1st Bottle Red: Owen Roe ‘Abbot’s Table’, Red Blend, Columbia Valley 2019

For the wine snob: Abbot’s Table honors the most fundamental form of hospitality through the ages: the meal. The Abbot’s Table traditionally provides an opportunity for fellowship with guests over food and wine. This wine, with its unique varietal diversity, is rich in red fruit notes, with balanced flavors and acidity, exuding charm and texture. It pairs beautifully with many flavors and feasts. The grapes for this wine come from our estate vineyards as well as vineyards farmed by other dedicated families in beautiful eastern Washington State.

For the rest of us: 37% Sangiovese 35% Zinfandel 18% Blaufrankish 10% Malbec, The 2019 vintage has inviting aromatics including bright red fruit and subtle herbs followed by zingy notes on the palate of pomegranate and wild strawberry with a pleasing acidity. It is light on its feet and ready to enjoy now!

 

1st Bottle White: Ferrando ‘La Torrazza’, Erbaluce di Caluso DOCG 2020

For the wine snob: Ferrando is a wine estate owned by the Ferrando family, located in the northwest Italian region of Piedmont.  Starting first with vineyards in Carema, the estate has since expanded its portfolio to include the wines of Canavese and Erbaluce di Caluso.  The Erbaluce grape is an ancient white variety that originates, and can only be found, in the alpine foothills of this northwestern corner of Piedmont. This grape is capable of real magic in these Alpine foothills, and few wines show their place of origin as Ferrando’s flagship Erbaluce di Caluso “La Torrazza.”

For the rest of us: 100% Erbaluce, Bright yellow straw with a plethora of mountain herbs and alpine honey. Teeming with solar greenness and its bounty of orchard fruit for their intense clinging mineral character.

2nd Bottle Red:: Famille Laurent, ‘Saint-Pourcain’, Rouge, France 2018

For the wine snob:The Laurent family can trace their winemaking roots back to the 17th century.  Destined to be vignerons, husband Jean-Pierre, wife Corinne, and son Damien (12th generation), passionately craft wines that show the best of their 35 hectares of vines.  The Saint-Pourçain area is located on the slopes of an old volcanic mountain range in the Auvergne region of central France. The region is on the tributary rivers Allier and Sioule, just north from the town of Vichy, which run further north into the Loire River. Saint-Pourçain is close to the Burgundy/Beaujolais area and includes granite and limestone soils. Training in Beaune inspired Jean-Pierre to bring barrel aging and low yields back to Saint-Pourçain. Producing more serious wine, Famille Laurent gained the attention of neighbors and helped elevate the region, which finally received AOC status in 2009.

For the rest of us: Pinot Noir/ Gamay d’ Auvergne, The Famille Laurent Saint-Pourçain Rouge is smooth and polished with racy acidity. Expect silky red fruit like cherries and raspberries, minerality, and hints of earth. This light to medium-bodied wine is rich and refreshing. Try it with a slight chill.

2nd Bottle White: Taft Street, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 2020

For the wine snob: The term “garagistes” originated in Bordeaux in the 1980’s and referred to a group of innovative winemakers who produced exceptional wines in their garages rather than in grand chateaux. Like the renegade French Garagistes,  Taft Street began in a garage in 1979, stressing quality without pretense. Mike Tierney with his brother John and Mike Martini turned the Tierney family garage into a winery: barrels, stainless tanks, a basket press and hand corker. With a little quality control and an ever growing following who loved the wine, the house and garage on Taft Street gained a reputation of its own.  In the early 80’s, they moved the operation to a town of Forestville in Russian River.  Taft Street continues in the Garagistes traditions to this day, producing limited production, handcrafted wines from select Sonoma County vineyards.

For  the rest of us:100% Sauvignon Blanc, Taft Street Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc has aromas of pineapple, lemon, and gooseberry. On the palate, a fine mineral edge frames notes of citrus pith and pea blossom, while lively acidity provides a polished mouth feel on the finish.

1st Reserve Bottle Red: Chateau Haut-Ségottes,‘Saint Émilion’, Grand Cru AOC, Bordeaux Blend 2018

For the wine snob: The Chateau Haut Ségottes is owned and operated by Danielle Meunier and her assistant, Florent Caldier.  Meunier is the fourth generation of her family to oversee this nine hectare estate situated in the heart of the Saint Emilion appellation. The vineyards are tended with the utmost of care by Madame Meunier and her long-serving trio of master “gardeners”. Her obsession with, and dedication to her vineyards, enables Meunier’s Haut Ségottes to produce exceptional quality year-in and year-out despite the vagaries of the weather.

For the rest of us: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc make up this Bordeaux style red blend. Ripe, sumptuous and expressive, it captures the sexiness of the vintage. The significant presence of Cabernet Franc adds brightness, lift and nuance. Hints of sweet tobacco and rose petal linger.

 

 

1st Reserve Bottle White: COS ‘Zibibbo in Pithos’, Terre Siciliane IGP 2020

For the wine snob: The winery was founded in 1980 by three friends, Giambattista Cilia, Giusto Occhipinti, and Cirino Strano. The initials of their last names form the winery’s name.  The winery itself dates back to the 1880’s during a period in which there was huge demand for Sicilian wines. The freshness and balance are helped by the soils in the Vittoria region which are blessed with limestone substrates under 1-2 feet of red clay. For Giusto, “the vineyard is like our life’s savings in the bank, so we must protect it.” Protecting it means that they work organically and biodynamically in order to support the health of the soil. In fact, they have never used any synthetic or chemical additives in the vineyard since the outset in 1980. Officially, the winery was an early practitioner of Biodynamic viticulture starting in 2000, and were certified (Organic) as of 2007.

 For the rest of us: COS Zibibbo in Pithos is a skin-contact natural wine (orange wine) made from 100% Zibibbo grapes sourced from organic vineyards in Marsala, Sicily, Southern Italy.  The Zibibbo in Pithos is a dry white wine from Sicily that is very expressive. It is vinified on the skins in terra-cotta vessels. The bouquet is full of candied and dried fruit and sweet spices. The taste is complex, rich and persistent.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red:JC Vizcarra ‘Ribera del Duero’, Tempranillo, Spain 2017

For the wine snob: Juan Carlos Vizcarra is a man of intensity, passion, and incredible ambition.  The story goes that when he was a boy, he noticed that the historic estates of Vega Sicilia and Pesquera would come to his family in bad vintages to buy fruit. Realizing that his family must have truly special vineyards of the highest quality, Juan Carlos took it upon himself to begin producing wines to express this blessed terroir and heritage. Like all the wines at the tiny Bodegas Vizcarra, the flagship JC Vizcarra is made using gravity-fed winemaking to preserve the freshness and elegance intrinsic to the limestone plots found in northern Burgos.

For the rest of us: 100% Tempernillo, An exotically perfumed bouquet evokes ripe dark berries, violet and vanilla, along with a smoky oak overtone. Sweet, seamless and expansive in the mouth, offering intense black and blue fruit flavors complemented by mocha and mineral flourishes. Supple tannins shape the smoky finish, which hangs on with impressive, dark-fruit-driven tenacity.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: Domaine du Nozay, Sancerre AOC 2019

For the wine Snob: The 15 ha Domaine du Nozay lies at the northernmost extreme of the appellation a contiguous and steep bowl of vineyards just outside the town of Sainte-Gemme -en-Sancerrois. Back in 1971, the ambitious Philippe de Benoist purchased the stunning 17th-century Château du Nozay and began planting vines around the property, and today his son Cyril runs the operation with boundless enthusiasm and effusive intelligence.

For the Rest of us: 100% Sauvignon Blanc, While it’s still lean and punchy, the vines diet of more sun and deeper subsoils reveals itself in a glimmer of glycerol succulence on the mid-palate and a rounder, longer finish.