Category Archives: Wine Clubs/Samplers

The July 2017 Dirty Dozen


The Dirty Dozen

Happy July, everybody! Believe it or not, 2017 is half over, but the better half is coming on! Summertime is always a great time of year for parties, picnics, barbecues, beach time, holidays, and vacations. For this July, we’ve chosen a case of 12 bottles, all different, all versatile, and all in harmony with summer. So this month, make it easy on yourself and your budget. Stop on by TWH and pick up your Dirty Dozen today!

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

2015 Minervois Blanc, Château Paraza $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
The Danglas family purchased the famous Château de Paraza ten years ago. In that short time, they have brought the property and wine back to its former glory. A blend of 60% Roussanne and 40% Grenache Blanc, this snappy white is full of delicate floral aromas and finishes with flavors of white peach; a great choice for fish tacos, ceviche, or Pizza Bianco.

2014 Pecorino, I Fauri $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder
Pecorino is found grown along Italy’s eastern coastal regions. Dry and minerally, this white has floral and citrus notes with a flinty aroma that borders on minty-ness. After tasting this with staff, the decision was made to double our order. We anticipate many reorders, plus we wanted to make sure there was enough stock for us too! Try with Fritto Misto!

2015 Jongieux, Carrel $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Jongieux is a named cru within the Savoie appellation. In this Alpine region you will find whites made from the Jacquère grape that are grown at high altitude. Low in alcohol, this Jongieux is fresh and zippy with flavors of ripe pear and citrus. Serve chilled as an aperitif or tote along on your next trip to the coast to have with some raw oysters.

2013 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Domaine Boudinaud $7.95 sale price, $7.55 reorder
TWH pals Thierry and Véronique Boudinaud have several irons in the fire in and around the southern Rhône Valley. This CdR Blanc is made from 60% Grenache Blanc and 40% Roussanne, and it shows fleshy yellow fruit with a crisp finish. It’s an easy wine to just pop and pour. Put a nice chill on this and serve it up with a seared Ahi tuna BLT.


2014 Bush Vine Chenin Blanc, The Winery of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder
This is 100% Chenin Blanc is from old bush vines planted in decomposed granite in the Helderberg area of Stellenbosch, facing the ocean. Those ocean breezes keep the fruit relatively cool and fresh, lending balancing acidity to the tangy, voluptuous, green apple-like fruit. So grab an ice bucket, head outdoors, and enjoy it over a long balmy evening!


2016 À Lisa VDP du Var, Domaine des Aspras $12.99, $10.39 reorder
The more we taste the wines from Domaine des Aspras, the more we love what is going on there. In brief, the family fled Germany in the 1930’s, and settled in Congo, only to flee once again, this time to Provence in the 1960’s. They quickly learned how to make wine, and with modern ingenuity, the next generation produces some of the best values in our bins.


2016 Rouge, Guilhelm Moulin de Gassac $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
A four grape blend from vines that range in age from 25-50 years old, this red is hearty and brimming with fruit. All tank fermented and devoid of any oak treatment, this is a humble wine made by the folks behind the legendary Languedoc winery, Mas de Gaussac. Take inspiration from any cuisine found along the Mediterranean Sea when pairing up this red.


2015 Pinot Noir, Wonderwall $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder
And just like that, our best-selling California Pinot Noir ends up in the DD. It’s a tremendous value from winemaker Andrew Jones who claims to have stood in every vineyard on the Central Coast. The grapes come from two vineyards with close proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Strawberry and cherry flavors persist. Try it with lamb, pork, or turkey burgers.


2014 Zinfandel, Foxglove $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Brothers Bob and Jim Varner make this affordable and delicious Zinfandel from fruit grown in Paso Robles. Juicy and vibrant with brambly fruit notes, though not a wimpy wine, it is a tad less bombastic than most Paso Zins. If outside temperatures spike, don’t be afraid to give this red a slight chill to keep flavors popping. It’s magnificent with bbq ribs.

2015 Dolcetto d’Alba, Aurelio Settimo $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Barolo winemaker Tiziana Settimo worked with her father, Aurelio, for 20 years before taking over a decade ago. While Nebbiolo plantings dominate her family’s holdings, she continues to tend to her 1 hectare of Dolcetto. It’s juicy and grapey with bright acidity and easy tannins. Pour this with ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms smothered in red sauce.


2015 Ventoux Rouge, Tour de l’Isle $13.49, $10.79 reorder
No doubt, many of you have enjoyed wines from this negociant-like producer in the southern Rhône Valley. Robert Rocchi works with a handful of growers in the region and bottles each wine with his own Tour de l’Isle label. Rocchi is not afraid to make wines that taste good. Case in point this lovely Ventoux rouge. This has backyard bbq written all over it.


2014 Château Bellevue la Randée $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Speaking of backyard bbq, this red Bordeaux wine comes from the stable of Jean-Luc Thunevin, one of the original Bordeaux garagiste winemakers, whose top wine can sell for over $200! But this is the DD, and this month, we include Jean-Luc’s entry-level red, which is also perfect for the outdoor grill. Spare ribs, steaks, and chops can be enjoyed here.

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A Taste Of Burgundy – June 2017


A Taste Of Burgundy


TOB-BANNERBasic 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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2015 Puligny-Montrachet
Domaine Paul Pernot et ses Fils

When asked about the 2015 vintage, Paul Pernot said, “It gave us a relatively easy growing season, which was a welcome relief after the last three years where things were constantly in doubt. Basically, the weather was hot in the spring, hot during the summer, and hot right up to the point the fruit was set to pick, and finally the temperatures broke. When it did, we began picking. The fruit was spotless with very good potential alcohols that averaged right around 13%. As to the wines, I would describe them as both very ripe and rich, yet they manage to remain well-balanced and refreshing. They should drink well early on and should very much please those consumers who enjoy young whites.” For his Puligny-Montrachet bottling, Pernot sources the fruit from four lieux-dit vineyards whose average age is 50 years. This 2015 is raring to go with its wide array of aromas: snappy apple, citrus blossom, and a hint of mint. The palate is round and rich, held together with buoyant acidity. It has a sneaky, long finish. Drink 2018-2026.

2014 Fixin-Hervelets 1er Cru
Domaine Bart

We featured the 2013 vintage of Martin Bart’s Fixin-Hervelets 1er Cru back in the October 2015 installment of our TOB. Due to popular demand, we now feature his 2014! Now run by nephew, Pierre, with Martin looking on, the Barts tend some 22 hectares of vines in the north of Côtes de Nuits. There are five 1er Cru vineyards in Fixin, three of which are monopoles. The other two are Les Arvelets and Les Hervelets. The fruit for this bottling comes from a 1.5ha parcel between the two. Fruit from Arvelets may be included in bottles labeled Hervelets, but not vice-versa. The two vineyards enjoy their perch on the gentle slope which sits just above the other 1er Cru vineyards. Apart from a mediocre summer, Pierre has said the growing season was relatively easy. Commenting on the ripeness and structure of his 2014’s, Pierre went on to say, ” there is a roundness, even tenderness to the textures which should make them approachable young.” Mineral notes abound in this refined, medium-bodied wine. Drink 2019-2030. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Barbecue Wine, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chardonnay, Domaine Bart, Fixin, Paul Pernot, Peter Zavialoff, Puligny-Montrachet

The June 2017 Dirty Dozen


It’s June and that means summer is almost here! The kids are our of school, Fathers’ Day is almost here, and the summer solstice is right around the corner. For these exciting times, it’s always a great idea to have some solid, versatile wine at the ready, ’cause one never knows just what may arise. The June Dirty Dozen features 12 bottles, all chosen for their versatility and quality, packed in one box, ready for you to enjoy. Cheers!

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

2016 Rosé, Balancing Act $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

Only 400 cases were made of this charming Washington State Cabernet Franc Rosé. The pale apricot color hints at the delicate melon and strawberry fruit. At only 12% alcohol, this Rosé has a light and easy palate feel. Perfect on a hot summer evening while dining alfresco. Food pairing options here are vast, though a big garden salad would be nice!

2014 Erbaluce di Caluso, Giacometto $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

Erbaluce is an Italian white grape variety that has high levels of natural acidity and is grown mainly in northern Piedmont. The estate of Bruno Giacometto is located in the commune of Caluso, about 30 kilometers northeast of Turin. Super refreshing and full of vigor, this wine is ideally suited for raw seafood, especially oysters on the half shell.

2014 Devon Riesling, Richard Böking $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder

This dry/off-dry Riesling is a blend of fruit grown from the winery’s top 5 steep-slope vineyards that don’t end up in their single-vineyard bottlings. The grapes are picked early to retain freshness and minerality. Classic juicy notes of green apple and minty herbs finish tart and tangy. Serve with Korean fried chicken, Thai curries or a pan-fried pork chop.

2015 Gavi di Gavi Rovereto, Ernesto Picollo $15.49, $12.39 reorder

Made from 100% Cortese, Gianlorenzo Picollo ferments and raises this Gavi di Gavi in all stainless steel tank. This gives the wine its freshness and clean expression. Quality-wise, you’ll be hard pressed to find a white wine close to this price. Gavi di Gavi is the wine of choice on the Italian Riviera, so feel free to pop it with your mussels or shrimp scampi.

2015 Côtes du Rhône Blanc, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder

Whaddya get when you blend fairly equal parts Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette, and Grenache Blanc? To Robert Rocchi, proprietor of Tour de l’Isle, you get a delectable, balanced white wine that’s long on character and short on price. With summer on the immediate horizon, this is a great go-to white for those warm evenings. Serve it with seared scallops.

NV Vouvray Brut, Domaine d’Orfeuilles $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

Speaking of outstanding values – the Vouvray Brut from Domaine d’Orfeuilles has to be our favorite budget sparkler with its Granny Smith Apple-like fruit and dusty minerality. Anya swears that it is the only sparkling wine that she can drink and not wish that it was Champagne. Sparkling wine pairs particularly great with salty foods like fried chicken.

2016 Barbera d’Asti, Il Falchetto $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder

This is some Barbera d’Asti! Here you will find red cherry fruit buoyed by Barbera’s telltale acid freshness and soft tannins. It’s essentially a single-vineyard bottling from the commune of Agliano Terme called Pian Scorrone. The bottles have a unique dimple under the back label, but don’t fret, this wine is perfect for a bowl of olives, a fresh baguette, and a salumi platter.

2015 Blaufränker, Pneisl 1L $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder

Sisters Birgit and Katrin make this dynamite Blaufrankisch from their family’s estate in Austria. Just across the border in Hungary, they also make wine from their ancestral vineyards. This versatile red is fruity and dry with notes of cherry and rose petal. It comes in a screwcap liter-sized bottle, so there is more to enjoy! Serve at cellar temp to retain vibrancy.

2013 Dão Reserva, Porta dos Templarios $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

This is a sturdy, fruit-driven Portugese red made from a blend of three grapes, Touriga Nacional, Tinto Roriz and Jaen. The overall quality of wines being imported from Portugal has improved dramatically over the past decade. If you are looking to find quality and bang for your buck, its time to explore this wine region. Match it up with chorizo or merguez.

2013 Syrah/Grenache, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder

No fuss, no muss – TWH pal Thierry Boudinaud blends tank-fermented Syrah, 40% Grenache, and 10% Mourvèdre for his Grange des Rouquette red. Its round purple fruit flavors and aromas are easy to like and its price point makes it easy to stock up on. No need to overthink any pairing ideas – it’s great on its own, or will suit burgers, pizza, or pasta perfectly.

2015 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder

Speaking of pasta-pairing wines, this spaghetti red made by another TWH pal, Enrico Pierazzuoli, is just the kind of wine you get if you stop somewhere in the Tuscan countryside and order a bicchiere di vino rosso. Made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Barco Reale gets a touch of new barrel treatment which gives it its complex character.

2014 Château Couronneau Bordeaux Supérieur $16.98 net price, $15.28 reorder

Winemaker Christophe Piat is fully on the biodynamic train these days with a handful of vintages under his belt. Say what you want, but we’ve noticed a big difference in the expression of his wines of late – as in, they’re explosive! The purity of fruit combined with the sense of place makes this an ideal bottle to open with a juicy, sizzling porterhouse.

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The May 2017 Dirty Dozen



The Dirty Dozen


And they’re off! The Kentucky Derby may be around the corner, but the month of May is chock-full of festive spring days, such as a day for all you Moms out there, as well as that unofficial start of summer known as Memorial Day Weekend! With all of the good that May brings us, it’s good to have a stash of quality, versatile wine at the ready. Picnics, barbecues, brunch with Mom, or a long weekend at the cabin? The DD has you covered!

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

2014 Chardonnay, Ramsay $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Kent Rasmussen’s winery began over thirty years ago out of his garage. Today, Kent has a modern facility in southern Napa. Ramsay is a companion label that focuses on combining quality with affordability. This well-balanced Chardonnay is full, without question, but stays fresh and lively on the palate. Serve it up with some buttermilk fried chicken sandos.

2015 Vermentino, Federici $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
The Ligurian coastline is known as the Italian Riviera. Not far from the Tuscan border, in an area famous for Carrara marble quarries, is where you will find Cantine Federici. Vermentino is the dominant white grape variety, producing mineral-driven, floral, crisp wines. A tiny bit of Albarola is blended in too. Try with basil pesto pasta or use other herbs.

2015 Arinto, Dom Diogo $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Quinta da Raza is a family estate established in 1769 in the Vinho Verde region of Portugal. Their soil is unique for the region because it is granitic with bits of clay and schiste – ideal conditions for producing crisp, vibrant whites. Arinto is known for its citrus expression: so think lemon and grapefruit. Thirst quenching and delicious, serve it with asparagus.

2014 Château Couronneau Blanc $11.95 sale price, $11.35 reorder
A recent article featured in The Wine Advocate sings the praises of the 2014 vintage for white Bordeaux. Neal Martin goes on the record by stating, “Much is sold for bargain prices compared to other French wine regions.” Biodynamically farmed Couronneau is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris. Serve it with spring salads with goat cheese.


2015 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder
It says Viognier, though 15% Marsanne is blended in, giving this user-friendly white added complexity and richness. It’s all tank fermented, allowing the clean, fruity/blossomy aromas to pop. On the palate, it’s light to medium bodied and has a crisp finish. You can serve this as an aperitif or as a versatile house white, as it pairs well with poultry or seafood.


2015 Rosé Les Cimels, Château d’Or et de Gueules $9.95 sale price, $9.45 reorder
For many of us, Rosé is appropriate to drink all year long; for others, it is a seasonal beverage. Well, if it is indeed a seasonal wine, the season has begun! Sure, there’s a particular satisfaction one gets sipping on a glass of Rosé on a warm afternoon or evening. This Rosé has just the right amount of fruity goodness to get you pouring that second glass.


2012 Zio Paolo, Vino Lauria $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
This 100% Nero d’Avola was fermented in stainless steel tanks before bottling. The grapes were grown organically around Alcamo in western Sicily half way between Trapani and Palermo. Here the soil is rich in clay and limestone and the climate arid. Try this simple, friendly red with eggplant and tomato-based dishes like Moussaka or Parmigiana.


2013 Pinot Noir, Praxis $13.95 sale price, $13.25 reorder
Bill Arbios is a veteran winemaker with over forty years of winemaking under his belt. His 2013 Praxis Pinot Noir is made from grapes grown just west of the town of Sonoma, not far from Carneros, yet still within the Sonoma Coast AVA. It is medium-bodied with earthy flavors of cherry and soft plum, accented by spice notes. Pair with lamb riblets or chops.


2014 Estate Red, Christopher Michael $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
The Harm brothers are the masterminds behind Oregon’s Underwood wines. They teamed up again to tackle Washington State grapes. This red blend is predominantly Syrah, with additions of Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec and Grenache. Juicy, soft tannins combine with plum and red currant fruit – perfect with flank, flap or skirt steak.

2015 Fronton On l’Appelle Negrette, Vignobles Arbeau $12.59, $10.07 reorder
The last couple of DD’s featured a couple of wines sourced from the Fronton region near the French city of Toulouse. This semi-remote viticultural area is the home of the Negrette grape. This is 100% Negrette. The aromas are bright and fruity, with hints of herbs and forest floor. The palate is light in body, making this a fine red option for rotisserie chicken.


2012 Château Les Gabriaux, Médoc $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Who says Bordeaux wines are expensive? Certainly, the 60 or so most famous wines from the region can command a king’s ransom, but what about the other 7,000? Of course, one must be on their toes, keeping an eye out for quality among the less expensive wines. That’s how we found the Les Gabriaux. It’s inexpensive and delicious. Serve up some Prime Rib here.


2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, Ca’ Lojera $15.99, $12.79 reorder
You may know Ambra and Franco Tiraboschi’s Ca’ Lojera by their terrific Lugana white wines made from the Turbiana grape, but here’s a sample of their 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown near Lake Garda in Italy. It’s expressive and layered, kind of a throwback to those California Cabs of yore with their brambly berry fruit and hints of mint.

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A Taste Of Burgundy – April 2017


A Taste Of Burgundy


TOB-BANNER 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.

 

2014 Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Le Champlot
Domaine Sylvain Langoureau

Saint-Aubin sits along the hillsides above and around the corner from the Côte de Beaune’s Grand Cru vineyards. Premier Cru Le Champlot enjoys full-on western exposure, situated just above the village of Gamay in the appellation’s rolling hills. Winemaker Sylvain Langoureau continues to farm his 9 hectares organically, and for his 2014’s, Langoureau praises the “remarkably clean fruit” which was harvested in mid-September. He also went on to say, “I really like the style of the ’14s because while everyone always says that a given vintage will be good young and old I really do believe that 2014 gave us wines that will in fact fulfill those promises!” We couldn’t agree more; 2014 is clearly one of the region’s exceptional vintages. In an effort to express the hallmarks of the terroir and vintage, Langoureau kept bâtonnage to a minimum and limited the amount of new barrel used to 20%. What he produced is a clean Le Champlot with focused structure, good tension, and expression. It’s good to drink now through 2029.

2013 Pommard 1er Cru Les Chanlins
Domaine Parent

Pommard has enjoyed a long history of notoriety for producing classic wines which are deep in color, profoundly aromatic, structured, and reliable. The village sits between Beaune in the north and Volnay to the south. Premier Cru Les Chanlins lies on the upslope just south of the famous Les Rugiens vineyard, south of the village. For Anne Parent to be energetic and upbeat while discussing her 2013 vintage would mean that considering the challenges (cool, wet spring, trouble during flowering, and a hailstorm in July), she was happy with the overall quality of her bottled wines. Production was less than 50% of average, and there was a bit of sorting which needed to be done. Anne quickly recognized that the fruit was in a delicate state, which caused her to vinify her wines softly and to use less than half the new barrel she would from an average vintage. She went on to say, “I absolutely love the fresh fruit as the flavors are racy and refreshing.” 100% organically farmed, this will be at its best from 2019-2030. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chardonnay, Peter Zavialoff, Pinot Noir, Pommard, Saint Aubin, Wine Clubs/Samplers

The March 2017 Dirty Dozen



The Dirty Dozen


The March 2017 Dirty Dozen

Yay! It’s March. There’s something special about this month. Maybe it’s because the days are getting longer. Maybe it’s because the weather is warming up. Maybe it’s because baseball season is less than a month away. Whatever the reason, we’ve made your wine purchasing decisions really easy. The March Dirty Dozen contains plenty of interesting, versatile wines, sourced from all over the map. Get your March DD today!

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

2015 Orvieto Classico Vignarco, Palazzone $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
In 1969, the Dubini family purchased their property in the Umbrian hills, planting grapes soon after. By 1982 they had made their first Orvieto. The Vignarco is made up of 80% Garganega and is entirely vinified in stainless steel. Golden-hued, fresh with a lovely floral scent, it’s perfect for light meals and appetizers; try it with crab cakes atop dressed greens.

2015 Moscato Secco, Uvaggio $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Don’t let the “Moscato” scare you … this is “Secco” so it’s dry, dry, dry. Yes it has lovely exotic aromatics, but it has so much more going for it. A dead-ringer for a Ribolla Giallo from Alto Adige, this perfumed and alluring white is extremely versatile as a stand-alone sipper or a meal enhancer. Match-ups include pasta alla Vongole, vegetable gratins or frittata.

2011 Mottobello, Brigatti $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
This wine hails from Colline Novaresi, which is situated in Piedmont’s northeast corner. Here the grape Erbaluce (or locally known as Greco Novarese) is the exclusive white varietal. It’s known for producing higher acid wines, though the 2011 Mottobello has tempered acidity, crisp fruit flavors and a light overall palate feel. It’s great with oysters.

2015 Lugana, Ca’Lojera $15.99, $12.79 reorder
Franco and Ambra Tiraboschi’s Ca’Lojera is located in Sirmione, on the southern shore of Lake Garda. Caution: If you search images for a picture of Sirmione, you may feel the need to visit. The grape they use for their Lugana is Turbiana, the local name for Trebbiano di Garda. It has a bright yellow fruit and floral bouquet and finishes crisp and clean.


2015 Sauvignon & Sémillon Hors Saison, Domaine La Hitaire $14.49, $11.59 reorder
Modeled after the white blends from nearby Bordeaux, this Côtes de Gascogne is 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Sémillon. It’s all tank-fermented, so it’s fresh and vibrant with aromas of pears, kiwi, and apricots. The palate is crisp and expansive, and the finish balanced and lipsmacking. This is the kind of wine to serve with breaded filet of sole


2014 Ventoux Blanc, Domaine de Fondrèche $16.99, $13.59 reorder
White wines from the southern Rhône Valley may be among the most overlooked wines from France, but quality to price-wise, they are some of the most value driven wines out there! This 4 grape blend (Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Rolle) is teeming with complexity. Think pears and nectarines – this is great on its own, or you can pair it with pork chops.


2014 Toro, Yaso $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
100% Tinta de Toro, aka Tempranillo, the Toro region of Spain produces robust, hearty reds – this one from Yaso is no exception. Just 40 miles east of the Portugese border, viticulture here dates back to pre-Roman times. Deep purple with lush fruity flavors, it’s a stick-to-your-ribs kinda red. Some take-out from your favorite BBQ place is a wise option here.


2013 Red Wine Blend, MF Wines $15.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Matthew Fritz wines frequently appear at TWH because they offer tremendous value. They are aces at sourcing high quality fruit at below market prices, then passing along the savings. This particular Red Wine Blend is a delicious combo of 85% Merlot and 15% Petite Sirah, all from Napa Valley. It’s super with a French Dip, Osso Buco or a calzone.


2014 Ribera del Duero, Sembro $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Another Spanish Tempranillo, this one comes from further inland in Ribera del Duero. Ribera del Duero sits on a high plateau at about 2800 feet above sea level, where summers are hot and winters are harsh. The Sembro has vibrant red cherry fruit, easy tannins and a medium-bodied texture. Try pairing it with Merguez lamb sausages, chorizo or fajitas.

2014 Fronton, Château Coutinel $8.99, $7.19 reorder
The seldom heard of grape Negrette thrives in the Fronton region, which is near the city of Toulouse, France. Think of it as a cross between Gamay Noir and Malbec. Its aromas are of cherries and forest floor and it’s medium bodied. The dark plummy notes take over mid-palate, and the finish is rich and complex with a hint of amaro. It’s great with spare ribs.


2012 Bergerac, Château Calabre $7.95 sale price, $7.55 reorder
About 100km north of Fronton, as the crow flies, is the appellation of Bergerac, of Cyrano fame. Its proximity to Bordeaux shows in the grapes grown for the local red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. This easy-drinker shows bright red and purple fruit with an herbaceous quality. It’s a great wine to pop with burgers of any sort.


2012 Château Les Clauzots, Graves Rouge $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Speaking of Bordeaux, this month’s DD has one of those too! Château Les Clauzots is located in the region’s southern tip, near the city of Langon. It’s 50/50 Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and does it deliver for its modest price! Dark berries and cassis dominate the aromas and the palate is rich, balanced, and refined. Here’s your steak night wine.

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A Taste Of Burgundy – February 2017


A Taste Of Burgundy

TOB-BANNER 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.

 

2014 Viré-Clessé Thurissey – Domaine Sainte Barbe

Jean-Marie Chaland founded Domaine Sainte Barbe in 1999. He farms 8 hectares in and around Viré-Clessé organically, achieving certification in 2006. He has old vines, as 75% of his holdings are over 50 years old. Chaland’s vines in the lieu dit Thurissey are over 90! Thurissey is a tiny vineyard, consisting of half a hectare facing due south. Jean-Marie makes a mere 200 cases of his showpiece wine, and no new oak is used. The vineyard has a reputation for producing wines that are rich in minerality, and we imagine the roots of Chaland’s old vines are deep into the clay and limestone subsoil. There’s no doubt that 2014 was an exceptional vintage for white Burgundy, and the 2014 Viré-Clessé Thurissey from Domaine Sainte Barbe is one special wine. Its aromas are of citrus blossoms, snappy apples, and stony minerals. The palate is rich and bright with a hint of a saline/mineral quality, and the wine intensifies at the mid-palate. It’s tightly coiled and ready to spring. Drink this from 2020-2030.

2010 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Aux Petites Noix – Domaine Stéphane Magnien

Stéphane Magnien is now the fourth generation winemaker at this domaine in Morey-Saint-Denis which dates back to 1897. He took the reins from his father, Jean-Paul in 2008, and farms 4.5 hectares in the Côte de Nuits. Though his holdings may appear small, they include some fancy locales. Stéphane’s Aux Petites Noix is actually a blend of his holdings in Premier Crus Les Greunchers and Clos Baulet, two tiny vineyards just east of the village. One doesn’t need to do much research to understand that 2010 was an exceptional vintage for red Burgundy, particularly in the Côte de Nuits. In general terms, the wines are teeming with expression and are structured sufficiently for a long life in the cellar. Magnien’s 2010 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Aux Petites Noix is in a beautiful place at the moment, showing aromas of briary red berry fruit, earthy mineral, and forest floor. It’s medium in body with great balance and expression. It’s open for business and can be enjoyed from today through the 2020’s. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chardonnay, French Wine, Morey-Saint-Denis, Peter Zavialoff, Pinot Noir, Stephane Magnien, Viré-Clessé