What's New in December

Joan d'Anguera

Joan d'Anguera: The Pioneers of Montsant

These two brothers, Joan and Josep, have come a long way since I met them in 1997. I recall the first time I talked to their dad (Mister Syrah of Spain). When I called him to tell him I loved the wine that he had sent me he reacted coolly. When I told him I wanted to come by and visit, he asked why. It was just his humble nature and nothing personal. I insisted and it turned out to be a memorable meeting in their living room. We tasted amazing wines with Joan and Josep, who at the time were barely teenagers.

Today they are the leading farmers/winery owners in the D.O. of Montsant. Their passion for their land is clear in this photograph of Joan: those are the hands of a farmer. In a sea of cooperatives they are striving for individuality and are currently in the process of becoming certified biodynamic, a conversion that shows their dedication to the purity of the land.

Although the process of conversion has been challenging, they were already on the right track through their farming methodology. They have been farming organically for a while, making that aspect of the conversion much smoother. The wines have seen great strides forward. There is a purity to the wines and a precision which I believe is due in part to this new philosophy. All the current releases from the Angueras were farmed and vinified utilizing the biodynamic practices pioneered by Rudolf Steiner. They are due to receive certification by Demeter within the next couple of years.

-André Tamers

New Arrivals

Finca l'Argata 2009
Tasting Notes: Penetrating aromas of fruits and mountain herbs. The palate is redolent of red fruits and peaches with strident acidity.

2011 Cocktail Contest: Sweet Wines of Jerez

Our 2011 Concoction Contest is underway. We want your original sweet wines of Jerez cocktails, please email them to us. The winner will receive a hand-painted porron from this year's guest artist. Here is our latest submission:

Hot Chipiona
by Michael M. & Greg D. of Vin Rouge, in Durham, NC

2½ oz Cesar Florido Moscatel Dorado
1 oz El Maestro Sierra Pedro Ximénez
½ oz Redemption Rye
2 oz Browned Butter
3 drops Maple Bitters
Dash of Salt
Squeeze of Lemon
Combine all ingredients in a coffee cup and stir well. Fill with hot Camomile tea, reheat with espresso wand if necessary.

News from the #SherryRevolution

Hayes Valley Sherry Revolution at Arlequin Wine Merchant
#SherryRevolution Lieutenant JJ Clifton joins with Ian Becker of the Arlequin Wine Merchant to host a Sherry tasting on December 1, 2011 at 6:00pm. The tasting will feature a variety of Sherries served with snacks from Arlequin Café and Food to Go. If you're in the San Francisco area be sure to stop by the Arlequin Wine Merchant.

5@5 - You really should be drinking more sherry
CNN's eatocracy blog features Dan Greenbaum explaining his "Five Reasons that Sherry is a Must-Have at the Bar".