Saturday Afternoon Tasting Bar for March 18th, 2017


NEXT TASTING: SATURDAY AFTERNOON, March 18th from 1:30 to 4:30pm. – The Tasting Fee is FIVE DOLLARS per person to sample all EIGHT wines listed below!   Reservations are not required!


UNDER $20 






The Tasting Bar is open every Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 4:30pm.   See the “Tasting Bar Flight” line up below which is offered for a flat tasting fee per participant.   All are welcome!  Reservations are NOT required.  The tastings are casual, fun and educational and appropriate for both the recreational novice or serious aficionado.

NV Casa di Malia, Prosecco DOC, Valdobbiadene, Italy - $17.95

We like the Barvarian style “stopper” wired to the bottle’s neck which one can use to preserve the bubbles and freshness.  The sparkling wine is pretty good too!  With a name inspired by the old Italian expression for “House of Charm”, Casa di Malia pays tribute to the magic of Treviso, one of the storied towns in the Province of Venice in the heart of the Prosecco appellation.  The grapes for Case di Malia all come from Tenuta Divici, a collection of family-owned vineyards, all of which are certified organic.  The Estate’s true commitment to true Prosecco and honest unfettered viticulture shines through in their wines; elegant , expressive.  

 Crisp lemon zest and citrus flavors with satiny, textured bubbles. A superb sparkler that’s delicate, round and approachable. Perfect with ————–appetizers, cheeses and charcuterie, or sashmi. Brunch!

2015 Nortico Alvarinho (Albarino), Minho, Portugal - $17.95

What makes this wine special: Nortico is from Monçao and Melgaço the best Alvarinho growing area in Portugal on the norther border with Spain’s Galicia province. Unlike others from the area, Nortico has no added CO2, allowing for a richer, fuller, balanced wine.

The grapes are fermented in temperature controlled cool stainless steel tanks.  Then racked from the lees, and returned to the tank where it spends another 4 months.  The wine is filtered just prior to bottling in February. 800 cases were produced.  100% Alvarinho (Albarino). Young and fresh with the characteristic bright acidity, tropical fruit aromas of peach and grapefruit. Recommended serving temperature is 50F (10c) so the citrus and fruit aromas are well present and delightful for current drinking and pairing with lighter fare.  11% alcohol.

2014 Pietradolce Etna Bianco (Carricante), Sicilia, Italy - $19.95 - Wine Advocate 91 points

The 2014 Etna Bianco is all Carricante from younger vines in the Contrada Rampante. The wine shows a light straw color and brilliant luminosity. It is vinified in stainless steel. Like all of Pietradolce’s wines, this white delivers a great sense of etched definition with detailed fruit, floral and mineral nuances. It boasts tight contours and small details that add to an overall sense of complexity and fullness. – 91 points – Wine Advocate

2015 Boccadigabbia Le Grane, Colli Maceratesi Ribona DOC, Marche, Italy - $16.95

This wine is 100% ribona (also called “maceration”), a rare grape variety grown only in the province of Macerata in the Marche region of central Italy.   Only 2 hectares of 20 year old vines are planted with a northeast exposure in sandy-clay soils.  Early ripening, the grapes are hand picked in early September.  Following a gentle pressing, the must ferments about 12 days at a controlled temperature in stainless steel fermenters. Following this first fermentation, whole grape berries, picked slightly over-ripe, are added to the wine. The resulting second fermentation, traditionally known at “fare le grane (adding the berries),” lasts a further ten or so days and allows increased extraction of compounds and aromatic extracts from the grape skin. This unique fermentation method as well as the rarity of the grape variety confers distinctive characteristics on Le Grane. It appears a deep, almost yellow, straw, and the nose releases intriguing fragrances of very ripe fruit. On the palate, it exhibits firm structure, expansive volume, and excellent balance. It is perfect with pastas and fish courses, but is delicious as well with light meats and with cheeses.

2014 Verasol Tinto Tempranillo-Garnacha, Navarra, Spain - $14.95

60% Tempranillo and 40% Garnacha from 20 to 30 year old  Navarra vines, just bursting with bright and fresh ripe berry aromas and flavors; dark berries, spice, mocha, and minerality.  Medium bodied, easy, smooth drinking.  Perfect with chorizo, paella, or bbq meats.

2015 Fongoli Rossofongoli, Umbria Rosso-VinoBiologico, (Sangiovese/Montepuliciano) IGT - Italy - $16.95

Indigenous yeast fermentation in stainless steel tank and then moved to used, neutral large oak barrels.  No filtering or fining.  A charming ruby red, fruit driven, but rustic red wine from Umbria combining 60% Sangiovese and 40% Montepulicano.  Perfect for red sauced pizza and pastas, meatballs!  Mama Mia!  Now that’s what I’m talking about…..

2014 Antico Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria, Puglia, Italia - $17.95 -- WS 2016 Top 100 #63 - Wine Spectator 90 points

“There’s a rich, mouthfilling quality to this medium-bodied red, offering a velvety mix of spiced cherry, mulberry and herbed olive, with accents of mocha and graphite. Plush tannins show on the juicy finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,500 cases made.

–AN – 90 points, Wine Spectator – 2016 Top 100 – #63

2013 Gray Pine Proprietary "Red Wine" Winery and Vineyard, Penn Valley, Sierra Foothills, California (56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot) - 120 cases produced - $19.95

Guy Lauterbach is a new Bordeaux varietal farmer-producer who sources grapes solely from his two acre vineyard in Penn Valley.  Gray Pine’s total annual production is about 325 cases.  I am being serious now!  The understated 2013 “RED WINE” is simply a STUNNING overachiever delivering great pleasure now!  Deeply colored, effusively aromatic and flavor packed with spicy, ripe cherries and dark berries, Guy’s RED is a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot. 120 cases. 14.2% alcohol. 

We just learned the 2013 Gray Pine RED earned a Gold Medal at last summer’s California State Fair Wine Competition under “Bordeaux Blend” and garnered a 95 point rating by the judges. 

Honestly, this surprising discovery more than delivers the goods!  A “no brains- no headaches”, “go to”, “guilt-free value” high quality selection!