September 2015

Discovery

2013 Domaine André Brunel Grenache

Grenache is the primary red grape of France’s southern Rhône Valley, leading the blends from the region’s cru villages like Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Brunel’s varietal bottling shows juicy notes of red berries and just a hint of spice. Try it with grilled pork chops!

Cleopatra’s Pearls

2014 Ercavio Blanco

Airén claims more acreage under vine than any other white grape in the world, despite being planted almost exclusively in Spain. This blend (with 5% Sauvignon Blanc) from Castilla-La Mancha, on the country’s vast central meseta, shows crisp citrus underlined by strong acidity. Delicious on its own or as a go-to white for saucy barbecued chicken.

Treasured Rubies

2014 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Rouge

This second wine from “the Grand Cru of the Midi” is 40% Syrah, 30% each Grenache and Carignan. Fragrant dark fruit and garrigue herbs, a hallmark of reds from southern France’s Languedoc region, with blackberry, nutmeg and cedar. Amazing with grilled leg of lamb.

Patrician

2014 Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Rouge

A red blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat and Syrah from Gascony, in southwest France. Fruity and approachable, with red currant, wild strawberry and spice. Round and supple, this is a great solo sipper that also plays nicely with spicy sesame chicken.

Wondrous Whites

2012 Five Rivers Chardonnay

Santa Barbara County’s fertile valleys run east-west, channeling cool ocean breezes inland through hills patched with vineyards. This makes the region uniquely suited to grape varieties like Chardonnay that thrive in cooler climates. Green apple and pear meet subtle tropical notes. Delicious with rich, hearty linguine alla carbonara.

Regal Reds

2013 Les Hauts de Lagarde Bordeaux Rouge

65% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc from Bordeaux, one of France’s most legendary appellations. Elegant aromas of dark fruit behind a touch of oak and a haze of smoke. Black currant, plum and boysenberry linger on the finish. Ribeye, anyone?

Aristocrat

2013 Prodigo Nero d’Avola

Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most famous red grape, known for producing wines bursting with fruit concentrated by the island’s hot, dry climate. See that fine print on the label reading “Leggermente Appassite?” That means the ripe grapes were dried on their vines for a short time, concentrating those flavors even further. Raspberry jam, dried fig and spice. Enjoy with smoked brisket.

American Beauties

2014 Tyee Wine Cellars Gewürztraminer

Don’t fear the umlaut—this is gorgeous dry Gewürztraminer from a tiny operation in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Sourced primarily from estate fruit, this floral beauty shows honeysuckle, elderflower, jasmine and ripe pear. Great with spicy Thai curries!

European Classics

2014 Attitude by Pascal Jolivet Sauvignon Blanc

Pascal Jolivet is best known for elegant, mineral Sauvignon Blancs from Sancerre. Attitude comes from holdings outside that famous appellation, but it’s no less beautiful than its cousins. Lemongrass, grapefruit and limestone minerality. Sauté some scallops and enjoy!

Ultimate

2013 Palmina Dolcetto

Italian immigrants were the first to bring vine cuttings to California, and “Cal-Ital” wines—Californian wines made from Italian grapes—have a history that predates statehood. Palmina carries on that tradition with this Dolcetto, a native Piemontese variety. Black raspberry and plum preserve with a lasting impression of raspberry and toasted almonds. Delicious with roast duck!

The Bubbles

NV Pierre Gerbais Cuvée de Réserve Extra Brut Champagne

A cuvée of 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Blanc from sustainably farmed 30-year-old vineyards in Champagne’s Côte des Bar region, aged 30 months on lees. Crunchy just-ripe raspberry, Granny Smith apple and brioche.

Cellar Master

2012 Copain Laureles Grade Chardonnay

Dynamic, mineral-driven Chardonnay from a high-elevation vineyard in Monterey County’s Carmel Valley, aged 12 months in neutral French oak. Electrifying apple, pear and tropical fruit pulsing with lively acidity, astounding focus and clarity.

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