Howie’s Spring Sampler

With a nod to the words of the immortal Manny Ramirez, “It’s time to turn the page, man”, so let’s get ready to flip the calendar to March and start thinking Spring! Daylight Savings Time is March 13th, and the official start of Spring is right around the corner. Keeping that in mind, we chose some new wines that will help bridge the gap between the two seasons and ease you into warmer territory. There will be some flavors that will have you thinking of spring flowers and asparagus, and some other flavors that will pair with the heartier fare since we’re not quite out of the woods yet. So hang in there for a few more weeks, have fun with these off-the-beaten-path wines, and get ready to set your clock ahead!

la fage2009 Domaine Lafage Cote Est(Vin De Pays des Cotes Catalanes, France)

It was love at first sip when I tasted this delicious Grenache blanc at Turbine Wine Bar in Lynn. Bright fruit, with hints of white pepper, fennel, mint, and citrus peel. It’s a real wake-up call to your palate after all those dusty reds. Nice aperitif, suitable with pad thai or stir-fry chicken.

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99

sensual2009 Sensual Torrontes(Mendoza, Argentina)

Torrontes is an Argentine varietal receiving a lot of attention in the wine press these days. I find the styles to vary widely from bone dry to painfully sweet….the  Sensual falls somewhere in between, and is the perfect palate cleanser. Torrontes resembles Chenin Blanc, with its bright appley fruit, and minerally acid tones. The Sensual would work nicely with a Sunday afternoon plate of apples and cheddar.

Reg: $11.99  Sale: $9.99

2142009 Cameron Hughes Lot 214 Chardonnay (Carneros)

OK, we need a white wine in this Sampler with a little meat on the bone, and we found it with this new lot of Cameron Hughes Chardonnay. This negociant is famous for sourcing quality fruit at a great price, and this Lot 214 delivers. Big and rich, yet restrained, with layers of white peach, caramel, and mango. Would please both a New World or old World Chardonnay lover. With a roast turkey, or baked scallops.

Reg: $16.99  Sale: $14.99

Monferrato2009 Monte Degli Angeli Monferrato Pinot Noir (Piedmont, Italy) 

We were shocked how good this wine was before we knew the price! At this price, you can afford to hurl vast quantities of it. Classic forest floor aromas, rich black cherry fruit, some classic Piemontese spices (do I detect truffles in the nose?), and a velvety smooth texture. Can stand up to lighter tomato sauces, or a savory pork tenderloin.

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99 morgon 

2009 Georges Duboeuf Jean Descombes Morgon

(Beaujolais, France)

The recent recipient of some very high praise in the Wine Spectator, this Morgon is the perfect bridge red connecting the two seasons. In case you haven’t heard, 2009 was a spectacular vintage in france, and the best Beaujolais has seen in a long time. Morgon is one of the 9 cru’s, and also one of the most well-endowed. Big, rich jammy Gamay fruit, incredible flowery aromas, black raspberry flavors, and a mile of finish make this a joy to drink. Get over your Beaujolais Nouveau association, and drink some REAL Beaujolais! With ham or moo-shi pork.

Reg: $19.99  Sale: $16.99

marchigue 

2008 Marchigue Carmenere Gran Reserva (Colchagua Valley, Chile)

We opened this up in the store a few weeks back and it sold out immediately. We’re happy to get re-supplied, and you will be too, when you experience the elegance and opulence of this broad-shouldered Carmenere. This grape, indigenous to Chile, tastes like a cross between Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot. The Marchigue has certain similarities to Bordeaux that you will find appealing. Serve with a nice cut of meat and roasted potatoes.

Reg: $14.99  Sale: $11.99

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