The Twelve under $12 for July 2019

SMYTHE AND RENFIELD CHARDONNAY

New Zealand Chardonnay is pure gold!  Flavors of yellow apple and pear pop into the palate with hints of apricot cream and hazelnut. Pair with roast chicken and tangerines.

THE NED DRY ROSE

This deliciously DRY Rose flashes flavors of rose petals, red berries and kisses of watermelon.  The finish is refreshing and tantalizing!  Pair with a gouda grilled cheese sandwich packed with smoked ham.

MUIRWOOD CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Black currant and cherry abound in this full-bodied Cab.  Nuances of vanilla and chocolate chip cookie linger on the long-lasting finish.  Pair with a meat lovers pizza this weekend!

ROBLAR CHARDONNAY

Chardonnay all day! It’s an easy drinking wine that offers lemon zest, apple blossom and pear with hints of caramel and toasted hazelnuts. Pair with days that end with ‘Y’.

CA’MOMI ROSSO RED BLEND

This wine has Texas size flavor.  Blackberry and blueberries rock into notes of smoke and charred oak.  The finish offers pie crust and roasted nuts.  Pair with friends at your next BBQ party.

CHATEAU PAS DE RAUZAN RED BLEND

A big wine that is jam packed full of flavor.  Sturdy tannins give the wine depth with notes of currant and cherry.  The finish offers whiffs of mocha and vanilla. Pair with a sloppy bacon cheeseburger.

PIERRE ARCHAMBAULT MUSCADET

A Perfect summer stunner!  Pierre shows flavors of lemon citrus, melon and pear that mingle into a good backbone of crisp, un-oaked acidity.  This low alcohol, pool pounder begs to be ice cold for copious consumption.

PIERRE ROUGON COTE DU RHONE VILLAGES RED BLEND

Rougon is an expressively fruit forward wine with flavors of red berries and raspberry that flow into hints of mocha, coffee and strawberry jam.  Pair spicy chicken and boudin gumbo.

STEFFEN KABINETT OFF-DRY RIESLING

Yea! It’s cool to drink Riesling again.  Supple and refreshing, this wine has licks of sweetness that are enveloped by white peach, lime citrus and wildflowers.  Pair with drunken noodles (look it up!).

LEOPARD’S LEAP CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Some of the world’s best value wines are from South Africa. Flavors of mulberry and blackberry integrate into nutmeg, cinnamon and oak.  Pair with your favorite street taco stand.

VALLEBELBO MOSCATO D’ASTI

Moscato continues to make you smile.  It’s spritzy and fun with flavors of honeyed mango and papaya with fresh meadow flowers wafting through your palate.  Pair with a chill and the back porch on these hot summer days.

TRUMPETER RESERVE MALBEC

Malbec is thriving at this price.  Trumpeter is dense and flavorful with dark cherry and plum that mingle with juicy tannins and notes of pepper and sweet spices. Pair with steak fajitas and shrimp brochette.

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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Free Caymus Class at Spec’s Oak Ridge North on July 23rd from 6:30-8pm

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please join me for an exclusive class involving the wines from the Wagner Family. The Wagner’s are releasing a couple of new wines and would love for you to taste them as well as refresh with their staples!

Please RSVP to RSVP_Woodlands@specsonline.com

What: Wagner Family Wine Tasting

Where: Spec’s Oak Ridge North

When: 6:30-8pm

Wines:

  1. Conundrum Sparkling Blanc de Blanc
  2. Conundrum White Blend
  3. Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc
  4. Sea Sun Chardonnay (NEW!)
  5. Mer Soleil Pinot Noir
  6. Bonanza Cabernet (NEW!)
  7. Caymus Napa Cabernet

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

 

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JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS FOR JULY 2019

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the dog days of summer! I had a spectacular 4th of July and I hope ya’ll did too.  This month’s selections are a mixed bag of deliciousness that I have had the pleasure of tasting over the past couple of months. I highly recommend getting the Rocca in your basket as it is peaking and drinking at its finest right now!  I will be in Napa Valley for a week at the end of the month, so the odds are that I will be delayed in posting the August reviews. Drink up and Enjoy!

Rocca ‘Grigsby Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $74.99 but with a $7.00 Special Sale only

$67.99 for a limited time!

Rocca has been a longstanding favorite for me over the years. The winery has consistently offered quality wines with fair to high ratings.  I usually offer pricier selections closer to the holidays, but this wine is on sale and drinking damn fine right now!  This single vineyard Cabernet exudes gorgeous depth and density.  Flavors of dark red currant and cassis meld with black cherries through the mid palate with hints of cocoa dust.  The wine has medium plus intensity with polished tannins. The finish is silky smooth with hints of tobacco, milk chocolate and vanilla. Get it while you can! James Score: 94 Points

Fort Ross Winery Chardonnay Reserve 2016

Sonoma Coast, California

Cash Price $44.99

I recently brought in the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from this winery.  The wines are delightfully classic and balanced, so now I’d like to make sure they are on your radar!  Famed winemaker Jeff Pisoni makes the wines for this single vineyard producer.  Their vineyard is the closest to the Pacific Ocean (within 1 mile) and on elevated slopes that climb up to 1,700 feet giving them excellent cooling effect for their grapes.  The wines are fermented with native yeast and bottled unfined and unfiltered.  Elegant flavors of crisp green apples, lemon cream, and poached pears flow through medium intensity.  The mid palate shows some stone fruit and spice.  The finish is soft with notes of cream and hazelnuts that lay on a light bed of minerality.  Very well balanced. James Score: 92 Points

Nuiton Beaunoy Pinot Noir 2014

Morey St. Denis, France

Cash Price $44.99

The village of Morey Saint Denis is quite possibly one of my entire favorite in all of Burgundy.  The wines exude of grace and elegance that is tough to replicate in other regions.  Structured flavors of wild red berries and cherries flow into a medium intensity.  The wine has hints of opulence that give the tannins of a softness on the palate.  Hints of toasted oak and vanilla add more complexity with tinges of earth and minerality. James Score: 93 Points

Riglos Gran Corte Red Blend 2016

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $39.89

Riglos is a wine is has made it to the United States because famed winemaker Paul Hobbs (who consults here) has taken this winery under his wings to show America what an amazing winery this is.  The wine is a Malbec/Cabernet/Franc blend that is lush and layered from start to finish.  Delicious flavors of blackberry and plum flow easily into a medium plus intensity.  Notes of lavender and cinnamon show with hints of toasted nuts, vanilla and graham crackers on the finish. Fall in love with this wine tonight!  James Score: 93 Points

Chateau Pontac Lynch Red Blend 2015

Margaux, France

Cash Price $37.99

Margaux is considered a more elegant style of Cabernet Sauvignon on the left bank of the Gironde River.  I have been extremely impressed with this winery every vintage.  As most of you know, the 2015 & 2016 vintages were excellent.  Pontac Lynch is consistently high quality at a great price point as their property is adjacent to the Grand Cru Classe estates of  1st Growth Chateau Margaux, 2nd Growth Rauzan-Segla, and 3rd Growth Chateau D’Issan.  It is a 10 hectare property that has been Cru Bourgeois status since 1932 based on limestone and gravel soils.  This sustainably farmed wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with touches of Cabernet Franc and Petite Verdot.  The wine was aged in new and used French oak for 12 months.  This wine is young but quite approachable right now.  Flavors of black raspberry and black cherry dance into nuanced acids and lively tannins.  Notes of currant, cigar box and leather play through the mid palate with tinges of cedar and sandalwood.  The finish offers hints of mocha, vanilla bean and vibrant fruits that lead into a long, lingering finish.  James Score: 93 Points

Blue Rock ‘Baby Blue’ Blanc 2018

Sonoma County, California

Cash Price $18.99

Blue Rock produces luxury wines on their 100 acres nestled in the hillsides of Alexander Valley.  Baby Blue is mostly Sauvignon Blanc buts adds a smidgeon of Viognier to give the wine some floral complexity to soften out the blanc.  This wine layers itself beautifully.  Flavors of crisp lemon citrus leap into the palate with medium plus acidity that is cleansing and refreshing. Light notes of tree fruit and lemon grass lead into the mid palate with touches of Meyer lemon and hay.  The finish is stunning with the pop of Viognier that adds hints of wild flowers and bees wax.  Do me a favor and decant this white as it gets better and better with some time.  James Score: 92 Points

Jean Baptiste Adam Reserve Riesling 2016

Alsace, France

Cash Price $17.99

Dry Riesling is one of my absolute favorite wines.  It is such a versatile grape that it can pair with darn near everything or be perfectly fine by itself.   Alsace produces some of the best DRY white wines in the world and this vintage is one of the best I have ever tasted!  This family has a history of over 400 years of being grape growers and winemakers in Alsace.  Flavors of zesty citrus and orange blossoms flow into medium plus acidity without any encumbering oak.  Touches of apricot and grapefruit sinew cleanly through hints of wet rocks.  The finish is amazingly complex with apple blossoms, wild white flowers and lychee.  This is a WOW wine.  James Score: 91 Points

Paternina Banda Gran Reserva 2011

Rioja, Spain

Cash Price $22.99

Founded in 1896 in Ollauri, Rioja Alta by Don Federico Paternina, this historic bodega is one of the classics of Rioja. Bodegas Federico Paternina joined the premium Marques de la Concordia Family of Wines in 2014, owner of Spain’s finest estates since 1812. 2014 also saw the return to Paternina of the renowned Rioja winemaker Carmelo Angulo. Carmelo began his career at Paternina where he worked for 14 years, before gaining expeience in the other great wine growing regions of Spain and today crafts the much-loved Federico Paternina ranges. This Gran Reserva exudes complexity and depth with 24 months oak aging and 3 further years in bottle before release. The palate is full of bramble and currant with slice of plum popping through the medium intensity.  The maturation gives the wine some secondary complexity of dried red roses and fig.  The finish is delightful with notes of spice and the traditional vanilla bean from the American oak.  What a great wine! James Score: 92 Points

Cougar Crest Viognier 2016

Walla Walla Valley, Washington

Cash Price $19.94

I am continually surprised that Texans don’t buy wines from Washington State. They are producing top quality wine, yet seem to sit on shelf.  Viognier (Pronounced Vee Oh N’Yay) is a grape that is exuberantly fruit forward and perfect for the hot Texas heat.  Popping flavors of melon, peach and citrus lay across a medium intensity that offers quite a rich mouthfeel. Tropical notes of pineapple and guava sift through light acids and hints of citrus.  The backbone of this wine has a delicious floral note that wafts haunting through the palate.  Yum!  James Score: 90 Points

Domaine Triennes Dry Rose 2017

Mediterranee, France

Cash Price $16.99

I keep this Dry Rose in my house as it is consistently one of the best on the market in my humble opinion. This Domaine is owned by two of the best in world, Domaine Romanee Conti and Domaine Dujac. Deliciously dry, this Cinsault based Rose has expressive and compelling aromatics.  Flavors of bright red strawberries and red roses zing into medium plus acidity that quenches the palate.  Notes of wild meadow flowers play into the mid palate with touches of red berries and vanilla.  The finish is clean and pure with touches of salinity and wet rocks.  Get this on your table!  James Score: 91 Points

Domaine Montcy Red Blend 2016

Cheverny, France

Cash Price $19.94

Montcy is MY red wine for this summer season.  I love the clean, refreshing flavors and structured body that keeps my palate craving more.  This Domaine is located in a fairly unknown area in the Loire Valley, Cheverny, and focuses on high quality whites and reds on soils of clay and limestone.  The red wine is a blend of 60% Gamay, 35% Pinot Noir, and 5% Malbec.  I know….not typically grapes you see used in blends, but boy o boy this wine is delicious!  Bursting red fruit flavors of freshly picked bing cherries and raspberries sing into medium plus acidity and minimal tannins.  The wine is completely unoaked, instead choosing to focus on pinpoint red fruits with hints of spice.  The finish is silky and mouth watering with touches of white pepper, cranberry and violets.  James Score: 90 Points

Silvio Grasso Barbera D’Alba 2017

Piedmont, Italy

Cash Price $15.99

Silvio Grasso is one of the newer wines to our Italian portfolio.  Barbera season is upon us with the scorching heat and humidity that drenches us for the next several months. Barbera loves a slight chill (Yes, Red can be chilled!) and offers delicious acidity with a minimal amount of tannins. Vivacious flavors red cherry and berries pop into the palate with a pleasantly light mid palate. The finish is clean and refreshing with hints of red roses and lavender. James Score: 89 Points

Twisted Paso ‘Main Squeeze’ Red Blend 2016

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $16.99

The Calcareous Vineyard’s ‘Twisted Paso’ line has become one of the best sellers in all of Spec’s portfolio.  The Main Squeeze is a silky red blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.  Dark fruits of ripe blackberry and boysenberry are prevalent from the start.  The mid palate turns into creamy blackberry pie with velvet tannins and lush acids.  The finish offers hints of toasted oak and caramel that sink into a gracious amounts of dark chocolate and mild spices.  The wine is aged in 15% New American Oak and 75% Neutral French Oak for eighteen months.   James Score: 88 Points

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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THE 12 UNDER $12 FOR JUNE 2019

Gryphus Chardonnay

Cash Price $11.99

What a treat we have for you in this Chardonnay. Succulent flavors of sweet pineapple, pear and peach flow into soft acids and hints of vanilla bean. Gryphus won’t be a myth when it’s poured in your glass.

Projection Cabernet Sauvignon

Cash Price $10.99

We have found your Cabernet for days that end with ‘Y’. Flavors of blackberry, cassis and toasted oak show off an easy plushness. This is no project. Just Pop, Pour, and enjoy!

Zonin Prosecco

Cash Price $9.99

Is there a better way to start a weekend than with a fresh, fruity and fun sparkling wine? Flavors of citrus, cream and hints of almond pop delightfully into every glass you pour. Make this your daily fizz fun!

Playtime Red Blend

Cash Price $9.99

This playful red blend is sure to be a hit at your dinner party. It is a Zinfandel heavy wine that offers flavors of blueberry, plum and vanilla with hints of exotic spice. Pair with Mesquite grilled meats with all the fixings.

Perimeter Riesling

Cash Price $9.99

Riesling continues to be one of the most versatile white grapes in the world. Perimeter offer flavors of apricot and nectarines with hints of honeyed wax and wildflowers. Pair with sweet and sour grilled shrimp.

Francois Labet Beaujolais Villages

Cash Price $10.99

Gamay is making a comeback! Light and refined, flavors of bright cherry and cranberry leap into light acids and whiffs of raspberry cream pie. Give this wine a slight chill and it’ll tingle the taste buds on a hot summer day.

Chateau des Romains Rouge

Cash Price $10.99

Romains is a Merlot heavy gem that is deliciously fruit forward from the start.  Flavors of red cherry, wild berry and currant flow into hints of toasted oak and just a tease of tobacco leaf. Pair this with fatty spiced brisket and fried okra.

Gouleyant Malbec

Cash Price $9.99

Gouleyant is a delicate and seductive Malbec that shies away from Argentina to offer uniquely French flavors of cassis and black cherry with hints of pepper and spice. Pair with baked ziti and sausage.

Liberation de Paris Rose

Cash Price $9.99

This Liberatingly Dry Rose gives flavors of wild red berries and strawberries. Fresh, pure acids give way to rose petals and citrus. Pair with arugula and tomato topped flatbread.

Versant Pinot Noir

Cash Price $9.99

Versant should be a staple wine for Pinot Noir lovers. The wine offers aromatic red raspberry and violets with a soft, creamy core and touches of oak. Pair with walnut crusted Ahi tuna served on watermelon.

Beppe Rosso Red Blend

Cash Price $9.99

This tribute to ‘Giuseppe’ (Joseph) offers sweet, candied cherries and raspberry with touches of exotic spice and a soft, lush finish. Pair early and often with every friend you can find. I know that would make our Giuseppe happy. Ciao!

Sonalto Vinho Verde

Cash Price $6.59

Vinho Verde is the perfect wine to beat the hot summer heat. Salty, swift and spritzy, this wine is low alcohol and begging to be chilled by the case. Sonalto pairs best with briny oysters on the half shell but is probably best enjoyed poolside with a good chill and plenty of sun.

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF JUNE 2019

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Summer is in full swing! Let the good times roll! I have been trying a large amount of wine in my new role (and some Sake), so I have lots of options to offer you.  This month will offer a bevy of wines that are right in the wheel house for delicious summertime fun and festivities. Enjoy!

Calcareous Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $39.89

Owner Dana Brown visited Texas recently with her team and laid out her passion for Paso Robles showing quality in the bottle and embodying the mantra ‘let the soil speak’.  This York Mountain Cabernet vineyard is high elevation and located a scant 6 miles from the Pacific near the crest of the Santa Lucia mountain range. The spot is much cooler than the typical Paso Robles and well built for Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2017 vintage is a beautifully perfumed one and this wine offers flavors of plush currant and blackberry with a dense mid palate. The wine shows medium intensity with hints of bramble and minerals that flow into a finish of mushroom, dark mocha, and exotic spice.  Yum!  James Score: 93 Points

Alma Rosa ‘El Jabali’ Chardonnay 2014

Santa Rta Hills, California

Cash Price $29.99

The vineyards of Alma Rosa were planted by famous Sta. Rita Hills Icon Richard Sanford. His family has been producing classic wines from this area for over 40 years! The vines are sustainably farmed and kept as natural as the weather allows. Alma (Spanish for Essence) Rosa is aged in 50% stainless steel and 50% French Oak with 40% malolactic fermentation.  Racy flavors of lemon grass and Asian pear flow into a medium intensity.  The finish offers more pear, crisp green apple and hints of toasted caramel.  This wine is drinking perfectly today!  James Score: 93 Points

Domaine De La Laidiere ‘Cuvee Amazone’ Dry Rose 2018

Provence, France

Cash Price $18.99

Rose season is back in full swing with temperatures reaching the mid to upper 90’s throughout much of Texas. This wine has become a staple on the back porch of many Texans with its deliciously refreshing appeal.  The wine is a Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault blend that is delightfully DRY with flavors of bing cherry and tart raspberry.  The wine pops on the palate with lively acidity and extremely fresh fruit. Get this in your basket today!  James Score: 90 Points

Tinazzi Ripasso Red Blend 2016

Veneto, Italy

Cash Price $22.99

Ripasso’s or aka baby Amarone are really becoming a hot topic in the wine world. The wines are wonderfully priced and offer some of the best red blends on the market. The wines are sumptuous and succulent, often WAY over achieving their price point.  This new addition the Spec’s portfolio is a wine I specifically brought in for several reasons. One: It received a Double Gold at the Houston Rodeo Uncorked! Wine Competition. Two: The wine is quite delicious and has a deep complexity that is sure to perk up interest in your palate.  Flavors of ripe cherries and plum stick in the palate with good viscosity that allows for medium plus intensity.  The mid palate offers hints of spice with pepper and clove flowing into touches of fig and molasses.  The finish is full and inviting with tinges of mocha and cedar.  James Score: 91 Points

Daniel Dampt Chardonnay 2016

Chablis, France

Cash Price $24.99

I tasted this wine in Chablis last year as I walked through their vineyards.  The wines produced here are the antithesis of California Chardonnay.  The region is on the northern stretches of France and the area is quite cold, so the ensuing wines are typically more acid driven and often do not offer the buttery, oaky sensations offered in California.  Dampt wines are a family affair that farms 30 hectare in Chablis.  The 2016 vintage was warmer in Chablis, so you have more fruit forward notes.  Dampt is 100% Chardonnay aged on vines with 30 years of average age.  The wine is stainless steel fermented.  Refreshing flavors of green apple,lime citrus, and touches of pear combine with a crushed rocks minerality that sleeks into medium plus acidity.  The finish offers tinges of wild flowers, Bosque pear and almond that wisps easily through the palate.  James Score: 90 Points

Cru Winery ‘Monarch’ Red Blend 2015

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $24.69

I have been tasting through a fair amount of Paso Robles wine lately.  As Napa prices continue to rise, buyers are looking into more value driven areas such as Paso Robles.  Cru winery consistently offers exceedingly good value wine and this red blend is knocking it out of the park.  The wine is a mix of Bordeaux and Rhone varieties with the bulk being Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Monarch offers a balanced richness with flavors of currant and cassis with a silky medium intensity. The finish shows a balance of oak and spice that sits on the palate for a nice, long time. James Score: 90 Points

Neal Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $19.94

This 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the foothills of Howell Mountain is spectacular! The wine is organically farmed which offers you the truest expression of the grape. Neal Family Blanc is completely un-oaked and offers ripe flavors of citrus and stone fruits that play into zesty acids that are softened by the sur lie aging that gives it a supple roundness. Notes of guava and pineapple sink into a clean, refreshing finish that offers hints of white flower and just a touch of creamy complexity. This is an Outstanding White that will WOW your palate! James Score: 91 Points

Twisted Paso Pinot Noir 2017

Central Coast, California

Cash Price $16.99

Twisted Paso is the everyday wine put out by Calcareous Vineyards. This line really exceeds and excels for under $20.  Ripe and floral flavors of wild raspberry and strawberry bounce playfully into the nose and through the palate.  Hints of citrus and cola play in the mid palate with a soft medium intensity.  The finish is long and eloquent with touches of rhubarb, roses and cherry.  Chill, Pop, and Enjoy!  James Score: 89 Points

Loscano Malbec 2017

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $14.99

This 100% Malbec hails from the best regions of Mendoza, located in Lujan de Cuyo and is aged for 8 months used French oak.  I was really happy with the balance of this Malbec as I have found many overly ripe wines coming out of Argentina lately.  Flavors of blackberry and blueberry sinew deftly into the palate with hints of lavender show the wine’s medium plus intensity.  The mid palate is easy and approachable with hints of minerality.  The finish is pure, offering hints of smoke, toasted oak and subtle hazelnuts.  James Score: 89 Points

Chateau Les Jouberts Blanc

Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $12.59

This is Sauvignon Blanc season!  I often find some of the best value SB in the world come from Bordeaux.  The wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the right bank in the region of Blaye.  Jouberts is aged in used French oak and offers flavors of candied citrus and orange blossoms with clean acidity and a linear backbone.  The finish is crisp and shows whiffs of white flowers that becomes a touch rounder on the palate. James Score: 88 Points

Chateau du Pegau ‘Maclura’ Red Blend 2015

Cotes Du Rhone, France

Cash Price $14.99

The Feraud’s of Chateau Pegau have been tending vines in Chateauneuf du Pape since the year 1670.  They are considered on of the premier ‘Elite’ producers in all of the Rhone Valley.  The yields of this CDR are kept at the ridiculously low standards of Chateauneuf du Pape, so the quality is EXTREMELY high for $14.99.  Laurence Feraud has become somewhat of a rock star winemaker with her wines garnering high praise and scores year after year.  ‘Maclura’ is a type of Osage orange tree found on the 100 acre, 50+ year old vines estate.  This 50% Grenache/25% Syrah/10%Mourvedre/5% Cinsault red blend screams pleasure from the first sup.  Striking flavors of cassis and blackberry form into thickly integrated medium tannins and acids.  The mid palate shows wild dark fruits with notes of sweet cherries and plum that sinew into freshly cracked black pepper and cured meats.  The finish is impressively expansive with touches of garrigue (thyme, fennel) and crushed rocks.  Silky, fun and fresh!  James Score: 89 Points

Scotto Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Lodi, California

Cash Price $14.99

The Scotto family is a 5th generation winemaking family based out of Lodi. They are focused on producing great value wines for consumers. The wine is aged for 18 months in used French oak.  Flavors of jammed blackbery and plum seep into the palate with medium plus intensity.  The mid palate offers whiffs of smoke, game, and stewed rhubarb.  The finish is approachable with hints of spice and milk chocolate.  James Score: 88 Points

Chateau Bourbon La Chapelle Red Blend 2016

Bordeaux, France

Cash Price $12.99

The 2016 vintage was stunning in Bordeaux and one can find spectacular wines from all corners of the region.  This one hails from the northern Medoc and is 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot.  The wine is the 2nd label of Chateau Castera and named after the Bourbon royalty and the chapel on the grounds.  Flavors of red currant and cherry sinew easily into medium intensity. The wine is chewy and begging for beef accompaniment. The finish offers notes of vanilla, cedar and hints of forest floor.  James Score: 89 Points

Thank You,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

 

 

 

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THE 12 UNDER $12 FOR MAY 2019

 Ryan Patrick Redhead Red

Cash Price $9.99

This Redhead is a Cabernet heavy blend that offers blackberry and black cherry with a core of chocolate covered raspberries. Hints cedar and vanilla play on the finish. Pair with Provence herb crusted lamb shanks.
Leopard’s Leap Shiraz

Cash Price $10.99

South Africa continues to build momentum in the wine world. Shiraz is popping off the shelves because it offers flavors of black cherry and plum with undertones of pepper and spice. Pair with smoky, spicy chili.
Chateau Maroutine Bordeaux Red

Cash Price $9.99

Maroutine is a Merlot based blend that is silky smooth from start to finish. Flavors of red currant and wild red berries are rounded with whiffs of vanilla and toasted cedar. Pair with bone-in ribeye and sautéed mushrooms.
Segura Viudas Extra Dry Sparkling

Cash Price $10.99

Extra Dry actually means that this sparkler has a kiss of sweetness on the palate. Ripe and fruity flavors of citrus, white peach and apple blossoms flow into hints of baked pie crust. Pair with butternut squash risotto.
Liberation de Paris Cabernet Sauvignon

Cash Price $9.99

Liberation frees the palate with tantalizing flavors of black cherry and blackberry with hints of truffle and dark mocha. Pair with your favorite couch and sports team at the end of a long day.
Lockwood Cabernet Sauvignon

Cash Price $10.99

This vibrant wine offers fleshy flavors of plum and blackberry with just a smidgeon of toasted oak and vanilla on the finish. Pair with sticky BBQ beef ribs.

 

Michel-Schlumberger Chardonnay

Cash Price $10.99

Here we have a delicious Chardonnay for daily consumption. Bright flavors of melon and pineapple sink into a rich, creamy finish. Pair with Salmon fish cakes, butter and a mixed vegetable medley.

 

Fairhall Cliffs Sauvignon Blanc

Cash Price $8.49

Pool weather is coming! Better stock up on this awesome Blanc. Fresh flavors of grapefruit and citrus blossom lift into bright notes of lemon and prickly pear. Pair with the pool on a nice, sunny day.

 

KWV Classic Moscato

Cash Price $9.99

KWV is a delightfully floral wine with flavors of white peach, apricot and wild flowers that softly waft into hints of sweetness and beeswax. Pair with spicy beef Szechuan.

 

Trumpeter Malbec by Rutini

Cash Price $9.99

Trumpeter is a full-bodied Malbec that offers inky color and flavors of currant and blackberry with touches of exotic spice on the finish. Pair with blue cheese burger and salty fries.

 

Particular Old Vine Garnacha

Cash Price $8.99

Garnacha is one of the hottest grapes on the market. Try this beauty that offers flavors of zesty, ripe black cherry and bramble with touches of oak nuance and a powerfully long, juicy finish. Pair with bacon wrapped chicken skewers.

 

Reserve St. Marc Chardonnay

Cash Price $6.59

Sometimes a wine can just be perfectly fine and tasty while not breaking the bank. Flavors of green apples and pear pop into an un-oaked, refreshing finish of white flowers. Pair with your next big outdoor event.
James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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Sonoma County: A Diversity of wines with a farmer’s mentality (Seats still available!)

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

There are still seats available for this class!  Join me in a toast to our fallen heroes….and learn about one of the best regions for wine in the United States! 10 seats still available!

RSVP to Jamesbarlow25@hotmail.com

I am pleased to offer my Second class of the year.  I focused on Napa Valley last tasting.  For this class, I’d like to walk you through one of the more diverse regions in California: Sonoma County.  Some California’s best Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon come from this region.  Sonoma may not have the rock star mentality of Napa Valley as the folks tend to have a farmer’s mentality, but the wines are quietly some of the best produced in the United States.

In this class I will dive into the AVA’s within Sonoma County, showing wines from different areas and grapes showing what makes Sonoma such a hallowed ground for many of the best vineyards in the United States.  We will walk through the sub American Viticultural Areas within Sonoma learning about soil structure, grapes, vintages, wine-making techniques and much more.  We will taste wines from the regions to understand the unique differences of the areas.

This will be a wonderful experience as we will taste wines from all over Sonoma County with some single vineyard wines to help give a sense of place to each area.

I will have a selection of cheese and bread to nibble.

Seating is limited. Don’t miss out on this amazing tasting!

RSVP to Jamesbarlow25@hotmail.com

What: Sonoma County: A diversity of wines with a farmer’s mentality hosted by James Barlow

When: Monday, May 27th from 6:30-8:00pm

Where: Prohibition Texas Bar in Old Town Spring: 26420 Preston Ave, Spring, TX 77373

Cost: $45 Per Person

Wines to be poured:

  1. Gloria Ferrer Brut N/V (Carneros)
  2. Dry Creek Fume Blanc (Dry Creek)
  3. Chalk Hill Chardonnay (Chalk Hill)
  4. Lucie Chardonnay (Russian River)
  5. En Route Pinot Noir (Russian River)
  6. Cherry Pie Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast)
  7. Lancaster Red Blend (Alexander Valley)
  8. Blue Rock Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley)
  9. Ridge ‘Pagani Ranch’ Zinfandel (Sonoma Valley)

and maybe a few others depending on time….

See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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