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Weekend Wine Tastings 

Strange, but Delicious, Italian Grape Varietals with Steven Chevalier of Ideal Wines

Friday, October 17th, 5 to 8pm

Friday night we have one of our favorite hosts and a close personal friend of TSG, Stephen Chevalier. Typically Ideal Wine is a bastion of standard bearing examples of the classic wine regions of France and Italy. For this tasting we have decided to stray from the path of the norm and explore regions, blends and varietals outside many of our comfort zones. It's going to be really interesting, and delicious!

Featured Wines


2013 Colterenzio Müller Thurgau - Alto Adige, Italy
Regularly $15.99, Tasting Price $13.59
In the vein of many of the great whites of the Alto Adige, Colterenzio’s Muller Thurgau is crisp and refreshing with flavors of spicy pear, yellow apple and peach. This wine has a broad mouth feel that does wonders with an array of foods styles, whether it be traditional spaetzle and pork or curry dishes.

2013 Domaine d’Alzipratu Fiumeseccu Blanc - Corse Calvi, Corsica
Regularly $21.99, Tasting Price $18.69
Made entirely from Vermentino from two plots of vines between 15 and 30 years of age. Fermented sur lie and aged for five to eight months before bottling, this wine is fresh, with distinctive floral, apple and almond aromas and flavors, with a nice minerality that would be great for fish roasted in olive oil or fritto misto.


2012 Mas de Gourgonnier Rouge - Les Baux de Provence, France
Regularly $19.99, Tasting Price $16.99
23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Grenache, 18% Syrah and 24% Carignan. This has perfumed aromas of cherry liqueur, leather and pungent oak notes of cinnamon and sandalwood. Lively, penetrating red berry flavors complicated by notes of leather and game. Surprisingly refreshing thanks to a firm spine of acidity. This is a great wine for roasted game or leg of lamb.

2013 Conti di Buscareto Lacrima di Morro d’Alba - Le Marche, Italy
Regularly $16.99, Tasting price $14.44
Lacrima di Morra d’Alba has intense aromas of purple flowers and rose pedals with lovely hints of sweet strawberries. The strawberry flavors continue on the palate along with flavors of blueberry, red fruit punctuated by persistent tannins and notes of fresh black pepper. This is exactly the kind of red to serve with cold meats and cheeses.

2013 Domaine d’Alzipratu Fiumeseccu Rouge - Corse Calvi, Corsica
Regularly $21.99, Tasting Price $18.69
Fiumeseccu Rouge – primarily Niellucciu (Sangiovese), then typically equal smaller parts of Sciacarellu (Mammolo) and Alicante (Grenache). In this wine the French and Italian wine worlds collide with tart cherry core of Sangiovese and the earthy savory French element of Grenache. The flavors of hearty meat dishes would play nicely off the lively acidity and fine tannins this wine.

Wines of South Africa with Dave Saul
Saturday, October 18th, 4 to 7pm

South Africa is a region that has two distinct reputations depending on who you ask. For those of us that are fans, they offer delicious wines in red, white and sparkling, from everyday to truly special. In the other camp, those that remember wines reminiscent of burnt rubber and band aids. For those in the latter group, the days of the state-sponsored poorly made bulk wine are long gone. Saturday night we will have six excellent examples of South African wine.

Featured Wines


2013 Hamilton Russell Southern Right Sauvignon Blanc - Walker Bay
Regularly $16.99, Tasting Price $14.44
Complex, bracing aromas of gooseberry, lemon peel, ginger, white flowers and crushed stone.  Round and juicy, showing moderate flesh but excellent dusty with flavors of citrus fruits, red grapefruit, minerals, fresh herbs and spices. Finishes brisk, with pungently aromatic, slightly tart hints of green tropical fruits and lime. Scallops, shrimp and any crustacean would be a good idea with this wine.

2013 Graham Beck Game Reserve Chenin Blanc - Robertson
Regularly $14.99, Tasting price $12.74
Complex nose and palate meld peach, pineapple, snap pea, dusty brown spices and white tobacco, all lifted by a citrus element.  Dense, ripe, seamless and concentrated, with its light sweetness and touch of oak nicely buffered by harmonious acidity.  A saline, tactile, soil-driven chenin blanc with a honeyed quality on the dry, gripping finish. The combination of acidity and broad mouth feel pairs well with curry squash soup.

2013 Badenhorst Secatuers Chenin Blanc - Swartzland
Regularly $15.99, Tasting Price $13.59
Peachy fruit salad and spice aromas are enlivened by grapefruit pith. Rich and silky, with a slightly sweet impression nicely countered by harmonious acidity. Round and fairly full in the mouth and finishes nicely dry, with hints of ripe stone fruits and quince. Olive poached sole or herb roasted chicken is always great with Chenin Blanc.


2012 Baden Secatuers Red Blend - Swartland
Regularly $15.99, Tasting Price $13.59
Musky strawberry and candied raspberry aromas are complemented by spices, minerals, plus a smoky, saline quality.  Suave and seamless in the mouth, with smoky minerality giving shape to the almost liqueur-like red berry and saline flavors. Finishes silky and long, with dusty tannins and lingering sweetness. Distinctly Old World, this wine is great with roasted duck.

2012 Graham Beck Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon - Robertson
Regularly $18.99, Tasting Price $16.14
Spicy, expressive aromas and flavors of plum, mocha and cola. Not particularly complex but shows good shape and energy, with a lightly medicinal aspect to the middle palate. Finishes with broad, dusty tannins and a hint of sweet vanilla. Big, rich cabs deserve a huge, juicy steak.


NV Graham Beck Brut - Robertson/Stellenbosch
Regularly$17.99, Tasting Price $15.29
Pale, copper-tinged gold. Tangerine, spicy oak and a hint of exotic fruits on the nose. Fruity and harmonious, with a yeasty complexity adding depth to the fairly dense, harmonious middle palate. No shortage of flavor here. My favorite food with sparkling wine, believe it or not, is popcorn.


Bordeaux Tasting with Master Brand's Andrew Craighead
Thursday, October 23rd, 6 to 8pm

Featured Wines

2011 Chateau Val de Roc Bordeaux Superior
Regularly $24.99, Tasting Price $21.24
Chateau Val de Roc offers this sumptuous blend of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. Opaque black plum in the glass, this wine casts aromas of black raspberries, black plums, wood smoke and violets. The wine conveys the dense, chewy tannins of the vintage buffered by a deep core of black currant, plum and blackberry fruit. 

2002 Chateau Lanessan - Haut Medoc
Regularly $32.99, Tasting Price $28.04
Lanessan's 2002 is a consistent overachiever in Haut-Medoc. Blackcurrant, violet, ink and licorice aromas on the enticing nose.  At once minerally and lush, combining richness with energy in the way of the better wines from this difficult vintage.  Lovely cinnamon-spiked red berry flavors linger nicely on the smooth finish.

2001 Chateau Barde-Haut - St Emilion Grand Cru
Regularly$61.99, Tasting Price $52.69
Saturated medium ruby. Black raspberry, coffee liqueur and sexy oak on the nose. Less pliant and expressive today than the 2002 and 2003 but firmly built and stuffed with berry, spice and mineral flavors. Finishes firmly tannic and long.

2005 Chateau Clerc Milon - Pauillac
Regularly $114.99, Tasting Price $97.74
Superripe, almost syrupy aromas of cassis, licorice, graphite and coffee. Full, seamless and sweet, with a ripeness verging on exotic; but this is fat with fruit. An outsized Clerc-Milon with a relatively high 13.2% alcohol but also very good energy in the mouth. Finishes with terrific breadth and substantial ripe tannins.

2008 Chateau Monbrison - Margaux
Regularly $51.99, Tasting Price $44.19
Lovely aromatic nose combines floral, herbal and red fruit aromas. Juicy and sweet but also firmly built, with a sneaky concentration to the pure, enticing red cherry, plum and menthol flavors. Finishes moderately long, with a solid tannic spine and good mineral tang.

2009 Chateau de Fieuzal - Pessac-Leognan
Regularly $59.99, Tasting Price $50.99
Ripe, enticing aromas and flavors of blackcurrant, black raspberry, tobacco and graphite sexed up by an exotic suggestion of honeysuckle. Lush and silky on entry, then deeply fruity and spicy in the middle, with harmonious acidity giving shape to the fruit.  Impressively dense for Fieuzal:  this seriously rich yet vibrant 2009 finishes with serious but fully ripe tannins, excellent length and the structure to age.