SAUER GRAPES WINE DEALS 4-19-21

1. Rasa Vineyards Occam’s Razor 2017, Columbia Valley:  $25   Big, dark, extracted fruit, smoky and peppery, but floral all at the same time. I have been featuring Occam’s Razor red blend for years and never tire of the rich, chocolatey fruit, bright finish and aromatics, and velvety texture. Great with burgers, casseroles, or just enjoy curled up on the couch with some dark chocolate.  Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and other WA grapes.

2. Vignerons de Buxy Montagny 2017, Burgundy:  $26  A mouth-watering, unoaked Chardonnay brought up in stainless-steel tank. A lean and steely Burgundian Chardonnay steely made for raw oysters and grilled shellfish. Full-on lime-lemon zest, fresh apple and pear with mineral and chalky flavors (in a good way) on the palate. Elegant and balanced with bracing acidity for food.  Food pairings: grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, fresh steamed crab.

3. Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rose Cava 2018, Penedes:  $27  Winemaker notes:  A pale, subdued and elegant pink color with clean, pure and almost crystalline aromas of light citrus, red flowers, white fruit, and a touch of cassis. The clean nose evolves with a smooth, voluminous and fruity texture, pleasant freshness and fine bubbles. Driven by a very good balance, with low dosage.  Macabeo, Xarel·lo, Parellada and Monastrell.

4. Fowles Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch Pinot Noir 2017, Victoria, Australia:  $33  Winemaker notes:  This wine is brick red in color with some garnet hues. A savory wine with a subtle aromas of smoked meat, some complex spices, forest floor and a hint of cherry. On the palate, a lovely palate structure with some earthy complexity. An elegantly structured wine with sweet spice in the mouth and fine balance.

5. E. Pira Via Nuova Chiara Boschis Barolo 2015:  $105  James Suckling 95 pts.  This delivers a fresh and vibrant impression on the nose with ripe red cherries and a deep-set, rose perfume. The palate has impressive power and focus with chiseled, driving tannins that cut a straight line of pure, red and black-cherry flavor. Long and assertive in 2015. Try this from 2023. 

6. E. Pira Via Nuova Chiara Boschis Barolo 2016:  $109.99  100 Points, Vinous (Antonio Galloni): “In my opinion, the 2016 Barolo Via Nuova is the single greatest Barolo Chiara Boschis has made in her storied career. A monumental, thrilling wine, the Via Nuova captures all the best the vintage had to give. Explosive in the glass, with stunning aromatic depth, the 2016 is drop-dead gorgeous from the very first taste. Dark macerated cherry, lavender, spice, menthol and rose petal are kicked up a few notches from underlying veins of acidity and tannin that give the wine its energy and drive. The 2016 is a wine of extraordinary harmony, purity and finesse with an eternal finish. The 2016 Barolo Via Nuova is a blend of seven plots: Terlo, Liste, Paiagallo, Ravera di Monforte, Mosconi, Gabutti and Baudana.”
Production:  750 6 pack cases

7. E. Pira Mosconi Barolo 2016:  $122  Winemaker notes:  The most recently acquired parcel, the famous Mosconi Cru in Monforte d’Alba was purchased in 2009. The vineyard’s particular heavy clay soil (in some areas calcium carbonate and iron give the soil a reddish-gray color) lends considerable structure to this wine, making it a Barolo ideal for aging. A garnet red color is complimented by open perfumes of flowers and mature fruit with some spicy notes. This is a long-lasting wine of power and concentration with firm, velvety tannins.

8. Vega Sicilia Unico 2010:  $489  Winemaker notes:  The Unico Tinto is the Vega Sicilia flagship. The qualities of the Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon in different proportions are assembled to perfection in this wine. 2010 is a powerful, concentrated and ample vintage. Vega Sicilia Unico 2010 gains nuances, given sufficient time to open. A wine to enjoy long-term. “100 points.  Vega Sicilia Único Reserva 2010 (14%) Perfection is as rare in wine as it is in most things in life, but this is a stunning Único, reflecting the quality of one of the greatest vintages of the last century. Blended with 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, as it was in 2009, it’s still a very youthful wine right now, with close knit tannins, thrilling acidity, layers of spices, fresh earth, tobacco, red and black fruits, some oak sweetness and a wonderfully refreshing, leafy undertone. Simply stunning. 2025-50” – Tim Atkin, Master of Wine
“100 points.  Hard not to dust off the long list of superlatives when tasting this phenomenal wine, certainly the best Unico I have tasted. The wine leaps out of the almost opaque claret depths in the glass; there’s a slightly disorienting, heady waft of spice (cardamon, fenugreek) as if you had just walked into an Indian spice shop, sweet strawberry jam, black cherry, jamon; the palate is completely approachable, rounded and ripe, with cranberry coulis and licorice root amongst the complexity and layers of flavor, ending on a lifted sweet pastry note and splash of vanilla custard.  Like all great wines of this stature this has such purity and completeness from the first enticing, savoury aromas, to when the wine registers perfectly on the palate and finally to the point a long time after the wine has left the palate that keeps your mind humming – like the reverb on the string section after an orchestra has just reached a breath-taking crescendo. There is such freshness and lightness of touch here, wave after wave of layers, underpinned by the structure of the Cabernet and the tannins are so fine I swear you can pick out the atoms of this wine. This is really something.” – Peter Dean, The Buyer, Premium Wine Trade Magazine.

9. Tenuta del Cabreo La Pietra Chardonnay 2018, Toscana:  $35.99  Winemaker notes:  Floral and tropical fruits are among the complex aromas of this wine complemented by rich flavors and great structure followed by an outstanding minerality and crisp acidity.  Pairs well with roast chicken, pork, scampi and other shellfish dishes, especially those prepared with butter, and aged cheeses.

10. Hazelfern Robinson Family Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley:  $55  Winery notes:  Confident, charming, and dreamy. Dried cherries, blood orange sorbet, cloves, and cinnamon are accented by purple wisteria flowers, herbes de provence, toasty spices, and roasted hazelnuts. Chocolate covered Mt. Hood strawberries carry the long and delicious finish. 100% Pommard clone Pinot Noir from Willakenzie sedimentary soils.  Delicious with:  gouda, grilled pork chops, filet mignon.

11. Seventy Five Wine Co. The Sum Red Wine 2019 by Tuck Beckstoffer:  $26.99  The SUM is a unique and stylistic blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and select varietals that make up a bold proprietary cuvee, where the finished wine is bigger than the sum of its parts. Aromas of dried lavender and fresh ground peppercorn fill the glass. The wine coats the mouth with flavors of fresh blackberries and crushed cherry. The finish is soft and lingering with a hint of cocoa and rose petal. Enjoy this wine with cassoulet, oven roasted root vegetables, grilled mushrooms and smoked brisket.

12. Guigal La Doriane Condrieu 2018, Rhone:  $140  Winemaker notes:  Brilliant clear pale golden yellow. Notes of white flowers, apricot, and white peaches. Intensely powerful and elegant aromas. Freshness, round, rich and full-bodied on the palate. Fully expressive of the terroir. Great finesse and freshness. A pleasant light acidity is well balanced with round fleshy fruitiness.  This wine is great as an aperitif, or paired either foie gras, scrambled egg with truffles, or delicate fish.

13. The Mascot Red Wine 2015, Napa Valley:  $165  Made from the younger vines of Harlan Estate, BOND, and Promontory, The Mascot shares a unique glimpse into the evolution of our winegrowing estates. The Mascot began early on as an experiment, after talking the family and winemaking team into sparing a few barrels of wine – produced from our younger vines – to explore a blend of my own. In the first few years, before it had a label or a name, it was just a wine shared with friends and family. It wasn’t until the 2008 vintage, our first official release, that we had enough to share with new friends.

14. Dumol Wester Reach Pinot Noir 2018, Russian River Valley:  $75.99  Winery notes:  Beautiful soaring aromas of blood orange and pomegranate darken to classic black cherry and raspberry. The deep entry expands along strong lines with good drive and detail to its red and black fruit flavors. Dark fruits and cherry compote lead the palate—great depth of flavor but always fresh and precise. Savory elements steer the wine toward complexity that will continue to build with age.

15. Valerio Zenato Lugana Mandolara Le Morette 2019:  $17.99  This excellent wine is produced exclusively from the Turbiana grapes, that grow in the narrow strip of land on the shore of Garda Lake. After a very soft crushing, and thermo-controlled vinification, we obtain this elegant wine. Lugana Mandolara has got a pale straw-yellow color, with green reflections. Its characteristic balanced bouquet is pleasant and fresh, with flower sensations. At taste it is attractively fruity, with apple and peach hints characterized, at the end, by a trace of bitter almonds. Its delicate and light flavor make it the perfect companion with a wide range of dishes from hors d’oeuvres to fish.

16. Pine Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley:  $45.99  Great price!  Winemaker notes:  Optimal conditions for fermentation and barrel aging produced a dark ruby wine with inviting aromas of cinnamon, blueberry, blackberry, vanilla, and cedar. A juicy mid-palate shows flavors of cherry and layers of texture. The natural sweetness of the fruit balances the bright acidity and follows through to the lingering coffee and vanilla cream-laced finish.

17. Conundrum Red Wine 2018, CA by Caymus Family:  $17.99  Winemaker notes:  Sourced from premier California winegrowing regions, Conundrum Red features dark red varietals including Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. It is rich, complex and approachable. With lush flavors of cherries and baking chocolate, this wine has fine tannins that create a silky smoothness. Be daring and drink Conundrum Red chilled to enhance its fruit profile and enjoy it any time of year.  
We had Ryan Hill here recently and all of the wines were outstanding:

18. Hill Family Winery Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Napa Valley:  $24.99  Winemaker Alison Doran’s tasting notes: Bright and fresh, with flavors and aromas of peach, lemon curd, white grapefruit, and passion fruit and balanced notes of citrus and stone fruit. The mid-palate is full, and the finish is lengthy and crisp.  94% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Viognier and 2% Muscat Canelli.

19. Hill Family Winery Carly’s Cuvee Chardonnay 2016, Napa Valley:  $29.99  Crazy good price!  Winemaker Alison Doran’s tasting notes: The 2016 Carly’s Cuvee Chardonnay presents fresh and bright aromatics of tropical fruit, melon and hints of fig. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light peach and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full mid-palate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish.

20. Hill Family Winery Beau Terre Merlot 2016, Oak Knoll:   $35.99  Suggested retail:  $49!  The Beau Terre vineyards are centerpieces for Doug Hill’s accumulated viticultural knowledge. From the row spacing to the trellising, the row direction and the clones selected, everything has been carefully thought out to give Merlot its best expression. The 2016 Beau Terre Merlot presents lovely aromas of black cherry and boysenberry fruit, with warm vanilla and mocha. The palate is rich and tasty with notes of black licorice, boysenberry and plum that finish smoothly with velvety texture.

21. Hill Family Winery Albarino 2020:  $28  Introductory price!  May have been the most popular wine of the night!  Offers aromas of pear, citrus, green apple and floral notes. The palate is mouthwatering, with green apple and plenty of lemon-lime acidity on the finish. Its zippy acidity and light floral notes make it a natural companion to shrimp, crab, oysters and tapas.

22. Hill Family Origin Red Wine 2015, Napa Valley:   $39.99  Great price! Winery Notes: “The 2015 Origin has lovely aromas of blackberry and raspberry fruit with dark roses. The broad entry has a big mouthful of berries and crunchy cherry. The ripe and intense mid palate rolls into more sweet fruit – blueberry, red currant, and plum, with some chewy tannins hanging around the edges.”  Composed using fruit from seven vineyards, and ranging 4 appellations, the 2015 blend is built around a core of 47% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, enhanced with Malbec and Petit Verdot. 

23. Hill Family Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2018:  $45.99  Suggested retail:  $60  The 2018 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of black currant, black cherry, violets, vanilla and pie spice. The palate is rich, with flavors of blackberry, hazelnut, raspberry and mocha. This wine has tremendous viscosity for being so young and has a lot of room to grow and integrate all the flavors.

24. Hill Family Like a Hawk Red 2017:  $56.99  Winemaker Alison Doran’s tasting notes: The 2017 Like a Hawk has aromas of plum, vanilla, boysenberry and just a hint of elderberry blossom. The palate is rich and velvety with flavors of berry fruit, vanilla and mocha flavors.  52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Syrah, 22% Malbec and 2% Viognier.

25. Delta Rose 2020, CA:  $10.99  Juicy white raspberry, sour watermelon, mandarin, Meyer lemon, rosemary flower.  Varietal: 100% Syrah

26. Marques de Tomares Excellence 2018, Rioja:  $19.99  The aroma stands out for its fruity accompanied by certain hints of vanilla, highlighting its persistence and long duration.  On the palate its great structure and complexity stand out, recalling its freshness. In its passage, a great roundness is appreciated due to its stay in the bottle, being its aftertaste very pleasant and of great intensity.  90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano.

27. Domaine Bailly-Reverdy La Mercy-Dieu Sancerre Blanc 2019:  $31.99  “Very nice pale yellow color with pale green highlights. A lovely complex nose of citrus fruits, flowers and minerality. The entry is fresh and clean, then well-structured, with both roundness and liveliness. An ample wine, a beautiful aromatic power. This wine fills your mouth. Lovely length. Ideal with goat cheese (dry and young), grilled fish, poultry.  Tasting commentaries by Jean-Christophe Pouteau, Sommelier-Cellar Master, qualified from Suze La Rousse Wine University.  Ageing Potential :  Our white Sancerre wine “la Mercy-Dieu” will reach its peak from 6 to12 months after the harvest and you’ll enjoy it all through the ageing. You can keep it from 3 to 6 years. It depends on the vintage and the storage.

28. Domaine Bailly-Reverdy Les Monts Damnes Sancerre Blanc 2018:  $44.99  “Nice pale yellow color with pale green highlights. Lovely legs. A really beautiful complex and aromatic nose : citrus notes ( lemon, grapefruit), white fruit : apricot, peach, pear. Wood barrel ageing gives the wine a toasted, spicy and vanilla note. Quite round in the mouth, with plenty of expression, you can find the citrus and woody aromas as well as a beautiful minerality. A great wine, delicate and elegant with a lovely length. Ideal as an apéritif. It will perfectly go with a red mullet, or a sea bass served with a creamy basil and dill sauce. You can also drink it with cooked crustaceans or cheeses.  Tasting commentaries by Jean-Christophe Pouteau, Sommelier-Cellar Master, qualified from Suze la Rousse Wine University.  Ageing potential :  Our white Sancerre “Les monts Damnés” will reach its peak from 12 to 24 months after the harvest and you’ll enjoy it all through the ageing. You can keep it from 5 to 10 years; it depends on the vintage and the storage.

29. Champagne Jean-Noel Haton Brut Classic:  $39  WE 88 pts.  With some good bottle age, this is a soft, biscuit- and almond-flavored wine. There is a crisp edge from the grapefruit flavor underneath, making this a Champagne that’s full of character and ready to drink now.  Roger Voss

30. Domaine Comte Abbatucci Cuvee Faustine Vieilles Vignes Rose 2019, Corsica:  $33  With Jean-Charles Abbatucci, it is all too easy to get entranced in geeky minutiae about forgotten grape varieties, his latest biodynamic farming innovations, and Corsican wine history. But with a cold glass of his rosé, all this cerebral trivia takes a back seat to the visceral experience of sheer pleasure. It is made from mostly Sciaccarellu grapes grown with care in granitic soils, subject to a slow, delicate pressing and cool, natural fermentation. If you could taste a Corsican breeze, it might resemble this—herbaceous, gently floral, and pleasantly salty.—Anthony Lynch

31. AIX Rose 2020, Provence:  $22  A fragrant and well-balanced wine, AIX’s hypnotizing salmon pink color reveals a fruity freshness. The nose is delightfully fragrant with delicate balance and crisp acidity. Enjoy the notes of soft, ripe summer fruits particularly watermelon and strawberries.  Salad, grilled fish, poultry and Asian foods, especially sushi and curry dishes.  60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Syrah.