December Featured Wines – Toad Hollow Risque French Sparkling Wine, Languedoc, France & 2012 Boneshaker Red Blend, Lodi, California

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Toad Hollow Winery Risque French Sparkling Wine, Langue Doc, France       $17

The white selection for the month is Toad Hollow’s Risqué French Sparkling Wine. While Toad Hollow is a California producer, they like adding wines not from California to their portfolio. This sparkling wine uses Mauzac grapes from Languedoc, France. It is made with the Methode Ancestrale style which is different from most sparkling wines since there is no second fermentation. The wine is bottled before the first fermentation is completed. This is a softer sparkling wine with less bubbles and just 6% alcohol. It is just slightly sweet with tastes of apricots and pears. Consider this an appetif or an after dinner sipper. Great packaging!

 

 

Boneshaker Red2012 Boneshaker Red Blend, Lodi, California          $17

The red selection is a new wine produced by California’s Hahn Family Wines under their Boneshaker label. 2012 Boneshaker Red Blend uses 43% Zinfandel for which they are known but adds 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc and 1% petite Sirah to give a rich blend of dark fruit with dark chocolate and espresso. This wine is smooth on the palate and may make you think of blackberry cobbler. As you settle into rich chili for the New Year football games, pull out this wine.

 

Wines of the Month – 2013 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, 2009 Chateau Tour d’Auron, Bourdeaux

Muscadet

2013 Chateau de la Chesnaie Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Pomerol, Loire Valley               $12

This long name actually places the wine in an appellation in the Loire Valley. The grape is Melon de Bourgogne and it produces a pale silver wine with a slightly yellow tint, and aromas of grapefruit, lemon oil, cut hay and flowers. The palate was very citrusy and dry, with high toned acidity and mineral tones prevailing over fruit. This is a wonderful wine for summer seafood. Alcohol: 12%

 

Chateau Tour d'Auron2009 Chateau Tour d’Auron, Bordeaux        $12

This wine has been on our shelves for a year and we have customers who buy it regularly. The 2009 vintage is truly one in which a Bordeaux Supérieur like Château Tour d’Auron shines. It is 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet SAuvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. The fruit is luscious, the palate is seductive, and the finish is ripe but elegant. It is medium to full-bodied with structured tannins. If you want an easy red for grilled summer menus, this works.  Alcohol: 13%

Wines of the Month – 2012 Henry Fessy Sous La Roche Pouilly Fuisse, Burgundy, France & 2009 Petite Sirene Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux France

 

label on Fessy Pouilly Fuisse

 

2012 Henry Fessy Sous La Roche Pouilly Fuisse, Burgundy France                                          $17

2012 Henry Fessy Sous la Roche Pouilly Fuisse from Southern Burgundy. Pouilly Fuisse is exclusively Chardonnay. The pruned and trained vines on the Fessey vineyards are 33 years old. The grapes produce a full-bodied and elegant wine. This Pouilly-Fuissé has beautiful pale green highlights. The bouquet reveals aromas of pear, followed by delicate notes of almond. This is a great wine for oyster stew or a simple fish or chicken dish.

 

 

label on Petite Sirene Bordeaux wine

2009 Petite Sirene Bordeaux, Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, France                     $12

This is 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux production has been hailed as  great vintages – worth buying and enjoying now in 2014. This wine can be decanted to enhance the nose cherry, black currant and buttered toast nose. It is a dark ruby red baked black cherry and plum flavors wrapped around traces of toasted bread crust. Although a medium bodied wine there is a nice spicy finish. All in all this is a lovely velvety, easy drinking wine which may be enjoyed alone or with any meal that needs a red wine.

Wines of the Month – 2012 Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Loire Valley & 2011 Terrassess du Frigoulet, Languedoc-Roussillon

Featured Wines for October – 2012 Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Loire Valley & 2011 Terrasses du Frigoulet, Languedoc-Rousillon

label on Pichot Vouvray

2012 Domaine Pichot Vouvray, Loire Valley  $17

Vouvray wines are unique and have quite unparalleled qualities. In fact, very few appellations in the world are made from a single, quite rare grape variety as is the case here with the Chenin Blanc grape also referred to as Pineau de la Loire. This 2012 Vouvray is known as Le Peu de la Moriette. This is a  semi-dry wine with perfect balance between dry and sweet which makes this a perfect choice for seafood or poultry prepared with creamy or citrus sauces. It combines freshness and roundness on the palate so it works well as a appertif then carries all the way through a meal. Expect prices on Vouvray to rise due to summer storm damage in the region. Hail storms destroyed this year’s grapes and did a great deal of damage to vines.

label on 2011 red blend Terrasses du Frigoulet featured at Bishop's Stock

2011 Terrasses du Frigoulet, Languedoc-Rousillon   $11

Terrasses du Frigoulet is a blend made from hand harvested, de-stemmed fruit. The blend for the 2011 vintage is 35% Carignan, 30% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre from 100% estate bottled fruit.  Wine Spectator gave this wine a 90 and describes it as a big  powerful red with concentrated mulberry, dark plum, blackberry and baked cherry flavors. The finish offers a taste of chocolate. This is a “country style” wine that is great with stews, hearty soups and roasted meats.

Wines of the Month – 2012 Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne & 2011 Tortoise Creek “Les Oliviers” Pinot Noir

Featured Wines for June – 2012 Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne, France & 2011 Tortoise Creek “Les Oliviers” Pinot Noir, France

label for Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne

2012 Mont Gravet Cotes de Gascogne, Gascony, France $10

Mont Gravet is a delicious dry,  fruit forward wine made from Colombard grapes. It has beautiful fragrant aromas of fresh pears and peaches. The wine comes from superb vineyard sites in the Gascony region, near the city of Toulouse.  The name refers to the beautiful rocky hillside vineyards where the grapes are grown. Chilled to 50 degrees this wine is perfect as a summer aperitif or as a pairing with summer’s fresh seafood. Alcohol: 11.5%

 

wine label for Tortoise Creek Pinot Noir

2011 Tortoise Creek “Les Oliviers” Pinot Noir, Limoux, France  $14

This is a charming and elegant Pinot Noir that comes from the cooler wine region of Limoux, close to the Pyrenean Mountains in southwest France. It is deep in color and soft with lovely aromas of raspberries and cherries. This is less “jammy” than its Californian cousins. It is more Burgundian and delicate and is a gorgeous food wine. Works well with roast meats, tuna, salmon and cheeses. Alcohol: 13%

 

Wines of the Month – Dr. L Sparking Riesling & Made by G Sparkling Gamay

Featured Wines for December – Dr. L Sparkling Riesling from Mosel,  Germany & Made by G Sparkling Gamay, from Beaujolais, France

 

Label from Dr. L Sparkling Riesling

 Dr. L Sparkling Riesling, Mosel, Germany                        $18

Dr. L Sparkling Riesling is 100% pure Riesling. It is made using the Charmat method, where the second fermentation is done in a pressurized tank to keep the bubbles in the wine. This method produces bright, clean sparkling wines in a more affordable way. As is usual with Riesling — especially from a cool climate like Germany’s — a juicy touch of sweetness was left in the wine to balance the naturally brisk acidity. What you end up with is a refreshing, fruit-driven sparkler that’s a pleasure to drink any time. Sparklers are always a great choice for sushi but this one is especially nice. Alcohol: 12.0%

 

 

Label of Made by G SParkling Gamay featured by Bishop's Stock

  Made by G Sparkling Gamay, Beaujolais,   France            $23

December’s  red selection is Made by G, a sparkling Gamay from Beaujolais, France. This wine was produced from 25 year old Gamay vines. The color is very rich. While this wine is just a little off-dry, it has a natural sweetness that comes from the grapes being picked at top ripeness. There is no residual sugar. The nose is fresh and fruity with aromas of fresh grape. On the palate this sparkling bursts with startlingly bright, succulent, strawberry-like fruit. I was hesitant to select this for the wine club but after I tried it my mouth said “yes”! We served it as an aperitif at Thanksgiving and will likely serve it again at Christmas – if the supply lasts. The distributor gets an allocation of the wine so it is not always available.

 

 

Wines of the Month— 2010 La Porte de L’Abbaye Pouilly-Fume Sauvignon Blanc & 2009 La Grand Ribe Centenaire

Featured wines for September are 2010 La Porte de L’Abbaye Pouilly-Fume Sauvignon Blanc and 2009 La Grand Ribe Centenaire

 

La Porte de L’Abbaye Pouilly-Fume Sauvignon Blanc, Loire Valley, France 2010

label for 2010 La Porte de L'Abbaye Pouilly-Fume Sauvignon Blanc

“The 2010 vintage produced racy, fresh, delineated wines that rely on mouthwatering acidity and pure fruit . . . it’s a vintage that should let the Loire show what it does best. They are ideal food wines best for matching with spring and summer fare.” -James Molesworth  of Wine Spectator

A more elegant, restrained expression of Sauvignon Blanc, the Porte de l’Abbaye opens with aromas of fresh lemon, white flowers, and Pouilly Fume’s signature flintiness.

Henri Bourgeois Pouilly-Fumé “La Porte de L’Abbaye” 2010 was meant to be enjoyed young, and enjoy it you will, as it is a “textbook Pouilly-Fumé.” The wine received 91 points from Wine Spectator. $20.00

La Grand Ribe Centenaire, Rhône, France 2009

Label from a bottle of 2009 La Grand Ribe CentenaireLa Grande Ribe, Rhone red blend from Cotes du Rhone Villages Centenaire is a true value wine.

Dominated by Grenache with a small amount of Syrah included in the blend, the wine possesses great intensity, a terrific texture, full-bodied power, and wonderful purity and Provencal typicity. This sensational effort is filled with red and black fruit, roasted herb, barbecue smoke, meat juice and bouquet garni characteristics. Enjoy it over the next 7-8 years or longer.$13.00