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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The Twelve under $12 for August 2019

THE NED Pinot Gris
This deliciously expressive Pinot Gris hails from New
Zealand and offers flavors of pear, apple and mango
with soft acidity. Pair with oven roasted chicken and
grilled fruits.
FOG BANK Chardonnay
An easy-drinking wine for Chardonnay lovers! Flavors
of green apple and citrus combine into a bright profile
with hints of toasted oak and a rich finish.
Pair with shellfish!
MICHEL-SCHLUMBERGER Maison Rouge

This red blend offers tantalizing flavors of cherry and
raspberry, with tinges of spice and pepper on the finish.
Pair with grilled or smoked meat on these
hot summer days.
PIGMENTUM Malbec

This French Malbec offers flavors of blackberry and
currant with soft tannins and a long, lingering finish.
Pair with steak fajita tacos and plenty of salsa.
LABET ‘ILE DE BEAUTE’ Pinot Noir
Labet is for Lovers. Flavors of red cherries and wild
berries flow through hints of cream and vanilla with a
plush finish. Pair this summer sipper with friends
by the pool.
DR. PAULY ‘NOBLE HOUSE’ Riesling
Riesling is a versatile grape with the ability to offer wide
range of flavors. This lightly sweet wine is a veritable
fruit cocktail of white peach, apples and mango with a
beautifully floral finish.
EL CONDE DE VELAZQUEZ ‘Valle Alto Red’
This friendly Cab/Syrah blend exudes dark cherry and
currant with whiffs of spice and vanilla. It’s richly
textured from start to finish! Pair with
cheeseburgers and fries.
LA GONDOLA Pinot Grigio
This porch-pounding Pinot Grigio offers light flavors of
lemon citrus and hints of white fruit. Pair with a cooler
and a case of this wine under a beach umbrella.
PERELADA Rosé Pescador
A natural spritz gives this wine a refreshing quality with
flavors of red cherries and red berries flowing into a
crisp, clean finish. Pair with Ahi tuna or a
slice of watermelon.
ST. MARC Cabernet
Cabernet from southern France offers a rich and robust
profile. St. Marc shows flavors of cassis and currant
that mold into a full-bodied wine. Pair with Filet
Mignon and mushrooms!
FERNLANDS Sauvignon Blanc
Nothing satisfies like a zesty, crisp Sauvignon Blanc.
Flavors of grapefruit, citrus and melon zing through
clean acidity. Pour alongside lemon pepper chicken.
ANSELME ‘La Fiole’ Rosé
This dry Rosé offers flavors of red wine without the
tannins. Clean and fun, it shows notes of red cherry
and cranberry with hints of white pepper. Pair with a
Margherita pizza.

Thank you,

James C. Barlow

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WASHINGTON STATE WINE CLASS STILL HAS SEVERAL SEATS AVAILABLE!

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I still have a limited amount of seats available for this class! Join me to enjoy, taste, and learn about some of the best wines coming out of Washington State!

RSVP to Jamesbarlow25@hotmail.com

Please Join me for this wonderful experience of wine and wisdom!

I am pleased to offer my Third class of the year.  I focused on the wines of Sonoma County last tasting.  For this class, I’d like to walk you through a state that many experts are calling the ‘Next Big Craze’ in American wine.  Washington State offers excellent diversity in wines that are quickly becoming a ‘Must Try’ in the wine circles of the world.  Washington may not have the notoriety of California, but do not miss this opportunity to fall in love with some of the more complex wines coming out of the United States.  The wines are quietly some of the best produced in the United States.

In this class I will dive into the AVA’s within Washington State, offering wines from different areas and grapes showing what makes Washington State such an ‘seek out’ area in the United States.  We will walk through the American Viticultural Areas within Washington State 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 Washington State 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: The Wild Wines of Washington State hosted by James Barlow

When: Tuesday, August 13th from 6:30-8:00pm…ish!

Where: Envy Wine Room: 126 Midway Street, Spring, TX 77373 (In Old Town Spring)

Cost: $45 Per Person

Wines to be poured:

Starter: Waterbrook Sangiovese Rose 2017 (Columbia Valley)

  1. Delille Blanc  (Columbia Valley)
  2. Revelry Grenache/Syrah (Walla Walla)
  3. K Vintners Milbrandt Syrah (Wahluke Slope)
  4. B. Leighton ‘Gratitude Syrah (Yakima Valley)
  5. Hedges Estate Red (Red Mountain)
  6. Andrew Will Sorella Champoux Cabernet Blend (HHH)
  7. Long Shadows Feather Cabernet (Columbia Valley)
  8. Ste. Michelle ‘Eroica’ Riesling (Columbia Valley)

See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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THE WILD WINES OF WASHINGTON STATE Hosted by James Barlow

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please Join me for this wonderful experience of wine and wisdom!

I am pleased to offer my Third class of the year.  I focused on the wines of Sonoma County last tasting.  For this class, I’d like to walk you through a state that many experts are calling the ‘Next Big Craze’ in American wine.  Washington State offers excellent diversity in wines that are quickly becoming a ‘Must Try’ in the wine circles of the world.  Washington may not have the notoriety of California, but do not miss this opportunity to fall in love with some of the more complex wines coming out of the United States.  The wines are quietly some of the best produced in the United States.

In this class I will dive into the AVA’s within Washington State, offering wines from different areas and grapes showing what makes Washington State such an ‘seek out’ area in the United States.  We will walk through the American Viticultural Areas within Washington State 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 Washington State 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: The Wild Wines of Washington State hosted by James Barlow

When: Tuesday, August 13th from 6:30-8:00pm…ish!

Where: Envy Wine Room: 126 Midway Street, Spring, TX 77373 (In Old Town Spring)

Cost: $45 Per Person

Wines to be poured:

Starter: Waterbrook Sangiovese Rose 2017 (Columbia Valley)

  1. Delille Blanc  (Columbia Valley)
  2. Revelry Grenache/Syrah (Walla Walla)
  3. K Vintners Milbrandt Syrah (Wahluke Slope)
  4. B. Leighton ‘Gratitude Syrah (Yakima Valley)
  5. Hedges Estate Red (Red Mountain)
  6. Andrew Will Sorella Champoux Cabernet Blend (HHH)
  7. Long Shadows Feather Cabernet (Columbia Valley)
  8. Ste. Michelle ‘Eroica’ Riesling (Columbia Valley)

See you there!

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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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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