From the Blog

Our Top Ten Wines for Fall

October 7 Category: Featured Products
Top Ten Wines

Our wine buyers taste every single wine, bringing only the finest bottles to our shelves – no matter the price.

Our tasting group rounds up the cream of the crop for a Top Ten every other month, writing thoughtful descriptions of each so you're sure to take home a winner for your unique palate.

Check out our Fall 2020 Top Ten List:

domaine.jpgDomaine Franck Millet Pouilly Fumé 

Loire Valley, France

“We’ve been crazy about the Sancerre wines from Betty & Franck Millet for oh, 20 years now. They recently gained vineyards across the river, in the Loire Valley’s second most famous appellation. This Sauvignon shows notes of Meyer lemon, key lime, & herbs, with a delicate but firm minerally backbone. Just lovely.”  

– tasting notes of Importer & Wine-Lover Robert Morey

square-plumb-level.jpgSquare, Plumb & Level 2017

Dry Creek Valley, California

"We have here a high quality, single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc blend crafted from vigorous St. George rootstock from our friend Peterson’s Bradford Mountain vineyard. This is not an over-extracted or over-oaked product, instead, the wine displays a gentle minerality, spicy cedar notes and young tannin. The Cab Franc fruit brings notes of dark plum and tobacco. Drink now (decanted) or cellar for 10 years."

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead

recougne-white-bordeaux.jpgRecougne White Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France

"Priced below the typical White Bordeaux, Chateau Recougne offers stunning value!  This lively blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Sauvignon Gris has a lovely floral nose, with subtle notes of grass, honey, and fig. The tart, granny smith apple finish makes it a perfect fall sipper, suitable for pairing with richer cool weather dishes, like velvety acorn squash soup, or herb roasted chicken with parmesan kale."

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

bonny-doon_picpoul.jpgBonny Doon Picpoul

Arroyo Seco, California

"The loose translation of Picpoul is “lip-stinger”; a name fitting a grape with tingling acidity, and a slight savory note. Bonny Doon Vineyard has long been a pioneer in popularizing varietals native to the Rhône Valley, France. From the biodynamic “Beeswax Vineyard” this Picpoul boasts a nose of ocean breeze, wildflowers, and well, beeswax.  The flavors of ripe peach, citrus, and fresh herbs make it a natural for shrimp with garlic pesto pasta, or a green salad with feta and olives."

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

bonny-doon_le-cigare-volant.jpgBonny Doon Le Cigare Volant, Cuvee Oumuamua

Monterey, California

"Juicy blackberries, exuberance, and joy! 93 points Wine Enthusiast, top 100 wines, reads the shelf talker. Need more reason to try this? In addition to being a spectacular California version of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it’s fun (read the story on the back of the label). Rich and robust, it’s a welcome partner to roast beef, lamb, or a hearty stew. Also of note, this newest vintage saw a price drop of almost half!"

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Misstress of Wine & Cheese

zuccardi.jpgZuccardi Q Cabernet Franc

Valle de Uco, Argentina

"For the second year in a row, Zuccardi Valle de Uco had been declared the best vineyard in the world and in South America by a vote of 500 leading wine experts. To be fair, the awards were designated to promote wine tourism, but c’mon, tourists wouldn’t flock there (pre-pandemic) if their wines were mediocre! Third generation winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi leads the team of enologists and agricultural engineers to create stunning wines that express not only the grape, but the region. This Cabernet Franc does just that – offering the expected flavors of earth, tobacco, raspberries, and herbs, with the unmistakable Valle de Uco terrior."  

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

valravn_1.jpgValravn Zinfandel Dry Creek and Russian River Valley

Sonoma, California

"Enchanting and seductive; words that come to mind when you take in the briary dark fruits in the heady nose of Valravn Sonoma Zinfandel. Raspberries, dark cherries, licorice, and white pepper round out the palate, with a dusty tannin finale. Suitable for hearty dishes, such as smoky sticky bbq ribs, sweet potato hash with sausage and fennel, and of course, fall, especially October!"

– Miss Nik, New Pi Mistress of Wine & Cheese

guerrieri-bianco.jpgGuerrieri Bianco

Marche I.G.T.

"Marche is an Eastern Italian coastal wine region known for growing great Verdichio (one of my overall favorite white Italian grapes). With the addition of Bianchello, Guerrieri softens the edges and tones down Verdicchio’s natural high acidity to make a medium weight, well-rounded, highly mineral and lengthy wine which pairs well with roasted poultry, herbed potatoes, or garlic sauces."

– Mercedes, New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead

Es Okay Portuguese Red and White

Mendocino County, California

"I’m guessing you like the labels, because these two wines started selling the fastest of all new Top Ten Wines we’re excited about! To be sure, they’re both excellent blends, that lend themselves to a variety of occasions and pair easily with many dishes. The white is a playful combination of five varietals, loaded with apple, pear, apricot, and orange peel with just a touch of salinity in the finish. The red, per winemaker Mike Lucia is “a party in your mouth”, so I’m just going to leave this here."

– Miss Nik, New Pi Iowa City Mistress of Wine & Cheese

pot-de-vin.jpgChâteau Guilhem 'Pot de Vin' Merlot

Languedoc, France

"The Guilhem family has owned this property since 1878. Bertrand is the fifth generation to run the winery. I was immediately drawn to the elegant, original bottle and label and, upon tasting the wine, I was very pleasantly rewarded with an awesome, velvety Merlot with great acidity and a well-defined structure. This is a natural wine: biodynamically grown fruit, fermented with native yeast and with a negligible dose of SO2, made in concrete tanks built by Bertrand’s grandfather."  

– Mercedes New Pi Coralville Specialties Lead