Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

Page: 1 2 next
2014 Lateral Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-13-2018
A deft blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from premium organic vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley, the Lateral was first created by owner and winemaker Marty Mathis over twenty years ago as a "Right Bank" wine with California panache. Droves of satiated wine lovers have since proved him right, as this most recent vintage again delivers provocative aromatics and abundant flavors of black cherries, blackcurrant and ravishing plums with whispers of eucalyptus, graphite and orange peel, followed by pliant tannins and a smooth, rounded finish. Drinking window? Open and enjoy n-o-w.....
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine la Chapelle Saint-Victor Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-13-2018
The marketing concept of a "rosé season" has been all but vanquished by the reality that many of these crisply enticing, food-loving wines can be served and enjoyed throughout the year, "because because because" (to paraphrase Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz) "of the wonderful things it does." This lovely, bejeweled rosé may not make you wish you were back in Kansas, but, with a rapture of delicate spice, gentle sweetness and inviting red fruits it will effortlessly transport you over the rainbow to the serene, acacia-scented, seaside villages of Provence. Just click your heels twice....
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château Pesquié "Terrasses" Ventoux
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Whenever a new lot of the perilously delicious Chateau Pesquie appears on the wine receiving dock I start to unconsciously salivate.... ok, an exaggeration, but for all the ripe reasons this mouthwatering Rhone has been one of the best unkept secrets in our stores for years. Cultivated on limestone and clay soils beneath the yawning shadows of Mont Ventoux (celebrated as perhaps the most unforgiving, do-or-die climb in the Tour de France), this all-organic red brings out the best of both Grenache and Syrah, with captive notes of black cherry, raspberries, potpourri, and anise, impeccably balanced with poised acidity and suave tannin. Bring a few bottles home tonight, and serve with a thick juicy grass-fed hamburger!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2016 Clos de la Bonnette Syrah Vieilles Vignes Collines Rhodannienes
Review Date: 05-16-2018
The last vintage of this ethereal Syrah left an indelible memory on my palate, drawing analogies between the sheer structural beauty of the wine and the arduous stone by stone restoration by the husband and wife team of the dillapidated hillside vineyards, both involving an immense labor of love and a resolute commitment to perfection. None of their extraordinary efforts were wasted, as this bottle, imbued with enticing aromas of red plum, lavender, pepper and black olive could easily pass for a telltale wine from its famous neighbor. Fortunately for all of us, it possesses all the flavor, ineluctable charm and elegance without the high price. My advice? Squirrel a case or two of this luscious Syrah away and enjoy it over the next few years.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Thirsty old vines dig deep in the stony unforgiving soils of the Southern Rhone, generating low-yielding fruit that expresses the generous warmth and vitality of Gigondas, and winemaker Jean Baptiste Meunier remains just as deeply attuned to the elemental soils and climate as those venerable vines. The 2016 Ventabren is a tour de force, a sensational wine that captivates the senses with aromas and flavors of blackberry, tobacco, wild herbs and spicebox, full-bodied, textural and harmonious, with all 'the right stuff' to age gracefully for another decade or more. (Had to throw in an homage to writer Tom Wolfe, who passed away today.)

2014 Domaine de Montbourgeau "En Banode" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-24-2018
Distinctive for the Jura-embossed bottle, gently sloping shoulders and attractive bright red star on the label, Domaine de Montbourgeau leaves an indelible impression on those who first taste their remarkable wines. En Banode is a single vineyard of Chardonnay and Savagnin planted on southeast facing grey and blue marl slopes almost 50 years ago. Such propitious conditions deliver a wine of superb complexity and robust panache, with firm acidity and a palate of citrus flowers, dried apricot and hazelnut, carrying a subtle oxidative note on the finish. Pair this luscious wine with baked, almond-crusted trout for a delectable meal.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-10-2018
The wines of Maury have traditionally been sweet and fortified, but didn't have to be. Many expressed the conviction that the stunning region could also produce excellent dry wines, and in 2011 the sub-appellation of Maury Sec was born, to all our benefit I might add. The Serge & Nicolas, named for both the grower and winemaker who nurtured it to bottle, captures the essence of Maury, with soaring plum and cherry blossom aromatics and penetrating flavors of ripe red and black fruits, savory anise, spices and garrigue, framed by beautifully nuanced tannins. What sets these wines apart from so many? The sheer balance and harmony achieved, allowing for early drinking and superb satisfaction.

2015 Domaine Cabirau "First Things First" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-09-2018
The Roussillon, long acknowledged for its flood of lusty, highly quaffable peasant wines, has undergone a dramatic vinous renaissance over the last few decades, and now produces memorable wines that can rival the greatest in France. No wonder, as it occupies a magnificent panorama of diverse soils, amphitheatres and microclimates running from the Mediterranean to the Catalan border. The potential met the demand, and famed importer Dan Kravitz of Domaine Cabirau built his winery on a hillside under the eye of an ancient Cathar fortress that could easily have served as a setting for Game of Thrones. And the First Things First would likely quench a dragon's thirst, with its depth charge of black and red fruits catapulting the palate into a realm of luscious spice, wild garrigue and minerality. A perfect blend of balance and power, match this gorgeous red wine with well-seared meats or a hearty paella.

2016 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 03-14-2018
Writing about this historic winery, with its seemingly imperishable 12th century Romanesque chapel rising heavenwards above the vines, always evokes a sense of timelessness and immutability. And every wine produced here, from their imposing single vineyard Gigondas bottlings to the expressive, super-value Cotes du Rhones, capture both the unique terroir and character of this estate. Aged entirely in tank, yields were lower than the superb 2015 vintage, promising even more concentrated Syrah fruit, with high-toned aromas of black cherry, raspberry and red plum, enveloping a lush palate of blackcurrant, truffle, sweet tobacco and licorice. Fine acidity holds everything in place. A ravishing Rhone bargain, I expect this delectable Syrah to take wing!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Les Roches Sauvignon Touraine
Review Date: 03-07-2018
"All in the golden afternoon, full leisurely we glide..." Those evanescent words were penned over 150 years ago by Lewis Carroll of Alice fame about an English waterway, but they could as easily apply to the Loire with its shimmering panorama, resplendently grand chateau, and elegant waterfowl. If you cannot for some reason find yourself repairing leisurely down that beautiful river in the heart of France, you can at least venture to open a bottle of this crisply dry, tropical-flinty Sauvignon Blanc, pour yourself a glass, lie back, and enjoy the immediate rapture of being wherever you are. The good ship Vicarious awaits!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau "Cuvée Speciale" l'Etoile
Review Date: 03-06-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
Few wineries on this beautiful planet have charmed and befriended my palate as Domaine de Montbourgeau, tucked into the tiny Jura appellation of L'Etoile, a site named for the zillions of ancient starfish that once roamed the inland seas, and now lend their fossil forms to the limestone soils that layer many of the vineyards. Founded in the 1920's by Victor Gros, the estate is now run by his granddaughter Nicole Deriaux who remains dedicated to organic viticulture (like fertilizing with Chinese radish and oats) and carefully nurtures every phase from vine to bottle. Her Cuvee Speciale is all magnificent Chardonnay, aged under a yeast veil for four years, and possesses both authority and elegance, with aromas of ripe apple, walnut shells and citrus, and flavors reminiscent of lemon pith, river stones and ginger paste. A reverential, contemplative wine that will enrapture a rotisseried chicken or a delicate Indian curry.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Outlier "Noiro" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-21-2018
Derek Rohlffs was in a previous life an executive in the gaming industry, which gave him the opportunity to explore and taste a bounty of high-end wines with moneyed clients. Realizing soon that a row of grapes on the vine was far more alluring than three elusive cherries on a slot, he decided to seriously pursue fine winemaking and today makes both the Bravium and Outlier wines on Treasure Island, just outside of San Francisco.The Outlier Noiro delights with aromas and flavors of fresh plums, strawberries, cherry cola and kitchen spice, balanced by good acidity and a great finish. Nice to discover an attractively priced Pinot Noir with such personality and charm, so it's, um, hardly a gamble.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 01-31-2018
"...my love, it's very late, 'til morning comes let's tessellate." These lyrics by alt-J, an English indie rock band, were probably more about seduction than some nocturnal tiling project, but the words reminded me of just how much this tuneful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre continues to charm and seduce vintage after vintage. A revelation of ripe raspberries, blueberries and black cherries fills the glass with enticing aromas, and the sumptuous flavors carry over with spice and floral notes on the round, lavish and sweetly rich palate. The only instrument you need to employ to fully enjoy this harmonious wine? A corkscrew......
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Domaine Dugois Ploussard "La Sombarde" Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The Domaine Dugois Ploussard is a true charmer of a wine, pretty and ruby-hued with delicately spicy aromas and flavors of cherries and red plums. Delicious with a plate of charcuterie and Morbier cheese.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Dugois Savagnin Arbois Blanc (Sous Voile)
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
The Savagnin grape undoubtedly reaches its apotheosis in the beautiful Jura region of Arbois, and this enthralling version exhibits lively oxidative aromas and provocative flavors of green walnut, hazelnut, stone fruit and minerals, imbued with a spine of crisp acidity. Pair tonight with a spicy chicken curry or Moroccan dish for an exotic, soul-satisfying dinner.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2010 Domaine Dugois Vin Jaune Arbois (620ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
This unique wine reveals its seductive nature over time, having spent over six years in old barriques under a thin layer of yeast, or voile, a maturing regimen similar to sherry, which allows for generous oxidation, slow evaporation and the development of intense, complex flavors of ginger, walnut, curry powder and apricot, with a salty tang. Often served with the local Comté cheese, this famous “yellow wine” will also pair well with mushroom risottos. And the real beauty of a Vin Jaune? It can age for many decades, if desired.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
When most people think of purchasing a bottle of Malbec they invariably seek out the lush, full-bodied, fruitful red wines of Argentina. Not to argue, but it’s easy to forget if they ever remembered, that Malbec’s true home has always been in Southwest France, in the misbegotten wines of Cahors, where it flourished for centuries until the phylloxera bug and devastating frosts almost annihilated it. We’re forever thankful that it survived, as Haut-Monplaisir has defined in almost textbook fashion what this grape will give you in temperament, pleasure and finesse when grown on the soils of its native land— luscious, aromatic blackcurrant fruit augmented by licorice, vanilla and spice, with a silky suppleness and weight that poured itself with aplomb into the glass. Stunning Malbec, and I guess if the bottle could speak it might say ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2013 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The amazing Tannat-derived wines of Madiran could almost be thought of as ‘medicine’, as they contain the highest levels of cardiovascular-enhancing anthocyanins—think resveratrol— of any wines. Take heart, as they also possess the added appeal of being absolutely delicious. Peyros is an aromatic, deeply-structured wine, replete with flavors of black plums, cocoa powder, spices and fresh roasted coffee, with plenty of stony minerality to boot. Being primarily Tannat, tannins are still present, but with a few years behind it, this wine is crushed velvet on the finish. Uncork and enjoy with a soulful, wintry beef stew!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
Not surprising that Banshee, the Sonoma winery that takes its name from a mythical Irish demon, would name one of its deadly delicious wines after a voracious raven of Scandinavian folklore. And this Zinfandel, crafted from ancient dry-farmed vines, is something of a throwback style, before so many Zins became synonymous with something you spread on an English muffin! There is of course an array of delicious fruit: blackberry and red raspberry flavors, complemented by refined notes of licorice, graphite and spice. A superbly wrought Zinfandel to charm and enthrall your own ravenous palate....
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Year after year we've offered this extraordinary sparkling wine from Southwest France to our fortunate customers, and the Eugenie never fails to bring a welcome smile to office parties, holiday gatherings, birthdays, or any occasion calling for a great bubbly! With its enticing citrus, white flower and brioche notes, characterized by an elegant mousse and bright acidity, how can you gone wrong? An absolute stunner, for half the price of an entry-level Champagne.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Don't be confused with the tasty, dried pumpkin seeds found in most natural foods aisles, this wine is named after Pepita, the daughter of the late, great Pablo Harri and his wife Claudia Ferrero, an accomplished winemaker in her own right. Graced with a unique blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano and Alicante, each undergoing separate fermentation in stainless steel tanks before aging for a year in barriques, this youthful, vigorous blend possesses lavish aromatics and arresting flavors of black cherry, plum, potpourri, spice and leather, with a nice structure to the lengthy, polished finish. So much wine, so little time!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tormaresca "Neprica" Super Puglia
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Thrice loved the 2013 vintage of this super-priced, effortlessly enjoyable blend from Tormaresca, and the 2014 is perhaps even a notch above, with more body and structure behind the well of pure fruit and spice. A wonderful wine to open and pair with virtually any Mediterranean or Adriatic-inspired dishes. Drink long and deeply!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Delas Freres "Saint-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône Rouge
Review Date: 01-02-2018
Riding the rambunctious Rhone region as I do, over the past few months I've had several customers politely inquire, "Do you have any Delas Esprit?" Well, up until a few days ago the answer was sadly "No, nada, negativo." But the New Year brings wondrous surprises, and the 2016 vintage has just landed, promising a fresh abundance of black cherry and red plum fruits, suave spice, rich licorice and floral notes, with a crisp, impressively mouthwatering finish. A promise... one bottle will lead to many more, so please, don't be shy, this is a simply brilliant everyday Rhone!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2014 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 12-05-2017
Some cicadas spend up to 17 years nestled underground in a state of asocial, arrested development, and when they finally emerge, boy are they ready to party! Blessed with powerful membranes that beat like miniature kettledrums, they are perhaps the loudest insects on earth, and spend the rest of their fleeting lives clinging to trees and singing their tiny hearts out to attract a mate. Humans adopt other methods, like opening a bottle of this lustrous Chateauneuf-du-Pape, aptly named for the little 'Pavarottis' that thrive in the region. Redolent with attractive, well-ripened black and red fruit aromas, this luscious wine expresses the warmth and enticing spice, garrigue and harmony of the Southern Rhone, and like the friendly song of the cicadas, is impossible to resist!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château de L'Ou Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 11-13-2017
Severine and Philippe Bourrier have generated incredible excitement and enthusiasm from our entire staff for their extraordinary range of finesse-driven wines from the Roussillon region. This bright, friendly and appealing red, brimful of spice and luscious plummy fruits, displays far more aromatic complexity and freshness than expected for its very modest price point. Pair with a cheese and mushroom tart or Mediterranean cassoulet, or add it to your table at Thanksgiving. A winner all round!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 88 - 90

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-04-2017
"Astonished, amazed, stunned, overcome, overwhelmed" are all good words to describe something, anything, that makes you put down your smartphone, look-up-stand-up and take notice, but I prefer the more colorful, old word "flabbergasted" to express my complete wonder at this intrinsically indispensable wine. Jean Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine must have a direct line to the wine gods, as the 2015 effortlessly melds ripe, expansive red fruits and floral notes to subtle spice and chocolate elements. Beautiful structure and a persistent finish complete the total experience. A prediction: this excellent wine will soon sell out, and disappear faster than you or I can say "flabbergasted"...
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 10-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
With her down-to-earth warmth and embrace of non-interventionist winemaking, Marie Chauffray of Domaine De La Reserve d’O manifests the abiding ethos of the Vinifilles, an accomplished coterie of amazing women winemakers in the Languedoc-Roussillon. She and her husband relinquished their safe life as owners of a wine shop, and spent a decade scouring the rugged countryside for the perfect site to grown their own. They found it in the high, windswept Terrasses du Larzac appellation, where her biodynamic, terroir-driven wines, grown on poor clay and calcareous soils are uniquely defined by their refreshing aromatic profiles and intense flavors. Her 2015 La Reserve d’O is a compelling blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, with alluring black fruit aromas leading to an expansive palate of blackcurrant, cherries, licorice, cocoa and baking spice. Certainly one of the most harmonious wines I've tasted this year.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WS 91

2014 Olivier Riviere "Ganko" Rioja
Review Date: 09-27-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
Funny, when I saw this wine's stark black and white label my brain ran through reels of old Japanese monster films from the 1950s, those fabulous Toho Production classics like Rodan vs. Gamera or Ganko Fights Godzilla. OK, I know "Ganko" didn't really fight Godzilla, but it turns out the word means "stubborn," a nickname that winemaker Olivier Riviere acquired from his clever Japanese importer. Olivier inhabits his own skin, and like Ghidra or Godzilla, is not one to waver, but fortunately his singular Rioja wines are anything but abrasive or indelicate. Grown at altitude on very old vines, the result is a wine of veritas and virtue, brimful of lustrous, high toned fruit--pomegranates, red berries, minerals and lovely potpourri spice. Hardly a kaiju behemoth, but all the better for that! And yes, the ending is guaranteed not to disappoint. Astonishing performance from a cast, er, bottle of one...
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 94

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Sophie remains a strong advocate for her native Carignan grape, believing that if properly cultivated and kept to low yields it can make extraordinary wines. And the evidence is there, for year after year her Carignan-based wines engage with their superb fruit, delineation and charm. Her 2015 Lolo de l’Anhe is a blend of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Direct, appealing and honest, with bright, enticing notes of raspberry, violets, wild thyme and kitchen spice, this is a wine for the picnic basket or by the grill.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Dimanches" Corbieres
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Sophie remains a strong advocate for her native Carignan grape, believing that if properly cultivated and kept to low yields it can make extraordinary wines. And the evidence is there, for year after year her Carignan-based wines engage with their superb fruit, delineation and charm. The 2015 Clos de l’Anhel Les Dimanches, her “Sunday wine,” is fashioned from a precious parcel of 80-year-old Carignan vines blended with Syrah and Grenache. Almost opaque in color, with devastating black fruit aromas and enchanting overtones of ripe cherry, plum, cocoa and spice, balanced by a solid core of velvety tannins, this is a lavish wine that will merit a few more years in the cellar.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Chateau de la Font du Loup "Le Puy Rolland" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-24-2017
Let's see...in the year 1905 a young German physicist named Einstein published a paper on the "Special Theory of Relativity," while a few hundred miles away in France a winemaker named Melia planted Grenache vines in the earth at La Crau. It would be immodest to compare the timely planting of grapevines to a scientific theory that forever changed the world as we know it, but all things are relative, right? Better just enjoy the results, as the fruit of those vines have evolved into something quite remarkable over their 112-year lifespan. The Le Puy Rolland is a special wine of ineffable fragrance and charm, quite unlike its more robust cousins throughout Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Perhaps it's the nature of the sandy soils beneath the pebbled surface that give this wine its purity and sense of finesse, a graceful nod to the ancient fruit that rises from each uncorked bottle, delivering flavors of cherries and cranberries and orange peel and warm earth, finishing smooth and silken. Makes me wish I could travel back in time and open a 2015 bottle for a young Albert Einstein. Expect miracles.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JD 91 RP 91

2016 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Reserve d'O" Saint Guilhem le Desert Blanc
Review Date: 09-23-2017
Marie Chauffray of Domaine Reserve d'O relishes the opportunity to create signature wines of great charm, finesse and brilliance. Her artisanal talents are very much on display in this unique, declassified white wine, made from co-harvested, co-fermented Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Unoaked, fresh-fruited and utterly distinctive, with floral and citrus aromas and a roundelay of rich yellow and stone fruits, embroidered with lovely acidity. A rich tapestry of a wine, and a tribute to a woman who unerringly follows her own path through the vineyards and beyond.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 93

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The lovely equipoise and limpid purity of this Chardonnay is revelatory, and, as its name translates as ‘infinite or immeasurable’ I may run out of oxygen to describe it, but I’ll try...in the hands of an excellent winemaker like Severine Bourrier, balance and prismatically clean fruit come to the fore. This Chardonnay is redolent with notes of white peach, Fuji apple, delicate pastry, cut wildflowers and summer hay, and will pair well with grilled scallops or a rosemary-roasted chicken. An extraordinary wine for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a comparable domestic Chardonnay or white Burgundy!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 90

2014 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 08-06-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
After tasting this sensational Ribera del Duero red I quixotically leapt to their website, and discovered Tomás Esteban bent lovingly over his vines, caressing the leaves as if they were his children, which, because he planted most of them, they were. And this being the heart of Spain, I suppose the sight of octogenarian winemakers tilting toward their vines is far more common than tilting at windmills, and to better effect. An impressive Tempranillo of opaque, ripe black fruits, mineral earth, dark chocolate and lusty spice, assuaged by a dram of Albillo, this wine offers up luxuriant, savory flavors, succulence and firm tannins, the welcome companion to a range of grilled meats, especially lamb.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières
Review Date: 07-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
Sophie Guiraudon, the engaging force of nature behind Clos de l’Anhel, belongs to an affiliation of savvy women vignerons in the Languedoc, “The Vinfilles”, who consent to being “adepts of the pleasure and richness of their profession, beautiful, rebellious, active, greedy, friendly, sociable and dynamic.” All of the above. When we had the opportunity to meet Sophie last year, she poured her latest wines and enthralled all with her deep knowledge of the,Corbieres region and its amazing tapestry of soils and microclimates. The Terrassettes satisfies on many levels, as a great everyday red of course, but like many of her wines, has the structure and balance to mature over several years. Rich and robust plum, raspberry, earth and spice flavors meld beautifully on the firm palate, with polished tannins and splendid acidity. All of the rebellious, sociable and friendly qualities you could ask for in a wine!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-10-2017
Unfortunately I missed the rare opportunity to meet Philippe Guigal during his recent visit to Los Angeles, as my work and pleasure lie to the north in our San Francisco store. But I can attest to the phenomenal range and excellence of his wines, from humble Cotes du Rhone blends to his incomparable, world-class Cote-Roties. And the 2015 vintage has left many folks searching for superlatives to describe near perfection, a year that turned out wines of incredible aromatic charm, finesse and balance. Hold that humility: the Blanc resonates with elegant notes of ripe stone fruit--juicy apricots, white peaches, glistening pears, enlivened by flamboyant acacia and honeysuckle aromas. A super wine to be enjoyed with any number of dishes, extravagant in every way except the price!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Be forewarned: Do not don one of the unwieldy medieval helmets shown on the front label while attempting to drink this robust Rioja, as it's far too tasteworthy to waste a single drop! Attired in deep red hues, this forward-drinking, effusive Reserva spent 18 months in both American and French oak. It resonates with fragrant aromas of black cherries, vanilla and raspberries, revealing a layered palate of riper dark fruits embellished with a tinge of earth and char. Enjoy this now or over the next decade.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2016
We carry a few champagnes in the under-$50 range that flat-out scintillate and astonish--the Launois Cuvee of course...and now you can add to that one of our newest direct import bottlings, the Charles Ellner Carte D'Or, an inspiring rendition, replete with wonderful flavors of white nectarines, citrus, red cherries and fine pastry dough. The perfect bubbly to celebrate the New Year or any occasion calling for a classic, well-articulated champagne. Enjoy!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 VN 90

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

2015 Domaine de l'Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 11-28-2016
Gravelly soils and a panoply of pebbles describe the lovely lay of the land in this relatively unexplored spot that straddles both the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc regions. Enveloped by a deep robe of purple, this joyous, uber-friendly wine benefits from freshly inviting aromatics and a smooth, mouth-filling palate of blackcurrant, plums, and violets, with touches of tobacco and peppery spice on the round, pleasant finish. With a wealth of generous, festive fruit, this makes the perfect, well-priced holiday red to accompany all your decking and frolicking. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 09-26-2016
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this job is the ability to taste, savor and most importantly, share with customers, the immense wealth of wines that our tireless, talented buyers uncover and bring into the store. For several vintages, the Bastide Miraflors has expressed the very soul of the Roussillon, emboldened by robust, vibrant fruit that leaps from the glass with aromas and undertones of blackcurrants, sweet cherries, dark plums and wild herbs, wreathed by velvety tannins and a flourish of licorice on the firm finish. A truly fantastic find for your holiday parties, sure to enhance any gathering. And at this amazing price, it will soon disappear....
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 04-30-2016
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Whether in art, film, literature or wine, I've always been strongly attracted to iconoclasts, those who forge their own path through life's coombs and brambles, basing their decisions on an intuitive feel for what fits and arriving at a place where they know they belong. Call it 'sense of terroir' or what have you, but Jean-Louis Denois exemplifies this philosophy of place as well as anyone I've met in the wine world. The dust on his boots are the embodiment of his long journey from his native Champagne to Burgundy to South Africa and back again, and finally to the southwestern corner of the Languedoc, where he planted his vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees to create his signature red and sparkling wines. Keeping to the rhythms of nature have led him to adopt both organic and biodynamic precepts in the vineyards, and his brilliant sparkling wines express this with clarity and exuberance— the 'Tradition' Extra Brut is a fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created in a refreshingly crisp and lightly toasted style, with notes of red apple, orange blossom and brioche, the perfect sparkling for all festive occasions and dining without the high price of a Champagne. Stock up on this one for the long summer and beyond, it will never let you or your thirsty guests down.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 06-29-2015
You really don’t have to look very far into the exceptional 2010 vintage to discover great wines, and in the Bois Malot we’re happy to offer you an investment in value and flavor that will reward your palate every time you pop the cork. Ballasted by velvety core fruits and a tinge of lovely minerality and spice, this wine is drinking very well now, and will certainly cellar for several more years. The perfect red to both charm and enhance your everyday cuisine, so why wait?
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-02-2013
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
As Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant (1698), Berry Bros. and Rudd should know a thing or three about the traditional making of gin. Their No. 3 English Dry Gin is an unabashedly pure blending of fruits and spices selected and distilled in traditional copper pots in Schiedam, Holland. Made from Italian Juniper, Spanish oranges and grapefruit peel, with added spices including angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamon pods, this exquisitely crafted yet assertive gin remains, with its distinctively aromatic nose and prolonged finish, a highly-recommended personal favorite. The ideal suitor for a dry Martini or classic Gin and Tonic.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Einstök Icelandic White Ale, Iceland (12oz)
Review Date: 04-30-2012
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
With summer fast approaching we're all in need of a super thirst-quenching beer to alleviate the effects of absorbing too much solar energy on our bodies while we flare up the grill for a swirling smoke-athon (ok, admittedly I'm not Mr. Weber, more like one of the guys who stands around getting hot smoke in his face while acting like it doesn't matter).... anyway, just discovered a fantastic antidote to insurmountable thirst in the Icelandic Einstok White Ale, like melting an iceberg slathered in freshly-ground coriander and orange peel. Well, to be truthful, it's a witbier brewed with the same ingredients and tastes absolutely awesome. Beer here now. And in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, pouring an iceberg down your throat might be a good tribute.
Price: $1.99 Add To Cart

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-03-2011
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
In his unwavering maxim that "we leave the earth to our children," Jean-Pierre Fleury was the very first winegrower in Champagne to adapt strict biodynamic principles and techniques in his steeply-sloping, calcareous vineyards near the northern village of Courteron. His exquisite Blanc de Noirs is an homage to the perfectability of Pinot Noir under his meticulous stewardship, and certainly one of the finest, long-lasting champagnes we carry at any price. Hand-crafted from select vintages, the Carte Rouge is emblematic, dry and complex, with a well-developed gamut of flavors from brioche and beeswax to cherry and acacia. Hard to say what 'not' to drink this with, but I guarantee you will be reaching for another glass after tasting this redolent, rewarding sparkler.

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

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Brut Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 12-31-2010
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Carefully blended from 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay from the estate vineyard in Bendigo, this sparking wine first captivates the eye with its pale yellow highlights, and then flamboyantly seduces the palate with tightly-polished bubbles entranced by lively citrus fruits, crisp brioche and luscious cream. An alluring, wonderfully-harmonious champenoise sparkler for an amazing price!
Top Value!

Page: 1 2 next