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Staff Favorites - Patrick Cu
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2012 Melville "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 7-29-2014
Winemaker Greg Brewer has presented us with another great vintage for the Melville Estate Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir. Melville is consistently good from year to year, but the 2012 is incredibly impressive and exceptional. Aromas and flavors of wild strawberry, raspberry, light cinnamon spice, lavender, and floral notes make this a compelling wine. Melville fans should not miss this very enjoyable bottling.
2012 Viña Robles "Estate" Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 7-22-2014
Here's a wine designed to beat the heat! Aromas and flavors of lemon meringue, pineapple cream, and lime citrus are present and generous. Accompanying them is a refreshing dose of acidity to keep things crisp and lively. This is just a flat-out good value for $10.99. And if it sells as well as the Vina Robles 2010 Cab Sauv did, we won't have it for long.
2009 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 7-15-2014
If you were to ask me for one Brunello to try in the store right now, I would point you to this. The 2009 vintage for Brunello is very soft and approachable in its youth. This Ferrero follows the trend, and for the price is an absolutely amazing deal. It's big, expressive, and generous with darker fruit. I'm taking this home for myself!
2011 Fossil Point Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 6-23-2014
What do people want when summer arrives? Delicious white wines for the warmer weather. Fossil Point has us covered for that here with their 2011 Chardonnay. It offers scents of baked apples, lime citrus, and a touch of honey. The palate is lightly buttery with generous notes of honeyed pear, pineapple, and gentle acidity. There is enough body and weight to this wine to enjoy it with a meal, but the low price will allow most to have it anytime and for any reason. It is an extremely good deal at $12. For California Chardonnay fans, this is one to have around the house.
2013 Happy Canyon Vineyards "K&L Cuvee" Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 5-26-2014
This lovely Sauvignon Blanc from Margerum has arrived just in time for the warm weather. Pretty scents of lemon cream, grapefruit, and white flowers fill the glass. Refreshing citrus zest greets on the palate, followed by flavors of lemon meringue and white peach. The acidity is crisp and mouth watering. A big thanks to Margerum for letting us blend this wine from their precious stocks!
2012 Seghesio Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 5-4-2014
Seghesio always provides a great value in California Zinfandel with their Sonoma County bottling. The 2012 showcases how well balanced and easy to drink a Zin can be. Juicy blackberries, light spice, and good acidity are all present and well integrated with one another. This is not the overly ripe and super jammy style of Zinfandel, but instead a more restrained and approachable take. That helps in making it more food friendly for the upcoming barbecue season!
2012 Kirkham Peak Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 4-15-2014
For fans of ripe, fruit-forward California Pinot Noir, here's one for you. This K&L exclusive comes bearing great heaps of red fruited goodness. Dense raspberry and wild strawberry notes are present and mouth filling. This Pinot is incredibly easy to drink and made to be enjoyed today!
2012 Neyers "Sage Canyon" Rhone Blend
Review Date: 3-11-2014
Here's a fun, tasty red from Neyers that's sure to please. It's a great value Rhone blend with loads of plush blackberry, raspberry, and cola notes. Neyers consistently delivers high quality wines at fair prices. For under $20, Neyers strikes again with a fantastic offering that I strongly recommend.
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.
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. It’s a great value for twenty dollars, and should do well for Thanksgiving!
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!
2008 Camiana "Blue Hall Vineyards" Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 8-11-2013
Wow. This is a big, concentrated, and dark stunner of a Howell Mountain Cab. It's worth the original price for $64.99, but for $40, it's a steal. There are loads of dark chocolate, blackberries, and earth on the nose, with hints of tar and anise. The palate is dense with blueberries and blackberries that are lightly peppered with herbs and spice. The body on this wine is full and rich. The finish lingers with dark cherry cola, vanilla, and delicious oak. I strongly recommend this for any fan of a great deal on big, expressive reds from California.
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.