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Staff Favorites - Sal Rodriguez

Sal Rodriguez


Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2018
If it has to sparkle, have superb quality and a big-house name, this is the wine to grab! I don't always drink name-brand champagnes, but when I do, this is the one for me! In my opinion, the Brut Reserve checks all of the bubbly boxes. Fresh, bright, crisp fruit, juicy acidity, lifted aromatics. Like many of my favorite styles of sparkling wines, it also has a beautiful nerve of mineral, but a counter-balance of sweetness of fruit to keep everything right where it should be. No national brand offers more for the money at, or near this price!

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2018
The wine that Billecart is probably most well-known for is their rose and it's done very well. I usually choose blanc de blanc, or blanc de noir when I'm getting my bubbles on. Mostly because I tend to feel that rose' sparklers need a bit more time, after popping that top, to open up, and I just really don't have time to wait when I'm trying to celebrate! Get in my glass, and "get in mah belleh", to quote a favorite actor of mine. This needs no extra time to blow off the funk that can sit in the glass for a bit. It's pretty, fresh, and crisp, right from the start. High toned bright fruit really make this a fresh, lifted, wine to toast to any great occasion. Although it's quite dry, it still shines through with a nice measure of sweetness from the fruit. This is the sparkling rose to beat!

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
An impressive Champagne by any standard! At this price, it would be hard NOT to purchase it by the case! Bright, fresh, and floral. The wine has a nice mineral tone throughout, and a citrus tone on its lengthy finish! A seriously incredible value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 90 W&S 90

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
My favorite Champagne in the Baron Fuente lineup! You get the value that you've come to expect from B.F., but in this instance, there's a lovely richness, with a nice round texture to it. Lots of mineral drive, and bright acidity to help the nicely textured wine go a very long way. Beautiful, long-lasting savory finish!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2002 Bruno Michel "Cuvee Millésime" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
We just tried the current release 2002 against a bottle of the '02 that was released 6 years ago, and man can this one age well!! If you're not looking to spend a ton of money on a really great bottle for the cellar, this is it!! Crisp fresh apples and citrus tone, with a nice rush of fresh bread on the nose and leading into the palate. While holding strong with the mineral backbone, there's also a lovely spice that keep things intriguing. It's nearly an hour past our tasting today and the finish is still lingering! There's not much left so get in here and grab one!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Gilbert Jacquesson "Cuvée Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-06-2018
This is an exciting Champagne that we are anticipating in the near (I hope) future! You're getting a lot of wine for the money! A brilliantly complex sparkler that has a really creamy mouthfeel. Hints of exotic spice and dried fruits play well with the mineral tone that permeates the entire experience. Bright acidity, and fresh apple fruits, bring your mouth a tantalizing, mouthwatering, lengthy experience!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


2015 Vigneti Massa "Costa del Vento" Timorasso
Review Date: 01-31-2018
If there is one white wine, in any price range, in our inventory now that takes home top honors in my book, it is this wine! Yes, I know it's not cheap by most white wine standards, and yes, the word Timorasso is somewhat reminiscent of Arrested Development's pretend psychiatric drug, Teamocil. Ironically enough Teamocil is a contraction of the Spanish words 'te amo' 'cil', which translate roughly, into "I love you easily". This wine, is so easy to love, that this translation is not lost on me. The aromatics offer a beautiful fruit, and herb tone. Almost perfumed. On the palate comes such a rich, round, textured style of white wine that it's easy to compare it to Burgundy wines twice its price. As with Walter Massa's other wines, this has beautiful minerality, as well as mouth watering acidity. This is definitely a wine to be savored, not rushed. Drinking beautifully now but I'd be seriously curious of how this will express itself in five or ten years.
Price: Hidden View Price

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-27-2017
Probably my most favorite champagne ever! When people call in asking for something delicious, fresh and easy to drink, and not a lot of money, this is the first thing I look for inventory on. I can always get behind this and know it will be a huge hit. This recent bottling comes across as a little more complex, with a little more richness than the last bottling. Don't get me wrong, it's still fresh, and bright, but there's a real mineral backbone to it. The mouth-feel is more substantial this time around and I can't help but think that it's growing into an even more serious version of itself. Incredible value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-11-2017
Effortless beauty and finesse. If you're looking for an aromatically expressive Bordeaux blend that doesn't quit, that has a lovely, spicy, brightly acidic, velvety mouth-feel on the palate, then this should be at the top of your list. Loads of dry flowers, bright fruit, and graphite on the nose. Delicious fruit, light minerals, lifted acidity, and fresh herbs play well together on the palate. This is one of my favorite players in the short list of wines that have achieved cult-like status. While many others in this category are much less approachable, the Pahlmeyer Bordeaux Blend offers up lots more freshness and appeal a lot sooner. An iconic wine indeed!
Top Value!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-06-2017
You don't get this fine of a wine without putting in a lot of effort! If I had to give a gift and it needed name recognition, and it had to be epic, and it had to be less than 100 dollars - This is it!! Intense, spicy musk, with a serious presence. Lots of weight and complexity to explore. Great minerality and plenty of apple flavors to enjoy. A perfect bottle of bubbly!

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-23-2016
A colleague handed me a glass, and I inhaled. Light notes of fresh cracked pepper and lovely hints of smoke were prevalent. I asked if it was a mezcal because of the sweet, fresh, smoke. I found out it was a tequila (obvious now) but the fact that it can be confused for a mezcal, speaks of its smokey complexity. I usually think that the smokey flavors weigh down mezcal but this one remains fresh, bright, and intense. If you need a new tequila for your home bar, you have to consider this one - trust me! Cheers!
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart