Friday Sips

Seamless & Themeless
Today July 6 from 1:30 - 6:30
We’re back after a long weekend of fireworks and wine (and with all 10 fingers intact). Come today and taste pour four excellent choices that have absolutely nothing in common except for their fine quality.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

Tavel is Rose and Rose only and the pink wines that made here are vins pour le repas (wines for the meal). What truly drives Tavel are the limestone soils and if I had my dithers today we would be drinking the 2016, not the 2017, although I think you all will find it to be uber-delicious! In fact, I feel this is one of the finest Tavel Rose wines I have tasted, it is that damn good.

They are listing this as Grenache 60%, Cinsault 10%, Syrah 10%, Carignan 5% with the remaining being Clairette, Picpoul, Bourboulenc, Mourvèdre. Somehow, when I taste this and given the reduced quantities of Grenache in 2017, I can only speculate that there are a bit more white grapes in here because there is luminosity that is quite alluring. Savory with subtle spice, strawberry and woven in white peach and lime notes all jump from the glass. The texture is sophisticated and mouth-watering revealing itself as both regal and seriously complex. Perfect fodder with grilled tuna or salmon, it can really stand up to these full-flavored dishes with a kiss of spice and even barbecued ribs or chicken.

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$27.99 BTL./$335.88 CASE

One of the most stealth yet one of Oregon’s most respected and profound producers, Kelley Fox has ventured out and is making a stellar white wine. Freedom Hill is one of Oregon’s oldest and finest vineyard sites and Kelley has fashioned this wine is a decidedly old world style. When I tasted it, it invoked somewhat of a cross between Alsace and a superb Cotes-de-Nuits white Burgundy all while maintaining its Oregon spirit.

All of this makes sense as Kelley ages this wine in neutral oak barrels that bring about texture, depth and not oaky tones. Rich and dense on the nose with apple-butter, spice-coated mushrooms and an abundance of ripe citrus roar from the glass. In the mouth, its layered sweeping texture sends the point home that you are drinking something much more than the usual Pinot Blanc from Oregon. Very mineral - classy, intense and with searing lively brisk tones that present themselves on the smooth, persistent and engaging finish. When we are at the height of salmon season, why skimp on the wine, this is a stunning local match.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

James Brown, Barry White, Marvin Gaye. Hell, if you are a young Rioja drinker, one whiff of this will not only reveal soul, it might make you want to break dance! Bodegas Ostatu is a family winery located in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region in the town of Samaniego. The Saenz de Samaniego family has been in the area for many generations. The vineyards, protected by the Sierra Cantabria range, are composed of chalk and clay. This winery's philosophy changed when Hubert de Bouard de Laforest of Chateau Angelus, an apex St-Emilion Chateau, saw the vineyard sites of the family and expressed an interest in collaborating. By making many changes in winemaking and viticultural philosophies, the wines took a quantum leap, are now some of Rioja’s finest, and most sought after values.

Possessing laid-back, neo-classical aromas, there is plenty of full, buxom character to go along with all of the nuances that Mother Nature bestowed to Rioja in 2015. Ripe and aromatic black raspberry scent play off savory scents of thyme & sage, which lurk beneath the surface. Plenty of full fruit drives the wine. It is enhanced even further by an attentive use of spicy oak tones. Sexy, smooth flavors crawl through the mouth, but while there can be instant gratification here, there is plenty of sneaky grip as well that will allow it to age nicely for a decade. The finish is very polished, regal and gracefully rich. Pretty kickass Rioja for 20 bucks! Have it with a braised pork or beef dish.

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$44.99 BTL./$539.88 CASE

Laurent Pillot is one of the Chassagne-Montrachet's prime-time players for his whites but over the last 15 years, his prowess with reds from the Cote-de-Beaune region has become equally as formidable. These wines are some of the best-kept secrets in the world of top drawer Pinot Noir. Through marriage, Laurent has scored red wine vineyards from several grand villages within the Cotes-de-Beaune.

2015 is an exemplary vintage for red wines in the Burgundy region and these wines show so well early and have immense potential. Tavannes is a single vineyard within Pommard, of which a portion is Premier Cru, of which Pillot owns a little under 1½ acres of relatively old Pinot Noir vines. Sexy, sultry nose with ironstone riding shotgun alongside ripe currant on top of blackberry, cep and semi-exotic spice. Fanning out and seducing the palate yet having plenty of structure, spine and depth all without being old-fashioned virile, hard-nosed Pommard due to Laurent being one of a group of young producers who are re-defining the image of this famous appellation. Chewy, lingering red-tones shine on the nicely formed finish. A super Red Burgundy (French Pinot Noir) that will drink and develop for 12-14 years.