Barista Pinotage – 13.99
From the Val de Vie wine estate in the heart of the cape winelands, where wine production dates back to 1825. This is a deliberately modern offering by winemaker Bertus Fourie, who has concentrated on drawing out the coffee-like aromas of South Africa’s signature grape. Intense on the nose, with a bouquet of coffee, chocolate and cherry, with meaty, savoury hints. The tannins are ripe, perfectly suiting the round and mouth-filling plum and mulberry fruit.Drink on its own or with red meat dishes. Bertus’ recommends a blue-cheese-filled brandy snap with chocolate and roasted coffee beans!
Mac Murray Pinot Noir – 17.99
The wine shows lovely flavors of cherry, cranberry and brown spice. It’s got that all-important earthy quality I look for in Pinot Noir. Coming in at just under 14% ABV, it’s fairly light and elegant on the palate. Oak is used judiciously with mostly light toast so the fruit components are not overpowered by the wood. It drinks well alone, and pairs well with grilled meats and fish.
Machete – 39.99
Beautiful notes of just picked warm, ripe blackberry with licorice and cedar box on the nose. The wine is structured and complex, saturated with smoky, dark, ripe brambly black fruit. It is bright and brooding, rich and powerful showcasing the intensity of Petite Sirah, the elegance and complexity of Grenache with the seriousness of cool climate Syrah.
49% Petite Sirah, 30% Grenache, 21% Syrah
45% Napa, 35% Sonoma, 20% Mendocino
Aged 12 months; 48% French Oak, 52% American Oak, 50% New barrels
Apothic Red – 10.99
A captivating blend of three distinct grapes, with the dark fruit flavors of Syrah, brambly spice of Zinfandel, and a smooth elegance of Merlot.Apothic Red reveals intense fruit aromas and flavors of rhubarb and black cherry that are complemented by hints of mocha, chocolate, brown spice and vanilla. The plush, velvety mouthfeel and smooth finish round out this intriguing, full-bodied red blend.
Chateau St. Michelle Riesling – 10.99
The Chateau Ste. Michelle Johannisberg Riesling is an inviting, easy to drink off-dry Riesling that we strive for consistency in style vintage after vintage. You can count on this Riesling to deliver classic Columbia Valley Riesling characters of white peach, apricot, pear and zesty grapefruit. This is our every day Riesling that is versatile, charming and fun to drink.
Uppercut Cab – 39.99
Uppercut Cabernet Sauvignon boasts aromas of dark fruit, espresso, violet and spice. Smooth blackberry, black cherry and cocoa flavors expand across the palate, revealing nuances of caramel and toffee from new oak barrels. This broad-shouldered Cabernet Sauvignon draws you in with its expressive nose. The deep flavors-structured with firm, approachable tannins and lively midpalate acidity- stand up to the bold flavors of grilled rib-eye steaks and braised short ribs. Its multilayered personality is unmistakably Napa Valley Cab. Perfect with a sizzling steak.
Educated Guess Cab – 23.99
Mostly Cab with a little Merlot, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot sourced mainly from Rutherford and St. Helena, the wine spends a year in French and American Oak. We love a little whimsy, and this delicious Cab takes us back to the high school chemistry black board… In a good way. Winemaker Notes – Wow, what can we say about our Cabernet Sauvignon? It’s rich, ripe and focused with juicy blackberry and cherry fruit, cocoa and hints of mint all tied together with a creamy French vanilla middle and a finish that in a word is . . . lingering. Educated Guess fills all the requirements that a serious cabernet lover is looking for, while remaining fun, approachable, and food friendly!
Stella Rosa Rosso – 12.99
From the beautiful village of Santo Stefano Belbo in Piedmont comes our delicious Stella Rosa. A refreshing red wine to be served chilled and accompanied by fresh fruit and cheese.
The Prisonor – 43.99
This wine, with its eccentric blend of Zinfandel (51%), Cabernet Sauvignon (23%), Syrah (12%), Petite Sirah (6%), Charbono (6%) and Grenache (2%) defies the logic of most wine blends, and would scandalize the wine appellation police in many countries. But there’s not a lot about Orin Swift Cellars that really seems intent on following accepted practices when it comes to wine. I don’t know much about the winemaking for the wine, or the specific vineyard sources for the grapes, which Phinney doesn’t disclose. The blend changes a little bit each year but generally keeps to the same flavor profile that has made the wine a raging success among its enthusiastic fans (I’ve reviewed only one vintage of the wine previously and it is still one of the most often searched for wines on Vinography). No matter how many times you see a heck of a lot of work pay off in the service of a dream, it’s still quite impressive. Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine has a strong, jammy bouquet of blackberries and espresso that with a little air open to include semi-sweet chocolate. On the tongue it is smooth, and reasonably well balanced with a decent acidity that rides on the waves of fruit that the wine offers: blackberry, plum, chocolate, and a touch of savory leather. The finish is moderate and brings in elements of spice (cardamom?) that give an extra kick to the wine along with the barest hint of dry tannins. While perhaps not as complex as it might be, the wine achieves lush fruit without utter bombast, making it worth hanging out with for as long as the bottle lasts. This is a great candidate for grilled meats of all kinds, especially those that contain more complex spices, like these grilled spiced lamb chops
Dead Letter Office – 33.99
Although the letter might look unhappy on the label, the wine is partying in the fruit bowl. Ripe, plush and intense are three words to describe this juice. Concentrated dark fruits like juicy plum, blueberries and black cherry, sweet vanilla oak and milk chocolate frame the experience. Fairly sweet on the palate with a slight coffee and black pepper finish. It isn’t for the weak at heart… it packs 15 percent alcohol. Serve it slightly chilled to escape the heat of the alcohol. Sweetness = 3 (out of 10)
Gazela Verdi – 8.99
Vinho verde, or “green wine,” is made from grapes grown on vines that crawl up trees, poles and high fences. It is a handy choice for St. Patrick’s Day. It can be made with two grape varietals: the alvarinho, which is the same as the albarino grown in Spain and Portugal, and the loureiro. When it comes to vinho verde, we want that classic crisp and almost fizzy characteristic for drinking well-chilled to quench our thirst on one of these lovely spring days. This example of vinho verde from Gazela will take care of that. At this low price, it is especially attractive. It’s drinkable by the glass as an aperitif or with a light Dover sole meuniere. Drink it now through 2011.