2013 Crossbarn Rosé of Pinot Noir

Paul Hobbs was described by Forbes Magazine as the “Steve Jobs of Wine.”  He’s a quality freak and has been named “Wine Personality of the Year” by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate an unprecedented two times. He was first hired by Robert Mondavi for his expertise in oak aging before enjoying stints as winemaker/consultant at Simi and Opus One.  These days, he’s busy running Paul Hobbs and Crossbarn Wineries in California and Vina Cobos in Argentina.  He’s one of the top wine consultants in the trade, helping wineries and winemakers all over the world make better wines.

Hobbs’ Crossbarn Winery is based in Sebastapol, in the heart of Sonoma County, and its formation was inspired by Paul’s childhood memories of his family’s farm.  Four wines are made under the label (we stock all of them), and fruit is sourced from some of his favorite sites in the Sonoma Coast and Napa Valley AVA’s.  Paul’s a pretty “connected” guy when it comes to sourcing fruit from top sites.  His many years of working with top producers and vineyard owners have granted him access to high quality fruit from all over the Golden State, and it’s this fruit that goes into his Rosé of Pinot Noir.

The 2013 Crossbarn Rosé of Pinot Noir is produced using hand harvested fruit from carefully selected, cool climate vineyards throughout the Sonoma Coast AVA.  The wine is fermented mainly in stainless steel (80%) to preserve freshness and fruit expression, but 20% of the juice is fermented in neutral oak to provide a creamy roundness to the wine.  It pours a lovely, light, salmon-pinkish color reminiscent of the dry rosés produced in France’s Provence region.  The nose is gorgeous, a mix of bright, tart and tangy citrus, strawberry, peach and rose hips.  The palate is a continuation of the bouquet, balancing bright and tangy grapefruit, lemon and lime with creamy strawberry, watermelon and a touch of mineral richness.

This is a great deal at $17.99/bottle (the same price the wine goes for on the Crossbarn Website), but we highly recommend that you don’t limit yourself to just one bottle.  As with all great pink and white wines, don’t drink this one ice cold; let it get a little temperature under it and the aromas and flavors will pop.  Ideally, you’ll drink this one on your back porch before the cooler temperatures of autumn set in, but you might want to save a couple bottles to serve with Thanksgiving dinner.  Trust us, you won’t regret it!  Stop by and pick some up, call us at 828.505.8588 or email us and we’ll set some aside for you for up to a week. Cheers and happy drinking and eating!

On Sale Through 8/20
Or as long as supplies last!

Regular Price: $17.99/bottle

Buy 3 Bottles: $16.19 (10% off)

Buy 6 Bottles: $15.29 (15% off)

Buy 12 Bottles: $14.39 (20% off)

2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir Willamette Valley

Wine of the Week – 2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir

Mark my words, the 2012 vintage in Oregon has yielded some of the most stylish and attractive Pinot Noirs produced in the state since the highly esteemed 2008 vintage.  How do I know?  Because I was just there less than a month ago, and I tasted close to 100 Pinots from the vintage.  The 2012 Elk Cove Pinot Noir is one of the best your money can buy.  At less than $30/bottle (and as low as $23.99), it “behaves” like many of the wines I tasted that cost 2 to 3 times the price!

Elk Cove was founded in 1974 by Pat and Joe Campbell on an old abandoned and overgrown homestead in the foothills of the Coast Range Mountains.  They were among an early group of bold, brave, and ambitious producers to put vines down in Oregon.  Everyone that knew anything about wine at the time advised them against it, saying Oregon was too cold and too wet to support the vine.  The Campbells, along with their five children, fearlessly moved forward with their project, and we’re glad they did.  Forty years later, Elk Cove is considered one of the finest wineries in the state, and it’s still family owned and operated.  These days, Joe and Pat’s son Adam oversees all aspects of the winery, from farming to winemaking.  He’s proud, he’s methodical, and his attention to detail ensures quality from vine to bottle.

Every respected wine writer and periodical in the country has rated the 2012 vintage in Oregon favorably; Wine Spectator said “ideal conditions produced generous wines.”  Warmer and sunnier than usual, the 2012’s possess darker colors, riper flavors, and more concentrated personalities than what is usually encountered in Oregon.  Elk Cove’s Pinot is all of that and then some!  It pours a lovely, dark ruby color and the bouquet is marked by a mix of ripe cherry, strawberry, and dark raspberry. As the wine breathes, more brown spice and earth notes arise.  On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and the texture is pure silk.  The flavors are of red berries, black tea and earthy spice, and the finish goes on and on for at least 30 seconds. Drink this lovely wine now with wild salmon, roast chicken or pork tenderloin, or cellar for 5 to 7 years.

If you know me, you know I’m a “Pinot Devotee,” and this is one of the best under $30 Oregon Pinots I’ve encountered in my 16 year career.  Stop by and pick some up or you can call us at 828.505.8588 or email us and we’ll set some aside for you for up to a week. Cheers and happy drinking and eating!

On Sale Through 7/23
Or as long as supplies last!

Regular Price: $29.99/bottle

Buy 3 Bottles: $26.99 (10% off)

Buy 6 Bottles: $25.49 (15% off)

Buy 12 Bottles: $23.99 (20% off)

Chateau Massiac Minervois “Sentinelles de Massiac”

This is that elusive, under $15 bottle of red wine that delivers a ton of flavor, a great story, and 100% satisfaction again and again.  Josh says “this made by dry rubbed, spicy grilled chicken taste incredible.”  Tom says “this wine holds up and keeps delivering the goods for five days once it’s opened.” And Ben says very simply “just buy it.”  Lets just say Team Table Wine loves this wine, and we think you will too.

Located in the village of Azille, in the deep southern part of France, Chateau Massiac is a small, certified organic estate that makes less than 5,000 total cases of wine per year, and they make four different wines.  The Chateau can trace its “roots” back to the Roman Empire, and the entire estate was burned to the ground during the French Revolution. Bernard Bourdouresques and his family recently took over and revived the estate, and they currently own 53 acres of vineyards.  The estate’s rocky, well drained soils combined with the warm and windy Mediterranean climate of the region work together to bring out concentrated flavors and aromas in the grapes and the wines made from them.

The new vintage of the Chateau Massiac Sentinelle de Massiac is produced from roughly 2/3 Syrah and 1/3 Carignan from older vines fermented and aged in tank.  In a good year, about 800 cases of this wine make it into the U.S.  What makes this the quintessential summer red can be summed up in one word, BALANCE. There’s ripe and rich fruit to balance out some of the more rustic characteristics of the wine.  There’s some grip (aka tannin), but there’s a plushness to the wine that keeps you coming back for sip after sip with or without food.  There’s fruit, but there’s other interesting “stuff” happening in the glass too.

The nose smells of Southern France right after you pop the cork on this one, and the palate is open knit, seamless and friendly.  Ripe blueberry, raspberry and plum mingle with smoky sage, pepper and dark chocolate notes.  The mouthfeel is soft and luscious with ripe, succulent baked berry notes along with the classic peppery spiciness of Syrah, finishing with smoky bacon fat.  And who doesn’t like bacon?!  Serve this with any of your favorite grilled foods from pork and steak to chicken and portobellos.  Or just drink it and enjoy it as it doesn’t require food.

 

Wine of the Week – 2012 Chateau Massiac Minervois “Sentinelle de Massiac”

The sale period for this wine runs from Wednesday, May 28th through Wednesday, June 11th.  This is that elusive, under $15 bottle of red wine that delivers a ton of flavor, a great story, and 100% satisfaction again and again.  Josh says “this made by dry rubbed, spicy grilled chicken taste incredible.”  Tom says “this wine holds up and keeps delivering the goods for five days once it’s opened.” And Ben says very simply “just buy it.”  Lets just say Team Table Wine loves this wine, and we think you will too.

Located in the village of Azille, in the deep southern part of France, this small, certified organic estate makes less than 5,000 total cases of wine per year, and they make four different wines.  The Chateau can trace its “roots” back to the Roman Empire, and the entire estate was burned to the ground during the French Revolution. Bernard Bourdouresques and his family recently took over and revived the estate, and they currently own 53 acres of vineyards.  The estate’s rocky, well drained soils combined with the warm and windy Mediterranean climate of the region work together to bring out concentrated flavors and aromas in the grapes and the wines made from them.

Massiac’s Cuvée Sentinelle is produced from roughly 2/3 Syrah and 1/3 Carignan from older vines fermented and aged in tank.  In a good year, about 800 cases of this wine make it into the U.S.  What makes this the quintessential summer red can be summed up in one word, BALANCE. There’s ripe and rich fruit to balance out some of the more rustic characteristics of the wine.  There’s some grip (aka tannin), but there’s a plushness to the wine that keeps you coming back for sip after sip with or without food.  There’s fruit, but there’s other interesting “stuff” happening in the glass too.

The nose smells of Southern France right after you pop the cork on this one, and the palate is open knit, seamless and friendly.  Ripe blueberry, raspberry and plum mingle with smoky sage, pepper and dark chocolate notes.  The mouthfeel is soft and luscious with ripe, succulent baked berry notes along with the classic peppery spiciness of Syrah, finishing with smoky bacon fat.  And who doesn’t like bacon?!  Serve this with any of your favorite grilled foods from pork and steak to chicken and portobellos.  Or just drink it and enjoy it as it doesn’t require food.

All in all, this is an extreme value in high quality, hand crafted, Southern French red wine.  We can’t recommend it highly enough! Stop by and pick some up or you can call us at 828.505.8588 or email us and we’ll set some aside for you as long as you pick it up within a week. Cheers and happy drinking and eating!

On Sale 5/28 through 6/4

Regular Price: $13.99/bottle

Buy 3 Bottles: $12.59 (10% off)

Buy 6 Bottles: $11.89(15% off)

Buy 12 Bottles: $11.19 (20% off)

Wine of the Week – 2012 Jean-Paul Brun Beajolais Blanc “Terres Dorees”

The sale period for this wine runs from Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 through Wednesday, May 28th, 2014. — White Burgundy and Chardonnay lovers rejoice!  This is hands down one of the best Chardonnay values produced anywhere.  The Wine Advocate said that this wine “offers sensational value and a distinctively delicious personality such as you won’t find in 98% or more Chardonnays grown anywhere in the world.”  After taking a bottle of this home over the week end to “check in” on it for the first time in a bit, I agree with that bold statement 100%.

Jean-Paul Brun, the owner, farmer, and winemaker at Domaine des Terres Dorees, is a hero of ours and to many other wine lovers all over the world. His estate is located just north of Lyon, in the southern part of Beaujolais, and all of the farming is done without the use of poisonous chemicals, aka organically.  In the early 1990’s, Brun planted several hectares of Chardonnay on limestone soil, the same type of “dirt” that produces some of the greatest Chardonnays in the world.  As demand for his Chardonnay increased, he expanded his holdings and began contracting for grapes with other local organic vignerons with limestone soils.

These days, this wine is composed of grapes from vineyards that range in age from 22 to 80 years of age.  You can definitely smell and taste the old-vine character of this wine, and that’s what makes it such an incredible value.  The wine is fermented entirely in stainless steel, but trust us you won’t miss the oak on this one because it’s quite rich, layered and textured.

The nose is classic French Chardonnay in the form of pure apple, pear and lemon with some apricot and honeydew sneaking in there too.  And mineral, oh yeah, this one’s got some serious mineral that comes through in the wine smelling like wet rock and oyster shell.  This might sound gross to some of you, but trust us, it’s aromas like these that people pay hundreds of dollars for and it’s quite subtle.  On the palate, this one has great weight, texture and balance with a nice mix of round orchard fruits balanced by tangy and tart citrus, finishing with a complex melange of white flowers, gentle spice, and mineral.  We try a lot of wines here, including top flight White Burgundies, and we can honestly say that this one is better than a lot of wines that cost two to three times the price.

Wine of the Week – 2011 Sesti Monteleccio Toscana I.G.T.

On sale from Wednesday May 14th, 2014 through Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 — This is one of the best Italian wines I’ve tasted this year, and if you love Sangiovese, you should keep reading!  This is a wine that has a history of overshadowing and outclassing wines that cost a lot more.  In fact, English wine writer and Master of Wine Jancis Robinson recently did a tasting of wines from 11 of Italy’s top estates (including Sassicaia, Antinori, and Ornellaia); the standout for her and the only one she wrote up in her newsletter was the Sesti Monteleccio!

What’s in the bottle here is pure Brunello di Montalcino “material,” and it’s from some of the best terroir in the region.  In fact, Monteleccio is the local Tuscan dialect for Montalcino.  Bottled with just a year of oak aging instead of the two years required to be labeled Brunello di Montalcino, the wine is 100% Sangiovese Grosso grown on Giusepe Sesti’s south facing slopes.  These well exposed, arid, and rocky vineyards  produce some of Montalcino’s finest wines, and this is one of the best values produced.

The Sesti Estate was founded in 1975 when Giusepe and Sarah Sesti relocated to Tuscany and purchased the abandoned ruins of the hamlet and castle of Argiano.  They slowly and painstakingly rebuilt the estate to its former glory, and Giusepe planted his vineyards in 1991 after several of his winemaking neighbors suggested he do so.  These days, Giusepe still oversees all aspects of winemaking, from vineyard to bottle, and his daughter Elisa is constantly by his side helping out as well.  All of the farming is done according to the principles of biodynamics, the earliest form of organic agriculture.  The Sestis farm this way because it produces better tasting and healthier fruit, not for marketing purposes.

The 2011 vintage was one marked by hot days and cool nights, the ideal conditions for yielding intensely flavored, ripe and rich red wines.  You can definitely taste the vintage conditions in this wine.  Ripe, rich and full bodied, the wine sports a nose of dark cherry, raspberry, currant, sun baked earth, mineral and exotic spices.  The bouquet suggests that the wine might be sweet and lacking in Sangiovese’s natural freshness and brightness, but one sip and that notion is destroyed.  This wine has nerve, power, and structure to balance it’s riper character.  The flavors mimic the aromas, with a nice mix of black, blue and red fruit along with complex notes of earthy spice, flowers and mineral.  Although delicious now, I would bet my store that this wine is going to be extraordinary in 3 to 5 years and that it will continue to offer pleasure through 2024.

Many producers with less rigid standards than Giusepe would bottle this wine as a Brunello and charge you $50+ for a bottle.  And many wine shops would dismiss this wine as being “too hard to sell.”  Not us, we take pride in finding you wines like this one that perform like those that cost double the price.

 

Wine of the Week: 2010 Bodegas Palacios Remondo Rioja “La Montesa”

It’s rare that I come across a wine with this sort of pedigree at such an incredible price, but when I do, I let you know about it.  The Palacios Remondo Estate was founded by Don Jose Palcios Remondo in 1945 in Alfario in Rioja Baja.  Today, the estate is run by Don Jose’s son Alvaro Palacios, and the estate is producing better wines than ever.  In fact, the Wine Advocate scored the 2010 version of this wine at 93 points!

Alvaro Palacios is one of the great names in Spanish wine having spent much of the 1990’s producing some of the greatest wines in the Priorat and Bierzo zones……..ask us about those.  In 2000, his father passed away and Alvaro returned to his family’s home estate to take over.  He immediately began converting all of the vineyards over to organic viticulture and he cut productions levels drastically.  His hard work and commitment to quality over quantity is what propelled this estate from mediocrity to magnificence.

Alvaro’s 2010 “La Montesa” comes from a single, hillside vineyard located at 1,800 feet in elevation.  The soil of this particular site is composed of clay and rocky calcium subsoil overlain by gravel, much like you find in the famed vineyards of Chateauneuf du Pape.  Fermented and aged in French and American oak, only 20% new, the resulting wine displays a beautiful, bright, ruby red color followed by a nose of fresh cherry, wild strawberry, raspberry, flowers, spices and minerals.  The palate is elegant, supple, friendly and savory with a nice mix of pure red fruits, exotic spices and a slightly smoky quality.

 

Table Wine Asheville: Wine of the Week

Wine of the Week: 2012 Domaine Amido Cotes du Rhone Villages “Signargues”

On Sale Through 12/31/2013

We sold through our first big drop of this wine at a record pace, so why the heck am I discounting a wine that we can barely keep in stock?  Because we secured another 28 cases of this wine and because I’m cool like that!

Regular Price: $14.99 

Sale Price: $13.49/bottle or $11.99/bottle when you buy 6 or more.
That’s up to 20% off!

The Cotes du Rhone from the Amido family is one of those wines that qualify as a legitimate no-brainer.  It’s got a great story, it tastes great, and it doesn’t cost much.  Let me start by telling you the story.  The young Amandine Amido and her husband Antoine took over this bucolic estate when Amandine’s grandfather Christian passed away recently.  They make delicious dry rosé from holdings in Tavel (we carry this one as well) as well as a bold and spicy red wine from their vineyards in Lirac, just west of Chateauneuf du Pape.

Their best value, however, is this Cotes du Rhone Villages, which they make with fruit from their holdings in Domazan, Estezargues, Rochefort-du-Gard, and Sazes in the southern Rhone Valley. These four municipalities make up one of the 17 geographical names that make up the AOC Cotes du Rhone Villages.  I had trouble finding what the exact blend was on the wine, but I think importer Charles Neal told me that the wine was primarily Grenache with smaller amounts of Syrah and Mourvedre, which is consistent with what I taste.

This is a very friendly, comforting Cotes du Rhone that opens with aromas of warm and ripe raspberry, black cherry and assorted herbs and spices.  It is a dark colored wine that looks like it might be a “bruiser”, but once on the palate, it is full, but soft, with flavors of ripe, sun baked dark cherry, wild strawberry and plum. It’s delicious right out of the bottle, but the wine definitely picks up more spice and Provencal herb notes as air gets to it.  I’ve enjoyed several bottles of this wine with friends and with food over the past couple of months, and it has always proven to be a winner.  Try it with lamb and white bean stew, roast chicken or turkey with root vegetables or with a roaring fire on a cool winter’s night.  Just try it!

Stunning Pinot Noir Value

A Stunning Pinot Noir Value

2010 Macedon Pinot Noir (Tikves, Macedonia)
On sale through Wednesday, October 23rd!

I am constantly hunting for really good Pinot Noir in the lower price ranges, usually with little or no success.  It’s a hard grape to grow that demands special and expensive sites, and most of the “$15ish Pinots” I try just don’t do it for me.

Then one day my buddy Jody Allen from Small Vineyards Imports came by raving about this Pinot Noir from Macedonia.  Macedonia? Really? Mark my words, this is the best under $20 bottle of Pinot Noir I’ve tasted this year.  Jody, I’m sorry I ever even thought about questioning your aptitude for wine!

So back to that Macedonian thing and why this is so darned good. This wine hails from the Tikves region of Macedonia, which shares its latitiude with Burgundy and the Russian River Valley.  Add to that the fact that this spot sits at the confluence of two weather fronts – from the Aral Mountains and the Aegean Sea – which produce an almost constant drying wind and very little rainfall, and you have an ideal spot to grow Pinot Noir.

It gets even better though.  Who’s looking for vineyard land in this part of the world?  Not many folks, so the cost of land is a fraction of what it would cost someone in California, Oregon or France.  This allows the winery to cut yields and get really intensely flavored, nicely developed fruit.

So what’s it taste like?  I’d say it’s got one foot in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and the other in Burgundy.  There’s a fresh and juicy character to the cherry, strawberry and cranberry fruit, but there’s also that savory, umami, forest floor, mushroom thing going on. In a nutshell, this is classic, elegant, complex and pretty Pinot Noir at a marvelous price!  With fall almost upon us, I can think of no other wine in my store that I’d rather be enjoying with a roast chicken and root vegetables than this one.  There’s not a ton of this stuff left, so my advice to you would be to come and get it!

Regular Price: $16.99/bottle 

Sale Price: $14.99/bottle 

$13.59 if you buy six or more bottles!  That’s 20% off!

Killer, 92 point rated Spanish juice!

2010 Capcanes Mas Donis Barricas

The Mas Donis Barrica is always a terrific wine at a great price, but the 2010 is one of the finest versions of this wine ever produced. Located in the village of Capcanes, in the greater Catalan region of Montsant, this producer started out making kosher wines for the Jewish population of Barcelona.  Discovered in 1995 by Charlotte-based importer Eric Solomon, he knew the winery had tremendous potential and added them to his portfolio of wines.  The rest is history as the winery now produces a full range of wines that consistently over-deliver in a huge way.

The 2010 is a blend of 85% Garnacha (70 year old vines) and 15% Syrah (30 year old vines) aged for nine months  in new and used French and American oak.   It offers up a boisterous, spicy nose of floral infused raspberry, kirsch and blueberry leading into a savory and succulent palate of ripe berries, exotic spices and smoky mineral.  I don’t know if I agree, but Robert Parker said “this beauty could easily pass for a Grand Cru Burgundy”, so take that for what it’s worth.  He scored it at 92 points and said to drink it over the next 5-6 years too!  The good news is that we have about 7 cases on hand, the bad news is that this isn’t going to last long.

Call us at 828.505.8588 or email me at josh@tablewineasheville to reserve yours at substantial savings.  It’s on sale through September 18th or until we run out.

Regular Price: $14.99/bottle 

Sale Price: $13.49/bottle 

$11.99 if you buy six or more bottles!  That’s 20% off!