Look for the Landmark–2015 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir

Landmark Vineyards has assembled the outstanding Overlook Pinot Noir, 2015 with lush fruit sourced from Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, and Monterey County. Expect elegantly balanced rich red fruit with some spice–finishing with delicate tannins.  20.00

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir, 2015

Landmark specializes in hand-crafted premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir without the hefty price tags so common with high end wine real estate. 20.00

Kiwi Rosé in “Smart Bottle”

Clever devils, those New Zealanders. Matua, out of New Zealand’s famed Marlborough wine region, have not only produced a killer rose of Pinot Noir in only their second vintage–

Matua Rose of Pinot Noir, 2017

they have packaged it with a clever “Chill Check” label. When the wine is chilled, and reaches its optimum serving temperature (45-46F), the snowflake icon on the side of the label and the Ta Moko symbol (a sacred Maori tattoo) change to a dark color. Call it a gimmick, but I think it’s cool–no pun. Of course the main thing is the wine and that’s cool, too. 100% Pinot Noir,, the blokes at Matua knew what they were doing and they were doing it with sumptuous local fruit. It would be hard to find a nicer rose at this price: 12.00

Mumm Napa, Classic California Sparklers

Mumm Napa sparkling wines–simply outstanding. Year after year, the Mumm California sparklers amaze me–and quite a few others, judging from the reviews. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (NV) is the flagship bubbly of Mumm’s California production. Made in the traditional Champagne method–and blend of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier/Pinot Gris–Brut Prestige comes across with bright, crisp acidity complimenting flavors of citrus, apple and toasty honey. But the real proof of quality is in the rich, lingering finish. You could pay more than twice this much for French Champagne–I’d rather have two bottles of the Mumm and pocket the change. 22.00

Mumm Napa Brut Prestige & Mumm Napa Brut Rose

Mumm Napa Brut Rose combines 80% Pinot Noir with 20% Chardonnay to produce citrus and berry flavors and a rich mouth-feel. A vibrant body and clean fruit character Napa Brut Rose makes it a perfect choice for foods with complex flavors. Or drink it all by itself…  24.00

 

 

E. Guigal: Cotes du Rhone

E. Guigal is one of the most recognizable Cotes du Rhone labels in America. Since 1946 they have been producing some of the most impressive wines in the Rhone Valley. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc (13.00) and Costes du Rhone Rouge (16.00) are a great place to start experimenting with “Rhone Style” wines. Rhone wines are generally blends–in the case of reds, the key players are Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. In the case of whites, it’s often Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier.

Expect rich, complex flavors in an Old World style (in other words, no butter balls or fruit bombs.)

E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc, 13.00 and Cotes du Rhone Rouge, 16.00

French Class

The 2014 JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc is a class act–French class that is. Made from chardonnay grapes sourced near the famous Macon and Pouilly Fuisse appelations in the south of Burgundy,

2014 JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc

JJ Vincent Bourgogne Blanc shows classic chardonnay character without a lot of oak competing for attention (70% of fermentation in stainless steel). What emerges is a great example of a fine White Burgundy:  rich, ripe fruit nicely balanced with a lingering rounded finish. 17.00

New Releases from Justin

Justin” time for the holidays: one look at the three newly released reds from Justin Vineyards & Winery and you know one–or all of them–belong on your Holiday list either as a gift or for a festive dinner. Justin has been one of the gems of Paso Robles for years. In fact the release of the 2015 vintage of Justification marks its 25th anniversary.

2015 Justification: a “Right Bank” Bordeaux-inspired blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot loaded with red fruit and herbal notes. Lots of Old World character supported by gorgeous Paso Robles fruit.  50.00

2015 Savant: is a cool blend of two of Paso’s premier grapes–Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon–coming together seamlessly with lots of depth and character. An elegant food wine.  50.00

2014 Isosceles: marries Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot in what is Justin’s flagship wine. Aged for 21 months in new French oak, Isosceles is a seriously elegant wine. Approachable now with its intense fruit, Isosceles has the potential for a long cellar life–if you can keep your hands off it. Perfect for that wine lover on your gift list.  72.00

Justin’s Latest: 2015 Savant, 2015 Justification, 2014 Isosceles

Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose

Another great Cremant: Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose. We’re on a roll. Great fun to compare the Albert Bichot Brut Rose with the Gerard Bertrand Brut Rose. The Bichot comes from Burgundy and shows more influence from the red grape content in its blend: Chardonnay, Gamay, and Pinot Noir. The color is a little darker and flavor tends toward black currant along with raspberry. Pair this elegant sparkler with Med. or Asian food. 25.00

Albert Bichot Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Rose

Gerard Bertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux

Gerard Bertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose is a bit of a mouthfull–but a beautiful mouthfull. Shared it with some friends on our sunny deck and they were delighted. Rich mouthfeel loaded with raspberry and strawberry flavors but finishing clean and fresh. We talked about how cremants are made in the Champagne method but that the wine makers have more discretion than the growers/producers in the actual Champagne region. the Bertrand Cremant Rose is largely Chardonnay with equal parts Chenin Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are six recognized Cremant regions in France. Limoux, in Lnaguedoc (in the South of France) is one of those regions. alk about Champagne taste on a beer budget–this little Cremant is about a third the price of traditional Champagne. 18.00

Gerard Beertrand 2014 Cuvee Thomas Jefferson Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose

DALUCA Prosecco

DALUCA Prosecco is the sort of bubbly you can pop for any occasion. Fresh, slightly sweet, and thoroughly mouth-watering, DALUCA is a reminder of why Prosecco is a popular aperitif in Italy. It’s light and clean on the palate and relatively low in alcohol at about 10.5 abv. Just the thing to whet the appetite without weighing you down. And it’s a deal: 14.00

DALUCA Prosecco–Classy Bubbles

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