The Grapevine Gazette

oct 3 – Oct 31

While some mourn the passing of Summer, others delight in the brisk arrival of Fall and all the festivities that surround it. Halloween creeps up on us and sends chills up our spine, while it becomes quite normal for an adult to act like a child and vice versa. This “Vitus Americana” is a fun filled bridge to those approaching months of family merriment, festivities and reunions; it’s also the gateway for the much anticipated Holiday season. What was once seasonal grilling is now an all season event as we crack open those full bodied reds that remained in hibernation in our cellars during our seasonal scorching. Autumn dishes beg for those distinct wines that give new meaning to the phrase “comfort foods”. As befitting this special month, our ‘skeleton crew’ has chosen a frighteningly good selection of wines to quench your thirst and satiate your palate. No tricks here – just treats. As such, we offer a bevy of unique choices that echo this celebratory period, be they to share with family over a Ghoul stew, scare up some frightfully good yarns, or nudge you into wearing that Halloween costume you’ve been dying to try. As always, enjoy these and drink outside the crypt!

Orin Swift Dept 66 Fragile Cotes Catalanes Rosé

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

While there is an antiquated belief that Rosé is just for the hot Summer months, a few still adhere to that jaded sentiment. Not all Rosés are created equal, some truly are better suited to lighter fare, as they are light, lively and delicate, where some boast more structure, density and dare I say vinous character. Dave Phinney, founder and creator of Orin Swift and The Prisoner, started Dept. 66 named for the Catalan region of southern France. And the Fragile Rosé is anything but, it is a fairly hardy with ample plush red fruits, notes of citrus zest and an underpinning of crushed rock and mineral. A bit more substantial and structured, it is ideally suited to red fleshed fish, pork loin, roasted chicken and yes, if you can keep it around long enough, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner complete with cranberry relish. Or, keep milking those remaining warm Fall days and savor a little more robust pink.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Clos Alivu Patrimonio Corsican Rosé

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $17.99

This is a very unique Rosé on various levels – its made with Niellucio, a red grape believed related to Sangiovese. The vines grow on the terraced slopes of Corsica’s east coast. And the appellation Patrimonio is considered the oldest and best on the island. Though the winery was purchased in 2005, the vines themselves are 50+ years old, an age that results in wine with more depth and complexity. Eric Poli and his brother Antoine manage the estate, with Eric also serving as winemaker. This Corsican beauty has a light salmon-pink color and exhibits a gorgeous perfume with floral and cherry nuances. Lovely fruit with a floral and citrus tinge is backed by a nice, crisp finish. It is a perfect accompaniment to just about any Mediterranean inspired dish. 92 points Wine & Spirits

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

Cave de Pomerols HB Languedoc-Roussillon Picpoul de Pinet

Regular $11.99 Gazette Special $9.99

Picpoul has been grown for centuries near the Étang de Thau (Thau lagoon) in the French region of Languedoc. The lagoon itself creates a microclimate that the grapes thrive on. The wine is crystal clear with green highlights and offers a soft delicate nose and a refreshing mouthfeel with excellent acid structure and balance. Bone dry, it is great for seafood and shellfish dishes. Also holds up well with rich cheese dishes.
88 points The Wine Advocate 2016

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

Livio Felluga Friuli-Venezia Friulano

Regular $ 26.99 Gazette Special $23.99

In the far northeastern part of Italy, much closer to Slovenia and Austria than to Rome, in an area where the men wear little leather shorts and the cows wear big copper bells, lie some of the best white wine vineyards in the world. All kinds of whites do well here (as well as some reds) but when I have an Italian wine, I like to have one of Italy’s thousand indigenous varieties. Friulano is Friuli’s traditional wine, full of personality and varietal character. It is well-structured, with harmonious, fruit-led complexity, and a characteristic after-aroma of bitter almonds. Manually harvested in late September, the grapes are carefully destemmed and left to macerate for a short period before the fruit is soft crushed and the must is allowed to settle. Then it is fermented and aged on the lees in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks for six months. The 2015 is a creamy white, offering subtle flavors of baked apricot, pastry and crushed almond. It has a light to medium body and a citrusy finish. It will taste great as an aperitif on the patio, or as the main wine with seafood.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Trocken

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $16.99

This is an aromatic dry Riesling that is a wonderful alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. It is crisp, refreshing and really mouth-watering. 2015 was a ripe vintage so it gained some appreciable weight and texture to balance out the lively tangy fruit. The beautiful citrus, melon and stone-fruit flavors are balanced with a refreshing minerality. Very easy to drink, this stunning Riesling makes a perfect aperitif, match with delicate seafood or even soft ripened cheeses. Or serve this with light appetizers at your next dinner party or gathering.

Lenya Wilson Wine Specialist Westwood

Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $23.99

How Riesling came to this region of the world, far western Germany, is a long story and a bit of a mystery. Though the variety may be indigenous to Germany, it was the Cistercian monks who controlled all the best land and decided thin, pale German reds weren’t going to compete with those deeply colored French wines and the tenant growers were ordered to pull out all the reds and plant Riesling. The Mosel Valley’s steep, south facing slopes create the perfect climate for Riesling, giving the vines ideal exposure to the sun. The cool climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly while retaining bright acidity. This vineyard is so steep that, long ago, stone steps were built into the hillside to help workers reach the vines. (Erdenger Treppchen means little staircase of Erden.)The iron-infused, red slate soil produces wines that are muscular and complex, with an intense mineral finish. The 2015 Erdener Treppchen Kabinett is minerally and zesty, with flavors of apple and pear tart. The texture is open and generous, featuring an off-dry finish that offers spicy dried apple notes. This wine is crisp enough to pair with salads, ripe enough to tame spicy Asian dishes, and has the power to enjoy with roast pork and other white meats.
90 points The Wine Advocate

Rob Hill, Wine Specialist Westchester

Schiopetto Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Pinot Grigio basically falls into two camps – you have the ones that taste like flavored water and you’ll still pay a pretty penny; and then you have the wine that offers brilliant flavor and is worth every penny you pay for it. Schiopetto falls into the latter category. Everything started in 1970 in the vineyards around the Archbishop’s Palace at Capriva, which was eventually rented to Mario Schiopetto by the church. The vineyards and the property finally became his in 1989. Mario, fully aware that the real wealth and strength of the business is the soil itself, transformed the old, unkempt terrain, so named the “Terroir of Ponca” and brought back these unique vineyards to their the full potential. In 2014 the business passed into the hands of the Rotolo family who intend to maintain intact Mario’s passionate mission. When I tasted this gem last month at our annual managers meeting, this one really took me by surprise. Clean, brilliant notes of exotic fruits such as papaya with rose petals aromas abound. The mid palate is rich and mouth coating with a structure of fruits and mineral, which carries through to a very enticing finish. Brava!

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

Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

New Zealand is well known for their distinctive and un-oaked Sauvignon Blancs, and distinctive is definitely a word you can use to describe this offering by Allan Scott. The nose is an aromatic mix of green fruit tones with underlying ripe tropical aromas adding complexity. Flavorsome hints of pineapple, gooseberry and passion fruit with mild grassy herbaceous characters fill your mouth, along with an added note of minerality on the palate, giving this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc great foundation. It also has an enduring structured and well balanced finish. Its bright acidity pairs beautifully with goat cheeses and light fish and chicken dishes. Also highly recommended as an aperitif.

Michael Pagh, Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Here is a fresh and spunky Sauvignon Blanc. 95% Sauvignon Blanc, 4% Semillon and 1% Muscat, it is ripe with juicy tropical and citrusy notes of kiwi, passion fruit, lemongrass, and grapefruit. Barrel ageing in 90% stainless steel tanks and 10% neutral oak tanks makes it crisp, bright, and balanced with just the right amount of acidity. Excellent with broiled sea bass, garlicky scallops, or a simple baguette with goat cheese.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Turnbull Oakville Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Turnbull has been a fixture in Napa Valley for over three decades, I recall really enjoying some of their classic Cabernets over the years and found them very solid and reliable. Formerly Johnson Turnbull, they upgraded their brand and their facility yet really never lost track of their heritage. Oakville is a charming place and they still maintain a low impact presence without all the glitz and gaudy showmanship that has become Napa Valley. No Castle, no pillars, just a homey barn with a modern touch. Their Sauvignon Blanc is a truly fine example of classic Napa style, its Oakville estate fruit is rich and textured without being clumsy or cloying. Absent is the vegetal element that turns off many, but it has the citrus, tropical, fig flavors that are true and pure. The flavors are balanced, lingering and alluring, and make a wonderful complement to rich seafood such as halibut, seabass or even seared scallops.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Frog’s Leap Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $21.99

The beautiful aromatics of the 2016 Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc brings great excitement to the wine. Peach blossom and white flower give way to a very light salty aroma that is a perfect introduction to the crisp mineral flavors. This wine spent a bit more time on its fermentation lees than is usual and there is significant evidence for this in depth of its flavors. Capable of holding up to a wide variety of culinary options, but particularly good with some fresh, briny Oysters.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Mer Soleil Monterey County Silver Chardonnay

Regular $22.99 Gazette Special $19.99

Grown in Monterey County, this is a pure and clean expression of Chardonnay from the Wagner Family Vineyards. Never seeing the inside of an oak barrel it is fermented in stainless steel and concrete tanks imported from Burgundy. Aromas of crisp pears and blossoms, round and layered on the palate, with vibrant acidity and depth. A beautiful food wine paired with Chicken Florentine and pasta.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Ancient Peaks Santa Margherita Chardonnay

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Grown in one of the coolest growing regions in the state just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in calcareous soil, this is a true terroir driven wine. Bright tropical fruit aromas with accents of butterscotch, vanilla and spice. Rounded flavors of pear, melon, pineapple and papaya unfurl with a rich texture. Notes of green apple and citrus add crispness to a long, smooth finish. Pair with grilled Scottish Steelhead with lemon butter or tartar sauce, and asparagus spears on the grill.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Frog's Leap Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $32.99 Gazette Special $28.99

This is not your typical California Chardonnay. This one takes a page straight out of Chablis with plenty of core fruit flavors along with lots of its indigenous soil character. This is a wine that has you thinking of purity and not just marketing as there is quite a bit of vigneron soul in this bottle. It offers peach, apples and dried earth flavors on the pallet, followed by a medium to long finish. Its fine acidity and a refreshing zesty after taste will make this the perfect match with the most simple of shellfish cuisine. 93 points Wine & Spirits 2015

Kyle Ezidro Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

Hanzell Sebella Sonoma County Chardonnay

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $29.99

Hanzell has been at the forefront of Burgundian varietals for decades, and few can even come close to the pedigree, structure and longevity that come from this piece of heaven. Superb and very enjoyable Chardonnay with rich ripe fruit and aromas and flavors of mango, tangerine and lime. Nicely balanced with French oak and soft butter nuances. Enjoy on its own or with seafood and salads. Please allow it time to breathe, or better yet, decant.

Bert Svensson Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Ramey Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $34.99

David Ramey produces world renowned reds, but he’s no slouch when it comes to his whites. This particular Chard hails from two special vineyard sites, Martinelli Charles Ranch Vineyard and the Platt Vineyard, which explains its great depth of flavor, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. It offers intensity on the mid palate while its flavors of lemon confit, stone fruit, chamomile and lightly oaked notes are laced into the silky finish. This delectable Chardonnay does its region of the Sonoma Coast proud.

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

Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $21.99

The 3 amigos behind Banshee, Noah Dorrance, Baron Ziegler and Steve Graf are becoming the talk of the town with their consistently great releases of well-balanced, delicious wines that are pure and beautiful expressions of each varietal. When I first tasted this incredible Pinot Noir I was blown away by the sheer elegance and femininity displayed, as its deep garnet color led me to think it was just another one of the trendy super-concentrated and sometimes overly intense young wines we’ve been seeing from this vintage. Expressively aromatic, full of high-tone floral and red fruit notes, there’s plenty of ripe, juicy fruit on the palate that is balanced to perfection with spices, herb notes and earthy undertones lingering throughout the persistent, silky, tannin-filled finish. Dare I say, this is one of the most well-rounded and beautifully balanced pinots I’ve ever had at this price point!

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Cht. Ségriès Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Cotes-du-Rhone wines are quite versatile, really well suited to warm weather grilling as well as Fall and Winter fare such as roasts, stews and cassoulets. Grenache is the main component, which is jammy in texture but framed by spicy peppery goodness to keep it from being cloying. Cht. Ségriès was revitalized after its purchase in 1994, guided by the late owner of the esteemed Dom. De la Mordoree. With most of its holidings in Lirac, directly across the river from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, they also own about 10 acres of Cotes-du-Rhone. This showy 2015 is generous with balance and great purity, only 10% sees a lick of oak. It is classically styled with deep dark fruit, plenty of plum, raspberry and bitter cherry and slinks into a clean, crisp, slightly peppery finish. Pair with pork, roasted poultry, burgers or pretty much any well-seasoned dishes.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

The Paring California Proprietary Red

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

This Cabernet-inspired blend shows the sanguine, focused fruit and shapely tannins that come to expect from the sandy soils and slightly cooler mesoclimate of the outstanding vineyard sites where the graped are culed. 48% Cabernet Sauvignon,21% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and aged in French oak (55% new and 45% neutral) for 22 months. Unfined and unfiltered, classic aromas of cedar and cassis segue to a pure expression of black and red fruit with lovely herbal notes. A plush texture combined with a rigid backbone of tannin structure make this wine a truly memorable drinking experience. Classy and regal. A beauty for the cellar and the table tonight. Enjoy with grilled beef, roast pork with fruit, and hearty pasta dishes.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Consilience Santa Barbara County Converge Proprietary Red

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Consilience became a reality in March of 1999 when winemaker and co-owner, Brett Escalera, along with partner Tom Daughters released their very first wine – their 1997 Santa Barbara County Syrah. Consilience focuses primarily on Rhone and Burgundian varietals with grapes sourced from some of the best and vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County. Right out the gate you’re greeted with dark fruit, subtle earthiness, blackberries, and a sweet spice on the nose. Fresh herbs, dark cherry, and a chocolaty finish on the palate makes this a dynamic blend with firm yet nicely integrated tannins. 18 months in 25% new oak from a blend of Zaca Mesa Vineyard Syrah, Rodney Shull Vineyard Petite Sirah, Estelle Vineyard Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon and Estelle Vineyard Merlot.

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Desparada Sackcloth & Ashes California Proprietary Red

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $33.99

Native Californian and winemaker Vailia Esh has blended classic Bordeaux varietals to create this elegantly entrancing bottle. Beautiful ruby red color gives way to oak, spice and vanilla in the nose. On the palate, this wine immediately coats the mouth in crème, vanilla, raisin and ripe plum. Supple tannins and a good expression of fruit make this exceptional wine a pleasure for receptions and meals. Pair this wine with clove-dusted roasted pork, crusted rack of lamb, or dessert of honey-poached cherries. This wine is impressive enough to buy two: Drink one, cellar one!

Neal Wassrman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Daou Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $27.99 Gazette Special $24.99

From the trendy Daou Vineyards in Paso Robles, California comes this fleshy, easy drinking Cabernet Sauvignon. This robust and beautiful Cab offers up aromas of dark fruit, blackberry and dark chocolate. Full-bodied, smooth and rich, with nice structure and tannins. You can drink it now and I believe this will develop nicely in the bottle over the next several years. Enjoy on its own or with a nice grilled steak, or an aged cheddar cheese. Versatile and enjoyable!

Bert Svensson Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Frank Family Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $54.99 Gazette Special $48.99

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 and finesse. This is a winery that can do no wrong, great press all the time. This full-bodied beauty will pair up very well with most full flavored fare. A must with all well marbled cuts of beef, prime rib, lamb chops, and of course aged cheeses. Highly recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Ron Rubin Russian River Cool Climate Syrah

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $22.99

It’s a bit disturbing that Syrah continues to play hide n’ seek at attracting passionate wine aficionados. I think this one will bring them back into the fray. The climate in the Russian River Valley is similar to that of the northern Rhone Valley of France, Syrah’s ancestral home. A deep, rich ruby color is a hallmark of this delectable Syrah, and the aromas are of deep black fruit such as plums, black currants and wild berries with hints of leather, violets, licorice and black pepper. The flavors are rich, softly tannic, mouth filling and immensely satisfying and highlighted by bright acidity and silky tannins. This wine is enjoyable now but will age beautifully for five to eight years. Pairs well with a slow roasted peppered pork tenderloin or a lamb ragout with olives and peppers. Okay, somebody grab me a glass and turn the grill on!

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

H Mynors California Old Vine Zinfandel

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

We have been fans of Sean Minor for some time, we even selected him (them) for our Winery of the Month earlier this year. And the wines do nothing short of impress, particularly for the great value they represent. Sean has a penchant for making delicious wines that are within reach of everyone, whether it his 4 Bears (his four children),his namesake or the tribute to his forefathers (H Mynors was his 9th Great Grandfather), the quality and pedigree is unchallenged. And he has many awards and medals to his credit. The H Mynors Zinfandel is a nice throwback to when Zin used to be fresh, lively and delicious rather than an extracted, high octane behemoth more closely equated to Port wines. The fruit is bright, balanced and inviting with terrific elegance and a lovely fruit signature, raspberry, mulberry, currants and restrained sweet oak. It reminds me of the old days when Zinfandel was all the rage and finesse was fashionable. This festive wine would pair nicely with a well-marbled New York strip, a coffee rubbed filet or perhaps a spicy pasta dish.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Valravn Sonoma County Old Vine Zinfandel

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

I’m so impressed with what the guys at Banshee are doing, I decided to feature a small “side-project” of theirs. Valravn is their pursuit of making Zinfandel that lives up to its potential glory. This is an elegant, yet concentrated interpretation of Sonoma County Zinfandel, hand crafted in small quantities and is the antithesis of the jammy, mass-produced zins currently flooding the market. Over delivering in every possible way, the classic rustic expression of ripe fruit, lively acidity and beautiful balance make this my new go-to Zin for any occasion. This also happens to be perfectly spooky for our October Gazette. Reading up on the mythological origins of the “Valravn” is enough to chill one’s bones, as it depicts a monstrous raven who scours the bloody battlefields of Danish lore in search of fresh meat. This luscious juice will definitely slay your mortal thirst and leave you dying for more!

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Bunreatty Irish Mead

Regular $20.99 Gazette Special $17.99

Mead was produced in ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. The word in ancient Greek for drunk was “honey-intoxicated”. Bunratty Mead was said to have the power of virility and fertility and became the traditional drink for the bride and groom. Using the ancient recipe of pure honey, fruit of the vine and herbs it may be served many ways but always best chilled during the warmer climes or at room temperature during the Fall and Winter months. It pairs well with grilled chicken or game.

Dorothy Sagebiel Wine Specialist Westchester

Schramsberg Cremant Demi-Sec Napa Valley Sparkling Wine

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $35.99

With the holidays fast-approaching, Schramsberg has a sparkling wine that is sure to please. Semi-dry and slightly leesy with notes of holiday spice and baked pears in the nose. Creamy on the palate with essence of dried stone fruit and vanilla. Produced primarily from Flora grapes (a cross between Sémillon and Gewürtraminer), it is the perfect companion for holiday cheese trays, desserts, and for that spicy Asian food the night before your holiday feast. Enjoy this notable bottle with Point Reyes bleu cheese, foie gras, crème brûlée, and gingerbread.

Neal Wassrman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Chateau Laribotte Sauternes 2011 375 ml.

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

This Sauternes is luscious, beautiful and ready to drink right now. With amazing aromas of honey, clove and white flowers, it is delightfully sweet but not cloying. The fruit is light and lively with a wonderfully long finish. Have a glass as your next after dinner cocktail. Or better yet be adventuress and pair with blue cheese or gorgonzola. 93 Points Wine Enthusiast.

Lenya Wilson Wine Specialist Westwood

Prices valid October 3rd – October 31st, 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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