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Dear Friends,

During the summer, I tend not to release the bigger red wines, due to the heat (especially this summer). Today, I am bucking that tradition. I recently tasted two stunners that were showing so well, it would just be wrong to keep them from you. Lot 251 2009 Arroyo Seco, Monterey County Syrah Grenache Mourvedre and Lot 249 2009 Alexander Valley Meritage.

While these wines would be a perfect accompaniment to Thanksgiving, both are delicious unescorted or will pair exceptionally with the myriad of foods in season during late summer. These wines come from incredible vineyards boasting top vineyard practices and masterful winemaking teams.

As many of you know, I love the black pepper found in cooler climate Syrah and Grenache. Lot 251 2009 Arroyo Seco Monterey County Syrah Grenache Mourvedre comes from a diverse climate with a moderating influence of coastal proximity and fog, a symbol of the Arroyo Seco AVA. This winery combines meticulous farming, great dirt, diurnal temperature swings, and careful winemaking to make one of the best Rhone-style blends in California. Incredibly approachable with excellent structure and complexity, it is no surprise that this Grenache/Syrah based wine goes for over $30/bottle under it’s original label (a high price for GSM).  With a similar base wine to Lot 241 2009 Arroyo Seco Monterey County Syrah Grenache Mourvedre, this has grown to be one of my choice wines for summer.

Our next offering is the Lot 249 2009 Alexander Valley Meritage. This wine is sourced from choice vineyards in the hillsides of Alexander Valley just east of Geyserville, where some of the most revered Cabernets in California are grown. The vineyard soil is just gorgeous, comprised of deep gravelly volcanics and alluvial drainage. The base wine spent 12 months on its lees in 40% new French Oak that does a terrific job of elevating the fruit without dominating the wine. It was then blended with other beautiful parcels of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv, and Petite Verdot and let age even longer, showing the inherent complexities that exist in this wine. The bottom line on this wine folks is that it comes from one of the best kept secrets in Northern California, gorgeous hillside Alexander vineyards boasting Rutherford-class dirt at 700ft elevation reinforced with great blending pieces from Dry Creek. If you like classic Bordeaux blends with high-toned California styling, pick this wine up now.

As always folks, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at anytime at 1-800-805-1971 with any questions you may have about these or any other wines. You may also send us an email at


Cameron Hughes

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toll 800 805 1971 | phone 415 495 1350 | email 251 Rhode Island St. San Francisco, CA 94103

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