Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair


2020 Tiberio Montepulciano D'Abruzzo
Review Date: 09-13-2023
The nose of this wine is potent, it is a cauldron of churning fruit, complex spices and dried herbs, there’s a lot going on. On the palate this wine is a powerhouse, supple sweet fruit caresses your tongue while super fine tannins coat your mouth trying to expand your horizons. A mixture of sweet berries blend into an umami laden richness that gives a salty, spicy backdrop to the dried herbs and spices that carry through into a lengthy finish. This is a muscular wine, but with layers of intrigue woven into a really well balanced and drinkable wine. The wine has real richness, real balance and has an ease to it that’s belies its’ power and depth. A really good bottle of wine that will age well for another 5 years and at this price it's a really great bottle.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Roccolo Grassi Valpolicella Superiore
Review Date: 08-25-2023
Full disclosure, I love this wine and the style it portrays. Valpolicella is one of the examples of a flavor profile that doesn’t exist anywhere else. In the hills above Verona this blend of grapes grows nowhere else in the world and exudes both the grape essence and the terroir of these hills. Roccolo Grassi is one of my favorites from the region and they represent wines with classic flavors. On the nose the wine explodes out of the glass, swirls of exotic Marasca cherry layered with salted plum, cinnamon, orange peel and whiffs of lavender. That seems like a lot is going on and you’d be correct, yet it all blends seamlessly into a single expression, albeit a complex one. On the palate the wine is supple, smooth with very fine grain tannins. The wine stretches out and shows length, balance while having a impressive palate presence, with weight, viscosity while showing great lift in the finish. A super complex wine, while it doesn’t overwhelm you with size, it is delicious, tantalizing and just makes my mouth water writing about it. This is a wine you really need to try, it is absolutely special.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2019 Valo "Conner Lee Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-19-2023
I have to admit that Cabernet is not my go to drink of choice, I eschew most attempts. Not that I don't like the varietal it's that I don't like to have the winemaker's fingers in my glass. This Cabernet surprised me to a level I had to double take, ok double taste. The nose was pure, unadulterated and classic Cabernet Sauvignon, cassis, leather and hints of tobacco. On the palate the wine showed energy, buoyancy, balance and while it still has a luxurious feel to it one character doesn't outweigh the other. The palate flavors show more cassis fruit, but still stays varietally true, lots of complexity and seems that it will grow as well. I really liked this wine and then I looked at the're kidding right? Wow this is a steal!
Price: Hidden View Price

2018 Fattoria Selvapiana "Bucerchiale" Chianti Rufina Riserva
Review Date: 07-17-2023
x Greg St. Clair Greg St. Clair The 2018 Fattoria Selvapiana "Bucerchiale" Chianti Rufina Riserva $32.99 is superb, always one of my favorite Chianti. The Bucerchiale, pronounced Boo-chair-key-ah-lay, vineyard was first produced in 1948 and sits at over 2400’, it sees 15 months in French barriques but only 10% are new and just over 3,000 cases are produced. The nose of the wine is ethereal, violets and lilac aromatics, clove, orange peel and earth. On the palate there’s lots of wild cherry, plum, leather and middle eastern spices. This is a wine with some structure, a slight bit of grip, it’s vibrant with lots of energy. The Bucerchiale Riserve age for a long time 10 years is nothing for them but 20 to 30 years as well. To enjoy now just decant for a couple of hours ahead of time, while you’re preparing the grill for a Bistecca Fiorentina!
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart

2018 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 04-26-2023
The ubiquitous Super Tuscan is always a difficult concept for me to digest. It can be almost any selection of red grapes but the Giorgio Primo is something special. Gianpaolo Motta, owner and winemaker, went to school in Bordeaux for winemaking and he’s no stranger to Bordeaux varieties even in the hear of Chianti Classico in Panzano. His consulting enologist is Stéphane Derenoncourt perhaps the most influential man in the business now and has helped Gianpaolo in making the Giorgio Primo into one of Tuscany’s best examples of the genre. The 55% Cabernet Sauvigon, 45% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot blend gives this wine a powerful central core yet supple, soft and extraordinarily elegant at the same time. I find balance to be the most important feature in a wine and it is something that not everyone sees, power, over the top aromas and flavors and a texture that Robert Parker used to describe as “oozing” generally take one’s attention away from balance. Balance is also what gives the wine aging potential not excessive tannins. This wine shows the best of Bordeaux-like flavors, cassis and cedar but it is Tuscan first and foremost and Panzano’s climate and terroir (perhaps the best in Chianti Classico) offer something truly special. You can drink this wine now with a bit of decanting or it will age 20+ years. Gianpaolo would suggest the Bistecca Fiorentina as the perfect accompaniment.

2021 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-23-2023
While Pinot Grigio seems ubiquitous to us here in America it has a different reputation in Italy. In Friuli, which is a predominantly white wine making area, Pinot Grigio is looked at as an export machine and also the “Festa” wine because it is so open, fruity and easy to drink! Floral and fruity, Pinot Grigio offers easy aromas and flavors that entice both novice and expert. Pinot Grigio is usually a bit round and simplistic, but this wine has facets, brilliant edges emphasizing the fruit and spice. It still has plenty of weight and richness but coupled with that central purity, lifting its flavors, easy to drink and accompanies almost any dish. 2021 has produced the best wines I have ever tasted from Ermacora (by the way, it is pronounced air-MA-kor-ra). The wines have beautiful aromatics, rich bodies, and vibrant cores.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2021 Ermacora Friulano Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-23-2023
The latest Ermacora releases have arrived, and we're simply thrilled! Renowned for their unbeatable price-to-quality ratio and European following, these wines deserve more recognition. The Friulano is a prime example, showcasing the varietal's signature spicy, sweet herbaceousness with enticing notes of honeydew melon and tree fruits on the nose. This vintage doesn't disappoint, featuring an enticing palate of wildflowers, pears, herbs, citrus, and apricots with a flowery finesse and layered with minerals. At its heart, this wine boasts mineral-laden aromatics, bitter almonds, apple, and ripe pear, accented by hints of tarragon. Unaffected by oak, the Friulano maintains exceptional balance while offering a lengthy, captivating finish.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2021 Ermacora Pinot Bianco Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-23-2023
The 2021 Ermacora Pinot Bianco is Ermacora's flagship wine and a hidden gem from Friuli, a region often overshadowed by its abundant Pinot Grigio. But it is in Friuli that the elegant Pinot Bianco is the drink of choice and true winemaking artistry can be found. Un-oaked and majestic, this white wine presents an impressive focus and concentration on the palate. The luxurious notes of creamy custard are complemented by the refreshing flavors of green apples, bergamot-spiced white peach, and a zesty hint of lemon. The wine's textural presence on the palate is marked by a perfect harmony of concentration, balance, complexity, and length. While other wines may lose their finesse as they age, the Ermacora Pinot Bianco only gets better—allow it some time to age (about 2-3 years, I personally do it about 5-6 years), and you'll witness its extraordinary evolution.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2018 Caiarossa "Caiarossa" Toscana
Review Date: 01-19-2023
Caiarossa may not be as famous as their Coastal Tuscan neighbors Sassicaia and Ornellaia but their wines are sensational. This wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, and Alicante that comes from vineyards that are farther inland and upland than the coastal plain wineries. Purchased in 2004 by Eric Albada Jelgersma, a Dutch entrepreneur and Bordeaux winery estate owner, the current winery direction is all his. Unlike the more Bordeaux blends of their coastal neighbors, this wine has far more components, and the wine is aged in large barrels, from 10hl to 80hl, a far cry from the barrique-driven world of most Cabernet blends.

2019 Vignamaggio "Terre Prenzano" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 10-24-2022
Vignamaggio may not be a name that is very familiar with you, but I bet you actually know far more about it than you might think. Perhaps you remember the 1993 Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing with Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Kate Beckinsale and Michael Keaton? It was filmed at the Vignamaggio estate in the heart of Chianti Classico about 45 minutes south of Florence. Vignamaggio lies between Panzano and Lamole, two of the most important vineyard sites in Chianti Classico known for wines that have a grittier structure and more depth and body. I tasted the Terre Prenzano and was very impressed, it has the classic aromatics for Chianti Classico from this area, earth, spice, leather with hints of violets and lilacs, the classics. The 100% Sangiovese wine is aged for a year in large botte 20-40hl where the flavors develop into a complex array. On the palate the wine has evident tannic structure, yet the acidity lifts the wine and lengthens the palate feel. This is a wine that will really expand with aeration, I would decant it for an hour or so ahead of time and grill yourself some rosemary encrusted pork tenderloin and then drizzle some high quality extra virgin olive oil it and you’ll have yourself one great experience. ~ Greg St. Clair
Price: Hidden View Price

2020 Antonella Lombardo "Pi Greco" Calabria
Review Date: 08-10-2022
When you’ve been around as long as I have new things in the world of Italian wine are, well nothing new. The number of indigenous varieties that are being resurrected or remade is staggering. Yet one would think that I wouldn’t be stunned by something “new” but wow, I wasn’t ready for this. Calabria is one of the more mysterious places in the world of Italian wine and they don’t have any of the sizzle their across the Straits of Messina in Sicily. Antonella Lombardo is a name I had never heard of until yesterday but OMG you will know her now. The 2020 Pi Greco (the Pi is pronounced Pie, like the 3.14159) it is made from Greco near the town of Bianco, but that’s the Calabrian name, it is actually the same grape that Malvasia delle Lipari is made from. If you’re not familiar with that it is one of my favorite dessert wines and although I don’t drink much in the way of dessert wines this one is seductive. About now you’re thinking that the Pi Greco must be a dessert wine, you’d be wrong in fact I couldn’t tell what the grape was until I read the notes on it. This is one of the most exciting wines I have had in some time, it’s luscious, alluring, the nose is full of middle eastern spice, sandalwood. Yet it isn’t overwhelming, it lies swirling beneath the surface sort of a siren song beckoning you ever closer. Superb balance, excellent length, but a whole lot of WOW. Everyone should try this wine it is the best thing I have ever had from Calabria.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart

Lini "Labrusca" Lambrusco Emilia Bianco
Review Date: 08-07-2021
Lambrusco is one of the most popular wines in Italy this time of year, but it’s a much-misunderstood category in the States. This is mostly due to the ocean of cheap, sweet versions that were popular here in the 1970s and 1980s, plus a perplexing diversity of grape varieties, styles, and colors. Lambrusco has half a dozen different appellations, half a dozen different grape varieties, and ranges from the extremely high yields in the flatlands to lesser yields in the rolling hills of Castelvetro. It takes a bit of work to figure it out, but wow—once you try a couple, you will be hooked. Some of the more delicate versions have the Emilia appellation, where Lini is one of the top producers. These wines are lighter, crisper, and dry, while being perfect for salumi on a hot afternoon. Lower in alcohol, they are the perfect daytime wines and should be served refreshingly cold. (Greg St. Clair, K&L Italian wine buyer)
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Montechiara Prosecco
Review Date: 06-05-2021
With the explosion of Prosecco on the market at ever escalating prices you can't find a better Extra Dry Prosecco at this price point, clean, richly textured, fresh, crisp so easy to drink with a wonderfully balanced mousse! This is the perfect afternoon refresher, just as you finished gardening or if you love Aperol Spritz this will be your companion mixer! Friends coming over before dinner aperitif, everyone loves a little Prosecchino!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-17-2020
I've always been a fan of this wine since we started bringing it in way back in 2001. It's always been the top price performer for the price point, but when I tasted the latest batch I did a double take. I had to ask Gary Westby if he had poured me the right wine, and he nodded at me and said ya, you figured it out, this batch is out of this world! There isn't a Champagne around that can compete at this price point with the Carte Blanche, layers of complex brioche, wonderful!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Thierry Thibault Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-28-2020
This is classic Champagne, the nose is tight, clean focused with an apply tartness softened with a bit of brioche while remaining super clean it's a delight. On the palate the wine is very dry, really tart and shows levels of complexity you generally don’t find in Champagne in this price range. It’s really long, focused and that acidity holds your interest as the complex apple and brioche emerges and gently softens. The finish is remarkably long, direct and boldly lets you know there is no hint of sweetness while spotlighting the complex apple character. Line up your Oysters, this is the wine for them it's a steal!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-19-2020
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Rich, complex, with great central focus, a hint of biscuity aromatic, broad and supple on the palate this wine really gives you a sense of weight and concentration while still being light on its feet! At this price an outrageous steal!
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart

Alvear "1927" Pedro Ximenez Solera Montilla-Moriles (375ml)
Review Date: 10-01-2019
I have to admit I generally am not a fan of Pedro Ximenez the molasses like syrupy nature is just not for me, yet I was incredibly surprised by this wine, it is sensational. The nose if full of hazelnuts and honey it shows extraordinarily well balanced just from that. On the palate the wine has real weight but it’s not like a couple of 40lb. dumbbells on your tongue it’s got focus a center that is wrapped in a luscious texture, this isn’t a “lean” wine it is bold and rich. The flavors for me are what really separate this wine instead of the prune like molasses character I’ve been used to this is toasted hazelnuts, so perfectly balanced with the sweetness I can’t stop wanting to drink this wine. Give this a try, it is a really great dessert wine.

2016 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-30-2019
The nose of this wine is focused, layered and shows lots of complex herb, wild brush, leather and rosemary but behind that is a core of intense fruit. On the palate the wine shows structure, balance and excellent length. The hallmark of the 2016 vintage is a concentrated center and it is readily evident here adding a real depth and intensity. The flavors show a savory aspect more than a fruit forward character adding in that umami like soy, mushroom and salty tang while the fruit comes up in the back. While this wine sounds like it’s big and bold it is exceptionally well balanced and while it does have size it is so in harmony that you can drink it now or age it for another 7-10 years. This is the best La Massa that I’ve had, powerful, supple, smooth tannins, very complex this is one to stock up on. Bravo Gianpaolo!

2015 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-13-2018
If you had the “Old” Lanessan, this wine tastes nothing like that one. The nose is classic Bordeaux, dead leaf, graphite and hints of vanillin. On the palate the wine shows a lushness that its forbearer could only have dreamed of, full, supple and giving the wine is then framed by good tannic structure that shows just a slight bit of grip. Nice finish, balanced, complex and shows off the richness of the vintage.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Amara Sicilian Amaro d'Arancia Rossa (750ml)
Review Date: 08-27-2017
A confession, I love Amaro, there’s a huge trend toward Amaro, vermouth and bitters but this one is really unique. The Sicilian orange peel just dominates not only in the aromatics but it is the signature flavor throughout. I frequently find Southern Italian Amaro too sweet for my taste this one is impeccably balanced. I love it over ice with a sprig of rosemary, sometime I add a splash of soda.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2007 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-06-2016
This 2007 has begun to develop a lot of bottle character, the initial, youthful barrel flavors have subsided and a more complex and very savory wine is emerging. The nose is a cauldron of salted plum and Tuscan brush swirling around the glass. On the palate the wine is luscious, rolling across your palate a classic 2007 yet the wine still has verve and freshness and isn’t fat at all. The finish is a very complex blend of earth, spice, plumy fruit that is evolving into a very drinkable now Brunello. Giancarlo Pacenti is an all barrique producer and although I am not a fan of barrique in general for Sangiovese he is really a master of the technique and his wines as they age give the best for the genre. Drinkable now or over the next 3-8 years, have it with som BBQ’ed pork chops, you’ll love it!
Drink from 2016 to 2016

Casa Dragones Joven Sipping Tequila (750ml - ships as a 1.5L due to bottle shape)
Review Date: 06-15-2016
It’s not often I review Tequila but this one is I have to. This is a really unique product, the color makes you think that is an inexpensive, simple, un-aged spirit, but the nose immediately ends that train of thought. The nose is not one of those explosive, overpowering bolts of aroma that singe your nostrils the aromatics are really pure, intense and penetrating. It was enough for me to just smell this Tequila for a couple of minutes it was so fascinating while totally engaging and easily accessible. On the palate the depth of the aged flavors comes forward, wave after wave of cured Agave sweep across your tongue, no bite, no burn yet not fat just perfectly balanced. The finish….I can still taste it as I write this 10 minutes later, long, intense yet lifting. Superb spirit, not often you get to taste something like this.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-a-Box) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 10-07-2015
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While visiting Giovanni Blason in we spied some odd boxes stacked in a corner. I asked Giovanni, “What the hell are these?” He responded, “You won’t want any of those; you Americans like bottles.” I responded, “On the contrary we Americans like bargains, how much is that 3-liter box.” An answer, some brief calculations on my part and I said, “Okay, we’ll take 'em"! $19.99 for 3 liters (that's four 750ml bottles). Crisp, clean, refreshing with a elegant fruitiness, touch of tarragon and a hint of mineral. If you don't want to do the math that’s $5 a bottle! Giovanni tells me it lasts for more than 3 months in the refrigerator, I told him that couldn’t happen in mine! The wine is made predominantly from Friulano
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Réserve" Grand Cru Verzenay Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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I love the smooth nature of this Champagne, that subtle richness of the mousse, just a creamy texture yet backed up by an excellent acidity, crisp, light and refreshing--the best of both sides. Such a deal, buy two!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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Do I really have to encourage you to buy this? Wow... one of the few barrel fermented Champagnes left. So good, focus, texture, etc., etc. Damn, that's good.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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A broad, creamy, texturally rich Champagne, lots of leesy complexity, yet remarkably well balanced, and for a song of a price. Only because we import this directly can you get prices like this with quality as well!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Review Date: 05-13-2015
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Valdobbiadene is the heart of Prosecco for me, perhaps not geographically but certainly stylistically. Here the wines have more soul; they vineyards are extraordinary, splattered over a maze of steeply sloping hills, not one big mass but a conglomeration of hundreds of small growers. It is here that the Bronca Sisters (Sorelle Bronca) make their Extra Dry Prosecco DOCG, theirs is an excellent expression of soil, sun and fruit, superb balance and incredibly refreshing, the hallmarks of great Prosecco.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2005 Terre da Vino "Essenze" Barolo
Review Date: 09-18-2012
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Terre da Vino is a cooperative that sources fruit from multiple different Barolo communes. The "Essenze" is a blend of individual crus from La Volta in Barolo, Ravera in Novello, Scarrone and Montanello in Castiglione Falletto, Bussia in Monforte and Annunziata in La Morra, some of Barolo's most famous vineyards. This is a full-bodied wine, with lots of dense forward fruit, a touch of earth and classic Barolo structure, with years of life ahead of it. It has enough fruit to enjoy now and a price that will allow you to experiment with cellaring some bottles!
Drink from 2012 to 2012
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth (1L)
Review Date: 07-09-2009
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If you have never tasted this product you must. If you think you know what vermouth is think again; this will absolutely blow you away. Inordiately complex, so full of spice, is really good. Try it on the rocks with a twist and a splash, straight up or in a Manhattan.
Drink from 2009 to 2009
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart