Wine of the Week March 9th, 2020

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Santo Stefano

Cabernet Sauvignon

Rutherford, California


Add this wine to your order and we’ll waive delivery in Orange County or Los Angeles/San Gabriel Valley

Use coupon code WOTW on the website, call the store or email us.




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Wine of the week.
Our wine of the week for the week of March 9th, 2020 is Santo Stefano Rutherford Cabernet 2014 from the Riboli Family/San Antonio Winery in Downtown Los Angeles. While downtown LA was the mecca for California wine growing in the 1880s, LA has given way to big buildings and crowded freeways. There is still one winery that recently celebrated its 103rd year in business. San Antonio still makes wine today, there vineyards have moved up north to Paso Robles, Monterey and Rutherford but the hub for the winery has remained in the same spot since 1917 on Lamar street in Downtown Los Angeles.
Santo Stefano comes from their Rutherford vineyards which they’ve owned since 1986. They quietly purchased a 16-acre lot on the Silverado Trail and produce this wonderful Cabernet loaded with Rutherford taste and feel for an absolute steal. The story behind this wine and family is second to none in California but it’s the quality in the bottle that truly blew us away.
Notes from the region:
Rutherford, California-
From Wine-Searcher:
Rutherford ranks among the very finest Napa Valley AVAs. It is located south of St Helena and immediately north of Oakville, at the heart of the Napa Valley winegrowing area. It is named after Thomas Lewis Rutherford, who married Elizabeth Yount, granddaughter of Napa’s pioneering vigneron George C. Yount (see Yountville).
Cabernet Sauvignon is the most widely planted grape here. The long, warm summer days encourage the organic, earthy flavors for which Napa Cab has become known, complemented by opulent fruit richness. Fully ripe tannins are another luxury that the warm climate grants Rutherford winegrowers – with time in bottle, these contribute structurally to some of America’s most highly acclaimed red wines. Cabernet’s Bordeaux stablemates MerlotMalbecCabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are also present in Rutherford vineyards, used both as Bordeaux-blend components and to make varietal red wines.
Napa Valley’s AVAs can be divided into two, in terms of terroir: those that cover the hills, like Howell Mountain or Mount Veeder, or those that lie on the valley floor. Rutherford is firmly in the second category, with its vineyards reaching from the base of the Mayacama mountains to the Silverado Trail at the bottom of the Vaca mountains. The land between is home to famous names like CaymusInglenookGrgich Hills and Scarecrow.
Abundant sunshine and warm temperatures allow Rutherford’s grapes to reach optimal maturity over the course of the growing season, producing deep, richly flavored wines. Located 12 miles (20km) north of Napa town, and half that distance again from San Pablo Bay, Rutherford summer days are also blessed with damp, cooling fog rising northwards up the valley from the Bay Area. The fog is sufficient to moderate the hot Californian sunshine, which might otherwise overcook the grapes, depriving the wines of aromatic complexity and the acid structure essential in all cellar-worthy wines.
Instead, Rutherford’s grapes make wines that often display a sought-after balance of flavor and acidity, due to their long, even ripening period. This influence is particularly noticeable in Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon wines, which bear the same hints of eucalyptus and mint as their Oakville neighbors. Deep, well-drained, sandy loam soils are relatively consistent throughout the AVA, although a greater clay component is noticeable closer to the banks of the Napa river and Conn Creek.
Notes from Santo Stefano:
In 1986, Stefano and Maddalena Riboli began farming a small, 16-acre vineyard in the heart of Napa Valley’s Rutherford appellation. Located along the Silverado Trail, the site was chosen for its rich, clay-loam soils and gentle slope. A temperate climate of warm days and cool nights provides the long growing season necessary for full maturation of flavors and aromas. In 2001, a comprehensive replanting focused on new French clones of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. The vineyard is ideal for the production of structured, full-bodied wines.
Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:
Santo Stefano Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Rutherford, California
Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
Santo Stefano Cabernet Sauvignon is a mouth-filling wine with smooth texture and soft tannins. Enticing aromas of vanilla and spice are followed by ripe flavors of blackberry, currant, and black cherry. The finish shows hints of bittersweet chocolate.
Pair with grilled red meats, slow cooked roasts or vegetarian ragu with pappardelle.


Wine of the Week March 2nd, 2020

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Luca Wines

Chardonnay “G-Lot”

Tupungato, Mendoza Argentina



Luca Wines

Beso de Dante Red Blend

Uco Valley, Mendoza Argentina


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Wine of the week.
March 8th, 2020 is “International Women’s Day” so this week we are celebrating one of our favorite female wine makers, winery owners and names in international wine, Dr. Laura Catena. Laura is a 4th generation winemaker, Harvard grad, Stanford Doctorate physician and author. She splits time between Mendoza as a vineyard owner and San Francisco as a practicing physician.  She also works alongside some of the best vineyard owners/producers to produce her “La Posta” wines of Argentina and has her own winery Luca, named after her first son. She is an absolute badass, regardless of her gender but personifies the passion and capabilities of women around the world.
We are proud to offer two wines from Luca: the 2017 G-Lot Chardonnay and the 2014 Beso de Dante red blend. We think these two wines capture Laura’s vision and translate beautifully into the California palate.
Notes from the region:
Uco Valley-Mendoza, Argentina-
From Wine-Searcher:
The Uco Valley (Valle de Uco) is a key winegrowing region of Mendoza, Argentina. An hour’s drive south from the city of Mendoza, it is home to some of the region’s most famous wines.
Argentina’s primary grape variety of Malbec shines here, producing terroir-driven red wines with a distinctive floral aroma. Cabernet Franc is much less widely planted, but some great results have been achieved. In addition, some of Mendoza’s finest white wines made from Chardonnay and Torrontés come from Uco Valley vineyards. The relatively cool climate allows the requisite slower ripening period.
Although considered part of the Mendoza region, the Uco Valley can be recognized in its own right on several counts. Not only is the vine-growing area quite distinct; the region is also home to several of Argentina’s top producers. Attracted by the excellent climate and soil, newcomers such as the Bordeaux-based names Lurton, Dassault, Rothschild and Rolland have raised the region’s profile. The vineyards of Vista Flores have produced some particularly successful wines.
Among Uco’s specific merits is its high elevation at the foot of the Andes mountains. The valley’s La Consulta and Tunuyan sub-regions sit at altitudes of 850 meters (2000 ft) and 1100m (3600 ft) respectively. These are slightly higher above sea level than Maipu and Luján de Cuyo in the north.
Located at a latitude of 33°S, the area’s elevated vineyard sites benefit from high daytime temperatures combined with cooler nights. This allows the grapes to produce balanced sugars and acidity while achieving phenolic ripeness.
From the Tupungato region in the north to San Carlos in the south, the Uco Valley is roughly 70km (45 miles) long and 22km (15 miles) wide. The valley follows the northerly course of the Tunuyan river as it flows down from the Andean peaks. The dry continental climate brings little rain, so the river is an important resource for vineyard irrigation. The town of Tunuyan, with a population of around 45,000, is situated on the western banks of the river.
Soils throughout the Uco Valley are alluvial and fairly uniform: a clay and rock base with a stony, sandy surface. These free-draining soils are excellent for quality viticulture, as they stress the vines, leading to decreased vigor and lower yields. In turn this can lead to wines with a higher concentration of flavor.
Uco Valley has seen unprecedented investment in the past 20 years. Wine tourism is becoming one of the region’s key industries. The spectacular scenery and state-of-the-art winemaking facilities has led some to portay the region as Argentina’s equivalent to California’s Napa Valley.
 Notes from Luca Vineyards:
Luca was born out of Laura Catena’s vision of creating a new breed of Argentine wines: small quantities, artisan quality, and true to their individual terroirs. She is a pioneer in Mendoza for working closely with small growers to grow very high-quality grapes from some of Argentina’s best old-vine, low-yield, high elevation vineyards. Each varietal delivers power along with complexity and finesse. They are the ultimate expression of rigorous vineyard management, viticultural experimentation, strict irrigation controls, skilled winemaking, and a quest for quality at any cost.
Luca is named after Laura Catena’s first son and it symbolizes her love for her family. The family crest that appears on the label belongs to her husband Dan McDermott’s family.
Born in Mendoza, Argentina to a pioneering winemaking family, Laura is relentlessly determined in all that she accomplishes. She has helped her father, Nicolas Catena, build the country’s prominence and influence in the New World wine scene. In addition to Luca and La Posta wines, Laura runs Catena Winery and the Catena Wine Institute while living in San Francisco where she is a mother of three, an ER doctor, and an author.
“Since Laura Catena took over and put her name on the label, the estate series seems to have taken on a bigger, brasher expression. The Catena Zapata wines can stand proudly among the best in the world.”
Dave McIntyre, The Washington Post
Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:
Luca Chardonnay “G-Lot” 2017 Mendoza, Argentina
This is a stunning effort from Laura Catena. Big, ripe apple and pear with tropical notes and plenty of toasted oak. This Chardonnay can stand up to the big boys and also has enough restraint to keep your palate from exhaustion.
Pair with lobster, grilled halibut or lemon risotto with roasted sunchokes.
Luca Vineyards Beso De Dante Red Blend 2014 Uco Valley, Argentina
Cabernet, Malbec, Cab Franc
This is an amazing red blend from Laura Catena of the Catena family in Argentina. Great fruit with hints of mint, amazing structure and depth with good body and acidity. This is a big, cab drinker’s red from one of the greatest winemaking families on the planet let alone Argentina. These are Laura’s vineyards and wines, made by her using generations of knowledge and true passion. Grab a bottle, you’ll be glad you did.
Pair this with everything you’d think of in Argentine BBQ and big, ripe cheese. Or just sit back in your chair and let this wine wash over you.


Wine of the Week February 24th, 2020

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Westerly Wines

Red Blend

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara


Free Delivery with Purchase of this Wine.

Must call or email the store to get free delivery.
Delivery cannot be waived on the website.
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Our wine of the week for the week of Feburary 24th is Westerly Wine’s Red Blend 2012 from Happy Canyon in Santa Barbara County. Some of you may recognize this wine, it was the focus of our November 18th “Wine of the Week”.  The wine did so well we ran out. We’ve been able to get our hands on a little more at a great price so we thought we’d offer it again. This time around, we are able to offer the wine at roughly the same price but with free delivery making it a better deal than last time. If you missed this the first time aroune, get it while you can.

While this wine has a little age on it, there’s still a great amount of pep in its step. We love it because it’s lush and fruity while still showing great structure. Made of Cabernet Franc and Merlot from hillside fruit at an elevation between 500-3400 feet, this blend is pure and focused with a silky texture, dried fruit and cherry notes that all make for an immensely enjoyable, full bodied red wine.

Notes from Westerly Wines:

Happy Canyon-

Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is the easternmost growing region in Santa Barbara County. First planted in 1996, the AVA is widely recognized for its unique micro-climate, serpentine-laced soils, and its ability to produce top quality Bordeaux varietals. Designated as an official American Viticultural Area (AVA) by the Trade and Tax Bureau in November of 2009, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara is home to only eight vineyards and three brick-and-mortar wineries. 

The AVA lies north and west of Lake Cachuma, and the area descends in elevation from 3430’ in the northeast to 500’ in the southwest. It is the warmest micro-climate in the Santa Ynez Valley. The soils are made up of a mixture of loam and clay loam with red and yellow chert and serpentine cobbles. In general, the soils are low in nutrients and thus grow smaller vines that produce high quality wine grapes. 

During Prohibition, a “California Moonshine” was produced in the nearby foothills of the Los Padres mountains. Legend has it that folks would “take a trip up Happy Canyon” to purchase the infamous beverage and the name stuck.

The Philosophy

At Westerly, our purpose is simple: to craft wine for enjoyment while also giving back.  We strive to grow and produce esteemed wines that honor place while at the same time influence and contribute to our community, locally and globally, through our dedication to education and philanthropy. 

The winemaking process is lengthy and committed.  From farming to grape growing, harvest to cellar, bottle to table, it is a multi-year endeavor with every detail as critical as the next.  But our efforts do not stop here – they surpass the delight of the end result.  While producing wines with a sense of place is important, we also see value in providing for our community.  Through partnerships with organizations such as “Wine To Water” and the development of internship programs for local students, we hope to have an impact far beyond the palate with the beautiful wines that we produce.   

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Westerly Wines Red 2012 Happy Canyon, California

Merlot, Cabernet Franc

The 2012 is showing beautiful fruit, both red and black. There’s silky texture from the Merlot and great structure and fruit from the Cabernet Franc.  The acidity and tannin are still quite present, giving this wine the stability to stay tasty for a while to come. This is a great find with a little age on it.

Pair this with grilled meats, Beef Bourgogne, or braised oxtail. Hearty vegetable dishes would also work, especially if you can add a mushroom and onion stock.

Don’t forget, you need to either call the shop or email us to get your delivery waived. We cannot honor this on the website.


Wines of the week Feb 17, 2020

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Pinot Noir 

Russian River Valley

Normally $29.99

This week $27.99

(Must call or email the store)

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Wine of the week.

Our wine of the week for Feb 15thth, 2020 is the 2017 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Pinot Noir. This is a special wine made from a very popular winery. Most know of their Chardonnays and rightfully so. What some don’t realize is that they make outstanding Pinot Noir too. Russian River Valley is one of the best places in California for Pinot Noir. There’s this wonderful bridge between elegance and expression of fruit. There’s finesse and at the same time weight and structure giving these wines balance and appeal. The 2017 RRV Pinot Noir from Sonama-Cutrer will stand up to any Pinot Noir in Russian River or anywhere else in California. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Notes from the region:

Russian River, California-

From Wine-Searcher:

Russian River Valley, one of the United States’ top-ranked wine regions, is located at the heart of Sonoma County, California. It is one of California’s coolest and foggiest AVAs (particularly in its southern and western portions), and it’s cool growing season and long, slow ripening period promotes complexity and balance in the wines. As a result, Russian River Valley wines are widely respected, particularly those made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The Russian River which gives the AVA its name is the second-largest river within the nine-county Greater San Francisco Bay Area. It is named after the Russian-American Company, whose explorers charted the river in the early 19th Century (eventually founding the Fort Ross colony a few miles north of the river mouth). Today, the region is home to a number of Sonoma’s top wine producers, including Kosta BrowneWilliams Seylem and Paul Hobbs.

The river rises in the hills of Mendocino County, and flows southwards for 110 miles (180km) until Healdsburg, where it turns south-westwards towards the Pacific Coast. It is along this final 25-mile (40km) stretch that the first Russian River Valley vineyards began springing up in the late 1970s, and where the finest are still located today. Despite the AVA’s name, the river flows only through its northern edge – the majority of vineyards here are located on the plains between the towns of Windsor, Santa Rosa and Sebastopol. The AVA’s limits have been extended south-eastwards twice the past decade, further emphasizing this effect.

Notes from Sonoma Cutrer:

An Artful Balance

Sonoma-Cutrer is a testament to the people, practices, and land all working in unison to uphold the time-honored tradition of winemaking. We marry together Burgundian traditions with Californian ingenuity and a deep appreciation for Sonoma Valley’s remarkable terroir. Beyond our craft, we strive to carry these values into our personal relationships and communities. We believe the good life, like good wine, is not primarily of any one element but is a perfectly unique balance of all elements.

A Marriage of Tradition and Innovation

Our process is a careful symphony. Instead of relying solely on Old World tradition or New World innovation, we marry Burgundian practices with Californian innovation and a deep appreciation of the Sonoma County terroir. We borrow and we create. We utilize hard work and artistry, science and intuition, knowing and feeling.

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir 2017 Russian River Valley

Pinot Noir

The first impression of this wine starts in the nose with intense blackberry fruit aromas, cola and cassis jam followed by a touch of vanilla and tobacco accented with hints of baking spice and red licorice. The wine is richly textured and balanced with a beautiful brightness. Flavors of black cherry, tobacco and sweet barrel spice shine throughout. Fine tannins round out the long, smooth finish.

Pair with seared duck breast, lamb or pappardelle with morels and pan sauce.

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Wines of the week Feb 10, 2020

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With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, we thought we’d change things up a bit. We are showcasing four wines that we think will pair wonderfully with your dinner and date for the evening. Take a look below, all of the wines are discounted for the week and, if you add any of these items to your order, you’ll get free delivery.

Note: you must order via phone, text or email to get local delivery  waived. 

(Orange County, LA)

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Sensi Pure 18K Gold Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Wine 2018 Italy (Demi-Sec)

Chardonnay and other white grapes

$18.99 $16.99

A couple things to note about this wine; 1. It’s a Vino Spumante or sparkling wine as opposed to a Prosecco. This means it can come from a larger area in Italy and can use whatever grapes they want. 2. This wine is a Demi-Sec which means it’s sweeter than the standard Brut or Extra Dry styles we tend to see.
Having said that, this wine has wonderful balance. The grapes are purposely picked early to hold on to as much acidity as possible. That acidity really harnesses the sweetness and creates a wine that is very drinkable no matter what style of bubbles you prefer. You can expect to find tropical notes along with tree fruits like apple and pear.
Pair with light appetizers or just enjoy as is.

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Sensi Pure 18K Gold Pinot Noir Rose Sparkling Wine NV Italy (Brut)

100% Pinot Noir

$18.99 $16.99

The grapes for this 100% Pinot Noir sparkling wine are picked just before they hit total ripeness to maintain some acidity and balance in the wine. This is a brut, so the wine is dry but because it’s all Pinot Noir, you get wonder expressions of dark fruit and a greater sense of body and structure in the wine. Like it’s counterpart, the Blanc de Blancs, this is a Vino Spumante (sparkling wine) rather than a Prosecco but I think you’ll find this wine to be delicious and a wonderful addition to Valentine’s Day or any other day.
Pair with light meat appetizers like chicken or pork or just enjoy the moment with a great glass of wine.

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Niner Wine Estates Chardonnay 2017 Edna Valley, California

100% Chardonnay

$21.99 $18.99

93pts Rich Cook

92pts Wine Enthusiast

This Chardonnay all comes from Niner’s Jerspersen Ranch vineyard just a few miles from the ocean in Edna Valley. This cool climate wine is accented with French oak and extended lees aging bringing nuance and structure to the beautiful, bright fruit that comes from this area. You can expect to find notes of apples, pears and spice with a round mouthfeel and nice acidity making this a wonderfully balanced wine.
Pair with grilled fish and shellfish, baked chicken or wild roasted mushrooms in brown butter.

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Justin Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Paso Robles, California

Cabernet Sauvignon

$27.99 $24.99

The 2017 Justin Cabernet is aromatic with ripe black and red cherry, blackcurrant and berry fruit, baking spice and sweet tobacco with red and black licorice, oak, cocoa and subtle camphor notes. The palate is dry and full-bodied, with baking spice and oak accents on entry giving way to ripe black cherry, cassis and red fruit and ultimately dried autumn leaf, cocoa and a pleasant suggestion of camphor on the mid-palate into the finish. The finish is fresh and moderately long, showing lingering cherry and berry notes with oak and barrel spice nicely supported by fine, balanced tannins.
Pair with artisanal cheese and charcuterie, a beef dip steak sandwich, or steak frites.


Rae’s Place WotW Jan. 27th 2020

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Lagar del Rey


Rueda, Spain

100% Verdejo


A perfect change of pace wine for Pinot Grigio lovers!



Sustainably Farmed

90pts James Suckling!

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Wine of the week.

Our wine of the week for Jan 27th, 2020 is Lagar del Rey Verdejo 2018 from Rueda, Spain. There’s a ton to love about this wine. First off; it’s a 90-point wine for $7.99, how can you not want to give it a try? We also happen to think it’s quite delicious. Plenty of herbal notes with white flowers all balanced by a nice pop of tropical notes thanks to extended time on lees and just the slightest time on neutral French oak. The result is a wine that’s super approachable, with plenty of complexity for anyone looking for a casual sipper that doesn’t taste like expensive water. Please give this a try while it’s 70+ degrees here in Southern California and let us know what you think. You may find an inspiring new wine for the Spring.

Notes from the region:

Rueda, Spain-

From Wine-Searcher:

Rueda is a Spanish wine region located on the Duero river around 150 kilometers (c. 90 miles) northwest of the Spanish capital, Madrid, on roughly the same latitude as Ribera del Duero region. It is known for its dry, aromatic white wines made predominantly from the Verdejo grape variety, with small quantities of Viura and Sauvignon Blanc. These fresh, aromatic whites are an ideal complement to the heavy Tempranillo-based reds of neighboring Toro.

On the high plateau of Castilla y Leon, the landscape is wild and the earth low in nutrients. Plants are forced to work hard to survive, so only cereal grains and grape vines grow here with any vigor. The local soils, rich in lime and iron, are also a vital factor. These are very stony yet provide good drainage and are easy to farm. The Duero wine region is marked on its northern edge by the Duero River, which then continues to Toro, and Portugal beyond. Almost all of Rueda’s vineyards are somehow connected to the Duero, located along its banks or those of its various tributaries. The finest Rueda vineyards are those closest to the Duero, where the soils have a higher limestone content.

Verdejo is the aromatic grape variety behind the crisp white wines of Rueda in central Spain. It is by far the most planted variety in this part of the country, and is produced both varietally and as the major component of a blend with either Viura or Sauvignon Blanc. Full-bodied Verdejo wines are held in high regard, displaying herbaceous, nutty characters with balanced acidity and some cellaring potential.

Wherever the variety’s origins, Rueda is its undisputed home now; the variety is extremely successful there and is grown almost nowhere else in Europe. Verdejo now covers the vast majority of Rueda’s vineyard land and is one of Spain’s most widely planted white wine varieties. The dry, continental climate, diurnal temperature variations and poor-quality soils here help the grape to reach its best expression: aside from a few experimental plantings in Australia and California, the variety is not really found in volume anywhere else on earth.

Notes from Lagar del Rey:

Bodegas Valdehermoso (Lagar del Rey) is headed by David Aguado García, an agronomist engineer based in the town of Nava del Rey (Rueda appellation) and is a true ambassador of his homeland (Castilla y Leon).

David´s family have been winegrowers since 1920 and they used to sell their quality grapes to the most important and well-known wineries from the Rueda region. In 2011 they decided to build their own winery and today have one of the top wines in the region. They own fifty hectares of vineyards in just one plot surrounding the winery, so their harvest also takes place in the best conditions.

The market recognition of the quality of their white wines is the result of the complex preparation and careful selection of their homegrown grapes.

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Lagar del Rey Verdejo 2018 Rueda, Spain


Sustainably Farmed

If you’re into Piot Grigio and looking for something a little different, this is the wine for you. This Verdejo from Spain has stone minerality, melon notes, tropical fruitiness and great acidity to balance everything. This is easy drinking wine that works beautifully as an everyday sipper or an aperitif wine at gatherings.

Pair with light salads, chilled seafood or great conversation.


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Rae’s Place WotW Jan. 20th 2020

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Frankland Estate Shiraz 2015 Frankland River, Australia

Certified Organic

Sustainably Farmed

Normally $19.99

This Week $17.99

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Wine of the week.

Our wine of the week for Jan 20th, 2020 is Frankland Estate Shiraz 2015 from Frankland River in South West Australia. We love this wine for its beautiful expression of fruit and its restrained style. This is cool climate Shiraz with old world feel and new world ripeness. The nose is intoxicating with red and blue fruit swirling around, you can’t help but close your eyes and enjoy. When you taste the wine, everything is pure and focused, great fruit, wonderful tannin and acidity… just great structure. We are fortunate to have this wine and honored to be able to offer it at such a great price. This is a perfect wine to drink as is or with any wintery dish you can come up with.

Notes from the region:

Frankland River, South West Australia-

From Wine-Searcher 2014:

Frankland River is a key Australian wine sub-region the south of Western Australia. It is located just inland from the Southern Ocean coast, 115 miles (185km) east of Margaret River and 185 miles (300km) south-east of Perth.

With almost 5000 acres (2025ha) of vines planted, this is comfortably the most prolific of the five Great Southern sub-regions. Named after the river which bisects it (and the town at its center), Frankland River’s soils and topography consist of significant alluvial features such as flood plains and valleys with mixed clays and gravels

The typical Frankland River vineyard is planted with RieslingChardonnayPinot NoirCabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Riesling is unquestionably the area’s specialty, with its crisp, fresh style standing out from the more diesel–kerosene notes found in the warmer regions further north. Frankland River Riesling has established a name for itself, although it has yet to reach the fame of its counterparts from the Eden and Clare valleys in South Australia. Frankland River’s cool nights and mineral soils are credited for this fresh style – as they are for the region’s peppery Shiraz, which is reminiscent of the northern Rhone Syrah. In general, local winemakers tend to use less vanillin-imparting American oak than their counterparts in the east of Australia, which permits this style to shine through.

Notes from Frankland Estate:

The Frankland River region is recognized as one of Australia’s finest shiraz growing regions. The Mediterranean climate of warm days and cold nights, combined with the unique ironstone soil found in our Isolation Ridge Vineyard produces shiraz of power, refinement and finesse.

 The Estate:

Perhaps one of the most isolated vineyard sites in the world it seemed only fitting that we called our site “Isolation Ridge Vineyard”. This range of single vineyard, organically grown wines reflects the uncompromising passion and devotion we have to making unique wines that reflect a true sense of place.

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Frankland Estate Shiraz 2015 Frankland River, Australia

Shiraz, Malbec, Marsanne, Viognier

Organic, Sustainable

One of the best Shiraz I’ve tasted in a while. Frankland River is a cool climate region in South West Australia and makes some the best restrained shiraz and cabernet in all the land. This shiraz is loaded with spice and black pepper notes with wonderful red and blue fruits, beautiful acidity and great balance. The oak isn’t overbearing but rather adds to the overall structure of the wine.

Pair this with lamb or beef, grilled or roasted. Stick to heartier vegetarian dishes like pastas with red sauce or stuffed portobello mushrooms. You could also just drink this with friends, it has enough balance to be on its own.


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Rae’s Place WotW Jan. 13th 2020

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Paul Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone “Parallel 45” 2016

Grenache, Syrah

Normally $10.99

This Week $9.99

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Wine of the week.

Our wine of the week for Jan 13th, 2020 is Paul Jaboulet Aine’s Parallel 45 Cotes du Rhone. This has been a benchmark wine from the Rhone valley for a long time. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, this wine typifies the restrained French style of reds from this region. We love it because it showcases ripe red fruit with tobacco and earth notes. There’s beautiful structure and plenty of polish in this fantastic Cotes du Rhone with a price that we haven’t seen in quite a while.


Notes from the region:

Cotes du Rhone AOC-

The Cotes du Rhone (CdR) appellation covers a large part of Central/Southern France. Grenache and Syrah are king here (Syrah in the North and Grenache in the South) but there are 20 other red and white varietals that can make their way into one of these wines. For our needs, we’ll focus on Grenache and Syrah. Within the CdR, there are quite a few Crus that many consider to be some of the best places on the planet for these varietals [Hermitage, Cornas, Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, Condrieu (The best Viognier on the planet comes from here) and Cote Rotie to name a few.] CdR bottlings tend to come from multiple villages throughout the Rhone Valley and can vary greatly in style and quality. I like the earthy, complexity of Syrah so I tend to find CdRs that are either entirely Syrah (very hard to find) or contain large amounts of the grape. Grenache tends to be a bit higher in alcohol and are thus very expressive, fruity and flavorful.


 Notes from Paul Jaboulet Aine:

Because there are no great wines without great grapes.


In the small town of La Roche-de-Glun in the Drôme, we are pleased to introduce you to Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné , specialist in wines & spirits .

Created in 1834 in Tain-l’Hermitage , the Domaine Paul Jaboulet Aîné today creates great local wines under the impetus of Caroline Frey.

For almost two centuries, Paul Jaboulet Aîné has shared the same passion for the Rhône Valley, steeped in history, rich in its terroir, men and exceptional wines . Respect for men and the vine, the know-how of winemaking, the art of blending and aging are the guarantees of the quality of our wines.

We strive to continuously strengthen our processes to strive for excellence on all products for all vintages. We want to ensure an oenological rigor and an optimal management of our vineyards while respecting the environment. This is why the Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîné is ISO 9001 and 14001 certified as well as in Reasoned Agriculture .

Our strategy is based on promoting our products and brands in the most prestigious wine segment in the world.

Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:

Paul Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone “Parallel 45” 2016

Grenache, Syrah


Jaboulet’s Parallel 45 is widely recognized as a benchmark Cotes du Rhone. This has been made since the 50’s and blends two of the great noble varietals of the area. The ripe, juicy fruit comes from the Greanache while the Syrah lends structure, spice notes, tobacco and the hallmark black pepper that surrounds wines from the Rhone Valley. If you like red blends and Syrah, this will be a great way to venture into the Rhone Valley.

Pair this wine with roasted meats, stews, BBQ and heartier pasta dishes.



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Rae’s Place WotW Jan. 6th 2020

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Cantina Produttori “Cormons” Chardonnay 2018 Fruili, Italy



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Wine of the week.
Our wine of the week for January 6th is the 2018 Cormòns Chardonnay from Cantina Produttori in Friuli Isonzo, Italy. Cormòns is a commune in Friuli Isonzo located in Northeast Italy and bordering Slovenia. This is an area of the world that gets much cooler than places like Napa and Sonoma and has the added benefit of the Isonzo river running through it. The cool waters of the Isonzo plus the gravel and calcareous soils (chalky soil that is usually found around lakes and rivers with high Ph and low acidity) create great balance and minerality in the wine. We love this wine because it has the elements of a cool climate Chardonnay and the roundness and power of an oak aged Chardonnay that you might find in Northern California. If you’re a big fan of Chardonnay and love trying new wines, you have to grab a bottle of Cormòns.
Notes from the region:
Friuli Isonzo DOC-
The Isonzo DOC area takes its name from the clear waters of the Italian river Isonzo, whose source lies in the Julian Alps. It runs fast through clefts and ravines and finally slows its pace in Gorizia, fertilizing the rich Isonzo plain to the sea of Grado. Along the banks of this river, which was called “Frigidus” (cold) by the Romans, the tradition of wine growing has left traces that are thousands of years old. This piece of land, where also the Judrio, Torre and Versa rivers run, is home to wonderful white wines as well as excellent red wines. The terrain of the Friuli Isonzo DOC area is incredibly diverse: the countryside around Cormòns and Gradisca in the north is mainly made of calcareous soil, rich in mineral compounds and hence ideal for wine growing; another strip of this terrain is characterised by floodplains and soils at the foot of the hills and is home to wonderful white wines and the beautiful town of Cormòns. The gravelly terrain of “Grave dell’Isonzo” is ideal for white and red wines alike. Depending on the specific areas, the average temperature over the last 10 years ranged from 13.1 to 13.6° (17.8° from April to October), with 1167.5 mm rainfall in 136 days and an amount of solar radiation of 97.790 kilocalories per square centimetre, for a total of 1864 hours of sunshine.
 Notes from Cantina Produttori:
More than 120 families of vintners aged 24 to 86 driven by pure passion and knowledge to produce wine that express the authentic character and the local traditions of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
We are Cormòns. Guardians of Harmony.  
We invite you in Friuli Venezia Giulia to discover the Cantina Produttori Cormòns, born at the end of the 60s thanks to the far-sightedness of some local wine growers and their love of centuries-old traditions. The passionate presidents Ezio Dalla Pozza, Aldo Moretti, Adriano Drius and Stefano Gregorat have always asserted that the future of wine production is not bound to transient trends but to the firm enhancement of their own land. Thus, they established the Cantina, which is unique across the world for its first-grade wines and its many initiatives.
Rae’s Place Tasting Notes:
Cantina Produttori “Cormons” Chardonnay 2018 Fruili, Italy
 The 2017 Cormons Chardonnay is intense and full bodied. The minerality in the wine is outstanding and works to balance the stone fruit and honey notes in the mid palate. There is good structure to this wine and the finish lasts for quite a while. If you’re a serious Chardonnay drinker, this would be a great opportunity to try it from a unique part of the world.
Pair with shellfish, grilled seabass and poultry dishes. Will also go well with sweet pea risotto finished with a little meyer lemon.

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Rae’s Place WotW Dec. 16th 2019

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Kuleto “India Ink” Red Blend 2016 Lake County, California

Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Merlot


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Wine of the week:

We decided to pick a big red blend for this last full week before Christmas and Hanukkah. With wet, cold weather on its way, this rich, hedonistic blend of Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Merlot is dark in color and loaded with black fruits with a dense palate. This is a wine that will stand up to any of the well known California red blends and will hopefully save you a few bucks.

Notes from the winery:

The beaten path? It ends a few miles west of Kuleto Estate. We are secluded deep in the wild solitude of eastern Napa. Our vineyards are scattered along the steep hillsides and windblown ridges above the valley floor. Our wines are no different than their surroundings. While the song may sound familiar, the interpretation is solely our own. Our mountaintop estate is one of the most complex and diverse wine producing properties in the world. It is from this estate that the inspiration for our ‘Curious Blends’ come.


 At Kuleto, blocks and varieties are harvested in the order that they ripen. Nothing unusual there. But instead of waiting for enough of a particular variety to ripen fully for the sake of having a pure tank or lot, we combine whatever fruit happens to be perfectly ripe at the moment. While co-fermentation of different varieties has not been the default protocol in the New World, it is intuitive and natural. It’s also the genesis of our multi-varietal blends.

 Curious Blends:

 Our blends are in essence three distinct interpretations of red wine. One Rhone style, one classic and Bordeaux-like, the other ‘Cal-Ital’. Beyond showcasing terroir and varieties, they give our winemaker, John Clews, a chance to express his own artistic vision of these three styles. By mixing grapes from different locations, John can create wines that are deep, lush, complex and wonderfully individualistic.

 India Ink:

 This blend is made for pure indulgence. India Ink is rich, full, oak driven and hedonistic. Selecting barrels and wine lots revolves around creating a blend that is deep purple in color, loaded with blue-black fruit aromas, and is meaty, rich and powerful on the palate. It exudes fresh red fruit and spice with hints of smoke and earth reminiscent of a once inhabited cave. These aromas continue to the palate, where blue and black fruits are complemented by hints of black pepper and dark chocolate. Pair India Ink with a grilled steak and vegetables.

 Tasting Notes:

 Kuleto “India Ink” Red Blend 2016 Lake County, California

Petit Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot

This is a massive red blend. The winemaker here is specifically looking for blue and black fruit with lots of concentration and a rich, velvety texture. The wine rests for 17 months in French and American oak so the tannins are ever present and there’s just enough acidity to keep the wine in balance. This red pushes the edges of big.

 Pair with roasted and grilled meats or vegetables. Feel free to add a big sauce or gravy, this wine can handle it.


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