Category Archives: WINE OF THE WEEK

Wine of the Week – Discover Planet Bordeaux!

Travel to France and discover beautiful wines from hillside vineyards! For example, there’s Chateaux Recougne’s Bordeaux Superieur from one near Fronsac and Pomerol – the wine is vinified in temperature-regulated tanks and macerated for three weeks before being aged in tanks and oak barrels. The result is a rich, deep garnet colored wine with a red fruit nose, tannins of roasted coffee, and a palate described by the winemaker as “licorice on attack”!
It’s a concentrated, balanced vintage with 77 percent Merlot, 14 percent Cabernet Franc and nine percent Cabernet Sauvignon.

We discovered the wine at the autumn Goldmine of Planet Bordeaux wines this Fall in Boston at Troquet where Michael Madrigale, the group’s ambassador, presented a wonderful selection of red and white wines, noting that the region is in “the golden age of Bordeaux AOC and Bordeaux Superior AOC,” with high quality, beautifully expressed sense of the terroir and reasonable pricing.

Since 2009 when it received 88 points from Wine Spectator, it’s been receiving acclaim, winning gold, silver and bronze medals for its 2010, 2011, ’12, ’13, ’14 and ’15 vintages at a number of European wine events. Visit

Planet Bordeaux, the U.S. marketing program of the Bordeaux & Bordeaux Supérieur AOCs Winemakers’ Association, represents all wines produced in the regional appellations.



Wine of the Week – Kanonkop Kadette

The Kanonkop Kadette Dry Pinotage Rosé 2015 from South Africa is a traditional rosé with rich aromatic raspberry and cherry flavors from this Stellenbosch winery whose name means “Cannon Hill,” referring to the days when cannons were fired to signal the arrival of Dutch trading ships into Cape Town Harbor.

With grapes from Stellenbosch, east of Cape Town, the 2015 wine was made after a cold and wet winter with a moderate ripening period, harvested on January 28, 2015. The wine has soft tannins and complexity, with a long finish. It is 14% ABV and makes for lovely sipping on a warm summer day or evening.

Wine of the Week – Topiary Shiraz 2014

A beautiful Shiraz from the Western Cape of South Africa

FRANSCHHOEK, SOUTH AFRICA – Topiary, a relatively young winery which is said to be the only French-owned one in the country, is owned by two Frenchmen, Philippe Colin and Serge Jacqzynski with backgrounds in the wine industry in their native land  – Philippe as a wine farmer in Burgundy, and Serge, as a former sommelier.
This particular wine is 100 percent Shiraz, from grapes grown on 15 year old trellised vines that face south and are planted in a mix of granite and sandstone. The wine offers hints of Damson plum, mulberry, white pepper and spices such as anise, with what some critics have called “silky” tannins. It’s a wine that spends 12 months in French oak barrels, 10 percent of which are new, for aging. The rest of the barrels used are 2nd to 4th fill.

Topiary Shiraz ’14 is smooth and silky with a long finish. It’s 14.3% ABV Delicious with dark fruits, we think you’ll find it a good value at around $23 retail.

Wine of the Week – Domaine De La Réserve D’ O 2012

Domaine De La Réserve D’O  comes from the Languedoc region of France where former wine shop owners Marie and Frederic Chauffray are producing beautiful wines with rich intensity. The 2012 received 92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.The wine is aged in unlined concrete tanks  and is biodynamic and organic. The grapes are biodynamically farmed in the sub-region, which receives a Mistral wind  off the Mediterranean.
The grapevines are 30-plus years old and are certified organic. Cooler nights and hot sunny days help balance the acids and sugars in the grapes.

This wine is 14 percent ABV. It’s fruity, rich flavors and intensity make it a special wine for either every day drinking or celebratory occasions. Today, Terrasses du Larzac in the Langeudoc-Roussilon has been approved (since 2014) for appellation status. 20170317_151204.jpg

Wine of the Week – Thomas George Estates Pinot Noir 2012

Like many California wineries, Thomas George Estates is  family owned by a father and son team, Thomas and Jeremy Baker, who seek to focus their world-class estate on site-specific Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in Healdsburg.

The wines are created from three vineyards – Baker Ridge, Starr Ridge and Cresta Ridge -each with its own micro-climate, soil type, exposure and vine age.

This particular label, the winemakers point out, features clones 777, Pommard, 114, 115 and Swan from all three of their estate vineyards, Baker Ridge (40%), Cresta Ridge (32%) and Starr Ridge (28%).

Aged for 11 months in 94% French oak, it is a wine that is well balanced, and offers aromatics and layers of varietal flavor. The wine is 14.3% alcohol and offers notes of red cherry and wild strawberry, It’s an elegant, floral wine that needs air and delivers a rich and satisfying experience. The suggested retail price for this Pinot Noir is $43.
We enjoyed this Pinot Noir for its elegance and flavor. Visit

Sparkling wines for everyday sipping

Yes, most wine drinkers look to sparkling wines for celebratory events such as New Year’s Eve and even birthdays or anniversaries, but why limit the pleasure to a few occasions? We are fans of sparklers for life’s smaller events, whatever they may be!

Here are some wines that won’t break the bank but lend their sparkle and panache to any occasion, small, medium or large:

Lady of Spain by Giro Ribot, a pre-eminent Spanish Cava producer, blends multiple vintages in this cuvee- Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada to create a refreshing, effervescent wine that is toasty and fruity

Lucien Albrecht Brut, a Cremant d’Alsace, blends 50% Pinot Blanc, 25% Pinot Gris and 25% Riesling. They’ve been making wines in Alsace since 1425. This  one is fresh, creamy and subtle. The family’s Cremants are consistently Gold Medal winners in competition

Valdo Spumante Marca Oro is balanced and lovely with two varietals – Sicilian old grapes Nerello Mascalese and Glera, a fruity grape from Veneto

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Wine(s) of the Week – Virginia Dare

BOSTON – As we prepare to celebrate a holiday that pays tribute to breaking away from our European roots, we are reminded that the genesis of American winemaking has ties going a long way back to the first colonists who settled in the New World in Virginia where the first child born was named Virginia Dare in 1587.

In 1865, the Garrett brothers began to make wines, purchasing the 30-year-old Medoc Vineyards in North Carolina, that state’s first commercial winery. When Prohibition began in 1919, they moved, first to Brooklyn, NY and later to Cucamonga, CA where it became known as the Virginia Dare Winery.

The wines from their Garrett & Company had sold well and after the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, they were one of the first to sell wine under their new Virginia Dare label, which flourished well into the 1950’s.

It was later purchased and given new life in 2015 and today is located in Geyserville, CA where it is owned by well-known winemakers, Francis and Eleanor Coppola.

“The myth of Virginia Dare always intrigued me, and as a child I remember the Virginia Dare wine because of the pretty blonde girl on the label and a jingle they used to advertise it on the radio,” says Francis Coppola. “My goal is to revive the wine brand so that it isn’t lost to future generations. Virginia Dare Winery’s new home in Geyserville is the ideal location in the heart of American wine country to tell the origin stories of American wine.”

Virginia Dare, born to colonists well before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, MA belonged to what became known as the Lost Colony because it ‘disappeared’ from Roanoke Island in the late 1500s, but legends claim that Dare later lived with native Americans, becoming engaged in a tragic love triangle, and was turned into a white doe by a jealous sorcerer and killed. Where she reportedly bled and died, a scuppernong grapevine, a variety of muscadine, sprouted with fruit that was stained red, and was known as the Mother Vine, said to be the oldest cultivated grapevine on the continent. It exists to this day and a clipping was transported to and planted in Virginia Dare’s estate vineyard in California.

Today, the wines produced at that winery offer distinctive variety, from Showcase Wines – Virginia Dare Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley and Virginia Dare Pinot Noir from the same locale – to The Legends, which start with The White Doe, a lovely blend of Chenin Blanc and Vigonier that was inspired by the Native American myth of Virginia Dare. Similarly, another Legend wine is Manteo, described as “the warrior wine”, a blend of Sonoma County Syrah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. It’s named for a legendary Native American Croatonan, a tribal chief and warrior who helped the English settlers at Roanoke Island in the late 1500s, becoming a friend and protector of Virginia Dare. The wine is rich in berry notes and black fruit flavors, aged in a combination of French and American oak barrels.

Two Arrowheads, a blend of Vigonier and Roussane from Paso Robles, brings hints of white peaches, guava, orange blossom and nutmeg to the sipper, along with tropical fruit, melon, honey and vanilla. It too is inspired by the fate of the “White Doe” whose heart, in the legend, was pierced by enchanted arrows, one of which turned her back into a woman while the other ended her life.

Last of the ‘Legends’ is The Lost Colony, a Sonoma Country blend of Syrah and Malbec with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Vigonier. The fruit is largely sourced from Dry Creek Valley. The name refers to the disappearance of the Roanoke Island’s early settlers, a vanishing that remains a mystery all these centuries later. The wine offers lush red and black berry flavors with peppery notes, clove, tobacco, and lavender as well as hints of minerals and toasted oak.

The Legend wines range in price from $14.99 to $25 (Suggested Retail Price). For restaurateurs and diners alike, they offer great value both on a wine by the glass or full wine list.