padron pepperMany products are arriving late this year or not at all, due to Covid-19.  Lockdowns led to businesses temporarily or permanently closing and many of those that did reopen have a worker shortage.  Many products are not available, such as special bottles to hold wine or mineral water, preventing items from being produced at the wholesale level.  And let’s not even broach the subject of shipping snafus which are crazy.   Fortunately, we received several long-awaited products this week, which you should get while you can!

Fresh Padrón Peppers are now in stock. Synonymous with summer pleasure, these small green peppers are a great appetizer or side dish.   Simply fry them in olive oil, turning so they are blistered on all sides, then remove them from heat.   Top with coarse sea salt and serve!   Note:  These are incredibly flavorful and most have a mild heat.  But about every 10th pepper is spicy, so be prepared!

OBA Picual EVOOOBA Organic Picual EVOO:  Made in Jaen, the center of Spain’s olive oil production, this oil has amazing freshness, intense flavor, and a spicy kick on the finish.  Produced by the company Aires de Jaén which has been steeped in olive oil production since 1945, it is a family business that takes pride in its completely natural oils.  A friend of the family who now lives in Bellingham introduced us to this oil and asked if we’d like to carry it.  He now imports it directly from Jaen.  It’s almost like buying it direct from the family.  This delicious oil should be used for salad dressings, dipping with bread, or drizzling over grilled foods. And it would make an excellent gift for a cook!

The following three limited production French rosés arrived today.   We eagerly anticipate their arrival every year and the fantastic enjoyment they provide.
Le Galantin Bandol roseLe Galantin Bandol Rose 2020 ($21.99)  From 30 hectares of terraced vineyards growing directly on the coast.  The Domaine is practicing organic viticulture, and blends 55% Mourvedre, with the balanced Cinsault and Grenache, aged in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation.  Fresh and complex with notes of wild strawberry, a touch of grapefruit, and delightful mouthfeel.   Intense minerality is thirst-quenching and brings one back for another glass.

Joguet Chinon roseCharles Joguet Chinon Rosé, Loire Valley 2020 ($23.99)  100% Cabernet Franc, aged in stainless steel without undergoing malolactic fermentation to preserve freshness in the wine.   We fell in love with Chinon rosés when we took a walking tour of the Loire Valley a few years ago.  We’d arrive at our destination thirsty and hot after walking all day, and a chilled glass of Cabernet Franc rosé not only revived us, but connected us to the place.   The Joguet rose delivers red berry and cranberry notes with complex savory hints and beautiful texture.   Excellent with Loire Valley cheeses.

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2019Tempier Bandol Rose 2020 ($46.00) The grapes used to make Tempier’s legendary Bandol Rosé come from selected parcels where the vines are on average 20 years old. The yields are low, which explains the intense concentration and distinct expression of each varietal in this wine. The dominant presence of 55% Mourvèdre in the blend gives this wine its strong character, balance, and complexity. With 25% Grenache and 20% Cinsault, this wine offers up an intense fruit and floral nose. The palate is rounded and full with fruity aromas of peach and pomegranate, followed by delicate spice notes and a pleasant freshness created by acidic balance.  Fermented and aged 50% in stainless steel and 50% in concrete tanks for 7 months, it has a beautiful and satisfying mouthfeel.  This age-worthy rosé has been called the “greatest rosé in the world” by Robert Parker.