2013 Paradigm Merlot Rosé Oakville – Time to Celebrate Spring!

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paradigm merlot roseIt’s the first day of Spring – and the 2013 Paradigm Merlot Rosé Oakville is the perfect wine to open and usher in the spirit of rebirth. Founded in 1976 by Marilyn and Ren Harris, Paradigm Vineyards in Oakville initially supplied grapes for Napa’s finest wineries. Finally, in 1991, they began their own Paradigm label, and had the ‘smarts’ to appoint Heidi Peterson Barrett as winemaker, who remains in charge today. Although Paradigm’s enviable reputation is based on its excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot program, we worked hard to finesse a significant allocation of the winery’s elusive Merlot Rosé to offer you this spring. The combination of exceptional fruit (note: 2013 is shaping up to be one of the all-time great Napa Valley vintages) and Heidi’s talented hand have combined to deliver as sophisticated a dry rosé as one can imagine.

Winery notes: “The 2013 Rosé is a beautiful, clear salmon pink color with aromas of strawberry, spring flowers and a light citrus note. Similar flavors carry this refreshing bright, crisp wine. A medium to light body makes this easy to love wine enjoyable as an aperitif or at any time. The finish is round and clean.”

2013 Paradigm Merlot Rosé Oakville – Sale Price $27.99 – Buy Here

97+ Point 2012 Amon-Ra Shiraz – From one of the greatest vintages of Barossa Valley

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The 97+ Point 2012 Amon-Ra Shiraz is in stock at Wally’s!  2012 will go down as one of the greatest vintages ever for the Barossa Valley, so there’s little surprise that the 2012 Amon-Ra, the quintessential, sought-after Aussie Shiraz, just earned a 97+ point score in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Ben Glaetzer, the star winemaker behind this project, sources all his fruit from the Ebenezer district of the Northern Barossa Valley. For those who aren’t familiar, this is the district for high-end Shiraz. Many of Amon-Ra’s 80-130 year old vines have been painstakingly trained to a trellis system, to ensure their grapes reach full potential. The 2012 Amon-Ra is literally and metaphorically a glass-stainer— with an explosive trifecta of aroma, taste and finish, it leaves a lasting impression on anyone who drinks it. Unfortunately, the weather that contributed to such historic wines was also responsible for lower yields, making a blue chip value like this well worth the price of admission. Sale pricing — $30 off per bottle — lasts for one week only.

amon ra“Very deep purple-black in color, the 2012 Amon Ra reveals intense notes of blackcurrant cordial, blackberry compote and licorice with nuances of cloves, allspice, chocolate box and salami as well as a whiff of espresso. The 100% Shiraz palate offers a beast of a wine that is densely packed with black fruit and baking spice flavors and is supported with firm, grainy tannins and crisp acid through to a finish with excellent persistence. Drink it 2015 to 2025+.” 97+ Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 

Winemakers Notes: “The key to 2012 Amon-Ra Shiraz is balancing the fruit and tannin extraction, rather than maximising it. The fruit has such expression that we aim to preserve the characteristics of the vineyard rather than dominate them. Darkly concentrated and rich yet maintaining poise and freshness, the 2012 Amon-Ra displays masses of dark fruit and spice on the nose and an alluring depth and structure on the palate. Notes of black liquorice, blackcurrant and dark cherry lead into firm, finely grained tannin and impressive length. A wine destined to impress and reward with long term cellaring. Cellaring potential 20 years.”

2012 Amon-Ra Shiraz by Ben Glaetzer – Sale Price $89.99 – Buy Here

2011 Viticcio “Bere” Toscana IGT – a 90 Point “Gorgeous” Tuscan Red For Under $12

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3 18 bereThe stunning, family-owned Fattoria Viticcio Estate in Tuscany is located in Greve, at the very heart of Chianti Classico. Under second-generation winemaker Alessandro Landini, its wines have become world-class, with critical praise on both sides of the pond. (That said, it was hard for us to even get them— as exporting is tightly controlled and these wines are only available in a handful of states.) The just-released 2011 Bere Toscana IGT is indicative of everything that has made this 90 point wine a “super Tuscan Value”: respect for the land (organic, biodynamically farmed fruit) and a deft hand at blending (the 50% Sangiovese, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot.) Or as some would say, old-school meets new-school. We would not flinch if we tasted this at a restaurant for $30 or $40, for our e-club $11.99 pricing, it’s one to buy by the case!

“A wine that fills your mouth with currants and berries. Full body, velvety tannins and a firm finish. This is balanced, fresh and fruity. Made from 50% sangiovese, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 25% merlot. Super Tuscan value. Delicious now and will get even better with some age” 90 Points, James Suckling

“Viticcio’s 2011 Bere is a gorgeous, fruity wine bursting with dark red berries, flowers and sweet spices. Readers looking for an affordable, quaffable red will find a lot to admire in a wine that is all about racy opulence. The blend is 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a great showing for the Bere.” Antonio Galloni

2011 Viticcio “Bere” Toscana IGT – Sale Price $ 11.99 – Buy Here

New specials at Wally’s from Bedrock Wine Co.!

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New specials at Wally’s from Bedrock Wine Co.! Founded in a 550 square foot converted chicken coop in 2007, Bedrock Wine Co. has parlayed its strong connections with growers, superior vineyard knowledge and diehard convictions to go from “one-to-watch” into a Parker-certified “must-have.” Among Twain-Peterson’s objectives for Bedrock: “To channel the fruit of ancient vines into powerful, elegant, and distinctly Californian wines, to spread the gospel of Syrah in California by sourcing fruit from great terroirs throughout the North Coast and to dream big but keep production low!” Hence only 750 cases were produced of the 2012 North Coast Syrah, a wine with a 91-94 point score range (yes, this one is still growing) from Mr. Parker, and a price tag south of $30. And for nearly half that price, we urge you to try Bedrock’s Shebang! Cuvée, an old-vine compilation of California’s heritage sites.

Morgan Twain-Peterson, the son of Ravenswood’s Joel Peterson, has hit the wine scene with a bang, producing vibrant, personality-filled, delicious wines from extremely old vines… Many of these sites are heritage terroirs from the ancient past which, until Peterson’s arrival, were largely ignored or were co-mingled into some innocuous industrial blend. Bedrock’s portfolio is filled with exciting wines.” Robert Parker

 

bedrock2012 Bedrock Syrah North Coast – Sale Price $27.99 – Buy Here

“The 2012 Syrah North Coast is a multi-appellation blend from five separate vineyards that utilized 40% stems and 15% new French oak. It is a delicious, sexy, up-front Syrah meant for near-term consumption. With impressive levels of blackberry and acacia flower notes intermixed with licorice and charcoal, this wine should drink well for 5-7 years.” 91-94 points, Robert Parker

 

 

bedrock shebangBedrock Shebang! Cuvee VII – Sale Price $14.99 – Buy Here

Winery notes: “Long on deliciousness and short on pretense, Shebang! is vinified with the same care and love as the Bedrock labels. Only native yeast fermentations are employed, and a dose of good French Oak rounds things out. This new Cuvee VII is predominantly Zinfandel and Grenache, with a dollop of Alicante Bouche, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese, the majority of which comes from old vines.”

 

 

New Cheese, Salsa, Chip Specials at Wally’s Cheese Box

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Last weekend Wally’s Wine and Spirits as well as Wally’s Cheese Box made an appearance at LA Weekly’s yearly “LA Essentials” food and wine event. Over 2,500 food and wine lovers were in attendance this year at LA Mart in downtown Los Angeles. It was great to see some familiar customers of the Cheese Box as well as introduce many people to our one stop foodie shop. Cheese was eaten, wine was imbibed, and hey, what really could be better!

Follow this link to the Wally’s blog entry to learn more about Wally’s involvement at the 2013 LA Essentials event.

Since we’re on the topic of the Wally’s blog, click here if you missed the entry about our very own Bradley Watkins’ participation in the Cheesemonger Invitational in San Francisco.

 

3 14 amiAmi du ChambertinOn Sale For: $17.99Buy Here

A soft cow’s milk cheese from Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, France. This creamy, rich and delicious cheese has a rind washed with Brandy for slightly pungent flavors. The cheese ages from the outside in, which leaves a smooth creamy texture just under the rind, with a slightly denser center. As the cheese ages, the flavors develop, bringing out tastes of yeast and a mild earthiness.

 

3 14 clair2009 Bruno Clair Gevrey Chambertin 1er cru Les Cazatiers  – $149.99 – Buy Here

What better way to enjoy this cheese than with a bottle of wine made exactly where the cheese is produced? Our favorite Gevrey Chambertin is Bruno Clair’s Les Cazetiers 1er Cru. Clair’s Cazetiers, a reference point for traditionally made burgundy, is characterized by very low acidity amply compensated by complex tannins of a surprising richness.

 

 

 

Heidi’s Salsa’s – After growing up in a Mexican family surrounded by food, Heidi of Heidi’s Salsas began re-creating some of the salsa recipes that she grew up enjoying. Soon her friends and coworkers were demanding more and more. In 2009 Heidi entered her salsa and won first place in the 30th Anniversary of Los Angeles Farmers Markets salsa contest. We are excited to be carrying her salsas here at the Cheese Box. Made without any corn based preservatives or vinegars, these salsas are the real deal.

Heidi’s Salsa will be in the Cheese Box sampling and talking about their products on Saturday, March 15th from 1pm-4pm.

3 14 heidis chupHeidi’s Salsa Chupacabra’s Revenge Hot!On Sale For: $5.99Buy Here

Can you say ouch? If you are the kind of heat lover that likes to forget what it’s like to taste, then this is your salsa. For Chupacabra’s Revenge, Heidi uses the same fresh ingredients chopped and prepared that you find in the Original, but then takes the heat to extreme heights.

 

 

3 14 heidiHeidi’s Salsa Original Mild – On Sale For: $5.99Buy Here

This Mild Salsa is for those that want to get that fresh taste of tomato and cilantro without the hot burning a spicier salsa will carry. The use of lime juice adds an extra element of freshness that will bring you back chip by chip.

 

 

 

3 14 xoXochitl Blue Corn Chips – On Sale For: $5.99Buy Here

Hand made with Stone Ground Corn and prepared using authentic ancient Aztec methods. Xochitl grinds the kernels of corn with water to create a dough called Nixtamal. This dough is flattened and then oven baked and quickly passed through hot Non Hydrogenated Oil to create their thin and crispy chip.

 

 

 

 

Gridley’s Rare 2009 Napa Cabernet Franc Now Available

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gridleyThe wonderful 2009 Gridley Cabernet Franc is now in stock at Wally’s. Few of the 185 precious cases produced of this Cabernet Franc will ever make it beyond the winery’s mailing list and California’s top restaurants. (Sommeliers love to impress their clientele by recommending this gem.)

With this, their sixth vintage, owners Andy Gridley and Susan Durbrow now incorporate fruit from the prized Kenefick vineyard in Calistoga. All the grapes are meticulously sorted, checked and even destemmed by hand, making for the kind of pampered wine that would be impossible to produce in large batches. Andy and Susan are convinced that this new 2009 is the best they have yet made. And they will get no argument from us. It is truly delicious!

At $39.99, this superb Napa Valley Cabernet Franc is seriously underpriced. Savvy wine buyers should definitely take advantage of our one-week-only introductory E-Club special pricing offer.

Notes from Andy & Susan: “The 2009 vintage showcases one of our more unique vintages with a dark, brooding character complemented by ripe fruit aspects. The juxtaposed aromas include blueberry, smoked meats, cranberry, lingonberry and a subtle floral layer of anise. Oak notes of cumin, cedar and toffee with a touch of cinnamon add to the complexity. On the palate, the wine drinks of rich plum and boysenberry flavors with silky/chalky tannins and a finish of raspberry pie. While we sung the praises of our 2008 vintage, we recently decided to choose this wine as the favorite of all our vintages. We believe the wine displays the elegance, femininity, and best attributes of Napa Valley Cabernet Franc. The wine truly evolves in the glass, so open it up and splash it into a decanter, then enjoy it as it continues to evolve in your glass. Enjoy!”

2009 Gridley Cabernet Franc Sale Price $34.99  Buy Here

Achaval-Ferrer Tasting at Wally’s – Thursday, March 13

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achavalWally’s is thrilled to host Eclio Dumon, who has been the US Brand Ambassador for Achaval Ferrer Winery since 2011, for this unique opportunity to taste the magnificent wines of Argentina’s Achaval-Ferrer, on Thursday, March 13, from 6 – 7:30 pm.

“Achaval-Ferrer, under the direction of CEO Santiago Achaval and winemaker Roberto Cipresso, stands at the summit of Argentina wine producers”. – Robert Parker

Located in Mendoza, Argentina, and founded in 1998, Achaval-Ferrer is widely considered to be one of Argentina’s top producers – producing impeccable single vineyard Malbecs capable of being cellared up to 25 years or more. They also produce a Cabernet Sauvignon from two vineyards – one dating back to 1890.  They are also recognized as one of the Top 100 Wineries in the World by Wine & Spirits.

Here is a little taste of company history, straight from their website: “In 1998, a group of Italian and Argentinian friends joined forces to realize a then extremely ambitious dream – the creation of world class Argentinian wine.
From the outset, the aim of Achaval-Ferrer was not only to produce exceptional quality but also to remain faithful to the wines’ origins. This is fundamental to the company’s philosophy which echoes the ideals of all of our major principals in that the vineyard is seen as fundamental, the very essence of the finished wine. The importance of this is too often belittled by emphasis on winemaking skills alone – not here, although Roberto Cipresso as winemaker is a phenomenal asset.”

To be poured:

2012 Achaval Ferrer Malbec, 91 pts, WS
2012 Achaval Ferrer Cabernet Sauvignon
2009 Achaval Ferrer Quimera, 93 pts RP, 90 pts ST
2007 Achaval Ferrer Bella Vista, 96 pts RP, 95 pts WS, 93 pts ST
2008 Achaval Ferrer Bella Vista, 98 pts RP, 93 pts WS, 92 pts ST
2005 Achaval Ferrer Mirador, 94 pts RP, 93 pts WS, 92 pts ST
2011 Achaval Ferrer Altamira, 96 pts WS

Don’t miss this exceptional event! Buy Here.

Register for Wally’s March Live Auction in NYC!

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auction march 2014Wally’s Auctions and Crush Wine and Spirits welcome you to explore the majestic Burgundy offered in The March Auction. From mature bottlings such as Bonnes Mares Roumier 1978 (Lot 359) and Richebourg Jean Gros 1978 (Lot 361), both hailing from the same French collection, to the powerhouse Corton Charlemagne J.F. Coche Dury 2001 (Lot 318), to an unprecedented array of rising stars of Burgundy direct from the cellars of Domaine Fourrier, Domaine Duroche, Domaine Hudelot-Neollat and Domaine Anne et Herve Sigaut (Lots 478-502), the March Auction has the bottles necessary to round out any collection.

The March Auction will take place on Friday, March 28 at three-star Michelin Restaurant DANIEL in New York City, beginning at 10:00AM ET. Chef Daniel Boulud will prepare a sumptuous auction luncheon for registered bidders from 12:00PM to 2:30PM, and Wally’s welcomes guests to bring wines to enjoy throughout the auction and with DANIEL’s seasonal cuisine, with no additional corkage or service charges.

Lunch is $75 per person, for registered bidders only. Advance reservations are recommended, as guests will be seated on a first come, first served basis at Wally’s discretion.

For more information, to RSVP for the auction or to request a catalog, please visit www.wallysauctions.com, email auction@wallywine.com or call 1-800-277-0387.

The ‘Other Wine’ From Piedmont: 99-Point, Under $30 2012 Montalbera Ruche Laccento

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ruche99 points, and under $30! The 2012 Montalbera Ruche Laccento is a wine that you won’t find often. Made from old vines of Piedmont’s forgotten grape, Ruche, after one sip you’ll wonder why you’ve never heard of it before. (We don’t blame you— this wine’s a rarity even among the in-the-know.) We only heard of it when the 2012 Laccento scored a 99-point rating from top Italian critic Luca Maroni. And are we glad we did. Sublimely original, this wine features a show-stopping bouquet, flavors and a mouthfeel you won’t soon forget. 

 

“Sensations: pure juice, new juice, juice that is aroma, that runs violet into the glass, untouched, pure, clothed in a perfume that from wild fruit and flower pollen offers the sweetest olfactory frequencies. The heights of fragrance, essence of the grape, and floral fruitiness that truly and rarely sound so crystalline, bathed to such an edible extent in such marvelous purple. An array of perfume in which raspberry and strawberry are at their maximum level of intensity with geranium and rose whose petals, just opened, still exhibit their primal aroma. A taste in which there are only the harmonious and vivid suppleness of its native grape. A prime material of absolute concentration and power, a majestic, sumptuous vehicle for its sensory and compositional quality. One of the most marvelously perfumed wines of Italy, in a version among the most consistent, balanced and integral ever. The person who experiences this diadem of fragrance—strawberry-like and resounding—will retain the memory of a wine representing the height of feeling and nature radiating in an aroma ethereal and profound.” 99 Points, Luca Maroni

2012 Montalbera Ruche Laccento – Sale Price $26.99 Buy Here

2011 Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes from Nicolas Potel

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The 2011 Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes from Nicolas Potel is here and on sale!

potelNicolas Potel’s latest project is called Maison Roche de Bellene, and in little time it has achieved his goal of being the only ‘Haute Couture’ négociant in Burgundy. The house’s stylish wines are a one of a kind experience, if you can find them.

We’ve just received the 93-point 2011 Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes, and it’s a stunning villages offering. With quality (and praise) ratcheting up with each new release, demand for these hard-to-get wines is fierce. Our advice: stock up as much as you can.

“This is a project of Burgundy’s famous Nicolas Potel and releases wines from some of the region’s greatest vineyards. This more humble Bourgogne is a cracker, with a beautiful, creamy, complex structure and wonderful freshness throughout. Great value for money.” 93 points, Decanter

They say great grapes come from a struggling, persistent vine. Fittingly, Burgundy’s youthful mastermind Nicolas Potel has also seen his share of struggle, chronicled extensively in publications like the Wine Spectator. In a nutshell, Nicolas created a négociant firm in his own name in 1997 following the sudden death of his famed winemaker father, Gérard Potel of Domaine de la Pousse d’Or. Maison Nicolas Potel became a huge success, but in 2009 he was fired by his partners. Starting from scratch yet again, this time as full-fledged vigneron in addition to négociant, Potel put his family’s old techniques to work, from vineyard to bottle. The project is Roche de Bellene, and it should be on everyone’s Burgundy short list.

2011 Roche de Bellene Bourgogne Blanc Vieilles Vignes Sale Price $21.99 Buy Here