Category Archives: Wine Clubs/Samplers

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

The February 2017 Dirty Dozen


The Febuary 2017 Dirty Dozen

Okay, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this year, so six more weeks of winter are in store for us; if you believe those kind of things. With the winter weather still present, hearty meals abound in our kitchens … and most likely, your kitchen too! For February this year, we’ve chosen another Dirty Dozen which provides versatility, though this month’s sampler is big on wines that will suit those hearty, comfort foods.

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

2015 Pinot Grigio, Riff $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
This is the 9th vintage of Riff that TWH has carried. At Riff, the famed winemaker Alois Lageder pulls together quality growers from the slopes of the Dolomites to produce a top-notch Pinot Grigio for a song. It is crisp and snappy, with bright citrusy flavors. Try this perky Pinot Grigio with a lemony kale Caesar salad or Sole Meunier.

2015 Verdejo Rueda, Viña Oropéndola $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Northwest of the Spanish capitol of Madrid lies the Rueda appellation. Here the white grape, Verdejo, reins queen. Verdejo is known for making dry yet aromatic wine. This one comes from vines that range in age from 40-120 years old. Where else other than Spain can you get old-vine goodness for such a price? Serve with Pollo con Arroz or veggie pasta.

NV Manzanilla Sherry 375ml, Barbiana $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
In our continuing effort to bring exciting new wine experiences to the Dirty Dozen, this month we’ve included Sherry for the first time. Manzanilla is a Fino sherry that is produced and aged within the town of Sanlúcar de Barremeda. It is bone-dry, salty with notes of almond and citrus, and has firm acidity. Try with fried or grilled seafood and cured meats.

2015 Pinot Auxerrois Val St. Gregoire, Domaine Saint-Rémy $18.99, $15.19 reorder
Pinot Auxerrois is a different variety than Pinot Blanc, though in Alsace, it may be bottled and still legally be labeled Pinot Blanc. Confusing? Sure. Important? Maybe to some. What’s it like? Well, it’s dry, it shows aromas of apricots and white peaches, and has a fleshy medium body. It’s a great wine to pop if you feel you may be in a white wine rut.


2015 Ugni Blanc Blend Les Tours, Domaine la Hitaire $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Essentially a typical Gascogne blend of Ugni Blanc (65%), Colombard (30%), and Gros Manseng (5%), the Les Tours has enjoyed a loyal following at TWH for over a decade! What’s not to like? It’s fresh. It’s crisp. It delivers a kiss of honey somewhere on the mid-palate, which disappears as the finish dries out. Extremely versatile, serve with a smile.


2015 Entre-Deux-Mers, Château Ferran $10.99, $8.79 reorder
We continue to hear more and more about wines from Bordeaux’s somewhat overlooked “between two rivers” appellation. Their quality has improved greatly in past decades, and their price tags make many of them screaming bargains. The Château Ferran is a typical white Bordeaux blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle. Seafood works great.


2014 Petit Siós, Costers del Sió $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
The appellation Costers del Sió is Catalonia’s most inland region. This region is harsh. It’s semi-arid with extreme temperature variation. And yet it can produce charming wines like this blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon, offering up fresh berry flavors wrapped in smooth, firm tannins. Pair with slow cooked one-pot wonders.


2013 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Tiberio $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Tiberio is run by brother and sister, Antonio and Cristiana. In 2008 they took over the estate from their father and by 2013 were named “one of Italy’s Rising Stars” by Decanter magazine. Their old-vine Montepulciano grapes are vinified and aged in stainless steel tanks, creating a pure expression of the grape. Bold and spicy, serve with roast meats.


2015 Pinot Noir, Underwood $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Underwood Pinot Noir is a staple at TWH because even at this price point they consistently deliver quality. The key is they leave the fruit alone and allow it to shine through. Expect bright flavors of red cherry, subtle notes of dried herbs and soft structured tannins. Nothing complicated here, just darn good wine. Match up with grilled Panini or sloppy joes.

2014 Côtes de Provence Les Trois Frères, Domaine des Aspras $17.59, $14.07 reorder
From the all-organic village of Correns in Provence, this blend of 90% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon is dark, full-bodied, concentrated, and earthy. Perfectly suited for the month of February, Les Trois Frères is definitely the kind of wine to break out with hearty fare, such as beef stew, cassoulet, leg of lamb, or a juicy T-bone steak.


2012 Bordeaux Supérieur, Château Castenet $9.98 net price, $8.98 reorder
Good, honest Bordeaux here; and it comes from Entre-Deux-Mers too! As noted above, we’ve noticed the quality of some of the region’s smaller producers’ wines to be on the upswing in quality, and this fine quaffer stuck out in a tasting of other inexpensive Bordeaux wines which didn’t exactly make the cut. Drink it on its own, or with grass fed beef sliders.


2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinum Africa $17.99, $14.39 reorder
English ex-pat, Alex Dale grows his Cabernet Sauvignon in Stellenbosch, where the variety enjoys its role as the appellation’s most important grape. He has witnessed some big money move in recently, buying up Cabernet vines, and making “Icon” (read “Ego”) wines, but he keeps his Cab in the “great value” level. Pop this with some dry Memphis ribs.

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The Dirty Dozen


The January 2017 Dirty Dozen

Happy New Year! Here we are again, it’s January, and the slate has been wiped clean. 2017 has arrived, and here in northern California, Mother Nature has been making up for lost time by drenching us with rainfalls which have exceeded our average. We looked at the forecast, and it says that the next week will be a wet one. So while we stay dry indoors, why not have one of our January Dirty Dozens within arms’ reach? It just makes sense; 12 different wines, all chosen for their versatility: The January 2017 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

2013 Blanquette de Limoux, Saint Nicolas $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
This delightful and affordable sparkling wine will keep you celebrating well into the New Year! Blanquette de Limoux is a high elevation region along the Pyrenean foothills. The wine is produced from the Mauzac grape, which ripens late and retains good acidity. Honeyed and full of orchard fruit flavors, try this bubbly with all types of snacks and finger foods.

2016 Gewurztraminer, Banyan $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
One can easily make the argument that this Gewurztraminer from Monterey County is one of California’s best wine values. The fruit comes from old vines grown at Ventana Vineyards. Winemaker Kenny Likitprakong intentionally made it off-dry to pair with Southeast Asian cuisine. Give this Gewurz a go with curry, be it red, green or yellow. Delicious!

2015 Verdicchio, Fattoria Laila $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder
Fattoria Laila’s vines are grown in the rolling hills of the Marche overlooking the Adriatic Sea. Verdicchio translates to “little green one,” hence the flavors can lean toward the herbaceous. Along with fresh, cut grass aromas, this Verdicchio displays crisp acidity on the palate. A great meal starter with shrimp scampi, fried calamari or marinated cracked crab.

2015 Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Tour de l’Isle $14.99, $11.99 reorder
Sourced from vines growing in and around the village of Vinsobres, this four grape blend (Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette) delivers refreshing orchard fruit aromas with a medium-full body, finishing with zippity fresh acidity. It’s a great all-occasion quaffer, yet would be perfect if paired alongside a platter of seafood tapas.


2015 Gavi, Ernesto Picollo $10.99, $8.79 reorder
One of our most popular bargain whites, the Ernesto Picollo Gavi has been a great pleasure to carry for nearly a decade. If one has a look at our staff members’ invoices over the years, it is not beyond the stretch of imagination that the Gavi is one of the top white wines that we take home to share and to drink ourselves! A simple pesto pasta pairs well here.


2014 Montravel Blanc, Château Calabre $10.99, $8.79 reorder
Speaking of TWH employees’ favorite white wines, enter another contestant, this one from just beyond Bordeaux’s eastern outskirts. Daniel Hecquet blends 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Sémillon, and 10% Muscadelle to make this easy-going, food friendly, crisp white wine. It works well as an aperitif as well! Otherwise, you can pop it with a tuna salad.


2015 Malbec Reserva, Apaltagua $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Apaltagua harvests their Malbec grapes by hand between April and May. Their vineyard lies between the Curico and Maule Valleys. Maule Valley is one of the first regions to be planted with grapevines by the Spanish. Expect rich notes of cherry and cassis accented by a kiss of vanilla. Well-rounded on the palate, try with beef stew or other one-pot delicacies.


2013 Garnacha, Botijo Rojo $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
The name Botijo Rojo refers to the traditional clay water vessels used by grape pickers during harvest. This is yet another great example of a Spanish wine that delivers both high quality and affordability. 100% Garnacha, flavors of deep red cherries are augmented by dusty notes of underbrush. Silky and supple, try with pollo con arroz or paella.


2014 Aljubarrota Reserva, $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
A blend of three varietals – Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional and Trincadera – this is a hearty, jammy Portugese red. Both Touriga Nacional and Trincadera are used in the production of Port, so you know the flavors are going to be intense. This high-impact wine is perfect for burgers as well as high-end cuts of meat for a special meal.

2014 Chianti Montalbano, Tenuta Pierazzuoli $13.49, $10.79 reorder
Longtime TWH pal, Enrico Pierazzuoli (who will be visiting us in February!) crafts Tuscan wines from two different sites: one in Carmignano, just west of Firenze, and the other in nearby Chianti Montalbano. Enrico makes his Chianti from 100% Sangiovese, and as written on the label, it takes one vine to make one bottle of wine. Drink this with a nice pappardelle.


2013 Syrah, Domaine Saint Antoine $11.49, $9.19 reorder
Moving down to the south of France, in Saint Gilles to be exact, is Marlène and Jean-Louis Emmanuel’s Domaine de Saint Antoine. We’ve been working with the Emmanuels for 20 years, and it’s easy to see why: Value. Jean-Louis de-stems his fruit and raises the wines in tank for that pure fruit expression. Try this Syrah with some smoked pork ribs, yum!


2013 Agrippa, Grange des Rouquette $17.59, $14.07 reorder
And lastly, speaking of Syrah, check out this southern Rhône Syrah named after the famous Roman architect who allegedly designed the famous Pont du Garde near the Rhône River Valley. Thierry Boudinaud doesn’t make this wine in every vintage; it takes a special one for him to do so. It’s full bodied, so think big with your pairing ideas … like a rib-eye!

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A Taste Of Burgundy – December 2016


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 Chablis Grand Cru Valmur Maison Dampt

As we have mentioned before, The 2014 vintage for white Burgundy was stellar. The growing season was cool and, at times, wet. This was beneficial as the vines produced grapes with lively acidity. Warm weather took over in September, ripening the fruit leading up to the harvest. Up in Chablis, the Dampt family has enjoyed a solid reputation for producing wines of serious quality for very fair prices. Or as Allen Meadows of Burghound puts it, “They are screaming bargains.” Maison Dampt was started in 2008 by Daniel Dampt’s two sons, Sébastien and Vincent. Together with their father, they purchase grape must from three Grand Cru vineyards and bottle them using the Maison Dampt label. Aging these Grand Crus in older oak barrel gives the wines added dimension and texture. This 2014 Grand Cru Valmur is full of life. It’s big, dense, and powerful, with aromas of minerals and citrus. This willl need some time in the cellar, and should be best from 2020 – 2030.

2014 Pommard 1er Cru Les Charmots Domaine Gabriel Billard

Gabriel Billard was a 6th generation winemaker in Burgundy. He passed his domaine down to his two daughters, Laurence Jobard and Mireille Desmonet in 1989. You may recognize Laurence’s name as she had been head enologist at Domaine Joseph Drouhin for some 30 years. Laurence believes that great wine is made mostly in the vineyard, that good grapes from a good place will yield world-class wine with minimal intervention. The sisters now entrust Laurence’s daughter, Claudie Jobard to make their wine, and the family’s winemaking tradition continues. Their parcel in Les Charmots was planted in 1929 on the steep hillside. This 2014 Pommard is powerful and concentrated with complex aromas of wild berries, forest floor, earthy minerals, and a hint of spice. Again, the 2014 vintage for red Burgundy was a very good one with plenty of sunshine leading up to the harvest. Decant this wine should you open it before 2019, and it should drink well for at least a decade thereafter. – Peter Zavialoff

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Filed under A Taste of Burgundy, Burgundy, Burgundy club in San Francisco, Chablis, Chardonnay, Peter Zavialoff, Pinot Noir, Pommard