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We are jumping on our brooms and taking you to the South of France just before Halloween. There, most wineries finished their wines and are celebrating this week with their Vin Primeur in Languedoc Roussillon or their Vin Nouveau in Bordeaux. These are the biggest wine celebrations of the year where there is a lot of great food, castle and winery visits, winetasting, mountain hikes, etc. for the 0-100 year old audience.
Meanwhile, the witches from the Medieval town of Villefranche-de-Conflent are preparing to spend their winter in the Canalettes caves with the most amazing calcite crystals formations in the world to keep warm until Spring.
Those witches belong to the Catalan folklore of a rich cultural and wine-growing region in France.
In Villefranche-de-Conflent it is the tradition to give a close relation or a child, a witch as a sign of love.
If you suspend the witch inside a home or better in the room of a child it will move away the bad spirits and leave peace and happiness instead.
Last winter, following our forced departure from the United States (this is another long story that I am not ready to tell yet), my son fell in love with those witches, the calcite crystals of the Canalettes caves as well as the Vauban-built Fort Liberia towering the fortified town of Villefranche which we decided to visit on a Sunday (bad idea…You’ll see why as you read along). He also insisted on us taking the underground secret passage with 734 steps linking the fort to the town.
After a very steep and long descent, we found out that our car would not start because I had left the lights turned on. The battery was completely drained and I had parked the car in the only flat place in town. Forget about pushing the old Peugeot! There was no live soul around us on that late Sunday afternoon. Everything was closed except bars and restaurants. My eight year old daughter and I decided to beg for help in the town while the rest of the family was trying to figure out how to get the car started. We hit the first bar and asked the bartender for help. He told us that he was not fixing batteries only drinks. Fortunately, the bartender was well intentioned and sent us to his friend’s souvenir store which was still open in town. His friend’s store sold witches, only witches.
I did not see how witches would fix the car battery but when we returned to our base the old Peugeot started running again not by magic but thanks to a handful of villagers that came to my husband and son’s rescue and pushed and pushed and pushed. My son also had a mega meltdown because his sister and I had been gone for too long while hitting every single bar and asking for help.
As the car kept running, my son wanted to buy a witch. We returned to the witch store where he spent a very long time checking them all out. He finally chose one with red and yellow stripes – the colors of the Catalan flag. He added that he would give it to a child with autism for Halloween for good luck and good health. A huge milestone for him!
Empathy in a tricky situation!
I happily paid for the hand-made witch and returned to our car (still running) while the villagers were shaking their heads and making bad jokes about women’s driving skills.
While living in the South of France, I have found a deep sense of community and “joie de vivre” that tremendoulsy benefited my son after his very traumatic events last February. He thrived while living there and never got sick. We "blamed" some of his social awkwardness to the fact that he came from the other side of the Atlantic and that he had to adjust to a new lifestyle... Indeed, he adjusted very quickly and was well accepted.
People do take the time to slow down there and spend more quality time with their families while obsessing less about money. And of course they always have an excuse to celebrate life with wine and food!
Cheers from the friendly Witches!
"Red currant, raspberry, fresh herbs, and exotic spices mark a few of the high points in the aria this wine sings as it moves down the tongue. Its finish is a ninety-second, soprano-belted high-note that seems like it SHOULD break the glass, it is so clear and pure."
-Francis Sanders, Friend
"Truly elegant. This wine would be great with a goat or sheep based cheese. It can also easily lay down for another 10 years."
-Chris Edwards, General Manager
"Elegance personified. This was truly a memorable wine and probably my first extraordinary experience with a French burgundy in which I finally 'got it'."
-Kristina Palko, Marketing Director
"This wine is so elegant and smooth, it could be the French equivalent of Frank Sinatra."
- Amber Snider, eCommerce manager
"Red-purple of medium depth, with fresh, black berries, fruit-cake and kirsch aromas. Picked towards the end of the harvest, this had impressive, natural sugars, potentially giving 14 degrees of alcohol. The palate is full-bodied and fleshy, with tannins present, but well rounded, the finish being harmonious, rich and long." - Anthony Hanson, Master of Wine and Senior Consultant for Christie's International Wine Department Tasting Notes for the Cuvées, 2009 Vintage
When I found out that my partners just had a tasting of what they now refer to the Creme de la Creme Pinot Noir (they live in Napa Valley so they tend to be partial to their wines), I was drooling and terribly jealous. Maybe they will send me a case for quality control before the Holiday season.
To the French like me and too many other French as well, the Hospices de Beaune is the ultimate wine-growing region. My grandmother would say at every celebration meal that her favorite wine was a Pommard or an Hospices de Beaune. As for my father, same story. He also likes to remind us at every celebration meal those harsh days of famine during World War II when he was sent by his Parisian mom to a farm located in the famous Burgundy region. His job was to keep an eye on the pigs, which he hated of course... He let the pigs run loose (accidentally I assume) and got very yelled at by the farmers but at least he was eating well and was kept safe (Note to self: history repeats to some degree from generation to generation).
Later, with some of my parents’ friends, we would go to Vonnas and be delighted by Georges Blanc’s (long before he became famous) poulet de bresse rôti accompanied by the famous Bourgogne wine that everybody else at the table would rave about except me because I was too young although I was using my best table manners to steal a sip (They are not that strict in France with legal drinking age).
I am including below a simple recipe to accompany the masterpiece. It can be a gluten free recipe if you replace the regular floor by a Gluten free flour.
Please note that it is essential to understand that an exceptional wine does not imply that it be served with an exceptionnally complicated dish – An all too common mistake made by my dear American friends. Here is a recipe for a poulet de bresse en croute de sel that should go well with….. I can see that it may be a little difficult to chase that poulet de bresse here in the United States but buying a free-range organic capon or turkey should do the trick.
Serves 4 to 6 people:
A beautiful Bresse chicken of about 5 lbs - ½ head of garlic cut in the thickness direction - ½ large onion, peeled - 1 bouquet garni - 1 egg beaten with a little water for brushing - Salt and pepper. Salt dough: 3 lbs of coarse salt - 2 lbs of flour - 2 whole eggs + 4 yolks - 15 ounces of water.
The day before, place inside the chicken the half-unpeeled head of garlic, half the onion and bouquet garni. Place uncovered in the fridge. Prepare the salt dough: mix well the salt and flour in a bowl. Add the eggs, egg yolks and water. Knead it all to a smooth paste. Let stand overnight in refrigerator.
The next day, preheat oven to 175 ° C (gas mark 6). Spread the salt dough to 1 cm thick. Add salt and pepper inside and outside of the chicken, then wrap it completely with the salt dough, making it adhere well to the skin and closing all openings. Air must not remain between the chicken and salt dough.
With the remaining dough, your children will be delighted to help you make leaves and flowers that you stick on the chicken wrapped chicken.
Brush the whole surface of the paste with egg yolk with a brush, then put in oven and bake 1 hour 15. The crust has to make a beautiful golden color. After cooking, let stand 30 minutes in a warm (55 ° C) or in the oven off.
Chef's advice: Break the salt crust with a large knife, then cut the chicken and serve, for example with a garnish of seasonal vegetables. Serves 4 to 6 people:
And now a little bit of history for the kids while sipping your Creme de la Creme Pinot Noir and waiting for the chicken to finish cooking (dreaming for that perfect world).
This Cuvée is composed from the
Les Cent Vignes, Les Montrevenots,
Total area : 2,09 ha
STORY OF THE CUVÉE
In 1645, Antoine Rousseau and Barbe Deslandes founded the Hôpital de la Sainte-Trinité, later known as the Hospice de la Charité. It was joined to the Hôtel-Dieu to form the Hospices de Beaune at the time of the Revolution. Its role has evolved with time. Initially, it welcomed orphans after plague epidemics; today it is an old people’s home.
TERROIRS & DESCRIPTION
Les Cent Vignes with the majority of its vines dating between 1944 and 1958 is at the heart of this Cuvée (48% of the plantings). Close to Pommard, Les Montrevenots represents a third of the Cuvée, with all its vines planted prior to 1966.
Today, the old hospital facilities (Hotel de la Trinité and Hotel Dieu) are a non-profit organisation which owns around 61 hectares (150 acres) of donated vineyard land, much of this classified Grand and Premier cru. Modern buildings nearby keep providing free healthcare to those who cannot afford to pay. Wouldn’ it be nice to see that for our kids here in the United States? (I could not help whining about that).
"L’espoir fait vivre ma petite dame" as they say in French.
So if you can, stock up on that rare and highly collectible Cuvee Rousseau-Deslandes 2009 Beaune Premier Cru, Hospices de Beaune for $69/bottle (regular price is $119.99) before it is all gone.
If you cannot afford it like me, you can just keep drooling like Pavlov’s dog waiting for its reward.
Whine, whine, woof, woof, WINE please!
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Autism was studied by fate after my son was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder just before his fourth birthday and wines were studied by choice.
I made that choice eighteen years ago while I was living in France, my native country.
Eighteen years ago, I was happily living in the South of France trying to launch my career as a translator after having been enrolled to the prestigious translation and interpretation program of the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. Unfortunately, internet was non-existent in this beautiful part of the country and so was the need to communicate in English beyond the basic skills taught in high school (this has since changed dramatically). This is also the most largely planted vineyard area in France.
Following the end of the Algiers war in 1962, the area around Beziers was only producing cheap « vinasse », a pejorative word for beyond mediocre wines.
Since my translator’s career did not quite take off I decided to study a little bit of oenology, a little bit of winemaking and a little bit of wine marketing in the famous Centre de Formation Professionnelle Agricole de Beziers. It was a lot of fun. I was hooked on wines immediately. I had arrived at exactly the right time for a wine revolution in the South of France.
By the early 90s, southern French single-grape wines had gained great popularity compared to some of their local Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée wines set by the stringent and aging French INAO (Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité).
Robert Skalli, originally from Algiers had begun to develop a new generation of wines which expressed both the nature of their terroirs and the complexity of taste of the different varieties. He was soon to be followed by more wine rangers from the outside.
Pierre Degroote from Holland, was one of them. I worked with him after graduating from the Centre de Formation Professionnelle Agricole de Beziers. Pierre, an agricultural and oenological engineer had partnered with Bernard Montariol, a wine producer to create Domaine Virginie (named after Pierre’s daughter) outside of Beziers.
They both used used cutting-edge cropping methods and vinification techniques that all of the locals considered crazy but they became at the forefront of the fantastic development potential that now exists in Languedoc. Pierre was very proud of his “Ferrari” pneumatic press and his micro-oxygenation system when he first launched his varietal wine line. He would always have to show them to everybody visiting the Domaine. He is passionate about his wines.
Although he was followed by more people from the outside who came to make more great wines at great prices from the South of France he was one of the early pioneers and he is still at it.
Some of my favorite wines from this beautiful part of France come from the lesser known varietals such as Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne all of which are aromatic and floral whites which are well adapted to the hot summers of the region. For the reds Syrah, Mourvèdre and Carignan are particularly well adapted producing spicy concentrated wines full of character.
2009 Maison 2545 Roussanne, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France (91 Points) $14.99 / Bottle and $179.88 / Case of 12
It hails from Pierre Degroote, the single most important vintner in the history of southern France’s wine industry. Because it’s one of our custom blends, we used the number 2545 on the label to signify the address of our Napa headquarters.
2009 Maison Elise Richard Roussanne, Vin de Pays d'Oc, France $14.99 / Bottle $179.88 / Case of 12
So lovely on the nose you could smell it forever. Soft, lush, honeyed pear flavors with the nose's tangy herbs and a mineral note. Enough acidity to last - a nice unoaked Chardonnay or Alsatian white alternative.
2008 Maison Elise Richard Red Blend, Corbieres, France $14.99 / Bottle
$179.88 / Case of 12
The obscure AOC wine for some but oh so yummy! This is a red blend (all of the AOC wines from Languedoc have to be a blend of varietals) of 40% Carignan, 30% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre which is derived from vines from 20-80 years old. Lots of character behind plenty of accessible fruit. Worth every penny.
And to celebrate the end of this year in style, here is a killer deal... Hard to say no thank you…
Case of 2009 Maison Elise Richard Roussanne
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$195.83 $75.00 / 12 Bottles
This is an exceptional offer for this weekend only! Ends Sunday at 5 PST.
I have not been blogging a lot lately. Being a mom affected by autism and running Wines for Autism 24/7 by myself is not always obvious. The hardships brought by autism regardless of how low or high a child stands on the autism spectrum coupled with personal, financial, health, family, school, etc. stresses can just be too much to bear. Many times I felt compelled to call it quits especially after my son developed atypical PANDAS last Christmas. Nothing seemed to help him. He was doing so well and overnight he literally fell of the ladder to recovery. Needless to say I felt quite helpless and quite angry.
I know all too well that I am not alone fighting the autism beast with XYZ interventions and many like me are willing to walk to the moon backward and on their knees to get some relief.
I know all too well the razor sharp pain brought by autism. Unfortunately, I was not born with a golden spoon and I did not marry a golden rooster either. So immediate relief was never obvious. We do not have any relatives living nearby to offer free babysitting. Romantic outings were of course are out of the question…
My partners at winetasting.com have been wonderfully supportive of my cause and I cannot thank them enough for their generosity. Without them Wines for Autism would simply not exist. They are the ones working quietly in the background, offering their expertise, topnotch quality wines and donating them to our major national events such as National Autism Association and Autism One conferences.
As Thanksgiving is fast approaching I am happy to give thanks to all of the autism family warriors out there.
These are really cheaper than buying at your local supermarket or wine shop and you can be confident that they are great wines because they have been selected for us by our expert wine consultant, Francis Sanders.
Half Off Mixed Case of 12 Bottles (6 Red, 6 White) KIT 386
$207.88 $99.99 / 12 Bottles
Save over $100 with this 12-bottle collection of our favorite red and white Winetasting.com exclusives.
Half Off 6 Bottles of Red (6 Reds) KIT384
$114.94 $57.47 / 6 Bottles A mixed bag of Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Merlot and Southern Rhone style blends makes this collection every red wine lover’s dream – at a savings of over $57.
Half Off 6 Bottles of White (6 Whites) KIT385
$92.94 $46.47 / 6 Bottles
This 6-bottle white wine collection includes Roussanne and Chardonnay crafted in a variety of styles. At $7.74/bottle, you can’t afford not to cash in on this deal!
And to the small non-profit organizations that have been contacting me for support… Be creative! Throw a wine and cheese fundraising party before the big Holidays to raise funds for your cause!
We will provide you with the wines for your fundraising event and we will ship them to you for free! And as I said this is an exceptionally low offer, we can only have it run until Sunday at 5 PST otherwise we will all go bankrupt.
With much hope and dedication to our cause
Yesterday was a very special day for our family as we attended the First Annual Surfers for Autism event in Daytona Beach Shores.
It was a very special day for us because we finally found a physical activity that my son truly enjoys and boosts his self-esteem. He has been fairly challenged in all sports especially those team ball sports...
Seeing all of those kids given a chance to enjoy the thrills of surfing thanks to 100% dedicated professional surf instructors volunteering their time for them was priceless. Never was there a single criticism, complaint or judgmental look but only cheers and positive vibes from a crowd of hundreds.
Once in the water all of those kids no longer looked so “disabled” but very much “abled”. These events are examples of inclusion at the highest level.
It was December of 2007 when a simple idea was presented to a small
group of South Florida surfers by a member whose life and family have
been touched by autism. The concept of introducing children on the
autism spectrum to surfing took hold and the group began planning for
the inaugural Deerfield Beach event. California-based Surfers Healing,
an organization taking children with ASD surfing, was having great
success and Florida would soon follow suit.
At a typical SFA event, surfers are provided a safe environment where two to four highly skilled and trained surf instructors carefully guide
them into waves. Surfers and their families are treated like rock stars and enjoy a day filled with a range of activities including stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, live music, face-painting, games, bounce houses, fire engine tours and much more. A catered lunch is also provided, all at no cost.
Watching my son being so comfortable with Tom, his surf instructor, lifted all of my constant mommy’s worries brought by autism on that very special day. He trusted Tom completely so I did not have to be glued to the surf board. I could actually watch them both from a distance having a great time. With each wave my son’s smile grew bigger.
He was feeling so comfortable with the water that I felt like I had to push his limits a little more. I just knew that he could stand on that surf board but he needed a little extra motivation. I kept motioning him to “stand up” but he kept ignoring me. I kept cheering him “up, up, up” but he kept ignoring me more. He was having way too much fun riding his board horizontally. At some point he said to Tom “Wait, let me yell at my mom first”.
Being at the Ponce de Leon Inlet reminded me of one of my son’s numerous passions or call them obsessions - galleons, treasures and conquistadores. So I started bargaining with him ‘Look, if you stand on that board you will win Ponce’s helmet”. He had wanted a conquistador helmet for ages... Go figure. With the perspective of winning that coveted prize he stood up and rode the waves like a pro... TEN TIMES! I then told him that we could “upgrade” the plastic conquistador helmet to a metal one if he rode the waves ten more times standing... So he did it and then quit.
It does take a village to raise a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Parents alone simply cannot do it. That village is Surfers for Autism.
I am pretty sure that my son will be chasing Tom down the beach at the next event.
I am honored to support in a small way Surfers for Autism with Wines for Autism.
Cheers to Surfers for Autism and to all of its amazing Volunteers for unleashing our special kids’ potential!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to taste one of our high end Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley and it was quite a treat.
2005 Whitehall Lane Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon (94 Points) ~ $59.99 / Bottle and only 23 in Stock!
In today’s economy, very few people can splurge on those pricey wines and I was thinking about how very disappointing it must be when your special wine arrives corked on the table....
Armed with a Puigpull, my favorite corkscrew opener invented by Mr. Puig from Sabadell Catalunya also the land of our famous 2007 Loxarel OPS Penedes, I was ready to carefully uncork this jewel thanks to an intelligent car jack system.
My curiosity was piqued so I went to Google University.
The glass stopper is a Vino-Seal which I had never seen before and was invented by the German company Alcoa to put an end to corked wines caused by TCA CA (2,4,6-trichloroanisole) which causes wines to have musty aromas and flavors.
Now I was impressed... almost paying more attention to the package than to the wine itself!
"A beautiful deep garnet color with intense black fruits (especially blueberries and cherries) and very soft tannins. Because of the glass stopper the wine did not need to be decanted and offered immediate enjoyment (no closed nose here...)".
Cork can ruin a wine so you do want to protect your investment... As Mr. Leonardini Sr., owner of Whithehall Lane Winery, said it to the Wine Spectator Magazine.
"People have asked who would pay $75 for a bottle of wine that doesn't have a cork," said Thomas Leonardini Sr. "My question is why would anyone pay $75 for a bottle with a cork, put it down for a few years, then find it's got TCA?"
2004 Brava Terra Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (92 Points) ~ $24.99 / Bottle
Now if you are watching your pennies as I do but want an exceptional wine, this other Cabernet-Sauvignon from the Napa Valley will fit the bill very nicely. It is quite impressive from start to finish. A month ago upon our return to the United States I had savored after dinner (which had been a disaster) with some Pecorino Peppato unvoluntarily smuggled through U.S customs. What an enchantment it was with an explosion of ripe red fruits in the nose, very chewy tannins and a long finish in the mouth.
Since we are talking TGTBT this is another great Cab I had a few days ago to match our 100% organic budget dinner – Roasted chicken with lots of garlic and stir-fry Chinese Long Beans from our garden. A lot of garrigue notes (thyme, rosemary) and a touch of Eucalyptus in the nose with very soft tannins Mmmm! I can’t believe this wine is only $11.99!
Next time I will go for the rack of lamb!
Can we keep it up? Let us all spread the word about Autism Awareness, let us empower each other and educate more people while sipping a glass of wine (always to be enjoyed and drunk in mo-de-ra-tion of course).
Would you like to contribute to our Autism Blog?
If you have a knack for writing a story in any of these categories (and I know that a lot of you do) please contact us here and we will be delighted to feature you and give you all of the credits you deserve!
• ARTISTS & AUTHORS
• BIOMEDICAL INTERVENTIONS
• EDUCATION & OTHER THERAPIES
• FAMILY’S PERSPECTIVE
• WINE TALK
Now, don’t be shy about the last category. We don’t expect you to be a Master of Wine, we just want to hear your wine stories (at home, restaurants, fundraising events, in the plane, abroad, nowhere...). Submissions should be 50-300 words in length and written for a broad audience.
Please submit your story in an MS Word or Text document with the story. Please no foul language or overly crass stories. You will be notified via email if your story is chosen and/or requires any edits prior to publishing.
Please give us your name, location and let us know if you have a personal blog. If you have a photo, images or a video you would like to include you are welcome to, just keep in mind that the image dimensions and resolution should not be too high.
Cheers to all of you!
On Friday, June 18th, Jeremy Sicile-Kira graduated from high school with a full academic diploma and a GPA of 3.7 last week despite being severely impacted by autism and having to use assisstive technology to communicate. He gave a speech at the graduation ceremony.
A few days ago Jeremy sent me a very nice e-mail about his future plans.
“My goal after graduation is to attend community college, to help others, and raise autism awareness about teens and young adults by continuing to write. My next project is to write and publish an online newsletter.”
“My immediate project is to present to two autism parent support groups - The National Autism Association (NAA) Metro Chapter, and their support group on Staten Island (for more information on these support groups visit www.naanyc.org.)
This idea came from the fact that I wanted to visit New York this summer to visit family and friends. Also, I get emails from people who tell me they are inspired by my story and want to know how I became the success I am today. My mom said I had to find the money myself to pay for the trip for me and a support person. Two local NY chapters of the NAA offered me some donations to help pay for the trip, but I need more to cover the cost of the trip (airline tickets, ground transportation, two nights hotel in Manhattan, food, etc).
My mom nicely encourages me to pay for what I want. I made enough money one year to buy my assistance dog and best friend, Handsome, by starting my own flower business on my high school campus.”
Thanks to the generosity of other sponsors Jeremy is getting very close to his goal and only needs to raise $250 for his trip to New York.
We are proud to sponsor Jeremy and help him reach his goal in any way we can.
We hope that Jeremy’s story inspires many people.
Please feel free to share this blog with friends.
Best wishes to you and your loved ones,
2005 Uva Negra, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Mendoza, Argentina (90 Points) ARG034 ~
$14.99 $11.99/Bottle This was our featured wine last November 2009 which was presented at the Meet & Greet event of the National Autism Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This was also the very first wine that inspired me to put together our Wines for Autism program so it is very close to my heart.
Now a little bit about the people and the winery behind that great Cab...
The Alvarez family winery is a small, traditional, family-owned winery located in Guaymallen, Mendoza, Argentina. The winery dates from the 1970’s, with a total capacity of only 30000 gallons (which makes around 12000 cases).
All of their wines are elaborated by Winemaker and Owner, Andrea di Silvestre. She personally is involved in all the stages of elaboration of Uva Negra’s wines from the selection of the grapes until the bottling and labeling of the wines. The grapes are harvested by hand and placed in 20 kg plastic bins. To achieve its intense flavor and concentration the wine macerates for 30 days to assure the tannins are soft and complex then it is racked into barrels to complete the malolactic fermentation. All the wine ages in small French and American oak barrels during approximately 12 months. It is then bottle aged until it is ready to drink. We really do sell no wine before its time!
2006 Mira Luna Central Coast Chardonnay, California (Rated 91) SON566 ~
$14.99 $12.99/Bottle Silver, Best Buy -- 2010 World Wine Championships
House brand "Pale golden yellow color. Aromas of Asian pear, caramel rice cake, and grilled pineapple are sake-like follow through on a supple entry to a dryish medium body with tart lemon curd, apple, and mineral notes on the even finish. Try with sushi."
2004 Bargetto, Rauser Vineyard Carignane, Lodi, California (91 Points) CAL869 ~
$17.99 $14.99/Bottle Made from 100% Carignane grapes that thrive in the long hot days of the Lodi area, this unique release offers blackberry and pepper spice aromas that set the stage for bursting berry fruit flavors. Strong tannins and oak flavors from 14 months in French and American oak meld into a soft finish. 2008 New World International Wine Competition, bronze
2004 Watershed, Margaret River Shiraz, Western Australia (91 Points) AUS282~
$19.99 $14.99/Bottle A Shiraz that can scarcely fit on a shelf beside all the trophies it has won - from the best value-delivering winery in Western Australia.
2003 Tres Matas, Crianza, Ribera del Duero, Spain (91 Points) SPA095~
$19.99 $16.99/Bottle Rated the #2 Spanish wine at the 2008 World Wine Championships! If you like your Tempranillo lush with ripe red berry flavors and notes of caramel, vanilla, bakers chocolate and licorice. The "red velvet in a glass" cliche holds true.
2005 Jumpup Creek, Adelaide Hills Shiraz, South Australia (91 Points) AUS284
$19.99 $16.99/Bottle This Aussie Shiraz is a delicious excuse to open a bottle. With spiced berries and ripe plum aromas and flavors, it is simply amazing!
A deep color and plummy, spicy aromas let you know you have an amazing Aussie Shiraz on your hands. Blackcurrant and blackberry flavors laced with cedary oak create a palate that showcases sweet fruit on the front palate with spice and soft tannins on the finish.
2006 Holdredge Graces Late Harvest Pinot Gris (94 Points) SON565~
$19.99 $16.99/Bottle This Botrytis dessert wine is inspired by the very sweet (and a little acidic) 6 year old vintner's daughter, Grace. Silver, recommended, 2009 World Wine Championships, Although “handcrafted” is a term that is often over-used, it aptly describes the creation of this incredible dessert wine. Inspired by the great "Vendanges Tardives" of Alsace, it was only produced in limited quantities. Grab a bottle today for your holiday table!
“Wine should be more about the place it is grown, than about the winemaker’s hand”- John and Carri Holdredge
2003 Mosaic Vineyards & Winery, Sonoma County Merlot, California (91 Points) SON559 ~
$19.99 $17.99/Bottle A rich and intense Merlot with some serious body, this wine is not for the meek. Aromas of cherry, plum and toasted oak hold firm on the palate with tart cherry, plum, cola, black tea and cedar qualities. Held firm by velvety tannins, it is reminiscent of a young Pomerol or St.-Emilion. This is a big Merlot, impressive now and with great rewards on the near horizon. Bronze, 2008 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition
2001 Truchard, Carneros Napa Valley Zinfandel, California (91 Points) NAP944 ~
$19.99 $17.99/Bottle In granting this superb selection 4+ stars, Ron Wiegand’s Restaurant Guide called it the “best Zin yet from Truchard.” Full-bodied and elegant, with a velvety texture, this zesty Zinfandel bursts with aromas of black cherry, boysenberry, and plum, perfumed with hints of pepper, anise, mint and cedar. The mouth is filled with bright, jammy flavors of cranberry, cherry, and cassis followed by a sweet vanilla chaser. Ripe tannins and firm acidity focus the palate and provide a long peppery finish.
"Peppery, currant, cranberry, and cherry aromas jump from the glass of this ripe, fruity, elegant, medium-bodied pure 2001..." Robert Parker
2003 Stonehedge Syrah Clone 470 Syrah Monterey County (92 Points) MON123 ~
$29.99 $19.99/Bottle Aromas of blueberries, black olives, and aged beef greet the nose with underlying oak and toast notes. This bouquet leads to explosive black cherry, licorice and light toasty smoke in the mouth. A flavorful lingering aftertaste completes the experience.
2007 Salvano, Trabuch, Langhe Rosso DOC, affinato in barriques, Piedmont, Italy (93 Points) ITA671 ~
$34.99 $29.99/Bottle Derived from the hilly southeastern range known as the Langhe, this red delivers an intense bouquet of ripe red and black berries with notes of violets and a dry velvety taste. The blend consists of Nebbiolo, Barbera d'Alba, and Cabernet. It was aged for six months in small barriques lending a vanilla aroma to the wine. Excellent with red meats, game and matured cheeses. This wine is just one of our amazing Prestige Collection wines, an incredible line of premium special occasion selections.
2006 Whitehall Lane Napa Valley Merlot (92 Points) NAP961 ~
$27.99 $21.99/Bottle This blend of 83% Merlot, 10% CS, 7% Syrah results in a cornucopia of flavor nuances.The aromas are somewhat exotic, melding spicy aromas with dark cherry and blackberry notes and hi-lighted by hints of violet and lavender. The flavors are similar to the aromas with sandalwood and vanilla just beginning to give ground to the greater fruit below. It finishes long and silky, revealing its cherry core in the delicious finish. The wine is ready to enjoy now and will evolve with cellaring to 2012.
2005 Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards, St Helena Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California (94 Points) NAP965 ~
$59.99 $49.99/Bottle The combination of hillside and valley floor fruit balances beautifully in this offering. The wine has gently floral and sweet ripe aromas that grandly and elegantly expand to flavors of black cherry, plum and cedary earth tones. The plushness of this wine extends through the long, graceful finish. Wonderful to enjoy now, but will continue improving and evolving through 2019.
2006 Archery Summit, Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon (96 Points) ORE082 ~
$84.99 $74.99/Bottle This wine opens with focused aromas of french Bing cherry, intriguing black currant, brown baking spices and fragrant rose petals. The palate is lively and festive with notes of Christmas cake and mincemeat, clean forest floor and ripe cherry pie. The confectionary nose leads to a more earthy minerality layered with flowers and spice, and the mid palate and vivid acidity combines a moderate framework of tannin and succulence to give this wine both a power and prettiness, a richness as well as restraint. This wine is ready to drink now but will also benefit from 3 to 8 years of proper cellaring.
“Archery Summit has established itself as the Rolls-Royce of Oregon Pinot Noir.”
- Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator