Friday, July 29, 2011

Wine Gifts - Only 149 Shopping Days Till Christmas!

I usually don't plan this far ahead, but when Siduri winemaker/owner Adam Lee was at the Wine Market for a tasting event, I had to get some signed bottles for family members.
Sure, wine lovers are always buying wine, but how often do they get bottles signed by the winemaker? Or, how often do they buy large format bottles - magnums or larger? Or, how often do they buy themselves cool wine gadgets? I know this is shocking, but there are actually wine lovers out there who don't own a Vinturi wine aerator!
These are all great gifts for your favorite wine geek!
The holidays will be here before you know it!

Tom B.

The Greatest Wines You're NOT Drinking!

You read it right. 
These are the two GREATEST wines 
you're not drinking.

Last week we got to try the new wines from Kamiakin. We instantly knew that we would be 1 of only 3 retailers to offer it on-line. These two wines are amazing VALUES and I know that everyone who drinks either the red blend or the syrah, 
will come back for more! - Jeff 
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Syrah
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Red Blend
$18.00 per bottle*

"The Kamiakin Syrah is a gorgeous dark ruby-red. This great syrah-combines a brilliant nose of bright, inviting raspberry, blueberry, brown spice and chocolate cherry. With a nice decant, the nose broadens into a sweet, smokey and meaty Syrah with soft tannins. I absolutely love how this wine finishes long, pure and focused. This is a blockbuster of a Syrah and one that is certainly not to be missed. This could benefit with a few years of rest or a good 60 minute decant." -Jeff 

"The Kamiakin Red Blend, which is comprised of mostly Cabernet, with the remaining share comprised of Merlot and Cab Franc. This blend sings from the start, with a knockout nose of boysenberry, blackberry, espresso bean and bitter chocolate. Rose oil just peeks out from the background. This baby just sings! This superripe wine offers lovely mid-palate texture, excellent fruit and an easy but pure finish! I could drink this wine everyday and never tire of its class!!" -Jeff

Kamiakin is great barbecue wine with big red flavors, made by one of Washington's most notable winemakers, Scott Greer. Previously the "value" label of Scott's winery, Sheridan Vineyards, Kamiakin is now part of the Dineen winery. The wine is still made by Scott Greer at Dineen.
With some of the highest ratings given to Washington wine by Wine Advocate, Scott Greer is a superstar of Washington wine. He is known for his passionately made, intensely flavored reds. He works with vineyards to produce super-concentrated grapes with huge flavors.
Wine Advocate's Jay Miller describes Scott Miller and Sheridan:
The intense Scott Greer is one of Washington's rising stars. His wines are all sourced from estate vineyards which are just now starting to come into maturity. He keeps yields low and the farming and winemaking are impeccable... Sheridan's newest collection begins at "outstanding" and rises from there. In addition, the two entry-level wines are superb values.There is really no mystery as to what Scott Greer is doing at Sheridan; total attention to detail, a great vineyard, impeccable farming, and non-interventionist winemaking.

Out-of-state buyers, we will continue to hold for the summer months.

*No Further Discounts 

Washington WE 

The term "cult wine" came into widespread use in the 1990s, though no single person or publication lays claim to having coined it. Perhaps it was Screaming Eagle or Harlan that was the first wine to earn the tag. In the minds of most people, the term is almost always attached to a pricy Napa Valley Cabernet or Bordeaux-style blend.

What qualifies them as cult wines? It seems to be the magic combination of rarity, expense, high scores and buzz. A wine needs all four to qualify for true cult status, which leaves out such things as first-growth Bordeaux (not rare) and favors new wineries over traditional ones (more buzz). By any standard, these are trophy wines.

In other words, they're unaffordable, which is just as well since they're also unobtainable.

Which raises the question-should there be a new model for cult wines? A model that preserves the most desirable attributes of those we already know and love (or hate), and eliminates the least desirable. In other words, keep the requirements for rarity, high scores and buzz, but lose the absurd prices, drop the alcohol levels a bit and substitute genuine terroir for 100% new French oak barrels.

Where are these new-era cult wines found? Start with the world-class boutique wineries of Washington. The best of them deliver all of the above. And even if the Northwest is not your home, if you are fortunate enough to live in a state that allows direct to consumer shipping, many of the wineries listed here will be happy to welcome you as a customer. Some of them may be flying under the national radar, which is an advantage.

Don't get hung up on the word "cult." Think of this as a move to New World classified growths. These are all candidates to be named super seconds, and some will make it all the way to first-growth status.

Though rarely produced in quantities of more than a few hundred cases, you can still find them, and, better yet, afford them. These are wines both for cellaring and for near-term drinking.

Washington's Bordeaux-style wines and blends have the structure and balance to age for decades. Even the Syrahs-especially those from Betz, Cayuse, K Vintners and McCrea-have the muscle to cellar well for 8-10 years. The most expensive Washington Cabs and reserves may reach $135 a bottle, but the vast majority cost less than half that.

The most sought-after Washington boutique wineries fall into three distinct categories: the Old Guard, the New Guard (with closed mailing lists) and the Rising Stars (great wines, consistent quality, open mailing lists).

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


THURSDAY - 28th:
From 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Enjoy tasting Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon from Groth Vineyards!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


WEDNESDAY - 27th: 
From 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Taste white and red selections from one of Italy's greatest and one of our favorite producers. 


For some reason I've really been into IPA's lately. I'm sure I'll get over it.

Tom B.

Monday, July 25, 2011

La Spinetta = WOW!

I just tasted through several of the wines we will be pouring this Wednesday from La Spinetta/Indigenous Selections.
If you like Italian wine, or any good wine for that matter, you must do whatever you can to attend Wednesday's tasting - you will be a very happy human being!

Tom B.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Today's Best Wine Value - Red Blends

I love Napa Valley Cabernet - always have, always will. But come on guys! how about a little relief! We're in the longest and most severe recession in over 75 years and prices haven't adjusted at all. In some cases they've gone up, especially after a high rating from a respected wine critic.
So where do you find yummy red values that are for every day or weekend drinking? Enter the red blend.
Many wineries are making a "house blend" that consists of blending several varietals. Some of these creative blends have up to 7 or 8 different grapes in the mix.
Here at the Market we have several of these great red blends. Here are a few of my favorites: 2009 Charles and Charles Red - $11, 2009 Novy Four Mile Creek - $11, Fess Parker Frontier Red #102 - $11 and 2009 R Collection Field Blend by Raymond - $13.

Tom B.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

White Burgundy Tasting! TONIGHT from 5:00 to 7:00pm

TONIGHT the 21st:
 A Special Tasting Event from 5:00 to 7:00 PM
Join us as we taste the fantastic 
White Burgundies of Patrick Piuze. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


TONIGHT - 20th: 
Domaine de Cristia Winery  
2010 Cotes du Rhone Villages
2008 Chateauneuf du Pape
2009 Chateauneuf du Pape
2009 Gigondas

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

6-Month Anniversary Vintage Champagne

As this is our 6-Month Anniversary, we have a special on some incredible Vintage Champagne. We have a very limited supply on hand so if you are interested please email or call me ASAP.

Thank you for your support!

1998 Nicolas Feuillatte Cuvee Palmes D'Or, $55/ per bottle

90 Points Wine Advocate
The 1998 Brut Cuvee Palmes d’Or is a sexy drink. While not a blockbuster, the wine reveals an engaging, harmonious personality. The open, inviting bouquet leads to an expressive, generous core of fruit with pretty notes of early tertiary character that add complexity. Brioche, hazelnuts, dried pears and dried apricots linger on a long, beautifully articulated finish. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2014.

90 Points Win Spectator
A mix of apricot, dried cherry and lemon aromas and flavors are sharply etched, and there's a grainy texture to this bubbly, which has intensity, even if it is a bit chunky. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. –BS

90 Points Stephen Tanzer
Bright yellow-gold. Assertively perfumed bouquet of honeyed apple and pear, dried flowers, buttered toast and smoky lees. A dense, chewy Champagne, with deep orchard and caramelized pit fruit flavors, followed by a note of dried fig. This serious, dense wine needs rich food; or pair it with a washed-rind cheese.

90 Points Wine Enthusiast
This Palmes d'Or style is used to create a wine rather than a Champagne. It works here, the structure and the toast all giving a mouthfeel of Burgundy. The acidity of course is characteristic of Champagne, but it is well integrated into the yeast, the green stone fruits and the pink grapefruit freshness.

2002 Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes D'Or Rose, $65/ per bottle

91 Points WS
Pure Pinot fruit leaps from the glass in this rich, vinous Champagne, which is well put together with a hint of tannins shoring up the finish. Has nice length. Think chicken in a morel sauce. Drink now through 2018. 225 cases imported.

91 Points Stephen Tanzer
Dark pink with a strong bead. Smoky cherry and dark berry aromas are underscored by musky herbs and dried flowers. A serious version of pink Champagne, offering meaty red berry flavors and chewy texture. Finishes long and quite floral. I'd serve this with a rich poultry dish, or with cheeses.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Some thoughts on Merlot

Since the movie "Sideways" no grape has been more maligned, shunned or misunderstood than Merlot.
That's too bad. Some of the greatest wines in the world are 100% Merlot. How about Petrus and Ornellaia's Masseto for just two examples. Right Bank Bordeaux are predominantly Merlot based blends. Here at the Wine Market, we have four of the best domestic Merlots I've ever tasted: 2007 Long Shadows Pedestal, 2007 Switchback Ridge, 2005 Coho Michael Black Vineyard  and 2008 Plumpjack.
Maybe it's time to cut Merlot some well deserved slack.

Tom B.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Another Sushi Night For Tom and Family

So I asked my son Michael where he wants to go for his 26th birthday. "Sushi", he immediately responds. After we close the shop on another crazy "Bury the Bottle Tuesday", I meet up with my family at Fuji Sushi in Chesterfield - our hands down favorite sushi restaurant.
Of course I had my bottle of Big Basin Aura Rose' that I discussed in a previous blog, but, I also brought along a bottle of Herman Wiemer Semi Dry Riesling, $17. We ordered a few spicy rolls and this rich Riesling from Finger Lakes NY had the perfect balance of sweetness, fruit and lush mouthfeel to deal with the heat in the food.
As usual, Fuji was awesome!

Monday, July 11, 2011

What Tom drank with Thai food

Sunday, 7/10 - Thai for dinner.
Not knowing what we would be ordering, I grabbed my bottle of Big Basin "Aura" Rose' and hightailed it to Addie's Thai House in Chesterfield.
The Rose' paired incredibly well with the complex and somewhat spicy character of the cuisine.
This is a rich, complex Rose' with just a hint of sweetness making it a great match with not only Thai, but other Asian cuisines as well. $18 at the Market.
BTW, Addie's was superb!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tom's favorite wines with sushi

Craving sushi at least once a week, Judy and I have tried almost everything with our sushi "fix".
Here are some favorites:

White wines need to have a touch of sweetness and/or spice - definitely no oaky buttery Chardonnay or high acid whites.
Alsatian or domestic Gewurztraminer, Alsatian Pinot Gris, Viognier, Alsatian or German Riesling and Champagne or domestic sparklers.
Reds need good fruit, low acidity and moderate tannins.
California Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Merlot, some domestic red blends, Australian Shiraz and, believe it or not, Bordeaux.
And finally, rice wine - better know as Sake.
Tom B.  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


**THIS THURSDAY from 5 to 7** 


2009 Chardonnay, $29
2009 Pinot Noir Carneros, $45
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, $47 

**THIS FRIDAY from 5 to 7** 

We will be pouring a variety of value priced 
Italian wines- perfect for the summer! 

Friday, July 1, 2011

What Tom's drinking over the holiday weekend.

It's St. Louis, It's July. It's going to be HOT! So I'll be starting off my drinking with the perfect summer white - 2008 Novelty Hill Sauvignon Blanc, $14.  As the day progresses I'll be moving on to the 2008 Macrostie Chardonnay. This is a rich fruit driven Chard with hints of oak and butter. Before switching to reds, my "transition" wine will be the 2009 Big Basin Rose', $18. This is the "red wine drinkers rose".
There will be lots of barbecue, ribs, burgers, brats and sweet corn for a couple of days so I must have Syrah and Zinfandel. I'll be taking home some 2006 Ojai Bien Nacido Syrah, $34 and 2009 Carlisle Dry Creek Zinfandel, $35.
Finally, when I want to spontaneously pop a red that's deliciously fun to drink and "cheap", it will be the 2009 Charles & Charles Red, $11.