May 1, 2017 by PWM



$19.95 BTL./$102.00 6-PACK

    UNDER THE RADAR!  First off, until last week we had never heard of the Fortress Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and we are pretty sure you haven't either.  It happens that on a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Portland I had to sit next to a Cabernet is King guy who over the four hour flight told me every wine he ever drank & with what & how much it cost it was excruciatingly painful & I believe was my first glimpse of What Hell is actually like. 

    But through all of the Caymus, Silver Oak, Screaming Eagle, Harlan, and the list of Who's Who of California Cabernet producers I remembered him mentioning a wine that was made by a 'French Guy From France' which he claimed was the best under $50 Cabernet Sauvignon he had ever tasted.  The name was Fortress...which meant absolutely nothing to me since I had never heard of it.  Well, upon my return I grilled everyone and came up empty.  And, of all people a young lady who use to work for Kendall Jackson upon my mentioning Fortress exclaimed "Wow, how did you hear about that."  And then she told me the story. 

     While we all know Kendall Jackson as selling super market wines they also own properties in Bordeaux, Tuscany & Cardinale in Napa Valley.  Well, the story goes that the Jackson Family hired Charles dePottere from the legendary Pomerol estate of Chateau Clinet to make a Cabernet from an old vineyard site they own in Sonoma's Alexander Valley and call it Fortress.  IT IS INDEED SPECIAL!  It delivers aromas of dark fruit, mocha and baking spices on the nose. The palate exhibits well integrated tannins that complement the subtle earthy flavors of pomegranate, blackberry and sweet pipe tobacco.  My son said it perfectly,  "If you want a piece of Heaven sometimes you have to spend a little time in Hell!"  But 4 hours??


April 30, 2017 by PWM



$7.95 BTL. /$72.00 CASE ($6.00)

          We were recently reminiscing about  one of our greatest inspirations, musicologist Alan Lomax, who had dedicating more than seventy years to recording, preserving and evangelizing about what he called The Global Juke Box, meaning the incredibly diverse musical heritage of the human race. In his quest to make the songs and hence the stories, emotions and histories of every nook and cranny of not just the US but the world available to us he discovered artists such as Leadbelly and Muddy Waters, preserved songs like Home on the Range and Good Night Irene from extinction and inspired not only the Broadway hit “Jelly Roll!” but the techno-tribal sounds of Moby. You may ask how this relates to wine. It is simple: He recognized that mass communications and the industrialization of the music business led directly to standardized, mass-produced and cheapened culture everywhere…which led him to conclude that if those absolutely precious differences are ignored we are going to lose them and then, in his words, “there will not be any place to go and no place to come home to as it will all be the same”. Which is EXACTLY what is going on in the world of wine and is what we fight against every day by bringing you  delicious but VERY local wines like this Vieux Papes Rouge.

        A hearty Rhone Valley blend of primarily Grenache with lesser amounts of Mourvedre & Syrah producing what has to be the best priced red in my quiver.  It is easy drinking all by itself or it will go with just about anything you throw at it!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!