Fine Wine Source Wine


May 2019

Foxglove Wines: Foxglove is the value label from twin brothers Jim and Bob Varner. “The idea,” says Bob Varner, “is to be as simple as possible.” At the core of Foxglove is Bob Varner, also the winemaker at Varner Wines. Starting from their first vintage in 1991, Bob sources his Pinot & Chardonnay from a variety of places, all of which are in Edna Valley. The resulting wine has Central Coast appellation pricing, and is full of the complex fruit flavors that the Edna Valley appellation is known for. Edna Valley, a relatively small appellation, grows mostly Chardonnay on about 1000 acres. The entire acreage is tightly controlled by a few owners employing the most up-to-date vineyard practices that give the valley impressive evenness. Located just south of San Luis Obispo, its vineyards are some of California’s closest to the Pacific Ocean. Mild winters, cool, foggy summer, and clay-loam soils produce a combination of flavors that have been described as “textbook Central Coast.” Bob and Jim Varner are best known for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir they produce under the Varner label, but Foxglove has become one of the great value labels made in California. The Foxglove wines are selected from several sites located in the Central Coast and are made with the same care and dedication as the Varner wines. The warm climate and ocean influence create wines that burst with fruit but have plenty of vibrancy and freshness. The use of oak is minimal and the Chardonnay is non-malolactic. While Chardonnay is the best know varietal from Foxglove, the Cabernet and Zinfandel have slowly gained an equally strong following.

Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Paso Robles, 20 year average age of vines. Sourced from the Northern area of Paso Robles, the vines are planted on rolling hills, with loam soils at 900-1,000 feet of elevation. The fruit is 100% destemmed, pressed at dryness, with malo-lactic fermentation completed after pressing.

Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 13.9%, 0.60 TA (Total Acidity) 3.75 pH, .05 RS (Residual Sugar)

Tasting Notes: From Antonio Galloni of Vinous: “A rush of super-ripe dark cherry, tobacco, licorice, and plum give the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from Foxglove its racy personality. Voluptuous in the glass, with silky tannins and soft contours, it will be impossible to resist upon release. One of the best values in California Cabernet.”

Food Pairings: If you are looking for a great food pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon, you only have to look as far as the butcher’s counter where they have the red meats! With a young Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon it helps to have a nice char with a bit of spice to offset the semi-sweetness and tannins. Seasonings that tend to flatter cabernet are garlic, rosemary, mint, and porcini (dried mushrooms). Steaks, burgers, beef short ribs, roasted or grilled lamb will do the job!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big ripe and rich with concentrated flavors of cedar, boysenberry, and cherries with a long silky finish. Best served with anything from the barbeque grill.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2014 Paul Hobb’s Cabernet Franc, Moon Mountain District-Sonoma County, CA. “Likely the best Cab Franc I have ever had from California; as good as or better than ones from Bordeaux.” Jim. Wine Club Member Price $49.99…a savings of $10!

Fine Wine Source Wine


February 2019

Cosentino Winery:

Marty Peterson comes from a family with a rich farming history. In 1904, his great-grandfather, Carl A. Peterson, made his way by ferry to Lodi, an agricultural community at the mouth of the Sacramento River Delta, 60 miles east of San Francisco, where he founded the family ranch. For more than a century, the Peterson family has farmed 100 acres in the Lodi region, now planted to fine wine grape varietals, as well as Bing cherries. The fourth generation of growers from the family property, Marty grew up in a community of farmers who shared a similar commitment to the land. The childhood friends and family relationships forged over many years are still firmly in place, giving him an insider’s insight—and connections— into this important, emerging winegrowing region. Marty received his Bachelor of Sciences in Enology from Fresno State University in 2002, giving him expertise on the cellar side and refining his natural farming knowledge. Peterson joined Vintage Wine Estates in 2011 as winemaker for Viansa Sonoma; in May of 2015 he was then appointed Winemaker at Cosentino Winery, where he draws on his deep roots in the Lodi region, as well as his knowledge of the Napa and Sonoma appellations, to create uniquely expressive wines of balance and complexity. Cosentino Winery is renowned for creating the first designated and licensed Meritage wine, Bordeaux inspired blend (The Poet) that set the standard that others would follow in Napa Valley.

About:

In 1990, ‘THE’ Series was introduced with ‘THE Zin,’ showcasing the best grapes from the Lodi AVA and paving the way for ‘THE’ Series of wines. ‘THE’ Series is now our largest volume collection of wine from the Lodi AVA. 2016’s THE Dark is a proprietary blend of Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon aged 12 months is French oak barrels. The grapes for THE Dark were hand-harvested in Lodi, an AVA known to benefit from the cooling Delta influence. The 2016 harvest was notably even and steady, providing balanced yields of quality fruit which allowed us to craft a wine with both freshness and depth of fruit. Don’t be afraid of THE Dark – enjoy now or over the next three years.

Varietals:

Undisclosed percentages: Predominantly Petite Sirah blended with Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Alcohol:

14.5%

Tasting Notes:

THE Dark lives up to its name with an inky dark hue in the glass and rich aromas of plum, blackberry jam and blueberry cobbler. The palate is dense with fruit flavors, pepper spice and vanilla barrel toast leading to a brooding finish that is smooth and opulent.

Food Pairings:

THE Dark can hold its own against slow-roasted short ribs and rosemary-crusted lamb or a slow cooked herb-crusted bottom roast with carrots, onion, celery, potatoes, and stewed tomatoes; however, it is equally delicious to indulge in after dinner alongside aged Gouda or flourless chocolate cake. THE Dark would also be a perfect pairing to Valentine’s chocolates and a romantic candle-lit evening with your sweetheart!!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Big, rich, and chewy…A full throttle Wine that way overachieves; best served with BBQ!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


December 2018

Lanciola:

Just a few kilometers outside Florence, on the rolling hills of Impruneta near Pozzolatico, lies Azienda Agrícola Lanciola. It is immersed in the distinctive Tuscan countryside, amidst olive-groves, cypress trees and vineyards. The estate totals around 80 hectares, with 40 hectares covered by vineyards and the remainder devoted to olive groves. The property has a very illustrious past. In Medicean times it belonged to the noble Ricci family, who was also responsible for organizing the estate’s early farming and winemaking activities. The goal of the present owners, the Guarnieri family, has been to maximize the use of the land. The estate’s vineyards – formerly called “Terre dei Ricci” – produce ”Terricci”, an IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) red table wine which is obtained mainly from large berry Sangiovese Grosso and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes; “Ricciobianco,” a white wine with excellent structure obtained from Chardonnay grapes; a Chianti Colli Fiorentini, a Vinsanto fortified wine; and finally, “Riccionero,” a pure Pinot and top quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In Greve, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area, the Azienda Agrícola Lanciola occupies roughly 14 hectares. Ten of those are devoted to specialized vineyards with optimum south-west exposure, on particularly favorable soil, at an altitude of approximately 300 meters. In addition to Sangiovese, the vineyards also contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Canaiolo and Colorino grapes.

About:

In Greve, in the heart of the Chianti Classico area the Azienda Agricola Lanciola has around 14 hectares, 10 of which are devoted to specialized vineyards with optimum south-west exposure, on particularly favorable soil, at an altitude of approximately 300 meters. In addition to Sangiovese, the vineyards contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,Syrah, Canaiolo and Colorino grapes. The soil is comprised of shale and loam, and the vineyards are situated at 250 meters with a south-west exposure. The fruit was harvested during the first week of October and aged in stainless steel tanks for a minimum of six months.

Varietal:

90% Sangiovese and 10% Local Grapes (either Colorino, Cab, Merlot, or a blend of the lot)

Alcohol:

13.5%

Tasting Notes:

Deep and slightly violet blood red with a lively ruby rim in the glass. The bouquet is fairly intense and fresh with forest berry fruit, cherry, and black currant that gains definition from hints of earthiness balanced with fruit acidity and slight floral accents. On the palate it is ample and smooth with dark berry fruit flavors supported by fresh acidity and slight tannins leading to a clean berry fruit finish.

Food Pairings:

Grilled meats, light stews, venison, pasta Bolognese , or just to drink by the glass at holiday parties with family and/or friends; essentially, this wine pairs great with family, friends, and a good time!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Elegant with a plummy mouthfeel and a long lingering finish; great to serve with something tomato saucy!

Fine Wine Source Wine


October 2018

MERF Wines:

David “MERF” Merfeld grew up on a family owned farm in Greene, Iowa, and has had the nickname “MERF” ever since he can remember. In 1990 his brother loaned him $1,000 and he loaded up his car with everything he owned and moved to Seattle. When he first arrived, MERF got a job working at a construction inspection company and started brewing beer as a hobby. In 1996, MERF quit his day job and went into brewing full time while he was attending beer school. In 1997, MERF was hired at Bert Grant’s Ales as a brewer, which was owned at that time by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. When the opportunity arose to apply his knowledge of fermentation science to making wine, he jumped at the chance to become involved in the Washington wine industry. MERF’s background and experience brewing is a unique point of differentiation from other winemakers. “My entire career I’ve been focused on the balance of subtle oak notes with the pure expression of Washington fruit. I want the customer to taste the Washington fruit, since it’s one of the attributes that really sets the Columbia Valley apart from the rest of the world. The unique growing conditions in Washington produce flavorful and approachable wines. At the end of the day, I make wine that I like and that I want to drink and share with friends. I create wines to be enjoyed.” David “MERF” Merfeld

About:

The 2016 vintage experienced the best of both worlds with a hot spring and early summer, but also cool temperatures before and during the harvest. The cooler temperatures in August and September slowed down ripening and resulted in longer hang time for the fruit; consequently, it was the longest harvest on record for WA State (August 15-November 15). The fruit was sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley in Eastern WA, including Mike Andrews, Mercer Canyons, and Fountain Farm Mgmt. The valley lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mts. and receives just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually. Warm sunny days and cool evening temps create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening fruit. The northerly latitude gives the valley roughly 2 more hours of sunlight during the peak growing season than California, increasing the region’s ability to ripen fruit. The grapes were destemmed and inoculated with various yeast strains to maximize complexity. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation were employed to extract color & flavor and produce soft, supple tannins. 75% of the juice was aged for around 12 months in a combination of French & American oak, with the remaining 25% in stainless steel to preserve character & complexity.

Varietals:

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc

Alcohol:

14.4%

Tasting Notes:

The Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced, soft and approachable with flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and subtle spice notes; this wine has silky tannins and a flashy finish—From David “MERF” Merfeld.

Food Pairings:

BBQ Ribs, Grilled Steak, or a decadent & delicious slice (or two!) of Chocolate Cake!!!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Rich & Opulent and loaded with flavors of blackberry and currant. It has an explosive and long finish that makes it best to serve with Ribeye or fatty Steaks!

Fine Wine Source Wine


September 2018

Midnight Cellars:

Midnight Cellars is home to the Hartenberger family and their small production of award-winning Paso Robles wines. The 28 acre estate vineyard is situated in the newly established Willow Creek District, known for its strong marine influence, mountainous landscape, and calcareous soils. This climate, topography, and soil composition create an environment for growing quality, low-yield, sustainably farmed grapes. Planted on south facing slopes are Bordeaux varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec and terraced is eight acres of Zinfandel and a five acre lot of Chardonnay. The Midnight adventure began on a family vacation to Northern California. As father and son were sipping wine and overlooking a beautiful valley, the casual comment was made: “Hey Dad, you should buy a winery when you retire, and we’ll run it for you!” As fate would have it two years later, when Dad’s retirement became a reality, the winery idea resurfaced. The family sold their Chicago homes and converged on Paso Robles where they started their dream venture, Midnight Cellars Winery. In 1995 they purchased their 160 acre ranch in Paso Robles, which is now home to three generations of the Hartenberger Family. Midnight Cellars was the 29th established winery in Paso Robles. This area, also known as the Templeton Gap, has warm days and cool maritime influenced nights, making it a prime growing location. The vineyard is planted on hillside and hilltop in shale and limestone-rich soil. The southwest sloping hills face the Pacific Ocean, influencing a temperature swing of 40-50 degrees from daytime to nighttime.

About:

Although 2014 was another consecutive drought year for Paso Robles, this vintage resulted in fruit with powerful concentration and extra intensity. A dry and mild winter led to early patterns of flowering, veraison, and harvest, while the summer was mildly warm, with no extreme spike in heat. This vintage will lead to vibrant wines that will taste great young, but will continue to stay bold and balanced as they age. This is a very special Wine Club offer, only 765 cases were produced and Nebula was selling for almost $50 on Midnight’s website with a global average retail price of $43. We guarantee each Wine Club Member the allotted bottle; however, the remaining inventory will not last long!

Varietals:

90% Cabernet Sauvignon & 10% Merlot Aged 18 months in French Oak Barrels

Alcohol:

15.9%

Tasting Notes:

Rich aromatic notes of black cherry, raspberry, and anise rise from the glass. The first sip leads to complimentary flavors of spice and vanilla with full bodied black cherry fruit, berry, spice, leather, vanilla, and well balanced tannins.

Food Pairings:

Great wine for the tailgate or end of summer backyard party; grab nicest, best marbled, juiciest, Porterhouse or Rib-eye you can find and fire up the grill for one last Summer BBQ and enjoy the Nebula!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Rich, intense, and loaded with layers of complexity, flavor, and a long lingering finish. Best served with tasty red meats broiled or on the BBQ.

Fine Wine Source Wine


July 2018

Ray’s Station Winery:

John Ray, former Army Captain and Bear Flag Republic Leader (1846), was an early founder in what is now Northern California’s Wine Country. After establishing successful vineyards throughout the region, Ray made his way up the northern stretch of the Russian River, planting some of the very first vineyards in Mendocino County, a county noted for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, Redwood forests, and now under the canopy of those Redwoods, cannabis crops. Little did he know that one day Mendocino County would be known as “America’s Greenest Wine Region” – in more ways than one. Ray’s Station celebrates John Ray’s search for exceptional terroir and his need for discovery. An extended growing season, long hot days and cool maritime-influenced nights combine to make Mendocino a world-class winegrowing region. The benchland vineyards, from which the fruit is sourced, offer soils with exceptional drainage and vines whose roots grow deeper than typical valley floor vines, adding complexity to the fruit. Sustainable farming practices ensure that these small-production wines are intense, bold and full of character, much like the region itself.

About:

Down the road from the Russian River in the southern hills of Mendocino County, our expert winemaker crafts powerful yet approachable wines all at our estate winery. Overseeing fruit sourcing and winemaking is the renowned winemaker Michael Westrick. Michael has been crafting top tier, Bordeaux inspired wines for more than 20 years and has directed winemaking for such well-known wineries as Sterling Vineyards in Napa and Stonestreet Winery in Sonoma. With a hands-on approach and well-honed craft, Michael is excited to now create exceptional Cabernet and Merlot from Mendocino County, from handpicked fruit and small-lot fruit, his winemaking captures the full-flavored, terroir-specific expression of this region.

Varietals:

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, & 10% Malbec

Alcohol:

13.9%

Tasting Notes:

Aromatic and complex: this vibrant wine fills your nose with scents of briar and sweet wild berries characteristic of Mendocino fruit. The palate follows the fruit trail with flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, black raspberry, and wild cherry. French Oak ageing adds hints of espresso and vanilla framing the fruit seductively while full, rich, silky soft tannins carry these sensations long into the powerful finish. Enjoy today or cellar for future reference over the next ten years.

Food Pairings:

Pair with tomato pastas, juicy bacon cheeseburgers from the grill, BBQ ribs, Steak, or some grilled Portabella mushrooms.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Rich & complex cab that is loaded with black fruit that leads to a lush mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish; best served with grilled meats on the BBQ or rich and flavorful cheeses.

Fine Wine Source Wine


June 2018

Fiegl:

Northeastern Italy’s Oslavia is the cradle of viticulture in the Collio, the most important wine area of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. The history of Fiegl began here in the 18th Century, with the contract for purchase of the vineyard called “Meja” by Valentino Fiegl in 1782. When passing the company from fathers to sons the family has always invested in wine culture, to enhance the quality of their products. Today the Winery is guided by two generations of Fiegls. The brothers Alessio, Giuseppe, and Rinaldo solidified their position in the global market by producing red and white wines which highlight the organoleptic features of the Collio soil, difficult to cultivate but rich in mineral salts. By following their passion they create wines which are unique to and an accurate expression of the Oslavia terroir. The style of cultivation they use for the vineyards guarantees the minimum environmental impact: the quantity does not exceed the vineyard’s natural capacity and inside the vineyard they have opted for complete grassing for eco-compatible farming. The harvest, as well as most of the harvesting operations, is done by hand. The total surface area of the vineyards is 30 hectares, with an average of 5,000 plants per hectare and 1-1.5 kg of grapes per plant. Fiegl produces around 130,000 bottles a year, between red and white. Embracing the union of technology and tradition, and use of advanced instruments which allow the wines to express the terroir is their reasoning for use stainless steel tanks for the fermentation and maturation.

About:

Oslavia is the home of Fiegl Family and located in the Northeastern corner of Italy, just 200 miles from the Slovenian border. A village of one hundred and fifty inhabitants on the easternmost foothills of the Collio, “Oslavia” is a name that evokes conflicting feelings: the pitiless cruelty of World War I and the nectar of Bacchus, wine. The windy microclimate and the perfect temperature range between night and day make the ideal conditions for vineyard cultivation. The type of soil plays an important role too: it is commonly called “ponca” and it’s composed of arenaceous and marly stratification’s from the Eocene Period. The symbol of this bond between people and nature is the wine, a labour of passion, tradition and dedication of whole generations of farmers. After the harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes are left macerating for twelve days. The wine then matures in barriques for six months and in stainless steel for six more, before the bottling.

Varietal:

100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol:

13%

Tasting Notes:

A ruby red color with purple hues and a heady nose gives hints of herbs and fills the glass with intense blackberry fruit, leading to a rather fresh and elegant fusion of fruit and tannin.

Food Pairings:

Venison is the classic Friuilian pairing, a nice burger from the grill, portabella mushrooms, flank steak, or Mongolian Beef…The bright acidity and balanced fruit and tannins have the ability to stand up to any steak as well.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

A Cabernet from Northern Italy; a wine that will make you think of Cabernet in a different way! The best expression of Friuilian Cabernet that is loaded with flavors of red currant and tobacco! Best served with barbecued foods.

“Our exceptional team is made up of two accomplished winemakers: Sara Gott, internationally acclaimed for her success at Joseph Phelps and her brilliant stint at Quintessa, is our head winemaker. We were thrilled to have Marie-Laure Ammons join Oakville East to assist Sara in 2009. After working in France at Domaine Lejeune in Pommard, Chateau de Pressac Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, Dulong Negociant in Bordeaux, Marie-Laure arrived in California in 1998. She also works with Philippe Melka and brings a remarkable French point of view to our winemaking and blending.”

A complex mix of refined Bordeaux varieties, with spice, currant, cedar, mineral and tobacco notes. Full-bodied, with a pleasant olive edge, turning more subdued and delicate on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Wine Enthusiast
91 Points: This shows classic valley-floor aspects of dusty tannin, brushy sage and cedar, staying true to the Bordeaux varieties it holds. Pencil lead and mocha accent the medium-bodied background, while soft, pillowy tannins are approachable.

FWS Price per btl. $99.99
Case Price per btl. $79.99


Our Pricing :
Regular Price -> $89.99
Case Price ( 12 bottles per Case) -> $79.99
Appellation: California
Blend:
75% Cabernet Sauvignon,
16% Cabernet Franc,
9% Merlot
Alcohol: 16.0%
Tasting Notes:
“Rich and full-bodied, with an alluring mix of loamy earth, dark berry, licorice and spicy oak flavors. Features a long, persistent follow-through. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Drink now through 2026.”
Winemaker’s Notes
Bright, nearly opaque, ruby purple core with a narrow, moderate intensity rim and slow forming slightly stained tears. Intense and complex with aromas of ripe black fruit, baking spice, sweet tobacco, leather, cocoa, oak barrel elements with subtle smoky eucalyptus accents. Dry and full-bodied with rich black cherry and blackcurrant fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and licorice spice notes on the entry. Savory, herbal and mint notes appear, followed by darkchocolate and smoky oak elements on the mid palate. The finish is very long and crisp with a complex interplay between the savory mid-palate and returning fruit of red cherry candy and sweet spice with a floral hint of violet, all framed by soft, chewy tannins. The 2013 ISOSCELES is drinking exceptionally well at release but has the structure to further develop beautifully over time.
Great with classic cab fare like rich braised short ribs or grilled leg of lamb with garlic and herbs, the 2013 ISOSCELES also drinks well on its own due to its exceptional balance of flavor and texture even when young.


Our Pricing :
Regular Price ->$39.99
Case Price ( 12 bottles per Case) -> $34.99
Appellation: Paso Robles-California
Blend:
75% Cabernet Sauvignon,
25% Syrah
Alcohol: 15.0%
About Wine The 2014 Treana Red has an opaque, inky-black color with a ruby-black rim. Bold fruit aromas of dried blackcurrant, blackberry pie filling and pomegranate combine with lavender, menthol and leather with undertones of dark chocolate, roasted coffee, sweet cinnamon and a hint of smoke. On entry, the wine is big and intense, boasting flavors of ripe currants and blackberry pie filling, anise and dark chocolate. Firm tannins and mouthwatering acidity bring the wine to life while toasted oak rounds out the lengthy finish.