Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

  
2014 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 09-26-2016
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this job is the ability to taste, savor and most importantly, share with customers, the immense wealth of wines that our tireless, talented buyers uncover and bring into the store. For several vintages, the Bastide Miraflors has expressed the very soul of the Roussillon, emboldened by robust, vibrant fruit that leaps from the glass with aromas and undertones of blackcurrants, sweet cherries, dark plums and wild herbs, wreathed by velvety tannins and a flourish of licorice on the firm finish. A truly fantastic find for your holiday parties, sure to enhance any gathering. And at this amazing price, it will soon disappear....
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
The Northern Rhone is so well-regarded for its superb Syrah-based red wines that the whites, aside from the long-lived Hermitage blancs, are often overlooked. The Cuvee Christophe, an exemplary blend dominated by Marsanne with a dollop of Roussanne, resonates with aromas of fleshy peaches, Bosc pears and almonds, delivering rich, captivating flavors of pear, kitchen spice and nectarine on the creamy, sumptuous palate. A rewarding wine to pair with roasted Cornish hen or a ham and Gruyere tart.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This fourth-generation estate is now managed by the Desmeures family, but to be honest, there is little "demure" or reserved about this extraordinary find except the price. Sourced from slow-ripened fruit high on the hill of Hermitage, this deep-hued wine is characterized by complex aromas and firm, concentrated flavors of blackberry, cassis, violets and spice, with plenty of structure and well-knit tannins for those patient enough to wait a decade or more. Still, it is deliciously provocative in its youth....
Top Value!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Claude Riffault "La Noue" Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Welcome to the 'Pink Peacock', or at least that's the name I just penned to reflect the ravishing spectrum of rosés on our shelves at this warmest time of year, all colors and tints from delicate rose petal to rapturous sunset competing for your artful eye and palate. I learned long ago to expand my horizons beyond the hue and cry of Provence and Tavel, and discovered one of my favorites from a parcel of limestone in Sancerre farmed by a talented young winemaker named Stephane Riffault. His La Noue rosé is a poised, sophisticated expression of high-toned, prismatic fruit— strawberries, cherries, watermelon, peaches— crisply dry and balanced by perfect acidity and the influence of marl-rich soils. Definitely a must try for all who covet these stylish wines. Time to raise your tints!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Looking for stylish elegance without spending a small fortune to achieve it? Planning a special party, wedding or retirement and don't feel inclined to spend your golden years paying off the caterer? Here's a suggestion: The sparkling wines of Limoux actually predate those of Champagne by at least a century, when a Benedictine monk in 1531 accidentally created the first brut wine in his cellar. Almost 600 years later, and they're still at it, with the Cuvée Eugenie, a joyfully effervescent expression named for an illustrious lady in the family. Combining a delicate mousse texture with aromas of white flowers, green apple and citrus fruit, this lightly toasty wine is the perfect, well-priced sparkling candidate for virtually any occasion where bubbles are called for. Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2014 Fossil Point Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Being a lifelong admirer of all things ancient, primeval or petrified, it was easy to dig a wine that had the word 'Fossil' on the label. But be warned, this wine is very much undead once it hits your glass, alive with vibrant cherry, raspberry and blackberry fruit aromas, followed by potpourri and fresh-pie-from-the-oven flavors that hint of soft spice and smoke. To end on a terrible pun, I'd recommend you get 'Jurassic' in here and try a bottle, as you'll never have to say you're saurian...
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Pitch-perfect Sauvignon Blanc from one of our favorite New Zealand producers. One has to reach for superlatives to express the utterly irresistible nature of these wines, which actually seem to be getting better with every damn vintage. For the sheer purity and precision of Jason and Anna Flowerday's sublime organic fruit— passion, nectarine, lime and gooseberry, and for captivating floral and mineral complexity, this insatiable Sauvignon Blanc leads the field. A marvel of a wine, once again, again highly recommended!
Top Value!

2013 Trellis (Amelia Park) Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Margaret River
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Amelia Park, lying within the famed Margaret River region, has consistently been one of Western Australia's most heralded wineries, and when the opportunity arises to share their renowned, ebullient wines with customers, we rarely hesitate. The Trellis Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot represents such an amazing value that it is hard to believe it navigated over 8,700 miles to arrive on our shelves, but don't ask why, the answer lies in the ravishing black and blue fruit, suave spice, touch of oak and smoothly polished tannins that envelops all doubters in its spell. One cannot help but wonder....
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Caveau du Mont July Bugey Cerdon Rosé
Review Date: 08-29-2016
Sparkling wines, the drier the better, right? Not so fast friends, especially when someone near and dear presents you with a lovely Tiramisu or Mango Mousse cake on your birthday. You need something that blurts out 'Celebration!', and popping the cork on this lustrous pink bubbly always does the trick, guaranteed. The youthful balance of delicious, bright Poulsard and Gamay fruit and spontaneous fermentation will ignite any festivity, and the creamy bubbles and lightly sweet flavors of raspberry sorbet and sliced strawberries will spread mirth with abandon. Please, indulge.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2009 Domaine de la Jaufrette Gigondas
Review Date: 08-28-2016
A sense of place, in this case, the galette-riddled ribbon of earth that comprises the vineyards of Gigondas, certain to deliver some of the finest, most memorable Grenache-based wines in the Southern Rhône, where the sturdy, tradition-born wines of Domaine Jaufrette are allowed to slowly mature for several years in vat, barrel and bottle before release. Few winemakers spend literally this much time nurturing their 'offspring', and it shows in the velvety texture and depth of this excellent vintage. Possessing deft aromas of mulberry, black plum and sous-bois, with a dark core of fleshy fruit and cocoa underpinned by supple tannins, this wine will complement rich beef dishes or savory autumnal stews. Reward yourself with a bottle, you won't regret it. ​
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Arboleda Chardonnay Aconcagua Costa
Review Date: 08-10-2016
With a perfect blend of temperate days and cool nights, Chile's coastal valleys have seen tremendous expansion over the last decade, and Chardonnay, planted on slate, schist and granitic soils, produces fragrantly rich wines with real fruit presence and delightful balance. Ten months in older French oak contributes subtle spice and vanilla to enhance the pear, floral and citrus elements. Framed by fresh acidity, this is an elegant, thoroughly delicious Chardonnay to pair well with herb-roasted chicken!
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JS 93

2014 Domaine de Bila Haut "Les Vignes de Bila Haut" Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 07-30-2016
As an unapologetic political animal, I actually slogged, er, sat through several hours of the 2016 Republican National Convention recently, and following that 'ultimate endurance test', believe me, I was ready for some red meat! But what to drink? Luckily we just received the new vintage of this robust red blend from the raw heart of Roussillon, and it didn't disappoint, delivering a full, mouthwatering array of blackcurrant, cherries, wild herbs, violets and smoke on the palate. Remarkably concentrated and rich for a wine of such modest price, it should, excuse the expression, 'trump' most reds in that category. Fortunately, there's plenty to go around for the DNC as well.....
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2015 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-19-2016
This lovely Pinot Noir reminds me of my cat Carmen, who would often pad silently into the room and leap up into my lap like a cloud, lithe and supple, knowing precisely where to land. Full of savoir faire and charm, this wine caresses the palate with bright red cherry, raspberry and strawberry fruit, yet remains delicately light, dry and poised with pleasant acidity. Purrs very well with any number of Mediterranean dishes from phyllo chicken to lamb skewers, this is your go-to everyday Pinot for the months ahead. Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Imagine having to carefully keep an eye on, feed, raise and nurture various "children" from up to 45 different households, er, parcels, and you might get some idea of the task that Alexander Favier has in cultivating, harvesting, fermenting and caressing the thirteen Rhone varieties that eventually find their way into his signature wines in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Ah, such a labor of love knows no end, at least until the wines reach our store shelves and can soon grace your dinner table. The 2013 is a classic CDP, slightly austere and redolent with black and red fruits, garrigue, spices and licorice, with enough body and scaffolding to endure for another decade if desired. Named for the little cicada that inhabits the region, Chante Cigale is one of our favorites and always an excellent value. Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99
VN 91

2015 Domaine la Colombe Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Provence produces a panoramic profusion of elegant rosés, all an expression of the soul and of course, the soils and climate of each region. Domaine la Colombe hails from the newest appellation of Coteaux Varois, sheltered by limestone hills between the larger regions of Côtes de Provence and Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. Made from Grenache, Cinsault and a dollop of Cabernet Sauvignon, this alluring, aromatic rosé projects flavors of bright red fruit, nectarine, mandarin and spice, and finishes with verve and clarity. A delicious aperitif and food wine, and definitely one to drink all summer long.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Emmolo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 06-29-2016
Syzygy is one of my favorite oddball words, referring to the perfect astronomical alignment of celestial bodies, as Earth, Moon and Sun. As a wine metaphor, it could express the perfect alignment of vineyard, terroir and winemaker, culminating in the shimmering juice that ends up in your glass. I suppose time, or rather, tradition also plays a role in the creation of such wines, and California being a land of immigrants, carries plenty of history in its myriad topography, soils and vineyards. The Emmolo property dates back to 1923, when Salvatore Emmolo landed in Rutherford and founded a rootstock nursery and winery, where today his great-grand daughter continues to harvest the fruits and produce both sumptuous Merlots and stunning Sauvignon Blancs. The latter is a refreshing, well-crafted version that speaks in delicate tones of orange blossom, white pear and grapefruit while sharing a pleasant mineral note and vibrant acidity to add harmony and cut to the mouthwatering finish. Lovely stuff, and 'syzygistically' well-aligned with you, your palate and what lies on the plate in front of you.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2015 Domaine Begude Grüner Veltliner "Exotique" Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 06-16-2016
Now for something completely different. James Kinglake, owner of Begude, made an end run around the authorized French varieties when he brought cuttings of this grape from a fellow winemaker in Austria. One sip and you will appreciate the clandestine brilliance of his maneuver, for this is an elegant, tantalizing rendition—vibrant, dry, light-bodied, suffused with telltale white pepper, green melon and lentil flavors, finishing with a note of celery and cucumber. This complex wine would be well-paired with a stir-fry of Asian noodles, vegetables and pork.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Begude "Les Paradis" Viognier Pays d’Oc
Review Date: 06-15-2016
Planted to a southern exposure, this slow-ripening northern Rhône variety develops lovely fruit in Limoux—as long as the local wild boar, deer and birds, seduced by the profuse aromas, don’t get to it first! Picked immediately before pressing to preserve the succulent appeal of the fruit, this wine has a measure of restraint in its delicate interplay of pear, nectarine and honeysuckle aromas, with welcoming notes of peach and apricot on the enticing, mouthwatering palate. Recommended with a spicy Moroccan chicken tagine, this also drinks beautifully as an aperitif, and at a very desirable price.
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2015 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 05-25-2016
Full of effervescent exuberance and zesty citrus and exotic fruit flavors, Vinho Verde is the perfect poolside, picnic or party anytime white wine. Made by the same family since the 17th century, Aveleda is by far the largest producer of Vinho Verde in Portugal, with production now exceeding 13 million bottles, each one destined to satisfy the consumer craving for a crisp, fresh, fragrant and highly enjoyable wine. Stock up now, summer is coming!
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 W&S 90

2008 Martinelli "Hop Camp Vineyard-Gravel Lens" Russian River Valley Syrah
Review Date: 05-25-2016
A little advice: decant this layered, full-bodied Syrah for a few hours before drinking it, as it harbors a veritable fleet of blackberry, warm spice and braised meat flavors on its dense, elegantly structured palate. As it develops in the glass, savory notes of bacon, dark chocolate and mint emerge, followed by more fruits and spice on the copious, lingering finish. Martinelli is a legendary Russian River winery, and this silky Syrah will further embellish its lustrous reputation.
Price: Hidden View Price
RR 92

2014 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-11-2016
The Guigal wines are truly an embarrassment of riches, and after reviewing the 2012 Côtes-du-Rhône​ red, I can't ignore his elegant companion, a beautiful and sumptuous melange of Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Clairette and Bourbolenc, all contributing their expressive personalities to this artfully pristine blend. Inflected notes of white pear, wildflowers, orange zest, and ripe peach complemented by a cleansing acidity and prolonged finish, this white wine possesses more than enough elegance and sophistication to match its attractive price- almost a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape! Enjoy with Moroccan cuisine or roast turkey and creamy polenta for a soulful, satisfying feast.
Top Value!

2012 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-11-2016
Etienne Guigal started working in the vineyards and winery that today bears his name in 1924 (at the ripe old age of 14), and spent the 'next 67 harvests'... yes, you read that correctly... crafting his Rhône wines to perfection. His son Marcel took over the management in 1961, when his father was tragically struck with blindness, and today his own son Philippe is the winemaker. Three inspired and talented generations, all dedicated to creating perhaps the finest wines in the Rhône Valley, and capable of astonishing bottles from classic Côtes-du-Rhônes​ to world class Côte-Rôties. Composed of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre​, the Côtes-du-Rhône​ red is ruby-hued and alive with aromatic intensity, promising a savory, textural palate of black fruits, licorice, violets and pepper, held aloft by well-knit, attractive tannins. Paired with everything from hamburgers to pizza to paella, it remains one of the most versatile and delicious everyday reds on the planet.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 RP 90

2015 Chateau les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-30-2016
Cinsault doesn't usually take center stage in red wines, but it certainly finds a role in many of the gloriously dry and delicate rosés that emanate from Côtes de Provence, a region of lavender scented air, excellent seafood, glistening fruits and veggies and abundant sunlight. And let's face it, summer hasn't quite arrived until you uncork one of these lustrous, mouthwatering Provencal pinks for friends and family. A sophisticated, stunning strawberry and peach-scented rosé, perfect with salads, grilled sardines or a platter of fresh figs and cheeses.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 04-30-2016
Whether in art, film, literature or wine, I've always been strongly attracted to iconoclasts, those who forge their own path through life's coombs and brambles, basing their decisions on an intuitive feel for what fits and arriving at a place where they know they belong. Call it 'sense of terroir' or what have you, but Jean-Louis Denois exemplifies this philosophy of place as well as anyone I've met in the wine world. The dust on his boots are the embodiment of his long journey from his native Champagne to Burgundy to South Africa and back again, and finally to the southwestern corner of the Languedoc, where he planted his vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees to create his signature red and sparkling wines. Keeping to the rhythms of nature have led him to adopt both organic and biodynamic precepts in the vineyards, and his brilliant sparkling wines express this with clarity and exuberance— the 'Tradition' Extra Brut is a fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created in a refreshingly crisp and lightly toasted style, with notes of red apple, orange blossom and brioche, the perfect sparkling for all festive occasions and dining without the high price of a Champagne. Stock up on this one for the long summer and beyond, it will never let you or your thirsty guests down.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bava Barbaresco
Review Date: 04-30-2016
From a beautiful southern exposed vineyard planted on well-drained limestone and marl soils, the Bava Barbaresco is an exemplary model of refinement and structure, where evocative scents and flavors of licorice, violets, black cherries, smoke and warm spices engage and captivate the palate, rounded by harmonious tannins and abiding acidity. A treasure trove of a Barbaresco, enjoyable in its relative youth but promising a wonderful future for those willing to wait a few more years.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2013 Alexander Valley Vineyards "Wetzel Family Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Review Date: 04-11-2016
I'm sure you've all read those strange stories of fish or frogs falling from the sky during a rainstorm in Kansas or wherever, but full magnums of Cabernet rarely fall out of the sky, and if they did, they would make quite a splash! Well, we pulled a neat trick of our own by uncovering magnums of this well-crafted, medium-weight Alexander Valley Cab, brimming with mouthwatering cherry, plum and blackberry fruits complemented by warm licorice notes and nicely textural tannins. The great thing is, you won't have to look up or wait for it to fall from the clouds, because it's right here.....cheers!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 02-29-2016
Give me ten bucks and I’ll give you a wine that seduces your palate with such remarkable finesse and savory, juicy black fruit, body and spice that you will ask “What the…?” This is a seriously delicious, eight days a week red from an under-appreciated appellation in the Rhône Valley that delivers an arresting bottle of wine for the price of roughly two grande lattes. Now you can have your wine and drink it too, because it will hardly cost you. Think smart, be smart, thank you.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2009 Can Mayol Loxarel "Gran Reserva de Familia" Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 02-29-2016
Remember those great old cartoons where Daffy Duck’s head suddenly spins around in delirious disbelief? OK, get this, when I first took a whiff and a sip of this Cava I did a double-take so quickly I almost gyrated my head off its axis just to make sure what I was tasting….That any sparkling wine of this sublimely creamy, magnanimous character could sell for under twenty bucks…..with a melange of flavors from flaky brioche to summer-ripened berries to marzipan to Bosc pears, where does this superb wine end? With any luck, in the glittering flute in front of you, or me, for that matter. Buy it, try it, but be warned, one bottle will never suffice, or my name isn’t Daffy Duck…..
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2011 Kir-Yianni Ramnista Xinomavro Naoussa
Review Date: 02-09-2016
Grew up reading Greek myths, the toga and tiara struggle between gods and mortals, long before touching Greek wine to my all too mortal lips. One tale told of the Phrygian king Tantalus, who, when invited to dine with the big boys and girls at Mount Olympus, suddenly excused himself and made a hasty exit with their finest nectar and ambrosia stuffed in his bulging tunic. Big mistake. His punishment? Banished for thirsty eternity to a lonely hot tub in the Underworld, where whenever he reached for a mouthful of ripe fruit from the nearby vines, they receded just out of reach, and whenever he put his hand out to grasp a goblet of wine, it spilled its glistening contents… well fortunately we’ve made things much simpler by bringing you this truly ‘tantalizing’, reachable bottle of superb Xinomavro (which translates as 'acid wine'). This is a robust, earthy and deeply-scented red, effusive with aromas and flavors of cassis, black plums, red raspberries, forest leaf fall and licorice spice, caressed by lusty tannins and finishing firm and slightly tangy. Certainly ageworthy, but don’t wait for an eternity. And save the ambrosia, just bring on the moussaka!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 12-30-2015
The winemaking gurus at Banshee scoured our abundant California AVAs again in 2014, and came up with a fresh cache of generous, tasty Pinot for a very modest price. High-toned flavors of rich plum, raspberry, cranberry and cherry dance pirouettes upon the palate, finishing with nice spice and an earthy note. Perfect for informal gatherings and mid-week openings, this wine is, in a word, ready when you are….
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 GRÜNER by Etz Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)
Review Date: 08-31-2015
Some ambitious marketeers have recently tried to promote Grüner Veltliner as simply GV or Gru-Vee, owing to its versatility and snappy ability to pair so well with lighter fare like summery radicchio salads, vegetarian tarts and those persnickety characters like asparagus and artichokes. Medium-bodied, delicately lees-suffused fragrances with traditional tinges of white pepper and crisp Granny Smith apples, this fantastic liter-sized bottle will literally Etz its way into your heart.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 06-29-2015
You really don’t have to look very far into the exceptional 2010 vintage to discover great wines, and in the Bois Malot we’re happy to offer you an investment in value and flavor that will reward your palate every time you pop the cork. Ballasted by velvety core fruits and a tinge of lovely minerality and spice, this wine is drinking very well now, and will certainly cellar for several more years. The perfect red to both charm and enhance your everyday cuisine, so why wait?
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2011 Seghesio "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Whenever I open an old vine Zinfandel, I expect to be taken in, and frankly seduced, by a ravishing bouquet of robust dark fruit, savory spice, bold briary character, supple tannins and a mouth filling, juicy finish. This sinuous, provocative Zin did not disappoint, in fact, it was perfectly attired for the occasion. Bring it to your next outdoor barbecue and watch it charm the crowd.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Zero is my favorite number, or rather ‘un-number’ when it comes to most sparkling wines, as I prefer the naked, pure, crystalline fruit unadorned by added dosage, and the sheer raciness and zing of this stainless fermented bubbly from Limoux answers the call with laser flavors of green apple, lemon and white pear. Bring on a platter of fresh raw oysters or mussels mariniere and watch the shells pile up. Gotta love it!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Outlier North Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-25-2015
Derek Rohlffs and Roger Scommegna, both rebels with a cause, got high in Mendocino... in fact higher than any vineyards in that beautifully lush region where fine Pinot Noir finds its natural habitat. Along with Roger's pristine Signal Ridge Vineyard, they selected fruit for this wine from nearby cool-climate, mountainside slopes, and aged it in older French oak, allowing the delicately fresh floral and mineral flavors to slowly meld and intensify into a beguiling Pinot Noir delivering sumptuous, velvety fruit with cherry, blueberry, dark chocolate, briar and cranberry notes. Guaranteed to satisfy those seeking a mouthwateringly delicious Pinot, this is a beautiful introduction to Anderson Valley's magical realm. Pair with a fresh-caught grilled salmon and live sublime!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Ellero "Pisa Terrace" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 03-31-2015
Central Otago has, over the last decade, become the hot spot in New Zealand for Pinot Noir, and there are so many super producers and bottlings that it can be impossibly hard to keep up, but luckily we have Ryan Woodhouse, our inspired explorer and savvy spelunker of all things Kiwi-driven. Ok, maybe not spelunker, unless we’re talking wine caves. The Ellero comes from ‘Pisa Terrace’, a precious parcel of organic vines that may or may not grow on a badly tilted hillside …. anyway, this is a serious, well-wrought wine, combining both fine concentration and clarity, with a brilliant array of silky black and red fruits, savory tea spice, structured tannins and earthy, textural notes on the persistent finish. A masterful stroke of winemaking, likely to evolve beautifully for several more years.

2010 Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-19-2013
For the 2010 Napa Valley vintage, the confluence of a long, cool growing season for most of the summer and a late, rather merciless heatwave contributed to many sensuous wines of harmonious brilliance, textural sophistication and great depth. The Dunn Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is an uncompromising, serious contender, capable of developing for perhaps two decades, but with the luxurious richness of the deep blackcurrant, brambly and mineral-laden fruit, beautifully finessed by suave, lavish tannins, you don't have to wait very long to enjoy it. Consider it a Dunn deal!
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 ST 92

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-02-2013
Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Berry Bros & Rudd No. 3 London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
As Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant (1698), Berry Bros. and Rudd should know a thing or three about the traditional making of gin. Their No. 3 English Dry Gin is an unabashedly pure blending of fruits and spices selected and distilled in traditional copper pots in Schiedam, Holland. Made from Italian Juniper, Spanish oranges and grapefruit peel, with added spices including angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamon pods, this exquisitely crafted yet assertive gin remains, with its distinctively aromatic nose and prolonged finish, a highly-recommended personal favorite. The ideal suitor for a dry Martini or classic Gin and Tonic.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-01-2012
If you're searching for a non-vintage Champagne with generous texture, abundant freshness, depth of character and a distinctive aromatic profile, search no further! This stunning barrel-fermented assemblage of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc....yes, I said Pinot Blanc, an odd wine out in most of Champagne, is a triumphant display of everything one can discover in a fine bottle of bubbly- sparkle, effervescence, layers of brioche, chalk, herbs, toast and lemon, ever-evolving complexity, with a lengthy, lingering finish.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Einstök Icelandic White Ale, Iceland (12oz)
Review Date: 04-30-2012
With summer fast approaching we're all in need of a super thirst-quenching beer to alleviate the effects of absorbing too much solar energy on our bodies while we flare up the grill for a swirling smoke-athon (ok, admittedly I'm not Mr. Weber, more like one of the guys who stands around getting hot smoke in his face while acting like it doesn't matter).... anyway, just discovered a fantastic antidote to insurmountable thirst in the Icelandic Einstok White Ale, like melting an iceberg slathered in freshly-ground coriander and orange peel. Well, to be truthful, it's a witbier brewed with the same ingredients and tastes absolutely awesome. Beer here now. And in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, pouring an iceberg down your throat might be a good tribute.
Price: $1.99 Add To Cart

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-03-2011
In his unwavering maxim that "we leave the earth to our children," Jean-Pierre Fleury was the very first winegrower in Champagne to adapt strict biodynamic principles and techniques in his steeply-sloping, calcareous vineyards near the northern village of Courteron. His exquisite Blanc de Noirs is an homage to the perfectability of Pinot Noir under his meticulous stewardship, and certainly one of the finest, long-lasting champagnes we carry at any price. Hand-crafted from select vintages, the Carte Rouge is emblematic, dry and complex, with a well-developed gamut of flavors from brioche and beeswax to cherry and acacia. Hard to say what 'not' to drink this with, but I guarantee you will be reaching for another glass after tasting this redolent, rewarding sparkler.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Brut Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 12-31-2010
Carefully blended from 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay from the estate vineyard in Bendigo, this sparking wine first captivates the eye with its pale yellow highlights, and then flamboyantly seduces the palate with tightly-polished bubbles entranced by lively citrus fruits, crisp brioche and luscious cream. An alluring, wonderfully-harmonious champenoise sparkler for an amazing price!
Top Value!

Dudognon Reserve Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2010
A voter santé! Raymond Dudognon first distilled his own cognac in 1946, following the venerable traditions laid down by his great grandfather in 1776. The heart of the Charente region, located about 100 miles northeast of Bordeaux, is called Grande Champagne, and consists of deep chalk-rich soils, perfect for creating fragrant, long-lived cognacs. Made from 100% natural Ugni Blanc, this singular spirit is blended and distilled in the traditional alambic Charentais pot and eventually aged in 350 liter barrels. The Dudognon homage to tradition stresses minimal intervention, using only pure water as an additive to create a stunning cognac that charms and caresses the palate, displaying a weightlessness and delicacy of fruit found less commonly in cognacs at twice the price. Highly recommended!
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 10-31-2010
A customer came in recently and asked for an elegant, delicate sparkling wine for a wedding celebration. Champagne was beyond his budget, so without hesitation I smiled and recommended this Cremant de Loire, arguably the greatest sparkling wine value in the world. Created with precise restrictions on everything from mandatory hand-harvesting of relatively older vines to aging regimens (a minimum of 12 months) to atmospheres of pressure (3.5 as opposed to 6 for Champagne), the Deligeroy is a finely-beaded beauty, discreetly aromatic, lacy and effervescent. The careful assemblage of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc adds aromatic complexity, giving this wine an added degree of sophistication. Highly recommended!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Review Date: 07-11-2009
This delightful Prosecco is a strong contender for best in class among its growing legions of fans, delivering dependably delicious flavors of sliced apples, citrus blossoms and almonds in a pure and sparkling persona. Showcasing both freshness and mineral vibrancy, it should complement most summer fare from salads to appetizers, and would be the perfect match for a basket of lightly-fried calamari.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90