Rajat Parr, the man behind Domaine de la Cote, is a three-time James Beard Award-winning author, sommelier, and winemaker for multiple projects. This chance to taste one of his flagship Pinot Noirs should not be missed! Rajat’s vision for Domaine de la Cote is to make serious, terroir expressive wines worthy of aging from vineyards in Santa Barbara County. That is no easy task, but his 2014 offering truly hits a home run!
A house favorite here at The Urban Grape, this dry Riesling from inside the Willamette Valley is sure to satisfy! We love it so much, in fact, that it is one of the featured wines in TJ and Hadley’s new project – Drink Progressively: The Book! This educational book is full of great wine tips, recipes, and pairings, plus it is 35% off if you pre-order through Amazon right now! Check it out via the link above.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2012 Barth “Charta” Riesling (Rheingau, Germany)
Brand new to UG, and found only in the Rheingau, this dry German Riesling has a unique flavor profile and structure that separates it from any other Riesling in the world.
Since 1983 the Charta Association has produced wines according to strict quality standards, and the Barth Riesling is no exception. Expressive fruit character, racy acidity, and elegant balance reflect the high caliber expected of Charta wines.
SAMsARA is the creation of highly-regarded winemaker Chad Melville and his wife Mary. Under this label, the two produce limited releases of Syrah from distinct microclimates within carefully selected vineyard sites throughout Santa Barbara County.
UG Staffer Ali just got back from a California trip where she got to spend some time in the SAMsARA tasting rooms learning about the wine and the philosophy behind it. We can’t wait to share some of her insider knowledge with you guys!
2016 VINCA MINOR CABERNET SAUVIGNON (SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS, CA)
Winemaker Jason Charles learned his trade in the vineyards of the Sonoma Coast, and Saint Emilion in Bordeaux. He launched Vinca Minor to explore organic farming and natural winemaking through techniques like using indigenous yeast, never fining or filtering his wines, and less aggressive racking.
2014 CULTIVATE PINOT NOIR (CALIFORNIA)
You guys love you some Cultivate Pinot Noir, a wine that blends grapes from three different vineyard sites across California to make one seriously delicious wine.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2013 DELECTUS “ARGENTUM” RED BLEND (KNIGHTS VALLEY, CA)
A juicy California red blend for just $22.50 a bottle? Sign us up!
This blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 15% Petite Sirah, 9% Syrah, and 4% Cabernet Franc makes us just a little weak in the knees. Made from a small, family-owned winery, most of their wine is sold directly and never sees the shelves at retail stores.
2013 SANS LIEGE “THE OFFERING” RED BLEND (SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, CA)
It’s not surprising that a California winemaker on a “relentless search for independence” would find himself in regions like Paso Robles, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Ynez. These newer California wine regions are known for breaking all the rules. What’s so great about Sans Liege, and winemaker Curt Schalchlin, is that rule-breaking is steeped in respect for what came before. These wines take the best of the Rhône Valley and re-imagine it for a new generation of wine drinkers.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2014 QUINTA VALE D. MARIA “THREE VALLEYS” TINTO (DOURO, PORTUGAL)
TJ’s finally home from an epic trip to Portugal and he’s ready to share his wealth of knowledge on the country’s wine!
His main take-aways from the trip were as follows: 1) The winemaking regions, especially the Douro, are gorgeous – some of the prettiest he’s seen! 2) Portuguese wine is incredibly inexpensive, and this price adjustment is seen through all the levels of quality. Their plonk may cost $.25 to our $6, but on the flip side, their high end wine lands in the $30/bottle range – a price that feels very affordable compared to more established regions like Bordeaux, Tuscany, and Napa. 3) The winemakers in the region are extremely focused on expanding their international reach. They asked TJ as much on the American wine palate as he did on their winemaking techniques. It may take a few vintages, but Portuguese wine is gearing up to take America by storm.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2016 LIQUID FARM “VOGELZANG VINEYARD” ROSÉ (SANTA BARBARA, CA)
Liquid Farm has developed such a huge following over the past several years, with more and more people falling in love with their naturally funky, yet utterly approachable, wines. We were lucky to have Jeff Nelson, the owner of Liquid Farm, at UG this past Spring, and ever since then requests for his wine have skyrocketed. Demand for their rosé is higher than ever this year.