Wine on the Brain


January, 2013 Wine of the Month Cellar Notes

Posted by: Erin

Award Series – Under $15

RED – 2011 Los Dos Grenache+Syrah, Rioja, Spain
$12.95 -Produced from 35 to 50 year old vines, Los Dos is aromatic,
full flavored, and an easy drinking crowd pleaser. A happy
combination of Grenache and 15% Syrah, it exhibits luscious
scents of juicy, ripe black raspberry and cherry. Flavors come across
super ripe and juicy with a smooth texture, lightly dusty tannins
and a well-structured, lingering aftertaste. This wine pairs well
with aged hams, manchego cheese, or even paella. Drink today
through 2015.

WHITE – 2011 Ch. La Verrier Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux,
France – $13.95 – Winning accolades from our staff, this Bordeaux
white hits all the right notes. Made from Sauvignon Blanc it expresses
an intriguing mix of lime, jalapeno and white pepper aromas.
The wine is surprisingly creamy and mouth coating yet exhibiting
a bright freshness incorporating flavors of white grapefruit and a
touch of lean minerality. Try with a tarragon-chicken salad, or even
pasta with a lemon-cream sauce. Drink today-2014.

Classic Series – Under $20

RED – 2011 Ch. Pech Celeyran 5th Generation Red,
Languedoc, France – $18.95 – Wines from the south of France
continue to get better with each year. This combination of their
indigenous grapes includes Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre,
blended to deliver a broad, soft mouthfeel with a richly structured
finish. Introduced by boysenberry and earth scents, the wine exhibits
generous blackberry and boysenberry flavors balanced by good
acidity and dusty tannins. Tobacco and light tar on the finish make
it perfect for winter stews. Drink today – 2017.

WHITE – 2011 Justin Chardonnay, Central Coast, CA
$19.95 – Justin’s reputation for powerful and juicy reds can
overshadow their deft hand with Chardonnay. Don’t let that fool
you, this 2011 vintage is a real jewel! Spicy tropical scents arrive
full of complex suggestions of lemon, toast and nuts. The wine is
crisp with a blast of citrus, apple and lemon/lime flavors. Subtle
highlights of vanilla from toasted French oak give a beautiful sheen
to the clean, refreshing finish. Try this with crab cakes or halibut
finished with a lemon sauce. Drink today through 2014.

 Collector Series – Under $30

RED – 2008 Belasco de Baquedano AR Guentota Old
Vine Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina – $26.50 – Argentina has
a way with Malbec because their extremely high-altitude vineyards
cause thick skin development and accompanying concentration of
flavors in the fruit. Scents in this jewel are perfumed, juicy and ripe.
The wine is balanced, elegant and juicy with all-over-the-mouth
flavor. With blackberry, spice and hints of charcoal on the finish,
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave 90 points, saying, “Aromas of
exotic spices, incense, plum, black cherry; good volume, balance,
and length.” On the Pampas they have this with steak, no foolin’.
Enjoy today through 2015.

WHITE -2011 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley,
CA – $25.95 – We were thrilled to taste this wine and immediately
decided to put it in the club. Sauvignon Blanc’s classic characteristics
of grapefruity citrus and green herb come together in this version
with unexpected grace and harmony. Huge aromatics of pear and
lime zest introduce this lovely wine. Melon and lychee are supported
by flinty minerality with a rich and long finish. Classic combinations
include seafood of any type or salads incorporating goat cheese or a
citrus dressing. This will also pair perfectly with spicy dishes. Serve
slightly chilled now through 2015.

 Prestige Red – Under $50

RED – 2007 Miner Merlot, Stagecoach Vineyard, Napa
Valley,California – $42.00 – Premium grapes from Stagecoach
Vineyard are a key ingredient for over 70 wineries, including
Caymus, Krupp Brothers, Chappellet, and Paul Hobbs. Steep
hillsides above the fog give the fruit a special depth of richness and
intensity uncommon in lowland fruit. Scents are deep, dark, and a
little smoky, its Napa! Smooth and lush flavors are super ripe and
juicy with bold blackberry flavors. The wine is balanced and very
food friendly with chalky tannins on the lingering finish. This is a
classic “Cab-drinker’s” Merlot. From 90% Merlot, 5% Malbec, &
5% Cabernet Franc, and 21 months in 55% new French oak, drink
this full-throttle red now through 2016.

 Cellar Selection – Under $100

RED – 2008 Monte Tondo Amarone della Valpolicella, Italy
$90.00 – Monte Tondo, famous for their Soave Classico, has also
created this superb Amarone. From the northern district of Veneto,
the Amarone wine is made from Corvina and Rondinella, the same
primary grapes of regular Valpolicella. What sets this wine apart is
the drying of the grapes prior to fermentation. Almost one-third
of the moisture in the grapes is allowed to evaporate from whole
clusters and not fermented until nearly three months after harvest.
The resulting deep red wine exhibits “…an almost haunting nose
of dried plums, exotic spices, brambleberry, and dark cacao.” Very
lovely, rich, and smooth, this is considered by many experts to be
among the finest wines made in Italy. Drink today through 2020
with a fine meal!



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