April Case Of The Month - $115


COM = a mixed case with one bottle each of these winners
– or you can buy them individually as well...

Adelsheim Pinot Noir Rose 2015
We usually wait until May before a pink appears in the COM but after this winter, we need some hope… It also wasn’t easy to pass up this local deal, a 100% Willamette Valley Pinot that usually sells for $19. Lastly, it’s on the richer side for rose so it should satisfy even on those lingering cooler days. Lovely strawberry and cherry fruit is married to a racy texture, finishing dry and crisp. Hello spring! $11.99

Senorio de la Antigua Mencia 2012
The 90-point Wine Spectator badge on the label seems a bit much at first glance but they have reason to be proud. This varietal and appellation in northwestern Spain tend to be overlooked and this one shouldn’t be. Medium to full-bodied with great flavor intensity, this offers a true glimpse of the region’s flavors in a polished accessible style. The nose is spice-laden and slightly exotic with candied ginger, smoked paprika and black licorice which leads to muddled red plum and dried black cherry on the palate. Hints of vanilla and graham cracker lend a modern touch as does the smooth but firm tannins on the finish. Listed at $32 on that Spectator review, here just $9.50.

Ameillaud Vaucluse 2015
Sourced from vineyards just east of the village of Cairanne near Gigondas, this could be seen as Gigondas-lite: hearty and dense with an appealing sauvage quality but the warmth of the 2015 vintage give it a polish and gloss that elevates it above its vin de pays designation. A heady mix of ripe strawberry, marionberry and blueberry jumble about while aromatics of herbes de Provence and black pepper linger on the chewy finish. It reminded me of visiting the southern Rhone tasting barrel samples, it’s so youthful and energetic, and seeing as Ameillaud has a vacation rental on the property…hmmm, not a bad idea. $9.99

Ippolito Ciro Blanco 2015
This captivating white comes from Calabria at the tip of the toe of Italy and grabbed our attention at a recent tasting. 100% Greco (hmm, wonder where they got that name), this offers an appealing dual personality: aromatics and flavors of exotic tropicalfruit alternate with a racy salty crispness making this both refreshing and flavorful. $11.99

Bonelli Gutturnio Superiore 2014
An off-the-beaten-path red from western Emilia-Romagna that marries the familiar Barbera (60%) to the less familiar Bonarda (40%). Slightly rustic in a lively vino di tavola style, this is fragrant and appealing with blueberry-inflected cherry fruit and countryside herbal aromas. The texture is rich and smooth with just enough of that classic Barbera acidity to keep it fresh. $10.99

La Aldea Monastrell 2015
Monastrell (or Mourvedre in French) is best known for producing meaty, earthy, long-lived wines but this one, from Spain’s Jumilla region, is decidedly not. Made in a drink-now medium-bodied style, the juicy black plum is balanced with bright raspberry and toasted graham cracker, friendly flavors that go down easy. The Monastrell character luckily isn’t all covered in fruit as lavender and black olive aromatics and a peppery finish add nuance and depth. $9.50

Quinta de Porrais Douro Branco 2015
It may not quite be Vinho Verde weather yet but this light-hearted Portuguese white is step in the right direction. A blend of Rabigato and Codegado Larinho, the fruit comes from 65+ year old vines from very steep rocky hillsides giving this seemingly simple white surprising intensity. Clear and pure, the cool wet stone aromas lead to mild tropical notes on the palate - light papaya and honeydew edged with a lime zestiness, then finishes dry and snappy. $9.99

Radicle Red Columbia Valley 2013
After a few years in bottle, this Washington red blend has come together nicely. Developed and integrated, it offers dark fruit flavors of plum, currant and dried blueberry, all dusted with a sprinkling of baker’s cocoa. Its texture is smooth and mellow while the complexity is helped by an inspired varietal mix: Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Durif (the original French name for Petite Sirah) and Barbera. Northwest in style yes, but also with a slightly old world feel. $11.99

Waitsburg Cellars Three White 2013
This Washington state Rhone-style white was a pleasant surprise: varietally correct, distinctive and a relatively low 12% alcohol. Comprised of Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Picpoul and sourced from Yakima’s Boushey Vineyard, it offers a creamy plump texture balanced by fine Meyer lemon-like acidity. Bartlett pear, melon and light peach are accented by light brown spice notes, flavors that linger on the gentle finish. $12.99

Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap 2015
New world in style with echoes of the Old, this Syrah-dominated South African blend delivers bright peppery red berry notes on high while sappy dark plum and toasty oak pool below. Juicy and playful but well-crafted, the mash-up of hickory smoke, sweet damp earth aromatics and glossy ripe fruit is simple yet compelling. $10.99

Mandrarossa Nero d’Avola 2014
We’ve seen an explosion of interest in the wines of Sicily lately, from minerally firm Etna Rosso to richer riper bottlings of Nero d’Avola. This one falls somewhere in between. Juicy and quaffable with a burst of red berry fruit, it mellows out mid-palate finishing with hints of licorice and a minerally undercurrent. $9.99

Augeron IGP Landes 2015
A nice little country wine from south of Bordeaux, this is plumped and polished by the 2015 vintage but remains country in flavor. The fruit is present but mellow with just-ripe red plum and blackberry while a haze of savory, tobacco-y farm aromas permeate the whole. For fans of the Old World, on the cheap. $7.99

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Here are current and back-issues of the Great Wine Buys Newsletter to help you print out this month or find a wine from past issues.

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