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David Othenin-Girard
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Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin 375ml
Review Date: 9-17-2014
Last time we were in Scotland, I full on freaked out in a small spirits shop in Edinburgh when I noticed this diminutive bottle of gin sitting on the shelf. For years, the Monkey 47 had been unobtanium, a regrettable situation for all the knowledgeable and gin soaked. Driscoll and Kurani had not yet experienced this legendary gin, but thanks to the UKs reasonable tasting regulations -the old "taste whatever you like" rule- we were soon dunking our noses in a few drops of its magnificence. I think tasting this after several other gins really put into perspective how special it really is. Created through the confluence of British aesthetics, Indian flavors, and the distinctly Teutonic natural treasure that is the Schwarzwald, The Monkey packs an enormous amount of complexity into that little bottle. It's the sort of gin that will save that cocktail you're about to ruin. You could have just as well served it straight because it sips beautifully even at room temperature. It’s quite a departure from your standard recipe gin, although some familiar elements are layered throughout. There is a strong yet soothing evergreen presence. A keynote if you will, but by no means the only focus. On the nose a dried floral aroma is accented by a twinge of spicy ginger. At the front, what seems like a citrus or chamomile quickly morphs into tea tree and sweet herbs, lemon verbena -now cucumber peel and pepper, it just keeps on going. I’ve got to stop trying to describe its flavor, its not working. It has a glorious tendency to be completely different with each sip, a true rollercoaster of flavors. Every single one of its 47 botanicals is tuned to the same perfect frequency. It's wild and utterly fabulous, but not in an awkward way. Instead, it seems to be all very deliberate, even stoic. I gladly forked over the £40s the shop was asking, as did my colleagues. We nearly cried when we heard it would finally be arriving stateside.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Franck Peillot "Altesse" Roussette de Bugey-Montagnieu
Review Date: 7-25-2014
Another fabulous vin de savoie! Peillot is making wildly impressive wines of impeccable intensity and finesse. Bruised mirabelle, fresh Fuji apples, slight citrus peel. All that flavor is perfectly framed in a textural and perfectly weighted core. If you're smart you'll buy all of this. If you don't I will.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Louis Magnin Gamay Vin de Savoie
Review Date: 7-25-2014
A wild Gamay from one of Savoy's most respected producers. This stuff only alludes to the famous Gamay being produced 100km to the west. The nose is like the most concentrated red flowers and in the very background the slightest Chanel No. 9 (in a good way). The palate is all wild red fruit picked off the forest floor. This is an experience to say the least.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-25-2014
TWR is coming up. Solid little offering for what will surely one day be known world-wide as one of Marlborough's best. Right now, be one of the lucky few who know how special these wines are. Top quality.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2009 Caves Jean Bourdy Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 7-25-2014
Every time I open a bottle of the Bourdy Rouge, I do a snorty laugh-cry. It's sooo good. He's sooo old school. It's my perfect wine. Don't buy this, I want it all.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Domaine de la Tournelle "Fleur de Savagnin" Arbois
Review Date: 7-25-2014
An absolute stunner. The perfect crossover to get your friends who are afraid of Jura into this very special category. The complexity and focus is unparalleled for this style. While it's aged for years in barrel, there's only the slightest nutty oxidized aroma. The freshness and purity is unlike anything else. Don't think, just drink.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine Pas de l'Escalette "Les Petits Pas" Languedoc
Review Date: 7-25-2014
What a surprise! Languedoc with low alcohol and good acidity? Powerful flavors of pepper and brambly dark berries, but all this stays ultra lifted and fresh. This is the total package. A killer option under $20 for summer quaffing.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Domaine de la Tournelle "Trousseau des Corvées" Arbois
Review Date: 7-24-2014
Another outrageous wine from the magnificent Domaine De La Tournelle. Aromas of fresh soil, wild strawberries, fresh roasted beets, slight herbal quality. As with all the Tournelle wines, the focus and purity on the palate is absolutely first rate. Awesome acidity complemented by the perfect presence of a soft lengthy tannin. A wonderful effort.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Domaine Berthoumieu "Charles de Batz" Madiran
Review Date: 7-24-2014
This is about as approachable as any Madiran I've ever had. Clearly made in the "modern" style, but not lacking in structure. It will soften over the next few years rather than the several decades of more traditional Madiran. That said, if you're looking for something bold and structured to pair with gamey grilled meat, look no further.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Domaine de Millet Cotes de Gascogne Blanc
Review Date: 7-24-2014
The perfect summer guzzler. Like the best $8 SB you've ever had. Super fresh and super cheap!!!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Château de Ripaille Vin de Savoie-Ripaille
Review Date: 7-24-2014
This splendid little Ripaille is what Savoie is all about. Subtle but punchy! Not fruity at all with great focus and a lovely lemony mineral quality. Solid aperitif at a great price.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2007 Michel Loriot "Monodie Meunier" Brut Champagne Extra Brut
Review Date: 4-25-2014
This is tropical, slightly savory, salted popcorn, cocoa, fresh bread, tons of red fruit (cherries, raspberry) slightly wacky and totally wonderful.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Baron Fuente "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 4-25-2014
Gwah?!? $24 champagne that taste great! The French must be pissed. Fruit tart candies, slight brioche,leesy on the palate are evident, but not cheesy. Wonderful texture and great freshness. An inexpensive champagne with a wonderful personality.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Pewsey Vale Riesling Eden Valley South Australia
Review Date: 4-25-2014
Ultra clean and high acid, exactly what I want from Eden Valley riesling. Tons of citrus, low on other fruits. Drink it now!

2012 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Chardonnay
Review Date: 4-25-2014
very well put together, owning to the excellent fruit source and well thought out wine making. Particularly well structured with racy acids and bright fresh minerality. The subtle use of barrel during fermentation adds depth and richness.

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