Steals and Deals

Steals and Deals

Steals and deals

An everyday favorite in and around Venice, the wine "Valpolicella" is the blend of Veneto's three most important red varietals: Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara grapes. Classically, they are a delightfully "dusty" palate of dried strawberries, raspberries, and sometimes even the bittersweet of rhubarb. We just received the 2014 Giuseppe Lonardi Valpolicella and it is one of the best of this genre we've encountered. Glycerin levels are modest, giving the wine a refreshing composition that is perfect for spicy, springtime menus. Smoke and game notes accent wild strawberry and black raspberry flavors in this balanced version, all followed by a moderate finish. Three things about the Lonardi make our "Recommended list": 1) it is ready to drink now, 2) only 2,500 cases were made, and, 3) it is a great value at $15.95.

Another rarity is the 2012 aMaurice "Ivey" Red Blend from Walla Walla. The blend is 50% Cabernet, 29% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Franc. This bright garnet red wine opens with the aromas of rose petal, black dark brooding fruit, cedar resin and slight forest floor. The palate is balanced with medium acidity, dark notes of black cherry, blackberry, currants and resinous cedar.  Strong primary fruit notes and matching acidity lift it up for a pleasant mouth feel finishing smooth with well integrated, approachable tannins.  You may drink now, or cellar it for the next 15 years. Get it now, only 12 bottles came to Montana and they are all here at the Wine Gallery. The aMaurice Ivey rated 94 points from Wine Spectator and runs $42. We got some more good news last week: the folks at Scharffenberger liked the response we got to their volume buy and have extended the deal through March. The Scharffenberger Brut is a sparkling wine that shows amazing complexity, subtle richness, layers of flavor and an ultra-smooth texture. A foundation of fruit flavor is very solid, and the acidity is firm and refreshing. The mouthfeel is plush and the finish lingers, making it a grand wine for a special occasion. It got a 92 point Wine Enthusiast rating along with an "Editor's Choice" designation. It normally runs $24.95 but we have it for just $18.95. At that price it would make an elegant pairing with corned beef on St. Patrick's Day. Probably the best deal we have this week is the 2014 LaFage Cotes du Roussillon Villages Lieu Dit La Narassa. Despite the rugged, hot terroir from where this beauty comes, the wine is pure silk and elegant. Look for lots of black raspberry, chocolate covered currants, pepper and olive notes giving way to a full-bodied red; it has polished tannin and a seamless texture. A blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah was aged mostly in concrete tank so you can drink it anytime over the coming 4-5 years. Wine Advocate gave it 93 points! That's a higher score than all but the top dozen wines ($100+) in Chateauneuf-du-Pape in 2014, let alone the Roussillon. That, folks, is value when the LaFage comes in at just ($16.95). One last deal is the 2015 Prophecy Pinot Noir from California. This is one Pinot that doesn't require food to go with it. It is slightly lower in acid and has a distinct fruit forward style to go with its spicy French oak undertones. Finding a "sipper" Pinot Noir under $20 is not easy, do so imagine how excited we are with an $11.95 price tag on this one!