What to Look For This Month

pietra-santa-cienega-valley-sangiovese-2010In September, The International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series features four special offerings, two of which are from Cienega Valley’s Pietra Santa Vineyards.  This month includes Pietra Santa’s award-winning 2010 Estate Sangiovese, which recently received 91 points from Wine Enthusiast, and the 2014 Pietra Santa Estate Chardonnay, a rare, highly allocated Chardonnay that’s making its first appearance with The International Wine of the Month Club.  For several years, we have been trying to secure enough of Pietra Santa’s elegant Macon-style Chardonnay, and we’ve finally been able to procure just enough to satisfy our membership.  Also on tap this month is the 2014 Valle Secreto Key Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenère.  Bring on the barbecue and light the grill for this tasty blend.  Finally, to round out September’s line-up, we recommend beginning an evening or event with the 2014 Bisci Verdicchio Matelica from the Marche’s finest producer.  It makes a great aperitif and provides the ideal complement to seafood.

Domaine-du-Grand-Tinel-Chateauneuf-du-Pape-NVThis month, The International Wine of the Month’s Collectors Series is proud to offer the 2012 Stolpman Vineyards Ballard Canyon Estate Syrah.  It’s hard to imagine a better Syrah, and its 94 point score from Wine Enthusiast will attest to that fact.  Equally compelling is the 2014 Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko from one of the oldest and most distinctive grape varieties on earth.  The extremely rare, 100% Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko is the finest white wine we have ever tasted from Greece.  Last, but certainly not least, is the 2012 Domaine du Grand Tinel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which scored 91 points from Wine Advocate.  A classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape from an outstanding vintage, Grand Tinel is one of the finest and most consistent producers of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.   Looking ahead to October, we will feature the outstanding, highly allocated 2010 Vinyes del Terrer Nus del Terrer, a profound blend of Garnacha (Grenache) and Cabernet Sauvignon from a tiny vineyard in northern Spain.  This is just one of many exciting, upcoming features.  Enjoy!

What to Look For in August

cru-appellation-series-santa-lucia-highlands-chardonnay-2011In August The International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series features four exceptional offerings, including the 2011 Cru Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay and the just released 2014 Château Eulalie Plaisir d’Eulalie from Minervois.  In past vintages, Madame Coustal’s Plaisir d’Eulalie Minervois from France’s oldest wine producing region has been a perennial favorite with club members.  For the record, Madame Coustal’s 2014 Plaisir already drinks beautifully and looks to be one of her finest Plaisirs to date.  Wine lovers will also want to check out this month’s two Spanish wine offerings, the 2012 Bodegas Ayles Barrica Garnacha and the 2013 Nidia Rueda Verdejo.

yardstick-ruth's-reach-napa-valley-cabernet-sauvignon-2012This month, our Collectors Series members won’t want to miss Nick Goldschmidt’s 2012 Yardstick Ruth’s Reach Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine by which many other Napa Valley Cabernets will be measured.  Yardstick is made by Goldschmidt Vineyards, which produces an elite group of limited release Cabernet Sauvignons from single sites.  It earned it a 90-point rating score and Gold Medal from The Tasting Panel magazine (Anthony Diaz Blue).   The limited, highly allocated 2014 Joseph Chromy Tasmania Chardonnay and the 2013 Nugan Alfredo Dried Grape Shiraz, a special wine akin to the great Amarone wines of Italy’s Veneto, both make their debut with The International Wine of the Month Club in August.

Looking ahead, September promises more outstanding wines, including the 2012 Stolpman Vineyard Ballard Canyon Syrah, 2012 Domaine Grand Tinel Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Greece’s most compelling white wine from the enchanted island of Santorini – the 2014 Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko.  Enjoy!


What to Look For This Summer

mischief_maker_2010The International Wine of the Month Club™’s Premier Series has a great line-up of summertime wines, including the Bodegas Angel Rodriguez Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo 2013, Spain’s quintessential Verdejo, from the legendary Angel Rodriguez, and the Black Pearl Vineyards Mischief Maker Paarl Shiraz 2013 from South Africa’s leading lady of wine, Mary-Lou Nash.  Past vintages have received high member praise and enjoy limited distribution.

In August, the highly allocated 2014 Joseph Chromy Tasmania Chardonnay makes its debut with us in the Collector Series, as does the 2013 Nugan Alfredo Dried Grape Shiraz, a special wine akin the great Amarone wines of Italy’s Veneto.  Yardstick’s 2012 Ruth’s Reach Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will also be an August feature.  The wine’s seductive scents of blackberry, cassis and currant mixed with touches of cedar and smooth vanilla oak have just earned it a 90-point rating score and Gold Medal from The Tasting Panel magazine (Anthony Diaz Blue).


The Best Wines of Southern Italy

Red and White Italian Wines from the Best Grape Varietals

Antonio Caggiano vineyard in Campania, Italy.

Southern Italy is best known for its robust reds, a flavorful family of wines that accompany the region’s traditional pastas that seem inevitably steeped in heady tomato sauces laden with olive oil, garlic, and herbs.  Negromaro, Nero d’Avola and Primitivo are just a few of Southern Italy’s red grape varietals capable of producing big-boned reds to accompany the region’s specialties.

Unfortunately, few Americans have heard of Aglianico, Southern Italy’s most prized red varietal.  Brought by the Greeks to Italy more than 2,500 years ago, Aglianico thrives in the Campania on the hills and spine of mountains inland from Naples and the spectacular beauty of the nearby Amalfi Coast.

The finest Aglianico is known as Taurasi.  Not only is Taurasi the most robust and age-worthy of the wines of Southern Italy, it matures into a velvety potion with exceptional aromatics and deep down complex flavors.  Taurasi ranks with Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, and the finest Super Tuscan reds as Italy’s greatest wines.

Superlative Taurasi emanates from a growing number of exceptional estates, including Antonio Caggiano, Colli di Lapio, Benito Ferrara, Molettieri, and Mastroberardino, the region’s oldest producer of Taurasi.  Although not Taurasi, some very good lighter Aglianico is produced in outlying areas of the Campania.  Cantina del Taburno and Vesevo make tasty medium-bodied Aglianico at an affordable price.

Lest one think red wines are the only prized wines of Southern Italy, the Campania also produces two of Italy’s greatest white wines in Fiano di Avellino and Greco di Tufo.  Both white varietals thrive in the hills and low mountains above the Amalfi Coast and are made by the great producers of Taurasi.  Caggiano, Colli di Lapio and Benito Ferrara consistently fashion exceptional Greco and Fiano.  To my taste, there are no better white wines to accompany the region’s seafood than these.

What to Look For in Southern Italian Wines

Colli di Lapio Taurasi Andrea 2010 and Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino 2013 are wines to look for in our red and white wine June Collector Series. This pair comprises two of the best wines we tasted on a recent trip to southern Italy and are not to be missed.  Both are highly allocated.

Querciola Barbera d’Alba 2012 and Errazuriz Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc 2013 make a formidable duo as our June Primary Premier Series offerings.  Past vintages of Querciola’s Barbera have been some of our most popular red wine offerings, while Errazuriz’s Max Reserva Sauvignon Blanc is making its International Wine of the Month Club™ debut in June.


Enjoy Huge Savings on Four Highly Rated Wines!

Today we’re very excited to bring you another Special Offer on four limited-production wines which recently blew us away at our tasting panels, including one of the finest Châteauneuf-du-Papes we’ve encountered in recent memory, two impressive Pinot Noirs – from the Old World and the New – and a vivacious, stunning Chardonnay from Napa.

Domaine du Grand Tinel Cuvée Alexis Establet Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2012 (France)

Grand Tinel Cuvee Establet 2012Sourced from 100-year-old Grenache vines, the Alexis Establet is regarded as Domaine du Grand Tinel’s best cuvée of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This delicious French wine features crushed flower, menthol, cherry blossom, and white chocolate notes, can be consumed straight away or allowed to age for 10-12 years, and has a 93-point rating from The Wine Advocate. Learn more by visiting domainegrandtinel.com.

Wine Advocate: 93 points. Panel Review: 93 points.

Retail Price: $60.00, Our Price: $35.95. Save 40%!

Jacques Girardin Santenay Clos Rousseau Premier Cru 2012 (France)

jacques-girardin-santenay-clos-rousseau-premier-cru-2012The Jacques Girardin Santenay Clos Rousseau Premier Cru 2012 is a top choice for those who appreciate a quality Pinot Noir from France’s Burgundy region. This rare, limited-production wine was sourced from a 4.75-acre Burgundian vineyard, and is very difficult to find in the U.S. With a 93-point rating from The International Wine of the Month Club’s panel of experts, this wine is recommended for celebrations, parties, and important events. Visit girardin-santenay.com for more information on Jacques Girardin Santenay’s wines.

Panel Review: 93 points. Very limited production: Almost impossible to find outside France.

Retail Price: $40.00, Our Price: $27.95. Save 30%!

Walt Blue Jay Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2012 (California)

Walt-Blue-Jay-Anderson-Valley-Pinot-Noir-2012With 93 points from Wine Enthusiast and 92 points from Pinot Report, the Walt Blue Jay Anderson Valley Pinor Noir 2012 is regarded as a delicious, well-rounded selection that wine enthusiasts around the world will enjoy. Sourced from California vineyards in Anderson Valley, the 2012 Blue Jay Anderson Valley Pinot Noir contains blueberry, lavender, and mineral tones with a rich, fruity flavor and mouthfeel. Visit waltwines.com to learn more about the Blue Jay Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and its other great wines.

Wine Enthusiast: 93 points. Pinot Report: 92 points. Panel Review: 93 points.

Retail Price: $40.00, Our Price: $29.95. Save 25%!

Poseidon Vineyard Estate Grown Carneros Napa Chardonnay 2013 (California)

Poseidon_Vineyard_Estate_Chardonnay_2013Produced by the expert winemakers at Poseidon Vineyard, the 2014 Estate Grown Carneros Chardonnay features lemon oil, apple blossom, and fresh ginger notes, and finishes with green apple, lime, lemon custard, and buttery oak flavors. With a 92-point rating from Wine & Spirits, this Poseidon Vineyard Chardonnay is a good choice for any time throughout the year. Learn more about Poseidon Vineyard by visiting tricyclewine.com.

Wine & Spirits: 92 points. Panel Review: 92 points.

Retail Price: $28.00, Our Price: $23.75. Save 15%!

To order, visit http://www.winemonthclub.com/sale.

Hurry! Sale ends July 1, 2015!