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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2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
  A great buy. A nice medium-bodied wine with expressive fruit flavors that are balanced with a nice dry finish. It will be good alone, or with pizza, pasta and lighter meat dishes. A lot of wine for this price.
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Rosenblum Contra Costa County Zinfandel
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
  I have sold Rosenblum over the course of 25 years now. Some vintages are better than others, and I find this to be one of their best values, and a classic Zinfandel.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
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  I am always excited to taste the most recent release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Joseph Phelps since it is one of my perennial favorites. From the very first sniff from the glass I was brought back to my initial tasting impressions from our En Primeur trip to Bordeaux when we tasted the heralded 2009 vintage. The wine displays amazing depth with layers of fruit flavors as well as aromas cola, crushed berries, five spice and mocha notes. A fresh and lively palate consisting of fresh blackberries, crème de cassis and dusty tannins nicely augments against bright acidity. The wine finishes with a supple display of fruit and silky tannins with just a kiss of dark chocolate lingering at the end.
Drink from 2015 to 2025

2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough New Zealand
 By: Jeff Garneau | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
  Our third vintage of this NZ classic and still one of our best values in a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. The slightly cooler 2014 vintage produced a more aromatic wine with tart gooseberry notes, a more pronounced mineral character, and a peppery finish.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Blanco Rioja
 By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
  For those of you who really enjoy a brisk, bright, bracing white wine, something nicely dry to enjoy while cooking or winding down after work, this is definitely one to add to the rotation. Martinez Alesanco's white Rioja is amongst the most lively and expressive I have yet to find, and for under $10!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 Domaine Moillard Vosne Romanée 1er Cru "Malconsorts"
 By: Keith Wollenberg | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
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  In Burgundy it is all about location, vine age and terroir. Here you have old vines in one of the best vineyards in all of the Cote d'Or. These same vines are now farmed by Dujac and De Montille, and the current vintage will cost you something well above $200, assuming you can get your hands on any! The Thomas/Moillard parcel included vines directly adjacent to the famed DRC La Tâche Vineyard, as well as some of the very best portions of Malconsorts. At $74.99, this is such a deal that I amazed we are able to offer it to you. Only our direct connections in Burgundy, built up over many years, make it possible! I have already stashed some in my personal cellar, as has Clyde Beffa, whose attention is usually on Bordeaux, so I advise you to do the same. This is all that remains in the family cellars in France, so do not hesitate, or you will lose out.
Top Value!
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart BH 93 BC 0

Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-aBox) (cannot ship)
 By: Illya Haase | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
  Lucky for us in Los Angeles it is a never ending summer. So, no reason not to have this one on hand for family and friends! Heck or just hanging poolside. Wonderful floral and acidity. Super long finish to stand up to any finger food you throw at. Don't forget because of the magically bag it last for weeks in the fridge! Great for camping trips too. Enjoy!!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Il Valentiano "Campo di Marzo" Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
  So often when tasting Brunello I'll find myself loving the wine, but also wondering when would I drink this to appreciate all that it has to offer. Well, this is your chance to enjoy a fine Brunello NOW. Sure, you can hang on to it, but it already shows multiple dimensions with tart dried cherry, cedar, a hint of tobacco, earth, spice and a whiff of tar. On the palate there is a supple fine tannin structure with balanced acidity supporting a long finish. I wish I had this last night with my grilled pork tenderloin. Okay Greg sue me...I had the '12 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino instead!

2009 Il Valentiano "Campo di Marzo" Brunello di Montalcino
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
  Just when you thought that we had found all of the amazing, tiny producers in Montalcino to bring you incredible Brunello, Greg St. Clair has scored another coup with the Il Valentiano wines. Valentina and Fabbiolo blended their names together to create the name- and we are proud to say that the lovely estate near Caprili is quite the find. This 2009 is showing beautifully right now, but would easily quite happily slumber in your cellar for a while, too. Open it now and decant it, and it will delight you with notes of red cherry, cassis, spice, stewed cherries and earthiness. Medium plus acidity and medium tannin, this elegant, classy Brunello will not disappoint you!

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Sarah Covey | Review Date: 10/1/2014 | Send Email
  This wine is fascinating on so many levels- it feels like it has density and sweetness from wood and residual sugar, but nothing could be further from the truth. Pure, perfect physiological ripeness because of long hangtime, combined with high altitude cool temperatures, ample sunlight, marine soil- and zero oak use- 100% stainless steel. Even better? Sub-14% alcohol! Gorgeous citrus, floral, apricot, saline and mineral with medium plus acidity and rich body- a long, lasting finish create a plush, round, layered wine worthy of your best celebrations! And yes- it comes in magnum format too!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Stéphane Ogier Syrah "d'Ogier" Collines Rhodaniennes
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 9/30/2014 | Send Email
  Ogier is one of the greats of the northern Rhone Valley. This Syrah has a lush texture, cool spiced fruit and a supple finish. Not tannic but still structured, it coats the palate but never overwhelms. This is truly one of the most complete Syrahs in the store.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ponzi "Tavola" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
 By: John Majeski | Review Date: 9/28/2014 | Send Email
  For anyone interested in reading more about West Coast Pinot Noirs, I'd strongly recommend Pacific Pinot Noir by John Winthrop Haeger, an exhaustively rich tome guaranteed to enhance your pleasure while delighting in a favorite bottle. I discovered, for instance, that Dick Ponzi of Ponzi Vineyards started out as an aeronautical engineer and once designed rides for Disneyland before re-venturing into his first love, winemaking, way back in 1969. His vibrantly talented and energetic daughter Luisa has been the winemaker since 1993, and her mastery of the nuances of their various vineyards in Willamette Valley is evident in this balanced, artfully-blended Pinot Noir. Bright fruits scintillate in the glass, revealing generous aromas and flavors of lush plums, black cherries, fresh violets and cola, with supple tannins and a touch of spice on the finish. A wonderful, generously mouthwatering everyday Pinot for sharing with fine friends and family. Drink up!
Top Value!

2012 Ponzi "Tavola" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Sal Rodriguez | Review Date: 9/26/2014 | Send Email
  One of the prettiest wines in all of Oregon! We got to taste this wine in the winery and visit their new facility and I'm excited about what Luisa and Maria are accomplishing! This particular wine has such rich round fruit, and lovely flowers on the first inhale! On the palate is a rich, ripe, succulent fruit with just a hint of herbal undertones. The finish comes off without a hitch and extends long and focused with a subtle spice to it. A lovely effort, and a killer value all wrapped up in one delicious package.

2012 Frog's Leap Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 9/25/2014 | Send Email
  Dark currant, rose petal, black olive, anise, cedar and dusty, earthy flavors are already showing in this young Cabernet. This wine is structured for the long haul, but is so clean and balanced you will love drinking it at any age.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
  This 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica, is a very good example for the vintage. Offers crisp and refreshing citric fruit flavors and aromas with the characteristic touch of green herbs, is a wonderful value, a well rounded wine, beautifully structured, soft on the palate but with a slight suggestion of almond (typical for Verdicchio), a great autumn sipping wine and is very food-friendly.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica (1.5L)
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
  This 2012 Verdicchio di Matelica, is a very good example for the vintage. Offers crisp and refreshing citric fruit flavors, and aromas with the characteristic touch of green herbs, is a wonderful value, a well-rounded wine, beautifully structured, soft on the palate but with a slight suggestion of almond (typical for Verdicchio), a great autumn sipping wine and is very food-friendly.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
  I just opened this for our staff tasting recently and this little “Tuscan blend” stopped the show, with lots of oohs and ahhs from my coworkers. This wine has lots of bang for the buck (or EURO, very tough to beat these days). Medium–bodied with dark fruit, good acidity and a really long finish.
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana (1.5L)
 By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
  I just opened this for our staff tasting recently and this little “Tuscan blend” stopped the show, with lots of oohs and ahhs from my coworkers. This wine has lots of bang for the buck (or EURO, very tough to beat these days). Medium–bodied with dark fruit, good acidity and a really long finish. A mag for $15 bucks! Grab these while you can!!!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Clot de l'Origine Macabeu "l'Original" Blanc
 By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
  I am loving the wines of Marc Barriot. They are pure, fresh and expressive of their varietal character. They also have a distinctive edge. This white sees skin contact for two weeks, making it an "orange wine." It has lovely aromatics of peach pit, persimmon, honey and flowers. The skin contact gives it a distinctive texture adding body and complexity to the wine. If you have never tried this style before this is the perfect one to start with. Serve it with fresh cheeses, herb salad and maybe a walnut and eggplant spread.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 9/23/2014 | Send Email
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  Once again delivering amazing quality for a very reasonable price. This is CLASSY Chard that is a real benchmark for the Margaret River region if not Australia as a whole. The wine has a beautiful balance of golden baked orchard fruits and some riper stone fruit aromas and flavors. Subtle toasty oak notes and some lovely nutty, brioche lees characters add complexity and texture. Very long and persistent on the finish. That classic Margaret River stoney minerality and saline quality coming through in spades. I think this is one of the most serious and well-made Chardonnays in the world at this price point. Super versatile with the holiday season quickly approaching, this has a bit of something for everyone!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/23/2014 | Send Email
  The 2012 Vasse Felix "regular" Chardonnay is simply a beautifully crafted wine. Aromas of pear, Fuji apple, lemon blossom, jasmine, lightly toasted hazelnut and a flinty mineral note leap from the glass. On the palate, there is a perfect integration of fruit and the nine months in French oak the wine sees along with a focused juicy acid line through the wine that delivers a long finish that just makes you want more. No wonder winemaker Virgina Willcock and Vasse Felix were named winemaker and winery of the year in 2012 by Wine & Spirits magazine!

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 9/23/2014 | Send Email
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  Amazing wine. Hard to fathom this combination of soft, rich, ripe texture, stunning purity, defined structure and piercing minerality all rolled into one. This wine is so unique and multidimensional. Very versatile and crowd-friendly and yet interesting enough for the "wine geek" inside all of us! Nice work Greg!
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Mount Trio Sauvignon Blanc Great Southern
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 9/23/2014 | Send Email
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  If you're looking for an alternative to the grassy Kiwi styled SVB this is your wine. Very clean, bright but more fig aromas than grass, it has nice balance and a compelling, fresh finish.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart JH 92 BC 0

2012 Vasse Felix Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 9/23/2014 | Send Email
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  For lovers of California Chardonnay, this is an excellent wine with subtle toasty oak aromatics and a pliant texture on your palate, however it has so much more than that, the wine is fresh, has vibrant apple skin and leesy flavors and superb acidic structure. A real bargain at this price, and one of Western Australia's finest producers.
Drink from 2014 to 2017

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  I first brought in the Joseph Jewell wines back in the 2009 vintage. I always thought the wine was well made and our customers have always enjoyed them. The 2012 Russian River has reached new heights for the winery. A very feminine style of Russian River Pinot Noir with lovely cherry fruit, baking spice and just a hint of vanilla and cedar. Earthy notes show nicely throughout the mouth and the generous acidity weaves well through the lovely ripe fruit. Adrian and Micah have added another notch on their belt with this one.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2010 Von Strasser "Estate" Diamond Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  A blend of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 4% Merlot, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain is a gem. A blend of five vineyards from Diamond Mountain which Rudy has complete control of. Dark black and blue fruit with touches of cedar and spice with soft tannin and a lovely mineral backbone. Decant for an hour or hold for 3-5 years.

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Illya Haase | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  This is one of my top five white wines! Late harvest, low yields and a mineral-laden soil produces such a amazing wine. I know it is great when I can sit for a half an hour with one glass. Wonderful with food or on its own. No oak involved and none needed. Did I mention superb natural acidity? Give it a good decanting and watch the magic unfold. Intense, dry and fruity! What more could you want from a bottle under $20?
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
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  Very pretty nose of red cassis, dark cherry, cream and light earth. Unfined and unfiltered, yet, not blocky or chunky. Bright cherries on the palate, with notes of spice and earth. Excellent acidity on the finish that adds grace and balance. A very substantial, and delicious, effort.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2011 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  If I had to pick a Napa mountain that I love the wine from, Howell Mountain would be at the top of my list. Dunn, Ladera, Neal Family, O'Shaugnessey and of course Robert Craig. Bright blue fruit combined with chocolate, menthol, pepper and cedar. The wine is deep and powerful with incredible length. A cellar candidate for sure.

2012 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Michael Jordan | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  How does a winery make a wine of such beauty and balance for only $ 19.99? Rudy Von Strasser can. A nice balance of Diamond Mountain structure and acidity with valley floor ripeness just kissed with a touch of wood. One of my favorite wines on our California shelf.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Jim Chanteloup | Review Date: 9/22/2014 | Send Email
  The Black Quail is a new find for us and a continuation of great Pinot Noir coming from Central Otago. The bouquet shows opulent dark plum, black cherry, boysenberry, some Asian spice, damp earth and a hint of dried orange peel. On the palate, the wine is rich and full bodied with good acidity and refined tannins that are superbly balanced and lead to a long persistent finish. This is the first time for us bringing this wine to the States, but it won't be the last! If you haven't discovered the joys of New Zealand Pinot Noir, it's time to get in the game.

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Wow! I have always loved the Cain NV releases, and this NV10 did not disappoint. 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, fabulous drink!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2004 Cain "Five" Spring Mountain District Bordeaux Blend
 By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  This library release, straight from Cain, is one of the most exciting domestic wines in the building. With an incredible bouquet of earth, dark fruit and leather and a rich mountain texture, this Cabernet blend has it all. If you are looking for a top bottle from Napa to go with your steak, look no further... I would rather drink this than any $500+ cult wine in the building!
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
 By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | 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

2013 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Always a stellar value for 100% pure, estate-grown, Napa Valley 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. It's a no-brainier if you ask me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | 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 2012s; this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!

2011 Carpe Diem Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
 By: Christie Cartwright | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  One of my top favorite Napa Cabs for under $20. It's actually pretty ridiculous if you think about the fruit that's 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 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
 By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Matelica is a north-south running valley 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 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Sal Rodriguez | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Wow! Drink like you’re royalty! Wasn’t quite sure what I expected but this… this is like velvet slippers for your mouth! Dried flowers, perfume, and fruit lift plentifully out of the glass with just the slightest hint of forest floor. The palate is full of dark fruit offset perfectly by a hint of black pepper and finishes rather elegantly with lively fruit and lovely spices. There’s a new region on my radar for exciting, pure, poised Pinot Noir!

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
 By: John Majeski | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Nothing exists in isolation. I was just listening to Tom Waits' hilarious cryptic dirge from Mule Variations, "What's He Building In There?" about a strange guy hammering "what the hell?" in his garage when I flashed on not just Jobs and Wozniak but a few of the famed California winemakers—think Burt Williams and Ed Selyem—who started out finicking, blending and canoodling with stuff in their garage. It comes as no surprise that two young "garagistes," Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker, also finessed their first Pinot from such economies of scale, by realizing that measured growth, savvy inspiration and the right fruit go a long way in the creation of a well-crafted wine. Their latest cuveé, gathering fruit from three primarily cooler sites in the Russian River Valley, is a deft expression— nothing overstated or overblown— just pure, delicate aromas of black cherry, gentle spice, a kiss of rose petals and oolong tea leaves, sleekly stylish yet savory, touched by sultry tannins and warm earth. Now put down that hammer, turn up the music, sit back and enjoy a glass of great Pinot!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
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  This wine gives a supple, lush entry onto the palate and then bursts into racing acidity, forming a vibrant and balanced wine. The flavors are smoky, brooding and savory while leaving an intense, mouth-coating aftertaste. A wine that really shows flash, sizzle and will make you start looking for your fork! Try this with prosciutto-wrapped pork tenderloin, or a classic guanciale-laden spaghetti carbonara and this wine's depth and flavor spectrum will be completed!
Drink from 2014 to 2018

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Jason Marwedel | Review Date: 9/21/2014 | Send Email
  Vineyard pedigree and tremendous winemaking are on full display in this delicious Pinot Noir! There is plenty of sappy sweet fruit to balance the bright acidity and fine tannin. Notes of exotic spice, sandalwood and earthy savor make this yet another example of fine Pinot Noir hailing from the Central Otago region.

2011 Black Quail "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
 By: Mellyn Craig | Review Date: 9/20/2014 | Send Email
  It is wines like these that are putting New Zealand on the map! This Pinot Noir from Black Quail is so elegant, so complex, and so luxurious that the bottle will be gone before you know it. The aromas of dark fruit and spice carry on to the palate, and then wild herbs, underbrush, and spicy mineral notes carry on long after the wine has left your tongue. The mouth feel is silky smooth and balanced out with lively acidity. This wine will pair with many foods, but I am planning on serving this during the holidays when I make my mushroom, apple and herb dressing. Grab this before it’s gone!

Chateau de Laballe K&L Exclusive VS Armagnac 750ml
 By: Jeffrey Jones | Review Date: 9/20/2014 | Send Email
  A classic beauty. The Laballe VS is expressive with aromas that are floral and inviting. It has a light to medium body and a nice long finish. An excellent Armagnac.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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!

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

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

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

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