Friday Sips

Southern Rhone Villages
Today Jan. 24 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop by today to taste four full flavored red wines from the named villages of the Southern Rhone Valley.
Sablet, Cairanne and more on display.

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$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

Many Rhone wine enthusiasts often think the Vaucluse ends at Rasteau or Cairanne. Not so fast on that assumption because there are several villages north of Orange and Cairanne that happen to produce kickass wine. Visan was a papal enclave in the 14th century and is a small-enclosed section of the Vaucluse bordered by the Drome, which essentially begins the Northern Rhone. Cotes-du-Rhone Village Visan status was gained in 1966 to separate its special quality from generic Cotes-du-Rhone.

Originally working in Burgundy, Olivier Cuillas is the sixth generation at Domaine Guintrandry taking over in 1996 after the sudden passing of his father. The style of the wines is very traditional and this cuvee is brought up in concrete tanks and foudre. 90% Grenache, 10% Syrah, Olivier’s 2017 is luscious and easy to drink with pure fruit notes of wild strawberry puree and raspberry intermixed with white pepper, anise and beautiful garrigue on the finish. Ripe with classic Rhone wildness and backbone on the building finish, this is a lot of wine for 10 bucks. Drink over the next 3-4 years with anything from pizza to grilled sausage and chicken as well as paella.

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$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE

A comeback not unlike the Chiefs being down 24-0. Clefs D’Or was a dynamic and profound Chateauneuf-du-Pape estate in the 70s and 80s. For some reason in the nineties and early 2000s, this place seemed to be wandering aimlessly in the wilderness and made wines that reflected this, nice but nothing that would get you off the chair. A new focus came about led by a new generation and this estate came roaring back to life with not only quality CDP but also expanding into other Rhone villages.

The area of Massif D’Uchaux is comprised of five villages including Uchaux. Located north of Orange and not far from Mondragon, the elevation and diverse soils make for interesting and full textured wines. The soils change from silica, chalk to blue Marne clay as well as some sand and others. The jagged white silica/chalk rocks are what provides energy for these reds but there is also an abundance of sand, blue Marne clay, sand and others that add complexity. Predominantly Grenache with doses of Mourvedre and Cinsault, this wine is drinking very well. Mysterious, overflowing blueberry, smoked meat, anise and then with laurel tones arriving as it opens. Packed, layered and finely detailed. Expansive, full spice-laden finish rounds it all out. While this wine will pair with grilled lamb or steak, I recommend it even more with a daube de boeuf or other hearty stew.

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$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

It seems that whenever we feature Domaine de Cabasse’s Rhone wines, people get quite excited for the entire range. Over the last few years, a few of you have even visited Benoit at his place and the wines are like the people themselves, very warm, engaging, happy and inviting. Given some recent press, these wines are starting to become noticed for not only their terrific quality but also their superb value.

If there were a wine that would the house flirt at Cabasse it would be the Sablet. As the name indicates, there are sandy soils that always make this wine a very flattering and endearing choice. 2018 follows the 2015, 16 and 17 very nicely and has excellent early appeal. 70% Grenache, 27% Syrah & 3% Carignan this wine is best defined as being crimson. Aromatic, finely tuned with scents of peonies, underlying red plum and white pepper. The texture here is fabulously full with succulence, balance and engaging depth. Nice expansion and mineral aspects shine on the fine finish that comes together nicely. Drink over the next 4-5 years.

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[reg. $19.99]
SPECIAL - $13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

In order to create French confusion, there are actually two different Domaines with the Berthet-Rayne name. One in Chateauneuf and this one, located in the Cotes-du-Rhone village of Cairanne. Elevated to AOC status with the 2016 vintage, like Vacqueyras, Gigondas and Rasteau, it is no longer compulsory to label it as Cotes-du-Rhone Village.

Andre Berthet-Rayne and his family are fifth generation Cairanne producers. This cuvee’s soul comes is the abundance of Grenache enhanced with Syrah and Carignan from 55 year old vines. Committed to producing well-crafted wines that capture the soul of the Rhone, Berthet-Rayne succeeds in droves with their Cairanne! Here you will find pronounced exotic spice, sandalwood, lavender, smoke, game and pepper on the nose followed by a substantial texture that is dry, pure, concentrated and red. The finish is firm, palate staining, revealing hot rock and white pepper aspects. It drinks exquisitely now and we suggest pairing it with grilled lamb or beef over the next 5 years.


Canalicchio di Franco Pacenti with Special Guest Lorenzo Pacenti

Next Friday Jan. 31 from 3:30 – 6:00
$10.00 tasting fee

A special Friday tasting with a perennial favorite and upper echelon producer from Montalcino. Drop by to meet and taste with Lorenzo Pacenti as we highlight three wines from his vaunted Brunello di Montalcino estate.


2016 Canalicchio Rosso di Montalcino
2015 Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino
2014 Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino
2012 Canalicchio Brunello di Montalcino Riserva