Join us Friday from 6-8 at the wine store to try our wine of the week, Lavradores de Feitoria Douro Tinto 2009!
The Douro Valley in Portugal has been the most perpetually undervalued wine region in the world. Until last month, when the NY Times fawned that it “has so much going in its favor, it’s almost ridiculous.” In that tasting column, a wine from one of our favorite producers, Lavradores de Feitoria, at $12, beat comparable wines priced up to $81 (though it’s been on our shelves at $11.75, a whole five nickels less than the NY Times suggested price).
It turns out that the Douro may kind of be like your favorite undiscovered NYC neighborhood or restaurant – a victim of favorable press. When we called up to reorder the 2009 Lavradores de Feitoria Tinto, we were told it sold out long before expected thanks to the Times endorsement, leaving us with only 5 cases of the 2009 vintage. To savor the “exotic flavors of wild herbs, anise and fruit with dusty tannins” of the Lavradores Tinto from a vintage the Times praised as yielding particularly “ripe, fruity” wines, act fast!
We are thrilled to have 3 cases of Calabretta Etna Rosso 2002 ($27), ‘Best of Tasting’ in the New York Times wine column on volcanic reds from Sicily coming into the store Wednesday.
Described by the Times as “Lively, energetic and pure, with deep, rich fruit and mineral flavors, mellowed by age and underscored with a touch of funk,” we were surprised that the winery’s current release is 10 years old! As Eric Asimov pointed out, it is the rare winery these days that offers the “costly service of aging wine for years before release” but that the benefits in this case include how “time in the bottle can soften tannins and mellow the sometimes aggressive acidity.” The ability to age likely stems from the winery’s longtime roots in Sicily. Massimiliano and Massimo Calabretta are the lastest caretakers of the vines that have been in the family for generations.
To reserve your bottle of the Calabretta Etna Rosso 2002 ($27, $22.95 in mixed or solid cases), call us at (718) 797-9463. We deliver via van in Manhattan and Brooklyn, by bike locally in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and can ship outside NYC.
In this morning’s New York Times wine column on Gigondas, the elephant in the room was the 2008 Gigondas from Domaine du Cayron, a wine that wasn’t even in the tasting but seems to have made an indelible impression on chief wine critic Eric Asimov.
Despite finding the Gigondas he sampled as overall “sound, fruity, generous wines,” Eric Asimov seemed haunted by the “ravishing” “perfectly refreshing” Cayron with “the great wash of plummy, berry fruit anchored by an earthy, almost gravelly foundation.” Even after devoting a whole column to discussing the wines in the tasting, he rhapsodized that “I can’t forget the earthy, licorice-tinged ’08 Domaine du Cayron that I drank at home. Even if it wasn’t in the tasting, it’s the benchmark I use for how enjoyable Gigondas can be.”
Intrigued at what kind of wine could inspire such devotion, we tracked down just 24 bottles of the Domaine du Cayron Gigondas 2008 ($29.50) and are happy to offer them first come, first served to those calling us at (718) 797-9463.
For the next 2 days in celebration of Valentine’s we’ll be opening some sparkling wines. From 6-8pm today, you can sample Gruet Brut Rose NV ($17.50), a sparkling pink wine from New Mexico but made in the true champagne tradition using secondary fermentation. From 6-8pm tomorrow, try Delamotte Blanc de Blancs Brut NV ($55), the french champagne that was chosen as the Best of Tasting in the NY Times round up of champagnes.
The Annex and Provisions have tons of treats at every price point for Valentine’s. From butter cookie conversation hearts at Annex to Lobsters and oysters (special order by 4:30pm tonight!) at Provisions and cheese to accompany champagne at Fort Cheese, you’ll find everything you need to celebrate.
Curious about ‘natural’ wines? Female winemaker Noella Morantin’s ‘La Boudinerie’ 2010 ($21.00) shines as an example from the Loire Valley. From the Gamay grape, this delightful red entwines wild, natural flavors and ample acidity. We got the last 14 cases on closeout and are happy to pass the savings on to you! With a heart and flowers on the label, this would make a great Valentine’s Day wine.
Join us tonight 6-8pm at the wine store to sample this 100% Carignan unicorn of a wine (rare, fleeting and beautiful).
In 2009, one of our favorite importers convinced his friend and current winemaker at Domaine de Barroubio to bottle a cuvee sourced solely from a plot of 125 year old Carignan vines. The winemaker subsequently named the unique wine in celebration of the importer’s first child, born that same year. ‘Cuvee Henry’ is an unabashed celebration of Carignan, a geeky, idiosyncratic grape that is usually used to fortify the structure of southern French blends. When sourced from young vines, it results in somewhat challenging reds that are not altogether enjoyable. But as the vines age and if the yields are kept low, Carignan produces intriguing wines that display pleasing rusticity, nice structure, abundant spice and dark, perfumed fruits.
With only 300 regular bottles and 150 magnums of Domaine de Barroubio Cuvee Henry 2009 produced, it wasn’t submitted to any publications for review. However, a reviewer for a major publication happened upon a bottle and to the importer’s surprise gave it 90 points for “exceptional complexity and character” and noting that this wine is built to last.
Out of our initial allotment we only have 58 regular bottles ($26) and 11 magnums ($48) left because 2 members of our staff treated themselves to a bottle before it hit the shelves and we put aside a magnum for our staff party next week. To order, call us at (718) 797-9463.
Greene GrapeWines Gone Wild – Domaine Barroubio Cuvee Henry
What a way to say goodbye to 2011! We just got a call letting us know we’ll have 20 cases of the New York Times’s ‘Best of Tasting’ Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Delamotte Brut NV ($55) (“wonderfully elegant and fresh, with finesse and understated complexity”) in stock just in time for New Year’s. You can order online and we deliver in Brooklyn and Manhattan (and in our local area can get you your wine in 30 minutes or less).
We’re thrilled to report we’ve got this ‘Best of Tasting’ blanc de blanc champagne from the NY Times coming into the store tomorrow, Thursday December 22, just in time for the holidays and New Year’s. Supply very limited, to reserve yours, call us at (718) 797-9463 or order Delamotte Blanc de Blancs ($55) online.
Greene GrapeDelamotte Blanc de Blancs NV Champagne
We’ve received 3 cases and 7 bottles of the “Best Value” Pierre Moncuit Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut NV champagne from the NY Times writeup of blanc de blanc champagnes. Described as “chalky and herbal with fine, clear, lingering citrus and fruit flavors,” this delicate champagne is perfect to greet guests with, serve at your holiday dinner or uncork on New Year’s. Supply is extremely limited, we got the last bottles available in NYC.
Based on recent taste tests, Lettie Teague at the WSJ has earned a spot as an independent wine reviewer whose advice we trust. And it’s not just because this week she happened to feature Walnut City Wineworks Pinot Noir 2009 ($22.50) (“a seven-vineyard blend that’s medium-bodied and a bit earthy, with notes of red berry fruits in the nose”), a wine we chose for our All-American Six Pack, as a favorite. What can we say, the lady has taste.
Lettie recently dug up a treasure trove of value in Bordeaux, a once-hot region that has been neglected as people move on to the next new big thing. We tried one of the gems she uncovered, Chateau St. Julian Bordeaux Superieur 2006 ($15.25), “lively, well-balanced and easy to drink,” and agree with her – its a true crowd pleaser with grippy tannins, graphite on the nose, plenty of lush fruit and a pedigree from a star sommelier, Daniel Johnnes. A perfect ‘by the case’ wine to have on hand during the holidays.