Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

  
2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-23-2017
Throughout human history the rejuvenative, beneficent power of wine has been known to perform large and small miracles. One such occurred almost 700 years ago to this day when newly elected Pope John XXII (no relation) suddenly fell gravely ill en route to Avignon, took a bit of red wine from Valreas, and was cured! Now this wonderful village wine of Clos Bellane lays claim to no such miracles, but you never know, and besides, it's salutary in its own right, with resplendent aromas and flavors of black cherry, luscious raspberry, rich licorice and a nice pepper note reminiscent of the Northern Rhone. Drink this with a pork tenderloin or cheese and caramelized onion tart, it will, at the very least, cure your appetite. Cheers!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2015 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc
Review Date: 01-18-2017
Not sure if the namesake cicadas of Chante Cigale would be singing in the rain right now, as it's pouring outside as I write, but they have reason enough to rejoice over this resplendent white Chateauneuf. Crafted from equal parts Grenache Blanc, delivering citrus and herbal notes; Clairette, of vermouth fame; Bourboulenc--nice acidity, subtle smoky character; and Roussanne, a flower basket with beeswax and pear aromas, this generous, full-bodied white is far more than the sum of its parts, and will evolve gracefully over several years. A lovely complexity, certainly the finest white Rhone value in our store in several years.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 RP 90

2013 Domaine Aubaï Mema "Liverna" Gard Rouge
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Vigneron and entrepreneur Mark Haynes is one to follow his passions wherever they take him, from the hectares of grapes he planted in the Liverna valley to the cavernous structure he renovated that serves as winery, events center and weekend tango dancing venue, perhaps his second great passion. And this admirably youthful red wine, a curious coupling of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Grenache, is a natural performer, swirling aromatically in the glass and flexing its moves upon the palate with notes of blackberry, red currants, sweet spice and wild strawberry, finishing with a flourish of suave tannin and soft acidity. A precocious performance, and quite the bargain!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2014 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas
Review Date: 01-04-2017
Half a lifetime ago I found myself tending a flock of sturdy, independent-minded goats in northern Norway, so to read that a family of goats once happily grazed on the hillsides of this beautiful site in Gigondas, before vines were extensively planted, brought back memories, as few creatures grasp the nature of place and its bounty better than a goat. Fortunately, winemaker Jean Baptiste Meunier, whose family farmed these hillsides for five generations, knows a thing or two about Gigondas as well. Made from 40 year old vines, the Tradition is mostly Grenache, with descending orders of Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault, all gently matured in large older wood. Marked by aromas of wet earth and deep black fruits, with silky flavors of cherry, black olive, game and garrigue, this stunning Gigondas will improve over the next five to ten years, but please don't wait until you're an old goat to enjoy it. To your health!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 - 92

2014 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-04-2017
Impressively dry and poised, defined by less is more flavors of dried pineapple, Asian pear and citrus blossom, followed by a subtle stony element, this bravura Chardonnay would sing an aria to a plateful of sizzling sand dabs or any grilled fish that finds itself in need of tasteful, delicious accompaniment. A case or two will get you through....
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2016
We carry a few champagnes in the under-$50 range that flat-out scintillate and astonish--the Launois Cuvee of course...and now you can add to that one of our newest direct import bottlings, the Charles Ellner Carte D'Or, an inspiring rendition, replete with wonderful flavors of white nectarines, citrus, red cherries and fine pastry dough. The perfect bubbly to celebrate the New Year or any occasion calling for a classic, well-articulated champagne. Enjoy!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Sélection Laurence Féraud Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Laurence Feraud of Chateau Pegau fame carries the family wine gene and pedigree dating back to the seventeenth century. Her eponymous Cotes du Rhone is brimming with an enticing array of red and black fruits, licorice and spice, a luscious, beautifully-balanced, medium weight red, full of joie de vivre, finesse and energy, much like the talented woman who crafts it. Enjoy this lovely food-friendly wine with any number of Mediterranean dishes.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Lafage "Narassa Lieu Dit" Côtes-du-Roussillon
Review Date: 12-12-2016
Heralding from the vast, warm-hearted vineyards of the Roussillon, the Lafage Narassa holds very little back in its cascading array of blackberry, red currant and raspberry fruits, swathed in layers of dark chocolate, coffee and violets with deeply-burnished tannins on the round, expansive finish. A rich, mouthfilling wine to pair with a blue cheese and bacon burger or a fragrant Moroccan stew.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-29-2016
Born and bottled in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, this rustic, dry-farmed ancient vine Zinfandel reminds me of why I moved to California almost forty years ago, in search of those intangible truths that can only be found in the cultivated company of rare friends over a good bottle of wine. Zinfandel is and always will be a grape that expresses itself with passionate intensity and it’s such a pleasure to discover that some folks (the Banshee guys) are still making it like I remember it from the 1970s, those special wines of character, purity and harmony that leave their imprint on the mind as well as the palate. And reading up on the mythological origins of the 'Valravn' can chill one's bones, as it depicts a monstrous raven who scours the bloody battlefields of Danish lore in search of fresh meat. Never thee mind, all this delicious wine does is slay your mortal thirst, my ravenous friends!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 11-29-2016
A wine of this quality, at this price, from the heralded Northern Rhone, is virtually unheard of. So I won’t hedge my words— Syrah is home here like nowhere else on earth, and the wines made from this grape are often priced into three figures. So here we are, with this under twenty dollar, excuse me, under fifteen dollar red, a smooth, aromatic wine, decked out in harmonious flavors of licorice, blackcurrant and raspberry, with subtle vanilla oak and integrated tannins. A delicious match for grilled meats and winter stews.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 11-28-2016
Gravelly soils and a panoply of pebbles describe the lovely lay of the land in this relatively unexplored spot that straddles both the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc regions. Enveloped by a deep robe of purple, this joyous, uber-friendly wine benefits from freshly inviting aromatics and a smooth, mouth-filling palate of blackcurrant, plums, and violets, with touches of tobacco and peppery spice on the round, pleasant finish. With a wealth of generous, festive fruit, this makes the perfect, well-priced holiday red to accompany all your decking and frolicking. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 11-21-2016
"It's got to be more than flesh and bone, All that you've loved is all you own."- Tom Waits, Mule Variations. For this boy, Waits and a good bottle of wine go down well, especially in these uncertain, strugglin' times. And Saint Cosme has been making great wines in the Southern Rhone since 1490, through hard times and good, dedicated to the land and what it will give you if you love it well. This smooth, well-defined 100% Syrah captures the superb 2015 vintage, all the freshness, texture and intensity of the blueberry, blackcurrant fruit refined by exemplary tannins and a solid, nourishing-to-the-soul finish. Priced to sell, so he who waits, well.....
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

Sean Thackrey "Pleiades XXIV Old Vines" California Red Blend
Review Date: 11-16-2016
Whether you choose to mispronounce this wine 'Plee-a-deez' or the proper Greek 'Ply-a-deez' makes little diff to me, as my only advice to you is to "try it please!" A cluster of devoted fans over the years has proved this wine's cultlike merit, and this latest numeric cepage will likely be gone as soon as customers turn their starry gaze upon it. Sean Thackrey is a magus who blends sunshine, earth, a bit of yeast and little grapes into beguiling singularities that we still call wines. A touch riper and fleshier than recent versions, with macerated flavors of raspberry, black cherry, fruitcake spice and sous bois .... the ineffable meets the ethereal, so there you are.....
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Jeff Carrel "Les Darons" Languedoc
Review Date: 11-16-2016
All the brilliant sunlight, exuberant charms and timeless character of the Languedoc can be found in their powerfully fragrant and lusty wines, and winemaker Jeff Carrel embottled these essential truths in this joyful, juicy everyday red. Supple, full-bodied and bursting with unabashed flavors of black fruits, rockrose and red cherries, polished by soft tannin and a tang of acidity, this versatile, delicious wine will grace many a table throughout the holidays and beyond. A good reason at last to celebrate!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 - 93

2015 Domaine Condamine l'Eveque "La Dent" Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 11-06-2016
Picpoul de Pinet has the distinction of being both the name of the incisive white grape and the sunny coastal appellation where it finds a home in the Languedoc, just about a bee’s flight from the Mediterranean. This crisp wine is a seriously delicious textbook version, and no wonder, as Guy Bascou has his boots deeply planted in the region and his winemaker son Guilhem is uncompromisingly committed to creating a nervy, tangy, lemon and salt-inflected wine that expresses the charm and vibrancy of both the lustrous fruit and brilliant clime. Pick from raw oysters to charcuterie to rich cheeses, this Picpoul works its spellbinding magic.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Cognizant Pinot Noir Marlborough (Te Whare Ra)
Review Date: 11-01-2016
'Why can't we all just get along?' Well, it's nice to see this hopeful thought works somewhere in the world. Take for instance, wine, where for several seasons now our resident Kiwi guru Ryan Woodhouse has collaborated with the fine folks at Te Whare Ra in Marlborough to create superbly crafted, small production bottlings from select fruit. Their achievement is your gain, as this modestly-priced Pinot Noir possesses varietally pure aromatic elements, evocative of wild berries, black plums and cherries, with a savory, mid-weight mouthfeel and excellent delineation on the smooth finish. Coming in at only 13.5% ABV, it would make an excellent, well-balanced red for Thanksgiving dinner and throughout the holidays.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rosé
Review Date: 10-30-2016
A few shades deeper than many of our roses, yet not quite a Tavel, this pretty, utterly delicious rose from Ermitage develops nicely in the glass, imbued with harmonious tones of nectarine, cherry and succulent red berries, played out against a scaffolding of delicate spice and bright acidity. A nice aperitif for the holidays, it can edify any table and add to the merriment of those who gather around it. Cheers!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château de Montfaucon Clairette "Vin de Mme la Comtesse" Côtes du Rhône Vieilles Vignes Blanc
Review Date: 10-26-2016
This is the kind of resonant, luminous white wine I might have imagined Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers sipping while waiting for their cue, as it breathes sophistication and poise with every pristine, fragrant drop. Opening with a flourish of fresh orchard fruits descending on the palate with lemon cream, toasted spice, a hint of crisp celery and waft of fennel, this is, like those timeless dance routines, a charming complexity, a wine to complement everything from the most elegant rind cheeses to shellfish to pasta with truffle oil.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 10-12-2016
Terrasses du Larzac, founded in 2005, is the newest and perhaps the most favorably sited appellation within the entire Coteaux du Languedoc. Primarily dedicated to Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, the climate benefits from warm days and unusually cool nights, creating the perfect conditions for slowly maturing grapes that display both richness and complexity. The proud workhorse wine for this producer is the Reserve d'O, a lovely unoaked cuvee of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, with superb aromas and enticing flavors of blackberry, white pepper, wildflowers and garrigue, retaining a wonderful freshness and purity that really sets this new producer apart.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Domaine d'Albas" Minervois Rosé
Review Date: 10-01-2016
"We let nature make our wines." —Graham Nutter, proprietor of Chateau Saint Jacques d'Albas. Van Gogh would have probably painted this charming fellow, for anyone who plants an entire field of sunflowers just to feed the migrating birds must be just as caring about his vines and the quality of his wines. He and his wife purchased this historic property in the Minervois in 2001, and have spared little expense in bringing it up to world-class organic standards, developing minimalist, low-yield protocols to enhance both the soil chemistry and the lustrous fruit that eventually ends up in your bottle. Although there are a slew of rosés to choose from in our stores, this mouthwatering Minervois stood out for its delicious balance of zingy red fruits, gentle spice and enticing acidity. A delightfully fragrant aperitif that will pair well with a plateful of fried calamari or light summer salads.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

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

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

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

2014 Château de la Negly "La Côte" La Clape
Review Date: 07-31-2016
Vines have flourished in this vast, windswept, sun-baked region of France for thousands of years, and the Chateau de la Negly, located on the clay and calcareous outcroppings of the La Clape massif, has produced wines since 1773. This rich geological tapestry of soils and microclimates contributes to wines of marvelous depth and generous flavors, and the la Cote, though priced well below their top tier wines, is composed of Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre and superbly embodies the region with sumptuous notes of black currant, plum, peppery spice and licorice. A great everyday red to complement both Mediterranean and California cuisines, this wine will challenge and surprise your guests when they discover its amazing price. Drink up!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

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

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!

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

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

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

Jean-Louis Denois Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Limoux Brut Nature (Sans Soufré)
Review Date: 04-30-2016
A delectably succulent, unsulfured blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, exhibiting flavors of white pear, figs, juicy apples and zwieback toast, with plenty of racy acidity to cleanse the palate. Remarkable quality in a thirst-quenching, elegant sparkler for half the price of its northern cousins. Jean-Louis Denois is one of the most brilliant winemakers in our corner, and it's always a pleasure to share his glorious wines with our discerning customers. Bon Appetit!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Especial Rioja
Review Date: 12-30-2015
Like pulling two large and lively rabbits out of the same hat, the artful maneuver by this favorite bodega of blending 50/50 Tempranillo and Mazuelo (aka Carignan) was an unexpected delight and an utterly delectable surprise. Perfumed and generous aromas of toast, wild berry fruits and kitchen spice reveal a complex labyrinth of flavors— red and black cherries, raspberries, plums, coffee, balsamic and tobacco spice. Although delicious in its own right, this deep wine possesses enough rabbits, er, elements that will evolve for another decade if left unattended in bottle. Now perform your own magic and open a bottle!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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

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

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

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

Wine Club

$34.99
VN 91

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
VN 90 W&S 90