Avinyó Petillant 2016

Penedes, Spain
$14 / $79.80 / $142.80

Fresh honeysuckle and almonds on the nose. Bone dry with briny lemon peel nuances on the palate finishing lithe and vibrant. The Avinyo is a vi d’agulla, the Catalan name for “wine with a prickle.” It is made with indigenous varieties of 80% Petit Gran Muscat and 20% Macabeu and is fermented in stainless steel with secondary fermentation in tank. Avinyó farms only estate-owned vineyards, a rarity among producers in the region. This slightly fizzy, super refreshing white is the traditional summertime quaffer of the Penedès region of Catalonia. Drink with everything.

Rezabal Txakoli Rose 2016

Basque Country, Spain
$17 / $96.90 / $173.40
This vivacious rose from the Basque region in northern Spain has lip-smacking acidity, wild strawberry, sea salt and fresh grapefruit impressions that make for a delicious thirst quencher. It is aromatic, dry and slightly fizzy and made from 100% Hondarrabi Beltza. Rezabal winery is a 3rd generation family-owned estate, which was established in 1996 in Zarautz and belongs to the Getariako Txakolina DO. The 54-acre vineyard is established in the best hillsides of Zarautz and Getaria and strongly influenced by the daily coastal sea breeze. Partner with ceviche, sushi, seasonal veggies, and all things shellfish.

Muga Blanco 2015

Rioja, Spain
$16 / $91.20 / $163.20

Rioja doesn’t just make great reds, as this exceptional Blanco is a testament to. Notes of fragrant white flowers, ripe citrus and a hint of vanilla on the nose. Densely packed and lively, the palate has an attack that is both minerally and silky with stone fruit and toasted brioche carrying through to the lengthy finish. Muga winery was founded in 1932 by Isaac Muga Martínez who originated from a family with strong ties to the winemaking industry. Upon his death in 1969, his children Manuel, Isabel and Isaac Muga Caño took over the reins. As one of the oldest and most traditional Rioja producers, Muga is one of only six estates in the world that owns its own cooperage, and they import the oak directly from the United States and France. Pair with paella, salt cod dishes, Serrano or other Spanish ham.
90 points, James Suckling
91 points, Wine Advocate

R. Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Cubillo Crianza 2008

Rioja, Spain
$27 / $153.90 / $275.40

When you think Rioja, this is it. Elegantly aged, smooth, earthy, rich. Notes of oak, vanilla, naval orange peel, baking spice, red cherries, and a terroir so present you can almost taste the clay rich soil from which it came.
For 140 years, four generations of the López de Heredia family have devoted themselves to producing exceptional and unique wines. “…Vineyard care, a scrupulous selection of grapes, ageing in oak barrels in the heart of deep underground galleries, and then later ageing in bottles, all contribute to making these illustrious wines with their exceptional bouquet.” – winery notes. 100% Tempranillo. Pair with grilled ribeye steak, lamb, chorizo and hearty, hard cheeses.

Luigi Giordano Nebbiolo Rosato 2016

Barbaresco, Italy

$19 / $108.30 / $193.80
Serious and textural yet vibrant and fruity, this is a spectacular picnic sipper with savory cherry and strawberry notes, subtly balanced with a dusting of white pepper acidity. This Italian Rose carries a complexity and depth that revivals even the reds of the region.  And it truly goes with everything — from spicy appetizers to fish courses to tart fruit pastries.
According the importer site (thepiedmontguy), the winery and its vineyards were founded by Giovanni Giordano in the 1930s during a time of profound crisis in the Italian wine world. After a period of growing and selling grapes, Giovanni’s son, Luigi, made the bold decision to vinify his own grapes in 1960. Luigi Giordano is now a fourth-generation winery whose vineyards are planted in some of Barbaresco’s most prestigious crus, including Asili and Montestefano. One particular Barbaresco bottling from the cru of Cavanna showcases the winery’s elegant, hands-off style of winemaking and currently represents the only single-vineyard cru of its kind on the market.

Weingut Sattlerhof Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Sudsteiermark, Austria
$19 / $108.30 / $193.80

You will want to be on a boat or near a beach when you drink this. Notes of coastal seashells, ocean spray, lemon rind, honeydew, and white grapefruit make this one of the most pure and irresistible Sauvignon Blancs you’ve ever tasted. The Sattlerhof winery on the slopes of the Sernauberg has been owned by the same family since 1887. For over twenty years, Willi Sattler and his wife Maria have been responsible for the winemaking. Willi manages three of the best vineyard sites of Styria (11,000 acres of one of the world´s best Sauvignon Blanc terroirs): Sernauberg, Pfarrweingarten (monopole) and Kranachberg. The “Steirische Klassik” STK wines are bottled young and feature maximum fruitiness and freshness whereas the more mature wines are aged separately for each vineyard. Pair with fresh-caught clams or citrus-infused summer salads.

Jean Vullien Cremant Brut NV

Savoie, France
$21 / $119.70 / $214.20

We’re huge fans of the wines (and values) of the French Alpine region of Savoie. This is a good example of why! The Vullien Cremant is a delightful sparkler with an opening bouquet of delicate floral notes, citrus and hazelnut. The palate is cool and refreshing with creamy undertones and a subtle hint of mint. A blend of Chardononay, Jacquere, and Altesse. The Chard brings structure and finesse, the Jacquere and Altesse brings verve and originality. The Vullien family has been producing wine in the Savoie for more than 100 years. Today, the son of Jean Vullien continues to develop the winemaking procedures. The quintessential fondue or aperitif wine, you’ll want to enjoy with friends… or not.

Château de Brézé Clos de Midi Saumur Blanc 2016

Loire, France
$19 / $108.30 / $193.80
“Clos du Midi’s aromas are discrete expressions of honey, dried exotic fruits, herbal tea and sweet lemon. Although this wine is 100% Chenin Blanc, it bears the freshness of a young Sancerre, the soft richness of Chabis, but with the unmistakable charm of Chenin Blanc. It’s a stunner!” – importer notes

Château de Brézé has a long and storied history, first being mentioned in texts in 1068, lauded by King René of Anjou in the 15th century and served at all the royal courts. In 1957, when the AOC of Saumur Champigny was established, the owner of Château de Brézé refused to be part of the appellation, saying that his estate’s vineyards were the best and deserved an appellation all their own. And he was probably right. Unfortunately, the wines from those exceptional vineyards were terrible. Lucky for us, the winery sold in 2009 to Le Comte de Colbert, who recruited Arnaud Lambert from nearby Domaine de Saint Just to make the wine. He changed the vineyards over to organic farming and began producing truly stellar wines worthy of their source. Pair with whole white fish or fatty cheeses.

Domaine du Cros Marcillac Lo Sang del Pais 2015

Southwest France
$15 / $85.50 / $153.00

Marcillac — an isolated appellation located in France’s Massif Central — grows the Fer Servadou grape (Manois in local dialect). Domaine du Cros’s entry-level wine is a gorgeous garnet color in the glass, and is uniquely aromatic, showcasing exotic aromas of violets, Thai chili peppers, black pepper and ferrous earth. The palate presents a full-bodied, saturated palate full of black currants, pipe tobacco, freshly ground black pepper, and smoke. Pair with Toulouse sausages, duck confit and pepper steak.

Domaine Baron Cot Vieilles Vignes 2014

Touraine, France
$12 / $68.40 / $122.40
Jean-Pierre Baron’s Cot is simply just awesome. Dark purple, bright spice, concentrated red fruit, gamey, and just plain DIRTY (in the best way possible of course). This absurdly inexpensive red possesses that lovely Loire freshness and succulence that we all have come to know and love. It comes from 2 acres of 35 year-old Côt (the local name for Malbec) vines planted on a south-facing gentle slope with a well drained, limestone-clay soil. Jean-Pierre and his son Samuel Baron own a 49-acre domaine in the village of Thesée in the region of Touraine. Jean-Pierre Baron began estate bottling with the 1998 vintage and a new Loire star was born. In recent years, Jean-Pierre has handed the vineyard and winemaking duties to his son, Samuel. Starting with the 2010 vintage, Samuel initiated the transition to organic farming and their domaine will officially attain certification in two years. Pair with fatty red meats, game fowl or pasta with herbs.

Guillen Pinot Noir “Esteban” 2015

Willamette Valley, Oregon
$23 / $131.10 / $234.60

From the winemaker of White Rose Estates, Jesus Guillen has started producing his own wines, and we couldn’t be more happy with the results. He names each of his Pinot cuvees after his children; “Esteban” is jam-packed with impressions of fresh, ripe Marionberries, upturned earth, and bright acidity. Lip-smacking in its dry, savory style, showcasing structure over jamminess. You won’t find a better Oregon Pinot Noir at this price. The winery site informs us that this particular wine is a blend of 4 different vineyards located in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. The grapes were fermented with native yeast and 100% whole clusters then aged in its lees for 11 months in French oak barrels. Buy it by the case and enjoy over the rest of this decade, and at the table with just about any food you can throw at it.

Domaine Du Pegau Plan Pegau NV

Image result for Domaine Du Pegau Plan Pegau NVSouthern Rhone, France
$21 / $119.70 / $214.20
We have few Chateauneuf producers we are more fond of. And we’re thrilled that Laurence is still crafting her every-day blend of several vintages, meant for early consumption, and with any occasion or cuisine. This is another great case-purchase, and it’s not around long every year, so grab it while you can!
“Crafted by Laurence Féraud of Domaine du Pegau, Plan Pegau has loads of character and personality, and offers a true and loud echo of the flavor and style of Domaine du Pegau Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A perfect illustration of the HPS mantra of quality, character and value, it always seems to have a bit of that magic Châteauneuf funk! An approachable, medium bodied wine with loads of cherry fruit, light peppery notes and a touch of Châteauneuf funk. Enjoy with game, hearty stews, and grilled meats.” – handpickedselections.com (national importer)