2016 Rosé is here!

While we still have a few wines that have not landed, the lion’s share of 2016 Rosés are already in stock and ready to enjoy when the sun comes out. I have not tried every rosé in the shop yet but here are some I have tried and can recommend. So do as I do and fill up your shelves because nothing goes down like cold rosé on a summer day.

 

Domaine du Dragon $15.99 Made from Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and a little bit of Rolle (Vermentino) this has become one of our best sellers over the last five years. This year it is pale pink in the glass with red fruits on the nose and a long clean finish. DRINK THE DRAGON!!!!

Sainte-Eugenie $11.99 A bit fruitier than most but with a clean finish, this Corbierres rosé is almost all Cinsault, with Grenache and Syrah to add color and style. A party wine if I ever saw one.

Gonnet Le Reveur Côtes du Rhône $12.99  We call this the little bird because of the label, but this 50/50 blend of Grenache and Cinsault is no baby. Fruit, mineral and bright red cherry acid in the finish make this a blast to drink. The first bottle I opened I enjoyed so much I had to open another and another . . . you get the picture.

Terra Corsa $12.99 From the island of Corsica comes this beauty at a great price. The flavor profile is lovely but just a bit different as it is made with 85 percent Niellucciu, a grape that is indigenous to Corsica and appears to have similarities to Sangiovese from Tuscany. Worth a try just for a change of pace.

Chateau Trians $14.99 A blend of 60 percent Grenache, 30 percent Cinsault and 10 percent Syrah, it’s a wine from Provence at a very good price.  This was a unanimous staff pick when it was offered to us. Excellent.

Hecht & Bannier Cotes de Provence $17.99 A blend of 45 percent Cinsault, 30 percent Grenache and 25 percent Syrah makes this pale, mineral driven wine a good choice with food. A bit more serious than some and done that way intentionally. The winery harvests very early in the morning to preserve the freshness of the fruit, and very little skin contact keeps the color pale and the body more on the mineral side.

Clos du Caillou $18.99 This was one of the more serious rosés we sold in 2015 and the 2016 is similar, but a bit more forward, so it is drinking better early on. Made from 85 percent Counoise and 15 percent Mourvèdre, it is a unique rosé, with pretty peach and rose aromas, but the intensity in the mid palate makes this a wine that screams for grilled salmon.

Domaine de Figueirasse Gris de Gris $11.99 Probably my pick for the best bang for the buck, I went through cases of this last year and I will probably do it again, as the quality for the price is tough to beat. Made from Grenache, Grenache Gris and Cinsault, this is super pale and super delicious.

Chateau les Crostes $18.99 This is the palest rosé of the year, it looks like white wine in the glass. This has an intensity that keeps growing with every sip. A serious food wine and a killer rosé like no other. Made from 60 percent Cinsault and 40 percent Grenache, this has no skin contact that I can see. FYI, they have a great website and you can go and rent a room there!

Domaine Fondreche $15.99 This rosé usually sells out before summer even gets going, but we got our order in extra early this year and were able to get double our usual allocation, so come on in and buy it by the case. 50 percent Cinsault, and the rest split between Grenache and Syrah. A bit more color this year to give more expression to the fruit.

Mas de Gourgonnier $18.99 Certified organic growers since 1975, they make a rosé that changes a little every year but Grenache, Cabernet, Cinsault and Mourvèdre are the main players. A big boy rosé.

Neveu Sancerre Rosé $20 /Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rosé $21 Both Pinot Noir, both delicious, both great food wines—take your pick! From a great appellation in the Loire Valley.

 

Remember: The Sun will Come out Tomorrow!!!

Winter Wine Sale: 15% Off Select Wines!

Here's your chance to save big on a wide selection of different wines. Everything from Burgundy to Bordeaux, from Grigio to Grüner, from Austria to Australia. You get the idea.

February 1st through the 15th, save 15% on select wines. Hundreds to choose from! And if you buy 6 bottles, you'll receive an additional 10% discount! Also, be sure to stop by either location, February 11th, for our Wine and Chocolate Fest.

Shop at any of our stores, but the largest selection will be at our Wine Shop, in the North End.

Sale cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers.

The Ever Popular Domaine de Pouy

Our best selling white wine for more than 15 years running is the wonderful Domaine de Pouy.

This clean, fresh white wine from Gascony made from Colombard and Ugni Blanc is the perfect "refrigerator white." This wine sells so well that we were sold out for almost a month but it is now back in stock and we are offering a special case price on this beauty. Regular bottle price is $9.99 and that is a good value in its own right but our case price is $89.95 which brings it down to $7.50 a bottle! At this price is one case even enough? While supply lasts.

Domaine des Corbillieres is Back!

One of our favorite producers from the Loir region of France is back in stock. Domaine des Corbillieres makes a terrific Sauvignon Blanc and a dry Rose from Pinot Noir and Pineau d'Aunis. both wines are good food wines but can be enjoyed on their own as well. These wines are similar to Sancerre but about half the price at only 14.99 retail!!

Dominique and Véronique Barbou have brought renown to their hometown of Oisly for their deep, mineral-driven cuvees from AOC Touraine. Domaine des Corbillières was founded in 1905 and later purchased by Fabel Barbou, Dominique’s great grandfather, in 1923. Legend has it that Fabel was the first to recognize the benefits of growing Sauvignon Blanc in the Touraine when he allowed a vine to grow against his home and discovered how well it took to the region’s terroir. He and his grandson, Maurice (Dominique’s father), slowly increased the size of the domaine. The Barbous started bottling their own cuvees in the 1950s, and the domaine has come to be regarded as a point of reference in the Central Loire for their elegant Sauvignon.

2015 Huet Vouvray

Considered one of the absolute best producers of Chenin Blanc in the Loire, Domaine Huet has been the benchmark for years. The 2015 vintage is touted to be as good as it gets and this producer is in the "Best of the Best" category From dry (sec) to moderately sweet (demi-sec) to sweet late harvest (moelleux) These wines sing with precision and richness. We have just received a very small allocation of the following wines:

2015 Huet Vouvray
 
Vouvray Sec 'Le Haut-Lieu' $34 (93 points WS)
Vouvray Demi Sec 'Le Haut Lieu' $39 (94 points WS)
Vouvray Demi Sec 'Clos du Bourg' $42 (94 points WS)
Vouvray Moelleux 'Haut-Lieu' $44 (95 points WS)
Vouvray Moelleux 'Le Mont' $48 (94 points WS)

The Best Olive Oil in the World is Back!

After the shortage last year, we are back in business with Mas de Gourgonnier Olive Oil. This is the richest, creamiest and best tasting olive oil we have ever found. Made from organically-grown olives, with some trees as much as 150 years old. The Cartier family blends four different types of olives from their farm in Baux de Provence to create this amazing cold pressed extra virgin oil. WARNING! once you try this you can never go back. It is that good. $44 for a 750 ml can.

Happy Idaho Wine Month!

First a bit of history: You may have read that the first grapes planted in the Northwest were in Idaho, where, in 1864 Royal Muscadine vines came to Lewiston. Unfortunately that date has us actually playing second fiddle to Washington. Grape vines first came there in 1825 when the Hudson Bay Company planted them at their Ft. Vancouver. It’s unknown whether they ever produced wine, but we do know that hybrid varieties reached Puget Sound in 1854 and that Italian immigrants in Walla Walla were growing wine grapes, including Cinsault, by 1860. So our claim to being first is close, but no cigar.

What is true is that by 1872 the Clearwater Valley was on the cusp of becoming one of the Northwest’s best-known wine regions. A Frenchman, Louis Desol started things off, but it was a German, Jacob Schefer, who achieved the most notable success. His wines received gold medals from competitions in Omaha, Buffalo, St. Louis and Portland. Today the majority of Idaho Vineyards are further south in the Snake River AVA, most notably, Sunny Slope and the Arena Valley, but things are starting to heat up in the panhandle. Thanks in large part to Clearwater Canyon Cellars’ efforts, the Lewis-Clark Valley achieved AVA status this spring.

Like many wine regions of the late 18th and early 19th century, things came to a screeching halt with prohibition. Though it was repealed in 1933 after just over a decade, the damage was done, and it was slow in turning around. It wasn’t until 1970 that wine grapes were again planted commercially. Ste. Chapelle kicked things off; Pintler and Facelli followed close behind.  But after an encouraging start, things slowed down significantly. By 2002, there were only 11 Idaho wineries (contrast that with the explosion of new wineries in Washington). Still, the last decade has shown promise and the number of wineries has more than quadrupled. AVA status certainly has helped, attracting young talent from other states.

Still, production is very limited. With only 1200 acres of vines planted (contrast that with Washington’s 50,000) most wineries remain small, with distribution confined mainly to Idaho. Despite the quality, it makes national recognition difficult to come by, but there are glimmers of hope. The recently created Eagle Foothills AVA currently

includes only 70 acres of vineyards but there are plans to plant 450 more. And we’re starting to become at least a blip on the wine radar screen. The influential Wine Spectator has rated several of Greg Koenig’s wines 90 points or more. You may not have to wear shades, but the future does look much brighter for the 21st century.

To celebrate Idaho Wine Month, we’re offering a special sale

Save 15% off on every bottle of Idaho wine thru the month of June!

 

Chateauneuf du Pape

(Where the Pope drank his wine)

2012 Mont Olivet CDP Cuvee du Papet $72

Much more concentrated than the traditional cuvée, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape La Cuvee du Papet is a blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre.  Its deep purple color is followed by fabulous notes of black raspberry, currants, crushed rock and peppery herbs. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, structured and classically put together Châteauneuf that has fresh acidity and no shortage of tannin. Give this beauty 3-5 years in the cellar, and enjoy bottles through 2032. 94 points WA

2012 Pegau Cuvee de Reserve  CDP $89

One of my favorite wines, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvee Réservée is a classic. Beautiful on the nose, with notions of ground pepper, wild herbs, minerality and smoked plum and dark fruit, it’s medium to full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has plenty of tannin that comes through on the finish. Similar in style to a lighter-weight 2010, drink this beauty anytime over the coming 12-15 years. 94 points WA

2012 Guillaume Gonnet CDP Poete $52

The grandson of Etienne Gonnet from domaine Font de Michelle makes the beautiful CDP from the old parcel of the Etienne vineyard. The vines average 110 years in age. Made from 60% Grenache and40% Mourvedre and syrah. Very elegant with a a balance of power and finesse.

2012 Mont Olivet CDP $40

The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape is a mid-weight, medium-bodied effort that has complex olive, tobacco leaf, cured meats and sweet currant fruit. A blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre and the rest a mix of permitted varieties……..it is borderline outstanding and I suspect it will have over a decade of longevity. 89 points WA

2012 Milliere CDP V. V. $45

The 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is beautiful, with textbook, slightly old-school notes of saddle leather, garrigue, incense and sweet kirsch and blackberry fruit. Made from a blend of 60% Grenache and 10% each of Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Counoise, it has a solid, medium-bodied, classically styled palate feel with lots to like. 90 points WA

2012 Mordoree CDP Reine Bois $89

One of the blockbusters in the vintage, the inky-colored 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape La Reine des Bois – 80% Grenache, completely destemmed and aged 12 months in 80% stainless steel and 20% old barrels – offers fantastic richness and depth in its blackberry liqueur, graphite, wood smoke and crushed-rock-like aromas and flavors. An elegant, stylish and polished example of this cuvée, it comes closest in my mind to a lighter-weight 2010. Medium to full-bodied, concentrated and with fine tannin, it will drink well for 10-15 years. 95 points WA

2012 Chateau Sixtine CDP $54

Made from 40% Grenache, 35% Mourvedre and 25% Syrah, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape is a pretty, elegant example of this cuvée. Always a selection of the best parcels and aged in a combination of concrete and barrels (20% being new), it offers plenty of black cherry, blackberry, licorice and garrigue-like qualities to go with a medium to full-bodied, focused and nicely concentrated feel on the palate. 92 points WA

2012 St. Cosme CDP $56

The 2012 Chateauneuf du Pape showed nicely from barrel last year, and didn't disappoint this go around. Offering a classic feel in its Provencal herbs, black raspberry, licorice and peppery bouquet, it's medium to full-bodied, shows the vintage's voluptuous texture and has outstanding length. Ithas plenty of appeal, andwill evolve gracefully for another decade. 91 points WA

2013 Bosquet des Papes CDP $46

Boiron’s 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is a classically styled blend of 70% Grenache, 17% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and the rest other permitted varieties. Raised mostly in foudres, it offers ample Provençal garrigue, pepper, tobacco leaf and assorted darker fruits to go with a medium-bodied, nicely concentrated and balanced feel on the palate. It has plenty of tannin, so give it a year or two in the cellar. 90 points WA

2013 Moulin Tacussel CDP $45

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is a solid wine from this estate that gives up lots of garrigue, white pepper, underbrush, and sweet cherry and currant-styled fruit. It’s medium to full-bodied, easy drinking and loaded with character. Made from 60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and other varieties, it spent 12 months in 40% barrels (50% being new) and 60% in concrete tank. It will have 10-12 years of longevity. 87 points WA

2013 Clos Du Papes CDP $125

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape comes from miniscule yields of 13 hectoliter per hectare (25-39 hectoliters per hectare is normal for the appellation), and hits 14.8% natural alcohol. It has a darker, slightly more concentrated, austere feel than the 2014, and has ample kirsch, blackberry, peppery and crushed rock-like aromas and flavors. [It is] outstanding and has considerable charm and elegance. It will also have 10-15 years oflongevity. 92 points WA

2013 Fortia Tradition CDP $36

A solid traditional cuvée, the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape (70% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 12% Mourvèdre) offers lots of peppery herbs, ripe black cherries, hints of currants and garrigue to go with a medium-bodied, nicely textured and balanced style on the palate. (87-89) points WA

2013 Pierre Usseglio CDP $48

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is outstanding and about as charming and drinkable as they get in the vintage. From miniscule yields of 22 hectoliters/hectare and deep ruby and mostly opaque in color, it gives up beautiful notes of black raspberries, toasted spice and Provençal garrigue. Medium-bodied, nicely concentrated and with sweet tannin (which are almost non-existent in the vintage), it’s a perfect Châteauneuf du Pape to enjoy anytime over the coming 5-7 years. 90 points WA

2013 Beaucastel CDP $84

The 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape is a beauty and has a rare level of concentration and depth in the vintage. Blueberry, crushed flowers, pepper, and violet aromas and flavors flow nicely to a medium to full-bodied, structured and tannic Beaucastel that has impressive purity and plenty of length. It’s not massive, but still needs 4-5 years of cellaring and will keep for a decade after that. 93 points WA

Drink the Dragon!

One of the most popular Dry Rose's of the past several years is the magnificent Domaine du Dragon Grand Cuvee from the town of Draguignan in the Cotes de Provence. This super pale blend of Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and a little bit of Rolle (Vermentino) has the delicate aromas of rose petals and red cherry with a lively and refreshing flavor that is easy to drink but also compelling for its length and crisp finish. The grapes are pressed and the skins tossed for minimal contact and maximum flavor and freshness. Just try to stop drinking this once the bottle is open! A bottle of pure refreshment, serve well chilled.

$15.99 bottle, or ask about our special case price: $159.95.