SAUER GRAPES WINE DEALS 82920

1)  2019 Gérard Boulay, “Chavignol” Sancerre:  $36.99  Perched on the northern tip of Sancerre are the white limestone slopes of Chavignol, the finest Sauvignon Blanc growing region in the world.  Often compared to the Grand Cru vineyards of Burgundy for its limestone-based soil, Chavignol is a field of chalky-white stone that produces refined and immensely complex whites.  With uncanny freshness and bright citrus minerality, Boulay’s Sancerre displays classic gooseberry and lime zest aromas which mingle with notes of minty herb, stone, almond, and white flowers. It has a solid core of grapefruit, mandarin orange, lime, and wildflowers. It is one of the best Sancerres being made today!  Irresistible now, and with a mineral-infused core, it can easily be enjoyed over the next five years.  Arugula salad, roasted peppers, goat cheese and a glass of the 2019 Boulay Sancerre.

2) Peter Michael “Ma Belle-Fille” Chardonnay 2018, Knights Valley:  $139.99  Robert Parker 97-99 Points: “A tank sample, the 2018 Chardonnay Belle Cote comes from a block planted to Old Wente and See Clone selections. In fact, this is from the oldest, 1990 plantings on the estate. Wow—the nose explodes from the glass with powerful scents of guava, quince, tangerine and lime blossoms plus touches of ginger ale, peach cobbler and crème caramel with a waft of struck flint. Medium-bodied, the palate features laser precision with a racy line cutting through the intense, tightly wound, mineral-laced fruit, finishing long and zesty. Should age incredibly! 3,100 cases are due to be made.”

3) Brooks Pinot Noir Rose 2019, Willamette Valley:  $23.99  Bright and approachable, this herbaceous and mineral-driven rosé has balanced acidity to make this a great food wine or perfect for drinking on its own.

4) Boomtown Cabernet Sauvignon by Dusted Valley 2018, Washington State:  $17.99  James Suckling 93 pts.  This is a really delicious cabernet with lots of blackcurrants, dark chocolate and hazelnuts with some wet earth, too. Fresh and vivid. Full-bodied, tight and focused. Extremely long and flavorful. 95% cabernet sauvignon, 2% petit verdot, 2% malbec and 1% syrah. Drinkable now, but better in 2021. Screw cap. 
And now for some trendy new Orange wines:  Orange wine, also known as skin-contact white wine, skin-fermented white wine, or amber wine, is a type of wine made from white wine grapes where the grape skins are not removed, as in typical white wine production, and stay in contact with the juice for days or even months.  This contrasts with conventional white wine production, which involves crushing the grapes and quickly moving the juice off the skins into the fermentation vessel. The skins contain color pigmentphenols and tannins that would normally be considered undesirable for white wines, while for red wines skin contact and maceration is a vital part of the winemaking process that gives red wine its color, flavor, and texture.  (Wikipedia):

5) Bojo do Luar Vinho Branco Barrete “Tez” 2019, Baião, Vinho Verde:  $24.99  Aged with chestnut leaves so no sulfites needed.  Unfiltered.  A testament to the potential of Northern Portugal’s white grape varietals, they produce elegant, high-toned wines you can dance with! The Avesso was de- stemmed and kept in stainless steel tanks, macerating for four months. It was then pressed and separated from the skins in January. It adds great tension and tannins, with a lively stone fruit character to the final blend.  The Arinto was pressed and fermented without temperature control in concrete tanks. It had a more pronounced mineral acidity akin to lemon zest and artichoke brine qualities brought into the blend.  The final blend had equal parts of both wines and shows an exceptional potential for evolution, along with beautiful aromatic complexity and a briny mineral texture.  50% Avesso & 50% Arinto.

6) Costador Macabeu Brisat Metamorphika 2019, DO Conca de Barbera:  $37.99  From vines around 70 years old planted on 1.5 hectares of clay, stony and calcareous soils, the grapes are hand-harvested at the end of September, intensely sorted and then de-stemmed. Maceration lasts around eight weeks before spontaneous fermentation takes place in clay amphorae (300-2500L), using indigenous yeasts, for eight weeks under temperature control. The wine is then moved to used barrels (200-600L) and allowed to complete malolactic fermentation where it rests on lees for seven months, stirring every day in the beginning with inert gas until the wine is protected. Unfiltered.

7) Schlossmulenhof Landwein Rhein “Das ist keine Orange”  2019, Rheinhessen:  $23  60% Müller-Thurgau, 15% Riesling,10% Weißer Burgunder, 5% Grauburgunder, 5% St. Laurent, 5% Muskateller.  From 15-30 year old vines planted on calcareous clay soils, the grapes were hand-harvested together in early October, allowed to macerate for eight weeks on skins with spontaneous fermentation in stainless steel lasting eight weeks. The wine spends six months on lees.  Unfiltered.

8) Paolo Bea “Arboreus” Trebbiano Spoletino Umbria Bianco 2012:  $69.99  Highly limited wines, Bea is one of the lauded Orange wine producers, tannic, serious.  The Arboreus Bianco is a full-figured amber-hued wine that’s weighty, lush, and has a mouth-filling, texture complemented by a lively mineral core. Ripe golden apricots, dried orange peel, a touch of honey, white flower, potpourri, and a dash of warm baking and cooking combine to make this a delicious wine to pungent seafood to pungent cheeses. Bea’s Arboreus White gets its name from old pre-phylloxera vine Trebbiano Spoletino rootstock whose vines are trained into tree-like shapes. The wine’s intense flavor comes from the grapes’ fermenting on the skins for two weeks before bottling. serve chilled.

9)Field Recordings.  Skins White Wine 2019, Central Coast:  $20.99  A skin-contact (4-6 weeks!) orange wine made from Chenin Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris. This is a great entry level wine for someone looking to explore orange wine. It’s aromatic, has a gentle tannin and leaves a warming sensation on your palate. Citrus, tropical fruit, spice.   Native yeasts, minimal sulfur.

10) Podere Pradarolo ex Alba Bianco Macerato 2019, Northern Italy:  $28.99  True orange from Northern Italy, cidery.  Despite their location in the northwest of Italy, this is 100% Trebbiano (d’Abruzzo). The grapes are hand-harvested before undergoing a very extended maceration (45 days!) in old oak barriques. Spontaneous fermentation is kickstarted with only the help of native yeasts, and the wine is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no additional SO2.  Tasting Notes: Smells like a field of wildflowers and a hint of bbq smoke. Tastes like tangerine and green apple. Bits of black pepper tingle on the tongue and give this low ABV (10.5%!!!) orange a bit of an edge, but overall this is another crisp, fun, refreshing offering from Podere Pradarolo.  Racy yet luscious – this is the ideal fling. Be careful when sniffing – the deep floral nose might pull you in so much you’ll fall in the bottle and drown. Citrusy notes and low 10.5% ABV make this a natural sipper for those humid days when you just want a hose nearby to cool your face. But fair warning – it’s also heavily fermented with skins-on for 45 days – so this is for serious orange wine lovers. 

11) Luigi Baudana Dragon Bianco 2018, Langhe, Piedmont:  $18.99  This blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Nascetta is very thin and easy in terms of consistency but it shows lots of bright, exotic flavors. The 2018 Langhe Bianco Dragon spreads out notes of citrus, passion fruit and papaya. This is a great aperitif wine for finger foods.

12) Suavia “Monte Carbonare” Soave Classico 2017, Veneto:  $28.99 Decanter 92 pts.  A black, pure volcanic soil hosts the vineyards of this Soave. It’s a white wine full of smoky minerality blended with stone-fruit flavors on a vibrant palate, with the typical delicacy of Garganega’s acidity. It’s interesting to also taste the Massifitti 2016, which is the rediscovery of Trebbiano di Soave by the estate, producing a tingling wine of great chalky minerality.

13) Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico 2017, Tuscany:  $28.99  James Suckling 95 pts.  A very fresh 2017 with plenty of tight and linear tannins that give the wine energy and drive. Medium to full body. Racy finish. This is impressive. Fantastic texture and complexity on the palate with purple fruit and wet earth.

14) Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva 2017, Tuscany:  $37.99  93 pts. Vinous  The 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva is a total knock-out. Sumptuous and enveloping, but with plenty of structure to support it all, the 2017 captures all the best elements of the house style. Succulent black cherry, worn-in leather, smoke, licorice and espresso all build in the glass as the 2017 shows off its curves. More than anything else, the 2017 is a wine of tremendous pleasure.

15) Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva “Rancia” 2016, Tuscany:  $59.99  Decanter 97 pts.  The south-facing Rancia vineyard reaches altitudes of 420 meters, overlooking the lower-lying vineyards of Colli Senesi. It boasts complex soils of calcareous clay layered with the chalky white limestone-like alberese and schistose galestro. This 2016 vintage is simply stunning. It’s stately yet gracious, with personality for days, leading with a sumptuous nose of smoke, exotic spice and iron-rich earth. Ripe fruit coats the mouth yet it remains buoyant and tangy as chalky tannins charge in to frame the palate. A seductive wine with an appetising, savoury edge and a long, long life ahead.

16) Felsina “Fontalloro” 2017 IGT Toscana:  $68.99  94 pts. Vinous  Fontalloro is exquisite in 2017. It is also such a contrast to the Rancia, as the two wines could not possibly be more different. Fontalloro is bright and vibrant, with more sweet red Sangiovese character than the darker Rancia. It is also incredibly delicious now, even though it clearly has the energy to age for many years. The 2017 is one of the finest Fontalloros I can remember tasting.

17) GD Vajra Barolo “Ravera” 2015 DOCG:  $75.99  WE 95 pts.  Perfumed red berry, rose, tobacco and menthol aromas are front and center on this fragrant red. The structured, full-bodied palate delivers raspberry compote, pomegranate, licorice and wild herbs, while taut, polished tannins and fresh acidity provide support and balance. Drink 2022–2030. 95 points Vinous “The 2015 Barolo Ravera captures all the best the vintage has to offer. More importantly, it has that extra level of textural richness and sweetness that the Bricco delle Viole does not have, at least not today. Creamy and beautifully textured in the glass, the 2015 is a total winner. Bright red raspberry and pomegranate fruit notes are lifted, while expressive floral and blood orange overtones add brightness. The 2015 suggests that the Ravera might, in time, become the flagship  here. Don’t miss it! (AG)” (2/2019)

18) Barbanera Sangiovese White IGT, 2018, Tuscany:  $21.99  A fresh sour cherry, orange blossom and broom enhance the aromatic complexity of this Sangiovese vinified in white, while hints of quince linger in the background.  Rich on the palate and on its minerality, pleasantly fresh, harmonic and slightly savory, it leads to a distinctly floral mouthfeel.

19) Terre del Marchesato Vermentino Emilio Primo 2018, Toscana:  $27.99 Straw yellow with greenish reflections. Intense bouquet with notes of white flowers, apricot, peach and lemon peel. On the palate, the Emilio Primo Bianco is very balanced, mineral, dynamic and extremely elegant and well structured. With an unusual softness, this wine offers a persistent finish.

20) Tenuta Impostino Ciarlone DOC Montecucco Rosso 2016:  $21.99  Bright ruby ​​red color. The nose is intense and fruity, characterized in particular by hints of morello cherry and red plum, to which are added delicate floral notes of violet. The mouth is well structured in the tannic texture, soft and fresh at the same time, of good length and slightly almondy at the end.  Sangiovese 60%, merlot, alicante and petit verdot 40%.

21) Collemattoni Adone Toscano Rosso 2018:  $27.99  95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot.  Ruby red in color, bouquet of violet, cherry and blackberry, pleasant, dry and well balanced mouthfeel.

22) Tenuta de Gracciano della Seta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2016:  $32.99  Ruby red the color to the eye. The nose is elegant and broad, opened by initial floral memories, then followed by references to ripe plums, raspberries and berries in general, and tertiary nuances of leather, undergrowth and dark spices. The taste is supported by an important tannic texture and a nice freshness. Long persistence and rich aftertaste, characterized by a finish reminiscent of licorice.  Blackthorn 90%, merlot 10%.

23) Brunello Colle Mattoni 2015:  $69.99  “Good full red. Perfumed aromas of red cherry, kirsch, mocha and herbs on the inviting nose. Despite its size, this is graceful and impeccably built, with very precise flavors of red plum, blueberry, milk chocolate and minerals that expand and broaden on the long, seductive finish. Outstanding Brunello that offers both size and refinement. In my opinion, Collemattoni is a very underrated, off the radar Brunello estate but its wines deserve to be better known. – Ian D’Agata.”  Antonio Galloni’s Vinous (April 2020), 95 pts., 100% Sangiovese.

24) Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Napa Valley:  $39.79  Crazy good price!  Should be $10 more!  James Suckling 92 pts.  A juicy, flavorful red with blackberry, chocolate and hazelnut character. Some coffee undertones. Full body and firm, silky tannins with a chewy edge. Flavorful finish. Drinkable now, but better with some age. Try in 2022.

25) Sequoia Grove Chardonnay 2017, Napa Valley:  $27.99  WE 90 pts.  Rich, rounded and oak-driven, this white tastes of vanilla, brioche and crème brûlée. Full bodied and weighty, it will appeal to fans of a bigger, more voluptuous style, with a lasting note of baked apple and pear. 

26) R. Lopez Heredia Vina Tondonia Reserva Red 2008, Rioja:  $63.99 James Suckling 95 pts.  Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber. Light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance.  Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%), all from our own vineyards.

27) Fraga do Corvo Mencia 2017, Monterrei:  $20.99   With intense wild forest fruit aromas (blackberry, raspberry), evokes currant compote, violet caramel and strawberry lollipop, spicy notes of licorice root and slight Madagascar vanilla, coffee bean.  With a juicy entry, recalling the red berries of the forest, with subtle spices such as nutmeg and white pepper, noble woodwork, with an agile and fresh palate, polished tannin and good flow.

28) Buil & Gine Gine Gine 2017, Priorat DOQ:  $24.99  A blend of Grenache and Carignan, 50% old vines, grown on steep slopes. The varieties are fermented separately. A long maceration at low temperatures is followed by malolactic fermentation. Once this process is completed, the wine is blended and bottled. The resulting wine shows intense notes of flowers, fruits and minerals from the soil. This wine is fresh, very fruity, round, and balanced, with a very long finish.