As I alluded to yesterday, summer is here, and I can go on and on about more white and rosé wines, but on the heels of the praise of Grüner Veltliner, I thought to change it up a bit. Why not? It’s probably no surprise that my thoughts are on Bordeaux, that’s just natural. The Bordelais just hosted VinExpo this past week, and though we were able to follow the festivities via social media, my inbox was unusually quiet this week. That’s all good, we all need time to catch up on things. As I was doing a little housecleaning this morning, I stumbled upon a fairly recent acquisition, the 2008 Château Gloria. I thought, “Here’s an outstanding bottle of red Bordeaux, with a little age on it, for a very fair price. Hey, people drink red wine during summer too.” Summer barbecues? But of course.
Category Archives: Peter Zavialoff
Happy Friday!! Can you believe spring is almost over??!! Yep, looking at the weather map of the US, it seems most of the country is heating up. Here in SF, we’ve got our cool microclimate, but should one venture north, south, or east for an hour or so, look out! One of summer’s challenges is to stay cool and refreshed. We’ve all got our methods for keeping cool, whether it’s spending time at the beach, pool, cinema, or refrigerated section of the local grocery store. Refreshed? Rule #1 – stay hydrated, drink lots of water. Rule #2? Something cool and crisp in your wine glass. May we offer a suggestion? Full liter bottle. Unpretentious bottle cap enclosure. 12.5% alcohol. Certified organic. Crisp. Dry. Tank fermented. 15 bucks. How about the 2013 H & M Hofer Grüner Veltliner?
If one were to ask a hundred different people what their favorite month is, June would most likely top the chart. Any school kid would choose it, those that love to welcome summer would follow suit. June brides, Dads, and grads all have reason to put the sixth month first. Here at TWH, we’ve got a soft spot for June as well. The clock is ticking; summer is almost here! To get ready for it, why not pick up the June Dirty Dozen today? 12 wines, all different, all chosen for their versatility, one low price!
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
2013 Domaine de la Petite Cassagne Blanc $11.99, $9.59 reorder
White wines from the Rhône Valley are some of the best bang-for-your-buck wines in the world! This one is a blend of 50% Rolle (some call it Vermentino), 30% Grenache Blanc, and 20% Roussanne, all tank-fermented with fresh and lively fruit expression. This is best served with light summer salads or avocado bruschetta drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
2012 Chenin Blanc, Blue Plate $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Here’s a Chenin Blanc grown sustainably in the Sacramento Delta commune of Clarksburg. It is pure sunny, melon-laden and tropical-tinged juice. The fruit is picked early to keep acids fresh and sugars in check. Fleshy, yet dry, this versatile white pairs up well with fried chicken and all the traditional sides.
2014 Vinho Verde, Arca Nova $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Slightly effervescent and super low in alcohol, a well-made Portugese Vinho Verde, like this one, is perfect for daytime imbibing or partnering up with a picnic. A family-owned winery, Arca Nova makes their Vinho Verde from the grapes, Loureiro, Arinto and Trajadura. For an unexpected pairing, try it with spicy pan-fried rice noodles like Pad Kee Mow.
2012 Riesling Vieilles Vignes, Domaine Ehrhart $19.99, $15.99 reorder
Okay, try this one. You’re sitting at a restaurant with a few friends. One friend orders a turkey sandwich. Another goes for corned beef and cabbage. A third likes the idea of the Dungeness crab salad, and you can’t take your eyes off the fish tacos. Think you all need the ‘by the glass’ list? Think again. This dry Riesling works with all of them.
2013 Chardonnay/Torrontes, Martin Fierro $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Tulum Valley, Argentina is north of Mendoza. The vines there grow at elevations exceeding 2000 feet. The combination of Chardonnay and Torrontes makes for a fragrant yet perky, clean wine. A chilled glass to linger over on the veranda is nice especially with some nibbles of fava bean puree on crostini, crunchy crudité or a composed dinner salad.
NV Vouvray, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
June is a month known for several celebrations. And though we highly promote sparkling wines to be served at any occasion, this bottle may come in handy should you need a quick fizz pick me up. It’s made from Chenin Blanc and has aromas of dusty mineral and a crisp apple. Sparkling wine pairs very well with salty snacks like chips or popcorn.
2011 Syrah/Grenache, Laurent Miquel $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Spicy Syrah combined with juicy Grenache is a traditional blend in the Languedoc. Laurent Miquel vinifies these two complementary grapes to create an accessible and plush red. One famous British wine writer described producer Laurent Miquel “as one of the most reliable and forward-looking in the Languedoc.” Serve with any Mediterranean inspired dish.
2008 Tempranillo, Gárgola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
This structured, soft tannin Spanish red comes from grapes grown in the Extramadura region. Situated along the border with Portugal in western Spain, this sparsely populated region is rich in wildlife and home to the famous Jamón Ibérico. Try this cured-meat delicacy with some Marcona almonds and a large goblet of the Gárgola for a quick festive feast!
2012 Grenache, Blue Plate $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Looking for a warm-weather red quaffer? Something juicy and light with little oak? If so, the Blue Plate Grenache is the one for you! Pretty aromas of strawberry, raspberry and a hint of violet charm the senses. Light-bodied and fresh, serve with teriyaki-glazed chicken, Korean short-ribs or anything spicy and assertive that needs a fruity back drop.
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. Pair it with Papardelle with rabbit sauce.
2010 Château La Gorre, Médoc $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder
Wait. What??? 2010 Left Bank Bordeaux in the Dirty Dozen? You bet. 2010 was one of the best vintages in the region in recent memory. La Gorre is another producer located in the village of Bégadan, and their 2010 is expressive and balanced. Treat it special: get the good stemware, a decanter, someone to share it with and a nice T-Bone steak.
2011 Ventoux Fayard, Domaine Fondrèche $17.99, $14.39 reorder
Winemaker Sébastien Vincenti has one of the best locales in all of Ventoux, and continues to churn out expressive wines with charm and complexity. For his Fayard blend, Vincenti uses 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre to give it some gaminess and backbone. Pop it with a simple Margherita pizza and your taste buds will be tickled.
Check Out Our Complete Inventory at Click here to purchase all 12 wines for $109!
Recently, at the end of another busy day, our staff locked up the shop and headed for the tasting room to get to know a couple of new arrivals. One of them was a red wine from a region in France famous for its white wines, and the other was a white wine from a region mostly known for its reds. The white wine was the 2014 Beaujolais-Villages Blanc from Château de Raousset. We don’t hear much about Beaujolais Blanc as it typically only represents 1% of the region’s annual production. Almost all Beaujolais Blanc is made from Chardonnay, however Aligoté is allowed, provided the vines were planted prior to 2004. For their Cuvée Marquise de Robien, the Raousset Beaujolais Blanc is 100% Chardonnay. It’s often a challenge to remain free from expectation when evaluating new wines, as David continues to find outstanding new wines from both new and established producers time and time again on his tasting trips to France each year. We’ve carried Beaujolais Blanc in the past, most recently one from the 2009 vintage.
container from France and négociante, Jeanne-Marie de Champs. The timing was grand because more than a handful of wines from said container were shipped by Jeanne-Marie and her company, Domaines et Saveurs. She spent a couple of days here in the Bay Area visiting clients, and at the end of one of those days, she returned to our HQ here in southern Dogpatch to pour a fine array of recent arrivals for our staff. We were all pretty impressed with how each wine was showing (there was one of those fancy, hyphenated Montrachet types in there), but at that moment we were all taken by … get this … the 2013 Paul Pernot Bourgogne Blanc!
barrels. His overall 2013 production was less than expected (and far less than average), so there were a few extra new barrels available, and Pernot vinified 15% of the 2013 Bourgogne in them! Perhaps that’s where some of the fancy aromas and texture come from. But it’s far more than that. In order for a wine to exhibit character like this, it must have rich fruit, layers of complexity, a tame alcohol level (12.5%), and harmonizing acidity. This wine has no, as in zero, rough edges. It is seamless in its harmony. There wasn’t much up for grabs at the end of the tasting, but let’s just say that more than one of us (read: all of us) wanted what was left to take home.
So despite not being in Bordeaux personally, Robert Parker’s presence was felt, as word of his upcoming synopsis of 2012 Bordeaux in bottle was all the buzz on both sides of the Gironde. We’ve received many inquiries from customers about the wines of Pomerol and Pessac-Léognan (and Graves), as those were the first two appellations he mentioned in his bulletin board post; but quality is quality, and Pontet Canet has quality in spades. Pass at your own peril. – Peter Zavialoff
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments about 2012 Bordeaux, 2014 Bordeaux, or English Football: peter@wineSF.com