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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1996 Latour, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  A classic Latour from a classic Cabernet vintage. So sweet and yet so powerful. For that special event, I recommend this one.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

1990 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Great vintage. Super wine that is mature and priced less than the current vintages.
Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Latour, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  From the Merlot dominated vintage comes this Cabernet wine. Has elegance and more forward than 1995.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Brio de Cantenac Brown, Margaux
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Great second wine that sold out immediately when last brought in.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2011 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  One of the best wines from this controversial vintage. Big scores and lots of ripeness in a vintage not known for ripeness.
Drink from 2017 to 2030

2010 Antinori "Solaia" Toscana
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  One of the best ever from this super Tuscan red. Decant two hours before serving in near future.
Drink from 2020 to 2030

2009 du Tertre, Margaux
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Good upfront fruit. Mid-palate? At UGC: Lighter in style here. Sweet and racy. Quite forward. Drink the 1996 and save this value for a few more years. Beautiful Chateau and great tasting red.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Les Allées de Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  This wine comes in and goes out-a delicious red wine which is the second wine of one of our biggest selling Bordeaux.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2010 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Now you have the choice of 2009 or 2010 here. This wine is a bit more structured than the 2009, but with decanting is perfectly paired with a steak.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

2003 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc (375ml)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Perfect size for one from a ripe and sexy vintage. Old school style meets hot vintage equals delicious.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  A perfect wine just like the 2009. Classic 100 point wine for one fourth of the first growth prices.
Drink from 2020 to 2050

2010 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Brunick | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  This is drinking beautifully now and will age gracefully over the next 5-10 years as well. No expense spared by the folks at Amici Wines to make the absolute best wines possible for the price! Dark, rich, supple, juicy, with integrated oak and polished tannins on the finish. This is always a staff favorite!

2012 Krutz Family Cellars "Magnolia Series" Napa Valley Zinfandel
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  A Napa Valley Zinfandel for $19.99 ? Very impressive indeed. This Zinfandel is not for the faint of heart. It's a big boy with a lot of big dark fruit, big spice and a multiple layers of flavor. The wine also has amazing backbone which balances out the lush fruit giving this wine great character. Krutz Family Cellars was started by Patrick Krutz back in 2003. A young man from Jackson, Mississippi who came West to find his dream. He found it in the wine business. I have been a fan of the winery and Patrick for several years. The first wine we brought in from them was a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the years, we have brought in many different varietals from many different area of California. Patrick continues to find great fruit sources and the wines continue to get better and better. In 2011, two of Patrick's brothers joined the Company and now it truly is a family affair.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2009 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
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  Fabulous vintage and my favorite property for many years
Drink from 2016 to 2036

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  I'm not the first person to jump up when someone pours a Paso Robles Zinfandel. However, this wine was a real surprise both in its ripeness and its structure.Dark blue fruit intermingled with hints of red fruit, tobacco, clove and chocolate. The wine is well integrated with great depth and length. This is a Zinfandel several steps ahead of other wines in its price point. Very limited. Get it while you can.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

Glenmorangie Túsail Limited Edition Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  The Glenmo Tusail has been a decade in the making. This is not some hodgepodge blend of differently aced barrels, this is a whisky that was conceived of 10 years ago, brought to fruition with floor malted barley, and laid to rest, creating a Malt that is truly unique. The Maris Otter barley gives an amazingly nappy texture, delivering notes of vanilla and baking spice in a palate coating luxury. The bourbon barrel aging allows all the complexity of the Scotch to shine without covering it up with pure wood notes. Candied ginger and sweet lemon zest make for a delicious dram.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Lewis Cellars "Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  Big, bright and intense Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of cedar, vanilla and clove. This is a giant of a wine that can drink early or hold for 3-5 years.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Glenfiddich 12 year old Signature Single Malt Whisky 750ml
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  A Classic Malt in every aspect of the term. Clean and bright, a touch of honeysuckle, a kiss of vanilla sweetness, this malt has a little bit of something for everyone. A soft entry gives an easy going feel, on the palate dried fruits, honey and heather give added complexity, the finish is composed and not harsh in any way. A staple.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

Santa Teresa 1796 Ron Antiguo de Solera Rum, Venezuela 750ml
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  A demandingly decadent Rum, full of dark hued flavors of maple and brown sugar. The Santa Teresa is a wonderfully balanced rum with years of solera aging to create a spirit that is past the complexity of a single age statement. A nose of maple cake and burnt sugar. Vanilla cream runs throughout adding a beautifully sweet crescendo to a long and lush finish.

2011 Raymond Fabre Crozes-Hermitage
 By: John Majeski | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  It's Wednesday night, right, so maybe you're in the mood for a big juicy bacon, mushroom and swiss burger to go along with that latest big juicy action flick, Spiderman vs. Speedoman or Ironman Finally Rusts 7, but what wine do you pour? Something with rich, mouthwatering flavor and just enough sinew to compete with the endless earth-shattering explosions onscreen. Since I track the Northern Rhone like a drone and just opened this Crozes-Hermitage, well....it's a medium-built, savory Syrah with impressive aromas and notes of bright cherry-red fruit, garrigue and licorice, with a welcome tinge of pepper and minerality on the solid finish. So bring on the monster cheeseburger and silly spandex superheroes, this supertasty red wine can handle 'em, and with no special effects needed.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1976 Couly Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
 By: Eric Story | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  I can’t believe how well this wine is holding up! Unlike me, this 1976er is aging gracefully and with class. Such sweet fruit on the nose with touches of tobacco, strawberry and earth.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Château Musar Rouge Bekaa Valley
 By: Eric Story | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  The wines from Musar continue to fascinate me again and again. I find this wine absolutely intriguing. It truly has the ability to make you think and ponder about how much we don’t know. Young now with lots of life ahead of it.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2013 Bernier Chardonnay Val de Loire
 By: Eric Story | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  If you’re looking for the perfect party white, look no further. Very inexpensive and easy to drink. Light, crispy, refreshing with just a kiss of Chardonnay richness...
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Josef Leitz "Dragonstone" Riesling
 By: Eric Story | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  My favorite vintage of “Draggy” yet! This shows all of the textural power and drive that came along with the 2013 vintage while retaining freshness and vibrancy - a really nice example of the vintage. But, most importantly this is a quintessential porch slammer.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Vincent & Sophie Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru "les Baudines"
 By: Keith Wollenberg | Review Date: 3/24/2015 | Send Email
  This 1er Cru vineyard is located on the border with Santenay, high on the hill. It can also be labeled as Bois de Chassagne. As it is a high and rocky site, it was not replanted for many years after the phylloxera blight struck. But it is an interesting site. Although it is high on the hill, it has a substantial amount of clay in the soil. But it is white clay rather than the darker soil found lower on the slope. The result is a wine with lots of high-energy, high tension drive and lovely fruit notes. Delicious!

2014 Château les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clémentine" Côtes de Provence Rosé
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  From the Provence just a few miles away from St. Tropez comes a refreshing, light and elegant rose. Made from 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault, this rosé fills the glass with the lovely fragrance of strawberries and raspberries, and follows up with a stimulating dose of zesty acidity. This is a quality wine that would fit in nicely with any sunny outdoor gathering. Get a bottle while they last!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Newton "Unfiltered" Napa Valley Chardonnay
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  This legendary Napa Chardonnay keeps it going with tropical and stone fruit wrapped with creamy oak and rich butter. Best to drink in the near future.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 94 BC 0

2012 La Monacesca "Ecclesia" Chardonnay
 By: Daniel Maas | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  WOW! So, for those just joining the party here, it's fairly well known that I have long considered a balanced oak treatment an integral part of my favorite wines. Well, the-times-they-are-a-changing! Aged for over one year in all stainless steel, this is a beautifully complex Chardonnay that has everything one might want. A soft and round structure, vibrant apple and pear creaminess, and a long finish. Crisp acidity and lingering minerality make this, surprisingly, one of the best Old World Chardonnays this young wine professional has tried lately.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

WINE CLUB

Club Price: $16.99
BC 0

2013 Jean-Paul Brun "Terres Dorees" Chardonnay Beaujolais Blanc
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  If you appreciate great-value Chardonnays like those from the Maconnais and are up for something new, here is its rarer cousin, Beaujolais blanc. Marked with the scent of lemon chiffon, strokes of lime zest and a good dose of richness this is a fresh, clean and easy sipper to be put into your wine repertoire.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart DC 95 BC 0

2012 Joseph Faiveley Bouzeron Aligoté
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  This a a great summertime fun wine and a delicious example of aligote from Bouzeron -- lively, light bodied and with a smooth mouthfeel. Here you get a pale hued refresher with a bouquet of white flowers, the zip of fresh citrus notes reminiscent of pomelo and lime, and wet stone, flinty finish. Pick up a bottle to sip or serve with your favorite shellfish dish, you won't be disappointed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Rare Wine Company Historic Series New York Malmsey Madeira
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  Here's an absolutely delicious treat and a lovely example of a classic sweet Madeira made from the Malvasia grape. Rich in color and luscious in body with notes of toasted hazelnuts, toffee and dates. This would make an excellent pairing with any nutty dessert.

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
 By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  Interested in a food-friendly wine that plays the perfect companion to grilled meats? You many want to try Simone on for size, and experience bright notes of spiced ripe red berry and wild cherry on the nose. On the palate, the wine's juicy flavors of boysenberries and dried cranberry comes first and then nicely balances out with rounded tannins, medium acid, and finishes up with a seasoning of pink peppercorns.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
 By: Mahon McGrath | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  The Petite Sirah in this blend really makes a difference, even though it isn't the dominant partner, taking the Zinfandel well away from what you normally consider Paso Robles Zinfandel to be about. Black, tarry fruit, cocoa powder, and toasted coconut come out on the nose, leading into dusty, brooding, plummy fruit on the palate. Fine grained tannins make this easy to drink right now, and acidity keeps it lively.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2012 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  I can't tell you how many times over the last 6 months I have been asked when this is going to be available. Well, it's finally here. The black fruit takes command of this wine with just hints of blue fruit. Vanilla and oak are very apparent but will integrate with a little time or a couple hours in a decanter. Hobbs fans rejoice.

2012 Fattoria Selvapiana Chianti Rufina
 By: John Downing | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  In my opinion, Selvapiana is not only one of the top wineries in Chianti Rufina but also a benchmark within Tuscany. This storied estate captures the unique terroir of the zone and produces wines with ample fruit, substantial acidity and excellent aging potential. Those looking for an exceptional value-priced and classically styled Chianti will definitely not want to miss this outstanding 2012.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Shafer "One Point Five" Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  This is a big, fruit forward wine with flavors of cedar, vanilla, tobacco and deep chocolate surrounding it all. This is a Napa Valley wine all the way. 2-5 years of aging possible.

2012 Philippe Tessier "Les Sables" Cour Cheverny
 By: Mahon McGrath | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
  The fruit for this bottling comes from 60 year old vines, versus a vine age of 30 years for the standard Cour-Cheverny. Not too different than its younger sibling, the 2012 “Les Sables” simply offers more of everything: there’s resin, lemon juice, hazelnut, beeswax, and dried citrus peel and ginger, on this medium bodied white wine, along with bracing acidity. Anyone lamenting the scarcity of stellar white Burgundy at bargain prices could do worse than to give this wine a whirl!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Another fabulous buy from this great property-reminds me of the 1970.
Drink from 2015 to 2030

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  What a delicious, fruit forward wine from a very famous property in Yountville. Some 2013s are quite tannic, but this is more elegant than most. Maybe it gets its regal stature from its very famous owner.
Drink from 2016 to 2030
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 d'Yquem "Y Blanc" Bordeaux Blanc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Fabulous vintage for white Bordeaux, great name, and reasonable price. You can’t miss here. I bought big bottles for the home.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart WS 96 BC 0

2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  A delicious wine that is perfect right now. Great cassis aromas follow to palate, which is soft, elegant and lingering.e. A steal for less than $20. This, and a rack of lamb would be heavenly.
Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Lalande Borie, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Tastes great right now. From our good friend Bruno Borie, this wine shone at the Sopexa Bordeaux event in 2014.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Malartic-Lagravière Pessac-Léognan
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  More earth and plenty of extraction. Good mid-palate texture. Very nice. Good length. At UGC: Classic, with tons of mineral notes. Very rich and fresh. One of the best value 2009s from the Pessac area. Earthy style but toasty and sweet. Charming wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2002 Latour, Pauillac (1.5L)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  The value vintage for Latour. One of the best from this controversial vintage.
Drink from 2020 to 2030
Price: $1,099.99 Add To Cart RP 96 WS 96 ST 94

2000 Chasse-Spleen, Moulis (1.5L)
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Mature wine that with decanting can be enjoyed now. I bought a case for parties.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2009 Caronne Ste-Gemme, Haut-Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  We love this property and 2009 was their best ever. Can be enjoyed now with a steak.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart WS 90 BC 0

1997 Potensac, Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Our biggest selling Bordeaux the past two years. Still young and lively-Buy cases.
Drink from 2015 to 2020
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Under $100 for this beauty? Packed with fruit and a firm structure underneath, this will reward the patient collector.
Drink from 2018 to 2035

2009 Potensac, Médoc
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  Drink the 1997 now and cellar this one a few years. From the Delon crew, this wine is polished and fruity.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

2009 Gloria, St-Julien
 By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 3/23/2015 | Send Email
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  ½* More gritty and smoky, with integrated tannins. Quite nice. Along with the great 2010, this wine harkens back to the glory days of Gloria in the 60s. Sweeter than 2010 but will age superbly.
Drink from 2016 to 2025

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