2012 Crozes-Hermitage Cuvée Louis Belle
Domaine Belle

Here we are on the precipice of Memorial Day Weekend! Chances are, the likelihood of any of us being around a barbecue grill is greatly increased this weekend as statistics show that approximately 60% of US households barbecue over this period. Bring it on! We just love grilling. I just received a phone call from my longtime barbecue maven friend telling me about a brisket that has been on the grill since this morning. Hmmm, what was it that Oscar Wilde said about temptation? It actually seems rather appropriate, now that I think about it, because it was 10 years ago this weekend that I was invited over in similar circumstances. I wasn’t yet well versed with our entire inventory back then, so when I consulted pairing wizard and TWH alum Ben about what to bring, he strongly advised that I grab some northern Rhône Syrah and all would be fine. How right he was! I made a reference to this wonderful revelation in a post last year, and will never forget it. Smoky barbecued something or other? Northern Rhône Syrah. Simple. Genius.

We’ve been well versed with the wines from Domaine Belle since the 1990’s. For years their wines have graced our bins, and we happily represented the brand for their former importer. A few years ago, we became the importer! You’ve probably heard us go on about Belle’s Les Pierrelles cuvée before. It’s a great wine for a great price. The Cuvée Louis Belle is a fancier, more serious offering. It sees some time in French oak barrel, 15% of it new, which frames the vibrant yet smoky purple fruit delightfully. This wine means business. We can say with a degree of conviction that finding a Syrah of this quality for less than $30 is an immense challenge, if it’s even possible at all! Again, as we mentioned in an email last week, it is our responsibility to provide our customers with the best wines for the best prices, because what matters most to us is your pleasure.

You can certainly take our word for it, that this Crozes-Hermitage out-drinks it’s price point by a mile, but here’s The Wine Advocate’s Rhône expert, Jeb Dunnuck’s take, “Even better than the Les Pierrelles, the 2012 Crozes Hermitage Cuvee Louis Belle (aged 18 months in 15% new French oak) has full-bodied, concentrated aromas and flavors of black raspberry, crème de cassis, toasted spice and sweet oak. Fabulously rich, structured and balanced, with building, sweet tannin, it will have a decade of longevity. 92 points.

This family owned Crozes Hermitage-based estate seems to fly under the radar, yet they’re a terrific source of beautiful reds and whites from the north.”


Whatever you may be doing, we wish you a happy and safe long weekend. May these precursory days to summer treat you well, and may you continue to taste great wines when the occasions to do so present themselves. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under Barbecue Wine, Crozes-Hermitage, Northern Rhone, Peter Zavialoff, Rhone Valley, Syrah

2013 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin 1er Cru En Remilly



2013 Sylvain Langoureau Saint-Aubin
1er Cru En Remilly

Have you ever gone to the dry cleaners and picked up your items only to find them hanging on wire hangers with a paper cover that says, “We ♥ our customers?” Now, everyone’s relationship with their dry cleaner is unique, but it’s difficult to imagine engaging dry cleaning staff in passionate discussions about cleaning methods and products. And we’re guessing that the dry cleaning staff, as much as they appreciate their customers, probably don’t want to regale them with tales of new discoveries and experiences in the dry cleaning world. Retail wine merchants appreciate their customers as well, though taking into consideration the conversations and interactions that we have with our customers, we can honestly say that we do indeed love our customers! We have passionate discussions quite often with many of you who walk through our doors, and we were reminded of this just the other day when a long-time good friend of TWH sauntered in looking for a gift for his significant other.


Franck, whose tasting spectrum is wide and diverse, was on a mission. He needed white Burgundy. He seemed particularly fixated on Meursault. Well, from one wine enthusiast to another, no one was going to blame him for wanting Meursault. We love Meursault. He then added that he would like to keep the cost below $40. That’s where it gets a little tricky. At the time, we didn’t have any Meursault below $40. I pointed here and there at some that were a little higher than that, and then some Premier Crus which were much higher, until bang, a flash of recollection had me saying, “Well, Franck, it’s not Meursault, but we’ve got a white Burgundy that is all class, and contrary to the usual cliché, it very well might make you forget about Meursault!” Having been a regular customer for years with countless positive experiences, he was all ears when I showed him a bottle of 2013 Sylvain Langoureau’s Saint-Aubin Premier Cru En Remilly. I got the map out and showed him the vineyard. A very, very small piece of the En Remilly vineyard is actually in Chassagne-Montrachet and it borders the Grand Cru Chevalier-Montrachet vineyard. In fact, the entirety of En Remilly is just around the corner from the cluster of white Burgundy’s Grands Crus vineyards. THAT is prime real estate!
So we knew then we were dealing with some prime terroir, but what about the winemaker? Sylvain Langoureau has been at the helm of the domaine since 1989 and now farms organically. We’ve been working with Langoureau’s wines since the 2008 vintage, and we’re not alone in praising them. Burghound’s Allen Meadows added this about Langoureau, “As the scores and commentaries suggest this domaine should be added to those of Lamy, Prudhon, Bachelet and Marc Colin for high quality domaines based in or near St. Aubin. If you don’t know the wines I strongly suggest you check out an example.” Though the 2013 vintage presented its challenges, and production was much lower than average, the surviving fruit was of such quality that Sylvain called it, “Completely classic with great energy and transparency.” I further commented on the transparency and precision of the wine to Franck adding that sub $40 white Burgundy doesn’t get any better than this. We walked it up to the counter, put it in a bag, wished Franck well, and asked him to report back when he could.

Usually we have to wait for weeks, sometimes months, before a customer returns to report on their previous visit’s purchases. Not this time. Franck was back the very next day! Gobsmacked! His significant other was over the moon about the wine. He went on to tell us that she told him that she had never tasted such an amazing white Burgundy before, and that’s saying something! He was full of praise for the wine, noting its class and pedigree, its precision, its expression, and chuckled to himself about the price, as if he was in on a little secret. He bought more. He came back a week later and bought more again. So if you want to be transfixed by a sub $40 white Burgundy so high in quality that you may forget about Meursault (temporarily), you may want to reserve a couple before Franck returns to buy more!

Imagine, over the course of 38+ years here at TWH, customer experiences such as Franck’s continue to occur with regularity. That just makes all of us brim with pride as that is our aim. That is our responsibility. Yes, I said responsibility because for us, it doesn’t end when a sale is made. It ends when you pop the cork, pour the wine, and enjoy it. Many merchants copy and paste tasting notes and scores to their shelves and websites, and once you pony up your cash, it’s out you go until next time. That’s not the way it works at TWH. We our customers!

Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under Chardonnay, Cote du Beaune, Peter Zavialoff, Saint Aubin, Saint-Aubin En Remilly


Domaine de Fondrèche Ventoux Rouge

Hands down, the most important producer in the Ventoux, Domaine de Fondrèche continues to evolve – adjusting, experimenting, remaining dynamic. From the start, I’ve been drawn to winemaker Sébastien Vicenti’s wines for they encompass deep fruit expression with captivating spice and herb notes. Success and accolades haven’t stifled Sébastien’s drive to make the finest wine possible. Not at all. For the 2013 vintage, and going forward, the winery will no longer be making their special cuvée, Nadal. Nadal, a Grenache-based blend, garnered high scores and was one of my all-time favorite Rhône reds carried at TWH. So where is all that old-vine Grenache going to go? My guess is that it all went into the 2013 Ventoux and is possibly the reason why this vintage is so incredibly dense and chewy. I should be more upset that my beloved Nadal is no more, but the sting of that loss is easily mitigated by the impressive bottling of the 2013 Ventoux.

 

Bobby Kacher with Sèbastien

Another change at the winery, but one of less consequence than the demise of Nadal, is that their Ventoux rouge has dropped the name “Fayard”. So henceforth, I’ll be calling Fondrèche’s basic red, the Ventoux rouge. The 2013 Ventoux rouge is half Grenache, 40% Syrah and the balance, Mourvèdre. Sébastien Vicenti is a strict practitioner of organic farming, and though is not certified as such, closely follows the principles of biodynamic farming. In interviews, Sébastien emphasizes the connection between the natural harmony of the land and soil to the grapes. His credo in the vineyard carries over into the winery, where he strives to do “less” to attain “more” from the grapes. The 2013 Ventoux rouge is aged in a combination of egg-shaped concrete tanks, barrels and Foudres. This makes for a very texturally rich and engaging wine. The French publication, Le Guide Hachette des Vins, described it as “chewable”, noting its generous palate as round and silky. The Le Guide Hachetteeven bestowed a coveted “Coup de Coeur”, suggesting it is a wine worthy to investigate, irrespective of price. Good newshere as it relates to price is the 2013 Ventoux rouge is $16.99 per bottle, getting down to $14.44 when purchased by the case or as part of a mixed one! A stunning bargain!

Domaine de Fondrèche

All this gushing over the wine does come with a recommendation and it is this: Be prepared to decant. In Sébastien’s effort to control the freshness of the grapes, the resulting wine is in need of oxygen to release its full potential. Can you pop the cork, pour a glass straight out of the bottle and enjoy it? Sure, that is perfectly acceptable, but I want to suggest getting the wine some air to really set off the bevy of sweet spices and licorice notes you get on the nose. It is one of those wines that can be enjoyed one glass at a time over the course of several days from the bottle. It won’t fall apart quickly.

Second Growth, baby!

Some weeks are good “food” weeks and other are good “wine” weeks. For me, this week was both. It began last Saturday night when my husband and I went to La Folie. The dinner was my Valentine Day’s present. Flowers and jewelry are good choices, but so is a fine meal! It was our first time at La Folie and, though I don’t normally do so, I brought along a special bottle of wine – 2000 Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes from Etienne Sauzet (Thank you to my Fairy Wine-Father!). We dined for nearly 4 hours! A tear ran down my face as the last sweet amuse bouche was served. On Tuesday I attended an Italian wine tasting hosted at Acquerello. Typically at trade tastings some cheese and bread may be offered, but this being an Italian restaurant, there were also platters of salumi and olives, while small plates with either penne al sugo or truffled risotto were passed. I returned to the store in time to taste through some Bordeaux that a visiting Négociant was pouring for Pete and David. We tasted multiple vintages of Brane Cantenac, Nenin and…Leoville Las Cases! Wipe me off the floor! AND at a staff tasting I got to try the 2013 Ventoux rouge from Fondrèche. OK, I’ll stop, though I could go on. Yep, a very good food and wine week.

– Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Grenache, Mourvedre, Rhone Valley, Syrah, Ventoux

The May 2016 Dirty Dozen




The Dirty Dozen

The May Dirty Dozen

Now that it’s May, we’ve got so many fun options available to us. With the longer days, the Kentucky Derby, Mothers’ Day, and the unofficial beginning of summer, Memorial Day on the horizon, it may be a good idea to have some wine handy. Well, we just happen to have something that works perfectly! 12 wines, all different, all chosen for their versatility, boxed up for an incredible price: The May Dirty Dozen

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

2014 Picpoul de Pinet, J & D Selections $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
TWH customers are smitten with Picpoul de Pinet – Languedoc’s answer to seafood raw bar pairings – and here is why: bright, crisp fruit, electric acidity, and very affordable. It has a fruitier profile than Muscadet, isn’t as oily as white Rhone, and less herbal than Sauvignon Blanc. Fun to say, fun to drink; try with Tiger’s milk ceviche or shucked oysters.

2014 Gruner Veltliner 1L, Wimmer $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Last year’s vintage ranked #9 in Wine Enthusiasts’ Top 100, no surprise that the 2014 is equally charming with its ripe Bartlett pear flavors and clean, juicy finish. Versatile and appealing – not to mention a screw cap in a liter bottle (so perfect for dining outdoors) – Wimmer’s Gruner Veltliner is a super Austrian value. Goes with just about everything!

2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Stephen Vincent $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Lake County Sauvignon Blanc can take many forms. This one from Stephen Vincent leans toward the melon and honey flavors of its spectrum. Using grapes grown near Lake Mendocino and vinified in stainless steel, this is a crowd-pleasing white that can wear many hats. It’s a no-brainer for fish, but also adaptable to chicken and pork dishes.

2015 Rosé les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $13.99, $11.19 reorder
Brand new, just off the boat are our 2015 Rosé wines! There’s nothing quite like sipping fresh southern French Rosé on a sunny day in May. Customers continue to ask us, “Are you noticing Rosé’s gaining in popularity?” If one sip transports the taster to the sunny south of France, why not pack up a baguette, some salumi, olive tapenade, and a bottle of this?


2012 Chenin Blanc, Vinum Africa $16.99, $13.59 reorder
From Decanter Magazine, “Crafted largely from unirrigated old bush vines, some of this wine was fermented in Burgundian barrels. There’s peach and lemon on the nose, while the palate has an appealing weight, with floral notes and tangy acidity. The oak is well integrated, bringing a subtle creamy hint to the finish.” Sublime with a turkey sando.


2014 Gavi di Gavi Rovereto, Ernesto Picollo $14.99, $11.99 reorder
You may want to pay close attention to this one! Made from 100% Cortese, Picollo’s Gavi di Gavi has won our hearts from first taste. Elegant and refined, this crisp white shows off fresh, zippy white fruit and minerals with prolonged intensity. This is one to pair with Fettuccine Alfredo with bay scallops and shrimp.


2010 Contos da Terra, Quinta do Pôpa $13.48 net price, $12.13 reorder
Once only thought of as producing fortified wines, the Douro region of Portugal is gaining recognition for high quality dry reds too. Using varieties that typically went in to the making of Port, like Tinta Roriz and Touriga Nacional, these grapes, when handled correctly, can make full-bodied, luscious reds. Try this one with rustic cuts of meat like skirt steak.


2012 CMS, Hedges $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Hedges Family Estate is a pioneer in Washington State’s wine industry. The first production of CMS (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah) was in 1987. To this day, it is considered one of the best values in the state, displaying a regionally driven Columbia Valley style. Well balanced and structured, this blended red is ideal for roasts and braises.


2013 Nero d’Avola, Santa Anastasia $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red varietal in Sicily. A dark-skinned grape, Nero d’Avola can produce intense, bold reds. This one from Santa Anastasia is made from organic grapes grown on sandy clay vineyards that overlook the picturesque, seaside town of Cefalù in northern Sicily. Hand-harvested and tank aged, serve with Pasta alla Norma.

2011 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Robert Rocchi’s Tour de l’Isle label is a familiar one to TWH enthusiasts. Robert has been involved with the wines of the Rhône Valley for decades, first as an apprentice, then as a merchant, and now he fields a team of growers and advises on all the critical aspects of winemaking. The results are striking. This is a great all-purpose red; try it with pappardelle.


2013 Syrah, Domaine Saint Antoine $8.95 sale price $8.50 reorder
Here’s a little terroir comparison: First up, from the sun baked vineyards in France’s Gard region, we have a 100% destemmed Syrah made in the “house wine at the local bistro” style. Hints of smoke, the garrigue, licorice, and dark purple fruit dominate the aromas. The palate is easy and balanced. This would pair nicely with earthy flavored cassoulet.


2013 Vin de France Syrah, Domaine Stéphane Pichat $22.99, $18.39 reorder
And now Syrah from its home region, the northern Rhône. The famous northern appellations of Côte-Rôtie and Hermitage are the most famous, and most expensive Syrahs on the planet. This VDF Syrah comes from just outside Côte-Rôtie, and we fell for this from first whiff. Gorgeous red, black, and purple fruit waft effortlessly. It’s otherworldly.

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Filed under The Dirty Dozen, Wine Clubs/Samplers

Spotlight On A Sicilian Estate: Di Giovanna



When you search on the internet for Riserva Naturale Monte Genuardo, the results are entries written in Italian, nothing pops up in English. Talk about “off the beaten path”. Nestled near this protected land is where you will find the vineyards belonging to Di Giovanna. Located approximately 42 miles southwest of Palermo, on the side of the triangle that faces the Mediterranean, Di Giovanna occupies an unique location and history for Sicilian wine production. It is a special winery that pushes for quality while offering the wines at market for a very fair price. Di Giovanna wines over deliver for price.

Klaus and Gunther Di Giovanna

I first met Gunther Di Giovanna three years ago. Yes, Gunther. Not your typical Sicilian name! His Sicilian father Aurelio married German-born Barbara, hence the name. Gunther’s brother, Klaus, partners with him to manage production from the vineyards to the wine cellar. I liked the wines then and brought in the Nerello Mascalese to stock at The Wine House. Very soon after, their American importer ceased operating in California, so I was no longer able to buy it for the store. Back in the California market, Gunther paid me a visit to present their new wines. I could readily detect an even finer quality to the wines than before.

Di Giovanna Vineyards

Though wine production at Di Giovanna can be traced back to 1860, it was 1985 when Aurelio and Barbara decided to make a serious go at making fine wine on their family’s estate. There was much work done in the vineyards to identify soils and microclimates. Aurelio hired friend and famed Bordeaux oenologist Denis Dubourdieu to consult at the estate. The Di Giovannas were intent on making the best possible wine, bucking common Sicilian wine practices of the time that favored higher yields and bulk production. Gunther and Klaus inherited their parents’ strong commitment and appreciation for their land and winery. During my conversation with Gunther, I learned that he spent many years working in corporate business on mainland Italy and Germany before returning to Sicily to work at Di Giovanna. He tells me that now he is never tired. His work at the winery energizes and inspires him, bringing joy every day.
Another view of Di Giovanna

I have included photos that I borrowed from Di Giovanna’s Facebook page. As you can see, the winery is remote, far from civilization. You don’t see other wineries – there aren’t any but Di Giovanna – nor towns or many homes. The elevation of the five main vineyards range from 1100 to 2800 hundred feet! Their immediate surroundings are pristine. The winery has traditionally farmed organically, but became certified organic in 1997. It is indeed a special place.


My collection of Pysanky

I celebrated Eastern Orthodox Easter May 1. My family and friends (it was a small crowd with only 31 in attendance) gathered at the River on the deck to feast on Russian delicacies and some non-traditional, but revered, dishes. It was a glorious day as the weather was warm, the freshness of spring was in the air and the company convivial. Everyone was exactly where they wanted to be and it felt good. I live for those moments; it makes everything else worth it. I suspect Gunther and Klaus have similar moments at their family’s estate tucked high above Sambuca di Sicilia. Life is bedda!

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Sicily

2010 Chateau Tour St. Bonnet – Delicious and Budget Friendly



2015 Bordeaux Update: The futures campaign has begun! At the time of this writing, pricing has come out for a small number of producers, and no doubt the next several weeks will be very busy with more chateaux offering their 2015’s to the marketplace. We are already active in the campaign and will continue to be, as many of the wines merit a place in our bins and in your cellars! The first of our 2015 Bordeaux futures email offers will be hitting your inboxes soon.


Yes, 2015 Bordeaux. It seems like yesterday, but it’s now been 10 years since the now (and always) famous 2005 vintage was introduced to Bordeaux lovers. 2005 was hailed as a “perfect” vintage, as the weather conditions during the growing season were optimal for producers. Vintages like 2005 are great for those of us who love Bordeaux as everyone benefited from the conditions and made good wine. We always look out for lesser known producers in those types of vintages as the quality is there, but the high price isn’t. 2005 was dubbed the “vintage of the century,” and we continue to enjoy those petits chateaux bargains to this day!


What’s happened in Bordeaux in the decade since the “vintage of the century?” They got two more! Of course they did … 2009 and 2010 were both spectacular vintages with great wines from top to bottom. Each time that I have visited Bordeaux since these back to back successes, I have endured an exhaustive schedule with suppliers to taste as many “lesser” wines from 2009 and 2010 that I possibly could have. All of that hard work has paid off as we have been delighted to bring in the many petits chateaux wines that we have, and if the feedback we’ve received is any indication, our customers share this delight. It’s been slim pickin’s out there for the past couple of years as we are nowhere near alone in this philosophy and supplies have dwindled. Alas, sometimes we buy something, but for logistical reasons, it takes longer than expected to arrive. That’s what we have here. A recent container from France brought us one more superb 2010 Bordeaux at the $20 price point, the 2010 Château Tour St. Bonnet, Médoc.


The château is located in the commune of Saint Christoly in the Médoc, north of Saint-Estephe. Famed Bordeaux guru, David Peppercorn MW wrote, “The most important property in St. Christoly is La Tour St. Bonnet. The reputation of the wine is good, the style typical of the warm, fruity wines of St. Christoly.” About the 2010 Tour St. Bonnet, Robert Parker wrote, “A beautiful sleeper of the vintage, this is possibly the best wine I-ve ever tasted from this over-achieving estate near St.-Christoly-de-Medoc. A blend of 45% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Petit Verdot. The 2010 exhibits classic cedar wood, tobacco leaf, creme de cassis, licorice and some balsam wood notes in a strong, medium to full-bodied, layered style with good opulence, purity and overall harmony. A real beauty, it should be drunk over the next 4-5 years. 90 points.” He also said of the 2010, “A well-known, perennial sleeper of the vintage, Tour St.-Bonnet’s wines are always well-made, under-valued and taste like a mini-version of the well-known Pauillac, Grand-Puy-Lacoste.” If you want some delectable, inexpensive 2010 Bordeaux to have around, you may want to move on this one sooner than later.

So yes, the 2015 Bordeaux futures campaign has begun and we are part of it. The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin released his overview of the vintage this past Friday, and though we have our own impressions of it, we applaud his integrity, hard work, and guidance. We will go on the record and say that the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux is the best vintage since 2010 … except when it isn’t. And there are exceptions. Keep a look out for those futures offerings coming soon! – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under 2010 Bordeaux, Medoc, Peter Zavialoff

2012 Mas de Bressades Cabernet – Syrah Les Vignes de Mon Père


Mas de Bressades
2012 Cabernet – Syrah Les Vignes de Mon Père

There was a big announcement over at The Wine Advocate that Robert Parker Jr. was passing the baton over to Neal Martin, who will now be the sole reviewer of Bordeaux for the publication. For those of us who follow such things, this is a big deal. Yes, Parker has been reviewing far fewer wines, nevertheless, his impact on the wine industry lingers – especially in Bordeaux and California. What I have observed over the past five years or so is that because Parker is not featuring the portfolios of favored importers as frequently as he once did, the frenzy for some of the exceptional, under-the-radar values that he would highlight has faded. That is a shame. Case in point, the Cabernet-Syrah from Mas de Bressades has not been reviewed in The Wine Advocate for many, many vintages. However, if you were to look up past reviews for this wine you would see mostly scores of 90 & 91 points. Pretty impressive for a wine under $25. Back when I started at TWH, the Mas de Bressades Cabernet-Syrah was practically doled out case by case. Everyone had read how terrific the wine was and it had generated a loyal following among those searching for elevated French “country” wine.


TWH recently purchased the remaining stock of the Mas de Bressades 2012 Cabernet-Syrah at a crazy good price and we’re passing along the savings! It has been awhile since I last tasted a bottle, but I fondly remember the Mas de Bressades Cabernet-Syrah as being the jewel in the crown of Robert Kacher Selections’ offerings from the Costières de Nîmes. Bobby Kacher was a trailblazer in this region, recognizing its great potential for quality wine and began importing the best ones to the US nearly thirty years ago. The Costières de Nîmes was formerly lumped with eastern Languedoc wines, but the soil and climate more closely resembles southern Rhône. Therefore, Costières de Nîmes is now officially part of the Rhône Valley.


Mas de Bressades’ winemaker, Cyril Mares, is a sixth generation winemaker. His father, Roger, purchased the estate in the early ’60s. Cyril has added the moniker Les Vignes de Mon Pèreto the Cabernet-Syrah in honor of his father and, I think, to emphasis the old-vine pedigree of the grapes. The old-vine character of this wine is palpable; deep berry compote fruit gives way to cedar notes with a rich cassis finish. The wine is supple and coats the mouth with warm, sultry flavors. The blend is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Syrah. I like to tell customers that it has the structure of Cabernet but with the elegant fruit notes of Syrah. Far from being rustic, this is French country wine at its best. You get fancy texture and flavors from the oak aging, the ripeness of the region but without the pearl clutching price of so many other notable French regions. This wine, though full-bodied, is suitable for showy main course masterpieces as well as more humble fare. You can even enjoy a glass on its own, if that is what the occasion calls for.


In my last post, I mentioned plans for a seaside escape. I am happy to report that the getaway was fabulous! Lots of happy memories made in four fun-filled days. We went to stay at a beachfront hotel in Santa Cruz with a group of friends with lots of children in tow. On the first evening of our arrival, while the children continued to play in the pool, the adults gathered around the gas fire pit to keep warm and chat. I shared the Mas de Bressades 2012 Cabernet-Syrah which we drank from hotel room water glasses. I am grateful to the tolerant hotel staff who kindly overlooked our bad behavior for breaking the “pool rules”. The warming flavors of the wine echoed the warming flames, enhancing the beauty of our surroundings. My friends, expecting a wine this tasty to be expensive, were shocked when I told them TWH sells it for $14.95! Such a deal! Share some bottles with your friends – I am confident they’ll also be impressed. – Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Costieres de Nimes, Syrah

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