VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 2/27/2012
Amherst Wines & Spirits December 2011 . . . AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR As the year draws to a close we want to thank our wonderful customers for your support. It is what makes it all possible. We work hard to bring you an interesting selection of products and to provide the kind of attentive service we ourselves would want as shoppers. Our little band of wine crazies – Sharon, Mark, John, & Steve – wish you a prosperous, healthy, and peaceful holiday season and new year. SATURDAY IN-STORE TASTINGS Don’t miss some of our seasonal favorites this month. Drop in any Saturday from 2:00 – 5:00 to taste good wines and learn more about the wide world of the grape. Compliments of the house. December 3: Chianti Tuscany’s iconic red and we’ve got some beauties to share with you. We’ll explore the different sub-regions within the larger Chianti area, also tasting some “reservas” to highlight the top end. December 10: Port – the One and Only Aways one of our most popular tastings of the year. We’ll taste some beautiful wines accompanied by walnuts and Stilton cheese, in the true British fashion. December 17: Cabernet Sauvignon from California & Washington If you’re thinking lamb or roast beef for the holidays, we can offer no better match than these. California’s best red grape, and wait till you taste what’s happening in Washington! December 24: No Tasting December 31: Sparkling Wines In addition to true French Champagne we’ll pop corks on some beauties from other regions, including Italy, California, and Spain. No need to spend big bucks to get good bubbly. GIFTING IDEAS Some ideas for the wine lover in your circle: • GLASSWARE: We stock a wide range of stemware – all kinds of wine glasses, including Champagne flutes, as well as glasses specially designed to max out your enjoyment of scotch and Cognac. Here’s a tip – the right glass does make a difference. We also offer lovely wine decanters to add a touch of elegance to your serving. • GIFT CERTIFICATE: The giftee can have fun choosing with an Amherst Wines & Spirits gift certificate. You can order these via phone or email (and we’ll send a finished attachment back immediately). • WINE TOTE BAG; Holds 6 bottles, each in separate pocket. Sturdy, reusable, and only $2.99. Great “stuffer”. • BOOK: The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is the best all-around wine book we’ve found. Covers all aspects of the subject - how wine is made, food/wine pairings, tips for tasting, maps and detailed exploration of the world’s wine regions. 900 pages, beautifully illustrated and written. A terrific wine book. $19.95. WINE DECANTER SALE We have changed our decanter supplier and are offering the remaining inventory of our older decanters at 25% discount while supplies last. These are classic styles and include: Wine Enthusiast “U” ($24.99), Wine Enthusiast “Vivid” ($44.99), and Spiegelau ($34.99). A pretty decanter makes for an elegant presentation of red wine while also aerating the wine and opening up the flavors. BUBBLES A bottle of bubbly makes any event more festive. Popping corks and toasting is the way most Americans hold the sparkling wine experience. If you walked into any restaurant in France’s Champagne region, however, you would see many people drinking bubbly with their meal, just as with any table wine. Sparkling wines make terrific food companions, especially with seafood, salads, and more delicate fare and we urge you to try them this way. The higher acidity of the wines seems to accentuate the flavors of the food in a way no other wine can. However you enjoy them, here are just a few of our current faves. Lots more wines than space to list them. Come browse. Jaume Serra Cristallino (SP) . . $8.99 Well made Cava from Spain, crisp and dry, perfect for mimosas, large parties, strong value. Prosecco, Villa Jolanda (IT) . . $10.99 The best $10-ish Prosecco we’ve tasted. Nothing close this side of $14. Duc de Raybaud rosé (FR) . . $10.99 Pale salmon color to this dry rosé, showing pretty strawberry-tinged bouquet. Dramatic and well made for the $. Aria Brut (SP) . . $11.99 Also from Spain, the flavors show a purity and ripeness, a bit rounder in texture than others. Varichon & Clerc (FR) . . $11.99 Loads of bubbles, just a click less dry than some. Perfect party bubbles from France’s Loire Valley. Gruet Brut (NM) . . $14.99, $13.99 (December sale) Our largest selling bubbly is from . . New Mexico! The Gruet family is from Champagne. They know how to do it. Jean-Louis Denois Blanc de Blancs (FR) . . $19.99 Crisp minerality, a touch of earth and mushroom, ultra fine mousse. Quite dry. Could pass for true Champagne. Wow! Roederer Estate (CA) . . $23.99 The California outpost of the great French Champagne house, Louis Roederer. Full, elegant, creamy style. Westport Rivers Brut 2005 (MA) . . $26.99 That’s right . . Massachusetts!! And it’s good. Very dry, crisp, elegant with tiny bubbles. Duval Leroy Brut (FR) . . $35.99 One of the great bargains in true French Champagne, this small producer has been flying under the radar. Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Blanc de Blancs Brut (FR) . . $55.99 Small grower Champagne with impressive focus and energy. Citrus, flowers, stone fruits. Layers of flavor. Big league. WINE SAMPLERS Each year we put together 6 bottle assortments of some of our faves in an attractive box with carrying handle. These are great as gifts, also a fun way to introduce you to some new things you may not have found on your own. They are pre- packed so you can be in and out in a flash, no small matter this time of year. Hugely popular in past years. Two of these 6-ers make a case and qualify for our 10% case discount. Definitely worth a look. Budget White . . $49.95 Selection of well priced whites from Italy, France, Portugal, Argentina, & Chile Budget Red . . $45.95 Ditto above from Portugal, Italy, Australia, Spain, France, & California Southern Starz . . $68.95 (4 red, 2 white) Stellar selection from the southern hemisphere – Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa Rosso . . $71.95 Terrific Italian reds from all over – Puglia, Piedmont, Tuscany, Calabria, Abruzzo, & Sicily Worldly Whites . . $72.95 Classic whites representing the essential styles of France, Italy, California, Argentina, South Africa, & Spain. California Connoisseur (4 reds, 2 whites) . . $115.94 1 each of top tier Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir & Zinfandel STEVE’S ALL-STARS (VALUE) A very short list of the most underpriced (relative to quality) wines we’ve tasted during the past year. Baron d’Arignac 2010 (FR) . . $6.99 Red carafe wine, pure and simple, the kind you’d get in any bistro in France. But this one is beautifully made with near perfect balance between fruit and acidity, refreshing and clean. A perfect everyday red. Mongrana 2009 (IT) . . $19.99 From Querciabella, a great Chianti Classico estate, but this one is from the Maremma region of Tuscany and blends 50% Sangiovese, 25% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot into a spectacular, elegant, complex red. GIFT PACKS Each year some producers package their products for the holidays with some extra pizzazz. Many are, well, tacky. Sometimes we come across ones which are not. This year we are pleased to have found a few which we think are really lovely. There is no upcharge for the extra goodies. These can make fabulous presents. Because they are expensive to produce, quantities are limited so best not to delay. If any of these interest you, they are on display in the shop. Come take a peek. FOR THE SCOTCH LOVER • Glenmorangie – one of our very favorite single malts has packed each bottle with two very nice glasses tastefully embossed with the Glenmorangie logo. $41.99, no charge for the glassware. • Compass Box – John Glazer is a small batch Scotch whiskey maker who blends whiskeys to achieve a variety of styles. Five 50ml samples of different blends with a description of each in a handsome wood box. $45.99 CHAMPAGNE • Perrier-Jouet Brut – One of our favorite Champagnes comes boxed with two lovely Champagne flutes. The stems are quite elegant and at no extra cost. A beautiful gift pack. $39.99 COGNAC It’s hard for us to imagine going through the winter, let alone the holiday season, without a good bottle of Cognac in the house. With this in mind, as well as its gifting potential, we offer some suggestions. Cognac is an unusual category in that four brands dominate about 90% of the total market. With huge advertising and promotional budgets in hand things have pretty much remained that way for years. As you can imagine, someone is paying for the heavy marketing costs, and you can probably guess who. We prefer to stock the smaller brands whose focus is on the quality of what’s in the bottle. We believe you get way better value. Here are some good options. We’ve got more. Chateau Beaulon VSOP . . $39.99 Paul Guiraud VSOP . . $45.99 Maison Surrenne Petite Champagne . . $52.99 Cognac Glasses Kelt VSOP . . $54.99 Riedel, the leading designer of wine Tesseron, lot 90 . . $56.99 stemware, has created a Cognac glass we Hine “Rare” VSOP . . $59.99 love, a design you would see in Cognac. Moyet Petite Champagne . . $65.99 Come take a look . . only $11.95 Normandin Mercier Fine Champagne . . $71.99 CABERNET SAUVIGNON – CALIFORNIA & WASHINGTON Cabernet Sauvignon is, in the opinion of many (us included), the best red wine grape grown in the U.S. Increasingly, Washington is showing us some terrific examples, and California is showing better value than in the recent past. We stock way too many to list here, but you get the idea. Lotus 2009 . . $7.99 Easy drinking, well made Cab from various vineyard sites throughout the state. Grayson Cellars 2009 . . $9.99 Lovely texture to this Cab, along with flavors of mocha and currant. Hints of cedar in the bouquet. Simple but interesting. Tortoise Creek 2009 . . $11.99 Soft, ripe, full-bodied with a hint of mint in the bouquet. This is a lot of Cab for the $. Peirano Estates 2008 . . $12.99 From Lodi, a warmer inland area. This captures the true flavors of the grape but in a more delicate way. Great “food” wine Joel Gott 2009 . . $17.99 Deeply flavored, muscular Cab with plenty of stuffing. The grapes are sourced from prime growing sites around the state. Niner 2007 . . $19.99 The bouquet of black fruits and wild herbs is followed by a wonderfully complex Cab, not overdone. From Paso Robles HRW 2007 . . $21.99 The flavors are saturated and deep. The ripeness is beautifully balanced by acidity to keep it fresh and lively. From Napa. Nelms Road 2008 . . $22.99 The “second” label of Washington’s great Woodward Canyon winery. Soft, full, notes of grilled meat, currant, & black olive L’Ecole 41 2006 . . $32.99 Ripe and lush, showing black currant and blackberry flavors. The tannins are silky, providing structure. From Washington Davis Family 2007 . . $39.99 Napa Cab just coming into its own. Firm, layered flavors of black fruits, olives, and minerals, long finish. Big league. NEW ARRIVALS WHITE Milou Blanc 2010 (FR) . . $12.99 Dramatic Chardonnay from clay & limestone rich vineyards in southern France. This beauty strikes a balance between the opulence of California and the balance/finesse of France. Flavors of stone fruits, lemon zest, and pineapple are balanced by natural acidity to finish dry. Unoaked. Strong value vibes. Pinot Gris, Cattin 2010 (FR) . . $13.99 Pinot Gris of this quality from Alsace is usually much pricier. We love the rich flavors of peach and apricot in this grape. Dry but not very, with a creamy, fleshy texture and light smoke on the finish. This can stand up to bold food flavors. Chardonnay, Talbott “Kali Hart” 2009 (CA) . . $17.99 This Monterey Chard is just bursting with flavors of ripe apple, pear, and mandarine accented by an understated kiss of oak. The finish is crisp and clean. If you love CA Chards, you need to check this one out. Beautifully made. Sauvingon Blanc, Tyler Florence 2009 (CA) . . $19.99 If you’re looking for ultra-dry, minerally SB’s, this ain’t it. Instead, what we have here is a full-blown, powerful white from Napa, supple and lush-texutred, with flavors of lemon, pineapple, & melon. Juicy, layers of flavor, dramatic. er Chablis 1 Crû “Fourchaume”, Gueguen 2010 (FR) . . $33.99 From the premier crû rated vineyard of Fourchaume, a step above regular Chablis in the French appellation system. This translates in to a gorgeous white Burgundy with extra intensity and nuance. Gueguen fermented this using only the natural yeasts on the grape skins. The result is a richly flavored, mineral scented white of great length and ripeness. RED Rook 2009 (WA) . . $13.99 This is an amazing wine, a blend of 40% Syrah, 45% Merlot, & 15% Cabernet Sauvignon from Corvidae Vineyards in Washington. The ripe flavors of black fruits, smoke, and spice are soft, lush, and deftly balanced. Loads of fruit but the acidity keeps it fresh. Zin 91 (CA) . . $15.99 A perfect example of California’s Zinfandel which won’t break the bank. The flavors of wild berry are clean and pure, never muddy, and set off with notes of spice. Camins del Priorat, Palacios 2009 (SP) . . $23.99 The reds from Spain’s Priorat region are muscular, deeply colored, and with great concentration of flavor. The blend of 0% Carinena, 30% Garnacha, the 10% Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah begins with an awesome bouquet of black fruits and crushed herbs. The flavors of black fruits are mounted on a firm core of acidity and tinged with dark chocolate. Oh, yeah. Chateau Lamarque 2005 (FR) . . $35.99 What a surprise to find a Bordeaux from the great 2005 vintage . . and ready to drink! From the Haut Médoc this blend of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc, & 5% Petit Verdot shows the elegant styling, complexity, and the indefinable je-ne-sais-quoi which makes Bordeaux so special. Roma en Chamberlin, K Vintners 2009 (WA) . . $64.99 This blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Syrah from Washington’s Walla Walla region is a stunning example of what’s happening in that state. Deeply flavored, rich & ripe, supple, polished texture, layered flavors, should be drinking 2013-20. Flavors of black olive, plum, minerals, and black currant with an explosive, spicy bouquet. An astonishing red. AMHERST WINES & SPIRITS 233 North Pleasant Street Amherst Tel: (413) 549-0900 www.amherstwines.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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