We're starting to settle in to summer and we've decided that warm weather is no reason to keep us from pulling out some serious wines to taste - Bandol Rose, Single Vineyard Willamette Pinot, Santa Cruz Mountains Cab - read on for all the details.

Friday's Free Wine Tasting, 4:00-8:00
Cooper Hill Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Disruption Chardonnay, Ancient Lakes, Washington
Domaine du Dragon "Prestige" Rose, Provence, France
Bunan "Mas de la Rouviere" Bandol Rose, Provence, France, (while supplies last!)
Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy
Willakenzie Pinot Noir "Gisele", Willamette Valley, Oregon

Plus a Secret Sipper: Please ask DISCREETLY to taste our "Secret Sipper" the 2014 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California (read more about this wine below).

Saturday's Free Wine Tasting, 3:00 - 7:00
We'll post the complete lineup to our Facebook page early Saturday afternoon.

New Arrivals & Deals


Elk Cove Pinot Gris 2016, Willamette Valley, OR, $21.99
This vintage not yet rated; previous vintage 91pts WE and 90pts WS.

Disruption Chardonnay 2015, Ancient Lakes, Washington, $16.99
Try this with us Friday!

Santiago Ruiz Albarino Blend 2016, Rias Baixas, Spain, $23.99
"Albarino, Treixadura, Loureiro, Godello...and so tasty. As much as I love the lean, crisp focus of pure Albarino, especially if I'm enjoying shellfish, the grape also makes a wonderful core to blends such as this. It is still plenty zingy, but with a slightly rounder profile that many might find more approachable when not having it with food." DM

Vieux Pressoir Saumur Blanc "Elegance" 2015, $15.99
"100% Chenin blanc, from 18 to 30 year old vines, grown on Jurassic soil.
Vinified in stainless steel tanks. This dry white is made in a style called "Sec Tendre", in other words dry, but not harshly so. Nose of ripe white fruits, and a floral touch. Fairly fleshy, suave harmonious palate. The Chenin gives an elegant complex aroma to this light and delicately fruity wine. The mid-palate is marked by well-balanced liveliness and lovely exuberant fruit. A very easy to drink Chenin Blanc." -from the importer

Mount Eden Chardonnay "Estate" 2011, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, $69.99
"Mount Eden's 2011 Chardonnay is simply magnificent. Intense and tightly-coiled from the very first taste, the 2011 pulsates with energy, texture and pure class. Bright citrus, lemon oil, flowers and crushed rocks are all vivid in the glass, but it is the wine's exceptional balance that stands out most. The long, vibrant finish is a thing of beauty. In 2011, winemaker Jeffrey Patterson did not make a Reserve, instead all of the juice went into the straight Chardonnay. Readers who want to understand why the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the world's great terroirs for Chardonnay should start here. Quite simply, the 2011 Chardonnay is a, reference-point for California. The only question is how long it will take to come around." 96pts V, also 95pts and Top 100 -Wine Spectator


Palm Mediterranee Rose 2016, France, $13.99
Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah. After harvest, complete destemming is followed by a short skin maceration (pelliculaire) at low temperature in order to develop the aromas. This light-bodies wine pairs well with the aperitif, tapas, pizza, or cold cuts.

Ca Maiol Chiaretto Rose 2016, Garda, Italy, $16.99
Barbera, Sangiovese, Marzemino and Groppello. Pairings: freshwater fish, but also mushrooms and dry poultry. Perfect with pizza. A brief contact between the must and the skins lasting only one night gives the wine its nickname "one night wine."

Pins de Dunes Rose 2016, Bordeaux, France, $13.99
30% Merlot - 35% Cabernet Franc - 35% Cabernet Sauvignon. The full harvest goes into a pneumatic press, and the juice is then directed into another inox vat inerted by carbon dioxide. The must settled down by a cooling process during one night. The day after, the juice is racked into another inerted vat where the fermentation starts at a cool temperature of -18°.

Ostatu Rosado 2016, Rioja, Spain, $16.99
Tempranillo, Garnacha, and a small amount of Tempranillo Blanco. Fermented in stainless steel.

Stolpman Vineyards Rose 2016, Ballard Canyon, California, $18.99
Two thirds immediate-press peach-hued Vin Gris blended with one third light red whole-grape fermented Grenache (Noir). Both portions were picked early for low alcohol and freshness. Any food that you'd serve on a warm day will go with this wine.

Domaine du Dragon "Cuvee Prestige" Rose 2016, Provence, France, $12.99
Grenache 32% - Mourvèdre 32% - Syrah 31% - Rolle 5%. A rosé with dining elegance excelling as an appetizer or with veal and fish such as salmon tartare.

Bunan "Mas de la Rouviere" Bandol Rose 2016, Provence, France, $28.99
Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Grenache. Direct pressing of whole crushed grapes. Can be associated with foie gras, traditional or slightly spiced Provencal dishes, shellfish, smoked salmon and goats cheese. To be drunk between 2 and 5 years.


Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany, Italy, Reg. $23.99, Sale $16.99
"Good bright, dark red. Fruit-driven, lightly syrupy aromas of red cherry, redcurrant and peppery herbs. Plump, sweet and expressive, with red fruit flavors complemented by brown sugar, licorice and herbs. Surprisingly ripe for a wine made from grapes grown in one of the highest and coolest portions of the Chianti Classico zone (but 2011 was hot almost everywhere in the region). The round, gentle finish shows very soft tannins." 90pts V

Sassetti "la Querciolina" Montecucco Sangiovese 2013, Tuscany, Italy, $25.99
"This has been a staff favorite around here for some time and we just got it back in stock. Think of this as 'poor-man's-Brunello,' from the southern part of Tuscany where they get a lot of ripeness and significant structure from the Sangiovese. It leans more toward black fruits than red fruits, with notes of dark chocolate and cured meats adding interest." DM

Le Pigeoulet Vaucluse 2014, Rhone Valley, France, $19.99
"80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Carignan, 5% Cinsault. Pigeoulet can be described as a "Bistro-Style" take on Grenache, as it presents a bright, fruit forward style that is more pretty than meaty, more lush than grippy; and it can be served lightly chilled. Poultry (Coq au Vin), grilled tuna or sausages would top the list of pairings here." DM

Morgan "Cotes du Crow's" 2015, Monterey, CA, $17.99
Grenache, Syrah and Tempranillo. Taste it with us Saturday!

Mas Doix "Les Crestes" Priorat 2013, Spain, $26.99
"80% Grenache, 10% Carinena and 10% Syrah aged eight months in French oak?. In the northeast corner of Spain, near Barcelona, lies one of Spain's (and Europe's) great red wine regions. Priorat has a cool and crazy history worth reading about in detail ( here's a cool article); but basically, it's that this was an important wine region over a century ago, then Spain fell on hard times (wars, economic collapses...) and it was forgotten about for decades. Then a pioneering few winemakers revived the region and the amazing, dormant vines it contained to make wines with such distinct character that they stand right next to France's Chateauneuf du Pape as the greatest expression of Grenache (based blends). Serve with all varieties of pork, wild boar or oxtail as they do in Spain, but don't be afraid to pair this with a steak or prime rib as it has plenty of structure and enough tannins to break down fats in red meats." DM

Gramercy Cellars Syrah 2012, Columbia Valley, WA, $53.99
"The 2012 Columbia Valley Syrah offers lots of smoked herbs, olive tapenade, smoked duck and chocolaty dark fruits to go with a medium to full-bodied, supple, pure and layered profile on the palate. Made from 100% Syrah that saw 25% whole-cluster inclusion during fermentation and 18 months in 13% new French oak, drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years." 93pts WA

Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon "Estate" 2014, Santa Cruz Mountains, CA, $32.99
"The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is also a winner, slightly more open and precocious, but with plenty of blackcurrant and blackberry fruit, striking minerality (no doubt from the Obsidian rocks) and a full-bodied, luscious, juicy style with a voluptuous texture. Drink it over the next 10-15 years." 92pts WA

Obsidian Ridge "Half Mile Red" 2013, Lake County, CA, $72.99
"I also liked their proprietary red, the 2013 Proprietary Red Half Mile, which is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and a whopping 25% Petit Verdot. The wine spent two years in barrel and, like their other wines, has an even more opaque purple color with loads of tannin. Because of the tannin this seems like a long-term proposition, as Petit Verdot mellows somewhat. It is a masculine, primordial style of red wine that needs 2-3 years of bottle age and should keep for 15 or more years." 90pts WA


We know it isn't exactly "High Season" for Port, but we just got in a nice mix of offerings from historic producer Kopke. The 1996, 1998 and 2004 Colheita (essentially a single vintage Tawny, at least 7 hears old) bottlings are all wonderful and reasonably priced ($29.99/375ml). We also stocked up on their basic Ruby and Tawny Ports in the full-sized bottles ($21.99 each) and their 2011 Vintage Port ($44.99/375ml).

Those of you who were here for last Friday's tasting got to try a cool wine cocktail made from Santa Eufemia Fine White Port ($16.99) blended with an equal amount of Tonic Water, served over ice and garnished with a lemon wedge. The perhaps more authentic Portuguese way to do this is to serve the White Port over ice in a glass and garnish with an Orange and serve it with a bottle of Tonic on the side to be mixed to the liking of the imbiber. Either way, this is worth trying on a hot summer day!
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you soon.

Lisa, Darrin, Tony, Patti, Doug, Doug, Amanda, Anna, McKinzie and Jon

Key: WA=Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, WS=The Wine Spectator, IWC=Steven Tanzer's Old Publication, WE=Wine Enthusiast, V=Vinous (Galloni & Tanzer), North Loop Staff: LI=Lisa, TD=Tony, DM=Darrin, PG=Patti, DH=Doug

North Loop Wine and Spirits
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401