June Featured Wines – 2016 Mapreco Vinho Verde Rose, Minho, Portugal & 2014 Quinta da Alorna, Cardal Red, Tejo, Portugal

2016 Mapreco Vinho Verde Rose, Minho, Portugal                              $11

2016 Mapreco Vinho Verde Rose may confuse your understanding of Vinho Verde or “green” wines from the cool and damp Minho Region in the north west above Porto. We have featured another Mapreco Vinho Verde that is a white blend. The 2016 Mapreco Rose is made from dark skinned Espadeiro grapes which are primarily used for “green” wines. This is a lovely blush wine with aromas and tastes of red currant and  fresh fruits with some acidity and a finish with a refreshing effervescence. Slight sweetness  is balanced by the wine’s acidity. This is an excellent pairing for lobster and shellfish. Alcohol: 10.5%

 

2014 Quinta da Alorna, Cardal Vino Tinto, Tejo, Portugal                  $10

2014 Quinta da Alorna, Cardal Red comes from from the Teho Region which is just east of Lisbon. This is a warm, dry region that to the Portuguese  means the land of vineyards, olive groves, cork forests, Mertolengo cattle, and the famous Lusitano horses. This wine is made from Touriga Nacional, Castelão, and Trincadeira grapes. Ripe red fruit aromas such as plums and floral hints come from the Touriga. This is a full-bodied wine with soft tannins. I suggest letting it breathe to open the fullness. Consider this as a great pairing for grilled meat. Alcohol: 13%

 

May Featured Wines – 2015 Mitolo “Jester” Vermentino & 2014 Mitolo “Jester” Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, South Australia

2015 Mitolo “Jester” Vermentino, McLaren Vale, South Australia       $14

Mitolo Jester Vermentino is the perfect wine to share over a casual seafood lunch or at an outdoor summer celebration. The wine aromatics are all about freshness and purity with powerful pithy, lemon citrus characters and more subtle tropical notes of melon and pungent papaya. The palate is clean, grapefruit citrus flavors dominate with tropical undertones of melon. The palate is bright and fresh with a savoury, saline edge yet still a lovely soft, mouth filling quality and the faintest dusting of chalky structure that makes it the perfect wine to compliment salty seafood dishes. Alcohol: 12.5%

 

2014 Mitolo “Jester” Cabernet Sauvignon, McLaren Vale, South Australia       $18

The Jester Cabernet comprises 20% Amarone fruit, dried for approximately 7-8 weeks, following the Italian appassimento technique of drying grapes on racks. This is a bright, fresh signature Cabernet Sauvignon with characteristics of red capsicum, menthol, violet and mixed herbs. It is full bodied and mouth filling with juicy red cherry, blackcurrant and cassis, intertwined with savoury dark chocolate and tobacco. The Amarone component adds to a textured finish with great length and savoury tannins. This is a great pairing for grilled or richly prepared beef  and lamb veal. Alcohol: 14.5%

April Featured Wines – 2015 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca & 2015 Herencia Altes, Terra Alta Garnatxa Negra, Catalonia, Spain

2015 Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca, Terra Alta, Catalonia, Spain $12

Terra Alta is not yet a well-known Spanish wine region – tucked away in the south eastern corner of Catalonia it borders Aragon and Valencia. Terra Alta is one of the largest areas in Catalonia under vine with plenty of old Garnatxa bush vines. Herencia Altes wines are known for quality and authenticity.

Made from Grenache Blanc grapes, this is a very aromatic white wine with notes of melon and white fruits on nose. On the palate it is balanced with a medium body and a nice crisp freshness. This pairs well with tapas and grilled seafood – scallops or shrimp. Alcohol: 13.5%

 

2015  Herencia Altes Terra Alta Garnatxa Negra, Catalonia, Spain $12

The grape used in this wine is what the Spanish winemakers call Garnatxa – a Spanish Grenache. The color is intense and lively with a core of garnet with a bright ruby rim. It has a stony minerality overlay black fruits and spice on the nose. On the palate, the wine is full bodied with luscious sweet fruit and soft tannins. Fresh berry fruit and toasty notes enrich the structure and natural complexity of the old vines. The winemaker says this is “A full and round sensation, to be enjoyed with grilled meat of all sorts.” Alcohol: 14.5%

March Featured Wines – 2016 Sposato Family Vineyards Chardonnay & 2015 Sposato Family Vineyards Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina

2016 Sposato Family Vineyards Chardonnay, Mendoza, Argentina

Our third Sposato wine we have featured this is a wine with a fruit focus and attractive color along with aromas of tropical fruit, apples and peaches. The Chardonnay grapes are carefully selected from their own vineyard. Located at 1000 meters above sea level, the combination of warm, sunny days and cold nights make our vineyard ideal for creating wines with excellent maturity and perfect balance.

 

2015 Sposato Family Vineyards Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina

This is likely a new varietal for you. It is an Old World  grape that is now unique in Argentina where it is widely grown.  On the nose this red shows an intense fruit flavor – strawberry, cherry and blackberry. On the palate it has soft tannins, great volume and concentration. This wine is elegant with a smooth and delicate balance. The Bonarda has a lighter body than Malbec but full of fruit.

Featured Wines for February – 2014 R Collection Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California & 2013 Donati Claret, Central Coast, California

2014 R Collection Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California $12

Our featured white selection for February is Raymond Vineyards’ 2014 R Collection  Sauvignon Blanc.   This is a lively, wine with bright aromas of white peach and lime accented by invigorating flavors of pineapple, lychee and green apple. It has a crisp acidity and a smooth, mineral finish which makes this the perfect pairing for a variety of dishes – particularly seafood stews or pastas.

 

 

2013 Donati Claret, Central Coast, California  $16

This is Donati’s  most popular wine. It is the only California wine that can be called “Claret” just as the French do for such blends. The grapes are Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. It is rich and intense and features aromas of ripe strawberry and cocoa with notes of cherry and cola on the finish. This is a great steak wine but one that also compliments veal and pork

Featured Wines for January – 2015 Prodigo Sauvignon Blanc, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy & 2015 Prodigo Nero D’Avola, Terre Siciliane, Italy

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2015 Prodigo Sauvignon Blanc, Fruili-Venezia Giulia, Italy     $13

With only a handful of exceptions, Italy’s most stylish, highest quality white wines come from Friuli Grave. This Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most vibrant and aromatic wines with fresh flavors of peach blossom and citrus fruits. It shows intense and persistent aromas – citrus blossom, stone fruit and dried hay – with a pleasant and velvety body on the palate. The bright palate offers unripe yellow peach, nectarine and bright acidity. Refreshing and easy-pleasing, it would be good to pour at parties and informal occasions. Alcohol: 12%

 

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2015 Prodigo Nero D’Avolo, Terre Siciliane, Italy       $13

It is evident that food and wine are harmoniously linked in Sicily, defining the region. It is known for its rich and full-bodied wines, as the Nero d’Avola is produced using an “appassite” method of naturally drying the grapes prior to harvest. This Nero d’Avola has a ruby-red color. The bouquet is slightly spicy and has notes of dried figs and ripe fruits of blackberry and boysenberry. The finish is round velvety with notes of vanilla. This is a wonderful wine to serve with classic Italian meals. Alcohol: 13.5%

Opening Reception and Wine Tasting with C.L. Marshall, Book Signing

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December’s First Friday Opening Reception includes C.L. Marshall selling and signing his recently released Chesapeake Bay Duck Hunting Tales. Wines from Cotes du Rhone will be offered for tasting.

Featured Wines for December – 2015 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc & 2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Cotes du Rhone, France

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2015 E. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Cotes du Rhone, France                     $14

This blend from Northern Cotes du Rhone is 65% Viognier, 15% Roussanne, 8% Marsanne, 8% Clairette, 2% Bourboulenc, 2% white Grenache.  The full bodied Viognier  and Roussanne carry this blend but the other grapes provide fruit and depth typical in Rhone blends. This is a bright, clear yellow wine with a fresh nose marked by the distinctive aromas of the Viognier – white flowers, apricot, acacia and white peach. The richness and body make this a well-rounded wine with elegance, strength and balance that is an easy aperitif that can carry guests through a holiday menu.

 

crozes_hermitage-nouv_10_vignette2013 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Rouge, Cotes du Rhone, France                   $20

E. Guigal uses 100% Syrah in this full-bodied wine. For the holidays this wine gives guests who prefer red wine a nice option to complement a cocktail buffet or a full dinner. This is a dark red wine that has a nose of red fruits, cherry and strawberry with delicate oak. Due to long oak ageing this red and black fruit rich wine has remarkable freshness and refined tannins. According to Robert Parker, now is the time to uncork this wine and enjoy!

Featured Wines for November – 2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace, France & 2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon

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2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve, Alsace, France   $14

2015 Willm Gewurztraminer Reserve from Alsace, France is the white we are featuring since it is right at home with Thanksgiving’s sage-rubbed turkey and stuffing. “Gewurz” means “spicy” in the language of Alsace and Gewurztraminer wines are characteristically  aromatic, spicy, sometimes off-dry with hints of lychees and nutmeg. The Willm Gewurztraminer is a little more delicate than other Gewurztraminers but it has a rich aromatic palette with an explosion of exotic fruits, flowers, citrus and spices. It has a medium body with a richness that stands up to the mixture of spices and herbs used at Thanksgiving. Alcohol: 13%

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2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon    $19

2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon is our featured red for November. People pretty traditionally serve Pinot Noir at Thanksgiving since it is a lighter bodied red with a soft palate. It is a good match for poultry but deciding what Pinot Noir varietal profile to select may be challenging. Cloudline is produced in the Willamette Valley where a cooler climate produces Pinot Noir grapes that offer a delicacy and transparency unlike California Pinot Noir that gets a deeper richness from a warmer climate. With 2014 Cloudline Pinot Noir you get a stellar year and a good value with a wine that brings forward notes of dark berries, black cherries and crushed red fruits.  The wine has good complexity yet a soft palate. This is a perfect “turkey” wine. Alcohol: 13.5%

Featured Wines for October – 2015 Tons de Duorum White & 2014 Tons de Duorum Red, Douro Valley, Portugal

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2015 Tons de Duorum White, Douro Valley, Portugal        $10

2015 Tons de Duorum White is made from 30% Viosinho, 25% Rabigato, 20% Verdelho, 20% Arinto, and 5% Moscatel grapes. It has a sunny lemon yellow color and an intense aroma dominated by tropical and citrus fruits. This  wine finishes with flavors of flowers, crystallized fruits, and strident minerality. It is a perfect  pairing for seafood and poultry prepared with simple spices. Alcohol: 12.5%

 

Duorum Tons Red2014 Tons de Duorum Red, Douro Valley, Portugal          $11

2014 Tons de Duorum Red is made from a blend of Touriga Franca, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roizi. It iss ruby red in color with violet tones. The nose is dominated by aromas of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and prunes, blending beautifully with spicy secondary aromas from barrel aging. With well-balanced acidity, soft and ripe tannins, and a persistent finish, this is an easy wine to pair with red meats, pastas and hard cheeses. Alcohol: 13.5%