O.K., I've just got to say, we're really getting after it here. Not only have we brought in a bevy of fantastic new wines, we will be opening some crazy goodies for tasting this weekend. Yes, today is "Nouveau" day, and we've got you covered there, but we've also got some fantastic "real" Beaujolais to share as well. We've even got two events for the spirit lovers out there as well.
Tastings & Events

Friday's Free Wine Tastings:

2:00-5:00, With Guest Pourer Derek From Wine Merchants:
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Sixto Chardonnay "Uncovered", Columbia Valley, Washington
Seghesio Vermentino, Sonoma, California
Conundrum Red, CA
Double Canyon Caberent Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, WA

5:00-8:00, With Guest Pourer Jordan of Phillips Distributing:
Scharffenberger Brut Rose, Mendocino, CA
Colome Torrontes, Salta, Argentina
Landmark Chardonnay "Overlook", Sonoma, California
Stoller Pinot Noir Reserve, Willamette Valley, OR
Blue Grey Priorat, Spain
SloDown Wines "Sexual Chocolate", California
Plus a Secret Sipper: Please ask discreetly to taste Jordan's secret sipper, the amazing 2010 Atteca Armas Old Vines from Jumilla, Spain - while supplies last!

Saturday's Free Wine Tasting 3:00-7:00
With Guest Pourer Ryan of World Class Wines:
Simmonet Febvre Cremant de Bourgogne Brut, France
Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand
Mount Tabor Chardonnay, Galilee, Israel
Joseph Faiveley Bourgogne Pinot Noir, France
Masi Modello, Venice, Italy
Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA
Plus a Secret Sipper: Please ask discreetly to taste Ryan's secret sipper, Graham's 20 Year Tawny Port

Holiday Hours:
We'll be open regular hours (9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.) next week, except we'll be closed on Thanksgiving Day. We'll also be open an hour early (8:00) on Wednesday morning to help with your last-minute shopping.

In addition to our regular tastings next week, we'll have wines open for tasting Tuesday 4:00-8:00 (running concurrently with our regular beer tasting) and Wednesday 2:00-6:00

Thursday, December 7th, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
"Around the World in 8 Glasses" - a Whiskey Class
with Monique Huston, National Director of Spirits for The Winebow Group

Huston began her spirits career almost two decades ago at the Dundee Dell in Omaha, Nebraska, where she helped create one of the largest whisky bars in the world, with over 1,000 single malts and 1,200 other spirits. After spending a year in Spain, where she continued her whisky and sherry education, Huston became the Elite Spirits Portfolio Manager at Stoller Wholesale Distributing in 2012 before joining The Winebow Group in 2015.

We'll be pouring a superb lineup of Whiskeys, including Bourbons, Rye, Japanese Malt and of-course Scotch. This event will also offer a rare chance to buy some rare whiskeys at a discount.

New Arrivals, Deals and Great Wines:


Bisol "Cartizze" Prosecco Superiore 2015, Valdobbiadene, Italy, $37.99
"Bisol makes some of the best Prosecco Superiore on the market today. The 2015 Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze Dry is ripe with floral and fresh fruit aromas. The mouthfeel is creamy, foamy and generous. Because secondary fermentation occurs in large pressurized tanks, it's hard to go wrong with a wine like this. It is simple, tonic, fresh and an absolute pleasure to drink." 90pts WA, only 6 bottles available!

Scharffenberger Brut Rose, Mendocino, CA, $18.99
"This is a classy bottle of bubbly from the light copper color to the lightly fruity, yeasty aromas to the crisp mouthfeel and satisfying spice and raspberry flavors. A sense of layered richness is balanced by good acidity for balance." 91pts WE


Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Marlborough, New Zealand, $19.99
"Lemon, lime, passion fruit and grapefruit flavors are intense but glide along elegantly in this light and refreshing white, with touches of lemon thyme on the finish." 90pts WS

Colome Torrontes 2016, Salta, Argentina, $13.99
"Sourced from 50-year-old parral vineyards planted at 1,700 and 2,300 meters altitude. Bottled without malolactic in the month of June. This is perfumed and lightly floral with the Torrontés notes making an appearance in the palate, which fills the mid palate and leaves that sensation of Moscatel pulp. This has the intensity of older vines and slightly longer fermentation and combines power with great freshness. The acidity seems to compensate the faint bitterness inherent to the grape. In general, they are harvesting the white grapes earlier than before, a general tendency they also started to apply to the reds in search of more freshness. This is the best young Torrontés I've had from Colomé. Kudos to winemaker Thibaud Delmotte and his team!" 90+pts WA

Tabor Chardonnay "Mt. Tabor" 2016, Galilee, Israel, $17.99
This is unoaked and undergoes no malo-lactic fermentation to give the purest expression of the grape and keep the wine fresh and light. Try it with us Saturday!

Qupe Chardonnay "Y Block" 2015, Santa Barbara, CA, $24.99
"Slightly sour Meyer-lemon-pith aromas meet with honeysuckle and yellow pear on the nose of this bottling by veteran Bob Lindquist. There is a strong sizzle of acidity on the sip, where green-apple flavors meet with tart nectarine and lime-peel zip. It's very fresh and food-friendly." 89pts WE

Sixto Chardonnay "Uncovered" 2012, Columbia Valley, WA, $39.99
"A blend from Frenchman Hills, Moxee and Roza Hills Vineyards, the 2012 Chardonnay Uncovered (this was reviewed last year as the straight Chardonnay) was brought up all in neutral French oak and spent 15 months on lees prior to bottling. It's a gorgeous Chardonnay that offers lots of apple, white flowers and toasty notes to go with a ripe, rounded, sexy style on the palate. One of the more layered and ripe efforts here, it still stays fresh and lively, with plenty of zip and cut on the finish." 92pts WA


Joseph Drouhin Beaujolais Nouveau 2017, France, $15.99
We've found Drouhin to be the most consistent of the Nouveau producers over the years, showing fresh, effusive fruit combined with some savory characteristics, decent acidity and dare-we-say a touch of structure.

Duboeuf Fleurie "La Madone" 2015, Beaujolais, France, $21.99
"The 2015 Fleurie la Madone, the name from the hill overlooking the village, has a powerful bouquet with ripe dark cherries, briary and dried orange peel scents that offer more complexity than Duboeuf's entry-level flower label. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent ripe red cherry and strawberry fruit, crisp acidity with a twist of sour cherry on the finish. Fine." 88pts WA

Chateau du Moulin a Vent 2012, Beaujolais, France, $44.99
"Creamed black cherry, spiced plum and lavender flavors weave together in this charming red, with cool mineral, licorice and herbal notes gliding into the mouthwatering finish." 91pts WS, only 12 bottles available!

Castello di Volpaia "Coltassala" Chianti Classico Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy, $61.99
"The 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Coltassala is a tame and polished wine that shows an elegant and streamlined disposition. The wine glides cleanly over the palate with bright berry tones followed by wet earth, pressed rose and balsam herb. You get a good sense of the quality of Sangiovese (blended with 5% Mammolo) produced in this vintage. The fruit delivers balanced acidity and great depth. Only 12,000 bottles were produced." 91pts WA, Only 12 bottles available!

Tenuta Sette Cieli "Indaco" 2012, Tuscany, Italy, $39.99
30% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, "There's brightness and focus to this balanced red with medium body, fine and integrated tannins and a fresh finish. Very fine. Interesting Bordeaux blend with malbec. Drink now." 91pts JS, Only 6 bottles available!

Buglione Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008, Veneto, Italy, $49.99
"This perfectly-aged take on Italy's classic 'wine of meditation' is delicious and immaculately balanced. The palate is so broad and diverse in its flavors and textures, each sip is like experiencing a whole new wine. The blue and black fruits are somewhat surprising for this classic blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta. The anise and dark chocolate notes that emerge suggest that this might do as well with some deserts as the meal itself, but I can attest that it was spectacular with Osso Bucco. Oh, and I almost forgot, its an absolute steal for Amarone." DM, only 12 bottles avaialble!

La Massa "Giorgio Primo" 2013, Tuscany, Italy, $103.99
"This is a truly sumptuous wine that stands as a tall testament to the winemaking talents of Giampaolo Motta, his vision for interpreting this vintage and his specific vineyard site in Panzano in Chianti. This standout wine brings Fattoria la Massa to a new level of accomplishment and opens an exciting new chapter of possibility. The 2013 Giorgio Primo (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot) is dark and impenetrable on first impact. The aromas accelerate slowly and grow evenly in power and intensity after a few quick swirls of the glass. The bouquet peels back with dark fruit aromas, baking spice and Mediterranean herb. The effect is seamless and smooth. A velvety texture is accented by full-bodied richness and just enough freshness to keep the palate energized. And, of course, this is just the beginning of a long cellar life." 97pts WA

Chene Bleu Abelard 2007, Rhone Valley, France, $96.99
"More dense and structured, yet still vibrant and very pure, the 2007 Abelard is 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah. Loaded with deep blackberry and black cherry fruit, licorice, crushed stone and hints of roasted herbs, it is full-­bodied, rich and concentrated, with knockout precision and focus. It is serious stuff and still a baby." 95pts WA, Only 3 bottles available!

Over the last few months, we've had the opportunity to taste some great wines from small estates in the Bordeaux region. Most of these are not household names (as classified growth bordeaux pricing continues to climb through the roof), but we were really impressed with the quality of these (We'll have another 7-8 to talk about next week):

Chateau La Guarriguie 2016, $10.99

Chateau La Vieux Roudey Medoc 2015, $16.99

Chateau Roc de Calon Montagne Saint Emilion 2015, $24.99

Chateau Petits Graviers Saint Emilion 2015, $27.99

Chateau Franc Vauzelle Lalande de Pomerol 2015, $29.99

Dessert Wine***********************************************************

Graham 20 Year Old Tawny Port, Portugal, Reg. $69.99, Sale $49.99
"A gorgeous tawny with dried figs, caramel, dried raisins and coffee beans. Full-bodied, sweet and delicious. This shows such length and beauty. I love the crème caramel and cooked apple tart on the finish. Some pecan pie. Crazy. Drink now." 94pts JS, also 93pts WS

Whiskey Fans*********************************************************
This is a good time of the year to stop by the shop and inquire about rare Scotch and Bourbon!

Turkey Day Planning*****************************************************
Keep this simple philosophy in mind: The Thanksgiving table is full of so many different flavors that the only way to go truly wrong on the wine is to not have enough. On that theme we also recommend offering variety; if there are going to be more than a handful of adults at your table, it's worth offering 2, 3 or more choices. Come on by and we'll be happy to share our diverse opinions about what works best. Here are some old-standby categories: 

Sparkling, Dry Rose - First of all, this is a celebration. So we should start with a "pop" and by choosing a rose we also get something that will match well with the flavors of the meal. 

Vouvray, the ultimate expression of the Chenin Blanc grape is a fine choice, especiallly the Demi-Sec (half dry) versions as that slight bit of sweetness does well to offset the dryness of the white meat turkey.

Gamay, specifically Cru Beaujolais is my first pick for this meal every year. Just in case there's any confusion here, I'm NOT talking about "Beaujolais Nouveau." The best wines of the Beaujolais region are from the 10 individual villages (or "Cru", although a couple are named after hills instead of villages) in the mountainous northern part of the region. It is here where bold fruit meets wines of depth and structure without the residual sugar of the Nouveau wines. 

Pinot Noir - No other wine gets so much attention at this time of year, and for good reason. Deep red berry fruit, soft tannins, earthy notes - what could be better with a feast? And though many great examples are made in Oregon and California, the Burgundy region of France is still home base for this varietal. So this might be a great time to splurge there.

Rhone Blends, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre, a style copied all over the world. A Chateauneuf du Pape with a few years of age on it works great.

Shiraz from Australia, Barbera from Piedmont Italy, Zinfandel from California...this list could go on and on and on....

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