Staff Favorites - Alex Pross

Alex Pross

Reviews

  
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2012 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 01-12-2016
Going into one of our more recent tastings of 2012 Bordeaux I had lowered expectations. To date the vintage did not have much press and nobody was really talking about them positively or negatively. But as soon as the 2012 Pape Clement Pessac Leognan touched my lips I was blown away! This wine is easily the best 2012 Bordeaux I have tasted and once I found out it was a mere $89.99 I had to grab a few bottles for myself. This wine is loaded with crème de cassis, graphite, blackberry, spice and sexy mocha notes. The tannins are superfine and the balance here is perfect this wine is silky-smooth and absolutely irresistible. Buy one, I guarantee you will not regret it!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

2013 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-23-2015
A wonderfully quintessentially California Chardonnay, the 2013 Beringer “Private Reserve” Napa Valley Chardonnay is loaded with aromas of lemon oil, baked apples and hazelnuts. Full and rich, this layered Chardonnay is packed with buttery notes, crushed rocks, surprisingly good acidity and a balanced, long finish. This is the epitome of a great Chardonnay from Napa Valley for less than $30 and should be snatched up by the case!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WS 90

2012 Stonestreet "Estate" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-18-2015
One of the wineries to be on the lookout as an up-and-coming producer is Stonestreet, this is an amazing project focusing on small, vineyard driven plots dotting the Alexander Valley and more specifically the Mayacamas Mountain Range which produce extraordinary fruit. The result is numerous single-vineyard offerings including this spectacular 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon which is sourced from multiple estates vineyards. The 2012 Stonestreet “Estate” Cabernet Sauvignon starts off with intense aromas of crème de cassis and mocha with flavors of bright blackberry and black cherry fruit on the palate. Smooth, rich and harmonious on the finish this wine represents an insane value and totally over-delivers on its $34.99 price.
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 90

2013 Clos du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-02-2015
Wow! I am literally blown away just by the aromatics coming off the glass and I haven’t even tasted the wine yet. Intense aromas of blackberry liqueur, crème de cassis, black olive and spice notes billow from the glass. The palate has fantastic lift and energy with gorgeous blackberry fruit, spice and mocha notes. A perfectly balanced, supple and seamless Cabernet Sauvignon this wine is one of the greatest deals I have seen this year and is easily one of the best wines I have tasted for under $30 in a long, long time. Load up on this fantastic bargain and enjoy this treasure over the next 5 years.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 JS 92

2014 Domaine de Biéville (Louis Moreau) Chablis
Review Date: 08-14-2015
This is a screamin’ deal! The 2014 domaine de Bieville Chablis for only $14.99 represents one of the best deals I have tasted this year. Normally a Chablis of this quality would easily run $23-$30 a bottle and you can get it for literally half that. Loaded with intoxicating aromas of Kaffir lime, sweet aromas of white flowers and green almonds this wine unloads to a voluptuous palate of passion fruit, lime, saline, wet stone and hints of smoke. Medium-to-full-bodied this wine has great acidity and balance which makes it incredibly versatile and can be paired with most casual faire as well as enjoyed on its own. Don’t miss out on one of the best wine deals I’ve seen this year.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 08-04-2015
Loads of fresh peaches jump from the glass with an exotic-laden palate of tropical fruit flavors such as papaya, mango, guava along with golden delicious apples. Full-bodied with an elegant feel this pretty wine is the perfect summer sipper that won’t break the bank.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Chateau Puech-Haut "La Closerie du Pic" Coteaux du Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
Review Date: 07-01-2015
The Languedoc is the largest wine producing appellation in the world and thanks to this incredibly productive region there’s a plethora of amazing values. The 2013 Chateau Puech Haut “La Closerie du Pic” Pic Saint Loup is a perfect example of the stunning values that can be found from this region.Tthe wine starts out with a seductive nose that jumps out at you with notes of white pepper, marzipan, plum and hints of black tea while the palate deftly melds dark berry fruit, spice, licorice and hints of Baker’s chocolate. A delicious wine that drinks like a $50+ Chateauneuf-du-Pape it is a flat-out steal for only $24.99! It is approachable now and is versatile enough to pair with grilled meats, pasta dishes or can be enjoyed on its own.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95

2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-28-2015
One of the wines of the vintage. Dark, rich and full-bodied, with hints of cola and spice. Really nice, great length with blackberry fruit and layers upon layers. ***1/2 to ****

2014 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien (1.5L)
Review Date: 06-28-2015
One of the wines of the vintage. Dark, rich and full-bodied, with hints of cola and spice. Really nice, great length with blackberry fruit and layers upon layers. ***1/2 to ****

2013 Climens, Barsac
Review Date: 06-19-2015
Climens is the alternative to the large-scaled, big boyness of the d'Yquem. We tasted the eight barrel components that will make up the final blending of the Climens. Climens is always more elegant and restrained than the d'Yquem, focusing on pretty fruit and acidity rather than raw power. The 2013, from early indications, should be great, and the excitement in the air at Climens when we tasted was quite evident--even if it was pouring rain.

2014 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-03-2015
Definitely in the classic style of Mouton but with a touch more forward sweet which is nice, but is still very concentrated. Long serious wine and should be one of the great aging values. 1.5 Stars

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-03-2015
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac (3L)
Review Date: 05-03-2015
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars

2014 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-03-2015
Not quite up the standard of the 2000 or the 2005, this is still a very, very good wine. Deep, dark berry fruit, coffee, tobacco, hints of pencil lead--a very fine Lynch that is built to age. Score: 3-3½ stars

2014 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 04-30-2015
There’s a resurrection going on at Mouton, a new facility coupled with a renewed effort equals outstanding wine. Herbs & chocolate notes dominate the nose, good length with fine tannins, loaded with dark berry fruits & bitter chocolate. Score: 3-3½ stars

2012 Michel Gassier "Cercius" Vieilles Vignes Côtes du Rhone Rouge
Review Date: 02-23-2015
One of my perennial favorite value wines is the Michel Gassier “Cercius” Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone. I look forward every year to tasting this outstanding value and the 2012 may be their best vintage to date. Loaded with aromas of marzipan, coffee, spice and plum the 2012 Gassier deftly rolls to a palate of bitter chocolate, graphite, licorice and black raspberry flavors with silky tannins and a lush, long finish. Bravo! Another fantastic value that over-delivers for its meager price-point. Fans of full-bodied, well-made red wines that are affordable can rejoice as they toast a glass to this wonderful producer.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2013 Casa Castillo Monastrell Jumilla
Review Date: 02-23-2015
A gorgeous Spanish red the 2013 Casa Castillo is a stunning value! Sexy aromas of red licorice, spice, hints of salt air and bright red fruit notes jump from the glass while the palate is an energetic mix of red cherry, spice, licorice and herbs nicely juxtaposed against firm tannins and racy acidity. This wine drinks like a $30 bottle but is a flat-out steal at only $10. This is one of the better balanced and more versatile under $10 bottles I have tasted this year and it should merit case-worthy purchases.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Bodegas Castaño "Hécula" Monastrell Yecla
Review Date: 02-16-2015
Another ridiculous value from Bodegas Castano, the 2012 Hecula is a screaming value! Bright and zesty with spicy notes and a touch of white pepper, this wine has wonderful flavors of red fruit, licorice, hints of bitter chocolate with subtle pepper and mineral notes. A terrific value, this wine is the perfect everyday drinker that can go seamlessly go from an aperitif wine to meal-worthy with almost any fare and not miss a beat.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-02-2014
I am always excited to taste the most recent release of Cabernet Sauvignon from Joseph Phelps since it is one of my perennial favorites. From the very first sniff from the glass I was brought back to my initial tasting impressions from our En Primeur trip to Bordeaux when we tasted the heralded 2009 vintage. The wine displays amazing depth with layers of fruit flavors as well as aromas cola, crushed berries, five spice and mocha notes. A fresh and lively palate consisting of fresh blackberries, crème de cassis and dusty tannins nicely augments against bright acidity. The wine finishes with a supple display of fruit and silky tannins with just a kiss of dark chocolate lingering at the end.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2013 Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 09-08-2014
49% Merlot 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, black currant, berry liqueur, sexy sugar plum spice thing going on. Great intensity/loads of berry fruit along with good energy and cut.

2013 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-04-2014
The second in the duo of values from Helene Garcin the 2013 Barde Haut has more structure than the Haut Bergey--lots of blackberry mingles with hints of coffee and a mocha-laced finish.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WS 88 - 91

2013 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-04-2014
I always love this wine; over-delivers every vintage given its price and quality ratio. Nice berry fruit, impressive complexity and good layers of fruit. Looks to compete favorably with the last few vintages.

2013 Calon-Ségur, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 08-04-2014
One of my perennial favorite producers. The 2013 vintage has a distinctive Calon Segur-esque feel. The personality of Calon Segur can get obscured in some vintages, but in a challenging vintage like 2013 it really shines through. Berry fruit and notes of intense boysenberry lead, with hints of menthol and spice.

2009 Nairac, Sauternes
Review Date: 07-10-2014
I have a confession, I am ashamed that I don’t drink as much Sauternes as I should. As a whole there may not be another wine that delivers as consistently for the price as Sauternes. The 2009 Nairac is a perfect example, at $39.99 this wine is a screaming deal. Liquid gold in the glass this wine has seductive aromas of dried mango and pineapple along with roasted almonds and the slightest hint of coconut. The palate is unctuously smooth with flavors of candied orange, ginger, apricot and notes of caramel. Powerful but light on its feet this is a delicious Sauternes.
Top Value!

2013 Haut-Brion Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-14-2014
***½ Iodine, lime blossom and hints of lemon crème. Pitted fruit, nut skin and good body-feels a bit more masculine than the La Mission.

2013 Troplong Mondot, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-14-2014
**½ to *** It was a sad in Bordeaux when in the middle of our En Premieur trip we learned that Christine Valette, owner of Troplong Mondot, had succumbed to cancer. Troplong is a magnificent property with a hillside vantage point, the wines are always full-throttle and a joy to taste. Lots of cola here with sexy, exotic spice notes. Big extraction here--made for the California palate.

2013 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** to ***½ The word 'classic' gets thrown around way too much when discussing Bordeaux, but in the case of Leoville Barton, it is definitely merited. The 2013 is 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc. With notes of black cherry cola and hints of raspberry, the wine is layered and complex, showing good depth and density. Really well-made.

2013 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** This is sure to be one of the more controversial wines of the vintage. From barrel it was super floral and intoxicating on the nose, with complex plum and spice cake notes that gave it almost a minced meat pie--Zinfandel-esque, unlikely as that sounds!--quality, with boysenberry and blackberry fruit on the palate. It comes together, however, and finishes with harmony and elegance. This could turn out to be great.

2013 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** Dark cherry liqueur and tobacco aromas are followed by lots of berry fruit concentration on the palate with savory herb notes and noticeable tannins.

2013 Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** Loaded with dark berry fruit on the nose and the palate, with hints of tobacco and spice. This wine is layered and complex. Fine effort.

2013 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit verdot. Black cherry and dark chocolate and espresso aromas come through the otherwise tight, closed nose. This is a dark, brooding wine with lots of tannin and hints of graphite/lead pencil.

2013 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** to ***½ For me this is always one of the toughest wines to taste En Primeur since it typically shows very monolithically. Dark and brooding, its initial aromas of burnt earth slowly fall away to reveal black cherry cola and blackberry with notes of milk chocolate. It displayed good fruit, length and nice tannin structure, ending fresh and bright. This is one of the more accessible Lafites I have tasted En Primeur.

2013 Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** to ***½ For me this is always one of the toughest wines to taste En Primeur since it typically shows very monolithically. Dark and brooding, its initial aromas of burnt earth slowly fall away to reveal black cherry cola and blackberry with notes of milk chocolate. It displayed good fruit, length and nice tannin structure, ending fresh and bright. This is one of the more accessible Lafites I have tasted En Primeur.

2013 Angélus, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** Dark, brooding, spicy plum, black tea, graphite and scorched earth. Very nice length-not overdone.

2013 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-14-2014
*** to ***½ The departure of Jean-Guillaume Prats, long time director of Cos d'Estournel, made me anxious to try the 2013; this would be the first wine made without his oversight in a long time. I was pleased to find out that the 2013 Cos is a fine wine, with dark cherries and chocolate aromas and flavors, as well as dried herb notes. There's lots of depth and layers here. The wine displays good purity and power. 78% cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot & 2% Cabernet Franc.

2013 Alter Ego de Palmer, Margaux
Review Date: 05-14-2014
***½ to **** Wine of the Vintage! Beautiful nose, with lots of pretty berries, hints of spice, and herbs. The palate displays gorgeous, elegant red berry fruit--cranberry, red currant and cherry--with a layered, plush finish. This wine is bright and lively and feels like a fine Margaux. Considering that this wine will be available for under $70 and compares favorably with the stellar 2009 and 2010 vintages, this wine is in my opinion one of the best wines to purchase En Primeur.

2013 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-13-2014
All Cabernet Sauvignon, this is dark and brooding, displaying aromas of graphite, scorched earth and minerals. Layers of complex blackberry and black cherry fruit flavors are accented by bitter chocolate, spice, and pepper.

2013 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-13-2014
Smooth, rich and luxurious this wine has nice deep berry fruit along with mocha notes. There’s a fair amount of grip on this wine.

2013 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-12-2014
Lots of berry fruit, layered, high-toned fruit, hints of pomegranate with good length and silky tannins.

2013 Labégorce, Margaux
Review Date: 05-12-2014
A perennial favorite, this producer makes an excellent value-oriented Margaux of late. Nice red fruit, good concentration and hints of chocolate. This was the first wine of the 2013 En Primeur campaign we tasted and it showed all ways not lost in 2013. Top value.

2013 Clos Fourtet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-12-2014
One of my favorites, this wine always delivers and 2013 is no exception. Lots of red fruit here with silky tannins and a clean and elegant feel here. The red fruit shines throughout the wine from start to finish.

2013 Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux
Review Date: 05-08-2014
If not for the two wines from Palmer this might be the wine of the appellation. Duty berry notes, subtle spice, berry fruit, great delineation and elegance and impressive length.

2013 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-07-2014
90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot. The 2013 displays spicy blackberry fruit with mocha notes. Lean and taut, this has racy fruit on the palate and good acidity.

2013 Pape Clément Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-07-2014
***½ If the first three wines fall into the more traditional Bordeaux white mold then the Pape Clement breaks it. Fragrant and exotic this wine has a sexy feel with kumquat, lychee and tropical fruit notes. Stone fruit, wet stone and notes of iodine are prevalent here.

2013 Domaine de Chevalier Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-07-2014
This is one of the greatest aging Bordeaux whites made and the 2013 looks to be a legend in the making. For those of us who can’t afford the two big guns we can take solace in the fact that the Domaine de Chevalier Blanc is a tad more affordable. Loads of iodine, white flowers and butter nuts, you can feel the electricity here with notes of wet stone. A fabulous wine. ***½ to ****

2013 Vieux-Château-Certan, Pomerol
Review Date: 05-05-2014
If it weren’t for the price this may have been my wine of the vintage, also the miniscule production of VCC in 2013 also makes it hard to overly endorse since we will get very few cases if any of this wine to sell. Fresh picked berries, lots of floral elements, hints of lavender then a blast of milk chocolate & cherries. So pretty, so elegant yet full-bodied. Yum!
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 - 96 VN 90 - 93 WS 90 - 93
Limit of 6 per customer

2013 Ausone, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-01-2014
*** Tobacco, blackberry liqueur; slightly herbal and racy. Lots of depth and purity of fruit.
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95 WE 93 - 95 JS 91 - 92
ST 89 - 92
Limit of 6 per customer

2013 Margaux, Margaux
Review Date: 05-01-2014
**½ Margaux may have been the hardest hit by the difficult weather in 2013. Menthol and rhubarb notes add a coolness to its bright, red berry and raspberry sherbet-laced fruit.

2013 Margaux, Margaux (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-01-2014
**½ Margaux may have been the hardest hit by the difficult weather in 2013. Menthol and rhubarb notes add a coolness to its bright, red berry and raspberry sherbet-laced fruit.

2013 Léoville-Las Cases, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-01-2014
*** 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Franc. Located at the edge of where St-Julien ends and Pauillac begins, Leoville Las Cases is the greatest producer in St-Julien as well as the most expensive. The 2013 displays notes of raspberry liqueur as well as black raspberry fruit, with hints of tobacco. Needs time to settle.

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