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Wine Spectator's Top 100 List 2017

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

The top 100 wines of the year have been announced. Here is what we have available from the lineup:

#6 Huet 'Le Mont' Vouvray Demi-Sec 2016 95 Points $54.99

#19 Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2012 93 Points $20.99

#24 Justin 'Justification' Paso Robles 2014 94 Points $44.99

#40 Matua Sauvignon Blanc 'Marlborough' 2016 90 Points $11.99

#41 Garzon Tannat Reserve Uruguay 2015 90 Points $14.99

#67 The Calling Chardonnay 'Dutton Ranch' 2015 91 Points $28.99

#90 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Chile 2014 96 Points $89.99

Check back as we acquire more wines from the list. 

New Wine from Caymus

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

Wager Family of Wine is investing big in the Suisun Valley, an area about 40 minutes southeast from the Caymus home base of Rutherford. Chuck Wagner claims the area reminds him of how Napa felt forty years ago before all of the congestion from the tourism boom. 

The grape that they're staking their claim on is Grand Durif more commonly known as Petite Sirah. Their aim is to make a wine much in the image of their flagship Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet. This won't be their first success at replicating the Caymus style with another grape. Their Red Shooner Malbec has been a smash hit for us with customers absolutely loving the style and the price tag which is half of what you'd pay for their Cabernet. 

Caymus-Suisun is sure to be another success. We hope to see more wines from them in the future as they get settled into their new winery scheduled to be completed by September 2018. You can purchase online from us below:

Caymus-Suisun Grand Durif 2015 $59.99

93 Points Wine Spectator 

Dark and plush, this combines structure with polish, offering notes of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, grilled herb and toasty spice that linger toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2025.


Low Histamine Wines May Takeaway Your Wine Headache

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

We get a lot of customers that come in and tell us they get a headache from drinking wine. Usually red wine. 

What causes this headache? It's a complex topic and even the experts don't seem to know for sure. Many in the know do have plenty of doubts that it is the sulfites that most sufferers assume is the culprit. Anecdotally, white wines tend to have more added sulfites than red, yet reds are more likely to trigger headaches. 

The evidence points towards some compound(s) in the skins of red grapes. Some are starting to believe that histamines can be to blame.

When Sebastiano Ramello's mother was diagnosed with a histamine intolerance he sought out to make a wine lower in histamines. Fortunately, he's from the Piedmont area in Italy where two of the most common grapes there, Barbera & Dolcetto already tend to be low in the compound. This is the starting point, then Sebastiano ensures to keep the wine low in histamines throughout the winemaking process. His wines have a tenth of the amount of histamine that you would find in a regular bottle of wine. 

We now carry his Barbera (always available to ship, sometimes we run out in store. Email to ensure availability before stopping by). 

Veglio Michelino e Figli Barbera d'Alba DOC 2012

Again, it's a complex topic and there is no way to guarantee that a particular wine will not give you a headache. Hopefully, this will work for you. 

(Nothing in this post is intended as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare professional)

Pieropan Soave

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

I've been in love with the often neglected wines of Soave for nearly a decade now. Soave, the area in Italy's Veneto region produces some of the country's best white wines. There's a misperception in the US that they're just simple jug wines because of the popularity of the mass-market version a few decades ago from Bolla. 

Sadly (for the quality producer) they have trouble selling their wines at the price they deserve. That's not so sad for us the consumer who wins. 

The winery Pieropan is considered one of (if not, THE) top producer of Soave. Their single vineyard crus often rank as some of Italy's greatest white wines. 'La Rocca' is made 100% with the principle grape of Soave Garganega and sees a year in barrel which is not typical for Soave. The cru Calvarino includes 30% Trebbiano di Soave in the blend and does not see any oak.

Their entry-level Soave is consistently a best buy for under $15. The 2016 vintage that we now have in stock commemorates their 50th vintage. The style for the 2016 is really unique from what I've experienced in the past. It's a bit brighter, more aromatic and slightly less mineral than usual. Perfect for warm weather dining outdoors. 

Here are the wines that we currently have available from this benchmark producer:

Pieropan Soave DOC 2016 $13.99

Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2015 $27.99

Pieropan 'La Rocca' Soave Classico DOC 2013 $29.99

Pieropan 'La Rocca' Soave 2014 $29.99

Our Top Selling Wines Online This Month

Posted by Tom Kisthart on

This month we've seen a huge spike in online wine sales. December is typically a wine shop's best month of the year by far but we've far surpassed that busy month. Much of the growth is coming from key wines that we've been adding to our inventory. Here's the top sellers that people are snatching up this month.

Turley Juvenile Zinfandel 2015 $24.99 

Each year we try to get our hands on as much Turley as possible. We're usually quite fortunate with the amount that we do receive. Most of the Turley wines are kept for their club members and for restaurant wine lists. When we get in their Old Vines and Juvenile Zinfandels we typically have them to sell for a few months and then they're gone until the following year. The Old Vines went particularly fast this year and we should have Juvenile around for another month or so. It's drinking great right now so be sure to take advantage while we have it. 

Caymus Red Schooner Voyage 3 $39.99 (Voyage 4 arriving next week)

This is an interesting project from Caymus. They select premium Malbec grapes in Argentina and then put them on a ship to California keeping them cool with a special process. The grapes arrive to Caymus and they make the wine just as they would their famous Cabernet. Forty bucks is a great price on this wine, you're more likely to find it for fifty or more. I personally enjoyed it more than the last vintage of Caymus I had. 

Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2014 $39.99 (15% off on the purchase of 6 or more bottles)

Quilt is Joe Wagner's (of the family behind Caymus) first foray into Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is very much in the style of modern day Caymus: ripe fruit, round & plush with low acid. If this is your style then this wine is for you. It's incredible how much of this stuff we've sold in the past several months. 

Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll 2013 $39.99 (save 10% on the purchase of 6 or more bottles) 

Trefethen has been turning out classic Napa Cabernet year after year for many decades. The winery is currently sold out of the excellent 2013 vintage but we'll still have it available for a bit longer. The price that we're able to sell it at is substantially less than what you would pay from the winery, $60. Another great discovery we've found is their Dragon's Tooth Red Blend which is 45% Malbec, 35% Petit Verdot and the rest Cabernet. It's a beast of a wine that's been creeping towards our best seller list.