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

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I walked my son to school this morning without breaking into a massive sweat!  Fall has finally arrived!  With the cooler weather, I have decided to review bigger wines for the most part. I am excited to show ya’ll new wines that we are offering for this holiday season! That said, I just re-tasted an older vintage of Tetra and My O My, it was a pure delight.

Tetra Red Blend 2010

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $59.84 BUT ON SALE FOR ONLY

$39.97 FOR A LIMITED TIME

Tetra is comprised of four ‘noble’ Bordeaux varietals grown in four distinct vineyards in Napa Valley.  This Cabernet Sauvignon based red was meticulously crafted. The grapes are sourced from Broken Rock, Coombsville, Sugar Loaf Mountain, and Suscol Bench.  Rich and full bodied, Tetra exudes brilliance from start to finish.  The opulent 2010 vintage really shows in the fruit structure of the wine.  Flavors of black cherry and raspberry combine with layers of ripe fruit and dense tannins.  The wine is deliciously complex and continues to unfold in the glass.  Notes of fresh leather and mocha sinew through hints of cedar, vanilla, and milk chocolate.  Barlow Score: 94     Only 6 bottles available

Vincent Chardonnay 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $39.89

As most of you know, I am constantly on the hunt for delicious Willamette wines.  The wines here are typically lighter in style with more complexity and terroir than many other places in the United States.  Vincent has good weight, but still offers a fluffy lightness.  Flavors of green apple, melon, and white peach flow through medium plus acidity.  The mid palate offers a beautiful minerality that wafts into touches of hazelnut, cream and butterscotch on the finish. Nice with a Burgundy-esque feel. Barlow Score: 92 Points

Montmirail ‘Beauchamps’ Red Blend 2017

Gigondas, France

Cash Price $26.99

The wine is a 75% Grenache/15% Syrah/10% Mourvedre blend of pure deliciousness.  Gigondas offers the quality of Chateauneuf du Pape, but without the exceedingly high prices. The wine was destemmed and fermented in cement tanks and stainless steel.  The wine is rich and concentrated showing plush red fruits with tickles of garrigue, spice and pepper.  Notes of smoked meat, graphite  and rhubarb flow easily into the mid palate and finish with medium tannins.  This wine is wonderful now, but will age gracefully for decades.  Barlow Score: 94 Points  Only 1 case available.

22 Pirates Red Blend 2016

California

Cash Price $22.79

Ready for a fun, accessible red blend for the holidays?  Look no further!  This Syrah/Petite Sirah blend is thick and unctuous with flavors of blackberry and blueberry racing through the palate with a creamy core of cobbler and pie.  Black cherry and currant flow easily through the mid palate with soft, plush tannins and acids.  The finish offers darker notes of jammy blackberry pie with licks of cinnamon, vanilla and cedar.  Barlow Score: 88 Points

Kenefick Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $19.94

I visited this vineyard when in Napa a couple of months ago and was surprised to see that they were located adjacent to Aurajo in Calistoga. Their fruit is considered some of the most prized in Napa Valley.  Kent Jarman is the winemaker for the iconic wines of this winery.  Citrus and white flowers are prevalent on the nose with nice aromatics.  Flavors of citrus, gooseberry, and tangerine pop into the palate with medium acidity.  The mid palate offers a refreshing softness with a hint of cream.  The finish is clean and pure with tinges of lychee and whiffs of almond.  Barlow Score: 91 Points

Trig Point Merlot 2017

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $18.99

Nick Goldschmidt is one of my favorite wine makers.  He consistently crafts wines of high quality in different climates and even hemispheres.  His father was a land surveyor and a ‘Trig’ is used to establish boundary lines.  Goldschmidt’s Trig Point wines show the unique soils of the area he gets the grapes from, namely Alexander Valley.  The vineyard is located on the southern (and cooler) end of Alexander Valley which makes it prime territory for producing low yield, high quality Merlot.  This 100% Merlot offers flavors of intense black cherry and rhubarb jump into easy acids and well rounded tannins.  Notes of strawberry and freshly picked plum meld into the core of the wine with touches of graphite and dusty minerality.  The finish is deliciously long with 12 months of French oak aging in 20% new barrels and just a touch of new American oak which gives hints of creamy vanilla bean, cinnamon, and cedar.  The finish smacks of blueberry pie!  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Tobias Chardonnay 2016

Mendocino, California

Cash Price $17.99 BUT WITH A $3.O0 KEY ONLY

$14.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME

The grapes from this wine come from the cooler climate of Mendocino county.  When searching for a Chardonnay, I try to find one that has balance which is not overly oaked or ‘malo-ed’.  Tobias only goes through 30% malolactic fermentation which gives the wine touches of butter and cream that do not over power the fruit or acidity.  This wine has medium acids with tropical fruits of pineapple and melon with citrus notes of green apples and lemon blossoms.  The finish shows touches of melted butter and almonds with just a kiss of oak. Tobias is beautifully balanced and integrated. Barlow Score: 89 Points

Del Fin Del Mundo Malbec Reserva 2017

Patagonia, Argentina

Cash Price $18.39

I find Malbec to be the perfect red wine for this weather.  It’s not as heady as Cabernet Sauvignon, but not as transparent as Pinot Noir.  The variety is a great balance of fruit and structure that is sure to please most palates.  Mundo offers flavors of violets and red fruits with hints of plum and red roses.  The mid palate offers medium tannins and acids that are enveloped by red cherry and currant.  The finish is pure and flavorful with notes of toasted oak, vanilla and butterscotch. Barlow Score: 89 Points

One Flock Red Blend 2016

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $14.99

I recently tasted this everyday slurper and thought that it’d be a big hit for value shoppers. The wine is a kitchen sink blend with Zinfandel and Cabernet making up the lion’s share. The wine was aged in both French and American oak.  Flock is deliciously supple with flavors of red cherry and jammy raspberry that sinks into soft tannins.  Hints of brioche, cinnamon and nutmeg flow through the finish with tinges of pipe tobacco and sweet clove.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Chablisienne Chardonnay 2016

Burgundy, France

Cash Price $13.99

Chablisienne is one of the most well known and consistent cooperatives in Chablis.  They ventured out of Chablis with this wine, but still stayed within the confines of Burgundy.  This un-oaked beauty is raw and pure in its natural form. Flavors of perfectly ripe green apple and lemon citrus play into zesty acidity.  The mid palate shows ripe tree fruit with hints of nuttiness that carries through on the soft, pleasant finish. Light and bright!  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Illuminati ‘Riparosso’ Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2016

Abruzzo, Italy

Cash Price $14.79

Illuminati is a brand that has always been a great value wine.  This is their every day, value wine that has been aged small Slovenian oak barrels for twelve months.  It is 100% Montepulciano, which I often refer to as the Cabernet Sauvignon of Italy.  Flavors of roasted plum and blackberry combine with stewed red cherries throughout the core of the wine.  Notes of black pepper and sage give the wine a soft earthiness with savory tannins and easy acids.  The finish is smooth and balanced with bits of toasted pecans and just a kiss of licorice.  Great to pair with a thick, juicy steak! Barlow Score: 90 Points

Domaine Sorin Rose 2018

Cotes de Provence, France

Cash Price $15.99

Rose season could not get here fast enough for me!  I am an ardent fan Rose all year long, but specifically crave it when food pairing time comes pounding at the door.  Domaine Sorin is an exquisite winery that is committed to excellence.  The wine is a blend of Carignan, Grenache and Cinsault that explodes on the palate from the first sup.  Flavors of strawberry and bright red cherries sing loudly into the palate with medium plus acidity.  This wine is deliciously dry and can pair wonderfully with light fowl or seafood dishes.  Notes of white pepper and garrigue fall easily in line with hints of wild red berries and pomegranate.  The finish is crisp, clean and ready for another sip.  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Shannon Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Lake County, California

Cash Price $12.99

Clay Shannon and I had dinner at his house located in the Red Hills AVA and tasted through his entire line. I was blown away by how delicious and value priced his Cabernet Sauvignon is.  They are located in the steep mountain slopes of Lake County and are dedicated to producing high quality, sustainably farmed wines at a great price.  This high elevation Cabernet is dangerously approachable from the first pop of the cork.  Supple flavors of black cherries and dark berries are encompassed by smooth, easy tannins and well balanced acids. The core offers notes of raspberry, plum and tobacco.  The finish is silky with touches of vanilla, all spice and licks of cedar.  Spectacular wine under $15.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

 

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12 UNDER $12 FOR OCTOBER 2019

Postales Malbec

Cash Price $11.79

Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonian Malbec has a denser and more complex mouthfeel than many of its Mendoza counterparts. Flavors of plum and blackberry jam show into a medium-bodied structure.  The finish shows hints of tobacco and spice. Pair with spicy Szechuan beef and dried chile peppers.

Marques di Concordia Tempranillo

Cash Price $10.99

Rioja, Spain

This Tempranillo is gushing with flavor.  The wine offers flavors of red cherry and currant with good balance and just a whiff of new oak on the finish. Pair with take-out enchiladas and chile rellenos.

Castellblanc Rose

Cash Price $8.79

Cava, Spain

Deliciously fresh red fruit pops on the palate with fine, persistent bubbles. Hints of rose petal and baked bread tickle the palate in a clean finish.  Pair with strawberries and your muse.

Perimeter Merlot

Cash Price $9.99

Washington State

This consistently tasty Merlot offers cherry and berries in a medium structured body. Unctuous notes of blackberry, vanilla and mocha flow seamlessly into a long finish.  Pair with Creole Jambalaya.

Cuvee 3 Messes Basses Blanc

Cash Price $9.99

Provence, France

Citrus and tropical fruits zip zestily into the palate with hints of lilacs.  Fleshy cantaloupe and grapefruit show on the unoaked finish. Pair with the remaining scorching days left of summer.

Versant Chardonnay

Cash Price $9.99

Languedoc, France

Here is your New Daily Chardonnay!  Versant is delightfully fruity with pineapple, papaya and melon wafting into hints of creamy sweet butter on toast.  Pair with Dungeness crab mac and cheese.

Trocard Rose

Cash Price $9.99

Bordeaux, France

Ripe strawberry and red cherries dance into fresh white flowers and minerals.  Notes of Rose petals and tart cranberry play easily into a refreshing finish.  Pair with avocado toast.

Peter Nicolay QBA Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling

Cash Price $8.99

Mosel, Germany

Nicolay is beautifully floral with aromas and flavors of ripe stone fruit and white flowers.  Hints of honey and citrus show on the fragrant finish.  Pair with Buc-ees cinnamon pecans.

Radley & Finch Shiraz

Cash Price $9.99

Western Cape, South Africa

South Africa is producing dynamite wines.  Jammy fruits of blackberry and plum show through notes of briar, leather and subtle spice with just a kiss of oak.  Pair with beef brisket sliders.

PuroAndes Cabernet Sauvignon

Cash Price $9.99

Maipo Valley, Chile

Chilean Cabernet is Spectacular value!  Flavors of plum and strawberries flow into soft tannins and finish with touches of tobacco, spice and oak.  Pair with Chilean-style stuffed potatoes.

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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RIEDEL SPIRITS SEMINAR NEXT WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9TH AT OAK RIDGE **SEATS STILL AVAILABLE**

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

WE STILL HAVE SOME SEATS AVAILABLE FOR THIS AMAZING EVENT NEXT WEEK!

JOIN NOW!

Join us for a SPECtacular Spirits Class where the real treat is the Riedel Glassware! We will experience the impact of the glasses when you sample a gin cocktail, VSOP cognac, Reposado Tequila and a 12YR Islay Scotch. To attend this class, please email your reservation to RSVP_WOODLANDS@SPECSONLINE.COM. $50 per person (comes with Special Riedel Spirits Glassware and a Gin Glass).

We will have a starter Gin cocktail being poured in the new Riedel Gin Cocktail glass that that will be yours to keep along with the Spirits tasting set!

RSVP TO: RSVP_WOODLANDS@SPECSONLINE.COM

WHAT: RIEDEL SPIRITS SEMINAR

WHO: RIEDEL EXPERT AMBASSADOR DOUG RIED

WHERE: Spec’s – Oak Ridge North

27490 I-45 N, Oak Ridge North, TX 7738

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH FROM 6:30-8PM

COST: $50 PER PERSON

SPIRITS POURED:

  1. SPEY RIVER 12 YR PEATED SCOTCH
  2. DON ABRAHAM PREMIUM REPOSADO
  3. PRUNIER VSOP FINE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC

AND SYLVIUS SPECIALTY GIN TO ADD INTO A GIN COCKTAIL WITH THE NEW RIEDEL GIN GLASS!

See you there!

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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RIEDEL SPIRITS SEMINAR NEXT WEDNESDAY, OCT. 9TH AT OAK RIDGE

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Join us for a SPECtacular Spirits Class where the real treat is the Riedel Glassware! We will experience the impact of the glasses when you sample a gin cocktail, VSOP cognac, Reposado Tequila and a 12YR Islay Scotch. To attend this class, please email your reservation to RSVP_WOODLANDS@SPECSONLINE.COM. $50 per person (comes with Special Riedel Spirits Glassware and a Gin Glass).

We will have a starter Gin cocktail being poured in the new Riedel Gin Cocktail glass that that will be yours to keep along with the Spirits tasting set!

RSVP TO: RSVP_WOODLANDS@SPECSONLINE.COM

WHAT: RIEDEL SPIRITS SEMINAR

WHO: RIEDEL EXPERT AMBASSADOR DOUG RIED

WHERE: Spec’s – Oak Ridge North

27490 I-45 N, Oak Ridge North, TX 7738

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH FROM 6:30-8PM

COST: $50 PER PERSON

SPIRITS POURED:

  1. BUNNAHABHAIN 12 YR ISLAY SCOTCH
  2. TEQUILA LEY .925 PREMIUM REPOSADO
  3. PRUNIER VSOP FINE CHAMPAGNE COGNAC

AND A SPECIALTY GIN TBD.

See you there!

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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RIEDEL PERFORMANCE COMPARATIVE TASTING WITH MAXIMILIAN RIEDEL ON OCTOBER 14TH AT THE HOUSTONIAN HOTEL

Hello All,

Please join us for this rare event!

It’s a FREE event and you will leave with a set of RIEDEL glassware!  There is limited seating so PLEASE RSVP as soon as possible!  Attached is a PDF of the invitation.  Please click on the “green” “Click her to RSVP.  It will redirect you to the EventBrite link…go from there.  You will receive a confirmation email.  Please note the event will start promptly at 2 p.m. and Maximilian will keep the tasting moving!

RSVP TO : riedel-performance-tasting-invite-houston-oct-2019

WHAT: RIEDEL PERFORMANCE COMPARATIVE TASTING EVENT

WHERE: The Houstonian Hotel, 111 N Post Oak LaneHouston, TX 77024

WHEN: OCTOBER 14TH STARTING PROMPTLY AT 2PM TIL 4PM

Maximilian Riedel will lead you through a journey to discover RIEDEL PERFORMANCE, the result of three generations of research, development and experience in creating functional, grape varietal specific glassware.

riedel-performance-tasting-invite-houston-oct-2019 jpeg

Let me know if you have any questions. See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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THE TWELVE UNDER $12 FOR SEPTEMBER 2019

CA’MOMI Heartcraft Sparkling White
Sparkling wine crafted from the heart, this bubbly pops
on the palate with tart green apple and citrus that are
persistent with hints of melon, pear and white flowers.
Pair with any celebration!

 
FOG BANK Cabernet
A California with ripe flavors of plum and cassis that are
enveloped by hints of caramel and vanilla spice with a
medium body. Pair with herb crusted lamb shanks.

 
MICHEL SCHLUMBERGER Pinot Noir
Supple and firm, this every-day Pinot Noir offers vibrant
raspberries and cherries with hints of cola and spice on
the finish. Pair with grilled Salmon or Teriyaki stir fry.

 
CRUZ DE PIEDRA Garnacha
This powerfully concentrated Garnacha is lively and
bright showing flavors of red and black fruit with whiffs
of black pepper and spice. Pair with bacon wrapped
chicken skewers.

 
CHATEAU DE LAVAGNAC Rouge
The wine is Merlot dominant and offers stunning value
in Bordeaux. Flavors of plum and cherries lead into
excellent structure and whiffs of vanilla on the finish.
Pair this with sausage and brisket.

 
TROCARD LE BLANC Sauvignon Blanc
This blend shows flavors of lemon lime citrus flows that
lead into clean, fresh acids and a touch of tropical fruit
to round out the finish. Pair with your porch and sunset!

 
CHATEAU LA FLEUR DE HAUTE-SERRE
Malbec
Dark and lush, this wine offers black currant and
blackberry with tinges of leather and slate. Pair with a
roast beef au jus sandwich.

 
VERSANT Rosé
This 100% Grenache is dry and bursting with supple
red fruits. Red Cherries, raspberries, and red roses
flow into a light intensity. An ultimate thirst quencher,
pair with watermelon and light bites.

 
LIBERATION DE PARIS Sauvignon Blanc
This new wine is perfect for the dog days of summer.
Cool, crisp flavors of citrus, pear and grapefruit flow
into zingy acidity. Its lip-smacking-good with lemon
pepper mahi-mahi.

 
SOLO AMORE Lambrusco
A perfect end of summer red, this lightly spritzy wine
offers fresh red cherry and strawberry with a delicious
fizz to cleanse your palate. Chill it down and serve as a
delightful aperitif.

 
TIZIANO Pinot Grigio
Pinot Grigio weather is here! This refreshing white
offers lively acidity and tropical fruits with a perfectly
crisp, clean finish. Pair with warm weather and an
ice-cold glass.

 
EL PORTILLO Chardonnay
This 100% Chardonnay is unoaked, crisp and flavorful.
It offers green apple, pear and apricot with hints of wet
stone. Pair with a seafood Caesar salad.

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

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I apologize for not posting a ‘Thirteen’ picks last month, but I was exceedingly busy and truthfully just plain ran out of time. I visited Napa Valley for the 1st time in a decade last month and was quite impressed with the diversity of wines that offered sense of place and quality.  The region is working to become 100% Sustainably farmed by 2020 and farmers are more cognizant of the land than ever before.  Check out pictures of the trip on Facebook (James Barlow Wine) or Instagram (Barlowwine).  Enjoy!

Le Pich Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $49.99

This rare label comes from Purlieu winery.  Julien Fayard (former Winemaker of Atelier Melka) and Vineyard Manager Steve Matthiasson (Aurajo, Spottswoode among others) are the driving force behind this wine.  ‘Le Pich’ is named after a Wappa Indian term meaning ‘Golden Eagle’.  The wine is crafted to always achieve harmonious balance with power and freshness.  The wine offers robust flavors of black plum and cherries with a background of fresh aromatic flowers on the nose. Notes of blackberry and kirsch linger on the mid palate with medium plus intensity.  The finish is lengthy and worthy with leather, cigar box, and hints of minerality.  This wine really sings!  James Score: 94 Points

Tamboerskloof Syrah 2015

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Cash Price $29.99

Tamboerskloof may be an outside the box pick for some, but for me it is a bulls eye for me as it is such a versatile wine with or without food.  Kleinood winery consistently produces some of my favorite wines coming out of South Africa.  In fact, this Syrah is one of my favorite expressions of the varietal period.  I find Syrah to be amazingly versatile to pair with many foods and a dynamite pairing with herbs.  This wine offers flavors of red and black currant with medium plus tannins and medium acids that sink into touches of plum and rhubarb.  The tertiary flavors are what really drive this wine.  Notes of roasted, cured meat and garrigue flow into a medley of spices with black pepper being most prevalent.  The finish shows the 20 months of oak aging with smidgeons of roasted nuts, cinnamon, and vanilla bean that sit on the palate for a long, lingering mouth feel.  James Score: 93 Points

Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Marlborough, New Zealand

Cash Price $19.94

Seresin wines are unique for New Zealand in that they are completely organic and biodynamic.  This wine has a touch of Semillon (7%) to soften the often zingy flavor profile of Sauvignon Blanc and was fermented with natural yeast.  I have shied away from New Zealand in the past several years in lieu of Bordeaux Blanc, but this wine should be highlighted as one of best being produced in all of New Zealand.  Deliciously flavorful, this wine exuberantly offers gooseberry, citrus and cactus with medium plus acidity.  The wine was 15% fermented in used French oak which gives the mid palate some weight and complexity as the fruit begin to turn more tropical with notes of mango, papaya and yellow stone fruits.  The finish is clean and lip smacking with licks of freshly cut grass.  James Score: 91 Points

Cougar Crest ‘Dedication Ten’ Red Blend 2012

Walla Walla, Washington

Cash Price $19.94

Washington State is quickly becoming near and dear to my heart. I recently taught a class that stunned the consumers on the quality coming out of this state  This wine is the introductory blend of Cougar Crest Winery.  Dedication is a blend of 55% Syrah, 20% Cabernet Franc, 17% Merlot, and 8% Petit Verdot.  I am increasing happy with most of the wines coming out of Washington, but am REALLY excited about the Syrah and Cabernet Franc from Walla Walla.  Dedication offers flavors of silky black cherries and blackberries that encompass velvety tannins and soft acids.  The mid palate shows a harmonious display of plum, currant, and creamy texture.  The wine does have a ‘sense of place’ on the palate that makes it distinctly different from California wines. The wine is peaking and drinking perfectly NOW, so go get yours!   James Score: 91Points

Chateau D’Ollieres Dry Rose 2017

Provence, France

Cash Price $19.94

Coming from the heart of Provence, this wine is a blend of 50% Grenache/40% Cinsault/10% Syrah.  The beautiful salmon color shows that D’Ollieres will be a wonderfully light and Dry Rose that will pair well with food or be a good stand alone companion.  Freshly picked red roses and wild flowers lift the delightful aromatics.  Red cherries and crushed citrus fruits sinew deftly into the palate with zesty acidity.  The finish is clean, offering touches of raspberry and red apples.  James Score: 89+ Points

Cross Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Lake County, California

Cash Price $14.39

Located in the Red Hills AVA of Lake County, Clay Shannon is producing extremely high quality wines at an unbelievably affordable price.  His vineyards are located some 1,400 feet above sea level and are naturally sustainable due to the elevation being well above the fog line.  The wine is full bodied and textured with flavors of black cherry and currant seeping through its core. The mid palate offers blackberry and wild berry with hints of sage and tobacco wafting throughout integrated tannins and acids. The finish is plush and long with tinges of smoke and lavender.  James Score: 90 Points

Block 826 Pinot Noir 2017

Chalone, California

Cash Price $22.99

Chalone AVA is in the cooler stretches of Monterey that make it perfect for delicious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  This offering shows layers of complexity and refinement. Flavors of raspberry and red cherries sing in the palate with soft, yet firm acidity.  Notes of cola and rhubarb play in the mid palate with hints of baking spices and cream.  The finish is succulent and appealing with fruit cobbler and sweet plum jam.  Yum!  James Score: 90 Points

Tobias ‘Lexi’s Estate’ Sauvignon Blanc 2017

Mendocino, California

Cash Price $18.99

The daughter of owner’s Toby and Dawn Forman, Lexi, is now the driving force behind this Potter’s Valley, Mendocino Sauvignon Blanc. Tobias Estate has become one of the darling’s in our portfolio, consistently offering very high quality at a premium price. This Sauvignon blanc exudes bright flavors of citrus green apple, lemon and grapefruit with zingy acidity.  The wine is un-oaked and shows hints of melon and passion fruit on the finish with just a whiff of white peach. Great Hot Weather White!  James Score: 91 Points

Dante Robino Reserva Malbec 2017

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $17.99

Robino is 100% Malbec aged for 12 months in new and used French oak.  Bodega Dante Robino has become a gem in our portfolio from South America.  The wines are over achievers at a moderate price point.  This wine offers thick and robust flavors of plum and black cherry with medium tannins and acids.  The mid palate shows blackberry and currant with a silky mouth feel that starts to offer creamy vanilla.  The finish is delicious with notes of toasted graham crackers, exotic spice and cedar. Pair this with your meats on the grill this weekend!  James Score: 90 Points

Francois Labet Brut Sparkling N/V

Burgundy, France

Cash Price $17.79

Francois Labet, owner of Ch. de la Tour, has been producing one of my favorite Cremants for several years now.  Cremant is a term used for sparkling wine produced outside of Champagne like, in this case, Burgundy.  This 100% Pinot Noir is fresh and delightfully bubbly.  Flavors of green apples, plum and raspberry sing into the palate with nice, tight bubbles.  The wine has medium intensity with a weight in the palate leading to hints of brioche and yeasty complexity. Daily Bubbly Extraordinaire!  James Score: 89 Points

Domaine de Cabasse Red Blend 2017

Rhone Villages, France

Cash Price $14.99

My favorite daily reds inevitably come from the Rhone Valley.  The wine is Grenache based and a true representation of the high quality coming from this region.  The Cabasse name has Italian roots that goes back to the time when the Pope resided in Avignon in the 14th century.  Avignon is the center for the famed wines of Chateauneuf du Pape.  Flavors of ripe boysenberry and black currant are rounded out with medium acids and tannins that are silky throughout the core.  Notes of fig and touches of bacon fat sink into rich vanilla beans and garrigue.   The finish offers hints of sage, thyme, and peppercorn which lays on the palate for quite awhile.  Cabasse is a perfect BBQ wine!  James score: 89 Points

Vino Lauria ‘Zio Paolo’ Nero D’Avola 2015

Sicily, Italy

Cash Price $16.99

Sicily is quickly becoming the darling of Sommeliers around the world with interesting indigenous varieties planted on rocky, volcanic soil. This vineyard (Zio Paolo) is organically farmed to 100% Nero D’Avola.  The grape is fresh and fruity with an easy approachable with nice acidity that is perfect for a warm weather red wine.  Fleshy red fruits of strawberry and cherry flow juicily in the palate with whiffs of rose petals and sage.  Hints of smokey minerality play into the finish with zesty acids and very light tannins.  Fresh and Vibrant!  James Score: 88 Points

Albert Bichot Chardonnay 2017

Macon Villages, Burgundy

Cash Price $14.99

Some of the best VALUE Chardonnay in the world are produced in the southern stretches of Burgundy in a region called the Maconnais. Albert Bichot is a negociant that consistently shines in quality and value. This wine has beautiful aromatics with floral notes of acacia and honeysuckle.  The palate offers fresh green apples and melon with hints of wet rock minerality and lively acidity making this a wonderful food wine. The finish is clean and refreshing unencumbered by oak. James Score: 88 Points

Thank You,

James C. Barlow CWE, CSS

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