Fer Servadou strikes again, Eyrie Pinot Gris and other great holiday wines.
Thursday, July 5:
Marcillac Rose, Domaine Laurens 2011- $15.99/btl ($12.79 by case or mixed case): France's Sud-Ouest is indelibly associated with big, rustic, ferocious red wines. Cahors, Madiran and Marcillac provide us with winter-ready reds that will stand up to cassoulet and confit, but in several of the best appellations, there's also great rose wine. And, we've ferreted out one of the area's best- the Marcillac from Domaine Laurens- just in time for the hottest part of the summer. This Fer Servadou-based wine shares the same serious, dry profile as our other roses, but there's a fatness and broadness on the palate unique to this domaine. If you have friends and family you'd like to introduce to serious rose, this is the perfect transition away from White Zinfandel!
Chateau Tour St Bonnet, Medoc 2009- $18.99/btl ($15.20 by case or mixed case):We keep trying to turn our attention away from the spectacular 2009 vintage in Bordeaux, but every time we do, we are captivated by yet another inch-perfect, value-priced sample. Tour St Bonnet's sumptuous effort in this vintage is everything we've come to expect from '09: immediately engaging, perfectly structured, built for aging...yet possessing a layer of "baby fat" that makes it irresistable in the short term. Of course, anytime we come across a Left Bank wine of quality that can be offered well south of $20, we pull the trigger. You should, too!
Friday, July 6:
Eyrie Pinot Gris, Dundee Hills, OR 2010- $16.99/btl ($13.59 by case or mixed case): David Lett, the founder of Eyrie Vineyards, released the New World's first Pinot Gris in 1970...a whopping five cases, made from 160 vines planted with nothing more than a hope that potable wine could be made. Forty-two vintages later, David's son, Jason, is now fashioning what's generally considered to be one of the best examples of this grape anywhere on the planet. There's plenty of brisk acidity, a creamy texture, plenty of hazelnut-inflected flavors and incredible length and concentration. We've tasted plenty of lesser examples of this grape that run upwards of $30, so there's no hyperbole when we state that this is one of the best values in the entire store! Even more exciting is the fact that Eyrie has also been in the forefront of the natural wine movement, so this (as are all their offerings) comes to you from pristine vineyards and has been subjected to the barest minimum of "winemaking" interventions in its course to bottle.
Vdp du Gard "Cuvee Counoise", Domaine Monpertuis 2010 (NEW VINTAGE!)- $13.99/btl ($11.20 by case or mixed case): Paul Jeune, better known as the proprietor of iconic Chateauneuf-du-Pape property, Domaine de Monpertuis, jumped the Rhone River several years ago and purchased a small plot of Counoise, situated in the Pays du Gard, near Tavel and Lirac. On the eastern side of the Rhone, Counoise takes a supporting role as one of the 13 grapes of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but this wine is proof that in the proper setting, it can take a starring role. There is a sap, vigor and intensity here that belie the modest, Cotes-du-Rhonish price tag; this is definitely hors classe juice!
Saturday, July 7:
Riesling Kabinett, von Hovel 2009- $16.99/btl ($13.59 by case or mixed case):We're unabashed fans of Saar Valley Rieslings, and there may be no better time of the year to drink these refreshing, intensely floral wines than July. And, as fans of German wines turn their attention to the stellar 2010s and useful 2011s, the 2009 vintage- which is impressive in its own right, as the wines have incredible weight and extract- has taken a back seat. However, many impressive Kabinetts are still available in quantity, and von Hovel's might be the best of the lot. It is harvested from the Hutte vineyard, near Oberremel, and possesses both serious "cut" and an easy quaffability. You'll be amazed at how well it pairs with a Hebrew National this summer...or an elegant schnitzel this fall.
Rioja Crianza, Ramirez de la Piscina 2008 (NEW VINTAGE!)- $14.99/btl ($11.99 by case or mixed case): You may possibly remember the 2007 version of this wine, which we stocked for about three days, before cracking a bottle for tasting and then proceeding to sell our entire allocation. Well, we now have a slightly larger allocation of the polished, elegant 2008, and it does not suffer in comparison to the previous vintage! We have long preferred the wines of Ramirez de la Piscina, as they are never clumsy, overoaked or in any way suggestive of the "trying-too-hard" school of modern Rioja. Put this next to a T-Bone off the grill and a little rapini, and your tummy will be very happy. In case your're feeling a little spendy this weekend, we also feature the superlative 1999 and 2001 Gran Reservas, both at $31.99 the bottle.
Hot Weather Beers
In our constant quest to showcase one-of-a-kind artisanal beers, we sometimes give short shrift to the classics: the great lagers, Helles, weizens, Dortmunders and Kolsch of Germany. However, fiercely hot weather is the beer world's great equalizer, as no other brew is more appropriate or refreshing when the mercury is headed toward triple digits. Stop by this week, and pick up a couple of these all-time greats for your next BBQ or trip to the Shore:
Weihenstephaner Original Premium Lager or Hefe-Weizen
Hofbrau Original Lager or Hefe-Weizen
Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold Lager or Weisse
Absent Lawyer's Queue
She's only been gone for a week, and already we've gotten reports of warnings from the bench, possible contempt citations and general mayhem in the courtroom. Sounds like she will be a great fit once she's admitted to the bar in New Jersey. Were she here, doing what she's supposed to be doing, here's what she'd be tasting:
Sangue di Giuda "Vigna Acqua Calda", Quaquarini 2010- $19.99
Rosso di Montepulciano, Villa St Anna 2009- $21.99
Roger Coulon Brut Rose NV- $62.99
Vouvray Brut Non-Dose, Pinon NV- $24.99
Meursault "Les Corbins", Bitouzet-Prieur 2008- $47.99
Patriota, Mendoza Valley, Tikal 2010- $21.99