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“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” So saidOscar Wilde. Although we understand the poet’s spirit on the subject, there are times when consistency is preferred over any alternative. From healthy check-ups at the doctors’, delicious heirloom tomatoes, safe flights and comfortable shoes, there are times and places for it. It’s a slippery slope here, consistency in wine. We want the expression of terroir, and certainly the signature of any particular vintage to be present in wine we enjoy, butconsistently, we want the wine to taste good!Consistent quality is hardly universal among wines priced in the teens, but we’ve been stocking a particular red from Costières de Nîmes that delivers big time year after year. You can read our notes on the 2005, the 2007, the2009, and the 2010 on our blog.
Saturday, September 6, 2014 10:29 PM
On we go, into the ‘ber months! Kids are back in school, the French are back from their holidays, and here in San Francisco, it’s time for our summer! For the occasion, we’ve sourced some special wines to make our September a memorable one. Six reds, one crisp Rosé, and five whites, all chosen for their versatility, are screaming values on their own. Pack them all in a box and knock the price down 35%? Magic. The September Dirty Dozen!
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
2012 Falanghina Nina, Torre Quarto $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder
Give it a chill, just not too much, otherwise the lovely melon fruit and fragrant aromas (look for that slight hint of pine) will be muted. Falanghina, an ancient Italian grape, is grown in the south – Puglia in this instance. Yellow-gold in color, this lush white has a round texture that complements seafood, fresh salads and cold entrées.
2012 Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Jean-Paul, Boutinot $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
From southwest France, this dependable refrigerator door white’s beauty – a classic blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc – lies in its simplicity. Notes of lemon and citrus zest move into tangy grapefruit on the palate, leaving a refreshing, lingering lightness. Nothing complicated, but it’s oh so nice ice cold out of the fridge on a warm late summer’s eve.
2012 Pedro Ximenez PX, Cucao $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Pedro Ximenez is a varietal known mainly for its role in Spain’s sweet sherries, but this dry example is grown in the northern-most wine region of Chile – the Elqui Valley. Sunny weather ripens the fruit while the high altitude ensures freshness. A delightful blend of acidity and concentrated fruit; try with miso-dressed soba noodles or coconut shrimp.
2013 Ventoux Rosé l’Instant, Domaine Fondrèche $15.99, $12.79 reorder
This wine gets you at ‘hello.” Just look at that color! As pale as pale Rosé gets, winemaker Sébastien Vincenti blends 50% Cinsault with 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache and the wine is light, lean, crisp, and delicious. It’s a versatile little Rosé, textbook southern French style. Got a hankering for Salmon Étoufée? If you do, try it with this.
2012 Grenache Blanc/Rolle/Roussanne, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $12.89, $10.31 reorder
In 1998, Diane Puymorin purchased this domaine and re-named it Château d’Or et de Gueules. TWH regulars know all about her and those wines, but Diane keeps it real and pays homage to the history of her property with this bottling. Here she blends three classic white Rhône varietals. It’s crisp, clean, and fleshy. Pair it with a seared tuna sandwich.
2012 Gewurztraminer Herrenweg, Domaine Ehrhart $21.99, $17.59 reorder
Gewurztraminer is known for its profound bouquet reminiscent of lychee nuts and rose petals. The Ehrharts’ single-vineyard, Herrenweg is a tad off-dry, and is rich and expressive, both aromatically and on the palate. Not for sipping, this one needs food. Especially spicy food. You must try it with a spicy curry dish, or spicy Cajun red beans and rice.
2010 Tempranillo Dauco, Bodegas Martúe $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder
Hailing from central Spain, this friendly Tempranillo has silky smooth tannins and rich cherry fruit. Outside Rioja, Tempranillo can show many faces, but here it shines as a versatile, charming red, reminding drinkers what makes Tempranillo just so darn delicious! Surely Paella works but so does Pollo con Arroz, Plov, or Tadig with kebabs.
2012 Malbec, Ecologica $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder
Argentian Malbec is unquestionably a favorite for those looking for value and quality in an everyday wine. Ecologica sources only organic fruit and is Fair Trade Certified. Medium-bodied with welcoming notes of green herbs, red plum and cassis fruit, the acids and tannins hold up well to heavily-seasoned grilled meats or a quesadilla with fresh Pico de Gallo.
2010 Dão, Proeza $11.98 net price, $9.88 reorder
Looking for a full-bodied red that goes easy on the pocket book? Look no further than this voluptuous Portuguese red from Proeza. Loaded with big flavors courtesy of Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz, grapes traditionally made into Port, this dry red is grippy and broad-scaled. A lot of wine for the money! Hearty, rib-sticking meals would work best.
2010 Touraine Rouge, Domaine des Corbillières $14.99, $11.99 reorder
We’ve been working with Dominique and Véronique Barbou for two decades, their wines can magically transport us to the land of France’s most majestic chateaux. This blend of Pinot Noir, Côt (Malbec), and Cabernet Franc is marked by juicy fruit with an herbal twist. Drink it on its own or with anything you would want to pair with a cheerful red.
2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder
In the rolling hills just west of Firenze is the commune of Carmignano. Long before the days of the ‘Super Tuscan’, Cabernet Sauvignon was allowed to grow here, only to be blended with the native Tuscan Sangiovese. It’s a zippy little red table wine with another layer of complexity. Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil is all you need with this one.
2009 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder
Proprietor of Tour de l’Isle, Robert Rocchi acts as a negociant in the southern Rhône Valley who advises a handful of growers on improtant aspects of winemaking. The results in bottle are not only delicious, they are reflective of their places of origin. Or as Anya likes to say, “He’s not afraid to make wine that tastes good.” Try this with a grilled steak.
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