Staff Favorites

If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!


Reviews

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2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 9/19/2014 | Send Email
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  Beautiful rich Pinot Noir with a striking balance of pure dark fruit, exotic Asian spices, wild herbs and warm earth. An exquisite combination of power and precision with layers of soft fruit underlain with mineral and savory complexities. Silky smooth tannins and excellent length on the palate. This is primo Central Otago Pinot and a very attractive price!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price BC 95 ST 90

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 9/19/2014 | Send Email
  Matelica is a valley running North and South with warm days and cool nights resulting in some of the best Verdicchio in all of Italy. This richly textured wine has sweet pit fruit, stony minerality and a super intense finish. Don't miss this unique and delicious bargain.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Carpe Diem Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  One of my top favorite Napa Cab's for under $20. Its actually pretty ridiculous if you think about juice thats going into this bottle. Can you believe this is Dominus and Napanook fruit that goes into this? A great new world meets old world style!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  Always one of my favorite Bordeaux blends of the Napa Valley that is done in an old-school style that actually has gorgeous structure and minerality. I even get a touch of gravel from the soil on the finish. Well integrated French oak and purity of fruit. Love the forward quality of 2012's, this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!

2012 Honig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  Plush, yet structured, integrated oak and tannins, a great bottle to pop and serve this year, or cellar for up to 12 years from now. Incredible balance and class. This is classic Napa Cab at an even more classic price!
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  Always a stellar value for 100% Pure Napa Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc at a price that hasn't gone up in over 10 years! Great citrus and mineral notes, juicy mouthwatering acidity, and easy to drink with or without food. Its a no-brainier if you ask me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  This has the weight and texture you expect of Pinot from the Russian River Valley yet remains pure, bright and dry. An array of ripe red fruits, touches of earth and hints of spice evolve and expand as this opens up in the glass and the palate cleansing finish is clean and snappy.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10 " Napa Valley Proprietary Red
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  Combining the richness of the 2009 vintage with the freshness of the 2010, this incredible multi-vintage red offers an extraordinarily balanced Napa cab. The dark fruit is layered with notes of raspberry and currant, laced with savory leather. To add balance to this blend, the 2010 brings freshness, red cherry and herbal components,fresh mint and crushed sage. The sum is greater than the parts in this case.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10 " Napa Valley Proprietary Red
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/18/2014 | Send Email
  Wow! I have always loved the Cain NV releases, and this NV10 did not dissapoint. Instead of manipulating young wine to make it drinkable early, they blended two vintages to make a Cabernet blend that is naturally ready to go. The deft combination of even parts 2010 and 2009 has made for a curranty, fresh, medium bodied, fabulos drink!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 9/17/2014 | Send Email
  Last time we were in Scotland, I full on freaked out in a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this diminutive bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for all the knowledgeable and gin soaked. Driscoll and Kurani had not yet experienced this legendary gin, but thanks to the UKs reasonable tasting regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule- we were soon dunking our noses in a few drops of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. I’ve got to stop trying to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true rollercoaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £40s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Spring Vale Estate "Melrose Vineyard" Pinot Noir Tasmania
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/17/2014 | Send Email
  From the cool region of Tasmania, the Spring Vale Pinot delivers a classic pretty, elegant Pinot Noir. The bouquet has lifted notes of plum, raspberry, strawberry and spice. This all sits on a delicate frame of a medium-bodied wine that offers the more feminine side of Pinot if not a version of a Fleurie or St. Amour from Beaujolais. Enjoy this with a favorite chicken or salmon dish, and even with a slight chill for an afternoon picnic.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 York Creek "Track" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 9/17/2014 | Send Email
  After the last few years I think just about everyone has heard us pontificating about just how good, and how insanely inexpensive, the York Creek wines are. Luckily for us and our thirsty customers Fritz Maytag kept deep cellars over the years and still has plenty of wine for us to sell. After the rousing success of past vintages and the first Single Block offering, the 2005 Sunny Hill which we sold out in a matter of days, we thought we’d back up the truck again and offer you the 2004 “Track”. Another Single Block wine, again from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the Track is a wine that is incredibly charming 10 years after vintage. Wildly aromatic and showing off the lovely forest driven, mushroom, sage and black currants that are synonymous with Spring Mountain this is every bit as expressive as any of the previous York Creek wines we’ve sold. A bit more feminine in its approach however this combines dusty blue and black fruits with layers of bay leaf, olive tapenade, wild mountain berries and a long finish that alternates back and forth between savory and fruity. I truly thought this wine was one of the best I tasted from York Creek recently and is an insane value for $29.99. However like the 2005 Sunny Hill before it there are only 60 cases and we don’t expect them to be around for very long. Act quick!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 9/16/2014 | Send Email
  I love deliciously delicate red Burgundy. LOVE it. However, I cannot get deliciously delicate red Burgundy that really showcases incredible fruit these days for $23. I'll likely have to pay between $50-$100 for that experience. That's why K&L's new Australian import, Oakridge, is one of the most exciting new finds from our Southern Hemisphere buyers. The Guerin Vineyard Pinot Noir, with its colder climate and lighter body, is exactly what I want from Burgundy. It's soft, haunting, intricate, and nuanced. It just so happens that it comes from Australia instead of France. Magical wine that really forces you to re-examine your perception concerning the wines from Down Under. This is NOT your typical big-fruited, 90 point Shiraz-type fruit bomb. This is real deal stuff.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 95 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 9/16/2014 | Send Email
  If you like big, high-alcohol, fruit-bomb Shiraz, then DO NOT get this wine. This Shiraz from Oakridge is for Northern Rhone lovers, people who crave Cote Rotie, and love that hint of black pepper underneath a delicate layer of dark red fruit. If I had tasted this blind, I would have guessed Northern Rhone and been entirely confident in that wager. AUSTRALIA? Jeez, I'm going to have to re-examine my feelings about Australian wine. This is amazing stuff.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "d'Aloisio Vineyard" Chardonnay Yarra Valley
 By: Ralph Sands | Review Date: 9/16/2014 | Send Email
  One of the most exciting Chardonnays I have tasted in many years. If you love big, buttery and rich Chardonnays this wine is NOT for you. But... if you love great Chablis and Puligny Montrachet you will love this wine as it comes off as a combination of both of those famous wine regions in the glass. Both of those regions have gone crazy price-wise, which makes this wine even more unbelievable for $22.99! Loaded with intense green apple fruit, great freshness a touch of flintyness and lazer beam focus. Just incredible and always in my vacation box of wine!. Enjoy! -Ralph
Top Value!

2010 Atalon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 9/16/2014 | Send Email
  With a brooding, dark berry aroma hinting at wild grape, and a concentrated palate of reduced plums made juicier with a malic tang, this seems a well-priced table Cab for roasts with port sauce, and fall-winter root vegetables.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Mahon McGrath | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  From out of a lineup of domestic Pinot Noirs recently, this one really stole the show for me. Funny thing is, it isn’t a show stopper: it is commendable for the restraint it displays. The fruit is very pure and natural, dialing back the ripeness quotient you often contend with in California Pinot Noirs, the flavors have intensity without heaviness, and the body is trim, taut, and focused; in other words, it shows all the gracefulness you might hope for in a Pinot, but which is often sadly lacking for one reason or another.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  I served this for a friend the other night, and her response was "Oh my...what a pretty wine." Across the board, the wines from Oakridge have shown great varietal character with superb balance, detail and drive. The Guerin Pinot Noir is bright and lifted, with a bouquet of dried rose petals, tar, raspberry, tart cherry, rhubarb, clove, earth and dried orange peel. On the palate, the wine is silky and supple with superb balance and a long, persistent finish.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 95 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  This wine shows the beautiful character of cooler climate Shiraz. The nose offers notes of white pepper, meats, camphor, and a mix of red and black fruits with plum and boysenberry in the mix. On the palate, there is good structure with ripe fine-grained tannins and very good length.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Guerin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley
 By: Angie An | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  The Oakridge Pinot Noir is really amazing. The Guerin Vineyard displays very nice intensity with a great mixture of fresh, just-ripe fruit aromas with lots of earthy secondary components. For a girl who loves her mineral-driven, earthier style Pinot Noir, this is right up my alley. The wine finishes with soft baking spices and great complexity.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 95 BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
 By: Angie An | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  Woo! What a spicy little guy. There's fresh black pepper, green tobacco, dash of green olive notes right off the bat along with the classic raspberry. This is NOT your typical big tannin, high alcohol Australian Shiraz at all, but more reminiscent of a Northern Rhone style. Elegant and classy!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

Singani 63 Bolivian Muscat Brandy 750ml
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
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  Seriously one of the coolest things I have tasted in a while. It's amazing how this retained so much of the pure Muscat flavor profile through distillation. Fantastically floral aromatics, very delicate and yet flavorful all at the same time. Like the finest Muscat-based wines this is not about sweetness but about perfume and delicacy on the palate. I can only imagine what people will think up to do with this intriguing little spirit but it is certainly something worth having on your bar.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Singani 63 Bolivian Muscat Brandy 750ml
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  Exactly what we love to drink. After a "serious day in the office" tasting as many as 40 different whiskies, the Singani is the type of spirit I want to come home to, delicious. Fresh, and lively, you get the essence of the Muscat grape, floral, with ripe peach and apricot, this is super clean and dangerously drinkable. So much to do with it: Pisco sour stand-in, add some tonic, or lemon soda with a twist; I would even venture to say it would be killer in a Mojito.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Singani 63 Bolivian Muscat Brandy 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  The is the do-it-all spirit for your liquor cabinet (and you don't even know what it is!). Fruity, floral, and clean, this can be substituted into a number of different cocktails in place of tequila, vodka, gin, and rum. I've made Singani Daiquiris, Singani Margaritas, Singani Negronis, Bloody Maries, Singani and Tonic, Singani Sangria--they're all fantastic. Bolivia's finest export may indeed be Singani. Now you just need to queue up "Che" on Netflix-instant, imagine you're Soderbergh drinking Singani on the set, and drink until your heart's content.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2002 C.H. Berres Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett
 By: Adam Winkel | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  This ideally matured Kabinett has realized an excellent harmony between the fruit, petrol, and slate. Shades of white peach, lime, and wild strawberry still reside with the spicy and minerally terroir of Wurzgarten. The sweetness has largely dried out, and there's stinging zip that would satisfy even the biggest acid freaks. This wine is in a great place, but would easily hold for several more years. I encourage anyone to discover how dynamic and versatile this would be as an everyday table wine. You would have to try pretty hard to come up with a bad pairing.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1996 Giboin K&L Exclusive Fin Bois Vintage Cognac 750ml
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 9/15/2014 | Send Email
  This Cognac is a wonderful and interesting spirit with floral and herbal aromas. In the mouth it surprises, with bright fresh flavors that are integrated and complex. The Giboin Cognac should add joy to any occasion.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mount Eden Santa Cruz Mountains Rosé of Cabernet Franc
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/12/2014 | Send Email
  I have been waiting for four long years for Mount Eden to make another Rose of Cabernet Franc! As soon as we tasted it, Cinnamon and I bought a case... Last night I drank a bottle out of that case with some fried rice that I made with leftover rib-eye and a selection of hot and savory peppers from our local farmers market. This easy to drink wine has a lot more depth and power than your average rose, and my dad, who I was enjoying it with said that it had a pronounced rhubarb flavor. I think that is a dead on description! This is vinous stuff, and reminded me of old fashioned, light Cote du Rhone. I am glad we have 11 more!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Züm Mosel Riesling
 By: Mahon McGrath | Review Date: 9/12/2014 | Send Email
  The Zum qba has flavors of lemon, and lime, mineral, and sweet golden apple. Sweet-tart, this has a round mid-palate followed by bracing acidity. All in all, this is a tasty, low-alcohol, balanced bottle of Riesling; and at a price where you can twist the cap off with abandon.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart WE 89 BC 0

2010 La Prevostura "Muntacc" Coste della Sesia Rosso
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/11/2014 | Send Email
  There is plenty of fruit, good acidity, soft tannin structure, some minerality and white pepper with a lengthy finish. The combination of blue/dark fruit and the black cherry comes from the Nebbiolo. I also find some tar and roses on the lengthy finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 La Prevostura Lessona
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/11/2014 | Send Email
  The wine’s perfume is pure Nebbiolo: raspberry fruit and dried rose petals with a touch of tobacco and lots of cedar, bursting with sweet fruit, tar, minerals, displaying outstanding depth and fine overall balance. This wine will drink well now and over the next few years, best with the heartiest meats or stews. Better yet, serve after dinner with some great aged cheeses (Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano or Asiago) and an olive tapenade.
Price: $42.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/11/2014 | Send Email
  Rich with integrated tannins and flavors of powdered cocoa, ripe dark cherry and pomegranate, this Pinot Noir is a classic example of Pinot Noir grown in the Russian River Valley.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2008 Caraccioli Cellars Santa Lucia Highlands Brut
 By: Patrick Cu | Review Date: 9/11/2014 | Send Email
  The 2008 Brut had a nice richness to it, with brioche, nectarine, peach and ripe stone fruit notes. It was a little more yeasty than the older bottlings, and a little drier than the 2007.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  This was one of the big stars from our comprehensive California staff tasting yesterday. This Chardonnay from Talley has a smoky, high toned nose and great richness that doesn't go over the top into heaviness. It is medium bodied, concentrated, dry and long finishing. I was very impressed by how much it reminded me of Chassagne-Montrachet and I think it is one of the best California Chardonnays in the store. Don't miss it!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mount Eden "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  For me, the Mount Eden Estate is the best Pinot Noir in California. No other producer has a track record of great, age-worthy wines that is as long or as deep. If you have read down this far, you are already aware of how great the 2012 vintage was in California for Pinot... And this may prove to be the best wine of this great vintage. On the nose, it has a kaleidoscopic complexity that puts it among the best young wines in the store. In the mouth the texture is perfect, the finish is firm, and goes on forever. It is high class stuff. It will be hard to stay away from, but the patient will be rewarded!
Drink from 2014 to 2042

Kilchoman K&L Exclusive 100% Islay Single Bourbon Barrel #344 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  This is as Islay as it gets. If you like Islay whisky, it doesn't get any purer. The barley was grown on Islay, right next door to Kilchoman, harvested on Islay, malted on Islay, fermented on Islay, distilled on Islay, matured on Islay. AND it's delicious. Pure, fragrant, wildly savage with tangy citrus and savory peat smoke. Kilchoman whisky is so good that it sometimes blows my mind. The fact that there's such a pedigree to boot makes it all the more fun to sell.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Cherrier Père & Fils Sancerre
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  Citrus aromas. Full on the palate. Tasty bright fruit: peach, citrus, and even a hint of melon. The touch of grassy flavors and pure Sauvignon fruit will give you a great idea of what the Sancerre appellation is all about.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre
 By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  Classic Sancerre aromatics of what I call "pierre à fusil" or flint -- but not aggressively so, along with bright citrus notes. Zippy and zingy on the palate for sure, but also with a honeyed red grapefruit core which I found absolutely delicious and incredibly food friendly. Paradise will be found if you pair this with fresh goat cheese and green apples, oysters, shrimp salad with red grapefruit, scallops, and I'm just getting started...
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  A bright and vibrant Sancerre, with high acid and crisp zesty lemon and lime on the nose and the palate intertwined with an enticing white blossom nose and a dry orange zest finish. Keep a few of these stashed in the fridge for company and patio sipping!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Ridge Vineyards "Monte Bello" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  Tear up your vintage chart! Paul Draper and the team at Ridge have made a classic Monte Bello in 2011. This huge Cabernet blend has a great mocha and black currant nose, and a packed, leathery, dense feel in the mouth. If you are looking for something to drink standing up in the kitchen, THIS IS NOT IT. If you are looking for a great bottle for the future, YOU FOUND IT!
Drink from 2021 to 2041

2013 Bedrock "Old Vine" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  This is California soul wine, and just the sort of thing that I like to bring with me to France as a gift for wine producers there. Zinfandel is our heritage vine here in California, and the Bedrock folks have made a classic in this 2012 Old Vine. It has tons of big, spicy, dark, wild berry fruit, and the acidic and tannic structure to back it up. This is not sweet, but it sure is rich, with plenty of texture and flavor. I can't wait to have it with some BBQ!
Drink from 2014 to 2023
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/10/2014 | Send Email
  What a value! The folks at Ancient Peaks know how to manage the Paso Robles heat, and have come up with a Cabernet that tastes like a Napa bottling at double the price. It is rich, ripe and powerful, but also polished and seamless in the mouth. I think that anyone looking for mid-week Cabernet will be very impressed with this tasty wine!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2019
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine de la Grande Colline "Le Canon"
 By: Illya Haase | Review Date: 9/9/2014 | Send Email
  Le Canon is my new go-to wine for my fellow wine geeks! Thirty-year-old vines of Syrah and Grenache in its purest form. Hirotake Ooka is a maverick in winemaking, going way beyond any organic practices. This guy uses no sulfur. Of course it is unfined, unfiltered. He doesn't even look at the vines, let alone touch them. This is winemaking in its purest form. In the glass is where it counts! Touch of earth on the nose accented by lovely florals to round it out. Blue fruit and just silky smooth going down, with just the right amount of mineral and tannins on the finish. Give it a good decanting and it will blow off the carbon dioxide. Trust me you will keep going back to the glass over and over.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 9/9/2014 | Send Email
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  Another really solid effort from Banshee. A juicy, richer style of Pinot Noir that still has good lift and balance. Dark cherry, vanilla, clove and baking spice. Soft and supple with good mid-palate weight and texture. Seriously crowd friendly Pinot for holiday parties etc. Very good value for Pinot of this quality in the $20ish price point. Easy to drink, easy to love!
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mas des Agrunelles "Les Mauves" Coteaux du Languedoc
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  The wines of Mas des Agrunelles fall into what we call the "Natural" category - unfined, unfiltered, native yeast fermentations, minimal to no sulfur, no additions really of any kind. I'm a sucker for old vine, single-varietal wines. So to find 100% Cinsault in as pure form as possible is a real treat. This has great depth of flavor that evolves over hours. Fresh blueberries and raspberries (like a bowl of fruit right off the vine) dominate the nose. Spice and complexity evolve across the palate. This just keeps going. This is a fascinating wine.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine de la Grande Colline "Le Canon"
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  The wines of Hirotake Ooka are something truly special. All natural, we want to classify him as organic but he doesn't believe in organic treatments. Hands off all the way! The Le Canon is brambly with fresh raspberries, spice and herbs. There is a light gamy note that makes me think of iron. There is a fair amount of CO2 in this wine, so if you don't like a touch of petillance, a brief decant is in order. I tasted my bottle over the course of a couple days and it kept improving. The carbon dioxide acted as a natural blanket inhibiting oxidation. Fresh and alive at day four; I was duly impressed. Some of the characteristics of "Natural Wines" are not for everyone but if you have a sense of adventure, this is a must try.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Dog Point Chardonnay Marlborough
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  Spending 18 months in mainly used French oak, the Dog Point Chardonnay comes across as a modern style white Burgundy. The nose shows flint, light matchstick, wet stone, baked apple, pineapple, ginger and lemon zest. On the palate, the wine is round and juicy with moderate plus acidity and very nice persistence on the back end.

2011 Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  The Dog Point Pinot Noir has a lifted bouquet that offers brambly raspberry, cherry, cranberry, a floral violet note, sandalwood, light toasted oak (18 months in mainly used French oak), earth, clove and a hint of white pepper spice. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied with fine balance, supple tannins, and good length. Somebody throw this dog a bone!

2011 Dog Point Chardonnay Marlborough
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  Ok, I will admit it--this Chardonnay shocked the heck out of me! The nose is all butter, toast, and sweet cream, so I was expecting a rich, fat, Carneros style Chardonnay. I was stunned when those aromas turned into zesty, lively, high acidity, with lovely apple pie spice on the palate, mineral, and then the butter and sweet cream followed. Fabulous balance. Really interesting Chardonnay--incredibly unexpected. Wow.

2011 Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
  Bright, vibrant fruit--Red cherry, cranberry, spice, red currant with lovely acidity and soft tannin. Easy to love!

2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
 By: John Majeski | Review Date: 9/8/2014 | Send Email
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  Please note that our inventory of Eyrie wines is always rather scarce, as they just don't make very much wine, but what they do make, well… this latest Chardonnay reflects what has been described by many as an epic vintage—the warmest summer in years, a long growing season allowing for perfectly balanced ripeness and acidity levels. But as with everything Eyrie, it's in the raw material—the Burgundian clonal varieties scrupulously hand-chosen by David Lett over forty years ago that sets this delicately straw-colored Chardonnay apart, imbuing it with refined elegance and lingering aromatic complexity. Liminal notes of poached pear, quince, lees, apple and spice play upon the palate in a stunning wine that will continue to evolve for at least a decade, probably two.

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