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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2013 Veramonte Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 04-08-2015
For fans of bright, focused, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, but without any of the green snap sometimes find in this grape variety, Veramonte makes an SB you will like. It's always been a popular one here, but given their recent focus on better farming practices and organic viticulture, this wine seems to be significantly improving year to year. The qualitative uptick is especially noticeable in the very good, cooler, 2013 vintage. This year Veramonte's entry level SB is delicious, crisp, ripe citrus fruited with both length and balance.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 90

2009 Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-08-2015
At Pian Dell Orino, it is apparently all about the farming, meticulous, detail oriented vine by vine farming, with lots of work by hand. It shows in the quality of the wine: ripe and not lacking intensity, but very purely fruited and what I refer to as breathability - a textural quality that does not tire the tongue, the gums or the palate. This is at the higher end of the Brunello pricing spectrum but is so tasty and well made that you may well find it worth the investment.

2009 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-08-2015
Given the savory aromatics, the interplay of ripe red cherries, spice and meatiness, the slight sauvage and barnyardy funk...this could only be Poggiarellino! Love it or leave it, this is, as usual, the most instantly recognizable of our DI Brunello stable. So fire up the grill, throw on a Bisteca, and crack open a bottle of Poggiarellino. Just don't forget to thank the Mayor of Montalcino for his good taste and facilitating this wine's journey from Tuscany to K&L!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$24.99

2013 San Francesco "Tramonti Bianco" Costa d'Amalfi
Review Date: 04-08-2015
Fresh, linear, and saline wine, this Amalfi Coast white is a great aperitivo and grilled seafood wine. Crisp, thirst quenching and mineral driven, this is just the ticket heading into the spring and summer months.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-08-2015
As is always the case, this is bright, mineral driven Pinot Bianco from the Colli Orientali, the Land of Pinot Grigio! While Ermacora also happens to make very good Pinot Grigio, this delicious, ageworthy Pinot Bianco is almost always the staff favorite. It's ready for most any polenta or pasta dish you want to throw its way, though it would also be great with charcuterie, or perhaps some high quality tinned or smoked seafood.
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

Westland Peated Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 04-07-2015
In a serious line-up of some of the most detail oriented, authentic tasting, and yet wholly original non-Scottish, Scotch style single malt whisky, the Peated Single Malt from Westland especially impressed me. It has noticeable yet balanced peat smoke, coupled with a chewy, viscous, downright delicious flavor and texture that reminds me of Springbank. You should absolutely take notice of this name; they will be a big deal soon but remember where you heard about them first!
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Calyptra "Zahir" Cabernet Sauvignon Cachapoal Valley
Review Date: 04-02-2015
Based in the Alto Cachapoal, about an hour and a half southwest of Santiago, Calyptra has beautiful vineyard sites, located on alluvial and colluvial terraces very close to the Cachapoal river, at over 2,900 feet of altitude in the foothills of the Andes. These are wines that are mineral (thanks to gravelly and slightly calcareous soil) as well as polished. Winemaker Francois Massoc knows his barrels; he is a trained cooper and still produces barrels from wood purchased from his favorite French cooperage, an unusual but highly effective arrangement. 80% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, aged for a little over two years in new barrels, the wine is, surprisingly, not incredibly oaky, a testament to the quality of the fruit as well as Massoc's knowledge of oak cooperage. Full of cherries and kirsch, with great intensity, persistence and length, this rivals some of Napa Valley's best.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92

1995 Frei Jao "Poco do Lobo" Vinho Regional Beiras
Review Date: 04-02-2015
The Lopez de Heredia whites of Portugal? While we are not yet intimately familiar with this Portuguese producer, we did have the opportunity to taste this white, produced from 100% Arinto grapes, and were impressed by how well it has aged. With a similar bright citric acidity and old time gracefulness to the texture, this is something that we are very excited about.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A finely balanced Champagne, this is all Challah dough on the nose, which leads to a dry, elegant, tasty palate. We like to joke about the recent trendiness of the Aube, or Cotes des Bar, the warmer, southern zone that is closer to Chablis than to Epernay and the rest of Champagne. That said, wines as good as Le Brun's provide serious competition to the established names up north!
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$34.99

2008 Launois Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A so called "east wind" vintage, or a year where both ripeness and natural acidity are very high, this 2008 Launois belongs on your table and in your cellar. Bright yellow skinned and citrus fruit flavors are lively and engaging, and the wine's persistence is what we have come to expect and love in the great 2008 vintage. Best to hurry up on this one; it will not last long on our shelves....
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Marguet Père et Fils "Amboniacus" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A pretty, pale "partridge eye" color rosé, this is delicious, balanced, on the dry and serious side. It's structured yet not austere, no doubt a reflection of the direction Benoit has been taking Marguet over the past several years. One of my favorite rosés, this is for those who like 'em dry and tense. It's a great food Champagne and should also age well.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva (1.5L)
Review Date: 04-01-2015
A longtime participant in the wine business, having sold wine for wine distributors in the States as well as working as an export manager, Miguel has found success along every step of the way, and then decided that rather than retire, he wanted to fulfill his dream of owning vines and making wine. Based in the Rioja Alta town of Briones, Miguel Merino makes, as he likes to put it, an "updated classic" style of Rioja, all from his own 2 hectares of vines and several hectares of vineyards owned by a close friend. All the fruit is from sloped vineyards (Miguel is a fan of his slopes) within the cooler climate Rioja Alta town of Briones, which makes these wine a terrific showcase of the terroir (especially in a region where wines blended from various villages are more often the norm). This Gran Reserva is from some of their oldest Tempranillo and Graciano vines, planted in 1931 and 1946. We had the opportunity to enjoy this at our company party, and it went down quickly! Too quickly as I did not get much more than a tiny sip from a colleague's glass. Needless to say it's a great wine to enjoy now, with softer tannins, succulent dark cherry fruit and an underlying subtly meaty savor. This bottle is an encouraging sign of the ageing potential of Merino's current release '04 gran reserva.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 03-27-2015
Yet another tasty, crisply red fruited Malbec from Elsa Bianchi. One of our most popular Malbecs, year in, year out.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Banshee "Rice-Spivak Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2015
This is one racy, tangy Pinot Noir, sourced from the Rice Spivak vineyard in Sebastopol. Plenty of acidity and sufficient cut. California Pinot for fans of a lighter, brighter, firmer style. Delicious.
Price: $69.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 90

2013 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Serious, very brightly fruited Pinot Noir, with a core of minerality that lends real structure, but also requires time to open up. I would suggest that you decant for an hour or so. Then you will have a chance to see just how impressive this Central Otago Pinot Noir really is.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Akitu "A2" Pinot Noir Central Otago (White Label)
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Akitu is definitely one of, if not the, Central Otago find of the year. Juicy, spicy, red and dark fruits make this very drinkable, while the acidity keeps it balanced and food friendly. Tough to do better than this in under $25 Pinot Noir.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch - Bambino" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-19-2015
This is one great Bambino - juicy, but structured as well, it's not as much of a mouthful as the Old Hill Ranch, but definitely is a great intro to Bucklin, one of the more underrated Zinfandel producers if you ask us.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Unti Dry Creek Valley Grenache
Review Date: 03-19-2015
As usual, this is very well made, dark fruited, structured, yet fresh Grenache from the folks at Unti. Mick and crew continue to do a great job with the Rhone varieties, making wines that are honest, balanced, and great at table.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Nalle Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-19-2015
The flagship, old vine Nalle Dry Creek Zin also has a bit of Petite Syrah and Carignane blended in. Delicious berries, balance, this is so drinkable and ageworthy as well for those enlightened few who prefer to stash some Zinfandel away in their cellars.
Price: $37.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Nalle "Vinum Clarum" Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Classic! This puts the "dry" in Dry Creek, with very fresh fruit, low alcohol (12.8%!) and a crisp drinkable style that many certainly do not equate with Zinfandel. I'll take another glass of Zinfandel, please!
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Porter Creek Mendocino County Old Vine Carignane
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Juicy, with just enough of Carignane's trademark, edgy/raspy quality, this is fresh and tasty, with satisfyingly grippy tannins. Very good.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Syrah
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Purple fruited, with a lovely combination of softening fruit and secondary flavor development, this is serious Syrah that is surprisingly easy to drink as well. For me, this was possibly the single most surprising (in a good way!) wine of our recent 40 wine domestic staff tasting.
Price: $25.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90 WE 90

2012 Joseph Swan "Trenton Estate" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Very good vintage, awesome wine. This is the flagship Swan Pinot Noir,which you will likely be able to tell the moment you lift the glass and taste. Layered berry fruit, with a great mouth feel, bright acidity, and seamless balance. It's delicious now and should age very well for quite a while.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 92

2012 Fort Ross "Sea Slopes-Fort Ross Vineyard" Fort Ross-Seaview Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2015
A great value Pinot Noir that should appeal to a wide range of palates, this is all juicy plums, with lovely spice notes and structure. As a fan of higher acid and lighter Pinot Noir, I can still appreciate this wine for its fresh, supple qualities. A very tasty wine from this beautiful Sonoma Coast winery.
Price: $31.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93 CG 91

2012 Banshee "Marine Layer" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2015
Marine layer, a blend of single vineyard sites on the Sonoma Coast, is showing wonderfully right now: juicy, pure red fruits and mixed berry flavors are structured and fresh, but surprisingly generous as well. So much to like here....
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 96 ST 90

2013 Do Ferreiro "Cepas Vellas" Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Proprietor and long-time grape grower Gerardo Mendez is rightfully proud of his 2013 Cepas Vellas. As usually is the case for this bottling from his home vineyard, featuring 200+ year old (yes you read correctly, 200!) pie franco, pre-phyloxera vines, this is intensely mineral and high in acid, but also high in fruit intensity and dry extract as well. 2013 was a tricky vintage in Rias Baixas, featuring a cooler and damper summer than usual in the north of Spain, but as usual this wine is delicious and a real treat. Incredible as it is now, try to stash away a few bottles to open in another few years, or longer. This is one of those sneaky agers that will absolutely impress with 8-10 years in bottle.
Price: $42.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93

2010 Bodegas Muga Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Muga's entry level wine is always delicious, but in a very good to great vintage like 2010, expect a bit better than delicious! It has mixed berry and darker cherry fruit flavors, a bit more on the darker side in most years, but with a mouth feel and tannin structure that nod towards modern day Rioja, while its spice, minerality and soul speak to traditional Rioja. A solid choice for Rioja fans and newbies alike, Muga's 2010 Reserva bottling is drinking well now and should age nicely over the next 5-7 years as well.
Price: $23.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 92 WS 90

2012 Borsao "Tres Picos" Garnacha Campo de Borja
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Tres Picos is its usual, richly red fruited self in 2012. Borsao's Tres Picos has a loyal following, and if you like a lot of fruit framed by generous, sweet/spicy barrel notes, you will see why this is consistently one of our more popular Grenache based wines.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92 ST 92

2012 Luca Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Laura Catena's Luca Malbec continues to bring the goods. Dark fruited, with nice barrel spice overtones and serious structure, this is a great Malbec from a very good vintage in 2012, a year that gives this wine even better bones than usual. A terrific Malbec for those who prefer reds with more body and lots of flavor.

1998 Bodegas Riojanas Monte Real Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Based right in the middle of Rioja Alta, in the village of Cenicero, Bodegas Riojanas is one of the region's centenarian bodegas, a winery with a rich history that continues to uphold their high standards for traditionally made Gran Reserva wine. Monte Real has been made for decades, and is one of the winery's two flagship wines, produced from primarily Tempranillo grown in Cenicero. This is always a more intensely fruited counterpart to the earthier Viña Albina. The '98 is drinking terrifically now, arguably at its apex, though it should continue to provide pleasure for at least the next 5-7 years.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 94 ST 93

1998 Bodegas Riojanas Viña Albina Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-18-2015
Based right in the middle of Rioja Alta, in the village of Cenicero, Bodegas Riojanas is one of the region's centenarian bodegas, a winery with a rich history that continues to uphold their high standards for traditionally made Gran Reserva wine. Viña Albina always has a stronger imprint of Mazuelo, with a pleasant earthy/savory interplay of fruit, spice and leathery notes. While the wine is a proven ager, this 1998 is in a great spot for drinking now.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93 ST 92

2013 Lora Tempranillo Syrah Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 03-17-2015
Made from organic grapes farmed on the cooler, high meseta in Cuenca, in the far east of Castilla La Mancha, this dark fruited blend is nicely round, juicy, and bursting with fruit, without being at all overripe or overoaked. It's simply a delicious and easy red for mid-week enjoyment. Also of note is that Miguel Merino Navajas, the son of one of our favorite Rioja producers Miguel Merino, makes this wine.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Lora Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc Vino de la tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 03-17-2015
This is a brightly fruited, crisp, delicious blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo, straight out of the Rueda regional playbook. Made from organic grapes as well. Unlike in Rueda, though, where good Verdejo shines on its own, in Castilla La Mancha the Sauvignon Blanc adds some additional bright acidity and citric fruit notes to perfectly complement Verdejo's richer, riper, profile. For an aperitive before dinner, something to accompany seafood, or a perfect foil to a lighter meal of salad, cheese and bread, it does not get much tastier!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 19/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda
Review Date: 03-17-2015
I don't have too much more to add to the notes I entered last year (yes, this has been a rather long-term project for us!) other than the fact that I love Amontillado, it is one of the wine world's truly great, inimitable classics, and this is one of the best I've ever had (and I've had a lot of 'em!) This is the second of two knockout barrels we selected at the bodega earlier this year. Compared to the 4/27, this one is perhaps more masculine, with spicier and headier aromatics, yet linear on the palate, with a clear flor and salt driven personality that speaks both to its Sanlucar origins and the highest quality of Argueso's old Amontillado. Very limited, when it's gone it's gone! Don't miss the chance to own this rarity and take part in a small slice of K&L history ! (Joe Manekin, K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer)
Price: $139.99 Add To Waiting List

Alexander Jules Amontillado "Singular" K&L Single Barrel 4/27 Sanlucar de Barrameda
Review Date: 03-17-2015
I don't have too much more to add to the notes I entered last year (yes, this has been a rather long-term project for us!) other than the fact that I love Amontillado, it is one of the wine world's truly great, inimitable classics, and this is one of the best I've ever had (and I've had a lot of 'em!) Of the two barrels, this one has more dried and candied fruits on the nose, and a softer palate that is bone dry, but more supple and giving than the 19/27. Very limited, when it's gone it's gone! Don't miss the chance to own this rarity and take part in a small slice of K&L history !
Price: $139.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Bodegas Alto Moncayo "Veraton" Garnacha Campo de Borja
Review Date: 03-17-2015
This is a perennial customer favorite: big, ripe, red and dark fruited Grenache that has a healthy dollop of oak. Veraton is a decidedly international take on this Spanish and French grape variety.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 ST 92

2013 Antucura Cabernet Sauvignon Vista Flores
Review Date: 03-12-2015
Very, very good Cabernet. This is so supple, round, and easy to drink, that you may find it hard to believe that it is such a young wine, and a Cabernet based on at that. However, given the Uco Valley's warm, sunny, dry conditions, with just enough cooling late afternoon and evening to allow the grapes a breather, it is possible to produce such a Cab, given attention to detail in the vineyards and cellar. For those who like their Cabernet fuller bodied and on the smoother side, this is one to buy in quantity.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
DC 95

2012 Meli Carignane Maule Valley
Review Date: 02-18-2015
Chile is so hot right now. Both literally (it's summer there now) and yes, in the Zoolander sense as well. Meli is a perfect example of what Chile is bringing to the table these days. In their dry farmed Maule Valley vineyards, proprietor Adriana Cerda produces beautiful Carignane, richly fruited and with the sort of fresh acidity one would expect from this grape. Such a fun, delicious value red! Roast chicken, roasted veges, grilled sausages, all would work terrifically with this wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 92 JS 90

2013 Ritual Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Supple, juicy, cherry fruited Pinot Noir for those who like their Pinot Noir on the fruit forward side of things. Think Russian River valley, perhaps even Santa María Valley on this wine. Cambria Julia's vineyard PN in Coastal Chile....
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 94

2010 Mercedes Eguren Cabernet Sauvignon Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Produced from a 25+ year-old Cabernet vineyard in La Mancha, there is a lot to like with this Cab, especially the fact that for under $10 you are getting tasty fruit but some honest tannins providing backbone and real structure. Somewhere between California and the Medoc lies this beauty.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Bodegas Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva Mendoza
Review Date: 02-17-2015
I remember when this was available to sell for $15 per bottle, a pretty good wine for the price, but at $10 we simply could not pass it up! This is a beautiful Malbec from a very strong vintage in 2012. Fruit is sourced from vineyards located in the villages of Agrelo and Las Compuertas, in the Lujan de Cuyo district, the classic zone for high quality, older vine fruit, as well as from parts of the Uco Valley. The wine is generous but bright, medium-plus in body and ready to crack open for a weeknight supper. Muy tasty!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

1981 Lopez de Heredia "Viña Tondonia" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-17-2015
A classic wine from the uber classic 1981 Rioja vintage (perhaps the dark horse for vintage of the decade), this is wonderful, traditional, long aged Gran Reserva Rioja. Lopez de Heredia owns a wonderful, old, sizable vineyard in Viña Tondonia, harvests the fruit by hand, ferments in huge oak vats, and then racks their wine to very old oak barrels for a deep slumber. For their gran reservas, the wines are bottled by hand, finished with a very high quality Catalan cork, hard sealing wax, and allowed to rest for years in their perfectly stable, cool, humid, riverside cellar. Their '81s are a rare treat, and will likely become increasingly difficult to find these days.
Price: $199.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 95 ST 90

2004 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-17-2015
Many folks are very much aware of the La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" bottling. In contrast to the Ardanza, the "904" contains Tempranillo and Graciano (no Garnacha) and is every bit as traditional with aging in used American oak barrels for 48 months, racking twice a year, and then further aging in bottle. The wine always has a sumptuous, velvety texture, with more bass notes in place of Ardanza's higher toned, red fruited profile, and a lovely, meaty savor to the wine. In a vintage as strong as 2004, La Rioja Alta's "904" will surely make for old bones, and only get better and better for those disciplined few who have the will power to lay off their bottles for a while!
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 96 ST 94

2005 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-17-2015
This is another strong vintage of Ardanza to follow their very good 2004 and classic 2001 bottlings. What is the bottle I most often recommend to those looking for a classic Rioja? The wine I am most likely to order at a restaurant upon touching down in Madrid, heading in the rental car and hitting the wine road? The wine that should you see older vintages is most likely to impress you with it's gorgeous aromatics and fruit? Yes, Viña Ardanza. Very tough to go wrong with this one!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 92 WS 92

2012 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Maipo Valley
Review Date: 02-17-2015
This is impressive juice! Santa Ema, long known for producing a satisfying, slightly toasty, American oak driven style of value Cab, appears to have changed tack. Here we have an elegant Cabernet, with lovely aromas of currants, wild blueberries, both just on the point of ripeness, similar to that piece of fruit that is just ripe enough to have not lost its delicious, bright, tanginess. A fresh, juicy palate shows a surprisingly light touch, with silky tannins and loads of drinkability. 13.5% ABV. What an impressive Cabernet from this venerable producer!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 92

2005 Marques de Murrieta "Castillo Ygay" Gran Reserva Especial Rioja
Review Date: 02-17-2015
The 2005 Ygay gran reserva, same as the 2004 bottling, is great. This gran reserva is marked by a healthy proportion of Mazuelo (around 7%) which thrives in this slightly warmer, drier, more Mediterranean influenced area just outside of Logroño. Ygay is a proven ager, with its rich red fruited profile often outshining other top bodegas' gran reservas (their 1978 comes to mind....)

2012 Bodegas Castaño "Hécula" Monastrell Yecla
Review Date: 02-16-2015
Lotsa wine for $9.99. This perennial best buy is on its "A" game in 2012, a vintage that was especially successful in southeastern Spain for its climatically even nature, not quite as hot as usual. This Monastrell leads with licorice and black pepper, some dark fruit aromas, and then shows loads of blue and dark fruits on the palate, some smoky/toasty qualities as well, and a clear underpinning of calcareous driven minerality. Its bigger brother Solanera may be all gone, but this is equally tasty and again, under $10. One to buy in quantity.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2011 Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja
Review Date: 02-14-2015
This wine consists of 100% Tempranillo, aged for four months in oak barrels. While the fruit is red plum and dark cherry, the overall palate impression is balanced and very clearly Rioja. 2011 was a solid vintage in Rioja, less structured than the 2009 and 2010 preceding it, but with juicy fruit and loads of drinkability.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Colonias de Galeon "Petit Ocnos" Chardonnay VdT Sierra Norte de Sevilla
Review Date: 01-28-2015
Beautiful Sevilla was my first exposure to Spain, and this Chardonnay was my introduction to the lovely, characterful wines produced up in the hills an hour outside of Sevilla by Elena Viguera and Julián Navarro. Like all their wines, this is so drinkable, all crisp and bright yellow fruits. Not quite New World Chardonnay, not Burgundy, not oaky but not at all a simple tank-fermented white, either. It's a new favorite direct import and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 BenMarco Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 01-28-2015
This is a ridiculous price on this bottling from the team at Dominio del Plata and Susana Balbo. A showcase for some of their best Malbec sites, primarily in the Uco Valley, this red has rounded, mixed berry fruits, with some red cherries and plums as well. Tasty fruit, very smooth tannins, some spicy sweet notes from oak aging all add up to a most drinkable red for under $10.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90 WS 89

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