What’s pouring at the Bar this Week

Aperitif: Canals Canals Reserva Especial Brut, Barcelona Spain  $8 glass Whites     1) Casual but delicious whites  $12 per flight A) Ikella Torrontes 2010, Mendoza Argentina  $6 glass Light and dry with wonderful aromatics, kills boring Chardonnay on contact! B) Nico Dry Moscato Giallo 2012, Sierra Foothills California  $6 glass Complex with intense citrus aromas and a bone dry finish. Amazing with Thai food. C) Stone Fruit Riesling 2011, Pfalz Germany  $6 glass Fresh, ripe & quaffable fruit with a...

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Our Famous 20/20 Night

20/20 Night: Sample 20 diverse wines, just $20 Per Person! Every Monday and Thursday evening, 5pm to close. Fizz 1) Anna Spinato Prosecco Extra Dry, Veneto Italy  $7 glass 100% Glera, Charmat: Softer on the palate, slightly less pressure, almost too easy to drink. 2) Grandial Brut Blanc de Blancs, France  $7 glass Charmat process, bone dry, refeshing, afforable… 3) Cà dei Mandorli Brut Rosé, Piemonte Italy  $8 glass 100% Brachetto vinified DRY and with slightly less pressure than most sparklers. 4)...

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South African White Wines

Slent Farms, Paarl This property was settled in 1685 by French immigrant Martin Pouisson, was a multipurpose farm for several centuries with his decendents. It was recognized as a game preserve in the 1990’s as quite a bit of the land is set aside to promote biodiversity and is home to grey duiker, grysbok, steenbok, porcupine, bat-eared and Cape foxes, caracal and scrub hares. In 2005 the property was acquired by a small group of Italian friends who now produce wine, olive oil and plums there. Slent Farms...

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New Zealand Chardonnay

Gravitas Reserve Chardonnay 2005, Marlboro New Zealand  Tired of Oak and Butter? Can’t afford White Burgs? Give this a whirl: A semi serious Chardonnay at a seriously friendly price, this has a nice nutty texture and a crisp, quince and citrus fruitiness but no annoying over oaked goopiness. VERY limited at this price!   Gravitas Unoaked Chardonnay Saint Arnaud’s Vineyard 2004, Marlborough New Zealand What does Chardonnay taste like? Butter? Toast? Almonds? No, Little Green Apples...

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Other Spanish White Wine

Señorio de Guadianeja Macebeo 2010, La Mancha Spain   Macabeo is the variety here (although it is also known as Alcañol, Alcañón, Blanca de Daroca, Charas Blanc, Forcalla, Gredelín, Lardot, Maccabeo, Perpignan, Queue de Renard, Rossan, Viuna or Viura in Spain and France and may be related to our old friend Vermentino from NW Italy). It is light in body, quite floral on the nose, VERY crisp and dry and has a passion for shellfish…   Marina Alta Gran Selección Blanco 2010, Alicante Spain...

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Marche White Wine

Avoiding the Pre-Mox Blues Let us say up front, we LOVE White Burgundy. We’ll drink as much Grand Cru Chablis or serious Meursault as anyone else will pay for. BUT, there has been a serious problem the last few years with bottles of even (some would say especially) top producer’s wines tasting over the hill when they are still babies. So much so that local Burg fiend Don Cornwell has spent a lot of time and energy creating and maintaining a Wiki about it in an attempt to provide data to find a cause /...

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South African White Wines

Solms Koloni 2007, Western Cape South Africa  Boys and Girls, Let’s Play “Stump the Wine Geek”! No matter how wine geeky your Brother in Law / Boss / Tasting Group buddies are THIS is probably going to be an eye opener for them: Riesling (73%) and two clones of Muscat are “strangled” on the vine by applying strong clamps which cut the bunches off from further nutrition and leaves them to desiccate before harvest. The result is a sort of Amarone like WHITE: It is hearty, very aromatic, BONE DRY and...

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Português White Wines

The most refreshing thing you’ll drink this week?   Raza Vinho Verde 2011, Basto Classic Vinho Verde: light as a feather, crisply refreshing with green apple and lime flavors lifted by just a kiss of effervescence and just 11% ABV so you can pound it with relative impunity. Got Mariscos?   Quinto do Conde, Quinta da Boavista, Estremadura This winery is situated in Alenquer, approximately 45 km north of Lisbon, in a very traditional wine region where the typical Portuguese rural landscape can be...

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Trentino White Wines

Maso Marco Donati, Mezzocorona, Trentino These vineyards and the 15th century palace housing the winery have changed hands twice since medieval times: passing from the hands of the Cup Bearer to the Counts of Tyrol (a sort of Super Sommelier who served at the Ministerial level) to the house of the Conte Spaur and then, in 1863 to Marco’s great-great-grandfather. The vines are situated on an alluvial plain that, thanks to eons of action by glaciers and rivers, has had rocks and sediments from the Dolomite,...

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Lombardia White Wines

Balgera Vini, Chiuro, Valtellina Paolo Balgera is THE protector of the faith in the Valtellina, continuing a tradition started by his Great Great Grandfather Pietro in 1885 and he is still mad that the new DOCG regs allow his neighbors to release their Sforzato after just two years aging when HIS current vintage is 1999!  Despite being the most traditional wines in the zona, Paolo’s bottlings have smoked all comers at several consorzio blind tastings proving elegance CAN win out over sheer extract. Come see for...

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Sardegna White Wines

Josto Puddu, San Vero Milis Sardegna This is a multi-generational, family operated estate located on the western coast of the island making very traditional wines that are perfectly suited to the hearty, rustic Sardo cuisine (which also makes them perfect for a lot of the wondrous array of ethnic foods we have here in sunny SoCal!) like this Vernaccia di Oristano (closer in style to Fino Sherry than Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a fantastic aperitivo). Josto Puddu Vernaccia di Oristano Riserva 2001, Sardegna...

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Torrontés

What the HELL is Torrontés?  Evidently a white grape from the Rioja zona in Spain seeking asylum in the Argentine where it produces a sort of little brother to our beloved Piume Malvasia. The bouquet of limes and honeysuckle might lead you to believe these are sweet but their super crisp, BONE DRY finish is just the thing for sushi, smoked salmon, dim sum, picnic stuff or just an afternoon tipple. They’ve become so popular that we have a Torrontés section now! These range from very light and refreshing to...

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Veneto White Wines

A Survey of Soave Many people have the wrong idea about Soave, one of the highest quality white wine zonas in Italy, due to exposure to the dreaded E-Bolla. Yes, a lot of insipid industrial swill is made from grapes grown on inferior flatland vineyards there (where a lot of Trebbiano is intermixed with the  much more noble Garganega variety to bump up the yields per hectare), BUT a large proportion of the very best Italian whites are hand made by small vignerons using much better fruit harvested from the hillside...

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Friuli White Wines

Plozner  Bianco Venezia Giulia Moscabianco 2009 “Moscabianca” literally means “white fly” but is used idomatically to mean “something unique and special”. This qualifies: 100% Friulano harvested a bit extra ripe for rich fruit and aromas. Sealed with a GLASS cork (Vino-Lok) for your protection!   Tocco Friulano 2012, Graves di Friuli A classic, value driven expression of Friuli’s favorite variety.   Ronco del Gelso di Badin Giorgio, Cormons, Friuli Ronco del...

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Toscana White Wines

Santa Vincenzo Vermentino Lotus 2010, Maremma Toscana “Maremma unspoilt…free from the influences of wood or international varieties.” The classic wine for the fresh seafood specialties of the Tuscan coastline, Vermentino from this zona brings all the aromas and flavors of the place with it: herbs, flowers and wild fennel on the nose, white fruits and a zingy, briny smack of the sea on the palate. There is a reason that Frito Misto (shrimp, squid, octopus, fish and vegetables lightly fried in a sort of...

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Emilia-Romagna White Wine

Tenuta Uccellina, Bertinoro, Emilia-Romagna Alberto Rusticali does things the old fashioned way: by hand. His unique wines have been cult favorites from the instant we brought them to you eleven years ago. Aside from the lovely juice, the watercolor labels on some of them are exquisite… Tenuta Uccellina Pagadebit di Romagna Vino Frizzante Libertino 2010, Emilia Romagna  Sold Out, New Vintage Soon Bright pear and apple flavors with a hint of lemon zest and lime flowers on the nose, crisp acidity but plenty...

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Abruzzo White Wine

Agriverde, Ortona This is a third generation estate founded in 1830 and certified organic since 1991. Their commitment to their land includes placing 25 bird nests per hectare plus using the “sexual confusion technique” (using pheromone traps which male insects mate with, leaving the females barren) to combat damaging insects as well as the refusal to use chemicals to combat fungal infections. They were one of our best discoveries at VinItaly 2012. Agriverde Pecorino Riseis 2012, Terre de Chietti...

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Campania White Wines

Azienda Agricola Fratelli Urciuolo, Forino Campania Antonello and Cirò Urciuolo (in cahoots with consultant enologists Carmine Valentino) are on a steep upward path of both quality and fame. Remember you saw them here first! Urciuolo Greco di Tufo Faliesi 2008, Campania No malolactic fermentation here so it is very zingy and fresh with a big minerally finish…outstanding!   Urciuolo Fiano di Avellino 2008, Campania Urciuolo Fiano di Avellino Faliesi 2008, Campania These are wildly aromatic with intense...

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Puglia White Wines

Azienda Vinicola Palamà, Cutrofiano, Puglia Cosimo Palamà’s cantina has bee a WINE EXPO-ista cult fave for approaching two decades. He is always striving to make better wines AND keep their prices reasonable. He also makes the best espresso at VinItaly… Palamà Salento Bianco IGT Brontolo, Puglia  1 LITER bottle After you snatched up thousands of cases of the Brontolo Rosso in its anti-chic, retro-cool liter bottle with screwcap, we decided to bring in the white version to help you keep your...

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Piemonte White Wine

Battaglino Roero Arneis 2010, Piemonte   Always in the WINE EXPO-ista top ten grape varieties, Arneis tastes like a perfectly ripened pear but without the sweetness. This makes it a perfect match for Asian and Pacific Rim seafood, pork or chicken dishes.   Terre da Vino, Barolo, Piemonte These guys were our find of the year at VinItaly 2009: a modern cooperative cantina in the heart of the Barolo zona with 2800 small growers tending 5096 hectares to chose from but dedicated to quality AND value for...

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