This month's top picks
Wines of the Month
GiÓ Langhe Rosso 1 liter — $13.50
Why postpone pleasure? GiÓ ("already" in Italian) is an alliance of three of Piedmont’s favorite red grapes -- nebbiolo, barbera and dolcetto, blended several months after harvest in order to accentuate their personalities’ youthful freshness. It's silly good, with its oodles of edgy cherry and black raspberry fruit, laced with hints of spice, rose hips and earth. And -- there’s 33 percent more in the bottle to allow a good thing to last just a little bit longer!
Avinyo Cava Reserva Brut — $17.50
This 100 % free run, mÚthode champenoise, painstakingly aged Catalan sparkler is an elegant, expressive beauty that drinks well beyond its modest price. A tautly balanced blend of traditional macabeu, parellada and xarel-lo, it serves up aromas and flavors of perfectly ripe white fruits, with a kiss of lemon and a waft of salt-tinged sea breeze. Creamy, but bright on the palate, it’s perfect with everything from fresh vegetable dishes to oysters to sausages.
Giro Ribot Cava Brut — $12.50
Lovely! Fine bubbles marry with perfectly ripe fruit in a sleek, stylish texture that keeps on singing through the elegant finish.
Coviolo Lambrusco Secco Biologico — $12.75
Why do we love Lambrusco? Because of wines like this. Think black cherries and red fruits, bearing earthy traces of their pits and skins…Think pasta (Bolognese, anyone?), BBQ, antipasti, roasted meats -- and just about any holiday!
Gratien & Meyer Saumur RosÚ Brut — $21
Cabernet franc is especially delicious expressed in bubbles, where its bright red fruit character dances with an amazingly appealing raciness.
From the other side of the world…
The Wolftrap White — $10
A rather unusual assemblage of viognier, chenin blanc and grenache blanc weave harmoniously into an elegant, satisfying texture.
The Wolftrap RosÚ — $10
From the fetching bright pink robe to sassy aromas and flavors of ripe red berries sprinkled with spice, this is a satisfying way to refresh a thirst and accompany salads, shellfish or antipasti.
The Wolftrap Red — $10
Just plain easy to like, this friendly red makes no pretense at great sophistication, but delivers a boatload of plump, ripe dark fruit on a smooth, round palate.
Nanni Torrontes Cafayate Valley — $11.50
Just about as pretty a torrontes as you could ask for. It’s thoroughly in-character, with delicate wafts of rose petals, orange blossoms and cool stones introducing a palate that’s sleek, but offers its floral-accented apricot and citrus fruit with plenty of texture and bright acidity.
Nanni Malbec Cafayate Valley — $11.50
This old school, high-altitude, organically farmed malbec is a sturdy reminder of what real malbec is all about. An intensely fruity nose offers aromas of wild red berries and forest floor, setting the stage for flavors of plums, cherries and cassis presented in a well – structured, robust, grippy style.
Friends from Close to Home
Way Out West "VRM" Viognier-Roussanne-Marsanne — $12.75
Here’s the newest addition to our the WOW family. Roussanne lends a firm, generous texture and bold, hazelnut - tinged flavors. Add viognier’s bright notes of fresh peach and nectarine and finish with marsanne’s notes of lemon and beeswax and you have this lush, but crisp, lively wine.
Way Out West "Roosevelt Red" — $12.75
Like last year’s model, this newest incarnation of "Roosevelt Red" is built on a foundation of Red Mountain merlot. Hints of strawberry and violets yield to notes of black cherry, then chocolate. Cassis and spice join the chorus for a finish packed with black fruits.
Way Out West "Roll On Columbia" Chardonnay — $12.75
Playing on the same bright, fresh riff as the previous vintage, this iteration of “Roll On” is all about aromas of citrus and green apple that evolve to flavors of Fuji apple and lemon on the palate, then finish crisp and clean with subtle creaminess.
Gilbert Cellars "The Pilgrim" — $14
Besides the fact that the name alone makes it a T-Day no-brainer, this is mighty delicious wine. A lively blend of syrah and malbec spent 22 months in neutral oak barrels, to accentuate its generous texture, without upstaging the lovely, bright red berry and blackberry fruit and its spicy overtones.
Gilbert Cellars “The Grower” — $14
Riesling and chardonnay - who woulda thunk? Lovely Washington chardonnay notes of pear and apple with a bright edge of citrus provide a generous framework for brightly focused notes of apricot and citrus to supply the high notes, along with classic hints of minerals and wild brush.
Friends from "over there."
Quattro Mani Montepulciano d’Abruzzo — $10
Why fool around with fourteen hands when you can have wines made by four really good ones? This lovely Montepulciano is pure Abruzzo, beginnning with fresh aromas of currants, strawberries and raspberries that reverberate on the bold, bright, well-balanced palate.
Onta˝on Rioja "Ecologica" blanco — $12
Interesting, intriguing and as unique as its source. Aromas and flavors of bright citrus wrap around a core of cool starfruit and kiwi fruit that pick up a note of exotic spice that's the hallmark of viura. Bright texture, bordering on tanginess robes a luscious core of satisfying, well-balanced fruit.
Onta˝on Rioja “Ecologica” tinto — $12
If you've enjoyed the previous two vintages of this outstanding, organically - farmed Rioja, you’re in for a treat – this is even better still. Bold, dark cherry and black raspberry fruit aromas with a hint of bay leaf and dust invite a sip, then echo on the robust, sturdily structured palate.
GiÓ Langhe Rosso 1 liter — $13.50
Silly good, with its oodles of edgy cherry and black raspberry fruit, laced with hints of spice, rose hips and earth. And -- there’s 33 percent more in the bottle to allow a good thing to last just a little bit longer! Arriving early November
Pratsch Gruner Veltliner 1 liter — $14.50
A pale yellow wine with beautiful aromas of apples, pears and lemons. Bright notes of white pepper, citrus, a slightly herbaceous tint and delightfully cool minerality wrap around an abundant, but crisp texture.
Pratsch Zweigelt 1 liter — $14.50
Pouring a clear ruby red with violet hues, this delightful Zweigelt has a bright bouquet of cherries and cassis. Well-structured, the spicy palate will take you by surprise with its red apple acidity, red currant flavors and hints of black pepper and turmeric.
Gilles Gelin Beaujolais Villages — $13.50
Beaujolais is among the world’s most misunderstood wines, which is truly a shame given the incredible character and outright delicious pleasure they can offer. This one offers an abundance of beguiling, fresh, ripe fruit arrayed in a silky, vibrant structure that’s delicious from the get-go to the lovely finish. Arriving early November
Dupeuble Beaujolais "Primeur" — $17.50
From one of the most respected producers in Beaujolais comes this always eagerly awaited Beaujolais Nouveau. Aromatic, bright and refreshing, this lovely wine pairs happily with poultry and pizza, Christmas ham and New Year's Day Hoppin' John- right on through to summer picnics. It's a carpe diem kind of wine - seize some now and enjoy it. Arriving mid-November
Don't Forget the Beer!
Schooner Exact "Snowpacalypse" 22 oz. — $4.50
Darkness and light. Or vice - versa, you pick. Dark, toasty malt is the onset of dusk on a winter day, while fresh, piney, sprucey hops are a forest blanketed in snow. Or something like that. In any case, this is mighty tasty beer, a super balance of dark malt and the bright evergreen tones of hoppy goodness. A great beer for all sorts of weather -- and perfect for riding out the snowpacalypse -- or waiting for it.
Brasserie Dupont "Avec les Bons Voeux" 750 ml. — $12
Stupendous. One truly needs to drink this beer to grasp the amazing depth, complexity and elegant balance it possesses. By no means a quaffer, this is a beer that needs to be poured and savored to be fully appreciated. Get it while it lasts.
Sierra Nevada Celebration six pack — $8.50
Some things just can’t be duplicated. Crisp late fall days and nights, the amazing, exhilarating aroma of the season’s first fresh hops -- and this always incredible marriage of those bright, piney hops and robust malt.
Thirsty for more?
Get to know PCC Beer and Wine Merchandiser Jeff Cox through Notes from the Cellar, a chronicle of his adventures in and ruminations on wine.
The fine print:
All tasting notes are written by the PCC wine team, except where attributed otherwise — and in those cases, we wholeheartedly agree, and simply couldn't say it any better ourselves.