May 2015

Discovery

DSCN09842012 Emerald Bay Merlot

Delicious and great-value Merlot from California’s Central Coast. A good quaffing wine with some herbaceousness behind rich, plummy fruit. Tart cherry and chocolate flavors on the palate are enlivened by silky smooth tannins, and the mocha-tinged finish invites another sip. An excellent counterpoint to spicy Mexican cuisine.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

DSCN09942013 Haras de Pirque Albaclara Sauvignon Blanc Gran Reserva

100% estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Maipo Valley. Notes of orange peel, grapefruit, lemon and mint. Light and fresh, ideal to combine with seafood, salads or just to enjoy on a warm summer afternoon!

Treasured Rubies

DSCN09912013 Altos del Cuco Red Blend

A blend of 40% Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre), 30% Syrah and 30% Tempranillo from Jumilla, in southeast Spain, aged 3 months in tank and barrel. Aromas of stewed and dried fruit, particularly blackberries, with subtle nuances of vanilla and cinnamon. Light tannins and fresh acidity are in balance, making it particularly food-friendly wine that’s perfect with roast pork.

Patrician

DSCN0989NV Broadbent Vinho Verde Rosé

This fresh and fizzy Vinho Verde rosé, from northern Portugal, is a blend of native Portuguese red grapes Borraçal (40%), Espadeiro (30%), Amaral (20%), and Vinhão (10%)—but all you need to know is that it’s delicious! Bright flavors of citrus and red berries make this a beautiful way to usher in warmer weather. Try it with lemon-curry marinated grilled shrimp.

Wondrous Whites

DSCN09932014 Vivanco Rioja Blanco

This white Rioja is made up of 60% Viura, 20% Malvasia and 20% Tempranillo Blanco, a mutation of Tempranillo that’s native to the Rioja region of north-central Spain. Fresh, crisp aromas of green apple and peach backed by subtle grassy notes. Citrus and tropical fruit flavors flood the palate. Delicious as an aperitif or with rich, savory Mediterranean dishes.

Regal Reds

DSCN09852012 Terrapura Carmenere

Carmenere, the “lost grape of Bordeaux,” is enjoying a resurrection in South America, where it has become Chile’s most recognizably Chilean wine export. Expressive varietal aromas of strawberries, cherries and a touch of pepper. Silky on the palate, with sweet tannins and a long, pleasant finish kissed by a hint of oak. It plays nicely with red-sauce pasta dishes.

Aristocrat

DSCN09922012 Álvaro Castro Dão Tinto

A Portuguese blend of native red grapes Alfrocheiro (50%), Touriga Nacional (25%) and Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo, 25%) fermented in stainless steel lagares and aged in second-pass oak barrels. The purity of black and blue fruit is matched nicely by food-friendly acidity and earthy spice notes. Pop a bottle with roast leg of lamb rubbed with rosemary and garlic.

American Beauties

DSCN09902013 Bonny Doon Beeswax Vineyard Picpoul

Native to the Languedoc in southern France, Picpoul also thrives in limited Californian plantings like this single-vineyard bottling from Arroyo Seco, in Monterey County. Exceptionally lemony with suggestions of melon, Asian pear and mint. Try it with ceviche!

European Classics

DSCN09862013 Mas Lavail Terre d’Ardoise Carignan Vieilles Vignes

Carignan Blanc is a mutation of Carignan (a red wine grape) cultivated primarily in the Roussillon region of Mediterranean France. This bottling features fresh lime, lemon and tangerine flavors supported by ample acidity and a spicy zing on the finish. Sushi, anyone?

Ultimate

DSCN09872012 Alta Maria Sauvignon Blanc

Crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from the Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County, California. Bright citrus, gooseberry, lemongrass and tomato leaf aromas. Ripe grapefruit flavors are buoyed by citric acidity on the long, lingering finish. If you weren’t already, this is sure to make a Sauvignon Blanc lover of you—especially if you open it with buttery grilled lobster tails.

The Bubbles

DSCN1005NV Château Moncontour Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut

90% Cabernet Franc and 10% Chenin Blanc, classic Loire Valley grapes hand-harvested from terraced estate vineyards on the slopes of the valley. Creamy, structured and delicious, like biting into just-ripe peaches and tart raspberries before the subtly spicy, mineral finish.

Cellar Master

DSCN09882012 Grossot Chablis Premier Cru Fourchaume

Crisp, clean Chardonnay from Premier Cru vineyard Fourchaume in Chablis, the northernmost outpost of France’s Burgundy region. Flinty minerality drives lively green apple and lemon notes on the nose and palate. An ideal partner for broiled salmon.

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