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OCTOBER 2021 RED SELECTIONS

Marcel Cabelier C么tes du Jura Trousseau, France

Why we love the wine:

Jura is smashed up against the Swiss mountains southeast of Burgundy and is known to be a challenging place to make wine. This wine clearly shows they have overcome the challenge! Cherry red coloured wine has distinct aromas of strawberry jam, ripe raspberries, violets, tea and spice. The palate is juicy, refined with red fruits, cedar notes, and a lingering, mouth-watering finish.

About the Producer:

Marcel Cabelier is the principal producer of the Jura region, passionately raising the entire region鈥檚 great reputation. The wines still owe their excellent reputation to the outstanding quality of the region鈥檚 soil and its conservation of cultural practices and traditional winemaking methods. The climate, the soil and the native grape varieties, such as Savagnin, Poulsard and Trousseau, are what make Jura such a unique winemaking region that will continue to delight from your very first sip to your hundredth!

Food Pairings:

Terrines, charcuterie, pasta with butter and mushrooms and, of course, Comt茅 cheese (which is also from this region.)

Somm Hint:

This is a great red that won鈥檛 weigh you down at the table. It is best enjoyed lightly chilled (between 13 and 16 degrees).

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Igreco 鈥楥at脿鈥 Gaglioppo, Italy

Why we love the wine:

Gaglioppo is a southern Italian grape variety best known for producing soft red from Calabria. It has been used in the region for centuries. 鈥楥at脿鈥 is a fleshier, silkier example of the Gaglioppo. This wine is aged six months in barrique, giving a velvety roundness to the wine and a burst of spicy red fruits and chocolate notes come through on the palate and linger on the finish. If you like fruity (aka New World style) Pinot Noir, this could be a great fit!

About the Producer:

Along the Ionian coast of east Calabria, the Greco family has been farming hundreds of hectares of land as olive fields for many generations to produce some of the best Italian olive oil. These organic groves are now sharing space with organic native grapes, and the result is a collection of exciting and multi-award-winning wines. The vineyards cultivate grapes indigenous to the area, focusing on Gaglioppo and Nero di Calabria aka Calabrese (related to neighbouring Sicily鈥檚 Nero d鈥橝vola) for the red and the local variety Greco for the white wines.

Food Pairings:

Grilled lamb or oven-roasted vegetables with sheep麓s milk cheese.

Somm Hint:

Can be served slightly chilled. Use a burgundy glass. Treat it like Pinot Noir.

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Finca Agostino Malbec, Argentina

Why we love the wine:

Finca Agostino Malbec is the wine that has it all. It has everything you want from a juicy red wine! Do you want fruit intensity? It has it! Do you want oak? It has it! Want concentration as well? It has tones of it! Do you want velvety tannins but not a grape juice wine? It's exactly like that! Nose with intense fruity character, with black fruits such as sour cherry, plum and blueberry. Distinctive oaky notes such as vanilla, cedar and bitter chocolate. The palate is juicy with cherry, plum flavours which are accompanied by vanilla and espresso鈥攁 tasty long finish.

About the Producer:

Finca Agostino is the story of four brothers who lived their childhood in Mendoza before settling with their family in Canada in the 鈥60s (yes, it鈥檚 also Canadiana!). The memory of Mendoza remained in their minds, a period of their lives shared with their grandfather Sebastiano, surrounded by the vineyards in which he worked as a 鈥渃ontractor vintner.鈥 In 2003 they returned to Mendoza to make their dream come true.

Food Pairings:

Weekend bbq platter with smoked meats and sausages or weekday burgers and fries.

Somm Hint:

It鈥檚 so easy to drink and hard to put down... No big fuss.

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Quinta Dos Roques Reserva Dao, Portugal聽

Why we love the wine:

Portuguese wines have long been known for being simultaneously bold and food-friendly with (typically) less recognition than Spanish wines. It's big but graceful. Spicy but smooth. Fruity but not jammy. This full-bodied red, a blend of TInta Roriz (Tempranillo), Touriga Nacional, Jaen (Mencia), has an excellent focus, with blackberry and currant notes, herb, spice box and licorice, and minerally undertone. The tannins are well-integrated to give texture to the floral-edged finish.

About the Producer:

Grilos was born in 1993 at Quinta dos Grilos, Tondela 鈥 Portugal. Although D茫o is one of Portugal鈥檚 oldest established wine regions, Grilos wines are made with a young spirit. These D茫o wines are made in the new world style, fruit forward and approachable, but without ever ceasing to be D茫o wines.

Food Pairings:

Pair with aged cheeses, red meat, and rich or spicy food (yes! a red that pairs with spice!)

Somm Hint:

Use a big large wine (Bordeaux) glass or can be decanted.

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Andrea Calek Babiole, France

Why we love the wine:

This wine tastes electric! Blend of Grenache and Syrah by a legendary winemaker with no added sulphites. Light and zippy, round and lively. Quite fruity, cherry, strawberry, blackcurrant, bit floral, a hint of spice and earth. The palate is fresh, has good acidity, soft tannins and good length. Bit of spice and a lot of tasty good vibes here! Different, and we love it!

About the Producer:

Czech by origin, Andr茅a Calek is a well-known name in the world of natural wine. After working at Domaine du Mazel, in 2010, he vinified his first vintages under his name. In 2016, St茅fana Nicolescu joined the domain. Andrea and St茅fana leave grass every second row in the vineyards and only treat a little sulphur and copper for mildew. They vinify in whole bunches in the cellar without sulphur and look for light and fresh wines.

Food Pairings:

Soy marinated flank steak, summer sausage and roasted beet salad.

Somm Hint:

The first sip packs a bit of a punch, so definitely give it a minute and then try your second and third sips to get settled.

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Meroni Il Velluto Valpolicella Classico, Italy聽

Why we love the wine:

Velluto Valpolicella Meroni is traditional Valpolicella in the best sense of the word. It鈥檚 a pale, elegant, subtle yet vibrant, natural Valpolicella. The wine is all wild yeast ferment with no over-extraction. The nose is delicate with little red berries and a velvety, seductive character which is classic Meroni. The palate is dry, medium, crunchy and satisfying. This is a wine that takes you immediately to the rolling hills of the Valpolicella!

About the Producer:

Carlo Meroni took over from his father and continued the family legacy of producing traditional Valpolicella wines with minimum intervention from their ancient soils in the birthplace of Amarone. Meroni wines possess honesty and authenticity that is not all that common in a region where industrialization has taken hold and modernism have profoundly affected wine styles.

Food Pairings:

Pasta with tomato sauce and burrata cheese. Also, this is one of the wines you can pair with seafood!

Somm Hint:

Serve slightly chilled. The lovely fruit and floral notes would be highlighted.

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OCTOBER 2021 WHITE聽SELECTIONS

Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett, Germany

Why we love the wine:

Selbach Riesling Kabinett shows 鈥淥ld鈥 style: mineral with a fruity character that will excite the Riesling lovers. It starts from hand-harvesting the perfectly ripened grapes that come from old vines (70 years old) on a steep incline in the upper Saar valley (a tributary of the Mosel river). The grapes are fermented in traditional oak fuder, in a hands-off manner with no fining and predominantly with wild yeasts. The resulted wine has "crisp" citrus and apple flavours with the expressive minerality of the slate terroir.

About the Producer:

The Selbach family鈥檚 heritage in the wine business dates to 1660: Selbach鈥檚 ancestors shipped wines down the Mosel in their own ships, the wine carried in oak barrels made by cooper Matthias Oster, the great-grandfather on the paternal side of the family. Thus, the winery developed as both a top estate producing some of the region鈥檚 best wine and a n茅gociant, consolidating the production of smaller growers. 55% of their vines are on their original rootstocks, representing some of the most prestigious sites in the Middle Mosel.

Food Pairings:

Seafood with spicy soy sauce, sweet and sour chicken or deep-fried dishes (shrimp tempura).

Somm Hint:

This is 750ml of pure joy! German Riesling is something we should all be drinking more of!!

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Planeta Etna Bianco, Sicily, Italy

Why we love the wine:

The Carricante grapes from Etna always give great satisfaction as the combination of volcanic soil (originate from the slow breaking down of the lava rock) and altitude provides distinct aromas and depth in flavours. The wine shows notes of white acacia flowers, fresh almonds and peaches. The palate is juicy and has full flavours of yellow plums and bosc pear, followed by mineral nuances and light oak.

About the Producer:

Planeta family is one of the eldest families of winegrowers in Sicily, now in their seventeenth generation. They operate five wineries spread around Sicily and produce wines from many of the DOC zones. While the family focuses on innovation and modernity, they never distance themselves from wine鈥檚 historical and traditional interpretations. Respect for the environment and the development of biodiversity are the watchwords of this company.

Food Pairings:

This wine pairs perfectly with raw fish like crudo, sashimi and, of course, sushi! It is also a refined aperitif.

Somm Hint:

Serve the wine cool, but not too cold; if the bottle is fully refrigerated, plan to take it out about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

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Domaine de la Bastide 'Les Figues' Cotes du Rhone, France聽

Why we love the wine:

There is plenty to like about this wine, and it shows as an excellent alternative for Chardonnay lovers! This is a classic Southern Rhone blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Clairette. 50% percent of the wine is aged briefly in oak. Rich mouthfeel displays a range of aromatics and flavours, including honey, beeswax, peach, tangerine, apricot, and mango, balanced by subtle spiciness from the wood ageing and zesty acidity.

About the Producer:

Domaine de la Bastide, the home of Vincent and Stephanie Boyerin the southern Rhone, is a fortified farmhouse surrounded by fig and cherry trees (鈥楲es Figues鈥 is a reference to the massive, aged, fig tree which dominates the landscape of the main house on the estate) that the Knights Templar built in the Middle Ages; the property eventually became a Benedictine monastery, then a Dominican priory, all the time successfully growing grapes. The vineyards are in the process of being certified organic.

Food Pairings:

Great food wine! Grilled fish or chicken with lemon herb sauce. Pasta salad with charred broccoli and cherry tomato.

Somm Hint:

Don鈥檛 serve this white wine too cold! Layers of aroma really start to show themselves as the wine starts to warm up in the glass.

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Elouan Chardonnay, Oregon, USA

Why we love the wine:

While Chardonnay can grow in many different climates, it thrives in cool climate regions like Oregon. Elouan means 鈥榞ood light鈥, reflecting the typically cool summers, yet abundant sunshine, found in this northern wine-growing region. This Chardonnay opens up with beautiful aromas of grapefruit, citrus, and honeysuckle with some notes of peach and apricot. The palate has bright and lively acidity with juicy stone fruit flavours with fresh citrusy notes. The wine has a great mouthfeel, with a lingering and bright finish.

About the Producer:

Elouan, the result of California winemakers venturing up to Oregon, one of the world鈥檚 renowned Chardonnay and Pinot Noir regions. The goal: to produce wine with a depth of flavour, vibrancy and suppleness. The grapes are typically brought from three distinct terrains of Oregon鈥檚 premiere Western vineyards, which harmonize beautifully when blended as one; create wines with intense structure while maintaining a vibrant acidity.

Food Pairings:

White wine steamed mussels with some herbs and butter to finish or caesar salad with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano and crispy bacon (optional).

Somm Hint:

Once the bottle is open, keep it out from the fridge or chiller. The wine becomes much aromatic as it starts to warm up.

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Bodegas Comenge Verdejo, Spain

Why we love the wine:

When, back in 1999, Jaime Comenge started working on his desire to make wine, his ideas were clear: the vineyard is the fundamental pillar of the character and personality of a wine. With this idea in mind, this wine is made exclusively with grapes of the Verdejo variety from vineyards of over 80 years old cared for by small winegrowers in the town of Rueda, giving the wine great flavour, finesse and persistence. The finish reveals the character of the old Verdejo vine - pleasant and subtle notes of herbs.

About the Producer:

鈥淭he landscape can also be drunk鈥 Bodegas Comenge has created its winemaking philosophy based on research to express the true charm of its vineyard in the most purely and genuinely possible way. Therefore, every detail needs to be considered in each stage of the winemaking process. The vines are certified as grown using 100% organic methods, and production levels are kept small.

Food Pairings:

Fatty fish and shellfish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, clams, mussels), fatty cheeses, and fatty p芒t茅s.

Somm Hint:

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

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Bertani 'Vintage' Soave, Italy聽

Why we love the wine:

Just over half of the grapes used for Soave 鈥榁intage鈥 are crushed and fermented on the skins, as is done with red wines, which brings out the aromatics and natural delicacy of the Garganega. The outcome is an extraordinarily modern remake of the original Soave, with intense aromatic white flowers and stone fruit notes. The acidity is vibrant yet softened by the rich texture on the palate, resulting in a long, complex finish.

About the Producer:

Bertani led Veneto鈥檚 winemaking history, particularly in Amarone production. Their 150+ year history is dotted with groundbreaking initiatives and royal accreditation (The Royal Family of Savoia permits Bertani to use its crest on Soave Vintage). While respectful of their past, Bertani strives toward innovation, using progressive techniques and equipment with extensive experience.

Food Pairings:

It goes well with garlic butter roasted chicken or creamy tagliatelle.

Somm Hint:

Don鈥檛 miss the unique label on this one! This bottle and label has not changed since 1937!