90+ Point Wine Club - August 2012
Learn the finer points of all of the incredible wines we deliver, from reviews to food pairings and wine characteristics. All of the wines included in our wine clubs are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness.
Portalupi Wine Company - Sonoma, California
2009 Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley
The reason Portalupi wine is made began many years ago in Arcata, a small northern California coastal town where Tim and Jane first met as children. Portalupi Wine Company was founded in 2002 by Tim and Jane Borges, a husband and wife team with generations of history and experience in the making and marketing of premium wines in Italy and Northern California. Portalupi Wine is a celebration of their reunion and a tribute to their rich Italian and Portuguese ancestry. Having traversed the gamut of the premium wine business for some nearly thirty years, Tim and Jane are now focusing their time on producing and delivering to the marketplace, their exquisitely crafted wines. The 2009 is sourced from 100% Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel. Trace notes of dark rose petals and licorice on the nose. Medium plus bodied, sumptuous and bold with hints of raspberry, black pepper and nutmeg on the palate. Aged nearly 2 years in American White Oak Barrels, the wine pares with hearty, spicy cuisine and will age gracefully for the next 5-7 years. 90 Points Wine Spectator.
Occhipinti - Italy
2011 SP68 Bianco Sicilia IGT
Arianna Occhipinti is a young winemaker from Vittoria, in the south-eastern tip of Sicily, the warm island off of Italy’s Mediterranean coast. In a region often associated with Marsala and with producing bulk quantities of full-fleshed, plummy and ripe reds made for export and blending, Arianna Occhipinti’s wines are non-conformist and highly atypical for the region. Her wines reflect, in part, her character: mysterious, earthy and intriguing. The wines are perfumed and spicy, with a bit of a wild streak that mirrors the rebellious energy that bubbles beneath her reserved and somewhat wary exterior. She classifies herself as a "Natural Winemaker". In natural winemaking, since the aim is to reduce manipulation in the cellar, the grapes have to be incredibly healthy and in top shape. Natural winemaking also reduces the element of control that a winemaker has over the finished product (which increases the element of risk in a difficult year, from a commercial standpoint). However, with careful supervision, it can lead to a beautiful and authentic expression of the wines’ origin. Such is the case with her Bianco. 2011 is the third release of the SP68 Bianco. The wine is a blend of Albanello, a variety native to the Ragusa area near Vittoria, and Zibibbo (AKA Muscat of Alexandria) sourced from Marsala, in northwest Sicily. The wine is fermented dry. It boasts beautiful floral aromatics, citrus zest, Asian spice, tropical fruits. Intriguing enough for any wine geek and delicious enough for wine lovers of all kinds. Drink now through 2015. 90 Points Wine & Spirits.
Vina Robles - San Miguel, California
2007 Syrée Paso Robles
The 2007 Paso Robles harvest season was one of the best of this decade. It was a unique year for winegrape growing, with low yields, great concentration with ripe flavors, good acidity, and flavorful fruit. The grapes for the Syrée are selected from two highly regarded vineyards; Syrah from Ryan Road and Petite Sirah from Creston Valley, both in southeastern Paso Robles. Located at an elevation of 1,600 feet, Ryan Road Vineyard features soils rich in limestone. While Creston Valley Vineyard is a well exposed hillside with warm growing conditions, sandy soil with elements of limestone. The lots were pumped over during fermentation and kept on the skins for up to 15 days to extract the maximum amount of color and tannins. Some small Syrah lots were fermented in open top oak barrels, building up the structure of this wine. After being transferred to 100% French oak barrels, the two wines were blended the following spring and put back into barrels for an additional year. The final blend came out to 79% Syrah and 21% Petite Sirah. The blend shows enormous complexity of flavor, a wine that really impresses for its myriad blackberry, cherry, currant, cola, grilled meat, sautéed mushroom, violet and chocolate flavors. If the structure were more firm, it would be a perfect wine. But this is Paso Robles, where the wines will always be soft. Drink now through 2015. Pair with game such as elk or venison, and ribeye. 92 Points Wine Enthusiast.
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