Tasting Friday – Valentimes!

  – Pink Bubblies & Funky Fresh Gamay Nature – 4p-8p

Pascal PibaleauCote Mas Estate Cremant Brut Rose NV – 15.57 – Ranked #6 of our top 200. Down from 18.57 – Bright strawberry fruit, cool as well. One year lees contact. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir. Dropped the cost – (we pass the savings to you – both of the sparkling wines would have been over $20) – all estate fruit. Juicy, rhubarb, nice length on the finish. Strawberry dominates with nice tangy acids. Good juice, here to stay for a bit. Obviously incredibly popular, but a go-to for a reason.

Graham Beck Rose NV – 16.97 – Ranked #45 of our top 200. Raspberry and cherry on the nose – red fruit flavors carry through on the palate. One of the best bottles of bubbles for the money that we have. Light chalky mineral and herb. From Robertson (where the limestone is) & Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Amazing that a wine this delicate & fine is coming out of such a hot climate. Matured on the lees for 36 mo. Crazy good, amazing price (we just lowered it) and a go-to pick. This often springs to mind as one of our best bubblies under $20.

Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco di Sorbara Premium Vecchia Modena NV – 13.57 – Ranked #11 of our top 200. Manual picking of the best grapes. Fresh ripe strawberry & raspberry nose, rhubarb, citrus zest. Dry, with the great blend of tangy acid and lightly bitter mineral. Citrus & herb palate – balanced & refreshing. Lighter in color. Enough acid to work as an aperitif with cheese & charcuterie, or pair with fatty white meats, or poached eggs. Lengthy & fine mousse. Sorbara is the lighter style of Lambrusco, Grasparossa in the heartier style. (60 sub-varietals). Brunch dominator.

Pascal Pibaleau Gamay Nature NSA 2012 – 16.97 – Ranked #1 of our top 200. Demeter certified estate in Azay-le-Rideau.  Originated in 1886 when his great-grandfather purchased 3ha, the estate now totals 15ha under vine, including 1.7ha of Gamay vines that were planted to soils of clay with flint in 1964.  Certified biodynamic since 2011. Typically used for rosé wines in Anjou and Saumur, Gamay is often blended with Cab Franc, Grolleau and Pineau D’Aunis in Touraine, where Pascal employs carbonic maceration– the preferred method of fermentation for Gamay in Beaujolais.  Bottled at 11.6% alcohol. Fresh on the nose, with cherry blossom aromas and tart red fruit, there are mid-palate hints here of crushed granite and clay.  With cascading acidity that lifts the lean fruit to its finish, the Pascal Pibaleau Gamay is perfect when chilled for most any late summer/early fall pairing. We are big cheerleaders for this wine. We really love it.

Book Signing during the Wine Tasting –

Paul Fontaine“The fabulous Fontaine Sisters, Claudia and Paula, will be hosting a book signing of the art/bio book that they’ve written about their, artist father, Paul Fontaine.
Paul Fontaine was an  American and expatriate abstract expressionist painter 1913-1996. The Fontaine Gallery was founded in 1999 to share with the world the immense richness and depth that Paul Fontaine expressed through his painting that spanned three countries: United States, Germany and Mexico and almost the entire 20th century.
The unique approach to the story is by lessons learned from Father to daughter. Each short chapter is a lesson with lots of humor. It’s a must read, quick and easy.
The subsequent 3 chapters are written by 3 art historians about Mr. Fontaine’s place in history.
The book is beautifully designed, Lewis Carnegie, Austin and the photography by David Weaver, Austin, of the paintings are breathtaking.
We would suggest, without hesitation, that  this work of art be on your coffee table or as a gift to someone special.”    Katie Robinson Edwards,
             Curator
             Umlauf Gardens

Spanish Wines with New Vintage

Hutch HillFree Tasting Friday – 1-7-14, 4p-8p

Ramon Canals ‘Mont Paral’ Reserva Selecion Brut Cava NV – 13.97 – A Reserva Cava out of the Penedes region of Catalonia, Spain, made from 50% Parellada, 30% Macabeu (Viura), and 20% Xarel-lo. Has some nice preserved fruit, like candied orange peel / balanced with bright acidity, fresh fruit flavors of Granny Smith apple & white grape. Clean & pretty lean and snappy, a nice option. We first started carrying it in June of 2011, and it is very consistent from release to release. Bubbles are good.

Bodegas Francisco Casa “Tochuelo” Tempranillo-Garnacha 2010 – 8.97 – Founded 1942, 4th generation. Fruit forward, with clean, fresh cherry juice character, brighter raspberry notes. Acid from Tempranillo counters the roundness of the Grenache very nicely. From Madrid (Sorry Barcelona fans). Higher elevations, big diurnal temperature shift. Long and complex finish with raspberry, plum, anise / licorice, pepper for the (tiny amount of) money. This is a great party wine. Party.

Terra Alta Cataregia Gran Reserva 2006   – 13.57 – (Tempranillo / 30% Cabernet Sauvignon) (Catalonia, Spain). Made in better vintages, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007. Perfectly crazy to have a Gran Reserva on offer for under $15. Clean & warm nose with black & red cherry, cigar box, spice box, cocoa, scrub, vanilla. Pretty light and bright. Structured. A huge amount of wine for the money. Intense mineral. One of the best values in the shop. Gran Reserva – Exceptional vintages, Two years required in cask, Three years required in bottle. I love this wine. (Sam, lover of Cataregia).

MonteBro Priorat Crianza 2010 – 14.57 (Crianza – 2 years tank / barrel & bottle, most DOs require one of the years to be in oak). Vanilla, cocoa, ripe cherries – balanced & soft, mature oak on the finish. (Grenache / Carignan / Cabernet Sauvignon). Full bodied, nicely balanced, ripe tannins. Great with steak, great with lamb. The staggering price increases as people discovered the interesting non-indigenous blends and geology / micro-climate of Priorat made us very happy to find one we could put on the shelf under $15, especially for a Crianza. Check it out!