Customer Reviews - Chris Bottarini

A novice wine afficionado from Northern California traveling the world one glass at a time ...


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2012 Chateau Saint-Roch "Vieilles Vignes" Cotes-du-Rousillon Blanc
Review Date: 05-17-2014
As someone who has been a little late & reluctant to enter the CA Chardonnay party, I have always truly admired white wines with acid & minerality in the forefront. This wine, which sells for less than a song, exudes those qualities. The nose is bright & makes you think of refreshment on a warm summer day. Lemon, stone fruit, minerality & bright, bracing acidity are what await you in this glass. It imbibes so well it beckons you for more. Excellent find at almost too low a cost!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 89

1996 Clement Pichon, Haut Médoc
Review Date: 02-09-2014
Saturated ruby in the glass. Awesome old school nose of currants, herbs & minerals. Loads of currants & juicy fruit finishing with the softest touch of oak spice. That's what 15+ years in a bottle will do!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Haut Prieur Côtes de Bordeaux "Vielles Vignes"
Review Date: 02-01-2014
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Loads of dark berry fruit & spice on the nose. Easy drinking, woodsy & berry character. The Malbec really shows & provides lots of character over the Merlot. Truly excellent QPR from the forward 09 vintage!
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

1989 Guasti Barolo Riserva
Review Date: 01-02-2014
This is my 1st go at a well aged Barolo. The color is noticeably faded ruby clearly from the 22 years in bottle. The nose has the classic tar & roses I would expect from this old school wine. What blows me away is the fact that tannins are still fairly prominent! After drinking a ton of aged Bordeaux I'm used to the tannin being a non event with this much age. Loads of leather, currant fruit, oak spice & a lingering but refreshing acid to close it out. Super cool to try such an old & ready to go wine for a song!
Drink from to
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Clendenen Family Vineyards "Rancho La Cuna" Santa Maria Valley Syrah/Viognier
Review Date: 12-21-2013
Plum, ruby red in the glass. The nose wafts with floral, meaty & spice notes over a bed of rich, round red fruit. Slightly dry & austere this wine is begging for food to soften the grippy tannin. I could see this cellar well in the short term but am very interested to see how it compliments kabobs on the grill tonight!
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Château des Jacques (Louis Jadot) Moulin-à Vent
Review Date: 11-28-2013
Ruby-red in the glass. Sweet, liqueur like boysenberry fruit accented by a spice note. Medium bodied, rich fruit. Fine tannin with firm acids. A bright, excellent compliment to Thanksgiving dinner!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

1995 Joel Taluau St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 11-28-2013
Ruby red in the glass with a ton of sediment thrown. The nose smells of antiquity - well resolved currants, leather & aged oak that can only come with time in the bottle. The tannins are fine & the juice is round & smooth. Nice, soft red fruit. What a treat for a well aged Cabernet Franc & priced extremely well to boot!
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Stein "Blauschiefer" Riesling Trocken
Review Date: 11-28-2013
Pale straw in the glass. A vibrant nose of peaches, lychee & minerals. Although fully dry, loads of bracing acidity with just a hint of sweetness. Very bright! Totally delicious & should prove to be an excellent accent to the Thanksgiving table!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

1999 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 11-23-2013
Saturated ruby in the glass. Gorgeous nose of blackberries, herbs, cedar, minerals & licorice. Moderate tannin with earthy, woodsy flavors. Lots of acid. Old school & best with dinner.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 90

2008 Ruggeri Corsini "Agramakow" Pinot Nero Langhe
Review Date: 11-17-2013
Ruby red in the glass. Red fruits burst from the nose. To me this is vaguely reminiscent of a Cotes du Rhone which is strange since this is Italian PN. Lip smacking, juicy red fruits kickoff this medium bodied, spice laden wine. Good juice that should pair well with Salmon tonight! Now that dinner has come & gone, this wine has evolved as most do. More blue fruits fill in the spaces in between the cherry & an earthy, Liam note fills in for the bass. Kind of a cool, off the beaten path, nod to PN that isn't a typical star in the lineup. Recommended!
Drink from to
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 E. Guigal Gigondas
Review Date: 11-10-2013
Ruby red in the glass. Bursting with red raspberry fruits on the nose. The attack is full of juicy red fruits, loads of bracing acidity & a bite of spice / heat on the finish. Nicely done Gigondas from E Guigal.

2008 Cantine Salvatore Tintillia del Molise
Review Date: 11-03-2013
Ruby red in the glass. Bright, almost bubblegum, cherry fruit on the nose. Hint of pepper on the finish. Not too tannic but a bit brambly. Fun wine with lots going on & a bit different from the normal lineup in more well known DOCs. Well done!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

Sean Thackrey "Pleiades XXII" Old Vine Red Blend
Review Date: 09-21-2013
This would be my 2nd or 3rd Pleiades to date. Ruby red in the glass as I have remembered the previous renditions. There is an intensely floral note buttressed by loamy soil, pomegranate & a spike of cracked pepper. The attack is all about sweet raspberry fruit & spice. Deliciously rich & round. This is fuller than the previous vintage I tasted ... you get this savory, unami finish. As usual, a unique yet delicious beverage that's a steal at $20.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

2010 Oddero Barbera d'Alba
Review Date: 09-14-2013
Ruby red in the glass. This smells of leather, funk, Brett, red cherries & spice. The core of fruit is red, rich & round. Nice bracing acidity & moderate tannin ... A versatile food pair. Simply outstanding QPR!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Podere La Vigna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-31-2013
Typical ruby-red on the glass. Wafting with leather & cigar box / cedar aromas on the nose. Classic, Brett flavors followed by oak spice, cherry & more leather. The tannins provide grip but there is still plenty of acid left in this puppy. Great drink tonight but certainly has life ahead of it.

2007 Les Clos Perdus "l'Extreme" Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 08-16-2013
Saturated ruby, almost purple in the glass. Such a dark & brooding wine. The nose is deep & teeming with tar, fresh tilled earth & spice. There is pretty much zero fruit on the nose! The fruit does come through on the attack by way of dark cherry & blackberries. There is a tannic grip & a solid spice to accent the finish. Definitely needs food but with the right dinner (and some air) it's quite delicious.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvée Sonoma County Red Wine
Review Date: 08-10-2013
Saturated ruby in the glass. When you nose this you are immediately blasted with spicy, brambly blackberry fruit. It's so intense you would expect the first sip to pack a punch. Surprisingly balanced, for a younger wine, this glides across the palate without too much heat nor too fierce a tannin. Further, I find it interesting to dissect each varietal. The Cab & Merlot provide the balanced foundation. The Zin provides the peppery spice. The Syrah provides the cocoa element while the Malbec lends the acid & drying tannin to the finish. All of which makes this the perfect accompaniment to a slow cooked rack of baby back ribs as Mr Majeski pointed out!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 08-03-2013
Soft ruby red in the glass. I love the aromatics on this! Loads of tar, rose & clove spice waft from the nose. This is very ethereal. The attack is brimming with lip smacking red raspberry fruits. The structure is predominantly acid with grippy, yet moderate tannin. It closes with an accented spice note & a little heat. This certainly has life ahead of it but with a hearty meal is ready for the table tonight!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91 WS 89

2010 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Tradition" Cahors
Review Date: 07-27-2013
This is almost jet black in the glass. It justs looks big & brooding. The nose echoes that this is not a wine for the faint of heart. It wafts tight, dark fruits, minerals & tar. I'll need to check back as this airs to see how it unwinds. It is currently extremely backwards & the tannins are a tongue lacerating experience! The only wine i have ever tasted withore tannin is Irouleguy. Will circle back shortly ... Checking back in a few hours later after dinner. The nose still shows the dark, black fruit with a waft of minerals. The tannins were softened by grilled Armenian kabobs. The dark fruit is still gamely but now shows a sweet core accented by a sharp spice. The same minerals from the nose are even more pronounced. Quite a wine, but I would definitely give this some air before you tear into it!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "Buena Pinta" Manchuela
Review Date: 07-20-2013
A nice saturated ruby in the glass. The nose wafts with wild red & blue fruits. A fine, feminine & delineated yet delicious wine. The same tart, wild fruit echoes the nose. The tannins are fine & there is a light, property spice to accent the fruit. All of this is held together by a bracing acidity on a light to medium bodies frame.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 94

2012 Kalinda Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-29-2013
Typical Chardonnay color in the glass. Lovely buttery, rich nose of tropical & stone fruits. Lots of 50/50 in this wine. Fresh & lively on the palate with tropical & lemon fruits. What is striking is the balance. This is neither overtly fruity nor shows too much oak or malo influence. Plus the acid evident is both refreshing & balances it all out. Although I would not consider myself a Chard lover I really am enjoying this wine. Well done!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

1996 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-23-2013
Saturated ruby in the glass with no fade at the rim considering the age of this bottle. Dried herbs, red cherry, a hint of cedar & minerals show on the bouquet. A smooth, supple & balanced wine. Tannins are still evident. A good, solid claret that's a steal at $20!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Domaine Paul Pernot Bourgogne Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-14-2013
Pale straw in the glass ... Not your typical domestic Chardonnay color! The nose is full of butter, tropical & stone fruits. The oak is well integrated with spice, lemon & curd. Super user friendly Chardonnay that splits the difference between old world & new. Great for any lover of this varietal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

1999 York Creek Spring Mountain District Meritage
Review Date: 06-01-2013
Comparing this to previous York Creek 2004 that I had tried I love everything about the 1999 immensely more. Sticking my nose in the glass immediately transports me to a cave in Napa rife with well used oak barrels. There are smoky-oak tinged red berries wafting from the glass. The juice is quintessential fruit forward, red fruited New World juice. The time in bottle has all but softened the tannin but there is still enough acid for this to hold shape. Looking forward to gulping this down with BBQ corn on the cob & organic burgers!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2002 Louis Lequin Santenay 1er Cru "Le Passe-Temps"
Review Date: 05-26-2013
A gorgeous ruby in the glass. Solid nose of red raspberry, smoky clay soil & spice. Loads of bright red fruit, tons of acid & a spine of tannin to balance it out. Juicy & lip smacking red fruit!
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Chantegrive, Graves
Review Date: 05-25-2013
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Classic Bordeaux nose of French oak, black currants & oak spice. Dark berry fruit & a beautiful acid line the attack on this wine. Gorgeous pairing with Armenian kabobs on the grill.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Jean-François Merieau "Alliance des Generations" Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 05-18-2013
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Loads of smoke, black currant & loamy soil waft from the nose. Blackberries, leather & spice pop on the attack. This is a super delicious wine that would be well worth revisiting ... It certainly delivers for its modest price point!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Caiarossa "Pergolaia" Toscana
Review Date: 05-12-2013
Saturated ruby in the glass. Dark cherry, cocoa & tar on the nose. Love the nose on this ... Quintessential Super Tuscan to me! Dark berries, leather ' spice. Such a delicious wine! Can't wait to pair this with Mario Batali's Weeds & Sausage!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 92

2000 Trimbach "Hommage à Jeanne" Pinot Gris
Review Date: 05-12-2013
Gorgeous honey gold color no doubt from the age. Enticing aromas of peach, pear, honeysuckle & spice. Lightly sweet like a VT. Still maintains a spine of acidity to balance it out & the spice note I associate with Pinot Gris.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 ST 92

2012 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Vin de Pays d'Oc Rosé
Review Date: 05-12-2013
Loads of strawberries & a light touch of spice. Pretty much the perfect aperitif by the pool on a warm summer day!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

1997 Haut-Bergey, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-27-2013
A nice saturated ruby in the glass. Loads of cassis, herbs, minerals & smokey oak on the nose. Lovely currant fruit with light tannin & a streak of acidity. Absolutely paired perfectly with some BBQ steak this evening. Wouldn't hesitate to go back for more.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Hughes Family Sonoma Mountain 'Wild Turkey Vineyard' Zinfandel
Review Date: 04-07-2013
Saturated ruby-purple ine the glass. Foresty notes of black currants, plums, herbs & pepper waft from the nose. Loads of juicy red cherry, currant & spice on the attack. A spicy & mineral laden Zinfandel here which is quite delicious.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 04-07-2013
Palest raw in the glass. Floral, honeydew melon on the nose. Not terribly rich, nor complex yet quite satisfying on a warm spring day. Much of the same honeyed fruit from the nose is echoed then balanced by a mineral streak with a gentle spice to close it out.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

1996 Joel Taluau St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-30-2013
Saturated ruby purple in the glass. Loads of high tone red fruit, herbs, currants & well matured wood waft from the nose. Although taking on some of that brassy-antique flavor that older wines get there is still plenty of youth in this bottle. The fruit is lip-smacking & ripe which begs you for another pull. The tannins have melted but are well integrated & enough acid remains to provide balance. I'm not sure I would hold onto this for much longer but I will certainly enjoy the rest of this tonight!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2005 Clarendon Hills "Kangarilla" Grenache McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 03-16-2013
A well saturated ruby in the glass. Tons of blueberries, raspberries, earth & herbs waft from the 2nd pour. This is not the overt, fruit Bomb I feared it might be. In fact, there are chewy, tart red fruits with well packed, yet resolved tannin & plenty of acidity left to pair well with dinner as well as allow for life in the cellar. Quite a delicious "ancient vine" Grenache! Can't wait to tuck into the rest of this bottle with some homemade chicken kabob with herb & basil couscous.

2011 Michel Gassier "Nostre Pais Blanc" Costières de Nîmes Blanc
Review Date: 03-09-2013
Pale straw color in the glass. Honeysuckle & crushed flowers on the nose. A full bodied white with bright floral tones complemented by a spice note on the finish. Tons of bracing acidity. My only complaint is that it's only 55 degrees not 90 outside. This would pair perfectly with a warm summer day!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93

2007 I Custodi "Aetneus" Etna Rosso
Review Date: 02-17-2013
A nice saturated, ruby in the glass. Tar, cherry, leather & earth in the glass. Loads so spice, stewed cherries & prunes fill this juicy, fruity & acidic wine. The tannins are still quite evident which should make this an ideal pairing for weeds & sausage. You can taste the intensity from the volcanic, mountain grown fruit. Highly recommended!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91

2004 Larrivet Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-16-2013
Inky-purple in the glass. Just bursting with vanilla, roasted espresso beans, toasted oak & spice. A gorgeous, full bodied PL that is both rich & structured with drying tannins. We did a 3 way pairing tonight with this against a 98 Gran Reserva Rioja & a 98 Haut Medoc & this one was the winner by a landslide. If I could drink Bordeaux like this all the time I would never complain!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 90 RP 89

1998 Grandis, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-16-2013
Still a highly youthful color in the glass. I pick up tar, leather, minerals & oak on the nose. This is definitely a structured wine. The tannins are still quite evident despite almost 13 years in the bottle. This is pretty old school & austere. Nothing too flashy but a sold beverage.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

1998 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-16-2013
A very nice ruby-crimson in the glass. Plenty of tart cherry, leather & earthy notes show on the nose. This is such an easy drinker! Loads of juicy red fruits are framed by light tannins & acid. The frame on this one is solid (although nothing heavy) & easily has a few years of life. With that being said it's ready to go tonight!
Price: Hidden View Price

2009 Lestruelle, Médoc
Review Date: 02-09-2013
A solid ruby red in the glass. Interestingly when I first opened this the bright red fruit & striking acidity was so akin to a Grenache based Rhone I had to do a double take. Now that the wine has had air & food - triscuits topped with mild cheddar & Gouda stuffed chicken sausage - things are back to what I'd expect from a young Bordeaux. Loads of currant, blackberry & toasty oak waft from the nose. There is a streak of vanilla but the bright acid still comes through. Nicely juicy on the attack with loads of fruit. Definitely drinkable now with food to tame the acid. Although I enjoy this I would have to say I'm spoiled knowing that for $5 more I can pick up roughly a dozen '00-'03 that are perfectly aged right now! This would be one to follow after a few years slumber in a well kept cellar.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 90

2004 Peyrabon, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-26-2013
A nice saturated ruby in the glass. From the nose I pick up cranberry followed by earthy scents of leather, herbs & minerals. A smooth, albeit austere wine that glides down the palate with firm, yet gentle tannin, pleasing acidity & a dry finish that lingers. I have been looking at both the 04 & the 03 ... It's ridiculous to think about how much this bottle delivers for under $15! I can't wait to try the 03! Great value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 01-26-2013
Lovely nose of cherries & toasty, yeast filled lees. A rich & round Champagne in the mouth that almost goes down too easily! This really shows like a Pinot Noir with bubbles. The finish is rich & toasty & leaves me wanting for more.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 91 BH 90

1999 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-19-2013
Ruby-purple in the glass. Earthy raspberry & blackberry tones waft from the nose followed by scents of grilled meats. Lots of chunky raspberry fruits & bright acidity on the attack that remind me of a Cotes du Rhone. What separates this is the roundness in the mouth, the almost lack of tannin & the smooth, easy-going finish that allows this to be just as easily paired with food as it as a stand alone beverage. Very cool to find such value in a wine that's over 13 years old!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2001 Malescasse, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 01-05-2013
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. A super inviting nose of cedar, currants, oak, spice & minerals. I have to say that I'm a huge fan on this wine. Lots of woodsy & herb flavor bolster the currant, herbs & minerals on the attack. There is plenty of acids with slightly astringent, yet delicious, tannin. Totally old school - this is my kind of Bordeaux!
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

1997 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 12-25-2012
Saturated ruby with only a slight fade to brick red at the edge. Smokey, earthy-leather notes with red currants & oak spice permeate the nose. A medium bodied wine showing chunky, earthy red fruits with dry, light tannins. It will be interesting to see how the 99 compares to this.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Decoy Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 12-25-2012
Very pale straw in the glass ... Almost clear. Strong gooseberry notes. Typical of how I would expect a Napa Valley SB to taste. Bone dry, loads of acidity & a finish redolent of fresh cut grass.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône (1.5L)
Review Date: 12-24-2012
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. The nose is so very similar to a fruit-forward Chateauneuf du Pape it's uncanny! Loads of garrigue, pepper & raspberry fruits on the nose. The attack is more blackberry & cherry with light tannin & a food friendly acidity. This delivers well above its humble AOC!
Price: $36.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2007 Craggy Range "Zebra Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago Bendigo
Review Date: 12-08-2012
A gorgeous saturated-ruby in the glass. Loads of red fruits, clay soil, clove spice & tar. The fruit is chunky & red on the attack with a juicy, acidic finish. Definitely a well balanced, cool-climate Pinot Noir. The fruit profile has changed since dinner ... The red fruits have turned more blackberry & plums with a deeper spice. Still a solid Kiwi PN.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2006 d'Arenberg "Galvo Garage" Bordeaux Blend McLaren Vale
Review Date: 12-01-2012
Ruby-red in the glass. Lots of earthy, leather & dark plum / cherry notes on the nose. Smells similar to an aging Bordeaux or a Brunello. Where this differentiates itself is on the attack. Lots of chunky red fruit & drying tannins persist. This is where you are reminded that this is indeed New World. The finish lasts for about 15 seconds & is quite dry & acidic which should pair well with NY Steak tonight!

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