Today’s Deal ~ 2015 Penley Estate “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvigon

$19.95/btl or $17.95/btl 6 +


We’re totally stoked to bring you this Aussie Classic today!  It’s the 2015 Penley “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvigon from Coonwarra, Australia.  Recently rated #48 of “Wine Spectator’s” Top 100 wines for 2017, this gem from the land down under is “Ripper” (slang for really great)!  Over 17,000 wines were sampled to make the “WS” list and here is ONE that you won’t want to miss…especially under $20/bottle!!!

Where’s Coonwarra?



The Coonwarra Wine Region is located in the southeast portion of the State of South Australia.  Some of the most prized wines that come from this region are cabernet sauvignons where the first plantings date back to the 1890’s.  Coonwarra cabernets are celebrated because they are ready to drink now but also will cellar brilliantly.  The ageability of Coonawarra wines are said to be world class – a fact that is endorsed by generations of collectors around the world.

How Does “Phoenix” Taste?

The 2015 Penley Estate “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvignon is an absolute delight!  What caught our attention immediately was the DARK, INKY hue.  A pleasant bouquet of MOCHA and BLUEBERRIES with just the right amount of EARTHINESS is super-inviting!  The finish is persistently LUSH supported by a harmonious array of BLACKBERRIESand other juicy BLACK FRUITS.


We brought in FIVE cases of the 2015 Penley Estate “Phoenix” Cabernet Sauvignon.  We can get more but don’t delay!  With a 91+ point score from “Wine Advocate” as well, this wine is sure to attract some serious attention!

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“Wine Spectator” Tasting Notes: 90 Points

“Dense tannins and flavors are packed into this wine, with briny Kalamata olive and black licorice nuances to the core of plum, cassis, sage, tobacco and cedar flavors, which fan out on the finish. Drink now through 2030. 4,300 cases imported.” - MW

“Wine Advocate” Tasting Notes: 91+ Points 

“Deep garnet-purple in color, 2015 Phoenix Cabernet Sauvignon is redolent of crème de cassis, licorice and dark chocolate with hints of dried mint, earth and tapenade. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with generous black fruit and menthol flavors. Structured with a firm backbone, it finishes with great length.”



Today’s Deal ~ Legendary Driver/ Winemaker Scott Pruett Releases 2015′s

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I have been back and forth on how to write this email literally 50 times.  In my experience, the hardest emails to write (intending to sell wine) are the emails that don’t require any selling at all.  Kind of like if you had to pick “who would win” between the New England Patriots and a 7-man Texas High School football team.  The answer is simple, you take Tommy’s Pats.  Tommy (my household is on a “pet name” basis) could throw left-handed, with no laces, while blindfolded, his only receiver is Gisele and no O-line and still cover a 50 point spread.  The fact is, this wine, this winery, needs no selling…it’s just an unbelievable, world-class, true to its core, absolute value (Wine Spectator scores/cases produced) wine(s) that any conscious wine drinking enthusiast MUST HAVE!  Yeah…the wines are that good.

We know the HEADLINE says, “TODAY’S DEAL,” but it should read, “ONE & ONLY SHOT OF THE YEAR!”  Our friends at Pruett Vineyard (Scott & Judy) have recently released their FALL ALLOCATION and Carpe Vino is on the “short list” of restaurants and/or retailers to procure a few cases!  Located in Placer County, the Pruett’s generally “sell-out” through their mailing list shortly after allocations are offered to their list. The core THREE wines come from the ESTATE and consist of a red blend called “Lucky Lauren Red” and two Syrah’s, “CSP” & “Taylor’s Reserve” which have all received 90+ Points from “Wine Spectator” since their first vintage submitted five years ago.  Today, we are lucky enough to offer some of these wines to you!!!



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(Due to limited availability wines are sold at net pricing)

2015 Pruett Vineyard “Lucky Lauren Red” Red Wine $29/btl

“Meet the mediator, as this is your go-to wine when you want to please everyone. A plush and generous blend that shows excellent structure and focus. Brooding dark raspberry and smoky mocha aromas combine with layered flavors of boysenberry, nutmeg and allspice. The tannins are plush with a long lingering finish.  Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

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2015 Pruett Vineyard “Taylor’s Reserve” Syrah $48/btl

“Consistency is key with this wine, certain to please every time. Sumptuous, plush and impeccably structured, with blackberry and wild raspberry aromas and accents of smoky pepper. Enjoy the beautiful balance from the first alluring aroma to the burst of flavor, full body, and lingering smooth finish.”

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2015 Pruett Vineyard “CSP” Syrah $38/btl

“Consistency is key with this wine, certain to please every time. Sumptuous, plush and impeccably structured, with blackberry and wild raspberry aromas and accents of smoky pepper. Enjoy the beautiful balance from the first alluring aroma to the burst of flavor, full body, and lingering smooth finish.”

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“Scott Pruett takes ‘garage winery’ to new heights”


All orders will be processed as received.  A Carpe Vino representative will contact you when your order has been processed and/or shipped!

Carpe Vino Crew



Two hands and elbows out when you bite into Carpe Vino’s take on a classic…the “Reuben Sandwich.”  This baby is loaded with House Smoked Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Comte Cheese, 1000 Island Hollandaise, all piled high on a Grilled Artisan Rye.  Served w/ Watercress Salad.  Available in the Carpe Vino Wine Bar & Dining Room for $15!

(Roughly 30 available – first come, first served.)

Regular Dining Menu will be available in the bar and restaurant as well!

Drop by Carpe Vino or submit your booking for tonight (or an up-coming night) simply by clicking the button below.

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Corned Beef and Parade are Old Town Traditions


All prepped for last year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade – (left-to-right) Liv Poulos, Gary Moffat, Spencer Smith!

Over my 15 years in the Historic District, I’ve come to align with a tradition launched decades ago by patrons of Old Town’s notorious “Bermuda Triangle,” the drinking circuit linking three iconic watering holes: the Shanghai, Happy Hour and the California Club (the last joint standing). Each year, at precisely 5:17 p.m., a pathetic excuse of a parade would step off from the top of Lincoln Way and wind down High St. and then into Old Town on Sacramento St.

Some years the procession of classic cars, an antique fire engine and rat vehicles would amount to just a dozen random entries, honking with partiers decked out in green, demonstrating along the route to a terminus of hot corned beef and cold beer queued up in Old Town.  In the last couple of years, though, the event has exploded, attracting upwards of 50 vehicles or more.

While gentrification of Old Town’s version of a St. Patrick’s Day parade might horrify the founders of the event, I’m confident they would appreciate seeing all the smiling faces all along Lincoln Way.  So, don’t miss this year’s rendition on Friday afternoon, with the first car rolling off at 5:17.


Then join us at Carpe Vino and enjoy our regular menu or Chef Alexander’s annual St. Patty’s celebration featuring authentic Irish staples, perfect for a three-course dinner::

–Braised beef, barley and ale soup with root vegetables and Irish Cheddar, $9.

–House corned beef and cabbage with glazed carrot, champ potatoes and whole grain mustard, $23.

–Spiced Guinness stout cake with Bailey’s whipped cream, $9.

BTW, we recommend you stop by the California Club to hoist a brewski. It’s the last vestige of authentic Old Town and we love the joint.




Today’s Deal ~ 2014 Hogwash Rosé of Grenache

$16.99/bottle or $13.99/bottle on 6+

Hogwash Rosé

BELIEVE IT!!!  From the GURU of Napa Valley winemaking himself, Tuck Beckstoffer, comes the 2015 Hogwash Rosé.  With the rise in popularity of rosés Tuck decided to let it ride HIGH ON THE HOG with this one and he NAILED it!!!  Perfectly adaptable for any of your favorite summertime dishes and it HITS THE SPOT for a warm day by the pool.  At just $13.99/bottle on six + it’s what I like to call a no-brainer!!

Tuck Beckstoffer is one of the most renowned names in all of winemaking.  Bringing us beautiful wines like Semper which are some of the best pinot noirs and chardonnays on the market today…to the ultra-exclusive and limited production Mockingbird Wines that are sourced from mega-vineyards like Missouri Hopper and Las Piedras.

The 2015 Hogwash is a perfect example of what EXCELLENT rosé is meant to be!  With its beautiful PINK CORAL hue and MILD FRUITY aromas, this wine just begs you to polish off a bottle.  CRISP flavors of WATERMELON, STRAWBERRY, and RHUBARB are in full effect on the finish that is DELIGHTFULLY DRY and BRISK.  As Tuck Beckstoffer put it best, “The design is as simple as the winemaking itself, basic components, clear expression, and simple satisfaction.”


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Winery Tasting Notes:  This wine is purely and simply summertime in a glass. The 2015 Hogwash Rose displays a pale salmon-pink color and a beautiful and lively nose that showcases aromas of watermelon candy, red cherries, red current and rose water. Medium bodied, it has incredible vibrancy that combines with its great finish to create a wine that is both a very serious rose wine but has something for everyone.”


Today’s Deal ~ 2015 ZOLO Torrontes

$11.95/bottle or $9.95/bottle on 6+


SHEESH!! This is a fantastic wine…perfect for summer!!  Back with a vengeance and just in time to get you through hump day is one of Carpe Vino’s BEST-SELLING wines of all time:  The 2015 ZOLO Torrontes.  If you want an INSANELY good, CRISP white wine reminiscent of a sauvignon blanc but on steroids, then this is THE wine for you.  Plus, to top it all off, we’re offering this beaut for just $9.95/bottle on six or more.  Sip after sip, this wine is ready to please!

Indigenous to Argentina, the torrontes grape is their work horse of all white wines.  If you’re unfamiliar with this varietal then think of it as a sauvignon blanc but with elegant floral and peach aromas.  Smooth in texture the wine is simply delightful.  The 2015 ZOLO Torrontes is all 100% Estate grown, sustainably farmed, and hand-crafted from vineyards at 3000 feet in elevation.   Sourced from one of premier grape growing regions of Mendoza, this little number is dialed in.  Aged in stainless steel, low in alcohol, and full of flavor, it is the quintessential wine for the hot days ahead.

How does it taste you ask?  Answer = DELICIOUS!  On the nose you get aromatics HONEYSUCKLE and APRICOTS.  On the palate is where this baby really shines.  It is DRY, has MODERATE ACIDITY and a mouthfeel smooth as SILK.  The ideal food pairing fo the ZOLO Torrontes would be any spicy curry or perhaps your favorite seafood.

So, if you’re ready for one of Argentina’s signature wines with shut the front door, pricing then click the BUY ZOLO NOW button.  At under $10 a bottle this is easily one of the better valued wines out there in the market!

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Winery Tasting Notes: “Grapes are hand harvested and then cooled, then they enter a pneumatic press with a nitrogen blanketing system (the only press of its kind in Argentina). Before and during the gentle pressing of the grapes, nitrogen is introduced which eliminates all contact with oxygen during the whole process. This creates greater aromatic intensity. Overall, the wine is medium straw-colored with a fragrant perfume of honey, spring flowers, and tropical fruits. Ripe, flavorful, dry, and restrained, this is Torrontes at its best. The price makes it a steal.”


Today’s Deal ~ 2012 Maison L’Envoyé $19.99/bottle or $14.99/6+ bottles



In our ever present search of fine delicious wine, the Carpe Vino wine sleuths scored again with a sensational Burgundian Chardonnay from the Mâconnais district.  The 2012 Maison L’Envoyé is a beautiful Bourgogne Blanc that is absolutely STUNNING.  Sourced from two distinct vineyards located in La Roche Vineuse, this elegant wine delivers both on flavor and quality without having to tighten the purse strings.  While our asking price is standard at $19.99/bottle however it’s our discount that will have you ordering this wine by the caseload: $14.99/bottle on 6+ which is the deepest discount you’ll find anywhere online!

The 2012 Maison L’Envoyé was founded by Mark Tarlov who specializes in not only finding elegant Burgundian Wines but also specializes in finding the same Burgundy varietals from Willamette Valley, Oregon as well as Tasmania, Australia.  Tarlov’s philosophy is to champion the unsung village growers of Burgundy who for generations have farmed their vineyards mere feet from some of most esteemed wineries of the region.  As a result, just last year, Maison L’Envoyé was named “Winery to Watch” in 2015 by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

You have to venture out and get this wine!  Once you pour it in your glass you’ll see and taste why.  It exhibits an opulent GOLDEN STRAW hue that is backed by an exquisite bouquet of CITRUS FRUITS and LEMON ZEST.  This wine has a fresh minerality that is complimented by stone fruits of APRICOTS and WHITE NECTARINES.  The finish boasts a BRIGHT ACIDITY that pairs well with roasted turkey, poached salmon or lobster.

Now that I’ve got your attention, here is one of the FINEST-VALUED, BEST-TASTING French Wines that you can get on the market today.  We have the last NINE cases in stock ready for pick up or immediate shipping today.  So, glide your clicking device over the BUY MAISON L’ENVOYÉ NOW button and treat yourself to a lovely wine!

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 Allen Meadows – Burghound Tasting Notes: “There is a hint of grapefruit to the notably ripe soft pear, white flower and apple suffused nose that is trimmed in a discreet bit of oak. The nicely concentrated, round, supple and seductively textured flavors possess an easy-to-like mouth feel where there is just enough wood to notice on the lingering finish. This delicious effort is already approachable though one year of bottle age would add a bit of depth. (6/2014)”


2013 Conundrum Red Wine $17.99/bottle on 6+


One of the most celebrated family’s in all of Napa Valley has got to be the illustrious Wagner Family. From a stout lineage that has brought us wines such as Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon and Belle Glos Pinot Noir, the dynasty continues to show off its mettle by introducing their second vintage of the racy yet refined 2013 Conudrum Red Wine.  True to its name, we can only speculate what this “enigma in bottle” contains, but what we do know is that this beast of a wine will smack you in the mouth with flavor that is down-right delicious and addicting.  Normal winery retail price is $25/bottle but purchase the 2013 Conundrum Red from CV today and amass it for $17.99/bottle on six +!

If you are tired of paying premium for a distinctively bold and flavor rich wine then look no further then Conundrum Red.  It is a smooth sipper that will have you begging for more.  With its DEEP GARNET hue you are immediately drawn to the glass with a nose of DRIED BERRIES, hints of SPICEY CHOCOLATE, and wait for it…BACON!!  You can’t help but see what’s next!  On the palate, you are captivated by the FRUIT FORWARD silky notes of BLACKBERRIES, BLACK PLUMS, and VANILLA that are complimented by balanced tannins making the finish LONG and SMOOTH.

The 2013 Conundrum Red is a wine meant to be enjoyed today, on pizza night, BBQ night, or just relaxing by the fire.  So, don’t wait too long and put me on speed dial or email me back ASAP, because for the money this wine hits the spot!

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Winery Tasting Notes:

“We believe in being both serious and playful, and this wine fits the bill. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine – created from dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah – the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Tannins are rounded out by the ripeness of the berries for a texturous but smooth mouth feel. The finish makes us think of lingering at the end of a long evening and still not wanting to go home, with layers of rich flavor that teasingly trail off.”



Wine Club Members – Taste With JAY TONIGHT 6-8PM

imgres.092224Now that we have successfully completed a year of complimentary Saturday afternoon wine tastings for our wine club members we asked ourselves…what next?  Our goal is to give our WC members every opportunity they can to get down to CV and try the next latest/greatest wine, best deal, or hidden gem you never knew about.  We understand that Saturday afternoons just don’t work for everyone so we decided why not taste during the week?  One day we will offer 3 NEW RELEASES…anything from the obvious, a new vintage release, or maybe a completely new winery from California, Oregon, Washington or anywhere in the world.  The following Thursday we will be tasting 3 IMPORTS to help introduce you to wines that your palate may not be familiar with tasting.  We appreciate Import wines from all different regions including, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa to name a few.

ACV_shoot_0012299.123047gain, the goal here is to procure international wines that we know you will want to taste and hopefully purchase for yourself.  Not only are you getting to taste more wines (as part of your WC membership) but you are getting more one-on-one time with CV’s Jay Johnstone that can help you pick the wines that are best for you.

To get this kick started we are tasting NEW RELEASES tonight from 6-8pm in the CV Wine Bar (front window so you can’t miss him) but going forward it will be the 2nd Thursday of the month.  Next Thursday (10/22) we will introduce the IMPORT tasting from 6-8 but going forward it will be the 3rd Thursday of every month!  Again, this is limited to 2 persons per wine club membership and is absolutely complimentary.  No need to make a reservation…just drop on by!



What We Are Tasting Tonight?

By Jay Johnstone

The Senses Estate Vineyards are located in the West Sonoma Coast region.  Specifically right smack dab in the small town of Occidental.  Founded by three childhood friends who grew up on the land, they decided to go into the wine biz and make wine in the True Sonoma Coast region style which is known for delicate, distinguished wines that exhibit great depth and balance.  It was then they enlisted the services of one of the most sought after winemakers in the world Thomas Rivers Brown.  It’s Thomas’ expertise with Burgundian varietals and his love for Occidental’s Sonoma Coast region that makes these wines so amazing and an ideal fit for Senses Winery.  Just to give you a little background on TRB, in 2008 he was the youngest winemaker to score not only one, but two perfect “100 point” ratings from Robert M. Parker, The Wine Advocate.  Then in 2010, Thomas was again awarded two top “100 point” ratings from Wine Spectator’s James Laube. This made Thomas the first American winemaker to ever receive 100 points from Wine Spectator. This same year Thomas was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Food & Wine. Since then, Thomas has gone on to receive three consecutive 100 point ratings from The Wine Advocate.

Betz Famiy Winery is located in Columbia Valley, WA and they specialize in Rhône-Inspired Wines.  Available only to a select few or by mailing list only, the Betz Wines are also some of the most interesting hidden gems you’ll find anywhere.  If you haven’t heard of them, then here is your chance to taste what the best of Columbia Valley has to offer.  Only 28 cases total of Betz Wines were available to the whole state of California for distribution, and Carpe Vino secured the lions share to offer the CV faithful.  Plus, all the wines from 2013 vintage were highly praised by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

2013 Senses B.A. Theriot Chardonnay (Sonoma County) $64.95/bottle

2013 Senses Hillcrest Estate Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) $54.95/bottle

2013 Betz “Cuvee Frangin” Red Wine (Columbia Valley, WA) $35.95/bottle  – unpublished discount: $29.95/bottle on six +

We Surge into France with a Winner from Louis Latour

Marsannay_LouisLatour.155340Focusing on wines produced in California, Oregon and Washington has always been Carpe Vino’s sweet spot…and our comfort zone.  After 13 years zeroed in on West Coast juice, I’m comfortable rating us as experts of the region.

We’ve made a case for not straying far afield principally because we’re giving our customers what they want.  We seldom get requests for imported wines, and that’s no doubt because we’re located in the middle of California wine country.  I’m sure wine merchants in Marseille find the reciprocal to be true:  they don’t field many orders for Rombauer Chardonnay.

Truth be told, another reason we’ve not ventured far from wine regions with which we are familiar is there is a huge learning curve in mastering the basics and the nuances of Old World wines.  Understanding the appellations, chateaus, winemakers and even the language of French wines, for example, is clearly intimidating.

Italian wines also present substantial barriers, but are a bit less complicated.  The rest of the world—South Africa; Australia and New Zealand; Argentina and Chile—are much more user friendly.

What all of these diverse regions share is they are “hand-sells,” in wine industry parlance.  For the uninitiated among us, we’ve got to open bottles for tasting; plus there is an educational imperative:  People don’t buy what they don’t know or understand.

As Carpe Vino’s business has grown and we need greater access to more and more wine, we have made a commitment to consciously break out of our mold. . .to commit to seeking out new wines no matter where they are made, and perhaps equally important, to challenge ourselves to broaden our collective understanding of wines from around the world.

I personally embarked on this track a few years ago by traveling to some the great wine regions of the world.  Thus far I have explored Italy, Spain and South Africa.  In October, I’m serving as host for a group of 26 Carpe Vino Wine Club members on a “Pilgrimage to Provence”.   I’ll be in France for two weeks, and I hope to soak up as much insight as possible and tell the story when we return.

As long as I am able, I hope to make at least one international trip each year to see, smell and taste the greatest wines on the planet where they are vinted. These are cursory explorations at best, so we’ll work with our brokers and distributors to do a remote journey by sampling wines here in Old Town and bring the best tasting and best values into the shop.

We’re taking baby steps; we’re learning on the job.  In that quest, here’s my first selection for your consideration:

2011 Louis Latour Marsannay, Cote d’Or, $21

(Retail $28; Average on Wine, $25)

Two characteristics of this wine were immediately appealing to me beyond its translucent cranberry color in the glass:  it is 100% pinot noir from Burgundy and the fruit is much more restrained and subtle than the amped cousins to which we’re accustomed in California.  And the alcohol comes in at just 13%, resulting in a wine that in my mind is relentlessly respectful when paired with food. . .as the good Lord intended.

Right down to the label, there is an elegance and sophistication to this wine that bespeaks a 200+-year heritage and seven generations of family controlling the company. . .largely a négociant-based enterprise that seeks out the best juice and  fruit in Burgundy to make/blend amazing wines using both classic techniques and 21st century technology.

At a price point of just over twenty dollars, this wine is an excellent and affordable entry into the world of Burgundy.  And with a score of 89 points from Wine Spectator, it’s a winner.

You won’t find this wine at K&L, BevMo; it is in very limited distribution and fine wine shops in the Golden State, principally SoCal.

From the Louis Latour web site:  “Marsannay is the village marking the northern gateway to the Côte d’Or on leaving Dijon, the capital of Burgundy and home to the Ducs de Bourgogne. This village marks the beginning of the Route des Grands Crus which follows the N6 highway through the Côte d’Or. Wines from Marsannay are generally lively and robust; characteristics that come from the rich iron soil. Marsannay received its Appellation Contrôlée in 1987 in recognition of the consistently high quality of its wine.”

Wine Spectator Tasting Notes (89 Points):  “Black cherry is the main flavor theme, with touches of boysenberry, spice and mineral. Ripe and firm, displaying fine balance and length. Best from 2015 through 2021.”  –Bruce Sanderson

Winery Tasting Notes:  “Of a lovely ruby red color, the Marsannay 2011 reveals a nose of cherries and licorice. It is round and elegant in the mouth with smooth tannins.  Food Pairing:  Roasted duck, “coq au vin,” lamb stew, mature cheeses.”

Alcohol:  13%
Cases Produced:  2,500
Blend:  100% pinot noir
Winemaker:  Nathalie Bobard

If you managed to wade through the full story about Louis Latour Marsannay, you’re a great candidate to push the “Buy Now” button and place an order.  Regular discounts apply.




More information
Carpe Vino (Find Us) 1568 Lincoln Way Auburn, CA 95603
Phone Number: 530-823-0320
Get Directions to Carpe Vino
Bar & Restaurant Hours Tuesday - Saturday
4:00pm - 10:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Dining Room Hours Tuesday - Saturday
5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday and Monday
Make A Reservation Guests must be 21 years of age or older.
Reservations are suggested for preferred seating, especially on weekends.