White Burgundy & The HvD Chardonnay

White BurgundySean loves White Burgundy, and so should you. Sean King recently returned to our team in Michael’s Wine Cellar. (You may remember Sean, his love of many wines and expert recommendations from his past tenure working in our wine shop several years ago!) We couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the Michael’s family, and know you’ll appreciate his insight, humor and wine knowledge. Here’s a personal note from Sean about White Burgundy. I love White Burgundy. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! The biggest problem is that it’s so expensive and it’s very difficult to get. When I say “expensive” I mean $100 or more for Puligny Montrachet from a good producer. When I say “very hard to get” I mean we recently secured my own personal three bottle allocation of a Montrachet. I know, I know, but am I telling you this for a reason. So, I decided to open a bottle of the 2013 HdV “Hyde Vineyard” Chardonnay to have with the Pompano at the Michael’s On East Lounge. Before I continue, allow me to tell you that the Hyde Vineyard in Napa is one of the best vineyards in the world for Chardonnay because of the cool climate afternoon breeze that arrives like clockwork from the bay. It allows for the fruit to hang on the vine as much as two weeks longer than the neighboring vineyards just three miles away. Chardonnay is exactly that in more ways than one.  The winemaker is French and previously made wine in Burgundy. In fact, HdV is a venture between the Hyde Family of Napa Valley and the de Villaine Family of Burgundy. The families, related by marriage, share long histories in French and Californian winemaking. At HdV, the oak barrels are from Burgundy and you will appreciate the de Villaine family name, as Aubert de Villaine is the owner of Domaine Romanee Conti. (The DRC Chardonnay sells for about $5,000 a bottle.) Back to this specific HdV wine… This Chardonnay is incredibly fresh with an acidity that is lost on so much of the Chardonnay made today. Rich oak that does what it is supposed to do, properly frame the great Chardonnay fruit! This bottle retails for just under $70 bottle, but I promise that when you drink it you will say “This is what great Chardonnay tastes like!” It is also more affordable than harder to find White Burgundies of similar quality.
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Australian Wines

AustraliaExperience inspired Australian cuisine with your favorite mates throughout May at our adjacent restaurant Michael’s On East! With ever-changing lunch and dinner menus inspired by the world’s most exotic food and wine destinations, the Michael’s culinary team loves challenging themselves each month to perfect a unique worldly cuisine. This month, take a culinary journey with an Australian Epicurean Adventure in the award-winning Restaurant which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary! Click here to view the complete lunch and dinner menus, which are accompanied by these hand-picked wines: 
Chardonnay “Unoaked”, The Y Series - Yalumba, South Australia, AU, 2016 Pale straw with green tinges in color, this wine opens with aromas of honeysuckle and tropical fruits such as paw-paw. There is a touch of complexity from the wild fermentation; just enough to let you know that under the pretty façade is a fun and adventurous wine. The palate is an alluring combination of fresh fruits, spices such as white pepper and just enough “wildness” to keep you coming back for another glass. It finishes with a fresh cleansing line of citrus zest.
Shiraz, The Y Series - Yalumba, South Australia, AU, 2015 Deep crimson in color, this wine shows intense youthful aromas of ripe dark berries, mulberry jam, Indian spice, and dark chocolate. Rich and ripe, the Y Series Shiraz is a glorious mouthful of South Australia with layers of ripe blackberries and black forest cake surrounded by soft, juicy, fully ripe tannins and a moreish finish. (Please note: Michael’s On East and Michael's Wine Cellar will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017.)
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Chardonnay Blind Tasting

ChardonnayOn Tuesday, May 10, Michael's Wine Cellar invites you to a Blind Tasting of Chardonnays from around the World. This special class lead by our own Robin Schwartz will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m.! Please register now and join us to taste six different Chardonnays from six different locations around the globe. Admission is $20 per person. Click here to register online or call 941-366-0007, ext. 229.
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Save 15% Off Chardonnay

ChardonnayCalifornia. South America. Oregon. South Africa. France... Where does your favorite Chardonnay hail from? Regardless of where your preferred grapes are harvested, all bottles of Chardonnay are "on sale" this Monday through Michael's Wine Cellar's online wine store. Simply place your order on Monday, July 27, 2015, by 11:59 p.m. and save 15% off your web purchases of all Chardonnay wines. Valid on online orders only of $50 and more. Shop now by clicking here. To take advantage of the discount, enter promotional code "chardonnay15" to take advantage of this special offer.  Not valid with any other offers or discounts. Other restrictions may apply. Promo code is case sensitive. Still learning about wine? We thought we'd share this detailed description of this popular grape, prepared by our friends at Wine-Searcher.com. CHARDONNAY (Courtesy of Wine-Searcher.com)  Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America. Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is no easy task. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety's intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavors. Because of this high level of winemaker involvement, Chardonnay has become known as the "winemaker's wine." Chardonnay Vines: The variety itself (although often said to be relatively flavor-neutral) is responsible for most of the fruity flavors found in Chardonnay wines. These range from the tropical (banana, melon, pineapple and guava) to stonefruits (peach, nectarine and apricot), citrus and apples. Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavors a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California, Chile and much of Australia tend to give more tropical styles. Temperate zones such as southern Burgundy or northern New Zealand create wines marked out by stonefruit notes. The very coolest Chardonnay vineyards (those in Chablis, Champagne and Germany) lean towards green-apple aromas. Mineral descriptors such as chalk, wet stones and crushed seashells also find their way into Chardonnay tasting notes. These are sometimes attributed to the soils in the vineyard, although the relationship between soil and wine flavor has become widely exaggerated. The most famously minerally Chardonnay wines are those of Chablis, one of the very few wine regions to focus on a largely unoaked style of Chardonnay. Although most famous for its still, dry wines, Chardonnay is used to produce an impressively diverse range of wine styles. The variety is put to use in sparkling wines all over the world (most famously Champagne), when it is usually paired with Pinot Noir. Canada even produces sweet Chardonnay ice wines. Chardonnay is particularly popular with wine producers, not least because it has a reliable market of keen consumers. The variety produces relatively high yields, will grow in a broad spectrum of climates and can be made into wine of acceptable quality with relative ease. In poor vintages, deficiencies can be covered up with oak flavors, reducing the financial impact of a bad harvest. In the vineyard, Chardonnay presents a few viticultural challenges, but none that can't be solved with age-old techniques or a little help from technology. (Were this not the case, the variety would certainly not be as successful as it is.) In very warm climates, Chardonnay grapes tend to lose their natural acidity, resulting in flat, overblown wines. This can be partially corrected with a simple addition of acid, or by harvesting early and compensating for lack of flavor by using oak and malolactic fermentation. Vignerons in cooler climates have a quite different problem with the variety, as the vines bud and flower early in the season, making them susceptible to spring frosts. Vignerons in Burgundy (particularly in Chablis) have traditionally mitigated this with braziers between the vine rows. These are not just for warmth – they also create frost-preventing air currents.
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Top Value Wines: Wine & Spirits

Wine-Spirits-BestValuesHot off the press! Our team was pleased to read the “100 Top Value Wines of the Year” cover story in the June issue of Wine & Spirits this week. We were thrilled to see several of the smaller wineries and grower wines that we proudly offer at Michael’s Wine Cellar showcased. Amongst the best value wines compiled were these white wines, perfect for summer sipping! Roederer Estate Sparkling, from California’s Anderson Valley builds upon a 200-year tradition of fine winemaking that has made Roederer Champagne among the most sought-after wines in the world. The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice and hazelnut flavors. It is fresh and lightly fruity with great finesse and depth of flavor. A to Z Pinot Gris is a superstar white which is truly a delight. Pinto Gris thrives in Oregon, and A to Z shows how great this grape can be! The 2013 A to Z Pinot Gris has lifted aromas of honeysuckle, lemon zest, nutmeg and wet stone developing into richer aromas of lychee, beeswax and melon that add complexity to the nose. The attack is juicy and pure with bright citrus fruit flavors and mineral notes. Taut structure and a tight wire balance between ripeness and acidity frame a seamless mid-palate and lead to a long finish that ultimately ends crisp and clean with flavors of wet stone and jasmine green tea. A to Z Chardonnay presents a crisp style this is rich yet light. This is the type of Chardonnay you’ll enjoy drinking everyday.  Apparent immediately are aromas like kiwi, tangerine, white peach and quince are followed by deeper, richer aromas like honey, beeswax and melon. On the palate, the wine is equally complex and inviting. A juicy attack with great minerality leads to flavors that mirror the aromatics while yet more layers, like pear and toasted coconut, arise on the mid-palate. The concentration is balanced by firm acidity that gives the wine vitality and persistence with a long lingering note of clean wet stones. Tortoise Creek Viognier from France’s Languedoc region is a perfect choice for a Memorial Day picnic. So often Viognier is over oaked and loses it wonderful delicate charm. The Tortoise Creek  Viognier “Le Verger” is completely unoaked and therefore bright with lovely aromas of peaches, pears and honeysuckle that lead to a palate that is fresh and crisp but packed with fruit. Wonderful as an aperitif or with any fish or pasta dishes and excellent with a great chicken dish. “Le Verger” refers to the beautiful apricot orchard that is close to the vineyards that produce our Viognier. Tariquet Classic, from our good friend and importer Bobby Kacher of Robert Kacher Selections. Floral, elegant, it displays citrus flavors with a touch of exotic fruit, light acidity and is dry on the finish. Enjoy it poolside or as an aperitif. (This wine is a favorite of our Open House events.) Since 1912 Château du Tariquet has been home to the Grassa family. They first gained notoriety for Hélène and Pierre Grassa’s Armagnac, which is still produced today. In the 1980’s their children, Maïté and Yves, broke all the rules by producing their first still wines, a blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard. A few years later, they heavily planted and created untraditional blends such as Sauvignon-Chardonnay and Chenin-Chardonnay and word of mouth is how the Tariquet taste and fashion was born! Click here to shop online for hundreds of international wines under $20
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Private Label Wines

Michael's Private Label Wines are served throughout the community at Sarasota's greatest galas, most stunning weddings, elegant fundraising dinners and private in-home parties by our experience catering team. Of course, you can also enjoy a glass of our own Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec for only $5 during Happy Hour in the Lounge at Michael's On East. Each of Michael’s Private Label Wine varietals are estate-bottled, organic wines from Argentina's prized Santa Julia Winery. Operated by three generations of the legendary Familia Zuccardi, Santa Julia is a clear example of the combination of the quality and diversity of Mendocinian soils, resulting in modern wines. Created in honor of the only daughter of José Zuccardi, Santa Julia represents the award-winning winemaking family’s commitment to achieve the highest quality standards and sustainable practices. PINOT GRIGIO GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Pinot Grigio ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina TASTING NOTES Yellow color with green tones. Very delicate. Ripe fruit aromas such as pears, apple, melon and some notes of tropical fruit like pineapples and banana. Creamy, good balance, nice acidity. Long and fresh finish. CHARDONNAY GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina TASTING NOTES Soft yellow with green tints. Notes of apple, pear, melon, honey and various hints of biscuits. Wide palate with good acidity. Also noted are citrus flavors with peaches and apple. An exceptionally harmonious and balanced finish. MALBEC GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Malbec ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina TASTING NOTES Violet-intense purple, concentrated and bright. A complex nose with varietal notes of ripe fruits, figs, prunes, jam and raisins. Also tones of vanilla, tobacco, coffee and chocolate due to partial oak aging. Full-bodied, with sweet tannins and well balanced with nice acidity. A lingering and complex finish. CABERNET SAUVIGNON GRAPE COMPOSITION: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon ORIGIN: Mendoza, Argentina TASTING NOTES Ruby red with purple highlights and good intensity. A bouquet of black cherries, prunes, gooseberries, blackberries and spices. Full-bodied, and rich. Balanced with fine tannins. A long and persistent 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 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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Tasting with David Adelsheim

Adelsheim Vineyard Wines David Adelsheim, president of the Willamette Valley's Adelsheim Vineyard, will host a special wine tasting at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23 at Michael’s Wine Cellar, 1283 South Tamiami Trail, Midtown Plaza in Sarasota. The event is open to the public for $20/person, and all attendees will receive $20 off Wine Cellar purchases of $100 or more made on Sept. 23. Reservations are required and space is limited for the tasting. Guests are invited to RSVP for the event by calling 941-366-0007, ext. 224. The Adelsheim Vineyard team strives to make wines of elegance and balance, wines that reflect the unique flavors and textures that grow in the Willamette Valley. They use a restrained approach that relies on decades of experience to express the uniqueness of each vineyard and each vintage. Established in 1971 by David and Ginny Adelsheim, the family-owned and operated winery and estate vineyards are located in Oregon’s northern Willamette Valley. Over the past 41 years, the Adelsheim Vineyard estate has grown to include eleven exceptional vineyard sites throughout the Valley, totaling 237 acres. The property uses sustainable farming practices and takes great care to bring out the best in each of their unique vineyard sites. In the winery, traditional and modern techniques combine, crafting wines in a style that centers on elegance, complexity, and richness in flavor and texture. Company co-founder, David Adelsheim, has done work in four important areas to benefit both the Oregon and American wine industries: grape and wine research, wine labeling, industry education, and promotion. He helped the Oregon wine industry reach consensus on reorganizing its statewide organizations, helped create and nominate the members of the new Oregon Wine Board, was selected by the Oregon Governor to serve on the Board, and was elected as its first chair. He served as president of the Oregon Winegrowers Association and has undertaken the process of helping the industry find its direction on a number of controversial issues. In February 2012, David was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by his peers in the Oregon wine industry for his "outstanding service." He has played a vital role in building the Oregon wine industry and establishing its reputation worldwide. Today, David leads a new generation of passionate staff devoted to leading the industry in crafting consistently transcendent wines. Click here to view current Adelsheim offerings available online through Michael's Wine Cellar. 
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Hamilton Russell's Terroir-Driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Hamilton Russell Vineyards, one of the most southerly wine estates in Africa and one of the closest to the sea, is located in the beautiful, cool, maritime Hemel-en-Aarde Valley appellation, just behind the old fishing village of Hermanus. The estate specializes in producing highly individual, terroir-driven Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Founder Tim Hamilton Russell purchased the undeveloped 170 hectare property in 1975, after an exhaustive search for the most southerly site on which to make South Africa’s top cool climate wines from a selection of noble varieties. His son Anthony Hamilton Russell, who took over in 1991 (buying the property in 1994), narrowed the range to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay only and registered Hamilton Russell Vineyards as an estate, committing to work only with grapes from their terroir. Anthony with winemaker Hannes Storm and viticulturist Johan Montgomery are completely dedicated to expressing the personality of the Hamilton Russell Vineyards terroir in their wines. Tiny yields and intense worldwide demand keep the elegant, highly individual, estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in very short supply. Check back soon to browse Hamilton Russell wines for sale online through Michael's Wine Cellar. www.hamiltonrussellvineyards.co.za
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World-Class Wines Under $20

However, Michael's Wine Cellar is also host to a wide array of special value-priced wines: think affordable Bordeaux, everyday Pinot Noir and fantastic Chardonnay that won't break the bank. Our clients frequently turn to our experienced culinary and beverage specialists as they select many of the "finer things in life" for elegant galas, special anniversaries and weddings. (The Michael's On East and Michael's Wine Cellar team, of course, delivers flawlessly!) However, Michael's Wine Cellar is also host to a wide array of special value-priced wines: think affordable Bordeaux, everyday Pinot Noir and fantastic Chardonnay that won't break the bank. Plus, our store specializes in limited-production, estate and domaine-bottled wines, a specialization that allows us the luxury of working closely with many family-operated properties and small production wineries. Click here to browse more than 200 selections under $20 a bottle. 
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Michael's Wine Cellar
1283 S. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34239