October’s Wine Club


October‘s club selections are in!

Hidden Trackers and WTFs (Wine Tasting Friends) –

Rolling into October in AZ means crisp nights, the State Fair, andWine Club time!  Our version of Fall is amazing and packed full of great reasons to share great wine with family and friends.

Considering how busy and active AZ can get during this season, we found a couple of selections that will pair right into all that fun activity!  So step on up, buckle in and enjoy the Ferris wheel of palatable flavors.  This funhouse of flavors will have a surprise with every sip!

A few months back we were in OR running around the Willamette Valley with a couple of winemakers.  We were standing on hilly vineyards with juice in our hands that had come from the very dirt we were standing on.  Pinot Noir was the king of most of these hills.  On one afternoon we gathered into the backyard of winemaker Anne Hubatch’s house in Portland.  As the sunlight cut into its fading angles of the day, we changed course in our winediscussion.  Rosé, Pinot Gris, and Viognier were now being paired with the settling of the sun.  A few additional winemakers joined the gathering and the wine nerd fest really took off!  How did you ___?  Where did you source ___?  Fermentation for how long?  Have you talked to this vineyard?   And then, as if she was putting her final brush stroke on a canvas, Anne reaches under her chair and pulls out a bottle of wine labeled “Starthistle.”  She has a grin on her face, yet says nothing.  The other winemakers start to curl their eyebrows or squint intensely to read the label with care.  One of them, Vincent, piped in to throw around recognition of the “Starthistle” and some past appearances.  Anne opens the bottle and begins to pour for everyone.  At this moment we discovered that wine could be paired with light.  Perhaps even capture a tone of the final glistening beams while being poured into the glass, adding the flavor of sunset to the wine.  The wine captured the moment perfectly.  It took the activities of the daylight, saved them to memory and replayed the moments through each layer of each sip.

Please attempt this at home!

Octobers Wine Club Selections –

Digorgio Family Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon
About six months ago an Australian producer stopped in at the shop to show some of his wines.  We enjoyed his selections and now carry them in the shop.  We began a discussion about additional options from Australia.  Different varietals and different regions.  We wanted more than what is typically available.  He then mentioned that he had a contact looking to expand into the US.  We were intrigued.  The producer was from the Limestone Coast and had a focus on Cabernet (not Shiraz!).  Samples were sent and – bingo – we were hooked. The Limestone Coast is a cool climate region in Australia.  This cooler climate has an effect on the wines, adding refined notes that are very different than the warm climate areas that produce big jammy Shiraz. This Coonawarra Cabernet comes from vines that are grown in red top soil (oxidized and rich in iron) ranging from 6-12 inches deep atop a table of limestone.  It is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 18 months in oak.  It is rich, intense, and smooth with beautifully integrated tannins. This quality level from Napa would have you paying $75 or more per bottle. Enjoy your steal!

Helioterra “Starthistle”
The wine that is capable of capturing sunlight!  This is a white blend of Riesling and Huxelrebe… What the hux? So Huxelrebe is a pre-World War(s) hybrid that was created in Germany.  It is a marriage between Chasselas and Courtiller Musque.  If you don’t know these varietals, no worries, we’d never heard of them either. There are only thousands of obscure varietals out there!  Hybrids happen naturally and through the assistance of growers looking to find vines that are stronger in certain areas or produce certain flavors. A small amount of Huxelrebe was brought to OR and planted, then Anne Hubatch got her hands on some and blended it with a bit of Riesling.  The result is a high acid white wine that allows you to pair with almost any dish, including a dollop of fading sunlight. Sustainably grown and sourced from High Pass Vineyard, Anne makes just 196 cases of Starthistle!  Not much leaves OR, and we got all that came into AZ!

Thank you for helping us to be able to find amazing wines at great prices!


Craig & Danielle