JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF OCTOBER 2014

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Autumn has entered gracefully and given us much needed cooler weather.  As we transition from the scorching heat of summer into the milder climate, our wine selections begin to gradually gravitate towards heavier reds as the lighter Rose’s typically fade till next summer.  This month I have chosen some Boo-rific wines for you all to sample and enjoy with an emphasis on the Chateau Leoville Poyferre from Bordeaux. I am pleased to offer a 2nd wine from them that is stunning and also a selection from their properties in Argentina.  Happy Halloween!

Chateau Leoville Poyferre Pavillion Red Blend 2010

St. Julien, France

Cash Price $45.89

Leoville Poyferre is located in the commune of St. Julien in Bordeaux.  They are a 2nd Growth in the Grand Cru Classe system.  I always try to stock up on a good wineries 2nd wine because they are usually excellent wines at half the price of their premier wine.  I especially buy when it is an exceptional vintage, as 2010 was one the best that Bordeaux has ever seen.  The wine is a Cabernet blend with stunning structure.  Pure and refined flavors of bright red cherries and currant flow seamlessly into the palate and are surrounded by notes of cedar, toast, and vanilla.  The mid palate is structured with tannins that finesse throughout the mouth feel.  The finish is long, plush and rich.  The premier wine of Poyferre received 98 points across the board from critics and their 2nd wine isn’t too far behind in quality!  This wine is drinking well now, but may be cellared for another 5+ years.  This is a must Try wine!

Calcareous Syrah 2009

Paso Robles, California

Cash Price $31.99

Paso Robles was recently awarded 11 new AVA’s to help differentiate the soil structure and geographical features through this very large American Viticultural Area.  Calcareous is one of my favorite producers in all of Paso Robles and their Syrah can be considered some of the best expressions of the varietal made in the United States.  Paso has become a hot bed for Rhone varietals and Syrah is leading that charge.  Sweet, jammy fruits of raspberry and blackberry sing into the palate with silky tannins and a rich, hedonistic core.  Notes of roasted fig and tar play through the mid palate and slowly molds into creamy milk chocolate.  The finish is vibrant with hints of scorched earth, black pepper and toasted oak.  Wine Spectator gave this wine 92 points, I am inclined to give it 93 points.  Spectacular Syrah!

Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin Red Blend 2007

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $28.49 BUT ONLY

$23.49 FOR A LIMITED TIME WITH YOUR SPEC’S KEY $5.00 SAVINGS

The Cuvelier family purchased Chateau Leoville Poyferre in 1920.  In 1998, they decided to venture into Argentina with the help of world renowned oenologist Michel Rolland.  The ensuing wines are of the utmost quality and purity.   This wine is primarily Malbec with Cabernet and Merlot making up the rest of the blend.  The 2007 vintage gave plenty of sunshine for the grapes to ripen at the 1000 meter elevation that the vineyard lies.  The Grand Vin is a small production wine that is impressive from the start.  Dark, neon purple in color, this wine offers flavors of black cherry and jammy plum that is encompassed by integrated tannins and spices.  Full bodied and opulent, the mid palate gives dark bramble fruit with notes of leather and tobacco.  The finish is silky with hints of mocha and vanilla cedar.  Robert Parker scored this wine 92 points and I think he was right on target.  Drinking Gorgeously Right Now!

Domaine Herve Seguin Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Pouilly Fume, France

Cash Price $23.99

The villages of Pouilly Fume quietly produce some of the most striking 100% Sauvignon Blanc on Earth.  The Loire Valley is often overlooked with the popularity of New Zealand, but the best expressions of the varietal are firmly entrenched in France and my favorite come from this area that was once home of many kings and monarchs.  Seguin offers intense minerality from the start with notes of wet limestone and gun flint.  Citrus flavors of grapefruit and lemon lime zing through the palate with medium plus acidity.  There are some tropical notes of pineapple and candied green apples play into the light notes of pyrazine and minerals.  The finish is clean and pure with hints of nectarine and orange blossoms.  Wine & Spirits scored this wine 93 points and I think it deserves every bit of that high rating!

Bench Cabernet 2012

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $23.74

As the cooler weather arrives, I inevitably gravitate towards big, chewy Cabernet Sauvignon.  This wine is produced by The Brack Mountain Wine Company based along the western bench of the Mayacamas Mountain range.  Alexander Valley is garnering high praise throughout the wine industry for Cabernet.  Bench offers flavors of robust black cherries and cassis are surrounded by hints of freshly picked tobacco and cedar.  Hints of pencil shavings are found on the outer palate with medium tannins and easy acids.  The black fruit sweetens slightly on the finish, but is reigned back in with the integrated oak and vanilla that sinks into the mouth feel beautifully.  Strikingly Good Cabernet!

Expression 38 Russian Camp Chardonnay 2012

Russian River Valley, California

Cash Price $19.94

Russian Camp is the newest addition to the Expression line produced by Bill Hill, who also founded William Hill and Van Duzer wineries.  He is considered one of the best vineyard developers in the United States.  I tasted this wine yesterday and was impressed enough to review it and recommend to you all.  Tropical flavors of pineapple and guava sink through the palate with a rich, creamy core that is encompassed with hazelnuts and brioche.  This 100% Chardonnay is able to keep nice acidity throughout due to the cool fog that flows through the Russian River daily making it perfect for this varietal.  The finish is fresh and lush with hints of toasted oak and butter.  Rich and Flavorful!

Nativ Aglianico 2010

Campania, Italy

Cash Price $19.89

Aglianico is starting to gain traction in the American market and I couldn’t be happier.  This grape, known as the Barolo of the South, has often been overlooked in the Italian world of wine.  It is a wine with gripping tannins and an excellent medley of fruits and spices.  Nativ exudes flavors of black plum and roasted fig that race into brawny tannins.  The mid palate gives notes of brown sugar and cocoa with hints of leather and smoke.  The hearty finish is long with bits of oak and spice.  This wine will age beautifully, but can be paired now with a big juicy steak with all the fixings.  Great Food Wine!

Lucien Albrecht Brut Blanc de Blanc N/V

Alsace, France

Cash Price $19.94

I love the sparkling wines from this winery.  This cremant is driven by Pinot Blanc.  Alsace produces some of the best white wines in the world and give excellent value without the higher price points of Champagne.  I often find myself buying Alsatian sparkling (Cremant) wines over those of Champagne.  Light and Refreshing, this wine offers flavors of yellow apples and pear with tight, clean bubbles.  The mid palate gives way to a soft creaminess with hints of nuts and confection.  The finish is lip smacking with hints of lemon zest and key lime pie.  While not quite as complex as Champagne, this wine is delicious and packed full of fruit and flavor.  Awesome Bubbles!

Chateau Croix Mouton 2010

Bordeaux Superior, France

Cash Price $17.99

Jean Philippe Janoueix, former assistant to Michel Rolland, has become a rock star of Right Bank wines with his production of such gems as La Confession in St. Emilion and La Croix St. Georges in Pomerol.  His every day endeavor is the production of Croix Mouton which seems to get better and better every vintage.  This delicious Merlot Blend is spectacular for under $20.  The 2010 vintage is the best I have tried of this winery.  Flavors of blackberry and blueberry play through dense, refined tannins and eloquent acids.  Notes of tobacco and pencil shavings weave through a core of minerality and earth.  Voluptuous fruits encompass the entire  mouth feel with smidgeons of cedar plank and just a touch of licorice.  Stunning Value! Robert Parker scored this wine 90 points.

Trig Point ‘The Railyard’ Zinfandel 2012

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $17.99

Nick Goldschmidt is the master mind behind some of the best wines produced in Alexander Valley.  He is from New Zealand, but has a penchant for finding the best vineyards in Sonoma and making wines of outstanding value, typically without breaking bank.  Railyard Vineyard sits just north of Geyserville (Ridge Winery fame) and is planted on pre Phylloxera vines.  The 2012 vintage may go down as the finest of this  decade with an absolutely perfect growing season.  Decadent fruit flavors of bright bing cherry and bramble leap into palate with exotic spices playing throughout the core.  Black cherry and raspberry sink into the mid palate with notes of toasted nuts and vanilla.  The finish is silky with soft tannins and lightly sweet blackberry cobbler pie.  Only 500 cases produced!

O. Fournier Urban Tempranillo 2010

Ribera Del Duero, Spain

Cash Price $14.99

Tinta del Pais is the synonym used in Ribera Del Duero for Tempranillo.  Urban is 100% Tinta Del Pais and aged for 3 months in oak.  The wine is medium bodied with flavors of plum and black currant that sink into soft, easy tannins.  O. Fournier has estates all over the world and are intent on producing high quality value wines.  Light spices are prevalent on the outer mouth feel with medium acids.  Raspberry and cranberry encompass a fresh, vibrant finish with smidgeons of toasty nuts and cocoa beans.  Great Value Wine!

Firriato ‘Altavilla’ Grillo 2011

Sicily, Italy

Cash Price $12.99

Italy produces some excellent whites and Sicily, specifically, has several indigenous grapes that I find to be very interesting varietals.  One such grape is Grillo which grown on the western side of Sicily.  It is unquestionably the noblest white grape on the Island and yet it is fairly unknown throughout the wine community.  Firriato is one of the better producers on the Island.  Fresh, clean flavors of citrus and melon tickle throughout the palate.  Hints of prickly pear combine with cactus and green apples.  There is a distinct wet stone minerality throughout the core of the wine which adds complexity.  It is un oaked.  Fall in love with Grillo!

Pierre Archambault Cabernet Franc 2012

Chinon, France

Cash Price $12.99

I have a true infatuation with the Loire Valley, especially with the region of Chinon.  This area produces my favorite Cabernet Franc in the world.  Vibrant, fresh flavors of red cherries and raspberry zing into the palate.  Fresh herbs and hints of green bell peppers combine with pyrazines to give a light vegetal undertone.  Lively acids and low tannins combine to make a truly refreshing and delightfully fruit forward wine.  The finish is soft and plush with notes of wild red berries and cranberry.  Delicious!

Thank You,

James C. Barlow

Certified Wine Educator

Certified Sommelier

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2 Responses to JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF OCTOBER 2014

  1. randycz says:

    James:

    I will be by Saturday to pick these up.

    Randy

  2. Robert Kramek says:

    James I would like a case of the selection…one bottle of each…let me know when I can pick it up….regards, Bob Kramek.

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