Friday Sips

Join Us for Friday Sips!


Today, Friday July 16, 3:30 - 6:30

Something a bit different for Friday Sips and something we're extremely excited about!!!

Recently we picked up Jancis Robinson's book entitled "Wine Grapes" which delves deeply into the history and DNA of over 1300 grapes utilized for the wines of the world. With an inspiration from a friend from New Zealand, we will dedicate monthly, one of our Friday Sips Tastings to exploring, A-through-Z (well, 2 letters are probably unobtainable) wines and the grapes they come from. This week we'll kick it off with grapes starting with the letters A, B, C & D. Read through these to the bottom, very interesting indeed!

$22.99 BTL./$137.94 - SIX PACK CASE

Grape: 100% Assyrtiko. "Top-quality, intense, highly structured Greek island white that retains acidity even in the heat."- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

"Assyrtkio is a variety of the Greek Agean Islands that most likely comes from Santorini. Recent DNA profiling suggested a possible parent-offspring relationship with 2 other Aegean varieties, Gaidouria and Platani."- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

Treat Greek wines as Mediterranean wine to serve with your finest preparations and not just dolmas or souvaki. Considered by many experts to be the greatest white grape in Greece, Assyrtiko is a grape that adapts well to different soil types and is even more known for having both intense rich depth and vibrant, lightning-like acidity.

From the island of Santorini, which is the spiritual home of the varietal, Gai'a's Thalassitis winery and vineyard makes my favorite version. Earth, saline, prominent vitamin, powdery citrus and woven-in floral scents roll into a texture that is intensity personified. An authoritative white wine to have with lobster, crab or sole done with olives/capers.

$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

Grape: 100% Bovale Sardo, also known as Graciano in Spain. "Low-Yielding, richly colored, perfumed variety that retains acidity and is regaining favour in Rioja."- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

"…huge number of synonyms in Spain and all around the Mediterranean…In addition, DNA profiling has provided evidence that Graciano is identical to Bovale Sardo and Cagnulari from Sardegna…After it was enfeoffed to the Aragonese, the kingdom of Sardegna remained Spainish from 1323 to 1720. In all likelihood, this was the period during which Graciano was introduced from Spain to the island, where it took the name Bovale Sardo…"- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

Hailing from Sardinia's Campidano di Terralba region, about 10 miles from the coast in west-central Sardinia, this hearty red comes across as more Mediterranean than pure Italian. Cross a wine from Provence with something from Spain then add something from Italy and hypothetically you have Cantina del Bovale's Campidano.

Warm and spicy aromas of plum, herbs, and smoked meat lead into a texture that is generous, wild and full of character and soul. Whether you are planning to have a drink before skydiving or having a drink with some grilled lamb, you'll have to enjoy both with a glass of this Bovale!

$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Grape: 100% Carmenere, seen mostly in Chile but also present in California, Washington and a smattering still in France. "Produces deeply-coloured, sometimes herbaceous wines, in Chile far more than its native Bordeaux."- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

"Carmenere is an old variety from the Gironde, where it was first mentioned in 1783-4 in Bergerac under the name Carmeynere…DNA parentage analysis has recently established that Carmenere is a natural cross between Cabernet Franc and Gros Cabernet, a very old variety from the Gironde and Tarn that was often confused with Cabernet Franc…Carmenere was widely cultivated in the Medoc, southwest France, in the early 18th century but largely abandoned in Bordeaux after the phyloxerra invasion in the 1870s because of its poor fruit set and consequently unreliable yields: there were just 21 hectares (52 acres) in France in 2008…The first Carmenere vines were brought to Chile, Carmenere's current power base, in the mid 19th century, where it was planted as a field blend, mainly with Merlot, though growers probably thought they had Merlot exclusively…The French ampelographer Claude Valat was the first to noted that not all Chilean Merlot was the real McCoy and in 1994 J-M Boursiquot identified it as Carmenere which was confirmed by DNA analysis in 1997 The Chilean authorities recognized Carmenere as an official variety for the country in 1998…"- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

Montes is one of the finest and most highly-regarded producers in Chile and deservedly so – quality is superb on all levels. The Alpha bottlings are their mid-range, 20 dollar wines that deliver awesome bang for the buck and regularly taste like they should sell for much more.

Beautifully portioned and having the rugged beauty that this grape is known for, tobacco, tea-leaf and black pepper mingle nicely with a dense core of plum and cocoa. Full-bodied with plenty of depth and well-rounded structure. Drink over the next 5-7 years.

2010 ANGEL VINE PETITE SIRAH (the more common name for Durif)
$21.99 BTL./$263.88 CASE

Grape: 100% Durif. "Originally French but particularly famous, as Petite Sirah, in California."- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

"This variety was discovered in the 1860s in the canton of Tullins in the Isere, eastern France, in the experimental vineyard of Francois Durif, a French botanist and grape breeder…In 1884 Charles McIver of Linda Vista Winery near San Jose California inadvertently imported it under the name Petite Sirah, a name he is said to have used for marketing purposes, but the name could also be the result of a mislabeling and a misspelling because Petite Syrah is the name commonly used in the Isere and Ardeche for the true Syrah, a variety that had been introduced to California in 1876…Through DNA profiling, Meredith (1999) of California established that the vast majority of Petite Sirah vines in California were identical to Durif…Petite Sirah has travelled from California to a wide range of other American states, particularly Washington…"- Jancis Robinson, Wine Grapes

Even though Ed Fus has a Pinot Noir vineyard here in Oregon, this cat's passion is grapes from Washington that deviate from the normal Cabernet and Merlot, Zinfandel in particular. From the warm-climate Wahluke Slope region of Washington comes Ed's balls-to-the-wall Petite Sirah and is a different take on the grape compared to what's done in California.

Full bodied, chewy and chock full of dense ripe black fruit, tangy earth, spice and minerals on the nose; hints of tar, cocoa, and subtle toasty oak ride along, too. Broad mouthfilling flavors of ripe blackberries and blueberries abound on the palate followed by a rich yet clean, lingering finish and juicy ripe tannins to frame the fruit. This wine can easily age for five years but the luscious fruit and approachable tannins make it a tough one to stash away. Spicy barbecue anyone???