The Grapevine Gazette

May 3 – may 30

The month of May was named for the Greek goddess Maia and its birthstone is the Emerald which is emblematic of love and success.  Some intriguing month long observances are National Burger Month, National Golf Month and Mental Health Awareness Month – that’s a nice tie in since one plays golf to relax (usually), then off to enjoy a burger afterwards and feel mentally stimulated. Finally, Memorial weekend signals us that summer vacation is about to begin (at least for the kids); picnics, ocean frolics, hikes, bicycles and baseball are in full session; so let’s toast to this marvelous time of the year where family gatherings are anticipated and friends soon congregate around a bonfire or a barbeque. As always, enjoy responsibly and drink outside the ‘sand’ box.

Schramsberg Napa Valley Blanc de Blanc

Regular $36.99 Gazette Special $32.99

Schramsberg is one of the most iconic wineries in Napa Valley with their focus on making amazing sparkling wines. The winery has been owned by the Davies family and is now run by Hugh Davies. A small piece of historical trivia; the Blanc de Blanc was used for President Nixon’s 1972’s “Toast to Peace” with China’s Premier Zhou Enlai. The Blanc de Blanc – translation “white from white” and made from 100% Chardonnay – is an amazing sparkling wine that exhibits notes of green apples, apricots and lemon zest. On the palate this wine has expressions of peaches, pears with bright flavors and wonderful acidity. It finishes dry and crisp with a lingering rich mouth feel. Pair this with raw oysters, shellfish, ceviche and grilled sea bass. A wonderful wine to be enjoyed with friends and family for any occasion.

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Taiheikai Tokubetsu Junmai Pacific Ocean Ginjo Sake

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $26.99

With sake, it’s all about the water and the rice. Planted in May or June and harvested in August or September and much like grape vineyards, the rice has good and bad years. However, the Toji (Sake Brewmaster) can adjust to the conditions that Mother Nature throws at them. One of the processes to make Sake is polishing the rice or “šeimai” which will dictate the quality of the finished product. This polishing will remove the fats, proteins, and amino acids leaving the starches at the center to make the sake. This “Pacific Ocean” sake has been polished down to 55% making it a pure Sake that should be served chilled. You can expect a fruitiness offset by a nutty flavor in every sip.

Michael Contreras Wine Specialist Beverly West

Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera Rosé

Regular $ 9.99 Gazette Special $7.99

This Rosé, when served chilled, is a very refreshing and versatile partner to an array of foods. Salad, seafood including lobster and fish dishes, as well as chicken and pork. A beautiful salmon color to the eye, with the nose having a watermelon rind character. The palate is bright and crisp with notes of strawberry, cherry and watermelon, but still dry. A perfect spring barbecue wine, or take it on a picnic.

Bruce Davis Wine Specialist Palm Desert

Moulin de Gassac Pays d’Herault Guilhem Rosé

Regular $ 9.99 Gazette Special $8.99

Often referred to as the Grand Cru of Midi (South of France), Mas de Daumas is located in the majestic Gassac River Valley where the estate benefits from a cool microclimate and a rare, fine glacial soil that’s very similar to that in the prime areas of Burgundy. In my opinion this gem is perennially the best value rosé that you’ll come across. A blend of equal parts Syrah and Carignan, it lures you in with a beautiful, aromatic nose full of floral notes and red berry fruit. Medium-bodied and very fresh and clean on the palate, it’s a great warm weather sipper but will also stand up to just about anything you choose to pair it with, from salads to pizza, even burgers and other BBQ fare.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Château du Rouët Estérelle Côtes Du Provence Rosé

Regular $13.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Château du Rouët brings five generations of Savatier family experience to the production of its classic Côtes de Provence Rosé. In a setting of outstanding natural beauty, wines that capture all the joys of living in this paradise, sun, fresh fruit, wild herbs, no matter where opened, transport the taster on an idyllic summer holiday. This pink blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault is extremely refreshing with full fruity flavors and good length. Deeply nuanced and surprisingly rich this dry, quenching, mineral-drenched Rosé treats us with its generously yet serious attributes. This is a formidably rich wine that pairs wonderfully with hearty garden salads, fish, shrimp or a wide range of grilled chicken or pork dishes.

Michael Gregory Certified Specialist of Wine & Merchandising Specialist

Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

New Zealand is well known for their distinctive and un-oaked Sauvignon Blancs, and distinctive is definitely a word you can use to describe this offering by Allan Scott. The nose is an aromatic mix of green fruit tones with underlying ripe tropical aromas adding complexity. Flavorsome hints of pineapple, gooseberry, and passion fruit with mild grassy herbaceous characters fill your mouth, along with an added note of minerality on the palate, giving this New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc great foundation. It also has an enduring structured and well balanced finish. Its bright acidity pairs beautifully with goat cheeses and light fish and chicken dishes. Also highly recommended as an aperitif.

Michael Pagh Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Nobilo Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc “Icon”

Regular $26.99 Gazette Special $21.99

As far as high end Kiwi Sauvignon Blancs go, Cloudy Bay gets the press and marketing nods, but once I tasted this New Zealand beauty I knew there was a new kid on the block…or bay. Nobilo’s Icon is a wine of exceptional weight and length, with a superb balance of opulent fruit flavors, clean minerality, and mouthwatering acidity. Grapes are selected from Nobilo’s vineyards in the Awatere Valley, the Upper Wairau Valley, and Rapaura sub regions of Marlborough. Upper Wairau vineyards produce that rich mouth filling palate weight, and the Rapaura fruit provides notes of passionfruit, citrus zest, and tropical aromas. Pair with pan-seared white-fleshed fish or your favorite shellfish dish.
95 points Decanter Magazine 2015

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Pazo Cilleiro Rias Baixas Albariño

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $14.99

While there is a plethora of fantastic choices for Summer sipping, one that consistently comes to mind as truly multi-purpose and most satisfying is Albariño. It is still a bit eclectic to the mainstream as far as recognition, but it delivers a ton of delicious fruit. Galicia, home to Rias Baixas in northern Spain, is situated on the Atlantic coast just above Portugal, and its northern latitude means it comes from a cooler climate so is fairly crisp and clean. But as it sees extended lees contact, it also musters up some richness which really adds to the enjoyment. The soils are poor, mainly granite, so the abundant rainfall doesn’t dilute the intensity of fruit, that coupled with the 2200 plus hours of sunshine deliver a ripeness to offset the cutting acidity. This zesty gem offers up white peach, citrus, some hints of green melon and a saline component that knits it all together. It is at once subtly textured and cleansing, making it a terrific partner to shellfish, white fleshed fish, even fresh garden salads. Also pair it with salty cheeses such as Mahon or Campo de Montalban, Marcona Almonds and Prosciutto.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

La Caña Rias Baixas Albariño

Regular $17.99 Gazette Special $14.99

In the classic Rias Baixas style, the nose conceals a tight, crisp wine with great acidity. Mild apple and peach with a lingering tropical note. Great balance between fruit and minerality. This bottle will stand alone as a reception wine or pair well with shellfish, crustaceans, white-fleshed fish, and pasta with white sauce.

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Fetzer Sundial California Chardonnay

Regular $8.99 Gazette Special $6.99

Highly praised by Wine Spectator Magazine, this Chardonnay offers aromas like peach, nectarine and tangerine. It is a fruit driven style with great acidity and not too much oak. Sundial has a lot to offer at a great price point. This tasty Chardonnay is pleasantly refreshing and satisfying to drink as an aperitif. It is a much simpler presentation of this popular grape than most of the expensive ones. Clean, uncomplicated and tasty.

Gabriella Tardos Wine Specialist Westwood

Maddalena Monterey Chardonnay

Regular $14.99 Gazette Special $12.99

This is a silky beauty that greets the nose with an array of ripe fruit aromas, including guava, orange peel and citrus. The round mouth feel shows depth and body that is complemented by forward flavors of tropical fruit. A touch of spicy oak adds complexity. Balanced acidity creates structure and a long complex finish. Truly a great value at this price with the Tasting Panel Magazine awarding it 92 points. Halibut on the grill with lemon butter would be a perfect pairing.
92 points – Tasting Panel Magazine 2014

Bruce Davis Wine specialist Palm Desert

Yalumba South Australia “Y” Series Viognier

Regular $11.99 Gazette Special $9.99

With the emergence of warm weather, we return to our normal outdoor activities, of lounging, sipping delicious white wine and enjoying as much daytime fun as possible! For now, I am treating myself with Viognier and its deliciousness for everyday drinking. Yalumba crafted a big fruit forward wine that fits almost all occasions. Viognier is an exotic wine grape; it can have the richness of Chardonnay, the acidity of Sauvignon Blanc, and still come out refreshing for an aperitif. As noted, this Viognier has light and provocative aromas of crystallized ginger, pineapple, lemons, and lychees leading into notes of honeysuckle that give the wine a mouth feel and richness appreciated even at dinner. You can serve this lovely white wine with almost any cheese and spread! Yalumba’s Viognier deliciously pairs with the myriad ham, turkey, chicken courses, curries, and sides with sweet potatoes and ambrosia!

William Buford Wine Specialist Hollywood

Lola North Coast Pinot Noir

Regular $18.99 Gazette Special $15.99

Lola North Coast Pinot Noir is a blend of unique vineyards from Mendocino, Russian River Valley and the Sonoma Coast. True to its regional character, has superior texture and mouth-feel and balanced with bright acidity. Bright garnet in color with aromas of cola, blackberries, cherries and vanilla notes, has a rich layered mouth-feel , abundant in flavor and texture. The many layers find focus on the palate while the supple tannins carry the wine through a soft, balanced and lingering finish. Enjoy with roasted pork and seafood.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Elk Cove Vineyards Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Regular $34.99 Gazette Special $26.99

Elk Cove Vineyards’ Pat and Joe Campbell were part of the migration of Pinot Noir producers from California to Oregon back in the early 1970s, the beginning of Oregon’s “Pinot Noir Era,” when cuttings were first planted in the north end of the Willamette Valley by people who were convinced that Burgundian varieties could be grown better in Oregon than in California. Their success was demonstrated at a famous tasting in France in 1980 where Oregon Pinots showed so well against the great wines of Burgundy that more than one Burgundy producer rushed to acquire vineyard land in Oregon. 2014 in Oregon will be remembered as one of the vintages of a lifetime; reminiscent of 1988 and 2002, when you have high quality and high quantity simultaneously. Early bud break, dry, warm conditions and even ripening gave us wines that show focused fruit, good concentration and amazing freshness. James Suckling gives this wine 92 points. “A wine with plenty of dried strawberry and berry aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm and velvety tannin”. Don’t miss this wine! I’m going to serve with salmon and veggies off the grill.

Rob Hill Wine Specialist Westchester

Burn Cottage Cashburn Central Otago Pinot Noir

Regular $29.99 Gazette Special $26.99

When people seek world class Pinot Noir they typically look to France (Burgundy) or California (Russian River Valley and Santa Barbara County – Santa Lucia Highlands, Santa Maria, etc.) Often overlooked, New Zealand has quietly become a legit contender and is pumping out some delicious juice for your enjoyment. Cashburn is a second label from Burn Cottage Vineyards , located in the foothills of the Pisa Range in the Central Otaga Valley. The grapes for this beauty are grown practicing biodynamic farming methods and is declassified fruit from the Burn Cottage Vineyards that doesn’t go into their higher end bottlings. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a second label because it rocks!!! Lush and ripe dark cherry and chocolate flavors segue to undertones of earthy, terroir-driven notes of thyme, briar and mushroom. Supple, mouth-filling tannins give layers of depth that are kept focused and balanced by zippy acidity through the lengthy finish. A real crowd-pleaser, pair with good friends as it’s great on its own, or it goes well with salmon and chicken dishes or hearty cheeses and charcuterie.

Fernando Damasco Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Don Miguel Gascon Mendoza Malbec

Regular $13.99 Gazette Special $11.99

This fine wine comes from high altitude vineyards along Cordillera of the Andes Mountains. Offering notes of cherry, earth, campfire, and blossom to the nose and red cherry, red currents and a hint of cucumber to the palate proves this Malbec to to be very complex. Its savory style would go well with a soft cheese such as brie and mushroom camembert. 2015 received 87 Points in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge.

Kyle Ezidro Wine Specialist Manhattan Beach

La Meridiana Vitis Barbera d’Asti

Regular $14.99 Gazette Special $11.99

Barbera is one of those fun wines that everybody loves, but often is overlooked in search of something more dynamic. Well, Barbera, when farmed well, can be at least delicious, if not dynamic, and there are ample examples of both. Yes, in the old days there were examples of thin watery overly farmed types, but modern winemaking has really turned some of them into something delectable. Somewhat atypical in style, La Meridiana is pretty modern in style, with full bodied rich black cherry fruit, notes of earth, truffle, and pretty good extract, more than many of its stable mates. It still is representative of classic Barbera, but has a new world flair that makes it polished and supple. Enjoy with braised meats, aged hard cheeses, pasta or of course, homemade pizza.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha

Regular $16.99 Gazette Special $14.99

Gorgeous in the glass with a deep red and purple color. A nose full of ripe red fruit with hints of vanilla and tobacco. On the palate, this wine features a blend of dark ripe fruit, mild tannin, a hint of pepper, and a pleasing lingering finish. Pair this wine with a sharp cheddar or creamy bleu cheese, roasted lamb or venison.

Neal Wasserman Wine Specialist La Jolla

Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Crianza

Regular $24.99 Gazette Special $19.99

Tempranillo is exemplified here! One of the key and most influential grapes of northern Spain, it expresses itself beautifully in Ribera del Duero, I feel as much or better than in its more famous Rioja. With winemaking roots going back over 2000 years, it finally achieved D.O. status in 1982 guided by some of Spain’s most respected talents proving that the wines here compete with the world’s finest. The vineyards reside on a rocky plateau perched above the Duero river that runs through Spain and Portugal to the Atlantic. Chalk, limestone and clay soils retain moderate amounts of water allowing vines to survive long arid summers without raisining the delicate clusters. The flavor profile is pure, with balanced fruit, acidity, tannin and a beautiful cherry, black plum core that segues to hints of toast, mineral, and fleeting earth tones. Racy and well integrated, it is chock full of flavor without being clumsy or cumbersome. This youthful red will improve for another half decade but is a joy in its youth. Pair with well-marbled beef, cured ham, lamb chops, grilled vegetables or anything off the grill.
2014 received 90 Points @ RobertParker.com 

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Tinto Pesquera Ribera Del Duero Crianza

Regular $34.99 Gazette Special $29.99

Let’s not kid ourselves, this wine is unlike many tintos (red wines) that many of us have had from Ribera del Duero Spain. This wine is thought-out cared for and kept close to the wine maker and it shows. The black fruit and hint of plums balanced with tannins and acidity makes this Spanish red the perfect food pairing wine. The 18 months kept in French and American oak give this wine a nice balanced front, mid and finish that makes you want to return to the glass. The quality of wine inside out does the price every time I taste it.

Omar Lima Wine Specialist Santa Monica

Le Macchiole Bolgheri Rosso

Regular $31.99 Gazette Special $26.99

Wine Proprietor Eugenio Campolmi purchased his first vineyard in Bolgheri, Italy in 1975 and baptized it “Le Macchiole. In contrast to his renowned neighbors who focused on Bordeaux blends, Campolmi focused on achieving the purest expression of individual varieties, crafting distinct wines of very high quality. Le Macchiole has joined Sassicaia, Ornellaia, and Guado al Tasso as one of the most prestigious estates in Bolgheri. Following Eugenio’s death in 2002, his wife Cinzia Merli, who shares her husband’s passion, took over at the estate. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this wine speaks eloquently of Le Macchiole’s unique Bolgheri terroir and the estate’s painstaking winemaking process . Bright red and blue fruit aromas and a dusting of spice leap from the glass. Elegant yet approachable, this Rosso offers lovely density and juiciness with notes of dark cherry, raspberries, flowers, mint and sweet spices that meld into the voluptuous finish.
92 points James Suckling – 91 points Wine Spectator 2013

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Trefethen Napa Valley Merlot

Regular $36.99 Gazette Special $31.99

If you plan to visit Trefethen winery in Napa Valley soon, you would be remiss if you didn’t have an appreciation of its history. Constructed in 1886 by a Scottish sea captain, Hamden McIntyre, this winery was originally known as Eshcol (at one time, this was a 2nd label wine made by Trefethen). McIntyre designed it as a gravity-flow system whereby a horse-drawn winch brought grapes to the third floor of the three-story structure for crushing; gravity then carried the juice to the second floor for fermenting; and, eventually, the wine descended to the first floor for aging. Some winery operators are praising this gravity method as if it were a novel idea – yes, novel for over one hundred years. Merlot is finally regaining its stature and popularity and Trefethen is one of the leaders of the pack. Notes of vanilla lead the way to aromas of black cherry, ripe plum and black licorice. On the palate, the wine is well structured and balanced, offering flavors of chocolate with a hint of fine leather. The mouthfeel is full and rich, with vibrant tannins that end with a rich finish. This Merlot is very food-friendly and pairs well with a wide range dishes from spaghetti to filet mignon. It is also delicious with pork, lamb and casserole dishes with pancetta or mushrooms.
94 points Wine Review Online – 92 points Wine Enthusiast 2013

Michael Cristillo Certified Specialist of Wine; Corporate Wine & Spirits Buyer

Slingshot Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Regular $19.99 Gazette Special $17.99

Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Napa from three different esteemed vineyards, primarily from the Julianna Vineyard in Pope Valley. Aged for 22 months in French oak barrels, 30% new, this red is complex yet approachable, with a bouquet of ripe cherry and blueberry. The palate is dark and textured with notes of mocha, blackcurrant, and plum balancing the endless acidity and chewy tannins. The lingering finish of subtle new oak will have you scrambling for more. Enjoy with red meats, game and aged cheese.

Jose Cortes Wine Specialist South Pasadena

Cht Ste Michelle Columbia Vly Cold Creek Cabernet

Regular $33.99 Gazette Special $29.99

Forty-five-year-old vines from the iconic Cold Creek Vineyard are used to produce this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine. Packed with an abundance of blueberry and dark cherry notes, essences of herbs, and a bit of coffee and chocolate, it is rich yet approachable. It’s a great wine for a Spring barbecue, pairing fabulously with grilled steaks,braised short ribs, or roast lamb.

Judi Woods Wine Specialist Rolling Hills

Hourglass HG III Napa Valley Proprietary Red

Regular $54.99 Gazette Special $47.99

Tony Biagi is no stranger to California Gold as he has performed flawlessly at Duckhorn, Neal Family, Plumpjack, and now Hourglass. No small shoes to fill following in the footsteps of Bob Foley (of Pride Mtn and Switchback fame) whom helped put Hourglass on the map. So the saga continues, Hourglass is named for a vineyard, ironically, shaped like an hourglass, smack in the heart of St. Helena. The Blueline vineyard, contiguous with Switchback Ridge and across from 3 Palms, also is a contributor to this project. The wine is somewhat Merlot biased, deceivingly rock solid with plenty of firm tannins to give the wine ample structure to carry into the next decade. But its youthful charm is mesmerizing as it delivers full throttle sweet cherry and mixed berry fruit, gripping but balanced acidity, fleeting herbs and a mineral laden, pure, sexy, persistent racy finish. It is sleek and incredibly attractive at this stage, but put a few away for special occasions. This one screams for a coffee dusted Rib Eye, or dry aged New York.

Geoff Nicoll Director Beer, Wine & Spirits

Levendi Napa Vly Cabernet Sweetwater Ranch

Regular $ 44.99 Gazette Special $39.99

Levendi Winery is owned by the Gianulias family since 1926. Their focus is on small production wines that result in high quality, decadent wines. Winemaker Alison Doran, with over 30 years of winemaking experience, is at the helm of the winemaking process for Levendi. Alison is instrumental in Levendi’s success with her degree in wine making but also with on hands experience having worked in vineyards in the region of Alsace, France. The Sweetwater Cabernet is a full bodied Cabernet with amazing complexity and structure. The nose showcases notes of plum, blackberry, cherries, pepper and sage. On the palate this wine has flavors of black currant, baked spices and bold wood notes. The mouthfeel is bold with rich tannins and long, lingering finish. This wine would be best paired with prime rib or grilled rib eye.el and smooth tannins. This wine pairs well with strong-flavored hard cheeses such as a good farmhouse cheddar or an aged Gouda would be perfect. It is delicious with desserts made with dark chocolate or berries.

Rafael Bretado Wine Specialist Newport Beach

Prices valid May 3-May 30, 2017
All wines assort for 10% discount when 6 or more bottles are purchased. All selections are 750 ml unless otherwise noted. No rain checks. While Bristol Farms takes every effort to ensure adequate supply, all offerings are subject to availability.

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