Holiday Gift Picks // 2018

This year Jon, Julie & Jens are picking the wines they’d like to get this holiday season. Here they are with a little tidbit as to why:

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JENS:  There are a lot of wines that I would happily drink this holiday season, but these would be top of my list:

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This wine is a splurge, but it’s without a doubt the best wine I’ve tasted in the last several years. We originally got 24 bottles in from France in August. We have 15 left:
Philippe Charlopin 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin Cuvée Vieilles Vignes
Burgundy, France // Reg $139.99 | Mixed Case $111.99

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Weingut Seehof 2016 Riesling

Rhein-Hessen, Germany // Reg $21.99 | Mixed Case $17.59
Easy drinking, great food wine. Citrus, stone fruits, chamomile, terrific acidity. What a great combo. Great price, too!

Scopone 2012 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
Tuscany, Italy // Reg $52.99 | Mixed Case $42.39
Great value for small production Brunello. Ready to open & drink.

Bethel Heights 2015 Estate Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon // Reg $36.99 | Mixed Case $29.59
Family-owned. Low-key. Old vines. Fuller-bodied, smokey notes, lush red & black cherries.

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Lubanzi 2017 Chenin Blanc
Swartland, South Africa //  Reg $18.99 | Mixed Case $15.19
80% Old Vines. Both fresh & complex. “Sliced November figs, ripe nectarine and freshly peeled satsumas. In the background is the hint of rosemary.” Round and fleshy in the middle. Creamy on the finish. A big yes!!

Bodegas Langa 2016 Frenesi Red Blend
Calatayud | Aragon, Spain // Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79
A certified organic blend of Merlot, Garnacha, Cab and Shiraz. Darker fruit flavors, with a minerally character & spicy overtones (vanilla, cinnamon, pepper, clove). Silky tannins on the finish. This wine can run with the big boys!

Abeja 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Columbia Valley, WA // Reg $59.99 | Mixed Case $47.99
Pretty much every year I list this wine as my pick from WA State. That’s because I think it’s the best one out there… still.

Holidays 2018_paper_10_pointsettas_JULIE
JULIE:  Here’s my list. Hope you enjoy:

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Franchetto 2015 Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 

Veneto, Italy // Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19
This wine sold out so quickly last year, that I hardly got to enjoy it. Thus the wish… Cured cherries, black pepper, spices, bodacious summer fruit (blackberries, cherries). Lush. Delicious.

Kevin White 2016 Fraternité
Yakima Valley, Washington // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
I’m a Southern Rhône girl, and so this Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah blend has a lot of appeal. Medium-bodied, good red fruit (“strawberries, raspberries, kirsch, violets, spice”). Smooth. Great with food, but not necessary.

Château des Eyssards 2016 Cuvée Prestige Sec
Bergerac, France // Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59
Beautiful winter white blend. Jasmine & ripe stone fruits on the nose. A full, richer style with spicy notes on the finish from the Muscadelle which adds a lovely complexity & character to the traditional blend of Sauvignon Blanc & Sémillon.

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Bodegas Maset 2016 Mas Viló
Priorat, Spain // Reg $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Elegant, complex red blend of Garnacha and Mazuelo (Carignan) from old vine vineyards outside of Barcelona. Ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas with soft minerals and a touch of balsamic with fine tannins on the finish. Wonderful food wine.

Penner-Ash 2015 Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon // Reg $53.99 | Mixed Case $43.19
Big, full-bodied Oregon Pinot. Ripe summer plums, figs, black cherry & baking spice. Not for the faint of heart.

I have many other delicious wines tagged in the shop… Pomerol, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bandol Rouge, Ruchè from Monferrato in Italy’s Piedmont, Merlot from WA State, Cab Franc Crémant from the Loire Valley & more. Stop by!

Holidays 2018_paper_10_pointsettas_JON
JON:  I’d be happy with any of these wines on my table this season:

Ridge 2016 Lytton Springs 
Sonoma, California // Reg $49.99 | Mixed Case $39.99
Blend of Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Carignan & Mourvedre. Winemaker’s notes say it all: “Jammy raspberry fruit with pepper, mint and sweet toasted oak. Brambly fruit on the palate, sensuous, well defined tannins and balanced acidity.”

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W.T. Vintners 2014 Mourvèdre

Yakima Valley, Washington // Reg $52.99 | Mixed Case $42.39
I think WA State Mourvèdre is nice, rich, full-bodied red for the holidays – “pure plum, red fruit, game, black pepper, fresh green herbs, cranberry”. 70 cases produced.

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Pavese Ermes 2016 Blanc De Morgex et de La Salle

Vallee D’Aoste, Italy // Reg $36.99 | Mixed Case $29.59
100% Prié Blanc (indigenous grape, certified organic) from the highest vineyard site in the world. Amazing minerality.

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Southern Right 2017 Pinotage

Walker Bay, South Africa // Reg $31.99 | Mixed Case $25.59
Named after the Southern Right whales that swim off the coast of the vineyards. Pinotage is full of rich fruit and smokey, bacony flavors. This would be a great gift for someone who loves big reds but hasn’t yet branched out to South Africa.

Elderton 2014 Estate Shiraz
Barossa Valley, Australia // Reg $25.99 | Mixed Case $20.79
Huge wine. Black forest fruits, mocha & chocolate with a distinctive note of dried herbs. Great gift for someone who likes to tuck wine away for a few years.

Burgum Novum 2013 Lagrein Riserva
Alto Adige, Italy // Reg $46.99 | 25% OFF SALE = $35.24 (no volume discount)
Aged 15 months in French oak. Chocolate, coffee, vanilla & violets on the nose. Flavors of dark berry, plums with soft tannins.

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Nottola 2011 Anterivo Toscana Rosso
Tuscany, Italy // Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79
50/50 blend of Prugnolo Gentile & Merlot. Bold, extracted rich black cherries, black berries with complex tannins. A hedonistic Super Tuscan.

Alvear 1927 PX Solera (375ml)
Montilla-Morilles, Spain // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
98 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate — ” The NV Pedro Ximenez Solera 1927 is non-vintage, but does have some 1927 material in it. This is totally dark brown/amber with notes of figs, toffee, caramel syrup, molasses and coffee. It is dense, super sweet, intense, rich and an amazingly, unctuously textured, thick beverage to consume slowly and introspectively after a meal. Drink now through 2050, or even longer.” (RP)

And the list goes on…. Check out our tasting schedule> as we’ll have fancy wines open throughout December to taste. It’s the benefit of shopping with your local wine merchant — our wines are hand-selected with you in mind. Hope to see you soon to help you with your holiday wine needs!

The Portalis Team
Jon, Jens & Julie


Turkey Dinner in 4 Wine Lessons

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Art Credit: Ryan Kirby, “Double Date”

It’s not the bird as much as what we eat with it (sweet potatoes & heaven-forbid marshmallows, cranberry sauce, fruit salad, etc.) that causes the wine challenges with a turkey dinner. Many of these sweet & salty combos can make wines taste tart. Here’s your down & dirty guide to a wine that tastes great with a traditional turkey dinner:

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Photo credit: Darrin Ballman Photography // Bodegas Langa Cava

#1 — Bubbles
Well-made sparkling wine always has good acidity, and acidity is an asset when a food is salty (imagine an anchovy on top of an hors d’oeuvre), sweet (tastes great with chocolate or dessert or sweet dishes such as sweet potato soufflée), and rich foods (cuts through the fat of a cream puff or foie gras or pork rillettes). It can be rosé or white, and any style of sparkling will work with a traditional Thanksgiving dinner: Champagne, Crémant, Prosecco, Cava and more! We recommend:

Pascal Ponson NV Champagne 1er Cru Brut
Champagne, France // Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79

Philippe Deval NV Crémant de Loire Rosé

Loire, Italy // Reg $23.99 | Mixed Case $19.19

La Farra Prosecco Superiore Brut

Veneto, Italy // Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59

Bodegas Langa Cava Reyes de Aragon Brut Nature

Calatayud, Spain // Reg $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39

Bruno Zanasi Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro

Emilia Romagna, Italy // Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79

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Photo Credit: Wines of Alsace // Alsatian Riesling

#2 — Round Whites
This style of white is fuller-bodied with nice fruit (not too dry), some acidity for balance but not highly acidic like a Sauvignon Blanc, and key — little to no oak! Round whites can can also be off-dry, meaning that they have a slight sweetness in the middle, off-set by good acidity. This type of wine pairs well with spicy foods (especially ethnic foods such as Thai or Mexican), foods with some sweetness (it’s Thanksgiving, so I’ll return to sweet potatoes!) and rich food (a fuller-body, fuller-flavored wine can balance a richer food). Examples of varietals that fit into this group are: Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Sémillon, Kerner, Viogner, Chardonnay (stainless steel aged or with less oak), and many more! We recommend:

Lobo Hills Dry Riesling
Yakima Valley, Washington // Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19

Illahe Estate Grüner Veltliner
Willamette Valley, Oregon — Reg $19.99 | Mixed Case $15.99

Domaine Moltès Pinot Gris Tradition

Alsace, France // Reg $21.99 | Wine of the Month = 25% OFF = $16.49

Weingut Castelfeder Kerner

Vigneti della Dolomiti, Italy // Reg $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39

Domaine Haut de Mourier Viognier

Languedoc, France) // Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79

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Photo Credit: Loire Valley Wines

#3 — Rosé

Rosé has never meet a food it doesn’t like. FULL STOP. We recommend:

Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé
Provence, France // Reg $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99

Ozilhan Côtes du Rhône Rosé

Southern Rhône, France // Reg $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.19

And although this wine is not technically a rosé (which is made from red grapes), it sure acts like one! Made from Pinot Grigio which has been left to ferment for a longer-period with its grey skins:

Santa Clerissa Pinot Grigio Ramato
Veneto, Italy // Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99


#4 — Juicy Reds
Reds are where this meal can be especially tricky because tannic wines go sour with a sweet food and reds that are too big overpower the bird. Juicy reds can be described as lighter or medium in style with good fruit, good acidity, but NOT too tannic! Varietals that fit the bill are: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Grenache, Schiava, Zweitgelt, Zinfandel & more. We recommend:

J. Christopher Volcanique Pinot Noir
Willamette Valley, Oregon//  $32.99 | Mixed Case $26.39

Orr Grenache
Columbia Valley, Washington // Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19

Bodegas Maset Monastrell
(aka Mourvedre)
Catalunya, Spain // Reg $14.99 | Mixed Case $14.39

Weingut Prechtl Reserve Red
(Zweigelt/Blaufränkisch/St. Laurent)
Weinviertel, Austria // Reg $19.99 | Mixed Case $15.99

Le Plan des Moines 2016 Les Charretons Châteauneuf du Pape 

Southern Rhône, France // Reg $54.99| Mixed Case $43.99

Don’t want to think about it this much? Stop in & we’ll get you set up!

Happy Thanksgiving,
Julie + Jens
Owners, Portalis Wines