Staff Favorites - Mike Barber

Mike Barber

Reviews

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2012 Limerick Lane Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 1-28-2015
An old vine selection from the Russian River Valley--and always one of the best in Sonoma. Their 2012 is classic Limerick Lane, a lush Zin packed with flavors of dense plum and blueberry with a touch of pepper.

1990 Glenfarclas K&L Exclusive Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 12-20-2014
Another outstanding release from this fantastic Highland distillery! Even at 100 proof--I felt that this malt didn't need any water addition. The flavors are so mellow and integrated from age, the whisky is smooth as silk--more exquisite and elegant than most Scotch on the shelf. Light fig, caramel, coffee, and oak flavors dance behind a rich and malty core of deliciousness. Any fan of Highland whisky will love this very special release!
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
Review Date: 11-23-2014
An excellent NZ Riesling with a gold straw color. Its musky, apricot nose gives way to a generous body of sharp stone fruit, white flower, and honey flavors.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 11-23-2014
A rich nose of earth and raspberry gives way to red fruit and fig flavors. This Marlborough beauty has many layers of fruit complexity and reminds me of an elegant Sonoma Pinot from the best of vintages, albeit a little more racy and edgy than most domestic Pinots can get.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

2012 Mount Edward Estate "Morrison Vineyard" Pinot Noir Lowburn Central Otago
Review Date: 11-23-2014
Any fan of Pinot will love this bottle--it's one of the more well-rounded and delicious Pinots we've brought in from NZ. A light body of blackberry fruit notes is held up by subtle cinnamon and leather flavors. The finish is very long, full of the understated earthy tones one expects from a real Pinot of this caliber.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart JS 93 BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 11-20-2014
This one is the more earthy of the two tongue in groove pinots we're offering. The bright red fruit here is complemented by noticeable leather and dark cherry with a dark underbelly of minerality.

2009 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-9-2014
When we visited Sopra (consistently our best overall Montalcino producer, and probably the best winemaker in Montalcino period) the 2009 Brunello was our favorite. Even while the dark and earthy 2010 beckoned us from the barrel, this wine still had firm tannin and a great structure (more than most '09s from Montalcino) and loads of mindblowing flavor--a cascade of bright red fruits that dance on the palate and don't leave you for a very long time. That visit was 3 years ago--and finally it's here! A delicious Sangiovese that is not to be missed.

2012 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-9-2014
Usually I'm more of a fan of the Lytton Springs, but I think this year the Geyser has it beat. This is the best Geyserville that Ridge has ever made--a powerhouse Zin with intense chili spice and briary raspberry with a round finish and a floral, minty brightness.

1997 Glen Ord 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-9-2014
An obscure distillery and a crazy good bottle for the money! This is a classic Highland, with caramel malt flavors with aromas of fresh flowers and tobacco. I can't believe this malt was aged all in hogshead--the flavor is long and satisfying, with oaky and pronounced notes of coffee and vanilla.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1997 Glenrothes 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-9-2014
You rarely see independent casks of Glenrothes, and even more rare are ones with this much age that are this good. This whisky is molasses over buttered toast--with a round, smooth texture. The finish is short and leathery, but the malt is extremely enjoyable, unique, easy to drink, and very well priced!
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1998 Mortlach 16 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Sherry Butt Finish Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-9-2014
The legendary, elusive Mortlach distillery is with us yet again! You will never see a distillery bottling of this malt--most of the production goes straight to Johnnie Walker Blue. A big, sweet vanilla nose leads into a whisky packed with cedar and Indian spice notes. The sherry cask influence is noticeable--it tastes like dried apricot and leather dipped in chocolate.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1990 Bruichladdich 23 Year Old K&L Exclusive Signatory Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 11-9-2014
This barrel must be from the days when Jim Beam owned the Bruichladdich distillery--it's much different than other bottlings on our shelf. When you sip it, you are reminded of fresh cut grass and heather, with slight coffee, oaky, and wet vanilla notes to finish. This one is bright, with little to no peat notes at all. The last of the old heritage of a great distillery.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Hewitson "Miss Harry" GSM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 11-6-2014
One of the best deals in the store, and one of the must buys of our Australian selections this year. Hewitson always offers an incredible wine for a great value in their miss harry release. The fact that this one comes from a perfect vintage is even better! Loads of nuanced spice and lush strawberry are evened out by bright acidity and a hint of menthol. There is a little tannic backbone to lend structure and complete this well crafted surprise.
Top Value! Drink from 2014 to 2017

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.7" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
Review Date: 9-4-2014
Unmistakably South African--this Blanc is full of lemon peel and asparagus notes with an intensely floral nose. A little Semillon finds its way into HPF's reserve Blanc--and they demand a hefty $15 to enjoy this vibrant and mouthwatering Sauv Blanc. Oh wait, that's not that much money at all!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
Review Date: 9-4-2014
This is not a big and rich Aussie Shiraz. This is cool weather, spicy, and complex Shiraz from perhaps the best producer in the Yarra Valley (one of the coldest appellations in Australia). This Shiraz is delicate and crisp, with brambly notes of cranberry and white pepper tightly wound in an elegant package. A fantastic red for $23!
Price: Hidden View Price JH 94 BC 0

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