a Few More great Wines………..

September 27, 2017 90+ BargainsHigh End Values  No comments

First off – I suppose a self-introduction is in order. As Los Angeles Wine Company’s newest blogger, my name is Randy Gollard, and I’ve been involved in wine (at least professionally) for over 10 years – and much longer as a hobby. I can recall at my first job, an expensive local neighborhood grocery store on the Beverly Hills border (for which I half-jokingly made up the nickname “Tomorrow’s Prices Today”), being beckoned by numerous wine labels that seemed to be calling out to me to bring home, for reasons unknown to me at the time. As such, with some well-earned tip money saved from lugging shopping carts full of bags to the customer’s cars, I brought home a bottle of BV Georges de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. Much to the dismay of the Chateau and winemakers, I probably enjoyed it with a Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza while watching Z Channel or Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. But regardless of what I paired with the wine, I could tell as the first aromas seductively danced from the bottle, that this was no ordinary wine that the majority of the customers regularly bought  – and of course, I began to look over the other bottles in the store to plot my next purchases, of which there were many.  The richness, nuances and deep contrasting flavors of that wine was an experience that I still remember – it felt like going to an exotic, adventurous and luxurious location where I was a privileged and invited guest. Years later, I worked in marketing at another wine retailer close to Beverly Hills, which could have also used the same presumptuous slogan as my first job – and I still continued to spend whatever money I could on what seemed to be exciting wines, namely Bordeaux. And here I am today – still bringing wine home from my newest place of business. However – I still consider myself a beginner – as there is so much to learn – and drink!

What do we have at Los Angeles Wine Company right now that I’m excited about? Many wines! And here are a few:

Cantine del Notaio Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio

Cantine del Notaio 2013 Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio

“The Cantine del Notaio 2013 Aglianico del Vulture Il Repertorio is a fabulous wine that possesses the depth and noble sophistication that you should expect from this small, quality wine denomination in the deep south of Italy. The bouquet is beautifully embellished with blackberry preserves, tobacco, bitter chocolate and smoky granite. The presentation is tight and seamless with a firm tannic nature that pulls the wine together in terms of substance and length. This excellent wine should flesh out further with more aging.

Gerardo Giuratrabocchetti sets the bar high on Aglianico and the unique Vulture territory. Every time I visit Basilicata, I am reminded of the words Gerardo so eloquently expressed to me while trying to describe the difficulties of working in a region that has been devastated by waves of emigration and poverty. It takes more courage to stay here and make wine than it does to leave Basilicata, he told me. I often think of that comment and the sacrifices he and his peers make to build the identity of the Vulture.” Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 93 points.

I enjoyed this with a Pasta puttanesca that I made at home and I thought it was perfect – a slight dryness on the tongue that reminded me of a terrific Chianti riserva, which was a superb combination with the slight tartness of the capers, garlic, and anchovies in the sauce. The next night, a glass alone was splendid as well, and also excelled with some thinly sliced Asiago cheese. And, for less than $20, a better deal can’t be found. Take this to your favorite Italian bistro and you’d have a wine comparable to those upwards of $75 on the wine list.

I’ve always been a big fan of Champagne and sparkling wines – but when I tasted my first sparkling rose’, a light went off in my tastebuds from the effervescent and pale berry flavors, I knew that I had found a new favorite. If you haven’t yet tried a great Sparkling Rose’ or Champagne, you owe yourself.


The Lucien NV Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rose’ is not only fantastic, but a steal at $15. And, it’s perfect for the Holidays.  100% Pinot Noir grapes impart the pink hue and added magic sparkle of berry flavor onto the creamy and mineral structure. And, because it’s not produced in Champagne, you save big on the price.

Wine Spectator’s review described it rather nicely: “Dried fruit notes, apricot and date, mix with nut and hints of citrus peel in this firm sparkler. It’s juicy, with a creamy finish. Drink now. 10,000 cases imported.”

“Alsace may be only a little farther east in France than Champagne, but what a difference in the sparkling wines made there. There’s the price, of course. But this wine-rich region, blessed with grand and premier cru vineyards, produces some remarkable sparkling wines. Alsace may be best known for exceptional Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Tokay Pinot Gris, but some of the best houses also produce some lovely sparkling wines with some of the same grapes. I’m particularly taken with Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé from Lucien Albrecht (an estate founded in 1425!). Made from Pinot Noir, it’s a ravishing rose petal pink in the glass, with a fresh, appealing perfume of wild strawberries. Perfect for smoked salmon or trout, or, if you’re lucky, some caviar on toast points.” – S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2012″

And don’t forget, mention “Nickel & Dime” in the notes upon checkout for a discount flat shipping rate of $25.00 to the lower 48.




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