Category Archives: Specials

A little high-end, and a little value!

Tasting Notes Sept 20th, 2019

Lioco 2014 “Demuth” Anderson Valley Chardonnay

Regular $57.99 Cooper’s Price $36.99

At 1700 feet above the town of Boonville, this remote windswept ridge seems an improbable place to find Chardonnay. 95% of the vines here are dedicated Pinot Noir. Chris Demuth had the foresight to plant Chardonnay here 35+ years ago in the heart of Pinot country. Planted on a 1980’s rootstock and racked by phylloxera, this vineyard has historically shown signs of stress and resulted in tiny yields. When we visited in February, the biodynamic cover crops laid down by Anthony Filiberti and his crew were in full bloom and Demuth had never looked healthier. Our 2014 Demuth displays the vintage character we have come to prize: power and clarity. 

Vinification: Fermented on wild yeast in neutral oak casks. A slow, naturally occurring malolactic fermentation completed. Aged on lees for 1yr, with no battonage then settled in stainless steel for 3 months.

Profile: Aromas of brioche, yellow plum, lemon balm. Notes of Ginger root, pulverized river stone minerality and slight hazel-nuttiness.

Domaine de Couron Cotes-du-Rhone Village Blanc

Regular $18 Cooper’s Price $16.99

This family-run estate of Jean-Luc and Marie-Lise Dorthe is nestled in an area rich with human history, between the Northern and Southern Rhône in the tiny village of Saint Marcel d’Ardèche. Located on historic lands 3 miles from the famed Neanderthal Cave Paintings of Ardѐche, France, their vineyards are laden with artifacts including 40,000 year old arrowheads. The Romans once cultivated wine here and the area is rich with ancient ruins. 

The Dorthe family has been wine growers since 1860, farm using sustainable and occasionally organic techniques of Lutte Raisonnée since 1993, naturally following centuries without ever using herbicides. The vines are close-spaced at 1 meter along each row in each of their rocky, terraced hillside vineyards. The grapes are all hand-picked by the family, hand-sorted, and native yeast fermented at cool temperatures never using oak.

Profile: Blended of organically grown, equal parts Marsanne, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc, this lovely Rhône white reveals a nose of yellow stone fruits, minerals, flowers, and tropical flowers. Flavors repeat the nose in a lush, round, mouth – coating texture, finishing with lengthy echoes of the same aromatic and flavor profile. Fermented in cement, only the Roussanne ages in a neutral oak ca sk before blending and bottling 3 months after harvest.

Smockshop Band 2018 “Spring Ephemeral” Pinot Noir

Cooper’s Price $42.99

This is from a 7 acre site in the East Hills of Hood River. We farm the site with the same minimalist, nature inspired approach that we employ at Hiyu. It was picked by hand and placed whole-cluster in open top bins. The fruit wasn’t touched for the first eight days. Afterwards we kept the cap wet with a single pigeage once a day before pressing directly to barrel  after 22 days of maceration. It aged in barrel on the lees for 8 months before being bottled by gravity. 

Profile: Sublimely delicate and then, later, it’s all power. A smell of cedar, incense and dark roses floats over everything. This is a mountain wine. A sparse richness of wild strawberries and raspberries alongside a dusty trail, or plums in a neglected thicket. It alludes to sugar, but then as the swelling hits a peak, the coolness, structure and acidity comes. The finish of the wine tempers everything. There is mint, hyssop, matsutake and river-rock. It is taut and full of tannic power.

Chateau Vieux Meyney Bordeaux

Cooper’s Price $13.99

The property is located in the commune of Meyney on the edge of the Fronsac region, on the right bank in Bordeaux, where the Merlot grape thrives in clay-limestone soils. Its location ensures the optimal ripening of the fruit. Chateau Vieux Meyney is aged in stainless steel tanks to allow it to mature rapidly for early drinking and enjoyment of the soft Merlot fruit and its enticing aromas.

Taste:  Chateau Vieux Meyney offers ripe, spicy, dark cherry aromas and flavors, and soft tannins. It is very appealing for present drinking.

Food and steak, hamburgers and roasted chicken.

Kevin’s Notes:  This red wine is a perfect example of why Bordeaux represents terrific values.  Yes, Bordeaux makes some of the world’s most expensive wines, but it also provides fantastic wines for the money. 

It’s Tequila Time, Baby!!!

 Tequila Epifania Azul Anejo

Epifania Azul 2 Year Old Añejo 100% Blue Agave Tequila. Made in the same distillery as one of our favorites, “Dos Artes Amor Mio Afamado Mandala”. This place knows what it’s doing. This beauty is handcrafted and handmade, inside and outside of the bottle.

Kevin’s Notes:  On occasion customers have asked, “Are you paying for the tequila or the bottle”? This is a very fair question, for which my answer is both.  This is a stunning Anejo tequila. It is aged two years in oak when the minimum is 1 year and 1 day, so if they were in such a hurry to make money on just the bottle, why would they age it so long?  

Each bottle is an original as it is hand made, and hand painted. It takes roughly 72 hours to make each bottle and it is kiln-fired three times!!!

Finally, for the naysayers, we are proud to invest in two bottles for our tasting.  Once the tasting is completed on Saturday, we will have a drawing for each empty bottle!  We only have 22 bottles to sell.  Price $129.99

Patron Reposado & Anejo

History: The original Patron Tequila was produced by Tequila Siete Leguas, and brand rights were sold to St. Maarten Spirits, owners John Paul DeJoria (Paul Mitchell Hair Products) and Martin Crowley in 1989. As the brand grew, Tequila Siete Leguas was no longer able to keep up with production, and Patron built a new distillery and moved all production in 2002.  

Once the Blue Agave plants are harvested, the pinas are slowly steamed for 79 hours.  The steamed agave pina is sweet and rich, and is torn and shredded, once softened.  The shredded agave is placed in a shallow traditional stone pit, where it is macerated with large, natural stone milling wheels.  The juice of the agave is placed in wooden fermentation tanks for 72 hours and then distilled twice. The first distillation produces a sweet low alcohol brew. The second is less sweet and produces much higher alcohol content. The water source is a spring-fed deep well on the property.  Each bottle is handmade and rinsed in tequila before bottling.  

Most of you may know Patron based on its reputation, but they were just too expensive to pull the trigger, but not now!

Who says a really nice smaller downtown store has to be more expensive?

We beat Applejacks, Cosco, and Liquor Barn!!! We are the least expensive in the valley!

Reposado – SALE PRICE $37.98  Regular Price $54.99  Save $17.00

Anejo – SALE PRICE $37.98  Regular Price $59.99  Save $22.00

Tequila Corazón, Single Estate Blanco Tequila

Tequila Corazón is distilled twice before being infused with oxygen and bottled. Corazón believes this process helps to lift the delicate aromas and flavors from the 6-8 year old agave plants that have been estate-grown and harvested in the Los Altos region of Mexico since 1886. Unaged and crystal clear, this spirit has enticing aromas of sweet cooked agave, and fruity and floral notes. Perfect for sipping or in Margaritas and other cocktails, it won a Double Gold medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Corazón de Agave Blanco Tequila embodies the true essence of the heart of the agave…clean, clear, crisp and smooth to the finish.

Casa San Matias is one of the few family-owned agave estates in Jalisco, Mexico. Corazón de Agave Tequila is estate cultivated, distilled and hand bottled. The entire Corazón de Agave Tequila process comes straight from the heart of its producers.

This is another great sale price!  Regular $26.99, Sale Price $19.98

Its time to gather…

Salomon Undhof Hochterrassen Gruner Veltliner

Cooper’s Price $14.99

This landmark winery is located in the twin town of Krems-Stein in the wine-growing region of Kremstal, one of the oldest wine areas in Austria.

The region was founded in the eighth century when monks who followed Charlemagne’s army down the Danube saw the grape growing potential of its south-facing terraces.  Grape vines like the sun!

In 1780 the Salomon family acquired the Undhof – a farm building once part of a Capuchin monastery – and started producing wines there in 1792. The Salomon’s ancestors were boatmen involved in the salt trade with their wine business only a side-line. Today Salomon is one of the most progressive and quality driven wineries in Austria, making Riesling and Grüner Veltliner of stunning purity and elegance.  

In 1925, this pioneer of Austrian winemaking was the first to export its wines; now they export over half its production. 

Vinosia Fiano di Avellino le Grade 2016

Regular Price $19.99 Cooper’s Price $16.99

Vinosia is young project founded by Mario and Luciano Ercolino, whose family founded Feudi di San Gregorio where Mario was formerly the head winemaker. In 2003, Mario and Luciano set out to make their own wines and founded Vinosia, a new place of wine. 

Mario oversees the winemaking process with the highest level of precision and care, while Luciano manages marketing and distribution. Together, they are dedicated to expressing the potential and character of the region’s wines by putting a modern spin on native varieties.

Wine Education – The Grape, Region and Wine

Fiano is a high-quality, white-wine grape variety used widely in southern Italy, particularly in Campania. Used mainly as a varietal wine, Fiano is nutty and textured with floral and honeyed notes, spice and tropical fruit flavors like pineapple. Its main incarnation is as Fiano di Avellino DOCG wine.

Fiano di Avellino Wine – Fiano di Avellino DOCG is an appellation for white wine, located in the Avellino province within the Campania, Italy. It is regarded as the finest expression of the white Fiano grape

Amepelia “Unlitro di Costa Toscana” Rosso

Cooper’s Price $19.99 – 1 liter

Elisabetta Foradori, one of Italy’s top superstar winemakers, has come together with two friends, Giovanni Podini and Thomas Widmann, to develop Ampeleia: a completely unique project in the Maremma region of Tuscany, farmed biodynamically. Ampeleia includes a total of 150 hectares of which only 40 (100 acres) are planted with vines. The property slopes down towards the sea, where earlier Etruscans nourished the soil to grow grapes.

The Wine: The wine is packaged in a one liter as it is a lighter bodied red, meant to be shared with others over lunch or dinner.  The wine is a blend of mainly Alicante (synonymous with Grenache, Cannonau, Garnacha) but also Carignano (Carignan), Mourvedre, Sangiovese and Alicante Bouschet.

It aged for 6 months in cement tanks and it is biodynamically farmed.

Kevin’s Notes:  This wine is simply fun in the mouth, it’s wonderful!  Unfortunately, the wholesaler can only get 56 cases per year of this wine so we quickly grabbed 5 cases.  I can’t wait for our customers to try this wine.

 Château Couronneau, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge 2015

Cooper’s Price $19.99

The Cartier family lived for 3 centuries on the estate and invested on the splendid domain from the XVI century. The Piat family, the proprietors of Chateau Couronneau, have worked hard and meticulously in the vineyard to coax out the best possible fruit for their wine. This hard work includes a dedication to organic farming (they are certified with Ecocert), green harvesting in Spring, and limiting yields to an average 40% below what is allowed for the appellation.  This wine is also biodynamic!

Wine Education:  Green harvesting is the harvesting or dropping of unripe (aka green) green clusters of grapes from the vine. It is a form of crop thinning to help manage yield and to enable the remaining grape clusters to fully ripen according to the winemaker’s aims. 

Wine Education:  Bordeaux Supérieur is an appellation tier applied to wines made within the generic Bordeaux AOP zone. They are produced from the classic Bordeaux grape varieties. The reds are, as their name implies, intended to be a slightly “superior” form of standard Bordeaux AOC wines.  

Kevin’s Notes:  This is deep, full-bodied red.  2015 has been rated as an outstanding vintage! 

We’ve got a GREAT lineup this weekend!

Hess Collection Napa Estate Chardonnay

Cooper’s Price $19.99

Named after the native Su’skol people who used the site as a meeting place valued for nearby sources of fish and game. The location of the Su’skol Vineyard in Southern Napa near the San Pablo Bay, takes advantage of the marine influence and the sandy clay and sandstone soils, making our the 175-acre vineyard an ideal location for growing Chardonnay. 

The vineyard is carefully farmed to emphasize fruit with wonderful acidity and balance. Crisp and clean this Chardonnay showcases the moderate temperatures influenced by nearby San Pablo Bay. 

Profile: The multiple clones display an aromatic musqué, resulting in aromas and flavors of apple, white pear and a slight touch of tropical fruits, accented by aromas of honeysuckle. We ferment only a small portion in new French Oak, and allow just a portion (28%) to undergo secondary fermentation, showcasing fruit and a round, rich mouthfeel from bâttonage over several weeks. 

Education: “Bâttonage” is a term for stirring the settled lees back into the wine. “Lees” are the sediment of winemaking, made up, mostly, of dead yeast cells, and bits of grape solids. Some winemakers like to keep a portion of these solids in contact with the wine as a way to extract not only flavor and aroma, but mainly texture.

Laura Lorenzo Camino de La Frontera

Regular $32 Cooper’s Price $28.99

Arribes is a dramatic region where the legendary Duero and Tormes Rivers meet, bordering Portugal and Spain. The landscape of the region is dotted with Romanesque architecture, and the steep slopes and canyons overlooking the two rivers are dominated by beautiful banked terrace vineyards. Here, gradients can reach up to 85%, making vineyard work laborious.

Profile: The indomitable local variety Juan Garcia, co-planted and co-fermented with Tempranillo, Bobal, Rufete, Mencía, Garnacha, and others, from 100-130 year-old vines. This wine follows Laura’s style of allowing these ancient vines to speak in their own voices, with native yeast fermentation in tank, no manipulation, and very low sulfur. Medium body, this delicately hued red is full of interest, starting with floral aromas, moist earth, and wild herbs. What follows is a structured mix of tangy fresh fruits and natural earthy elements with a lighter frame. Firm tannins somewhat reminiscent of Nebbiolo, while unfamiliar in a way that makes it new and riveting. A velvety palate with grilled fennel, salty black licorice, leather, black currant, and herbal tea spices.

Joe’s Notes: This one, like the Post Flirtation a few weeks back, is a red wine best served slightly chilled. 

Fattoria il Palagio “Cellini” Chianti

Cooper’s Price $12.99

The massive property of Fattoria Il Palagio dominates 126 hectares of hills between Volterra and San Gimignano, in the South of Tuscany, 95 of which are vineyards. The main complex was built in the late 1700s on the foundations of an ancient military settlement from the 1300s. Though Fattoria Il Palagio employs thoroughly modern harvesting and winemaking methods, the property remains full of history and tradition, supported, quite literally, by early Etruscan and Roman settlements. Profile: This lighter-bodied Chianti opens with red-skinned berry, iris and underbrush aromas. Mirroring the nose, the lively palate offers red cherry, clove and star anise flavors alongside pliant tannins.

Joe’s Notes: Satisfying Tuscan wines can be challenging to find at value prices but this one exceeds in that category. The winery takes great pride in the history of their land and strive to produce traditional Tuscan wines worthy of such long-lived tradition.

Pax “The Hermit” 2014 North Coast Syrah

Regular $40 Cooper’s Price $35.99

Pax Mahle decided to make a bold choice by favoring the untapped potential of the Syrah grape. The entire lineup of his wines come from cool climate vineyards in Sonoma County and Mendocino; big, rich expressions of Syrah that quickly established Pax as one of California’s premier Syrah producers. For every vineyard Pax works with, there are 20 other vineyards that didn’t make the grade. Location, soil, exposition, dedicated growers, plant material and sustainability are all important factors that affect his decision. The goal with the chosen vineyards is simple: harvest ripe, healthy grapes, with balanced acids and sugars, which require no additions from the winery.

Named after the reclusive wanderer who made the hill of Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley of France his home and lent it his nickname upon settling there. Hermitage is famous for the blending of Syrah components from distinctly different vineyards, to create a powerfully balanced wine that’s sum is greater than the whole of its parts. 

Profile: Roasted meat, black currant, cracked pepper, cardamom and star anise make for a lively and classic Syrah nose. The palate follows and adds blue and purple fruits, with hints of incense and cigar box and a zesty freshness that only high altitude or coastal vineyards can provide. Very smooth tannins, and incredibly dense and powerful for an entry-level wine.

Joe’s Notes: Something about North Coast Syrahs just excite my palate in a way that others don’t. This is rich and juicy, but strikes an incredible balance. Deep, brooding fruit and exotic spice so well layered and integrated, one sip and you’ll understand why this is probably my favorite red wine in the store!

What? Free wine tasting?! Yes, Please!!!

Domaine de la Prébende Beaujolais Rose

Cooper’s Price $16.99

Domaine de la Prébende produces a deeply mineral Beaujolais from a predominantly clay and limestone terroir, a rarity in a region dominated by granite soils. “Une prébende” essentially means “a tax,” and the domaine sits on the location where monks used to collect taxes from the villagers. As Ghislaine Dupeuble puts it, “Monks didn’t like to own low end vineyards!” 

Profile: Direct press Gamay rosé sourced from limestone vineyards surrounding the family domaine in Le Breuil. Bright, cheerful and gulpable with red-currant and strawberry flavors. The wine is light, bright and lively. It demands to be drunk immediately. 

Education: “Direct pressing” involves allowing the grape juice to have contact with the skins for an extremely short period of time. Instead of allowing the juice much time to soak and gain color, the grapes are pressed right away to remove the skins, as a white wine would be vinified. Because of the pigment in the skins, there will still be a hint of color in the juice —  it’s impossible for the juice to have no contact with the skins, after all — so this process tends to produce the lightest-colored rosés

Lioco “La Selva Vineyard” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir –

Cooper’s $35.99

Lioco was founded in 2005 by Kevin O’Connor and Matt Licklider with a goal of producing wines that countered the prevailing California mantra that “bigger is better.” A more European model was pursued with Lioco sourcing fruit from cooler climate, older, family-owned vineyards with an organic mind set.

The wine: From a selection of premier Anderson Valley sites including Romani & Wentzel. Pinot Noir clones planted in varied soils of decomposed sandstone, clay, and fractured rock in elevations ranging from 400-800 feet. Along with an omnipresent marine influence, this valley is defined by the presence of old growth redwood trees. La Selva means ‘the forest’ in Spanish.

Profile: Generous and mouth-filling, this is a medium-to-full bodied wine with fruity aromas of Italian plum, juniper, potting clay. Rich cherry, huckleberry, cedar, and spices partner with a firm texture and a lingering, slightly tannic finish, while showing a lot of fruit up front.

Muriel Crianza Rioja

Cooper’s Price $15.99

One of our most representative wines of the art of mixing. It comes from a myriad of vineyard plots located in several areas of the municipality of Elciego and surrounding villages. Crianza is our flagship ambassador of Rioja Alavesa, and must express a sense of continuity with respect to what has always been. With Muriel Crianza we do not look for the specificity of a vineyard, but for the balance and the generic expression of a wider territory: the hills, terraces, slopes and small plains around Elciego, between the Sierra de Cantabria calcareous rocks and the banks of the Ebro river.

Tasting Notes: A bright cherry color. Clean and bright. Ripe red fruit aromas combined with fruit from the aging (vanilla, cocoa, coffee). Broad and elegant with soft tannins. Very pleasant.

Monte Bernardi “Retromarcia” Chianti Classico – Tuscany, Italy

Cooper’s Price $19.99

The Italian word Retromarcia means more to us than its literal translation “to back up” or “to reverse”, it has been our aim to produce intensely typical and expressive wines from Tuscany’s historic zone – Chianti Classico, using only traditional grapes. With the name Retromarcia, we are emphasizing a return to the natural elegance and charm of Sangiovese.

Retromarcia is a Chianti Classico made from 100% Sangiovese grapes from vineyards consisting of shale, sandstone, and limestone. The vinification and maturation is reminiscent of a more traditional style Chianti Classico; the result is a fresh and fruity, medium-bodied, well-balanced wine, with a nice structure, juicy acidity and a long finish. 

Profile: Deep, ruby red with hints of purple. Intense mountain herbs, aromas of cranberry, wild cherry and red plums, anise, spice, and orange peel. A fresh and fruity, medium-bodied, well-balanced wine, with a nice structure, juicy acidity and a long finish.

Brilliant wines and good times!

1. Marotti Campi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore Luzano 2017

Regular Price $19.99 Cooper’s Price $14.99

The Marotti Campi estate is one of the most important in the Castelli di Jesi zone and has been a leading producer of Verdicchio and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba for generations. The farm, founded in the 19th century, has 52 hectares planted to vine, all of which are cultivated using sustainable techniques.

Wine Education:  The Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi zone is located in northeastern Marche in central eastern Italy. The appellation is named for the city of Jesi, in the heart of the production zone. This is a moderate climate, with cool breezes from the nearby Adriatic Sea; giving the wines very good acidity, which gives these wines structure for lengthy aging.

TASTING NOTES: Straw yellow color with light green reflections. Aromas of acacia, broom and wildflowers, chamomile with hints of almond. The wine is dry with expressive aromas and flavors of citrus and pineapple.  This is a real mouthful at a reduced price. 

2. Colle Trotta “Q 500” Cerasuolo d’Abrruzzo

Only 130 cases made!  We have only 19 bottles for saleCooper’s Price $34.99

In 2006, Maurizio di Nicola aided by his great nephew began the work of recuperating a century-old farm in the village of Colle Trotta, situated in the shadow of the 2900-meter Gran Sasso mountain in the Abruzzo. 

The crops include farro fields, fruit and olive trees, and 3.5 hectares of vineyards. Maurizio calls the wines Q500 (Quota 500) because all of the vineyards sit at 500 meters or higher. Farming is certified organic, fermentations are indigenous, and the wines are unfiltered. 

Wine Education:  Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo is the newest DOC of the central Italian region, Abruzzo. Created in October 2010, the title covers the cherry-red, brightly flavored wines formerly labeled as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo.  To achieve the lighter, vibrant style which sets Cerasuolo wines apart from their heftier counterparts, a particular winemaking technique is employed. The most important element of this is the reduced contact time between the fermenting juice and the red grape skins. This serves to significantly lessen the red pigmentation of the must, resulting in the attractive cherry-like color which is behind the name Cerasuolo (meaning ‘cherry’ in Italian). This technique results in wines with a brighter, fruitier taste and which are also lower in tannins. Less soaking time also means less absorption of tannins from the skins, pips and stems. The same techniques are used to make Cerasuolo di Vittoria, the first wine of Sicily to be granted DOCG status. 

3. Chateau de la Font du Loup Cote du Rhone 2017

Cooper’s Price $17.99

“Elegance is not the current incarnation of mainstream Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, there are those who have bet it all on elegance and finesse, like Anne-Charlotte Mélia Bachas has. Font du Loup (Fountain of the Wolf) is located on the north side of the famous plateau, La Crau near Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Planted half to Grenache and half to Syrah, this 50-year-old borrowed plot is not far from the estate and follows Anne-Charlot’s same vineyard practices.  Kept in concrete tank, this is a cuvee more for early consumption, unapologetically ‘gourmand’, generous, delicious but with a certain weight and depth. Some people call it a baby Châteauneuf but doesn’t quite have the structure of wines from the appellation.”

Kevin’s Notes: About two months, we tasted her stunning Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc and we sell three of Anne’s red wines from Chateauneuf-du-Pape and now this wine. I guess you can say we’re HUGE fans of her wines. We’re going to sell a lot of this one! 

4. Owen Roe Red Blend; Yakima Valley, WA

Regular Price $27.99 Cooper’s Price $22.99

“This new red blend of some of our favorite vineyards in the Yakima Valley and the most sought after fruit in Washington. This small bottling is sourced from 5 unique sites, expressing the synergy of different soil types, climate and overall terroir. 

The initial aromatics show bright Cabernet Franc spice notes of cinnamon, anise and pink peppercorn. A blast of pretty plum fruit and firm tannins boasts a well-rounded mouthfeel with hints of subtle oak toast and dusty earth.”  David O’Reilly Owner/Winemaker

Winery Tasting Notes:  Sweet cedar accents help the finish sing. Seriously red wine fans — this stuff is awesome. 51% Merlot, 34% Cabernet Franc, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Kevin’s Notes: This is a serious red wine drinker’s wine.  It’s incredible for the price!  This wine is primarily found in only restaurants, but here you have it ~ Cheers!!! 

Bright, Sunny, Wine Tasting, Weekend, Fun!

1. Domaine de la Mordoree Cotes-du-Rhone Rosé 2018

Cooper’s Price $19.99

The Mordorée is the poetic nickname used locally for the woodcock that flies over our lands during its migrations. Ideally located at the crossroads of Provence and Languedoc, the Domaine de la Mordorée produces some of the finest wines in the Rhone Valley. They own manage and control vineyards in: Châteauneuf du Pape (Castle of the Pope), Lirac, and Tavel in Southern Rhone.

Kevin’s Notes: This wine is 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Cinsault.  An important fact about this wine is the importer; Kysela.  In Atlanta as a buyer, our company imported Fran Kysela wines.  Fran is a Master Sommelier who turned his expertise by discovering and importing some of the greatest wines and wine values from France and Spain.  Whenever I read the back of a wine label and I see Kysela’s name, I am immediately interested in that wine!  One simple remark, “Due to its richness, this is one of the best Roses. 

2. Marotti Campi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore Luzano

Regular $19.99 Cooper’s Price $12.99

The Marotti Campi estate is one of the most important in the Castelli di Jesi zone and has been a leading producer of Verdicchio and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba for generations. The farm, founded in the 19th century, has 52 hectares planted to vine, all of which are cultivated using sustainable techniques. 

Verdicchio – the grape – means “little green one”, a name which holds true as the wines are typically straw colored with pronounced green tinges.

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is a white-wine DOC located in the Marches region of east central Italy.

TASTING NOTES: Straw yellow color with light green reflections. Aromas of acacia, broom and wildflowers, chamomile with hints of almond. Dry, savory, rich texture with hints of pineapple and pleasant almond finish. 

3. Château d’Oupia Les Hérétiques Red

Great, Great, Great, wine value Cooper’s Price $11.96

Historical Notes from the Winery:  “History figures prominently in this, the main, bottling from Château d’Oupia: “Les Hérétiques” is named in recogntion of the Cathars, a heretical Christian group once based on the Languedoc but wiped out by order of Pope Innocent III in 1208 in response to the murder of a papal representative by a Cathar supporter near Minervois. The castle which is the home of Château d’Oupia dates back to this time as well. 

90% Carignan/10% Syrah. The Carignan vines average 40 years in age, with some of them being up over 100 years old. The fruit is sustainably farmed. Half of the Carignan is vinified traditionally–destemmed and fermented in used barrel and macerated with skins for 30 days–and half as whole clusters with carbonic maceration. Those wines are blended with the Syrah and aged in a combination of steel tank and neutral oak vats.”

Carignan (Cariñena in Spain) is a black-skinned wine grape variety, most likely native to Aragon, Spain. The variety is found in wines along the Mediterranean coast, particularly in northeastern Spain and in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region.

4. Ferraris Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG 

Cooper’s Price $19.99

Ruchè is a grape variety of Piedmont, Italy that has risen from virtual obscurity as a little-known, dark-skinned variety to having its own appellation, Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato. The appellation was elevated to DOCG status in 2011. Its origins are disputed, with some claiming Ruchè as indigenous to the region, while others claim it has French Burgundy roots.

All Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato wines must be made from at least 90% Ruche grapes; the remaining 10% is left open to any combination of Barbera or Brachetto grapes.

Important Wine Education:  What does DOCG mean?  DOCG Laws – “Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita”

In 1980 the Italian wine board took quality control even one step beyond the regular DOC, adding DOCG.  The G means the wine was submitted to governmental controlled tasting panel and they absolutely guarantee the stylistic authenticity of a wine.  DOCG designated wines make up only 1-3% of all Italian wine produced.

Kevin’s Notes:  I bought this wine through a DI order with my wholesaler.  DI means “Direct Import”.  It is not a wine the wholesaler carries on a regular basis.  This is an outstanding floral, full-flavored red that over delivers. 

First Day of Summer Wine Tasting!

1. Asnella Single Vineyard Vinho Verde

Cooper’s Price $15.99

Kevin’s Notes:  Rarely, do you find a Single Vineyard Vinho Verde.  The literal translation for Vinho Verde is “Green Wine”.  Oddly however, Vinho Verde is not a grape or wine, it’s a region!  It is a well-known DOC in the Minho region of north-western Portugal, but what does DOC mean for Portuguese winemaking ad why is it important?

Education: There are 3 levels of wine quality in Portugal; DOC (or DOP): DOC stands for Denominação de Origen Controlada and means the wine comes from a strictly defined geographical area with recommended and permitted grapes and maximum vine yields (tons per acre) to control quality.

Why do most Vinho Verde have very little bubbles?  Many of the Vinho Verde wines have a light fizz that can be extremely refreshing. Originally, this occurred when carbon dioxide, which is a natural byproduct of fermentation, was trapped inside the freshly fermented wine during bottling. Today, winemakers may add it through a boost of carbon dioxide, because they know that drinkers abroad have come to associate Vinho Verde with light bubbles.

Taste:  First of all, this wine has a very light fizz and it occurs naturally.  The grapes are 60% Arnito and 40% Loureio.  The fruit in this Vinho Verde is much bolder and has a very long finish.  It’s outstanding!!  They only made 340 cases!!!!

2. Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau, Macon Villages Clos St. Pancras 2017

Cooper’s Price $21.99

Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau is a small estate run by two talented winemakers, Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon (winemaker at H. du Comte Lafon.) Frantz graduated with a degree in Oenology from Bordeaux University in 2004 and cut his teeth working for Olivier Merlin in the Mâconnais. Caroline holds two degrees in agricultural engineering and oenology.

Critics and people of Burgundy call this dynamic duo as one of the most talented teams in all of Burgundy, farming the old-fashioned way and making micro-quantities of single vineyard White Burgundy from some of the finest Chardonnay terrior in the world.

Education:  What is “terrior”?  Terroir is how a particular region’s climate, soils and aspect (terrain) affect the taste of wine. Some regions are said to have more ‘terroir’ than others. Example: Palisade Peaches and Olathe Corn.

More  Education:  Mâcon-Villages is an appellation for dry white wines made from the Chardonnay grape. These are produced in selected communes of the Mâconnais wine area of southern Burgundy. This wine is rarely found in the U.S.

3. Terres Dorées, Beaujolais Rosé d’Folie 2018

Cooper’s Price $18.99

100% Gamay from vineyards across Jean-Paul Brun’s Beuajolais organically-grown holdings. Fermented and aged in concrete.

Taste: Jean-Paul Brun releases small quantities of this Beaujolais rosé each year.  Due to its organic growing conditions, the fruit is vibrant and explosive with fresh strawberries and minerality throughout the finish.

Education:  Beaujolais is an important wine region of eastern France, famous for its vibrant, fruity red wines made from Gamay. It is located immediately south of Burgundy.  The widespread plantings of Gamay here make Beaujolais one of the few regions of the world to be so focused on a single grape variety.

More Education:  You may have heard me say this in the past, “All wine gets its color from the skin of the grapes.  This includes white wine as well.”  If you pull a bunch of Cabernet grapes from a vine, and squish them in in your hand, the juice will come out clear like 7up.  Roses are made from red and purple grapes, but they are rose in color because they see little skin contact and they are fermented dry. 

4. Smockshop Band Spring Ephemeral Grenache – Columbia Gorge, Oregon 

Cooper’s Price $37.98

This is from a 10 acre site that we farm where the Gorge transitions to desert. The Grenache is planted on the banks of the Columbia in deep sand with basalt cobbles. It was fermented whole cluster in open top wooden vats and tread by foot once a day. After fermentation it was pressed directly to barrel via gravity with a basket press. The wine was bottled after 8 months of aging on the lees. 

The wine is sun warmed, very pale in color and emphatically aromatic. The kind of Grenache that reminds one of Pinot Noir, but with an entirely different set of aromas. It smells like being in a field of flowering herbs. At first the aroma of desert sage is overwhelming. It surrounds one. And then the other herbs emerge, lavender, chocolate mint, yerba buena and yarrow. As the wine sits in the glass those primal aromas transform into some sort of romantic flower. The kind you get in a bouquet, but from the desert. There are fruits of course: josta berries, strawberries and currants, all perfectly ripe, and picked in full-sun at the end of the day. The wine offers all the textural sensations that can only be conveyed by Grenache. It is totally round, sensual and enveloping, but also pale and weightless. Its is fresh, but just enough to give the barest sense of shape. There is no strident acidity to spoil the sense of warmth and gentleness. It is a red of pure summer and perfect for the foods consumed in the peak of the garden season.  

Join us this weekend, for a gorgeous wine tasting!

1. Smockshop Band Rose of Zinfandel 2018

$29.99

Kevin’s Notes:  This is my FAVORITE Rose!  This is a delicious dry fruit bomb with flavors of cranberry and blood orange backed with a tantalizing texture and long finish.  This NOT white Zinfandel from the 80’ and 90’s.  It’s a taste profile I have never experienced, but I should not be surprised as it’s a creation of winemaker/owner Nate Ready.  

After receiving his Master Sommelier certification, Nate worked at Frasca in Boulder and the infamous French Laundry in Napa Valley.  Once he realized winemaking was his dream and passion, Nate worked at wineries throughout Europe and the U.S before starting Hiyu and Smockshop.  Hiyu wines come from Estate vineyards while Smockshop grapes are purchased.

His wines are organic and/or biodynamic.  His rows of vines will commonly be a blend of mixed grape varieties and he co-ferments many grapes at the same time.  This wine, like all of his wines, is very limited.  This wine comes out of a 1.8 acre plot.

2. Moulin de Gassac Guilhem White 2016

Regular $12.99 Now $10.99

40% Grenache Blanc, 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Terret Blanc.

Mas de Daumas Gassac was founded in 1970 by Véronique and Aimé Guibert, and at the time they didn’t necessarily intend on planting vines and making wine. They had bought the property simply because they were enchanted by the beautiful Gassac Valley.

But when their friend, Bordeaux University geologist Henri Enjalbert, visited the estate he had no doubt: the cool micro-climate and perfectly drained gravelly terroir could produce world-class wines. 

The land here was manually farmed for hundreds of years before the family settled in the valley, and the soil has never suffered from the destructive use of chemical fertilizers. The Guiberts have drawn on that ancient tradition, farming organically, harvesting by hand, and sparing no effort to respect nature.

Taste:  A bright, lively wine with crisp acidity, and powerful, fruity aromatics. Medium bodied with flavors of apple, pear and a touch of minerality.  Pairings: Linguine with pesto, chicken sandwiches, seared scallops, green salads. 

3. Moulin de Gassac Guilhem Red 2016

Regular $12.99 Now $10.99

A Mediterranean blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Grenache, and 30% Carignan. 100% De-stemmed. All grape varieties mixed together for maceration and fermentation. Maceration for 10-12 days. Aged 6-7 months in stainless steel.

What is Maceration? Simply put maceration is the process of soaking crushed grapes, seeds, and stems in a wine must to extract color and aroma compounds as well as tannins. This is where red wines get their color and tannins and it is the lack of maceration that makes white wines so light in color and nearly tannin free.

Cold-soaking: When extended maceration is used on unfermented grape juice.

Extended Maceration: When extended maceration is used after the grapes have been fermented into wine.

Kevin’s Notes: These wines are incredible values and should be considered for case purchases as this cost is temporary.

4. Chateau Aney Haut-Medoc Bordeaux 2015

$29.99

Château Aney was built in 1850 by the family that gave it its name, just five years before the wine classification system was initiated in Bordeaux. The domaine thrived and earned Cru Bourgeois status, but by the mid-twentieth century the land was no longer being farmed and the château had fallen into disrepair. In 1972 Jean Raimond and his son, Pierre, bought the property, rehabilitated the vineyards, and refurbished the winery and cellars. This marked a new era for Château Aney; which fittingly achieved Cru Bourgeois status for a second time in 1978. Today Pierre runs the estate along with his son, David. 

This left-bank château lies strategically between St-Julien and Margaux, at the epicenter of the great wines of the region where the terroir imparts exceptional quality and provides ideal growing conditions. The warm summer sun is tempered by the cool breezes of the Garonne River, and round, polished, gravelly, river stones cover the vineyard. Throughout the day the sun warms these stones, which gradually redistribute the heat to the vines, protecting them against springtime frosts and helping the grapes along towards full maturation in the autumn. 

The final blend of the wine matches the proportions in which they are planted throughout the thirty hectares of vineyards: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. This traditional Haut Médoc is more like what you might remember of the classic Bordeaux styles of the 1960s and 1970s. Not at all cloaked in new wood or over-extracted tannins, Château Aney’s wines have finesse and balance.  2015 is considered an OUTSTANDING vintage!

Another great tasting at Cooper!!! Fri/Sat, 5-7pm

Crowley Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2017

Cooper’s Price $25.99

Crowley Wines only produces 2,500 cases annually. Their small size allows for a hands-on approach from vineyard to barrel. They visit each vineyard site throughout the year and work closely with their growers to achieve a natural balance in the grapes. At harvest, freshness, lower alcohols, flavor and acidity are the touchstones of their picking decisions.

“Our friends and growers are committed to non-irrigated and low impact farming. We are members of the Deep Roots Coalition and our primary vineyard sources are LIVE certified or certified organic. “

Kevin’s Notes:  This wine is too inexpensive for the quality in the bottle.  Aromatics of unripe peach, apple and pear skins leap from the glass.  This causes you to salivate instantly as if you walked into a smoked bacon parlor.  The fruit is vibrant and very refreshing to the palate.  Your palate will NOT tire with this Chardonnay as the acidity is plentiful.  This is one of the TOP 5 white wines I have tasted this year.  Unlike most Chardonnay’s, this beauty can work with or without food.  Quite simply it is outstanding and unfortunately they make very little – less than 200 cases were produced.

Tribute to Grace Grenache Rose Highlands Vyd, Santa Barbara, CA 2018

Cooper’s Price $24.99  Only 3 cases available!!

A Tribute To Grace Wine Company is dedicated to crafting authentic expressions of Grenache. All wines are single-vineyard sourced to maintain authenticity, and remain 100% Grenache.

Angela Osborne is a New Zealand born winemaker, who moved to California in 2006 with the dream of making Grenache. In 2007 she sourced her first Grenache fruit from the Santa Barbara Highlands Vineyard. Nestled high above the Pacific Ocean and 33 miles inland, this high-desert vineyard provided the perfect balance of heat and light she sought. She chose to name her label after two of her favorite things: her Grandmother Grace, and her most beloved attribute.

Wine Making-half of the clusters were gently pressed to tank, the other half foot-stomped and left on their skins for 24 hours, before joining the direct-pressed juice. 

Kevin’s Notes:  Besides making “Tribute to Grace” wines, she also make wines for other wineries.  Why?  Because she’ that good!  This is also a great rose because it is a single vineyard from Santa Barbara. 

Fosso Corno Aires Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Regular Price $16.99 Cooper’s Price $13.99

The Biscardo family owns Fosso Corno and has been producing wine since 1897. Today the estate is solely dedicated to Montepulciano vines. While Abruzzo is dominated by very large, low quality COOP’s and commercial wineries, the Biscardo family is slowly building a name for quality Montepulciano. Aires is produced from 100% Montepulciano grapes from the region Abruzzo on the Central-East Coast of Italy.

The harvest takes place in the period from the end of September to mid October. Maceration for a maximum of ten days, in steel fermenting vats. The wine is then put in steel for about 4 months for the ageing process. Finally it is kept bottled for a short while before being put on sale.

Aires is a young and immediately drinkable wine. Delicate aromas of plum and morello cherry on the nose, robust and full-bodied in the mouth, slightly tannin-rich with a dry flavoursome aftertaste. 

Sierra Cantabria Seleccion Rioja 2017

Regular Price $17.99 Cooper’s Price $14.99

Bodegas Sierra Cantabria was founded by Guillermo Eguren, a self-made bodeguero, who was, in the family tradition, a viticulturist. His family, native to San Vicente de La Sonsierra, one of the most sought after terroirs in Rioja, had grown grapes in Rioja Alavesa since the 1870’s. For decades the family sold their grapes to local producers, but Guillermo recognized the potential that his family’s vineyards had to create great wine, and founded Bodegas Sierra Cantabria in 1957. 

Today, the family still prides themselves as viticulturists first, and as a result, all of the grapes are estate grown, and they do not source fruit from any third party source. As viticulturists in Rioja Alavesa, they grow a vast majority of Tempranillo, with only a small percentage of Garnacha and Graciano.

Kevin’s Notes:  The expansion of planting any further grape vines has ended in Rioja.  Consequently, winemakers will have to begin paying more for grapes they buy from growers so Rioja wines are going up in price, but this will not be the case as Eguren family owns almost all of their vineyards.  This wine is a terrific full-bodied Tempranillo with a hint of oak.  Great for the BBQ.