DECEMBER 2019 REVIEWS

 

OREGON PINOT NOIR HOLIDAY SAMPLERS

Gold Sampler … 465.00 per case  reg. 522.00
Two of each bottle per case

  • 2017 Crowley Wines, Four Winds, Willamette Valley
  • 2016 Rose Rock (DDO), Zephirine, Eola-Amity Hills
  • 2017 Lingua Franca, Estate, Eola-Amity Hills
  • 2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Temperance Hill, Eola-Amity Hills
  • 2017 Twill, Stormy Morning Vineyard, Willamette Valley
  • 2017 Broadley, Marcile Lorraine, Estate, Willamette Valley

Silver Sampler … 250.00 per case  reg. 278.00
Two of each bottle per case

  • 2018 Broadley, Willamette Valley
  • 2011 Amalie Robert, The Uncarved Block, Willamette Valley
  • 2015 Hamacher, H, Willamette Valley
  • 2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars, Ribbon Ridge
  • 2017 Twill, Willamette Valley
  • 2017 Loop de Loop, Willamette Valley

RED WINES

OREGON - RED

See our samplers (above)

FRANCE – RED

2017 Justin Girardin, Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Burgundy, France (S) 18.99/205.09

Representing the thirteenth generation of the great Girardin family in Burgundy, Justin Girardin’s 2017 Bourgogne Pinot Noir is a special selection of fruit from fifty-year-old vines grown near the Les Gravieres premier cru in the commune of Santenay. The pedigree of the vineyard shines in the wine’s deep plum-ruby color and spicy aromas of cherries, geranium, and white pepper. Girardin’s Bourgogne then graces the palate with fresh, vibrant berry fruit mingling with floral suggestions of rose petals and geraniums, with overtones of black pepper and menthol. Softly textured and bursting with fresh fruit, the wine finishes with red and black berry fruit expressions complicated by a dark limestone soil signature. Pair this impressively fresh offering now and over the next three years with roast poultry, pan-seared pork chops, bœuf bourguignon, and rich recipes featuring morel mushrooms.

2017 Yves Guegniard, Domaine de la Bergerie, Anjou Rouge, La Cerisaie, Loire Valley, France (CO) 17.99/194.29

This is a sensational find in Anjou Cabernet Franc and a stunning value to boot. Located in the heart of the Anjou’s Côteaux du Layon zone, the Domaine de la Bergerie crafts an exemplary portfolio of traditional wines. Led by Anne Guegniard, the domaine has completed its conversion to organic viticulture and the results are stunning. Domaine de la Bergerie’s 2017 Cabernet Franc Le Cerisaie, reflects an opaque purple-ruby robe followed by classic Anjou rouge aromas of perfumed dark schist soil, plum, leather, cremini mushrooms, red peppercorns, and cinnamon. Broad and palate staining, the La Cerisaie alternates waves of bitter cherry and cassis fruit backed by brisk acidity, smoky minerals, and complex suggestions of Maduro tobacco. Fine tannins emerge mid-palate to accent the tangy fruit expression and segue the wine to a long, savory finish. Pair it now with grilled hanger steaks and burgers, or serve over the coming five years with hearty stews, braises, and mushroom preparations.

2015 Chateau Pique Caillou, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France (S) 29.99/323.89

The Chateau Picque Caillou is located in the heart of the Pessac-Leognan appellation, the historic cradle of the Bordeaux region. A close neighbor of both Haut-Brion and Pape Clement, Picque Caillou’s 50-acre estate is named for the pebbly soils that originated from sediments deposited by the nearby Garonne River. Picque Caillou’s 2015 – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (35%), and Petit Verdot – shows a blueberry-ruby color and classic Pessac-Graves suggestions of cassis, black cherries, cedar, violets, and gravelly earth. The wine balances its modern full and lush texture with classic claret tannins, earthiness, and tobacco overtones. Long, complex, and oh-so-satisfying, the 2015 Picque Caillou finishes graceful, elegant, and harmonious with additional touches of mint, dried herbs, and graphite. A perfect match for roast beef and earthy mushroom recipes, this is a smartly priced grand cru claret to buy by the case for enjoyment now, two decades from now, and any time in between.

2017 Chateau des Adouzes, Faugeres, La Tigre, Languedoc-Roussillon, France 15.99/172.69

Faugeres is a cool, high-altitude appellation north of Beziers in the Languedoc. The Chateau des Adouzes employs 70-year-old Carignan vines (35%), Grenache (35%), Syrah (30%) to create a wine that’s steeped in Southern French warmth and rusticity. Opaque black plum in the glass, Adouzes’ Le Tigre bursts with aromas of blackberries, blueberries, licorice, dark-roasted coffee, and dried herbs. Intense on the attack, fine, buffered tannins frame the wine’s dense, chewy core of black plum and cassis fruit infused with complex suggestions of juniper, tar, cured meat, leather, and herbal garrigue. Dense and chewy yet tangy and vibrant, the wine finishes deep and lusty. A perfect selection to chase the winter chills away, enjoy this superb Faugeres now and over the coming decade with only the heartiest of fare: braised hare, game, squab, grilled lamb, mature cheeses, and wild boar.

2016 Domaine Labranche Laffont, Madiran, Tradition, Southwestern France (O) 15.99/172.69

Along with Cahors, Madiran is one of the two legendary “black wines of France.” Based on the appropriately named tannin-rich Tannat grape, and seasoned with dollops of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, all of Madiran’s black-purple opacity can be found in Labranche Laffont’s 2016 Madiran. The wine opens with a brooding nose of tarry blackberry, mulberry, and black plum highlighted by hints of cinnamon, leather, and dried herbs. Earth, leather, root bark, and dried herbs join a dense kernel of tarry plum and blackberry fruit on the lush, silky palate. Sneaky tannins emerge to frame the wine’s luscious kernel of berry fruit and segue it to a lingering, tongue-staining finish. Lovers of deep, bold reds like Mourvedre and Malbec are especially advised to give this special wine a try. Decant before serving and enjoy it now and over the coming seven years with duck confit, roast goose, rib roasts of beef, braised lentils, and hearty eggplant-rich casseroles.

ITALY – RED

2017 Castello di Verduno, Barbera d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy (O) 19.99/215.89

The Castello di Verduno is one of the most important historical sites in Piedmont’s Barolo zone. The winery is located in Verduno, the northernmost commune of Barolo, but the grapes for this Barbera are selected from 14- to 57-year-old vines located in Barbaresco’s hallowed Neive zone. Casting an opaque black plum hue, the Castello’s Barbera opens with deep aromas of plums, licorice, frankincense, and brown spices. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, the Barbera presents black cherry and blackberry fruit lifted by traditional Barbera acidity and a bright limestone undercurrent. Black cherries, plums, blond leather, licorice, and sweet spices appear on the wine’s long saturated finish. Pair this exceptional Barbera now and over the coming five years with grilled hanger steak, pizza, pastas with a rich ragù or Bolognese sauce, fritto misto, carne cruda, and eggplant lasagna.

2018 Monte Tondo, Corvina, Veneto IGT, Italy 13.99/151.09

Monte Tondo’s Veneto IGT is the extraordinarily rare 100% Corvina wine crafted from vines within the Valpolicella zone that are entitled to boast the more recognized Valpolicella label. A transparent garnet hue in the glass, the 2018 Corvina casts brisk, earthy aromas of cranberries, rhubarb, dried rose petals, and potpourri. Brisk yet generous on the attack, the wine conveys lovely suggestions of grapefruit zest, white pepper, and Seville orange peel wrapped around a bright, vibrant core of sour cherry fruit. Savory herbs and fine tannins join the wine’s chewy core of red fruits to make this a most complex, delicious, versatile, and affordable red wine. Pair this over the coming two years with just about everything but fish preparations.

2015 Castell’in Villa, Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 25.99/280.69

Chianti Classico does not get any better – or any more traditional – than this! Castell’in Villa issues a complete portfolio of the most old-school, long-lived Chiantis from its vineyards in Chianti Classico’s southernmost Castelnuovo Berardenga zone. Much to our great pleasure we’re able to present the estate’s superb 2015, which sports a crimson-ruby hue and warm Chianti aromas of pie cherries, cedar, menthol, and blond leather. The wine offers a fleshy, red-fruited Sangiovese palate expression and superb chalky soil transparency. Suggestions of Bing cherries, pomegranate, and red plums grace the palate and give way to complex hints of tobacco, bay leaf, licorice, wintergreen, and bitter chocolate. Generous yet firmly tannic on its long finish, Castell’in Villa’s Chianti announces that it is first and foremost a food wine and should be paired with hearty fare like rich pasta dishes, roasts of lamb or beef, or long simmered stews. Drink now to reminisce about the way great, age-worthy Chianti used to be, and then age enough to last you seven to fifteen years.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous: 92 points

2016 Sella & Mosca, Cannonau di Sardegna, Riserva, Sardinia, Italy 14.99/161.89

Cannonau is Sardinian dialect for the varietal better known as Grenache in France and Garnacha in Spain. In Sardinia, it achieves a very special expression, which stays true to the grape, yet conveys a special cinnamon-tinged earthiness unique to the island. Sella & Mosca’s 2016 Riserva – issued in only the finest years – opens with a beautiful translucent crimson-garnet robe followed by a delicious bouquet of pie cherries, perfumed earth, leather, tobacco, and a touch of good ol’ funk. Graceful in weight yet bold in flavor on the palate, Sella & Mosca’s Cannonau adds suggestions of cinnamon, tart red plums, leather, salumi, turmeric, and smoky minerals. The wine finishes long and soil-driven, showing plentiful, savory tannins, lifting acidity, and delicious notes of pepper, leather, cured meats, and tobacco. Fans of southern French Grenache and bold, earthy, autumnal reds will relish this Cannonau and find it a most comfortable value to be enjoyed now and over the coming six years with dishes featuring tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, lamb, and game.

2015 Eraldo Borgogno, Barolo, Vignane, Piedmont, Italy 41.99/453.49

This is exhilarating Barolo from a tiny and rare cru that deserves its exalted reputation. Rated “outstanding” by Antonio Galloni, the Vignane cru is superbly situated between Cannubi and Bussia in the heart of the traditional Barolo zone. Wines from the Vignane cru are renowned for their purity of fruit, expressive aromatics and soft tannins. Eraldo Borgogno’s Vignane reflects a transparent garnet hue gradating to a gorgeous amber rim. Immediately expressive, the wine radiates aromas of licorice, dried rose petals, wild cherries, and red currants. Fresh and invigorating, the wine stains the palate with cherry and loganberry fruit accented by complex undertones of sassafras, cedar, shiitake mushrooms, and clay. Fine, framing tannins usher the Vignane to a long, classic Barolo finish of menthol, licorice, brown spices, white pepper, and mushroomy underbrush. Pair this beauty now and over the coming two decades with traditional Piemontese cuisine such as risotto con funghi, tajarin topped with a hearty ragù and shaved truffles, or slow-braised oxtail. Only 400 cases produced…for the world! Very limited.

SPAIN – RED

2017 Raul Perez, Ultreia, Mencia, St. Jacques, Bierzo, Spain 18.99/205.09

Many consider the vivacious Raul Perez to be one of Spain’s – if not the world’s – finest winemakers. The word “Ultreia” is a form of encouragement for the many pilgrims that have passed by this vineyard since the 3rd century en route to Santiago de Compostela. A translucent ruby color in the bowl, Perez’s St. Jacques conveys the fresh, vibrant side of the Mencia grape with vivid raspberry and wild cherry expressions accented by notes of game, herbs, wintergreen, and leather. Zippy and energetic on the attack, the St. Jacques stains the palate with deep impressions of black raspberries, Bing cherries, violets, and smoky minerals. Brisk acidity and fine tannins buoy the wine’s chewy core of red and black fruits and segue it to a long finish that adds suggestions of cedar, mint, and cocoa. Delicious now, the wine will prove a huge hit with grilled steaks and burgers, baby back ribs, bean tapas, salumi, braised rabbit, and hearty stews.
Luis Gutierrez, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: 93 points


WHITE WINES

FRANCE – WHITE

2017 Domaine Cheveau, Macon-Fuisse, Les Grandes Bruyeres, Burgundy, France 20.99/226.69

2017 is shaping up to be a lovely vintage in the Maconnais, as evidenced by this crisp, soil-expressive single vineyard offering from Domaine Cheveau. Opening with a bright lemon-gold hue, Cheveau’s Les Grandes Bruyeres – from vines averaging forty years – conveys a traditional Burgundian nose of lemon zest and yellow apple underpinned by Burgundy’s inimitable limestone-clay minerality. On the palate, the wine presents a brisk citrus fruit kernel wrapped inside layers of smoke, crushed oyster shells, lemon curd, and buttery brioche. Suggestions of cloves and ginger provide additional complexity on the wine’s long, elegant finish. Dedicated fans of terroir-expressive white Burgundy will delight in this terrific and affordable Macon. We suggest enjoying it now or over the next five years with salmon, halibut, roast chicken, and light pork preparations.

2017 Trimbach, Pinot Blanc, Alsace, France 15.99/172.69

Trimbach continues the long string of superb releases with this lovely entry-level blend of Pinot Auxerrois (75%) and Pinot Blanc from the brisk, mineral-driven 2017 vintage. Green-gold in color, Trimbach’s Pinot Blanc yields a smoky, mineral nose laden with aromas of lemon, lime, chamomile, tangerine, and gardenia blossoms. On the palate, the wine cuts with laser-sharp acidity based on a core of citrus fruit dominated by grapefruit, orange, and lemon. Further notes of yellow plums, pears, and ginger add complexity and depth. Salty minerals mark the wine’s long, clean, and juicy finish. The Trimbach estate never misses, and this 2017 Pinot Blanc captures the intense terroir expression of the vintage. Drink now or over the next three to five years with grilled salmon, duck, choucroute garni, pork, and hearty potato casseroles. A sensational value for a wine of this caliber!
Vinous: 91 points

2017 Pierre Henri Gadais, Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie, St.-Fiacre, Loire Valley, France 10.50/113.40

Few wines in today’s market combine soil specificity, refreshment, food friendliness, and value like great Muscadet. Pierre Henri Gadais’ Saint-Fiacre cuvee, grown on schist and rocky orthogneiss soils strewn with ancient sea fossils, is Muscadet in its purest, most crystalline expression. Pale green-gold in the glass, Gadais’ Muscadet shines with notes of lemon drops, kiwi, and pear skin infused with flint, fleur de sel, and oyster shell minerals. Clean, zesty, and incisively dry on the palate, the wine conveys impressions of lemon zest, green apples, quinine, ginger, and chalky minerals. Muscadet proves lovely as an aperitif, but it always shines brightest when paired with briny oysters, mussels, fried razor clams, dover sole, and sauteed green vegetables. A terrific follow-up to the tremendously successful 2016, the wine will delight now as well as age effortlessly for five years or more. The best value Muscadet on the market!

2017 Ch. d’Epire, Savennieres, Grand Cru d’Anjou, Loire Valley, France (S) 21.99/237.49

The noble Chenin Blanc grape reaches its pinnacle in the complex, schist-dominated soils of Savennieres in the Loire Valley’s esteemed Anjou sector. Chateau d’Epire, imported for decades by the legendary Kermit Lynch, has released an absolutely superb, bone-dry 2017 Savennieres that features
classic smoky, pungent minerality alongside delicious and beguiling notes of quince, lemon verbena, and chamomile. Long and vibrant, the wine conveys impressive grip on the palate with insistent expressions of green apple, honeydew melon, kiwi, blond tobacco, and white pepper. The finish is pungently
mineral, with a freshness and brightness rare for Savennieres. Enjoy now with trout, sushi, sashimi, scalloped oysters, and light seafood dishes. but be sure to buy enough to cellar, as the wine will mature gracefully for another ten to fifteen years adding complexity and richness.

ITALY – WHITE

2016 Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marches, Italy (O) 14.99/161.89 reg. 17.99

Bucci’s 2016 Verdicchio, grown in the denominazione’s Classico Superiore subzone, casts a green-glinted straw-gold color followed by textbook Verdicchio aromas of Mirabelle plums, green apple skin, lime zest, and fresh fennel. Lithe and chiseled on the palate, salty minerals dust the wine’s citrus fruit expression alongside impressions of ground almonds, green plums, and smoky minerals. Long and lingering on the palate, the wine segues to a long, zesty, and refreshing finish reprising its kernel of citrus fruit followed by impressions of bay leaf and fresh ginger. Pair this impressively brisk and zesty Verdicchio now and over the coming three years with roast pork, baked chicken, freshwater fish, and recipes featuring zucchini, delicata, and kabocha squashes.
Ian D’Agata, Vinous: 91+ points

2018 La Capranera, Fiano, Campania IGT, Italy (O) 10.99/118.69

Fiano is the noblest and the most soil-expressive of all southern Italian white grape varieties. Reflecting a bright, green-glinted lemon-gold hue, La Capranera’s Fiano blossoms in the glass with a gorgeous core of lime, kiwi, and papaya fruit lifted by nuances of honeysuckle and wintergreen. On the palate the wine expresses juicy lemon, lime, and tangerine fruits accented by hints of white pepper, juniper, and bay leaf. Long, crisp, and simply delicious, La Capranera’s Fiano finishes clean and refreshing with a savory dusting of saline minerals on the lips and inner cheeks. Enjoy this unusually affordable, organic Fiano now and over the next two years with shellfish, calamari, tuna, whole roasted branzino, and olive oil-sauced pasta dishes.

PORTUGAL – WHITE

2018 Anselmo Mendes, Alvarinho Contacto, Vinho Verde, Portugal 18.99/205.09

Anselmo Mendes is one of the most esteemed producers in Portugal’s Vinho Verde zone, and his Alvarinho is undoubtedly among Iberia’s greatest and most distinctive white wines. The 2018 Alvarinho Contacto is given extended skin contact to coax greater depth, character, and intensity from the usually delicate Vinho Verde. Dazzlingly aromatic, the wine greets the palate with a riveting kernel of pineapple, yellow plum, and tangerine fruit complicated by overtones of cinnamon, ginger, and menthol. Electric acidity and a deep granitic mineral undercurrent drive the wine’s brilliant yellow-fruited core and segue it to a long, zesty, citrus- and pineapple-driven finish. Pair it now and over the coming two years with seafood and vegetable paellas, vegetable and seafood tapas, sushi and sashimi, and seafood pastas.

SPAIN – WHITE

2018 Manuel Guerra Justo, Via Arxentea, Monterrei, Treixadura y Godello, Galicia, Spain 17.99/194.29

Located in the southeastern corner of Spain’s border with Portugal, Monterrei's inland location provides warm and dry summers, which result in fuller-bodied wines as compared with other sectors of Galicia. Manuel Guerra Justo’s Via Arxentea Treixadura (50%) and Godello (50%) conveys the magic that these two indigenous varietals can perform in the hands of a meticulous artisanal winemaker. A brilliant green-tinged gold in the glass, the wine bursts with vivid aromas of honeysuckle and jasmine blossoms, green pineapple, pear skin, and dusty minerals. Vibrant on the palate, the Via Arxentea reveals a kaleidoscope of flavors ranging from grapefruit, Meyer lemon, quince, and orange to fresh ginger, wintergreen, cinnamon, and menthol. Enjoy now or over the next two years with squid a la plancha, seafood and vegetable paellas, salt cod fritters, and pastas tossed with olive oil and sauteed green vegetables.

2018 Bodegas O’Ventosela, Ribeiro, Gran Leirina, Galicia, Spain (S) 16.99/183.49

Nestled at the eastern edge of Galicia, the Ribeiro DO is gaining steam as one of Spain’s most fascinating and compelling white wine regions. The Bodegas O’Ventosela’s Gran Leirina Treixadura casts a deep green-glinted gold color followed by fascinating aromas of Meyer lemon, yellow melon, and bright minerals. Pure and expressive on the palate, the Gran Leirina conveys impeccable balance and crystalline impressions of pineapple, nectarine, and honeysuckle blossoms. The wine finishes dry, mineral-driven, and bristling with acidity, while complex notes of quince, bay leaf, ginger, and quinine emerge as the wine lingers on the back-palate. We suggest pairing this delicious, versatile beauty now and over the coming two years with grilled octopus, potato tapas, bacalao, broiled swordfish, and tuna sashimi. Another sensational wine from Galicia!

SPARKLING WINES

FRANCE - SPARKLING

NV Domaine Allimant-Laugner, Cremant d’Alsace, Brut Rose, Alsace, France 23.99/259.09

This Pinot Noir cremant rose bursts with a high-toned bouquet of wild strawberries, sour cherries, pomegranate, rhubarb, yellow rose petals, and crushed minerals. Fresh and vibrant on the palate, Allimant-Laugner’s rose conveys impressive harmony between crisp acidity, yeasty richness, and crunchy berry fruit.

NV Les Tuffieres, Vouvray Brut, Loire Valley, France (O) 22.99/248.29

Next to Champagne, is there any more compelling sparkling wine than the finest fizz from Vouvray? This delicious Brut is clean, vibrant, dry, affordable, and ready for the season’s celebrations. Buy a case to drink now and over the coming two years.

NV Simmonet-Febvre, Brut Cremant de Bourgogne, Chablis, France 16.99/183.49

A delicate and full-flavored blend of Chardonnay (60%) and Pinot Noir. The wine finishes with elegant, lingering hints of toast, lemon mousse, and apparent minerality. Best deal under $20!
Wine Enthusiast: 90 points

NV Dieboldt-Vallois, Blanc de Blancs, Cramant, France 39.99/431.89 reg. 45.99

Our number one choice this season is the superb Blanc de Blancs from Diebold-Vallois, a lively and elegant Champagne. The nose is floral with delicate notes of tropical fruits, apples, and citrus. The palate is both elegant and firm, never heavy, and possesses a polished, creamy roundness. The texture of this 100% Chardonnay is quite refined, with bright acidity, and a firm, long finish. We cannot find a better valued, better tasting Champagne at this price (and above) to celebrate...or to drink anytime!
Wine Spectator: 91 / Tanzer: 91 / Wines & Spirits: 93

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STORE HOURS:
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HOLIDAY HOURS:
Dec. 24: 10am - 5pm
Dec. 31: 10am - 5pm

** HOLIDAY CLOSURES **
Christmas Day, Dec. 25
Winter break: Jan. 1 - 5

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while you shop

 

FRIDAY TASTINGS:
First and third Friday of the month
5:30-7:30 p.m. ~Fee~

Dec. 6 - Beautiful Burgundies from Savigny-les-Beaune

Dec. 20 - Our Semi-Annual Champagne Blow Out: Bring your party hats!

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SATURDAY TASTINGS:
Weekly; 12-4:30 p.m. ~No fee~

Nov. 30 - Oregon on display: Meet Chris Dickson from Twill Cellars, Kristen Cooper for Biggio Hamina Cellars, and GregMcClellan from Suzor Wines.

Dec. 7 - From Italy: Bucci Verdicchio, Monte Tondo Corvina, Castello di Verduno Barbera d’Alba, Eraldo Borgogno Barolo Vignane, and Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico.

Dec. 14 - From Iberia: Manuel Guerra Justo Vía Arxéntea Treixadura y Godello, Bodegas O’Ventosela Treixadura Gran Leiriña, Raúl Pérez Ultreia Mencía St. Jacques (Spain), and Anselmo Mendes Alvarinho Contacto Vinho Verde (Portugal). Plus, from Italy: La Caprenera Fiano, and Sella & Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva.

Dec. 21 - Wines from France: 2017 Trimbach Pinot Blanc, Dom. Cheveau Mâcon-Fuissé Les Grandes Bruyères, Justin Girardin Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Yves Guégniard Dom. de la Bergerie Anjou Rouge, Ch. Pique Caillou Pessac-Léognan, and Ch. des Adouzes Faugères La Tigre.

Dec. 28 - Join us for an afternoon of sparkling wines to usher in the New Year!

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Our very warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season, and a very happy New Year!


B = biodynamic methods; CO = certified organic; O = organic; S = sustainably farmed
 


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