Vintage Rosé Sale!
These wines still taste great — fresh, fruity & delicious, but we have to make room for our next shipment of rosé arriving later this spring. So… all you rosé fans, here’s your big chance. All of our 2013 vintage rosés are 25% OFF the bottle INSIDER price. No need to buy a case!
Domaine La Bessonne 2013 Rosé (Côteaux Varois en Provence, France)
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF $11.25
Tasting notes- Rosé of Grenache, Cinsault — subtle cherry and raspberry, white flowers
La Colline aux Princes 2013 Rosé (Sancerre, France)
Reg $27.99 | INSIDER $26.99 | 25% OFF $20.25
Tasting notes- Rosé of Pinot Noir — whispers of raspberry, blackberry & black cherry layered with minerals, acidity and freshness.
Tenuta San Leone 2013 Bardolino Chiaretto (Veneto, Italy)
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF $11.25
Tasting notes- Rosé of Molina, Corvina, Rodinello– bright extracted cherries, almonds and warm earth
Domaine Rivière 2013 Minervois Rosé (Languedoc, France)
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $12.99 | 25% OFF $9.74
Tasting notes- Cherry, red raspberry, white pepper and hillside herbs
Domaine Barbanau 2013 L’Instance Rosé (Provence, France)
Reg $22.99 | INSIDER $19.99 | 25% off $14.99
Tasting notes- Rosé of Grenache/ Syrah — Baked cherries with peach notes
Domaine Frégate 2013 Bandol Rosé (Provence, France)
Reg $29.99 | 25% OFF $22.50
Tasting notes- Rosé of Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault — Plum meats with herbs, cooked cherries and raspberries
Pelassa 2013 Lot Rosé (Piedmont, Italy)
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $18.99 | 25% OFF $14.24
Tasting notes- Rosé of Nebbiolo — Minerality, stones, cherry, violets
La Caprice d’Ines 2013 Anjou Rosé (Loire Valley, France)
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $12.99 | 25% OFF $10.49
Tasting notes- Rosé of Grolleau/Gamay — blue raspberry, tart cherry, currants
Tenuta Montecchiesi 2013 Selverello Rosé (Tuscany, Italy)
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF $11.25
Tasting notes- Rosé of Sangiovese, Summer bottled cherries with happiness sun bursts.
Known as leaf eaters, partially because the soil is so fertile and abundant, Campania is home to fresh vegetable dishes and street food- specifically pizza! The cuisine is also seafood based and famous for dessert! Gelato!! PIZZA NAPOLETANA (Campania) Pair with Falanghina
Peperoncino, pork, and pasta- well, maybe not that simple! However, wheat and meat are prime, as is walnuts, spice and cheese. GUANCIALE (“bacon”) pasta (Basilicata) Pair with Aglianico!
The boot’s heel of Italy, Apulia (Puglia) is rolling gentle hills with grazing livestock. Cuisine is seafood, soups, stews, rice and uniquely shaped pasta, like orecchiette.
ORECCHIETTE “little ears” with broccoli (Puglia) Pair with Negroamaro or Chardonnay
Hearty vegetables, porcini, beans, citrus, figs and seafood!! Pastas are made in fun and funky shapes too. Can’t miss this: SWORDFISH WITH CAPERS AND LEMON (Calabria) Pair with a fresh Greco!
Sicily is heavily influenced by Greek and Arab cuisine. Blood oranges and nuts are also very common. As with most of Italy, pasta reigns supreme. Here is a classic:
PASTA ALLA NORMA (Sicily) Pair with Nero d’Avola
Most cuisine is roasted over open spits in Sardegna. An island off the Mediterranean coast of Italy, they love pasta of all styles, meats and above all- seafood!
DUMPLINGS WITH TUNA AND BOTTARGA (Sardegna) Pair with a fresh Vermintino
Emilia Romagna, as many other Italian, is known internationally for its cured meats and aged cheeses. As a region, its cuisine specialties is pasta and though I could have chosen several, Ravioli won. PUMPKIN RAVIOLI (CAPPELLACCI) (Emilia Romagna) Pair this dish specifically with Lambrusco, though a Pignoletto would be just as delightful
Local focus, simplicity and elegance with dramatic flavors- that’s Tuscany. I was blessed to work for a local Chef who immersed himself into Tuscan cuisine from the early start of his career as well as lived in Volterra with his wife, Michelle. His wild boar dish is internationally known, as well as his been soup. So I leave this delight here: WILD BOAR WITH BEANS (Tuscany) Pair with a killer Super Tuscan and call a cab.
Rustic, local and meat driven, Umbria is known for stews, truffles, prochetta, chestnuts and pasta. Also the source of most of Italy’s dried pasta and olive oil export. TAGLIATELLE WITH TRUFFLES (Umbria) — Pair with Sagrantino
In Marche, similar to Liguria, you are at the sea. But the Adriatic sea and in a very hot climate! Another region of meat cuisine- fresh and local or cured, featured, however the seafood stews are the prize. FISH SOUP WITH SOFT ASCOLANE OLIVES (Le Marche) Pair with Verdicchio
Lazio is the home of Rome. Sophistication, elegance and a plethera of meats, fresh seafood, pasta and starchy dishes. Salt cod, mussels, fresh lamb and gnocchi are all staples. Yet this is Lazio at its roots: BUCATINI WITH AMATRICIANA SAUCE (Lazio) Pair with Cesanese or Canialolo
Mountainous and seaside Adriatic, Abruzzo focus is hearty, simplicity and spices! Saffron is common. Clever cuisine such as cheese and egg meatballs >> Yum!
CACIO E UOVA “Lamb with cheese and egg” (Abruzzo) Pair with Montepulciano
Rustic, hand made and fresh, Molise cuisine is not dissimilar to Abruzzi- partialy because they were one region until the 1970’s! One can not ignore this popular dish, found on the coast in any central or southern Italian region.
SPAGHETTI WITH FRESH ANCHOVIES (Molise) Pair with Sangiovese
The north west corner of Italy is Valle d’Aosta. Influences for Valle d’Aosta, a very mountainous area at the base of the Alps, would be Alsace and Germany more so than on would think. CABBAGE FLAN (Valle d’Aosta) Pair with the local Nebbilo (aka Picotendro)
Trentino Alto Adige was greatly impacted by the German occupation with a solid portion of their cuisine, language and wine varietals germanic. RADICCHIO WITH SPECK (Trentino Alto Adige) Pair with local Vernatsch or Lagrein
Friuli, bordering on Slovenia is greatly impacted by its eastern neighbors with meat driven stews, breads and soups. FRICO with asparagus tips and quail eggs (Friuli). Pair with Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC white
Where does one start with Piedmont cuisine? It is so diverse- truffles, salumi, rissotto, pastas, seafood, squash blossom, meats. It seems endless. Perhaps that is why the anitpasti was designed! AGNOLOTTI (Piedmont) Start with Roero Arneis, then pair with a Nebbilo– your choice which style.
Directly on the Mediterranean Sea we find Liguira, where everything is simple and fresh. No wonder that is the birth home of pesto! TRENETTE WITH PESTO (Liguria) Obviously, you can’t miss out on Cinque Terra.
In the center of Northern Italy, one finds Lombardy- a melting pot of Northern Italian cuisine and culture and of course, Milan. A cornucopia of delights- but this one is the most traditional: RISSOTO ALLA MILANESE (Lombardy) Pair with Franciacorta, of course.
Veneto in comparison to Lombardy and Piedmont- takes the cake for diversity through cultures. On the Adratic sea, and centuries of battles and wars, Veneto’s cuisine reflects generations just as much as the varietals grown in each region. Rice reigns over pasta! However a very classic Veneto dish would be PASTA E FAGIOI (Veneto) — Enjoy with a Soave or if you need a red- Bardolino or Valpolicella Classico.
The Mâconnais — Where Chardonnay Reigns
Chablis (in the North of Burgundy) and the Mâconnais region (in the South) are the major producers of white wines. The style of Chardonnay from the two sub-regions, however, is vastly different. Though typically unoaked, the Chardonnay from Mâconnais is warm, ripe and full bodied. The Mâconnais transforms the rolling hills of Chalonnaise into rocky soils and structures.
Mâcon AOP is allowed to produce white, rosé and red wines. Chardonnays tend to be herbaceous at times (fennel, pine, lemon verbena) with full warm apple and quince fruits. Reds allow Gamay which imparts extracted blackberry, pepper, game.
Further south, we find the Village AOPs: Pouilly-Fuissé, Pouilly-Loché, Pouilly-Vinzelles, Saint-Véran, and Viré-Clessé. All five produce only Chardonnay. The soils in these locations are layered with limestone and the rocky structures of the Solutré and Vergisson which lends to heating the vines and adding fossil corals.
- Pouilly-Fuissé – Minerals, lemon citrus, hazelnut and brioche.
- Pouilly-Loché – Peach, warm ripe pears, floral notes and silky texture.
- Pouilly-Vinzelles – Peaches, apricots and grapefruit and with age: almond, hazelnut, honey, quince and toast
- Saint-Véran – Similar however plumper body, warmer fruit components
- Viré-Cless – Lively, fresh with notes of lemon balm, white peach, verbena
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier
Manager, Portalis Wine Shop
Note: Thank you to Wine Folly for allowing the public use of their wine maps!
South of Côte d’Or, we find the Côte Chalonnaise nestled between the Dheune and Grosne Valleys. It extends south, opening to softer landscapes layered with soils with more sand and flinty clay. The rift valley known as the Bresse Trench has limestone slopes in the North and the granitic block formation at Bissey in the South. As we move further south, we begin to find diversity in varietals, such as Pinot Gris and Aligoté.
Bouzeron is the first commune with the production of Aligoté, a white blending varietal which expresses warm Braeburn apples, white flowers with a medium body and pleasing citrus acid finish. Rully produces both Classic Burgundian red and white wines. The Chardonnay age impeccably with rich fullness, expressive fruit (such as quince) and floral tones. The Pinot Noir has cooked cherries, chewy tannins and suggestive notes of licorice and vineyard flowers. It was also the 19th-century birthplace of sparkling wines in Burgundy, and the center of Crémant de Bourgogne AOP. Mercurey is similar to Rully however the reds tend to be a bit more herbaceous, and the whites have a touch more spice. Mercurey’s output alone accounts for roughly two-thirds of the entire Côte Chalonnaise. Givry‘s reds are structured, with gamey notes underlying the blackberries and cherries. The whites have more lemon citrus infused with white floral nuances. Montagny is 100% Chardonnay. These whites are elegant, floral, flinty at times with ripe pear and white peach notes.
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier
Manager, Portalis Wine Shop
Traveling southeast of Chablis, we enter the Côte d’Or (the Golden Slope) which encompasses Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. These two sub-regions hold Burgundy’s most prestigious vineyards. When a vineyard is outside of the designated Côte, then it is labeled by its larger region. Though similar in style, the government does not designate the vineyard to be the same quality as those within the designated “Côte” regions. If you are looking for outstanding wine with value, this is your yellow brick road.
The entire Côte d’Or is made up of layers of diverse limestone and marl combinations. The northern Côte de Nuits has more limestone. The only villages producing white (Chardonnay or Aligoté) are Marsannay, Fixin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Vougeot and Nuits-Saint-Georges.
Here’s an overview of the subregions’ Pinot Noir. Whites noted when applicable:
- Gevrey-Chambertin are the most structured, masculine and intense wines of the region.
- Chambolle-Musigny is all about elegance, structure and beauty. Venus rules here.
- Morey-Saint-Denis is the ying and the yang. Similar to both Gevery-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny.
- Nuits-Saint-Georges likens to Gevrey-Chambertin in intensity; however, it needs a touch of time and an appreciation of barnyard components.
- Vougeot is very similar to Musigny, Chambolle-Musigny Les Amoureuses with more rustic truffle and underbrush notes. Whites are filled with white floral notes, rich tropical fruit (mango) yet a graceful mineral depth and acidity.
- Vosne-Romanée is full and voluptuous, prominent brandied cherries and hedonistic leather and game balance.
- Marsannay is a mouthful of bright morello cherries, strawberries and currants with gentle and firm structure. Whites are full-bodied with bright citrus and minerality. Rosé production is allowed. Anticipate ripe peaches.
- Fixin is much more rustic and masculine than Marsannay but with a similar bright fruit composition. Whites follow the suit of Marsannay as well.
Côte de Beaune can be a bit of a turn around. Just south of Côte de Nuit, one finds the large sub-reigon that encompasses not only the commune of Côte de Beaune, but the town Beaune (and its AOC), and of course, Côte de Beaune-Villages… Deep breath! Simplified: The famous city of (1) Beaune is surrounded by amazing vineyards, which are the (2) Beaune AOC. The entire area is known as the (3) Côte de Beaune (also coined Haute Côte de Beaune which we will use from here on out as it simplifies an otherwise confusing map.) Then the larger region, the (4) Côte de Beaune-Villages, encompasses the several communes (villages), which we will now discuss:
The Côte de Beaune-Villages has slopes that are gentler and hillsides that are more varied with several styles of colored limestone and soils that greatly impact the styles of wines. Overall, the communes in the north produce elegant, floral, expressive reds with simpler fruit flavors, whereas the communes in the south exert dark fruit, supple earth (mushroom, humus), and distinctive tannins.
The northern end of the Côte de Beaune is home to the three AOC communes which have the only Grand Cru vineyards in Côte de Beaune and five Première Cru vineyards. The three AOC communes are Pernand-Vergelesses, Ladoix-Serrigny, and Aloxe-Corton. The latter hosts the Grand Cru Vineyard Corton and Corton-Charlemagne. Corton Charlemagne produces only white wines. The hill of Corton is where the landscape of Beaune transitions from Côte de Nuit. It softens with rounded valleys. Two small communes live on the outskirts of the hill of Corton: Savigny-lès-Beaune and Chorey-lès-Beaune. The latter only produces red and is typically known for easy drinking entry level Burgundy. Savigny-les-Beaune does produce some well-structured and value driven reds and whites.
Beaune vs Haute Côte de Beaune. Haute in French translates to high. The vineyards of the Côte de Beaune are situated higher with more limestone and marl. Like its close neighbor, the reds are bright and rich in color and fruit; the texture is firm and captivating. Seductive. The whites are vivacious, refreshing yet round and supple.
Here are the Côte de Beaune communes with associated styles:
- Pommard and Volnay are reserved for red wines, with Pommard generally showing a harder-edged, tannic structure in contrast to Volnay’s softer fragrance and charm. Pommard is usually the most full-bodied red wine of the Côte de Beaune.
- Monthélie lies between Volnay and Mersault. It produces whites similar to Mersault, with a touch more citrus and reds similar to Volnay yet more rustic in herbs and earth.
- Saint-Romain begins expressing more dark imposing fruits and subtle smokey qualities in its reds, whereas the whites are light, citrus and mellow.
- Auxey-Duresses lends to leathery qualities with age in its reds and whites have a toasted bread and almond undertone.
- Saint Aubin‘s whites are exquisite- almonds and orange-flower with texture. The reds ares silky with currants, bright fruits and occasional spice.
The cluster of villages well-exposed for whites are Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet.
- Meursault is known for having the highest quality with decadent richness, almond and hazelnuts and golden ripeness.
- Puligny-Montrachet whites are leaner, yet still rich. They have less oak, brighter acidity and more tree fruit expression.
- Chassagne-Montrachet whites fall within the spectrum of Meursault and Puligny-Montrachet. The reds are explosive and hedonistic.
The furthest communes to the south in Côte de Beaune-Villages would be Santenay and Maranges. These wines are expressive and seductive. Maranges produces both white and red and leans a bit more youthful than Santennay. Its whites are round and soft, poetic with floral and honey notes; whereas the reds are layered not just with bright fruits (raspberries and currants) but spice- licorice and black pepper. Santenay‘s whites are creamy and rich, almost begging for rich dishes. The reds pair excellently with meat-driven dishes as the earthy, dark cherry combination balances the notable tannins.
Jaci Kajfas, Sommelier
Manager, Portalis Wine Shop