Join us for a fun evening tasting four fantastic wines with owner and wine maker Sean Minor. Along with Sean, his wife Nicole will be joining us from her kitchen while she cooks up something fun to taste along with our wines. We have chosen 4 to taste from their collection of wines from the North Coast of California.
Sean Minor Sauv Blanc 4B Series - Vibrant and juicy, our Sauvignon Blanc has light, refreshing flavors of kiwi, green apple, pink grapefruit and peach. An Ideal aperitif or summer sipper.
Sean Minor Pinot Noir Signature Series - Just like a little black dress, Pinot Noir is a classic choice for any occasion and goes with almost everything. Alluring aromas of wild plums and cloves mingle with flavors of vivid red cherries, spices, earthy notes and vanilla.
Sean Minor Nicole Marie Red Blend - Graceful flavors of warm blueberry pie and dark cherry compote mingle with hints of vanilla and cassis. Silky smooth tannins round out this refined, balanced wine. 51% Merlot - 25% Zinfandel - 24% Petite Sirah
Sean Minor Cabernet Signature Series - Sophisticated and refined, Cabernet is always a dinner party favorite. Indulge in a rich bouquet of ripe raspberries, blackberry pie, oak and savory spices. Delicate, soft tannins provide structure and linger elegantly.
Tasting of all 4 wines - Take home a tasting of each of these great wines in our 2 ounce to-go cups.
To join the Zoom call with Sean and Nicole, simply purchase two or more of these tasty wines and/or pick up two or more tastings to-go. We are pre-selling the wine this week (March 6) for pick up on Friday March 12 or Saturday March 13. After you have placed your order, you will receive an invitation to join the Virtual Tasting via email.
If you are interested in putting together the special dish Nicole will be making during the tasting, simply click on the recipe link and prepare to enjoy some tasty treats with your wine. Recipe for Sausage Crostini with Rosemary
Not long after we met, we quickly bonded over our love of wine. That was 31 years ago, and not much has changed. We like to enjoy wine in our everyday lives - with dinner, catching up with friends and family, and celebrating life’s most special events. In fact, we believe there are few moments in life that aren’t paired perfectly with a great bottle of wine.
After we married and Sean had spent a number of years in the wine industry, we noticed that there was a gap in the market. We were yearning for wines that were easy to enjoy, highlighted the amazing fruit of California, and didn’t break the bank—so we made them.
Initially, our brand was called Four Bears and we love sharing the story behind the name. We have four children - three sons and a daughter. Early on, we would convene at the kitchen table to taste various lots of wine, play around with potential blends and talk about what we liked and didn’t like. At one point, our 4-year-old likened this practice to the idea that we were like Goldilocks searching for just the right bottle.
We began by producing wines from premier appellations throughout California, sourced from vineyard sites strategically located near the cool, marine influences of the sun-filled California coast. With the help of a family friend and colleague, Will Bucklin, our initial production featured a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast Chardonnay, and Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc.
Fast forward to today - our children have grown up, our business has evolved and our name has changed (we now go by Sean Minor Wines) but our dedication to producing quality wines at an approachable price has remained. Since we don’t own vineyards, we work diligently with sustainable, experienced farms throughout California and Oregon. We’ve developed strong relationships with some of the best growers in the industry so that we can contract the finest fruit. Today, you can find our wines at restaurants and gourmet grocery stores in 49 states and, of course, here on our website. Our family and team have grown, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Join us for a fun online tasting event with Jeff Faber, VP of Marketing with Opolo Vineyards. We will be presenting 5 of their incredible red wines during this tasting event. Purchase two or more bottles of these wines online for pick up on March 5th or 6th, and/or purchase a tasting of all 5 wines to enjoy at home while participating in the tasting event.
Opolo’s estate vineyards were established in 1995, with sites on both the west and east side of Paso Robles. The topographically diverse, coastal landscape of the westside vineyards provides for an intense and unique flavor profile. The heat and dryness of the east side vineyard make it an ideal microclimate for growing Bordeaux varietals. Home to a wide range of varietals, the estate vineyards help allow the team at Opolo to create many unique single varietals as well as award winning blends.
Most important in making high quality wine is starting with high quality grapes. Opolo’s vineyard team carefully monitors each lot of grapes throughout the season in order to produce the highest quality fruit possible. From taking leaf, petiole, and soil samples, to monitoring water uptake in the vines, all aspects of viticulture is carefully notated and examined with the intent of producing only high quality fruit for our winery. The entire Opolo production team works together every year to provide the best quality product possible.
At Opolo we believe a strong, cooperative relationship with the land and our environment is crucial. We practice sustainable methods in both the winery and vineyard operations in order to preserve our environment, water and local wildlife. Opolo is a “SIP” Certified operation as well as certified organic by “CCOF” in our 64 acre walnut orchard. We continue to be great stewards of the land and invite you to come to our vineyards and see our operations!
Opolo Vineyards has a long established reputation of growing and producing award winning wines in Paso Robles, California. With nearly 300 acres of vines on the east and west side of Paso Robles, Opolo Vineyards is privy to a wide range in climate, soil and growing potential—allowing extensive range of varietals to flourish. This variety combined with the passion behind the brand has made Opolo a favorite of wine enthusiasts everywhere.
(Click on each wine to learn more about the wine and pricing)
A proud native of Chicago, IL. Jeff Faber grew up on the North Side of the city and moved to California in 1993. He spent many years in Broadcasting working behind the microphone for CBS and ABC radio before launching his own start-up company. Like so many people whose breath is taken away when they visit the California Central Coast, Jeff fell in love with the area and quickly learned that almost everyone you know either owns or a winery or an olive oil ranch.
"The most beautiful part about this area is how willing everyone is to share their knowledge of their craft. You work a few harvests, turn off your cell phones and lose yourself in the magic. You literally feel yourself decompress. What compelled Jeff to give up his company and start working for Opolo was that he wanted to learn the business from the ground up. “I literally knew very little about wine and wanted to stomp grapes, pour yeast into the tanks, experiment with blends, see the effect dry farming has on the flavor of grapes, etc"…At Opolo, they encourage you to do everything which is the very best way to learn a skill set.
For the past 12 years, Jeff has been the National Sales Manager for Opolo meeting people in city after city acting as a full-time “palate hunter” and helping folks have fun and learn a little more about themselves and of course, wine!
Sadly, this also means the Private Valentine's Day Wine and Chocolate event is cancelled. If you have reservations, you should have received an email from us with details on picking up your wine and chocolate. Contact us via email or phone if you did not receive your notification.
Visit our online store and shop for wine and other products. When checking out use our Snow30 Coupon to receive discounts on many of our products.
Note: Not all products are eligible for this discount as they are either already discounted or not approved for discounting. All products are to be picked up at Steve's Wine Bar, 111 Industrial Street when ready. We will notify you by email when your order is ready for pick up.
1-Petite Sauvage 2019 Sauvignon Blanc- Touraine AOC-France Video
A relatively well-known Loire white, this example offers a baby step into what many consider to be the apex of Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre). Pouring a delicate pale straw hue, the nose offers citrus, herbs, and the quintessential minerality associated with Loire. The palate is light-bodied with zippy acidity, full of ripe citrus and vegetal notes with slight granite-driven earthiness. As you might expect, pair this with shrimp and you are in for a treat.
2-Bonpas 2018 ‘Legende de Bonpas’ Luberon-Luberon AOC- France Video
At the very Southeastern portion of the Rhone valley lies the Luberon region, which showcases a more Mediterranean climate in comparison to the rest of Rhone. As such, harvest takes place relatively late, yielding fragrant, ripe wines. The ‘Legende de Bonpas’ is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Clairette and Bourboulenc; representing key, but somewhat niche varietals in Rhone. This wine pours a medium yellow with white hues. The nose offers stone and tropical fruits accented by delicate floral notes. The palate is light-bodied with restrained acidity, and features ripe, but tasteful stone fruit and floral notes. This screams oysters or other shellfish.
3-Cave de Vignerons de Saumur 2018 ‘Les Pouches’- Saumur AOC- France Video
Like our example from a couple of months ago, this Loire Cabernet Franc comes from the Saumur region, which serves as both one of many dry red and white hubs within Loire but also as the primary source for grapes for use in Cremant de Loire. The ‘Les Pouches’ is a more daily-drinker friendly version of this style. It pours a gorgeous deep ruby hue, with earthy and savory bell pepper notes dancing around fragrant raspberry and cherry aromas. The body is full, with soft tannins and lively acidity. The same ripe fruits remain, now accented by earth, savory spice, and black pepper. This is an excellent BBQ wine, and would even be a candidate for an excellent chilled red.
4-Chateau Bonnet 2016 Rouge- Bordeaux AOC- France Video
When you think Bordeaux, particularly red Bordeaux, you might think of bouts between wine critics, absurdly expensive bottles, and waiting decades to try a wine. The reality is, however, that there are plenty of accessible wines from this region; and they are more than worth trying. Many of these use grapes from all over or from the higher-production areas of Southern Bordeaux. Chateau Bonnet utilizes the prior, being an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This sees no oak, and comes across as a fresh, green representation of the region at large. The wine pours a medium ruby with deep purple hues. The nose offers a blend of ripe strawberry, some slight herbaceous notes, anise, and licorice notes. The texture is medium-bodied with medium acid and softer, woody tannins. The fruit on the palate is fresh and tart, supplemented by slight peppery notes. Try this with a lighter red meat or heavier seafood like salmon.
5-Laurent Chardigny 2018 Bourgogne- Bourgogne AOC- France Video
Like Bordeaux, Burgundy is often associated with hilariously expensive wines and wine fraud (Sour Grapes anyone?) Additionally, much of the Burgundy available in the US is brought to market by negociants (companies or buyers who label bottles of wine made by smaller producers) which has added to a pervasive stigma when it comes to buying more affordable examples. However, some producers are able to directly export delicious, affordable examples such as Laurent Chardigny. With grapes (Pinot Noir) sourced near the legendary vineyards Nuits-Saints-George and Gevrey Chambertin, this red offers quality aspects of wines orders of magnitude more expensive. This wine pours a dark ruby with brighter red hues, and offers aromas of red berries, earth, tea leaves, and wet stone. The palate is medium-bodied with woody tannins and medium acidity- offering rich, fresh cherry and plum notes supplemented by fine minerality and spice. This wine screams for game like venison, bison, or quail.
6-Domaine La Manarine 2018 Cotes du Rhone Rouge-Cotes du Rhone AOC- France Video
Cotes du Rhone has been featured on many of our recent lists; as such, you might be concerned about burnout- but you shouldn’t be. The amount of variety contained just within Cotes du Rhone is absurd, with near endless amounts of permissible grape varieties and varying terroirs. Domaine La Manarine’s vineyards rest on a key geological contributor to Southern Rhone’s terroir- smooth, large limestone pebbles called ‘galets’, which assist in expedited drainage and retention of heat during the night and the dreaded ‘mistral’ winds that regularly devastate Rhone and Provence. One of the results? Their scrumptious Cotes du Rhone Rogue. This wine is made of 100% Grenache, and utilizes absolutely no oak, but still results in a rich, ripe treat. This wine pours a dark ruby with nearly no transparency. The nose offers delicious raspberry, plum, sweet baking spice, and rose hips. The palate is heavy-bodied, with sweet tannins and balanced acid. These ripe fruit notes continue through the palate with slight earthy notes that bring balance to the whole package. Try this with lamb, venison, or maybe a hearty red meat-driven stew.
7-Mas des Volques Duches d’Uzes ‘Volcae’- Duches d’Uzes AOC-France Video
From winemaker Nicolas Souchon and consultant Phillipe Cambie, the Volcae is a vision of a Chateauneuf du Pape-style blend in an unorthodox appellation. Duches d’Uzes is a relatively new AOC (2013) located in Southern Rhone towards the Western side. Unlike much of Southern Rhone, this region largely avoids the Mistral winds and experiences a more Mediterranean climate. Additionally, there is increased use of ‘Mediterranean’ varietals such as Carignan. This blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Carignan, provides both the tertiary notes of Rhone with the fruit you would expect from a warmer climate. The nose offers red and black fruits, espresso, and hints of tar. The palate is richly-full bodied with firm tannins and balanced acid, while offering rich plum and blueberry notes, dark chocolate, and granite-driven minerality. Like many rich reds, steak is likely the way to go, but something earthier like a mushroom-driven dish would also work well.
8-Chateau Cap L’Ousteau 2015 Haut Medoc- Haut Medoc AOC-France Video
The second of our featured Bordeaux wines for the month, this comes Haut-Medoc, south of all of it’s more famous neighbors in Margaux. Unlike its neighbors, Haut-Medoc-based chateaus are generally more adventurous in their use of Bordeaux varieties, and often incorporate all or most of the five* into their wines, like our example. This wine is mostly composed of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but also imparts significant portions of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. This wine pours a deep ruby with slight maroon hues, indicating age. The nose is complex, with wonderful tertiary notes of oak, black pepper, and bell pepper accented by blue and black fruits. The body is full, with medium plus tannins and acid balancing between ripe fruits and savory espresso and spice notes. This is a complex drink, and needs something with a ton of umami to effectively compliment it.
We have put together some special pricing on this wine. Purchase a bottle or two for $35 a bottle. Wish to pick up a few more? Buy a three pack for $30 a bottle or a 6 pack for $25 a bottle. You can pre-buy your wine online or stop by the bar and place your order with one of our wine specialists. Shop online: steveswinebar.com/Our-Wines-and-Products/Specials
The vineyards that contribute to this wine span most of the AVA’s (American Vinicultural Areas) in the Napa Valley and include the Pope Valley at the North end of the valley, through St. Helena and the Oak Knoll district and end up in the Carneros AVA in the Southern end of the valley. They are blended together to form a harmonious and expressive wine.
The Cabernet Sauvignon portion of the wine includes 8% from the Silenus Estate Vineyards and another 21% from the Oak Knoll District AVA, 17% from the St. Helena AVA, 7% from Pope Valley. The Merlot comes primarily from the Oak Knoll AVA with 15% and the Carneros AVA with 8%.
The wine was aged for 22 months in 50% new French oak, 10% new American oak and the rest in neutral barrels. This blend of oak integrates perfectly with the lush fruitiness of the wine and lends just the right amount of tannins for a perfect balance.
Our Tyros Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep ruby red color with beautiful garnet tones reaching the rim. The nose introduces rich flavors of perfectly ripened plum, black cherries and playful notes of Tahitian vanilla bean. True to its classic Napa style, the palate is dominated by its fruit forward personality with secondary tones of bay leaf, dried rose petals and toasty oak lingering on its velvety long finish.
77% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet: September 22 & 23, 2015
Merlot: September 16 & 17, 2015
Bottling date: August 14 & September 16, 2019
Bottle size: 750 mL
Titratable Acidity: 5.9 g/L
2020 Wine Enthusiast – 90 points & Editor’s Choice
2020 Wine Spectator – 90 points
Decanter – 90 points
This month we are presenting three wines on each club level. For our club members, if you desire to do your usual tasting for two people, please call ahead to schedule your tasting. And as usual, when you have completed your tasting, you are able to choose two bottles of your favorite wines from the club to take home with you. Of course you can always purchase more at your club discount. :-)
IF you would like to skip your tasting this month, you are able to take one of each of the three wines on your club level. We hope the extra bottle of wine will be a nice substitute for those who are unable to do their January tasting.
For the Gold Club wines, we have an Italian Pinot Grigio, a Malbec from Mendoza Argentina, and a Cabernet from Lodi, CA. When choosing to take the three bottle option, you will receive one of each of these wines for your club.
For the Platinum Club wines, we have a California Chardonnay, a Napa Cabernet, and a Rutherford, CA Red Blend. Like the Gold Club, if the deicsion is to skip the tasting this month, you will receive one of each of these Platinum level wines to take as your club wines.
So, with out further delay, here are your wines for the January Club:
Pinot Gris, likely many white varieties, enjoys an internationally-recognized profile and is found in virtually every winegrowing region in the world. With this pervasive nature comes a variety of renditions that change drastically depending on the climate and physical location of the growing site. While Alto Adige might be the most famous region for Pinot Gris (Grigio) in Italy, there are multiple regions that showcase it, including the larger Triveneto region. The Luchi Pinot Grigio is sourced from multiple plots in the area, giving it the IGT designation, but its proximity to the Adriatic Sea and the resultant Mediterranean climate make for a widely-acclaimed version of the ubiquitous grape. Pouring a delicate pale straw color, this wine offers aromas of citrus zest, salinity, and slight herbaceousness, while offering a delicate palate of lemongrass, lemon, kiwi, and hints of minerality. Much less robust than its Alto Adige counterparts, this is a wine deserved of the most delicate of seafood.
After a string of cooler, rain-wrought vintages in the mid-2010’s, Mendoza has experienced a string of stable, excellent growing years turning out delicious wines. Larger producers/importers of Malbec into the US have saturated the market with huge, heavily-oaked versions of the grape; but it has the potential to be much more graceful than that. The ALH is an excellent, affordable example of this style- as it showcases the potential of Malbec sans oak. It pours a lively violet-red color with purple hues and offers notes of plum, subtle savory baking spice, and mint. It is medium-bodied with medium acidity, offering floral but juicy red berries and plums accented by granite, black pepper, and cedar. Though this could go well with steak, grilled veggies with a heavy umami characteristic such as asparagus, eggplant, and mushrooms would be best.
You know it, you love it; it’s Lapis Luna. This Lodi-appellated Cab is a love letter to fans of rich, ripe, succulent California Cabs. Following 10 months in a blend of new and neutral French oak, this wine pours a dark ruby with purple hues, offering aromas of macerated red and blue berries, plum, vanilla, and sweet baking spice. The tannins on this one are soft and velvety, making for a Cab that showcases its ripe, juicy fruit profile accented by tertiary notes of subtle cinnamon and vanilla.
One of the true standouts in California Chardonnay - Neyers has consistently blended Old and New World features into its regularly-acclaimed wines. This wine incorporates native yeasts, French Oak and 100% malolactic fermentation. The result is a Chardonnay that pours a medium gold color with white, shimmering hues- offering luscious green pear, green apple, citrus zest, and subtle vanilla and cream notes. The palate is medium bodied with medium-plus acidity, offering pear, quince and rich herb notes to round out the palate. This with rich pork or lobster-based dishes would be amazing.
The Durant & Booth 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon is an exercise in decadence, being a 20-month-aged Cabernet Sauvignon during one of the hottest vintages in recent memory. The result is a rich, hyperbolic Cab with small amounts of Petit Verdot and Merlot. The wine pours a rich, dark ruby with violet hues- offering aromas of reduced cherry, currant, and raspberry. The palate is heavy-bodied with medium tannins and restrained acidity offering globs of bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, and a plethora of ripe red fruits. This is a huge wine, and needs a rich, red meat-based dish to counter.
Originating from Rutherford, an area long celebrated for its exceptional terroir and dusty tannins, this wine embodies many of the hallmarks that you find in Rutherford Cabernet. Scintillating aromas of fresh blackberries, tart red currants, cocoa powder and vanilla spice. The palate is dense, rich and powerful with a beautiful combination of bright red fruit characteristics that perfectly intertwine with deep black fruits including blueberry compote, crushed black raspberries, ripe red plum, baking spices and bittersweet chocolate. Intense and penetrating, this wine displays concentrated, powerful fruit with a gorgeous center core that finishes with a long, focused finish and slightly dusty tannins. Predominately Cabernet, heightened with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A perfect wine to snuggle up next to a fire and enjoy with your friends.
January Wine Club wines will be availabe through February 5th for Tasting. To take advantage of the three bottle pick up, please make sure you stop in before February 5th. After that date we will be back to delivering the normal two bottles for the month.
We are ecstatic to announce our new Holiday 100 Case Challenge. We want to give you an incredible deal and sell 100 cases of wine in December. Help us achieve this goal by ordering online, or in store, and pick up here at Steve’s Wine Bar.
We’ve heard over and over again people love what we are doing here at Steve’s Wine Bar, but then tell us they continue to shop for their wine at big name retailers. We want to give you a reason to take the short drive to downtown Denton and shop with us. We have chosen 21 different wines which we are personally familiar with which will deliver immense value for you. We are discounting them at or below what you would spend at these other retail locations.
Buy two or more six packs of the same wine, or mix and match these six packs, to get the best bang for your buck!
We have worked with our distributors to put together a lineup of fantastic six-packs featuring some of the most respected names including: Peju, Chateau Ste Michelle, Trinchero, Neyers, and many more from a variety of regions around the world.
A few examples of the wines we are offering are:
This limited-time offer can net you some of the greatest names in Napa Valley for less than what you would pay at box stores, online, and other large establishments. If you desire to purchase just one 6-pack of wine, you are welcome to do so. BUT when purchasing two or more of these 6-packs, use promo code DEC30Off at checkout online for an additional $30 off each six pack!!!
Visit our website at steveswinebar.com/Our-Wines-and-Products/Specials to see all 21 wines available for you to take advantage of this month.
If you see a wine or two (or three) that you want to learn more about, we have an opportunity for you this weekend to stop by and grab a small sample of many of these wines so you can “try before you buy”. Stop in this weekend, 12/11 - 12/13, Friday night between 5pm and 7pm, Saturday between 4pm and 7pm and Sunday between 4pm and 6pm to sample the wines you are most interested in.
If you are looking for another wine which we don’t have in stock or in this special purchase event, let us know and we will see what we can do to get you your desired wine for a great price. These special orders will also go against our 100 Case Challenge! :-)
We hope you will be part of this fun challenge and grab some incredible wines. We are looking to you and all our customers to help us through this next round of COVID shutdowns and keep the business viable into 2021. We will continue these specials, and may add in some other wines before the end of the month. So if you have a wine you are interested in having us research for this challenge, let us know.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this special program.
All product is advance order, Order online or in the shop through Sunday, and each week orders will be placed with our vendors on Monday for delivery later that week for pick up. You will be notified by email or phone when your product arrives at Steve’s.
In the Spirit of Giving
When stopping by this weekend, please bring some shelf stable foods to fill this box by our front door.
We want to remind you that we are supporting the UNT Student Roteract group with their project to feed the homeless and others in need. Please drop by this week with some shelf stable foods and let's help out this group of young adults and support their project.
Employee Tips: With this new shutdown, please consider posting an Employee Tip during the holidays to share with our team. steveswinebar.com/product/Employee-Tip
940-514-1852 call in number
From the Entire Steve's Wine Bar Family - Happy Holidays!
Monday November 23rd
6 - 10pm
Steve’s Wine Bar 2020 Champagne Tasting Event
We are excited to present our 2020 Champagne Tasting Event
Monday, Nov 23rd 6pm – 10:00pm!
This year looks a little different. In years past our attendees would walk from table to table and learn about and taste the wines from each vendor. But this year we are doing a more formal, seated event where the Champagne/sparkling wines will be poured at your table as well as our food pairings will be served to you at the table.
Food, once again, will be crafted and paired with the wines by our friends from Chestnut Tree.
You will have your own specially designed Champagne Flute which you will take home as part of the tasting.
We are “selling” tables this year rather than individual tickets. You will have the opportunity to have an intimate table for two, or grab a table for four people and bring your close friends/family. Or if you have a larger party, purchase one of the two 8-top tables and bring your BFF's.
If you are excited and ready to grab your table, you can learn more online and purchase your table here.
If you desire a bit more detail, here you go:
We are looking forward to a very informative, tasty, and fun event. So get your order in now and join the fun.
As previously noted, seating is limited, so don’t wait too long to grab your table.
Cheers from Steve’s Wine Bar Team!
Starting the gold list off with a nerdy bang is the ‘El Tuerto’ Blanco. This wine is made of 100% Tempranillo Blanco. This, unlike other ‘white’ red wines like white pinot noir (which is just regular Pinot Noir that has been vinified white), is an actual white clone of Tempranillo-A completely different grape. SO COOL! This wine only sees stainless steel, leaving us a pure representation of this rare variety. It pours a light-medium yellow with green hues. The nose offers a plethora of mineral notes, stone fruits, and with a slight leafiness. The palate is truly unique with subtle notes of peach and kumquat cut by slate, vegetal hints, and zippy acidity. This would be an awesome accompaniment to any number of delicious cheeses and charcuterie you serve before your Thanksgiving meal.
Sometimes, sticking with the classics is the right call. As such, we have put a California Chardonnay on the list for the first time in months; we simply cannot deny how well it sits at the Thanksgiving table. Long revered as one of California’s best kept secrets, Sean Minor is now a multi-AVA force, producing wines ranging all over the California Coast. It presents as a light golden straw hue and displays aromas of apple, pear, tropical citrus and pineapple with subtle notes of cardamom cinnamon and vanilla spice. This elegant chardonnay charms wine lovers with flavors of baked green apple, lemon curd, warm pineapple, with a hint of cardamom and vanilla. All of which integrates well with a touch of minerality and a medium body mouth feel which evolve into a full and lengthy finish. This is a super-versatile wine food-wise, but would likely be best with stuffing, crumbly, salty cheeses, and pumpkin pie.
As one of the key appellations in the introduction of Rhone varietals to the US and the ‘Rhone-Ranger’ movement, Paso has been known for its decidedly-new world takes on grapes like Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. Less famous, but equally delicious are their takes on grapes like Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier. Eschewing the powerhouse styles of Condrieu and other French regions, Viognier from Paso Robles is much more immediately approachable; opting for lush tropical fruits and perfume-driven wines. The HHV Viognier is no exception, offering plush pineapple and peach aromas and featuring a creamy texture (aged partially sur lie) enveloping a lush combination of citrus and tropical fruits. Pair this wine with a spicy mango and cashew nut salad, or a glazed apricot tart.
Last month’s notes talked at length about the organization of Cotes-du-Rhone in the Rhone wine economy, so I will keep it brief here. This blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre comes from the Cotes-du-Rhone region of Southern Rhone, which accounts for 60% of wine
production in the entirety of Rhone. Only aged briefly in oak, this is a very fresh and pure version of the style, pouring a medium ruby with slight purple hues. The nose offers loads of cherry puree accented by slight hints of earth. The palate is focused, with cherry accented by orange peel present above all, accented by a light-woodiness, lip-smacking acidity and soft tannins. This is an awesome candidate to replace Pinot as your turkey wine this year.
Now loved for its unique, but approachable flavor profile, Pinotage was once looked down upon as a crude, mismanaged commercial variety. A hybrid of Pinot Noir and Cinsault, the grape displays heaps of tannin, tons of anthocyanin( the stuff that turns grape skins and the resulting wine purple), and resilience to most weather conditions. The aforementioned mismanagement resulted in acetobacter-infested and over-extracted wines, that smelled like nail polish remover and tasted like burnt tar. Thankfully, this reputation is long behind the grape, and it is now thriving; producing delicious wines such as this one. This pours a heavy purple color with slight magenta hues. The nose offers thick globs of blackberry and blueberry accented by pipe tobacco and slight tar notes. The palate offers rich blue fruits, sweet tannins, and restrained acidity, making a perfect pairing for turkey, cranberry sauce, or even a fruit-based dessert!
The little brother/sister of Elk Cove, Pike Road focuses on multi-AVA and single vineyard expressions of Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. You have likely heard me talk about the pseudo-Burgundian nature of Oregonian Pinot Noir, and I believe Pike Road’s products encompass this beautifully with a compromise between the huge fruit of other New-World Pinots and the structure/earthy elements of Old World examples. With the 2018 vintage being a particular warm one, the nose explodes with a plethora of red berries and potting soil. The palate is laden with black currant, black cherry, sweet oak, and baking spices enveloped with a full body with medium acid. This is the first of many worthy turkey wines you will find on the platinum list.
The second of two Pinots, this is definitely the demonstrably more ‘new-world’ of the two. As someone who has tasted multiple vintages of this wine, this is the boldest rendition yet. This Monterey-sourced Pinot gracefully combines the nuanced tea and spice notes associated with Monterey and SLH versions and combines them with the heft and richness of Pinots found in Anderson Valley. It pours a dense ruby color with purple hues, offering inviting aromas of muddled cherry, plum, and sweet baking spice. The palate is comparatively heavy-bodied for even a new world Pinot, boasting a hefty 14.5% ABV with balanced acidity. This all encompasses rich black cherry, fruit leather, clove, and violet notes. This is definitely turkey wine, but could also go well with spiced desserts like pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
Monferrato? Yes, there are regions other than Asti and Alba where Barbera is plentifully grown. As Northern Italy’s quintessential daily drinker wine, Barbera is generally known for its lighter body, low tannin, high acid, and approachable fruitiness; particularly those from Monferrato. Scarpetta’s example completely eschews this, opting for a comparatively heavy-oaked style. This wine pours a medium blend of purple and ruby, with magenta hues. The nose offers notes of earth, hay, and a bouquet of cherry and raspberry. The palate is medium bodied with soft tannins, high acid, and reduced red and blue fruits accented by slight hints of vanilla, earth, and savory spice. Barbera is one of many Pinot alternatives for Thanksgiving, and an unorthodox pick, for an unorthodox year.
Where the heck is Gattinara? What the heck is Spanna? Why am I drinking this? It’s in Piedmont, it's the local vernacular for Nebbiolo, and because it is amazing! When we think Nebbiolo, we likely think of Barolo and Barbaresco; Piedmont’s contribution to the wide-world of collector reds. The issue with these wines is that they are almost never drink-ready until years down the line due to their rock-hard tannins and blazing acidity. It is worth the wait, but practically, most of us don’t have the space nor patience for such endeavors; but Gattinara has you covered! These wines, also 100% Nebbiolo, are generally much more approachable out of the bottle, but scratch all of the itches every Nebbiolo fan loves. This wine pours a medium ruby with noted orange hues and bricking. The nose is extremely complex, with violets, earth, and tart red fruits. The palate follows this trend, with ripe red fruits intertwined with veins of granite, oak, and anise notes. The tannins are formidable, but are balanced out by zippy acidity and a medium body. If you are having something more formidable than turkey this year or are looking for something that adds additional savoriness and complexity to your meal, consider this delicious, niche take on a legendary variety from a legendary region.
As we head towards Halloween, we are also preparing for a special Lunar experience on the 31st. It will be a Blue Moon. It’s called a Blue Moon because it’ll be the second of two full moons to occur in a single calendar month. The first was on the 1st of October.
We wanted to do something special for Halloween weekend, and decided to mix it up a bit and have a special tasting with one of our favorite wineries, Lapis Luna. Lapis Luna translates to “stone” and “moon.” Their labels bring to life 400 year old Copperplate engravings to depict the relationship between the earth (stone), the moon (luna), and the affect she has on us. On their label, the heroes are depicted striving to connect with the moon and looking to it for inspiration, just as they do when creating their wines.
We have picked five of their wines to choose from and enjoy over the Halloween weekend. And if you desire, join us on Sunday evening at 6pm for a 90-minute tasting event with the owners of Lapis Luna.
Orange zest, ripe pineapple, toast and vanilla on the nose. Full-bodied, fresh and lively, with lush white peach and ripe apple flavors leading to a savory buttered finish.
Ripe red cherries, boysenberries, purple flowers and nice spices. The palate is juicy, smooth, polished and delicious.
Layers and layers of crushed blackberries underlined with spice: purple flowers, ripe red fruits, dark and brooding, faint cloves and sage. Juicy and round with lush, supportive tannins, the finish lingers long into a promising future.
Medium body Cabernet Sauvignon with bold fruit flavors and smooth, structured tannins. It has aromas of, cassis berries, plum, slight blueberry, vanilla, oak and chocolate. It is a fruit forward wine with lush flavors, nice balance and a long, silky finish.
Rich, dark and enticing. Flavors of lush blueberry, plumbs, and blackberry cobbler. Finish is smooth, long, and juicy.
All these wines are specially priced through this week for this tasting event. Purchase two, or all five of the wines, and plan to join us at 6pm on Sunday November 1st for an interactive session with the owners, and brothers, Evan and Andrew Nelson.
Established in 1999, Lapis Luna produces exceptional value wines from undiscovered California vineyards. Each label is a rendition of a 400 year old copperplate engraving showing a faceless hero reaching for the moon.
“We are dedicated to producing wines that over-deliver in quality and price point. Since 1999, we have grown long term relationships with established growers throughout Lodi and the North Coast. Our wines deliver fresh and vibrant fruit balanced with lively acidity and good structure, creating true-to-varietal expressions that can be enjoyed every night of the week.”
You may purchase your wines online or stop by the bar and place your orders in person. We will have the wine shipped to the bar on Thursday the 29th for pick up that evening or over the weekend prior to the 6pm Zoom Session on Sunday, November 1st.
And yes, for those of you who are thinking, “the Cowboys play at 7:30”. We will wrap up in time for you to turn your attention to the game.