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Sec Wine Specials

 

The Sec Wines Newsletter features wines that we're really excited to offer you.  These are wines worthy of a special feature due to their high quality to value ratio and just plain deliciousness.  Enjoy!


Franck Bonville, Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru, Unisson, Champagne $59.99 - Pre-arrival ~ due 4/24
I had heard rumblings about the Champagnes of Franck Bonville as well as read some glowing reports, but was shocked at how good the Bonville Champagnes are when I finally got to taste a few of them recently. The Unisson is 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay from the hallowed soils of Avize in the Cotes des Blancs. Not only does this Champagne offer pitch perfect fruit, lemony citrus notes and brioche, but also a core of chalky minerality pulsing throughout the palate. The pillowy texture that makes this a delight to drink now also enrobes the structure, allowing for another five plus years further development. “The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs Unisson Grand Cru is a pure Chardonnay from Avize, blended from the 2016 and 2017 vintages. A most subtle nose allows glimpses of dried corn husk but stays subdued, because it all happens on the beautifully chalky palate. Depth becomes apparent with the first sip of this slender, taut, bright and lithe Champagne that delves and drives deep into chalk, adding slight yeasty autolysis and really fine mousse. Everything about this forsakes overtness in favor of depth, beautifully elegant with alluring, salty, chalky depth. Lovely.” - 93 Vinous - This wine is better than that. Very limited.

Special Price: $59.99 per bottle

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2021 Dom. de la Chapelle des Bois, Chiroubles, Cru Beaujolais $21.99 bottle / $117.00($19.50) six-pack
As many of you know, I LOVE great Cru Beaujolais. While not as famous as the Kermit Lynch Gang of Four, Domaine de la Chapelle des Bois is certainly a great Beaujolais producer. The 2021 vintage is a classic one for Chapelle des Bois with intense pure fruit, exotic spice, earth, and a fantastic balance that will reward years in the cellar as well as allow you to enjoy the wine tonight with a roasted chicken, seared duck breast, sausages or a grilled steak. If you've been wanting to learn about Cru Beaujolais, this is Cru Beaujolais 101, 201, and Masters Thesis all in one bottle.  This wine makes me swoon both aromatically and on the palate. I can’t think of a better red wine for this price.

Special Price: $21.99 per bottle

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2022 Dom. de la Touraize, Ploussard (Poulsard) La Cabane, Arbois, Jura $39.99 bottle / $227.94($37.99) six-pack
Geek Alert! The Morin family has been making wine in Arbois for several hundred years. Today the farming is organic and the process in the cellar is as non-interventionist as can be. This is a textbook Ploussard (the local spelling for what is know as Poulsard in the rest of the Jura): light in body with floral and earthy notes along with crushed red berries on the nose. The palate offers hood strawberry fruit, a bit of spice and herbs in the mid-palate and a reprise of earth on the finish - all framed by bright acidity. Enjoy this charming and complex red now and over the next several years with rabbit, chicken, boudin blanc, mushroom dishes and the like. Very limited.

Special Price: $39.99 per bottle

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2017 Ch. Bouscassé, Blanc, Les Jardins Philosophiques, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, SW France $22.99
What the hell is Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh? Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh is, in fact, an appellation that almost exactly overlays the more famous Madiran sub-zone in SW France. Bouscasse's Les Jardins Blanc is a classic blend of the indigenous grapes Petit Courbu and Petit Manseng. After tasting it initially, and going back to it later, the word "intense" kept coming back to me. The nose is intense and the palate is really intense. Exotic aromas of bees wax, ripe nectarine, minerals and other stuff I can't articulate segue to the luxurious, full-bodied palate filled with stone fruit, citrus, spices and a core of minerality cutting through the palate from start to finish. It delivers a level of complexity and persistence unusual to find in wine at this price level.

Special Price: $22.99 per bottle

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2019 J. Christopher, Pinot Noir, Basalte, Willamette Valley, OR $20.99 net
Is this the most complex, greatest Pinot Noir we have? No, but it is easily the most complex, best Pinot Noir in the market for anywhere near $20. Hailing from the excellent 2019 vintage, this Pinot offers pleasing aromas of damp forest floor and cherry followed by a suave palate with notes that echo the aromatic themes wrapped in soft, silky tannins. “Gracefully structured, with a vibrant beam of cherry and raspberry flavors accented by stony minerality and dusky spices. Builds richness toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2030.” - 93 Wine Spectator

Special Price: $20.99 per bottle

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2021 Castello di Volpaia, Chianti Classico, Tuscany $24.99 bottle / $137.94($22.99) six-pack
The venerable Castello di Volpaia sits high up in the province of Radda in Chianti (at elevations between 1300-1970ft.), providing a mild climate for a long graceful ripening season. Soaring aromatics combine with a silky smooth palate that oozes vibrancy and energy. Notes of sage, fine leather, and cherries linger on the suave palate. Sure, this wine will cellar beautifully for five to seven years, but it’s so good now, there’s no need to wait. Perfect with pizza, pasta with red or meat sauces, burgers, vegetarian dishes, etc. What a deal. "The 2021 Chianti Classico is an absolute joy. Fragrant, silky and super-expressive, the 2021 captures all the finesse of Radda. Crushed red berry fruit, rose petal, orange peel and mint are all beautifully delineated in a vibrant, mid-weight Chianti Classico that has so much to offer. This is a fine showing. Drink 2025-2036.” - 92 Vinous also 92 points & #5 Top Value Wines of 2023, Wine Spectator

Special Price: $24.89 per bottle

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2021 Badia a Coltibuono, Chianti Classico, “R.S. Cultusboni” Tuscany $17.99
Badia a Coltibuono traces its history back to the 11th century when Vallombrosian monks founded the abbey and started planting the area's first vineyards. Badia a Coltibuono makes a few different Chianti Classico bottlings, but it’s their “R.S.” bottling that’s made for immediate enjoyment at a budget price. Enjoy this mid-weight Chianti with virtually anything that didn’t once reside in water. “The 2021 Chianti Classico RS Cultusboni is rich, boisterous and quite appealing. A burst of red-toned fruit, pipe tobacco, cedar and sweet spice makes a strong first impression. Bright acids keep the flavors vibrant on the persistent finish.” - 91 Vinous

Special Price: $17.99 per bottle

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2022 Tre Monti, Albana Secco, Vigna Rocca, Romagna, Italy $17.99
This is a singular white wine. Tre Monte, about a 20 minute train ride east of Bologna, was started in the early ‘70s by Thea and Sergio Navacchia with their sons, Vittorio and David taking the reins in 1989 (That’s Vittorio on the left and Sergio in the middle of the picture after an epic winery lunch).  The Navacchia family are amazing people, and some of the most enjoyable and gracious hosts I’ve ever met. They farm and make wine with a very thoughtful purpose that comes through in this wine. And wow, the aromas explode from the glass with ripe apricot, orange peel and dried herb notes. The palate is rich and full-bodied, as is typical of Albana, with an exotic texture gained from 15 days of skin contact (but none of the funkiness sometimes associated with skin contact whites). Flavors of apricot, peach, and almonds mingle with fresh acidity in this scintillating dry white wine. Enjoy as a head-turning aperitif, or with all sorts of antipasti, dried fruits and cheeses, seafood, squash dishes, and roast chicken or duck.

Special Price: $17.99 per bottle

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2021 Dom. des Forges, Savennières, Le Moulin du Gué, Loire Valley, France $23.99 bottle / $131.94($21.99) six-pack
Domaine des Forges has been run by the Branchereau family since 1890. The domaine is now in the hands of Stéphane Branchereau and his wife Séverine.  Le Moulin du Gué is one of the great Savennières vineyards, filled with volcanic rocks and deep schistous soils and is known for its classically dense wines. Savennières (always 100% Chenin Blanc) offers the fullest-bodied expression of Chenin Blanc while offering its own unique mineral expression.   2021 is widely considered by Chenin geeks to be one of the greatest vintages in Savennières of the last 30 years and Domaine des Forges' Moulin du Gué is a case in point.  Delicious, rich, balanced and ripe, yet restrained with minerals galore, honey, spice, citrus and white fruits. Drink this dry white while young and gushing with fruit over the next 4 years or wait for tertiary aromas to develop after 8 to 10 years from the vintage.  A sweet deal.

Special Price: $23.99 per bottle

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2022 Font du Loup, Cote-du-Rhone Blanc, Southern Rhone, France $22.99
Last month, we featured Font du Loup’s excellent Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge, this month we have their delicious white. It’s a blend of 80% Grenache Blanc, with 10% each Viognier and Clairette. Notes of ripe peach, passion fruit, ginger, apricot, pink grapefruit, and white flowers grace the aromatic profile. The medium-bodied palate offers surprising acidity and low alcohol for a southern Rhone wine with nice grip. Enjoy often - now and over the next two years with all manner of vegetable dishes, seafood and pork.

Special Price: $22.99 per bottle

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2021 Betz Family Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, The Untold Story, Columbia Valley, WA $35.99 bottle/ $203.94($33.99) six-pack
Betz Family of Wines crafts The Untold Story from some of the most famous vineyards in Washington, showcasing the world-class character of the state’s Cabernet Sauvignon. Since its initial release supporting local charities during the pandemic, The Untold Story has been a win-win for both local charities and consumers alike. The 2021 is impressive for its balance and detail. There is a lot to like here for lovers of WA and CA Cabernet based reds. "What can be thought of as the second wine of Betz, the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon The Untold Story is a smoking wine that readers should jump on. Blackcurrants, blueberries, tobacco, truffle, and spicy oak notes define its bouquet, and it's medium to full-bodied, with a seamless, elegant mouthfeel, good acidity, and fine tannins. It's almost too good and too serious at the price.” - 91-94 Jeb Dunnuck - Very limited.

Special Price: $35.99 per bottle

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