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Steve's Blog

Cheryl Hunt
May 13, 2024 | Cheryl Hunt

Our Wine List Based on Geography

We our proud of our robust wine list, and as it stands right now, we feature 20 different geographical locations with an assortment of wine styles and methods. Of course, our menu changes monthly with the addition of at least eight new wines, and it often gets updated weekly as we add on specialty wines (of which Steve will pour two in his blind tasting on Friday, May 17) or we say goodbye to wines we can no longer get (Sangue di Guida, we are still pining for you; it should come back in any day, as we have been told).

But if you have ever wondered exactly where our wine list stands, here is an up-to-date pie chart. If you do the math, yes, all these percentages add up to 103%--just know some of our locations only showcase one wine, like the delicious Serbian Pet Nat we have on our sparkling section right now or the yummy Saperavi from Georgia that was on the club a couple of months ago. Technically these account for less than 1% each, but the pie chart is the pie chart, and this is how it turned out!

If you have any questions or requests, let Cheryl or Steve know! 

Time Posted: May 13, 2024 at 5:20 AM Permalink to Our Wine List Based on Geography Permalink
Cheryl Hunt
May 2, 2024 | Cheryl Hunt

May 2024 Wine Club Wines

Bonny Doon ‘Le Cigare’ Orange – Central Coast, CA (Gold)

One of the original Rhône Rangers, Randall Grahm is a fascinating winemaker. Early on, he sought to propagate Burgundy varieties in the tiny hamlet of Boony Doon, CA, but to no avail; later, re realized that Rhône grapes would work much better, and he set out to create his own version of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Grahm is also a bit obsessed with aliens and spaceships (the cursor on the Bonny Doon website *is* an alien face!), and the label on ‘Le Cigare’ Orange depicts a spacecraft over a vineyard. Ask your server about the story because the other plot point to mention is that this is an orange wine! A similar process to making rosés, orange wines come from extended skin contact with white wine grapes. That contact results in a bit of tannin and structure, something usually absent in white wines. This orange, a blend of Grenache Blanc, Pinot Gris, Grenache Gris, Orange Muscat, and Chenin Blanc, is a perfect spring porch pounder. Aromas of tangerine blossom envelop the wine, evolving into peach, apricot, and other citrus notes. It pairs well with the Feta Cheese Appetizer from Yummy’s.

Lange ‘Classique’ Chardonnay – Willamette Valley, OR (Platinum)

Don and Wendy Lange left Santa Barbera and moved to Willamette Valley in 1987 after trying fantastic Oregon wines from both Dick Erath and Eyrie Vineyards; they were convinced that Oregon could be a top-notch producer (and it certainly is!). Similar to Randall Grahm, the Langes wanted to replicate Burgundy, specifically the Côte d’Or, in their Dundee Hills vineyards, and they actually have had great success. Their mission is about “focused wines that express nuanced fruit, structure, balance, and texture.” This ‘Classique’ Chardonnay is a beautiful expression of the grape, flaunting its yellow fruit and its steely nature. Aromas show lemon zest and apple, while the palate opens with Anjou pear and creamy melon, finishing with a flinty minerality. There is a subtle touch of oak on this wine from time spent in neutral French barrels. A fun, hedonistic pairing would be the elevated Elote dish from 940 Kitchen and Cocktails, their rendition of Mexican street corn.

Leda Truffle Hunter’ Barbera d’Asti – Piedmont, IT (Gold)

Wines that feature animals on their labels have become somewhat synonymous with mass produced brands, but not this one! Leda is so named after a family pet, a Lagotto Romagnolo, which is a canine species that hails from Romagna in Italy. Winemaker Luca Bosio grew up with Leda, a faithful companion to the family for 15 years and a champion truffle hunter. Her commemoration on this Barbera makes sense because it highlights everything that the Italian grape does well, with its easy-drinking nature and its fruity core. Mulberry, cherry, and raspberry emerge first when tasted, giving way to a hint of chocolate and spice. This wine would pair brilliantly with so many tomato-based dishes, but it would be exciting to pair it with something creamy as well, like the Loaded Crispy Potatoes from Picone.

Piñol ‘Ludovicus’ Garnacha – Terra Alta, SP (Platinum)

Terra Alta, in the larger Catalunya region of Spain, is southwest of Priorat, one of Spain’s two prestigious Denominacións de Origen Calificada (DOCa) and is about 45 miles west of Barcelona. Although Terra Alta was established as a DO in 1985, the ancient Romans most likely introduced viticulture to the area, planting vines along what would later be called the Roman Road, which meandered from the north of Spain all the way to the southwest. Thus, the name ‘Ludovicus’ was given to this wine, to honor the Roman impact on Terra Alta. ‘Ludovicus’ was also the name of several Holy Roman Emperors, and in the medieval times, the Knights Templar cultivated grapes there. While this wine may not be holy, it is both fun and powerful. This wine appeals with aromas of raspberry and cherry and some candied rose. The fruits are balanced by some pepper, spice, and a mineral finish. Garnacha, the primary red grape of both Priorat and Terra Alta, is celebrated in this glass, and a dish of Pulled Pork Nachos from Rooster’s Roadhouse will certainly be a nice accompaniment.

Woop Woop Shiraz – South Australia (Gold)

Woop Woop was established by two viticultural virtuosos, Ben Riggs and Tony Parkinson, who founded some of the most esteemed, high-end McLaren Vale wineries. Their objective with the Woop Woop line is to create top-quality wines with rigorous standards, low yields, and minimal intervention at prices that don’t break the bank. The term ‘woop woop’ is slang for “way out there,” and this offering is a celebration of how Australia took Shiraz to the next level. The style of this wine is primed for all-year-round consumption, made with just a small amount of oak aging. The outcome is a juicy concoction with lots of blackberry, cassis, and blueberry with additional notes of licorice and smoky undertones. You don’t have to go too far out to get an incredible BLT, a lovely partner for this wine; head to the Dive Bar and Restaurant, grab an order to go, and delight in the Woop Woop Shiraz!

Come and Drink It Red Blend – Texas (Gold)

This wine is so Texas, so big and bold, that there is a general attitude of refusing to be conventional (i.e., there is such minimal information on this brand or wine, we are just going to take it at face value)! The nod to the instantly recognizable “Come and Take It” slogan and cannon from the Battle of Gonzales lets you know that this is not a cerebral, frou-frou beverage. The winemaker characterizes this Red Blend as a wine that is ready to drink now with “lush fruits, balanced acidity, and a hint of oak.” Flavor profiles include black cherry, blackcurrant, vanilla, mocha, and baking spice. A proprietary blend, this is a wine that “drinks easy” and is best enjoyed “sitting around the fire with friends and enjoying some tunes.” So stop overanalyzing this uncomplicated wine, and pair it with ooey, gooey S’mores as you sit back in your camp chair and take in the vastness of the beautiful Texas sky.

Waterkloof  ‘Circle of Life’ Red Blend – Stellenbosch, SA (Platinum)

In their own convoluted words, the ‘Circle of Life’ line “is an all-embracing description by taste of the estate’s defining sense of origin and nature’s ongoing cycle found in its amphitheatre of biodynamic vineyards.” Waterkloof stocks their vineyards with chickens, sheep, and workhorses to better practice sustainable farming, and instead of using chemicals, their soils are kept healthy through the use of plant extracts, fungi, and bacteria. The blends of ‘Circle of Life’ change from year to year, showcasing the varieties that performed the best in the various slopes and soils of the vineyard. This particular vintage consists of 39% Merlot, 31% Shiraz, and 30% Petit Verdot. Each grape contributes something unique to the overall product: juiciness from the Merlot, spiciness from the Shiraz, and fresh fruit from the Petit Verdot. Sour cherries and plum emerge first, followed by herbal notes and graphite, rounded out by a spicy finish. Meat-based dishes will pair nicely, but you should try this wine with the French Onion Soup at a newly opened French-American bistro, L’Amitié, open through lunch service.

Château Auguste Bordeaux Blend – Bordeaux, FR (Platinum)

Château Auguste is a 74-acre Bordeaux Superieur estate located on the Right Bank within the Entre-Deux-Mers appellation. The region is known for sandy and gravelly soils along with limestone, making it incredibly fertile for early-ripening varieties like Merlot. Almost 2000 years ago, Romans planted grapes in Bordeaux, and monks further developed the area during the Middle Ages. And one more historic note—you can see a glimpse of Napoleon on the label holding a glass of wine. Napoleon III instituted the Bordeaux Classification of 1855, a ranking system that designated Premier Cru vineyards and created extra-stringent guidelines. While not from a Premier Cru, this wine is pleasurable and quaffable; the estate practices organic farming it has been recorded that winemaker Damien Landouar plays music to the vines twice a day! Composed of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc, it sings with blackberry, blueberry, dark plum, blackcurrant, anise, and some cedar. Savor a glass with a Brisket Burger with Cheese from the Munchie’s Food Truck.

Time Posted: May 2, 2024 at 5:31 AM Permalink to May 2024 Wine Club Wines Permalink