In-Store Tastings Thursday-Saturday!
March Madness of the Fermentation Sciences: Fun Springtime Wines & Lots of New Beers!
Thursday, March 8:
Macon-Villages "La Crochette", Charlet 2010- $12.99/btl ($10.40 by case or mixed case): Once again, we dive into the Maconnais region of Burgundy and come out with an absolute gem of a value Chardonnay: the 2010 Villages from Charlet. If you've had the pleasure of tasting the 2009 Chateau de Fleurie from Barbet, be advised that this is the white wine-making side of the same family! Typical of the best 2010s, this wine shows excellent concentration, vibrant acidity and wonderful aromas and flavors of apple blossom, toasted nuts and popcorn. Basic, Villages-level Macon does not get any better than this!
Johnson Family Pinot Noir, Carneros 2010- $18.99/btl ($15.20 by case or mixed case): We'd be thrilled to put a picture of the winemaking Johnson family here, but in reality, we're pretty sure they don't exist. We'd tell you about the winemaker and his lovingly-tended vineyards, but we don't know who the winemaker is or exactly where in Carneros these vineyards are. What we DO know is that this is another excellent, no-funny-business (like too much oak and residual sugar left in the wine) Pinot whose elevage and marketing are overseen by top importer, David Bowler. And, when someone who spends a lot of time around great red Burgundy puts those chops to work on Carneros Pinot Noir, the results can be pretty special. The 2010 version of this bottling is loaded with spicy beetroot, rhubarb and cola flavors, features a deep, positive color...and, frankly, shames many $25-$30 California and Oregon Pinots. If you want to know what the staff at JWS will be drinking with salmon from the grill this year, here's the pick.
Friday, March 9:
Pierrevert, Domaine La Blaque 2010- $15.99/btl ($12.80 by case or mixed case):We continue to be impressed with the selections of American-in-Paris, Thomas Calder, and he's hit another home run with this exciting mix of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino and Roussanne from the newly-designated Alpine foothill AOC of Provence, Pierrevert. As can be expected from cool, high-altitude vineyards, this wine features explosive aromas, electric acidity and a propensity to pair well with both Alpine and Provencal foods. With a case or mixed case purchase knocking this one under $13, we'd recommend laying in enough to carry you through the summer. We can't wait to try it with a big pot of bouillabaisse or a fennel-scented vegetable ragout!
Blaufrankisch "Martini Family Vineyard", Red Tail Ridge, Finger Lakes 2009- $19.99/btl ($15.99 by case or mixed case): Nancy Irelan of Red Tail Ridge continues her string of successes with cool-climate noble red grapes with her 2009 Blaufrankisch (a mainstay grape in Italy's Alto Adige, Austria and Germany's warmer regions). If you don't have a lot of experience with bottlings from cooler climate grapes, this wine is a primer on just how much character, flavor and concentration can be packed into a wine that is genuinely light-to-medium bodied. There's a nutmeggy, spice box sort of overtone as well as a sappy, plummy quality that coexists in terrific suspension with a low level of alcohol and refreshing acidity. JWS regulars know that we're completely knocked out by all the great wines coming from this biodynamic, geothermally-powered winery, and this is one of their best offerings to date!
Saturday, March 10:
Cava Rosat, German Gilabert NV- $13.99/btl ($11.20 by case or mixed case): What can be more fun than Cava? Well...how about Cava Rosat? If fizzy, pink wine can't lift you a bit, we're stumped for other alternatives. Of course, at JWS we like our fun wines to be made by serious people, and German Gilabert- who operates in the prime Cava zone of the Penedes, near Barcelona- gives us bone-dry, leesy, sophisticated Rosat from his organically-farmed vineyards. We never fail to be impressed by the extra measure of quality and sophistication the Gilabert crew brings to wines from a region that has earned a bad rap for churning out oceans of tanky, sweet, uninspired fizz, and we can't think of a better drink to accompany your first afternoon in the yard or on the patio.
Dolcetto di Dogliani "San Luigi", Pecchenino 2010- $18.99/btl ($15.20 by case or mixed case): "Genius" is a term used far too frequently in the world of wine. And, the qualities that are mistaken for genius in winegrowers often amount to nothing more than a technical facility with one or more trendy vinification techniques...or, even worse, the simple chutzpah required to hire a flack to repeatedly bleat to media outlets that his client is a genius. Around these parts, we tend to think of genius in a more classic sense: that is to say, that it is revealed in the grower's ability to elevate the simple to the level of profound. With that as a standard, we can confidently say that Orlando Pecchenino is a genius. Blessed with the best-sited vineyards within the best area on the planet for Dolcetto- the Dogliani zone of Piemonte- he elevates this often simple, direct grape to the level of its more-pedigreed cousins, Nebbiolo and Barbera. However, unlike many ambitious growers in the Piedmont, he doesn't dare try to make Dolcetto into a pumped-up imitation of those other grapes; instead, he works to showcase Dolcetto's inherent blueberry/blackberry fruit and its bitter-almondy snap and vigor by severely restricting yields and vinifying in the most hands-off manner possible. The result is one of the richest, most sumptuous and most satisfying wines you'll ever find for under $20. Many of our saavy clients pinched a case or two back in January, when Orlando visited us to introduce the new vintage, and we're confident all our clients will want to experience this special, standard-setting classic!
March Beer Madness!
We continue to receive both the final releases of some popular Winter Warmer styles and the first releases of fresher, lighter brews in anticipation of Spring. And (sorry to sound like a broken record), these are all in very short supply; once they're gone...they're gone:
Ballast Point Calico Amber (6 pk)
Dogfish Head 120 (12 oz singles)
Dogfish Head Aprihop (4 pk)
Dogfish Head Red and White (750ml)
River Horse Double White (4 pk)
Rogue Imperial Stout (750ml Ceramic Bottles)
Rogue Kell’s Irish (22 oz)
Weyerbacher Heresy (4 pk)
Unibroue 17 Grande Reserve (750ml)
Brenna's Wine Queue
We've been surprised by how many of our clients have taken up the Brenna challenge and are now sampling some of the most esoteric, brain-busting wines we can throw at her. This week offers no rest for the weary...but plenty of reward for the ambitious:
VdP de Cessenon "Aromes Sauvages", Viranel 2010- $19.99
Espumoso de Moscatel, Reymos NV- $12.99
Madigan Chardonnay, Napa 2009- $19.99
Cote de Brouilly "Terres Dorees", J-P Brun 2010- $21.99
Gaillac "Croix Blanche", Domaine Sarrabelle 2008- $12.99
Sancerre Rouge "Chateau de Maimbray", Roblin 2005- $29.99
Vouvray Sec "Haut Lieu", Huet 2007- $33.99
Mark Your Calendars!
If you love Spanish wine- Rioja in particular- be sure to join us on Friday and Saturday, March 30 and 31, when Aaron Gordon of Vibrant Rioja will commandeer the tasting table with scores of excellent red, white and rose Riojas! In addition, you can register to win a case of Rioja or a Rioja wine dinner for two in New York. If you've attended one of Aaron's tastings with us in the past, you know that he'll be slinging some high-quality juice and plenty of insider information about Rioja. Ten minutes tasting with him will turn you into a Rioja follower for life!