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Awesome gift packs!

1 Dec

gift-pack-art-lo-res

We’ve put together some terrific 2-, 3- and 4-packs of delicious wines in verticals, horizontals, regional & varietal packs at a range of prices for every wine lover in your life! Check ’em out!

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Click HERE to purchase!

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1. Cabernet Franc 2-pack $52 SOLD OUT

Two top-notch bottlings of California Cabernet Franc, featuring Ian Brand’s from Paicines and Ironstone’s from Sierra Foothills. Both are astoundingly expressive and true to the variety, sure to please Franc-ophiles of every stripe!

2. Oregon 2-pack $69

Oregon wine has come a long way since the first vines were planted in the Willamette Valley in the mid-1960’s, and here’s a fun pair of bottlings showcasing the region’s flagship varieties: Alexana Revana Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 and Carabella Reserve Pinot Gris 2014. A great gift idea for anyone who loves Oregon wine!

3. Sancerre 2015 3-pack $75

If you love Sauvignon Blanc, there are few words that conjure bliss as readily as “Sancerre.” A great gift idea for anyone in your life who loves their wines crisp, citrusy and refreshing, with no shortage of drive or structure. Sample three 2015’s from Boulay, Millet and Reverdy!

4. Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2-pack $65

For fans of Chardonnay, we tender this pair of beauties from Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Sure to please everyone in your life who enjoys elegant, seamless Chardonnay!

5. Yann Bertrand Fleurie 3-pack $109 SOLD OUT

Yann Bertrand has re-energized his family domaine in a very short period of time, becoming one of the top young stars in this Beaujolais cru village known for producing the most elegant, refined expressions of Gamay in the region. Sample his three bottlings: Folie, from 30-60 year-old vines; Vieilles Vignes, from 60-80 year-old vines; and Cuvée Chaos, from vines aged 80-110 years. Incredible wines! Only 3 available!

6. Auteur 2013 Pinot Noir & Chardonnay 2-pack $119

Gorgeous single-vineyard, extremely limited-production Pinot and Chard from an incredible small producer! Enjoy the Durell Vineyard Chardonnay (94 pts, Robert Parker) and Manchester Ridge Pinot Noir (92 pts, Robert Parker). Amazing expressions of amazing sites!

7. Huet Vouvray Le Haut Lieu 2015 Horizontal 3-pack $119

Huet is among the most revered names in the Loire Valley, making some of the world’s most sought-after Chenin Blanc. Sample three bottlings from their best vineyard site, Le Haut-Lieu, in a range of styles reflecting the magnificence of the 2015 vintage: Sec, Demi-Sec and Moelleux! Only 6 available!

8. Hubert Lamy Clos des Gravières 2014 2-pack $129

SOLD OUT

Featuring one bottle each of Lamy’s Santenay Premier Cru Clos des Gravières red and white, both from the 2014 vintage. Enjoy a top Burgundy producer’s expression of his unique terroir, captured in bottlings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from an excellent, approachable vintage. A must for Burgundy fans! Only 3 available!

9. JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Vertical 3-pack $149

A three-pack featuring three bottlings from JJ’s most famous vineyard, showcasing this unique site’s amazing potential in different vintages: 2009 Auslese, 2012 Spätlese and 2014 Kabinett. There are few more revered producers in the Mosel, and this is a unique opportunity for the Riesling fans on your list! Only 3 available!

10. JJ Prum 2014 Horizontal 4-pack $179

A testament to Prum’s strengths in 2014, this is an amazing selection of Spätlese bottlings from the estate’s 4 vineyard sites: Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr and Bernkasteler Badstube. An incredible horizontal from the Mosel’s most storied house! Only 3 available!

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Click HERE to purchase!

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In addition to these specials, we can assemble wine gifts with any number of bottles selected from the thousands in our cellar! Just call us at the shop and let one of our staff build you the perfect gift at any price point!

Local delivery is FREE for gifts over $100, and $10/delivery address for others. We cover most of the Denver/Boulder/South Suburban corridor in our local delivery area and we can ship UPS anywhere else in Colorado, as well as most other states  (shipping fees vary).

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Good luck and safe travels, Thomas!

16 Apr
Thomas Briggs, a member of our delivery team for nearly 8 years.

Thomas Briggs, a member of our delivery team for nearly 8 years.

We are sad to announce that Thomas Briggs, a faithful and integral part of our delivery department since August 2007, will be retiring in early May and moving eastward to points unknown, or at least undecided just yet.

Thomas said his favorite part of the job was “Feeling like the most popular guy in town” delivering wine to people, surprising the vast majority of them with an unexpected bottle of cheer. “Only one time in 8 years did someone look disappointed at the front door, and it’s because he was expecting his girlfriend.”

When asked to reveal some of the wisdom he’s gained over the years, he told us, “Wine tastes better when you share it. Make sure you always have two bottles on hand.” Wise words, indeed.

Taking Thomas’ place will be our new driver, Mike Ryan, who will work with Dave Chew to deliver your Wine of the Month Clubs and all the wonderful wine gifts you send to friends, colleagues and loved ones. Stop him next time you see him and say hello!

A rare find of older Silver Oak and other hits from the cellar!

11 Jul

Silver OakWe are pleased to offer a rare opportunity to pick up some very old vintages of Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a number of older single bottles from around the world, at extraordinary prices. They have been cellared since purchase and are in terrific shape for older bottles. These wines will go fast, so please don’t hesitate to call us (303.355.8324) if you’d like to place an order. We’ll adjust inventory as it dwindles, so numbers below should be accurate.

SILVER OAK CABERNET SAUVIGNON:

1987 Alexander Valley (2 btls) $100/btl

1988 Alexander Valley (8 btls) $105

1988 Alexander Valley MAGNUM (1 btls) $250

1989 Alexander Valley SOLD

1990 Alexander Valley (3 btls) SOLD

1991 Alexander Valley SOLD

1992 Alexander Valley SOLD

1994 Alexander Valley SOLD

1995 Alexander Valley SOLD

1998 Alexander Valley SOLD

OTHER CALIFORNIA:

1987 Kenwood Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (12 btls) $90/btl

Mondavi Vertical1981-1986 Robert Mondavi Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon VERTICAL IN WOOD BOX (6 btls) SOLD

Far Niente 19901990 Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon IN WOOD BOX (11 btls) $115/btl

AROUND THE WORLD (1 btl each):

1973 Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva (Rioja, Spain) SOLD

1975 Hermann Thaprich Bernkasteler Badstube Auslese Riesling (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) SOLD

1980 Aurelio Settimo Barolo Vigna Rocche (Piedmont, Italy) SOLD

1988 De Rham Poggiarello Tuscan Red (Tuscany, Italy) SOLD

1988 Col d’Orcia Brunello di Montalcino Riserva (Tuscany, Italy) SOLD

1990 La Torre Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy) SOLD

1990 Domaine Mussy Pommard-Epenots Premier Cru (Burgundy, France) SOLD

1990 Faiveley Clos des Cortons Faiveley Corton Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) SOLD

1990 Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé Musigny Grand Cru (Burgundy, France) SOLD

1993 Rudolf Müller Piesporter Treppchen Riesling Spätlese (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) SOLD

DESSERT, FORTIFIED & SPIRITS:

1960 Offley Boa Vista Vintage Port (Portugal) SOLD

1977 Fonseca Vintage Porto (Portugal) SOLD

1979 Speri Recioto della Valpolicella (Veneto, Italy) $80

1997 S. Niccolo Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 375mL (Tuscany, Italy) (2 btls) $25

Blandy’s 5 Year Old Malmsey Madeira (Madeira) SOLD

Bonny Doon Grappa di Moscato 375mL (California) $25

Château de Ravignan Bas-Armagnac (dist. 1969, btl. 1986) SOLD

Slapped with bubbles and feeling good! Why grower Cava is worth every penny.

30 Dec

Champagne BurstMost casual wine drinkers would shudder at the notion of paying upwards of 200 dollars for a bottle of bubbly. A certain other few would willingly hand over the coinage for a vintage bottling of Champagne worth having…Champagne that is. And why not? Over the past two centuries Champagne has become the name in sparkling wine production. A precedent which nearly every style of fine bubbles the world around is modeled after. It is the gold standard of sparkling wine that often takes the form of extravagant shelf pricing.

What about Spanish Cava? Would Champagne aficionados feel compelled to pop the cork of a Cava they knew was just as good (and for the same price)? In terms of international recognition, Cava is rarely (if ever) thought of as an equivalent—sort of like the Junior Varsity squad for sparkling wine production—bearing talent and potential but, lacking the experience and refinement to make the starting line-up (not entirely true). A better observation would be that though Cava represents a considerable amount of modest wine, sound and suitable for everyday drinking, it is also capable of producing remarkable bottles.

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Several months back, during the pith of the summer heat spike, Adam Segura (general manager of The Vineyard Wine Shop) and I jumped ship to a grower-sparkling wine tasting at Boulder, CO’s The Kitchen. That ship being Matt Austin of Natural Wine CO’s air conditioned Volkswagen; he was nice enough to let us carpool.

At first glance it appeared to be a fairly standard trade tasting. Importers, distributers, experts and the like behind their tables, eager to sell their wines to guys like me and Adam who work the frontlines of retail. The show was anything but standard. Actually, the Cavas we tasted were anything but standard, the kind of stellar sparkling that would beguile the most discerning connoisseur.

Recaredo was the word of the day, also the name of a Cava house founded by Josep Mata in 1924, which even among the range of wines on display proved a name one ought not forget.

Recaredo Brut Nature 2007RacaredoBrutdeBrutThe first wine we tasted was the 2007 Brut Nature, a steal at $45 shelf price, reminiscent of ripe lemon and orange zest with a gorgeous layer of lavender. My eyes went wide as a turned to catch Adam’s reaction. He looked as though he had been slapped…and liked it, which is often the only way of describing one’s reaction to winemaking of that caliber.

Next we tasted the 2004 Grand Reserva ($67) which spent 100 months sur lie in bottle. Yikes! Adam got slapped twice with this one, not minding it a bit. Complex? Think creamy limecicle with undulating veins of flower, toast and chalk. Did I mention the acidity in these wines is undeniably structured and vivacious? Because it is.

The 2003 Reserva Particular followed, smashing a home run to left field. Similar to the Grand Reserva but with slightly higher pedigree of fruit (the grapes used were appraised at a higher value). I found the Particular a bit creamier and slightly more intense. Roughly $120 on the shelf, about the same as Pol Roger’s 2002 Blanc de Blancs. What could be better?

It got better. The crescendo of this symphony of Cava came with the tasting of Recaredos 2002 Turó d’En Mota, which almost had Adam in tears…imagine seeing Franz Shubert conducting his famed Symphony No. 8 while Caravaggio paints his portrait. Mota is not only harmonious, complex and utterly enchanting; it’s all that and a bag of truffle fries that sees 112 months of lees aging. It’s a true masterpiece that should require no introduction.

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The same meticulous efforts that go into fine Champagne production are also employed for Recaredo’s Cava. The vineyards are dry-farmed without use of pesticides, with organic fertilizer used only sparingly. Every step leading to final product is done by hand: harvesting, riddling and disgorgement. The entire process is elaborate, time-consuming and laborious, making the price tags modest in comparison to efforts exerted and number of resulting bottles. Turó d’En Mota for example, is limited to 2,704 bottles, each individually number.

Cava Recaredo has more than earned its place on the world stage and undeniably deserves to be held in the same regard as the finest sparkling producers around. If one’s curiosity is abundant, one ought to buy them, cellar them, drink them, bathe in them, just don’t let the opportunity pass. So grab a bottle for your next celebration (New Year’s Eve)—just be prepared for all senses to be slapped in the face. And you’ll love it!

-Jordan Garcia

What you should be drinking this Thanksgiving…and every Thanksgiving, really

21 Nov

turkey-sommelier-640It’s that time of year again, when snows begin to swirl and thoughts turn to holiday reunions with far-flung relatives and acquaintances. Beer’s fine for watching football while the turkey’s cooking, but at Thanksgiving dinner only wine can move you gracefully from green bean casserole to marshmallow-y baked yams. Variety is the word of the day, and you need wine that plays well with others, wine that knows an assist is as good as a slam dunk. Also, given the preponderance of gravy, butter, and cream around the table, you want a wine with enough acidity to cleanse the palate—literally, as it will scrub the layer of fat off your tongue and freshen the taste buds hidden beneath, preparing your palate for the next delicious forkful. The following are quintessential Thanksgiving wines, the workhorses that work so well with everything on the table—plus a few more advanced selections to surprise those annoying wine connoisseurs who always want to host the gathering.

Pinot Noir:

When it comes to red wines, Pinot Noir is about the most versatile variety around. You can go with a big, fruit-forward presentation from California that’s a crowd-pleaser on its own, or with a leaner, more terroir-driven Burgundy—both will be excellent with just about every kind of food. Again, it comes down to acidity and, in Pinot Noir’s case, light body.

038Campion Pinot Noir (California 2007): Really exceptional Pinot Noir, a bold presence for your Turkey Day table. Big fruit, nice balance, and plenty of great bottle age make this one a keeper. $30

Evesham Wood Pinot Noir (Oregon 2012): A family-run winery doing great work in the Willamette Valley at prices that won’t break the bank. Really good Oregon Pinot can be tough to find under $25, but this is awesome wine. $22

Roger Sauvestre Gevrey-Chambertin (France 2010): Gevrey-Chambertin is one of my favorite appellations for red Burgundy. Pinot Noirs from the area are wonderfully expressive, concentrated, age-worthy wines, and Sauvestre’s 2010 is drinking very well right now. $52

Riesling:

Let’s get this out of the way first: yes, some Rieslings are sweet. But in Germany and elsewhere, oceans of dry Riesling are made and consumed by people who love the amazing balance of acidity, minerality and fruit presence. These are ideal food wines, versatile, functional and delicious.

Eroica Riesling (Washington 2011): Gorgeous Washington Riesling, with diamond-cut acidity leavened by just a touch of residual sugar. Far from reading as “sweet,” it elegantly rounds out the lush, peachy mouthfeel. $20

073Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken (Germany 2011): “Trocken” is a good German word to know if you don’t like sweeter Rieslings. It means “dry,” and this one from Clemens Busch is one of the driest around. Beautiful minerality typical of Rieslings from the steep slate valleys of the Mosel River. $25

Huia Dry Riesling (New Zealand 2010): With vibrant, crisp acidity framing rich stonefruit flavors, this is revelatory Riesling from a region not particularly known for them. Stunning wine from a house that also makes really tasty New Zealand Pinot Noir. $24

Rosé:

For me, good rosé is a must at Thanksgiving. Don’t think White Zinfandel here—these wines are all dry, crisp, and well-suited to the task of accompanying different dishes of varying weights. Give one a try and see what I mean.

DSC03063Domaine d’Eole Rosé (France 2012): If you’re not sure whether pink wine deserves a place on your table, start with one from Provence, where it’s not a feast unless there’s pink to pour. Classic Provençal rosé, all bright strawberries and lavender. $20

Amador Foothill Rosato of Sangiovese (California 2012): This is rosato (Italian rosé, honoring the Tuscan origins of the Sangiovese grape) with a fuller body and even a bit of tannic presence. Great rosé for red wine drinkers. $18

Regis Bouvier Marsannay Rosé (France 2012): Rosé of Pinot Noir from Marsannay, in Burgundy. Brilliant white flowers and tangerine notes, with a tart cherry component on the palate. $25

Extra Credit:

Here are some unique wines from around the world—all under $20—to impress the wine snobs in your life. Just hand over the bottles with a confident smile, maintain eye contact, and correct their pronunciation.

Ameztoi Txakolina (Spain 2012): Say it with me: “AH-maze-toy CHOCK-o-LEEN-yah.” That’s great, close enough. Basque white wine from the area around San Sebastian, in Spain. In a region famous for its wide variety of tapas, this is the wine that they pour alongside everything. Delicious, bone-dry, minerally white to complement a feast of many flavors. $20

Erste & Neue Müller-Thurgau (Italy 2011): From Alto Adige, in Italy’s far northeast, which used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They speak German as well as Italian, and that fluency extends to grapes like Müller-Thurgau. Really fun white wine, with refreshing acidity complementing bright citrus and stonefruit on the deliciously full palate. $16

DSC03062Gran Passione Rosso (Italy 2012): A crowd favorite from the Veneto region of Italy, home of the famed Amarone della Valpolicella. Produced via the same appassimento process as Amarone, whereby the grapes are dried for a period before pressing. This concentrates the flavors, making for surprisingly rich red wine that is still very Italian, light on its feet and food-friendly. $18

Ecker Brillant Zweigelt (Austria 2011): Those in the know know that Austria’s making some great wine these days, and this Zweigelt is a fun example. Easy-drinking, approachable wine somewhere between Cru Beaujolais and fruitier Pinot Noir. Great with food, whether it’s Wiener schnitzel or your grandmother’s stuffing. $15

The Usual Suspects:

Because no matter what you’re serving, some people just need their old standby. Here are some classic, comforting styles that keep people coming back time and again.

DSC03061Flying Horse Cabernet Sauvignon (California 2005): Who doesn’t love Napa Cab? Stellar wine from a stellar vintage—2005 for under $50? Call us crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time. $46

Lavender Hill Chardonnay (California 2010): Wonderful Napa wine that will please both Francophile purists and everyone who loves the full-tilt, buttery California style of Chardonnay. Lush and full without compromising the mouthwatering acidity. $36

Shannon Ridge Zinfandel (California 2010): Classic Lake County Zin, with brambly, jammy fruit—and lots of it. Spicy, yummy, bold stuff for the folks who wouldn’t be caught dead with a rosé. $24

DSC03060And of course…

Jean Baronnat Beaujolais Nouveau (France 2013): Every third Thursday in November, a week before Thanksgiving, the new vintage of fresh, fruity Beaujolais Nouveau arrives on our shores. For those who dig it, there’s no substitute with turkey. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s unique, approachable, light red wine that, for many, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without. $15

-Nathan Gordon

To order any of the wines mentioned above, simply call us at 303.355.8324 to place an order. Cheers!

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace my decanter.

15 Nov

Decanting

A few holiday parties ago a friend and co-worker, who will remain unnamed, learned a valuable lesson in wine sediment. Turning a bottle of 1990 Château Latour on its head, he emptied the remaining two ounces of noble Bordeaux into his Bordeaux glass. Had he been schooled in the art of pouring fine first growth, he would have been cautioned to the dangers of loose sediment in well-aged claret. There he sat, smiling big and proud, his teeth speckled with shiny purple matter, toasting with a glass in desperate need of a good rinse.

Whether or not we should have decanted the Latour is up for debate. Yes, we would have saved our friend from a night of really purple teeth, but we would have lost the fun-loving sentiment of pouring a magnum of Château Latour straight from the bottle. Which begs the question: why do we decant?

There are two reasons why one should decant any single bottle of wine. In fact, there are only two fundamental reasons. Consider the following:

First, if a wine is prone to spitting sediment, it is of the utmost importance to separate the drinkable liquid from undrinkable debris. Wines that have spent a significant amount of time in the bottle are most likely spit sediment after several years of resting.

Second, if a wine is in need of a good punch of air to loosen it up (sort of like fluffing a pillow), decanting can provide that. Simply dumping the wine into the decanter and allowing it to splash will provide the oxygen needed to open it up. Wines that are austere straight out of the bottle are regarded as tight, a characteristic that is often thought of as undesirable. Tight wines have aggressive tannins, piercing acidity and a bouquet that is intense but lacking complexity and expression.

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So, if a wine aficionado is to take on the disciplined art of decanting then they ought to consider the following:

Really old wine is really freaking delicate. Unlike young wine, old wine is much less stable and suffers more quickly the loss of its character and intensity.  Aggressive decanting is not a friend to old wine, but soft decanting is, allowing the consumer to safely avoid its sediment.

Alternatively, young wine can benefit from splashy, aggressive decanting and the changes that occur once the cork is popped and the wine is poured.  Though it may cause a loss of introductory flavors, it also directs newer and more complex aromas to the frontline—a kind of simultaneous loss and gain of momentum. So one must decide which is more favorable: drinking wine that is sharp, angular and arguably austere or the kind that is smooth, round and complex.

Decanting to remove sediment or decanting of old wine:

After allowing a well-aged bottle to stand upright for at least an hour (if not a month) carefully remove the cork to avoid jostling. Next, grasp the well-polished decanter by its neck and the bottle of wine by its base. Insure there is a light source (candle or flashlight) positioned under the bottle. With a steady hand, softly transfer the wine into the decanter. Stop pouring as soon as deposit arrives at the shoulder of the bottle. The illumination from the light source should provide an easy visual assessment of loose sediment. Taste the wine to insure it isn’t faulty and if it doesn’t suck then begin enjoying immediately!

Decanting young or youngish wine:

As long as you don’t spill it, decanting a young wine can be much more brutish—with splashing to promote proper aeration. Additional use of an aerator can be appropriate for a wine that may take hours to open up. There can be sediment even in young wines, especially if they are unfined and unfiltered, so if there’s a possibility of sediment, be careful that it doesn’t go from the bottom of the bottle to the bottom of the decanter. First, taste to insure the wine is not faulty, then decant accordingly. Pour a sip every so often to observe how the wine develops, and decide when it is appropriate to enjoy.

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Wine is ever-evolving and ever-changing—in the barrel, in the bottle and in the glass. Though preference is arbitrary, a few guidelines can go a long way to improve any wine experience. So, take it light and enjoy. Should you end up with a mouth full of sediment, smile gritty & pretty and carry on. Salud!

-Jordan Garcia

Did you dig our Chili & Wine Showdown? Here are the recipes.

5 Nov

chilesThree men entered the arena with delicious chili and wine pairings. Only Brian Wood emerged victorious! His Colorado Elk Chili was deemed the crowd favorite over stiff competition from our other contestants. If you didn’t make it to the store on Saturday (or if you did, and you want to know our secrets), here are the pairings, write-ups and recipes. Bon appetit!

Nathan’s Carne Adovada (New Mexican Pork Red Chile)

Pairing: Amizade Godello

Nathan says: “New Mexican red chile is beautiful stuff, tangy and earthy and subtly spicy, and the pork adds a bass note that really resonates. I picked this Godello, a Galician grape that’s due some spotlight, for its minerality, salinity and crisp citrus fruit. It’s some delicious, uniquely refreshing wine for a unique style of chile.”

Brian’s Colorado Elk Chili

Pairing: Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Carmenere

Brian says: “Chilean Carmenere splits the difference between the tannic structure of Cabernet and the more rounded mocha notes of Merlot. I went with CYT’s Gran Reserva for its spicy earthiness to go with spicy chili and gamey fresh elk.”

Jordan’s Organic, Grass-Fed Beef Chili Con Carne

Pairing: Carlin de Paolo Nebbiolo

Jordan says: “Nebbiolo done in this approachable style shows bright red fruit with earthy undertones on the palate. Bright acidity and plush tannins make for a great pairing with a mildly spicy beef chile con carne.”