The Grapevine Gazette

Jan 3 – Jan 30

The wonderful chaos of the ‘Holidaze’ is over. Kaput. Finito. I, for one, am sad to see them grow distant in my mental rear view mirror and wave a fond goodbye. Now is the time to prepare for your winter vacations, be they on the slopes of Mammoth Mountain or on the warm sandy beaches of Maui. January, named after the Latin word for door, “ianua”, is literally the door to the New Year and an opening to fresh beginnings, be they New Year’s Eve resolutions, or simply some much needed downtime. Below is a smattering of our libations to peruse and quaff during the month, from bright, refreshing Roses – which we So Cal folks love to consume year round – to mouth-watering whites and full bodied reds. So kick up your feet, try to remember what that dang resolution was, and enjoy the blissful and momentary slow pace…until we do it all over again! As always, enjoy and drink outside the box.

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut MV

Regular $27.99 Gazette Special $24.99

Roederer Estate originates from a cool western corner of the Anderson Valley, a site that was chosen because of its climatic similarities to the Champagne region of France. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in this sparkler, but there is also some Pinot Meunier making this a crisp, complex, yeasty bubbly. The bold flavored dry style shows characteristics of green apples, honey, and bread yeast. It is extremely food-friendly and also satisfying as an aperitif. A perfect partner with smoked salmon and all lightly-sauced dishes. Highly recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Champagne MV

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $34.99

The holidays might be winding down, but I am always hesitant to stop drinking Champagne as it’s such a festive and food-friendly wine. This particular bubbly is one of my favorites. Chock full of fresh pear, almond, hazelnut, and toasty flavors, it finishes with subtle minerality and smoothness. A great wine to pair with poached salmon, creamy pastas, sushi, or Sunday brunch with friends. Enjoy!

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut MV

Regular $79.99 Gazette Special $69.99

This is what comes to mind when fruit and elegance meet. Very bright, well structured, and offering bright cherry notes followed by subtle earthy scents, it pulls you in no matter the occasion. Placed on a throne by wine lovers around the world for its consistent flavors, and not steering away from the beauty of its 17th century style bottle makes this the perfect resolution for your New Year. Pairing with light foods would normally be my first choice, but this one has the beauty to stand alone. 96 Points Connoisseurs’ Guide

Kyle Ezidro Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

Conde Valdemar Rioja Rose 2016

Regular $ 12.99 Gazette Special $9.99

Light and bright salmon rose color. On the nose, it displays floral aromas with delicate and subtle notes of bright red fruit, while on the palate it is fresh with an elegant, round finish. This wine matches perfectly with red fleshed seafood, soups, and salads. Or if you’re looking for something more off the beaten track, try this Spanish beauty with Mediterranean cuisine such as rice plates and pastas, and with Asian cuisine. Made primarily from Garnacha with a nice dollop of the white grape, Viura.

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

Dom. Vallon des Glauges Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Nestled at the base of the Massif des Alpilles, the gateway from Rhone to Provence, lies the Domaine Vallon des Glauges. Consisting of 175 acres of sustainably farmed vines, garrigue (the indigenous chaparral,) and olive trees, some striking wines are produced in this ruggedly beautiful landscape. Consisting of Grenache, Syrah and Counoise, the wines richness is accented by the mineral from limestone and rolled pebble soils. The flavors are of orchard fruits, red berries, currants and fleeting herbs indicative of the region. Delicate and racy, this refreshing and lively sipper is a delicious aperitif, complement to seafood and savory poultry dishes.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Fritz Haag Estate Riesling

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Fritz Haag Estate Riesling Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99
Textbook in almost every sense, next generation winemaker Oliver Haag continues to dazzle with his brilliant and pure Rieslings. Just off-dry in style, this tantalizingly fresh gem boasts a superb balance between the grapes natural sweetness and bracing acidity which lifts the wine and prevents any cloying tendancies. Pure citrus, stone-fruits, green apple, hints of smoke and a zesty almost piquant character leads to a trace of salinity. Delicious with lighter fare, Asian cuisine or even brunch with its lower 11% abc content.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Justin Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

If you look up the word quaffable, you might find a picture of Justin’s Sauvignon Blanc. The fruit used to produce this fine beverage comes from two Central coast regions. The western region, where the cooler climate is in charge of the great acidic flavors. And the eastern vineyards that produce grapes that are rich in fruit flavors. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit and clementine with notes of ripe peach. Veggies and grilled seafood will pair well with this sumptuous white.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

Jean Pierre Bailly Pouilly Fumé

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Now in the 6th generation of winemaking, Patrice has taken the reigns from his father and since 2000 has been handcrafting the wines for this domain in fine fashion. The family’s holdings are all ideally situated hillside vineyards, with great exposure, drainage and are meticulously tended. Clay-limestone and kimmeridgian (fossilized Jurassic era) soils are ideal for Sauvignon Blanc, and are evident in this beautifully balanced and enticing white. Often confused with Pouilly Fuisse, and Chardonnay, Pouilly Fumé is a delicate and finessed white that is a touch more refined than its cousin Sancerre that originates from directly across the river. Terrific as an aperitif, or pair with white meat, shellfish, or mild goat cheese.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Josh Cellars California Chardonnay

Regular $15.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Josh Cellars have been making solid wines for the past 12 years, and puts emphasis on providing exemplary wines that are ‘approachable and expressive.’ The Chardonnay is tasteful and rich and opens with tropical notes, yellow peaches, with nuances of lemons which dance around its acidity. Their Chardonnay is harvested from Mendocino and Monterey County and put into French oak Barrels that give the wine a finish of vanilla and crème brulee. You can enjoy this wine as a great pairing for Chicken Salads, or bigger courses such as Chicken Alfredo pasta. And for the cheese lovers, this wine pairs well with Emmanthaler, Comte, or smoked Gouda!

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Banshee Sonoma County Chardonnay

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

Forgive me if you’re sick of reading my praises for the guys up at Banshee. They are killing it, making delicious, wallet-friendly offerings that drink like they should cost twice the price. In recent months I chose to feature their Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Valravn Zinfandel, and now I feel it necessary that everyone try their amazing Chardonnay. The fruit for this gem is sourced from high quality vineyards from the Sonoma Coast. A beautiful nose of pear and apple with hints of tropical and citrus fruit carries over to the palate, all wrapped in a warm blanket of vanilla notes and hints of toasty oak that are impeccable balanced with bracing acidity that keeps it fresh and clean through the finish. A versatile crowd-pleaser that deserves some attention, whether it graces your dining table or is simply quaffed amongst friends and loved ones. Enjoy!

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $35.99

I have had the pleasure of dining with Mike Grgich at two different wine food pairing Grgich events. I consider myself very lucky. More important is that Miljenko ‘’Mike’’ for so long has created amazing drinking wines. He doesn’t receive enough credit for being the wine maker behind the surprise win in the famous 1976 Paris wine competition, when a California Chardonnay upset the French wine world and took home #1.Thank you Miljenko!! Now let’s talk this Chard, awesome juice. Try it. Very enjoyable with or without food.

Bert Svensson Certified Sommelier; Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Lola North Coast Pinot Noir

Regular $18.99 Gazette Special $15.99

As are many great tales, Lola began as a dream realized by a busboy working long hours in his hometown restaurant. A lot of sacrifice and quite a few years honing his skills at various established wineries, he finally accomplished his vision and began Lola. Specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the ultimate goal was to make delicious wines using top fruit sources and bring them to the table at very fair prices. Check, check and check! Seth Cripe’s Lola North Coast Pinot is a marriage of Mendocino, Russian River and Sonoma Coast fruit, any one of which would demand more than twice the price of this gem. Further, only French oak was used in the cellar. The flavors are captivatingly delicious with true elegance and harmony, plenty of body but still true to the grapes identity. Black cherry, cola, some forest floor earthiness are highlights of this supple and endearing red.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Zotovich Estate Santa Rita Hills “Zoto” Pinot Noir

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $18.99

This very reasonably priced Pinot Noir was harvested in mid-August when the acid/tannin/fruit balance was judged to be optimal. Unrefined and unfiltered, this Pinot is seamless with notes of black cherry cola and hibiscus with a backdrop of caramelized citrus, nutmeg and cardamom. An integrated and harmonious wine with a medium weight mouthfeel, this beauty leaves the mouth with a velvety texture and a hint of dried stone fruit. 89 points Wine Enthusiast 2014

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

Levendi Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $34.99

This single vineyard Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley is a beautiful expression of the varietal. The clear, bright cherry color releases ripe fruit and subtle spice upon the nose. Subtle and soft on the palate with juicy ripe cherry and plum and a long finish that includes vanilla and subtle holiday spice. This bottle is ready to drink and will do well paired with roasted rack of lamb, hasenpfeffer, or a truffle cheese.

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Marchesi Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana IGT

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Sangiovese grapes are destemmed and lightly pressed before going into stainless steel tanks with full skin contact. It is then blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah where it goes through malolactic fermentation.
Beautiful deep ruby tones with aromas of ripe raspberry and cranberry lead into flavors of rich plum and cherry. The textures are round and almost chewy with a velvety long finish. Pair this with your favorite red sauce, carne asada tacos or Korean BBQ. Salute!

Erik Moreno Wine Specialist Mulholland

Charles Smith Velvet Devil Washington Merlot

Regular $13.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Velvet Devil Merlot is a deep purplish red with a crimson-red rim definition and showing medium-high viscosity. On the nose, there are powerful crushed black fruits jumping out of the glass, with lots of blackberry jam, boysenberry juice hints of creamy cherry crush with underlying notes of even more red plummy fruits. A great match with roasted pork, grilled steak and rack of lamb or venison.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Rancheria Cellars Santa Ynez Valley Merlot

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Yes, Virginia, Merlot is making a comeback. The Rancheria Merlot is a blend of 92% Merlot and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, produced from the Happy Canyon Vineyard estate in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County. Happy Canyon’s unique microclimate, soils, and special characteristics have made it a new frontier for Bordeaux varietals in California. Velvety black in color with deep red hues, this Merlot offers aromas of black cherries, cedar, blueberries, plum, dark chocolate, and hints of herbs. The palate is full bodied and brightly flavored with loads of fruit, nice soft tannins, and a firm texture that begs to be paired with roasted or grilled meats.

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

Margerum M5 Santa Barbara Proprietary Red

Regular $23.99 Gazette Special $20.99

Doug Margerum, a Santa Barbara staple, has pretty much done it all in the Central Coast. After opening the famous Wine Cask downtown in the early 80’s, he managed to earn the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award, one of less than a hundred in the world. During this time, he partnered with founders of Au Bon Climat and Qupe and created Vita Nova, which I recall were pretty tasty. Doug had designs on going back to small lot hand crafted wines so began his own label just after the turn of the century focusing mainly on Rhone varietals. His M5 (5 Rhone Varieties) is a somewhat typical GSMCC (w/Cunoise & Cinsault), full bodied with plenty of stuffing, yet round and juicy. Spicy strawberry, raspberry, cocoa and subtle earth notes. Pair with crown roast of pork, ribeye, lamb chops, this one can hold its own with pretty much anything you throw at it.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Slingshot North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $17.99

Complex yet approachable, Slingshot has a bouquet of ripe cherry and blueberry. The palate is dark and textured with notes of mocha, black currant, and plum balancing the endless acidity and chewy tannins. The lingering finish of subtle new oak will have you scrambling for more. Enjoy with filet mignon, rack of lamb venison and aged cheeses.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Awesome juice for the money. Great value. Presently one of the best values for Cabernet lovers. Beautiful classic drinking wine with black currant, dark ripe fruit and hints of tobacco and wood. On my personal present 2017 Top 100. Drink now. Enjoy, it is that good for its amazing price!

Bert Svensson Certified Sommelier Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Rickshaw California Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $15.99 Gazette Special $12.99

On the bottle label it is stated “Dedicated to the relentless pursuit of wines of elegance, purity and sophistication at prices that rarely reflect these characteristics”, which coincidentally is reflected in every glass. Inky red in the glass a Cabernet of beefy texture with the flavor of blueberry vanilla and cedar. Rickshaw is fermented in stainless steel and aged in 70% neutral and 30% new French oak. A wine that over delivers in every aspect, a great addition to your table or a wonderful surprise for the holiday.

Dorothy Sagebiel Wine Specialist Westchester

Cht. Fonreaud Listrac Medoc

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $16.99

Situated high atop a plateau at the center of the Medoc, this classic Bordeaux is one of the best kept secrets. Rugged topsoils of porous gravel are densely packed atop alternating sections of limestone and sand, each an ideal climate for its respective varietals. Comprised of 53% Cabernet, 43% Merlot and a dollop of Petite Verdot, this seriously good sleeper from Listrac Medoc is worthy of some attention. Still in its youth, this 2014 does have a precocious side in that it is so chock full of fruit that it delivers a ton of enjoyment at a more than reasonable price.
Dense red fruits, mixed berries, notes of cigarbox and pipe tobacco. All in all a pretty solid wine with a nice future for the patient. Great with our aged New Yorks, lamb, or well-seasoned Mediterranean dishes.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Stags’ Leap Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $56.99 Gazette Special $49.99

This extremely drinkable bottle grabs your attention with a deep dark purple color. Notes of tobacco, cherry, vanilla, and subtle cedar in the nose guide you to a palate of big, juicy dark ripe fruit, currant, chocolate, black and white pepper. This beautifully balanced wine is 86% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with classic Bordeaux varietals, making it very drinkable with an impressive balance of fruit, tannin, and oak. This bottle is easily served as an impressive reception wine or paired with pan-roasted ribeye steaks, roasted pork with tart cherry glaze, or a freshly opened Grana Padano. This bottle has some life expectancy, so drink one and cellar one

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Bogle California Old Vine Zinfandel

Regular $10.99 Gazette Special $8.99

While Zinfandel and the word “sophisticated” are not often found in the same sentence, these head-trimmed, dry farmed vines are prized for their production of small, concentrated clusters of grapes that produce incredibly rich and intense wines. For years, Bogle has sought out these gnarly old vines to create this Old Vine Zinfandel. This vintage from Bogle’s winemakers takes fruit from the 2012 vintage and creates a wine lively with cranberries and pink peppercorns. Hints of a hillside briar patch in summer waft through the wine as well, while spicy clove heightens at the finish from American and French oak. This versatile wine pairs well with everything from rich and unique dishes, to your favorite barbecue or weeknight take out. 2012 & 2013

Gregg Brown Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz

Regular $22.99 Gazette Special $18.99

Full of deep, dark berry fruit, the 2016 vintage is one of the richest and most complex Woodcutter’s of recent years. An incredible deep, central core of dark fruit gives way to an intense textural mid palate full of cassis, plum, spice and dark chocolate. While it will offer immense pleasure in its youth, the Woodcutter’s Shiraz will certainly develop into an impressive wine with 7 to 10 years in the cellar. The name Woodcutter’s stems from when Torbreck founder David Powell spent several years working in the Scottish Highlands as a lumberjack i.e., woodcutter, in the Torbreck forest. Like all Torbreck wines, it’s sourced from hand harvested and hand tended, low yielding vines.
95 points James Laube 2016

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

Domaine Grand Veneur Chateâuneuf-du-Pape Le Miocène

Regular $59.99 Gazette Special $49.99

If ever there were a wine Mother Nature made for the cold winter months, it is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. This great red is made from 65% Grenache Noir, 25% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. The nose develops aromas of ripe blackberry and black cherry fruit and spice. The palate reveals the presence of firm yet elegant tannins, with a finish that is long and luxurious. This is the Châteauneuf-du-Pape expression, displaying all the characteristics of the terroir. As for the name Le Miocène, this is a nod to the soil type created during this ancient period. The presence of a great number of rounded stones known as “galets” in the earth is evidence of the time when the Rhone, then a torrent, tore fragments of rock from the Alps and deposited them on the plain. A great wine, period!
94 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 2015

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

Prices valid January 3 – January 30th, 2018
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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