Blog Archive

Friday, July 19, 2013

Michelle's Last Picks:

La RiojaDear Fellow Wine Lovers,

Over the past three years, I've had the pleasure of getting to know many of you.  I've discovered what your palates crave and hopefully helped you find wines that you'll never forget.  Many of you have also introduced me to new and exciting wines.
Camino De Santiago
Wine Fountain on the Camino
I am embarking on a new chapter in my life, and will be leaving Bacchus & Venus (sadly).  This Fall, I'll be heading to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 450 mile pilgrimage that goes through the La Rioja wine region. After I finish, I plan to eat and drink my way around Spain and Portugal.  
Rather than leaving you sad and your palates dry, I wanted to leave you with one last recommendation.  The nine wines listed below are my current favorites. Mix and match any six (or more) and receive a 10% discount.
Clos Pepe Estate
Renteria Pinot
Farmers Jane
Clos Pepe Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2010
$65 a bottle
93 points by Wine Advocate
Juicy dark berries, flowers and spices bursts from the glass as the 2010 shows off its personality. This is a rich, full-bodied, flashy Pinot with all of its elements in the right place. A polished, beautifully articulated finish rounds things out in style.  Pair with a whole roasted chicken and a side of mushroom risotto.
Renteria Russian River Pinot Noir 2008 
$44 a bottle 
A more Burgundian style Pinot Noir characterized by a soft, velvety, and lush mouthfeel.  Full of red raspberries, mushroom and toasted nuts, this Pinot is drinking beautifully right now and will continue to develop over the next 5 years.  Try this one with a mushroom and truffle pizza and I promise you'll be calling us for more! 
Farmers Jane Santa Barbara Grenache 2010
$34 a bottle
Filled with brambly, baking spice richness on the nose. The finish is beguiling, with a welcome snap of fresh acidity which creates a nice refreshing taste, especially when slightly chilled.  Throw the bottle in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you're preparing your cheese plate and serve outdoors.
Stepping Stone Cabernet Franc
Truett Hurst
Fisticuffs Napa Cabernet 2010
$35 a bottle 
The Fisticuffs can go a full 12 rounds with the other Napa Cabernets in your cellar. It's full-bodied with a lingering finish of black cherry. This great value, crowd-pleaser is not too dry, not too tannic and strikes the perfect balance between fruit and acidity.  This wine will pair deliciously with a steak fresh off the grill. 

Stepping Stone Napa Cabernet Franc 2009 
$36 a bottle 
Filled with aromatics of red berries, sweet basil and tobacco leaf that are both alluring and complex. On the palate, this wine has a velvety texture from fine-grained tannins and well-balanced acidity.  Because Cabernet Franc is inherently herbal, leafy, and a little green, preparing dishes with herbal marinades and cooking with herbs are good bets.
Truett Hurst Dry Creek Zinfandel 2011
$34 a bottle 
A classic old vine Zinfandel kissed with fresh black pepper and rich, robust flavors of crushed red raspberries and blackberries.  A finish of white pepper and jammy fruit make it a perfect match for any grilled foods smothered in BBQ sauce. 
And then some of my favorite "Big Boy" Cabernets:  
Vineyard 7&8
Pride Cabernet
Vineyard Seven & Eight Spring Mtn Cabernet 2010
$85 a bottle 
92 points by Robert Parker
Luc Morlet did it again! A Cabernet with a complex bouquet of red cherry, cocoa, and framboise, intermixed with hints of tobacco, cocoa and graphite. A beautiful mid-palate rounds out a fleshy and concentrated wine, followed by youthful, fine-grained silky tannins. This fantastic wine is already approachable now and will age beautifully over the next decade and more.
Pride Napa/Sonoma Cabernet 2010  
$72 a bottle 
93+ points by Robert Parker
A classic nose of black currant, cassis, licorice and tobacco.  These flavors also saturate the palate, with cocoa emerging on the minute-long finish. The Pride Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with 5% Merlot to broaden the mid-palate, and 10% Petit Verdot to add brightness and focus to the finish.

Relic"Artefact" Napa Cabernet 2009 
$90 a bottle 
93 points by Wine Spectator
Sourced from two select vineyards in Calistoga, this wine is 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Cabernet Franc.  This is the first vintage that Artefact contains Cabernet Franc, which adds some elegance and finesse to the wine.  The nose and palate deliver heaps of black cherry, vanilla, and cinnamon, yet the finish is soft and lengthy.  
Order six or more of my favorites and receive a 10% discount

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