This has been a crazy busy week preparing for the big tasting next weekend, while many long-anticipated gems have been arriving simultaneously. For those of you who can't wait, we'll be popping corks on some really cool stuff this weekend. Read on for all the details.

Friday's Free Wine Tasting, 4:00-8:00
Hanna Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River, CA
Ferrari Carano Pinot Grigio, Sonoma, CA
Vina Mein Ribeiro, Galicia, Spain
Vina Sastre Ribera del Duero, Spain
Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador Foothills, CA
One of the Badia a Coltibuono Tuscan Reds - TBA

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

Save the Dates**************************************************

Saturday, February 4th, 2:00-4:30
The Big Winter Wine Tasting - FREE!
We'll have 40ish wines open (plus a couple super-nice "Secret Sippers") for tasting in our cellar. This is a casual, come and go as you please event which is free and walk-ins are welcome, but here's a link where you can sign up for the tasting to help us get an idea of how many people to expect.

Also, we're hosting another cool event for the local wine group "Friends and Wines" in our cellar:
Great Wines by Region
Saturday, February 11th 7-9 p.m.
North Loop will provide 8 wines and Friends and Wine will provide selected food pairings for each wine. Presentation will be by North Loop Wine Buyer Darrin Minehan. This will be a sit down tasting with a 90 minute presentation. The cost is $30 each or $20 for Members of Friends & Wines.
To sign up for this event, go to
More details about the wines Are Now Posted There!!!
This event is prepaid with no refunds.
New and Exciting Wines


Montefresco Prosecco NV, Italy, Reg. $13.99, Sale $10.99
So quaff-able! This is a fine expression of fruit forward, but still mostly-dry Prosecco. We have 4 cases left at this superb deal price (which we got as this item is changing distributors).


Rochioli Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Russian River, CA, $42.99
"Tom Rochioli makes two Sauvignon Blancs. The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc offers beautiful citrus, gun flint and wet gravel in a medium-bodied but concentrated, crisp style with hints of grapefruit and white currant." 90pts WA

Rochioli Chardonnay 2015, Russian River, CA, $61.99
Not Yet Rated. Previous Vintage 91pts WA and 92pts V

White Rock Chardonnay Napa 2013, CA, $46.99
"White Rock's 2013 Chardonnay is bright and beautifully focused, with tons of lemon oil, white flowers and stony, mineral notes. Drink this vibrant, steely Chardonnay over the next handful of years. Readers who enjoy Chardonnays built on a Chablis-like model of precision will find plenty to admire in this striking wine from White Rock." - 93pts V

Vina Mein Ribeiro 2015, Galicia, Spain, $21.99
"This has long been one of my favorite white wines in the whole world. It is an unoaked blend of Treixadura, Godello, Loureiro, Albarino and Torrontes. It typically shows a great mix of pit fruits and herbal notes with zesty acidity. Taste this new vintage with us (for the first time) on Friday" DM


Maison Saint Aix "Aix" Rose 2015, Provence, France, Reg. $21.99, Sale $13.99
"Rich and lightly structured, this wine is shot through with bright acidity that offers a crisp, tight aftertaste. The red fruits flourish happily at the end." 90pts WE


Shannon Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Lake Co., CA, $14.99
16 Months in a combination of older French and American Oak, from Certified Sustainable, High Elevation Vineyards. This is quickly becoming one of our staff favorites for value in Cali Cab.

Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel 2015, CA, $29.99
Not Yet Rated. Previous Vintage 93pts WS

Robert Biale R.W. Moore Vineyard Zinfandel 2012, Napa, CA, $61.99
Not Rated, though if you search for ratings on this wine, you will find that every other vintage of this wine that has been reviewed recieved between 91 and 95 points from Parker, Spectator, Enthusiast and Galloni. We last tasted in a few months ago and it was indeed a treat.

Cantina Del Pino Barbaresco 2011, Piedmont, Italy, $43.99
"Cantina del Pino's 2011 Barbaresco offers a classic interpretation of both territory and grape at an excellent price point. The wine is pristine and forthcoming with dark berry nuances followed by coffee, tar, licorice and fragrant garden herb. In the mouth, it shows sweet tannins and rich texture. It still must undergo further evolution. This wine is still in its infancy." 92pts WA

Rochioli Pinot Noir 2014, Russian River, CA, $82.99
"The 2014 Pinot Noir Estate is absolutely delicious. A super-classic Russian River Pinot brimming with fruit intensity, the 2014 hits all the right notes. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint and exotic spices are all beautifully delineated in the glass. The interplay of intense fruit and bright, salivating minerality is simply compelling. This is a tremendous showing from the Estate, Tom Rochioli's entry-level Pinot." 92pts V

White Rock Cabernet Sauvignon Napa 2012, CA, $75.99
"The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon is a gorgeous wine. Dark and inviting, the 2012 offers notable depth and creaminess, both of which add to the wine's near-term appeal. Dark plum, earthiness, cedar, spice and new leather are all pushed forward. The tannins are already quite soft, so readers won't have to wait too long before enjoying this delicious, beautifully crafted Cabernet. Best of all, the 2012 offers notable value within the context of Napa Valley." 92pts V

Chianti Legend Roberto Stucchi Prinetti of Badia a Coltibuono visited us on Thursday for a seminar through Twin Cities Wine Education. We've stocked up on all the goodies from this Tuscan Benchmark Producer:

Chianti "Cetamura" 2015, $13.99

Chianti Classico "RS" 2014, $18.99

Chianti Classico "Estate" (Organic) 2014, $26.99

Chianti Classsico Riserva 2011, $46.99
"The 2011 Chianti Classico Riserva delivers thick lines and more muscle than past vintages. Badia a Coltibuono is known for its streamlined, nuanced and elegant wines. They tend to be thinner in color and consistency in keeping with Sangiovese tradition. This vintage was warmer and the quality of fruit is slightly more pronounced as a result. Black cherry and cassis are followed by cola and grilled herb. Winemaking is simple and straightforward." 91pts WA

Montebello IGT 2011, $76.99
"This is a new wine from Badia a Coltibuono. The 2011 Montebello is a blend of indigenous grapes from Tuscany and Central Italy including Mammolo, Ciliegiolo, Pugnitello, Colorino, Sanforte, Malvasia Nera, Canaiolo, Foglia Tonda and of course Sangiovese (all in equal parts). Each grape is vinified separately with natural yeast and manual pump overs. It is aged in oak casks for up to 16 months. The wine opens to a pretty garnet color that captures the ambient light. This is a gorgeous wine that takes advtange of high altitude, cool climate positioning to offset the effects of the warm vintage. There is sweet fruit here with ripe cherry and raspberry at the front. The wine is otherwise soft, mellow and impeccably put together. Only 3,600 bottles were made. Congratulations." 93pts WA


Quinta do Infantado Reserva "Green Label" NV, Portugal, $27.99
"It is an old vines (40 or more year) field blend that comes in with just 68 grams per liter of residual sugar (Labeled as Meio Seco or Medium Dry). Focused and structured, it lacks that sweet, fruity rush that some have. As a result, it seems just a bit more serious, a bit drier and a bit more interesting in its flavor complexity. It is laced with a touch of herbs and garrigue. Showing fine concentration for the level, modest tannins and a fresh, lively feel, this is a beautiful Ruby Reserve that is pretty close to a nice LBV. A few days later, it is perfectly balanced, if a bit more subdued. I liked the crisp edge and complexity. It was perhaps my favorite Ruby Reserve in this report. Drink it young or age it." 90pts WA

Thanks for reading. We hope to see you soon.

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

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