Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

  
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2005 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-17-2017
Like an artist applying thin washes of color to build depth and complexity into a painting, a seasoned winemaker scents, tastes and blends to achieve a desired play of aromas, flavors and textures that will contribute both to a wine's immediate enjoyment and long term pleasure. Arriving in pristine condition from a near perfect vintage, the 2005 Baron Louis expresses all the character of a great Chateauneuf without the high price— complex layers of blackberry, cassis, aged fruitcake, mocha and tobacco leaf interplay upon the palate, striking a well-wrought balance between power and finesse, panache and precision. A classic Southern Rhone red to relish and enjoy at its peak of performance!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2007 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-17-2017
The word ‘nuance’, from the verb ‘nuer’, to show variations in shade, is much abused in winespeak, but for those bottles that have been allowed to evolve gracefully over a decade or more, there is no better term. We recently had the opportunity to explore nuance to its full expression during a memorable winemakers’ dinner with two of our favorites, Rodolphe de Pins of Chateau de Montfaucon and Jean Baptiste Meunier of Moulin de la Gardette. Full of boundless appetite, Rudi shared his robust, enduring wines as freely as his endearing conversation, and by the end of the evening everyone was, to say the least, sated. With ten long years under its belt, the 2007 Baron Louis was remarkably smooth, mouth-filling and harmonious, with fleshy blue plum, bramble and redcurrant flavors burnished by sous bois, sandalwood and fine tannins, finishing with a soulful, warm flourish. Pure pleasure, don’t hesitate to rediscover this wine again and again. It is very nuanced.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2009 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-04-2017
Generosity of spirit is usually a characteristic applied to forgiving mortals, but wine, a well-crafted, exemplary bottle of red or white, can, once uncorked and poured, instill in the receiver a soulful sense of well-being. The polished wines of Miguel Merino are nothing if not generous in fruit, concentration, finesse and finish, blending savory with structure, elegance with power, and poise with passion. In searching the name Vitola, I discovered it is also the word for a size of cigar, which might denote the subtle tobacco notes in the wine that complement the sumptuous layers of dark berry fruit, shaved chocolate, coffee and spice. In the benevolent spirit of great food and wine, please celebrate!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières
Review Date: 07-03-2017
Sophie Guiraudon, the engaging force of nature behind Clos de l’Anhel, belongs to an affiliation of savvy women vignerons in the Languedoc, “The Vinfilles”, who consent to being “adepts of the pleasure and richness of their profession, beautiful, rebellious, active, greedy, friendly, sociable and dynamic.” All of the above. When we had the opportunity to meet Sophie last year, she poured her latest wines and enthralled all with her deep knowledge of the,Corbieres region and its amazing tapestry of soils and microclimates. The Terrassettes satisfies on many levels, as a great everyday red of course, but like many of her wines, has the structure and balance to mature over several years. Rich and robust plum, raspberry, earth and spice flavors meld beautifully on the firm palate, with polished tannins and splendid acidity. All of the rebellious, sociable and friendly qualities you could ask for in a wine!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Arqueta" Collioure
Review Date: 06-26-2017
Wines are like children, if you give them a good start, nurture them with love, diligence and care, and trust that they will develop a sense of their own potential, strength and character, well, the sky's the limit. This seems to be the philosophy behind Jean-Marc Lafage's amazing success, and the 2015 Arqueta is the latest in a string of phenomenal wines from the restless heart of Roussillon. Selected from fifty-year-old vines and co-fermented in tank, this wine resonates with captive aromas of summer cherries, ripe blackberries, sage and wildflowers, with a palate flush with dark fruits, mocha and potpourri. Poised, fresh and primed for a slow, lingering Mediterranean feast with good friends, may the wine flow as effortlessly as the conversation!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95

2016 Domaine de Rimauresq Côtes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé
Review Date: 06-19-2017
Wine evokes so many memories. Spent a blistering summer many years ago working a commune in the Massif des Maures in Provence, where the day ended with a nightly brushing away of sweet baby scorpions who managed to congregate in my small tent as if it were a cathedral to the god Arthropoda. Wine was liberally consumed by all to abate the torrid heat, but I never indulged the lovely wines of Rimauresq, nestled in the foothills but a sparrow's flight away. Captive to the cooling Mistral, the vineyards lie sedately in the shadow of the Massif, often maturing two weeks later than their neighbors, which allows for lustrous ripening of the six grape varieties that go into this stunning rose. Tightly spun aromas of vibrant red fruits and citrus peel enwreathe a palate of creamy strawberry richness, floral jasmine notes and ravishing mineral complexity. To sum up, this is one of the finest Provencal roses we carry, and a worthy companion to a wide array of dishes from salad nicoise to grilled tuna.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2009 Château de Chambert Cahors
Review Date: 06-14-2017
'Terroir' is too often misspelled as 'Terrior' in many a wine note, which might be fine if you're sorta searching for a scruffy little wire-haired companion (and even that is misspelled). Anyway..... we're talking wine from Cahors, in Southwest France, where the terroir is an ancient juxtaposition of limestone and alluvial soils, terraces, plateaus and tributaries bundled with abundant sunshine, quite the package for cultivating extraordinary fruit with a surfeit of flavors. The passage of time adds grace and suppleness to the depth-charged wines of Cahors, tempering the powerful tannins and acidity and polishing the blackberry, blackcurrant and licorice fruit to a beautiful finish. Trust me on this one, I'm not barking up the wrong terroir......
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

2015 Field Recordings "Wonderwall" Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I've yet to meet winemaker Andrew Jones, but have tasted and enjoyed several of Wonderwall and Field Recordings wines, the better part of them sourced from favorable sites that Jones was drawn to from his deep roots as a nurseryman, walking, planting and cultivating vines up and down the Central Coast. My appreciation took a surreal take when he decided to put Salvador Dali's famous mug on this bottle of Pinot, a fruitful, spicy dollop, or should I say, 'Dalip' of wine, very pliant and approachable, with enough sweet succulence and charm to melt the hours....wait, didn't Dali already paint that?
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Sangiovese is one of the most thoroughly researched and oft-bewildering grape varieties, as experts have yet to determine its true place of origin, whether actually related to wild grapevines found in Tuscany or descended from crossings of ancient Sicilian and Calabrian vines. Perhaps it will remain a mystery, but one thing remains certain—it is, along with Nebbiolo, unsurpassed for making magnificent wines in its native country. Brunello di Montalcino is perceived as the greatest exemplar of this grape, and those deep, expressionistic wines from the warm slopes of Montosoli are virtually unrivaled for their complexity, power and depth. Nello Baricci, the nonagenarian proprietor, has climbed these hills since he climbed out of a cradle, and his wines are the true measure of the man, full of strength, grace, generosity and gravitas. Bearing exotic aromas and flavors of truffles, violets, leather, spice and black cherries, the 2011 Brunello is a beautiful tribute to this singular spot on earth. Drink deep!

2016 Vignoble Dragon Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Um, it might be stating the obvious, but for ravenous fans of Game of Thrones and Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen aka Khaleesi or the Mother of Dragons, this lively, radiant rosé, with captivating flavors of strawberry, yellow peach, lemons and hibiscus might be just the right tinge to get you through this season's seven episodes, and even if “Winter is Coming”, you will still be celebrating all summer long with this lush, delicious little Dragon......
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2015 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Villages
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Finding a decent bottle of white Burgundy for under twenty-five dollars can be a wine lover's odyssey, but every now and then more often than not we strike gold, or in this case, pale gold, the color of this unassuming Chardonnay from tiny Domaine Renaud. A surprisingly ripe and luscious rendition, with abundant flavors of stone fruit, crisp apples and vibrant citrus, characterized by a gentle spine of acidity. Baked, almond encrusted halibut would be a wonderful match for this overachieving Chardonnnay.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château Viranel "Tradition" Saint-Chinian Rosé
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Saint-Chinian is certainly one of the oldest winemaking regions in the Languedoc, dating back to the Roman era and the very dawn of French viticulture. The deeply-colored schist soils found in the north tend to produce rich, fruity wines, resulting in rosés of ineluctable charm and expansive red berry flavors of raspberry, red currants and bright cherries, the perfect complement to a wide array of Mediterranean dishes from fresh seafood to grilled meats and summer vegetables. There really are few gastronomical barriers to your enjoyment of this delightful wine!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Delas "Saint Esprit" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-10-2017
The spirited Mistral whips, darts and slices through the southern French countryside, turning baby strollers into kites, tossing hapless hounds skyward, upending carts and their attached donkeys.... OK, a bit of hyperbole, but this strong wind works wonders in the vineyard, scouring the vines of unwelcome pests and spores, and generating healthy, luscious fruit, the benefits of which are ultimately found in your glass of wine. One of our best-selling Cotes du Rhones year in and year out, the Esprit, with its seamless blend of dark, savory Syrah and hearty, ripe and generous Grenache, expresses the dynamism and sheer potential of the Rhone Valley in a banner year. A good pairing with a bowl of Texas Chili or barbecued spare ribs!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-10-2017
Unfortunately I missed the rare opportunity to meet Philippe Guigal during his recent visit to Los Angeles, as my work and pleasure lie to the north in our San Francisco store. But I can attest to the phenomenal range and excellence of his wines, from humble Cotes du Rhone blends to his incomparable, world-class Cote-Roties. And the 2015 vintage has left many folks searching for superlatives to describe near perfection, a year that turned out wines of incredible aromatic charm, finesse and balance. Hold that humility: the Blanc resonates with elegant notes of ripe stone fruit--juicy apricots, white peaches, glistening pears, enlivened by flamboyant acacia and honeysuckle aromas. A super wine to be enjoyed with any number of dishes, extravagant in every way except the price!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2014 Jean-Louis Denois "Les Garrigues" Rouge
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Jean-Louis Denois is an iconoclast, as independently-minded and attentive to the character of the terroir in which he cultivates his grapes as anyone we’ve encountered. He creates consistently unique wines with brilliantly rendered fruit from a medley of grapes, and the Les Garrigues—named after the uncultivated thyme and rosemary scrub that grows everywhere there— is an expressive charmer, with lively flavors of currants, boysenberries, licorice and spice, ballasted by suave, interlaced tannins. A remarkable wine for all occasions, and all budgets....
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Be forewarned: Do not don one of the unwieldy medieval helmets shown on the front label while attempting to drink this robust Rioja, as it's far too tasteworthy to waste a single drop! Attired in deep red hues, this forward-drinking, effusive Reserva spent 18 months in both American and French oak. It resonates with fragrant aromas of black cherries, vanilla and raspberries, revealing a layered palate of riper dark fruits embellished with a tinge of earth and char. Enjoy this now or over the next decade.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Pascal and Mireille Renaud farm and harvest several parcels within the Pouilly- Fuisse region, and all of their wines are defined by their utter freshness and gracious, refined fruit. Hard to pick a favorite from their stunning lineup, but Macon Solutre possesses a slightly higher degree of acidity and definition, with flavors of tart green apples, nectarines and crisp Asian pears that announce their virtues in the glass. A splendidly crisp white wine that will pair well with seafood, especially that which finds its home in a bivalve shell....
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana
Review Date: 04-26-2017
We’ve carried this surprisingly affordable baby Toscana in our stores for a very good reason— it is eminently quaffable, displaying a harmonious array of cherry and vanilla aromatics followed by a captivating palate of tart red berry fruit, supple spice and burnished tannins. The perfect companion to a heaping plate of Pasta Marinara or grilled rosemary chicken......
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos Bellane "Petite Bellane" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
Review Date: 04-19-2017
“Wines are made in the vineyard,” and perhaps that is why winemaker and owner Stéphane Vedeau devotes so much time to tasting the fruit he cultivates from vine to harvest through fermentation. As he recently remarked, “It’s the best way to catch the nuances in the evolution of the wines.” Such respect is reflected in every bottle of this youthful Syrah-based blend, flush with cool climate, savory black fruit and layers of spice and light toast, all held together by fine acidity.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Viticole "Malmont" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Winemaker Nicolas Haeni has much in common with the good folks to the north at Clos de la Bonnette, as his elevated, heavily terraced vines demand the same fervent energy and fortitude to achieve his vision of a quintessential Rhône red. This wine is a skillful blend of Grenache and Syrah, with beautifully harmonious fruit that delivers structure, power and concentration without over-amping any element.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 04-19-2017
In a concerted departure from the opulence and weight by which Condrieu is often measured, the Arbuel is organically grown and harvested from younger vines on the property and given minimal oak. Peach, apricot and citrus flavors are prevalent in this suave, elegantly polished version that will pair well with a variety of dishes. Saffron-scented, lightly grilled scallops should work!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2010 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 04-05-2017
If this sensational organic Cava were a human child today it would be all of seven, in first or second grade, which is a good estimate of how many years it has educated itself on its lovely lees since it was first bottled. A complex schooling in what can be achieved when terroir, wine and time cohere, this seriously dry sparkling wine delivers an arresting array of white flowers, fleshy apricot, quince and marmalade fruit, with a creamy, buttered croissant-encrusted note and limestone, mineral-driven finish. There is really little to compare it to, as this is an homage to nature.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2010 E. Guigal Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 04-05-2017
We never can get enough Chateauneuf, especially ones with a few yawning years behind them, having bided their time, waiting for the sudden turn of the knife and twist of the screw. Once released, they often remain reticent, cautious, as they are finally allowed to relax and unravel their veiled charms in the glass. And this Chateauneuf-du-Pape opened slowly, revealing after several hours in the decanter a delicate finesse and suppleness to the pitch-perfect red berried fruit, Provencal herbs, smoky tea and seasonal spice notes, with well-rendered tannins and a wonderful savory finish. A super value in a superb vintage from this renowned producer, drink now or cellar for another decade. Cheers!

2014 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec
Review Date: 03-20-2017
Maury recently underwent a Sec change! Not a typo, but a reference to the Roussillon-based AOC that split in 2011, with the original region named Maury Doux (for its fortified Vin Doux Naturel wines) and the new one Maury Sec (dry table wines). Cultivated on unique schist and granite soils, this embracing, dark and unambiguously seductive red reflects the distinct terroir of the ruggedly beautiful Agly Valley. A dazzling kaleidoscope of wildflowers, fruit and spices from cherries, blueberries and plums to violets, potpourri and balsamic flood the palate, with mineral notes that bring to mind the scent of spring rains. Plenty to admire here, so dazzle yourself with a bottle or two. Live wine and prosper!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 93

2014 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-04-2017
Visited the immaculate, breathtaking Elk Cove vineyards in Willamette Valley a few years back, and combined with the hospitality and personable charm of winemaker Adam Campbell, I was struck by the brilliant quality and artistry of their top estate wines. Fortunately they created a second label in 2014 that has proven to be one of our best-selling domestic Pinot Noirs— a bright, exuberant and friendly blend of estate and sourced fruit that will appeal to anyone seeking a smooth, effortlessly enjoyable Pinot with with impeccable flavor and plenty of red-fruited charm on the well-rounded, polished finish. A welcome delight, and priced just right.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2010 Lamothe-Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-04-2017
With a fabled chateau dating back to the Hundred Years’ War, this property has plenty of historical significance, and time is on your side if you can conceivably lay down a case or two of this finely etched Haut-Médoc for a few more years, as all the rich structural elements are background players to the more fruit-driven assemblage of black plum, cherry, tobacco-scented and mineral notes currently on display. Serve with an aged porterhouse and you will be making memories of your own.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

2013 Villa Symposia "Equilibre" Languedoc Rouge
Review Date: 03-04-2017
We take great pleasure in bringing this delicious wine to our customers, as it possesses all the right stuff you’d expect to find in traditional wines from the Languedoc— organically farmed fruit picked at the pinnacle of maturity and blended into a wine of pedigree, purity and superb balance, with a tapestry of flavors ranging from black cherry, wild herbs, tapenade, fig paste and licorice, a wine to savor in the glass and drink alone or perhaps with a slow braised lentil and ham stew. Burnished with supple tannins and smooth acidity, this is a classic rendition not to be missed.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

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

2012 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-17-2017
Ouch! The vineyards of Peyros are built upon gravelly soils covered with large stones deposited by glaciers during the last Ice Age, which created a surfeit of sore feet for any herd of woolly mammoths that galumphed upon them. Hm, might explain their extinction....but the mammoth loss is your gain, as these scattershot stones also retain heat that gracefully ripens the grapes on these old vines, leading to wines of impeccable power, warmth and depth. High-toned aromatic black fruits lift from the glass, revealing a lush viscosity with notes of dark cherry, black plum, pepper, menthol and smoke on the rich, velvety palate, finishing long and lovely. A veritable "mam-mouthful" of wine!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 94 WE 92

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

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

Baron-Fuente "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

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

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 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: Hidden View Price

2014 Château de Montfaucon Lirac
Review Date: 10-26-2016
The sun-kissed, fragrant wines of Lirac are fast becoming some of my favorites, and this delectable Rhone red clearly demonstrates why. There is a 'thereness' there, a sense of character and purpose, as if the terroir and vines and grapes in all their collective wisdom conspired to create a wine that simply said yes, this is what I am, drink me, savor me, enjoy me. Warm earth, red fruits, licorice and spice, all deliver and entice.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 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 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 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 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

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

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

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

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: $10.99 Add To Cart

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