July’s Shamrock Selections

Shamrock Selections is a monthly subscription service that brings you the best wines from around the world. Each month’s selection is carefully chosen by sommelier Keegan Sparks and his team. He keeps a keen eye out for wines that are unique, rare, and new to our market. Shamrock Selections is ideal for enthusiasts and explorers who delight in finding hidden gems and trying new, exclusive vintages. Each month, you can join us on a journey sampling and learning about some of the greatest wines in the world. Each selection of wine comes with detailed tasting notes and food pairing suggestions from our team.

2013 Palazzo Maffei Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore

The aromas of dark cooked fruit, blackberry, black cherry, and plum all abound. There are also hints of cedar, cigar wrapper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and tar. The fruit persists on the palette but is more dried in character. Tannin, acid, and alcohol are all on the higher side with just a hint of bitterness making this an intense experience. When I close my eyes, I almost feel transported to a tiny town in the Italian hillside. There’s a rustic quality to this wine that’s both ephemeral and fleeting, like it harkens back to a more rustic era. I imagine an Italian grandmother serving to her family with a meal of grilled meats or pasta sauce of charred tomatoes. There’s a sundrenched quality to this bottle that makes it perfect for warm nights around a table with friends.

2012 Philippe Portier Quincy

This sauvignon blanc from the small, Loire valley village of Quincy is unique is the range of subtle spices that it offers. Though the predominant fruit on this wine is mostly ripe apple and peach, you’ll find notes of Asian five spice, saffron, Indonesian satay and yellow curry. Of course, there is the seemingly essential grassiness of the varietal, but here it’s more refined that one might find in a wine from New Zealand or even California. I can imagine it pairing perfectly with a salad with goat cheese and a topping of fried prosciutto (my newest addiction). For those looking for a heavier dish, try it paired with white fish under a buerre blanc sauce.

2009 Steele Vineyards Zinfandel

Steele’s Pacini vineyard was planted in the 1940’s, meaning that those vines have moved passed the stage of being “old vines,” and are almost “ancient” (old vines are typically over 40 years old while ancient denotes vines over 70). Graphite and dried strawberries and cranberries dominate both the nose and the palate, with an ample husk of dust and earthiness encasing the wine. It was aged for a year in oak before bottling, as evidenced by the rounded tannins that glide over the wine’s finish. To me, this wine is calling for food: pizza, lasagna, calzones; all hearty things that leave a little grease on the plate.

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