Staff Favorites - Keith Mabry

Keith Mabry

Reviews

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2014 Domaine Vincent Carême "Le Peu Morier" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-22-2018
When you taste a great Vouvray, the purest expression of Chenin Blanc emerges. It is a wine that unfolds with grace and elegance but also underlying power. Dry expressions such as the Careme Le Peu Morier resonate and crackle on the palate with nerve and intensity. The feeling is akin to a Grand Cru Chablis but with more stone fruit notes. The Le Peu Morier even feels like a great Vaudesir from the likes of Dauvissat or Patrick Piuze, with its surge of energy, body and fruit intensity. The profile is still Vouvray, with flavors of grilled nectarine, smoked orange peel, blanched almonds and kumquats. It is harmonious and youthful and is the kind of white you should not fear decanting if you consume it on the young side. Cellaring is definitely not out of order here either. With a few more years, the flavors will enjoy even greater depth. This is a true beauty and a worthy wine for anyone who enjoys stunning whites of all shapes and sizes.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart
W&S 95

2015 Château Saint-Roch "Chimères" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 05-22-2018
There is no shortage of fans of Jean-Marc Lafage's wines here at K&L and I happen to be in that camp. The Chimeres is robust, full bodied and long on the palate with its meaty smoky brambly black fruit and roasted mineral notes. It is classic Roussillon. This wine will deliver for hours in the glass and maybe even a few extra days in the bottle if you don't finish it right away. Never a problem though at my house when Lafage is behind the winemaking.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Baron de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Rudi des Pins of Montfaucon is a Clairette guy. Not to be confused with the red wine synonym for Bordeaux, Clairette is a WHITE grape variety that offers distinct mineral notes and crisper acidity for wines made in the south of France. Rudi makes a pure Clairette from his oldest vines but his Cotes du Rhone Blanc is a more fruit forward blend that adds a little Grenache Blanc and Viognier to round out the flavors and provide lovely orchard fruit notes. This white is loaded with white peach, pear and light jasmine tones. It is lightly floral and pure deliciousness. Serve this with a salad of smoked trout over greens or grilled halibut with a seasonal fruit compote slathered over it.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

2015 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
What began as an exploratory expedition quickly forged into a new K&L direct relationship. I met Guy Farge through an agent at the ViniSud wine fair back in February. I tasted his line-up and was quickly smitten with the wines. I immediately booked some time to visit him in March when I would visit the Rhone Valley in search of new producers and great wines from the 2015 vintage. Guy makes a range of Northern Rhone wines but he is best known for his two Saint-Joseph cuvees and this knockout Cornas. Farge owns about 2.7 hectares in Cornas with 1.7 of those in the Renard lieu-dit. This crazy sloped parcel sits between two of the most prestigious neighbors you could have in the region - August Clape and Thierry Allemand. We stood at the top of Renarde together and he pointed out his neighbors. Vertigo only begins to describe my reaction. His Cornas vines aren't terraced like the Hermitage or Cote Rotie vineyards (which are still pretty vertigo inducing). The had Guy's style of winemaking is pretty traditional, doing stem inclusion during fermentation and barrel aging in barrique with minimal new oak included. The wine is pure Cornas though with its meaty gamy black fruit and leathery tannins.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 91

2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-14-2018
Delivering all things good in a Vouvray, this 100% Chenin Blanc hits the right notes with beautiful caramelized apple, candied orange peel and the ever present quince paste. Lots of texture, vibrant acidity and a dry finish and you have one of the best values in Vouvray I have tasted in quite some time. I want to drink the heck out of this and if you find a couple bottles in your cellar in a few years, even better.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

2016 Clos de la Bonnette Syrah Vieilles Vignes Collines Rhodannienes
Review Date: 05-14-2018
This special Syrah comes from an old-vine vineyard parcel just outside the Cote-Rotie appellation. It is loaded with brambly, peppery black fruit flavors and delivers the classic northern Rhone profile with a little more heft and lift. It is a pure expression of the beauty of Syrah and that is what Clos de la Bonnette represents. This is a wine that resonates and drinks like a Cote-Rotie but for half the price. You also don't need to wait long, the 2016 vintage provides lovely fruit generosity and supple tannins. This is a real treat for fans of the Northern Rhone and Syrah in general.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 05-14-2018
I have the softest of spots in my heart for the vineyards and wines of Clos de la Bonnette. What proprietors Isabelle Guiller and Henri Montabonnet have accomplished is nothing short of remarkable. Restoring this ancient vineyard in Condrieu is the biggest labor of love I have seen in my many years in the wine industry. It is a beautiful site and the wines it is producing are exceptional. Isabelle leans towards the more restrained style of aromatics in her Condrieu. The wine shows an Anjou pear nose and lovely finesse with light jasmine notes. It is balanced and harmonious which is not something we always say with Viognier based wines. This is purity defined and so elegant, I can't resist it.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 JD 90

2015 Château de Montfaucon Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 05-14-2018
Rhone red season doesn't really begin for me until the new vintage of Montfaucon arrives. Always held back a little longer to give the fruit, spice and structure to fully integrate, the new 2015 is smoking! Beautiful raspberry and dried blueberry flavors are harmonious with the peppery spices and crushed herbs that make Cotes-du-Rhone fruit so fun and accessible. The new Cotes-du-Rhone offers such vivid regional flavors, that it's no surprise that it is getting even more critical attention this year. Perfect for your backyard barbecues, weekday meals or for bringing over to friends' houses for immediate consumption. Plenty of fruit intensity and structure allows you to forget a handful of bottles in your collection to rediscover in a few years as well.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
My visit to Gardette in 2017 consisted of tasting the 2015 vintage, just freshly bottled, and some barrel tasting of the 2016s. Both went well beyond impressive to say the least. The 2016 though had so much depth of flavor, it is no surprise that Jean-Baptiste Meunier, proprietor of Gardette, declared it the best vintage he has ever made. This past March, I returned to taste the now bottled 2016s and barrel taste the 2017s (also impressive but something we'll examine next year when those wines are ready). Jaw-dropping was my reaction. The Cuvee Ventabren had such power and weight behind it but extraordinary balance. It was a new benchmark rivaling the top cuvees from Saint-Cosme (Jean-Baptiste's dear friend) for a fraction of the price. The Ventabren is definitely cellar-worthy with its beguiling spice box nose and perfume of garrigue and incense. Deep blackberry fruit comes in waves accented by the panoply of those surrounding aromas. The Ventabren is not a hedonistic style outright but one that is more savory and spicy capturing what makes the region so different from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. I often find myself relishing the wines of Gigondas more than the CDPs, not just because they represent greater value but they can match the quality of Chateauneuf without losing a step. Don't miss this extraordinary bottling from one of our favorite producers as it won't last long in the stores.

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 05-09-2018
This is now our third year working with Remizieres and each year the wines just keep delivering more and more. This is a rubber meets the road kind of vintage, where a really good producer in what is one of the greatest years on record delivering what will surely be an iconic bottle of wine. And it's only $25 a bottle? The "Cuvee Christophe" comes from the most select parcels of the Crozes portion of the estates property and it shows. The vines average age is around 65, all on clay-limestone soils. Where the basic Crozes had lovely pointed fruit, this "Christophe" comes from a much deeper place. Layers of blue and black fruit aromas unfold on the nose and deliver a rich saturated palate in the mouth. There is so much going on, I couldn't get my notes down fast enough. Sexy now but oh what a sweet treat to find some (or in my case many) bottles stashed in a cellar in a few years. And it's only $25! Do not miss this!!

2015 Christophe Billon "Les Elotins" Côte-Rotie
Review Date: 05-08-2018
A visit to Christophe Billon was one of the highlights of my 2017 buying trip. Winding up the back roads of Cote Rotie, the dramatic hillsides of mica-schist resonate with character. And it takes a little character to farm these dangerously steep slopes. Christophe Billon is that person, sussing out the best his vineyards have to offer. Myself and a colleague sampled through his lovely and open 2014s but when we barrel-tasted the 2015s, the line-up was something to behold. Billon's "Les Elotins” fruit all comes from Billon's Côte Brune vineyard. From barrel, the wine had a gorgeous core of concentrated cherry fruit. It was persistent on the palate and finished with a panoply of baking spices. It was harmonious and full of life. A stunning opening to the rest of his series. Now that the wine has arrived in the states, I have had a chance to revisit and was equally, if not more impressed. The firm edges have rounded and the fruit is beautifully elegant. More of the hallmark flavors of Côte Rotie have begun to emerge with the garrigue and spices exploding from the glass. Nearly drinkable now (it is with a decant and a hearty meal), a few short years in the cellar should deliver even more as this wine has a lot to offer.

2015 Christophe Billon "Côte Rozier" Côte-Rotie
Review Date: 05-08-2018
The Cote Rozier is the first vintage this wine has been bottled as a single lieu-dit (designated vineyard site). It is everything one could hope for in a Côte-Rotie with its aromas of grilled meats and crushed rocks. The wine is superbly complex and with its powerful structure will provide even greater rewards with a little patience.

2015 Christophe Billon "La Brocarde" Côte-Rotie
Review Date: 05-08-2018
Coming from Christophe's most select parcel in Côte Brune, the young tannic structure was present but it could not conceal the aromas of blueberry, potpourri and leather. It was highly expressive and an exceptional way to finish the round of tasting. This wine put the accent point on our visit with Billon. I left the cellar incredibly smitten with the Billon wines and I cannot stress enough that it’s time to get on board before this train leaves the station.

2016 Domaine de Pallus "Messanges" Chinon
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Cabernet Franc is my favorite weeknight wine. They always provide everything I want with a flavor profile somewhere near a mellow cabernet meets a pinot noir. And they are so versatile with food. They go with my homemade chili, pan fried pork chops or that rotisserie chicken I picked up at Costco. The region of Chinon is probably the most recognizable region in Cabernet Franc production and with good reason. Sitting at the conjunction of the Vienne and Loire Rivers, Chinon has a mixture of varied soils from sand and gravel to calcareous clay and of course the region's signature limestone bench upon which it all sits. The most generous and fruit driven wines (aka, the drinkers) tend to come from the gravel and sand and are my favorite wines for daily consumption. The "Messanges" delivers all of that and a bag of chips (which it can go with well, too). It has a gorgeous nose of brambly red fruit, subtle rose and violet tones and a smooth and supple palate with balancing acidity and tannins. It is ripe, harmonious and makes Tuesday nights so much more interesting.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2016 Domaine la Clef du Récit Sancerre
Review Date: 05-01-2018
Winemaker Anthony Girard has earned the keys to the castle (clef is French for key) with this extraordinary and harmonious Sancerre. It was a breakout star for us in 2015, and the new vintage is a stellar followup with its gorgeous grapefruit nose and mineral-laden palate. The wine captures the nerve and essence of the 2016 vintage and resonates beautifully on the palate. Some next-level Sancerre here.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 05-01-2018
My visit last year with Eric Cottat was brief but memorable. He has become one of our most desirable producers in Sancerre with each release selling out shortly after it arrives. Eric works his vineyards sustainably with an unerring eye for detail and minimal intervention in the winemaking. This is our last call on the 2016 Eric Cottat Sancerre with its profile of grapefruit, lemon zest, gooseberry and chalky minerality. It is quite pleasurable with its vibrant acidity and crunchy finish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil Rosé
Review Date: 05-01-2018
The “Les Rochettes” is produced from the gravelly and sandy soils sitting over the limestone bench that makes Bourgueil special. The nose of strawberry and red currants is fresh and intense and hints of lavender and rosemary remind you of the character of the region. This is a perfect sipper for bruschetta or creamy goat cheese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or a salad of greens, strawberries, almonds and Manchego cheese.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé (375ml)
Review Date: 05-01-2018
The Sancerre rosé from Domaine des Côtes Blanches is always a treat and always one of my favorite Pinot Noir rosés of the season. This shows a lighter color with an elegant nose of white flowers, fresh picked strawberries and a crisp cherry finish. The Côtes Blanches is the perfect accompaniment to salmon glazed with a mustard tarragon sauce or mussels steamed with garlic, sausage, and of course, a little rosé wine!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-01-2018
The Sancerre rosé from Domaine des Côtes Blanches is always a treat and always one of my favorite Pinot Noir rosés of the season. This shows a lighter color with an elegant nose of white flowers, fresh picked strawberries and a crisp cherry finish. We have a limited number of magnums suitable for your summertime drinking needs. The Côtes Blanches is the perfect accompaniment to salmon glazed with a mustard tarragon sauce or mussels steamed with garlic, sausage, and of course, a little rosé wine!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 05-01-2018
The Sancerre rosé from Domaine des Côtes Blanches is always a treat and always one of my favorite Pinot Noir rosés of the season. This shows a lighter color with an elegant nose of white flowers, fresh picked strawberries and a crisp cherry finish. Even more fun, we have a limited number of half bottles and magnums suitable for all your summertime drinking needs. The Côtes Blanches is the perfect accompaniment to salmon glazed with a mustard tarragon sauce or mussels steamed with garlic, sausage, and of course, a little rosé wine!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 J. Mourat "Collection" Val de Loire Rosé
Review Date: 05-01-2018
One of my go-to rosés of the season is always the J. Mourat, and it’s not just the adorable little owl on the label that makes it special for me. The 2017 “Collection” Val de Loire Rosé has a freshness of white peach and a raspberry skin texture that is engaging. I love the feel here and its length on the palate, which is full of the aforementioned raspberry fruit, and there is also a light orange peel note that makes this a great food pairing. With its great acidity and texture allowing it cut through spicy foods, it is a delicious wine to serve with lovely Thai curries or chicken larb.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge
Review Date: 04-30-2018
I taste a lot of wine and fortunately I have a lot of "Wow, that is great!" moments. Every once in awhile, you have an emotional connection with a wine that goes beyond "Wow, delicious." This Bandol gave me one of those moments. Bandol is the home base for Mourvedre, a rustic meaty grape that shows it best potential when coming from the heavy calcareous-clay soils from the region. It is a couple of kilometers in from the Mediterranean Sea and the high sun-exposed hills and cool breezes from the sea give the grape the necessary climate to express its best self. Domaine Tempier is probably the benchmark for producers in the region and the wines are deep rich and long lived, and once needed decades to evolve. The overt rusticity in general though has drifted towards the background, ever present but no longer dominant. The winemaking in general is just so much cleaner that gamy nuances are from the Mourvedre fruit and not from brettanomyces, which was prevalent in the old-school wines. So that brings me to Begude. The property is ancient going back centuries but proprietors Guillaume and Soledad Tari are more recent additions to the region coming to Bandol in 1996. With a background and family in Bordeaux, they brought those sensibilities to Bandol, making pure, focused and gorgeous wines. I tasted it a couple of months ago and thought this is a great wine for our French Regional program and we would be happy to have it on our shelves. Now that it has arrived, I tasted it again and BOOM, I was transported. The dusty spices, the smell of the surrounding forest, the warm confiture of blackberry and blackcurrant fruit, notes of toasted nori, the harmonious tannins and sweet long finish. It was everything I didn't know I wanted until I had it. It was definitive. So this part of the story, I would usually recommend buying some bottles, some to drink now, some to put away, but it goes beyond that. I want you to drink this wine. Not because it's ready, but because it's special and in your glass, you will have the definition of what this region is - the warm sunny days, cooling sea breezes, ancient seabed soils, gorgeous surrounding forests and that special grape, Mourvedre. This is what Bandol is and you should have it now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2010 Domaine de Montbourgeau Vin Jaune de l'Etoile (620ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2018
This is one of the most harmonious young Vin Jaune's I've tasted in quite some time. I say young because the wine spends 7 years under the traditional layer of yeast before bottling making this the current release. These kinds of wines have an almost indefinable history of longevity. I've had some going back to the forties and they are exquisite. I know people who've tasted further back than that with the same kinds of results. What makes Vin Jaune so special in general and this in particular is the layers of unique flavors that persist from nose to palate to finish. Explosive aromas of tamarind, salted apples, caramelized walnuts lead to a palate of smoked lemon peel and light peat tones all while having beautiful acidity and balance. The finish persists for minutes if not longer. All this in a dry wine! It is unique and not necessarily for everyone but if you are open, trust me you'll be in all the way. And when you try it, make sure to have a hunk of Comte cheese on hand. There is no better pairing in the wine universe.
Price: $76.99 Add To Cart
RP 97

2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau "Cuvée Speciale" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-19-2018
A bit more of an outlier, the Cuvee Speciale is all Chardonnay aged sous voile like a Vin Jaune. Not quite as long but it has all of those beautiful qualities. Brined apples, sweet spices, dried pineapple and roasted almonds, it has a quality that resonates on the palate. If you've had Vin Jaune before, you'll know what I'm talking about but the feel here is a touch fresher and feels a tad rounder since the grape is Chardonnay. It is a gorgeous expression worthy of any Jura collector or someone looking to explore a little outside the box.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2014 Domaine de Montbourgeau "En Banode" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-19-2018
The wines of Montbourgeau are no joke and this is one of the best introductions you could hope for. The En Banode is a field blend of Savagnin and Chardonnay that has gorgeous aromas of curry spices and tamarind and persists long on the palate. Salted caramel apples, lemon curd and a bit of fenugreek develop on the palate and the vibrant acidity leads to a long finish. It's hard to contextualize these kinds of wines if you have never had them but think Fino or Manzanilla sherry with more intense weight and underlying acidity meets aged white Burgundy. The wine is a beast with food too. I love to serve this with oilier cuts of grilled fish, any type Japanese cuisine and aged cheeses.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2014 Charles Joguet "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" Chinon
Review Date: 04-16-2018
Capturing the essence of Chinon, let alone the Loire Valley, is no easy task but the wines of Charles Joguet continue to do so with all their site specific bottlings. The Les Varennes is something truly special though coming from a single parcel of own-rooted vines on the sandy-clay hillsides that make up the best sites. The wines expresses all of the things good about the noble Cabernet Franc varietal, including the characteristics of black raspberry, cherry and lavendar oil. A touch of crushed herb puts you firmly in Chinon. The texture is something to behold as well, and it is the ideal reflection of the 2014 vintage. Sinewy acidity is framed by supple tannins and the finish is long. The vintage is not as robust and fruited in general as say 2015, which we call more of a crossover style. 2014 is for purists and classicists. And that is where the Les Varennes sits, on the edge of classic but with such potency that a few years in the cellar will be well rewarded.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94 WS 92

2015 Domaine Cabirau "First Things First" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-03-2018
This new bottling from Cabirau is almost a fluke really. After some equipment malfunction in the vineyards, a small portion of the harvest was left for some additional time on the vine. This last parcel was brought in later and went through elevage in foudre separately so as not to interfere with the character of the classic Serge & Nicolas. And what character indeed! Lush but not over-the-top it is filled with strawberry jam, framboise, sassafras, nutmeg and notes of bay. This wine benefits with a little longer aging also yielding sweeter rounder tannins. A remarkably delicious endeavor for sure and one hopes a mistake worth repeating.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 - 96

2016 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-03-2018
The beauty of Maury and its vineyards is derived from the shattered rocky brown schist that makes up this other-worldly landscape. When climbing through the vineyards (it's too difficult to just wander), its easy to recognize that though these soils are difficult to farm, the quality of Grenache, Syrah and Caringnan that these vineyards produce can be unparalleled. Importer Dan Kravitz recognized this quality from the beginning when he picked up a dozen or so acres of vineyards and began making his wines from a special plot in Maury. Almost immediately, the critics recognized Dan's endeavors often awarding his wines high marks. Dan's flagship wine is the "Serge & Nicolas" which is his best parcel selection and oldest vines. Showing the depth and richness that wines from these vines can produce, black fruit, anise, violets and peppery spices erupt from the glass. Expressive but still balanced by lingering acidity, Dan continues to produce wines that offer an other-worldly experience.

2016 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 04-03-2018
The 2016 Cabirau Cotes du Roussillon does everything it should upon opening. Delivers delicious ripe fruit, sweet spices and a juicy saturated finish that pleases the senses. Every year this tried and tasted beauty is pure pleasure and the 2016 lives up to all of its predecessors promises. I love the wines of Roussillon for their inviting loveliness and joyful flavors and this year's Cabirau will be at the top of the list for sensational bargains.

2016 Jean Reverdy "La Reine Blanche" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-02-2018
There is an ocean of Sancerre out there and one of my favorite jobs at K&L is to swim through it all and find the real standouts. In this instance, we came across a particularly inviting wine from one of our suppliers that has a long history in the appellation and delivers on its promise of all things classic and wonderful from this region. Domaine Jean Reverdy is a hallmark producer and this wine is from a benchmark vintage. The wines of 2016 have beautiful nerve and tension and the Reverdy delivers that with its perfume of grapefruit, fresh cut grass and chalky minerality. Where 2015 as a vintage had more exotic and borderline tropical nuances, people who have been drinking Sancerre long before it became "a thing" will be whisked back to the golden age when vibrancy and minerality were the first things you noticed in a great bottle from the region. Rejoice in the classic nature of this wine and its promise of other great things to come from the region.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Consistently my favorite go-to bubble for its freshness, deft touch and biscuity aromas, the Fuente has always punched well above its fighting weight. Much like Goldilocks, I put Fuente in my "Just Right" category. It hits all the marks of balanced fruit, doughy yeast and crunchy acidity to give me everything I want in Champagne. The magnum is the most ideal of Champagne formats as the wine lays a little longer on its lees before disgorgement, offering even more perfume, toast and spiced layers. I always grab a magnum or two to have on hand for instant party needs when those few extra guests inevitably make the rounds.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuente "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Consistently my favorite go-to bubble for it's freshness, deft touch and biscuity aromas, the Fuente has always punched well above its fighting weight. Much like Golidlocks, I put Fuente in my "Just Right" category. It hits all the marks of balanced fruit, doughy yeast and crunchy acidity to give me everything I want in Champagne and in this half bottle format makes it too easy to knock one of these "puppies" back as a single serving on a near-daily basis.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Consistently my favorite go-to bubble for it's freshness, deft touch and biscuity aromas, the Fuente has always punched well above its fighting weight. Much like Golidlocks, I put Fuente in my "Just Right" category. It hits all the marks of balanced fruit, doughy yeast and crunchy acidity to give me everything I want in Champagne and for sub-$25 it even qualifies as daily drinker (or couple times a week drinker). The Grande Reserve is always satisfying from whatever angle you approach it and for sheer value, cannot be beat.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Barbaresco for under $20? Yes, that's correct. But could it be good? Yes, it is! The Bersano "Mantico" almost defies credibility by being exactly what it purports to be - a gorgeous and inviting Barbaresco for the most reasonable of prices. The wine captures the more elegant stylings of Barbaresco with perfumed fruits of Bing cherry and dried strawberry finishing with savory spices, oolong tea and much more supple tannins. It takes a lot of work and negotiating to get grande marques wines like Brunello, Barolo and Barbaresco down to prices like this, so kudos to buyer, Greg St. Clair for bringing home the prize for what is destined to be one of the best values of the year.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-31-2018
I don't usually think of Toscana red blends as luscious but the Pepita is one luscious wine. A warm vintage pushes this multi-varietal blend towards international styling but never loses sight of its Tuscan roots. Vibrant and clean flavors of Maraska cherries, crushed herbs and savory spices lead to a subtly mouthfilling wine that has polished tannins and a sweet lingering finish. The acid structure keeps it all together and says, I am Italian! This is probably one of my favorite Ferrero wines to date for its shear accessibility and pleasure to drink with food. Give me a Bistecca alla Fiorentina to go with this bold and delicious red.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 01-30-2018
Like all Lafage wines, there is no shortage of fruit in the GSM. The wine has the sensation of warm raspberry coulis drizzled over a berry compote. It almost sounds like a little much but Lafage excels at creating finesse where fruit lingers. Great acidity, plush velvety tannins and glycerol richness lead you to believe this is a much more expensive wine and gives you the balance you desire. The name Jean-Marc Lafage has become synonymous with cost to quality in our stores. Every wine is inflected with his joyously exuberant style. For wines that you can drink every day that show pure pleasure in the glass, you need look no further than Lafage's harmonious Grenache Syrah Mourvedre blend.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 01-26-2018
It's hard to find this quality of Syrah for this price anywhere in the world let alone the Rhone Valley. The 2015 of the Remizieres Crozes was a breakthrough wine for us as it gave our clients access to the Northern Rhone for a very reasonable price. No doubt it was special as people came back for more, again and again. It became one of our best selling northern Rhone wines of all time. And from a small estate producer?? But that's what our Direct Import program helps us do - bring you quality wines at great price points. So how does the 2016 measure up? Beyond favorable, it is brighter and more overt than the 2015 which makes it so appealing now. It has great acidity and smoother tannins, sweet black plum fruit and savory spices. The 16 is not as concentrated, as 2015 was a warmer vintage overall, but it is fleshy, vibrant and good to go. I am thrilled we were able to establish this direct relationship with Remizieres. They have continued to wow us at all levels of their production from this humble little red, to their sultry whites to their deeply powerful Hermitage.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2009 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
The 2009 sings with an opulence that reminds me of a stone fruit crumble. Toasty spices, hint of nutmeg with notes of white nectarine are all balanced on the framework of lovely acidity and tight bubbles. This is such a fine bottle of Champagne to drink now and over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Lirac "Lorentine"
Review Date: 01-18-2018
You hear of Lirac producers making Chateauneuf-du-Pape but not so much about Chateauneuf producers picking up Lirac properties...until now! Marcoux recognized the quality of the vineyards and potential and with their bio-dynamic sensibilities found some incredible plots across the river in Lirac and are now making this exciting red. Full of smoky rustic flavors, this is old-school with peppery spice and saddle leather wrapped around blackcurrant and roasted plum fruit. The perfect foil for some cowboy chili or braised pork belly.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Marcoux was my winery of the year last year for their incredible Chateauneuf releases. The 2015s were expressive, classic and layered with so much potential that they will surely deliver the goods over the next two decades. The 2016 vintage is as equally impressive (and maybe ultimately longer living). The wines show a level of depth that goes beyond simple hedonism. The basic or entry level wines from producers like Marcoux are always the great bellwether for exciting vintages because when the starter wines show this great, you know the high-end stuff will be legendary. Marcoux's Cotes du Rhone is from dedicated vineyards following all the same bio-dynamic principals they use for the Chateauneuf, so it is no mere declassified or second wine. This is serious Cotes du Rhone that ages beautifully but is also out of the gate charming. Lush strawberry, dried tobacco and potpourri permeate the glass and sweet fruit persists on the palate. So before the hype begins, drink this wine and be ahead of the curve and know what we know...2016 is great from top to bottom and Marcoux is on track to be my Winery of the Year two years running.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Roger Sabon "Rhone by Roger Sabon"
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Sabon was one of our break out stars for our 2015 Chateauneuf campaign and 2016 looks to be equally great. How do we know? Taste this 2016 Cotes du Rhone-esque bottling from them. For $12, you get a fleshy rich and ultimately very satisfying wine that delivers layers of delicious Rhone pleasure. With the quality of 2016 showing through this humble little wine, there is no need to wait months for the CDPs. You can enjoy this gem right now.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2013 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-11-2018
I am falling in love with the wines of Madiran. There has been so much forward progression in the making and styling of these wines, it is hard to keep up. I'm not the only one either. Fans of fuller bodied reds from Bordeaux, Cahors and even California are finding a lot to like here. We have had tremendous success with a few noteworthy producers but for cost to quality, no one beats Peyros. Densely packed, velvety structrue, deep dark fruit and tons of graphite minerality are just a few of my notes when tasting the old vine Peyros. The small percentage of Cabernet Franc adds a little polish but the wine never loses its focus on its Tannat roots. This is bold and savory wine that is at its most harmonious with lush charcuterie, grilled sausages and of course, my favorite winter treat - Cassoulet!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors
Review Date: 01-11-2018
Back to back successes with the Haut Monplaisir has solidified it as one of our favorite Malbecs from any region. Both the 2011 and 2012 were quick sell throughs with their level of quality, concentration and power. The '14 offers up something even more special in my opinion. Sweet black plum. It was such an evident marker, I would have used it in a wine class on flavor profiles. It's not the only thing going for this wine though with its beautiful blackcurrant, gorgeous weight, full-bodied texture and loads of spice notes. It is a hallmark Malbec showing the best of what can come from its home region of Cahors. Easily the sexiest of the last few vintages, you would be hard pressed to keep you hands of this beauty while serving it with hearty winter fare and dare I say even some grilled Argentine steak?! Let's show those southern hemisphere Malbecs how it's done old-school French style.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Yves Cheron "Les Dentelles" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 01-03-2018
A boisterous and delightful style to say the least, this Grenache-Syrah blend captures the essence of both the region and the quality of the 2015 vintage. Composed of fruit around Vacqueyras, Beaumes de Venise and Gigondas, the wine is named for the famous jagged limestone monoliths along the ridge of the Montmirail, the "Dentelles." Packed with flavors of raspberry coulis and peppery spices, the wine is open and inviting, giving you sweet fruit and length. It is a worthy wine of the region which harkens to some of the best that producers like St. Cosme and the Perrin family create.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Domaine du Vieil Orme Malbec-Cabernet Franc Touraine Rouge
Review Date: 10-01-2017
Composed of equal parts Malbec (known locally as Cot) and Cabernet Franc, the wine is aged in stainless steel, keeping the fruit in its most vibrant state. It is loaded with flavors of sweet black cherry and blueberry jam, crushed thyme and savory spices. It is open, forward and delicious. This wonderful red will pair beautifully with braised pork dishes, creamy cheeses and herb roasted chicken.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Derived from 100% Syrah, this wine is aged in barrel and has a beautiful, dense texture. This is reminiscent of the great wines of the Northern Rhône, and you would be hard-pressed not to think of producers like Chapoutier or Guigal while drinking it.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2015 Château de L'Ou "Ipso Facto" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Their benchmark wine to be sure is the 2015 Ipso Facto. A blend of the best lots from all three soils—alluvial, black schist and brown schist—the depth on this wine is almost inconceivable. Approaching perfection, this wine moves the needle on what we think about wines from the Roussillon. With organic principles, insightful winemaking and passion for their project, Château de L’Ou has done something truly amazing by changing the perception of what a region is and what can be accomplished there.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JD 97 RP 97

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Source du Ruault Saumur-Champigny Rouge (375ml)
Review Date: 09-25-2017
This represents all that is good and delicious about the wines of the region. Planted in the sandy and gravelly soils over the tuffeau, this powerhouse Cabernet Franc is rich, representing the depth of fruit from the 2015 vintage, but it is also full of finesse. The tannins are quite fine and the finish is long on black fruit, cedary spice and black pepper.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 La Source du Ruault "Sensei" Saumur-Champigny Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2017
A sensei is a teacher (Jean-Noël practices martial arts in his spare time) and there is no better wine to teach you about the quality of Saumur fruit. More strikingly powerful, this is parcel-selected fruit that sees some time in barrel, giving it a long-lingering quality that will persist for years to come.
Price: Hidden View Price

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