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Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir 2018

Argot Bastard Tongue Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Sonoma Pinot Noir.

Inheriting an unbroken string of success, the “Bastard Tongue” arrives fully-formed and ready to impress. Always a blend from multiple Pinot Noir vineyards, this iteration of “BT” was selected from three distinct sites, each making their own unique contribution of Sonoma County terroir to the wine’s character.

Exploding forth on a tidal wave of high-toned, intense red and black fruits, this is a Pinot Noir that no stemware can contain. The palate’s profound depth is balanced by an inherent freshness, allowing the wine to crackle with brambly energy, while sustained by bass notes of underbrush, black tea, pie spice and baker’s chocolate. A formidable rendition of “Bastard Tongue”, and a deserving successor to its line.

Night harvested by hand throughout September, cluster and berry sorted by hand, de-stemmed, no crushing. 7-day cold soaks, followed by native fermentation in open-top bins. Average time on the skins, 14 days. Aging 20 months in French oak, 100% new. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.

Very versatile for pairing. Goes well with grilled meat, vegetable, fish, poultry and cheese.

Review:

"A more limited production cuvée, the 2018 Pinot Noir Bastard Tongue is a big, ripe, sexy beast of a Pinot Noir delivering loads of black cherry and black raspberry fruit intermixed with plenty of spring flowers, sappy herb, and forest-like nuances. Full-bodied, it has a hedonistic, sweetly fruited style, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It doesn’t pull any punches yet stays balanced, textured, and a joy to drink. It should keep for 5-7 years or so.”

- Jeb Dunnuck, 95 pts



 95 Points
Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Les Silex 2016

Cabrieres Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge Les Silex  is made from 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah .

The vineyard is situated on the high tablelands, which are characteristic of the northern area of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The terrain consists mainly of alpine diluvium and chalky Miocenian soil, with large flint pebbles covering the surface. These pebbles conserve the heat of the day during the night, thus avoiding too much evaporation.

This 2016 has opened up and is drinking great right now. A blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah. Elegant cherry red color, with expressive notes of red fruits (strawberry and raspberry). Mellow tannins, well-balanced on the palate. I feel I need to point out the freshness, it is bright and lively on the palate, something we don’t see a lot of in this region. This also makes it extremely food friendly as it can hold up to fatty proteins.

Very good with white meat, red meat, charcuterie and cheese.


Johann Michel St. Joseph Rouge 2019

Johann Michel St. Joseph Rouge is made from 100 percent Syrah.


The parcel is quite small : only 0.37 hectares (0.9 acre) hence the very limited production: 700 bottles.


The vines are only 4 years old. They are planted at 120 meters in altitude and at a density of 4400 vines per hectare.
100% destemmed. 
Aged in French Oak barrel for 12 months.
Malolactic fermentation in oak barrels and aging on the lees for 12-18 months in barrels (2 to 4 year old barrels) 
The average age of the vines is 25 years. 
Yield: 33 hl/ha


Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Genshu Junmai Daiginjo (720ml)


This beautiful, seasonal Genshu is powerfully aromatic and flavorful on the palate. These fresh and lively flavors are the result of pressing without the dilution of additional water. Classically Jozen in style with elegance and influenced by the soft snow texture of the famous water of that region.


RICE KOJI: GOHYAKUMANGOKU
YEAST STRAIN: K1801


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 (720ml)

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 (720ml)

Sake Eikun Junmai Ginjo Water Lords 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

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 Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Hiyaoroshi (300ml)

Hiyaoroshi is a general term referring to sake that has been pasteurized once in the winter and then allowed to mature over the summer before distribution in autumn. The Japan Sake Brewers Association designates September 9th as the official start for Hiyaoroshi sales. (Essentially aged Namazume)

September 9th is known as Kiku-no-Sekku (“Chrysanthemum Festival”), where hundreds of chrysanthemums are displayed around various venues and chrysanthemum sake is served. The chrysanthemum (kiku) was brought to Japan from China during the Nara period. In 1183, it was adopted as the Imperial Seal of Japan, and during the Meiji period no one but the Emperor could use it. Nowadays it still represents the authority of the emperor and you can see it everywhere in Japan.

Aromas are forward, fresh, and fruity in the nose with notes of sweet melon, cherries, and hints of vanilla. Flavors on the palate evoke feelings of the season with pumpkin pie, roasted nuts, and stewed plums. This sake is medium-bodied and accented by medium acidity, showing classic Jozen minerality and a lingering dry finish. Additional 7 months of aging adds depth and roundness.

{Pairs with roasted poultry, baked ham, butternut squash ravioli, BBQ, and dishes with sweet spice.
Aged Gouda, triple cream, fresh chevre .

Sake Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Hiyaoroshi (720ml)

Hiyaoroshi is a general term referring to sake that has been pasteurized once in the winter and then allowed to mature over the summer before distribution in autumn. The Japan Sake Brewers Association designates September 9th as the official start for Hiyaoroshi sales. (Essentially aged Namazume)

September 9th is known as Kiku-no-Sekku (“Chrysanthemum Festival”), where hundreds of chrysanthemums are displayed around various venues and chrysanthemum sake is served. The chrysanthemum (kiku) was brought to Japan from China during the Nara period. In 1183, it was adopted as the Imperial Seal of Japan, and during the Meiji period no one but the Emperor could use it. Nowadays it still represents the authority of the emperor and you can see it everywhere in Japan.

Aromas are forward, fresh, and fruity in the nose with notes of sweet melon, cherries, and hints of vanilla. Flavors on the palate evoke feelings of the season with pumpkin pie, roasted nuts, and stewed plums. This sake is medium-bodied and accented by medium acidity, showing classic Jozen minerality and a lingering dry finish. Additional 7 months of aging adds depth and roundness.

{Pairs with roasted poultry, baked ham, butternut squash ravioli, BBQ, and dishes with sweet spice.
Aged Gouda, triple cream, fresh chevre .

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

Sake Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi Junmai Ginjo Namazake (300ml)

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

Sake Matsuno Kotobuki Honjozo Otoko no Yujyo

TASTING NOTES: This fresh, subtle Honjozo has a lovely nose of cantaloupe, leek, fresh clay and pear. With just a hint of sweetness, the palate is light bodied with alluring flavors of burnt caramel, chalk and marsh-mallow and a classic Honjozo clean, dry finish.
The fanciful name "Otoko no Yujyo", represents a feeling for which the sake was made, to honor brotherly love, between comrades.

PREFECTURE: TOCHIGI
POLISHING RATIO: 65%
ALCOHOL: 15.0 - 16.0%
SMV +/-: +8.0
ACIDITY: 1.4
RICE KOJI: HITOGOKOCHI
RICE KAKE: TOCHIGI 14
YEAST STRAIN: KYOKAI 901

FOOD PAIRINGS: Versatile with all foods, Grilled Fish, Paella, Smoked Fish, Fried Fish or Fried Chicken
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy Morning, Prima Donna, Domaine de Village

Sake Matsuno Kotobuki Honjozo Otoko no Yujyo (300ml)

TASTING NOTES: This fresh, subtle Honjozo has a lovely nose of cantaloupe, leek, fresh clay and pear. With just a hint of sweetness, the palate is light bodied with alluring flavors of burnt caramel, chalk and marsh-mallow and a classic Honjozo clean, dry finish.
The fanciful name "Otoko no Yujyo", represents a feeling for which the sake was made, to honor brotherly love, between comrades.

PREFECTURE: TOCHIGI
POLISHING RATIO: 65%
ALCOHOL: 15.0 - 16.0%
SMV +/-: +8.0
ACIDITY: 1.4
RICE KOJI: HITOGOKOCHI
RICE KAKE: TOCHIGI 14
YEAST STRAIN: KYOKAI 901

FOOD PAIRINGS: Versatile with all foods, Grilled Fish, Paella, Smoked Fish, Fried Fish or Fried Chicken
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy Morning, Prima Donna, Domaine de Village

Sake Sawahime Tokubetsu Honjozo

This inviting Honjozo is full of floral, quince, dried mango, anise and hazelnut aromatics. On the palate this sake has medium body and a smooth mouth feel.  Forward flavors of persimmon and black pepper with lively acidity gives this sake a beautiful balance.

Pair this with: Salmon teriyaki, chicken meatballs, glazed ham, spinach and bacon salad; served warm with Shabu Shabu

RICE POLISHING RATIO: 60%    

ALCOHOL: 15-16%    

SWEET/DRY: +5.0

FOOD PAIRINGS: Duck, Grilled salmon, Chicken meatballs, Glazed ham, Chinese, Italian, Cured Meats
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Comte, Mimolette, Pecorino

Sake Sawahime Yamahai Junmai (300ml)

From the Tochigi Prefecture.

This sake has aromas of gardenia, ripe kiwi, papaya, green peppercorn, aged comte cheese and notes of nutmeg, mushroom, toasted oat and yeast. This sake is bright, dry and lively with medium plus acidity, and full bodied on the palate with a long finish.

Rice Koji: Hitogokochi
Rice Kake: Hitogokochi
Yeast Strain: KT-901

FOOD PAIRINGS: Smoked or oily fish, fried Calamari and Fish Tempura, Fried Chicken 
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy morning, slight ripe Brie, Raschera

Sake Uonuma Noujun Junmai

Dry and lean in the nose with hints of celery, pear puree and anise. On the palate this junmai is soft and creamy on the palate with rich, savory flavors of mocha, hazelnut, spicy vanilla, ending with crisp acidity.

POLISHING RATIO: 80%
ALCOHOL: 16-17%
SMV +/-: +2.0%
ACIDITY: 2.10%
RICE KOJI: Yamadanishiki
RICE KAKE: Yamadanishiki
YEAST STRAIN: Koshi Ibuki

FOOD PAIRINGS: Ideal with rustic Italian food, cheese and tomato centric or creamy pasta dishes

CHEESE PAIRINGS: Italian Raschera, Pecoria Reggiano

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