October 2014 - The Wine Country

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October 2014 - The Wine Country
The Wine Country Newsletter
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, California 90755
(562) 597-8303 (800) 505-5564 FAX (562) 597-9493 www.TheWineCountry.com
October 2014
“You Need to Get Around More!”
By Randy Kemner, Proprietor
A few years ago actor Russell Crowe was a guest on a
late-night talk show. When told that only 25% of
Americans owned passports, he seemed astonished.
“You people need to get around more,” he challenged
the audience.
His message is still clear: there is no substitute for
travel, especially if you want to really get to know and
understand the world around you, its peoples, their
customs, and for us wine lovers, their wine and food.
Fewer than 25% of us have been to Europe, but I’ll bet
that 100% of us have opinions about Europe.
If we can locate it on a map.
But that’s another story.
Unless you are the complaining sort, you soon realize
that people are essentially the same when you meet
them one-on-one. A little curiosity, a little humility, a
smile, a greeting in their language and most people are
eager to show you what they are made of. As our
former colleague Amy Rust once told us, “you give good
vibes, you get good vibes.”
It was as breathtaking to see the Eifel Tower for the first
time, as it was viewing Mount Rushmore, Niagara Falls,
Devil’s Tower and Old Faithful. Travelogues are useful
as introductions to a country or city or landmark, but
you can’t smell, hear and taste a place until you’ve
actually been there. You don’t fully understand why
people think the way they do unless you meet them,
dine with them, share common experiences.
During the whole Freedom Fries embarrassment,
Samantha Dugan was in France visiting a winemaker
when French TV showed a video of a liquor store owner
in New York City pouring Beaujolais into the gutter.
Dining one evening in a neighborhood ristorante in
Rome, I was served house made lasagna like none other
I’d eaten. The tomato sauce was actually delicate, made
from fresh tomatoes, not sweetened and thick like
ketchup. Outside the restaurant Dale and I could hear
live music nearby and followed the sounds to a
neighborhood festa in one of a hundred piazzas. Joining
in, we shared liters of red wine with strangers as we
communicated with our smiles and our eyes if not our
words.
When it comes to wine tourism, you can share
experiences with those special people who devote their
lives to providing us pleasure. Walking the vineyards,
taking in fermentation smells, engaging a winemaker to
explain a little of his or her philosophy, intent, purpose
and vision, soaking up the beautiful views—all of this
makes an indelible impression that stays with you
forever, especially each time you uncork a bottle from
that winery from that point on. And it needn’t be that
far away from home.
“Why are they doing that?” the vintner asked, obviously
astonished at the sheer waste of the gesture.
“I don’t know,” is all Sam could say.
That simple exchange demonstrated that we Americans
weren’t all cartoon characters thinking the same way
and vice-versa.
Travel helps us overcome our
prejudices.
And there are so many other great things about travel—
not the least of which is being able to eat in the
restaurant that made Julia Child want to cook, on the
same square where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.
Or washing down Oeufs en Meurette with a lightly
chilled Azo Petit Chablis sitting across the table from
Monsieur Azo in the town of Chablis.
My first time driving north on Napa Valley’s Highway
29 was a thrill I’ll never forget. I passed through wine
crossroads and villages with names like Yountville,
Oakville, Rutherford, St. Helena and Calistoga as the
valley narrowed and the vegetation grew lusher with
dark green conifers creeping down to the two-lane road.
Viewing the mission façade at Oakville’s Robert
Mondavi winery after seeing a rendering of it on so
many bottles, I thought my heart was going to leap out
of my chest.
Dale and I have just returned from Oporto, the upper
Douro Valley and a dream trip to the island of Madeira,
home of the world’s most long-lived wines. There will
be more stories to tell of special meals, special places,
incredible wines and treasured people whose work is all
about sharing a bit of themselves with we lucky few
open enough to enjoy the blessed fruits of their labor.
Think of that next time you pull the cork on your next
bottle. Think of that next time you decide where to visit
and what to do on your next vacation.
Then there was the venerable BV winery in Rutherford
right across the street from the equally historic
Inglenook vineyards and winery. In 1981 you could see
right on the highway a little shack representing Heitz
Cellars, the larger Louis Martini winery, Beringer,
Charles Krug, Christian Brothers and Sutter Home,
where they were pouring an unknown pale pink fruity
wine nobody had heard of called White Zinfandel,
which was just about to make a big, big splash.
Understanding wine comes a bit more easily when
traveling because of the local food accompanying it.
Eating spargel with a glass of off-dry Riesling in the
Mosel, savoring a taste of the pungent Alsace Munster
with a sip of Gewürztraminer vendage tardive near
Colmar, barrel tasting an otherworldly Côte-Rôtie with
Robert Jasmin in his cellar near Ampuis, sharing an
authentic Provençale al fresco lunch with the owners of
Chateau La Canorgue while drinking dry rosé next to a
storybook setting of vines and olive trees, eating course
after course of Tuscan specialties with the local mayor, a
Hollywood movie actor and friends of the vintners one
balmy summer evening near the Tyrrhenian Sea. Being
served vittelo tonnato not once, but three times in six
days, each prepared a little differently by Piedmont
vintners and always accompanied by fresh bread sticks.
Being served a creamy bacalao with the Symington
family in Vila Nova de Gaia before engaging in a port
tasting that included a seventy-year old tawny direct
from the barrel.
Dale and I are already trying to figure out a way to get
back to Madeira and the Upper Douro Valley.
OCTOBER
WINE OF THE
MONTH
2012 Bodegas Ercavio
Tempranillo Roble
Tierra de Castilla, Spain
of a glass of this wine! The fruit driven flavors are of red
plums, blueberries and hints of dark chocolate.
The Ercavio is partially fermented in traditional tinajas,
enormous clay amphoras that have been used in La
Mancha for centuries. Final aging is carried out in
French and American oak barrels for a period of six
months prior to bottling.
$11.99 per bottle $143.99 per case
CHEESE PAIRING FOR THE
OCTOBER WINE OF THE MONTH
Cavern Reserve
Cave-Aged Gruyère
Gruyère, Switzerland
By Samantha Dugan
We came at our Cheese of the Month selection with a
two pronged approach this month. I had a wonderful
aged Mahon, a drier and more intense version of one of
our beloved Spanish cow’s milk cheeses, that I thought
would be fun in that whole, “What grows together goes
together” thinking, seeing as our October Wine of the
Month is Spanish and all, but there was also a fresh
delivery of Cavern Cave-Aged Gruyere sitting proud
and welcoming in the cheese case, it was begging to be
tasted so we sliced it up alongside the aged Mahon.
HOLY TOLEDO! THIS IS THE WINE
DON QUIXOTE WOULD DRINK!
The area of Tierra de Castilla is home to some of the
finest values in all of Spain. Approximately 40 miles east
of Toledo - The growing region closest to La Mancha,
the home of the fictional character Don Quixote, the
Knight of La Mancha.
The land is called Meseta de Ocana - a plateau
measuring 750 - 800 meters above sea level. The warm
summer days are accompanied by cool nights, these
conditions are IDEAL for perfect ripening of the grape!
The vines thrive in the clay and limestone soils on both a
trellis and bush vine system.
The Cencibel vines - local name for the Tempranillo
grown there, average 50 years old.
Folks this is a
bright, juicy, red with a full body, firm structure, and
lots of blackberry fruit! To start with, the Ercavio has a
brilliant Dark Purple color with violet highlights; we are
talking serious extraction here! The bouquet is a big,
briary, black fruit and rosemary aromatic explosion! I
think bees would be attracted to all the fruit pouring out
While both cheeses were absolutely lovely, and paired
well with the Spanish Tempranillo it was the CavedAged Gruyere that we all voted for. The Mahon was nice
and salty and it made the fruit in the wine positively
explode from the glass, it was the delightful nuttiness
and subtle sweetness of the Gruyere that tamed and
settled the fruitiness in the juicy red making it appear an
even more serious red wine which just edged out the
Mahon.
Gruyere is a classic alpine or Swiss cheese, one all too
often overlooked, which is so sad, especially when we
are talking about Gruyere with some age. Subtly
complex flavors that need to be revisited from time to
time. Here you find a firmly packed and dense cheese,
full of tiny crunchy crystals. Intensely fruity and nutty
with a richness that fills the palate but not in an overly
aggressive way. Wonderful shaved in pastas and salads,
on fruit plates and melted for the most wonderful grilled
cheese, like ever.
Available In-Store Only
CALIFORNIA & THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
Rich, Satisfying Red Wines from the Other Side
of the Mountains: The Often Overlooked
Appellations of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek
Valley, and Rockpile
By Reid Kinnett
Sonoma County is a vast and surprisingly diverse chunk
of land. In the north-eastern reaches of the county, lie the
best growing regions for bold red wines.
Alexander Valley
Running from Mendocino County in the north, down to
Chalk Hill in the south, Alexander Valley makes some of
Sonoma County’s most famous Cabernet Sauvignons.
The region is defined by the western slopes of the
Mayacama mountain range to the east and the Russian
River to the west. The morning fog that funnels up the
Russian River burns off relatively early in the day,
allowing the vines to receive lots of sunlight.
The valley’s alluvial soil and warm temperatures makes
it an ideal site for Cabernet Sauvignon. Many feel these
wines are softer, more fruit forward, and better in their
youth than Cabernets from Napa.
Dry Creek Valley
Due west of the southern end of Alexander Valley, near
the town of Healdsburg, is one of my favorite regions for
wine tasting in Sonoma County. Most well-known for its
old vine Zinfandel plantings, Dry Creek has a wide
variety of grape varieties planted, and a history of
viticulture dating back 140 years.
This narrow valley (2mi. ridge to ridge) has an active
fault running beneath it, which has uplifted ancient sea
bed. These soils are interspersed by alluvial deposits
from Dry Creek. The area’s geology makes for a complex
patchwork of soils that is dominated by well-drained
gravel. This complex mix of soils allows growers to
experiment with a wide array of varieties--Rhône reds
are planted a stone’s throw from old vine Zinfandel
and Cabernet.
Rockpile
In the north-western end of Dry Creek Valley, begins the
Rockpile appellation. This area is distinguished from
Dry Creek Valley in a number of ways, but the most
important factor being elevation: vineyards must be at
least 800 feet elevation, though 95% lie above 1,000
feet. In these higher elevation sites, soils are shallow,
with most large soil particles being eroded down to the
valley floors 1,000 years ago. The remaining soils are
well-drained and nutrient-poor. These conditions make
for low-yielding vines that produce concentrated
flavors. Another unique factor in this site is the manmade, Lake Sonoma. The lake is over 200 feet deep in
some areas: this draws fog from the nearby Pacific
Ocean down to the water’s surface, which means more
sunlight above 800 feet. While many areas in Dry Creek
Valley are still blanketed with fog, Rockpile is basking in
the morning sun.
Friday, October 17th, we will be showing off the bold
flavors of Rockpile’s Zinfandels, Dry Creek’s impressive
Rhône blends and Zinfandels, and the rich, round
Cabernets from Alexander Valley. This will be an
exciting and eclectic selection of Sonoma County’s best
richly flavored red wines!
$40 per person. 7:30 p.m. at The Wine Country
Call (562) 597-8303 for Reservations
Here are some of the exciting wines that will likely be
featured:
2012 Ridge “Lytton Estate” Petite Sirah
Dry Creek Valley, CA
Ridge has been making wine from this unique Dry
Creek Valley site since 1972. The vineyard was planted
to Zinfandel, Mataro (Mourvedre,) Grenache, and Petite
Sirah in 1901. Ridge planted more Petite Sirah here in
1998. Now that the vines have matured, the winery is
finally making enough Petite Sirah for us to get our
hands on some! In typical Ridge fashion, 10% Zinfandel
is blended in, which adds fresh red fruit and a delicate
spiciness. This is a wine that is equally good by the grill
in the summer as it is on its own on a cool fall evening.
$32.99 per bottle
2012 Ridge “Geyserville”
Sonoma County, CA
71% Zinfandel, 19% Carignane, 7% Petite Sirah, 2%
Mataro, 1% Alicante Bouschet
This wine is a field blend of grape varieties commonly
seen in old vineyards in Sonoma County. This
Alexander Valley site was planted to grapevines 130
years ago, and Ridge has been making wine from the
vineyard since 1966. Ridge makes Zinfandels that have a
bit more structure and elegance to them than many in
the state. Carignane adds a welcome austerity to the
brambly Zinfandel. This is a rich wine, with brambly red
fruit, delicate spice, and subtle smoke on the palate. Lay
this down for five to ten years for a real treat!
$38.99 per bottle
2010 Lancaster Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, CA
This wine is winemaker, Jesse Katz’ first vintage at
Lancaster Estate. Katz assumed the winemaker position
at twenty-six years old. Before Lancaster, Katz worked
in Napa with Robert Foley, and at Screaming Eagle. His
experience shows with this wine. It is classic California
Cabernet: aromas of sweet Cassis, cocoa, herbs, and rich
vanilla are abundant on the nose. Juicy Blackberry,
plum, and raspberry compote round out the palate. The
wine has some serious tannins that would best be tamed
by some steak with a good amount of marbling.
$85.99 per bottle
2010 Blue Rock Cabernet Sauvignon
Alexander Valley, CA
The Blue Rock Vineyard is a forty-two acre property
adjacent to Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley vineyard.
Owner and Winemaker, Kenny Kahn bought the
property in 1987 and sold fruit to area wineries while
working his day job in banking. The outstanding 2010
vintage is Kahn’s eleventh producing wine from the
estate. This is a crowd pleaser: rich cobbler, blue fruit
and spice fill the mouth. Rich, roasted earthy notes and
vanilla resonate on the finish. This is a fruit forward
style that finishes with assertive tannins and juicy
acidity.
$41.99 per bottle
Discover Your Palate:
How to Find the
Wines You Love!
A Special Wed. Tasting
One of the most difficult aspects of enjoying wine is
describing what we sense to others. Even among trained
professionals, identifying aromas and describing texture
can by a difficult proposition. Add to this task, the fact
that we all perceive sensations differently, and we begin
to see how some folks can be intimidated or frustrated
by wine. We invite you to join Certified Sommelier and
Graduate of Enology, Reid Kinnett for this fun and
educational event!
This special Wednesday night seminar that will cover
some concepts that will help you learn to find wines that
you enjoy, how to enjoy them, and how to communicate
about them. We will be tasting through a wide variety of
wine styles that will help you narrow in on which styles
of wine are made for you!
Some of the topics we will cover will include:
 Acidity and its role in wine’s structure
 Dryness in terms of tannin structure
 Dry wines and sweet wines
 Fruitiness vs sweetness
 What is a balanced wine?
 Alcohol’s role in wine
 Wines with food
 Old World (European) wines and how they
compare to wines from California
Wednesday October 8th, 7:30 p.m.
Reservations are required. $30 per person.
ITALY
A Brief Moment of Quiet Satisfaction
by Brian Holowka
The current selections coming from Italy are remarkable.
The quality of vintages and variety of wines seems to be
at an all- time high. Every day, when I walk through our
selection, I have the enviable task of trying new wines
for the store, looking to find the perfect balance of classic
and modern styles, wines for special occasions, and of
course, every day “house wines.”
The number of importers and distributors that offer
Italian wine is truly astounding. It seems that every day
someone is bringing a taste of Italy “to my door” and
tempting me with wines full of history, flavors of the
motherland, and challenges to the senses.
I Love the wines in our store. I am impressed with our
selections from all over the boot, and constantly search
to increase the variety and quality.
Right now is a very good time to come see the newest
selections, and there are plenty! I feel we are giving you
more of a taste of Italy than ever before! Thanks to you, I
can take a brief moment of quiet satisfaction in knowing
the selection of high quality wines is here for you
perusal and ultimately, your approval!
This month we offer classic names from Barolo, Chianti,
and Montalcino, along with some areas to the south
which I know you will enjoy! Come on in!
WHITE WINES
2013 Beneventano Falanghina “Gran Pasione”
(Campania)
This is an elegant wine from Southern Italy. The grape is
an ancient varietal of Greek origin and named after the
stakes (“falangae”) used to support the vines in the
vineyard. The nose is fruity and pungent, with orange
blossom, yellow apples and pears. This is a mediumbodied white with creamy textures and a fair amount of
minerality. A nice dry finish awaits. This is terrific
seafood wine!
$10.99 per bottle
2013 Tenute Delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco (Sicily)
The Etna Bianco is a “mumbo jumbo” of local varieties:
Carricante, Cataratto, Grecanico, Inzolia, and Minnella; a
field blens with Carricante making up about 65% of the
blend. This wine is noble and graceful, bright and lively
but also with richness and body.
$20.99 per bottle
2013 Marisa Cuomo Bianco Costa D’Amalfi “Ravello”
(Campania)
The new vintage of Ravello offers up a riper, less
restrained version of this incredibly delicious wine; a
blend of Falanghina and Biancollella grown in
limestone. The hand-picked grapes are destemmed and
soft pressed. The result is a pleasant medium-bodied
white with fruity floral aromas and a refreshing white
peach flavor. Deliciously done!
$22.99 per bottle
RED WINES
2012 Badia Di Morrona Chianti “I Sodi Del Paretaio”
(Tuscany)
This is quickly becoming a favorite “house wine” for
many due to its versatility! The blend is 85% Sangiovese,
and the remainder Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and
Syrah. Fermented in Stainless steel and concrete tanks to
retain the freshness that young Chianti can offer. Well
balanced with cherry, sweet spice, and plum flavors.
$11.99 per bottle
2010 Villa S. Andrea Chianti Classico (Tuscany)
Villa S. Andrea is located on the top of a hill near the
municipality of San Casciano in Val di Pesa about 10
miles from Florence in heart of the Chianti Classico
region. 90% Sangiovese and 10% Syrah. This is a very
lush wine with spicy cherry, tobacco aromas, moderate
acidity and a pretty long finish. Ready for enjoyment!
$13.99 per bottle
2011 Schola Sarmenti Primitivo “Critera” (Puglia)
The origin of Zinfandel is the Primitivo grape. This is
one of the best tasting Primitivo wines I have ever
tasted! Juicy raspberry fruit, unoaked, and low alcohol!
A winning combination. These are old vines — some up
to 70 years old, using traditional trellising (for Puglia,
this means the vines look like bushes). Located on the
southern, interior tip of the heel of Italy’s boot, the
vineyards are a mere 10 minute drive from the sea,
under sunny, hot arid skies, the vines are grown on soils
rich with marine fossils. Since 2009 their entire
production is farmed organically.
$14.99 per bottle
2012 Paolo Scavino Vino Rosso (Piedmont)
Paolo Scavino needs no introduction. His Barolo wines
are legendary among collectors and aficionados. This is
a ripe and juicy red blend of nebbiolo, barbera, dolcetto,
and merlot. The texture is smooth, the mouthfeel is
vibrant, and the flavors are those of red fruit. Clean and
fresh fruit from the grapes being fermented in stainless
steel only. Medium body and nice structure make this an
easy to drink palate pleaser for every day.
$11.99 per bottle
2012 Pico Maccario Barbera D’Asti “Lavignone”
(Piedmont)
This is a charming Barbera. Modern styled, packed with
red cherries, plums, and red fruit, and supported by
mouthwatering acidity. Fermented in Stainless steel
tanks, this is a “take me home and drink me” wine. The
property is located in the province of Asti, 600 feet above
sea level. They have over 145 acres of Barbera growing
on the largest single block vineyard in all of Piedmont.
As a result, economies of scale enable them to produce
high quality wine for a meager price. Try a bottle, it will
amaze you how much wine is in there!
$11.99 per bottle
2009 Villa S. Andrea Chianti Classico Riserva
(Tuscany)
The Riserva version of the Villa S. Andrea is a blend of
80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot. It spends 18 months in
French oak barrels and possesses a riper richer flavor
than the normale. Carefully selected grapes are subjected
to a long maceration and the wine making process takes
place under controlled temperatures. The color is an
intense red with light garnet reflections. The nose is a
fine, fruity perfume which on the palate displays a
harmonious and full bodied flavor.
$19.99 per bottle
2010 Paolo Scavino Barolo (Piedmont)
Paolo Scavino’s Barolo normale comes from the best plots
of seven cru. The diversity of soils, exposure and
altitude characterizes each of these small but very
important terroir. The final blend is a result of a further
selection in the cellar of the most performing plots of the
vintage. Approximately one year of stainless steel then
aged in neutral French oak barrels for 10 months and a
further 12 months in large casks and 10 months of bottle
aging before release. Sweet red cherries, tobacco and
mint. Extremely open and enjoyable.
$42.99 per bottle
2009 La Poderina Brunello Di Montalcino (Tuscany)
La Poderina is located in Montalcino. With 20 hectares of
vineyard, situated in the southwest part of Montalcino,
it is found in a perhaps little known location but
certainly one of the most valid of the entire zone. The
wine undergoes an ageing process in little barrels for 2
years, barriques of French rovere next to large casks,
overall, nothing gives into the quantity of the production
for vine stock. The bouquet is extremely clean and
polished, but you’ll also notice playful outreaches of
berry fruit, cola, pressed violets, crushed mineral and
cool menthol. This is one of the most expressive wines of
the vintage especially thanks to the finesse and delicate
layering it offers.
$49.99 per bottle
2007 Villa S. Andrea Occhio Di Pernice Vin Santo
(Tuscany)
Fantastic Vin Santo. Truly compelling dessert wine! This
is a red version of Vin Santo called Occhio di Pernice
(literally “eye of the partridge”) that is made with a
minimum of 50% Sangiovese. There’s an intense honey –
butterscotch aroma with a hint of brown sugar on the
nose. Rich decadent flavors along with the typical
roasted almond quality that Vin Santo is famous for.
$34.99 per bottle
2009 Livio Sassetti Brunello Di Montalcino (Tuscany)
This is a smooth and sexy wine. A Brunello with satiny
texture, ample amounts of fruit, and round and
supportive tannins. The Pertimali estate has been held
by the Sassetti family for over a century in the
Montosoli hill, one of Montalcino's prime cru,
historically reputed for producing wines of great
balance and finesse. The property owns 16 hectares of
vineyards. This wonderfully balanced Brunello shows
plenty of rich dark cherry and plum fruit, but keeps
things interesting with a firm mineral backbone and
dark citrus peel and licorice on the finish. Made the
traditional way in large Slavonian oak botte.
$44.99 per bottle
GERMANY
The Sweet Side of Germany
By Jeremy Dugan
When it comes to sweet wines, I believe the Germans
make the best ones in the world. Finding the balance
where the wine does have some acidity, but the
beautiful fruit, rich flavors and sweetness are the stars
can sometimes be a fine line. And the Germans are the
tight rope walkers of the sweet wine world; they have
perfected that balance. Which is why I am hosting an all
sweet German wine tasting on the 16th to show that just
because a wine has sweetness, it doesn’t have to be a big
sugar bomb, but can have layers and depth that you find
in any white wine from around the world.
Von Hovel 2011 Oberemmeler Hutte Riesling Kabinett
Saar, Mosel
Compared to both the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons,
2011 was a very warm year in Germany. The result for
many wine makers were rich, decadent wines that had
beautiful fruit and great sweetness to them. So when
told that a distributor still had some of the Von Hovel
2011 Kabinett in stock, I ordered some without even
thinking twice. In this wine you will find big fruit
flavors like apricot and honeydew melon that cause a
bright, mouthwatering sensation that will please your
taste buds. With almost no minerality present in the
taste, the fruit creates a natural sweetness any fan of
Kabinett (or sweeter) Rieslings would enjoy. The weight
of this wine is heavier than what you’ll find in Kabinetts
from the 2012 and 2013 vintages causing a long finish
that leaves those beautiful fruit notes and some of the
sweetness on your tongue even after you’ve finished the
bottle.
$13.99 per 750ml bottle
Von Buhl 2012 Armand Riesling Kabinett
Pfalz
Named after Armand Von Buhl, the man who made the
Estate known internationally in the 19th century, this
Kabinett from Pfalz as well balanced as Kabinetts come.
A very interesting herbal note (almost like mint) can be
found on the nose, accompanied by notes of minerality,
hints of smokiness. At first sip, your taste buds are
welcomed by notes of pure honey that is evenly
balanced with a crisp and vibrant burst of minerality.
The notes of herbs and smokiness take a bit of a back
seat to the honey and minerality and become just subtle
hints of flavors. With just enough sweetness to please
the taste buds and enough minerality to prevent it from
being overly sweet the 2012 “Armand” Riesling Kabinett
will spread the name of Von Buhl just like the man it is
honoring in name.
$18.99 per 750ml bottle
Stephan Ehlen 2013 Wehlener Sonnenuhr
Riesling Spätlese, Mosel
The Ehlen family has been in the business of making
wine since 1668, so there is no surprise that they make
beautiful wines that don’t only taste great, but are well
balanced. Bright minerality pairs wonderfully with
subtle notes of honey to greet your palate up front. Big
luscious tropical fruit flavors give this wine nice weight
and lingering bright sweetness on the finish. While this
Spätlese would be on the sweeter side compared to other
wines of the same level, the minerality up front helps
bring the sweetness into balance preventing it from
being thick and syrupy. With 6 acres of vineyards to call
their own The Ehlen family is able to focus in on what
they want each of their wines to be. Causing their 2012
Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese to be one of the best
Spätleses I have ever had.
$19.99 per 750ml bottle
Kruger-Rumpf 2012 Binger Scharlachberg
Riesling Spätlese, Rheinhessen
A Vineyard actually located across the Nahe River in
Rheinhessen, with soil is rich in porphyr and red sand
stone. This Spatlese has rich vibrant notes of peach,
honey and just a hint of smokiness in the nose. The
flavors however are much more delicate to the taste than
the nose would suggest. A fresh peach flavor is the first
to greet your tongue and then gradually transforms into
a soft honey characteristic that hangs on and stays
around for a little bit. With a subtle hint of smokiness on
the finish, this Spatlese doesn’t finish as sweet as most
would imagine a wine of this level would, making it an
interesting individual style coming from the Rumpf
family father and son duo.
$24.99 per 750ml bottle
Schloss Lieser 2013 Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
If there are going to be any 2013 Rieslings with
traditional sweetness, of course they’ll come from one of
the Sonnenuhr vineyards. Schloss Lieser’s Spätlese is full
of rich fruit, nice weight and an almost perfect amount
of sweetness. Bold notes of tropical fruit (pineapple),
combine with crisp citrus (grapefruit) flavors to create
an explosive expression upfront on your palate.
Honeydew melon sweetness creates a rich mouth feel
that won’t be easy to come by in the 2013 vintage. With
the right amount fruit, the right mouth feel and smooth
sweetness, this Spätlese is atypical for the 2013 vintage
but the standard for what people expect from this level
Riesling.
$32.99 per 750ml bottle
SPAIN
Finding a Path to Your Table
by Brian Holowka
“The glory of Spanish wines is that they offer a
wonderful palette of flavors and styles, and this should
not be lost on a privileged few. Price-wise they deliver
more value than any country in the world. Nowhere else
(with the possible exception of Italy) do you find the
variety of styles for the price.”
Okay, I am stepping off my soap box now. It’s just that
month after month I see so many great wines coming
out of Spain and wonder, “how are they doing this?”
I taste hundreds of wines each month, always with the
thought, “what am going to do with this wine? Is this for
lunch, or dinner, or conversation? There’s always a time
and a place for Spanish wines.
Take Rioja, for example. There are occasions where you
may want something fresh, simple and lightly oaked,
like a Joven; and times for the elaborate dinner, where
complex flavors abound, like a Gran Reserva – either
way, there’s a wine for you, at a very reasonable price.
There’s a reason our October’s Wine of the Month comes
from Spain… Because it overdelivers. I urge you to
come on in and take a look at what Spain has to offer. I
am confident we will find a wine for your table. Because
that’s what we do here at The Wine Country.
Try something from Spain, the wines speak for
themselves, give them a listen.
2013 Bohigas Xarel-lo (Catalunya)
Xarel-lo is a light skinned grape from Catalonia, in
northeastern Spain, it is the main varietal used in the
immensely popular Bohigas Cava (which is blended
with Macabeo and Parellada) sparkling wine. This is the
perfect choice for those craving a refreshing white wine
with a lower amount of alcohol. Floral and minerally on
the nose, mild flavors of peach and nectarine, moderate
acidity, and a clean finish. A delicate but satisfying
experience awaits.
$9.99 per bottle
2013 Bodega Eduardo Pena “Maria Andrea” Blanco
(Ribeiro)
Eduardo Pena’s 5 hectares of grapevines are situated in
western oriented double trellises at 820 feet of altitude in
the western province of Ourense. This is an alluring
blend of Trexiadura, Albariño, Godello and Loureira.
Stainless Steel fermented and aged 4 months to preserve
freshness. This an exotic tasting white wine with tropical
elements and lemons and flowers on the nose, almonds
and honey on the palate.
$18.99 per bottle
2013 Ameztoi Txakolina (Basque)
The Ameztoi family has been making txakolina wine in
Getaria in the Basque country for seven generations.
This is a light crisp wine bottled with residual carbon
dioxide to give the wine its signature spritz. This is a
bright wine with notes of sea saltiness and lime aromas
and a “prickly” texture. If there was ever a wine to pair
with anchovies and sardines, this is it! Fresh and exciting
from the Basque.
$21.99 per bottle
2011 Martinez Corta “Cepasantiguas” (Rioja)
This is 100% Tempranillo, from 40 year old vines
situated in Rioja Alta. Hand-picked grapes crushed in a
special gravity flow winery, Whole berry fermentation,
micro oxygenated then 2 months aged in new French
oak barrels. All that aside, this is a deliciously simple
supple red with a chocolately texture and fresh red berry
flavors. Ripe and Ready!
$9.99 per bottle
2012 Olivares Altos De La Hoja (Jumilla)
Jumilla continues to produce some of the world’s great
wine values. The native Monastrell grape, known as
Mourvedre in the rest of the world, makes a wine with
rich perfume, depth and complexity. Olivares has some
of the rarest vines – old rootstocks that survived the
phylloxera outbreak of the 1880’s that devastated all of
Europe’s vineyards! This is a sumptuous red table wine
with tremendous aromatics and wonderful balance.
Who could ask for anything more?
$11.99 per bottle
2010 Bodegas Breton Lorinon Crianza (Rioja)
The Breton family has their vineyards in Rioja Alta,
known for its high elevation, the Tempranillo grown
here is both elegant and expressive. Breton’s relatively
traditional approach to winemaking makes a wine
particularly suited for food; not just tapas and paella,
but also vegetable dishes, stews, or pasta and rice dishes.
This is 100% Tempranillo aged 14 months in American
oak. Plum and dried fruit notes, leather, tar and
minerals. A beauty that begs to be enjoyed to the fullest!
$13.99 per bottle
2012 Emilio Moro Finca Resalso (Ribera Del Duero)
Made from a selection of younger Tempranillo vines,
The Finca Resalso is aged a mere 4 months in French oak
barrels. A gorgeous appearance, with a cherry red color
and violet edges. An intense fragrance spills from the
glass. The wine articulates itself with marked primary
aromas, mulberry, licorice and forest fruits. A tasty
experience on the palate, the Resalso shows itself as an
expressive and intense wine but with a softer, easy
going personality that makes it a pleasure to drink.
Note: the “1964” on the label is to commemorate the
year the Resalso vineyard was planted.
$14.99 per bottle
2006 Vina Santurnia Reserva (Rioja)
This wine really showed well at our recent Spanish R’s
tasting. This is a traditionally styled Rioja that spent 2
years in American oak prior to bottling. Predominantly
Tempranillo with a bit of Graciano and Mazuelo. Very
classic, with a terrific balance between mouthwatering
berry fruit and earthy nuances. Starts out a bit edgy, but
really mellows in the glass after an hour. A wine which
expresses itself best with food. Classic Rioja – It’s what’s
for dinner!
$21.99 per bottle
2013 Alvaro Palacios “Camins De Priorat”
One of the founding fathers of Priorat. After studying in
France at Chateau Petrus, Alvaro returned to Spain in
the the 1980s. He was drawn to the largely abandoned,
ancient vineyards of Priorat. Located 60 miles from
Barcelona, Priorat had been one of Spain's important
pre-Phylloxera wine regions. And with its unique terroir
of steep hills and terraces, Alvaro believed he could
make wines that rivaled the best of Europe. This is an
organic, biodynamic vineyard, lauded worldwide as one
of the top producers of red wines. The blend in the
Camins is 40% Garnacha and 25% Carinena,
complemented by Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and
Merlot. It aged for one year in barrels and is very
approachable. Aromas of ripe plums, cherries, licorice,
cola and hints of cinnamon. This is a wine of finesse and
complexity. The palate is medium-bodied, with
moderate tannins. The style is modern and very wellmade. A perfect choice for showing what the wines of
Priorat are all about!
$21.99 per bottle
2004 Otanon Reserva (Rioja)
A super wine in its “sweet spot.” 10 years is a long time
to wait on a wine, fortunately, the winery has done it for
you! Everything is in harmony here; oak, fruit, acid,
tannins are balanced and supportive. Otanon only
produces a Reserva wine in exceptional vintages, from
their most perfect vineyards. Grown in iron-rich clay
soils, the blend of Tempranillo and Graciano grapes
produces a wine with deep fruit, balanced acidity,
minerality, and structure. A pork roast over mushroom
risotto with this wine would be an unforgettable
experience!
$23.99 per bottle
2001 Vina Santurnia Gran Reserva (Rioja)
The very best vintage of the last two decades for Rioja is
2001. Near perfect conditions created wines that are, at
the very least, profound. We are thrilled to get our
hands on a few bottles of Santurnia’s Gran Reserva;
made only from selected lots from the oldest vineyards
in the best vintages. This is a fine wine, by fine I mean all
the rough edges have been rounded down. The delicate
flavors are savory, earthy, and peppery. Light tannins
support the tangy mouthfeel in ways only aged reds can
produce. I can’t express in words what it tastes like to
drink aged Rioja, it’s more about how it makes you
Feel… And the ’01 Santurnia makes me feel really good!
$31.99 per bottle
2010 Emilio Moro (Ribera Del Duero)
This is consistently one our best-selling Spanish wines.
The Emilio Moro is 100% Tempranillo from a selection of
15 – 25 year old vineyards representing the most
important soil types, which is why the wine has such a
variety of aromas and tastes. The Emilio Moro is a
complex wine with deep dark fruit and harmonious
notes due in part to its 12 months of aging in American
and French oak barrels. Vanilla, balsamic and spice, and
toasty oak aromas fill the glass. Its textures are smooth
and powerful, with blackberry fruit taking center stage.
This is a wine that will not be ignored! Note: The “1938”
on the label is to commemorate the year of founder
Emilio Moro’s birth.
$27.99 per bottle
2012 Alvaro Palacios “Les Terrasses” Velles Vinyes
(Priorat)
One of nine children born to the owners of Rioja's
respected Palacios Remondo, Alvaro studied enology in
Bordeaux, while working under Jean-Pierre Moueix at
Ch. Pétrus. He credits his tenure at Pétrus for much of
his winemaking philosophy and for showing him "the
importance of great wines." The Terrasses is aged for 12
months in French oak barrels (20% new). A bright cherry
color, it offers up aromas of red fruit and balsamic notes
on the nose. On the palate, excellent balance, silky
texture and wonderful freshness! 60% Carignan, 30%
Grenache, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Elegant,
precise, and complex; this is a fine wine with no loose
ends.
$39.99 per bottle
FRANCE
Seeking Burgundian Fruit
By Samantha Dugan
“It’s not like all the Burgundy lovers all over the world
are just going to start drinking Oregon Pinot Noir or
Bordeaux,” my response to a rather worried-faced
Burgundian that was, timidly explaining why prices are
going to take a spike upward and availability on our
beloved wines from the region is expected to be, for lack
of a better term, tight.
Four vintages, (2011, 2012, 2013 and now after some
summer hail, 2014) of seriously formidable weather, in
some severe cases losses of up to 80% of their crop in
certain villages, have wedged the Burgundians right
between a rock and a very hard place. While there are
still gorgeous wines to get, with some winemakers
saying that 2012 was one of the finest vintages they’ve
seen in a very long time, but with miniscule amounts of
wine to sell, the small farmers in the region are left
wringing their cracked, stained hands, forced to raise
prices across the board just to keep afloat.
We heard it over and over again this past April as I
walked the woefully under-stuffed cellars in Burgundy,
winemakers trying their best to sound optimistic while
also hoping to prepare us. The importer I was travelling
with also fearful as she heard allocations, on even village
level wines, slashed by up to two thirds.
Tasting through those stunning wines, the pure
expression of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the grim
news of shortages and higher prices couldn’t cloud the
beauty of the wines or the spirit of the gracious people
of the region. Once you’ve fallen in love with Burgundy
no other wine can do the same things to and for you. No
other wine can make you crave the way that Burgundy
does, make those tiny hairs on the back of your neck
wiggle and stand tall. There are wines the world over
that, it can be argued, are just as good but for those of us
that hear the whisper of Burgundy and can feel it calling
us, only the wines from that tiny region can calm that
stir…and fire us up again.
Luckily, there are still places to find Burgundian fruit
with prices that won’t make feeding that sexy Burgundy
monkey on our backs quite so painful.
2012 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay
Marsannay is a village located at the northern end of the
Cote de Nuits, its most well-known neighbor being
Gevrey-Chambertin, was once only known for their
production of Rose, not the case anymore, and it is
producers like Sylvain Pataille that are leading the way,
and in many cases surpassing those in villages with far
more prestigious names. Loads of dark fruit here, like
black cherries but with some cola, roasted coffee and
kisses of soy. Flirty and supple on the palate with a
wonderful bite of super-fine tannin. Drinks far and
above its appellation.
$41.99 per bottle
2012 Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Les Longeroies
Many have said that they believe Les Longeroies should
be elevated to Premier Cru status and it takes just a few
spins in the glass to figure out why. Deeper, darker,
spicier, sprinkled with rose petals and crushed red fruit.
Full and sexy on the palate but with a vibrancy that
keeps the wine from feeling out of balance, or like it
came from anywhere but Burgundy. I was only able to
get one case of this suggestive wine so grab it while you
can. Pataille is gathering a huge fan base, one that will
nab this the second they see it.
$58.99 per bottle
2011 Domaine Charles Audoin
Marsannay Les Longeroies
A very traditional Burgundy here, meaning lots of
savory notes interplaying with sweet roasted red fruits.
A lighter Pinot Noir on the palate with plenty of sassy
green aromas and spice for days. Shows better the
longer it’s in the glass so decanting helps this juicy and
delicious Pinot Noir show all it has to give.
$34.99 per bottle
2011 Domaine Prieur-Brunet
Santenay-Maladiere 1er Cru
Such a pretty and elegant Pinot Noir. Gentle, tart red
cherries dance along the sides of this light and graceful
wine. Plenty of earthy flavors along with the red fruit,
some mossy, mushroom and charred meat flavors as
well as a wonderful blast of not-yet-ripe strawberries.
Lovely wine for simple meals where it won’t have to
fight big flavors. Drinking good now but could improve
with a year or two in the cellar.
$35.99 per bottle
2010 Domaine Berthelemot Monthelie
Showing a light texture but one completely packed with
sweet juicy black cherries, grilled meats, dark roast
coffee and faint bits of teriyaki. Lots of stuffing here for a
wine with such a shy price tag. The flavors are long, the
tannin firm and the pleasure immense and the amount
of wine to get, tiny. Pick up a couple steaks full of
marbling, toss them on the grill pour yourself a deep
glass of this wine and enjoy.
$37.99 per bottle
FRANCE
New Loire Valley Arrivals for October
By Samantha Dugan
2012 Domaine de la Bergerie Anjou Blanc
Made from 100% Chenin Blanc that while fermented dry
still retains a massive amount of ample, generous fruit.
Fresh cut pears, under ripe peaches, fall cooking spice
and bits of warm orange blossom honey. Pretty sizable
in the mouth this wine has the feel of a rich Chardonnay
but without all the clumsy wood or butter.
$18.99 per bottle
2012 Domaine de la Bergerie Savennieres Le Grand
Beaupreau
We were blown off our chairs with the aromas on this
sensual Chenin Blanc. Orange marmalade, sandalwood
spiced honey, faint hints of cold white stones and loads
of dripping white pear flesh. Wow. Plenty of herby and
mineral flavors filter in but it is the succulent stone fruit
and spices that grab your attention and refuse to let go.
Think richer poultry dishes or, if you dare, fresh crab
dipped in melted butter. Sublime.
$26.99 per bottle
2012 M & S Bouchet Blanc de Chenin
Man, did we stumble across a whole bunch of gorgeous
Chenin Blanc last month. So gorgeous in fact that we
couldn’t stop ourselves from buying bunches of them,
including this wild thing! The nose reminds me of an
apple cellar, that apple skin, cold stones and slightly
musty thing that just screams Fall to me. Lean on the
palate but mostly because of the bracing acidity because
there is some lovely, curvy mouth feel to this wine.
Serve with anything porky and savory.
$22.99 per bottle
2012 Domaine des Corbillieres Touraine Rouge
A blend of Pinot Noir, Malbec and Cabernet Franc this is
everything you want in a light little Loire red wine. Full
of pretty red fruits, black pepper, savory and compelling
green notes all with a light lean little body and a clean
finish.
$14.99 per bottle
2012 Domaine de Rocfontaine Saumur-Champigny
Outside of Chablis I would say one of the fastest
growing areas in our French department is Loire Valley
reds like this spicy and floral Saumur-Champigny. Made
from 100% Cabernet Franc and discovered this past
April by our French wine buyer while she was traveling
in the Loire. She took one sniff of this generous, but
traditional, Cabernet Franc and ordered 3 cases on the
spot. Just pure, layered with purple flowers, beets, blue
fruit and crushed stones. If you love those more earthy
flavors drink this wine! If you want a real treat, serve it
with some charred red meat. Yum!
$16.99 per bottle
CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINE
Better, Still
by Samantha Dugan
It seems that each year the interest, and therefore the
demand for small production, grower Champagne gets
more and more feverish. I was actually in Champagne
this year in April when all the small growers were
putting on trade events, (like 4 a day for 3 days) and the
crowds were rather astonishing, not to mention the
comments from winemakers telling us that they have
never before been so inundated with importers looking
to come visit and sample their wines for export. As a
store that has specialized and championed wines from
those hard working little farmers and shunned the big
factory produced, bland, flaccid and often insidious
tasting Champagnes from the Grand Marques we can
assure you, the past five years have been the most
thrilling for grower Champagne we’ve ever seen.
Years past, when asked to sample some never before
heard of sparkling wine from Champagne, I would
cringe, knowing that there was a reason we’d not heard
of the wines and that reason was they were dreadful at
worst and snooze inducing at best. Frothy, murky
tasting wines that were rushed to export because some
importer needed to have a bubbly in his, or her
portfolio, not because of the merit of the actual wine.
Our set here at The Wine Country remained pretty much
the same for quite a few years, with a few new
faces/bottles coming and going, but for the most part
we stood with the artisans we had discovered early on,
the reason being that there were so few other wines that
could compete with the electrifying diversity and
concentration of the wines that were already on the
shelf.
Now? Now I am constantly sitting across from an
importer or sales rep shaking my head, wondering how
to convince Randy to let me have another rack just to
hold all the remarkable Champagnes we’ve been
introduced to as of late.
Seems to be this perfect storm of situations converging
upon the region of Champagne, everything from the end
of long standing contracts to sell grapes to the large
firms, a younger generation, that has traveled outside
the region to make wine, sharing information and new
ideas about crop management, the shunning of soil
rotting pesticides, site specificity and tank verses barrel
aging, add to that a bunch of wicked cool importers that
have fallen in love with the newer, fresher face of
Champagne and aren’t at all afraid to stand behind the
quality of those wines, as wines and not just bubbly stuff
reserved for popping once or twice a year.
Like I said earlier, it is a truly thrilling and magical time
to be in love with Champagne.
New Arrivals
N.V. D. Henriet-Bazin Grand Cru Brut Rose
Comprised of 50% each Grand Cru Chardonnay and
Pinot Noir and a blend of 2010 and 2011 vintages, this
darkly colored, bone-dry Rose is a screaming value. A
special cuvee made for importer Charles Neal, one with
a very low dosage, this wine is perfect to pair with all
sorts of foods. Elegantly lacy bubbles, dark fruit, some
hints of yeastiness and a very clean, refreshing finish.
$43.99 per bottle
2006 D. Henriet-Bazin Grand Cru Brut
Pinot Noir makes up the majority of the blend here and
it is very apparent on the nose that is blasted with
supple and ripe red fruit. One of those Champagnes that
you don’t ever want to stop sniffing as the wine keeps
evolving and changing in the glass. Fairly toasty but not
at all oaky this is a bright and gorgeous Champagne that
would be brilliant with roasted chicken or fish, gooey
cheeses and holds up gloriously to eggy dishes as well.
$49.99 per bottle
N.V. Demarne-Frison Goustan Brut Nature
A multi-parcel blend of several vineyards of Pinot Noir
this gentle and refined Champagne has such a
wonderful texture and mouth feel. Loaded with citrus,
dried flowers, red cherries and just a hint of beeswax.
Very subtle and dry with precision and beautifully tiny
bubbles.
$55.99 per bottle
N.V. Demarne-Frison Lalore Blanc de Blancs
Made from 100% Organic Chardonnay this wine is all
about texture, grace and refinement. Baked green apples,
anise, under-ripe pears and night blooming jasmine all
with some powerful saturation and a long, long finish.
$68.99 per bottle
N.V. Laherte Freres Ultradition Brut
We could not believe our ears when we heard the price
on this charming organic Champagne. Made up of
mostly Pinot Meunier with a bit of Chardonnay and
Pinot Noir added this supple and easy drinking bubbly
is a slam-dunk in the “Bang for your buck” category.
Easy, bright, super-fresh and uber friendly.
$35.99 per bottle
N.V. Laherte Freres Blanc de Blancs
Such a remarkably focused and pure expression of great
Champagne here and for so little money. A zero-dosage,
or no sugar added Blanc de Blancs made from organic
Chardonnay , this wine is full of tart citrus, chalky
minerals and bits of toasted almond. Leaning on the racy
side with all that citrus this wine was built to be an
aperitif or to be served with fresh and simply prepared
seafood dishes.
$41.99 per bottle
2005 Laherte Freres Extra Brut
We poured this sensual sparkler at a recent tasting and it
was the very first wine to sell out! Made from 85%
Chardonnay with Pinot Meunier making up the rest of
the blend. A wine with loads of complexity but not so
much that it distracts from the amazing floral, tangerine
rind, fresh cut flower stems and buttered toast aromas.
On the palate is where you feel the power, just a mouth
full of richness but with a brilliant cut of acidity and bite.
I love this beautiful sparkler on its own but there is
enough stuffing there for scallops, fried chicken, prawns
or even cured meats.
$59.99 per bottle
N.V. Georges Laval 1er Cru Brut Nature
If you ever want to impress a true Champagne geek give
or share with them a bottle of Georges Laval. The wines
from this tiny estate are some of the most sought after by
true Champagne collectors and seeing as he makes less
than 1,000.00 cases a year the demand won’t be easing
up any time soon. Made from old organic vines and with
this Brut Nature no dosage or sugar is added. This is one
of the most wine-like Champagnes we’ve ever carried.
The aromas, the weight in the mouth, the complexity,
the power, the length, all bring to mind the greatest of
Burgundy and this Champagne of that same level. Not a
pop and enjoy Champagne, this one demands, requires
and deserves your full attention. Brilliant. Simply
brilliant stuff.
$77.99 per bottle
2009 Georges Laval 1er Cru Les Hautes Chevres
Made from 100% Premier Cru Pinot Noir and is so rare I
was only able to get two six packs, for the year. Still
quite young this wine has deeply saturated red fruit,
spice, elegant herbal notes and a core of warm buttered
brioche. One sip and the wines crawls up the side of
your tongue and refuses to let go, spilling its power and
regality across the palate and leaving a stain that I for
one will never forget. A rare, rare treat but….who
deserves one more than you? (Only 4 bottles left at
deadline)
$249.99 per bottle
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand & South Africa
What's New in Southern Hemisphere Wine
By Andy Acosta
Argentina
2009 Zuccardi Aluvional Malbec, El Peral Vineyard,
Tupungato, Argentina
This is a truly world class red wine of exceptional grace
and poise. One of the flagship wines from one of the best
producers in Argentina, this 100% Malbec is hand
produced in the most meticulous way possible from the
very best high altitude parcels in Mendoza and in very
limited quantities - less than a dozen 6 packs imported
into the United States. The resultant wine is smooth and
elegant in a way that is hard to explain but only exists in
the very best wines. There is plenty of bright berry fruit,
with an amazingly deep and delicate nose that has not
just blackberry put also a subtle spice and floral overlay.
The fruit is velvety and mouth filling while remaining
lithe and pure in a manner only the best wines display.
The highest quality oak adds a touch of dried cocoa and
smooth and sweet fine tannins. The finish is clean, long,
elegant and complex. Simply amazing.
$79.99 per bottle
2009 Lamadrid Gran Reserva Single Vineyard Malbec
Agrelo Vineyard, Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina
Made by the highly respected Argentine winemaker
Hector Dirugutti, this is in the supple, smooth and full
bodied Malbec category. It has a big, brooding dark
berry nose and sensual mouth-filling dark berry fruit,
with a beautiful and subtle overlay of sweet, fine oak
tannins. The finish is long and silky. Overall, this is a
rich, smooth and supple wine with excellent depth of
flavor and no rough edges. Elegant enough to drink on
its own, it would pair well with un-sauced or lightly
sauced beef, lamb or pork.
$26.99 per bottle
2012 Colonia Las Liebres Bonarda,
Mendoza, Argentina
Bonarda hugely popular in Argentina as a daily table
wine and this well made and food friendly example
proves the point. It features bright, juicy, rustic red fruit
in the nose and the mouth and has a delightful herbal
edge to go with a rustic yet smooth food-friendly finish.
Pairs with red meat, BBQ, stews, sausages, hearty
tomato sauces- just about anything with some flavor and
a bit of fat.
$8.99 per bottle
Australia
2012 Pressing Matters R9 Riesling, Coal River Valley,
Tasmania, Australia
R9 usually indicates 9 grams of residual sugar are
present in this crisp, minerally and clean Riesling from
the island of Tasmania off the southern coast of
Australia. This vintage has slightly less than 7 grams of
residual sugar. In some wines, this would mean a
syrupy sweet wine, but in this case, with the abundant
natural acidity in this wine, it means a lush-bodied and
smooth wine with just the slightest hint of sweetness.
The beautiful nose features stonefruit, rose petals and
minerals. In the mouth, the wine is lithe and pure, with a
hint of red apple, more minerality and a smooth
intensity. The finish is clean and pure. Overall,
beautifully balanced with outstanding fruit, purity, and
minerality. And it's extremely rare - less than 20 cases
imported into the entire United States.
$34.99 per bottle
NV Muscat, All Saints Estates, Rutherglen, Victoria
“Stickies” are what Aussies call sweet, usually fortified,
dessert wines and this beautifully sweet and balanced
example from the historic All Saints Estate is just plain
sweet and delicious. Made predominately in Rutherglen
and Glenrowan in Victoria, using Brown Muscat or Tokay
grapes, these frequently darkly colored beauties are
made in a unique style. What the Australians call Brown
Muscat, is actually Muscat à Petits Grains, one of the
oldest wine grape varieties on the planet, dating back to
before the time of Christ. The grapes are semi-raisined
on the vine, partially fermented and then fortified with
grape spirit before being aged in barrel. The
fermenting/ageing process involves storing the barrels
in warm or hot conditions, as is done in the manufacture
of Madeira. This is also a blended wine, a la the Solera
system used in making Sherry, with the blending of
different aged wines, in this case up to 10 year old
wines. The resultant wine is sweet and complex, with
intense floral aromas and flavors of raisin and
butterscotch, and other savory undertones to go with the
proper balancing acidity. It is also, like Madeira,
completely stable and will last for years in the bottle.
Killer with Bleu cheese.
$22.99 per 375ml bottle
Chile
2013 Vina Peralillo Arenal Carmenere,
Cachapoal Valley, Chile
This is one of those every-day, just right red table wines
at a great price. Mis-identified as Merlot for over 100
years, Carmenere is the national red wine of Chile. This
version has plenty of smooth, brambly dark fruit,
smooth tannins, good body and a clean, smooth finish.
There is a hint of the "green" edge Carmenere should
have, but it is not too much and integrates perfectly.
Pairs well with everything from red meat to sausages
and red sauce pasta.
$9.99 per bottle
2012 Falernia Reserva Sauvignon Blanc,
Elqui Valley, Chile
Another exceptional price/quality ratio wine from
Falernia, this partially barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc
is left on the lees for 6 months, giving it exceptional
body, texture and complexity at this price point. Aromas
of figs and sage lead to flavors of citrus and melon. It has
a savory and slightly rustic edge too. Serve as an aperitif
or with lighter fare, like appetizers of simply prepared
fish.
$8.99 per bottle
New Zealand
2013 Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir
North Canterbury, New Zealand
While the full bodied Pinot Noirs from New Zealand's
warm Central Otago get much of the acclaim, excellent
Pinot Noir is grown throughout the beautiful,
environmentally unspoiled South Pacific two-island
chain. From the cool climate North Canterbury region
on the South Island, this is an intense yet achingly pretty
and refined "feminine" style Pinot Noir. It has a
penetrating and pretty candied cherry nose with
overtones of minerals and violets. The fruit has that
ethereal combination of extraction without weight, with
pure minerally dark cherry flavors and a fascinating
savory edge. It has very good acidity, supple, soft
tannins and a clean, complex, interesting finish. Would
pair well with fresh Salmon or simply prepared spring
lamb.
$23.99 per bottle
South Africa
2011 Ken Forrester The FMC, Chenin Blanc,
Stellenbosch, South Africa
The first time I had an earlier vintage of this incredible
wine it shot up to the top five white wines I had ever tasted,
so when I saw this wine offered on a special closeout
deal (a $20 per bottle discount!), I bought it immediately,
even though I hadn't tasted this vintage. Am I glad I did.
This 40 year-old bush vine, hand-picked, hand-sorted,
100% barrel fermented Chenin Blanc is flat out amazing.
The fruit comes from a region considered the modern
home of Chenin Blanc in South Africa, the Helderberg
Mountain area. And Chenin Blanc, or Steen, as they call
it, is the national white wine of the proud South African
wine industry, which dates back to the late 1600s. The
wine is fermented in 400 liter French oak barrels with
wild yeast and left on the lees for a full year. There is
some Botrytis - the "Noble Rot" of Sauternes fame present on the grapes, yielding a bit of sweetness, which
is present in the wine in just the right amount given the
perfect natural acidity.
This wine is all about lush intensity and hedonistic
flavors. It is ripe, elegant and well balanced with otherworldly depth and complexity. It has wonderful
sweetness that isn't cloying but rather serves to reinforce
the incredibly lush and mouth-filling texture and ripe,
yet pure, flavors. Throughout the wine there is dried
apricot, vanilla and honey, with a nice streak of
minerality and the aromas are big and intense. When we
poured this at a recent Saturday tasting, people were
blown away. There isn't much, so get it while you can.
$49.99 per bottle
2013 Groot Constantia Sauvignon Blanc,
Constantia, South Africa
With a birthdate of 1685, Groot Constantia is the oldest
winery in South Africa and they have a hard-earned
reputation for producing top quality wines.
This a typically South African Sauvignon Blanc, with
lots of spicy green pepper, kiwi fruit and grass on the
nose which follows through nicely in the mouth. Due to
3 months on the lees, the fruit is quite bold but still
smooth and clean. Hand-picked at optimal ripeness and
fermented in stainless steel, it also has good acidity so it
finishes crisp and clean. Pair with grilled or raw shellfish
and seafood.
$21.99 per bottle
BEER, SAKE & CIDER
The Most Wonderful Time of the Beer Year
By Andy Acosta
I’m going to go out on a limb here and proclaim that Fall
is the most wonderful time of year for us beer lovers,
with the confluence of two hallowed beer drinking
traditions; football season and the mother of all keggers,
Oktoberfest.
And speaking of football, with the
popularity of fantasy leagues, there are now even more
reasons (excuses?) to celebrate or drown one’s sorrows.
Beer people, this is our season and we need to grab it by
the scruff of the neck and drain those bottles, cans ,
glasses and growlers with gusto (as we all know, gusto is
one of the great beer terms and it should only be applied
to beer-related pursuits, if you ask me). The wine folks
have their sophisticated outdoor summer feasts under
the foliage encrusted arbor, with the little sparkly lights
in the trees and linens on the table, chuckling amiably at
each others' can-you-top-this travel adventures and
stories about their genius spawn as they sip their Rosés,
but I suspect they peer over the edge of their Riedel
crystal with envy, pinkies held high, as we partake in
shameless public drinking, face-painting, wearing of
silly hats, and the general beer-fueled revelry we enjoy
this time of year. And what, exactly, is their version of
the Chicken Dance? Ever witness a who-can-drink-themug-of-Champagne-the-fastest contest? A Rombauer
Chardonnay bong ? (OK, I guess a Bota bag is sort of a
wine bong - but who has a Bota bag anymore?) I rest my
case.
(A serious note - we here at The Wine Country do not
condone excessive drinking. Period. Be smart, be safe,
drink lots of water and have a good time you can
remember – and there is NEVER an excuse to drink and
drive.)
Football Rules
A couple of years ago, I introduced Andy’s basic rules
of beer and football : 1) don’t run out of beer; 2) don’t
drink crappy beer. This year, I’m adding Andy’s basic
rule #3 – 3) cans are good. Canned beer, I hear you
exclaim mockingly – I only drink beer in bottles – cans make
the beer taste funny. Au contraire my stuck-in-the-past
friend, modern can technology has all but eliminated
“can taste”. I’m going to assume that since you are
reading this newsletter, you are a sophisticated and
discriminating beer drinker, so you understand that heat
and light are the mortal enemies of beer tasting as the
brewer intended. I had a brewer tell me that virtually all
beer is susceptible to degradation in the presence of
light, particularly sunlight. He also said heat is a known
beer killer also, which is why he likes to can his beer –
no light and easier to chill and keep cold. Cans are also
more carbon neutral than bottles – lighter, easier to ship,
easier to recycle, etc. More and more good beer is going
into cans and it is the freshest possible way to enjoy a
beer. And usually cheaper, too. You notice I’m not
suggesting you only drink beer in cans – not everything
is available in cans – but at least think about it, for your
wallet’s and the planet’s sake. Whether you’re piloting
the starship Lazy Boy with remote in hand, congregating
in someone’s TV room (I would say man cave, but that
would be sexist and I know that plenty of ladies love
their beer and football) or tailgating outside the stadium,
we have plenty of great canned beers here at The Wine
Country – grab some before the next game and enjoy.
Oktoberfest – the Early Years
OK, so what about Oktoberfest, the other of major event
on the fall beer calendar? Let’s delve into the history of
this magnificent German event.
It seems that on October 12th, 1810, in what is now
southern Germany, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria,
later to become King Ludwig I of Bavaria, was married
to the beautiful Princess Therese of SaxonyHildburghausen and decided to commemorate the event
by having a big party for his perhaps loyal subjects just
outside of the Munich city gates. Ludwig’s perhaps loyal
subjects really took a shine to the lovely young princess
and showed up en masse to the usually empty field to
help their fearless leader celebrate his good fortune in
love. And, since protein was hard to come by in the
early 1800s for the common man, the free food probably
didn’t hurt attendance either. The fields where the
festival took place were henceforth to be called
“Thereseinwiese” in the princess’ honor, which was
shortened to “Wiesn” in the local dialect. The event
ended with horse races, which were enormously
popular in this era of few large scale entertainments, and
it was the desire to hold these horse races that led to the
annual tradition of Oktoberfest. Perhaps there was
wagering going on – the historical record is a bit murky
here (Franz – I bet you a three-legged goat my horse will
outrun yours!).
In 1811, the local Burghers, or “bidnessmen” as they
might be called today in certain southern regions of our
country,
of Bavaria decided to do a little cross
promotion with the pony races (Hey, Hans, we got a ton of
people here – marketing opportunity!) and held an
agricultural exhibition (look at that three-legged goat!),
which carries on to this day, although it is now held only
every three years. Unfortunately, they stopped running
the ponies years ago.
Where’s the Beer?
Wait, I hear you protest, isn’t Oktoberfest about beer?
Well, in 1818, the revelry started to ramp up and the first
carousel and two swing sets were set up (yes, swing sets,
apparently big fancy ones with side-by-side seating, and
fancy garlands and such – I suppose it was a much,
much simpler time, if defeating gravity for even a
moment was such a big deal), in addition to, TA-DA!,
the first beer stand. These beer stands rapidly
proliferated until 1896, when I guess the lines were
getting too long, and some local landlords and the
breweries decided to erect beer tents and halls. All this
time the fun-fair was growing until it took up the
majority of the space on the Weisn. In modern times,
Oktoberfest in Munich has grown into the largest
festival in the world, featuring literally millions of litres
of special beers, carnival rides, food (mostly roast
chicken) brass bands and fun. And leather bib shorts for
the men. And tight bodiced flouncy skirt thingies for the
ladies. And silly hats for everyone. And vomiting (what
do expect – beer, food and carnival rides – bad combo).
Fun.
Those of you who weren’t playing folded-paper-triangle
desk football (It’s up! It’s good!) during all your
American history classes may remember that we have
quite a few people of German ancestry here in the USA,
some of them from Bavaria, and they brought the party
with them. Since things are always bigger and better in
America, instead of the measly couple of weeks the
Germans hold their Oktoberfest, from the third weekend
in September to the first Sunday in October, we have
Oktoberfest celebrations carrying on for virtually all of
September and October. Is this a great country, or what?
We here at The Wine Country are firm believers in
tradition, so this time of year we stock up on German
beers, including Oktoberfest specials, and we have an
Oktoberfest themed BeerVenture or two, this year
coming October 15th and 22nd at 7:30 pm, where for
twenty-five dollars you’ll get to try a selection of
authentic German beers, including, hopefully, five of the
six “official” Oktoberfest beers, along with some
traditional foods such as authentic recipe pretzels,
wurst, German mustard and, hopefully, more of Dale’s
Mom’s recipe amazing tangy Potato Salad. Pretty please,
Dale?
Here’s a list of some of our best German beers, many of
which we’ll be pouring at the BeerVenture (subject to
availability):
Erdinger Oktoberfest Weisse Bier $1.99 per 330ml
bottle
Hacker-Pschorr Original Oktoberfest Marzen $1.89 per
330ml bottle
Hofbrau Munchen Oktoberfest Marzen $1.79 per 330ml
bottle
Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen $1.89 per 330ml bottle
Weihenstephaner Oktoberfestbier Marzen $3.39 per
500ml bottle
Ayinger Oktober Fest-Marzen $3.49 per 500ml bottle
Weissenohe Monk's Chriskindl Dunkel $4.99 per 500ml
bottle
Schönramer Saphir Bock $4.99 per 330ml bottle
Schneider Hopfenweisse Hefeweizen Doppelbock $4.59
per 500ml bottle
Schneider Meine Porter Weisse Weizenbock Porter
$17.29 per 750ml bottle
Uerige Doppelsticke Alt $5.99 per 330ml bottle
FINE SPIRITS
Rum & Gin & More for Fall
By Jeremy Dugan
With the weather cooling down and the days getting
shorter, the time for enjoying spirits more often is here!
While we call can agree that summer is white wine and
rosé weather, when the leaves start changing, and it’s
dark when you get home from work, there is just
something about a mixed cocktail or something on the
rocks that fits the season.
As always, I try to find interesting spirits for you all to
enjoy and this past month just seemed to be when I
discovered some really cool stuff I want to share with
you. From rums from around the world to gins and a
cordial made by a little distillery/Bee farm in Vermont
who adds honey to their products, there is something
new for everyone to try and enjoy on these soon to be
dark and maybe a little chilly nights.
Ron Huasteco Potosi Blanco Rum, Mexico
Distilled in Carretera Mexico, this rum made from pure
sugarcane is unique in flavor, almost as unique as
having a Mexican Rum. Traditional white wine flavors
of coconut and vanilla greets the palate when first
sipping this libation. A surprising smoky flavor wraps
itself around the tongue giving it a very different flavor
than most would expect from a White Rum. The
sweetness of the vanilla and coconut combine amazingly
with the smokiness to give this Mexican Rum beautiful
lingering flavors.
$21.99 per liter bottle
Railean Reserve XO Rum, Texas
A Gulf Coast Rum from Texas, this Reserve XO is aged
in new double charred American oak barrels. Soft fruit
and subtle notes of coco on the front make this a very
welcoming Rum. The rich flavors do not stop as vanilla
and caramel characteristics come into play giving this
libation a finish that is just as smooth as the beginning.
With no drop off of rich flavors this XO Rum is just
asking to be drank on the rocks or could upgrade any
mixed drink.
$25.99 per 750ml bottle
El Dorado 8 year Rum, Guyana
This light brown spirit from Guyana has a flavor profile
any Rum drinker can enjoy. Soft notes of citrus and spice
brighten up the palate bringing a vibrant characteristic
not seen in many dark Rums. With subtle notes of
caramel and vanilla on the finish, this 8 year libation has
a smooth finish that is asking to be enjoyed on the rocks.
$24.99 per 750ml bottle
Zafra 21 year Rum, Panama
In my experiences with Rums aged 18 years or older is
that the oak, no matter what type is used, starts to
overpower the spirit. This is not the case with this 21
year old spirit from Panama aged in Bourbon casks. Soft
notes of coco and caramel welcome the palate to this
libation while delicate fruit flavors tickle the tongue.
Subtle notes of vanilla combine beautifully with big bold
caramel flavors to give the Rum a rich and smooth
finish.
$55.99 per 750ml bottle
Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin,
Vermont
A corn based gin that uses juniper as the only botanical
and adds honey right before bottling is what you’re
getting from Caledonia Spirits in this bottle. Resulting in
big juniper flavors that pair beautifully with soft notes of
sweet honey. The juniper gives the gin bright, vibrant
notes while the honey supplies great weight and makes
it very easy to drink.
$39.99 per 750ml bottle
Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Reserve Tom Cat,
Vermont
Aged for 3-6 months in charred barrels, this golden
brown gin has honey added to it right before it goes into
bottles. The result is a spirit with bold juniper flavor that
is accompanied with notes of charred oak and herbs. The
late addition of honey gives this libation a very easy
finish with just a hint of honey sweetness.
$34.99 per 375ml bottle
Caledonia Spirits Elderberry Cordial,
Vermont
Notes of dark plum and raisin burst onto your palate
with the first sip of this Liqueur. The honey adds just a
subtle hint of sweetness to the finish. The combination of
the dark slightly tart fruit and the honey balance each
other out almost perfectly, making this a great addition
to any mixed drink that requires a dark fruit liqueur.
$37.99 per 375ml bottle
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
www.thewinecountry.com
Wed. & Friday reservations must be made in advance—48 Hour Cancellation Policy—No-Shows Will Be Charged
October 2014
Sun Mon Tue
Wed
1
Thu
2
Fri
3
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
COMMUTER TASTING
FIVE WINES
5
6
7
8
7:30 p.m.
$30
SPECIAL WED.
WINE SEMINAR!
DISCOVER
YOUR PALATE!
4
$50
WINE SEMINAR
ALSACE WINES WITH
CHOUCROUTE GARNI!
Samantha’s first great wine
discoveries were from Alsace.
Join her for Pinot Gris, Pinot
Blanc, Riesling, Gewurztraminer,
with sausages & sauerkraut!
9
10
11
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
COMMUTER TASTING
FIVE WINES
$45
WINE SEMINAR
SAMANTHA’S
ANNUAL
CHEESE & WINE
PAIRING SEMINAR!
Discover ten wonderful
cheeses, perfectly paired!
Reservations Only
14
15
7:30 p.m.
16
$25
20
21
BEERVENTURE!
COMMUTER TASTING
OKTOBERFEST
& GERMANY
Share the fun at our
annual celebration!
THE SWEETER SIDE
OF GERMAN WINE
Jeremy Dugan hosts
22
7:30 p.m.
FIVE WINES
23
$25
BEERVENTURE!
OKTOBERFEST
& GERMANY
Share the fun at our
annual celebration!
Reservations Only
26
27
28
29
17
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
Reservations Only
19
TEN WINES
CALIFORNIA’S
WHITE RHONESTYLE WINES!
Viognier, Grenache Blanc,
Marsanne, Roussanne.
Reid Kinnett hosts.
13
1 to 4 p.m. $20
BRIAN HOLOWKA’S
BEST BRUNELLOS
OF 2014!
Tuscany’s powerhouse reds
offer amazing complexity
with a presence that cannot
be ignored! Reservations Only
DOMESTIC
ALBARIÑO &
DOMESTIC
Learn how to discover the
TEMPRANILLO!
wines you love!
12
Sat
FIVE WINES
TEN WINES
ANNUAL PAELLA FEST
WITH CHEF VIRGINIO!
Virginio Picazo returns to make
stunning Paella in our parking lot
while Chuck Morris introduces us
to the great tasting Spanish
wines of Beaune Imports!
18
$40
WINE SEMINAR
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
BOLD REDS OF
NORTHERN SONOMA
Cab, Zin, & others from
Alexander Valley, Dry Creek,
Rockpile. Jordan, Lancaster,
Ridge and more. Reservations
STYLISH, ELEGANT
WINES OF OREGON!
Pinot Noir stars, with supporting
players Pinot Gris and Riesling.
From our precocious neighbor to
the north.
24
25
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
COMMUTER TASTING
1 to 4 p.m. $25
$60
WINE SEMINAR
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
BAROLO! THE WINE DISCOVER THE
WHITE BORDEAUX
OF KINGS!
Wonderful white wines from Our annual Fall look at Italy’s DIFFERENCE!
Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, & (and the world’s) most
PETITE SIRAH &
Muscadelle.
captivating red wines!
SYRAH!
Reservations Only
5 great examples of each!
30
31
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
COMMUTER TASTING
FIVE WINES
WHITE BURGUNDY
VALUES FROM
NORTH TO SOUTH!
$60
WINE SEMINAR
CHAMPAGNE &
FRIED CHICKEN!!
Samantha Dugan hosts her
annual smash event!!
Reservations Only
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
www.thewinecountry.com
Wed. & Friday reservations must be made in advance—48 Hour Cancellation Policy—No-Shows Will Be Charged
November 2014
Sun Mon Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
1
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
BRIAN’S TOP CHIANTIS OF
THE YEAR, BY REGION!
Discover amazing Chianti Classico,
Chianti Rufina, Chianti Colli Senesi
S
3
4
5
6
7:30 p.m.
$25
BEERVENTURE!
10
11
17
18
FIVE WINES
WINE SEMINAR
Reservations Only
12
13
14
15
$25
4:30 to 6:45 p.m.
BEERVENTURE! Special Price $15
COMMUTER TASTING
ANDY’S BEST
BEERS OF 2014! SIX WINES
Our annual roundup of TOP AUSTRALIAN &
craft beer in all styles! ARGENTINE WINES
Reservations Only
OF 2014!
7:30 p.m.
CHAMPAGNES &
RED & WHITE
BURGUNDIES
FROM ALIANE!
Aline Thiebaut returns!
2014’s BIGGEST, BOLDEST
RED WINES! BLOCKBUSTER
CABERNETS, SYRAHS,
MALBECS, BLENDS & MORE!
Bring your toothbrush!
19
21
22
20
COMMUTER TASTING
FIVE WINES
OUR ANNUAL
CRU BEAUJOLAIS
TASTING!
24
25
26
1
2
DEC 3
$60
WINE SEMINAR
$55
WINE SEMINAR
BEST OF 2014
TASTING:
PINOT NOIR!
27
28
HAPPY
THANKSGIVING!
NO TASTING!
7:30 p.m.
OPEN 10 to 2!
30
TEN WINES
KERMIT LYNCH IMPORTS &
KATE MACWILLIAMSON!
Join Samantha Dugan as she welcomes
Kate for a terrific showing from the
daddy of boutique importers and
favored French & Italian producers
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
23
1 to 4 p.m. $20
BEST SPANISH
WINES OF 2014!
Join Brian Holowka as
he offers his finest
wines of the year from
Spain’s top regions!
7:30 p.m.
16
COMMUTER TASTING
8
$45
DISCOVERING
CABERNET FRANC!
Reid Kinnett offers five topnotch wines from this often
misunderstood varietal.
ANDY’S BEST
BEERS OF 2014!
Don’t miss out on our
annual roundup of
craft beer in all styles!
9
7
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10 7:30 p.m.
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
JEREMY’S TOP GERMAN
WINESS FOR 2014!
Just in time for Turkey Dinner!
29
$50
WINE SEMINAR
OUR ANNUAL
PORT WINE
SEMINAR!.
1 to 4 p.m. $20
TEN WINES
2014’s TOP DOMESTIC
CHARDONNAYS!
Surprisingly delicious!
DEC 4
DEC 5
DEC 6
4:30 to 6:45 p.m. $10
7:30 p.m. $60
BEST OF 2014
TASTING:
1 to 4 p.m.
CABERNET
SAUVIGNON
BEST WINES OF
THE YEAR!!
COMMUTER TASTING
FIVE WINES
OUR LATEST
AUSTRIAN WINE
ARRIVALS!
Just off the boat!
Top Cabs of the year!
$25
TEN WINES
OUR ANNUAL TASTING
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
www.thewinecountry.com
Reservations must be made in advance—48 Hour Cancellation Policy—No-Shows Will Be Charged
All Classes 7:30 p.m. at The Wine Country
OCTOBER FRIDAY NIGHT SIT-DOWN WINE TASTINGS
BRIAN HOLOWKA’S BEST
BRUNELLOS OF 2014!
EXPLORING THE BOLD RED
WINES OF NORTHERN
SONOMA COUNTY
Friday October 17, 2014
Friday October 3, 2014
$50 tax incl.
Join our Italian wine buyer Brian Holowka as he selects our
finest Brunello di Montalcinos in this annual celebration of
Tuscany’s powerful red wine. Discover a complexity and suave
character that is just too good to be ignored.
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
$40 tax incl.
Join our domestic wine buyer Reid Kinnett as he selects fullbodied Cabernets, Zinfandels, Blends and more from the
historic wine regions of Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley and
Rockpile. Wines from Jordan, Lancaster, Ridge and more will
be featured.
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
DISCOVERING BAROLO!
THE WINE OF KINGS!
A SPECIAL WEDNESDAY SEMINAR!
DISCOVER YOUR PALATE:
A TASTING ADVENTURE
Wednesday October 8, 2014
$30 tax incl.
Join our very own certified sommelier Riei Kinnett in a fun and
revealing evening of taste exploration. Reid will offer wines of
contrasting styles, such as oaked and unoaked Chardonnay,
and Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Cabernet Franc, and the
same varietal from different regions to let our taste buds tell us
what we are tasting. It’ll be an equally great evening for
experienced wine drinkers and those new to wine.
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
SAMANTHA’S ANNUAL
WINE & CHEESE PAIRING
CELEBRATION!!
Friday October 10, 2014
$45 tax incl.
Each year, our French wine buyer and cheese expert Samantha
Dugan selects 10 fabulous cheeses, several from small farms
new to our store, and pairs each one up with a fabulous wine
from around the world. With holiday entertaining right around
the corner, this evening seminar is a delicious way to gain some
valuable insight into the cheeses and wines you’ll be offering to
your guests. This always fills up; make your reservations now!
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
Friday October 24, 2014
$60 tax incl.
Brian Holowka, fresh from his wine tour of Italy, hosts our
annual autumn Celebration of Barolo, Italy’s greatest wine region. With the exception of the red wines of Burgundy, no wine
on the planet offers such seductive aromas and captivating
flavors than Barolo. The wines, grown in the hilly regions of
Piedmont, are the greatest expression of the Nebbiolo grape,
and some are capable of aging for decades. Make plans to join
Brian in this sensory wonderland of classic winemaking.
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
CHAMPAGNE &
FRIED CHICKEN TASTING!
Friday October 31, 2014
$60 tax incl.
It sounds like an unlikely juxtaposition—America’s favorite
picnic food and France’s most famous luxury wine, but our
Champagne diva Samantha Dugan has proved the combination
is one of life’s great experiences! Join Sam in our annual event,
sampling some of our finest grower champagnes alongside
some juicy legs, thighs and breasts. Other than having a great
time, there is a purpose to this tasting: it demonstrates that you
don’t have to wait for a special occasion to drink Champagne!
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
www.thewinecountry.com
Reservations must be made in advance—48 Hour Cancellation Policy—No-Shows Will Be Charged
All Classes 7:30 p.m. at The Wine Country
NOVEMBER FRIDAY NIGHT SIT-DOWN WINE TASTINGS
OUR BEST SPANISH WINES
OF THE YEAR!!
OUR FINEST PINOT NOIRS
OF THE YEAR!
Friday November 7, 2014
$45 tax incl.
Our Spanish wine buyer Brian Holowka has sampled
wines from all over Spain all year long. Tonight he
reveals his favorites from Rioja, Ribera del Duero,
Galicia, Txakolina, Jerez, Priorat and more! Rarely
does one experience the variety and depth of such
terrific wines in a single evening.
Friday November 21, 2014
$55 tax incl.
Who doesn’t love the silky sensuousness of Pinot
Noir? Tonight our domestic wine buyer Reid Kinnett
hosts a tasting of his most divine Pinots of the year
from all the top growing regions of the U.S. including
the Willamette Valley, the Russian River Valley, Sta
Rita Hills, Monterey County and more! Be ready to be
completely charmed!
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
FRENCH WINE SEMINAR!
THE INCREDIBLE
CHAMPAGNES & RED &
WHITE BURGUNDIES OF
ALIANE IMPORTS WITH
OWNER ALINE THIEBAUT!
Friday November 14, 2014
$60 tax incl.
We were charmed by her wines earlier in the year and
we were equally charmed by the elegant, impeccable
importer herself! Join us for an unforgettable tasting
of some of the most exciting producers in our store!
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
THE WINE COUNTRY’S
ANNUAL PORT WINE
ADVENTURE!
Friday November 28, 2014
$50 tax incl.
Just in time for the holidays, Brian Holowka hosts a
comprehensive tasting of all styles of Port, including
vintage, tawny, late-bottled vintage, single-quinta,
reserve and more. Featured are the cream of port
producers:
Graham’s, Dow’s, Warre’s, Taylor,
Fonseca, Smith-Woodhouse, Quinta do Vesuvio &
Quinta do Noval. Expect to be dazzled!
SEATING LIMITED—RESERVATIONS REQUIRED
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
The Wine Country proudly serves our wine in Riedel stemware at all of our tastings. We respectfully request that our guests not wear competing fragrances. Thanks.
NO RESERVATIONS NECESSARY!
Thursday Afternoon
Commuter Tastings!
Five Wines, French Bread, Fresh Cheeses
4:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. $10 tax incl.
The Wine Country’s
Saturday Tastings!
Ten Wines, French Bread, Fresh Cheeses
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. $20 tax incl.
Thursday October 2, 2014
Saturday October 4, 2014
CALIFORNIA’S WHITE RHONE-STYLE WINES
ALSACE WINES WITH CHOUCROUTE GARNI!
Explore some of the most distinctive whites grown in California.
Viognier, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne & blends.
Thursday October 9, 2014
Samantha Dugan introduces us to the great dry Riesling, Pinot
Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir & blended whites
of Alsace. Accompanied by some traditional Alsace goodies
Saturday October 11, 2014 $25
DOMESTIC ALBARIÑO & TEMPRANILLO
Exciting work focusing on Spanish varietals by pioneering and
dedicated winemakers. Longoria and more.
Thursday October 16, 2014
THE SWEETER SIDE OF GERMAN WINE!
Jeremy Dugan selects some very delicious, amazingly fresh
Riesling and Scheurebe.
Thursday October 23, 2014
WHITE BORDEAUX
Often made from blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon &
sometimes Muscadelle. Explore these complex delights!
Thursday October 30, 2014
WHITE BURGUNDY VALUES!
From Chablis to Pouilly-Fuissé and in-between
Thursday November 6, 2014
DISCOVERING DOMESTIC CABERNET FRANC
Reid Kinnett helps to unravel some of the mystery behind this
little-understood and distinctive red wine. More than Cab-lite!
Thursday November 13, 2014 $15
TOP AUSTRALIAN & ARGENTINE WINES OF
2014!
Andy Acosta selects his top wines from these two exciting wine
regions!
Thursday November 20, 2014
OUR ANNUAL CRU BEAUJOLAIS TASTING!
This is the real deal! The top wines from this famous growing
region just in time for Thanksgiving. Deeper, more complex
wines from Morgon, Brouilly, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent & more!
Say No to Nouveau!!!
Thursday November 27, 2014
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
ANNUAL PAELLA FEST
WITH CHEF VIRGINIO PICAZO!
Virginio returns to make stunning paella in our parking lot while
Chuck Morris introduces us to the great tasting Spanish wines
of Beaune Imports! One of our most anticipated events!
Saturday October 18, 2014
STYLISH & ELEGANT WINES OF OREGON
Pinot Noir is the star, and the supporting players are brilliant:
Pinot Gris and Riesling. From our neighbors to the north!
Saturday October 25, 2014
DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE!
PETITE SIRAH & SYRAH!
5 great examples of each varietal. Never confuse them again!
Saturday November 1, 2014
BRIAN’S TOP CHIANTIS OF THE YEAR!!
Our Italian wine buyer Brian Holowka has a passion for Chianti,
and today he selects ten superb examples, from everyday pasta
wine to magnificent Chianti Classicos. Regional favorites, too!
Saturday November 8, 2014
KERMIT LYNCH IMPORTS WITH
REP KATE MACWILLIAMSON!
Join Kate and Samantha for a tasting of some of our most
beloved producers from the “daddy” of boutique importers.
Saturday November 15, 2014
2014’s BIGGEST, BOLDEST RED WINES!
BLOCKBUSTER CABERNETS, SYRAHS,
MALBECS, BLENDS & MORE!!
Saturday November 22, 2014
OUR TOP GERMAN WINES OF THE YEAR!
NO TASTING TODAY
Just in time for Thanksgiving! Jeremy Dugan’s favorites!
Saturday November 29, 2014
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, WE WILL BE OPEN
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.!
Reid Kinnett salutes great producers & some newer players!
TOP DOMESTIC CHARDONNAYS OF 2014!
The Wine Country’s Calendar of Events
2301 Redondo Avenue Signal Hill, CA 90755
Information: 562-597-8303
The Wine Country proudly serves our beer in Riedel stemware at all of our tastings. We respectfully request that our guests not wear competing fragrances. Thanks.
A Monthly Sit-Down Beer Tasting at The Wine Country
BEERVENTURE 2014!
$25 Per Person Tasting Begins at 7:30 p.m.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED (562) 597-8303
Wednesday October 15 Wednesday October 22
OKTOBERFEST CELEBRATION!
Our Annual Look at Great German Beer
Served with Brats, Sauerkraut & Pretzels!
Wed. November 4 Wed. November 12
ANDY’S BEST BEERS OF 2014!!
Our Annual Roundup of the
Year’s Finest Craft Beers in All Styles!!