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Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse
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1979 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-28-2012
I tasted this whiskey last week and was really impressed by its ethereal quality. It is delicate in nature but has so much depth and complexity, richness with out weight. A couple days later I was watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi and was moved by the concept of his Sushi being about increasingly complex tastes, guided by traditional rules of extreme simplicity. While I have never had Jiro’s food (and likely never will) I thought of this whiskey and indeed other wines that I have tasted that have so much character, drive, power and complexity but without density and weight. A purity that makes them compelling. Some of the best things in life have this quality and when you find them it is a truly special experience that is very hard to define.
Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Sparkling Wine Brut Central Otago
Review Date: 11-26-2012
A very very good choice for bubbles this holiday season! Quartz Reef are (in my humble opinion) hands down the best sparkling producer in New Zealand. This stunning Brut is made from 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay from Central Otago. The fruit is all grown Organically / Biodynamically and carefully hand picked. The wine spends a minimum of two years on the lees, after which every bottle is expertly hand riddled and disgorged. This wine is bright, fresh and pure. It shows crunchy, fresh orchard fruit with some citrus notes and a wonderfully floral, subtly toasty nose. On the palate the pedigree of the fruit is complemented by a wonderful rich and creamy texture. Excellent persistence and balance on the finish with mineral tones from the weathered granite and quartz rich soils from which the estate gets its name. Truly world class wine that performs far above its price point.
Montechiara Prosecco DOC
Review Date: 9-29-2012
Fresh flavors of zesty lemon gelato lead onto the balanced and weighty palate. The bubbles are bright and energetic. This wine has great persistence and richness for a wine of this price point. On the finish, the citrus acidity is checked by just a subtle hint of almond paste sweetness. This is a perfect Extra Dry level prosecco for all your events and holiday parties at an incredible value price!
2009 Mercedes Eguren Cabernet Sauvignon Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 8-28-2012
A great “real” Cabernet for under ten bucks! This wine is brimming with dark fruits, some minty, herbal subtleties a touch of tobacco and spicy oak. This is no juicy fruity generic red. It has real structure and Cabernet varietal qualities showing well beyond its miniscule price point. This is a great wine for those of you that enjoy quality, food friendly balanced and firm structured wines but need something for everyday drinking. This is a steal!
2010 Merryvale Carneros Pinot Noir
Review Date: 7-30-2012
A great wine from Merryvale in a very challenging year. A few cool summer means this wine is lighter in weight and alcohol than previous vintages, however a heat spike in late august brought on ripeness for people who had shown careful management in the vineyard. This Pinot is from a single vineyard in Carneros. It shows bright red fruits and spice. The palate is concentrated and rich despite its elegant texture. The wine finishes with a nice zippy acid making it a very food friendly CA Pinot.
Fleury Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-27-2011
This fine Champagne has so many things going for it. A small producer we work with directly thanks to the great work of our Champagne buyer Gary Westby. This is a Champagne Rose of pedigree; Jean-Pierre Fleury was the first grower in the Champagne region to convert to Biodynamics in 1989. This wine is 100% Pinot Noir from phenomenal estate vineyards situated on steep sunny slopes in the village of Courteron. In the bottle we find an exhibition of both power and elegance. Ripe fruits on the nose, red currants and macerated strawberries. On the palate a fine balance of fruit, acid and minerality. This is a harmonious wine. Beyond all of this, the beautiful packaging makes this bottle a great gift. Definitely one of the most eye-catching wines in the store. Thankfully this is one time that choosing a bottle for its pretty label will not lead you astray!
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