Cirelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo AOC 2017 - CERTIFIED ORGANIC + LOW INTERVENTION
Country: ITALY / Region: ABRUZZO / Appellation: MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO DOC / Varietal(s): MONTEPULCIANO --- Trained as an economist, Francesco Cirelli left the profession to pursue a career in winemaking. He purchased his land in 2003 and devoted the property to organic farming, growing olives, garlic, spelt, barley, and figs, as well as tiny vineyards of trebbiano and montepulciano. (We've enjoyed several of Francesco's trebbianos.) Francesco's secret is lower yields for more concentrated fruit, but also lowering the amount of sulfur to avoid masking the terroir. This montepulciano is a savory, dark-fruited gem, fermented and aged in stainless steel. With an exuberant nose of black raspberry, plum, pomegranate, black cherry, and wet violets, it is medium-bodied and silky in the mouth. This accessible, ready-to-drink style is even more delicious with a slight chill. Soft tannins and moderate alcohol make it a good partner with spicier dishes, such as the classic Abruzzese pasta, spaghetti alla chitarra ("guitar pasta" - long noodles accompanied by a ragù or spicy red pepper sauce!) A winner with pizza too!
Tuck Beckstoffer Wines The Seventy Five Wine Company Cabernet Sauvignon California 2016
Country: USA / Region: CALIFORNIA / Appellation: CALIFORNIA / Varietal(s): CABERNET SAUVIGNON --- 1975 was a defining year for many: Bill Gates founded Microsoft, Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, the first episode of Saturday Night Live debuted... Among its many iconic developments, 1975 also marks the year the Beckstoffer family put down roots in Napa, as pioneers of the burgeoning grape growing industry. Tuck Beckstoffer grew up among the vines, and after studying with winemaking legends both at home and abroad, Tuck determined to start making wines of his own, releasing a cabernet sauvignon in 1997 to critical acclaim and demand. The Seventy Five Wine Company was founded to create wines that express the essence of California wine country, without breaking the bank. This cab manages to do all that quite nicely: ruby red in the glass, with seductive aromas of strawberry preserve, and black mission figs overlaid by a touch of thyme. Deep flavors of Bing cherry and black raspberry linger in the mouth for a long, satisfying finish. A perfect winter red, open this with burgers topped with bacon, melty Gouda, arugula, caramelized onions, and a roasted balsamic cherry & poblano chutney, or cozy up with a classic pot roast or vegetarian shepherd's pie.
Franck Balthazar Selections Côtes-du-Rhône AOC 2017 - BIODYNAMICALLY GROWN
Country: FRANCE / Region: RHÔNE VALLEY / Appellation: CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE AOC / Varietal(s): SYRAH+GRENACHE --- Franck Balthazar possesses two distinct advantages in making outstanding wines: the patient demeanor essential to pursuit of perfection in producing flawless cuvées, and the opportunity to put that to use working a nearly 100 year old parcel formerly owned by Noël Verset, retired Cornas icon. The Balthazar domaine was founded by Franck’s grandfather, Casmir Balthazar, in 1931, and then run by his father, René, until 2002. Keeping to a strictly traditional philosophy in the vineyard and cellar, in homage to the great Cornas producers who preceded him, Franck is a purist and traditionalist: he works his vineyards with draft horses, and hand ferments each parcel separately including a portion of the stems, in order to better express the character of his lands. His wines are proof his approach works: luxurious, graceful, and expressive, with a distinct sense of place. Deep red in color, this elegant Côtes-du-Rhône from a neighbor's parcel delights with a nose of sweet fleshy black fruit, including prune and cassis, and hints of savory leather. Plush, with restrained tannins, it finishes with voluptuous touches of violet and tobacco. Perfect for elegant winter dinners, this pairs beautifully with herb-rubbed leg of lamb, brisket or potatoes au gratin with sage and Manchego.