Wednesday we met with Adam Chiarlo of Piedmonte's famed Michele Chiarlo Vineyards (pictured below). We tasted 8 wines from his crisp white Gavi to his legendary Barolo Cerequio. All are exceptional as one would expect. Today's topic is the Michele Chiarlo Barbera "Le Orme". This is a wonderful red wine with both cherry and raspberry bouncing out of the glass. The structure is seamless and it is filled with enticing spice. This is a medium bodied red and particularly suitable for warm weather recipes. The Barbera "Le Orme" is a serious wine yet not so big in body that it is cumbersome in 100 degree weather. The other thing is the price. The 2011 Michele Chiarlo Barbera "Le Orme" is $16.95. 10% off cases. It is our pick for today because it is a truly lovely wine at a price which does not reflect the great quality of this bottle.
All the very best,
Rex & Michele
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita
The Barbera d'Asti:our first wine, is our greatest love.
Our Superior Barbera is Orme.Orme su La Court is, in fact, our artistic park, located right in the Barbera vineyards.
The grapes for the Orme Barbera are cultivated here and also in other Barbera vineyards (Montemareto and Costa delle Monache) in the Asti area, historically noted as a Barbera producing region.
A small, big, classic among Italian wines.
It remains, according to Italian and foreign magazines, a "Smart Buy" and one of the most popular wines served by the glass
in Italian restaurants all over the World.
Orme, the first Barbera "16 months", expresses a red fruity, tasty and elegant full taste.
ave a limited quantity of the not yet rated 2013 Justin Isosceles. Last night we tasted it side by side with the 93 point Inglenook Cask Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 . Those tasting with Michele and I were Len Musgrove who writes The Wine Bargain Sleuth, and avid collector Michael Byington. We were enameled by both wines. The Isosceles is lush and velvety with plum and blackberry at the front which drips into ripe cherry at the finish, the endless finish. The nose is filled with violets, crushed berries and spice. We anticipate critical reviews will have scores ranging from 94 to 97 points. Average is $80.00. We are matching the lowest price on the web. $64.95 per bottle
01/07/2017 PRICE CHANGE....it pays to be on our email list!! Price is now $78.00 per
We invited Charles Bruen and his wife Annette over this weekend for an old school spaghetti dinner; big salad, meat sauce from scratch, garlic bread, grilled sausages - the whole bit. I started the meat sauce early in the morning and found myself in search of a bottle of red to cook with. We had received a bottle of wine by Swanson Vineyards in Napa called La Ti Da. Convinced that I would probably never approach anyone with a bottle of wine called La Ti Da, I pulled the cork and quickly tasted it to determine if it was of sufficient quality to use in my red sauce and salad dressing.
The wine was quite nice at first pour and in fact showed potential so I carried on, and as a matter of practice asked Michele to pull some research. She came back with various tear sheets and asked if I was aware that La Ti Da is a Chris Phelps wine. I was not although I had not taken time to read the back of the bottle. Chris Phelps is famous for his time at Petrus, Dominus and Caymus, he is a big deal and as it turns out this is a serious wine, a serious Bordeaux Blend. Undoubtedly someone in marketing thought La Ti Da was a seriously cute name. I have no hard evidence to point to, but I have found that often wines with seriously cute names have a price ceiling lower than there actual worth. We are seeing them occasionally selling at well below release price.
The 2011 Swanson Napa La Ti Da is a complex, right bank Bordeaux Blend made of 76 percent Merlot, 21 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 3 percent Petite Verdot. This is a big red with lots of plum and blackberry in the flavor profile. The finish gets big and developed with a little time to breath and encompasses text book Napa dust and eucalyptus . The 2011 Swanson Vineyards La Ti Da was originally released at $59.00 retail though it was sold predominantly to Wolfgang Puck Restaurants. I asked Charles where he thought it should be priced. He said it would be a great Restaurant wine at $125.00 on the list. We have 2 cases available at $25.00 per bottle. Thank the winemaker for great juice! Thank whoever named it for a great price!
All of the best, Rex and Michele
P.S. When we told Charles the pricing, he said he was going to buy several cases for Jaspers. Sorry Charlie, we bought it all.
Patz & Hall's Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs consistently earn 90+ ratings from leading wine publications, particularly Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast andWine Advocate, which endorsed Sonoma as a "viticultural Shangri-La for Pinot Noir (and) Chardonnay."
Patz & Hall has been one of the most prominent names in the cult and collectable arena of both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Today, we would like to offer two Patz & Hall wines. Both are very hard to obtain and both are offered at some of the best prices nationally. The Sonoma Coast Chardonnay listed below, is discounted to the lowest price nationally at $29.50 when purchasing a case. The Jenkins Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir is not only legendary in and of itself, the Jenkins Ranch vineyard has been producing some of the world's best Pinot Noirs since the late 1960s. These wines have not been offered in the state of Texas until today.
All the best, Rex & Michele
Patz & Hall formed their partnership in 1988, produced their first Chardonnay in 1994 (Carr Vineyard Mt. Veeder Chardonnay), and their first Pinot Noir in 1996 from Hyde Vineyard. The wines are a joint effort between winemakers James Hall and Anne Moses and the sales and marketing team of Donald and Heather Patz. Between them, they have made wine at Flora Springs, Honig Cellars, Far Niente and Cain Vineyard.
The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a benchmark for that appellation and their other single-vineyard Pinot Noirs (they work with about 15 vineyards) are consistently in the top echelon of California. They source grapes from regions ranging from the Santa Lucia Highlands to Mendocino County. There are two vineyards they source Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from: Alder Springs Vineyard in Mendocino and the Hyde Vineyard in Carneros. Production is approximately 10,000 cases of Pinot Noir per year and 15,000 cases per year of Chardonnay. Although known for distinctive single vineyard bottlings, the lesser priced Sonoma Coast appellation Pinot Noir is a consistent performer year after year.
The winery was bought by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in mid-April 2016. The sale included the inventory of wines and interests in the winemaking facility and visitor's center in Sonoma. The wines will still be made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. All four of the founding partners including winemaker James Hall will remain with the winery to ensure continuity.
The wines are sold on the website and some releases enter the retail marketplace. A visitor's center is located in Sonoma just north of the Eighth Street wineries, within biking distance of Sonoma Square. Several tasting options are available for drop-ins and seated appointments. from pinotfile
Jenkins Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2013
$55.00 per, 5% off 6, 10% 0ff 12, can mix
94 Points Wine Enthusiast | December 2015
"This wine comes from a vineyard planted in the early 2000s in the Sebastopol Hills by Charlie Chenoweth for the Jenkins family, a country music trio consisting of Nancy Jenkins and her two daughters. It is inviting and seductive in black cherry and baking spices. Tightly wound, it has nuance and a lingering afterthought of savory pepper and meat." - Virginie Boone
93 Points Wine Advocate | December 2014
"From Dijon clones 667 and 777, the 2013 Pinot Noir Jenkins Ranch spent time in 60% new French oak. Its deep ruby/purple hue is followed by beautiful aromas of wild mountain blue and black fruits, sweet raspberries, forest floor and spring flowers. As this meaty, rich, complex Pinot sits in the glass, notes of slow-cooked pot roast and bouquet garni also emerge. Already delicious, this beauty should continue to age nicely for 7-10 years." - Robert Parker
91 Points Wine Spectator | September 2015
"Dense and layered, with complex dark berry, fresh earth, cedar, sage and licorice notes. Gains depth and muscle, making a strong showing on the finish, where the flavors are intense and persistent. Drink now through 2021." - James Laube
91 Points Vinous | May 2016
"Full medium red. Aromas of dark plum and licorice complemented by torrefaction notes of roast coffee and smoked meat. Sweet, plush and easygoing, showing good flesh to its red fruit and spice flavors. Less penetrating and delineated--as well as less tannic--than the other 2013 pinots here, this wine is accessible already. 2015 - 2020" - Stephen Tanzer
Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013
$32.75 per , 5% off 6, 10% 0ff 12, can mix
$29.50 lowest price on web with case pricing
93 PointsWine Enthusiast
"A well-crafted blending from several marquee vineyards within the producer's portfolio, this is a subtle, flirty and floral white, vibrant and dusted in minerality. An intense back beat of oak and power balances on the finish, in between a flurry of complex, compelling pear, apple and salty hazelnut." - Virginie Boone
2012 Trefethen Family Vineyards Oak Knoll Merlot
Last week we were afforded the opportunity to taste current releases from Trefethen Family Winery. All of the wines were excellent and all of the wines are fairly priced To make things even better, they were kind enough to give us pricing which is more than fair. So speaking of "more than fair ", what is better than a complex, layered and highly polished special occasion red for under $35.00.
Now that you have read all that, we are speaking of the 2012 Trefethen Family Oak Knoll District Napa Merlot. If the specification "Merlot " in some way disturbs your sensibilities, think of this bottle as a top tier Bordeaux style Red because that is what it is. Four Bordeaux variatels are used in the blending of this seamless red. 3 different types of oak in both old and new are used to achieve complex layering. Possibly most importantly , Merlot likes some cool weather. The 2012 vintage was unusual in Napa given the days were typically warm but the nights were far cooler than normal, weather which resembles the right bank of Bordeaux. All of this comes together to make for an excitingly seamless , highly polished bottle of wine.
The Flavor Profile: Michele and I both were completely enamored by this Merlot at first sip ( out of 7 bottles this is the one we polished off completely) . Blueberry for days was the first conclusion which we both came to , and the flavor profile is packed with blueberry, some raspberry gets into the mix at mid palate and the finish is luxurious . We debated the finish but my impression is mixed dark berry with white chocolate and a hint of allspice and clove. YUMMY REGARDLESS. If the 2012 Trefethen Merlot sounds like a bottle you would enjoy, your price is $34.95 per, 5% off 6, 10% off 12
All of the very best , Rex and Michele
Blend: 89% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon
92 POINTS (v. 2012) James Suckling July 2015
"A pretty and balanced red with chocolate, olive and blueberry character. Full body, firm tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Lovely tension and vivacity. Drink or hold."
90 POINTS (v. 2012) Wine Enthusiast September 2015
Incorporating a small amount of Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a floral Merlot, with notes of violet counterpointed by barbecue smokiness and earth. Big, rich tannins are dry and robust, veering on full bodied, before the acidity in the wine pulls things back into balance.
BEST MERLOT OF THE SHOW ~ 94 POINTS ~ PLATINUM (v. 2012)
* San Diego International Wine Competition January 2015
* Critics Challenge June 2015
91 POINTS ~ VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (v. 2012) California Grapevine May 2015
GOLD (v. 2012) TEXSOM International Wine Awards February 2015
95 POINTS (v. 2012) "Merlot is an important part of their portfolio, and it's always one of the
top California examples." Rich Cook, Wine Review Online January 2015
2013 Domaine Jeannot Pouilly Fume
350 cases produced.
The 2013 Domaine Jeannot Pouilly Fume is explosive orange blossoms on the nose. The flavor profile combines tangerine with hints of ruby red grapefruit and delicate hints of flint. The finish is long and absolutely wraps around seafood, then finishes crisply. Normal $35.00, this offer $24.50
We were invited to lunch yesterday. The invitation was extended by Mike Scarborough, our long time Republic Rep and Jane Anthenien, formerly of Caymus fame. She is now representing Trefethen Family Vineyards Napa . The tasting was exceptional from start to finish and the pricing they have extended you is excellent , not just locally but on a national level.
All of the very best , Rex and Michele
2013 Trefethen Family Vineyards Dragon's Tooth Red
This is an enticing wine. The Dragon's Tooth is a blend of three Bordeaux varietals, Malbec 52%, Cabernet Sauvignon 36% and Petite Verdot 12%. I don't think I have ever tasted a blend of similar percentages but the components come together exceptionally. The front palate is blackberry with a bit of cassis, then blueberry and finally wilder, red fruit. Also offering layering to this release , three different oaks were used in the blending. The combination of oaks both old and new ( tear sheet below ) wraps this kaleidoscope of flavor with enchanting ever changing spice. The finish is very long and very smooth with hints of chocolate. This wine is stunning. It will certainly drink for ten years . We are matching the lowest price in the country at $52.50 , it ranges up to $70.00. Rex
$52.50 per, 60 bottles available
The Wine Advocate - "A blend of 52% Malbec, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Petit Verdot, the 2013 Dragon's Tooth is a beautiful effort from Trefethen. The wine shows loads of licorice, blueberry and blackberry fruit, a touch of chocolate, medium to full body, sweet tannin and a long finish. By Napa standards, it's a good value. Drink it over the next decade." Robert Parker 90 points
Yesterday we were offered a very deep end of the month deal on Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. We were able to confirm 6 six pack cases. We are offering the Beringer at $79.50. (SEE NOTE AT BOTTOM) That is $10.00 per bottle cheaper than the lowest case price on the net. AVERAGE PRICE ON THIS BOTTLE OF WINE IS $132 PER BOTTLE. You will find multiple reviews below. Michele and I both thought it was seriously delightful, very layered with both red and black fruit and a truly appealing tannin layer laced with chocolate and a hint of char. Usually we take notes on a botlle over a day or two. Unfortunately we finished this bottle far too quickly.
P.S. This price break is probably due to the fact that the 2013 Beringer Private Reserve was released this week at $165.00 per bottle.
All of the very best, Rex and Michele, Happy 4th!
2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
01/07/2017 - This was our original offer. We sold out at this price. When we bought more, it cost us more...New price $109...
Again, it pays to be on our email list!!
The proof is always in the glass!