This has been a cool week for both new discoveries and rediscovering all the wonderful wines hiding in various corners of the store. Then some really special deals came through from one of our favorite importers, so we lined up Nikki to come back and pour for us on Friday. Then we confirmed the Far North Spirits tasting for Saturday. It's going to be a ton of fun around here this weekend.

Friday's Free Italian Wine Tasting, 4:00-8:00
With special guest Nikki Erpelding of Winebow Imports
Mastroberardino Falanghina, Campania
Regaleali Bianco, Sicily
Suavia Soave, Veneto
Di Majo Norante Cabernet Sauvignon, Molise
Mastroberardino Aglianico Redimore, Campania
Castellare Chianti Classico, Tuscany

Plus, a Secret Sipper:
Please ask discreetly to try the "Secret Sipper" - Altesino Brunello di Montalcino!

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

Free Far North Spirits Tasting, 2:00-5:00

Wines To Enjoy:


Catena Alta Chardonnay 2014, Mendoza, Argentina, Reg. $39.99, Sale $29.99
"A white with dense fruit, yet fresh and lively. Full body, dried apple and mango. Tangy finish. Lively acidity. 80% of the grapes comes from Uco and the rest from Agrelo and Lunlunta." 94pts James Suckling, also 91pts WA, Taste it with us Saturday!

Quinta do Crasto Branco Superior 2013, Douro, Portugal, $32.99
"The 2013 Branco Superior is revisited for a checkup, and it has come along just great. The wood is still a touch obvious, but it shows better grip, focus and power. Still very youthful, it finishes with intensity, but it seems beautifully balanced, a wine with some stuffing to use as a food match. I think it will exceed my original thought on drinking windows, perhaps even as revised." 90pts WA

A Coroa Godello 2014, Valdeorras, Spain, $22.99
This vintage not yet rated, but here's Tanzer's take on the previous vintage: "Green-tinged yellow. Lemon zest, green apple, white flowers and fennel on the mineral-accented nose. Dry and incisive, offering intense citrus fruit and honeysuckle flavors and a subtle herbal quality. Dry and precise on the minerally finish" 91pts

Neboa Albarino 2015, Rias Baixas, Spain, $17.99
This vintage not yet rated, but here's Antonio Galloni's take on the 2014: "Light, bright gold. Spicy, high-pitched aromas of underripe pear, minerals and white flowers. Dusty, dry and focused on the palate, offering taut, refreshingly bitter-edged citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Closes clean, silky and very long, with an echo of zesty citrus fruits and strong cut." 90pts

Denogent Pouilly Fuisse "la Croix" 2011, Burgundy, France, $49.99
"spent 30 months during a long elevage and was only bottled at end of March 2014. Returning to this wine after 12 months, it has an intense bouquet with scents of bruised apple, a touch of beeswax, undergrowth and mud flats. The palate is crisp on the entry with fine acidity, very good tension and weight. There is real depth here. with a touch of white pepper and bell pepper toward the complex finish. Drink this beauty over the next 5-6 years." 91pts WA

Hubert Brochard Sancerre "Tradition" 2015, Loire Valley, France, $29.99
"Crisp and fresh in its youth, but with layered grapefruit, melon and smokey mineral notes. Meatier fish or a fish stew would do really well with this." DM

Jean Teiller Menetou Salon 2015, Loire Valley, France, $22.99
"Another tasty take on Loire Sauvignon Blanc, but this one is a touch less flinty than Sancerre, showing a touch more ripeness with pear notes to add to the standard grapefruit." DM

Bernard Fouquet Vouvray "Silex" 2015, Loire Valley, France, $22.99
"The 2015 Vouvray Cuvée de Silex has a bright and pure, fresh and elegant bouquet of white fruits and some flinty notes. Pure and piquant on the palate, with a lovely juiciness and a piquant acidity, this is a very mineral and elegant Chenin from silex soils. The sweetness is perfectly intertwined with the piquant minerality and the serious body (13% alcohol); it tastes significantly less sweet than in the corresponding Le Plan de Jean. The finish is long and complex, and reveals a stimulating grip, as well as a great finesse and aging potential. However, compared to the Plan de Jean, it is still more austere and needs more time-either in the carafe or in the cellar, even more so because it is bottled under screw cap. I also compare it more to Riesling than to Burgundy, due to its linear, lean and racy character." 92pts WA

2012 Rolet L'Etoile Chardonnay, Jura, France, $21.99
"A classis Jura boasting citrus and nut character. A slightly oily texture and a fresh finish, it is mouthfilling, complex and satisfying." -Decanter

Academia Nocturnos Macabeo 2015, Utiel Requena, Spain, Reg. $14.99, Sale $8.99
"We were really pleasantly surprised with this delightfully dry and savory white from a grape and a producer that are more often associated with Cava - Spain's signature sparkling wine. It's almost like a fino Sherry without the fortification or deliberate oxidation, showing some nuttiness and salinity in addition to the melon and pit fruit." DM


Atteca Armas 2010, Calatayud, Spain, $49.99
"The 2010 Atteca Armas, pure old-vine Garnacha from selected plots which aged for 18 months in oak barrels, seems the fresher of all the Ateca wines I tasted. The aromas of sweet spices, clove, cinnamon and vanilla are intermixed with red and black berries and a herbal raspberry leaf aroma. The palate is medium to full-bodied with polished tannins, a creamy texture and some warm and sweet flavors toward the end. Yes, it's ripe and powerful, but it's the most balanced from the Ateca collection I tasted.12,000 bottles produced." 90pts WA

Mastroberardino Redimore Iripinia Aglianico 2013, Reg. $32.99, Sale $21.99
"The 2013 Irpinia Aglianico RediMore represents a special selection of Aglianico biotypes from pre-phylloxera vines that are up to 140 years old. Two of these clones were registered as Antonio Mastroberardino VCR 418 and VCR 421 in honor of the late proprietor of this historic Campania winery. The research project to identify these clones started in 2008 and the first edition of RediMore was produced in 2012. The 2013 vintage presented this year is a very special expression of Aglianico with an extremely floral character. The bouquet shows pressed rose, spice, dried violets and moist chewing tobacco. The wine is engineered for near-term consumption (with softer tannins) although this vintage should continue to evolve over the next five years." 91pts WA

Il Marroneto Brunello di Montalcino "Madonna delle Grazie" 2011, Tuscany, Italy, $194.99
"This Brunello comes from one of the finest single vineyards in the Montalcino appellation. Last year, I awarded this wine 100 points. This year, I encountered many similar characteristics to remind me of that unforgettable masterpiece. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Madonna delle Grazie is an excellent wine that offers enormous variety purity with bright berry aromas, pressed violets, wet earth, cola and powdered licorice. The wine is translucent, brilliant and luminous with bright ruby highlights. It's a medium-bodied expression with grace, buoyancy and enormous integrity. If you love Sangiovese, you will adore Madonna delle Grazie. Drink 2017-2035." 96pts WA

Bouchard Beaune "Clos de la Mousse" Monopole 1er Cru 2012, Burgundy, France, $61.99
"Cherry, raspberry, spice and mineral aromas and flavors are matched to a firm structure in this focused red. This needs a little time to absorb the oak, and the finish is vibrant and long. Best from 2016 through 2027. 200 cases imported." 91pts WS

Boutisse St. Emilion Grand Cru 2011, Bordeaux, France, $39.99
"A lively anise note runs through the tasty blackberry and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors, with lots of sweet toasted spice hints hanging on the finish. This is a fruit-driven style, exhibiting the range and freshness to be engaging all the way through. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenère. Drink now through 2017. 5,800 cases made." 90pts WS

Gros Nore Bandol 2011, Provence, France, $46.99
"Brilliant and most likely (one of) the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Bandol comes from 30-year-old vines and is a blend of 80% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache and 5% Cinsault. Aged 18 months in foudre, it's a dense, concentrated 2011 that offers notions of black cherry, blackberry, earth and ground herbs on the nose. This flows to a full-bodied, gorgeously put together palate that has considerable structure, superb purity of fruit and a knockout finish. Enjoy it over the following 15 years or more. " 94pts WA

Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape 2012, Rhone, France, $124.99
"What I think might end up being the best Beaucastel since the 1990 or 2001, the 2012 Châteauneuf du Pape offers a full-bodied, decadent style to go with awesome black and blue fruits, garrigue, licorice, crushed flowers and violets. The purity here is truly something, and it has fabulous mid-palate concentration, building tannin and massive texture. Given all of the fruit and texture here, it will no doubt drink well in its youth, but it should still be alive and kicking after two decades as well." 96pts WA, also 95pts WS

Senorio Pecina Rioja Crianza 2011, Spain, Reg. $22.99, Sale $19.99
"Deep red. Spicy, smoke-tinged cherry and red berry scents are complemented by suggestions of incense and vanilla. Smoky black raspberry and cherry liqueur flavors are lifted and energized by a mineral element. Sappy, incisive and fresh on the finish, firmed by supple, well-knit tannins." 91pts V

Mas de Can Blau Montsant 2004, Spain, Reg. $52.99, Sale $46.99
"The 2004 Mas de Can Blau, the first vintage of this cuvee, comes from the estate's oldest Carinena, Garnacha, and Syrah vines. It received malolactic fermentation in barrel, was aged for 20 months in new French oak, and bottled unfiltered. Dark ruby/purple-colored, it offers a flamboyant nose of pain grille, scorched earth, tar, and kirsch. Full-bodied with a supple texture, the wine has layers of sweet fruit, nicely integrated oak, tannin, and acidity, in its racy personality. Drink this outgoing wine over the next 8-10 years." 92+pts WA
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you soon.

Lisa, Darrin, Tony, Patti, Amanda, Doug, Brad, Anna, and Mckinzie 

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