Reggie’s Pick: 2014 Philippe Livera, Fixin, En Olivier, Red Burgundy, $42.00

En Olivier on the label is known as a “Lieu-Dit” (translation; Said Location). This is a vineyard without designation, but still of significant quality. En Olivier is immediately north of the only premier cru vineyards in the appellation of Fixin, and lies directly north of highly regarded Gevrey Chambertin.Winemaker Damien Livera is the fourth generation of this Burgundian winemaking family. He strives to balance fruit with earthiness in showcasing the exceptional terroir of En Olivier. This wine is garnet in color, with an herbal, dried cranberry nose. It is medium light bodied, the mouth is dominated by Morello cherry, plum, nutmeg and refined tannins for a smooth, lingering finish. I enjoyed this wine with our Thanksgiving turkey, but it will also pair well with grilled chicken, pork tenderloin and a nice accompaniment to baked salmon. Enjoy!

Stephen’s Pick: 2016 Château Gigognan Côtes du Rhône Les Vignes du Prieuré, $16.99

Southern Rhones are certainly not uncommon at our Wine Shop.  All of them are good, easy to drink, versatile, and proudly displaying their own, individual expression of garrigue; the word referring to the spicy characteristics shared by many Southern Rhône, red blends. In Chateau Gigognan’s “Les Vignes du Prieuré,” we find a medium-bodied 50/40/10 GSM made from judiciously selected, de-stemmed grapes. Each varietal was initially fermented in heat-regulated tanks along with a long, 15-day maceration.  Blending of the three varietals, malolactic fermentation, and ageing occurred in cement tanks, so for those of you who like to appreciate your red wines to their fullest, unadorned potential; you will greatly enjoy this oak-free, spicy, garnet-colored, flavorful creation – dripping with black cherry kirsch, subtle nutmeg, and extra spices on the finish. At $16.99, this versatile Rhône is a holiday-season compliment to hearty stews, soups, antipasto platters, and just about any combination of charcouterie.  My family enjoyed several bottles of Chateau Gigognan’s Côtes du Rhône during Thanksgiving and it was a hit!

Bruce’s Pick: 2016 Bulliat Beaujolais Village, $14.99.

Every year about this time (late Nov.) the Beaujolais that gets all the press is the Nouveau....the fresh new harvest that is always released the 3rd Thursday of November. And every year this event reminds me of all the more serious "year-round" Beaujolais that are available and that we stock in the store. 

My wine pick is not one of the top Crus--the ten single villages allowed to don their own name on the label (of which we feature dozens), but a middle-range Beaujolais from a defined geographical area encompassing all those villages. This example exhibits the characteristics that I look for in a mid- level Beaujolais: soft approachable red fruit with a fresh finishing lift and subtle floral notes. It is not complicated, but it is oh soquaffable...what the French call "gueulant".  The Crus, such as the Morgon from this same producer, is more dark fruited, full bodied and more age-worthy.

So enjoy the Nouveaus for what they are--a celebration of the new harvest--but don't mistake them for the real deal, a serious wine worthy of your attention.

Karlee’s Pick: Pierre Gimmonet et Fils 1er Cru Blanc de Blancs Cuvee Fleuron Millesime 2008

Put this wine on your to-do list before the end of the year and celebrate the closing of 2018 with a delicious bottle of ten year old vintage champagne. This millesime 2008 was striking from the moment it was poured, as an exceptionally frothy bubble layer formed above the delicately sparkling, golden-hued wine. The nose had some notable citrus zing, the palate had wonderful lemon curd, pastry, and toasty notes with the lightest hint of something savory. It finished with big acid mellowed by a lingering tartness. Celebrate the season by popping some of this delicious bubbly!

Barry’s Pick: 2016 Gurrieri Frappato $25.00

Here is a lovely red wine for the holiday season. Made from 100% Organic Frappato grapes, this wine is sure to please anyone who can appreciate a wine of elegance and finesse.  The fruit is beautifully fragrant, with intense notes of bilberry, blackberry, raspberry, and aromatic floral tones. On the palate it remains fresh among the sweet and fine tannins, and the acidity lifts the fruity character up, giving depth and complexity to a wine whose weight is as light as a feather. Expressive with food, or on its own, this Frappato will drink wonderfully for the next several years. Cheers!

Kent’s Pick 2016 Les Hauts de Milly Bourgogne Blanc $15.99

Our wine buyer Barry has got to be getting a bit a palate fatigue after all of the importer and distributor tastings he's been to in the last year.  It's hard work tasting all those wines!  One of Barry's great finds this year are wines from Domaine Henri Defaix a burgundy producer that owns vineyards in both Chablis and Rully.  Their entry-level Les Hauts de Milly Bourgogne Blanc is a great value, that over produces for its price.  The fruit for the wine come from vineyards in the Cote D'Auxerre a little bit south of Chablis.  The wine was aged for 10 months in stainless steel tanks.  On the nose the shows crisp citrus of grapefruit and lime.  The palate shows fresh lime, lemon, and a nice streak of minerality all supported by a racy acidity.  Great by itself, or pair it with chicken or seafood.  So if you're looking for a baby Chablis in Bourgogne blanc's clothes, this is the wine for you.

Kathy’s Pick: 2015 Chateau de La Noblesse Bandol Rouge, $25

Bandol, an appellation of the Provencal coast, the predominant grape is Mourvedre (Montastell), which also happens to be one of my varieties. We just picked up this great little wine and I was impressed on how approachable it was, as the usual thought is that Bandol usually need time to age a bit. This wine spends 18 months in barrel, which is a requirement of Bandol rouge. Deep purple, this wine has a really intense, smoky, meaty, earthy and even chocolate-like aromas layered with ripe black fruit and licorice. It has a velvety texture with big yet soft tannins. It’s drinking very well now, but could be cellared for up to 10 years.

Bob’s Pick: Nugan Estate, Single Vineyard, “Scruffy’s Shiraz,” 2015, $13.99

First thing you need to know about this Shiraz is that it is NOT from The Barossa.  Not that The Barossa is a bad place for Shiraz, I love em.  But their tendency there is big big muscular fruit driven Shiraz.  If that’s what you’re used to drinking this one will surprise you.  And it will surprises you by its finesse and depth of character.  Yes there are Shiraz fruits (blackberry, blueberry, dark cherry), but they are warmly cloaked with Provence herbs and briar.  With an alcohol level just above 14% it isn’t over hot or sweet like a higher alcohol wine might be.  This Hunter Valley Shiraz drinks more like a Northern Rhone but at a great price. Enjoy.