March 2015

Discovery

2013 VINI Pinot Noir

In the 1980’s, Bulgaria was the world’s second-leading producer of wine, though all of that production stayed behind the Iron Curtain. There’s currently a revival of ancient winemaking traditions, with international varieties like this Pinot Noir joining native grapes. Strawberries, cherry and tobacco mark this bottling, delicious with grilled kyufta and spicy lyutenitsa sauce.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2013 Anziano Pinot Grigio

Italian Pinot Grigio from the Veneto, in the country’s north. Crisp and dry white wine with soft pear and melon flavors and a fresh citrus aroma. Smooth and silky on the palate, easy to drink on its own and a delicious pairing with seafood dishes, light pasta courses and Italian cheese.

Treasured Rubies

2011 Vigilance Petite Sirah

Red Hills AVA in Lake County, California, lies at the foot of Mt. Konocti, once an active volcano. This Petite Sirah hails from the volcanic soils of the region, and 18 months in French and American oak adds toasty richness and baking spice aromas to wild blackberry and blueberry notes. Concentrated, satisfying and delicious with grilled lamb burgers.

Patrician

2012 Yalumba The Y Series Shiraz Viognier

Deep, rich South Australian Shiraz accented by floral Viognier, just like they do in the Northern Rhône. An exotic mix of aromas and flavors, from plum pudding, spice cake and black cherry to violet and rhubarb. Soft on the finish, a fine match for sticky BBQ pork ribs.

Wondrous Whites

2013 Lomas del Valle Chardonnay

Delicious Chardonnay from cool-climate vineyards in Chile’s Casablanca Valley. Medium-bodied with depth, concentration and length on the finish. Notes of peach, quince, caramel apple and vanilla from gentle lees stirring while aging in stainless steel. No oak on this Chardonnay, making it a fresh companion to grilled chicken basted with thyme butter.

Regal Reds

2013 Confidentia Côtes du Rhône

The Gonnet family has roots in Bedarrides, in France’s southern Rhône Valley, going back to 1600, and this Côtes du Rhône blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre hails from their family’s estate vineyards. Aromas of blackberry, Morello cherry, cassis, anise and clove. Pair with char-grilled thick-cut pork chops in a miso-orange-ginger marinade.

Aristocrat

2009 Marchesi Torrigiani Torre di Ciardo

This red blend from Tuscany, in central Italy, is primarily that region’s flagship red variety, Sangiovese, with splashes of Merlot and Canaiolo. Plum and strawberry jam with earthy undertones. Plush, full Italian red fit for grilled steaks and black truffle butter.

American Beauties

2013 Kings Ridge Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris from Oregon’s Willamette Valley often gets left out while its cousin, Pinot Noir, gets all the hype. Don’t overlook this crowd-pleasing, richly textured white wine bursting with pear, lemon and kiwi, crafted from cool-climate Willamette vineyards. It’s a delight with all sorts of cuisines, from spicy south Asian to more delicate seafood dishes.

European Classics

2012 Nemorino Rosso

An Italian red blend from Tuscany, where Sangiovese is the most-planted red grape. Here it’s merely a blending component along with Merlot (each 20%) in a wine that gives Syrah (60%) a day in the sun. Black and red fruit vie for supremacy, with plum and strawberry accented by spice and smooth tannins. Pour it with Bistecca alla Fiorentina rubbed with olive oil, rosemary and salt.

Ultimate

2012 Esporão Reserva White

A Portuguese blend of native varieties Antão Vaz, Arinto and Roupeiro along with Semillon, one of the white grapes of Bordeaux, aged 6 months in new French and American oak. Plenty of rich fruit, with tangerine, grapefruit and peach flavors backed up by smooth, creamy oak undertones. A treat with rich seafood dishes like traditional bacalhau.

The Bubbles

NV Gaston Chiquet Tradition Brut

Delicious grower Champagne from the Vallée de la Marne, 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir. The vintage is primarily 2010, with 7% 2009 and 14% 2004. Aged 28 months on lees, disgorged in July of 2014. Lemon drop, pomegranate and red raspberry mark this beautifully structured Champagne.

Cellar Master

2011 Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne-Montrachet Mes Vieilles Vignes

Pinot Noir from vines planted in 1960 in Chassagne, a commune in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune better-known for its regal white wines. Direct and robust, driven by cherries and raspberries with a distinct earthy note. Pair with roast beef tenderloin and wild mushrooms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: