Award Series – Under $15
RED – 2011 Dom La Guintrandy Côtes-du-Rhône, France
$12.95 This Domaine in the south of France has been owned by the
Cuilleras family since 1850. Their blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Carignan,
and 10% Syrah offers generous aromas reminiscent of violets
and concord grapes, then flavors open with rich juicy blackberry and
supple black raspberry. The texture is smooth and broad transmitting
exceptional depth and complexity for a wine at this price. If you lived
there you might have this wine with a hearty stew or cassoulet, or a
dish featuring rabbit or wild boar. Drink today – 2015.
WHITE – 2011 Azienda Marcato Pinot Grigio, Veneto, Italy
$12.95 – The area in northern Italy near the city of Venice is home
to some of the country’s finest whites. In this district known widely
for Soave, Marcato’s 100% Pinot Grigio from the Veneto shows alluring
ripe fruit aromas, peach, apricot notes and roasted almonds.
Flavors resemble a combination of Bosc pear and ripe lime, a perfect
match for lightly seasoned pasta dishes, hors d’oeuvres, fish and all
lighter foods. This would also be very nice to enjoy on the deck, or
while preparing dinner. Drink today through 2014.
Classic Series – Under $20
RED – 2010 Joel Gott 815 Cabernet Sauvignon, California
$18.95 – Joel Gott was born to make wine. His grandfather was
winemaker and president of Inglenook in the 1960s and 1970s
while his father, Cary Gott, is the founder of Montevina. “815”
refers to the August 15th birth of Joel’s daughter Lucy. This Cab is
a mix of fruit from vineyards throughout California which creates
a balanced, structured wine with supple tannins, bright acidity and
flavors of ripe black cherry preserves and rich black raspberry fruit.
The smooth texture makes it drinkable today yet ageable for another
2-3 years. Try with roast pork loin!
WHITE – 2010 Nicolas Potel Pouilly-Fuisse, France
$19.95 – White wines (Chardonnay) from Burgundy are highly
sought after for their elegance and focus, as well as their highly aromatic
flavors and finesse. No exception here with scents of hazelnuts
from time spent on its yeast, creamy citrus, and mineral. Flavors
have richness and focus that strike a balance between spiced honey
and crisp, ripe fruit. Creamy, elegant and complex. Serve slightly
chilled and enjoy today through 2014 alongside halibut with a
lemony sauce, or chicken picatta.
Collector Series – Under $30
RED – 2009 Rupert & Rothschild Classiques Red, South
Africa – $29.95 – Three hundred years ago French Huguenots
discovered that South Africa had perfect conditions for growing
French grape varietals. Classiques is a Bordeaux-style blend of 60%
Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot. Scents of bittersweet dark
chocolate, smoke and earth introduce smooth and juicy flavors of
deep black fruit. The wine is rich and ripe with good acidity and
hints of mulberry, nutmeg, dust and a touch green on the finish.
Classiques will show best with hearty fare like Boeuf Bourgognone
or or grilled steak with truffle sauce. Drink now through 2015 at
WHITE -2010 Gary Farrell Redwood Ranch Sauvignon
Blanc, Sonoma County, California – $29.50 – After working
with regional winemaking stars such as Tom Dehlinger, Robert
Stemmler, Davis Bynum and Joe Rochioli, Gary Farrell launched
Gary Farrell Wines in 1982. This award winning Sauvignon
Blanc has scents of toasted nuts and stuffed green peppers. The
wine displays full throttle flavor intensity and length which is
both mouth coating and delicate. Classic lemongrass, citrus and
pineapple flavors linger nicely. The lively, refreshing acidity pairs
beautifully with shellfish, especially Dungeness crab. Serve slightly
chilled through 2015.
Prestige Red – Under $50 or less
RED – 2009 Gård Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley,
Washington – $48.00 – Gård, meaning “farm” , is a family-owned
and operated winery launched in 2006, using grapes from their
Lawrence Vineyard in the Frenchman Hills. Wine Spectator gave
92 points: “Dark and brooding, but not terribly dense, delivering
an intense mouthful of blackberry, black cherry, cream and floral
character that persists into the lithe and inviting finish. Best from
2014 through 2019.” Our notes indicate deep, dark fruit and
spice scents followed by a smooth, lush, concentrated mouthful of
fabulous fruit. Big and creamy with great balance and persistent
flavors. Save this one a few years if you can and serve with braised
Cellar Selection – $100 or less
RED – 2006 Corliss Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley,
WA – $89.00 – Michael and Lauri Corliss started the winery in 2000.
Their first wines were released in 2008 from the 2003 vintage. Great
attention to detail goes into the production of these wines. Corliss
believes in extended barrel and bottle aging. Wine Advocate gave
95 points: “The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (100%) spent 33 months
in 80% new French oak. It is a layered, plush, mouth-filling Cabernet
that already displays complexity. Give it 3-4 years to fully blossom and
drink it through 2026.” Our notes: A BIG wine with BIG “YUM”
factor. Deeply concentrated scents and flavors with extracted spicy
plum, black cherry, bittersweet chocolate, espresso and a hint of cassis.
Good acid and solid tannins ensure a long life, this is a classic! Lamb
or beef steak are traditional accompaniments.
meats or deeply flavored mushroom risotto.