Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse
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Reviews

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2012 Back Nine Cellars Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 4-25-2014
Dark fruit, blackcurrant, cassis and touch of mocha and spice with just enough "Rutherford Dust" and grip to keep it from showing overly ripe. There is a freshness to this wine that I like, it has more drive than some Napa Valley floor wines I have encountered. At this price it's a pretty serious value considering its origin and the reputation of the property that produced it. This delivers a lot of authentic Rutherford flavors at a pretty modest price point.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

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Club Price: $23.99
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2012 Back Nine Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 4-25-2014
Simply put, you could pay a lot more to get a wine of this quality and style! Definitely one for the lovers of bigger, richer more barrel influenced Chardonnay but for what is eschews in subtlety it more than makes up for with lashings of ripe fruit, toasty oak and a round creamy texture. A powerful wine that is certain to keep a lot of people happy without costing a fortune like some of its brand name kin.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

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Club Price: $14.99
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2012 Penfolds "Bin 138" Old Vine Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 4-21-2014
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This wine is just brimming full of briary bramble fruit, exotic spices, some meaty gamey notes and a sweet, supple, juicy element that is hard to capture in words. The wine has a fine balance of purity and density, the extract is perfect giving ample body and richness but never feeling heavy or losing freshness and drive. Bin 138 really shows why this blend has endured across the ages as it pulls elements from each of its individual components. Grenache provides the bright spicy fruit, Shiraz a darker edge, structure and meaty element the Mataro (Mourvedre) adding its unmistakable earthy undertones and savory dimension. A really great wine equally enjoyable for lovers of Aussie GSMs and Châteauneuf-du-Papes alike!
Drink from 2014 to 2024

2011 Te Mata "Estate" Cabernets/Merlot Hawkes Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 4-9-2014
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An exceptional value. This has a ton of real Bordeaux character for a very small price. The wine has soft supple fruit, a real silky texture and some lovely savory, tobacco and wood spice notes that give a lovely complexity and nuance for a wine of this price point. What a great everyday drinker thanks to our direct import pricing advantage!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Penfolds "Bin 8" Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz South Australia
Review Date: 4-8-2014
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Wow! What a value from Penfolds. This has a lot of the character and concentration of the much more expensive Bins at a small percentage of the price! Juicy, saturated dark fruit, plum, dark berries and bramble fruit with just a touch of Cabernet's classic tobacco leaf and cedar wood. This wine is wonderfully rich and expressive even now with fine, ripe tannins and nice dense, fleshy dark fruit. The wine is matured in top quality oak that was previously used for some of Penfold's most expensive releases and this wine shows lovely pedigree and polish from its time in barrel. I can hardly believe that this quality is available from Penfolds in the sub $20 price point.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020

2012 Penfolds "Bin 128" Shiraz Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 4-8-2014
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A beautifully perfumed Shiraz with classic aromatics of spicy plush red fruits, some Cassis, sweet plums, crushed mint and sandalwood. On the palate the wine is perfectly polished and pure with fine elegant tannins, bright but juicy berry fruits and some subtle fresh picked herb characters. The fruit profile perfectly plays the edge of rich soft red fruit with some darker, riper fruit edges complimented by that fresh crushed herb / garrigue fragrance. Pretty serious Shiraz in a very sleek attractive style.
Drink from 2013 to 2023
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 4-8-2014
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What a great follow up to the "breakout" 2010. This new incarnation is perhaps more precise and focused with less fleshy mid pallet but plenty of depth and intrigue. Dusty dark red berries, leaf litter, bark and river stone. A pretty Burgundian profile with some tell tale spiced citrus notes that give away it's Marlborough origins. I truly believe this wine still has more to give and think it will flesh out further with a few more months / years in the cellar. Bright, fresh, pure Pinot that is a real crowd pleasing style especially for those looking for a more traditional elegant expression of this fickle grape. Excellent value.
Top Value! Drink from 2013 to 2018
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Giuliano "Terre di Chieti" Pecorino
Review Date: 4-8-2014
Quite a ripe nose of tropical fruits, Mango and Lilikoi with a fresh floral note. The palate is soft and broad with nice concentration and texture. The wine has a stoney, even slight chalky mineral character towards the finish that helps give a little more length and balance to some of the exuberance of the fleshy fruit on the mid palate. Good value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2010 Sons Of Eden "Romulus" Barossa Valley Shiraz
Review Date: 4-7-2014
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Not sure how to really explain this wine's quality...perhaps I should just start off by saying that for me these two bottlings (Romulus and Remus) are two of the greatest young bottles I have tasted in many years. They are quintessential Barossa wines combining power, purity, balance and authenticity. The concept of doing these two bottlings shows exactly how well The Sons of Eden understand their craft, respect their history and are pushing on with pride into a new era of compelling Australian wines. The Romulus is a big concentrated wine brimming with ripe, dark red fruits, terrarossa warm earth, sweet spice, mocha and toasty oak. The wines breadth and power is kept in balance by a surprising brightness and acidity given the wines ripeness and concentration. It wears its oak very well and will certainly continue to integrate this even further as it reaches adolescence. This wine is so rich and decadent now it is hard to imagine restraining ones self from drinking it, yet I believe keeping this a few years, maybe even 10, will only reward the strong willed. Seriously impressive wine that I would pit against any other Shiraz at any other price point, this is the real deal.
Drink from 2014 to 2022

2010 Sons Of Eden "Remus" Eden Valley Shiraz
Review Date: 4-7-2014
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Not sure how to really explain this wine's quality...perhaps I should just start off by saying that, for me, these two bottlings (Romulus and Remus) are two of the greatest young bottles I have tasted in many years. They are quintessential Barossa wines combining power, purity, balance and authenticity. The concept of doing these two bottlings shows exactly how well The Sons of Eden understand their craft, respect their history and are pushing on with pride into a new era of compelling Australian wines. The Remus is more high-toned than the Romulus on the blue and black fruit spectrum. Think Blackcurrant and cassis, add crushed mint, purple flowers and a lovely pencil shaving and cedar note from the French oak and you have a really lovely wine. The perfect contrast in expression to its more muscular, but equally impressive brother. There is no lack of concentration here, all the intensity is just more linear and focused. A really lovely wine that shows the special qualities of Eden Valley. I suspect this wine will outlive the Romulus and might well see its 20th birthday still in fine form.
Drink from 2014 to 2030

2012 Cypress Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 4-6-2014
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Ummmm such a great rendition of really juicy, spicy gravelly Hawke's Bay Syrah. For me this is one of the most distinctive varietal / region flavor profiles in the world. This wine has all that regional character and then some. The nose suggests cracked black pepper and spicy red berries. On the palate the flavors readily agree with a nice juicy mid-palate and mouthwatering acidity. There is a lovely gamey, pepper crusted steak quality here that complements the ripe berry fruits. Reminds me of the magic combination of Venison and Huckleberry sauce. What a steal for a wine of this quality. A must try for all lovers of Syrah.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Sons of Eden "Kennedy" GSM Barossa Valley
Review Date: 4-6-2014
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The answer to many critics and even some winemakers who have written off the 2011 vintage in South Australia. The vintage was one of the coldest and wettest on record with weather more like Seattle than Adelaide! However Simon and Corey have crafted a wine that is a shinning representation their grape growing / wine making skills and the ability of Barossa to produce incredibly delicious wines that are fresh, vibrant and a million miles away stylistically from the jammy, sweet fruit bombs that people often associate with the region. Never ones to make over-the-top wines anyway, the cards that mother nature dealt Simon and Cory in 2011 made them focus on purity and balance over bulk and brawn. This wine has fantastic purity of fruit and lovely ripe berry flavors, bramble fruit, loganberry. It also has sweet spice, black pepper and hint of charred steak. The wine is so supple and silky on the palate with super fine tannins and bright but soft acidity. The old vine (50+ yrs) origins of this wine show up on the finish with a lovely rocky, soil driven complexity adding yet another element to this complex wine. This has all the purity of fruit I want from Barossa with the layers and complexity I seek in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A really great bottle I implore you to try.
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

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Club Price: $25.99
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2011 Framingham "Classic" Riesling Marlborough
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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Ummmmm I am a sucker for this style of off-dry, juicy, concentrated, pure Riesling. Preserved lemon, fresh peeled tangerine, a drop of lime juice. It's a play on sweetness and acidity all underpinned by Framingham's characteristic racy acidity that lends freshness and drive to the wine. Many believe these guys to be at the top of New Zealand's Riesling pecking order. They certainly know what they're doing and are making some stellar wines. In my top five for sure!
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Framingham Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 4-5-2014
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A graceful style Pinot but with plenty of mid-palate concentration. Expressive nose of wild berries and forest floor, maybe even suggestion of smoke. The structure is supple with acidity playing the major role in elongating the wine on the palate. Quite moreish and easy to drink, showing purity and a nice level of restraint along side easy juicy red fruits and some leaf-litter savory components. Certainly more for the Burgundy lover than the big blockbuster Pinot folks. Pretty cool wine especially for this price point.
Top Value!

2011 Torbreck "Juveniles" Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 3-28-2014
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I am normally a fan of this release from Torbreck, In fact I often like it over some of their much more expensive bottlings that can be a bit excessively brawny for my tastes. However this 2011 release is something really special. The vintage was exceptionally cold in Barossa and due to this the wine has a very elegant structure and more restraint than one might expect from these varietals and region. The wine is aromatic with floral spice notes and a touch of cracked peppercorns. On the palate the wine is decidedly medium bodied with incredibly silky soft tannins and supple mouth feel. It is vibrant and soft with balanced, gentle acidity and plenty of length on the palate despite the wines elegant form. A lovely reflection of what can result from a tricky cool vintage.
Top Value!

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