December Case Of The Month - $115

 
 

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

Perfect for December: Take one to a party, a great hostess gift, cellar protector from thirsty relatives, crazy day at work...you get the idea!

Apex Catalyst Colombia Valley 2013
This Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend is drinking great right now and offers a wealth of Christmastime spice to pair with the season. The red plum and dark berry fruit is round and rolling on the palate with notes of cinnamon, pepper and licorice echoing on the mellow finish. $13.99

Palama Archangelo Negroamaro 2015
It’s become a holiday staple, this southern Italian red from Small Vineyards, so thank the wine gods that the new vintage is as good as ever. Fleshy and generous thanks to that southern Italian sun, the rolls of blackberry and dried cherry fruit are backed by notes of spiced raisins, damp clay and dried Italian herbs. Despite its richness, there’s a sinewy flexible structure making it versatile for a range of dishes. $11.50

Domaine de Couron Côtes du Rhône 2015
Couron’s red are typically old school in style but thanks to the warmth of the 2015 vintage, there’s a satisfying plumpness here, a nice surprise after the initial barnyard brambly aromatics. This maintains good tension and grip across the palate but it’s coated in enough blackberry and dark strawberry fruit to soften the edges. Notes of red licorice and crushed clove linger on the muscular finish, $10.99

Altos de la Hoya Monastrell 2015
This perennial Spanish favorite is sporting a fun new Vegas style label and thanks to the warmth of the 2015 vintage, a riper, more gregarious personality as well. It opens with a friendly wash of juicy blue/red berry fruit laced with a tangerine edge. Mid-palate it turns more serious offering notes of darker fruit, black olive and Mediterranean herbs, ending with a softly structured finish. $9.99

Renegade Pinot Noir Oregon 2014
If you need a bargain local Pinot to help lubricate the holidays, this distributor-switch closeout deal should do the trick. A second label of Walla Walla’s Sleight of Hand winery, this offers mild rosy aromatics and easy-going black plummy fruit with just enough grip on the finish to help wash down a plateful of holiday party appetizers. $9.99

Pajzos Dry Furmint 2016
I can count on one hand how many Hungarian dry Furmint are available in Portland but since the one from October’s case was so popular and is now sold out, let’s keep the Furmint train rolling. Younger and fresher than the 2011 from October, this offers a lively burst of ripe Asian pear and juicy white peach followed by more unusual subtle brown spice notes, hinting at mustard seed and ground cumin. Fleshy and smooth on the palate in an Alsatian Pinot Gris sort of way, the richness is balanced by a vibrant tanginess making it a good wintertime white. $10.99

Thulon Beaujolais-Villages 2016
Very similar to the popular 2015 vintage, this is fresh and pretty opening with floral violets-in-potting-soil aromatics. On the palate it delivers crisp red fruit flavors, all pie cherry and just-ripe raspberry, in a rounded smooth medium-bodied package. A nice change of pace compared to the heavier reds typical of the winter season. $9.99

Barone Fini Pinot Grigio 2016
With more flash and bang than the popular 2015, this is brisk and refreshing with crisp Bartlett pear notes and a salty sea shell minerally bite. It slows to a rich creamy crawl mid-palate before a jolt of lemon drop acidity takes over, while notes of almond vanilla shortbread linger on the finish. $9.99

Planet Oregon Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Local, sustainable and versatile, this lively white is a good pick for holiday parties, Dungeness crab feasts or simply saucing up out-of-town guests with some Oregon juice. Broad on the palate and fairly rich for Sauv Blanc, the ripe melon fruit is balanced by zippy lemon zest acidity, finishing with a mild peach pit bitter note. Regularly $16, here $11.99. 

+ & + Cava Brut Seleccion NV
A stylish Spanish sparkler perfect for casual holiday celebrations, this bested the blind tasting competition by offering a clean classy profile with plenty of richness and complexity. Notes of baked apple, caramelized fennel and a light gingery earthiness gave this a depth and breadth uncommon for the price range, while the playful fruitiness made it a pleasure to drink. A blend of traditional Spanish varietals used for sparkling (Parellada, Xarello, and Macabeo) from a family estate that specializes in Cava, this offers a refinement more often found in higher-priced bubblies without sacrificing flavor pizzazz. $11.50

Padrillos Malbec 2016
Medium bodied and fragrant, this elegantly styled Argentine offers restrained red/blue berry flavors and perfumed aromas of potpourri and lightly toasted oak. Flavorful yet light on its feet, it’s a versatile red for the season’s many dishes. Holiday bonus: the nutcracker/toy horse label will look festive tucked under the Christmas tree. $10.99

Cecchi Chianti 2015
A substantial winter-worthy Chianti, this offers mellow dark red flavors of cherry and currant while notes of graham cracker and toasted almonds weave in and out. It’s casual enough for pizza with holiday guests yet packs enough muscle to pair well with heartier pasta dishes or roasted root vegetables. $9.99

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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.

April 2016

March 2016