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    DEPOT DEAL: 94 points, $9.99 (yes, really)

    Last updated 12 days ago

    Portuguese (dry) reds have been a terrific source of value for several years now.  With fortified Port wine finding less of an audience worldwide, the growers in the Douro region have increasingly turned to dry table wines, and often with very good results.  I guess the blends of unfamiliar grapes and lack of much history with these styles has kept the wines off the radar for a lot of drinkers.  That keeps prices down and every once in a while one can find a really nice wine for surprisingly little money.  Looking at what Wine Enthusiast had to say, that seems to be the case in spades with this one.  Tasting the wine myself, I would agree that it is.  

     
    Here's the review:

    "Assobio is from a single vineyard in the Quinta dos Murças estate. A powerful, structured expression of Douro wine, it has black fruits, dark tannins, some subtle layers of wood aging and great concentration. Dark and richly fruity, it needs to mature before drinking. Wait until 2017." 
    94 points, Best Buy 

    Wine Enthusiast

    For those of you who don't want to wait, I'm going to disagree with that critic and say there's plenty of pleasure to be had right now.  I have a glass in front of me, and it's wide open aromatically.  The flavors are a bit tight and will (almost) certainly improve with a bit of time in the cellar, but more than anything, you simply have to understand that this has the density and tannic structure of a more expensive wine.  With a little food, and possibly a couple of hours in a decanter, I think you'll be happy about that.  I will be tonight when my wife and I finish the bottle.

     

    Heres the deal:

    2011 Esporao Assobio Douro, Portugal
     
    94 WE, Best Buy
     

    Regular Price: $13.99

    D&L Sale Price: $9.99
    (one week only) 
      
    The wine is in stock at both Waltham locations.  We'll have some in Woburn and Natick by the end of the week. Please email leahdion@dandlwine.com to reserve yours, or stop by and pick some up while supplies last.   Thanks for reading!
     
    -Doug Schulman, DWS, CWE 
     
     

     

    D&L DEAL: 94 point red $11.99

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Yes, you read the subject correctly.  This has to be the greatest score to price ratio that we've ever offered.  That is, not considering scores from the likes of the Beverage Tasting Institute and Wilfred Wong, but they really don't count anyway.  This one's from a major publication, and this wine is looking like a ridiculous value.  There's only so much at this price, and we expect it to sell fast, so you should probably order whatever you want right away.  We usually have some disappointed customers with offers like this where we can't get more at the same price.  Anyway, this one's perfect for cookouts, and I'm sure a few of you are attending or hosting those this weekend and in the next couple of months.

     
    Check out the review:

    "Another baby Priorato, the 2012 Mas Donis, a custom cuvee from Eric Solomon, is composed of 85% Grenache and 15% Syrah aged nine months in both new and used French and American oak. The Grenache comes from 70-year-old vines, and the Syrah from 30-year-old vines. It is difficult to find a better value than this incredibly rich effort. The bouquet offers up a smorgasbord of aromas, including crushed rocks, spring flowers, kirsch liqueur and blacker fruits. Full-bodied with a velvety, voluptuous texture, and admirable opulence, density, purity and texture."
     
    94 points
    Wine Advocate
     
    Here's the deal:
    2012 Capçanes Mas Donis Barrica Montsant Spain

    Regular Price: $15.99

    D&L Sale Price: $11.99

    To inquire please email leahdion@dandlwine.com or call 781-894-1907

    DEPOT DEAL: Charles & Charles Red 2012

    Last updated 2 months ago

    This one's from a winemaking duo with a lot of credentials: Charles Smith with his highly lauded Washington State Syrahs, including one 100-pointer, and Charles Bieler with all of his international winemaking experience.  At these prices, it's a great deal for people who like big domestic reds.

    Check out the review:

    "Tightly focused and precisely defined, with dark berry, chocolate and rose petal flavors on a supple frame, lingering easily on the polished finish. Drink now through 2018."

    90 points-Wine Spectator

    Here's the deal:

    2012 Charles & Charles, Post No 35 Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from Columbia Valley, WA

    Regular Price: $11.99

    D&L Sale Price: $9.99

    Buy 12+ and get them for $7.99 each!

    The wine is in stock at all locations or buy online at http://www.dandlwine.com

    Tasting with Doug Lehmann tonight! 6-9PM

    Last updated 2 months ago

    Peter Lehmann Wines is putting out a wide range of Australian wines of consistently high quality.  We think they're good values as well, and many of you obviously agree.

     

    Peter's son, Doug Lehmann has a lot of industry experience, including 14+ years as a winemaker and 15+ years as Managing Director of Peter Lehmann Wines.  Like his father, Doug is something of a legend in the Australian wine trade.

     

    We're excited to have Doug Lehmann join us at our Lexington St location tonight from 6-9pm.  He'll be pouring several nice wines from Peter Lehmann, and I'm sure he will have plenty to say about the wines.  It's a rare opportunity to get to meet someone who has done as much in the wine business as Doug has, and it's even better to have him pour and tell us about wines with which he has such a personal connection.

     

    We hope you can join us for this wonderful tasting!

     

    Thursday, May 15th

    850 Lexington St, Waltham, MA

    6pm-9pm

    organic wine: better in any way?

    Last updated 3 months ago

    I just read an article by Miles Edlmann in World of Fine Wine about wines made from organic grapes. This is a topic I think and talk about quite a bit, and the article inspired me to write out some of my own thoughts, for which I will borrow some of Edlmannâ??s information. I want to start out by saying that I am very much interested in doing whatâ??s best for my own body and for the environment. I eat almost entirely organic produce and buy organic whenever possible with almost everything else. Knowing that, it might surprise you to learn that I drink almost no wine that is made from certified organic grapes and absolutely no wine that is considered in this country to be â??organic wineâ??. Iâ??d like to briefly outline my reasoning for choosing to buy and drink the way I do. There are two primary reasons. First, an organic certification does nothing to ensure farming practices that are better for the land than another approach. Second, that certification does nothing to ensure that the wine is any better (or less bad, depending on how you view that one) for the health of the consumer. Nothing. You might find that difficult to believe, so here are a few quick facts to back it up. The most commonly used antifungal treatment for certified organic vines, and really the only â??organicâ?? option available to combat downy mildew, is copper sulfate. Copper sulfate is EXTREMELY toxic to animals and to the environment. Edlmann mentions in his article that a single dose of 300 ppm (parts per million) killed 50% of rats in a lab study, and that â??[t]oxic effects have been reported in humans at levels as low as 11 ppm.â?? Furthermore, copper sulfate does not readily degrade in the environment, and itâ??s highly water soluble. It runs off very easily if thereâ??s rain soon after application, and if not, it bonds to particles in the soil and builds up year after year. What does that mean for the environment? Well, the runoff can be bad â??since a concentration of less than 1mg per liter will kill 50 percent of exposed fish within 48 hours.â?? (Edlmann) Copper, a heavy metal, is also excellent at killing microorganisms, which happens in water systems as well as in the vineyards themselves, where in France, copper levels at 10 times the maximum limit for US farms have been discovered. Even that maximum limit for US vineyards is going to ensure that those extremely important microorganisms have been wiped out. As far as the human toxicity that I mentioned, downy mildew can easily ruin an entire crop, and copper sulfate can be applied directly to the grapes as late as one week before harvest in those certified organic vineyards. I know that gets a bit technical and focuses on a single treatment, but the use of that treatment is extremely widespread in certified organic vineyards, being used by every one of them out of necessity in some regions. I think all of that illustrates the point that the health of the vineyard and that of the consumer is largely dependent on how much the grower and winemaker care about those things in organic or â??conventionalâ?? scenarios, and that the growerâ??s options can be limited to exclusively harmful compounds if they are to rightfully maintain their organic certification. The relevance of all of this information is that producers using organic certifications as a marketing tool donâ??t necessarily have anyoneâ??s best interest in mind besides that of their own bank accounts. I would argue that such is the case with most producers using organic certifications as a marketing tool. And guess what? If they have it on the label, theyâ??re using it as a marketing tool. There are a lot of producers out there who farm organically but havenâ??t paid for the expensive certification because they do it that way out of true caring rather than monetary incentive. The famed Domaine Huet and Francois Chidaine in the Loire Valley are great examples. There are others, such as the prestigious Chateau Margaux, who farm almost entirely organically but donâ??t want to get certified so that they can keep their options open and use the best treatment available at any given time. Chateau Margaux sells for about $1000 per bottle, and they certainly spare no expense when it comes to making the best wine possible, as well as being extremely concerned with the ongoing health of their vineyard land. On the other hand, youâ??ve got one of the largest producers of certified organic wine in this country blatantly lying to their customers. (see my earlier blog post on sulfites at http://www.liquorstoresboston.com/749100/2013/08/30/our-daily-lies-the-sulfite-issue.html) Knowing that company intentionally spreads falsehoods to promote their brand, I donâ??t trust them at all to care about environmental sustainability or the health of their customers. Our Daily Red even lies about what organic viticulture is on their website, saying â??[n]o pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertiliziers [sic] or chemicals are allowed on the vines or in the soil,â?? when herbicides and fungicides are definitely allowed and used as long as they qualify as â??organicâ??. I think this one producer, responsible for several brands, illustrates the point that there isnâ??t a lot of transparency or even honesty being used to sell these massive organic wine brands. For â??organic wineâ?? in the US, growers can spray loads of sulfur on the vines, sometimes leaving residue in the juice, but sulfur canâ??t be used in making the wine. If you can figure that one out, let me know. I donâ??t think there is a rational explanation. I donâ??t know who is to blame for regulations that donâ??t make sense, but itâ??s another example of the smoke and mirrors involved in marketing these wines. I have a severe intolerance for companies intentionally deceiving their customer base, but even before I knew about these instances, I had a simple philosophy when it came to choosing wine. I wanted it to taste good and be well valued. If it was made with organically grown grapes, I saw that as a little bit of a bonus, but certainly not a deciding factor unless all other factors were equal. At that time and now, I havenâ??t seen many wines that say â??organicâ?? on the label and taste really good for their price and category. There are a few, but most times, I choose to drink something else for the same money that I think is significantly better. When it comes to my health and the health of the land, specific details are needed to make informed decisions, and those details can be difficult, if not impossible, to find. Generalization can lead to false conclusions in many situations, but what I generally find is that smaller producers and higher quality producers are usually the ones that are putting a lot of caring into how they treat their land and what goes into the bottle. So, Iâ??ll happily drink wine from my favorite producers, relatively small and producing high quality wine, and trust them to make the decisions which they think are best.

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