Staff Favorites - Alex Pross

Alex Pross

Reviews

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2012 Michel Gassier "Cercius Vieilles Vignes" Côtes du Rhone Villages Visan Rouge
Review Date: 2-23-2015
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One of my perennial favorite value wines is the Michel Gassier “Cercius” Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone. I look forward every year to tasting this outstanding value and the 2012 may be their best vintage to date. Loaded with aromas of marzipan, coffee, spice and plum the 2012 Gassier deftly rolls to a palate of bitter chocolate, graphite, licorice and black raspberry flavors with silky tannins and a lush, long finish. Bravo! Another fantastic value that over-delivers for its meager price-point. Fans of full-bodied, well-made red wines that are affordable can rejoice as they toast a glass to this wonderful producer.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2019
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2013 Casa Castillo Monastrell Jumilla
Review Date: 2-23-2015
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A gorgeous Spanish red the 2013 Casa Castillo is a stunning value! Sexy aromas of red licorice, spice, hints of salt air and bright red fruit notes jump from the glass while the palate is an energetic mix of red cherry, spice, licorice and herbs nicely juxtaposed against firm tannins and racy acidity. This wine drinks like a $30 bottle but is a flat-out steal at only $10. This is one of the better balanced and more versatile under $10 bottles I have tasted this year and it should merit case-worthy purchases.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2018
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2011 St. Clement "Oroppas" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 2-18-2015
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This wine rocks! Wow, this is the kind of California wine I want to drink, oozing with a distinctive feel of terroir as well as rich fruit and spicy oak accents. St Clement makes 3 single-vineyard offerings that sell from $60-$100 annually but in the challenging 2011 vintage they declassified the three vineyards Paras, Armstrong and Star and blended them into the Oroppas. Always a strong offering this made the 2011 St. Clement Oroppas outstanding, easily the best I have ever tasted. The wine has a gorgeous nose of clove, volcanic rock, red berry and mocha while the palate is a seductive blend of berry, mocha, molten rock and spice. This wine has fantastic length and complexity with a long, full finish it is a testament to what can be achieved in 2011 and one of the better 2011s from Napa Valley I have tasted.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2025
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart AG 94 BC 0

2012 Spellbound California Petite Sirah
Review Date: 2-16-2015
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Looking for a full-throttle red wine that won’t break the bank? Your search has ended, the 2012 Spellbound Petite Sirah is just what you’re looking for. This wine is loaded with an intoxicating nose of macerated blackberries, licorice and melted chocolate notes that seamlessly flows into a richly textured palate of blackberry liqueur, crème de cassis, mocha and hints of chocolate. Pair this big boy with filet mignon, Kobe beef or any other cut of rich red meat.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2019
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2012 Bodegas Castaño "Hécula" Monastrell Yecla
Review Date: 2-16-2015
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Another ridiculous value from Bodegas Castano, the 2012 Hecula is a screaming value! Bright and zesty with spicy notes and a touch of white pepper, this wine has wonderful flavors of red fruit, licorice, hints of bitter chocolate with subtle pepper and mineral notes. A terrific value, this wine is the perfect everyday drinker that can go seamlessly go from an aperitif wine to meal-worthy with almost any fare and not miss a beat.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2018
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2012 Rutherford Ranch "Rhiannon" Red Blend
Review Date: 2-13-2015
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Holy Smokes! There’s a lot going on here, right from the start this wine begins with a surprisingly complex nose for $10.99, aromas of candied red fruits, red licorice, pencil lead and baking spice prevail against a palate of cherry, menthol, licorice and marzipan. A classic field blend reminiscent of the blends of yesteryear this blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah and Barbera is flat-out delicious and challenges pretty much every other wine we have in stock at the $11 and under price point for the title of “Best Value”.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2008 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage "Unfiltered" Port
Review Date: 2-4-2015
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Late Bottle Vintage Port is often the wise purchase made by wine connoisseurs when they want to trade down significantly in price while giving up very little in quality. The 2008 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered Port is a spectacular value, it has all the bells & whistles of a vintage character Port at the fraction of the cost. Fonseca is one of the world’s greatest producers of Port and you can taste the pedigree in the 2008 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Unfiltered Port, this wine is loaded with seductive aromas of spiced black plums, marzipan and fruit cake while the palate is an unctuously smooth combination of plum liqueur, crème de cassis, macerated blackberries and pain grille. A delicious wine that can be an affordable go to dessert wine and satisfy anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2025

2013 McManis California Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 2-4-2015
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Bigfoot, Unicorns, the Tooth Fairy, UFO’s and a good California Cabernet Sauvignon for under $10…all of these seem like myths or fruitless searches that only lead to madness or being called a crackpot. Thankfully we’ve found proof that one of these actually exists…the 2012 McManis California Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent Cabernet Sauvignon from California that will only cost you $8.99. Before I cracked the bottle I was skeptical, but upon tasting there was no denying that this is a great value. A spicy nose with hints of crème de cassis the wine quickly leads to a palate of fresh blackberries, spice, graphite notes and just a hint of volcanic rock. A nice wine at $15, a flat-out steal for only $8.99-Bigfoot may not exist but a great California Cabernet Sauvignon for under $10 does.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

2012 DeLoach Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 2-4-2015
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A wonderful nose of dark berry, spice and hints of smoked meats deftly rolls to a palate that is bright and supple with loads of zippy berry fruit as well as hints of nutmeg and crushed stone. The wine is lively, with good acidity that translate to an energetic feel and wonderful tension and allows the abundant fruit to be seductive but not overly jammy. Well-balanced and complex the 2012 De Loach Russian River Zinfandel is a versatile wine that can pair well with almost any cuisine that craves red wine. A fantastic value that should not be passed up this is a truly enjoyable Zinfandel.
Top Value! Drink from 2015 to 2017
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart W&S 93 BC 0

2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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One of my go-to Chateauneuf-du-Papes, Guigal has been fashioning one of the most dependable and value-oriented Chateaneuf-du-Papes for as long as I can remember. The 2009 vintage in the Rhone Valley was a hot vintage and the 2009 Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape displays all the character of a warmer vintage with intense aromatics of marzipan, clove, grilled meat and cherry kirsch explode from the glass while the palate blends spicy cherry fruit, cranberry, red licorice and spice into a tightly-wound package. Dense and chewy this large-scaled offering is just beginning to open up and show all that it has to offer. This is shaping up to be one of the better Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Papes I have had.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2030

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 11-18-2014
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Vibrant aromas of crushed blackberries, licorice and nutmeg spring from the glass of 2012 Domaine Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon, a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% syrah and 10% Carignan this wine is absolutely gorgeous! The palate is stuffed with rich blackberry and blueberry fruit, violet and plum accents with bright acidity and the perfect balance between tannins, fruit and acid. This is a delicious wine that can pair flawlessly with food but has enough body to be drunk on its own or with a charcuterie plate.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2006 Castello di Monsanto "Nemo" Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-6-2014
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If you’re a fan of the Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva then you owe it to yourself to try the 2006 Castello di Monsanto Nemo Toscana. I was excited to taste this wine and I was immediately rewarded with aromas of bitter chocolate, volcanic rock, saline and cherry kirsch aromas. The palate was a supple blend of black cherry fruit, licorice, spice and subtle oak accents. The wine is in a perfect place for drinking right now, with a touch of age the tannins have softened and the fruit has perfectly integrated with the oak to produce a flat out deliciously drinking wine. At $40 this is one of my favorite super Tuscans that we currently have in stock.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2018

2012 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-2-2014
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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
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 9-4-2014
I always love this wine; over-delivers every vintage given its price and quality ratio. Nice berry fruit, impressive complexity and good layers of fruit. Looks to compete favorably with the last few vintages.

2013 Calon Ségur, St-Estèphe Pre-Arrival
Review Date: 8-4-2014
One of my perennial favorite producers. The 2013 vintage has a distinctive Calon Segur-esque feel. The personality of Calon Segur can get obscured in some vintages, but in a challenging vintage like 2013 it really shines through. Berry fruit and notes of intense boysenberry lead, with hints of menthol and spice.

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