Domaine de l’Amauve Les Merrelies 2014, Rhone Valley, France

We’re 45 K north of Avignon here, on the east side of the Rhone Valley, so we’re expecting luscious, smooth, rich and fruity red wines, with peppery spice notes – and Les Merrelies certainly lives up to, and exceeds, your expectations. A blend of grenache and syrah from fully sustainable vineyards, and with no fining or filtration, only 8 barrels were made of this seductive wine, which means there’s only 1,000 bottles to be had – I’ll fight you for them! CSPC + 767187 $27.50

Dancing Crow Vineyards 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, California

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This wine has a very appealing nose; there’s a basket of berries here, many red berries and some black berries too, as well as marjoram, and cigar smoke, with a tell-tale cab hint of menthol if you breather deeper. This is asilky-smooth, velvety wine that’s outright enjoyable. I don’t need anything to eat with this wine, but I happily sipped away thinking I’m in California and the sun is shining. Where is Red Hills, Lake County, California I hear you ask? It’s same latitude as San Francisco and about 175 K east, in an area of critical environmental concern. CSPC + 783636 $29.50

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