After a couple crazy holiday weeks, the smoke is clearing and we actually have a few minutes to talk about the wines that have arrived lately. And despite the frightful weather, we're grateful once again to live in Minnesota as there is seemingly no end to the really cool and unique wines to be had.
Tastings & Events

Free Wine Tastings:

We will post the lineups for both of these tastings to our Facebook page prior to the start of the

Friday 4:00-8:00

Saturday 3:00-7:00


Bereche et Fils Champagne "Brut Reserve" N.V., France, $54.99
"Racy acidity firms up this rich Champagne, with a honeyed overtone to the well-spiced palate of grilled nut, poached pear, lemon parfait and ripe raspberry. Lacy in texture, with a smoke-tinged finish. Disgorged January 2015. Drink now through 2020." 92pts WS

Larmandier-Bernier "Latitude" Champagne Extra Brut N.V., France, $61.99
"Although it's not indicated on the label, this is a Blanc de Blancs from Chardonnay. It is warm and ripe, with a soft texture allied to fresh acidity. Orange and lemon zest give a great lift to this rounded wine." 92pts WE

Larmandier-Bernier "Longitude" Champagne Extra Brut N.V., France, $63.99
"Nutty, herbal suffusion of pear, lemon, and green zebra tomato makes for a succulently juicy as well as intriguing cuvee that contrasts sharply - no doubt as intended - with the corresponding "Latitude" bottling. Here we haven't the aromatic fireworks - though a haunting evocation of flowered, grassy meadow emerges as the wine sits open - but there is an especially fascinating mid-palate exchange with, in part, ineffable elements of broadly mineral nature, leading to a finish of remarkable salivary compulsion and sheer length. This exceptional value in Champagne should merit following for at least 3-4 years." 93pts WA


Hermanos Torrontes 2015, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina, $15.99
"Year in, year out, this is one of the finest examples of this signature white from Salta's super-high elevation vineyards. It is effusive in aromas of fresh fruit, flowers and mown hay. The palate shows a nice mix of lush citrus and tropical fruits with a pleasant hint of almondy bitterness." DM

William Fevre Chablis "Champs Royaux" 2015, France, $27.99
"Bright and vivid aromas of sliced limes, green apples and stones. Medium-bodied, round and
savory. Some gun-powder undertones. Lovely fruit and drinkability. All about the nose with
this wine." 91pts JS

Respide-Medeville "Les Justices" Bordeaux Blanc 2016, $21.99
"This family from the Graves also has a tasty 'second wine' made from 60% Sauvignon Blanc
and 40% Semillon. It comes from a seperate estate, high on a hill north of Langon in
Bordeaux. It is dry and crisp with considerable depth of citrus/melon fruit with additional
notes of slate, honeysuckle and hay making for a complex and inviting palate." DM

Casale del Giglio "Satrico" 2016, Lazio, Italy, $21.99
A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 40% Sauvignon and 20% Trebbiano Giallo grapes. Previous vintage rated 92pts JS; this vintage not yet rated. We tasted it Wednesday and were wowed by its classically Italian crispness, medium weight, minerality and variety of citrus and more exotic fruits.

Casale del Giglio Bellone 2016, Lazio, Italy, $19.99
A grape variety cited by Pliny the Elder and present in the Latium region since Roman times. The Bellone grape is vigorous and resistant to drought - a guarantee for wine quality and balance - while its plump, golden yellow, thickskinned grapes hang in elongated, cone-shaped bunches. The persistent sea breeze contributes to the over-ripening of the grapes while a high concentration of both sugar and acidity lead to early maturation and the highlighting of the wine's pronounced mineral notes. This wine is fuller, and weightier - more likely to please the Chardonnay drinker, with its creamier texture.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand, Reg. $35.99, Sale $27.99
"Really striking aromatics. Unmistakable passion fruit and lime citrus with subtle grassy and herbal complexity. The bold, flamboyant fruit is what takes center stage here. There's a fleshy, succulent feel to the palate. Acidity keeps it vibrant and the flavors hold fresh and lively. As appealing as ever. Drink now." 90pts JS, also 90pts WS


Coeur de Terre Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013, Oregon, Reg. $24.99, Sale $18.99
"Bright red color and lures you in with its signature Coeur de Terre earthy aromatics, dried herbs followed by notes of cherry and raspberry. It shows nice structure with fine tannins and round mouth feel." -from the winery

Coudoulet de Beaucastel Cotes du Rhone 2014, France, $29.99
"Another great 2014 is the 2014 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes du Rhône, which comes from a parcel located just a stone's throw from the Chateau, on the other side of the A7 highway. Offering lots of sweet cherries, cedar, white pepper and spice, it's medium-bodied, charming and downright delicious. It's always one of the longer lived Côtes du Rhône out there and should drink nicely through 2024." 88pts WA

Clos du Mont Olivet Cotes du Rhone "A Seraphin" 2015, France, $24.99
"In addition to the Châteauneuf du Papes, Thierry makes a bevy of terrific Côtes du Rhônes. The 2015 Côtes du Rhône A Séraphin comes mostly from sandy soils and is 55% Grenache, 35% Syrah and the rest permitted varieties. It's aged in foudre and stainless steel, and has classic notes of peppery herbs, tapenade, tobacco leaf and darker fruits in its medium plus bodied, nicely concentrated and textured style. It has outstanding potential and should evolve nicely." (88-90)pts WA

Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape 2006, Rhone, France, $67.99
"Mont Olivet's 2006 Chateauneuf du Pape is a classic, with tons of garrigue, dried cherries, spice-box and street market like characteristics in a medium-bodied, focused, classy package. It's still not yet fully mature and will drink nicely for another decade, easily. The blend is 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvèdre and the rest an assortment of permitted varieties, all aged in concrete tanks and old foudre." 90pts WA, also 93pts Tanzer

Perrin Chateauneuf du Pape "Les Sinards" 2014, Rhone, France, $49.99
"This has a light gamey edge, with dark tar, pepper and singed cast iron notes running alongside the crushed plum and blackberry fruit flavors. Fresh bay leaf and tobacco accents smolder through the finish, with the iron hint lingering as well. Best from 2019 through 2030." 91pts WS

Chateau L'Ermitage "Epicuria" 2016, Costieres de Nimes, France, $28.99
"a Mourvèdre-based wine, matured in large-format oak. There are mere hints of toast and vanilla in this medium to full-bodied wine that's crammed with mixed berries, but the wood helps to deliver a supple, creamy mid-palate and a long, spicy finish. It should drink through at least 2020." 90pts WA

Bodegas Volver "Triga" 2011, Alicante, Spain, $36.99
"A blend of old vine Monastrell from five old vineyards in the Salinas, Umbría and La Sima mountains. It includes some 15% Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1981 in Sierra Salinas, all from chalky soils. Only the grapes from their oldest vineyards are used for this wine that was fermented in 5,000-kilo stainless-steel vats and went through malolactic and 20-month aging in oak barriques (mostly French, with 10% American). This is a super selection of the best barrels they have, and less than half of the barrels make it to the final blend. The nose has a combination of black fruit and Mediterranean herbs with well-integrated oak, good harmony and elegance. The palate is medium to full-bodied with very fine tannins, good freshness and persistence with chalky sensations that stick to your teeth, graphite flavors and a warm finish. It's an intense wine, powerful and Mediterranean, truthful to its birthplace and vintage. Drink 2015-2025." 93pts WA

Pedroncelli "Block 007 Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Dry Creek Valley, CA, $25.99
"This really is one of those 'insider's-best-kept-secret' wines, from the edges of a gravelly creek bed. This vineyard has been planted to Cabernet Sauvignon since 1960 (replanted in 1992). Aged sixteen months in a combination of French and American Oak (35% new), yet the freshness and vibrancy are atop this wines list of charms. It starts out with prickly red berry fruit, but gradually evolves to more black fruits, dried herbs and smoky oak notes." DM

Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder 2013, Napa, CA, $59.99
"Another sensational effort and probably one of the best wines to emerge from Hess in the last 30 years is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mt. Veeder, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Malbec. This is sensational wine with fabulous aromatics of white flowers, licorice, roasted coffee, blueberry and black raspberry liqueur, with pen ink and graphite making an appearance. It is a full-bodied, rich and a compelling effort from Hess." 94pts WA (only a few bottles of this vintage left!)

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, MP=Madison, ER=Emily

North Loop Wine and Spirits
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401

North Loop Wine and Spirits