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.


September Taster's Advantage

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

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

Herencia Altes 17 Garnatxa Negra, Spain

Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha or Garnatxa, Terra Alta, Catalonia Spain

We have featured this Spanish beauty before and probably will do so again. Why? Because it is superlative juice for the money and it checks all the boxes for what we want in a warm-weather wine. Great fruit balanced with a fine body of tannins and acidity? Yep. Light on its feet and shows versatility with food? You bet. Depth, character and layers of flavor? Nailed it. While ideal for late summer and early fall (definitely not a 'heavy' wine), it really is balanced enough to enjoy year-round.
A relatively new winery, The Altes family was involved in grape-growing before, in 2010, the son decided to make wine from the father's grapes, desiring to put the family name on the literal fruits of their labors (a natural progression in the wine world). They produce excellent wines that have been well-received commercially and critically. This has allowed the family to invest in vineyards and, in 2016, they began construction on a new winery.

D.O. Terra Alta (literally 'high ground') is located in the southwest corner of Spain, in the province of Tarragona. Garnatxa Negra (grenache) thrives in hot, dry climates so is an excellent match for the weather in Terra Alta. With the altitude, the grapes have to work even harder, making for more concentrated flavors and more interesting wines.

Fresh raspberries, cherries and plums fill the nose of this wine, bolstered by notes of cedar, rose petal, forest hillside and a background hint of citrus peel; uplifting and refreshing. The bright fruits are reiterated in the palate with cherry and raspberry in the foreground. Streaks of minerality and subtle earthiness, along with medium acidity and balanced, buoyant tannins, add both depth and brightness to the glass. Again, this is a great wine for warmer temps but will bring some of that summer sun for colder climes. We really enjoyed tasting this and will be particularly interested in introducing it to our grills on football Saturdays (Hello barbecued beef, lamb and al pastor-- meat your new best friends!).

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Vivid ruby. Vibrant, spice-accented dark berry and violet scents show very good clarity and pick up a mineral nuance with aeration. Juicy, focused and lithe on the palate, offering appealingly sweet boysenberry and cherry flavors that deepen steadily through the back half. Shows strong intensity and sharp definition on a long, floral-tinged finish that's given shape by silky, even tannins."

Wine Tip: A classic Garnatxa, juicy, bold, and delicious. Only the Spanish knows how to do it at that price.

Cune 16 Rioja Crianza, Rioja, Spain

Grape Variety: 85% Tempranillo, 15% Garnacha Tinta and Mazuelo

Origin: Rioja, Spain

WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Black cherry, red plum, licorice and smoke flavors mingle in this round red. Shows good density, while orange peel acidity and light tannins keep this focused. Drink now through 2028. 375,000 cases made, 10,000 cases imported."

WINE ENTHUSIAST 90 POINTS - "Berry, spice and tobacco aromas work in unison to give this Crianza a nice start. A firm palate avoids jamminess and shows grip. Dark plum, raspberry, spice and pepper flavors hold on through the finish. For everyday Rioja, there isn't much better than this."

WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The red 2016 Cune Crianza is an affordable and classical blend of Tempranillo with some 15% Garnacha and Mazuelo that is easy to drink and understand, with a soft palate and an approachable profile. It has a bright nose with red fruit rather than black, quite aromatic and expressive. The palate is soft and approachable, very easy to drink, with a touch of freshness. They produced a whopping 4.5 million bottles of this! The bottle I tasted was bottled in April 2019 after 12 months in barrique. There are eight different lots of this wine that are bottled throughout the year, for which they try to make the most homogeneous blend possible, but some variation is inevitable. But the overall quality of this year is certainly higher than the previous one."

In Rioja, wines are labeled according to the amount of time spent aging in oak. A wine designated as Crianza must be aged in oak for a minimum of a year while the Reserva and Gran Reservas require more extensive aging. As you probably know from previous emails, Cune is one of our favorite producers from Rioja and consistently over-delivers. The name Cune is actually an acronym for Compania Vinicola del Norte del Espana (the Northern Spanish Wine Company). It was founded in 1879 in the famed Rioja Alta region and the winery is still run by descendants of the founding family. Since its inception, Cune has been focused on the production and aging of wines based on Spain's great noble grape.

Wine Tip: 13.5% alcohol, medium body, and loads of spices that lingers for a long time. Another fantastic wine from Cune that will pair perfectly with all your Mediterranean dishes.

 


 

September 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)

Herencia Altes 17 Garnatxa Negra, Spain

Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha or Garnatxa, Terra Alta, Catalonia Spain

We have featured this Spanish beauty before and probably will do so again. Why? Because it is superlative juice for the money and it checks all the boxes for what we want in a warm-weather wine. Great fruit balanced with a fine body of tannins and acidity? Yep. Light on its feet and shows versatility with food? You bet. Depth, character and layers of flavor? Nailed it. While ideal for late summer and early fall (definitely not a 'heavy' wine), it really is balanced enough to enjoy year-round.
A relatively new winery, The Altes family was involved in grape-growing before, in 2010, the son decided to make wine from the father's grapes, desiring to put the family name on the literal fruits of their labors (a natural progression in the wine world). They produce excellent wines that have been well-received commercially and critically. This has allowed the family to invest in vineyards and, in 2016, they began construction on a new winery.

D.O. Terra Alta (literally 'high ground') is located in the southwest corner of Spain, in the province of Tarragona. Garnatxa Negra (grenache) thrives in hot, dry climates so is an excellent match for the weather in Terra Alta. With the altitude, the grapes have to work even harder, making for more concentrated flavors and more interesting wines.

Fresh raspberries, cherries and plums fill the nose of this wine, bolstered by notes of cedar, rose petal, forest hillside and a background hint of citrus peel; uplifting and refreshing. The bright fruits are reiterated in the palate with cherry and raspberry in the foreground. Streaks of minerality and subtle earthiness, along with medium acidity and balanced, buoyant tannins, add both depth and brightness to the glass. Again, this is a great wine for warmer temps but will bring some of that summer sun for colder climes. We really enjoyed tasting this and will be particularly interested in introducing it to our grills on football Saturdays (Hello barbecued beef, lamb and al pastor-- meat your new best friends!).

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Vivid ruby. Vibrant, spice-accented dark berry and violet scents show very good clarity and pick up a mineral nuance with aeration. Juicy, focused and lithe on the palate, offering appealingly sweet boysenberry and cherry flavors that deepen steadily through the back half. Shows strong intensity and sharp definition on a long, floral-tinged finish that's given shape by silky, even tannins."

Wine Tip: A classic Garnatxa, juicy, bold, and delicious. Only the Spanish knows how to do it at that price.

Terra Initia 16 Rkatsiteli, Georgia

Grape Variety: 100% Rkatsiteli

Origin: Kvareli, Kakheti, Georgia

This clean, crisp white comes to us from the Republic of Georgia where wine has been made for thousands of years. Rkatsiteli is a grape variety native to this area. The Terra Initia is pleasant and very easy to drink on a hot afternoon.

Terra Initia is a merchant (negociant) project whose idea is to select wines that can convey the true spirit of Georgia: wines that glorify the oldest of the terroirs and the organoleptic of indigenous varieties. After all, these terroirs and grapes can both be proud of history and be confident about the future.

Wine Tip: Terra Initia means in Latin “the land of origin.” Many consider Georgia as the birthplace of wine. Thousands of years after the first bottle ever made it is time to rediscover this fascinating wine culture with this easy and delicious white wine. Golden plum, yellow apple, citrus, crisp and dry.

 


 

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

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

Cousino Macul 15 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dama de Plata, Chile

Grape Variety: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon,10% Malbec, 5% Syrah

Origin: Alto Maipo Valley, Chile

This is Cousino-Macul winery's Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant red, the "Dama de Plata," coming from high-altitude sites of the Alto Maipo Valley of Chile! The towering Andes mountains provide the needed irrigation in this warm and dry climate, and the higher altitude keeps the ripe-fruited wines from becoming too blousy or flabby.

The delightful "Dama de Plata" has ripe blackcurrant, plum, and balsam aromas and on the medium-weighted palate it's soft and juicy with flavors of ripe, sweet fruit, hints of oak and Cabernet's classic green bell pepper, with an herbal quality in the finish that makes for a balance of fruit and savor.

Chile might be a relatively recent wine region for us, but they have a long history, like much of the Americas, due to Europeans arriving with vines. But the real wine industry took off in the 1800s as mineral mining was generating a lot of wealth; it became popular to travel to France where they fell in love with the finer grape varieties, which they brought back to make better wine. The Cousino-Macul family wine estate was founded in 1856 in this manner: the name "Dama de Plata" (Lady of Silver) refers to the widow Isidora Goyenechea who ran the estate and silver mining business for decades, and their Cabernet clones come from Pauillac in Bordeaux.

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Cool and savory with just a hint of something vegetal this is a really elegant wine with the vitality you expect of Chile. A long, very clean finish."

Wine Tip: Maipo valley is the most famous and the most prestigious wine region in Chile. This region is also known for the quality of the meat produced. A tasty piece of beef will pair wonderfully with this wine.

Henri Cruchon 18 Pinot Noir, La cote, Switzerland

Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir

Origin: La Cote appellation, Morges, Switzerland

The Cruchon family has been deeply involved in making wine for several generations. They are often cited as an example for their dynamic, creative approach. They have been innovative and pioneer in a number of areas, developing and ensuring a unique know-how that has contributed significantly to the revival of the Swiss wine industry.

A grape can bring to life the magic of a place, the personality of a terroir and the strength of a grape variety if the vine grows in an environment that, from a biological perspective, is healthy and natural. This conviction led them at one point to biodynamic production. This approach to cultivation, soundly organic, gives spectacular results, wines with intensive and diversified tastes.

They systematically put aside any industrial logic and trendy mechanization; Domaine Henri Cruchon’s wines are, and always will be, cultivated by hand, with an artisanal approach, despite the cost of labour and the hard work this involves.

Wine Tip: I was born next to Switzerland and I wanted to offer you a good example of this wonderful wines. We tasted this delicious pinot noir recently and I knew that it was the one. The vines are located in the Canton de Vaud next the Leman Lake. The wine shows a beautiful core of bright red fruits, black currants buds, pot-pourri notes. The wine is balanced and has a wonderful length. A very good surprise.


 

September 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)

Cousino Macul 15 Cabernet Sauvignon, Dama de Plata, Chile

Grape Variety: 85% Cabernet Sauvignon,10% Malbec, 5% Syrah

Origin: Alto Maipo Valley, Chile

This is Cousino-Macul winery's Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant red, the "Dama de Plata," coming from high-altitude sites of the Alto Maipo Valley of Chile! The towering Andes mountains provide the needed irrigation in this warm and dry climate, and the higher altitude keeps the ripe-fruited wines from becoming too blousy or flabby.

The delightful "Dama de Plata" has ripe blackcurrant, plum, and balsam aromas and on the medium-weighted palate it's soft and juicy with flavors of ripe, sweet fruit, hints of oak and Cabernet's classic green bell pepper, with an herbal quality in the finish that makes for a balance of fruit and savor.

Chile might be a relatively recent wine region for us, but they have a long history, like much of the Americas, due to Europeans arriving with vines. But the real wine industry took off in the 1800s as mineral mining was generating a lot of wealth; it became popular to travel to France where they fell in love with the finer grape varieties, which they brought back to make better wine. The Cousino-Macul family wine estate was founded in 1856 in this manner: the name "Dama de Plata" (Lady of Silver) refers to the widow Isidora Goyenechea who ran the estate and silver mining business for decades, and their Cabernet clones come from Pauillac in Bordeaux.

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "Cool and savory with just a hint of something vegetal this is a really elegant wine with the vitality you expect of Chile. A long, very clean finish."

Wine Tip: Maipo valley is the most famous and the most prestigious wine region in Chile. This region is also known for the quality of the meat produced. A tasty piece of beef will pair wonderfully with this wine.

Beck-Hartweg 12 Riesling Prestige

Grape Variety: 100% Riesling

Origin: Dambach la Ville, Alsace, France

Florian Beck-Hartweg has a mere 5.5 ha growed organic. This Riesling is attractive, classic fragrance with citrus, a hint of orange peel, apple and a spicy pepper. The taste is solid and tight with elegant fruit. Typical from its granitic terroir, this Riesling is dry, elegant and shows a nice minerality. It is long in mouth and has some floral notes with a nice purity. Enjoy with oysters and fish, poultry or the classic spicy food.

Wine Tip: I had the chance to meet Florian few times when I was living in Alsace and each meeting was exceptional.

He is hands down one of the hardest worker and one of the smartest winemaker I ever met. He is the advocate of terroir in Alsace and worked along Marcel Deiss to create a diploma recognized by the French government to showcase and identify the relation between terroirs and wines.

You will find many videos of him on internet explaining the different techniques that he is using and highlighting the pros and the cons. Extremely educative and humbling. This guy’s wines are the real deal, at an outstanding price.

And yes this a DRY Riesling.

 


 

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

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

Terra Initia 16 Rkatsiteli, Georgia

Grape Variety: 100% Rkatsiteli

Origin: Kvareli, Kakheti, Georgia

This clean, crisp white comes to us from the Republic of Georgia where wine has been made for thousands of years. Rkatsiteli is a grape variety native to this area. The Terra Initia is pleasant and very easy to drink on a hot afternoon.

Terra Initia is a merchant (negociant) project whose idea is to select wines that can convey the true spirit of Georgia: wines that glorify the oldest of the terroirs and the organoleptic of indigenous varieties. After all, these terroirs and grapes can both be proud of history and be confident about the future.

Wine Tip: Terra Initia means in Latin “the land of origin.” Many consider Georgia as the birthplace of wine. Thousands of years after the first bottle ever made it is time to rediscover this fascinating wine culture with this easy and delicious white wine. Golden plum, yellow apple, citrus, crisp and dry.

Beck-Hartweg 12 Riesling Prestige

Grape Variety: 100% Riesling

Origin: Dambach la Ville, Alsace

Florian Beck-Hartweg has a mere 5.5 ha growed organic. This Riesling is attractive, classic fragrance with citrus, a hint of orange peel, apple and a spicy pepper. The taste is solid and tight with elegant fruit. Typical from its granitic terroir, this Riesling is dry, elegant and shows a nice minerality. It is long in mouth and has some floral notes with a nice purity. Enjoy with oysters and fish, poultry or the classic spicy food.

Wine Tip: I had the chance to meet Florian few times when I was living in Alsace and each meeting was exceptional.

He is hands down one of the hardest worker and one of the smartest winemaker I ever met. He is the advocate of terroir in Alsace and worked along Marcel Deiss to create a diploma recognized by the French government to showcase and identify the relation between terroirs and wines.

You will find many videos of him on internet explaining the different techniques that he is using and highlighting the pros and the cons. Extremely educative and humbling. This guy’s wines are the real deal, at an outstanding price.

And yes this a DRY Riesling.

 


 

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

1 Bottle of Champagne (tax & shipping not included)

Pertois-lebrun, Blanc de blancs, Instant brut, Grand Cru

Origin: Champagne, Chouilly, Le Mesnil sur Oger, Oger

Grape variety: 100% Chardonnay mostly 2013

Disgorgement date: November 2018 Dosage: 5g

Here is a regal mix of organically farmed Chardonnay from Cramant, Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger, Chouilly, Oiry, and Oger : five villages on the famous Côtes des Blancs with Grand Cru Classé status among the elite 17 (out of all of Champagne's 300 plus crus) that enjoy this distinction These are the fab five crus among which the firm's 20 acres of vines are distributed. The result here is a wine of finesse and precision with fresh, slightly saline flavors, that truly reflect the characteristics of its hallowed terroir. In the glass the taster is treated to a silky, integrated effervescence that sets off a delightful, resonant play of lemon tinged Granny Smith apples, ruby red grapefruit, and blanched almonds. Here then is a pedigreed Blanc de Blanc that is sure to please the avid Champagne purist with a price that pleases as well.