Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

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2013 Michel Arnould "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-07-2018
Experts will tell you that 2013 was a Chardonnay vintage in Champagne, with the Cote de Blancs wines showing exceptionally well. The Carte D'Or (Gold Card) from Michel Arnould is made from half Chardonnay from Mesnil on the Cotes de Blancs, the other half from the best of the family Pinot Noir vineyards in Verzenay. This vintage offering has incredible concentration of fruit and minerals on the nose, and shows great elegance and balance on the palate. The finish is incredibly long.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2017 Trians Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-07-2018
This is a slightly richer, more red-fruited take on Provence rosé, and I love it! Open-knit, and juicy with notes of ripe strawberries and bing cherries, it still hits very refreshing notes with balancing acidity on the back end. With the fact that the fruit is entirely organic and estate-grown, this is a rosé deal that can’t be beat.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2018
Our friends at Talley Vineyards are touting this as the “best vintage in their 30 year history,” and their second label Pinot Noir shows why. The mostly estate bottling features rich savory strawberry, black cherry fruit with notes of black tea and kirsch, an incredibly smooth, integrated texture and a long finish. Best bang for under 20 bucks in the store.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould Verzenay Brut Rosé Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-31-2018
This displays the singular beauty that is Grand Cru Pinot Noir in Champagne. Beautiful ripe expressive fruit flavors of strawberries & cream, white cherries and just a hint of flowers and spice, but the fruit is perfectly poised and focused so that the distinct minerality can shine through as well. The texture is rich, smooth and minerally all at once somehow. Don’t miss this one for the price.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tour Leognan, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-31-2018
This is exactly the type of value Bordeaux that has enthusiasts so excited about the 2015 vintage, especially on the left bank. This is the second label to Chateau Carbonnieux in Pessac Leognan, made from the younger vines of the adjoining property that yield a rich, smooth wine that is a joy to drink in its youth. It has blue and black fruit with underlying graphite notes and just a touch of toast from the barrels. This will age great over the next 5 to 10 years too.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2018
Somehow the folks at Banshee are able to impress year after year with a quality-to-price ratio on their Sonoma County Pinot Noir that just can’t be matched. They achieve this using mostly (81%) Sonoma Coast fruit that lends the rich Sonoma fruit a crisp, lifted and very long finish that gives this bottle a much more expensive feel than it actually is.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Alfred Gratien "Cuvée Paradis" Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2018
This is a vintage bottling made using a small percentage of Bouzy red wine from 2007. It has beautiful, soft, delicate red fruit that is perfectly integrated with round cream and a slight autolytic toast note. Its richness is focused and balanced with a slightly tannic texture and great acidity.​

Alfred Gratien Brut Classique Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2018
If you love rosé Champagne, you shouldn’t pass up one that uses 12% Bouzy red wine its blend for under $50. Bouzy red is thought to be the best of all the red Pinot Noir in champagne and lends Alfred Gratien’s vibrant rosé flavors of cherry, strawberry and cream with a touch of honey and smoke. The round red fruit is focused on the finish by crisp acidity and minerals. This is out of this world good!

Alfred Gratien Brut Classique Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2018
We’re all stoked to start working with the delicious Champanges of Alfred Gratien from Epernay. This Brut Classique is entirely barrel fermented and made from a 10-year-old solera system that is 50% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier. It is at once vibrant and complex with flavors of green apple, creamy brie, citrus blossom and toasted pastry, with soft creamy floral honey undertones. The quality and complexity are out of this world for the price on this one.

2014 Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge
Review Date: 05-08-2018
I finally tasted this Southern French Mourvedre/Grenache blend about 3 days after it was opened, and I’m glad I waited. Mourvedre is known for its powerful structure in terms of fruit density and tannin, and usually need to be aged or decanted like crazy. This Begude Bandol was singing by the time I got to it! It had a base profile of concentrated, pure dark fruit, but with intriguing notes of expressive red fruit underlying and hints of wild herbs as well. The tannins are still quite serious and will soften more with additional cellaring. This is a very impressive French red.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-27-2018
Always one of my favorite of the Grand Marques, the Laurent Perrier nonvintage Brut is rich, focused, bright and poised all at once. It has flavors of Meyer lemon, nectarine, and honeyed pear with a hint of smoke, fully integrated leesy toast and a taut acid line that makes the finish last for ages. This champagne carries the prestige of being a Grand Marque without the high cost. It’s definitely a “best buy.”

Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne (187ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2018
Always one of my favorite of the Grand Marques, the Laurent Perrier nonvintage brut is rich, focused, bright and poised all at once. It has flavors of Meyer lemon, nectarine, and honeyed pear with a hint of smoke, fully integrated leesy toast and a taut acid line that makes the finish last for ages. This champagne carries the prestige of being a Grand Marque without the high cost. It’s definitely a “best buy.”
Price: $7.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2015 de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 04-26-2018
This has a great nose of blueberry and raspberry compote, a touch of toast and a hint of the gravelly minerals typical of a good Graves, everything is in balance and integrated. On the palate, the fruit has a nice ripe edge with very smooth tannins and a bright lift from the wonderfully assimilated acidity. It all combines for a long, lifted and pleasant finish. This is the perfect reminder of why I love Bordeaux wines so much.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 JD 91

2000 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 04-25-2018
This is a stellar second label from St. Julien and the legendary 2000 vintage. On the nose, gravelly minerals and beautiful dark fruit flavors like plums and blueberries take the stage. On the palate, it has smooth, coating tannins with rich fruit that lasts well into the finish and hints of tertiary development with flavors of leather and herbs underlying. This wine from a top commune and a top vintage for under $50 is a no-brainer. Stock up!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Pape-Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 04-25-2018
This was hands down the best wine at our quarterly staff Bordeaux tasting. It has a beautiful, classically Pessac-bouquet of pungent earthiness, dark fruit, and licorice. On the palate, it has rich dark fruit with plush, soft tannins and great acidity to match the richness of the fruit. Rich, expressive, balanced and, most importantly, VERY drinkable!

2012 Les Grands Chênes, Médoc
Review Date: 04-25-2018
This classic-style Medoc is drinking great and costs less than $15, need I say more? It has great savory red fruit flavors of cherry and ripe strawberry, a hint of leather and an underlying earthiness that creates overall balance and drinkability. One of the best values in left bank wine available right now.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Picard, Lussac-St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-25-2018
This was the best value at our quarterly staff Bordeaux tasting. It has bright, red fruit with good minerals, great acidity and a slightly earthy edge. It has smooth, quaffable tannins and is really quite nice for the price. If you are looking for a good mid-week dinner wine, grab a couple of these.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Charles Joguet "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" Chinon
Review Date: 04-14-2018
This is a beautiful Loire valley Cabernet Franc that features the typical varietal aromas of black peppercorn, violets, cedar and a bit of menthol on the nose. On the palate it is very structured with firm tannin and an acid line that gives the rich fruit real lift and freshness on the finish. This will definitely age, and probably should for a few more years.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94 WS 92

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-13-2018
This is easily one of the best Grand Cru grower champagnes we offer, and it costs far less than it probably should. It combines the power and structure of Verzenay Pinot Noir on the Montagne de Reims with the delicate finesse and minerality of Chardonnay from Oger on the Cotes de Blancs (70/30). On the nose, I get rich doughy citrus notes, cream and minerals. On the palate, the wine is rich with almond, brioche and apricot notes lifted by vibrant acidity for a finish that lasts all night.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

1997 Bowmore 20 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-12-2018
I haven’t been so excited about single barrel Islay since our last Bowmore, and this is every bit as good as that was! It is creamy and delicate on the nose, with notes of orange marmalade and just a hint of peat. On the palate, it’s incredibly velvety and smooth, with fresh notes of tropical fruit, a creamy malt texture and an underlying peat that is robust without being invasive – perfect integration. This is the best deal in scotch we have, so it certainly won’t last long.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

2016 Bründlmayer "Ried Lamm" Gruner Veltliner Kamptal
Review Date: 04-12-2018
Forgive the comparison, but this can be seen as the Grand Cru Burgundy of Austria. Made from old vines, it has wonderful concentrated flavors of citrus blossom and herbs that are complemented by toast and flint from the oak barrel aging, balanced deftly by nice acidity. Perfect to impress and surprise the most discerning wine-palates amongst your friends and family.

2016 Bründlmayer "Kamptaler Terrassen" Riesling Kamptal
Review Date: 04-12-2018
This young riesling from a favorite Austrian producer of ours is showing slight petrol on the nose with a concentrated lemon citrus, green apple core, high minerality and floral notes. The high acidity gives it a great long finish and perfect food-pairing power. Have with your favorite Spätzle dish.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2015 Bernhard Ott "Fass 4" Grüner Veltliner Wagram
Review Date: 04-12-2018
This is a big step up from Ott’s “Am Berg” for just a few more dollars. It shows nice concentration of citrus, apricot and floral flavors with bristling minerals and nice tension on the finish, which lingers pleasantly.

Pierre Mineral Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-10-2018
With fruit sourced from the Marne, the Montagne de Reims, Sezanne and the Cote de Blancs, this is truly a champagne of Champagne! 60% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier, the precision/power balance is remarkable! Delicate and pretty on the nose with light toasty notes, lemons and white flowers, berry undertones and exotic quince. It has great great precision and delicacy married with rich fruit flavors. Stunner for the price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 03-15-2018
On the nose, soft bing cherry, raspberry fruit aromas with a subtle toasty autolytic character and bristling minerals. On the palate, the fruit is soft and subtle up front, with the rich texture and minerals taking the forestage, until the fruit explodes with flavor on the back palate, where the vibrant acidity makes itself present for a crisp, everlasting finish. Excellent vintage rosé from one of the best!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 WE 94

2012 Louis Roederer Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 03-15-2018
On the nose, soft bing cherry, raspberry fruit aromas with a subtle toasty autolytic character and bristling minerals. On the palate, the fruit is soft and subtle up front, with the rich texture and minerals taking the forestage, until the fruit explodes with flavor on the back palate, where the vibrant acidity makes itself present for a crisp, everlasting finish. Excellent vintage rosé from one of the best!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 WE 94

Delamotte Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2018
This Grand Cru, Chardonnay-dominant blend is true to the Delamotte style with a crisp, linear edge that highlights the complex flavor profile: citrus, dried apricots, hazelnuts and leesy cream with great acidity and a long, chalky finish.

2006 Salon Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2018
This is the original single vintage, single varietal, single village Champagne. Salon only makes their Mesnil Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs after exceptional growing seasons, only 40 times in the last 100 years, and only releases it after a minimum of 10 years of aging. The precision and freshness in this are unlike any other 2006 I’ve tasted. The lack of malolactic fermentation lends balance and definition to the opulent phenolic richness which is the signature of the vintage. Lemon meringue, golden apple, saffron, and white floral notes with beautiful chalky minerals and just a hint of leesy toast. The finish is long and acid-driven.

2015 L'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 02-23-2018
Year in and out, the Allisons provide the world this small-production, completely estate-fruited blend for a ludicrously low price. It shows rich brambly fruit with a touch of spice, gravelly minerals. True to the vintage, it has very soft, supple tannins with great acidity on the finish.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Les Charmes Godard Blanc, Côtes de Francs
Review Date: 02-23-2018
I love the world-class white values that can be found in Bordeaux. Goddard Blanc is a beautiful blend of 50% Semillon, 25% Sauvignon Blanc and 25% Sauvignon Gris aged for 6 months on the lees in large barrels. It shows flavors of gooseberry, lemongrass, cream and vibrant minerals, with an acid core that keeps the flavors lingering for over a minute. Great for any fish or chicken meal.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 VN 91

2014 Cap St. George, St.-Georges-St.-Emilion
Review Date: 02-23-2018
While still a tad young, Cap St. George definitely has the substance to age into something special. It has bright flavors of red currants and cranberries with a little earth and toast underscoring the bright fruit. The acidity and tannins will keep this aging well for at least a decade, making it a great Merlot-blend to keep in the cellar.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Croix Mouton, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 02-23-2018
Whoa! This is an unmistakable knockout deal from the Janoueix portfolio near Lugon on the right. It showcases the ripeness and roundness of the vintage, with rich cherry kirsch and raspberry fruit with a soft tannic texture and great acidity. Definitely a deal to keep on your radar for steak night.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2009 Baron-Fuenté "Grand Millesime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
I have grown to love the opulence and pizzaz of the 2009 vintage Champagnes, and Baron Fuente's really drives the point home. It showcases the richness of the vintage with concentrated flavors of dried apricots, ripe persimmons and exotic spice but with a balancing acidity and incredible texture and toast from the long lees aging. To find vintage Champagne of this quality under $30 is truly a miracle, don't miss out on this one!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is the best value I've ever see from Champagne. The quality from this flagship of Marne producer Baron Fuente is unbelievable for the price. It has beautiful expressive flavors of apricot, Gala apples, and honeysuckle with a touch of spice and herbs and a rich, subtly toasty creaminess on a finish that just keeps going and going. What a value on such a crowd pleaser!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is the best value I've ever see from Champagne. The quality from this flagship of Marne producer Baron Fuente is unbelievable for the price. It has beautiful expressive flavors of apricot, Gala apples, and honeysuckle with a touch of spice and herbs and a rich, subtly toasty creaminess on a finish that just keeps going and going. What a value on such a crowd pleaser!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

2014 Lagarde "Guarda" Cabernet Franc Lujan de Cuyo
Review Date: 02-14-2018
This is one of the best New World Cabernet Francs I have tried recently. It has rich flavors of strawberries, blueberries, mint, eucalyptus and just a touch of stewed peppers, with soft, ripe tannins and beautiful acidity to match the richness of the fruit. The finish goes on and on. If you have found the Cabernet Francs of the Loire to be a little too earthy, this might please you much more.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 02-14-2018
Add this to your list of unfathomable values in everyday wine. This shows silky smooth, dark fruit with a hint of smoke and graphite. The tannins are supple and plush with a great balancing acidity. Take advantage while it lasts!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90 WS 90

2014 Benmarco Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 02-14-2018
The quality and elegance on display in this Malbec had me guessing it was MUCH more expensive. It showed very supple, rich blue and black fruit with a balancing freshness from notes of minty herbs and black licorice. Structure is on point with graceful acidity and texturally ripe tannins. A great example of why South American Malbecs are the world's most famous.

2016 Don Silvestre Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-14-2018
What an exceptional Malbec for under $10! It showcases dark blueberry and blackberry fruit, lifted aromatics of cola berry and violets, and a very soft, balancing acidity. If you enjoy the dark brooding richness of the wonderful Malbec grape, it would definitely be worth it to try this. It might end up your new house red!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac
Review Date: 02-14-2018
What excites me the most about this superb 2015 vintage is the amazing values to be found in the second and third labels at great properties like Pichon Baron. Les Tourelles is made from a single, estate, Merlot-dominant plot and offers rich, open-knit fruit flavors of cherry kirsch, and strawberry with dark savory undertones and very smooth, silky, almost dusty, tannins. If you like to play the value game, like I do, this is a good way to win at it.

2007 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne Magnum (1.5L)
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This ten-year-old vintage offering from one of my favorite Grand Marques is drinking great! Made entirely from Grand Cru Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it has a complex, rich flavor profile of green apple, pear, Bing cherry and toasty brioche. The balance is on point, making this one of the most immediately drinkable vintage Champagnes available.
Price: $124.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2015 Domaine de l'Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This is a delicious Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend made by a small family winery in Costieres de Nimes, in the heart of the Rhone. Aged in stainless steel, it has pure rich flavors of blueberries and blackberries with graceful nuances of black pepper, herbs, and cola berry. It has plush, round tannins and the perfect amount of acid to lend structure to the juicy profile. That's a great bottle for under $10. ​
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2012 Tenuta di Sesta Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-31-2018
The Tenuta di Sesta Brunello is one of the best, ready-to-drink values in fine reds right now! It’s showing beautiful, concentrated flavors of cranberries, raspberries and plums; orange peel and mint with a smokey savory edge and just a hint of saline. Incredible complexity, depth and balance for what amounts to a bargain price in the world of Brunellos.

2012 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 01-31-2018
If you are looking for a great Brunello to start drinking while you continue to age those ‘10s, the 2012 Saporoia is showing really nicely. Flavors of ripe cola berry and plums, hints of violets, mint and black tea, with delicious savory umami and herbal notes. I love the richness and drinkability afforded by the riper style of Baccinetti and it should age quite nicely over the next few years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This is the deal of the year on honest-to-god Barbaresco, made old school by Bersano since 1907. Aged in giant Slovenian barrels for a year, then several more in bottle, this has classic Nebbiolo character and power that is actually drinking great now. Rich cranberry, cherry fruit with the classic mint/amaro herb notes you often get from a great Barbaresco. It has plush, grippy tannins and the acidity to ensure several years of aging potential. If you are into the “wine of the kings” you ought to take advantage of this one while it lasts.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 JS 90

2011 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-24-2018
I love Pinot Noir Champagnes. I’m always stunned at the power and grace of the good ones, and the Memoire de Vignes from Michel Arnould is, for me, the pinnacle of that style. Made exclusively from the oldest of their estate Grand Cru vines, the precision and depth here are stunning. The rich fruit flavors (think mirabelles, golden apples, cherries, dried apricots) are met on the back end by an equally intense acidity, brimming with minerals and soft spice notes. As you let it warm in your glass, the complexity and length explode! This is a world class, vintage Champagne offered at a mind bogglingly low price.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ferraton Père et Fils "La Source" Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 01-18-2018
During a recent staff tasting of Rhones, this wine stuck out in terms of Northern Rhone Syrah values. It has a very bright and expressive nose of raspberry, violets, blackberries and black pepper, with good rich fruit but a nice balancing element of acid and earth. This would be a knockout with a wild game meal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 François Chidaine Vin de France (Vouvray) Moelleux
Review Date: 01-18-2018
If Loire valley whites thrill you as much as me, this wine should be on your radar. It’s a Vouvray Chenin Blanc, though not labeled as such because the fermentation occurs outside of Vouvray. It is incredibly expressive with zesty minerals, flavors of white raisins, honey, golden apples with great balance and length. Pair with mild cheeses or an apple tartine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Huët "Le Haut-Lieu" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 01-18-2018
The Loire Valley chenin blancs are some of the best in the world, and Domaine Huet is widely accepted as the top producer of them. The Haut-Lieu Vouvray Sec is a superbly crafted wine, with a rich aroma profile of golden apples with saffron spice, elderflower honey and cinnamon. The flavors are focused by great minerals and vibrant acidity into a long, clean finish. It’s truly one of the world’s top white wines at what amounts to a bargain price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-12-2018
How exciting! A new release from the baron of great values in Champagne, Baron Fuente! Correction, a new OLD release from Baron Fuente. The 7 began a journey that would eventually lead to our shelves (and hopefully your champagne glass) almost eight years ago, and the story it tells fun, intriguing and ultimately one I plan to revisit many times. The barrel aging of 20% of the Chardonnay gives the blend a beautiful creamy, viscous texture to go along with aromas of dried fruits, pear, honeysuckle and almond, all finished by great acidity. This is definitely a wine that makes keeping your guests' flutes full a real challenge.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

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