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Staff Favorites - Sal Rodriguez

Sal Rodriguez


2015 Douloufakis "Dafnios" Vidiano Crete Greece
Review Date: 11-02-2017
There's so much to appreciate from a well made white wine that's not expensive. The Dafnios stands out from the crowd like a lovely Montrachet. Beautifully textured, lovely tropical notes, with nutmeg, allspice, and a dash of cloves. Crisp acidity, great minerality, and a gorgeous mouthfeel, make this a bottle to purchase by the case! Incredible!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars "Faultline" K&L Exclusive Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 09-29-2017
Wow! I try to refrain from one-word adjectives when writing a review but, WOW! The last time I was surprised by a gin was a couple years back, when trying the Monkey 47. Once again, I must have a bottle of this spirit! Extremely expressive citrus rind, orange blossom, and spiced orange candy on the nose. On the palate, it continues the refreshing citrus explosion and the slight bite on the palate begs you to mix it with a sweet vermouth if you aren't willing to drink it neat. I need this bottle and I'm going to be drinking it neat. This gin will satisfy all your gin drinking requirements and this price makes it a shoo-in for your home bar.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Claiborne & Churchill Central Coast Gewürztraminer
Review Date: 09-20-2017
Gewurz this good should come with a warning label! "Caution - May be habit forming!" I've yet to become a huge fan of white wines, but when I do find one I like, it's very likely that it will be a little dry, a little floral, with noticeable fruit, juicy acidity, and enjoyable minerality. This is all of the above in an inexpensive package. I opened this just the other day and it just kept getting more and more expressive as the time went on. A wonderful, expressive wine that's worth every penny!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-20-2017
Lovely red fruit, fragrant flowers, and just a beauty to drink. Although this has an age-worthy presence about it, it's wonderful right now. I can't think of a better CdP anywhere near this price range that I would want to take home. A great value!

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-20-2017
Impressive, Intense, Focused. For me, this was a shining star at our recent tasting and if you like pleasant, fragrant, mineral driven, Syrah, then this will shine for you as well! This version of the de L'Ou, Rouge adds an amazing depth, and intrigue to the already delicious "regular" version and for just a little more money, this is the one to grab!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2016 J. Bouchon "Canto Sur" Maule Valley
Review Date: 09-08-2017
This lifts brightly out of the glass with hints of crunchy cranberry, cedar, fresh cracked pepper, and exotic spices. On the palate it keeps up with the bright fruit, juicy acidity, and lots of perfume. This has the texture of a ripe Pinot with bright fruit, mouth-watering acidity, and an easy-going herbal character. Superb value!

2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-11-2017
Effortless beauty and finesse. If you're looking for an aromatically expressive Bordeaux blend that doesn't quit, that has a lovely, spicy, brightly acidic, velvety mouth-feel on the palate, then this should be at the top of your list. Loads of dry flowers, bright fruit, and graphite on the nose. Delicious fruit, light minerals, lifted acidity, and fresh herbs play well together on the palate. This is one of my favorite players in the short list of wines that have achieved cult-like status. While many others in this category are much less approachable, the Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend offers up lots more freshness and appeal a lot sooner. An iconic wine indeed!
Top Value!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
You don't get this fine of a wine without putting in a lot of effort! If I had to give a gift and it needed name recognition, and it had to be epic, and it had to be less than 100 dollars - This is it!! Intense, spicy musk, with a serious presence. Lots of weight and complexity to explore. Great minerality and plenty of apple flavors to enjoy. A perfect bottle of bubbly!

2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
It's not easy to purchase a bottle of vintage Champagne for anywhere near this price! Baron Fuente, a small producer we've been highly focused on for many years, has offered up some of the best values in Champagne-dom. Lots of intensity on the nose, full of baking spice and apple skins. Lovely intensity and wonderfully creamy on the palate. Although it's dry it has a round, medium weight body and presence that is not typical for Brut. The finish has hints of fresh spiced mango. What a tremendous value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Beckmen "Cuvée Le Bec" Santa Ynez Rhône Blend
Review Date: 05-27-2017
I really enjoy a solid red Rhone blend, at a great price. This 2014 expression of the Cuvee Le Bec is a smooth, approachable, red fruited number, that also has a hint of tobacco. It persists on the palate with a hefty richness of fruit and minerality. Red wines don't get too much easier to drink than this!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 VN 90

2016 Tatomer Edna Valley Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 05-26-2017
Rose wines were in abundance during our March trip to the Central Coast earlier this year. Here's one of the ones that stood out for me! Super fresh, high-tone, strawberry are this wine's introductory nose. It draws you in with a tropical feel. On the palate you get wonderful dried fruits, and a nice mineral backbone. Everything holds together nicely with a nice kiss of acidity. Using the words of OutKast - "So fresh and so clean".
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tatomer "Vandenberg" Santa Barbara County Riesling
Review Date: 05-26-2017
Maybe my head was in the clouds but I can't say I've heard much about Tatomer, before now. Boy have I been missing out! This is everything I love about Riesling! All the dried flowers, citrus, and stone fruits, are just remarkable. There's plenty of minerality on the palate and a noticeable touch of botrytis. What a lovely wine with plenty of grip and intensity! This is easy going down so grab a few bottles!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2014 Eisele Vineyards "Altagracia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-10-2017
Aromatic, uplifted, fragrant (maybe lavender), and fresh blue and blackberries start things off on the nose. Medium tannins, but with a generous helping of mineral-driven fruit and a bright sense of freshness on the palate. Impressive, intense and pure. This should hold up for a good long while!
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2013 Neumayer Raufsetzen Grüner Veltliner Traisental
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Toasted vanilla, lemon zest, and spice on the nose. A bright and juicy effort that turns creamy on the palate and has a nice mineral nerve going right through the middle. A seriously great value for a wine of this quality!
Price: Hidden View Price

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Wow! Bright, crisp, and juicy. This can mean that the wine is not complex, but not here - there is enough going on to add wonderful mouthfeel, and a long creamy finish. We have a great part of the market cornered with so many great Champagnes between 30 and 40 dollars and this is right up there as one of my top 5 favorites!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2011 Fonseca Late Bottled Vintage Port
Review Date: 05-05-2017
This port comes through big, dark, and ripe! Lots of richness and spice. Lovely notes of toasted vanilla and cherry. Easy to drink and easy on the pocket-book. This is my next go-to port for the house!

2013 Felton Road Riesling Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 02-03-2017
Each time I grab a bottle of Riesling to drink at home, there's a 75 percent chance it's going to be from New Zealand. I love so many things about the wines from this region, especially the Rieslings! This is beautifully made, refreshingly bright, with just the right amount of zippy acidity. Hints of flowers, apple, and pear on the nose and seriously crisp, maybe tart, apple deliciousness on the palate. There's some nice sweetness here, but it's not over the top or unreasonable. And what a price! I'm taking this home tonight!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 JS 93

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-23-2016
A colleague handed me a glass, and I inhaled. Light notes of fresh cracked pepper and lovely hints of smoke were prevalent. I asked if it was a mezcal because of the sweet, fresh, smoke. I found out it was a tequila (obvious now) but the fact that it can be confused for a mezcal, speaks of its smokey complexity. I usually think that the smokey flavors weigh down mezcal but this one remains fresh, bright, and intense. If you need a new tequila for your home bar, you have to consider this one - trust me! Cheers!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2013 Vidal-Fleury Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 09-14-2016
Wonderful expression of a Cotes du Rhone! Highly perfumed with, fruit, iron, and light hints of cedar on the nose. It's a very warming, welcoming, aromatic CdR. On the palate, the wine continued on with pretty fragrances, fruit, and hints of beef blood. A lot going on in such an inexpensive wine. You'll be rewarded by taking your time with this shapeshifter of a wine. Cheers!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Gin (375ml)
Review Date: 05-02-2014
I can’t really say I am a “gin” person (whatever that means), but I know what I like when I taste it. This is it! This is what I like! I tried it ‘neat’ and really under-estimated what this little bottle was capable of. Let’s start out with pretty flowers and juniper popping out of the glass! Another whiff and I was hit with jasmine blossom and orange peel! I didn’t have to take a sip to know that I was going to be taking some of this home. I took a little sip anyhow, and some of the loveliest spices, pepper, and juniper just washed over my tongue and filled my mouth. As I try to convey into words, what this gin tastes like, it is selling out from under us! Yes, the bottle is a little expensive, but once you get the bottle home and into your glass, it’ll all make perfect sense.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2010 St. Clement "Oroppas" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 10-04-2013
Bursting with bright red fruit and eucalyptus on the nose, this blend is sure to please the palate looking to be fully enveloped in gorgeous fruit, supple tannins, and a smooth finish. This quite simply, over-delivers! Although I have been hell-bent on drinking the 07 and 09 vintages because of their delicious fruit and roundness, I may have to start reconsidering my stand on the 2010’s!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90