Staff Favorites - Blake Conklin

Blake Conklin

Reviews

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2017 Veronique Anne Perret Vin de Savoie Apremont
Review Date: 06-21-2018
Another stellar vintage from one of my all time favorite white wines that we carry in the store. Floral and very aromatic, not only is this a fantastic wine for the summer, overall, it's a great treat to have all year long. Jacquère is very underrated, and I hope one day, more people will catch on to how delicious it makes a wine.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Chateau Les Valentines "Le Caprice de Clementine" Cotes de Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-21-2018
When it comes to a fantastic rose for under 20 bucks, the Le Caprice easily takes the cake for me... Crisp, elegant, bright acidity, this is definitely my first choice for a summer rose I should be drinking all day. Preferably in a swimming pool.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rymill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra
Review Date: 06-14-2018
There's a reason why Cabernet Sauvignon is the most planted varietal in the Coonawarra region of South Australia, and the Coonawarra Cabernet is beyond exceptional for the 20 dollar price point. The flavors of black currant and cherries leave on long lasting impression that keeps you asking for more... Could this cab be the steal of the century? I think so. :-)

2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-21-2018
When I first tasted this wine, I wasn't completely sure what to think of it, but with a reasonable amount of time, I revisited, and it has potential to be heavenly nectar from the gods... for only 16 bucks. The Clos Du Gaimont has fantastic subtle minerality, and perhaps maybe even a little bit of honeydew and mellow acidity on the palate.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

2016 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
The 2015 Vintage of the Cuvee Ventabren was one of my favorite blends coming from Gigondas last year,and I'm happy to say that the 2016 vintage has become one of my favorites from Gigondas this year. This Grenache heavy blend just reminds me just how amazing grenache can really be, and it showcases beautifully in the 2016 vintage. Peppery, mineral driven, and deeply complex, this bottle for 30 bucks, is a fantastic choice for dinner or even by itself.

2015 Guy Farge "Harmonie" Cornas
Review Date: 05-14-2018
I love Syrah. Especially Northern Rhone syrah... and the Guy Farge is very exceptional syrah. I've had more than several dozen wines from the 2015 vintage in the Rhone valley, and while I haven't had a bad bottle yet, there are definitely some I know will age beautifully within time. With proper decanting, or proper ageing, the Guy Farge can be an incredible bottle, and for a $40 dollar price point, it really is a steal, when you consider it being Northern Rhone. Here's a bottle for the Syrah lover.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 91

2016 Les Terres Blanches "Ancestrale Blanc" Petillant Natural Brut (Natural)
Review Date: 05-14-2018
The Les Terres Blanches is a bottle of pure delicious funk, and I'm saying that in the best way possible. There's so many different flavors going on in this blend, and a beautiful chalky minerality as well. If you're looking for something different and want an awesome natural sparkling, I highly recommend this. This sparkling chenin blanc is definitely a game changer.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château de Montfaucon Clairette "Vin de Mme la Comtesse" Lirac Blanc
Review Date: 05-10-2018
Clairette doesn't seem to get enough love in this part of the world, but everyone I've met who has tried it generally falls in love with it right away, and how can you not? The Clairette Lirac Blanc from Chateau De Montfaucon is very floral, mellow on acidity, and very easy drinking. If you aren't drinking rose every day for the summer, and looking for something light, refreshing, and super tasty, I'd definitely suggest checking out this wine. It's definitely in my top 5 of summer wines for 2018
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 91

2016 Domaine de Pallus "Messanges" Chinon
Review Date: 05-04-2018
As I grow and continue to educate myself more about wines from the Loire Valley, I've come to realize that Chinon has to be one of my top favorite AOC's in the Loire and the Messanges from Domaine de Pallus is just another reminder of why I dig Chinon so much. With very fine pepper notes, well structured minerality, and solid acidity, this great bottle of cabernet franc is an absolute steal for under 20 bucks.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Domaine de la Begude Bandol Rouge
Review Date: 04-30-2018
My relationship with Mourvèdre has always been an off again on again love affair. Some bottles I loved, and some bottles I loved more than others... the Domaine De La Begude is one of those bottles I loved more than others. Peppery, complex, and overall a perfect evening bottle among friends, this Bandol Rouge slays!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Charles Joguet "Les Varennes du Grand Clos" Chinon
Review Date: 04-16-2018
Bold, yet never overbearing. This cabernet franc knocks it out the park. Smooth and peppery, and very well balanced acidity, I'm reminded time and time again just why I love Chinon so much and why it may be my favorite region in the entire Loire Valley. Thanks Charles Joguet.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94 WS 92

2016 Poggiarellino Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-14-2018
When it comes to our Italian direct imports, Poggiarellino tends to be my favorite. Their 2016 Rosso di Montalcino is definitely a solid every dayer and quite possibly my new favorite pizza wine... The fruit is super concentrated and the acidity is vibrant and lovely. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2011 Bocale Sagrantino di Montefalco
Review Date: 03-24-2018
While I don't always drink Italian wine, I often find a few bottles here and there that I really fall in love with and immediately want to drink more Italian wine shortly after. The 2011 Bocale is definitely one of those bottles. Fantastic with any tomato based pasta or even by itself. If I could, I would drink this bottle every day. 100
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Saint-Damien Côte du Rhône-Villages Plan de Dieu Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 03-15-2018
2015, Vieilles Vignes, Cote Du Rhone Villages, $16.99? Need I say more? In so many ways, this bottle can easily sell itself to any hardcore Rhone fan. I initially bought this to see if this could be a new every day red for me to keep in the house whenever I have guests over. After trying it out a couple nights ago after a really nice dinner date, I'm completely convinced this is the best quality Cote-Du-Rhone you can buy for under 20 bucks. With 80% Grenache and only 20% Mourvèdre, this blend is rustic, mildly fruit forward, and a crowd pleaser. Novices and Rhone fans will definitely enjoy :-)
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JD 90 RP 90

2016 Walsh & Sons "Felix" Syrah Margaret River (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-15-2018
While the label may look a little goofy, the Felix from Walsh & Sons is a serious bottle of wine. Peppery, lean, and packaged with a nice touch of old world flavor, the Felix is a great representation of what Maragaret River has to offer in the already rather complex world of Syrah.
Price: Hidden View Price

2013 Fable Mountain "Night Sky" GSM Coastal Region
Review Date: 03-15-2018
As most people know, I definitely have consumed a plethora of Rhone wines from all over the Rhone valley, if I haven't heard of or tried a particular village or appelation, I jump on it as soon as possible. The letters G, S, and M tend to be my favorites these days Wanting to switch things up for a bit, I decided to try Night Sky from Fable Mountain. I don't normally drink South African wine, but I figured, for 20 bucks, hey, why not? Let's do some exploring! If you're a fan of GSM blends coming from Paso Robles or even Santa Barbara County, the Night Sky from Fable Mountain is most likely up your ally. And at the price point we sell it at, it's a steal! This blend is a little more fruit forward than I expected, but it's extremely approachable, and I'm sure it will please the Novice wine drinker. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 VN 90

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-08-2018
My first thought on No Name was simply: "Peaty AF" and if you're a big fan of smaller batch heavily peated Scotch, then this limited edition of Compass Box is one for you to definitely check out. A slow sipper, this bottle definitely packs a lot of heat, with extremely subtle flavors of fruity sweetness, and bonfires in Autumn on the nose, the No Name is definitely one complex bottle of scotch.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2015 M et S Bouchet Grolleau "Fleur Bleue" VDF Rouge (Natural)
Review Date: 03-08-2018
The moment I found out that M & S Bouchet were one of the pioneers of biodynamic farming practices, I had to buy myself a bottle and check it out. I wasn't very familiar with the grape variety Grolleau, so I wasn't completely sure what I was getting myself into... If you're looking for more approachable lighter bodied reds from France, this bottle is right up your ally. This wine has spice, subtles flavors of cherry and little no influence of oak, thankfully because M & S Bouchet is known for letting their wine age in large neutral oak casks for several years. Definitely worth a whirl!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Domaine de Montbourgeau "Cuvée Speciale" l'Etoile
Review Date: 03-01-2018
Savagnin has been one of my favorite white varieties for awhile now, and while it may be too weird for the average bear, I think that's what makes it so great and unique. Complex, carmel-esque, funky goodness are just a couple ways I would describe this Jura white from L'Etoile. While this wine may not be for the occasional drinker, this is definitely an awesome bottle for the dry Sherry fan or for one that is feeling adventurous.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Domaine de Courcel Pommard "Les Vaumuriens"
Review Date: 03-01-2018
After working in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast for several years, I felt like I knew everything about pinot, but of course, I was wrong. There's very few bottles I can call a game changer and the Pommard Les Vaumuriens from Domaine De Courcel is one of those bottles. Surprisingly more tannic than I would have expected, this is definitely a bottle I want to revisit in a couple more years and see just how much it will change. While it's completely rocking in flavor right now, I do feel like it needs some time. Definitely one worth cellaring.

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 02-12-2018
The Cuvee Christophe from Domaine Des Remizieres is one outstanding bottle of syrah. The flavor profile is dark fruited, robust, yet still kicking with a nice amount of acidity and structure. It's a perfect example of what syrah should taste like. Definitely worth a whirl, especially at the price point.

2016 Jules Taylor Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Talk about a great bang for your buck. Perfectly balanced, not too oaky, and definitely not overwhelmingly buttery. The Jules Taylor Chardonnay is easily one of the best Chards we carry in the store for under 20 bucks. Definitely worth a whirl. I could also see this Chard pairing very well with oysters.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

2015 Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Big, robust, jammy and fruit forward. If you love Cab that matches Robert Parker's palate, this may be the wine for you. From the makers of Troublemaker, here's another wine you can definitely get into trouble with, as it is very easy drinking and approachable. Paso Robles is proving once again that it's an American Viticulture Area that stands on it own.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

2016 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Floral and slightly fruity on the nose, the Cuvée Christophe is well rounded, and perfectly balanced with great minerality and acidity. The 2016 vintage definitely carries the very essence of what a Rhone white should taste like. I couldn't help but think of how many oysters I wanted to eat with this wine. Here's to another fantastic year in the Rhone Valley with the 2016 vintage.

2015 Cécile Chassagne Gigondas
Review Date: 01-18-2018
There's something really special and unique about Cecile Chassagne's 2015 Gigondas that sets it apart from other Gigondas wines I've had from various producers. This is definitely one of the prettiest Gigondas blends I've had, and one of my personal favorites that we carry in the store. Beautifully balanced acidity, and flavors of raspberry make this blend a very pleasant experience, even for those who normally don't drink wine every day. I opened this bottle up with my roommate who's not a wine guy, but he thought this was one of the best bottle of wines he ever had. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 - 92

2016 Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Domaine De Marcoux is slowly turning into one of my favorite Southern Rhone producers, and their 2016 Cotes Du Rhone is an outstanding Southern Rhone blend. Mildly zesty, and subtle flavors of strawberry twizzlers on the palate, this wine delivers a good mouthfeel, mild tannins, and great structure. Dinner party wine for sure.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine Dugois Vin Jaune Arbois (620ml)
Review Date: 01-18-2018
If you're a lover of vin jaune (yellow wine) like myself, then you are definitely in for a treat with Domaine Dugois's 2010 Arbois Vin Jaune. Funky and all over the place, like any classic wine from Jura, this vin jaune is an untamed beast, and I mean that in the best way possible. The flavor profile is salty, mushroomy, and carries subtle notes of caramelized onions. If you love sherry or you're feeling adventurous, and want a fantastic funky white wine, this may be the wine for you.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2014 Liquid Farm "Golden Slope" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-11-2018
The Golden Slope from Liquid Farm is not only a really well made wine, it's also quite possibly one of the best tasting chardonnays I've had from the Sta. Rita Hills. It's rich, full bodied, and the natural malo ferment makes it a true pleasure to drink. Give it some air for a good 30 minutes or so and enjoy.

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-04-2018
As far as our portfolio of direct imports go, I'm personally a huge fan of everything Fallet Dart has released, and the Grande Selection is definitely one of my all time favorites. If you need a good house champagne, look no further. Grande Selection delivers on so many levels. It's well balanced, the acidity is damn near perfect, and it has a nice toastiness to it like no other. Try it with pizza. Trust me.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-04-2018
2014 is really starting to show itself as a fantastic vintage for Napa Cabernet, and the Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Montelena is a great example. Packed with flavors of plum, dark cherry, tobacco, and leather, the 2014 Vintage is a classic text book example of what a Napa Cab should taste like and it helped remind me why I even fell in love with the varietal many moons ago, and just under $50 bucks, it also proves to be a fantastic value as well. Definitely worth a whirl, if you're looking for a nice cab to bring to dinner with you.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-04-2018
Every previous vintage of Patz & Hall I've had has always delivered on a level of consistency like no other, and the 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is no exception. This bottle delivers a bright level of acidity, and mellow subtleties of strawberry, raspberry and slight bell pepper. Did this wine go through a little bit a whole cluster fermentation? I'm not sure, but if it did, great! The 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is fantastic regardless.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-05-2017
I think I just found my new favorite every day drinking red. Seriously, the Bastide Miraflors is spectacular. The nose is packed with aromas of blueberry, cherries, and dark chocolate. The wine finishes smoothly with a great mouthfeel and well balanced acidity. For the $13 dollar price point we sell it, this blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah is definitely one of the best bangs for your buck that we have to offer. Trust me when I say you don't want to miss out on this one.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Oncle Vincent"
Review Date: 09-29-2017
The Oncle Vincent is currently my favorite, best-value white Burgundy on the shelf. And let me tell you, this bottle is fantastic. With notes of butter, star fruit, a little bit of oak, the Oncle Vincent's acidity is well balanced, and overall, this Chardonnay is a great time.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Taken Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2014 Red Blend from Taken Wine Company is a bold, yet well balanced red with nice flavor profiles of dark stone fruit, and tobacco. The finish is smooth and velvety. A fantastic buy for the red blend lover.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2014 Vintage of Carpe Diem is very well balanced, and a perfect expression of Anderson Valley Pinot. Tasting this bottle reminded me of what I loved so much about Anderson Valley in first place. With notes of cranberry, cherry and a touch of cinnamon, this bottle should go perfectly with any dinner scenario for the light bodied red drinker.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 WE 91

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Sétilles"
Review Date: 09-28-2017
While I haven't tried previous vintages from this producer yet, I have to say I am definitely becoming a fan of Olivier Leflaive. If you want a nice easy drinking white burgundy, the Les Setilles is filled with citrus flavor, light and pineapple, and bright acidity.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Jean-Michel Dupre "Vignes de 1940" Beaujolais Villages
Review Date: 08-28-2017
The 1940 is light, easy drinking, fun and fruity! The flavor profile consists of a lot of cherry, blueberry, and it makes a perfect party wine. I actually probably enjoyed this bottle more than I should. It's great with food or by itself. And for the price point, you seriously can't go wrong with this.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2009 Puygueraud, Côtes de Francs
Review Date: 08-25-2017
Considering the age, the quality, and the overall value, this Bordeaux is a steal. With Merlot being the dominant variety in this blend, this bottle is easy drinking, approachable, and fantastic for beginners who are willing to explore more from the region. Definitely give this bottle a whirl!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 08-18-2017
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I never would have imagined New Zealand to produce a solid Bordeaux blend, and this bottle definitely changed the way I look at New Zealand wines now. This blend is earthy, bold, and has a good flavor of spices on the finish.

2016 Pascal Berthier "Esprit de Séduction" Saint-Amour
Review Date: 08-18-2017
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This beaujolais is killer. Easy drinking, fruit forward, and best served chilled. This beaujolais makes a great party wine or even an every day night cap. I love this bottle.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2013 Rudi Pichler Riesling Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 08-17-2017
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This Riesling is pure in every way, yet it still has a lot of power and weight. Nice citrus finish, a nice summer wine.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-11-2017
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Nice subtle sweetness, and overall a fun bottle of Champagne.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 91

Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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Quite possibly the driest of the dry, I've had when it comes to champagne. The Ultra Brut from Laurent Perrier is unique in it's own right and worthy of a try to the Champagne lover.

2008 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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The 2008 vintage for champagne is tasting really amazing right now, and this 2008 Grand Vintage Brut should be on your list, if you're looking for a fantastic bottle of vintage champagne. Smooth and fresh, this champagne has an outstanding minerality that I often look for in most white wines, and I absolutely love the chalky presence on it's finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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You probably won't find a good quality champagne at this price anywhere else, and on top of that, this champagne is actually fantastic! You want to bring champagne to a party, celebration, or dinner party, but don't wanna spend more than 25 bucks? Then this is the champagne for you!
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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The primary presence of chardonnay leaves this champagne with a creamy texture, bright acidity and subtle flavors of apple and pear on the finish. I absolutely love this bottle, not only is it a great value for Champagne, it's also just a genuinely good bottle as well.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
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Well balanced, rich, but not overbearingly so. Who knew we'd have so many fantastic Grand Cru champagnes at such a fantastic price, and this here is no exception. This champagne finishes off with a nice toasted hazelnut finish, that simply makes this grand cru irresistible!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 08-03-2017
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Don't let the cartoony frogs on the label dissuade you. This Chenin Blanc from Vouvray is beyond exceptional. Crisp, clean, bright, and acidic, this Chenin makes a perfect summer white. You want a nice white to have with oysters? Look no further. This wine is great!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cicada by Chante Cigale Méditerranée
Review Date: 08-03-2017
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What a fun wine, and perfect price point for the every day consumer. This blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan really shows just how tasty and easily approachable Rhone blends can be. Bring to a party, or share amongst friends, I'm sure no one will be disappointed.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$9.99

2015 Mas de Sainte Croix "Passion d'Une Terre" Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Valreas
Review Date: 07-27-2017
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This blend of Grenache and Mourvedre makes an outstanding every day drinking wine. Medium bodied, well balanced, and packed with many complex flavors on the palette.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

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