Staff Favorites - Keith Mabry

Keith Mabry

Reviews

  
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2016 Skouras Moscofilero Péloponnèse
Review Date: 05-11-2017
I visited the Skouras property a few years ago and it was incredible to see the strides that proprietor George Skouras was making as both an oenologist and ambassador for Greek wines. Being one of the first generation of winemakers to study abroad and then bring his knowledge home, George dazzles with his vibrant personality and limitless wine knowledge. Skouras has done amazing things with red wines, playing with classic indigenous varieties like Agiorgitiko as well as tweaking the international grapes like Cabernet and Merlot into something wholly Greek in their character. George was the first person to make a "Super Greek" wine when he blended Cabernet and Agiorgitiko in his now titular, Megas Oenos cuvee. Our first encounter was a dinner with a group of buyers and sommeliers at a beach side restaurant outside of his home village of Argos, near Nafplion. He started us with an aperitif of his Moscofilero with some mezza of lightly fried fish, olives and dolmas. The grape itself is actually rose colored like a Pinot Gris but produces a white wine with much more aromatic punch like a Muscat or Viognier. It was an exceptional way to refresh the palate and begin the evening. We recently received the newest vintage of the 2016 which immediately brought me back to that evening with the water lapping at the sand on the beach, laughter of my wine geek friends in the air and servers sneaking off to watch bits and pieces of an important football (soccer) game on television. All the floral punch is there but the beautiful thread of lemony acidity keeps the wine from becoming heavy or overwhelming. With its crispness and expressive nature, this white, much like George Skouras himself, is the perfect ambassador to the Greek wine experience whether you sip it on a beach, serve it at a garden party with little nibbles or drink it while watching baseball or soccer on TV.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 La Jasse Castel "La Pimpanela" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 05-09-2017
I met Pascale Riviere through some of our other Direct Import producers, Marie Chauffray of Domaine de la Reserve d'O and Sophie Guiraudon of Clos de l'Anhel. They are all part of the trade organization - les Vinifilles (the wine girls). This group of women are making some of the most exciting wines in the south of France right now and each person represents a top growing region. I met with Pascale in 2016 and visited her property and vineyards in Terrasses du Larzac and Montpeyroux. These two areas are Cru regions in the Languedoc that are producing some of its most noteworthy wines. To say the least, we had a blast. Pascale is quite the character, bouncing us from vineyard to vineyard, telling me the story of the estate and history of the little sheep barn (the Jasse) in the middle of her most prized vineyard. We hiked to the old barn, which is mostly a ruin now but the four walls are still intact and it creates a striking juxtaposition between the land, the vineyard and the high mountains behind it. Prior to making wine, Pascale was a wine journalist and educator. A first generation winemaker, she bought an incredible piece of property in the hills of Montpeyroux and slowly expanded as other like parcels became available. She has slowly expanded to 7 hectares of vineyards. Farming organically from the beginning, she is making beautifully perfumed and detailed whites and reds. I recently revisited her 2014 Pimpanela at a friend's dinner party. It was even more open and exotic than when I first tasted it. Full of brambly black fruit, a nice does of roasted fig, brushy garrigue and hints of burnished leather, it was a captivating wine. The palate was long and full of finesse and paired deftly with two of the dishes at the party - salmon sliders and grilled duck snow cones. It's not often you can find a Rhone varietal wine that goes well with seafood but the interplay of the richness of the salmon and herb aioli was a perfect foil. Not to mention the duck. My friend makes little cones with wonton wrappers and then stuffs them will all kinds of savory foods and on this occasion it was duck with dried figs. Absolute perfection!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Baron de Montfaucon Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 05-01-2017
The very first vintage of this single parcel is an outstandingly elegant rendition of Chateauneuf. Winemaker Rudi des Pins was a little nervous that the wine wouldn't measure up to other in-kind wines, but his subtle hand has given us a distinctively different take on a region that has become synonymous with opulence. Perfumed red cherry fruit, potpourri, Asian spices abound but never overwhelm. My tasting notes sound like something I might have written 20 years ago to describe Chateauneuf! Such a pleasurable wine that is perfect for now and the next several years.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-01-2017
I have tasted this multiple times over the last year or so but perhaps my best taste came a couple of weeks ago. JB Meunier was visiting us doing a special dinner and we opened several bottles for the public. I was reminded how beautiful and classic the aromatics are but more importantly, I was shown how supple the tannins have become. This has hit a beautiful period of integration and is showing such character that I can't help but use this as the yardstick for all other Gigondas. Delicious now and should continue to evolve for years to come.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99
RP 90 VN 88 - 90

2014 Gerard Bertrand Corbieres
Review Date: 05-01-2017
Former rugby player, Gerard Bertrand, scores the goal with this forward drinking but pleasantly polished Corbieres. I love a lot of Corbieres wines for their seamless fruit and light rusticity. This was originally Grenache country but Bertrand focuses the cuvee towards the upstart Syrah, which has proven to be a highly viable variety for the region. The Syrah lends dark berry fruit to complement the cherry of the very present Grenache. Fine tannins and a supple sweetness are balanced by the earthy meatiness of Mourvedre. It all comes together as a harmonious blend, over-delivering on the palate and finish drinking like a much more expensive Rhone. Serve this juicy red with Mediterranean fare like roasted leg of lamb or smoked pork shoulder.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 90

2014 Marietta "Angeli Cuvee" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 04-27-2017
The Marietta Old Vine Lot Blends have always been some of my favorite daily drinkers from California. The briary spicy nature captures the essence of the olden days when a Zinfandel field blend was a fun and financially sound way to enjoy good wine every day. Let's take that up a few notches now with the "Angeli." Still the essence of spicy brambly fruit, the wine exudes much more richness and polish than the Old Vine. Now competing with the likes of the Prisoner, Robert Biale and Carlisle but at half the price, this wine is long and persistent on the palate but shows more of the lifted and less balmy qualities of a wine this densely packed. Enjoy with the heartiest of summer dishes but probably best with some slow smoked sausage or those meats right off the grill.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2009 Bouscassé "Argile Rouge" Madiran
Review Date: 04-27-2017
There is something truly intriguing about Madiran. The powerful structure of the wines is not for the faint of heart. The weight and richness often lead you down a path that at times feels dark and foreboding. But isn't that what builds intrigue? Vigneron Alain Brumont always takes us on a journey with his wines making some of the most successful wines from the region. Originally having no interest in winemaking, Brumont inherited his first vineyard, Chateau Bouscasse, from his father. Alain educated himself in all things Madiran and became one of its biggest advocates in the market illuminating the qualities of the wines and producing most of them in an approachable style. The "Argile Rouge" is special because it is a single parcel planted on red clay, a soil type very rare in the region. This soil creates what they refer to as the "gentle Madiran." That is the case here as the "Argile Rouge" has the polished tannins and supple mouthfeel of a much more aged wine. Sultry notes of smoked alder, graphite minerality, sweet currants and roasted plums lead to a smooth and balanced wine that should charm those that are already fans of the region as well as making many new fans for its polished richness. Like many Madiran, this has the potential for a little bottle aging, but being a 2009 the wine is showing so much of its beautiful potential now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WS 90

2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 04-25-2017
A recent staff seminar with Philippe Guigal in our Los Angeles store put this extraordinary value back on our staff's palates. Now, Philippe is one of the rock stars of the Rhone and its hard not to fall in love with his wines when he is showing them to you. So, this down-to-earth, laid back guy is all about the quality of their production at all levels. And where it especially shows is with this charming gulpable white. The 2015 has something just a little more intriguing than an average year and perhaps it's because Viognier was especially aromatic this vintage and makes up a greater percentage of the blend. With Philippe guiding us through our tasting, we also examined his new 2015 Condrieu (Stunning!) as well as the 2011 Gigondas, 2010 Chateauneuf and 2012 Cote Rotie. But, I kept coming back to the Cotes du Rhone Blanc. It had so much of the nuance of the far more expensive white but was just so...drinkable. And what a perfect time too, this white exudes notes of nectarine, pear and jasmine. It's like spring time in a glass. Serve this little beauty with aromatic foods. What a perfect foil for Indian, Thai and Chinese! Or keep it simple and do a little salad of poached tuna, roasted peppers and aioli. No matter what, you'll want this as one of your best seasonal go-to whites.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Clos Beylesse Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-19-2017
When we first brought in Clos Beylesse, I questioned the distinctive blue bottle format they used. The winery uses this special UV bottle to protect the wine from any light degradation and increase its longevity. Having tasted a couple of back vintages, freshness is definitely preserved. Now, completely on board, the Clos Beylesse Côtes de Provence Rosé is functionally one of the most distinctive rosés each year (and not because of the bottle). The 2016 has expressive aromas of ruby grapefruit, kumquats and Seascape strawberries. A long thread of minerality and acidity unite the flavors, making for one of our top rosés in this or any season.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chateau Les Valentines Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Their all-estate bottling is the certified organic 2016 Château Les Valentines Côtes de Provence Rosé. A more serious rosé, this will develop beautifully over the season, showing notes of white cherries, wet stones and fresh thyme. It is the consummate Provence rosé that will pair beautifully with grilled fish. For fans of Domaines Ott (Ott’s Clos Mireille property happens to be just down the road) this is a great crossover.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2016 Chateau Les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The Caprice has been one of our best sellers over the last five years. The 2016 is full on fruit, with a classic nose of strawberries and lemon zest. It is supple on the palate and lingers beautifully. Perfect for light salads and roasted vegetables.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château de Peyrassol Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Some of the benchmark wines we receive every year are the coveted Peyrassol rosés. These are always limited production and disappear quickly. The gorgeous 2016 Côtes de Provence Rosé has spectacular flavors of white peach and a glycerol texture that persists on the palate.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château de Peyrassol "Commanderie" Côtes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Some of the benchmark wines we receive every year are the coveted Peyrassol rosés. These are always limited production and disappear quickly. The 2016 is a serious wine as always. Showing light red currant and stone fruit notes, this is just getting started. Beautiful texture and weight lead to a long finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The blanc is a true revelation. This sexy northern Rhône white shows the epitome of stone fruit flavors with an oily, unctuous palate that lingers. It has an almost deeply Grand Cru Burgundian feel but with Rhône varietal aromas. This also requests a short time in the cellar, or if decanted will reveal gorgeous roasted apple aromas with honeycomb and peach melba flavors on the palate.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Emilie" Hermitage
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Entirely destemmed, the rouge captures the purity of Hermitage. It is deep and profound and requires just a short time in your cellar or maybe a long decant before consumption.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WS 92

2015 Christophe Billon "La Brocarde" Cote Rotie
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Coming from his most select parcel in Côte Brune, the young tannic structure was present but it could not conceal the aromas of blueberry, potpourri and leather. It was highly expressive and an exceptional way to finish this round. We left the cellar incredibly smitten with the Billon wines and we cannot stress enough that it’s time to get on board before this train leaves the station.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 - 97

2015 Christophe Billon "Cote Rozier" Côte-Rotie
Review Date: 04-19-2017
This is the first vintage this wine has been bottled as a single lieu-dit (designated vineyard site). It is everything one could hope for in a Côte-Rotie with its aromas of grilled meats and crushed rocks. The wine is superbly complex but will require a little patience with its firm tannins.

2015 Christophe Billon "Les Elotins" Côte-Rotie
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The 2015 “Les Elotins” will bottle in September. The fruit all comes from their Côte Brune vineyard. The wine has a gorgeous core of concentrated cherry fruit. Persistent on the palate, it finishes with a panoply of baking spices.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 95

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Orchard fruit erupts from the glass with notes of peach, nectarine and yellow plum. A light note of fennel resides in the background. It all comes together with a pinch of baking spice that makes me think of a stone fruit cobbler. This is ripe and ready for spring and summer drinking.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Mas Karolina Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 04-19-2017
The 2015 vintage is pure and deep, landing some of the highest critical praise to date. Caroline’s wine is a blend of Grenache and Carignan and shows the vintage’s hallmark qualities by delivering a deep, satisfying richness with flavors of raspberry coulis, dark chocolate and exotic spices. The wine is saturated and long on the palate.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 04-19-2017
I was stoked to add this producer to our roster last year after our visit. The Christophe takes Syrah up a notch with some élevage in oak foudre and demi-muid (larger barrels). More select parcels and richer fruit lead to a sensational palate of blue and black fruit with harmonious baking spices. It is a delicious star from the 2014 vintage.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Now our third consecutive vintage of this Touraine, the Le Coeur de la Reine remains one of the best over-delivering wines in the store. The promise of the 2016 vintage gives us a laser beam focus of passion fruit, gooseberry and grapefruit evoking the flavors you would find in a top tier Sancerre or Pouilly Fume -but at half their price. Ideal as an aperitif, lighter vegetable dishes or maybe some Indian take-out.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Delas "Saint Esprit" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 04-12-2017
A recent visit to the northern Rhone was one of the great highlights of our buying trip especially once we visited Delas. They have some extraordinary holdings for the high end bottlings like their famed St-Joseph and Hermitage wines. The attention to detail is amazing with tiny lots of grapes all fermented individually in a variety of vessels ranging from oak tanks, to concrete vats and stainless steel. This attentiveness allows Delas to make great top tier wines but it also delivers some of the best value wines in the market. These mico-lots are compiled together to generate what still remains one of the true standouts for cost to quality Cotes du Rhone. The wine is always Syrah dominant and the 2015 vintage has given this grape some of its most favorable weather conditions to show its best stuff. The wine is plump and juicy with roasted black plum and fig flavors but maintains notes of tobacco and pepper. This thrilling little red delivers a lot of character for not a lot of money and our price is one of the best in the west.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2013 Vidal-Fleury Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 04-12-2017
Last year, the Vidal-Fleury was one of our biggest Rhone success stories. I initially approached this wine with some hesitation as 2013 is a restrained vintage (which I usually prefer) and Vidal Fleury is a large co-op based in the northern Rhone (which is not necessarily a bad thing). A strong review from the likes of Decanter Magazine can do a lot to sway my attention as my flavor palate and theirs have a tendency to align. So taste it I did and impressive it was. Sumptuous red fruit was surrounded by flavors of Indian spices and potpourri. A delicious wine well worth the price of admission. The wine sold through in less than two months and we thought it long gone. But, a new chapter is written in this story. I recently met with a representative from Vidal-Fleury and lo and behold, they had uncovered about 100 cases in their warehouse on the east coast. My interest piqued, we tasted the sample she had brought along to make sure everything was still in order. Not to be hyperbolic, but the wine showed better than any of the other samples I had tasted previously. Beautiful integration and finer tannins just meant an even more winsome bottle of wine. So here we are again with what has proven to be one of your favorites and definitely one of our favorites and only a limited supply to be had. Take advantage now because it seems unlikely we will uncover more of this beautiful little find.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2014 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-02-2017
Jean-Marc Lafage delivers once again from his OTHER property located in the Maury appellation of the Roussillon. This smaller estate produces richer wines which the region of Maury is itself famous. The black and brown slate soils are ideal for Grenache and produce gorgeous full-bodied reds. The Kerbuccio itself is full of ripe blue and black fruit flavors, with subtle notes of fresh thyme, rosemary and Indian spices. This is a slight step back in intensity from the 2013 which to me, adds more immediate appeal. It is beautifully fruited, savory and ready to drink with an herb crusted leg of lamb or some medium rare pork chops straight off the grill.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 93

2015 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 03-30-2017
I have always been a huge fan of the wines from Salta. This high altitude climate produces some of the most distinct and flavorful Malbecs from anywhere in the world and that's coming from the guy who focuses on the French Malbecs from Cahors. Amalaya is one of the great producers from Salta as well and this perfumed, floral style has beautiful high tone black and red fruit flavors. Great texture and smooth polished tannins make this one distinctively beautiful red and one of the best values from Argentina.

1997 Ben Nevis 18 Year Old "John Milroy K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
One of my favorites in this line-up of John Milroy casks, this is INTENSE stuff. Beautiful toasted spelt on the nose, there are harmonious sweet spices and long vanilla notes on the palate. This finishes even longer in the mouth with a broad and lengthy grain notes. Take into account the quality, the age and that this is well south of $100 and you may have one of the best single malt values in K&L history.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1996 Glen Moray 19 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
This Glen Moray has gorgeous sweet fruit and vanilla tones on the palate. Fine balance and a caramelized Bourbon cask quality that is great for fans of all whisky and whiskey alike.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2006 Mortlach 10 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
I love the salty creamy palate on this. It has richness and nutty grain notes in the mouth and a briny finish. It evokes a youthful malty appeal but the salinity makes this the perfect aperitif whisky.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Pinot Noir is one of the world's most prestigious grapes but few are familiar with the versions produced in Germany. Well now, is definitely the time to get on board, as the Salwey delivers the smoky spices that I associate with the Baden region while also delivering ripe red fruit and savory spicy notes. I love cooler climate Pinots for their wilder brushy notes, and the Salwey is reminiscent of the wines of Marsannay and in riper vintages like this, maybe a meaty Pommard. This is exceptional terroir-driven Pinot that is not to be missed.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Antica Masseria di Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria
Review Date: 03-27-2017
Reminiscent of a classic Amador county zinfandel, which is appropriate as Primitivo is the progenitor to our California zinfandels, this wine evokes deep berry flavors, roasted figs and Medjool dates on the palate with hints of brushy herbs and savory spices. The Italian sensibility shows through with nice acidity keeping the wine focused and on point. I can think of nothing better than a little osso bucco to go with this juicy hearty red.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2012 Philippe Foreau "Domaine du Clos Naudin" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 03-21-2017
Everyone talks about Huet being the best and for certain, it sits right at the top when it comes to all things Vouvray. But when you ask producers in the region who they are most excited about - the name Foreau is the first one to roll off most tongues. I recently revisited some of the Foreau wines and while the sweeter styles are sublime, I was continually brought back to the Sec. I like dry Chenin. Actually, I LOVE dry Chenin. I think some of the most exciting mineral driven whites from anywhere in the world are made from this grape. This Sec has just a touch of bottle age which rounds out some of the piercing intensity and lets so much of the limestone, roasted pear and quince flavors shine through. Rich and intense with a laser like focus this wine delivers the goods. It is so versatile you could serve this beauty with roast pork dishes, exotic spiced dishes like curries or maybe some crispy duck confit over a bed of greens and fresh pears. The options are limitless.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2011 E. Guigal Gigondas
Review Date: 03-02-2017
When I first got into Rhone wines, my head was always turned most by the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape. Though I still have affection for these, my palate has shifted more towards it's little brother Gigondas just to the northeast. Gigondas offers similar weight and intensity but often at half the price for a competing Chateauneuf. Gigondas is also more hillside fruit on gravel with lots of red clay in the soil and forests of garrigue surrounding most of the vineyards. This higher altitude and heavier soil produces wines with intensity but have more of the potpourri, tobacco notes that I love. The Guigal Gigondas is a special treat because it captures all these characteristics with a very classic narrative on the palate. Full of brambly red and black fruit, the nose drifts towards herbs of Provence and finishes with Asian spicebox and toasted tobacco flavors. Guigal is serious about their Gigondas. They have had roots in the region for half a century and the average age of the vines in the cuvee are 40+ years old. Another great element of this Gigondas... the price! Ours is the lowest in the country. The importer is winding down this vintage so hurry and get some now both to enjoy and maybe cellar for a couple more years.

2012 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Pur Plaisir" Cahors
Review Date: 02-14-2017
For those curious about high-end Cahors, the "Pur Plaisir" is the wine that truly plumbs the depths of richness and intensity that can be achieved in this region. The wine is full bodied, velvety textured and loaded with dense blackberry and currant fruit. Layers of smoky minerals and Asian spices round out the flavor profile. We don't often delve into this price point when looking at Cahors because there doesn't seem to be as big a market for collectible wines from this region. That doesn't mean the quality isn't there though. Stack the "Pur Plaisir" up against similarly priced Bordeaux or Malbecs from Argentina and this more than holds its own. In fact, you'd likely pay upwards of two to three times as much for comparable quality.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2014 Clos Saint Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-27-2017
As far as vintages go, 2014 has not garnered much attention from the critics other than it sits in the shadow of 2015. What has been said, is that you should buy selectively and that the wines have lots of charm that makes them more accessible in the short term. That brings us to the Clos Saint Jean Vieilles Vignes. Every year, even in the tough ones, this wine is a performer. Though not stridently difficult, winemaker Phillipe Cambie opted not to produce the icon wines, Deus Ex Machina and Combe des Fous choosing to use the fruit to bolster the VV. A smart move indeed because it makes for one of the best and most approachable wines of the vintage. The nose is a panoply of rich fruit with layers of Maraska cherries and blackberry compote. Carmelized figs, potpourri and brushy garrigue round out the nose. Loads of classic terroir flavors will continue to evolve if given a little time. It is long, creamy and supple. It is more than one could hope for in this quietly charming vintage. Oh and one more thing. We have a throwback price on this wine! Usually floating closer to the $50 mark, we're just below $40 making this yet another reason to stock up on a few of these beauties to enjoy now or over the next 10 years.

2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-11-2017
The village of Valreas is the northernmost Villages level wine in the Rhone appellation. What does that mean? Well a slightly cooler climate, for one. We start departing from the Mediterranean influence and get a little more continental. This cooler site brings more snap and crunch to the fruit and Syrah does particularly well up there offering up more savory spicy elements akin to a northern Rhone Crozes-Hermitage. Winemaker/Proprietor Stephane Vedeau acquired the winery in 2010. All of the vineyards are east facing slopes, most above 350 meters. Stephane elevated the winery's facility so that everything is gravity flow. All of this adds up to Stephane creating the purist cleanest expression of this appellation. The Village-Valreas is where the proof is in the pudding as they say. Full of vibrant, rich red fruit with a nose of dried tobacco leaf and savory spices. It is at once sumptuous and lithe, having both breadth and balance.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2015 Charles Smith "Kung Fu Girl" Columbia Valley Riesling
Review Date: 01-11-2017
Charles Smith's evocative labels always draw on one unifying characteristic: what's in the bottle is always joyous and delicious. These are never meant to be serious wines but are wines that capture your daily drinking at an affordable price that reflects the varietal and region upon which they are based. The "Kung Fu Girl" has always been one of my favorites in his line-up: 1) because I love yummy Riesling and 2) it's like an homage to old Chinese kung fu movies with a hint of "Kill Bill" thrown in for good measure. These are fun things and should never be taken too seriously. Pop and enjoy its bright lemony and melon fruit with its zingy acidity and slight sweetness. Don't be serious with it, this is your Thai or Chinese take out kind of wine for any night of the week. Now doesn't that sound both joyous and delicious?!

2012 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-03-2017
Madiran is a tricky wine sometimes. Often, in their youth, they are more wines of texture and richness than aromatic expression. The Peyros VV has all of that full bodied meatiness, velvety tannins and black currant density but it also has subtlety. Give this an hour in the decanter and you will be rewarded with all the savory pencil lead and graphite minerality which matches the cassis flavors. Also unlocked are the light floral tones of violet and camphor along with a smoky meaty quality. Ideal for winter braises such as short ribs and lamb stew but even better with a big plate of charcuterie, cheeses and pâtés. Throw a couple in the cellar as well and you will be well rewarded down the road.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 94 WE 92

2014 Jean-Louis Denois "Les Garrigues" Rouge
Review Date: 12-28-2016
This blend is the Bordeaux meets Rhone, you never knew you wanted. The beauty of Denois' source vineyards is that they lie between the Mediterranean and Atlantic where they see the influence of both weather patterns. This creates diverse microclimates where you can successfully grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache, Syrah and Malbec each with true varietal character. The "Les Garrigue" has a lovely bouquet of currants, red plums, crushed herbs and gravel. Each component adds more to the sum of its parts. Hearty but not heavy, enjoy this delicious mash-up with foods like grilled pork chops over roasted fennel and potatoes or maybe some beef cheeks braised in a wine reduction.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Lafage "Narassa Lieu Dit" Côtes-du-Roussillon
Review Date: 12-13-2016
Jean-Marc and Eliane Lafage have offered us many great wines over the years. From their Bastide Miraflors, to the Tessellae and their Kerbuccio Maurys. They have contracted with or acquired some of the best sites in the entire Roussillon. Their newly acquired La Narassa site is one of their best yet. It is a wine that offers a palate saturated with inky black and blue fruit. This full-bodied wine also offers incredible minerality, reflecting the beautiful black schist on which it is planted. We often compare many of their releases to the great Rhone wines to the east, and make no mistake, this is a dead-ringer for a top-notch Chateauneuf. At $16 a bottle, this is truly one of the great buys this year offering more of what the Lafages do best: high-quality, well-priced wines that drink well now but have the stuffing to last for several more years.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Domaine Santamaria Patrimonio Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-30-2016
Wild with ripe strawberry and peach fruit. Made from 100% Niellucciu, this is full-bodied rosé with a supple texture. It is long on the palate and has great minerality. This is a good short-term cellaring rosé, much like the great Bandol rosés or Tavels to the north.
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2010 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "La Chapelle d'Albas" Minervois
Review Date: 11-30-2016
Held back at the winery until it is ready to drink, this almost 100% Syrah is one of the best of the region. Denser and richer, this has an almost Hermitage quality with its toasted blackcurrant coulis, smoked meatiness, cigar box aromas and chocolaty finish. It is another long-on-the-palate wine that deserves a short term presence in any cellar.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2013 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Le Chateau d'Albas" Minervois
Review Date: 11-30-2016
Classic Minervois flavors of roasted plum, blackberry, garrigue and earth are all wrapped up in this generous package with supple tannins and balancing acidity.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Tour Boisée "Plantation 1905"
Review Date: 11-30-2016
The wine is classically spicy, with bright red and black fruit flavors of plum, cherry and blackberry. It has lovely sandalwood and violet notes that emerge from the glass. The 1905, in one simple glass, captures the entire history of this producer and village.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 11-30-2016
This Carignan-based wine is loaded with perfumed blue fruit flavors and purple flower notes. Medium-bodied on the palate and with silky tannins, this is pure deliciousness in a glass, and like milk, everyone should have a little “Lolo” to go with that weeknight meal to help keep up their strength.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Aubai Mema Grenache Vieilles Vignes "Lunatico" Gard Rouge
Review Date: 11-30-2016
The flagship wine, the “Lunatico” is a lush and velvety Grenache made from old-vine fruit from a north-facing vineyard that Mark farms biodynamically. Lunatico in French is a person who is changeable or ruled by the phases of the moon. In Spanish and English we think of someone who is lunatico as crazy. It’s almost too on point when you think of Mark’s story and his journey into wine. He will admit you have to be lunatico to be in the wine business, both changeable and a little crazy. A great takeaway from my experience with Mark and his outstanding winery is that you may have to be a little crazy to immerse yourself this deeply in the life experience. But with all the joy and pleasure that his hard work brings, from winemaking to dancing to living life to its fullest, you have to be a little Lunatico not to.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2012 Domaine Aubaï Mema Carignan "L'Insoumise" Vin de France
Review Date: 11-30-2016
One of my favorite cuvées from this winery has to be the 2012 Domaine Aubaï Mema Carignan “L’Insoumise.” The word translates to “rebel” or “indomitable one,” and when one “knows” Carignan as a grape variety it all begins to make sense. This is a tricky grape, often changing its yields dramatically from year to year. The vines don’t even really start producing great fruit until they turn 50 years of age. It’s a love-hate relationship for many winemakers, but when it’s great, it can be really great. The 2012 is full of deep purple fruit, supple tannins and light floral tones making it pure pleasure in a glass.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Aubaï Mema "Liverna" Gard Rouge
Review Date: 11-30-2016
The winery's workhorse red, the “Liverna” Gard Rouge in most vintages is a blend of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a seemingly unusual blend—but in the Gard, you can kind of do whatever you want. This really works well here, with currant and pipe tobacco notes. The Grenache adds an element of juicy red fruit that rounds out the flavors of the wine. This makes for great everyday drinking.
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2014 Domaine Aubaï Mema "Albion" Gard Blanc
Review Date: 11-30-2016
A blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Viognier. A small portion of the Chardonnay is aged in new oak barrels. This is a rocking, concentrated white with apple, roasted pear and citrus notes. A bit of orange peel and a stony finish round it out. The beauty of this wine is the harmonious marriage of these two distinct varieties where neither dominates the other. They become almost something new unto themselves.
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2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Légende Bonnetta" Condrieu
Review Date: 11-30-2016
The 2014 Clos de la Bonnette “Légende Bonnetta” is their more limited production. It has a richer texture, a fuller body and the consummate long finish. When Condrieu gets this full-bodied, it often picks up too much alcohol and astringency. Not here. This was supple all the way through.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart

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