Finca Torremilanos, Ribera del Duero Los Cantos 2018Regular price $16.00 Save $-16.00
Variety: Tempranillo and Merlot
Finca Torremilanos sets itself apart drastically from other producers in Ribera del Duero. Torremilanos is the second oldest wine-producing domain after the famous Vega Sicilia. Though founded in 1903, the current generation(s) began with Pilar Pérez Albéniz, who continues the winemaking expedition with both of her sons. Torremilanos was the first Demeter-certified biodynamic winery in the Ribera del Duero appellation, a huge feat from one of the most respected women in the Spanish wine world. This family continues innovation on their own terms with both traditional and creative wines.
This Tempranillo (blended with 5% Merlot) comes from vines 35 years in age. The five different vineyards are strewn with “los cantos,” otherwise known as round river stones. Los Cantos is aged in French oak barrels for sixteen months, a wine with aromatics and structure.
Borgo Paglianetto Terravignata Marche IGT Rosso 2018Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Variety: Sangiovese, Merlot, and Lacrima
Borgo Paglianetto is a relatively new winery born in 2008. In the central area of the Marche region are the vineyards that span the valley between Fabriano and Camerino. The wines come from the production area of Verdicchio di Matelica. This region is a short distance from the Adriatic Sea and dredged in the history of its vine growing. The closed-off Alta Valle dell ‘Esino within Matelica is unique in that it boasts north-south facing vineyards, in turn creating a unique microclimate for these vines. Borgo has a clear mantra of using the historic land to express terroir through quality and passion.
“Terravignata” is a local term referring to the olden times of wealthy Roman landowners who owned land exclusively for growing grape vines. It is a youthful, easy-drinking style. Aged just six months in tanks, and then another two months in bottle, this is a wine meant to consume asap!
L'Archetipo, Puglia Litrotto Rosso 2017 - 1 LiterRegular price $19.00 Save $-19.00
Variety: Montepulciano, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Primitivo, and Susumaniello
Since the 80’s Francesco Valentino began to convert his land to organic farming, but he came to find he wanted more from the vitality of his vineyards. In 2000 he implemented biodynamic farming. These practices are thanks to his studies on Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist/thinker who touched on endless fields of human endeavor, including biodynamic farming. After a few years of biodynamics, he realized there was still something further to be done. Francesco studied the works of Masanobu Fukuoka, a farmer/philosopher known as the father of modern day natural farming. At long last he implemented sustainable agriculture, in which all synergies in his vineyard ecosystem were linked: the Synergistic Agriculture, a balanced ecosystem.
This a blend of the red varieties found in Puglia made into a liter bottle. The biodynamic farming practices instilled by Rudolf Steiner are implemented. The wine ages in stainless steel on its lees for 36 months for a wine of freshness and minerality.
Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona, Toscana Rosso 2017Regular price $15.00 Save $-15.00
Variety: Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah
For many years the wines of the famed region of Montalcino have been recognized as the top wines of Italy. This is still a very true statement today. The central town is perched on the top of the hill and the vineyards are patched together on the hillsides below. The Ciacci family’s history dates back to the 17th century, and their land holdings are some of the most historic in Tuscany. The legendary winemaking estate is located on the south side of the hill around the smaller village of Castelnuovo facing the Orcia Valley. Originally the estate was owned by the church and Francesco Ciacci purchased the property in 1877.
This is an entry-level Super Tuscan from Ciacci Piccolomini. True to the style, this Rosso is made primarily with Sangiovese, and blended with the international varieties of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. This wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged in cement vats. It is meant to be drunk immediately and often.
Gramercy Cellars, Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2016Regular price $35.00 Save $-35.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot
Gramercy Cellars began with a “sommelier’s palate, a farmer’s thumb, and a winemaker’s soul.” It was the beginning of the story of Greg Harrington, a Master Sommelier who uprooted from restaurants in Manhattan after tasting some stellar Washington wines, and thus began his journey as a winemaker. His approach is Old World, reminiscent of Bordeaux and Rhone, complimented by the terroir of the Pacific Northwest. The process results in seeking old vines, often from single vineyard sites, low intervention, and mostly organic farming. The wines are elegant, age well, representing the best of the cool climate of Walla Walla while offering incredible value.
This bottle is called “Lower East” referring to the eastern location of the Walla Walla appellation within Columbia Valley. While the label denotes Cabernet, this is blended with a bit of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. The wine ages for 17 months in barrel, 17% of which is new.
Enfield Wine Company, Fort Ross-Seaview Cabernet Sauvignon Waterhorse Ridge 2017Regular price $75.00 Save $-75.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot
Enfield Wine Company is the passion project of John Lockwood and his wife Amy Seese. Founded in 2010, the project is very young, but despite that has recently started to gain attention nationwide. I first started to taste with John in 2013 and have been championing the honest wines ever since. These are truly some of my favorites from California. John only uses native yeast and the wine is never filtered or cold stabilized. John’s passion is contagious and I’m thrilled to pass it along to you.
Waterhorse Ridge is a special vineyard located on a rocky ridge a mere five miles from the Pacific. This site is among the coolest in the California area due to its proximity to the ocean, but is balanced by the volcanic rocky soils and its advantageous afternoon sunlight. The grapes were destemmed, but 20% of the stems were added back. The wine ages for 18 months in different sizes of French oak barrels, 15% of which is new. As John Lockwood said, “The wine is “seductively ripe while maintaining its elegance.”
Cote de Baleau, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe 2016Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon
Female run by Sophie Fourcade, Chateau Cote de Baleau is a beautiful property positioned on the right bank of Bordeaux in Saint-Emilion. The property was founded in 1643 with a long history of great families having ties to the land. The vineyards are planted to 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil is limestone and sand located not far from the famed estate La Gomeire. One of the most impressive things about Chateau Cote de Baleau is the age of the vines, which are over 40 years old; Bordeaux as a whole is still rebuilding much of its old vines.
The fruit undergoes thirty days in a tank where it macerates. The wine ages up to 18 months in oak, half of which is new, before it's released. This bottle could be drunk now with a little decanting, or cellared for several more years.
Cos d'Estournel, Les Pagodes de Cos Saint-Estephe 2016Regular price $125.00 Save $-125.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot
Cos d'Estournel takes its name from the old Gascogne dialect word “cos,” which means hill of pebbles. This estate has the most unique situation on several contoured hills in which the vines have been planted. The varying soil types also set this Saint-Estephe estate apart from other Bordeaux houses; there are multiple forms of clay, which is where Merlot thrives best, and gravel where the Cabernet does well. The village of Saint-Estephe is the most northern of the Bordeaux appellations, which in turn means it is closest to the Atlantic Ocean. This position near the ocean results in a microclimate resulting in less harsh winters and milder summers than the rest of Bordeaux.
This chateau is a second classified growth of Saint-Estephe and Les Pagodes de Cos is the second label wine at the more approachable price point and drinkability. You can see the two pagodas on the bottle label. This is a classic example of the Saint-Estephe style; a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small amounts of Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc blended with it. It is aged in 30% new oak. This could drink well now or age for another 10-15 years.
La Gravette de Certan, Pomerol 2015Regular price $135.00 Save $-135.00
Variety: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Vieux Chateau Certan upholds its name as being one of the oldest chateau in Bordeaux because of its beginnings in the mid 18th century. Fast forward to the early 20th century, a Belgian wine merchant, Georges Thienpont, founded the modern estate. While Vieux Chateau Certan is the first wine, the estate now makes a second wine, which is that of Gravette de Certan Pomerol. With the modernization of the winery comes new vineyard practices: green harvesting and reducing yields of the vines, ultimately leading to the best wine Vieux Chateau Certan has ever seen.
This bottle is 87% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc coming from the appellation of Pomerol in the right bank of Bordeaux. It is a bottle that can certainly age in the cellar, but would deliver well if opened now.
La Dame de Montrose, Saint-Estephe 2010Regular price $100.00 Save $-100.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot
Chateau Montrose is a Second Growth Bordeaux from the appellation of Saint-Estephe. Legend tells it that the name of Montrose came about when sailors on the river saw the flowering heather from a distance; therefore calling it Mont Rose, meaning the pink mount. And so it stuck. Montrose has a highly esteemed list of winemakers attached to its history; previous winemakers and owners of this estate also dabbled in ownership of other First Growth Bordeaux houses. After tasting the 1989 Montrose, the Bouygues brothers became deeply inspired to buy the property when it became available. Beginning in 2006, major renovations began with 55 million euros invested in creating an environmentally conscious winery at the top of its class. And it has remained at the top for over 200 years.
La Dame de Montrose is the domaine’s second wine, also dubbed “the lady” of the Montrose Bordeaux house. Montrose was one of the first Bordeaux houses to make a second wine, which they started in 1860. This bottle measures up in quality and all other aspects to Montrose’ flagship bottle. It is made of about two thirds Cabernet Sauvignon complemented by Merlot making up the remainder. This bottle is drinking well in 2021, but could always do with more cellar time.
Chateau d'Issan, Blason d'Issan Margaux 2016Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Chateau d'Issan is a Third Growth Bordeaux house classified back during the 1855 classification, though the history of the estate dates as far back as the twelfth century. The Margaux estate did not attain its current name until the Essenault family, who owned the property for five generations, renamed it “Issan” ﹘a contracted version of their surname. The Cruse acquired the property after World War II, when it had been left to deteriorate, and since, the family has been able to restore the quality to its former glory. The Lorenzetti family has since joined forces with the Cruse family, operating in tandem.
Blason d’Issan is the estate’s second wine, which translates to the “coat of arms” of Issan. Most of the vines for this wine are over 25 years old, which are the oldest vines of the estate. The wine is a nontypical Margaux wine, as its blend is more Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon. The ageing process takes place over 14 to 16 months; the barrels used are 35% new. 2016 was an overall excellent vintage in Margaux. On the wine label, you will see the estate’s motto “Regum mensis aris que deorum” which means “for the table of kings and the altar of Gods.”
Meyney, St Estephe, Bordeaux 2017Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
Château Meyney is one of the oldest estates in the Médoc, the subregion on the left side of the Gironde estuary. The estate is a former convent with records dating back all the way back to 1662. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot are planted right up to the banks of the river, making for a serene landscape. The estate has changed hands many times leading to its current owner. CA Grands Crus, a subsidiary of the Groupe Crédit Agricole and owner of several esteemed Bordeaux houses, purchased Meyney in 2004. Today, the vines are looked after with exceptional care by the Technical Director for CA Grands Crus. Château Meyney is a single block of 74 hectares, all overlooking the Gironde estuary. The placement of the vines is important, as the estuary protects these vines from frost.
The vines are between 35 and 40 years old, although some of their older vines are closer to 100 years in age. The blend is representative of the Saint-Estephe style: driven by Cabernet Sauvinon and blended with Merlot and Petit Verdot. The oak ageing is done in 50% new, taking place over the course of 18 to 24 months, vintage depending. This bottle can be enjoyed now, or could cellar another ten years.
Chateau la Lagune, Haut-Medoc Grand Cru Classe 2010Regular price $140.00 Save $-140.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot
Like many of the historic Bordeaux estates, Chateau La Lagune boasts its fair share of history dating back to the 16th century during the times of King Henri IV. This was during a time when the Dutch began draining the water from the marshes and swamps surrounding the Garonne river; this formed what is now the modern age of Bordeaux. After economic crises and weather conditions that rattled Bordeaux during the 20th century, George Burnet replanted these vines full throttle from a mere five hectares to over 100. Caroline Frey has been leading the charge of Lagune since 2004, bringing with her a serious attention to not just winemaking, but vine health and organic farming.
The vines for the Chateau Lagune range from 40 to 80 years old. The wine is blended before it goes into stainless steel vats to ferment. The wines aged in French oak, 50-60% of which is new, for 18 months before bottling. It is a bottle that is ready to drink now, but would do well with more time in the cellar.
Castello di Ama, Chianti Classico Ama 2017Regular price $34.00 Save $-34.00
Variety: Sangiovese and Merlot
Castello di Ama sits in the heart of Chianti. It is everything you’d imagine the heart of Tuscany being: olive groves, rolling hills, and wooded areas with a sense of fairytale. The estate is operated by the husband and wife team of Marco Pallanti and Lorenza Sebasti. They have put forth serious efforts to not only replant the vineyards, but have additionally upgraded all their facilities over the last 25 years. It is with these endeavors that Castello di Ama is able to put themselves among the high ranks of Chianti producers.
“Ama” is a newer wine that began with the vintage of 2010. What sets it apart is the new Sangiovese clone and the usage of the best modern viticulture technology. The fruit is sourced from four different estate vineyards with an average age of just 8-10 years. The blend is most all Sangiovese supplemented with 4% Merlot. The wine ages in oak barrels that have been used once prior for twelve months.
Venica & Venica, Merlot 2017Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Daniele Venica purchased the plot Ronco del Ceró where he first planted Sauvignon in 1930. Three generations later, great grandson Giampaolo has taken over the estate, a true testimony to the tradition of keeping winemaking in the family. Venica now has 40 hectares all within the DOC—Denomination of Controlled Origin—of Collio. Sons Gianni (agronomist), Giorgio (cellar master), and grandson Giampaolo oversee operations supplemented by help from several family members. They believe their traditions must be enhanced through continuous research and innovation, but a relationship with nature is of utmost importance.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is known for its white wines, though Merlot has made a name for itself as the most popular red wine—it’s as if Merlot had originated there. It is identified on wine labels by name, not as a blend or by a regional name. This Merlot, like the other Venica wines, comes from a vineyard within the DOC of Collio. It is aged in barrel for 13 months.
Chateau Montlandrie, Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2014Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Inconnu, Kitsune Red Blend 2018Regular price $28.00 Save $-28.00
Varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Laura Brennan Bissell is an artist by nature, and winemaking did not find its way to her life early. Now based in the Napa Valley, Laura's vision is to make wine from low intervention vineyards and focusing on a style of wine that she says, "she would want to drink." Laura is part of the minimalist movement in the wine world and has trained under some of Napa's top names, such as Steve Matthiasson and Mick Unti. Her label is small production, and done in a style that has been a bit out of fashion for the last 20 years, but the lighter and brighter side of wine is again in the limelight.
Flavors of red berry fruit, black tea, and cherry are incredibly easy to drink with a lift of freshness. No additives show how much craft goes into making these wines.
Chateau Les Cruzelles, Lalande de Pomerol 2015Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
Denis Durantou is considered one of the rising stars of the Pomerol region. Owning a couple different estates within proximity of one another, he focuses on what the region is known for—Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines. He purchased Les Cruzelles in 2000. While Denis has his hands in several projects, they all seem to be intertwined. Each subject has a different purpose and a different terroir. The appellation of Lalande de Pomerol is a small area next door to its bigger siblings, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion. Thanks to the unfamiliarity of the region, it delivers the same quality as Pomerol, but without the hefty price tag. This is something we love—discovering lesser known regions honed by incredible producers.
The Lalande de Pomerol 2015 is a blend of the major varieties in this appellation, 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc planted in gravel and clay soils. The oak used is 45% new.
Chateau La Gurgue, Margaux 2015Regular price $50.00 Save $-50.00
This historic château has changed hands and names, acquired vineyards, and evolved over the years. The estate has a close tie to the village of Margaux; one of its previous owners was, in fact, mayor of the town. Acquiring the title of mayor has its benefits in the wine world; even more accessible is sought after land; that’s just what was done. One such Camille Lenoir purchased a plot of land named “Curton,” one of the best plots of Margaux. The name of the château comes from a locality of the village. Today the estate is looked after by Claire Villars Lurton, who works diligently with her efforts of delicacy.
This bottle of Margaux is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot coming from 30 year old vines clay and gravel-based soils. The wine sees oak for twelve months, 25% of which is new.
Chateau Poitevin, Medoc Cru Bourgeois 2016Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot
Château Poitevin was founded in the 1950s by René Poitevin as a small family owned property of two hectares in the Médoc. He and his son after him would grow their vines and sell the resulting harvest to the local cooperatives. Guillaume represents the third generation of viticulture for the Poitevin family; changes began with him. After practical and theoretical training in Bordeaux, he changes the ways of the estate by the vinification of his own wines instead of selling. With a clear perspective of tradition and modernity, Guillaume makes several cuvees, Château Poitevin included. He is helped by his wife, Natacha, and a small dedicated team of winegrowers. In 2012, Château Poitevin won the Coupe des Crus Bourgeois; a reward awarded for twenty years of work.
The wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petite Verdot from gravel-dominated soils laced with sand and clay. The wine is then aged in oak for 14 months, 30% of which is new. This is a vin de garde, meant to cellar for another 10 to 15 years. The bottle is of incredible value!
Chateau d'Aiguilhe, Cotes de Castillon Bordeaux 2016Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
The Castillon-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation is one of the lesser known subregions of Bordeaux. It sits beside Saint-Emilion and Pomerol, growing the same varieties: Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The chateau also has an astounding history. Dating back to the 13th century. Château d’Aiguilhe actually had a significant strategic role during the Hundred Years War; the estate would change allegiance regularly depending on the position of the feudal lord. Different generations of assorted estate owners belonged to the Bordeaux parliament. The turning point for the estate happened when it was sold to a certain Etienne Martineau on the eve of the French Revolution! He enlarged the estate into a single block 400 hectare farm that stayed in his family until 1920.
The bottle is a classic representation of the area: a blend of mostly Merlot with a smaller amount of Cabernet Franc. The 28 year old vines are planted to clay-silt and clay limestone soils, perfect for the drainage the vines need. Barrel ageing is about 15-18 months, some new oak and some used.
Chateau Laffitte Carcasset, Saint-Estephe Cru Bourgeois 2016Regular price $45.00 Save $-45.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc
Laffitte Carcasset draws its name from two sources. Josef Lafitte was the attorney for the King of France, whose family owned the estate until 1838 when it changed hands. The name Carcasset comes from the name for the lieu-dit from which it was situated. Through the years, the chateau has changed hands and names a handful of times. In 2016, the estate was sold and now has a new owner as well as a new advisor. Hubert de Bouard, the new advisor, has increased the quality of the wines in a short period of time.
The average age of the vines are 30 years, composed of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and a bit of Cabernet Franc.
Chateau Fonbadet, Pauillac 2016Regular price $75.00 Save $-75.00
Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
The Peyronie family, the current owner of Château Fonbadet, has ancient winemaking roots in Pauillac. Their winemaking lineage goes back to the year 1700 according to public records of the time. The Peyronie family has serious roots in other Bordeaux houses in the Pauillas appellation. Pierre’s grandfather was estate manager of Château Lafite Rothschild, while his wife’s grandfather was estate manager at Château Mouton Rothschild. Pierre’s father, Robert, handled the estate in a dynamic forward way between WWI and WWII; he created a vineyard using vines on the verge of distinction or being sold at auction. Today, Pascale, Pierre’s daughter, has taken over after 20 years of training. Its classification is in the makings of the future fifth growths of Pauillac.
This is an incredible wine of the great appellation of the Pauillac appellation. It is a blend of all five of the great Bordeaux varieties.
Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol 2016Regular price $60.00 Save $-60.00
Variety: Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Chateau Taillefer's initial claim to fame was being recognized by the geographer of Louis XV in 1776. It has been cared for over two centuries. Enter the Bordeaux wine merchant, Antoine Moueix, known for playing an integral role in the beginning of one of the largest wine-growing dynasties ever. He saw potential in this great domain, subsequently purchasing Taillefer in 1923. Coming from the Right Bank village of Pomerol, the wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc blended in. Pomerol is an area rich in iron which is how this estate earned its name; “Taillefer” comes from the French phrase “to cut iron.” This Pomerol ages in oak barrels for about 12 months.
Il Cipresso, Toscana Rosso 2018Regular price $23.00 Save $-23.00
Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
The cypress tree, emblematic of Tuscany, and thus perfectly appropriate for this “Super Tuscan lite”. Michael Schmelzer, ex-pat winemaker at the helm of Monte Bernardi in Chianti Classico, oversees production of this wine, imbuing it with his philosophy and approach. Grapes are grown organically, and make their way to the bottle with minimal intervention. Once in the glass, it’s all bright fruit expressive of the region.
Chateau La Grolet, Tete de Cuvee Cotes de Bourg 2017Regular price $30.00 Save $-30.00
Variety: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc
From the same Bordeaux house that brought us Châteaux Peybonhomme and La Grolet, they bring us this fun bottling. Even though Château Peybonhomme Les Tours began six generations ago in 1895, this generation begins with the union of two humans of different wine-related backgrounds. Jean-Luc Hubert descended from a long line of sailors who navigated the Gironde river utilizing “scow” boats to transport wine. Alternatively, Catherine came from a long line of winemakers, her great grandfather having acquired Peybonhomme in 1890. Both of their ancestors worked extensively with one another making and transporting wine, unbeknownst to them the union that would one day happen. The kids have grown and now assist in making beautiful, natural wines and following in their parents’ footsteps.
Steep gravel slopes are prime for planting Merlot, the number one contender in this blend. A bit of time in new oak marries fruit and wood tannins, and the in-bottle result is a harmony of terroir and tradition.