Tuesday, September 2, 2014

94 Points of Old World Grace and New World Style

This week's New Product comes from one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world, and is made from varietals many wine consumers are only vaguely aware of.
As early as Roman times, a tradition in Macedonia was flourishing - a tradition to craft enchantingly powerful wines exhibiting the scent of the south, having a symphonic flavor and epitomizing the joyfulness of Macedonians. Tikveš Winery is one of the most important curators of this tradition. For more than 125 years, the sky, land, sun and vineyards in the south of Europe, each with its own share, have been a part of the story about Tikveš wines. Tikveš Winery has been crafting and aging premium Macedonian wines … ever since 1885.

This terroir wine comes from the Bela Voda region which is composed of clay soils, while enjoying a soft, Mediterranean climate. As a blend of the Vranec and Plavec varieties, this wine exhibits cocoa and wild black fruit aromas as well as a rich fruity structure.

Bela Voda will pair nicely with Beef Stroganoff, and you can find a great recipe for that, and many other delicious Old World dishes, on their website here.

Wine Advocate scored this vintage of Bela Voda at 94 points. Their review: "Looking at their upper-tier cuvee, which comes from a warmer, slightly lower elevation vineyard, the 2011 Bela Voda (a 50/50 blend of Vranec and Plavec) offers a beautifully complete profile, with classy aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and floral nuances to go with a full-bodied, elegant and nicely focused profile on the palate. Still showing the hedonistic, sweetly fruited slant of the estate, it has solid concentration, ripe tannin and impressive length. Enjoy it over the coming 5-6 years, although who knows, it could certainly last longer."

Only $16.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Grab Bag

Wait, how did it get to be Labor Day weekend already? College football already started, most schools have as well, and the autumn beers are in stock. Since we can't re-start the summer, we might as well have that distraction known as the Friday Grab Bag.

Store Hours

Our Labor Day weekend hours are the same for both stores, as follows:
Friday, August 29: regular hours of 9am-10pm
Saturday, August 30: regular hours of 9am-10pm
Sunday, August 31: regular hours of 9am-7pm
Monday, September 1: holiday hours of 9am-6pm

Events

Both stores: Customer Appreciation Weekend will be September 19-20-21. Woodbridge has the first look at their schedule. Click here for that information. The rest of the details will be posted shortly on the Events page of each store's website.

Lawrenceville: The Craft Beer Keg Blow Out Sale is on-going. Click here for details.
Woodbridge: We have a very busy weekend in Woodbridge, starting with a tasting of Senor Sangria today, 2-4pm. On Saturday, we have the Cutty Sark "Cutty Back" tasting from 1-4pm.

New Products

Domaine Alphonse Mellot La Demoiselle Sancerre Red 2012:  From an estate that is over 500 years old. The work of the winegrower can also be compared to that of an artisan and the wine he produces, can only provoke the same sensations if it is the fruit of his own personal skills.

A wine reflects exactly the knowledge, skills, imagination, the integrity and in a certain manner the courage of the winegrower who has, throughout the course of the year nurtured this transformation from vegetal to mineral.

Tasting notes: Firm ruby color; the nose expresses the soil. Here, the flinty clay is shown in hints of smoked food and cherries in kirsch, all blended in extremely silky tannins. 100% Pinot Noir.

Pairing: Poached eggs with boletus wine sauce, spicy wild duck, pears in cinnamon.

$51.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Ripped From The Headlines

Click here for the latest on the Napa earthquake.

The most powerful liquor in the world? Click here for the story.

That's not a sinkhole. That's a 150 year old beer cave. In Iowa. Click here for the story.

We can top that. How about a 4000 year old wine cellar? Click here for the story.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. See you here on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What's New?

We hear that question so often at Joe Canal's. While we all have our favorites, we also like to find something new. Our buyers evaluate products from all over the world, just to find the best items, and the best values, to share with you. Here is a select list of some of the newest products in our store. As always, we can't list everything here. If you're looking for our newest products, just ask one of our team members.

Clase Azul Tequila

Clase Azul Reposado
Each bottle of Clase Azul Tequila is literally touched by the human spirit. The love and nurturing our craftspeople put into producing Clase Azul starts in the agave fields and is continued through the bottling process where, in our own facility each bottle is created by hand.

Clase Azul is world renowned for its superior quality and rich flavor profile. The attention to quality begins with the selection of the finest organic agaves and extends to the spirit's decanters, which feature handcrafted artwork from Mexican artists, and are meant to add an additional layer of sophistication to the experience of Clase Azul.

The Reposado: For many years, tequila connoisseurs have praised Clase Azul Reposado for its superior taste and stunning handmade decanter. By definition, reposado translates to "rested" or "calm" which can certainly influence the experience of sipping this particular Clase Azul which is aged in used American oak barrels for eight months after it has gone through the distillation process. Each bottle is made with high quality white ceramic and then hand painted by artisans in our bottling facility. Attention to detail comes second to none, which is evident when admiring what is considered an iconic bottle. $83.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Clase Azul Plata
The Plata: Clase Azul Plata is a fresh tasting blanco tequila produced from 100% organic blue weber agave. The agave is slow cooked in traditional brick ovens for 72 hours and then distilled using a proprietary yeast developed by our master distiller. Plata is not aged and the natural colors that come from the slow cooking are filtered out prior to bottling in a stunning crystal clear bottle with blue accent at its base. $69.99 in the Bottle Club®.

As far as bottle designs go, tequila seems to be far ahead of every other spirits type. Consider that Milagro and Kah tequilas also have very distinct bottles. Other than Crystal Head Vodka, there aren't many truly unique spirits bottles on the market.


Tikveš Bela Voda 2011

A new vintage of a wine that we haven't had for a while. As early as in Roman times, a tradition in Macedonia was flourishing - a tradition to craft enchantingly powerful wines exhibiting the scent of the south, having a symphonic flavour and epitomizing the joyfulness of Macedonians. Tikveš Winery is one of the most important creators of this tradition. For more than 125 years, the sky, land, sun and vineyards in the south of Europe, each with its own share, have been a part of the story about Tikveš wines. Tikveš Winery has been crafting and aging premium Macedonian wines … ever since 1885.

This terroir wine comes from the Bela Voda region which is composed of clay soils enjoying soft Mediterranean climate. As a blend of the Vranec and Plavec varieties, this wine exhibits cocoa and wild black fruit aromas as well as a rich fruity structure.

Did we mention that this wine rated 94 points from Wine Advocate? Their review: "Looking at their upper-tier cuvee, which comes from a warmer, slightly lower elevation vineyard, the 2011 Bela Voda (a 50/50 blend of Vranec and Plavec) offers a beautifully complete profile, with classy aromas and flavors of creme de cassis, licorice, graphite and floral nuances to go with a full-bodied, elegant and nicely focused profile on the palate. Still showing the hedonistic, sweetly fruited slant of the estate, it has solid concentration, ripe tannin and impressive length. Enjoy it over the coming 5-6 years, although who knows, it could certainly last longer."

Only $16.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Domaine Alphonse Mellot Edmond Sancerre 2011

The appearance: Pale gold yellow in color with light green sheen - brilliant, bright and clear - a young honest appearance.

A rich majestic nose. All is rich, ripe and powerful, whether it is fruity or floral. Density, depth and balanced graceful "majestic nature" are established from the outset. Honey, vanilla, lemon, brioche etc., follow each other as if in a daydream, all orchestrated through a new woody tone.

Opening it makes it welcoming and tender with crisp plants revealing aniseed, menthol, liquorice and spices. The effect is extensive, lively and gluttonous, ideally balanced between being highly well rounded and agreeably crisp. Smoothly rounded it gives full measure in establishing liquorice and aniseed, lime and vanilla, pepper and Muscat. The long spicy and woody finish is carved in flint.

All is rich in this virile whole: structure, substance, aromas, minerals. When older, it should accentuate its buttered, grilled and vanilla coated hints favoring a better place for the mineral.

Pairings: Belon oysters, crayfish cooked in a court-bouillon, scallops in caramelized chicory, sauteed Sancerre chicken with mixed vegetables in butter, chitterlings sausage in mustard seed, fresh Chavignol goatsmilk cheese, blue and remade, fresh fruit topped with toasted cheese in Sancerre zabaglione, egg whites with vanilla custard.

$65.99 in the Bottle Club®. Rated 91-92+ by Wine Advocate. From their review: "Tasted from both a wooden fermentor and demi-muids representative of the vessels in which the entirety of this cuvee would reside until bottling, the Mellot 2011 Sancerre Edmond exhibits rarified, high-toned, Chartreuse like herbal and floral aromas. On its rich yet surprisingly buoyant and infectiously juicy palate, it introduces chicken stock and sweet-saline, scallop-like savor to an otherwise chalk-inflected matrix of citrus, quince, and melons, making this in its own way one of those not infrequent instances between Mellot’s two most recent collections when one is reminded of Chablis. This long-finishing beauty really sets the imagination and salivary glands working, and I imagine it will do so for at least the better part of a decade."

Cheers!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Napa Earthquake Updates

They are still in the early stages of recovering from the Sunday earthquake in Napa Valley. We've rounded up a number of reports for you.

Sebastiani is one of our most popular wine labels. Click here for a video of their fermentation tanks leaking. 14 tanks were damaged.

At Trefethen Family Vineyards, a building that dates from 1886 was seriously damaged. Click here for the story.

Click here for a photo gallery of quake damage and recovery.

Click here for another photo gallery. You may have to wait through a 10-second commercial.

Click here for a Wine Spectator article published yesterday, with photos showing extensive damage at Hess Collection.

Napa is still open for business. Click here for that story.

We'll have more updates as they become available.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Upscale and Sophisticated

If you haven't tried some of the upscale Riesling's, you're missing out on an exceptional experience. new to our stores is the Pichler-Krutzler Riesling Pfaffenberg. This rated 94 points from Wine Advocate. Their review is below.

From “young” vines (of 40-45 years’ age) when compared with those of the small attached parcel of Gruner Veltliner, Pichler and Krutzler’s 2012 Riesling Pfaffenberg weighs-in at 12.5% alcohol despite not having been picked until October, 20 – several days after Loibenberg was brought at a full degree higher. There is fantastic clarity here allied to infectious juiciness. Pungent juniper berry and sage inflect fresh lime, apple, luscious honeydew and cassis, while a suffusion of crushed stone and smoky black tea serves for contrast with the wine’s effusive fruitiness. A veritably kaleidoscopic interplay ensues in the endlessly fascinating and refreshing finish of this exciting debut that should merit following through at least 2020.

Elisabeth Pichler and Erich Krutzler continue to hone their distinctive style as well as to freely and intuitively experiment, unencumbered by local habit or by the structure – however arguably useful – of the Vinea Wachau’s trio of wine categories. They carefully filter and critically consider any received opinions, even (or, dare I suggest, especially) those of Elisabeth’s famous father, F.X. (Tasting and trading observations and anecdotes with husbands and wives of both generations was among the highlights of my most recent Austrian travels.) Picking at this estate began already in late September, though Krutzler laughingly attributes that in part to his red-wine mentality which encompasses rigorous crop-dropping, in which he intends to be less aggressive in future. Erich Krutzler places emphasis on the relatively small berries and high skin-to-juice ratio of 2012 fruit in delivering energy, structure and sheer personality surpassing those exhibited in 2011, and he was not afraid to observe his norm of 24-30 hours’ pre-fermentative skin contact. Even as Pichler and Krutzler continue to build their vine surface via some extremely savvy and lucky site selections, their technical capabilities are being enhanced as well. New large casks are gradually being introduced, and beginning with vintage 2014, new equipment will permit movement of fruit as well as wine entirely by gravity and open-up a wider range of pressing options.

Only $29.99 in the Bottle Club®.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Napa Valley Earthquake Updates

We always prefer to start the blogging week with lighter fare. However, the weekend earthquake brought extensive damage to the Napa Valley towns, and to the wine industry as well. We normally stock product from some of the wineries noted in the article, like Silver Oak, Robert Biale, and B. R. Cohn. In fact, we had just received the new vintage release from Silver Oak. We offer a few reports:
From the Drudge Report
 From Wine Spectator:

Several historic buildings in downtown Napa were severely damaged, including the post office and county courthouse, plus the Alexandria Building, built in 1910 and home to many businesses like the Carpe Diem Wine Bar. The stone facade of the Pfeiffer Building, built in 1875 and home to the Vintner’s Collective tasting room, was badly damaged.

Photos of broken wine bottles and wine barrels heaved from their racks quickly spread through social media. “I’ve been at the winery since 4:30 a.m.,” said David Duncan, president of Silver Oak Cellars in Oakville. "I cleaned up my house first."

Silver Oak lost hundreds of bottles from a rare collection of single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, and three oak barrels of wine were damaged. “Luckily the barrels didn’t burst, so we were able to salvage most of the wine,” said Duncan. “The collection of bottles is literally priceless. I cleaned that up myself with a shovel.”

At Robert Biale Vineyards, south of Yountville, ten barrels of Zinfandel and Sangiovese were lost when a row of racks collapsed. “Thank God there were no cellar guys working—3:20 a.m. is a good time for a wine country earthquake,” said winery partner Dave Pramuk.

Click here for the full article.
From abc13

From the Washington Post:

The country’s well-known wine-making region, Napa Valley, was at the epicenter of the earthquake responsible for dozens of injuries and damages estimated to surpass $1 billion. And wine that bled out on cellar floors will make up a hefty chunk of the lost revenue. The valley’s more than 500 wineries generate some $13 billion a year for the regional economy, according to Napa Valley Vintners, a trade organization.

“It’s devastating. I’ve never seen anything like this,” Tom Montgomery, a winemaker for B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, Calif., told the Associated Press. He said the winery lost “as much as 50 percent” of its wine.

Click here for the full article.

Click here for an updated report from the local CBS affiliate.

Click here for an in-depth article from the local newspaper, The Press Democrat.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Grab Bag

We head into the weekend with our regular collection of events, news and more.

Events

Lawrenceville will have a regular wine tasting today, 4-6pm. Click here for the tasting menu. Tomorrow, from 3-5pm, we have a special tasting of Bacardi Mango Fusion. Click here for details.

Click here for the Lawrenceville Events page, where you can read about upcoming tastings for wine, Drambuie and Dewar's.

The latest event on our calendar is a special appearance, on September 12, by Christina Milian, who will be promoting her Viva Diva infused Moscato wines.

Woodbridge will host its regular wine tastings this weekend, Friday 4-6pm, and Saturday, 1-3pm. The tasting menu is the same each day; click here to see it.

We'll be very busy over Labor Day weekend as well. Look for wine tastings on Friday, 8/29, 4-6pm, and Saturday, 8/30, 6-8pm (special time). In addition, look for a tasting of Senor Sangria on Friday, 2-4pm, and a Cutty Sark "Cutty Back" tasting on Saturday, 1-4pm.

Click here for the Woodbridge Events page. Note that we've also added a Sobieski Vodka tasting for Saturday, September 6.

Website

Please check out our all-new web site, with better features and improved functionality. While you're there, register for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card.


New Products

Now that the industry shut-down week is over, deliveries have resumed. These items are now in stock, or are about to arrive.

Ciroc Pineapple: So new it's not even on the official web site. The 750ML size should arrive next week, with 1.75L and 375ML sizes expected in mid-September. CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka is crafted from fine, succulent French grapes, distilled a fifth time at the Distillerie de Chevanceaux in southwest France. These specially selected grapes create the distinctly fresh and smooth taste of CÎROC Vodka.




Heartland Spice Trader Shiraz Cabernet: This is a very dark glass
of juicy and delicious red. A burst of intense primary fruit greets the palate with blueberries, blackberries and currants. These powerful fruit notes can engulf the uninitiated, but waves of spice can be discovered by seasoned flavor explorers.

Time in barrel permits a softening of the wine’s structure. It also offers a complex expression of the fruit and helps the exotic notes of spice to be discovered.

Shiraz [58%] and Cabernet Sauvignon [42%].


Ripped From the Headlines

We've all seen pictures like this one from the Prohibition era:
photo credit: historybyzim.com
Those days might be making a comeback in a Philadelphia suburb, in PA. Click here for the story.

Craft Beer

Bury the lede? Not us. Craft beer people, click here for information on a special sale in Lawrenceville.


Have a great weekend!