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This is a refreshing rosé made from Touriga Nacional, the primary grape used in the production of Port and dry wines from the Douro in Portugal. Traditionally a powerful and deeply-hued grape, Arnot-Roberts makes a delicate, light, and aromatic rosé. Salmon-hued and light, this wine shows notes of honeydew and crisp grapefruit, with a note of white flowers on the nose. Nice minerality, with a saline tang on the palate, this is a perfect summer sipper to accompany a wide range of seafood: oily fish, lobster, crab cakes, clams, scallops, king prawns, or skate. Andrew Farquhar
55% Zinfandel blended with Carignane, Petite Sirah, Mourvedre, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera and a touch of whites for aromatics from old vine plantings (up to 100 years old) around Sonoma County, fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel and raised in a nice bit of French oak for a bold, bright-fruited, silky, and satisfying wine that is unbeatable at this price.
The grapes from this vineyard (named after George Besson Sr. and Jr. whose families have lived and tended this vineyard since the 1930s) is fermented with native yeasts, using 15% whole cluster (with the rest destemmed), and racked into neutral barrels, unfined and and unfiltered. This wine envelops the palate with black cherry skin and fruit flavors, and violet, freshly rained earth, and menthol undertones. Despite the lightness and brightness of this Grenache, all the flavors resonate with an understatedly profound intensity. Pair with roast turkey with cranberry sauce or mushroom and herbed stuffing! Jonas Mendoza
The Antle Vineyard is perched at the edge of an extinct volcano, planted on granite and limestone soils at nearly 2,000' in the Chalone AVA. Several notable California winemakers have sourced fruit from this distinctive vineyard, including Enfield, Dirty & Rowdy, and the Scholium Project. Birichino's Pinot Noir from Antle Vineyard resonates with black cherry skin and tart black raspberry flavors with meaty, earthy, and herbal undertones, framed by firm and stern tannins. Jonas Mendoza
Broadside is a project of very talented winemaker Chris Brock. The Cabernet is fermented with wild yeasts and aged in barrels, 10% of which are new. The resultant wine is remarkably fresh and full bodied with an interesting spicy character and plenty of bright, tangy dark fruit.
Counoise, here sourced from Eaglepoint Ranch located 1800 feet above the Ukiah Valley in Mendocino, is one of the rarer blending grapes from the Southern Rhone, and is not frequently made into single-varietal wines. But here Broc Cellars has created a beautiful wine that makes me excited to try and find more of this grape. Native yeast fermentation occurs in 5 ton open-top wood tronique, a tank that slants inward allowing more of the cap to remain in constant contact with the juice. This is followed by twelve months in 600-1200L old German casks. On the nose this Counoise has some dark fruit wrapped in a stylish melange of eucalyptus, sage, and baking spices. One the palate this wine is wonderfully savory, with animal hide, beef jerky, hoisin, and leather. Dark in fruit, medium in tannin, this wine is perfect for summer grilling but can be thrown in the cellar for a few years as well. Andrew Farquhar
The grapes for this wine were harvested on an autumn night from the Crown Point vineyard in the Happy Canyon AVA east of Santa Barbara (between 500 to 1,000 feet in altitude). Happy Canyon is the warmest AVA in Santa Barbara, but experiences one of the largest diurnal shifts in all of California. Whole cluster natural yeast fermentation is followed by light foot treading in the morning and pump over at night. This extraordinarily juicy wine is a constant contrast between super sunny fruit and the crackling energy of cold nights. The predominant fruits are cranberry and raspberry, and this wine drinks like an aristocratic cousin of Ocean Spray. At 11.9% ABV, this is a fantastic light red to serve with a slight chill throughout the decidedly un-refreshing humid nights of summertime in New York. Pair with your favorite dishes to serve at rooftop parties, backyard barbecues, or park picnics. Andrew Farquhar
This is a fantastic Zinfandel. The varietal character remains but the alcohol has been brought to heel and the structure is resoundingly more crystalline than many of the soupier 16% ABV offerings on the market. A coiled spring, with an array of black and red berry fruits and still moderately dense with tannin, there is a fine black pepper note on the palate and the finish begins with a burst of red fruit complexity that surprised me. There is a note of funkiness brought to it by the volcanic soils of the two vineyards: Arrowhead in Sonoma and Buck Hill in Russian River. This Zin is destemmed, fermented in stainless steel and concrete, and aged for ten months in neutral oak. A great wine on its own, this would be a fine partner to steak, meatball marinara, or blood sausage. Andrew Farquhar
This wine is sourced from the Oat Valley Vineyard in Alexander Valley, which contains 130+ year old vines! The decomposed sandy soil here makes this site phylloxera-proof as well. Planted sometime around 1890, this extraordinarily old vineyard includes, in addition to Carignan, plantings of Palomino, Zinfandel, and Alicante. Thus, this wine's cepage is 85% Carignan, 10% Alicante, 4% Zinfandel, and 1% Palomino. The grapes are then fermented using full carbonic maceration, which, when combined with the crazy concentration from the old vine fruit, makes this wine an exciting and atypical blend of incredibly concentrated depth and bright freshness. Charred meat and bone broth intermingle with pomegranate, strawberry, and bright cranberry flavors on the palate. The general intensity of its flavors is immense, it feels like drinking an entire historical period in one glass. Andrew Farquhar
This rose is a cofermentation of syrah, graciano, and viognier, entirely trod by foot. After a two day maceration the red fruit was pressed onto the viognier and completed fermentation on the whole white clusters. Aged in neutral barrel for fifteen months before bottling, this is a rose that will grow and develop for a number of years. Beautiful texture and elegant interlacing of fruit and mineral components underscore this wine's raw structural power. Grapes grown in the low rolling hills east of Galt, CA in decomposed granite outwash from the Sierra Nevada to the east. Andrew Farquhar
Cooper Mountain Vineyards started in 1978 when Dr. Robert Gross and his wife, Corrine, planted the first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines in the unique soils of Cooper Mountain in the Chehalem Mountains of Oregon's Willamette Valley. Today, the estate has more than 100 acres dedicated to organic and biodynamic farming and winemaking. This Pinot Noir is refreshing and ripe, with brambly raspberry and cherry fruit, baking spice, and earthy flavors.
100% Mourvèdre sourced from vineyards in Amador, El Dorado, Monterey, and Santa Barbara counties (varies by vintage). 100% whole cluster fermentation with only native yeast used, this is a consistently generous and friendly wine with potential to evolve after a long decant. Fresh aromas of lush raspberries, tart cranberries, and mountain herbs deepen with black pepper, sandalwood, musk, and earth after a few hours. The palate offers some structure and crunchy acidity without being overly austere. We thoroughly enjoyed this with a slab of BBQ ribs. Amanda Bowman
This juicy and fresh Gamay rosé comes to us from the vines at Willard Farms in the Yakima Valley. The soil of this area is volcanic uplift on basalt bedrock, topped with Missoula flood glacial runoff. Tight and focused, this rosé is dominated by its nose of strawberries and cream. Dry and with some more savory character on the palate, there is a crisp and refreshing watermelon note, mixed with some herbal, tea-like characteristics and a hint of mint that make this a spectacularly thirst-quenching summer quaffer. Andrew Farquhar
Our love affair is going strong with Drovers Pinot Noir, a collaboration between our friends at Encore Wine Imports and Brad Ford of Illahe Vineyards. Consistently delicious, but always reflective of vintage, Drovers delivers freshness and depth and a terrific price point. In 2015 there is rich dark cherry, crushed berries, earth, cola, and spice, with more density than the 2014 and admirable balance. Ariana Rolich
Belle Farms Pinot Noir is a perennially stunning single vineyard bottling from Ghostwriter, from 1.5 acres at 500 feet elevation, planted in 1999 to Champagne clones, just outside of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA in the foothills of Mount Madonna. We recently learned from winemaker Kenny Likitprakong that Belle Farms was ripped out after the 2014 harvest and is currently planted with broccoli to enrich the soils before replanting (the vineyard had been struggling for years and ultimately failed). 2013 was a gorgeous vintage for these valiant vines, with aromas of dry earth, sweet cherry, birch bark, cardamom, and clove, which swirl onto the palate of crisp cranberry, rich cassis, black raspberry preserves, and spicy citrus oils, with a bold acidic core. This cuvée always needs some air, and flavors evolve on the second day open toward elegant, high-toned fruit with graceful florals and a fresh, salty, mineral layer. An aptly named vineyard! Please decant. Ariana Rolich
This is a fascinating 100% Dolcetto from the Fox Hill vineyard in Mendocino county. Whole cluster fermented, these grapes were dumped into large fermenting bins, using pitchforks, where they were partially foot trodden, lending it more power and a hint of spice and floral characteristics. Native yeast primary and secondary fermentation, basket pressed off the skins, this wine spends ten months in neutral oak before bottling. Tart cranberry fruit, anise, with some baking spice character, it is surprisingly dense as well. The soft fruit of this wine is protected from the elements by more thickly wrapped tannin, with a fine hushed character of woodsmoke permeating this heavier clothing. This is still Dolcetto, so it is in no way massive, but it has much more breadth than other examples I've tasted. Andrew Farquhar
Sourced from the Fox Hill vineyard in Mendocino, this Nebbiolo is an intriguing collection of opposites. Light and almost copper colored, the nose shows both classic and recognizably Californian fruit characteristics while still evincing the archetypal Piemontese notes of tar and roses, all blended with some mint, cedar, and finely-grained earth. Light and elegant on the palate, after a moment its deep formal structure is revealed, with the great tannin and remarkable acidity one would expect from this legendary grape. Half the fruit was destemmed and the other half remained whole cluster and was foot trod. Native fermentation was followed by a ninety day sealed maceration. This is what gives this wine its blend of delicacy and power. Two years in neutral oak barrel and one in bottle finish the journey from grape to glass. Elegant now, this wine will develop in interesting ways until at least 2025. Andrew Farquhar
Single vineyard Mourvedre, Contra Costa, sandy loam, organically farmed (not certified), spontaneous fermentation, pressed off immediately, stainless steel fermentation, neutral barrels. Restrained nose — in a refined way, mint and melon fruit on the palate, juicy, refreshing finish...
The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc is primarily from one small parcel in Contra Costa County. Laura wanted to lend a bit more material to the wine so she did a staggered pick in a neighboring vineyard to supplement. Her goal was to find a style for Sauvignon Blanc that was not overtly tropical or citrusy. We think she did a great job! It's balanced, textured, and fresh. Drink with a chill, but perhaps not too cold, as there's nice weight to this Sauvignon Blanc that may be missed at ice cold temps. Eben Lillie
Kelley Fox has worked as a winemaker in Oregon for 14 years, and she started her label in 2007. Her wines are a direct reflection of her sensibilities: she personally does all of her canopy work by hand, picking, sorting, and then following the natural fermentations into wine. The results are stunning, full of freshness and lifted flavors of cherry, raspberry, warm spice, and zesty acidity. Mirabai is a blend of two legendary Oregon vineyards, Maresh and Momtazi and comes highly recommended as an example of the heights that Pinot Noir can achieve.
Kudos to our friend Richard Luftig for the phenomenal quality and price of Pied a Terre Cabernet! Always one of our best-selling American reds, 2014 is a deep, ripe, and focused vintage for Pied a Terre. There is great energy and balance in this bottle, which will elevate your wintry dinners and holiday gift lists alike! Ariana Rolich
Grapes grown in the Dry Bone Ranch vineyard at 2,700 feet in the Sierra Foothills. Like it's companion sangiovese rose, this is pressed using high pressure, to extract as much bold character as possible from the skins. Bold tart red fruit intermingles with some garrigue, a touch of candied rhubarb, and black pepper spice. Incredible concentration of fruit and tart, pithy, mineral character. Bottled with less than 10ppm sulfur. Andrew Farquhar
"We have long desired to produce a rosé of Aglianico. With its striking acidity, powerful fruit and firm tannins, we know it would make a beautiful, aromatic yet serious rose in the right site. Gianelli Vineyard is situated in the Sierra Foothills on the way to Yosemite. Dark red partly metamorphosed volcanics recall the homeland of Aglianico. The warm days provide the right timing for a rosé pick here. The warmth curtails the grapes still powerful acidity and accelerates the ripening of fruit flavors so we can harvest for delicacy and brightness while still embracing the quiet power we expect from Aglianico.It was immediately whole cluster pressed to minimize color extract. It was fermented without additions in stainless steel and neutral wood. It completed MLF and was bottled in January. The wine is delicious, energetic, and nervy. It shows intense watermelon fruit, mouthwatering acidity and a suggestion of fine tannins that bring cut to the finish. The serious nature and structure of this wine not only calls out to the summer months but demands year round consumption." - Ryme Cellars
This Pinot Noir from Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman is a beauty. This light-bodied fresh wine has a pretty structure with good acidity, light tannin, and great length. On the wine making process side, Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman are proponents of less is more, using only wild yeast, no fining or filtering, and partial neutral oak aging. Caroline Coursant
This indomitable wine from one of Oregon's, and America's, greatest vineyards is a formidably complex and deeply structured introspective wine that, while already extraordinary now, is really meant for the cellar. The Shea vineyard is, interestingly, really two vineyard separated by a ravine. This wine comes from fruit from the east field, mostly from Pommard clones. The Shea vineyard experiences high diurnal range, which is its saving grace, because it does get quite hot during the day. This wine, aged in 20% new oak for 16 months before bottling, is firm and tannic, brooding and full of black cherry and dark berry character, with aromas of violets and chocolate shavings. On the palate this wine is robust and undulating with different complex flavor characteristics. The fruit is extraordinarily refined, the tannins superbly fine-grained. I can only imagine what secrets this wine will bring forth in 10-15 years. Andrew Farquhar
This wine comes from the highest altitude site, located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA, positioned at 860 feet above sea level, on what is believed to be an extinct volcano. Certified organic, this is a light and tightly structured wine with an aromatic nose of violets and black pepper with a hint of smokiness. On the palate it is structured and earthy, with hints of cranberry and raspberry fruit ensconced in darker tea-like and herbal notes. This wine will develop magnificently for a half decade, and reward cellaring for up to twelve years. Andrew Farquhar
This is one of our favorite Pinots from the Willamette Valley. The grapes are sourced from five vineyards St. Innocent makes single site wines from: Vitae Springs, Zenith, Freedom Hill, Temperance Hill, and Momtazi. Natural fermentation was followed by twelve months in 19% new French oak. Sweet spices and smoke entwine around a dark morello cherry fruit core. Soft tannin, but with great energy and concentration, this wine is youthful and exuberant, with incredible finesse and complexity. Andrew Farquhar
A deep and brooding Washington Malbec from Joe Swick, this wine displays a subtle nose, with a bit of elegant dark fruit emerging from its gentlemanly reserve. Dark notes of spice and some husky minerality are clothed on the palate by a classic tannic grip. There is good structure but also fine integration of its various parts, which make it a wonderful complement for a wide range of foods. This is a great cold weather wine, that will be nice alongside rich cheeses, dark full-bodied sauces, and meats of various types, such as veal, game birds, poultry, and fine cuts of grass-fed beef. Andrew Farquhar
This fascinating wine is 50% Gewurztraminer 50% Pinot Gris. The vineyards, harvested on the same day, are fermented separately, foot trod, and macerated for about thirty days. Both Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer are 'grey' varieties, which means that although they are used to make white wine their skins have a darker roseate flush, which is what provides this wine with it's electric color. Not entirely a light red, an orange wine, or a rose, this wine is tart, fun, and juicy, with an engrossing and deeply satisfying aromatic mixture of both white floral notes and bright red fruit. As with all Joe Swick's wine, this wine has an extraordinary textural presence on the palate. 150 cases produced. Andrew Farquhar
This is an elegant and tasty Pet Nat rosé from the Willamette Valley made in a very traditional style. Hand-harvested and whole-cluster pressed, this wine sees native yeast fermentation in 228-liter neutral barrels for three weeks before being bottled with a little residual sugar remaining for the bottle fermentation. No filtration and no sulfur added. A beautiful pie cherry tartness is served on a bed of extraordinarily soft mousse. The red fruit mixes well with a note of citrus pith and a little hint of soft lavender. Hand disgorged. 400 bottles made. Andrew Farquhar