Argentine Wine Dinner Menu

Wine Dinner Round Table Saturday, January 25, 2014 Bodega Catena Zapata Wine Dinner, 7 p.m.   Michael’s Wine Dinners are spectacular events featuring visiting winemakers as host to extravagant five-course feasts designed to complement a specific winery or portfolio. In January 2014, Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar Co-Proprietor Michael Klauber will feature several special wine dinners in conjunction with the popular Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival.   On Saturday, Jan. 25, Michael is thrilled to be joined by Pablo Piccolo from Bodega Catena Zapata. Together, they will host a wine dinner featuring these ground-breaking Argentine wines from the Catena family.   $95, plus tax and gratuity   Reservations required: 941-366-0007, ext. 224 Michael’s On East Executive Chef Jamil Pineda has just released his carefully-crafted courses for this Saturday's Argentine Wine Dinner:

Forks & Corks Argentine Wine Dinner Menu 2014

Passed Hors D’Oeuvres

Scallop Mango Ceviche Shooter

Pork Pecadillo Empanada with Chili Sauce

Spiced Beef Tips on a Crispy Tostone Topped with Chimichurri Onion Relish Alma Negra Sparkling Rose

First Course

Pan-Seared Chilean Seabass

Escargot Scampi Butter, Purple Potato & Corn Hash, Roasted Sunburst Squash,

 Carrot Allumettes & Beet Micro Greens Catena Classic Chardonnay

Catena Alta Chardonnay

Second Course

Fennel Pollen-Dusted Muscovy Duck Breast Ricotta Gnocchi, Yellow Teardrop Tomatoes, Peas, Pearl Onions & Malbec Velvet Demi-Reduction Catena Classic Malbec

Catena Classic Cabernet

Third Course Thyme-Braised Wagyu Boneless Short Ribs

Roasted Cipollini Onions, Spiced Butternut Squash Purée, Buttered Salsify, Grilled Trumpet Mushrooms & Natural Jus

Catena Alta Cab

Catena Alta Malbec

Dessert Napoleon of Sweet Potato Jam, Dulce de Leche Panna Cotta & Figs in Syrup Nicolas Catena Zapata Red Blend

 
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Bordeaux Vintage Bowl Line-Up

Chateau de Camensac 2009 v 2010 Robert Parker has claimed that the 2009 and 2010 vintages of Bordeaux, along with the older 2005 vintage, may be the best vintages from this region that he has ever tasted. Wines from the 2009 vintage will be more sumptuous, fruit-forward and lower in acidity, exhibiting soaring aromatics and fleshy, exuberant flavors with plush, succulent personalities. 2010 exceeds 2009 with record setting alcohol, but paradoxically its fresh acids, lower pHs and massive tannins have dictated more precision in the mouth. While massive and highly extracted, the 2010s are also fresh and incredibly pure and will enjoy astonishing longevity.  Here's the line-up for this Thursday's Bordeaux 2009 vs 2010 Comparative Tasting: (Space is limited, so be sure to make reservations via phone at 941-366-0007, ext. 229 if you have not already done so!) Chateau Marjosse Blanc, 2012 Bordeaux Superieur $18.95 From the personal estate of Pierre Lurton, winemaker at Chevel Blanc and D’Yquem, this is a juicy white with vibrant gooseberry and passionfruit flavors. Chateau Thieuley Blanc, 2011 Bordeaux Superieur $16.95 White blend of 35% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Sauvignon Gris and 50% sémillon. Chateau Thieuley “Reserve Francis Courselle”, 2010 Bordeaux Superieur 87-89 RP $19.95 This sleeper of the vintage offers plenty of deep red and black currant fruit notes intermixed with cedarwood, subtle smoke and herbs. Chateau Croix Mouton, 2010 Bordeaux Superieur 90 RP $19.95 From winemaker Jean-Philippe Janoueix, this outstanding wine displays sweet, smoky barbecue notes with blackberry and blueberry fruit and hints of licorice, incense and graphite. Chateau Feret-Lambert, 2010 Bordeaux Superieur 89 WS $19.95 Another well-made sleeper of the vintage, the 2010 Feret-Lambert is another wine that over-delivers for its price point. Chateau Le Conseiller, 2010 Bordeaux Superieur 91 RP $21.95 Another sleeper of the vintage from Jean-Philippe Janoueix, this Bordeaux is dominated by Merlot giving it mocha, espresso, sweet black cherry and plum notes. Chateau Le Petit Haut Lafitte, 2010 Pessac-Leognan 91 WS $38.95 Very engaging from the start, with a blast of boysenberry and blackberry fruit, while notes of licorice snap, violet and black tea fill in the background. Chateau Clos les Lunelles, 2010 Castillon 91 RP $38.95 Another sleeper of the vintage, this is a blend of 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateau D’Aiguilhe, 2010 Castillon 91 RP $39.95 From the brilliant proprietor Stephan von Neipperg, the 2010 is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Chateau Fougas Maldoror, 2009 Cotes de Bourg 90 RP $24.95 A sleeper of the vintage which boasts loads of black currant fruit intermixed with dusty, loamy soil notes and some subtle smoke. Chateau La Prade, 2010 Cotes de Francs 87-89 RP $22.95 Another sleeper of the vintage Bordeaux, made entirely from Merlot by consulting winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt. Chateau Phelan Segur, 2009 St.-Estephe 90 RP $46.95 A sleeper of the vintage. Robert Parker says that this vintage of Ch. Phelan Segur is the best one since the 1990 vintage. Chateau Fontenil, 2009 Fronsac 92 RP $38.95 Dany and Michel Rolland produced one of their best wines of the 2009 vintage with this Ch. Fontenil that is 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Chateau Dalem, 2009 Fronsac 89 RP $28.95 Another sleeper of the vintage Bordeaux, consisting of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Robert Parker proclaims that it may be the finest Ch. Dalem produced during his tasting career. Chateau Vrai Canon Bouche, 2009 Fronsac 91 RP $29.95 This sleeper of the vintage was produced by consultant winemaker Stephane Derenoncourt and is a blend of 95% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc and 3% Malbec. Chateau Cambon la Pelouse, 2010 Haut-Medoc 89-92 RP $24.95 This sleeper of the vintage was produced by consultant winemaker Claude Gros and is 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Petit Verdot from grapes grown near the classified growth chateaux of Cantemerle and Giscours. Goulee by Cos d’Estournel, 2010 Medoc 90 RP $39.95 This sleeper of the vintage is produced by Michel Reybier, proprietor of Cos d’Estournel and is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot. Chateau Guiraud, 2010 (375ml) Sauternes 93 RP 94 WS $36.95 A thick, unctuous style, with marzipan, dried pineapple, mango and dried guava notes leading to a good bolt of toasted almond and pie crust on the finish. Domaine de l’A, 2009 Castillon 91 RP $39.95 From the home estate of Stephane and Christine Derenoncourt, this Bordeaux is considered by Robert Parker to be one of the greatest bargains of the vintage. The blend is 70% Merlot with the majority of the remainder Cabernet Franc. Domaine de l’A, 2010 Castillon 90 RP $44.95 From the home estate of Stephane and Christine Derenoncourt, this blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc is a sleeper of the vintage. Chateau Camensac, 2009 Haut-Medoc 89 RP $33.95 One of the finest, if not the best, Ch. Camensac ever produced according to Robert Parker with loads of black fruit, cedar wood and spice box. Should drink well through 2025. Chateau Camensac, 2010 Haut-Medoc 89-91 RP $42.95 Even surpassing the 2009, this Bordeaux is likely a sleeper of the vintage according to Robert Parker. Classic Bordeaux notes of tobacco leaf, licorice, currants and oak this should also drink well through 2025. Chateau Haut-Bergey, 2009 Pessac-Leognan 94 RP $39.95 Owned by Helene Garcin (who also owns Clos l’Eglise and Barde-Haut), this is just over 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Merlot. An under-the-radar value Bordeaux that should drink well over 20-25 years. Chateau Haut-Bergey, 2010 Pessac-Leognan 92 RP $46.95 A sleeper of the vintage comprised of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot which will drink well over the next 15 years. Ratings Key: Robert Parker (RP) or Wine Spectator (WS) Michael's Wine Cellar regularly features more than 100 Bordeaux wines. Click here to shop online now.
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RSVP for Bordeaux Tasting

Bordeaux Tasting: 2009 vs 2010 Vintage Bowl Thursday, January 16, 6-8 p.m. Please join us for an epic battle of highly-rated Bordeaux wines! In the spirit of jest competition, Michael will match up select 2009 and 2010 "vintages of the century" wines during this walk-about tasting at Michael's Wine Cellar. Admission includes hors d'oeuvres and tastes of more than 20 Bordeaux wines. $35 per person Reservations Required: 941-366-0007, ext. 229
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Tomorrow's Wine Tasting

Wine Tasting Guests at Michael's Wine Cellar Join us tomorrow, Saturday, January 4, 1-4 p.m. at Michael's Wine Cellar for first Open House Wine Tasting of 2014! As always, taste dozens of international wines, and pick up all the bottles Santa forgot to bring you this season. Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club members receive free admission to Michael's monthly Open House Wine Tastings and not-yet members are welcome to attend for a one-time $10 fee which includes your new GCCC membership. Here's the great wine line-up for this month: Table 1 OPICI Riesling "Impulse", C.H. Berres, Mosel, GR, 2010 $13.95 Sauvignon Blanc, Rustenberg, Western Cape ZA, 2012 $16.95 Pinot Grigio, Due Torri, Delle Venezie, Tipica, IT, 2012 $9.95 Bodegas Carchelo, Jumilla, Campo de Borja, Jumilla, ES, 2010 $13.95 Cabernet Sauvignon, McManis Family Vineyards, River Junction, CA, 2011 $12.95 Tempranillo "Dehesa La Granja", Alejandro Fernandez, Castilla y Leon, ES, 2005 $19.95   Table 2 REPUBLIC NATIONAL Sparkling "Rosa Regale", Banfi Vintners, Brachetto d'Acqui, IT,2012 $17.95 New Age White, Valentin Bianchi, Mendoza, AR $9.95 Sauvignon Blanc, Starmont, Merryvale, Napa Valley, CA, 2011 $16.95 Pinot Grigio "San Angelo", Banfi Vintners, Toscana, IT, 2012 $16.95 Chainti Classico "Riserva", Banfi, IT, 2010 $18.95 Petite Sirah, Villa San-Juliette, Paso Robles, CA, 2010 $16.95 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lincourt, Santa Ynez Valley, CA, 2010 $19.95   Table 3 STACOLE Chateau de Parenchere Blanc, Bordeaux, FR, 2011 $13.95 Sauvignon Blanc "The Game Reserve" Graham Beck, Stellenbosch, ZA, 2011 $14.95 Chardonnay, Wildewood, Willamette Valley, OR, 2012 $15.95 Pinot Noir, Wildewood, Willamette Valley, OR, 2010 $15.95 Rosso di Montepulciano, Maria Caterina Dei, Montepulciano, IT, 2010 $18.95 Zinfandel "REDS Old Vines Blend" Tierra Divina, Lodi, CA, 2011 $12.95   Table 4 LTD Riesling, Highfield, Marlborough, NZ, 2012 $19.95 Pinot Gris, Drystone, Central Otago, NZ, 2008 $12.95 Chardonnay, Lapis Luna, Central Coast, CA, 2012 $12.95 Zinfandel "Romanzo Moon", Lapis Luna, Lodi CA, 2012 $14.95 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lapis Luna, Central Coast, CA, 2012 $15.95 Malbec, Mairena, Mendoza, AR, 2011 $16.95   Table 5 PREMIER Pinot Gris, "Im Berg", Domaine Ehrhart, Vin D'Alsace, FR, 2009 $18.95 Chardonnay "Lettre d'Eloise", Maison Bertrand Ambroise, Cote de Beaune, FR, 2010 $19.95 Chardonnay, MAN Vintners, Coastal Region, ZA, 2012 $9.95 Chianti "Classico", Volpaia, IT, 2010 $19.95 Zinfandel "Sin Zin", Alexander Valley Vineyards, Alexander Valley, CA, 2010 $15.95 Cabernet Sauvignon, Wilson Daniels, Central Coast, CA, 2009 $14.95   Table 6 AUGUSTAN Pinot Gris, Adelsheim, Willamette Valley, OR, 2011 $18.95 Chardonnay, Sean Minor, Central Coast, CA, 2010 $12.95 Chardonnay, Calera, Central Coast, CA, 2011 $18.95 Pinot Noir, Wallace Brook Cellars, Willamette Valley, OR, 2010 $19.95 Pinot Noir "Central Coast", Calera, Central Coast, CA, 2011 $23.95 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sean Minor, Napa Valley, CA, 2010 $18.95   Table 7 MICHAEL'S WINE CELLAR Pinot Grigio, Swanson Vineyards, Napa Valley, CA, 2010 $16.95 Sancerre, Vignoble des Garennes, Loire Valley, FR, 2010 $16.95 Chardonnay "Red Label", Newton, Napa, CA, 2011 $21.95 Pinot Noir, LOLA, North Coast, CA, 2011 $19.95 Saint Joseph, Rhone Valley, FR, 2009 $18.95 Merlot "Reserve", Angeline, Russian River, CA, 2011 $14.95   Table 8 MICHAEL'S WINE CELLAR - BORDEAUX Chateau Thieuley Blanc, Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2011 $16.95 Chateau Marjosse Blanc, Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2012 $18.95 Chateau Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2010 $19.95 Chateau Senejac, Haut-Medoc, FR, 2008 $24.95 Chateau Vrai Canon Bouche, Fronsac, FR, 2009 $29.95 Chateau La Prade, Cotes de Francs, FR, 2010 $22.95   Click here to shop online for these selections plus hundreds more international wines.
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NYE Rewards: Champagne

Champagne 2014 NYEIt's almost time to pop the bubbly! Shop for dozens of Champagnes and international sparkling wines in-store, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow (NYE). Michael is pleased to offer double Connoisseur Club points* on all sparkling wines tomorrow, December 31, 2013, at the Michael's Wine Cellar retail store in Midtown Plaza, Sarasota. (That's the equivalent of receiving 20% back in Connoisseur Club rewards!) *Not valid with any other offer or discount.
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Champagne for New Year's Eve

Champagne This week, we're all bustling around, from one holiday gathering to the next, but soon we'll celebrate the conclusion of this festive season - and the calendar year - with a special toast. It's hard to believe that New Year's Eve is almost upon us! Of course, Michael's Wine Cellar is pleased to offer you dozens of Champagnes and other international sparklings wines for the occasion, but we'd also like to share Michael's philosophy on Champagne: "Champagne isn’t just for special occasions, Champagne makes every occasion special." We hope you'll stop in the store this week and allow our knowledgeable team to assist you in selecting a special bottle, or click here to shop our online wine shop now.
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Wine for the 12th Day of Christmas: Bordeaux - Sleepers of the Vintage

 Xmas Wine - Bordeaux Sleepers of the Vintage On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 12 Drummers Drumming Eleven Pipers Piping Ten Lords a Leaping Nine Ladies Dancing Eight Maids a Milking Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent stand-out Bordeaux wines recognized as "sleepers of the vintage?" Clos Puy Arnaud, Cotes de Castillon, FR, 2009 Regular Price: $33.95 A major "sleeper of the vintage," this biodynamically farmed vineyard was cropped at 15 hectoliters per hectare and the final blend is 70% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon. The alcohol scores a natural 15%. This stunning wine, with black/purple color, exhibits notes of blackberry, licorice, incense, forest floor and cedar along with a hint of toasty oak. The wine is opulent, even sumptuous in texture, has stunning purity and a provocative 45+ second finish. This is another over-achieving Castillon that should drink well for at least a decade or more. The Wine Advocate: 92 Points Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion Rouge, Pessac Leognan, FR, 2009 Regular Price: $39.95 A sensational wine from this Pessac-Leognan estate, the 2009 possesses notes of charcoal, graphite, roasted herbs, truffles, spice box, and luxurious quantities of black currant and black cherry fruit. Full-bodied, impressively endowed and well under the radar for most consumers, this outstanding wine is a "sleeper of the vintage" and well worth buying. It should drink well for 15 or more years. The Wine Advocate: 91 Points
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Wine for the 11th Day of Christmas: Bordeaux Blanc & Sauternes

Xmas Wine11 On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eleven Pipers Piping Ten Lords a Leaping Nine Ladies Dancing Eight Maids a Milking Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn't it be lovely if your true love also sent a Bordeaux Blanc from Chateau Carbonnieux and a sweet white wine from Sauternes, France? Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc, Pessac-Leognan, FR, 2010 Regular Price: $46.95 Special Web Price: $37.95 When young, Carbonnieux's white wine charms with its freshness, its purity and its fruity, floral aromatic intensity. When mature, it develops notes of dried and preserved fruit which offer numerous opportunities for satisfying food matches. Chateau La Tour Blanche, Sauternes, FR, 2010 375ml Regular Price: $42.95 Special Web Price: $36.95 The Chateau La Tour Blanche has a complex bouquet with scents of grapefruit, honey, apricot and white flowers. The palate is very well-balanced, with a great sense of tension and poise, and notes of citrus lemon, lime, dried honey and a touch of marmalade that lead to a tightly wound, focused, almost Germanic finish. This is intriguing Sauternes that should repay considerable cellaring. The Wine Advocate: 92-94  
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Wine for the 10th Day of Christmas: Bordeaux

Day 10 Christmas Wine On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Ten Lords a Leaping Nine Ladies Dancing Eight Maids a Milking Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn't it be lovely if your true love also sent you a few great Bordeaux wines, highly rated by Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate? Chateau Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2010 Regular Price: $19.95 Special Web Price: $15.95 A strong effort, the opaque purple-colored 2010 offers up notes of creosote, blackberries, licorice and background oak. Medium-bodied, richly fruity, broad and savory, it should be enjoyed over the next 5-6 years. The Wine Advocate 89-91 Goulee by Cos d'Estournel, Medoc, FR, 2010 $39.95 A "sleeper of the vintage," this offering from the owners of Cos d'Estournel is a high quality, impeccably well-made Bordeaux displaying a dark ruby/purple hue along with notes of chocolate, black currants, herbs and spice. Opulent, round and full-bodied. The Wine Advocate:  90-92 Recognized for his specialization in French wines and Bordeaux, Michael Klauber's Sarasota, Florida wine store also ships across the country. Click here to check current shipping policies.
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Wine for the 9th Day of Christmas: Graham Beck Wines

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Nine Ladies Dancing Eight Maids a Milking Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn't it be lovely if your true love also sent the "Game Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc from South Africa's Graham Beck Wines? Chenin Blanc "The Game Reserve", Graham Beck, Coastal Region, ZA, 2012 $14.95 This 100% Chenin Blanc is from low yielding, 40 - 46 year old bush vines on rolling hills in Paarl, exposed to south eastern winds, rain and lots of sunshine. The grapes were left to ripen fully to ensure the development of the rich and ripe flavours and complexity. The grapes were destalked, then mash cooled with 8-12 hours skin contact and cool fermentation. A small percentage (5-10%) of the Chenin Blanc was fermented in French Oak barrels to generate an added dimension of richness. The complex nose shows upfront tropical fruit, ripe pineapple, melon, peaches and honey flavours, lifted by a citrus element. Good company for al fresco lunches. Also great with grilled chicken or fish, rich pasta dishes and spicy food. Full and juicy palate with layers of ripe tropical fruit complemented by a long, clean, crisp and lingering aftertaste. game-reserve-graham-beckcabernet-sauvignon-robertson-za Cabernet Sauvignon "The Game Reserve", Graham Beck, Robertson, ZA, 2011 $16.95 "Fresh and uncomplicated, showing brisk lime and sea salt notes. Clean finish." -Wine Spectator, 87 points "The eye-catching label design for this classy Cab features one of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ animals, the elusive leopard. As with the other wines in the range it pays homage to Graham Beck Wines’ commitment to preserving the country’s unique fauna and flora. The wildlife reserve situated on Graham and Rhona Beck’s Robertson estate, Madeba, is an unparalleled success story. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was crafted from a selection of prime Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards from our Robertson Estate including a site located on the South-East facing slope of the Rooiberg Mountain that incorporates the game reserve on the Graham Beck property. The vines are planted on red Karoo soil which is also home to the delicate, yet tough fynbos that the game feed on next to the vineyard. Once in the cellar, the fruit is destalked, gently crushed and fermented with 4 daily pump-overs to ensure maximum extraction. Once dry, the juice is pressed and transferred into 2nd fill French and American Oak for malolactic fermentation in barrel. The wine is then kept for a further 9 months of maturation in barrel to gain complexity and a full mouthfeel. Great complexity of black berry fruit, dark chocolate and plums on the nose. This wine has a rich, juicy entry supported by firm tannins. An elegant creamy palate leads to a long lingering finish."
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Wine for the 8th Day of Christmas: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Eight Maids a Milking Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn't it be lovely if they also sent a great California Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from Stag's Leap Wine Cellar? Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Karia Chardonnay Chardonnay "Karia", Stag's Leap Wine Cellars, Napa Valley, CA, 2011 $19.95 "There are 25,000 cases of the 2009 Chardonnay Karia. Part of this cuvee is put through malolactic and about one-third is aged in stainless steel and two-thirds in wood. This light straw-colored Chardonnay is a Napa Valley regional blend as opposed to an estate Chardonnay. It offers up aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle and lemon oil in its medium-bodied, crisp, fresh style." - The Wine Advocate, 90 points sauvignon-blanc-stags-leap-wine-cellar-napa-valley-ca-2009-250px-307px Sauvignon Blanc, Stag's Leap Wine Cellar, Napa Valley, CA, 2009 $19.95 This vibrant wine offers a pleasing tropical nose of orange blossom, grapefruit, lychee and peach. On the palate the wine has a juicy, fruit driven entry with lively acidity and flavors of guava, honeyed tangerine, juicy Comice pear, Kaffir lime and a mineral edge. The citrus notes mingle with sandalwood spice and linger on the energetic finish.
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Wine for the 7th Day of Christmas: Spanish Wines

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Seven Swans a Swimming Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent a few top Spanish wines? (This Tempranillo was a top seller during the Wine Cellar's Holiday Open House!) winelabel-la-granja-dehesa-castilla-y-leon-es Tempranillo "Dehesa La Granja", Alejandro Fernandez, Castilla y Leon, ES, 2005 Regular Price: $19.95     Special Web Price: $17.95 Everything began in Pesquera de Duero during the 1970s. The 1980s led to the founding of Condado de Haza, a winery surrounded by a 200-hectare vineyard. Dehesa de la Granja, located in Vadillo de la Guareña in the south of the province of Zamora was set up in the 1990s. Finally, La Mancha was conquered by the creation of the El Vínculo winery in the town of Campo de Criptana in the province of Ciudad Real. Alejandro "the Great" stopped selling agriculture machinery and dedicated himself to making wine and selling it around the world. Due to his own efforts, Alejandro Fernández is surely the most popular character in the Spanish wine industry. His is probably the best-known face in the Spanish wine world. Although no qualifications adorn his calling card, he truly deserves his place in Spain's wine aristocracy. His name is Alejandro Fernández. He is of pure Castilian blood, sturdy, very large and as hard as an oak tree. He has as much desire as Alexander the Great —the Macedonian monarch who had to content himself with only dominating half the known world— to conquer the world. Alejandro Fernández has gone that little bit further. At seventy years of age, he confesses that he has taken his wines to all the civilized countries that buy wine. These include more than a hundred countries. In addition, there is always a Pesquera wine in any of the states that make up the United States of America. Nevertheless, the beginnings were not at all easy. They could not be in 1972, when Alejandro decided to get into the world of wine. Spain was then going through an unstable political situation and the 1973 oil crisis was just about to break out. Alejandro was aware of Spain's political situation and that the Spanish countryside was going through a difficult period. He, however, did not have the faintest idea about the latter. winelabel-albarino-legado-del-conde-adegas-morgadio-rias-baixas-es Albarino, Legado del Conde, Rias Baixas, ES, 2011 $15.95 Adegas Morgadio’s 2010 Legado del Conde Albarino offers up a fruity, lemon-accented perfume along with mineral and spice notes. Savory on the palate in a softer style than is the norm, this is a good value in Albarino. - The Wine Advocate, 87 Points
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Wine for the 6th Day of Christmas: South African Wines

Christmas Wine 6: Porcupine Ridge Wines from South Africa On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Six Geese a Laying Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent you South African wines from Marc Kent's Porcupine Ridge? porcupine-ridge-sauvignon-blanc-western-cape-za Sauvignon Blanc, Porcupine Ridge, Western Cape, ZA, 2012 $13.95 Tropical fruit flavors with gooseberries and a hint of nettles. The flavors carry on to the palate with a good long dry finish. Crisp natural acidity and good balance ensure a streamlined wine with easy drinking. porcupine-ridge-syrah Syrah, Porcupine Ridge, Coastal Region, ZA, 2010 $13.95 Intense red colour with opulent red fruit flavours and hints of pepper. A silky full bodied texture with soft tannins and integrated wood. "The 2010 Porcupine Ridge Syrah sees three-quarters of its Swartland-sourced fruit raised in French oak for nine months, the remainder un-oaked. It has a ripe, blackcurrant pastille scented bouquet that is simple but pure. The palate is sweet and ripe on the entry with fleshy blackcurrant and dark plum fruit. The finish is easy drinking and mouth filling. Drink now-2014. It may still be difficult to pronounce but Boekenhoutskloof continues to affirm itself as one of South Africa's leading estates. Mark Kent is an astute helmsman, branching out to regions beyond his base in Franschhoek, for example, into Swartland for his Syrah. I still feel that he could rein in the new oak a little, but otherwise this is another set of superb South African wines." -The Wine Advocate , 86 Points
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Wine for the 5th Day of Christmas: Chablis & Bordeaux

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Five Golden Rings Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn't it be lovely if your true love also sent you unbelievable French wines? Chablis, Isabelle & Denis Pommier, FR, 2009 $25.95 Domaine Denis Pommier is a small estate based in the village of Poinchy just west of Chablis. In 1990 Denis Pommier inherited from his grandfather, 2.5 hectares of established vineyards in Chablis AC, and 1er cru Beauroy and Fourchaume. Denis also acquired small parcels of land from his aunt in Petit Chablis and Chablis AC and has added an excellent holding of old vines 1er cru Cote de Lechet. The domaine now covers 13 hectares where Denis, and his wife Isabelle, make wonderfully pure Chablis as well as a tiny amount of Pinot Noir Bourgogne rouge from very low yielding vines more than 50 years old. His wines right across the range show great purity and offer remarkable value. Domaine de l'A, Cotes de Castillon, FR, 2009 $39.95 This opulent 2009 from the up-and-coming appellation of Cotes de Castillon (a treasure-trove of values east of St.-Emilion) is the home property of the well-known winemaking consultant, Stephane Derenoncourt. Dominated by its Merlot component (70%), it offers up notes of mocha, roasted coffee, sweet kirsch, black currants and hints of wood smoke as well as caramels. Pure and plump with silky tannins, impressive concentration and good balance, this hedonistic 2009 should drink well for a decade. - The Wine Advocate, 91 Points  
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Forks & Corks Wine Events

Although tickets to the Forks & Corks Grand Tasting sold out in just eight minutes months before the festival, there are many opportunities to meet visiting winemakers throughout the weekend including these special events on property at Michael's Wine Cellar and Michael's On East: Friday, January 24, 2014 Domaine Ehrhart & Maison Ambroise - French Wine Dinner, 7 p.m. Michael’s Wine Dinners are spectacular events featuring visiting winemakers as host to extravagant five-course feasts designed to complement a specific winery or portfolio. On Friday, Jan. 24, Robert “Bobby” Kacher, a close friend of Michael Klauber, will bring winemakers and owners from two of his top wineries to the series of Forks & Corks events. Kacher will be joined by Corrine and Phillipe Ehrhart of Domaine Ehrhart and Bertrand Ambroise from Domaine Bertrand Ambroise during the elegant exploration of two of France’s most famous wine regions, Alsace and Burgundy. $95, plus tax and gratuity Reservations required: 941-366-0007, ext. 224 Domaine Ehrhart is a small estate of almost 52 acres located in the village of Wettolsheim, about five kilometers from Colmar. Looking out the back door of Philippe and Corinne Ehrhart’s winery, guests enjoy a view of Alsace’s noble vineyards of Steingrubler, Rosenberg, Brand and Hengst. The Ehrhart family has been making wine in this region since 1725. Two generations ago Philippe Ehrhart’s grandfather Eugene began employing organic farming methods, which he believed would help him produce better wines. Philippe and Corinne continue to farm their vineyards with the same strong commitment, and today all of the wines of the domaine are certified organic by the French government. The domaine of Bertrand Ambroise was established in the late 18th century in the village of Prémeaux-Prissey, just south of Nuits-Saint-Georges. Today the estate has expanded to 42 acres which are worked diligently by Bertrand and his family. Bertrand produces some of the finest examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Burgundy. His genuine passion and his detail work in the vineyards and the cellar have created a worldwide demand for his wines.   Saturday, January 25, 2014 Forks & Corks University, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Forks & Corks University provides a unique opportunity to taste and learn about rare and inspired wines during seminars led by a panel of celebrated winemakers. Each session includes a gourmet four course luncheon with wine pairings, where you are able to learn how to match wines with food. These educational seminars, led by recognized wine experts from around the world, will take your wine knowledge to a higher level. Click here for half-day and full-day programs, including a special wine luncheon at Michael's On East, and to purchase tickets online. (All reservations for Forks & Corks University most be processed through the festival website.)   Saturday, January 25, 2014 Retail Wine Tasting, 3-5 p.m. All are welcome to attend a casual afternoon tasting at Michael's Wine Cellar in celebration of Forks & Corks. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet winemakers and winery owners from around the world, plus, of course, taste the wines that are their true pride and joy! Free for Gulf Coast Connoisseur Club members, or $10 per person for first-time attendees. No RSVP required for this Saturday afternoon wine tasting, simply join us at Michael's Wine Cellar, but please note the time: 3-5 p.m. Saturday, January 25, 2014 Bodega Catena Zapata Wine Dinner, 7 p.m. Michael’s Wine Dinners are spectacular events featuring visiting winemakers as host to extravagant five-course feasts designed to complement a specific winery or portfolio. In January 2014, Michael’s On East and Michael’s Wine Cellar Co-Proprietor Michael Klauber will feature several special wine dinners in conjunction with the popular Forks & Corks Food & Wine Festival. On Saturday, Jan. 25, Michael is thrilled to be joined by Pablo Piccolo from Bodega Catena Zapata. Together, they will host a wine dinner featuring these ground-breaking Argentine wines from the Catena family. $95, plus tax and gratuity Reservations required: 941-366-0007, ext. 224
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Wine for the 4th Day of Christmas: Francois Montand

  Christmas Wine 4 - Francois Montand On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Four Calling Birds Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree   But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent the Francois Montand Brut and Rose Sparkling Wines?! This affordable sparkler and rose are perfect for Christmas parties, and of course, New Year's Eve festivities this season. Sparkling "Brut", Francois Montand, FR, NV $10.95 François Montand is a true-value Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine made in a brut style. Crafted from the perfect blend of two European varietals, Ugni Blanc from France and Airen from Spain, each offers basic characteristics that complement each other to make an outstanding sparkling wine. Ugni Blanc, also known as Trebbiano, is planted throughout the world and is known for producing neutral wines that are high in acids with a medium alcohol level. Airen, Spain's most widely planted grape varietal, produces wines that are light, crisp, fruity and slightly aromatic. This 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine is from Gascony south of Bordeaux. It has a wonderful polished nose, clean flavors and an impressive amount of zip. It is not to sweet, but has enough richness and balance to enjoy by itself. A great one for your next party! Sparkling "Brut Rose", Francois Montand, FR, NV $10.95 The bouquet and flavors feature dried cherries and raspberries. Crisp and very dry, with an extremely clean finish that reminds me of a true French Champagne. Elegant and delicate, highly drinkable, and nicely bubbled  
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Wine for the 3rd Day of Christmas: Chateau Thieuley from Bordeaux

Christmas Wines Day 3: Chateau Thieuley from Bordeaux On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Three French Hens Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent a few great value Bordeaux wines from Michael Klauber's specialized online wine store: Chateau Thieuley Blanc, Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2011 $16.95 Clear color. Exotic fruit favours (citrus, pineapple, graprefruit) and flowers aromas. Fresh, round and well balanced. Each variety brings its own caracteristic so that the blend is very successfull. Chateau Thieuley "Reserve Francis Courselle", Bordeaux Superieur, FR, 2010 $19.95 Ratcheting up the level of concentration, this sleeper of the vintage offers plenty of deep red and black currant fruit notes intermixed with cedarwood, subtle smoke and herbs. Medium-bodied and richly fruity with more power than the regular cuvee, it should drink well for 4-5 years. - The Wine Advocate
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Wine for the 2nd Day of Christmas: Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon

Christmas Wine 2: Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree But wouldn’t it be lovely if your true love also sent: Chardonnay "Red Label", Newton, Napa, CA, 2011 Regular Price: $21.95 Special Web Price: $16.95 Newton Chardonnay Wine Label Enticing and delicate aromas of white nectarine and vanilla spice are intertwined with baked apple and caramel notes. The aromas carry through to the palate where they are accented by ripe melon and fresh pineapple flavors. The velvety mouthfeel of this well-balanced Chardonnay persists throughout the lingering and refreshing citrus finish. Cabernet Sauvignon "Red Label", Newton, Napa County, CA, 2009 Regular Price: $22.95 Special Web Price: $16.95 Newton Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Label This deep garnet-colored Cabernet Sauvignon offers luscious black cherry, spicy cedar and rich mocha aromas that follow through to the palate, accented by appealing earthiness and smooth tannins. Dense and intense yet bright and lively, this well-structured wine lingers on the palate with signature Newton balance.
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Wine for the 1st Day of Christmas: Zinfandel & Pinot Grigio

Day 1 Christmas Wines: Zinfandel & Pinot Grigio "On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree" But wouldn't it be lovely if your true love also sent: Zinfandel "REDS Old Vines Blend" Tierra Divina, Lodi, CA, 2011 $12.95 zinfandel-reds-old-vines-blend-tierra-divina-lodi-ca-2011-250px-307px “A Celebration of the People!” Zinfandel, Carignane, and Petite Sirah from pioneer vineyards in the heartland of California. Dark, sexy, exotic, opulent, and delicious. Perfect with bistro, burgers, hearty pastas and pizza anytime throughout the year, but this Zinfandel will be a perfect wine to pair with rich holiday dishes such as brisket, tenderloin, lamb or steak. Pinot Grigio, Due Torri, Delle Venezie, Tipica, IT, 2012 $9.95 pinot-grigio-due-torri-delle-venezie-it-2012-250px-307px Pinot Grigio thrives in the area known as “Tre Venezie,” which encompasses a vast territory in northwestern Italy, including the regions of Veneto, Fruili-Venezia Giulia, and Trentino-Alto Adige. The grapes for this wine were hand picked and soft pressed. The wine was then fermented and aged in stainless steel, followed by a minimum of two months of aging in bottle. This exquisite dry white is fragrant on the nose and fresh on the palate, with an excellent balance of acidity and minerality. Enjoy as an aperitif or serve with hors d’oeuvres and seafood dishes.
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12 Days of Christmas Wine

12 Days of Christmas Wine Pairings We are thrilled to offer you special wine, craft beer and boutique spirits selections throughout the year at Michael's Wine Cellar, but this festive holiday season brings with it a vibrant joy and cause for celebration almost every day! With that energy and spirit in mind, we are thrilled to celebrate "Twelve Days of Christmas" with our wine connoisseurs and clients this year. Although many of us can belt out the popular holiday carol, only Michael Klauber and his knowledgeable team at Michael’s Wine Cellar can deliver 12 days of perfect wine pairings. Visit Michael's Wine Blog each day (December 12-23, 2013) for new recommendations to pair with your holiday feasts and parties. We'll be sharing the daily wine pairings with links below as these wines are released: Wine for the 1st Day of Christmas: Zinfandel & Pinot Grigio Wine for the 2nd Day of Christmas: Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon Wine for the 3rd Day of Christmas: Chateau Thieuley from Bordeaux Wine for the 4th Day of Christmas: Francois Montand Wine for the 5th Day of Christmas: Chablis & Bordeaux  
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Michael's Wine Cellar
1283 S. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239