Staff Favorites - Jim Barr

Jim Barr

Reviews

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2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-20-2014
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If any one Pinot Noir makes a statement that New Zealand has joined the ranks of great Pinot producers of the world, this incredible Gem from Ostler is it! Deeply colored, the high profiled, profound aromatics of dried rose petals, raspberry, black cherry, and spices fruit characteristics with distinctive undertones of slate-like minerality, and meaty notes, all of which carries over nicely in the mouth. It is deeply complex, broad and viscous, well-integrated and wonderfully balanced, has great structure, acid backbone and excellent mid-range, yet is lush, rich, and beautifully focused with a finish that seems to go on and on. This is an amazing Gem, and Rusty has told me that we need at least a case of this in our collection. This lovely Pinot should easily age and get better for the next five to ten years, although I think once you taste it, you will find it very difficult to keep your hands off of it. In any case, you should not miss this Gem and need to buy it in quantity. Also, Matt Kramer recently wrote glowingly about this great Pinot in one of his columns, equating it to a single vineyard production from a great vintage from Chambolle-Musigny, but he did not give it a score. So, I'll do that for him - 96 points! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Valserrano Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 8-31-2014
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I think some of the most amazing bargains coming on the market, the last few years, are the wines from Rioja. This is a perfect example and shows such a deeply flavored, broad wine. Well-defined rose petal to currant aromas, this intensely flavored wine is incredibility complex and layered, with well defined currant, floral, and cassis notes on entry, a great mid-palate richness, and a long, bright finish. 14.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.3 Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
Review Date: 7-29-2014
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If you can pronounced the name of this wonderful SB, we might sell you a bottle or two or twelve. Unlike those coming from New Zealand with gobs of grapefruit and lemon tones, this South African Gem offers a lovely melon-like to clove-like presentation in the nose and on its dry, clean, crisp, well-structured, yet mouthwatering presentation and finish. The Bean has told me that we need cases of this Gem and that if you bypass this beauty, you might as well stop drinking wine. A non-linear, completely satisfying SB that will rival many of the wonderful SB wines coming from Sancerre and Graves, and at a super low price. 13.5% abv.
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Cava Brut Rosé Penedes
Review Date: 7-26-2014
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This is an absolutely wonderful, delicious Cava Brut Rose with distinctive red fruit characteristics of strawberry and red cherry, not only in the mouth, but in its high-profile aromatics. Dry, clean, and crisp across the palate, this Gem finishes with a mouthwatering set of flavors. The Bean has informed me that we need cases of this brilliantly produced Gem before the summer ends. It will be our house sparkler for however long it is around. You should not miss this beauty.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart W&S 91 BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-15-2014
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Although New Zealand has been almost exclusively known for wonderful Sauvignon Blancs the past several decades, we have seen in the past several years some nicely produced, but not outstanding, Pinot Noirs coming from many producers there. A few of these productions have impressed me to the point that I have told many customers that New Zealand is on the same quality threshold that the Willamette Valley wineries were thirty-five to forty years ago. And I have told customers that while these productions were promising, like those of the Oregon producers, it would probably be another seven to ten years when we would see some incredible quality Pinots coming from New Zealand that would rival the fabulous Pinots that now are coming from the Willamette Valley, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast and the Santa Lucia Mountain range. Then Ryan Woodhouse brings in the 2012 Te Whare Ra, and it was thoroughly impressive. And now with the 2013, I have to take several steps back and tell you that I was off by five to ten years, in that it would not take the New Zealand producers so long to create Pinots that would be on an equivalent level as the aforementioned wines. This is an amazing Pinot from a truly great, great vintage. Medium–deep ruby in color, with opulent, distinctive aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry, red fruits and spicy notes underscored by a slate mineral tone and a mild gamey quality. This carries over to a complex, layered, deep set of flavors with excellent balance, broadness and viscosity, and a lush mid-range and finish. Rusty has told me that this Gem is a truly great wine and needs to be in our collection immediately before it vanishes. Good work, Ryan, and thanks for making me eat my words. 19.0 UC Davis points out of 20.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Oncle Vincent"
Review Date: 6-20-2014
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Absolutely delicious!!!!
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Purisima Canyon Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 6-4-2014
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This opulent wine, distinctively aromatic of ripe, lush apply to tropical fruit aromas, is underscored by toasty, supportive oaky notes. This refreshing set of pure Chardonnay fruit characteristics carries over nicely across the palate, with an excellent mid-palate richness, and a long, pronounced finish. The Bean has told me that this Gem will be our house white for the next X-amount of months or until it is gone, which will be in less than five to six weeks. 14.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: Hidden View Price BC 0

2013 Hubert Veneau Côteaux du Giennois Rosé
Review Date: 6-3-2014
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Pink salmon in color, this lovely dry Rosé is clean, crisp and loaded with strawberry-like flavor with a hint of wet-river-stone minerality. This Gem will be one of our special wines with our shell-fish dinners according to Rizzo. 12.3% ABV
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Bodega Eguren Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 3-26-2014
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This is a super value red wine. Medium-deep ruby in color, the wine offers a lovely perfume of bright rose petals, black cherry and cranberry fruit qualities with undertones of anise spiciness and a wet river stone minerality. This carries over nicely to a bright, flashy, brilliant flavor presentation with integrated tannins and a refreshing, clean, mouthwatering finish. This will be one of our house reds for the next several months - I will be bringing this home by the case. Lots of cases! Enjoy! 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Bodegas Olivares "Altos de la Hoya" Jumilla
Review Date: 3-7-2014
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Medium-deep ruby in color, this puppy is loaded with fruit of a cassis, blackberry to raspberry, and Chilean Jasmine nature with white pepper spiciness and a creamy tone as a back note both on the nose and across its broad, rich, viscous, deeply flavored palate impression. On the finish it is long, warm and gives a wet forest floor note of minerality in what has to be one of the most amazingly complex, “cheap” red wines that I have ever tasted. Rusty has demanded that I bring home cases upon cases of this wonderful Gem to be one of our house reds for the next ten thousand years. And, no, it was not named after a professional boxer. 14.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2020

2012 Kalinda "Cuvée Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 2-4-2014
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Most of us, locally, who are into wine collecting are cognizant of the quality of each harvest in California, particularly in the North Coast. The 2012 harvest has evolved into a great one, across the board. The 2012 vintage in Willamette Valley is also every bit as great as that which was created in California. This production that was produced for us by a well-known Pinot producer in the Willamette Valley is a stunning wine with deep ruby color, opulent aromas of rose petals, black cherry, and cloves, with an undertone of forest floor and game that explodes from the glass. Broad, rich, viscous, complex, well-focused varietal flavors abound in this Gem. It is well-integrated and focused, with excellent structure and depth of character, and a finish that is defined and long. This Gem, according to Rusty, will be one of our house reds for the next five to seven years, easy! 14.1% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 2-4-2014
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Bright, refreshing, and mouthwatering, this beauty is clean, crisp, and loaded with citrus (lime zest to grapefruit) fruit tones in the mouth and on the nose. According to The Bean, this Gem would be a perfect pairing with crab or lobster or any shellfish dinner and will be one of our house whites for the month. 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2017
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

Club Price: $9.99
BC 0

Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2013
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12.0% ABV

Blason Brut B3 Friuli Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 9-18-2013
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Lush and delicious, with a bright and dry presentation, this highly aromatic, wonderful offering is clean and crisp in the mouth, and offers a nice everyday drinking sparkler at a “cheap” price. This is the first time that Greg St.Clair has had this exceptional sparkler imported to us from Blason. Eby has informed me that this Gem will be one of our house sparkling wines for the month. Enjoy! 12.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2014
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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