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Latest wine deals! 10/23/17

continued from 10/23 newsletter

5)  Tor Tierra Rioja 2014, Oakville:  $  95 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate  “The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Tierra Roja came in out-of-bottle at the top of its range, which is always a good sign. This is a 4-acre vineyard on the red soil hillsides, just below Dalla Valle in the Oakville corridor. This is a sexy, beautiful, fragrant wine with plenty of scorched earth, blackcurrants and licorice, but copious quantities of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. This is a beautiful wine to drink now and, like so many 2014s, over the next 20-25 years. Tor Kenward is using his vast experience in the wine industry and impressive palate to find exceptional terroirs and produce fascinating wines that merit serious attention…Kenward has an impressive array of 2014 reds, all of them showing as well as, or better, than I had predicted in my range of scores last year. (RP)”

6)  Dumol Pinot Noir 2013, Russian River Valley:  $70.99  Vinous 91 pts.  The 2013 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is a wonderful introduction to the vintage. Plump, juicy and forward, but with good underlying energy, the 2013 is impeccably balanced from start to finish. Dark red cherry, blueberry, spice, new leather and menthol are pushed forward in an impeccable appellation-level wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. (AG)

7)   Southern Belle Red Wine 2015, Vino de la Tierra de Murcia:  $19 The idea to use bourbon barrels came over a dinner in 2001 between Dan Phillips and Julian Van Winkle. It was simply an idea that came up in conversation. “Hey, let’s do something together. What about putting wine in used Pappy barrels?…Okay I’ll send you some.” The wine is a blend of Syrah and Monastrell from southern Spain.  Medium deep opaque purple color with dark red rim. Initial aromas redolent of blackberry and blueberry with underlying hints of red fruits give way to pleasing complex elements of vanilla and toffee. Soft, big, yet elegant mouth feel, rich, full body, density, superb balance and grip, lead to a long finish, carrying intense ripe fruit and complex flavors. Soft, supple, dramatic, sexy wine with a compelling yummy factor that screams ‘drink me.’

8)  Poor Thing Grenache 2014, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla Y Leon:  $24  80 year old ungrafted Grenache vines from Spain’s Toro region on the Duero River.  Partnership of Dan Phillips (Grateful Palate), artist James Lean and Julian Van Winkle (Pappy Van Winkle).  Aged in Pappy Van Winkle 20 year Whiskey barrels.  While you definitely identify the sweet corn/caramel flavors of the barrel, the old vine Grenache is in control.  Strawberry preserves, black pepper, nutmeg.  Soft tannins, medium/low acidity.  Whiskey barrel flavor on a scale of 1 to 10:  6.

9)  Precious Syrah 2103, Vino de la Tierra de Murcia:  $39.79  The bouquet is loaded with heady aromas of vanilla cream, black fruit, and cedar spice. The old vine fruit shines through with flavors of blueberry liqueur, blackberry, black cherry and peppery spice. The Pappy Van Winkle barrels take it to the next level, adding wood smoke, brown sugar, and sweet spice that are lovely compliments to the pure dark fruit. This is a thrill ride now and will continue to offer pleasure for another 3-4 years.

10)  Hedges Red Mountain Red Blend 2013:  $25  This wine is a blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot and 2% Syrah. The aromas seem a bit off, with notes of dried cherry, oregano, anise and medicine cabinet. The palate has a pleasing sense of restraint and elegance, with gamy notes on the finish.

11)  Beringer Quantum 2013, Napa:  $39.99  Only 12 bottles at this price!  Usually $48, online $65!  The Wine Advocate 90 pts.  Another proprietary red, the 2013 Proprietary Red Quantum is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah and Malbec aged 20 months in 50% new French oak. This wine offers up notes of blueberry and blackcurrant fruit, coffee bean, licorice and spice box. It is medium to full-bodied, exhibits outstanding ripeness, purity and depth. Drink now-2028.

12)  Tufjano Colli della Murgia 2015:  $16.99   Intense varietal aromas of tropical fruit, honey and yellow flowers, which evolve in pleasant aromas of white fruit matures.  The taste is fresh, dry and fruity.  It goes to the great traditional dishes from Puglia, seafood or vegetables and legumes.  Fiano Minutolo.

13)  Duckhorn Three Palms Merlot 2012:  $74.99  Only 6 bottles.  ($89.99 cheapest online)  96 points Connoisseurs Guide  “*3 Stars* Duckhorn Merlots from the Three Palms Vineyard have never been sparing in richness or wide-open fruit, and, while this version is long on the variety’s plumpness and charm, it reaches a bit further in terms of creamy complexity as well. Its layered mix of ripe cherries and sweet oak affords plenty of immediate appeal, and, if wonderfully supple, it is beautifully balanced and fit with a fine spine of tannin that provides a nice sense of grip and the potential for age. It is friendly stuff now and will grow with time, and a few years of waiting can be counted upon to make a very good thing even better. “

14)  Duckhorn Merlot 2014, Napa:  $35.99  (Suggested retail:  $54)  If you’ve ever wondered why Duckhorn is justly famous for Merlot, here’s your chance to see why! Voluptuously built, studded with red cherries and whiffs of tobacco, tiramisu, and sumptuous black plums, this is downright scrumptious stuff, perfect for the Friday night reboot beside the Weber.

15)  Ferrari-Carano Merlot 2014, Sonoma County:  $19.99  Select lots of grapes are chosen from their vineyards in Sonoma County to create this beautifully-balanced and medium-bodied Merlot. This is a velvety wine with a complex nose of plum, chocolate spice, dark berries, coffee, caramel and cedar. A fleshy mouthfeel is followed by flavors of bright, upfront, red fruit, a structured mid-palate and a firm backbone of ripe tannins. This wine has impressive length and a lasting, elegant finish.

16)  Ferrari-Carano Reserve Chardonnay 2013:  $29.99  The Wine Advocate 91 pts.  Another winner in the white wines is the 2013 Chardonnay Reserve, which spends a surprising 16 months in French oak prior to being bottled. This has been another winner from Ferrari-Carano, and one can understand its popularity, given the tropical fruit, honeysuckle, beautiful purity of character, and medium to full-bodied flavors in the stunning delicious-factor that also comes into play with this wine.

17)  Galerie Pleinair Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa:  $43.99  WE 93 pts.  A reduction of tar and meaty leather at first overrides elusive fruit in this 100% varietal wine. It’s alluring nonetheless, for its soft tannins and toasted hits of oak. Currant, clove and tobacco give a savory, compelling and complex edge to the full-bodied frame.

18)   Gaja Rossj-Bass 2016, Langhe:  $69.99  Usually $89.99  This is a young and fresh wine that once poured into the glass goes through many stages. The wine begins with floral notes, then the oak begins to emerge with the fruit and the finish is actually creamy. This is a great elegant wine, perfect acidity, a little spicy. Taste richly fruity, medium-bodied on the palate showing a subtle touch of spicy due to the new oak. Color: Nice golden color. Nose: delicate scent of citrus and honeysuckle. Pairing:  Goes great with shellfish, salmon, roast chicken and cheese or even a salad nicoisa. Named for Angelo Gaja’s youngest daughter.

19)  Gaja Ca’Marcanda Magari 2013, Bolgheri:  $69.99  Usually $89.99  Wine Spectator 93 pts.  Bright, with black cherry and raspberry aromas and flavors, focusing on the fruit and showing accents of spice, tar and underbrush. Elegant and intense, this is long and detailed on the mineral-tinged finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2018 through 2029.

20)  Darioush Cabernet Sauvignon 2014:  $96.99  Inspired by the power and grace exhibited in the great wines of Bordeaux, this Cabernet Sauvignon from Darioush’s cooler-climate, southern Napa Valley vineyards exhibits extraordinary depth, character and poise. Now in their second decade, these estate vineyards in the Mount Veeder, Napa Valley and Oak Knoll AVA’s have hit their stride, producing fruit with splendid concentration and power, compelling freshness and graceful complexity.

21)  Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Red 2014, Paso Robles:  $13.79  This oddly shaped bottle of lightly colored wine shows aromas of boysenberry, dried rose petals, cranberry soda and minty root beer. The flavors reflect the nose, showing rose hips and pomegranate, proving very flavorful and refreshingly light.

22)  Nickel & Nickel Quicksilver Vineyard 2014, Rutherford:  $96.99  WW 96 pts.  The 2014 Nickel & Nickel Quicksilver Vineyard exhibits a tremendously attractive aroma of chalk, red and black fruits, and a shading of dust. The wine’s rich and layered palate is almost too smooth making it quite enjoyable now, but I would recommend saving a few bottles for the 10-year mark. (Tasted: April 27, 2017, San Francisco, CA)

23)  Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif 2015, Suisun Valley:  $44  ($60 suggested retail)  Brand new from Caymus!  Only 50 cases in the State and so far I have 6!  Deep, majestic purple, with a nose of blueberries, wet earth and saddle leather. The initial impression on the palate is broad, smooth and weighty, then springs into gear with rich harmonious tannins. Oak plays a significant role in providing vanilla character. This wine can be enjoyed now, though it is still quite a baby.  93 pts. Wine Spectator.  Petite Sirah.


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What is Sauer Grapes all about?

I love wine. I love learning about special vintages, discovering new labels, finding gems that no one else knows about, and most of all, I love sharing my knowledge of wine!

At Sauer Grapes, we always have one dry still rose, three sparkling wines:  one Champagne, one rose and one something else, five whites and five reds on the menu—always a $4 glass, $6-9 glass and a $10-14 glass—and the menu changes weekly.  The more expensive glasses are always still very great deals! You can also pick any bottle off the shelf to open.  If you don’t finish it, State law lets you take it home.  There is a $4 corkage but I beat everyones’ prices so you can’t drink cheaper anywhere!. We also offer great craft beers, delicious tapas plates, and a variety of unique specialty foods to take home.

You’ll find I am a huge advocate of Grower Champagne. The Champagne region in France is dominated by a handful of brand names and they produce a mass-market commodity. By contrast, Small Growers, or “récoltant-manipulants,” handcraft their limited quantities of Champagne from individual villages and parcels where the inherent qualities of the vineyards imprint themselves into the wines. These winemakers are brave souls in an industrialized age: growing vinifying and bottling their own Champagne and offering it to the world as their lives’ work.

Marie Sauer

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