The Grapevine Gazette

march 1 – 28

Spring is about to, well, spring and there is evidence of new sprouts and blooms that hint of the beauty that is about to unfold. Well, in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. It is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. How’s that for topsy turvy – enjoy a warm Spring day here and then fly down to Australia or South America and wrap yourself around the cool, crisp Fall climate! This is a great time of new beginnings and opportunities and to live each day to its fullest. 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 garden box.

Laurent Perrier Vintage Brut

Regular $56.99 Gazette Special $49.99

One of my favorite types of wine, well there are numerous, I should rephrase, one of those wines that I never tire of is Champagne. Well-made Champagne caters to many senses: sight, sound, olfactory and taste, and is a truly satisfying beverage. Lots of vinicultural areas make sparkling wine, Spain, Italy, the US are all prominent producers, but to me, the most significant and enjoyable are Methode Champenoise from the true region of Champagne. As in all acclaimed wine regions, there are distinctive qualities that set themselves apart, from grapes to soils to house styles. One of the quintessentially reliable is the house of Laurent Perrier. The Cuvee LP, their flagship style, has been a proven champion for as long as I can remember. Then comes the Vintage Brut. Not all vintages are created equal, and 2006 is one for the ages. It is expressive and refined with ample citrus, stone fruits, almonds and nougat, with a crisp, lifted, mineral finish. The 50/50 Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend is spot on for this vintage. Classic and exuberant, this will continue to impress for another decade – and this is a silly good price for a wine of this caliber. “A remarkably good 2006” 93 Points eRobertParker.com.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Joseph Perrier Cuvée Speciale Brut

Regular $79.99 Gazette Special $59.99

Made from a blend of the three classic varietals, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, this Rosé hails from four different premiers and grand cru villages of Mailly, Rilly, Chouilly and Mesnil sur Oger. Pronunciation test comes later! The blending trials were extensive and involved a minimum of 10 different tastings before the final blend was agreed upon. After 7 years on the lees in the cellars, it is disgorged in small lots to ensure its freshness and intense fruit content. This is a rich, sensual Champagne that exudes flavors of red fruits, a velvety texture and a vibrant touch of mousse on the finish. Ideal as an aperitif, this Rose is a great food pairing elixir with seafood and poultry dishes, and will be particularly delicious with Asian cuisine, Lebanese and spicy Indian dishes.

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

Henri Bourgeois Petit Bourgeois Sauvignon

Regular $ 12.99 Gazette Special $10.99

Henri Bourgeois is a conspicuous producer of Sauvignon Blanc, and their holdings are among the finest in Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and throughout the Loire Valley. With such vast and diverse vineyards at their disposal, they produce a myriad of site specific wines that reflect the unique soils of their respective village. They have over 200 acres under vine, in 70 villages, so they have the ability to produce them uniquely. But Sancerre, while being deliciously satisfying, isn’t priced to be an everyday staple, which is where the Petit Bourgeois comes into play. Surrounding hillsides, formerly named the Jardin or Garden of the Loire, share much of the same chalk and clay soils with perhaps a bit less of the flint and decomposed oyster shell that is the hallmark of the region. But no less refreshing in fruit character, the citrus, apple, gooseberry and passion-fruit flavors sing. Crisp and lively, this vibrant white is a natural with seafood Carpaccio, shellfish, pepper-jelly glazed chicken, and of course delicate goat cheeses.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Vietti Roero Arneis

Regular $ 25.99 Gazette Special $21.99

White wines from Italy are among the most interesting wines in the world. Italy is the home of a thousand grape varieties, and there is a lot more to Italian whites than Pinot Grigio. 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 Piemontese because it is regarded as a somewhat difficult variety to grow. 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’oeuvres, crudités, seafood salads and soups, simply prepared veal, pork, chicken and creamy cheeses.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Desparada ‘Fragment’ Santa Barbara Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $21.99

Native Californian winemaker Vailia Esh has made a Sauvignon Blanc with backbone produced from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in three specific vineyards. Rested in stainless steel, neutral French oak, and Acacia barrels, this vibrant white wine features slight jasmine and citrus with an abundance of minerality, lending itself to dishes from shellfish to pork.

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Peju Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $27.99 Gazette Special $24.99

In 1982 Tony Peju bought 30 acres in the Rutherford area of Napa Valley, and the Peju family has been passionate about making fine sustainably-grown wines ever since. A prime example of this passion is this bright and lush Sauvignon Blanc. Starting out with citrus and tropical fruit notes on the nose, it progresses with intense pineapple, mango, and lemony tartness on the palate, finishing cleanly with crisp acidity. Perfect for springtime get-togethers, it pairs nicely with crisp salads, herbed goat cheese and baguettes, grilled fish, or seafood pastas.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

J Vineyard California Pinot Gris

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

J Vineyard has been producing Pinot Gris for about 20 years now and they have certainly perfected it. The wine is very crisp with a bouquet of aromas and flavors such as pear, pineapple, citrus ,and honeysuckle. All this added to a hint of minerality and acidity teeters towards the sweeter side. A very versatile wine that can be paired with most anything including a pre-dinner aperitif.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly Hills

San Simeon Paso Robles Viognier

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Quincy is a small village between Bourges and Vierzon on the right bank of the Cher River, which is fed by the southerly situated Massif Central.  The first plantings go back to the Benedictine Monks in the eleventh century. The soils are clay and shell and add handsomely to the character of the locale’s wines. Without the recognition of Sancerre, Sylvain Bailly’s Quincy – made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc – offers a fantastic option at a fraction of the entry price of most Sancerre. The vineyards are situated in Quincy and Brinay, and blend old and young vines offering fresh structured wines with a personality all their own. The wine is bright, clear, and pale yellow, with a hint of verdure. The aromas are of flowers and vanilla. This Quincy is a pleasant surprise of rich upfront fruit and minerality with the common denominator that honey and vanilla share in their invert sugar characteristics, leading to a long finish.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Les Heretiers Lafon Macon-Villages

Regular $23.99 Gazette Special $19.99

Dominique Lafon is one of the most respected and idolized winemakers in France, and his Meursault is world class. Along with such pedigree, there comes a price, a hefty one at that. But all that talent isn’t focused on just Meursault (and a trickle of reds from Volnay and Santenay), Dominique has expanded his holdings to include some impressive acreage in the Maconnais. Many of the wines from Macon tend to be quite simple and refreshing with little interest beyond that, but under Lafon’s tutelage, the rigorous biodynamic farming, the crop thinning and green harvests deliver his Macon wines to a whole other level. Setting the bar (or La Barre for Lafon buffs), the Heritiers Lafon Macon will really expose you to a new view of what this underappreciated region has to offer. The flavors are expressive and brilliant with apple, pear, mandarin and steely notes with a subtle textured note adding some depth to the crisp finish. Delicious with poached salmon, steamed mussels, even a lightly seasoned baked pork loin. 2013 received 89 Points @ eRobertParker.com

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

BonAnno Carneros Chardonnay

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

BonAnno started in 2004 with the vision to create top quality wines at the best prices. This Chardonnay is sourced solely from the Carneros region of Napa Valley. The two vineyards they source their fruit from are primarily planted with Dijon clones and vines that are 15+ years old. Winemaker, Matt Bonanno works closely with several vineyard managers to ensure the quality of the grapes and maximize the potential of each vintage. This wonderful Chardonnay bursts with ripe green apple, pear and stone fruit. It has great texture, well balanced with light acidity, minerality and some oak. It pairs well with seafood, poultry or just enjoy on its own.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Chappellet Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $25.99

Winemaker Paul Titus hits it out of the park with his 2014 Chardonnay. This wine is blessed with rich intense creamy notes along with flavors of Gala apple, Bosc pear, and topical fruit flavors. The nose is also quite impressive showing orange blossom and spice. This stellar bottling is no surprise taking into consideration Chappellet’s unbelievable track record, and will provide versatile service with all lightly sauced chicken and veal dishes, shrimp, lobster, and grilled meaty fish. Highly recommended.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Grgich Hills Napa Valley Chardonnay

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $35.99

This Chardonnay is delicious with balanced acidity making it a great food wine. The proprietor, Mike “Miljenko” Grgich, has been called “The King of Chardonnay” since the winery began in 1977. It did not undergo malolactic fermentation, so they preserved its natural acidity. Smooth and mellow with a great acid structure. The wine displays peach, mango and tropical flavors with a hint of minerality. It is well-balanced and it goes well with fresh seafood, roasted chicken and creamy cheeses.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Ernest & Julio Gallo Estate RRV Chardonnay

Regular $44.99 Gazette Special $39.99

The 2014 growing season in the Russian River Valley was phenomenal. The dry winter and spring made way for a warm growing season with typically crisp, cool nights and mornings. Though harvest was earlier than usual, fruit quality was exceptional. Flavors were fresh and refined, offering abundant notes of stone fruit and tree fruit, with richness in texture and bright acidity. Powerful, focused and elegant, the Gallo Estate Chardonnay is the vintage’s best expression from the estate vineyards in the Russian River Valley. The wine features delicate floral and citrus aromas, while the palate has flavors of pear, apple and stone fruit typical of a cool-climate Chardonnay. Flavors of fig, peach, caramel and citrus fruit are framed by a round mouth-feel and long, rich finish. Enjoy with roast chicken, light pasta and crisp green salad.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Domaine Faiveley Mercurey Blanc Clos Rochette

Regular $39.99 Gazette Special $32.99

Domaine Faiveley was founded in 1825 and has remained in the family ever since. Mercurey is located in the sub region of the Côte Chalonnaise in Burgundy and is its most famous village. The vines are planted on rocky soils, making the roots work deeper into the ground. The grapes are pressed and vinified on site (to maintain freshness) with small lots resting in oak barrels for 10-12 months. On the nose this wine has expressive notes of apples, white blossoms, flint, slate and wonderful minerality. The mouth feel is rich with balanced acidity, bold fruit notes and medium dry finish. The most ideal pairing for this wine is lobster, seafood stew and grilled octopus.

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Jean-Marc Burgaud Morgon Cote de Py

Regular $23.99 Gazette Special $19.99

The village of Morgon is one of the ten Crus in Beaujolais and situated within the Burgundy AOC, and Burgaud does it right! With a paltry 10,000 case production, the vines see no chemical fertilizers or insecticides because as Jean Marc likes to say “we must respect the land”. He brings new wine lovers to Beaujolais and the Gamay grape, as well as hard pressed Burgundy Pinot Noir-heads like me back to his amazing wines. Harvested from vines that are over 50 year old, this wine has great raspberry and ripened cranberry flavors, a stern backbone and the acidity that makes you want to return for another sip. A must with roasted chicken or a bit more gamey fare like duck.  Enjoy it on its own or pair with grilled salmon with teriyaki sauce.

Omar Lima Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Verso Rosso Salentino

Regular $14.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Having tasted this gem from Russian River Valley, I find my heart belongs to Twomey Cellars.  Verso is a very full-bodied, luscious wine made with a small percent of ‘appassimento’, or raisined grapes. It comes from the same terrific people who make Casa Contini. The grapes are grown on two non-contiguous crus, with about 10,000 cases produced, which is very small for Puglia. Rich and dark in color, vibrant spice flavors, pleasant notes of chocolate, it is a hedonistic experience that captures the polished side of Negroamaro and Primitivo. Enjoy with red meat, stew, game dishes and mature hard cheeses.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Juan Gil Jumilla Proprietary Red Blend

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

From the Bodegas Juan Gil family of wineries, this big red is blended from Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes, all individually vinified, then blended and rested in French and American oak for 18 months. After aerating for an hour, this wine opens up to reveal big spice, black fruits, vanilla, tobacco, and earthy notes. Enjoy this wine now with roasted meats and red sauces, or cellar for 2 to 4 years and allow it to develop its full potential.

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

San Simeon Paso Robles Syrah

Regular $21.99 Gazette Special $18.99

These grapes were grown in the coastal area of Paso Robles where the warm days and cool nights create a complex and extracted style. The wine has a plush mouth-feel and a lengthy finish, without excessive tannins. Boysenberry, ripe plums and pomegranate are the fruits that you will recognize along with vanilla, oak spice and cinnamon nuances from 24 months of French and American oak barrel ageing. A great wine with beef steaks on the BBQ.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Field Recordings Fiction Proprietary Red

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

The darkest color of night pours into the glass and the aroma of blueberry pie and luxurious suede sofas float to your nose. Firm tannins anchor flavors of grilled meats, cherry cola and licorice. A seven variety blend of Zinfandel, Tempranillo, Viogner, Syrah, Granache, Mourvedre, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Great with anything grilled, from steak to marinated Portabellas.  

Dorothy Sagebiel Wine Specialist Westchester

J. Lohr Paso Robles Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $13.99

Showing a deep, bright, red-purple hue. An abundance of Bing cherry and black currant fruit greets the nose, enhanced by spicy clove and toasty notes. Ready to be enjoyed now or cellared for several years. Enjoy it with your favorite grilled meats and game, tomato- based pastas or chocolate decadence. A great affordable Cabernet Sauvignon.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

J. Lohr Paso Robles Hilltop Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $26.99

One of the most recognized names from the Paso Robles area, J Lohr has been part of the Paso Robles region since 1986 and has plantings throughout the region. I had the opportunity to visit J Lohr winery recently and was blown away by their club and specialty selections (winery only items). I was fortunate to try the Hilltop alongside other vintages. The grapes are grown in specific areas of Paso that have gravelly, and sometimes limestone and shale-laden soils. The mostly warm weather (alongside with the cool evenings) made for ideal growing conditions. On the nose this wine exhibited some rich fruits such as dark plums, cassis, violets and light earth notes such as sage and cedar. The palate was bold and rich, powerful and flavorful with a long and dry finish. This wine would be perfect with roasted lamb or a New York steak, garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus!

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Kenwood Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard

Regular $34.99 Gazette Special $29.99

The Cabernets achieved at Kenwood are an amazing craft. From the vine, to the soil, and the mountains, they have bottled up ‘the beauty of California.’ This Cabernet opens up with a fresh breeze of eucalyptus trees and delicious cranberry fruit notes. This is a rich full flavored Cab with tannins enveloped by layers of mocha, cocoa and minerals creating a great structured wine with depth from introduction to finish. You can enjoy this red with Saint-Nectare, young Camembert, and Raclette cheese pairings as well as steak and lamb courses.

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Spottswoode Lyndenhurst Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $74.99 Gazette Special $64.99

As a life-long fan of Spottswoode, I have enjoyed them immensely over the years, but sparingly as they are pretty well out of my realm of affordability. The pedigree is top notch, and the wines have garnered the respect of critics and consumers alike. The Madrona St. Helena Estate is highly regarded as one of Napa’s top vineyard sites, and is CCOF farmed with strong biodynamic tendencies. With an all-star cast since its inception, including Tony Soter, Rosemary Cakebread, Jennifer Williams among other greats, the wines have stood the test of time, and are true Napa Valley classics. The Lyndenhurst Cabernet Sauvignon is primarily young vine Estate fruit, augmented with some other heralded sources from neighboring vineyards. The wine shows the same signature Spottswoode pedigree, but at a more attractive user friendly price. It is balanced and silky, with integrated black currant fruit, blueberry, spice, forest floor and fleeting oak tones. The wine is totally harmonious, impeccably balanced and pure joy to savor. There are believers that wine should knock you over the head, but I believe it should be pure, expressive and understated. There is much to like here, and it is pretty restrained. The 2012 achieved a 95 point score from James Suckling and a 92 point rating from Antonio Galloni.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Alto Moncayo Borja Veraton

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $25.99

Bodegas Alto Moncayo is a joint venture of Jorge Ordonez, Bodegas Borsao and famous Aussie winemaker, Chris Ringland. Located in Zaragoza, Spain the oldest vines of the Alto Moncayo vineyards are over 90 years old. Much like their French neighbors due north in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, their focus is exclusively on Garnacha aka Grenache. Veraton is the third wine they produce from the Garnacha grape, these particular vines being between 30 and 50 years old, and aged in barrels for 16 months. Very good pedigree here – its older brother, Alto Moncoya, has received 100 point scores for Parker not once but twice. Robust red and black fruits on the highly perfumed nose are accented by lavender and vanilla notes. Juicy, deeply concentrated raspberry and boysenberry flavors show a smooth, supple texture, and mocha and white pepper notes emerge on the mid palate. Finishes on an appealingly ripe note, with supple, even tannins.
92 points Robert Parker 2013
91 points Robert Parker 2014

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

G D Vajra Barolo Albe

Regular $41.99 Gazette Special $36.99

Barolo can prove to be a bit fickle, some are so hard as nails upon release that there is precious little pleasure in
their youth. Nebbiolo, from great vineyards, deserves a ton of patience and understanding, and perhaps a little more patience. And then there are the more generous, dare I suggest precocious, style, or is that an oxymoron? But yes, Barolo can deliver a very satisfying experience early on, provided you make the right selection. The tannic nature of the grape has been tamed by a new breed of winemakers, and the new vision they see is rewarding. More depth, more layers of fruit, more concentration, and less rustic rough edges. Purists may poo poo the thought, but the wines have cultivated a following, and rightfully so. G D Vajra is a highly regarded and well versed producer that has a track record of fantastic wines. Vineyards speak through their wines, and they are quite impressively appointed. Their Barolo Albe is a blend of 3 of their vineyards, all sustainably farmed, which are rigorously sorted for quality controls. The grapes are treated to an extended fermentation, and are then aged 30 months in large Slavonian oak vats, which provide little impact to the fruits purity. The Barolo Albe is saturated and complex, packed with berry fruits, classic tobacco, floral, tea and some briar notes. Surprisingly approachable and enticing, it drinks beautifully now with a little airing, but will certainly reward a decade of cellaring. Pair with game meats, lamb chops or a ribeye with a red wine peppercorn reduction, and it performed flawlessly at Thanksgiving.
2012 scored 92 Points in The Wine Spectator.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

González Byass Tip Pepe Fino Sherry

Regular $ 18.99 Gazette Special $15.99

A Fino Sherry is one of the most interesting white wines. The wine is aged in barrels in a unique way. Yeast forms a layer called ‘flor’ that covers the surface of the wine isolating it from the air and protecting it from oxidation. Then
in a system of blending called “Solera” the older wines benefit from the freshness of their younger counterparts, and the younger wines benefit from the characteristics acquired after years of aging. The result is pale straw in color, surprisingly fresh, with an aroma of almonds. In the mouth this Fino is dry and crisp and mildly acidic. The finish is rich and full. Serve it very cold as a perfect accompaniment to seafood and shellfish, salads, dressings, cold soups, ham, or Japanese dishes like sushi and sashimi.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Prices valid March 1-28, 2017
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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