Monday, July 3, 2017 1:47 PM
Sunday, June 11, 2017 3:51 PM
Monday, May 22, 2017 9:12 PM
This unpredictable May weather has us searching across the spectrum for all sorts of flavors. Here are a few highlights of what's new on our shelves (and hearts) from Left to Right.
Viñaspral "Honoratus Aurum" Blanco 2008 & "Maisulan" Rioja Tinto 2015
From a small 16-ha dry-farmed, biodynamic estate in the Basque portion of Rioja Alavesa tended by husband-and-wife team Eva & Luis Ruiz.
The white is 100% Viura, fermented in concrete/oak and aged in barrel for 8 months longer. Only 300 cases were made of this wine and we find the flavor of age to be elegantly integrated making it a wine with citrus, subtle minerality, and a "sur-lie" like floral finish. Try it with seafood paella, creamy lemon-basil chicken pasta, or a risotto with chanterelles.
The Maisulan Tinto (which translates to "good hard work" in Basque) is Tempranillo that is electric ruby-colored in the glass, with an aroma of smoky, earthen-berries, floral notes, and plenty of juicy black-cherry flavors that wash over your taste buds. This wine is supple on the tannins, making it pretty much perfect with a slight chill, a plate full of medium-rare cheeseburgers, or grilled tandoori chicken kababs.
Succes Vinicola "Patxanga Rosado" 2016
Really....just look at that label! A watermelon and a beach umbrella. We could just leave the description there, but all jokes aside, this may turn into the "wine of the summer" before we realize it. It is another darling husband-and-wife duo up in the Catalonian DO of Conca de Barberá. "Patxanga" means "party!" according to our Catalan amigos, and boy is this wine ready to rock. 100% Trepat, organic, with vibrant acidity and clean on the finish. Not a sweet rose-- this is built for the 90-degree stoop-drinking in NYC with a Picante bocadillo from our cafe next door.
Jordi Miró "Ennak+" 2014
We could be very technical here-35% Syrah, 33% Garnacha, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Tempranillo. Partial cold soaked, partial whole-cluster, partially early harvested, partially larger 300L barrels, and partial in older French oak, and all dry-farmed organically with a mere 3lbs of grapes a vine! Is your head spinning yet? Only 250 cases produced, but most importantly the wine is in harmonious balance with sour cherry, good acidity, and some grippy tannins. Beautifully rustic ruby in the glass and smells like a clean black forest. If you're into smoked brisket, white beans with rosemary and sausage, or slowly oven-roasted pork loin over garlic and rosemary balsamic-glazed potatoes and call it a night with a bottle of this. There is also an adorable cat on the label, and believe us, that helps too.
Purulio Blanco 2015
An incredibly unusual field-blend of 8+ grapes from Andalucia and ever so slightly a natural orange wine. Really, it is an orange wine made by Torcuato Huertas under the guidance of his Uncle and natural wine whisperer, Manuel Valenzuela of Barranco Oscuro made with...ready for it...Sauvignon Blanc, Macabeo, Palomino Fino, Chardonnay, Viognier, Albariño, Torrontès, Moscatel de Alejandría & Jerezana. What does this taste like? Tastes like you should chill a bottle and bring it to a BYOB Peking Duck spot and be super happy with your friends. It's aromatic and clean, but a little tannic and just lovely.
Suertes del Marques "7 Fuentes" 2014
So, for many of you, the wines of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa are already near and dear to the heart. The volcanic ash soils mixed with the Jurassic Park themed landscapes make for some pretty interesting wines. The 7 Fuentes is no exception, chock full of subtle red fruit, saline mineral notes, and dusty earthy tannin that seems to come from wines grown in dried lava. Vines are up to 180 years old of Listan Negro and Tintilla and this is aged in concrete and used French oak. Making rabbit stew with tomatoes or a huge plate of empanadas Gallegas and this wine (with a slight chill) would be marvelous.
Get 'em while you can. Call us at (212) 219-1550 for more info.
Monday, April 3, 2017 6:00 PM
No other dish comes to mind in the month of April quite like savory & fresh combination of early Spring vegetables and roasted Lamb. It's the quintessential dish for any Easter dinner, as well as a warm and delicious way to bring together friends and family over a home-cooked meal.
Luckily, these dishes pair PERFECTLY with a variety of the Rioja's we stock in our shop. The leathery, earthy and spiced notes in Tempranillo-based wines lend the right amount of flavor and tannin to tame even the most gamey rack of Lamb or mutton.
Don't just take our word for it, below are some tasty recipes that you can try at home. Let us know how it turns out!
Monday, April 3, 2017 2:29 PM
From the southern side of Rioja Alta, this is a blend of 89% Tempranillo & 11% Mazuelo in the 2007 vintage. An iconic wine; produced in only the best vintages of their single vineyard. The Tempranillo is aged in French oak, the Mazuelo in American for 30 months, after being fermented in stainless steel vats for 11 days. The wine is medium-bodied & elegant, with potential for significant aging & in-bottle development. It has a distinct satin mouth-feel with a long finish, fruity intensity & perfect balance. Violet and meaty notes, with truffles and a spiced touch. The estate consists of a 300-hectare vineyard in operation since the mid-19th century & renown for its Gran Reserva's.
Made from 100% Tempranillo, produced by Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia. Aged 14 months in the finest new French oak & another 2 years in bottle. It is intensely aromatic, medium-bodied with good acidity, grainy tannins and real depth of complexity. It's a wine with subtle, ripe black fruit & a slight, pleasant bitterness. The quality of the winemaking, fruit used & it's acidic backbone make for a wine that is intentionally produced for long aging.
Grown at 450 meters in altitude and highly influenced by the Mediterranean making for a soft, gentle microclimate which shows in the wine. Hand harvested from 65-year-old vines planted in a single-vineyard with clay & gravel soils. They are spontaneously fermented in oak vats, aged in French barrels and Hungarian oak for 10-11 months and show potential for aging. The 2014 Escondite Ardacho Guillermas is pronounced aromatically, with a citrus character which is rarely found in a red wine. It's vibrant on the palate, medium-bodied with intense acidity, expressiveness & persistence. Supple & fresh, with tangy grapefruit flavors & red berry notes, chocolate & coffee. The winery is young, located at a fairly high altitude in the Rioja Alavesa at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria mountains. Their wines are pure, angular & honestly expressive.
López de Heredia is an institution & Viña Tondonia is a timeless classic. Fermented in oak vats with natural yeasts & aged a minimum of six years in neutral oak before being bottled unfiltered it is an expressive wine even in its youth. It unfolds aromatically, showing dried dark fruit; plums and prune aromas with notes of red berries and earth, cigar & spice. The 2004 vintage is medium-bodied & elegant; soft on the palate with a lingering finish, long layers of rich red fruit flavors. It has firm tannins & focused acidity with a spicy, long finish. The estate is located in the village of Haro along the Ebro river in the Rioja Alta, one of the more esteemed growing areas in the country. The wines are made from estate-owned fruit, are fermented with native yeasts & are aged in barrels made by their own cooperage. López de Heredia is family-owned & produces wines in the tradition that they always have, for over a hundred years.
Bodega Muga's Gran Reserva is a traditional Rioja blend, aged three years in oak. It's produced from a selection of fruit from cooler vineyards with clay-rich soils. An aromatically expressive wine with spicy cinnamon, clove, and black peppercorn scents- it has a typical Rioja bouquet of subtle tobacco & tea leaf notes from oak aging. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied with ripe fruit like black currant, good acidity throughout with a persistent finish. The bodega is located in Haro, is one of the oldest in the region & one of the few with its own cooperage. This wine is only produced in the best vintages.