Wine Club Taster's AdvantageTo make changes to your membership or to create a wine club account click HERE.

A GIFT FOR YOURSELF, A SPECIAL SOMEONE, OR BOTH....

Each month, these selections are sure to bring a smile to both the aficionado and novice.

Why? Because nobody is more qualified than the Wise Buyers at Hi-Time Wine Cellars who have been scouring the globe to seek out wine treasures for more than 50 years.

No long-term commitment: Simply choose the program and let us know when you want to stop and we'll take care of the rest. We'll send an announcement to the gift recipient along with background information and tantalizing tasting notes on each wine.


October Taster's Advantage

October Wine Club Gold 1 SelectionGold Selection Plan 1 $24.95 Wine Club Sign Up

 2 Bottles of red wine (tax & shipping not included)

Cotes du Rhone, Saint-Esprit, Delas, 2016

Grape Variety: 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache, Origin: Southern Rhone, France

DECANTER 95 POINTS - "Lovely rich opulent and floral, black berry and plum nose, the palate is big with well layered fruit, attractively firm but soft tannin and hints of oak, a big wine with a lovely finish."

We are fortunate this month to find the perfect crossover hit in the Delas Saint-Esprit. This delicious Cotes-du-Rhone red blend is versatile with a full-bodied character which remains remarkably fresh. This means it works well in the lingering days of sunshine we find during October in Southern California. It also is warming enough for the cooling nights as we march into fall. Who doesn't enjoy barbecue during football season? This wine will pair perfectly with your party platters of pulled pork, tri-tip or ribs as well as heartier fare of stews or chili.

This crowd-pleasing wine is grown in the warmth of the Mediterranean climate. The vineyards are influenced by the famed, harsh Mistral winds that rush through the Rhône Valley, keeping the sky clear and full of sunshine most of the time. Buffeted by the extreme winds, the vines have to work hard and create grapes of character and quality, which is evidenced in this wine by Delas. As many a talented winemaker has stated, great wines are made in the vineyard.

This dry red wine clearly shows the hallmarks of Syrah and Grenache. The nose shows gorgeous floral notes, black raspberry, bright cherries, plum and a touch of anise and spice. On the palate, the wine is generous and pleasing, showcasing bold fruits enveloped in silky tannins. This is a wine very much in balance with a harmonious and lengthy finish. Delicious!

This great value is delicious from beginning to end and destined to be your new everyday house red.

Wine Tip: There is more than 5000 wine growing businesses producing Rhône Valley AOC Wines and 28 appellations.

Pfneiszl, Zweigler, Birgit & Katrin, Zweigelt 2017 1 Liter

Grape Variety: 100% Zweigelt, Origin: The winery is in Austria but some vineyards are in Hungary

Organic Farming

1 Liter bottle! Another fun and delicious project from sisters Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl. Rather than make wine with their father and uncles who run the well established family estate in Austria, the sisters decided to farm their ancestral vines in Sopron, Hungary. From the outset, their wines contrasted sharply with those of their elders. Organic farming, old vines and wild fermentation, all contribute to the finesse of their wines. They're lighter, prettier, less structured, more aromatic, so we were happy to discover Birgit and Katrin's increasing involvement in the Austrian estate.

The label was made by graphic designer Steven Solomon.

From the Pfneisl sisters: "We are sisters, farmers and winemakers. Zweigler is the PET NAME for our PEPPERY Zweigelt, Austria's DEAREST red grape. Zweigler comes from our Austrian vineyards. We also make wine in Hungary, like our family did before there was a border. The land is our livelihood. We live to respect and share its gift of wine. In it twinkle the stars and sun, the wildness of nature, the faces of our friends and family and perhaps yours too!"

Wine Tip: Zweigelt is the most widely planted red grape variety in Austria. Easy drinking, juicy and tart it's best served with a slight chill.

 


 

October Wine Club Gold 2 SelectionGold Selection Plan 2 $24.95 Wine Club Sign Up

1 Bottles of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine (tax & shipping not included)

Pfneiszl, Zweigler, Birgit & Katrin, Zweigelt 2017 1 Liter

Grape Variety: 100% Zweigelt, Origin: The winery is in Austria but some vineyards are in Hungary

Organic Farming

1 Liter bottle! Another fun and delicious project from sisters Birgit and Katrin Pfneisl. Rather than make wine with their father and uncles who run the well established family estate in Austria, the sisters decided to farm their ancestral vines in Sopron, Hungary. From the outset, their wines contrasted sharply with those of their elders. Organic farming, old vines and wild fermentation, all contribute to the finesse of their wines. They're lighter, prettier, less structured, more aromatic, so we were happy to discover Birgit and Katrin's increasing involvement in the Austrian estate.

The label was made by graphic designer Steven Solomon.

From the Pfneisl sisters: "We are sisters, farmers and winemakers. Zweigler is the PET NAME for our PEPPERY Zweigelt, Austria's DEAREST red grape. Zweigler comes from our Austrian vineyards. We also make wine in Hungary, like our family did before there was a border. The land is our livelihood. We live to respect and share its gift of wine. In it twinkle the stars and sun, the wildness of nature, the faces of our friends and family and perhaps yours too!"

Wine Tip: Zweigelt is the most widely planted red grape variety in Austria. Easy drinking, juicy and tart it's best served with a slight chill.

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Umani Ronchi "Villa Bianchi" 2016

Grape Variety: 100% Verdicchio, Origin: Castelli di Jesi, Marche, Central Italy

This is a wine which takes its name from the farmhouse of the same name, nestling in the heart of the cultivation area of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi which the Bianchi family used to make by vinifying the grapes from the surrounding vineyard. Today Villa Bianchi aims to express all the typical features of Verdicchio by bringing out in particular its aromatic notes of freshness and elegance. This is all achieved by careful selection of the grapes in the vineyard, and through the use of vinification techniques aimed at preserving intact the aromatic character inherent in the variety.

Crisp and fruity whites are dry, medium-dry or medium-sweet. They are typically crisply acidic, which balances their rich fruitiness.

You can discern yellow plum, apple and peach notes in these wines. Crisp acids create a fresh finish, making these wines ideal for a variety of foods.

WineTip: Verdicchio is mostly produced in Marche region (Central Italy) and mostly famous because of the two DOC Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica. The area around Matelica is much smaller and also is further from the sea. Jesi lies closely to the Adriatic Sea which creates a milder climate.

 


 

October Wine Club Platinum 1 SelectionPlatinum Selection Plan 1 $49.95 Wine Club Sign Up

2 Bottles of red wine (tax & shipping not included)

Bila-Haut "L'Esquerda" Cotes du Roussillon villages 2016

Grape Variety: Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Origin: Cotes du Roussillon, France

The Roussillon history is complex and compelling, and has at times been quite violent. Terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a climate that man has adopted for his crops. Grenache grapes from 70 year old vines, grown on a magnificent plot in the heart of the ‘Garrigue’ scrubland. Enthusiasm, richness and complexity. Then Syrah grapes, ripened slowly on vines grown on clayey limestone soil giving powerful, silky-smooth tannins, and blended with Syrah grapes grown on the company’s most beautiful schist based land. An elegant bouquet and a sophisticated flavour in the mouth. Also exceptional because it is bold, like the people who gave this land its identity. The story is going on in 2008 and is now taking place near the village of Lesquerde. There, the land is made of high limestone based cliffs and dry soils over which the "tramontane" wind blows...This outstanding wine is mainly based on beautiful Syrah and Grenache grapes from the nicest granitic terroirs. "L'Esquerda", meaning "the fault in the rock" in Catalan, is the faithful expression of a personality, of the identity of a region.

L'Esquerda map

Double Canyon, Horse Heaven Hills 2015

Grape Variety: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, Origin: Horse heaven Hills, Washington

Tasting Notes: This Cabernet embodies an enticing array of ripe red fruit, intermixed with notes of graham cracker, allspice and dried tobacco. The addition of Syrah lends a full and rich texture on the mid-palate, further accented by bright acidity from the Petit Verdot, sweet red fruit from the Merlot and luscious raspberry notes supplied by the Malbec. The soft and supple mouthfeel is supported by sweet oak tannins and fresh fruit character, finishing with a juicy acidity that is characteristic of Horse Heaven Hills.

The Estate: Located between the Columbia River and the Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills is characterized by a dry desert landscape where strong winds blow continuously across the vineyards. Proximity to the river moderates temperatures and provides a consistent source of water to irrigate the vines in what is one of Washington’s warmest appellations. The area also experiences diurnal shifts between extended sunny, warm days and cool evenings. As a result, Cabernet Sauvignon from this region shows ripeness and depth while maintaining optimal natural acidity, making it some of the most sought-after fruit in Washington State.

Vintage: This fruit for our 2015 Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from our estate Double Canyon Vineyard as well as Phinny Hill, Champoux, Destiny Ridge and Alder Ridge, neighboring vineyards in the Alderdale region with which we have longstanding relationships. We selected lots that were particularly aromatic and rich on the palate, to best represent the unique terroir of the appellation. 2015 proved to be the warmest Washington vintage on record; the growing season started quickly, veraison began 15 days ahead of schedule, and the vines continued to hit all growing benchmarks ahead of pace. The progression of the season resulted in the earliest harvest in Double Canyon’s history, culminating on October 21st.

 


 

October Wine Club Platinum 2 SelectionPlatinum Selection Plan 2 $49.95 Wine Club Sign Up

1 Bottle of red wine and 1 bottle of white wine (tax & shipping not included)

Bila-Haut "L'Esquerda" Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2016

Grape Variety: Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Origin: Cotes du Roussillon, France

The Roussillon history is complex and compelling, and has at times been quite violent. Terraces on stony soil, with a rich geological background and a climate that man has adopted for his crops. Grenache grapes from 70 year old vines, grown on a magnificent plot in the heart of the ‘Garrigue’ scrubland. Enthusiasm, richness and complexity. Then Syrah grapes, ripened slowly on vines grown on clayey limestone soil giving powerful, silky-smooth tannins, and blended with Syrah grapes grown on the company’s most beautiful schist based land. An elegant bouquet and a sophisticated flavour in the mouth. Also exceptional because it is bold, like the people who gave this land its identity. The story is going on in 2008 and is now taking place near the village of Lesquerde. There, the land is made of high limestone based cliffs and dry soils over which the "tramontane" wind blows...This outstanding wine is mainly based on beautiful Syrah and Grenache grapes from the nicest granitic terroirs. "L'Esquerda", meaning "the fault in the rock" in Catalan, is the faithful expression of a personality, of the identity of a region.

L'Esquerda map

Pine Ridge Chardonnay "Dijon Clones" 2015

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay, Origin: Carneros, California

Vineyards: Our Collines Vineyard benefits from cool, foggy mornings and afternoon breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay. These conditions are ideal for growing Chardonnay and contribute to a slow and even rate of fruit maturity, leading to optimal balance of sugar and acid. This 38-acre vineyard is planted with devigorating rootstock and features a number of Dijon clones, including 76, 95, 96, and 548, which tend to yield high acidity.

Tasting Notes: Aromas are inviting with notes of oak, vanilla, citrus, apples, and pineapple. This single vineyard produces a structured and voluptuous Chardonnay with generous fruit flavors of apple, citrus, and tropical fruit, with nuances of caramel and spice from oak aging. A nutty character and notes of apple crumble complement the bright citrus accents. The silky, creamy mouthfeel combines with bright acidity and leads to a clean, lingering finish.

Pairing: Seafood, such as ceviche or a white fish in cream sauce, is a natural pairing for Collines Vineyard Chardonnay. Spaghetti carbonara would also make an interesting pairing. This richly styled Chardonnay with its toasty aroma finds an echo in aged Comté, a classic cheese from the Jura Mountains of France.

Wine Tip: Carneros is the region that gives birth to Rombauer chardonnay, the king of Buttery Californian Chardonnays. Even though this wine from Pine Ridge comes from the same exact location, it is very different in style and leans toward the French “Meursault’ style. Full bodied, ripe and zesty, oaky but still fresh and elegant. Enjoy!!

 


 

October Wine Club All White SelectionAll White Selection No More Than $45 Wine Club Sign Up

2 Bottles of white wine (tax & shipping not included)

Eladio Pineiro, Envidia Cochina, 2016

Grape Variety: Albarino, Origin: Rias Baixas, Spain

Eladio Piñiero founded Bodegas Mar de Frades in 1983 after spending many years as a sought-after winemaker and consultant in Rias Baixas, Spain's heartland of Albariño. However, In January of 2003, Piñiero underwent a sea change in his personal life, resulting in the sale of his winery, keeping only a few of his most treasured vineyard sites.

With the support of his family, Piñiero re-emerged under his own label, with an objective to create the kind of wines that really excited him, "wines with soul" he calls them. With a revitalized focus toward quality and artisinality without compromise, he sought to create wines expressive of the terroir, history, and passion of the Piñiero family.

The Envidiacochina, or "poisonous worm of envy," is one of the most exciting wines we've ever encountered from Rias Baixas, indeed from any white wine appellation in Spain. Comprised of 100% Albariño from an old, bio-dynamically-farmed vineyard in the Salnés Valley, it receives a brief maceration and fermentation with native yeasts before the fruit is married back with 15% the reserve Albariño from the previous vintage. It's then left for twelve months on the fine lees before being matured in stainless steel and bottled. The result is a rich, complex wine with unheralded depth, purity, and a texture unlike almost anything else we've encountered from the appellation.

Wine Tip: Up to 12 different grape varieties are allowed in DO Rías Baixas, but Albariño is king, accounting for 90 percent of all plantings.

Domaine Gardies "Clos des Vignes" 2014 Cotes du Roussillon

Grape Variety: 60% Grenache Blanc, 35% Grenache Gris, 5% Macabeo and Roussanne, Origin: Cotes du Roussillon, France

Organic

One would be hard-pressed to find any estate in France with more beautifully run vineyards than those at Domaine Gardies. Established in the Cotes du Roussillon many generations ago, it is now under the reign of Jean Gardies and his enthusiastic son, Victor. Taking over the reins in the early 90’s, Jean’s biodynamically-run vineyards are nestled in the villages of Vingrau and Tautavel in prime locations to ensure the best possible expression of his wines. The red vines are exposed south and east facing, while the whites are located at a higher altitude and to the north. There is no argument amongst his peers and critics worldwide that Jean is one of the premier vigneron in all of the south of France.

With 35 hectares of vines nestled into the Catalonian foot hills of the Corbières appellation, the Gardies family has been making wine for 7 generations. Jean Gardies took over the estate in the late 90’s to ensure that the wines were being made to express their full potential of finesse and complexity.

The two neighboring communes that Gardies sources from share a lot in common when it comes to climate and proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, though the soil composition of both vary drastically. "Espira de l'Agly" are the newly acquired vines that thrive in black schists, mixed with limestone that give the wines a certain finesse. "Vingrau", the family’s original land, is where the old vine Grenache and Carignan are planted. White varietals, such as Grenache Blanc, Macabeo and Roussanne, are planted on the heights of Vingrau and give the whites a distinct freshness. The commune is predominantly clay-limestone soils that give all the power and complexity to the Gardies wines.

 


 

October Wine Club Champagne SelectionChampagne Selection No More Than $44.95 Wine Club Sign Up

1 Bottle of Champagne (tax & shipping not included)

Leclerc Briant, Brut Reserver NV

Origin: Organically farmed vineyards all over the champagne region
Grape Variety: 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 20% Chardonnay

Pascal Leclerc began following biodynamic viticultural principles in 1988. Today noted enologist Herve Jestin continues the legacy of this visionary house. Brut Reserve is produced from 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, and 40% Pinot Meunier. Malolactic fermentation is allowed to happen naturally and sulfite levels are kept to a minimum. The base wine spends 9 to 11 months in stainless steel vats with 20% in oak barrels. The wine is bottled unfined and an unfiltered. After the second fermentation the Champagne is aged on the lees for nearly three years. Dosage is a minimal 4 grams per liter.

This displays the depth and fruitiness expected from an unfiltered black grape Champagne complexed with hints of brioche and toasted almonds while the finish is braced with bright citrus tones.

Wine Tip: organic vineyards only represents 1.9% of the total surface of vineyards in Champagne.