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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2013 Teutonic "Maresh Vineyard" Dundee Hills Pinot Gris
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  This is a super aromatic Pinot Gris made in the Alsatian style, with just a touch of RS. Aromas of citrus and cream carry over to the palate, which finishes flinty and long.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Gaston Rivière Francois 1er Vieux Pineau Des Charantes 750ml
 By: Adam Winkel | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  All I can say is: wow! Notes of mushroom, marshmallow, orange and lemon. This is refreshing and delightful, and just a touch funky.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bigallet Viriana China China Amer 750ml
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  This is a cane-based French bitter macerated with bitter oranges and distilled three times. The floral orange aromas are complemented by flavors of clove and anise, with added bitterness from China bark. Quite viscous and mouthwatering. Use in place of Aperol in a spritz!
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Ramazzotti Amaro 750ml
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  I wake up at dawn most days. Run around with a two-year-old and one-year-old getting them fed and off to daycare. Then I come home, work all day, and hustle to make dinner before my husband brings the kids home again. By the time they're off to bed at 7, I have NO interest in muddling and mixing a fancy cocktail. I want something fast, but not dull. A couple of cubes and a splash of soda take this Amaro from simple digestivo to ahhh. Like cola with lemon, ginger and black licorice.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 94 BC 0

Nonino Quintessentia Amaro 750ml
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  There's a reason this grape distillate-based Amaro from Friuli is one of our biggest sellers, it's the easiest-drinking Amaro I've every tried! Cocoa-dusted orange, cream, butterscotch, roasted nuts, lemon pitch and rosewater notes. Don't waste this in a cocktail, it sips smoothly on its own.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart WE 96 BC 0

Amaro Montenegro Di Bologna 750ml
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  This is one of the most popular Amari in Italy. Packed with notes of nutmeg and bitter orange, it's very pretty and soft on the palate. It has a creamy, not-too-bitter creamsicle character. Medium-sweet.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 97 BC 0

Lucano Amaro 750ml
 By: Leah Greenstein | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  The last time I ordered an Averna at the end of a meal, I sat considering its medicinal, bitter qualities, and lamenting its syrupy sweetness. The Lucano has the best of Averna's herbaceousness, with earthy, bitter citrus flavors and a light, balanced texture.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Riesling "D" Marlborough
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
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  From the oldest Riesling vines on the property and some of the oldest in New Zealand. Intense linear drive, persistence and minerality. Crisp, focused acidity but nothing astringent or harsh. Just so refreshing, mouthwatering and food friendly. This is a summer classic.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Riesling "M" Marlborough
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
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  Any fan of Kabinett to Spatlese Riesling will appreciate this bottle. A fascinating combination of juicy exotic richness, racy acidity and wet stoney minerality (everything I want in Riesling!) Tastes drier than the 30g/l RS suggests thanks to the mouthwatering acidity.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2024
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Beaux Frères Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  This blew me away! Never light in style, the 2012 is about as full and opulent as you can get from Oregon without being clumsy and disjointed. Despite its size and power, this wine has wonderful perfume and freshness, as well as length. I would love to hold a few bottles of this for five years or so to see how it rounds out.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Pirramimma Petit Verdot McLaren Vale South Australia
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/14/2014 | Send Email
  Potentially my favorite of the 04 Pirriamimma bottles. This wine shows that not only is Petit Verdot a very useful blending component but that it can also stand alone and make very compelling wine. This shows tons of fresh tobacco, crushed mint, cigar box and small berry forest fruits. The tannin structure is beautifully developed at ten years of age but retains ample grip to tease out the wine long on the palate. Excellent persistence and brightness for a wine of this age especially when you consider our fantastic pricing on this bottle! Any Bordeaux lover will appreciate this wine and the price is very hard to beat!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JH 93 BC 0

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.3 Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 7/13/2014 | Send Email
  The #3 Sauvignon Blanc is their version of a more tropical style Sauv Blanc. It’s quite aromatic with white flower, kiwi and grapefruit and tropical flavors on the palate like passion fruit, honeydew and lemon zest. A very bright, flavor intensive Sauv Blanc with lovely acidity, perfect for those hot summer days.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 7/12/2014 | Send Email
  The previous 2012 vintage of this wine was heavy on the green bell pepper, tomato leaf type characteristics. On the contrary, the warmer 2013 vintage has brought a rounder, more fruit forward style SB and I think it is delicious! Even though it has more fruit than it has in the past, this wine is far from being overly ripe. Apple, lime blossom, and white floral notes are paired with a crisp acidity and chalky minerality. Yum!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/12/2014 | Send Email
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  Love classic Brunello? Don't have as much patience as you might need!? Grab some of this little baby from one of our top Direct Import Brunello producers Baricci. All the classic flavors of Montalcino but ready to go now and a price tag barely over $20! Baricci is a very classic producer. The wines are about purity, elegance and balance. They are very food friendly and versatile. The 2012 vintage is remarkable supple and forward allowing easy drinking with dry, harsh tannins. This wine is always a huge hit with our staff so you better snag some now before we drink it all!
Top Value!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/12/2014 | Send Email
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  Another stellar effort from Baricci (my favorite Direct Import Brunello producer that we work with). This amazing vineyard site on Montosoli produces wines with such elegance, purity and drive. The wines are always precise and balanced and this 2009 is no different. What is really nice about this wine is that it is so accessible now! The flavors are bright and youthful but there is no hard tannin. A very classic flavor profile, beautifully unadorned by oak, dusty red and darker fruit tinges, sweet leather, spice and warm earth. Supple and drinkable now but will surely give lots of pleasure over the next decade (at least).
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2025
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

Balcones Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  I would seriously never have considered a Texas single malt whisky unless it was sitting in front of me, nearly daring me, saying, hey, I dare ya. What a surprise. A surprisingly developed aroma of roasted walnut, with a deep, darkly sherried palate that reminds me a little of, say, the Cragganmore 23, but with cinnamon spice, too--not in a bourbony way. This rich, dark single malt may be not quite as complex of some of our older, nutty Scotch single malts, but it is a really great effort from the single star, I mean the Lone Star state.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Lost Spirits Distillery Leviathan III Single Malt Whiskey 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  Like the "Seascape," there's a honey-maple smoked sweetness to the aroma, but in the Leviathon, it trends toward leathery, like a sweet-smelling new leather handbag or something; nutty and rich, the fire on the back palate is delayed, but still there, on this whisky. Definitely exceeds my expectations for a California single malt whisky.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Lost Spirits Distillery Seascape II Single Malt Whiskey 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  "Warning" duly noted, but this whisky was as friendly as a Sunday brunch...sweet, smoky maple syrup on the nose, glazed ham notes, and rich palate...until the hot "kick" up the retronasal on the finish. Definitely different, has a structure, and with the smoky maple aromas, it's quite intriguing.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1989 Cragganmore 23 Year Old Faultline Single Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  Is it any wonder that this is richer than the silky, golden Cragganmore 12? This one's a deep gold-bronze, has a deeply nutty aroma of caramelized walnuts, and an earthy touch of wet plaster. Good, rich sipping, and very interesting.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Kilchoman K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel #74 Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: James Knight | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  Wow, this is a spicy, forward, yet ethereal whisky with a distinctive personality, indeed. Mr. Driscoll got it right about the cinnamon Red Hots aroma that hits your nose on the wind of a burning field of flowering heather. My only previous taste of Kilchoman was a wee airplane bottle of young, lightly heathery whisky; this one's richer, and more sure of itself--the only comparison I can make is with Port Charlotte Scottish Barley Heavily Peated.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Keith Wollenberg | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  This organically and biodynamically-grown Pinot Noir shows a bit more flesh than past vintages, as it comes from two vineyards. One has gravelly soil, the other is a steep slope with more clay. The result is a Pinot of both finesse and power, at a very reasonable price for the quality. Bravo!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.3 Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
 By: Keith Wollenberg | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  OK, folks, this is a crazy good deal. A splash of barrel-fermented Semillon adds complexity and a nice fig note to the mid-palate. But the overwhelming impression is of pure, focused Sauvignon Blanc with the minerality you expect from mountain fruit. It is a crazy world, where this wine can travel half-way around the world and make it to our shelves, still at such a value price!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 7/11/2014 | Send Email
  I have to admit I was expecting something a little fruitier and rounder after tasting the 2012 vintage, but the 2013 is excellent. It’s really well balanced, adding a little earth, spice and tannins. There’s an excellent leafy, brambly quality to this wine that I love, integrated into the cranberry, black cherry and raspberry fruits. A great Pinot and a great vintage from TWR.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
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  A long time K&L favorite La Fortuna’s Brunello is a product of two growing zones in Montalcino. The winery’s home vineyard and winery is a short distance east of the town of Montalcino right next to one of Montalcino’s big names Fuligni and just scant meters across the valley from another super star, Siro Pacenti. La Fortuna’s home vineyard gives their Brunello a focused core and structure with high-toned fruit aromatics; they also own a vineyard just south of Castelnuovo dell’Abate (just like Siro Pacenti) the strong southern facing gives the wine from this vineyard a riper, deeper, more saturated flavor. In this 2009 La Fortuna Brunello the two vineyards are blended together creating a wine with a centered core of structure with a cherry, plumy richness woven into the heart of the wine. Supple yet lively on the palate, this wine is perfect for richer dishes; perhaps a creamy, porcini risotto where the fruit and earthy flavors join together. A beef stew...or Cinghiale if you really want to be authentic would be ideal as well.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  Big wine, little price!!! Do not let the price make you think that this is a lesser wine. This is a great '09 Brunello that you can open tonight and will drink well over the next couple of years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
 By: Sal Rodriguez | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  The Bodegas Castano Solanera V.V. completely over-delivers! This 2012 delivers a crisp nose of crunchy berries, dried flowers and fresh pepper. On the palate, purple and tart, dark red fruits are noticeable with a nice hint of toasted oak. Aging in American and French oak really adds a depth to this bright, fresh wine, leaving a lovely satin mouthfeel. The finish continues with herbal, eucalyptus, and blueberry flavors. Get a few bottles now. If you wait, you might miss out!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  This wine is a little too easy to drink! The 2012 Bodegas Castano Solenera Vinas Viejas Yecla is bursting with ripe blue and black fruits, balanced out with spice, herbs, anise and flowers. The tannins are well-integrated and have a light dusty quality that brings a hint of cocoa powder to the wine. If you bring this wine to your next BBQ party, you will be very popular!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Riesling "D" Marlborough
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  As an unabashed fan of Riesling, and a very occasional drinker of Sauvignon Blanc (no disrespect to all you SB fans out there, it's just typically not my thing) I would like to encourage you to try something new. Step outside your comfort zone, and live dangerously! Well, not too dangerously, since you probably already know and love TWR's Sauvignon Blanc, possibly their Pinot Noir as well. Their Riesling "D" has beautifully focused citric flavors, with a soft texture and lots of length. Try this dry Riesling; you may find that you have a new favorite.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Seventh Cuvée" Red Blend
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  Morgan Twain-Peterson may be the most talented young winemaker in United States. How could he not be, growing up in vineyards beside his well-known father, winemaker Joel Peterson (Ravenswood). Morgan has done exceptionally well in the eyes of the press, and us here at K&L, with his label Bedrock. His wines are thoughtfully crafted small production bottlings from old vines located in “heritage” vineyards throughout California. Hard to come by, these Bedrock wines already have a loyal and rabid following. But where I think Morgan really shines is in his entry level bottling: the Sherman & Hooker’s Shebang! This particular cuveé is 46% Zinfandel, 40% Grenache, 5% Alicante, 5% Petite Sirah, 4% Sangiovese and 100% delicious! A bit darker-seated than last cuveé, this has a powerful nose of black pepper, ripe black cherries and a bit of wet asphalt with a very easygoing and friendly nature. Fruity but not jammy, structured but instantly drinkable this is a steal of a wine. Briary wild berry, a return of the black pepper found on the nose, raspberry and some old leather and tobacco notes combine on the palate to really over-deliver on the $12 price tag. Year after year I keep saying it, and I’ll say it again here, there still isn’t a better value for an inexpensive red wine in the store when the Shebang is in the house.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Seventh Cuvée" Red Blend
 By: Sal Rodriguez | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  Big. Bold. Bright. Delicious. This version of the Shebang offers aromatic black cherry, cedar, and dark chocolate on the nose. There’s spicy rich fruit, with cassis and herb on the palate. This has a nice satin, lingering, herbal finish and is an incredible value! You can’t afford not to get a case!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Seventh Cuvée" Red Blend
 By: Melissa Smith | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  This keeps getting better! Big, juicy mix of blackberries and cranberries, spice and leather...this is going to make a lot of Personal Sommelier customers very happy!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Seventh Cuvée" Red Blend
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  Morgan and team have hit it out of the park yet again! Totally delish brambly, juicy fruit with great acidity and balance. Need a house red? Look no further!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  Most any Pinot Noir fan will find something to like in this extremely well crafted bottling: juicy yet crisp fruits that fall somewhere in the middle of the red to dark spectrum, lovely floral inner mouth aromas, and balanced tannins that frame the wine and should give it enough structure to handle lamb chops equally well as a healthy slab of grilled Alaskan salmon (it is July, after all!)
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  I'm getting the sense that, the more I taste of 2012 vintage wines from the Mediterranean portion of Spain, the more there is to like: all the usual intensity in flavors, but with the added bonus of extra freshness and structure. Solanera, for example, is usually a well made wine, with generous dark fruit and a flavor profile that suggests a good value red. In 2012 it is that plus more transparent minerality, a chalky and saline character mark this wine as it would a Bandol, or a Faugeres. While you won't confuse this wine for a Pradeaux, Tempier, or Barral you will pay less than one-third the price, with the added bonus of being able to enjoy it young! Recommended.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2009 Nairac, Sauternes
 By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
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  I have a confession, I am ashamed that I don’t drink as much Sauternes as I should. As a whole there may not be another wine that delivers as consistently for the price as Sauternes. The 2009 Nairac is a perfect example, at $39.99 this wine is a screaming deal. Liquid gold in the glass this wine has seductive aromas of dried mango and pineapple along with roasted almonds and the slightest hint of coconut. The palate is unctuously smooth with flavors of candied orange, ginger, apricot and notes of caramel. Powerful but light on its feet this is a delicious Sauternes.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2034

2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
 By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
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  Boom! Another knock-out value from Spain, the 2012 Castano Vinas Viejas Solanera Red is sensational. A blend of 70% Monastrell(Mourvedre), 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Garnacha the 2012 Castano Solanera has an exceptional nose of dried plum, spices, fresh berries and just a hint of iodine while the palate is densely packed with black pepper, cassis, licorice and blackberry fruit. Great length coupled with good energy and a long finish give this wine a distinctively aristocratic feel while keeping a modest price of only $13.99. A case-worthy buy if there ever was one, the Castano Solanera is the perfect wine for entertaining a crowd or for drinking well on a tight budget!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
  This is drinking GREAT ! right now and will over the next couple of years (but only if you can keep your hands off it and keep some in the cellar). Here is a wine that packs a wallop and lots of bang for your buck all in one! Give this rosso about an hour to open up and stand back, on the palate you will find strawberries and black cherries, a little bitter coco and some toasty oak & vanilla, fine tannins and a hint of Montalcino dust on the long finish.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 7/10/2014 | Send Email
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  I’ve been tasting Ferrero’s wines for a decade and I really think this is one of the best balanced Brunello that winemaker/owner Pablo Härri has made and from the first time I tasted it this wine put a smile on my face! Aromatically focused, the ripe plum is very inviting and it gives the impression of freshness. The flavors are clean, tight plum with hints of smoked meats in the background but the really impressive portion of the wine is its palate presence, supple, soft, round but with enough tannic tension to buoy the wine and keep extending it to a long and vibrant aftertaste. Really easy (and so pleasurable) to drink now, I’d have it with a more complex meaty pasta dish or just about anything meaty off the grill!
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Brangero "Monvigliero" Barolo
 By: Melissa Smith | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  This wine is so stunning. I've been enjoying it for two days, and it continues to evolve and morph into pure pleasure. Soft and seductive on the palate, intriguing nose, begging for a grilled pork chop with a cherry compote or rack of lamb charred over rosemary twigs and eaten off the bone.
Price: $66.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2012 Ridge "Three Valleys" Sonoma County Zinfandel Blend
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  This is surprisingly a softer style of Ridge than I've seen in vintages past, which means it's super food-friendly and accessible for every occasion!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Daou Vineyards "Seventeen Forty" Paso Robles Bordeaux Blend
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  I'm loving this Cabernet Franc based blend from Paso! The reason is that 2011 being a cooler vintage, the fruit is much prettier and showier without the over-ripe, reductive raisiny quality that so many big Paso reds struggle with vintage to vintage. Lots of gorgeous violet, blue fruit, spice, and soft velvety tannins that keep your palate balanced and loving every sip! Drinking great now no need to wait!

2013 Bodkin "The Victor's Spoils - Sandy Bend Vineyard" Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  Fresh, lively, bright, subtle citrus-stone fruit, and low alcohol! What more could one ask for a perfect summer Sauv Blanc! I love that it isn't grassy or oaky, its very much in the Loire style, and the price is perfect!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2006 Château des Tours Vacqueyras
 By: Olivia Ragni | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  With a lovely light red, almost brick color, you can see this wine has seriously developed. The nose reflects its light appearance with bright fruits like fresh cherry, candied orange peel and cranberry. The palate provides flavors of candied fruits with nice acidity for balance, fresh tobacco, cedar and a dry, almost amaro, finish. Open this bottle with pâté or gamey meats.

2013 Bodkin "The Victor's Spoils - Sandy Bend Vineyard" Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Bryan Brick | Review Date: 7/9/2014 | Send Email
  Plain and simple I was shocked when I tasted the 2013 Bodkin "The Victor's Spoils -Sandy Bend Vineyard" Lake County Sauvignon Blanc. Why? Because in all my years in this business I can’t remember ever tasting a Domestic Sauvignon Blanc that was this close to the wines of the Loire. From the intense minerality and slight oiliness on the nose to the laser-like acidity and leafy, slate-y, grapefruit, quince and lemon rind on the palate this is a dead ringer for Sancerre or Pouilly Fume for a fraction of the cost. Hell, even some of our most Francophillic employees were raving about this wine after trying it. Seriously if you love Loire Sauvignon Blanc this is a must try, I think you’ll be as floored as I was.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WE 91 BC 0

2011 Alberto Nanclares "Dandelion" Albariño Rias Baixas
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
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  One of the best Albarinos I have tasted, period! This is not a wine for those afraid of a little acidity. It has laser-like focus and a firm acid line...but that is what I love about it. It's pure, racy, mineral-infused and zesty. The wine is fleshed out just a touch by a lovely, slightly raw leesy element that adds a nice savory grain or yeasty edge to the citrus blossom and purity of fruit. Serious wine to contemplate. A real benchmark wine for me.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
  Amazing value thanks to Joe's direct buy! A fresh wine with lots of floral notes, juicy raspberry fruit, lots of fresh spices, a hint of green tobacco and some darker edges of blackcurrant. There is a a real purity to the wine with some soil nuances coming through to add complexity to the eminently drinkable juicy fruit.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Brangero "Monvigliero" Barolo
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
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  My best descriptor for this wine is "authentic." Unfortunately this does very little to characterize the wine. It does however relate to how the French often compliment wine in a way that doesn't translate very well into English. They often say a wine is "typique" or "typical." While this could be taken as meaning "standard" or even "average" a more suitable translation is that the wine is a true reflection of its place and history. For me this wine from Brangero speaks purely of the soil from which it grew, unadorned by winemaking tricks and manipulation. This "sense of place" is often pretty much impossible to put into words so you are just going to have to buy a bottle and see how it speaks to you personally.
Drink from 2016 to 2036
Price: $66.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2010 Oddero Barolo
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
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  Lovely wine showing the purity and focus of the vintage. The 2010s are not showing as the biggest most masculine wines that often garner high scores. Instead they seem to be about purity, drive and subtle but substantial power. This wine has all the hallmarks of great Barolo, some floral highlights, dark fruit, scorched earth, worn leather and actually some quite exotic clove and cumin spice with sandalwood accents. The tannins are present but are long, fine silky chains that are not at all aggressive after being beautifully refined for years in large wood vessels. Classic Barolo in a very polished package.
Drink from 2014 to 2030
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart JS 95 BC 0

2012 Envinate "Lousas" Vino de Aldea Ribeira Sacra
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
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  A great nose of hard ground spices, clove, anise, nutmeg and sandalwood leads you into polished dark berries, purple fruit, plum and even blackberry. There is cedar, and cigar box also. A complex wine that keeps revealing new elements with every sniff. On the palate it is vibrant and dynamic. Mid-weight with plenty of structure but nothing too astringent. The wine broadens and picks up density towards the back end as more layers emerge. A rich and layered wine focused into a remarkably elegant package. Another standout Ribeira Sacra from a recent tasting.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Seghesio Barolo
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 7/8/2014 | Send Email
  Wow what a great intro to Barolo at a steal of a price! Fresh accessible bramble fruits, spice, supple leather and fine tannins. Very much a mid-weight wine, pretty, floral and elegant but with plenty enough structure and grip to go with rich foods. This wine shows the brightness and quality of the 2010 Barolo vintage without breaking the bank or requiring you to wait half a lifetime to drink it!
Drink from 2014 to 2024
Price: $26.95 Add To Cart BC 0

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