The Grapevine Gazette

March 4 - 31, 2015

Spring has sprung, and with it comes Daylight Savings, longer days and the beauty of this spectacular season. Already there is evidence of new sprouts and blooms that hint at the beauty about to unfold. This is a great time of new beginnings and opportunities, to live each day to its fullest, and to revel in our freedom that we enjoy and should never take for granted. So let's stir things up as the warmer climes approach with some great aged steaks, fresh seafood, locally grown produce and a delicious bottle of wine. We hope you find some of our suggestions below enticing. As always, enjoy and drink outside the ice box.

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

Margerum M5 Santa Barbara County Proprietary Red

Reg $23.99 | Gazette Special $19.99

The perfect red wine for Spring sipping and backyard BBQs. Made in the style of the great Rhone Valley blends from France, but with a new world touch. Drinking beautifully in its youth this is ready now or well into the future for added complexity. The blend is made up of five grapes, primarily Grenache and Syrah sourced from eleven separate vineyards. Santa Barbara county, San Luis Obispo county, Foxen Canyon and Santa Rita Hills are just a few of AVAs used for fruit. 2012 enjoyed perfect growing conditions from fruit set to harvest. If you are a follower of ratings, the following is a good indicator of how this is drinking - Wine Enthusiast 90 points coupled with Steve Tanzer's 91 points. Perfect with pork medallions with madiera sauce. Or how about some of the smoked meats that come out of the Bristol Farms Kitchen - our smoked chicken drumettes are the bomb!

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Cain & Fable Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

This delicious Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is full of bright fruit and sweet-savory richness. The nose delivers a pretty burst of dark cherry, purple plum and mulberry scents in counterpoint to vanilla and tobacco-shop scents. There is a persistent finish of cherry, berry and sweet tobacco flavors. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon 81%, Merlot 7%, Tempranillo 6%, Cabernet Franc 3%, & Petit Verdot 3%. Built for steaks, burgers, spaghetti, pizza and casual gulping, it offers a lot of flavor at a very attractive price.

Michael Gregory Corporate Wine Merchandising Specialist

Bon Anno Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $17.99

The Bonanno Family has been in the wine industry for 3 generations, with Matt becoming the first in the family to throw his hat in the ring as a winemaker. Bon Anno, or Good Year, was launched in 2004 meeting considerable fanfare and the wines have only continued to improve. Sourcing grapes from top vineyard contacts in Napa, including Oakville, St. Helena and Stags Leap, the wines have quality pedigree, but deliver an experience well below what the component growers fetch elsewhere. The Cabernet is pure, straightforward and textbook Napa, with juicy ripe fruit, leather, cigarbox and an undercurrent of licorice and graphite. With the price of Napa fruit continually escalating, they have maintained an extremely attractive price and a solid contender for the sleeper of the year in the valley. Great with beef, lamb, salty aged cheeses and sauteed mushrooms. Rated Best Value in Napa Cabernet by Food & Wine Magazine.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Brancaia Ilatria Rosso Toscana

Reg $49.99 | Gazette Special $43.99

Winter is officially over, but let's go out with just one more big red as spring time blossoms! Brancaia's estate grown super Tuscan is one amazing Italian Stallion. Made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and some Cabernet Franc to give it a boost in flavor, this is an elegant wine with top quality marks! It is ready to drink now, and opens up with aromas of violets, dried fruits (black currants and figs) and is balanced with notes of spice and blackberry. Pair with poultry dishes such as chicken and pheasant or even lightly seasoned pork chops, and can be deliciously matched with cheese such as Manchego, Shropshire, and Gorgonzola for a boom of flavor! Enjoy! 93 points Parkers Wine Advocate 2010 92 points Wine Spectator 2011

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Cht. Fombrauge St. Emilion Grand Cru

Reg $49.99 | Gazette Special $42.99

Perhaps made infamous in the flick Sideways with Miles's affinity for Pinot Noir and his disdain for Merlot. They traipse around Santa Barbara broadcasting Merlot's inferiority, while ultimately in the end Miles claims his adoration for St. Emilion. Well, it just so happens that St. Emilion is made from Merlot. So much for that. Cht. Fombrauge is Grand Cru St. Emilion, blended from Merlot, Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon. Bernard Magrez, the man whom has turned around and revitalized more than just a few top chateaux, has breathed new life into Fombrauge. The 2010 is ripe and full bodied with ample black and red fruits, toast, coffee, grilled bread, mushroom, on and on with terrific depth and texture. Merlot does tremendously well in this part of Bordeaux, as evidenced by the world class wines produced here, and should be praised not shunned. Pair with any game meats, savory dishes, rib roasts and grilled mushrooms. The Wine Advocate rated it 91 points and emphatically stated "This is one of the better, more supple Fombrauge wines to date".

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

The Passenger Stag's Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $74.99 | Gazette Special $66.99

Kimberly Jones operates a successful wine broker/distributor of wine in the state of California, and partner Master Sommelier Chris Blanchard is the veteran of years of work developing wine programs nationally and sales with distributor and winery partners. Both have a wealth of contacts in the vineyards and a number of friends eager to see them succeed in the wine business. They are both riding along as Passengers in this wonderful business, always looking to find an outstanding vineyard source to create a wine they had always dreamed of making. Through the wine making process, Kimberly and Chris were able to develop a structured, balanced, fruit forward wine, similar to the style both enjoy drinking. This wine has a beautiful, intense and dark ruby red color. This wine is supported and absorbed by structure and concentration while the pretty red and black fruit does not veer towards over ripeness. It finishes long with powerful fruit and structure, elegance and fine, integrated tannins. Enjoy with your favorite cut of steak and grilled veggies.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

The Prisoner Saldo California Zinfandel

Reg $29.99 | Gazette Special $26.99

A wine child of the Prisoner Wine Co., Saldo is a medium to full-bodied Zinfandel with aromas of blackberry, blueberry and plum. It is very fruit forward with spicy, peppery notes while the texture of the wine is soft and velvety smooth. A dollop of Petit Sirah and Syrah was added to the final blend. It is outstanding when paired with barbecued red meats and bold cheeses.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

T Vine Napa Valley Zinfandel

Reg $34.99 | Gazette Special $29.99

A blend of grapes from the Nichelini, Mancini, Frediani and Black Sears vineyards in the Napa Valley appellation, this brooding beauty offers a big, intense and complex Zinfandel. It has a wonderfully deep nose of blackberries and blueberries with hints of licorice and spice. On the palate, loads of dark berry, pepper and star anise flavors coat every inch of your mouth leading to a smooth, long finish. A great companion to your favorite cut of red meat and our assortment of handmade sausage.

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Zenato Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Reg $64.99 | Gazette Special $56.99

Valpolicella is a succession of gently rolling hills and little valleys between the Adige River and Lake Garda. The tradition of wine-making dates back to Roman times. Valpolicella itself is an interesting word; it is thought to be derived from both Latin and ancient Veronese to mean "valley of cellars." Zenato is one of the most respected names in Valpolicella. Their Amarone is a wine of great structure. Old vine Corvina and Rondinella grow on calcareous hills exposed to the southeast. After the harvest the healthiest, ripest grapes are selected and placed in well ventilated wooden crates to raisin for three to four months. Then they are pressed and fermented on the skins for several weeks and aged in oak barrels for three years. The Amarone remains in the bottle for an added three years before release. The wine is ruby red with a touch of garnet. It is elegant, warm and spicy, with aromas of black cherries and dried fruits. In the mouth it is velvety and smooth. Enjoy this with roasted or grilled meat and mature cheeses.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Linne Calodo Slacker "The Professional" Paso Robles Red

Reg $47.99 | Gazette Special $42.99

The grapes, 47% Syrah; 38% Grenache and 15% Mourvedre, were sourced from Slacker Ranch and Oakdale Ranch, located in Westside Paso Robles on clay loam and limestone-rich soils. Free-hand blended, aged in 90% neutral oak and 10% new oak for 18 months. The wine was fermented in both open top and closed vessel with native yeast and the juice basket-pressed into 225 liter barrels. To be perfect, to be great at what you do, is a constant pursuit. The 2012 Professional Slacker is a hero wine. Delicate notes of cinnamon, allspice, and west Paso sage lead to a flavor explosion of bright plum encased in slightly toasted pie crust. The subtle acidity of this wine makes it refreshing and enjoyable in variety of situations. Enjoy with chorizo-stuffed pork loin with green apple salsa.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Canti Prosecco D.O.C

Reg $15.99 | Gazette Special $13.99

This light crisp sparkler is all about refreshing your body and soul. Hailing from northern Italy and made from the Glera grape, flavors of apples, pears and stone fruit please the palate while balanced acidity and lively bubbles make this a treat on its own or with food. Pair with salads, young to medium aged cheeses, laid back brunches and sunny So Cal days.

Erin Kinney Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

La Domitienne Rose Sur Le Sud

Reg $9.99 | Gazette Special $6.99

Still popular and a staff favorite, La Domitienne delivers delectable flavors at a superb value. Crafted from indigenous Carignan, Grenache and Syrah grapes in the heart of the Languedoc Roussillon, the crisp red fruit flavors dance across the palate with a refined citrus, brisk mineral and a fleeting pseudo smoky component. Well suited to both white and red fleshed fin-fish, pork, duck, Mediterranean dishes and even hand crafted pizza, hopefully with goat cheeseā€¦ Roses are enjoyable all year long, especially in our fantastic climate.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Miraval Cotes de Provence Rose

Reg $25.99 | Gazette Special $22.99

Spring is coming: the weather is warmer, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the season calls for pretty pastel things. This classy pale watermelon pink rose, a joint venture between Famille Perrin and the Jolie-Pitt family fills the bill immensely. A delicate bouquet of white flowers, fresh strawberries and minerals hit the nose, while a complex blend of citrus, red berries and herbs meld onto the palate with a long, crisp, clean finish. An elegant wine, it's extremely food-friendly or good for quaffing on its own. Try it with Mediterranean-style food like salade nicoise or a simple green salad with goat cheese and berries.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Cht. Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling

Reg $9.99 | Gazette Special $7.99

This wine has a crisp, refreshing style with complex fruit, apple, citrus aromas, flavors and subtle mineral notes. The Riesling grape is unique among all varietals and Chateau St. Michelle brings Riesling to a very high level, serving beautifully both as a refreshing sipping wine and as an incredible complement to a great range of food like crab, chicken and mild cheeses.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

Frog Haven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $8.99 | Gazette Special $7.99

An exuberant wine brimming with juicy acidity and fruit sweetness, providing a balanced flavor profile. Light straw with yellow and green hues. Citrus and tropical fruits backed by characteristic herbaceous notes for which Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is renowned. The finish is fresh, zesty, and lingering. A best buy at this price!

Brian Moore Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Geyser Peak California Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $11.99 | Gazette Special $8.99

A perennial best seller, Geyser Peak has taken to Sauvignon Blanc and created a true benchmark style. While many try to tame, soften or mold Sauvignon into something it's not, or shouldn't be, Geyser Peak embraces its high tone, piquant, citrus characteristics, and lets them shine. Tangy grapefruit, citrus zest, fresh herb and appley fruit flavors are racy and invigorating, and provide a whistle wetting, invigorating, satisfying, terrific food wine. Ideal with delicate seafood from halibut, to mussels, including ceviche and of course or Bristol's own fabulous Goat Cheese Ravioli Salad.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Domaine La Clef du Recit Sancerre Blanc

Reg $24.99 | Gazette Special $19.99

Sancerre is a small wine district in central France, famous for its crisp, aromatic white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. It is also known for its high-quality goat cheeses, which are an excellent match for the local wine. The classic Sancerre wine is white, bracingly acidic, and has vibrant aromas of gooseberries, grass and a hint of stony minerality. Richer, riper examples - particularly those from warmer, west-facing sites with chalky soils - often show fruitier notes of passion fruit and lemon peel. Sancerre is typically less 'obvious' than the most famous New World styles of Sauvignon Blanc. Its strong historical reputation - coupled with the appeal of its wine style to modern wine consumers - has allowed Sancerre to retain its status as the Loire Valley's "king of the hill".

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Pra Soave Classico DOC

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

The wine, with a name that sounds like it came from some marketing department, is perhaps named for the Suevians, the 5th century Germanic tribe who passed through this region in Veneto to load up on wine on their way to sack Rome. There are two kinds of Soave. One is the result of an expansion of the area that occurred in the 1970s and gave Soave its reputation for simple, lackluster, wine that is drinkable at best. The other is from the best producers, like Graziano Pra and the traditional limited area, now called Soave Classico. Pra Soave Classico is a crisp, fruity, well-balanced and complex wine, made from the traditional blend of Garganega and Trebbiano grapes, with clean flavors that go great with sushi, cheese souffles, and delicate fish dishes, or regional foods like sweet Parma ham.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

This enticing white hails from the cool bench lands of this coastal appellation, where the wind and fog allow the grapes to ripen slowly on the vine, developing complex aromas and flavors. It opens with bright scents of lemon zest, complemented by subtle notes of honeysuckle, Asian pear and spice. The balanced palate is layered with flavors of ripe apricot, lemon drop and cantaloupe, with Monterey's classic mineral undertones of wet riverstone and stone fruit.

Michael Cristillo Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Qupe Santa Ynez Valley Marsanne

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

Amidst a number of Rhone-style blends and Viognier produced throughout the Central Valley, Qupe is one of the few wineries to bottle a stand-alone Marsanne. Uncorking this effort immediately greets you with crisp green apples, peaches and a trace of Brazil nut husk. This is a dense, almost oily wine with tons of grapefruit on the palate, more continuation of peach tones and a crisp minerality. With stingingly sharp acidity this wine is an outstanding pairing with either Caesar or watermelon salads, and shellfish. As one of the few white wines with outstanding aging potential, lay a few bottles away in the cellar for a good four to ten years and periodical taste how the acidity and minerality shift balance.

Teo Santocono Wine Specialist La Jolla

Menage a Trois California Red Blend

Reg $10.99 | Gazette Special $8.99

What's in a name? In this case, Menage a Trois is an approachable, fruit-forward red blend of three grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel grapes are picked young, fermented separately and then blended together before bottling. The result is a ripe, jammy wine with a bright bouquet of berries and hints of chocolate and vanilla. On the palate the three grapes come together for a silky mouth feel and flavors of blackberry pie, cassis and raspberry. Subtle tannins linger, but don't overwhelm. This wine is a crowd-pleaser, great for parties or picnics. It's also a nice table wine for weekday dinners and pairs well with grilled meats, roasted vegetables or Italian fare.

Clint Fultz Wine Specialist Westlake Village

Martin Codax Rias Baixas Albarino

Reg $15.99 | Gazette Special $13.99

Though Californians rarely feel the bitter chills of winter, it's still nice to look forward to the tastes and smells of spring. Upon uncorking this offering from Martin Codax, the enthusiast is met with the explicitness of tart crisp granny smith apples and a hint of lemons with creamy vanilla tones. The immediate palate of citrus and bright acidy give this single varietal a stance between a Kabinett, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc, leading a favored pairing among a wide variety of seafood and even spicy Thai cuisine.

Teo Santocono Wine Specialist La Jolla

Tintonegro Uco Valley Malbec

Reg $9.99 | Gazette Special $7.99

The wonderful wines of Mendoza share a fun fact with Napa Valley wineries - both are equidistant from the Equator. Adding to this Argentine offering is the minerality of the soil at the foot of the Andes. This 4,000-case cuvee, aged nine months in French oak, is a full-bodied, seriously endowed Malbec. It possesses a sweet bouquet of blueberry and black raspberry fruit interwoven with camphor, licorice and spring flowers as well as a touch of oak. This is a wonderfully endowed, full-bodied, classic Argentina Malbec. 91 points Wine Advocate 2012

Don Ziehm Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Domaine La Clef du Recit Sancerre Rouge

Reg $27.99 | Gazette Special $21.99

Sancerre, considered by many as the king of Sauvignon Blanc, is actually a place. Like Burgundy, it can be red or white, or yes pink (keep an eye peeled, the pink absolutely ROCKS!) Most European wines are regional, and are labeled as such leaving the consumer to figure out what the grape is. It takes some patience and study, but amply rewarding study it is. Only about 20% of Sancerre is planted to red grapes, which coincidently happen to be Pinot Noir. The cool climate creates a firmer, more crunchy style of wine with terrific structure and vibrancy. Flavors of blue fruits, black cherry, spice and some gravel and mineral tones. I happen to really appreciate less flabby and more purity in wine, their precision and focus makes them more enjoyable as food companions. The Clef du Recit is a baby, so a little patience in the glass, or preferably a decanter, shows the merits of this delicious and satisfying Pinot Noir. Great with duck, grilled or roasted poultry, veal and of course lamb dishes.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

EnRoute Russian River Pinot Noir Les Pommiers

Reg $59.99 | Gazette Special $53.99

Les Pommiers is the name of EnRoute's proprietary blend of Pinot from their vineyards across the different micro climates of the Russian River Valley, including the Green Valley AVA. En Route Pinot Noir is a classic example of this appellation with its lush fruit and velvety texture. Aromas of wild raspberries and blackberries, spice box and earth segue to flavors of red and black berries, hints of tobacco and earthy minerality with bright acidity that is balanced by the soft, but persistent integrated tannins. This is a great pairing for a variety of dishes, most certainly duck, quail, mesquite grilled salmon, and all lean cuts of beef from our meat department.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills