Come taste great new Ordonez whites, Artisanal Cheese and rare Bucklin Zin.
Thursday, June 21:
Rueda Verdejo, Nisia 2011- $15.99/btl ($12.79 by case or mixed case): Importer Jorge Ordonez has become synonymous with high-quality Spanish wine, having nurtured the efforts of countless vintners all over the Iberian Peninsula to raise their games in both the vineyard and cellar. And, over the past couple of years, he and his sister, Victoria, have upped their investment by actually purchasing several Spanish estates and taking over every aspect of operations. The wine we taste today is the product of Ordonez' newest acquisition, a superb Rueda plantation of old-vines Verdejo that goes by the moniker of Nisia. We're rarely wowed by Verdejo, as many growers in northwestern Spain use this prolific grape as a low-end workhorse to satisfy the international demand for unobtrusive, inexpensive Spanish white wine. Of course, Ordonez' Nisia shares nothing in common with such uninspired brew, as this gem features electric acidity, a remarkable and precise aroma of grapefruit and white pepper (not unlike really good Sauvignon Blanc) and a long, crisp, acid finish that can only come from old-vines fruit. All you need to complete this wine is a bucket of steamers and some drawn butter.
Barbera d'Alba, Ettore Germano 2011- $16.99/btl ($13.60 by case or mixed case):Barbera is a wonderful and underappreciated grape, as its versatility and transparency allow it to be vinified in any number of styles, from fresh and sprightly to deep and ponderous. Today's Barbera issues from the sandy soils of the Serralunga d'Alba, courtesy of the rising Piemontese star, Sergio Germano. It's tank-fermented and bottled quickly, to preserve the raspberry freshness and woodsy, spicy quality of this grape in its unadulterated state. There's also a nervy balance between this purity of fruit and its racy, naturally-tart backbone that makes it a perfect summer-weight red...and makes it especially good with anything featuring tomatoes, from a fast ragu over pasta to homemade pizzas. With tomato season here before we know it, here's a wine to lay in by the case!
Friday, June 22:
Introducing the Selections of Artisanal Premium Cheese, with Jay Phillips: JWS regulars have been clamoring for us to stock cheese for months. And, for months, we searched high and low for cheeses that were of a sufficient quality to be eaten and enjoyed...and not used as hockey pucks. Finally- after tasting more waxen, inert and loathsome curd than we'd care to remember- we were approached by chef Terrance Brennan's Artisanal Premium Cheese Company. One tasting session with his superb cheeses was enough to make us believers, and when you stop by and taste, you'll be instantly impressed by the care his company takes in the selection, aging and preservation of what are really little savory masterpieces of the affineur's art. Even better, every cheese is clearly color-coded to identify it as either mild, medium, bold or strong, and the color-coding then allows you to instantly pair cheeses with your favorite JWS wine or beer selection. We'll have a few choice beverages open today to pair with a range of Artisanal's selections, while Jay Phillips will be here to discuss the fine details and turn you into an instant expert on all things fromage.
Saturday, June 23:
Rias Baixas Albarino, La Cana 2011- $14.99/btl ($11.99 by case or mixed case):Today, we taste another of Victoria and Jorge Ordonez' great achievements, the rich, sexy and complex new vintage of Albarino from La Cana. Their 2010 version was one of our most popular white wines, and the 2011 is a worthy successor. Although it's barrel-fermented and aged, only neutral, older oak is employed, so the wine gains in weight and texture, and not in that woody, boozy, whiskey-like quality that too often comes from the overuse of new barrels. If you've been searching for a distinctive, mineral-and-mandarin-scented Iberian white- but you enjoy the class and presence of a good white Burgundy- the La Cana successfully walks the tightrope between these two seemingly incompatible ideas.
Bucklin Zinfandel "Bambino- Old Hill Ranch", Sonoma Valley 2009- $24.99/btl ($19.99 by case or mixed case): We could go on about this wine, but Will Bucklin, who shepherded 645 cases of this organic nectar into the bottle, should do the honors:
"The grapes for "Bambino" are from a 10-acre block we planted on Old Hill in 1998. This young vine field-blend is patterned after the ancient vine field-blend for which Old Hill is known. The wine is a blend of at least a dozen grape varieties - principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache to name a few - all fermented together to create this Zinfandel blend.
Our Bambino is deep purple in color with intense blackberry aromas and lots of “Old Hill” spice, including nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. The flavors are intense too, with blackberries, cherries, and vanilla spice. The tannins are big but ripe and mouth watering on the finish.. A friend recently described it as follows: “ It’s like Wow! And then it is all fun in your mouth!”
New Beer Here!
In addition to this week's offerings- most of which should be here by Friday- we'll also have more Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA (single 12 oz. bottles) and 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon (6 pack cans). This should be a scorcher of a weekend, so be sure to stop by and load up on cool libations to get you through to Monday!
Brenna Wine Queue
This is Brenna's last week in the store until August, as she's headed to New Hampshire next week to help several hardened criminals foil the justice system. So, while she's busy helping create the next Willie Horton, she'll be spending her free time deep in contemplation of these selections:
Pinot Grigio del Isonzo, Luisa 2010- $16.99
Johnson Family Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2009- $17.99
Nalle Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2009- $32.99
Vouvray Brut Non-Dosage, Pinon NV- $23.99
Holdredge Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 2009- $34.99
Cold Heaven Viognier, Santa Ynez 2010- $23.99
Muscadet de Sevre et Maine "Pepiere", Ollivier 2011- $13.99