These wines are stunners!

1. Domaine Lelievre, Côtes de Toul Gris de Toul 2018 

The Region – Cote de Toul:  Roughly half way between Champagne and Alsace, in s straight line between Paris and Strasbourg, is the Côtes de Toul.  Grapes have been grown there since the Romans nearly 2000 years ago.

Wine Education:  Vin Gris = Gamay Noir (the most common grape variety in Cotes de Toul) and Pinot Noir as the main grape variety. For Vin Gris, at least two grape varieties must be used, and the major grape variety is not allowed to exceed 85%. At least 10% Pinot Noir must be used, and the total proportion of accessory grape varieties is not allowed to exceed 15%.  This wine is made from Gamay and Pinot Noir.  

More Education:  All rose wines are made from grapes that are blue, purple, or red.  All wine gets their color from the grape skins.  In other words, if you clip a bunch of Cabernet grapes and squeeze them the juice will be clear like 7-Up.  If you allow minimal amount of skin contact time the wine will be rose.  Regular Price $19.99 Cooper’s Price $16.99

2. Theorize Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2016

About Sauvignon Blanc – Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape planted throughout the world, and may also be labeled as Fumé Blanc.  It is the grape variety used in making the ever popular Sancere in Loire, France.  Sancerre is a small wine district in central France, famous for its crisp Sauvignon Blanc.  It is also blended with Semillon to make White Bordeaux and the dessert wines of Sauterne and Barsac.  

Winemaking: This wine is 100% Sauvignon Blanc.  Fermentation: 50% was fermented in stainless steel tanks and 50% was barrel fermented.  Aging: Aged 8 months, 80% French Oak (10% New oak barrels) and 20% stainless steel.  8 months on heavy lees stirred once every other week.  Lees = dead yeast cells and other particles remaining in a wine after fermentation. They settle as sediment at the bottom of the fermenting container.  Stirring the juice on the lees adds texture, weight and aromatics to the wine.  Its very labor intensive.

Taste Notes:  Color:  Shiny gold.  Nose/Smell:  Explosive lychee, peach, apricot and white flowers wrapped in subtle toasted almond.  Taste:  Crisp yet rich texture from the lees and barrel fermentation – flavors are indicative to the aromatics.  Fantastic complexity with restraint towards the use of the oak.  Regular Price $26.99  Cooper’s Price $17.99, while supplies last

3. Yves Cuilleron Syrah ‘Les Vignes d’a Cote’ 2017

The Cuilleron family domaine, located in the hamlet of Verlieu in Chavanay (in northern Rhone) was founded in 1920.  Yves grandfather was the first to bottle wine from this region for commercial purposes.  Domaine Cuilleron are famed in the Northern Rhone for stunning Syrah and Condrieu in an impressive portfolio. They’re very well known in classic Northern Rhone appellations such as Cote-Rotie and St Joseph. 

The region – Collines Rhodaniennes: Is in Northern Rhone.  The landscape is characterized by the hills and valleys that surround the Rhône River.  The soil is granite.

Winemaking: 100% Syrah.  The grapes are harvested by hand and destemmed at harvest.  Fermentation is in open-top cuvees with two week maceration.  Maceration = Is the winemaking process where the phenolic materials of the grape—tannins, coloring agents and flavor compounds—are leached from the grape skins, seeds and stems into the must. Aged eight months is stainless and barrel.
Critic review:  Bright purple. Ripe cherry, blackberry and violet on the perfumed nose. Round and fleshy but lively as well, offering dark fruit, allspice and cracked pepper flavors that pick up a smoky note on the back half. Deftly blends power and energy and finishes smooth and long, with ****** gentle tannins coming in late. Josh Raynolds,  Cooper’s Price $21.99

4. Chateau Couronneau Bordeaux Superior 2015

This is 100% Merlot wine from Château Couronneau, an estate certified organically and biodynamically since 2009 and 2011 respectively

Wine Education: Bordeaux Superieur wines are, as their name implies, a slightly “superior” form of standard Bordeaux AOC wines.  The key differences lie in the vineyards, which must meet higher planting densities; the more vines there are the harder each has to fight for survival, resulting in stronger, deeper root systems and healthier vines. The maximum yield per hectare obtained from the vineyards is also 10 percent lower for the supérieur wines.

Tasting Notes: Color: dark purple Nose/Smell: black raspberries, black cherry and violets. Taste: dark black fruit, subtle spice, rich full-bodied and dense texture through the mid-palate with firm, but approachable tannins.  Overall:  Fantastic value.  2015 is regarded as an excellent vintage!  

What is biodynamic to wine?  Biodynamic viticulture is the practice of balancing this resonance between vine, man, earth and stars. Essentially, biodynamics is a holistic view of agriculture.  Regular Price $22.99 Cooper’s Price $19.99

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Tasting Notes May 3rd, 2019


  • Tequila vs Mezcal. One thing to remember, all Tequila is Mezcal, but not all Mezcal is Tequila. 
  • Mezcal is a term that applies to any spirit distilled from agave. 
  • “Tequila” is a reference to a specific town within the Mexican state of Jalisco. Production within this region is regulated by a governing body, much like wine in France or Italy, or whiskey in Scotland. It must be produced within the state of Jalisco (and a few municipalities in the nearby states of Guanajuato, Michoacán, Nayarit, and Tamaulipas).
  • Tequila is (by law) the product of just one agave varietal—Blue Weber, while Mezcal can be made from upwards of 30 varietals of agave—though the majority is made with agave Espadin.
  • Mezcal was, until recently, considered a poor man’s beverage. It wasn’t until 1994, when the government decided to regulate production of mezcal, limiting the area where it could be produced to regions in the states of Oaxaca, Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas. 
  • In Mezcal production, the agave hears are roasted and smoked in earthen pits before pressing, and distillation, giving it the characteristic smokey flavor.
  • Mezcal and tequila age designations: Joven/Blanco/Plata/Silver (0-2 months); Reposado or “rested” (2 months-1 year); Añejo or “old” (1-3 years); Extra Añejo (newer category, 3+ years)

Tequila Ocho Plata – Cooper’s Price $44.98

Currently the only single estate distillery to produce vintage-designated tequila. What does that mean? It means every bottle is designated with its vintage year and the specific agave field harvested. Each vintage produces tequila with aroma, flavor and character unique to that year and agave field. Tequila Ocho is sustainably managed and produced using long standing, respected production methods.

Profile:  Classic tequila aroma is evident as soon as the bottle is opened. There is sweet grass, creamy vanilla, and fresh roundness on the nose. There is very little burn to this tequila. Definite warmth and good, weighty mouthfeel. The flavor is light on the tongue with vanilla creaminess in the background. Very flavorful. 

Milagro Reposado – Cooper’s Price $19.98

Milagro “Miracle” uses agave that are an average of eight to twelve years old for their Tequila (others use agave as young as three years old). A more mature agave develops a better flavor and terroir, due to the longer growing period according to a number of experts. Milagro also uses a number of more traditional steps than many others – again, slower, more expensive processes, but they pay off in the long run.

Profile: Citrus, savory herbs, brine/alkali with a nice mineral feel, and grassy notes. Woody oak and pepper are nicely present with hints of vanilla as well. Finish is medium-long, with lingering dry herbs, minerality, and a touch of citrus. 

Dos Artes Extra Anejo, Limited Edition Sugar Skull – Cooper’s Price $179.99

Dos Artes literally translates to “two arts”; the first being the Tequila itself, and the second, obviously being the handmade bottles. These gorgeous bottles each take around 72 hours to complete. Starting with forming and baking the clay bottle, then hand-painting and back into the oven, then glazing and one last firing in the oven. This specific bottle is a limited edition of their Extra Añejo offering. The 

Profile:  Strong toasted oak, cooked agave, and grilled banana. Dark fruit, and marzipan, with a slight salinity, and huge notes of rich caramel sauce and vanilla bean from the extensive barrel aging. This is a truly special blend of 2-5 year old tequilas!

Mezcal Amarás Espadín – Cooper’s Price $44.99

The brand, which translates to “you will love,” was founded by Jorge Rodríguez-Cano and Santiago Suárez Cordova. It’s a collaboration between 5 mezcaleros in the village of San Juan del Río in Oaxaca. It’s made from 100% Espadín grown in the surrounding hills near the distillery that is roasted for 5 days in conical ovens over Holm Oak logs. It’s made the traditional way with horse-drawn mills for grinding, open pine containers for fermenting and copper pot distilling. Both the agave and the logs used to roast, are used sustainably, with more being replanted for every one taken.

Profile:  This is an approachable, and a particularly fruity mezcal that has some interesting mushroomy and pinecone notes in the background. Hot cinnamon spice warms the path to backwoods campfire smoke. Finishes smooth, with a little bit of sweetness to round it out.

A tasting rich in history!

April 26th, 2019 

6 Bar California Methode Champenoise Brut

Education:  Methode Champenoise, also known as Methode Traditionelle, is the conventional method used in the Champagne region of France to produce sparkling wine. It’s a labor-intensive process whereby wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle, creating bubbles. “Brut” is a term applied to the driest sparkling wines. Brut wines contain less residual sugar than those labeled dry or extra dry. Extra Brut denotes a wine that’s extremely dry, sometimes totally dry, and may called Brut Nature or Brut Integral.

This wine:  6 Bar refers to the amount of pressure the cork is under, which means that it can fly out at speeds up to 60mph! 

Varietals:Traditional Champagne varietals.(Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier)

Profile:  Bright aromas of bread dough and white fruit, smooth mousse-like flavors, and a tingling finish.

Regular $16.99 Cooper’s Price $12.99 

Chateau de la Font du Loup Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2017

Education:  What is Chateauneuf-du-Pape? It is one of the most renowned appellations of the southern part in the Rhône Valley. The name literally translates to “new castle of the Pope”, which originates when the Pope moved to Avignon in 1309. The move was due to issues between the King of France and the Papacy. 8 different Popes served in Avignon, and the Papacy remained in Chateauneuf du Pape until 1378.

The wine:  The vineyards are nearly pure sand, and at one of the highest altitudes (cooler climate) within the region, which lends itself to a wine of high spirit and elegance.

Varietals:  Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Clairette and Bourboulenc. 

Profile:  Aromas of toasted almonds and brown butter, hints of yellow flowers and forest floor. The texture is intriguingly viscous, yet structured, with great weight. This wine will benefit from a little decanting or just let it open up in your glass. 

Cooper’s Price $49.99

Orchard Lane New Zealand Pinot Noir

Education:  In past centuries the Māori people hunted Moa (large flightless birds) here and cultivated vast Kumara crops in the year round sunshine. Early European settlers established New Zealand’s pastoral industry on the fertile rolling hills of the river valleys. In 1873, long before the modern day vintners recognized the extraordinary potential of the region, pioneering Scottish farmer and grape grower David Herd, planted Marlborough’s first vineyard. It was to be another 100 years before that vision took root with the development of viticulture in Marlborough on a commercial scale.

The wine:  Small batch fermented from hand harvested fruit. 100% Pinot Noir.

Profile:  The wine is gently lifted on the nose displaying red/black cherry, game and mixed spice characters. The palate is juicy and bright with smooth texture and soft tannins, making the finish silky and appealing.

Cooper’s Price $18.99

Poggio Bonelli Chianti Classico

Education:  Chianti Classico is a DOCG in Tuscany, a region that has been making wine for over 3000 years. The expression “Classico” suggests this region is the origin of the primary Chianti grape, Sangiovese. DOCG = Denominazione di Origine Controllata Garantita. In 1980 the Italian wine board took quality control even one step beyond the regular DOC, creating DOCG. The G means the wine was submitted to governmental controlled tasting panel and they absolutely guarantee the stylistic authenticity of a wine. DOCG wines make up only 1-3% of all Italian wine produced. The wines must be at least 80% Sangiovese, the remaining 20% being other grapes, including native, Canaiolo and Colorino, as well as other international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The wine:  198 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards of which, only 88, are Chianti Classico. This winery has been in existence since the middle ages.

Varietals: 90% Sangiovese 10% Merlot

Profile:  Genuine and characteristic expression of Sangiovese. Ruby red color, intense and dense. The nose is wild fruit, sour cherry, dried herbs and leather. Dry decisive flavor, balanced by the delicate sweetness of the French oak barrel.

Regular $22 Cooper’s Price $19.99

Four wines, four countries, one great tasting!

April 19th, 2019 

Anne Amie “Cuvee A” Willamette Rose – Midnight Saignee is a dry, deeply fruity wine, layered with complex Pinot noir character. A saignee requires timing and balance, and like much of harvest, the right moment often occurs late at night. We produce a limited amount of this wine each year, using the saignée technique and fermenting in neutral French oak barrels. Grapes were hand-picked, meticulously hand sorted, then destemmed into open top, stainless steel fermenters. The must was cold-soaked for five days. On the 2nd day, the fermenters receive a saignee (bleeding off a small percentage of juice) in order to concentrate flavors (and control alcohol levels). This rosé wine is a blend of all of our pinot noir saignée lots, representing multiple vineyards and AVAs. Each lot was racked to neutral French oak barrels and barrel fermented using multiple yeast cultures. It was fermented to dryness and allowed to remain on the lees until blending. Aromas of lemon meringue, starfruit, kumquat, and flint. Flavors of Japanese plum, grapefruit, feijoa, and Meyer lemon. Regular $18 Cooper’s Price $15.99 

Raeburn Russian River Chardonnay – Born and raised in Bakersfield California, Derek Benham entered the wine industry immediately after graduation from college.  In 1990 Derek and his brother founded the Codera Wine Group and created the Blackstone brand; in 2001 they sold Blackstone, dissolved Codera, and created the Purple Wine Company based in Graton California. Derek started the Raeburn Winery only in 2014, as a nod to classic California Chardonnay. The wine is elegant and expressive, with bright fruit character and creaminess;  it was aged on the lees for six months for enhanced complexity, flavor and texture. This lovely and lingering white impresses from start to finish, showing a wealth of pear and peach flavors within an inviting jasmine aroma. It finishes in swift teases of wild vanilla and subtle oak.Regular $20 Cooper’s Price $18.99

Laura Lorenzo Camino de La Frontera Tinto – Arribes is a dramatic region bordering the Duero River where it slices Portugal from Spain. Its remoteness seems to be its allure, to Lorenzo, who is a vineyard whisperer and well regarded for bringing back wild, or lost historic vines, and creating exciting wines with them. In Camino de la Frontera, Laura Lorenzo finesses the indomitable local variety Juan Garcia, co-planted and co-fermented with Tempranillo, Bobal, Rufete, Mencía, Garnacha, and more from 100-130 year-old vines in the town of Fermoselle. A wonderful mix of tangy fresh fruits and natural earthy elements with a lighter frame, with firm tannins somewhat reminiscent of Nebbiolo, while unfamiliar in a way that makes it gloriously new and riveting with every sip. 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 on the nose with floral tones, moist earth, and wild herbs. Brooding, structured black and purple bramble fruit leads to a velvety palate with grilled fennel, salty black licorice, finishing with flint/gravelly elements, saddle leather, currant, herbal tea spices and faint flower blossom. This wine gets more generous with food and time in the glass, bringing a riper profile forward and becomes more textural in mouth-feel.Regular $32 Cooper’s Price $29.99 

Rigo Barbera d’Alba – Located in Diano d’Alba, in the heart of the Langhe region, all their wines are cultivated and produced, respecting the CEE Environmental Protection Agency rules. The Rigo Wines Estate is a family run company, managed bt Silvano and his father Secondo, who started the project. The vineyards cover a total area of approximately 10 hectares and are located mostly in the “Sori Piadvenza” at an altitude of 400 meters above sea level.Barbera is one of the Italian varieties that is sought-after around the world. This particular example is wonderfully different and expertly crafted. Usually, Barbera is heavily oaked, to allow the wines to have long aging potential. But what many don’t know is that it also makes fresh, balanced and elegant wines that drink superbly at a younger age. This particular example is made to be enjoyed young. Intense ruby red color, with floral aromas leading way to a palate of strawberry and cherry, soft tannins yet full-bodied with hints of liquorice, and herbs.Cooper’s Price $17.99

Spring in this weekend and enjoy these lovely wines!

The lineup…

Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino di Sardegna – Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia producing archetypal wines from native varietals. The winery was founded in 1938 by Antonio Argiolas and was the first on the island to pursue quality over quantity. Today, the Argiolas family is recognized as Sardinia’s leading wine producer. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean and lies roughly 190 miles west of Italy’s mainland. The vineyards of Argiolas are located in Serdiana in the Trexenta hills just north of the capital of Cagliari. Argiolas farms 600 acres of native Sardinian grapes including Nuragus, Monica, and Cannonau.

Costamolino, named after the area, is made from Vermentino, an aromatic white grape variety that thrives in the Mediterranean climate of Sardinia. The grapes are harvested in August and September and vinified in stainless-steel tanks to retain acidity. A small percentage sees malolactic fermentation to give the wine roundness and texture.

Vermentino often shows the fragrance of macchia, the mix of evergreen shrubs and herbs that typifies the Sardinian landscape. Costamolino hints at aromas of pine and mint coupled with ripe stone fruit and sweet citrus. The palate is at once vibrant and textural and finishes with lingering acidity.

Regular $19.99 Cooper’s Price $15.99 

Argiolas Costera Cannonau di Sardegna – Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia producing archetypal wines from native varietals. The winery was founded in 1938 by Antonio Argiolas and was the first on the island to pursue quality over quantity. Today, the Argiolas family is recognized as Sardinia’s leading producer of wine.

Costera, a name referring to hills, is made from Cannonau (Garnacha or Grenache). It is the workhorse red grape of Sardinia where it is likely to have arrived centuries ago from Spain, although an alternative theory suggests that Cannonau originated in Sardinia. In either case, Cannonau is well-adapted to the warm Sardinian climate and gives a deeply-colored, full-bodied red wine.

Costera shows the typicity of the Cannonau grape with flavors of very ripe strawberries, black cherries, herbs, and spices. The warmth and intense sunlight of southern Sardinia can be seen and felt in the wine with unexpectedly deep color and fullness on the palate. French oak barriques provide rounded tannins and flavors of vanilla.

Regular $19.99 Cooper’s Price $15.99 

Jolie Laide Barsotti Vineyard Gamay – Jolie Laide is a one-man operation based in Sebastopol, CA, where winemaker Scott Schultz makes only 500 cases of wine a year under his own label. The name Jolie-Laide translates loosely to “Pretty-Ugly”, a French term of endearment to describe something that is unconventionally beautiful. Scott makes some of the most unique and highly sought-after wines in California that are true to their name. He works with Wind Gap, Ryme Cellars, Pax, and formerly, Arnot-Roberts. They all share, both a winemaking space, and similar philosophies in discovering unconventional beauty.

This Gamay is grown at high elevation in the beautiful red grinitic soils of the Sierra Foothills. Picked in two separate passes, one early and one a bit later makes for a wine that is a bit riper and fleshed out than in years passed. The clusters are left whole and started by carbonic maceration, which lends its distinctive high tone appeal but eventually crushed by foot and finished whole cluster for skin contact and extraction. Pressed to neutral barrique for a short 6 month elevage and bottled young to preserve delicate aromatics. Light, fresh and utterly charming. Wild strawberry and summer herbs with cranberry tartness. 

Regular $35.99 Cooper’s Price $29.99 

Hess Collection Allomi Cab Sauv – Though just 30 miles long and a few miles wide, Napa Valley is home to diverse microclimates and soils uniquely suited to wine grape growing. It is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world and for our Napa Valley wines we look to our estate vineyards and select growers throughout the valley to source the very best wine grapes. The Hess Collection wines are family owned, sustainably farmed and dedicated to reflecting a true sense of place.

Allomi is named in honor of the original Spanish land grant in Napa County which the native Patwin people lent their name – Rancho Locoallomia. The Allomi vineyard lies in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley, where the combination of long, warm growing seasons with well-drained soils create the optimal ripening conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. The 210-acre vineyard is sustainably farmed and grows 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones.

On the nose, this wine delivers intriguing vegetal aromas with hints of mushroom and forest floor. On the palate, Allomi Cabernet is known to deliver moderate, well-integrated tannins and a round, plush mouthfeel making it one of the most popular Napa offerings. A wonderful brightness of raspberry and red plum delight the mid-palate, and these flavors are supported by a subtle oak spice that adds to the personality of the wine.

Blend: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah, 4% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot

Regular $32.99 Cooper’s Price $29.99

A tasting for everyone! Whiskey AND wine!!!

Tasting Notes March 22th, 2019 

Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau St Veran 2017 — Domaine Frantz Chagnoleau is a small estate run by two talented winemakers, Frantz Chagnoleau and his wife Caroline Gon (winemaker at Heritiers du Comte Lafon).  Frantz has a degree in Oenology and cut his teeth working for Olivier Merlin in the Mâconnais. Caroline holds two degrees in agricultural engineering and oenology; she worked at Newton Vineyards in Napa Valley before returning to France to work with Dominique Lafon as head winemaker for Héritiers du Comte Lafon. 

Since 2013 all of the vineyards have been certified organic. The duo believe in minimal intervention, which includes the use of only indigenous yeast as the best way to express the nuances of each unique terroir. Aging is done in mostly large, used French oak, harvest is done completely by hand on a plot by plot basis, allowing each vine to achieve the appropriate balance of sugar and acidity before being picked.  They farm the old-fashioned way and make micro-quantity, single vineyard White Burgundy from some of the finest Chardonnay terroir in the world. 

Aged in a 50-50 mix of foudres and demi-muids, Prelude is an assemblage of four plots in the communes of Prissé and Chasselas, with vines up to fifty years old. All these are the first to be picked in the domaine. Similar greenish color, more reserved on the nose; a finer, less exuberant style with good acidity and delicacy – not that it lacks power – a lovely classy, mineral-shaded wine. Pure, mineral expression of Chardonnay delivering crushed stones, hints of chalk, and laser cut precision

Regular $32.99 Cooper’s Price $29.99

Glen Carlou Grand Classique 2012 — Established in 1985, Glen Carlou is a relatively young estate which has built an enviable reputation as one of South Africa’s leading producers. Nestled in the heart of the, sought-after, Paarl Valley winelands, and enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate of warm, dry summers and cold, wet winters. This, together with an exciting variety of slopes and the richness of soils, creates unique wine-growing conditions.  With vineyards situated at the foothills of the renowned Simonsberg Mountain, the grapes revel in their terroir. 

A solid representation of a fine South African red wine, the 2012 vintage does an excellent job in wrapping Bordeaux varieties into a delicious package. The wine’s dried leather, black fruit, and savory earth pair well with slowly braised meats.

This wine is a unique blend of classic red varietals. 50% Cab Sauv, 20% Malbec, 13% Merlot, 9% Petit Verdot and 8% Cab Franc. 18 months maturation in new and second-fill French oak barriques followed by minimal fining has produced a great wine with excellent potential for maturation. 

A complex and elegant wine with a dark reddish-purple, with hints of light plum skin. The nose exhibits cassis and blackberry with hints of cinnamon and spice. Ripe and concentrated briar-y fruit with cherry strawberry and chocolate on the palate. It has a long finish, balanced by fine tannins, a rich texture and subtle acidity.

Regular $19.99 Cooper’s Price $17.99 

Rabbit Hole is the project of Dr. Kaveh Zamanian, MD, a psychologist out of Chicago. His whiskey guy, serving as Master Distiller, is Larry Ebersold, the recently retired Greg Metze’s predecessor as Master Distiller at MGP. Ebersold is also serving as Master Distiller at the northern Kentucky distillery New Riff, which is similar to Rabbit Hole in being a relatively new distillery following the now time-tested path of bottling sourced products while their in-house spirits mature.

Regular $49.99 Cooper’s Price $42.98  — Both Bourbon and Rye

Bourbon — Mashbill – 70% Corn,10% Malted Wheat,10% Honey Malted Barley,10% Malted Barley

This double-malted barley/four grain bourbon has a clear, middling amber coloring in the glass, and absolutely runs with its legs after a swish. The nose is very grain-forward, and in that, decidedly toasty, way that having 30% malted grains in the mash bill tends to produce. The flavor is inside the profile of a spicy, peppery Bourbon, which is very odd considering that there is no rye and the whiskey itself is only about two years old or so. Sweet corn meets with some vanilla and a note of dry grass, but right through the middle is a strong, spicy current. That fades rapidly, leaving the grassiness and sweet vanilla custard on the finish, with some warmth to wind it all down. 

Rye — Mash Bill:95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

The rye has the familiar mashbill of 95% rye, 5% malted barley, and while the whiskey is sourced, it did not come from MGP. It is, instead, produced on contract at New Riff Distillery. The whiskey was put in #3 char Kelvin Cooperage barrels at 110 proof. It’s labeled as a straight whiskey, so we know it is at least two years old, and it was bottled at 95 proof. Kentucky distilled and aged, with a brown sugar nose and spice that jumps on the tongue. Great with a splash of water, but breathtaking in classic cocktails like the Old Fashioned.

Luxurious wines for your weekend, or your cellar!!!

1.Nortico Alvarinho – Ask anyone for the best Alvarinho in Portugal and people will point to the extreme north to the sub-region of Moncao and Melgao, right on the border with Spain. Nortico Alvarinho is a superb example of the grapes hallmarks: fresh citrus, peach and tropical fruit aromas paired with clean, juicy fruit and vibrant minerality. Nortico is produced on the south bank of the Minho River in plots so small they are called “jardins”, or gardens in Portuguese. Soils here are granite and schist and although there is plenty of rainfall (2,000 ml annually), the inland area is a little warmer than the coastal plantings, allowing for perfect maturation. 100% Alvarinho. Sustainably grown vines. This is a young, fresh white wine with the characteristic bright acidity and aromas of peach and grapefruit. Creamy citrus oil, lime and yellow apple notes are nicely spiced and detailed with saline mineral and floral underpinnings through the long finish. At only 12.5 % alcohol, Nortico is light and delicate, lovely as a “porch-sipping wine” to drink on its own. Have it simply with corn bread and butter like country folks do in Portugal. Also a terrific seafood wine, particularly with salty, fattier dishes like fish tacos or broiled oysters.

Regular $14.99, Cooper’s Price $12.99

2. Thierry Germain “Les Roches” Samur Champigny Cab Franc — Thierry’s domaine, Roches Neuves, whose vineyards are planted in the Saumur (Blanc) and Saumur-Champigny (Rouge) appellations, has rightfully become one of the greatest examples of high achievement in biodynamic vine growing in France. Thierry relocated to the Loire from Bordeaux in the early 1990s, and soon fell under the influence of his spiritual father, Charly Foucault of Clos Rougeard. Thierry would ultimately convert his entire domaine to biodynamic viticulture, which was the equivalent of his wine epiphany. Listening and observing his plants, allowing them to guide him, revolutionized his way of thinking. Thierry harvests on the relatively early side to preserve fresh, vibrant fruit. His goal is to produce Cabernet with purity, finesse, and drinkability, while avoiding rusticity, vegetal character, and hard tannins. His incredibly diverse terroirs are translated with utter clarity and precision. 100% de-stemmed, and fermentation in stainless steel tank for 8 to 10 days. Light pump-overs during fermentation—meant to infuse the grapes not extract them. Aged in stainless steel and wood tanks on fine lees, without sulfur, for 3 to 4 months. Thierry’s style of Cabernet Franc emphasizes soaring red fruit aromatics, plush and silky textures, and racy acidity. Sounds pretty good, right? It isn’t your grandmother’s rustic, furry, tannic, bretty Cab Franc, that’s for sure. Biodynamic agriculture, no trimming of the vine shoots, early picking, and aging in large barrels are a few of his keys to success. Les Roches is Thierry’s entry-level Cab Franc for barbecues and general everyday gladness.

Regular $28.99, Cooper’s Price $25.99

3. Rivale Rosso Toscana – This is a well-situated estate on the ‘north slope’ of the Montalcino hill, located just below the village of Montalcino. Casanuova delle Cerbaie is comprised of 15 hectares, 10 of which are under vine. The vineyards are located at approximately 300 metres above sea level and grow on the prestigious hill of Montesoli. The estate’s sure-handed enologist, Paolo Vagaggini (a Montalcino fixture who’s worked with a host of top estates, including Fuligni, Il Palazzone, and Biondi-Santi) favors a woodsy, savory style of Sangiovese aged in larger Slavonian oak barrels crafted by the Austrian cooperage Stockinger. This Sangiovese based blend has very appealing smokey herbal notes with subtle cherry tones. Well balanced silky tannins, and nice texture make this wine great food companion. 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, 10% Colorino, 10% Petit Verdot.

Cooper’s Price $18.99

4. Ca del Baio Vallegrande Barbaresco – Valgrande or Vallegrande is a cru in the commune of Treiso. A small domaine with deep roots in Piemonte. The Grasso family has been making wine in Barbaresco since the 1880’s. Giulio and Luciana Grasso, fourth generation wine makers, are now running the family business with the help of their daughters Paola, Valentina and Federica. They maintain their traditional values with particular attention to the vines, especially during pruning, crucial for yield control and fruit quality. The use of herbicides and fertilizers in the vineyards was banned long ago and only natural yeasts are used for fermentation. Ca’ del Baio has a number of Nebbiolo vineyards on the Vallegrande cru, covering an area of 3 hectares in all. They face west, and produce the estate’s Barbaresco DOCG Valgrande. A traditional Barbaresco, grown on vineyard sites planted in 1967. Is aged – as in the past – only in large casks. It represents the elegance of Barbaresco at its very best, without flaunting the muscle of Nebbiolo. Traditional, stem-free, on-the-skins fermentation, for 7 to 15 days in steel at a controlled temperature. The wine matures for 24 months in casks made of Slavonian Oak, and is then cellared for 6 months in the bottle prior to release. Garnet red in the glass, intense aromas with powerful, deep fruit, dried flowers, new leather and underbrush. The firm palate offers dried black cherry, raspberry jam and licorice flavors alongside taut, fine-grained tannins and firm acidity.

Regular $44.99 Cooper’s Price $36.99

An avalanche of excitement for your palate!

Commanderie de la Bargemone, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé 2018 – One of the top estates in the Coteaux d’Aix. A small, fine-wine district within the larger appellation of Provence, Bargemone produces the top-selling Rosé at HPS. With more than 160 acres under vines, 2/3 of the production is dedicated to the dry rosé for which Provence is famous.

Founded by Templar knights in the 13th century, the property was named “Bargemone” after the wealthy Provencal family that owned it for 200 years. It passed from their hands in the 1800’s, with the vineyards finally succumbing to phylloxera ( a root louse that destroys the root system of the vines), ending, temporarily, a proud 800 year tradition of winemaking. In 1973, French industrialist Jean-Pierre Rozan purchased the property, restored the Commanderie and replanted the vineyards. Production was up to 50,000 cases/year when Jean-Pierre passed away in 2006, and a controlling interest in the vineyards and winery was sold to current owners Christian and Marina Garin (both from local Provencal families).

Kevin’s Note: The aromatics will make your mouth water.

Regular Price $22.99 Cooper’s Price $19.99

DaTerra Viticultores, Portela do Vento – About DaTerra Viticultores. For almost a decade, Laura Lorenzo was the winemaker and viticulturist at the venerable Dominio do Bibei. In 2014, she struck out on her own with her project, DaTerra Viticultores, and now works about 4.5 ha – 10 acres – organically in the Val do Bibei‐Quiroga subzone of Ribeira Sacra.

“No one has seen a woman like this in the vines of Galicia, and I’m not sure they’re ready for her.” -Alice Feiring. 

Alice Feiring is an American journalist and author, and a wine and travel columnist for Time magazine. She is known as an advocate for “natural wine”.

Portela do Vento comes from several south-facing parcels of Mencía and Garnacha Tintorera in the Amandi and Quiroga-Bibei subzones. The grapes are harvested from 30+ degree sloped vineyards!! Harvested by hand in late September, 80% de-stemmed and fermented with wild yeasts in steel vats and aged in used barrels. This is Laura’s “glou-glou” wine = a wine that is incredibly drinkable, fun, and never stuffy. It’s a wine that she loves to share with her American friends. Fresh and easy-drinking, it is very versatile with a wide variety of foods…or straight from the porrón (a glass wine pitcher)!

Kevin’s Notes:  I will buy every wine made by Laura Lorenzo that comes my way, because I so badly wish to share her wines with my customers! Why, you ask? Laura makes some of the most PURE wines, I have ever tasted. She is a true naturalist in the vineyard, allowing the “terruño” to really showcase itself in her wines. The soft, lush character of this offering, displays beautiful red fruit flavors with soft tannins, while carrying low alcohol. This wine is simply fun to drink, and a true one-of-a-kind! One of my favorite winemakers!

Regular $34.99 Cooper’s Price $29.99

San Gregorio Tres Ojos Old Vine Garnacha – Aragon, Spain – This wine has a dark red color with a bouquet of red raspberries, spice and white pepper. The palate is incredibly concentrated and rich. The modern styles of Garnacha in Spain are continuously being perceived worldwide as wines of extraordinarily good quality. This wine is fruity, juicy and shows a great depth, ripe tannins, length, but with wonderful elegance and lightness.

Wine Education – Aragon is one of the 17 autonomous communities of Spain. Located in the country’s north, it stretches from the imposing Pyrenees mountains south to the expansive central Iberian plateau.  Calatayud is a sub-appellation in the southwest part Aragon, northern Spain. It is located about 55 miles (90km) from the provincial capital, Zaragoza.

Kevin’s Notes: If I were still a wholesale wine buyer in Atlanta, I would buy 5,000 cases of this a year.

Cooper’s Price $11.99

Anna Maria Abbona Dolcetto Dogliani – The quality of Dolcetto from the village of Dogliani has been skyrocketing in the last few years, and Anna Maria’s work is a good example of this. Her oldest vines were planted by her grandfather in the ’30s, and the vineyards are steep and perfectly exposed. More recently she has become a convert to the doctrine of low yields, and she has joined the elite of Dogliani. First, understand that producers in Dogliani take Dolcetto as seriously as producers in Barolo take Nebbiolo. Dolcetto is planted in all the best sites and vinified with great care, which is not always the case with Dolcetto d’AlbaSecond, understand that Dolcetto is not the Beaujolais of Italy. The best modern Dolcettos have an inky color, lashings of blueberry fruit, and tannins to match. In fact, the concentration of top Dogliani wines has reached a point where the tannins need to be carefully managed to be pleasant.

The Wine is violet-tinged deep purple; a very inviting color. It smells of violets, Assam tealeaves, and blueberries, and it is a mouth-filling, deep, substantial wine to drink. The fruit comes from very old vines planted in the ’30s, and it is fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Kevin’s Notes:  This is the best Dolcetto I have tasted in 3 years – its mind blowing rich and complex! 

Cooper’s Price $24.99

Winter Whiskey Tasting!

Redbreast 12yr Irish Whiskey – Old Midleton Distillery stands on the banks of the Dungourney  River in Midleton, East Cork. Set on 15 green acres, the distillery is home to all of the world’s supply of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Redbreast is made in the classic Irish Single Pot Still style. This means it is produced using a mash bill consisting of both malted and unmalted barley which is triple distilled in copper pot stills. The 12 year is aged only in Oloroso Sherry casks. 

A healthy dose of orange marmalade presents itself along with toast and coconut. Dried red fruit, cloves, and honey round out the palate and leads to a creamy and lengthy finish. All in all, a balanced and satisfying whiskey. Cooper’s Price $49.98 

Laws ‘Bottled in Bond’ Four Grain Straight Bourbon – Laws Whiskey House is a historically minded distillery. “Quality before quantity” is their self-proclaimed mantra, and they’ve proven it with each of their releases. The 1897 Bottled-In-Bond Act is a little-known piece of legislation that cleaned up whiskey when it hit an all-time low. In the late 1800s whiskey was unregulated, and customers were paying the price. Gunpowder, tobacco and turpentine are just a few of the unsavory additives that distillers were using to color and flavor cheap whiskeys. Supporters of the act were so desperate to protect the sanctity of their spirits that they enlisted help from an unlikely ally— The Women’s Christian Temperance Union— an organization that would eventually be instrumental in prohibition legislation. This whiskey, made to adhere to these standards of the Bottled in Bond act, must be aged for a minimum of 4 years, made in a single distilling season, using the grains of a single season, made by one distiller at one distillery and aged in a federal government-bonded distillery. So, in laymen’s terms, a “bonded” whiskey is cleaner, stronger and more difficult to make. Golden amber in color. Notes of honey, caramel, bread pudding, and gentle rye spice come first on the nose. Flavors of dark chocolate, nutmeg, oak, and cinnamon are evident on the palate. Cooper’s Price $69.98 

Kilchoman Machir Bay Islay Single Malt – Established in 2005, Kilchoman was the first new distillery to be built on Islay in over 124 years. Kilchoman founder Anthony Wills, set out to revive the lost art of farm distilling once widespread before the commercialisation of the distilleries in the late 1800s. Over a decade into his journey, Kilchoman’s 100% Islay range remains the only Islay single malt produced completely on site, from barley to bottle. The parish of Kilchoman is home to some of Islay’s most fertile ground.  It is here, in the fields surrounding the distillery, where they grow 200 tons of barley each year. Planting in Spring once Islay’s 50,000 geese have migrated, the farm team care for the barley over the summer months before harvesting in early September. Harvest time represents the start of the whisky-making process which sees the Kilchoman-grown barley malted, distilled, matured and bottled here at the distillery, eventually becoming Islay’s only Single Farm Single Malt Scotch Whisky over 1130 days later. 

Machir Bay is clearly an Islay malt, but it has a style all its own. Aged in 80% bourbon barrels and 20% Oloroso sherry casks. All the familiar saline and smoke notes are evident on the nose, but they’re ushered in on an unlikely rush of peppermint. Eccentric. That mint aroma manifests as a cooling sensation on the palate. Against that backdrop, hits of lemon rind and chocolate roastiness pop through. But those pops are short-lived and they leave without a trace. You’re left with a saline tang that reminds you exactly where this malt comes from. Cooper’s Price: $59.98 

Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur – The dairy farming industry in Ireland dates back thousands of years. The importance of dairy farming to the Irish and their livelihood is mentioned even in Early Irish Law or “Brehon Laws,” which valued milk cows as the highest form of currency. The dairy farmers of Five Farms are members of a local dairy Co-op of over 500 farms. The Co-op helps guarantee that all farms within the group get a fair price for their output and provides a supportive community for the farmers. 

Five Farms is a true farm-to-table product, crafted from single batches of fresh cream that are combined with premium Irish Whiskey within 48 hours of collection to become authentic Irish Cream Liqueur. The cream is sourced entirely from five family-owned farms in County Cork, run by families that have a deep connection to the land and a passion for their craft.

An inviting nose of butterscotch, caramel fondue, and vanilla bean jumps from the glass. The lush palate coats the mouth with flavors of coffee with fresh cream, dulce de leche, coconut, maple, and Belgian waffles. An intensely satisfying after dinner sipper in place of dessert. Cooper’s Price $32.99

An elegant, cultured and diverse tasting!!!

Casa de Valor Brut Nature Cava – Cava is a sparkling wine from the Denominación de Origen  (DO) status from Catalonia, also produced in other regions of Spain. 95% of all Cava is produced in the Penedès area in Catalonia. Cava can be white or rose. Only wines produced in méthode champenoise may be labeled Cava, those produced in other ways must be labeled sparkling wine. This is a dry, non dosage Brut Nature

50% Xarel-lo 25% Macabeo 25% Parellada (zero dosage), from 15 to 35 year old vines with grapes farmed and hand harvested by a third generation family. Aged 14 months on the lees in the bottle before disgorgement

The nose of revealing hints of citrus, orchard fruits and white flowers on the nose. Crisp, bright acidity and fresh citrus fruits, reminiscent of lemon cake. On the palate, there’s an attractive interplay of candied lemon and crisp acidity. Lively mousse and properly dry finish, but no hard edges. Cooper’s Price $14.99 

Ferrari-Carano Tre Terre Russian River Chardonnay – Don and Rhonda Carano founded Ferrari-Carano in 1981. They were introduced to the beauty of Northern Sonoma County in 1979, and eventually purchased a 60-acre parcel in the Alexander Valley. Those vineyards piqued their curiosity about winemaking, and as a result, they began taking classes on enology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis. Realizing the potential that this area held, the Caranos began to acquire additional vineyard land, and  ground was broken for the winery in Dry Creek Valley in 1985. The first wines bearing the Ferrari-Carano label were released in 1987. In 2015, Ferrari-Carano’s 24 vineyards earned California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) certification for their numerous efforts to preserve the land while producing memorable, sustainable wines of outstanding quality. Each lot for this wine is hand harvested, whole‐cluster pressed, then barrel fermented with native and cultured yeast. The wine completes 96% malolactic fermentation and is aged on lees and stirred weekly for 9 months. The wine is barreled again in neutral oak until bottling. This is a delicious, full‐bodied Chardonnay with aromas and flavors of Meyer lemon, apple, graham cracker, creamy marshmallow, stonefruit, brown sugar and spice, with bright fruit, nice acidity and a long, lingering finish. This wine’s rich fruit component complements mildly spiced vegetarian dishes and rich, creamy shellfish entrées. It also works well with veal, poultry, pasta and rice. Cooper’s Price $19.99 

Cantine Povero Barbera d’Asti – Cantine Povero began to bottle wine in 1964 but Povero family members have always been winemakers. Their 45 hectares of vineyards are located in Piemonte, around Cisterna d’Asti: this very central position allows them to produce a wide range of typical wines of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero areas. The third generation is now managing this promising enterprise, following the production process, from the grape to the bottle. Respecting nature is the keyword, both in the vineyard and in the cellar. The careful work in the vineyards together with the innovative technologies used for the vinification process allow them to reach high quality standards with affordable prices. Povero’s ambition is to showcase the flavors and emotions of their wines, which express the uniqueness of their land.Deep ruby red in color with mild and fruity flavors on the palate. Full bodied with velvety and pleasantly dry tannins. This is a highly flexible wine that is superb with meat dishes. Excellent during the first year following the vintage. Cooper’s Price: $10.99

Domaine Andron Haut-Médoc 2010 – Domaine Andron is situated in the little village of Saint Seurin de Cadourne (just north of Saint Estèphe and not far from Pauillac) being neighbours of the famous chateau Sociando-Mallet. Three First-Cru vineyards are within 20 minutes away (Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton Rothschild).

Domaine Andron dates back to the early 19th century. It became a “Cru Bourgeois” in 1892, and has first-rate vineyard with a reputation of the best wines of the Médoc. The domain is located on the famous rumps of Günziennes gravel close to the Gironde River. The soils are on deep sandy loam gravels. The vines are an average age of 42 years.

An extremely sophisticated culture, moderate yields, manual harvest at full maturity followed by careful breeding and vinification have resulted in an exceptional concentrated wine, with finesse and complexity, and was bottled without filtration. 

A large core of dark currant, plum and fig fruit rolled together and inlaid with baker’s chocolate, dark tobacco and loam notes. The long, solid, muscular finish lets the fruit and loam play out nicely. Best from 2014 through 2020. Cooper’s Price $29.99