Mission Wines featured in the LA Times!
S. Irene Virbilia writes:
"Head sommelier at Patina for a decade, Chris Meeske opened Mission Wines with his former boss Joachim Splichal as investor in 2004. Meeske says people like to joke, telling him, You were a sommelier before it was cool to be a sommelier. But after 15 years working the floor at night, he was ready to try something else. Meeske's South Pasadena shop is laid out with sections for various wine regions and within those categories, something at every price point..."
Super Saturday Afternoon Wine Tasting
12 Noon - 5 pm
Wine Tasting $15.00
$10.00 with purchase of any wine in the shop
German Gilabert “Brut Nature” Cava Penedes, Spain $14.99
Fresh, fine bubbles with orchard fruit, and a gentle leesiness, this medium bodied elegant, dry, sparkling from Spain finishes with a note of dusty minerals and attractive lingering aromatics. Cava is Spain’s most famous sparkling wine. In order to be called Cava, the wine has to be made using the Champagne method where the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle. The grapes used for German Gilabert come from the subzone Alt Penedes, where the highest elevation plots are located. Only native grapes are used, and the wine is bottled without added sugar. Fermented in stainless steel vats. Bottled with no dosage.” (Importer) 50% Macabeo, 30% Xarlel-lo, 20% Parellada. Organic.
2013 Heger Pinot Blanc Baden, Germany $19.99
This wine is so crisp and fresh, it’s hard not to love. A textbook Pinot Blanc with a pleasantly fruity and slightly floral scent with aromas of white peaches and hints of citrus. Its nicely balanced acidity cuts through the fruity body very pleasantly. Long and zippy finish.
Just a few miles from the French border, in the region of Baden, Heger has a small compact area of vines planted around the stump of an extinct volcano that rises above the Rhein River Valley, just east of the Alsace border. The range of hills here, called the Kaiserstuhl, is the warmest place in Germany and boasts the largest selections of native orchids in Europe. Figs and apricots grow well here while rare butterflies, sand lizards and praying mantis are found in abundance—species most commonly found in Mediterranean climates. (Importer)
2011 L’Ancienne Mercerie “Les Petites Mains” Faugeres, Languedoc-Roussillon, France $18.99
“This cuvée is a hommage to a talented grandmother renowned for the brightly colored clothes she made... This wine associates the straight, pure line of the Carignan variety with the seductive Syrah, the rich softness of the Grenache, the elegance of the Mourvèdre and the fresh style of the Cinsaut. This Faugères, magnificently rich in fruit, will seduce novices as much as connaisseurs who appreciate complex wines.” (Winemaker) 50% Carignan, 25% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre.
L’Ancienne Mercerie, located in the Languedoc, is owned by Francois and Nathalie Caumette. They have converted Francois’s grandmother, atelier de couture or sewing workshop into their winery which explain the name of the Domaine. The previous generations were working along with the coop as most of the winemakers from the area would but the Caumette were looking for most fulfilling and with a qualitative aim. 2000 was their first vintage and they have been certified organic since 2009 . The vineyard has a very low yield: 20-25hl/ha, which is very low for the appellation. Nathalie is now the president of the Faugere’s growers.
2012 Susana Balbo "Signature" Mendoza Malbec, Argentina $23.99
“Beautiful deep violet color with exploding aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and violets framed by hints of oak and mint. The wonderful aromas are mirrored on the palate, and they are joined by ripe plum fruit and a hint of toasty vanilla, bittersweet chocolate, and a hint of mint on the finish. This is a ripe and rich style of wine, reigning in the fruit and focusing it into a long finish. A wine that truly struggles between its fun and serious side. Pairs well with a wide range of foods from beef and pork to game birds or even meat-based pastas. This is what Malbec is all about.” (Winemaker)
Susana Balbo has been making wine since 1981. In a country dominated by male winemakers, she stands out not only because of her gender, but for the incredible skill she has demonstrated through her wines. Travelling the world and spending one month each year,visiting and studying with local growers and winemakers in Australia, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa and Spain,she has produced a wider variety of wine than any other winemaker in Argentina.
2012 Patricia Green “Freedom Hill” Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Oregon $37.99
92 points Stephen Tanzer: "Brilliant ruby. Highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red fruits, rose oil, musky underbrush and cola, with a sexy Asian spice overtone. Takes a darker turn on the palate, offering sweet blackberry and floral pastille flavors and a touch of candied licorice. Spicy, penetrating and appealingly sweet on the subtly tannic finish, with the berry and cola notes echoing strongly."
Patricia Green Cellars is located along Ribbon Ridge Road, in the heart of a long, narrow ridge famous as the home of some of the best wineries in Oregon. Her neighbors include Shea Vineyard, Brick House, Penner Ash, Bergstrom, Adelsheim, and Beaux Freres. Patty's winery is next to Beaux Freres and her estate vineyard is contiguous with theirs.Among her neighbors, Patty's style is unique. She's a bit hippie, a bit hip, with a dash of down-to-earth, and a smidge of world wise. She and business partner Jim Anderson have grown a poorly managed winery and vineyard purchased in 1999 into an institution among Oregon wine collectors. (DandM)
Last Friday of the Month Wine Tasting
SOUTHERN COMFORT: DISCOVERING SOUTHERN ITALY
4 PM to 8 PM
5 Wines for $25 per person
The wine industry of Southern Italy is in the middle of an exciting renaissance. The fertile terrain of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and the rest of the tip of the 'boot' once comprised the most diverse region for grape cultivation in the world, thanks to the Greeks. In recent times, however, southern Italy has been mostly dedicated to bulk wine production, but this is changing. Over the last several decades a fresh crop of talent has brought new energy to the area, invigorating family businesses by replanting vineyards to indigenous varieties and upgrading production practices to compete with the world's best wineries. These talented producers are leading a serious effort to restore integrity and diversity of southern Italy, and the world is paying attention.
For this tasting, we've carefully chosen a 'best of' lineup of wines that represent the diversity of styles and terroir in southern Italy, made by the region's best and most exciting producers today.
Don't miss this special opportunity to taste and rediscover the wines of hotspot southern Italy!
2013 Quintodecimo "Exultet" Fiano d'Avellino, Campania, Italy $63.99
Based in the mountains of Taurasi in Campania, Luigi Moio of Quintodecimo produces wines of superb quality from native varieties that should be on any serious wine drinker's radar. His organically farmed single vineyard "Exultet" is 100% Fiano d'Avellino, a white varietal indigenous to the region. Raised in a combination of stainless steel and small oak casks and aged on the lees for seven months, "Exultet" is a truly world-class wine. It's among the top white wines produced in southern Italy and the finest expression of Fiano d'Avellino we've ever tasted.
Antonio Galloni: "Proprietor Luigi Moio continues to set the bar high - very high - at his small property in Campania. Moio's rich, textured whites and reds are among the most exciting wines being made in Italy today. I never miss a chance to drink them, and neither should you."
2011 Argiolas "Korem" Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia, Italy $49.99
91 points Robert Parker: "Made with 55% Bovale, 35% Carignano and 10% Cannonau, the 2011 Korem (an IGT Isola dei Nuraghi wine) is dark and penetrating from the start with exotic tones of pressed fruit, cardamom, clove and dried herb. This vintage is especially fruit-forward with sun drenched tones of black fruit and prune. It sees 12 months of new oak. Korem should be consumed over the next four or five years.
Argiolas is a leading name in Italian wine. Owned by Franco and Giuseppe Argiolas, the estate wines bare the timeless marks of consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis who set the winemaking tone here many years ago. Argiolas continues to make some of Sardinia's best wines." (ML, 12/2014)
2010 Benanti "Rovittello" Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy $44.99
92 points Robert Parker: "The 2010 Etna Rosso Rovittello is 80-20 Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from the Contrada Rovittello on the north face of the volcano at 700 meters above sea level. Rovittello is a gorgeous wine with a long aging future ahead. There’s a degree of richness and plumpness that is rare to find in the generally austere red wines from Etna. Black cherry and black currants are backed by light touches of cinnamon and clove (it ages up to 12 months in used oak). Drink 2015-2026.
Benanti has led efforts to raise Etna to the winemaking heights it enjoys today. Back when the notion of Contrade (Etna subzones) was a hazily defined fledgling idea, the Benanti family was carefully experimenting with indigenous grapes planted at various altitudes and locations on the massive cone of the volcano. The modern success of Etna wine is unquestionably linked to the hard work and innovation underway at Benanti." (ML, 05/2014)
2012 Elena Fucci "Titolo" Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata, Italy $45.99
The Fucci family estate is located in the highest part of the famous Contrada Solagna del Titolo region, on the foot of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano. The vineyards were purchased in the sixties by Generoso Fucci and production remains a family affair today; granddaughter Elena Fucci makes the wines and grandpa 'Roso' still personally tends to the vines on a daily basis. Elena describes her winemaking style as "modern but not modernist," following a gentle, hands-off approach as she coaxes the highest expression of the Aglianico variety, its terroir and the tradition of the land from each harvest. Recognized by Italy's most prestigious wine magazine, Gambero Rosso, for her excellence as a winemaker, Elena Fucci's "Titolo" is a consistent Tre Bicchere award-winner, the publication's highest rating.
94+ points Galloni (2011 vintage): "Medium red-ruby. Perfumed, wild aromas of raspberry, dark cherry, iron and dried flowers on the knockout nose. Then silky, pliant and compellingly rich, with superb density to the flavors of red fruits, sweet spices and fresh aromatic herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with considerable power. This may well merit an even higher score with aging but it will need a good five to seven years of patience. Titolo has been the best Aglianico del Vulture for many years now and is really one of Italy's better red wines."
2010 Galardi "Roccamonfina" Terra di Lavoro, Northwest Campania, Italy $89.99
Nestled among stunning chestnut groves high in the hills of Sessa Aurunca in northwestern Campania, Fattoria Galardi is making one of Campania's hottest cult wines. With the help of consulting oenologist 'the wizard' Riccardo Cotarella, this small family-owned estate initially produced just this wine (a second label was introduced with the 2013 vintage) and everyone is in a frenzy to get their hands on the last few bottles available of the remarkable 2010 vintage. "Roccamonfina" is a proprietary red blend based on the noble Aglianico (80%) with the balance consisting of Piedirosso, Cabernet Sauvignon and a handful of other varieties. It is an immense wine, dark and brooding, with the potential to age for a very long time.
97+ points Robert Parker: "I hope one day to have another chance to taste a vertical of Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro because I have a strong feeling the 2010 will occupy a place among the very finest vintages produced on this tiny vineyard on the slopes of the Roccamonfina volcano. An exotic melange of tar, smoke, graphite, blackberry jam and savory herbs explode from the glass. The 2010 is intense and full-bodied, yet also incredibly elegant. A big, breathtaking wine, the 2010 continues to build all the way through to a deeply resonant, expressive finish. I would choose to leave this uttterly beguiling Campanian red alone for the better part of a decade, but readers are going to have a very hard time excercising that patience. This is a fabulous effort from proprietors Arturo and Dora Celentano, and their long-time winemaker Riccardo Cotarella." (AG, 02/2013)
No reservations required.
All wines featured in the tasting will be available for purchase.
Have you ever heard of the red wine grape Romé? We hadn't either until one of our favorite importers introduced us to this delicious and unusual red wine from Mediterranean hills in the Axarquia region east of Málaga in Southern Spain. In this forested corner of Andalucia, grower-vintner Lauren Rosillo, who began making wine in 1997 as assistant to Michel Poudou in the Langeudoc, farms a scant 2.5 hectares of hundred-plus year-old vines rooted in steep slate. Aptly described as "Mediterranean Mountain Wine" on the label, the 2012 Laderas de Sedella Sierras de Malaga red was made from a field blend consisting mainly of the rare, thick-skinned Romé variety indigenous to the region, along with some very old-vine Grenache. It was aged for approximately a year in new French oak barrels with minimal intervention to let Romé's unique varietal characteristics shine.
This fascinating red exhibits wonderful depth and intensity, showing brambly berry fruit aromas and flavors with lots of earthy and floral notes enhancing its rustic mountain character. You will be surprised by its noble structure, firm tannins and fine length on the finish. A real find!
91 points Robert Parker: "In 2008, Lauren Rosillo planted 0.9 hectares with the same field-blend found in the original Sedella vineyard: Romé, Garnacha, Jaén (Mencía), (white) Montua and Moscatel Romano. He tried to replicate the old vineyard as much as possible on this plot located at 800 meters on a north-facing slope on slate soils. This first 2012 Laderas de Sedella also followed a very similar process, with all the grapes harvested and fermented together in stainless steel. But in this case, malolactic fermentation was carried out in a combination of oak and cement amphorae where the wine matured for 12 months without racking. The nose is a combination of flowers, Mediterranean herbs, pollen, beeswax and red berries. The palate is medium-bodied, with great acidity, very tasty, elegant and with very fine-grained tannins. Great value.1,912 bottles produced." (2/2015)
Jancis Robinson: "...there is very much more to this wine than its label. What really caught my attention was the liquid itself. And that was before I realised it is made from a field blend consisting mainly of the rare Málaga dark-skinned grape Romé, a speciality of the Axarquia region east of Málaga where this wine was grown...this is a particularly accomplished, sophisticated dry red."
Our supply is limited; bottles sold on first-come basis. Special pricing valid through 4/20/15 while supplies last. Shipping for online orders will be applied when order is confirmed. No further discounts apply.
Sunday thru Friday, during normal business hours
• $15/ Flight of 3 wines/$10 with purchase of any wine
Saturday, 12pm to 5pm
• $15/5 wines/$10 with purchase of any wine
Craftsman Brewing Co. beer available on tap for $5
We have elegant gift-box presentations to complement any of our wines and are always eager to hand-select, wrap, and ship wine gifts to your friends and clients within your parameters and budget.
Cepage Laguiole Gift Box $54.99
Chateau Laguiole $109.99
Black Horn/Green Stamina wood/Red Stamina wood