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Introducing La Riojana Wine | 05.04.2016
Are you looking for a great wine at a great price?
Try our new, award winning wines from La Riojana, recently added to our extensive selection of quality, value wines!
This organically grown, Fair Trade wine comes in Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Malbec wines at an incredible value of only $6.99 each!
Wine You Can Feel Good About
La Riojana is a co-op is located in the renowned wine region of northwest Argentina. Made up of over 500 members, 80% of members are small-scale producers, and most small-scale producers have less than three hectares each.
Members of the co-op benefit by being guaranteed purchases of grapes at fairer and higher prices, have access to loans, and are offered free technical assistance and agricultural advice. Profits are distributed and reinvested in new machinery and to improve production.
La Riojana was also the first winery in Argentina to receive Fair Trade certification and is dedicated to improving the lives of its members and communities. $2 per case purchased by participating co-ops goes back to La Riojana’s community projects. To date, a secondary school with many supplies, water facility, and a hospital have been constructed. In addition, the fund helps farmers pay for the costs of organic certification. Currently, La Riojana grapes are grown with organic practices, but are working toward certification.
This project is made possible by a direct trade from co-op to co-op. Grocery co-ops buy exclusively and directly from La Riojana co-op.
New Wines & Ciders for Your Holiday Table | 11.11.2015
As I write this in October, my thoughts are about beers and ciders, as well as feature wines for the fast approaching holiday season. We’re bringing in several new feature wines for your Thanksgiving table, as well as wines that will be as festive as your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
Have you tried any of our delicious ciders? My favorites are from the local, award winning Montana Ciderworks in Darby, MT. These are English-style ciders crafted from Bitterroot Valley Apples and they are delicious!
North Fork Traditional is gently bubbly, with a true cider flavor. Expressive bittersweet apple character with wood, grass and smoke notes; this semi-dry cider balances the faintest sweetness against sharpness, astringency, and tart fruit. This cider received a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. The blend includes hard-to-find traditional cider apples and crab apples alongside Bitterroot Valley apples. North Fork offers a clean, aromatic finish that enhances the flavor of savory foods.
The Darby Pub Cider, a semi-dry, New World style cider is another award winner from Montana Ciderworks – an approachable, effervescent cider made for sharing with friends. Appley with wood and spice notes, this medium, semi-dry cider was awarded Silver Medals at the 2014 Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition and at the Northwest Cider Awards.
If there’s a holiday that begs for wine, it’s Thanksgiving. More than any other beverage, wine is tied to the harvest, to bounty, to the very core of what we are thankful for. A tip for choosing your Thanksgiving wine…with so many flavor variables going on, everything from cranberry sauce laced with orange peel, to Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, to sausage and wild rice stuffing, don’t get too hung up on a quest for the perfect match. Besides, it’s really the feeling around the table, the combined effect of the food, the wine, the people and the ambience that counts most.
We’ll have several feature wines that we’ve chosen specifically for Thanksgiving in addition to the highly anticipated arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. According to Wine Country Travel, “at one minute past midnight on the third Thursday of each November, from little villages and towns, over a million cases of Beaujolais Nouveau begin their journey through a sleeping France to Paris for immediate shipment to all parts of the world. Beaujolais Nouveau is as about as close to white wine as a red wine can get. Due to the way it’s made – the must is pressed early after only three days — the phenolic compounds, in particular the astringent tannins normally found in red wines, aren’t there, leaving an easy to drink, fruity wine. This, coupled with the fact that it tastes best when chilled, makes for a festive wine to be gulped rather than sipped, enjoyed in high spirits rather than critiqued. As a side note, it makes a great transitional wine for anyone wanting to move from white to red wines.”
written by Pam Kemmick, our former Grocery Manager & Beer & Wine Buyer, Pam has moved to produce as our new Produce Manager! Stop by and say hi.
New Summer Rosé | 05.17.2015
Carpineto Dogajolo Rosato
A dry, elegant rosé from internationally acclaimed Tuscan producer, Carpineto. The lastest edition to their entry-level line of wines, this rosé, made from a blend of 100% Sangiovese, has enticing floral aromas and bright fruit flavors.
The name Dogajolo was invented by Carpineto’s founders, derived from the Italian word doga, meaning “stave” — the narrow strips of wood used to form oak casks. Carpineto Dogajolo Rosato shows vibrant floral aromas of rose and myrtle with hints of fruit, like apples, currants, and sour cherries. A refreshing wine with an invigorating acidity and a clean finish, enjoy as an aperitif or paired with antipasto platters consisting of cured meats and mild cheeses. Also excellent with grilled fish!
Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris
The Fontsainte vineyards surround the hamlet of Boutenac in the area known as “The Golden Crescent” in France, a swath of land whose sunny setting and cool sea breeze create a beautifully balance terroir. The first vineyards at Domaine de Fontsainte were planted by the Romans. Artifacts found in these vineyards, such as an old coin dating from the time of Marcus Agrippa in 25 A.D., are a testament to its antiquity.
Yves Laboucarié’s family has been making wine here since the seventeenth century and believe that “great wines are made in the vineyard” and less in the cellars. They farm the land sustainably and keep treatments to a minimum. Many of their vines are older, especially the parcel known as La Demoiselle, which recently celebrated its hundredth year.
Look for the highly affordable and supremely delicious Gris de Gris, a saignée rosé made from Grenache Gris—among the finest rosés on the planet. Expressive and particularly tonic, the wine immediately gives off notes of raspberry, cherry and freshly picked strawberries – followed by exotic aromas such as pineapple and mango. Stunningly balanced, this is an extremely appetent wine! Ideal as an aperitif with toast and crushed olives, or with wok-fried vegetables and garlic mayonnaise, grilled fish, lamb tagine, or finely roasted chicken with rosemary.
Sean Minor Four Bears Vin Gris
Sean Minor Family of Wines has a passion for coaxing things out of the earth and bringing them to the dinner table. After beginning a career in finance, Sean Minor began working with Napa Valley’s Beaulieu Vineyard. Realizing he had a passion for winemaking, Sean took classes in viticulture and enology and learned the trade at several vineyards in Napa Valley and the Pacific Northwest. Sean Minor Family of Wines was founded in 2005 with a focus on creating great, affordable wines.
Sean Minor’s Vin Gris is a pale salmon color with vibrant aromas of ripe strawberries and watermelon. On entry, the wine displays bright tangy flavors of raspberries, cherries and strawberries. Throughout the mid-palate and finish, raspberry and cherry fruit characters are balanced with spicy and crisp acidity that linger creating a refreshing and lengthy finish.
A to Z Oregon Rosé
The 2014 A to Z Oregon Rosé leads with aromas of strawberries, tangerine, watermelon and grenadine with hints of thyme and hibiscus then opens to reveal plum, apricot and more strawberry notes. Clean, balanced and approachable with generous fruit, the crisp and juicy A to Z Rosé integrates excellent texture with firm acidity finishing long and pretty.
Wine Spotlight: Liquid Transportations | 01.15.2014
The grapevine is most cherished for its ability to capture the complexity of its surroundings. A growing grape is made up of all things that surround it. It is the water that runs through the soil, the aromas of the air, even the vegetation sharing an elemental exchange while they grow side by side. In the right expression, a wine will serve as a gateway, much as smell connects to memory. It is why so many return home from traveling and have a heightened taste for the local wines that filled their glass while away.
The Locations project started with a simple idea; to search the world for the best sights to make the best wine. Winemaker Dave Phinny has applied his out of the box blending ideas to the world’s most notable wine regions, offering up a liquid world tour. Smell and taste the world from the comfort of your living room.
Find them at the Co-op:
Location: Piedmont, Puglia
Grapes: Negroamaro, Nero d’Avola, Barbera, and native varietals
Italy – the land of 1,000 grapes, so named for its numerous indigenous grape varietals – offered a diverse palate of choice for this blend. The result is a vibrant wine that captures the spirit of Italy with a new world bravado.
ON SALE for members $11.99. SAVE $5
Location: Priorat, Jumilla, Toro, Rioja, and Ribera del Duero
Grapes: Grenache, Tempranillo, Monastrell, and Carignan
Truly sourcing from all of Spain’s most prized wine regions. Concentrated fruit from old vines with low yields are accented with a judicious oak program for a balanced and distinctive wine.
Location: Roussillon, Rhone, Bordeaux
Grapes: Grenache, Syrah, Bordeaux Varietals*
Sensibly blended in an original style that showcases the best of what this historic land has to offer.
Grapes: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Tannat
At the foot of the Andes Mountains, this perfect plot of extremely well drained soil offers low yields and small berries for a vibrant and complex blend.
Written by Lena Olson, Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.
*Bordeaux Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Wine Spotlight: Classic Traditions | 11.25.2013
As we prepare for the season’s festivities, our minds naturally gravitate to tradition and their unmistakable link to family. It is a season to gather and to share, a perfect time of year to reflect and celebrate the year’s bounty. The holidays bring about many memories. Most are studded with flavors and smells; cinnamon, sage, grandmother’s tart cranberry dressing? Just like the traditions of the holiday table, there is an inherent joy in making wine just as it has been done for centuries. Simply put, it is a family recipe passed down through the generations. This season we want to share a few special wines that embody just that. Classical varietals that have stood the test of time, built for food and for sharing. Wines that are made to show the expression of the soil the vines grow from; nurtured to need nothing that nature doesn’t provide. Enjoy a glass knowing the families on the other side of the bottle are celebrating the same values and traditions we foster right here.
Chateau Ducasse Bordeaux Blanc
Semillon &Sauvignon Blanc
A classic wine with a generous outcome. Flavors of pit fruit and citrus fill the palate with a backbone of minerality that lends itself nicely to many varieties of food. Perfect for the holiday table.
Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois
Declassified Beaujolais to allow for greater freedom in winemaking. A great expression of Gamay (young Morgon), one of the wine world’s most versatile pairing partners, dark cherry and baking spice. A real crowd pleaser.
Henri Perrusset Macon Village
This unoaked Chardonnay is fullbodied and layered with flavors of peach, Anjou pear, warm white blossom and a juicy, lasting finish.
Clos La Coutale Cahors
A hearty and rustic red from France’s southern Cahors region-the home of Malbec. Deep raspberry and bramble flavors paired up blue fruits and classic garrigue*.
*Garrigue: the bushy, fragrant plants that grow wild along the limestone coasts of the Mediterranean, such as juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender. Garrigue refers to the sum of them. Think Herbes de Provence, or a mix of fresh minty-herbal notes with more pungent, floral fragrances.
Written by Lena Olson, Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.
Drink Like a Roman | 08.20.2013
The tangible evidence of antiquity’s amphitheaters and coliseums dot the European landscape, but the influence of the great Roman society is felt all around us. It was a multifaceted culture covering much of the globe, fostering a great value in education and community. Their endurance and influence staged the foundation for much of the world’s language, politics, philosophy and art.
This progressive lifestyle spread throughout the modern world via conquest and imposed example; winemaking was no exception. Romans believed that wine was a necessity of daily life, occupying religious, medicinal and social roles. As their empire grew, it became more important to understand the vine. They sought out to produce better quality grapes, vigorously planting new vines to compete with the growing population and demand for export. Wine grapes were planted throughout the empire, simultaneously establishing the fundamentals of wine making.
Their blossoming society was centered around Rome and, like their majestic ruins, many of the wines have stood the test of time. Just south of the town of Rome lies the Frascati region of Italy. Geological evidence traces their cultivation of grape vines back to the 5th century BC. Frascati is and has been planted with grapes indigenous to the Mediterranean basin and is best known for producing crisp and refreshing white wine meant to be consumed through the afternoon heat. Or perhaps August in Montana.
MEMBER PRICE $9.99
August 1 – September 31
Reg. price $11.99
2011 Villafranca Frascati Superiore
Produced by the Gasperini family in the prestigious area of D.O.C.*, Frascati has upheld the most modern technologies, with a great respect to tradition, since 1909.
Made from 65% Malvasia, 15% Trebbiano, and 15% Grechetto (Greco). Intense yellow color with greenish reflections. Characteristic persistent fresh and fruity aromas of melon and almond notes. Excellent as an aperitif and paired with fresh fish, seafood or white meat.
*D.O.C. (Denominazione di origine controllata) – a system regulating the details of wine production put in place by the Italian government. Similar systems can be found throughout the world.
Written by Lena Olson of Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.
That Which We Call Rosé | 06.26.2013
Rosé – fresh, juicy and an incredible partner for food. So why the stigma that all pink wine is sweet?
History tells us that producing wine of a pale pink hue dates back to times of antiquity. With many of the breakthroughs in modern winemaking still unknown, it was very challenging to produce a full-on red wine that wasn’t overly tannic and bitter.
Considering wine was consumed in place of water, you can see why choosing a lighter, fresher variety was desirable. A taste for pink prevailed through the centuries and continues to be produced all over the world-even entire appellations of France are devoted to producing only rosé.
With all of this history, it wasn’t until Portugal’s sticky-sweet pink bubblers, like Mateus, hit the market that Americans began tipping their own rosé filled glass. In 1975, Sutter Home’s winemaking revelation, a stuck zinfandel fermentation*, resulted in a sweet pink wine. Their happy accident was dubbed “White Zinfandel” and went on to sell 1.5 million cases in 1986. This marketing wonder forever changed public view of pink wine.
Aside from color, today’s dry rosés share very little with these mass marketed blush wines. They come from regions all over the globe and can be made from many grape varieties, offering a wide variety of flavors and styles. This delightful spectrum of color not only makes them fun to drink, it is a great clue to what is in the bottle.
How It’s Made
Wine gains its color via the time it spends with the skins of the grapes (maceration), so the darker the pink, the more time with the skins. In the case of most rosés, they are made with red grapes and get their pale pink color from spending a minimal amount of time mingling with the grape skin. Rosés can, of course, be made from mixing red and white grapes together or by variations of the saignee** method.
Aside from the fresh fruit flavors and typically herbaceous notes, you can expect a sweetness that is very comparable to a fresh strawberry – ripe, but crisp and laced with a mouthwatering acidity.
From champagne’s prestigious brut rosés to the humble country wines filling glasses all along the Mediterranean coast – rosé is refreshing and versatile. Stop into the Co-op and see our new selection dry rosés!
“Rosé has no season and any day is a good day to have a glass.”-Kermit Lynch
*”Stuck fermentation” is a problem in which the yeast dies off before all the sugar is turned to alcohol.
**Saignee: French word meaning to bleed. In winemaking it is the process of “bleeding” off some of the juice from the must to create a more concentrated red wine.
Written by Lena Olson of Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.
Find it at the Co-op
Riebeek Cellars 2012 Cape Rose
100% Pinotage grapes
Abundant and distinctive flavors of fresh strawberries and ripe cherries with a crisp dryness on the palate will be charming at many occasion. Excellent on its own or paired with seafood and light meals with smoky flavors. Nestled in the picturesque Riebeek Valley, the medium-sized winery lies on the western coast of the Cape Province of South Africa.
Vino Verde | 04.30.2013
In many avenues of the consumables market there is a spectrum of values regarding production. In the wine industry, you find all of the typical players; the mega conglomerates pumping out enormous amounts of wine to the family-run chateaus producing barely enough wine to export.
Fortunately, organic and biodynamic farming practices are a growing trend in wine production. Much of this trend comes from the idea that the best wines taste like they come from somewhere and mediocre wines taste like they come from anywhere.
Some studies show that farming organically and biodynamically can potentially offer a harvest with higher levels of phenols (potential complexity/antioxidants), anthocyanins (color) and brix (sugar). To put it simply, better fruit that will hopefully express a greater connection to the place that it was grown.
Find them at the Co-op:
Farming organically since 1790, Pares Balta is working in harmony with the land, fostering vines amongst flocks of sheep, banks of beehives and the rolling hills of Penedès, Spain, a region best known for Cava production, located southwest of Barcelona and a short drive from the Mediterranean.
The winemaking is in the hands of Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas, two skilled young enologists whose efforts are reflected in the quality of the wines that are produced at Parés Baltà; showing fine character and concentration, yet with elegance and balance.
They are winemakers with a long tradition who warmly embrace new ideas and are actively seeking a biodynamic certification.
Parés Baltà Blanc de Pacs
Blend: Parellada, Xarel.lo, Macabeo (the same grapes used for Cava). Yellow lemon color with light green tints. On the nose, intense aroma of pear and apple; in the mouth, it is fresh and with a good acidity. Resulting in a soft wine, it leaves an intense sensation of fruits and freshness on the finish.
Parés Baltà Mas Petit
Blend: Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnatxa (Grenache). Combination of soft Cabernet Sauvignon with the delicate and aromatic Garnatxa to create a classical, everyday red wine. Round and seamless, full of fruit balanced with smooth tannins by the seven months of French oak.
Written by Lena Olson of Winegardner’s Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com
Heart Healthy Red Wines | 02.13.2013
In this season of love, our thoughts lend themselves to those we care about. While considering their heart, both in the emotional and physical sense, why not include a heart healthy libation to show you care?
Red wine continues to gain praise as a “heart healthy” beverage. Red wine contains polyphenols, a variety of antioxidants that have positive test results indicating their benefit for strengthening the immune system, reducing the risk of heart disease, and even preventing cancer.
Polyphenols are also responsible for a wine’s flavor profile and texture in your mouth. The same structure, or tannin*, that helps a red wine age gracefully is one of the main polyphenols benefiting the human body. In essence, tannin helps both you and the wine age gracefully.
Resveratrol is one polyphenol in particular that is receiving lots of attention. It is finding its way into many anti-aging tinctures as well as being credited with reducing inflammation and blood clotting (heart disease). The deep color and high phenol concentration of red wines comes from its extended contact with the skins, pips, and stems of the grape, a process called maceration.
White wine grapes contain a similar potential for this antioxidant-rich notoriety, but they often times spend far less time macerating and end up absorbing less from the nutrient rich skins and stems.
Find These Wines at the Co-op
Lomas del Valle Cabernet Franc: Cabernet Franc is one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon. A tamer version of its offspring, Cab Franc is well suited to cool climates like Chile and the Loire Valley. Flavors include dark berry, black current and violets.
Pietrantonji Montepulciano d’Abruzzo: This Italian winery dates back to the 1700s and is literally the oldest winery in Abruzzo, doubling as a museum for the area which sits just north of the heel on the eastern coast of Italy. This Montepulciano is made in the traditional style in homage to their ancestors. This wine offers sweet spice flavors of vanilla, anise and dried tobacco in the mouth, with a hint of chocolate on the finish.
Le Pigolet Rouge: This French Rhone style blend of 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 5% Cinsault and 5% Carignan shows pretty flavors of roasted herbs, smoke, and ripe red fruits and pomegranate. Blended by the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraph fame.
*Tannin: Consider the “drying” sensation after swallowing a bite out of an apple or a flathead cherry. Tannin contributes greatly to the way a wine feels in your mouth. It can also find its way into wine via oak barrels.
Written by Lena Olson of Winegardners Wines. Learn more at www.winegardnerswines.com.