Staff Favorites - James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw

Reviews

2014 Colgin "IX Estate" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Rich, layered and wonderfully textured, the 2014 IX Estate Vineyard is about a perfect a Napa Cab as you'll ever find. Ripe flavors of black cherry, plum, and cassis greet the palate and are later joined by lavender, sage, and thyme. While it's impossible not to fall hard for the fruit, it's the wine's distinct minerality that steals the show. Powdery tannins make an appearance at the end adding excellent definition and structure. If a wine had a soundtrack, this one would be Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." A spectacular wine from start to finish.

2015 K Vintners "Milbrandt" Wahluke Slope Syrah
Review Date: 05-25-2018
This is a classic K Vintners' Syrah through and though. Bold, concentrated, ripe, and peppery, it is a flashy 2015 that will delight those who love 'em big and rich. The nose offers a mix of red floral tones and ripe berry fruit. These flavors continue in a big way on the palate and are joined by black pepper spice, tapenade, and fresh herbs. Tannins make an appearance late in the game adding a delightful grippy texture on the finish. All of this Syrahs many parts work together in perfect harmony. While you can certainly enjoy the Milbrandt now, it'll be intriguing to see how things develop over the next five to ten years.

2010 Calera "de Villiers" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-25-2018
Wonderfully exotic, this perfectly-aged 2010 Pinot Noir is one of those rare wines that captivates by its scent alone. Tinged with enticing accents of orange peel, ripe raspberry, pipe tobacco, and underbrush it coasts from strength to strength. Full-bodied with plenty of verve and amplitude, its expressive vitality belies its eight years of age. In the glass, it slowly evolves to show additional flavors of wild strawberries, subtle smoke, and porcini mushroom. Its smooth and supple delivery makes it a hard wine to put down. While its Central Coast pedigree is unmistakable there is also a distinctly Burgundian quality that raises things to a new level entirely. A gorgeous wine from start to finish, this is a very special Pinot that stands shoulder to shoulder with California most highly regarded estates but does so for half the price.

2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Alsace continues to be among the best regions anywhere for bright, fresh, aromatic whites. Take for example this temptingly priced 2016 "Gentil" from Hugel. For a sub-$15 bottle, it offers a surprising level of depth and range. Its vivacious delivery offers up scrumptious notes and tones of yellow fruit, apple, peach, fresh herbs, and ginger. Clean and with excellent focus, it is infinitely refreshing, making it an ideal wine to sip on its own. Harmonious and exceptionally well balanced, it is one of those wines that you find yourself coming back to again and again. Hugel really knocked it out of the park with the dazzling 2016.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Château Saint-Roch "Chimères" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 05-18-2018
What a great southern French red! Fresh, expressive, and with excellent purity, it greets the nose with wonderful aromas of wildflowers, raspberries, and wet slate. A full-bodied Roussillon, it carries its weight well thanks to a solid core of acidity that keeps things lively from the first sip to the last. On the palate, it reveals flavors of bramble, raspberry, anise seed, and a hint of red pepper spice. When given a chance to evolve in the glass secondary flavors of earth and porcini mushroom emerge rounding out an already beautiful presentation. In the under $20 category, you simply won't do much better than this gorgeous, ready-to-drink 2015.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 05-16-2018
With a deep garnet rim and dark purple center, you can tell from the color alone that this is going to be a powerful, concentrated red. The nose is a heady melange of wet stone, ripe red fruits, and raspberry coulis. These flavors are very much repeated on the palate with added touches of blueberry liqueur, Asian spice, saddle leather, black peppercorn, and cedar. Lush and inviting on the front, the mouthfeel becomes more grippy towards the finish thanks to some nicely integrated, powdery tannins. This 2016 is an utter delight in every possible way. While there is ample power, everything remains well in check. Evenly balanced, with great richness and depth, it's easy to see why the critics are drawing parallels to top-tier Northern Rhône reds. This is an excellent bottle to enjoy now, but there's enough structure here to warrant another 10 to 15 years of aging. Halcón is clearly on a roll and this is one wine you don't want to miss.

2014 Xanadu Estate Margaret River Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-10-2018
Based on the inviting nose alone, this is the kind of wine you immediately know you're going to love. Citrus and white floral tones abound with subtle touches of almond and grain buried deep within. The palate is supremely bright, refreshing, and clean - echoing the nose beautifully. Balance is the name of the game here, as all of its many components work in perfect unison. I've been loving pretty much everything thing out of Margaret River of late and this glorious 2014 Chardonnay is certainly no exception. Given the excellent price, I can see coming back to this wine again and again. If you are looking for a crisp and refreshing Chard for your summertime sipper, I highly recommend you put this gem at the top of your list.
Price: Hidden View Price
JH 96 JS 93

2016 Delas Freres "Saint-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône Rouge
Review Date: 01-02-2018
If you haven't had a 2016 from the Rhône yet, this is the perfect place to start. Priced right and delicious from beginning to end, this is a go-to red if there ever was one. Offering up lush, expressive red and black fruit, a solid backbone of acidity, and engaging notes of mocha, espresso, and a suggestion of tobacco, it's hard to believe it can be had under the $10 mark. For those who love easy-going, soft, and plush reds with a velvety delivery, the "St-Esprit" is right on the money. Go ahead and buy a case, as this is a 2016 to return to again and again.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95