Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the summer.  I personally love summer reds with a little chill such as Beaujolais or Barbera and I especially love Dry Rosé this time of the year!  I have put together a medley of awesome reds, whites, and pink that will keep your thirst quenched this summer. Enjoy!

Lavinea ‘Temperance Hill’ Pinot Noir 2015

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $44.99

This winery has shown the ability to quickly become a rising star in the world of Willamette Valley wines.  This vineyard is located in the Eola-Amity AVA of Willamette Valley. Isabelle Meunier is crafting some of the best wines in all of Oregon in Lavinea.  Bursting flavors of black cherry and baked blueberries are lifted into aromatic herbs and Asian spices. Cherry compote and candied flowers fill the mid palate with hints of cola and pomegranate.  The finish shows suave finesse, yet delightful structure with whiffs of spicecake, blueberry and lavender. The backbone of minerality really brings this wine to another level. Gorgeous! Barlow Score: 95 Points

Louis de Sacy Demi-Sec N/V

Champagne, France

Cash Price $32.99

Alain Sacy is a 12th generation grape grower and 4th generation wine maker. In other words….It’s in his blood. He grew up in the vineyards forgoing school to focus his attention on his true love, grapes. His son and daughter have decided to become the 13th generation and the legacy of this boutique Champagne house continues. Alain is a minimalist in producing his sparkling wine, but he understands that the American palate tends to have a touch of a sweet tooth so he has produced this wine specifically for Spec’s to carry.  Demi-Sec Champagne can have from 32-50 grams of residual sugar (Coca-Cola has 40+ grams per can) which adds sweetness without it being dessert sweet.  Alain stayed on the drier side of the demi-sec category, so this wine has just a hint of perceptible sweetness.  The wine is richly aromatic with wild flowers and honeycombs with tight, clean bubbles. Hints of wild berry and citrus play on the palate with a whiff of mousse on the finish.  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Brooks Pinot Noir 2017

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $29.99

I have been on quite the Willamette Valley kick lately, which brings this wine back into focus as one of my favorite quality for price. The winery is fully sustainable with most being organic or biodynamic.  The wines offers purity and finesse that make this winery one of the top producers in the United States. They are also one of the first wineries in the United States to partner with 1% for the Earth.  One Percent of all their sales goes straight back into making our Earth a better place.  This smashingly vibrant Pinot offers bright flavors of strawberry and pomegranate on the nose with a rich cherry texture and pie crust filling the mid palate.  The finish is amazingly complex with notes of dried rose petals, hints of forest floor and crunchy red fruit that lingers on the palate for a delightfully long time. Enjoy! Barlow Score: 92+

Cooper Mountain Chardonnay 2018

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $24.99

Cooper Mountain winery is purely biodynamic with a focus of farming in way that future generations will enjoy the land. The wine has pale straw color and medium intensity. The wine is super clean with an almost Chablis-eque profile.  Flavors of lemon citrus and green  combine with the ample acidity that makes for a perfect summer Chardonnay.  Hints of wet rocks and minerality play into the finish.  Oak is not really a factor in this wine as it was aged in neutral oak and stainless steel.  Whiffs of orange tickle the finish of this expressively clean wine. Barlow Score: 89

Chehalem Dry Rose of Pinot Noir 2019

Willamette Valley, Oregon

Cash Price $21.84

I absolutely love Rosé produced from Pinot Noir.  This one hails from high up in the Chehalem Mountain AVA exclusively from Corral Creek Vineyard. The color is pale Salmon with a pretty pink glimmer that pops in the glass.  The wine is light and fragrant with medium intensity offering flavors of tart red cherry and grapefruit that zings into hints of white peach and lemon zest.  This wine is beautifully linear with precise focus. Yum! Barlow Score: 90

Domaine Seguinot-Bordet Chardonnay 2018

Chablis, France

Cash Price $22.99

The 2018 vintage was one to behold in Chablis. It yielded extremely high volume and quality.  In fact, many Chablis producers are hailing it as the best vintage EVER!  This wine offers aromas of fresh meadow flowers of dandelion and gardenias. The palate shows flavors of Granny Smith apples and citrus lemon/lime with medium plus acidity and no perceptible notes of oak.  Fresh and zingy, the mid palate becomes a touch tropical with hints of orange blossom and white peach.  The finish is clean, pure and refreshing.  Barlow Score: 90 Points

Nuiton Beaunoy Pinot Noir 2014

Beaune, France

Cash Price $25.99

Nuiton-Beaunoy is, above all, the history of the pioneer winegrowers of the Hautes-Cotes de Nuits and Hautes-Cotes de Beaune. They worked unceasingly and side by side to develop the art of vine cultivation and wine production in the valleys that sustained human activity and that connect with the slopes of the Cote d’Or.  They lovingly craft wines to reveal the expression of the extraordinary patchwork of vineyard parcels found in the Cote d’Or.  This classic expression of Burgundy Pinot Noir offers supple flavors of red cherries and red berries that weave throughout medium plus acids and medium tannins.  The mid palate shows touches of cream and red currant that are well rounded.  The finish is pure and clean with hints of minerality and just a whiff of toasted oak and vanilla. Barlow Score: 91 Points

Monasterio De Las Vinas Old Vine Garnacha 2016

Carinena, Spain

Cash Price $19.94

This unique collaboration by oenologist Marcelo Morales and famed California winemaker Joey Tensley has produced some deliciously pleasing wines from 40+ year old vines. Garnacha (Grenache) is a nice summer time red that doesn’t mind a little chill. The grape offers fleshy, ripe fruit flavors that burst in palate. Rich, jammy flavors of strawberry and red plum that sink into silky texture with a candied cherry mid palate. The finish is oaky and warm with plenty of plush red fruit to surround it. Barlow Score: 90 Points

Ca’Momi Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

Napa Valley, California

Cash Price $19.89

Ca’Momi is one Spec’s gem Cabernet’s for under $20.  This American winery with Italian roots produces excellent value wines across the board.  This 100% Napa Valley Cabernet is wonderfully complex with flavors of ripe cassis and black cherry.  The wine has been aged for 18 months in oak and it shows on the palate.  Notes of spice integrate through the balanced tannins and acids.  The finish offers plush hints of currant, cream and toasted oak.  Chocolate mocha sits on the palate for a good long time.  This is a great value Cabernet Sauvignon.  Barlow Score: 89 Points

Blue Rock ‘Baby Blue’ Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Sonoma Coast, California

Cash Price $20.89

Blue Rock produces luxury wines on their 100 acres nestled in the hillsides of Alexander Valley.  Baby Blue Sauvignon Blanc has a smidge of Semillon and Viognier to add aromatic ‘pop’ and texture to the body of the wine. I was pleasantly pleased at the complexity in the glass.  This wine layers itself beautifully.  Flavors of crisp lemon citrus leap into the palate with medium acidity that is layered into a soft, round viscosity that coats the palate. Notes of apricot and mango seep into the mid palate with touches of Meyer lemon and hay.  The finish is deliciously refreshing with that pop of Viognier which adds hints of wild flowers and bees wax.  Pour early and often this summer! Barlow Score: 91 Points

Chateau Falfas Red Blend 2016

Cotes de Bourg (Bordeaux), France

Cash Price $23.99

The Castle Falfas is a 20 hectare vineyard located in the Cotes de Bourg on the right bank of the Gironde.  This Chateau is one of the pioneers of biodynamic practices in Bordeaux.  The vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 1989.  The wine is Merlot dominant with Cabernet Sauvignon added to give some backbone. Soft and supple, this wine exudes fleshy plum and wild berries on the palate with medium intensity. The wine is aged for 11 months in oak, but that is barely perceptible as the wine is all about offering textured and plush fruit from start to finish. Barlow Score: 89 Points

Dominique Piron ‘la Chanaise’ Gamay 2017

Morgon (Beaujolais), France

Cash Price $20.49

Cru Beaujolais is offering some of the best summer Red wine in the world. Gamay is light and refreshing with excellent acidity sans all the tannins. This producer is new to our portfolio and I was pleasantly pleased when tasting it. Flavors of dark berries and candied violets lay on a bed of delicious floral tones and acidity. Put a slight chill on this ripe and fleshy summer red. Enjoy! Barlow Score: 90 Points

Moccagatto Barbera D’Alba 2016

Piedmont, Italy

Cash Price $19.94

Barbera season is now as the temperature begins to rise and the Houston heat becomes the norm. Barbera is a perfect summer red with fresh fruit, good acidity and a pleasant sensibility.  Put a chill on this red and it pairs beautifully with many dishes.  Moccagatto is a newer to our portfolio and I was quite impressed with their 100% Barbera that was aged for 6 months in new barrique.  Deliciously fresh flavors of strawberry and bright red cherries zing into medium intensity.  The mid palate is fleshy and offers notes of wild flowers and rose petals with just a hint of spiced vanilla and white pepper.  Structured and lively.  James Score: 89 Points

Thank you,

James C. Barlow, CWE, CSS

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