As cold nights linger into April, reach for a fresh Imperial / Double Red. These new offerings are hoppy to be sure, but the malt backbone in these beers is strong to boot, making for a full-bodied balance between bitterness, sweetness, and alcohol content. Odell’s Extra Special Red (ESR?) is a nice addition to their already-robust barrel-aged series, but at a $5 price point that is hard to pass up. Boxing Bear’s Red Glove returns for the season in 22oz bombers. We’ve seen Marble’s Imperial Red before in the 22oz bottle format in years past, but this time, it’s in... View Article
Author Archives for SFW&S
THE 2014 TWO HANDS ANGEL’S SHARE MCLAREN VALE SHIRAZ Two Hands was created in 1999 by Michael Twelftree and Richard Mintz, with the ambitious goal of breaking with what until then was a formulaic style for Australian wines, so they could showcase the wonderful diversity of the Australian Shiraz. Michael has been quoted as saying about Australian wines, “…we used to make wines that yell; now we make wines that charm.” McLaren Vale is located in the western ranges of the Barossa Valley, and has completely different soils and levels of rainfall than center of the Barossa Valley. By allowing... View Article
THE 2015 “MERF” CHARDONNAY COLUMBIA VALLEY David “Merf” Merfeld’s journey from Iowa family farmer to Washington winemaker started in brewing, with some interesting detours along the way. Merf believes in honest, hard work and that’s ingrained in his wines. His wines are something to be discovered, tasted and enjoyed with friends. He describes the 2015 Chardonnay as, “…smooth, rich and balanced, with flavors of fresh tropical fruits, honey, ripe citrus and vanilla. This wine has smooth oak notes with a crisp, complex finish.” The 2015 vintage was one of the warmest growing seasons on record in Washington State. Warm temperatures... View Article
Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapes from the cool, coastal Casablanca Valley of Chile are 100% hand-harvested and produce wines that are vibrant and fresh in their expressions. Cool, misty nights and hot sunny days with the light hand of the winemaker create a “prism” to convert these grapes into complex, beautiful wines. Sauvignon Blanc 2016 – $11.99 Pinot Noir 2016 – $13.99
Zorzal is a young boutique winery created by the Michelini brothers. It’s located outside Tupungato (Mendoza, Argentina) at 4500 feet above sea level—the highest winery in Mendoza—with a unique soil blend that includes limestone. The winery practices organic methods in the vineyard and uses only indigenous yeast. The grapes are picked early to retain freshness and acidity in the wines. EGGO wines are fermented and aged in concrete eggs. Terroir Unico Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 – $12.99 EGGO Blanc de Cal Sauvignon Blanc 2015 – $23.99 EGGO Tinto de Tiza Tinto 2015 – $23.99
Torrontes Brutal and Bonarda Pura are experimental wines from Matias Michelini of Tupungato, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina. Michelini developed these wines to very deliberately express the area’s unique terroir. These unconventional and very limited wines use grapes from a single vineyard, and are fermented with native yeast. Torrontes “Brutal” is unfiltered and a vertical wine. Bonarda “Pura” is fermented via carbonic maceration. Torrontes Brutal 2016 – $21.99 Bonarda Pura 2017 – $12.99
Pasote Tequila is a new brand from Felipe Camarena. It comes from his distillery, El Pandillo, located in the Los Altos region of Jalisco. Anything that comes out of this cool distillery and made by Felipe (a mad-scientist master distiller!), is pretty much guaranteed to create some excitement. Pasote fulfills that promise. One of the innovative features that Felipe built into his distillery was the ability to capture rainwater, so it can be used for distillation. Pasote is made with 40% rainwater, and 60% spring water. Although agave—appropriately—tends to get a lot of the credit for the aromas and flavors... View Article
Fans of Blaecorn Unidragon rejoice, for we now currently have on the shelf a beechwood-smoked version of the popular Russian Imperial Stout! Come get this and more, like the new to can Space Cake Double IPA and Undead Party Crasher, both in 16oz pint 4 packs!
If you want a craft beer that’s somewhere in between Coors Banquet and Coors Light but comes in a 15 pack of classic looking 12oz cans, pick yourself up some Solid Gold from Founders. Some people’s beer tastes are informed by television commercials; others come to SFWS directly for a no nonsense, good old fashioned face to face conversation about all things beer. Some of those same people have their social media feeds jam packed with beer articles, and may find their way to this website, and we thank you for that. Whichever camp you are in, or an overlapping... View Article
2018 will go down in craft beer history as the year of the 19.2 oz can, as well as the year that craft went after BMC with their respective commercially viable takes on super crisp, light lagers. Sierra Nevada has covered both of these bases with their new-to-market Beer For Drinking (BFD). If you are going to put back 19.2oz of beer, it had better be crisp and refreshing. Perfect on a hot day, this craft lawn mower beer is “casually crushable.”
THE 2015 CHAPOUTIER LA CIBOISE LUBERON ROUGE The Luberon ranks among one of the most sun-drenched regions in France with approximately 2,600 hours of sun per year. Grape vines in this region date back to Roman times. The climate and terroir of this region result in rich, bold, complex wines. The La Ciboise Rouge is a blend of Grenache and Syrah. The grapes were harvested at their peak of phenolic ripeness. (Phenols are complex molecules in the skin that go from being bitter when green to pleasantly astringent and soft when ripe.) The resulting wine is aged on its lees... View Article
THE 2015 CHAPOUTIER BELLERUCHE CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE BLANC Vineyards of the Côtes-du-Rhône are some of the oldest in France. White wine blends from this region tend to be crisp, clean, aromatic and refreshing. The Belleruche Blanc is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette and Bourboulenc. Grenache Blanc gives the wine its green apple and stone fruit notes. Roussanne brings in herbal notes. Viognier brings a smooth, oily texture and floral aromas. Clairette adds to the fruitfulness of the wine and Bourboulenc adds to the floral aromas. The fruit was harvested at night to limit oxidation, which can be a problem... View Article
For years we’ve known about the amazing bourbons produced by the famed Willet Family Distilleries, but try as we might, we could not get them in New Mexico. Eventually, our persistence paid off and we’re proud to say one of our best boutique distributors now has made Willet Family products available at Susan’s. The Willet flagship whiskey is Noah’s Mill Bourbon. Once you taste this truly delightful bourbon, you’ll wonder why you’ve ever had anything less. Be cautious, though, as it’s bottled at near-cask-strength of 114.3 proof. But add a splash of water—just as the Willet’s recommend—and you probably won’t... View Article
Like its brother, Old Bardstown is another more popularly priced fine bourbon from Willet Family. This bourbon has a sweet, herbal nose with hints of citrus. Herbaceous, sweet fruit, vanilla get a ride on a layer of oak and earthiness to bring the palate to life. This amazing bourbon is available at $62.99.
A bit more popularly priced member of the newly available Willet Family whiskeys, Jonny Drum has a nose of sour apple, vanilla, and oak. The palate is a snowball rolling over fruits, vanilla, and spices, mixing them all together into an amazingly well-balanced, yet complex whiskey. Susan’s has this new arrival priced at $62.99.