Red 1 – 2018 St. Amant Winery, The Bootleg Society Speakeasy Red, Lodi
This is the 8th vintage of St. Amant’s Speakeasy Red. It’s created each year for their wine club members and we are fortunate to be able to share it with you for the holidays. A robust blend, this full-bodied mouthwatering red is primarily Zinfandel, a little Cabernet, Petite Sirah and a “secret ingredient.” As you know, it couldn’t rightfully bear the “Speakeasy” name without a secret ingredient.
Needless to say, we think it makes a pretty good wine – dry and ripe with mouthwatering acidity. The 14.7% alcohol - typical of Lodi wines - wafts off to reveal aromas of dried cranberry, stewed black fruits and hints of cedar and spice.
Food pairings: Beef or lamb stews, shepherds pie and burgers
Red 2 – 2017 Blue Pyrenees Estate Red Blend, Western Victoria, Australia
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec
Blue Pyrenees Estate was established in 1963 by French company Remy Martin, who recognized the potential in the region’s superb cool climate.
Studded with 93-point praise from Wine Enthusiast—which deemed it “very sophisticated”—the 2017 Blue Pyrenees Red Blend is Western Australia in a glass: bold, impenetrable ruby in hue, this wine is a gorgeously complex and layered blend, teeming with cassis, violets, earthy forest floor notes and a velvety finish.
Food pairings: A magic match to lamb or a medium rare steak
White 1 – 2019 Preisinger Reinberger Roter Veltliner, Wagram, Austria
100% Roter Veltliner
Preisinger-Reinberger is a family-owned and operated winery in the heart of the Wagram wine region, northwest of Vienna. They make the most well-known Austrian varietal Gruner Veltliner, but prefer to focus on typical Wagram varieties like Roter Veltliner, a white grape with reddish skin. The unique loess soil produces fruity and spicy wines.
Aromas of tart green apple, white flowers, lemon peel and ripe apricot. This elegant wine surprises the palate with its complexity and richness of finesse. Mouthwatering, this medium bodied white lingers on the palate with a hint of honey and a welcome minerality. A beguiling seducer.
Food Pairing: Green leafy veggies, stuffed cabbage, and dishes seasoned with fresh herbs, including dill, mint, parsley, and tarragon
White 2 – 2019 Carol Shelton Coquille Blanc, Paso Robles
40% Grenache Blanc, 25% Roussanne, 25% Viognier, 10% Marsanne
Carol Shelton is well known for Zinfandel, a varietal she has explored in the various terriors of Sonoma County. Carol has won Winemaker of the Year five times, has countless Gold medals and was named one of eight Pioneer Women Winemakers of Sonoma County. In 2008 she created her first Coquille Blanc, a white Rhone-style blend with an exotic complexity and food friendliness.
This is a “red-drinker’s white,” a complex alternative to the more one-dimensional white varietal wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc. Fermented and aged in French oak it has an exotic nose of spicy pears and white peaches, almond paste/marzipan, a touch of honeysuckle perfume. In the mouth it is crisply dry yet creamy and round and full-bodied, with nice almond paste on crisp-yet-juicy pear fruit.
Food Pairing: Seared scallops, chicken or pork dishes with buttery-creamy sauces
Red 1 – 2017 Avignonesi Grifi, Tuscany, Italy
Organically Grown, Vegan
50% Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon
This ‘Super Tuscan’ blend of organically grown Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the estate of Avignonesi, owned by the Belgian Virginie Saverys. Under her leadership it has become the largest ‘regenerative’ wine estate in Italy. A new buzz word, regenerative farming builds on organics with the emphasis of improving soil health, animal welfare, and social justice.
The grapes were fermented separately in stainless steel with native yeasts. Aged 18 months in French & Slovenian oak before blending and bottling. On the nose, the wine reveals notes of blueberries, blackberries, incense, medicinal herbs and sandalwood. With hints of blackberry jam and cinnamon, on the palate it develops like a balsamic explosion supported by a strong acidity. The lively tannin on the whole palate accompanies the savory and persistent finish. 94 PTS – JAMES SUCKLING
Food pairing: Beef dishes with tomato based sauces, roasts and lamb chops
Red 2 – 2019 Lion’s Ridge ‘Allura’ Reserve Red Blend, Santa Clara Valley
60% Merlot, 25% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot
The Lion’s Ridge Red Wine is a true homage to the traditional blends that are crafted in the Bordeaux region of France. Aged 14 months in 30% New French Oak, 70% Neutral French and American Oak. Aromas of black cherry, chocolate, slate and mushrooms lead to flavors of blackberries, baking spice and vanilla.
Food pairing: Grilled lamb with goat cheese, mushroom soufflé
White – 2019 Domaine Joseph Scharsch ‘Noé’ Pinot Gris – Riesling, Alsace, France
55% Pinot Gris, 45% Riesling
The Noé vineyards located in Diewert in the town of Avolsheim was until, now a place to produce mellow Pinot Gris. Now, Riesling is planted as a field blend and fermented together in the same tank with native yeasts and no sulfites added. Aged on it’s lees for 6 months, this wine is not filtered.
This wine has floral and lemony aromas with pronounced acidity and nutty notes. The textural flavors persist in the mouth making this wine a perfect partner for dining.
Food pairing: Fish, white meats and many cheeses
Pinot 1 – 2019 Birichino Pinot Noir, Lilo Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains
Lilo occupies a steep and meteorologically precarious, south-facing slope above the town of Aptos, roughly three miles from the Pacific. On a clear midday, the view out to Monterey Bay and Pacific Grove is spectacular. South-facing vineyards are usually so situated as to act as a heat trap, maximizing midday and afternoon sunlight to aid in ripening such as one sees on the great vineyards of Germany's Mosel. Our two-word signifier for Lilo when describing it is "Pretty & Perfumed". One should not infer from "Pretty & Perfumed" however that Lilo is ever overtly fruity. It is not. Rather, the perfume recalls woodsy incense and mountain herbs.
Food pairing: Stuffed mushrooms, duck or lamb dishes, gouda or gorgonzola cheese
Pinot 2 – 2016 St. Antony Weingut Pinot Noir, Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany
100% Spätburgunder (the German word for Pinot Noir)
St. Antony is a wine estate in the Rheinhessen wine-growing region in Germany, that has been making wine since the end of the First World War. The small-scale craft winery is located in Nierstein on the Rhine and owns around 64 acres of vineyards in red slate soil. The Rheinhessen area of Germany is famous for it’s Riesling, but producers are beginning to realize the value of Pinot Noir as climate change is making average temperatures increase each season.
This cool climate Pinot has aromas of tart cherries and mocha that progress into delightful flavors of ripe cherries and candied plums with a hint of bacon and mineral notes.
Food pairing: Grilled meats, grilled tuna, charcuterie plates, Indian or Mexican dishes
Red 1 – 2018 Podere 29 ‘Unio’ Nero di Troia - Primitivo, Puglia IGP, Italy
60% Nero di Troia, 40% Primitivo
Grown near the sea in the geographical district called Daunia or Agro di Cerignola. This wine has aromas of dark berries, blueberry and ripe figs. Notes of Mediterranean scrub, clove and black pepper. Well balanced and unique, this Apulian red does not lean on softness, but is well structured on the palate. The long finish is filled with spices and ripe fruit.
Food Pairing: Meat dishes, matured cheeses and cured Serrano ham or Proscuitto
Red 2 – 2018 Cascina Alberta Langhe Nebbiolo, PIedmonte, Italy
Wine obtained from young Barbaresco Nebbiolo vineyards and harvested by hand in small hampers during October. The grapes, once in the cellar, are delicately pressed; the fermentation starts with the use of indigenous yeasts and takes place in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures. Aged in large Slavonian oak barrels, where the malolactic fermentation happens.
Classic Nebbiolo aromas of violets and roses with notes of sour cherry, currant, wild strawberry and raspberry. Earthy aromas of moss, hay, leaves and dried branches. The taste is young but intense with sweet and fine tannins and it has a good persistence.
Food Pairing: Best with main courses of meat, sausages and hard cheeses and truffles
White – 2020 StraBIOrdante Vermentino, Sicily, Italy
From an idyllic Mediterranean island comes 2020 StraBIOrdante Organic Vermentino, an aromatic white wine with pleasantly persistent tasting notes. Made from organically-grown grapes, this wine is the product of the environmentally friendly approach more and more Sicilian winemakers are taking. This Vermentino shines with aromas of ripe white fruits, the bouquet offers hints of bright citrus. The palate offers a fine, well-structured body with an enjoyable finish. Best served chilled, StraBIOrdante Organic Vermentino is fabulous sipped on its own.
Food pairing: Grilled squid, oysters, roast pork loin, steamed artichokes, and arugula salads
Bubbles 1 – Cave de Cleebourg Cremant d’ Alsace Clérotstein Rosé, Alsace, France
100% Pinot Noir
Situated in the heart of the Northern Vosges Natural Park, 60 km north of Strasbourg, the Cléebourg vineyard is the northernmost vineyard on the Alsace Wine Route. The Cleebourg vineyard benefits from 10 exceptional "Lieux-dits" terroirs with high potential. Terroirs that are still secret and produce unexpected wines
Salmon pink color with fine bubbles. These sparkler has a feminine nose, with notes of strawberries and blackberries. With its velvety attack, this crémant will seduce you with its aromatic power and harmony. A great wine to pop open at a holiday celebration. Versatile as an aperitif or a dessert
Bubbles 2 – Faniel et Fils ‘Perlane’ But Rosé Champagne, France
Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir
Mathieu Faniel is the third generation to work at the Champagne house, he joined in 2008 and has helped expand the name and reach of his Champagnes across the world, Champagne Faniel & Fils all began after World War II when Mathieu’s grandfather André Faniel founded the company.
The aroma reveals a large character of red fruits and confectionery. Aromas of strawberry with a hint of nutty, flaky pastry. Flavors of fresh red fruits continue of the palate. Perlane, with its prefix reminiscent of the “pearl”, carries the elegance and liveliness of a cultured pearl with intense pink reflections. Pair it with a glass at your next celebration
Bubbles 3 – Subject to Change Wine Co. ‘Tasty Waves’ Piquette Pét Nat, Mendocino County
Tasty Waves Piquette by Subject to Change is a small production fizz bomb made by rehydrating the grape pomace (the remaining skins and stems) after it’s pressed to re-extract sugar and flavor. Using 15 different grapes, each fermentation was pressed off and then blended all into one stainless tank. Adding back unfermented Merlot rosé under the crown cap restarted the fermentation process in the bottle. The result is a refreshing, light-bodied, low alcohol spritz.
NOTE FROM WINEMAKERS: This wine is ALIVE, and active. Please make sure the bottle is very cold, and open very, very carefully over a sink at a 45° angle - have a glass ready as it’s very active when opened
NP SOMM CLUB
Red 1 – 2019 A Tribute to Grace Via Caprice Vineyard Grenache, Santa Ynez Valley
The Vie Caprice vineyard is situated in the eastern part of the Santa Ynez Valley, just off Refugio Road. Planted in 2007 entirely to Alban clone Grenache. This is the new release from Angela Osbourne, winemaker and owner of Tribute to Grace. The grapes are fermented on naïve yeast and foot tread for 19 days, pressed on day 20, 20% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in French barriques (16% new). Only 131 cases were made.
Food pairing: Roasted chicken, pesto sauces, eggplant & tomato based dishes
Red 2 – 2017 Leitmotif Slide Hill Vineyard Syrah, Edna Valley
Leitmotif is an intriguing boutique winery in Santa Barbara County. Stephen Searle's passion project aims to make thought provoking wines from cool climate coastal vineyards. The rolling hills of Slide Hill are situated 7 miles from the Pacific Ocean where cool temperatures ensure a long growing season. This cool weather Syrah has distinctive notes of black peppercorn, crushed gravel and dark fruit. Refined and elegant on the first sip. Spice, black fruit, lively acidity. Gorgeous finish.
Food pairing: Roast beef with horseradish, bacon wrapped grilled scallops, bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese
White – 2020 Holus Bolus Blanc, Santa Maria Valley
Sourced from the Bien Nacido Vineyard's Roussanne block that Qupé planted in 1997 from Château de Beaucastel cuttings, the 2017 Holus Bolus Roussanne is a benchmark white for Santa Barbara County. The nose is floral and waxy, with aromas of nectarine, white flowers and dried chamomile. The palate is clean and fresh, with notes of Meyer lemons, apricots and green tea. The texture is svelte and focused, this is a modern classic with a long life ahead of it.
Food pairing: Pate, lobster, crab and cream sauces