Good day, Feastlings,
70 degrees or not, for Tucsonans, it’s wintertime. And winter means red wine. Shelve your whites for now and uncork something deep, dark and red. Not sure what that should be? You may want to consider joining us on Sunday, December 28th at 3:30 for our Last Sunday of the Month tastings. Mike Galkin joins us with a big bag of big wines, plus the stories behind them. We, of course, will cook petit(e) but hearty fare to go with the wines, and a good time will be had by all. It’s $35 plus tax and tip to join us, and you’ll be offered a discount on the wines. The way to sign up is the old-fashioned way: give us a call at 326-9363, since web and email reservations will not get you a seat at the tasting. We hope you can join us.
Deep, dark reds
2011 Clos Troteligotte “K-or” Malbec, Cahors, France $21.00
Since 1987, Clos Troteligotte has been run by father, Christian Rybinski, and son, Emmanuel. The vines are planted on clay-limestone soils, part of the best terroirs of the appellation of Cahors. In 2005, the operation was classified under rational agriculture and in January 2014, Clos Troteligotte became certified organic. 100% Malbec.
K-or boasts dark, dense, very firm tannins while still showing black plum and berry fruits. It has concentration and a solid structure that promises aging over at least 5–6 years. – 92 Points, “Editor’s Choice”, Wine Enthusiast.
2011 Perelada 3 Fincas del Mediterráneo, Emporda, Spain $14.00
To make this wine, Castillo Perelada uses grapes from 3 of its Empordà vineyards, each of them with their own geological conditions: Pont de Molins, La Garriga and Espolla. The soil heterogeneity in this region is unique and allows to make wines with an extremely wide range of nuances. Varietals: Garnatxa (42%), Syrah (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (20%), Merlot (8%). Eight months in used oak barrels.
Tasting note: Intense cherry red color. In the nose there’s a predominance of red fruits and spices, nicely blended with the ageing notes. In the mouth it is round, fresh, with fine tannins. This is a long and enveloping wine, with a fruity after taste.
2013 Trig Point “Diamond Dust Vineyard” Merlot, Alexander Valley $20.00
A “trig” has been used for many years to establish boundary lines. Trigonometrical stations were set on the top of hills and used as surveying sites. Just as my father was a land surveyor and used these trigs as a reference, so do I when it comes to well known vineyard sites. – Nick Goldschmidt, Winemaker. The Diamond Dust Vineyard lies just south of the town of Geyserville in the renowned Alexander Valley wine region. Its old, low vigor vines consistently produce Merlot with more power and depth than typically found in the appellation. The Diamond Dust Vineyard is perfect for Merlot. Situated in the southern and cooler end of the Alexander Valley and coupled with a slightly more vigorous soil means that the fruit can be taken to full flavor and perfect sugar without dehydration. Given the vineyard is over 30 years old, the canopy-to-crop ratio tends to be in perfect balance, cropping at around 3.5-4.2t/acre. the wine spends 12 months in barrel, 20% new tight-grain French, and 5% new American.
Deep, ripe black cherry fruit in the nose with juicy raspberry and blackberry flavors. The mid-palate is full and round with soft tannins and good structure. The moderate use of oak adds spice and a smoky note in the finish.
2012 Betz Family Winery “Cuvée Frangin,” Santa Ynez Valley $42.00
Barrels that don’t make it into our flagship wines have been blended to make Cuvée Frangin; barrels that don’t meet our new rigorous criteria are sold off as usual. With the rich texture of the 2012 vintage there was an easy affinity of the varieties; Cuvée Frangin melds the layered complexity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot with the supple mouthfeel of Syrah. These individual varieties have long been separate parts of our collection; with Cuvée Frangin they weave together to provide a compelling richness and balance. Barrels were specifically selected to complement the varied character of each other, as well as integrate to create an earlier maturing, easily accessible red wine. Cuvee Frangin starts with an appealing deep, dark red core and lively ruby-colored edge, reflecting its youth and vitality. Smoky dark plums and candied black raspberry dominate the nose, hinting at its Rhonish roots, but then the gravel, dried thyme and soft leather kick in, the Bordeaux influence. They play well with each other, creating a layered, complex aromatic impression. Cabernet takes over on the palate, delivering a vibrant, polished mouthful that demands attention. This structure is softened by plentiful ripe black cherry and plums, with a hint of toffee and leather, making the mouthfeel supple and plump.
2010 Ballentine “Fig Tree Vineyard” Petite Sirah, Napa Valley $25.00
Planted on our Fig Tree Vineyard located at the northeast edge of the St. Helena appellation, the Petite Sirah grapes are located at the eastern most edge, and are dutifully guarded by two staunch old fig trees. 100% Petite Sirah. This Petite Sirah balances the jammy blueberry and boysenberry fruit classic of the variety, with the floral elements and accented by a very mild caramel macchiato. The palate of the wine is immense. The palate of the wine is immense. Flavors of cherry and boysenberry throughout with mild vanilla undertones.
2011/2012 Sans Liege “the Prophetess,” Santa Barbara County $53.00
70% Syrah and 30% Mourvedre. 30% 2011 and 70% 2012. Vineyard Notes: Bien Nacido, Santa Maria Valley Block ZB (Estrella Clone Syrah) and (470 Clone) Block 49; Laetitia, Arroyo Grande, Les Galets Block (Clones 174 and 470) Syrah; White Hawk, Los Alamos, (Clone 877) Syrah; Alta Mesa, Santa Barbara Highlands (Clone 4 and Clone 369) Mourvedre; Alta Colina, Paso Robles (Clone 369) Mourvedre. Aged for 34 months (2011 Vintage) and 22 months (2012 Vintage) in French Oak, 30% new barriques and 70% neutral barriques Stainless steel fermented 12-16 months in barrel (80% French Oak Bbls, 30% New Oak Bbls). 13 barrels made. It Blackberry cola, preserved plums, candied bacon, black chocolates and tiny bottles of anise liqueur.