2004 Burgans Albarino ($9.99) Albarino is the most famous wine from the Rias Baixas. Many people liken this varietal to Viognier, but I find it has a more delicate quality. Full of fruit and quite refreshing, the Burgans will be great drinking throughout the summer. 2004 Gramona Gessami ($11.99) 90 points Parker: “A terrific buy … Exotic waxy notes intermixed with notions of rose water, acacia flowers, and minerals jump from the glass of this medium-bodied white. It possesses a fruity, dry, intense, pure, spicy personality.” 2004 Mas Que Vinos Ercavio Roble, La Mancha ($9.99) Made from 100% cencibel, the local name for tempranillo, this tinto is made using a blend of traditional and modern methods…spending some time in large clay amphoras known as tinajas and aged for 5 months in a mix of French and American oak. Full and fleshy, this red from La Mancha has plenty of ripe black cherry fruit and a long finish. Perfect with your favorite grilled steak! 2001 Quinta de Roriz Reserva, Portugal ($16.99) 91 points Wine Spectator: “Full-bodied, deep-colored and rich with lip-smacking flavors of dark plum, blackberry jam, cocoa and a hint of French roast as well. Tannins build on the finish, but with an appealing silkiness and dark chocolate notes that go on and on. Drink now through 2008.” 2003 Bodegas Tikalo Kios, La Mancha ($16.99) 90 points from Robert Parker: “The outstanding 2003 Kios (100% Tempranillo) is an exceptional bargain. Attractive blackberry and blueberry aromas are followed by elegant, medium to full-bodied flavors. Tremendous density, purity, and ripeness cascade over the palate in this seamless beauty. It should drink well for 1-3 years.” Buen Provecho! —Anne Pickett, email@example.com
I have just returned from a fall time trip to South America and have had some awesome wines from Argentina and Chile. Here are a few suggestions for your casa this summer or for any season! 2005 De Martino Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Chile ($12.99) The South American wine press always ranks the wines from De Martino at the top of the heap. Their latest offering is this organic Sauvignon. Fresh and full of citrus flavors, the perfect aperitif or poolside sipper. 2003 Santa Ema Reserve Carmenere, Chile ($12.99) This offering from Santa Ema shows of all of the charming qualities this often maligned varietal. Full of soft plummy fruit, this red has aromas of tobacco, currants and vanillin oak. Enjoy this Carmenere with grilled pork chops! 2004 Pascual Toso Reserve Malbec, Argentina ($14.99) The folks at Pascual Toso have been making wine in Maipu since 1890. Recently, they hired to Paul Hobbs as consulting winemaker. The combination of Italian tradition and California flash results in a Malbec with style and grace. Packed with ripe blueberry/blackberry fruit, this inky red has a suave palate feel and a long finish. Fantastic with ribs! 2003 Kaiken Ultra Malbec, Argentina ($17.99) A blend of 92% malbec and 8% cabernet, this red wine is a broad shoulder bruiser with aromas of roasted coffee, oak and blackberry. The burst of ripe fruit really packs a punch on the palate. Enjoy with grilled sausage! 2004 Viña Montes Syrah Colchagua Valley, Chile ($15.99) A wine so good that it will make the angels sing, the Montes Alpha Syrah is packed with blackberry/raspberry fruit and a long peppery finish. This red has more style and substance than wines at twice the price. Perfect for steak! Buen Provecho! —Anne Pickett
This winter was a rainy one in California, and now that summer is here I want to spend as much time as possible outdoors with friends. Opening Champagne always makes me feel special and a magnum even more so. I try and pop one at every oppurtunity! Because of the increased volume of liquid to air in a magnum, the Champagne always tastes fresher and more exciting from these double bottles. A magnum is a generous format, both in quantity and quality. The Bonville Brut Selection Blanc de Blancs 1.5L ($49.99) is a perfect apertif, racy, elegant and long finishing. For fans of the blanc de noir style the 100% pinot noir, organicly grown Fleury “Carte Rouge” Brut 1.5L ($64.99) is a rich, satisfying Champagne that still finishes completely dry. For caviar in the garden the Ariston Aspasie Brut Prestige 1.5L ($74.99) is spectacular with its old vine power and seven years on the lees. A whole wild salmon and the Tarlant Cuvee Louis Brut Prestige 1.5L ($99.00) is a complete party. One of our best Champagnes at any price, this even blend of chardonnay and pinot noir from the Tarlants oldest plot of vines is often compared to Krug. Please feel free to contact me at 1-800-247-5987 ex 728, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your champagne (or sherry!) needs. Please also drop me a line if you would like to be on my list of Champagne customers. A toast to you! —Gary Westby
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