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2014 Bordeaux Futures Part 1!

2014 Bordeaux futures are now available. This vintage started slow but finished with a bang. The summer was wet and gloomy to start but had a “miracle finish”. The last week of August brought the sun need and stayed all the way through harvest. This is the best quality for price vintage we have seen in a very long time which makes it a great time to secure these very good wines.

“We enjoyed a wonderful late season, from the last days of August until the end of the harvest, we had exceptional weather. This is no accident, we have seen this before, in 1978, ’79, ’83, ’96, ’04, ’06 and ’08. All of these vintages were made from wonderful conditions in September after an average summer.” - Paul Pontallier, managing director at Château Margaux.

2014 Bordeaux futures are expected to arrive in the fall of 2017.

RAUZAN SEGLA 2014 MARGAUX

VINOUSMEDIA 92-95 POINTS - "The 2014 Rauzan-Ségla is shaping up to be a real jewel of a wine. Super-polished and silky throughout, the 2014 is all about nuance. Red cherry, red currant and mint open up in a translucent, beautifully delineated wine. Ferrous and savory notes follow as the wine blossoms in the glass, revealing its depth and resonance. All the elements fall into place in a gracious wine that is at once classically austere, yet also supple and highly expressive, with virtually no sensation of tannin and terrific overall balance. Tasted twice."

$53.99 750ml [345100] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
MALESCOT ST EXUPERY 2014 MARGAUX

WINE SPECTATOR 92-95 POINTS - "Bright and juicy, with a core of plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit, backed by hints of anise and fruitcake. The apple wood edge on the finish gives this spine. Very solid."–JM

$42.99 750ml [345092] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
SMITH HAUT LAFITTE 2014 PESSAC

WINE SPECTATOR 93-96 POINTS - "This has nice spine, with a persistent graphite and ganache character that runs through the core of dark plum and black currant fruit. The grip is well-embedded and there's lingering freshness despite the heft and depth. This will likely fill out more with time."–JM

$63.99 750ml [345103] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
PICHON LALANDE 2014 PAUILLAC

eROBERT PARKER 93-95 POINTS - "The Château Pichon-Lalande 2014 is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot picked over five weeks between 16 September and 20 October. It has a very pure and precise bouquet with a light marine influencing the black cherries and blueberry fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with a tense, graphite-tinged opening, a fine line of acidity (pH 3.72) and a silky smooth finish. The Cabernet Sauvignon is very expressive and dominates the Merlot at the moment, although the Merlot is essentially counterbalancing what might have been a much more austere Pichon-Lalande. Under Nicolas Glumineau, this Pauillac estate is really beginning to "motor" and this is an excellent wine, one within touching distance of the First Growths."

$88.99 750ml [345098] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
MARGAUX 2014 MARGAUX

WINE SPECTATOR 94-97 POINTS - "A light savory cassis bush hint marks the Petit Verdot in this blend, but this is quickly consumed by the Cabernet Sauvignon, with a core of well-endowed cassis and plum fruit harnessed by very long, supple tannins. Gorgeous alder, lilac and iron notes begin to emerge on the finish, though this is still very primal. Sublime in feel, this offers a caressing power. A beauty in the making.—Tasted non-blind."–JM

$315.99 750ml [345093] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
PAVILLON ROUGE 2014 MARGAUX

WINE SPECTATOR 91-94 POINTS - "Very silky and refined, with supple plum and cassis notes infused with rooibos tea and bergamot hints. The long, floral-edged finish is very fine-grained, with the floral notes expanding quickly as this airs. Gorgeous in feel, with impressive length.—Tasted non-blind."–JM

$103.99 750ml [345096] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 
MONTROSE 2014 ST ESTEPHE

eROBERT PARKER 95-97 POINTS - "The Château Montrose 2014 is a blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot that represents 47% of the total production. It was picked from mid-September via five or six tries through the vineyard. The aromatics represent a clear step in quality from the second wine, attired with far more precision and focus, much more purity with scents of blackberry, boysenberry and blue fruit, now with touches of violet and vanilla. It is beautifully defined and actually, at least at this juncture, closely aligned with Cos d’Estournel 2014. The palate is medium-bodied with filigree tannin that underpin layers of pure mineral-rich black fruit. There is an enthralling sense of energy and precision here and it fans out remarkably on the finish. Dare I say, this is one grand vin that comes perilously close to matching the heights of the 2009 and 2010. This is a brilliant Montrose, one of the best you will find on the Left Bank this vintage. Tasted on five separate occasions, twice at the château."

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VIEUX CHATEAU CERTAN 2014 POMEROL

eROBERT PARKER 95-97 POINTS - "The Vieux Château Certan 2014 is a blend of 80% Merlot, 19% Cabernet Franc and 1% Cabernet Franc, picked in three stages: 19-20 September, 29 September to 2 October and 7 and 8 October. The yields came in at 38.7 hectoliters per hectare with 13.4% alcohol. Noticeably deep and clear in color, the nose takes time to “rev up” but stick with it because it eventually reveals exquisite pure blackberry and briary scents. It is not a powerful set of aromatics but they are so finely tuned and pretty. The palate is one of the best you will find this vintage: very precise and focused, here the intensity delivered by that Cabernet Franc, complex and cerebral like the best VCC’s. Truffle, blackberry, woodland aromas waft temptingly from the glass and there is the perfect balance of sweetness and reserve to beg another sip. Alexandre and his son, Guillaume Thienpont may have overseen the best wine of the vintage."

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CHEVAL BLANC 2014 ST EMILION

WINE SPECTATOR 96-99 POINTS - "Reserved aromatically for now, but this has a lot at its clutch, with remarkably silky plum, currant and raspberry fruit inlaid seamlessly with alder, rooibos tea and bergamot notes. There's a fine minerality that stretches out the finish, with remarkable cut, delineation and finesse. This is gorgeous.—Tasted non-blind." –JM

$461.99 750ml [345083] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

A Couple Fun Italian Rose's We Are Excited About!

We love this time of year, when the warm weather just seems to be made for gatherings with family and friends. These get-together’s often include barbecues, swimming pools and of course a good libation or two. Sometimes a cold beer does the trick. Other times, a chilled white wine does nicely. But for us, summer is the perfect time for sipping Rose’. At Hi-Time, we have watched our customers enthusiastically embrace dry Rose’s over the past several years. We understand why-there’s something special about a nicely chilled glass of Rose’. They’re so versatile with a wide variety of foods, but perhaps more importantly they are uniquely refreshing and festive.

One of the reasons customers are drawn to Hi-Time is for the variety of wines we carry. We are frequently asked, “What do you have that is different or new?” This summer, we brought in a couple of fun Italian Rose’s we are excited about. Both are produced with native Italian grapes, but each has a different personality or style and can be enjoyed throughout the summer.

The Alfa Tauri is a fun, light-hearted Sangiovese-based wine from Tuscany. It is the perfect summer quaffer and will appeal to those who enjoy the clean, crisp style of Provence.

The second wine is the Castelfeder Rosato from Alto Adige. This is made from the Lagrein grape and is a little more substantial and fuller in body, but is not tannic. It is one to pair with grilled chicken, meats and pretty much all things barbecue. Buon appetito!

VAL DI TORO 'ALFA TAURI' 2014 ROSADO MAREMMA TOSCANO 100% SANGIOVESE

The color is an elegant salmon with copper reflections. Inviting aromas of fresh fruit, including strawberry, peach and white flowers great the nose. On the palate, the wine is lively and crisp with flavors of ripe strawberry, crisp peaches and melon augmented by a saline minerality and thirst-quenching finish.

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CASTELFEDER 2014 LAGREIN ROSATO

The perfumed nose offers a spicy bouquet of red berries, blood orange, dusty minerals and fresh white flowers. Tangy red currant, cherry and wild strawberry flavors display intensity and clarity, along with a vivid mineral underpinning. Medium-bodied with vibrant acidity, this is an ideal wine to enjoy for brunch, a picnic or barbecue.

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The Highly-Anticipated Larkmead 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon!

Larkmead is not only one of the most historic vineyards in the Napa Valley, but the property is a reference point for high-quality, age worthy wines! Established in the late 1800s by the Solari family, the Larkmead estate bas been the source for some of the greatest wine to come out of the Napa Valley, and their current list of clients includes Orin Swift, Cakebread, Duckhorn, and Ramey among others! Winemaker Dan Petroski blended in small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, and Petit Verdot from the estate to increase aromatics and texture…and this is one of the best Larkmead Cabernets we’ve had in a while!

LARKMEAD 2012 ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "The soft, delicious, complex 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers notes of cedarwood, blackcurrants, baking spices, Asian soy, crème de cassis, licorice and a touch of graphite. It continues to remind me of a hypothetical blend of a second or third-growth Bordeaux Pauillac with a Napa Valley Cabernet. Composed of 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot aged 18 months in 54% new French oak, it possesses full body, sweet tannin and should drink well for two decades or more.

As I have written before, this is an extraordinary estate spread out in one contiguous parcel (unusual) in the center of the Napa Valley floor, north of St. Helena and south of Calistoga. Proprietor Cam Baker farms 110 acres, and the Cabernet Sauvignon is the Olmo Clone which became well-known as the Eisele Clone when it was planted in the famous vineyard of that name. A singular characteristic of the Larkmead vineyard is that it has a strong vein of old river gravel. Former winemaker Andy Smith has moved on and has been replaced by Dan Petroski, who has not missed a beat finishing the 2012s and producing the 2013s, which Cam Baker believes might be the vintage of the century for Larkmead."

$89.95 750ml [237030] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

New Whiskies!
We don't delve too much into personal philosophies, to be perfectly honest. But if there is one tenet we tend to follow regularly, more of a guideline perhaps, it's that there's always room in the cupboard for new whisk(e)y. That said, let us introduce you to a few new drams that have made their way to our shelves.
 

JEFFERSON'S 'THE MANHATTAN' BARREL FINISHED COCKTAIL
68 PROOF

Esquire Magazine and Jefferson's Bourbon have teamed up to create the easiest Manhattan in the world. In Esquire's own words: "Everyone could always go for a good Manhattan and now you won't have to go to the trouble of preparing one anytime soon. Esquire, as our astute readers might have picked up over the years, is no stranger to cocktails, and neither is Jefferson's Bourbon, we've teamed up with them to create the ultimate Manhattan… and then bottle it."

This take on the famous drink was conceptualized in 2013 by Esquire‘s Editor-in-Chief David Granger and Jefferson’s Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller, in an effort to provide bourbon enthusiasts with a barrel-finished bottled cocktail that enhances the experience of enjoying a classic. In search of delicious, oaky notes and a well-balanced flavor profile, Granger and Zoeller (aided by various Esquire staffers) tested dozens of recipes together until they narrowed down the options to just three recipes. Those three options were then aged for 90 days in bourbon barrels until just one stood out as a superior Manhattan. Now the only thing left for you to do is to add ice.

$33.99 750ml [106955] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

AMADOR DOUBLE BARREL WHISKEY

The 38th parallel is home to exceptional Kentucky Bourbon and fine Napa Wine. Amador Double Barrel is a small-batch production with 2 barrel aging techniques in Kentucky and California. Amador acquired nearly 300 barrels of exceptional Kentucky Bourbon, aged from 3 to 10 years in New Amaerican Oak. It was finished with Napa Valley wine barrels for 6 months and then bottled at 86.8 proof. It offers a well-balanced and smooth-tasting Bourbon with complex flavors of vanilla, oak, brown sugar and spice with a touch of campfire smoke. Fancy a cocktail? Try a Shot Gun, Gold Rush, Manhattan or Old-fashioned with Amador Double Barrel and be rewarded.

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SLAUGHTER HOUSE WHISKEY

This is a new American Whiskey procured by Dave Phinney. If you don't know Dave Phinney, he started Orin Swift Cellars after quite a distinguished run as winemaker at some of Napa's finest wineries (Opus One, Mondavi, Whitehall Lane). After spending 9 years in American oak, the spirit was further matured in Orin Swift Papillon (Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc) barrels ,which added perfumed aromatics and rounded out the mouthfeel. The spirit was then tamed with pristine water originating from a natural hillside spring found on Dave’s property 2000 feet above the Alexander Valley in California. Slaughter House's profile is intense and inviting with caramelized sugar, baking spices, dark fruits, butterscotch, vanilla and subtle smoky notes. The palate is smooth, ultra rich and layered. The finish is impressive with honey, toast and loads of caramel.

$35.99 750ml [106972] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

IWAI JAPANESE WHISKY

Situated between the north and south Japanese alps, Mars Shinshu is Japan's highest whisky distillery, at nearly 800 meters. The Hombo family have been distilling for more than a century and they added whisky to their repertoire in 1949 in Kagoshima. That was the southernmost whisky made in Japan until 1984, when all whisky production was moved to the current location in Nagano.

Kiichiro Iwai, the namesake for this Mars Whisky, was a silent pioneer of Japanese whisky. This whisky is inspired by great American whiskies. A majority of corn balanced with light malt aged in ex-bourbon barrels. Ideal for daily sipping, in a mint julep or an old fashioned. Tasting notes: sweet with fruit flavors like pear, quince and hints of red fruits and vanilla.

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WHITE OAK AKASHI JAPANESE WHISKY

Only a stone's throw from Kobe Bay sits the distillery that is closest to any coast in all of Japan-- the maritime air is reflected in the malt.  Akashi is named after its hometown-- translated as "Sun Rise City"-- where the owner's family has been making alcohol for over 300 years.  While White Oak holds Japan's first whisky license, issued in 1919, serious malt production did not begin until 1984, when the current copper pot stills were put into action and a focus on premium whiskies began.

This is whisky blended in the Scotch tradition, with Japanese precision, the malt is lightly peated and vatting is mostly ex-bourbon, balanced by White Oak's unique variety of barrels.  Tasting notes: Smooth with lots of yellow apple, powdered sugar, angelica fruits with hints of sea air.

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SUNTORY HIBIKI HARMONY 1 BOTTLE LIMIT

Hibiki is a harmonious blend of innumerous malt and grain whiskies which are meticulosly blended to create a full orchestra of flavors and aromas. Seductive, blossoming and enigmatic, Hibiki celebrates an unrivaled art of blending, fine craftsmanship and a sense of luxury from the House of Suntory. Hibiki is not only Japan’s most highly awarded blended whisky, but among the most prestigious and honored whiskies in the world.
Nose: Quite full. There are notes of honey and wax, resin and oak. There are notes of gentle smoke and cacao, hints of cooked fruit and a nutty note.
Palate: Sweet and rich. There are crisp notes of mixed peels, raisin and custard with a little zest and plenty of oak.
Finish: Long with notes of oak and cocoa and sherried peels.

$60.99 750ml [106994] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

CROWN ROYAL HI-TIME HAND SELECTED BARREL 103 PROOF

The Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel program was recently expanded from its original Texas market and we were able to taste through and select a barrel for our store. It’s a Single Barrel release of the Coffey Rye whisky, which is one of the 50 whiskies that make up the standard Crown Royal blend. At 51.5%, this is a Canadian Whisky with a bit more oomph while still retaining its drinking ease.

Tasting notes: The nose is rich with cinnamon spice notes, tropical fruits (banana/plantain), maple syrup/simple syrup. This has a nice viscosity in the mouth, and while a bit muscular and a tad hot (hey, it's 103 proof!), this is very doable neat (if that's your bag, baby!). The tastes are all about Walter Payton (aka "Sweetness")-- from sugar cane to spun sugar to maple syrup. Grainy flavors, buckwheat pancakes, baking spices are the supporting cast here but meld nicely with the sweet tastes. The finish is sweet, brief and tasty.

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A Hard-to-Get 95-Point Russian River Valley Chardonnay!

To put it bluntly, if you enjoy balanced, flavorful, and complex Chardonnays, then the Chardonnays from the Walter Hansel Winery should be on your radar…plain and simple! Winemaker Stephen Hansel crafts masterpieces year-in and year-out from his family’s 75+ acres in Russian River Valley, creating Chardonnays that remind us of the Meursault region of Burgundy. For the 2012 vintage, yields are back to normal, but more intense concentration is reflected in the wine. The Walter Hansel wines get huge scores year-in and year-out, and once again, world-renowned wine critic Robert M. Parker has found this to be a tremendous wine for the money. Just keep reading, and you’ll see what Bob means!

WALTER HANSEL 2012 'NORTH SLOPE' CHARDONNAY
RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 95 POINTS! – "Combining quality with reasonable prices and estate-grown grapes, you can’t do much better than Stephen Hansel’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs…Made from much smaller yields than the Cahill Lane, it sees about 40% new French oak, and reveals terrific fruit intensity along with a full-bodied mouthfeel, a good underlying wet gravel-like character, and loads of peach, pineapple and honeysuckle notes. The wine exhibits a light green hue to its color (which I always consider a positive). It can be drunk over the next 5-7 years."

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A Super, Natural California Bubbly!

Pétillant Naturel, French for mildly, naturally sparkling, is an old wine style that has found the limelight again over the last few years-- maybe initially with more of the wine geek or cork dork crowd. These are lightly sparkling wines that are also slightly lower in their alcohol levels-- there are no added sugars or yeasts and fermentation is interrupted before the native yeasts have consumed the grapes' natural sugars. Carbon dioxide, a byproduct of fermentation, creates the light sparkle when the wine is (usually) crown-capped. The lower alcohol and nice spritz makes pét-nats, naturellement, great quaffers during the warmer months of the year and that is why we have been touting them for last few years. Until now the French, lead by a number of Loire Valley young guns, have dominated this category while we have only heard faint rumblings about U.S. producers getting into game. That is why we are so pumped up about finally being able to offer this dazzler from Onward our first American made pét-nat from California’s north coast.

ONWARD 2014 MALVASIA PETILLANT NATUREL

Onward’s winemaker Faith Armstrong-Foster explains her concept succinctly; "This wine was made with the goal of being true to the nature of an authentic Pétillant Naturel style wine; I encouraged native yeast fermentation, which was then finished in the bottle, and no sugar or other juice was added." The result is a fizz that magically juxtaposes nuanced fruit and fermentation flavors with buoyantly fresh acidity and gentle effervescence. Armstrong Foster left the yeast (and crown cap) sediment in place believing it adds a purity and complexity that is vital to her vision for this wine. The nose is clearly Malvasia with sweet stone fruits, apricot créme and lush florals tempered with definite citrus shadings of grapefruit and lemon-lime. In the mouth, more stone fruits and citrus are lined by a touch of chalk as the clean acidity and overall dry nature of the wine keep its mise-en-scéne moving freshly upward. Chill upright for several hours to let the yeast settle before serving this quintessential summer refresher.

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Introducing Rock Garden Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir!
We had no idea that our own Rock Garden wines would be so well received. So first off, a BIG thank you to all our customers who keep coming back for more of our special finds! We keep searching for wines that over-deliver for the money, and we won’t hesitate to turn down wines that simply just won’t cut it! Fortunately, we’ve been in business for so long and made so many friendships and partnerships that some wineries will offer us wines for the Rock Garden labels that do just that….they over-deliver! This time around, it’s a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon from one of our friends from the Central Coast!

ROCK GARDEN 2013 PINOT NOIR SANTA MARIA VALLEY
The Pinot Noir comes from Santa Maria Valley, located in the northwest corner of Santa Barbara County. This area is very cool and wind swept, with a mix of sandy and clay soils. Pinot Noir does very well here, and it is not common for the Pinots from the region to receive scores above 95 points! We are not able to divulge the vineyard source of this Pinot Noir, but most producers from this vineyard sell their wines in the $30-$50 range, so pedigree is not lacking in this wine.
This may well best be described as a Cabernet drinker’s Pinot Noir, as it possesses a lovely ruby/garnet color, and delivers heady aromas of raspberry, mixed black fruits, and underbrush, along with nice, big flavors of cola, black cherry, a hint of earth, and herbs. This is a rich yet fresh Pinot Noir, with good weight on the mid-palate, and a savory finish.
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ROCK GARDEN 2013 CABERNET SAUVIGNON PASO ROBLES
For the past several years, Paso Robles has delivered some of the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon, so it only made sense for us to look there! This comes from two different vineyards in Paso’s Westside. One vineyard has limestone soils that promote freshness and vibrancy in the wine, while the other has clay soils that give richness and that textbook “juicy” factor typical from the region.
Aged in 30% new oak (a combination of French and American), this Cabernet has a dark garnet color, almost opaque, with a purple hue. Right off the bat this shows a nose of kirsch, blackberry, black cherry, violets and a hint of anise. Juicy on the palate, with blueberry, cherry, plum, crème de cassis, and red fruits hiding in the back ground, the wine’s velvety tannins give support to the lengthy, full-bodied finish.
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A Perfectly Aged Showstopper from 100 Year Old Vines!

Last month, Salvino Benanti visited Hi-Time to share his wines and passion for the wines of Mount Etna. The Benanti’s have long recognized that the minerality and climate from Mount Etna made the indigenous grapes from the island capable of greatness. In fact, they have been growing grapes in this land of extremes since the late 1890s and their Nerello Mascalese vines are more than 100 years old! We are excited to share the 2004 Serra Della Contessa from the cellars of Benanti. This wine is balanced, full of character and drinking beautifully right now.

           

We are spellbound by the complexity of this perfectly aged wine from the historic Benanti family estate. This cuvee is composed primarily of Nerello Mascalese with a small amount of Nerello Cappuccio. Think of a hypothetical cross of Burgundian Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo, which is vibrant and fresh at 11 years of age. As Salvino says, "These are elegant wines for elegant food and elegant people." We agree wholeheartedly and know our customers will enjoy this tremendous food wine, which pairs exceptionally well with lamb, pork dishes, sausage or even pizza!

For more information on the Benanti family and their wines, click HERE to visit our wine blog.

BENANTI 2004 SERRA DELLA CONTESSA

WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "Benanti's 2004 Serra della Contessa is a showstopper. This blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio is made from 100-year old vines, many of which date to pre-phylloxera times. The wine is fermented in oak vats, then racked into French oak barrels for aging. It reveals notable intensity and purity in its expressive layers of ripe fruit, leather, minerals, menthol, licorice and smoke. Supple, finessed tannins frame the gorgeous finish. Today the wine is quite primary but in time it will likely develop into an ethereal beauty. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016."

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Huge Scores for this Remarkable Aussie Icon!

In April, Jane Ferrari of Yalumba visited Hi-Time and we sampled the astounding 2012 "Signature" Cabernet-Shiraz blend from the Barossa Valley. This sneak peek knocked our socks off so we ordered big and awaited its arrival. Well, the wait is over and the wine is here! The reviews from the wine press have also come in with a trio of critics awarding scores of at least 95 Points. They used words to describe this wine such as elegant, seductive and having overall perfect balance. This delicious red blend is an Aussie Icon whose hallmark is incredible balance and purity of fruit.

The Smith family has been making wine at Yalumba for over 165 years and has produced The Signature for more than 5 decades. Their "Signature" wine is only produced in very good years and 2012 was an exceptional year. It is deep and complex, displaying the silky texture that is the calling card of Yalumba’s red wines. The polished tannins of this remarkable wine make this one which can be enjoyed now, but also one which can be aged for several years. Enjoy!

Click here to read more about our visit with Jane Ferrari and Yalumba on our blog.

YALUMBA 2012 "THE SIGNATURE" CABERNET-SHIRAZ
JAMES HALLIDAY 96 POINTS - "Spent 20 months in high quality French, Hungarian and American oak barrels made in Yalumba's own onsite cooperage. This is one of the richest and most opulent vintages of The Signature in the 41 years since the first was made. While the blackcurrant and blackberry fruit flavours dominate the oak, the wine has a certain elegant juiciness that offers drinking at any stage over the next 20+ years, as the tannins are supple and fine, the overall balance perfect."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Blended of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon and 48% Shiraz, the deep garnet-purple colored 2012 The Signature (Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz) is a benchmark example of this classic South Australia blend. Giving scents of ripe black cherries, blackberries and cassis with underlying cloves, vanilla and menthol hints, it fills the mouth with ripe, seductive but never heavy fruit. Medium-bodied and well framed with firm grainy tannins and balanced freshness, it finishes long and youthfully taut. Always a great value Aussie icon, this vintage is right up there with the best and is certainly one for the cellars of Aussie wine lovers!"
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A balanced, complete red with currant, spice, meat and berry character. Full body with polished tannins and a long, long finish. Very structured and layered. Turns spicy and flavorful. This is a great wine. Try in 2018."
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Ultra Premium Whisky at a Ridiculous Price!

Today we are offering a close out on an Ultra Premium blended Canadian Whisky. Quantities are limited so don't hesitate to order. First come, first served.

CALIFORNIA CROWN CLUB WHISKY

Distillery Notes - It is our great pleasure to craft California Crown Club Whiskey to celebrate the rich heritage and beauty of the Golden State. California is not only known for its majestic coastline and beaches but also for its beautiful rivers, spectacular mountains, rich agriculture and being the birth place of cinema. What makes this whiskey truly unique is the process used to create it. We start by carefully selecting only the finest oak barrels, giving California Crown Club Whiskey it's distinguished smooth mellow creamy taste. We are confident that you will enjoy every sip as much as we enjoyed making it for you.

Sale $8.99 Normally $22.99 750ml [103814] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
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A Simply Delicious 94 Point Red Not to be Missed!

Quinta do Crasto has crafted another winner! We recently featured the Quinta do Crasto Superior and it was a huge hit with our customers. Many tried a bottle and returned to buy more once they tasted the quality. Now is a great time to explore a bit more as we just received the Quinta do Crasto Reserva. It is also made with native Portuguese grapes, but the Reserva is sourced from Old Vines. As many of our customers know, old vines have lower yields resulting in more mouth-filling concentration. This fantastic red blend is rich yet lively and offers more depth and complexity than the Superior. As you may recall, Portuguese wines took 3 of the top 4 spots on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 List last year. This Quinta do Crasto Reserva received a 94 Point rating from Wine Spectator! These wines continue to be a steal and remain one of the great undiscovered secrets and bargains of the world.

Situated on the right bank of the Douro River, between the towns of Régua and Pinhão, Quinta do Crasto has a privileged location in the Demarcated Region of the Douro. Quinta do Crasto has belonged to the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for over a century. Their passion for wine making has contributed to Quinta do Crasto´s growing national and international reputation.

QUINTA DO CRASTO 2012 RESERVA

Deep violet in color. Expressive aromas of vibrant berry fruits combined with subtle hints of fresh spices. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and concentrated with voluptuous ripe fruit along with notions of cocoa. With time in the glass, the wine becomes more complex and darker fruits, including blueberries emerge. Powerful, focused and intense with velvety tannins which make the wine accessible now, but also capable of aging. The finish is very long, showing excellent concentration and perfect balance. Simply Delicious.

WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Powerful, rich and refined, with a lithe mouthfeel and flavors of boysenberry, sandalwood, macerated cherry and damson plum. Very minerally as well, featuring loads of spicy notes on the well-structured, lingering finish. Elegant. Drink now through 2022."

$34.99 750ml [383633] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Potentially Perfect 2012 Cabernet from Stags Leap Wine Cellars!

It was nearly 40 years ago when Stags Leap Wine Cellars won the famed Paris Tasting of 1976 and help to skyrocket Napa Valley Cabernets to stardom across the world! Flash forward to today, and you will find that this “blue chip” producer is not resting on its laurels. No, they are still pushing to put every little bit of complexity, nuance, and finesse into their Cabernet Sauvignons that they possibly can. Combine this with Napa’s highly-praised and eagerly-anticipated 2012 vintage, and you’ve got some amazing wines!

The signature style for Stags Leap Wine Cellars has often been described as “an iron fist in a velvet glove,” a reference to the artful balance—between ripeness and restraint, softness and structure—that yields wines of exceptional beauty and long life. Achieving that style requires a level of attention to detail found only among the world’s most dedicated wine producers. In addition, Stags Leap picks in small lots to maintain the identity of the vineyards, age the wine exclusively in French oak, and their vineyard team works carefully on a vine-by-vine basis, rather than the more typical agricultural approach where farming decisions are made on a field basis. In addition, Stags Leap Wine Cellars focuses on sustainable farming, even receiving “Napa Green Certified Land” certification for their three estate vineyards, and “Napa Green Certified Winery” for the winery. Napa Green is the wine industry’s most comprehensive “best practices” in land-use and wine production.

Quantities are limited so don't hesitate to order. First come, first served.

STAGS LEAP WINE CELLARS 2012 "CASK 23" CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 97-100 POINTS - "The spectacular 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 23 appears to be the finest Cask 23 since the glory years of the mid-eighties. It boasts a dense purple color, complex notes of spice box, Christmas fruitcake, blackcurrant jam, mulberries and spring flowers, as well as a full-bodied, opulent personality. It is a profound example of this iconic wine that went through a period of mediocrity in the mid- to late-1990s prior to being sold. Drink now-2038."

$209.99 750ml [265200] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

STAGS LEAP WINE CELLARS 2012 "FAY" CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 93-96 POINTS - "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Fay Estate Grown possesses a complex bouquet of raspberries, blueberries, charcoal, graphite and spring flowers, abundant richness, and a medium to full-bodied, graceful mouthfeel with everything in perfect harmony. It exhibits gorgeous fruit, a complex personality, full body and terrific elegance and finesse. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2035."

$99.99 750ml [265230] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

STAGS LEAP WINE CELLARS 2012 "SLV" CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY

ROBERT PARKER 92-94 POINTS - "This is the vineyard that won the Paris Tasting of 1976, and this vintage might be the best bottling since! “The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon S.L.V. Estate Grown is a beauty. A layered, lush, Pomerol-inspired Cabernet Sauvignon, it offers up notes of Christmas fruitcake, forest floor, underbrush, plums and red and blackcurrants. Sweet tannins, a succulent, fleshy mouthfeel, beautiful concentration and texture, and a long finish result in a sumptuous, irresistible mouthful of Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy it now and over the next 10-15 years."

$99.99 750ml [265210] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

A Fantastic, Pure and Flat-Out Delicious Pinot Noir!

Storm is an exciting new project by Hannes Storm, the former winemaker for Hamilton Russell. After 12 vintages crafting the brilliant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines for the iconic South African winery, Hannes was inspired to start his own label. We had the opportunity to taste this impressive debut and have to say we now have two favorite Pinot based wines from South Africa. Without a doubt, Hamilton Russell and Storm produce the best Pinot Noir we have ever tasted from South Africa! This should not be a surprise. As you would expect from a winemaker of this pedigree, the wine is fantastic, pure and flat-out delicious.

The grapes are sourced from the Vrede vineyard located on a steep northeast facing slope with low yielding soils composed of stony, clay-rich shale. The cool maritime influence from the Atlantic Ocean 2 miles from the vineyard ensures the grapes retain nice acidity and do not become over-ripe. Meticulous viticulture, minimal intervention in the cellar and a constant nod to the Old World give this wine its charm and character. Only 10 barrels of wine were produced from this six acre site with a tiny allotment being imported into the U.S. This is an impressive maiden vintage which we are thrilled to carry and look forward to enjoying Storm wines for many years to come!

Medium ruby in color, this wine is beautifully aromatic, showing thrilling purity to the fresh fruit with notes of dark cherry, plum fruit, rose petals and subtle oak spice. The pallet has rich structure with elegant, dark cherry and berry fruit, blue plum and baking spices with silky tannins and good acidity. This comes across as a well-balanced wine showing purity and elegance.

STORM 2012 PINOT NOIR 'VREDE'

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2012 Pinot Noir Vrede includes 25% new barrels (apparently the cooper made the staves with different toasting and grain.) It is darker in color and clearly in possession of more fruit intensity with dark cherries, blackcurrant pastille and a touch of violet. The palate is medium-bodied with succulent, ripe tannins, the alcohol coming through more here (13.8%) with a sense of opulence allied with finesse toward the finish. This is (predictably) an impressive debut."

$44.95 750ml [378443] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Summer Sake Guide!

The road to Saké enlightenment can be daunting , as many of us are unfamiliar with this beverage, and most of us have been introduced to it by drinking it hot, when most of the time, Saké is intended to be drunk chilled, or at room-temperature.

There is also a language barrier one encounters while learning Sake (even after translation), which can make things discouraging and ultimately intimidating to the average learner. We hope to clear some of that confusion and instill you with information so that you may confidently charge your way forward and discover the titillating, enticing world of Saké in its various forms.

A few rules of thumb:

Premium Sakes (in most cases) will be labeled as Daiginjo or Ginjo.

In general, the more the rice grain has been milled away, the more complex the flavors. For Daiginjo sake, (at least) 50 percent of the rice grain is milled away and for Ginjo (at least) 40 percent.

In addition, equally as good, but with different styles, are Sakés labeled as Junmai or Honjozo. The word “junmai” translates to "pure rice." Junmai sakes are made with only rice, water, yeast and “koji” (mold), with 30% or more of the rice grain milled away and can be fuller-bodied. Honjozo sake has a small amount of neutral spirit added at the end of fermentation to create a lighter style of flavor with added aromatics.

Please note the varying sizes of Sakes listed. Most sakes come in 720ml bottles, while others may come in 500ml, 300ml, and 180ml size bottles or containers.

To learn more about Saké, we recommend reading, "The Insider’s Guide to Sake", by Philip Harper.

Here are some Sakés we love, which we think you will enjoy throughout the summer!

The Nigori-lover’s Sake

KAMOIZUMI NIGORI GINJO SAKE "SUMMER SNOW" 500ml
One of the best Nigoris we've ever tasted!

This unfiltered sake is a nigori fan's dream come true. The bottle itself looks like a slender snow-globe, and the taste is equally as dramatic with a rich and creamy impression from start to finish.

Summer Snow is without pasteurization for a true "fresh-from-the vat" taste experience. The nose is of freshly cut hay, and the first sip tells you that this sake is a luscious pageant of goodness. A gentle texture gives way to flavors of honeydew melon and cotton candy. This premium unfiltered sake brimming with natural flavor. Mildly sweet, yet surprisingly exuberant, this is an excellent sake for nigori fans.

$25.98 500ml [103178] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
The Seafood-lover’s Sake

JOKIGEN EUPHORIA JUNMAI GINGO 720ml

This velvety smooth Junmai Ginjo from the Yamagata Prefecture in Japan is exceptionally rich, due to the Oyama-Nishiki rice, known for its intense flavor.

The nose is of night-blooming jasmine, and cherry blossoms. Taste: A sake with great umami, as this is well-structured, vibrant, and deep, with flavors of jackfruit and honeydew melon. There is an inherent sweetness to this, yet it finishes dry. Elegant and complex, this is a terroir-driven sake, capturing the regional characteristics of the rice that the farmers and nature work so hard to imprint.

Food pairings: Fresh Oysters. Skip the lemon and sauce. Instead, pour some Euphoria into the shell and drink it with the natural oyster brine. The oyster’s amino acids and the sake integrate, marry, and dance on the tongue!

$28.98 720ml [102687] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
The Martini-lover’s Sake

DEWAZAKURA IZUMI JUDAN "TENTH DEGREE' GINJO" 720ml

Wow! This Sake is crisp and BONE DRY with a hint of juniper, reminiscent of Gin. No other Sake we have encountered combines the dryness, herbaceousness and edginess (36 proof) to such an exhilarating effect.

On the nose and palate, look for juniper berries, crisp pear, and dry melon tones. This sake appeals to those who like the flavor and tingle of the clear spirits, but without the full spirit punch!

$32.98 720ml [103179] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
The Sweetheart of Sakes

DEWAZAKURA "OKA" (CHERRY BOUQUET) GINJO SAKE

Impossible not to love, this is a blissfully graceful and aromatic sake. "Cherry Bouquet" is dry and delightful with gorgeous aromas of cherry blossoms, peaches, and spring water. On the palate, it is soft and creamy, filled with dried fruit tones and subtle melon. The viscosity thickens as the sake warms in the mouth, and there is an overall perception of flowers from start to finish. Sublime.

$12.98 300ml [103177] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
And finally... A crazy Sake that is crazy fun!

OZEKI IKEZO SPARKLING PEACH JELLY SAKE 180ML CAN

We couldn’t help but notice a recent Eater.com article which documented a Sake phenomenon in Japan. Drinkers there are embracing a concoction known as "Sake Jelly." This is catching on in the U.S. too, as we have encountered a growing demand from our customers for this once obscure form of Sake. This flavored, jellied sake is slightly fizzy and pleasantly sweet. This is not your typical Sake by any means, but rather a "gateway" to Sake… as it is fun, tasty, portable, and affordable.

The folks at Ozeki have made a remarkably enjoyable sake that comes in a 6.1 oz (180ml) can, slightly carbonated and sweet, with peach flavoring. As the can instructs, chill, and shake well 20 times before serving. Once shaken, drink immediately. This has been the hit of many a party, plus at only 5% alcohol, it leaves a light touch. This is a fun diversion on the road to Sake enlightenment. Kanpai!

$3.99 180ml [345687] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

"Superb Value for Money" - Robert Parker!

La Rioja is blessed with the perfect conditions for excellent vineyards. Its soil and climate are favorable for growing vitis vinifera, and its wine culture runs deep and wide. There are good reasons why this land enjoys international recognition for its outstanding wines. Cune, with its three wineries and the many international prizes earned by its wines, has also contributed to making Rioja the global benchmark it is today.

Cune`s Viña Real winery is located on top of the Cerro de la Mesa, in Rioja Alavesa, an area celebrated for its fruit-forward wines, a land with a soil that supports the best native red wine grape varieties and that enjoys an optimum mesoclimate. Most vines here grow from the highlands of the Sierra de Cantabria down to the Ebro River on southern-facing slopes the calcareous sediment of the hills makes the soil ideal. Rioja Alavesa was one of Spain`s pioneering regions in the barrel-aging of wines, and Viña Real was one of the first to make crianza wines in this area.

Cune has been a long time staff and customer favorite from Rioja. Over the years we have had the privilege of tasting their Gran Reservas as far back as the 50’s. Our reactions are always the same, we ooh and awe, treasuring every sip.

CUNE VINA REAL 2010 CRIANZA

ROBERT PARKER 91 POINTS - "...the Crianza is usually a blend of 90% Tempranillo complemented with small amounts of Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano. 2010 had textbook climatic conditions to be a great vintage. The destemmed grapes carry out both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats and the wine ages for some 14 months in French and American oak barrels. This 2010 has a nice bright cherry color with a clean and open nose displaying red fruits and a spicy touch, coming through as quite a traditional nose and a polished palate with good acidity as they aim for freshness and drinkability. This Crianza represents superb value for money. Drink now-2020."

$13.95 750ml [381222] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

CUNE 2014 MONOPOLE

Made from Viura grapes, this wine exhibits citrus and floral aromas. Great mouth-feel enhanced by citrus and mango flavors with a long, fresh finish. The balanced acidity coupled with its other characteristics makes this an ideal sipper as well as a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of dishes.

All grapes come from the 'Rioja Alta' subzone, where higher altitudes and Atlantic influences make for a moderate climate which is ideal for producing wines of elegance and finesse. Soils are composed of iron-rich clay and limestone. This wine is aged in tank and bottled in January to preserve freshness and fruit.

$11.95 750ml [380671] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Just In from the 2010 Brunello Dream Vintage!

The 2010 vintage marks an unprecedented year for Tuscany’s much beloved sangiovese-based red, Brunello di Montalcino. Winemakers, the wine press, and seasoned wine professionals unanimously agree that this is the Brunello vintage of a lifetime, even outclassing the outstanding 2006 and 1997 vintages.

The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner writes of the 2010 vintage, “possibly reaching iconic status. Montalcino has some great wines in store for us and the barrel tasting I did while visiting estates was nothing short of exhilarating. Rest assured: The hype and the buzz … is not hyperbole. Many vintners I spoke with describe it as a ‘dream vintage.’”

Quantities are limited and between the huge scores and epic vintage this wine won't last long. Don't hesitate to order. First come, first served. Click HERE to see all the Brunellos we have in stock.

IL PARADISO DI FRASSINA 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Lots of orange rind and fresh herbs on the nose. Rose petals, too. Full to medium body, soft, silky tannins and a subtle terracotta and stone aftertaste. Fine finish. Made from organic grapes. Drink or hold on release."

$49.98 750ml [302427] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

VILLA LE PRATA 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "Incredible aromatics here with smoked meat, toffee, light prune, dried cherry and dried flower. Full body, soft, velvety tannins and a long, sexy finish. Wonderful depth and intensity. Big wine from a little producer. Try in 2017."

$54.95 750ml [302522] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

GIANNI BRUNELLI LE CHIUSE DI SOTTO
2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "A rich and intense wine with blueberry, lemon and sliced mushroom character. Mahogany and cedar undertones. Full body, firm tannins and a juicy finish. Gorgeous finish. Better after 2017."

$54.99 750ml [303368] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

PALAZZO 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Wonderful aromas of salt, savory dried meat and red fruits. Bacon, too. Full body with chewy tannins and a long, intense finish. It's like a tightly knit ball of cashmere thread. Superb. Made from four hectares of vineyards. Better in 2018."

$74.98 750ml [302651] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button VERY LIMITED

High Scoring World Class Chardonnay!

The Chardonnays produced by Kumeu River are not just among the best wines from New Zealand, they are some of the best Chardonnays in the world. In fact, the Kumeu River wines out-performed their old world counterparts in a recent blind tasting by fourteen wine professionals. Neal Martin of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Decanter Magazine’s Jancis Robinson were among the judges who participated. Afterwards, Martin called the Kumeu River wines, “White Burgundy in Kiwi clothing.” Jancis Robinson was inspired to pen an article for Decanter in which she wrote, “A blind tasting comparing Kumeu River Chardonnays with fine white Burgundies suggests they can more than hold their own.”

Kumeu River’s success is not surprising as winemaker Michael Brajkovich learned his craft in Burgundy and is inspired by the wines made from this renowned terroir. He makes his family’s wines including the Mate’s Chardonnay with painstaking attention to detail. The grapes are hand harvested, whole-bunch pressed and barrel fermented in French barriques with indigenous yeast. The Mate’s Chardonnay is approachable now, but capable of aging as well. The Burgundian–inspired wines from Kumeu River are well worth your time and money at a fraction of the price for wines of comparable quality.

KUMEU RIVER 2012 CHARDONNAY MATE'S VINEYARD

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Tasted blind at Farr Vintners Kumeu/White Burgundy tasting. The nose on the 2012 Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay has more intensity and complexity than the 2010: very detailed and harmonious with limestone, nettle and citrus lemon notes. The palate is fresh and poised with lime and green apple, very well-judged acidity with a linear, Chablis-like finish that is an absolute joy. This is an outstanding Maté’s Chardonnay, perhaps the best that Kumeu River produced that year."

$44.99 750ml [378862] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Italy’s Single Greatest White Wine Buy Is Back!

Colle Stefano has been our absolute favorite Verdicchio for many years and has been embraced by our customers as a perfect white wine for summer. Ian D’Agata of Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar has said, “I think it is probably Italy's single greatest white wine buy.” The 2014 vintage just arrived and is fantastic! Although yet to be scored, we were extremely pleased and delighted when we tasted it. It is clean, crisp and dry-a white hot summer sipper not to be missed!

This organic white comes from the little town of Matelica is in the Marche region and has been consistent in quality, winning at least two glasses from Gambero Rosso since the 2001 vintage (twice winning three glasses). Winemaker Fabio Marchionni keeps yields extremely low and makes wine with painstaking care. You could eat off the floor of the winery (and hygiene is very important when making this kind of white wine). It is fermented and matured entirely in stainless steel (no oak) and does not undergo malolactic fermentation. This wine is racy, vivid, and excellent with light fare or on its own.

COLLE STEFANO 2014 VERDICCHIO DI MATELICA

This wine is dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity and good structure. This wine is charming on the nose with a bouquet of nectarines, chamomile and lemon blossoms, and equally pleasing on the palate with flavors of white peach, kaffir lime and tropical fruit. This wine is vibrant and quenching at every sip with pleasing minerality. The finish is long and enhanced by its lively acidity. This is a wine that would pair well with grilled halibut, salads, or shrimp on the barbie. Delicious!

$16.95 750ml [302261] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

A Delicious French Red at a Great Price!

Vin de France (formerly known as Vin de Table) is the most basic quality tier for wines from France. What does that mean? Generally, to us, we've found some of the best everyday quaffers-- like those featured in our Wine of the Month and Wine of the Month 2 programs-- that don't cost a fortune. This is one of those wines. Syrah and Grenache are excellent partners in wine, both grapes enjoying warm climates such as those found in the south of France (or Spain or other parts of the 'new world'). This wine also hails from Mas de Boislauzon, a winery with holdings in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône, comprised of brother and sister team (and fifth generation winemakers) Christine and Daniel Chaussy, which is another significant feather in this wine's pedigree cap. But what it really came down to, as it usually does, is the fact that this wine is delicious and reasonably priced. It's a good summer red in that it's not too big in body as one might find in a Cabernet Sauvignon or Cab blend, but big enough to serve with red meat at a late afternoon or early evening barbecue or affair.

LA CHAUSSYNETTE 2013 VIN DE FRANCE MAS DE BOISLAUZON
50% Syrah, 50% Grenache.

The nose is an attractive mélange of mixed red and blue fruits, a touch of hillside bramble, dark spices, sea salt, light florals and a hint of cured meats. In the mouth, the rounded, sexy texture is kept trim with acidic structure in what amounts to a beautiful pas de deux on the palate. Fruit is king as jammy raspberry and strawberry fruit intermingle with violets and other darker florals; again a touch of spice... excellent structure, rounded tannins keep it lean and uplifting as the finish adds a touch of earth to the rich fruits.

$12.99 750ml [345035] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Our Best Selling French Rose Domaines Ott is Back in Stock!

Domaines OTT was founded in 1912 by Alsatian engineer, Marcel Ott. Today, the wineries are owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer, producing some of the world's most prestigious wines. Situated inland on top of limestone hills, the vineyard enjoys ample exposure to the sun. The soil is composed of 40-50% rock, so the land is dry and, despite the presence of some extremely fertile clay deposits, yields are low.

DOMAINES OTT 2014 COTES DE PROVENCE ROSE
CHATEAU DE SELLE

The following grapes are used in making this rosé: Cabernet Sauvignon for its complexity, blending elegance and vigor; Cinsault for its finesse and fullness; Grenache to add warmth to the wine; Syrah in small quantities to round off the wine, give color and a touch of liquorice. This rosé has a bouquet reminiscent of plants with notes of fruits and spices, apricot and grapefruit pulp. It will make an outstanding alliance with scallops, salmon marinated in dill, sweet and sour pork.

$44.99 750ml [373867] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Be the Life of the Party with this 93 Point Magnum!

The 2013 Belle Glos Pinot Noir “Las Alturas” is produced by the Wagner family whose roots as farmers and winemakers in the Napa Valley date back to the 1880’s. Joseph J. Wagner, A 5th generation winemaker, leads the winemaking team on this project as well as all the Meiomi / Belle Glos wines. As a child, Joseph spent his spring and summer breaks in the Vineyard and Cellar at Caymus and still works alongside his father Chuck at Caymus handling a role in Viticulture and Winemaking.

BELLE GLOS 2013 PINOT NOIR "LAS ALTURAS" MAGNUM

The Las Alturas Vineyard is located in one of the highest plant-able sites in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County, this pristine bench offers the Las Alturas cool, coastal days with consistent sunshine and a foundation of Gloria sandy loam soil. The high elevation, up to 1200 feet, and southern locale of Las Alturas Vineyard is slightly warmer by day and cooler by night with abundant sunshine and less wind than the northern portion of the appellation. All of these favorable conditions work to enhance the phenolic profile of each berry. When planting this vineyard, various Pinot Noir clones and rootstocks were matched to the most fitting soil types and slopes. Yields are deliberately kept low in order to augment the fruit’s intensity.

WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Spares no expense, with lavish smoke and black licorice scented oak framing a rich core of dark berry, anise, boysenberry and savory herb notes. Full-blown and expressive through a persistent, mouthcoating finish. Drink now through 2024.—J.L."

$90.00 1500ml [204070] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

A Delicious Dry French Rose Under $9!

The rosés are in bloom as summer sets in-- for our wine of the month, we found a fantastic example from Provence that captured our hearts, palates and July's Wine of the Month slot. The vineyard domain Château de Brigue started in 1970 as a family venture. Following the founder Roger Brun's steps, his son Fernand developed the domain and today, the third generation winemakers and brothers Jean-Michel, Christian, Olivier, and Frederic Brun carry on the tradition in this family owned estate of winery, vineyards, and olive grove. Through the accumulated dedication and know-how of each generation, Château de Brigue raised to an institution of superior winemaking and one of the largest family domains in Provence. The domain extends over 120 hectares (300 acres) of vineyards in the heart of sun basked Côte de Provence wine country along the legendary Nationale 7 road, between Aix en Provence, Cannes, and Saint Tropez in the South of France.

CHATEAU DE BRIGUE 2014 COTE DE PROVENCE ROSE

A blend of 35% Mourvedre, 35% Grenache and 30% Cinsault, both nose and palate are chock full of orchard fruit, peaches and apricots. Scents of dewy grass, lanolin and minerally river water add to the stone fruits when nosing. The texture, when tasting, is quite lush and rich but cleans up quickly with excellent acidity. Additional fruit flavors of watermelon and mixed red berries complement the aforementioned tree fruits as a touch of minerality arises in the long, fruit-filled finish. A foil for the heat, a boon to any picnic or poolside snack or celebration, simple and delicious. There are so many reasons why we love dry French rosés and this one showcases a bunch of them.

$8.99 750ml [345014] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

The Perfect 4th of July Cabernet!

Happy 4th of July! Today, we are featuring an Italian wine which celebrates America’s independence. Although the Mazzei family has been producing wines for 24 generations in Chianti, they are perhaps proudest of the mark their ancestors have left on history. Philip Mazzei was a contemporary and close friend of Thomas Jefferson who was known to enjoy fine wine from around the world and wrote extensively about the subject.

When Jefferson wasn’t writing about wine, he penned other significant documents which you may have heard of. Yes, the Declaration of Independence was pretty significant! The great doctrine “All men are created equal” incorporated into the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson, was paraphrased from the writings of his friend, Philip Mazzei. As they say, the rest is history!

Philip is an extraordinary wine created to honor the memory of Philip Mazzei – a passionate grape grower, forward thinker, and patriot – and highlight the Mazzei family’s special connection to the American people. The label on the bottle really catches your eye and reflects Philip as he appeared during the American Revolution.

This wine is a blend of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes selected from Mazzei’s Tuscan properties. It is silky smooth with abundant, ripe fruit and is in the perfect spot in its evolution for drinking. Enjoy!

 

MAZZEI 2009 PHILIP

WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "A pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2009 Philip does a great job of capturing the power and intensity of the vintage. This lovely expression is infused with dark cherry and oak spice that wrap softly over the palate. The quality of tannin is also nicely evolved at this point with silky finishes and a firm sense of presence and weight in the mouth."

$39.98 750ml [302490] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Wines with Altitude!

We recently sat down with Jose Alberto Zuccardi to enjoy his wines and learn more about his family’s winery. We were thrilled as the Zuccardi’s are taking Argentine winemaking to the next level of quality and refinement by pioneering single vineyard, micro-climate wines in the Uco Valley. Looking forward, customers should begin looking for regional bottlings as well as sub-zones and single vineyard designated bottlings from Argentina as indications of quality. Jose Zucardi’s father originally planted vines in the arid Uco Valley in Mendoza, Argentina. The high altitude vineyard at the foot of the Andes was meant to showcase his irrigation system, which he hoped to sell to others in the agricultural business. Up to that point, the area had been inhospitable to most crops, but the experiment proved to be a success as the grapes flourished, producing outstanding, flavorful wines.

Jose made the wines for many years, but now the primary responsibility belongs to his son, Sebastian. Together, they have brought Argentine wines to new heights and received world-wide recognition for their efforts.

To better understand the soil composition for each plot of land, Sebastian dug numerous holes in their vineyards. This information was used to plant grape varieties in the soils best suited for them. The Zuccardi’s attention to detail extends to all areas of their winemaking with results you can taste in the glass.

His passion is evident in the delicious wines he produces and he likes to say, “The identity of a wine comes from a unique combination of vines, climate, soil and people.” We brought in three terrific wines, showcasing different grapes and the Zuccardi pedigree.

“Emma” is named for Sebastian’s grandmother and is made from 100% Bonarda grapes. It displays wonderful complexity and character, showcasing flowers, spice and abundant fruit. It is outstanding.

ZUCCARDI 2013 'EMMA' BONARDA

Deep ruby with purple highlights. The wine is very expressive with notes of flowers, cherries, blueberries and raspberries and pepper. The palate is medium-bodied with velvety tannins and juicy fruit. This wine shows what Bonarda is capable of and is terrific with food.

$33.95 750ml [382508] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
 

The ‘Tito’ bottling pays homage to Sebastian’s father and is comprised primarily of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is one juicy, delicious wine which is definitely a crowd pleaser!

ZUCCARDI 2012 TITO RED BLEND

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The nose is clean, subtle, and elegant, with well-integrated oak as well as faint notes of spices and smoke. The palate is elegant and the texture of the tannins clearly reflects the chalky origin of the soils. This calcareous blend offers great purity, freshness, and personality. It is drinking well and should also age. Drink now-2019."

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Last, but certainly not least we brought in the Alluvional Malbec from the famed Altamira vineyard. This is concentrated with ripe, succulent tannins. The calcium carbonate soils impart a creamy textural elegance. This is very refined and Malbec just doesn’t get much better than this.

ZUCCARDI 2011 ALUVIONAL 'ALTAMIRA'

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The 2011 Aluvional Altamira is pure Malbec planted at 1,100 meters in soils with big boulders and a high chalk content in Altamira, which produces serious, elegant but a little backward wines. It opens with shy aromas of black cherries and blueberries, ripe, yet terse, vibrant and very harmonious, then moves on to a medium-bodied palate, that is powerful but without showing it in an obvious way. This is a superb example of the character of Altamira through the Malbec grape. Drink now-2020."

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The 'Utterly Compelling' 99 Point Dominus 2012 Estate Cabernet-Blend!

Dominus Estate is one of the crown jewels of the Napa Valley; dubbed the “stealth winery” by locals for its amazing architecture. Its owner, Christian Moueix (whose family also runs Chateau Petrus, among others), demands the highest standards, and accepts nothing but the best when it comes to the quality of this wine. The grapes are farmed from their Napanook vineyard, a prodigious piece of land that has been envied for over 150 years! This is routinely one of the higher scoring wines from the big publications, and this year’s release is no exception, as it has received 99 points from famed wine critic Robert Parker. This is a trophy wine, a candidate for the cellar, a show stopper, and an exceptional gift!

DOMINUS ESTATE 2012 NAPA VALLEY PROPRIETARY RED

ROBERT PARKER 99 POINTS - "Flirting with perfection, the 2012 Dominus is composed of 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Franc. Five thousand cases were produced, a relatively modest amount from this large vineyard’s big crop. Christian Moueix told me that there was plenty of heat in 2012, but there were no excessive hot spells that can plague Napa Valley vintners during the growing season and harvest. This wine’s opaque plum/purple color is accompanied by a beautiful nose of sweet crème de cassis, a touch of background oak (only 40% new oak is used), spice box, cedarwood, black cherries and a hint of spring flowers. The complex, intense aromatics are followed by a deep, opulent, multidimensional, full-bodied wine with not a hard edge to be found. Everything is seamlessly crafted in this beauty and the vintage’s abundant richness is well-displayed. This 2012 can be drunk in its exuberant youthfulness or cellared for another 20-25 years "

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Our Top 2010 Pre-Sale Brunello is Back in Stock!

Earlier this year, we received our allocation of two terrific Brunello di Montalcino wines from Ciacci Piccolomini and both quickly sold out. We were fortunate to receive another small allotment of each, but certainly not enough to satisfy our customer’s demands. Both wines hail from the epic 2010 vintage and display terrific precision, balance and complexity. Furthermore, they offer tremendous value.

At our first Brunello tasting earlier this year, the “normal” Brunello bottling was a customer favorite and is without a doubt the best ever produced by Ciacci Piccolomini. It is showy and more approachable than many of the Brunello’s we’ve tasted and is already displaying the complexity that makes Brunello so famous.

CIACCI PICCOLOMINI 2010 D'ARAGONA
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 94+ POINTS - "The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino represents a return to the traditional values of Montalcino. The bouquet is buoyant and bright with lingering tones of smoke, ash, balsam herb, licorice and soy sauce. Those kinds of aromas make Brunello such a wonderful wine and thankfully you get them in abundance here. Dry mineral and brimstone also give the wine a sense of focus, sharpness and cleanliness that is very appealing. The close is long, fine and polished. I look forward to retasting this bottle five years from now."

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The Pianrosso is a star for Ciacci Piccolomini, year in and year out. The wine is fermented in glass-lined cement and stainless steel tanks then aged in Slavonian oak barrels for 36 months. "Pianrosso" is an absolutely gorgeous and rich Brunello, with complex aromas of red fruits, flowers, licorice and spice, that only gets better with age.

CIACCI PICCOLOMINI 2010 PIANROSSO
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Beautiful and delicate from the start, the 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna di Pianrosso impresses for its depth and balance. The wine sees one more year of oak cask aging compared to the base Brunello and you can definitely sense the extra spice on the nose. Those delicate balsam notes of root beer, ginger and rosemary oil are still prominently on display. Rich spice, leather and tar are followed by dark fruit, prune, blackberry and cassis. The finish is graceful and silky, but its length remains impressive. This is a terrific effort that promises a steady evolution ahead."

JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS - "Aromas of lilac, dark berry and sandalwood follow through to a full body, with fine tannins and an intense and savory finish. Very intense and very long. Succulent. Amazing balance and depth to this red. It's so beautiful to taste now but it will be much better in five to ten years. A triumph."

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A Delicious Wine Spectator 'Best Value' Under $10!

The 2011 Cantele Salice Salentino Riserva is an incredible value. Pure Negroamaro (red grape varietal indigenous to the Puglia region, or, ‘heel of the boot’), 100% worth of deep, dark and savory flavors without compromising on those earthy, rustic and meaty characteristics we know to be Salice Salentino (the town within Puglia for which the grape is best known). Originating from vines planted in 1962 and aged for a minimum of 24 months in French barriques. Ideal choice with Pizza, Pasta (red sauce, of course), steak and hamburgers among others.

CANTELE 2011 SALICE SALENTINO RISERVA

WINE SPECTATOR 89 POINTS 'BEST VALUE' - "Juicy flavors of ripe wild strawberry and red licorice mark the start to this light- to medium-bodied red, with supple tannins lending some structure and weight. Savory accents of garrigue, loamy earth and star anise echo on the finish. Drink now through 2025."

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Best Brunellos from the Dream Vintage Under $46!

The 2010 vintage marks an unprecedented year for Tuscany’s much beloved sangiovese-based red, Brunello di Montalcino. Winemakers, the wine press, and seasoned wine professionals unanimously agree that this is the Brunello vintage of a lifetime, even outclassing the outstanding 2006 and 1997 vintages.

The Wine Advocate’s Monica Larner writes of the 2010 vintage, “possibly reaching iconic status. Montalcino has some great wines in store for us and the barrel tasting I did while visiting estates was nothing short of exhilarating. Rest assured: The hype and the buzz … is not hyperbole. Many vintners I spoke with describe it as a ‘dream vintage.’”

Quantities are limited and between the huge scores and epic vintage this wine won't last long. Don't hesitate to order. First come, first served. Click HERE to see all the Brunellos we have in stock.

FANTI 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A big, powerful red, with dense tannins and black cherry and blackberry flavors. Balanced in a muscular way, this remains tight and brooding despite the long, fresh finish. Shows potential. Best from 2020 through 2038."

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ALTESINO 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Wonderful decadent aromas of musk, orange peel and plum follow through to a full body, with soft tannins and a long and rich finish. Salty and savory. Layers of gorgeous fruit. Drink or hold."

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SILVIO NARDI 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Aromas of blackberry, stone, slate, oyster shell and truffle, turning to a full body with soft, velvety tannins and a long, long finish. This goes on for minutes on the palate. A savory, gorgeous wine. Drink or hold."

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CASTIGLION DE BOSCO 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "Fabulous aromas of oranges, peaches and mahogany follow through to a full body with rich, chewy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. This is dense, tight, powerful, compressed and incredibly structured. Needs four to five years of bottle age to come out of its dormancy."

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BARBI 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 96 POINTS - "Aromas of burnt orange peel and cherry with hints of dried bark and mahogany. Full-bodied and very tight and dense, with a beautiful fruit, tannin and acid balance. Finesse and strength. Best wine from here for ages. Needs until 2018 to show its true quality."

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LA GERLA 2010 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

ANTONIO GALLONI 95 POINTS - " La Gerla's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is absolutely delicious. Dark red cherries, plums, mint, smoke, tobacco and licorice flesh out in a wine that offers notable depth, structure and power. The 2010 is medium in body and also quite polished, yet there is a level of inner sweetness and perfume that makes the wine incredibly appealing, even today. Ideally, though, readers should give the 2010 at least a few years in the cellar. The precise, delicate finish is a thing of beauty."

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A Real Crowd Pleaser Not to be Missed!

Quinta do Crasto has crafted another winner! This fantastic red blend from Portugal is a real crowd pleaser, made in a rich yet lively and accessible style. Coming on the heels of the successful 2011 vintage, this 2012 doesn’t miss a beat. Amazingly, many consumers have yet to catch on to the quality of the world-class wines being produced in Portugal. Perhaps it is because the native grapes used to make these wines are not household names, but they have definitely come to the attention of critics. In fact, Portuguese wines took 3 of the top 4 spots on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list when it was released last year. This Quinta do Crasto Superiore received a 93 Point rating from Wine Spectator! With wines like this, it won’t take long for consumers to catch on. As for now, these wines continue to be a steal and remain one of the great undiscovered secrets and bargains of the world.

Situated on the right bank of the Douro River, between the towns of Régua and Pinhão, Quinta do Crasto has a privileged location in the Demarcated Region of the Douro. Quinta do Crasto has belonged to the family of Leonor and Jorge Roquette for over a century. Their passion for wine making has contributed to Quinta do Crasto´s growing national and international reputation.

QUINTA DO CRASTO 2012 SUPERIOR

Deep violet in color. Expressive aromas of vibrant berry fruits combined with subtle hints of fresh spices. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and displays nice concentration with ripe red fruit including raspberry and cherry, along with notions of cocoa. With time in the glass, the wine becomes more complex and darker fruits, including blueberries emerge. Velvety tannins make the wine accessible now, but also capable of aging for the next 5-7 years. The finish is very long, showing excellent concentration and perfect balance. Simply Delicious! A blend of 50% Touriga Nacional, 25% Touriga Franca, 20% Tinta Roriz and 5% Sousao.

WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - “Well-crafted and suave, with refined flavors of raspberry tart, red plum and cherry pastry, matched to cardamom and savory spice notes. Plush, creamy finish. Drink now through 2022.”

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Save 25% on a Great Off Season Port Buy!

Summer is always a great time to get discounts on umbrellas, goulashes and snow boards. Unfortunately off season sales on wines are extremely rare and that is why we are so excited about this Taylor Fladgate Quinta de Vargellas offering. Located in the wild and hilly eastern reaches of the Douro valley, the Vargellas quinta (vineyard) has been prized as a source of the finest Portuguese Ports since the 1820s and it has been the crown jewel of Taylor Fladgate’s holdings for more than a century. The property boasts the highest percentage of old vines of any quinta in the Douro, with 60% over 75 years old. Taylor makes their Vargellas bottling only in successful vintages that just don’t quite measure up to the firm’s high standards for production of their flagship multi-vineyard vintage Port. As Port insiders have long known, the better Vargellas bottlings like this gorgeous 2012 surpass most other firm’s declared vintage ports and present a savvy buy at fifty dollars. Of course at our special purchase price of thirty six dollars this Vargellas is a down right steal. As the critic’s notes below suggest, this is a fresh, dare we say, graceful vintage Port with deep, beautifully integrated fruit flavors that can be enjoyed over the near term but are buttressed with of all the right stuff (acidity and tannins) to make “old bones”.

Quantities are limited so don't hesitate to order. First come, first served.

 

TAYLOR FLADGATE 2012 QUINTA DE VARGELLAS
VINTAGE PORT

WINE ENTHUSIAST 94 POINTS - "Vargellas is always associated with violet aromas as well as the strength and power of its wines inside a velvet glove. The 2012 is concentrated yet soft and smooth on the surface. It’s fruity and fresh, while brooding with inner strength. Drink now for its fruit; wait until 2021 for its power and longevity." - Roger Voss (4/1/2015)

JAMES SUCKLING 92-93 POINTS - "Typical Vargellas character with flowers such as roses and poppies that turn to dark fruits and spices. Full body, lightly sweet, dusty tannins and a raspberry and blackberry character. Long and flavorful. All in elegance and finesse. Barrel sample." - (9/9/ 2014)

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An Under-the-Radar Gem, 99 Points Under $26!

One of the best things about working at Hi-Time is sifting through thousands upon thousands of wines each year before finally falling upon a real under-the-radar gem. That's exactly what happened a couple of years ago during a trip to Italy when we came upon this incredibly cool wine. We had never heard of Ruche’, but once we tasted it we were stunned; it was unlike anything else we had ever tasted! We brought it into the store and our customers embraced it enthusiastically, turning this little known grape into one of our most popular Italian wines. Before we knew it, we were in the midst of a Ruche’ craze! We’re thrilled to announce the latest vintage of Ruche has arrived and the new vintage is every bit as good as previous vintages if not better!

Ruche produces a wine of character, which is impossible to confuse with any other. It is one of the few aromatic red grapes in the world and its aromas leap from the glass with attractive florals and lavender. The 2013 Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato wine received the coveted Tre-Bicchieri (Three Glasses) award from noted Italian critic, Gambero Rosso as well as a Gold Medal at the Decanter Wine Awards. Italian wine critic Luca Maroni has called this wine, “An absolute masterwork of nature, technique, humanity and pure passion" and gave the 2013 Ruche’ di Castagnole Monferrato a 99 point rating.

For more information on this exceptional grape and wine, please click here to visit our Hi-Time Blog.

MONTALBERA 2013 RUCHE "LACCENTO"

Medium ruby in color. The aromas one encounters are like taking a walk through a farmer’s market and filling your bag with a selection of fresh cherries, blueberries and strawberries. Next come Indian spices such as cardamom and nutmeg followed by a bouquet of violets and roses. On the palate, the wine is delicious and medium-bodied with silky smooth tannins. It pairs well with most foods including the often challenging Asian-inspired dishes and is tremendous on its own.

LUCA MARONI 99 POINTS - "It is thanks to the vintage’s warmth, but also to the reduced yield and the selective viticulture that for its first time the Ruchè donates such a fleshy thickness. Tannins are pronounced enough to evolve those strawberries you get on the nose and to the taste assuming the sublime fleshiness of a blackberry. The aroma’s masculinity increases in volume, no damage being done to the fruit’s wonderful smoothness, striped in sweetness and veins of forest berries which are integral and sharp to the olfaction just like still in the raw. The taste’s balance gives harmonious softness counterpointed by tannic savory and corroborated by mineral salinity. This is truly a wine whose viticultural and oenological value is sublime; it is a naturalistic and technical creation whose analytical merit appeals universally to the senses."

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Caymus 2013 Napa Valley Cabernet is Now in Stock!

Caymus is back!!! The long awaited return of the best-selling Cabernet Sauvignon is finally here. The 2012 (40th Anniversary) vintage was the most successful release in the history of Caymus, receiving accolades from critics and consumers alike. As good as the 2012 vintage was, winemakers in Napa Valley are convinced 2013 is even better and one of the greatest vintages in recent memory. Based on our tasting of the new release, we agree. As an additional bonus, Caymus has merged its traditional label with the beautiful anniversary artwork to create an updated, yet classic looking design. Enjoy!

CAYMUS 2013 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON

WINERY NOTES - "The 2013 growing season was another great one in Napa Valley. Our Cabernets are a blend of wines from eight of the sixteen sub-appellations – a bottling that represents complexity through judicious blending. Deep red and opulent in color with the vibrant scent of dark cherry and blackberry, subtly layered with warm notes of vanilla. The palate is explosive, bright and balanced with cassis at the center, with flourishes of cocoa and sweet tobacco."

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