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ESCUBAC Liqueur   375ml   $23.95

This botanical spirit from London’s Sweetdram, while still relatively under the radar, is easily one of the favorite new spirits on the market for cocktail enthusiasts. The gin-like (but decidedly not gin) spirit, which is made with a bevy of botanicals but no juniper, has “broken the mold,” and is quite unique. While the spirit is tough to pigeonhole into an existing category, it’s highly drinkable and versatile as a base spirit, modifier, or “secret ingredient” in cocktails.

LA FLEUR D’OR Sauternes 2014   375ml   $19.95

Sauternes is a highly regarded sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux, France. This particular bottling comes to us from famed negociant and Sauternes expert, Bill Blatch. Since 1995, Bill has used his enviable list of contacts in Sauternes to make La Fleur d’Or. He buys top-notch parcels of wine from small, lesser known properties as well as from some well-known chateaux and ages them in French oak.

LA RAGE DU SOLEIL Mas Peyre   500ml   $22.95

The Maury "Rage of the Sun" is a natural sweet fortified wine that has a bright red robe and crisp late harvest fruit aromas. Made from 100% Grenache noir grapes from old vines (80 to 100 years old) that are located on the arid hillsides south of St Paul de Vence, France, near the Mediterranean coast. This dessert wine is Solera aged from 2003 to 2008 and then barrel aged until January 2017. Wonderful as a digestif with chocolate or by itself.

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ESPODOL Solera Garnatxa   750ml   $23.95

Despite the relatively low price, this fortified wine has many similarities to higher end sherry, especially the moderately sweet Oloroso style. The wines in the solera vats used here date back to the early 1960’s, giving this silky wine a hint of great age. The grapes used are Grenache Blanc and Rosada, making this shelf-stable (meaning it won’t change over time once it has been opened) delight both rich and yet light on its feet.

BROADBAND RESERVE 5 Year Old Madeira   750ML   $25.00 

With its dark gold color and sweet, nutty aromas, this is on the rich side (as distinct from the dry side) of the Madeira taste spectrum. It has attractive fruitiness and aged citrus acidity that are well balanced, leaving a wine that is both sweet but also fresh. Like the Espodol above, the process by which this fortified wine is made includes oxidations, which renders Madeira shelf-stable so it can be opened and enjoyed over a long period of time, even years.

COCCHI Vermouth di Torino   750ml  $23.95

This is a remarkably complex, full-flavored aperitif wine that can be sipped straight up, over ice with an orange twist or used to add a special layer of goodness to cocktails. Aromas of singed orange peel, vanilla and caramel lead eventually to a hint of menthol as well as of dandelion and burdock. The finish is very clean and refreshing. What sets this vermouth apart is the whistle-clean fruitiness, with no harshness. Pitch-perfect balance between bitterness and sweetness.

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DOMAINE DU CHALET POUILLY 2015 Saint-Véran   750ml   $22.95   

This renown white Burgundy is a ripe, creamy wine. It is all fruit: ripe apples and sweet pears, but with a hint of stony minerality as well. There is a fine touch of spice as well as attractive acidity. It may be young but it is certainly ready to enjoy for its rich fruit. The producer's vineyards lie under the dramatic cliff of Solutré in Saint-Véran, Burgundy, France. A delicate but precise Saint-Veran with a tang of salinity on the finish that draws you back.

CASCINA DEL TORCC 2012 Barolo   750ml   $24.95

The first of two Barolos we’re offering at the unheard of price of $24.95. This one is an easy drinking, light, 100% Nebbiolo wine that benefits from decanting for an hour or so before drinking. Tart cherries, red fruit and violets. On the palate, acidity and tannins are in good balance and the finish is of moderate length. A sharp note makes it a good pairing with many cheeses, red sauce and much else. An easy, approachable and enjoyable Barolo.

CANTINA TERRE DEL BAROLO 2012 Barolo   750ml   $24.95

The second of two Barolos we’re offering at the unheard of price of $24.95. The fragrant nose offers aromas of rose petal, herbs and camphor with a bit of underbrush and stewed prune. The full-bodied monolithic palate offers cranberry, morello cherry, star anise and the warmth of alcohol alongside solid tannins. This is big and rather straightforward for Barolo. The solid structure should make this wine good for cellaring through 2022 or so.

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WINE FOLLY: The Essential Guide to Wine   230 pages   $25.00

The website winefolly.com is an award-winning, essential online resource for learning about wine, attracting hundreds of thousands beginners and professionals. In their long-awaited book, the creators of the website offer a fresh, totally accessible guide to wine that combines sleep data visualization and understand-in-an-instant graphics. A great guide for the beginning wine connoisseur and a great quick reference for wine drinkers with long, deep experience.

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