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The Grapevine Gazette

November 30 – january 3, 2017

December is a child’s dream come true, as it is for those adults who never quite grew up. It is a family time of celebration and honoring many cultures, religions and traditions that have been with us for thousands of years. December was celebrated in ancient times – the word December comes from the Latin word “decem” and was the 10th month in the Roman Calendar – when Christianity began to take form as a religion and to entice pagans to leave their archaic beliefs and embrace Christian theology. Many of these ancient traditions have survived the test of time and found their way into our present celebratory jargon – Yuletide (’yule monath’) comes from a Norse tradition of cutting and burning a huge tree on December 21st. It was supposed to symbolize the winter solstice, bring good luck and burn throughout the 12 day winter festival, known later as the 12 days of Christmas. And Saint Nicholas was originally designated by the church as the patron saint of children, thieves and pawnbrokers. Now we know where the “Santa’s good~bad list” came from. So if you’ve made the good list, here are some libations that you can enjoy with friends and family. And as always, enjoy and drink outside the sleigh.


Schramsberg Napa Valley Brut Blanc de Blanc

Regular $34.99 Gazette Special $29.99

The ‘’Blanc de Blancs,’’ made from Chardonnay grapes was the first wine Schramsberg produced in 1965 and was America’s first commercially produced Chardonnay-based Brut sparkling wine. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs gained international recognition in 1972 when then President Nixon served the wine at the historic ‘’Toast to Peace’’ in Beijing, China. The Schramsberg style is dry and crisp. Small lots of malolactic-and barrel-fermented wines are added for complexity. The wine is aged on the yeast lees in the bottle for two years prior to disgorgement. With its vibrant, lively and crisp nature, this sparkling wine will maintain its freshness, structure and refined finish for many years, even decades following its initial release. The Blanc de Blancs has bright and fresh aromas of grapefruit, mango, apricot, lemon and white peach. The fruitful fragrance intermingles with hints of fresh bread, vanilla cream pie and rose petal. Freshly sliced Gravenstein apple, zesty citrus and bright pineapple flavors carry vibrant length on the palate. Enjoyed by itself as an aperitif, it is also perfect with oysters and shellfish, ceviche, aged Gouda or other hard cheeses.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena


Joseph Perrier Brut Cuvee Royale

750 ml Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $29.99
375 ml Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

I hate to think that Champagne is considered a great Holiday or celebratory beverage, especially considering how fun and delicious they are. Most people I know really enjoy them, yet share that narrow mindset that they should be saved for special events. But the American mindset tends to think of bubbles in just that light, for toasts or for occasions befitting something special. To that my answer is yes, it is great for celebrations so by all means, celebrate often. And most of the main wine producing regions have a version of sparkling wine of their own, many of them satisfying and delicious, but to me, Champagne is in a class by itself. What is less understood is what actually goes into the process of making Champagne, and it is a long and costly process. True Champagne goes through a special fermentation process called Methode Champenoise, or Traditional Method. This is the process where a base fermented wine actually goes through a secondary fermentation within the bottle it currently resides. Yeast and sugar are added to the base wine and the bottle is sealed, causing the yeast to eat the sugar and “burp” gasses which cannot escape the enclosure. After time, the gasses are integrated into the wine, and it now sparkles. After the yeast eats the sugar and get gassed, they are purged under pressure and the bottle is corked. Sounds simple, but it takes years from start to finish for true Champagne, and it is costly. Back to Joseph Perrier, which is a house favorite, Cuvee Royale is a brilliant, fresh and mildly yeasty marriage of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. Tremendous vibrance and purity with citrusy, yeasty, creamy goodness. Ideal with white fish, salmon, roasted turkey, yes pork loin, or as the quintessential Sunday brunch treat!

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits


Raidis Estate Coonawarra “Cheeky Goat” Pinot Gris

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $17.99

Orange is the new white. The color of this wine is unusual for a Pinot Gris aka Pinot Grigio. Extended skin contact resulted in a beautiful salmon color. In the wine world we call this wine “orange”, and it’s becoming a trend. On first sip, you’ll get beautiful flavors of watermelon and guava with some noticeable tannins on the teeth and tongue that you equate with a red wine. It’s a dry wine, with decidedly Australian alcohol content (14%abv). Owners Steven and Emma Raidis produced this white wine on their sustainable family vineyard in Coonawarra, an area known for big reds. As for the “Cheeky Goats”, they roam freely among the vines and help with the clean up after harvest. A great white for red wine lovers.

Nancie Hemminger Certified Specialist of Wine Manhattan Beach


Liberated Sonoma Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $12.99

This is a new line of label-driven wines meant to be adventurous and whimsical. Crisp and refreshing, this Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc shows notes of citrus blossom and spring melon. The wine deliciously delivers its well-integrated fruit and floral characteristics on your awaiting palate. Tangy, it’s both tart and tropical, finishing focused and lean. A great way to start your holiday feast!

90 points Wine Enthusiast 2014

Michael Gregory Certified Specialist of Wine; Merchandising Specialist


Brander Santa Ynez Sauvignon Blanc au Naturel

Regular $32.99 Gazette Special $26.99

Ok if I sound redundant, sorry, but Fred Brander makes some seriously delish Sauvignon Blanc. I am a big fan for a number of reasons, but the primary is that he knows what the heck he’s doing around this finicky fruit. With a history of winemaking going back to the 18th century, it was really in the 70’s when Santa Barbara County really became a recognized and accredited agricultural area. Fred’s father Fritz first planted in Santa Ynez in the mid 70’s and tended to his vines while Fred pursued oenology and chemistry. Studying abroad he found a penchant for food and fine wine, which fueled his passion further. The Brander Estate in Los Olivos is the source for this spectacular white, it is at once brisk and tantalizingly mouthwatering, and boasts a serious depth and texture that leaves one wanting, needing another glass. The fruit in the “au Naturel” bottling is captivating and exotic, not showing the vegetal or stemmy profile some find off-putting, but here the citrus, blossom and melon core dominate. There is a subtle yet bracing minerality that so enticing and refreshing. This wine will improve with time, but my bet is you won’t be able to leave it that long. Don’t rush it, this is one to savor and watch it develop over the course of hours. Pair with finfish, shellfish, poultry pan roasted vegetables, the sky is the limit!

The 2015 rated 90 Points @ Vinous.com

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits


Matthew Fritz Sonoma Chardonnay

Regular $14.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Bright and fresh with a medium gold color. Tropical fruits dominate the flavors along with honeydew melon and lemon candy. The palate comes across creamy and textured with hints of hazelnut and ripe citrus. This wine is perfectly balanced and will pair with any chicken dishes or grilled Halibut. Blended from Alexander Valley and Carneros/Sonoma vineyards for added complexity. Just tasted this in late October and had to pass it on as a wonderful find for you to try. A great Value!

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert


L’Oliveto Russian River Chardonnay

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Located in the Russian River Valley near Sebastopol, California, Oliveto works with small growers, many of them multi-generation farmers, who are dedicated to sustainable practices. The grapes are sourced from distinctive vineyard sites throughout the scenic and productive Russian River Valley. The nose is reminiscent of green apples, citrus, and fragrant stone fruit, while the palate is creamy yet bright with flavors of Asian pear, lemon custard and baking spices. The finish is crisp, long and refreshing, making this a wonderful food wine for all your holiday fare, or simply to share with your family and friends.

89 Points Wine Enthusiast 2014

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


The Fableist Central Coast Chardonnay “163”

Regular $18.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Truchard Estate Vineyards’ vines range from 18-40 years old and benefit from the marine soils and cooler temperatures-the conditions that make the Carneros region ideal for growing Chardonnay. I love this wine for its intense aromas and flavors. On the nose pineapple, green apple, honeysuckle and floral notes with hints of fig and toasted oak. It’s full bodied with flavors of pear, lemon, lime and crème brulee. This Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in French oak. It is complex with great acidity that helps with its creamy texture and delicate structure. The 2013 vintage was rated 91 points by the Wine Spectator – the 2014 has yet to be rated.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood


Truchard Carneros Chardonnay

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $24.99

Truchard Estate Vineyards’ vines range from 18-40 years old and benefit from the marine soils and cooler temperatures-the conditions that make the Carneros region ideal for growing Chardonnay. I love this wine for its intense aromas and flavors. On the nose pineapple, green apple, honeysuckle and floral notes with hints of fig and toasted oak. It’s full bodied with flavors of pear, lemon, lime and crème brulee. This Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in French oak. It is complex with great acidity that helps with its creamy texture and delicate structure. The 2013 vintage was rated 91 points by the Wine Spectator – the 2014 has yet to be rated.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood


Hudson Napa Valley-Carneros Chardonnay

Regular $64.99 Gazette Special $56.99

Hudson ranch is location in Napa Valley’s Carneros district. They have been growing grapes for thirty years on two hundred acres of vineyards dedicated to some of the best fruit in Napa. Hudson vineyards premium grapes are sold to 27 wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, some of which are identified as “Hudson vineyards” on their labels. This chardonnay is one of the most balanced I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying! Bold fruit notes such as apples and apricots, wet stone, vanilla, baking spices and butterscotch fill the senses. The palate has a wonderful richness that is balanced with the fruit notes of the wine. This wine will leave you speechless. The rich creaminess allows for a bold finish that is best enjoyed with baked salmon, roasted poultry or lobster with garlic butter sauce. The last 5 consecutive vintages have all scored above 90 Points at RobertParker.com.

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach


Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $21.99

Jim Clendenen, the “mind behind” Au Bon Climat, has been making Pinot Noir in Santa Barbara County since 1982, long before the movie “Sideways” (2003) put the regions Pinot Noir on the map. Each year he creates exceptional Pinot and Chardonnay for his flagship label and other “side projects”. This Santa Barbara County label, a great entry-level value, combines fruit from 5 vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley & Los Alamos AVAs. The lack of rain caused the earliest ripening fruit ever, creating wines that are rich and complex. Traditionally, the Thanksgiving Feast is filled with a variety of eclectic side dishes, from sweet potatoes to mushroom gravy and herbaceous stuffing to brussel sprouts. This is a wine that will be partner perfectly. The juicy strawberry and blackberry aromas lead to earthy flavors with hints of anise and clove. A true food wine. Au Bon-Apetit!

Nancie Hemminger Certified Specialist of Wine, Manhattan Beach


Matthew Fritz Carneros Pinot Noir

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Medium ruby red in color with just the right amount of fruit. The wine has intense aromas of strawberries, rhubarb and violets. The palate is framed with rich acidity and loaded with wild berries, allspice, forest floor notes, and hints of crushed tea leaves. This is an elegant Pinot Noir that will pair well with any pork or lamb dishes. Tasted this in October, it is outstanding in flavor and value.

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


Las Rocas Calatayud Garnacha

Regular $12.99 Gazette Special $9.99

Las Rocas wines are produced in Calatayud, in the southeastern corner of Spain’s Aragon region. Garnacha vines thrive on the steep, rocky slopes here, creating some of the world’s most sought-after wines. Many vines are more than 80 years old which creates the rich, robust flavors of Las Rocas. The wine exhibits a deep ruby color, with a spicy cranberry bouquet. It is well-structured and balanced with flavors of dark cherry, hints of oak, supple tannins and a long, rich finish.
Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood


Sans Liege Central Coast Journeyman Mourvedre

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $24.99

The “M” in “GSM”, Mourvedre is one of the primary Rhone varietals that has been exported to California and has found a home in the Central Coast where is grows particularly well. It is typically used in small amounts as a blending grape to impart tannin, deep color, jammy blackberry and herbal qualities. In the hands of winemaker Curt Schalchlin this 100% varietal is a dark beauty that exhibits all of these qualities in spades. A sexy little black dress with combat boots – A little punk rock with a dark fairytale (as noted on the bottle). It doesn’t need food to be delicious, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some bread, cheese and charcuterie on hand.

Nancie Hemminger Certified Specialist of Wine Manhattan Beach


Mas de Daumas Gassac Languedoc Rouge

Regular $47.99 Gazette Special $39.99

For a century, the Languedoc region has been France’s wine factory, churning out oceans of cheap table wine. Aimé Guibert, founder of Mas de Daumas Gassac, showed that the region’s hillsides offered more – Regrettably, Monsieur Gassac passed away last Spring. In 1994, Wine Spectator tasted 400 wines from the region. Only four rated outstanding, and they were all from Mas de Daumas Gassac. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir,Tannat, Malbec and other more rare grape varieties, it is vinified in the classic Medoc tradition of long fermentation and maceration in stainless steel tanks, no filtration. Aged 12 to 15 months in 1 to 7 year-old oak barrels, this “Super Languedoc” explodes in the mouth. It is smooth, elegant, and has great finesse. Hints of dark chocolate, coffee, and red fruit lead to thoroughly rounded and elegant flavors and a long, powerful and velvety finish. Serve it with your favorite recipes for lamb, roasted duck or game that include mushrooms, caramelized onions, and slow-cooked vegetables.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester


J.L. Chave Saint-Joseph Offerus Rouge

Regular $34.99 Gazette Special $29.99

If you’re unfamiliar with France’s Saint-Joseph AOC, it’s located in the Northern Rhone and just like its expensive superstar neighbors that always overshadow it. They (Hermitage and Cote Rotie) grow some of best Syrah in the world. Yet unlike its aforementioned neighbors, it offers the same classically-styled, not overly extracted or “jammy” wines for a price most people can afford. This is evident in yet another excellent release from J.L. Chave, who many consider the best producer in Northern Rhone. His ‘Selection’ line are negociant offerings that are reasonably priced using both purchased and estate fruit that are entry level but no slouches. The ‘Offerus’ is full of dark fruits, floral notes and pepper on the nose with just the slightest hint of herbal stemminess. The palate is led by succulent cherry, plum and black currant fruit with undertones of smoked meats. Fine tannins, minerality and elegantly balanced acidity throughout the long finish. It’s dynamic and generous, yet easy-drinking, the perfect match with any dish featuring lamb or even prime rib.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica


Maddalena Vyds Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

On a recent outing, we made a trip to San Antonio Winery in downtown Los Angeles. Yes, right in the middle of downtown is a fully operational winery that offers tours, tastings, a restaurant and gift shop. Established in 1917, the winery itself survived prohibition by serving sacramental wines to the churches. Today, it is Los Angeles’ only producing winery and remains on the same real estate now for almost 100 years. While there, we had the opportunity to try Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon (named after the family’s matriarch, Maddalena Riboli ). Estate grown fruit shows scents of raspberry, plum and black cherry, balanced by a silky, rich texture on the mouth with flavors of vanilla, caramel and oak spice. If visiting downtown is on your list of things to do, drop and and visit, otherwise come by Bristol Farms and pick up a bottle of Maddalena Cabernet Sauvignon.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills


Brave & Maiden Santa Ynez Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $24.99

Veteran winemaker Paul Hobbs of Sonoma, Napa (Paul Hobbs, Crossbarn) and Argentina (Riglos, El Felino) fame has now partnered with the owners of Brave & Maiden at their sustainably farmed Santa Barbara vineyards to create some exceptional wines. This Santa Ynez Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has it all – earthy notes abound with smoke, cedar, ripe plums, mouthwatering blackberries and black cherry and a spicy note all combine in a very balanced and restrained wine. The winery takes its name from the “Legend of Nojoqui”, an indigenous tale of fated lovers similar to Romeo & Juliet. The label depicts the waterfall, which you’ll find on the back roads of Solvang – great place for a picnic and a bottle of wine! Pair this with beef roasts and lamb dishes.

Nancie Hemminger Certified Specialist of Wine Manhattan Beach


Ghost Winery Napa Valley Red

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $33.99

Flora Springs has the distinction of being home to one of Napa Valley’s original “ghost wineries” – wineries built between 1860 and 1900 but abandoned in the early 20th century due to vine disease, the Great Depression, and Prohibition. Today, some ghost wineries still exist as ruins, but others, such as Flora Springs, have been renovated and restored to their former glory. This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend explodes with bewitching aromas of ripe black cherries, white pepper and sage, continuing with bold flavors of blackberries, boysenberries and cassis that wash over the mid-palate. Barrel aged in a combination of new and seasoned French and American oak barrels, the wine displays subtle accents of toasty oak, vanilla and a dusted chocolate component. The fine tannins end with a bright, fruit forwardness on the palate. This wine would be ideally paired with duck or wild game as well as a hearty stew.

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


Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $52.99 Gazette Special $45.99

As ripe as it is fruity and showing a good dose of blackcurrants in league with notes of chocolate and very rich oak, this plush and outgoing effort is accessible now but will cellar beautifully for many years gaining complexity. This is a winery that can do no wrong and consistently receives great press. This full-bodied beauty will pair up very well with most holiday fare. A must with prime rib, all cuts of lamb, marbled cuts of beef, and of course aged cheese. Also would make a great gift. Highly Recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills


Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $89.99 Gazette Special $79.99

The Wagner family has built a reputation that was built on Charlie Wagner’s sole principal of “Consistency is King” for their Cabernet Sauvignon. The way Caymus is able to achieve this consistency is by selecting grapes from several vineyards that offer different soils and micro-climates. By working with vineyards that stretch from Calistoga to Napa (a total of 8 sub-appellations), Caymus has produced some great Cabernets and 2014 is no exception. The wine has bold notes of dark cherries, blueberries, vanilla and cigar. The palate is powerful and flavorful with bold fruit notes, rich tannins and long finish that leaves you wanting more (it’s ok to not share this wine). A wonderful vintage from the Wagner family! Pair this with a Filet Mignon and roasted seasonal vegetable.

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach


Lewis Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon “Mason”

Regular $59.99 Gazette Special $52.99

Established in 1992 by Randy and Debbie Lewis in Napa Valley. Randy, a former Pro race car driver, became a fan of wines and decided to accelerate into the wine industry. Along with Debbie’s vast experience in the wine industry, they both set out to create a winery that had a more hands on approach to winemaking and marketing. They brought Josh Widaman to head up the winemaking (who had 15 years of experience with some of the top names in Napa Valley) and have created some incredible wines. The Lewis Mason (named after their 3rd child) has powerful aromatic notes of plum, cassis, cedar, cocoa and dark violets. On the palate this wine is rich and dense, with a structure that is balanced with bold flavors of plums and tobacco with rich tannins and a powerful finish that lingers for some time. This wine would be best paired with Prime Rib. Enjoy!

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach


Chateau Angelique de Monbousquet St. Emilion

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $25.99

Angelique de Monbousquet, named after the daughter of the owners, Gerard and Chantal Perse, is the second label of the great Château Monbousquet, an 81-acre estate in the St.-Émilion appellation that can trace its history back to 1540. It became a Grand Cru Classé A in the 2006 St. Émilion classification and is worth every penny. When I see this estate’s wines at any industry tasting, I make an immediate bee-line for that table. Gerard Perse, a former professional cyclist and supermarket magnate who now owns numerous wine estates, including Pavie, Pavie-Decesse and La Clusière, hired the influential consultant Michel Rolland to oversee the winemaking. Vineyards are planted to 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that Monbousquet “has been one of the stars of its appellation as well as one of Bordeaux’s most exotic offerings. “ I could not agree more.

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


Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino “White Label”

Regular $64.99 Gazette Special $54.99

Brunello di Montalcino, considered the noblest of Italian reds, is a pure joy to drink, if you can afford it. Yes, many of these highly sought after wines can shatter the century mark and several breaking the $200 barrier in the best of vintages. But those are generally destined to sit in the cellar for decades before they really start to show their true colors. Montalcino is a hamlet, a hillside village south of Siena that rises to an elevation of well over 600 meters above sea level, but it is at the lower elevations where the vines thrive. Here a particular clone of Sangiovese is grown that ripens perfectly under the Mediterranean sun, which gives this majestic wine its characteristic richness, texture and body. Sangiovese is grown throughout Tuscany, but it is in Montalcino that it is at its most profound and intriguing. While it dates back to the 14th century, modern Brunello began its ascent in the late 19th century and continues to evolve and refine today. Rules are strict, production is strictly limited, yields are monitored, and a governing body evaluates producers on quality, not everybody is fortunate to make the cut. Wines are held in oak for a prescribed 2 years, with 2 years in bottle before release. All these regulations are in play to uphold the integrity of the wine, and all but guarantee an outstanding experience. Casanova di Neri is a family business with 7 estate parcels, most of them south and eastern facing, for perfect exposure. The winery is largely subterranean using gravity for a low impact on the fruit. Stainless tanks are used for fermentation and a variety of casks are used for aging. Gentle handling makes for a sumptuous, integrated, beautiful wine that delivers decades of enjoyment. Wonderful with fileto con balsamico, herbed lamb chops and truffled anything.

92 Points Robertparker.com 2011 vintage.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits


Silvio Grasso La Morra Barolo

Regular $36.99 Gazette Special $28.99

Silvio Grasso is a family operation from Piemonte’s La Morra, the heart of Nebbiolo country. Originally run by his father, Alessio Federico took the reins and began using all the family’s estate fruit for their production rather than selling off to neighboring producers. The family farms naturally and organically with select cover crops for pest control and uses only natural fertilizers. The wines are somewhat more modern than traditional, with softer tannins and restrained use of oak, although it is detectable. 100% Nebbiolo, the 2011 Silvio Grasso Barolo is layered and dense with a solid core of fruit cherry, strawberry and licorice, with moderate oak influence, and while extremely youthful (young Barolo can be downright tough) it has a generous nature to it. It displays a complexity and weight that carries the firm tannins, but is not excessive or clumsy in its youth. Do note however, this is a substantial and rugged wine as are all noteworthy wines from this region. Not for the faint hearted, but for those that have the patience for cellaring, or at least hours’ worth of decanting, you will be rewarded. Pair with game meats, seasoned meats and savory dishes.

92 Points James Suckling, 90 Points Wine Spectator

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits


Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti 375 ml

Regular $13.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Founded in 1956, the Michele Chiarlo estate is relatively young by Italian standards, but nonetheless has built a well-deserved reputation for well-crafted wines. In addition to making fine Barbera d’Asti, Gavi, Barbaresco, and Nebbiolo wines, their lineup also includes this delicious fruity Moscato. Nivole means “clouds” in the Piedmontese dialect, and this wine is truly ethereal. Produced from hand-selected grapes grown on the hillsides outside Canelli in Piedmont, this Moscato is fresh, delicate, full of apricot and peach flavors, crisp acidity, and ends with a slight sparkle (frizzante). Very versatile, it can complement many foods, such as paté, soft cheeses, melon and prosciutto, grilled salmon, or Asian cuisine. An excellent addition to your holiday platters.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills


Domaine Georges Brunet Vouvray Cuvee du Paradis

Regular $44.99 Gazette Special $38.99

Look at a wine map and you’ll see that the Chenin Blanc vine is planted in almost every major wine-producing area. Yet, if you sample these wines, the best you’ll get is mostly pleasant, simple table wine. Now, if you read the wine books you will see that Chenin Blanc is rated among the classic grape varieties of the world – up there with Pinot Noir and Riesling. If you ask how this can be you must not have tried a Chenin Blanc from Vouvray. It grows all over, but only in Vouvray and other middle-Loire vineyards does it often achieve greatness – especially late harvest Vouvray made from botrytis-affected grapes. The lovely golden color of the Georges Brunet Vouvray Cuvee du Paradis alerts you to floral and crystalized pear aromas and layers of toast, honey and apricot flavors. The flavors are very long with enough bright acidity to carry the sugar. This 2003 Vouvray is beautifully balanced and still fresh and clean. In fact it is estimated to last 50 years or more in the cellar. Serve it as an aperitif with strong, creamy cheeses, or as a dessert.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester


Fonseca Bin 27 Porto

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Bin 27 is produced primarily from grapes from Fonseca’s own quintas in the Cima Corgo-exceptional fruit that results in a wine of high quality and consistency from year to year. In the winery, the newly developed, robotic ‘’port Toes’’ technology for treading the grapes allows the winery to maximize the quality of the fruit by imitating the traditional action of human feet a avoiding damage to the bitter grape seeds. Fermentation is halted by the addition of grape spirits before all the residual sugar has been fermented, creating a sweet, fortified wine. A ruby-style Porto blended from reserve wines selected for their intense depth of color and fruit character, Bin 27 is aged for four years in neutral wood vats before bottling. This wine shows fresh, rich blackberry and cassis aromas. On the palate, it has a well-knit structure, with a velvety luscious mouthfeel and smooth tannins. Enjoy with strong- flavored, hard cheeses- a good farmhouse cheddar or an aged Gouda would be perfect. It is delicious with desserts made with dark chocolate or berries.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena


Prices valid November 30 – January 3 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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