MONTHLY FEATURES

You’ve found it! The inner sanctum. The place where we reveal our current infatuations and abiding passions: the wines we have a crush on, the vineyards we daydream about, the specials we’re offering in our very own store. Check back at your leisure. Updates posted as fancy moves us.

 

February 2019 Six Pack Special

Wow. January went fast until the negative temps hit.  Here at the shop, we’re glad to have balmy 30 degree weather for awhile.  And, looking ahead to Valentine’s Day and beyond, we think we have picked out a lovely February six pack.  Include an arrangement from Bhakti Flowers (yes, we have flowers again!) and heck, it’s practically spring!  This Six Pack Special can be yours (with an Everyday Wines Bag) for only $72.38 (tax included).

2 Whites

Senda Verde Godello 2015 (Spain, Bierzo) $7.99

This grape has a bit of a comeback story: Its tight cluster formation makes it particularly susceptible to powdery mildew, so growers were replacing it for the more sturdy Palomino grape.  Enter a handful of Spanish winemakers in the 1970s who began replanting it with the kind of enthusiasm that only a conservationist can harness. The number of acres in cultivation steadily increase each vintage, and Godello now ranks in the top-3 producing white grape varietals in Spain!

This Bierzo producer, Senda Verde (or “Green Path” in Spanish), chose their name to reflect the uniquely lush and verdant environment up here in the Northwest corner of Iberia, fed humidity and temperate weather from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The soil in their vineyards is a mixture of slate and granite, supporting vines averaging 40+ years old.

The grapes are hand-harvested and cold fermented, then aged on the lees for 4 months, imparting the rich texture and slight nuttiness you’ll taste. Characteristic minerality gives this wine weight, while the palate cascades with honeysuckle, white peaches, and pear. At 12.5% this white can definitely stand up to denser fish varieties like mackerel or swordfish, and makes a great pair to any game fowl or soy-seasoned baked tofu dishes.  And, because it’s only $8 (closeout special from distributor), this is a great wine to cook with as well.   

Cantina Cardeto Orvieto 2016 (Italy, Umbria) $11.99

If you’ve been to Orvieto, then you may choose this wine purely based on memories.  Many of our regulars are familiar enough with it in fact that we haven’t even needed a card up on the shelf to sell case after case of it! Traditionally it was called “the Pope’s wine,” having been the payment of choice for many laborers and artisans who contributed to the cathedrals in and around the small hill-town of Orvieto in Umbria (central Italy).

This particular Orvieto is produced by one of the oldest cooperatives in the area, started in 1949 by 13 farmers, now grown to include 150 growers with their own bottling plant. It’s a blend of 45% Trebbiano, 40% Grechetto, and 15% Chardonnay, vinified as a dry, savory white wine. There’s a lovely bouquet of orchard fruit notes, a palate-stimulating minerality, and enough weight to pair with rustic, full-flavored meals.  

4 Reds

Chateau La Bourree Clairet 2017 (France, Bordeaux) $13.99

Bordeaux Clairet is the AOC for this wine. Its connection with the British term “Claret” has a long history. During the Middle Ages, this style of wine, heavier than a rosé but lighter than a red, was exported to England in such large quantities that the term “clairet” came to just mean “Bordeaux.”

By leaving the juice on the skins for up to 72 hours after pressing, Clairet wines take on this vibrant red color, and just enough tannin to give it edges. We get dark red fruit, pink peppercorns, and juicy acidity on the palate, with aromas that can bring you back to summer, even in the dead of winter.

Doolhof Cape Boar Red Blend 2017 (South Africa, Wellington) $13.99

The Doolhof estate is nestled between Blainskloof and Groenberg, in a valley covered by fynbos, with winemaker Gielie Beukes at the helm. Quick, have a glass and then practice saying all these names. Perhaps in front of a mirror. Face yoga? Seriously though, the estate earned the name Doolhof (the Afrikaans word for labyrinth) because of its striking topography. And Beukes, field-trained in Bordeaux and Napa, recognizes how well the noble varietals can do here, with the vines able to reach up to 4 meters into the soil at some sites.

We get all the woodsy summer fruits on this palate: blackberry, cherry, wild raspberry. The nose has faint notes of black truffle and cedar wood. The tannins have a well-balanced grip, like shaking a soft leather-gloved hand. We highly recommend this as a first foray into South African reds, or for fans of the region a great example of restraint in winemaking.

 Evolucio Blaufrankisch 2016 (Austria, Weinland) $10.99

Sometimes Eric Asimov (NYT) just says it so perfectly that we might as well not mess with it. On Blaufrankisch he writes: “They combine the delightful approachability of gamay with the savory warmth of syrah.” Yep. Originating in Slovenia, this late-ripening varietal has had a happy home in the Eastern European climate for centuries, and is now finding traction in New World latitudinal cousins like Washington state, Idaho, and Michigan.

Evolucio’s Blaufrankisch is grown on the eastern side of Austria, in Weinland. Harboring 92% of the country’s wine production, this is perhaps the most straight-forward, aptly named region we’ve encountered in a while. We get the characteristic red berry fruit, earth, and warm spices on the nose. Then a lively acidity, more farm-y soil, and a clean finish on the palate. Pair with lamb, grilled meats, and anything involving rosemary.  

Two Angels Petite Sirah 2015 (California, Lake County, Red Hills) $19.99

If you travelled in a straight northerly line up Napa Valley’s famous Hwy 29 (St Helena Hwy) you’d find yourself at Clear Lake. Along the southwest shore of this lake you’d find yourself in the Red Hills area that this wine comes from. This viticultural area has been growing juice for some of Napa’s priciest big reds since the early 1990s. Comprised of volcanic red-pumice soils, studded with massive pieces of obsidian, and situated in a high-elevation (hillside-ordinance-free) California-Mediterranean climate, this region is quickly gaining a reputation to compete with its southerly neighbor.

This 100% Petite Sirah (AKA as Durif in France and no relation to Syrah) is aged 9 months on French oak, imparting round tannins to a full palate of ripe brambly berry fruit, cassis, roasted coffee and leather. There’s a hint of woody charcoal (not that chemical soaked stuff) and smoky leather to make this a meaty but well-balanced red, perfect for cold nights by the fire.   

Give it up to an hour of decanting or lots of air for best results.