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Staff Favorites - Christie Cartwright
Christie Cartwright | Send Email | Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
I was first introduced to the fabulous world of California wine in Napa where I spent weekends bike riding and wine tasting with my parents up and down the Silverado Trail. Growing up in the East Bay Area it was only a hop...skip...jump away from wine country where my family would venture to relax and play every possible moment. It wasn't until my senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo that I realized I had a passion for the wine industry. My first encounter with the working world of wine was my volunteer internship at Edna Valley Winery where I traveled to a number of tasting events with the marketing manager for the winery and realized I needed to get in the business. I added a minor in wine and viticulture to my communications studies major and ended up writing my thesis on the differences in wine marketing throughout a choice number of Paso Robles wineries. My first "real job" in the wine industry was at the smallest tasting room with the biggest personality in Paso Robles named Four Vines Winery. I worked there for almost three years while going to school and fell in love with not only central coast wines, but also with the business of sales and all those who loved, appreciated, and enjoyed our fruitful product. After graduation in 2007 I loved the central coast so much I decided to make a go for it and stay in this blissful paradise of beach and vines. I became fond very fond of making trips to Los Olivos and Santa Ynez valley quite often and in the mean time also became employed at Tolosa Winery in San Luis Obispo and 15 degrees wine bar in Templeton. In the summer of 2009 I decided to take a chance and move to Hollywood for more opportunity. Being from northern California I wanted to expand my horizons and see what the LA lifestyle was all about. I knew this was where I belonged the moment I stepped into this oasis of wine and cuisine. Never had I been to a place where I could find so many restaurants, bistros, wine bars, and the like within a 4 mile radius, and I don't have to get on the freeway! I'm in heaven. When I walked into the infamous K&L Hollywood Store it was love at first sight! I'm thrilled to be working here doing what I love, and love the incredible people here who share this passion and commitment with me.
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2010 Anne Amie Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 9-6-2013
The 2010 vintage in Willamette Valley was one of the cooler growing years in some time, but the Ann Amie Team was up to the challenge and succeeded beautifully! The 120 acres of estate vineyards were harvested in a matter of five days in October before the heavy rainstorms hit the region. Grapes were hand picked and destemmed into open top, stainless steel fermenters then cold soaked. The wine was on the skins between 28-40 days. The wine was racked by gravity into a mix of new and used French oak barrels where it aged on lees for 16 months. Once bottled the wine was aged for one year before release. Ann Amie's style of wine making produces a very polished, classic, sophisticated Pinot Noir that is absolutely food friendly and delicious. By far one of my favorite Oregon Pinot Noirs that never fails to impress, especially for the price! (Christie Cartwright, Hollywood Buyer)
2012 Failla Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 8-29-2013
The 2012 Failla Pinot is full of super concentrated crunchy red fruits, bursting with pretty and sweet aromatics exploding with flavor on the palate. Tons of juicy acid, great structure, only sees 5% new oak, unfined and unfiltered. Erin's wine-making philosophy is simple, using native yeasts, picking fruit by PH not necessarily by brix levels, never adding water and acid like some who pick too ripe. He also practices natural Malolactic never inoculating, letting the wines do their own magic and really speak for themselves.
2011 Michel Delhommeau "Symbiose" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 7-24-2013
If you like the "Harmonie" Muscadet then you'll LOVE the Symboise Muscadet! From the same producer the only difference is the soil the fruit comes from. The Symboise is a touch more intense and mineral on the palate while the Harmonie is a bit more of an "easy drinker". So if you need a porch pounder get the harmonie and if your pairing with oysters do the Symboise!
2012 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 6-21-2013
It's back and just as refreshing as ever! Always a favorite of mine, weather I'm relaxing on the deck, or cooking up a storm, Harmonie is always there to keep me cool, calm, and feeling like I'm on vacation in the Loire Valley! Super fresh and clean with high acid and minerality on the palate. Perfect for salads, oysters, or just on its own!
2012 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 5-22-2013
Well I have to be honest...usually a California Sauv Blanc for under $8 is hard pressed to be drinkable, innocuous at best. But when I tasted the 2012 Geyser Peak SB I was very pleasantly surprised! It has a wonderful intensity to it. Lots of bright aromatics, crispy, great core of acid and citrus notes with a clean and fresh finish. Super Value here!!!
2011 Laetitia Estate Arroyo Grande Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 5-2-2013
This 100% Estate Pinot Noir is nothing less than a pure expression of the cool central coast climate and near perfect growing conditions producing classic Pinot for an insanely good price! Bright ripe cherry fruit with a touch of spice on the nose with a supple and delicate texture on the mid palate, finishing strong with great acidity and structure making this wine both drinkable with or without food. This is my new crowd pleaser pinot!
2008 Terra Valentine "Wurtele Vineyard" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 4-24-2013
Terra Valentine is a tiny boutique producer that's sits high on the steep hillsides of Spring Mountain. The wines are meticulously hand crafted and they spare no expense on the sorting table. This I know because I went to visit them during the harvest of 2012, and they put me to work on the sorting table for a few hours, and I couldn't believe all the fruit they tossed aside because it wasn't "perfect"! After that experience I swore I would never subject myself to the sorting table again, it is truly some of the most back-breaking work you can do, but it sure does help make the wine damn fine!
2010 Hirsch "San Andreas Fault" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-1-2013
I'm always a big fan of Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir, but at this price I'm their #1 fan! Compared to most Sonoma coast pinots that can be a touch over-ripe and dark purple in color, Hirsch shows way more pure Burgundian qualities such as the lighter dark pink color in the glass with exotic floral and spice notes, even a touch of blood orange peel. It shows elegance, brightness, pure strawberry seed, great acid and minerality so you can drink now or wait a few years and compare it with your Burgundy snob friends! Don't miss out on this one!
2010 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 2-9-2013
My absolute favorite bubbly or "Champagne for half the price"! This Staff Favorite French Sparkling Cremant is elegant, dry, crisp, with stone fruit and citrus notes, and a touch of toasty creaminess that will keep you sipping all day/night long!
2010 Hey Mambo "Sultry Red" Red Blend
Review Date: 2-1-2013
An extremely tasty blend of 29% Sirah,26% Petite Sirah, 13% Zinfandel,12% Grenache, 10% Tempranillo,6% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Merlot. The fruit comes from Paso Robles, Lodi, Amador, and Mendocino. I love how lush, plush, and ripe this wine is! Mouthwatering flavors of black raspberry, fig preserves, dark cocoa, blueberry, and boysenberry cobbler! Yum! Family owned and operated by Sebastiani siblings Mia and August through their company TOG(The Other Guys); they are determined to make wines that will continue their family’s reputation for quality winemaking for generations to come. (Christie Cartwright, Domestic buyer)
2006 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-19-2012
IF your looking for the ultimate value Rioja to drink now then look no further! This new Direct Import is surely to tickle your fancy! Old world style with new world polish. Big bing cherry fruit with cigar box, leather, savory herb and spice. Perfect dinner party wine for all your festivities.
Elisabeth Goutorbe "Cuvée Eclatante" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2012
From the daughter of Henroit Goutorbe, Elisabeth is making something so elegant and superb for a far better price! 70% Pinot noir, and 25% Chardonnay, with 5% Pinot Meunier, this Champagne is rich and moussy, with a full of honey and caramelized fruit on the nose and finish. delicate yet plush, and a steal in my book!
2010 XANTHOS Red Blend
Review Date: 10-12-2012
A new arrival for California Red Blend Lovers! I can't believe I found this hidden jem for under $20! It tastes and drinks at least twice its price! Perfect Winter Red that all your friends will love to indulge themselves in! 63% Syrah, 16% Segalin, 11% Merlot, and 10% Zinfandel
Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-4-2012
This is my quintessential Holiday Party Champagne, and it aims to please! Not too big and over-the-top, and not to light and lean either, its just right! Made from almost half Chardonnay and half Pinot Meunier graps giving it lots of depth and great texture on the palate. This is the bell of the ball as far as I'm concerned. This lovely bubbly is feminine yet sexy and bold at the same time. Its bright and fresh character gives it a friendly quality that can be sipped on and enjoyed all day and all night long! This is heaven in a flute!
Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 9-28-2012
This is one of my all time favorite Bubbly Rose and a fraction of the price of Champagne.I love the new cuvee of my Deligeroy Rose. Its much softer and more feminine that the last cuvee which was a touch herbaceous. This Cab Franc based blend is aimed to please this holiday season! Its the perfect party wine that will please a crowd instantly. Subtle fruit with balanced acid and a clean, dry finish! You wont believe your wallet! It has subtle red berry and sweet herb undertones with its racy acid and minerality keep it refreshing but still full on the palate. Perfect for any gathering or romantic date, or just sip and savor alone! Its that good
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