Staff Favorites - Jim Barr

Jim Barr

Reviews

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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 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: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Valserrano Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 6-3-2014
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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 (Parker gave it 90 to 92 points, which means pooo, and The Specator threw in 91, which means even worse *&@^), it seems maybe the wine critics finally got one right. 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. Rusty has informed me that this Gem will be one of our house reds for however long it is around. 14.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2024

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 BC 0

2007 York Creek "MXB" Spring Mountain District Red Blend
Review Date: 1-23-2014
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I am absolutely thrilled with the incredible quality of wine being produced from this old vine, terraced hillside vineyard. The 1999 was a superb wine at a ridiculously "cheap" price, as was the 2008. This 2007 joins the ranks of some of the great productions coming from that hillside, and don't let the price scare you away from it. Medium-deep ruby in color, with youthful reddish pink edges, the nose comes at you with lovely perfume of cassis, black currants and blueberries, framed by dusty minerality and cedary notes. All this carries over to a lush, integrated, silky, complex and fleshy palate impression, shows excellent structure and balance, and finishes with a long, mouthwatering character. Rusty has informed me that we need at least two cases of this Gem for our collection, and it will be one of our house reds for the next ten-plus years. Drinking near-term? Decant and air for an hour or more. Treat it like a $50 to $75 bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape-style blend. 14.2% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2025
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List BC 0

2012 Rancho Zabaco "Heritage Vines" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 1-14-2014
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For those of you who want a concentrated, deeply, jammy, in-your-face Zin, this is the puppy. Inky in color, this wine has an immense core of powerful, ripe, almost sweet fruit, with well-integrated tannins and near-term structure. According to Rusty, this Gem will be our go to pizza wine. It is not for the weak of heart... Enjoy! 15.3% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2001 Marques de Riscal "Baron de Chirel" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 1-14-2014
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In the last three to four years, our Spanish Wine Buyer, Joe Manekin, has become equally as dangerous as our Italian wine buyer, Greg St. Clair, in regards to the influence on my (and, I am sure, yours) wine purchasing habits for my collection. Of the several hundred cases of wine that I had in my collection a decade ago, I had maybe one bottle of Italian juice. Today, I have over thirty cases (you’re an evil person, Greg). The same can be stated regarding Spanish wines. I had one bottle, maybe, a decade ago. Today, I am looking at nearly thirty cases (Joe, you have also joined that lofty evil level held by Greg St.Clair) Seriously, the amazing quality and quantity of great wines at ridiculously reasonable prices that these two buyers have brought to all us over the last “X” amount of years is mind-boggling. This older Reserva Rioja production from Marques de Riscal is a prime example of some of the great wines that Joe Manekin has been discovering. Medium-deep ruby red in color with just a slight hint of age (brickish orange) on its edges, the magnificent scents of black cherry, cedar, cigar box, portabella, mocha, forest floor, and wild game are abundant in its highly perfumed bouquet. In the mouth, these elements are nicely incorporated with silky, very fine tannins. This Gem is lush, broad, viscous, deep, and layered, with superb focus and complexity, and with a long, warm, unrelenting finish. Although drinking incredibly well now (with decanting and an hour or so of airing), there is enough stuffing, structure, and backbone to allow it to age another seven to twelve-plus years. Needless to say, Rusty forced me into buying nearly a case of it and told me that this beauty will be one of our house reds in five to seven years. 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2025

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-6-2013
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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 2013 to 2020
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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

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