2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Hunky Dory, Marlborough, New Zealand
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $)

This wine is a new venture for the Allen family, who produces the Huia wines in Marlborough. It is pale straw in color with green hues. The bright grassy nose is supported by gooseberry and passion fruit aromas with the same fruits on the palate along with citrus and some spice.

Prosecco Spago, Riondo, Venato, Italy
$12.99/bottle $10.39/bottle (mix six $)

When it comes to finding bubbly wine at bargain prices, Prosecco can’t be beat. Actually, Prosecco is a grape variety from the Veneto region of Italy and there is some of it produced as still wine, but the vast majority of it is bubbly.

What I really like about this Prosecco is the slight mineral quality on the nose. You’ll also find citrus and melon aromas. On the palate it’s only lightly sparkling — “frizzante.” Crisp apple and light citrus flavors with near perfect acidity make this a pleasant sipper. And at only 10.5% abv, it’s one you can sip a little more of before you’ve had too much. This wine goes well with rich salty foods, like olives, or could be served with fresh fruit.

2009 Malbec ‘Llama’, Belasco de Baquedano, Mendoza Argentina
$14.99/bottle $11.99/bottle (mix six $)

Purple color; floral aromas with brown spice and blackberries. It is supple enough to go with prime rib but has enough fruit and spice for grilled steaks. 90 points Wine Advocate

2008 The Sum, The 75 Wine Company, St. Helena, California
$23.99/bottle $19.19/bottle (mix six $)

This amazingly well-endowed, profoundly rich red wine must be smelled and tasted to be believed. The color is a rich, deep purple garnet and gives but a small hint as to what’s inside. The nose gives off soaring and wonderfully focused aromas of ripe stone fruit, vanilla, cherries, cedar cigar box, blackberries and cinnamon. In the mouth, there are layers upon layers of broad, sweet opulent fruit balanced by firm tannins, great acidity and oak. As the name implies it is “the sum” of its parts, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petit Sirah.

2009 Domaine Tour la Pech – La Clape, Coteaux du Languedoc, France
$11.99/bottle $9.59/bottle (mix six $)

The vineyards of La Clape are located around a rocky promontory east of Narbonne, the Massif de la Clape, which was an island until the River Aude silted up in the Middle Ages. The terroir is a mixture of limestone, red clay and gravel. Strict regulations have helped to ensure quality of the wines of La Clape: vines must be five years old before qualifying, and the cépage is strictly controlled. Since 1998 the wines must include at least 70% Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre with a minimum 20% Grenache. This is a bright raspberry fruited red with just a touch of black pepper and brown spice. The generous fruit on the palate makes this wine easy to enjoy with foods and by itself.

2008 Cuvée, Six Sigma, Lake County, California
$19.99/bottle $15.99/bottle (mix six $)

Six Sigma Ranch is the “retirement” career of Kal and Else Ahlmann. As the name suggests, Kal is not only a former GE Capital Services employee, he was also part of the team that instituted Six Sigma methods into Capital Services.

This wine was blended from some of Lake County’s best vineyards and their own estate fruit. The grapes are grown along the shores of Clear Lake and benefit from the mitigated temperatures of this region. Grown at our high elevations on the ranch named the Diamond Mine, the Cabernet Sauvignon brings a great structure and intensity to the blend. The wine is aged in French oak barrels (25% new) for eighteen months.

This is an easy going red blend that combines bright blackberry and leather to make a “perfect” wine for steaks and roasted meats.

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