JAMES BARLOW’S ‘THE THIRTEEN’ PICKS OF SEPTEMBER 2015

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

The holidays are quickly creeping up on us.  It is tough to believe that it is September already.  I am very pleased to announce that Spec’s Liquors and Fine Wines on Rayford Road WILL BE MOVING!  But fear not, we are not going very far.  In fact, we will taking over the recently vacated Academy building next door!  That’s right everyone, very soon you will have a veritable wonderland of wine and liquor to choose from.  50,500 feet is the official total and we shall be using every square inch.  We are planning to be open and ready for business before the New Year, but there are always a hiccup or two to deal with, so please bear with us.  This month’s list of drinking pleasures is a real treat.  Enjoy!

San Felice Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2010

Tuscany, Italy

Cash Price $39.89

The new category in Chianti Classico is really catching fire!   Wineries in this region have stepped up their quality level with this new category in place.  San Felice has been a favorite winery of mine for many years and this offering may be the best that I have tried.  This winery is the only one in the world to grow and cultivate the varietal Pugnitello.  They use it in this Sangiovese based Chianti Classico and it gives the wine an extra flavor profile that boosts it above others in the region.  Deliciously full bodied and seductive, this wine offers flavors of ripe black cherry and rose petals flow softly through medium plus acids and tannins.  Notes of terroir race through the mid palate with clay and red tomato that move deftly into tinges of leather and tobacco.  This wine is beautifully balanced and has the potential to age gracefully for years to come.  Robert Parker and the Wine Enthusiast both scored with wine 94 points!  Get this gem while you can!

Ivernel Brut Prestige N/V

Champagne, France

Cash Price $32.99

This offering is from the famed Gosset house which has the oldest pedigree in the area, with lineage dating back to 1584.  The Ivernel is their ‘value’ label that shows the spectacular Gosset style at a lower price point.  This bubbly sensation is a blend of the three varietals of Champagne with Pinot Noir slightly edging Chardonnay for domination.  Clean, tight bubbles bounce actively in the glass with a nose of white flower, biscuit dough and mousse. The palate is intense and complex with flavors citrus green apple, melon and touches of tropical peach and nectarine.  Notes of confection flow softly through medium plus acidity that is tamed with just a kiss of sugar, showing that this dosage is on the higher end of the brut spectrum, leaning toward extra dry.  This Champagne is amazing and drinks at a much higher price point.  Get these bubbles on your palate immediately!

Chateau Malescasse Red Blend 2004

Haut Medoc, France

Cash Price $23.99

I am consistently pleased with the ageabiltiy of this winery.  We offer back vintages of this winery on a regular basis and the wines always over deliver.  This offering is a Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc blend that is drinking beautifully right now.  The 2004 vintage is typically overlooked in the wine world because 2005 was such a spectacular year in Bordeaux.  Vintages like 2004 are exactly what I look for because they offer high quality at excellent prices.  Malescasse shows ripe, leaning toward stewed currant and black cherries with medium acids and medium plus tannins.  The body of this wine is aging quite well.  Notes of rose petals and framboise quaff easily through the mid palate and leads into the 14 month French oak regimen.  The finish is long and tantalizing with hints of cinnamon, cedar and graham crackers.   This is Bordeaux that will knock your socks off!

Bench Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Alexander Valley, California

Cash Price $23.74

The Bench wines are an offering from the Brack Mountain Wine Company.  This vineyard location is prime real estate on the southern end of Alexander Valley on the bench of the Mayacamas Mountain range.  Alexander Valley is making very high quality Bordeaux varietals that can rival those of their Napa Valley neighbors, but without the high price tag.  The rocky, volcanic soils make the area prime Cabernet Sauvignon territory.  The 2012 vintage was a thing of beauty in California with perfect weather during a long, trouble free ripening season. All of these things led to abundant harvests and magic in the bottle.  This wine is sourced form low yield benchland fruit that showed hedonistic quality in this vintage.  Robust flavors of black currant and blueberries flow seamlessly through silky tannins and medium acids.  Notes of blackberry and plum sink into the mid palate with seductive spices and oak tickling the taste buds.  The finish is chewy and ripe with touches of vanilla bean, toasted oak and tobacco leaf.  This is a serious Cabernet at a price point that will make you smile!

Dr. Pauly Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett Riesling 2014

Mosel, Germany

Cash Price $19.94

I am extremely excited to be able to sell this wine to you.  It is hauntingly delicious.  This winery is one of the finest in all of the Mosel Valley working with intentionally low yields and selective handpicking to guarantee extraordinary quality wines with unique character and terroir.  Loosely translated Bernkasteler Badstube means the Roman spa of Bernkastel.  Located on clay slated soil with loam and stone, this 100% Riesling offers plenty of minerality on the palate.  Flavors of citrus lemon lime zing through fleshy notes of apricot, pear and Fuji apples.  The wine is off dry with tinges of sweetness in all the right places.  The finish is truly wonderful with zesty acids that lift notes of petrol, nutmeg, wet rocks and touches of class room chalk.  This is a wine that will stand the tests of time, but is drinking gorgeously right now.  Fall in love with Riesling today!

Piattelli Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2012

Mendoza, Argentina

Cash Price $14.99

This Argentine winery is dedicated to quality and organic practices.  They avoid chemical fertilization and pesticides and strive for sustainability.  Located in the rocky soils of Tupungato in the lush Mendoza Valley, the Piattelli family immigrated here from Tuscany.  This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon is aged in French and American Oak for 12 months and exudes excellence from start to finish.  Thick, full flavors of red cherries and red plum sinew into medium plus tannins and medium acids.  The mid palate offers hints of spice with a touch of currant and bay leaf.  The finish is long and voluptuous with notes of milk chocolate, coffee, cedar and vanilla bean.  Piattelli Cabernet is built to please the palate through and through.  A Must Try Cabernet!

Commanderie de la Bargemone Rose 2014

Provence, France

Cash Price $13.99

Rose is a classic wine for hot weather.  Provence is right on the Mediterranean coast, which is a hotbed for Rose because of the sweltering hot summer heat.  It is amazingly versatile and pairs quite well with lighter foods. Provence produces the best Rose in the world. It is a region in southern France that has made its livelihood off of this eloquent blush for centuries. They produce a dry style of Rose without much or any residual sugar, so you get pure and clean fruits without the sweetness. This winery was founded by the Knights Templar in the 13th century.  Bargemone is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Cabernet that offers flavors of wild strawberries and vibrant red cherries.  Succulent acids race through the core of this wine with smidgeons of meadow flowers and red berries.  The finish is clean and with a lip smacking appeal that keeps the palate begging for more.  Dry Rose is the PERFECT compliment to any September affair!

Terracotta Pinot Grigio 2014

Delle Venezie, Italy

Cash Price $12.99

Terracotta has quickly become one of the best selling wines in our portfolio in a very short time.  The wine has excellent packaging and a smooth, easy drinking approachability.  Sourced from the paradise region for Pinot Grigio, Terracotta is named after the pitchers which were used to age the wines in ancient Italy.  This wine offers flavors of citrus lemon-lime with notes of peach, mango and ripe melon.  The wine is un oaked and ready to drink from the get go.  The finish has medium acids with notes of wild flowers touches of wet stone minerality that is softened by the touch of sweetness on the finish.  Terracotta is a wine that you buy by the case!

Baritone Red Blend 2013

Southeastern Australia

Cash Price $12.99

Baritone has been one of Spec’s most consistent red blends in our Australian category throughout the years.  It comes in a 1 liter container (The extra glass of wine is on us) and is a blend of Shiraz and Cabernet.  Bold flavors of currant and plum play through layered tannins and medium acids with notes of toffee and spice.  The finish offers vanilla and cedar with tinges of dark cocoa, licorice and clove.  Baritone is a user friendly Tuesday slurper that is sure to please whether at a party or on the back patio.  Awesome BBQ wine!

Le Vignerons de Mont Ventoux Viognier 2014

Vin De Pays, France

Cash Price $13.99

I am an ardent fan of Viognier and love to find it at rock bottom prices.  Grown on the gravelly soils of Mont Ventoux, this Viognier has tons to offer.  The wine is un-oaked and pairs well with fish or fowl.  VMV shows flavors of apricot, orange blossoms and papaya.  Medium acids are encompassed by a rich, round mouth feel.  The finish gives notes of peach cobbler and touches of cream.  This is a great wine for the dog days of summer!

Domaine Cabasse ‘Les Deux Anges’ Red Blend 2014

Cotes  du Rhone Villages (Sablet), France

Cash Price $11.59

Domaine Cabasse is a true representation of the high quality coming from the Rhone Valley.  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.  This Grenache and Syrah based red blend is extraordinary.  Flavors of red cherries and raspberry blossom in the mouth with hints of rich cream.  The wine has medium tannins and acids that never over power, but in fact enhance the flavor profile.  Notes of garrigue and spices play through the mid palate with hints of black pepper and sage.  The finish is soft and eloquent with smidgeons of wild red berries and strawberry cream.  Such a guilty pleasure at a nominal price!

 

The Ned Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Marlborough, New Zealand

Cash Price $11.99

Marisco Vineyards is the parent company of The Ned wines.  Located in the picturesque Waihopai Valley of Marlborough, Brent Marris produces wines of pinpoint precision and terroir laden flavor profiles.  The Sauvignon Blanc they produce is a classic representation of Marlborough, but with more terroir.  Flavors kiwi and lemon grass zing through medium plus acids.  Tropical notes pineapple and papaya integrate through fleshy hints of jalapeno cream.  The finish offers minerality of river pebbles and slate in a very clean, lip smacking adventure on your palate.

Gryphus Carmenere 2014

Maule Valley, Chile

Cash Price $9.99

Carmenere is becoming a darling for the wines of South America.  Chile continues to offer some of the best VALUE wines in the world.  Carmenere is a varietal of immense character that is the lost grape of France.  Maule Valley is located in the Central Valley of Chile where Carmenere has found a home as a single varietal with essence and character. Flavors of thick black cherry and plum race through medium tannins and acids.  Notes of black pepper and green pepper are prevalent through the mid palate and sinew easily into the red fruits.  The finish is smooth and approachable with a long tantalizing mouth feel.  You’ll be quite pleased when you rediscover Carmenere!

James C. Barlow

Certified Wine Educator

Certified Sommelier

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s