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Greetings from the Wine Cellar:

After seeing last week’s Newsletter discussing the ongoing harvest in the U.S., a few readers asked me, what about Europe? Well, the answer is, it was a pretty tough year in a lot of places. One article I saw recently stated, “After an awful year, a small but mighty vintage is expected. Mildew, drought, frost, hail – climate change wreaked havoc on many European wine regions in 2021. But those few grapes that made it through bear the mark of a memorable vintage.” France in particular got hammered this year: severe frosts in April caused major grape losses right at the beginning of the growing season, and relentless summer rains, hailstorms and occasional floods resulted in a lot more damage in many areas. Germany also got those relentless rains, causing massive floods that killed more than 180 people and washed away many vineyards. Italy seemed to escape most of the weather carnage with most regions expecting decent to good harvests, although Tuscany’s will be far lower than usual.
However, Spain and Portugal seemed to do pretty well weather-wise, with reasonably good harvests expected. And the silver lining referred to in the quote above: a much lower harvest than usual, especially in France and Germany, may result in a surprisingly high quality vintage for 2021.

So there you have it. Wine will always be heavily dependent on Mother Nature, but even really adverse conditions may result in especially good wine, but just a lot less of it at potentially much higher prices. So you might want to stock up on some of the great wines available in the marketplace right now, especially here at the Old Town Wine Cellar. Hope to see you soon!


Martin Ray 2019 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) $17.99

This was sourced from premium growing sites in the rugged Sonoma Coast region. Alluring layers of Meyer lemon curd, ripe Bosc pear, citrus blossom and a touch of honey highlight a palate that’s fresh and juicy, with vibrant acidity, well integrated oak character and a hint of vanilla bean.

Josh Cellars 2020 Pinot Noir (Central Coast) $17.99

This Pinot Noir offers bright, ripe cherry and deep, earthy flavors accented with spice and subtle oak tones carried on a delicate texture. Aromas of cherry and raspberry mix on the nose with hints of spiced oak. Dark cherry and black tea flavors linger on a long and elegant finish.

1,000 Stories 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Carignan (Mendocino County) $17.99

This is a special limited release of 1,000 Stories Bourbon Barrel-Aged Carignan, the winery’s first-ever release of Carignan as a single varietal wine. Flavors of brilliantly racy red and black fruits are set to a rich backdrop of toast, herbs and mocha.

Gérard Bertrand 2015 Art de Vivre (Rhone Valley, France) $20.99

A blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, Art de Vivre opens with aromas of spices, dark fruit, fennel and a hint of black olives. In the mouth it’s smooth and easy to drink, with polished, supple tannins that support black cherry, plum and wild raspberry flavors. Hints of balsamic and espresso add interest, along with a dash of minerality to enliven the finish.

Quilt 2018 Fabric of the Land Red (Napa Valley) $32.99

This red is a blend of Petite Sirah, Merlot, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot grapes from a spectrum of premier Napa vineyards. On the nose, aromas of blackberries, spices, dark chocolate and vanilla mingle. The rich palate offers vibrant flavors of ripe black cherries, chocolate and rosemary, with a velvety mouthfeel and soft smooth tannins.


Beaulieu Vineyard 2017 Georges De Latour Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) $129.99

The 2017 Georges De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and voluptuous, with a lush dark fruit character of berries, dark plums and black currants. Hints of violets and black pepper spice support the luscious fruit character, showing the superb balance and depth of this extraordinary Cabernet.

Piero Antinori 2019 Villa Antinori Bianco (Tuscany, Italy) $14.99

Villa Antinori Bianco is straw yellow in color with greenish hues. On the nose it’s refined, elegant and fruit-filled, with a floral element. Primarily composed of the native Trebbiano varietal plus a little Chardonnay, it offers a nice mouthful of fresh orchard fruits plus a light minerality.

Tucher Helles Lager (Bavaria, Germany) $4.99

This Helles Lager produces a beautiful white cloudy head, and a warm copper color in the glass. Pleasant hints of sweet biscuit and honey emerge on the nose. The beer offers a clean, crisp and refreshing palate, with a lightly malty character on the finish.


Mike Shelhamer
Old Town Wine Cellar
265 S. Main Street, Suite E
Yuma, Arizona 85364

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