Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair
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Reviews

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2009 I Greppi "Amore" Toscana
Review Date: 4-16-2014
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I have to admit I was really impressed by this wine from the Tuscan coast in Bolgheri that is a 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc blend. Impressed because usually I am not impressed by this regions wine because they seem a bit too international sometimes, this wine however speaks of Tuscany. The nose is full of sweetish, refreshing fruit aromatics with hints of spice in the back but it is on the palate that the wine really shines. At only 13% alcohol the wine is supremely balanced and that full fruit and spice character follows through but it is the balance that really struck me and the finish that stayed long on my palate that seemed to grow with each passing second. Lovely structure, good acidic balance and a supple texture that allows the wine to be really drinkable now but will age well over the next 3-5 years.
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2005 Poggio il Castellare Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 3-27-2014
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I was really impressed and truthfully surprised at how well this wine has developed. Layers of complex aromas couched in a supple and rich fruit center. Great balance and length and a surprisingly (once again) finish. I really enjoyed this wine and it is drinking now through the next 6-8 years. Try it with your favorite pork roast! Nothing like Sangiovese and Pork…
Drink from 2014 to 2022

2008 Fanti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 3-25-2014
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The 2008 vintage was rated 4* out of 5* by the Consorzio of Brunello di Montalcino, some critics thought a little high but the wines in general are pretty solid. However, a little bad press for the region about not being a stupendous vintage--especially after the spectacular 2006 and 2007 vintages--can really slow the wines down. The 2009 vintage is on its way, and when we were offered the end of this vintage at this ridiculously low price it was a no-brainer. The wine has a very complex blend of fruit and earth with excellent balance really making a Sangiovese statement. Wood aging was in a mixture of barrique and larger barrels for 24 months. I'm generally not much of a fan of barrique aging, but this combination, and especially for this year, really delivers a supple and quasi-neutral wood signature. Superb drinking now or for another 6-7 years.
Drink from 2014 to 2021

2010 Fanti Sant'Antimo Sassomagno
Review Date: 3-25-2014
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OK, maybe you think 4* for a $9 wine is too much, but I ranked it this high because it is such an extraordinary deal! First off, 2010 in Montalcino is a truly sensational vintage and yes, this wine comes from Montalcino but because of its grape blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon it can't take one of the "Montalcino" DOCs. It does, however, have incredible aromatics--bold dark fruit flavors that tantalize your palate as its supple yet very structured core opens across your palate. This spectacular red wine really shows excellent balance and a depth of flavors that is amazing at this price. OK, how can they do that? Because this wine isn't normally at this price; it was the last of the vintage in the California warehouse of a New York importer who decided it would be better if they could move on to the next vintage and move this wine all at once. We swooped in at the opportunity and took all that was left. You should hurry because this wine won't last long!
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart JS 90 BC 0

2005 d'Yquem, Sauternes
Review Date: 3-25-2014
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The best Yquem I've had in years, complex layers of coconut, pineapple yet focused, not allowing the sweetness to overpower it truly a great one. I'm unsure of how long to put the drinking window on this wine, I'll be long gone by the time it runs out of vigor!
Drink from 2014 to 2070

2007 Igino Accordini "Le Bessole" Amarone
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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This Amarone is really very well structured and isn't cloying, raisiny or overripe at all, a problem that I have with a fair amount of Amarone. No, this wine has more structure, balance and yes, it is Amarone with that characteristic ripeness--but it has so much more balance that I was really stunned. A complex blend of spicy fruit flavors, supple chocolaty richness in the mouth and a convincingly dry and long finish.
Drink from 2014 to 2022
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2012 Blason Malvasia Friuli-Venezia-Giulia
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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I just love this wine, yet it is so hard to sell. Once people see Malvasia on the label everyone thinks it is sweet and flowery....sort of Moscato-ish. Nothing could be further from the truth! This is Malvasia Istriana, not Malvasia Bianca, and it is an incredible grape variety. The wine has haunting aromatics of white flower and a tangy, spiced citrus hint in the nose; on the palate the wine is rich yet extraordinarily well balanced; it has super acidity and a salty tang that generates a salivary response that makes you reach for the glass or for a fork. Incredibly well priced, a superb deal.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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Having worked in the Italian wine business for more than 30 years, just the word Pinot Grigio drives me nuts, only because there is an ocean of innocuous white wine from Italy that is labeled as Pinot Grigio that tastes like...well I think white wine. This however is REAL Pinot Grigio. It has depth (Good Pinot Grigio as a varietal almost always shows more weight and richness, the seeming contrary to most labeled as such) and in this particular vintage, an amazing focus and grip. This wine is riveting, forward and really gets your attention. More complex than a cocktail wine, it is best with roasted chicken or richer fish dishes.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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The Ermacoras are always most concerned about what I think of the Pinot Bianco; the Pinot Bianco is their best wine year in and year out, it just has more intrigue, balance and palate presence. White flower and hints of vanilla and bergamot highlight the nose, while on the palate the good richness with a real dynamic mouth feel and very long finish. This wine ages very well but usually drinks best from 2-6 years from the vintage.
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Ermacora Ribolla Gialla Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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Yellow Ribolla, yes Gialla in Italian means yellow, is a very acidic grape by nature but the 2012 vintage allows so much more of this wine to come out where it blossoms into quasi richness. Delicate pear aromatics, palate weight and and extraordinary persistence highlight this brilliant white wine. I'd pair it with a seafood pasta sprinkled with freshly chopped basil or parsley, NO CHEESE.....
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart GR 1 BC 0

2012 Ermacora Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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2012 is an outstanding vintage in Friuli for whites and this year Ermacora's Friulano is really great. Friulano is always a little fuller on the palate than some of the other local varieties but in this vintage that richness is superbly balanced, has great length and shows hints of tarragon. It is perfect for cock-tailing or with fuller fish or chicken dishes. No oak, only stainless steel aging leaving the wine fresh and fragrant.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2012 Palazzone Terre Vinate Orvieto
Review Date: 3-19-2014
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This is such a good deal for such a refreshing and fun wine. Aromas of pear with hints of white flower couched in an elegant plumpness balanced with fresh acidity and a lively and bright finish. With the warmer months ahead this is an ideal summer treat!
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Giuliano Pecorino Terre di Chieti
Review Date: 3-18-2014
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This wine has an exotic nose that just flows out of your glass, full of wild flowers, honey, middle-eastern spice and just a tang of the sea. On the palate the wine has density and richness with deep, saturated flavors and it has an almost oily richness to it but is highlighted by a vibrant central acidity containing glints of mineral that stretch the finish on and on. I sat with a bottle of this contemplating the variety, its density, aromatics, yet striking focus and looked for some comparison to other grape varieties. Unfortunately it is something one has to explain for Italy with so many weird names and unpronounceable words people just generally want me to say it’s “more like a Cabernet, or more like a Sauvignon Blanc” it simplifies the learning curve. So with this grape it finally came to me! This is “like” French Viognier, it has the aromatics, body, density and they usually have an oily richness to them. Most food and wine pairings couple American Viognier with Asian dishes, while they have the aromatics and density they lack the central focus, hence the peanut sauce and curry matchings, sort of a drier less flowery version of the Gewurztraminer/Riesling category. I think the wine has more character and needs, Sea Bass, Lobster or maybe even some Tuna Sashimi.
Drink from 2014 to 2016
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart GR 2 BC 0

2008 Gusbourne Estate Brut Reserve, Kent, England
Review Date: 3-12-2014
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Well, this is an unexpected idea to be reviewing an English sparkling wine, I was one of the nay-sayers before I actually tried them...Wow, very surprised by the quality, complexity and balance. So once I was surprised I did a little more investigation and found this had 4 years on the lees, and that's where the very brioche like toastiness comes from. The grapes (thank you Global Warming) are grown at almost the same latitude and soil types as in Champagne...Why wouldn't they be good! Well this actually is truly an English take on sparkling wine, the flavors just slightly different just like they are here in California, but no doubting the quality. You should give our language challenged neighbors to the East a try!
Drink from 2014 to 2018
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Giusti e Zanza "Perbruno" Syrah Toscana
Review Date: 3-11-2014
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This Tuscan Syrah really grabbed my attention; the wine has incredible concentration (part of the benefit of the outstanding 2010 vintage in Tuscany) but what really turns me on about Syrah is when that power is balanced with great length and acidity. The aromatics are bold complex, dark fruit laden and though for me reminiscent of blackberry I hesitate to use that word because the wine doesn’t have an overtly “fruity” nature to it at all. This wine is about concentrated power, yet faceted, dynamic and layered this wine has it all. The balance is incredible and for me more often than not lack of acidity in Syrah is when I lose interest, but this wine’s balance stretches out the finish to produce an incredible palate impression. Supple and fleshy with tannins in check but still giving structure, the flavors are classic, hints of black pepper, spice, subtle black currant…. this wine is fantastic.
Drink from 2014 to 2025
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart WE 95 BC 0

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