by Ann Coppinger, Owner/Wine Buyer
Our first introduction to this line of wine was for the holidays when our wholesaler presented their Pinot Noir. I thought it tasted like a burgundy. That’s when they revealed the pricing! This beautiful complex and balanced Pinot with black cherries and strawberry framed with earth and a toasty oak edge could sell for under $10. We floor-stacked this in the Turkey display and blew through as much as we could buy.
This line definitely has my attention. I started researching. This is the brain-child of Tim Halikas who buys excess fruit from well-known wineries in California and the west coast. Part of the buying agreement is he can not reveal where the fruit is from. Larry Langbehn is the winemaker creating these beauties. These wines are primarily sold through Cost Plus World Market, Trader Joe’s and Safeway in 35 states. They are retailing for $14.99 there. Hmmm…
We are featuring the Meritage; a blend of Cabernet and Merlot from Lodi and Livermore. This brims with dark fruit, cola notes and a spicy finish. The Cabernet is actually 87% Cab, 8% Cab Franc, and 4% Petit Verdot. Dark plum flavors dominate with vanilla in the finish. The balanced tannins complete this wine. The Mendocino Syrah is from a single vineyard in the Redwood Valley. The grapes were whole cluster pressed to retain the fresh fruit and barrel aged. Deep blackberry is in the nose and palate with sweet oak and prunes. The smooth finish almost feels creamy.
We are thrilled to come across these wines and to benefit from Colorado’s market that promotes independent retailers. Don’t miss these budget-friendly quaffs.