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2014 Hour Magazine Wine Store of the Year

Tommy Boy goes to Spain...       


 ...and lives to tell about it!     

His tale of a summer in the Spanish foothills...       

Now, let's taste some Spanish wine this Saturday!        



100 year old vines at Alto Moncayo  


Cloverleaf's HUGE Spanish connection now a boon for you!


Saturday, January 17, Noon to 4 pm: Taste the wines of Spain at Cloverleaf!


You may recall this past summer that Cloverleaf's chief wine buyer Tom Natoci was treated to a wine tour of Spain! This came about because we (and you) have become such valued customers of the wines of importer Jorge Ordonez, a man who is almost single-handedly restoring the vitality and worldwide esteem of the Spanish wine industry. Now, an Ordonez representative, along with Tom, Scott, and the rest of our staff, will be on-hand to try some of our favorite Ordonez wines, discuss the state of wine in Spain, and just generally have a helluva good Saturday afternoon! As usual, we will have some Cantoro bread and cured meats on hand to help clean the palate. 


As for Tom's trip to Spain last summer, sounds (as you would imagine) like a good thing--maybe too much of a good thing. Here is Tom's account:


"We are going to be trying and discussing a number of wines and new vintages from the wineries of Bodegas Borsao and Alto Moncayo in the Campo de Borja region of Spain. Many of you will recognize some of these wines because we have all been enjoying them here at Cloverleaf in great quantities for the last several years. Working with our local representative for Ordonez, we have found that these wines deliver the best bang for the buck in Spanish wines over a wide continuum of price points--everywhere from $6 up to nearly $50. This is tried and true, and while we love to reveal new discoveries where we find them, we also believe in what works, and these wines deliver great value, quality, and consistency year after year.  


"On our trip to Spain there were about 20 retailers from America, myself included. We spent 10 days criss-crossing much of the Iberian Peninsula, logging more than 6,500 kilometers in the process. A typical day would find us waking up at 7 and preparing with a hearty breakfast. I say HEARTY because this was exactly what it was. I was warned before this trip to eat. A lot. Much more than I would typically at home, even on a Sunday morning. We would have eggs, serrano ham, bread, cheese, just lots of calories--much needed calories to soak up all the WINE we were going to be trying!


"Ahead was a bus ride of an hour or two, with a stop at the first winery where we would tour the vineyard and then the winery to see how the product is made. On the day we toured Borsao, for example, we adjourned around 1 o'clock for a robust luncheon during which we tried all 10 wines they make. We departed around mid-afternoon for a 3 hour bus ride to the Ribera del Duero and a 7 pm check-in at our new hotel. After just enough time to freshen up, we then were brought to some local restaurant for a great meal and more wines! Long about midnight or 1 a.m. I usually made my way back to my hotel room where I would try to get some sleep ahead of the next day, where we would start all over again!


"While this may seem like a dream trip to many, it was also pretty hard work and physically taxing. Many people have enviously told me, 'Hey, I can do that!' Well, try doing it for 10 straight days. By my estimation, after a big breakfast, two eight-course meals for lunch and dinner, lots of cheese and cured meats during the tastings, plus all of the wine--we were consuming nearly 7,500 calories and sampling about 75 wines a day!


"Overall it was a valuable, if not a bit decadent, experience. The biggest takeaway for me was that Jorge Ordonez, who was on the trip, is almost fanatical in his attention to detail on the wines he carries. Among all of the wineries he represents, he makes a personal investment in time, knowledge, and equipment to ensure that the wines he ultimately brings to us are the very best Spain has to offer.


"I was also quite surprised that much of the Spanish countryside is quite arid with very rugged terrain. This makes sense, then, that the wine has such excellent character. It occurred to me that the best vineyards are those that make the vines really have to work to get nutrients. A vine that has to work for food will produce better quality grapes because the roots must go deeper into the ground, traveling through different rock structures and thereby creating a more complex flavor profile. Viva Espana!"





Sutton's Bay's Tandem Cider now bottling and available here!


Hey folks, your fashionably in-tune Cloverleaf staff has been down with Tandem Cider since they opened on a country road up in Leelanau County several years ago. They operate in a converted barn outside of Sutton's Bay and they make wonderfully crisp, clear, dry hard ciders from apples sourced in the Leelanau. They also have a charming tasting room that serves up cider, small plates, and even pickled eggs! It is a great stop when cruising through this most beautiful part of Michigan at any time of year. Several times we had inquired about distribution to the Detroit area, but until now that was not possible. So we were thrilled to hear that they are now bottling AND distributing, and we are fortunate to be your local supplier of this superior hard cider. As for storage, Tandem says "Keep it cool. Drink it soon." Recently Cloverleaf's Will Meinberg paid a visit, and here is his report:


"The craft hard cider movement in America has been picking up steam lately, and Michigan is one of the large driving forces behind it! We are already known for our award-winning breweries and wineries, so the next logical step was to utilize our truly amazing crops of apples and cherries! We are proud to now offer a selection of small-batch hard ciders from Tandem Ciders in Sutton's Bay. I was up north over the holidays and decided to make my way up the Leelanau Peninsula. Many people had told me about the great ciders that were being produced by the folks at Tandem Ciders, so I had to check it out for myself. So I drove my Jeep through the winding and snowy back roads, and stumbled across a small white barn with a tandem bicycle hanging above the door. I instantly recognized the building from pictures I had seen online. I made the short, but cold, walk from my car to the barn and went inside. As I went inside, I bellied up to the bar and began tasting everything they put in front of me! The ciders were tremendous! I enjoyed each one for its unique flavor and aroma. Tandem Ciders has a special way of shining the spotlight on each apple's characteristics. The "Smackintosh" is a blend of McIntosh, Northern Spy, and Greening apples. It smells like the apples I used to pick as a kid on my aunt's farm up north. The "Early Day" cider is composed of a very aromatic blend of Fameuse, McIntosh, Winter Banana, Winesap, Ozark gold, Mutsu, and a few others; it really smells and tastes like the orchard. Lastly, Tandem Ciders has ventured down new avenues of creating ciders out of more than just apples. They make a hard cherry cider called "Cherry Oh!" This cherry cider is made from 100% fresh-pressed Montmorency, Balaton, and Black Sweet cherries. It boasts a beautiful aroma of fresh cherries and a sparkling effervescence on the palate that fills your whole head with the wonderfully fresh flavors of that orchard country.

Tandem Ciders is a pure Michigan company who works with local farmers to create something remarkable. I expect big things from them."



Tandem Early Day (Sutton's Bay, MI) 750 ml
Less than $12
Note: 6.0%. Fameuse, Golden Russet, Ida Red, Red Delicious, Sheep's Nose, and Cortland. The complexity of this blend will keep you sipping and
trying to determine which variety makes this cider so good.

Tandem Cherry Oh! (Sutton's Bay, MI) 750 ml
Less than $12
Note: 6.4%. Now for something completely different, a cherry cider made from fresh
pressed cherries. Made from 100% Montmorency, Balaton, and Black Sweet Cherries.

Tandem Smackintosh (Sutton's Bay, MI) 750 ml

Less than $12 

Note: 6.5%. McIntosh, Rhode Island Greening, and Northern Spy. Everything's better with a little Smack. This crowd pleaser is sweet and tart with full apple flavor.

Pay a visit! Head north on M-22 through Suttons Bay, and approximately 1.5 miles from the second blinking light, turn left on Setterbo Road. Wind up Setterbo for another mile and look for the white barn with a red tandem bicycle. Open Monday-Saturday, Noon to 6 pm. Sunday, Noon to 5 pm. Closed Tues-Weds from January to May.

--The Guys (and Gal!) at Cloverleaf 



Two GREAT American Pinot Noirs  


Block Nine and Patricia Green Reserve

Parker: Block Nine "amazing" and "sells for a song"

Patricia Green: "Screams of the holidays" 

Gift Baskets at all sizes and price ranges

Clio fans: Less than 10 cases left for 2014


Big or small, singles or multi-orders, our Gift Baskets rock!



-The uber-popular 2012 Clio is going fast. We received our last shipment of 10 cases for 2014 and it will sell out before Christmas so act now if you want some!

-Did you know that we DELIVER for multi-bottle purchases, kegs, baskets, etc? If you're planning a party or larger purchase and want to avoid the drive in to pick up, please call us and we can arrange free delivery.


Two screaming hot deals on the perfect Holiday wine: Pinot Noir


Long-considered to be the Holy Grail of wines among hard-core enthusiasts, Pinot Noir (or red Burgundy as it is known in France) is also a wonderfully cheerful, fun, versatile wine for end-of-the-year celebrations like Christmas, Hannukah, and the New Year. Here we have two excellent California Pinot Noirs from the 2013 vintage, both delivering tremendous quality for the money and both meriting strong consideration for six-pack or full case purchases now so you'll have enough for the holidays.


2013 Patricia Green Pinot Noir Reserve (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Reg. price: $26

Sale price: $21.99 (no further discounts)

Tom's note: "It's just a delicious glass of wine. We have carried some wines from Patricia Green and tried their reserve Pinot with our rep last week. The bouquet screams of the holidays. Very full notes of cranberry, cherry, baking spices, and vanilla roar out of the glass. On the palate the wine is medium- to full-bodied with a beautiful balance of fruit and those sweet baking spices, along with a long, smooth, lingering finish that is very comforting. We were trying it with a customer and they thought "Wow, this is so fun to drink" and they bought a case."


2013 Caiden's Vineyards Block Nine Pinot Noir

Less than $14   

Tasting note from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Readers looking for an authentic tasting Pinot Noir that sells for a song should check out Block 9's 2013 Pinot Noir (55,000 cases produced), a 100% Pinot Noir aged nine months in French oak. Aromas of sweet red and black cherry fruit intermixed with clove and baking spices are offered in a medium-bodied, earthy, soft, silky style. This amazing Pinot Noir sells for a price that is virtually unheard of for this varietal. Drink now-2017."


2014 Gift Baskets ready to go: Build your own, pre-order, or off the shelf


For the foodie, oenophile, or beer lover on your list, a custom-made gift basket can be a great gift. Baskets also make great rewards for hard-working employees or key vendors at your business. We have a variety of specialty food items again this year (see photo), not to mention the best selection of fine wine and craft beer in the city, and our baskets are all custom-made to your order at any price point. We can also build one for you on the spot as you shop at Cloverleaf! Call us now to get started on designing your baskets! 248.399.7166.


Shop Local: And more great gift ideas to simplify your life 


Christmas, you say? What is this Christmas you speak of? Well, don't look now but it is less than 3 weeks away and closing fast. Perhaps nothing is easier and will please the oenophile or beer lover on your list more than a pre-paid Cloverleaf Gift Card. Available in any dollar amount, our gift cards deliver a double-whammy: the pleasure of shopping in our beautiful wine cellar, plus the wine itself!


We also carry high-end corkscrews and wine glasses, gift bags, and a whole lot more! And to get on our soap-box, whether it's your favorite little wine store or other small business in our area, please be conscious to SHOP LOCAL this year whenever you can. Even if you have to pay a little more than you would at the Gigantic Box Corporation of America, the money you spend in your community comes back to you in ways too many to count. It just makes sense.


And of course...our $99 Holiday Reds Mixed Case is re-loadable!


Our Annual Holiday Reds Mixed Case!!!

Reg. price (at regular retail): $130

Sale price: $99


It's no secret why this compilation sells hundreds of cases each fall. Convenience is the key. Our  Holiday Reds Mixed Case eases the time crunch of the holidays by providing a grab-it-and-go source of great quality wines that you can rely on for all kinds of dinners, parties, and soirees. So save money. Save time. Save the extra stop on your way to the next holiday party.  


What we've done is put together this case of 12 terrific bottles of wine, from 6 different countries--including a very exciting entry from Lebanon!  These wines are all taste-tested by our staff and are all fantastic values in themselves--until we then discount the whole case by 24% more. That's right, the wines collectively would retail at $130 bottles for the case, but at deep discount $99 you are getting them for an average of $8.25 per bottle. 


Recent hits, raves, and discoveries

2012 Mourgues du Gres Galets Rouges (Costieres de Nimes, France)

Reg. price: $14

Sale price: $10.99 (no further discounts) 

Tom's note on the 2011: "Having not tried this wine in a while we were happy to report that it is just as good as it was in the late 1990s. This is just a super value, very full-bodied with flavors of bright red and black fruits and that classic Provencal sweet herbal note both in the bouquet and the palate. The finish is long and smooth and versatile--you could pair this with grilled steaks and beef roast, but it is also balanced enough that you could serve this with traditional Thanksgiving dinner. This wine stands right up to any very good quality classic Cotes du Rhone Villages wine that would sell for $19."  

UPDATE on the 2012: "The 2012 is even better."  


2012 Kermit Lynch Cotes du Rhone

Reg. price: $16

Sale price: $12.99 (no further discounts)

Tom's note: This is a "flagship" wine at Cloverleaf, a wine we discovered in 2001 when we purchased 300 cases of the stuff! The quality/value ratio was off the charts then, and it still is. With the 2012 vintage in the CDR looking to be very good to possibly great, we are as excited as ever to offer this wine at just $12.99. Scott, myself, and our supplier tasted the 2012 just the other day, and we were once again amazed at the quality. It has a perfume and an elegance to the famed Chateauneuf du Pape wines from the same region that routinely sell for $30. This is a no-brainer for the holiday season or to cellar for a few years."


2012 Slingshot Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) 

Reg. price: $18

Sale price: $14.99 (no further discounts)

Tom's note: "The 2012 Slingshot Cabernet boasts a super rich bouquet of black cherries, cassis, cedar, vanilla bean and sweet spice notes. Plush and rich, with concentrated flavors of dark cherries, baker's chocolate, and blackberry. Silky tannins emerge in the mid-palate and carry through a long, lingering finish." 


2009 Jason Stephens Estate Zinfandel  (Santa Clara Valley, CA) 

Reg. price: $19

Sale price: $15.99

Tom's note: "This guy is making a Zinfandel very much in the style of Larry Turley, who I think makes the best Zin in California. This wine is plenty big and rich, with 16.2% alcohol! What he does different is he doesn't let the fruit get overly ripe, to where you can almost get a raisin flavor. He wants the fruit to be dominant. The wine is very full-bodied, with rich, dark,berry fruits, a hint of vanilla spice, a lush, buttery texture and very smooth tannins in the finish."


2012 Ca' Momi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg. price: $22

Sale price: $17.99 (no further discounts)

Tom's tasting note: "The wine has a rich bouquet of black cherries, cassis, and baking spices. On the palate you sense a highly concentrated, almost buttery, texture of ripe black fruits, mocha, and sweet spice notes. The finish is smooth with ripe, soft tannins, a kiss of vanilla and those persistent ripe black fruit flavors. An extremely delicious classic Napa Valley Cabernet from a very good if not great vintage."


2011 Bodegas Teso la Monja Almirez (Spain)

Reg. price: $25

Sale price: $19.99

Tasting note from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "94 points. Another great value is the 2011 Almirez, which comes from old, ungrafted, head-pruned Tinta de Toro vines. The vineyards are planted at 2,300 foot elevation, and the yields in 2011 were 18 hectoliters per hectare. The wine spent 12 months in 30% new French oak. A fabulous effort, it could easily pass for a big, rich Chateauneuf du Pape, even though there is not a touch of Grenache to be found in it. Its dense purple color is accompanied by notes of charcoal, barbecued meat, blackberries, cassis, licorice, camphor and spring flowers. Boasting massive concentration, a full-bodied mouthfeel and lavish extract, all concealing of its French oak aging, this rich, full 2011 possesses velvety tannins as well as a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. At this quality level, one would expect the price to be three digits or more. Enjoy it over the next 10 years."       


2013 Ca' Momi (Napa Valley) 

Sale price: $8.99 (no further discounts) 

Tom's note: "We sold a LOT of Ca' Momi last year and just last week we had the chance to try the 2013, and it is actually better! At this price point it is one of the great values in Napa Valley wine I've come across in some time. What's even more exciting is how this bodes for all of the 2013 Napa wines we will start to see coming in. The 2012 vintage was often called "perfect" and "classic" and now we are hearing the 2013 vintage could be a "monster." Ca' Momi sources its fruit from all over Napa. Get some. Hell, get a case!"


--The Guys (and Gal!) at Cloverleaf



2013 Hour Magazine Wine Store of the Year


Return of Milcampos!


Another solid effort on this Spanish treasure

$12.99 for a wine “probably 92 points or more”*

Try it here this Saturday, Noon to 3 p.m.!

Our annual Wine Sale continues…

Hour Magazine: We need your vote

(Vote for Cloverleaf Fine Wine as Best Wine Store in the Retail/Shopping category. Thank you!)


*Based on our own tastings, two months apart; no outside ratings yet


2011 Bodegas la Milagrosa Milcampos Vinas Viejas

Reg. price: $16

Sale price: $12.99


This is our fourth year carrying Milcampos, a miracle of a value Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero in north-central Spain. Each year we’ve had it, the wine has received scores in the 92-94 point range and has sold out of as much as we can get our hands on. Cloverleaf’s Scott and Tom tasted the 2011 vintage two months ago, were once again highly impressed, and now the shipment has arrived. To be sure, Tom opened another bottle today, and “It’s delicious. It’s as good as it’s ever been. A fantastic glass of wine at this price.”


The Ribera del Duero is widely considered to be the best appellation in Spain. “All of the great, expensive Spanish wines come from there,” Tom explains. Vineyards in the region are at unusually high elevations, and experience very cold winters and a short growing season. “Sometimes in high-heat vineyards, the grapes can become almost burnt-out. The best Ribera del Duero grapes have a real polish about them, and have been compared to the fruit of the finest Bordeaux estates.”


“The 2011 is loaded with fruit,” Tom said. “I have a cold, and I usually lose the fruit and get more acid when I’m stuffed up. But the fruit is right there, like the 2010 version which was a great glass of wine right when you opened it.”


Taste Milcampos at Cloverleaf this Saturday, Noon to 3 p.m.


Try before you buy! A representative of Milcampos will be on hand this Saturday to pour samples and talk about the wine and all things wine in general. As usual, we will have bread and cheese and a good attitude. And hey, we do have a great sale going on. This could be a big score.


Save up to 50% at our ongoing Annual Wine Sale!


It’s the annual CLOVERLEAF WINE SALE!!! Things slow down a bit around here in the mid-Winter, which is why a sale makes sense, helping us and our suppliers clear stocks from the busy holiday season just concluded. We’ll have dozens of wines—and nearly 100 items in all, including beer and specialty items—clearly marked on the shelves selling for anywhere from 20% to 50% off. These are the wines we were just promoting several weeks back for Christmas and the New Year, plus some new gems in the value range that we think we can move fast and in volume. Add in the odds & ends, onesie-twosies, and you got yourself one heck of a chance to replenish your own racks and cellar while we make room for new vintages and spring wines.


The Sale runs today through March 23rd. See you soon!


More great beefy reds for hunker-down winterin’


2004 Masi Costasera Amarone Classico

Reg. price: $26

Sale price: $19.99

Note: Amarone is a very traditional wine from the Valpolicella region of the Veneto in northern Italy (the land of Romeo and Juliet!). The best is made from highly concentrated grapes which is further accentuated by 3 to 4 months of drying on bamboo racks. The yield is a rich, powerful, dry wine of great complexity (and often alcohol content of 15% to 16%). Because of this, the wine is often an accompaniment to dishes of red meat, roasted game, or with mature cheeses (which, come to think of it, we also have!). It can also be nice after a meal.


2011 Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon

Reg. price: $35

Sale price: $25.99

Tom’s note: “Hey, it says Valentine right on the label! This elegant and graceful wine has plenty of rich, dark, blackberry, savory herb, and crushed rock flavors. It gains depth on the palate and finishes with smooth, balanced tannins.”


2011 Bodegas Teso la Monja Almirez (Spain)

Reg. price: $25

Sale price: $19.99

Tasting note from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “94 points. Another great value is the 2011 Almirez, which comes from old, ungrafted, head-pruned Tinta de Toro vines. The vineyards are planted at 2,300 foot elevation, and the yields in 2011 were 18 hectoliters per hectare. The wine spent 12 months in 30% new French oak. A fabulous effort, it could easily pass for a big, rich Chateauneuf du Pape, even though there is not a touch of Grenache to be found in it. Its dense purple color is accompanied by notes of charcoal, barbecued meat, blackberries, cassis, licorice, camphor and spring flowers. Boasting massive concentration, a full-bodied mouthfeel and lavish extract, all concealing of its French oak aging, this rich, full 2011 possesses velvety tannins as well as a finish that lasts nearly 40 seconds. At this quality level, one would expect the price to be three digits or more. Enjoy it over the next 10 years.”

2011Kermit Lynch Reserve du Vaucluse

Reg. price: $13

Sale price: $9.9

Note: Sensational deal for a delicious Cotes du Rhone from the great importer Kermit Lynch.


Aia Vecchia Lagone 2010

Reg. price: $18

Sale price: $14.99

Note: A beautiful, rich Cabernet/Merot-based Super Tuscan.


Branham Jazz Red Blend 2009

Reg. price: $28

Sale price: $23.99

Note: Sumptuous, rich smooth wine that features bright blackberry flavors and sweet vanilla spice.


--The Guys (and Gal!) at Cloverleaf


Royal Oak, Michigan

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