October 2014

Discovery

2013 Lanzos Blanco

A delicious white blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Viura from Castilla y León in northwest Spain. Sauvignon Blanc is not widely grown in Spain, but here it lends a beautifully grassy citrus note to Viura’s (the primary grape in white Rioja wine) aromatic pear and guava characteristics. This is fun, friendly wine that’s great on its own or with hearty, ham-flecked white bean stew.

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2011 St. Michael Riesling

This Riesling is classified as Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (or, more simply, “QbA”), the German term for quality wine from one of the country’s 13 wine regions (“Anbaugebiete”)—in this case the largest, Rheinhessen, in west-central Germany. Crisp green apple, pear and peach buoyed by vibrant acidity and a touch of residual sugar. Think spicy Thai yellow curry.

Treasured Rubies

2012 Tavernello Sangiovese

Touted as the “No 1 wine in Italy” by sales, Tavernello is 100% Sangiovese from Emilia-Romagna, just north of Tuscany in the upper end of the Italian boot. Intense aromas of strawberry and Morello cherry. At once rounded and vibrant on the palate, with tart blackberry and sweet, ripe cherry. This little red beauty, while not a well-kept secret, is custom-built for spaghetti night.

Patrician

NV Vieux Papes Rouge

A red blend of Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from southern France, the “Old Popes” is a nimble, approachable old world wine with serious table appeal. Its intense red raspberry and blackberry fruit are wrapped in smooth tannins, making it a great pairing for anything from cider-braised pork roast to heavier Fall dishes featuring game meats like elk or venison.

Wondrous Whites

2012 Torres Verdeo Verdejo

Rueda, in northwest Spain, has long been known for its elegant white wines made from the Verdejo grape. While Rueda whites can include other grapes like Viura and Sauvignon Blanc, Verdeo (as the name implies) is 100% Verdejo. Distinct citrus and tropical fruits are accented by kiwi, green apple and Asian pear. Fresh and fruity, it shines next to classic tapas like patatas bravas.

Regal Reds

2012 d’Aragona Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Italian wines made in Abruzzo from the Montepulciano grape can be juicy, delicious everyday reds. Cherry pie aromas open to red plums, cedar and herbs. Flavors of macerated plums and cherry compote are framed by fine tannins. Delicious with spicy pepperoni pizza!

Aristocrat

2013 Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay

Pure, unoaked Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast, sourced from vineyards ranging from Monterey County to San Luis Obispo. Tropical aromas of kiwi and mango highlighted by apple blossom and lemon drop. Round and fleshy on the palate, with crisp acidity underlining flavors of peach, pineapple and key lime. Try it with succulent braised chicken and mushrooms.

American Beauties

2012 Saviah Cellars The Jack Cabernet Sauvignon

Evidence of 2012 as a near-perfect vintage in Washington’s Columbia Valley, this Cabernet is loaded with fruit without lacking structure. Aromas of mint, black cherry, cassis and oaky spice lead to blackberry and mocha flavors. A delight with classic pot roast.

European Classics

2011 Marchesi Torrigiani Chianti

Since the 13th century, this property just north of Siena in Tuscany, Italy has been owned by the Torrigiani family. A blend of classic Chianti varieties Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. Spicy aromas of red cherries and strawberries. The structured palate shows soft and alluring tannins under flavors of dried cherries and macerated raspberries. A hit with pasta Bolognese!

Ultimate

2013 Jim Barry The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling

South Australia’s Clare Valley is renowned for world-class dry Rieslings. Perched above 1500 feet, the Lodge Hill Vineyard produces Rieslings of striking acidity and structure. Bright lime blossom, grapefruit and spiced peach notes. Perfect with panang beef curry.

The Bubbles

2010 Steininger Traminer Sekt

Sekt is Austrian sparkling wine, and Karl Steininger is one of the style’s foremost practitioners. He makes all his méthode champenoise bubbles as single-varietal, vintage-dated bottlings, rather than blending them into non-vintage cuvées to fit a “house style.” The result is idiosyncratic wine like this complex, floral Traminer, with layers of stone fruit dancing on fine bubbles.

Cellar Master

2007 Accordini Igino le Bessole Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Amarone, from the Veneto, is one of Italian wine’s true showstoppers. Made from partially dried Corvina and other native Venetian grapes. Intense kirsch-soaked cherries, tar and spice drive the long, layered palate. We love Amarone with balsamic-glazed duck.

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