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I am excited to announce a few changes in our site which will be beneficial to all of you.
Working with our wonderful IT partners we can now let you choose the charity you want to support with your wine and/or wine club purchases at checkout.
What it means for our Autism Charity Partners is that instead of benefiting only for the length of time Wines for Autism is featuring them in its website they can now benefit all year long from sales generated by Wines for Autism – One third of our gross profits.
We will continue to support our Autism Charity Partners' largest events with in-kind donations of wine for fundraising purposes as well as free samples for wine tasting events.
We will also support other Autism Non-Profit Organizations that share our beliefs in biomedical interventions to treat autism and offer free services for our children such as Heart of Sailing.
We are proud to offer many excellent wines from all over the world for One Cause - Autism.
Our wines are selected for their authenticity, quality and value, from small family-owned estates.
As we keep growing, we will expand our collection of wines with the Autism Awareness Ribbon along with the websites of our Non-Profit Organizations on the labels. We have started featuring artists with an ASD diagnosis on some of our wine labels.
Together we can move mountains for our children.
With much hope and dedication to our cause
February is ultra-affordable-values month.
By our Wine Director, Francis Sanders
(I’m being forcibly restrained from imposing the Crazy Eddie school of wine writing upon you.)
Due to my inability to use a calculator properly, we are able to offer this gem for even less money than we originally planned! Though I’ve signed a zillion pages of non-disclaimer, I can tell you that this wine is now almost one-half of it’s metro Napa retail price. The 100% certified organic Yountville vineyard fruit source routinely yields Sauvignon Blanc that exhibits purity and definition of flavors unique to both place and season. Said pedigreed Sauvignon was one-quarter barrel fermented and aged on the lees for six months, three-quarters cold fermented in stainless steel. Forty percent got soaked with the skins one full half day before pressing. This handling unveiled tropical fruit flavors of gooseberry, guava and kiwi, in addition to the expected herbal, grapefruit and pineapple notes. While it lasts, this wine temporarily eliminates any need to explore affordable New Zealand, Chilean, South African, Loire Valley and Northeast Italian Sauvignon Blancs.
In retrospect, it was the right decision to choose this 08 Aussie house brand as the first ever Cabernet Sauvignon to bear our Circle Springs label. Having tasted thousands of Cabernet Sauvignons since then only confirms my June 18, 2009 tasting notes - “cold soaked gorgeous; seems one-dimensional in nose but isn't, herbaceous black fruits, cacao, touch of licorice - blackberry nose; ripe, round tannins, red fruits, cacao and a touch of pepper - currant palate; certainly good enough” – we cannot produce Cabernet anywhere, California, France’s pays d’Oc, Chile & Argentina included, at the price/quality ratio this 08 delivers. Bottled by Westend Estate winemakers Bryan Currier & Sally Whittaker with the blessing of vintner Bill Calabria and his four children – the third generation of Westend Calabrias since 1945 - the wine exhibits a sweet berry nose, with violets over subtle French oak. The palate is replete with ripe berries, spice, vanilla oak and soft, chewy tannins. It bears repeating, we cannot produce Cabernet anywhere at the price/quality ratio of this wine, possibly no one can.
I’m a sucker for affordable, mature Bordeaux that’s drinking fine right now and has been aged on the producer’s dime. This wine proves more than just a double dip of value, it’s a picture in the bottle of the magnificent 2005 vintage in the form of a deuxieme vin from an undervalued, historic 120 year old Premieres Cotes de Blaye estate. Blaye itself is practically synonymous for Bordeaux value central – this is where the Bordelais shop. The Bordeaux Superieur designation indicates that the wine has proven to the INAO (the appellation system governing board) that it meets even more stringent requirements for alcohol percentage and aging potential. Don’t take my word for it, you can look it up - this was the least expensive highly recommended, silver-medal-winner cellar selection at the 2007 World Wine Championships. The short form is that this meaty blend of 75% Merlot, 25 % Cabernet Sauvignon bears aromas and flavors of plum and oak framed in that unique-to-Bordeaux forest floor quality – affordable elegance, breed and finesse in a bottle, courtesy of at least 10 values-in-Bordeaux touch points.
This is a repeat of a featured wine you may have missed, a wine so versatile that, based on the amount of cases delivered to and brought home by Braintree, MA Vinification Ventures office employees, has become our the East Coast satellite office house red. The Cantarero-Rodriguez family winery, in the heart Cervantes country, produces Spanish wines more modern and international in style - people drink Castilla-La Mancha wines. Tradition, prestige and impressive price tags reside more in Rioja, Ribero del Duero and recently, Priorat. Deemed “very good” by Mr Parker, this Tempranillo exhibits the expected olives and nuts aromas and flavors, beneath vibrant blackberry fruit with bramble notes. Lip-smacking cherry and vanilla (catnip for humans) are a direct result of the time spent in new American oak. Accessible, but will age well, this Finca La Estacada is great with tapas, if you’re in a Spanish mode, but if you were raised like myself, via meat on the grill, it’s perfect with BBQ.
El Parque del Amor (aka Love Park) Miraflores, Lima, Peru is on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific ocean devoted entirely to romance.
The poet Antonio Cilloniz had lamented that "In the cities, they do not build monuments to lovers", a reaction, to all the monuments in South America (and everywhere else) devoted to those who had distinguished themselves in battle by either winning or dying. Miraflores decided to be the exception and they opened the Parque del Amor in 1993 on Valentine’s day. The park features a prominent statue of two lovers in a passionate embrace over Cilloniz's very own words.
The major sculpture in the park is of "El Beso", a couple engaged in a passionate kiss. It was sculpted by Victor Delfin.The sculpture celebrates the lovers who gather to catch the sunset on the waters of the Pacific Ocean. It is said that the locals compete for the longest kiss under this statue.
I love Peru and its culture and I am very fond of its national drink “Pisco Sur” (the Peruvian version of a Mexican Margarita) unfortunately we do not have any wines from that country so I rely on its neighbors for blockbuster wines.
From Chile, we have those great unfiltered wines more specifically from Paseo.
"Elegant, seductive and lush with piles of fruit, this is an intriguing wine for those with a penchant for Pinot Noir – silky, elegant, straightforward and pure. It’s a sultry red that’s light enough to marry with a variety of foods, yet intense enough with fruit aromas, flavors and concentration to thrill and excite."
"The grapes used in producing this wine hail from the Colchagua Valley, an area hardly known at all a decade ago which is fast becoming one of Chile's most celebrated wine growing regions."
From Argentina, we just stocked up on our latest "Autism Wine", Vides del Este. The Autism Awareness Ribbon and the websites of our autism non-profit partners are on the back labels.
"Malbec is the characteristic varietal of Mendoza. Wines elaborated from this kind of grape have a strong personality and even though it is farmed in other places, the characteristics attained in Mendoza are superior to the rest of the world."
And finally for our super health conscious supporters, we have this gem from Gustavo Caligiore. Read our blog to about his view of organic viticulture in Mendoza.
First of all, it is necessary to know that organic agriculture follows many goals:
1) Environmental sustainability, preserving the fertility of soils and water & air quality, thorough promoting natural equilibriums & biodiversity as a source of natural ecosystem preservation and so getting very well nourished and so healthier plants and animals.
2) Social responsibility. Organic farming requires a lot of human labor, that means human is a key matter on managing land and crops and it is respectful of ancient regional practices. There are no technological packages that fit organic farming. Just everyday monitoring, reading plants needs and so, do whatever you can to preserve equilibriums.
3) Safety & nutritive food. No chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, etc) – there is no possibility of contamination and on the other hand, a very well and equilibrated nourished plant produce more tasty and nutritive food.
Having in mind those three main goals, it is easy to understand how organic farming get healthy, natural & typical food.
Our vines grow in a balanced ecosystem, together with many other species of insects and plants, which keep them in good shape and absolutely healthy where all plagues and illnesses are auto controlled (not eliminated) and kept under the economical damage threshold naturally, without using any chemical.
Soils are permanently covered letting small microorganism make their job, mobilizing nutrients by decomposition of organic matter allowing vines to take those nutrients in a proper quantity and timely. Completely different thing is when you fertilize, you are offering a huge amount of just some particular nutrients which induce a strong disequilibrium in a plant, making them more susceptible to illnesses, plagues attack and of course modifying the natural conditions the ecosystem where is planted can offer. Or when you use pesticides, you are killing the plague but also all benefic insects and destroying the ecosystem. So condition where plants grow are not the natural ones, are just induced ones through managing conditions in a different way as they should has been.
Our job as vintners is just to preserve that equilibrium, monitoring the system, planning (because there are no possibilities of immediate answers once you have a problem), getting the best conditions to the fruit to mature slowly, under the best environmental conditions we can get form it to assure a the high quality, sincere and complex and concentrated local representative wines we are looking for.
It is a hard job. It is as hard and simply as to devote a huge effort preserving the expression of the terroir. The difficult part is that there are no recipes, just reading the nature, the vines, the soil etc, where experience over many years is the only useful “recipe”, and that is the reason why committed people is the only successful tool.
When drinking a wine coming from our old vines, you may like it or not, but you can be sure you are drinking the expression of the grapes grown in a natural & equilibrated environmental where ancient practices and a huge effort has been done to preserve that expression till your glass not only at the vineyard but also at the winery. What you get is what the land can offer every year with its normal weather variations among year to year. As the phrase that move us express “The soul of the land turns into wine”
In a global society diversity is a great value we all have to help building and preserve because means identity.