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

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

 Casa Castillo 2014 Monastrell, Spain

Over the past several years, we have become unabashed fans of the wines produced in the once unheralded region of Jumilla. The vines in this parched and seemingly barren region in south-east Spain produce wines of incredible richness and concentration at unbelievable prices. We have also become huge fans of Casa Castillo which continues to over-deliver with delicious wines at great prices. Robert Parker agrees and gushed about this estate writing, "Considered by many observers to be the finest estate in Jumilla, Casa Castillo is a treasure-trove for fabulous values."

On the nose, the wine displays aromas of dark sumptuous fruits, Kirsch and notions of baking spices and earth. On the palate, this wine shows great purity showcasing ripe black and blue fruit with notions of vanilla bean and semi-sweet chocolate that only enhance the complexity of this delicious wine. The tannins are supple and silky smooth on this delicious wine which has no hard edges. We are excited to be able to offer this outstanding hand-harvested wine, which is absolutely delicious and an incredible value.

WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "The entry level wine here is the 2014 Monastrell, a wine that mixes grapes from different valley vineyards within the estate where you find more sand and clay and the age of the vines varies between 35 and five-years-old. Starting with this vintage, which was nothing short of challenging, the wine is not a pure Monastrell, but a blend with some 10% Syrah (from the Valtosca vineyards, which was not produced in this vintage) and some 5% Garnacha from new plantings coming into production. In future years the percentage of other grapes -- mainly Garnacha -- will be increased, and the wine will not be called Monastrell anymore, but simply Casa Castillo. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in used barrels for some eight months before bottling. This feels like a superb vintage for the cuvée, very complete, aromatic, subtler than in the past, more elegant. The palate also feels very complete, nicely balanced, with great acidity and a very fine thread which makes it nicely textured. It's remarkable how the wines seem to be fine tuned each vintage, irrespective of how hard the climate conditions are. This is always a great value and represents the zone and vintage quite faithfully. It's thought out to be enjoyed young, but I've drunk incredible bottles at age 20! Some 220,000 bottles produced." Item #380811

La Quercia 2015 Montelpulciano D’Abruzzo, Italy

This Montepulciano is a great example of what can happen when you match low-yield winemaking expertise with a prolific growing zone, and constantly cut, cut, cut back the vines. Made by winemaker Antonio Lamona, the result is one of the best quality, most expressive and balanced Montepulcianos around. This wine is also 100% organic, and delivers as a wine that takes no shortcuts. Item #382063

 


 

May Wine Club Gold 2 Selection Gold Selection Plan 2 $24.95 Wine Club Sign Up

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

 Circus Bear 2014 Cote Du Roussillon, France

We are excited to present the inaugural release of the 2014 Circus Bear, another fantastic value priced wine from distributor/importer Kimberly Jones. You have enjoyed many of her wines although you may not have realized she was the one behind the label. Most recently, our customers snapped up cases upon cases of the Arbalest, her value priced Bordeaux. Kimberly has been successful in developing relationships with talented winemakers to bring high quality wines to consumers.

Circus Bear is a collaboration with Jean Roger Calvet of Calvet-Thunevin. It is a blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan from 60 year old vineyards of schist. These low-yielding vines produce grapes with excellent concentration and wonderful texture. This wine is full-bodied and boasts tremendous purity of fruit with very little oak influence letting the grapes speak for themselves. The bold label is an homage to the great fighting bears of the Pyrenees. The majestic Pyrenees Mountains tower over Maury and form the natural frontier between France and Spain.

This delicious Rhone style blend is made in Maury in Southern France and carries the Cotes du Roussillon Villages appellation. Maury recently gained attention when Dave Phinney (who created Orin Swift wines including The Prisoner, Abstract and more) purchased vineyards in the area. Phinney now makes the popular Shatter and D66 wines here. The dry and sunny climate enable the grapes to achieve optimum ripeness. Winds from the Atlantic moderate the temperature and cool the grapes to ensure the wines have balance.

There is limited availability in the USA for this inaugural release. Enjoy this crowd-pleasing wine while we have it!

From 60-year-old vines planted in the black schist soils of Maury. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Carignan. The wine displays aromas of purple flowers, deep red berry fruits, anise and baking spice. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and polished with a seamless texture. The fruit forward flavors of black cherry and dark raspberry are augmented with notions of licorice and garrigue on the long finish. Item #349952

Le Secret de Saint-Pierre 2016 Rose Cotes de Provence, France

It's one of our favorite times of the wine year-- when we start to receive the new, dry French rosés! This category of wines is generally the perfect call to enjoy during the warming days of late spring and oncoming heat of summer. They are crisp, refreshing and fruit-filled without being heavy or cloying. The Saint-Pierre is a particularly fine rendition and will make May much more merry! But first a bit of history...

Chateau Saint-Pierre dates back to the eleventh century. Recent rehabilitation work in the cellar have revealed vestiges of a church dedicated to Saint Pierre that had belonged to Foulques, Lord Of Les Arcs. This property and the land around it were bequeathed to the Saint Victor Abbey in 1055. Handed down from father to son for the past four generations, Jean-Philippe Victor now manages this 55 hectares vineyards that stretch from the Argens River up to the foot of the Maures Mountains. The Cotes de Provence terroir owes much of its unique character to its geology: a series of clay-limestone up-thrusts in an East-West direction, alternating with areas of gravel and flint.

A blend of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache, Saint-Pierre exudes lovely scents of apricot, spring melons, honey blossom and a hint of creme fraiche. The mouthfeel is viscous and rounded with beautiful spring fruit flavors: white peach, mixed stone fruits, strawberry. Light acidity and minerality keep the wine lively. The finish is resonant, reiterating the sweet fruit flavors for a good length; much like watching the enduring colors of a summer sunset slowly setting in the west, its beauty etched in memory. Item #346012

 


 

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

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

Le’Ptit 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, California

This Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a vineyard at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Morgan Hill, which grows in a mix of granitic and volcanic soils, and a 25 year old vineyard east of Gilroy, which grows in deep, extremely sandy soils against the foothills of the Diablo Range. The small amount of Petit Verdot in the wine from the Paicines AVA and grows in rocky alluvial deposits above the Tres Pinos arroyo. All three vineyards experience the warm days and cold nights typical of the Central Coast, allowing these late ripening Bordeaux varieties to be picked at high acidity and moderate sugars. Fermented whole berry in several lots, pressed after approximately 20 days. Item #227390

 Tolani 2011 “Valdisanti” Toscana IGT, Italy

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A refined and pretty wine with sliced plums and currants. Full body, fine tannins and a bright finish. Bordeaux blend. Drink or hold."

WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Graphite and smoke aromas lead to black currant and blackberry fruit in this linear, firmly structured red. On the austere side, yet long and laserlike. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2017 through 2027." Item #303645

 


 

Wine Club Platinum 2 Selection

Platinum Selection Plan 2 $49.95 Wine Club Sign Up

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

Arbalest 2015 Bordeaux, France

From the highly regarded winemaker from Hartwell, Realm, Kata and Fait Main (Teeter Totter) comes an absurd value. The inaugural release of the Arbalest is a project involving winemaker Benoit Touquette and importer/distributor Kimberly Jones. Our French and California wine buyers sampled this wine together last week and absolutely loved it. After tasting it, we knew we had to bring it into the store and quickly snapped up every single bottle that was available. This lush and juicy full-bodied wine boasts an abundance of dark fruit flavors and incredible texture with silky smooth tannins.

The idea of Arbalest was born when Benoit and Kimberly were traveling in France. They tasted a lot of wine in Bordeaux and both felt they could improve the quality of reasonably priced wine from the region. Benoit drew on his relationships in Bordeaux and found a source for high quality grapes. Benoit then did what he does best. He made this wine in his style consistent with his other wines, but kept the price amazingly low.

Benoit was born in Bordeaux where he was surrounded by family and friends in the wine business. He was amazed at the passion people had for wine and soon felt it himself. He graduated from Bordeaux University with a Master’s Degree in Oenology and learned from one of Bordeaux's greatest, Michel Rolland. After some time, Benoit decided it was time for a new challenge and decided to go to Napa. There he worked with another legendary winemaker, Andy Erickson, whose resume includes such iconic estates as Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle and Spottswoode.

The mentorship of Michel Rolland and Andy Erickson was transformative for Benoit. He has learned well and clearly knows how to make delicious wines. In the spirit of full disclosure, we have to admit this wine possesses the character of Touquette’s full-bodied Napa reds. The quality of the perfectly ripened fruit flavors and creamy texture in this Bordeaux blend made us feel like we were enjoying a much higher priced wine. It does have a touch of minerality you might encounter in Bordeaux, but this is a dead ringer for a high quality Napa wine.

Enjoy the inaugural release of this limited production wine while you can.

Arbalest displays aromas of blue florals, blackberry, boysenberry and plum. On the palate, this wine is full-bodied with well- integrated tannins and flavors mirroring the nose. Fresh dark fruit including blueberry and creme de cassis are followed by beautiful hints of umami on the mid palate. The finish is seamless and persistent. Item #345941

Greywacke 2014 Wild Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand (particularly from Marlborough) can be some of the best 'cleanup hitters' in the wine world. These wines tend to be loaded with the muscle and fortitude required to stand out, along with the requisite talent and grace needed to generally have a chance of hitting it out of the park-- and this Greywacke delivers. We fell in love with "Wild" (and their regular sibling SB) last year and the affair continues. The nose is stacked with gooseberry, paraffin wax, lemon-lime, guava, tangerine, a touch of minerality and a touch of cream. The palate is lush but fortified with excellent acidity as flavors of lemon-quince, mixed citrus fruits, more outstanding minerality and a hint of clotted cream lead to a resounding finish. And as the finish lingers, lush with fruit and texture but excelsior in acidity, satiation spreads, like a collective sigh from the home crowd. Home run? You bet. Greywacke is the Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, and the fulfillment of a long held dream. The name Greywacke was adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura, named in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard. Item #381864

 


 

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

Le Secret de Saint-Pierre 2016 Rose Cotes de Provence, France

It's one of our favorite times of the wine year-- when we start to receive the new, dry French rosés! This category of wines is generally the perfect call to enjoy during the warming days of late spring and oncoming heat of summer. They are crisp, refreshing and fruit-filled without being heavy or cloying. The Saint-Pierre is a particularly fine rendition and will make May much more merry! But first a bit of history...

Chateau Saint-Pierre dates back to the eleventh century. Recent rehabilitation work in the cellar have revealed vestiges of a church dedicated to Saint Pierre that had belonged to Foulques, Lord Of Les Arcs. This property and the land around it were bequeathed to the Saint Victor Abbey in 1055. Handed down from father to son for the past four generations, Jean-Philippe Victor now manages this 55 hectares vineyards that stretch from the Argens River up to the foot of the Maures Mountains. The Cotes de Provence terroir owes much of its unique character to its geology: a series of clay-limestone up-thrusts in an East-West direction, alternating with areas of gravel and flint.

A blend of 60% Cinsault and 40% Grenache, Saint-Pierre exudes lovely scents of apricot, spring melons, honey blossom and a hint of creme fraiche. The mouthfeel is viscous and rounded with beautiful spring fruit flavors: white peach, mixed stone fruits, strawberry. Light acidity and minerality keep the wine lively. The finish is resonant, reiterating the sweet fruit flavors for a good length; much like watching the enduring colors of a summer sunset slowly setting in the west, its beauty etched in memory. Item #346012

Greywacke 2014 Wild Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand

Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand (particularly from Marlborough) can be some of the best 'cleanup hitters' in the wine world. These wines tend to be loaded with the muscle and fortitude required to stand out, along with the requisite talent and grace needed to generally have a chance of hitting it out of the park-- and this Greywacke delivers. We fell in love with "Wild" (and their regular sibling SB) last year and the affair continues. The nose is stacked with gooseberry, paraffin wax, lemon-lime, guava, tangerine, a touch of minerality and a touch of cream. The palate is lush but fortified with excellent acidity as flavors of lemon-quince, mixed citrus fruits, more outstanding minerality and a hint of clotted cream lead to a resounding finish. And as the finish lingers, lush with fruit and texture but excelsior in acidity, satiation spreads, like a collective sigh from the home crowd. Home run? You bet. Greywacke is the Marlborough label of Kevin Judd, and the fulfillment of a long held dream. The name Greywacke was adopted by Kevin and his wife Kimberley for their first Marlborough vineyard located in Rapaura, named in recognition of the high prevalence of rounded greywacke river stones in the soils of the vineyard. Item #381864

 


 

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

1 Bottle of Champagne (tax & shipping not included) .

Remi Leroy Brut Champagne, France

Importer's Notes - "A sugary and salty puff pastry nose kicks off this full-bodied Champagne. The 95% of Pinot Noir (with the remainder Chardonnay) gives it an elegant and discreet bouquet of wild red berries and finish full of autumn baking spices with a solid zing of clove. Remi uses only stainless steel as his fermentation and aging vessels in order to encourage a pure expression of the Pinot Noir fruit and his clean and beautiful yeasts. Grown on what is the same limestone and clay soils as France's Chablis region, it is endowed with richness in the palate and upon first sniff and taste could easily be mistaken for a Chardonnay-based Champagne. It has tremendous length with texture and body that opens the doors on nearly all types of cuisine."

Remy Leroy is young vigneron in the up and comming Cote des Bars region of Champagne's Aube district. In Meurville, where Remi Leroy grew up and founded his estate, the soils are especially poor and yeilds are naturally low. Remi works hard in the vineyard to take care of his soil and vines without any artifical imput other than a little SO2. Each parcel is vinified seperately and then assembled. This is a great under-the-radar Champagne for the serious Champagne drinker. Item #378225