Staff Favorites - Keith Mabry

Keith Mabry

Reviews

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2009 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 11-18-2014
Guigal is synonymous with the Rhone Valley. Consistently producing some of the region's best wines, their Chateauneuf is no exception. The 2009 CdP is decidedly old school, which is a very welcome expression. The nose has beautiful notes of Turkish coffee, roasted plums and spiced blackberries. The palate is loaded with even more exotic spices, marzipan and confiture of raspberries. This is finely balanced and expressive. This 2009 has that extra something that a lot of Chateauneuf has been lacking as of late - finesse! Ready to drink now with its polished tannins or worthy of laying away for a few years. Either way this is a terrific drink worthy of stocking up on.

2009 Domaine Cabirau "Malgre les Fonctionnaires" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 11-11-2014
As it has added a couple of years, this wine has opened to reveal its true mineral side. Layers of black fruit are interspersed with notes of granite and iron. Medium bodied with nice complexity and showing the potential for a few more years. Why wait any longer though, this is a pleasure right now. This would complement grilled lamb and hearty braised meat dishes.

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 11-11-2014
The Cabirau is functionally one of the best values I have tasted from the Roussillon this year. It has deep black plum and mission fig flavors with brambly blackberry juice and dried blueberries. This has weight but is not overtly concentrated (ie. not over-extracted). The notes of Asian spices and violets add to the complexity. There is great balance that leads to a harmonious finish. A lingering memorable wine that will make you forget that it's only $12.99! Just don't forget to buy more before it's all gone.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2012 Girard "Old Vine" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-4-2014
Remember the good old days when you could get a briary juicy Zinfandel for under $10? Well here's some roll-back pricing! The Girard is pure pleasure in a glass. Sweet cherry and blackberry fruit, subtle pepper spices and a touch of baking spice. It's like mom's cobbler with a little extra kick. Perfect for the season's foods. Braise some short ribs in this wine and drink it along side. This is definitely a case buy!
Price: Hidden View Price WS 90 BC 0

2012 FRAM Pinotage Citrusdal Mountain
Review Date: 10-10-2014
If you sit on the negative side of the fence when it comes to Pinotage, I believe we have found the one to bring you to the positive side. The Fram does not have the classic rustic Band-Aid qualities that most associate with this grape variety. What it does show is the integrity of the two parent varietals, Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The Pinot comes through with an elegant nose of red fruit and red flowers. The Cinsault shows a deep, concentrated mid-palate fruit and spice. The whole thing is complete on the palate with a sexiness that is pure South Africa. I've always said you need to eat the food of South Africa to understand the wines but the Fram is a wine you can drink and better understand the quality that can come from this exciting region.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 The Three Foxes Clairette Blanche Coastal Region
Review Date: 10-8-2014
I'm a sucker for white wines that see skin contact. A whole new range of flavors open up and show a wide range of new complexity. The Three Foxes is one that any drinker can access with its intriguing mouthfeel and flavors of peach and nectarine. There is also some serious minerality with a nose of wet stone and talc. Fascinating stuff and worth spending a long afternoon with.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Stéphane Ogier Syrah "d'Ogier" Collines Rhodaniennes
Review Date: 9-30-2014
Ogier is one of the greats of the northern Rhone Valley. This Syrah has a lush texture, cool spiced fruit and a supple finish. Not tannic but still structured, it coats the palate but never overwhelms. This is truly one of the most complete Syrahs in the store.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Clot de l'Origine Macabeu "l'Original" Blanc
Review Date: 9-24-2014
I am loving the wines of Marc Barriot. They are pure, fresh and expressive of their varietal character. They also have a distinctive edge. This white sees skin contact for two weeks, making it an "orange wine." It has lovely aromatics of peach pit, persimmon, honey and flowers. The skin contact gives it a distinctive texture adding body and complexity to the wine. If you have never tried this style before this is the perfect one to start with. Serve it with fresh cheeses, herb salad and maybe a walnut and eggplant spread.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Mas des Agrunelles "Les Mauves" Coteaux du Languedoc
Review Date: 9-8-2014
The wines of Mas des Agrunelles fall into what we call the "Natural" category - unfined, unfiltered, native yeast fermentations, minimal to no sulfur, no additions really of any kind. I'm a sucker for old vine, single-varietal wines. So to find 100% Cinsault in as pure form as possible is a real treat. This has great depth of flavor that evolves over hours. Fresh blueberries and raspberries (like a bowl of fruit right off the vine) dominate the nose. Spice and complexity evolve across the palate. This just keeps going. This is a fascinating wine.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine de la Grande Colline "Le Canon"
Review Date: 9-8-2014
The wines of Hirotake Ooka are something truly special. All natural, we want to classify him as organic but he doesn't believe in organic treatments. Hands off all the way! The Le Canon is brambly with fresh raspberries, spice and herbs. There is a light gamy note that makes me think of iron. There is a fair amount of CO2 in this wine, so if you don't like a touch of petillance, a brief decant is in order. I tasted my bottle over the course of a couple days and it kept improving. The carbon dioxide acted as a natural blanket inhibiting oxidation. Fresh and alive at day four; I was duly impressed. Some of the characteristics of "Natural Wines" are not for everyone but if you have a sense of adventure, this is a must try.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine la Garrigue "Cuvée Romaine" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 9-8-2014
Always a pleaser amongst our staff and our customers. Classic Cotes du Rhone style with lots of brambly black fruit and spice.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart RP 91 BC 0

2011 Mas des Agrunelles "l'Indigène" Coteaux du Languedoc
Review Date: 9-8-2014
Venturing into the realm of "Natural Wine" can be treacherous. Often the wines are unstable and may show some unusual or off flavors that are not to everyone's taste. But, the wines of Mas des Agrunelles are something special to behold. The l'Indigene is a beautifully balanced wine showing bright fruit flavors. It has great acidity and mellow tannins and an appealing complexity that is just, well, natural! More fresh blackberries and raspberries here with notes of crushed herbs. There is a vibrancy that seems the antithesis of what we expect from Languedoc. If you want bold ripe flavors, these may not be for you. If you shop at the farmers' market weekly and like the thrill of discovery, look no further. This wine is made for you.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine les Grands Bois "Cuvée Maximilien" Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne
Review Date: 9-3-2014
Grands Bois is one of my favorite producers in the southern Rhone and one of the best producers making a Villages level Cairanne. The "Cuvee Max" has a saturated color with layers of black raspberry, violets, Moroccan spices and fresh tilled earth. This is really well balanced, never too overt or heady. The alcohol never dominates and the finish is clean. I would pick up a few bottles, because as accessible as this is now, you'll want to discover a few in your cellar in a couple of years.

2010 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 9-2-2014
Marcoux is one of those great properties that is very traditional in their winemaking practices but produces wines fashioned for the modern era. There is a depth of fruit here that speaks of blackberry confiture, chambord liqueur and candied figs. A little pinch of Asian five spice powder, some roasted earth and a touch of creosote round out this deep expression of Chateauneuf. Give it a few more years and you will be well rewarded for your patience.

2011 Domaine de Laidiere Bandol Blanc
Review Date: 9-2-2014
White Bandols are tricky animals. They are not inexpensive and doesn't usually fit into the crisp and citrusy category of a Sauvignon Blanc or buttery and creamy category of Chardonnay (not that either of those has to specifically be those things). So where does that leave Bandol blanc? Maybe more like a white Rhone? Possibly, but really it is its own thing. These are wines of texture and weight with subtle aromatics. Hints of peach skin, apricot pit but not full-blown fruit flavors. Subtle citrus with a rocky mineral finish. The Laidiere has those things and more. This is a terrific rendition with an almost full body mouthfeel and deft lively brightness on the tongue. It's like a happy medium. Not too heavy, not too light, just right. So where does it fit? I say in my glass.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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