Joel Bouvet Vin Mousseux de Qualit Brut “Cache Cache” NV

Joel Bouvet Cache Cache
Loire, France
$17 /$96.90 / $173.40

Hold the press, and wrap your head around this! Melon de Bourgogne (Muscadet basically), made in the exact style of Champagne. For a third the price of entry level Champagne (head explodes here). Bouvet’s “Chache Cache” is nothing short of ultimately pleasing. Addictingly refreshing with aromatic vibrancy that is crisp and lively. The flavor spectrum ranges from dissolved minerals to citrus rind, with a great mouthfeel thanks to the traditional lees (yeast) contact. This is a spectacular sparkler that can’t be beat for the price. We highly recommend a case or two for all of your spring and summer picnics, cookouts, entertaining, etc. Serve it as an aperitif par excellence, or partner it with seafood platters, fish and chips or a big bucket of fried chicken.

Marques de Legarda Gran Reserva 2005

marques-de-legarda-gran-reserva
Rioja, Spain
$26 / $148.20(6-pk) / $265.20(12-pk)
This is reminiscent of what the Spanish kings of old drank. Regal and rustic, it exhumes notes of raisins, leather and dried cedar. From one of the oldest wineries in Spain, this Rioja Gran Reserva from the Bodegas de la Real Divisa is composed mostly of Tempranillo with small amounts of Graciano and Mazuelo. Their wines are aged mostly in older American oak with smaller amounts in old French oak barrels. This Gran Reserva spends a minimum of 3 years in used American oak barrels. This winery was also the first in Rioja to receive a medal in the Bordeaux competition in 1895. Pair with traditional Rioja fare, like lamp chops and white asparagus or spicy chorizo sausage with potatoes.

La Zorra Rufete “Teso” 2014

teso
Sierra de Salamanca, Spain
$22 / $125.40(6-pk) / $224.40(12-pk)
Bright cherry color with an ashy, floral nose and notes of crunchy red fruits and green tea. This unique Spanish wine is light, youthful and beautifully balanced with a bracing acidity and elegant finish. Salamanca the city is about 2.5 hours northwest of Madrid, and the Sierra de Salamanca wine region is 43 miles further northwest. It’s actually only about 10 miles from the Portugal border, and it’s one of Spain’s newest and smallest appellations. In fact, its wild terrain, granitic soils and rural settings are very similar to Portugal’s Dao region. Although there’s a long history of wine producing here, very little wine is sold outside of the area. 100% Rufete grape. Pair with tapas, cheeses, and grilled meats.

Ezio Terra del Noce Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2012

ezio barbera
Piedmont, Italy
$25 / $142.50(6-pk) / $255.00(12-pk)
No one… period… makes better Barbera than Ezio Trinchero. And Asti is the land of great wines, full of grace, elegance, and acidity which bests it’s neighbor (Alba) when it comes to food pairing in it’s youth. This incredible Barbera by Ezio Trinchero, the “Land of Walnut,” is an unfiltered Barbera d’Asti Superiore which is juicy and rich in fruit, while gaining complexity from a three-year aging period, including wooden barrels and aging in glass. The bouquet is composed of dark ripe fruit and an array of leather, tobacco, menthol and licorice. This beautiful aromatic complexity is also expressed on the palate: soft, persistent and full of personality. Pair with roast chicken and artichokes.

Domaine Ravier Apremont Clos Saint Andre 2015

apremont-cuve-le-clos-saint-andr-135
Savoie, France
$14 / $79.80(6-pk) / $142.80(12-pk)
Made from the regionally indigenous Jacquere grape, this crisp Alpine white is bone-dry, floral, flinty, with nuances of creamed pear and apple on the finish. Bright, refreshing and fun, there’s a reason this kind of wine is popular for apres-skiing consumption. Pair with shellfish, smoked fish, raclette or fondue.

Podere Ruggeri Corsini Langhe Bianco 2015

corsini bianco
Piedmont, Italy
$15 / $85.50(6-pk) / $153.00(12-pk)
Corsini is a small family producer which holds some of the greatest vineyards in the Piedmont of NW Italy. Known for world-renowned Baroli, even their humble wines (like this one) are always hard to beat. Vinified in stainless steel, this proprietary blend of Arneis, Sauvignon, and Chardonnay is as lively as they come. Fresh like Spring growth, aromatic, fruity yet dry. A delightful white aperitivo,this is a crowd pleaser, and at $12.75 a bottle (by the case), you can stock up and drink it all spring and summer long. You’ll be glad you did, and your friends will thank you. As for the rest of winter, partner this wine with squash soups, oysters, shellfish, crustaceans, roasted fish and poultry.

Li Veli “Passamante” Salice Salentino 2014

liveli_passamante
Puglia, Italy
$14 / $79.80(6-pk) / $142.80(12-pk)
Ripe black plums, forest floor berries and warm brown spices, this southern Italian wine possesses a full body, firm acidity and a smooth, lingering finish. The big vineyard of Negroamaro located next to Masseria Li Veli, surrounded by big pine trees, is just beside a forest called “Passamante.” The reason for this name is that in the past, people who wanted to “have a tumble in the hay” with their lover, especially if not allowed, used to pass by this grove. As a consequence, this started to be considered The Forest of Lovers and took on this name from the words “Pass” (to pass) and  “Amante” (lover). While we can’t tell you where or with whom to drink this pleasing Puglian red, but we can tell you you’ll want to buy it by the case-loads. Pair with antipasto and pizza.

Holden Pinot Noir 2014

holden pinot noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon
$24 / $136.80(6-pk) / $244.80(12-pk)
Bright red berries, leather, rose petal, and basil on the nose. Fresh flavors of red currant, pie cherry, cranberry, graphite, black pepper, sandalwood, spice, roast herb and hints of chewy, earthy tannins. Up-and-coming winemakers Sterling Whitted and Michael Garofola continue to push the bounds of Oregon wine working out of the Medici cellar in a beautiful location in the hills north of Newberg. The fruit for this wine comes from two great vineyard sites: Johan and Silvershot (formerly known as Crowely Station) further south near the cool Van Duzer corridor. This Pinot is 40% whole cluster fermentation with native yeast, unfined and unfiltered. Unadulterated and unbelievably tasty and expressive for an under $30 Oregon Pinot Noir. Drink up, as there is a limited amount available!

Elian da Ros Cotes du Marmandais “Le Vignoble d’Elian” 2012

da-ros-vignoble-delian-cotes-du-marmandais_3
Southwest France
$23 / $131.10(6-pk) / $234.60(12-pk)
You’ll not find a higher quality, more authentic and delicious stand-in for right bank Bordeaux. This satellite region employs a touch of Syrah to the regional specialties (Cab Franc and Merlot), and the result is knee-buckling! Rich, old-vine fruit showcases impressions of plums and currants, yet the wine is taught, not overly fleshy, and casts southwestern French notes of tar, game, tobacco, dried rosemary, sage, and thyme. Elian is the cool kid in Marmandais, and this wine will show just why he is one to be paid attention to. Crazy good wine for an insanely low price! Get a half dozen or a case, and drink over the coming 15 years with roasted or barbecued duck, sausages, root veggies, and French cheeses.

Le Sot de l’Ange “Rouge G” 2015

LESOTDELANGEROUGE
Touraine, France
$23 / $131.10(6-pk) / $234.60(12-pk)
Prepare to get geeked out (in a good way) with this lively French number. As wine writer Marissa A. Ross so eloquently puts it, it is like “candied barnyard boysenberry with light plumeria and licorice on the bouquet, like an adult pool in Willy Wonka’s factory.” This plummy, peppery pale red drinks dangerously fast. Winemaker Quentin Bourse took over a friend’s domaine in the Loire Valley and started over with the 2013 vintage. The Domaine was already in great shape, being one of very few in Azay (Touraine, Loire) that is certified biodynamic. Quentin farms a multitude of parcels, some old Grolleau and Chenin grapes that will ultimately be vinified separately, and some younger vines for the “vins de soif” and the “pet-nats.” This featured wine is a Grolleau/Gamay blend that is a light, fresh take on a “pur vin de soif” made without any SO2. Serve slightly chilled for the perfect burger wine.

Domaines Bunan Rose 2015

domaines-bunan-mas-de-la-rouviere-rose-2015
Provence, France
$21 / $119.70(6-pk) / $214.20(12-pk)

March marks the beginning of Rose season! Upon tasting this Rose from Bandol — the Provence appellation in southern Mediterranean France — we immediately had a soft spot for it. A light, salmon pink hue, it has distinct aromas of fresh, exotic fruits. Lasting flavor, full bodied and racy, it’s just as much of a winter Rose as it is a summer one. Fifty years of family tradition are well integrated on two Bunan domains of the Bandol region; with the Moulin des Costes at La Cadière-d’Azur and the Château La Rouvière situated on the hill of Castellet, overlooking the picturesque Provence countryside. Pair with traditional or slightly spiced Provencal dishes, shellfish, smoked salmon and goats cheese.

Herve Villemade Cheverny Blanc 2015

herve-villemade-cheverny-blanc
Loire, France
$19 / $108.30(6-pk) / $193.80(12-pk)

This wine has amazing character and elegance for this mere $19 price tag. A blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc and 30% Chardonnay, this unfiltered wine is only produced in small quantities from vines that are between 18 and 24 years old. It is a fresh, lively wine with stone fruit nuances and a nice balancing acidity. The wine is matured on lees to provide additional complexity. It pairs beautifully with a wide range of foods including seafood, cheeses and white meats.