The South End neighborhood is special for so many reasons, one of the most important of which is the way we support each other as neighbors and friends. Our neighborhood is also unique because from those that live in million dollar homes to live-in residents of our local homeless shelters, our urban community strives to be welcoming to all. A South End institution that is vital to this welcoming spirit is Haley House, whose soup kitchen has been located on the corner of Dartmouth and Montgomery streets since 1966, making it one of the oldest homeless service providers in the city.
From the Vine
SPOTLIGHT: 2014 ALHEIT VINEYARDS “CARTOLOGY” (WESTERN CAPE, SA)
South Africa is doing absolutely incredible things with Chenin Blanc, and these wines are fast becoming our new wine obsession. For those of you picturing your grandmother’s sweet Chenins of yesteryear, you can’t imagine how much these wines have changed over the decades. They are now lovely and balanced, with wonderful aromatics and a vibrant palate.
This wine from Alheit Vineyards in the Western Cape region of South Africa is 89% Chenin Blanc and 11% Semillon, the famous Bordeaux grape. It has aromas of honey and lime tropical notes, and a lovely bees wax quality on the finish. TJ’s tasting note is just one word – “AWESOME.” As for me, my mouth is watering just thinking about drinking this wine.
Chenin Blanc will continue to be a hot wine trend in 2017. Get yours on sale this week!
Regular Price: $55
15% off per bottle: $46.75
25% off Four Bottles: $165 ($55 savings at $41.25/bottle) That’s Like Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
Obviously I love to cook, but part of keeping my love of cooking alive is knowing when to get take out. I try to plan for at least one night a week, because even the most dedicated home cook needs a freaking night off. That night was supposed to be last night, but the slowly wilting contents of my fridge made me reconsider, put on my apron, and come up with something fantastic.
SPOTLIGHT WINE: 2014 HARTFORD COURT CHARDONNAY
(RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY, CA)
You guys helped us crush our Presidents’ Day wine sale this past weekend, and today the savings continue with an expertly made Chardonnay that comes in under $25 after discount.
Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 by Don and Jennifer Hartford. Their mission is to showcase wines that represent the people, terroir, and unique vineyard sites near their Russian River Valley home. (That’s me having a moment overlooking their vineyards last spring.)
The 2014 vintage was particularly strong across all of the label’s Chardonnay offerings, a vintage in which their winemakers pulled back on the oak finish of the wines to let more of the distinct terroir shine through. The 2014 RRV Chardonnay is a particularly fine example of their ability to produce stunning Chardonnay, at a price that is much more affordable than other California producers.
TJ loves the texture and bright acidity of this wine, along with the bright apple and candied lemon flavors, and floral notes. If you love Chardonnay, you’ll love this wine. Click the Buy Now button below to place your order!
Regular Price: $33/bottle
15% per Bottle Discount: $28.05/bottle
25% four-bottle Discount: $99 ($33savings at $24.75 a bottle) *That’s like buy 3, Get 1 Free!
Over the past year, my days have been mostly consumed with writing our wine education book, Drink Progressively. It’s been a labor of love, partly because it has allowed me to flex my creative muscles, but also because it has allowed me to learn so much more about the history of wine itself.
2013 BREA “MARGARITA VINEYARDS” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
(PASO ROBLES, CA)
The official Paso Robles wine website says that the region’s town feels like it’s right out of a Normal Rockwell painting, but when Paso emerged on the wine scene it had a reputation for being the Wild, Wild West. In the years that have passed, Paso Robles has become more mainstream, but the energy and pioneering spirit still remain. Paso is known for it’s Cabernet Sauvignon, of which the Brea “Margarita Vineyards” Cab is a shining, and affordable, example.
Brea, a project between Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars and Tim Elenteny of TE Imports, has a passion for organically farmed fruit and wild yeast fermentation to produce real deal, unadulterated expressions of California Cabernet. This vintage of the “Margarita Vineyards” has bright red currants and berry flavors wrapped in elegant tannins and striking minerality.
This wine has earned TJ’s top rating of “yummy,” a term reserved for those that make your toes curl with happiness. It’s got big, in your face fruit, but maintains its balance, a hallmark of the Paso Robles wines and winemaking style.
Still not convinced? Compare the price to that of Napa Cabernet and you’ll see it’s worth it to give this bottle a try! Such a steal for Cab coming out of California.
Regular Price: $35/bottle
15% per Bottle Discount: $29.75/bottle
25% four-bottle Discount: $105 ($35 savings at $26.25 a bottle) *That’s like buy 3, Get 1 Free!
My obsession for Greek Salad is well-documented, but it’s lost a little spark for me since having to go completely dairy free. I mean, isn’t the whole reason for eating Greek Salad to ingest as much feta cheese as possible?
2014 DOMAINE ARNOUX-LACHAUX “PINOT FIN” PINOT NOIR
Domaine Arnoux-Lachaux is going through a rebirth as the winery passes from one generation down to the next. Much as current winemaker Pascal Lachaux took over from his father-in-law Robert Arnoux, the three Lachaux sons are now preparing to take the reigns from their parents, who have been managing the estate since 1995.
Charles Lachaux, their oldest son, has studied winemaking in South Africa and Oregon, and is starting to bring new world sensibility to one of the most storied sub-regions in the world – the renowned Vosne-Romanee. His first vintage was 2012, and it didn’t take him long to get his footing. The past several vintages have been heralded as some of the best the Domaine has ever produced.
This combination of rustic Old World bones with a touch of New World pizzazz gets us completely psyched up for this wine. TJ loves its bright, fresh acidity and dusty floral notes. It’s an elegant wine, but not one that takes itself too seriously. Whole cluster fermentation of the “Pinot Fin” clone, known for its dense, small grapes, means that this wine has appealing depth and power.
And in case you’re wondering, his dad really likes Charles’ influence on the wine too. We only have three cases of this wine, so grab some while you can!
Regular Price: $42/bottle
15% per Bottle Discount: $35.70/bottle
25% four-bottle Discount: $126 ($42 savings at $31.50 a bottle) *That’s like buy 3, Get 1 Free!
February 2017 Urban Sampler
Four great bottles of wine handpicked by our staff, always $50
Stop ‘fossicking,’ (searching) the next great sampler has arrived from Down Under! We’ve been feeling the cold weather here in Boston and decided to take a trip south of the equator this month. Close your eyes and envision you’re sipping on chardonnay in the Gold Coast while checking out the ‘Shelias.’ Or, maybe you’ve just opened some Shiraz as liquid courage while roaming the outback in search of a bunyip (mythical outback creature). This sampler is ‘dinky-di’ (the real thing) and just what we need!
2015 Lismore Range Chardonnay Reserve
(Lismore Range, South Eastern Australia, Australia)
Lismore, a city in New South Wales, benefits from being located just east of the Great Dividing Range, a series of mountain ranges, plateaus, and upland areas with rich geological history of complex soils. Broad and ripe, this wine offers hints of lemon curd, crushed stone, and a delicious buttery flavor. Toss some prawns in a little coriander, sear, and serve over a bed of arugula. Yum!
2014 Yalumba ‘Y Series’ Shiraz Viognier
(South Australia, Australia)
Australia’s oldest family owned winery, Yalumba was founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, British migrant, and English brewer. After purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land just beyond the southern-eastern boundary of Angaston, Smith and his son began planting the first vines by moonlight. Samuel named his patch ‘Yalumba’ (Aboriginal for ‘all the land around). This Shiraz is dense purple in color and is rich and juicy; it’s a big mouthful of Australia! Try Lamb Shawarma or Gyros to pair with this Shiraz.
2014 Red Knot Shiraz
(McLaren Vale, Australia)
Give this Shiraz a burl (try it)! The name Red Knot refers to the gnarly knots found in the wood of the native Australian gum tree. These trees can be found surrounding the Davey Estate, and the wood was once sourced to make fence posts that marked the first vineyards in the McLaren Vale. Red Knot is 100% Shiraz produced and bottled by Shingleback Wine from the McLaren Vale. Throw some steak on the barbie with some pepper and ‘bog in’ (dive in)!
2013 Woop Woop Cabernet Sauvignon
(South Eastern Australia, Australia)
In Aussie slang ‘Woop Woop’ means a small, perhaps, unimportant town. But if this ‘Woop Woop’ is making Cabernet Sauvignon, you can bet we’ll be there! Carefully selected parcels of grapes sourced from a selection of renowned Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in premium Australian wine regions, including Limestone Coast, South Australia, and New South Wales, where bright sun and ancient soils do their best. This Cabernet is brilliant ruby in color with smoke-accented dark berry flavor and would be aces (excellent) with a bacon BBQ burger!
2014 SAMsARA Syrah
(Santa Rita Hills, CA)
We’re feeling everything about this new-to-UG wine, from the meaning behind the name to the philosophy that inspires how it is made.
Samsara is the sanskrit word for the continuous cycle of life, death, and reincarnation. This from the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs – “Because past lives affect future ones, a person is never sure about their reincarnation and the suffering that might accompany it because of past actions.” Karma, baby.
This concept inspires the way owners Chad and Mary Melville live their life – with passion, oneness, and harmony. These concepts carry over into their wine growing, and they believe that the important work for making a good wine happens in the field. From there they do little handling or manipulation, just letting their grapes show their stuff.
Antoni Galloni, a former member of the tasting staff at Wine Advocate, calls SAMsARA “one of the most dynamic, exciting young wineries in California. These are some of the most compelling wines being made in California today.”
The 2014 SAMsARA Syrah has aromas of smoky blackberry, boysenberry and herbs, and a palate of spiced berry and candied cherry flavors, with floral and olive nuances. This is a juicy, luscious wine with soft, velvety tannins. Perfect for the cold weather this week!
Regular Price: $46
15% off per bottle: $39.10
25% off Four Bottles: $138 ($46 savings at $34.50/bottle) That’s Like Buy 3, Get 1 Free!
To order, contact TJ!