June Featured Wines – Cline Family Cellars Chardonnay & Cline Family Cellars Pinot Noir, California

Cline Family Cellars was started in 1982 by Fred and Nancy Cline in Oakley, California, Fred was one of the original Rhone Rangers and began planting vineyards dedicated to Syrah, Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne. Some of his first vintages were from original plantings of Mourvèdre, Zinfandel, and Carignane, dating back to the 1880s. Since those first plantings, the family has continued to plant vineyards throughout Sonoma County, expanding to include more classic varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This is still a family operation which has brought in some of the best winemakers from other parts of the wine world. It is a certified sustainable winery.

2021 Cline Family Cellars Chardonnay, California $16

This is a bright wine with plentiful tropical and stone fruit flavors balanced with oak and vanilla complexity that leads to a long and luscious finish. It is delicious wine mixture of oak and stainless fermentation with just the right amount of secondary fermentation. It has flavors of stone fruits and melon adding wonderful accents of fresh-baked bread Alcohol: 14.5%

2020 Cline Family Cellars Pinot Noir, California $20

Cline Pinot Noir has sumptuous flavors of raspberry, lilacs and dark chocolate, with subtle hints of vanilla and toasted oak. Bright red fruit characteristics emerge along with deep, color, lush body, touches of vanilla and spearmint followed by delicate strawberry flavor. Red fruit greet you on the nose and on the palate richness making this a superb drinking experience . Alcohol: 14.0%

Featured Wines for February – 2021 Colimoro Pinot Grigio, & 2020 Colimoro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy

Wines for February are new to our shelves. From time to time we like to replace old “standards” with wines from different producers. The February wines are Italian and carry a Colimoro label. Colimoro is a collaboration between the Opici family and some of Italy’s oldest producers. Together, they are creating wines that reflect the character of the region from which they derive. Opici Family Distributing, is one of our distributors.

Opici considers these 2 wines to be easy-drinking, approachable wines intended for every day consumption. 2020 Colimoro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is made from grapes sourced from the hillsides of Abruzzo, located east of Rome. The distinct microclimate between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, characterized by moderate temperatures and low humidity, provides excellent growing conditions for this varietal. 2021 Colimoro Pinot Grigio is produced in the northeastern Italian region of Alto Adige – the premier location for the cultivation of this varietal

2021 Colimoro Pinot Grigio, Italy $15

This Pinot Grigio has flavors of white peach, honeysuckle, and ripe melon perfectly pair with the refreshing acidity. It is full-bodied with great balance, length, and a sliced green apple finish. Pour this wine for all occasions, especially whilst enjoying salads, seafood, creamy pasta dishes, and, of course, amongst friends. Serve well chilled. Alcohol: 12.5%

2020 Colimoro Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy $15

This Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is bursting with aromas of dried cherries accented by a hint of spice. Medium in body, this is a fruit-forward wine balanced by moderate acidity and soft tannins. Aged in large Slavonian oak casks for 6 months, this is an easy-drinking wine best enjoyed young with everyday meals Alcohol: 12.5%

January Wines – Peirano Estate Vineyards, Heritage Collection Viognier (2020) & Peirano Estate Vineyards, Heritage Collection Old Vine Zinfandel (2019), California

This month’s selection takes us back to California and to the Peirano Estate Vineyards. In 1992, Peirano Estate Vineyards began bottling and selling wine using their estate grown grapes. Until this point, Lance Randolph, fourth generation Peirano, produced wine simply for his enjoyment and that of his close family and friends. The rest of the grapes were sold to winemakers across the country. Their vineyards are located in the Central Valley in the Lodi region.

The white is Peirano Heritage Viognier (2020.) The red is Peirano Heritage Old Vine Zinfandel (2019.) The Viognier may remind you of a buttery Chardonnay. Even if you are not a buttery fan, you should enjoy this wine since it is lighter. Viognier grapes were first grown in France but now their are grown in many wine regions where weather and terrior give it different qualities. You will find the Zinfandel lush, all purpose wine for winter meals. If you remember the Terrilogio Primitivo pairs well with spicy Italian dishes, this Zinfandel will do as well.

Peirano Estate Vineyards, Heritage Collection Viognier (2020), California $14

This is a wine for poultry and fish that are mildly prepared. It has Aromas of honeysuckle, guava and butter are complemented by a hint of toasty brioche. On the palate, lush flavors of fresh ripe apricots, lychee, vanilla and floral are balanced by flavors of peaches and butter. For buttery Chardonnay lovers, this Viognier is for you. Alcohol: 14.8%

Peirano Estate Vineyards, Heritage Collection Old Vine Zinfandel (2019), California $14

This wine has a beautiful burgundy color. It has seductive aromas of spiced blackberry, plum, dried cherry and baking spices. On the palate, the initial sensation is that of luscious, juicy, freshly-picked ripe blackberries lightly spiced. The second sip explodes with moderate tannins and juicy acidity. Great with burgers and spicy dishes. Alcohol: 14.8%

December Featured Wines – 2021 Garzon Albarino Reserva & 2020 Garzon Tannat Reserva, Uruguay

The wine industry in Uruguay dates back to 1870. It was brought by immigrants from the Basque region of Spain, France and Italy. The first grape produced was Tannant. By the mid-1950’s Albarino was introduced. Today other common varietals are Merlot (10%), Chardonnay (7%), Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Sauvignon blanc (6%), and Cabernet Franc (4%). There are two levels of classification, Vino de calidad preferente (VCP), a “quality wine” category and Vino común (VC), a “table wine” category. In the 1980’s the wine industry focused on quality and marketing to compete with Brazilian and Argentine wines.

The selected wines are produced by Bodegas Garzon. When Alejandro Bulgheroni and his wife, Bettina, discovered Garzón in 1999, they saw in it their “little Uruguayan Tuscany”, and they had a dream, a family dream that has come true today: Agroland. Thus, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, they started to design Bodega Garzón. From energy efficiency to reduction in water consumption, from using low-emission local equipment to responsible construction waste management, from collecting rainwater to restoring biodiversity… These are some of the environmental strategies implemented in its design and construction.

2021 Garzon Albarino Reserva, Uruguay $14

This Albariño is of a pale yellow colour with greenish reflections and fruity aromas reminding of peach; balanced with citric notes. It is fresh and mineral with a marked acidity and a long and rounded aftertaste in mouth. Aromas of gooseberry, finger lime and ginger lead off in this refined but refreshing white, with saline-laced grapefruit and Meyer lemon at the core, followed by a clean finish Alcohol: 12.5%

2020 Garzon Tannat Reserva, Uruguay $14

This Tannat is deep purple in color. It has fresh aromas of red and black fruits – plums and raspberries with spice flavored aroma. It has features grippy tannins. On the palate it feels juicy with medium body. The most traditional combination is slowly cooked leg of lamb flavored with sage, mint, garlic and olive oil. It also pairs beautifully with blue cheese and toasted walnuts.
Alcohol: 14.0%

October Featured Wines – OT Vins El Cep, Penedes, Spain & Maria Cruz Garcia, Tempranillo, Narvarra, Spain

OT Vins El Cep, Penedes, Spain (2021) $12

This X-arel-lo has fragrant fresh pear and honeydew melon on the nose, along with a subtle floral nuance. On the palate it is silky showing good depth and a touch of waxiness to the ripe orchard and citrus fruit flavors. The melon note comes back on a smooth, persistent finish that features a refreshing bitter orange zest flourish. A lovely all around white. Alcohol: 12.5.%

Maria Cruz Garcia, Tempranillo, Narvarra, Spain (2019) $14

This is a a dark, plump and powerful Tempranillo with lots of intensity due to the blackberry and black plum fruit and accents of wild herb. The tannins are gentle and firm on the finish, amplifying the dark fruit flavors and making your mouth water for a big bite of lamb or steak.it is fermented and aged in steel tanks with no outside yeasts. Alcohol: 14.1%

September Featured Wines – Cantine San Marzano, Edda Lei Salento Bianco & Terrilogio, Primitivo, Puglia, Italy

We are moving into fall but September is still a month for entertaining and grilled meals. Our selected wines come from Puglia, also known as Apulia, a region called “the boot” of Southern Italy. This region produces 40% of Italy’s olive oil but some of the best values in Italian wine come from this sunny, dry region. Most Puglia wine is red, full-bodied and pairs well with a wide variety of foods but there are several indigenous white grapes grown in the region. Both wines meet the IGT (“Indicazione Geografica Tipica standard”) for production consistency for their appellation.

The white wine is Cantine San Marzano, Edda Lei Salento IGT Bianco (2020.) This wine is mainly Chardonnay with white native grapes, Moscatel, and Fiano. It comes from Salento. The red selection is Terrilogio, Primitivo, Puglia IGT (2021.) Primitivo is the same grape as California Zinfandel.

Cantine San Marzano, Edda Lei Salento Bianco, Puglia, Italy (2020) $18

This wine is mainly made from Chardonnay grapes with some Moscatel and Fiano added. It is an intense yellow straw color. There is a scent of peach, citrus and vanilla on the nose. In the mouth it is soft, warm, elegant, with a savory and toasted finish. The wine is suitable for accompanying fish starters and first courses, as well as fresh soft cheeses. Alcohol: 13.5.%

Terrilogio, Primitivo, Puglia, Italy (2021) $11

This Primitivo is deep ruby red. It is full-bodied with warm tannins. Bold flavors hint of tar, licorice and red berries. There is a delicious fruity finish typical of Zinfandels. The body and warmth compliment hot and spicy food. This wine may be enjoyed young but further aging in the bottle will enhance the wine’s richness. Alcohol: 13%

August Featured Wines – Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lies (2019) Loire Valley, France & Beaujolais Villages, Marine Descombe (2020) Brouilly, Burgundy, France

This month we are offering 2 great wines for summer sipping. Once again our red selection is from Mary Taylor Wines” White Label Series. She describes this label as “thinking outside the grape.” Previously we have had 9 nine wines in this series and the reception has been very positive. The white we are offering is produced by Gadais Pere et Fils in the Loire Valley appellation Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine.

Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lies (2019) Loire Valley is produced by the Gadais family who have been in the wine business since the 1950s. The name Navineaux Amphibolite attached to this wine refers to the terroir of the vineyard in the Loire Valley. Muscadet is made from 100% Melon de Bourgogne grapes. This a new varietal for the wine club and a perfect one for summer enjoyment. I have had Muscadet in my inventory by request from 3 customers who find this a perfect compliment to seafood – particularly oysters.

Mary Taylor Wines’ Beaujolais Villages, Marine Descombe (2020) Brouilly, Burgundy is different from what many know as Nouveau Beaujolais. Beaujolais Villages and Nouveau Beaujolais are both made from Gamay grapes. The Nouveau is quickly vinified using CO2 to remove oxygen to speed up fermentation. These are young wines to be consumed young, Beaujolais Villages is produced using the Bordeaux style of winemaking. These wines have a much longer shelf life.

Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lies (2019) Loire Valley, France $16

This Muscadet offers a bright and complex nose of lemon, green apple, wet stone minerality, dried flowers and a lovely touch of gentle nuttiness. On the palate the wine is deep, focused and full-bodied, with lovely balance and grip, a fine core, impressive mineral undertow and a long, zesty and complex finish. It is described as “green and flinty.” Alcohol: 12.%

Beaujolais Villages, Marine Descombe (2020) Brouilly, Burgundy, France $15

This vintage offers deeply concentrated black fruit aromas, and beautiful substance on the palate, with melted tannins and long finish. It is considered a textbook blue stone Brouilly-style Beaujolais-Villages It has a beautiful purity of Gamay Noir fruit showcasing the unique expression of a Beaujolais that can be enjoyed for many years. As it ages, tannins soften. Alcohol: 14%

July Featured Wines – The Little Gazelle, Sauvignon Blanc (2021) & DeMorgenzon, DMZ Syrah (2018), South Africa

Wine Club has not tasted wines from South Africa for some time. Summer seemed a perfect time to revisit. Most consider South African wines to be New World although many of the varietals – and there are many produced – are considered Old World. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely planted varietals but as we learned from Barista Pinotage, there are some unique wines produced.

This month’s selections are The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc (2021) and DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah (2018.) These will acquaint you with well-appreciated varietals that are not as widely produced.

The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc has a clever label (similar to The Little Sheep wines.) This is no coincidence since both of these wines are produced and imported by Monsieur Touton, one of our suppliers. Monsieur Touton’s connections in the wine world give him the opportunity to buy excess “juice” for lack of a better term. Through his friendships with producers, he buys surplus quality wines that he finds represent that region’s varietals. This is the case of South Africa’s The Little Gazelle Sauvignon Blanc which is from the Coastal Region.

DeMorgenzon DMZ Syrah comes from another producer based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. This region has terraced hillside vineyards with views of both the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. DeMorgenzon selects grapes from vineyards that show the best quality of the chosen varietal. Both wines will offer pleasant wines for summer enjoyment. One is light for fish and salads and one is great for rich barbequed beef.

The Little Gazelle, Sauvignon Blanc (2021), South Africa $10

This Sauvignon Blanc is described like a shy gazelle, simple yet refreshingly friendly. The wine is green and flinty but with fresh citrus, apple, melon, fig, and peach notes on the palate. It is a refreshingly, delicious summer wine. Pair with seafood, grilled chicken, and light appetizers. It is also a great complement to a salad with goat cheese. Alcohol: 12.5%

DeMorgenzon, DMZ Syrah (2018), Stellenbosch, South Africa $17

This Syrah has a deep, purple core with a rich, berry fruit nose with lots of ripe, red plum and whiffs of white pepper. There is some gentle oak integration which shows and supports the elegance and roundness. This wine is considered bold and structured with this vintage getting great scores. A perfect BBQ complement. Alcohol: 14%

June Featured Wines – Arrumaco, Garnacha Rosé, Galicia, Spain & Mary Taylor, Pedro Gonzalez Mittelbrun, Castilla y Leon, Spain

The rose we selected, Arrumacco (2021), is produced in Galicia on the Northwest coast of Spain which borders Portugal to the south. This region offers a mild Atlantic climate and sandy soil. As you know roses can be made from Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Carignan. The Spanish call roses “rosado” and this selection is made with Garnacha grapes

The red selection takes us back to Mary Taylor Wines. Once again we will follow her approach to finding wines indigenous to a specific region. Mary Taylor, Castilla Y León Pedro Gonzalez Mittelbrun (2018) is produced by Pedro Gonzalez Mittelbrunn from Prieto Picudo grapes grown in Castilla y León from vines that are up to 100 years old. This region is just east of Galicia. Tempranillo are the most produced wines but Mittlebrunn convinced fellow growers to keep the heritage of the Prieto Picudo “growing.” You can see why Mary Taylor selected his wine as one of her imports.

Arrumaco, Garnacha Rosé (2021), Galicia, Spain $10

Lighter in color and body than many other Spanish rosés. Loaded with intense raspberry and plum aromas that follow to a crisp yet silky palate. A light mix of peach pit and stalky fruit aromas form the opening on this standard summer sipper. Excellent on its own and with a wide range of lighter fare. The perfect summer sipper and tapas wine. Alcohol: 12.5%

Mary Taylor, Pedro Gonzalez Mittelbrun (2018), Castilla y Leon, Spain $11

The unique, rare Prieto Picudo grape is a small grape with big flavor producing wines with bold flavous that age well.  It is well balanced with a beautiful red color. It has ripe and fresh red fruit aromas. While this feels like a light Spanish wine, it is fresh and powerful on the palate with a lingering finish. It pairs with most summer food. A good sipper. Alcohol: 13%

March Featured Wines – 2020 Donnafugata, Sicilia Anthìlia & 2019 Donnafugata, Sicilia La Bella Sedàra Rosso, Italy

Donnafugata was founded in Sicily by a family with a keen passion for winemaking. Since their founding in 1983 by Giacomo Rallo and his wife Gabriella Anca Rallo, and now their sons, have been able to innovate the style and perception of Sicilian wine. Sustainability is a key value of Donnafugata. Music and art are also central to the Donnafugata mission. Their labels feature a world full of colors. Original labels have fantastic language and feminine identity. They feel the labels define their wines with a unique style which is pleasant and elegant and capable of delighting those who taste them. This makes their wines enjoyable on the palate and on the eyes.

The white selection is 2020 Sicilia Anthìlia is 100% Lucido (Catarratto.)

The red selection is 2019 Sicilia La Bella Sedàra Rosso, a blend of Nero d’Avola, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Both wines have striking female images on the labels that carry stories as told on their website

2020 Donnafugata, Sicilia AnthìliaItaly $18

Anthilia 2020 has a yellow straw color. The nose presents a fresh and fruity bouquet with notes of white-fleshed fruits (peach) combined with scents of wildflowers. On the palate we continue to find the evident fruity notes accompanied by a refreshing flavor and ended by a good finish. Perfect pairing with tomato and basil bruschetta, seafood pasta, blue fish. Try also with caesar salad. Alcohol: 12.5%

2019 Donnafugata, Sicilia La Bella Sedàra Rosso, Italy $18

Sedàra 2019 is ruby red in color with purple hues It offers a fruity bouquet with hints of red fruit (cherry and plum) and spices (black pepper) combined with a light balsamic note of mint. On the palate it shows a good structure with soft tannins and a pleasant freshness. A pleasant red, versatile in food matching, perfect for every day. Serve with lasagne, chicken cacciatore, BBQ, seared tuna. Alcohol: 13.8%