Check out this week's tasting...

Ken's wines are never on sale, so what's up?

Ciel du Cheval is one of the premium vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA of the greater Columbia Valley. Numerous award-winning wines from a who's who of top northwest winemakers (Quilceda Creek, Andrew Will, Delille) have been produced from the fruit grown on this exceptional site since its founding in 1975. Ken has made a red blend from Ciel du Cheval under his Tyrus Evans label since 2001, but his present contract is up and he has chosen to clear out the last inventory of the Ciel du Cheval Claret to make room for more pinot noir, his primary focus. This is an incredible offer on a top drawer Washington state red blend of cabernet sauvignon (54%), merlot (33%), cabernet franc (8%) and  petite verdot (5%). This will go quickly and although I plan to show it at the Friday tasting there are no guarantees. Get it while you can...

Tyrus Evans Claret, Ciel du Cheval, 2012: Regular price: $38.95 / Now: $17.95 (no additional discounts unless you buy the 6-pack for $99.95)


Northern Rhone syrah does a fine St. Joseph imitation.

The brothers Courbis of the little village of Chateaubourg, just across the river from mighty Hermitage hill, have slowly emerged as a prestige producer of Northern Rhone syrah. The St. Joseph 2009 we have featured for the last month is about as good as St. Joseph gets and the "La Sabarotte" Cornas 2005 is among the finest red wines in the shop. This week, we have decided to bring in the 2012 Vin de Pays, which is as good - in it's own way - as all the others we have tasted from this outstanding producer. Courbis wines celebrate Northern Rhone syrah like few others. They all showcase the primal, animal-like sauvage character so typical of the syrah grown on these incredibly steep hillsides above the Rhone, and they are all crafted with the utmost skill and sensitivity to place. This humbly priced VDP is the equal of many other producer's St. Joseph but at half the price. And while it may not be Cornas or Hermitage, it serves as a pretty fine introduction to both.

Syrah, VDP Ardeche, 2012, Courbis: $16.95 / $14.40  Authentica Wine Club Price. 


Vintage 2005 Barbaresco uncovered

These days it's a challenge to find an aged, single vineyard Barbaresco from a sterling producer at a price that's reasonable, let alone one with the pedigree of Punset's Campo Quadro. But recently my friends at Zancanella Imports in PDX were able to pry a few cases of the outstanding 2005 vintage from the winery's library of older wines and have it added to a newly arrived container. They are offering this perfectly cellared gem on a limited basis to customers who have supported the great wines of Punset over the years and Authentica is one of them. Punset is an organically farmed (since 1991) Barbaresco producer in the commune of Neive. Run by the indomitable and dynamic Marina Marcarino, Punset produces traditional Barbaresco coveted by lovers of rich, nuanced and complex nebbiolo that shows great fidelity to site. Camp Quadro is a select section within the prestigious San Christofero vineyard located high above Neive. It is the winery's most ethereal and perfumed Barbaresco in every vintage and the 2005 is just now coming into it's own. Lilting aromatics of balsam, lavender, raspberry, sweet tar and rose hips emerge after the wine is poured, and lead to similar flavors that fill the mouth. The wine finishes with persistent, fine tannins and lingering, sweet red fruit impressions. This is classic Barbaresco from a great producer that you can enjoy now without further cellaring, but it will certainly age gracefully another 10 years if you choose. Polenta with a ragú of wild mushrooms, a true Bolognese sauce and roasted meats all pair beautifully with this majestic Barbaresco. And the price for an this decade old Barbaresco from a elite single vineyard? An incredible $44.95/ $38.20 Authentica Wine Club! Taste it this weekend.


Reasonance Vineyard & Jadot: a Grand Cru formula for pinot noir.

A few weeks ago the release of one of the year's most anticipated wines was announced: the Reasonance Vineyard 2013 from longtime Maison Louis Jadot winemaker Jaques Lardiere. The debut vintage for this new Franco / Oregon venture shows all the nuance and complexity that one expects from top echelon Burgundy. In other words, it is what we have come to expect from the fine house of Jadot in these last several decades that Lardiere has guided that great Burgundy negociant.  The aromatics of Lardiere's new Oregon offering are exquisitely detailed and intellectually engaging, and the fruit quality at the core of this impressive wine is second to none. Vibrant and engaging, this beauty showcases the biodynamically farmed, own rooted, dry farmed pinot noir that Kevin Chambers so painstakingly cultivated for over thirty years in this little magic corner of Yamhill county. Vibrant and energetic dark cherry aromas and flavors lead into a wine that shows ripe black fruits, cane berry, black tea, mint and evergreen elements at the tightly wound core. At different stages of tasting this elegant wine one is mindful of the perfume of Chambolle-Musigny and at others,  the power of Gevrey-Chambertin. But when all is said and done it's pure Oregon, albeit on a different level than 90% of the wines made here. Destined to become a collector's classic, the Resonance 2013 belongs up there with the best Oregon pinot noir releases of the last several vintages. We'll have the rare opportunity to taste this wine tonight, so don't miss out on what is sure to become one of Oregon's most prestigious and successful pinot noir collaborations.  And check out this informative link to Karen Page & Andrew Dornenberg's wine and food blog in which they share their impressions of this new wine served during a recent lunch with the winemaker:

Reasonance Pinot Noir, 2013 / $64.95 / $55.20 Authentica Wine Club


A Pouilly-Fuisse with lazer-like focus and precision.

This family-run vineyard and winery lies in the "sweet spot" of the Macon between the rock of Solutré and the village of Vergisson. They've been owned by the same family since the 1850s and their holdings are in the very best sections of these chalky limestone hills, where chardonnay has reigned supreme for a hundred years. The Pouilly-Fuisse is chiseled and incisive - none of that semi-sweet, over-oaked junk that became so popular in the 1980s and nearly took down the reputation of this respected terroir in southern Burgundy. We'll taste this intense and energetic wine tonight and you'll see why it is the ideal accompaniment to chevré salads, sole meuniere, scallops in cream sauce and other fresh fish and white meats. A terrific Pouilly-Fuisse at a great price!

Pouilly-Fuisse "Terroirs", Sangouard-Guyot, 2013: $26.50 / $22.50 Authentica Wine Club


A red you'll want to drink with everything…and can afford to.

Dolcetto is the wine that can accompany just about anything. I jokingly refer to it as "the breakfast wine of Piemonte" because it is gentle and mild with all the emphasis on the fruit. The newly arrived 2015 from Montaribaldi is extra tasty - positively jammed with black cherry fruit, a hint of anise and scents of lilacs and blackberry; all delivered in a soft, juicy, finely textured package. This is a wine that is a pleasure to drink with just about anything on the spring menu, from lamb to seafood pasta.  It's absolutely tailor-made for a classic anti-pasta plate of charcuterie and cheeses and it can't be beat for washing down a slice of pizza. Taste this lovely wine tonight and you'll understand why the Piedmontese - and those of us in the business - drink this wine with just about everything.

Montaribaldi, Dolcetto d'Alba "Vagnona"2015: $13.95 / $11.85 Authentica Wine Club


Charming little Touraine is like a glass of spring flowers.

Sometimes simple and fresh is the perfect thing, and the Touraine from this little "brotherhood of winemakers" in the middle Loire valley is a case in point. These guys are from the newest sub-appellation of Touraine demarcated only since 2011. But they are already known by the locals as offering great wine that's easy on the wallet, as you'll see when you taste this snappy and bright, fruit forward white tonight. Quince, key lime, a whiff of a tropical flower filled greenhouse and wet minerals all weave subtly throughout this very easy drinking sauvignon blanc. Grab a couple of bottles, some boudin blanc, a handful of fresh greens and a disc of chevré for a special, casual spring supper and you'll be the star of your gourmet dinner group - and still have change for dessert. This wine proves once again that cheap doesn't have to taste that way if you know where to look. (Authentica, of course!) 

Touraine "Les Gourmets" 2014: $8.95 / $7.60 Authentica Wine Club


Friday Night Flight 5 to 7 pm, Saturday Wine Bar noon to 3 pm

$5.00 tasting fee, Wine Club FREE. SuperPour $15.00


This week's SuperPour: TBA

We always have something fun and interesting as a special tasting pour on Fridays and today will be no exception. Join us tonight and find out!

A 2 oz. tasting pour: $8.00 for one / $15.00 for both