit. Seductive tropical notes and a good dose of acidity keeps it interesting. Pairing options include veal Picatta, chard frittata or series TV binge-watching.

2013 Verdejo, Rey Santo $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

From the Rueda region of Spain comes this 100% estate grown Verdejo. Straw yellow in color with succulent tropical and stone fruit flavors, this medium-bodied wine is several quality levels above most similarly priced Spanish whites. Enjoyable on its own pre-dinner, or perfect with a shrimp Louie salad, roast chicken, or butternut risotto.

2011 Albarino, Paco & Lola $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

Albarino is characterized by its fleshy, floral fruit and bracing acidity. Often described as a cross between Riesling and Pinot Gris, Albarino’s popularity is booming in the US. And why not? Fleshy, cool and crisp, Albarino is superb with all types of raw fish preparations like sushi and ceviche, and surprisingly delicious with spicy Asian cuisine – Bahn Mi sandwiches, green papaya salad, pan-fried rice noodles with pork belly, yum!

2013 Rosé Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $13.99, $11.19 reorder

For that Provençal look and feel, Diane Puymorin blends 40% each Cinsault and old-vine Mourvèdre with equal parts Syrah and Grenache for her Les Cimels Rosé. The name is the local dialect for “bouquet of fruits,” and one sniff will tell you why. Far less expensive than an airline ticket, this can magically transport the taster to the south of France.

2012 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $11.99, $9.59 reorder

TWH buddies Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud have many vineyards in and around the southern Rhône Valley. For their Pays d’Oc Viognier, they actually blend in 15% Marsanne to give the floral wine additional backbone and complexity. It works fine as the wine is fresh, lively, and rich. This makes for a great tapas wine … maybe some shrimp fritters?

2012 Macon-Villages Les Tilles, Domaine Sainte Barbe $19.99, $16.99 reorder

It doesn’t happen very often, but every now and again a white Burgundy lands in the Dirty Dozen! This one from the small, but vibrant 2012 vintage. The wine is lively and balanced, the fruit and acid propping each other up through a long, satisfying finish. With crab season here, this is a great go-to wine as it will accompany any shellfish very well.

2010 Pinot Noir The Table, Once Wines $13.95 sale price, $13.25 reorder

Finding good California Pinot Noir – let alone really good Pinot Noir like this one – for under $20 is not an easy task. Winemaker Sashi Moorman of Evening Land is credited with making this wine in collaboration with a group of celebrity sommeliers. What impresses us more is the wine itself: copious cherry fruit and a thread of damp earth delivered in a restrained style. This red has enough sophistication and complexity to serve even at the fanciest of holiday fêtes!

2010 Treggiaia, Az. Agr. Pugliano $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

Transport yourself to the rolling hills of Tuscany with this charming Sangiovese blend made by Fulvio Galgani of Fattoria Bibbiani. Aromas of cherry and Etruscan herbs are supported by food-friendly acidity making it the ideal pairing for assertive pasta sauces like Puttanesca and Arabbiata, or try with a pie from your favorite local pizzeria.

2012 Garnacha/Tempranillo, Paco & Lola, $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

A 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo, this medium-bodied Spanish red is redolent of tart berries and forest floor aromas. By skipping out of any oak treatment, this red remains light on its feet. Paella is an obvious choice to match here, but so is cured or smoked ham, vegetable stews and any regional American chili.

2012 Saumur, Domaine des Hauts de Sanziers $15.99, $12.79 reorder

Loire Valley Cabernet Franc in its natural form here. No make-up, no smoke, no mirrors. Just that medium-bodied, herbal splendor that doesn’t speak, it screams of a place. It’s a cerebral wine, complex enough to start a conversation.

2013 Syrah, Domaine Saint Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder

Coming from just outside the Rhône Valley, our friends at Saint Antoine craft this brawny Syrah. Another terroir-driven wine that speaks of its place of origin, it’s 100% de-stemmed and all tank fermented. Papardelle with rabbit sauce.

2010 Côtes-du-Rhône, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder

DD fans may be somewhat familiar with the Tour de l’Isle Côtes-du-Rhône vis à vis the 2009 vintage which was featured earlier this year. The 2010 vintage was yet another gem in the southern Rhône leading us to believe that bad vintages are a thing of the past. This has all the charm, vigor, and finesse we look for. It makes for a great pasta wine.

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Peter Zavialoff, The Dirty Dozen, Wine Clubs/Samplers

Celebrate November 20 With CRU Beaujolais

It’s here! It’s the third Thursday of November. Thanksgiving is ONE week away and today, at bistros and brasseries worldwide, the northern hemisphere’s very first wine from 2014 is being served. No matter where you stand on the issue of Nouveau Beaujolais, the undeniable fact of the matter is that it has become a tradition and something to celebrate, for the sake of celebration itself. It gives one the excuse to check into their local Franco-centric establishment and partake in festivity. The wines are light, fruity, and easy to drink. The advertising for the unveiling of these wines is plentiful, and even if you’ve never been to France, it’s difficult to not be taken in by the hype. So, if one is open to the simplicity of Nouveau, why not dig a bit deeper and have a look into the finest wines from this region: Cru Beaujolais!

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In the French wine world, “Cru” means “Growth.” You won’t see the fancy (and often expensive) names “Grand Cru” or “Premier Cru” in Beaujolais. There is a lot of wine that comes from Beaujolais, including Nouveau, but the BEST of these wines come from Beaujolais’ 10 Crus. Killing two birds with one stone here, the names of the 10 Crus were humorously listed today on Twitter, as “List of ten wines that go with turkey.” In no particular order:

Saint Amour
Juliénas
Régnié
Moulin à Vent
Fleurie
Morgon
Chiroubles
Chénas
Brouilly
Cote de Brouilly
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It is humorous for us wine industry folks, as we have been known to recommend Beaujolais tirelessly to customers seeking Turkey Day red wines. Thanksgiving is a special occasion, so if you’re looking to open something fancier, by all means do so! But taking the traditional T-Day spread into consideration, if you’re going the red route, something light on its feet, spicy, and fruit-driven is the way to go. Knee-jerk reaction? Bam! Beaujolais. Cru Beaujolais, that is.

It being November and all, we’ve received several inquiries about a sale that usually occurs around this time. Stay tuned, as we will unveil the Anniversary Sale with a bit of fanfare in the coming days. (Though some of you may want to surf around our website. You never know what you might find.) What if one of the wines on sale were a Cru Beaujolais? Read on.
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The 2011 Château de Raousset Chiroubles is the lightest of the bunch, with dazzling aromas of bright cherries, forest floor, and baking spices. It’s a great intro to the world of the Cru. Raousset’s Fleurie Grille-Midi is at its peak right now showing off the complexity, balance, and weight that earned that Médaille d’Or on the bottle. The Morgon Douby is the most structured of the trio; it’s got a dark middle and earthy mineral qualities to it. It’s still Gamay Noir, so it’s elegant and not at all tannic – best part is that it’s on sale! Our other Morgon is from Domaine Pierre Savoye. It hails from Morgon’s Côte du Py, the prime terroir of this famous Cru. Savoye’s version is brighter and fruitier, call it a little more slurpable.

Yes, today is the day that 2014 Nouveau Beaujolais hits the shops, brasseries, and tables across the globe. For the other 364 days of the year, if you’re talking about Beaujolais, head on over to the Cru section. For as simple and light-hearted as Nouveau is, Beaujolais’ Crus have so much complexity and elegance to offer. It’s as if Nouveau Beaujolais is made to drink while standing, while the Cru Beaujolais is something you may want to sip and discuss while sitting. Hey, a reason to celebrate is a reason to celebrate. Bon fête!

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Filed under Chiroubles, Fleurie, French Wine, Morgon, Peter Zavialoff

Just In Time: 2011 Opalie de Chateau Coutet

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It was like a splash of cold water in the face. Bam! World Series over and done, and all memory of summer with it. Throw in a rain shower, the time change, hoops and hockey on the TV, and all of sudden it’s, “What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” Sheesh! I saw it coming, but I sure didn’t feel it coming. My perception of Thanksgiving has changed in recent years, so I’m looking forward to it, but whoa, there’s a lot of stuff to do between here and there! Things that you’re all going to be hearing about soon, like the Anniversary Sale, Thanksgiving itself, and a dinner in January with Chateau Brane Cantenac, are all coming into view; full steam ahead! Since we still have more than a couple of weeks until the fourth Thursday in November, let me tell you about a very special wine that you may find ideal for this fall’s (and beyond) celebrations. Our final allocation of 2011 Opalie de Chateau Coutet is here and ready for you all to enjoy!

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This is one of my favorite wines and also one of my favorite stories. I’ve gone on more than once about how much I love White Bordeaux. It can be life-altering. Yes. I meant to say that. The dry white wines of Bordeaux are amazing reflections of terroir when both young and aged. It’s funny that this happened on the same day. I was up in the Medoc tasting red wines at various UGC tastings as well as stopping by a handful of esteemed chateaux to taste their wines. One of these well known, fancy chateaux had recently begun making a dry white wine, and though I liked it okay, my notes do include the word, “imposter.” That same evening I had the great pleasure of dining at Chateau Coutet with Philippe and Aline Baly. After dinner, Philippe brought a bottle to the table. It had no label. He poured a glass and Aline told me that Philippe wanted my impressions. Perfect word. I was impressed. It was rich and opulent, much like Coutet itself. The only difference was it was dry and crisp. It spoke of a place. I told them how much I liked it. They then regaled me with the story of Opalie de Coutet.

Seeking the advice of Philippe Dhalluin of Mouton Rothshild (et al.) fame, they chose a couple of rows of 40 year old vines planted in the thickest layers of clay and limestone in their Premier Cru vineyard to source the fruit for Opalie de Coutet. Blending 50% Sauvignon Blanc and 50% Semillon, it is fermented and aged in oak barrels, 45% of it new. To call it unique would be an understatement. It is truly a one of a kind wine. Production is only a precious 250 cases. We had a great amount of success with the inaugural 2010 vintage of Opalie, selling out our entire allocation in record time. For the 2011, we took our allocation in two lots. The first one came to us back in January. It sold out in February. Our second drop has now arrived, and when it’s gone there’ll be no more.
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I got to taste the 2011 Opalie de Coutet for the first time at Coutet along with several wine professionals including Commanderie members and writers, one of which happened to also be an MW. It was a fantastic experience to have a discussion about a young wine that broke down the language barrier from terroir to palate. The quintessential richness of Coutet’s terroir is ever-present in this fresh, zesty, expressive wine. I was and continue to be smitten by Opalie de Coutet.

Fastening my seatbelt here, it is indeed full speed ahead. You will be hearing about the Anniversary Sale soon, and a Bordeaux dinner soon afterwards. But for tonight, it’s all about the 2011 Opalie de Coutet! It’s actually perfect timing. November is a great month for this wine. Crab season is right around the corner, oysters are mighty tasty these days, and the 2011 Opalie de Coutet would be a sensational addition to any Thanksgiving table. Keeping that spirit alive, if the parties and holidays of December call for something special and unique, the Opalie will more than satisfy those criteria. And peeking a bit further into the future, as has been written here before, that Opalie de Coutet is the perfect Valentine’s Day wine. It’s here, for now, so come on by TWH and get yours today!
- Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about the 2011 Opalie de Coutet, our Anniversary Sale, our upcoming Bordeaux Dinner in January, and of course, footy: peter@wineSF.com

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Filed under 2011 Bordeaux, Peter Zavialoff

November 2014 Dirty Dozen

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And just like that, it’s November. It’s getting chilly out. It’s getting darker earlier and earlier. No need to fear, we’ve arrived at that time of year where people gather indoors and enjoy one another’s company. The Holidays are around the corner, beginning with the day of thanks. During times like these, it’s a good idea to have a stockpile of versatile wines ready to go, just in case. Case? Yes, case. 12 bottles, all different, for one low price!

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2013 Picpoul de Pinet, le Chevalier de Novato $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

If you’ve never tried this delightful Languedoc white, boy, are you in for a treat! The name of the grape translated from the French means “stings the lip,” referencing the grape’s natural zippy acidity. On the label an illustration of an oyster hints at the perfect pairing for this wine, though any fresh bivalve will do. A charming aperitif to tickle the appetite!

2011 Moscato Giallo, Castel Sallegg $21.98 net price, $19.78 reorder

The intense, intoxicating aroma of this dry Moscato Giallo has notes of green apple, mango, orange blossom and tuberose. Grown along glacial valleys in the Italian Alps, Alto Adige is positioned just below Austria. Castel Sallegg has deep cellars where they ferment and age their wines 3 stories below ground. Try with Pad Thai or Singapore Noodles.

2010 Catarratto, Tola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

Catarratto is one of Sicily’s oldest native grapes. The Tola estate has vineyards that lie between Palermo and Trapani where the famous Scirocco sends in warm winds and light sea breezes. Simple, light with an abundance of green-tinged citrus notes and flavors, this Sicilian white would match well with flaky white-fleshed fish or grilled Octopus.

2013 Rose, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $11.49, $9.19 reorder

When it comes to pairing wines with the array of plates one typically finds on the Thanksgiving Day table, Rose is among the most versatile. Its crisp profile, coupled with just the right amount of fruit works with just about anything. Its low price makes it a good one to stock up on. The Petite Cassagne Rose has been a favorite for a few consecutive vintages.

2011 Pinot Gris Im Berg, Domaine Ehrhart $19.99, $15.99 reorder

Speaking of Thanksgiving, here’s another autumnal wine. Straight away you can sense the earthy, mushroomy aromas behind the fresh orchard fruit and almond notes. On the palate the wine is sturdy with a bit of viscosity, apple-y fruit and earthiness meet head to head and take you to a long finish. If a ham shows up at the table, this is your wine.

2012 Gavi, Ernesto Picollo $10.99, $8.79 reorder

What’s the wine of choice along the Italian Riviera? That’s a rhetorical question in this context. Gavi is in Piemonte, the grape is Cortese, and the profile is dry, medium bodied with ample fruit, and crisp. There is a detectable mineral presence, both aromatically and on the palate. This will pair well with shellfish, rotisserie chicken, or of course, turkey.

2011 Chianti, Fattoria Petriolo $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder

A textbook Chianti jam-packed with tangy Sangiovese fruit; a cheerful combination of red cherry and dusty red dirt. The inherent low tannin and high acid nature of Sangiovese makes it ideal for any tomato-based dish or long-simmered meat. Grandma’s short-rib stew or Nonna’s Sunday gravy over spaghetti is all you need to take away autumn’s chill.

2013 Pinot Noir, Underwood $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

A perennial favorite, Oregon’s Underwood Pinot Noir is nearly unmatched for its quality/price ratio. How do they do it? Drawing from vineyard sites all across Oregon then blending to construct a light/medium-weighted cherry explosion, they seem to get better with each vintage! Elevate your leftover turkey sandwich with a glass the day after.

2007 Primitivo, Feudo di San Nicola $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

Primitivo is an Old World (Italian) relative of Zinfandel. It’s robust and earthy, with plummy notes tangling with fresh cracked black pepper. A little time spent in bottle have softened the tannins of this wine, so it’s good to go right now! When pairing, think marbled steak, Pimenton-spiced brisket, or rack of lamb – Va Bene!

2012 Mountainside Shiraz, The Winery of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder

Frenchman and TWH pal Edouard Labeye makes the wines for English ex-pat Alex Dale at his Winery of Good Hope. The concept is to keep costs down so the wines are great values to consumers; so no new barrel, no fancy packaging. Take this Shiraz out for a spin. Spicy red fruit, layers of brambly berries, and cracked black pepper; try it with ostrich.

2013 Malbec, Alberto Furque $14.99, $11.99 reorder

Malbec has taken Argentina by storm. Once upon a time, it was used as a blending grape in Bordeaux (where it still plays a minor role), but there is something about the terroir in Argentina that works for this variety. Here, Carolina Furque uses steel and concrete tank to make this plummy, med/full bodied number. A marinated skirt steak works very well here.

2011 Cotes-du-Rhone la Boissiere, Domaine Boudinaud $13.49, $10.79 reorder

What better way to round out this month’s DD than with a tasty Cotes-du-Rhone. Pound for pound, the red wines from this region continue to represent some of the wine world’s best deals. The 2011 la Boissiere is medium bodied, complex, and balanced. It’s a great all-purpose red, and would suit pizzas, calzones, pasta dishes, and burgers just fine.

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine! Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines

 

 

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Peter Zavialoff, The Dirty Dozen

2010 Chateau Beauregard Ducasse And 2010 Chateau La Fleur De Jaugue


In the wine importation game, it sometimes seems nothing happens as quickly as we would like. There are things we can control, and there are things we can’t. I’ve been happily trading emails with Bordeaux negociants this week informing me that some of our wines have been picked up and will begin making their way here via refrigerated container soon. That’s great news as I am especially looking forward to a handful of fairly inexpensive Bordeaux wines I tasted this past spring during En Primeurs. Alas, those wines are several weeks away, sorry to say, so we must wait a little longer. On the other hand, what we don’t have to wait for are the six petits chateaux wines that arrived a month ago. We’ve introduced you to four of them already, and now, the other two, the 2010 Château Beauregard Ducasse, Graves and the 2010 Château La Fleur de Jaugue, St. Emilion Grand Cru.

Keep in mind the exercise here, out of 24 sample bottles provided by one of our suppliers in Bordeaux, we found six to our liking and sent the other 18 packing. Not that they were all bad, mind you. In fact, many of the wines we didn’t buy were also to our liking, but we just felt the six we chose represented the best values for the respective price points. Let’s start off with the 2010 Beauregard Ducasse. I don’t know about you all, but I’ve had a love affair with wines that say “Graves” on their label for many years. Named for the preponderance of gravelly soils throughout the region, it’s an easy appellation to grasp conceptually. If you’ve been lucky enough to taste an Haut Brion from 1985 or earlier, you would have seen “Graves” written on the label. But we’re not talking about Haut Brion here; this is a completely different animal. In 1987, several prestigious chateaux near the villages of Pessac and Léognan (and in between) broke off from the Graves AOC and formed the fancier Pessac-Léognan AOC, with Graves still representing the nebulous region further south all the way past Langon. And that’s where Château Beauregard Ducasse is, in the village of Mazères, about 25km due south of Langon in Bordeaux’s southern frontier.

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A little research reveals the property has been in the Jeanduduran family since 1850, with current administrator/grower Jacques Perromat taking over in 1981, after marrying into the family. The 32 hectare vineyard consists of clay and gravel upon limestone subsoil, and is planted to Merlot (50%), Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), and Cabernet Franc (5%). The wine is all tank-fermented, and 80% is aged in tank, with the other 20% aged in barrel. This is just another example of the success of the 2010 vintage. From a price to quality standpoint, this is a Grand Slam of a deal!!! AND …. it’s also available in half bottles!

2010 Château La Fleur de Jaugue,
St. Emilion Grand Cru
First things first. The words “Grand Cru” mean different things in different French regions. It can be a bit confusing. The folks at Berry Bros. in London have the St. Emilion classification explained very well here. As they state, the consumer would be better served if these wines were labeled “St. Emilion Supérieur.” Well, Château La Fleur de Jaugue is no run-of-the-mill St. Emilion Grand Cru!!! Looking back over several vintages of Robert Parker’s tasting notes, he regularly refers to Fleur de Jaugue as “a sleeper of the vintage, a reliable and impeccably run estate,” and “a shrewd insider’s wine.” Consistent high praise for a château that many of us are not very familiar with.

 

Their 2010 is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc from 50 year old vines. They employ techniques one normally sees at more upscale chateaux such as de-stemming and green harvesting. Fermented seperately in concrete vats, the wine is then blended and aged for 18 months in new and 1 year old barrel. The result is astonishing. It has great weight and balance, and again, for the price, is an absolute no-brainer.
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Oh yeah, then there’s this. A good friend of mine, with whom I’ve tasted a lot of Bordeaux wines over many years came in when these wines first arrived. I gave him a brief rundown on them, and he decided to try one bottle of each of them. I caught up with him a couple weeks later. The wine he couldn’t stop raving about? The 2010 Château La Fleur de Jaugue.

 

Another customer came in just yesterday, our write-ups printed out and in hand, he mixed up a case of these wines for himself. He pointed out how well the petits chateaux wines from 2009 and 2010 were showing, and acknowledged our efforts in weeding out the lesser performing wines and stocking great deals like these. He thanked us for “making this so easy” for him. It’s always good to hear, but that’s what we do here at TWH.
Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under 2010 Bordeaux, Bordeaux, Graves, Half bottles, Peter Zavialoff, St. Emilion

2013 Cannaiuolo Rosato – Montenidoli

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There’s electricity in the air. The World Series is here in San Francisco! Some of us care, some don’t. Either way, it is exciting. During this week of heightened energy, our staff got together and tasted a bunch of wine samples, and I think we’ll be bringing in a few new wines soon. Stay tuned. As I was rummaging through some sample boxes the other day, I was reminded of the day that we discovered Elisabetta Fagiuoli’s Canaiuolo Rosato.

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I want to say this must have taken place circa late 2009. We were setting up for a staff tasting. Some samples from Tuscany’s Elisabetta Fagiuoli had arrived several weeks earlier, and the day to taste them had arrived. We love the Montenidoli Vernaccias; talk about terroir driven white wines! There were a couple of Chianti samples in there as well, and then … what’s this? 2006 Rosé? Or Rosato, as it’s known in Italy. Really? 2006? What in the heck is that doing in the box? The idea of tasting 3 year old Rosé didn’t exactly get our respective hearts to beat any faster, as a matter of fact, we were all wondering if we really needed to taste it at all. Boy are we glad we did! First of all, it was smoking! I mean, sure, our expectations were somewhat dimmed for tasting a 3 year Rosé, but this was incredible. It was fresh. It was lively. It had subtlety, complexity, richness, and a long, crisp finish. We were mesmerized. David! David! What is this stuff? How do we get some? It took some time, but we opened our Montenidoli Rosato account with the 2010 vintage. When it arrived in the summer of 2011, we were super excited. Taking this special Rosato to picnics and barbecues sounded like a great idea for the summer of 2011. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, those in the know (a very famous Italian chef), ordered ALL OF IT! Gone. Gone like a circus gone. Gone like a troubadour. Well, that was good for the sales department, but bad for staff members who wanted to take the wine to picnics and barbecues. Well, there’s always next year. Guess what? We ordered more from the following vintage. Guess who bought ALL OF IT again? Yup, Mr. TV pizza authority for one of his restaurants. It had given us a bit of a complex. Customers would come in and ask, “What’s your favorite Rosé?” The first thing to come to mind was always the wine we weren’t allowed to sell in the shop. It happened again the next year, but we made a point of keeping 5 cases for the shop. Some of you already know what I’m on about here. Our biggest order to date for Montenidoli’s Canaiuolo Rosato came with the 2013 vintage, and we now have it in stock! It’s not a happy-go-lucky, carefree Rosé. It is a serious wine. And though it’s pricier than our other Rosés, it’s worth every penny. It is refined, fresh, complex, with all components tuned together in seamless harmony. It is as special as its winemaker.
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So, yes. I had a conversation with a chef/customer the other day as he was picking up some Bordeaux for an anniversary dinner. He asked me if Rosé sales were still on the upswing. I told him that unbelievably, Rosé sales are still increasing. He asked if I had any idea why. What I said was that I thought the perception of these wines being off-dry plonk was diminishing. Also, I told him that I thought the perception of Rosé to be only a wine for summer was also fading. I equated it with bacon. Does bacon have a season? Neither does Rosé. Its versatility makes it somewhat ideal to take to a dinner if you don’t know what’s cooking. Lookout! With Thanksgiving coming, some pedigreed Rosato from Tuscany will grace any table upon which it is served.
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Yes, the World Series is here in San Francisco. Some fans support one team, some fans, the other. Some folks don’t care. It’s all good as long as we have fun. Speaking of fun, the 2013 Canaiuolo Rosato from Montenidoli is something we all can get behind and enjoy together!Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about Rosato, The World Series, Bordeaux, or tomorrow’s big showdown at Old Trafford: peter@wineSF.com

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Filed under Canaiuolo, Peter Zavialoff, San Gimignano, Tuscany

A Taste Of Burgundy – October 2014

 

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Basic Facts for those of you who are new to the program: Every two months we select two Burgundies, one red and one white. We include write-ups detailing the background of the grower, the vineyard source, and the wine. Finally we knock a significant percentage off the prices of the wines, making the Sampler price $89.98. If you would like us to add you to the Sampler Club and receive the wines regularly, please notify us in the comments field, and we will charge your card accordingly. If you would like us to ship faster than the standard ground service, please specify this as well.


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2012 Meursault Les Grands Charrons Domaine Michel Bouzereau

It is Michel Bouzereau’s son, Jean-Baptiste who now makes the wine at this prestigious domaine in Meursault. The Les Grands Charrons vineyard is a lieu-dit along the same ridge just further north of the esteemed Les Charmes and Les Genèvrieres vineyards just to name a couple. 2012 was a tricky vintage in Burgundy for both the red and the white wines. Cold, wet conditions were the norm all spring, causing problems in the vineyards and delaying flowering. Alas, what little fruit there was benefited from a perfect July, August, and September. As the harvest approached, the evenings grew quite cool, preserving the acidity levels of the fruit. Outside of the reduced quantity of the 2012 vintage, Jean-Baptiste is quite pleased by the quality of his wines. Burghound’s Allen Meadows had this to say about Bouzereau’s 2012 Les Grands Charrons, “There is good precision and punch to the slightly bigger and richer middle weight flavors that terminate in a saline-inflected and agreeably dry finish.” We recommend drinking this from 2015-2025.

2012 Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Clos du Château de la Maltroye

Château de la Maltroye’s Jean-Pierre Cornut calls 2012, “excellent, but tiny.” He says his wines are exceptionally fresh and well-balanced plus the terroir definition is superb. The Clos du Château vineyard is nestled up to the southern part of the village of Chassagne, with the château just above it. Burgundy authority, Clive Coates MW reports there are some who consider the potential of the 2012 reds to be superior to anything recent. That includes 2010, 2009, and 2005! It is just going to be a difficult task finding the wines, considering the tiny production. The normally conservative Allen Meadows gushed with praise of this wine, “There is a lovely sense of underlying tension to the detailed yet impressively rich medium weight flavors that possess plenty of tannin-buffering dry extract before culminating in a dusty and seriously complex finish. The balance is impeccable and there is so much mid-palate concentration that this will be approachable young, yet should amply reward up to a decade of cellaring.” Drink 2017-2027. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Chassagne-Montrachet, Château de la Maltroye, Meursault, Michel Bouzereau Pere et Fils, Peter Zavialoff