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Staff Favorites - Sal Rodriguez
Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend
Review Date: 2-23-2015
I like to use the term "over-deliver" for wines that I feel exhibit an incredible value at any given price. Lot #62 over-delivers on the over-delivery! I love its beautiful fruit aromas, and its sumptuous fruit and spice on the palate. This blend is as sexy, and sumptuous, and delicious as anything I've tried under $20. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better value. Period. Get yours now as I'm fairly certain this will be flying off the shelves shortly!
2008 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage "Unfiltered" Port
Review Date: 2-4-2015
Do you need a seriously delicious port that's drinking well now - and don't want to spend a lot of money? This gem is likely going to win you over! There's such a lovely nose with good fruit and a touch of caramel. It continues with fruit, caramel, and spice notes on the palate. The acidity and tannins, make this a multi-layered, but not complicated port. A wonderful value!
2013 McManis California Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 2-4-2015
It's not tricky, it's not pushy, it's not too heavy. It's just a really tasty Cabernet that over-delivers at under 10 dollars! The 2013 is a little on the lighter side of Cab but it's still holds its own. On the nose is a nice floral and fruit filled bouquet, while on the palate the fruit, acidity, and tannins pulls it together well. Great, every-day value!
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.
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 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!
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!!!
2012 Bodegas Castano "Solanera Vinas Viejas" Yecla
Review Date: 7-10-2014
The Bodegas Castano Solanera V.V. completely over-delivers! This 2012 delivers a crisp nose of crunchy berries, dried flowers and fresh pepper. On the palate, purple and tart, dark red fruits are noticeable with a nice hint of toasted oak. Aging in American and French oak really adds a depth to this bright, fresh wine, leaving a lovely satin mouthfeel. The finish continues with herbal, eucalyptus, and blueberry flavors. Get a few bottles now. If you wait, you might miss out!
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.