Leschi Market’s monthly Wine Newsletters always includes two special features not found in the weekly email blasts.
The first, “Staff Selections,” consists of favorite wines that the staff is currently excited about, new arrivals to the wine aisle, or old favorites that deserve remembering. Many times, customers find a particular steward whose palate matches theirs, making the “monthly picks” more of a shortened, condensed personal shopping guide.
The second feature is the “Best Sellers List,” a very straightforward list of the previous month’s best-selling wines by number of units sold, broken down by different parameters: Red, White, Bubbles, Rose or Greater than $20, for example. Personally, I’ve always viewed the “Best Sellers” list as the “Customer Picks” list. Fun, right? A newsletter that features both employee favorites alongside customer favorites!
Love is in the air all month long, and what better way to celebrate than compiling many of our favorite wines. Following is a Top-10 List from the last several months, combining “Staff Selections” and “Customer Picks” (aka “Best Sellers”) to create this “Wines We Love.”
Pablo Picasso may have said, “Love is the greatest refreshment in life,” however, this list may challenge that!
2016 Quilceda Creek Red Wine “CVR” Columbia Valley ($55.99)
“A combination of all our vineyard sites and represents a great value. It is the best version of this wine to date displaying highly aromatic black and blue fruits with nuances of anise, smoke, forest floor and minerals. This blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot will be best enjoyed over the next 15 years.” –Paul Golitzin, Director of Winemaking.
2016 Brooks Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($25.39)
“Blackberry, sandalwood, marjoram, damp moss, sassafras aromas. Umeboshi plum, graphite, fresh currant, lavender and garam masala on the palate. Deep fruits and vibrant acidity lead into elegant floral notes, broad tannins and a long resinous finish. Exhibits both lively freshness and ample structure for extended aging; great value!” –Winemaker notes.
2017 Elephant Seven Cosmic Revelation Red Walla Walla Valley ($21.99)
“Classic Mourvèdre characteristics of gaminess and meatiness accented with black raspberry and licorice. A dense bouquet of dried flowers, garrigue and white pepper with an iodine driven minerality. The finish is pure and lively with nice acidity and supple tannins. 61% XL Vineyard Mourvèdre, 39% Yellow Bird Vineyard Syrah.” –Winemaker notes.
2016 Bouza Reserva Tannat Red Montevideo Uruguay ($19.59)
If you’re going to try just one Uruguayan Tannat, then let it be Bouza. This friendly, nicely balanced offering opens on forest floor and dusty berry aromas. Toasty, peppery oak lends spice notes to core berry fruit, while the finish is lush and round. Drink through 2022.
2017 Garage Wine Co. Pais “215 BC Feriment” Portezuelo D.O. Chile ($18.69)
“The wine is super fresh and clean and is also softer, more floral, less rustic and with more finesse than the 2015 I tasted next to it. The quality of the tannins is superb.” –Wine Advocate, 92-points.
2016 San Felice Chianti Classico Tuscany ($13.99)
“Expressive and smooth, this hits all the right notes, with pure black cherry, black currant and violet flavors. Touches of earth, iron and tobacco add complexity. Shows fine harmony and length. Best from 2020 through 2036. Smart Buy.” –Wine Spectator, 96-points.
2016 DeLille Chaleur Estate Blanc Columbia Valley ($35.99)
“Impressive lemon cream and gently herbal, grassy and tropical notes. They follow through to a concentrated palate that has bright acidity and smooth, tropical flesh. Long, energetic lime and green-mango finish. Drink fresh or age for up to a decade for a more toasty, nutty expression.” –James Suckling, 93-points.
2017 Domaine Pierre Riffault Sancerre ($20.59)
From this small 20-acre domaine comes one of Seattle’s hottest Sancerres. 100% Sauvignon Blanc vines from both caillotes and Terre belanche terroirs produces wonderfully aromatic and fragrant Sancerre with invigorating pink grapefruit, elderflower and gooseberry flavors. Don’t wait; 2017 was a very short vintage so there won’t be much of this delicious wine to be had.
2017 A.D. Beckham “Amphora Blanc” Chehalem Mountains Oregon ($19.99)
The A.D. Beckham wines are a convergence of two passions, ceramics and wine. The terra cotta amphorae used to make these wines are handcrafted in Andrew’s studio on our vineyard. This wine was fermented in terra cotta, partially aged in terra cotta and neutral barrels. The wine is an estate field blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Ehrenfelser, Scheurebe, Sylvaner, Viognier and Pinot Gris.
2017 Domaine de la Verpaille Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes ($16.79)
Baptiste and his wife, Estelle, work the very small parcel of 105-old-vines that produces only a few hundred cases of wine. This stunning Chardonnay is aged 100% in stainless steel bringing a crisp intensity that’s really quenching to drink. The richness of the ripe apple and tropical fruit flavors are balanced by a firm backbone of acidity. A surprise here is that it sells for just about half what your average Bourgogne does.
Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen + Bar, and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate, and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His wine column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers, and share his knowledge and experiences in the wine world. Check out the latest at www.LeschiMarket.com or request to be added to email updates or send questions, comments, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the wine department directly on twitter at twitter.com/leschimarket.