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2017 Grand Cru Vineyards California Merlot
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2017 Grand Cru Vineyards California Merlot

Comprising 82% Merlot and 18% other varieties, this Merlot is fruit forward, offering flavors of blackberry, plum and vanilla spice. The finish is long and soft with silky tannins. Try this Merlot with duck, steak, or even grilled tuna. As for cheeses, it pairs well with parmesan or provolone. 

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¥1,430 (incl. tax)
2017 Grand Cru Vineyards California Cabernet Sauvignon
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2017 Grand Cru Vineyards California Cabernet Sauvignon

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and other varieties, here’s a quaffable, easy drinking California red wine that you can open any day of the week. It starts with a rich, dark color and pleases with black cherry, raspberry and vanilla and tannins that are soft and layered. This wine pairs well with both aged cheddar and Gouda cheeses as well as rack of lamb, steak, or pasta in a marinara sauce.

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¥1,430 (incl. tax)
2016 Grand Cru Vineyards California Pinot Noir
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2016 Grand Cru Vineyards California Pinot Noir

A Pinot Noir that’s priced for all occasions, it is medium-bodied, not high in alcohol (12.5%) and has plenty of flavor. Ruby-colored in the glass, it offers raspberry, cherry and a hint of vanilla on the nose, flavors of cherry and plum, and a soft velvety finish. According to Larry Rocha, the winemaker, it’s an excellent accompaniment with appetizers and main courses. This wine goes well with Brie, goat cheese and smoked salmon. Or try it with lamb shanks and pork tenderloin. 

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¥1,430 (incl. tax)
2019 Grand Cru Vineyards California Chardonnay
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2019 Grand Cru Vineyards California Chardonnay

When all you want is to cool off with a decent glass of white wine, Grand Cru Chardonnay is the perfect choice! According to the winery: “light straw in color with pear, melon, and vanilla aromas; citrus and green apple flavors, with a silky mouth feel. This Chardonnay is well-balanced and structured, with a lingering aftertaste. This wine can be sipped by itself or paired with a number of foods. For appetizers, it pairs well with Brie and Munster cheeses. For the main course, one might try crab, turkey or baked chicken.”

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¥1,430 (incl. tax)
2019 Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc (375ml)
2018 Joel Gott
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2018 Joel Gott "815" California Cabernet Sauvignon (375ml)

“815” honors the birthday of Joel Gott’s daughter, but as a California Cabernet that’s as affordable as it is delicious, it’s a “present” we all can enjoy. The wine’s complexity and value are achieved by sourcing 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from great appellations in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake County, Lodi and Paso Robles. The particular climate and soils in each appellation add a unique component such as color, tannin, intensity, or sweetness to the blend. As for winemaking, Gott uses American oak barrels, which infuse the wine with the vanilla notes that can so spice up California Cab. The result is a Cabernet that is complex, plush, well-balanced – and ready to drink. Gott recommends decanting to open up the flavors as well as pairing the wine with casual fare like steak tacos or hamburgers.

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¥2,200 (incl. tax)
2017 Montevina
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2017 Montevina "Omira Hills" Chardonnay

Omira Hills Chardonnay is sourced not from Amador County but rather from the Lodi region, where Montevina also owns vineyards, as well as the Central Coast. Cool temperatures throughout the growing season allowed the Chardonnay grapes to develop rich and complex flavors as a result of extended “hang time.” The wine was largely fermented in stainless steel and underwent only partial malolactic fermentation. As a result, this is a crisp Chardonnay with a degree of creaminess on the palate. Delicious citrus and tropical fruit aromas and flavors are layered with vanilla bean and almond notes. 

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¥2,640 (incl. tax)
2019 Dressage Central Coast Chardonnay
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2019 Dressage Central Coast Chardonnay

Dressage is a new label produced by Castle Rock in celebration of 25 years in the business. According to the winery, “the art of Dressage is about the harmony, elegance and balance between horse and rider.” As Castle Rock sees it, the same holds true for winemaking, with the winemaker working to harmonize the grapes, soils and climate into perfect balance. These elements come into sharp focus in this wine, a Chardonnay from select vineyards along the cool Central Coast. Awarded 86 points by the Wine Enthusiast, Dressage Chardonnay pleases with aromas and flavors of apple and citrus with tropical fruit, subtle oak, and vanilla notes. 

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¥2,860 (incl. tax)
2019 Castle Rock Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
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2019 Castle Rock Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Willamette Pinot Noir is a great new addition to Hotei’s selection of affordable appellation Pinot Noirs produced by the Castle Rock Winery. The cool climate, lengthy growing season, and diverse soils are just part of what makes the Willamette Valley a great region for this varietal. As important is the devotion to a handcrafted approach, organic viticulture and sustainability practiced by so many of the producers there. The Willamette Valley is now recognized for a style of Pinot Noir that’s well-balanced, supple and crisp, lighter in body but as deliciously fruit-forward as its counterparts in California. The winery describes this wine as offering “aromas of cherry and spice. On the palate, it gives flavors of berries, cinnamon, black cherry, sweet vanilla oak, and floral notes with a long velvety finish.” It should pair well with lamb, chicken, pork, salmon, and light pasta dishes.

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¥3,300 (incl. tax)
NV Three Mendocino County Sparkling Wine
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NV Three Mendocino County Sparkling Wine

Three Wine Company’s Mendocino Brut is a classic Methode Traditionnelle sparkling wine. It consists of 68% Chardonnay and 32% Pinot Noir from the 2015 vintage. The fruit was sourced from several vineyards in Mendocino County, fermented separately in stainless steel tanks before being assembled into the blend, which included 4.5% from the 2014 vintage for added complexity. As with all classic method sparkling wines, secondary fermentation inside the bottle produces the bubbles while sur lie aging yields the creamy texture and complex flavors. The winery notes, “vivid crisp Gala apple with hints of pear and lemon lead to fresh toasted bread for an elegant dry finish.” An excellent value! Highly recommended for the holidays!

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¥3,850 (incl. tax)
NV Gruet Blanc de Blancs
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NV Gruet Blanc de Blancs

Produced from 100% Chardonnay, the non-vintage Blanc de Blancs is crisp and lively, with a froth of tiny beads that never seem to run out of gas. Following the practice at Champagne Gruet, the non-vintage selection includes some reserve wine in the blend to add complexity and to help maintain a consistent house style. With a brut-level of dosage (i.e. dry but not bone dry), the wine is medium-bodied and delicate, with aromas of green apples and lemon zest opening up to flavors of fresh apple and pineapple. If drinking more sparkling wine is one of your New Year resolutions, why not with one of Wine Spectator’s 100 top wine values for 2020! 

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¥3,850 (incl. tax)
2019 Ferdinand
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2019 Ferdinand "Poco Tinto"

Evan Frazier’s latest endeavor at bringing Iberia to California is Poco Tinto, a 100% Graciano made so light and fresh as to be perfectly chug-gable. As he puts it, “The concept was to make a light, fresh, early bottled red that can be served chilled if the weather or mood is right. I felt like labeling the wine ‘Poco Tinto’ rather than just varietally as Graciano because, in a certain way, it’s a wine of style rather than variety.” Like the Ferdinand Albariño, the fruit was sourced from the Vista Luna Vineyard in Lodi’s Borden Ranch sub appellation. Winemaking involved early picking for natural acidity and 100% whole cluster carbonic maceration and the result is a wine with fresh aromas of red fruits, roses and a crunchy palate. 

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¥3,960 (incl. tax)
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