World Wide Pleasures!!

img_7196I keep being offered proof that the quality of winemaking from around the world has never been better. No matter what your pricing comfort zone you can find something quite extraordinary to keep you and yours very happy. As evidence….
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2012 BODEGAS VOLVER “Tarima Hill” Monastrell
$15.95 bottle/ $154.00 case
This has been on my agenda for several weeks, and but for utter, irresponsible neglect you would have read about this remarkably satisfying, full-bodied, and lusciously delicious Spanish red long before now. On the other hand I’m glad I waited because the distributor has just dropped the price so I can take a couple bucks off its usual $17.95 bottle price. It was a deal before, and even more of a must buy now! This was my favorite wine out of the first five at our recent Spanish Friday Flight and I think it did, and does even more now, deliver huge return on your wine drinking dollar. Not the usual gushy, somewhat one-dimensional Spanish monastrell (aka “mourvedre”), this has a spicy, earthy complexity that I loved! Here’s the spot on review from Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The outstanding 2012 Tarima Hill is 100% old-vine Mourvèdre from a vineyard planted between 1935 and 1970, whose vines are largely ungrafted. It was aged 20 months in French oak. This is a beautifully balanced wine revealing lots of blueberry liqueur, dark raspberries, cherries, a chalky minerality, full body, a big, substantial mouthfeel, and a meaty texture. 91 points.”
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2013 PLATEAU DES CHENES Lirac “Cuvée Speciale”
$21.95 bottle/ $211.00 case
My passion for the character laden Rhone Valley reds continues to be stoked! Coming out of the glass at a near Chateauneuf du Pape intensity level is this powerhouse French red from the Lirac appellation. These vineyards lie directly across the Rhone River from their more well know neighbors in Chateauneuf, and show much of the same wild, fruit, earth, and mineral driven intensity that makes these so intriguingly delicious. I just tried this bottle recently and was absolutely knocked out. Truly would hold its own in a Chateauneuf du Pape tasting, this is a fabulous red for under $25! Will easily age and improve for 5+years. Here’s some very apt love from Jeb Dunnuck of Parker’s Wine Advocate: “A smoking value, the 2013 Lirac Plateau des Chenes Cuvee Speciale is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah. It offers beautiful richness in its black raspberry, kirsch, creamy licorice, white pepper and floral aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied, with an upfront, sexy and seamless style, it has a fabulous texture and awesome purity, especially given the price. Buy this beauty by the case and drink it over the coming 3-4 years. They continue to push on the quality front, and are quickly working their way up into the top tier of producers in the Southern Rhône. These wines always have a polished feel, yet in my mind, stay firmly planted in the south of France and have plenty of Provencal character. 91 points”
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2013 MURGO Etna Rosso
$13.95 bottle/ $134.00 case
Wines like this are fun because they surprise the heck out of you. I had it open this past Saturday here at the store and people were uniformly shocked that despite its somewhat lighter ruby–hued color, the full, complex flavors were anything but reticent. In other words, people were really digging this red! Grown in rock strewn vineyards on the slopes of Mt. Etna on Sicily, this is made from 100% nerello mascalese, a classic indigenous Sicilian varietal. Dark berry flavors, smoke, spice, and distinct minerality all characterize this volcanic beauty. With it’s higher toned acidity on the finish, this is a killer food wine, and drinking so well right now. Here’s some added praise from Ian d’Agata of Vinous: “Bright red. Archetypal Nerello Mascalese aromas of strawberry, orange peel, minerals and fresh herbs. Dense, juicy and strongly mineral, with bright red berry flavors lifted by harmonious acidity. Finishes clean and long, with a lingering, crystalline mineral quality. This is better than any other (read: “more expensive”) red wine made by Murgo. 91 points.”
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(these are not pictured above because due to popular demand I blew through every bottle at the tasting Friday!)
After last Friday’s long overdue zinfandel tasting, and based on crowd response, a couple of those All American beauties must be brought to wider attention…
2013 SEGHESIO Zinfandel “Sonoma County”
$20.95 bottle/ $201.00 case
Three words: “baby back ribs”. Three more: “Bar Buh Cue”. Okay, now that serving suggestions are out of the way, let’s talk awesome. This is classic Sonoma Zin from one of California’s benchmark producers. Luscious, heady, balanced, simply classic.  Plus you would be very hard pressed to find it anywhere in town for less than $25 a pop! It was drinking in all its jam-packed, irresistible glory last Friday. Here’s what the know-it-all’s at The Wine Spectator had to say: “A lively, zesty red that offers bright cherry and tarragon aromas and sleekly layered flavors of briary raspberry, nutmeg and fresh-cracked black pepper. Drink now through 2021. 92 points.”

2013 SOBON ESTATE Zinfandel “Old Vine Amador”
$13.95 bottle/ $134.00 case
This continues to be the bang-for-the-buck champ in California zinfandel . Still family run, still making wines that are 100% Estate grown, and still just incredibly satisfying. For less than $15 you cannot buy a better Zinfandel. Billows with brambly raspberry jam, fresh ground black pepper, and earthy cherry. This has everything you could ask for from an everyday zin. One taste and you’ll know why this has been a staple on the VINO shelves since the day we opened. The first vintage we carried was the 1999, and the consistency of quality since is simply amazing!
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2014 KURTATSCH-CORTACCIA Pinot Grigio “Alto Adige”
$14.95 bottle/ $144.00 case
Can you remember the last time I wrote up a pinot grigio from Italy? Me neither! The reason being there is literally an ocean of innocuous, bland, one-dimensional pinot grigio and pinot gris flowing around us. Then, on all too rare occasions, washing up on the VINO shores like a shining beacon of hope an deliciousness, comes something like this amazing, pure, crisp grigio from Italy’s mountainous Alto Adige region. Think minerals, crisp, just-picked fall apples, citrus zest, and hints of floral spice, with a vivacious texture and palate cleansing pop of bright acid on the finish. Then you realize, why, yes, it can be done right, and when it is, it is a very good thing indeed!
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2013 PRODIGO Sangiovese di Romagna
$11.95 bottle/ $114.00 case
If you might be planning an evening that includes pizza or pasta anytime in the near future, then I strongly encourage you grab a bottle or two of this new find, a compelling, über-delicious 100% sangiovese from the glorious Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, where from personal experience I can tell you they take their food and drink very seriously. Possessing surprising intensity and richness for such a wallet friendly wine, this also has loads of dark cherry and spice infused fruit and a wonderfully long, expressive finish that shows impeccable tannin/acid balance. This is a crowd pleasing vino rosso whose character and style will surprise you, and the price-quality ratio is ridiculous!
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2013 MARC DESCHAMPS Pouilly-Fumé “Les Loges”
$23.95 bottle/ $229.00 case
Wow, nowhere else can you get sauv blanc like this except from France’s gloriously gorgeous Loire Valley. Made from grapes that taste like they were dragged through limestone covered earth, showered with citrus zest, bathed in tart, ginger-infused Granny Smith apple juice, then thrown in the crusher. So much going on here! The mouthfeel is creamy yet with laser-like focus, and it has the zap of acidity on the finish that defines the best Loire whites. Marc Deschamps is one of France’s most respected producers, lavishing his organic/biodynamic vineyards with obsessive attention, and bringing that same meticulous care into his cellar. The results are evident with every sip of this classic bottle of Loire loveliness! And just so you know, every time they hear a cork of this beauty pop, oysters around the world clamp their shells a little tighter in fear!!
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For the independent minded, if you wish to make your own perfect mixed tape of wine, please take advantage of the following discounts…
Mix 6-11 bottles save 10% off the per bottle price;
Mix 12-29 bottles save 15%
Mix 30+ bottles save 20%

To order simply reply with an email or call, and I will alert you as to when your wine will be available for pick up or shipment.

All wines are offered subject to availability, prior sale, and the ability of my distributors to get the wine from their Point A to my Point B in a timely manner.

Superb Saint-Chinian: 2013 Domaine de Cambis!!

2013 Domaine de Cambis Saint-Chinian "Carnet du Voyage"
$23.95 bottle/ $229.00 case

According to the Cambis website, “Carnet de Voyage is an ode to discovery and to travelling. We think that we have succeeded in making the taster of this wine travel while drinking it.” Believe me, it worked! I just tried this incredible red wine this past week and was absolutely blown away at the quality…

Mont Gras “Antu” Syrah: as good as it gets!

2012 MONT GRAS "Antu" Syrah
$19.95 bottle/ $192.00 case

When we carried the previous locally available release of this Chilean beauty, the 2009 “Antu” Syrah, I wrote that it was one of, if not the, best South American Syrahs I’ve had. At any price. Any cheaper and they tend to be flabby fruit bombs; any more and all you taste is vanilla from the…

Casa Contini’s Sublime Salento!

2013 CASA CONTINI Salento Rosso “Verso” $14.95 bottle/ $144.00 case You want to know what grapes that have ripened to perfection in the warm southern Italian sun taste like? Pop the cork on this deep, resonant rosso, pour a glass, take a sip and close your eyes. Intellectual transport to the Apulia region in the…

Piedmontese Pleasure!

2010 OLIM BAUDA Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Nizza” $34.95 bottle/ $188.00- 1/2 case/ $335.00 case As you can imagine in 20+ years in this wine biz I’ve tasted well over a thousand Barberas. The one that still sticks out in my mind as one of the greatest young wines I’ve ever had is the 1999 Vietti…

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