January 2014

Discovery

2012 RESSò Garnacha Old Vines

“Ressò” is Catalan for “echo,” and this old-vine Garnacha is so-named for its representation of the terroir and climate of Spain’s Mediterranean coast. Complex, floral nose loaded with red fruit. Candied strawberries and black raspberry flavors are augmented by licorice, mineral and peppery notes. Try this beauty with hard Spanish chorizo and aged Manchego cheese.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2012 Placido Pinot Grigio

Fresh and fruity Pinot Grigio in a crowd-pleasing style from the Tre Venezie (“Three Venices”), a large area in northeastern Italy composed of Veneto, Friuli-Venezie Giulia, and Trentino. Aromas of pears lay a bass line for high-toned citrus and grapefruit. Full, fresh and lively, with notes of ripe pear on the long, pleasant finish. Perfect for a sunny winter afternoon with baked brie.

Treasured Rubies

2012 Giribaldi Crottino Dolcetto d’Alba

Giribaldi is a renowned Barolo producer in Italy’s Piemonte (Piedmont) region, one of the world’s most venerable winemaking meccas. Their Dolcetto is an approachable, easy-drinking red wine with flavors of ripe cherry and fresh blackberry wrapped in a layer of soft white pepper and sweet tannin. Enjoy with slow-cooked beef and mushroom ragù.

Patrician

2012 Promesses de France Côtes du Rhône

From the southern stretches of France’s Rhône River Valley, this Grenache-based blend shows intense red fruit on the nose. The full-bodied palate is all strawberry jam and baking spice. Pop open a bottle for traditional French onion soup topped with melted Gruyère.

Wondrous Whites

NV Il Follo Prosecco Extra Dry

Delicious Prosecco from Treviso, in northern Italy’s Veneto region. Honeyed on the nose, fresh and lively on the palate, where there’s a hint of sweet, ripe tangerine hiding behind the Fuji apples. A small amount of residual sugar fills out the mouthfeel, rather than reading as sweetness. Try this with savory hors d’oeuvres like prosciutto and spiced almonds.

Regal Reds

2010 Tikveš Vranec

Say it with us: “TICK vesh VRA nets.” Easy enough, right? Now try this one: autochthonous (“aw TOCK thuh nuss”). That last one means “native to a place,” which describes the Vranec grape and its relationship to the western Balkan peninsula—specifically Macedonia, where this wine’s from. It’s dark, full-bodied, densely fruited red wine, perfect for hearty sausage dinners.

Aristocrat

2012 Mantel Blanco Verdejo

100% Verdejo from Spain’s Rueda region. Verdejo is an interesting grape that can produce fleshy, ripe wines underlined by racy acidity. This is just such a wine, with aromas and flavors of ripe Bartlett pear enlivened with a vibrant seam of acidity. A quintessential quaffer in warm weather, it will work beautifully beside weighty winter dishes like New England clam chowder.

American Beauties

2011 Thomas Henry Zinfandel

Sourced from Sonoma County, California’s Dry Creek Valley and Knight’s Valley, this Zinfandel exhibits dark cherry and blackberry flavors coupled with a touch of anise and plum. Well-integrated tannins linger on the palate with persistent fruit and chocolate notes. Try this bold red with saucy barbecued ribs, or sip it by a roaring fire to warm any winter evening.

European Classics

2009 Château Trocard Les Chapelles Bordeaux Supérieur

A Merlot-driven blend from France’s Bordeaux Supérieur AOC. The aromatic palette is flush with ripe plums and blueberries. Silky on the palate, with supple tannins, dark fruit and mocha notes. Try this one with rich, creamy chicken tikka masala.

Ultimate

2009 Henry’s Drive Dead Letter Office Shiraz

A blend of Shiraz grapes from Padthaway and McLaren Vale in South Australia. Aromas of black plum, oaky vanilla and dark chocolate introduce the rich palate, where bushels of dark fruit are anchored by moderate tannin and crisp acidity. Great with roast pork!

The Bubbles

NV Sophora Sparkling Cuvée

Sophora sources their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from the Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay districts of New Zealand’s North Island. This luscious sparkler displays an array of ripe fruit flavors and vibrant citrus combined with delicate yeasty characteristics and balanced acidity. Delicious bubbles for any day of the new year, a perfect foil for a wide variety of salumi and cheese.

Cellar Master

2011 Bastianich Vespa Bianco

A white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Picolit, a grape native to Italy’s Friuli region, which this wine calls home. The bouquet of citrusy minerality evolves into wildflowers, clover honey and ripe pear. The palate is intriguingly tannic for a white wine, with fine acid structure making it an ideal companion to rich seafood, like scallops seared in bacon fat.

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