The Connoisseur's Cup Runneth Over: More Great North American Arrivals

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More excellent wines have arrived from the Connoisseur's domestic (and Canadian) collection, which is an impressive mix of classics as well as well-priced gems from trailblazers of the New Californian ilk. Many of the latter have a delicious bit of bottle age, allowing us the rare chance to check back in on those wines that we drank too soon! All wines are in stock and ready for pick-up and delivery. Ariana Rolich

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Arnot-Roberts 2010 Santa Cruz Mountains Fellom Ranch Cabernet Sauvigno

Fragrant and earthy with licorice spice and sweet dark tones of buckwheat honey. Fellom Ranch is at 2200 feet in the Santa Cruz Mountains; from 33 year old vines on Franciscan shale over limestone, fermented 30% whole cluster with native yeast. 6.5 barrels produced.

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Arnot-Roberts 2011 Sonoma County Chalk Hill Clajeux Cabernet Sauvignon

The Arnot-Roberts team has tended the same 12 rows of the low-yielding Clajeux Vineyard (located in the well-draining volcanic soils Sonoma's Chalk Hill AVA) since 2003. The results are consistently lovely, with demure spice and florals on the nose and a demure, mineral-driven, palate of red currants, tart purple plums, licorice, and tobacco. Only 5 barrels were produced.

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Arnot-Roberts 2012 North Coast Trousseau

The Californian Trousseau scramble continues!  Arnot-Roberts sources theirs from three AVAs across Northern California.  Unfiltered and unfined for your maximum Trousseau enjoyment.

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Bow & Arrow 2013 Oregon Willamette Valley Air Guitar

Did René and Agnès Mosse start making wine in Oregon? No, but this domestic blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon sure does resemble some of our favorite Anjou Rouge! From their luscious, chuggable Gamay Nouveau to their Cheverny-inspired Rhinestones blend, Bow & Arrow's Portland-based Scott and Dana Frank are achieving levity, verve, and quality that will silence the most outspoken Francophile at your next dinner party. Bone dry with nervy acidity, tart red plum and cranberry fruit, flecks of cracked raspberry seeds, and lots of damp, funky earth on the nose and palate. Domestic quaffing at its finest! Only 2 cases were received for the year. AR

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Dirty and Rowdy 2013 Santa Barbara Highlands Mourvèdre Especial

The Mourvedre Especial is a fascinating outlier that showcases winemaker Hardy Wallace's ambition and ability to make wildy delicious Mourvedres that expose an edge. From the extremely high altitude Santa Barbara Highlands vineyard in the far east of Santa Barbara county, it is pale and cloudy to the eye, yet powerful and pure to the nose and palate. Aromas of iron, peppery spice, watermelon, rosehips, cherry skins, and funk meet the mouth-watering, tingly palate of cranberry, sea salt, paprika, quinine, blood oranges, sour cherry, and stones. Natural and mineral rich with a powerful herbal component that keeps you drinking. Allow this wine to breathe and serve it with a gentle chill. Ariana Rolich

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Eminence Road 2013 Morehouse Road Cabernet Franc

One could easily mistake this for a Loire Valley Cabernet Franc with its cranberry and dried cherry fruits, rusted earth flavors, and  dusty tannins! Fermented in old French oak barrels, this Cabernet Franc is the favorite of winemaker Andrew Scott's wife, Jennifer, and among my favorites for Eminence Road's recent offerings. Approximately 50 cases made.

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Eminence Road 2014 Cayuga Lake Gamay Noir

Loire Valley Cabernet Franc by way of the Finger Lakes. Cranberry, red cherry skin and sage flavors resonate on the palate along with fresh earth undertones and hints of dried sage. A French grape grown in upstate New York that would pair excellently your Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce or mushroom and sage stuffing!

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La Clarine Farm 2012 Sierra Foothills Piedi Grandi

La Clarine Farm’s wines are a fantastic example of how California’s wines can be both fresh and complex at the same time. Winemaker Hank Beckmeyer spotted a plot of Nebbiolo grown on volcanic soil beside a vineyard that he sources Syrah from. Some grapes were purchased, but the resulting wine did not impress. Hank drew inspiration from a biography of John Cage and his methodology of using chance and chaos to compose music, and he decided to use a similar strategy through flipping coins to construct a blend of the Nebbiolo with Mourvedre and Syrah. The resulting wine holds some of Nebbiolo’s floral aromatics and tannic grip with a bit bright, raspberry fruit and touch of earthy tar. Enjoy with all of your American/Italian favorites. John Rankin

Only La Clarine Farm could pull off a fresh and interesting blend of Nebbiolo and Mourvèdre (with a splash of Syrah and Sémillon) like Piedi Grandi! Sun-kissed strawberry plants, red currant, and orange spice on the nose, with a light and pleasing palate of wild cherry blossoms, intense acidity, and hints of damp, herbal earth. Ariana Rolich

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La Clarine Farm 2012 Syrah Sumu Kaw

Planted in a pine forest at 3000 feet elevation on deep volcanic loam in El Dorado County, Sumu Kaw Vineyard is what La Clarine Farm's Hank Beckmeyer considers an "exemplary" source for Syrah. The 2012 vintage displays deep, smoky Syrah aromas with rich florals, piquant pine resin, rosemary, onion skins, and fresh oregano that follows through on the plush, pretty palate of raspberry, cranberry, currants, and spicy black pepper. AR

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Bedrock 2012 Sonoma Heirloom White Compagni Portis

A fragrant white counterpart to the old-fashioned field blend formula that we admire in Bedrock's Heritage Red, Compagni Portis is a 60-year-old parcel of interplanted Gewürztraminer, Trousseau Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay (and more). The 2012 vintage was half de-stemmed and granted an extra long élevage, resulting in enhanced aromatics and structural integrity. Compagni Portis can be cellared or enjoyed young with roasted fowl, root vegetables or lobster. -AR

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Cameron 2015 Dundee Giovanni Pinot Blanc

Sourced from Abbey Ridge Vineyard, this savory white blend is mostly Pinot Blanc with a splash  of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. With wet river rock minerality, Bartlett pear, and white floral aromas on the nose, this succulent white entices with crunchy peach and white grapefruit pith flavors and a waxy texture on palate. Perfect with roasted summer zucchini or some fat, fleshy oysters. Jonas Mendoza

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Division 2015 Washington Chenin Blanc L'Isle Verte

*This wine is in the warehouse and will not be available for pick-up or delivery until after Labor Day.* Kate Morris and Tom Monroe spent some time working for wineries in the Loire Valley; you could say this is their domestic Chenin Blanc love letter from previous travels there. From vines planted in the 70’s in the Willard Vineyard in Yakima, Washington, this wine impresses with ripe yellow peach, apricot, and quince flavors. The palate is sustained by bright acidity, and finishes with lush undertones of orange marmalade and honeysuckle.

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Edmunds St. John 2012 El Dorado County Heart of Gold

The last time our friend Steve Edmunds was in town he said that to his knowledge Neil Young is not aware of this wine.  Neil's loss!  This wine is an almost even blend of Vermentino and Grenache Blanc from El Dorado County.  Even with the Grenache Blanc, known for its viscosity, high alcohol, and low acidity, Heart of Gold shows intense minerality and freshness.  Malolactic fermentation is blocked to contribute to the wine’s salty tension, and the vines are located all the way up at 2800 feet.  Steve only makes about 140 cases, so we’re happy to get what we can!  JR

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Kalin Cellars 1999 Sonoma County Semillon Livermore Valley

Founded in 1977 by husband-and-wife microbiologists Terrence and Frances Leighton, Kalin Cellars is one of California's great treasures. Relatively unknown despite critical acclaim and a singular house style, Kalin's vast cellar and disciplined releases provide us with small doses of textured reds and glamorous, lees-y whites. On the nose, this Semillon is a comely collision of apricot, orange blossom, clarified butter, corn flakes in buttermilk, and a vintage Bollinger Bellini. Bamboo shoots, sweet corn, oats and and a bold mineral core of limey rocks sink into the palate with intense apricot flesh and rich, sappy orange blossom honey (the dry, vinous version). Ariana Rolich  

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La Clarine Farm 2012 Sierra Foothills White No. 1

A blend of Viognier (47%), Marsanne (41%), and Petit Manseng (18%), the Marsanne spent 24 hours on its skins before being pressed and the Petit Manseng took until May of 2013 to fully ferment. The result is cloudy and unfiltered in appearance but nevertheless crisp and refreshing. Bursting with aromatic mountain flowers and chamomile, this is round, gingery, and held aloft with delicate acids. A complex apéritif, a late summer sipper, and a perfect foil for sheep's milk cheeses. JK

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Salinia Wine Company 2012 Mendocino Redwood Valley Skin Contact Sauvignon Blanc

Natural wine fans will give thanks for this fascinating American Sauvignon Blanc from the brilliant Kevin Kelley at Salinia Wine Co. Simultaneously explosive and linear, this is the same Sauvignon Blanc that goes into Kevin's perennially popular Twenty-Five Reasons Pet Nat, from 40 year-old, organically farmed vines in Mendocino County. Aromas are tropical and golden, cut with hay and salty broth, with a chiseled, glassy palate of crunchy peaches, white currants, fresh green herbs, salt, and pithy, piquant citrus zests. One month of skin contact provides texture and complexity. A serious autumnal follow-up to the light-hearted Sauv Blancs of summer, this is a match for briny oysters, whitefish salad, roasted poultry, and cheese. Ariana Rolich

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