The Grapevine Gazette

September 2 - 29, 2015

Adios summer, hello autumn. Fall is in the air; the holiday season approaches; football kicks off; baseball season knuckle balls its way towards the playoffs; and the kids are back in school. It's time to reminisce about the great summer that was, and to celebrate about the good times to come. So enjoy this Labor Day weekend in style, fire up the grill for that last hoorah and welcome the change of seasons. Our knowledgeable wine staff has chosen an eclectic plethora of wines to quench your thirst and stimulate your palate. As always, enjoy and drink outside the box.

Pajaro Rojo Mencia

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $10.99

The Pajaro Rojo is produced from Mencia grapes in predominantly clay soils west of Leon, Spain. This Spanish gem offers spicy cherry and black raspberry aromas, good clarity and floral notes. Tangy and focused on the palate, offering black cherry and spice cake flavors and a touch of succulent herbs. Closes with subtle tannins and a lingering spiciness. 91 Points Wine & Spirits 2012

Michael Cristillo CSW Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Il Macchione Vino Nobile de Montepulciano

Reg $36.99 | Gazette Special $29.99

Often mistaken but never interchangeable, Montepulciano is both a grape and a place, but they are not one in the same. The Montepulciano grape comes from Apuglia and Marche (among others) in southern Italy, whereas Vino Nobile de Montepulciano reflects the noble grape Sangiovese from the village of Montepulciano near Siena, just south of Florence. Confusing? Definitely, but they are different animals altogether. Sangiovese is well known as the primary component of Chianti Classico and of course the king of Italian wines, Brunello di Montalcino. Tuscany is the home to the best in the world and the wines exhibit great depth and pedigree. While it is less spoken of than its noble brethren, Vino Nobile is no less impressive. Il Macchione pays meticulous attention to the vineyards using only green fertilizers, herbicides and chemicals are never used. The fruit is thinned leaving only the healthiest bunches, others are dropped to ensure quality, well below allowable harvest standards. Lively and fresh with signature Sangiovese cherry, plum and tobacco flavors, notes of grapefruit pith and a dusty, truffle infused finish. Great with well-marbled beef, Osso Buco, lamb and hard aged cheeses.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Bodegas Breca Garnacha

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

There's nothing like finding an under $20 gem. This Spanish libation is such a jewel. Made from 100-percent old-vine Garnacha (aka Grenache): the vines were planted between 1925 and 1945. A mouthful of dense, dark fruit-black cherry, currant, black raisin—is perfectly balanced by rich earth notes, a touch of herbaceousness and silky tannins. Enjoy with red meat, grilled portabellas and roasted root veggies.

Erin Kinney, Wine Specialist, Manhattan Beach

Penfolds Bin 8 South Australia Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

Reg $21.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

The bouquet is boundless - opulent crushed black fruits, blueberry pie, blackberry compote, soft oak and vanilla references, spice box with a hint of tobacco and licorice root. On the palate, this is a huge mouthful of bold spice, laden with loads of crushed black currants, mint leaf, boysenberry jam, vanilla and mineral elements, along with soft oak nuances. The mid-palate is well-balanced with a great backbone, showing beautifully restrained tannins, soft black fruit intermixed with oak and then even amounts of acidity and alcohol. The finish is tremendous: supple and lengthy on the palate with a touch of licorice at the end. 91 points Australian Wine Review, Andrew Graham 2011

Michael Cristillo CSW Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Honig Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $42.99 | Gazette Special $37.99

Located in Rutherford, in the heart of Napa Valley, the Honig Winery might not be largest or most opulent vineyard and winery in the area, but it stands out as a leader in sustainable farming practices and a producer of first class Cabs and value-wise Sauvignon Blanc. The winery is operated entirely on solar power, produced by an array of photovoltaic panels located at the far end of the vineyards. From drip irrigation to mechanical tilling rather than spraying herbicides, the Honig Winery stands out as a beacon of environmentally conscious wine production. This holistic approach delivers a luscious Cab with dark berry and plum flavors, hints of spice and vanilla and a long, bright and tannic finish. Enjoy this wine alongside a toasted baguette and an artisanal blue cheese, or pair it with grilled tri-tip or braised short ribs.

Clint Fultz Wine Specialist Westlake Village

Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $49.99 | Gazette Special $39.99

An entry level cab from the Hobbs portfolio, the wine is dark ruby in color with aromas of dark cherries and ripe blueberries. The palate delivers flavors of boysenberry, currants, violets, clove and cocoa. Very round and balanced with a fruit driven style, this is an excellent value. Enjoy with your end of summer BBQ after allowing to breathe for 30- 60 minutes or decant for best results. 91 points Antonio Galloni Vinous Media 2012

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly West

Justin Isosceles Paso Robles Proprietary Red

Reg $79.99 | Gazette Special $69.99

Isosceles is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot that spent 24 months in new French oak. It offers aromas of black cherries, cassis with toasted vanilla, licorice and some subtle smoky cocoa notes. It is full bodied with black currants and red berry fruit, ending with a long, persistent finish. This wine has great fruit character while remaining elegant and balanced on the palate, continuing the quality winemaking tradition started 25 years ago. Enjoy it with a juicy rib-eye steak or just on its own.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

Commanderie Bargemone Provence Rose

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Situated in Aix en Provence, Commanderie de la Bargemone is one of the more reputable estates on the Coteaux overlooking the Mediterranean. Established by Templar Knights in the 13th century, the estate has been handed down by royalty and aristocrats until it was purchased in 1968 and revitalized and replanted. The vines are sustainably grown and are in a state of conversion from conventional to organic farming. The Bargemone Rose is fashioned from the typical Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault, with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Rolle, an indigenous white variety. It offers up racy aromas of mixed berry, mineral and fleeting notes of herbs, on the palate it is clean and refreshing with strawberry, red currants, grapefruit zest and hints of mineral. This is one of the more reliable in the growing ocean of rose wines to flood the market, with the last 5 vintages earning 90 point scores or better. The 2014 is no anomaly with the Wine Advocate awarding it an impressive 91 Points. Stock up and enjoy it well into Fall.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Vietti Roero Arneis

Reg $25.99 | Gazette Special $21.99

Arneis is a white Italian wine grape variety that has been grown for centuries in Roero, a wine region northwest of Alba. The name literally means "little rascal" in Piedmontese language because it is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow. The 25-year-old Vietti Arneis vines are right in the center of Roero. After the early September harvest the must is fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vessels. Malo-lactic fermentation is discouraged so as to preserve the freshness of this naturally low-acid variety. This un-oaked wine has a pale, sunshine yellow color and aromas of citrus flowers and melon, with maybe a hint of almond. It is well-balanced with good complexity and a lingering finish. Enjoy this versatile white wine as an aperitif or with light hors d'oeurves, crudites, seafood salads and soups, simply prepared veal, pork, and chicken and creamy cheeses.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

J California Pinot Gris

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Using grapes meticulously chosen from the best locations in California, the J Pinot Gris offers an alluring bouquet of lemongrass, Kaffir lime and Asian pear plus tropical notes of pineapple and jasmine. The complex, medium bodied mouthfeel reveals crisp citrus and lemongrass notes combined with the rich, ripe succulence of green apple and pear, pineapple and floral notes. The intense, layered wine finishes dry with bright, mouthwatering acidity and distinct minerality. Ideal for everyday enjoyment or entertaining with friends, it pairs well with Thai cuisine, tomato gazpacho or a simple goat cheese with herb flavored crackers.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Grgich Hills Estate Napa Valley Fume Blanc

Reg $29.99 | Gazette Special $26.99

Relying on naturally-occurring yeast, 80% of the grapes are fermented in 900-gallon French oak cask (called foudres), with the remainder in previously-used small French oak barrels. They then age the wine six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrel. The combination of the right clones and cool growing region produces crisp flavors of Meyer Lemon, white peach, and dried apricot with mineral notes that are perfect with a wide range of food, including grilled fish, goat cheese salad, and spicy Mexican or Asian cuisine.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Les Haut Mesnil Prestige Sancerre Blanc

Reg $21.99 | Gazette Special $17.99

Sancerre is a hot spot that is blossoming into a go to for wine enthusiasts, both professional and aspiring. The chalk and mineral vein that runs from the White Cliffs of Dover through Sancerre down through Champagne gives the wine its vibrant character. The soils also consist of flint and quartz, which accents the smoke note that is prevalent in the wines of the region. Crisp and delicate, this is textbook cool climate Sauvignon Blanc at its finest, and is true to the varietal. Zesty citrus, gooseberry, green apple and kiwi fruit are in the forefront with a delicately briny, mineral and gunflint note. Delicious as an aperitif, with both shell and finfish, Summer salads and of course the traditional Chevre or goats milk cheeses. Perfect for warm sunny afternoons and as an evening refresher.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Meiomi Three County Chardonnay

Reg $21.99 | Gazette Special $17.99

Joe Wagner is the son of Caymus Vineyards' Chuck Wagner, so he might know a thing or two about making wine. He produces a Pinot Noir that is a go-to wine for many, but he also uses the five generations of family winemaking experience to craft a mighty fine Chardonnay. This lush wine is produced using the fruit of vineyards from three different California counties: Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Sonoma. Each vineyard lends different characteristics and qualities to blend into a quite rich, complex, but balanced wine. Tropical fruit flavors meld with spiced marmalade, yellow apple, and creamy butter notes. It's smooth, finishing crisp with just a bit of oak. It will pair nicely with roast pork and apples, seafood quiche, or garlic sauteed scallops.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Chardonnay

Reg $27.99 | Gazette Special $22.99

This is a full bore Napa Valley Chardonnay - No wimpy wine here. This beauty offers aromatics of toasty oak, pear and smoke. It does not go through a secondary (aka malolactic) fermentation, thus preserving the bright acidity. Primary fermentation took place in a combination of stainless steel and French oak barrels to lend creaminess. Only about 15% new French oak is utilized here to preserve the core fruit flavors and give just a touch of oak on the finish. Pair with scallops with a sesame ginger dressing, grilled chicken breast, or pasta with a white cream sauce (Fettuccine Alfredo!). 92 Points Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate 2013

Michael Cristillo CSW Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Jackhammer Central Coast Pinot Noir

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $11.99

This Pinot comes from Central Coast winemaker Stephen Ross. Sourced From Monterey, San Luis, and Santa Barbara counties, this wine has a dark ruby color with a great nose of cherry, cola, and a wonder floral component. Flavors of cherry, cola, plum, herb, are intermixed with lovely acid to keep it fresh, lively, and not too heavy. While this wine is a juicy and upfront wine, this has texture and secondary characteristics of a wine that cost much, much more. This wine can be enjoyed with wild game dishes and roast meats.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Ron Rubin Russian River Pinot Noir

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

A beautiful food wine that was open top fermented and then aged for 8 months in French oak barrels. This is truly the wine that will pair up with just about any of our amazing foods from the Deli. This very approachable wine offers soft tannins, luscious fruit with a gentle oak mid-palate and an earthy lingering finish. Bright nose of cherry and plum lead to hints of cocoa layered with spicy aromas. It all finishes with toasty vanilla oak and berry flavors. This mellow Pinot Noir pairs beautifully with fig and goat cheese crostini's, roasted duck or rotisserie chicken from our Deli.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Talbott Sleepy Hollow Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

Reg $36.99 | Gazette Special $29.99

And to think this winery came about because of silk ties; yes, those Talbott neck ties. This wine is produced using approximately half Louis Martini clone fruit (planted in 1972), and half Dijon clone grapes (ranging in age from 15-20 years) - all from the finest blocks of the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, located in Santa Lucia Highlands. The well-drained vineyard features sparse soils comprised of sand, gravel, and granite. These soils reduce yields and create rich, concentrated flavors in the grapes. The vineyard receives morning sunlight from its east-northeast exposure, and lives much of the time in the cool fog and wind from the Pacific Ocean. With a long, cool growing season, the grapes develop the character, intensity and depth of flavor for which the vineyard has become famous. This beauty offers aromas of bright cherry and plum leading to floral and spicy French oak notes. On the palate, it displays a rich texture, soft, velvety tannins and ripe fruit. Flavors of Bing cherry and red plum lead to a long finish with vanilla oak and lively acidity. This wine defines the winery's style of power, richness, integrated oak, and cool-climate acidity. Brava! 94 Points Wine Review Online 2012

Michael Cristillo CSW Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Walter Hansel Estate Russian River Chardonnay

Reg $33.99 | Gazette Special $28.99

Walter Hansel winery is located in Sonoma County at the southern tip of the Russian river valley near the beautiful Sebastopol hills. Long on rich oak and redolent of vanilla, sweet toast, creme brulee in the nose, this full but very well balanced bottling has a fine sense of ripe apples at its heart and more than enough fruity flesh covering its structural bones. Pair this stellar bottling with richly sauced shellfish, salmon, veal, or tuck it away for 2 to 3 years for additional complexity. Highly recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Farnese Fantini Sangiovese IGT

Reg $8.99 | Gazette Special $6.99

This wine is open and approachable, with bright aromas of herbs and fresh blackberry. Quite soft and round mouth feel, with modest acidity. The tannins are well-mannered with juicy flavors of plum, cherry pie and sage. Well balanced and oh-so-drinkable! Drink on its own or with a cheese plate, salami or a good calzone. Bellissimo!

Brian Moore Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Bogle Essential Red California Proprietary Red

Reg $11.99 | Gazette Special $9.99

This dry red blend is as sophisticated, structured and balanced as many high-end Cabernets. Made from old vine Zinfandel, with Syrah, Cabernet and Petite Sirah added in, it has a deep, exotic aroma of dark fruit plus cedar and cardamom. The flavor is richly fruity, the mouth feel is firmly textured and the finish lingers nicely. It's medium bodied and full-flavored. Rich, enticing layers of complexity, starting with that first irresistible sip. Ripe fruit, intense with flavors of boysenberries and sweet cherries.

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $11.99

Yet another in a not too short list of lighter reds for hot summer months. This younger everyday Amarone styled red contains virtual the same blend of Verona grown grapes of its older richer offspring. But, unlike Amarone, this smooth, silky, spiced sipper doesn't see one trace of oak in its stainless steel aging process. Light enough to conquer most warm weather cooking and yet robust enough to stand up to summer grilling, this in one very versatile wine with flavors of dark cherry, roasted brown spice and a light gamey background.

Teo Santocono Wine Specialist La Jolla

Vina Cobos El Felino Mendoza Malbec

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

This wine is made by legendary Napa Valley winemaker Paul Hobbs, who came to Mendoza in 1988. There he met Nicolas Catena, owner of the Catena Zapata winery, the largest winery in Argentina, and helped them reform their wine making practices to become export worthy. This rich red carries a deep magenta hue and aromas of dark berries and anise. On the palate, intense, pure flavors of just picked raspberries, black plum and graphite unfold in velvety layers. It finishes with firm tannins and notes of cedar. I like to pair this wine with simple fare, hamburgers, pizza and tri-tip roast.

Michael Gregory CSW Wine Merchandising Specialist

Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco Superiore Brut

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Prosecco is becoming increasingly popular at Bristol Farms. The general quality of Prosecco has improved over the past decade and many of our customers like the price point. Good Prosecco compares favorably with other sparkling wines of similar price. When my customers at Westchester ask me which Prosecco I like the best I always go straight to the Rustico. Like other Italian wines the best examples are from the most central location in the region. These grapes are grown in vineyards around Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso. The Rustico is dry, light-bodied and fresh, with subtle ripe apple, floral and nut notes supported by a hint of smoky minerality. Drink it with friends and family as an aperitif and with antipasti, light seafood appetizers or sushi.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royale Brut Rose NV

Reg $79.99 | Gazette Special $49.99

Founded in 1825, the house of Joseph Perrier is currently in the 5th generation of family ownership. This is no small feat in the world of corporate takeovers and consolidation, but this allows the family to keep control and produce the quality and house style of wines that has been established over the last century. The smallest of the Perrier houses in Champagne, the magic happens in the Gallo Roman era chalk caves dug deep in the hills behind the manor. Joseph Perrier is hand crafted from beginning to end with small lot blends assembled individually rather than in bulk allowing each parcel to speak for itself. Showing the dedication to the family and its roots, even the winemaker is 3rd generation. This brings incredible integrity and continuity. The Cuvee Royale Brut Rose is 75% Pinot Noir to bring forth the vibrant red berry fruits, and 25% Chardonnay for its bracing acidity and lifting structure. The blend is both firm yet generous with a certain savory character that makes this sparkling gem quite food friendly with red fleshed fish, fowl and even a well-marbled cut of beef. 90 Points Wine Spectator

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

La Quercia Montepulciano D'Abruzzo Riserva

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

Winemaker Antonio Lamona has been cultivating wines that have been entirely organic since the 1960's. "We are very proud to have been making organic wines - we believe this is the way to obtain the highest quality wine while also respecting nature and human health." Antonio's farm is also entirely self-sufficient, producing salami, bread, vegetables, olive oil, and cheese. La Quercia Riserva is an embodiment to Antonio's efforts. The bouquet is wet brick, plowed earth, leather, currants, and plum while the body and finish contain fine, elegant tannins with lush, fresh blackberry and raspberry. Montepulciano is the main grape used but don't get it confused with the Tuscan town of Montepulciano which uses Sangiovese grapes in their wines. Pair La Quercia Riserva with grilled chicken kebabs, eggplant parmesan, or an olive tapenade.

Alex Ciubal Wine Specialist South Pasadena