Staff Favorites

If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!

Reviews

  
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2014 Correggia Roero Arneis
By: Mike Parres | Review Date: 7/3/2015 | Send Email
(Now sealed with screwcap) Matteo Correggia was a pioneer in helping the Roero gain international recognition when there wasn't much in the way of quality wine being produced. Today, the reputation of the Roero is rooted in much of the early work of Matteo and a few daring other pioneers. Matteo's tragic death in a tractor accident in 2001 rallied many of the region's leading winemakers to help his wife Ornella carry on. After a five year transitional period, Ornella took the helm and has been guiding and expanding the direction of the winery ever since. Correggia produces some stunningly good, powerful reds, distinctive and vibrant whites, and an amazing dry Brachetto.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

Michel Loriot "Marie-Leopold" Sec Champagne
By: Angie An | Review Date: 7/3/2015 | Send Email
I remember a great Champagne buyer (Gary Westby) once told me "When it comes to sweet wines, there are only two type of folks, ones who loves it and the ones who are lying". I understand the American wine market are trying to shake out the old stereotypical, cheap and badly made sweet table wines of the past. I see it in the store everyday, whenever someone asks me for a recommendation, it almost always include the line "....oh, and I want it dry!" But just hear me out for a second, the truth is that a little sugar in your wine is not always a bad thing, when done right it can be an absolutely marvelous thing! Perfect example here is the Michel Loriot Marie Leopold Sec Champagne, lively, aromatics, good solid tight bubbles with fresh citrus, crispy yellow apple and white peach. Just a slight hint of sweetness follow on the tongue that would go PERFECT with dishes as fancy as torchon de foie gras, or as humble as a bag of lay's original potato chips, or simply enjoy on its own! The sweetness really softens the mouthfeel and make this Champagne super easy drinking, plus with our direct import pricing makes this bottle a killer dealer! A must have for this summer! Cheers!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Chaman Malbec Reserva Mendoza
By: Joe Manekin | Review Date: 7/3/2015 | Send Email
This is a beautiful Malbec from a great vintage! Luis Reginato is one of the increasing number of very talented, engaged winemakers in Argentina, someone who understands wine from both the viticultural and oenological standpoint. Chaman has beautiful dark cherry and plum fruit flavors, with solid structure from both tannins and acidity. Excellent value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2005 Kirwan, Margaux
By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 7/3/2015 | Send Email
Reserved nose, mineral. Starting to express itself. Should be very good. (Barrel Tasting)

2002 Salon Blanc de Blancs Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Words fall short when trying to explain the perfection of the 2002 Salon, so I will start with the facts. This wine is made only in great vintages, only from old vines in the most famous of all Champagne Grand Crus - Mesnil. Because there is never any malolactic fermentation for Salon, the wine must be aged for a decade minimum on the lees, and that is why we are just seeing the 2002 now. This Champagne is the last word on precision and elegance and one of the longest Champagnes that I have ever had an opportunity to try. It will age for longer than most of us will live as bottles from the '20s and '30s prove today. Unfortunately there is not much of it...

Barnaut "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Last week I had the chance to meet and taste with Philippe Seconde, whose family has been making Barnaut since 1874. They might be the oldest grower-producer in Champagne. This rosé is made in a unique way, with the Pinot Noir that composes 85% of the blend macerated with the skins, and 15% Chardonnay blended in afterwards to give the wine snap and focus. Philippe loves this wine with spicy food, and I can't wait to try it with a big plate of hot wings!
Price: $43.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 91 WS 90

Jacquesson "Cuvée 737" Extra Brut Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Before Joseph Krug founded Krug, he worked at Jacquesson. This is a house with a very long history, but also one of the most innovative of all the Grand Marques. They are the only big house to proclaim the batches of their non-vintage on the front label and this one is Cuvee 737. This batch is based on 2009 with 30% reserve wines, and is every bit as dry as the Extra Brut moniker suggests. This precise, laser like Champagne is an absolute dream with sushi!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Bollinger has a sterling reputation in Champagne for stalwart quality for a great reason. They do the hard work to make great Champagne, and there Special Cuvee is the standard barer for their range. Along with Krug, Bollinger is the only grand marque to refuse to give up their barrels, which they still ferment the wine in to this day. They are located in the village of Ay, famous for being the chalkiest terroir for Pinot Noir in all of Champagne, and Ay is the soul of this blend. It is one of the fullest, most powerful non-vintages from the grand marques, and also one of the driest. If you are a fan of Champagne and haven't tried this classic, you should!

Barnaut "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Last week I had the chance to meet and taste with Philippe Seconde, whose family has been making Barnaut since 1874. They might be the oldest grower-producer in Champagne. His Grande Reserve is a blend of 2/3 Pinot Noir and 1/3 Chardonnay from the Grand Cru village of Bouzy on the south facing slope of the mountain of Reims. This wine has been fractionally blended since the beginning, and Philippe joked that perhaps one of the many bubbles had a few molecules of the 1874 in it! This is a pure expression of Pinot Noir with a lot of round cherry fruit and excellent acidity. It is dosed at 6g/l.

Baron-Fuente "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Why bother with sparkling wine when you can drink real Champagne at such a great price? This fantastic bottle is aged for three years on the lees and has great honest toast from the aging process, as well as great refreshment from the high percentage of estate-grown vines used in the blend. I love this Champagne for its friendly, open-knit personality and its easygoing refreshment, but it has more than this for those who want to take the time to get to know it... It is a serious bottle of Champagne! Don't let the low price fool you!
Top Value!
Price: $23.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91 JS 90

2006 Baron Fuente "Grand Millésimé" Brut Champagne
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/2/2015 | Send Email
Tasting this wine in Epernay with Baron Fuente's Eric de Brissis was a great experience. I loved the wine for its poised creaminess, lovely nutty flavors and clean, long finish. This is a very elegant, subtle bottle of wine that will impress the most jaded of palates. In my notebook from that day, I wrote "tastes expensive"... Then he showed me the price. Deals like this don't come every day, and I would suggest that you join me in buying a case, or maybe two!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91

2013 Ciacci Rosso di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
This is one of the best Ciacci Rosso di Montalcinos that I have tasted. The bright cherry freshness, coupled with a texturally rich body is just a delightful experience. A perfect wine for BBQ fare or your favorite pasta. 2013 produced wines with bright, clean acidity and is one of the best since 2010.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Luna Beberide Mencía Bierzo
By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
This is a warmer, richer somewhat riper take on the Mencia grape but there is enough freshness and balance to carry the day. This screaming value is a great introduction to the wines of the Bierzo region with pepper and earth accents adding complexity and fine, ripe tannins holding the finish together. Amazing bang for the buck here.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91 AG 90

2010 Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Brunello di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
The nose speaks of sunshine, warmth, sweetness not floral just fruity. The flavors begin to expand on your palate and the simple plummy fruit is transformed to more of a kaleidoscope of flavors, Umeboshi (dried, salted, Japanese plums), wild cherry, iron and leather. While the nose speaks of ripeness the palate presence is freshened by the perfect acidic balance for this wine, just enough to lift without becoming edgy, a long and complex finish that has layers of flavor and textures.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

2014 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Rosé IGP Pays d'Oc
By: Mari Keilman | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
A Sancerre-like Pinot Noir rosé for $12.99 that's organic...what's not to love about this wine?!?! Fresh, elegant and crisp, this Pinot Noir rosé shows beautifully ripe strawberry and raspberry fruit with a light touch of minerality on its dry finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Luna Beberide Mencía Bierzo
By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
This is a juicy, lovely little food wine that brings just enough ripe fruit flavor to help balance out the mineral undercurrents. Nowhere near as overpowering as a Cote du Rhone or jammy Zinfandel, think of this Mencia as a more restrained bistro wine, or California red before the new wave of big points/big power took over. A true throwback wine at a hot price.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91 AG 90

2012 Jacques Bavard Auxey-Duresses "Les Clous"
By: Mari Keilman | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
So beautifully understated and elegant, the Bavard wines possess an amazing amount of acidity, integration and complexity. This Chardonnay is so refreshingly terroir-driven on the nose, with a surprising punch of bright Meyer lemon on the palate.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

Glenrothes Sherry Reserve Single Malt Whisky 750ml
By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
A very pretty, elegant version of Sherry-aged Scotch. While I'm always leery of NAS releases, this Glenrothes delivers a ton of classic Speyside flavors with a super reasonable price tag. The palate is medium rich, tons of butter cream frosting and toffee. More layers of coffee hard candy, and a dry pecan character that I found very intriguing. A hint of allspice rounds out a beautifully lifted and balanced single malt. Impressive quality, very drinkable.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Great value abounds in Spain, and this Rioja from Campo Viejo delivers not only a great tasting wine for a small price, but also the inimitable style of Rioja. This medium-bodied, mellow wine is fantastic with a wide range of grilled food!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino
By: Jim Barr | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
It is still remarkable to me that when you have an incredible vintage such as the highly acclaimed 2010 Brunello productions that wines coming from vintages around 2010 generally get ignored and forgotten. That happened with the 2001 and 2003 vintages from Bordeaux with all the super hype for the 2002 vintage. There are some great wines produced from those two vintages. Soooo, when we did our most recent staff tasting of wines from Brunello, mostly from the 2010 vintage, this 2009 Gem blew everything off of the table. That is not say that the 2010s in the tasting were not very good. They were reflective of this great vintage and absolutely amazing. It is just plain simple truth that this Gem stood out as the best in the tasting and it is from 2009. Medium deep ruby in color, the nose explodes with lush, ripe aromas of anise spiciness and currants notes with a slate-like, dusty mineral undertone. In its broad and viscous, spicy mouthfeel, this lovely Brunello is loaded with fruit of cassis to blackberry quality, is well-integrated, hugely complex, deep , full, viscous, and layered, with a long, deeply flavored finish. Rusty has demanded that I bring home several cases of this brilliantly produced Brunello Gem for us to consume for the next ten years. INCREDIBLE VALUE! ***** 15.0% *****
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Zorzal Terroir Unico Chardonnay Uco Valley
By: Heather Vander Wall | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
What a pleasant surprise! Echoing Chablis in its light, floral and mineral profile, this Chardonnay yet weighs in a bit fuller in body than expected from the light, racy profile. Melon and honeysuckle are the primary fruit and aroma components, which complement the clean, mineral backbone of this wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Villa le Prata Brunello di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
A truly complete wine, the nose is full of spicy plum aromatics mixed with a salty, earthy scent. On the palate the wine has a luxurious feel, yet not heavy. It seems to lift off of your tongue, energetic and forward leaning. The flavors are sweet, savory, umami and all seem complete on their own. The finish is long, coiled, powerful, and I can't wait to taste this in another 10 years.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $54.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 94 RP 92

2000 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Although this has the depth, structure and balance to age many more years I really can't imagine it getting any better than it is right now. This is fabulously complex with smoky, woodsy blackberry fruit, steeped tea, leather and cigar box aromas and a creamy texture that seems to accent the sweetness of the fruit. The fine and subtle tannins on the graphite laced finish add tremendous length to this delicious wine.

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
By: Randy Hagerman | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
A sparkling wine this well constructed for under $15 could only be from Spain. This Cava would not be out of place side-by-side with wines almost double the price. I keep a bottle in my refrigerator at all times.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 DePaula Monastrell Jumilla
By: David Driscoll | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
My new favorite Spanish wine for under $20. This is just a stunning wine with layers of complexity. Dark black fruits morph into savory and earthy notes, before mutating into bits of dried spice and leather. It's a whole lotta red wine for $14.99 and it should pair well with just about anything. Made by wine geeks for wine geeks.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2013 Luna Beberide Mencía Bierzo
By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Here's a ripe and delicious expression of the signature red grape of Bierzo, the Mencía. Filled with succulent and exotic fruit flavors, mineral-rich and delivering supple tannins, this wine is as fresh and easy-drinking as it gets -- a super smart buy at 14 bucks. Take it to your next BBQ for a fresh and bold new taste this summer.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91 AG 90

2014 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
A worthy successor to our 2012. This one is a bit richer, but has great acidity and fine length on the palate. A delicious summertime sipper by the pool. We did a blind tasting for four of our buyers on the best 20 samples we had and we all picked this one for our Kalinda. Do not miss it.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Les Roches Sauvignon Touraine
By: Mari Keilman | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Bright yellow fruit like starfruit and lemon, with hints of grass, grapefruit and a beautiful river pebble minerality overwhelm the nose of this staff favorite. Hands down, one of the best values in the entire store.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Correggia Barbera d'Alba
By: John Downing | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Correggia is one our favorite producers from the Roero subzone of the Langhe. Their wines are first-rate and the 2012 Barbera truly shines. This surprisingly concentrated wine is packed with rich berry fruit and bright underlying acidity making it a versatile wine at the table. Especially great with pizza, pastas and meats.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

Ventura Spirits Wilder Gin 750ml
By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Woah! This is a trip and a half. Step into this gin and you'll feel like you're hiking the Santa Barbara back country. Miles of it. Sagebrush, cactus fruit, and a rich manzanita tea strike you but this spirit still holds tons of classic juniper. Take a walk on the wild side and liven up your next martini (aka - gin straight outta the freezer, with or without vermouth) or change up your classic G&T this summer. Extra points if you garnish with some locally foraged lavender or rosemary.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Haut Charmes, Sauternes (375 ml)
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
The lifting acidity balancing the beautiful amalgamation of fruits and honey, makes this Sauternes a perfect choice to accompany a Pâté/foie appetizer - at the beginning of the meal instead of at the end! Although, of course it will work wonders with dessert or as "the dessert" with nuts and cheese. A great choice of wine for those with an adventurous sense of the culinary.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie du Pic" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
By: John Majeski | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
This wine howls from the ruggedly beautiful Pic St. Loup appellation in the vast windswept reaches of the Languedoc, and delivers a bold elaboration of well-ripened, magnanimous plum, blackberry and cassis fruits, revealing lavish spice, garrigue, roasted fig and meaty elements. Hardly for the faint of palate, this voluminous, brazenly aromatic wine engages your glass and senses with richness, depth and intensity. Pairs well with rustic stews or a barley and wild mushroom risotto.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 - 95

2013 Claiborne & Churchill Edna Valley Pinot Noir
By: Kyle Kurani | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
What a beautifully made, small production Pinot. The good folks at Claiborne and Churchill have enchanted our palates here at K&L for a number of years now. The 2013 is one of my favorite vintages from them. The palate is lush but balanced, with layers of raspberry and currant, red-fruited through and through, and framed with just the right amount of oak. Medium-bodied and alive, this drinks well above a mid-$20 price point.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Cave de Rasteau "Dame Victoria" Rasteau
By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Every vintage this is a crowd pleaser and the 2013 is no exception. A perfume of red raspberries, rose petals and garrigue emanate from the glass. Medium + bodied with sweet tannins, this is a fine red to pair with all the backyard barbecues and summer picnics out there.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Luna Beberide Mencía Bierzo
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
Wow - How do they get so much wine into this Bierzo for such a low price? The folks at Luna Beberide have made a dark, concentrated wine that has the lift and bracing vibrancy to stay in great balance. I can't wait to rip into this with some ribs in the backyard!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91 AG 90

2014 Montmassot Picpoul de Pinet
By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
It was a bit of a cold and rainy day when I visited the cooperative that produces the Montmassot. We cruised around and toured the vineyards for an hour before we did the thing that all Picpoul demands - drink it with oysters! We had oysters three different ways: raw with a mignonette; baked with sauteed fennel and cheese; and broiled with a gorgeous aioli. Wow!! I really began to understand beyond the brightness and freshness of the wine. This is a wine from a region famous for its oysters and the wine paired perfectly with every permutation of that food. Vibrant and clean with notes of pink grapefruit and green apples on the palate. The finish is full of salty sea air. I think you know what you're supposed to do next...
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$9.99

2013 Bodegas Puelles Blanco Rioja
By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
This crisp, refreshing bottle of white Rioja is in the style of the cleanest and freshest Sauvignon Blancs, but with a flavor profile all of its own. This wine makes a great aperitif as well as a partner to everything from white fish to cheese. Yum!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie du Pic" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 7/1/2015 | Send Email
The Languedoc is the largest wine producing appellation in the world and thanks to this incredibly productive region there’s a plethora of amazing values. The 2013 Chateau Puech Haut “La Closerie du Pic” Pic Saint Loup is a perfect example of the stunning values that can be found from this region.Tthe wine starts out with a seductive nose that jumps out at you with notes of white pepper, marzipan, plum and hints of black tea while the palate deftly melds dark berry fruit, spice, licorice and hints of Baker’s chocolate. A delicious wine that drinks like a $50+ Chateauneuf-du-Pape it is a flat-out steal for only $24.99! It is approachable now and is versatile enough to pair with grilled meats, pasta dishes or can be enjoyed on its own.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 - 95

2013 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipú
By: Jacques Moreira | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Very exciting aromatics of vanilla, chocolate and dark berries, which follow on the palate as well. It is a rich wine without being heavy. Good for the dinner table as well for the dinner party!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 90

2012 Ferrero Toscana Rosso
By: John Majeski | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
My experience with Tuscany first began with fine art long before fine wine entered the picture, specifically an afternoon spent in front of Botticelli's masterpiece La Primavera in the Uffizi Galleria in Florence, gazing at perhaps the purest embodiment of grace in western painting.​ From palette to palate, Tuscany remains a stellar constellation for both wine and art. And let's face it, gazing long at an unopened bottle doesn't really do the trick, so....pour yourself a glass of this generous, friendly baby Tuscan, and relish the pure, captivating flavors of ripe plums, juicy cherries, espresso, sweet spice and polished tannins. Damn, if Botticelli were alive, I would pop the cork and share a bottle with him while he, um, posed his models...
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion
By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Semi new wave style, but lots of substance here. These guys are on a roll of late and their 2005 just got 100 points and sells for over $200. This one is not far off in quality.
Drink from 2017 to 2017

2012 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux
By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
One of our favorites from 2012 vintage Bordeaux. Plenty of cassis and red fruit flavors. Decant one hour or cellar for a few years.
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 Domaine Paul Pernot Bourgogne Chardonnay
By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Say “Hello” to your new everyday White Burgundy! The 2013 Paul Pernot Bourgogne Blanc is a fantastic value that merits more than just your attention-this is a case-worthy purchase. Loaded with aromas of white flowers, iodine and a hint of citrus zest this medium-bodied, entry level white Burgundy has excellent balance, good delineation, purity of fruit and just a hint of oak. The finish is rich and pure with zesty lemon verbena notes coupled with wet stone and hazelnut notes. Grab this killer deal before it sells out!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Tongue In Groove "The Mound Vineyard" Riesling Waipara Valley
By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
If you missed these phenomenal wines last year here is your chance to grab some of the highest quality (and coolest) wines coming from NZ. Tongue in Groove is a fairly new project from a group of old wine industry friends. The people involved have all had illustrious careers with other properties but are now pooling their collective knowledge and experience to craft these beautiful wines in exotic packages! The first key partner here is highly regarded viticulturalist Nick Gill. The single vineyard sites chosen for the TIG wines are farmed without the use of herbicides, fungicides or pesticides. Clayvin vineyard is certified BioGro organic. The vines are meticulously tended and fruit is grown and handpicked with a huge amount of care and attention. Next up, the winemaker behind the label is ex-Pegasus Bay winemaker Lynette Hudson. Lynette has just about as much experience as anyone crafting Waipara Pinot Noir and Riesling. Lynette’s winemaking style is quite non-interventionist utilizing wild yeasts for ferments, long gentle on skin macerations, natural Spring malo and no fining. For Riesling the juice is rested on the solids for several days before being fermented clear A small amount of botrytis affected fruit is deliberately included to add a wonderful exotic note to the zesty, fresh flavor profile. Next comes Carolyn Reid who is responsible in large part for the striking label designs and over all aesthetics of TIG… whilst I don’t often advocate buying a wine just because it has a cool label…the label lovers amongst you are gonna love these! Finally we have the very important personality of Angela “the tongue” Clifford…Angela is the social media, marketing whiz that wraps up the whole package and adds an extra layer of polish. She effuses the true spirit of this wonderful region living on an organic, holistic farm, foraging for food and represents an integral pillar of the Waipara food and wine community. These are seriously great wines, grown, made and presented by seriously awesome people, check them out.
Top Value!

2013 D'Amico "Seiano" Lazio Rosso
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
It's Tuesday night, what am I going to eat? I might as well have something to drink while I'm figuring it all out, $10...how can you go wrong! This aromatic blend of Sangiovese and Merlot shows wild cherry aromatics and lilac scents. On the palate this wine is supple, the Merlot supports the mid palate depth and the Sangiovese stretches it into balance. Fresh, easy, on the low side of 13% alcohol. this is the perfect marinara based pasta wine, a little lower in acidity that drinks perfectly by itself with a few cheeses!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Iliceus Rosso di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Vibrant, focused Sangiovese nose of wild cherry and hints of earth while on the palate the wine shows classic Sangiovese length and bits of herb, spice and leather to go with the wild cherry. The finish is long, coiled and vibrant just an excellent wine for rich pasta like Lasagna or couple of grilled sausage straight off the BBQ!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 D'Amico "Seiano" Lazio Bianco
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Edelflowers in the nose with hints of delicate white peach,....hey, this is a review for a $10 wine, it's already ahead of the game! Nice balance and weight on the palate where the flavors are refreshing, not overwhelming, if you've been drinking Pinot Grigio to go light this is your wine, what a bargain. Only 12% alcohol
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie du Pic" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
From the off the radar appellation of Pic St. Loup in the Languedoc comes this awesome blend of Grenache and Syrah! The wine shows copious amounts of brambly black fruit with notes of blueberry, cassis and Chambord. Tobacco and spice emerge in the glass with deep minerality. The "Closerie" has that rich concentration that keeps you engaged with flavors that unfold over the course of hours. Definitely cellar worthy but it has so much sexy fruit and spice, it's hard to resist now. Puech Haut is one of the great producers of the Languedoc and for a wine of this quality at this price we don't expect it to last long.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 - 95

2011 Tollo Valle d'Oro Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
I find that most Americans rarely know where the Abruzzo is and of course there is the continual confusion between its most famous grape Montepulciano hence Montepulciano d’Abruzzo and the Tuscan town Montepulciano where they make Vino Nobile di Montepulciano… Yet the Abruzzo, just east of Rome, as one drives through the Apennines takes you back in time. Culturally, physically, and geographically it is so different than the flat plain that Rome sits on it’s almost hard to imagine it is in the same country. The winemaking history of this region for us in America has been dominated by the giant Coop versions that usually end up on the bottom shelf at your grocery store for $4.99. Why? Well because the grape itslef has so much potential that even immensely over-cropped it produces really good value wine! Since 1960 when the Cantina Tollo was formed they have responded to the marketplace which since 1960 has changed dramatically. Once volume was important but now balance, sustainability in the production methods and a fresher, more vibrant flavor profile brought forward with reduced yields has transformed their wines into the 21st century. The town of Tollo is located near Chieti about 12 miles from the coast situated on gently sloping hills. The back drop of this town however is the view back towards the Gran Sasso one of the highest points in the Apennines dominating the countryside at more than 9,500 feet. The rolling hills around Tollo though provide the vineyards for the winery that is now producing wine from more than 7,000 acres! The 2011 Cantina Tollo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Valle d’Oro is a delightful wine, it is fermented in stainless steel tanks, racked off and then allowed to sit for almost a year before bottling. The results are an everyday marvel, balanced, fresh and extraordinarily pleasing. I think this is the wine for your Tuesday night Pasta night, a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo with a classic American spaghetti marinara, a bit of French bread and tutto bene!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
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2006 Ferrero Brunello di Montalcino
By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 6/30/2015 | Send Email
Ferrero’s normal richness in this vintage is back seat to the balance, structure and complexity. While still showing their hallmark character of chocolaty, supple opulence and smooth finish it is the layers of spice, wild herbs and structural length that really make this vintage stand out. The wine shows great balance and linearity weaving a luxuriant, tactile fabric of the wild cherry aromatics, black fruits and hints of leather, cinnamon and sage. The tannic structure is certainly there but it is a background stage that allows the flavors to play out without dominating the scene. This is the best non Riserva Ferrero Brunello I’ve had. I wrote this before tasting the 2010 Brunello from Ferrero, but this is equally as good, really exceptional wine.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

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