White Wines By The Glass
Marisco “The Kings Favour” Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Marlborough, New Zealand)
This is my favourite profile for kiwi Sauv Blanc. It has the vibrant citrus and abundant fruit, but they trade in that green pepper that can unfortunately come along for the ride and, instead, add in a nice dollop of polish and finesse. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll take that trade any day. I mean, who couldn’t use a little polish and finesse?
Huber “Terrassen” Gruner Veltliner 2013 (Traisental, Austria)
I fell in love with this Gruner a recent show because it’s exactly what ‘m looking for in the grape. Abundantly aromatic nose that is redolent of stone fruit, with more of the same on the palette carried by luxurious texture and framed by firm minerality and bright acid. Honestly, I think this glorious wine is a steal.
Stefano Massone Vigneto Masera Gavi 2012 (Piedmont, Italy)
Gavi, a town in the southern part of the Piedmont, makes delicious wine from Cortese grapes. Cortese in general is what opened up the rest of the world to fabulous Italian white wines. This one is particular with a soft texture is tarter than a pinot grigio, but still packed with all the crisp, clean fruit and herbs with notes of golden raisin and a hint of avocado.
Joseph Carr Chardonnay 2012 (Sonoma Coast, CA)
This is the kind of stylish, generous, and well-balanced Chardonnay that we love here at Jujube. Loaded with lovely apple and pear fruit, and just enough buttery notes to remind you that you’re drinking Chardonnay from California, it still has an elegance and sense of place. Specifically, in your glass. Let’s not over think this. You like delicious wine, no? Well, this is one right here. And one that does precisely what it is intended to do.
Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2013 (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
To me, it’s no contest. The world’s most underrated grape is Chenin Blanc, and I have no idea why that is. It makes some flat-out amazing wines, especially when you can get it from South Africa. This one for instance, stunning as always and is easy going with some ripe, beautiful, textural fruit and great acid that finishes clean but long.
White Wines By The Bottle Only
Contra Soarda Breganze Vespaiolo 2011 (Breganze, Italy) 50
Vespaiolo, a little known grape, most typically used in making dessert wines, creates a wonderfully unique wine with notes of jasmine, honey and lemon. Grown in the foothills of the Alps, this wine shows nearly endless layers and pairs well with difficult foods.
Galerie Naissance Sauvignon Blanc 2012 (Napa Valley, CA) 50
I’ve always had a soft spot for Napa Sauv Blanc done well. And this wine is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that. It’s nervy enough to be sure, but it’s also so plush and sexy…
Magic of Ju-Ju Chenin Blanc (Loire Valley, France) 50
Besides the perfect name, this just happens to be a delicious bottle of wine and one that goes perfectly with our food. Captivatingly aromatic, lush mouth-feel, delicious fruit, and great acidity.
Savary Chablis 2012 (Bourgogne, France) 30 (375 ml)
This is such a pretty wine and does precisely what I want Chablis to do. It’s not big, not oaky, but it still has texture, finesse, and generosity on the palette. A lovely wine to be sure.
Tegernseerof ‘Loibenberg’ Riesling Smaragd 2009 (Wachau, Austria) 65
This is what you get when a top-notch producer harvests grapes late from an iconic vineyard in Austria’s most renowned areas. And makes it dry. Lucious stone-fruit with texture galore, and vibrant acidity. A truly monumental wine.
Catena Zapata Catena Alta Chardonnay 2012 (Mendoza, Argentina) 65
I tried some amazing wines on my visit to this legendary winery. About the last thing I expected to fall madly in love with, though, was their Chardonnay. In fact, I asked the winemaker how long they last and she said her favourite right now is the 1997! Everything I’m looking for in a luxury Chardonnay; richness, layers of nuance, and impeccable balance.
Weinbach Pinot Gris Cuvee St. Catherine 2003 (Alsace, France) 80
Weinbach makes the most finesse-laden and bright wines in Alsace, which, in a ripe year like 2003, is really a good thing, especially 10 years after the fact. The acidity, somtimes lacking in other producers’ offerings, make this a lovely wine with some time in the bottle.
Quota 600 Etna Bianco 2010 (Mount Etna, Sicily) 85
I’m not going to do something crazy like have a Sicilian white as my most expensive white on the list unless it’s some pretty darned amazing juice. And this is. Made of Carricante and Cataratto (two indigenous grapes), this wine is a bit like White Burgundy with some ripe and floral peach notes added on the nose. Still, this impressive beauty is framed with astute minerality.
Red Wines By the Glass
Moillard Les Violettes Cotes du Rhone 2011 (Rhone Valley, France)
An absolute textbook example of the charming fruit and nuanced earthiness that Cotes du Rhone should be. From the plums and raspberry on the palate, to the peppery notes on the finish, this wine totally delivers.
Catena Vista Flores Vinyard Malbec 2011 (Mendoza, Argentia)
The standard bearer in Argentina for decades, Catena’s wines always have such a finesse and polish to round out the ample and satisfying Malbec. This bottling, sourced from one vineyard is not quite as weighty or tannic as some of their offerings, but has plenty of stuffing and is certain to please.
Badia Coltibuono Chianti “Centamura” 2012 (Tuscany, Italy)
An entry-level Chianti from an outstanding producer that does a fine masquerade as one costing a good bit more. I often say that, when particularly nice, Chianti should show both earthiness and nice fruit. That, when inexpensive, they typically just give you one of the other. Sometimes, you get both.
Sivas-Sonoma Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2011 (Sonoma Coast, CA)
Here’s a very ripe and accessible offering from one of California’s darling pinot appellations. A perfect pinot for Jujube because it’s got the stuffing and fruit to hold up to our cuisine but the balance and acidity to maintain its varietal integrity. Black cherries and spice just coming at you!
Laurent Miquel Rose (Cinsault/Syrah) 2013 (Southwest France)
It’s finally warm enough for Rose and this is always among my favourites. As this style of wine has gained in popularity, I’ve noticed the price creep up, but not for these guys. They still make a wine that does the rose dance with aplomb and still do so for a very reasonable price. I dare you to have just one.
Red Wines By The Bottle Only
Feudi del Pisciotto Frappato 2010 (Sicily) 60
You’re going to have to take my word for it because you’ve likely never heard of Frappato. And, well, neither had I before I tasted it, then called Brittany and Catherine over, and all of us fell in love with this vibrant and unctuous beast. Unbridled deliciousness wrapped in textural fruit and rich, spicy nuance.
Freemark Abbey Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (Napa Valley, California) 65
This winery always has had a place in my heart as it was my father’s favourite. Turns out, he was on to something. Their wines are uncommonly accessible upon release and yet have the profundity you expect from a Napa Cab. An altogether delicious wine.
Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf du Pape 2011 (Rhone Valley, France) 85
A perfect expression of the nuance, fruit, and earthiness that you hope to find in Chateauneuf, but without the tannins that can keep you from enjoying them at a young age. Don’t get me wrong, because there’s plenty of structure.
Bricco Rocche Barolo (Brunate Vineyards) 2000 (Piedmonte, Italy) 150
2000 was an exceptional vintage and this is an outstanding producer. Plus, the wines has had at least a little time in bottle, so it should provide an exceptional drinking experience. And, it’s at a great price.
Sparkling Wines By The Glass
Charles Bove Brut (Loire Valley, France)
A remarkable sparkling Vouvray that is exotic and nuanced, but refined enough to quench even the Champagne lover’s pallete without breaking the bank. It’s as bright and cheery as your holiday season should be this year, so grab a glass!
Cleto Chiarli e Figli Lambrusco Vecchia Modena 2012 (Italy)
About four of us tasted this wine when presented and everyone fell head over heels for it. It’s fruity as all get-out, but unlike most Lambrusco, is not really sweet. Just disarming, delicious, beautifully pink, and looking for a party.
Sparkling Wines By the Bottle Only
Laurent-Perrier Brut L-P Champagne (Tours-sur-Marne, France) (375ml) 30
Stylishly hemmed and loaded with finesse- just like it should be. Even better, it’s just a little bottle, so you and your date can have a glass of the real thing before moving on.
La Croix Des Vainqueurs 2009 (Loire Valley, France) 50
This is a top of the line 100% Chenin Blanc Cuvee Vouvray from a small family producer. It’s just as soultry, abundant, and nervy as a magnificent Champagne, just for a fraction of the price.
Thierry Triolet Brut Champagne NV (Bethon, France) 65
This is an exceptional value for Champagne. Classic delicacy and vibrancy, just a touch of yeast on the finish, and enough dosage so that you don’t have to work to hard.
Duval Leroy Brut Rosé Champagne NV (Vertus, France) 85
It’s almost cliché. When you simply can’t figure out what’s going to go with what you’re eating, go with Rose Champagne, or “Burgundy with bubbles” I like to say.