Wine Newsletter - Fall 2020 Edition

Draeger's Market Uncorked Fall 2019 / Wine Newsletter

FALL WINE SALE

November 4 through November 10 20% Off! - 7 days only!
  • Our fall wine sale begins Wednesday, November 4 and ends Tuesday, November 10. We'll take 20% off most domestic and imported wines when you buy 12 bottles or more, mix or match, standard 750ml size.
  • We stock over 3,000 of the world's finest wines, hand selected by our friendly and knowledgeable staff. Sorry, we cannot hold wine for future purchase. Wine stewards are on duty 10-6 every day.
  • Some already reduced or net-priced wines are not included. Supplies are limited to stock on hand and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. We cannot hold wine for future purchase.
Reminder:
We offer a 10% discount on any purchase of 12 or more 750ml bottles of regularly priced wine, mix or match, every day of the year.
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PIERRE FERRAND AMBRÉ COGNAC PIERRE FERRAND AMBRÉ COGNAC

Many Cognac aficionados are barely aware that their favorite elixir is made from grapes. Cognac is twice-distilled grape brandy named for the town of the same name to the north of Bordeaux. The clear, raw, unaged spirit-eau de vie-is made from local white wines that are highly acidic and low in alcohol, grown specifically to supply brandy producers. Just as Napa Valley and Sonoma County have sub-regions widely recognized for exceptional quality-say, Oakville or Russian River Valley-Cognac vineyards are sorted into six legally recognized growing areas. Grande Champagne (no relation to the sparkling wine district in northeast France) is in the center of the district and is the most prestigious. Ferrand crafts all its Cognacs from this area, while many producers reserve these spirits for their luxury labels. The Ferrand house owns seven cellars, some with earthen floors and high humidity, and some with concrete flooring with drier conditions. Within these cellars are a mix of barrel sizes, ages, and "toast" levels. After years in these barrels absorbing color from the oak and softening in mouth feel, aged spirits are ready for the fifth generation cellar masters to blend Cognacs worthy of the Ferrand name. Ambré is a minimum of 10 years old and could be sold as an XO; Ferrand's preferred 1er Cru De Cognac name is a reference to the quality of the vineyards from which the brandy springs. Notes of vanilla, baking spice and soft fruit nuances have made this elegant blend famous. Enjoy it neat or in a cocktail such as a Sidecar or Sazerac.

Regularly $53.99 $48.99

SONOMA DISTILLING COMPANY, SINGLE BARREL BOURBON SONOMA DISTILLING COMPANY, SINGLE BARREL BOURBON

San Francisco native Adam Spiegel was forced to transition between careers like so many others in 2008. Luckily for us he left the financial services world and immersed himself in the art of distilling. He became a founder of 1512 Spirits in a tiny space in Rohnert Park in 2010 which, over time, became Sonoma Distilling. While some craft distillers buy spirits from large producers and age them to create "local" whiskey, Spiegel is a true grain-to-glass distiller; the grains used to make his whiskey are milled and "mashed" (cooked) at the distillery, and the whiskey is made in copper pot stills similar to those used in Scotland. Bourbon, by law, is at least 51% corn and can be made anywhere in the country. Sonoma Distilling's Draeger's Single Barrel Bourbon is made from 70% corn (California), 25% wheat (California), and 5% barley (Wyoming). That blend makes it a "wheated" Bourbon as opposed to a high rye or high barley blend, putting it in a class with whiskies like Maker's Mark and Pappy Van Winkle. The particular barrel Draeger's selected imparted unique flavor characteristics and corny "sweetness;" it would be fabulous with brown sugar cookies or Scottish shortbread.

Regularly $42.99 $37.99

DOMAINE DU CARROU 2019 SANCERRE DOMAINE DU CARROU 2019 SANCERRE

The wine district named Sancerre in France's Loire Valley sits atop an outcropping of a vein of chalk that runs from England's Dover cliffs all the way to the Loire Valley, where Domaine du Carrou is located in the village of Bué. The area's flinty soils ("silex") retain grape-ripening heat and contribute minerality to the region's famous white Sancerre wines. They are Sauvignon Blancs that are prized by millions for their citrusy, herbal accented fruit flavors and crisp style. Dominique Roger's Domaine de Carrou hand harvests and uses no herbicides or pesticides. Its Sancerre is juicy, bright and almost begs for food. Next stop: Draeger's Cheese Department to score some excellent goat cheese!

Regularly $26.99 $22.99

DOMAINE DU VIEUX LAZARET 2016 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE DOMAINE DU VIEUX LAZARET 2016 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE

Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines are blends made in and around the town of the same name in France's southern Rhône Valley. They are most often red, full-bodied wines combining ripeness, spice, and tannins in a way that makes them superb matches with red meats and spicier fare. The headquarters of the Quiot family's wine businesses are in old stone buildings in the city center named Vieux Lazaret that were used as "hospices" for the poor and sick in the 1700s when plague swept through the population. The ripe, berryish, silky wine leads with Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre and includes ten other grapes.

Regularly $34.99 $29.99

FRITZ HAAG 2018 ESTATE RIESLING FRITZ HAAG 2018 ESTATE RIESLING

The Mosel River enters Germany from France in its southwest corner near Trier. By the time it winds its way to Brauneberg the slopes are extremely steep, and the slate-laced soils are thin and fast draining. This is where the family-owned 415 year old Fritz Haag winery is located. Oliver Haag, winemaker since 2005, makes an entire spectrum of highly regarded Riesling (and only Riesling) sourced from vineyards around Brauneberg, from dry to lusciously sweet. This wine isn't dry, but it isn't sweet either. It's juicy, refreshing, loaded with plumy/peachy fruit flavors, and balanced by a steely core of slate-born minerality and bracing acidity.

Regularly $12.99 $19.99

CHÂTEAU DE PEZ 2014 SAINT-ESTÈPHE BORDEAUX CHÂTEAU DE PEZ 2014 SAINT-ESTÈPHE BORDEAUX

If you enjoy domestic red wine blends you owe it to yourself to become acquainted with wines like Château De Pez, a winery which dates back to 1452! The estate is situated in Saint-Estèphe, a town northwest of the city of Bordeaux. With apologies to Napa Valley, this is where Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes (among others) became royalty in the first place. Most Bordeaux wines are blends; this one is too, mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Like most red wines of substance it has a backbone of tannin that marries with the fruit to produce a wine of power and concentration. It's firm and rich all at the same time, a glassful of red and black fruits and spice.

Regularly $52.99 $43.99

ETUDE 2017 CARNEROS ESTATE GROWN PINOT NOIR ETUDE 2017 CARNEROS ESTATE GROWN PINOT NOIR

Etude Winery was founded by legendary winemaker Tony Soter in 1982, and owes its fame both to the skill of its winemakers (Jon Priest since 2005) and its ability to grow and purchase superior grapes. Its Grace Benoist Ranch estate vineyard is in Carneros, the cool and windy wine district that straddles the southern end of both Napa and Sonoma counties. Etude's 2017 Pinot Noir from that estate vineyard offers fruit nuances suggesting dark berries, cherries, and cranberries. The wine is rich, round, and bright; its finish is long with firm tannins, hints of toasty oak, and beautiful balance.

Regularly $37.99 $29.99

CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA 2018 CHIANTI CLASSICO CASTELLO DI VOLPAIA 2018 CHIANTI CLASSICO

The tiny village of Volpaia near Radda, in central Tuscany, was a walled town with 6 towers 850 years ago. The family that now owns about two-thirds of the tiny village has renovated the ancient winemaking facilities while leaving the exterior walls and towers intact. They've created barrel aging cellars in a church basement (the one on the label) and other reconstructed old buildings, and run stainless pipes under streets to move wines downhill from one place to another! Nearly the entire village population is involved in the winemaking process. Volpaia Chianti Classico is 90% Sangiovese, medium-bodied, with smooth tannins and appealing cherryish, earthy aromas and flavors.

Regularly $22.99 $19.99

FREEMARK ABBEY 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON FREEMARK ABBEY 2016 CABERNET SAUVIGNON

The world is in agreement that one of the most distinct pleasures in life is the enjoyment of a concentrated, succulent Cabernet Sauvignon, especially if it hails from the Rutherford AVA in the middle of Napa Valley. Welcome to Freemark Abbey, a morethan-130-year old winery. Founded by the first female Napa winemaker on record in 1886, Freemark has been making wine often described as hinting of what is called "Rutherford dust." That's not a criticism, it's a compliment, referring to the something special people sense in wines of the area. Their 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, lush, and loaded with rich, dark fruit flavors framed by fine-grained tannins almost hinting of cocoa.

Regularly $53.99 $44.99

VALRAVN 2017 SONOMA COUNTY ZINFANDEL LA RIOJA ALTA VIÑA ARDANZA 2012 RIOJA RESERVA

The Rioja region of north -central Spain is famous, historically, for long-aging its reds (Tempranillo, primarily) in locally-made American oak barrels. Some traditionalist producers of world famous wines (like La Rioja Alta) still hold to the old ways and avoid the use of new French oak. Rather, they use a blend of American oak barrels of mixed ages to minimize the vanilla and baking spice influence of newer wood. Spanish law says Reserva wines from Rioja must be aged for three years, including one year in barrel. La Rioja Alta's Viña Ardanza Reserva sees three years in barrel and an additional three years in bottle before release. It is famously smooth, offering subtle oaky/fruity aromas and flavors and a long finish.

Regularly $39.99 $34.99

TRE CONTRADE 2013 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO TRE CONTRADE 2013 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

When local clones of the Sangiovese grape are grown around the village of Tuscany's Montalcino and made and aged under certain conditions, the wine may be labeled Brunello di Montalcino. Brunellos are often "bigger" or more full-bodied than nearby Chiantis and Vino Nobile di Montepulcianos. Tre Contrade is a private label made for Romano Chietti, co-founder of South San Francisco's Siena Imports from which Draeger's has sourced extraordinary Italian wine for many years. Romano was born in Montalcino. Maria Grazie Salvioni grew the grapes. The wine was aged for 4 years in neutral Slavonian casks and another year in bottle. It's elegant and refined with zippy acidity, black cherryish flavors and well integrated tannin.

Regularly $49.99 $43.99

CHALK HILL 2017 ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY CHALK HILL 2017 ESTATE BOTTLED CHARDONNAY

Located just a mile northeast of Windsor's Foothill Regional Park in stunningly beautiful hill country along Chalk Hill Rd., is Chalk Hill Winery. Chalk Hill barely dodged the raging Tubb's Fire in October of 2017 and they lost some equipment and outbuildings in the huge 2019 Kincade Fire. But the magnificent property including the winery, its vineyards, and its equestrian pavilion survived and remain able to produce one of Sonoma County's iconic Chardonnays, a wine both creamy and bright. Close your eyes and sniff a little barrel "toast" in your glass, accented with hints of lemon, pear, spice and honey. The Estate chardonnay has been prized for its elegant balance for several decades. 91 points, Wine Advocate and the Wine Spectator.

Regularly $41.99 $34.99

MARTINELLI 2017 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY VIGNETO DI EVO ZINFANDEL MARTINELLI 2017 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY VIGNETO DI EVO ZINFANDEL

This four-vineyard blend comes from the cooler reaches of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma. Three of the vineyards are planted with cuttings from the fourth: the legendary Jackass Vineyard, planted in the 1880s. After 135 years, this storied vineyard is still producing quality Zinfandel. The extended Martinelli family is a group of farming cousins who sell 90% of their in-demand grapes to other wineries. Their own winemaking enterprise only began in the 1980s. Soon thereafter a conversation with a winemaking neighbor led to a consulting arrangement; the neighbor turned out to be Helen Turley (look her up). Savor this berryish, peppery, chocolatey, lavenderaccented lush and concentrated glassful while toasting Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini, eloping teenage immigrants from Tuscany. 93 points, Wine Enthusiast.

Regularly $32.99 $29.99

QUINTA DE LA ROSA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT QUINTA DE LA ROSA 10 YEAR OLD TAWNY PORT

Beginning about sixty miles up the Douro River from Oporto on the northern Portuguese coast grapes for Port (and, increasingly, excellent dry table wines) are grown in rocky hand built terraces in three blazing hot river valleys. The partially fermented wines are dosed with high proof clear grape brandy, killing the yeast, leaving a little residual sweetness in the wines. Tawny Port (named for its amber color) has been barrel aged. Quinta De La Rosa 10 Year does not require decanting to revel in its flavors of dried fruits, figs, honey and nuts as an aperitif (chilled, if you like) or after dinner. Port is the world's best wine match with chocolate, by the way.

Regularly $37.99 $32.99

MIGRATION SONOMA COAST 2018 CHARDONNAY OR 2017 PINOT NOIR MIGRATION SONOMA COAST 2018 CHARDONNAY OR 2017 PINOT NOIR

Migration began in 2001 as a brand dedicated to Anderson Valley (Mendocino County) production, established by Duckhorn Wine Company. Duckhorn is famous especially for its Napa Valley Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; Migration was established as a beachhead in its drive to become a serious cool-climate Pinot Noir maker. Over time, as Duckhorn's Goldeneye brand became its Anderson Valley focus, Migration's primary fruit source became Sonoma's Russian River Valley. Chardonnay was added to the lineup in 2008, the first in the Duckhorn Portfolio's forty year history. By 2014 Running Creek Vineyard on River Road west of Santa Rosa became the brand's Estate property. In the years since, Dana Epperson became winemaker and V.P. of Duckhorn Portfolio's Sonoma/Mendocino winemaking and has broadened Migration's reach to include Sonoma Coast and other cool-climate vineyards as far away as Santa Barbara County. Her focus is on the house style she has helped to establish: wines of vibrancy and finesse made from multiple vineyard sources. Running Creek Vineyard's 70 acres of Pinot Noir and 20 of Chardonnay form the backbone of the lineup; access to other elite vineyards within the broader Sonoma Coast appellation broadens Epperson's winemaking possibilities. The 2018 Migration Sonoma Coast Chardonnay hails from the Running Creek Estate as well as Dutton Ranch and Charles Heintz vineyards. It matured for 10 months in (mostly neutral) French oak barrels. You will appreciate it for its notes of stone fruit, apple, citrus, vanilla and spice set off by balancing freshness. The 2017 Pinot Noir (harvested just a week before the devastating Tubbs Fire) offers a basket-load of red fruit flavors such as cherry, blackberry, cranberry and strawberry accented by earthy hints of "forest floor," surrounded by a frame of bright acidity and minerality.

CHARDONNAY, Regularly $36.99 $31.99

PINOT NOIR, Regularly $39.99 $34.99

Wine Tastings

Our San Mateo and Blackhawk wine departments schedule tasting events separately. Schedule >
TERMS: Prices in this newsletter are valid Wednesday, October 16 through Tuesday, December 31.