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April 4, 2014

NEW WHITE WINES FROM ITALY
L’Isola dei Profumo Terre Siciliane 2012: Cheap and cheerful blend of Sicilian native varietals Catarratto and Grecanico. Light, bright, dry, and sunny… easy like Sunday afternoon. $11
LUNAE Colli di Luni Vermentino 2012: Saline minerality with a lime-zest kind of lust for life! Fish, please! $21
Conte Leopardi Calcare Sauvignon 2012: Sancerre lovers rejoice! This elegant and dignified Sauvignon Blanc is an amazing alternative to the Loire Valley fave.
Agricola San Salvatore Falanghina Campania 2012: Lush and textural, with white peach and melon notes.  Wildly satisfying. 
Institut Agricole Regional Aoste Nus Malvoisie 2012: This is Pinot Grigio and it’s really, really good. Like, really good. Which is something I didn’t know was possible.  It’s savory and generous and nuanced and slightly herbal. Consider me a convert.

NEW WHITE WINES FROM ITALY

L’Isola dei Profumo Terre Siciliane 2012: Cheap and cheerful blend of Sicilian native varietals Catarratto and Grecanico. Light, bright, dry, and sunny… easy like Sunday afternoon. $11

LUNAE Colli di Luni Vermentino 2012: Saline minerality with a lime-zest kind of lust for life! Fish, please! $21

Conte Leopardi Calcare Sauvignon 2012: Sancerre lovers rejoice! This elegant and dignified Sauvignon Blanc is an amazing alternative to the Loire Valley fave.

Agricola San Salvatore Falanghina Campania 2012: Lush and textural, with white peach and melon notes.  Wildly satisfying.

Institut Agricole Regional Aoste Nus Malvoisie 2012: This is Pinot Grigio and it’s really, really good. Like, really good. Which is something I didn’t know was possible.  It’s savory and generous and nuanced and slightly herbal. Consider me a convert.

March 26, 2014

NEW FROM BORDEAUX
Bordeaux is the world’s largest quality wine producing region on the planet, and we’ve recently acquired 5 new bottles from the storied (and confusing) Gironde! Let’s break it down…
Chateau de Monrepos Grand Bordeaux 2011: A generous oak barreling gives this dark blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc a smooth, concentrated, vanilla-laden finish.  Red velvet cake, baby. $12
Chateau la Haute Claymore Lussac-Saint-Emilion 2009: This rIght bank Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from a banging vintage is rife with bold plum and raspberry fruit and touches of cocoa, tobacco, and green bean. A steal. $20
Chateau du Champ des Treilles Sainte-Foy Grand Vin 2011: Corine and Jean-Michel Comme “let nature be their guide” on their Sainte-Foy property, one of the first to be certified organic in the region.  Employing hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero sulfur, and “hands off” vineyard practices, they create wines that are true to the varietals and terroir. Their Grand Vin is 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. $24
Clos Magne Figeac Saint-Emilion 2010: A gorgeous Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend from a vineyard that’s been in the same family for over 500 years. Black currant, spicy cedar, crushed forest fruit, and the softest tannins.  Blue cheese and steak, please and thanks. $30
Chateau Aney Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc 2010: Another stunner from beloved importer Kermit Lynch! Classy left bank Cru Bourgeois- 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. Finessed and balanced, aged in old oak barrels… drinks great now with a little decanting but will age beautifully. $36
Chateau Carbonnieux Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2010: We were instantly in love with this dreamy Bordeaux Blanc and just had to have it. The vineyard was founded in the 13th century by Benedictine Monks, making it one of the oldest estates in the region. This Cru Classe is 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. White peaches, nectarine, honeysuckle, and preserved lemon, with the minerality we always look for in French whites… truly exceptional.  $54

NEW FROM BORDEAUX

Bordeaux is the world’s largest quality wine producing region on the planet, and we’ve recently acquired 5 new bottles from the storied (and confusing) Gironde! Let’s break it down…

Chateau de Monrepos Grand Bordeaux 2011: A generous oak barreling gives this dark blend of 75% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc a smooth, concentrated, vanilla-laden finish.  Red velvet cake, baby. $12

Chateau la Haute Claymore Lussac-Saint-Emilion 2009: This rIght bank Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from a banging vintage is rife with bold plum and raspberry fruit and touches of cocoa, tobacco, and green bean. A steal. $20

Chateau du Champ des Treilles Sainte-Foy Grand Vin 2011: Corine and Jean-Michel Comme “let nature be their guide” on their Sainte-Foy property, one of the first to be certified organic in the region.  Employing hand harvesting, native yeasts, zero sulfur, and “hands off” vineyard practices, they create wines that are true to the varietals and terroir. Their Grand Vin is 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. $24

Clos Magne Figeac Saint-Emilion 2010: A gorgeous Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend from a vineyard that’s been in the same family for over 500 years. Black currant, spicy cedar, crushed forest fruit, and the softest tannins.  Blue cheese and steak, please and thanks. $30

Chateau Aney Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc 2010: Another stunner from beloved importer Kermit Lynch! Classy left bank Cru Bourgeois- 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. Finessed and balanced, aged in old oak barrels… drinks great now with a little decanting but will age beautifully. $36

Chateau Carbonnieux Pessac-Leognan Grand Cru Classe de Graves Blanc 2010: We were instantly in love with this dreamy Bordeaux Blanc and just had to have it. The vineyard was founded in the 13th century by Benedictine Monks, making it one of the oldest estates in the region. This Cru Classe is 65% Sauvignon Blanc and 35% Semillon. White peaches, nectarine, honeysuckle, and preserved lemon, with the minerality we always look for in French whites… truly exceptional.  $54

March 24, 2014

NEW MALBECS
Chateau Vincens L’Instant, Cahors 2010: Black fruit, black earth, structure and minerals from the high limestone slopes of Southwestern France’s capitol city. Refined and uniquely French. $16
Quattrochi, Mendoza 2011: Preserved cherries, juicy ripe plums, and dusty tannins prevail in this Argentinian Malbec from Italian ex-pats. Old-world style in the New World. $15
ALTO 3 Reserve 2010: Berry pie! Toasty and jammy, with distinctive baking spice undertones. Full-bodied and impactful. $12

NEW MALBECS

Chateau Vincens L’Instant, Cahors 2010: Black fruit, black earth, structure and minerals from the high limestone slopes of Southwestern France’s capitol city. Refined and uniquely French. $16

Quattrochi, Mendoza 2011: Preserved cherries, juicy ripe plums, and dusty tannins prevail in this Argentinian Malbec from Italian ex-pats. Old-world style in the New World. $15

ALTO 3 Reserve 2010: Berry pie! Toasty and jammy, with distinctive baking spice undertones. Full-bodied and impactful. $12

March 21, 2014

NEW PINOT NOIR ALERT
Danjean-Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge 2012: Made with grapes from several lots in and around Givry, this elegant Burgundy is rich with earthy minerality and understated red fruit. $19
Delaille Unique Pinot Noir 2012: A Kermit Lynch import! This fresh and juicy Pinot comes from sustainably farmed grapes in the Loire Valley. Easy drinking and joyful. $18
Lompoc Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills 2012: Master Sommelier Rajat Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman are the forces behind the Lompoc Wine Company.  Their Sta. Rita Hills Pinot is dignified and concentrate, with dark fruit and soft, velvety tannins. $36
Institute Agricole Regional/ Aoste 2012: Spicy, smoky, and utterly singular… this Northern Italian beauty is tremendous with pork chops and bbq, or as a conversation starter. $25

NEW PINOT NOIR ALERT

Danjean-Berthoux Bourgogne Rouge 2012: Made with grapes from several lots in and around Givry, this elegant Burgundy is rich with earthy minerality and understated red fruit. $19

Delaille Unique Pinot Noir 2012: A Kermit Lynch import! This fresh and juicy Pinot comes from sustainably farmed grapes in the Loire Valley. Easy drinking and joyful. $18

Lompoc Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills 2012: Master Sommelier Rajat Parr and winemaker Sashi Moorman are the forces behind the Lompoc Wine Company.  Their Sta. Rita Hills Pinot is dignified and concentrate, with dark fruit and soft, velvety tannins. $36

Institute Agricole Regional/ Aoste 2012: Spicy, smoky, and utterly singular… this Northern Italian beauty is tremendous with pork chops and bbq, or as a conversation starter. $25

March 10, 2014

New Wine Alert! 
Spring is in the air and this wine is the perfect way to celebrate that.  I was thrilled to discover this fresh and zesty example of organic Gruner Veltliner last week and now it’s here at Dandelion for all of you to try…
WESZELI TERRAFACTUM STEINHAUS GRUNER VELTLINER KAMPTAL 2012  $24
"The nose: Light chalky scents underscoring aromas of fresh meadow flowers and herbs. Light and fresh with a ripe edge, a tone of lemon and a hint of melon.
The palate: Good body, firm and structured with backbone and vibrant citrus fruit. Good length, distinctly dry; a compact wine.”

New Wine Alert!

Spring is in the air and this wine is the perfect way to celebrate that.  I was thrilled to discover this fresh and zesty example of organic Gruner Veltliner last week and now it’s here at Dandelion for all of you to try…

WESZELI TERRAFACTUM STEINHAUS GRUNER VELTLINER KAMPTAL 2012  $24

"The nose: Light chalky scents underscoring aromas of fresh meadow flowers and herbs. Light and fresh with a ripe edge, a tone of lemon and a hint of melon.

The palate: Good body, firm and structured with backbone and vibrant citrus fruit. Good length, distinctly dry; a compact wine.”

February 28, 2014

NEW WINE ALERT!
Terre del Barolo 2009 Barolo - an honest-to-goodness big and beautiful Barolo for $25!?  It’s true, and it’s here, and you really ought to try it out this weekend.  This wine will spice up any night.  Bold earth and delicate tannins will coat your heart in warmth.  Pair it with rabbit, wild boar, or truffled potatoes… or just a simple cheese plate will work if you’re not feeling that ambitious.  $25
Maso Michei 2010 Pinot Nero - hailing from the Dolomites (a mountain range in Northeastern Italy), this Pinot Noir boasts lively aromatics and lush fruit with a dollop of spice (white pepper).  Another no-brainer that we are excited to share with you.  Drink it up with whatever soup is on the stove, or whatever take-out you’re in the mood for tonight.  It won’t disappoint!  $17

NEW WINE ALERT!

Terre del Barolo 2009 Barolo - an honest-to-goodness big and beautiful Barolo for $25!?  It’s true, and it’s here, and you really ought to try it out this weekend.  This wine will spice up any night.  Bold earth and delicate tannins will coat your heart in warmth.  Pair it with rabbit, wild boar, or truffled potatoes… or just a simple cheese plate will work if you’re not feeling that ambitious.  $25

Maso Michei 2010 Pinot Nero - hailing from the Dolomites (a mountain range in Northeastern Italy), this Pinot Noir boasts lively aromatics and lush fruit with a dollop of spice (white pepper).  Another no-brainer that we are excited to share with you.  Drink it up with whatever soup is on the stove, or whatever take-out you’re in the mood for tonight.  It won’t disappoint!  $17

January 29, 2014

NEW FRENCH WHITES
Clos de la Senaigerie Muscadet, 2012: Melon de Bourgogne from brothers Luc and Jerome, the 4th generation on their family estate, founded in 1864.  Aged sur lie (on it’s yeasts), giving it complexity and texture, in addition to that classic sea-breezy minerality we love from Muscadet! Bring on the oysters, babes! $14
Domaine Raimbault Vouvray Sec Bel Air, 2011: Sustainable Chenin Blanc from 60 year old vines. Focused and bracing with notes of green apple and lemon pith.  Great with simply prepared fish (think lemon, salt, pepper) or all on it’s own. $17
Vignoble des Gauletteries Jasnieres, 2010: This special Loire Valley Chenin Blanc is soft and aromatic- it brings to mind white flowers in bloom on an orchard in the spring. $18
Chateau Guillaume Cabrol Picpoul de Pinet, 2012: Admittedly, Picpoul is one of our favorite summer varietals… but that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious all year round.  Chateau Guillaume’s has “lip stinging” acidity as well as a soft, minerally finish. Delightful. $12
Jean Perrier et Fils Cuvee Gastronomie, 2012: Stony minerality prevails in this 100% Jacquere from Savoie… think river rocks and a touch of salinity.  $12

NEW FRENCH WHITES

Clos de la Senaigerie Muscadet, 2012: Melon de Bourgogne from brothers Luc and Jerome, the 4th generation on their family estate, founded in 1864.  Aged sur lie (on it’s yeasts), giving it complexity and texture, in addition to that classic sea-breezy minerality we love from Muscadet! Bring on the oysters, babes! $14

Domaine Raimbault Vouvray Sec Bel Air, 2011: Sustainable Chenin Blanc from 60 year old vines. Focused and bracing with notes of green apple and lemon pith.  Great with simply prepared fish (think lemon, salt, pepper) or all on it’s own. $17

Vignoble des Gauletteries Jasnieres, 2010: This special Loire Valley Chenin Blanc is soft and aromatic- it brings to mind white flowers in bloom on an orchard in the spring. $18

Chateau Guillaume Cabrol Picpoul de Pinet, 2012: Admittedly, Picpoul is one of our favorite summer varietals… but that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious all year round.  Chateau Guillaume’s has “lip stinging” acidity as well as a soft, minerally finish. Delightful. $12

Jean Perrier et Fils Cuvee Gastronomie, 2012: Stony minerality prevails in this 100% Jacquere from Savoie… think river rocks and a touch of salinity.  $12

January 10, 2014

NEW SPANISH PRODUCER: LA UNIVERSAL

Sara Perez grew up on her father Jose Luis Perez’s renowned vineyard Mas Martinet.  Rene Barbier, likewise, on his family’s centuries-old estate in Catalunya.  The two dedicated oenologists met, fell in love, and La Universal was born!

A true labor of love, the wines they produce in Montsant are made from organic grapes grown on their small 4 hectare estate with the exception of the Cariñena used, which they source from a few neighboring vineyards.

They name each wine after a different heroine or goddess from Greek mythology, hinting at the beauty and strength of the wine inside!

Venus 2007

Described by the winery as “the result of her search for beauty, an attempt to interpret femininity through a bottle of wine: mystery and seduction, discourse and voluptuousness”… I don’t think we can do much better than that!  Feminine, but not delicately so, this is a nuanced, vital, and expressive blend of Cariñena and Syrah, fit for the goddess of love and beauty herself. $50

Dido 2011

A young, fresh blend of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot, Dido, named for the tragic Queen of Carthage, is vibrant and lively with a pure, ripe red fruit core balanced by a bright, zingy finish and lingering acidity.  After a deep breath of fresh air (decant her), Dido shines on her own or with soft queso and salty jamon. $24

January 10, 2014

NEW SHERRY ALERT!
Orleans-Borbon Manzanilla Fina Straight from the Spanish Royal Family! Graced by active trade-winds and only made in the spring and fall when the flor is at it’s peak, this salty, tangy, yeasty Manzanilla is an incredible joy with both regal oceanic fare and common fish and chips alike.  $13

NEW SHERRY ALERT!

Orleans-Borbon Manzanilla Fina Straight from the Spanish Royal Family! Graced by active trade-winds and only made in the spring and fall when the flor is at it’s peak, this salty, tangy, yeasty Manzanilla is an incredible joy with both regal oceanic fare and common fish and chips alike.  $13

October 30, 2013

NEW WINE FROM THE NEW WORLD!

Hallelujah! Our domestic wine shelves got one helluva boost recently!

St. Innocent Temperance Hill Vineyard Pinot Noir 2011: From the winemaker:spicy notes… balanced with bright acidity and rich, broad mid-palate tannins. Darker red fruits and dark flowers take over into the finish…” $40

Chapter 24 Two Messengers Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2011: Earthy and savory until thoroughly decanted, when bright cranberry fruit and lingering aromatics really come out to play. “Burgundian”. $34

Claar Cellars Cabernet-Merlot, Columbia Valley 2010: Aged in a thoughtful combination of new and neutral oak barrels, this well-balanced blend boasts bold, vibrant fruit, peppery spice, and a perfectly smooth finish. $18

Vending Machine Winery Horror Show, Napa Valley 2010: For the adventurous, a freaky-good blend of 35% Souzao, 33% Montepulciano, and 33% Tannat. Winemaker notes: “The introduction is not a handshake or friendly hug, but more aggressive. The tension eases as the fruit develops in your mouth and gives you a sense of comfort in it’s roundness and structure. Just when you feel safe, the thrill ramps up like a graveyard shovel hit to the mouth. Surprisingly enough though, in the end, like all good horror shows, the wine emerges as a hero leaving you with only a few nicks and bruises, but anxious to go through it all again” $32 

Martian Ranch Parallax, Santa Barbara County 2011: 100% Mourvedre, a thick skinned, hearty grape, that in this case creates ripe, vivid juice with hints of leather, blueberries, and dark plums and just the slightest tinge of candied red fruit.  Exciting and full of character. $27

Brea Chardonnay, Los Alamos 2011: Fresh and clean, crisp and pure- with no oak whatsoever! White flowers, green grapes, and apricots hit you on the nose, then on the palate.  Stellar pairing for seafood. $14

Wonderwall Pinot Noir, Edna Valley 2012: A side project of Andrew Jones, the winemaker behind cultish label Field Recordings.  He sources from awesome, under-appreciated sites around the Central Coast, in this case Pinot Noir from the Agro-Jalisco Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley and the Spanish Springs Vineyard in Edna Valley.  Light, lush, cheeky, and a little nerdy, just like the Gallagher Brothers. $25

Soos Creek Champoux Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills 2010: Washington State Bordeaux blend.  Steven Tanzer says it best: “Pure cabernet sauvignon-dominated aromas of black cherry, cassis and licorice. It’s glossy and sweet on the palate, with pristine, highly concentrated dark berry, black cherry and bitter chocolate flavors” $48

Qupe "Y" Block Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County 2012: Incredibly well-made Cali Chard!  All the buttery, oaky goodness you love from the West Coast with the old-world style minerality and bright acidity we love from Chardonnay. $24