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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.


February Taster's Advantage

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

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

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2017

Grape Variety: 100 % Malbec, Origin: Valle de Uco, Mendoza

Our February wine of the month, the 2017 Zuccardi "Serie A" Malbec, brings us to Argentina! Robert Parker's Wine Advocate says this is "serious and balanced, really impressive for the price," giving it 91 points!

There is experience in the hands of winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi: he learned from his father and grandfather who have been making wine in the Mendoza region of Argentina for decades. Indeed, his innovation and skills earned him a recent headlining spot on Decanter's list of top 10 South American winemakers! The vineyards are high up in the foothills of the Andes, in the Uco Valley (with altitudes up to 3,600 feet). At high altitude, the combination of warm, sunny days and quickly cooling evenings make for wines with fully-formed flavors, softer tannins, and a refreshing acidity. Sebastian Zuccardi likes to ferment the juice in concrete, and age in a combination of concrete, stainless steel, and used oak barrels, which allows him to craft his signature textural style.

The aroma is strongly floral (like violet) with a backing of ripe blue fruit (like plum or boysenberry). In the mouth the wine is round and warming with a fresh acidity, and just enough extraction to flesh it out, balancing the structure and alcohol. The flavors are awash in violet, meshed with fresh ripe fruit, with gentle pungent spice notes reminiscent of white pepper and a subtle chalky minerality. The finish leaves you with a pretty, lingering candied violet note and a gentle grip of tannin. This is the kind of wine that's perfect for simply prepared grilled meats (asados) and hearty bean dishes like "Black Beans a la Olla!"

Wine Tip: A beautiful Malbec, well balanced and elegant. The combination of different type of container for fermenting and aging the wine produces a unique and very delicate mouth feeling.

Olivares Altes de la Hoya Monastrell 2016

Grape Variety: 90% Monastrell, 10% Grenache Origin: Jumilla, Spain

As Spain’s winemaking revolution matures, Jumilla continues to produce some of the world’s great wine values. The region’s native Monastrell—Mourvedre elsewhere—is one of the most prized varieties of Mediterranean Europe. And on account of the reliably hot, dry summers, ripeness is rarely an issue. Yet Jumilla has a diversity of terroirs, certain of which clearly transcend mere “value.” And the wines of Paco Selva’s Bodegas Olivares have done just that, thanks to a singular terroir and the perspective necessary to give it a meaningful voice.

Olivares’ estate vineyard, Finca Hoya de Santa Ana, is located in Jumilla’s northwestern quadrant, whose unique characteristics distinguish it from the rest of the appellation. For example, this special zone lies at over 800 meters elevation, where nights cool down quickly, resulting in wines with astounding freshness and equilibrium. But, perhaps more importantly, Paco’s 65 hectare here boasts incredibly sandy soil and ungrafted vines (planted between 1872 and present times), of which this may be the world’s largest individual holding. The former provides the wine with a rich perfume; the latter depth and complexity.

Wine Tip: Ungrafted vines are very rare and represent less than 1% of the total surface in Europe. The Phylloxera epidemic destroyed almost all the vineyards at the end of 19th century.

 


 

February 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)

Zuccardi Serie A Malbec 2017

Grape Variety: 100 % Malbec, Origin: Valle de Uco, Mendoza

Our February wine of the month, the 2017 Zuccardi "Serie A" Malbec, brings us to Argentina! Robert Parker's Wine Advocate says this is "serious and balanced, really impressive for the price," giving it 91 points!

There is experience in the hands of winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi: he learned from his father and grandfather who have been making wine in the Mendoza region of Argentina for decades. Indeed, his innovation and skills earned him a recent headlining spot on Decanter's list of top 10 South American winemakers! The vineyards are high up in the foothills of the Andes, in the Uco Valley (with altitudes up to 3,600 feet). At high altitude, the combination of warm, sunny days and quickly cooling evenings make for wines with fully-formed flavors, softer tannins, and a refreshing acidity. Sebastian Zuccardi likes to ferment the juice in concrete, and age in a combination of concrete, stainless steel, and used oak barrels, which allows him to craft his signature textural style.

The aroma is strongly floral (like violet) with a backing of ripe blue fruit (like plum or boysenberry). In the mouth the wine is round and warming with a fresh acidity, and just enough extraction to flesh it out, balancing the structure and alcohol. The flavors are awash in violet, meshed with fresh ripe fruit, with gentle pungent spice notes reminiscent of white pepper and a subtle chalky minerality. The finish leaves you with a pretty, lingering candied violet note and a gentle grip of tannin. This is the kind of wine that's perfect for simply prepared grilled meats (asados) and hearty bean dishes like "Black Beans a la Olla!"

Wine Tip: A beautiful Malbec, well balanced and elegant. The combination of different type of container for fermenting and aging the wine produces a unique and very delicate mouth feeling.

Zafeirakis 2017 Malagousia

Grape Variety: 100% Malagousia, Origin: Tyrnavos, Greece

NEW YORK TIMES: "A new generation of Greek producers is nurturing obscure, indigenous grapes like the white malagousia. This bottle, from Christos Zafeirakis in Trynavos in the Thessaly region, is zesty, peachy and balanced, with lingering flavors that will go well with seafood." --Eric Asimov

The Zafeirakis family has been growing grapes in the Tyrnavos appelation for more than 100 years. After he completed his studies in oenology, fourth generation grower Christos Zafeirakis took the family business to the next level when he bottled wine from his private vineyards in 2005. In addition to the acclaim he has received for this dry white, Christos has been praised for bringing the native Greek red variety, Limniona, back from near extinction.

Wine Tip: A professor in Enology called Vassilis Logothetis rediscovered the grape in the 70’s when it was almost extinct. His students started to make experimental vinification with it and it is now one of the most respected grape varietal in Greece.

 


 

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

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

Vietti 2015 Perbacco Langhe Nebbiolo

Grape Variety: 100% Nebbiolo Origin: Piedmont, Langhe, Italy

This wine has the same vinification and aging as Vietti's famed Barolo "Castiglione" which sells for $40. Complex and elegant, it's supple enough to drink with a roast chicken or a hearty pasta dish, and will hold its own against anything from the grill too.

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the 19th Century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, however, did the Vietti name become a winery offering its own wines in bottle. Patriarch Mario Vietti, starting from 1919 made the first Vietti wines, selling most of the production in Italy. His most significant achievement was to transform the family farm, engaged in many fields, into a grape-growing and wine-producing business. Then, in 1952, Alfredo Currado (Luciana Vietti’s husband) continued to produce high quality wines from their own vineyards and purchased grapes. The Vietti winery grew to one of the top-level producers in Piemonte and was one of the first wineries to export its products to the USA market. Alfredo was one of the first to select and vinify grapes from single vineyards (such as Brunate, Rocche and Villero). This was a radical concept at the time, but today virtually every vintner making Barolo and Barbaresco wines offers "single vineyard" or "cru-designated" wines.

Wine Tip: Langhe produce a version of Nebbiolo that is meant to be more approachable early on than more expensive barolos and Barbarescos. Sometimes Langhe wine can be a declassified Barolo or Barbaresco (young vineyards or not age-worthy etc).

Fourcas Dupre 2015, Listrac Medoc

Grape Variety: 44% Merlot, 44% cabernet sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit verdot Origin: Listrac Medoc, Bordeaux

ROBERT PARKER91-93 POINTS - "The 2015 Fourcas-Dupre offers plenty of blackberry and boysenberry fruit on the nose, a touch of brine here, a subtle marine influence that lends it complexity and personality. The palate is medium-bodied with a juicy opening, a melange of red and black fruit, taut and quite linear with plenty of freshness and tension on the finish. This is a well-crafted Listrac that punches well above my expectations. Hopefully it can retain this level after its élevage - one to keep an eye on."

Wine Tip: This is the first Bordeaux I bought by the case. It was the 2005 vintage and I was impressed by the amazing bang for the buck value of this wine. We are in 2019 and another vintage ending by 5 is showing the same characteristics. This wine can age a good 5/10 years if you want to develop some tertiary aromas but can be enjoyed right now after a normal decanting.


 

February 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)

Leone Castris 16 Maiana Salice Salentino

Grape Variety: 90% Negroamaro, 10% Malvasia Nera Origin: Salice Salentino, Puglia, Italy

Our wine of the month #2 for February comes from the hot, dry Mediterranean peninsula of Salento (part of the Puglia region, the heel of the Italian "boot"). The 2016 Leone de Castris "Maiana" is a modern, delicious red that can be enjoyed on its own.

The Salento peninsula is no newcomer to wine-making, as it has a connection with the ancient Greeks who set up colonies and trade here and has recorded vine-growing since at least the 6th century BC! Leone de Castris itself has been a winery since 1665 and has been an important modernizing influence for winemaking in the region over the last century, including having helped create the wine appellation of Salice Salentino in the 1970s.

The star of the "Maiana" bottling is Negroamaro, one of Puglia's premiere local red grape varieties, which contributes dark prune and fig aromas. It's often partnered with other grapes, like the Malvasia Nera in this wine, which contributes lifted cherry and plum aromas.

The "Maiana" has a rich perfume of dark dried fruit (like fig) and piercing black cherry cordial with a dusting of cocoa, vanilla, and graham cracker. In the mouth, the wine is mellow and juicy, with soft velvet tannins...flavors reminiscent of chocolate covered fig wash over, followed by a lifting black cherry accompanied by a sensation like cheesecake (with a graham cracker crust). Don't let the dessert-like description fool you, this is still a dry wine; with less than 4g/L residual sugar, it leaves a clean finish. And with a medium body and 13% abv, this wine is extremely drinkable!

Wine Tip: Puglia accounts for 17% of the total Italian wine production in volume.

Badenhorst White Blend

Grape Variety: Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Verdehlo, Grenache Gris, Clairette Blanche, Semillon and Palomino
Origin: Swartland area and the greater Paardeberg Mountain, South Africa.

Andre Adriaan Badenhorst (The winemaker) grew up between the vineyards of Constantia and spent his time picking (stealing) grapes. “It all started when Jean Daneel, then winemaker at Buitenverwachting, let me make my first wine when I was thirteen,” Adi recalls.

After completing his studies at Elsenburg, Adi worked a few harvests at Chateau Angelus, Alain Graillot in the north Rhone, France and Wither Hills in New Zealand and did stints at local cellars Simonsig, Steenberg, Groote Post and nine years as winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate, Rustenberg.

In 2008 he packed it all in and bought a 60-hectare piece of land in the Paardeberg with his cousin Hein. They now proudly farm together, practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner.

On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement kuipe. “We make wines with immense character. We’re using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can. And we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction from my family.”

WineTip: Adi Badenhorst is a very interesting winemaker. Check his website to see why: https://aabadenhorst.com

 


 

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

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

Zafeirakis 2017 Malagousia

Grape Variety: 100% Malagousia, Origin: Tyrnavos, Greece

NEW YORK TIMES: "A new generation of Greek producers is nurturing obscure, indigenous grapes like the white malagousia. This bottle, from Christos Zafeirakis in Trynavos in the Thessaly region, is zesty, peachy and balanced, with lingering flavors that will go well with seafood." --Eric Asimov

The Zafeirakis family has been growing grapes in the Tyrnavos appelation for more than 100 years. After he completed his studies in oenology, fourth generation grower Christos Zafeirakis took the family business to the next level when he bottled wine from his private vineyards in 2005. In addition to the acclaim he has received for this dry white, Christos has been praised for bringing the native Greek red variety, Limniona, back from near extinction.

Wine Tip: A professor in Enology called Vassilis Logothetis rediscovered the grape in the 70’s when it was almost extinct. His students started to make experimental vinification with it and it is now one of the most respected grape varietal in Greece.

Badenhorst White Blend 2016

Grape Variety: Chenin Blanc, Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Verdehlo,Grenache Gris, Clairette Blanche, Semillon and Palomino
Origin: Swartland area and the greater Paardeberg Mountain, South Africa.

Andre Adriaan Badenhorst (The winemaker) grew up between the vineyards of Constantia and spent his time picking (stealing) grapes. “It all started when Jean Daneel, then winemaker at Buitenverwachting, let me make my first wine when I was thirteen,” Adi recalls.

After completing his studies at Elsenburg, Adi worked a few harvests at Chateau Angelus, Alain Graillot in the north Rhone, France and Wither Hills in New Zealand and did stints at local cellars Simonsig, Steenberg, Groote Post and nine years as winemaker at the esteemed Stellenbosch estate, Rustenberg.

In 2008 he packed it all in and bought a 60-hectare piece of land in the Paardeberg with his cousin Hein. They now proudly farm together, practice biological farming and make natural wines in the traditional manner.

On Kalmoesfontein it is back to basics, using traditional winemaking equipment and old cement kuipe. "We make wines with immense character. We're using what we can afford. We are making the best wines we can. And we are having great experiences. I want to make something, involving interaction from my family."

WineTip: Adi Badenhorst is a very interesting winemaker. Check his website to see why: https://aabadenhorst.com

 


 

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

1 Bottle of Champagne (tax & shipping not included)

Laherte Freres Extra Brut Ultradition NV

Grape variety: 60% Meunier, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Noir

Origin: Chavot, Champagne, France
Disgorgement date: May 2018; Dosage: 4.5g/L

Jean-Baptiste Laherte set up the family estate in 1889, planting most of the vines in the village of Chavost, which was to become Chavot.

The estate gradually grew over generations and covers today over 11 hectares through the Champagne region. The sixth and seventh generations are now working together to create wines that are just like them - pure, sincere and authentic. They share their experience and combine their efforts to make the most of this beautiful heritage.

Since 2005, Aurélien Laherte - the seventh generation - has been giving a new dimension to the estate, while following in the footsteps of his father Thierry and his uncle Christian, the Laherte brothers. Passionately, they promote the family’s values and continue to bring the best out of the terroir.

80% of the estate’s wines are fermented and matured in wooden receptacles, the vine growing is based on organic and natural principles since the creation for the winery.

Similar blend as the Ultradition Brut, but held one year longer en-tirage before disgorgement, and is dosed at 4.5 gr/l. The label is a replica of an original label used by the family in the early days of estate bottling. It is a bit racier and tighter than the regular Brut, and would make a fine aperitif as well, or even paired with oysters or shellfish.

Wine Tip: Another example of a delightul champagne with a dominant of Pinot meunier. This is the best of champagne at the best price. Nature winemaking, barrel aged, harvest at full ripeness…