Since the weather is going to be less than spectacular, you better have a really good excuse if you plan to miss the outstanding tastings we have planned for this weekend. Read on for all the details.

Friday's Free Wine Tasting, 4:00-8:00
Aphros Pan Sparkling Rose, Portugal
Chehalem Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Boschendal "The Rose Garden" Rosé, South Africa
Cerejeiras "C" Tinto, Lisboa, Portugal
La Posta "Armando" Bonarda, Argentina
Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre Rouge, Loire, France

Secret Sipper: Inglenook Cask Cabernet 2013, Rutherford, Napa (Reg. $75). This is not your father's Inglenook. This is the historic Napa estate that came to be called Niebaum Coppola in recent years, but has returned to its original name. They are garnering serious respect from the wine press. This vintage scored 95 points from Vinous.

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

Monday, May 22nd
The Napa Valley Wines of Robert Mondavi
With Vice President and GM of Napa Operations, Glenn Workman
6:30-8:30 p.m., In Our Cellar
$20/person, (refundable with the purchase of Mondavi Wines on the evening of the event)

As vice president and general manager of Napa operations, Glenn Workman oversees nearly every aspect of the Robert Mondavi Winery. Since 2004, Workman has helped manage the entire facility, including winemaking operations, finances, retail and hospitality.

We'll be tasting and discussing 7-8 Mondavi wines, including: Napa Fume Blanc, Napa Merlot, "Maestro" 50th Anniversary, Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, another Cabernet from their Reserve/Appellation series and a few surprises. Don't miss this great opportunity to taste and learn about this historic Napa Valley winery. Seating is limited, so  Sign up on our shiny NEW WEBSITE!

New Arrivals & Deals

New Box Wines - For a Limited Time*****************************

Fantini is a solid producer of Montepulciano from Abruzzo Italy as well as many other cool Italian wines. They had recently added Montepulciano, Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio in 3 Liter Boxes ($27.99 each). We tasted all three and the quality was quite good. Supplies are unfortunately somewhat limited as the American Importer has decided not to carry them in the long run, but you should definitely consider grabbing some of these for your Spring/Summer outings.


Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs, Carneros, California, $24.99

Veuve Ambal Brut Prestige Cremant de Bourgogne, France, $26.99

Ronco Calino "Saten" Franciacorta Brut, Italy, $37.99


Chehalem Pinot Gris "3 Vineyard" 2015, Willamette Valley, Oregon, $24.99
Not yet rated, previous vintage 90pts WS, Taste it with us Friday!

Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet 2015, Languedoc, France, $10.99
"This is a whole basket of fruit in the glass. Citrus at its core, anise, fennel, honeysuckle and acacia notes add interest. Perfect for warm weather sipping or with oysters/shellfish." DM

Callia Alta Torrontes 2015, Mendoza, Argentina, $9.99
Doug says the wines of Callia are the ubiquitous hostess gift in Buenos Aires, and we can see why as this is so easy and affordable. It is fresh with peach and apricot notes and a Gewurztraminer-like liveliness and spice.

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


Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare 2016, California, $19.99

Puech Haut "Prestige" 2016, Languedoc, $20.99
This vintage not yet rated, previous vintage was 92pts WA. We tasted this this week and it is outstanding and, in our opinion, likely to merit similar reviews. This one might go quickly.


Quinta do Crasto Douro 2013, Portugal, $16.99
"Powerful, with concentrated slate and mineral notes to the dark currant, dried berry and raspberry ganache flavors. Very lithe midpalate, with a long, focused finish. Drink now through 2020. Top Value Pick" 91pts WS

Quinta do Crasto Douro Superiore 2011, Portugal, $32.99
"a blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz, and 5% Sousao, aged in French oak (only 35% new) for 12 months. This is the relatively new bottling that has given signs of becoming a force in its own right at a very reasonable price. In this 2011 vintage, this may be the moment when this not only becomes a force, but easily outpaces everything else in the lineup as the biggest bargain. This seems serious this year, concentrated, beautifully structured, and well-balanced. It has shown those signs before, such as with the 2009, but that lacked this wine's balance. With nice tension on the finish, it proves that it has structure, yet never becomes overbearing. The oak marks it a bit too much on opening, but the oak was absorbed by the reasonably concentrated mid-palate in 90 minutes. It finishes with a crisp feel, lacing wonderfully tasty fruit into the mid-palate. It is a wine that combines the seriousness of the upper-level with the freshness of the lower-end wines. At the end of the day, it's just plain delicious. This is quite a value this year. Drink 2015-2024." 92pts WA

Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2012, Spain, $27.99
"Terrific aromas of currants, berries, cinnamon and perfume. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a dense palate. Superb length and refinement. Compact. Super length. Superb quality considering the price. More delicate and refined than the 2010. Precise. " 95pts James Suckling, also 92pts WA

Bouissel Fronton "la Guillotte" 2013, Southwest France, $18.99
"A big, bold, dark and chewy red, made from the local Negrette grape. There's still a few cool nights for a hearty stew or Cassoulet and this hearty bottle." DM

Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" 2014, Paso Robles, CA, $
"This blend of 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre and 6% Counoise offers boisterous yet elegant aromas of blackberry, boysenberry and dried violet that are met with hints of crushed marjoram and white pepper. Once sipped, mulberry and exotic plum flavors mesh with wild mint on a brooding yet bright and fresh palate. Editors' Choice." 92pts WE, also 91pts V

Elk Cove Pinot Noir "Goodrich Road" 2014, Willamette, OR, $55.99
"Distinctly minerally, with a saline quality to the ripe raspberry and cherry flavors, coming together harmoniously against powdery tannins on the long, vivid finish. Exciting, promising a great future. Best from 2017 through 2024. 700 cases made." 94pts WS

Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Rutherford, Napa, CA, Reg. $74.99, Sale $64.99
"The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is exquisitely layered and nuanced, yet also captures plenty of the vintage's intensity and pure power. Inky dark fruit, licorice, dark spices, menthol and new leather are all laced together in a super attractive, mid-weight wine loaded with nuance and personality. With time in the glass, the 2013 blossoms nicely and acquires more savory, cedar, tobacco and underbrush notes." 95pts V

Inglenook "Edizione Pennino" Zinfandel 2012, Rutherford, Napa, $59.99

P.S. We gobbled up the last 7 bottles of the spectacular 2013 St Cosme Gigondas (reg. $53.99, Sale $35.99, 91pts WS). Happy Hunting!

Thanks for reading. We hope to see you soon.

Lisa, Darrin, Tony, Patti, Doug, Doug, Brad, 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