Annual Spring Vintage Sale!

Spring Vintage Sale 2018_squarex9
25% OFF on selected rosé & more!!
It’s that time of year… We have 3 containers arriving in the next 2 months (via J. Strecker Selections, our local direct import company), and we need shelf space! You lucky dogs!! Sale wines include:

ROSÉ
Château du Grand Caumont Corbières Rosé 2016
Reg $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Réserve de Générac Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2016
Reg $13.99 | 25% OFF = $10.49


SPARKLING
Bruno Zanasi Lambrusco Secco
Reg $17.99 | 25% OFF = $13.49


WHITES
Château de la Bigotière Muscadet 2016
Reg $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Château du Grand Caumont Blanc 2015
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $11.99 | 25% OFF = $8.99
Domaine des Herbauges Muscadet Sur Lie 2014
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | 25% OFF = $10.49
Secret de Berticot Côtes de Duras Blanc 2015
Reg $13.99 | 25% OFF = $10.49
Casa Setaro Campanelle Falanghina 2013
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
La Farra Pinot Grigio Colli Trevigiani 2015
Reg $14.99 | 25% OFF = $ 11.24
Santa Lucia Brigante Vermentino 2014
Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $12.99 | 25% OFF = $9.74
Vinchio & Vaglio Serra “Il Griso” Roero Arneis 2012
Reg $21.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Alves de Sousa Vale da Raposa Branco 2016
Reg $15.99 | 25% OFF = $11.99
Bodegas Langa Chardonnay 2016 (organic)
Reg $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
As Laxas Outon Albariño 2014
Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Weingut Prechtl Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Reg $18.99 | INSIDER $17.99 | 25% OFF = $13.49


REDS
Chevalier Clerget Beaujolais-Villages Rouge 2014
Reg $23.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Domaine Moulin d’Eole Coteaux du Pont du Gard 2014
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | 25% OFF = $10.49
Domaine Jacky Marteau Touraine Gamay 2014
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
La Fleur Chazal Bordeaux Rouge 2013
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Weingut Castelfeder Breitbacher Vernatsch 2014
Reg $17.99 | INSIDER $16.99 | 25% OFF = $12.74
Casa Setaro Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio Piedrosso 2013
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
La Togata Barengo Toscana Rosso 2014
Reg $23.99 | 25% OFF = $17.99
San Cassiano Corte Guala Valpolicella Classico 2013
Reg $18.99 | INSIDER $15.99 | 25% OFF = $11.99
Scopone Rosso di Montalcino 2013
Reg $23.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
5 Oros Vendimia Seleccionada Rioja 2015
Reg $14.99 | 25% OFF = $11.24
Bodegas Rauda Ribera del Duero Roble 2012
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | 25% OFF = $10.49
Zuazo Gaston G7 Rioja Tempranillo 2014
Reg $12.99 | INSIDER $9.99 | 25% OFF = $7.49
Wish Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $ 11.24
Wish Wine Co. Red Blend
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | 25% OFF = $ 11.24

Sale runs through April 2018! As we run out of stock, we’ll change the selection around to keep things fresh. Please note: Volume discounts don’t apply to the sale wines.Cheers,
Julie & Jens
Owners, Portalis Wines

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March is Taste Washington Wine Month

And in honor of the great work coming out of WA State, we are doing a series on
WA winemakers! (All WA wine are 10% off the bottle price thru March!!) Starting with…

Isenhower_Brett in the vineyards_v2

Both pharmacists, Brett & Denise moved from Colorado to WA State in 1998, following their dream to make wine. Many crushes, winery & tasting room constructions, good and bad vintages, and 3 daughters later… they are still at it! Enjoying long-term contracts with growers in the NW, they use traditional winemaking methods to craft the wines including punchdowns, foot stomping, saignée, native yeast fermentation, barrel stirring, and sur lie aging. Their goal: each wine should be “unique, age worthy, and delicious.” Current production is 4000 cases.

Try: Isenhower Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley, Washington)

Bartholomew_ Bart with grapes
Bart Fawbush | Bartholomew Winery – Seattle | Kennewick, WA
“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” from Hippocrates which loosely translates from Latin to mean: Life is short, the art (craft/skill) long. Bart Fawbush grew up in Ogden, Utah, did his undergraduate at Gonzaga, was headed for med school when he took a turn, eventually becoming a winemaker. Like most, he’s obsessed with his craft. Why? Wine tastes like the earth that it comes from, giving us a “sense of place and history. Each craftsman (winemaker) gets to put a final touch and interpretation on it before bringing it to market. It’s like a song writer that takes two years to write every verse, fine tune, and create a story.” 2000-2500 cases produced.

Try: Bartholomew 2014 Carmenere (Red Mountain)

Abeja_David Wampfler & Amy Alvarez-Wampfler
David Wampfler & Amy Alvarez-Wampfler | Abeja | Walla Walla, WA
In 2015, David and his wife, Amy, took over as team winemakers at Abeja. David came via Columbia Crest (part of the 2002 team that crafted the 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that earned No. 1 wine in the world in 2009 by Wine Spectator magazine) and Dunham Cellars where he was head winemaker starting in 2008. Amy also worked at Columbia Crest and then took over as head winemaker at Sinclair Estates. They took over for husband/wife winemaking team, John Abbott & Molly Galt.

Try: Abeja 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)

Tranche_Andrew Trio with dogs
Andrew Trio | Tranche Cellars | Walla Walla, WA A native of Perth, Australia, Andrew Trio began his winemaking career in the nearby Margaret River region. He studied oenology at the University of Adelaide and then worked multiple crushes per year around the world (New Zealand, California, the Mosel and Barossa) before landing at Tranche in Walla Walla, saying: “It seemed like a most interesting place to make an impact in a young and fast-moving wine industry.” Tranche is the second label for Corliss, producing 2 lines: a Rhône series & Single Varietal series.

Try: Tranche 2013 Sangiovese (Walla Walla Valley, WA)

Guardian Cellars_Jerry with baby_square
Jerry Riener | Guardian Cellars | Woodinville, WA
Cop/Winemaker! A San Francisco native, Jerry grew up working summers on his uncles’ farms in Kansas & Nebraska. He has a degree in organic chemistry and is a graduate of the police academy. At 23, his love affair with wine began, and he volunteered 40-plus hours a week at several wineries (Mark Ryan Winery, Matthews Winery, Baer Winery) learning the trade. In 2007, he opened his tasting room in Woodinville (with his wife Jennifer) and all 350 cases (a mix of Gun Metal, Syrah & Cab) sold out by EOD. Today, Jerry is still a cop by day, winemaker by night producing 16 different wines (with his team) and just over 10,000 cases.

Try: Guardian 2014 The Alibi (Red Mountain, WA)

Kevin White Winery_Kevin White
Kevin White | Kevin White Winery | Woodinville, WA
Computer scientist by day, winemaker by night. The Rhône Valley is owner/winemaker Kevin White’s inspiration. Syrah, Grenache & Mourvedre grown in the cooler climate and higher elevation vineyards in the Yakima Valley produce wine with the depth and the delicateness required to beautifully accompany food. It’s been a pretty fast rise for Kevin. He became obsessed with wine in 2006 after a taste of one of WA’s finest wines (bottle not disclosed!!), studied intensively over the next years, and produced his first vintage in 2012. Lots of acclaim followed (Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 wines, Seattle Magazine’s “Winemaker to Watch” & more). Current production is 1500 cases.

Stay tuned for more!
And again:  All WA wines = 10% OFF the bottle price thru the end of March!

 

Food+Wine: Simple, Fresh, Good & EASY

Jamie Oliver_5 Ingredients_ginger shakin beef_square
That’s our theme for the new year, and we’re using Jamie Oliver’s new book: 5 Ingredients for inspiration. Back story: We got our 16-year old a cookbook for Christmas. She enjoys food, is an adventurous eater …can’t scramble an egg! Had fun at Book Larder: A Community Cookbook Store getting suggestions for an engaging, yummy, EASY cookbook to inspire a teen. Landed on Jamie Oliver’s new: 5 Ingredients. I don’t know if she’ll learn to cook, but she’ll get lots of good meals out of it for sure, because I’m hooked! We’ll use these simple, fresh, good & EASY recipes at Portalis for some 2018 wine pairing ideas, starting with:

5 Ingredients_Sizzling Seared Scallops
Sizzling Seared Scallops — Pair with Bodages Langa Chardonnay (Catalayud, Spain) — organic, lightly oaked, delicious.

5 Ingredients_Epic Rib-Eye Steak
Epic Rib-eye Steak — Pair with (splurge) Chateau des Gravières Graves (Bordeaux, France) or (bargain) 1851 Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)

Scrambled Egg Omelette — How very French! Pair with (splurge) Chevalliers Chablis (Burgundy, France) or Ozilhan Réservé Blanc (Southern Rhône, France)

Thai Red Chicken Soup — It’s spicy, so enjoy with a round white that will calm the fire: Domaine Moltes Tradition Riesling (Alsace, France) or Domaine Haut de Mourier Viognier (Languedoc, France) or Weingut Prechtl Alte Reben Grüner Veltliner (Weinviertel, Austria).

5 Ingredients_Easy Sausage Carbonara
Easy Sausage Carbonara — Sausage calls for Chianti from Colli Senesi, full of blue fruits and perfect for sausage flavors. We recommend: Nottola Chianti Colli Senesi or Andreucci Chianti Colli Senesi. Both would be outstanding!

Crab & Fennel Spaghetti — Enjoy seafood meals with world-class fish wine like Albariño (we recommned: Outon Albariño from Spain’s Rias Baixas) or a light red with some licorice undertones. We recommend Palazzo Malgara Negroamaro from Salento, Italy’s heel of boot. Seafood is a staple in this part of the world, and this wine would pair beautifully!

Roast Tikka Chicken — Curry flavors call for an off-dry white, a juicy red, or bubbly! Looking for something festive? Go with Bodegas Maset del Lleo Cava Reserve from vineyards outside of Barcelona.

5 Ingredients_Pork and Mash Gratin
Pork & Mash Gratin — A little spice from the Muscadelle in this French white blend would be terrific: Chateau des Eyssards Sec (Bergerac, France) or a lighter red with lean pork. Try: Weingut Castelfeder Vernatsch (Alto Adige, Italy)

Ginger Shakin’ Beef — It’s beef, but it’s got some sweetness with the honey. Don’t go too tannic! A Pinot Noir would be great. Splurge with Chelan Cellars Pinot Noir (Lake Chelan, WA). Go thrifty with Louise Dubois 1885 Pinot Noir (Languedoc, France).

Have fun! More to come…
Julie

Wine Tour of Southern Italy

Wine Folly_Italy_cropped to Southern Italy_croppedAre you ready for an adventure? It’s a new year- time to expand the horizons! Southern Italy hosts beautiful, lesser-known varietals (and regions) at reasonable prices (on both accounts). From the Amalfi Coast to the “heel” of the boot to the bounties of Sicily, Southern Italy has so much to offer with wine, cuisine, culture and travel.

Mt Vesuvius_v3_sciencehowstuffworkscom
photo credit: science.howstuffworks.com

Southern Italy does not include Central Italy. Southern Italy begins at Campania and Puglia as the demographics change with Mt. Vesuvius (pictured above) and the impact of the Ionic sea and Amalfi coast. Gorgeous. One of the most dynamic and most beautiful aspects to Southern Italy is embracing that it is greatly influenced by the migrations that occurred through Greece (Rome) and the Arab eras. The cuisine, the culture, the cultivation of wine- everything began here- THEN migrated north.

Differences in cuisine begin with sardines, oil, beans, cured meats, livestock and the curing of dishes. It’s all in the transport. The southern tip has a mild Mediterranean climate which is excellent for vacation and travel; however, the land is supposedly infertile and best for wine, livestock and creativity. Why else would I pick it? Here are a few top picks for my dream adventures for 2018:

Casa Setaro_Massimo cutting grapes_FULL

Campania– A region perhaps more noted for art, culture, history, and cuisine …but the wine! If only I could eat pizza in Naples! But, rumor has it they make an amazing rabbit dish and some beautiful fish dishes. If I could get my hands on Massimo’s rosato again, we would enjoy that with colatura di alici. But as many of you know, my go to is that killer Aglianico! Massimo makes other classic wines from Campania, including the white wine Falanghina, known for flavors of citrus minerality combines with fleshy tree fruits and the lesser-known Peidrosso, more like Pinot Noir, just more dirt! [Note: Massimo Setaro (pictured above) is the owner/winemaker at Casa Setaro . We hosted him for a wonderful tasting at Portalis in 2017.]

Casa Setaro_vesuvius gravel
This is the Vesuvial gravel that makes up the dirt in Massimo’s vineyards.

Casa Setaro Falanghina
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99
Casa Setaro Piedrosso
Reg $19.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99

Wine Folly_Puglia

Puglia– the “heel” of Italy’s boot. Nothing could be farther from the truth when you discover the quality, diversity, the amazing cuisine and the gorgeous coastline. Salice Salento is a sub-region within Puglia that offers native plump bombastic Negroamaro or the killer Rosso that you can blind test with your Chianti Classico besties to see if they know the difference. It is not Sangiovese! It’s Malvisa Nero. And that is just a subregion. Puglia, and Southern Italy, are known for Primitivo. A varietal that has been dna proven to be related Crljenak Kasteljanski from Croatia to Zinfandel (grown in California). Puglia is HOT with Mediterranean influences… why would it not be just as killer as California if not better?

Puglia_nuvomagazinecom
Photo credit: nuvomagazine.com

Palazza Malgara Negroamaro
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.19
Palazza Malgara Primitivo
Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79
Palazza Malgara Rosso del Salento
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.19

2013-05-10 10.43.35

Sicily– The give and take of war, culture, struggle, life and wine… wait, not just Sicily? Truth, most wine regions are filled with this dynamic. Sicily is an island constantly in the midst of cultural transition. Most know Sicily for Marsala or the Italian Mafia… times change and Sicily has embraced change. The late ’90’s brought infrastructure to embrace clean winemaking techniques. Grillo, the base for Marsala, is clean, rich and refreshing. Excellent with sea bass, poultry, and rich cheeses. Inzolia, a classic native, is a bright ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. The fruits are freshing yet warm- ripe apples, soft melon, with subtle citrus. Nerello Macalese– a light bodied, hedonistic leather bomb with the abilty to convert lovers of old school Burgundy to try something new. It iss unique and worth the adventure. And many of you know my favorite Boulliabaise pairing- Nero d’Avola– not a light weight contender, nor is that dish.

2013-05-10 14.17.12
Vineyards at the Planeta estate, Sicily

Palazza Malgara Grillo
Reg $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.19
Palazza Malgara Inzolia
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.19
Palazza Malgara Nerello Mascalese
Reg $15.99 | INSIDER $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99
Palazza Malgara Nero d’Avola
Reg $14.99 | INSIDER $13.99 | Mixed Case $11.19

As with any region- culture, history, cuisine and transition- all go hand in hand to tell a vivacious story. This one is not to be ignored, and on top of that it’s affordable- for now.

I may not make it to Italy this year, but I will definitely be in Seattle soon.

Cheers!
Jaci

https://www.tripsavvy.com/the-geography-of-italy-4020744

Holiday Picks — 2017!

Here they are… Our favorite wines for this holiday season:

About_Jens_gina's party_square_v2
JENS, owner and wine buyer for Portalis Wines and J. Strecker Selections, its direct import company, has been at this in Seattle since 2003! A native German, he is oriented towards the Old World, but he can easily be distracted by well-crafted wines from the New World:

Franchetto 2011 Lessini Durello Spumante Riserva
VENETO, ITALY — Reg $52.99 | Mixed $42.39
We can understand why this would be Jaci’s pick to exit- bubbles, well executed. Toasted notes with ripe apples, chamomile, broom, dried apricots and hints of citrus. Stellar.

Domaine Chevallier 2015 Chablis
BURGUNDY, FRANCE — Reg $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
100% unoaked Chardonnay! This award-winner has white flowers and warm golden apples on the nose. Subtle flavors of tropical fruits- pineapple and guava with hints of almond. Nice acidity and minerality & a beautiful lingering finish!

Château des Roques 2013 Vacqueyras
SOUTHERN RHONE, FRANCE — Reg $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Mourvedre, Grenache & Syrah — full of concentrated black fruits, plum, with delightful lingering spicy notes. Enjoy with duck or lamb. Beautiful wine, beautiful bottle! We’ve been importing this wine since our first container in 2011 & it never disappoints!

Franchetto 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
VENETO, ITALY — Reg $59.99 | Mixed Case $47.99
Viva Giulia Franchetto! This up-and-coming woman winemaker is kicking it! This is her first vintage for her Valpolicella line. Take note! Strong bouquet of brandied cherries. Full-bodied flavors of spiced plums, licorice. Smooth tannins. Can drink now up to 10 years!

La Togata 2012 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
TUSCANY, ITALY — Reg $64.99 | Mixed Case $51.99
The King of Tuscan wines! Made from old vine Sangiovese Grosso. Intense fruity bouquet of cassis, red berries, leather & licorice (which is a little unusual). Full-bodied, well-balanced, good acidity, smooth tannins, elegant. LONG finish. Age up to 15 years.

Zuazo Gaston 2010 Finca Costanillas
RIOJA, SPAIN — Reg $35.99 | Mixed Case $28.79
When old world meets new, or they just fall in love. This wine is a layered experience of brandied cherries, summer cherries, vanilla, spice, soft tannins and perhaps some secrets.

Patricia Green 2015 Pinot Noir Reserve 
WILLAMETTE, ORGEON — Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19
A powerful wine. Expressive cran-cherry-raspberries balanced with wood smoke, spice and terroir. Great price for an outstanding wine!

Elderton 2014 Estate Shiraz
BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA — Reg $25.99 | Mixed Case $20.79
Hedonist black fruits with vanilla bean. What more do you want? Well, how about a bit more spice and chocolate. An easy crowd pleaser.

W.T. Vintners 2013 Les Collines Syrah
WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON — Reg $49.99 | Mixed Case $39.99
Why wouldn’t you want a Washington wine crafted as an Old World Northern Rhone– olives, hedonistic cherries, spice, and stories. Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen is the winemaker, and I like his work a lot! Great WA gift wine for the season.

Weingut Prechtl 2016 Grüner Veltliner Eiswein
WEINVIERTEL, AUSTRIA — Reg $24.99 | Mixed Case $19.99
Refreshing sweetness balanced by fine acidity. Ripe apples, sweet pear, notes of honey. Takes me home!

Julie_110717_5_square
JULIE, co-owner of Portalis & J. Strecker Selections with her husband, Jens, has just recently returned to working at the shop (after 3 years focusing on the import business and letting Jaci run the shop) and is enjoying being on the floor again. Here are her selections:

Bruno Zanasi NV Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro
EMILIA-ROMAGNA, ITALY — Reg $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39
Looking for a new twist on sparkling wine? This would be it: a red, Italian, dry bubbly! Dark cherries and plum aromas with flavors of ripe plum, cherry, cassis compote and hints of eucalyptus. Simply put… Killer!

Weingut Prechtl 2012 Grüner Veltliner Reserve Leitstall von Molasse
WEINVIERTEL, AUSTRIA — Reg $31.99 | Mixed Case $25.59
This scrumptious white is a single vineyard GV, and it will knock your socks off! Rich, hedonistic, and savory all at the same time. If you are a lover of fancy Chardonnay & would like to try something new — get it!

Domaine de Nalys 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Classique Blanc
SOUTHERN RHÔNE, FRANCE — Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79
Rhône Blancs are killer food pairing wines! When in doubt, Rhône Blanc. And this one is special to boot — oily, rich and (pardon my terms) kind of a Cougar. It will take your attention away and keep you busy.

Domaine de Frégate 2013 Bandol Rosé
PROVENCE, FRANCE — Reg $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Summer raspberries, white hillside flowers, minerality … a classic from Provence with distinction. So why rosé at the holidays? Because rosé is festive and it has NEVER met a food it doesn’t like! I drink it all year long, and this one when I am celebrating!

Giant Steps 2013 Pinot Noir Sexton Vineyard 
YARRA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA — Reg $52.99 | Mixed Case $42.39
Pinot Noir outside of Burgundy can lead you astray. But I won’t. This wine will shock your senses. Aromas of fennel, briar, spice to Maraschino Cherries…. then white pepper and acidity. Enjoy on its own or with your holiday feast.

Lobo Hills 2013 Spiyla Vineyard Syrah
YAKIMA, WASHINGTON — Reg $33.99 | Mixed Case $27.19
“Rich, opening with aromas of tobacco, sage, lavender, fig and blackberry.” -Tony Dollar, owner, winemaker & Wedgwood resident. I like how Tony keeps his WA Syrah well-balanced, food friendly, elegant!

Burgum Novum 2013 Cabernet Riserva 
ALTO ADIGE, ITALY — Reg $46.99 | Mixed Case $37.59
Nuanced is the best way to describe this wine. Understated aromas of cherries, cassis and wild berries. It is a flavorful, yet subtle wine, full of thoughtfulness and secrets. Made to accompany food of many sorts: pork, veal, beef, lamb, poultry, game & cheeses.

Bodegas Rauda 2008 Tinto Roa Reserva
RIBERA DEL DUERO, SPAIN — Reg $36.99 | Mixed Case $29.59
This Tempranillo is made from 40-60 year old vines! “Intense perfume of ripe fruit and jam, wrapped in a fine oak fragrance with menthol notes.” That description is from the winery, and this wine takes you to the high, desert plateau of north-central Spain.

Alvear 1927 Pedro Ximénez Solera (375ml)
MONTILLA-MORILES, SPAIN — Reg $32.99 | Mixed Case $26.39
PX is not your typical sherry. If anything, it is the matriarch of caramelized goodness, with the dryness of sherry. Excellent for pairing with desserts, on its own – or with roasted meat dishes, pulled pork, tarts.

Amy_Nov 2017_square_04
AMY, recently joined the Portalis family on Sundays. She is a sommelier and the contributing wine writer to the local travel blog, Rain or Shine Guides. Here are her picks:

Champagne Henriot Rosé
CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE — Reg $79.99 | Mixed Case $63.99
A beautiful holiday sparkler from a 200-year-old producer, this elegant and limited rosé from Champagne will delight your taste buds with aromas of red fruits, rose petals, finishing with a silky effervescent mousse. Start your holiday with a pearly glass! holiday wines.

Frank Family Vineyards 2013 Chardonnay
CARNEROS, CALIFORNIA — Reg $43.99 | Mixed Case $35.19
Where Sonoma and Napa collide, magic happens. This zesty chardonnay is both refreshing and enveloping, with bright acid and lovely stone fruit aromas.

Palazzo Malgara 2016 Primitivo di Manduria

PUGLIA, ITALY — Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79
While the wines here are all my children, this everyday red comes home with me the most. Zippy and fresh with just enough old world funk, this wine goes with a variety of dishes, but especially weekly fare like pizza, burgers, and Italian sausage.

Va Piano Vineyards 2013 Syrah
COLUMBIA VALLEY, WA — Reg $44.99 | Mixed Case $35.99
Inky, dark, and powerful, this delicious fruit-forward Syrah pairs with virtually any braised beef dish I make. Can there be bacon flavor in a wine? You bet! Meaty and unctuous!

Château Seuil de Mazeyres 2014 Pomerol
BORDEAUX, FRANCE — Reg $41.99 | Mixed Case $33.59
If Burgundy is your Finicky Aunt, Bordeaux is your Stalwart Uncle. The life of any party, this is a dependable red with rounded tannins and great acidity.

Chateau Montelena 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — Reg $68.99 | Mixed Case $55.19
Famed winning winery from The Judgement of Paris in 1975, Chateau Montelena delivers a robust, yet elegant cab sav. Every glass sings of plums, coffee beans, and blackberry jam. Decant if you are drinking now, or cellar for up to 10 years.

Artimino Vin Santo di Carmignano
TUSCANY, ITALY — Reg $28.99 | Mixed Case $23.19
Vin Santo immediately transports me back to Florence — full and content after a delicious meal, yet there’s always room for sweet Vin Santo with Cantucci biscotti. A perfect dessert!

Jaci_Jan 2016_03_email
JACI, Portalis’ long-time manager, just moved to Pullman, but she’s here in spirit, continuing her wine writing for the shop remotely. And sure enough, she has some special wines to recommend as well:

Reserve du Chevalier Crémant de Bourgogne Brut
BURGUNDY, FRANCE — Reg $23.99 | Mixed Case $19.19
I sometimes dream about what wine I will purchase when I return to Seattle. Yes. This is one of them, especially this time of year. Toasted nutty goodness, with baked apples, a bit of brioche helps too…

Château Moulin de Launay 2016 Entre Deux Mers
BORDEAUX, FRANCE — Reg $15.99 | Mixed Case $12.79
I CAN NOT get enough of this wine. Moulin de Launay is French in every way. Complex, evasive and intriguing. A balance of refreshing Sauvignon Blanc and soft extra virgin olive oil, lemon citrus, minerals, and lime peel.

La Colline aux Princes 2015 Sancerre
LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE — Reg $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
Seems like a splurge for Sauvignon Blanc but taste and you will understand why we have guests who purchase cases of this wine. Delicate yet pronounced. Refreshing, though leaving you to ponder. Truly poetry in motion (once it hits your lips, the rest, I am off the hook).

Stark-Conde 2013 Syrah
STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA — Reg $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
For my smoked turkey fans- You really have to get on the South African Syrah train. (This is not a negative leadership pun). These wines have a killer brine note that matches perfectly with smoked meats, especially poultry. Get some!

Vinchio-Vaglio Serra 2011 Barbaresco AND
Vinchio-Vaglio Serra 2010 Barolo
PIEDMONT, ITALY — Reg $33.99 | Mixed Case $27.19 // Reg $49.99 | Mixed Case $39.99
Barolo/Barbaresco- You really couldn’t go wrong either way- Vivacious Barbaresco or thoughtful, brooding Barolo? Both are crowd stoppers and on my list of go-to’s for holiday wines.

Smith Woodhouse 2000 Colheita Tawny
DOURO, PORTUGAL — Reg $57.99 | Mixed Case $46.39
With 13 years of barrel aging, the color is amber, the aroma smoked caramel and the palate is explosive- rich textures with hints of spice.

Turkey Dinner in 4 Wine Lessons

Thanksgiving_Turkey_imagekindcom_orange turkey

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 cause wines to taste tart. Here’s your down & dirty guide to a wine that tastes great with a traditional turkey dinner:

Cheers_Languedoc Limoux

#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:

Jose Dhondt NV Blanc de Blancs
(Champagne, France) — Reg $62.99 | Mixed Case $50.39
Domaine Perraud Le Grand Sorbier Crémant de Bourgogne
(Burgundy, France) — Reg $23.99 | INSIDER $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
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 Maset (nu) Cava Reserva
(Penedès, Spain) — Reg $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99
Bruno Zanasi Lambrusco
(Emilia Romagna, Italy) — Reg $16.99 | Mixed Case $13.59

#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 richer 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:

Maximin Gruenhaeuser Riesling
(Mosel, Germany) — Reg $24.99 | Mixed Case $19.99
Lobo Hills PGR
(Columbia Valley, Washington) — Reg $18.99 | Mixed Case $15.19
Weingut Castelfeder Kerner
(Alto Adige, Italy) — $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Domaine Claude Nouveau 2011 Santenay Le Chainey
(Burgundy, France) — $42.99 | INSIDER $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Beauregard Vouvray
(Loire Valley, France) — Reg $20.99 | Mixed Case $16.79

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

La Colline aux Princes Sancerre Rosé
(Loire Valley, France) — $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé
(Provence, France) — $29.99 | Mixed Case $23.99
Château du Grand Caumont Cuvée Tradition Rosé
(Languedoc, France) — Reg $14.99 | Mixed Case $11.99

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 2016 Pinot Grigio Ramato
(Veneto, Italy) — $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39

#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, Sangiovese, Vernatsch, Zweitgelt & more. We recommend:

Elk Cove Pinot Noir
(Willamette Valley, Oregon) $31.99 | Mixed Case $25.59
Weingut Castelfeder Vernatsch
(Alto Adige, Italy) — Reg $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39
Weingut Prechtl Zweigelt
(Weinviertel, Austria) — $17.99 | Mixed Case $14.39
La Togata Barengo Toscana Rosso
(Tuscany, Italy) $23.99 | Mixed Case $19.19

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

Happy Thanksgiving,
Julie + Jens
Portalis_Julie&Jens

World Wide Syrah

Syrah_greatnorthwestwinecom
Washington State Syrah

The bold, luscious red varietal- Syrah- is grown world wide.  Originally from the southeastern part of France, the grape has migrated to several regions with great success!  Tales have been told of it originating from Iran, Sicily and other Mediterranean delights; however, DNA analysis concludes that it is a cross of Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche (both of French origin).

So, where in the world do we find Syrah?

Northern Rhone_Cote Rotie vineyards
Côte Rotie vineyards, Northern Rhône

France
Classically Rhône- Syrah is found in both the Northern & Southern Rhône, and they are very different. In the Nothern Rhône, it is 100% Syrah with only a touch of Viognier (a white varietal) allowed per AOC laws.  Expect dark, hedonistic, inky fruits mingling with earth, mushrooms and pencil lead.  Southern Rhône is allowed to blend– and they do!  With the availability of several different varietals, Châteauneuf-du-Pape takes the lead as King of Blending.  In addition to Syrah, CNP can use:  Cinsaut, Counoise, Grenache Noir, Mourvèdre, Muscardin, Piquepoul Noir, Syrah, Terret Noir and Vaccarèse (Brun Argenté). Since it is primarily Grenache based, expect bright summer cherries with expressive spice, depth and higher acidity. Killer.

Nalys_vineyards with tree
Domaine de Nalys vineyards, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Southern Rhône

We recommend:
Vignerones Propriétés Associés- Crozes-Hermitage
Northern Rhône, France — Reg $23.99 | INSIDER $22.99
Domaine de Nalys 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reserve
Southern Rhône, France– Reg $65.99

Spain
Not quite the cousin to France, as Spain always has to add a bit of umphf and vigor to their reds.  Found in Catalonia and Jumilla primarily, the heat explodes the juices and spice- plump fruit with baking spices of cinnamon and cardamom. Lower acid, higher alcohol.

Mollydooker_shiraz vineyard
Mollydooker Syrah vineyards, McLaren Vale, Australia

Australia
Renamed Shiraz when it migrated, Australian Shiraz is Syrah, just spicier.  Not too dissimilar to Spain where the heat creates an extracted fruit bomb with amazing black peppercorn delights- Australians are very methodical and exacting.  Expect a balanced fruit explosion.

D’Arenberg 2010 The Dead Arm Shiraz
McLaren Vale — Reg $69.99

Syrah_lodiwinecomSyrah vineyards, Lodi, California

North America
The States have several growing regions, but for the acclaim: California and Washington get the ticket.  California is hotter with a maritime influence, whereas Washington is a desert climate- hot with a cold evening.  California provides a fruit bomb experience.  Washington, expect a diverse experience from ripe fruits to stones, granite, olives, and peppercorn spice!

K Vintners 2013 Rock Garden Syrah
Walla Walla Valley, WA — Reg $65.99

South America
Argentina – Known for Malbec, yes… Argentina makes a rock star Syrah.  Extracted yet the mountains cool down and allow for great acidity for food pairing (spicy dishes!!). Chile is similar to Argentina yet cooler.  Experience softer fruit with higher acidity and refinement.

Elqui 2013 Syrah
Elqui Valley, Argentina — Reg $27.99

South Africa
If you haven’t had anything from South Africa, this is where you should start (though there are great several contenders).  Bodacious ripe and often cooked fruits with subtle hints to BBQ smoke and brine. An amazing Syrah for meats and bold flavors (curries and spice). Get it!

Stark-Conde 2013 Syrah
Stellenbosch, South Africa — Reg $22.99

Tuscany, Italy
Not native to Italy… but when times change the Italians embrace it.  Super Tuscans came about in the late 1890’s when Phylloxera hit France.  French winemakers, trying to save their stock, asked to grow in Italy (as well as all over the world).  The end result was a bit of a controversy.  The wines, of course brought Phylloxera , but also introduced non- traditional wines to Italy.  High end producers couldn’t sell the wines, per government regulations. But they were amazing. So- guess what they did? Sold it anyways.  They are Italians! Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon are some of the heavy hitters to the most renown Super Tuscans.

La Togata Azzummeta Toscana Rosso — Reg $45.99

Mannucci-Droandi (Tuscany)

Hungary, Switzerland, and Eastern Europe

I have personally never tasted these wines, but I have no doubt that the reason they are not imported is because…  they are consumed!

Cheers!  Jaci