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14 Broc Carignan Thumbnail red wine sweet_0 intense_3 body_3 wood_1 farm_s
2014 Broc Cellars Carignan
Alexander Valley, Sonoma, California

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10% case discount on 12 or more bottles, any combination. Use promo code "12plus".


We love Broc Cellars wines almost as much as we love owner and winemaker, Chris Brockway. His wines are always honest, well made, pure expressions of their varietal and provenance - a lot like Chris himself. He is very proud of the fact that Broc Cellars "saved a remarkable, exquisitely ancient vineyard from imminent "Cabernetification," we continue to nurture its 130+ year old vines, capturing a character unfound in mere 120-year-old vineyards." The vineyard of which he speaks is planted primarily to Carignan, the Rhone variety found mostly in the southern Rhone Valley of France, as well as Palomino (the white grape of Jerez, Spain that makes Sherry) and Alicante Boushcet, the old French varietal which is one of the few wine grapes whose flesh is dark red and not clear. And while Chris certainly appreciates these wonderful, concentrated old vines he employs a bit of carbonic maceration in the winery to avoid making a dense, dark, brooding wine. As he explains, "Pitchforked from bin to tank, the berries remain intact and protected with a constant blanket of C02 until their native yeasts begin to ferment the grape sugars from the inside out. A slow mortification breaks down the color components in the skins infusing the juice inside the still-unbroken berries with a vibrant red hue. When fully dry, it is pressed in microlots and ushered into neutral oak and concrete vessels for the final stages of development." Chris Brockway has a rather technical explanation to reveal how he is able to make such a pretty, aromatic wine that is so light on its feet, especially considering that it is a blend of 85% Carignan, 10% Alicante and a little Palomino and Zinfandel! Given all that it still has a nice concentration of red currants, cranberry and juicy strawberry along with a nice hit of white pepper and spice. The wine is livey and bright with excellent acidity and a lovely smooth texture. It's very nice on its own and would also be great on the Thanksgiving table if you can wait that long. Try it with a slight chill.

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2012 Pride Mountiain Vintner Select Merlot Thumbnail red wine sweet_0 intense_4 body_5 wood_2 farm_s
2012 Pride Mountain Vineyards Vintner Select Merlot
Sonoma County, CA

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10% case discount on 12 or more bottles, any combination. Use promo code "12plus".


In addition to the wonderful estate wines Pride Mountain Vineyards produces every year, they also release much smaller quantities of special "Vintner Select" 100% varietal bottlings from only superlative vintages. This 2012 Vintner's Select Merlot is just that - a special release from the superlative 2012 vintage. The Vintner Select wines are typically aged longer before release, still in French oak barrels (the percentage of new vs used varies each year) and thanks to their incredible structure are typically built to last even longer than the regular estate wines. With incredible depth and complexity they even feel more slinky and sexy with upfront velvety tannins and a silky mouthfeel. Or, as Pride describes this gem, "Aromas of black cherries, Christmas spice, pine boughs and a lovely minerality leap from the glass of this exceptional Merlot. In the mouth, it will be the rare taster who can identify this as being a 100% varietal wine. There is a steady build of both structure and flavor to a full-bodied intensely-profound lingering chalky finish that screams out I am Merlot and I will be King! Despite the unabashed size of this wine, there is enough acid to create an enticing freshness that balances the rich concentration. Dark savory flavors of black cherry, spice, forest floor and tapenade. If Merlot could always be like this, there would be far fewer cabernet drinkers."

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2013 Nalle Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, CA Thumbnail red wine sweet_1 intense_4 body_4 wood_1 farm_s
2013 Nalle Zinfandel
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma, CA

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10% case discount on 12 or more bottles, any combination. Use promo code "12plus".


This 2013 Nalle Zinfandel is a actually a blend of 88% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah and 4% Carignan. As Doug Nalle explains, "it was fermented in open top tanks, transferred immediately to new to 5 year old French oak and aged 11 months with frequent racking to clarify. The wine is a field blend of two dry farmed vineyards in Dry Creek Valley: Our 88 year old Henderlong Estate and the 20 year old Bernier-Sibary." And like all Nalle Zinfandels it is one of the lowest in alcohol percentage, 13.6%, for the varietal, making it go down a little easier (and helping to avoid feeling it the next day.) That is just one of the reasons why we love Nalle Zinfandels. The other is that the wines are always so well balanced with the optimal blend of fruit to oak to structure with present but well integrated tannins, which makes the wines very age-worthy, more so than the majority of Zinfandels on the market. The wines show polish and elegance upon release and only get better from there. Here is how the Nalles describe this 2013 effort, "This wine is a step back in California time with dusty Dry Creek roads, candied violets, and potpourri on the nose, followed by cherry pie, molasses, and orange rind on the palate. It explodes with fresh, ripe (but not too ripe), Zinberry fruit from the warm '13 harvest. The integrated oak/tannin mouth-feel, long silky texture, Cali-Itali-Frenchie-goodness-styled craftsmanship, and bitchin' finish. A radical Zin like this puts the "fun" back into ZinFUNdel. We say pair this wine with some rebel foie gras or Wade's foraged mushroom risotto. *Wine geek note: optimum drinking dates are 2016-2020 or decant for earlier drinking."

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