The Grapevine Gazette

April 29 - June 2, 2015

May is that jump-start month where we've found that "spring" in our legs and we're preparing to greet the summer months ahead. And there are many attractions and dates that we look forward to - the most famous horse race in the United States, the Kentucky Derby, gets a running jump out the gate. Mother's Day, the busiest day for floral arrangements and telephone calls, reminds all of us that in the end, our hearts really do belong to Mom. The Indianapolis 500 is held on the Sunday before that memorable weekend of the month, Memorial Day. And much like the oft repeated introduction to that famous American car race, ladies and gentlemen, start your barbeques! Scrub the grill, strike up the coals, prep the k-bobs! We've included every possible variation of wine selection for your choice of grill item, be it protein or veggie - From sparkling wine and scintillating Sauvignon Blanc to bold Italian reds and mouth-watering Malbecs. So kick off your shoes, take a deep breath and believe that every day is a weekend day, for summer is about to open her warm arms to us. As always, enjoy and drink outside the box.

Mongeard Mugneret Fixin

Reg $44.99 | Gazette Special $39.99

How is this for a resume - The Mongeard family arrived in Vosne-Romanee in the eighteenth century, and records show a Mongeard working as a vigneron (winemaker) for Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in 1786. The quality has been passed down from generation to generation and this present wine shows no exception to that lineage. Vincent Mongeard's Fixin (Fixin is a commune in the Cote-d'Or department in the Bourgogne region on the Grand Crus route in eastern France) is made from a 3 acre vineyard planted to 100% Pinot Noir, with an average vine age of 40 years. This wine offers up a full bouquet of intense red fruits with hints of spice, bright acidity and good tannin structure. This is a full bodied red with a nice touch of oak, silky black fruit and tobacco on the finish. This versatile wine that can be served with salmon, ahi, grilled poultry and marbled cuts of meat.

Michael Cristillo C.S.W. Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Annabella 5 Proprietary Red Blend

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $12.99

Michael Pozzan Winery currently produces 125,000 cases per year and distributes wine under four labels- Michael Pozzan, Annabella, Dante and Marianna. These wines capture the best of the varietals he blends, vintage after vintage. His long-time experience with growers from premier Napa and Sonoma Vineyards allows him to seek out and then hand-select exceptional fruit each growing season. Annabella Red Wine is a blend of traditional French varietals similar to that of the great Bordeaux from France. This wine has wonderful depth, ripe fruit upfront, and a long smooth finish. The aromas are intensely concentrated in its fruit aspects with juicy, ripe black berry and jammy notes. Medium tannins allow this wine to drink well now, but will improve with aging.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg $44.99 | Gazette Special $39.99

Amici, friends in Italian, is a collaboration between a group of associates that shared the passion for wine and camaraderie. What started as a personal fun project, among "friends" blossomed into a full-fledged award winning winery. Winemaker Joel Aiken spent 25 years as the Vice President of Winemaking at BV where he worked with the late Andre Tchelistcheff and International consultant Michel Rolland. The Amici 2010 Cabernet is a bit more cerebral and restrained than the ordinary Napa Cab, to me it leans slightly more towards a classic Bordeaux from Pauillac, with cassis, violets, graphite and some camphor notes. It is showy and attractive, but retains a clean, crunchy purity that will evolve into something even more delicious with a bit of patience. Pair with beef smothered with sauteed mushrooms, herb rubbed leg of lamb, or aged hard cheeses. 90 Points The Wine Advocate.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Spring Valley Frederick Walla Walla Valley Proprietary Red

Reg $54.99 | Gazette Special $44.99

Nestled among an endless sea of wheat fields, the oasis that is Spring Valley Vineyard got its start in 1993 when the first vineyards were planted. The property was initially homesteaded by one Francis Corkrum and his family after migrating west in a wagon train from their home in Illinois. During these difficult times, there was great loss, as on the frontier, life was particularly fragile. In time, both the family and the homestead grow and provide opportunity beyond the wheat fields. As the land is handed down over the generations, the family is still farming the land and has added grapevines to the landscape. Frederick, depicted on the label, was one of the generations of Corkrum, Derby, and Elvins that sacrificed and lived the American Dream. The blend is 55% Cabernet, 31% Merlot and 7% Franc, with a few percentage points of the other Bordelaise varietals. It is firm, full bodied and complex, driven by blackberries, black currant, licorice, graphite and some black pepper. Walla Walla has proven time and again to be the source of world class wines. 2009 Vintage scored 90 Points in The Wine Spectator.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Villa Antinori Toscana IGT Proprietary Red

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $17.99

Antinori has been in the wine business since Giovanni di Piero Antinori joined the Florentine Guild of Vintners in 1385. This wine has an intense ruby red color, which opens with aromas of ripe cherries, spice, chocolate and hints of mint on the nose. The wine is full-bodied with a palate of rich fruit and spice with a lingering finish of sweet fruit and a touch of earth. Primarily a Sangiovese with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. This wine pairs well with heavy red sauced pasta dishes or grilled NY sirloin from our award winning Meat Department.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Chateau Haut Bana Haut Medoc

Reg $18.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

The Berard family, proprietors of Chateau Haut-Bana, have lived in Medoc since 1760. Family head Philippe Berard employs both time-honored and modern winemaking techniques. This medium to full-bodied wine has alluring dark fruit aromas and flavors that are given weight by balanced, slightly grippy tannins. Wallet friendly enough for a Tuesday, this wine is also a perfect accompaniment to a cozy Saturday night dinner with someone special.

Erin Kinney Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

Mas Boislauzon Chateauneuf Pape Cuvee Tradition

Reg $54.99 | Gazette Special $47.99

Located in the north of Chateauneuf du Pape, not far from the ancient Roman city of Orange, Mas de Boislauzon is managed by Daniel and Christine Chaussy, the sixth generation in their family to manage this winery. Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition boasts a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 15% Syrah. Ripe black cherry and smoke aromas explode from the glass. Fat, sassy and packed with multiple layers of rich, ripe, dense sweet, pure fruit, this massive, intense wine fills your mouth and palate with flavor and velvet textures in the long, polished finish. Pair this red gem, with leg of lamb, rich cheeses and roast pork.

Michael Gregory C.S.W. Corporate Wine Merchandiser

Alamos Mendoza Malbec

Reg $10.99 | Gazette Special $8.99

This is a delicious little ditty of red wine! I have been outside grilling carne asada and readily serving this wonderful red to guests. Historically used in Bordeaux blends and still constitutes the majority of Cahors, this Malbec has found new providence in Argentina as a full-bodied red wine with its own drive to deliver delicious notes of red currants, prunes and blackberries. This will hold its own with most cuts of meat from the grill. If you have the inclination to drink some good Malbec this summer, remember the Alamos!

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Yalumba Barossa Patchwork Shiraz

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $15.99

A number of different vineyards within the Barossa Valley are sourced for this wine, thus giving it its name, Patchwork. Blackberry, cherry and plum aromas are complemented by notes of cracked pepper and black tea. Plush, gently sweet dark berry flavors pick up a bitter chocolate note with air and are framed by silky tannins. Juicy and focused on the finish, which is gently sweet and nicely persistent. On a historical footnote, Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant and English brewer (yep, same chap whose namesake brew we still enjoy). Mr. Smith brought his family to Angaston, Australia seeking a new life. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land, Smith and his son began planting his first vines and named his patch "Yalumba" - aboriginal for "all the land around". Nice story, great bottle of big, bold red! 94 points James Halliday Australian Review 2012

Michael Cristillo C.S.W. Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Torrevieja Mendoza Malbec

Reg $6.99 | Gazette Special $5.99

Originally from France, Malbec is one of the original 5 "Bordeaux" grapes. Sadly, it is scarcely planted in Bordeaux anymore. Argentinian Malbec has quickly become a world favorite due to the characteristics that the high altitude climate and soils impart to the fruit. This Malbec is a medium-bodied, dry red wine with strong impressions of dark fruits on the nose and palate. This red also tends to have mellower tannins than its French cousin. The Torrevieja is a great value, for BBQs, picnics and backyard parties.

Michael Gregory C.S.W. Wine Merchandising Specialist

Decoy Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Reg $26.99 | Gazette Special $22.99

Since the inaugural vintage of Decoy Napa Valley Red Wine more than 20 years ago, Decoy has taken an important place in the Duckhorn Wine Company family of wines. With a reputation for delivering great quality at a remarkable price, Decoy established a loyal following for its distinctive style. Decoy has evolved from being a single wine that supported the Duckhorn Vineyards brand to being a supporting brand for the entire Duckhorn Wine Company. Their lineup includes this elegant and vibrant Pinot Noir. It offers lovely aromas of strawberry, cherry, blueberry with subtle hint of sage and white pepper. It's perfectly balanced acidity and well-integrated French Oak underscores the bright fruit flavors to create an elegantly structured wine.

Gabriella Elkouby Wine Specialist Westwood

Tolosa No Oak Chardonnay

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Tolosa is named after the San Luis Obispo Mission de Tolosa. The wines are estate grown in the Edna Valley AVA, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay making up 80% of total production. The Chardonnay blocks are located several miles south of the winery in areas that have mostly sandy soil. It is harvested by hand at night, which results in better quality juice at pressing. This unusually rich version of No Oak is pale silvery gold in color. There is the expected fresh fruit aroma, but an intriguing confectionary note of toffee as well. It should come as no surprise that there are honey notes in a Chardonnay, but this one is sort of a lavender Honey. The palate is rich, soft and balanced, with a touch of minerality on the finish. Enjoy with chicken, pork and salmon.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Olema Sonoma County Pinot Noir

Reg $18.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

Olema is the second wine made by team Amici, yet at a significantly more attractive price point. The fruit is sourced from well known vineyards in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, and is assembled by wine country veteran Joel Aiken. Joel's experience in Napa Valley goes back 30 years, and includes iconic wineries such as Beaulieu Vinyeards, (BV) where he piloted the Georges de Latour program. The Olema Pinot is pure and concise, with aromas of toast, chocolate, plum and cherry. In the mouth, the fruit is crisp and youthful showing similar black raspberry, cherry, cocoa and cola nut with notes of mushroom and a mildly earthy finish. This is a textbook Pinot Noir from a cooler climate which provides a bit more structure and a little less ripeness. Versatile enough to accommodate a wide variety of foods from our black and blue burgers to grilled ribeye.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Barrique Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Barrique is the term for a small wine barrel, approximately 60 gallons in volume, that wine is generally aged in to add complexity and round out some rough edges. The Barrique Pinot is sourced from Russian River and Carneros fruit, which 70% was de-stemmed and fermented on open top fermenters. The remaining was introduced whole cluster and allowed to cold soak to aid in flavor development. The wine was aged in 100% French oak, a third of which was new. The result is a luscious, ripe and juicy style of Pinot that is balanced and not overly extracted, with focus on fruit purity and elegance that Pinot fans desire. Delicious with plank salmon, game fish, our fresh roasted whole chickens or veal chops.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

San Simeon Paso Robles Viognier

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Viognier is one of the more controversial grapes due to the difficulty in the vineyards and the complications experienced in the winery. Finicky is a term that comes to mind. But well-made Viognier can be a real treat. Fresh floral aromas lead to almond, stone fruit, litchi and spice. The wine is slightly viscous in the mouth, but retains the requisite acidity that keeps it bright and fresh. I like this wine because it provides an alternative to the heft of California Chardonnay and delivers a mouthful of springtime flavors. A great pairing to cod, seabass or some of our delicious salads.

Michael Gregory C.S.W. Wine Merchandising Specialist

Jules Taylor Marlborough Gruner Veltliner

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Gruner Veltliner is a dry white wine that grows almost exclusively in Austria. Well it seems Jules Taylor of Marlborough, New Zealand believed it would do well where Sauvignon Blanc reigns supreme. And she's right as Gruner Veltliner is an exotic alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and, for that matter, to Chardonnay. The name translates to "Green Wine of Veltlin", Veltlin being an area in the lower Alps during the 1600's that is now part of Italy. Its delicately perfumed nose shows white peach, green plum and apple blossom notes with hints of spice. The stone fruit theme is carried through to the palate, where white peach and spicy notes are found. With its soft acidity, it's delicious to drink and is dynamite as a food pairing vehicle. Try with your favorite seafood or shellfish dish, roasted chicken or even grilled veggies.

Michael Cristillo C.S.W. Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris

Reg $18.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Sometimes the grape variety is perfectly suited to the vineyard. In fact this is the hoped for arrangement. In the ancient vineyards of Europe the vines have been in place, and evolved, for hundreds, even thousands of years. In the New World it can be hit or miss. Here we rely more upon the winemaker. But sometimes there is a lucky match where the grape variety thrives and perfectly joins with the vineyard. Pinot Gris and the Willamette Valley is such a match. Willamette Valley Pinot Gris bursts with flavor and sings with balance. The King Estate Pinot Gris was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and aged on the lees for five months. The aroma is of grapefruit, lime, melon, honey and flowers. The flavor gives citrus, apples, peaches and spice. The wine is viscous in mid-palate and finishes crisp. This is the white wine to have with poached salmon. It also goes well with grilled white meats, seafood and creamy sauces.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Clefs du Recit Sancerre Rose

Reg $27.99 | Gazette Special $23.99

Nothing signals Spring like the arrival of the new vintage of stunningly seductive rose wines. Like the first of season blooms, they awaken the senses to things of true beauty. The world has fallen in love with the allure of these gloriously tinted gems. The category is expanding at a fever pitch, with wines coming from all over the globe. A particular favorite is the rose of Sancerre, which happens to be comprised of 100% Pinot Noir. The wine is aromatic and racy with fragrant tones of strawberry, litchi, rose petal and citrus. Even more exhilarating is the vibrant, plush, melange of red fruits, berries, stone fruits, blossom, and notes of citrus in the silky, crisp, well-structured finish. This zippy pink is ideal with ni├žoise salad, seared tuna steak, our delicious Poke or just sipping on a stunning Southern California Saturday

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Brancott Estate Flight Song Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $14.99 | Gazette Special $12.99

April Showers have brought May flowers with aromas of passion fruit and juicy grapefruit in Brancott's Flight song Sauvignon Blanc. By now, most of us are familiar with light beers such as Amstel Light and Bud Light; but did you know that you could now find a wine that is light in calories? The wine grapes are harvested a touch earlier in the summer and have not reached the normal brix levels as other wines. Look no further to a delicious summer sensation! Brancott's Sauvignon Blanc opens up with mouthwatering tropical aromas and follows into balanced citrus. This is a wine that has a full finish with juicy tones of tropical passion fruit notes and can be paired off with seafood, chicken, salads, or simply on its own! Or pair this wonderful wine with all your favorite semi-hard cheeses.

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Justin Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

In 1981, Justin Baldwin planted his first vineyard in Paso Robles. Hot days and cool nights, along with soil rich in limestone, help make Justin's Sauvignon Blanc a well-structured, bright and zesty white wine, perfect for warm California days. You'll find lemon, grapefruit and cantaloupe on the nose, with citrus and tropical fruits on the palate. The hint of green bell pepper and lemongrass flavors come from aromatic compounds called pyrazines, which are one of the secrets to Sauvignon Blanc's taste. Enjoy this wine on its own as an aperitif or try it alongside grilled chicken breast or vegetable lasagna with creamy white sauce. It also pairs nicely with a tangy cheese such as fresh chevre (goat) or Humboldt Fog.

Clint Fultz Wine Specialist Westlake Village

Frei Brothers Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

A little candied on the nose with and ripe peachy aromas layered over a base of softly floral framed citrus fruits and a hint of honeydew with a gentle suggestion of vanilla adding detail. Fairly full and lush in the mouth, this does not lack for acid but does have a bit of a creamy feel in the mouth. The flavors show complexity with a touch of vanilla, citrus fruit, melon and fine herbal notes finishing with a hint of green fennel seed. Soft and gentle on the finish with a bit of peach pit and a hint of salty minerality. A fine varietal expression from Russian River!

Brian Moore Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Hanna Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $17.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

The Russian River Valley is well known for its excellent Pinot Noir, but the area also produces many other great varietals including Sauvignon Blanc. This Hanna Sauvignon Blanc was made with fruit from estate vineyards that benefited from the areas cool climate, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, retaining maximum flavor and varietal nuances. Bright and balanced, this wine displays full fruit aromas, a crisp mid-palate, and a well-rounded finish. This is not only an extremely pleasing wine to drink; it is also available at an affordable price. Enjoy this gem on its own or with chicken, seafood, and goat cheese.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

St. Supery Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

Aromas of fresh citrus erupt from this lively Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, while vibrant flavors of grapefruit and lime bound onto the palate with crisp mouthwatering acidity. Juicy and luscious, this wine shines while quaffing with friends on a Summer afternoon on the patio, or accompanying light foods like herbed goat cheese, swordfish, or chicken kebabs.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Ladera Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Reg $28.99 | Gazette Special $24.99

Ladera Sauvignon Blanc is a blend of 3 different clones - Clone 1, Musque (which adds the tropical fruit and melon characteristics to the wine), and Liparita. Fermented in stainless steel and French oak for 7 months on the lees, this is visually appealing due to a beautiful golden hue. Refreshing aromas of honeydew melon, passion fruit and spiced pear with a touch of citrus and lemongrass. The palate is very focused with slight acidity leading to a long and persistent finish. Pairs well with fresh fish, mild cheeses, and fresh summer vegetables.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

Sophora New Zealand Sparkling Cuvee

Reg $16.99 | Gazette Special $14.99

Sophora symbolizes the natural beauty and excitement of pristine New Zealand growing conditions and abundant sunshine enhancing the vibrancy of our sparkling cuvee. Premium vineyards are located in the Gisborne and Hawke's Bay districts of New Zealand's North Island. A classically climate region with maritime influenced and a long growing season. The strong silt and clays soils provide the natural vigor and water holding capacity required to quickly ripen crops early in the season. Fruit is typically harvested early to ensure balance between ripeness and natural acidity. This Cuvee of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has elegant aromas, is rich and full on the palate with a pleasant, lasting mousse. Sophora exhibits an array of ripe fruit flavors and vibrant citrus combined with delicate yeasty characters and a naturally balanced acidity to produce a luscious style of sparkling wine.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Laugnier Cremant d'Alsace Rose

Reg $19.99 | Gazette Special $16.99

There nothing better for light spring lunches with friend that a little bit of rose. Made from 100% Pinot Noir and finished to a lower pressure than traditional Champagne, the Cremant is ripe with creamy strawberries, zesty citrus like acidity and just the right amount of bubbles for any occasion. It's just plain fun in a bottle and a welcome change to the numerous other dry roses you'll be drinking this spring. This is something I tend to drink year round as it's perfect for date night, lunches, parties and even sitting at home with a grilled steak on an evening wear the mercury is still pushing up into the lower 80's.

Teo Santocono Wine Specialist La Jolla

Louis de Sacy Brut Rose Grand Cru

Reg $42.99 | Gazette Special $35.99

There were vineyards around the village of Verzy for a thousand years before the Sacy family got there in the 17th century. The family has been tending those vineyards for almost 400 years and today Alain Sacy cultivates 75 acres of grapes and produces Champagne of the highest quality. Louis de Sacy Brut Rose Grand Cru has got to be one of the best wine values in the store. 100% Grand Cru-rated vineyards and 12 generations of experience add up to the same quality that you can pay three times as much for in other Champagnes. Since World War Two some Champagne houses have been taken over by marketing geniuses and those Champagnes are a success story like no other. But smaller, family producers like Louis de Sacy base their success on quality alone. The Brut Rose is a light style with an exuberant mousse carrying flavors of bread dough, apple, pear and red berries. It is nervy and balanced with a crisp finish.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester