September’s Wine Club

Your September wines are here!

Hello, Hidden Trackers –

September is here and your wines are pretty awesome! We are featuring a varietal that we have never featured before. So sit back, relax, and pop some corks! But first…

The Announcements

1. The holiday season is right around the corner, which means party seasonis here. If you are looking for help catering or planning your holiday party at home or at the office, please reach out to us! We offer great products and services and will put together a package that works with any budget.  In-home wine tastings, catered office lunches, client happy hours — whatever you need, we’ll take care of you!

2. We would like to thank Fred Ullrich from Fred Ullrich Fine Art Photography & Select Projects for hanging a few of his photographs in the bottle shop. It’s an honor to have them, as he has had many of his pieces displayed in galleries, museums, and even Sky Harbor Airport. Fred specializes not only in capturing amazing moments, but also in printing with different media and ink types. The pieces that we have in the shop are amazing originals and are also for sale. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or piece of art, please ask about the photos in his collection and pricing. Or you can visit his website to view his gallery albums.

3. Our Yoga and Wine event is back! And availability is very limited. Many of you joined us last year for yoga and wine on our building’s 19th floor. Now that the 19th floor has been rented, how can we top that location? Well, this Sunday, Sept. 17th, we’ll be downward doggin’ at The Monroe Abbey! Join us to take in the beauty of the building and all that has been preserved of its structure after a devastating fire in 1984. This historic Abbey dates back to 1903 and has been an iconic building in Phoenix ever since. Former Mayor of Phoenix & Attorney General of Arizona Terry Goddard and a group of amazing people came together to save this building from demolition. Their vision is to revive the property and reactivate the block. Trust us, this will be one of the coolest places to find your zen! Don’t wait to purchase your tickets – only 40 spots available!

And with that…

The Wine

But wait. Before we reveal the selections for this month, let’s chat a little about Malbec. Malbec is a varietal that has many names. This might lead one to believe that the Malbec grape has been around for a long and popular stint. Despite the current popularity of Malbec coming from Argentina over the last 80 years or so, this varietal has not always had the best luck.

The first thing to point out is that Malbec, of origin, comes from France. Yep, France – not Argentina!  We know, mind blown. Present day, over 70% of the world’s Malbec does indeed come from Argentina. Its exact origin in France is not precise, but some suggest that the current varietal that we know came from Northern Burgundy. At one point Malbec was planted throughout nearly all of France and was used primarily as a blending varietal.  It is still an approved Bordeaux varietal today (one of six – 1. Cabernet Sauvignon; 2. Merlot; 3. Petit Verdot; 4. Cabernet Franc; 5. Carmenere; and 6. Malbec).

Malbec took a slight decline in popularity the mid-1900s when many of its plantings were exchanged for more “fashionable” varietals. However, the Southwest region of France remained a stronghold for Malbec and continues to produce Malbec-forward blends. Some areas of Southwest France require that blends contain at least 70% Malbec in order to represent the region on the label.

Today the Cahors region is the King of Malbec in France. Here, the locals call Malbec by the names “Cot” or “Auxerrois.” The blends coming from this region often contain Tannat and Merlot in addition to Malbec.

All this talk about Malbec is obviously going to lead to at least one selection of Malbec for Sept. But since this is its first appearance in the club, we decided to throw TWO selections of Malbec at you – with a twist!

Both selections come from the Cahors region. In fact, both are from the same estate! That estate is Château Lagrézette, which has a mere 500 years of historical significance. Château Lagrézette was founded in the 12th century as a medieval fortress. During the 15th century, the grounds of the fortress were rebuilt into the modern day Château that stands in Cahors today. The Château was built on the “petite grèze” (the hill) overlooking the River Lot.  This led to the name “Lagrézette.” The estate curates 90 hectares of vines and sources only from this estate for its namesake wines.

And September’s selections are…

Château Lagrézette Seigneur de Grézette Malbec

Malbec the way it should be! Predominately Malbec with a bit of Merlot. Sourced from a block of 15-year-old vines that grow in clay dominated soil. Each vintage is hand harvested and uses only select fruit. Less than ten thousand cases made. Enjoy this wine with wild game, pasta with cream sauce, or BBQ.

Château Lagrézette Le Rosé de Julie Rosé

What? Rosé of Malbec? Yep…and score! We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to offer you, hands down, one of the most elegant Rosés we have ever had! Less than 2,000 cases produced, and 100% Malbec. Aromas of almonds, sunflower seeds, and rose water with hints of peaches, pears, and strawberries on the palate. Enjoy this wine with grilled meat, salad, or mild cheese.

Cheers, and see you soon!

Craig & Danielle


August’s Wine Club

Your August wines are here!

August is humid… Yes, we’re talking about Phoenix! Gotta love AZ.

A couple of quick announcements before we start “wine talk” –

Many of you have gotten to know Liz over the past few months. She stepped in and shared her wine experience with us at the shop while simultaneously helping out a the café. She has now moved to the café on a full-time basis where she continues to use her creative touches to bring us good eats and good times to the café. She will be back at the bottle shop from time to time to guide your wine pairing needs with delectable cheese or chorizo!

As Liz moves over to focus on the café, we’re introducing a new face at the bottle shop. Her name is Rachel, and you’ll see her in the shop a few times a week (or more…we could use some more sleep!). Rachel comes from a very competitive and advanced wine retail market in Denver, CO, where there are many more shops like Hidden Track due to the state’s friendlier small business/liquor law environment. Rachel comes with a high energy and wealth of knowledge in wine. So stop in soon and say hi to Liz at the café and Rachel at the bottle shop. We are very lucky to be working with these two talented ladies!

And on to the wine…

Like the next exciting episode of Game of Thrones, it’s finally time for your next installment of Game of Wine Club. Queue the instrumental background music.

But first, let’s talk about the Rhône Valley in France. More specifically, the Southern Rhône. Even more specifically, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a little area in the southern part of the Rhône Valley that was transformed in history by the move of a pope in the 14th century from Bordeaux to the Rhône. This move brought with it an awareness of viticulture and more importantly an awareness of the quality of the surrounding vitis, which happened to be varietals such as Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Marsanne to name a few. This beautiful region advanced in wine quality during its more than 70-year papal reign to a quality level that continues to influence the global wine scene to this day. All because some pope wanted a new castle!

So why are we mentioning this area?  Well, this month’s selections are Rhône style wines…that come from Paso Robles, California!  Rhône varietals happen to grow very well in many parts of Paso Robles.  Especially in the Willow Creek AVA, home to Ledge Winery from our most recent case deal. How about that Carbonic Syrah? And have you ever had a Counoise? More to come on that.

And August’s club selections are…

Richvale Wine Co. “3-Day Weekend”

Mythical illusions (or are they?) often take place, opening the fulfillment of the sun’s rays as they blanket communities of beach dwellers. Certain “beach dwellers” have been known to partake in a ritual that has been shunned upon by outsiders. This ritual is called the “Three-Day Weekend.”  Origins of the “Three-Day Weekend” are believed to have started sometime in the early 1900s with the invention of the Speedo… Which later developed into the garment of choice for the “Three-Day Weekend” by news anchor great Ron Burgundy. And so, to honor our upcoming three-day weekend, we bring you a relatively new producer called Richvale Wine Co., who created a fun red wine that is predominately Counoise. No, we didn’t just swear at you! Counoise is a red wine varietal that is predominately found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (literally, “new castle of the Pope”), France. It is typically used as a blending varietal with other Rhône varietals and is rarely found as a dominant grape. We thought that this wine would be a great way to introduce yet another fun varietal to the many we’ve explored with you in the past. This producer, albeit “new,” has close ties with a producer that we love and have featured in the club before. Remember the Groundwork Grenache and Viognier? This month’s red wine selection is being kicked off in AZ for the first time via our Club! So please enjoy and have fun with this selection. Nobody else in AZ has this yet!

R2 Wine Company “Vin Blancs”

From the Roger Roessler Wines collection comes a prime example of a Rhône-style white blend that will leave you wondering how a white wine can be so heavy! We came across this selection and originally wanted to use it in the coldest month of the year because of how much it warmed us up! This wine is a crazy interpretation blend of Viognier, Roussane, and Marsanne. In fact, the first glass we poured this into broke because the wine was so heavy! The beauty of this wine is that although it is a monster wine, the acid still shines through, making it a great wine to knock your socks off on its own or to throw some food into the mix. We recommend a killer triple cream cheese. (Perhaps a Stepladder triple cream from Cambria, CA?) Only 438 case made of this R2 selection, with eight months of aging in neutral oak.

Great wine deserves great cheese!

Just arriving to the cheese shop inside the café is an interesting triple cream made from Jersey Cow and La Mancha Goat milk. This selection comes from one of our favorite creameries, Stepladder Creamery. The triple cream showcases a pronounced note of citrus tanginess from the goat milk blended with an elegant richness from the Jersey Cow milk. Pair it with either of your Club selections!

Cheers, and enjoy!

Craig & Danielle