Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

David Othenin-Girard
David Othenin-Girard  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service


Reviews

  
Page: 1 2 3 next
2014 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "Hissez O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This tremendous wine from our dear friends at Reserve D'O exemplifies all the reasons why Terrasses Du Larzac (and Languedoc in general) is such an incredible value. World-class winemaking from the finest possible fruit sources at an altogether reasonable price. This is definitely one to compare to the top-level CNDP and Gigondas, but has something extra. It's all Biodynamic and made as a labor of love, and you can definitely taste the commitment in every bottle.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 09-21-2016
An absolutely wonderful additional to our northern Rhone white offering, this stupendous producer is one of those world class offerings that's yet to hit the limelight, but surely will soon. Big nose of the finest buttered popcorn, although the butter is powerful, it's not overpowering and aeration brings deep yellow fruit, white flowers and big minerality. This is is what Viognier should be and exactly the reason I list Condrieu as one of my preferred appellations. Sure it's not cheap, but it roundly best big powerful whites in the price range in almost every other category.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Reserve d'O" Saint Guilhem le Desert Blanc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This lovely little wine drinks like something much more seriously priced. Big nose of apple and pear, with strong mineral notes behind. The palate is structured, but open with incredible complexity, hinting at a great potential for aging. It's hard to compare this to anything else due to the unusual blend, but it easily beats most southern Rhone blends at twice the price.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Légende Bonnetta" Condrieu
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This is just a monster in every way, what the Roches d'Arbuel has in opulence and openness this wine has in power and longevity. This is a world-class wine that deserves 5-10 years in your cellar and will likely become one of your most appreciated purchases. There's really nothing on this quality level and price point in the category. Despite the increase oak utilization, this shows LESS buttery oak and much more mineral intensity. Deep, complex and ultra-lengthy, these is clearly in its youthful phase, but still SO pleasurable right now.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2013 Knez Winery Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-21-2016
As usual, Knez is producing some of the most authentic and affordable Pinot in CA. Big notes of hibiscus, rose hips, Bing cherry, and baking spice. The aromatic fruit is perfectly balanced with an exotic woodsy notes. On the palate, well structured with out any flab, and that lovely earth lacquer box thing continues to frame the fruit wonderfully. Powerful acidity that remains balanced throughout. Some real-deal wine made by some real-deal-ass wine makers.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2013 Hendry "Block 13" Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Most people see Hendry and think Zinfandel, but this wonderful Merlot should be redefining them across all categories. Round old-school Merlot in the most classic sense, with big, ripe, plummy fruit and deep, dark earthiness almost brooding, but never sweet. Absolutely lovely structure and incredible length that makes me think of the really old school CA wine that few make any longer. A real outlier in the region and category in general.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2009 Les Allées de Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Maximum pleasure for the absolute minimum price possible. This might literally be the best $20 you can spend in the store right now. Everything that's great about the 2009 for a fraction of the price of the big boys. Wonderful depth and fruit, but with the classic earthy quality we expect from Cantemerle. If I could I would be buying stacks of this wine and planning to drink it over the next 10 years, but it's so delicious today I end up taking it home by the bottle one by one. Either way, you cannot lose here if you love old-school Bordeaux.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

1998 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Maybe the best of the Left Bank in this Right Bank-centric vintage, the Haut-Bailly shows tons of dense plum fruit framed in a bed of powerful herb and sweet licorice. The palate is wonderfully complex, showing great maturity at this stage, but with no signs of slowing down. A serious wine for serious lovers of Bordeaux that won't necessarily be accessible to the average Joe, but will make the diehards fawn for sure.

1989 Dauzac, Margaux
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Love this old-school style with tons of perfumed fruit and deep mineral quality. Extreme elegance and stupendous depth with the tiniest hint of earthy brett. This wine easily bests several more renowned chateaux at multiples of the price.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2011 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 09-21-2016
This wonderful example of the bounties of Corsica strikes the balance between the incredible elegance of the French influence and the rustic authenticity of the Italian. Deep smoky fruit with a sweet fresh earthiness on the nose. On the palate the rich dark fruit is balanced by a bitter chocolate and slight ferrous quality. Stupendous depth and wonderful length, you definitely want to pair this with richer Italian fare.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio Muscat du Cap Corse (Corsica)
Review Date: 09-21-2016
A phenomenal value for a very special muscat comparable to the best from Beaume De Venise at a fraction of the price. Wonderful Muscat nose of deep dried citrus and exotic flowers. The palate exhibits stupendous acidity and a lovely bitter sweet quality that reminds me of the very best marmalade. A unique example of this very special and difficult-to-do-well style.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Begude Sauvignon Blanc Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Absolutely glorious! Every year the Begude SB gets better and better and this is BY far the BEST we've had. Ultra tropical, light but not boring, zippy but not sharp. Super-duper pricing and SO MUCH PLEASURE. Cases all around, cases.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chante Cigale "L'Apostrophe" Mediterranée
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Wowwy wow, I was not expecting this to be SO good. Awesome dark fruit and depth on the nose, followed by a rich texture that's perfectly balanced by the juicy acidity. I guess the 2015s are going to be the real deal. Can't believe the balance and depth they've achieved at this price point.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 09-21-2016
A world-class Syrah in the relatively classic style without the baked fruit or overly alcoholic notes that are ubiquitous across the category. Very much in need of time in the cellar to achieve full potential, but nonetheless drinking wildly well for the age and price. Considering the extreme prices we see out of this appellation, Remizieres is really coming through in a big way to compete with high-end CA and WA Syrah without kowtowing to the overripe style that has become ubiquitous in the category.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Mönchhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese Mosel
Review Date: 08-25-2016
A legendary wine and one of the best Erdener Pralat I've ever tasted. Focused yet complex - this wine should evolve for several decades, but it will be difficult to keep your hands off it. Magical!!!
Price: $48.99 Add To Cart

2014 Gessinger "Josefsberg Old Vines" Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese ** Mosel
Review Date: 08-25-2016
This spectacular offering is the best of the best when it comes to balanced Spatlese. Showing stupendous acidity and tons of freshness with the first tiny hints of petrol peaking through. Powerful aromatic and mouth filling, the texture is perfectly balanced by the racy acid. Lovely price on this and the perfect pairing for SPICY foods.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Leitz Rüdesheimer Roseneck (Katerloch) Riesling (Dry) Rheingau
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Another triumph from Leitz, but this one is for the cellar. Stock a case away for at least 5 years and you will undoubtedly be the proud owner of some of the finest dry Riesling available at any price. Tons of richness balanced by powerful acid and an ultra long textured finish. Compares up to the finest being made anywhere in Germany.
Price: $40.99 Add To Cart

2015 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken Rheingau
Review Date: 08-24-2016
An absolute dream for Trocken riesling lovers finding that perfect balance between aromatic intensity, textural richness, and powerful acidity. A nose of freshly crush meyer lemon - peel and all. Big notes of limestone and sea spray which all come together on the palate with great richness and focus. Beaming all the way through it never stops and delivers the goods with out seeming austere or hard edge like some other trockens. Leitz kills it all the time.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2012 Vignobles des 2 Lunes "Périgée" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-24-2016
I'm definitely impressed with these 2 Lunes wines, but the pinot out performed even my already lofted expectations. The nose is exactly what I want from Alsatian pinot without any semblance of under ripeness or veggie quality, yet expressive and powerful. Super gorgeous pointed cherry, flecks of earthy mineral and a subtle texture makes this one of the most drinkable and delicious Pinot Noirs on the shelf for those seeking balance and freshness.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2011 Vignobles des 2 Lunes "Comète" Cremant d'Alsace
Review Date: 08-24-2016
This fabulous little wine took me utterly by surprise. We get stuck assuming that many Cremant are built as some sort of approximation of their more expensive counterparts in Champagne, but that's not at all the case here. I'm totally enamored because this is different and delicious. The nose is all creamy sherbet -Orange sherbet, tangerine peel, and soft clean nuttiness. The palate, the citrus turns up, but remains totally balanced. Creamy, but lifted. Total pleasure going down and something utterly unique.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Côtes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 08-24-2016
What a gorgeous little value this wine is. I'm a huge fan of the 2010s and this reminds me of why. Still kicking more than a half decade later, it's got great structure and lovely balance, without being light or overly fruited. A pretty serious little style, with some deep dark earthiness, but no barnyard whatsoever, it seems to really be in its prime now and deserves a nice decant, but could easily go for several more years in the cellar. Totally lovely affordable aged CDR? Yes please!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Blossoming Auld Sherried" K&L Exclusive Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-22-2016
The first time I tasted the Blossoming Auld Sherry was at a wonderful little bistro in Levernois outside of Beaune called Du Bord De L'Eau. After a wonderful meal at this exceptional casual restaurant, the director of Couvreur Jean Arnauld suggested we finish the night with a taste of something special from his exceptional collection. We could have taken the exceptionally expensive vintage offerings, but he recommended this special little treat. From the moment I put my nose to the glass I was transfixed. Of course, I know Couvreur's style and what to expect, but this was unlike anything I'd yet come across. It was truly like diving head first into the finest Sherry, but at 90 proof!!! The nose exhibits an intoxicating bouquet of plum preserves, old exotic wood, fresh leather, tobacco and the intricately carved wooden pipe to pack it. The palate is SO smooth. When someone says they like something "smooth," it's such a vague notion, and difficult quality to guarantee in a product, but THIS is what they're talking about. The density of the fruit remains on the palate, but it's pointed with wonderful dried citrus and sweet herbal notes. This is the real deal, and while not inexpensive, it out-performs its price point by a mile and then some. Imagine having a bottle of sherry that never goes bad, which you can sip by the ounce and clocks in at 45%! You'd never stop, so you know, you shouldn't. We're the exclusive source for this product in California and will likely buy the entire US allocation of 20 cases.
Price: $219.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Pale Single Single" Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-22-2016
A single malt from a single cask from this renowned blender is always a treat. Here we're off the big sherry notes that Couvreur is known for and onto something more malt-driven. Still with that beautiful Burgundian cellar experience, but now pointed with Highland flowers, wild honey, white and yellow fruit. I'm wanting to say this is Clynelish, but cannot confirm. Now that we're able to list this below $100 it's a no-brainer and certainly a unique experience that's not easily replicated anywhere else on the shelf.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2013 Tenuta Novare Valpolicella Ripasso
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Wow! Ripasso with some acid and finesse? Sign me up. All the big bold flavors you'd want from the category without any stinking baked fruit or sweet overripe finish. Dense dark and lush, but with a wonderful acidity and an abv under 14%! The total package in my book - if you've been slaving over a proper bolognese this might be the perfect answer!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2011 Rivella Barbaresco
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This precise and seamless Barbaresco is so clearly made with one of the finest touches, it's almost not a surprise to find out that the winemaker was Gaja's top guy for 30 years. It's SO open and generous right now without any hints of manipulation or over extraction. This elegant and attractive style is exactly what I love about Barbaresco and the perfect contrast to the brooding style made over the hill. The purity is unsurpassed in the price point and worth stocking up on in a big way if you're at all a lover of nebbiolo.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2014 Einaudi Dogliani (Dolcetto)
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Super refined style dolcetto with complex funky fruit note and well balanced structure. This is superb value and you'll have trouble finding better Dogliani at twice this price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-13-2016
The absolute perfect Tuscan under $20. Not with the ripe dense intensity of last years, but with so much more depth and complexity it's impossible not to LOVE! It's soft and open, but very with this wonderful acidity that makes it ultra quaffable. The key here is balance and this beautiful red fruit that's almost impossible to describe properly. This bombastic nose is balanced by great herbal quality and this beautiful dried floral component. Maybe not as hedonistic as some would like, but for me this is the clearly best Massa I've tasted.

2011 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Oh the Rancia! This famous vineyard (now a selection of the best) is Felsina's answer to modern wine making. And boy their answer is well put together. Rich and bold without feeling overly ton or out of place. Powerful and textured enough that anyone lover of Napa or Bordeaux will feel right at home, but yet some how uniquely Felsina. This has always been a favorite of mine in the style and NOTHING has changed. Should be in almost an serious collectors cellar at this price.

2013 Le Battistelle "Roccolo del Durlo" Soave Classico
Review Date: 07-13-2016
A little more serious than it's little brother the Roccolo Del Durlo is singing right now. Big notes of yellow flowers, dense tropical and stone fruits. The palate shows great weight and texture. The fruit and florals of the nose fall away in favor of more mineral and tamed herbaceous quality. This cries out for food and makes me hungry just thinking about it.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2013 Le Battistelle "Battistelle" Soave Classico
Review Date: 07-13-2016
So much schlock in the Soave category, I had low expectations for this one. It was a bit dumb when it we first tasted it, but right now it's absolutely delightful. Open expressive nose without being super fruity or lactic. Honeysuckle, apricot, wet stone and meyer lemon zest. The palate has wonderful lift and great acid, but isn't light per say. The subtle citrus notes continue with a building mineral quality. Total quaffer and priced to drink. Might be the White of the Summer for me...
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2012 Gloria, St-Julien
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Another stupid value from 2012! This is St. Julien through and through. Big cacao, mocha, coffee nose. Deep dark fruit, subtle integrated spice. Big structured and tons of length, moving back toward those roasted coffee and a slight sanguine note on the finish. Totally integrated and note particularly oak driven despite the 40% new oak.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 - 94

2012 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This might be the deal of the vintage. This is real solid uncompromising style of Margaux for a very reasonable price. I really can't believe it's still in stock because this is both drinking and cellaring Bordeaux at a fraction of the cost of some of it's neighbors. Big notes of coffee, violets, dark plum and vanilla. The perfect silky texture and wonderful ripe tannin. The whole thing is balanced and lifted with a great freshness! An open bombastic style without the sense that it's modernized or international in style at all.

2012 White Rock Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
White Rock is a freakin' home rum for lovers of the old school style Napa Cab that's so hard to get these days. What I love about this wine, in the vibe of Heitz or maybe even Dunn, it has this incredible sense of place. While it doesn't taste like Bordeaux, there's clearly an eye to a more restrained, terroir driven style. And if you're about terroir then your wines should not taste like they're from the Medoc, indeed they should taste like they're from Napa, which so few wines from Napa seem to do any longer. This is the real deal. Do not ignore it.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2012 Keenan "Reserve" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Good old Keenan continues to deliver extreme quality year after year. The '12 Reserve is a structured and classic Napa style with great density and power without crossing that line into the over oaked, overripe, overly alcoholic style that's become so popular! Tons of fresh cola and dense dark fruit. The density is balanced with a wonderful structure built for the cellar. Set it and forget it. This stuff will be magic in 5-10 years.

2004 Heitz Cellar "Trailside" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-13-2016
A triumph! Totally round and open. Fully mature, but still with plenty of life. Silky textured mouth feel. The sign of a perfectly ripe tannin! Dense dark fruit and a wonderful gravelly cab note. More proof that Heitz is still one of the best in the west.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2014 J.L. Chave Selection "Silene" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This wine is going to cause a lot of trouble for the already struggling domestic syrah market. It just makes American syrah look like an after thought. Even wines at twice the price point don't show half the depth or complexity as this and while it's absolutely delicious right now with five years in the cellar it will be singing like a Siren! You won't be able to ignore it. Luckily for the domestic producers we've only got a limited supply of the spectacular value.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 J.L. Chave Selection "Mon Coeur" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-13-2016
The total package. It's absolutely astonishing that Chave continues to make such high quality wines regardless of vintage and price point. Totally seamless and classical, without the overripe baked fruit that's become ubiquitous with southern Rhone in general over the last decade. That does not mean it's austere or funky, but still has plenty of completely clean dense fruit and the perfect amount of earthy spice. I've always loved this wine and it's a no brainer for almost any drinker in a pinch, but this vintage seemed particularly special and I plan to put a case away for cooler weather.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières
Review Date: 07-13-2016
While I love all three of the Anhel wines, the Terrassettes spoke to me as the best of the bunch to open today. Absolutely gorgeous texture and wild aromatics of blackberries, ripe red cassis, black pepper, and rock earth. Powerful and dense, but not heavy or overripe. A truly spectacular wine the feels effortlessly drinkable, while over delivering on complexity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 07-13-2016
We're all in love with the Anhel wines, but this new vintage is a benchmark for me. Ultra pure expression of the terroir, big floral notes without the hint of perfumed artificial quality. Dark and spicy fruit and a great texture that's all about the lifted structure while maintaining the intensity. Stupidly cheap price on these.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Begude Grüner Veltliner "Exotique" Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This special little oddity is so familiar yet not quite what you'd expect. Gruner apply and subtle mineral quality paired with a building fresh herbal quality and a great dry stony note on the finish. Totally fun and priced to give Austrian liters some heat.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 07-13-2016
Easy fresh and well integrated. Tons of bright lemon and fresh peach aroma. So drinkable yet not boring or neutered.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #52" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. Cask #52 has a massive nose of creamy rich coconut, powerful Tahitian vanilla, and sweet fresh spices. Expect deep toasty caramel on the palate, with piles of over ripe fruit and American oak spices taking over on the back palate. This may be too powerful for many single malt drinkers without water, but should satiate the most seasoned bourbon lover right out of the bottle.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #75 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. Cask #75 is easily the most closed of the three casks right out of the bottle. It shows dark flavors, more exotic wood and deeper spice notes, still exhibiting incredible complexity, but without the intense sweet notes of the other two casks. With water however, this baby really opens up and starts to bring in complexities not available in its sisters. First, the mahogany notes begin to move more toward sandalwood and around the omnipresent vanilla, you'll see fresh mint and echoes of malted grain. This whisky begs you to take your time an watch it's layers unfold.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist Ex-Bourbon Cask #76 K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2016
I remember the first time I tasted Kavalan Single Cask (Solist). It was at the 2013 Whisky Fest in San Francisco. This special little distillery was completely unknown by the general public at the time. While people lined up out the door to get a tiny snort of Pappy, I sauntered over to the small table where Ian Chang stood completely alone and got REAL excited to see all FOUR Solists casks there to taste. I'd heard good things from Taiwanese friends and certain members of the whisky geek elite, but I was very surprised to see Mr. Chang actually manning the table. He took me through the line-up and I became completely enamored. The incredible complexity and depth that these whiskies show is unprecedented for an upstart single malt distillery. After a nice long chat, I thank Mr. Chang and jokingly said as I left, "can't wait to buy some single casks!" The ever gracious distiller, looked at me slyly and said, "You’ll have to come to Taiwan." I promised I’d tried and walked away certain that this was the best whisky of the night. A year later, my colleague David was actually able to make the journey to visit Ian and there the true seed of the possibility began to grow. Then one day months later, the importer walked in and slid three samples across my desk. In the mean time, Kavalan had become one of the hottest brands in the world and we were selling out ever drop we could get our hands on in a matter of days if not hours. The prospect of getting a single cask was almost too good to be true. Indeed, as we tasted through them I was blown away by the complexity and depth of each. We just couldn't let these incredible whiskies slip through our fingers, no matter what the cost. And so we didn't. We may be one of the only places in the US right now to have cask strength ex-bourbon. Thanks to our importers efforts, we locked in the casks at the 2015 pricing, so expect subsequent offerings to be $20-30 more expensive than then. The gorgeous cask #76 is perhaps the most balanced of the three. Like getting that perfect dessert from a world class chef, it shows incredible richness and complexity but never feels out of balance. Big bold sweet notes, but moving away from the frosting and caramel of cask #52 toward a more seamless spiced honey tone. Slightly lower proof than her sisters, this whisky drinks right of the bottle like a dream, although a touch of water does highlight some of the wild honey that I love. Either way, this whisky seems to have no edge and while bold, it's never sharp or aggressive. A truly special cask and a pleasure to have on the bar for however long it can possibly last.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

Tom's Foolery Bottled In Bond Batch #3 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-16-2016
A weekend in my wife's hometown - celebrating her incredible accomplishments as a designer - turned into one of the most exciting work trips of the year when I realized her grandparents' house was a five minute drive from the well-regarded Tom's Foolery Distillery. The town of Chagrin Falls is a beautiful, quaint little place, which as the name suggests has a massive waterfall running through the middle of town. Just outside the town are some of Ohio's largest and most historic estates along with apple orchards and open space. It was there that we came upon the home of the Herbrucks. Tom and Lianne are the real deal. With out the pomp, ego, or gimmicks that have become ubiquitous in the Craft Whiskey world, these two are generally achieving something great through hard work and dedication. They hit all the important craft notes without making a fuss about it (local grain grown on their own farm, hand distillation, pot stills, years of experience). They have several hundred barrels sitting in their unheated warehouses and while they no longer have the historic Michter's stills that is not stopping them from continuing to make some of the best craft whiskey in the country. This whisky does of course come from those special stills. Expect big bold flavors of dark wood, stewed stone fruits, minty spice and earthy grain. The nose reminds me of some of the great young old whiskies I've had (those post-Prohibition gems). Ultimately, it's a flavor profile that's almost non-existent in KY today. Dryer than most modern bourbon, likely due to the lack of patent warehousing, it remains very balanced with a lovely palate filling texture - leaving you with a unique forest floor and dark cocoa finish. There isn't a hot or harsh note anywhere in the mix and the whole thing is as seamless and integrated as can be. We're all very lucky to have a crack at this special juice.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Prestige Vieilles Vignes" Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This is a wonderful example of what OLD VINES means for champagne. Real old vines! The depth and power is not surpassed by anything in the price point. Fresh open and alive, tons of black cherry, touches of fresh brioche, big bold richness with an ultra long finish. Bubbles for ballers who don't have that black card yet.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Just astonishing how delicious this is for the price. It hits every note you want from a rose champagne, both power and elegance, round and rich with great long structure, aromatic pinot fruit with a hint of savory spice. You could decant it and serve it with a filet mignon as easily as you'd serve it with your aper'eau. A triumph of wine making fit for the most frugal lover of bubbles and the most opulent spender alike.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2008 Michel Loriot "Apollonis" Vintage Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
A fabulous little wine designed for those who really love the bright fresh floral and tropical fruit qualities of Meunier with the depth and complexity provided by a healthy dollop of high quality chardonnay. This vintage product is easily accessible now and can be served on nearly any occasion. Lovely white flowers, but not too perfumed though -no gardenias, more honeysuckles. Lovely long soft finish with fresh tropical fruit continuing throughout. This I want to have with french onion soup for some reason.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2004 Charles Ellner "Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Even though this has been aged at the estate for years, it is still taught and full of life. Creamy apple and pear on the nose, with a big laser beam of apply acid on the palate. Mouth filling and thirst quenching, don't leave me alone with one of these if you were expecting to have a glass. Despite the obvious complexity and depth at this stage, I long to enjoy it again after another few years in the cellar. Buy a case and drink it over the next half decade or so and you will be RIGHTEOUSLY rewarded.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 WE 91

1998 Dom Pérignon "P2" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This decadent offering from one of Champagne's most storied brands does everything you'd expect. Bold, rich and over the top, it's as showy and opulent as the price point would suggest. Expect intense oak and nutty spice balanced by a powerful creamy texture and ultra complex pommace fruit. Perfect pair for hoisting the automatic sails on your Swan! Press that button and pour.

Page: 1 2 3 next

More Favorites

David Othenin-Girard is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of David Othenin-Girard, click here to join David Othenin-Girard's Personal Sommelier Service.
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($39.99)

Ardbeg "Uigeadail" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky ($55.99)

Ransom Old Tom Oregon Gin (750ml) ($39.99)

Cragganmore 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky (750ml) ($49.99)

Emile Pernot "Vieux Pontarlier 65" Absinthe (750ml) ($64.99)

St. George Spirits Absinthe Verte (750ml) ($59.99)

Rhum J.M. Vieux Agricole VSOP Martinique 90 Proof (750ml) ($49.99)

Dolin Rouge Vermouth de Chambéry (750ml) ($15.99)

Dolin Blanc Vermouth de Chambery (750ml) ($15.99)

Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambery (375ml) ($11.99)

Karlsson's Gold Vodka (750ml) ($34.99)

1995 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac ($179.99)