The Perfect Fall Wine

The Perfect Fall Wine

As I gear up for the fall season and test my ability to remain sober whilst attending all the fall trade tastings, I am reminded that it’s not just about me! Everyone has different tastes and whilst they may not be to my liking, they are to that individual and it would seem reasonable that I, as a wine merchant, should be cognizant of that demand. So, I thought what better way to restock Wine at Five than to ask my customers, and readers what their favorite wines are. So, if you want to participate, feel free to e-mail me back with a few of your favorite wines. If you can’t remember the name, maybe send me what you like in a wine – do you like it rich and high in alcohol (like an Amarone or a Californian Cabernet), do you want it to be silky smooth and white with a hint of oak, like a well balanced French Burgundian chardonnay? Would you like to see more Malbecs, or more Australian wines? Let me know so that when I go to these tastings I can go with a ‘shopping list of desires.’

Jolie-Laide Spring Release

Jolie-Laide Spring Release

“You wouldn’t eat the same thing every day or listen to the same music every day. But people choose to drink the same wine every day? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. “ – Scott Schultz, Proprietor Jolie-Laide Winery

 I couldn’t say it better myself. I first met Scott 2 years ago at a trade show hosted by his New York distributors. We had much in common, and whilst I knew of his wines, I also knew that my ability to obtain any of his miniscule quantity production was about as likely as winning this week’s Power Ball. And so I was very surprised when, shortly after that meeting, my sales rep called me and told me that Scott had asked that I be added to the allocation list of his wines – along with 11 Madison, Per Se and a few other starred restaurants. Ever since, I await his annual release like a child awaits his 3rd birthday (I don’t think kids really have any idea what birthday 1 and 2 are all about).

Niepoort Nat'Cool Red Wine

Niepoort Nat'Cool Red Wine

It’s still gloomy out there. And there is still rain in the forecast. And its feeling more and more like we are living in Seattle! And so yesterday afternoon, in amongst a bevy of wines that various suppliers brought to the store to cheer us up and taste, there was one that just brighten everyone’s demeanor. It was such fun, with a kick-ass label and great juice to boot.

The wine was Nat’Cool.

Join Faith Armstrong Foster and Onward Wines

Join Faith Armstrong Foster and Onward Wines

Sometimes you just have to taste it. It’s all well and good for me to wax lyrical about this wine or that, and many of you thankfully have grown to like my tastes and you buy the wines blind on my descriptions. But every now and again you need to try the wines before you buy them. Although simply opening a bunch of wine every Friday afternoon and having someone not related to the wines or the winery give a pre-written synopsis of what you are drinking is not my idea of having fun or adding to the buying experience. So, I have generally waited until we can invite the actual person – the wine-maker, the owner and the cellar rat all in one, before inviting everyone else to come and join us. And so, this Friday I am very excited to invite Faith Armstrong Foster to Wine at Five.

Pairing Wines with Easter

Pairing Wines with Easter

Yea, it’s Easter. It’s a second Thanksgiving! I love any holiday that centers around food and drink, especially if it doesn’t include stress! And unlike Thanksgiving where you have to try and figure out what to pour with the great white shark in the middle of the table, Easter comes with a plethora of different foods and wine choices. Personally, I am a Francophile during this holiday. I’ll be roasting up a leg of lamb slathered in crushed rosemary, garlic and S+P; potato gratin with lashings of butter and double cream, roasted asparagus and a great big green salad (with petit pois scattered over – a nod to the English countryside). And to pour with this I’ll go French. But I know that there are some who won’t be doing lamb, and won’t be doing French so I’ve added some favorites from Italy and California that I think will pair up with pretty much any other type of main course.

Here’s what I have:

Just in time for dinner - Chateau Les Gravieres de la Brandille

I felt compelled to write a quick introduction and tasting note for this wine after I opened a bottle at a 'dog and pony' show tasting last Wednesday night in the store.The theme for the tasting was overwhelming, undervalued, and this wine hit it out of the ball park.

I first started buying the wine in the 2014 vintage. It was very good back then and I wished I had kept some for myself. The 2015 vintage was as good and again, I wished I had kept some for myself. But the present vintage, 2016, is simply awesome and awesome value.

A tiny offering of wines from Claude Dugat

The wines of Domaine Dugat have been captivating collectors for decades. Even when I first came accross his wines in the late 80’s the wines were expensive and ultra rare. I remember opening the first bottle of 1990 Dugat Griottes Chambertin and thinking ‘if they made a perfume that smelled like this I would fall in love with anyone who wore it. I think it was the first time I thought it would be really innovative to make perfumes that smelled like great wine!

A tiny offering of wines from Emmanuel Reynuad

Ask most anyone to name three of the greatest wine-makers in the Côtes du Rhône and you should hear the name Château Rayas and Château Fonsalette in the mix. I have not had many bottles of Fonsalette so I can’t offer much on that front, however I did stash away a few cases of Rayas back in the early 90’s and I still, every now and again, pull out a bottle and simply marvel at it’s greatness. The estate itself is shrouded in mystery. Robert Parker, when describing the 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape (98+) said this: “One of the world's most mysterious estates is Chateau Rayas. This small 30-acre estate is owned by the Reynaud family, which dates back to the late 19th century. The estate has always had an image of secrecy and seclusion… Following the death of Jacques Reynaud in 1997, his nephew, Emmanuel took over, and he continues to produce wines that go from strength to strength. A cool climate property in a hot zone, Rayas is tucked away in a forest with its vineyards basically one parcel of sandy soil. Emmanuel Reynaud, who is also the proprietor of the outstanding Vacqueyras estate called Domaine des Tours, has the same eccentric idiosyncrasies as his uncle.”

Wines that Sing - the masterpieces of Timbre Winery

t’s been a great few weeks on the tasting front. Lots of Burgundies to begin, then some terrific wines from Oregon and then to cap this week off a series of explosive wines from California. YES! California. As many of you know, California wines are generally not high on my love letter list. But in the interests of forever expanding my wine horizons I agreed to an early morning tasting with Joshua Klapper. 

The Semi-Annual Burgundy Report

It’s a great time of the year to be in the wine business. Although, to be honest, all year is a great time to be in the wine business. But right now is when we have a multitude of trade tastings and with those come the wine makers. And with the wine makers comes knowledge. Specifically, knowledge about the vintage. And if there is one area in the world that is vintage specific its Burgundy. Early hail can wipe out a vintage, overbearing summer heat can destroy the fruit, late august rains can finish what otherwise may have been an exemplary vintage. Burgundy, by its geographic location gets all things that nature can conjure up – snow, ice, hail, scorching sun and devastating floods. And its why I find the wines from Burgundy some of the most intoxicating and complex wines in the world.

The next Chateau de Beaucastel?

Way back when, I had recently returned to London from living in France. Toward the end of my stay there I came across an amazing red wine from the Rhone. I hadn’t ventured far out of my home town, in Perpignan, and my comfort zone was mostly wine from Spain or Languedoc. The Rhone was an area I knew little about. But this wine was utterly divine - lots of oaky aromatics, plenty of plush dark fruits, jammy, figgy and quite exotic. Being young at the time I liked the latter flavor the most! I was dismayed that I couldn’t buy it in England, but I remember driving to Calais one weekend and at the local supermarket I saw the unforgettable label and for about £5 per bottle I bought 3 or 4 cases of the 1983 Chateau de Beaucastel Cote du Rhone. It became a legendary vintage and a legendary wine. I mention this because over the subsequent decades I have always hoped to find something equivalent - truly great wine at a great price - the Holy Grail of the wine enthusiast. Sadly, you aren’t going to find much at $5 these days but $15 is probably the equivalent of the £5 I spent back in 1985.

When in Spain...drink only the best

When in Spain...drink only the best

Many, many, years ago I became transfixed with the wines of Spain. Possibly because I lived outside of Perpignan for a while and we would venture into Barcelona for good food and better wine than we got back in Languedoc. But over the years my love affair with Spanish wine stayed strong until Parkerization took place. All of a sudden Spain was the hot commodity. If you didn’t have Spanish wines in your cellar or in your shop you didn’t know wine. Parker started handing out 100+ point scores like there was no tomorrow. Winemakers lapped it all up and began making more and more heavily extracted, Cola meets Barbie style wines. That’s when I moved on…toward Burgundy. Burgundy is its own animal. Not for the feint hearted and not for those who follow the critics scores. Most Burgundians aren’t overly fond of critics – except perhaps Neil Martin.


But what if you could experience the pleasures of Burgundian style wines from Spain? What if there were wine-makers in Spain who didn’t really care about scores, and 100 pointers. Didn’t want to be a Lear Jet owner? What if there were wine-makers who cared more about the actual quality than making a wine for a critic’s taste? Could I be enticed to rethink Spain? Yes.

The Famed wines of Jolie-Laide

In fairness to the French term, Pretty and Ugly allows an artist much lee-way in the pursuit of greatness. Scott Schultz is an artistic wine-maker. He makes less than 500 cases of his own label each year. They are ‘unconventionally beautiful’ wines and they are some of the most sought after wines in California. Up there with the likes of Manfred Krankl and Togni. Fortunately, at least for now, not up there in the stratospheric price realm of his counterparts.

What's in My Glass? April 12

Sometimes it’s fun to just go back to basics. In any given week we get the rarified, sometimes, opportunity to taste really expensive wine. More often than not I am underwhelmed. More often than not the wines come with 1,000,000-point scores. Sometimes it’s just nice to try a bunch of wines, new, or seasoned winners, that meet the criteria of being just good everyday wine at a good price. Over the last few tasting sessions these are some of those wines: 

What's in My Glass? March 19

There has to be a little trust somewhere. And I don’t mean, ‘the check is in the post’; we know that’s bollocks. But in wine, there must be a little trust. But…like any bit of trust, you need to work up to it and deserve it. And maybe, after 12 years of delivering reasonably decent wine to customers at Wine at Five, we have earned a little bit of trust. Certainly more than the Muppet, who is presently trying to earn a little bit of trust from Melania, but let’s hope she doesn’t give it to him.

What's in My Glass? February 12

An interesting week of wine. Like the winter Olympics going on now we had some surprising failures, some that should never have been sent abroad and some absolute gold winners. In no particular order here’s what we liked:
Ailala, Ribeiro Treixadura. A white wine from Galicia, Spain. Windswept, salty, plump around the edges with great florality. This last word will be used a lot from now on. Can’t find it in the dictionary, which is just silly, so I made up my own definition – a wine with florality is one that has aromas of flowers, a palette reminiscent of the scent, is pretty, fresh and vibrant – just like a bouquet of fresh picked flowers.
But with fish, this wine is standout. It spends a few months sitting on its lees and this gives the wine a little roundness – do not mistake this for oak – no oak touches it. The weight adds a dimension that puts this wine beyond Pinot Grigio and Vino Verde. A really lovely, clean, fresh Spring white.
Discounted Price: $20.00 SAVE 20%

The Weekly Wine

The  Weekly Wine

Fattoria San Lorenzo, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2016 $15.00 ($17.00 on the shelf)

This is a great introduction to Verdicchio. The grape is most commonly grown in the Marche region of Italy and whilst there are many inexpensive and plonkish versions of the wine, if you do the homework and find small producers using old clones and limiting production, the wine can be truly delicious. As in the case of Fattoria San Lorenzo. Gino – the father of the present wine maker stared planting verdicchio clones back in ‘40s and his son has tended the vineyards since the early 1990’s. He transferred everything to organic and biodynamic farming and reduced yields to miniscule amounts. Total production across all 7 wines is less than 2,000 cases. This has a lovely bright lemon skin flavor, hints of almond paste on the finish and great acidity. Who needs another Pinot Grigio?

A Glass of Aussie Gold

Sometimes, when I worked on Wall Street, I didn’t want to wake up. And if I had to, I didn’t want to go to work. Wine at Five was opened in March 2006 and I don’t think there has been a morning since that I haven’t wanted to come to work – that’s a monumental difference.

This morning, for instance, I listened to the Muppet in the High House saying that the High House was horrible and he didn’t want to live there any longer (boo-hoo) – and there are a lot of people who would concur, but for a very different reason. I thought to myself, do I want to get up? Do I want to listen to this rubbish? Do I want to go to work where 40% of my wages are going to feed this Muppet in the High House (probably less since I believe he only eats meatloaf)? Then I remembered that my Aussie friend was going to bring us some Aussie wines at 10 and I never looked back! That’s the beauty of doing what I’m doing now. Licensed alcoholic – love it.

So Gordan brought over a bevy of delicious wines and since I haven’t put together a ‘go-box’ for a while I thought I would do so now, based on the delicious wines that we began tasting at 10.00 this morning. And here we go:

Alpha Crucis Fiano 2016. The grape is an ancient Italian varietal from Campania, but grown in McLaren Vale in southern Australia. It has the subtle flavors of white stone fruit, jasmine and slatey stones. A lovely rendition of a Mediterranean wine. This has power and boldness yet remains very light and nimble. Delicate almost! $24

David Franz Sémillon 2012. Wow. The benchmark for sémillon must be Chateau Haut Brion. That wine is on my list of greatest wines ever tasted. But few, if any sémillon wines come close to it. I’m not saying that this wine is a contender, but in its own place it was delicious. Powerful minerality, saltiness, sourness, sweetness. All coming at you from different angles. Mouth is overloaded with flavors. Very special. Very, very good. Don’t be put off by the age; David releases this Grave styled wine after 5 years of rest. It takes time to achieve the complexity of flavors that he wants from the wine and of the 2012 vintage he stated that it will come to fruition 5 years after bottling. How right he was. $29

Paxton Graciano 2016. Dave Paxton is one of Australia’s unsung heroes of the wine world. He’s in his 30th year of wine-making and I guess when you have 30 vintages under your belt you know a thing or two. Who, for instance, would think to graft Graciano vines onto 85 year chardonnay root stock? Graciano is an old varietal from the Rioja region of Spain. The grafting onto chardonnay makes this wine much lighter than its Spanish cousin. Also, livelier, rounder, younger feeling. With a slight chill on the wine this is a hard to beat BBQ wine. $22

Tim Smith Bugalugs Shiraz 2016. If they had been making this wine when Australia decided to chase the Parker scores making massive dark chocolate mousse styled wines, they would never have entered the wine recession that they did for 10+ years. Even though this wine comes in at 14.2% alcohol you don’t feel it. Lovely fruit, lovely cornucopia of baking spices and lovely, juicy mouthfeel. Another red that would welcome a slight chill – just to bring out a touch more acidity. But even without it’s a beautiful wine. $25

Single box – 1 of each (4btls): $100.00
Double box – 2 of each (8btls): $170.00
Triple Play – 3 of each (12btls): $240.00

What a great way to spend a Summer’s afternoon – invite a bunch of friends, sit around, talk about the Muppet and toast the years to come with a bottle or two of Aussie gold. Special.

Since we only tasted the wines this morning wines will be delivered here Friday. Let me know what you want and we’ll have them ready for the weekend.

All the best

A Great Burgundy Tasting, and prices to go with it

This is a long article about a tasting I experienced on June 27 in the city. I began writing it soon after the tasting. I make no apologies for the length or the substance – Burgundy is one of the great luxuries of life. There is really no cheap way around it but there is every reason to spend money on it. I have written this article unbiased by price – thought I do point out wines that are great value. I have reviewed no other critics comments on these wines and I do not even know whether they are rated by any critic.

I have tried to price the wines as reasonably as possible. The ‘front-line’ price has already been discounted but should you wish to mix and match a 12 bottle case I have further discounted the price by 10% - in some cased you are getting a net 20-25% discount. It is impossible to make the wines available to everyone but I want to make them available to more than most.

I do enjoy a glass of wine every night for its health benefits. The other glasses are for my witty comebacks, my flawless dance moves an d my snappy blogging! I can happily say that I am on what must be my fourth glass of wine. It’s called a tasting, and it’s very classy! And since I am tasting Burgundy it takes a serious amount of concentration, which seems a lot less effort after the fourth glass.

Perhaps that is why I find drinking Burgundian wines so enjoyable. As I grew older my metabolism seemed to shift toward lighter, more complex, less bosomy wines. A friend recently discussed the similarities between drinking pinot noirs and chardonnays from the great Burgundian villages, and inspecting rare Persian carpets. It wasn’t a parallel that I immediately understood but in listening to him talk about the intricacies of the weave, the colors, the textures of the different silks, the complexities of the patterns, I began to see a balance between these two rather dichotomous objects. When he started discoursing about the prices, I saw immediate parallels.

Burgundy is not cheap. Rarely in life are great thigs cheap. The White House is cheap, but it will return to greatness. And yet on a sliding scale there are some fabulously affordable Burgundian wines, and if there was ever a reason you should invite a business colleague over for dinner, it’s so you can write off a great bottle of Burgundy as a business expense, as you and your ‘colleagues’ polish it off.

Last week I was invited to a small office tasting of some new Burgundies. It was a very casual affair – maybe 50 bottles. A table of charcuteries and fromages from local delicatessens, nothing over-the-top. I did however spend quite a few hours visiting and revisiting. But only so that I could write this piece with an expert eye, and an expert tongue! Here’s what I drank – all the wines are available and because I want to make this experience available to as many as possible, there are no minimums. All I ask is that in the event that you wish to buy single bottles, allow me a few days to collate orders so that we can meet minimum shipping requirements. All the wines have been priced at the case discount price but should you feel, like I do, that these are wines for which the golf bag can be moved to create space, then I will add a further 10% discount on 12 bottles, mixed or not.

Some pre-amble on vintages, since more so in Burgundy than most other worldly places, the weather patterns in any particular year are very important. According to Allen Meadows, one of the pre-eminent historians and critics on Burgundian wines, “the 2015 vintage in the Cotes de Nuits is the best vintage since 2005. In the Cote de Beaune 2015 is the best since 1999”. That pretty much says it all – try finding any 2005 or 1999 Burgundy now!

Domaine Manciat – 9 hectares of chardonnay concentrated around the village of Charny in the southern Maconnais. All limestone soils, old rootstock, sustainable farming.

 St. Véran 2015 (wh) From two plots of vines which are both mid-slope plantings on sandy limestone soils; the fruit from the two parcels is kept separate. Hand harvested, pressed in whole cluster and naturally fermented in used oak barrels. After aging on their respective lees the two wines are blended in tank before bottling.

Very elegant, balanced and smooth. Fresh, with a little more body than a simple Macon. Great Value.


Patrick Piuze – one of the great names in Chablis. His encyclopedic knowledge of the Chablisienne Terroir has enabled him to create great relationships with the top producers in Chablis. Whilst 90% of Chablis is machine-harvested, Piuze only hand harvests

Chablis ‘Terroirs Coteaux de Fontenay 2016. (wh) From a steep west-facing vineyard behind the Grand Cru hill on the right bank of the Serein. The valley runs north to south and cold winds come from the north. Fermented and aged 50% in used barrels and 50% in stainless.

Great weight, fresh with bright vivacity. Perfect summer quaff.


Chablis ‘Terroir Vallée Sebillon” 2016 (wh) On the left bank of the Serein from the commune of Beines. Fermented and aged 75% in used barrel, 25% in tank.

Very fresh, limestone and minerality, crisp, clean, like fairy dust. Intoxicating.


Baron Thenard – Very traditional vignerons with acreage in Givry and Cote d’Or; 1er Cru in Chassagne, Grand Cru in Corton and 2nd largest owner of Le Montrachet vineyard with 4 acres.

Givry 1er Cru Clos St. Pierre Monopole 2013 (red) Vineyard faces east with very red soil, rich in iron. After fermentation in large open top wooden fermenters, wine is aged in 50% wooden foudres and 50% used oak barrel.

Silky smooth, dense ripe fruit with hints of seriously aged balsamic. Brooding wine with loads of complexity.


Vincent Latour – 6.5 hectares in the heart of Meursault. Some of the oldest chardonnay vines in the area – dating back to 1925. Classic wines with great floral aromatics but vibrantly juicy pit fruit on the palate.

Bourgogne Blanc 2013 (wht) What a treat to find an affordable, great chardonnay. From vines planted in 1951 and 1973, aged 10 months in 50% barrels and 50% demi-muids.

So young and fresh. Lime juice, butterscotch and grape skin. Fabulous round mouthfeel. Terrific price.


Meursault “Cuvée St. Jean” 2014 (wht) From two parcels – Les Vireuils planted in 1998 and Les Crotats planted in 1925!. Fermented and aged in demi-muids on the lees (no stirring) for 12 months.

Incredible richness combined with a lightness of being! Heavenly, sexy, polished. Bright end notes. Could I leave a few bottles alone for another 10 years? Probably not.


Chavy-Martin – located in Puligny Montrachet with just over 20 acres. Restrained greatness classic styled Puligny. Organic farming.

Bourgogne Blanc 2015 (wht) From two parcels, one near Meursault and the other near Puligny Montrachet. Aged for 12 months in barrel and 7 months in tank before bottling.

Terrific value. Young clean white stone fruit, winter melon, bright – brilliant balance. All the best days of summer in a bottle.


Puligny Montrachet 2015 (wht) 30 year old vines. One word – delicious.


Puligny Montrachet ‘Les Charmes” 2015 (wht) Lieu-dit vineyard bordering Meursault 1er Cru Les Charmes.

Two words – more delicious.


Thomas Morey – youngest son of Burgundian nobility Bernard Morey. 10th generation winemaker. New oak usage now less than 20%; only spontaneous fermentation with indigenous years. Organic farming. Alre4ady probably better than his father.

Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Morgeot 2013 (wht) From two parcels Les Brussonnes and Les Fariendes. A heady cocktail of lemon, lime, orange, smack of vanilla -just pure essence. Fabulous.


Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Macherelles 2014. (wht) Low lying vineyard just north of the village of Chassagne-Montrachet where the soils are chalky and begin to take on more iron.

Chalky, dusty, floral and loaded with white fruits. Unctuous and nutty. Not for your mother-in-law. Keep this close, drink alone.


Chandon de Briailles - terrific discovery. Ultra-traditional style, neutral barrel regime only; significant whole cluster fermentation. Wines are light in color and have great energy and complexity due to biodynamic practices.

Perand-Vergelesses Blanc 1cru Ile de Vergelesses 2015 (wht) ETA late July (still qualifies for case discount) Clay and limestone soils. 20 year old vines. Incredibly fragrant, floral, like a chocolate factory making only white chocolate. This is Vergelesses at its most sublime. No wonder it’s a female winemaker.


Perand-Vergelesses Rouge 1cru Ile de Vergelesses 2015 (red) ETA late July (still qualifies for case discount) Average age of 40 year vines. Almost zin like but with a much prettier floral and fruit note. Chewy – a perfect match for an elegant BBQ. Plenty of dark fruit but lightened with a soft touch. Wow.


Corton Les Maréchaudes Grand Cru 2015 (red) ETA late July (still qualifies for case discount) Shallow limestone terroir facing due east. Planted in 1974 and 1979. Only three owners have rights to Maréchaudes.

Dark chocolate covered raisins of the highest quality. My life would be complete every time I drank this wine. Black fruit, bramble, cocoa. Like a Pain Chocolate with a shot of expresso. Life is good.


Domaine Berthaut-Gerbet – mostly in Fixin with a few lots in Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne-Romanée. Winemaker now Amélie Berthaut. A new voice in Fixin that is the antithesis of rustic. Pretty, elegent and fruity with precision.

Fixin Les Clos 2015 (red) Between 60-90 year old vines. Aged 20 months in oak barrels. Deep, ripe, fleshy fruit. Brooding and gamey with silky length. Love Fixin -such great value over a Vosne-Romanée.


Vosne-Romanée 2015 (red) Primary fermentation in cement tank then moved to barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging. Probably the best value VR I have found lately. The wine echos. It’s young and forward but not brash – everything is in place. Perfect glass of Pinot.


Arnoux-Lachaux – 20+ acres in Vosen-Romanée and Nuits St. Georges. Very classic style, precise wines. Exemplifies each terroir perfectly. Almost always 100% whole cluster fermentation

Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Poisets 2014 (red) Soil is marly-limestone, average age of vines is 60 years. Loaded with black currant, blackberry, loganberry. Hugely elegant – black cherry all around the finish.


Vosne-Romanée 2014 (red) A blend of several VR vineyards. Average age 50 years. All separately fermented, final blend 8 months prior to bottling. Spectacular wine. Want in my cellar. Highest score given to a wine during the tasting.


Echezeaux 2014 (red) What the hell. Less than an acre in the middle of Echézeaux. One word – fabulous.



 If you are interested in any of the wines give me a call or reply by e-mail. I will collate as orders come in and advise an ETA by the end of the week. Thanks for reading – all the best












Division One - Goalll!!!

Spring time is always exiting around here.  For the past couple of months, we’ve been tasting and considering new wines for spring and summer, and though the weather hasn’t really followed suit with the calendar, the goodies have started to trickle in.    This week, some of my personal faves from Oregon made their way through the door.   Division Winemaking Company is a Portland based winery founded in 2010 by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe. Inspired by the wineries of Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Northern Rhone where they first learned winemaking and viticulture, the urban winery creates spectacular Oregon and Washington wines. Determined to make approachable and balanced wines though minimal manipulation, Kate and Thomas have a commitment to work with well farmed terroir expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic. Collectively, their wines are very pure and precise; the reds are fruit-driven and vibrant, the whites are compelling and persistent.

We didn’t get a lot to play with so if you’re interested in reserving some, give us a shout.   Or come by on Saturday and we’ll be pouring the three wines we brought in, the Sauvignon Blanc, the Rosé and the Pinot Noir. Take a look:

 Division Villages Sauvignon Blanc ‘La Frontiere’   $25 (18 bottles in stock) Today and Saturday: $23.75/1 bottle: $22.50 any mix of 6 bottles: $21.25 any mix of 12 bottles.

The vineyard source for this wine is run by Myron Redford and Vikki Wetle, true pioneers in the Oregon wine scene.  This is the first time the folks at Divison get to work with these grapes, and the wine shows the clear Sauvignon Blanc characteristics, led by grapefruit, yellow mango and flinty aromatics. They (thankfully) stayed away from the dreaded “cat pee” notes, as well as the Dole tropical fruit cup tendencies that seem to dominate the domestic Sauvignon Blanc scene. The palate is full and vibrant, with secondary notes of wildflower honey. So good!  

Division Villages Gamay Rose ‘L’Avoiron’   $23 (36 bottles in stock)    Today and Saturday: $21.75/1 bottle:$20.75 any mix of 6 bottles: $19.50 any mix of 12 bottles.

2016”l’Avoiron” Rosé of Gamay Noir is a crisp, vibrant and mineral intense rosé wine with a perfect peachy pink hue, and harkens more of white wine in body and texture. We are reminded of Beaujolais rosés with the aromatics that include strawberry, peach, and chalky lime. The palate is bright and mineral rich with a distinct berry intensity. We are sure this rosé will be the perfect accompaniment to spring, summer, and just about any fun gathering that calls for wine

Division Villages Pinot Noir ‘Methode Carbonique’   $30 (24 bottles in stock) Today and Saturday: $28.50/1 bottle: $27.00 any mix of 6 bottles: $25.50 any mix of 12 bottles.

The initial idea for Division’s “Méthode Carbonique” Pinot Noir was never to an be overly complex wine, but rather more of a fun and quaffy wine in style. The 2016 vintage has changed their thoughts and while the wine is classically carbonic in nature (clean and bright), there is much more going on than in past vintages. The wine is aromatically dense with concentrated strawberries, well harmonized cloves, anise and fresh quince. The palate is singing with strawberry compote and a hint of smokiness. All in all a perfect summer red, with plenty of intrigue for discussion, or simply as a lovely accompaniment for just about anything. 

Today and Saturday we will offer the wines as indicated – 5% off bottle one; 10% off a mix of 6 and 15% off a mix of 12.

These may just be the best summer wines you wish you had bought.

See you today, and if not, see you tomorrow.