New Customers Save $30 off $100+* with code OCTNEW30
New Customers Save $30* with code OCTNEW30
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Argiolas Costamolino Vermentino 2007
Costamolino is straw yellow in color with green highlights and an intense yet delicate bouquet that displays distinct varietal characteristics. Supple aromas of citrus, pineapple, tropical fruits and honey are wonderfully supported by a zesty acidity.
Delicate and pleasantly refreshing on the palate, Costamolino is the wine of choice for many dishes, from fish antipasti and pastas to vegetables terrine, salads, white meat casseroles, and risotto. Delicious with Asian food and sushi.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Shows lemon rind and honey on the nose, with hints of sliced orange. Full-bodied, with ripe fruit and a long, flavorful finish. Rich, clean and steely. Good value in a squeaky-clean, flavorful white. Drink now. 50,000 cases made.
The estate’s 2007 Is Argiolas is made from 100% Vermentino grown on hillside vineyards rich in clay and limestone. It reveals an additional layer of volume, depth and richness compared to the Costamolino, with perhaps a touch less freshness. Still, this is a gorgeous, soft-textured wine that continues to develop nicely in the glass. I would choose the Costamolino to pair with fresh, bright flavors, while the Is Argiolas has the stuffing to stand up to slightly richer foods. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010.
Over the years, the Argiolas family has strongly insisted on its native Sardinian vines, focusing on the indigenous white varietals Nuragus and Vermentino and the red varietals Cannonau, Monica, Carignano and Bovale Sardo. Giacomo Tachis, father of prestigious Italian wines such as Sassicaia, Tignanello and Solaia, has been instrumental in placing Argiolas on the quality map. Like the Argiolas family, Tachis has a true passion for the island's native varietals.
In 2004, The Wine Advocate said Argiolas produces, "essential wines for those looking to discover what the wines and viticulture of Sardinia are all about."
An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.
South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
In the Glass
Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.