Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

2015 Antech "Cuvée Héritage 1860" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 09-05-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
If you happen to somehow find your happy soul in the vicinity of Limoux on a weekend during January and February, you may be joyfully besieged by colorfully festooned revelers and masked merrymakers dancing and carousing, and likely imbibing plenty of bubbles, as they've done every year for over 400 years. And if perchance you can't make it there, fret not, for many of those same delicious sparkling wines beckon local revelers from our shelves, frilly costumes optional. Crafted from old vines grown at altitude from a 'triptych of terroirs', the wines of Antech attest to the best from Limoux, and the Heritage brings it all together, with generous bubbles and captive flavors of Asian pear, fig, citrus and late summer fruits, dry and pleasant on the finish. Dressed up or dressed down, this attractive traditional sparkler is a true carnival of delights!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2017 Domaine Petroni Corse Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 08-21-2018
Another Corsican gem, made from 50% Niellucciu, 35% Sciaccarellu and 15% Grenache, showcasing precisely why these ebullient wines have become such food-friendly favorites. Red berries and stone fruits sing from the glass, but in this instance are joined in harmony by a subtle pepper note, probably from the Sciacarellu. Plenty of juicy acidity to ballast the luscious, enticing flavors—a plate of fresh charcuterie or a Nicoise salad would be a stunning match. Enjoy!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This lovely Corsican Vermentinu is pure liquid sunlight in a bottle, with welcoming scents and flavors of fresh-sliced apples, lemon meringue and hawthorn, with a wonderful mineral edge on the attractively crisp, persistent finish. A richly aromatic bowl of moules marinières would be the perfect accompaniment to this lustrous white wine. I don't believe there is a better, more versatile white wine in the shop for this price!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois "Eclipse" Extra Brut
Review Date: 07-04-2018
Where did sparkling wine originate? The obvious answer of course was in the glorious, bedazzling Champagne region, but you would be politely in error. Wines first bubbled to the surface not from the famed trials of Dom Perignon of the Abbey Hautvillers, but from unheralded, obscure monks at the Abbey of St. Hilaire near Limoux in 1531,well over a century before the Dom's birth. Carrying on this venerable tradition has been the magnificent obsession of Jean-Louis Denois, who this year surpassed his own efforts by creating a stunner of a sparkler, aptly called the Eclipse. This largely Pinot-Noir based Extra Brut lay a full 10 years in barrel and was aged on the lees in bottle for more than 4 years, delivering a vivid sensorium of flavors- crisp golden apple, white peach, lemon blossom, tea leaf and toast. Beautifully fresh and poised, with vibrant acidity and a lingering, lively finish. Scintillating!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Veronique Anne Perret Vin de Savoie Apremont
Review Date: 06-25-2018
Every wine tells a story. According to legend, way back in the thirteenth century a fellow, possibly a thirsty friar and perhaps one named' Jacquerre', first planted this delightful grape in the Savoie. Regardless of how it actually found its home, it remains the dominant white grape in that part of France, contributing to many delicious bottles in the villages and cozy ski lodges that dot the Alpine region. Noted for their easy drinkability, these friendly, limestone-inflected wines echo the scent of orchard fruits and wildflowers tinged by the pure mountain air. Lift a glistening glass to Monsieur Jacquerre!
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2014 Lateral Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-13-2018
A deft blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from premium organic vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley, the Lateral was first created by owner and winemaker Marty Mathis over twenty years ago as a "Right Bank" wine with California panache. Droves of satiated wine lovers have since proved him right, as this most recent vintage again delivers provocative aromatics and abundant flavors of black cherries, blackcurrant and ravishing plums with whispers of eucalyptus, graphite and orange peel, followed by pliant tannins and a smooth, rounded finish. Drinking window? Open and enjoy n-o-w.....
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine la Chapelle Saint-Victor Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-13-2018
The marketing concept of a "rosé season" has been all but vanquished by the reality that many of these crisply enticing, food-loving wines can be served and enjoyed throughout the year, "because because because" (to paraphrase Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz) "of the wonderful things it does." This lovely, bejeweled rosé may not make you wish you were back in Kansas, but, with a rapture of delicate spice, gentle sweetness and inviting red fruits it will effortlessly transport you over the rainbow to the serene, acacia-scented, seaside villages of Provence. Just click your heels twice....
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château Pesquié "Terrasses" Ventoux
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Whenever a new lot of the perilously delicious Chateau Pesquie appears on the wine receiving dock I start to unconsciously salivate.... ok, an exaggeration, but for all the ripe reasons this mouthwatering Rhone has been one of the best unkept secrets in our stores for years. Cultivated on limestone and clay soils beneath the yawning shadows of Mont Ventoux (celebrated as perhaps the most unforgiving, do-or-die climb in the Tour de France), this all-organic red brings out the best of both Grenache and Syrah, with captive notes of black cherry, raspberries, potpourri, and anise, impeccably balanced with poised acidity and suave tannin. Bring a few bottles home tonight, and serve with a thick juicy grass-fed hamburger!
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2016 Clos de la Bonnette Collines Rhodannienes Syrah Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 05-16-2018
The last vintage of this ethereal Syrah left an indelible memory on my palate, drawing analogies between the sheer structural beauty of the wine and the arduous stone by stone restoration by the husband and wife team of the dillapidated hillside vineyards, both involving an immense labor of love and a resolute commitment to perfection. None of their extraordinary efforts were wasted, as this bottle, imbued with enticing aromas of red plum, lavender, pepper and black olive could easily pass for a telltale wine from its famous neighbor. Fortunately for all of us, it possesses all the flavor, ineluctable charm and elegance without the high price. My advice? Squirrel a case or two of this luscious Syrah away and enjoy it over the next few years.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine de Montbourgeau "En Banode" l'Etoile
Review Date: 04-24-2018
Distinctive for the Jura-embossed bottle, gently sloping shoulders and attractive bright red star on the label, Domaine de Montbourgeau leaves an indelible impression on those who first taste their remarkable wines. En Banode is a single vineyard of Chardonnay and Savagnin planted on southeast facing grey and blue marl slopes almost 50 years ago. Such propitious conditions deliver a wine of superb complexity and robust panache, with firm acidity and a palate of citrus flowers, dried apricot and hazelnut, carrying a subtle oxidative note on the finish. Pair this luscious wine with baked, almond-crusted trout for a delectable meal.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-10-2018
The wines of Maury have traditionally been sweet and fortified, but didn't have to be. Many expressed the conviction that the stunning region could also produce excellent dry wines, and in 2011 the sub-appellation of Maury Sec was born, to all our benefit I might add. The Serge & Nicolas, named for both the grower and winemaker who nurtured it to bottle, captures the essence of Maury, with soaring plum and cherry blossom aromatics and penetrating flavors of ripe red and black fruits, savory anise, spices and garrigue, framed by beautifully nuanced tannins. What sets these wines apart from so many? The sheer balance and harmony achieved, allowing for early drinking and superb satisfaction.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 91

2015 Domaine Cabirau "First Things First" Maury Sec
Review Date: 04-09-2018
The Roussillon, long acknowledged for its flood of lusty, highly quaffable peasant wines, has undergone a dramatic vinous renaissance over the last few decades, and now produces memorable wines that can rival the greatest in France. No wonder, as it occupies a magnificent panorama of diverse soils, amphitheatres and microclimates running from the Mediterranean to the Catalan border. The potential met the demand, and famed importer Dan Kravitz of Domaine Cabirau built his winery on a hillside under the eye of an ancient Cathar fortress that could easily have served as a setting for Game of Thrones. And the First Things First would likely quench a dragon's thirst, with its depth charge of black and red fruits catapulting the palate into a realm of luscious spice, wild garrigue and minerality. A perfect blend of balance and power, match this gorgeous red wine with well-seared meats or a hearty paella.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 92

2016 Saint Cosme Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 03-14-2018
Writing about this historic winery, with its seemingly imperishable 12th century Romanesque chapel rising heavenwards above the vines, always evokes a sense of timelessness and immutability. And every wine produced here, from their imposing single vineyard Gigondas bottlings to the expressive, super-value Cotes du Rhones, capture both the unique terroir and character of this estate. Aged entirely in tank, yields were lower than the superb 2015 vintage, promising even more concentrated Syrah fruit, with high-toned aromas of black cherry, raspberry and red plum, enveloping a lush palate of blackcurrant, truffle, sweet tobacco and licorice. Fine acidity holds everything in place. A ravishing Rhone bargain, I expect this delectable Syrah to take wing!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2015 Outlier "Noiro" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-21-2018
Derek Rohlffs was in a previous life an executive in the gaming industry, which gave him the opportunity to explore and taste a bounty of high-end wines with moneyed clients. Realizing soon that a row of grapes on the vine was far more alluring than three elusive cherries on a slot, he decided to seriously pursue fine winemaking and today makes both the Bravium and Outlier wines on Treasure Island, just outside of San Francisco.The Outlier Noiro delights with aromas and flavors of fresh plums, strawberries, cherry cola and kitchen spice, balanced by good acidity and a great finish. Nice to discover an attractively priced Pinot Noir with such personality and charm, so it's, um, hardly a gamble.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Dugois Ploussard "La Sombarde" Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The Domaine Dugois Ploussard is a true charmer of a wine, pretty and ruby-hued with delicately spicy aromas and flavors of cherries and red plums. Delicious with a plate of charcuterie and Morbier cheese.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Dugois Savagnin Arbois Blanc (Sous Voile)
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
The Savagnin grape undoubtedly reaches its apotheosis in the beautiful Jura region of Arbois, and this enthralling version exhibits lively oxidative aromas and provocative flavors of green walnut, hazelnut, stone fruit and minerals, imbued with a spine of crisp acidity. Pair tonight with a spicy chicken curry or Moroccan dish for an exotic, soul-satisfying dinner.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2010 Domaine Dugois Vin Jaune Arbois (620ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
This unique wine reveals its seductive nature over time, having spent over six years in old barriques under a thin layer of yeast, or voile, a maturing regimen similar to sherry, which allows for generous oxidation, slow evaporation and the development of intense, complex flavors of ginger, walnut, curry powder and apricot, with a salty tang. Often served with the local Comté cheese, this famous “yellow wine” will also pair well with mushroom risottos. And the real beauty of a Vin Jaune? It can age for many decades, if desired.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors
Review Date: 01-15-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
When most people think of purchasing a bottle of Malbec they invariably seek out the lush, full-bodied, fruitful red wines of Argentina. Not to argue, but it’s easy to forget if they ever remembered, that Malbec’s true home has always been in Southwest France, in the misbegotten wines of Cahors, where it flourished for centuries until the phylloxera bug and devastating frosts almost annihilated it. We’re forever thankful that it survived, as Haut-Monplaisir has defined in almost textbook fashion what this grape will give you in temperament, pleasure and finesse when grown on the soils of its native land— luscious, aromatic blackcurrant fruit augmented by licorice, vanilla and spice, with a silky suppleness and weight that poured itself with aplomb into the glass. Stunning Malbec, and I guess if the bottle could speak it might say ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2013 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The amazing Tannat-derived wines of Madiran could almost be thought of as ‘medicine’, as they contain the highest levels of cardiovascular-enhancing anthocyanins—think resveratrol— of any wines. Take heart, as they also possess the added appeal of being absolutely delicious. Peyros is an aromatic, deeply-structured wine, replete with flavors of black plums, cocoa powder, spices and fresh roasted coffee, with plenty of stony minerality to boot. Being primarily Tannat, tannins are still present, but with a few years behind it, this wine is crushed velvet on the finish. Uncork and enjoy with a soulful, wintry beef stew!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
Not surprising that Banshee, the Sonoma winery that takes its name from a mythical Irish demon, would name one of its deadly delicious wines after a voracious raven of Scandinavian folklore. And this Zinfandel, crafted from ancient dry-farmed vines, is something of a throwback style, before so many Zins became synonymous with something you spread on an English muffin! There is of course an array of delicious fruit: blackberry and red raspberry flavors, complemented by refined notes of licorice, graphite and spice. A superbly wrought Zinfandel to charm and enthrall your own ravenous palate....
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Year after year we've offered this extraordinary sparkling wine from Southwest France to our fortunate customers, and the Eugenie never fails to bring a welcome smile to office parties, holiday gatherings, birthdays, or any occasion calling for a great bubbly! With its enticing citrus, white flower and brioche notes, characterized by an elegant mousse and bright acidity, how can you gone wrong? An absolute stunner, for half the price of an entry-level Champagne.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 91

2014 Tormaresca "Neprica" Super Puglia
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Thrice loved the 2013 vintage of this super-priced, effortlessly enjoyable blend from Tormaresca, and the 2014 is perhaps even a notch above, with more body and structure behind the well of pure fruit and spice. A wonderful wine to open and pair with virtually any Mediterranean or Adriatic-inspired dishes. Drink long and deeply!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Delas Freres "Saint-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône Rouge
Review Date: 01-02-2018
Riding the rambunctious Rhone region as I do, over the past few months I've had several customers politely inquire, "Do you have any Delas Esprit?" Well, up until a few days ago the answer was sadly "No, nada, negativo." But the New Year brings wondrous surprises, and the 2016 vintage has just landed, promising a fresh abundance of black cherry and red plum fruits, suave spice, rich licorice and floral notes, with a crisp, impressively mouthwatering finish. A promise... one bottle will lead to many more, so please, don't be shy, this is a simply brilliant everyday Rhone!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-27-2017
Th Corsican grape Niellucciu may be a bit of a challenge to wrap your tongue around, but the wines blended from this lusty, robust variety require little effort to enjoy! A distinct, island variant of Sangiovese, plantings in heavily maritime-influenced Corsica are a product of the unique microclimate, mountainous terrain, and abundant sunlight (more than anywhere on the French mainland), ensuring perfectly ripe, beautifully-structured wines with bursting aromas and flavors of purple plums, raspberries, black pepper and a melange of minerals. Succulent and lingering, and at under $13 a great holiday giveaway, but be sure to keep a case for yourself!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2004 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-15-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
This excellent Saint-Emilion Grand Cru estate is renowned for its wonderful clay and limestone terroir, superb viticultural practices and skilled winemaking expertise, all apparent in this bottle of beautifully mature and elegant wine. Exuberantly rich Merlot aromatics cavort in the glass, displaying an impressive, fleshy palate of deep cherry and blackberry fruit with vanilla nuances, followed by a measure of stony minerality and taut acidity on the long, lovely finish. I rarely quote Robert Parker, but he wrote this wine was a "sleeper of the vintage". Well, it's about time to wake a bottle up. Please suffer the indulgence and enjoy!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-04-2017
"Astonished, amazed, stunned, overcome, overwhelmed" are all good words to describe something, anything, that makes you put down your smartphone, look-up-stand-up and take notice, but I prefer the more colorful, old word "flabbergasted" to express my complete wonder at this intrinsically indispensable wine. Jean Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine must have a direct line to the wine gods, as the 2015 effortlessly melds ripe, expansive red fruits and floral notes to subtle spice and chocolate elements. Beautiful structure and a persistent finish complete the total experience. A prediction: this excellent wine will soon sell out, and disappear faster than you or I can say "flabbergasted"...
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 10-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
With her down-to-earth warmth and embrace of non-interventionist winemaking, Marie Chauffray of Domaine De La Reserve d’O manifests the abiding ethos of the Vinifilles, an accomplished coterie of amazing women winemakers in the Languedoc-Roussillon. She and her husband relinquished their safe life as owners of a wine shop, and spent a decade scouring the rugged countryside for the perfect site to grown their own. They found it in the high, windswept Terrasses du Larzac appellation, where her biodynamic, terroir-driven wines, grown on poor clay and calcareous soils are uniquely defined by their refreshing aromatic profiles and intense flavors. Her 2015 La Reserve d’O is a compelling blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, with alluring black fruit aromas leading to an expansive palate of blackcurrant, cherries, licorice, cocoa and baking spice. Certainly one of the most harmonious wines I've tasted this year.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WS 91

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The lovely equipoise and limpid purity of this Chardonnay is revelatory, and, as its name translates as ‘infinite or immeasurable’ I may run out of oxygen to describe it, but I’ll try...in the hands of an excellent winemaker like Severine Bourrier, balance and prismatically clean fruit come to the fore. This Chardonnay is redolent with notes of white peach, Fuji apple, delicate pastry, cut wildflowers and summer hay, and will pair well with grilled scallops or a rosemary-roasted chicken. An extraordinary wine for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a comparable domestic Chardonnay or white Burgundy!
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 90

2014 No Curfew California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-05-2017
Relying upon Amici Cellars expertise and veteran winemaker Joel Aiken's exhaustive knowledge of under the radar vineyards throughout Northern California, this juicy, satisfying wine showcases fruit from the Monterey region, with fresh, robust notes of strawberry, red cherry and delicate spice, finishing with easy tannins and clean acidity . A lovely, well-priced, everyday Pinot from an excellent producer.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 08-06-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
After tasting this sensational Ribera del Duero red I quixotically leapt to their website, and discovered Tomás Esteban bent lovingly over his vines, caressing the leaves as if they were his children, which, because he planted most of them, they were. And this being the heart of Spain, I suppose the sight of octogenarian winemakers tilting toward their vines is far more common than tilting at windmills, and to better effect. An impressive Tempranillo of opaque, ripe black fruits, mineral earth, dark chocolate and lusty spice, assuaged by a dram of Albillo, this wine offers up luxuriant, savory flavors, succulence and firm tannins, the welcome companion to a range of grilled meats, especially lamb.

2007 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-17-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
The word ‘nuance’, from the verb ‘nuer’, to show variations in shade, is much abused in winespeak, but for those bottles that have been allowed to evolve gracefully over a decade or more, there is no better term. We recently had the opportunity to explore nuance to its full expression during a memorable winemakers’ dinner with two of our favorites, Rodolphe de Pins of Chateau de Montfaucon and Jean Baptiste Meunier of Moulin de la Gardette. Full of boundless appetite, Rudi shared his robust, enduring wines as freely as his endearing conversation, and by the end of the evening everyone was, to say the least, sated. With ten long years under its belt, the 2007 Baron Louis was remarkably smooth, mouth-filling and harmonious, with fleshy blue plum, bramble and redcurrant flavors burnished by sous bois, sandalwood and fine tannins, finishing with a soulful, warm flourish. Pure pleasure, don’t hesitate to rediscover this wine again and again. It is very nuanced.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Be forewarned: Do not don one of the unwieldy medieval helmets shown on the front label while attempting to drink this robust Rioja, as it's far too tasteworthy to waste a single drop! Attired in deep red hues, this forward-drinking, effusive Reserva spent 18 months in both American and French oak. It resonates with fragrant aromas of black cherries, vanilla and raspberries, revealing a layered palate of riper dark fruits embellished with a tinge of earth and char. Enjoy this now or over the next decade.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

2014 Moulin de la Gardette "Cuvée Ventabren" Gigondas
Review Date: 04-05-2017
Crafted from venerable, almost century old vines, this memorable Gigondas is an inspiring evocation of place, the bewitching aromas of garrigue, sun-splashed stones and warm earth that invest the vineyards with such generous fruit and personality. The Ventabren is a structured, elegant wine, replete with ripe black fruit, wild herbs, kirsch, tapenade and textural, velvety tannins, and will pair well with a range of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern dishes.

2010 Lamothe-Bergeron, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 03-04-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
With a fabled chateau dating back to the Hundred Years’ War, this property has plenty of historical significance, and time is on your side if you can conceivably lay down a case or two of this finely etched Haut-Médoc for a few more years, as all the rich structural elements are background players to the more fruit-driven assemblage of black plum, cherry, tobacco-scented and mineral notes currently on display. Serve with an aged porterhouse and you will be making memories of your own.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

2015 Domaine de l'Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 11-28-2016
Gravelly soils and a panoply of pebbles describe the lovely lay of the land in this relatively unexplored spot that straddles both the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc regions. Enveloped by a deep robe of purple, this joyous, uber-friendly wine benefits from freshly inviting aromatics and a smooth, mouth-filling palate of blackcurrant, plums, and violets, with touches of tobacco and peppery spice on the round, pleasant finish. With a wealth of generous, festive fruit, this makes the perfect, well-priced holiday red to accompany all your decking and frolicking. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 04-30-2016
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Whether in art, film, literature or wine, I've always been strongly attracted to iconoclasts, those who forge their own path through life's coombs and brambles, basing their decisions on an intuitive feel for what fits and arriving at a place where they know they belong. Call it 'sense of terroir' or what have you, but Jean-Louis Denois exemplifies this philosophy of place as well as anyone I've met in the wine world. The dust on his boots are the embodiment of his long journey from his native Champagne to Burgundy to South Africa and back again, and finally to the southwestern corner of the Languedoc, where he planted his vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees to create his signature red and sparkling wines. Keeping to the rhythms of nature have led him to adopt both organic and biodynamic precepts in the vineyards, and his brilliant sparkling wines express this with clarity and exuberance— the 'Tradition' Extra Brut is a fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created in a refreshingly crisp and lightly toasted style, with notes of red apple, orange blossom and brioche, the perfect sparkling for all festive occasions and dining without the high price of a Champagne. Stock up on this one for the long summer and beyond, it will never let you or your thirsty guests down.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 05-26-2015
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image Glass Empty image
Zero is my favorite number, or rather ‘un-number’ when it comes to most sparkling wines, as I prefer the naked, pure, crystalline fruit unadorned by added dosage, and the sheer raciness and zing of this stainless fermented bubbly from Limoux answers the call with laser flavors of green apple, lemon and white pear. Bring on a platter of fresh raw oysters or mussels mariniere and watch the shells pile up. Gotta love it!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-02-2013
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
As Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant (1698), Berry Bros. and Rudd should know a thing or three about the traditional making of gin. Their No. 3 English Dry Gin is an unabashedly pure blending of fruits and spices selected and distilled in traditional copper pots in Schiedam, Holland. Made from Italian Juniper, Spanish oranges and grapefruit peel, with added spices including angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamon pods, this exquisitely crafted yet assertive gin remains, with its distinctively aromatic nose and prolonged finish, a highly-recommended personal favorite. The ideal suitor for a dry Martini or classic Gin and Tonic.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2009 Pipeau, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-31-2012
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Moving beyond its inviting, attractive yellow and black label and into the bottle promises to be a richly-rewarding experience, as this predominantly Merlot based wine unveils itself in the glass with a wealth of appealing aromas— blackberries, currants, fig compote, plums, spicy oak, reminiscent of an exuberant Rubens painting, ripe, abundant and robustly fleshy. Multi-dimensional, layered and mouthwateringly compelling, this lovely, textural wine will evolve for several more years, but no one can blame you for decanting and enjoying tomorrow.

Einstök Icelandic White Ale, Iceland (12oz)
Review Date: 04-30-2012
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
With summer fast approaching we're all in need of a super thirst-quenching beer to alleviate the effects of absorbing too much solar energy on our bodies while we flare up the grill for a swirling smoke-athon (ok, admittedly I'm not Mr. Weber, more like one of the guys who stands around getting hot smoke in his face while acting like it doesn't matter).... anyway, just discovered a fantastic antidote to insurmountable thirst in the Icelandic Einstok White Ale, like melting an iceberg slathered in freshly-ground coriander and orange peel. Well, to be truthful, it's a witbier brewed with the same ingredients and tastes absolutely awesome. Beer here now. And in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, pouring an iceberg down your throat might be a good tribute.
Price: $1.99 Add To Cart

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-03-2011
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
In his unwavering maxim that "we leave the earth to our children," Jean-Pierre Fleury was the very first winegrower in Champagne to adapt strict biodynamic principles and techniques in his steeply-sloping, calcareous vineyards near the northern village of Courteron. His exquisite Blanc de Noirs is an homage to the perfectability of Pinot Noir under his meticulous stewardship, and certainly one of the finest, long-lasting champagnes we carry at any price. Hand-crafted from select vintages, the Carte Rouge is emblematic, dry and complex, with a well-developed gamut of flavors from brioche and beeswax to cherry and acacia. Hard to say what 'not' to drink this with, but I guarantee you will be reaching for another glass after tasting this redolent, rewarding sparkler.

2008 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-28-2011
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
My advice? If you have a few extra Benjamins lining your well-oiled wallet and are of the mind to buy a beautiful bottle or two of Bordeaux that will, when it eventually reaches full maturity around the time your same vintage 2008 son/daughter celebrate their 21st birthday (and will generously share it with you), then this is the wine for you! A superbly structured, absolutely pitch-perfect Pauillac, reflecting the august gravel and limestone terroir from which it was born.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Brut Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 12-31-2010
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
Carefully blended from 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay from the estate vineyard in Bendigo, this sparking wine first captivates the eye with its pale yellow highlights, and then flamboyantly seduces the palate with tightly-polished bubbles entranced by lively citrus fruits, crisp brioche and luscious cream. An alluring, wonderfully-harmonious champenoise sparkler for an amazing price!
Top Value!

Dudognon "Reserve" Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 11-30-2010
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
A voter santé! Raymond Dudognon first distilled his own cognac in 1946, following the venerable traditions laid down by his great grandfather in 1776. The heart of the Charente region, located about 100 miles northeast of Bordeaux, is called Grande Champagne, and consists of deep chalk-rich soils, perfect for creating fragrant, long-lived cognacs. Made from 100% natural Ugni Blanc, this singular spirit is blended and distilled in the traditional alambic Charentais pot and eventually aged in 350 liter barrels. The Dudognon homage to tradition stresses minimal intervention, using only pure water as an additive to create a stunning cognac that charms and caresses the palate, displaying a weightlessness and delicacy of fruit found less commonly in cognacs at twice the price. Highly recommended!
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 10-31-2010
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image Glass Empty image
A customer came in recently and asked for an elegant, delicate sparkling wine for a wedding celebration. Champagne was beyond his budget, so without hesitation I smiled and recommended this Cremant de Loire, arguably the greatest sparkling wine value in the world. Created with precise restrictions on everything from mandatory hand-harvesting of relatively older vines to aging regimens (a minimum of 12 months) to atmospheres of pressure (3.5 as opposed to 6 for Champagne), the Deligeroy is a finely-beaded beauty, discreetly aromatic, lacy and effervescent. The careful assemblage of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc adds aromatic complexity, giving this wine an added degree of sophistication. Highly recommended!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Zubrowka Bison Grass Polish Vodka (750ml)
Review Date: 11-09-2009
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
I enjoyed the London reminiscences by my colleague Susan Thornett about this wonderful vodka, and I too confess a special relationship with Zubrowka going back several decades, when I was first offered a bracing shot of this harmonic-bisonic elixir by a friendly Polish waiter in then East Berlin who, sadly trapped behind the Iron Curtain some years before Solidarnösc, desperately wanted to improve his English skills. Maybe it was the effects of the vodka, but before the evening ended I promised to "secure" him a dictionary from the West even though it was strictly against the policy of the rather coercive East German authorities at the time. Well, anyway, I succeeded, and thanks in part to Zubrowka, the Wall finally came down and democracy was finally restored to freedom-loving East Berliners. And today I'm really glad we can offer this rare vodka to our astute customers, as its singularly subtle and unique flavors of yellow straw, camomile tea and dried coconut promises to both stimulate conversation, energize the appetite and yes, liberate the spirit! Na zdrowie! (To health!)
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 - 95

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Review Date: 07-11-2009
This delightful Prosecco is a strong contender for best in class among its growing legions of fans, delivering dependably delicious flavors of sliced apples, citrus blossoms and almonds in a pure and sparkling persona. Showcasing both freshness and mineral vibrancy, it should complement most summer fare from salads to appetizers, and would be the perfect match for a basket of lightly-fried calamari.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 W&S 90