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Current Wine Selections

 

 Campo Flores,‘Blanco Orgánica’, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Campo Flores Blanco Organico is a wonderfully vibrant wine blended from organically-grown  Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Macabeo grown by farmers in the Cuenca part of La Mancha, who cultivate their crop in the traditional way, tending old bush vines on sandy-chalk soils where no pesticides or fungicides are needed due to the punishingly hot climate. The Verdejo adds a richer pear and peach and herbaceous backbone to match the citrus notes from the Sauvignon Blanc, while the Macabeo rounds out the blend.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Inspired by Spain's largely untapped fine wine resources, Masters of Wine, Fergal Tynan and Giles Cooke set off on a journey to find the unsung heroes of Spain, be they regions or growers. Fergal's interest in wine terroirs and Giles' instincts for flavour led them to unearth great Spanish wines whose stories were untold. The organic credential of Campo Flores is a reflection of all that is best in modern Spanish winemaking.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Fish cake with lots of dill and side coleslaw. Yumm!

SOMM HINT

Let the wine gradually warm up in the glass to bring out the aromatics of this wine.

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CORVALHO MARTINS, Golpe Branco, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

80% Rabigato, 10% Voisinho, 10% Gouveio. Made from three indigenous Portuguese white grapes. Haven't you heard of any of those varietals? Don't worry; neither have many folks in the wine industry! Of the three, only Gouveio goes by a different name (Godello) in other countries. This is a nicely balanced wine with a medium to full body, high acidity and bright aromatics that keep the wine light on the palate. Look for flavours of orchard fruit, herbs, and citrus.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Carvalho Martins Family manages the Quinta Vale do Olmo for 4 generations. The vineyards are located in the Mêda area (Douro Superior). The climate here is hot and dry throughout much of the year, allowing them to successfully use sustainable and organic farming methods and avoid the excessive use of herbicides or fungicides in the vineyards. The youngest generation - the Carvalho Martins brothers, who grew up amongst the vines, make the wine to represent the unique terroir of the Douro region.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This versatile wine can be enjoyed with poultry dishes, roasted chicken or turkey, shellfish, crab, lobster in a butter sauce, or roasted root vegetables.

SOMM HINT

Serve well chilled to preserve the freshness.

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Tenuta Tascante, ‘Buonora’ Etna Bianco, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

When anyone looks at Sicily these days, their eyes are immediately drawn to the island’s most prominent topographic feature, the great volcano Mount Etna. The grape, Carricante, is sourced from cool-climate vineyards on the north and east faces of the volcano’s slopes. Carricante is probably one of the most interesting multi-faceted varieties that ripen late and gains complexity with ageing. The wine has a fruity bouquet with grapefruit, white peach, and aromatic herbs. The taste is mineral and citrusy with lively acidity and freshness.

ABOUT THE WINERY

The Tasca d'Almerita family, one of Sicily's oldest and most esteemed wine families, is now led by seventh-generation Alberto Tasca. The family, who has been making wine across Sicily for over 200 years, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name is a portmanteau of Tasca and Etna). The winery is certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA sustainability indicators.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Grilled fish with lemon caper sauce or fresh Ricotta with lots of olive oil, and grilled bread

SOMM HINT

Serve it nice and cold.

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William Wright, ‘Monterey’ Chardonnay, U.S.A.

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

The William Wright Chardonnay is a classic, fruity Cali Chardonnay! The nose is ripe and fruity with aromas of peach, pear, melon, and citrus with honey and coconut. The palate is medium-bodied, textural, and refreshing, showcasing the Monterey’s cool climate viticulture.

ABOUT THE WINERY

In the 1970s, with Napa Valley’s wines in their ascendancy, Monterey was known more for grape growing than winemaking. One of the pioneers in the region was Al Scheid, who in 1972 was selling 100% of its grapes to wineries. In the decades to follow, the estate began making its own wines. Scheid Vineyards produce the William Wright wines from the cooler site of 12 estate vineyards located thru-out Monterey.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Pork Chops with grilled peach or pineapple salsa

SOMM HINT

Nothing fancy needed… just chill and enjoy!

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MarcoBarba, ‘Barbabianca’, Veneto, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

An exceptional white wine from the Veneto region in Northern Italy. Barbabolla is made with a mix of white-grape varieties native to the territory, some known, others not so much. Marco Barba is the name and face behind this wine. Marc's passion lies in showing the regionally, not the grape variety. This wine, mostly Garganega grapes, has notes of white peach, apricot, honeydew melon and marjoram. The wine sees a few days on skins, giving it a lovely texture.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Marcobarba began as a social project carried out by Marco and the 'Barbaboyz' (his friends + mentors). The team takes care of small plots of abandoned vines (owned mainly by older locals who wish to see the land revived) between the white sedimentary terrains of the Berici Hills and the dark and volcanic soils of Gambellara in Veneto.

FOOD PAIRINGS

The texture and acidity here help pair nicely with the sushi party tray, where you have different flavours.

SOMM HINT

Take out of the fridge 10 minutes before serving. Leave off ice.

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13th Street Winery, Pinot Gris, Niagara, Canada

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Pinot Gris is fresh and fruity with aromas of honeydew melon and white peach with a touch of stony minerality. The palate is lively with refreshing acidity and flavours of pear, ginger, some fresh green herbs and wet stone, with a long refreshing finish. The grapes were fermented and aged with fine lees to provide added richness and creamy mouthfeel, making this wine French style ‘Pinot Gris’ rather than light crisp ‘Pinot Grigio.’

ABOUT THE WINERY

13th Street Winery is located just outside of St Catharines in Niagara’s Wine Country. Founded in 1998, 13th Street produces a range of exceptional, critically acclaimed wines focusing on Gamay and traditional-method sparkling wine. Jean-Pierre Colas joined 13th Street as a winemaker in 2009. He brought a rich heritage of winegrowing knowledge from his native Chablis in France, followed by ten years of experience in Niagara.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Its tropical fruit notes are the perfect foil for bitter leafy greens and vinaigrette dressing

SOMM HINT

Wait for the first nice day of spring, ditch off work an hour early and crack this open before dinner.

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Claroscuro Bodega de Arte, Vista Flores, Mendoza, Argentina

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Claroscuro, the Mendoza winery that puts Argentine art on its labels! The wine shows the typicity of the grape and the region—intense, concentrated black fruit with spicy oak. Some rose floral aromas are typical of the Vista Flores vineyard in a cooler year. The palate is soft and elegant. Nice and juicy finish. A delicious glass of wine!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Gustavo and Paula Cucchiara undertook this family wine project in 2012. They fell in love with Finca San Francisco, Uco Valley, because of its slopes and view of the Andes. They purchased the property and renamed Bodega de Arte, reflecting their love of the arts. This Art Winery selects different labels for each cuvée and vintage.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Best BBQ wine. The smoke provided by the BBQ can amplify the aroma.

SOMM HINT

Give the wine a quick decant, or open in advance to allow the wine to breathbefore serving.

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LUNARIA ORSOGNA, ‘Coste di Moro’, Abruzzo, Italy

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

'Coste di Moro' serves as the flagship wine for Lunaria, just as Montepulciano serves the flagship red varietal in Abruzzo. There is no other wine shared in the region like Montepulciano; with complexity, versatility, and punch, it's shared at dinner and between best friends at the end of the night. Red fruit and black cherry jam dominate the aroma, with hints of chocolate and tobacco. The palate is warm, fairly tannic but soft on the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Lunaria is a brand of Cantina Orsogna, for organic, biodynamic and vegan certified wines. Cantina Orsogna, formed in 1964, is a cooperative company of 600 farmers committed to Organic & Biodynamic Farming and the conservation of Majella National Park- one of the most intact natural parks in Europe. Cantina Orsogna adopted organic practices in 1995 and, in 2003, started to convert from organic to biodynamic.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Montepulciano-based wines are my first choice when I see tomato sauce-based pasta and pizza. Easy going tasty wine.

SOMM HINT

Serve this wine in larger wine glasses, if possible, to showcase all of its complexity.

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Da Cruz e Teles – COZs, ‘Pop’ Lisboa, Portugal

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

COZs vm-Castelão is a natural and organic red wine made with the Castelão variety in Lisbon. The grape comes from “Quinta da Murta”, a vineyard located a few kilometres from the Atlantic coast. Made without filters or additions, this is a "junior Castelão", lighter and fresher than most wines made of this grape; however, it still shows the uniqueness of Portuguese wines with its Atlantic character; Layered red fruit, dried savoury herbs, fresh acidity balanced by pleasant tannins.

ABOUT THE WINERY

José Mendonça was a reference point and guiding light for a new generation of winemakers in Portugal (including Tiago Teles and Antonio Marques-da-Cruz) endeavouring to make an unmanipulated, terroir-driven, fresher style of wine than what has been the norm in the country.

The project ended with the tragic and untimely passing of José. With the blessing of the Josés family, the pair launched their project (aptly named COZs) and enjoyed several harvests before ultimately moving on to purchase their own land.

FOOD PAIRINGS

The savoury flavour is perfect for a vegetable-forward meal with grilled beets, kale and chickpea with herb dressing.

SOMM HINT

Treat this wine like a Pinot Noir, so if you have Burgundy glasses(bowl-shaped) now would be a great time to use them!

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FORREST Estate, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Marlborough is also known for its world-class Pinot Noir. This Pinot Noir from Forest Estate has intense aromas of raspberry, strawberry and black cherry with hints of violets, spice and savoury notes. It’s full, complex and delicious on the palate, exactly matching the nose. Great drinking now, but your patience will be rewarded by cellaring for 5+ years!

ABOUT THE WINERY

The Forrest family has been crafting wines since the late 1980s. Returning to family roots and generations of farming in the Marlborough region seemed a natural progression for John and Brigid Forrest after successful careers in scientific research and medicine.

FOOD PAIRINGS

A versatile wine that can hold up to big steak to delicate poultry dishes, yet best with duck.

SOMM HINT

Serve at cellar temperature (slightly chilled).

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Los Tres Pacos, ‘Mas Buscados’, Spain

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Literally meaning "the most wanted", Vinos Más Buscados is a collection of wines grown and nurtured in the Southern half of Spain. With mug shots gracing the label, three grape growers, all named Paco (seriously) combine to make Los Tres Pacos. The wine has the aromas of bramble fruit with smoky, spicy secondary notes. The mouth is rich, creamy, and generous, yet it has great structure, fine tannins, balanced acidity and a long finish. Classy wine for everyday drinking!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Inspired by Spain's largely untapped fine wine resources, friends, colleagues, and Masters of Wine, Fergal Tynan and Giles Cooke set off on a journey to find the unsung heroes of Spain, be they regions, growers or winemakers. Fergal's interest in wine terroirs and Giles' instincts for flavour led them to unearth great Spanish wines whose stories were untold. Los Tres Pacos represents one of these discoveries.

FOOD PAIRINGS

A perfect casual sipper. Pairs nice with a delicious classic hamburger.

SOMM HINT

Whenever you decide to drink this wine is the right time.

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Château du Moulin Noir, Montagne Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

A nicely aged mature Bordeaux! The wine is a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc aged 12 months in oak. The wine offers appealing savoury notes and a mineral, iron component, and licorice spice. The oak treatment is well integrated with wood spice elevating the bright red fruit. Dusty, savoury, earthy, and elegant the flavours you want from a matured red wine.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Lussac-Saint-Émilion is unique as a Right Bank wine-growing region in that it sits at a slightly higher elevation with more undulating topography. Château du Moulin Noir is located just outside the village of Lussac-Saint-Emilion and is owned by the Tessandier family. Their dependable Merlot-driven wines are characterized by ripeness, refinement, a balanced taste, and soft tannins.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Cured meats and hard, salty cheeses. Avoid intense flavours that may overpower this wine.

SOMM HINT

Serve at cellar temperature, and decant as you might find some sediment (which is harmless) in the bottle.

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RINALDI VINI, MOSCATO D’ASTI, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Superb quality in this refreshing, well-balanced and pleasant wine. The palate is sweet and smooth with lingering aromatic persistence. Straw yellow in color, characterized by a wonderful scent of peach, mango and floral notes of honeysuckle and sage. This sweet wine is perfect as a brunch or dessert wine. Chill and uncork just before serving.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Rinaldi Vini is based in Ricaldone, on the hills of Alto Monferrato near the city of Acqui Terme. It is in the center of one of the most prestigious areas of south of Piedmont, where wines are precious and celebrated all over the world. The company is family-run and was founded in 1961 by Oreste Rinaldi. Now the activity is continued by his son Andrea. For over forty years the Rinaldi have “signed” wines obtained from their own vineyards.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Serve alongside fresh oysters and prawns for a luscious starter or end your meal on a sweet note and try it with desserts and fruit platters.

SOMM HINTS

Why is it call Moscato? It’s made from Muscat grapes. This Moscato di Asti style of wine that’s made in parts of Italy is also known locally as frizzante.

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ELENA WALCH, LAGREIN, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Lagrein Elena Walch gleams invitingly with its intensive and dense garnet red color. The complex bouquet captivates with discreet spicy aromas, with cocoa together with wild berries and sweet cherries in the background. Distinctive tannin structure, smooth fullness, playful yet rustic elegance and youthful freshness as well as a long, juicy finish classify the palate.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Elena Walch is a leading family estate in Alto Adige with international success. With outstanding wines and the oenology lab, the wine estate is among the elites of Italian wine production and has become well respected over the last 20 years. Sustainable efforts in the vineyard and wine cellar, with particular attention to the long-term protection of the vines, is the heart of the work today.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Open this Northern Italian red wine for dinner and pair it with something else red… and a little gamey! Beef, lamb or venison.

SOMM HINTS

Oenology is the science and study of wine and winemaking. Oenology is distinct from viticulture, which is the science of the growing, cultivation, and harvesting of grapes. The English word oenology derives from the Greek word oinos "wine" and the suffix –logia the "study of".

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CHATELET DE GAUDOU, CAHORS, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is an expert blend from the 48 acres of vines the Durou family owns and farms on second and third terraces in the terroir of the village of Bagat en Quercy.

Crimson with dark purple hints. Floral nose of peony with raspberry and blackberry. Light concentration on the palate with supple tannins. Lovely fruit, and a floral presence nicely supported by freshness.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Château de Gaudou sits in Vire-sur-Lot (along the Lot River in the southwest, a few hours inland from Bordeaux) amidst a handful of Cahors’ other prestigious vineyard terroirs. This mythical location is referred to as “The Beverly Hills of the Cahors Appellation”, by notable wine critic Michele Bettane. Most vines on the estate are considered “old vine stock” and remarkably some are still on original rootstock that was planted as far back as the late 1800’s!

FOOD PAIRINGS

This elegant wine can be best enjoyed with roasted meats or poultry for dinner or aside your favourite cheeses beforehand.

SOMM HINTS

Cahors is a small town and red wine appellation in South West France, located east of Bordeaux. In wine terms it is known for its deeply colored reds made predominantly from Malbec (known locally as both Côt and Auxerrois), with small quantities of Tannat and Merlot. Interestingly, Cahors is the only red wine appellation in the South West France that does not sanction the use of Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc.

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MATCH BOOK, CABERNET SAUVIGNON, CALIFORNIA, USA 

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This full-bodied and moderately tannic wine is well-packed with ripe blackberries and blueberries on a velvety, mouthcoating texture. Good concentration and ripeness bring a warm, rich impression to the palate. The juicy texture is mouth filling and mingles with the fine, dusty tannins in the finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Matchbook Wine Company is a family-owned winery tucked away in Northern California's gently rolling Dunnigan Hills. The Giguiere family immigrated to Yolo County from Quebec City in the 1850’s in search of open ag ground. John and Karl Giguiere are 5th generation farmers who know the region’s soil, climate and true potential of the land. This knowledge combined with their curiosity and drive to innovate defines their determination to constantly improve the viticulture and winemaking of the region.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Steaks, lamb chops or burgers; this Cabernet will pair perfectly with your meats from your grill.

SOMM HINTS

“Red Gravel” refers to the Gravel Pit vineyard located on the family property and named for the high percentage of gravel found on this ranch. These gravelly soils are important for the production of red varieties because of their low water holding capacity, allowing for vine stress to control bunch and berry size.

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CALLIOPE, RIESLING, BRITISH COLUMBIA,CANADA

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Crisp, dry, racy and fresh with a nose of lemon, lime, grapefruit, green apple, orange blossom and some complex baking spice. Light in body yet powerful in intensity with more of the citrus and apple to mirror the nose and joined by nectarine and white peach, citrus zest and stony minerality and a touch of pepper on the long finish.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Calliope. Pronounced ka-LIE-oh-pee, is a new line up of wines produced by the Wyse Family – founders of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery in Oliver BC.  This captivating name pays homage to a tiny hummingbird found in southern British Columbia which is Canada’s smallest bird. The word Calliope is of Greek origin meaning ‘beautiful voice’ and was chosen by the Wyse family in recognition of their interest in birds and music.

Grapes for Calliope wines are carefully sourced from local vineyards in the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys. Calliope wines are designed to pair with casual lunches on the patio, or with contemporary cuisine.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Simple, but fun to drink on the patio on a warm afternoon. Pair this with a fresh summer garden salad or use its acidity to cut through rich pork belly.   

SOMM HINTS

Calliope is also the Greek Muse of Eloquence and Poetry.

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LOUIS CHEZE, VIOGNIER, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Louis Chèze Viognier is a cuvée that has been produced since the domain was created. Light, clear gold in colour with aromas of apricot and pear. Subtle on the palate, there is lovely fresh white fruit which then gives way to a fully integrated butter that continues to the finish!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Taking over the family estate in 1978, Louis Chèze only owned one hectare of Saint-Joseph at the beginning of his career with a few rented vines. Today, the estate has become one of the most beautiful in the northern Rhône with its 30 hectares of carefully studied and wonderfully maintained vines. Situated on the right bank of the Rhône, the exceptional terroir of Seyssuel is a favourite place for Syrah, which, in the hands of the winegrower, produces the best of itself. With Louis Chèze, each vintage is a challenge to extract the quintessence of the terroirs that nature offers him.

FOOD PAIRINGS

As an aperitif, with a mixed salad or with delicious white meat, this 100% Viognier is designed to surprise!!

SOMM HINTS

Viognier (“Vee-own-yay”) is a full-bodied white wine that originated in southern France. Most loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle, Viognier can also be oak-aged to add a rich creamy taste with hints of vanilla.

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BASA LORE, TXAKOLI, SPAIN

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is first and only 100% natural, zero added sulfites Txakoli on the market. Made from 100% Hondarrabi Zuri, the grapes were hand-harvested and naturally fermented. Once the fermentation was finished, the wine was cooled to below 40°F to preserve all the CO2 produced during the fermentation and maintain the nerve and freshness characteristic of the varietal, then aged 10 months on lees.

It is pale in color but vibrant with aromatics of tart green apple and peony. Fresh, light and fruity, the spritzy palate shows key lime, underripe stone fruit, green strawberry and a charming savory note. The finish is bright and juicy. Absolutely delightful!

ABOUT THE WINERY

Txakoli Basa Lore is a winery located in the northern part of Zarautz, right on the edge of the ocean, next to San Sebastian, 30 minutes away from the border of France. This family winery in operation since 1930, is currently run by the fourth generation of the family and continues their Basque Country winemaking traditions. Basa Lore means ‘Flor del Bosque’ in Spanish that shows the bubbling and green tones of the Txakoli when it goes into the glass. With plenty of experience and knowledge in winemaking, Basa Lore Winery has produced excellent quality Txakoli by combining modern and innovative techniques and machinery with traditional methods.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Perfect to pair with any type of grilled fish or seafood.

SOMM HINTS

“Aged on lees?” - Lees refer to the sediment that forms in the wine after fermentation. Lees ageing, when wine is left in contact with this sediment, can be used to enhance certain aromas or bring more body and texture to wines. It’s a technique commonly associated with white wines and sparkling wines. Wines can be aged on lees for a few weeks and months or several years. For example, a vintage Champagne must be aged on lees for three years minimum, although in reality many houses age wines for longer than this baseline threshold.

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ELENA WALCH, PINOT BLANCO, ITALY

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This Pinot Bianco presents itself in clear, bright straw yellow, with fruity aromas, fresh apple notes and a touch of herbs in the bouquet. In the mouth, the wine surprises with elegant, mineral depth, lively acidity and a fresh finish. An inviting aperitif wine and an ideal accompaniment for light dishes.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Elena Walch is a leading family estate in Alto Adige with international success. With outstanding wines and the oenology lab, the wine estate is among the elites of Italian wine production and has become well respected over the last 20 years. Sustainable efforts in the vineyard and wine cellar, with particular attention to the long-term protection of the vines, is the heart of the work today.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This is an extremely versatile wine, delicious as an aperitif as well as an accompaniment for fish and poultry dishes

SOMM HINTS

The perfect serving temperature for Pinot Blanco: Lightly chilled, 12 - 14 °C

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L’OSTAL, BLANC VIOGNIER, FRANCE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

L'Ostal Blanc Viognier is a lovely fresh and aromatic wine with typical Viognier stone fruits, with a refreshing streak of acidity. Fresh and clean with a delightful apricot character and a touch of orange blossom; this L’Ostal Blanc is made entirely from Viognier and aged on its fine lees for several weeks.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Domaine de L’Ostal is situated in the foothills of the Montagne Noire, half-way between the mediaeval town of Carcassonne and the old Roman port in Narbonne. The 60 hectares of vines are situated in one of the finest terroirs of the Languedoc. The property was purchased in 2002 by Jean-Michel Cazes, the owner of Château Lynch-Bages in Pauillac. He immediately embarked upon a comprehensive restructuring of the vineyard involving mass uprooting, replanting varieties and soil drainage. The aim of this exhaustive approach was to express the full potential of the terroir and the Languedocs finest grape varieties.

FOOD PAIRINGS

This Blanc is a perfect match for your veggie days and vegetarian dishes. Light pastas and big salads are calling!

SOMM HINTS

Minervois is an appellation for distinctive wines like this from the western Languedoc in France. Archaeological evidence shows that viticulture here dates back to early-Roman or even pre-Roman times.

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TABOADELLA, VILLAE, PORTUGAL

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This is the Portuguese red to try! One of the best reds we have tasted from Portugal. From the DAO, this wine is made from 4 indigenous grapes. It is not oaked so retains an abundance of fruit whilst managing to integrate some tannins to give it a satisfying heft. It is an intense wine, delicately scented with soft tannins and refreshing acidity.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Taboadella consists of 40 hectares of vineyards lying between Vale do Pereiro and the Vale do Sequeiro, in a high triangular plateau of 400 - 530 m altitude, with gentle slopes towards the Southeast, and a sunny exposition to the south and west. The mountain chains protect the vineyard from the Atlantic weather and the bitter winds from Spain, resulting in a microclimate perfectly located where maritime and continental influences meet. Vines planted in these soils at 400 - 530 m of altitude, gives slow maturation and great elegance, complexity and freshness to the Taboadella wines.

FOOD PAIRINGS

Portuguese Dão Red wine like this pair well with a wide range of food making them an easy choice for a dinner. Beef, lamb or even poultry.

SOMM HINTS

Dão red wines come from a wide variety of grapes. They include Touriga Nacional, Alfrocheiro, Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Baga, Bastardo and Tinta Pinheira. The wines can range from thin to full-bodied due to multiple altitudes that these wines are grown in. The region is still considered off the beaten path and great value can be found in many of the wines.

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HACIENDA ARAUCANO HUMO BLANCO, CABERNET FRANC, CHILE

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

This grape variety is originally from the Loire in France and has found the perfect home for itself in the Colchagua Valley, where the low night-time temperatures allow it to develop silky tannins without losing its typical aromas. Beautiful ruby colour with blue touches. Aromas driven by ripe fruit, particularly blackberries and cherries. Black pepper, vanilla and toasted notes round out the aromatic spectrum. The wine is full and smooth in the attack, bearing witness to a warm vintage. A lingering, aromatic finish of ripe fruit.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Chile is a paradise for vines, thanks to its stable, cool climate and a lack of disease. Although François and his brother Jacques had been making Chilean wine since 1992, it was not until 2000 that they found the perfect spot in the Colchagua Valley. They bought 200 hectares (combining seven different estates into a single family) in an area that had never previously been used for winegrowing. Today, the Hacienda Araucano estate has 28 hectares of vines, and Lolol has become a sought-after location for wine production.

In 2008, the Araucano has moved to organic methods for both the estate as well as those growers whom they supervise. In 2012, all the wines under Hacienda Araucano will be certified 'made with organically grown grapes".

FOOD PAIRINGS

Cabernet Franc can be the most food-friendly of wines, as good with fish and veggies as it is with meat. This young wine has a distinctly herbal quality and will pair well with dishes flavoured with herbs, especially dill, fennel, rosemary and tarragon. Its slightly higher acidity makes it possible to pair well with tomato-based dishes. Leaner meats and meats served with a tomato sauce or spicy sauce are great options.

SOMM HINTS

Well-regarded for intense and exceptionally high-quality red wines, the Colchagua Valley is situated in the southern part of Chile’s Rapel Valley, with many of the best vineyards lying in the foothills of the Coastal Range.

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ZSIRAI, VILLANYI KEKFRANKOS, HUNGARY 

WHY WE LOVE THIS WINE

Kékfrankos is one of the must-taste wines of Central Europe. This 2020 vintage from Zsirai is a great example of the style. Low but evident tannins, notes of red and black cherry and the slightest hint of spice on the finish. This easy drinking young wine will be a dinner party crowd-pleaser.

ABOUT THE WINERY

Established by Csaba Zsirai based on his principles of winemaking: “Creation, attention, thoroughness, values, preservation, perseverance, love, joy, beauty, charm, simplicity, sensitivity, sensibility, uniqueness” – Zsirai Winery has become a golden award winning vineyard present at several terrains in the country with 19 hectares of vineyards. Producing wines with the belief that the secret of good wine is excellent soil, proper selection of grapes varieties, diligent care, and a good year; Zsirai only produce wine from the grapes they grow themselves. 

FOOD PAIRINGS

This fruity Kekfrankos will make a great match with salmon or other fatty fish, roasted chicken or pasta dishes.

SOMM HINTS

Perhaps you might already know this grape by its better-known name, Blaufränkisch. Confusingly, it also has many others. Many of its myriad of names in the region are based on translations of ’Blue Frankish’.

Hungarian urban legend states that it’s called Kékfrankos since occupying Napoleonic troops purchased wine in Sopron using their ‘blue francs’, then worth more than the local currency.