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.
SPOTLIGHT: 2016 DOMAINE LA COLOMBE ROSÉ (CÔTEAUX VAROIS EN PROVENCE, FR)
We are serious about helping you enjoy the best month of the year in style, which is why this week we’re offering full cases of this fantastic rosé at 25% off!
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2015 HARTFORD COURT “OLD VINE” ZINFANDEL (RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CA)
What do you do when you’ve made a gazillion (give or take) dollars producing Kendall Jackson wines? You start buying up vineyard sites with unique terroir and producing high-quality wines with distinct personality. And even though you COULD charge a lot for these delicious offerings, you don’t. Because thanks to all that KJ money, you simply don’t need to. That’s the story behind Hartford Court, and that’s why all of us at UG are so dedicated to their outstanding, yet reasonably priced, offerings.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2014 BETZ FAMILY WINERY “BÉSOLEIL” RED BLEND (COLUMBIA VALLEY, WA)
The ease and drinkability of the Rhône varietals – especially the region’s signature Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre blend – is legendary. In the 1980’s a group of American winemakers, nicknamed the Rhône Rangers, popularized the Rhône varietals on the West Coast, and our country has never looked back. California was the first state to get in on the Rhône game, but Washington’s offerings are also first rate juice.
2012 BOOTLEG RED BLEND (NAPA, CA)
All hail the easy-drinking red blend! Despite the fact that the most famous winemaking region in the world, Bordeaux, deals almost exclusively in blended wine, American red blends still have some stigma attached to them. The reality is, American blends are often creative and down-right delicious. We’re big fans and know our customers are too.
2013 TIKAL “AMORIO” MALBEC/CABERNET FRANC (MENDOZA, AR)
We were lucky enough to have the team behind Tikal wines at UG just a few weeks ago and this wine blew our customers away. This Malbec/Cabernet Franc wine was the crowd favorite, thanks to an intriguing smoked fruit aroma and mouthwatering, velvety flavors of dark cherry. Yes, wine can be sexy, and this wine proves that point!
2016 DIVISION-VILLAGES “LES PETITS FERS” GAMAY NOIR (WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OR)
We are downright freaking obsessed with the Gamay grape at the moment, and we won’t stop until you’re joining us in drinking red wine straight from the fridge at the end of a hot day.
Gamay has it all – a wonderful, fresh, grape-y flavor and lots of acid. It’s a perfect pairing for summer noshing – cheese and crackers, prosciutto, and the like – but also tastes great with pizza off the grill or a big, juicy burger. The possibilities are endless. And yes, it really does taste best with a chill on it.
There is a lot of really cool wine coming out of South Africa right now. Once known for their dedication to the polarizing Pinotage grape, the country’s winemakers are diversifying their offerings and experiencing with varietal, terroir, and production techniques. The resulting wines are intriguing, palate-friendly, and most importantly, wallet-friendly as well.