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ITALIAN AND FRENCH WHITES; NEW NAPA CAB
 
Gagliardo "Fallegro" Vino Bianco 2015

Country: ITALY / Region: PIEDMONT / Appellation: VINO BIANCO / Varietal(s): FAVORITA AKA VERMENTINO --- Many of us are already entranced by this white, as each vintage has been equally characterful, tasty and refreshing. Gianni Gagliardo is well known for making intense flavorful red wines of Barolo. This wine demonstrates the more delicate touch of this clever winemaker. Fallegro, the name of the wine, is a play on the Italian word "allegro", meaning pleasant. As the story goes, this grape was consistently a "favorite" of the local growers and was thusly named, favorita. The grape is in fact vermentino, known for its aromatic and bright character. This version is produced with a touch of spritz, creating even more refreshment. Look for floral notes with honeysuckle and pear components. Try this with summer veggies, raw, grilled or roasted, simply dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, or with almond-orange seared shrimp over jasmine rice.

Yves Cuilleron Roussanne Collines Rhodaniennes IGP "Les Vignes d'à Côté" 2015
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: IGP DES COLLINES RHODANIENNES / Varietal(s): ROUSSANNE  --- The Cuilleron domaine was founded in 1920 and has been home to several generations of winemakers since. Located in the hamlet of Verlieu, part of the town of Chavanay, Yves Cuilleron took over ownership of the domaine in 1987 and has focused on modernization, building a brand new facility and acquiring additional vineyard property, where he practices mostly organic vineyard techniques. Yields are rigorously controlled, and grapes are harvested by hand, as most of the vineyards are heavily terraced, making mechanization impossible. Fermentation takes place using native yeasts, with 6 months spent on the lees, and the wines are lightly filtered before bottling. 100% roussanne, this white is delicate and fresh with elements of white flowers and honey. Well-balanced, supple, and precise on the palate, it finishes with refreshing acidity and flinty minerality. An elegant choice to pair with mussels with white wine and lemon.

Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: NAPA VALLEY / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- Discovering that wine was their second highest monthly expense (Kudos to them!), the Minor family founded Sean Minor Wines. Obviously, they are passionate about enjoying quality wine, but haven’t lost sight of value; their wines deliver on both fronts. For this wine, grapes from sites throughout Napa Valley were harvested, de-stemmed, and crushed into stainless steel at warm temperatures to fully extract all the nuances of the grapes. After fermentation, the wine was racked to old French and American oak, then all the lots were tasted and blended back together before bottling. This cab is deep ruby in color with delectable aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and cassis. Rich flavors of blackberries and plum meld gently with sweet oak and soft tannins on a lingering finish. Try this with grilled black bean burgers with mushrooms and caramelized onions.