Staff Favorites - Matthew Callahan

Matthew Callahan

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2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
An old vine selection from the Russian River Valley--and always one of the best in Sonoma. Their 2012 is classic Limerick Lane, a lush Zin packed with flavors of dense plum and blueberry with a touch of pepper.

2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
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I rarely write up Zinfandel because I generally find them to be too jammy and sweet. Last week, January 22nd to be precise, we had a mini-ZAP tasting in our SF store. Limerick Lane was one of the wineries present and it was one of the best Zinfandels that I have had in a number of years. It has a richness to it, yes, with red plum and blackberry fruit, nice hints of spice and just a touch of cocoa. It is deep and rich but, with great character, nuance and fineness. It holds your interest. A few other jaded co-workers also expressed their positive views of the Limerick Lane wines that evening. So, I can pretty safely say that this is pretty much a wine for everyone! P.S. From past experience, this wine ages extremely well!
Drink from 2015 to 2023

2010 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino Pre-Arrival  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Brunello di Montalcino gets more expensive than the Sesta Di Sopra, but it doesn't get better. I tasted this in a line up of inspiring 2010s and this was the clear star. The Sesta is big, rich and powerful yet still remarkably pure, streamlined and long finishing. This is an excellent cellar candidate which will develop gorgeously for decades!
Drink from 2020 to 2040
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart JS 94 BC 0

2012 Adelsheim Willamette Valley Pinot Noir  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
The 2012 Adelsheim Pinot Noir is another winner from the excellent 2012 vintage in Oregon. This wine is delightfully fresh and bright, with a juicy mid-core of red cherry fruit that lingers on through the finish. I love the silky mouthfeel of this wine, while it still has that lively, crisp, food friendly appeal. Delicious!

2010 Soluve Chianti Classico Riserva  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
I don't usually love Chianti but we just got in one of the most friendly Chiantis I've tasted in a long time! The reason is that it has a touch of Merlot blended with the Sangiovese giving it a nice weight and richness, and adds a soft quality to the usually very astringent and acidic Chianti. This is perfectly food friendly and a great wine to have with anything Italian!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 91 BC 0

2012 Domaine Cyrot-Buthiau Bourgogne Rouge (Maison Dieu)   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-28-2015
I loooove Burgundian Pinot Noirs. I especially love ones that I can get at under $20. Red currants, tangy strawberry, savory earth and lean acidity all meld together to satisfy Pinot cravings. I paired this with a gooey port salut toasted cheese sandwich along side a creamy tomato soup.....SPECTACULAR!!!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-28-2015
"Rudy" is one of my favorite Napa Cabs that we sell. Even though it's his second label to his fantastic line up of Cabernet & Cabernet blends, you won't be disappointed! This wine is all mountain fruit, is rich yet structured and is totally polished. Black currant, cedar, wild herbs all intertwine in a sumptuously textured body. A steal at $20!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Alma Rosa Santa Barbara County Chardonnay  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Richard Sanford is a true legend that simply does not receive the credit he deserves. Back in 1971 he planted the first Pinot Noir in the Central Coast at the now famed Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. Just that act alone has him in the history books yet he still continues to make rock solid and affordable wines, first under his Sanford label that was a staple in fine wine shops in the last three decades of the 20th Century. After a shake up at Sanford, which we won’t get into here, Rick once again set off to create something new, this time Alma Rosa where sustainability was paramount to the winery, both in the vineyards and in the business practices of the winery. Taking this model Rick has made many lovely wines from both his self-planted, historic vineyards and new sites as well. This 2013 Santa Barbara County Chardonnay is a perfect example of his craftsmanship. Mostly coming from a 35 year old block of Chardonnay at the White Hills Vineyard this is a powerful wine that betrays its paltry price point. With notes of almond skin, apricot pit, sage and a touch of salinity in the nose there are few rival Chards that can hold a candle to this sort of complexity at this cost. Waves of peach flesh, green apple, sea salt, low toast oak and crushed cashew flavors flow freely on the palate to create a sense of both richness and breadth. If that’s not enough for $15 the finish is long and energetic with lemon zest and a touch of a white floral note. Kudos to Rick and all he has done, for so many years, for all the wine drinkers out there.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2012 Comte Louis de Clermont-Tonnerre (Alain Corcia) Cotes du Rhone Villages Cairanne   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-28-2015
This was the wine that kept me smiling through the crazy Holiday Season! This Rhone is savory & earthy with wonderful herbaceousness, aromas of forest floor and mushroomy umami delights. The fruit is dark and more berry-skinned than berry juice (which I love). I love this wine with hearty cheeses & homemade stew. And due to its layers of savory deliciousness, it's quite satisfying on its own!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine du Tariquet "Classic" Cotes de Gascogne Blanc   | Public Pending Approval
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Due to this wine's versatility, it has become one of our best sellers. The Tariquet is full of white stone fruit, fresh pear, yellow citrus and is held all together with a bracing acidity. I'd pair this with grilled seafoods & curried chicken. Great for everyday!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 BenMarco Malbec Mendoza  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
This is a ridiculous price on this bottling from the team at Dominio del Plata and Susana Balbo. A showcase for some of their best Malbec sites, primarily in the Uco Valley, this red has rounded, mixed berry fruits, with some red cherries and plums as well. Tasty fruit, very smooth tannins, some spicy sweet notes from oak aging all add up to a most drinkable red for under $10.

2012 Colonias de Galeon "Ocnos" Roble VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
This red shows slightly darker fruits that their other, unoaked red, but the flavors still do not lack for energy, purity and freshness. A touch more spice and structure, but with really wonderful cut and persistence. If, like me, you were more than happy to enjoy Sherry but not familiar with the potential for white and red wine in Andalucía, Colonias de Galeon's wines should be a real eye opener.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Tinto Vino de la Tierra de Sierra Norte de Sevilla  
Review Date: 1-28-2015
Beautiful Sevilla was my first exposure to Spain, and this crisp, crunchy, fruit filled Beaujolais look alike was the first Spanish red I have had from Andalucía which combines the fresh fruit, bright acids and light to mid weight structure I so often crave in a red wine. If, like me, you were more than happy to enjoy Sherry but not familiar with the potential for white and red wine in Andalucía, Colonias de Galeon's wines should be a real eye opener!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1995 Poujeaux, Moulis  
Review Date: 1-27-2015
Always one of the great Bordeaux values, and along with Chasse Spleen one of the two top properties in Moulis. This 20 year old '95 Poujeaux is a perfectly aged Bordeaux at the peak of its powers. Wonderfully aromatic. Lovely floral notes. An explosion of violets leapt from the bottle as soon as I withdrew the cork. Plenty of ripe black fruits, currant and blackberry. Very fresh and fine. Firm tannins. This is drinking beautifully now and should hold its own for a while yet though likely without improving substantially. Enjoy!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

1995 Calon-Ségur, St Estèphe  
Review Date: 1-27-2015
It's hard to believe this vintage is now 20 years old. '95 and '96 were the two top vintages of the decade and as they reach their twentieth birthday no doubt many of the wines will receive renewed scrutiny. 20 to 30 years old is prime maturity for most Bordeaux wines and many will be reaching their peak over the next decade. That being said, the 1995 Calon Segur, St-Estephe still seems very youthful with still firm tannins and just a hint of aged character emerging. The oak is nicely integrated at this point with lovely spice notes. Plenty of sweet, ripe fruit and classic Cabernet character of blackberry and cassis. As my colleague Ralph Sands notes, all the reasons we drink Bordeaux can be found in this bottle. I love this wine.

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