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Staff Favorites - David Othenin-Girard

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


Reviews

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Wint & Lila Seville Orange Blossom London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The easy going Wint & Lila Gin has become a fast favorite of many of our customers who are digging the G&T craze. The fad never ended in Spain and with good reason. There's just no better way to cool off and stave off Malaria than a high quality gin & tonic. This small family owned distillery in historic city of Cadiz is right in the heart of Seville orange country, also smack on the edge of the southern tip of the sherry triangle. Needless to say, the family owned Casalbor distillery has been at this a while and they've created a Gin with a sense of place like no other. Using their "Bain Marie" distilling system avoid burning or damaged the fresh botanicals and fruit aromatics. The result is a pungent yet surprisingly easy going gin with tons of citrus and sweet herbal character. Grab some Indi&Co Tonic and you're set for the weekend.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

1986 Domaine Boingnères Folle Blanche Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
There is no doubt that Madame Lafitte's Domain Boingneres is the finest Bas-Armagnac has to offer. In the Grand Cru village of La Freche in a prime outcropping of the Armagnac's most ferrous sandy soils the beautiful and meticulously tended estate stands a head above the rest. Madame Lafitte took over from her father in 94 after his multi-decade career of building up Boingneres to being one of the top producers renowned across all of France. In 1975, Monsieur Lafitte removed all of the Domaine's Bacco and replaced them with the Cepage Noble (namely Ugni Blance, Folle Blanche, and Colombard). Each are distilled separately and aged in their dry chais in 100% new Gascogne wood. The high quality distillation is able to stand up to all that oak without any trouble and the resulting aged products are truly transcendent. This Domaine truly one of the benchmark by which all other Armagnac's should be judged. The 86 Folle Blanche is absolutely unparalleled in it's pinpoint structure and intense aromatics. There's a great deal of spice and a beautiful richness that keep it from seeming at all austere. Expense, but for great lovers of this region it is something to aspire to.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

Darroze Les Grand Assemblages "20 Year Old" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The exceptional Darroze 20 year is a tribute not only to the incredibly high quality stocks that Marc Darroze has in the chais, but also to his exceptional skill as a blender. The resulting Armagnac is one of the most elegant and well put together products of any kind. Expect bold notes of dense tropical fruit (mango and guava), soft supple tannins and rich, but not syrupy mouth feel. This is a great age for Armagnac as you have the freshness and intensity on display, but all the edges are starting to round out. This is something that should always be open in the back of the bar, just to keep you steady.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Marie Duffau Napoleon Bas Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The easy drinking Marie Duffau Armagnacs have brought more people into this category than almost any other product. This is the country's best selling Armagnac and with good reason. If you're looking for round soft and supple this is about as good at anything at this price.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

Chateau de Pellehaut "K&L Exclusive - L'Age de Glace" Ténarèze Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The absolutely stupendous young "ICE AGE" Armagnac remains a go to for mixing in any number of cocktails. Two reasons for that - the incredible price and the total lack of additives (sugar or boise) to get in the way of those fresh young brandy flavors. You can always add sugar to your drink, but if they add it first you can't take it out. No other Armagnac provides this kind of quality for the price. Use it in Sidecars, Crustas, Punches or just drink it long.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Clos Martin XO 15 Year Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2017
A splendid little value from this medium sized estate producer that's doing almost everything right. The well respected producer puts a significant amount of information on the back of the bottle about what you're drinking and bottles without the use of excessive additives. The 15 Year Old XO is one of the best values in this special region and it consists entirely of estate grown Ugni Blanc and Baco. This spicy floral style is what Bas-Armagnac is all about, contrasting the intense aromatics with elegant fruit and texture. Only complaint is that they've bottle it at 80 proof, but it's still a wonderful brandy.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2005 Caol Ila Cask Strength Gordon & MacPhail Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-04-2017
The fabulous Gordon & Macphail Caol Ila Cask Strength is always one of their best offerings. Contract purchased and filled into their own barrels (in this case 1st fill bourbon), the Caol Ila doesn't lose any of its character being aged in the G&M Warehouses in Elgin. Not far from the ocean by any means, but not quite as rugged as the coast of Islay, this fabulous little whisky only needs about a decade to reach a stupendous level of depth and complexity. This is briny oysters, intense lemon, iodine, salted nuts and old leather. I enjoy this one straight out of the bottle, but its intensity does lend itself to a hefty dollop of water. An absolute gem as always.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Glenlivet 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Glenlivet 12 is the ubiquitous favorite of so many, there's just nothing wrong with it. It's a benchmark whisky and responsible for defining an entire style and introducing an entire generation of drinkers to single malt. It remains a wonderful value and one of best-selling whiskies in the store.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Aberlour 12 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Aberlour 12 year is a fine little whisky from the tiny distillery in the town of the same name. At this price it's hard to argue with their Double Cask Matured entry level. It's a great alternative to Balvenie Doublewood or even the 'Farclas 12 year each at $10 more than the Aberlour. Expect a good malty base note, subtle fruit framed around easy sherry influences, dried fruit, dark chocolate, and baking spice spice. Solid stuff.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

Balvenie 17 Year Old Doublewood Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Balvenie released the 17 year follow-up to the ultra-popular 12 year Doublewood to attack a price and age range that they'd historically been avoiding. We used to get the oddball cask finishes in the 17 year range (peated, Madeira, Islay, etc), but for standard offerings Balvenie went straight from 12 to 21. Assuming the 12 year Doublewood spends 10 years in ex-bourbon/hogshead and 2 years in ex-sherry, we can assume this simply spends another 5 years or so in sherry before bottling. Deep and darker than the 12 year, there's still tons of fresh vanilla and oak poking through the rich toffee and nutty sherry. A wonderful balance between the fragrant freshness of the Aberlour spirit, the rich oak flavors, and the dense sherry influence.
Price: $125.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Balvenie 25 Year Old Single Barrel Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
For all the fanfare that big old sherried Speysiders get, the wonderful single cask 25 year from Balvenie truly delivers what I would consider to be the most authentic Speyside experience. Its character is not masked by any wine influence and the characteristic Balvenie deep, rich spirit does wonders after two and a half decades in a hogshead. Deep oak, wild honey and baking spice without any green or vegetative qualities. Ultra creamy and decadent on the palate, seamless and satisfying, with complexity building as it finishes. Honey and spice and everything nice. Big oak, but good oak.
Price: $599.99 Add To Cart

Kilchoman 100% Islay Barley Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Kilchoman's lofty goal of producing Islay Whisky from 100% Islay ingredients might take another 100 years to achieve (I haven't seen them planting any oak trees), but they've gone 99% of the way and produce one of the most unique and delicious Islay malts nonetheless. Always with the 100% Islay we get more of a spirit-driven style than the other Kilchoman and I know why they won't obfuscate this wonderful whisky. Ultra sweet malt, super citrus, sweet salty nuts and more citrus. Zippy, briny, mineral, yet somehow still sweet fruity malt on the palate. This is malt whisky for mezcal lovers. Serve with a slice of orange and some toasted chapulines.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Dalwhinnie 15 year is one of those wonderful malts that tends to turn non-Scotch people into whisky fanatics. The lightly peated malt of Dalwhinnie is aged to perfect maturity in their excellent 15 year offering and certainly deserves its place in the Classic Malt portfolio. The beautiful distillery produces a fruity style that shows no signs of peat on the nose by the time its 15 years old. Instead, expect toasty oak, amber honey, floral oils and baked apple. The palate is rather sweet with the tiniest hints of smoke popping out at the end. Malty and fresh, this is easy-drinking stuff with plenty of character behind that sense of overt pleasure.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Glenfarclas 21 Year Old Distillery Bottling Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
The very special Glenfarclas 21 year, like the entire line from the special distillery outside of Aberlour, is an exquisite value. Having recently retasted the 21, I felt compelled to reiterate just how delicious it actually is. 'Farclas has tons of richness in all its offerings, but the 21 seems to be the most vibrant and alive of the standard offerings. Tons of rich tropical fruit and sherry spice without a ton of raisin or prune. The richness on the palate should be noted as well as the complex blend of fruit, spice and fudge. I'm absolutely in love with this one and recent bottlings are tasting better and better.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Macallan 18 Year Old Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Here is the Rolls-Royce of single malt. Not everybody needs a Rolls-Royce--some people dream of one, others detest the idea of luxury for luxury's sake. Nonetheless, Macallan has built a reputation over the last half century for producing the finest sherried malts on the planet. Geeks will argue about whether that's still the case, but no one can deny that this is top-notch stuff. When you buy Mac 18, you're making a lifestyle choice. That's why I call it a "message malt." It sends a strong message no matter what you're trying to say.
Price: $239.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WA 91

Glen Garioch 12 Year Old Highland Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
The Glen Garioch distillery is one of Scotland's oldest and most legendary. Their flagship 12 year old remains an absolute classic. This distillery has been through a few owners and several stylistic changes in the last 40 years, but as stalwart steward for the Eastern Highlands style it has no equal. One thing that always amazes me about modern Glen Garioch is the opulent cereal qualities it's malt exhibits. Malted oats, sweet grain, floral honey and an attractive leafiness. On the palate some citrus, more grains, soft round texture added by the higher proof and some flinty pepper notes. Some water and the orchard fruits come out. A wonderful distinctive Highlander that should be considered a benchmark for any Scotch lover.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2006 Mortlach 10 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-29-2017
This is ultra clean restrained Mortlach that showcases the spirit in a way that we rarely get to see. Quite restrained at full strength with only hints of powdered candy, fresh malt, and tinge of dried herbs. With a drop of water, the incredible amount of interaction with oils is evident and the resulting explosion of flavor is shocking. Like the freshest Barlett Pears being sliced in front of you, tangerine peels, honeysuckle, not a beefy funky Mortlach, but a floral mineral note that reminds me of the best Alsatian wines. I really recommend just the tiniest drop and not more and with that on the palate we get tons of fresh ginger, more pear (the skins this time), sweet malt, and a earthy gentian note on the finish. This is that wild aperitif style that I love and while subtle, it's ultimately and absolute pleasure to drink.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Clear Creek McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-28-2017
The lovely McCarthy Whiskey is our friend Steve's real legacy and it was bitter sweet to try this new batch now that he's passed the reins on to new owners. Steve is just a fabulous distiller and since the distillery acquired the Clear Creek Brand at the beginning of 2014 and McCarthy's is always aged 3 years in Oregon Oak, this is likely the last of his personal distillate. The small scale has always meant subtle difference in each bottling, so batch variations is to be expected here. While the aging and blended would have been completed by the new owners at Hood River, the heart of this spirit is still Steve's. It remains a wonderful and unique offering, that's equal parts clean peat and woodsy oak. One the palate the campfire and pine notes really turn up. Many years ago, Steve had a great idea to buy peaty Scottish barley from Islay, distill it on a pot and age it in Oregon Oak and hopefully his legacy will continue for many years to come, but right now this whiskey remains a classic as it always has been, delicious!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Balvenie 12 Year Old Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-28-2017
The very special Balvenie 12 Year Single Barrel is really where real connoisseur of this Speyside gem should start their journey. This is true NAKED obfuscated Balvenie. Indeed, it is equally unchilltered and has much more body and richness than the standard 12 year. You don't get the tinge of Sherry that the Doublewood provides, but this is easily twice the whisky only a slight premium over the standard offering. The nose is chalked full of the most subtle aromatics and picking them out is difficult due to the complexity. Tons of fresh malt, ripe green and yellow fruits, wild herbal undertones. On palate, plenty of those stones fruits taking front and center. Great texture, great freshness and a wonderful minty malty finish. These are of course single barrels so subtle differences exist, but I haven't had a stinker yet. Grab them while you can.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park 12 Year Old Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-28-2017
Highland Park remains a sleeper despite the some international attention, it hasn't achieved the heights the it's sister distillery in Speyside has. Perhaps that's because it comes from the far flung Isle of Orkney or maybe it's just that HP isn't as flashy as her Sherried southern sister. Highland Park has been consistently producing some of the best malts anywhere in the world since 1798. Traditionally, Highland Park (many years ago) was a big smoky sooty oily funky monsters. In modern times the distillery has adopted a more subtle style. I guess the move away from floor maltings has increase it's availability and consistency. What's great about modern HP 12 is one of those slightly peated malts that almost anyone can appreciate. When someone asks for something with just a little bit of smoke, we really don't have a lot of options. With HP 12 you can expect a nose fresh malt, sweet honey, slight green woodsy quality and the slightest smoldering peat left over night in the hearth. The Island vibe is not lost in HP and a soft briny note is present throughout. The palate remains on the malty side with the peat taking a back seat and the real highland character turning up. All in all a lovely little offering the remains quite affordable from this historic distillery.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WA 90

2014 Domaine Baud Chardonnay l'Etoile Blanc
Review Date: 03-23-2017
The gorgeous Baud L'Etoile is an outrageous value. This is "Chardonnay" for the people that say they HATE Chardonnay. For me it's nearly the perfect white wine. Gorgeous golden color. A stupendous nose of rocky minerals, bright white currants and yuzu peel. Ultra clean and refreshing, but not light or low flavor. I love this style, but we usually have to pay $20 more to get there. Gonna buy a case before their all gone.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 03-23-2017
It's absolutely incredible that Clos De La Bonnette is not with a national importer. This is world class Condrieu that Somms and retailers across the country will be jealous they can't get. The beautiful Roches d'Arbuel is textbook Condrieu. Powerful aromatics, but not overly perfumed and with tons of pithy fruit. Very richly textured with a slightly hidden acidity poking out behind the richness. This is about the best value you could ever expect from one of the world's top white wine appelations.
Price: Hidden View Price

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-23-2017
I just can't believe Gary keeps pulling these magical DI Champagnes out of god knows where! He's a magician after all. This is ultra complex for the price, savory with out being stinky or funky. A beautiful bouquet of orange marmalade, quince, slightest hint of fresh mushroom, and a touch of brioche. Wonderfully rich on the palate with a pointed structure and a beautiful long soft finish. The total PACKAGE.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 WS 90

2012 Giacomo Fenocchio "Bussia" Barolo
Review Date: 03-23-2017
The stupendous 2012 Fenocchio is classic Bussia in everyway. The color is a rustic bloody red. A wild nose of dense dark tar, sweet dried roses & herbs, earthy red fruit. Dense but with great structure and length. No stinky new oak, no sweet over ripe fruit. It's a baby and needs sometime, but a fabulous under valued old school Barolo for the long haul.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 JS 93

2015 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 03-23-2017
This lovely Swiss varietal always gets me going. The wine is very light colored almost clear with flecks of green. White peaches and almond blossom, slight savory nuttiness. More body than expected with great length and a long medium level acidity that keeps it from feeling heavy. A pretty serious little wine masquerading as an aperitif, although the versatility here is endless. I'd pair up with a more serious food if necessary, although it could easily stand on its own if you don't want to bother cooking.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Arnot-Roberts Sonoma Coast Syrah
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Arnot Roberts is a favorite of the wines of balance geeks and there's no doubt that they're doing something really special up there in Healdsburg. That said this does not strike me as something that should be reserved for the geeks, while it's certainly a vin de garde, there's an obvious depth and complexity beyond just the wild acidity. A wonderful ethereal violet color in the glass. Deep dark aromas of fresh cracked pepper over dark blue fruit. Wonderful earthy and exotic woodsy tones and a racy structure hints at the incredible depth behind the fabulous wine. IT's begging you to put it away til 2020 and I think those who can commit to a longer term relationship with this special bottle will be seriously rewarded.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JG 92

1996 Glen Moray 19 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2017
Glen Moray (pronounced Murrey) is easily one of the most underappreciated Speysiders around. Perhaps that's thanks to the French owners lack of risk taking in the their standard distillery offerings, but we've taken note of the quality on some of the older single casks we've seen and appreciate the incredible value they represent. This casks has all the classic Speyside notes in spades. The nose is one big bushel of heather, the brambly shrub which dot the Scottish highlands with vibrant color in late summer. Honeyed citrus, bitter vanilla extract, tea, and barrel spice round out the inviting nose. The palate is bigger and richer than the nose might suggest, exhibiting a rather chewing texture at full strength. No need for water here, but drop will certainly turn up the fruity notes on the palate. The finish is long and warming with an almost cotton candy sweetness as the herbal tones dissipate. Another tremendous value from the Milroy line.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

1995 Glen Garioch 20 Year Old "John Milroy - K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2017
The first nosing of this stupendous cask takes me right back to Old Meldrum and our first visit to Glen Garioch. Here we have that wonderful Garioch maltiness, that's almost unmistakable. It could easily be a helping of skirlie ir mealie (oats fried in butter) if it weren't for that deep gravelly malt note in the background. With a bit of air and a drop of water, the beautiful flinty character of Garioch shines through, almost on the level of the best trocken Rieslings. The nose is vibrant with waxy fruit, grapeseed oil, lemon peel and tiny hints of camphor. The palate is so open, yet wildly complex with the waxy fruit gaining hold culminating in a long finish of herbs and green tea. An absolute treat and a great value for a rare blue chip distillery.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2012 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 02-21-2017
The majestic wines of Leeuwin are such a pleasure to consume, we often forget how special they are, whether the reason be the screw top or their limited availability. The potential of Margaret River on full display here, with incredible depth matching stupendous freshness. This is what Cabernet is all about. The wonderful deep dusty cassis fruit, the eucalyptus, the high grade fresh tobacco leaf, fancy leather imply a powerful. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect is that it achieves such depth and complexity, a full bodied experience while remaining elegant and somehow demure. Not bombastic, but a completely encompassing experience nonetheless.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 97 JH 96

2015 Felton Road "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-21-2017
Many California Pinot drinkers wouldn't bat an eye to spend $50 on a high quality Sonoma or Santa Rita Pinot Noir. Burgundy drinkers are just barely getting started at this price point, yet Felton Road is making absolutely world class wines and it feels like NO ONE IS NOTICING! Blind there would be no doubt to the trained aficionado that this is the fanciest Pinot. It's easy to recognize the world class wine making behind this special bottle. Powerful mineral complexity plays off a deep dark cherry and subtle savory quality. Incredibly pure and sound with a seamless structure that indicates years of further development ahead.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
BC 96 WS 94

2013 Dog Point Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 02-21-2017
Another stupendous wine from Dog Point. Deep and leesy with profound acidity and great textural complexity. Hard to compare this to Chardonnay from any other region, but it easily out performs the vast majority of similar wines in the price point. This wine is showing no signs of slowing down 4 years after harvest and I really want to stick a case in the cellar to see how this develops over the next half decade.

Old Forester "1920 Prohibition Style" Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
The Old Forester 1920 is as fabulous as it is frustrating. Yes, it's no age statement! Some of the marketing has alluded to it being an old expression, but nothing concrete can be found. The mashbill remains a mystery, though we can assume it's the modern Old Forester recipe (72%, 18% Rye, 10% Malt), Brown-Foreman isn't above experimenting. All we know about this stuff is that it's high proof, it's got something to do with Prohibition and it's absolutely delicious. Big powerful nose of pepper and rye spice unfolds into caramelized apples and dark exotic spice. The spice takes front and center on entry, but brings in some red fruits and burnt sugar as it lingers toward a long soft finish of nutmeg, cloves and green apples. The only other fact we know for sure is that we'll all be kicking ourselves when we finish our bottle and realize we should have bought more.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Writer's Tears Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2017
This elusive and quite wonderful little whiskey has been on constant request at the story for years. Actually, I've been telling people "No, sorry we can't get that" every other week of so for over 7 years now! It's one of those things that people fall in love with over there and don't realize they can't just pick it up when they get home. Well, the wait is finally over. This wonderful offering from the exceptional Walsh Distillery in County Carlow is easily one of the best values in Irish Whiskey. Hailing from Ireland's historic east, this area is famous for whiskey and beer thanks to the incredible waters that bubble below the surface, but no large distillery has had a presence here for more than 100 years. In the 1800s, the Irish Whiskey industry was on fire. Consumption, production and exports, continued to break records despite social and political upheaval in Ireland. Funny thing about Irish Whiskey, because of the unique process of blending malted and un-malted barley and distilling in pot-stills, it was actually considered the top quality whiskey in the world pre-prohibition. That's because then, and now, the majority of people didn't want stinky peaty malty single malt from Scotland, but instead were looking for a whiskey that's rich, smooth and easy to drink. Irish Whiskey was the best choice for most consumers before the controversial introduction of grian (column still) production in the 1830s. When this low cost and low flavored spirit was introduced there were legal battles across the world about whether the product could actually be called whiskey. The Scots realized early that they could cut their flavorful malts with this new type of whiskey. This new lower flavored Scotch started to beat the Irish in terms of cost and attain similar levels "smoothness". Across the Irish Sea, Ireland's stalwart large distillers considered the grain whiskies inferior and committed to producing only higher quality pot still whiskey. By never adopted this cheaper technology despite the nationality of it's inventory, Aeneas Coffey, they'd unwittingly caused the decline, which would almost destroy the industry completely. In the coming decades, the loss of Ireland's primary market due to alcoholic prohibition, was the final blow to the struggling Irish Whiskey industry. It wasn't until the '70s that the industry acquiesced and began to produce whiskey in the style most know it today, Jameson Blended Whiskey. Any even LESS flavorful version of the Scottish style blend. Now, we have this special whiskey, a recreation of what might have been served to Yeats or Joyce might have been served at the pub in Dublin during their youth. It takes us back to that era when the Irish dominated both the whiskey and literary world. Regardless of the historical importance of this style of whiskey, what really matters is that it's absolutely LOVELY to drink. It's the sort of thing that makes you realize why in the 19th century Irish Whiskey was widely considered to be the world's best dram. Like Redbreast or Green Spot, the Writer's Tears sets a new bench mark for people who want rich, complex yet ultra smooth whiskey. The whiskey is even more open than those other two, shedding the dense grainy fruitiness, for a lifted nose of citrus, rich malt, and rich wild honey. The palate shows more of the pot still intensity, with dark grains and rich spicy malt relenting to the dense floral and more honey notes on the finish. The finish is soft and round, bringing the whole package together with a pretty little knot. Maybe this isn't the whiskey to buy for Scotch nerd friend that loves Laphroaig, but it's probably a great choice for just about everyone else in the world.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Casa Dragones Blanco Tequila (750ml) (ships as a 1.5l)
Review Date: 01-03-2017
Ultra smooth blanco component from the wildly successful Casa Dragones Sipping Tequila Joven. The spicy black pepper and dark mineral notes are softened by a third distillation. Usually, I would avoid triple distilled Tequila because they tend to lack character, but this Blanco is definitely the exception to that rule of thumb. The result is a fruity, whimsical blanco, that provides good depth and structure thanks to the ultra high quality lowland fruit that's being used. Drinking Blanco is becoming cool again and this is one of the best options to get you away from the oaky extra anejos or the ultra intensely flavored old school blancos.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Ohishi "'K&L Exclusive"' Single Sherry Cask #1023 Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-13-2016
This magic little cask of Ohishi proves again there is just nothing wrong with rice whisky, nothing at all. The nose is wonderfully fresh and keeps you on your feet for a big dose of fresh cut apple, followed by a deep dark Oloroso note, and sweet caramelized citrus. Subtle yet full of life, the whole thing builds and brings you some lovely hints of funk around these very pretty fruit flavors. The palate is pretty weighty, but balance is the key factor. The freshness isn't lost at all, and some cocoa and barrel spice along with dark vanilla bean and slight earthy warehouse funk take over. It's so utterly drinkable it will be difficult to put down, if you know what I'm saying. Beware!
Price: Hidden View Price

1989 Dauzac, Margaux
Review Date: 09-21-2016
Love this old-school style with tons of perfumed fruit and deep mineral quality. Extreme elegance and stupendous depth with the tiniest hint of earthy brett. This wine easily bests several more renowned chateaux at multiples of the price.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2008 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-24-2016
Another stupendous value from the magicians at Baron Fuente, this magically little bottle should embarrass most grand marque producers releasing lesser wine for 2 or 3 times the price. The nose has fresh nuts, strong stone fruit and yellow flowers (honeysuckles!). The palate shows exceptional balance with extreme focus revolving around citrus and stone fruits again, but with a freshness that can't go unnoticed. Supremely drinkable, but still taught hinting at wonderful potential in the cellar. Early proof that 2008 was truly the special vintage that was promised.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Michel Couvreur "Pale Single Single" Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-22-2016
A single malt from a single cask from this renowned blender is always a treat. Here we're off the big sherry notes that Couvreur is known for and onto something more malt-driven. Still with that beautiful Burgundian cellar experience, but now pointed with Highland flowers, wild honey, white and yellow fruit. I'm wanting to say this is Clynelish, but cannot confirm. Now that we're able to list this below $100 it's a no-brainer and certainly a unique experience that's not easily replicated anywhere else on the shelf.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2012 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This might be the deal of the vintage. This is real solid uncompromising style of Margaux for a very reasonable price. I really can't believe it's still in stock because this is both drinking and cellaring Bordeaux at a fraction of the cost of some of it's neighbors. Big notes of coffee, violets, dark plum and vanilla. The perfect silky texture and wonderful ripe tannin. The whole thing is balanced and lifted with a great freshness! An open bombastic style without the sense that it's modernized or international in style at all.

Ariston Aspasie "Prestige Vieilles Vignes" Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This is a wonderful example of what OLD VINES means for champagne. Real old vines! The depth and power is not surpassed by anything in the price point. Fresh open and alive, tons of black cherry, touches of fresh brioche, big bold richness with an ultra long finish. Bubbles for ballers who don't have that black card yet.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Just astonishing how delicious this is for the price. It hits every note you want from a rose champagne, both power and elegance, round and rich with great long structure, aromatic pinot fruit with a hint of savory spice. You could decant it and serve it with a filet mignon as easily as you'd serve it with your aper'eau. A triumph of wine making fit for the most frugal lover of bubbles and the most opulent spender alike.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2004 Charles Ellner "Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
Even though this has been aged at the estate for years, it is still taught and full of life. Creamy apple and pear on the nose, with a big laser beam of apply acid on the palate. Mouth filling and thirst quenching, don't leave me alone with one of these if you were expecting to have a glass. Despite the obvious complexity and depth at this stage, I long to enjoy it again after another few years in the cellar. Buy a case and drink it over the next half decade or so and you will be RIGHTEOUSLY rewarded.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 WE 91

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
This is basically the non-vintage champagne that everybody wants, everybody needs, and everybody can have! It checks every box. It suits any occasion. It fits nearly any budget. It delivers in every single way. Perfect blanc de blancs nose, vibrant soft white fruit, fresh crisp apples and citrus, slight saline, and that grand cru chalkiness that you can't miss. Lively, pointed and open - it slips from the glass like a slithering snake, just disappears. Where did it go? I don't know. Buy another.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
I was skeptical thanks to the wonky label, but I am converted. I even think the label has started to grown on me. Here we have wonderful balance and depth, a sign that the wines in the cuvee are perfectly matured. Indeed, the elevage must have been of the very highest quality. Expect a nose of dense stone fruit (apricot jam) spread next to the finest wildflower honey. A slight breadiness keeps the aromas from feeling too sweet. The palate is perfectly balanced with less sweet flavors and the perfect dose of acidity. Round ripe citrus, complex leesy notes and a lengthy closure. Truly an honor to sell the estate bottlings from this wonderful negoc.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 VN 90

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-27-2016
A great mousse, clean apple, subtle cherry. Lovely freshness with a distinct bready top note. Rare to find a better value than this in Champagne, the Ariston's commitment to quality is second to none and thanks to our DI relationship, we're selling this at Cremant prices!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2016
This spectacular wine is word class in every way. IN our recent tasting, although it was much younger, this was closest in style to the $350 Dom Perignon P2 that we tried, but it's just SO much better! The massive richness and complexity of the grapes works perfectly in this style, small barrel ageing. If you're going to oak your wine, you better make sure that you're putting the very best grapes in there or you're gonna have a bad time. The ultra complex style is as seamless as it is sexy. Truly the perfect Tete-de-Cuvee and would be a steal at twice the price. But then again we sell out of this one every time, so not sure if I'm doing anyone any favors with this one...
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2009 Trimbach "Cuvée Frédéric Émile" Riesling Alsace
Review Date: 04-06-2016
Truly a superlative offering from one of Alsace's most prominent producers. This is full-bodied dry Riesling in its prime. Developing great texture and supreme complexity, the 2009 is drinking like a dream. Big honey, big citrus aromatics, powerful mineral and fresh white pepper on the nose. The palate bodes well for this wines future, great structure and intensity, but open and ready to go if you need it. You can drink it all up right now, or put it away for another decade or more.

High West "American Prairie" Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-11-2016
High West have made great strides in the craft whiskey world by blending young and old straight whiskies to achieve great depth and complexity for a fraction of the cost of other bottlers. They intelligently acquired good stocks of Indiana and Kentucky bourbon and rye before the explosion of craft bottlers bought up the remaining stocks of aging whiskey. Not only do they have some of the best stocks, they're completely transparent about why and how these products were produced. No mythology here, just really good whiskey, from named sources (where legally possible), bottled at a totally reasonable price.
Price: $33.99 Add To Cart

Carpano "Antica Formula" Sweet Vermouth (1L)
Review Date: 01-06-2016
NO finer tool is available to prevent the home bartender from ruining his or her Manhattan. As long as you manage to get some of this stuff in there, you're probably going to make a solid drink! Only added 1/4 of an oz? Don't worry, the rich dense vanilla will still poke through behind your whiskey of choice. Accidentally flipped the recipe? Who cares, more Carpano more delicious! Needless to say, Carpano Antique is single-handedly improving our cocktails. Some call it a crutch, but who doesn't like having something to lean on. Even with the plethora of fine vermouth on the market, Carpano Antique remains our number one BEST SELLER.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Mortlach 25 Year Old Gordon & Macphail Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-06-2016
The spectacular Mortlach 25 year from Gordon & Macphail reminds us how important the independent bottler. While the distillery's owners release a similar product for nearly 5 times the price, the little grocer in Elgin, who centuries ago was the official bottler for many of the Highland's finest distillers, releases one of the the finest examples of Speyside whisky for what might be considered a nominal price. Owe it to their solid contracts and some serious local street cred, this exquisite little whisky is one of the finest deals in the store.
Price: $219.99 Add To Cart

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