Wine Newsletter - Spring 2019 Edition

Draeger's Market Spring Wine Sale! Spring 2019 Wine Newsletter Draeger's Spring Wine Sale, April 3 through April 16 - 20% Off! Save up to 20% when you purchase 12 or more bottles of wine
  • We stock over 3,000 of the world's finest wine
  • Our wines are hand selected by consultants who have over 100 years of combined experience in the industry.
  • We store old and rare wines in temperature controlled wine cellars.
  • A friendly and knowledgeable staff are on duty 10:00am-7:00pm every day.

Upcoming Tasting Events

Down under at Draeger's! Saturday, May 4 from 12-3 P.M. at Draeger's in San Mateo

Join Draeger's and Wine Australia for a grand tasting of top quality Australian wines. The $50 ticket includes tastes of all the 40+ wines and hors d'oeuvres. A 20% discount will be applied to all of the tasting wines purchased that day or any pre-sell wines picked up later. A list of the wines will be available approximately a week before the tasting.

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A Taste Of Italy Saturday, May 18 from 1-4 P.M. at Draeger's in Menlo Park

Join us for a grand tasting of memorable Italian wines. The $30 ticket includes tastes of all the 30-35 wines and assorted cheeses from the Cheese Department. A 20% discount will be applied to all of the tasting wines purchased that day or any pre-sell wines picked up later. A list of the wines will be available approximately a week before the tasting.

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Wines Of The Iberian Peninsula The Best of Spain and Portugal Saturday, May 18 from 1-4 P.M. at Draeger's in Blackhawk

Join us in the Cooking School for a grand tasting of wines from Spain and Portugal. The $30 ticket includes tastes of all 30+ wines and artisan cheeses courtesy of our own cheesemonger Christiana Choo. A 20% discount will be applied to all of the tasting wines purchased that day or any pre-sell wines picked up later. A list of the wines will be available approximately a week before the tasting.

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GAME OF THRONES SCOTCH WHISKY COLLECTION GAME OF THRONES SCOTCH WHISKY COLLECTION

Perhaps you've noticed the resemblance between the geography of Scotland and the fictional continent of Westeros in The Game of Thrones shows. London-based Diageo, maker of many of the world's finest spirits, certainly has. In honor of the series' popularity it has created a limited edition collection of single malt scotch whiskies selected by its master of whisky Ewan Morgan. Each whisky's unique expression is linked to a House sigil based on the history of the distillery. The pairings are: House Greyjoy, Talisker Select Reserve; House Tyrell, Clynelish Reserve; House Lannister, Lagavulin 9 Year; House Tully, The Singleton Glendullan Select; House Targaryen, Cardhu Reserve; House Stark, Dalwhinnie Winter's Frost; House Baratheon, Royal Lochnagar 12 Year; and The Night's Watch, Oban Bay Reserve. Each Draeger's store is allocated only six sets and when you play the game you win or you die; there is no middle ground! They will be offered only as a complete collection.

Set of 8 Bottles, Limit 1 per customer $499.99

BELE CASEL, NV ASOLO PROSECCO SUPERIORE EXTRA BRUT BELE CASEL, NV ASOLO PROSECCO SUPERIORE EXTRA BRUT

Prosecco, one of the world's most popular sparkling wines, comes from the Veneto region of northeastern Italy. Really good versions from designated growing regions (DOCG) must pass certain minimum quality standards and are excellent wines for sipping, not just for mixing Bellinis. About thirty miles northwest of Venice a small family winery makes Bele Casel using grapes grown in or near the steep vineyards of Monfumo within the Asolo district west of the Piave river, one of the two primary DOCG areas where Glera (the primary Prosecco) grapes are grown. A secondary fermentation in tank produces a fully sparkling wine full of subtle peach-apricot aromas layered with hints of apple and pear. It's an excellent dry wine worth appreciating on its own.

Regular: $19.99 Special: $14.99

MAISON LOMBARD, 2014 CROZES-HERMITAGE MAISON LOMBARD, 2014 CROZES-HERMITAGE

The folks behind the Domaine Lombard label make estate wines that are more expensive expressions of Syrah, the only legal red grape in the northern Rhône appellation. This Maison Lombard is more affordable wine made from fruit purchased from their esteemed neighbors in the Crozes-Hermitage winegrowing region, in the flatlands around the base of the world-famous Hermitage hill above the Rhône River. The soils in Le Chassis vineyard tend toward clay and result in a softer Syrah wine with fairly forward strawberry aromas leading to black currant-like flavors. A grilled Draeger's loin lamb chop would be a classic pairing!

Regular: $31.99 Special: $26.99

TURNBULL WINE CELLARS, 2017 OAKVILLE NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC TURNBULL WINE CELLARS, 2017 OAKVILLE NAPA VALLEY SAUVIGNON BLANC

Sauvignon Blanc's green grapes yield delicious white wines that run the gamut of flavors from lime zest to peach and harbor a unique ability to survive on the table even when paired with artichokes or asparagus–two notorious wine killers. Napa Valley's Oakville district offers a climate that consistently blends warm inland air with cooler San Pablo Bay breezes. Turnbull Wine Cellars winemaker Peter Heitz vinifies rich Oakville fruit (mostly from the Home Vineyard right behind the winery along Hwy. 29) in a combination of concrete and stainless steel vessels and ages the wine on its lees with occasional stirring to create a Sauvignon Blanc that is at once rich and bright. It is a mouthwatering version hinting of grapefruit, melon and citrus.

Regular: $22.99 Special: $19.99

SANTIAGO RUIZ, 2014 RÍAS BAIXAS SPANISH WHITE SANTIAGO RUIZ, 2014 RÍAS BAIXAS SPANISH WHITE

This is a crisp, dry, creamy blend of several grapes, chief among them Albariño. The Celtic descendants in Galicia in far northwestern Spain drink more white wine and eat more seafood than other Spaniards, and this aromatic grape figures prominently in their diets. There are vines more than 200 years old in this part of Galicia, known as Rías Baixas (REE-us BUY-shus), and until the 1980s, winemaking was fairly primitive and the wines consumed locally. With the advent of modern wine education and temperature controlled fermenting tanks the wine quality has increased exponentially and exports have boomed. Bodega Santiago Ruiz winery is just north of the River Miño that separates Spain from Portugal, where Albarinho (as it is known there) originated.

Regular: $19.99 Special: $16.99

IDIOT'S GRACE, 2014 COLUMBIA GORGE CABERNET FRANC IDIOT'S GRACE, 2014 COLUMBIA GORGE CABERNET FRANC

Cabernet Franc (originally from Spain's Basque region) is famous for yielding wines hinting of herbs and violets, particularly in Bordeaux and Chinon in the Loire Valley. This parent of Cabernet Sauvignon (the white grape Sauvignon Blanc is the other) is increasingly in demand in our stores, both in French and California forms. Now comes Memaloose Vineyards in Mosier, Oregon, with a full-bodied, rich, memorable version from the Columbia Gorge AVA. A few miles east of Hood River, across the Columbia River from Lyle, Washington, is Idiot's Grace Vineyard at about 300'. 2014 was the third in a 4-year warm climate cycle, and Idiot's Grace Cabernet Franc wine reflects the beautiful, ripe fruit from which it was made.

Regular: $31.99 Special: $27.99

PONZI VINEYARDS, 2017 WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT GRIS PONZI VINEYARDS, 2017 WILLAMETTE VALLEY PINOT GRIS

Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio in Italy) is a clone of Pinot Noir that includes a color mutation. So the grape can show as silvery, pinkish, yellowish–and its wine can be very different depending on where it is grown and how it is vinified. Oregon's Ponzi Vineyards consistently makes a memorable and delicious version. It was a pioneer for the variety when Dick and Nancy Ponzi first planted it in 1978. This bottling is a blend of estate and purchased fruit, made by daughter Luisa Ponzi, who–with her sister Anna Maria–has helped elevate the winery into one of the most respected in the country. Expect rich mouthfeel and aromas and flavors that lean toward citrus and pear, with light spice.

Regular: $16.99 Special: $14.99

TENUTA DELLE TERRE NERE, 2017 ETNA ROSSO TENUTA DELLE TERRE NERE, 2017 ETNA ROSSO

Through most of the twentieth century Sicilian wines were generally about quantity rather than quality. That&339;s changed– some of Italy's best wines are now made there, many of them stupendous values, some of them collectible. The vineyards on the volcano near the eastern shore that you've seen erupting on the nightly news, Mt. Etna, have experienced a resurgence of quality production since the 1990s; the sunny but chilly climate up the slopes results in many elegant wines. The black volcanic "soils" host (among others) a grape known as Nerelo Mascalese, a lightly colored major component of many Mt. Etna reds. Terre Nere makes single vineyard wines of serious repute, but also this excellent medium-bodied red suggesting cherries, rose and smoke.

Regular: $26.99 Special: $23.99

SCHUG, 2016 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR SCHUG, 2016 SONOMA COAST PINOT NOIR

Fans of leaner-style Pinot Noir will appreciate this wine which offers notes of red cherries, raspberries, spice, and herbs. Winemaker Michael Cox aged his wine in older wooden vessels of various sizes to minimize new-oak vanilla flavors as his mentor, the late Walter Schug, would have. Schug (who grew up on a Pinot Noir estate in Assmannshausen, Germany along the Rhine River) arrived in this country in the late 1950s, worked for a couple of large Central Valley wineries, and became the founding winemaker at famed Joseph Phelps winery in Napa. He presided over the creation of Napa's first ice wine and the iconic Bordeaux-style blend called Insignia before founding his own Carneros wine estate in Sonoma in 1980, now operated by his children. 90 points, Decanter Magazine.

Regular: $24.99 Special: $19.99

SPRING VALLEY VINEYARD, 2013 URIAH, WALLA WALLA VALLEY RED WINE SPRING VALLEY VINEYARD, 2013 URIAH, WALLA WALLA VALLEY RED WINE

The rolling, arid hills around Walla Walla in southeastern Washington support farming (famous onions, and wheat, among other crops) and now–around 150 years after the first farming families arrived–wine grape production. The first grapes (2 acres of Merlot) at Spring Valley Vineyard were planted in 1993. Dean and Shari Corkrum Derby's son Devin returned to the ranch and made the first wine (Uriah, after his great-grandfather) in 1999. The wines quickly garnered terrific reviews and after Devin's tragic death his friend and assistant winemaker, French-born Serge Laville, assumed the winemaking task. This Uriah red wine is a classic Bordeaux-style blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec aged 21 months in 65% new French oak. Expect lushness, concentration, sweet tannins and a long finish.

Regular: $49.99 Special: $39.99

MÜLLER, 2017 GRÜNER VELTLINER, NIEDERÖSTERREICH, AUSTRIA MÜLLER, 2017 GRÜNER VELTLINER, NIEDERÖSTERREICH, AUSTRIA

Austrian wines are on a quality roll since a 1985 scandal involving adulterated mass market wines nearly ruined the industry. Modern growers are fanatical about quality and the wines–reds and whites–are world renowned. Grüner Veltliner is the "national white," though Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and others are grown. Austrian whites are (unless they are dessert wines) dry, bold, and bright. Grüner's lightly peppery and refreshing nature has made it quite popular in recent years in Draeger's stores. Helma and daughter Marlies Müller- Grossman make this appealing wine at their winery near the Danube River in the Kremstal district of Niederösterreich, eastern ("Lower") Austria, northwest of Vienna.

Regular: $15.99 Special: $13.99

WALTER HANSEL, 2016 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY ESTATE VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY WALTER HANSEL, 2016 RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY ESTATE VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY

Auto dealer Walter Hansel planted a half acre of Chardonnay vines in the 1970s and every year, after the family harvest, he and son Steve would make the admittedly “hard to drink” wine. Steve's friend and famed winemaker Tom Rochioli offered winemaking advice and Steve's career as a commercial winemaker began in 1996 in his garage. Walter Hansel wines are now in great demand at Draeger's. This wine is a blend of fruit from the original and several more recent vineyards; the grapes are pressed into 1- and 2-year old barrels (never new oak) for the initial and later malolactic fermentation (which softens acids and lends a buttery nuance). An elegant, luscious Chardonnay is the result, both bright and rich.

Regular: $49.99 Special: $39.99

BONNY DOON, 2018 VIN GRIS DE CIGARE BONNY DOON, 2018 VIN GRIS DE CIGARE

Vin Gris (van-GREE) is a style of rosé wine that is made by limiting red grapes' skin contact with their juice, resulting in very light color in the finished wine, so the term translates as grey wine. Sometime the style results from a bleed-off technique which concentrates the remaining juice in red winemaking. Other winemakers dedicate specific grape lots to be made into this style of rosé, allowing them to fine tune a wine's ripeness levels, acidity, and mix of grapes. Bonny Doon Vineyard's iconic founder and winemaker Randall Graham did that, selecting a mix of (mostly red) grapes from several Central Coast vineyards. The wine was briefly aged on its lees, resulting in richer mouthfeel. It has been one of America's signature quality rosés for a long time; this version is no exception.

Regular: $16.99 Special: $13.99

CROSSBARN SONOMA COAST 2017 CHARDONNAY AND 2016 PINOT NOIR CROSSBARN SONOMA COAST 2017 CHARDONNAY AND 2016 PINOT NOIR

Famed winemaker Paul Hobbs' CrossBarn Winery, named for a favorite barn on his family's upstate New York farm, is located north of Sebastopol within the Sonoma Coast AVA (American Viticultural Area). Including about half of the total Sonoma County area at around 500,000 acres but with the fewest vineyard acres, Sonoma Coast includes some of the rainiest, chilliest, foggiest grape growing lands in California, especially near its western coastal edge. (A new sub-AVA to be called West Sonoma Coast is under consideration by the Federal government.) The appellation runs from San Pablo Bay all the way to the Mendocino County line, is as much as 40 miles wide and includes 6 sub-AVAs such as Russian River Valley and Carneros. Properly managed like CrossBarn's these vineyards produce excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. CrossBarn Chardonnay is fermented mostly in stainless steel tanks; 8% is barrel fermented to add a slight richness which is accented by 100% malolactic fermentation. The Pinot Noir is aged 10 months in mostly used oak barrels. Both are well made wines offering appealing but not over the top cool climate fruit balanced by pleasing brightness.

Chardonnay, Regular: $29.99 Special: $24.99

Pinot Noir, Regular: $39.99 Special: $31.99

Draeger's Wine Tastings

Our San Mateo and Blackhawk wine departments schedule tasting events separately. Click the Wines tab at Wine Tasting Schedules to view the most recent schedule.
TERMS: Special prices in this newsletter are effective March 13 through May 28 or as supplies last. Should a pricing error occur the posted price in the store will prevail. We offer an everyday 10% case discount for the purchase of 12 or more bottles of regularly priced 750ml-size wines, mix or match. All items in this newsletter are net priced, no further discount.