Staff Favorites - Joe Bruno

Joe Bruno

Reviews

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2015 Viños de Encostas "Mais Ala" Godello Valdeorras
Review Date: 04-15-2018
This Galician Godello is a dark horse for one of the best white wines we are currently offering in store. Beautiful aromas of grapefruit and yellow apple initially. There is also quite a beautiful bouquet of lilies and sea spray. On the palate, ripe pear and stone fruits are accented by hints of lemon juice and herbs, that finish on a savory note. The texture is where this wine really draws you in and shines. Silky at first, but finishes crisp and refreshing. Almost reminiscent of a mineral-driven Chenin Blanc. Delicious as a glass on its own or accompanying food. A very underrated wine that will surprise and delight many
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Bodegas Mustiguillo "Mestizaje" Vino de España
Review Date: 04-14-2018
This Spanish white has arrived just in time as spring is in full swing. This wine has the clever name of "Mestizaje", which roughly translates to the act of mixing different things, and in this case grape varietals. The heart of this blend is a high acid white Merseguera, along with Viognier and Malvasia. The aromas initially are of orchard fruit, yellow citrus, and pronounced florals. On the palate, flavors of apricots, Meyer lemon, and rose petals. The florals on the palate are pronounced once more but they don't express a phenolic bitterness whatsoever. The body is pleasantly round but is balanced against a refreshing elevated acidity. This is a crowd-pleasing white from Spain that will be sure to a hit at your next gathering
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Mayacamas Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-13-2018
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A Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that expresses a true sense of place. Fruit sources for this wine hail from the Mt. Veeder AVA. The aromatic profile of this wine is classic in expression, with ripe dark fruit notes accented by roasted green bell pepper and pipe tobacco. On the palate, flavors of dark cherries, black currants, and plum are present along with a marked stone minerality on the Finish. There also is an abundant freshness to this Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a robust tannin structure, expected from the mountain fruit sourcing. This is tasting quite nicely now, but will surely last for many years to come.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 VN 97

2014 Bodegas LAN Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 04-08-2018
I had the pleasure of trying this wine last week and was quite impressed. Relative to the under-$15 price point, this wine delivers a great value for the quality of wine in bottle. Aromas ripe and dark fruits, along with a bouquet of old leather, sweet pipe tobacco, and dried dill. On the palate, this wine is light and fresh, with flavors of cherries, plums, and berries lingering on the finish. If you’re looking for a fresh and juicy Rioja that won’t break the bank, this is a great choice
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 03-30-2018
A fantastic choice of bubbly for your next party or get-together. The blend consists of the classic Limoux blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, and regionally star Mauzac. Light florals, citrus sherbert, and honey notes on the nose are juxtaposed to flavors of toast, Meyer lemon, and crisp minerality on the palate. The texture is quite pleasing, with a fine mousse and pleasant elevated acidity allowing for easy drinking. Whether it is enjoyed on its own or with brunch cocktails, this will surely be a hit at your next gathering
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 03-30-2018
A great Northern Rhône Syrah that delivers tremendous value. Aromas of dark fruits, pepper, violets, and baked earth. On the palate, rich, unctuous currants and blackberries move towards tart black cherry, soy sauce, and mineral notes. A marked spice note on the finish as well. While the fruit quality is ripe, there is a contrast against this with a pleasant freshness and silky tannin structure. This would be a nice choice with various food options, especially roasts. Fantastic quality with respect to the under-$20 price point
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Ritual Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley
Review Date: 03-26-2018
Aromas of ripe lemon, grapefruit, and green apple initially. On the palate, flavors of lemonade and green apple along with fresh herbs. This wine is incredibly fresh but also possesses some depth and weight to balance against the elevated acidity. A great example of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc, and should please both White Bordeaux and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc drinkers alike
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 90

2014 Alento Tinto Alentejo
Review Date: 03-26-2018
Aromas of blackberries, dark cherries, prunes, and wine grapes along with a bouquet of wet stone and musty earth. On the palate, the flavors of cherries and blackberries come through once more. While this wine is robust, it is balanced against a bright and fresh acidity which lends it to be quite food friendly. One of my favorite Portuguese wines we currently offer, red or white
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Frontón de Oro Tinto Tradicional Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)
Review Date: 03-26-2018
Quite a lovely medium-bodied red with delightful spice notes. Aromas of red and dark fruits accompanied with a bouquet of black pepper, white pepper, and dried herbs. On the palate, flavors of dried plums, currants, and cherries play with a distinct volcanic minerality. Bold and full of crunchy fruit, this pairs perfectly with various grilled meats
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2017 Marietta "Old Vine Rosé" California Rosé
Review Date: 03-26-2018
A bright and fresh rosé that strikes a lovely balance between ripeness of fruit and acidity. Sourced from old vine fruit across multiple California appellations, the varietals are composed of Syrah, Grenache, and Grenache Gris. Aromas are initially of lilies, peaches, red cherries, and light red fruits. On the palate, flavors of watermelon, fresh herbs, and mineral notes on the finish. Texturally, the wine is lifted by an elevated acidity that both crisp and refreshing but also accented by ripe red fruit notes. A truly delightfully fresh and vibrant wine that will be sure to be a customer favorite!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Arnot-Roberts "Luchsinger Vineyard" Lake County Touriga Nacional Rosé
Review Date: 03-24-2018
A unique and fresh take on domestic rosé, made from Touriga Nacional? This Portuguese variety isn't planted widely across the United States unless a Port-style wine is being made, so it's extra special to have this made into a rosé! Aromas of lilies, citrus oil, radishes, and cantaloupe are accompanied by flavors of light red fruit, minerality, and honeydew melon on the palate. Light (only 11.5% ABV) and crisp, you'll be sure to make many friends pouring this!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Vaughn Duffy Mendocino Carignane Rosé
Review Date: 03-24-2018
A new rosé arrival for us just in time for spring! Aromas of guava, fresh strawberry, and pink lemonade. On the palate, the wine is both fresh and elegant, with a pleasant pithy quality accompanied by a tart, elevated acidity. A great option for picnics, dinner parties, and any social gathering coming up as the days get warmer!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Laventura Garnacha Rioja
Review Date: 03-23-2018
While this Rioja was made not following any of the traditional regional aging designations (Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva system), this is quite a compelling and lively red that delivers quite a lot of value. It's a floral and elegant style of Garnacha, with no noticeable oak (large format neutral oak is used), fine tannins, and great freshness. Red fruit aromas, predominantly strawberries in particular. On the palate, vibrant, bright red fruit notes are complemented by cocoa powder flavors and a stone / rocky minerality. Fresh, tasty and nicely balanced; it is also extremely versatile in food pairing applications
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2016 Adegas Valtea Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 03-23-2018
This is the third vintage of Albariño we’ve brought in from our Direct Import partner Adegas Valtea. Stylistically, they strike a nice balance between being slightly rounder than typical Albariño while still maintaining that signature coastal climate influenced sea spray quality and elevated acidity. Citrus and perfumed aromatics on the nose. On the palate, hints of lemongrass, lively stone fruit, and a brisk, saline tinged palate. This wine is crisp, tangy and bright, with an abundance of mineral notes. A great choice for seafood dishes, especially shellfish
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Castillo de Vinas Blanco Rioja
Review Date: 03-23-2018
White Rioja has quietly become one of my favorite wine regions, and this 2016 release from Castillo de Viñas helps to continue this sentiment. Aromas of Meyer lemon, white nectarine, and yellow apple play with a distinct mineral note. On the palate, oxidized apple and preserved lemon flavors are accompanied by saline notes. This wine possesses great structure and verve; making it quite the value for under $15
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 4 Kilos "Motor América" Mallorca
Review Date: 03-23-2018
This latest offering from Bodega 4 Kilos Vinícola hails from the Balearic Island of Mallorca, where winemaking dates back to Roman times. The varietal is Callet, an indigenous varietal that produces quite light reds. Aromas of ripe red berries play with a bouquet of black pepper and dried herbs. The freshness and elevated acidity on the palate lend it to being a great food wine for various small bites and light food fare, especially charcuterie
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Bodegas Volver "Tarima Hill - Old Vines" Monastrell Alicante
Review Date: 03-19-2018
The previous vintage of Tarima Hill was one of my favorite values in store, and the 2015 release proves to continue this trend. Highly lauded in the 2017 Wine Spectator Top 100 and landing as the 17th best on the list, this wine has no shortage of accolades. Fruit sources utilized are from 50-80 year Monastrell vines planted upon primarily limestone soils. On the nose, the wine exhibits candied dark fruits and plush red fruit notes, along with sugar plums, garrigue, and dried flowers. On the palate, flavors of blackberries and cherries play with notes of vanilla, spice, and balsamic glaze. Velvety tannins and a balanced acidity make this wine quite texturally pleasing. One of the best values in store, especially for under $15!
Top Value!

2016 Bodegas Lanzaga (Telmo Rodriguez) "LZ" Rioja
Review Date: 03-12-2018
This Rioja is unique in that it sees no oak aging and is instead fermented and held in concrete vats and stainless steel tanks. It is driven more by the character of fruit rather than oak regime or by manipulation through winemaking. On the nose, aromas of blackberry jam, ripe pluots, and baked cherries play with a bouquet of wet stone, dusty minerality, and floral notes. On the palate, the wine expresses flavors of ripe berries and cherries, but is not overly plush or round. The wine is lean and precise, with a decent of amount of tannins accompanying. Mineral flavors as well on the finish. A delicious and affordable expression of Spanish Tempranillo
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2017 C R Graybehl "Mathis Vineyard" Grenache Rosé Sonoma Valley
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Aromas start off with strawberries and cream, crème fraîche, cantaloupe, followed by refreshing vegetal notes of celery and cucumber. On the palate, flavors of melon play with ripe strawberry and white button mushroom. A nice mineral quality to the wine on the finish as well. I love the balance of ripeness of fruit without it being overly fruity. A no frills delicious domestic rosé for under-$20!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Site Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Review Date: 03-04-2018
I am a huge fan of this wine. Aromas start right off with classic notes grilled dark fruits and black pepper. As you dive deeper, other notes reveal themselves like soy sauce, teriyaki, and sweet beef jerky. The palate, the aforementioned grilled dark fruits veer more towards a dried characteristic, along with a noted meaty, umami flavor as well. There is a distinct stony minerality that lingers on the finish additionally. This wine is both opulent but in balance. A great example of Central Coast Syrah
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 92

2015 Clos Erasmus "Laurel" Priorat
Review Date: 03-04-2018
This is the second label for Clos Erasmus, and it does not disappoint. Aromas on the nose include a variety of dark and red fruits such as wild berries, blackcurrants, and red plum. A bouquet of dried flowers, rosebud, potpourri, spice, chaparral, and earthenware. The palate surprises with a nicely elevated acidity that cuts through the richness and plush fruit present. Flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and pomegranate along with some herbal notes. A little bit of an extra push from the alcohol on the finish. Chewy tannins and an overall voluptuous nature of the wine lend it to being a natural choice for certain food pairing choices, in particular grilled meats. I highly recommend for this to be decanted for at least 30 minutes (an hour is preferable) to let the wine aerate and reach its full potential. Quite a lovely and truly unique wine
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JD 95

2016 Domaine Renaud Mâcon-Solutré
Review Date: 02-27-2018
It is hard to beat this entry-level white Burgundy for under-$20. Aromas of stone fruits, citrus, and green apple with secondary notes of white flowers. On the palate, flavors of expressive white peach, d'anjou pear, and lemon zest are accented by its inherent crisp and clean palate. This is a great choice for those who enjoy un-oaked California Chardonnay but with a little bit more mineral-tinged flavor profile
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-27-2018
A clean and fresh chardonnay that will be sure to please many. On the nose, aromas of lemon zest, apricot, and nectarine aromas with a bouquet of white flowers. On the palate, this white wine expresses flavors of stone fruit once more, with red apple, Bosc pear, and yellow grapefruit notes additionally. It’s crisp and relatively light compared with most other California Chardonnays. This is in part to the vinification in stainless steel and neutral oak, and lack of malolactic fermentation. The end result is a zesty and refreshing white wine that is a nice option for those who desire a lighter and more food-friendly California chardonnay. Enjoy with various fish dishes like flounder or skate, or with light cheeses.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) "Zéphirine" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-27-2018
Quite a lovely expression of Oregon Pinot Noir. This latest release from Roserock is from the 2015 vintage, a noticeably warmer year than typical. This lends the wine to expressing ripe aromas of raspberry, red cherries, and plum, along with a bouquet of tar, leather, and cola. Quite an elegant nose. On the palate, the ripeness of fruit comes through once more, with ripe red fruit flavors being expressed along with soft mid palate and silky tannins. A great expression of Oregon Pinot Noir and a fantastic entry into the region’s wine for a California drinker’s palate.

2015 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-26-2018
Another great zinfandel from Banshee’s project Valravn. I had the pleasure of trying their last vintage, 2014, this past year. Their 2015 release proves to be fantastic as well. Aromas of boysenberry, cassis, and blueberries are accompanied by a bouquet of chocolate covered orange and espresso. Berry medley flavors on the palate play with cocoa powder and luxardo cherries notes. Ripe flavors are contrasted with its freshness and light nature compared to other zinfandels I’ve tried. This wine is great texturally, and does not give the impression that it’s over 14.5% ABV either. A plethora of food pairing applications possible with this wine. This is slowly becoming a classic, and for under-$20 it’s easy to see why!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Kilikanoon "Killerman's Run" Riesling Clare Valley South Australia
Review Date: 02-19-2018
An inviting nose of orange zest, lemon curd, stone fruit, and lime pith. Slate minerality is quite a big part of this wine's bouquet. On the palate, there is a definite ripeness of fruit but not out of balance. Great, zippy acidity accompanied by a lovely texture and mouthfeel. There are various food pairing possibilities, but I'd recommend Southeast Asian inspired vegetables or grilled fish to go with this Aussie riesling

2016 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 02-19-2018
This Portuguese white is one of best sellers in-store, and it is quite easy to see why. Aromas of citrus fruit and green apple verge into light florals. On the palate, flavors of lemon and lime juice play with apples, and unripe white peach. A hint of minerality and salted almond as well. The texture is quite appealing: fresh, juicy, and zippy. Perfect as an aperitif or with light food dishes and seafood offerings
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2013 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-16-2018
This Silver Oak hails from the near-perfect 2013 California vintage. With ideal growing conditions considered, the varietals used were 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Aromas are quintessential: berries, dark currants, graham cracker, and cigar. On the palate, the wine surprises with more acidity than initially expected. The ripeness of fruit is balanced against this, accompanied by flavors of cassis and blackberry. A mineral note of graphite on the finish. Along with graphite minerality, silky tannins and spice flavors come through as well. A very classic Napa Valley style that will be sure to please!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $114.95 Add To Cart

Billecart-Salmon Brut "Sous Bois" Champagne
Review Date: 02-13-2018
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I had the pleasure of trying this Champagne about a week ago along with a couple other Billecart-Salmon offerings. This was my favorite, for its inherent richness. The aroma was very reminiscent of a white Burgundy; dried orchard fruit, custard, and chalky minerality. On the palate, creamy fruit, lemon juice, and pear flavors play with an elegant toast and round mouthfeel. Acidity is still elevated; the chalkiness also comes through. This Champagne's power and balance come together wonderfully; worth every penny!

2016 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 02-13-2018
I had the pleasure of tasting this Malbec at our staff tasting today. A dark horse winner for me, as the intensity of flavors and overall balance of the wine is nicely juxtaposed with a price point of under $12. Aromas of dark and blue fruit compliment a bouquet of mocha and violets. On the palate, this wine is fresh and bright, with flavors of dark berries, blueberry, espresso powder, vanilla, and bay leaf. A great option for dinner parties or as a weekday wine selection
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90 WS 90

2013 Louis M. Martini "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-13-2018
A classic and powerful Cabernet Sauvignon from the folks at Louis Martini. This wine hails from the recently christened Moon Mountain AVA in Sonoma. Big and brooding aromas of cassis and dark berries play with a bouquet of earl grey tea, milk chocolate, and fruitcake. On the palate, the wine expresses flavors of sugar plum, blue fruit, and black currant along with pipe tobacco, spice, and cocoa powder. There is a lovely stone minerality on the finish as well. While bold in expression, there is quite a sense of balance and finesse in the winemaking style here. Drinking well now, but as with other California Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the 2013 vintage, it will only get better with time. Lovely aging potential. Also a fantastic choice for an evening at your favorite steakhouse

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-13-2018
A delicious Zinfandel that pays homage to California wines of old. Sourced from the Sonoma Valley Monte Rosso vineyard that is over 125 years old, the quality is thusly reflected in the wine. Aromas of berry medley, plum, peach preserves, and vanilla extract. On the palate, unripe peach, ripe pluots, boysenberry, black cherry, and bay leaf on the palate. Lighter and less weighty on the palate than other California Zinfandels I’ve tried recently. A fantastic option for grilled chicken and other light BBQ fare
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2014 K Vintners "Roma - River Rock Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-12-2018
K Vintners are known for their knockout red wines from Washington. This Red Blend of 80% Cabernet and 20% Syrah goes down a different but equally as satisfying path. Aromas of berries galore: raspberry, boysenberry, and strawberry. Accented by notes of Dutch cocoa powder, bay leaves, and stone. On the palate, flavors of ripe and dried cherries play with boysenberry notes. The wine possesses a great texture and is juicier and more lifted than I initially expected. If you’re looking for a wine with big flavor with some added liveliness, try this for your next red blend purchase!

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River (Black Label)
Review Date: 02-12-2018
2012 was a great vintage in the Margaret River, quite classic in style and expression. The wines are bolder than in 2011 but tend to be more consistent in quality across the region. This 2012 Estate Cuvee is a quintessential Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon; a lovely nose of blackcurrant, dark cherry, plum, and prune. A hint of eucalyptus as well. On the palate, the wine possesses fantastic balance. A nicely lifted red wine, with a good amount of verve and lift. Flavors of ripe and dried plums and dark cherries, as well as eucalyptus once more. Lovely texture; a nicely nuanced expression of Western Australian terroir. One of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignon's in store for under $50
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JH 95

2009 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
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Quite a pretty nose; highlights include prunes, blue fruit, dried currants, and leather. On the palate, prune flavors appear again along with dried dark cherries, dried blueberries, and cocoa dusted chocolate truffles. A classic Gran Reserva, though on the younger side currently. An ideal candidate to add to the wine cellar. This wine can be enjoyed as a food pairing option with roast chicken or pork tenderloin. Decant for at least 30 minutes before serving
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2011 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
The fruit sources in this wine from Miguel Merino are from vines up to 80 years old. It also uses exclusively French Oak (around 40% new), being one of the only wines in their portfolio to do so. A nicely layered nose of dark fruits, plum sauce, vanilla, cedar, and a touch of soy. Texturally, this wine shines. It possesses richness but is complemented by lively acidity. Long finish. While drinking well now, this wine will only get better with age. I recommend holding this for at least another 3-5 years
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2011 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
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My personal favorite Miguel Merino wine I’ve had the pleasure of tasting thus far. A blend of 96% Tempranillo and 4% Graciano, this wine is layered with notes of dark cherry compote, fresh berries, baked plum, bourbon vanilla, and bread pudding. On the palate, crunchy dark fruit flavors are accented with spice notes and vanilla once more. Slight hint of blood orange additionally. What makes this wine truly stand out from others is its silky tannins and structural balance. Drinking well now, but will age gracefully for another 10 years. Pair with Iberian ham or Manchego cheese
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2011 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
An inviting Rioja that is easily one of best values in the respective category. Ripe plum and berries are at the forefront of this wine’s aroma profile, but not overly so. Leather and baking spices also come through. On the palate, flavors of prunes, blackberries, and vanilla give way to dry tannins and an elevated acidity. Quite food friendly; will go well with charcuterie and various stewed meats. A prime example of the modern-classic style of Rioja
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja
Review Date: 01-30-2018
A great example of a cool climate mazuelo (a.k.a. carignan / cariñena) from Spain. Both on the nose and on the palate, fresh, crunchy dark & red fruits are expressed; think plum and dark cherries. A hint of spice accents this quite nicely, as does the earthiness on the finish. A fantastic choice in a food pairing applications to accompany grilled fish or game meats
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cicada by Chante Cigale Méditerranée
Review Date: 01-27-2018
This wine a great option for choosing an early drinking red. Planted on clay and limestone soils, the vines possess an average age of 30 years. Initial aromas of red fruit and raspberry, typical of a youthful Grenache-dominated wine. Along with the aromatics, there is an inherent freshness on the palate, supported by tannins discreet and supple. This easy drinking wine goes well with an assortment of food items; think cold cuts, grilled meats, and fresh cheeses.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 d'Yquem "Y" Bordeaux Blanc
Review Date: 01-27-2018
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A lovely aromatic profile with notes of dried tropical fruit and lemon peel accompanied by a bouquet of fresh tarragon and chervil, bourbon vanilla, and ginger. On the palate, flavors of dried pineapple and lemon curd are accented by crystallized ginger. While the wine possesses a round mouthfeel, there is an inherent freshness to the wine. This charming Bordeaux Blanc is drinking quite nicely now. If contemplating cellaring, this will age gracefully over the next 10-15 years. A fantastic choice when needing to choose a white wine for a special occasion
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 01-23-2018
Another fantastic bottling from our friends at Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos. Initial aromas reveal a lovely rustic charm to the wine, with a bouquet of dried herbs and dusty earth. Aromas of cherries and berries also come through as well. On the palate, flavors of dried fruits like dark cherry and berry intermingle with notes of earthy minerality. The wine's lively acidity lends it as an obvious choice for various food pairing applications. A great example of a Crianza Rioja, and a good value as well for being under $15.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2011 Los Autores "El Brujo" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-22-2018
A quintessentially classic Rioja. This wine holds the name El Brujo, which roughly translates to "the wizard." This was the nickname bestowed upon winemaker Ezequiel García, who made the legendary CVNE Riojas of the 1950's-1970's. This 2011 Reserva was selected by García from top vineyards in both Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. The aging process was performed in the traditional manner (3 years of aging prior to release, with at least 1 year of aging in oak barrels). The wine leads initially with aromas of dill and vanilla. A bouquet of cocoa powder along with notes of fresh cherries, berries, and plum also reveal themselves. A distinct dusty minerality shines on the palate along with elevated acidity, and flavors once more of plum; some cherry coulis, leather, and savory notes too. Quite nicely balanced. A fantastic wine; especially as an accompaniment to food.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Honorio Rubio "Lias Finas" Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 01-22-2018
Easily one of the best rosé wines we currently have in store. This offering from Honorio Rubio is made in the clarete style from both Garnacha (60%) and Viura (40%) grapes. It is beautifully expressive on the nose with aromas of Bellini and raspberry crème brûlée, button mushrooms, and soft cheese. Flavors on the palate initial in ripe peach and strawberry, and slowly lead into bourbon vanilla and mineral notes on the finish. The acidity and round texture of this wine lend it to being incredibly versatile in food pairing applications. It is very easy to enjoy some Jamón Ibérico with it as well!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Huët "Le Haut-Lieu" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 01-16-2018
I’ve always enjoyed the wines from Domaine Huët. This latest bottling from them proves to be no exception. Aromas of lemon zest, candied peaches, and tangerines play with aromas of stones, wool, sweet florals, and straw. On the palate, ripe stone and orchard fruit flavors are accompanied by stone minerality, straw, Meyer lemon, and lemon curd. A lifted acidity gives freshness without taking away from the lovely, weightier texture. It has similar sweetness to a German spätlese Riesling. A great choice with various cheeses, butternut squash soup, or baked ham.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WS 96

2015 Trinity Hill "Homage" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 01-16-2018
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Easily one of my favorite wines I have tried within the past year. The origins of Homage have their roots in the northern Rhône, with founding Winemaker John Hancock working there during the 1996 harvest. Trinity Hill first planted Syrah vines in 1995 at Gimblett Gravels, with cuttings from Hermitage specifically being planted in 2001. Both the original plantings and subsequent Hermitage vines are used to make Homage. The nose invites you with aromas of perfectly ripe blackberry, plum, and boysenberry. The bouquet is wide ranging, exhibiting spicy black pepper and floral potpourri, to woodsy characteristics, grilled meat, and charcuterie. On the palate, the wine possesses both power and grace. Berry medley, currants, and plum flavors are accompanied by lingering fine tannins. There is a noted herbal and garrigue flavor, with elevated acidity as well. The spicy flavor notes and robust nature of this wine make it suitable with North African cuisine. Think lamb tagine as a possible food pairing. This New Zealand Syrah clearly demonstrates its ability to last another 10-20 years with proper cellaring. An all-around showstopper of a wine
Drink from 2022 to 2022

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-29-2017
This is the newest iteration of Brut Rosé from producer Le Brun De Neuville. The previous non-vintage version consisted of 2/3 Chardonnay and 1/3 Pinot Noir. It now is primarily Chardonnay (~96%), with only ~4% Pinot Noir. Still, the wine evokes light red fruit aromas and accompanying floral notes. A distinct yeast characteristic is exhibited as well. On the palate, the wine is both fresh and savory; possesses a distinct weight that is most likely derived from 5% of oak aging. Elevated acidity as well; nicely crisp. Quite a pleasant Brut Rosé, one that is a great choice on its own or with light food fare.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-18-2017
An absolutely fantastic value Chardonnay that truly delights. Stylistically, this wine is crisp and lean, verging almost Burgundian in style. No malolactic fermentation in the winemaking process, and all stainless steel aging. The Central Coast sun does allow for a certain level of ripeness to develop, lending itself to exhibit tropical fruit notes. On the nose, pineapple and melon aromas initially, with orchard fruits like white pear and pear emerging along with citrus zest. Tertiary notes of citrus blossom, green herbs, mint, and stones. On the palate, the wine is juicy and lively. No richness from oak, but the round nature of Chardonnay inherently does come through, as does the ripeness of fruit. Crisp and minerally on the finish. For the unassuming price of this wine, there is definitely no shortage of flavor and liveliness all for under $15.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 VN 90

2014 Viña Real Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 12-09-2017
This 2014 Crianza primarily consists of 90% Tempranillo, with the remaining 10% comprising of Garnacha, Graciano, and Mazuelo. The oak influence in this wine draws from multiple sources: the oak barrels used in fermentation are French Oak barrels and the barrels used in the 13-14 month aging process are American. Dominant fruit aromas of ripe blackberries and raspberries, macerated cherries, and plum. Bouquet of vanillas, balsamic, cedar, and dill. Warming spices as well, underlying. On the palate, dried berries and cherries play with a wonderful lively acidity. Tannins are there, but certainly not overwhelming. The mouthfeel and acidity lend it to being a great option with food pairings: think roast chicken and bell peppers or pork chops
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2014 Bodegas Volver "Tarima Hill - Old Vines" Monastrell Alicante
Review Date: 12-08-2017
This red delivers a whole lot with respect to the under-$20 price point. Organic Monastrell grapes from vines 50-80 years old. Initial notes of sugar plum, red and dark cherries, and strawberry coulis. Hints of herbs and earth as well. On the palate, this wine pleasantly surprised me with a higher acidity than I had expected at first. The fruit quality is ripe, but definitively not overripe nor bordering on off-dry. Flavors of ripe red and dark fruit alike: dark cherry, strawberry, prune, and blackberry compote. Charming black and white pepper, tarragon, and sage notes as well. A touch of vanilla at the end, expected as the wine sees around 14 months in new oak barrels. A well-made, modern style of Monastrell that is sure to please those who are fans of California Cabernet Sauvignon. A great choice as a weekday dinner red to go with various meat dishes
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 JS 90

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