By: George Balling
For many of our regular customers this is the first question they ask when they arrive, “What’s New?” For many wine consumers including ourselves we like trying new things, we may not like them all but the adventure is a big part of our wine consumption so why not try all that is new in the great big world of wine? Here are some of our new favorites and some of yours too, based on how many of you have responded to them.
We have written much recently of the dysfunction in the worldwide Champagne markets. While we are starting to see some of our old favorites show up again, others like Veuve Clicquot, Dom Perignon and other notables are simply unattainable. We have gone on the hunt and one of the new favorites of ours and those of you have already tried it is Deutz ($75, Wine Club Price $67.50). Their Brut Classic while spendy is absolutely lovely wine with fine tight bubbles and aromas and palate flavors driven more by citrus than by biscuit. For the coming holidays and your special gatherings, it is the one to drink.
We were thrilled to receive two cases of Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé ($150, Wine Club Price $135) on allocation this year. While not new it remains our most favorite bubbly. The most recent bottling is true to form with small very fine bubbles and aromas of fresh spring strawberries and biscuit leading to a citrus and berry noted palate, the wine shows a level of complexity and depth that is remarkable.
One of our absolute favorite Napa Valley Chardonnays is the Black Stallion Estate ($24, Wine Club Price $21.60). The 2020 is another winner! Clearly picked prior to any smoke reaching the stunning estate located south and east of the town of Yountville the wine shows classic Napa Valley aromas of chalky minerality, toasty oak and ripe apple. The palate is pear and apple noted with balanced butter notes on the finish.
Each year we are hopeful that we will see some dry rosé from the Tavel region of France, it doesn’t always work out that way. We did receive one case this year of the 2021 rosé from Chateau de Trinquevedel ($30, Wine Club Price $27) from Tavel imported by the legendary Kermit Lynch. This has been one of our favorites in the past and it is again. Tavel is known for rosé that is a bit darker than most but not indicative of the crisp, light and lively wine that hits your palate. Notes of berry and watermelon with a clean finish makes for the perfect pink wine.
We recently tried and brought in the 2021 AXR Sauvignon Blanc ($32, Wine Club Price $28.80) from Napa. The wine is clean and crisp with loads of the pink grapefruit aromas and flavors we want from California SB, but also with a hint of tropical pineapple that adds depth and character to the wine.
One of the great bargains we have found recently in the 2019 Tall Sage Cabernet ($9, Wine Club Price $8.10). The Tall Sage is a second label wine from a prominent Washington winery that simply over delivers for the investment. Cherry noted and easy drinking with soft pliable tannins that help check the fruit and enhance the finish the wine is perfect for your larger gatherings.
On the opposite end of the price spectrum and a new wine to the market is the 2020 My Favorite Neighbor Cabernet ($80, Wine Club Price $72) from Paso Robles. The wine is extraordinary and worth the price. Like many of the wines from “Paso” it is very dark, nearly opaque in the glass. Varietally true aromas of ripe plum and mild baking spice meld with palate flavors of more dark stone fruits and firm hefty tannins on the finish. It is a “Cab” lovers Cabernet through and through.
For those of you who know the shop well, you are familiar with the wines from the Pozzan Winery from Napa. We just added their 2020 Giapoza Pinot Noir ($20, Wine Club Price $18). The resourceful crew at Pozzan ventured out from their traditional Napa Valley roots to track down fruit that was clean from wildfire smoke in 2020. This Pinot Noir is California appellated meaning the fruit came from anywhere in the state. It did not however impact the quality; the nose shows a lovely combination of cherry and earth with a silky cherry noted palate that offers up all we love in Pinot Noir.
There are more new things than we could cover today so come on by the shop to check out all of t