2013 June Mix Six

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Blog, Newsletters, Wine Blog | 0 comments

2011 Xa (Xarello), Albet i Noya, Penedes, Spain
$11.99/bottle     $9.59/bottle (mix six $)
It was the fourth and current generation, Josep Maria Albet i Noya, that introduced organic farming methods to the vineyards. Josep Maria took over the management of the estate after his father’s death in 1972 and at the end of the seventies started producing his first organic wines. With the success of that first wine produced specifically for the Danish market, they gradually moved the entire estate over to organic farming.
Xa is short for Xa-rello, the grape used for this wine. It is only used occasionally for still wine, but it is one of the grapes used in Spanish Cava (sparkling wine). Fresh peach aromas abound on the nose. They are accented by notes of orange peel. Well-balanced with great acidity and minerals.
Drink with Szechuan or sushi .


2010 Chardonnay, 4 Bears, Sean Minor Winery, California
$14.99/bottle     $11.99/bottle (mix six $)
Four Bears Winery was founded by Sean Minor and his wife Nicole in 2005 for a number of reasons. First and foremost, they are all about family and named their business for their four children: Nick, Elle, Jack and Charlie. Also, not long after they were married, Nicole and Sean discovered that wine was their second largest monthly expense. After a number of years in the industry, Sean knew there had to be a better and more affordable way to produce great wines that didn’t have severe consequences on the pocket book. That’s when they started Four Bears Winery and began sourcing wine lots for their final blends. Logistically, they have split Four Bears and Sean Minor, using Four Bears for the California labeled bottlings while reserving Sean Minor for the Napa wines.
This Chardonnay has a golden straw color and displays aromas of pears, apples and orange blossoms with subtle notes of toast and butter. On the entry, green apple acidity integrates well with a medium body mid palate mouth feel.
Drink with barbecued chicken or fresh water fish.


2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Stoneburn, Marlborough, New Zealand
$11.99/bottle      $9.59/bottle (mix six $)
Stoneburn vineyard was planted in the central Wairau Valley in Marlborough in 1989. The soil is old riverbed, very stoney with underlying loamy soil producing relatively light crops but very flavorsome fruit. The name reflects both the North Otago and Scottish heritage and the stoney site.
A typical bouncing-off-the-walls Marlborough Sauvignon with ripe passion fruit, mango and pineapple tropical flavors that delivers all the zesty punch you could want from such a style of wine. Juicy but with a thread of minerality and fresh grip of acidity keeping it tight from start to finish, all of which makes it very decent value for money.
Great with raw oysters and sushi.


2011 Malbec – Llama, Belasco de Baquedano, Mendoza, Argentina
$14.99/bottle     $11.99/bottle (mix six $)
Belasco de Bodequeno farms 222 acres of exclusively Old Vine Malbec (100 years old in 2010). The vineyards come from French clones transplanted from Bordeaux in the late 1800’s. The old vine fruit yields of barely 1.5 tons per acre. The vineyards are located at the base of the Aconcagua Mountains, the highest peaks in the Americas.
The grapes are grown using green methods in crisp, pollution-free air with irrigation fed by naturally pure, melted snow.
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.
Great for burgers on the grill.


2010 Rio Madre, Rioja, Spain
$12.99/bottle     $10.39/bottle (mix six $)
This wine qualifies as a “rarity”. Not because it is a Rioja for under $15, though that is certainly rare. Riojas can be made from Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano.  The first two grapes usually make up at least 80% of the blend with Mazuelo and Graciano used only as minor blending grapes. This wine bucks the trend by using 100% Graciano. Less than 1% of all Rioja vineyards are planted to Graciano.
Inky ruby. Spice-accented aromas and flavors of black and blue fruits and cola, with notes of dark chocolate and licorice. Concentrated and powerful on the palate, with a spicy note building with air. Intense licorice, blackcurrant and bitter cherry notes linger on the spicy, youthfully tannic finish. Outstanding value here; there are very few all-graciano Riojas made, and they all cost a lot more than this one.
Great with grilled chicken thighs.


2010 Full Moon Red, Midnight Cellars, Paso Robles, California
$13.99/bottle     $11.19/bottle (mix six $)
Midnight Cellars, founded in 1995, is located on the west side of the Paso Robles appellation in Templeton Gap which is known for cooler daytime temperatures from marine influences. The Midnight Vineyard is 25.5 acres in size and is planted to Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Petit Verdot. The vineyard produces a paltry three tons per acre of intensely concentrated fruit.
Full Moon Red is a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The color is a beautiful garnet and the nose is wonderfully fruity with ripe red raspberry and fresh strawberry, with hints of earth and minerals. The mouth feel is light and smooth with strawberry cream flavors mingling with spice, raspberry and plum.
Great with anything on the grill and excellent with charred broiled pork chops.

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