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Metro Wines Asheville, NC

El Molet 2009 Spain

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The Metro Wines Tasting Panel is of the opinion that it is not always easy to find a dry red done well at this price. We stand behind this one. El Molet, a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, is oak aged for 6 months

88 Points - "Inky ruby. Floral aromas of blackberry, tobacco, licorice and dark chocolate. Suave on entry, then firmer in the middle, with an edge of acidity to the dark berry, bitter cherry and mocha flavors. Slightly dry tannins add grip to the spicy, focused finish. This needs some air or bottle age." -Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Issue 152, September/October 2010.

TASTING NOTES:
90 Points - [Refers to previous vintage] - "Deep, bright red. Fresh red berry and baking spice aromas are strikingly brisk and focused. Racy, light-bodied raspberry and cherry flavors are unencumbered by tannins but nicely framed by juicy acidity. Pinot-like in its vivacious, red-fruit expression and firm finishing cut. This is really delicious." -Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Issue 140, September/October 2008.

90 Points - [Refers to previous vintage] - "The 2007 El Molinet is a blend of 85% Tempranillo and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for six months in seasoned oak before bottling without filtration. Purple-colored, the wine has an expressive perfume of cedar, tobacco, mineral, and blackberry. Smooth-textured and layered, this ripe, spicy wine has a forward personality and a lengthy finish. Drink it over the next five years." -The Wine Advocate, Issue 178, August 2008.

PRODUCER'S NOTES:
This project started as a tribute to Tempranillo by winemaker Joaquin Galvez and Aurelio. With Tempranillo forming the backbone of Spain’s most famous wines, the La Viña Cooperative in Valencia planted Tempranillo widely with the goal of reproducing some of the qualities of those famous wines. This project would not be possible without the wealth of vineyards and range of altitudes the coop has planted. Contrary to popular opinion that Valencia is too warm for Tempranillo, the cooperative has planted the varietal at a range of altitudes from 300 to nearly 900 meters above sea level, at these high altitudes, the Tempranillo ripens slowly developing a tremendous aromatic potential. The lower altitude vines take advantage of cooling sea breezes and the higher altitude vines cooler night to maintain and develop those aromatic qualities. The reason Cabernet Sauvignon is blended into the wine is to allow for a stylistic continuity vintage to vintage.

$16.49

Grapes of Spain.com says this of the winery and the wine:

El Molet 2009

Region: Valencia D.O.
Winery: D'ESTE VINO (EL MOLET)

Grapes: 90% Tempranillo and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: 2009
Color: Red 

This project started as a tribute to Tempranillo by winemaker Joaquin Galvez and Aurelio. With Tempranillo forming the backbone of Spain’s most famous wines, the La Viña Cooperative in Valencia planted Tempranillo widely with the goal of reproducing some of the qualities of those famous wines. This project would not be possible without the wealth of vineyards and range of altitudes the coop has planted. Contrary to popular opinion that Valencia is too warm for Tempranillo, the cooperative has planted the varietal at a range of altitudes from 300 to nearly 900 meters above sea level, at these high altitudes, the Tempranillo ripens slowly developing a tremendous aromatic potential. The lower altitude vines take advantage of cooling sea breezes and the higher altitude vines cooler night to maintain and develop those aromatic qualities. The reason Cabernet Sauvignon is blended into the wine is to allow for a stylistic continuity vintage to vintage. 

The Autumn weather was mild and allowed for gradual sugar accumulation at the end of the growing season. There was a 2 week gap between harvesting Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauviginon. The grapes were fermented separately in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks with periodic pump over. There is no press wine used in the final blend of the wine as Joaquin seeks to gain all of the structure and character of fruit he needs during fermentation. After malolactic fermentation in stainless steel the wine is racked to barrel and aged for 6 months prior to being bottled unfiltered.

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Secateurs Chenin Blanc, South Africa

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2012 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

  The 2012 Secateurs Chenin Blanc has a light but pure bouquet with lemon peel, grapefruit and hints of wet wool. The palate is crisp and vibrant on the entry with touches of lanolin and litchi nuts. This is so well balanced – uncomplicated but delicious. Drink now.   (12/ 2012)

90 points Wine Spectator

  Bright and engaging, with lots of white peach, Jonagold apple and Cavaillon melon notes offset by a bright floral edge. The pure, unadorned finish sails on. Drink now. 15,000 cases made.—J.M.   (6/ 2013)

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

  Bright, light yellow. Peachy fruit salad and spice aromas are enlivened by grapefruit pith. Rich and silky, with a slightly sweet impression nicely countered by harmonious acidity. Round and fairly full in the mouth and still a bit youthfully aggressive. Finishes nicely dry, with hints of ripe stone fruits and quince.   (6/ 2013)

 

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Josh Sauvignon Blanc

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The winemaker says friends all lend a hand in this "winemaker's wine" jokingly and lovingly called "vin de garage" that was made for themselves. This Sauvignon Blanc is made in an approachable California style. Read, not overly grassy on nose or palate. Bright citrus and tropical fruit with hints of dried herbs and a crisp finish. This is a high quality, hand crafted wine made in the old world style on the North Coast of California. Vines are organically and sustainably farmed. Eric Asimov of The New York Times calls the winemaker a "producer to watch" and favorably compared his wines to Far Niente, Clos du Val and Grigch Hills.

Josh is the second label for Joseph Carr. The winery says: Joseph Carr was an award winning Sommelier and international wine industry executive who set out on his own in 2005 and founded Joseph Carr Winery in Carneros, California. It was, as Mr. Carr says, a chance to follow a dream. “We're a family owned company dedicated to making world class, handcrafted wines. We work with small growers, coopers and winemakers producing elegant, sophisticated, yet approachable wines from Napa Valley, Carneros, and the North Coast of California.”

Oh yeah, the name. The winemaker's father was named Joseph as is he but dad's friends called him "Josh." Josh was known as a passionate stock car racer who was as unassuming, says son, as is this wine.

Sold out on many internet wine sites, we still have Josh and at a great price, $12.49.

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Cigar Zin

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Cult favorite turned nationwide best seller. It happens. It happened. Cigar Zin is 90% Zinfandel, 5% Petite Sirah and 5% Syrah.

First let us say that this is a big, bold, talk back and get detention kind of wine BUT it is not jammy.  Similar in taste to the Zinfandel grape, Petite Sirah is often added to give a wine more weight, fuller body and to nail down that BIGness and tone down the Zinfandel's tendency to go jammy.  Rich, enveloping aromas on the nose leading with blackberries, crushed pepper (the restaurant kind) spice and a hint of cocoa make a consistent transition to the palate. Aged 50% in French Oak and 50% in American Oak Barrels, you will find Cigar Zin to be well-structured with hearty exotic fruit tastes. Gathering fruit from Lodi, Mendicino and High Valley, the wine  offers a wide range of fruit flavors.

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So, this is, without question, a steak and heavy pasta kind of wine. Save a glass for after dinner with, what else, a cigar. 13.5% alcohol

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Santa Ema Sauvignon Blanc Select Terroir, 2012, Chile

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Native to the Bordeaux Region of France, this green skinned grape likely takes its name from the French word "sauvage" meaning wild and "blanc," white. Now grown and made wine all over the world, the version from Chile, such as Santa Ema, is most similar to the French style. Generally light to medium in body, the grapes take on the particular characteristics of its home terroir.

Located just south of the capital city, Santiago, Maipo Valley, sitting at the northern end of Chile's Central Valley, is headquarters to some of the world's best known wineries, so much so that is is sometimes called the "Bordeaux of South America." Santa Ema, noted by Wine Spectator for offering the "World's Finest Value Brands," was established by Pedro Pavone, the son of Italian winemakers from the Piedmont region. Arriving in the Maipo Valley in 1917, Pavone spent his early years tending vineyards for other wineries. In 1955, he decided to start his own, Santa Ema.

Chilean Sauvignon Blancs tend to be quite aromatic and tropical on the palate. Santa Ema is no exception. Remarkably clear and bright straw in color, the aroma is fresh citrus including ripe pears and green apples. Notes of fine herbs add complexity to the nose and palate. Fresh, voluminous  and lively on the plate, this 100% Sauvignon Blanc offers well balanced acidity and a deliciously fruity finish.

Santa Ema is a sustainable winery following environmentally friendly practices and socially responsible policies. 13% alcohol. $9.99.

 

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Rouge Bleu, AltaRoses, Taburno: Weekend 9/20/2013

By Kevin Tuomey with Gina Trippi of The Metro Wines Tasting Panel

 

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As the summer rolls down to cool nights and warm days, its nice to remember back to the spring. Pale salmon in color, a chilled bottle of Domaine Rouge-Bleu Dentelle 2011made in the Provencal style will bring us back to those fresh spring days. With a light nose of early flowers subtle pink color and flavors of small wild strawberries, share this bottle with friends on a late afternoon. Bread and cheese or a little summer tart of crab or late berries would be the perfect way to enjoy this wine while watching a golden setting sun. $10.99

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Rich color, smells of fresh earth and leather with hints of blackberry strike the nose of the unique Altaroses, Granatxa fine de Darmos. The wine is made in a style of wine making that produces a wine infused with flavor and balance rather then the forced extraction of fruit and depth by some of Spain's more widely known versions of this varietal. The Anguera Brothers chose to use the varietal name Granatxa, Old Catalan for Garnacha, as an emblem of this lighter, traditional style of Montsant wines. The tannic finish of this 2011 wine seems to predict that it will age well in the bottle. Probably best to decant and then serve with a robust grilling of Neiman Ranch pork, or slow braised short ribs. Biodynamic Certification 2012. $15.49

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As the Italian ground sometimes shakes  around the vineyards so will this 2008 Aglianico Del Taburno, Fontanavecchia perhaps move your palate. French oaked aged, this 100% black skinned Anglianico is produced from vines dating back to 1850. Today, the father and son winemaking team toil the vineyards, sleeping there when necessary to find the perfect grapes for Taburno. This dark garnet, wonderfully musky, bitter chocolate tasting glass of wine begs to be decanted and paired with a bold meal of charcuterie, slow roasts, and big rich desserts. The slight tightness hints that this 2008 will lay down well for future celebrations as well. With the limited availability this wine will also make a wonderful gift to our wine loving friends. $16.49

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Con Class Saddles Up on Lonely Grape Day

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Saddling up to Frontier Red on Lonely Grape Day is Con Class Verdejo 2011. This Eric Solomon is from the Rueda Wine Region just southwest of the center of Spain and south of the River Duero. Rueda's Verdejo became a commercial success in the 1700s based in part on the clarification process to make the wines glassy in appearance.

6th generation winemaker Ricardo Sanz has chosen Verdejo grapes grown organically and then aged in stainless steel. Light straw in color, the nose is acacia flowers, grapefruit and gooseberries with appropriately weighted grassy notes. Light on the palate, the taste is citrus, refreshing and crisp. I know what you're thinking. This sounds summer. And it does work summer hard but where there's food, there's a place for a crisp white. You might enjoy this as an aperitif, salad with vinaigrette, with salmon or on a clear but cold night that calls for the same in a glass.  $11.99

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Fess Parker Frontier Red on Lonely Grape Day

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As good as this wine is, and although you know most of the grapes in the blend, the bottle is seriously lonely. Look at it! It is not everyday that a customer ties up their horse outside Metro Wines and says: "Howdy partner, hit me with a good bottle of red with a coon skin cap on the label!" So we are pouring. Come taste. 

Frontier Red California Red Wine from Fess Parker

100% barrel aged blend of 49% Syrah, 17% Cabernet Franc, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Mouvedre, 7% Grenache, 6% Merlot, 3% Petite Sirah, 1% Zinfandel, 1% Counoise, 1% Carignane and, finally, 1% Cinsault. When Fess Parker says "blend," he means it!

From Santa Barbara County Vineyards, French Camp in Paso Robles and Stonewall Vineyard in Ventura County, Frontier Red is a value oriented wine made," according to the winemaker in the same pioneering, genuine, down to earth spirit of the frontiersmen who first tamed this land." Gary of The Metro Wines Tasting Panel hogtied and tamed this big wine last week demanding it play nice with a wide range of dishes including the unthinkable: German sausage, brussels spouts and kale. Success. Gary reports that Frontier Red, although easy drinking all by its rugged individualist self, the wine "came alive with food."

The extraordinarily complex, multi-grape blend offers a smorgasbord of flavors. On both the nose and palate, you will find dark cherry, plum, vanilla and mocha notes. Frontier Red serves up a full mouthfeel adding chocolate and vanilla with blueberry and cranberry all wrapped in toasty oak undertones and spice. Long lasting finish. Fess Parker Winery says this is your perfect BBQ wine. Football is ON. Buy a case. $11.99. 10% off 6 and 15% off a case. Score!

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Domaine Martinolles Chardonnay is Almost FREE

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Domaine Martinolles Chardonnay 2012, White Languedoc Wine

Covering 247 acres, Domaine Martinolles sits pretty in the hills surrounding the village of St. Hilaire and is bathed in the Mediterranean climate of this Limoux wine region. The terroir has been known for wine since the Romans. At the western most point of Languedoc, the Limoux wine region is just south of the medieval city of Carcassonne. The dual influences of the Atlantic Ocean bringing cool and wet weather blended with the Mediterranean which presents hot and dry conditions, gives the Limoux a most unique climate and the wines a most unique character and elegance.

The Vergnes Family has owned Domaine de Martinolles since 1926. While the estate has been enlarged over the years, it sits on the same hillsides that the monks of St. Hilaire cultivated in 1531 when they one-uped the Romans and produced the world's first sparkling wine. The vines were and are planted in chalky soils at elevations ranging from 200 to 600 meters and are farmed without herbicides or fertilizers. Domaine de Martinolles is a member of Terra Vitis, an organization that certifies the practice of sustainable agriculture. The harvest is carried out at dawn to protect the grapes from the midday heat and oxidation. The crushed grapes rest with their skins for a day before pressing giving the wine more body and texture.

Pale yellow in color, the nose offers aromas of white flowers with a hint of fruit and honey. The palate is crisp lemon, some say lime also, with a refreshing decidedly not over the top acidity.

The highly regarded importer, Wine Traditions, says this wine has an aging potential of 7 years. We say you can but you won't. This wine is a vicarious trip to beautiful Languedoc France in a bottle. if you close your eyes and take a sip, it's all there. Domaine de Martinolles is a keeper, but you won't.

And at the special price of $10 on Friday, Domaine de Martinolles is, all together now, Almost FREE.

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FLACO on Almost FREE Friday

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FLACO Tempranillo 2012  Wine Spectator, 87 Points

FLACO is a product of Vinos de Madrid, that is, the vineyards around the capital city. The area offers an intriguing wine growing region for the Tempranillo grape which, in large part, forms the backbone of some of the finest reds made in Spain. From the Arganda District a little southeast of Madrid, the vineyards sit on clay over granite subsoil at about 2400 feet. The elevation makes for what we have come to know and love in our wines, that stark difference in day and night temperatures insuring the gradual and balanced maturation of the fruit.

At $8.50, FLACO is one of those wines where you would probably not guess the price in a blind tasting and, then, once knowing, you really must ask how do they do it for that price? Part of the price is that Madrid is not yet known as a grape growing region. and cannot command a high price, yet. But that's what we do here @Metro Wines, look for great values, sometimes, as here, in lesser known regions, before mass marketing drives up the price! And Vinos de Madrid is about to go on wine radar.

Tempranillo is a thick skinned, youthful, almost playful grape. Flaco is aged in a combination of stainless steel and cement tanks to bring forth that exuberance. Uncork and give a little air. On the nose, you will find plum and earth. The flavor could be described as exotic flashing around tastes of clove and black licorice with berry, baked plum and a touch of vanilla lush and big on the palate. Carrying the clove all the way, the finish closes with cherry. An easy drinker all alone, Flaco can also make food sing. Potluck perfect, it would be hard to find a reason to dislike Flaco, and it sure wouldn't be the price! Buy it by the case. At $8.50 a bottle with a 15% discount, Flaco is, you know, almost FREE.

Ah yes, again, the name. Word has it that Flaco means "dude."

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Hook and Ladder Cabernet Franc

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Review by Kevin Tuomey, Metro Wines Tasting Panel

When we think of great small estate wines, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir come to mind. Cabernet Franc, on the other hand, is the grape that gets little respect. The Hook and Ladder 2010 vintage Cabernet Franc with its wonderful deep ruby color and hints of perfect cigars and juicy sun ripened raspberries, will be the bottle that makes you take notice. The light tannins allow for a smooth finish that lingers wonderfully by itself or a perfect complement to a cinnamon braised venison with root vegetables. Come in and try this wonderful find.

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Can Feixes Blanc Seleccio 2012

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Penedes Dry White Wine  

89 Points from "Wines Spectator," "Wine Advocate" and "International Wine Cellar." Strong in composition, most critics who reviewed this wine say, unlike many white wines, maybe most white wines, Penedes is good to go until 2016.

The Huguet Family Estate, Can Feixes, sits on the highest limit of the Penedes district. this grape growing region is comprised of gravelly mineral soils and a relatively extreme and dry climate. As a result, the white wines are elegant, concentrated and minerally in character. Minerally?  Dave McIntyre of the Washington Post offered some great comments on this touted characteristic: "Wine geeks tend to describe minerality, a very desired quality in wine as "drinking stones" or something ridiculous like that. Taste this wine, and you'll understand. This is a blend of parellada, macabeo, chardonnay and a smidgen of malvasia, grown in high-altitude, gravelly soils in a vineyard that has been owned by only two families since decades before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Intriquing aromas of herbs, sea air and grass are crystalized into stony, well, there's no better way to describe the flavors." (August 1, 2011)

Made with organic grapes, the aromas are intense with recognizable scents of melon, honeysuckle, mandarin orange and ground ginger. In addition to the minerality, OK, I am going to say it, wet stone, add flavors of lemon curd (a particular favorite of yours truly) and pear. Round and medium bodied, and although this is not a sparkling wine, you might see a few bubble making their way into your glass. Once there, Penedes is a lovely, light yellow color. For a wedding or special occasion, the wine is also in a beautiful tall bottle with a dignified label that will class up any table.

At 12% alcohol you probably won't re-cork. This is what The Metro Wines Tasting Panel calls "a bottle with dinner wine." $14.99

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Meiomi Me but not at Harris Teeter!

$29.99 at Harris Teeter. $19.99 @MetroWines.

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Meiomi (Phonetically: May-OH-mee) Pinot Noir 2012 35% - Monterey County, 34% Santa Barbara County, 31% Sonoma County.

Why 3 counties? Winemaker Joseph Wagner is a fifth generation winemaker with roots in Napa dating back to the 1880s. Wagner worked his way up from pulling leaves to dragging hoses. Of this Meiomi, Wagner says: "Each of the vineyards chosen offers the best expression of the appellations along the California coast: a layered blend of Santa Barbara's spice filled aromas, Sonoma's bright berry flavors, and Monterey's rich textures. The wines are carefully crafted so that these characteristics continue to enhance and build on each other for an evocative and memorable Pinot Noir. 

Meiomi is known for quality and consistency at a reasonable price, well, if you aren't shopping at Harris Teeter, but I digress, and this 2012 is no exception. Deep garnet in color, the nose presents tobacco, cola, dark red, fresh berry fruit. All dark still on the palate that is layered with identifiable flavors that come together mid way supported by supple tannins that lead the way to a long finish.

The goal, according to Wagner, was to craft a solid wine that could go with a wide variety of dishes. This wine is all that, versatile. One of our best sellers, it would be difficult to find a reason not to like this wine unless you paid $10 more at Harris Teeter, but don't blame Meiomi.

The name? Meiomi means "coast" in the language of the native Wappo and "Yuki" tribes.

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What do you get when...

Almost FREE FRIDAY and Comedy Night! 

Alverdi Pinot Grigio

Alverdi is fresh with lively fruit flavor. A fresh, floral bouquet with notes of acacia flowers, this dry, crisp white wine is well balanced with lively fruit flavors. The new release sports the same enchanting lemon grass, lantana, alyssum flower aromas as the previous years, with perhaps a bit more of a ripe melon quality as well. In the mouth this wine is lightweight, with a clean, fresh sense of fruit and a reasonably long finish. This wine pairs well with any fish, pasta, white meat, and is an ideal aperitif. Metro Wines tasting panels believes this is a delicious yet easy Pinot Grigio for a great price at $9.49, and that's no joke!!!

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Zolo Signature Red

This blend of Mendoza's signature red grapes features intense and fresh red fruit aromas and a lush, long mouth feel. This blend of Mendoza's signature red grapes, includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Bonarda, Merlot, and Malbec. It has deep garnet color. bold aromas of coffee with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tangy and spice finish. It is a tasty everyday wine that will work with pretty much anything. 

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Signature Red is made by a woman vintner!

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Moustache!

 

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This is Kevin. One of our best customers sporting his award winning moustache at a national competition in New Orleans. Only @MetroWines. We got it all. Great wine at great prices. Stand up comedy night every Friday. And now, drumroll, moustaches!

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Tormaresca, Puglia, Neprica, 2010

First, Puglia? Class is in session!

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 Located in the southeast area of Italy, Puglia is, as you can see, the “heel” of the boot delightfully sandwiched between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.  The sunny, warm, blue, green, yellow, beautiful Mediterranean climate is cooled by ocean breezes. This paradise has been home to many cultures, including Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Goths, Turks and Venetians. While the populations, subject to nature and wars, came and went from several centuries on through to the point where Italy was officially recognized, there was one constant: the grapevines.  Flash to circa 1300. The Antinori Family has been making wine since then, yes, the 1300s. 7 centuries of winemaking has to teach you something! Neprica from Antinori carries forth the tradition and sets the standard for the future. Together with Primativo (30%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), the predominant grape in Neprica is Negroamaro (40%) grown almost exclusively in Puglia. The grape is dark skinned, typically producing wines dark in color, rustic in character with an earthy bitterness.  

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The flavors in Neprica are screaming for recognition but still working in seemless conjunction with their teammates. Ruby red in color, there is licorice and chocolate mixed with dark berries on the nose and palate. Seriously. If you have ever questioned how people claim to find certain aromas or flavors in a wine, if you have ever thought they just read the label, if you are of the opinion that the critics are just blowing smoke!!, this wine will make you a believer. The Metro Wines Tasting Panel stakes their reputation for straight talk on this promise, you will be able to identify the aforementioned characteristics in this wine. Neprica is just that distinct, that good. Seriously. And we would add two other adjectives we are confident you will find in this wine: leathery and chewy. 

Ahh yes, the name. Nothing too complicated. This smooth blend is named after the three grapes that make it so, Negroamaro, Primativo, and Cabernet.

Critical Acclaim:

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"The estate’s 2010 Neprica is 40% Negroamaro, 30% Primitivo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet berries, flowers, mint, licorice and spices waft from the glass in this attractive, mid-weight red. A hint of oak on the finish is a bit obtrusive, otherwise the 2010 is an attractive wine best enjoyed over the next 2-3 years, while the fruit remains vibrant. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2015. Antinori’s purchase of two properties in Puglia a few years ago marked the beginning of a period of investment in Puglia that continues today. Puglia remains one of the most fascinating regions in Italy for its rich history and as yet fully unrealized oenological potential. These two entry-level wines from Tormaresca are solid values. " (2/ 2013)

Wine Spectator

" Medium-bodied, displaying a round mix of black plum, dark cherry and light fig notes, with layers of spice and hints of mountain herb and tobacco. Negroamaro, Primitivo and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now."  (8/ 2012)

 

Food & Wine Magazine

"One of the 10 best wine values in the world." (12/2012)

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And at $11.99, it is even a better, bigger value @MetroWines. This is the kind of bottle to buy by the case. 15% off when you do.

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LIMA Vinho Verde 2011

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Perfect with Pulpo a la Gallega. Let's come back to that. Moving on..

From the Paco de Cardiddo Vineyard, this wine is dry. Yes, dry. This crisp and fruity wine is 100% Loureiro, a Vinho Verde wine from Portuagal. Loureiro means "laurel" referring to the bay leaf scent that marks the grape. Loureiro, a light skinned grape with excellent acidity, is becoming the popular choice for Vinho Verde wines but historically Trajadura and Pederna were the go to grapes.

From Loureiro grapes grown in rocky composition soil, LIMA is light and floral with high mineral acidity. Pale lemon yellow in color, you will find lemongrass and Mediterranean herbs (Metro Wines Tasting Panel loves that!) on the nose. Citrus fruit with a splash of white tea and minerality is on the palate and the feel is full working down to a long and refreshing finish.

The winery suggest that this wine pairs perfectly with Pulpo a la Gallegas, a dish made with octopus. Eric Ripert has a good recipe via youtube if you just happen to have an octopus that you have not put to good use. But should your kitchen be one octopus short, LIMA is great with all the usual suspects: crustaceans, fish, chicken, salad, Asian Spring Rolls, and a perfect way to say goodbye to summer.

The name? This from the importer, Wine Bow: This Vinho Verde is named for the legendary Lima River in Galicia. During Roman times, invading solders avoided this river as it was said to be the incarnation of Hades’ memory-erasing Lethe. Today, vines flourish along its banks, among them the Loureiro that composes Lima Vinho Verde. Cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks creates a wine with excellent acidity and a freshness that will be hard to forget. 

At $9.75, this is an Almost FREE Friday feature and joins Steeple Jack Shiraz for Disclaimer Comedy on Friday Night, 7pm @Metro Wines.

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Steeple Jack Shiraz 2010

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Who is that guy? One James Halliday, author of "The Australian Wine Companion" and Senior Wine Competition Judge. Saying this wine is more than one might expect for the price, James Halliday awarded 88 points to Steeple Jack Shiraz 2010.  

From the Ballast Stone Vineyards in McLaren Vale, owned and producing wine by the Shaw Family for 35 years, this wine is true to the varietal. Deep ruby in color, this wine presents blackberry with hints of mocha and vanilla on the nose, bringing the aromas into the palate and adding cinnamon and white pepper. A silky and full feel leads to a long and stable finish.

Winning the Global Competition for Best Shiraz? No. But a great value that is a food friendly or can fly solo? Yes. At $7.99, Steeple Jack Shiraz is literally almost FREE. 

Oh yes, the name. Steeple Jacks, according to the label, played a crucial role in constructing and maintaining Australian Townships completing the stonework on the tallest buildings and towers. The name honors their fearless work in the face of danger. Take a look:

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Raise a glass to Steeple Jacks everywhere and take on Disclaimer Comedy Friday @MetroWines, 7pm sharp!

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Altes Herencia Garnatxa Blanca 2012

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From the not yet famous, and hence, less expensive,Terra Alta region in the southeastern corner of the Catalonia border of Aragon and Valencia, this Eric Solomon Selection is, in a word, elegant. The winemaker says the Terra Alta region is "among the best in terms of quality and authenticity." The oh so conducive to grape growing hills and beauty have beckoned painters over the years and been the subject of many works. Pablo Picasso spent his summers in Terra Alta and may or may not have had Garnatxa from this vineyard but, since the vines are old, let's just say he did!. So, if Pablo had been sipping a glass of this bottle, he would find a floral nose with just a whisper of green apple and stone fruit. And he would no doubt be pleased with the almost creamy palate and long finish. Channel Picasso for only $9.99.

 

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Simple Life Pinot Noir

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It's plenty hard enough to find a good Pinot Noir under $20 let alone under $15. This is a hard working wine and, at $13.49, Simple Life can be an everyday wine making your life, even if it isn't "simple"...good! Grapes made wine in this bottle are sourced from the best vineyards all over California so "a bad year" doesn't really happen. Simply put, Simple Life is consistently good.

Cherry, strawberry and raspberry on the nose, this blend of red fruit sets down forward on the palate. The winery claims Simple Life finishes with cloves and cranberries. The Metro Wines Tasting Panel was not skeptical about the cranberry claim but we went in gunning for clove. "No way," we said. "Too complex for such a, well, $13.49 wine!" Simple Life was true to their claim. There's clove in there. Plain and simple. This wine easily earns the shop status of "The Little Black Dress." Well crafted. Versatile. Goes with anything. And always appropriate.

Why the name? Simple Life says: "Growing up in small town California means being able to enjoy the Simple Life. We walk downtown and shop at family-owned grocery stores, we cook with fresh vegetables and meat from local farms, and we drink wine made by our family and friends who have lived here for generations."

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