|2010 Edmond Vatan, Sancerre, Clos Néore, Loire, Chavignol, Valley, France $64.89 |
There is no arguing that Vatan is the single greatest producer in Sancerre. For me, Vatan is the single greatest producer using Sauvignon Blanc in the world. In fact, Vatan Sancerre isn't about Sauvignon Blanc at all. In this case, Sauvignon is just the vehicle for one of the great terroirs of France, the tiny two-acre vineyard, Clos la Néore on the famous Monts Damnés slope. 2010 is a fantastic vintage combining the power and intensity of 2005 with the clarity and brightness of 2004. Vatan's 2010 Clos la Nóre harnesses all of the power, clarity, depth and purity into a singular wine that is scintillating to drink in its youth, but unfolds into something more, something inexplicable with 8 to 15+ years of age. I don't even like Sauvignon Blanc, but I love Vatan's Clos la Néore. Approximately 500 case are made with only 125 coming into the US. Limit 1 case per customer.
|2010 Dom. de la Butte, Bourgueil, Les Haut de la Butte, Loire Valley, France $20.89 |
Umm, umm, umm! This is delicious Loire Valley Cab Franc goodness in all its meaty, earthy goodness. Star winemaker Jacky Blot has quickly become one of the hottest winemakers in the Loire and his beautiful 2010 Les Haut de lat Butte (top of the hill) clearly demonstrates why. Classic Bourgueil aromas of violets, tobacco leaf, earth and dried herbs give way to an elegant palate with notes of fresh raspberries, cured pork, smoke and limestone minerality. Silky tannins and good acidity give the lift and great balance. Drink now and over the next eight years with braised short ribs, steak, roast chicken or turkey, and grilled portobello mushrooms.
|2010 Ch. Thivin, Cote de Brouilly, Beaujolais, France $18.89 |
Leave it to the big-time wine press to extoll the out-sized 2009 Beaujolais vintage while ignoring the more classic and terroir-driven 2010 Cru Beaujolais. 2010 is an ideal vintage for real Cru Beaujolais lovers. The 2010 Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly possesses all the traits that make 2010 great from the highly aromatic nose to the perfectly balanced palate with strawberry and cranberry fruit and additional notes of lavender, spicy tannins and loads of minerality. Delicious now with any kind of fowl or sausage, this lip-smackin' red will only improve and become more noble over the next 8 to 12 years.
|2009 Guicharde, Cotes-du-Rhone Villages Massif d'Uchaux, Cuvée Genest $13.89 |
Yes!!! This is a big, dark, brooding Cotes-du-Rhone that could easily be confused for a top Gigondas, except for the price. Guicharde's Cuvée Genest is comprised of organic old vine Grenache (60%) and Syrah (40%) from the special terroir of limestone and sand on the Massif d'Uchaux northwest of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. A rich and concentrated wine with dark fruit, earth, and garrigue flavors and aromas are backed by a core of well-structured tannins and balanced acids. Enjoy now and over the next three years with rosemary and garlic-studded lamb, grilled sausages, burgers and hearty stews.
|2011 Arregi, Getariako Txakolina, Basque, Spain $13.89 |
"The official wine of summer." - Sec Wines. I know it's not summer yet, but much of the country is already experiencing summer-like weather. Year in and year out, Arregi Txakoli is among the most refreshing wines on the planet. Aromas of the sea lead to the bright, slightly effervescent palate with flavors of pink grapefruit and salty minerals supported by brisk acidity in a light, low alcohol package. Drink often and with much gusto (especially from a porron) with all things seafood.
|2001 Lopez de Heredia, Rioja Reserva, Viña Tondonia, Spain $35.89 |
Lopez de Heredia's Viña Tondonia Rioja Reserva is one of Spain's greatest wines. In fact, if I were to only buy one red wine from Spain, it would be Viña Tondonia. With complexity and longevity that would embarrass most first growth Bordeaux and at about 1/10 the price, this is truly an amazing wine and equally amazing value. Lopez de Heredia is perhaps the most traditional winery in the world with little changing in the way they make wine over the last 130 years. The 2001 Viña Tondonia Reserva offers an amber color, an enticing nose of dried cherries, cigar box, leather and faint vanilla. The supremely elegant palate is well structured with good acidity and refined tannins that frame the complex flavors of dusty minerals, plums, dried herbs, orange peel and hazel nuts. Decant and drink now, or let this wine continue to develop and improve for another 20 years.
|Bodegas Hidalgo, La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry En Rama, Spain $29.89 (750ml) |
Lovers of dry, utterly complex Sherry, will rejoice at first whiff of this wine. "En Rama" signifies a Sherry that has been bottled almost directly from the barrel, without undergoing the usual processes to prepare a wine for bottling such as filtering or fining. The idea is to taste the Sherry almost as if you had visited the bodega in Spain and dipped your glass into the barrel. Now Bodegas Hidalgo has bottled just a few hundred cases of its La Gitana Manzanilla Sherry 'En Rama'. It has the classic salty tones of Manzanilla with a floral touch and plenty of nutty and dry apple fruit, but there's a meatiness too. That savory, meaty-umami flavor follows through on the palate before accents of nuts and a crisp, lemony acidity give way to the fresh finish. Only 98 6-packs are being imported into the US. Limit 1 case per order.
|2006 Roddolo, Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy SALE $12.89 Full List $19.99 |
"The only problem with these wines from Flavio Roddolo is that they will be difficult to find. Readers who are able to source the wines will be treated to the work of one of Piedmont's greatest artisan growers...Readers should do whatever they can to taste the wines of Flavio Roddolo, one of Piedmont's most genuine artisan producers." - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate. Not bad for a tiny winery most Piedmontese wine lovers have never heard of. Flavio Roddolos 2006 Dolcetto d'Alba is one of my favorite Dolcetti that I've had in a long time. This is old-school winemaking from biodynamically farmed grapes and near perfect growing season made in a non-interventionist style. Earthy, almost Barolo-like aromas segue to a palate that is much more complex than most Dolcetti are. Notes of dried porcini mushrooms, earth, leather and dried cherries reveal themselves in this beautiful, mature wine. Enjoy this extremely food-friendly red with pasta with tomato or meat based sauces, mushroom risotto, pizza, corn-dogs, you name it.
|2010 Ferrando, Canavese Rosso, La Torrazza, Piedmont, Italy $19.89 |
This is one of those wines where it's hard to put the glass down. Ferrando is located in northern Piedmont near the microscopic, yet very historic, region of Carema where Nebbiolo has been cultivated since the Romans once occupied the area. A blend of 70% Nebbiolo, 25% Barbera and a touch of Neretta, Ferrando's Canavese Rosso leads with aromas of wild mushrooms, earth and sun-baked red plums. The palate follows seamlessly with beautiful red fruit and notes of morel mushrooms ending with a blast of minerals on the finish. Suave tannins and lively acidity make this wine a fine food partner, if you haven't finished the bottle before you're done cooking.
|2010 Fausse Piste, Columbia Valley Syrah, Garde Manger WA $17.89 |
For only $17.89, the 2009 Fausse Piste Columbia Valley Syrah, Grand Manger really caught me by surprise because it's such a crazy deal. This wine has more going on than most $35 WA Syrahs. This is Sec Wines' candidate for one of the top new world Syrah in the under $30 category. The 2010 Fausse Piste Garde Manger Syrah starts off with exciting aromas of rendered bacon fat, warm blueberries, mint and a touch of gaminess. The plate is pure velvet with polished tannins wrapped around a generous core of dark fruit. For those of you who smartly snapped up the 2009 Garde Magner, the 2010 is not as precocious as the 2009, but has more structure and even finer balance. Fausse Piste is poised to become the a cult WA Syrah producer.