To start the New Year, we focused on warming reds for winter nights and a lovely, crisp white for our Wine Club members.

2013 Rook, Corvidae (Columbia Valley, Washington)
83% Merlot, 17% Malbec 14.1% Alc. In Store Price: $16

This merlot and malbec blend highlights the best of the Columbia Valley. We love it because of its round, lively notes of red & black fruits and how it showcases an impressive display of spiced and herbal notes like cinnamon, spiced orange peel and sarsaparilla. It is a classic example of Washington red done right, as well as being an exceptional value! Enjoy this wine with a hearty meal with lots of complex flavors or on its own.

2012 Clos La Coutale (Cahors, France)
80% Malbec, 20% Merlot, 13.5% Alc. In Store Price $19

What makes this wine interesting is it’s astounding sense of place. Malbec, currently known to have found its home in Argentina, goes back to its roots in the heart of the Sud-Ouest (South-West) region of France (it was in Cahors, France that Malbec first originated). The Cahors Malbec features savory black fruits like plum and blackberry while upholding impressively firm tannins and structure. If you love Malbec, this bottle will give you the chance to delve a little deeper into the grape’s history and explore an “old world” version of the varietal. It is a true example of how a wine can change based on where the grapes were grown. Enjoy this wine with a savory dish like steak and grilled veggies to highlight all of the amazing flavors it has to offer.

2011 Domaine de Sang de Cailloux (Vacqueyras, France)
70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre & Cinsault, 14% Alc. In Store Price $39

This wine from Southern Rhone is a beautifully complex, yet balanced wine with notes of bitter cherry, gooseberry, and minerality derived from the stone-laden vineyards. Vacqueyras means “valley of stones” referring to the galets roulés (rounded stones that impart a terrific intensity and depth to the wines). This region, adjacent to the renowned Chateauneuf de Pape, produces some excellent wines with similar qualities at a reasonable price point. This medium-full bodied wine pairs especially well with game but can also accompany a variety of red meat dishes including peppered steak, lamb, and duck. Ready for drinking now or could be kept for 4-5 years.

2012 Tikal Natural (Mendoza, Argentina)
60% Organic Malbec, 40% Organic Syrah, 13.9% Alc. In Store Price $23

This elegant Malbec and Syrah blend is an excellent new world red out of Argentina. The Tikal Natural wine is not only organic, but also biodynamically produced. The basic principle of biodynamic agriculture is to"restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.” Some people feel that this process helps to better express the complexities of the terroir in the wine. In this case it certainly results in a wonderful wine. The deep purplish-red color of the wine hints at this full bodied, fruit forward wine. The Syrah in this velvety, well balanced wine lends to the subtle white pepper finish. This wine would pair well with herb roasted meats, vegetable lasagnas, and bean and vegetable dishes.

2012 Deltetto Gavi (Piedmont, Italy)
100% Cortese, 12.5% Alc. In Store Price $14

This is a fabulous little Italian white from Piedmont that I want to start the evening with. It is light and refreshing and made from 100% Cortese grapes. A crisp minerality combines nicely with flavors of lemon peel, spring grasses, and light toast. Sit back and relax with this one before dinner or pair with hard cheeses, oil-based pasta dishes, or a lighter fish or shellfish meal.

2014 Lamezia Rosso DOC, Statti (Calabria, Italy)
40% Gaglioppo, 40% Greco Nero, 20 % Nerello cappuccio, 13% Alc. In Store Price $14

This young DOC-classified wine has a deep ruby color and notes of bramble berry, black fruit and a subtle earthiness without being too “rustic.” This wine is indicative of the warm, Southern Italian, region in which it is produced. The Lamezia finishes with a nice balance of tannin and acid. This is a fantastic table wine with a bit more body than many italian table wines. It pairs well with grilled meats, roasted vegetables, medium-aged cheeses, and even hearty seafood dishes.