Reggie’s Pick: 2015 Tait Ball Buster Shiraz, Barossa Valley $20

Yummy! That’s my first impression here. This Tait Shiraz lives up to my expectations of Aussie Shiraz; big, bold, extracted with a healthy dose of alcohol to boot! This wine has tons of black fruit (blackberry, plum) with mocha and spice along for the ride. Strong oak influence mingles with mature tannins to give this wine a big finish. I like this wine paired with smoked tri tip, but it would also be a great companion to any grilled meats and vegetables. Enjoy!

Barry’s Pick: 2014 La Segreta Pottarello $29

This is one of the best values in Italian wines in our shop right now. It hails from Umbria, located smack dab in the middle of Italy. The wine is comprised of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and 10% Malvasia Nera, all grown organically. The vines are pruned by hand and the grapes are picked by hand. After the grapes are pressed, the juice goes through a spontaneous ferment on natural yeasts in stainless steel. The resulting wine is perfectly balanced. On the nose I found aromas of fresh cherry, thyme, licorice, chocolate, and leather. It was very difficult to stop swirling and sniffing, but when I finally got some on my palate I was pleased to observe the taste of sour cherries and dried orange peel had joined the party. This wine is medium bodied with fine tannins and plenty of lift to add an undeniable prettiness that makes it irresistible. Drink on its own or with a wide variety of foods.

Kathy’s Pick: 2015 Charamba Reserve Red (Douro), $10.99

Just like most people, I am always in search of a good, every day drinker that won’t break the bank. I would love to drink $20 and up wines everyday but my wallet disagrees with me. So when I found this nice little Portuguese wine I was excited. Portugal has a lot of great values and this is definitely one of the better ones. Aromas of black fruit, red berries, coffee, black tobacco and some balsamic notes are followed by a palate that is rich, balanced and persistent with predominantly intense fruity notes and spice with a freshness on the finish.

Bob’s Pick: 2013 Memaloose Mistral Ranch Estate Red, $21

About 15 years ago Walla Walla was all wheat and onions. Nowadays you can’t open a red wine or talk about a Syrah without Walla Walla being part of the conversation. Nowadays too, there are way more wineries in Walla Walla then there will ever be vineyards to grow enough grapes for. Most Walla Walla wineries will have ‘Columbia Valley” on the label, not ‘Walla Walla.’ The new Walla Walla, the new wine region to “get in on the ground floor” of is ‘The Gorge.”

Like Walla Walla, The Gorge is on both sides of the Washington/Oregon border and like Walla Walla, there are now way more wineries there then there will ever be vineyards to grow fruit for, so most of the fruit is sourced from the Columbia Valley.

This one, however, Memaloose Mistral Red is the real deal. Not only is all the fruit for this wine grown on their estate, it is all grown organically, and naturally vinted. (Aside: Though there isn’t yet any official regulations that need to be adhered to in order call a wine ‘natural’ it is generally considered to be a vinting process without the interference of additives or a winemaker’s ego.)

As a cutting edge wine, just slightly ahead of the curve, Memaloose red blend (Syrah and Grenache) is lower in alcohol (13.5%) so the acidity is bright and high toned with fruit that is also high toned and, what I can only and gleefully call, pretty. Pretty fruit with no noticeable oak distraction. Cutting edge! Ground floor of plastics! Pairs with light fare AND heavier stuffs too.

Kent’s Pick: 2012 Dona Ermelinda Reserva $15.99

Portugal is a great place to find value wines. The 2012 Dona Ermelinda Reserva has 6 years of of age on it, and is in a great place right now. The wine is comprised of four different grape varieties, with majority (70%) of the wine being Castelao.

Castelao is a grape indigenous to Portugal and is the most widely grown grape in the country. It is often used to make powerful, intense reds that are suitable for cellaring. This wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels and spends an additional 8 months in bottle before release. The nose is powerful and shows ripe, dark fruits, with a touch of spice and tar. On the palate the wine is rich and continues to show dark fruit, plum, spice, and tar. This is a great winter wine and will pair well with hearty stews and grilled meats.

Barry’s Pick: 2016 Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rosé $28.00

Even though the Raventos i Blanc estate has only been in the same family since 1497 they are still making unique wines that are super focused on expressing the place they come from. In 1872, Josep Raventos Fatjo made the first bottle of fermented wine in Spain using native grapes from his estate. Since then every decision that has been made has been to create quality wines while respecting the land they come from and letting that terroir come through in the glass.

This particular wine is made from 48% Xarel-lo, 32% Parrellada, 15% Macabeu and 5% Monastrell to add complexity and make the wine the light pink color that it is. All of these grapes come from the estate’s 300 biodynamically farmed acres. In 2012, Raventos left the DO Cava and created their own appellation, Conca Del Riu Anoia.

The wine is very dry with a streak of minerality that is maybe more prevalent than any sparkling wine I’ve had. There are also really lovely notes of flowers and citrus fruit to balance out that mineral influence. As it sits in the glass it really evolves and all the hard work that goes in to making such a thoughtful wine comes through in a very complex and pleasing way. Check it out!

Stephen’s Pick: 2017 La Pepie Muscadet Sevre Et Maine Sur Lie, $15.99

New wine drinkers might still be having trouble distinguishing between Muscadet and Moscato; however, our loyal French wine lovers have realized that the two could not possibly be more different!

Moscato is a sweet, Italian dessert wine that has been made extra popular due to it being featured at several local Italian restaurants. Muscadet is a dry, white wine from the part of the Loire region in France nearest the west coast and is many things, but definitely not sweet!

Muscadet originated near Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region and it boasts the status of the most widely produced of all Loire Valley wines. Naturally, since Muscadet has a coastal origin, it is produced and consumed along with great varieties of seafood. Muscadet and seafood (especially shellfish) are a match made in heaven!

Domaine de la Pepière Muscadet is produced from 100% Melon de Bourgogne grapes that are fermented in stainless steel tanks with natural yeasts and aged on the lees in large underground vats until bottled without filtering or fining. Muscadet’s benchmark style is racy, crisp, mineral-driven, and possesses a subtle hint of oceanic salinity – an attribute that compliments shellfish and other seafood beautifully.

I poured La Pépie Muscadet along with 4 other red wines a few weeks ago on a Wednesday tasting and nearly all of the tasters that tried wines that day preferred this dry, elegant, refreshing white over the others. My family enjoys crab, lobster, and other seafood delights every Christmas Eve and this year, La Pépie Muscadet was the perfect, tasteful, and refined compliment to this meal. It can be found in the center of our Wine Shop near the refrigerated wines in our Loire Valley section. Happy 2019!

Kathy’s Pick: 2015 Wildberry Two Passions Chardonnay, $16.99

I am a huge fan of unoaked Chardonnay and typically I am drawn to Oregon or Burgundian wines, but we just brought in this delicious wine from Australia and you really should try it. The palate is medium to fuller bodied, showcasing engaging fruit purity with tangy apple and stone fruit, peach/nectarine flavors nuanced with a light spice note all carried on a stream of embedded acidity that brings this to a juicy, but dry finish. Here is what Vinous wrote about it:

90 pts Vinous

“Light bright yellow. Lively, mineral-accented Meyer lemon, pear and nectarine aromas slowly take on a floral nuance. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering lively citrus and pit fruit flavors that deepen on the back half. In a lively style, finishing with very good energy and mineral cut.” -- Josh Raynolds