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Staff Favorites - Christina Stanley

Christina Stanley
Christina Stanley  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service


Reviews

2017 Lúuma (AKA Wine Co.) Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-05-2019
What a steal!! Luuma tastes like the best of the coolest parts of Sonoma Coast: ripping acidity, soft texture with just a slight buffer of creaminess, and loads of white rock minerality. Lovers of Scribe, Flowers, Wayfarer, and Fort Ross Seaview Chardonnay can find a bright, delightful everyday alternative in this gem. Buy it now!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2013 Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L)
Review Date: 01-15-2019
Silver Oak consistently creates Cabernet of singular distinction, and the robust 2013 Napa Valley is a standout. Signature aromas of toasted American Oak, dill, grilled plum, subtly sweet tobacco, and earthy cocoa bean open to a plush, broad palate that manages to show elegant restraint and balance. Subtle dark fruit essences of cassis and black cherry are enveloped in fine, dusty tannins and graphite minerality, displaying a finesse and power that are hallmarks of the style.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 90

2017 Pollerhof Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel (1L)
Review Date: 10-13-2018
Pollerhof Grüner Veltliner is a tried and true favorite, with classic earthy notes of daikon radish, white pepper and salty minerality. The winery is located in the Westernmost part of Weinviertel, and is known for their flamboyant Cabarets in the cellar! As if this weren't enough reason to try the wine, Pollerhof comes to us in a liter format, which ensures your party won't end early.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2009 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Dilection" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Made from a blend of eighty five percent Chardonnay and fifteen percent Pinot Meunier still wine, Dilection possesses a deep red hue, with zero dosage. Aromas of tart cranberry, tangerine peel and bing cherry give way to a creamy, but dry palate with wafts of bright, high toned red fruit.
Price: Hidden View Price

2007 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Fascination" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Alexandre Le Brun makes some of my favorite direct import Champagnes, which is partially due to site, (Chouilly Grand Cru, close to Cramant) but also his fastidious approach to winemaking. Relying on cold, slow barrel fermentation, Le Brun creates wines of seemingly endless complexity, and the Fascination is no exception. Mushroomy, leesy, savory aromas lead to a broad palate with hints of caramel that never overpower the delicate minerality of the wine.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Solemme "Nature de Solemme" Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru Brut Nature Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Based on the 2013 vintage, based on one of the latest harvests of recent history, this Brut Nature Champagne is bone dry. Chardonnay planted in the early 1960's offers aromas of underripe pineapple and faint daffodil. The light bodied palate is loaded with saline minerality, and finishes long with elegant purity.
Price: Hidden View Price

Solemme "Terre Solemme" 1er Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Crafted from biodynamically farmed fruit cultivated in Montagne de Reims, Terre Solemme is fifty five percent Pinot Meunier, rounded out by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The palate is light and driven by acidity, but earthy aromas of white mushroom and white pepper keep things intriguing.
Price: Hidden View Price

Jean de La Fontaine "L'Éloquente" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Jean de La Fontaine, our newest direct import Champagne, is neighbors with Fallet Dart in the furthest reaches of the Western region of Vallée de la Marne, known for Pinot Meunier. "L' Eloquente" is Meunier dominant, and shows the varietal's spicier qualities with notes of cloved apple, quince and redcurrant. The palate is clean and dry, densely fruited and is trailed with a distinctly chalky minerality.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Lieu Dit "Sans Soufre" Santa Maria Valley Cabernet Franc
Review Date: 08-24-2018
No sulfur? When eliminating sulfur from the winemaking process, there is an element of unpredictability of outcome. In the case of the Lieu Dit "Sans Soufre" Cabernet Franc, nature's efforts have produced a truly beautiful result! Clean, ripe aromas of raspberry, tobacco leaf and subtle strawberry lift from the glass, with a slightly brackish undertone reflective of the coastal terroir. The palate is light, though juicy midpalate, with fine tannins and a mineral driven finish. This is an example of what really excellent natural winemaking looks like.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
VN 94

2012 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This 2012 vintage Champagne is an excellent value, with six years on the lees. Expansive and surprisingly weighty on the palate, this is a dry, clean Blanc de Blancs with a bit more fruit. Aromas and flavors of green and golden apple and subtle pear lead to a soft finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Avize" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-21-2018
One of three Blanc de Blancs from Franck Bonville in the house Terroir Series, the "Pur Avize" is classic in profile, with notes of slightly oxidized golden and red delicious apple and spicy walnut. The palate is clean, dry and balanced, with a zippy acidity and a sharp, linear focus. Saline minerality and concentrated spice notes trail in a long finish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 92

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Oger" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This is a delicate Champagne that stands alone. Sourced from Grand Cru Chardonnay from Oger, this Champagne is subtly elegant, an excellent wine to pair with a seafood dish. Aromas of mirabelle plum and muted golden apple lead to a steely, mineral driven palate with hints of barely perceptible, creamy walnut.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WE 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-21-2018
The 2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Mesnil" was my personal favorite of the Terroir Series from the House. Crafted from 100% Grand Cru Chardonnay, this is everything I could want from a Champagne, especially at this price. The terroir of Mesnil is renowned for high belemnite (fossilized cuttlefish) content, which translates directly into this wine, which oozes saline minerality. The wine is quite dry, with a broad, creamy palate, and the finish lasts for minutes.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 93

2014 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This wine is an unbelievable value from Cristom Estate! The blend is based on barrel selections from several Estate blocks in Eola Amity Hills. 2014 was a warmer vintage in Willamette Valley, and the complex aromatics and relatively juicy palate reflect this. Aromas of fresh rose petal, orange blossom, ripe strawberry, tamarind and umami lead to a medium bodied, but beautifully structured palate. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, and as a result, subtly dark herbaceous notes peek through the bright fruit. With balanced acidity and powerful minerality, this wine finishes clean, in a flourish of fine, firm, mouth coating tannins.

2014 Tercero "Camp 4 Vineyard" Santa Ynez Valley Marsanne
Review Date: 07-23-2018
It's not everyday one can taste a domestic Marsanne with finesse like this. Camp 4 Vineyard, prized by many well known wineries, is located in Eastern Santa Ynez Valley, where fruit reaches full ripeness and maturity in sandy, loamy soils. One glance at this wine in the glass, and you know you're in for something different. Behold the saturated, golden hue and inhale the leesy, nutty nose...clean, but bordering on cidery, with a hint of caramel. The palate is full bodied, and though this wine spends 18 months in French oak, the natural richness and character of Marsanne dominates. Notes of bright lemon peel and a pop of freshly cut, wild California fennel freshen things up, buoyed by lively acidity.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2013 Ordaz Family Wines "Montecillo Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-29-2018
We only have a very small allocation of this wonderful single vineyard Cabernet from Ordaz Family. Chuy Ordaz, who planted the fifty year old vines of Montecillo vineyard, passed his love of wine and viticulture to his son Eppie, who created the Ordaz family label. The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon is varietally spot on, with aromatics of brooding animalistic umami, green peppercorn, tobacco leaf and dusty chaparral. Stunning red and black fruit and floral aromatics weave in and out of the composition, making a very condensed, complex impression. Bright acidity freshens the palate, and a sandy, fine, mouthcoating tannin leads to a spicy finish.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Laventura "Lanave" Rioja
Review Date: 05-11-2018
Brian MacRobert came to Rioja from South Africa, where he was raised, and had already established his name as a fine winemaker. In 2013, the Rioja venture MacRobert and Canals was established, with a focus on producing wines with a modern bent and a grounded, traditional foundation. The 2015 Lanave Rioja is an even blend of hand harvested Grenache and Tempranillo, and is vinified in open top fermenters, concrete, and finished in oak. The result is a medium bodied Rioja with very expressive ripe fruit and floral aromas of strawberry, violet leaf and wild berries, and a wonderfully persistent limestone mineral component that gives this wine lift and zest.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne (2004)
Review Date: 05-08-2018
"Clos du Mont" boasts a wonderful history dating back to 740, where fruit of the highest quality is cultivated. The 2004 offering is entirely barrel fermented, and shows tantalizing acidity. Aromas of golden sultana, cream, delicate anisette and white pepper make way to a lush, dry palate with endless complexity. Flavors of dark cocoa powder, marine minerality, and hints of clean, almost sherry like oxidation make this a wine that must be experienced by any Champagne lover who has the chance to do so.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2018
The "Authentique Assemblage" is aged on the lees five years, and is an almost even blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This Champagne emits rich aromas of baked apple, hazelnut and white and yellow flowers, due in part to the 30 percent reserve wines added to the cuvée. The palate, however is lighter than expected: delicate, with a fine bead, and a lusciously creamy back end.

2015 Chalone Vineyard "Estate Grown" Chalone Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-21-2018
Chalone Vineyard is a very special site on California's Central Coast, with low nutrient, decomposed limestone soils and high elevations. The Heritage Clone Pinot Noir grown in this site possesses a distinctive minerality and concentration of flavor, due in part to the soil and cooler climate, but also the diurnal temperature shifts. The wine at first glance looks on the darker, more extracted side, and offers heady aromas of peony, tea rose and black cherry, but the palate is remarkably light and energetic, with balanced acidity and fine, mouth coating tannins.
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart
WS 90

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 02-17-2018
Bubble therapy, anyone? This bone dry, Sans Dosage sparkler with some history will quench your palate and leave no reason for guilt. Feeling stressed? Jump in the bubble bath with a glass, or just whip up some crudité and wash it down with this gem. From Limoux in Southern France, historically famous for Sparkling wine, the Antech Brut Nature is made from 90% Mauzac blended with Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. Racy, fresh and energetic, this bottle is universally crowd pleasing, and best of all, won't break the bank.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2014 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 02-12-2018
High elevation Monte Rosso Vineyard wines are historically higher in acid, which makes them ideal candidates for long term cellaring and aging. The 2014 Amapola Creek Zinfandel is no exception: lithe and lively, with fantastic aromas and flavors of ripe peach, apricot, asian plum, chaparral, spicy quince, molasses and raspberry. This Zin is zippy, perfumed, clean and bright, with a lighter texture than many and room to smell (and taste) the roses!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
RP 94 JD 90

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 02-09-2018
This wine is made from 100% Grand Cru fruit from Avize, Cramant and Oger. The palate is clean and subtly floral, but is fairly robust and has hints of under-ripe tropical fruit, a testament to the warmer vintage. With a dry, soft finish, this is an elegant wine sure to please the most discerning.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Eugénie" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Part of Vigneron Independant, Jacquesson adheres to strict standards of production, and the result is a fine rosé Champagne at an affordable price point. Made from 100% Meunier, the palate is light and obtains its color from a bit of skin contact. With intriguing notes of frozen Bing cherry and savory white pepper, this is not just another pretty rosé in the crowd.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
The name says it all: 7 years on the lees! With this much time gathering richness and complexity, "7" displays savory, green aromas, and a nutty, slightly oxidative characteristic that only comes from extended aging of a fine Champagne. 100% estate fruit, and a blend of equal parts Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot Noir, the wine bursts on the palate with flavors of delicate maple, ripe quince and golden apple, and finishes clean, with great length.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2014 Acumen "Mountainside" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 01-20-2018
Acumen is a highly sought after, small production "cult brand" in Napa Valley, and the 2014 Mountainside Red exceeds expectations, drinking more beautifully than Napa wine twice the price. A Cabernet based Bordeaux blend, the wine is elegant and expressive of Atlas Peak, which sees a significant drop in temperature in the evenings, encouraging acidity and concentration of flavor. With 18 months in 72% new French oak, the wine is artfully balanced and elegant, highlighting the unparalleled abilities of the late, famed founding winemaker Denis Malbec, previously of Chateau Latour.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2010 En Tirage Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc Carneros Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 01-09-2018
All the Chardonnay that comprises En Tirage is sourced from Beckstoffer Las Amigas Vineyard in Carneros, which is renowned for producing concentrated fruit with bright acidity. This Method Traditionelle sparkling spends seven years on the lees, which imparts a creamy richness and complexity, and the Extra Brut finish ensures the quality of the vineyard shines through. Delicate white florals and a subtle hint of custard lead to a dry, yet creamy palate with a very long finish.
Price: Hidden View Price

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 11-20-2017
If you are looking for a fun, bone dry and organically farmed French sparkling wine, this is your chance to experience it all. Crafted from Champagne varietals, but grown near the Pyrenees in the South of France, this sparkling comes from base wines that spend some time in oak barrels, which adds a pleasing richness to the palate.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Fossil Point Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-14-2017
Crafted from cool climate, hand harvested, coastal Pinot Noir planted in calcareous soil, this wine is an immense value. The winemakers at Fossil Point are dedicated to environmental sustainability, and are part of the Central Coast AVA's Sustainability In Practice program, or SIP. Each sip of this wine is better than the next, with notes of bright bing and black cherry and subtle spice, almost impossibly prolonged with a briny, unique minerality. For those who typically like their Pinot on the lighter side, this is for you, as it is beautifully complex, but compellingly unencumbered.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Miquel Pons Cava Brut Penedes
Review Date: 11-06-2017
This energetic Cava is bursting with spicy quince and tart green apple peel, with a fine mousse and a burst of acidity and minerality mid-palate that catapult to a long and racy finish. The Miquel Pons Cava is a fantastic aperitif for your gathering, and has the heft to accompany most seafood, vegetarian or chicken dishes.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2010 La Cardonne, Médoc
Review Date: 09-17-2017
La Cardonne is ready to drink, with a lovely expanse on the palate and a fine but firm tannin. With a bright acidity, this wine also shows potential for cellaring. Notes of dried blueberry, blackberry, bell pepper and allspice make for a heady and satisfying experience.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

1999 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-10-2017
Disgorged in July of 2016, this Vintage Brut from Fallet-Dart is exquisitely complex and nuanced, with aromas and flavors of spiced apple tart and walnut. A softer and earlier maturing vintage, this wine offers a richer palate, yet balanced with a lively acidity and an equally bold mineral component. I recommend this wine to lovers of Champagne who appreciate subtle elegance.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-09-2017
A more subtly rounded Champagne than the Grand Reserve, the Grand Selection from Fallet Dart is blended with mostly red fruit, like the Grand Reserve, but the small about of high quality Chardonnay in the blend makes an impression, and an important distinction. There is also an extra two years on the lees, with a total of six years aging, which creates a slightly funky nose with a clean, bright palate with a hint of toast, and an earthy, chalky quality.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-09-2017
This delicious Champagne is aged four years on the lees, and crafted from only Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The result is a rich, toasty Champagne rich in brioche, red apple and Marcona almond flavors, but with a surprisingly perfumed finish, with slight tropical flavors of white peach and honeysuckle.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-09-2017
The Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siecle" Brut Champagne is the Tete de Cuvee of the Laurent-Perrier house. This small production Champagne is multi-vintage, with the earliest vintage being reserves from 1997-1999, imparting a rich texture and aromatic quality to the wine. The nose is herbaceous, with aromas of earthy white mushroom and faint lemongrass. A balanced blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, "Grand Siecle" has a very fine mousse, and the palate is extremely clean and dry, mineral driven and smooth. I pick up a hint of delightful nutmeg, which melts into a rich and easy finish. This is a complex and sophisticated Champagne.

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-09-2017
The Bollinger Special Cuvee is a Champagne for the connoisseur, as it is created painstakingly from up to forty percent reserve wines, which are stored in Magnums, under half pressure, and hand disgorged before bottling! This is a Champagne of exceptional quality and small production, created from grapes grown on Chalky, south facing soil. Aromas of lightly toasted nuts lead to a broad, very dry palate, with a dominant, chalky minerality and a slightly creamy roundness.

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Laurent Perrier's "La Cuvee" is a more powerful, richer and more focused iteration of their Brut Champagne, with extended aging in the bottle for six months, for a total of three and a half years on the lees. There is a similar clean and citrusy herbaceous quality in the initial aromatics, which speaks to the quality of the Chardonnay that drives the blend. The palate is broader and richer than that of the original Brut, with subtle flavors of white peach and frozen cherry, but a similar, yet more pronounced, chalky minerality comes to the forefront. "La Cuvee" is a beautiful Champagne which will delight lovers of their Brut and new fans alike.

Pierre Paillard "Les Parcelles" Grand Cru Extra Brut Bouzy Champagne
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Bring on the weddings and summer celebrations! Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru is sure to please the most discerning of palates. A beautifully balanced blend of all grand-cru pinot noir and chardonnay, Les Parcelles is very dry with an almost negligible dosage. This Champagne has a rich mouthfeel with flavors of lemon meringue and a dry, chalky minerality. A fantastic value for a grand cru Champagne.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99
DC 91 WS 91

2015 David & Nadia Grenache Paardeberg Swartland
Review Date: 03-24-2017
This is a Grenache with character! There is a lot of subtlety and complexity in this light bodied wine, with olfactory notes of light underbrush and baked cherry pie. There is a pronounced acidity on the palate, with flavors of tart blackberry and underripe plum, and a light, but tightly knit tannin that is very well in balance. This is an excellent wine for food pairing, and would be well suited for duck, salmon and hearty grain dishes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 WE 91