March 2014

Discovery

2012 douROSA Branco

A blend of Codega and Rabigato—what, you’ve never heard of them? Native to Portugal, these white grape varieties are most commonly used in the production of white Port. Attractive floral and peach notes on the nose. Round and full-bodied on the palate, with elegant mineral and citric undertones. Pop a bottle next time you make rich, hearty Cuban-style black beans and rice.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2012 Labastide Le Perlé Gaillac Blanc

This white wine from Gaillac, in southwest France, is made from the native varieties Mauzac and Loin de l’Oeil, with Sauvignon Blanc. Lightly sparkling and totally delicious, it has aromas of jasmine, grapefruit, and pear. Sprightly on the palate, it’s the perfect white wine with which to usher in Spring. Enjoy it with just about anything, from appetizers to dessert.

Treasured Rubies

2010 La Famiglia Petite Sirah

Petite Sirah, or Durif, is the result of a chance crossing of Syrah and Peloursin in a French nursery sometime in the 1860’s. While it’s not a primary grape in any French wine region, it has thrived in California. Warm, welcoming aromas of blueberry jam and baking spice greet the senses, and the rich, fruity palate shows well-balanced acid and tannin. Perfect with roast beef.

Patrician

2012 Manifesto! Unoaked Chardonnay

Beautiful, complex Chardonnay from California’s North Coast. Ripe pear, key lime, fennel and orange zest on the nose, with broad, bright flavors of pear, quince, and green apple. The finish is long, lean and laden with more ripe pear and citrus notes. No oak influence lets the acidity really sing, which is what makes this wine an ideal companion for rich, fatty salmon.

Wondrous Whites

2012 Wine by Joe Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris from Oregon’s Willamette Valley tends to lean Alsatian in style, and this bottling from Joe Dobbes is no exception. Sweet aromas of fresh cut pears, green apples, and hints of vanilla and cream. The palate is light and clean, running the gamut from green apple to citrus, all underlined by flinty acidity. A lively, crisp, fruity solo sipper that also marries well with creamy pastas.

Regal Reds

2012 Bula Montsant

Montsant is the Spanish wine region surrounding Priorat like a horseshoe open to the east. Its wines can resemble those of Priorat, but without the hefty price tag. Bula is a blend of Mazuelo (Carignan), Grenache and Syrah that aims to be noticed, with intense aromas of cassis liqueur and black cherry introducing the full-bodied, fruit-driven palate. Fun by itself, even better with roast lamb.

Aristocrat

2011 B.R. Cohn Silver Label Chardonnay

Chardonnay in the classic California style made with fruit sourced from several vineyards in the North Coast AVA. Introductions are made with aromas of ripe pear, green apple, and citrus surrounded by the toasty warmth of French oak. Crisp on the palate, not overblown, with bright flavors of green apple and lemon. Think about popping this bottle the next time you grill fresh trout.

American Beauties

2008 Line Shack Petite Sirah

The folks at family-owned Line Shack are making some gorgeous warm-climate wines in Monterey County, California’s San Antonio Valley AVA. Deep purple and massive without sacrificing balance, this Petite Sirah has intense aromas of black raspberry and white pepper that lead to a rich, ripe, fruit-and-spice palate. Put this next to a platter of grilled sausages and prepare to be delighted.

European Classics

2012 Peitán Albariño

In Rías Baixas, the ancestral homeland of Albariño on Spain’s western Atlantic coast, the cool, moist climate makes for wonderfully aromatic white wines with crackling acidity. Lemon and pear, tropical fruit and floral notes accompany orange peel, peach pit and a hint of white pepper on the finish. If you’ve been thinking about king crab legs, now’s the time and this is the wine.

Ultimate

2012 Terres Dorées L’Ancien Beaujolais

This is not Beaujolais Nouveau, that bubblegummy juice the French send us each November. This is lip-smacking Beaujolais made the old-fashioned way. Delicious layers of ripe cherry and raspberry accented with spicy oak notes. Got pan-roasted duck breasts? Get this wine.

The Bubbles

NV Moutard Brut Grande Cuvée

Ahhh, Champagne. Who doesn’t love it? We especially love this bottling from Moutard, where the family has winemaking roots in the region dating to the seventeenth century. The Grande Cuvée spends three years aging in their cellars before release, allowing all the delicious green apple and brioche inside time to evolve and coalesce. Enjoy with or without raw oysters and caviar.

Cellar Master

2008 Carlin de Paolo Barolo

From fourth-generation winemakers in Italy’s Piemonte region, this is clean, focused, unpretentious Nebbiolo with a clarity of cherry and raspberry fruit that will only improve with age. Right now the wine sings with rose-petal floral notes, and Barolo’s characteristic tar and earth show up on the luxurious finish. Grill a porterhouse while you let this beauty breathe.

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