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Staff Favorites - Patrick Cu
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2010 Joseph Jewell "Hallberg Vineyard" Russian River Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-9-2014
Joseph Jewell offers this gem of a Pinot Noir from Hallberg Vineyard in Russian River Valley. Pleasant aromas of wild strawberry, raspberry jam, herbs, and subtle spice lead the way to a very balanced wine. The mouth feel is soft and round as flavors of deep red fruits, a touch of earthiness, and cedar come together seamlessly. This Pinot has good restraint, and never reaches the point of being overripe or too flabby. It's showing really well right now, especially for $30.
2011 Chalone Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-2-2013
Here's a great value Pinot for well under $15! It has scents of black cherries, rose petals, and a hint of earthiness. There are flavors of more black cherry, raspberries, and light spice that are all supported by good acidity. The 2011 Chalone will work wonders for parties or just a casual night at home.
2012 Lea (Tensley) Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-24-2013
For lovers of the fruit-forward, ripe, and jammy style of Pinot Noir, here is one for you. The 2012 Lea from Tensley is lush and loaded with ripe raspberries, a touch of spice, and gentle acidity. No need to wait, this is drinkable now.
2010 Dunn Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-19-2013
Another stunner has arrived from Dunn! Out of the glass are complex aromas of leather, blackberries, toasty cedar, and mint. Flavors of cassis, blueberries, black tea, and mocha persist at length, providing great depth. A long, long finish seals the deal and reinforces what many know already: Dunn Vineyards is amazing. Despite being from the newest vintage, it is approachable and drinkable now with decanting. This is a balanced, nuanced, and delectable Cab for the holidays.
2011 Louis M. Martini Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-10-2013
Surprising what $12 can get you. Louis Martini reminds us that great values are still to be had. The 2011 Cab has big, ripe fruit on the nose that lead to flavors of cinnamon, toasty oak, loads of vanilla, blackberry, and dark chocolate melded seamlessly together. This will be a hit at parties and even just a casual night at home.
Sean Thackrey "Pleiades XXIII" Old Vine Red Blend
Review Date: 11-10-2013
There is great news to be had for fans of Sean Thackrey. His new bottling of the Pleiades red blend is fantastic and picks up where the last edition left off. The savory, floral, and black cherry aromas are there. On the palate are raspberries, bing cherries, and a light peppery spice. This wine is still elegant, medium bodied, and well rounded. Itís a great value for twenty dollars, and should do well for Thanksgiving!
2012 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Evergreen Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 11-4-2013
Fun in a bottle! This is easy to drink and easy on the wallet. Tastes of lemon & lime citrus with Asian pears combine with nice acidity and a touch of sweetness. The whole package together makes for a great pool side guzzler, or better yet, a nice companion for spicy dishes.
2010 Chalone "Limited Release" Chalone Chardonnay
Review Date: 9-24-2013
California Chardonnay fans rejoice! There is a great deal here in the Chalone Limited Release Chardonnay. This Central Coast Chard packs a lot of richness in for just $13. Smells of lemon citrus and vanilla cream give way to flavors of lemon meringue, oak, and buttered pears. It's an appealing package best suited for those looking for bargains. So easy to drink you could buy by the case.
2011 Stolpman "Estate" Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
Review Date: 8-31-2013
This Syrah has gorgeous aromas of violets, herbs, spice, blackberries, and savory oak. The spice continues onto the palate with dense, dark fruit notes emerging, alongside light notes of raspberry jam and dark cherry cola. To boot, a very soft mouthfeel makes this wine incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. I can see this being a big hit with many fans of Central Coast Syrah!
Compass Box Hedonism Grain Scotch Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 3-25-2013
This is my absolute favorite bottling of grain whisky and one of my favorite Scotch whiskies. It's deliciously decadent as the name implies. I tried this after becoming acquainted with most of the entry level single malt Scotch whisky expressions available on the market. Hedonism is a breath of fresh air in the midst of single malt mania. It shows how Scottish grain whisky can be so elegant and amazing when blended right. Tastes of vanilla, cinnamon, toffee, coconut, and lightly toasty oak are on display. I've presented this to non-whisky drinkers and even made them fans.
2010 District 7 Monterey Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 3-25-2013
On the nose are notes of plum and cherry. On the palate are loads of blackberry and blueberry with a touch of cedar. The soft tannins help make this very easy to drink right now. An incredibly enjoyable Cab for an affordable price!