$195 case (originally $243)
(FR) NV Louis De Grenelle Cremant de Loire, Loire $20
Located in the Saumur appellation of the Loire valley in France, this lovely bottle of bubbly is sustainably farmed atop limestone and chalk soils. The resulting wine is crisp, with a tight mineral structure. This is a great value for the quality.
Variety: 85% Chenin Blanc, 10% Chardonnay, 5% Cab Franc
Tasting Notes: Fresh and lean on the palette, mineral driven bubbly, with subtle fruit
Pairing: Great on its own as an aperitif, shellfish, grilled asparagus
(SP) Acustic Celler Blanc, Montsant $21
Acustic Celler makes their wine with 35-85 year old vines on organic + rocky soils, and believes in minimal intervention during the fermentation process. They use indigenous grape varieties, manual labor, and sensitive cellar handling. Made with care through and through, Acustic wines have a uniquely approachable drinkability. Predominantly Grenache Blanc, this white is initially broad on the palate with caramelized fruit tones, but finishes with unexpectedly clean minerality.
Variety: 60% White Garnatxa, 25% Macabeu, 10% Pink Garnacha, 5% Pansal
Tasting Notes: Round mouthfeel, with crisp finish. Yellow apple fruit, and mineral.
Pairing: Mixed veggie + cheese quiche, or a sweet corn salsa.
(OR) Carlton Hill Pinot Noir Rose, Yamhill-Carlton $21
Carlton Hill Vineyard is unusual among its Oregon peers and neighbors because it enjoys a pure eastern exposure to the sun, not unlike the great Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy, but in contrast to most Oregon vineyards which face south. The resulting rose has a structural depth you can taste, while retaining its’ fun and freshnes.
Variety: 100% Pinot Noir
Tasting Notes: Floral aromas, bright lemon zest
Pairing: Perfect with roasted ham
(IT) 2016 Olianas Perdixi Bovale, Sardinia $28
Olianas Winery is located in Sardinia, and produces organic and biodynamic whites and reds. Grown in clay and sandy soils, this ‘Perdixi’ is a grape blend of mostly Bovale + a little Carignano. This wine is deep ruby red and well structured.
Variety: 75% Bovale, 25% Carignano
Tasting Notes: Rust, red berry with integrated tannins
Pairing: Great with penne arrabiata
(IT) 2017 Damiano Ciolli, Silene Cesanese, Olevano Romano $20
Damiano Ciolli comes from 4 generations of vintners, and is producing 100% steel fermented Cesanese just a few miles outside of Rome. Sprouting from volcanic soils, this wine offers up aromas of green forest floor herb + dried roses, with ripe plum + cherries on the palate. It's medium bodied and not the least bit heavy, a charming wine easily paired with a variety of savory foods.
Variety: 100% Cesanese
Tasting Notes: Forest floor herbs, nicely balanced acidity and minerality. Lean on the palette, yet exhibiting some ripe fruit tones.
Pairing: Caprese salad with fresh basil
(FR) 2016 Les Capucins, Languedoc $12
Located in one of the southernmost regions in France and grown on Limestone soils at moderate elevations, Les Capucins is perhaps the most focused of this month’s terroir driven wines. Another awesome value wine and a perfect expression of syrah: Full mouth, fine tannins, fresh aromas, great balance.
Variety: 75% Syrah, 25% Grenache
Tasting Notes: Full bodied, dark blackberry, cedar
Pairing: Braised lamb
(OR) 2016 Stafford Hill Tempranillo, Willamette Valley $16
Local wine maker, Bill Holloran's Stafford Hill Tempranillo offers a look at the potential for fuller-bodied red wines from Oregon; volcanic soils and a cooler climate (as opposed to the clay soils and arid climates of Spain) help to give this Oregon wine its unique character. This has a meaty texture, medium+ acid, and forward berry fruits on the palate, with a tight and herbaceous finish.
Variety: 100% Tempranillo
Tasting Notes: Olive, bacon fat and dried rosemary notes accenting light, red berry-like fruit. Tannins firm up the finish.
Pairing: BBQ’d meats and veggies, BBQ sauce
(FR) 2014 Angelique Leon, Chinon $17
This wine is made from all estate grown grapes and 40 year old vines. Sustainable farming, manual harvesting, and minimal intervention winemaking. Thoughtfully made, this wine reflects classic Chinon aromas of black currant and savory herbs.
Variety: 100% Cab Franc
Tasting Notes: Green bell pepper, dark blackberry, fine tannic backbone
Pairing: Root vegetable stew
(SP) 2017 Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat, Priorat $27
The vintner, Alvaro Palacios, has been pioneering the movement towards sustainable farming practices in Priorat. Palacios is undoubtedly one of the architects and primary reasons for Priorat's elevation to a premier fine wine region over the past 20 years. His winery practices biodynamic farming with fields of 70 year old vines. Camins del Priorat offers full-bodied flavors with rich, deeply concentrated sour cherry and floral flavors.
Variety: 85% Garnacha, 10% Carinena, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting Notes: Juicy black fruit and liquorice, dark spices, firm tannins
Pairing: Roast chicken with roast fennel and herbs
(FR) 2014 Domaine Sainte Croix "Le Fournas", Corbieres $15
Domaine Sainte Croix is owned and run by the English husband and wife team of Jon and Elizabeth Bowen, who have extensive experience working both in classic French stone caves and giant, steel wineries in many parts of the world. Their 32 acre winery is located in Corbieres, a region in southeast France, just inland from the mediterranean sea. 100% destemmed fruit, stainless steel fermented, organic, native yeasts, all from sandy limestone soils. This bright purple wine yields rich aromas of black + red currant, with plump plum and cassis on the palate. A great $15 wine!
Variety: 45% Carignan, 23% Syrah, 25% Grenache, 7% Mourvedre
Tasting Notes: Juicy fruit, nice tannins, fresh herbs
Pairing: A great burger wine!
(CA) 2015 Marietta Armé Cab Sauv, Napa Valley $24
Marietta’s husband, Armé, lived, worked, and fished throughout Alexander Valley, the Yorkville Highlands, and the McDowell Valley. From their vineyards in those same valleys, the vintners combine the best of what these sites offer to create a unique Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is robust, rich, and fruit forward, indicative of contemporary red wine making in the Napa valley region.
Variety: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot
Tasting Notes: Blueberry jam, spice, leather
Pairing: Grilled steak with rosemary
(Or) 2017 Owen Roe Syrah Ex Umbris, Willamette Valley $22
This wine was introduced as a one-time bottling in 2002 after a wild fire struck the vineyard’s surrounding hillsides. The residual ash and smoke resonated in the Syrah grapes, creating a very memorable wine. A number of vintages later, vintner Owen Roe continues to make this bold Syrah comprised from several exceptional vineyards in the Columbia, Yakima and Walla Walla Valleys. You’ll find vanilla notes are interlaced with juicy flavors of blackberry jam, Bing cherry compote and subtle hints of cocoa nib.
Variety: 100% Syrah
Tasting Notes: Vanilla, berry jam, full bodied, nicely integrated tannic structure
Pairing: Pork Loin or roasted Eggplant