Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

  
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 Waiting List

2012 Shatter Grenache Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 05-25-2015
Presenting big, bold and in your glass aromas of pure, unabashed Grenache, these two talented guys from Napa borrowed a page or two from Philippe Cambie, masterful Rhone consultant, when they created this impressive bottling. A powerful palate bursting with intense layers of cherries, blackberries, bakery spice, liquorice, wild thyme and toasty oak, the sheer amplitude of flavors from this wine defy a final edit. Blessed with fine, silky tannins and a round, seamless finish, enjoy it over the next several years with a rich beef stew or aged cheese board.
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 92

2014 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir Rosé IGP Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 05-25-2015
By strategically placing little pheromone pouches throughout the vineyards, the good folks at Domaine Begude manage to deter invasive vine moths by creating a state of “sexual confusion”. Whatever it takes I suppose, but don’t be confused by the brilliance of their organic wines, longtime favorites among staff and customers here at K&L. And summer wouldn’t quite feel right without a rollicking, frolicking glass of rosé, this version delivering expressive Pinot Noir aromas and refined, exotic flavors of cranberry, wildflowers and forest strawberry, captivatingly dry and complex. Charcuterie or seared tuna would be a welcome complement to this delicious wine. Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Cognizant Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-25-2015
Ever curious about the workhorse Ryan Woodhouse’s next hat trick from New Zealand, I have to admit that he really pulled a lovely bottle out of his cap with this one, with the talented help of a couple blessed with the best surname on Earth, Jason and Anna Flowerday. A true artisan’s touch at work here, with luscious, zesty fruit blended from two different vineyards in the Awatere and Wairau Valleys and given delicate barrel treatment to enhance the wonderful mouthfeel and generous richness of the wine. Once you taste this well-balanced and sophisticated creation, you will be fully 'cognizant' of why the name….
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Penya Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 05-11-2015
At under $10, this highly quaffable party wine is a great value, delivering appetizing red and black fruits and floral elements backgrounded by smooth spice and a touch of acidity. Nothing overly complex or demanding here, just remarkably easy to drink anyday, everyday. Enjoy!
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 91

2014 Domaine de Millet Colombard-Ugni Blanc Cotes de Gascogne Blanc
Review Date: 04-29-2015
Ugni Blanc (aka Trebbiano) grows in abundance in both France and Italy, where it is used as both table wine and in the crafting of fine Armagnacs in Gascogne. This is a bright, refreshing blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard, imbued with citrus, white flower and quince notes, harmonious and pure, perfect as a delightful aperitif or with a variety of foods from salads to shellfish. Drink throughout the long summer, it is a wonder!
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Elephant Hill Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 04-29-2015
Remember a scene several years back of an elephant caught swimming way offshore in the Indian Ocean? No one should underestimate the power and determination of a persistent pachyderm. Nor of Ryan Woodhouse, our intrepid, adventurous and quite fearless buyer of Kiwi wines, who often packs his trunk with amazingly great discoveries that eventually make their way onto our shelves. The Elephant Hill Pinot Noir holds forth as an excellent version of prime Central Otago holdings~ a balanced, flawlessly smooth and focused wine with subtle red-fruit and floral aromas, elegantly enrobed by lively flavors of plum, redcurrant, spice and loam. A flourish of minerality and structured tannins enhances the supple, dry and lengthy finish. Drink up!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-29-2015
This delicately-hued Provence rosé is a sustainably-grown, light salmon-colored blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cinsault, with inviting strawberry, red currant and floral aromas, characterized by a bone-dry palate of red fruits and delicate chalk and herbal notes, complemented by brisk acidity and a lovely thirst-quenching, if not dragon-fire-quenching finish (see Peyrassol note) . Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Château de Peyrassol "Commanderie" Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-28-2015
As an avid watcher of Game of Thrones can tell you, it’s not uncommon to find some beleaguered greybeard utter the doom and gloom words, “Winter is coming!” Well, don’t panic, you can all shed your Night’s Watch feathers, down vests and thermals, because in ever-thirsty, drought-stricken California, the common catchphrase is “Summer is coming!” And what better way to face the rays than by embracing a shimmering glass of rosé straight from the heart of Provence, home to perhaps the most elegant and sophisticated pinks on the planet. From vineyard regions first planted and harvested almost eight centuries ago by dedicated Templar Knights, to slake the thirst of weary Crusaders or dragons en route to the Holy Land, comes a favorite rosé: the 2014 Château de Peyrassol “Commanderie” Côtes de Provence Rosé, made from organically cultivated Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault vines grown on low-yielding rocky terrain, and directly pressed after undergoing a cold maceration to reveal beautiful dimensions of watermelon, strawberry, carnation and lilac on the nose, with a replenishing, lively palate of mouth-watering fruits and spice. With infinite charm, freshness and finesse, this superb rosé will pair well with most Mediterranean cuisine, summer salads and grilled seafood.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 03-31-2015
While I loved prior versions of this favorite Pinot, this new expression from a near perfect vintage took a different qualitative turn with the inspired interplay of fruit from another site, creating a generous, complex, elegant rendering, the epitome of depth, sophistication and grace— perfumed aromas of dried flowers, forest mushrooms intermixed with wild strawberry, red plum and raspberry fruit on the palate. Well-defined acidity and a fine, harmonious finish, winemakers Jason and Anna Flowerday have surpassed their own uncompromising standards with this wonderful Pinot Noir. Not to be missed!
Top Value!

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.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
RC 93 JS 92

2012 Krutz Family Cellars "Magnolia Series" Napa Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-29-2015
Oh my Heart of Darkness, Mister Krutz! If you can read Conrad or enjoy a Coppola bad puns, you'll get it. This brazen beauty is one of the most arrestingly delicious, emblematic Zinfandels I've tasted recently, bursting with a veritable cornucopia of perfectly-picked, brambly black fruit....dark cherries, plums, and blackberries that project their rich aromatic personalities on the palate with both balance, generosity and power, all fitfully framed by finely-polished tannins and finishing smooth and dry and pure. Serve this Zinfandel with nicely grilled sausages or a spicy Moroccan tagine for a memorable meal.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

2010 McClean X "Simone" Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 03-25-2015
A test... see if you can spot this one on our domestic shelves. I'll give you a few hints: Red vines, classic nail polish, fire extinguishers. Big Juicy Glorious, Five-Alarm Red. OK, try not to be put off by label shock, for this one definitely has the juju within, and whoever the heck this Simone is, she must be quite the ravishing head-turner. A gorgeous blend of opulent, spicy, peppery Zinfandel and dark, fathomless Petite Sirah, this astonishing wine possesses enough weight, mouthfeel and serious Zin flavor to seduce any dish bold enough to flirt with it. Enchiladas dancing in a rich mole sauce maybe?
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93

2011 Raymond Fabre Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 03-24-2015
It's Wednesday night, right, so maybe you're in the mood for a big juicy bacon, mushroom and swiss burger to go along with that latest big juicy action flick, Spiderman vs. Speedoman or Ironman Finally Rusts 7, but what wine do you pour? Something with rich, mouthwatering flavor and just enough sinew to compete with the endless earth-shattering explosions onscreen. Since I track the Northern Rhone like a drone and just opened this Crozes-Hermitage, well....it's a medium-built, savory Syrah with impressive aromas and notes of bright cherry-red fruit, garrigue and licorice, with a welcome tinge of pepper and minerality on the solid finish. So bring on the monster cheeseburger and silly spandex superheroes, this supertasty red wine can handle 'em, and with no special effects needed.
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 03-02-2015
Cremant de Limoux lies farthest west in the vast vinous ‘laboratory’ that is the Languedoc-Rousillon, where some of France’s most distinctive varieties and dynamic wines are to be found. The Emotion is blended from Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Mauzac, the latter an indigenous grape cultivated for both its lovely apple notes and variable color that can run from light green to pink to black! Displaying remarkable elegance and refinement for a wine of this modest price, with generous bubbles and crisply dry flavors of acacia, strawberry, cherry and toast. The perfect companion for lively catered parties, as it goes with virtually everything that lies prone on a plate. Also great with nothing, ha…..
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Can’t afford the pricier Rombauer but still want to be treated to a delicious, sun-baked apple-blessed, tropical, toasty and vanilla-imbued wine? Go for the Spellbound my friends, you will find plenty here to enjoy, and it really does the trick, offering plenty of rich wine pleasure for far less than you’d expect to pay. And if you happen to live in California, be sure to stock a few cases away, just in case we run out of, gulp, water....
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 02-28-2015
For some bizarre reason, I never seem to drink enough Italian white wines, probably because I’m always driven to the Killer B’s (Barolos, Barbarescos, Brunellos). But Verdicchio, which sounds like Verocchio, the name of a Renaissance painter who is most famous for teaching Leonardo how to dip his brush, remains one of those quintessential grapes that demands serious respect from both scholar and consumer. And because it has a tendency to ripen slowly when properly planted, Verdicchio develops beautiful acidity and mineral notes to ballast the incredibly complex and succulent flavors of white pear, floral, almond and quince that are characteristic of this superb wine. And remember, the Riserva will continue to evolve for a decade or more, so practiced patience is as virtuous as the wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
JS 94

2010 Bodegas Puelles Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 02-28-2015
Largely because of our courageous buyers who are often physically held down and forced to taste, sample, spit, analyze, and select wines from the far corners of the globe, our direct import program is second to none. Take Joe Manekin, our tried and true Spanish guru, for instance. He somehow discovered a clever fellow named Jesús Puelles in the small hamlet of Abalos in Rioja Alta who makes some of the most savory, well-delineated, sublime wines this side of Siberia, in Iberia. His 2010 Crianza heralds from a fine vintage and is a classic blend of the four signature red grapes of Rioja, headlined by Tempranillo of course, and traditionally aged in 225L older oak for nuance and aroma. Lush, friendly fruit— cherries, mulberries and red plums defined by balsamic notes of sandalwood and incense adorn this tasty crianza, a wine fit for a table decked with Iberico ham, roast chicken, lamb or soft cheeses.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2013 Kistler "Sonoma Mountain" Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-25-2015
What’s in a name, you might ask? The name ‘Kistler’ comes from the ancient Germanic-Swiss guild of Kistermacher, or ’makers of chests’, derived originally from the Latin ‘custos’, guardian or keeper. Of course in the wine world it has come to be known as ‘maker of iconic wines’, and Steve Kistler has, like, a fine cabinet maker, continued to burnish his craft by creating some of the most elegant Chardonnays and Pinots in the New World. Like every great artisan, he sought the finest wood, or in this case, budwood, for his wines, and found it over forty years ago in a low-yielding Chardonnay strain discovered at Mount Eden and originally believed to have come from Corton in 1896. From this single heritage Burgundian clone Kistler has fashioned ten different expressions of Chardonnay, each wine the definition of a specific terroir, and each remarkable. The Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay, planted on an elevated, well-drained site of mostly volcanic soils, showed a prismatic quality to the fruit, as if every nuance reflected another in a dancing kaleidoscope of citrus, apple, stone fruit, chalk, ginger and almond flavors, all harmoniously held together by superb, crisp acidity and a breathtakingly long finish. A truly prodigious feat of winemaking!
Price: $64.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 93

2010 Zaca Mesa Santa Ynez Valley Syrah
Review Date: 02-18-2015
A veritable raft of blueberries and blackberries, a suave pinch of baking spice, violet pastilles and vanilla all deliver the goods in this indulgent, pleasure-packed Syrah. With its voraciously voluminous fruit and engaging gorgeousness I marvel that whole herds, er, flocks of hungry, ravenous blackbirds never made a desperate, feathered assault on the Zaca Mesa estate vineyards, but don't ask why or wait, just sink your clever talons into a case or two before your next gathering of the human flock. It will be gone before you can say 'Birdman wins the Oscar'....I said it here first.....
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

2013 L'Ecole No. 41 " Luminesce" Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla White Wine
Review Date: 02-16-2015
'Luminesce'....sometimes even a wine's name can conjure glowing memories. As a kid growing up on the outskirts of Nashville, I will never forget my first sighting of hundreds of fireflies twinkling in the dusk of a warm midsummer's eve. Like tiny circuits on again, off again, now you see them, now you don't, they filled the air with magic, wonder and enchantment. This truly incandescent blend of Washington state cool-harvested Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc from the famed Seven Hills Vineyard was liquid, luminous sunlight in a bottle. Whole-cluster pressed fruit was given a slow primary fermentation on neutral oak followed by partial malolactic, and then spent four months napping on the lees. Fragrant and lively with luxurious aromas of citrus blossom and honeysuckle, interplayed with a core of crisp kiwi, passionfruit and green papaya frolicking on the palate, this beauty is a delightful, delicious treasure of a wine by any measure, and the perfect complement to fine poultry or seafood dishes.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

2013 Calera Central Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-04-2015
Oh, the Agony of the Pete...yesterday was both Groundhog Day and the day after the "Big Blame," I mean Big Game, and I couldn't help but wonder if Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll saw his shadow or was, like the film, destined to relive that last play again and again forever. Sympathy might not go far in this case, but a bottle of good wine always helps to heal deflated dreams. The folks at Calera scored big by hand-harvesting fruit for this coastal Chardonnay from select vineyards stretching from Santa Clara to Santa Barbara. Grapes were whole cluster pressed and gravity fed into the barrel room, where they underwent native yeast fermentation and achieved full malolactic in 10% new French oak for ten months. The result? A well-balanced and value-priced Chardonnay brimming with orchard aromas and an enticing array of trophy fruits... juicy apples, ripe melons, lush peaches and nectarines, with plenty of weight and acidity to carry through the "super" finish...... now go and intercept a bottle or two of this winning wine! You can't lose.

2013 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-21-2015
As one felled by images, I’ve often mused about the strange creature on this wine’s label. It is actually a cockatrice, that eerie hybrid bit of mischief, a demonic cross between a serpent and a rooster, armed with a "death-darting eye that could slay men with the poison of their sight." And a Banshee being the spirit of a wailing woman said to lie outside the walls of peasants’ houses, waiting for mortal men to die…..ahem. Well, on to the magical stuff in the bottle! Yet another lovely incarnation, this cool-climate beauty captured all the purity and essence of Sonoma coastal vineyards, with a core of enticing red fruit enlivened by tea, plum and boysenberry notes, all ballasted by clean acidity and gentle tannins. Enough supernatural fruit in here to silence a Banshee and keep her pet cockatrice at bay…..enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Rutherford Ranch Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-22-2014
While this attractive charmer may not quite qualify as the "Hunter Pence" of Chardonnays, it does express his buoyant, infectiously-engaging personality and ability to generate hits with its unabashed aromatics and "give-it-your-all" flavors of ripe, luscious peach, glistening apple, creamy pineapple and mouthwatering citrus. It even manages a kiss of oak to balance the vibrant array of orchard fruits. A surefire hit with your base, and one to keep around for all your post-game and holiday celebrations......
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2012 Joseph Jewell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-21-2014
Nothing exists in isolation. I was just listening to Tom Waits' hilarious cryptic dirge from Mule Variations, "What's He Building In There?" about a strange guy hammering "what the hell?" in his garage when I flashed on not just Jobs and Wozniak but a few of the famed California winemakers—think Burt Williams and Ed Selyem—who started out finicking, blending and canoodling with stuff in their garage. It comes as no surprise that two young "garagistes," Micah Joseph Wirth and Adrian Jewell Manspeaker, also finessed their first Pinot from such economies of scale, by realizing that measured growth, savvy inspiration and the right fruit go a long way in the creation of a well-crafted wine. Their latest cuveé, gathering fruit from three primarily cooler sites in the Russian River Valley, is a deft expression— nothing overstated or overblown— just pure, delicate aromas of black cherry, gentle spice, a kiss of rose petals and oolong tea leaves, sleekly stylish yet savory, touched by sultry tannins and warm earth. Now put down that hammer, turn up the music, sit back and enjoy a glass of great Pinot!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 95

2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-08-2014
David Lett was barely twenty-five in 1965, fresh out of UC Davis, with a smart detour in Burgundy under his boots and a strong, irrepressible passion to make great wine. So the next year he and his wife Diana transported a few thousand Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and other varietal cuttings up to northern Oregon and christened them on a few acres of pristine, southern-exposed slopes in the Red Hills of Dundee, thirty miles south of Portland. These were the very first Pinot vineyards in the Willamette Valley, and David Lett remained an outspoken, influential and wise presence in the region until his untimely death in 2008, affectionately nicknamed "Papa Pinot" by those who knew, respected and treasured him. I visited Eyrie this spring with several K&L staffers, and was met by David Lett's son Jason, who took over the winery in 2005 and was shepherding it through yet another growing season. Having grown up in the vineyards, he spoke with gentle ease about the sense of bestowed responsibility and challenges—always small production, a distinctive sense of place, uncompromising ethics—that faced the winery as it entered its fifth decade, and of the importance of maintaining the Eyrie style of natural, lithely-textured, aromatically pure, age-worthy wines. A superb example that expressed the magnificent 2012 vintage, the Eyrie "Estate" Pinot was both rounder and riper than in 2011, with more lavish spice, silky red and black cherries and raspberry on the palate, pleasant acidity and a touch of iron earth and bramble on the fine, flavorful finish. A marriage of suave and sensual, and although age-worthy, this promises considerable charm now, as the tannins are well-integrated and impressively smooth. Lett it be!

2012 Eyrie Vineyards "Estate Grown" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-08-2014
Please note that our inventory of Eyrie wines is always rather scarce, as they just don't make very much wine, but what they do make, well… this latest Chardonnay reflects what has been described by many as an epic vintage—the warmest summer in years, a long growing season allowing for perfectly balanced ripeness and acidity levels. But as with everything Eyrie, it's in the raw material—the Burgundian clonal varieties scrupulously hand-chosen by David Lett over forty years ago that sets this delicately straw-colored Chardonnay apart, imbuing it with refined elegance and lingering aromatic complexity. Liminal notes of poached pear, quince, lees, apple and spice play upon the palate in a stunning wine that will continue to evolve for at least a decade, probably two.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 93 WS 91

2012 Viña Robles "Estate" Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 07-23-2014
With its alluvial sandy loam soil, good drainage and excellent exposure, the Jardine Vineyard possesses ideal conditions for growing crisp and flavorful Sauvignon Blanc, and this affordably tasty version reveals why Paso Robles has become the new California hotspot for fine wine cultivation. Tropical fruits from guava to passionfruit, highlighted by lemon and grapefruit "citricality" and a touch of minerality perform a lively dance number upon the palate. A lovely, versatile wine for parties and summer picnics with family and friends. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

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 Waiting List

1999 Fugue de Nenin, Pomerol
Review Date: 11-30-2012
Attractive, classic, well-aged Bordeaux is always a welcome addition to the holiday table, and this second label Pomerol from Chateaux Nenin still delivers considerable charm and elegance. Imbued with smooth, round Merlot flavors of sweet plum, ripe cherry and cedar highlights, it invites a rosemary-roasted Cornish hen or two to join it for dinner.
Price: Hidden View Price

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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

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 Waiting List

2008 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-28-2011
My advice? If you have a few extra Benjamins lining your well-oiled wallet and are of the mind to buy a beautiful bottle or two of Bordeaux that will, when it eventually reaches full maturity around the time your same vintage 2008 son/daughter celebrate their 21st birthday (and will generously share it with you), then this is the wine for you! A superbly structured, absolutely pitch-perfect Pauillac, reflecting the august gravel and limestone terroir from which it was born.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Sparkling Wine Brut Central Otago
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 Waiting List

Zubrowka Bison Grass Polish Vodka 750ml
Review Date: 11-09-2009
I enjoyed the London reminiscences by my colleague Susan Thornett about this wonderful vodka, and I too confess a special relationship with Zubrowka going back several decades, when I was first offered a bracing shot of this harmonic-bisonic elixir by a friendly Polish waiter in then East Berlin who, sadly trapped behind the Iron Curtain some years before Solidarnösc, desperately wanted to improve his English skills. Maybe it was the effects of the vodka, but before the evening ended I promised to "secure" him a dictionary from the West even though it was strictly against the policy of the rather coercive East German authorities at the time. Well, anyway, I succeeded, and thanks in part to Zubrowka, the Wall finally came down and democracy was finally restored to freedom-loving East Berliners. And today I'm really glad we can offer this rare vodka to our astute customers, as its singularly subtle and unique flavors of yellow straw, camomile tea and dried coconut promises to both stimulate conversation, energize the appetite and yes, liberate the spirit! Na zdrowie! (To health!)
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90 - 95

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco DOCG
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 Waiting List