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Avennia Gravura Red Blend 2015

Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon 41% Merlot 11% Cabernet Franc

Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.

Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.

 


Review:

"A blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 47% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc, the 2015 Gravura exhibits a classic bouquet of cassis, pencil shavings and rich soil, followed by a medium-bodied, velvety and layered palate, with a rich core of fruit that's attractively vibrant and already incipiently complex. This is a sophisticated, well-balanced and keenly priced Bordeaux blend that definitely impressed me. - William Kelley"
 - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #237, June 2018), 93 pts

 Wine Advocate: 93
Chateau Larroque Bordeaux Superieur Rouge 2015


Chateau Larroque Bordeaux Superieur Rouge is a blend of 63% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.

Color : Dark garnet hue
Nose : Red fruits, almond and hazelnut, with a faint vanilla aroma.
Mouth : The silky, velvety attack reveals a pleasant, concentrated and well structured wine. It offers a combination of fruits pastes’ flavors, licorice and toasted notes, and an elegant finish.

Marie-Christine, the daughter of Henri Ducourt, purchased this prestigious left-bank property in 1979, which lies on the border of the Graves appellation. 
The 60-hectare vineyard was rapidly replanted and the château building, which dates from 1348, was restored. 
Our family now produces three different-colored wines there: red, white and rosé.

Grown on loamy-clay soil.

Macération : Pre-fermentation cold maceration of 24 to 48 hours
Fermentation : Alcoholic fermentation in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats at around 26°C / 78°F then a gentle vatting for 3 weeks at 30°C / 86°F. Running off and pressing,separation of the press and free-run juice. Malolactic fermentation in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats at around 18°C / 64°F

Enjoy this wine with charcuterie, roasted meats, BBQ, cheeses.

Review:

"An attractive nose of oak overlaying seductive dark red fruits with hints of blackcurrant leads into a complex palate with silky tannins. Soft, earthy flavours of dark cherry and currant matches silky tannins to finish."
- 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards Decanter 95 Points


 95 Points
Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes 2016

Colline Saint Jean Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah.

This wine has a deep purple color, with an intense nose of ripe black fruits, plum, brandied cherries, and chocolate. In the mouth, the wine has rich flavors of black fruits. It is meaty, well-structured, and the tannins are round and elegant.

The juice is aged in concrete tanks for 18 months. The lack of oak helps to frame in the bright and defined dark berry flavors of the old vine grapes. I can not recall another red wine that displays this depth yet displays on the palate with such refreshing acidity.

Vieilles Vignes means old vines.For this specific wine, the age of the vines are comprised between 85 and 110 years old.

Traditional method. Manually picked. Harvest carefully sorted and 100% destemed. Maceration with skins during 20 days in cement vats. Large work of pump over to push the cap.

Red meat, game, white meat, poultry, dishes in sauce, cheese, chocolate dessert.

Review:

"The 2016 Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes comes from the older vines of the estate and is 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. It offers more strawberry, plum, violets, and spring flower notes as well as full-bodied richness, no hard edges, and sweet tannin. It’s another gorgeous 2016 readers should snatch up. 291 cases."
- Jeb Dunnuck (October 2017), 92-94 pts

 

 94 Points
Finca Sobreno Ildefonso Toro 2014

Finca Sobreno Ildefonso Toro  is made from 100% Tinta de Toro
Very Old Vines (Minimum 80 years of age)
Aged in 100% new French Oak Barrels for 18 months + 12 months in the bottle

The wine is produced in very limited quantity from the estate's oldest vineyards (80 years old vines) and is fermented in 2,000-liter open-top fermentation vats. Our winemaker punches down the cap by hand three times a day using the traditional pigeage method to ensure optimal extraction.

The name of the wine is the surname of the San Ildefonso family, father Roberto and daughter Paloma, and represents the apex of their winemaking tradition.

Tasting notes
Deep cherry color.
Very expressive, elegant and complex with ripe fruit, mineral notes, sweet spices, chocolate aromas and intense toasts.
Powerful, tasty, round and very smooth. We find again black berries, mineral notes, chocolates with roasted aromas. Very long after taste.

Soil types:
The soil is formed by sediments of sand, clay and limestone, which produce a dark lime-bearing topsoil, with fine and coarse sands.
This year we had low rain falls getting very healthy bunches. Besides, cool nights and not very hot days at the end of the cycle were excellent for a complete ripening of the grapes, full of nuances.

Winemaking and aging
The fruit is manually selected and picked in small cases. After destemming the grapes are stored in 2.000 liter open fermenter tanks and cold maceration at 8ºC during 8 days. Three times a day the cap of the skins is submerged manually (pigeage) and after the alcoholic fermentation is finished at a controlled temperature, the wine is macerated until the wine maker determines the appropriate extraction polyphenols. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in new French oak barrels. The wine was aged in new French oak barrels for 16 months, followed by another 12 months minimum in the bottle.

Ideal for red meats, lamb, roasted meat and strong cheeses

Review:

"The 2014 Finca Sobreño Ildefonso is a Tinta de Toro selection from 60-year-old vineyards fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in oak barrels for 18 months with rackings every six months. It's serious and combines power and elegance, it shows very good balance and freshness and fine-grained tannins. Great showing. 50,000 bottles were filled in May 2018. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #238, August 31st 2018), 91 pts

 Wine Advocate: 91
Kynsi Pinot Noir Precious Stone Stone Corral Vineyard 2013

The Stone Corral Vineyard is planted on a southeast slope on the west side of the Edna Valley which has an east/west orientation opening up to the Pacific Ocean from Morro Bay and Pismo Beach. Approximately 120 to 300 feet above sea level, the climate is strongly influenced by the ocean providing ideal temperate growing conditions for Pinot Noir. Early spring warming, mild summer temperatures and late arriving cold fall temperatures and rain provide a long growing season for the development of rich color, concentrated and complex flavors. Soil profiles vary between blocks from sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, pebbly sandy clay loam, all fine angular blocky , including decomposing sandstone layers and numerous fossil rocks. The soils are well drained and marine in origin, resulting in an elegant Pinot Noir with extraordinary attributes.

 

This gem is a blend of a few precious, select barrels hailing from the finest blocks of Stone Corral Vineyard. Offers blue-toned fruit on the nose and a pretty bouquet of black raspberry, sandstone, marzipan and wild lupine flowers. Opulent, yet delicate on the palate, with velvety layers of cola nut, cherry, dried herbs and pecan sandie cookies.

Wine analysis – 13.7% Alcohol, .69 TA, 3.5pH


- A barrel select Stone Corral Vineyard bottling, utilizing the finest blocks and clones of the 2013 vintage
- Blend of clones 115, 777 and 667 on 101-14 and 3309 rootstalks
- Hand harvested, cold fruit from night picks during the month of September 2013
- Yield about 2 tons per acre between 23.8 and 24.5 ° Brix
- Destemmed with nearly 100 % whole berries remaining
- Fermented in small open top tanks
- 4 day cold soak, average 14 day fermentation, peak temperature 83°
- Hand punched down several times daily as needed
- Pressed off just dry, tank settled then racked to barrels
- Aged in small French oak barrels for 18 months
- Once the fresh wine is transferred from the press pan, all moving of the wine is done with inert gas pressure.
When handling the wine, care is taken at all opportunities to avoid shear.


"This bottling comes from the best blocks and barrels from this single vineyard, co-owned by a number of Edna Valley luminaries. The result is stunning, with baked raspberry, strawberry, maple, and peppery bacon aromas comprising a spicy, exotic nose. Black plum fruit melds with white pepper and crushed herbs, diving into tangy strawberry and sandalwood incense notes on the finish. - Matt Kettmann"
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine (April 1st 2017), 95 pts

 Wine Advocate: 95
Maipe Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2016

Maipe Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve is 100 percent Cabernet.

A ripe, fleshy style, with blackberry and fig sauce notes laced with bittersweet Grenache. Powerful and layered, with classic Cabernet aromatics. Dark and ripe, with a nice loamy edge lurking on the finish.

70% of the resulting wine is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels to fully reveal the character of the Andean terroir, and the remaining 30% is aged in concrete vats.

The grapes are carefully chosen and fermented in small lots to preserve the vineyard identity.

Alcoholic fermentation for 10 days with indigenous and selected yeasts, at temperatures of 26 and 30°C, combining, remontage, pigage and delestage in order to obtain the best quality of tannins and structure.

 


Mt. Monster Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

Mt Monster Cabernet Sauvignon is 100 percent Cabernet

Winemaking: Our Cabernet is fermeneted in static fermenters at controlled temperatures to retain the varietal aromatics. Once complete the wine is left for 7-1- days on skins to aide in the extraction of soft fleshy tannins and build wine structure. French and American oak has been used sparingly to ensure maximum fruit expression is retained in the final wine.

Tasting notes: Deep purple in colour. Classic aromas of lifted blackcurrant, blackberry and mint on the nose. Flavours follow through of sweet berry-fruit accented by fresh muddled mint. Elegant, structured palate with big velvety tannins.

Piemaggio Chianti Classico Le Fioraie 2013

This wine is the authentic expression of a Chianti Classico, with an intense ruby color with burgundy reflections with age. Pleasant notes of violets and dry cherry on the nose. The taste is intense and persistent. Well-balanced, elegant and full-bodied

Production area: (Le Fioraie) Castellina in Chianti (Siena)
Piemaggio Chianti Classico Le Fioraie Sangiovese 90%, Colorino, Canaiolo Ciliegiolo 10%
Altitude: 350-480 meters above sea level.
Soil Composition: middle dough soil rich in mineral with galestro and alberese (Typical of this area).
Plant per hectare: 4,800
Cultivation technique: Guyot

Traditional winemaking with controlled temperature in stainless steal tank, with skin contact maceration for around 25 days, pumping overs and delestages. Aging for about 18 months with passages in concrete vats, in French oak casks of 25 HL and then in tonneaux. 3 months in the bottle.

Serve with pasta dishes, typical Tuscan cold cuts, roasted meat and semi dried cheeses.


Rinaldi Brachetto d'Acqui 2016

This wine is made from 100% Brachetto d'Acqui

The skin gives the wine its particular scent and flavor. 

Light ruby red color. The bouquet is musky and delicate with scents of ripe red fruit (strawberry, blackberry) and roses. Sweet and smooth flavors with lingering aromatic persistence. There is a good balance between the sweetness and the freshness, which makes this wine very pleasant.

The training system used is Guyot with a density of 2500-3000 vines per hectare. Manual harvest. Temperature controlled maceration for approximately seven days with mechanic plunging of the cap and pumping over to increase extraction of substances from the skins. This is the most important part of the vinification. Soft pressing.

Sake Aizu Chushou Junmai Daiginjo Hattannishiki

This Junmai Daiginjo has a beautiful nose full of banana, melon and star anise. The all natural brewing process gives this sake a bright fresh palate of plum, lime and minerality with a clean dry finish. A very food friendly sake, and is thought to be best after the meal with a light, smooth, rich cow's milk cheese.

POLISHING RATIO: 40%
ALCOHOL: 16-17%
SMV +/-: +1.0
ACIDITY: 1.2
RICE KOJI: HATTANISHIKI
RICE KAKE: HATTANISHIKI
YEAST STRAIN: PROPRIETARY YEAST

FOOD PAIRINGS: Poached Lobster, Seared Scallops, Tofu, Steamed Dumplings
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Brillat Savarin, Cambozola, Dulce Latte Gorgonzola, Mimolette

Sake Aizu Chushou Tokubetsu Honjozo (1.8 liter)

An inviting sake full of sweet spice, almond and smoke with a slight herbaceous character. Off dry, rich and almost chewy, the palate features melon, peach and mineral notes with a distinctively dry finish.

POLISHING RATIO: 55%
ALCOHOL: 15-16%
SMV +/-: +4.0
ACIDITY: 1.0
RICE KOJI: GOHYAKUMANGOKU
RICE KAKE: TAKENEMINO
YEAST STRAIN: PROPRIETARY YEAST

FOOD PAIRINGS: Duck, Chinese, Italian, Cured Meat, Sashimi, Carpaccio, Fresh Crab, Ceviche
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Pt. Reyes Tome, Asiago Mezzuna, Jeff Select Gouda

Sake Eikun Junmai Ginjo Big Hawk (300ml)

Rice milling: 60%
Rice varietal: Iwai (Only available in Kyoto)
Alcohol: 15%
Sake meter value: +3.0
Acidity: 1.3
Tasting Notes: --------

Eikun sake uses water from a source called "Fusui", rated as one of the top 100 sources of water in Japan. This water source is located just south of the ancient Japanese, and still cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto. 

 

 

Review:

"Clear with a platinum blue cast. Aromas of coconut milk, melon, pear and rice pudding with a with a supple, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a vanilla, apple, and pepper accented finish. A robust and lively sake that will sing with spicy Asian cuisine."
- Beverage Testing Institute (July 2nd 2014), 91 pts

 

Sake Eikun Junmai Ginjo Water Lords (300ml)

 

Sake Eikun Junmai Ginjo Water Lords 12/720ml is made with Iwai rice.

Eikun sake uses water from a source called "Fusui", rated as one of the top 100 sources of water in Japan. This water source is located just south of the ancient Japanese, and still cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto.

Aromas of macadamia oatmeal cookie, spicy zucchini bread, and vanilla cream with a satiny fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a layered, banana custard, jicama, salted whole nut, apple, and radish nuanced finish. A Wonderfully vibrant and flavorful sake.-Beverage Tasting Institute  94 points (Exceptional)

RATING: 94 points (Exceptional)
CATEGORY: Junmai Ginjo Sake, Sake
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 15.3%
TASTING LOCATION: In Our Chicago Tasting Room
TASTING DATE: Dec-05-2012
WINE ID: 200768

 


Made with Iwai rice.

Eikun sake uses water from a source called "Fusui", rated as one of the top 100 sources of water in Japan. This water source is located just south of the ancient Japanese, and still cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto.

Rice milling: 60%

Sake Gassan Junmai Ginjo Mountain Moon (300ml)

 

Woodsy honeycomb, nutshell, and mushroom patch aromas with a satiny fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a delicate savory mushroom stock, chestnut, and golden beet driven finish. A fine choice for tempura. 91 Points -Beverage Tasting Institute

RATING: 91 points (Exceptional)
CATEGORY: Junmai Ginjo Sake, Sake
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 15.4%
TASTING LOCATION: In Our Chicago Tasting Room
TASTING DATE: Dec-05-2012
WINE ID: 200767

Sake Gassan Junmai Ginjo Mountain Moon (720ml)

Woodsy honeycomb, nutshell, and mushroom patch aromas with a satiny fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a delicate savory mushroom stock, chestnut, and golden beet driven finish. A fine choice for tempura. 91 Points -Beverage Tasting Institute

RATING: 91 points (Exceptional)
CATEGORY: Junmai Ginjo Sake, Sake
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 15.4%
TASTING LOCATION: In Our Chicago Tasting Room
TASTING DATE: Dec-05-2012
WINE ID: 200767

Sake Gunma Izumi Yamahai Honjozo

TASTING NOTES:
This is a classic, delicious Honjozo with crimini mushroom, almonds and lilac aromas. The first sip of this sake is full of stone fruit and minerals complimented by notes of caramel, cocoa and almond and finishes with plenty of umami.

POLISHING RATIO: 60%
ALCOHOL: 16-17%
SMV +/-: +3.0
ACIDITY: 1.6
RICE KOJI: JAPANESE RICE 100%
RICE KAKE: JAPANESE RICE 100%
YEAST STRAIN: KYOKAI 

FOOD PAIRINGS: Chinese Food, One Pot dishes like Beef Stew.
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy Morning, Prima Donna, Domaine de Village

Sake Gunma Izumi Yamahai Honjozo 300ml

TASTING NOTES:
This is a classic, delicious Honjozo with crimini mushroom, almonds and lilac aromas. The first sip of this sake is full of stone fruit and minerals complimented by notes of caramel, cocoa and almond and finishes with plenty of umami.

POLISHING RATIO: 60%
ALCOHOL: 16-17%
SMV +/-: +3.0
ACIDITY: 1.6
RICE KOJI: JAPANESE RICE 100%
RICE KAKE: JAPANESE RICE 100%
YEAST STRAIN: KYOKAI 

FOOD PAIRINGS: Chinese Food, One Pot dishes like Beef Stew.
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy Morning, Prima Donna, Domaine de Village

Sake Horan Nigori Morning Frost  (300ml)

Rice milling: 65%
Rice varietal: Gohyakumangoku
Alcohol: 15.3%
Sake meter value: (-)4
Acidity: 1.4
Tasting Notes: A premium Nigori "Cloudy" Sake with a hint of tropical fruits aroma. It is off dry (slightly sweet) and rather full body.


Food pairings: Goes well with Tofu, white meat dishes and creamy foods

 


Review:

"Creamy bone white color. Mild aromas of coconut cream and apple bread with a supple and chunky, fruity medium-to-full body and a honeyed pineapple, radish, and banana custard accented finish. A nicely balanced dessert sake."

- Beverage Testing Institute (July 2nd 2014), 92 pts

Sake Horan Nigori Morning Frost (720ml)

Rice milling: 65%
Rice varietal: Gohyakumangoku
Alcohol: 15.3%
Sake meter value: (-)4
Acidity: 1.4
Tasting Notes: A premium Nigori "Cloudy" Sake with a hint of tropical fruits aroma. It is off dry (slightly sweet) and rather full body.


Food pairings: Goes well with Tofu, white meat dishes and creamy foods.


Review:

"Creamy bone white color. Mild aromas of coconut cream and apple bread with a supple and chunky, fruity medium-to-full body and a honeyed pineapple, radish, and banana custard accented finish. A nicely balanced dessert sake."

- Beverage Testing Institute (July 2nd 2014), 92 pts

Sake Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Genshu Junmaï Ginjo

Light, fluid, fruity
An icon among Niigata sakes, one of the most famous in Japan. A sake with fluidity, lightness, with a fruity nose (white fruits flesh). In mouth, it is clear and fine flavors on that slide as a source water to finish on pure and crystalline notes.

His name Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi, alone evokes the purity of water in mountains of Niigata. It goes wonderfully oysters, salmon tartare, the steamed white fish (sake, why not!). On a sashimi or carpaccio and crunchy pickled or cooked vegetables. Recommended serving temperature between 8°C to room temperature.

Sake Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Junmai Ginjo Namazake

This unpasteurized sake is exciting and lively with a nose full of citrus, apple blossom and shizo. The palate is equally as bold featuring fresh persimmons, marshmallow and slightly underipe stone fruit. The finish is clean showing soft minerality.

POLISHING RATIO: 60%
ALCOHOL: 15.5
SMV +/-: +5.0
ACIDITY: 1.6
RICE KOJI: GOHYAKUMANGOKU
RICE KAKE: KOSHI IBUKI
YEAST STRAIN: K1801

FOOD PAIRINGS: Sushi Nigiri with fatty fish, oysters, omelettes, Lighter Italian, Chinese or French dishes
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Mildly ripe Coulommiers or Brie, Italian Raschera


 
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Crafted from 100% Chambourcin. Heavily fruity, with cherry and raspberry and redcurrant aromatics. Light-bodied, with a refreshing and potent acidity. Just a touch off-dry.