This time of year is so much fun for us (and hopefully you too). Just when we think we've run out of special events, another one sneaks up on us; University of Minnesota Alumn Mark Bjornson will be here Saturday showing off his delicious Willamette Valley wines. But friday's tasting lineup will be no slouch either featuring some unique imports from Italy and France. Read on for all the details.
Tastings & Events

Friday's Free Wine Tasting, 2:00-8:00pm
With Guest Pourer Angie from Rootstock Distributing
Fantinel "One and Only" Brut Rose, Friuli, Italy
Cantina Gries "Collection" Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige, Italy
Domaine la Manarine Carignan, Vaucluse, France
Borgogno "No Name" Nebbiolo, Piedmont, Italy
Piaggia "Il Sasso" Carmignano, Tuscany, Italy
and one more wine TBA

Saturday's Free Wine Tasting(s) 2:00-7:00:
From 2:00 - 4:00 we will have a very special guest in-store, Mark Bjornson of Bjornson Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills subregion of Oregon's Willamette Valley will be on hand pouring his standout Pinot Noirs and beyond (Auxerrois, Chardonnay, Rose?)

From 4:00 - 7:00 we will be pouring an assortment of new arrival wines (and perhaps a few leftovers from the Bjornson event)

New Arrivals, Deals and Great Wines:


Marc Hebrart Brut Reserve Champagne 1er Cru NV, $51.99
"This mouthwatering and balanced bubbly is refined in texture, offering lively blackberry, candied lemon zest, blanched almond and fleur de sel notes, with a creamy, spiced finish." 91pts WS


Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer 2015, Pfalz, Germany, $14.99
"This zesty, off-dry Gewürztraminer is full of ripe yellow peach and orange blossom notes. It's not a deeply complex wine, but its pristine fruit flavors and light-bodied style are refreshing and approachable. Drink now through 2019." 88pts WE

Willm Gewurztraminer "Reserve" 2015, Alsace, France, $19.99
"Honeysuckle notes on the nose lead to a fresh, medium-sweet palate of rounded but pithy citrus. Balance and texture from the citrus pith provides a balancing, pleasant bitterness. The finish is rather warm." 88pts WE

Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand, $18.99
"The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is scented of fresh lemons, green apples and pear with a suggestion of pea pods. Light to medium-bodied, it offers a lovely balance of flavors with a solid backbone of freshness and nice length." 88pts WA

Jules Taylor Gruner Veltliner 2015, New Zealand, $18.99
"Pale yellow in colour, this delicious wine has a delicately perfumed nose, showing green apple, white fleshed nectarine and floral notes with a hint of spice. This soft elegant wine is beautifully balanced on the palate, where the stonefruit aromas carry through with flavours of white fleshed nectarine and a hint of white pepper on the finish." -from the Winemaker

Domaine Nebout Saint-Pourcain Le Tressallier des Gravières 2015, Loire, France, $19.99
"Tressallier is the source of one of France's oldest, rarest and most vibrant white wines, and Domaine Nebout is the family that is helping to return this grape to the hallowed status it once held. Tressallier combines the delicious tension of Chablis with the chalky notes characteristic of
Loire Valley Sauvignon in a wine that is bone dry, vibrantly flavored and invigorating. Almost disappearing from the wine map during the phylloxera blight in France, Tressallier today is grown on less than 90 acres of land worldwide-and all of those are located in Saint-Pourçain, one of France's oldest wine regions." -from the Importer


Donna Marzia Primitivo 2015, Puglia, Italy, $13.99
"We had a bunch of tasty vino open last weekend, but when it came time late Saturday evening to go back to the left-overs to make sure none of them had turned to poison, I kept going back to this affordable little gem. For those unfamiliar with it, Primitivo shares its DNA signature with Zinfandel. However, these two clones of the same variety have likely had 100+ years a world apart from each other to adapt and mutate in their unique soils and climates. The Donna Marzia is brighter, fresher and not as heavy/heady as many Zinfandels, but it still has plenty of depth of fruit and a wonderfully tangy mouthfeel." DM

Couron Cotes du Rhone "Cuvee Marie Dubois", France, $13.99
"Just re-tasted this wonderful, 100% Old Vine Syrah cuvee of Cotes du Rhone; this wine is such a steal. The year this wine spent in 2 year old barrels certainly helped it come together without lending a lot of woody notes. It is a pure expression of Syrah with an enticing mix of black fruits, spice box and floral notes wrapped around fine-grained, well integrated tannins. I'm not a big proponent of red wine and chocolate, but this would do well with a darj bittersweet chocolate." DM

Zenato Veronese Rosso "Alanera" 2013, Italy, Reg. $21.99, Sale $16.99
This vintage not yet rated. Previous vintage 90pts WA. 55% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone and 10% other grapes that are aged in part in oak, and in part in stainless steel. It pulls off the difficult of being lush and tangy at the same time.

Larose Trintaudon Haut Medoc 2010, Bordeaux, France, $27.99
"Aromas of blueberries and raspberries with minerals follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and a chocolate, vanilla aftertaste. Needs time to integrate (review from 2013)." 90pts JS

Van Duzer Pinot Noir "Homestead Block" 2013, Willamette, Reg. 65.99, Sale $32.99, 1/2 Price!!!
The winery is undergoing a label change, so we were able to take advantage of this ludicrous deal to move out the last of the old label. The 2013 has not yet been rated, but the three previous vintages reviewed all garnered 90 points from Wine Advocate.

Orin Swift "D66" Grenache 2013, Cotes Catalanes, France, reg. $47.99, Sale $37.99
"In the same mold as the 2012, the 2013 Cotes Catalanes Grenache D66 is being held for six months in bottle prior to release. Completely destemmed (as are all the wines here) and aged in 30% new barrels, it has elegant, lively notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, pepper and violets to go with a medium to full-bodied, balanced and yet still hedonistic feel on the palate. A slightly tweaked blend of 75% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 10% Carignan, this is a more civilized version of this cuvee that still won't disappoint with regard to depth, flavor or length. Drink it over the coming 5-7 years." 95pts WA

Yalumba "The Signature" Cabernet/Shiraz 2013, $59.99
"Looking very composed, tidy and tightly packed. Raspberry, cassis and blueberry, plus a leafy edge with graphite. The palate's faultless, and tannins are a feature. Really terrific length and depth with lots of potential. Best from 2018 for more than a decade." 94pts JS, also 93pts WA and 94pts WE. And we have a handful of bottles of the spectacular 2012 (95pts WA & JS) remaining at the same price!

Alain Voge Cornas "Vielles Vignes" 2015, Rhone, France, $82.99
"Also showing the incredible purity and elegance that's the hallmark of this estate, the 2015 Cornas les Vieilles Vignes comes from the La Côte and Mazards lieux-dits and is a bigger, richer, more mineral-laced version of the Les Chailles. Black raspberries, blueberries, crushed rocks, liquid violets, black olives and new saddle leather all flow to a full-bodied, rich, concentrated Cornas that has sweet tannins (but plenty of them), impeccable balance and a killer finish. Buy it by the case (there's a little more than 1,000 cases made) and enjoy bottles over the coming 2-3 decades." 95-97pts WA, **please note: this rare and limited wine is scheduled to arrive Friday before 4:00; call or respond to this email to reserve yours before it is gone!

Dessert Wines**************************************************

Lafleur Mallet Sauternes 2015, 375ml, France, $16.99
"This is a delightful little Sauternes for a very fair price. Don't expect a ton of Botrytis or something overly unctuous. Instead, this is a medium-weight wine that shows a fine balance of honeyed peach notes with crisp acidity to keep it from being cloying. Break out the Foie Gras or Pumpkin Pie!" DM
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you soon.

The North Loop Wine & Spirits Team

Key: WA=Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, WS=The Wine Spectator, V=Vinous, JS=James Suckling, WE=Wine Enthusiast; North Loop Staff: LI=Lisa, TD=Tony, DM=Darrin, PG=Patti, JB=Jon, MP=Madison, ER=Emily

North Loop Wine and Spirits
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

North Loop Wine and Spirits