Wines to try from TWI


I had only been in the wine business for about a year, but I had tired of my very unsatisfactory dealings with the person who was repping Grape Expectations to our under served neighborhood.  I called the owner of Grape Expectations and asked her if I could deal with GE direct and come to Wilson to pick up the wine myself.  She said that would be fine and because she didn't have anyone else who was selling her list in my area, I could deal directly with her Sales Manager, Tim Turner.  Tim and I hit it off from our first meeting, and I soon scheduled my trips to Wilson to happen midday, so Tim and I could go out to lunch.  I had learned that he had worked for IBM for many years and that he had set up the excellent website I was so pleased to be ordering from.  I got good wines and good wine advice from Tim for my growing store, and I began to consider Tim a friend.  I was shocked when I called Grape Expectations one day and found that "Tim Turner no longer works for us."  I called him at home in Cary.  He was thinking about his next move and would let me know what he was up to when the dust settled.  The details of his leaving Grape Expectations are not important.  What is important is that when one door closes another one opens.  About a month later, Tim called me and asked if I would be interested in buying wine from the newly established Turner Wine Imports.  Would I?!
Over the years Tim and I have continued to do business with each other and have watched each other's fledgling enterprises grow and flourish.  Tim has become one of the few people I will buy wines from without tasting them first.  I trust his judgment and his integrity.  So when Tim called me a few weeks ago to tell me he was having a warehouse sale to clear out some stock and make room for new arrivals, I jumped at the chance.
From now through the end of June we'll be Featuring wines from that sale.  A couple are new introductions I'd been planning to debut anyway.  Some are old favorites whose supply is dwindling.  All are extraordinary wines at fantastic prices.  For many of the wines, I'm offering our usual Featured Wines discount of 20%.  For some I'm able to offer an even deeper discount I'm calling a TWI Feature Price.
New (for us) from TWI
Asara 2000 Ebony (Stellenbosch, South Africa) Regular Price $16.60/ Regular Feature $13.28/ TWI Feature Price $12.00
This is a Bordeaux style blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and the addition of 10% Pinotage to give it a definite South African accent.  It is a rich, sophisticated wine that has been aged to perfection but now is ready to pair with your best steak.  At this TWI Feature price, it won't last long, so if you like big, dry reds it's time to make your move.
Mercedes Eguren Cab Rosado 2007 (Castilla La Mancha, Spain) Regular Price $14.95/ Regular Feature $11.96/ TWI Feature 11.62
You know how I love Spanish wines, and you know how I love dry rosés.  So you know I love this dry Rosado of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the hot, dry plains of Castilla La Mancha.  The wine is from the Ugarte winery (in Rioja) and is named for owner Victorino Eguren Ugarte's wife.  It is served at the Mercedes auto manufacturer's premier showroom in Stuttgart, Germany.  When you go there to see the latest stylish Mercedes car, you get a glass of this lovely Mercedes Rosado.  If this one doesn't make a summer rosé drinker of you Cab lovers, I'll have to assume that you wouldn't like the Mercedes car either.  Oh, well. 
Some Old Favorites at New (Low) Prices
Chrismont La Zona Rosato Mezzanotte 2005  (King Valley, Victoria, Australia) Regular $18.25/ Regular Feature $14.60/ TWI Feature $12.90
We introduced this lovely and sophisticated dry rosé about a year ago.  It's a blend of the red Italian grapes Sangiovese (50%), Barbera (25%), & Marzemino (25%), all of which can make beautiful full-bodied red wines that are made to go with food. Here, they’re made in a lighter summertime style by spending very little time with the dark-colored grape skins. Why mezzanotte, Italian for "midnight"? Traditionally, Old World winemakers would wake at dawn to begin picking at 8 AM. By noon, the grapes had been crushed and the juice allowed to macerate, or to sit on the skins. Usually the juice for rosato would be drained off after 12 hours, or at midnight. Thus, rosato came to be referred to as vino della notte (wine of the night or midnight wine). But you can drink it any time. And at this TWI Feature price, you'll need to get yours before someone else (maybe even me) drinks it all.
Turner & Cole Poggio del Falco 2006 (IGT Tuscany, Italy) Regular $21.50/ Regular Feature $17.20/ TWI Feature $16.60
This is one of the wines Tim had made for their house label, Turner & Cole.  Cole is Tim's 5-year-old son.  The wine is a "super Tuscan" blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Because it doesn't conform to all of the ancient rules of Chianti, it can't wear that designation and is instead labeled "Indicazione Geografica Tipica."  Also not on the label, but important to us, is that the grapes are 100% Organic with no added sulfites.  Nor do you see on the label that the wine won a Gold Medal at this year's Beaufort Wine Festival.  At only 11.5% alcohol, this wine has the lighter body of a classic European table wine.  And at only $16.60 a bottle, it's one you need to make room for in that all occasions wine rack that's supposed to be ready for an impromptu supper.
Casa Carneros Pinot Noir 2006 (Napa, California) Regular $41.50/ Regular Feature $33.20
We had a couple of vintages of this lovely Pinot Noir a few years ago and rapidly sold out as much as we could get our hands on. And that wasn't much. The wine is made with passion and care by winemaker Melissa Moravec and her husband Kurt. They only make as much as they can get from their 7 acres of handpruned vineyards in the cool Burgundian climate of the Carneros section of Napa County. For several years, they didn't make Pinot Noir at all. Now it's back, with the 2006 vintage. We got a little bit of it a few months ago, and I thought it was all gone.  Then I found that Tim had a secret stash that he was willing to let go of at the warehouse sale.  The price is a lot higher than it used to be, but the Feature Price will help ease that.  This is a beauty to lay down for a special occasion with loved ones.  But lay it down at your won't last long at mine.
Del Bondio Napa Chardonnay 2005 (Oakville, Napa, California) Regular $19.95/ Regular Feature $15.96
You know I'm no great fan of California Chardonnay...but I love this one!  It's rounded and well-balanced, with not an off note anywhere.  I'd compare it favorably with my favorite white Burgundies.  The grapes are 100% organic from vineyards that enjoy overcast mornings and warm, sunny afternoons that bring out the best from the Chardonnay grape.  The wine is then aged 7 months in French oak barrels.  This is a California classic at an extraordinary price.
Cuvée No1 (Marlborough, New Zealand) Regular $41.00 / Regular Feature $32.80
This is one of our favorite celebration sparklers.  From the sexy curves of its bottle to the exuberant bubbles of its mousse, this wine shows it's a special quaff for special occasions.  Technically it is a "blanc de blancs" because it is 100% Chardonnay, and it is a "methode traditionelle" rather than a Champagne because...well, it's from New Zealand, not France.  Winemaker and company owner Daniel Le Brun is a stickler for the correct French term because he is from an old Champagne family.  But he has found the true spirit of bubbly in the new world down under.  The wine won the International Wine & Spirit Competition Trophy for Best Bottle-Fermented Sparkling Wine in London.  So if you've got a wedding or graduation or anniversary or special birthday coming up, take advantage of this great price to pop a cork and enjoy the spritz.