Tastings/Events

New Closeouts!

sang mustache

This guy says it’s good!

Summer is a great time to find super deals on closeout wines! Check out this all-new collection of rock-bottom-priced bottles! As with all closeouts, quantities are limited so act quickly!

We’ll be tasting some of these selections Friday night at the bar from 5-7. Stay tuned for the tasting lineup!

These three are from superstar importer Kermit Lynch… arriving today!

2011 Sang de Cailloux Vacqueyras Rhone, France
On Sale $16.99 (Lowest price online is $27.99!)
…the 2011 Vacqueyras Cuvee Doucinello is a soft, supple and approachable Vacqueyras that has loads of charm. Offering up perfumed notes of sweet blackberry, red currants, garrigue, pepper and crushed flower-like qualities on the nose, it flows onto the palate with medium-bodied richness, beautiful purity of fruit and an a charming, hard to resist profile. It’s already delicious, so plan on drinking bottles over the coming 4-6 years. Drink now-2019.
90 points, The Wine Advocate

2011 Domaine Du Salvard Cheverny Unique Sauvignon Blanc Loire, France
On Sale $11.99 (Lowest price online is $15.99!)
Lean and bracing, with chive, flint and thistle flower notes backed by a briny-edged finish. Taut and bony. For fans of the style. Drink now.
Wine Spectator

2011 Keuntz Bas Pinot Blanc Alsace, France
On Sale $11.99 (Lowest price online is $15.99!)
A minerally version, featuring smoke and saline accents to the subtle notes of crunchy peach, lemon curd and ground ginger. Well-knit and fresh. Drink now through 2015. 2,500 cases made.
Wine Spectator

In Stock, but not included in Tasting:

2009 Castelfranci Pendino Fiano, Fiandi de Avellino, Italy
On Sale $5.99
The Fiano (white grape most common in Fiandi de Avellino) is one of the best expressions of wine from Campania. Pale yellow in color with intense aromas and fruity, pleasant fresh flavors.
Winemaker’s Notes

2012 Mountain View Cabernet Sauvignon Central Coast, CA
On Sale $9.99 (Lowest price on line $12.49)
A perfect vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon from Northern Paso Robles grapes creating Mature berry fruit flavors in a classic Coastal Cabernet Sauvignon. After American oak barrel aging for 8 months, the wine shows wonderful spices and has a delictible hint of toasted oak on the nose. This release will satisfy the consumer upon release but will continue to improve for many years to come.
Winemaker’s Notes

Bonny Doon Tasting
This Saturday!Bonny Doon

Perhaps some of you have know the irascible Randall Graham of Bonny Doon winery in Santa Cruz. An iconoclast who let his winemaking get away from him for a number of years as he steadily ramped up production, he seems to have seen the light, and is back producing wines focused on specific terroirs. One of the original Rhone Rangers, Graham’s flagship has always been Le Cigare Volant, so named because of Chateauneuf’s outlawing of cigar shaped spacecraft over their vineyards. The 2010 vintage of the white is among the best we have tasted of its ilk in years. Comparable to Chateauneuf Blanc, it exhibits all the hallmark complexity of these great wines.

2013 Albarino Sierra Foothills
On Sale $15.99
Very pale chartreuse color. In the nose, citrus (mostly lime and tangerine) peel and leaf with a vague hint of peach and pineapple. Impressively bracing natural acidity (no acidification was doon), and a slightly richer and more savory mouthfeel than we achieved in the ’12 (perhaps because we were able to do a little more bâtonage.) The wine has come together nicely since bottling, but is still pretty tightly wound, and certainly will keep its freshness for several years to come.
Winemaker’s Notes

2013 Vin Gris de Cigare Sierra Foothills
On Sale $14.99
There is a lovely chalky/smoky gunpowder tea aspect to the nose,1 with a suggestion of bergamot, wild strawberry and maybe even a delicate trace of wintergreen. The fragrance is discreet and above all, elegant and draws one to the wine rather than mounts a frontal assault on one’s sensorium. On the palate, the wine has a sleek, salty, savory, mouth-watering aspect and a refreshing acidity.
Winemaker’s Notes

2010 Le Cigare Volant Blanc Reserve Arroyo Seco
On Sale $46.99
(56% roussanne and 44% grenache blanc): Light yellow-gold. A complex, deeply perfumed bouquet evokes candied citrus and pit fruits, toasted almond, honey and chamomile. Spicy and savory in character, offering intense, broad poached pear and orange flavors and a hint of marzipan. Tighter on the finish, which emphasizes succulent herbs and bitter pear skin. This intriguing wine would be a great match with buttery dishes that involved mushrooms or truffles; it would also work wonders with a range of funky cheeses, even blues.
92 points, Stephen Tanzer

2011 Contra Red Blend Contra Costa
On Sale $15.99
The 2011 Contra marries the fresh blackberry and cranberry aromas of old vine carignane with the classic old vine mourvèdre character of licorice and leather. This vintage provided a bright acidity with black cherry, blackberry, and a mix of spice on the palate. The silky tannins provide this wine with a texture to savor.
Winemaker’s Notes

2012 A Proper Claret, CA
On Sale $14.99
It is lean, neither overly alcoholic (weighing in at 13%), nor overly extracted; it is precisely as one would imagine A Proper Claret to be. The wine contains a substantial dollop of petit verdot (22%), which adds a silky note of violets and textural elegance, in precision counterpoint to the lead-in-the-pencil firmness offered by the inclusion of the manly tannat (8%). There is a lovely suggestion of cedar and mint, in the nose. The wine has medium tannins, nice acidity, and finishes cleanly.
Winemaker’s Notes

04_cigare_rouge_op2010 Le Cigare Volant Rouge Sierra Foothills
On Sale $35.99
Spearmint, cassis and blackberry leaf with even suggestions of cardamom and cocoa in the nose. The palate is doonright Burgundian-lush, creamy, and savory-lots of dark fruit-sloe and Damson plums, bing cherries and açaí (too long in Santa Cruz?) and a bright acidity, with exceptional length. My guess is that this is a Cigare of extreme age worthiness.
Winemaker’s Notes

2013 “The Heart has its Rieslings” San Benito-Monterey
On Sale $12.99
In the nose, you find a classic fragrance of kirsch (generally thought of as a signifer of the Rheingau), but maybe also Mirabelle plum and an earthiness that bespeaks the Nahe. Very delicate body; in the mouth, a sort of filigreed, dancing lightness to the wine, impelled, no doubt, by a wonderful, refreshing acidity.
Winemaker’s Notes

World’s Best Margaritas!

Saturday, August 2Tres Agaves
1 to 3pm

Ever heard someone say that a margarita is a waste of good tequila? We respectfully disagree! The margarita is the world’s most popular cocktail, and when made correctly, it’s the world’s best cocktail. We think a margarita recipe should enhance the flavor of good tequila, not hide it. Merch spirits expert Rob Marchant will be mixing up the ultimate Margaritas! The Tres Agaves mix is a beautiful blend of organic lime juice, organic agave nectar and pure, filtered water. These organic ingredients create a perfect balance of sweet (nectar) and sour (lime). For tequila, we’ll be sampling the Lunazul silver, reposado and añejo tequilas. With no added flavors or colors, these are the genuine articles – made of 100% agave.