Staff Favorites - Adam Winkel

Adam Winkel

Reviews

2014 Baxter "Langley Vineyard" Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-19-2018
This was my pick of the lineup when I stopped into Baxter's Anderson Valley tasting room this past Fall. Red-fruited with earthy tones and floral aromatics, it shows some fine persistence and energy.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2016 Gundlach Bundschu "Estate" Sonoma Coast Gewürztraminer (Dry)
Review Date: 02-28-2018
If you're one to partake in weeknight Chinese takeout, it's a dereliction of duty to not keep some dry Gew├╝rz in the house. I can't believe that Gun Bun has been able to keep the pricing on this wine so low. It's an all-estate Sonoma Coast bottling that's been a pillar of the varietal in California. It takes 3x this price for me to find a Chard I like as much. Don't pass up a chance to rediscover a fun bottle that satisfies a serious palate and fills an important space in your wine rack.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Ferrand Dry Orange Curacao (750ml)
Review Date: 01-17-2018
Mixing to the highest tiki standards, I picked up a bottle of this to make the classic mai tai and zombie. I've always kept a bottle of Grand Marnier on hand to dribble into margaritas, but when I ran out of Grand Marnier I substituted this Ferrand Curacao in my margarita and I liked it even better... flavorful and characterful and not too sweet. I don't miss those squat Grand Marnier bottles hogging shelf space in my liquor cabinet so I an pour 3/4oz now an then. They shall not return. Ferrand is my one-stop orange liqueur now.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries (400g)
Review Date: 01-17-2018
These are totally worth it and this little jar goes a long way. My favorite use is the Three Dots and a Dash tiki drink, but the applications here are far-reaching. Be "nose to tail" and spoon the extra syrup on some ice cream or something. It's amazing. Just *DON'T PUT THE OPEN JAR IN THE FRIDGE*. It will crystalize and get ruined. This stuff is so sweet like molasses it's completely preserved at room temperature, and the label will tell you so as well.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Honda "Sequence" Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-14-2017
This is exactly the kind of Pinot Noir that I love having piled around the house. This example from La Honda is simultaneously savory and energetic with a persistence and juiciness that begs another sip. It has plenty of stuffing and a certain seriousness to the profile, but this bottle doesn't depend on cellaring to shed superficial baby fat. I find that to be a rare virtue, not a knock. The complexity here is really highlighted by the wine's purity. Such is the virtue of the Santa Cruz Mountains, which experienced particularly low yields of exceptionally high quality Pinot Noir in 2015. This bottle is equally fun for the SCM geek, or as a "gateway" wine for the uninitiated to get into the region's Pinots for a steal of an entry fee.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila (750ml) (ships as a 1.5l)
Review Date: 09-28-2017
This is a beautifully sippable blanco that reminds me why I like tequila so much. There's a lot of character and purity here with sophisticated shades of fruit and soil tones. There's no burn on the entry which invites you to really savor it and appreciate that there's no wood to get in the way of the agave. But the "premium" pedigree here for me is the persistent, bright, sun-shiny length of the finish.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2015 Kalinda Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-19-2017
Deep color and cassis tones introduce what is an unmistakable profile in Napa terroir. Cocoa powder and soil tones fill in as the wine airs, but the virtue is that the savor is from that terroir; not the stilting of heavy new wood which can be difficult to differentiate in this day and age. But perhaps my favorite characteristic here is the focused juiciness driving into the finish that really makes you want to take another sip. As much as a wine like this could age, in its fresh voluptuousness I actually think there is plenty of virtue to drinking it young. There's an uncommon combination of concentration and drinkability to this wine that really floats my boat.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Thymiopoulos "Young Vines" Xinomavro Naousa
Review Date: 06-19-2017
Don't be scared of the X-word here... this unoaked red changes expectations of Xinomavro with its firmly juicy, fresh and energetic style with carefully managed tannins. I've actually poured this instead of a summer white along with Mediterranean small-plate fare and it substituted beautifully when you would normally think a white would be ideal. It makes me respect the varietal all-the-more, with Xinomavro (similarly to Nebbiolo) showing capability on the treble end of the scale as well as the bass end. Certainly a value, this is a versatile and underappreciated style of red when something similarly priced like a Cote du Rhone perhaps isn't enough fun.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Damrak Amsterdam Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-15-2017
An amazing bargain for sure... the quality and complexity here is really high. This transported me back to Amsterdam in a gin and tonic the way they're served in Holland these days... with a slice of lemon and a mint sprig. Try it! It's a revelation!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2012 Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage Port
Review Date: 05-15-2017
LBV Port as a category is an amazing value, and this is a very distinctive example. Red currant and blackberry fruit with cocoa powder and floral tones fill out a profile that is bright and deep and even somehow refreshing. This needs some aeration when you open it, and it ideally drinks best after being open for a day or more. I followed this over five days as it continued to improve, and it would have easily gone longer because of the firm acidic spine that places this above some similar bottles. An open bottle from a few days ago feels like a gift from yourself, as it might show its best just for you.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-15-2017
This non-vintage Champagne shows excellent equilibrium between minerality, toastiness, and citric fruit with no single characteristic outshining the rest. Certainly a fine bead and excellent texture from a magnum. Complete and very pleasurable.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Chartreuse "V.E.P." Green (1L) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 12-01-2014
The most extraordinary digestif ever made. The most extraordinary anything ever made. My desert island one-and-only.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Graham's 10 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 01-27-2014
This is a good port to serve with a non-chocolate dessert course. The bombastically nutty and spicy profile complements your dessert course beautifully, when a more delicate style of Tawny would get crushed. Try it with creme brulee or pumpkin pie! An open bottle in the fridge will change very slowly, so pour it when called for... it will last for weeks or even months.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

Graham's 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 01-27-2014
Like Graham's 10 Year Tawny, the 20 Year is a wine that is great to pair with a dessert course. Excellent with pastry or custards, this big boy does amazing things alongside something as down-home as pumpkin pie or even carrot cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting. The Graham's 20 also has enough richness to pair with caramel-based desserts. An open bottle will keep in the fridge for weeks or even months, so no rush to finish it.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 93

Ferreira "Duque de Braganca" 20 Year Old Tawny Port
Review Date: 11-29-2012
This shows amazing nuance and freshness, and the nuttiness comes in late to create a great overarching, transitory complexity. This would prove versatile with custards or nutty desserts, but it's certainly also one to savor on its own.