Staff Favorites - Mahon McGrath

Mahon McGrath

Reviews

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2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 3-23-2015
The Petite Sirah in this blend really makes a difference, even though it isn't the dominant partner, taking the Zinfandel well away from what you normally consider Paso Robles Zinfandel to be about. Black, tarry fruit, cocoa powder, and toasted coconut come out on the nose, leading into dusty, brooding, plummy fruit on the palate. Fine grained tannins make this easy to drink right now, and acidity keeps it lively.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 93 BC 0

2012 Philippe Tessier "Les Sables" Cour Cheverny
Review Date: 3-23-2015
The fruit for this bottling comes from 60 year old vines, versus a vine age of 30 years for the standard Cour-Cheverny. Not too different than its younger sibling, the 2012 “Les Sables” simply offers more of everything: there’s resin, lemon juice, hazelnut, beeswax, and dried citrus peel and ginger, on this medium bodied white wine, along with bracing acidity. Anyone lamenting the scarcity of stellar white Burgundy at bargain prices could do worse than to give this wine a whirl!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Textbook "Mise en Place" Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 3-11-2015
The 2012 “Mise en Place” greets you on the nose with charcoal, roasted cassis, huckleberry, and birch notes. Nicely focused, but ample and sweet, dusty plum and cassis flavors rub elbows here with Dutch cocoa, caraway, cumin, wintergreen, and a toasted coconut-caramel oak component. Despite the slightly indulgent nature of certain dimensions here, in the end, the wine finishes in a commendably dry fashion. While the tannins are tooth-coating yet, the evidence is all here that this will knit together nicely in a few years, and live for a good many more.

2013 Cave de Saumur Saumur Blanc
Review Date: 3-11-2015
The Cave de Saumur blanc is a great everyday white. Fresh, ripe Anjou pear meets stone fruit on the nose, with both catching a bit of lift, courtesy of a light floral dimension. The palate is a little tauter than the nose might suggest; though starting off with good weight and breadth, the wine narrows inexorably towards a wet stone dimension, while, simultaneously, the wine’s significant acidic verve also makes its presence felt.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
Review Date: 3-2-2015
The Mas Codina cleaves more to the doughy-yeasty side of things, but has a light, delicate fruit character, in a citrus, tart apple vein. This definitely comes across on the dry side, and finishes clean, with a suggestion of green apple. Absolutely affordable, and well balanced, this is a great pick when you need good, inexpensive fizz!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Roasted herb, leather, and iron meet up with salty, balsamic, caraway notions, and light shadings of toasted coconut, on the nose. Somewhat fresher than the nose might lead you to believe, the dusty fruit on the palate is still well seasoned with spice and anise. The tannins are fairly gentle, though sufficient to imagine a future for this wine: whether you hold it will be down to how patient you are! The acidity, while there, never makes its presence obvious. Great Riserva for a great price!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart JS 92 BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Maybe I need to taste more Kiwi Pinot Noir; I never would have pegged this as an antipodean wine! There’s a richness, ripeness, and density to this that I’d probably have pegged as Oregonian if I’d been blinded on it. Smoky, dark fruit, parched earth, and woodsy vanilla on the nose leads into a pure, plump medium bodied wine with elegant, silky tannins, and a cocoa-powder dusted finish of good length. There is more power than simple opulence here, so while it is far from being “wound up” or in-accessible now, it would be very interesting to revisit this five to eight years down the road to see how it evolves when it has had a chance to relax. Home run!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96 JS 96

Marietta "Old Vine Red-Lot #62" Red Blend
Review Date: 2-25-2015
Bright cherry-berry fruit, with warm baking spice accents framing it, lead into a medium bodied, juicy mouthful of wine. There is only the faintest whiff of tannin here; the wine derives its freshness and structure courtesy of its vibrant acidity. There aren't many domestic wines that stand up to the best of the competition at this price point from Spain, say, but this is one that really does, and boasts an unmistakably Californian character besides. This slides easily into the roster of top, everyday-red deals!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 2-20-2015
You don’t necessarily need to cleave to cool climate wine regions in order to find a nice core of minerality in your white wine. This Assyrtiko, from the island of Santorini, situated out alone in the bright blue of the Mediterranean about equidistant to Turkey, Crete, and the Greek mainland, handily proves the point. The palate shows richness and breadth, with some ripe, sweet flavors, before tightening up on the finish as the wet stone character re-asserts itself. If you want a slight detour from your usual Muscadet or Chablis, say, this would be well worth exploring in similar contexts food-wise.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2012 Von Strasser "Rudy" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 2-16-2015
One of the best deals going in domestic Cabernet Sauvignon! First and foremost, Von Strasser's Rudy is balanced. The acidity and tannins are poised just right to set off the dark fruit flavors accented with pencil shavings and mint. The cherry on top is that it comes in at an eminently fair price, too!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Château de la Charrière Bourgogne Rouge Domaine Yves Girardin
Review Date: 2-9-2015
This is everything you'd hope for in a Bourgogne rouge: dusty, earthy, dark cherry fruit enlivened by a touch of blood orange on the nose, leading to low-key, natural fruit and spice notes on the palate, with good flesh, gentle tannins, decent length on the finish, and for a low price to boot! Stock up while you can!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Georg Albrecht Schneider "vom Rotliegenden" Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese Trocken (dry)
Review Date: 1-14-2015
The nose on the Schneider Red Slate offers spice, sweet pea blossom, honey, golden apple, and just the faintest whiff of mineral and petrol way in the background. On the palate it is graceful and elegant, sporting a lush mouth-feel and weight, without any heaviness. The flavors keep to the floral, delicate side, and it wears its mineral component lightly. While dry, it finishes more plush and supple than brisk or austere. All in all, this is a complex and charming white wine that’s yours for a pittance!

2013 Guy Saget "Marie de Beauregard" Vouvray
Review Date: 11-7-2014
The Marie de Beauregard displays a clean mineral streak, wed to deep aromas of apple, pear, quince, and spice. While the palate begins with a dense texture and broad flavor, on the finish it is a chameleon, turning firm, taut, and bracing, with a slight mineral rasp: this is a lot of Vouvray for the price!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2012 Textbook Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-2-2014
Looking for a well made California Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy right now? Here’s one that needs no more time than it takes to buy a bottle, carry it home, and pull the cork. While round and open, it also shows exquisite balance, and boasts an attractive nose of plum, charcoal, and bitter chocolate, accented by a subtle hint of mint. Modest tannins lead to a dry, focused finish which dovetails down to a slight recurrence of the bitter chocolate note.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

2013 Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-20-2014
Round and juicy, this Chardonnay is driven by clean, tropical flavors of sweet citrus and pineapple. Its easy-going style, with a price to match, should make it a hit with those looking for an everyday white that has a little more richness than a Sauvignon Blanc, say, but avoids the oak-and-butter side of the Chardonnay spectrum.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

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