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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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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!
2011 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 4-11-2013
Spellbound Chardonnay comes from Robert Mondavi and Folio Fine Wine Partners, and the 2011 if you can believe it is even more amazing than 2010. A very nice cool growing season gave great acid and texture to the "Baby Rombauer" style Chardonnay. So even with its rich creamy texture there are layers of flavors and complex fruit notes like citrus, tropical fruit, and vanilla. But with the drink-ability and balance of this 'life of the party' wine you could never guess the price!!! It will be bikini season soon so drink your spellbound in place of the cheese!!! (Christie Cartwright, Hollywood Buyer)
2012 Cibonne Tentations Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 4-11-2013
A classic Spring/Summer sippier that is classic and elegant, yet fun, flirty, and damn delicous! Bright, crisp, and mineral, with searingly amazing texture and acid. It will get your mouth watering for more! I can't wait to lay out on my deck and drink this baby all day long!!!(Christie Cartwright, Hollywood Buyer
2010 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 4-3-2013
A superb value for Classic White Burgundy from the Macon. Lots of minerality and citrus stone fruit, crispy and bright, with no new oak so it stays fresh and clean. Balanced with great texture and a real find for your everyday Spring/Summertime Chardonnay! And something almost every palate can enjoy and appreciate. You wont believe the quality for the price!
2010 Hirsch Vineyards "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!
2011 Yves Cuilleron Syrah Vin de Pays des Collines Rhodaniennes
Review Date: 2-8-2013
It's finally arrived! The best 100% French Syrah I've ever tasted under the $20 mark! And I would pay double for it! This new Rosenthal Imported Syrah is nothing but pleasure; Aromas of crushed violets, blueberries, and white pepper, pure and lively on the palate with great acid, blue and purple fruit and even a hint of blood orange. This is pure feminine sex in a glass!
2009 Two Sisters "Courtney's Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 2-8-2013
For all you Cali Chard lovers welcome to your new addiction. Creamy and rich, but not so oaky that it feels bitter or smoky, just buttery bliss with creamy texture like buttered bread with poached pears, this is making me hungry. I think this is a much more balanced with than your big name houses, and definitely gives Rombauer a run for its money.
2011 Pali Wine Company "Charm Acres" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 2-8-2013
Another great balanced effort from Pali Wine Co. Not your heavy-handed oaky-buttery style chard. This is light on its feet with lots of citrus, tropical, and stone fruit nuances with fresh acidity and lively texture on the palate. Definitely one to turn you Chard-hater friends onto.
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)
2005 Clarendon Hills "Hickinbotham" Grenache
Review Date: 1-10-2013
I'm not typically a fan of big, over-the-top Aussie wines but this guy proved me wrong! ON a cold winters eve I decided to give the guy a chance based on all the fab reviews I received from customers who tried it and loved it! I only wish I hadn't only but one bottle because it was the absolute star of the show for my dinner party which we paired with rack of lamb. Although this wine seems like a monster, if you give it a chance it opens up and is seamlessly sexy and juicy, just the right touch of acid and polish to carry you through the night!
2009 Cameron Hughes "Lot #285" Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 1-9-2013
An instant Napa Classic! Very well balanced from start to finish. Love the velvety texture on the palate with plenty of black cherry, plum, and a touch of that rustic savory herb that Rutherford is famous for. Great for drinking now and over the next couple years!
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.
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