Staff Favorites - Jim Barr

Jim Barr

Reviews

  
2013 Domaine du Tariquet "Classic" Cotes de Gascogne Blanc
Review Date: 03-31-2015
Distinctive aromas of lime-zest and dandelion greens, which carry over in the mouth to a really crisp, clean, mouthwatering set of flavors. From the Southwestern French regional area, this Gem is comprised of Ugni Blanc [hey, Wente Brothers use to call this varietal Grey Riesling back when I first started in this business many, many, many years ago and they even allocated it], Colombard, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cros Manseng [native grape to that area] and provides a wonderful bright, flashy finish with a slate-like mineral note. This Gem is a go-to wine when you want to serve shellfish or lighter seafood dishes. The Bean has informed me that I need to bring home this delicious wine in case lots. Don’t miss it! ....... 10.5% ABV
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Antaño Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-28-2015
Deeply colored, this exceptionally produced Rioja Reserva is loaded with curranty to cassis-like fruit qualities with a creamy, mocha undertone on the nose. All of these excellent qualities carry over well across a broad, lush, bright, flashy palate impression with expansive and deep flavors. The finish is long and warm. You can consume this Gem near-term if you want, but it will age another five to ten years easily. Tons depth and complexity! Rusty has ordered me bring several cases of this Gem home for our enjoyment for the next three to ten years. Exceptional vintage, exceptional value! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91

2010 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-20-2015
I have been a major supporter of the Napa Valley Cabernets coming from Amici Cellars for well over 15 years. The original primary owner/winemaker, who became one of my partners in my Pinot Noir vineyard project in the Anderson Valley in the early 2000s, and the current winemaker (with the same principle original investors of Amici), have made and continue to produce ‘old style’ Napa Valley Cabernets that show incredible balance and structure, yet with richness and depth of flavor without being an in-your-face, jam-y, high alcohol, low acid Cab that are coming from so many Napa Valley producers the last ten years-plus. This 2010 shows a deep ruby color, with an opulent, yet elegant nose of cassis, currents, and black fruits aromas, rounded by a soft cedary oak note. In the mouth, this broad, viscous, richly flavored Gem is balanced, well-integrated, dusty, and is nicely complex, with layers of flavor and character, and has a finish that is long, warm, pronounced, and lasting for at least five to ten minutes. Rusty has informed me that, although this Cabernet Gem is approachable now, we need to lay a few cases into our already crowded, temperature controlled wine cellar for a few more years. This puppy should easily age another ten to twenty years for those of you who are willing to do so, providing that you are under 60 years of age…………… 14.5% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $43.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91 RP 90

2010 Arnaud, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 02-19-2015
This is the first time that we have directly imported this production to K&L. In great vintages, such as 2010, Clyde searches the regional gamut of Bordeaux to find such minor producers as Arnaud that are of very high quality at reasonable prices, yet can be drunk in the near-term rather than waiting 10,000 years for it to be ready. This Gem is medium-deep ruby in color, offers up straightforward cassis to currant fruit characteristics in the nose and on its rather soft, silky, broad palate impression. This Gem is well integrated with excellent structure and has a finish that is long, warm, and shows an excellent core of sweet fruit without being over-the-top. Rusty has informed me that we need several cases in our collection to have with the tri-tip roast dinners that we have once in a while..... 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2005 to 2005
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-19-2015
Given 91 points by James Suckling, 90 points by Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, three and a half glasses by Greg St.Clair (our Italian Wine Buyer), and 18½ UC Davis points by me, this lovely Brunello is medium-deep ruby in color with a pinkish hue about it, the red fruit driven nose is opulent and distinctive with just a touch of meatiness. In its broad, viscous mouth presentation, it is full of ripe strawberry to anise-like spicy characteristics, with excellent structure and acid backbone, superb complexity, with cedary and earthy tones, and a lush, deep finish. Similar to the 2001s in their youth that I am just now dipping into, this Gem will easily age another ten-plus years. Rusty has informed me that I need to also bring home several cases of this great 2009... 14.5% ABV
Drink from 2019 to 2019
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91 RP 90

2013 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Charnay
Review Date: 02-18-2015
This is a wonderful Macon Chardonnay from a single, estate vineyard production that defines well-made, un-oaked Chardonnay from that southern location of Burgundy. Opulent aromas of Arkansas Black Apples and lime-zest are integrated with a slate-like mineral note that carries over nicely to its lush, viscous, deeply flavored palate impression. It’s finish is refreshing and mouthwatering and would be a perfect complement to a roasted chicken or turkey dish. At this amazing price, the Bean has ordered me to bring home cases, upon cases of this lovely Chardonnay Gem.... And you should, too.... 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico
Review Date: 12-30-2014
From one of the top Chianti producers and a direct import for us, this lovely Chianti Classico is deeply colored, offers an opulent nose of currents, blackberry and anise fruit with just a touch of wood, all of which carries over well in its nicely integrated, viscous, superbly complex palate impression. Excellent and complete mid-range, this Gem finishes with a long, warm feel. Rusty has informed me that we need cases of this Gem to consume over the course of the next three to five years. 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Fujanera "Arrocco" Nero di Troia
Review Date: 12-11-2014
Medium-deep ruby in color, the exotic nose offers up truffles, forest floor, clove-like, leathery, mocha, and blueberry characteristics, which carry over to a distinctive, well-focused, round, rich, and viscous set of flavors and texture. The finish on this Gem is long and loaded. Rusty has informed me that we need to make this Gem one of our house reds for the next x-amount of months or for however long it is around. Don’t miss this puppy! ............... 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Ostler "Caroline's" Pinot Noir Waitaki Valley North Otago
Review Date: 11-20-2014
If any one Pinot Noir makes a statement that New Zealand has joined the ranks of great Pinot producers of the world, this incredible Gem from Ostler is it! Deeply colored, the high profiled, profound aromatics of dried rose petals, raspberry, black cherry, and spices fruit characteristics with distinctive undertones of slate-like minerality, and meaty notes, all of which carries over nicely in the mouth. It is deeply complex, broad and viscous, well-integrated and wonderfully balanced, has great structure, acid backbone and excellent mid-range, yet is lush, rich, and beautifully focused with a finish that seems to go on and on. This is an amazing Gem, and Rusty has told me that we need at least a case of this in our collection. This lovely Pinot should easily age and get better for the next five to ten years, although I think once you taste it, you will find it very difficult to keep your hands off of it. In any case, you should not miss this Gem and need to buy it in quantity. Also, Matt Kramer recently wrote glowingly about this great Pinot in one of his columns, equating it to a single vineyard production from a great vintage from Chambolle-Musigny, but he did not give it a score. So, I'll do that for him - 96 points! 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2014

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2014
It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-15-2014
Although New Zealand has been almost exclusively known for wonderful Sauvignon Blancs the past several decades, we have seen in the past several years some nicely produced, but not outstanding, Pinot Noirs coming from many producers there. A few of these productions have impressed me to the point that I have told many customers that New Zealand is on the same quality threshold that the Willamette Valley wineries were thirty-five to forty years ago. And I have told customers that while these productions were promising, like those of the Oregon producers, it would probably be another seven to ten years when we would see some incredible quality Pinots coming from New Zealand that would rival the fabulous Pinots that now are coming from the Willamette Valley, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast and the Santa Lucia Mountain range. Then Ryan Woodhouse brings in the 2012 Te Whare Ra, and it was thoroughly impressive. And now with the 2013, I have to take several steps back and tell you that I was off by five to ten years, in that it would not take the New Zealand producers so long to create Pinots that would be on an equivalent level as the aforementioned wines. This is an amazing Pinot from a truly great, great vintage. Medium–deep ruby in color, with opulent, distinctive aromas of dried rose petals, strawberry, red fruits and spicy notes underscored by a slate mineral tone and a mild gamey quality. This carries over to a complex, layered, deep set of flavors with excellent balance, broadness and viscosity, and a lush mid-range and finish. Rusty has told me that this Gem is a truly great wine and needs to be in our collection immediately before it vanishes. Good work, Ryan, and thanks for making me eat my words. 19.0 UC Davis points out of 20.
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 94 RP 91

2010 Bodega Eguren Tempranillo Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 03-26-2014
This is a super value red wine. Medium-deep ruby in color, the wine offers a lovely perfume of bright rose petals, black cherry and cranberry fruit qualities with undertones of anise spiciness and a wet river stone minerality. This carries over nicely to a bright, flashy, brilliant flavor presentation with integrated tannins and a refreshing, clean, mouthwatering finish. This will be one of our house reds for the next several months - I will be bringing this home by the case. Lots of cases! Enjoy! 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Kalinda Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 02-04-2014
Bright, refreshing, and mouthwatering, this beauty is clean, crisp, and loaded with citrus (lime zest to grapefruit) fruit tones in the mouth and on the nose. According to The Bean, this Gem would be a perfect pairing with crab or lobster or any shellfish dinner and will be one of our house whites for the month. 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-17-2013
12.0% ABV

Blason Brut B3 Friuli Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 09-18-2013
Lush and delicious, with a bright and dry presentation, this highly aromatic, wonderful offering is clean and crisp in the mouth, and offers a nice everyday drinking sparkler at a “cheap” price. This is the first time that Greg St.Clair has had this exceptional sparkler imported to us from Blason. Eby has informed me that this Gem will be one of our house sparkling wines for the month. Enjoy! 12.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Arnauton, Fronsac
Review Date: 05-30-2013
Inky in color, the nose exhibits a woodsy, almost mushroomy note with distinctive cassis to blueberry fruit overtones. In its creamy, rich, viscous, fleshy mouth presentation, this Gem is well-integrated, balanced, broad and loaded with lush, deep, ripe fruit. As with the Beaumont, this Gem will drink in the near-term (three to six years) and Rusty has told me to bring at least a few cases home for that purpose, For those of you who are hung up on points from the wine gods, The Wine Spectator gave this 89 points.14.5% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91

2009 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-30-2013
We have imported this wonderful Cru Bourgeois for well over twenty years. Deeply colored, this lovely, opulent wine shows tons of cassis to mocha aromas, with a broad, well integrated, viscous mouthfeel, and a long, rich finish. Rusty has informed me that this near-term Gem will be our house red for the next three to six years. For those of you who are hung up on points from the wine gods, The Wine Enthusiasts gave this puppy 89 to 90 points.14.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-14-2013
Produced from Chardonnay [obviously, since it is “Blanc de Blancs”], this amazing Gem throws tons of yeasty, nutty, creamy fruit at you both in the nose and on the palate, with brilliant complexity, and a lush, broad, and rich finish. The Bean has ordered me to bring at least one case of this home for our consumption in the next one to three-plus years. I will probably bring home more than that. 12.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-21-2013
Between this vintage and the 1997, I can’t make up my mind as to which one I absolutely like the best. The problem, here, is that I love this Bordeaux vintage. It is a classic great vintage to me. But the 1997 is so superb to drink now, it is hard for me to decide. Read my description of the 1997 and apply it to this Gem. Rusty has indicated that this production will be one of our house reds for however long it is around. 13.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-26-2012
From my favorite Rioja producer, this stunning, complex, high-profiled “Reserva” offers all the elements that I look for in a great wine: an opulent bouquet, abundant structure and depth, exceptional mid-range, focus, a broad and powerful fruit presentation, and a finish that is satisfyingly long and warm. Medium deep ruby in color, the nose is loaded with an anise spiciness in concert with currant and cassis-like fruit characteristics, with undercurrents of game and mild toasty notes. All of these remarkable features carry over to its extraordinary set of flavors and overall presentation. This Gem will age easily for another ten to fifteen years, but you will find it difficult to keep your hands off of it for the near term once you taste it. Rusty has anointed this wonderful Gem as one of our house reds for however long it is around and has ordered me to buy cases of it for our cellar. 13.5% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

2007 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-29-2011
I have been such a fan of the Cabernets coming from Amici the last ten years, my thoughts were “How can any subsequent production get any better than their great 2004?” Then along comes this Gem from 2007, which may be the best production coming from Amici Cellars to date. All of us absolutely loved the 2004, but the2007 is, by and far, stunningly better. Deep ruby in color, the high profiled nose shows tons of cassis, currants, and blackberries with just a hint of the Napa Valley minerality dust. Broad, expansive, complex, structured, deeply flavored and integrated, silky tannins, this wonderfully balanced Gem should be put away and aged for another seven to ten-plus years. Anderson has informed me that this really needs to be in our cellar in case quantity, and it will. If you have it near-term, decant and air it out for two hours to help open it up. (Jim Barr)
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91

Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 03-04-2009
As our Alsatian wine buyer, Eric Story, pointed out to me, recently: “Most people outside of the region don’t think about Alsace for sparkling wine, but wait until you try this puppy!” He was right both times. Most people don’t know, and I couldn’t wait to have another glass after I tasted the first. This is an impeccably delightful, refreshing Brut rosé, produced entirely from Pinot Noir and bottle-aged on yeast for two years before disgorgement. The resulting wine is a sparkler that shows a lovely pinkish hue, very fine bead, and bright yeasty, strawberry and spicy fruit characteristics on the nose that carries well to the dry, clean, yet abundantly fruity palate. Try it with a grilled salmon dinner or seriously consider it for your next party. Anderson and the girls have informed me that this will be our house sparkler for spring and into summer, if it lasts that long. 12% abv
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 89