Friday Sips

Seamless & Themeless
Today March 16 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop by today as we uncork some new arrivals from around the world. We’ll start with four wines listed below but as usual with Seamless & Themeless Tastings, one never knows the magical road that will be taken.

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$26.99 BTL./$161.94 - SIX PACK

Always an impressive range, this is the wine of the most recent arrivals of the Altos las Hormigas line-up that made me take a step back and go whoa, this place ain't fooling around! The biggest change to this offering is that there are no small barrels utilized nor is there any American oak, it is now done in for 16 months in 3500-liter vats then 6 months in bottle so not to impair the focus of the grape or place. The other big thing is that all of the fruit comes from the sub-zone of the Uco Valley, which between the high elevation and chalky soils brings about a mighty, energetic presence.

Refined and sexy with a slow-building, expansive texture. Whereas former versions were more frontal, this wine crescendos towards a deep and harmonious, middle and seriously extensive and expansive finish. Loads of violet, licorice, espresso from earth and minerality are prominent throughout. No problem for this wine to age nicely for another 8-10 years, although it is damn delicious now. If you need wine enhancement pills, otherwise known as a critic score, this has 93 points from The Wine Advocate.

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$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

The Sylvaner grape has its origins in Austria but little is left there. Where it is at its most prominent is in Germany's Franken region as well as in Alsace, these wines can be very delicious as well as delivering quite a bit of bang for the buck. They can also be quite serious and the leader for this grape is Albert Seltz. This man led the charge to have the Zotzenberg vineyard in his home village of Mittelbergheim in Alsace to be elevated from Grand cru for the Sylvaner grape. While other famous Alsace grapes are grown at this estate, it is Sylvaner that is Albert’s favorite. I love his description of it being ‘the pretty girl who no one asks to the dance’.

Extroverted scents of tangerine, lime, distinct and impressive mineral/saline, chamomile and finely placed spice tones. In the mouth, the combination of refinement, depth, length and grace are a spectacle that one must taste to believe. Try this wine with sushi, steamed mussels or clams, quiche, halibut and green vegetables, particularly asparagus. Exotic, Asian-inspired fare works as well, particularly curry-based dishes that aren’t extreme in their heat profile.

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$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Chateau Du Courlat is located in the village of Lussac, one of 4 satellite regions of St-Emilion, one that is considered to be the most robust of the group. This Chateau has been in the Bourotte family since 1906 and over the last bunch of vintages has provided some excellent experiences including this gem, which happens to come from a profound vintage.

A generous, lush offering that at age seven is starting to shine. This classic Right Bank Bordeaux reveals ripe notes of cherry, deep plum, leather, mineral and subtle cocoa powder. On the palate intense berry notes are joined nicely with red earth, followed by vanilla/espresso notes from the thoughtfully placed French oak. Very satisfying now and will develop and provide pleasure through 2023+.

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$26.99 BTL./$161.94 - SIX PACK

Led by Claudia Cigliuti, this miniscule Nieve-based estate is superlative, first-class, Serie A producers of Barbaresco. The Nebbiolo Langhe is much more than just a simple version. Younger vines and declassified from the family’s Via Erte Barbaresco, this Nebbiolo is a hell of a deal that hails from the very classic 2016 vintage and is very tasty indeed. Aged for 5 months in tank and 5 months in large Slavonian oak, this wine maintains the purity of Nebbiolo yet has a bit more to provide.

Ethereal scents shine on this sultry selection. Up front licorice whip, porcini mushroom and fresh earth dominate the nose. Classy and beautifully balanced this is a wine for the table, although the magic of the 2016 vintage has added an extra cushion of depth of fruit. If you consider yourself a foodie and want to have a wonderful Barbaresco area experience for not a bunch of money, get some mushrooms (good dried porcini are a great bet with this wine) and try a bottle of this with risotto or pasta con fungi. Either that or braise the hell out of a tenderloin of beef with a bit of this Nebbiolo, add carrots and mushrooms, then drink another bottle or six with it. Enjoy now and over the next 6-8 years.