Featured Wines

by Russ Anderson on February 6, 2018

1Gaston Chiquet Champagne
One benefit of running an independent wine shop, is “extra” inventory taste incredibly good sometimes. This past weekend, we were lucky enough to share a bottle of Gaston Chiquet Champagne with some friends that more than demonstrated this fact.

First a note on “grower” Champagnes, they truly reward a year or two in bottle after the disgorgement date (often noted on the back of the bottle.) A little bit of time allows these living wines to integrate and broaden on the palate, adding complexity and depth of flavor. With this bottle, you can try an “aged” grower champagne without waiting! When released, I stocked up on this bottling and it has just entered a beautiful drinking window.

Made from 40% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, the wine is deep, rich and full of ripe fruit, both easy drinking and striking at the same time. Full of notes of dried white fruits (white peach, apricot) drizzled with acacia honey and a hint of lightly toasted cashew on a finish of firm supporting bubbles. This wine is completely delightful on its own as well as a perfect accompaniment to a mezze platter. At $48 it is both a great introduction to “grower champagne” and a delicious bottle. Highly recommended for both the Champagne fan and those exploring the varied charms of this wine segment.

2Bodegas Hornillos Ballesteros – Ribera del Duero
The warm sunny vineyards are Spain are home to wines of value and comforting warmth in the winter time. Great friends, winemakers and owners Miguel Hornillos and Javier Ballesteros are genuine “garagiste” winemakers who have established one of the most artisanal producers in Ribera del Duero. . Eco-friendly vineyard work and a methodical selection of grapes help them craft wines of unique character and quality.

Made from 100% Tempranillo, the wine is aged in stainless steel to maintain a purity of extracted blueberry and black fruit There are notes of chocolate and wild herbs and an impressive lift, depth and length of flavor. A delicious wine for rich winter stews, grilled lamb or sipping on its own. $18.

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