Greetings from the Wine Cellar:
The weather is getting really good this week, and just in time some great outdoor options are presenting themselves for the weekend. This Saturday, February 4th, the nearby Imperial Sand Dunes will be the site of the 2nd Annual Star Wars Invasion. The dunes were the filming location for part of the Star Wars episode Return of the Jedi, and movies such as Spaceballs, Dune, Flight of the Phoenix and a surprising number of other films. The Invasion will be held at Buttercup Valley, site of Jabba’s Palace (or so I’m told). This is a free event open to anyone, with free shuttles into the interior of the dunes where filming took place (off-road vehicles are encouraged to help shuttle the costumed folk up and down and around the dunes). Those interested can visit the event’s Facebook page for more details and get the most up-to-date info.
Also on Saturday, Yuma Parks & Rec will put on another Colorado River excursion – The Fantastic February Canoe Float. This is a special 4 hour float which puts in at the Bruce Church access and concludes at Gateway Park downtown. The premise is exploring the Lower Colorado and hopefully spotting some of the desert wildlife that lives along the banks (and just enjoying our late winter sunshine while floating down the river!). Participants should plan on being at Gateway Park by noon Saturday; the fee is $30 – call Parks and Rec at 373-5200 for registration info.
THIS WEEK’S WINE TASTING:
Russo & Longo 2014 Terre di Trezzi (Calabria, Italy) $22.99
Terre di Trezzi is made with 100% Greco Bianco, a Calabrian variant of the ancient Greco varietal so prevalent in the Italian south. It produces a white with a striking array of fruit and floral essences, fully dry yet showing a delightfully mouthwatering character.
Michele Chiarlo 2014 Il Principe Langhe Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy) $19.99
Il Principe Langhe Nebbiolo exudes a rich and alluring bouquet of raspberries and strawberries. The palate displays the classic varietal characteristics of ripe red cherries accented by complex accents of dry herbs, earth and cedar, carried on an elegantly smooth and silky tannic frame.
André Brunel 2013 Grenache (Vin de Pays de Vaucluse, France) $11.99
André Brunel of Châteauneuf-du-Pape fame puts maximum effort into all of his wines, from the top Châteauneufs to this humble Vin de Pays Grenache. It’s a surprisingly complex and intense red, with a nice mix of cracked black pepper spice tones and ripe berry and plum fruit.
Château du Caillau 2013 Malbec (Cahors, France) $17.99
Cahors in southwest France has been known since the Middle Ages for its ultra-dark, high-tannin Malbecs – the “Black Wine of Cahors.” Philippe Bernede’s family has produced Malbec at Château du Caillau for six generations, but he now crafts his wines in a more modern style that mixes rich blackberry and currant fruit with a solid tannic structure and subtle smoky nuances.
Folie à Deux 2013 Merlot (Alexander Valley) $19.99
Sourced from premium vineyard sites in the cooler areas of Sonoma’s Alexander Valley, and aged nine months in oak to showcase its bright, expressive fruit aromas and flavors, this deliciously approachable Merlot offers rich dark cherry/berry flavors accompanied by enticing tones of vanilla and chocolate.
Francis Coppola 2012 Pitagora (Sonoma County) $24.99
Pitagora is robust, full-bodied and dripping with ripe dark fruit. Flavors of blackberries, plums and black currants are enlivened by smoky/earthy notes and fragrant spice hints. A velvety entry on the palate and a generous tannic structure frames the bold, spicy fruit core.
NEW WINE & BEER ARRIVALS:
Masi 2011 Amarone Classico Costasera (Veneto, Italy) $52.99
Masi’s Costasera Amarone has a fragrant bouquet of black currants, blackberries, vanilla and toasty almonds. Delicious flavors of ripe, raisined fruit are enlivened by a spicy cinnamon and baking spice edge. A soft, silky texture frames the lengthy finish.
Gundlach Bundschu 2013 Mountain Cuvée (Sonoma County) $19.99
The Mountain Cuvée is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes, 100% estate-grown. Savory hints of toasted oak and spicy notes of plum and black cherry mingle on the nose. In the mouth, rich flavors of raspberry and black currant are complemented by accents of chocolate and cedar.
Mount Eden 2013 Chardonnay, Wolff Vineyard (Edna Valley) $21.99
This opens with lush tropical tones of orange blossoms, pineapple and honeyed peach, along with a buttery note of pastry crust. The elegant palate brings in a measure of balancing minerality, and a satisfying measure of toasty oak adds to the wine’s deliciously creamy, rich character.
Hope Estate 2010 The Ripper Shiraz (Western Australia) $17.99
Hope Estate’s Ripper Shiraz has intense aromas of rich dark berries and plums layered with underlying hints of fragrant spice and dark chocolate. It’s juicy and deep on the palate, with plenty of bright, fresh berry fruit, finely balanced tannins and well-integrated oak.
Full Sail Shortest Day CDA (Newport, Oregon) $5.99
This “CDA”, or Cascadian Dark Ale, is a seasonal winter beer that’s brewed with 2-Row Pale, Crystal and de-husked dark Chocolate malt. It pours an impenetrable black with a lacy tan head. With aromas of dark roasted malt and hints of tropical and tangy citrus fruit, Shortest Day CDA offers bold flavor with excellent balance.
Old Town Wine Cellar
265 S. Main Street, Suite E
Yuma, Arizona 85364