Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
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Joe arrived at our doors in February 2007 from far away, Washington, DC to be exact. Just so no one gets the wrong idea, though, he was merely earning a living in DC; Joe’s cultural identity, as well as his professional sports allegiances and, when he has a few drinks in him, his accent, are all Baltimore through and through. After working on the wholesale side of the business for nearly 4 years, Joe decided that he wanted to work wine retail with the best, so he emailed Cindy Westby at K&L and the rest is history. While Joe is well versed in a number of wine regions, he most enjoys the wines of Europe, though he is growing increasingly interested in the great wines of the Santa Cruz mountains. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, catching up on The Wire, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone (www.johnstonemusic.com), and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com)


Reviews

  
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2009 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-24-2017
A textbook Leoville Barton, the fantastic 09 opens with pure crushed currant aromas and a lovely, leafy undercurrent of Cabernet complexity - just a beautiful nose. Black fruits on the palate are supported by elegant tannins. While the wine is still in its youth, the fruit expression and overall balance suggest a long life ahead.

2010 Contino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-24-2017
One of my all time favorite Rioja estates, Contino Reserva is always delicious: a lovely balance of ripe, forward, rich fruit, baking spices, savory tones and bright acidity. As wonderfully consistent as Contino is, it really excels in certain vintages - typically cooler years and vintages where acidities and tannins tend to be a bit higher than normal. Due to their protected, slightly warmer site, it is these vintages where Contino often produces something truly special, and 2010 is the most recent example. Aromatically a rich confit of cherries and plums, along with baking spices, leads to a palate that in short order delivers waves of rich, intense fruit, followed by the balancing acidity which refreshes and should allow for long ageing in bottle. Perhaps there is no Rioja that will appeal to as wide a range of wine drinkers as Contino. For the price, this may be the best Spanish wines I've tasted this year.

2007 Langoa-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-23-2017
Many 2007 Bordeaux's are in a sweet spot right now, beginning to deliver all the elegance, flavor development and balance one would expect in maturing Bordeaux. Langoa is one of our favorites and this 2007 is spot on: savory, rich cherry fruits and a suggestion of braised meat on the nose lead to a palate of red fruit and appealing earthiness. A well put together and complete, utterly delicious Langoa.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2012 Reserve de Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-23-2017
This is yet another 2012 that is drinking beautifully now. The red fruits of the vintage seem to dominate over the more typical dark fruits of Leoville Barton's first wine. With sweet earthy and spicy notes on the nose as well, this is a delicous example of the vintage and of the inherent value in picking a well made second wine from a prestigious property such as Leoville Barton (always one of our favorites).
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Longeroies" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Our favorite Marsannay specialists, Domaine Bart, are back in the house, with an impressive nine different Marsannay bottlings for you to play around with. In fact, in the name of thoroughness, I am in the process of doing just that! Les Longeroies is a clay and marl vineyard, and the plump, generous mixed berry fruit with round, elegant tannins reflects this soil type. It is always one of my favorite Marsannays, succulent and purely fruited, but with the structure to age a bit. Delicious, and as I previously mentioned a favorite bottling amongst one of my favorite producers in Domaine Bart.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Bart "Les Finottes" Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Domaine Bart makes no less than nine, count them nine, Marsannays! And I'm excited that in this great vintage, we have them all to show off the differences in site - a true Burgundian lesson in terroir without the need to shell out three digits per bottle. Les Finottes is actually a monopole vineyard - exclusively owned by Domaine Bart - featuring sandy soils and some really old vines (up to 90 years old). A step up in complexity from the straight Marsannay, the wine is big, spicy, woodsy, dark fruited, and structured, with tannins that grip but are ultimately well balanced. The scale and richness of fruit on the nose nearly reminds me of Central Otago, though on the palate, even in this ripe vintage, we are clearly in Burgundy. At under $25, this is a lot of wine, and it should cellar well for another 7-8 years.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2013 Aleph Semillon Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Argentina has around 900 remainining hectares of Semillon vines, many of them brought over in the first half of the 20th century. In this case, these 70 year-old vines yield a lovely wine with waxy white fruit and a soft texture. Roberto, whose family hails from Galicia, Spain, suggests serving this delicious white with octopus.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2003 Aleph "Old Vines" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
This is terrific Malbec, with nearly 15 years bottle age, and therefore a real rarity. Great presence on the palate - dark fruits, graphite and some savory hickory smoke notes as well, but still fresh. The Malbec in this bottle comes from 90 year old vines in the La Consulta district of the Uco Valley. Maybe one of our best deals in serious Argentinian Malbecs.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2010 Aleph Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Aleph continues to make some of our favorite Malbecs - delicious and often with the added bonus of some extra bottle age. Fruit is sourced from Lujan de Cuyo, the traditional home base for Mendoza wine country's historic bodegas as well as the area containing the largest number of older vineyards. As usual, this bottling is bright and quite tasty, with excellent depth of flavor and texture.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Bart Marsannay Rouge
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Domaine Bart is not only one of my favorite K&L direct import Burgundy domaines, it is amongst my favorite reds of any type in our inventory. The 2015 Marsannay is a good example of the Bart house style in a great Burgundy vintage: succulent fruit, lively/juicy acidity, supple tannins, and an overall feel that is as reflective of place as it is easy to drink. Recently I opened a bottle at home, intending to enjoy it over a couple nights to track the development. After about 15 minutes and a few glasses in, it quickly became apparent that there would be no steady tracking of this wine's evolution. In another 30 minutes, the bottle was empty. I think my wife had a glass while I quickly took care of the rest. My highest recommendation on this wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Samuel Billaud Petit Chablis
Review Date: 07-19-2017
There is absolutely nothing "petit" about this impressive, chalky, mineral driven Petit Chablis! Having recently tasted this, alongside a nice line-up of Chablis which featured some 1er Cru as well as several Grand Clos Les Clos which included 2015 Dauvissat, I am happy to report that this not only held its own ,but was one my favorites! Just a wonderful, over achieving bottle from this fantastic producer. Highly recommended.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2001 Auchroisk 15 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2017
I don't think I can recall a cask strength single malt as delicious and downright drinkable as the Auchroisk 15. It makes me thirsty thinking about tasting this yesterday, and now that I recall I think I momentarily broke with the professional convention of spitting; the whiskey tasted really good and I did not want to spit. I think I remember Driscoll describing this as ideal for the warmer weather, and I would absolutely agree with that. Light on its feet, subtle, harmonious, one that I will be drinking for sure.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2001 Bowmore 15 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2017
It's always fun to have new cask strength bottlings of Bowmore, one of our favorite distilleries, come into stock. This is a beautiful expression, very full flavored, with a savory salty, bitter caramel profile, full of deep bass tones and wood smoke. It's tough to find as identifiable and strong a personality in the single malt section, at full cask strength, as the Old Particular Bowmore bottling. Great stuff.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila 33 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Wowee Zowee! This is as close to perfection in a single malt as I have tasted in a long time. There is something about good, older Caol Ila that, delicious as it is, I find nearly impossible to put into words. If you have not yet had the opportunity to taste older Caol Ila, to experience the interplay of honey, salt, and subtle smoke, that coat the palate and stick around for minutes, you really ought to splurge for this bottle. And if you are familiar with the magic that is older Caol Ila, then you don't need much convincing. This has my highest recommendation.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Compared to the Wanaka Rd bottling, you can sense the darker tones to the fruit, the more serious structure, and the fact that this Pinot Noir, while terrific now with a meal (quick suggestion: grilled lamb chateaubriand served with roasted fingerlings), is built to improve in bottle. Mount Edward continues to make the best value Pinot Noir in New Zealand, which in turn places them amongst the best value Pinot Noirs in our selection.

2015 Wanaka Road (Mount Edward) Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Produced from younger vines, this is spicy, fruit forward Pinot, with flavors of cranberry, juicy acidity, and a freshness that makes me want to drink a lot of it at one sitting! Delicious Pinot Noir for drinking now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RC 91

2011 Mount Edward "Morrison Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Compared to the Muirkirk vineyard, this bottling shows more juicy aromas, with a bright and slightly pungent quality. Flavors of cranberry and pomegranate are high toned, and framed by mellowing (though still firm) tannins. This is delicious Pinot Noir that is beginning to open up and sing. I see why Duncan chooses to re-release these from time to time!

2011 Mount Edward Estate "Muirkirk Vineyard" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Today we had the pleasure of tasting with winemaker/proprietor Duncan Forsyth, and this was one of the real surprises of the line-up: a recently re-released bottling of single vineyard Pinot Noir. Savory, with aromas of dark fruit and an appealing, gamey quality, the wine also has quite a bit of concentration, structure and savor on the palate, all in terrific balance.

2014 Laventura Viura Rioja
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Dollar for dollar, for my money, this is the best white wine we have. Old vine Viura, complemented with heirloom varieties such as Malvasia and Calagraño, fermented and aged in Stockinger foudres for 18+ months, mineral as all get out yet also rich in the mid-palate with the length of a (very good) $40 white Burgundy. This stuff is fantastic. Proprietor/vigneron Bryan MacDonald's star is on the rise, and I would suggest that now is the time to get acquainted with this spectacular white wine. Load up for drinking now and for your cellar if you've got the room; this wine will age.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2009 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-18-2017
As delicious as the "904" bottling is from La Rioja Alta, the Vina Arana gives you plenty of traditional Rioja character, as well as a very good representation of house style, at one of the most consistent, and certainly one of my favorite, Spanish wineries in La Rioja Alta. Quite frankly, I could drink a bottle of this myself, particularly with a mixed plate of cured chorizo, cheeses and bread. It is the archetypal, traditional Rioja, showing off fresh and dried fruits, dried orange peel and pipe tobacco on the nose. Bien clasico! This leads to a palate that is bang on Rioja: supple, slightly savory, fruity, yet dry with balanced acidity. I should also add that it is mellow and more-ish, two key descriptors of the kind of Rioja I love to drink. While the nose shows some lovely development, on the palate the fruit shows admirable poise and freshness, as well as surprising volume and depth for an under $25 wine. It is no surprise that this is the wine of choice amongst the team of coopers, cellar and vineyard workers at La Rioja Alta! One of my absolute favorite reds in the shop right now, this wine is for drinking in quantity (quick pro tip: like the other wines in this stable, the Arana will also age a while!)
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2007 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-17-2017
This is another fantastic vintage of 904. It may be the most utterly delicious and versatile traditional Rioja in our stock. I say versatile particularly in terms of the drink or cellar question: while I love how this is tasting now, I can say with a good amount of confidence that this will be even better at 20 years old in 2027 than it is at 10 years old today. Currently, the 904 shows it's classic combination of dark cherries, cocoa powder and leather on the nose, leading to a palate that is supple, elegant, perhaps fresher and more fruit forward than the nose would suggest, though of course at 10 years young there are lovely developed notes emerging. Given all the fawning press, this wine was not nearly as plentiful as I had hoped it would be and our original order quantity was cut back, so be sure to grab what you want before it sells out!

2014 La Fleur Peyrabon, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Structured dark fruits, currants and a subtle leafy savory quality all reveal themselves on this classic, built to age, value Pauillac.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 VN 90

2014 Deyrem Valentin, Margaux
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Deeply perfumed cherry fruit aromas lead to a fresh, nicely persistent palate. With subtlety on the mid palate and a pleasant bitter snap towards the finish, this is a very pretty bottle of Margaux that over delivers for the price.

2014 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Juicy and brightly red fruited, I have yet to taste a Potensac with such impressive freshness and drive. As it often does, I suspect that this Potensac will age gracefully for a long while.

2015 Giant Steps Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 06-28-2017
This is stylish, cooler climate Pinot Noir. The fruit flavors are fresh, with tension and a somewhat stern backbone likely contributed by the inclusion of some stems in this cuvee. Relatively few under $25 Pinot Noirs make much of an impression on me; this bottling of Giant Steps is one of the exceptions that proves the rule. Great stuff!

2016 Bodegas Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 06-26-2017
This is, hands down, not only one of the most beautiful, delicate, and effortlessly delicious Pinot Noirs I have tasted in a while, it is simply one of the best deals in PN I think we'll see all year. Produced in tiny quantities in Argentinian Patagonia, this bottling is basically a selection from the winery's (also very good) $50 bottling. For some inexplicable reason, this smaller and more particular production is $15 less than the other bottling. For under $35, you get a Pinot Noir with so much finesse: pretty red fruits, delicate rose petal qualities, low ABV, and a quiet complexity that does not detract from how delicious and immediately approachable it is. Once again I think this is amongst our best Pinot Noir offerings year to date; it's super limited and bound to not last long so I would act fast on this one.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 92

2009 Château de Chambert Cahors
Review Date: 06-14-2017
I respect Malbec, I really do. When it's done right, there are few grapes that match its intensity of fruit and versatility with food. I also taste a ton of Malbecs as part of my responsibilities buying Argentinian wines, so if I'm going to break from the usual routine of telling folks how delicious a new Argentinian Malbec is, you know that this is some serious stuff! This Cahors opens with big and bright plum fruit aromas, which lead to a palate of juicy red fruit, terrific presence and poise, as well as a thread of iron minerality. Fairly classic Malbec profile, but as is the case with the Cahors version of Malbec, the acidity is a bit livelier and really drives the wine. Sign me up! Drinking now, and likely to be drinking for at least some 5-7 years from now. Great wine.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

2007 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
It would be hard to do better than to be tasting Bollinger Grande Annee on the job, as part of the job, on a Tuesday afternoon. As it turns out though, I would soon be doing better indeed: Champagne buyer Gary Westby had an extra bottle for the closing crew to enjoy while counting out the drawers that night! Grande Annee is a delicious vintage Champagne, and in the case of this 2007, has what I would call a quiet complexity. Citrus and hazlenut aromas lead to a linear, nuanced palate that slowly reveals additional layers with air. There is plenty to ponder, and additional complexity that will surely continue to unfold with time. That said, this is not a huge production cuvee, and one of those luxury products where prestige is comfortably exceeded by the quality (no secret for this wine, by the way) so I would suggest laying claim to some now.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
JG 93

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
Oh man, is this good, soooo good! We have to be careful around here about picking favorites in the Champagne category, because the fact is that we all love Champagne and our current favorite may be bested by yet another delicious bottling before long. That said, for many of us, Bollinger is a long-time favorite amongst the grande marques, a true original and - without going into detail - a process that is ridiculously labor intensive, manual and expensive even for their Special Cuvee. With aromas of loquat, and a slightly savory, Beurre Blanc like note, the current bottling immediately drew me in in. It may be the 1/3 barrel fermented aspect of the base wine, the presence of 10-20 year old reserve wine, or my experience with the other great chalky soil based wine region of Europe, but I detected just a passing resemblance to Manzanilla here! A bright, delicious, complete and complex palate seals the deal and Bollinger continues to be one of my absolute faves.

2008 Baron Fuente "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
Yet another direct import 2008 vintage Champagne for a laughably low price, the Baron Fuente is not only from a great vintage, but also consists of 100% estate grown fruit (for added context, you are likely to pay at least 2.5x as much for a larger grande marque's vintage wine, consisting of large amounts of purchased fruit). Big, bright, golden fruit along with brioche/challah dough nuances combine for a delicious Champagne that should please lots of folks for drinking now, though with a recent disgorgement and at just 9 years young, it should drink well for quite some time.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
Laurent Perrier's flagship Grand Siecle is a fine Tete de Cuvee. Though its not the best known tete de cuvee, and is certainly not anywhere near the largest or most widely distributed, it does accomplish the main goal of these wines; originality and house style. This cuvee is based on the 2002 vintage, and features a 50-50 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Aromas that are ever so slightly toasty and smoky lead to an incredibly vinous palate: think a blend of Puligny and Meursault 1er with bubbles. Just a trace of red fruited nuances seem to kick in towards the finish. For a celebratory splurge, anniversary or closing gift, this just might be the bottle you're looking for.

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
Our last shipment of this version of the ever solid Laurent Perrier Brut (they are about to release a brand new cuvee, which will soon be arriving into our stock as well), it features a generous 50% portion of chardonnay (35% PN and 15% Pinot Meunier round out the blend) with three years on the lees. Citric, and appley, the wine has direct appeal but also a little something extra, a notable mineral/saline edge. Very tasty, and nearly impossible to go wrong with this lovely Champagne .

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
While I did not think it could get much better than the 2008 Fallet Dart, Gary then proceeded to take us to the Clos. It's phenomenal wine, so bright and persistent, with lovely tangerine like Chardonnay fruit, a slightly nutty quality underlying all that brisk, acid framed fruit. Long lees seems to give great wines like this both a bass layer of deeply burnished nuance as well as the middles and highs of intense fruit and acidity. One thing I've learned in over 20 years in the wine business, is that if the monks bothered to build a stone wall around it, it's probably a pretty good vineyard --Gary Westby
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
Is there such a thing as too much great 2008 vintage Champagne? Of course not! We have sold some great value bottles from this legend in the making vintage: Franck Bonville Millesime, Louise Brisson, Launois, Louis Brochet, amongst others. Delicious as those are, for fans of subtlety and balanced lees driven complexity, the 2008 Fallet Dart is your wines. Biscuity and yellow fruited aromas (70% Chard in this cuvee) lead to a palate that balances rich yet balanced autolytic qualities with loads of acid driven intensity. It's very fine now, and will only get better with age. This is a top value in the store right now, and needless to say for a wine of this quality, that will age with grace for years, from a top quality vintage...it's a steal. My highest possible recommendation for this beautiful wine.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Selection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2017
The mere fact that this cuvee from Fallet Dart has a whopping seven years on the lees should immediately grab your attention. That said, it's not all about the lees, you need to start with great base wine. This is absolutely the case for this delicious bottle of Pinot Noir based bubbles made an hour west of Epernay. A bright nose loaded with citric fruits leads to a focused, lively, fresh and engaging palate. Compared to their also tasty Grande Reserve, this wine comes across as drier and slightly lower dosage. Fantastic value for money, and a likely selection for house Champagne at our place. If you are inclined to do the same, it will be super affordable at under $35!
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2012 Haras de Pirque "Hussonet" Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva Maipo Valley
Review Date: 06-06-2017
While the 2011 is a tough act to follow, this 2012 absolutely brings it; actually I find the 2012 to be far better. This vintage shows a fruit quality that is more penetrating, with greater volume, persistence and length on the palate than the comparably softer 2011. Tannins, fruit and acidity are impeccably balanced, and in fact I would be hard pressed to find a Cab that is this well put together for $15-18, let alone one that comes close to this at $10. Bold statement, I know, but this Cabernet is a category killer! This would make as nice a pairing with grilled skirt steaks this summer as it would with low oven heat, high flame pan finished rib eyes 3-4 years from now. Real Cab for a real value price. Load up.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2011 Ferrer Bobet "Vinyes Velles" Priorat
Review Date: 05-31-2017
A blend of Cariñena and Garnacha, the Ferrer Bobet is an authentic expression of the Priorat and its two star grape varieties. Fresh mixed berry and red fruits blend with subtle roasted grains on the nose, leading to a crisp palate with bright, lively dark fruit (typical of Carignane based wines from the region). This Priorat, with its several years of bottle age, is in a real sweet spot right now. And at under $25 its as good as it gets for this famous region.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 WS 91

2016 Amalaya Torrontes Riesling Salta
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Back again, Amalaya's blend of Torrontes and Riesling displays beautiful bright yellow fruit, hints of jasmine as well as a chalky sense of minerality from the 5,500+ feet Salta vineyards. We are huge fans of this wine; for under $10 there is loads of refreshment and sufficient nuanced detail to hold your attention.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2016 Matetic "EQ" Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Real deal Sauvignon Blanc here! While Sancerre is synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc, and New Zealand continues to produce many great examples, Chile has been busily building the case for their crisp, mineral driven Sauvignon Blancs as well. Matetic produces one of the very best values. Its lively citrus, brisk salinity and granite driven minerality combine to make a refreshing summer white, one of our best values early on in the summer sauvignon season.

2015 Zorzal Eggo "Tinto de Tiza" Mendoza
Review Date: 05-31-2017
A most serious Malbec based wine, this 2015 vintage is now in a Burgundy bottle, and the wine's reserve, structure, acidity and overall balance seem to have risen to the occasion and new bottle shape! As Gutierrez suggests, there is an initial austerity on the nose, though on the palate, the wild plums, subtle cured olive and meaty notes suggest very good quality northern Rhone Syrah. Spectacular value here in one of the driest, most structured and complex bottles of Argentinian Malbec we have yet to feature.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Quite a simple breakdown for this wine: Great vintage (check); fantastic producer (also check), carefully bottle aged for you by our DI partners and 8th generation vineyard owners in the Puelles clan (yes!) The result is a wonderfully savory, sumptuous, beautifully balanced traditional Rioja that is delicious now and will continue to drink well for years ahead. At under $20, this might just be our best value in aged red wine in the store.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Noemia de Patagonia "A Lisa" Malbec Rio Negro
Review Date: 05-24-2017
When it comes to Malbec in the burgeoning Rio Negro region of Patagonia, Bodegas Noemia is the name to know. What you're getting here for well under $20 is a beautiful, supple Malbec, with dark and red fruits, well integrated oak, and a profile whose richness of fruit and fineness of tannins combine to make this seem considerably more expensive. Whether you are a fan of more elegantly styled Malbec such as Achaval Ferrer, or generally seek out value in red blends from California, this Patagonian Malbec should absolutely be on your radar.

2011 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-23-2017
Wow, $25?! For a Brunello with as much classical style, leathery, dusty tangy cherry fruit, and wonderful poise, I would certainly grab a few bottles, if not a few cases, to enjoy near term as well as mid-term in your cellar. Given the combination of vintage (having to follow the much hyped 2010 vintage) and our direct import, I cannot recall a Brunello offer as compelling as this one. Act quickly. $25 Brunello at any level - let alone something of this quality - is not long for this world!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 91

2011 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-19-2017
This is a fantastic value in Rioja. Supple fruit, with ample body, juicy acidity, and gently spicy flavors just scream Rioja. This is the kind of red you can drink with or without a meal, pour for your guests who drink California reds or those who tend to prefer other stuff, and it will just work out and make everyone happy. Tasty and strongly recommended.

1976 LAN "Viña Lanciano" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-05-2017
As I prefer to do with collections of older wines, I had the opportunity to taste this immediately after delivery, and then to track its evolution over several hours. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! This single vineyard wine, from a vineyard first planted by Lan in a meander of the Ebro River, just northeast of Fuenmayor, it has aged spectacularly well. Aromas of red fruits, damp earth, celery seeds and cocoa lead to an edgy palate, with pomegranates, bright acidity, and a surprisingly youthful, linear quality to it While not the most complex of older Riojas, it delivers a taste of the complexity and vitality inherent in the best examples of fully mature Rioja.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2014 Montes "Classic" Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 03-21-2017
Let's give credit where credit is due: Aurelio Montes created loads of interest in his so-called "icon" wines - Montes Folly, Purple Angel, Alpha M - at a time when most wines from Chile were selling for much less. The investment in the high end ultimately paid off, not just for those wines but also for their value oriented wines like this Cabernet. At under $10, it slays most any other sub $10 Cab out there, with aromatic complexity (roasted coffee bean, eucalypt, red fruits), fruit intensity (coupled with a lovely mineral edge, thanks to Colchagua's granite soils) and balance (13.5% ABV sound good?) Yes, while you may have seen this wine around, and we certainly did not discover it, we did re-discover its world beating value.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Don Rodolfo Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 03-21-2017
It's not often that we have sub $9 wine we are so excited about that it merits an email, but this Malbec is undoubtedly an exception. Juicy, plummy fruit with just a hint of cracked pepper and underlying wood smoke makes for one gulpable weeknight red. Quite a tasty red on its own, but also this is perhaps the perfect burger wine!
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-21-2017
Our newest Direct Import Rioja, this 2012 Reserva shows the richer, darker fruit quality of this warm vintage. The wine also has underlying toasty and subtly smoky barrel notes combining with balanced acidity for a plump, richer expression of Reserva Rioja done right. A great wine to check out for those curious about Spanish reds. There is a whole lot of material and a lot to like here....
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-21-2017
So, so, good, this 2005 Lesmos Reserva! Having recently re-tasted the wine, I can say that it still shows intense, bright fruit, all the while with great aged nuances as well. Piercing dark cherry fruits and dark chocolate aromas on the nose lead to some terrific flavors on the palate. Adding to the strong attack and mid-palate intensity is a lengthy finish, tinged with salinity and a subtle woodsy,/littoral quality. Rich, layered, and begging another sip, this tastes like it should be, conservatively 2-2.5x more expensive than it is. Drink now or cellar with confidence for another decade.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

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