Liquor World Traveler


Kent Starr, Liquor World, Fayetteville, ARWelcome to our Thanksgiving Holiday Wines edition of the Liquor World Traveler.

We have selected some very beautiful Thanksgiving wine recommendations for you.

Stop by and say hello and pick up some delicious wine to grace your Thanksgiving table.

We appreciate you,
Kent Starr

Ardèche Chardonnay 2017 (Louis Latour)

Maison Louis Latour is one of the most innovative producers in Burgundy whilst maintaining its traditional image. With a view to expanding the business in 1979, the valley of the Ardèche river with its clay and limestone-based soils was chosen as the ideal location to produce a top-quality Chardonnay wine. The Chardonnay d'Ardèche is aged in stainless steel vats for approximately 10 months. It is a fresh and easy to drink wine.

The Ardèche Chardonnay has a bright pale yellow color which unveils peach and fresh almond perfumes. The mouth is ample and rich with linden-tree, hazelnut an apricot aromas.

Domaine Mardon Quincy 2013
Loire, France

"Domaine Mardon is located in Quincy, a lesser know appellation in the Loire Valley located just 50 miles west of Sancerre. It produces crisp, mineral-driven Sauvignon Blanc. The Mardon family has been producing wine in the area since the early 19th century and they produce a serious and complex Quincy. Their estate is small and although not certified organic, they do not use any herbicides. It is fermented using natural yeast and it rests on its lees for 5 months with 1-2 lees stirring giving it a creamier and richer texture. The nose is a beautiful bouquet of citrus with almond notes. The taste is full and generous, with grace and elegance that leads to a fine finish.

Trefethen Dry Riesling 2018
Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley, California

Trefethen Family Vineyards produces a diverse range of award-winning varietal, blended and reserve wines – all from their Napa Valley estate – exhibiting the classic hallmarks of fine wine quality: richness with elegance, concentration with finesse, complexity with harmony, and sophistication with approachability. Reflecting both the relatively cool climate of their Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley estate vineyard and the Trefethen family’s preference for balanced wines, this classic style dovetails perfectly with the growing movement of connoisseurs in the United States away from wines of unbridled alcohol and ripeness toward wines of greater finesse and food-friendliness.

Trefethen Dry Riesling is fresh and fragrant with gorgeous jasmine, honeyed white peach and grapefruit aromas. Dry, but succulent, the palate is powered by bright, mouthwatering acidity and a refreshing minerality that animates the wine’s long and lively finish.

Mer Soleil Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands 2016
Monterey, California

Mer Soleil began thirty years ago with a drive from the Napa Valley down to the Santa Lucia Highlands in search of the best land to plant Chardonnay.

Their first vineyards were planted in the Santa Lucia Highlands in 1988. A 40-minute drive from Monterey, California, the land was previously dedicated to row crops and cattle grazing. A small but exceptional appellation beginning about 20 miles from the coast, the Santa Lucia Highlands has a drama all its own, with morning fog, bright sunshine and howling gusts of afternoon wind.

Classic example of the big, bold, buttery style, produced by the Wagner family of Caymus fame. Layered aromas and flavors of tropical fruits, mango and coconut, rich and complex, deftly balanced on the long buttery finish.

St. Supery Virtu White Blend 2016
Napa Valley, California

This elegant Bordeaux-varietal blend is crafted from the desire to produce wines that are singular reflections of each vintage.

Elegant shades of pale yellow are displayed in this blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Aromas of lemon grass, lime and a hint of pear are framed by a fantastic French oak quality of toasted oak. Flavors of green lime, lemon grass and kiwi fruit are met with a creamy texture from the sur-lie maturation. The palate is complete with a subtle thread of toasted oak adding complexity to this bright and vibrant white wine.

Kate Arnold Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
Columbia Valley, Washington

Kate Arnold Wines for their Cabernet Sauvignon are sourced from a family-owned farm in Washington. Kate and her husband, Jean believe to produce the best wines one must locate the best growing areas for each varietal. Their winemaking philosophy is about the vineyards with minimal winemaking intervention to produce wines reflective of the region.

Color: Ruby, with a hint of garnet.
Aromas: Cherry, vanilla, baking spices (cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg), and graphite.
Flavors: Cherry cola, blackberry, blueberry, and tobacco.
Structure: Lots of acid at the beginning. Soft silky mid-palate. Elegant tannins on the finish.

Domaine De Durban 2016 Beaumes de Venise
Southern Rhône, France

The town of Beaumes-de-Venise, in the heart of the southern Rhône, is best known for its ravishing dessert Muscat, a local specialty famously praised by Pliny the Elder. But this is Grenache territory, and Beaumes-de-Venise also produces delicious reds from these gentle, sunbaked slopes covered with garrigue. Although the town enjoys cru status in the same way as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, its red wines are generally softer and more approachable in their youth, with surprising aging potential thanks to the significantly concentrated fruit and structure. Priced far below its prestigious neighbors, Beaumes-de-Venise also represents a fabulous value. At Domaine de Durban, an ancient farm now run by the Leydier family, Grenache is joined by Syrah and a drop of Mourvèdre to create this delightful everyday red scented with herbes de Provence and ripe black cherry. Aged in neutral oak, it is deep and robust with soft and fuzzy tannins—the perfect companion to burgers, pizza, or grilled meats.
~ Anthony Lynch

La Spinetta Gentile de Casanova Toscana 2011

A Note from the Winery:
The vast majority of our efforts at LA SPINETTA are dedicated to the vineyards, which are treated with the utmost care, attention and respect, particularly in regards to agronomic practices and production quantities. We utilize no, or the absolute minimum possible amount of chemicals and maintain a relatively small production (only 17-20 hl (3.1-3.3 tons) per hectare). We appreciate that our vineyards have been in existence long before LA SPINETTA began making wine and we are aware that these same vineyards will outlast us.

Not having inherited our land through generations of winemakers, our vineyards were carefully selected. All of our vineyards face south, south-east or south-west and most od the vines are quite old (35-65 years). We believe that only vines of substantial age are able to contribute minerality, longevity, complexity, and the particular characteristics of a distinct terrain to the wine. We use the younger vines in the production to only make three wines: Barbera Cà di Pian, Langhe Nebbiolo and Il Nero di Casanova. All other wines are made from old vine grapes.

In the vineyard, each plant receives extensive year-round care. The yields are kept extremely low and we do not use chemical products, fertilizers or pesticides. 75% of the vineyards are worked accoring to biodynamic principles.

Aromas of dark cherries, smoke, underbrush, leather and tar...

Color: intense ruby red
Boquet: aromas of dark cherries, smoke, underbrush, leather and tar
Taste: density, richness and energy, all of which come together in this stylish, generous red. The finish is refined and harmonious

Ridge Three Valleys Zinfandel 2017
Sonoma, California

Note from the Winery:
At Ridge, we call our approach to winemaking “pre-industrial.” We believe that for anyone attempting to make fine wine, modern additives and industrial processing limit true quality. Our philosophy comes from the techniques used in the finest 19th-century California wineries and Bordeaux chateaux. In 1933, after thirteen years of Prohibition, very few winemakers who were trained in pre-Prohibition traditional techniques were young enough to return to their positions. Universities stepped in to fill the need for winemaker expertise, and began – year by year – to reinvent winemaking as an industrial process. We believe that these increasingly industrial methods interfere with the distinctive qualities of a fine vineyard and mask – rather than improve – the character of a wine.

73% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 10% Carignane, 2% Grenache

91 PointsWine Spectator

Winemaker Tasting Notes: Deep garnet color. Fresh raspberry and cherry fruits, barrel spice, clay minerals, and fresh mint. Sweet red berry fruit entry, medium body, lively acid, and supple tannins. Long, elegant finish.

Peay 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Sonoma, California

Note from the Winery:
The pursuit of aromatic, elegant, red-fruited Pinot noir led us to the chilly edge of the West Sonoma Coast just 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Due to our cool, moderate weather we experience quite a long growing season that allows us to pick fruit that is ripe without the encumbrance of too much sugar (and resulting alcohol), yet retains the refreshing acidity and top noted aromatics that make Pinot noir so engaging.

Winemaker Notes:
The Sonoma Coast bottling includes a majority of the 15 Pinot noir clones we grow on the 35 acre Pinot noir vineyard and over-delivers for its price point. It deftly captures the signature savory, earth, floral and fruit profile that makes the West Sonoma Coast and Peay Pinot noirs unique. The bright nose on the 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot noir is a knock-out featuring spice-laden ginger bread and tobacco leaf aromas accenting a raspberry and cherry core of fruit. There is real depth on the palate without fat and the round mouthfeel on the mid palate is held in check by light tannins that soften with air. A mixture of hibiscus, brine, and dried herbes de Provence flavors linger on the long finish. The balance of fruit, floral, and earth make this a very compelling and engaging wine.

Clos Du Val Cabernet (Stags Leap) 2014
Napa Valley, California

Winemaker Notes:
This wine delivers everything one is looking for from a great vintage. The color is an inky purple hue and the wine has aromas of black fruits, baking spices, dark chocolate and leather. The palate is rich and complex, full of flavors of berry pie, mocha, cedar, black pepper and vanilla toast. The texture is creamy, round and full with structured tannins that are approachable now or will cellar well for decades.

Critical Acclaim:
The 2014 Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon is voluminous and stately. The wine—incorporating a long-standing Bordeaux tradition of blending Merlot and Cabernet Franc into the blend— compares well with its Médoc counterparts. It shows ripe red currants, bright minerality, dried herbs, and complex flavors. (Tasted: February 14, 2017, San Francisco, CA) 92 Pts, Wilford Wong of

Fresh currant-leaf and berry character follow through to a medium body, a solid center palate of fruit and soft, delicate tannins. Consistently an outstanding bottle. Drink or hold. - 91 Pts, James Suckling

Hourglass Blueline Estate Merlot 2015
Napa Valley, California

81% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc -all 100% Estate Grown & Cellared

Vintage Overview
2015 represented the fourth year of California drought, replicating conditions of the mid-1970s. Some of those '70s vintages remain legendary for their classic structural core, likely a function of drought-induced small berry size, yielding exceptional longevity and freshness. The 2012 to 2015 vintages are playing out much the same. Though different in character, these four vintages share a depth of concentration, fresh fruit expression and tightly woven inner core.

Where the 2015 vintage distinguishes itself is in a greater level of saturated fruit expression. The 2015 wines are dense in color and mouth coating in texture. They possess more lush fruit than the 2013s and greater depth than the 2014s. As Winemaker Tony Biagi notes, “2015 is right behind 2013 in terms of quality. The previous three years of drought, coupled with a weak El Niño year with its dry spring, summer and early fall, has produced opulent, full throttle wines. The vintage reminds me of 2008, which also delivered opulent, forward wines.”

Tasting Notes:
Merlot from the Blueline Estate continues to amaze us! The ashen soils of the upper bench of the estate where the Merlot is planted, are not typical of Merlot vineyards. Almost completely devoid of clay (very common for Merlot vineyards), these porous, mineral-rich, nutrient-poor soils provide incredible drainage that in turn yield spring water deficits and very small berries. These small berries translate to great concentration and firm tannins in the wines. The 2015 Merlot is dark and brooding, akin to the 2008 vintage.

Yeasty blackberry cobbler, Asian spice, exotic Mandarin orange peel, and a touch of graphite defines its aromatics. Explosive, rich, dark very complex layers of delicious fruit evoke blackberry, sour cherry, crème de cassis and an intriguing note of Hoisin. The texture has a rounded suppleness, with a firm spine from its Cabernet component to tighten the structural core and add a trailing finish. The finish is long and expansive. Amazingly approachable now, this wine has the stuffing to age gracefully and could outrun common assertions of age-ability for Merlot. The 2015 Merlot should hit its peak in 2020-2022, and may be great for many years after.
~Jeff Smith, March 2017

Scarpetta Procecco

This Prosecco comes from the Grave del Friuli, Italy’s newest DOC region for Prosecco. Scarpetta strives to make their Prosecco like the one they fell in love with twenty years ago; one that is light, refreshing and dry.

Color: Bright straw yellow with fine bubbles.
Aroma: The boquet is fragrant and bursting with fruit notes. It shows clean aromas of apples, pears and citrus, accompanied by hints of wisteria.
Tasting profile: Crisp, clean and delicate with fine bubbles on the palate. Intense flavors of apples and peaches lead to a pleasant finish with lingering fruit and floral notes.

Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé
Alsace, France

The flavors display nice strawberry and wild cherry fruit, with a touch of richness on the mid palate. It is balanced with dry, crisp acidity and complimented with a creamy texture and long finish. 100% Pinot Noir

Critical Acclaim:
A dazzling pink wine, the Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé offers bright red fruits, a nice tangy, and life on the palate. The wine's brightness makes it a beautiful choice with a plate of raw salmon sashimi. (Tasted: October 25, 2017, San Francisco, CA) - 93 Pts, Wilfred Wong of

Tart apple and fresh lemon meet on the invigorating nose. The vivid palate fizzes with freshness and brings in lots of lemony brightness. The finish is harmonious, rounded, fruit-driven and dry. - 90 Pts, Wine Enthusiast

Tart red currant, rhubarb and strawberry come together in a very refreshing, rounded and appetizing fashion. The frothy, foaming mousse is exuberant and highlights these strawberry shortcake flavors brilliantly, while a totally dry palate makes sure that this stays classy. This is very satisfying, fun and fruit-driven, with a serious core and a bright, lemony finish. - 90 Pts Wine Spectator

Santa Margherita Brut Rosé

Tasting Notes: This pale pink wine brings a full bouquet of pleasing floral aromas with hints of red berry, artfully crafted with a blend of white wine made from Chardonnay and Glera grapes and a red varietal, Malbec. Its flavor is delicate, but vibrant and well rounded, remaining on the palate and making this a deliciously easy-drinking wine.

Grapes: Chardonnay, Glera, Malbec
Origin: Hilly area in the province of Treviso and Eastern area in the province of Venice

Roederer Estate L’Ermitage

L’Ermitage, Roederer Estate’s special Tête de Cuvée, is a sparkling wine made only in exceptional years from pre-selected, estate-grown grapes. Carrying on the tradition of Champagne Louis Roederer in France, Roederer Estate produces its sparkling wines in the traditional French méthode traditionelle and adds special oak-aged reserve wines to each blend. L’Ermitage debuted with the 1989 vintage.

Roederer Estate wines are made with juice from just the cuvée pressing; no première or deuxième taille is used. The concept of the vintage L’Ermitage is the same one that is used in Champagne: Only the best of the vintage is selected. These are exceptional wines that create a “noble” (special) blend that allows for longer aging, which produces a fine wine with elegance and finesse.

Tasting Notes:
Fine tiny bubbles and a long lasting mousse are the usual footprints of the L’Ermitage cuvee. Grilled peach and brioche aromas are followed by a citrus and pomelo taste. The creamy richness is lifted by a clean acidity for a long and pleasant finish.

Pierre Peters Champagne

The Pierre Péters estate, situated in the heart of the "Côte des Blancs" in the village of Le Mesnil sur Oger, has been a family house for six generations and has produced Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Champagnes since 1919.

Champagne grower-producer, their wines come exclusively from our their vineyards. Pierre Peters house currently operates just over 19 hectares of Chardonnay, mainly located in the communes of Le Mesnil sur Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant.

Their family has developed from generation to generation, its own selection of grapes (mass selection). They have been able to maintain and age vineyards which are now 30-years old on average. Each year in respect of the environment, they adapt cultivation methods to obtain healthy grapes so that their Champagne expresses more precisely the richness, subtlety and the elegance of the great "terroirs" of the Côte des Blancs.

Pierre Peters flagship Champagne is a blend of more than 20 years of harvests and is exclusively composed of Chardonnay from Grand Cru villages in the Côte des Blancs.

Wine Advocate-Parker : 91 points
Wine Spectator : 93 points
Tyson Stelzer : 94 points
Vinous - Antonio Galloni : 92 points


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