News

An Old Friend

deloachOut to dinner with friends last night and spotted DeLoach Pinot Noir on the restaurant’s wine list. Over the years, this has been one of my favorite wines.DL_CaliforniaPinotNoir_Bottleshot_120_433 I paired it with Braised Short Ribs, and they were delicious together. After dinner, I came home and did a little research as to how far back I’ve been drinking Deloach. “In a previous life”, I managed a few restaurants and wrote a few wine lists – many of the lists I still have today. Invariably, every single wine list I wrote from 1982 on had DeLoach Pinot Noir on it! My affection for the wine still exists today.

King James used to call for his old slippers, because they were the best for his feet. That’s how I feel about DeLoach Pinot Noir – it’s an “old friend of a wine” that’s best for my tastebuds.

New Sancerre Producer- Chateau de Crezancy

Chateau de Crezancy
chateau-de-crezancy_largeThis small estate is owned by Jean-Marc and Nicolas Chevreau. It is one of only four chateau bottled Sancerre’s produced with an average annual production of 3,000 cases. Located in the center of France in the Loire Valley, the vineyards consists of 50% clay and 50% limestone soils. Prior to phylloxera wiping out the vineyards of Europe, Sancerre was known for the production of Pinot Noir. When the vineyards were replanted, Sauvignon Blanc became the primary planting in the mid 20th century.

The range will feature a Red, White and Rose and be available in early 2016.

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First Drop’s ‘Fat of The Land’ 2012–This is HUGE!

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After years of working for “the man” and all manner of corporate evangelists, battling vintage after vintage the world over, good friends John Retsas & Matt Gant started their own fermented crusade, First Drop Wines, in 2004.

First Drop Wines, both the beverage and crew, exude a true passion for life, for fun and for flavor. A lifelong commitment to making kick arse booze has seen the birthing of a multitude of eclectic varieties that have been recognized the world over.  By taking the best and brightest fruit from unique vineyards in the great regions of the Barossa, Adelaide Hills & McLaren Vale, they’ve crafted wines to drink, not to ponder.  Amongst the best of what these guys produce are the ‘Fat of The Land’ wines.

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The three single vineyard Shirza from the 2012 vintage, offering different interpretations of their Barossa microclimates, are very LIMITED and were highly praised by The Wine Spectator.  To see those reviews click here or contact your Vintage Imports Sales Consultant for further details.

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Viva Mencia

I’m always intrigued by tasting wines made from the indigenous grapes of their regions or countries. These are generally wines that are limited in selection here in the US, and I find many of them uniquely different than many “standard” selections.

This week took me northwest Spain, specifically the Bierzo region, where I enjoyed a red wine from Bodegas Godelia made from grapes known as Mencia. (My wife who lived in Spain for a year reminds me to pronounce the grape as mehn-THEE-ah).

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Ever since the discovery of 100 year old vines of Mencia in the last decade, I believe the wines have truly come into their own. I enjoyed the balance of floral aromas and spicy red fruits of this wine, with the rustic elegance and dark fruit flavors – and a long lingering finish. Viva Espana!

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More info click here: Godelia Bierzo Mencia WS top 100 talker

Pomelo in Wine Spectator Top 100 for 2015

One of the most exciting events of the Holiday season for Wine Sales is the annual reveal of the Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List.  Over the course of the year, we handle a lot of highly rated wines; and, every November, we all watch with anticipation as the countdown starts and the full Top 100 List is published. So often, that wine is unavailable, crazy expensive or already turned into a new vintage.  But, this year, with Pomelo 2014’s inclusion in the list, we got it just right.

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We were tickled when this wine received 90 points a few months back, but were even more pleasantly surprised to see it land at # 40 in the Top 100.  If you are already a Pomelo supporter, then, we appreciate your support and are pleased to inform you that we have a very good supply of this wine for you and your customers.  If you are not currently using Pomelo….now would be a great time to get on board with one really great (and great selling) bottle of wine.

Here is the lowdown on Pomelo,

Vineyard Notes:

Primarily sourced from Lake County, Pomelo’s characteristic grapefruit profile is consistently found in our blocks situated on the Kelseyville bench.  With an elevation of nearly 1300’, the growing season is long, with ample hours of sunshine and great diurnal temperature fluctuations- all responsible for the explosive flavors found in Pomelo.  We also source a small percentage from an old, established block in Lodi- amazing balance and texture, the Sauvignon Blanc sourced from this region is grapefruit pith with a weightiness contributing to the mid-palette.

Winemaking Notes:

100% Sauvignon Blanc.  Fermented in all stainless steel tanks; extremely long and cold ferment allows for the fragrant and big fruit flavors to be appreciated.  The crisp acidity is retained and then rounded out and complimented by a broadened mouth and ever-slight sweetness.

Tasting Notes:

Graceful, offering fragrant orange blossom, ruby grapefruit and white peach flavors that are fresh and lively, set on a light, lithe body.  Appealing pops of lime zest and passion fruit show on the long finish.

and the review…..

Graceful, with fragrant orange blossom, ruby grapefruit and white peach flavors that are fresh and lively, set on a light, lithe body. Appealing lime zest and passion fruit accents show on the long finish. Drink now. 38,000 cases made.

and the sell sheet…..

Click here

Pot Roast & Syrah

potroastThe weekend had that fall “feel” with a little chill in the air. Raking leaves, starting up the corn stove, and harvesting the last vestiges of the garden were on my to-do list. So was making a pot roast. So I slow roasted a nice 4 pound boneless chuck roast in the oven with carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, and sacrificed a half cup of my Domaine Pradelle Crozes-Hermitage to incorporate, knowing full well that this was the wine I wanted to enjoy with dinner.vignerons_independants_logoThe wine was a big hit! This beautiful syrah from Northern Rhone was the perfect pairing with the pot roast – so much so that we had to open a second bottle!pradellepradelle

Illahe is coming!

ILLAHEHEADER_famownedIllahe Vineyard was purchased in 1999 and first planted in 2001 with 22 acres of pinot noir. Today it is a 52-acre vineyard with seven varieties and 44 acres of pinot noir. When it is completely planted, we will have 60 acres under vine. Illahe Vineyards also uses estate fruit from the Glenn Creek Vineyard in West Salem.

illaheAt Illahe, the goal is to make wine as naturally as possible from the soil to the bottle. This requires working by hand on small lots with age-old techniques and materials.

Our focus is to make and grow quality pinot noir and white wines that express the vintage and their varietal characteristics. We don’t use enzymes or additives, and we don’t fine or filter our pinot noir. Some of our lots are made entirely by hand with no electricity or mechanization. We use a gentle wooden basket press, and age our pinot noir in French and Oregon oak.

Click here for the tech Sheet on the ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir

Click here for the tech Sheet on the ‘Bon Sauvage’ Pinot Noir

Click here for the tech Sheet on the ‘1899’ Pinot Noir

 

 

 

 

Champagne Forget Brimont

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Maison Forget-Brimont’s vineyards cover 18 hectares that are for the most part located on the terroirs of the communes of the Montagne de Reims: Mailly-Champagne and Verzenay for the Grand Crus and Chigny les Roses, Coulommes la Montagne, Ludes, Montbré, Sermiers, Taissy and Villers-Allerand for the Premier Crus. This 6th generation estate started by Louis Forget, planted their first vineyards in the beginning of the 19th Century while the brand was established in 1920. It then became known as Forget-Brimont in 1978. Pinot Noir reigns supreme in this area. This wine is made from primarily Estate fruit from those Premier Cru vineyards but they also purchase some fruit from other Premier Cru growers and Grand Cru growers in order to make small quantities of Grand Cru Champagne. A true artisanal grower/producer with enough vineyards to supply year round continuity of Brut NV Premier Cru.

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The Brut is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay, with between 20% and 40% of reserve wines to ensure consistency.  A pale golden color. It has a delicate nose, very fresh, with lovely complexity. Fresh and supple on the palate, the first impression is of fresh green apples with a hint of white flowers and hazelnuts. The complexity is driven by the use of multiple vintages, multiple varietals, and extended aging of reserve wine components.

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The Rosé Premier Cru is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, and 20% Chardonnay, where like the Brut NV, between 20% and 40% of reserve wines are used to ensure consistency.  An elegant salmon color. It has a very fresh nose and fine, persistent bubbles. Lovely intense aromas give it a positive first impression in the mouth with flavors of mulberry, raspberry, and red currant.

More information is available by clicking here

Both wines were awarded 91 points by the Wine Spectator, and are in good supply.

 

 

 

Carino Rosso di Toscana

“Carino” means Lovely, beautiful, pretty, and/or lovable in Italian.

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Carino Rosso di Toscana is a new red wine made by Paolo Masi from the award winning Renzo Masi winery in Rufina.  This wonderful wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah.  This is a true Super Tuscan,…. At a Super affordable price. Carino Rosso– the Lovely red!  We think you will love this wine too!  More info?  Click Here