WINE DEALS 5/4/22

1) Podere le Ripi Toscano Rosso 2014:  $28.99  Aromas of Dried cherry, leather, tart raspberry, cranberry, brush, oak.  Classic Sangiovese style with a delicate garnet red color. On the nose typical expression of the large oak barrel, vibrant red fruits and brushwood notes. In the mouth fine quality tannins that support a well-balanced acidity. Very beautiful drinkability.  Podere le Ripi only makes ‘single vineyard’ wines. This is the Cielo d’Ulisse (sky of Ulysses) vineyard. This vineyard is one of their Brunello vineyards, but the 2014 vintage was deemed as a lesser vintage. At the winery they decided to declassify this wine from Brunello, put a red line through the label, and call it Toscana IGT. Even though they still made the wine as if it was to be called a Brunello.

2) Podere le Ripi Sogni e Follia Rosso di Montalcino 2018:  $55.99  100% Sangiovese.  A deep ruby red with elegant orange shadows. In the nose, it expresses itself as a symphony of aromas going from an intense smell of cherry, strawberry, and violet to a fresh wild herbs aroma. For a Rosso di Montalcino, the wine is structured and refined, with a broad and smooth mouth and a long after taste. The 2018 vintage is one of the most fragrant and floral vintages of all time at Podere le Ripi, which we attributed to a mild summer and to the fresh and long ripening of the grapes.

3) Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2020:  $50.99  (This is a presale:  the wine is arriving middle of May)  The big news in the last few years at Tempier has been the addition of new vineyards tucked away in a cool, high-elevation, late-ripening corner of the Bandol appellation, acquired in response to—and in anticipation of—a warming climate. Vigneron Daniel Ravier has integrated the fruit into the Tempier bottlings little by little as his understanding of this new terroir deepens, and as the vines respond to their new stewardship and biodynamic treatment. The 2020 release suggests an absolutely seamless assimilation of these new parcels: this is textbook Tempier rosé, featuring zippy citrus zest, nectarine and peach, and a cool-fruited finish accented by a biting herbaceousness. The pristine balance, fine-grained texture, density without weight, and class throughout leave no doubt that this remains among the world’s finest rosés.—Anthony Lynch

4) Gehricke Zinfandel 2019, Russian River Valley:  $28.99  Winemaker notes:  With a deep magenta hue, fruit forward aromas leap from the glass with blackberry cobbler, ripe red cherries, milk chocolate, smooth leather and a touch of white pepper. Similar in fashion, the palate boasts flavors of raspberry jam and ripe red plums surrounded by a juicy acidity. The finish is round and lasting, driven by a complex oak spice.  Blend: 95% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah.

5) Smith & Hook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Paso Robles:  $44.99  A seductive deep brick red with crimson hues, this Reserve offers aromas of red cherries, cassis, cedar, warm gravel and graphite. With time, the nose continues to evolve, revealing plum, leather and tobacco accents. The wine is in constant motion, playfully dancing across the palate to finish with fine, dusty tannins.

6) Elena Walch Schiava 2020, Alto Adige DOC:  $17.99  Winemaker notes:  Bright ruby in color with a delicate hint of cherry on the nose. On the palate, it is harmonious and elegant due to naturally mild acidity and tannin with a pleasant bitter almond flavor on the finish. An elegant, fruity red wine with good length.  An interesting wine for Mediterranean and Pasta dishes, as well as antipasti. Serve chilled.  Blend: 100% Schiava

7) Elena Walch Pinot Bianco 2021, Alto Adige:  $19.99  Tastes of apple skin, white peach, and subtle orange are punctuated by herb, mineral, and saline notes. The wine is made without oak, and alcohol is listed at a moderate 13 percent.  The wine is delightful as an aperitif and would be an excellent accompaniment to all kinds of shellfish, sushi, and white meats.  My rep visited the winery last year and said “Elena is close to retired now, but her two daughters run the winery now. What Elena started, and carried on now, is amazing.”

8) Gramercy Cellars Picpoul 2021, Walla Walla Valley:  $22.99  Great story from my wine rep:  “It is also one of our fastest selling wines.  The story goes like this. Greg Harrington at Gramercy Cellars had been bugging a vineyard owner to switch a vineyard from white grapes to syrah, and plant it the way Greg wanted. After a few years the farmer finally says okay, BUT Greg has to make one vintage of picpoul.  Apparently everyone who had ever bought this guys picpoul had just blended it into chardonnay or whatever to give it acid.  Greg says okay, makes a vintage of picpoul and figures he will sell it at the tasting room only.  So this picpoul is the fastest selling wine the tasting room ever had. Greg goes back to the farmer to see if he can stop him from grafting those vines over, but he is too late.   Alas, he tells this story to another local who had been buying that picpoul from the tasting room. A few weeks later, that guy comes back to tell Greg he found him another amazing source for picpoul in Walla Walla!  So Gramercy Cellars makes very little of this and it is delicious. Its crisp and refreshing without being lean. It is as if Greg asked God to make a wine that is perfect with oysters and he said yes.” What exactly is Picpoul? The grape, translated as “lip stinger,” is thought to be native to France’s Languedoc region. Made on its own as Picpoul de Pinet, its real advantage is to add acidity and freshness to white Chateauneuf-du-Pape blends. When the Perrin family of Chateau Beaucastel in Chateauneuf-du-Pape began their California-based Tablas Creek project, they decided that Picpoul would suit the warm vineyards of California exceptionally well. In Washington, the results are stunning – Picpoul from Los Oidos is the perfect, crisp summer white from Washington. It is the definition of crunchy, with screaming acidity and freshness. Be careful because this bottle will disappear quickly. Tasting Notes: Meyer lemon, honeydew melon, mango, guava. Peach and apricot. White pepper, stone, mineral. Some sweet green herb like tarragon or chervil. High acid, racy and fresh. A bit more robust than past vintages. More Friuli than Alto Adige. No oak, but a bit of sweet cream, lees on the finish.

9) Hirsch Vineyards The Bohan-Dillon Pinot Noir 2019, Sonoma County:  $52.99  Winemaker notes:  The 2019 vintage produced a vivacious and quaffable wine that can be drunk now with great pleasure or cellared for a few years. Exuberant, expressive red fruit is balanced by bright acidity and modest tannins. Aromatic and expressive, this is a precocious and delicious wine.

10) Kistler Chardonnay 2020, Sonoma Mountain:  $82.99  This wine is tremendously complex, with intense aromas of green apple and sea spray, flavors of flint & citrus, and is structured by vibrant acidity. As the wine opens, notes of roasted almonds, pineapple, lemon and butter become more evident. Big, lavish, full-bodied and mouth-watering, this is a true California-style Chardonnay.

11) Frank Family Zinfandel 2018, Napa Valley:  $32.99  Winemaker notes:  Fragrant earthiness lies beneath rich black cherry and plum flavors in this full-bodied, deep-colored wine. Mocha, cardamom and baked cherry enhance the wine’s refreshing acidity and powerful tannins that find harmony on the lingering finish.

12) Copain Les Voisins Pinot Noir 2016, Anderson Valley:  $32.99  Winemaker notes:  Our 2016 “Les Voisins” Pinot Noir represents the focus and concentration that this vintage will be known for. This bottling presents aromatics of black cherry skins, star anise, and sweet tea leaves. On the pallet, flavors of raspberry compote and red currants are met with notes of forest floor and vanilla. The lush, silky texture is balanced with a lasting finish.

13) Le Garenne Sancerre 2020:  $28.99  Winemaker notes:  Our Sancerre is bright, lively, pleasantly aromatic, has zippy acidity but low astringency. It is a wonderful food wine that is as versatile as it is easy to drink.  From a two-and-a-half-hectare vineyard of that name, a plot on a steep east-facing slope with a very rocky limestone soil. The chalky soil brings out the characteristic flinty, mineral and green notes of Sauvignon Blanc. On La Garenne’s well-drained, warm slopes the grapes achieve exceptional ripeness and fruit.

14) Cardinale Red Wine 2014, Napa Valley:  $289.99  Winemaker notes:  With the 2014 vintage, a smooth and steady growing season that had only a few short heat spikes, I finally decided on 24 different wines, spanning six different appellations and 12 vineyard sites. Roughly 33% of the final blend came from Spring Mountain whose vineyard sites have soils composed primarily of volcanic loam, imparting fine tannins and delicate floral notes to the wine. To the east on Howell Mountain, we have two estate vineyards making up roughly 25% that contribute dark fruit characters, herbs and weight adding complexity and depth.

15) Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley:  $189.99  “2016 was a particularly giving vintage for Casa Piena Cabernet Sauvignon. It produced a wine defined by a wealth of riches: color, aroma, flavor and mouth feel are all recognizable to those who are intimately familiar with this wine year in and year out, but in 2016 all those authentic qualities are increasingly vivid. The wine displays a deep purple hue with a dark garnet halo. Rich aromas of hibiscus reduction, toasted cedar bark, raspberry compote, wild violet, and eucalyptus oil emerge in waves. The palate experience is noticeably darker suggesting notes of bittersweet dark chocolate, star anise, macerated blackberries, spearmint, flint, and baking spices. The trajectory of this wine is absolutely seamless, and the tannin so finely integrated it drinks more like a wine that has already been cellared for 5-7 years. And while immediately approachable today, there are many more layers yet to bloom if given time in the cellar.” – Thomas Brown, Winemaker

16) Frank Family Vineyards Winston Hill Red Wine 2016, Rutherford:  $179.99  Winemaker notes:  Deep purple in color, this is a profoundly beautiful wine, powerful yet focused, in addition to lively and fresh. It perfectly captures the beauty of our Rutherford hillside vineyard with textural elegance, fine tannin, and lengthy weight. Integrated oak supports layers of blackberry, espresso, vanilla, and cola, along with underlying acidity.  Blend: 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot, 2% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot.

17) Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Diamond Mountain:  $61.99  Winemaker notes:  Plush with marionberries, dried black currants, and white pepper built on a core of fresh plum and olive tapenade. A striking mineral-driven backbone with touches of wintergreen, and graphite, backed by fleshy acidity, and firm, powerful tannins.

18) Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Stags Leap District:  $62.99 Winemaker notes:  Martin Ray’s Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon is often defined by its subtlety in contrast to the much more immodest mountain Cabernets, with already matured ripe red cherries, floral violets and aromatic baking spices reminiscent of nutmeg and cloves. As is typical of the Stags Leap District Cabernet, it is always the first out of the gate with an early appreciable mellowing of its tannins and forward presentation of its bright red fruit.

19) Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Santa Cruz Mountains:  $33.99  Winemaker notes:  Notes of rich cherry cordial with underripe raspberry and a striking herbaceous core. Vibrant acidity throughout, with ripe cassis, dried sage and eucalyptus. Firm, chalky tannins and toasted oak, with a touch of smoked paprika.

20) Molly Dooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2020, McLauren Vale, South Australia:  $59.99  Winemaker notes:  The 2020 Blue Eyed Boy is rich, ripe and explosive, this Shiraz displays vibrant blueberry, plum and notes of dark chocolate. A voluptuous palate of blue and black fruit layered with coffee, vanilla cream and licorice spice. A beautiful balanced wine that has a round and creamy finish, the Blue Eyed Boy exceeds all expectations.

21) Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Vineyard Red Wine Blend 2018, Sonoma Mountain:  $28.99  This wine reveals a bouquet of intense fruit including plum, blueberry, and blackberry with hints of chocolate and cardamom. The palate is rich with full fruit flavors, savory notes, and soft, elegant tannins.  51% Merlot, 36% Zinfandel, 13% Syrah.

22) Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Sonoma Mountains:  $28.99  Winemaker notes:  Aromas of dried bing cherries, blackberry jam, clove and black currant are underscored by subtle notes of peppercorn. The palate is bold and full bodied with flavors of raspberry, savory pastry, and balanced tannins and a long finish.  Blend: 98% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot.

23) San Felice Chianti Classico 2019, Tuscany:  $22.99  Winemaker notes:  San Felice Chianti Classico is a medium-bodied Chianti Classico with a distinguished personality and notable for its elegance. Luminous ruby red. Scents of cherry, raspberry, and sweet violets. Dry on the palate, showing subtle tannins and a fresh, crisp acidity.  At its best when partnered with antipasti, full-flavored first courses and most red meats.

24) Smith & Hook Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Central Coast:  $22  Winemaker notes:  Vibrant aromas of dark fruit and black currant with hints of sweet spice and toasty oak. Full-bodied and full of flavor with a round viscous mouthfeel backed with concentrated tannic structure carry through to a smooth finish.

25) Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2020, CA:  $39.99  Winemaker notes:  Hailing from 29 vineyards in 11 different counties across the beautiful Golden State, the Turley Juvenile sets the standard for classic California Zinfandel. Bright, vibrant pepper and spice with lovely lifted red fruits, satiating acidity and a hint of blue fruits as well. Lithely textured with pure precision and tons of energy on the palate.

26) Cigar Box Old Vine Malbec 2019, Mendoza:  $11.99  Winemaker notes:  Sourced from a single vineyard, the grapes for this wine were bunch selected and hand-harvested. The wine displays aroma of ripe plum and violets along with subtle hints of vanilla. Of great structure, this wine stands out for its meatiness and intense rich flavor, while a soft, silky finish balances the overall experience.  Drink with grilled meat or salmon, or alone in your room with the door locked…you are the boss!

27) Ameztoi Txakoli 2021, Getariako Txakolina:  $23.99 The wine that has come to define the traditional style of txakolina from Getaria. Light, crisp, refreshing, and low alcohol, Ameztoi Txakolina is bottled with a touch of residual carbon dioxide gas to give it its natural, signature, spritzy style. It is produced exclusively from indigenous hondarrabi zuri grapes at the Ameztoi estate, grown on traditional trellises high on the slopes rising above Getaria, an ancient Basque fishing village on Spain’s rugged northern coast. A joyful wine with signature salty and briny notes, crisp acidity, low alcohol, and refreshing spritz naturally complements the region’s exquisite seafood.

28) TOR Tierra Roja Cabernet Sauvignon 2019, Napa Valley:  $205.99  Winemaker notes:  The 2019 Tierra Roja immediately shows the more classic red fruit profile that you expect from their intense, iron rich soils. This shows a very floral side to the aromatics with roses, rosemary, lavender and sage. The palate is firm but with sweet tannins and a bit of wet earth, cloves and cinnamon stick. Tierra Roja tends to be fairly forward in its youth but always surprises with just how long and well it can go in the cellar.

29) Tooth and Nail Sauvignon Blanc 2021, Central Coast:  $19.99  Aromas of Grapefruit, white peach, pineapple.  Flavors of tangerine, Meyer lemon and young mango.  Crisp with hints of fresh herbs and bright minerality.

30) Patient Cottat Sancerre Anciennes Vignes 2020:  $33  Winemaker notes:  Lemon-color with golden-green reflections. Complex and intense aromas of acacia blossoms with a Muscat-like nose of passionfruit. the palate is full and fat. Very well balanced. Notes of litchi and a small touch of honey.  A great match for richer seafood dishes such as crab cakes or squid in a risotto or squid stewed with red peppers and tomatoes.

31) Frank Family Chardonnay 2019, Carneros:  $27.99  Winemaker notes:  A vibrant citrus-led nose delves into nuanced flavors of baked apple, toasted oak, and brioche on the full-bodied palate. The rich mouthfeel is harmonized by a lasting thread of bright acidity that lifts and maintains freshness on the long finish.

32) Domaine Charles Audoin Les Longeroies Marsannay 2017:  $62.99  This silky and aromatic Pinot from Marsannay shows elegant flavors of black cherries, punchy red fruit, wet earth, mushrooms, and violets. Zesty acidity and solid structure lead to a lasting and mineral-driven finish. As prices for Red Burgundy continue to climb, we find that Marsannay consistently puts out some of the best QPR (quality-to-price ratios) in the region.

More new presale rose:

33) GONC Anna Rose 2021, Stajerska, Slovenia:  $18.99  A blend of 50% Žametna črnina, 20% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Grigio, 10% Blau Frankish, Cuvee Anna is ripe with aromas of wild berries, strawberries, melon, and peach. On the palate, very fruity with a lively, refreshing finish. A bright Provence-style Rose that will make you wonder how it is not from Provence! Fun fact: Žametna črnina is the oldest living vine in the world (at 375-400 years old) and it’s traditionally planted in Slovenia.

34) Ty Caton Winemaker’s Cuvee Caton Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma County:  $27.99  Located on the western slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains, the Caton Vineyard is a rugged setting ideally situated to grow world-class grapes in the Moon Mountain District of Sonoma Valley. The vineyard is blessed with an ideal climate with warm, moderate sunshine during the day and cool breezes in the evening. The 40-acre vineyard is spread out over 108 acres of steeply contoured hillsides that are as unique as the wines they produce. Each distinct block is defined by its different sun exposures, soil type, incline, clone, and elevation. The vineyard is farmed sustainable with a strong commitment to the stewardship of the land. These hillsides are home to some of the most historic mountain vineyards in California, dating to the 1890s. High elevation and rocky, volcanic terrain imbue this Cab with uncommon richness and intensity while Caton gives his wines the deluxe treatment with plenty of French oak. The result is a sizable Cab – with big, dark, nearly sweet fruit, creamy vanilla, and suave tannins. (90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot) Only 600 cases made!