FEATURED WINES & WINE REGIONS
We’re constantly on the lookout for new delicious, interesting, hand crafted wines. Click HERE to see our latest finds.
Each month we’ll be featuring a different wine growing region, grape or style of wine. All wines from our featured region or style will be on sale for the whole month and we’ll publish educational info to the website and in our newsletters.
JULY IS JAPANESE SAKE’ MONTH AT TAYLOR’S!
All Sake’s are on Sale for the entire month of July!
10% off marked bottles 1-3 and 15% off marked bottles 4+
Look for colored dots on qualifying selections.
Celebrate Japanese Sake’ Month!
If all you know about Sake is the warm, alcoholic, rustic stuff served at many hibachi grills and Japanese restaurants, then you will be amazed by the range of flavors and the complexity of cold sakes.
Sake’ boasts flavors of berries, melons, anise, lychee, macadamia, peaches, white pepper and a myriad of other tastes can all be found in small batch, artisan made cold-serve Sakes. These Sake’s are not just for pairing with sushi either, they are great food wines that match up well with any cuisine you would normally serve a Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis with.
Sake is a gluten free, sulfite free beverage perfect for many who suffer with headaches, rashes and other allergies associate with many other alcoholic drinks. Often called “rice wine” Sake is actually a brewed product, more similar to beer than to wine. Rice, water, yeast and a special mold affected rice(Koji) are the only ingredients in many premium Sakes (alcohol spirits are added to some to help bring out more flavor), and each of those three components will have a profound effect on the finished product.
Here are some popular sake terms:
- DAIGINJO: 50% or more of kernel polished away.
- GINJO: 40% or more of kernel polished away.
- HONJOZO: 30% or more of kernel polished away.
- FUTSU: “Table Sake” with no minimum polishing requirements. Accounts for 75% of total Sake production
- JUNMAI: Sake made without the addition of distilled alcohol, or “pure rice saké”.
- GENSHU: A Saké that is undiluted before bottling.
- POLISHING GRADES: Rice kernels for making sake are “polished” to remove the proteins, minerals and other impurities located in the outer portion of the kernel to get to the pure, fermentable starches at the center. The more of the outer husk polished away, the better the grade of Sake produced.
- TOKUBETSU: A somewhat vague term that means “special” sake. Polishing of 55+%, low fermentation temperatures, or rare rice strains are some of the most common reasons for a Sake earning a tokubetsu designation.
- NIGORI: A ‘Milk Saké’ or sake that is partially unfiltered or that has had some of the rice solids added back, resulting in a Sake that has a cloudy, milky white texture and appearance. Most have an off-dry to sweet flavor.
- NIHONSHUDO: Also called Saké Meter Value (SMV) – A number that can be found on the back label of many Sakes indicating the sweetness/dryness level. Zero being a neutral sweetness level with higher positive numbers indicating drier Sakes and lower negative numbers indicating sweeter Sakés.
- NAMA: Indicates an unpasteurized Saké.
- YAMAHAI: A traditional, time consuming brewing method that utilizes native yeast strains. Many breweries have abandoned the process since using cultured yeasts takes half the time and creates more predictable flavors. Yamahai Sakes typically have funky, yeasty, smoky, nutty notes.
A FEW FEATURED WINES
Our list of hot items, best sellers and staff favorites!
Chateau Carbonnieux 2014 Pessac-Leognan $49.99
Don’t think crisp and clean style white wines don’t age well? Stick this beautiful wine in the cellar for 10-15 years (The Wine Advocate says it should drink well through 2032 and give it 92pts). 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.
Lail 2015 Blueprint $44.99
Robin Lail is one of the most influential ladies in Napa Valley wine and her family’s history in Napa goes back to the Valley’s earliest days and her great grandfather, Gustav Niebaum (heard of Niebaum-Coppola? Her great grandfather was THAT Niebaum). Her 2014 Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc has beautiful aromas of lemongrass, honeysuckle and Meyer lemon, with a hint of passion fruit and vanilla. In the mouth the wine is acid driven, fresh, vibrant and focused with classic citrus flavors so characteristic of the grape. It shows the intensity a complexity of another great vintage in Napa Valley.
Saint Clair Family Estates 2016 Wairau Reserve $32.99
Saint Clair is one of Marlborough’s top producers of Sauvignon Blanc and their top expression is the ‘Wairau Reserve’ bottling. The Saint Clair team go through n extensive grading process assessing each of their and their grower vineyards. The most distinctive parcels of fruit and wines go into the ‘Pioneer Block’ bottlings, but the outstanding wine goes into the ‘Wairau Reserve’. Thus the flagship wine is usually a single vineyard wine, and each vintage of the ‘Wairau Reserve’ can potentially be from a different site each year. Occasionally, the characteristics of a few of the parcels are so good and complementary that a blend can make the ‘Wairau Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc, this being the case in 2016 when two neighbouring vineyards in the Dillons Point sub-region needed to be put together. One had great aromatic intensity, the other possessed an impressive depth of palate weight. 2016 was a challenging vintage for Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, with thiol expression prevalent from the ripeness of the fruit. The Saint Clair team ensured there were “flinty, nettle and leaf” spectrum elements to provide a crisp and clean edge to the wines. Here, I review the 2016 ‘Wairau Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc.
Reverdy 2015 Cuvee Les Coutes Sancerre $29.99
There is perhaps no better match for a dozen oysters than minerally Sancerre from one of the best producers in the region. This release is always a cut above textbook Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, with bright acidity, smoke, citrus and grassiness. Reverdy is packed full of fresh lime, lime zest, chalk and nettles. With a lip-smacking acidity, this is an refreshing and classical expression of the appellation.
TAYLOR'S PRIVATE LABEL IS HERE
Band of Blends 2014 Paso Robles Red Wine Blend, Lot #1
For our 2nd private label we turned to our favorite hunter of exceptional wines at incredible prices, The Treasure Hunter himself, Hunter Vogel. A blend of 43% Grenache, 38% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 9% Petite Sirah, this is a bold and spicy blockbuster you won’t believe. Hunter knew that we have loved the Moon Duck Red that he did a couple years ago with Saxum assistant winemaker Mark Adams, so he went in search of another winner from Paso Robles for the Taylor’s wine lovers and came back with this absolute stunner.
As usual, Hunter can divulge the original source (otherwise the original winery couldn’t get away with charging premium pricing for their label) but he can say that it’s from a “big name,” mailing list only winery who’s stuff normally isn’t available in NC unless you’re one of the lucky few on their list. He also says that the 2013 version of this wine under the main label got 95 points from Parker’s Wine Advocate.
Beautiful deep crimson color, offering up notes of black raspberries, cassis, hints of bacon fat, liquid violets and pepper. Full-bodied and concentrated, yet showing surprising finesse with a silky finish that has a beautiful purity of fruit with fine tannins.
Suggested Price: $50 – $60 Taylor’s Label Price: $34.99