Wine of the Week
“The 2010 Patriota is a blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Bonarda aged for 12 months in French and American oak. A glass-coating opaque purple color, it sports an enticing nose of Asian spices, incense, lavender, plum, and blueberry. In the glass it opens to reveal a ripe, plush, savory wine with no hard edges. Drink this well-balanced, lengthy wine over the next 5-6 years. It is also an outstanding value.”
91-pts, Wine Advocate
$21.99 / 750 ml
Come taste our wine of the week every Friday from 4–6:30pm!
Curious about Bonarda?
“Genuine Bonadra Piemontese is, as the name suggests, a red Piedmont grape which is now somewhat rare in its native Italy.
Experts are divided as to whether Argentine Bonarda is indeed actually Bonarda Piemontese, or Bonarda Novarese (another Piedmont grape also known as Uva Rara) – the confusion is not helped by the fact that there are several other varieties that are sometimes known as Bonarda. Argentina’s National Institute of Vitiviniculture is, however, clear that the variety is not Croatina, which is a Lombardy grape also known as Bonarda Oltrepo Pavese.
Whichever it is, Bonarda was until recently the most widely planted wine grape variety in Argentina. It has only recently been surpassed by Malbec in area. Despite this abundance, it has not traditionally been used to produce varietal wines – being used instead for bulk production of table wines – though there are some notable and outstanding exceptions to this pattern.
Bonarda wines can be lighter-bodied and fruity, full of cherry and plum flavours, with light tannins and moderate acidity. However with concentrated fruit from older vines, and especially when oak aged, Bonardas can also be big, fruity, dense and tannic wines with deep colour and fig and raisin characteristics.
In most Argentine vineyards, Bonarda is one of the last grapes to be harvested.”
Want to Live Longer? – Eat More Nuts and Olive Oil and Drink Wine – The Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet
A few weeks back the New England Journal of Medicine published a study that showed the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Some went as far to say that the study proved “conclusively” that the Mediterranean diet was the best in the world. While that may be a bit of a stretch, the study did seem to strongly indicate that the diet does significantly protect people from heart disease and stroke. Basically what the researchers did create three groups of people. Group one ate what is generally considered a Mediterranean diet, supplemented with lots of extra olive oil (real olive oil, not some of this fake nonsense you buy in bulk at supermarkets.) The second group was given a similar diet, but supplemented with lots of nuts. The third group at the standard “American” low fat, high carb diet that has been pushed on consumers for decades. What the results showed with striking clarity: Both Mediterranean did groups did very well on measures of cardiovascular disease. The low fat group did horribly. In fact, they did so poorly that in the middle of the study the researchers intervened trying to give the low-fat group advice and more instruction but it didn’t matter. Low-fat group bombed!
So what exactly is the Mediterranean diet? While the definition can be rather vague, generally speaking it is characterized by a high intake of nuts, olive oil, fruits and vegetables with a moderate intake of fish and poultry, a low intake of of dairy products, red meat, processed meats and sweets and here is the key, wine in moderation (one to two glasses a day). So what are we saying here? Should we switch over to the Mediterrenean Diet? In the long run we will be healthier and live longer. That much seems to be clear. But personally I love my red meat, cheese and pecan pie (not necessarily all together). Maybe a slow conversion, a little less of the meat and cheese a little more fish and poultry, fruits and vegetables. One part of the diet I can embrace wholly: wine….yeah I can do that.
Now Featuring: Mediterranean Wines to Pair with your Mediterranean Diet
La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna 2011
“Pale yellow, elegant and supple, this single-vineyard wine couples fullness of flavor with an underlying acidity. Named for a small, secluded cove fringed by violet colored thistles on the edge of the Sella & Mosca estate. Shows an exceptional affinity with seafood, thanks to the very subtle presence of a natural marine salinity in the wine, due to the vineyard’s seaside location.”
Hecht & Bannier Languedoc Blanc 2011
“The Picpoul Blanc brings this crunchy and vivid character, which, blended with the Roussanne citrus fruits and white flowers notes, complete perfectly the aromatic pallet and give us a delightful volume in mouth. Perfect for aperitif between friends, our Languedoc Blanc will accompany tapas, fresh fish and shellfish.”
89-pts, Wine Advocate
Feudo Maccari Gillo Sicilia 2011
“The wine shows expressive aromas of spring flowers, citrus and peach, with bitter almonds and grass notes. Full in the mouth, the wine’s generous, rich, and deep flavors have freshness, framed by linear acidity from the moderate-to-cool growing conditions.”
Mas Sorrer Montsant Spain 2008
“Deep ruby. A wild, pungent bouquet evokes dried cherry, tobacco and rose, with smoked meat and musky earth notes adding complexity. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering bitter cherry and game flavors lifted by tangy acidity. Finishes with good energy and length, leaving smoke and cherry notes behind. Distinctly old-school in character and drinking well now.”
Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi Del Vesuvio 2010
“The 2010 Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Rosso presents the elegant side of Piedirosso, one of Campania’s most important indigenous red grapes. Ash and minerals add nuance to the dark wild cherries in this hugely enjoyable unoaked red. I especially like the energy and focus here. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018..”
Michel Chapoutier Bila Haut L’Esquedera Cotes du Rousillon 2009
“Powerful and complex, with pepper and iron notes behind the dark currant, wild plum and dried raspberry flavors. Mineral and slate linger on the muscular finish, with hints of smoke and mint. Drink now through 2019. 2,000 cases made.” –KM.
91-pts Wine Spectator
Domaine du Gros Nore Bandol Rose 2011
“How good is this rose? Domaine Ott used to buy grapes from these guys to make what is arguably the best rose in the world until Alain Pascal started making wine from their own estate. One of the best roses we have tasted period. Vigneron Alain Pascal has established himself as a a leading contender in Bandol, the appellation regarded as the grand cru of Provence. Rich and vibrant, with juicy flavors of plum, dark cherry and berry, followed by notes of melon and apricot.”
90 pts Wine Spectator
Midtown Wine Spotlight: Nickel & Nickel
From the same partners who brought you the wineries Far Niente, Dolce and EnRoute, may we present to you Nickel & Nickel! Established in 1997, Nickel & Nickel have sought out to do something both courageous and delicious-to create 100% single varietal, single-vineyard wines. Their angle? To demonstrate how the same varietal grown from one Napa Valley vineyard can differ in structure, aroma and flavor from another vineyard producing the exact same grape just a couple miles away. They want to create wines that best express
the distinct personalities of their respective vineyards.
And for that, we commend them!
Nickel & Nickel ship out small allocations of these sumptuous wines and we were lucky enough to snag a few six packs this year. Read about each of our four Cabs below and come into the store to pick up your own bottle- they won’t last long!
John C. Sullenger Vineyard 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
“This wine opens with a cherry core that blends nicely with herbs, spice and cedar flavors and a complexing earthy element. The thickness on the middle palate is compelling and the dark, dense flavors expand with chewy tannins, resulting in a long, delicious finish.”
Branding Iron Vineyard 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Branding Iron Vineyard is one of the richest and most powerful wines in this lineup from Nickel & Nickel. At the same time, it has plenty of near-term appeal. A dark, voluptuous wine, the 2009 flows with the essence of blueberry jam, blackberries, black currants, cloves, vanilla and violets. The Branding Iron is the most overtly fruit driven of Nickel and Nickel’s 2009s, yet there is plenty of underlying structure in the tannins. Ideally readers should give the 2009 another few years in the cellar to allow
the tannins to start melting away.
Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.”
94 points-Wine Advocate
Quarry Vineyard 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
“The cooler season of 2009 has created a slightly different fruit profile than the 2008 vintage. Berry fruit flavors integrate perfectly with the wine’s natural earth, mineral, herb and tobacco flavors. Thickness on the palate and seductive spice linger from beginning to end. The French oak adds roundness and char, carrying this medley of flavors into a long, supple finish.” -Winemaker Notes
C.C. Ranch Vineyard 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon C.C. Ranch Vineyard shows lovely persistence in its attractive dark red fruit, flowers, and tobacco. A touch of smoke weaves through the rich currant and blackberry flavors ending with licorice and a crushed rock texture. Drink now through 2024.
No Sulfite Added Wines From Rhone Master Eric Texier
Texier, Pere et Fils 2010 Vin de Table L’Indigene Sulfureux Eluney
Produced from Cinsault and Grenache grown on gneiss soil. Red-fruited and direct with aromas of cranberry, baking spice (nutmeg and cinnamon), blackberry, and cherry. These bright flavors really come into focus with air, and the wine’s initially taut, bright acidity holds things together well as darker fruit notes come forward. Clean, fun, and a great value in natural wine. -jfr
Texier, Pere et Fils 2010 Vin de Table L’Indigene Sulfureux Yelen
The bouquet of tart currants, tarry black berries, black pepper and minerals is pure but a bit severe. Medium-bodied, almost tart in its high acidity, there is a good deal of chalky/gritty tannin. Moderately intense flavors are quite savory, with the black tarry fruit taking a back seat to minerals, earth, and black pepper. The finish is very good.
Eric Texier has become one of the premiere wine makers in the Rhone, Burgundy and throughout Southern France. A leader in the natural wine movement he is a huge proponent of terroir – wines having a sense of place. To Texier a winemaker is a shepperd, herding the best quality grapes from the vineyard to the winery, with minimal interaction and interference producing pure, organic and natural wines. To learn more about Texier and the “natural” wine movement I highly recommend visiting the Louis Dressner Website –Official Website
What do you do with 9217 corks?
Check out this time-elapsed video to find out. Artist Scott Gunderson put it together for a Grand Rapids art prize last year. Thanks to the guys over at Gang of Pour for posting this.
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