Forstreiter ‘Grooner’ Grüner Veltliner 2013


Fun and friendly, this is a summery, versatile Grüner.

The ‘Grooner’ brand is the brainchild of Monika Caha & Toni Silver of Monika Caha Selections, along with winemaker Meinhard Forstreiter of Weingut Forstreiter. Created in 2006, the objective of Grooner was “to target price-conscious retail consumers looking for a fun “new” drinking experience” specifically in the US. Along with a fun, hipster vibe label, the phonetic spelling of ‘Grooner’ gives everyone a helping hand when it comes to pronouncing the Austrian varietal.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the Forstreiter’s family 69 acre vineyard located on the banks of the Danube in Krems-Hollenburg in the Kremstal, Niederösterreich, Austria.

Tasting Notes: Palest gold in colour with aromas of fresh lemon and wet slate. Lemon, honeysuckle and herbaceous traces were underscored by a bright acidity, whilst clean minerals along with hints of white pepper and coconut comprised the zippy finish.

100% Grüner Veltliner
Produced and Bottled by Weingut Meinhard Forstreiter
12% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Urban Riesling Mosel 2013


Tangy and fresh with a harmonising symmetry between acidity and sweetness.

Estate: Weingut St. Urbans was founded in 1947 by Nicolaus Weis, a winemaker dedicated to the traditions of German viticulture. Today his grandson Nikolaus is the 3rd generation owner and manager of the nearly 86 acre estate. It is the second largest family owned estate in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany. The vineyards are located on steep slopes and are comprised of the characteristic slate soil of the Mosel region.

Philosophy: The winery takes a minimal, non-interference approach and regards man as the guide, rather than the winemaker, with a belief that “great wine isn’t manufactured, great wine is grown”.

Winemaking: Nik Weis is emphatic about his use of traditional methods, using only organic fertilizers in the vineyards to maintain the natural balance in the soil, yields are kept low, all harvesting is done by hand, and the grapes are transported from the vineyard in traditional containers to ensure optimum quality. Wines are fermented spontaneously without the addition of yeast, “yeasts which are found naturally in the cellar, or which come into the cellar from the pressed skins, ferment the juice naturally”. This is his entry level Riesling consisting of grapes sourced from neighbouring vineyards with blue slate soils that he then vinified.

Tasting Notes: Pale straw in colour with aromas of melon and wet slate minerals. Apple, lemon and nuances of white flowers merged into lingering flavours of sweet honey, clean minerals and hints of ginger spice.

100% Riesling
Bottled by I. Weis Export e.K.
9.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2017

Tala Monastrell 2012


Straightforward, this is a fantastic value packed with dense fruit and a good dash of acidity making it great with a wide variety of dishes.

Winemaking: Tala hails from the ancient wine growing region of Alicante in southwest Spain. I was not able to locate more information other then Tala is bottled exclusively for Astor Wines & Spirits.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of cherry and gamey earth. Dry earth elements and firm tannins supported dense black cherry and baked plum flavours, whilst hints of black peppercorn and suggestions of bitter chocolate comprised the dry, clean finish.

Monastrell [Mourvedre] I was not able to verify varietal percentage
Produced and Bottled by R.E. No. 0007796/A, Pinoso
14.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Domaine des Bacchantes Côtes du Rhône 2010

A simple, yet well composed Côte du Rhône with a rustic, tranquil demeanor.

Winery: Les Vignerons D’Estézargues is a co-operative winery of 10 different growers in the small town of Estézargues, just west of Avignon. Founded in 1965, they became a pioneer for quality and individuality in their wines when in 1995 they began to vinify their wines separately and to make single cuvées from their best plots.

Winemaking: With nearly 1000 acres of vineyards, they are now one of the most modern and progressive co-ops in the Southern Rhône, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, low yields and small batch vinification. Believing in as little intervention as possible, they do not add external yeast, sugar, or enzymes in their production process. Sulphur is only added in minimal amounts during bottling, and their wines are neither refined nor filtered. Grapes were sourced from the ‘Les Bacchantes’ vineyard. The owner of the vineyard, Didier Kupke, “loves seeing this wine fashioned in his image: powerful and happy”.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in color with earthy aromas of eucalyptus, meat and funk. Rich black cherry and sour cherry notes ran atop an undercurrent of earthy mushroom and hints of dried herbs, along with spicy pink peppercorn and dusty minerals lingering on the finish.
*Enjoyed with a slight chill and about an hour of decanting.

80% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Côtes du Rhône
Mis en Bouteille a la Propriété
15% Alcohol
Enjoy now thru 2015

Vera Vinho Verde 2013


Simple with a jaunty bend of fizz and acidity, this is a good companion with light dishes.

Winemaking: Vera Vinho Verde is the creation of winemakers Rui Abecassis and Bruce Schneider. The wine is produced at Casa do Valle by Luis Duarte, one of Portugal’s “preeminent vignerons”. Grapes were sourced from vines located at an elevation of 1050 feet in sandy loam, granite and schist soils from select blocks of Casa do Valle’s main estate vineyard.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with aromas of apple and grapefruit. Apple and lemon notes along with a brazing acidity zipped through the slightly fizzy body, whilst minerals and grassy nuances comprised the clean finish.

60% Arinto, 30% Azal, 10% Loureiro
Vinho Verde
Estate Bottled by Engarrafado Na Quinta
11% Alcohol
Enjoy now