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Staff Favorites - Jim Chanteloup
2002 Hine K&L Exclusive "Genté" Single Barrel Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 11-12-2015
I mentioned in my note for the '06, the fondness I have for Hine. I make a reference to drinking a fair amount of the Triomphe, and in that context, these two Cognacs really deliver (i.e. worth evry penny) for the money. The '02 is more powerful/masculine, but still is so refined and balanced with clean, pure flavors. Floral notes mingle with hints of dried orange peel and clove. In the mouth it delivers an endless warm layered wave through the middle palate that goes on and on. These are two superb additions to the Hine portfolio.
2006 Hine K&L Exclusive "Lignières-Sonneville" Single Barrel Cognac 750ml
Review Date: 11-12-2015
I have a fondness for Hine for two reason. One, was meeting Bernard Hine many years ago, and the other was finding a cache of the Triomphe in "mini" bottles for a couple of bucks! I wiped them out and shared the secret with my K&L buddy Ralph Sands. The '06 is so elegant and well balanced with great purity and warm spice aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and caramel. On the palate, the spirit is ethereal and fresh with a long lingering finish.
2010 d'Arenberg "Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 11-10-2015
2010 and the hand of winemaker, Chester Osborn has brought us another in a long line of noteworthy "Dead Arms". The bouquet is lifted with notes of dark plum, mullberry, blackberry, leather, sandlewood, licorice, iron and dark chocolate. On the palate, there is the classic d'Arenberg ripe "gritty tannins that cloak a powerful core underlying fruit with great purity, balance and length. This is a beauty to put in the cellar to reap the rewards sure to come. If not patient, decant in the morning/ afternoon for dinner that night with hearty fare!
2010 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 11-09-2015
This is one of the prettiest and most graceful Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernets I've had in some time. The 2010 is Cabernet blended with 14% Malbec, and offers aromas of dark cherry, black currant, violets, cedar, clove, tobacco and a light sage note. On the palate these components come together with superb balance, purity and ripe, supple tannins supported by juicy acidity, leading to a long finish.
2012 Penfolds "Bin 138" Old Vine Grenache-Shiraz-Mataro Barossa Valley
Review Date: 11-04-2015
The Bin 138 is a blend of 66% Shiraz, 23% Grenache and 11% Mataro (Mourvedre)that belongs in the hands of anyone who is a fan of these classic Aussie blends or wines from the Southern Rhone Valley. The nose is lifted with blueberry, black raspberry,pepper, leather, roasted grains, damp earth, bittersweet chocolate and a light pencil lead/graphite note. On the palate the wine is polished and refined with fine grained tanninns, good structure and a long layered persistent finish. A few years in the cellar will only reward or decant for an hour or two for the near term.
2012 Terra Sancta "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 11-03-2015
Central Otago has grown to be one of the premier regions in New Zealand for Pinot Noir, and this is a great value and introduction to the region. This estate bottling has a bouquet of boysenberry, dark cherry, earth, dried orange peel and a hint of forest floor and thyme. On the palate there is tangy acidity with silky supple tannins and a persistent finish.
2010 Sella e Mosca Terre Rare Carignano Sardinia
Review Date: 10-20-2015
This 100% Carignane is a super value, and the Rhone variety sibling to the Sella E Mosca Cannonau (Grenache), another bargain in a daily red selection. This beauty offers aromas of dark plum, earth, herbs, bittersweet chocolate, and subtle spice notes of cinnamon, star anise and cumin. On the palate the wine offers supple silky tannins with good balancing acidity and fine length.
2012 Katnook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 10-20-2015
The Katnook Estate has a winemaking history that dates back to 1896 in Coonawarra. It's known for its "terra rossa" soils and for making benchmark Cabernet in Australia. In 1980, the first wines were made under the Katnook label, with winemaker Wayne Stebbens (who is still at the helm today). In 2008, the Freixenet Group purchased the winery, and while I'm not always in favor of a corporate move, I think that in this case it seems to be a good move, given what's in this 2012 Estate Cabernet. The bouquet is lifted, with black cherry, blueberry, cassis, bittersweet chocolate, mineral and a hint of mint. On the palate there is a frame of fine-grained tannins, from 16 months in French and American oak, supported by good acidity and a persistent finish. The "Kats out of the bag," now get some in your glass!
2014 MAN Vintners "Free-run Steen" Chenin Blanc
Review Date: 10-08-2015
This is one of the best white wine values we've offered this year. Sorry Loire Valley, but South Africa has long made Chenin Blanc, and it is one of the most if not the most widely planted grape varieties there. That translates to plenty of old bush vine material full of character and depth which is what we have here. The fruit in this case, comes from 25+ year old unirrigated bush vines with only the free run juice being used. The bouquet offers notes of lime blossom, apricot, peach, dried pineapple, pear and apple. On the palate, the flavors are clean and pure with mineral accents and good mid-palate texture and richness from 3-4 months of lees contact.
2015 Pewsey Vale Riesling Eden Valley South Australia (Dry)
Review Date: 10-06-2015
Another gorgeous and a bit more overt Pewsey Vale is presented in the 2015 vintage. The nose displays aromas of talc, nectarine and apricot, lemon pith, a hint of wild rosemary, wet stone, minerals and a white floral note. On the palate the wine has good body and flesh with superb supporting acidity and length. Classic Eden Valley Riesling from this special site.
2010 Clendenen "Le Bon Climat" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-29-2015
It's safe to say that Jim Clendenen is one of our California wine treasures/pioneers with over three decades of winemaking under his belt. Jim has long pushed the boundaries for winemaking in his career, and this new project with his children continues the legacy. The "Le Bon Climat" Pinot is explosive with it's aromatics of spicy plum-cherry fruit with accents of dried orange peel, a whiff of toffee, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, forest floor and earth. The palate offers fine balance and acidity with a ripe, tangy drive through the mid-palate with a long persistent finish.
Baron Fuente "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-21-2015
We just tasted through the line of wines from Baron Fuente, and I must say, they a s good as I can ever remember. The Grand Reserve is a no-brainer for the money as is '06 vintage for $30! But, I really was impressed with the "Esprit" with 7 years on the lees for $35. Made from a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, the Esprit offers a light smoky, toasty note with nutty accents on a rich frame with honey, pear and lemon zest. Wonderful acidity and minerals complement on the palate with grace and fine persistence.
2012 Yalumba "The Signature" Cabernet-Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2015
I've spoke before about how Australia's Cabernet-Shiraz blend is akin to the great blends from Bordeaux. The fact that Shiraz is blended with Cabernet is NOT their way of cheating you! Merlot doesn't work so well in the Barossa Valley. This is a wine that has been made for over 5 count them 5 decades at Yalumba, the oldest family run winery in Australia. Besides being one of their top wines, 'The Signature" has always been a chance to recognize the importance that someone in the organization has brought to the table. This year, they have chosen Robert Hill Smith, 5th generation of the family and the man at the helm of guiding this iconic Aussie winery. So, what kind of vintage would YOU pick to honor your boss? Well, if you're smart and enjoy your job, a stunning one, which is what we have here. The wine is simply gorgeous with a lifted bouquet of cassis, blueberry, blackberry, dark cherry, currant, bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee, earth, cumin and a clove/pepper spice. The palate delivers seamless balance with a supple texture that is all the while supported by a fine cloak of tannins that ensure a very long life which I wish for RHS! I was lucky enough to taste the '66 a few years ago with him that was still stunning, and I put this in that league if not one of its own. This is a legendary "Signature".
2013 Three Rings Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 09-15-2015
This is one of the better Three Rings I've had in recent years. Nothing new in style, it still has the plush, silky, ripe unctuous forward fruit, but with better balance and length. The nose is full of blackberry, dark cherry, bittersweet chocolate, spice and a hint of coffee. On the palate the wine is rich without being cloying and has a cool persistent finish.
2014 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "No.3 - Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape
Review Date: 09-02-2015
The new vintage of the #3 has arrived! This distinctive "savvy" was a hit last year and is poised to do the same. The nose offers notes of melon, pear, lychee, apple, lemon zest and a hint of dried honey. On the palate, there is racy acidity, a decomposed granitic mineral accent and good texture from the dollop of Semillon that's added. There is good drive through the long layered finish here crafted by one of South Africa’s Sauvignon Blanc specialists, Bartho Eksteen.
2014 Lake Chalice "The Nest" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 09-01-2015
This is our 4th vintage of this great value that we've carried, with over 4,000 bottles sold of the '13 and so far over 5,000 sold of the '14 vintage! It’s certainly one of our top sellers that over delivers for the price point. The bouquet is lifted with bright passion fruit, grapefruit and lemon/lime blossom. The palate offers zesty acidity with mineral accents and good mid-palate texture leading to a persistent finish. As you can see by the sales...nobody buys just one!
2012 Duane Coates Syrah McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 08-31-2015
This fruit for this wine was sourced from two different sub-regions in McLaren Vale, Blewitt Springs and Willunga. Blewitt Springs is at a bit higher elevation with more sandy soils that give perfume and bright acidity. The darker soils in Willunga add more dense brooding fruit flavor. The wine was fermented with wild yeast on the skins for 2 weeks, and matured for 24 months in French (30% new) and Russian oak. The bouquet is lifted with dark plum, blue and blackberry, grilled meats, licorice and Asian spices. On the palate there is the telltale McLaren Vale juicy acidy with an elegance that belies the dark edge to the fruit with a bittersweet chocolate coco powder dusting over the fine grained tannins. Superbly balanced, the wine has a long focused and complex finish.
2012 Amelia Park Shiraz Frankland River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-31-2015
Lovely aromas of plum, dark cherry, blackberry, blueberry, violets, lavender and earth soar from the glass. On the palate soft supple tannins frame the core of fruit with a spicy, long and layered finish. This is a detailed and elegant version of Shiraz from Western Australia.
2010 Hopes Grove "Silver Lining" Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 08-26-2015
This delivers classic Syrah character in a restrained and elegant style. The nose is lifted with black pepper, violets, blueberry, boysenberry, mineral, earth and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. On the palate there is juicy acidity that lends a fresh, bright quality to the fruit that is framed by a refined tannin structure with a long finish. This is a beautiful expression of the varietal, and not to be missed.
2013 Duane Coates Chardonnay Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 08-05-2015
Another profound white wine offering from Coates is his Chardonnay. Again coming from the cool Adelaide Hills region, this was barrel fermented in 70% new French barriques with wild yeast and went through full malolactic fermentation. The wine stayed on it lees without stirring to create texture while keeping its natural acidity. Aromas of lemon blossom, peach, almond, minerals, light toast and a hint of ginger give this a Meursault-like character. The palate is layered and rich yet has a superb acid line that gives intensity and drive to the long persistent finish.
2013 Duane Coates Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 08-05-2015
I'm a huge fan of this wine. 70% Semillon and 30% Sauvignon Blanc from the cool Adelaide Hills region was barrel fermented in new and 1 year old Sequin-Moreau with native yeast and then matured for 9 months. The nose is complex with light toast/brioche, lemon blossom. jasmine flower and a subtle nutty character. On the palate there is generous texture, vibrant acidity and excellent length. There's a lot of detailed winemaking here for a wine at this price. 200 cases made.
2011 Sons of Eden "Kennedy" GSM Barossa Valley
Review Date: 08-04-2015
Sons of Eden has an extensive source of fruit coming from six different sub-regions in the Barossa Valley. While they supply some fruit to others, you know that they select the best for their own label. Winemaker Corey Ryan (Henschke) and viticulturist Simon Cowham (Yalumba) cut their teeth in the Barossa sub-region Eden Valley, hence the name Sons of Eden. Truly a fine team, they bring the pedigree and finesse from their experience. Made from 39% Grenache, 37% Shiraz and 24% Mourvedre, the "Kennedy" offers a classic blend from this challenging vintage. The bouquet is lifted with a more red fruited character that shows plum, mullberry, earth, leather and a hint of winter mint. On the palate, the wine is supple with fine, seamless tannins with a ferrous dusty cumin spice note and a dash of milk chocolate Fine acidity supports the overall balance with good drive and length.
2013 Quarter Acre Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-28-2015
While Marlborough is the region that put New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on the map, some can find the wines too "punchy" or savory. In Hawkes Bay, though there are no shortage of aromatics in their "Savvy," texture is what seems to set them apart. The wine was fermented in older puncheons and barrique with wild yeast and then matured 12 months on the lees giving great texture. The nose shows notes of melon, passion fruit, lime blossom and a light flinty mineral accent. The palate is rich and round with a creaminess that is supported by a juicy acid line that cuts through to a long finish.
2014 Quarter Acre Syrah Rosé Hawke's Bay (Dry)
Review Date: 07-28-2015
While this wine shows a little darker color (hey, it's Syrah) than you might expect from most rosé, there is nothing heavy or overdone here. The bouquet offers notes of strawberry, white pepper spice and a hint of orange peel. On the palate, there is refreshing acidity along with a good middle texture that leads to a long finish.
2013 Quarter Acre Merlot-Malbec (Bordeaux Blend) Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-28-2015
Wow, there is a lot of bang for the buck in this wine. After co-fermenting the Merlot, Malbec and a touch of Cabernet Franc, the wine spent 16 months in French oak to marry the flavors and integrate the wood. The bouquet soars with dark plum, blueberry, black cherry, cassis and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. The palate walks a fine line with a plush texture and entry framed by just enough backbone to add a more serious character accented by earth and spice. There is superb balance and length that's simply tough to beat for the price.
2013 Kalinda "Rawiri Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-28-2015
Exclusive to our Kalinda brand, the wine was made by David Eatwell (and I presume drink well!) with Jason and Anna Flowerday from Te Whare Ra (TWR) consulting. This all red fruit dominated, with notes of strawberry, raspberry, plum, cherry, orange peel and tea bag. On the palate the wine is elegant, with earth tones coming into the mix with a balancing acidity adding to the persistent finish.
2014 Craggy Range "Te Muna Road" Sauvignon Blanc Martinborough
Review Date: 07-21-2015
The "Savvys" from Martinborough and Hawkes Bay tend to be more subtle aromatically than their siblings in Marlborough, but can make up for it in texture, which is the case here. The bouquet has notes of lemon/lime zest, peach, nectarine, apple, a hint of grapefruit and a mineral/wet stone note. On the palate, the wine shows a fleshy, creamy round texture supported by good acidity and fine length. Clean and refreshing.
2014 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-21-2015
Te Whare Ra, or as we say "TWR" has become our Kiwi direct import success story.From the beginning, the wines from Jason and Anna Flowerday have resonated with our more-than-discerning staff...no easy task! This marks the 4th vintage of Sauvignon Blanc we've brought in, and it's a stunner. The fruit for this wine comes mainly from the Awatere Valley, which is known for low-vigor soils and broader diurnal shift, with warmer days and cooler nights enhancing ripeness without losing vibrant acidity. The nose offers lemon blossom, passion fruit, white grapefruit, minerals, herb and a hint of sweet red bell pepper. On the palate, the warmer 2014 vintage brings a richer mid-palate flesh than in previous years, all the while driven by a great acid line to a long lingering finish. Simply put, this is juicy, mouth-watering goodness in a glass...more please!
2010 Terre da Vino "Essenze" Barolo
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Is there a better introduction to Barolo? At $20, I don't think so! The bouquet sends the classic aromas of tar and roses with dark plum,earth and leather. On the palate, the wine delivers for a YOUNG Barolo a fine supple tannin structure complemented by accents of dusty bittersweet cocoa powder and almond skin. Put this in a Pinot Noir glass, pair it with some hearty fare and boom, your done.
2006 Baron Fuente "Grand Millésimé" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Great complexity in a vintage Champagne for $30...come on! The '06 Baron Fuente "GM" has a bouquet of apple, pear, some plum-cherry red fruit character, pie crust, dried orange peel and a yeasty note. The palate is rich and concentrated with a creamy texture and good acid line that bring you to a layered, long finish. A great value in Champagne.
2013 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 07-15-2015
Flat out, this is one of the great barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blancs. Blended with 9% Semillon and 5% Sauvignon Gris, each lot was fermented separately in new and used French oak barrels and left on the lees for 8 months with regular stirring and then blended and spending another 2 months on the fine lees. Gorgeous aromas of light toasted coconut, lemongrass, lime, guava, fig and a floral note leap from the glass. On the palate the wine shows racy acidity with great texture and integration of oak. Think of the wine as more of great white Bordeaux than any "Savvy" you'd expect from New Zealand. AND, if it were from Graves in Bordeaux, it would be 2-3 times the price. No kidding, and seriously good.
2012 John Duval "Plexus" SGM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 07-14-2015
I t wouldn't be stretching it to say John Duval is a part of Australian winemaking history given he is one of 4 people thus far to have made one of Australia's iconic wines, Penfolds Grange. Beyond his years of winemaking, there is his knowledge of the Barossa Valley and it's sub-regions that bring an understanding of the character each varietal will offer given its specific location that is mind boggling. This S-G-M brings aromas of raspberry, kirsch, boysenberry, blackberry, a hint of wintermint and a touch of sandlewood. On the palate the wine shows seamless balance with integrated oak and fine tannins framing the core of fruit with an accent of Asian spice and fine length.
2013 Tongue In Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 07-10-2015
What can I say, we're more than excited to have the new vintage of wines from Tongue and Groove back. As before the "Cabal Vineyard" in Waipara is brighter, and a more elegant expression compared to the "Clayvin Vineyard". The nose is lifted with a smoky raspberry, plum and cherry fruit character along with notes of earth, cumin, dried tangerine peel and a floral accent. The palate offers a supple silky tannin texture with juicy acidity adding to the long layered finish. A pretty wine with a lot to say!
2013 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 07-09-2015
A new winery for us from the region of Corbieres, the wines from Clos de l'Anhel are across the board worth your attention. The "Lolo" is a perfect summer wine for grilled meats with bright, crunchy plum and raspberry fruit accented with pepper and hints of leather. Nothing over done here, just clean fresh wine from this organic producer.
2014 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 06-23-2015
Some might say Cloudy Bay put Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc on the map, but Kim Crawford fits the everyday pocketbook and can be found widely. Plenty of white grapefruit, passion fruit, red bell pepper and a hint of tomato leaf in the nose. Refreshing, zippy acidity follows through on the palate.
2012 Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 06-17-2015
Wow, this is some delicious Pinot Noir and certainly one of their best in many years that brings balance, character and nuance with a nod to Burgundy. The bouquet soars with rose petal, cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, clove dried tangerine peel, earth and a bit of forest floor. On the palate there is a good acid line with fine tuned supple tannins to ensure secondary development with time in the cellar, even though it's darn tasty right now. Fermentation was done with indigenous yeast and spent 18 months in French oak barriques for maturation. Besides Central Otago being the new darling and Martinborough the early poster boy/girl for New Zealand Pinot Noir, Waipara/Canterbury has been bringing some serious game to the table. Don’t think about it, buy it.
2012 Balnaves Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot Coonawarra South Australia
Review Date: 06-16-2015
This blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot really over delivers for the price point. The wine has lifted aromas of black currant, cassis, dark cherry, cedar, tobacco, pencil lead, earth and a mineral note. The palate offers an elegant, medium-bodied wine that is supported by good acidity and a long juicy finish.
2011 Ugo Lequio "Gallina" Barbaresco
Review Date: 06-11-2015
This is a terrific Barbaresco that is showing very well right now, and a great introduction to Nebbiolo if you’ve never tasted the grape. Lifted aromas of ripe dried cherry, leather, tar, bittersweet chocolate and a floral high note soar from the glass. On the palate there is a rich core of fruit supported by good acidity and framed by fine grained tannins that lead to a long persistent finish.
2014 Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-19-2015
Former Cloudy Bay winemaker, Kevin Judd, has delivered another great Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with his 4th vintage of Greywacke to come to the States. The nose is lifted with notes of lemon/lime blossom, white grapefruit, melon and a hint of tomato leaf and tarragon. On the palate the wine shows good weight and texture with brisk, racy acidity that leads to a long refreshing finish. Bring on a platter of oysters on the half shell, and you're set!
2013 Dalwhinnie "The Hut" Pinot Noir Pyrenees
Review Date: 05-05-2015
"The Hut" brings aromas of plum, cherry,forest floor and dried orange peel. In the mouth the wine brings a soft, supple entry with good ripeness of fruit laced with dusty cocoa powder. There is moderate acidity with fine-grained tannins and a long finish.
2012 Mount Edward Estate "Muirkirk Vineyard" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 12-04-2014
The "Muirkirk Vineyard" is a bit more muscular and shows its Bannockburn spine derived from the schist and dense clay soils there. Wild thyme and spice permeate the black raspberry and dark cherry in the nose with earth and some meaty accents. On the palate the wine already shows a layered complexity that is concentrated and yet poised with superb balance, structure and length.
2012 Mount Edward Estate "Morrison Vineyard" Pinot Noir Lowburn Central Otago
Review Date: 12-04-2014
The "Morrison Vineyard" brings the brighter side to the single vineyard Pinots with a lifted floral, rose petal bouquet along with plum and red fruit that dominate along with some spice notes. While elegant, there is good mid-palate weight that remains ethereal with signature purity, balance and expressive length.
2013 Savage "White" Western Cape
Review Date: 11-25-2014
As I said in the Savage Red review, Duncan Savage is making stunning Sauvignon Blanc at Cape Point Vineyards and this wine is singing! Made from a barrel fermented blend of 60% Sauvignon Blanc and 40% Semillon, the bouquet offers notes of lanolin, honeysuckle, kumquat, a hint of tangerine peel and a light nutty character. On the palate, the wine is rich yet with a fine citric acid line and mineral accents that lead to a long finish. Gorgeous stuff...Bravo!
2012 Oakridge Estate Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
Review Date: 09-15-2014
This wine shows the beautiful character of cooler climate Shiraz. The nose offers notes of white pepper, meats, camphor, and a mix of red and black fruits with plum and boysenberry in the mix. On the palate, there is good structure with ripe fine-grained tannins and very good length.
2010 Sittella Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 09-02-2014
Margaret River Cabernet for $20? Wow, this wine surely punches above its weight! The nose is expressive with black currant, blueberry, cassis, violets, light sage and a chocolate note. There are just enough supple silky tannins on the palate to give a more serious edge to the wine which is beautifully balanced and delivers a long finish. Bravo!
Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-07-2014
The Bruno Michel wines always deliver, but the "Blanche" with 6 years on the lees will surely please. The bouquet shows toasty baked apple with hints of nutmeg spice and ginger. On the palate the wine has a rich and creamy mid-palate with refreshing acidity and a persistent, long finish. Great bubbles, with that kind of lees age, for $35? Yeah, buddy!
2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-16-2014
The wines from Te Whare Ra have been turning heads since we've brought them into our New Zealand category, and the 2013s may be the best to date. The Pinot shows lovely dark plum, strawberry, cherry, light toasty oak, earth/clay notes, a hint of rose petal, tea bag and spice. On the palate, the wine has soft supple tannins that are balanced and harmonious with a long, persistent finish.
2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-07-2014
Beringer, which is located in Napa Valley, has been producing this wine from Sonoma County's Knights Valley appellation for some time now, and it has always remained a consistent value in California Cabernet. The vineyard lies at a higher elevation than Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, and manages to combine the suppleness of that AVA with the fine tannin structure of Knights Valley. The bouquet offers black cherry, dark plum, cassis, earth and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. On the palate, there is the previously mentioned supple tannins blended with a fine dusting of cocoa powder, bringing the finer-grained, firmer tannin structure. It's all framed by lightly toasted oak that is well-integrated, with good length.
2011 Fromm "La Strada" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 11-13-2013
The 2010 “La Strada” Pinot Noir which scored 94-95 points from James Suckling, was a runaway success earlier this year with nearly 3,000 bottles sold. The 2011 though not yet rated, is a more than worthy follow up from this certified organic winery that is one of the top producers in Marlborough if not all New Zealand. The wine has a bouquet that is bright and lifted with raspberry, cherry, white pepper, clove, dried tangerine peel, and a subtle use of integrated oak. On the palate, ripe plum notes are added to the great purity of fruit which is supported by good acidity and a fine grained tannin structure that leads to a long persistent finish. While very drinkable now, you can put some away and be quite happy that you did for a modest price.
2010 Dalwhinnie "Moonambel" Cabernet Sauvignon Pyrenees Victoria
Review Date: 08-07-2013
The Moonambel Cabernet has a nose that offers black cuurant, dark cherry, earth, mineral and a hint of eucalyptus and tobacco leaf. The plate has great acidity with an integrated cloak of fine ripe tannins that are in perfect harmony with a long pesistent finish.