Sturdy red wines seem to be dominating many recent conversations in the shop. It's as if that "W" word is just around the corner. Well, we'll try to keep our highlighted selections diverse in style in hopes that there may still be a few opportunities for grilling or slurping oysters. One of the highlights of the week was tasting through the Italian wines of Leonardo LoCasio grown in volcanic soils; read to the end of the newsletter for those.
Tastings & Events

Friday's Free Wine Tasting, 4:00-8:00pm
Masi Masianico (Pinot Grigio/Verduzzo), Verona, Italy
Verus Furmint (Dry), Slovenia
Apaltagua Pinot Noir, Chile
Peirano "The Immortal Zin" Zinfandel, California
Chateau Aney Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Colonia las Liebres Bonarda, Argentina

Plus another great  Secret Sipper: L'Ecole #41 Cabernet Sauvignon

Saturday's Free Wine Tasting 3:00-7:00
Check our Facebook page early Saturday afternoon for the complete lineup.

Vikre Distillery Free Tasting
Thursday, October 19 at 5 PM - 8 PM
Free Tasting with Special Guest Vikre Distillery at our back tasting table. Plus 10% off any Vikre Spirits Tasted that evening!

Bubbles from Another Mother
Friday Oct. 27th - 6:30-8:30
$20 Admission - Refundable With Purchase from Event!
Master Sommellier Jesse Becker and Nikki Erpelding of Leonardo LoCascio Selections will be here to share much knowledge and some very tasty sparkling wines from  Italy, Austria and France. There will be one Champagne, but the focus will be the many options of quality sparkling wine from less-hyped regions. Tickets available through Eventbrite

New Arrivals, Deals and Great Wines:


Verus Pinot Gris, Slovenia, $18.99
"Fresh pear, gentle spices and citrus, flavours on the nose. Moderate acid, stone fruit character and very elegant on the palate." -From the Importer

Verus Furmint 2015, Slovenia, $18.99
"Fragrant grass, apple, and peach on the nose. Lively acid is nicely balanced on the palate. This noble wine shows delicate but unusually persistent flavour." -From the Importer

Stift Goettweig Messwein Gruner Veltliner 2016, Austria, $17.99
"When I tasted this, I was thinking this must be expensive Gruner; I was shocked to learn otherwise. It doesn't hurt that it is super fresh. The citrus fruit really jumps here, but it is hardly one-dimensional. There is grassiness and minerality to add interest." DM, This vintage hasn't yet been rated, but the previous two were both rated 90pts in Wine Enthusiast.

Poseidon's Vineyard Chardonnay "Estate" 2015, Carneros, CA, $27.99
"The great value in the group is the 2015 Chardonnay Estate of which there are 3,150 cases. It is a beauty. About 40% new oak is used and the wine is concentrated, offering up notes of white peach, honeysuckle, brioche and apple blossom. It is fresh, extroverted, medium to full-bodied with good acidity and purity. Drink it over the next 3-4 years." 92pts WA

Penfolds "Bin 311 Chardonnay" 2014, $45.99
"A small crop picked before the rain, fermented and matured in used French barriques for 8 months with stirring. In the minimalist style that suites Tumbarumba so well, and needs a year or two to exert its authority." 93pts James Halliday, also 93pts JS and 91pts WA


Bargemone "Cuvee Marina" 2016, Provence, France, Reg. $39.99, Sale $26.99
Have you ever thought, "I really deserve one of those special, luxury cuvee Rose from Bandol or Provence," but you were reluctant to drop $40 to $60 to fulfil the dream. We have just the opportunity you've been waiting for. Every year, we try to get our grubby little hands on 5-10 cases of each of the rarest Rose, and we usually have to settle for a somewhat smaller number actually showing up. This year, we seemed to get everything we tried for, and we ended up with too much. So we are passing along this crazy, at-cost deal on the last few remaining cases. Happy Hunting! P.S. This is one of the Rose that definitely holds up well through the Winter and well into the year beyond.


Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes 2014, Cotes du Roussillon, France, Reg. $16.99, Sale $14.99
"A steal from Lafage is the 2014 Bastide Miraflors, which is a Cotes du Roussillon, and a blend of 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache, with the Grenache aged in concrete tanks and the Syrah in 500-liter demi-muids. Lafage makes more expensive wines than this, but certainly excels with his value lineup. He has really hit a home run with this 10,000-case cuvée. It is deep, ruby/plum/purple, with fresh notes of blackcurrants, plums, Provençal herbs as well as licorice. Deep, medium to full-bodied, with amazing fruit, the purity, authenticity and Mediterranean upbringing of this wine are obvious. Quite deep, round and succulent, this wine should drink well for another several years. This is one to buy by the case." 92pts WA

Chateau Aney Haut Medoc 2011, Bordeaux, Reg. $29.99, Sale $23.99
This little Bordeaux gem has been defying the experts around here for some time. This vintage has been largely panned by the critics, but everytime we've tasted it, we've been impressed. And the best sign of all is that our customer have come back and thanked us for recommending it. It's a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Now we've got a special deal on it, so why don't we all try it together this Friday?

Catena Malbec "Lunlunta" 2015, Argentina, $26.99
"I also tasted the 2015 Appellation Lunlunta Malbec, a cooler vintage that resulted in a more austere and stony wine, incredibly mineral for the price range. The nose takes time to take off, and it's more subtle than the 2014, but in the same spectrum of aromas. There is good freshness and elegance here, with ultra-fine tannins and very good acidity. A bargain. 24,000 bottles produced." 90+pts WA

Elderton Shiraz "Barossa Estate" 2013, Australia, $29.99
"Deep garnet-purple, the 2013 Estate Shiraz is a 100% estate-grown Shiraz made with fruit from 15- to 116-year-old vines. The nose opens to very ripe aromas of preserved fruits, potpourri, peach blossoms and exotic spices. Big and ripe, full-bodied palate offers a rich, classically styled Shiraz with velvety tannins to frame the long and spicy finish." 91pts WA

Poseidon's Vineyard Pinot Noir "Estate" 2014, Carneros, CA, $32.99
"Aromas like cinnamon, cedar and sweet cherries lead to concentrated, lively flavors with tangy cherry and rhubarb notes. Relatively full bodied, the wine has a smooth, mouthfilling texture and a lingering finish that echoes the delicious fruit elements." 90pts WE

Ridge "Pagani Ranch" Zinfandel 2014, Sonoma, $47.99
"The deep purple colored Zinfandel Pagani Ranch is made in a medium to full-bodied, incredibly elegant and seamless style. The blend is 80% Zinfandel, 17% Alicante Bouschet and the balance Petite Sirah, aged all in American oak, and it boasts fabulous notes of plums, black raspberries, chocolate, spice and potpourri. It's not a massive wine, but it glides across the palate, has ripe, sweet tannin and integrated acidity. Most importantly, it's a joy to drink." 93pts WA

L'Ecole #41 "Apogee" 2013, Walla Walla, WA, $66.99
"Incorporating the most Cabernet Sauvignon of the special cuvees, the 2013 Apogee Pepperbridge Vineyard comes entirely from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla and is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Malbec and 5% Cabernet Franc, all of which was aged 22 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep purple color is followed by lots of blackcurrant and black raspberry fruits, toasted spice, licorice and floral aromas and flavors. These give way to a full-bodied, structured 2013 that has solid mid-palate depth and building tannin on the finish. Give bottles 3-4 years of cellaring and enjoy over the following 10-15 years (2016-2031)." 93pts WA

L'Ecole #41 "Perigee" 2014, Walla Walla, WA, $66.99
"A true blockbuster from this estate is the 2014 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard Estate and it's 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. It offers killer notes of blackberries, cassis, crushed rocks and graphite, with a mineral-laced, full-bodied, concentrated style on the palate. Impeccably balanced, with terrific purity and building tannin, drink it anytime over the coming decade or two." 94pts WA

L'Ecole #41 "Ferguson" 2013, Walla Walla, WA, $78.99
"Another head turner from this estate is the inky colored 2013 Ferguson, which comes from their newest estate vineyard. Made from 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and the rest Malbec, it spent 22 months in 50% new French oak before bottling. Rich, structured, tannic and full-bodied, and needing to be hidden in the cellaring for 4-5 years, it offers beautiful minerality in its dark fruits, spice-box, dried herbs, and dried earth aromas and flavors. I consistently find this cuvee at the top of the lineup, and it's no exception in 2013. It will have two decades of longevity." 94pts WA

Volcanic Wines of Italy****************************************

Bisceglia Gudarra Aglianico del Vulture 2012, Basilicata, $22.99
"The 2012 Aglianico del Vulture Gudarrà is a gorgeous wine and the perfect place to start for those who are not familiar with the great wines of Basilicata. The bouquet here is very distinctive with deep layers of tar, road pavement, asphalt, old spice and tobacco that make fascinating contours to black fruit and plum. Gudarrà is a dark, brooding expression with moxie, power and determination. It is unlike any other wine I have tasted from the Vulture region. The mouthfeel is leaner than I expected, but the persistency is long. It should evolve nicely over the next five to ten years. This is great value option for those curious about Aglianico." 92pts WA

Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Bianco 2015, Sicily, $22.99
"80% Carricante, 20% Catarratto and Minnella. Fermented and aged in stainless steel granting the grapes a fresh primary fruit and racy minerality of this unique terroir. Straw-yellow with green hues, this wine is delicate and elegant with crisp aromas of pear and hay. A savory, saline note underpins the drinking experience and vibrant acidity keeps the wine enormously refreshing." -from the importer

Mastroberardino Lachryma Christi del Vesuvio Bianco 2016, Campania, $19.99
"Pale yellow in color, aromas of pear and other tree fruits complement undertones of white peach and licorice. On the palate, strident minerality and good body make this a well-structured, food-friendly wine." -from the importer

Mastroberardino Lachryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso 2016, Campania, $19.99
"The name of this wine is rooted in a legend. According to the story, God cried when he found a corner of Heaven stolen by Lucifer and where his tears fell, there grew the grapes that make Lacryma Christi, translated as "tears of Christ." Made from 100% Piedirosso grapes grown in volcanic soil near Mount Vesuvius and fermented in stainless steel, this is a unique red wine that is youthful, but substantial. Intense ruby-red in color, aromas of cherries and red fruit underscore notes of plums, raspberries, and black pepper. Refined tannins and good acidity make this wine rich without being overpowering." -from the importer

Suavia "Monte Carbonare" Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, $31.99
"The delicious 2015 Soave Classico Monte Carbonare shows beautiful balance and intensity. The wine opens to a delicate side with yellow fruit, pear, saffron and dried garden herb. It also shows a more powerful side that is fueled by the wine's silky but tight structure and its impressive persistence. This is a highly recommend wine that paints a complete picture of the Soave Classico potential." 92pts WA

Galardi Terra di Lavoro "Roccamonfina" 2014, Campania, $64.99
"The 2014 Terra di Lavoro is a seamless and well-integrated wine (made with Aglianico and Piedirosso with the first vintage released in 1994) that always sets the bar high for Campania wines and the volcanic Roccamonfina subzone. This vintage is a little flatter than most, but this should come as no surprise given the challenges of the growing season. The pedigree of the winemaking is evident, nonetheless, with seamless integration and a wide array of dark fruit and toasted aromas that evoke the rugged personality of this unique Terra di Lavoro, or 'land of labor.'" 91pts WA

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