January/February Case Of The Month - $115
COM = a mixed case with one bottle each of these winners
– or you can buy them individually as well.
Once again we offer the January/February ne plus ultra case of the month: Greatest Hits of 2017. We’ve picked some of last year’s best-sellers and most talked-about wines and brought them back for a lip-smacking’ encore. Enjoy!
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.
Bonelli Gutturnio Superiore 2015
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
Ippolito Ciro Blanco 2016
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 tropical fruit alternate with a racy salty crispness making this both refreshing and flavorful. $11.99
Appaloosa Syrah Columbia Valley 2013
This Washington red takes inspiration from the northern Rhône as hints of leather and licorice accent a mouthful of just-ripe, spicy blackberry fruit. Aromas of graham cracker and crushed marionberry offer a typical Washington feel but the full-bodied meatiness seems more old world than new. $10.99
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
Charamba Douro Reserva 2015
Portugal continues to offer such great values and range, from juicy fresh versatile reds to more sturdy offerings like this one. Satisfyingly situated between the old world and the new, the dark fruit is soft and mellow and the notes of old wood and floral dusty earth lend a timeless quality. Flashes of oakiness bring it into the present, adding richness and depth. $9.99
Li Veli Negroamaro 2015
From the southern tip of Italy, this dark brooding red is a picture of parched landscapes and stubborn vines. Warm in tone, the aromatics of Asian peppery spice and cured tobacco roll into a coulis of ripe blackberry and dark red plum, broad and mouthfilling, followed by the leathery chew of tannin on the finish. $11.50
Holzer Grüner Veltliner 2014
A bargain Grüner that actually tastes like one, this offers many of the typical flavors of Austria’s signature varietal. Creamy and fullish in texture, the brown spice and white pepper aromatics fade to bread dough and baked apple on the palate finishing with a Meyer lemon snap. Dry, spicy and vaguely autumnal. $8.99
Hayes Valley Meritage 2015
Brand new to Pdx, this Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend is a class act. Richly textured and almost gentle, the fruit shades from blue to black, all nicely accented with kisses of toasty oak. $11.99
Toso Malbec 2015
This customer favorite is rich in flavor but surprisingly elegant and medium-bodied. The black plum fruit is soft and smooth with tangy black raspberry highlights and a dusting of baker’s cocoa on the finish. $11.50
La Tremenda Monastrell 2014
An outlier in many regards, this displays a jazzy, elegant red-fruited face of Spanish Mourvèdre, capturing a 92 point review from the Wine Advocate - quite impressive for the price. Old vines planted in limestone at 2000 feet translates to complexity and an uncommon freshness for this typically burly varietal. The cherry kirsch flavors are pretty and polished with a sprinkling of Mediterranean herbs and dusty stony notes that fade gently on the finish. $11.99
Sineann Pinot Gris Wy’east 2013
The fruit comes from Wy’east Vineyard, a beautiful patch of earth located south of Hood River. Surrounded by orchards and in the shadow of a looming Mount Hood, this pocket of glacial moraine soil sits at 1600 feet elevation giving this a different profile than a typical Willamette Valley Gris. A minerally crisp bite alternates with a dappled texture as flavors of red apple and ripe pear stay lively across the palate. $12.99
Recent GWB Newsletters
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.