Staff Favorites - Matthew Callahan

Matthew Callahan

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2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
This is one of my top five white wines! Late harvest, low yields and a mineral-laden soil produces such a amazing wine. I know it is great when I can sit for a half an hour with one glass. Wonderful with food or on its own. No oak involved and none needed. Did I mention superb natural acidity? Give it a good decanting and watch the magic unfold. Intense, dry and fruity! What more could you want from a bottle under $20?
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
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Very pretty nose of red cassis, dark cherry, cream and light earth. Unfined and unfiltered, yet, not blocky or chunky. Bright cherries on the palate, with notes of spice and earth. Excellent acidity on the finish that adds grace and balance. A very substantial, and delicious, effort.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

2011 Robert Craig Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
If I had to pick a Napa mountain that I love the wine from, Howell Mountain would be at the top of my list. Dunn, Ladera, Neal Family, O'Shaugnessey and of course Robert Craig. Bright blue fruit combined with chocolate, menthol, pepper and cedar. The wine is deep and powerful with incredible length. A cellar candidate for sure.

2012 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-22-2014
How does a winery make a wine of such beauty and balance for only $ 19.99? Rudy Von Strasser can. A nice balance of Diamond Mountain structure and acidity with valley floor ripeness just kissed with a touch of wood. One of my favorite wines on our California shelf.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Wow! I have always loved the Cain NV releases, and this NV10 did not disappoint. Instead of manipulating young wine to make it drinkable early, they blended two vintages to make a Cabernet blend that is naturally ready to go. The deft combination of even parts 2010 and 2009 has made for a curranty, fresh, medium bodied, fabulous drink!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

Cain "Cuvée NV10" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Combining the richness of the 2009 vintage with the freshness of the 2010, this incredible multi-vintage red offers an extraordinarily balanced Napa Cab. The dark fruit is layered with notes of raspberry and currant, laced with savory leather. To add balance to this blend, the 2010 brings freshness, red cherry and herbal components, fresh mint and crushed sage. The sum is greater than the parts in this case.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2013 Honig Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Always a stellar value for 100% pure, estate-grown, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc at a price that hasn't gone up in over 10 years! Great citrus and mineral notes, juicy mouthwatering acidity, and easy to drink with or without food. It's a no-brainier if you ask me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ramey Napa Valley Claret  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Always one of my favorite Bordeaux blends of the Napa Valley that is done in an old-school style that actually has gorgeous structure and minerality. I even get a touch of gravel from the soil on the finish. Well integrated French oak and purity of fruit. Love the forward quality of 2012s; this you can enjoy or keep for years to come!

2011 Carpe Diem Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
One of my top favorite Napa Cabs for under $20. It's actually pretty ridiculous if you think about the fruit that's going into this bottle. Can you believe this is Dominus and Napanook fruit that goes into this? A great New World meets Old World style!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Matelica is a north-south running valley with warm days and cool nights, resulting in some of the best Verdicchio in all of Italy. This richly textured wine has sweet pit fruit, stony minerality and a super intense finish. Don't miss this unique and delicious bargain.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-21-2014
Nothing exists in isolation. I was just listening to Tom Waits' hilarious cryptic dirge from Mule Variations, "What's He Building In There?" about a strange guy hammering "what the hell?" in his garage when I flashed on not just Jobs and Wozniak but a few of the famed California winemakers—think Burt Williams and Ed Selyem—who started out finicking, blending and canoodling with stuff in their garage. It comes as no surprise that two young "garagistes," Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker, also finessed their first Pinot from such economies of scale, by realizing that measured growth, savvy inspiration and the right fruit go a long way in the creation of a well-crafted wine. Their latest cuveé, gathering fruit from three primarily cooler sites in the Russian River Valley, is a deft expression— nothing overstated or overblown— just pure, delicate aromas of black cherry, gentle spice, a kiss of rose petals and oolong tea leaves, sleekly stylish yet savory, touched by sultry tannins and warm earth. Now put down that hammer, turn up the music, sit back and enjoy a glass of great Pinot!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

Chateau de Laballe K&L Exclusive VS Armagnac 750ml  
Review Date: 9-20-2014
A classic beauty. The Laballe VS is expressive with aromas that are floral and inviting. It has a light to medium body and a nice long finish. An excellent Armagnac.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Honig Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon  
Review Date: 9-18-2014
Plush, yet structured, integrated oak and tannins, a great bottle to pop and serve this year, or cellar for up to 12 years from now. Incredible balance and class. This is classic Napa Cab at an even more classic price!
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 9-18-2014
This has the weight and texture you expect of Pinot from the Russian River Valley yet remains pure, bright and dry. An array of ripe red fruits, touches of earth and hints of spice evolve and expand as this opens up in the glass and the palate cleansing finish is clean and snappy.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart W&S 95 BC 0

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml  
Review Date: 9-17-2014
Last time we were in Scotland, I full on freaked out in a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this diminutive bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for all the knowledgeable and gin soaked. Driscoll and Kurani had not yet experienced this legendary gin, but thanks to the UKs reasonable tasting regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule- we were soon dunking our noses in a few drops of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. I’ve got to stop trying to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true rollercoaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £40s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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