Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse
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Reviews

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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

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

Wine Club

Club Price: $25.99
JH 93 WS 91 BC 0

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 93 JS 90

2011 Te Mata "Awatea" Bordeaux Blend Hawkes Bay
Review Date: 3-3-2014
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An exceptional value for a serious and structured wine of really high quality. The second wine to the legendary Coleraine the Awatea is a classic Bordeaux blend that is made in a slightly more soft and generous style. Lovely rich dark red fruits, plum, currant, bitter-sweet chocolate, subtle barrel spice an a hint of cigar box. A very good partner for red meat. I think this wine really appeals to people that like a more classic style of old school Napa Cab.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2008 Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve, Kent, England
Review Date: 2-2-2014
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A savory wine with intense lees character from the extended ageing on the yeast. Toasty, nutty flavors dominate but the wine also has a bright core of crunchy pear and zesty citrus acidity. A wine showing a lovely element of development and elegance from its time in bottle. This is very hard to pick from great Champagne and has beaten many such Champagnes in blind tastings internationally (Bollinger for one on the BBC’s “12 Drinks of Christmas”) I can definitely see why!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Wiston Estate "South Downs Cuvée" Brut West Sussex England
Review Date: 2-2-2014
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A standout in English Sparkling. These guys are very serious about making world-class sparkling wines. An incredible wine with powerful, chalky minerality and very focused, linear intensity. A low 4g/l dosage and high acidity means this is more in the Extra Brut camp for those that like very crisp dry Champagnes. The wine has rich flavor concentration that zips across the palate. I think this is quite reminiscent of Krug with its barrel-fermented qualities showing through adding another layer of textural quality and toasty flavors. A unique expression of English sparkling from perhaps the most focused producer that we came across. If it matters to you, (and sometimes with “Champagne” it does) these guys also got the packaging right, a very stylish and eye catching bottle, enough to land them on the Forbes list for coolest wine labels of 2013!
Drink from 2014 to 2020
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Te Whare Ra (TWR) Syrah Marlborough
Review Date: 12-10-2013
Unbelievably good Syrah. Marlborough is definitely a very marginal place to grow Syrah. Most people wouldn't bother with it as it's way to late ripening for a place as cool as this. However, when you just happen to have some amazing old vines in the heart of Renwick and you are passionate about making interesting wines that speak of terroir, purity and elegance then you might just go the extra mile to make a wine like this!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Domaine Ballorin & F Côte de Nuits Villages "Le Village"
Review Date: 10-29-2013
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Wow! This is ton of wine for a very modest price. Highly aromatic with rose petal, lavender, and freshly crushed forest fruits. The texture of the wine on the palate is quite remarkable. So silky and elegant with super fine slippery tannin from the heavy clay soils in this vineyard. Exceptional poise and an almost ethereal quality on the finish. Excellent.
Top Value!
Price: $27.95 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Michel Arnould Vintage "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2013
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Seriously complex Champagne. Made up from parcels of Mesnil Chard and old vine Verzenay Pinot Noir. The wine has a lovely fragrant nose of Jasmine and Sweet-pea with warm bread aromas. On the palate I find a dramatically fine complex texture and breadth, richness without excessive weight. Flavors of crunchy pear and quince are balanced with softer riper yellow stone fruit and subtle shaved ginger. Immaculate balance and ethereal persistence.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2013
Bright, rich, ripe Rose Champagne with lovely fruit and excellent purity. It shows some subtle notes of crushed mint and strawberry coulis. The quality of the all Grand Cru Pinot Noir fruit sources really show through on this wine. The elegant pure red fruit flavors are balanced by a nice tart cranberry acidity on the finish.

2005 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 10-15-2013
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A very rich Champagne with ripe golden orchard fruit on the nose with toasty brioche notes. The wine shows toasted barley and Graham Cracker with a creamy texture and supple round mouth feel. A powerful crowd pleasing Champagne to enjoy this holiday season.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 6-30-2013
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WOW! The 2011 of this wine was one of the best deals in $20 Pinot but the new 2012 beats it hands-down! I am so excited for the first of the 2012 red wines to start filling in. At last a real high quality California vintage after a couple pretty average ones. This wine is predominantly sourced from the Sangiacomo vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. It shows excellent brightness and purity and the hallmark vintage traits of great physiological ripeness and flavor development but with very moderate alcohol levels. Purely red fruited with exotic Asian spices, a touch of well integrated oak and forest floor nuances that appear with a little air. Exceptional value.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 6-30-2013
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A good follow up to one of my favorite 2009 Napa Cabs. This wine shows the cooler vintage but also this time around the fruit comes from the Rutherford and Yountville valley floor vineyards. This gives it a little more supple tannin and generosity. The wine still has the big concentration balanced with freshness that Amici has been doing so well for a few years now. Great Napa Cab at a fraction of the cost some of the big names charge.
Drink from 2013 to 2020

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 5-13-2013
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I don't think there is anything I can say about this wine that Gary or my colleagues haven't already said yet I feel compelled to review it. Hands down my favorite Champagne in the store. Even when you take much more expensive wines into account it's hard to say that considerably more cash gets you any improvement in quality.

Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 5-13-2013
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Great wine that is a little more reserved than most of Launois' rich, decadent style. From a single vineyard and bottled at a slightly lower pressure. Soft orchard fruits abound, some fleshy peach character and a nice toasty note on the finish with our being overly buttery of nutty. This restraint allows the quality of fruit to show through a little more precisely. Excellent value.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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