March Case Of The Month - $115

 
 

COM = a mixed case with one bottle each of these winners 

Ca’ del Baio Barbera d’Alba 2015
This is going to be a popular one… Showing the promise of the warm 2015 vintage, this is juicy, lively and just plain fun to drink while still tasting like a Barbera from Alba. The aromatics are happy and youthful, all roses and fresh red berries while the palate offers more plush berry notes of boysenberry and blackberry. Whispers of savory herb and smoke add a little dimension but the focus is on the fruit, perfect for a variety of occasions. $11.99

Chateau La Roque Pic Saint Loup 2014
This Kermit Lynch import has been a favorite around here for years. Pic Saint Loup is a small appellation inland from Montpellier and this wine has all the flavors and characteristics of a local bistro vin de table. Charmingly rustic, the marionberry/blueberry fruit is crunchy and lively with floral loamy overtones and enough body and grip on the finish to pair nicely with whatever le plat du jour might be that day. $11.99

Cantine di Custoza Bianco 2015
A pretty springtime white from the Italian countryside around Verona and Lake Garda, this is a blend of Garganega, Friulano, Chardonnay, Riesling and Trebbiano. The many flavors brought by so many different varietals gives this more complexity than expected. Fresh and delicate aromatically, light green herb gives way to a tangerine zestiness while the palate fills out with fuller creamier notes of Asian pear and almond marzipan. $8.50

Charamba Douro Reserva 2014
Portugal continues to offer such great values and range, from juicy fresh versatile reds to more sturdy offerings like this one. Satisfyingly old world in profile, the fruit is dark and mellow and the notes of old wood, mushroom and dusty earth lend a timeless quality. Flashes of oakiness bring it into the present, adding richness and depth. $9.99

Foris Flyover White 2013
We’ve featured the Flyover Red several times, but the Rogue Valley white version is making its inaugural appearance. An Alsatian-styled blend of Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Gewürztraminer this is refreshingly bright and crisp with nice weight and a pleasant soft texture. Best of all, it’s dry – not sweet! – and delivers a cornucopia of fruit flavors that include lemon, Asian pear, red apple and tropical notes too. A perfect match for appetizers, Asian food, fried chicken and more! $9.99

Tinhof Blaufrankisch 2012
Take a walk on the wild side with this cool-climate Austrian red from a well-respected proponent of natural winemaking. Reminding us of certain Alto Adige reds (like Lagrein or Teroldego), this opens with brooding minerally aromatics before filling out on the palate where the fleshy black plum is edged with earthy peppery spice. Flavors on the finish loop back to the beginning as gamy iron notes push their way through the mellowing fruit. Normally $24 but reduced to make room for the new vintage, this is a cool opportunity to explore something different. Serve with sausages and roasted peppers and watch those exotic minerally flavors come alive. $9.99

Peirano Estate Illusion Red 2015
This bold and richly-textured California red from Lodi is a classic mix of Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Each varietal is hand-picked and fermented separately, then blended together for complexity and balance. Bright floral notes frame spicy dark plum, currant and blackberry fruit, that combines nicely with dark chocolate and hazelnut flavors. Moderate tannins and touch of toasty oak add depth to the lush texture, while subtle lemony acidity keeps it lively. $9.99

Turasan Selda Red 2014
A few months too late for Thanksgiving but this Turkish red is too fun to pass up. A blend of 80% indigenous varietals with 20% Syrah, if tasted blind I may have guessed Languedoc, as the Cappadocia region of Turkey is a new one for me. Dark in color with a polished round texture, there’s a slight raisin edge to the black plummy fruit before a wash of brighter mixed berries livens the party up. Juicy and user-friendly overall with enough solid structure to keep it interesting. Indigenous varietals are Kalecik Karasi, Bogazkere and Okuzgozu. Watch your friends try to guess those varietals! $9.99

Guicharde CdR Massif d’Uchaux 2011
For the waning days of this ferocious winter, this powerful Rhône red should warm your cockles as you huddle by the fire. A more serious wine than the price suggests, this is still structured and intense, despite being over five years old. A heavily forested plateau northwest of Chateauneuf du Pape, the Massif d’Uchaux was awarded Cotes du Rhone-Villages status in 2005. Organically farmed and surrounded by garrigue (wild herb scrubland) and forests, Guicharde’s vineyards produce wines that are definitively old world in style. The fruit runs dark – blackberry, currant, black raspberry – and the aromatics are wild and woodsy with notes of licorice, lavender and fresh thyme. A good candidate for a bargain cellar filler, this should continue to age nicely for several years. Alternatively, let it breathe and serve with a hearty meal. $11.99

Clavidor Rueda Cepas Viejas 2015
Popular in past vintages, this Spanish white is typically brisk and invigorating although this one is clearly marked by the warmth of 2015. It’s still citrusy and racy, almost spicy in a prickly sort of way, but there’s a ripe pear fleshiness to balance it out with hints of cucumber and wet stone on the finish. A blend of 50% each Verdejo and Viura from vines planted before 1950. $10.99

Rebel.lia Tinto 2015
Another fun exploration with uncommon varietals, this organic red comes from Valencia, along Spain’s middle east coast. A blend of 40% Bobal, 40% Garnacha Tintorera, and 20% Tempranillo, this wine is dark; Garnacha Tintorera (better known as Alicante Bouschet) is one of a very few grape varietals whose flesh and juice are actually red and it has long been prized for making full-colored (and full-flavored) wines. Bobal, native to Valencia, is no slouch either in the color department. The result is a full-throttle red, slightly exotic but plenty accessible. Smooth and roundly textured with blackberry, black currant and shades of dark raspberry, the juicy flavors sail along the palate before finishing slightly firm and spicy. $11.99

Sur de los Andes Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec 2010
We rarely see South American reds with much age in this price range so were curious, and then happily surprised. At seven years old this offers a balanced complexity and sense of integration not commonly found in younger bottlings. Medium-bodied and silky in texture, the bright raspberry high notes are tempered by mellower black plum and the finish brings a savory earthiness reminiscent of Bordeaux. $11.99

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