The Grapevine Gazette

June 3 - 30, 2015

June is the beginning of summer, a time of relaxation, traveling,
mid-day baseball games, suntans at the beach and BBQ's - our
"Thrill of the Grill" promotion is winding down so take advantage
of the delicious fare and libations being offered. June, named after
Juno, the Roman goddess and wife to Jupiter, possesses a special,
romantic characteristic - most weddings occur in June. There is a
long standing belief that it is considered good luck to be married in
this month...as long as you remain together! And for those who are
not taking a walk down the aisle, we offer our unique choices for
your imbibing pleasure. As always, enjoy and drink outside the box.

Marietta Cellars Old Vine Proprietary Red Lot 62

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $12.99

Emigrating from Italy at the turn of the last century, Marietta Bartolucci followed the American dream and started a business in California's Wine Country. While she didn't open a winery, her nephew whom adored her did, and her name graces the label. To this day, the family continues in the tradition of old world culture, family and of course winemaking. The Old Vine Red is a melange of Old School grapes, often inter-planted and harvested simultaneously creating an Old World style wine. Consisting of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane and a handful of other gutsy grapes, this wine tastes of the country, of the simple life and its simple pleasures. The wine is jammy yet spicy, with abundant strawberry, pomegranate, bramble flavors with a charismatic, bold, structured finish. This is one that will pair beautifully with grilled meats, sausages and a home fired pizza. 90 Points The Wine Spectator.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Casa Brancaia TRE Rosso Toscana

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

Comprised of 80% Sangiovese, the noble grape of Tuscany, and augmented with about equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, both of which have proven to excel in this hilly and breathtaking region. The wine is estate grown in three vineyards (hence the 'TRE' designation), two from Chianti and one south in the Maremma. The character is pure Toscana, but with a bit of structure and power provided from the two more firm varietals that are making definite inroads. TRE is chock full of black cherry, black plum, delicate rose petal accents, notes of earth and fleeting cedar essence. This wine is absolutely delicious with elegance coupled with a firm structure, well suited to red sauces, herb rolled leg of lamb, grilled rib-eye or aged pecorino.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino

Reg $29.99 | Gazette Special $25.99

Rosso di Montalcino is found in the same defined area as its bigger brother, the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. Both are situated in the heart of Tuscany, in central Italy. Very much a "Baby Brunello," this 100% Sangiovese based wine offers great value, making it a serious contender, especially at it's under $30 price point. The nose here is bright and penetrating with earthy notes, mineral tones and loads of bright berry fruit. Cherry, plum, and spice flavors are sweet and ripe, while fresh acidity and moderate tannins provide structure. Displays fine balance and length. A well-structured Rosso di Montalcino. Pair this full bodied red with prime cuts of beef, rosemary roasted potatoes and hard cheeses.

Michael Gregory Wine Merchandising Specialist

Chapoutier Bila-Haut Cotes du Roussillon Villages

Reg $15.99 | Gazette Special $13.99

This garnet-red beauty, a blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, originates from rough rocky slopes in the Agly Valley in south-west France. Those lofty slopes yield wine flavored with notes of blackberries, plums, currants, herbs, and earthy smoke. A meaty, well-crafted blend, it will complement grilled beef, barbecued ribs, or Mediterranean fare. 91 points Wine Advocate 2012

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Vignoble Yves Cheron Gigondas

Reg $23.99 | Gazette Special $18.99

Gigondas is known for its power rather than its elegance and some parts of the appellation are warmer than it's more famous brother, Chateauneufdu-Pape, the appellation draws its prestige from its reds. This wine is an enjoyable old world style Gigondas with an earthy nose of anise, blueberry and a little prune. Juicy dark fruits and mineral notes on the palate and nicely polished tannins. The wine is in perfect balance and has a long savory finish. Seems to be at its peak but I'm curious what it will do with more air or age. Pair this with BBQ, pork offerings and hard cheeses.

Michael Gregory Wine Merchandising Specialist

Vietti Barolo di Castiglione

Reg $49.99 | Gazette Special $44.99

I first fell in love with Vietti's wines when I tasted their Roero Arneis, so I was excited when I had the opportunity to enjoy this Barolo (it is one of several that Vietti produces). Lightning does strike twice: I fell in love again. Made from 100-percent Nebbiolo harvested from vines ranging in age from seven to thirty five years, this wine, though still relatively in its formative years, is already a delight to drink. Red fruit, floral and spice notes enticingly come together. Pair with aged cheeses, hearty red meat dishes and grilled Portobello mushrooms. 90-92 points Antonio Galloni 2011

Erin Kinney, Wine Specialist, Manhattan Beach

Brane Cantenac Baron De Brane Margaux

Reg $39.99 | Gazette Special $34.99

As Classified Growth Bordeaux prices have gotten out of control over the last decade, it is with fervor that we seek more approachable and affordable opportunities. And there are still some pretty impressive alternatives from the very same chateaux that demand the seemingly absurd prices they are asking. The Grand wines have gotten more than out of reach of us commoners, so we look to their second wines for shelter. Brane Cantenac 2010, the first wine of the chateau was rated 95 Points by Robert Parker, but also carries a three digit price tag, and requires a decade to really show its stuff. But for the about a third of the price, you can take home the 2010 Baron De Brane Margaux and enjoy it now. The flavors are of blackcurrants, cherry, violets, bold floral notes finishing with graphite, subtle toast and hints of toasted coconut. 92 Points The Wine Spectator.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Chappellet Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $59.99 | Gazette Special $52.99

The Chappellet family's romance with Pritchard Hill started more than four decades ago. They were the first winery to plant vineyards exclusively on high-elevation hillsides. From these Pritchard Hill vineyards, the Chappellets have been crafting extraordinary, age-worthy wines since 1967. One of their extraordinary wines is this amazingly rich, complex and satisfying wine with notes of dark cherry, blackberry combine with aromatics of sweet tobacco and roasted coffee. It is great paired with a juicy rib eye of beef. 93 points Antonio Galloni 2012

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

Canalicchio di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino

Reg $89.99 | Gazette Special $79.99

Well the blockbuster 2010 Brunello's have started to arrive. This Brunello from Canalicchio is a big, brawny wine that hits the palate with dark red stone fruits, dried flowers, wild herbs, smoke and tobacco. Violet, rose, perfumed berry and terrior are some of the aromas offered by this stunning wine. Still tightly wound, but delivering juicy black cherry, licorice and white pepper with assertive fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Drinks well very young and it will be interesting to see where this wine goes five years from now; my guess is that will grow in intensity. Avanti! 95 points Wine Enthusiast 2010

Brian Moore Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Byron Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Reg $24.99 | Gazette Special $21.99

Fitting into the ripe yet carefully balanced set of wines authored by Byron, this one combines a well-focused cherry fruit note with an interesting burst of dried spices hinting of clove and cinnamon. It is supple and full on the palate, showcasing a fine mix of terroir and oak, with a very good amount of complexity at this price point. A true find. Perfect with salmon, lamb, duck, and all lean cuts of beef. Highly recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Domaine Henri Delagrange Volnay Vielles Vignes

Reg $39.99 | Gazette Special $29.99

Volnay is a village in the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy, renowned for making some of the most silky, elegant wines with finesse, delicacy and an almost ethereal nose. However, the wines have a depth and structure that can allow them to age for decades. The wine is ruby colored, giving off very subtle aromas such as small red fruit (raspberry and blackberry) and violet. Aged for 15 months, this 100% Pinot Noir is fresh with integrated notes of red berry fruit, violet flowers and a kiss of spice on the structured finish. Charming with a seamless mouth feel, pair this delicate red with creamy cheeses, slow roasted poultry and cedar planked salmon.

Michael Gregory Wine Merchandising Specialist

Chateau Big Top Bordeaux - Languedoc Red

Reg $13.99 | Gazette Special $9.99

What we have here is a new world wine from French vineyards. Have you ever seen a blend of Bordeaux and Languedoc? Me either. You'd be right if you guessed Cabernet and Syrah, a common blend in Australia; but Australian it is not. The structure and earthy complexity are pure French. This is a versatile wine, full-bodied but tame. It is a crowd-pleaser that is more than useful with grilled meats, pasta and tomato sauce, or pizza.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Evodia Calatayud Old Vine Garnacha

Reg $9.99 | Gazette Special $8.99

For our Summer time fun, I am grilling burgers for the family, and I am surprising a lot of friends with some Spanish value! The Evodia Garnacha (Grenache grape in Spain) has always been one of my best kept secrets, and it is time to share the glory. This wine usually hits 90 points every vintage and it must have something to do with it being harvested from 100 year old vines in slate soil! Evodia is Greek for 'aroma' and this smooth and supple red wine has great notes of spices, intense cherries, currants, and some mineral for splendor. For our blue cheese burger and tri tip roast foodies, you should be enjoying this perfect pairing this summer.

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

ZD California Chardonnay Regular

Reg $34.99 | Gazette Special $29.99

ZD Wines are family owned and operated by three generations of the DeLeuze family, and is located in the heart of Napa Valley. This wonderful Chardonnay has forward aromas of guava and tropical fruit complemented by subtle hints of orange blossom and sweet vanilla. The palate is full bodied with notes of pineapple, mandarin and lemon rind that integrate with subtle oak and natural acidity.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

E&J Gallo Russian River Valley Chardonnay Estate Reserve

Reg $44.99 | Gazette Special $36.99

Don't let the name of Gallo dissuade you from experiencing this wonderful bottle of Chard. Their Estate wines are small batch productions and hail primarily from the esteemed Laguna Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. The quantities of the Estate wines are tiny, with only several hundred cases produced. Aged 15 months in 100% new French oak, and with 100% malolactic fermentation, this beauty offers up layers of lush tropical fruit, apricots, butterscotch and orange peel. Mouthwatering and rich on the palate, this voluptuous, textured wine is endowed with considerable volume and pure depth. As Robert Parker states in his critique, "these wines are all limited, but the pricing is fair and the wine quality impressive." 90 points Wine Advocate 2010

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Damilano Barbera D'Asti

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $15.99

Violet and burgundy in appearance with brilliant tones on nose and palate of bitter sweet Marasca cherries. Balanced acidity and herbal notes of rosemary, oregano and anise. What remains is a glass full of complimentary opposites. Subdued olfactory notes of violets, sarsaparilla and flint against pronounced cherries. Definitely the flavors of bitter rhubarb and licorice against tart plums pleasantly welcomed like dark cocoa with a long finish both dry and full. Absolutely the abundance of minerality for fewer than twenty dollars that begs you to question the price of a modest Burgundy. And in the end, a lovely wine that pairs well with salami and cheese, grilled cuts of lamb and beef, game birds and most anything equally Italian.

Teo Santocono Wine Specialist La Jolla

Ghost Pines 3 County Winemaker's Blend Chardonnay

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Rather than dwelling on traditional boundaries like AVAs or vineyards, grapes are chosen solely for their quality and flavor. Fruit used has been selected from three of California's most recognized Chardonnay appellations, Sonoma, Monterey and Napa. Very expressive and fruit forward with flavors of baked apple, pear and lemon cream with a finish of sweet vanilla.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

Talley Estate Arroyo Grande Chardonnay

Reg $28.99 | Gazette Special $23.99

There are two basic types of domestic Chardonnay - one is produced in a fat, rich, sweet manner that one could consider a "cocktail"; the other is more akin to a "Burgundian" style that relies less on oak and residual sugar and more on pure fruit content balanced with minerality and acidity. This latter style also tends to work better with food pairings. Talley takes a nod toward the latter description. Since 1948, three generations of the Talley family have farmed in Coastal San Luis Obispo County. Then called "Talley Farms", they grew specialty vegetables in the Arroyo Grande Valley. Things changed when Oliver's son, Don Talley, was convinced of the potential to grow high quality chardonnay and pinot noir on the steep hillsides above Talley Farms. Rarely does the quality of the wine match the retail, usually falling below expectations. This Chardonnay exceeds that criteria. Aromas of orange blossom, lemon oil, and crushed stone leads to subtle flavors of tangerine and delicate notes of citrus and minerals. The wine finishes elegantly with a great balance of melon notes and acidity. Match this beauty with sauteed sea scallops, roasted chicken breast and our own stuffed salmon filets. The final blend of Chard grapes came from the Rincon, Rosemary, Las Ventanas and Monte Sereno vineyards. 92 points Wine Enthusiast 2012

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

La Marca Prosecco Extra Dry

Reg $15.99 | Gazette Special $13.99

Regular $15.99 Gazette Special $13.99 This sparkling beauty is pale golden straw in color, with bubbles that are full textured and persistent. The nose is fresh citrus with hints of white flowers and honey. The flavor is fresh and clean with green apple and lemon followed by a nice minerality and some toast. The finish is light, refreshing and crisp. The perfect picnic pleaser, just pour and enjoy. 90 points Wine Spectator

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Chateau du Rouet Reserve Tradition Provence Rose

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $12.99

Wine has been made in the region of Provence in southeast France for at least 2,600 years. Rose wine accounts for more than half the production of the region. The first vines were planted at Chateau du Rouet on the slopes of the Esterel Mountain in the 18th Century. However, it was only after a forest fire in 1927 that the current vineyards were laid out. Rouet's Reserve Tradition Rose has a delicate salmon color that comes from incorporating some of the color from the skins of the grape. Made from Grenache and Syrah, this wine has an intense nose of raspberries and a fruity palate of berry and strawberry. Gaining volume on the mid-palate the round body gives way a long, balanced finish. Pair with cured meats, grilled fish or spicy foods.

Clint Fultz Wine Specialist Westlake Village

Chateau Le Cengle Cotes de Provence Rose

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $11.99

For centuries, dry rose wine has been a staple in the south of France, where it is embraced as the best lunchtime, seaside, and all-occasion wine. The vines are, on average, 30 years of age and are situated at the foothills of the "Cengle" range of hills in the village of Chateauneuf-le-Rouge on the road from Aix to Italy. Pale salmon in color, sweet pink grapefruit and cherry on nose; moderately dry, clean and crisp; citrus and floral flavors. Very easy drinking on a warm afternoon or evening. I would pair this rose with summer salads, light pasta dishes and seafood.

Michael Gregory Wine Merchandising Specialist

Domaine Vallon des Glauges Aix en Provence Rose

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $11.99

This is a small, family-owned winery located at the foot of "la Tour des Opies" in the "Alpilles" (little Alps mountain range) region of Provence in southern France. The Domaine is approximately 175 acres of land, comprised of vines, olive groves and wild herbs such as rosemary and thyme. This 100% estate bottled rose offers a bright aromatic bouquet with notes of red and tropical fruit. Good complexity, with a lively mouth-feel of wild forest strawberries and an elegant finish. The blend is Grenache, Syrah and Counoise. Medaille d'Or 2015 (Gold Medal) Concours Generale Agricole de Paris

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Rose

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

A well-known and established producer from the glorious Loire Valley, Pascal Jolivet is a master of the noble Sauvignon Blanc. But of their nearly 50 acres of vines, a paltry 8 are planted to Pinot Noir, which happens to make one of the freshest, and most refined versions of dry rose. Crushed from the delicate red Pinot Noir grape, only trace amounts of skin contact allow just the slightest tinge of pigment to color this beautiful racy pink. The chalk and clay soils reduce vigor and infuse a subtle minerality and spine to the wine. The flavors are of racy red fruits, stone fruits, notes of blossom and a clean, pure, zesty finish. Ideal with a seasoned pork loin, fresh seared tuna or poultry dishes.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Domaine Robiniere Vouvray Sec

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $13.99

Yeah, I know Chardonnay is popular during the approaching warm climes, but how about adding some zing and pizzazz to your palate for a change? This "dry" Vouvray is a mouthwatering diversion and deliciously exhibits the beauty of the Chenin Blanc grape. The grape carries the same name as the source village, ergo Vouvray, located in the Touraine region of the Loire Valley. Owner Vincent Raimbault culls his grapes from sustainable vineyards that were first planted in 1904. Situated between two rivers, the Brenne and the Loire, these are some of the best vineyards in Vouvray and considered by many to be of Grand Cru status, due to its meager layer of flinty top soil, 60 year old vines and the chalk that sits below it all. Chenin Blanc can be made dry, off-dry, sweet or as a sparkling wine. In this case, the "sec" designates dry. Hints of honey and citrus aromas segue to flavors of apples, with a delectable nuttiness and flowery overtones on the finish. Very good structure and acidity not only makes it very age worthy, but a great food pairing elixir with all types of cuisine, especially those of a spicy character. 89 points Cellar Tracker 2012

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Pine Ridge Clarksburg Chenin Blanc-Viognier

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $11.99

Chenin Blanc has long been the core of this blend and is sourced from the Clarksburg appellation nestled in the Sacramento River Delta. The grapes were harvested at low sugar levels to ensure a bright fruit character and low alcohol in the finished wine. In contrast, the Viognier from Lodi was picked at 24 degrees Brix to capture the floral and spicy nature as well as the viscosity of grape. After crushing and blending the press wine with free run juice to increase palate weight, the juice was inoculated with two special yeast strains selected to maintain the fruity characteristics. The wine was bottled without any oak influence to retain the vibrant and refreshing profile. Enjoy with seafood and spicy dishes.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Brander Santa Ynez Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Here is California Sauvignon Blanc at its best. From the vineyards of Santa Ynez comes this very pretty white that is balanced and easy to drink, but maybe a little pushy with its complex fruitiness. The aromas are of melon, tropical fruit and flowers, and the flavors are citrusy, but rich like lemon merengue pie. Though it is a perfect wine with mussels and white wine garlic sauce, it will show well with more edgy cuisine like Asian fusion or Baja fish tacos.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Benton Lane Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

The Benton Lane Vineyard was created by a husband and wife team that in 1988 left their native California in search of the perfect site to grow quality Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Originally called "Sunnymount", the couple renamed the old sheep ranch Benton Lane because the property straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties with some of the land being in each. This Pinot Gris is racy, floral, and elegant with bright palate cleansing acidity. Minerality and spice persist throughout, with a pleasing white peach note rounding out the finish. This wine is ideal with pork, salmon, and all lightly sauced seafood dishes.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

San Simeon Monterey Chardonnay

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Along California's Central Coast, the Monterey appellation provides an ideal climate for growing Chardonnay. This cool climate is highly influenced by the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean. Starting at the Monterey Bay, morning fog and afternoon wind concentrate flavors while preserving the natural acid balance of grapes. The well-drained, loamy sand soil of the Santa Lucia Highland and Arroyo Seco AVAs create a unique terroir perfectly suited to Chardonnay. Winemakers Anthony Riboli and Arnaud Debons employ traditional techniques; barrel fermentation, lees stirring, and sur lie aging. All vineyard lots are fermented separately to preserve their individual flavors. After fermentation, careful blending creates the greatest degree of complexity. This Chardonnay is a rich, mouth-filling wine with ripe tropical fruit flavors with complements of citrus and pear. The nose reveals bright fruit and oak toast with hints of vanilla and spice. This structured and well-balanced wine shows a lengthy finish with potential to age. Enjoy with shellfish or light pasta.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

Reg $18.99 | Gazette Special $15.99

If value is what you're looking for, then scoop up a few bottles of this amazing chardonnay while it's still around! The nose boasts bright aromas of pineapple, white peach and citrus notes, followed on the palate by flavors of deliciously ripe green apple, cantaloupe, citrus and honey undertones. Medium bodied with great texture, bright acidity and good balance, making this an exceptionally food-friendly offering. Pair this beauty with crab cakes, roasted fowl or grilled pork chops.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica