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Greetings from the Wine Cellar:

The July 4th weekend is nearly upon us, and the Caballeros de Yuma have seized the opportunity to re-launch the traditional “River-Float-Down” on the Colorado River. This Saturday, July 2nd, a summer holiday tradition in Yuma is re-born with the Territorial River Regatta. With Yuma’s riverfront having been truly transformed over the last decade, the Caballeros have gotten together to revive an old tradition for this July 4th weekend – a mass community “float-down” on the gentle waters of the Colorado River through the historic Yuma Crossing.
Set to launch at 9:00 AM Saturday at the confluence of the Gila River and the Colorado just east of downtown Yuma, the Regatta will welcome both individual tubes and floats of up to 8 x 8 feet in size, which may be decorated according to any theme to compete for three special prizes. Floaters will debark at the West Wetlands Park, just west of downtown, where the Caballero members will be selling hot dogs, hamburgers, sodas and commemorative T-shirts. The float usually takes around three hours, but Regatta festivities and services will come to a close at 3:00 PM. And if tubing doesn’t float your boat, Yuma Parks & Rec will host a kids’ fishing derby at the West Wetlands Park from 7:00-10:00 AM Saturday.

If you need a tube and/or shuttle transportation, Yuma River Tubing can help you out; go to or call 928-750-0247. Participants in the Territorial River Regatta must register individually ($5.00 fee), sign a release and wear a numbered wristband. Various other rules & restrictions apply, especially for those under 18 – get the registration form and rules online at or call the event hotline at 928-276-4803. There’s lots more info than I can provide here available at

Sounds like a great way to celebrate the 4th and beat the heat this weekend – better start inflating your tube!

THURSDAY & FRIDAY WINE TASTING – $5.00 to try all six, or $5.00 for a full glass:

Pine Ridge 2009 Chenin Blanc-Viognier (Clarksburg) $11.99
This wine shows hints of both varietals on the nose, with the honeydew melon characteristic of Chenin Blanc accented by a hint of wildflowers from the Viognier. It’s crisp and fresh on the palate, with a delicious combination of citrus, pear, melon and floral flavors.

Famiglia Bianchi New Age White (Argentina) $9.99
The New Age is a unique Argentinean blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia. It’s wonderfully crisp and refreshing, with just a light touch of sweetness and a tangy prickle of effervescence. It’s best served ice-cold; the hotter it is outside, the better this wine is…

Bogle 2008 California Pinot Noir $12.99
Sourced from some of California’s premier growing regions for Pinot, this wine opens with scents of raspberries and violets. Ripe but well balanced flavors of black cherries and black currants swirl on the palate, with moderate toasted oak overtones. The fruit carries along to a lingering, elegant finish.

Campo Viejo 2006 Rioja Reserva (Rioja, Spain) $14.99
To qualify as a Rioja Reserva, this wine was aged for 18 months in American oak barrels, and then for another 18 months in the bottle prior to release. It’s a “textbook” Reserva from one of Rioja’s finest producers, offering juicy cherry and plum fruit on a silky texture.

Bogle 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel (California) $11.99
This wine is vinted from gnarly old vines that produce relatively small amounts of fruit. It’s a full-bodied and full-flavored Zin with rich red raspberry fruit flavors enhanced by elements of white pepper and Asian spice. Firm, well-focused tannins frame a delicious finish.

Chateau Paradis-Casseuil 2009 (Bordeaux, France) $18.99
This “bargain Bordeaux” from the house of the famed Barons de Rothschild-Lafite exhibits a fresh and fruity bouquet. The palate displays abundant, ripe berry and cassis fruit flavors framed with fine, silky tannins. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.


Halter Ranch 2007 Côtes de Paso (Paso Robles) $29.99
The 2007 Côtes de Paso opens with a vivid nose of blackberry, currant, red raspberry and strawberry fruit, with secondary tones of earth, sage, spice and roast coffee. On the palate, spicy red currant and raspberry flavors enliven the finish with a savory roasted quality, like a really nice French Chateauneuf-du-Pape.


DeLoach 2008 O•F•S Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) $29.99
This is vinted with hand-harvested fruit selected from premier locations in the Russian River Valley. The wine is aged ‘sur lies’ in French oak for nine months, with the best lots selected to become O•F•S Chardonnay. This perfectly balanced and supremely elegant wine brings together elements of tangy lemon zest, crisp fresh Fuji apples and rich tones of toasted vanilla bean.

Quinta do Vallado 2008 Douro Red (Douro Valley, Portugal) $19.99
A blend of Douro varietals (Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz), this is dark red in the glass, with crimson highlights. Fig and black plum aromas greet the nose, with a hint of balsamic-scented oak. The palate has fine structure and fullness, with mature, silky tannins supporting ample black cherry, plum and berry fruit flavors, plus a dash of pepper.

Jargon 2009 Pinot Noir (California) $10.99
This California Pinot Noir offers aromas of fresh dark cherries and raspberries, along with a light hint of spice. It has a pleasant and balanced fruit profile of raspberry and spiced cherry wrapped in supple tannins. Overall, it’s a nicely balanced wine with a silky texture that makes for easy drinking.


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

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