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Staff Favorites - Sal Rodriguez
2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-14-2014
Seriously stunning Pinot! A lovely perfume on the nose is quick to announce its presence. Soft tannins and persistent fruit on the palate with remarkable focus. The fruit and over-all loveliness of the wine continues beautifully into the finish. There won't be a lot of this available so you'll be well-served not to hesitate.
2012 Columbia Crest "H3" Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-28-2014
The scent of rich fruit and light herbaceous tones come wafting out of the glass. On the palate is a deep red and blue fruit, with continued herbal notes. A delicious, wine that leaves you with smooth tannins, and zippy freshness for a winning combination! This is bound to be one of my "every-day" wines around the house.
2013 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-2-2014
This is seductive Cab. I am taken with the lush fruit and hints of herb on the nose. The fruit on the palate is obvious dark fruit with blueberry, and a little graphite on the finish. The tannins are noticeable yet soft and approachable. Although it doesnít have some of the ďpowerĒ that some of the big boys have, thatís exactly what makes this cab great--itís inexpensive and itís drinking lovely right now!
2012 Ponzi "Tavola" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 9-26-2014
One of the prettiest wines in all of Oregon! We got to taste this wine in the winery and visit their new facility and I'm excited about what Luisa and Maria are accomplishing! This particular wine has such rich round fruit, and lovely flowers on the first inhale! On the palate is a rich, ripe, succulent fruit with just a hint of herbal undertones. The finish comes off without a hitch and extends long and focused with a subtle spice to it. A lovely effort, and a killer value all wrapped up in one delicious package.
2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 8-29-2014
Eyrie Vineyards was a real highlight for me on a recent trip to Oregon. I got to meet the mild mannered, kind, sincere Jason Lett. He's got lots of class and makes very classy wine. It's completely impressive what he's doing in the vineyard and with the wines. The 2012 Estate Pinot was one of our favorite wines on the trip. It's approachable, delicious, full of life and dark fruit. On the palate, it has a supple, smooth texture and is truly delectable. I expect this to only become more delicious and balanced over time. So, while it's wonderfully drinkable now, I can't wait to try this in another couple of years!
2010 Mount Langi Ghiran "Billi Billi" Shiraz Grampians Victoria
Review Date: 8-21-2014
This big, rich, bold Shiraz over-delivers on every level! This beauty has wonderful dark fruits, a touch of spice and lively acidity. With such a smooth, satin textured finish, it's going to be easy to drink an entire bottle alone. If you're going to spend less than 15 dollars on a red wine to drink tonight, this should be on your list of contenders!
2013 Spring Vale Estate "Melrose Vineyard" Pinot Noir Tasmania
Review Date: 8-19-2014
What a value!! The nose here has the lovely bright lifted fruit aroma I expect from a youthful new-age Pinot, while on the palate, a delicious crunchy fruit abounds. This wine is as easy sipping as they come. Three cheers for Tasmania!!!
2011 Framingham "Classic" Riesling Marlborough
Review Date: 8-19-2014
Classic is right in the name. This is the complete Riesling! It's got the typical nose that belies its tasty, youthful profile. It has the fruit - but not too much. It has the acidity - but not too much. It has the sweetness - but it's not too much. In a word - balance! I've had the chance to taste some very tasty Rieslings from some of the best growers, and this bottle is making me reconsider how much a delicious Riesling has to cost. I don't expect this to last long!
Sherman & Hooker's Shebang! "Seventh Cuvťe" Red Blend
Review Date: 7-10-2014
Big. Bold. Bright. Delicious. This version of the Shebang offers aromatic black cherry, cedar, and dark chocolate on the nose. Thereís spicy rich fruit, with cassis and herb on the palate. This has a nice satin, lingering, herbal finish and is an incredible value! You canít afford not to get a case!
2011 Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 5-22-2014
This has a lovely, lifted nose of "crunchy" red fruit. A delicious, medium bodied, fruit and black pepper on the palate. It offers a medium length black cherry and herb note on the finish. It's hard not to love this delicious Pinot. At this price, it is a solid value red wine to have around the house.
Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml
Review Date: 5-2-2014
I canít really say I am a ďginĒ person (whatever that means), but I know what I like when I taste it. This is it! This is what I like! I tried it Ďneatí and really under-estimated what this little bottle was capable of. Letís start out with pretty flowers and juniper popping out of the glass! Another whiff and I was hit with jasmine blossom and orange peel! I didnít have to take a sip to know that I was going to be taking some of this home. I took a little sip anyhow, and some of the loveliest spices, pepper, and juniper just washed over my tongue and filled my mouth. As I try to convey into words, what this gin tastes like, it is selling out from under us! Yes, the bottle is a little expensive, but once you get the bottle home and into your glass, itíll all make perfect sense.