The Grapevine Gazette

May 31 – july 4

June is a warm, enjoyable month where folks can take full advantage of the pending summer break, days at the beach, picnics, BBQ and grilling activities and of course, the national pastime, baseball. But did you know that there are a variety of other noted days of observance that you should be aware of – Dare Day, Flip a Coin Day, National Bubba Day (“git ‘er done!”), National Doughnut Day (always the first Friday in June), National Rocky Road Day, National Trails Day, Repeat Day (I said “Repeat Day”) and the ubiquitous Applesauce Cake Day (someone enlighten me, please). So to make sure you have the right wine to celebrate these very “Americana” observances, we have corralled a very enticing line up of gems below that no one should be without as the gateway to summer officially opens.  And as always, enjoy responsibly and drink outside the batter’s box.

Eric Bordelet Normandy Sidre (Cider) Tendre

Regular $12.99 Gazette Special $9.99

Cider is in its post-honeymoon craze phase right now and the market is awash in this sparkling apple juice. And as such, many ciders now found on retailer’s shelves are mostly innocuous, devoid of any real depth of flavor. However, I have tasted one cider from France that literally kicked my ‘bushel’ with its profound flavors, Bordelet! In 1992, Eric Bordelet, a sommelier who trained in some of Paris’ top restaurants, returned to southern Normandy to take over his family’s estate and orchards. He began producing artisanal ciders from apples and pears—ciders without equal that draw closer comparisons to fine, vintage wine than to beer. Over the years, he has revolutionized the cider industry by bringing it into restaurants, high-end wine shops and export markets around the world, such as Bristol Farms, of course. There is just enough residual sugar to round out this cider’s sweetness to make this a remarkable drink for aperitifs, or light meals. Trust me, when you taste this beauty you will hear the cider angels singing. And for those who like their product organic, he farms his orchards organically and biodynamically.

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut Non-Vintage

Regular $44.99 Gazette Special $34.99

Champagne is not only for the holidays, celebration or for launching boats – This is a year round elixir for matching with many types of food or to enjoy after a hard day, be it work or surfing (a little bit of both perhaps). The nose offers up strong and generous notes of spice with a toasty, buttery element. A deliciously crisp wine with white stone fruit and a creamy mousse, it is soft from the relatively high dosage, giving a lightly tangy character and finishing with ripe acidity. Heidsieck & Co. Monopole is one of the oldest Champagne houses and they possess good pedigree, too – In 1818, Heidsieck was appointed suppliers of Champagne to the King of Prussia, the Emperor of Germany and the English court. Just think, the Champagne of kings! This mouthwatering sparkler is very Pinot Noir oriented, with the varietal making up close to 70% in each bottle. The rest is a blend of Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. A la sante!

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Cht St. Pierre Cotes Provence Rosé

Regular $ 14.99 Gazette Special $11.99

2016 is shaping up to be a fine year, not as warm as 15 so the wines are a bit more firmly structured. And with a Cinsault dominant 60/40 split with Grenache, it boasts a bit more verve than the Grenache laden versions. Cht. St. Pierre is only under the 4th generation of family ownership, but the roots of the chateau are traced back to an 11th century church dedicated to St. Pierre. Cold maceration and controlled skin contact provide for a brighter, more elegant style of Rosé, with focus on purity and freshness vs. heft and flesh. The Cuvee Tradition is lively and racy with nectarine, red currant, citrus and an elegant mineral element in the crisp zesty finish. Great with citrus marinated shrimp, mussels, and seared tuna.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Fleur de Mer Provence Rosé

Regular $ 24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

This is definitely what is meant by, “Rosé all day.” Fleur de Mer translates to the “Flower of the Sea”, a reference to the fields of lavender flowers and grape vines that thrive in the warm sun and crisp seaside air in Provence. This traditional Provence Rosé has a brilliant coral pink color with aromas and flavors of fresh watermelon, ripe red berry fruit, and hints of citrus and minerality (a staple of Provence Rosé) that linger through the soft and elegant finish. If you are a fan of Miraval or Whispering Angel, this is a must try. Well suited for any occasion whether it is an evening of Jazz at LACMA, enjoying the sun and waves at the beach, poolside with friends, or paired with a light meal, this is the Rosé for you.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Vie Vite Cotes Provence Rosé

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

This pale pink wine is one of my favorite Rosés for summer. Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Carignan grapes from vines with an average age of 25 years, are blended together to create a complex wine redolent of cherries, strawberries, and spice. Like a sunny summer day, it is lovely and bright. An ideal wine for pool or beachside barbecues, it pairs nicely with grilled fish, tapenades, or light summer salads.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Boutari Peloponnese Moschofilero White

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

This Greek import is made from 100% Moschofilero grapes – pronounced ‘moh-skoh-FEE-leh-roh’ – grown in the higher elevations of Mantinia in the Greek Peloponnese. Crisp and refreshing citrus, lemon and tangerine notes with floral and melon aromas. It possesses a clean and lingering finish with a pale lemon color. From the folks who brought us Homer, Dionysus, and Socrates, this philosophic beauty pairs very well with poultry, fish, meat and fruit dishes. Or go completely indigenous and match with moussaka and its famous béchamel sauce!

Dorothy Sagebiel Wine Specialist Westchester

Domaine Pichot Vouvray

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

The Pichot family is one of the oldest in Vouvray with origins as viticulturists dating back to 1739. The family cellars are located in the village of Vouvray in caverns that used to provide stone to construct the grand chateaux of the Loire Valley. The current Pichot handling the wine making is Jean-Claude, who is one of six sons and is the only one continuing the tradition of vigneron. This wine is made from Chenin Blanc grapes and is the perfect wine for warm weather drinking. The wine is semi-dry with great balance in acidity and freshness that pleases the palate. Notes of citrus, white flowers and honeydew fill the nose with a hint of wet slate rounding out the senses. On the palate this wine shows its true potential with a rich mouth feel, semi dry finish and bright acidity. This wine is perfect with seared scallops, grilled halibut or a variety of goat cheeses and freshly cut fruit. One of my favorites for summer time enjoyment!

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach

La Scolca Gavi di Gavi

Regular $18.99 Gazette Special $15.99

It’s a common story: an Italian white wine grape saved from mass-produced plonk by dedicated wine makers. In this case the Soldati family, makers of La Scolca Gavi. They pioneered modern, controlled vinification in stainless steel to preserve the subtle fruit of the Cortese grape, retaining crisp acidity and aromas and gaining structure. The vineyards are located 30-miles from the Mediterranean where marine air tempers the cool mountain air and all-day sunlight is ideal for ripening. Vineyards are planted on steep slopes composed of calcareous-clay and veins of chalky limestone similar to that found in Champagne and Chablis, giving that characteristic flinty character. The wine is bracingly fresh and clean. Well-balanced aromas and flavors of citrus and almond and very bright acidity make it extremely refreshing. Serve chilled on a hot summer afternoon, as an aperitif or with light foods.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Edna Valley Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $12.99 Gazette Special $10.99

This is definitely a fantastic choice at a great price point for the warm, summer days. It is light and offers elegant aromas of honeydew melon, peach and a hint of grapefruit. On the palate, these citrus notes are complemented by tropical flavors of guava, pineapple and passionfruit. It is well-balanced with crisp acidity and hints of minerality that guides the palate to the delectable finish.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Dom La Clef du Récìt Sancerre Blanc

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

A unique personality with tremendous talents, I met Anthony Girard a few years ago and was duly impressed. He spent his formative years with his father and brother at the family estate, and decided it was time to fly on his own. After tasting his first commercial vintage, it was stunning, we snatched up all we could get, a mere 115 cases was all that was left. And every year since, we have eagerly awaited our shipment. I happened upon a Sancerre tasting with nearly 100 producers; Anthony Girard’s Clef du Recit was in my top 3, and easily $10 cheaper than the first two. The wine is meticulously farmed, sustainably of course, and left to hang until just ripe, but with tremendous acidity. 2015 was a warm year, but the firm structure and mineral tones are tightly knit and reveal a zesty character. Citrus rind, peach and stone fruits transition to a delicate biscuit note intermingling with a refined flinty note. This is a superb example of Sancerre and an impressive accomplishment from young Anthony Girard. Easily one of the ones to watch. 95 Points Decanter Magazine 2015.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Hess Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $12.99 Gazette Special $10.99

With summer at our door and the California heat creeping in, nothing sounds more refreshing then this crisp Chardonnay. Candied lemon drops turn into subtle orange blossoms in terms of this wine’s bouquet. It segues to a touch of apple flavors, tantalizing tropical notes, just a hint of oak and a nice crisp acidity to boot. This white will pair nicely with grilled salmon filet covered in a lemon caper sauce and lemon pepper roasted potatoes.

Kyle Ezidro Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

Tolosa Edna Valley No Oak Chardonnay

Regular $18.99 Gazette Special $15.99

The No Oak Chardonnay reflects the minimal influence by winemaking to capitalize on the maximum expression of the fruit. This wine was fermented at very low temperatures to retain the volatile aromas of esters generated during fermentation and underwent no malolatic conversion. This wine was aged on the lees to accentuate the richness in the mid-palate which achieves a balance with the natural acidity of the wine. Light gold straw color preludes aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, Meyer lemon and orange blossom. The flavors of Asian pear, Granny Smith green apple and pomelo citrus appear in unison while the rich mid-palate forms a harmonious balance with crisp acidity and notes of crushed stone graphite. Enjoy with grilled marinated shrimp, salmon and tuna Tapas.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Santa Barbara Winery Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Established in 1962, Santa Barbara Winery stands as the oldest winery in Santa Barbara. Winemaker Bruce McGuire has produced this Chardonnay from a mix of warm and cold climate vineyards. Fermented in a mix of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels, this wine is bright and refreshing with light citrus aromas, apples on the palate, with good acidity and balance. Easy on the oak and light on the butter. A great reception wine for the warmer months to come.

Neal Wassermann Wine Specialist La Jolla

Stags Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $27.99 Gazette Special $23.99

A classic refreshing wine made in the French Chablis style with minimal oak barrel influence. The result is a premier cru Chablis –like wine that is fresh, with minerality and floral notes. Bright acidity creates a wine of complexity and depth, with vibrant citrus notes, along with Asian pear on the palate. Chinese chicken salad with a citrus dressing would pair nicely with this delicious beauty.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Hollywood and Vine Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $33.99

Actor turned director and screenwriter, Doug Barr, relocated to the Napa Valley from Hollywood in the early 1990’s. Inspired to try his hand at the wine business, Doug called his longtime pal, Bruce Orosz, and together they created Hollywood and Vine Cellars. Recruiting one of the most talented winemakers in the valley, Celia Welch, they released their first vintage in 1998 to glowing reviews. And they’ve been making successful “sequels” ever since. Whole-cluster pressed and then cold settled, it is inoculated with the classic Montrachet yeast. The juice is immediately transferred to French and American barrels, and then allowed to rest in small stainless steel tanks for fermentation to retain its freshness. The wine is left ‘sur lie’ for five months of barrel aging, with bi-weekly “batonage” aka stirring of the lees. This Chardonnay displays sweet floral aromas of pear blossoms, apricot, jasmine and sweet apple. On the palate, the texture is rich, soft, and fully ripe. Soft yeasty notes and sweet fruit flavors fill the mouth with a finish of lush tropical fruit and just a touch of lemon zest. No need for a 2nd take – Ready for your close up?

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Liquid Farm Santa Maria Valley La Hermana Chardonnay

Regular $44.99 Gazette Special $38.99

Knowing the man behind the wine is such a treat. Jeff Nelson was once the man working with big Champagne houses when I first met him; now he is keeping Chardonnay honest in California which I applaud and with the “La Hermana” (The Sister) Chardonnay nothing changes. With its first vintage in 2013 this Chardonnay brings a freshness of lemongrass and grapefruit skins with a refreshing minerality- If you are a fan of great Chardonnay from Burgundy you will truly want to try the other Liquid Farm Chardonnays we offer. And the production level is very low. The wines have always scored highly amongst wine critics yet nothing is better than tasting 100% neutral oak aging and 13.0% ABV for yourself. No rating yet for the 2015 vintage but prior vintages have all scored 90+ points from Parker and Wine Spectator.

Omar Lima Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Cherry Tart California Pinot Noir

Regular $22.99 Gazette Special $18.99

Aromas of raspberry, nutmeg, sandalwood and light smokiness jump from the glass with the first savory sniff. A wine of substantial length, starting out silky and delicate and ending with red cherries and red berries with earthy notes on the palate. A blend of grapes from Monterey, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara counties all aged in 100 % French oak. Marinated Pork Loin is calling for you to start the BBQ and the party.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Damilano Barbera D’Asti

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

This 100% Barbera from the Casorzo Provence of Asti has a lovely red color with purple notes. Produced in primarily stainless steel tanks with about 20% in new oak, the nose is slightly earthy with a bit of pepper spice. It hits the palate with big ripe red cherries and has a velvety finish of ripe berries and slight vanilla. Easy oak and tannin make this Barbera great as a reception wine or paired with herb roasted lamb or pork.

Neal Wassermann Wine Specialist La Jolla

San Felice Il Grigio Chianti Riserva

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $18.99

I don’t drink Chianti often but when I do, my #1 choice is Il Grigio Chianti Riserva (‘stay thirsty, my friends’). It is everything that superb Chianti can offer. Made with the best Sangiovese grapes selected from the Estate’s Chianti Classico vineyards. It has a beautiful ruby red color; the aromas are intense and persistent with notes of wild berries, dark cherries, sweet violet and a hint of cocoa. This great Chianti is full-bodied with succulent tannins and fresh acidity. It is complex and well-balanced. You can drink it on its own, or it is fantastic with Spaghetti Arrabiata. 

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Emilio Moro Malleolus Ribera del Duero

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $32.99

Rioja has long been the darling of Spain, as far as wine regions go, but Ribera del Duero has established itself as a world-class competitor. Emilio Moro is run by third generation José Moro in deference to principles and tradition set forth by his father and grandfather whom have hand crafted wines in the region since the early19 20’s. The winery is a mix of old world meets new, and the wines don’t don the standard age statements that adorn the typical Tinto. Rather than Crianza and Reserva, Malleolus reflects the age of the vines of a particular vineyard, all of which is Tinto Fino, or Tempranillo. The 2011 Malleolus was barrel fermented in French oak for 18 days and subsequently transferred into Allier French oak barrels for resting an additional 18 months. The wine is modern and precocious, with mixed black fruits, coffee and savory herbs buttressed by slightly toasty oak. This is a pretty well rounded and enticing offering that will continue to reward cellaring for another half decade, but is quite enticing now. Pair with beef medallions, lamb or game meats, and with sheep’s milk cheeses. 93 Points Wine Advocate.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

San Simeon Paso Robles Syrah

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $18.99

This wine comes from the Pretty Penny vineyard in the west Paso Robles area, where there is an opening in the coastal mountain range called the Templeton Gap. Cool coastal air travels up the Templeton Gap every night helping the grapes preserve their natural acidity. Deep in ruby color with round tannins, and a plush mouthfeel. Flavors and aromas of boysenberry, ripe plum, and pomegranate lead to a finish of vanilla and oak spice. Enjoy.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

Acumen Mountainside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $59.99 Gazette Special $49.99

2011 was a rainy vintage that created a lot of frustration in Napa, it was one difficult prospect to make a really good bottle of wine. Following in the footsteps of ‘09 and ‘10, there was ample pessimism. Those that got it bad were really doomed if one didn’t know what to do. And then you have top talents such as the late great Denis Malbec, whom literally grew up at the illustrious Chateau Latour, later becoming its enologist, before moving to the west coast where he consulted for Kapcsandy and Blankiet among others. The Acumen team is well versed in viticulture and is renowned in its superb vineyard management skills, and really earned their stripes. The vineyard is an organically farmed site high atop Atlas Peak with poor volcanic soils (great when it rains), some of the most desirable in the region. Napa Valley is brimming with great Cabernet, of many styles and of course prices, and many push the envelope beyond what is reasonable, but people are buying them, so life is good. But for the regular folks, Acumen is a lovely offering that delivers a lot of wine at a reasonable price. After tasting the rock solid ‘12 and ‘13 vintages, both pretty well regarded, I thought the ‘11 showed more promise than the subsequent statistically perfect years. Beautiful red and black fruits, currants, notes of mocha and cedar are developing into a refined, seamless, supple gem. Great with a coffee rubbed New York steak or lamb chops.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Epoch Estates Paso Robles Veracity Red Blend

Regular $64.99 Gazette Special $56.99

We are now setting the stage for our warm return to summer days of Sun! We can only expect great wine to support such great days ahead and to show our appreciation for Summer. Epoch Estate’s Veracity Red Blend is a party starter! This house is known for its playful twisting of Grenache, Syrah and Mouvédre grapes- Veracity is exemplifies great Rhone style reminiscent to Chateauneuf du Pape, by tasting notes, and texture. This red has notes of black pepper and black licorice sweetened by blackberry and raspberries. This red is toasty yet has some minute floral hints that are delightful on the palate. This red is a big polished blend that will enjoy the company of a pulled pork sandwich, kabobs and almost anything you can toss on the grill!

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino White Label

Regular $64.99 Gazette Special $58.99

Brunellos are still the darlings of the wine world since their heralded and magnificent 2010 vintage was released. And thanks to the wine gods, the 2012’s do not disappoint, either. Casanova di Neri was established in 1971 when Giovanni Neri acquired a large estate within the appellation of Montalcino. There are now 120 acres of vineyards divided amongst four distinct sites. Improved quality in the vineyards has led to more attention in the winery, from vinification to the careful selection of casks for aging but always with the maximum respect for tradition. The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino opens with sweet spices and red cherry on the nose, while an herbal note comes through with more time in the glass. That vibrant red cherry note repeats on the palate, where it’s bolstered by hints of tobacco and sweet chocolate. Long and vibrant but very suave, this Italian stallion will improve with time in the glass, but I would suggest to decant a few hours prior to indulging.
95 points Wine Spectator 2012 vintage

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Chateau Montelena Winery Calistoga Zinfandel

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $34.99

When I first started learning about terroir – the way place affects taste – was when I came to understand that Napa Valley wasn’t just one good place for wine; it was many good places for different kinds of wines. One of the simplest things you can say about the different terroirs of the valley is that it gets hotter as you go north away from the cooling effects of San Pablo Bay. Zinfandel ripens beautifully in Calistoga. Chateau Montelena has been around a long time and is well known the famous Paris Tasting in 1976, when their Chardonnay did so well – I think their Zinfandel might be their best product. This wine comes across very “old world” in style, with many other-than-fruit- notes in the aroma. Cocoa, tobacco and dried cherry aromas become the familiar woodsy, briary character of old vine Zin, and then minty floral notes show up. Tasting it brings cranberry (a hallmark of the Primitivo in the blend) and nuttiness. The tannins are earthy but supple. The finish is mysterious, and is one of the reasons I love wine. Dark chocolate, cigar box, and a wild herbaceousness will come out before it’s all over. Pay attention! When matching this wine with food, don’t forget the Herbs de Provence.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

The Botanist Islay Dry Gin

Regular $ 42.99 Gazette Special $36.99

With 31 botanicals, 22 of which are native to Islay, Scotland, this is a Gin that stands out amongst the very best. From Angelica root, birch leaves, cassia bark, chamomile, wild Islay juniper and many more elements, this Gin takes your senses on a journey that hopefully brings you back to revisiting another bottle. I highly recommend not ruining this Gin with wild mixology ideas and just keep it simple with tonic or soda water on the rocks – just let the Gin shine through and you will not regret it.

Omar Lima Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Prices valid May 31-July 4, 2017
All wines assort for 10% discount when 6 or more bottles are purchased. All selections are 750 ml unless otherwise noted. No rain checks. While Bristol Farms takes every effort to ensure adequate supply, all offerings are subject to availability.

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