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BRIGHT CANARY ISLAND WHITES; WARMING REDS

Los Bermejos Diego Seco Lanzarote DO 2015 - SUSTAINABLY GROWN
Country: SPAIN / Region: CANARY ISLANDS / Appellation: LANZAROTE DO / Varietal(s): DIEGO---  Los Bermejos is owned and run by winemaker Ignacio Valdera, on the island of Lanzarote, the most challenging of the Canary Islands on which to produce wine. A mere 125 km from the African coastline, conditions here are extreme, earning the island the reputation of “vineyard of the impossible”. Winemaking in the Canary Islands began at the end of the 15th century. During the 16th century, amazingly, wine was the most important export. Lanzarote was the last island of the Canaries to enter into winegrowing and has the oldest cellar in the islands – El Grifo – which has been continuously producing wine since 1775. The terrain of Lanzarote resembles a lunar landscape more than a traditional vineyard, as little to no vegetation can survive in the porous, black volcanic soil that only receives a few inches of rain per year. Adding to the challenging conditions are the fierce winds from the Atlantic Ocean and Sahara desert, resulting in the innovative winegrowing technique of planting each vine in a small hole, or hoyos, protected from the elements by stone walls. The hoyos also allow the vines to better access the organic matter beneath the top layer of solidified lava. As might be expected, yields are very low and all the vineyard work is done by hand (using pack camels), and organically (the winery is in the process of certification). Ignacio occasionally supplements each crop with purchased fruit from growers who share his vision of sustainable viticulture. Diego, also known locally as vijariego blanco, is a vigorous, high-acid grape grown only in the Canary Islands. 100% diego, this wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel and aged three months in tank sur lie. Deceptively clear and light in color, this wine is complex and savory with smoky notes of quince and apricot and a bright, mineral palate. Enjoy this rarity with paella or grilled calamari.

Bodegas Los Bermejos Malvasía Volcánica Seco Lanzarote DO 2015
Country: SPAIN / Region: CANARY ISLANDS / Appellation: LANZAROTE DO / Varietal(s): MALVASÍA VOLCÀNICA --- It is believed that malvasía is an ancient grape varietal that originated in, or around, the island of Crete in Greece, possibly receiving its name from the port of Monembasía in the east of the Peloponnese peninsula. From there, it spread throughout the Mediterranean, and is believed to have finally settled on the Island of Lanzarote in the sixteenth century. The malvasía grown there is a differentiated clone called malvasía volcánica, and is characterized by a creeping plant ideal for hiding behind the walls surrounding the stone pits used to protect the vines from the harsh winds that travel both from Saharan Africa and off the Atlantic. Boasting a greenish yellow straw color in the glass, and great aromatic complexity, the wine is fruit forward at first, with hints of lemon and mango which lead to subtle floral aromas. Crisp and bright, bursting with citrus and mineral flavors and a smooth and satiny mouthfeel that leads to shades of lemon, dry grass and peach skin that linger on the palate. This wine begs to pair with fresh cheeses, white meat dishes, and even Asian food!
 
Domaine des Entrefaux Crozes-Hermitage AOC "Les Champs Fourné" 2014
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CROZES-HERMITAGE AOC / Varietal(s): SYRAH ---  For some time now, the father and son team of Charles and François Tardy have been making some of the most exciting red and white wines to be found in the Crozes-Hermitage appellation on their 25 hectare estate. François, a qualified oenologist, installed a new winery just before the 1999 harvest and, at the same time, introduced a judicious amount of oak ageing for all the wines. However, like all good winemakers, he realizes that the root of quality is to be found in the vineyards. Produced from the domaine's younger vines, this 2014 has a deep, lush damson fruitiness with classic smokey, tarry Crozes character. Dark red/purple in color, it shows a classic nose of pepper, bacon and dark berries. On the palate the wine is very fresh, with an almost mineral texture, giving the wine good lift, with a very long and complex finish.
 
Gramercy Cellars Columbia Valley Lower East Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
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ountry: USA/ Region: WASHINGTON STATE / Appellation: COLUMBIA VALLEY / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON ---  Master Sommelier Greg Harrington spent his career overseeing some of the most prestigious wine programs in the country. Since passing the exam at 26 years old (the youngest person to do so at the time), he couldn’t get the idea of making wine out of his head. In 2004 he attended an event featuring the wines of Walla Walla and was immediately hooked. He worked harvest that fall and in 2005 he launched his own winery, Gramercy Cellars. Since he didn’t own vineyards of his own, he sought out the best sources he could find to make his wines. He also wanted grapes that weren’t overripe so as not to lose the distinctive terroir of Walla Walla. In the cellar, he favors minimal handling, stem-inclusion, and light use of new oak, all to preserve the character of the fruit and the vintage.The resulting wines are restrained, balanced, and complex. They age well but also possess enough fruit to be rewarding when young. Gramercy Cellars was founded in the hope of capturing what first caught Greg’s attention: the distinctive voice of Washington wines. With each vintage, he further proves that it has been a success. This Columbia Valley cabernet sauvignon holds a nose of bing cherries, red currants, Provence herbs, tobacco leaf and cigar box spice. On the palate it's structured and powerful with notes of dark cherry, cassis, toffee, bell pepper, vanilla and a nice acidity to balance the chewy tannins.