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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.


May Taster's Advantage

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

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

Enrique Mendoza 2016 Monastrell "La Tremenda"

Grape Variety: 100% Monastrell

Origin: Alicante, Spain

La Tremenda is an incredibly priced wine that conveys great purity of fruit coaxed from the arid soils of Alicante in south-east Spain by Bodegas Enrique Mendoza. This 100% Monastrell is compelling, offering lush fruit flavors with surprising complexity at a ridiculous price. It is made in a forward, crowd pleasing style that is so delicious. Luis Gutierrez of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate states the wine "represents a superb value and a great introduction to the Monastrell from Alicante; the price is hard to believe." We agree, this wine over-delivers with rich, full-bodied depth of flavor that is enviable. The name "La Tremenda" references the name of the vineyard where the grapes are grown in Alicante near Valencia. The"secret" to this wines success lies in the very low yielding vines, which produce less than a ton of grapes per acre! This results in small, deeply colored Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) grapes with intense aromatics and concentrated fruit flavors.

Our customers have previously discovered Spain's Monastrell grape and grabbed cases of wines by Tarima Hill, Juan Gil and Honoro Vera. La Tremenda is cut from the same full-bodied, juicy cloth, but shows perhaps a brighter, red fruit profile. Previously, wines from this area were shipped to producers from other regions who used the Monastrell to "correct" wines which lacked color, body and flavor. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza was one of the first in the area to bottle their own high-quality single vineyard wines instead of selling it to others. This winery is one of a handful of producers who have formed Grandes Pagos de Espana, an association of Spanish wine producers dedicated to producing very high quality single estate wines. The wines faithfully reflect the soils and climate from which they come, offering an unmistakable personality that can only be drawn from a specific terroir in Spain's best vineyards.

La Tremenda is a satisfying wine which will appeal to those who enjoy wines with body and deep, pure fruit flavors. Best of all, this Monastrell is still under the radar and represents an incredible value.

Ryder Pinot Noir 2016 Central Coast, California

Grape Variety: Pinot Noir

Origin: Central Coast, California

The wines of Ryder Estate are crafted from estate grown grapes out of Monterey County vineyards, located in California's golden Central Coast. The Monterey County growing region is a wonder, with a myriad of soils, elevations and microclimates that allow an array of varieties to be grown. The indelible influence of the Monterey Bay and the enormous submarine canyon that lies two miles below its surface results in cool coastal conditions throughout this growing region. Each variety grown is planted in the location that is most suitable for that grape and where the Ryder Estate team believes it can reach its full flavor potential.

The nose is filled with flambeed red fruits, cherry and raspberry, rich spice, earthiness and a touch of cola nut. In the mouth the fresh fruits take the lead again with mixed red berries and ripe cherry all suspended in a gorgeously lush mouthfeel that's light and lively with both acidity and rounded tannins. A touch of savory comes in at the mid-palate with brown spices and tilled soil but the fruit surges back to the lead in the finish as waves of cherry and boysenberry emanate across the palate long after the juice has gone down the gullet. Bright and buoyant, lush, tempered and balanced. This is beautiful Pinot Noir.

 


 

May 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)

Enrique Mendoza 2016 Monastrell "La Tremenda"

Grape Variety: 100% Monastrell

Origin: Alicante, Spain

La Tremenda is an incredibly priced wine that conveys great purity of fruit coaxed from the arid soils of Alicante in south-east Spain by Bodegas Enrique Mendoza. This 100% Monastrell is compelling, offering lush fruit flavors with surprising complexity at a ridiculous price. It is made in a forward, crowd pleasing style that is so delicious. Luis Gutierrez of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate states the wine "represents a superb value and a great introduction to the Monastrell from Alicante; the price is hard to believe." We agree, this wine over-delivers with rich, full-bodied depth of flavor that is enviable. The name "La Tremenda" references the name of the vineyard where the grapes are grown in Alicante near Valencia. The"secret" to this wines success lies in the very low yielding vines, which produce less than a ton of grapes per acre! This results in small, deeply colored Monastrell (aka Mourvedre) grapes with intense aromatics and concentrated fruit flavors.

Our customers have previously discovered Spain's Monastrell grape and grabbed cases of wines by Tarima Hill, Juan Gil and Honoro Vera. La Tremenda is cut from the same full-bodied, juicy cloth, but shows perhaps a brighter, red fruit profile. Previously, wines from this area were shipped to producers from other regions who used the Monastrell to "correct" wines which lacked color, body and flavor. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza was one of the first in the area to bottle their own high-quality single vineyard wines instead of selling it to others. This winery is one of a handful of producers who have formed Grandes Pagos de Espana, an association of Spanish wine producers dedicated to producing very high quality single estate wines. The wines faithfully reflect the soils and climate from which they come, offering an unmistakable personality that can only be drawn from a specific terroir in Spain's best vineyards.

La Tremenda is a satisfying wine which will appeal to those who enjoy wines with body and deep, pure fruit flavors. Best of all, this Monastrell is still under the radar and represents an incredible value.

Skouras 2017, Moscofilero, Greece

Grape Variety: 100% Moscofilero

Origin: Greece

WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Moscofilero (as Skouras spells it) comes in with four grams of residual sugar, 6.2 grams of total acidity and 12% alcohol. The combination makes for a dry wine with a lively feel and vivid flavor. Sourced from vines at 650 meters, this is always crisp and elegant. So, too, this year. Wonderfully aromatic as well in its youth, this is exuberant, gloriously fresh and intensely fruity. The fruit is always lifted, though. Then, it just coats the palate, despite its elegant demeanor. It lingers beautifully on the rather tense finish."

Wine Tip: Another beautiful surprise from Greece from a grape variety that I am pretty sure the large majority of us never tried before.  Very unique balance, huge acidity and a touch of sweetness. Hard to resist.

 


 

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

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

Fanti 2016 Poggio Torto Montalcino, Italy

Grape Variety: Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Montalcino, Italy

Coming out of the ancient Etruscan land of vines is a wine that once again demonstrates how talented the Italians are at re-imagining themselves in the modern wine world (and doing it at reasonable prices)! Tenuta Fanti's "Poggio Torto" is neither a rustic throwback nor mass-produced, characterless product; this is a wine that reflects brash, young vines producing happy fruit on warm, Mediterranean hillsides.

It's the result of the hard-working Fanti family, which has used its extensive land holdings in the renowned Montalcino region in Tuscany dating back to the early 1800s to turn sustainably-farmed grapes into reasonably-priced wine without sacrificing quality. Their "Poggio Torto” is well-priced at its usual $17-$19 price tag, but we're able to get it to you for only $13.95! Based on how popular it was last year, we're predicting that this is going to be another "house wine" for many this season.

Just like last year's release, "Poggio Torto" is a thoroughly satisfying wine in its class: medium-full in body, with bright, juicy, freshly-macerated fruit like a blend of blackberry and plum with a twist of blood orange, fresh herbal & purple floral qualities like Lavender, all couched in a firm, velvet tannin background. From the judicious use of older oak barrels, and shorter mellowing time in them, you can find a subtle cedar background that adds dimension to the palate. And, thanks to another wonderful growing season in 2016, the wine has all that concentrated, delicious fruit ripeness without being over-alcoholic. The overall result is a wine that is hard to stop tasting! Even better, it is a great pairing with a wide variety of protein-rich dishes.

The blend of Fanti's 2016 Poggio Torto is dominated by the native Sangiovese, complemented by soft, plummy Merlot and floral, black-fruited Syrah, followed by a touch of herbal, dark-fruited, and firmly-structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Do as the Italians and take pride in getting this wine 'a buon mercato' (at a good deal)!

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS -
"Aromas of blackberries, blueberries and stems following through to a full body with firm and silky tannins. A flavorful finish. Shows structure and tension. Better in 2020."

Reserve de Leoville Barton 2015 Saint Julien France

Grape Variety: 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc

Origin: Saint Julien, Bordeaux, France

We are thrilled to offer the 2015 Reserve de Leoville Barton which is undoubtedly the greatest second wine ever made by the famous 2nd Growth Estate from Saint-Julien. La Reserve is produced with a selection of grapes from the younger vines of Leoville Barton. This wine is absolutely delicious and shows the rich, succulent fruit profile which is the hallmark of the great 2015 vintage.

James Suckling agrees and gave La Reserve a score of 93 Points noting the wine has, "ultra-fine tannins and a vivid finish." The Wine Spectator awarded La Reserve 91 Points stating, "Will be hard to lay off in the near-term."

Leoville Barton is regarded as one of the great estates of Bordeaux and a super star from the appellation of Saint Julien. The vineyard is nestled among the most beautiful slopes of Garonne gravel, facing the Gironde River. The clay and gravel subsoil provides excellent growing conditions for the vineyards which are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon (74%), Merlot (23%) and Cabernet Franc (3%).

By lowering crop yields and intense focus in the vineyard, the fruit is harvested at peak ripeness with enviable concentration of color and flavors. Strict sorting and the increased focus on the second wine show in the quality of this cuvee. The wine is aged between 16 and 18 months in French oak barrels.

The nose is very expressive with blackberry, blueberry and cassis notes. On the palate, the wine is smooth, fleshy, full-bodied and powerful while keeping the finesse typical of Saint Julien wines. The 2015 Reserve de Leoville Barton is simply a joy to drink. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the pedigree and expertise of this historic estate at the lowest price in the nation. 


 

May 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)

Fanti 2016 Poggio Torto Montalcino, Italy

Grape Variety: Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon

Origin: Montalcino, Italy

Coming out of the ancient Etruscan land of vines is a wine that once again demonstrates how talented the Italians are at re-imagining themselves in the modern wine world (and doing it at reasonable prices)! Tenuta Fanti's "Poggio Torto" is neither a rustic throwback nor mass-produced, characterless product; this is a wine that reflects brash, young vines producing happy fruit on warm, Mediterranean hillsides.

It's the result of the hard-working Fanti family, which has used its extensive land holdings in the renowned Montalcino region in Tuscany dating back to the early 1800s to turn sustainably-farmed grapes into reasonably-priced wine without sacrificing quality. Their "Poggio Torto” is well-priced at its usual $17-$19 price tag, but we're able to get it to you for only $13.95! Based on how popular it was last year, we're predicting that this is going to be another "house wine" for many this season.

Just like last year's release, "Poggio Torto" is a thoroughly satisfying wine in its class: medium-full in body, with bright, juicy, freshly-macerated fruit like a blend of blackberry and plum with a twist of blood orange, fresh herbal & purple floral qualities like Lavender, all couched in a firm, velvet tannin background. From the judicious use of older oak barrels, and shorter mellowing time in them, you can find a subtle cedar background that adds dimension to the palate. And, thanks to another wonderful growing season in 2016, the wine has all that concentrated, delicious fruit ripeness without being over-alcoholic. The overall result is a wine that is hard to stop tasting! Even better, it is a great pairing with a wide variety of protein-rich dishes.

The blend of Fanti's 2016 Poggio Torto is dominated by the native Sangiovese, complemented by soft, plummy Merlot and floral, black-fruited Syrah, followed by a touch of herbal, dark-fruited, and firmly-structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Do as the Italians and take pride in getting this wine 'a buon mercato' (at a good deal)! 

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - 
"Aromas of blackberries, blueberries and stems following through to a full body with firm and silky tannins. A flavorful finish. Shows structure and tension. Better in 2020."

Chablis Louis Michel 2017 Montee Tonnerre

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Origin: Chablis, France

Over the past several years, the wines of Louis Michel have become a staff and customer favorite. They offer everything you could want, exhibiting signature characteristics of Chardonnay from this region. This is the perfect wine to pair with oysters, shellfish, seafood or poultry or to refresh as we move into the warmer time of the year. Both the 2015 and 2017 Louis Michel Montée de Tonnerre wines are designated as "Outstanding" by Burghound's tough critic, Allen Meadows.

The Michel family has been making wines in the heart of Chablis since the 19th century and the domaine is now overseen by Guillaume Michel. Louis Michel & Fils were among the first to vinify its wines only in stainless steel tanks. This approach highlights the purity of the Chardonnay with these wines exuding finesse, purity and freshness.

Montée de Tonnerre is located on the right bank of the Serein River alongside the Grand Crus. It is regarded as the most prestigious and sought-after of the Chablis Premier Crus. The famous chalky Kimmeridgian soils are deep and well drained. The south-west facing vines enjoy plenty of sunshine and produce a wine with sun-kissed aromas. This is the ultimate expression of a successful partnership between soil and climate resulting in powerful wines that are complex and balanced.

JOHN GILMAN 93 POINTS - "With the very low yields here in Montée de Tonnerre, I was expecting this wine to be a bit dense and further behind in its development than the other premier crus in the cellar, but this was not the case and the 2017 version here at Domaine Michel is going to be very, very good. The bouquet is pure and classic, offering up scents of apple, lime, chalky minerality, dried flowers and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, poised and racy in personality, with a fine core of fruit, excellent backend mineral drive and a long, nascently complex and zesty finish. This is very, very good this year."

BURGHOUND 91-93 POINTS - "An overtly floral nose flashes notes of iodine, freshly sliced white-fleshed fruit and an interesting hint of tangerine peel. There is both excellent volume and vibrancy to the solidly powerful and focused flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the beautifully long, complex and well-balanced finale. Classy juice that is well-worth your attention."

 


 

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

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

Skouras 2017 Moscofilero, Greece

Grape Variety: 100%  Moscofilero

Origin: Greece

WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The 2017 Moscofilero (as Skouras spells it) comes in with four grams of residual sugar, 6.2 grams of total acidity and 12% alcohol. The combination makes for a dry wine with a lively feel and vivid flavor. Sourced from vines at 650 meters, this is always crisp and elegant. So, too, this year. Wonderfully aromatic as well in its youth, this is exuberant, gloriously fresh and intensely fruity. The fruit is always lifted, though. Then, it just coats the palate, despite its elegant demeanor. It lingers beautifully on the rather tense finish."

Wine TipAnother beautiful surprise from Greece from a grape variety that I am pretty sure the large majority of us never tried before.  Very unique balance, huge acidity and a touch of sweetness. Hard to resist.

Chablis Louis Michel 2017 Montee Tonnerre

Grape Variety: 100% Chardonnay

Origin: Chablis, France

Over the past several years, the wines of Louis Michel have become a staff and customer favorite. They offer everything you could want, exhibiting signature characteristics of Chardonnay from this region. This is the perfect wine to pair with oysters, shellfish, seafood or poultry or to refresh as we move into the warmer time of the year. Both the 2015 and 2017 Louis Michel Montée de Tonnerre wines are designated as "Outstanding" by Burghound's tough critic, Allen Meadows.

The Michel family has been making wines in the heart of Chablis since the 19th century and the domaine is now overseen by Guillaume Michel. Louis Michel & Fils were among the first to vinify its wines only in stainless steel tanks. This approach highlights the purity of the Chardonnay with these wines exuding finesse, purity and freshness.

Montée de Tonnerre is located on the right bank of the Serein River alongside the Grand Crus. It is regarded as the most prestigious and sought-after of the Chablis Premier Crus. The famous chalky Kimmeridgian soils are deep and well drained. The south-west facing vines enjoy plenty of sunshine and produce a wine with sun-kissed aromas. This is the ultimate expression of a successful partnership between soil and climate resulting in powerful wines that are complex and balanced.

JOHN GILMAN 93 POINTS - "With the very low yields here in Montée de Tonnerre, I was expecting this wine to be a bit dense and further behind in its development than the other premier crus in the cellar, but this was not the case and the 2017 version here at Domaine Michel is going to be very, very good. The bouquet is pure and classic, offering up scents of apple, lime, chalky minerality, dried flowers and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, poised and racy in personality, with a fine core of fruit, excellent backend mineral drive and a long, nascently complex and zesty finish. This is very, very good this year."

BURGHOUND 91-93 POINTS - "An overtly floral nose flashes notes of iodine, freshly sliced white-fleshed fruit and an interesting hint of tangerine peel. There is both excellent volume and vibrancy to the solidly powerful and focused flavors that exude a subtle minerality on the beautifully long, complex and well-balanced finale. Classy juice that is well-worth your attention."

 


 

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

1 Bottle of Champagne (tax & shipping not included)

Champagne Andre Clouet, Rose, Grand Cru

Origin: 100% Bouzy

Grape variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Disgorgement date: Unknown

THE CHAMPAGNE GUIDE 95 POINTS - "I say 10% of the blend is from my blood!' declares Jean-Francois Clouet, who has changed the style of his family's rose to a fresher and more direct mood, not so soft, aiming for the lively impression of malic acidity, even though it goes through full malolactic fermentation. The result is arose that epitomises elegance and focus, in the midst of generous red fruits that characterise Bouzy and Ambonnay. This cuvee encapsulates the wonderful talent of Pinot Noir to build and rise on the finish, opening to wonderful characters of perfumed rosehip, pink pepper and pomegrate. An undercurrent of fine, chalk mineral texture, accurate line and persevering length define a pristine and enticingly priced rose."

Wine Tip:This month I picked a rose. A gorgeous label that is hiding a lovely wine. Roses, bright red fruit, pomegranate, all with that unmistakable champagne creaminess. We are in the middle of the season of Strawberries and they are really tasty this year. Get some good quality strawberry shortcake and pair it with this delicious champagne.