Our Little Raven Vineyards sommeliers work hard each week to uncover a few undervalued, scrumptious bottles of wine to share with our customers. If you're in the mood to try something different, check out our recommendations below.
Broadbent, Vinho Verde, NV, Gaia, Portugal
$10 a bottle
A traditional blend of 50% Loureiro, 40% Trajadura,
and 10% Pederna. This is an incredible thirst quencher,
perfect for our hot weather. Flavors of peach, zesty
tangerine, and zippy mineral dash across the tongue,
while a touch of frizzante carbonation tickles the
tastebuds. Young, fresh, quaffable, this is a great
wine to have on hand for those hot summer evenings.
Western Cape, South Africa
$12 a bottle
This is an interesting blend, utilizing the attributes of both grapes to created a luscious drink. The viognier gives the wine a perfume-like nose, with scents of stone fruit and spring blossoms. In the mouth
the wine is expansive, with flavors of melon, apricot, honey, and a hint of lemon zest. The wine has a very crisp, zesty tone, which
carries on the finish.
Senorio D. Barriobero Crianza, 2007
Rioja, Spain $16 a bottle
This is 100% tempranillo, aged in old oak barrels. Soft and polished,
yet ample with tannins and acidity, this Rioja has an intense
structure. Flavors of pie cherries, vanilla, and fresh coffee beans
fill the mouth. On the mid-palate, the wine shows more spice, along
with a touch of gun metal flintiness. The finish is long and lingering,
showing off some white pepper tannins. A little time breathing wil
l reward amply.
Mendoza, Argentina $12 a bottle
An elegant looking label leads to a delicate, yet plush white. A bouquet of citrus blossoms fills the nose. Crisp and refreshing, offering flavors of lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and honey. A distinct floral tone graces the wine from nose to finish. Excellent with lighter fare, fish, salads, grilled veggies.
La Mano 200
Bierzo, Spain $13 a bottle
Mencia is a indigenous grape of the Iberian Peninsula. It is
known for its deep color, berry flavor, and sultry tannins.
This little red is produced from older vines and has an
earthy depth that leads to brambly flavors as it is open.
On the nose the wine has a sachet scent, aromas of
flowers fill the senses. Its spicy character on the palate is
splashed with bright flavors of blueberry, cranberry, and
black raspberry. A touch of balsamic reduction and clove marry with the acidity and gripping tannins. This is a fine pair for grilled burgers, steak, or seared Portabellas topped with cheese.
Pinot Grigio, 2008
Santa Barbara, California
$12 a bottle
There is something magical about juice from this foggy
valley off the California coast. Grapes seem to love its
lazy 9-5 work days. Mandolina is an elegant white, with scents of blossoms in the glass. Focused flavors of melon
and pear swell on the tongue. It is layered and refreshing, with hints of honey, crisp apple, and zesty lime peel. The acidity creates drama on the finish.
Domaine de Tariquet 2008 Classic Blanc,
Cotes du Gascogne, France
$12 a bottle
A blend of blend of 70% ugni blanc and 30% colombard. This is
a very refreshing white wine, filling the mouth with crisp
expressions of lemons and mango, with a touch of angel food
cake. The wine offers a touch of white flowers and spice on the
finish. With its crisp character and cutting acidity, this wine is
wonderful with steamed mollusks.
Castel Del Piano, Italy $12 a bottle
A blend of 50% vermentino, 30% malvasia and
20% chardonnay. Citrus flavors fill the mouth with
lime, lemon, and grapefruit tones. The acidity
swells on the tongue, while a touch of pear and
melon leads to the refreshing finish. A wine with a
mineral character, offering a slightly salty flavor
on the finish. This one begs for some steamed
shellfish or mollusks.
Domaine De Pellehaut, 2009
Harmonie de Gascoyne
Cotes de Gascoyne, France
$10 a bottle
A blend of ugni blanc, colombard, gros
manseng, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.
Its citrus profile makes it zippy and fresh.
The mid-palate shows lime, orange, pineapple, pear, and passion fruit. A touch of mineral shows on the finish with a slightly floral tone. A great value for the money.
Sauvignon Blanc, 2009
Central Valley, Chile
$11 a bottle
A cornucopia of citrus, showing flavors of tangerine, grapefruit, and lime. The mouthwatering acidity is balanced with a creamy yeastiness on the
mid-palate. The finish is refreshing and slightly spicy with tones of lemongrass and jasmine.
Charles Smith Wines
Velvet Devil Merlot, 2007
Columbia Valley, Washington
$12 a bottle
Velvet Devil reaffirms the potential of merlot,
especially in the Pacific Northwest. Polished
mouthfeel, with perfect presence on the tongue.
Black plum expands in the mouth, ushering in
flavors of milk chocolate, cherry skins, smoked vanilla bean, with a touch of flinty gun metal. The wine is concentrated, yet
graceful, hitting all the right notes. This merlot has plenty of cache and character.
Lujan de Cuyo, Argentina
$15 a bottle
Sultry and ripe, this red hits all the right notes and still has time to
be organic. A smooth character shows tastes of vanilla, charred marshmallows, fresh ground coffee beans, and black raspberries.
Soft tannins offer a hint of white pepper on the finish. There is a
touch of floral acidity that sweeps the mouth, making this malbec a great pair for many dishes.
Padthaway, Austrlia $12 a bottle
The label spells Shiraz in Morse code. Not that
this little fruit bomb needs a gimmick, with its
explosion of red raspberries, blueberries, and
black cherry flavors. Spicy and big, with tastes
of black pepper and licorice. The finish lingers
with a minerally touch of smoke and eucalyptus.
The acidity and tannins add balance to the ample
The Winners Tank, 2007
Langhorne Creek, Australia
$18 a bottle
A dense and brooding wine, made from 100% shiraz. Layered and ripe, yet complex, this red showcases how good the grapes from Langhorne Creek can be. Shades of black cherry, blackberry, and blueberry are complemented by hints of smoke and charred marshmallow. Spicy tones fill the mouth, offering flavors of black pepper, clove, allspice, and vanilla. Sultry mouthfeel with mature tannins on the finish.
Pinotage Shiraz, 2008
Stellenbosch, South Africa $13 a bottle
An interesting blend of pinotage and shiraz, it showcases
South Africa's incredible potential for ripe wines with complexity.
Pinotage is a cross of pinot noir and cinsault, one being elegant
and the other being hearty. This blend allows the elegance of
the pinot noir to show through. Smoky and smothered in flavors
of cherries, red raspberries, blackberries, tar, anise, plum,
leather, and spice. Great acidity to oppose the ripe fabric,
while the tannins are polished and smooth. The mid-palate
and finish are brimming with more fruit flavors. Great with
grilled meats, red sauces, and sausages.
$12 a bottle
Aromas of white flowers and baked goods waft from the glass. Ripe and rich, it offers flavors of pineapple, peaches, papaya, plantain, and baked apple. The finish offers a combination of spice, vanilla and anise, while a clean cutting acidity wakes the senses. Great chardonnay from one of Italy's warmest regions.
Corte alla Flora
Rosso Di Montepulciano, 2006
Montepulciano, Italy $16 a bottle
A lovely version of sangiovese from the Tuscany
region. Spices wash over the tongue, while on the
mid-palate the wine shows notes of chocolate,
roasted black cherries, and flinty mineral. Sour
cherry tones pair with the acidity, while the tannins
contribute a white pepper spice. It conveys a smoky
density that carries through to the floral finish.
Complex, old world juice, with a good dose of
Cuvee A Muller Thurgau, 2008
Willamette Valley, Oregon
$16 a bottle
This white grape is grown primarily in Austria where it gets the ample sun it deserves, (compared to the German version of this grape that struggles with ripeness). It would make sense that Muller Thurgau would enjoy the continental climate of Oregon. Layered and exotic, Anne Amie Cuvee A's nose is filled with aromas of spring blossoms and cantaloupe. In the mouth, the wine is ripe, with flavors of papaya, pineapple, honeysuckle, jasmine, and tangerine zest. The finish shows a flicker of flinty mineral. This white is sweet, with its cornucopia of fruit flavors, but at the same time refreshingly dry.
Chianti DOC, 2007
Empoli, Italy $15 a bottle
Sultry and balanced, this sangiovese-based red is a classically
styled Chianti, with a touch of new world character. It offers a
touch of rose petals, gun metal, and fresh cut marjoram, supported
by a ripe, juicy flavor of black cherries and plum. The hint of milk
chocolate on the finish marries with a distinct terroir tone. Soft
tannins make this a great wine for pizza, red sauce pasta, and those
recipes blessed with a healthy dollop of olive oil.
Moscato Sourgal, 2007
$19 a bottle
Young Stefano Perrone is a masterof Moscato and for the past two years, the influential Italian wine publication Il Mio Vino has rated Clarté Italy's finest Moscato. This wine shows extraordinary lusciousness, vivid fruit, soft mousse, and captivating perfume, so it is no surprise that the following for Moscato d’Asti has grown dramatically in recent years., a superb light dessert wine, perfect with fruit of all types. It is the perfect summer sipper too -- ideal for picnics orand perfect with melon and prosciutto. It's also a traditional accompaniment in Piedmont at the Christmas celebration.
Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi, 2007
Marche, Italy $13 a bottle
A great change of pace for the white wine
aficionado. The straw color offers a hint of
green, making a jewel like appearance in the
glass. Floral aromas greet the nose and carry
over to the palate. Flavors of apricot, melon,
and creamy lemon meringue fill the senses. The
mouthfeel is rich, even though the acidity offers a zesty palate cleansing experience. Classic Italian style and elegance, with a ripe profile.
"The Ripper" Shiraz, 2005
Hunter Valley, Australia $15 a bottle
Big inky color with aromas of spice and berries. The mouth fills with vanilla, raspberry, black pepper, and chocolate cupcake nuances. The mid-palate offers notes of clove, cinnamon, and a hint of licorice. The tannins offer a back of the hand front of the hand experience with the ripe fruit flavors. A great bottle for barbequed fare.