Saturday, May 30, 2009


For the past few years, we here at Liquor Direct have more-or-less adopted the Hahn Family Estates wines (including Cycles Gladiator, Huntington, and Smith & Hook) as our house wines. We've been extremely pleased with the entire portfolio, represented here by Wimbledon Wines, and our good friend John Erickson (who has begun his own endeavor called Lamara Wine Brokerage).

Last year, John brought in Hahn winemaker Adam LaZarre to treat some of our customers to an in-store Pinot tasting, featuring some great wines and Adam's madcap personality. Our owners had met Adam at the winery earlier while enjoying some wine and golf in California, and had hoped to get Adam to share his passion for wine with us back home. And that he did. And in the process, made us all friends and "minions" for good.
Recently, Adam was asked to take over the reins at a fairly new winery in Paso Robles called Villa San Juliette. Begun as a reality TV show project called "Corkscrewed" by executive producers/fledgling winery owners Nigel Lythgoe (of Fox TV's "So You Think You Can Dance" fame) and Ken Warwick (of Fox TV's "American Idol"). While the "Corkscrewed" show was a flop, the winery had potential, and needed a skilled winemaker to take control. Enter Adam, who has the winery headed in the right direction.

We've selected two of their wines to feature as our June Wines of the Month: The Petite Sirah 2007 and Sauvignon Blanc 2008. The Petite Sirah is fruit-driven, with substantial blue fruit in the nose and on the palate. It possesses lively spice notes and well-balanced fruit, acidity and oak. It's a really nice introduction to PS for those who haven't discovered how great this varietal is. The Sauvignon Blanc (coming from Paso Robles) is a really nice surprise, showing off character reminiscent of a white Pessac-Leognan: mineral, citrus, fresh herbs, fresh cut hay (a little less on the herbaceousness and more prominent fruit here though). Delicious, vibrant, and very easy on the palate, a perfect white wine for the summertime.

Look for the rest of the Villa San Juliette lineup next month. And if you're in Paso Robles, drop in and tell Adam and the gang Kentucky says "hello."

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