deVine Thoughts

October 25, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for Oct 25/21

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:22 am

Author: Dirk Chan

Our online feature this week is the NV Ferrari Brut (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy) – $27.99, regularly $34.99.

Ferrari winery (no relation to the Italian luxury auto manufacturer and Formula 1 racing team of the same name) is the leader in northern Italy’s Trento DOC area, a wine making region dedicated entirely to traditional-method sparkling wine. “For sure we do not want to create any confusion [between Ferrari wines and Ferrari cars], even though we are two companies, with the same name,” says Ferrari winery CEO Matteo Lunelli. “But it’s great to share a name with another company that also represents Italian excellence.”

Previously, they were spotted on the high seas with the Prada yachting team – but now the latest accolade is they’ve become the official sparkling wine of the Formula 1 international auto-racing league. The winery has entered a three-year partnership with Formula 1 to serve Ferrari wines as the official toast of all the organization’s celebrations -including those famous crowd-spraying celebrations from the winner’s podium -as well as free-flowing glasses of Ferrari served alongside gourmet cuisine in the paddocks, plus also in the luxury trackside viewing area above the team garages.

The 119-year-old company has been voted Sparkling Wine Producer of the Year at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships in 2015. Ferrari’s wines are “metodo classico” – meaning they’re made in the Champenois menthode, rather than in tank like prosecco. Vinified from grapes grown in Trentino, in the limestone foothills of the Dolomites, they have a crispness and tension to them. But they’re also renowned for their ageing potential. “The warm days and cold nights bring a brightness to our chardonnay that is very different to champagne,” says Ferrari president Matteo Lunelli. 

Enjoy this Non-Vintage Brut, it is very delicious and the high quality is obvious with the nose of Golden Delicious apples, lemon, freshly baked white bread while the palate offers a slight minerality, pastry while those tiny small bubbles dance across your palate. Enjoy as a toasting wine, with appetizers and even at the dinner table.

NV Ferrari Brut (Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy) – $27.99 (regularly $34.99)

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October 18, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for Oct 18/21

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 1:46 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Our online feature this week is the 2016 Cune Viña Real Crianza (Rioja, Spain) – $20.49, regularly $24.99.

Viña Real is CVNE’s Rioja Alavesa-based winery, releasing its first vintage in 1920. The Viña Real style is one that showcases the forward fruit of Alavesa while simultaneously possessing the structure to age. The original fruit source was in the Elciego area, in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region. The vineyards are located adjacent and clustered around the old Camino Rea (“Royal Road”), from which the wine takes its name.

Nowadays, the grapes are principally sourced from sunny south-facing slopes which run from the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range down to the Ebro River. As is also the case with the Cune line, the Viña Real wines are produced from over 50% estate fruit, an unusually high percentage for Rioja.

A new facility for Viña Real was completed in 2004 – it is situated on top of the hill known as Cerro de la Mesa and commands sweeping views of both the Alavesa vineyards and the town of Logroño (where we stayed during our last trip there), Rioja’s commercial center. If the Cune bodega represents CVNE’s commitment to the old and the traditional, the Viña Real bodega demonstrates their forward-thinking philosophy and their embrace of modern technology.

This week’s Crianza is a modern style Rioja, it is medium-full bodied red sourced from sunny, south-facing slopes in Rioja Alavesa. Look for aromas of cherries, raspberries, vanilla and mineral hints. Its medium bodied solid juicy blue and red fruits has a clovey edge finishing with zingy acidity. I recommend a half hour decant and pair with a well-spiced chickpea stew.

2016 Cune Viña Real Crianza (Rioja, Spain) – $20.49 (regularly $24.99)

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October 15, 2021

Featuring the Castello di Potentino

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 4:38 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

The Tuscan castle and vineyard of Castello di Potentino is owned by British immigrants Charlotte Horton and her family. Nestled in the rugged terrain of Mount Amiata, it was a dilapidated mess with roofs collapsed and no plumbing or electricity. Following the long process of purchasing it from 24 different owners, they have slowly reworked this 11th-century structure into one of the great cultural spots of the Tuscan region.

Rumoured to have been visited by Saint Catherine of Siena and painter Caravaggio, this traditional, medieval castle in Tuscany boasts a distinctly British flair. A year-round bed and breakfast, the Castello hosts weddings along with yoga retreats, wine tastings, and exotic gourmandise weekends.

The tradition of winemaking here dates back to the Etruscan period, evidenced by the ancient wine stones in the valley. The microclimate of the area, combined with the four hectares of vineyards, combines the hot dry air of the Tuscan coast with the cold air coming down from Mt Amiata. The volcanic soil, never washed away at Potentino, creates a terroir that is rich in minerality and gives it a sense of terroir. Horton, who is the winemaker, grows grenache, sangiovese, and, very unusually, pinot noir grapes. Her Sacromonte, a textbook sangiovese, has won the Vino d’ecellenza from the Guida de l’Espresso, identifying it as one of the 500 best wines from Italy. Sacromonte or “Sacred Mountain” refers to Monte Amiata which was the home of the gods for the Etruscans and our flagship wine is named in honour of the volcanic peperino stone typical to the mountain and used in the construction of the Castle itself. It sees only 6 months ageing in stainless steel to produce a fresher more exuberant young wine. Hence the ‘ino’ ending which is the diminutive in Italian which means smaller or little version. It comes in a 1 Litre bottle with a crown seal. Delicious and the tannins are so smooth for such a young wine!!

The Winemaker’s Release is Sangiovese from the great 2010 vintage, held back till ready to drink. It is sophisticated and nuanced, and a must try. There are not many library releases for this price that is at peak in our market. Take advantage of it while supply lasts.

First, pictured left to right:

2020 Castello di Potentino Sacromontino Toscana (Tuscany, Italy) – 1.0L – $27.99

2010 Castello di Potentino Sangiovese The Winemaker’s Release (Tuscany, Italy) – $46.99

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October 11, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for Oct 11/21

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 12:00 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Our online feature this week is the 2018 Precept Primarius Pinot Noir (Oregon, United States) – $22.49 (regularly $27.99).

Primarius is the Latin word meaning “top rank,” “excellent” and “remarkable;” the same descriptors have been used time and again in critical reviews for this Pinot Noir. With its diverse topography and rich terroir, this cool climate Pinot represents Oregon’s best in Pinot Noir production.

Winemaker Sarah Cabot hand-selects the very best fruit to masterfully makes a wine that is complex in structure, true to origin and distinctive in style. Nuances of varietal character from vintage to vintage is the name of the game that has allowed the winery to rise to the world’s stage with high acclaim, while at the same time remaining well priced and within everyday reach.

Look for lush bramble fruit and bright bing cherries aromas accented by subtle notes of cinnamon and clove. Pair with a pan-seared duck breast or cedar plank salmon.

2018 Precept Primarius Pinot Noir (Oregon, United States) – $22.49 (regularly $27.99)

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October 4, 2021

Weekly Online Offer for Oct 4/21

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 12:16 pm

Author: Dirk Chan

Our online feature this week is the 2019 Charles Smith Wine of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington – Columbia Valley, United States) – $21.99, regularly $26.99.

Charles Smith is the legendary winemaker behind iconic brands like K Vintners, Sixto and Substance and several other brands. The House of Smith is the largest independent and winemaker-owned winery in Washington State area with wines sold in all 50 states and 23 countries worldwide. And it all started a little over 20 years ago, with 330 cases of 1999 K Syrah sold out of the back of Charles’ 1987 Astro van.

Charles Smith, the dynamic, self-taught guru of Washington wines turned from a life as a rock band manager to rock the world of wine. The Wines of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Goose Ridge, Painted Hills, Badger Mountain, Shaw, Sportsfisher and Coyote vineyards in the Columbia Valley, Washington State area. Loaded with black cassis, cedar, tobacco, dark plum, lead pencil, vanilla and toast in a rich, full-bodied, balanced package. This Cab has been a perennial bestseller at deVines for years. Pair with braised beef short ribs or roast beef for Thanksgiving dinner.

2019 Charles Smith Wine of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington – Columbia Valley, United States) – $21.99 (regularly $26.99)

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October 3, 2021

Our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Wine Recommendations

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 5:10 pm


Author: Dirk Chan

Wow…Thanksgiving week is fast upon us, where did September go? So here is our annual picks to accompany the classic turkey and/or ham dinner with all its fixings. Start your evening off with a sparkling wine, followed by whites, reds, a dessert wine and perhaps a port to end.

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are a great way to start any function whether its a greeting aperitif or to pair with appetizers. Lively and clean, these will get everyone ready for what’s to come next.

2020 Mulderbosch Sparkling Rose (Stellenbosch, South Africa) – $22.99

NV Adami Garbèl Prosecco doc Treviso (Veneto, Italy) – $27.49

2020 Huber Gruner Veltliner Blanc de Blancs Brut (Traisental, Austria) – $39.99


Now if you serve Champagne, your audience will immediately know you’re here to do some serious partaking and celebrating.

NV Nicolas Maillart Brut Platine Premier Cru (Champagne, France) – $66.99

NV Champagne Andre Clouet Brut Rose No. 3 (Champagne, France) – $74.99

NV Champagne Delamotte Blanc de Blancs (Champagne, France) – $109.99

2012 Bollinger La Grande Année Rosé Brut (Champagne, France) – $284.99

Whites & Pinks

Whites with a touch of sweetness is preferred because of the sweetness of some of the fixings – candied yams, cranberry sauce, and honey for the glazed ham. A completely dry white will seem more austere and void of fruit due to the sweetness of the food so I recommend Rieslings (dry or off-dry, both work), sweet Chenin Blancs or other Germanic or Alsace varietals. Having said that, some will always go with a dry creamy Chardonnay irregardless and that’s perfectly fine. Also, don’t forget that rosés work really well too!

2018 Château Sainte-Marie Vieilles Vignes (Bordeaux – Entre-Deux-Mers, France) – $20.99

2017 Chateau de la Mulonniere M de Mulonniere Anjou Chenin Blanc (Loire Valley, France) – $23.99

2018 Dr. Heinz Wagner Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) – $28.99

2018 Puerto Ancona El Enemigo Chardonnay (Mendoza, Argentina) – $34.99

2019 Domaine Marcel Deiss Alsace Complantation (Alsace, France) – $41.99

2018 Louis Jadot Meursault Premier Cru Les Genevrieres (Burgundy – Cote de Beaune, France) – $147.99

2020 Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé feinherb (Rheingau, Germany) – $24.99

2010 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva Rosado (Rioja, Spain) – $64.99

For reds, try to avoid the big oaky tannic monsters. Oak and tannins are the enemies when pairing with slightly sweet food, try for a red with lots of up-front fruit, little oak and a soft tannins like a Beaujolais (served slightly chilled) or a Pinot Noir.

2019 Manos Negras Pinot Noir (Mendoza, Argentina) – $20.99

2018 Oisly et Thésée Les Bremailles Touraine Gamay (France) – $21.99

2018 Domaine des Ouled Thaleb CB Signature (Morocco) – $25.99

2018 Neil Ellis Cabernet Sauvignon (Stellenbosch, South Africa) – $29.99

2019 Domaine Steeve Charvet Morgon Cote du Py (Beaujolais, France) – $34.99

2019 Cristom Pinot Noir Mt. Jefferson Cuvee (Oregon – Willamette Valley, United States) – $59.99

2016 Massolino Filli Barolo (Piedmont, Italy) – $76.99

2011 Cune Imperial Gran Reserva (Rioja, Spain) – $92.99

2009 Niepoort Charme (Douro, Portugal) – $129.99

2012 Louis Jadot Chambolle Musigny Les Baudes Premier Cru (Burgundy – Cote de Nuits, France) – $137.99

2008 Château La Providence (Bordeaux – Pomerol, France) – $199.99

2011 Château Trotanoy (Bordeaux – Pomerol, France) – $269.99

2004 Petrolo Galatrona (Tuscany, Italy) – $379.99


Sweet dessert wines and Port are always good for the final touches of a meal:

2013 Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu (Hungary) – 250mL – $29.99

2018 Domaine Huet Le Mont Moelleux (Vouvray, France) – $62.99

2010 Knebel Winninger Uhlen Riesling Beerenauslese (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany) – 375mL – $159.99

2002 Dow’s Colheita (Douro, Portugal) – $49.99

2000 Quevedo Colheita (Douro, Portugal) – $69.99

2003 Quinta do Vesuvio Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – $154.99

Messias 40 Year Old (Douro, Portugal) – $159.99

1965 Krohn Vintage Port (Douro, Portugal) – $309.99

Note our regular store hours are in affect this long weekend, except holiday monday when we’re open from noon-5pm.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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October 2, 2021

2018 Bordeaux Has Arrived!

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:01 am

Author: Dirk Chan

The 2018 Bordeaux Vintage has arrived and any of you who purchased futures have been or will be contacted for pickup. 2018 is the first of a trio of great vintages – with 2019 and 2020 following in its wake. This is the best trio of years in the famous wine producing region since the triplet of 1988, 89 and 90.

Despite one of the warmest and driest late summers and harvests on record, the wines produced have great depth of ripe fruit matched by polished, strong tannins. These wines have an impressive underlying freshness that will keep and improve in your cellar for quite some time. The higher end wines will be very long lived (as in decades) while the lower end will be able to be drank early with decanting yet they too will improve short-term in the bottle.

Give us a week or so and the remaining 2018’s will be put out for sale, including satellites, Grand Cru Classe’s from 1855, Pessac Grand Cru’s, St. Emilion Grand Cru’s and the great Pomerols. In the meantime, wet your appetite with these Petite Chateaux..

Pictured left to right:

2018 Château Alcee (Bordeaux – Castillon – Cotes de Bordeaux, France) – $47.99

2018 Château Carlmagnus (Bordeaux – Fronsac, France) – $42.99

2018 Château Puy-Blanquet Grand Cru (Bordeaux – St. Emilion, France) – $53.99

2018 Château Dalem (Bordeaux – Fronsac, France) – $64.99

2018 Château Larrivaux (Bordeaux – Haut-Medoc, France) – $44.99

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