Jacob Wolfe Boss for the Day at Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe

Jake is at the shoppe today for “Take your child to work day”.   He’s working on  his social media skills, via Email, Facebook, Twitter and our blog.  He wants to let all his friends know that he is taking all orders and will be giving big discounts for the parents of all his friends that come by the shoppe and make big purchases.  Jake says that he will be here till close as he has no baseball, soccer or for that matter not a lot of homework.  So if you are in the Gables and have a break and need something to drink, JAKE says he’s happy to sell you some wine!


2010 Ch. Puech-Haut Prestige Rose

Lovely light Cherry blossom pink hue.  Wicked aromas of talc, rainier cherries, nectarine skin and bazooka; albeit the kosher version in honor of impending Passover… Mouth watering crisp acidity, fresh calamondin jam, with a juicy, clean & punchy, nervous close.  Balanced, fruit, alcohol and weight so I will not feel guilty when drinking cases at a time.  Oh by the way, drinks like baby Domaine Tempier Rose for half the price! Tall about naked expression of Coteaux du Langeudoc, disrobed Miami female beach goers trying to get all Barbara Eden and “I dream of Genie” on the frosted bottle.  Gives new meaning to get in my bottle! Kudos Eric, Philip and Gerald Bru.

This just arrived today and you better get some before I drink it all.

$21 bottle/ $19 6btls/ 17.50 case


Route 9…ahhh…we’ve been waiting for you!

Those in the industry get that you can take the man out of the restaurant but you can’t take the restaurant out of the man.  Last nights dinner at Route 9 was a reminder how often I miss being involved in really good restaurants…for a moment anyway!

Route 9 is the main drag that runs through upstate NY and is the home to Hyde Park’s most famous residence, the Culinary Institute of America. Yes, this is the thoroughfare where the restaurant pays homage to with its name, as the husband and wife team; Paola and Jeremy Goldberg met here and this is where their culinary road began.

The restaurant sits on the north end of Ponce De Leon, just a short walk from the hustle and bustle of center city Coral Gables. The interior of the restaurant is warm and inviting albeit plane on the second day of operations, however, family touches abound from the real cotton flowers that simply adorn the tables to the chalk drawings in the “Living room” sitting area done by Paola’s sister.  The restaurant holds about 60 people intimately, with high ceilings and rich woods.

The eclectic menu that tips its hat to “American cuisine with a Latin and Florida flair” is concise and well thought out.  Portions are a value for the quantity of food and the use quality ingredients. On our first visit on their 2nd night we brought wine and bought a bottle of Priorat off the list, but this is a place that even the most seasoned wine snob can find a great bottle and at a steal. The list is maybe 60 selections from around the globe, but not much is familiar on the list which makes one explore and push their comfort zones.  Not to miss is a killer beer list that is comprised of some of the best kraft beers from around the US and at least one of them on draft.

As a good Jewish boy growing up in NJ my dad every Winter hung a full Hebrew National Salami in the basement and by the summer we had one of the best hard Salami’s on the planet….that was until Paola decided to make her Roasted Hard Salami that will have you ordering it on every trip.  Salty, meaty and smoky goodness that the Rabbi would fight you for!  The artisan cheese plate was a great start with a bottle of white burgundy, Reggiano, Manchego  & another soft cheese were accompanied with what I will now refer to as Paola Crack, a local honey and her homemade Jalapeno “Jelly” add some mixed olives and some crusty bread an you might think you are in the south of France at the Marche…

The ceviche last night was Escolar with sweet potatoes and was fresh and balanced with just the perfect hint of cilantro (pet peeve of mine too much is like having a bar of soap with your fish…)  Those that like fire on their tongues and a great IPA to wash it down with the Sticky wings are for you and they are baked not fried for maximum flavor penetration all the way to the bone. Grilled baby squid were kissed on the fire and were soft and succulent with lentils and fire roasted peppers. 

Main plates were an even bigger hit; Hanger Steak with Grilled Romaine with a blue cheese vinaigrette was better than Tony Bordain’s when he was in NYC at Les Halles…. Prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin with roasted cippolini onions reads like a chef’s nightmare of a dish, over seasoned and then wrapped with salty prosciutto..dry, dry, dry….but Paola’s was roasted to perfection, pink and moist inside and crispy on the outside with the cippolini’s a great dish. The fish tacos were light and heavenly with great soft, yet crisp taco.

Full disclosure is my rep so you need to know that when we arrived last night there was one table in the place and they were finished so they had all hands on deck to make our meal fabulous which it was.  It’s my opinion that these two will be able to handle the pressure when the place is packed full with people waiting on the sidewalk!  This is the kind of restaurant that exists in every serious food town in America…Chicago, San Francisco, NYC, ect.. , For the life of me I cannot understand why Miami misses the boat? Before you get all high and mighty on me I get that there are good, maybe great restaurants here in MIA, all I’m saying is that there should be more…..

Route 9 is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise corporate, stagnant Coral Gables dining scene.  They plan to open for Lunch next week and are planning on having a weekend brunch soon.  Paolo and Jeremy have opened a restaurant that is truly an extension of who they are; confident, hip and smart.  Finally the neighborhood joint that I can go to over and over!  The Wolfepack should take Route 9 and drive there often!

p: 305.569.9009 | f: 305.569.9008| a: 1915 Ponce De Leon | Coral Gables, FL 33134  http://www.route9miami.com


Just a matter of time…Age gets to us all!

So over the weekend erobertparker announced quitely to his on line subscribers that changes were in the works at the Wine Advocate.  Antonio Galloni, the emperor in waiting will no longer just review Itlay and Champagne but will now take on parts of Burgundy and the shocker…California…If you know anything about Wolfe’s we have been a fan of the low alcohol, sence of place wines that come from all around the globe since we opened our doors, so did we see this coming, all bubbles burst at some point…..  With this news we sit at a precipice in winemaking in California, after his first reviews of the 2010 vintage will we see a change to make wines that are in touch with  Europe?  That answer will come with Galloni’s first reviews that will not come for 2-3 years but mark my words, Winemakers in California are nervous!   A writer, fellow twitterer and lover of all things wine Jon Bonne wrote the following for the San Fransico Chronicle, he hits most nails on the head.  Enjoy

Inside Scoop SF
Jon Bonné

Jon Bonné

Smell. Taste. Scribble. Repeat — The Chronicle’s wine editor on what to drink. Read bio

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Robert Parker passes the California torchMonday, February 7, 2011 at 3:33 PM in Reviews, Tastings, Wine, Winemakers
Robert M. Parker tastes at Shafer Vineyards with winemaker Elias Fernandez. (Photo: The Chronicle, 2002)

Over the weekend came stunning news in the relatively cozy world of wine writing: Robert Parker, founder of the Wine Advocate and arguably the most influential wine critic ever, is going to hand off responsibilities for reviewing California wine.

Parker handed the reins to one of his key lieutenants, Antonio Galloni, who has been responsible for Italian wine for several years.  Galloni also picked up several other duties, including the influential portions of Burgundy — the Cote d’Or and Chablis — following on his recent acquisition of duties for Champagne reviews.

Parker will keep Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley, as well as what he termed “older vintages of Bordeaux, Rhône and California wines.”  Specific to California, he wrote in a note to his subscribers that he would be doing “a series of horizontal and vertical tastings of perfectly stored California wines that will give readers insight into how they are developing.”

There’s so much news in here that let’s first consider what isn’t going to change. Parker will continue to be the market mover for his first wine love — Bordeaux, a region in which he holds unparalleled influence and authority — and his more recent evident wine love, the Rhone. So he’ll keep his two unrivaled loves. Bordeaux, which seems to live or die on Parker scores, will remain a major focus. And ditto for the Rhone, which has gained a new fame because of his interest.

As for California, this news is enormous. Parker is almost entirely responsible for the stratospheric rise of many of the cult wines of the 1990s, including Harlan Estate, Screaming Eagle (the debut 1992 launched with 99 points) and Sine Qua Non. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that his ratings essentially defined the modern California style, which depending on your view is either extraordinarily opulent and, to use his word, hedonistic, or overwhelming and overblown. Either way, Parker’s compass set a direction for California winemakers wanting to excel in the score wars.

Critics of Parker’s approach love to pin the proliferation of high-alcohol, heavily oaked, massively extracted California wines on the Maryland-based critic. And there have been some puzzling stances at times, like his continued defense of the super-ripe 1997 vintage, which even many winemakers now admit created wines that aren’t enduring as well as expected. (It brought perfect 100-point scores for Harlan, Bryant Family, Abreu Madrona Ranch and Screaming Eagle.)

But Parker was notably instrumental in advancing the cause of Rhone-style wines in the United States; his annual California Rhone tasting brought dozens of new producers to the attention of deep-pocketed drinkers, and a huge amount of money into the state’s wine industry.

For that matter, while it’s easy to focus on his cult-wine impact, in recent years he also revived his reviews for the classic wines of Ridge (he gave the 2005, at a modest 13.2 percent alcohol, a 97+ rating), and provided early and influential coverage of labels like Rhys Vineyards, which makes Pinot Noir that rarely surpasses 13 percent alcohol — a world away from the high-impact Marcassin and Aubert bottles he’s usually attributed with endorsing. He has also consistently been bullish on some nuanced, moderate Cabernet-based wines, notably Dominus, that get a cold shoulder from such venues as the Wine Spectator. (I suspect this last is due to his lifelong fondness for Bordeaux; next time someone complains about a “Bordeaux-style California Cab,” I suggest they remember they are treading on the preferences of one Robert Parker.)

In other words, Parker and his palate have provided far more nuanced criticism than he gets credit for. And regardless of anyone’s sentiments about him, anyone familiar with California wine has to acknowledge just how much of a massive influence he has had on helping the industry achieve maturity and global acclaim.

Looking forward, there’s already much speculation as to how tastes will change under Galloni — and many tea leaves being read over his Italian reviews.

We can only help a bit with the tea leaves, but here’s a quick summary: appreciates stylish but not overly international wines; fond of traditional Barolos (Bartolo Mascarello jumped in its scores, while Elio Grasso and even Burlotto are getting some love) with some enthusiasm for more fashionable styles (Roberto Voerzio; Gaja) and not afraid to call out the use of oak (Ceretto); willing to give much love to the stylish Super Tuscans (Sassicaia, Tignanello); but also willing to give attention to Italy’s more esoteric, avant-garde efforts — Radikon, COS, and Sandro Fay, for instance.  In general, the focus on Italy means a lot more interest in wines that are appropriate for the table, rather than the trophy case.

What this means for California is a mixed deal — but ultimately I think it will mean very good things.  Those awaiting the demise of big, hedonistic cult wines are probably out of luck. (Did you think Robert Parker would choose as his replacement someone who’d suddenly toss Bryant Family on the heap?)

But there are big chances for more nuanced styles of California wine to get noticed — namely from small producers who have been less interested in trading on Parker scores and more interested in wines hinged on nuance and on finding a place at the table. Parker was able to become a conduit to fame for many small, ambitious producers who wanted to make big, impactful wines; Galloni could be the same for producers with a different philosophy.

Then there are Galloni’s own words on the matter, posted Sunday to the eRobertParker.com bulletin board:

“In California, for 2011 I will keep a tasting and publishing schedule that is in line with what RP has done over the last few years, although I may make additional trips throughout the year. I know a lot of readers have complained about a lack of in the bottle scores for a number of producers/wines. That will change. I can’t wait to get out to California.”

This latest move follows my emerging Parker theory: He realizes the Wine Advocate needs to have a life beyond his palate, so he’s been focusing on his core interests and diversifying the roster with critics who can specialize in their strengths. (That said, Galloni now has an assignment list big enough to run the risk of fatigue. It’s a lot of the world to cover, if he intends to cover it as comprehensively as his boss did.)  Example: Parker installed nonpareil taster David Schildknecht to cover such places as the Loire; the result was 90-plus-point Parker scores for wines that never before would have gotten such love. (92 points for a Muscadet, for instance.) And Parker himself apparently indicated that Galloni would ultimately be his successor.

If anything, I’d argue these changes have made the Advocate stronger now than it has been in years. And say what you like about the fading role of wine scores: Robert Parker still sells a lot of wine.

Other things to note in the shuffle:

1) Galloni’s coverage of Champagne has become ever more valuable, especially after he indicated he would taste only wines that provided a disgorgement date so he could accurately rate Champagnes by their release, a bold stand against the myth of nonvintage uniformity.

2) One small casualty is the loss of Schildknecht’s voice in covering the heart of Burgundy. No doubt Galloni will do a fine job, but Schildknecht brought a great intellect to the task. One possible explanation might come from Jeff Leve, a Bordeaux expert close to Parker, who wrote that Schildknecht’s “his inability to report on those wine regions in a timely manner was a problem.”

3) In addition to Lisa Perrotti-Brown’s recent acquisition of Australia and New Zealand as Parker phased the embattled Jay Miller out of those roles, the terrific Neal Martin is officially on board for South Africa. (With luck, he’ll pick up Madeira, too.) To wit, here’s the current breakdown of assignments according to Parker’s note:

Robert Parker: Bordeaux, the Rhône Valley, older vintages of Bordeaux, Rhône and California wines
Antonio Galloni: Italy, Champagne, Chablis, Côte d’Or, California
David Schildknecht: Germany, Loire, Beaujolais and Mâconnais, Eastern U.S., Austria, Eastern Europe, Languedoc-Roussillon, Jura
Jay Miller: Oregon, Washington, South America, Spain
Lisa Perrotti-Brown: Australia, New Zealand
Neal Martin: critic-at-large overlapping all areas, plus specific reviewer of South Africa
Mark Squires: bulletin board and occasional articles on Israel, Portugal, and Greece

No doubt we’ll circle back on this soon, as more tea leaves are uncovered.


Pinot to the people!

 

Always one of our most adored tastings, join us for another edition of “Pinot to the People”.  We love Pinot Noir and usually so does most of Miami. Friday January 21st  7-9 PM… RSVP 305-445-4567

Pinot Noir may be the toughest grape to grow, but the effort is well worth the investment. It is a fickle grape that demands optimum growing conditions, calling for warm days consistently supported by cool evenings. Pinot Noir is a lighter colored and flavored red wine, well-suited to pair with an array of foods. Its flavors are reminiscent of sweet red berries, plums, tomatoes, cherries and at times a notable earthy or wood-like flavor, depending on specific growing conditions

Cantina Las Vis Dipinti, Trentino 2008 With a ruby red robe and aromas of red berry fruits that are mimicked on the palate. It is long in savor-flavor, with hints of black licorice, anise and a hint of cinnamon bark. Medium-bodied and soft tannins this is the perfect party pinot to the people.

Les Hexagonales, Lorie Valley 2008 – Jean-Francois farms utilizing natural, sustainable methods. Merieau waits to pick his fruit until a point of full maturity is achieved. His vineyards face south and contain many 50+ year old vines. This aspect to the sun is preferable in the Loire because in cooler regions vines often struggle to collect enough radiant heat over the course of a season to fully ripen fruit. Old vines naturally produce smaller quantities of more concentrated, flavorful grapes. Merieau ferments in stainless steel to maintain freshness. The family cellars are carved deep into rock, creating a perfect environment for storage and ageing of component parts prior to the assemblage of their wines. Fresh and lively, with good acidity driving the friendly cherry, red currant and violet notes, followed by a nice unadorned finish

Block Nine “Caiden’s Vineyards” 2009, – Block Nine starts out with a young blast of strawberries in the bouquet and subtle damp earth.  After it opens up, a distinctive fresh raspberry begins to dominate with a background of cola that slowly dissipates.  Because it has a relatively low alcohol level, its acid base balances with new fruit and soft spice flavors making this wine works very well with an array of dishes

Sean Minor Carneros 2009– medium-bodied with cherry, strawberry and plum; surrounded by light toast flavors. On entry, the wine displays blue fruit characters that are balanced with spicy and earthy notes that frame the mid-palate. The vanilla and toast integrates well with the silky round tannins on the lengthy finish.

Russian Hill, RR Valley 2007–  True to its place of origin, this Pinot is bold in its bright expression of Bing Cherry and cola flavors. The texture is luscious and a touch of acidity adds grace and elegance. This Pinot has beautiful ruby red tones and great clarity; overall it is a classic Russian River Valley Pinot noir         

Copain Tous Ensemble, Anderson Valley 2007– Ripe, elegant and pure red and blue pinot fruit trimmed in a discreet touch of earth merges into rich, round, naturally sweet and solidly well-detailed middle weight flavors that possess good mid-palate concentration and fine length on the moderately complex and persistent finish. This is very well balanced and fashioned in a generous yet understated style

Chehalem 3 Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2008– Bright ruby. Black raspberry and flowers on the nose, with a strong undertone of musky spices that gains strength in the glass. Pliant, palate-coating dark berry flavors are appealingly open-knit. Nicely ripe but quite light on its feet, finishing very good clarity, spiciness and lingering sweetness

Evesham Wood, Willamette Valley 2009–    Fruit sourced 40% from Illahe Vineyard (coast range foot hills), 30% Eola Springs Vineyard and 30% (combined) from: Hidden Rocks Estate, Crowley Station, and Greenwood Vineyards, all in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The wine was bottled without filtration following 2 rackings in August 2010. The 2009 vintage in the Willamette produced fairly soft and elegant Pinot noir with good varietal character and lip-smackingly good cherry pie tones        

J. Christopher Dundee Hills 2008– The J. Christopher Dundee Hills Cuvee is a blend of some of the most pedigreed vineyards in Oregons coveted Dundee Hills. The Dundee Hills Cuvee shows layers of bing cherries, strawberry cream and a pleasant rose petal note. On the savory side, this wine has elements of shitake mushrooms, with hints of straw and crushed rock that combine well with the subtle note of cedar. The wine has a sleek structure that is showcased by its bright acidity

Mac Forbes Yarra Valley 2008  – very pale garnet, with a pretty nose, floral with red cherry and creamy, ripe strawberry hints which follow through in the mouth.  It’s very pretty and delicate in the mouth, well defined thanks to a freshness, giving it a lightness of touch.  Lovely


Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe is Hiring One Special Individual

If you fit these pre-reqs please send resume to Jeffrey@wolfeswines.com

Retail Wine Shoppe Assistant

*Applicant must have food and beverage experience
*Be able to lift over 45lbs
*Must be available on the weekends
*Candidate must have strong computer skills; publisher, excel, word & constant contact
*Detail-oriented, flexible, energetic, self-motivated with outstanding customer
service skills, a professional appearance and an ability to maintain a positive attitude while
multi-tasking.

* Wine experience not necessary-we will teach you all you need to know


Turkey Day Wines Free Friday Nov. 19th 7-9pm

Join us for a free tasting Friday Night from 7-9 of wines for the Holiday Table:

Arnaud Ente Aligote 2007– With its lovely, pure Aligoté nose, this is a racy and exciting wine. Old vines and meticulous work in both the vineyard and the cellar are responsible for the high level of quality. Bright lemon and pungent lemon zest mingle with chalky, saline minerality in this Aligote from 70 year old vines. This is tart, but ultra-refreshing and invigorating.

JJ Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinet Riesling 2008– Wurzgarten means “spice garden,” to give you an idea of what to expect here. Christoffel is one of Mosel’s great producers, and doesn’t disappoint here. Smell and taste thyme, fresh lemon/lime, red currants, sassafrass and lots of classic Mosel slate. OFF-DRY.

Zind Humbrecht Pinot Gris Rotenberg 2008 -This Pinot Gris has some weight to it, but seems lighter for the clean-cut acidity that defines the wine. Hints of licorice and white pepper spice up the white peach and lemon zest flavors, with smoke and brine on the finish Indice 1 $47btl

Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Nouveau 2010– This is how Nouveau is supposed to be, but very very very rarely is! This new wine naturally settled in the cave as the winter chill circulated through open windows for months, then it was bottled unfined, unfiltered, and unsulfured and shipped by plane in mid-November. The wine was made with natural yeasts only and was not chaptalized. You are getting wine in its most natural state possible. You don’t want to know what most people do to stabilize their Nouveau. But this Domaine doesn’t worry, because their wine is drunk up so quickly. Besides, the Dupeubles know what they are doing; their family has been making wine here since 1512

Domaine Lapierre Morgon 2008 

This incredibly natural, velvety Beaujolais made of 100% Gamay is perhaps the purest expression of this region’s wines we have ever tasted. Made by a father and son team, Domaine Lapierre Morgon is made from meticulously hand harvested grapes, with gentle and natural winemaking methods, and oak aging in Burgundy barrels from Domaine Prieure-Roch in Vosne Romanee. 3rd generation farmer Marcel Lapierre had been farming with biodynamic methods for close to 30 years and eschewing full carbonic maceration. With his tragic passing earlier this month at the age of 60, his son Mathieu will take full charge of the winemaking and continue his father’s legacy, hopefully for many, many vintages to come…

Elyse Petite Sirah, Napa Valley 2007– is deep plum colored with exotic aromas of clove, espresso, violets, cola and blackberry compote. On the palate big flavors of strawberries, wild plums, cinnamon, blackberry, blueberry and hints of coffee and spice lead to a broad mouthfeel with smooth, yet firm tannins. This wine is loaded with big fruit and spice flavors, has fine texture, great structure and a strong backbone making it a great candidate for ageing.  Go ahead and order that 22 ounce Porterhouse! Or bring out the wild game, lamb shank or some strong cheeses. Use your imagination, this wine is versatile!

Neyers Zinfandel Pato Ranch Contra Coasta County 2008– When this vineyard was being planted, William Jennings Bryan was being nominated as the Democratic candidate for president. Now, more than 110 years later, the vines are still producing a small crop. The wine we make from it has been hailed as one of the most respected bottlings of Zinfandel to come out of the state. We’re aware that many winemakers would succeed with the fruit from this unique vineyard; we feel fortunate to be the temporary beneficiaries of a rare treasure. We refrigerate the grapes as they are harvested, meticulously inspect every cluster twice before crushing it, and do a skin contact maceration for 45-60 days before the tank is drained and pressed. The finished wine is then aged in 60-gallon French oak barrels for 10 months before our customary unfiltered bottling

Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County 2007– Beautiful nose of crushed rose petals and red raspberry. Flavors of ripe black cherry, raspberry and spiced fruit with tones of French oak. Finishes with a lush velvety mouthfeel. Although Old Vine is often loosely interpreted in the wine industry, Seghesio’s benchmark is fifty years. The average age of the vines producing this wine nears 90 years!

Robert Biale Zinfandel “Black Chicken” Napa 2008-Another in a line of big, bruiser, powerful yet gloriously drinkable Zins from Robert Biale. This blackish purple wine shows currant, blackberry, dried fruit, molasses, berry jam and vanilla flavors on its luscious mid-palate. Supple, young tannins emerge on the rich and jammy finish. 91 points Wine Spectator: “Dense yet sleek, with blackberry and cracked pepper aromas and complex, layered flavors of plum, licorice and roasted sage, finishing with firm, loamy tannins