2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Spy Valley
$13.99/bottle $11.99/bottle (mix six $)

Bryan and Jan Johnson established the first of their 380 acres of estate vineyards in 1993. Pioneers in what was then a Marlborough sub region, the Lower Waihopai development continued with fruit being grown and sold to other wine companies. Beginning with the 2000 vintage, this wine has been produced and sold under the Spy Valley label. The brand name Spy Valley is derived from the presence of a satellite communications monitoring station (spy base) nearby, part of the Echelon Global Network.
Appealing for its ripeness and fleshy body, this offers peach and citrus flavors that have a pungent grassy kick and tangy acidity. Spice, floral and mineral details fill in on the finish.

Tremendous with grilled fish or chicken breasts.

2010 Chardonnay, Midnight Cellars, Paso Robles, California
$15.99/bottle $12.79/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.
The Midnight Cellars 2010 Estate Chardonnay is crisp, clean, and wonderfully refreshing. With light tropical notes, nuances of vanilla and pineapple, and green apple flavors, this Estate Chardonnay has well-balanced acidity with hints of French oak that lingers well into the long finish.

This delicious Chardonnay’s delicate flavors make it wonderfully food friendly as well, and it would pair perfectly with a range of seafood, fresh grilled vegetables, and light creamy pasta dishes.

2009 Pinot Noir, Simonnet-Febvre, France
$10.99/bottle $8.79/bottle (mix six $)

Simmonet-Febvre was founded in 1840, and bought by Maison Louis Latour in 2003 who in turn has been modernizing the winery and wine making equipment. They are making tremendous efforts and investments to bring this once celebrated estate back to its former excellence. As is the case with many Burgundy negociants, they have looked to the south of France for inexpensive Pinot Noir. While many have found a way to produce cheap Pinot Noir, few have achieved this level of quality.
Simmonet-Febvre Pinot Noir has bright cherry fruit flavors with soft tannins and spices. While this will not make anyone forget Burgundian Pinot Noirs, the wine is a solid value in an area where few values are found.

Great with roast chicken or pork.

2010 Honoro Vera (certified organic), Jumilla, Spain
$9.99/bottle $7.99/bottle (mix six $)

Honoro Vera Garnacha is made by Gil Family Estates, producer of another of our favorite bottles, Juan Gil. Honoro Vera is made from organically grown Monastrell grapes. The Monastrell grape, also known as Mataro and Mourvèdre in other parts of the world, is responsible for some amazing wines grown in Spain’s Jumilla region. Located in the central-eastern part of the country, Jumilla is the northern part of the Murcia region. Monastrell is known for wines of great richness and structure. If not managed properly, the tannins can become an issue. However, the ultra-talented Juan Gil Bodega has released yet another superstar red wine.
The 2010 Honoro Vera Organic is also 100% Monastell from certified organically grown fruit. It exhibits greater aromatic complexity, richness, and length than its [non-organic] sibling. This mouth-filling Monastrell over-delivers in a big way. Drink it over the next 4 years. ~ 88 points Robert Parker

 Drink with steak or burgers.

2009 Garnacha-Monte Oton, Bodegas Borsao, Campo do Borja, Spain
$7.99/bottle $6.39/bottle (mix six $)

Founded in 1958, this modern winery is situated 60 kms north-west of Zaragoza. The vineyards lie between Mt Moncayo and the River Ebro at 420 m above sea level. The 2000 hectares of vineyards are principally the indigenous Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mazuelo and Macabeo. The total annual production is about five million kilos of grapes. The combination of calcareous and stony soils, a continental climate, an average annual rainfall of about 400 litres and modern, well-equipped installations with over 600 American oak casks, all contribute to producing excellent quality wines.
Plump and velvety, this fruity red offers plum, blackberry and tangerine flavors, accented with vanilla and licorice. Not muscular, but generous. Drink now through 2012.

Drink sausage and tomato stews such as paella.

2009 Garnacha, Tres Picos, Campo do Borja, Spain
$15.99/bottle $12.79/bottle (mix six $)

Bodegas Borsao stretches over 2,430 ha of some 620 vine-growers in the Northwest province of Zaragoza, from where currently 9.5 million kgs of grapes are picked. The winery is heavily invested in the Garnacha grape with over 70% of its vineyards dedicated to the varietal. The grapes for this 100% Grenache come from vineyards that are between 35 and 40 years old. Located on uneven terrain at an altitude of 1900 to 2300 feet, these vineyards yield a small amount per vine making the resulting juice more concentrated. This wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and is usually aged half in French oak and half in stainless steel. It remains one if the great bargains in Spanish Grenache!

“An explosive, flamboyantly perfumed bouquet exudes scents of blackberry, cherry cola, violet and cracked pepper, plus a hint of smokiness. Deeply pitched flavors of dark fruits and candied flowers remind me of syrah, but red fruit notes emerge with air, confirming that this is Garnacha, not syrah. Intense, focused and impressively persistent on the finish, which echoes the sweet red and dark fruit notes and leaves a subtle smoky quality. This serious wine should be even better in a couple of years.” ~91 points International Wine Cellar

Drink with your winter roasts and stews

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