Mission Wines featured in the LA Times!
S. Irene Virbilia writes:
"Head sommelier at Patina for a decade, Chris Meeske opened Mission Wines with his former boss Joachim Splichal as investor in 2004. Meeske says people like to joke, telling him, You were a sommelier before it was cool to be a sommelier. But after 15 years working the floor at night, he was ready to try something else. Meeske's South Pasadena shop is laid out with sections for various wine regions and within those categories, something at every price point..."
Last Friday of the Month Wine Tasting
SOUTHERN COMFORT: DISCOVERING SOUTHERN ITALY
4 PM to 8 PM
5 Wines for $25 per person
The wine industry of Southern Italy is in the middle of an exciting renaissance. The fertile terrain of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and the rest of the tip of the 'boot' once comprised the most diverse region for grape cultivation in the world, thanks to the Greeks. In recent times, however, southern Italy has been mostly dedicated to bulk wine production, but this is changing. Over the last several decades a fresh crop of talent has brought new energy to the area, invigorating family businesses by replanting vineyards to indigenous varieties and upgrading production practices to compete with the world's best wineries. These talented producers are leading a serious effort to restore integrity and diversity of southern Italy, and the world is paying attention.
For this tasting, we've carefully chosen a 'best of' lineup of wines that represent the diversity of styles and terroir in southern Italy, made by the region's best and most exciting producers today.
Don't miss this special opportunity to taste and rediscover the wines of hotspot southern Italy!
2013 Quintodecimo "Exultet" Fiano d'Avellino, Campania, Italy $63.99
Based in the mountains of Taurasi in Campania, Luigi Moio of Quintodecimo produces wines of superb quality from native varieties that should be on any serious wine drinker's radar. His organically farmed single vineyard "Exultet" is 100% Fiano d'Avellino, a white varietal indigenous to the region. Raised in a combination of stainless steel and small oak casks and aged on the lees for seven months, "Exultet" is a truly world-class wine. It's among the top white wines produced in southern Italy and the finest expression of Fiano d'Avellino we've ever tasted.
Antonio Galloni: "Proprietor Luigi Moio continues to set the bar high - very high - at his small property in Campania. Moio's rich, textured whites and reds are among the most exciting wines being made in Italy today. I never miss a chance to drink them, and neither should you."
2011 Argiolas "Korem" Isola dei Nuraghi, Sardinia, Italy $49.99
91 points Robert Parker: "Made with 55% Bovale, 35% Carignano and 10% Cannonau, the 2011 Korem (an IGT Isola dei Nuraghi wine) is dark and penetrating from the start with exotic tones of pressed fruit, cardamom, clove and dried herb. This vintage is especially fruit-forward with sun drenched tones of black fruit and prune. It sees 12 months of new oak. Korem should be consumed over the next four or five years.
Argiolas is a leading name in Italian wine. Owned by Franco and Giuseppe Argiolas, the estate wines bare the timeless marks of consulting enologist Giacomo Tachis who set the winemaking tone here many years ago. Argiolas continues to make some of Sardinia's best wines." (ML, 12/2014)
2010 Benanti "Rovittello" Etna Rosso, Sicily, Italy $44.99
92 points Robert Parker: "The 2010 Etna Rosso Rovittello is 80-20 Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio from the Contrada Rovittello on the north face of the volcano at 700 meters above sea level. Rovittello is a gorgeous wine with a long aging future ahead. There’s a degree of richness and plumpness that is rare to find in the generally austere red wines from Etna. Black cherry and black currants are backed by light touches of cinnamon and clove (it ages up to 12 months in used oak). Drink 2015-2026.
Benanti has led efforts to raise Etna to the winemaking heights it enjoys today. Back when the notion of Contrade (Etna subzones) was a hazily defined fledgling idea, the Benanti family was carefully experimenting with indigenous grapes planted at various altitudes and locations on the massive cone of the volcano. The modern success of Etna wine is unquestionably linked to the hard work and innovation underway at Benanti." (ML, 05/2014)
2012 Elena Fucci "Titolo" Aglianico del Vulture, Basilicata, Italy $45.99
The Fucci family estate is located in the highest part of the famous Contrada Solagna del Titolo region, on the foot of Mount Vulture, an extinct volcano. The vineyards were purchased in the sixties by Generoso Fucci and production remains a family affair today; granddaughter Elena Fucci makes the wines and grandpa 'Roso' still personally tends to the vines on a daily basis. Elena describes her winemaking style as "modern but not modernist," following a gentle, hands-off approach as she coaxes the highest expression of the Aglianico variety, its terroir and the tradition of the land from each harvest. Recognized by Italy's most prestigious wine magazine, Gambero Rosso, for her excellence as a winemaker, Elena Fucci's "Titolo" is a consistent Tre Bicchere award-winner, the publication's highest rating.
94+ points Galloni (2011 vintage): "Medium red-ruby. Perfumed, wild aromas of raspberry, dark cherry, iron and dried flowers on the knockout nose. Then silky, pliant and compellingly rich, with superb density to the flavors of red fruits, sweet spices and fresh aromatic herbs. Finishes very long and pure, with considerable power. This may well merit an even higher score with aging but it will need a good five to seven years of patience. Titolo has been the best Aglianico del Vulture for many years now and is really one of Italy's better red wines."
2010 Galardi "Roccamonfina" Terra di Lavoro, Northwest Campania, Italy $89.99
Nestled among stunning chestnut groves high in the hills of Sessa Aurunca in northwestern Campania, Fattoria Galardi is making one of Campania's hottest cult wines. With the help of consulting oenologist 'the wizard' Riccardo Cotarella, this small family-owned estate initially produced just this wine (a second label was introduced with the 2013 vintage) and everyone is in a frenzy to get their hands on the last few bottles available of the remarkable 2010 vintage. "Roccamonfina" is a proprietary red blend based on the noble Aglianico (80%) with the balance consisting of Piedirosso, Cabernet Sauvignon and a handful of other varieties. It is an immense wine, dark and brooding, with the potential to age for a very long time.
97+ points Robert Parker: "I hope one day to have another chance to taste a vertical of Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro because I have a strong feeling the 2010 will occupy a place among the very finest vintages produced on this tiny vineyard on the slopes of the Roccamonfina volcano. An exotic melange of tar, smoke, graphite, blackberry jam and savory herbs explode from the glass. The 2010 is intense and full-bodied, yet also incredibly elegant. A big, breathtaking wine, the 2010 continues to build all the way through to a deeply resonant, expressive finish. I would choose to leave this uttterly beguiling Campanian red alone for the better part of a decade, but readers are going to have a very hard time excercising that patience. This is a fabulous effort from proprietors Arturo and Dora Celentano, and their long-time winemaker Riccardo Cotarella." (AG, 02/2013)
No reservations required.
All wines featured in the tasting will be available for purchase.
When it comes to making Malbec in the foothills of the Andes along Argentina's western border, it's all about elevation. The higher the elevation, the closer the vines are to the sun's rays, promoting thicker skins and the development of greater concentration. Meanwhile, in areas where the climate is otherwise temperate like continental Argentina, planting at high elevations introduces environmental factors that further stress the vines in all the right ways. Factors such as increased temperature change from day to night and reduced moisture help concentrate sugars and reduce yields, essential for the production wines with the structure and depth for aging. Located in Argentina's northwestern corner, the province of Salta is the world's highest wine-growing region.
Originally founded in 1831, Bodegas Colome is the oldest winery in Argentina and farms the highest vineyards in the world. Its plantings in the Calchaqui Valley in the province of Salta range from 2,300 to 2,600 meters in elevation, over twice the average elevation in Mendoza. You can really taste the difference, too. Whereas lower-elevation Malbecs often show more straightforward fruit, Colome's offers layers of berry, floral, and herbal aromas and flavors, accented by earth spice and hints of minerals. It is blended with a small portion of Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Syrah for additional flavor complexity, and aged for 15 months in predominantly used French oak barrels. The mouthfeel is rich and velvety, with lithe tannins and notable length on the finish. Delicious now--a natural partner to grilled beef or traditional Argentine asado--this has the potential to age, too. This exceptional Malbec from Argentina's highest soils should be on any Malbec-lover's radar.
90 points Stephen Tanzer: "Dark ruby-red. Aromas and flavors of bitter cherry and bitter chocolate are complicated by a whiff of game. Silky-sweet and supple, with beautifully integrated tannins contributing to an impression of suavity and carrying the fruit through a rather powerful, gripping finish. This should evolve gracefully." (01/2015)
Please call us at (866) FOR-WINE or purchase online
*Our supply is limited; bottles sold on first-come basis. Special pricing valid through 4/27/15 while supplies last. Shipping for online orders will be applied when order is confirmed. No further discounts apply.
Sunday thru Friday, during normal business hours
• $15/ Flight of 3 wines/$10 with purchase of any wine
Saturday, 12pm to 5pm
• $15/5 wines/$10 with purchase of any wine
Craftsman Brewing Co. beer available on tap for $5
We have elegant gift-box presentations to complement any of our wines and are always eager to hand-select, wrap, and ship wine gifts to your friends and clients within your parameters and budget.
Cepage Laguiole Gift Box $54.99
Chateau Laguiole $109.99
Black Horn/Green Stamina wood/Red Stamina wood