220 20th St S
Arlington, VA 22202
Okay, here it is, the last big tasting before Christmas and we have one of our regulars on the Tasting Bar to guide you through some new wines and some Shop favorites! You may have seen these bottles on the shelves but never grabbed them, well here’s your chance to try these great wines that are also perfect for Christmas …
- Herencia Altés Garnatxa Negra 2015: Nuria Altés, like many young vintners in Spain, comes from a family who has grown grapes for generations. In a remote corner of Catalunya, Nuria’s new project, Herència Altés is situated in Terra Alta, a little known DO southwest of the Priorat. Remarkably Terra Alta is one of the largest wine growing regions in Cataluyna and one, of which few are aware – something Nuria has set about changing. She sustainably farms 14 hectares of Garnatxa Blanca, Negra, and Peluda, Carinyena (Samsó) and small amounts of Syrah primarily at two sites: La Serra and Benufet. Both vineyards were initially planted over a hundred years ago, but where vines have died over the intervening century, they have been replanted so each site is home to vines ranging in age from 20 to well over 100 years old. Indigenous Garnatxa Negra is the most widely planted variety at Herència Altés and it grows well in both the sandy and clay limestone soils of Batea. By mixing old and young vine fruit (40–100 years old), and fermenting in concrete, Nuria is able to create an affordable, lively, and elegant version of Garnatxa showcasing the delicate Pinot-side of the variety. Bright crimson in color, this is an expression wine that deserves your attention: notes of red fruits and minerals jump out of the glass and are followed by plenty of fruit, minerality, and just a touch of sweet tannins on the palate. This will pair well with grilled meats, lamb, or charcuterie.
- Para Maria de las Tecolates 2016: Made by Stolpman Vineyards to honor Maira Solorzano, who runs the day-to-day operation and is the wife of their Vineyard Manager, Ruben Solorzano. She leads the crew by example, a quiet but commanding presence that is constantly teaching and experimenting to figure out ways to farm their ridiculously high-density vineyards by hand or the many other tasks needs to run a vineyard. The nickname for villagers from Santa Cruz, Jalisco (Maria’s hometown) is “Tecolote” or night owl. Maria and her team also turn nocturnal three months of year to harvest grapes in the cool night air to maximize freshness. The core of the wine is about old-world Syrah (56%) – picked at the peak of ripeness while retaining acidic verve and savoriness. Roughly a third of the blend (28%) adds higher toned brightness and freshness via whole-grape, carbonic fermentation. The remaining portion (15%) is Petit Verdot that adds an opposing force to the carbonic portion. It is deep, dark, and full of body. They come together to span a continuum of flavors from red fruits through to juicy, ripe black fruits with plenty of secondary notes of pepper, graphite, and savory woodiness. The Para Maria brand is a 50-50 partnership between the Stolpman and the Solorzano families with a production of 4400 cases.
- Ancient Peaks Cabernet Sauvignon 2015: Cabernet Sauvignon excels at Margarita Vineyard, where it achieves both ripeness and balance amid one of the coolest, longest growing seasons in the Paso Robles region. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, nestled into the rugged Santa Lucia Mountain range just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils. The fruit comes from five distinct blocks: Cabernet from Block 11, Block 15, Block 49, and Block 50; and Zinfandel from Block 49D. This blend is a great example of the juicy expressiveness of Paso Cabernet with great dark fruit and suggestions of a more savory side that are followed through on the palate. This 85% Cabernet and 15% Zinfandel goes great with rich and fatty dishes like beef tenderloin with butter, pasta with lamb ragu, and a grilled ribeye steak.
- Santa Julia Tardio Late Harvest Torrontes 2015: Julia exists, she is real. Julia is the only daughter of José Zuccardi, current director of Familia Zuccardi winery. Created in her honor, Santa Julia represents the Zuccardi Family’s commitment to achieve the highest quality levels through sustainable practices, contributing to protect the environment and to develop the community. Bodega Santa Julia is committed to being natural, environmentally friendly, and growing in harmony with the community. The long term sustainability of harvests are extremely important, which is the reason Santa Julia fosters the natural richness of the soil through certified organic vineyard management. This wine is a great option for your dessert course over Christmas with intense aromas of over-matured fruits, honey, and dried fruits, like pears, apricots, and peaches, with orange skin and roses. Sweet, unctuous in the mouth with a silky, balanced acidity.