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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1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 1/9/2015 | Send Email
  This Mortlach is going to make so many people happy. We were shocked earlier this year when the owners released an 18 year in the UK at £200 for the half bottle. We were equally surprised when Signatory pointed out the 10 casks of Mortlach that had been undergoing a second maturation for over two years in fresh sherry casks. We were allowed to taste one. We bought it immediately. The rugged Mortlach spirit is in perfect balance with the lovely sherry influence. While the whisky isn't as dark as I remember it being, there's still all that rich oloroso influence. The spirit is flamboyant and still showing the great youthful savoriness that Mortlach is known for. So much going on here; a true display of why Mortlach is a true blue chip distillery.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Low Gap 4 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Stitzel-Weller Barrel Wheat Whiskey 750ml
 By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 1/9/2015 | Send Email
  What a ridiculous score this was. One thing that makes our position at K&L unique among spirits buyers across the country is our ability to not only select great whiskey for our store, but also to create new whiskey. For this one I must commend Mr. Driscoll as what was once an off-the-cuff idea has now become a truly unique product, nearly half a decade in the making. With the first sip of the special sauce you're reminded of the incredible attention to quality Ansley Coale puts into everything he does. This whiskey reminds me of everything and nothing, all at once. It's like you took a bit of the Nikka Coffey, a dab of the Weller 12 year, a pinch of a solid single malt and thimble full of the Stranahan Colorado and mushed it all together. Supple and seductive the nutty oak aromas and the distinct yet understated malted wheat tones are exciting, but nevertheless familiar and satisfying. Good work Double D & Mr Coale. A perfect collaboration.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2001 Tertre Daugay, St-Emilion
 By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  Here is yet another example of how fantastically the wines from the very good 2001 Bordeaux vintage are drinking at 10 years of age. This is a dark plum color with aromas of ripe cherry, savory herb and potting soil. The wine has lively acidity and as it opens up very fresh flavors and aromas of blackberry and dark cherry become even more evident. The smooth, creamy middle is substantial and is supported by dry, fine tannins on the intense, mineral finish. Decant one hour.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Trimbach Riesling
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  Trimach Riesling continues to set the bar for dry Riesling. The 2012 provides aromas of orange blossom, peach and nectarine with a hint of salinity. The palate is superbly balanced, dry, and high acid while still having great weight. Flavors of lemon zest, green apple, and chalky minerality will have you reaching for this bottle every time you have seafood.

Low Gap 4 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single Stitzel-Weller Barrel Wheat Whiskey 750ml
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  If I had to pick one word to describe the 4-year-old Low Gap, it would be pretty. Other words that could possibly come into consideration would be pure, elegant and delicious. It has beautiful aromatics and is very easy to drink and enjoy.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Trimbach Riesling
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  This is as classic as the blind wine they would pour at the Court of Master Sommeliers blind tasting. If you're looking for non-petrol driven dry Riesling, this is where it's at! Chock-full of minerality and acid, with subtle fruit, it's extremely food-friendly and versatile.

2012 Trimbach Riesling
 By: Krista Johnson | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  When someone is pouring Riesling, I either feel reticent or jazzed. Depending on who's producing it and where it's from, Riesling varies SO MUCH. This little beauty from Alsace is glorious. Upon opening, the nose is sumptuous with orange blossom nectar and lemon zest. Upon tasting, there's white stone fruit, blood orange pith and a lovely high-toned acidity. This Riesling is bone dry and a feast for the senses.

2013 Patient Cottat "Le Grand Caillou" Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Jim Boyce | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  Stellar as always, this wine again over-delivers for the price. Bright tropical fruit balanced by great acid and mineral notes that bring the wine together beautifully. Stock up!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Straight Kentucky Bourbon 750ml
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  Fans of soft, supple, easy-sipping bourbon should snap this puppy up immediately. Sweet corn, vanilla, spice and light caramel with a long, lingering finish. You will absolutely want to have this on your bar for sipping on the rocks, or as a killer component in any bourbon cocktail. It's awesome!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Patient Cottat "Le Grand Caillou" Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
  This wine amazes me every vintage for its balance, deliciousness, and price performance. Grapefruit and mineral with bright, refreshing, zesty acidity. A must for your daily-drinker white category! Buy by the case--this budget-friendly wine will take you easily from January through summertime, delighting your friends and family with its accessibility--and quaffability!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
 By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 1/8/2015 | Send Email
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  We just had the opportunity to taste this latest release of Banshee Pinot Noir today (6 January) and though I liked the 2012 version of this wine, I think that I prefer the 2013. As with the previous vintage, this one has bright red fruits, rhubarb and pine notes, where the 2012 had black fruits; in the mid-palate, the 2013 stays bright and clean with a long finish of generous acidity. Being a fan of Burgundy, this works for me! This is a wonderful, affordable Pinot Noir with excellent quality and character that will pair very well with chicken and fattier fishes such as salmon. A real winner, this.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 1/7/2015 | Send Email
  Since the 2008 Sonoma Coast and Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noirs, we have been great supporters of the Banshee label. Whether it's the everyday wines or the single vineyard wines, the quality is second to none. We have always believed in the label and the great people behind it. The 2013 Banshee is a beautiful, predominately red fruited Pinot Noir with lovely notes of forest floor, black tea and rhubarb with just a touch of plum and cedar. The 2013 reminds me of the 2010 and 2011 with it's higher acid levels,candied red fruit and less blue and black fruit. Fresh, vibrant with lovely layered flavors. One heck of a Pinot Noir for $ 23.00
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 1/7/2015 | Send Email
  Back in 2011 there was quite a scare in the world of Zinfandel. That was the year that the Seghesio Family sold their winery to a large company named Crimson Wine Group. This was a bit unsettling at the time being that the Seghesio Family was second only to the Foppianos for the crown as the longest running winemaking family in Sonoma County. We were all a little depressed by it for a while but then nothing really changed. The family still held control of the old vine plots like Cortina and Home Ranch, Pete stayed on as CEO and Ted as winemaker. The quality and branding was the same as it ever was and quite honestly I think most people even forgot that the Winery changed hands. This was great news to all Zin fans, especially when they kept churning out tremendous, affordable Zin like the 2013 Sonoma County. Just released this is a great wine for $20 with all of is warm spice cake, berry cobbler, whole peppercorn and sweet tea aromatics. Big and burly but with wild acidity acting as a counter weight this has a little something for everyone in the Zin world with its briary richness of fruit, bushels of pepper, fresh berry notes and a sweet oak lacing which ties up the substantial finish. I guess change, or the lack thereof, isn’t always a bad thing!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WS 92 BC 0

2013 Patient Cottat "Le Grand Caillou" Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Eric Story | Review Date: 1/6/2015 | Send Email
  One of my go-to grab bottles when I need something crisp and crowd-friendly. Has all of the qualities that a wine guy like me looks for in a wine, but, without being overly geeky or cerebral. Clean, fresh and inviting is what you’ll be getting in this wine. Yes, it’s a great deal, but even more so, it is a fantastic wine.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Lafage "Grande Cuvée" Côtes du Roussillon Rosé
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 1/5/2015 | Send Email
  Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose, Clos Ste. Magdelaine Cassis Rose, Chateau Peyrassol Provencal Rose. These are some of the great rose wines we receive each year and they always sell through in an instant. Each is worthy of cellaring, even if just for a short period of time. Now from the Languedoc we finally have a wine to rival these greats. The Lafage Grande Cuvee is like summer in a glass, even though it may be winter. It has notes of blood orange, seascape strawberries and wet slate. Long on minerality and finish. I'm personally glad this arrived late. The wine had a little time to become even more spectacular. You can drink it now, this is California after all and sunny days are always ahead, or hold it a few months in anticipation of next summer, you won't be disappointed.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

Glendronach 12 year old Distillery Bottling Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 1/4/2015 | Send Email
  This whisky just keeps getting better, in my estimation. Rich and sherried, reminiscent of summer and winter treats: caramel apples and roasted, candied nuts. The Glendronach 12 has spicy, rum-raisin aromas, roasted nuts--filberts, Brazil nuts--and baked apple and pear notes, which repeat on the palate, so cotton-candy smooth, and the fruit flavors deepen toward the dry, smoky finish. Similar to: Aberlour 16. More flavor than: Glenlivet 12. Fiercer, less smooth than: Macallan 12 or Glenmorangie 10. More easygoing but in a somewhat similar profile to: Glendronach Allardice, Aberlour A'Bunadh. A standby, a classic. UPDATE: I have tried the Glendronach 15 Year Port-finished edition, a really svelte, nice dram, for sure, but I STILL prefer the 12 Year. If you like rich, nutty, sherried single malt, you really ought to try the Glendronach 12.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 1/4/2015 | Send Email
  From one of the premiere areas in the world for Chardonnay comes this immensely drinkable white Burgundy. Opulent citrus notes, a silky mid-weight mouth-feel, and the faintest hint of petrol make this surprisingly complex, considering the amazing price. Well balanced acid and minerality lead to a finish that ends at just the right time. A lovely, crowd pleasing white!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvee Dilection" Brut Rose Champagne
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 1/3/2015 | Send Email
  If you love fine, subtle, elegant rose, the Dilection is not to be missed. The base wine is composed of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir from vines of 40 years or older. To give it the rose color, flavor and aroma Alexandre adds 15% red Meunier from the vignes d’etoges, a plot in Monthelon that was planted in 1902… Easily the oldest vines I have ever seen in Champagne. All of the vinification is done in wood. I found it to have incredibly pure, Burgundian cherry fruit and a seamless, medium to light body. This wine has so many layers that it will reward those who taste it quietly, but it is so delicious that one does not have to ponder it to enjoy it. The finish is, like all of the Le Brun wines, the best part- a true peacock’s tail!
Drink from 2015 to 2028
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 1/3/2015 | Send Email
  If you are a fan of Meunier based Champagne, trying this is a must. The Revelation is composed entirely of Meunier from vineyards of fifty years or older, only 1200 bottles of this incredible wine were made. The vines for this Champagne are in the very cool micro-climate of Monthelon, just south of Epernay, and thus have a far racier character than any of our other Meunier’s that come from the Western Valley of the Marne. With quince like fruit, subtle brioche and ample mineral drive, this serious wine has a finish that lasts like a blanc de blancs. It is dry at only four grams per liter of dosage, but not austere. A classic!
Drink from 2015 to 2039
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Passion" Brut Champagne
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 1/3/2015 | Send Email
  Although labeled as non-vintage, this is in fact all 2005, and has been given eight years of ageing time o the lees. This Champagne is composed of half and half Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and tastes much more expensive that it is. If you like creamy, toasty Champagne with depth and richness, this is one of the best that we carry.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 1/3/2015 | Send Email
  This is composed of a third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier from Mr. Le Brun’s estate, and nearly every wine in this blend has gone through malolactic. This Champagne has a rich bready nose from the over 20 months it has aged on the lees and some very nice savory qualities as well. In the mouth the high quality Meunier gives this wine great roundness as well as some tasty baked apple flavors. The cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir show their stuff on the dry, long finish. It is dosed at 6g/l.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $34.99
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Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bottled in Bond Straight Kentucky Bourbon 750ml
 By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 1/3/2015 | Send Email
  The E.H. Taylor series is an interesting side project from the Buffalo Trace distillery portfolio (Eagle Rare, Weller, Elmer T Lee, Pappy, etc) offering a drier, less sweet profile than what many of us expect from Bourbon. For me, the Taylor Small Batch 100 proof is the most intriguing of the series; truly a grainy and evocative Bourbon that goes from oak, to oil, to sweet corn, and then back to a dry grainy finish. For me personally, the whiskey is great on the rocks, but really shines in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned. The 50% helps bump up the flavor, allowing it to hold its own with the added sweetness, and the drier profile doesn't add too much extra sugar. The oak and corn flavors are really well balanced as well, creating a back and forth of sweet vanilla and baking spices that goes on forever even after you drink it down. It's a fun change of pace from the standard Bourbon fare and a chance to really delve deep into the complexity that Bourbon can offer. There's a lot going on in this whiskey; perhaps more than you're really looking for. Each time I taste it I find something I didn't taste the previous time. It's almost like the Boigneires Armagnac equivalent; that's a brandy that cuts out all the sweetness and gets right down to the core flavor. It's the Bourbon version of that.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Seikyo "Omachi" Junmai Ginjo Sake 720ml
 By: Jeff Garneau | Review Date: 12/31/2014 | Send Email
  A real treat for sake lovers - a chance to try a sake made from the historic "Omachi" rice rather than the dominant "Yamada Nishiki" variety. Fat and spicy with hints of melon and grapefruit.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Tozai "Typhoon" Futsu Sake 720ml
 By: Jeff Garneau | Review Date: 12/31/2014 | Send Email
  Our best value futsu-shu. Soft, round and fruity. Delicious either chilled or gently warmed.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
 By: Jeff Garneau | Review Date: 12/31/2014 | Send Email
  The current disgorgement of the Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne is perhaps a little firmer, a little less open knit than previous bottlings. But the tradeoff is more focus, more purity, and more length. Quite dry, but with remarkable sweetness of fruit and a light toast that adds depth and character. The ideal New Year's Eve companion - complex enough to be interesting but not so serious as to dominate the conversation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico
 By: Jim Barr | Review Date: 12/30/2014 | Send Email
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  From one of the top Chianti producers and a direct import for us, this lovely Chianti Classico is deeply colored, offers an opulent nose of currents, blackberry and anise fruit with just a touch of wood, all of which carries over well in its nicely integrated, viscous, superbly complex palate impression. Excellent and complete mid-range, this Gem finishes with a long, warm feel. Rusty has informed me that we need cases of this Gem to consume over the course of the next three to five years. 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

St. George Pear Brandy 750ml
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 12/29/2014 | Send Email
  This eau de vie is packed full of happiness. If you like pears and booze, this is a wonderful combination. There are expressive pear aromas followed by nice clean and dry pear flavors. Great alone, but I bet some creative cocktails could be made with this product.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Dewatsuru Kimoto Junmai Sake 720ml
 By: Jeff Garneau | Review Date: 12/29/2014 | Send Email
  This exceptional Junmai (no added alcohol and a seimaibuai of 65%) is made in the original, or "kimoto" style. It is more painstaking, labor-intensive, and time-consuming than using more modern techniques, but the result is a creamier, more complex, more savory style of sake that pairs well with robust dishes like fried foods, grilled meats, or aged cheeses. This semi-dry sake is nutty and creamy with hints of oyster mushroom and roasted chestnut. If you have never tried the kimoto or yamahai style, this is a superb introduction.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Villa Pillo Sangiovese Toscana (3L Bag-in-a-Box) (cannot ship)
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 12/29/2014 | Send Email
  The nose is classic ripe cherries and strawberries and a hint of cocoa powder. On the palate of this medium-bodied wine, you will find the fruit described above, with a touch of minerals and soft tannins, which gives this wine a very lush feel to the palate and an incredible long finish. Turn down the heat in your house; this will keep you warm on chilly winter evenings!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Bellevue-La-Randée, Bordeaux
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 12/29/2014 | Send Email
  A gorgeous, full bodied wine that is super easy to drink. Not just easy, but FUN! Bright red fruit and incredibly smooth tannins.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $9.99
WS 87-  90 BC 0

2013 Valle dell'Acate "Il Frappato" Vittoria
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 12/26/2014 | Send Email
  Made from grapes known also as Frappato di Vittoria, this wine is fragrant, fresh and bursting out, intense notes of cherries, blackberry and raspberry. The palate impression is bright and fresh, light but persistent; with small black and red fruits coating the mouth. Wonderful with all cheeses, it is equally at home when served with fish. Give a slight chill.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/24/2014 | Send Email
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  I find that Tenuta di Sesta’s wines are always overlooked upon release, they are never the loudest, tallest or heaviest the just seem to be pleasant. Yet after years of tasting their wines I find they are just slower to develop and end up morphing into silky, elegant masterpieces. In this the 2010 vintage their Brunello shows far more upfront earth and mineral than usual at this stage, yet the pure Sangiovese aromatics of wild cherry and plum cut in behind the earthy elements along with hints of dried roses and freshly cut leather. On the palate the wine is graceful, seemingly plump yet the acidity is present in the finish and the longer the wine is in your glass the deeper and more profound the flavors become and the longer the aftertaste. This wine always puts a smile on my face it just feels so good, never pushy or demanding just there growing with each minute in the glass. I can’t wait to see this wine in another 5 years, stunningly good.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

2010 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino (1.5L) Pre-Arrival
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/24/2014 | Send Email
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  One of the curious attributes of the stellar 2010 vintage is that most wines are darker in color than normal, Ferrero is no different and the lustrous sheen should prep you for what is coming up. The nose is full of tight black cherry aromatics, focused, vibrant and penetrating. On the palate the first thing I noticed was the length and balance, normally in Ferrero I usually find it’s the weight and richness in the first sensation but this wines’ incredible balance just jumps out at you. The flavors are saturated, dense, layered and all held in perfect balance, the black cherry is accented with hints of earth and spice and the finish goes on and on. The best wine Ferrero has produced.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

2010 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/24/2014 | Send Email
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  One of the curious attributes of the stellar 2010 vintage is that most wines are darker in color than normal, Ferrero is no different and the lustrous sheen should prep you for what is coming up. The nose is full of tight black cherry aromatics, focused, vibrant and penetrating. On the palate the first thing I noticed was the length and balance, normally in Ferrero I usually find it’s the weight and richness in the first sensation but this wines’ incredible balance just jumps out at you. The flavors are saturated, dense, layered and all held in perfect balance, the black cherry is accented with hints of earth and spice and the finish goes on and on. The best wine Ferrero has produced.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 12/23/2014 | Send Email
  It is a peculiarity that there's still plenty of this old Mortlach available, while the pricier 25 year Blair Athol that came in about the same time is completely sold out. Exactly the opposite has occurred in my liquor cabinet, after I purchased both: The Mortlach is going much faster than the near-full Blair Athol. The latter may be more concentrated, with rancio and spicy wood notes, but the Mortlach is silkier, with butterscotch warmth and a piney top note. I even prefer it to the current Glenfarclas 105.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Cicada by Chante Cigale IGP Méditerranée
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 12/23/2014 | Send Email
  A wonderful introduction into the world of Southern French country wine, this blend of Grenache and Carignan is chock full of bright red fruit, spice, earth, and super soft tannin. Awesome with a spicy pizza!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel "Les Roses" Brut Rosé Champagne
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 12/23/2014 | Send Email
  A wonderful example of a brut rose, this bottling is slightly fuller than some others, with a subtle hint of spice on the back palate. Lovely!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
  A gorgeous under-the-table Bordeaux from a great vintage that doesn't get a lot of attention, the 2006 Fourcas Dupre from the Listrac area of Medoc is medium to full-bodied, and chock full of dark fruit, cocoa, and herbaciousness.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Aberlour 12 Year Old Non Chillfiltered Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
  It's been many months since I had the normal Aberlour 12, so I can't remember if it's something that I want to forget exists--if that makes sense! But what I can sense is this: the Aberlour non-chill-filtered 12 is redolent of chocolate chip cookie dough, a chocolate cordial with gooey orange liqueur filling, and a medium measure of rancio-fancy sherry wood. A little spicy on the finish, but not too much, it's well blended, nicely oily--if you like that--and is a nice stand-in for, or contrast to, the lovely but only slightly higher-priced 16-year. All in all, this has the Aberlour power.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
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  I love the complex earthiness, which has a sort of cherry tobacco, plum mixture that graces the elegant and lithe body. This wine favors grace over power, and needs a curious mind to delve into the layers of spice, earth and fruit. It is a wine without a need to speak loudly and leaves itself to be discovered rather than shouting out its own name. Those who like Baricci, love this complexity and find reward in the effort to understand it. This is a Great Baricci--you should definitely buy a case to put away. I will.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2010 Castello di Bossi "Berardo" Chianti Classico Riserva
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
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  If you like the 2009 version of this Chianti Classico Riserva you’re going to LOVE this one! The 2010 vintage is producing many outstanding wines and Castello di Bossi is no exception. The nose just flows from the glass and envelopes you in a cloud of plumy fruit with hints of blackberry and barrel spice that flows onto the palate, where there is an extra layer of supple richness; a depth where the flavors become more saturated and expansive. The finish is long, penetrating and finishes with a vibrant crescendo of flavor. Drink now with an hour or so of decanting or you can age another 10+ years, this is a well-built wine. I’d have it with grilled New York steaks.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2013 Au Contraire Russian River Valley Chardonnay
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
  New Kids on the block Au Contraire have come out of the blocks swinging. A solid Russian River Valley Chardonnay with all that you want for a Chardonnay from that region. Citrus focus flavors wrapped with a nice combination of creme brulee, cedar and vanilla. A nicely balanced wine with a great price point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2013 Au Contraire Russian River Valley Chardonnay
 By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 12/22/2014 | Send Email
  Au Contraire is a brand new project that has turned out a fabulous debut Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. I love the balance and freshness of this wine. In the mouth the wine is creamy with hints of tropical fruit, lime and toast. It is balanced and the finish is long and lingering. Excellent buy!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 12/21/2014 | Send Email
  Looking for an incredibly rich and complex Napa Cab? Look no further than the 2012 bottling from this famed producer, more well known for their QUINTESSA brand. A dense and full bodied wine, get ready for black currant, cassis, tobacco, and perfectly balanced oak treatment. A long finish on a wine that will age beautifully over the years.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Mike Barber | Review Date: 12/20/2014 | Send Email
  Another outstanding release from this fantastic Highland distillery! Even at 100 proof--I felt that this malt didn't need any water addition. The flavors are so mellow and integrated from age, the whisky is smooth as silk--more exquisite and elegant than most Scotch on the shelf. Light fig, caramel, coffee, and oak flavors dance behind a rich and malty core of deliciousness. Any fan of Highland whisky will love this very special release!
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 12/20/2014 | Send Email
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  I first tasted Poggiarellino’s 1999 Brunello in 2003, they were a tiny producer making a couple of hundred cases and I was looking to write about the northern portion of Montalcino, they just happened to fit geographically. We started to import their wines with the 2000 vintage and the quality of their wine grows every year. Since I first tasted the 2010 from their 25-hectoliter barrels I’ve been waiting for this day to offer it to you, it is simply the best wine they have ever made. When you first smell this wine the gamut of aromas is classic Poggiarellino, wild Marasca cherry, plum with a certain wild sauvage that the Italians call sotto bosco (the aroma of the forest floor). On the palate the wine shows a broad richness with a decisive tannic structure, not obtrusive or harsh just powerful, fine grain and shows the how big frame of this wine really is. The flavors reflect the aromatics, more Marasca cherry, with plum and red berry then hints of saddle leather followed by that sotto bosco intrigue. The wine’s rich powerful presence glides easily to the back of your palate with a long and elegant finish, impressive for such a powerful wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2030
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 12/17/2014 | Send Email
  Sultry only begins to describe this exquisite wine from Lesmos. Showing mulled raspberry and strawberry fruit on the nose, it quickly evolves into notes of leather (like really good expensive leather) and grilled chorizo. Beautiful spice and chalky notes round out the flavors. I've tasted the '98 several times and it has always impressed. This should continue to evolve for years to come but what an impressive wine it is right now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 12/17/2014 | Send Email
  Stunning. Has some similarities to the "Faultline Casks" bottling but with more refined flavors and more developed, savory rancio characters. The texture is supple and elegant. Whilst this doesn't seem to have the chewy texture and raw "youthful" exuberance of the 9-10 year old bottling, it oozes subtle flavor intensity, focus, and purity. The sherry quality shows a little drier and more nutty rather than sweet and fruity. A beautiful bottle and crazy good for the age / money in today's climate!
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Chateau St. Jean Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 12/16/2014 | Send Email
  Can you really teach an old dog new tricks? I don’t really know but I think that some old dogs are smart enough to pick some new things up as they go along. That is exactly what Chateau St. Jean did with this brand, spanking new Sonoma Coast bottling. (By the way please don’t confuse this with the Sonoma County bottling that is everywhere and is completely different.) To say that I was taken by surprise by this new wine would be an understatement. I was blown away by the amount of power and richness it had, all the while keeping true, cool weather Sonoma Coast acidity throughout. With a nose laced with apricots, crème brulee and persimmons, while having an underlying citrus backbone, this was completely appealing and felt really natural. On the palate comes waves of vanilla, baked apples, some crushed stone and a lovely white floral highlight. For the under $20 arena of Chardonnay it certainly does not get much better than this. I’d scoop this up before the powers that be at CSJ realize just how good this wine really is!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne
 By: Ed Donovan | Review Date: 12/16/2014 | Send Email
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  Tasted this at the San Francisco store and promptly took one home for dinner. This is a great, and versatile, food wine. About 15% of the blend is vinified red, which gives it the stuffing to stand up to a variety of foods, but it is still elegant with persistent bubbles carrying the berry fruits along. Duck confit salad with cherries would be a perfect match. 100% Grand Cru Pinot Noir for $35? Yes, please!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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