Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Single Vineyard Wines

What is the importance of Single Vineyard Wines?

One of the fundamental truths of the wine world that has taken root (pardon the expression) is that place does indeed matter. Like cheese, coffee and many agricultural products; that which comes from one place does not taste like a cousin from somewhere else. In viticulture, this is known as terroir, the unique combination of variables that merge to form a specific site. Sunlight, exposure, soil types, even factors like wind direction come into play to give a vineyard its voice. And just as you can recognize a friend or relative’s voice without actually seeing them speak, so it goes with grapevines. In the best instances, and with a bit of experience, you can taste a wine’s birthplace in the glass.

In probably its most extreme form, Burgundy is the queen of geography and place. Over hundreds of years, parcels have been broken down and broken down again, each time resulting in smaller designations and blocks based on unique vineyard characteristics. For example, while 10 different winemakers working with Echezeaux fruit may have different techniques and strategies resulting in 10 different wines, they should all fundamentally taste like Echezeaux. California is no different (don’t let the French tell you otherwise).  

We recently had the good fortune of attending a tasting at Robert Mondavi winery showcasing wines from the historic To Kalon vineyard in Oakville. Our winemaking team here at Bounty Hunter works with To Kalon fruit – along with Paul Hobbs, Tor Kenward, Alpha-Omega, Robert Mondavi, Opus One and Far Niente, among others. 

Though the vineyard is largely split between the Mondavi portion and Andy Beckstoffer’s blocks, only a narrow country lane separates the two. The vineyard doesn’t know it’s split. As such, while the five wines showcased had different personalities, it was clear that they were siblings. What they shared in common was more pronounced than what they didn’t. Such is the magic of place.

We undertook our Waypoint project some years ago as an homage to place. When choosing a vineyard site to make wine from we will not sign a contract unless the property has consistently demonstrated a commonality across the producers buying its fruit. It’s not a marketing ploy… these are places with history farmed with exacting care by some of the best in the business.
Tierra Buena has been under vine on Spring Mountain since the late 1800’s, a formidable track record anywhere. Oakville Ranch claims some of Napa’s most expensive fruit for the very real reason that people recognize its inherent quality and will pay for it. Somerston is basically a mini-valley unto itself, a sweeping property of more than 1,200 acres with personality to spare. Lee Hudson’s Chardonnay grapes are some of California’s most coveted, a testament to the land and Lee’s farming standards.

We believe that our Waypoint single-vineyard selections can truly stand among Napa’s finest. And having a great winemaker in Tim Milos (hello, Parker 100-point club!) doesn’t hurt either. We chose these sites with the distinct purpose of controlling everything from bud break to farming and letting the wine speak to the place it was born and raised.  

There is a lot of romance in the wine industry around the concept of Single Vineyard designate wines.  But there’s also a lot of science and history to back it up.  If you haven’t had a chance to try our Waypoint series of Cabernets, Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and Zinfandel, we think you’ll find them as excellent representations of their home vineyards (and often at a fraction of the price compared to their single vineyard siblings.)

We’d also love to know what your favorite Single Vineyard wines from other producers are in the comments section below. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bordeaux Futures

Bordeaux Futures and You: A Primer

What are Bordeaux Futures, and why should I buy them?

The Wines of Bordeaux are the most collectible and age-worthy red wines of Europe, and historically have appreciated in value over time, especially in the most coveted vintages. Pre-paying for the wines “en primeur,” 2 years before they arrive stateside, is your opportunity to procure the wines at the lowest possible price.
For example, 2009 Leoville-Barton sold en primeur for around $99. Today the wine is typically available for around $125. Buying the wine as a future ensures you’re getting the optimal price, and failing a dramatic decline in the euro or sharp decline in demand for a vintage, it’s the smart way to collect Bordeaux. This price advantage becomes more pronounced over time. A bottle of 1990 Château Leoville-Barton cost about $25 as a future; today the same bottle sells for $165, an almost sevenfold increase.

Why Should I Buy 2015 Bordeaux Futures?

2015 was an outstanding vintage on the Southern Médoc, and on the right bank. It’s not as uniform in quality as 2009 or 2010, but reaches the same heights at the best properties. Today we have a very good $USD/euro exchange rate, at $1.12. Pricing is looking very attractive. For example, 2010 Château Haut-Brion currently sells at an average price of $1,000 per bottle. Our futures price on the 2015 model, a comparable wine, will likely come out around $550.

Why Buy Bordeaux Futures At Bounty Hunter?

Bounty Hunter Rare Wines & Spirits has been making customers happy with our commitment to elite customer service for over 22 years. We’re also importing the wines direct from merchants in Bordeaux, delivering pricing that is at least 25% lower than retailers who are forced to buy their wines from distributors. Thus you’re guaranteed the best of all worlds: perfect provenance, and execution at an optimal price.

Okay, I’m ready to start purchasing Bordeaux futures. How should I get started?

Once you’ve made the decision to start purchasing futures, it is important to have a good buying strategy. After all, there are many things to consider when purchasing futures, such as which producers to select, when their wines are available for a future purchase, how much will be available and at what price.  Like with most investments, it all starts with a budget in mind, a goal for your investment and someone with their finger on the pulse of the market who can help you develop a rock solid strategy to meet your goals (even if your goal is to drink some incredible wines). 

Our Wine Scouts are up to speed with the latest information from industry experts, insiders and the word on the street, to help you put together a strategy that will reward you for years to come. 

Simply give us a call at 800.943.9463 and one of our Wine Scouts will be there to get you started.  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Sangria

It's summertime! 
A great time to get out the BBQ, have some friends over and celebrate with a little help from one of our favorite summer sippers: Sangria!

Here are three wines we recommend for a perfect white sangria, plus three refreshing recipes to try! 

Cheers to Summer! 

2014 Mister Bianco Proprietary White California

Lemon-lime, apricots and white flowers share space with a 
whack of lip-smacking palate texture.

2013 Streamside Pinot Grigio Sonoma County

Pretty, lifted notes of green apple, melon rind and subtle minerality 
will awaken your palate to what a springtime white can be

Pinot Grigio’s acidity meets Chardonnay’s flesh in 
one ultra-sophisticated bargain.

Thai-Basil Sangria, Food & Wine

Cucumber Melon Sangria, Lemons for Lulu

Watermelon Sangria, Food & Wine

- The Bounty Hunter Team

Friday, June 17, 2016

Book Pairings for the Wine & Spirits Connoisseur

Summer is fast approaching and little is better than sitting down and relaxing with a great book and a nice glass of your favorite wine or spirit. Whether it be outside by the pool, on a blanket at the beach, or inside on your cozy couch; the right book combined with the right drink, makes for a great escape.

With this in mind, we polled the Bounty Hunter team to ask them for their favorite literary and vinous pairings.  If you’ve been looking to add something to your Summer reading list (and your Summer drinking list!) then pick a book, pair it with a tasty beverage, and let your mind run wild! 

Atlas Shruggedby Ayn Rand

"The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did."*

Recommended Pairing:

2013 John Galt Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Lock Artist: A Novelby Steve Hamilton

"Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it's a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe ... he can open them all."*

Recommended Pairing:

Blade & Bow Straight Bourbon Whiskey Kentucky

The Juice: Vinous Veritasby McInerney Jay

"Jay McInerney provides a master class in the almost infinite varieties of wine and the people and places that produce it."*

Recommended Pairing:

2013 CADE 'Estate' Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain

While the World Is Still Asleepby Petra Durst-Benning 

"An inspiring historical tale of one woman risking it all for her dreams set in 1890s Berlin."*

Recommended Pairing:

2014 Dr. Loosen ''Urziger Wurzgarten'' Kabinett Riesling Mosel

Lush Life: A Novelby Richard Price

"A tale of two Lower East Sides: one a high-priced bohemia, the other a home to hardship."*

Recommended Pairing:

Four Roses 10yr "Bounty Hunter Private Selection No. 11" Bourbon Whiskey Kentucky

The Catcher in the Ryeby J.D. Salinger

Set around the 1950's and narrated by a boy named Holden Caulfield as he becomes an icon for teenage rebellion.

Recommended Pairing:

Journeyman Distillery 'Bounty Hunter Single Barrel' Ravenswood Rye Whiskey, Michigan

Justice -- What's the Right Thing to Do?by MICHAEL J SANDEL

Michael Sandel address a series of alternative theories of justice.

Recommended Pairing:

2012 Blind Justice 'Beckstoffer To Kalon' Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

The Rum Diary: A Novelby Hunter S. Thompson

"A love story of jealousy, treachery, and violent lust in the Caribbean."*

Recommended Pairing: 

Papa's Pilar Dark Rum 'BH Single Barrel'

Tortilla Flatby John Steinbeck

"At the center of the tale is Danny, whose house, like Arthur’s castle, becomes a gathering place for men looking for adventure, camaraderie, and a sense of belonging—men who fiercely resist the corrupting tide of honest toil and civil rectitude."*

Recommended Pairing:

2012 The Jailbird Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

*synopsis taken from Amazon.com

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Gin O'clock

Usually gin evokes thoughts of summertime… 

G&Ts by the pool, greyhounds at the beach, cookouts, maybe a taste on the back nine… We think the fresh pine, spice and mint aromas can also dream up snow days, ice-skating and a relaxing game night by the fire. 

Gin truly is a year ‘round spirit!

We’ve got some fantastic gins in stock whether you lean toward the citrus-forward style (like our spirits buyer), or a juniper-bomb take a look at our selection, you’ll find something great! 

We are also working on a couple of things that will hopefully come to fruition later this year, so stay tuned! 

Here are a few of our favorite Gins that can be bought right here at Bounty Hunter Wine & Spirits:

FEW Breakfast Gin Illinois

Made from midwest grain, and distilled with Earl Grey tea, which perfectly complements the juniper and citrus notes, the Breakfast Gin will liven up any martini!

Brooklyn Gin New York

Hand-crafted in small batches in a small copper still that produces about 300 bottles per 3-day run, this citrus-forward London style with a heart of juniper is dry, crisp and well balanced.

Botanica Gin

Herbaceous juniper, fresh grapefruit and coriander pop on the nose, while bergamot and spicy cassia dominate the palate. This is the ultimate cocktail gin, perfect with tonic or as a classic martini. 

Try out your bartending skills with these fun cocktails:

Rosemary Gin & Tonic 
courtesy of PUNCH 

Gin Spritz
courtesy of FOOD52

The Harrier
courtesy of Food & Wine

E N J O Y! 

- The Bounty Hunter Team 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wine To Water



For the last month and a half Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ has been pouring Wine To Water Cabernet Sauvignon by the glass in efforts to help get clean water access in countries around the world. For each glass that is purchased at the restaurant, we are donating a dollar to the organization. 

Wine To Water is an organization that is very much near and dear to our hearts. Our On-Premises Wine Director, Jared Seitzer, actually volunteered for the organization a few years back and had the privilege of going on their first outreach trip to Cambodia. 

"My wife and I travelled through Cambodia and SE Asia 2 years prior and immediately fell in love with the people and culture.  However, we also saw the poverty and people drinking out of the Mekong River, and brushing thier teeth in the water as trash floated by.  We met a 14 year old boy who became our tour guide for a few days on a river tour, and I asked him if money was no object what did he need.  He immediately said clean drinking water.  More people are sick in that region from polluted water/sanitation than anything else… especially children since their immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight the bacteria.  The other thing he said was transportation (he meant bicycles) to get the sick to the local hospitals and clinics.  Sounded about as basic as it can get to me, so I wanted to help in someway… I later found out about Wine To Water and that was that; especially since I’m in the Wine Business." 
  - Jared Seitzer

What is Wine To Water?

Wine To Water is a non-profit organization that is committed to serving in community to provide clean water to those in need. They work with local people from Cambodia, the Amazon, Dominican Republic, East Africa, and Nepal to name a few, and use local materials whenever possible. 

Why Wine?

"Wine symbolizes wealth, celebration, and community in western culture. Our mission is reshaping the face of aid by using all three in an entirely new way."

Why Water? 

"Nearly 663 million people lack access to clean water and another 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. We are devoted to fighting this crisis."

Since Wine to Water started in 2003, they have been able to provide over 400,000 people from 24 countries with access to clean drinking water. 

Please help us give back to the world and help get clean water access to countries in need. 

Water is a necessity in life. Our country is so fortunate not to have to worry about a limited supply. Let's take a step back from our busy lives and think about the other billions of people out in the world. What do they need?  How can we help them? What small step can we take that actually would be a huge leap for another person? 

If you find yourself in Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin' BBQ, order up yourself a BBQ platter and a glass of Wine To Water Cabernet Sauvignon and think about all the lives you may be saving with just one act of kindness. 

To learn more about Wine To Water and to volunteer and get involved please click here.

If you would like to donate  "a drop in a bucket," please click here

The Bounty Hunter Team 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Cheers to the Graduating Class of 2016!

The gown is on, the cap fits just right, cameras are flashing, flowers are being carried and the excitement is all around.

College Graduation, a day to celebrate the culmination of years of lectures, essays, projects, and of course late night cramming sessions.

A proud moment for a parent and child, each taking a step back and sighing with relief as they look towards the future.


Wine and Spirits are a great way to celebrate the efforts of our graduates and gift them something to remember! 

Our Wine Scouts have put together a list of bottles that are sure to excite your graduate. Let’s clink those glasses together and celebrate their hard work. 

Bubbles to toast the grads! Schramsberg is a Napa Valley institution and a wine many believe to be our Valley’s first foray in to competing for bubble-supremacy with our Champagne counterparts across the pond.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate graduation than to gift a bottle of bubbles made in a traditional method but which finds itself in a new world."
 - Alan Lewis, Wine Scout 

NV Krug Grand Cuvee

"Charles Krug was the very first winery to produce commercially in the Napa Valley and has primarily been owned and operated by the Mondavi family for nearly a century; having been passed down from one generation to the next. It’s a wine that exemplifies family tradition here in Napa and would be very appropriate to commemorate your own family tradition. I recommend gifting one bottle to celebrate the graduation and one bottle to open when they get their first job!!"
- Lee Reinsimar, Wine Scout 

2012 Pursuit Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

"This is one of those wines that should be enjoyed with family and then left on the mantle of a graduate as a constant reminder to always chase down their dreams and a wish from the parents that all their future Pursuits be successful!" 
- Chelsea Slody, Wine Scout

Aberfeldy 12 year Single Malt Whisky Highland

"The golden dram!" 

"I like to go Single Malt or Armagnac/Cognac on these. It gives a new grad an introduction to drinking beyond what they’re used to in collegiate partying.  A gift that says; “Welcome to the World!”

- Micah Rochelle, Spirits Buyer

Delord 25 year Bas-Armagnac

"Imagine your college’s library in a glass and you’ll be circling around the spirit of this Spirit! Rich with well-developed flavors and aromas of leather fig and toffee, this is a complex spirit that is a great introduction to the world of brandy. Celebrate the next step in life with a “next level” spirit!"
- Micah Rochelle, Spirits Buyer

Hazelburn 12yr Single Malt Whisky Campbeltown

"Age and experience, but still a playful exuberance.  What could be a better whisky for a newly-minted graduate? From the incredible Springbank distillery in Campbeltown comes this approachable, easy drinking 12 year old Irish whisky. The exploration into the finest things in life is just starting. They might as well get off on the right foot!" 
- Micah Rochelle, Spirits Buyer