Tasting Notes, Jan 4, 2020; New Wines, New Year

Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco 2018


Regular Price $27.99 

Sale price $21.99

This is a field blend of Sicilian white varietals: Carricante, Catarratto, Grecanico, Inzolia and Minnella,  with Carricante dominating the blend with roughly 65%. Its lively and bright and fresh, yet possesses more depth of flavor and texture and character than one expects. It’s not quite lush, but rich nonetheless and will pair well with pork or fowl as well as any fish or seafood.

Domaine de Paul Blanck Pinot Gris 2018


Regular Price $21.99 

Sale price $16.99

The Austrian ancestor of this family-run winery acquired his first vines in Alsace in 1610, and the winery has been among the leaders in Alsace (and Schlossberg) since the early 1900’s. Today, run by cousins, ​​Frédéric and Philippe, the domaine continues to excel. This is Alsatian Pinot Gris; rich and exotic, fully flavored with peach and apple and lemon rind, finished by persistent acidity.

Cloudline Pinot Noir  2018

Willamette Valley

Regular Price $22.99

Sale price $17.99

Bright and fresh, this is an easy to like and wonderfully affordable Willamette Pinot Noir, that will delight all, except for those that think Pinot Noir should taste like California Cab. Tart cherry with hints of earth, mushroom and spruce, this wine tastes exactly as it should, based upon the grape and the vineyards. Its deftly made by Veronique Drouhin-Boss.

Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon 2017

Loire Valley

Regular Price $28.99 

Sale price $22.99 

It seems that some people (new to wine perhaps?) are all about so-called ‘natural’ wines. In their lack of experience, they believe that there exists a ‘new’ trend, which incorporates sustainable farming, natural fermentation, zero additives and a minimalistic approach to winemaking. Or (in other words) how wine has been made for centuries and how Bernard Baudry has been making his wines since his first vintage in 1975. Coining an ambiguous term to describe  centuries old practices doesn’t make one a trendsetter. Or a purist. Just a neophyte. Anyway, this wine is just a lovely example of Cabernet Franc from Chinon, where the grape has been grown since the 14th century. Bright and balanced with berry, herbs and olive flavors, it has structure and elegance and complexity. 

Heinrich Zweigelt 2016


Regular Price $23.99

Sale price $18.99

Zweigelt is a red wine grape variety developed in 1922, at the Federal Institute for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterneuburg, Austria, by Fritz Zweigelt. It’s a crossing of St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch (two other grapes you’ve perhaps never heard of). It’s also now the largest planted red grape in Austria. This wine is wonderfully fresh with bright cherry and hints of baking spice. Versatile and friendly, it’s also made from organic grapes without any mucking about. Does that make it ‘natural’? Or just ‘normal’?

La Rioja Alta ‘Vina Arana’  Reserva 2011


Regular Price $36.99 

Sale price $29.99

Ok, then, for a change of pace, we bring you this Rioja Reserva, which spent 2 ½  years in new Oak and an additional 4 in bottle before release. Its full and rich with deep dark cherry and lots of flavor from the wood; vanilla, caramel, toffee and cinnamon. Persistent acidity and delineated tannins, it will likely age well and some of the wood flavors will soften and fall away. So maybe you shouldn’t age it…?