Genny’s Pick: 2014 Bleasdale The Broad-Side Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec, $14.99

This month I chose a red blend simply for the label with its picture of a 1930s motorcycle rider practicing a “Broad-Side” turn. Australia’s Bleasdale was established in 1850 by Frank Potts, and the motorcycle enthusiast was Frank Potts the second’s youngest son, Lloyd Stanley (Sticky Potts).  The sixth generation of the family runs the winery today. Their Broad-Side blend is delightfully complex. Like most blended families, the Potts family knows what to do with a juicy mix! With flavors of plum, black currant, chocolate, boysenberry and spice, it’s a harmonious blend of the three varieties. Enjoy with a hearty winter stew or a summer BBQ, or your favorite Potts person!
 

Kathy’s Pick: 2014 Pine Ridge Chardonnay, Sale Price $27.00 (reg. $33.00)

Normally I’m not a huge fan of Napa Valley Chardonnays, most being a little heavy handed with the oak and malolactic fermentation. But this wine is completely different from what I was expecting. The oak nuances are not over-powering, and the result is a Chardonnay with tropical fruits and fresh pineapple and citrus notes, followed by lemon curd and a little vanilla on the clean, bright finish. Surprise yourself and take one home today.
 

Bruce’s Pick: 2014 Confuron-Gindre Vosne Romanee, $45.00

The village of Vosne Romanee has often been referred to as “the jewel in the crown of the Côte d’Or” (the Slopes of Gold that is Burgundy). Another historically anecdotal saying is simply that “there are no common wines in Vosne.” Yes, the Grand Crus at the very top of the hierarchy are the most expensive wines on the planet, but even the basic village level wines can be superb. This vintage of the Confuron-Gindre is a stunning example of the sheer class of wines from this village. The shimmering, limpid ruby color presages the silky mouthfeel on the palate that follows. From the bouquet of floral notes and spice-box alone, you know you are in the neighborhood of royalty. The wine is round and smooth (remember “silky”) with no hard edges, and is what wine aficionados would call a complete wine--nothing out of place. The finish is long and elegant, even if perhaps not the famous “peacock’s tail” of some of its neighbors, but those cost hundreds of dollars more. At $45.00 this is a relative bargain. Other Vosne village level wines in our store go for $55 to $80 and up.
 

Dave’s Pick: 2016 Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Rosé, $14.99

Domaine du Salvard has been a working domaine in France’s Loire since 1898, through five hardworking generations of the Delaille family. Today, all 100 plus acres of vineyards are farmed by the capable brother team of Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille, with help from their father Gilbert. This blend of 65 percent Pinot Noir and 35 percent Gamay is a 50/50 mix of free run and pressed juice. The 2015 was one of my favorite rosés, and this 2016 is every bit its equal. It was vinified and aged on the lees in stainless steel, then bottled unfiltered. The Pinot provides some depth, while the Gamay gives it the refreshing charm I want from my pink wines. It’s a fruit driven effort with good acidity providing balance, especially on the finish. This is the first of the 2016 rosés to arrive in house, so grab a bottle and get a head start on spring.
 

Divit’s Pick: 2014 Olivier Leflaive Rully, Les Cloux, 1er Cru, $30.00

Imagine my surprise when I realized we had four cases of Leflaive Rully that has never been on the shelf! One of the best buy regions for Chardonnay (Rully) plus a premier cru vineyard, an excellent producer and (drum roll) 2014, a decidedly fabulous vintage for white Burgundy. Plus, it is a killer price! This wine offers warm lemon cream and toast on the nose, with supple rich Chardonnay fruit and a bare hint of oak. The richness is all about the fruit: lemon and apple throughout with a long finish and good acidity without any sharpness. A fine wine on its own but this will really sing with roast chicken or a richer fish dish. So good I will fight you for a case.
 

Bob’s Pick: Blandy’s 10 year Malmsey Madeira, $28.00, 500 ml.

I like the idea of accidental wines. You know, wines where something gets screwed up and it ends up being awesome. Madeira is like that. Originally it was a fortified wine, in barrels in the holds of sailing trade ships, that was used as ballast. Well the heat and the heat and the heat of those long ocean voyages changed the wine, Maderized it, and darned if it didn’t turn out really good! And, considering the fact that the wine was essentially cooked, it will last almost forever, and it’ll be good forever!  

From the island off the coast of Portugal of the same name, (and the process of heating it) Madeira from the Blandy Family goes back to 1811. Their ten year Madeiras spend an average of ten years in cask (we have some vintage bottlings in our cellar that go back nearly fifty years!). Malmsey (aka Malvasia, the grape variety from which it’s made) is the sweetest style of Madeira. Mildly syrupy in texture, its sweetness is balanced by racy acidity. Rancio and brown sugar aromas lead the way followed by flavors of caramelized nuts, molasses and burnt orange peel.  

Stephen’s Pick: 2014 Fujishin Family Cellars Amatino Red Blend, $22.00

There are a lot of red blends in the world of wine, some more famous than others; however, sometimes a mélange comes along with enough uniqueness and distinction to rise above the pack. Fujishin Family’s Amatino just reached the top of my list as one of the most memorable red blends we offer. A combination of 60 percent Syrah, 35 percent Petite Sirah, and 5 percent Viognier, it was created to represent the depth and character of the Snake River Valley Syrahs, which tend toward cherry & spice. Petite Sirah was added to adjust the flavor towards the berry spectrum, and the addition of Viognier finished the wine by enhancing the floral aromas and toning down some of the pepper. The result is a deep, complex, adventure wine that tempts the drinker to delve deeper into the mysteries of its creation by accepting the invitation of its seductive aromas. Let your guard down, and you’ll plunge into a rich, dark, sensuous experience with every mouthful. Adventure abounds with Amatino, because its name comes from a combination of Martin & Teresa’s (Fujishin) World of Warcraft characters. Magic, wizards, battles, adventure, darkness, sensuality, hidden-pleasure, and the aroma of exotic flowers. Do you want to play?

Kent’s Pick: 2015 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Blanc, $18.99

Spring: it’s almost here! With that in mind, I have chosen a wine that is perfect for patios of all shapes and sizes! When I first started getting serious about wine in the early 2000s, one of the first regions I visited was California’s Paso Robles where the Tablas Creek Winery is located. Tablas Creek is partially owned by the Perrin Family, who also own one of the most famous properties in the Rhône, Chateau Beaucastel. In the mid1980s, they decided that the west side of Paso Robles, with its limestone soils and rugged terrain, was an ideal place to grow the Rhône varieties used for their Chateauneuf du Pape. With that in mind, they planted Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Rousanne, Grenache Blanc and Viognier. Today, Tablas Creek is producing some of the best Rhône styled wines in the world. When I have the opportunity, I like to get other people’s input into my wine picks, so I bought some cheese (white stilton with apricots) and crackers and called my friends Patrick and Cece over for some cheer. A blend of 56 percent Grenache Blanc, 23 percent Viognier, 12 percent Rousanne, and 9 percent Marsanne, the result is a tremendously well-balanced effort that shows great fruit, but also has excellent acidity. On the nose, the wine shows citrus notes of lemon and orange zest, a touch of green apple, a bit of orange creamcicle, and a light floral note from the Viognier. On the palate, the wine again shows apple and lemons, but also yields white peach, a touch of apricot, orange tang, and a hint of green almond. The wine also has a very nice texture from the Rousanne and Viognier. I really enjoyed this bottle and look forward to popping many more on my patio later this spring and summer!