Today August 4 from 1:30 - 6:30
Dog Days may be upon us but we still need to drink and we all know that drinking IS good. Come by today to taste four exciting wines that have absolutely nothing in common except for their high quality of flavor and personality.

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2015 Raconteur Wines
Columbia Valley Red
$14.99 btl./$179.88 case

Many times Washington blends such as this and especially at this price are mere throwaways or are from bulked out juice. Alas, most of them taste fruity and boring. Not this one! Made by up and coming Washington star WT Vintners, winemaker Jeff-Lindsay Thorsen believes in wines of detail and finesse.

Raconteur Wines is a vital part of the entire operation and is made from fine vineyard sites, native yeast fermentation and 18 months in neutral oak barrels so not to give it any caricature qualities. 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Syrah, this is real wine! Cassis, underlying blackberry, dusty clay tones and fine herbs shine on the nose. Dreamy, sultry and all about texture in the mouth, this stylish red is layered with lots of movement and various complex flavor profiles. Drawn-out, lingering and possessing excellent substance on the back end enjoy this Washington red blend over the next 2-3 years with a variety of cuisines.

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2014 Haut-Rian 'Cuvee Excellence'
Bordeaux Blanc
$14.99 btl./$179.88 case

For close to 20 years, many of us have enjoyed the 10-buck wonder that is Chateau Haut-Rian's ever-popular white Bordeaux in the green & white label. For the third consecutive year, we have now offered Michel Dietrich’s special white wine. I previewed the 2014 when I was in France at the end of May, and all of us in the room noted that the 2014 Excellence is one of the finest white wines to emerge from Michel’s cellars.

Made with 100% Semillon from 70-year-old vines from the estate's best clay and chalk soils and aged in oak, and over-delivers at 15 bucks! My notes from my visit at Chateau Haut-Rian from May 22nd. ‘Stone fruit, specifically nectarine takes off from the glass. Vanilla, mineral, smoke and a touch of hazelnut butter and fig. Generous, full and very vinous penetration. Electric and very vivid with momentum in the middle as it builds and expands. Almost hedonistic, yet succulent and vivid and very lengthy indeed’. Drink this over the next 5-6 years with scallops in sauce, grilled tuna, roasted chicken and a nicely aged St-Nectaire or Reblochon cheese.

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2010 Cosimo Taurino 'Notoparnaro'
Salento Rosso
$13.99 btl./$83.94 - six pack

Cosimo Taurono is the name that put the wines of Puglia on the map. For such a long time, this estate produced magical wines that epitomized Southern Italy. A downturn in quality occurred in the 90s and up until recently, this great estate was whizzing against the wind sometimes making wines that were quite nice and sometimes making wines that were one-step away from battery acid. Enter a new generation and currently, these wines are back on form and are reminiscent of the great values that we once knew while coming up in the biz and drinking copious amounts of them.

Notarpanaro comes from the name of the original farm on which the Taurino family commenced their winemaking ventures. This particular cuvee comes from a single parcel, is 100% Negroamaro, and truly deserves your attention. mountain berries, plum, allspice, almond allspice and cedar/tobacco characteristics unfold from the glass. In the mouth, the dry and nuanced flavors coat the mouth and reveal tones that make one think of the fleshy, vibrant portion of the cherry that is right around the stone. The finish draws out and somersaults into being textbook, yet upscale Southern Italian with its tangy, earthy, spicy qualities and wild red fruits. Pair this delicious wine with slow roasted meats, perhaps something with a spicy Asian influence, but in all truthfulness, it shines best with pizza.

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2016 Zarate Albarino
$19.99 btl./$239.88 case

Located 10 minutes away from famed producer Do Ferreiro, the wines at Bodegas Zapata are in the same league. This influential estate were pioneers in the making of Albarino during the decade of the 1950s. Only 10 hectares here and this offering from 35-year-old vines is the flagship of the estate.

Two words define this wine, ‘delicate exuberance’. Not so much about being tooty-frooty, this wine is solely about the land and sea where it is grown. Marine scents abound, one thinks they are experiencing the Atlantic Ocean upon first scent. Saline, smoke, shells ride up front with bits of lime and flint leering through. More and more aromatic as it unfolds in the glass. In the mouth, the flavors are brisk and intense. The influence of fine farming, winemaking and vineyards gives it impressive density as it spreads out on the palate and leads into a pulsating, livewire, lasting finish. This is the ultimate seafood wine, whether it be Ceviche, clams, salt cod or grilled salmon, this is your choice!