Spanning the globe to find the best in obscure wines! Come taste the weird and wonderful...and pick up some Artisanal Cheese.
Thursday, June 7:
Sangiovese Toscana "Fuoristrada", Monte Bernardi 2010- $12.99/1-LITER Tetrapak ($10.40 by case or mixed case): We at JWS are lovers of wine in box, keg or Tetrapak. The problem is, there's not a lot of great wine available in those formats (although the selection is constantly improving). We tasted this fresh, direct Sangiovese last week, and it offers both an honest taste of the grape- as well as superb value- as it comes in a handy, easy-to-store one-liter Tetrapak. We can't think of a better wine for big picnics, barbecues and large gatherings.
Torrontes, Urban Uco, Cafayate-Salta 2011- $8.99/btl ($7.20 by case or mixed case): For the 2011 vintage, the Fournier family sourced some fantastic Torrontes from ultra high-altitude vineyards in the Salta region of Cafayate province. To our taste, it's more precise, more exotic and more refined than the 2010 (which was no slouch!). This gem moves to the top of our list as one of the store's best values! If you have yet to discover the fun of Torrontes, this is the one to try first.
Friday, June 8:
Montsant "Planella", Joan d'Anguera 2009- $19.99/btl ($15.99 by case or mixed case): The mountainous Catalan appellation of Montsant is the source of some of Spain's most ageworthy and full-bodied red wines. Unfortunately, in many instances, these wines are so big and intense that they require decades of cellaring to come around...and truth be told, many examples we taste are simply so tough and tannic that we suspect they will never come around. So, whenever we taste a Montsant that combines an honest taste of the region's terroir with an easy drinkabiilty- like the "Planella" 2009- we jump all over it. You should, too, as this mix of Carignane, Grenache and Syrah is tailor-made for a butterflied leg of lamb off the grill.
Chenin Blanc "Secateurs", Badenhorst, Swartland, South Africa 2011- $13.99/btl ($11.20 by case or mixed case):We're just about convinced that Chenin Blanc is South Africa's most successful grape variety. And, we were completely taken by this aromatic, dry and intense Swartland bottling from Badenhorst. It's rich, leesy, buttery (from the natural viscosity of the juice, not oak), bursting with melon and acacia aromas and underpinned by excellent minerality and acidity. If you're searching for an alternative to heavy, ponderous and oaky whites- without having to give up complexity and concentration- this is one for laying in by the case.
Saturday, June 9:
Veneto Rosso "130%", Serafini & Vidotto 2001- $23.99/btl ($19.20 by case or mixed case): This may be one of the best reds we've tasted this year. Who would ever guess that the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains in Italy's Veneto could be the source of a Bordeaux blend that can rival a top classified St. Emilion or Pomerol (if you're looking for a comparison, Chateau Gombaude-Guillot would do)? Well, we certainly didn't, having spent many an afternoon tasting through more God-awful examples from the Veneto, Friuli and Alto Adige than we'd care to remember. However, one taste of this gem made us believers: there's structure from the Cab Sauvignon, pure exotica from the Merlot and that savory, tea-leaf, tobacco thing that only Cab Franc can impart. Even better, this wine has bottle age and is completely "a point", at the apogee of drinkability. That you can mix it into a case purchase for less than twenty bucks simply borders on the absurd. This one is sure to go fast!
Xarel-lo "Old Vines", Marques de Gelida 2011- $11.99/btl ($9.60 by case or mixed case): Marques de Gelida is a high-profile grower best known as one of the top Cava outfits in the Penedes. What's less well-known is that they vinify a small amount of still, dry Xarel-lo (the primary Cava grape) from a parcel of gnarled old 70-80 year old vines! 75% is done in stainless steel, 25% is barrel fermented...and the result is not unlike a really good Macon. It's fresh, crisp, redolent of apple blossom and shows just a touch of hazelnut richness from the barrel fermented portion. This would be a great wine to help you break the Chardonnay routine, and it's a good value, to boot.
New Beer Friday!
We've got a few fun new arrivals this week. As always, they are in limited quantity and high demand.
Fruet "Fourth Anniversary", The Bruery- 750 ml
Trade Wind Triple, The Bruery- 750 ml
New Holland White Hatter- 22 oz
Weyerbacher Blasphemy (Barrel-Aged Quad)- 750 ml
Robert Sinskey Abraxas "Scintilla Vineyard", Sonoma 2011- $39.99
Chateau Musar "Hochar", Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2007- $23.99
Brenna Wine Queue
This week, in addition to Brenna's vinous "to do" list, we're adding cheese! That's right...cheese! By the weekend, we should be up and running with a selection of mild, medium, bold and strong cheeses from none other than Terrance Brennan's fantastic Artisanal Cheese Group. These are all properly-aged, hand-cut, authentic cheeses that are vacuum-sealed and delivered to us at their peak. In addition, we'll have crackers, condiments and plenty of info on matching cheese with wines and beers. And, here are a few new wines that are tailor-made for cheese pairing:
Barboursville Cabernet Franc Reserve, Virginia 2009- $23.99
Barboursville Viognier Reserve, Virginia 2010- $22.99
St. Innocent "Villages" Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2010- $27.99
Graf von Schonborn Pinot Gris, Franken- $23.99
Ribolla Gialla "Rebula", Movia (Slovenia) 2008- $29.99
Sancerre, Lucien Crochet 2010- $24.99