CRŪ, PINOT NOIR 2021, SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS, CALIFORNIA $21.99 (MIXED) It may get lost among the myriad of California AVAs with the word ‘Santa’ in it, (they throw that word around like we do with Peachtree). The Santa Lucia Highlands are perched along the east-facing terraces of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the eastern flank of the Salinas Valley. The cool, dry air creates the perfect conditions for racy, elegant Pinot Noir, like this offering from Crū. Bright ruby in the glass, it opens with dark cherry, plum and raspberry and finishes with a hint of vanilla and clove on the long finish. It would pair well with the smokey spice in the chili I made, I wish I was drinking it right now!
PHILIPPE VIALLET, SAVOIE ROUGE 2017, SAVOIE, FRANCE $14.99 The Viallet family have been working the vineyards of Savoie since 1966. Their second son Philippe joined the business in 1984, after a winemaking apprenticeship in Burgundy. He realized the great potential of the wines of Savoie, and in 1985, created Maison Philippe Viallet. His red wine blends Gamay with the Savoie varietal, Mondeuse, for an interesting wine that shows raspberry and strawberry aromas, with a touch of violet and spicy finish. This wine has a well-structured acidity and smooth tannins. It’s begging to be paired with some late-Summer BBQ.
BODEGAS NAVARRSOTILLO, ‘GAUPASA’ GARNACHA 2021, NAVARRA, SPAIN $14.99 (MIXED) In the Basque language, Gaupasa translates to “going out all night until daybreak”. What better wine to bring along with you when you paint the town red than this one? With animated notes of dark red berry, plum, and licorice, and a palate of supple tannins mixed with juicy notes of cherry and black raspberry, and a finish of elegant minerality, this wine is beautiful—the perfect partner to pulled pork sliders, cheese quesadillas, or your next gaupasa! On top of all this wonder, the wine is one of the most “natural” we’ve come across: Demeter certified Biodynamic, organic, vegan, dry-farmed, and hand harvested; minimal intervention at all stages of production to create one of the most pure wines you’ll come across.
FRICO BY SCARPETTA, SANGIOVESE 2021, TUSCANY, ITALY $11.99 Scarpetta (the Italian term for the act of wiping up the last of the sauce on one's plate with a piece of bread) is a winery owned and operated by Bobby Stuckey, M.S. and Chef Lachlan Patterson who are the owners and creators of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. Their desire was to create a versatile, everyday wine in the spirit of the great wines of Tuscany, comfortable by itself or with a variety of delicious Italian foods. Charcuterie, ribolita, panzanella, the list goes on. This is the perfect balance of crisp tart cherry and the wonderful herb notes found in great Tuscan red wines.
JORDANOV, VRANEC 2020,TIKVES, MACEDONIA $14.99 (MIXED) Indigenous to North Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Vranec is a thick-skinned grape with high tannins and medium-high acidity. The word itself translates as ‘Black Stallion’ owing to its forceful character and rich coloring. Here, Jordanov tames the wild beast, with low yields and 35-year old vines rounding out all the edges. This modern rendition of this East European classic is farmed “high and dry”, in rich clay soils that support its vibrancy and overall elegant structure. Notes of black cherry and cassis with tannins structure firmly medium, it would pair very well with grilled steak and potatoes.
TORREMORON, TEMPRANILLO 2021, RIBEIRA DEL DUERO, SPAIN $16.99 Delivering a true sense of place, this amazing bottle of old vine Tempranillo comes from vines aging from 60-110 years old and is made by one tiny village in Ribera whose main source of sustenance comes from this delicious red! Deep ruby color with aromas of wild lavender, crushed berries and tobacco, with saturated and lush flavors of blackberry, black cherry and espresso. The savory tannins are sizable and the finish generous, and this wine see no oak aging bringing freshness to the glass. Drinks twice the price!