Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

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


Reviews

  
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 next
2010 Poggio dell'Otto Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 07-20-2017
Coming across a great Brunello is not hard to do. We've got tons of them. Finding a great riserva is equally simple, if you've got the extra coin to throw at it. But, finding a riserva from a great vintage like 2010 for less than $30 that is absolutely UNHEARD of! It's just not something that happens. A nose of big dark fruit and earthy fresh herbs. Deep and powerful, but not inky. This is serious wine appropriate for anyone looking for a rich red. Grab a decanter and get to it!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2012 Rivella Barbaresco
Review Date: 07-18-2017
We are just so lucky to have these Rivella wines, the fact that we're able to sell such a stupendous wine at such a reasonable price literally makes me proud to be a part of this organization. The nose explodes from the glass with gorgeous dark red fruits, savory spice, rhubarb jam, figs, and black flinty earth. Juicy and structured, built for at least another 10 years in the cellar, the vibrant nebbiolo fruit is pointed by a wonderful smoky incense quality. A truly world class wine that gets absolutely no attention from the international wine community because WE BUY IT ALL!
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2014 Rivella Barbera d'Alba
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Wonderful juicy serious Barbera. Ultra clean and vibrant on the nose with tons of red fruit and subtle hibiscus fruit. The crunchy fruit on the palate just goes on and on. Very approachable despite the significant structure and I'm very intrigued to see what a couple of years in the cellar does to this little guy. Absolutely world class wine making here resulting in exceptional complexity achieved at this very reasonable price point.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

2015 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Another one of these awesome Rossos that's reinvigorating my interest in Montalcino. Bold savory nose of spice, slightly smokiness, and distinctly old school character without being unapproachable. This is old school in a way that almost anyone could appreciate. It very generous and lively on the palate and finishes long and quite clean considering the striking savory quality on nose. Stupendous stuff, which serious buyers should be trying to buy by the case.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2015 Talenti Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
A wonderful example of everything I wished Rosso was today. Does that make sense? Anyway, we've been drinking so much of these unusual 2010s that you kind of forget the normal parameters for Montalcino. Now having come back to a traditional producer like Talenti in a top tier vintage albeit a hot one, we get reminded what Montalcino is really about, gorgeous expressions of Sangiovese in it's truest form. While this one isn't ultra funky, it does have a lot of the earthy depth you'd expect from an traditional producer, fresh tobacco, tilled earth etc. The palate, however, has tons of juicy red fruit and lovely acid. It's fun to love Sangiovese and this wine makes it easy for you.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Edi Keber Collio Bianco
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Keber is a legend in Collio. The wines are always delicious. The nose is a monsterous bouquet of musky angelica, fresh anis seed, pithy tangerine and a subtle savory white pepper. The intense bouquet doesn't interfere with the incredibly delineated palate showing tons of juicy acidity and a fabulous creamy citrus. It finishes long and dry with the savory herbs poking back out at the end. Totally in love here.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2015 Sarno 1860 Fiano di Avellino
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Sarno is one of the greatest for Fiano and I had high hopes for this. Truly text book here with tones of white flowers, ripe peaches and acacia honey. The honey becomes freshly harvest beeswax on the palate with tons of texture and a long finish. Fiano is great when there's acid and this one integrates it perfectly. Another stupendously drinkable wine from Sarno and easy to integrate into almost any meal.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

2015 Porta del Vento Catarratto IGT Sicily
Review Date: 07-18-2017
This wonderful expression of the often maligned catarratto grape is going to change peoples minds about the whole varietal. The perfect balance between aromatic depth (pithy exotic citrus peel) and mineral intensity (flinty rocks being smashed together). In the mouth it's dense but not flabby at all, an acidic counterpoint allowing it to remain refreshing and open. More flinty rocks, soft yellow fruits and tiny touches of fresh herbs. This is a pretty serious little wine for the price.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

1984 Caol Ila 33 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
We've been lucky to find some great old whisky over years, the best values for very old blue chip malts are coming from Caol Ila. With that said, price on the stuff have skyrocketed in the last couple of years. And while this may represent a stupendous value compared to the rest of the market, we didn't buy it simply because we could sell it for a comparatively good price, we bought it because it's DELICIOUS! The vibrancy and intensity of flavor on the nose is out of control. The crystalline character is unmistakable, but please give this one some time as some air truly provides some incredible changes. The nose is all lemon oil and subtle oyster shell, yet something rich and creamy behind those classic Caol Ila notes. Bits of seaweed, hints of old leather, and camphor burning under the camping stove. The palate is straight up ashy, bold and textured, smoldering pipe tobacco with sweet lemon peel and juicy salted covered fruits pulling back the freshness as it coats the back of the throat. It's a great old sooty lemony beast. A true expression of Islay.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2001 Bowmore 15 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
It's safe to say that Bowmore has completely stolen our hearts. The legendary distillery may play it a little safe when it comes to the distillery bottlings or maybe our suppliers just get the best barrels, but time after time these young Bowmore astound me. These whiskies speak a different language than most, using peat and the Islay spirit, differently than an Ardbeg or Laphroaig. Instead of iodine, lemon peel and kippers, we get this incredible depth of red fruit spread across the deck of your ketch, the salt air permeating everything. A squeeze of Seville orange and in the distance Islay's chimneys puff peat smoke as residents try to stay warm on a foggy morning. ON the palate, we're in another world. Texturally unbelievable, an almost cloyingly sweet malt up front softening the gorgeous burning peat ember on the center palate. Finally a rush of juicy tropical fruit to finish. Add a few drops of water and it's almost too easy to drink. I like the baby at full blast, but there's no question that this will be one of my favorite casks this year. And look at that price!!!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2001 Auchroisk 15 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
This cask of Auchroisk is expressive and bold, but also nearly 100% malt driven. A stupendously complex nose that's hard to pin down, but shows awesome quincy and lemon notes. Behind that a savory quality almost like a fresh shiso leaf torn right into the glass. The herbal quality dissipates on the palate and instead the yellow orchard fruits take over. The finish is sweet malt. This is a drinkers whisky and likely will be a sleeper, but it's a splendid expression of this lovely distillery and should not be ignored.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1988 North British 28 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-18-2017
Another lovely and affordable grain whisky from our friends at Douglas Laing, this North British (which is never bad above 25) is particularly lovely and summery. Kind of a morning whisky, exhibiting a nose filled with ultra fresh pear and apricot, a slight toasted whole wheat character, all spread across a subtle fudgy background, wait maybe it's nutella! It's breakfast in a glass. But serious, this could pass for some ultra high end Alsatian Poire if it weren't for the American oak influence. The palate is medium to full bodied with good sweetness up front and none of the plankiness that sometimes occurs in old grain. Uber drinkable and friendly, but not slouch at all, the finish building into a powerful oaky spice. One drop of water here, no more needed.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Aurelien Verdet Morey-St-Denis
Review Date: 07-09-2017
The wonderful Morey-St-Denis from Verdet easily ranks as the best value in the already exceptional lot of Verdet wines. All of Verdet wines represent great value, but this one really out-performs in a significant way. That's partly because Morey itself is so special and also because it feels like they've let the terroir really speak here. Vibrant nose of gorgeous red fruit, subtle earthy spice and deep mineral notes. Despite the copious amounts of fruit, the palate is structure and long, probably the most delineated of the entire lineup. This for me is the one to buy multiple cases of rather than just one. Should last a decade with no problems.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Aurelien Verdet Hautes Côtes de Nuits "Les Prieure" Rouge
Review Date: 07-08-2017
Easy drinking and awesomely priced, the spectator review says tart, but at this point it's totally softened up. While it may be easy to appreciate it ain't simple by any means. Splendid dark wild fruits, Marasca cherry, forest notes, and spice. Medium bodied with very easy soft tannins that keep you grabbin' the glass. Another stellar value from Verdet that's likely to have the most universal appeal in the batch.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-05-2017
The approachable Giboulot wines are the perfect cross over producer. Approachable and affordable aren't typical descriptors for Burgundy. Yet, the entry level Bourgogne is easy and open without feeling to modern or overly extracted. Vibrant red fruit, hibiscus extract and subtle a minerality remind us that it's Burgundy! Great medium body structure keeps this one interesting and the acidity is well integrated so we're not on this laser-beam style we get sometimes with the inexpensive burgs. All in all this is a great value not just for red burgundy but one of the best Pinot values in the store.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Hochstadter's Family Reserve 16 Year Old Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
Everyone in the bourbon world always talks about the golden age of whiskey being behind us. "Remember when we could walk into the store and get Pappy Rye for $90 all day long?" Actually that era never existed, but although things have changed, if you do your homework you can still pick up gems like this one. What we have is a world class fully mature rye whiskey bottled a full strength in a tiny batch and its absolutely stunning! Sure it's from Canada, but if you need to relinquish your biases to appreciate one of the best Rye whiskey we've ever had on the shelf than modern decency OBLIGATES us to do so! Bold, rich textured, spicy and unmatched by any other product on the shelf right. The world about lost it's mind for Booker's 13 Year Rye at $300 and in my estimation this is twice the whiskey that ever was. I wouldn't have been surprised if they'd asked $400 for this bad boy. Yes it's still not cheap, but if this isn't the deal of the year then I'm going to be buying lots more whiskey this year!!!
Price: $189.99 Add To Cart

Wild Turkey "Master's Keep - Decades" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-05-2017
The Wild Turkey Decades is distinct from your every day Wild Turkey as it contains nearly two decades of production. The concept actually seems crazy considering how much old whiskey is actually in this blend (it's likely 90%+ 15 years old) but the inclusion of both the very old 20 year and the standard 10 year add some incredible edges to the exquisite center. Expect powerful WT spice on the nose pointed with sweet burnt sugars, cedar, spearmint, cocoa and blackberry jam. The old whiskey comes forward on the palate allowing some of those mahogany and roasted walnut flavors out from behind the bold spice and sweet oak. The finish is long a pleasing, leaving you with just the right amount of Tellicherry pepper to balance the sweet fruit. For sales purposes I wish I could say this is 100% over 15 years old, but honestly the balance between young and old does wonders here and I'm certain that it would be a lesser whiskey without the inclusion of the powerful young WT.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

VING Kale, Lemon Peel, & Cucumber Infused Organic Farm Fresh Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-30-2017
When Flo Vinger came into my shop to tell me that she'd been making kale vodka in her bathtub, I honestly thought it was a joke. But, when she produced a shimmering elixir moments later I was astounded. It was totally wild unlike any other I'd come across previously. And of course it wasn't just KALE because kale just doesn't taste very good. But you slice some cucumber and a squeeze of lemon and we're in business. Industry skeptics and geeks will likely scoff, but in the end Ms Vinger has produced something total unique with an integrity rarely seen in the vodka category. She cares about her product more than anything else in the entire world and she's spent four long years perfecting it. Now anyone can experience the world's first KALE vodka for themselves. While it's stupendous cold or on the rocks, ultra easy and approachable, where this stuff really sings is in the cocktails. Adding subtle nuance and structure to what would otherwise be a neutral base does wonders in the classics, but also lends itself to experimentation.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Black Cow Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
What is this sorcery? Made from 100% West Dorset milk? Nothing else. How can it be? It's just impossible. But nonetheless here we are. Pure Milk vodka. And it's delicious! Soft, supple, slightly sweet and creamy. This stuff is textured and nuanced in the perfect way. Understated yet still distinctive somehow. Distiller and dairy farmer Jason Barber came up with the plan to utilize leftover whey from his cheese making operation. This is fermented into a wheat beer and distilled before being blended (with what I can only assume is more milk) and filtered to create the utterly (sorry) unique spirit. Keep an eye out for the Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar which is also made by Mr. Barber. Should pair perfectly!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I go on and on about how much I like Fortaleza. They're the most authentic. No one else comes close. Most of the rest of the agave in Mexico is wasted on crap industrial production. blah blah blah...While all these things are true that's not what matters most. What matters about Fortaleza is that it's absolutely delicious. The Reposado is often the one I find myself reaching for. Their repo is the perfect balance between the gorgeous and complex agave spirit that they produce and the oxidative complexity of barrel aging in the hot Jalisco climate. The perfect showcase for this juxtaposition. But regardless of any intellectual exercise, it just tastes utterly delicious. Soft barrel influence envelopes the gorgeous peppery fruit and floral components of the spirits. Nuanced spice and touches of smoky barrel. Very few come close indeed.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Tequila Fortaleza Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I often catch myself waxing poetic about Fortaleza. How it's the most authentic and old school. How they went back when everyone else was moving forward. How their tequila represents the true soul of Jalisco and makes their competitors look kind of stupid. Of course there are other great distilleries in Jalisco, but none is more committed to producing exclusively old school single estate real deal tequila. There base spirit is so good in fact that some aficionados look down on their exquisite anejo because it doesn't taste enough like the blanco. That said, taking this product out of that context reminds us how exceptional it really is. The quality of agave is matched perfectly by the quality of the oak and the confluence of those two flavors reminds us that great tequila doesn't have to be blanco! This delectable treat is all tropical fruit (coconuts, pineapple and passionfruit), butterscotch and subtle earthy pepper. A legend deserving of every accolade it's already received.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Arette Artesanal Gran Clase Extra Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
The Arette Artesanal is the first Extra Anejo I really fell in love with. The Gran Clase Suave is one of the easiest to drink spirits in the store. Crème caramel, sweet tropical fruit and a smidge of peppery agave fruit found out this exceptional offering from one of Tequilas great distillers. I love the classic looking bottle, but very few extras match the balance and complexity without overpowering with sweet oak. There's no questions that El Llano distilleries commitment to quality remains second to none.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Agave is the magical near mythical thing. No other product (save for the ultra expensive European Eau-de-Vie) can be superlatively good without any intervention or additions from the distiller. What other white spirit with no flavorings or additives is as delicious or complex? A challenge you to find my anything comparable. And within that frame work no product exhibits more purity and expressiveness of terroir than this incredible single field tequila. Rested for several years before bottling, the result is an absolutely unparalleled experience, which extorts the senses and boggles the mind. I'm not going to bother trying to describe how this tastes, but if you love spirits and don't own a bottle you will eventually regret it.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal Vago "Tio Rey" Espadin En Barro Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
This is the real deal clay pot distilled mescal. Tio Rey does it again with this stupendous oily unctuous funky style. Sweet agave fruit dense mesquite smoke and tons of vegetal earthiness. An absolute pleasure to drink although it can kind of take over you night/life if you're not careful.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2000 El Jolgorio "Vintage" Espadin Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I don't know what it is about aging mezcal in glass, but this is the second vintage espadin we've had and it's easily my new favorite spirit in the store. The nose is ultra complex showing tons of agave, deep pepper, gusano salt, but none of the bold carbonized smoke that mezcal drinkers are likely used. Instead expect a heady blend of smoked citrus peel, mesquite embers and earthy fruit. The palate is shockingly soft and filled with agave fruit, pointed by black pepper, roasted nuts, lemon and more salt. Very few spirits achieve this kind of complexity, while remaining so inviting and almost NONE that have not been aged in oak or otherwise rectified by the producer.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1974 L'Encantada 42 Year Old "Le Sablé" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
Wow this stuff is good. We're so lucky to be bringing these Encantadas in and the brand is just on fire. This wonderful estate only produced a tiny amount of brandy nearly 40 years ago. This is the most classic of ultra aged Armagnac. The nose is all dried apricots, prunes, five spice heavy on the cinnamon a subtle smoky woodsy note. The palate is unctuous but not syrupy. The exotic woods take over with a building spice. There's a huge contrast to the sweetness of the nose as the pepper and spice builds on the finish. Dark, dry, long with a gravelly note that picks up at the end. It's not a sweet one for sure. A truly tremendous example of what happens to Armagnac unattended to after 4 decades.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

1999 Thierry Darrimajou "Domaine du Berdet" 17 Year Old K&L Exclusive Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
I'm totally in love with this gorgeous vintage from the new Domaine du Berdet. Like all Thierry's armagnacs this is distilled from 100% baco, but it's not as soft and supple as the 1999. Instead expect bigger notes of fresh oak spice, fresh earth, dried fruit, exotic wood and a sweet burnt sugar finish. This one might for the bourbon drinkers thanks to the notes of vanilla, varnish, caramel and sweet fruit. The long spicy finish is drier than the 1999 and really highlights the vanilla extract notes from the nose. Another rockin' price as well.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

1995 Thierry Darrimajou "Domaine du Berdet" 21 Year Old K&L Exclusive Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2017
When I first arrived at Domain du Berdet a didn't expect to meet one of the most forward thinking producers of Armagnac. Theirry Darrimajou is a farmer, winemaker, and eleveur of Armagnac, but he has a vision for the future like no other producer in Gascogne. He envisions buses of tourists pulling up to his property and entertain them in his new clean and inviting tasting room/warehouse. IN order to keep the authentic aging environment, his warehouse is open ground with a drip irrigation system installed in the ground to keep the humidity at the correct level. The whole thing is unseen beneath a layer of gleaming white stones. Thierry spares no expense in the cellar, springing for new oak for every vintage and aerating the brandies several times a year to soften the strong esters. The baco here is very delicate on the sandy calcareous soils and the resulting spirit is one of the finest and most supple we've come across. Thierry adds a tiny splash of water every time he aerates believing that reduction at bottling time is sacrilege - I'm trying to convince him to leave them alone altogether, but that doesn't preclude this brandy from being exquisitely delicious. Big nose of dried plums and barrel spice. The palate nicely weighted without being overtly thick. Long and balanced on the finish. It's not one of these ultra funky armagnacs, but it might be the most inviting on the shelf and the price is unbeatable.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-13-2017
I'm predisposed to dislike releases like this one. Fancy new bottle, danish design partnership, etc. But, as it turns out this is really well put together new product. An absolutely delicious example of why own floor maltings make better whisky and a reminder of why Highland Park remains one of the highest quality distilleries on the market. Today a tiny percentage of the whisky we drink is produced using barley that is malted at the same distillery. This age old practice of drying barley is extremely expensive and time consuming. Since 95% of all malt is used in blended whisky the cost and consistence advantages of using industrially malted barley are crucial to the success of that industry. But, what you gain in efficiency and consistency you may forfeit in complexity. With the new Valkyrie, they've taken the venerated malt dried with special Orkney peat and unleashed it's potential in a way unseen in modern bottlings of HP. The result is something extremely pleasurable. Matured in a combination of first-fill American oak sherry, bourbon, and Spanish oak sherry butts as well as a selection of refill casks, which regardless of the lack of age statement have been married to create one of the best malts for your dollar available in the store right now. That Orkney peat is so unique, much more underbrush and earthy campfire than the Islay salty brine and the cask selection for this one was clearly excellent. Big nose of sweet fruit, candied citrus, and smoldering chaparral. Creamy rich textured and balanced with the sweet American oak playing perfectly with the smooth smokiness of the Orkney peat. The finish is long and soft and satisfying. A truly fun and somewhat didactic offering that nearly any scotch lover will appreciate.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Damrak Amsterdam Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
DANG! I just couldn't believe it when the supplier dropped this CRAZY price on us. This is actually GOOD gin that should be much more expensive. It's higher proof super clean and zippy, but with the complexity of 17 botanicals. Very easy to appreciate and even easier to afford!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 05-31-2017
This gorgeous example of cab franc is the perfect introduction to this special grape. The varietal is so often neglected, although a darling of the serious nerds, it rubs so many people the wrong way. Here we have this incredible vibrant example of the special grape of the right bank in it's most approachable yet authentic expression. Vibrant earthy red fruit and only the slightest hint of greenness followed by a lovely lifted medium body. Perfect red to have around as summer bbq season starts to heat up.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Amaro Angeleno (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Angeleno is the hotness right now. It's not your grandma's amaro though so don't expect the sweet easy richness of Averna or the mellow bitter qualities of Nonino. Instead, the boys at Angeleno have created something distinctly Californian, not in the mold of any Italian Amaro, but with a great respect for those venerable products. The secret recipe includes locally sourced fresh and dried botanicals, many hand picked at a local farm. The base spirit is distilled from Pinot Grigio and a multi-step maceration and blending process before filtration and resting. The unusual concoction has a huge orange element, pointed with powerful herbal aromas, in particular chamomile and gentian. On the palate it starts a bit vinous and zippy sweet before the bitter orange peel and gentian peel pull it back. As you sip the bitterness builds. Very effective as a digestive, but works wonders in aperitif, as Spritz or even can sub-out orange liqueur or Lillet when you want to dry up or spice up a classic recipe. This is a modern classic in every sense of the word and will likely be everywhere before you know it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

High West Campfire Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I'm not usually one for oddness for oddness' sake. It strikes me as a waste of time. So if you're going to do something different or new it had better taste goddamned delicious. Luckily our dear friend Mr. Perkins up there in Park City has got his big boy pants on. So this odd blend of American Whiskey and Scotch is actually extremely satisfying. It's smoldering and complex. Vibrant and well integrated. The nose is sweet caramel, dry spice and smoldering smoky peat. On the palate it's definitely on the bourbony side, long and mellow, with the malt peaking out and building in the background. A great drink for any whiskey/whisky lover.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Delamain Pale & Dry Grande Champagne Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Delamain is really one of the most special producers of Cognac. They may not be the most exciting, bold or innovative, but they make DANG good cognac in a style that very few producers are going after. Restrained elegant and very deliberate. the XO is Delamain's "entry level" but it doesn't drink like an entry level. This has some very old brandies in the mix and benefits from an extended marriage period in smaller casks rather than the few weeks in large foudres like most producers. The result is a head nose of dried stone fruits, macerated vanilla bean and subtle exotic wood. Excellent vibrant entry that's lifted and open with tons of complexity. Those stones fruits play of the barrel spice perfectly as the long finish builds. This has always been a favorite circa $100+, but at this price this is easily the finest regularly available XO for your money.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Sazerac 90-Proof Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Buffalo Trace's flagship Rye named for the famous Coffeehouse in New Orleans which gave its name to both the cocktail and the company that owns the distillery. This whisky has an unconfirmed mashbill but what ever they're doing over there results in a wonderful spicy bold yet balanced rye. Aged for around 6 years and bottled at 90 proof, the Sazerac Rye cleans up at the competitions and is finally available on the regular. Even at 90 proof this bad boy makes a mean cocktail and might be a little more forgiving than something like the WT 101 Rye, plus it's now cheaper than that bench mark. Most serious drinkers should have a bottle open in the bar...
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Carpano Punt e Mes Vermouth (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Punt E Mes has been a go to choice for cocktailing at my house for years. When you're a bit tired of the ultra richness of Antica formula, fall back on the lovely and structured Punt E to clear you right up. It does wonders for drying up a bourbon Manhattan, but it also sings in Spritzs and Negronis. The nose is vinous and spicy with herbal sweet earthiness. The palate is somewhat tannic with a strong quinine element. The finish softens up and releases you from its bitter grasp with soft sweet ending. A great change up from the standard red vermouths.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Campari (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I have a strange and painful affinity to Campari. There's not a moment of any day at any time that I couldn't get down with a bit of that amaroidal crimson concoction. I'm not certain that I'm not physically dependent on it.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
When people ask me to describe Japanese Whisky in the shop I typically go on a long winding history about Nikka's founder Taketsuru-san. His vision nearly 100 years ago is larger responsible for the high quality Japanese Whisky we see today. Of course in a more simplistic version, Japanese Whisky is basically made exactly like Scotch. Yes there are subtle differences in technique and style, but the image that Taketsuru-san brought back from Scotland in the 1920s has remained largely unchanged. That's why it's difficult to describe Japanese Whisky without explaining Scotch to someone. But, this little whisky is something so uniquely Japanese it stands apart from the rest of the category. The Scottish have certainly tried to distill Malted Whisky on a column still (over the course of the last 150+ years) but almost certainly abandoned the exercise due to the incredible costs as compared to standard grain whisky production. In this case they've taken the same wort that would go into their Single Malt and run it through the column still. Further more it's aged in high quality ex-bourbon rather than 3 and 4th fill hogshead. In a lot of ways this whisky is the most distinctly Japanese product on the shelf (with the exception of the malted rice whiskies like Ohishi and Fukano). Anyway, the result is ultra refined and subtle, but filled with character. Usually the term smooth is the most meaningless in the business, but this one definitely qualifies. Easy, but with an edgy earthiness almost briny note and sweet stone fruit to balance. Certainly not high on the intensity meter, but extremely well put together and appealing style. Great cross over from American and Irish Whiskey lovers.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila (750ml - cannot ship, in store pick up only)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Tasting Don Julio 1942 is always a SHOCKING experience. I truly doesn't compute how they're able to create something so heady and sweet using just highland distilled agave and oak barrels in the quantities that they must. The nose an explosive mix of sweet coconut, fresh vanilla bean, chocolate nibs and tropical fruit. On the palate the richness is jaw dropping, I can't help but let out a guttural exclamation. Uhhhhhh what the hell did they do here? Yes it's sweet, but it's so decadent you almost want to compare it to Sauternes or Quart de Chaumes. Baked tropical fruit, smooth silky texture and a long lingering finish. I tasted this next to slow BBQ cacao crusted short ribs and couldn't imagine a better pairing. We've also got this killer price so there's that too...
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart
WE 98

Balvenie "Doublewood" 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
Good old Doublewood. Very few entry level offerings from a Scottish distillery provide so much depth for your dollar. For some many people this is the gateway to the world of Scotch and I think it does a lot of things really well. The gorgeous distillery in Dufftown is one of the best reasons to visit Speyside and one of the few that's still using onsite maltings, albeit in small quantities. It's clear that they're going for balance and easy of entry, but not at complete neglect of character. The nose starts with a big honey note framed around subtle driad fruit influence and a big vanilla component. The earthy maltiness builds with air and dominates the palate, but still some darker sherry components poke through. The finish moves away from the sweet honey and raisiny fruit toward darker drier components. Some wisps of fresh oak as it lingers. Certainly I'd love to see this at higher proof, but truly appreciate what this humble bottlings provides for the price.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Belle Meade Single Barrel Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
These single casks from Belle Meade are always top notch. They spend a lot of time and effort identifying the choicest barrels and we've had great success with some of our own. At full strength you get a heads mix of sweet dense oak spice and maple drizzled stone fruit. With a tiny sliver of ice the big vanilla notes start to come out and the spicy backbone falls to the background. Voluptuous and satisfying, there are very few cask strength bourbons that match Belle Meade in terms of price to quality ratio.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Belle Meade Sour Mash Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-31-2017
I love what the Nelson's are doing over at Greenbriar Distillery in Nashville. They've got their heads screwed on and they got in at a pretty good time so they're NDP bottlings are still relatively reasonable. The Nelson's got hold of some pretty serious stocks of bourbon from several distilleries, likely including MGPi, maybe Dickel and others. The whiskey is now really reaching maturity. The style easily matches great brands like Michter's and Jefferson's in terms of quality and you're not looking at a stupid mark up like so many craft distillers are asking on their purchased stocks. Anyway, the style here is super round and easy. An excellent range of 6-8 year old bourbons of various mashbills are small batched to create a very even and solid drink. I especially love that the Nelson's have used their ancestor's merchant bottler brand to sell their Merchant bottled bourbon. It all just works so perfectly and never feels gimmicky or out of line.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

High West Bourye Bourbon/Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
The excellent Bourye is always a special treat. There are so few opportunities to taste old American whiskey at a reasonable price. The Bourye is always a reminder that High West is really an American blending house. Sure, they distill stuff, but what they're good at is figuring out the precise proportions to maximize the impact of each component of a blend. The new Bourye is no exception. The heady spice of old rye and the rich, woodsy sweetness of well-aged bourbons are mingled perfectly for one of the most obvious and delicious bottles on the shelf today. Has this wonderful old-style feel to it and represents quite a good value considering many aged-stated rye and many bourbons are asking upwards of $100.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

Del Maguey Minero Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Del Maguey single-handedly created the high-end mezcal category. And while their Chichicapa might be considered the flagship, it is their Minero that is the true star. Hand-milled agave cultivated at over 5,000 feet and roasted over mesquite, huamuchil, and eucalyptus wood is fermented in open wooden vats for up to 25 days. It's then distilled in traditional clay pots (the only standard release from Del Maguey using this type of still) to create one of the most viscous and powerfully rich mezcals available.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal Amarás Cupreata (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
The exceptional Cupreata from Amaras is a great example of why Oaxacan mezcal isn't the only game in town. These wild harvest Cupreata are extremely flavorful and the quality and complexity easily bests that off similarly priced Oaxacan stuff. Tasting this stuff transports me directly back to the Mexican Riviera where the gorgeous tropical mountains tour over the beach. You order lunch under the palapa and a shot of local mezcal. The perfect pair for the aguachiles de cameron that you just ordered. Bold vibrant and full of soul, this is what mezcal is ALL about.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Elijah Craig "Small Batch" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Elijah Craig Small Batch remains one of the best values in the shop. 8 to 12 year old blend of bourbons distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville. Despite removing the age statement, Heaven Hill's flagship brand remains one of the best values in the store. This style is dark nutty, honeyed with and minty spice to round out the ultra rich texture. The higher proof does great things for this one and not a whole lot of stuff can touch this in the price point.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 91

Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This is benchmark whiskey. Jimmy Russell's personal favorite and still one of the staffs go to, the Wild Turkey 101 is great because it pulls no punches and makes no excuses. WT has consistently produced exceptional whiskey for over 60 years and what a lot of people assume to be a mass market brand, is actually qualitatively better than many of their competitors. They make old fashion whiskey in the most efficient way possible and Jimmy has made sure (over the course of many corporate take overs) that WT will NEVER compromise quality for profits. The 101 is for those who like to chew their whiskey. Big bold and spicy, it's relatively high rye content (13%) is noticeable, but not over the top. Textured, full of vanilla and sweet spice, the 101 remains one of Kentucky's great value bourbons.
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart

2015 Matthiasson "Linda Vista Vineyard" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Matthiasson is really pushing the envelope for what's possible under $30 in Napa Chardonnay. They've taken a queue from our friends Europe and decided to let the vineyards and the fruit do the talking, rather than the winery. Balance and nuance is paramount here, but not at the expense of expressiveness. A beautiful golden color. Extremely balanced nose of juicy citrus and ripe apple fruit. Medium bodied with some creaminess. Mature but not oaky, with plenty of texture for those who like to feel what they drink. The finish is complete and satisfying with that zesty side of Chard that's rare in Napa. Obviously, Steve Matthiasson has got great taste and so do his wines.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart

Booker's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Booker's is just bourbon you know. It's not magic. It's just whiskey. It happens to be really good high proof whiskey. It's happens to be age stated Kentucky bourbon. Booker Noe happens to have been pretty bad ass and this just so happens to be his legacy. Just like Booker it's big and bold. Just like Booker it's both spicy and bit sweet. Just like Booker it's the real deal no gimmicks. If all Bourbon could be this honest we'd all be better off. It also happens to be just $50...for now. Now that's MAGIC.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 95 WA 91

Pure Kentucky XO Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Ignore the ugly label. Ignore goofy name. Ignore the meaningless XO moniker. Consider the wonderful source of this special bourbon - WILLETT FAMILY. Consider the proof - 107! Consider the price - $35. Considering that this whisky is nearly 10 years of age that makes it one hell of a deal. It reminds me of a higher proof version of Elijah Craig which is bottled right down the road. A nose big pepper and cinnamon, dark cocoa and fine exotic wood. Hints of orange liqueur, rich toffee and sweet caramel bring this special whiskey back down to earth. It's not the floral feminine style you might find in a Rowan's Creek (which includes some very old whiskey, but older isn't always better you know?) and really shouldn't be compared to that one. But, if you like a bold power style this might be the one for you.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Page: 1 2 3 4 5 next

More Favorites

David Othenin-Girard is also a fan of the following items. To become a fan of David Othenin-Girard, click here to join David Othenin-Girard's Personal Sommelier Service.
Laphroaig 10 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($32.99)

Ardbeg "Uigeadail" Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($55.99)

Caol Ila 12 Year Old Islay Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)

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

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

Bols Amsterdam Genever Dutch Gin (750ml) ($21.99)

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

Ocho Plata Tequila (750ml) ($42.99)

Ocho Reposado Tequila (750ml) ($46.99)

Rhum J.M. Vieux Agricole VSOP Martinique (750ml) ($44.99)

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

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

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