Wine on the Brain


December Wine of the Month Cellar Notes

Posted by: Erin

Award Series – Under $15

RED – 2010 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja,
Spain – $14.95 – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave 92
points, saying “One of my favorite offerings from the Bodegas
Borsao is the 2010 Tres Picos- their interpretation of
Chateauneuf du Pape. Deep notes of roasted herbs, sweet
black cherries and raspberries, peppers and spice soar from
the glass of this dark ruby purple-tinged wine. Full-bodied,
rich, ripe, silky textured, pure and long, this unbelievable
value should drink well for 3-4 years.” We were excited to
taste and experience this delicious selection. Casseroles, stews,
and grilled vegetables would all be well matched. Drink today
through 2016.

WHITE – 2011 Domaine des Cassagnoles Cotes de Gascogne,
France – $14.95 – In the hands of a really good winemaker
the “common” grapes of this area are capable of being
transformed into truly noteworthy wines. This blend achieves
that status from approximately 45% Colombard, 30% Ugni
Blanc, and 25% Gros Manseng. Mineral and lime scents lead
to brisk, racy, and refreshing flavors showing tasty pepper,
flinty minerality, and lime. Smooth yet crisp, try with goat
cheese appetizers or split pea soup. Drink today – 2014.

Classic Series – Under $20

RED – 2009 Lost River “Western Red”, Columbia Valley,
WA – $19.95 – Western Red celebrates the Western red
cedar trees that surround the Lost River winery in the upper
Methow Valley. The deftly-crafted red is a Bordeaux-style
blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Exuding deep, ripe baked
blackberry cobbler and spice scents, the texture is smooth with
flavors that are rich and extracted. Its creamy mouthfeel and
good acid balance follow through with suggestions of dried
berry and leather on the end. A hearty wine for stews and
soups, drink today through 2015.

WHITE – 2011 Loimer “Lois” Grüner Veltliner, Austria
$17.95 – This racy white deserves an applause! Grüner Veltliner
is a grape cultivated mostly in Austria where the cool
hillsides provide an ideal environment for this variety. Pale
yellow in color, this wine is purely aromatic and lively. Lovely
aromas of fragrant lime flower, fresh apples and citrus, this
wine carries a zippy fresh acidity inviting shellfish or seafood of
any type. With great spice components as well as exotic fruit
and a refreshing minerality, you can enjoy this either on its
own, as an aperitif or with light dishes. Drink today – 2014.

Collector Series- Under $30

RED – 2007 Lopez Cristobal Tinto Crianza, Ribera del
Duero, Spain – $29.95 – In the heart of the Ribera del
Duero of northwest Spain, Lopez Cristobal is redefining
one of the most prestigious zones in Spain. A family
estate for nearly 100 years, Galo Lopez coaxes nuance and
subtlety from the brute power of his Tempranillo. Fresh and
elegant aromas show a wealth of berry fruits (blackberries,
raspberries and gooseberries), and a hint of oak. Complex,
ripe and rich in the mouth, the wine possesses full-throttle
flavors with soft, ripe tannins and lovely toasted oak with a
lingering finish. The finish is long and elegant with a sweet
cherry note. Try with braised meats through 2015.

WHITE – 2009 Olsen Estates Chardonnay, Columbia
Valley, Washington – $25.50 – This is the last of Olsen’s
wines left in the market after their winery closed, and you
are getting a deal! Aged in the bottle, you’ll notice rich
tropical fruit fragrances with citrus and butter that have
only become more lush and harmonious its extended time in
the bottle. Pure, complex and rich flavors of creamy lemon
and orange zest are accented by pineapple and a slight note
of butterscotch. The texture is silky and the finish toasty,
long and lush. Enjoy with roast chicken or crab cakes, Yum!
Drink today through 2013.

Prestige Red – Under $50

RED – 2008 Brian Carter Cellars Tuttorosso, Yakima,
WA – $42.00 – Winemaker Brian Carter has been making
wine in Washington for over 30 years and has been named
Winemaker of the Year twice. Tuttorosso is a thoroughly
delicious Super Tuscan-style red blend of 67% Sangiovese,
18% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah. Our tasters
insisted we needed this in the club for its cedar and spicelaced
deep ripe berry flavors, lovely balance, and juicy
extended finish. Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast gave
90 points: “Made in a super Tuscan style, this blend of
Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah is lush and
lovely. Lightly floral aromatics introduce notes of berry,
plum and a whiff of leather. It displays excellent balance
and structure, with soft, yielding tannins.” Enjoy this with a
hearty mushroom risotto, or veal saltimbocca. Drink today
through 2016.


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