Wines for Spring!

Mona Anastas_Daily Art_021718_Sun

The sun is out. The evenings are warm. The gardens around Seattle are at their height of bloom and beauty. If you aren’t sitting in some fresh air enjoying a glass of wine, you should be! Need some suggestions? Here’s a great spring varietal list from Wine Folly> for under $20 a bottle. Or stop by, and we’ll hook you up — Grüner Veltliner, Malbec, Soave, Gamay, unoaked Chardonnay, Zweigelt, rosé… the list goes on!

Label_ROSE collage_2018x16

First & foremost… ROSÉ:
We have quite a list in stock ranging from local producers to high-end Bandol rosé from Provence. Here are our new arrivals:

Chateau Rivière Minervois Rosé 2017 // Languedoc
Domaine de Frégate Bandol Rosé 2017 // Provence
Domaine du Petit Romain Vieilles Vignes Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône
La Malière Rosé Côtes de Provence 2017 // Provence
Ozilhan Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône
Paul Blisson Costières de Nîmes Rosé 2017 // Southern Rhône

In addition, here are some great spring white varietals with our specific recommendations:
Grüner Veltliner – Aromatic white flowers. White peach, poached pear, lime blossoms, with a nice white pepper finish. Try: Weingut Prechtl 2016 Alte Reben aus Löss Grüner Veltliner // Austria (vineyards pictured)
Prié Blanc – From the highest vineyard site in the world (a few minutes from Mont Blanc), this indigenous grape is full of minerality & delight: Pavese Ermes 2016 Blanc De Morgex et de La Salle // Valle d’Aoste, Italy
Vinho Verde – light, fruity with a slight effervescence and low alcohol! Try: Vinha das Margaridas 2016 Vinho Verde // Portugal
Garganega – This white is better known as Soave, but that’s the DOC (region), not the grape… which is full of citrus blossoms, warm apples & apricots held together by refreshing acidity! Try award-winning: Franchetto 2015 Soave “La Capelina” // Veneto, Italy

And spring reds varietals:
Bonarda lightens up the Malbec in this terrific, organic blend: La Puerta 2016 Alta Malbec/Bonarda // Argentina
Zinfandel – Its trademark velvety fruit makes this varietal a wonderful accompaniment to BBQ and other grilled summer fare. Try: Wish Wine Co. 2011 Zinfandel // North Coast, California (vineyards pictured)
Zweigelt – Lighter in body, but full of flavor: blackberries, tart dark cherries & spices! Try: Weingut Prechtl 2015 Satzen Zweigelt // Austria

La Farra_countryside with vineyards_2_20%
AND… don’t forget the bubbles! Go light & freshing with La Farra Prosecco — Brut, Extra Dry, Rosé & their Prosecco Superiore DOCG Valdobbiadene. Tree fruits & citrus with lively gentle bubbles! (vineyards pictured)

We’d be delighted to help you with any of your spring wine needs! Just stop in…

Julie & Jens, Owners
Portalis Wines

Art credit: Mona Anastas, owner of Two Owls in Madrona


Food+Wine // Summer Salads

Summer Salads 2018_Salmon BLT_square_v2
Summer Salads & The Wines They Love!

Whether it’s the main meal or on the side, these salads are simple, fresh, easy to prepare …and oh so good, especially as the weather warms up! Here are some of my favs:

Summer Salads 2018_Cobb_square
Cobb Salad – When all the ingredients are fresh, is there anything better?? Especially if you’re a lover of blue cheese!! Because of the richness of the salad (bacon, avocado, blue cheese, etc), go with fuller bodied white even one with a little oak (Chateau du Grand Caumont Corbières Blanc) or a lighter-bodied Zin would also be nice. Try: Wish Wine Co. Zinfandel (North Coast, CA)

Greek Salad – When tomatoes are in high season (and not before!!), this salad is heaven. It’s light and crisp, so stick with a wine that’s the same: Chablis, Sancerre, or if you want something off the beaten path: Jacquères, a light white from Savoie in the French Alps.

Summer Salads 2018_German Potato_square
German Potato Salad – Boring when it’s flat but get some good acidity in there (i.e. vinegar!!) and it’s zingy and crunchy and salty and delicious! With a brat on the side or without… enjoy with Alsatian Riesling or Pinot Gris, (we recommend small producer: Domaine Moltès) both are round with a slightly sweet middle and refreshing acidity on the finish.

Summer Salads 2018_Waldorf_square
Waldorf Salad – So underrated!! It’s that grape (sweet), celery (vegetal), walnut (nutty) combo that so yummy. Enjoy with Vinho Verde or Prosecco! Both are light, citrusy fruit with effervescence.

Summer Salads 2018_Shrimp_square
Shrimp Salad – Lemon and dill are key, but the richness of the shrimp shouldn’t be overlooked when pairing. Go with an unoaked Chardonnay or off the beaten path: Falanghina!

Grilled Corn Salad – Don’t forget the cilantro! Pair with a lightly oaked Chardonnay (we like: organic producer Bodegas Langa) or a fuller-bodied rosé: Ozilhan Réservé Côtes du Rhône Rosé

Summer Salads 2018_Caprese_square
Caprese Salad – Again, fresh ingredients is key, so wait until those heirloom tomatoes are at their peak, then get some fresh mozzarella, some freshly plucked basil …and a glass of Reserve de Chevalier Crémant de Bourgogne, and you’re good to go!

Summer Salads 2018_Panzanella_square
Panzanella Salad – The tomatoes require that you enjoy this dish at the height of summer season. And with that, a light glass of Sangiovese from Tuscany: La Togata Barengo Toscana Rosso. Good acid on the wine pairs beautifully with the tomatoes.

Summer Salads 2018_Tortellini_square
Tuscan Tortellini Salad – This one has my kids written all over it! It has it all… pasta, cured meat, crunchy veggies, spinach & a touch of sweetness. Enjoy with a glass of earthy Lambrusco!

Summer Salads 2018_Salmon BLT_square
Salmon BLT Salad – So, someone had fun making this one up, and it looks delicious. Sort of along the Cobb line, but with seafood. This salad is rich & satisfying. Go with a wine that has a faint salinity for a wink at the salmon: Vermentino or Albariño would be my picks. Prefer a red? Go light & fruity, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt or off the beaten path: Mondeuse!

My inspiration for this post was “The 147 Most Delish Summer Salads” on

Hope you enjoy!
Julie Howe
Co-owner, Portalis Wines

Food+Wine // Fresh Eggs!

Jaci's HENS_square

I am chicken “sitting” as my new home has a coop and my friends farm had over flow for the winter. Our chickens right now are holding out on us- but in Eastern Washington, it is below freezing for February/March. (I wouldn’t want to do much either!) Fresh eggs are delicious. Not having been an “egg” person, I didn’t really buy into the fresh egg craze until my friend started his own coop in Seattle. Now, keep in mind, I grew up in Skagit Valley. As a youth, I toured Draper Valley Farms and even a USDA egg inspection facility. (I am a nerd, yes.) Maybe my lack of interest was the tours, the knowledge of how old the eggs are by the time they hit the grocery shelf… Maybe it was just me not being adventurous in food …

Fresh eggs are an adventure beyond the standard grocery shelf egg. They have more distinctions: flavor, richness, spices and delicacy too! Each chicken creates a distinct flavor — by character and by how well it is taken care of. These are the ones created in our backyard:

Jaci's EGGS_4

Blue– almost as beautiful as a robins egg. The color and flavor are delicate. Perfect with light dishes or baked for pastries
Green– similar to the blue in delicacy however a hint of herbs and spice- great for egg bakes, breakfast items or quiches
Warm Red/Brown– earthy and robust. Excellent with meats and rustic flavors (mushrooms, legumes, root vegetables)
Dark Brown with Speckles– These are rare. I am not sure if these chickens are hiding their eggs, but I only collect one a day. A savory dish with meats, mushrooms and hedonistic funky cheeses are winners here.

And here are some recipes with wine pairings to delight:
Crepes or French Toast with Berries
pair with: Perraud Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy, France)
Tomato-Herb Frittatas
pair with: Bodegas Langa Míto Chardonnay (Calatayud, Spain)
Pavlova With Lemon Cream and Berries
pair with: La Farra Prosecco Brut (Veneto, Italy)
Spanish Flan
pair with: Vinchio-Vaglio Serra Brachetto (Piedmont, Italy)


Crustless Swiss Chard Tomato Quiche
pair with: Scopone Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany, Italy)
Middle Eastern Shakshuka (pictured above)
pair with: Bodegas Langa Pasíon Garnacha (Calatayud, Spain)
Lentil Salad with Fresh Poached Egg (I prefer my lentil salad as as salad. The Fat Hen has a delicious example!)
pair with: Moulin de Launay Entre-Deux-Mers (Bordeaux, France) or Jean d’Alibert Rouge (Languedoc, France)

And one last thing: Backyard chickens resources> in case you need them!

Jaci (checking in from Pullman)

Mother’s Day 2018

Mona Anastas_Daily Art_012318_Woman carrying her load

Here are some wine gift suggestions for the moms in your life:

Champagne Henriot NV Rosé
Champagne, France // Reg $79.99 | Mixed Case $63.99
From a 200+ year old estate!

Guardian Cellars 2015 Angel Sauvignon Blanc
Columbia Valley, Washington // Reg $22.99 | Mixed Case $18.39
Because she was yours!

Domaine Chevallier 2015 Chablis
Burgundy, France // Reg $27.99 | Mixed Case $22.39
100% unoaked Chardonnay. Crispy & delicious!

Remoissenet 2014 Puligny-Montrachet
Burgundy, France // Reg $81.99 | Mixed Case $65.59
Fancy Burgundy. Noble herbs & bright lemony fruit!

Domaine de Nalys 2012 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Southern Rhône, France // Reg $45.99 | Mixed Case $36.79
Rich, white blend with all 13 allowable varietals!

Burgum Novum 2013 Pinot Nero Riserva
Alto Adige, Italy // Reg $51.99 | Mixed Case $41.59
Pinot Noir from northern-most Italy!

Franchetto 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
Veneto, Italy // Reg $69.99 | Mixed Case $55.99
Woman winemaker. Feminine style.

Sonder Wines 2016 Mourvedre
Columbia Valley, Washington // Reg $34.99 | Mixed Case $27.99
Off-the-beaten-path Mom — Mourvedre from WA State!

Chateau Le Caillou 2011 Pomerol
Bordeaux, France // Reg $53.99 | Mixed Case $43.19
Classic elegance from the Right Bank.

Mollydooker 2013 Blue-Eyed Boy
McLaren Vale, Australia // Reg $59.99 | Mixed Case $47.99
Because you were hers!

And these are on a few of the many wines we can recommend. Stop by and we’ll hook you up with a delicious wine for Mom!

Julie & Jens
Owners, Portalis Wines

Art credit: Thanks to our friend, Mona Anastas, owner of Two Owls (reopening soon in Madrona) for allowing us to use her art for Mother’s Day!

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…

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, 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.