Chateau de L’Eperonniere Cremant NV

Loire, France

$23/ $131.10 / $234.60

We can’t get enough of the affordable Champagne-style wines from France’s Loire Valley. And this wine is a great example of why we love them. This aromatic and expressive Crémant shows what superb sparkling wine can be made from Chenin Blanc (with a bit of Chardonnay and Cab Franc as well). The palate has a fine mousse mouthfeel and notes of baked apple and quince fruit. Perfect with smoked fish, pâté and sweet aperitifs.

We recommend keeping at least a case on hand for summertime backyard gatherings!

Chateau de la Liquiere Faugeres Les Amandiers Blanc 2015

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Languedoc-Rousillon, France

$14 / $79.80 / $142.80

The French mediterranean coast has been known for high-quality, value wines for decades now in our country. You’ll not find a better wine for the money than this fantastic white from one of our favorite Languedoc appelations (Faugeres, located within the Herault, west of the Rhone). Flattering and expressive, this pretty summer white has notes of white flowers, citrus fruits and white fruits. It is a fresh, round and delicate wine. 30% Roussane, 25% Grenache, 20% Terret, 10% Viognier, 10% Bourboulenc, and 5% Marsanne. Drink within the next 2-3 years. It’s great as an aperitif, with grilled fish, crustaceans, or hard cheeses.

Domaine La Grange Tiphaine Amboise Ad Libitum Rouge 2014

Touraine, France

$15 / $85.50 / $153.00

Add this to the mid-summer selection of Park Avenue’s favorite table wines with a unique charm and complex character, all for a daily consumption price! Ad Libitum means “True Gluttony” in Latin, and what a fitting way to describe this indulgent wine. Côt (Malbec), Cabernet Franc, and Gamay blend together marvelously in this French beauty! This wine has a full expression of fruit with beautiful volume and complexity. Pair with red meat, grilled poultry, charcuterie or Mediterranean cuisine. Drink now or over the next five years.

Harel Beaujolais Charron 2015

Beaujolais, France

$18 / $102.60 / $183.60

There is no better summertime food wine than a fresh, bright, slightly earthy Gamay from the famed Beaujolais region. This new addition to the Kermit Lynch portfolio showcases everything we love about these traditional bistro wines: Vibrant, dark fruit, earth and mushroom notes, a long finish that is dry but refreshing. The perfect partner for grilled meats and veggies, burgers, and especially duck or other game birds. A classic!

“Raised in a vigneron household, Quentin Harel sought further experience away from home early on, taking jobs with growers elsewhere in the Beaujolais as well as in Burgundy. He received the bulk of his formative training in the Diois (home to the sparkling Clairette de Die), in addition to studying soil microbiology and brewing his own beer. The 2012 harvest marked his first solo vinification at the helm of Domaine de Buis-Rond, an estate owned by Quentin’s family since 1768.” –importer notes

Domaine le Couroulu Vacqueyras Cuvee Classic 2013

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Rhone, France

$21 / $119.70 / $214.20

When is the last time you saw a wine from one of Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s nearby neighbors, made with the same grapes and quality, for under $20 a bottle (case price). This Southern Rhone classic is one of the freshest, most balanced wines from this region we’ve tasted in years! Many of the wines from the southern Rhone are suffering from the extreme heat over the last 15 years or so. But the Couroulu is classical in every way; Red fruit, moderate alcohol, earthy spice galore. Not at all sweet or overly jammy! A perfect match for grilled ribs, sausages, and steaks as well as roasts and stews of lamb, beef and game. A blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre.

Muros Antigos Escolha 2015

Image result for Muros Antigos Escolha 2015Minho, Portugal

$16 / $91.20 / $163.20

Here is a wine to learn from while enjoying for it’s straightforward deliciousness. Vinho Verde is a region almost synonymous for the light, fizzy wines many of us enjoy. But did you know the region uses it’s most noble grape variety (Alvarinho) to create more serious still wines of stunning complexity for the price?  Muros Antigos Escolha is just that. Fresh and bright, but there is a sturdy mid-palate that places this wine firmly into the camp of wines like white Burgundy and Loire Chenin which would likely cost significantly more. The fruit is ripe and edging on tropical (think Albarino from Rias Baixas, Spain – same grape, similar climate), but there is no perception of sweetness here at all. Dry, complex, textural, but fruity enough to appeal to the grigio and Sauvignon blanc fans. Partner this glorious summer wine with ceviche, fresh seafood a la the wine’s homeland, and all manner of light picnic fare. You could even make a spritzer with a piece of lemon — just don’t tell your wine snob friends!

Fazenda Pradio Mencia Tinto 2014

Image result for Fazenda Pradio Mencia Tinto 2014Ribeira Sacra, Spain

$21 / $119.70 / $214.20

What a fun wine! We are enamored with this new-comer to the Portland market. It’s not going to get 100 points from the press…for all the right reasons! Sometimes you just want a fresh, tangy, fruit forward wine that could even stand a ten-minute chill to take to your picnic. Here it is: Cherry red with pinkish hues and medium intensity/high color. Very expressive bouquet with good intensity and aromas reminiscent of fresh fruit orchard (strawberry) and licorice on a subtle balsamic background. Pleasant, fresh and full at the beginning. With a crisp acidity, strong but sweet tannins and a long aftertaste reminiscent of candied fruit. Great with all kinds of casseroles, stews, tripe, octopus. winery notes

Terredora di Paolo Falanghina Irpinia 2015

Image result for Terredora di Paolo Falanghina Irpinia 2015Campania, Italy

$15 / $85.50 / $153.00

Campania is one of our favorite Italian wine regions, along with the Piedmont. The reds are world-class and just as age-worthy as a great Barolo. But did you know about the spicy, volcanic mineral driven whites? Even the region’s workhorse grape, Falanghina, can reach heights of nobility when raised from old enough vines, and produced by one of the regions greatest vineyard holders. Terredora Di Paolo has been helping re-establish the regions great history of winemaking since 1978, though the region has been producing wine since the Roman Empire days. This wine boasts everything possible in a great vintage, full of warm sun: Rich fruit aromas, hints of apple, pineapple, savory green herbs, bitter quince, and tannic pear skin. It’s fresh and clean, insisting upon another bite of charred octopus, ceviche, whole steamed shrimp, clams, mussels, or white pizza.

Julian Haart Riesling 1,000L 2016

Image result for Julian Haart Riesling 1,000L 2016Mosel, Germany

$20 / $114.00 / $204.00

Here is the best deal in great Mosel riesling we’ve had in some time! It’s not one you need to fuss over laying down in the cellar for two decades. This affordable wine is a lip-smacking example of the newer style wines coming out of the Mosel. More dry than sweet, this fresh and zippy, high-acid wine is still aromatic as riesling can be, but it’s almost electric in the way it dances on the tongue. It’s lively, vibrant, full of lemon fruit, and salty minerals. The perfect marriage between fruit and “minerality”.  Grab a case of the Haart Riesling “1000L” and drink all summer with fondue, fish, pork cutlets with lemon and capers… then save a few bottles for this fall when mushrooms come back around and partner it with cream sauces over chicken and pork. A stunning riesling for a bargain price. Get it!

Easton Zinfandel 2013

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Amador County, California
$19 / $108.30 / $193.80

I’m going to make this personal…..Those of you who know me are thinking, “Wow! Neil is recommending a modern California Zin???” Yes. I am.  When a wine is balanced, it is balanced. And nothing will go better with burgers on the grill, or slow smoked, dry-rubbed ribs this summer than a classical Amador County Zin, one which makes me miss the mid-90s (regardless of what Pearl Jam did to all of us). The press got it right on this one, so here it is:

“With opulent ripe fruit flavors and plenty of tannin and acidity to back them, this is a complete, balanced and appetizing wine. It smells like blackberry with smoky, meaty accents, tastes rich and full of berries, and feels firm and tangy on the palate. It should improve through 2017.”

“A lively Zin, focused and sleek, with floral raspberry and fresh loam aromas. Vibrant flavors agilely balance bright acidity and ripe tannins, plus accents of white pepper and anise. Drink now through 2021. ” 90 points, Wine Spectator

Patton Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir Rose 2016

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Willamette Valley, Oregon
$20 / $114.00 / $204.00

This wine is better (I kid you not) than any single Pinot Noir rose we tasted from Sancerre or anywhere else in the entire world from the hot 2015 vintage. And now, in the 2016 vintage, we see what Oregon is capable of doing when it comes to pink wine made from our beloved local grape. 2016 was warm, even, and stress-free in the vineyard, with fruit reaching optimal rosé ripeness predictably, deliciously, and without fuss. We had balanced temperatures through harvest which helped things along in the cellar at a smooth clip, and we were even able to bend a tentative smile during the whole thing.
The wine leaps aromatically with grapefruit, tangerine, strawberry, cherry, and confection. In the glass, you’ll get orange pith, strawberry, and melon, with a nice broadness across the palate and characteristic acidity. The wine is balanced, fresh, and dry. – winery notes

Violin Oregon Pinot Noir 2014

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Willamette Valley, Oregon
$25 / $142.50 / $255.00

Dark fruit and smokey spice lead to more subtle aromas of herbs and flower petals as the wine opens. A generous attack of juicy dark cherry and Marionberry spreads across the palate with lively acidity. Firm tannins offer noticeable grip as the wine extends toward a long finish, with more spice and savory tones joining the wide array of dense and powerful fruit flavors present throughout. Aged on lees for just over 14 months in a mix of new (20%) and used French Oak barrels.

A blend of four vineyards including: Eola Springs Vineyard on the Western slope of the Eola-Amity Hills (25%), Methven Family Vineyard on the Eastern slope of the Eola-Amity Hills (35%),  First Man Vineyard just Northwest of the town of Gaston in the Coast Range Foothills (25%), and Sunny Mountain Vineyard just South of Monroe in the Southern Willamette Valley between Eugene and Corvallis (15%).