Featured Wines for June 8-9, 2012

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Two new selections this week...and some old favorites.
Double Decker Pinot Grigio (California) Everyday price $10.98
The first new selection is...another “Under $12” Pinot Grigio? I know we’ve already got a couple of those, but they’re from Italy and this one’s from California. In fact it’s from the Wente Family Estates (winner of last year’s Wine Enthusiast American Winery of the Year Award) who make our very popular “Morning Fog” and “Hayes Ranch” Chardonnays. I guess they wanted to get in on the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) craze. So fifth generation winemaker Karl D. Wente selected grapes from the best Pinot Grigio growing areas around California. The wine has a ripe, fruit-forward quality that comes from it’s being done completely in stainless steel. So hop on the bus for a refreshing ride!
NO Sauvignon Blanc (Lake County, California) Regular Price $14.65/ Feature Price $12.45
Another California crowd-pleaser, we Featured this wine in April when we did a line-up of Sauvignon Blancs. It advertises itself as “No Oak - No Cork - No Malolactic - No Attitude - No Kidding”. Well, I don’t know about the “Attitude” part, but the rest makes for a very refreshing summer white...no kidding.
Lis Neris Pinot Grigio (Friuli, Italy) Regular Price $29.80/ Feature Price $25.33
Whenever I Feature this wine I tell people, “This is the best Pinot Grigio you’ve ever tasted.” Skeptics are won over every time. In fact, it’s usually an opportunity to talk about the kind of winemaking that makes this worth - in fact, a bargain at - the price. For a summertime special occasion.
Sangria Classico (Spain) Regular Price $13.25/ Feature Price $11.26
At the Back Bay Café, we used to offer Sangria by the pitcher. Then Sharion would spend 15 minutes in the kitchen mixing red wine with fruit and soda, then serving it on a tray with iced glasses. When we tasted this pre-mixed Sangria from Spain, we stopped going through all the trouble. You can save yourself the trouble, too. The large, 1.5 Liter bottle with the screwcap can stay in your refrigerator until you feel like a glass of refreshing Sangria. Pour it over ice or frozen fruit, add fresh fruit or soda or brandy or whatever strikes your fancy. Sangria on demand! This weekend you get to try it...and save a couple of the bucks on your tasty purchase.
The last few weeks, I feel I’ve neglected my “big red” drinkers with all of the “light for summer” offerings. This week I try to make amends with a new Cab from Italy and a selection of my personal favorites when I’m in the “big red” mood - the Paso Robles wines of Tobin James.
Tommasi Poggio al Tufo Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Maremma, Tuscany, Italy) Regular Price $20.00/ Feature Price $17.00
Tommasi Poggio al TufoTommasi Poggio al TufoThis is the new one. The first thing I noticed when I tasted it is the rich “nose” of ripe fruit, especially cherries. This is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, unblended and unflitered, made from grapes grown on a hill of volcanic soil (“Poggio al Tufo”) in coastal tuscany. Though it’s big in flavor, it’s moderate in alcohol, at only 13%. That makes it a mighty fine food companion. Wine Spectator magazine gave this wine 91 Points. I say “Benvenuto!” to our Italian selection.
What I like about the Tobin James wines is that they are single varietals and the fruit is very heavily extracted. When you open a bottle, you can smell the aroma of the grape from across the table. These are California “big reds” that hold their high levels of alcohol very well and may become your new best friends.
Tobin James “Ballistic” Zinfandel (Paso Robles, California) Regular Price $26.85/ Feature Price $22.82
Tobin James “Made in the Shade” Merlot (Paso Robles, California) Regular Price $24.40/Feature Price $20.74
Tobin James “Notorious” Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, California) Regular Price $25.60/ Feature Price $21.76
We will taste these wines, as usual, from 3:00 until 7:00 on Friday and then what’s left will be open for sampling all day - 10:00 until 5:00.