40 Novembers

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 5:11 PM

We Just Turned 40!!!


In November 1977, The Wine House was founded by John Carpenter at 535 Bryant Street in San Francisco.  Two locations and 40 years later, here we are at 829 26th Street in the city's Dogpatch neighborhood.  To say thank you to our customers for your patronage, and to help you celebrate with us, we're slashing prices on much of our inventory!



Deals abound in all corners of the shop!  There are some in-house specials to be found around our store, just look for the gold tags!  Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône, Sauternes, Italy, and more! 
     

To whet your appetite ...

Having been around for an Anniversary Sale or two over the years, experience tells me there is demand for "everyday Burgundy."  What is "everyday Burgundy?"  That is a subjective question to be sure, so I will share what "everyday Burgundy" means to me.



An American friend of mine who once lived in London for a short time returned a changed man.  He regaled me with tales of wine tasting and fraternizing with members of the staff of his local Nicolas wine shop.  One point he was abundantly clear on was the importance of "everday wines."  As in, one doesn't need to splurge on a bottle for their Thursday night dinner.  Again, what is "everyday" to one isn't to another; so let's use the budget of $20 per bottle and under here.  Well, anybody who knows anything about Burgundy knows it isn't cheap.  Red Burgundy wines below the $20 price tag, firstly, are nearly impossible to find.  Secondly, they practically beg for scrutiny.  Right? 

"Hey look!  It's red Burgundy for less than $20!!"

"What's wrong with it?" - would be the usual response.

Some of the nuances which can cause this kind of bias would be that a wine is perceived as being too light, or too rustic, or not having much fruit, or maybe having a nervy acidity level.  If one tastes through a line of sub $20 red Burgundies, it is likely that you will come across all of those descriptors.  But again, "too light?" "too rustic?" - that's all subjective.  To be a good "everyday wine," most importantly, a wine needs to be balanced.  So we'll lead off our 40th Anniversary Sale with an everyday red Burgundy that is elegant, honest, and balanced.  The 2014 Rully La Chaume from Claudie Jobard - regularly $25.79, on sale for $17.95!!



If you've followed us over the past 5 years or so, you've probably heard of 
Claudie Jobard.    Her mother, Laurence was head oenologist at Maison Joseph Drouhin for 30 years.  Apples.  Trees.  Actually, her Mom and her aunt co-own the Pommard domaine, Gabriel Billard.  Guess who they entrust to make the wines there?  If you said Claudie, you'd be correct.  The Billard wines are great in their own right, but today's email is about "everyday Burgundy."  The appellation of Rully lies south of Burgundy's famous Côte d'Or in what is known as Côte Chalonnaise.  There's been a lot of investment over the past decade in this region, as some of Burgundy's famous domaines have been purchasing land there.  This is a good time to be interested in wines from this region as the quality is going up, up, up, yet the price remains in check.   Claudie's 2014 Rully La Chaume has classic, brambly Pinot Noir aromas:  blackberry thicket, a hint of strawberry, herbs, and forest floor.  The palate is bright, elegant, honest, and in harmony.  Just the right amount of fruit, with the right amount of acidity, dancing together with a fresh, elegant finish.  I mentioned above that sub $20 red Burgundy was nearly impossible to find.  I don't think I've ever enjoyed a sub $20 red Burgundy as much as I enjoy this one!  The bottle's been open for 3 hours now, and the wine is singing!  - Peter Zavialoff

       

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The November 2017 Dirty Dozen

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 5:00 PM

Feel that chill in the air?



Yep.  There's no denying it; November is here - And seeing that the sky is going dark early these days, it's time for our festivities to move indoors!  No problem here, it's a great time of year for hearty dishes accompanied by sturdy red wines.  If it's white wine that tickles your fancy, it's a good time for those too, as crab season and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.  Either way, we've got you covered - The Dirty Dozen is a great way to get both for a great price.  Pick up your November Dirty Dozen today!
November Dirty Dozen Chillable Wines

The Chillables

NV Giavi Prosessco Superiore DOCG $14.98 net price, $13.48 reorder                

November and December are certainly the months during which we do the most celebrating and entertaining.  So for those occasions which benefit from sparkling wine, we thought to include our award-winning Prosecco to this month’s mix.  The Giavi Prosecco is expressive and alive in the glass with great balance and a dry finish.  Great, all-purpose fizz!



2015 Viognier, Grange des Rouquette $10.99, $8.79 reorder            

A closer look at the back label tells us that this is 85% Viognier and 15% Marsanne.  The Marsanne gives the wine some body and adds aromatic complexity.  All in all, this VDP d’Oc is big on charm and low in price.  It makes for a great aperitif, though should you save it for the Thanksgiving Day table, you will find it very handy for its versatility. 



2016 Les Cimels Rosé, Château d’Or et de Gueules  $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder Speaking of versatility, Rosé wines top the charts when it comes down to the breadth of cuisine which they pair well with!  TWH pal, Diane de Puymorin crafts her Rosé more in the style of Bandol and/or Provençal Rosé, using Cinsault and Mourvèdre as the primary fruit.  It’s clean, crisp, and dry on the palate with hints of fruity aromas.



2015 Gruner Veltliner “Q”, Petra Unger $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder                       

Petra Unger took the winery over from her parents in 1999. With vineyards planted on either side of the Danube in the Kremstal region of Austria, Petra makes several cuvees of Gruner Veltliner. The “Q” is her most affordable and is all tank-fermented for optimal freshness. Yellow fruit flavors with aromas of white pepper; pair with crostini or bruschetta.



2015 Chardonnay, Benoit Badoz $17.98 net price, $16.18 reorder            

The Jura is a relatively small wine region sandwiched between Burgundy to the west and Switzerland to the east. Here Benoit Badoz, who is a 10th generation vigneron, makes traditional wines. The Chardonnay is delineated and cut. It goes through malolactic fermentation in tank and sees no time in oak. It’s snappy, so give it a try with oysters and mussels.



2015 Valréas, Clos Bellane  $15.98 net price, $14.38 reorder                      

The Rhône Valley’s Clos Bellane is a small domaine situated at a high 1300 ft. elevation. The property is farmed organically and the soil is mostly limestone. This sensational white is predominantly Marsanne with Viognier and Roussanne blended in. A distinctively crisp white Rhône wine, pair it with grain-centric main dish salads.






 

November Dirty Dozen Red Wines

The Reds

2011 Tinto, Terraços do Tejo $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder

Portugal offers terrific value for everyday, honest reds. This one is no exception and blends Aragonès (aka Tempranillo), Syrah and Castelão into a spicy, softly fruity wine. The tannins are well integrated, creating a complete taste sensation on the palate. A versatile wine, this can go with hearty fare like beef stew or can satisfy alone while curled up on the sofa.



2016 Rouge, Petit Canet $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

Delightfully fruity, this Carignane, Syrah and Grenache blend is the perfect antidote for any lack of sunshine. Bursting with berry fruit, this tank-fermented red is easy to get, easy to enjoy. The fruit comes from certified organic grapes from vines ranging in age from 25-45 years old. Working late; too busy to cook? Order pizza in, pop the cork and call it a night!



2015 Zinfandel, A Campo $17.98 net sale price, $16.18 reorder

Winemaker Jim Moore worked two decades at Mondavi in Napa before going out on his own. With over 40 harvests under his belt, Jim continues to produce bright, well-balanced wines. His old vine Lodi Zinfandel is marvelous! Lots of zesty berry fruit, at once generous and lively. This is a no-brainer, full-bodied red pick for the Thanksgiving table.



2015 Gaillac, Château Langlade $9.49, $7.59 reorder

Just north of the Pyrenees, near the city of Toulouse, lie the villages of Fronton and Gaillac.  While the former may be best known for their indigenous grape, Negrette’s inclusion to the local blends, nearby Gaillac has a couple local grapes as well:  Duras and Braucol.  The two are blended with Syrah here and the result is a lightweight, versatile red.

 

2014 Luberon, Tour de l’Isle $15.59, $12.47 reorder

Taking on the role of the negociant, Tour de l’Isle’s Robert Rocchi works with producers in and around the southern Rhône Valley, advising them on everything from vineyard work to what to include in the final blend.  This Luberon, from Y. Rousset-Rouard, is medium-bodied with fruity aromas.  Treat this like a spaghetti-red and you’ll be in business.



2014 Morgon Tradition, Domaine Pierre Savoye $18.49, $14.79 reorder

And what would a November Dirty Dozen be without a CRU Beaujolais?  The autumnal aromas of cedar, tobacco, and forest floor are in harmony with the season; and it is medium-light in body with fresh acidity, perfect for the array of small dishes one finds on the Turkey Day table.  Please join us in our tradition, by serving Savoye’s Morgon at your table!

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Bedrock Rocks!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:56 PM


Bedrock Wine Co.


Congratulations Morgan Twain-Peterson!

Morgan Twain-Peterson, proprietor of Bedrock Wine Co., recently became the first winemaker from California to become a Master of Wine. He is one of only 45 MWs from the United States. That is quite an achievement in and of itself, and yet consider the fact that during the time he was working towards becoming a Master of Wine, he was also building Bedrock Wine Co. - Wow!   I jumped on the Bedrock Wine Co. bandwagon from the start. My admiration was instantaneous and The Wine House has been rewarded for our support of Bedrock wines in the way of allocations. We are proud to carry a wide selection of Bedrock wines,from the vineyard-designated reds to the experimental blends. 



What I recognized early on, was Morgan's devotion to the vineyard. Morgan seeks out to use, but also essentially to preserve, old-vine vineyards. I too have a respect and affinity for the unique character of Zinfandel-based field blends.Without advocates like Morgan, these special, historic vineyards would undoubtedly be lost. I understand that what I am about to write is scientifically unprovable, but in 
Morgan's wines, I can taste that, well, love for the vineyard.

 

 Bedrock Vineyard: photo courtesy of BWC website



Their flagship wine (or at least that's how I see it) at Bedrock is The Bedrock Heritage. The Bedrock Vineyard has a long and storied history that can trace its grape growing roots well over a hundred years. It is a sizeable vineyard that sits in the heart of the Sonoma Valley. There are well over 30 different varieties growing at Bedrock Vineyard. In the 2015 Bedrock Heritage there are 19 different varieties (perhaps even more) that go into the wine, dominated by Zinfandel, Carignane, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouchet. A true, classic Californian field blend. Morgan writes that "Bedrock Vineyard is always going to have orange-scented perfume and rooted tannins". It's a full-scale red that is tasty in all its exuberant youth, but can also rest in the cellar. It really is a taste of California's wine history.



Words fail me to describe the emotions felt since fires ravaged Northern California. I am certain that we all know at least someone touched by this catastrophe.Living here in Northern California all my life, I am aware of the dangers of wildfire, but this was like nothing imaginable. As I learned about the losses to wineries and vineyards, I reflected on what I value most about being in the wine business. It comes down to the people and the land. It is indeed, people like Morgan who pursue winemaking, not just as commerce, but as a way of honoring the past and preserving our heritage, that inspires me. There are fewer and fewer of these precious old vines in California. I am grateful to those who champion these agricultural treasures.  Check out our full line-up of Bedrock wines to explore and taste these historic sites. - Anya Balistreri

From the Winery:

"The 2015 is a svelte lumberjack but a true lumberjack—not the soft-handed, urbane, hipster type, nor the Monty Python cross-dresser (though if that is what it wants to be when it grows up, that is just fine with me!).  A wine that is well-built, a little gruff at first, but full of nuance, soft eyes, and a well-hewn heart."

 

From the Winery:

"This wine, a field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Negrette, Carignan, Grenache, Trousseau Noir and many more, is dark and lovely stuff.  Definitely give it some time- either in the cellar or the decanter as time and/or air will help it to unfold."

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A Taste Of Burgundy - October 2017

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:47 PM

A TASTE OF BURGUNDY

OCTOBER 2017

2014 Beaune 1er Cru Pertuisots

Domaine Pernot-Belicard

The 2014 vintage for white Burgundy was a great one, and depending on who you ask, it borders on legendary status.  August was relatively cool, but it was followed by an exceptional September when the sun 2014 Domaine Pernot Belicard Beaune 1er Cru Pertuisots Bottleshone every day but three.  The perfect conditions at harvest assured that there would be some fine wine produced from the vintage.  Philippe Pernot, grandson of Paul Pernot, one of Puligny-Montrachet’s most famous vignerons, made just two barrels of his Beaune Premier Cru Pertuisots.  That’s just 50 cases for the world, and we got half of them!  The 1er Cru Pertuisots vineyard lies south of the village, very near the highly esteemed Clos des Mouches.  Considering the ideal conditions, it’s not surprising that the 2014 is Philippe’s best vintage to date.  The aromas are fresh and distinct — lime, citrus blossom, snappy green apple, and stony mineral.  The palate is concentrated and that stony mineral holds court with the lively fruit.  The finish is crisp and perfectly balanced.  Enjoy from now-2020.

2015 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Faconnières

Domaine Stéphane Magnien

As great as 2014 was for Burgundy’s white wines, the 2015 vintage is equally magnificent for the reds.  Stéphane Magnien represents the fourth generation of winemakers from this branch of the family.  The youthful Magnien has Pinot Noir vines growing in some of the Côtes de Nuits’ most prized vineyards, including about a half a hectare in the Premier Cru Les Faconnières, which is literally a stone’s throw from the famous Grand Cru, Clos de la Roche.  Magnien’s 2015’s are his most fleshy, easy to approach wines since the 2009 vintage, yet they are classically structured, suggesting they will age gracefully.  The bouquet of Stéphane’s 2015 Les Faconnières is wildly expressive with brambly red, blue, and purple berry fruit and spice.  The palate is dense and chewy, yet the tannins are finely integrated, and the finish is harmonious.  If you want to get the most out of this one, we suggest giving it some time in the cellar. Drink from 2020-2035.     

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Juicy Rebound

Tuesday, January 9, 2018 4:41 PM

Juicy Rebound

Douglas Danielak In Vineyard

Cuvée Unique - one white, one red!

Douglas Danielak is a veteran winemaker who has worked primarily for small premium wineries in the Napa Valley. Under the label Juicy Rebound, Douglas makes wines for himself, focusing on Rhône varietals. Towards that end, Douglas makes quintessential California wine through a French lens. Douglas studied winemaking and worked harvest in France before getting his enology degree from UC Davis. In the late 80's, Douglas teamed up with Jim Paras to form Jade Mountain Winery, one of the wineries associated with the Rhone Rangers movement. I still remember (and can almost taste) their Mourvedre and a blend they called La Provençale. Those wines were delicious and affordable - just like Juicy Rebound.





 




The 2016 Juicy Villages Cuvee Unique No. 34 is a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc. Much of the fruit for this blend was acquired from a very high profile grower who wishes to remain nameless. This is a gorgeous, sumptuous white that teases out all the exotic goodness of these varietals while still keeping the balance of flavors tightly corralled. Surprisingly, no oak was used. Surprisingly – yes, because there is so much texture to the wine. The finish has terrific freshness. Only 100 cases were produced.

 

The 2014 Juicy Villages Cuvee Unique No. 84 is 65% Syrah and 35% Grenache from grapes grown in the Russian River Valley. Juicy is the key word here, as the fruit is supple, open-armed and berry-driven. There are herb-inflected notes lurking in the background that reveal Douglas’ penchant for French wine. Slightly more of the No. 84 is produced than the No. 34, but it is still very limited.


 




These mild pepperoncini came courtesy of a neighbor who knows I love to pickle veggies. I reused brine I had made from a previous batch: a shortcut that made certain I didn't end up throwing these beauties into the compost. For you see, this week was jam packed. Besides normal work/life schedule, my volunteer hours were to capacity. I participated in a Challenge Day activity for 7th graders at my daughter's middle school. I signed up last week and found the experience so rewarding, I went for a second day. My Church and School District's fundraisers all needed baked goods. I am not a baker, but with my daughter's assistance, I gave it my best shot. Let's just say, the kitchen needs a scrubbing from floor to ceiling. When that finally happens (or before), I am going to need a glass of wine to unwind. I will reward myself with Juicy Rebound. Full of ripe fruit goodness and a balanced finished - both the white and red from Juicy Rebound allow entry to a high echelon of quality without having to pay exorbitant prices for the privilege. These wines are really something! - Anya Balistreri

From the winery:

"Light, pale straw-colored and frosty, we dove into the wine noses first.Nectarine, lychee, fresh citrus blossoms and Asian pear gave the wine an exotic nose balanced with fine minerality. The rich, creamy Viognier was perfectly offset by the aromatic Roussanne with its fresh acidity and complex flavors of chamomile tea, honey and spiced pears."

 

From the winery:

"65% Syrah and 35% Grenache. Every August we spend our Sundays picking wild blackberries as we prepare for harvest. This Rhone blend captures that experience. Grenache leads the way with cassis and aromatic herbal notes while Syrah adds juicy blueberry, blackberry flavors, a supple texture and a satisfying richness in the finish."

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