Staff Favorites - Keith Wollenberg

Keith Wollenberg
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Reviews

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2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-11-2014
This organically and biodynamically-grown Pinot Noir shows a bit more flesh than past vintages, as it comes from two vineyards. One has gravelly soil, the other is a steep slope with more clay. The result is a Pinot of both finesse and power, at a very reasonable price for the quality. Bravo!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.3 Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
Review Date: 7-11-2014
OK, folks, this is a crazy good deal. A splash of barrel-fermented Semillon adds complexity and a nice fig note to the mid-palate. But the overwhelming impression is of pure, focused Sauvignon Blanc with the minerality you expect from mountain fruit. It is a crazy world, where this wine can travel half-way around the world and make it to our shelves, still at such a value price!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Bodkin "Musque Clone" Lake County Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 6-26-2014
A delicious, crisp Sauvignon Blanc of the quality of a very good one from the Loire Valley in France. BRAVO! This is made from the clone brought in from Bordeaux in the early 1960s, which Doug Meader at Ventan discovered did not get those vegetal notes in a cooler climate. So, this shows none of that vegetal quality that this varietal can sometimes exhibit, and is a wonderful wine. It's summer, and this wine will quench your thirst and brighten your spirits. But only if you are wise enough to buy some.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2013 Bodegas Muga Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 6-19-2014
A charming blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and a bit of Viura. It is light in hue, but has plenty of stuffing, without being heavy. Nice freshness, nice crispness.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Bruno Michel Brut Rosé Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 6-19-2014
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OK, folks, this is a story that you have to love. It takes years to produce a champagne like this, and to have a single vintage one in magnum is unusual. Thanks to the bankrupt importer who had these specially made and whose failure allowed us to pick them up at a bargain price. 100% Pinot Meunier, from a biodynamic and organic grape-grower. This is absolutely delicious, and I am most definitely taking some home.
Top Value!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Maison Ambroise Bourgogne Rouge
Review Date: 5-27-2014
Crisp, bright and just a bit earthy, this has unmistakable Nuits-St-Georges character, which is not a surprise, since that is where the fruit is sourced from and where the winery is located. But to get this much character and unmistakably Burgundian flavor and aroma is a very pleasant surprise at this price point. On the palate it has a bit of brambles and nice crunchy black fruit. This is not about complexity or patience, but it is about a delicious, affordable Pinot Noir that really speaks of Burgundy. It's finished in a Stelvin Luxe twist top for easy access at your next barbecue, or drinking over the next couple of years.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2004 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Brut Vintage Champagne
Review Date: 3-21-2014
This is champagne that should sell for $100+. It is made entirely from Grand Cru fruit, averaging more than 45 years of vine age. It is all from Bouzy, a village known for its Pinot Noir, with south-facing vineyards (which is important in this high latitude). The nose promises red fruit and hints of brioche. It is rich and complex on the palate. But what really excites me is the acidity--2004 is a cooler vintage, with great promise for aging. If you are in Bouzy, this means that you have the ripeness and richness, but also have the focus, drive and energy that makes this truly exciting.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2000 Krug Brut Champagne
Review Date: 2-7-2014
This has a most attractive bouquet, with notes of pear, rose hips and seashells. On the palate it walks a beautiful line between richness and tension. Plenty of focus and acidity, but also lots of mid-palate weight. this is subtle champagne and beautifully balanced. And the finish, well that is truly something. It fans out on your palate and lingers for a long time. Bravo!

2012 Carlos Diaz "Estrela" Ribeira Sacra
Review Date: 1-23-2014
This exciting value comes form a professor in Spain who farms his vineyards part-time. He has about five acres of vines and makes a wine that is clean, bright and has lovely fruit. It is vinified in enamel-lined tanks, resulting in a bright and focused character with both red and black fruit notes and enough acidity to keep it fresh and delightful. Don't miss this direct import value from Spain. Good job, Joe Manekin!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 York Creek "MXB" Spring Mountain District Red Blend
Review Date: 1-23-2014
This is a wonderful throwback, in a very good way. MXB refers to "Mixed Black" as California winemakers used to refer to field blends of different varietals, which is exactly what this is. Made from Zin, Barbera, Grenache, Durif and Carignan, I bet this was a beast in its youth. But with a few years in bottle it has settled down, lost the rough edges, and found its stride. Big, rich, black-fruited and intense, it still retains enough acidity from the mountain fruit to remain fresh, peppery and delightful. Drink now, or hold for additional time. The only wrong answer is not to buy it now, because when it's gone, it will be gone for good. For less than $15, this is truly compelling!
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List BC 0

2009 Malmaison, Moulis-en-Médoc
Review Date: 1-23-2014
This was once an abandoned property, renovated and replanted by the Rothschild family over 35 years ago, which means their vines are now mature. This is from a terrific vintage, and shows it. It has both spice and balance, with rich fruit and very nice length for this price range. It is going to be in my Tuesday night mix for the next couple of years. Bravo!
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Lot 40 Rye 2012 Release Canadian Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 1-15-2014
This is one of the best Ryes I have tasted in years. It starts with a slightly fruity nose, then moves to a note like a sourdough rye bread I used to bake. On the palate it is subtle and balanced, with a note of candied Kumquats on the finish. The only experience like it I have had was when tasting a bottle of Prohibition Canadian Rye Whisky I found in a secret cupboard at my Grandfather's house in San Francisco in the mid 1970's, with the notation on the bottle that it could be dispensed only for medicinal purposes. The combination of malted rye and rye yields a focused, delicious dram. Miss this and you will be sorry.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Chalone Vineyard Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-3-2013
Light and bright in style, with a pretty cherry and cranberry fruit character. This is a perfect value for Holiday Parties!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

1982 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Reserva
Review Date: 11-6-2013
Fine and elegant in character, this is a highly aromatic and most attractive rioja. Th eoak has integrated completely. Thi sis a subtle and lovely wine wiht great length on the finish.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1999 Thiénot "Cuvée Alain Thiénot" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-6-2013
This is a study in long aging on the lees, and the complexity that results. It as that calssic, yeasty nose, but on the palate it is complex and balnced, showing the ripenss of the vintage, but avoiding that clumsiness I sometimes found in 2005s (back when others were still bottling them). It is a real choice for me whether to go with age and power here, or elegance and delicacy with the 2006 Garance. Perhaps both, just with different courses?

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