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Customer Reviews - Chris Bottarini

A novice wine afficionado from Northern California traveling the world one glass at a time ...


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1999 Kalin "Cuvée DD" Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-26-2012
I was so bummed with this. I tried the 99 Semillon a few weeks back & found it to be one of the most unique & complex domestic whites that I have ever tried. The Cuvee DD was set as the center piece for Thanksgiving '12. I opened it to find thin, diluted & complete vinegar. Such a shame considering the anticipation & pairing in mind. Clearly a bad bottle. Hopefully, the remaining bottles are in better shape.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Clos de l'Oratoire, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-24-2012
Inky-purple in the glass. Love the nose on this! Loads of spicy, leather, toasted espresso & dark currants on the nose. Dark cherry with tons of spice on the attack. Another solid 01 for St Emilion!
Price: $54.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Cristom "Louise Vineyard" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-22-2012
Ruby in the glass. The nose exudes fresh tilled Eola soil, candied cherry, tart cranberry & a hint of spice. Lip smacking juicy red fruits with slightly grippy tannin & an acidic spine. Although delicious tonight for Thanksgiving dinner, this has the stuffing to last a few more years in the cellar.

2010 Charly Thevenet "Grain & Granit" Régnié
Review Date: 11-22-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. Lots of earthy-tar, leather, dark plums & spice on the nose. Chunky dark cherry fruit on the nose with very little tannin & just enough acid to provide balance.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

La Petite Marquise Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 11-22-2012
Peach color in the glass. Love the nose on this! Peaches & lavender aromas ... Just like springtime in a glass, with bubbles. Very delicate mousse. The perfect aperitif on an 80* Los Angeles Thanksgiving Day while we BBQ the bird.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2009 Erik Banti "Carato" IGT
Review Date: 11-17-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. The nose is bursting with red cherry, clay soil, blue fruits & a hint of spice. This provides lip-smacking fruit on the palate with delicate tannin & plenty of acid as you would expect from an Italian Rosso from Tuscany. Not a multi-dimensional wine by any stretch but there is a lot happening in this glass for such a modest price tag!
Price: $6.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Ducluzeau, Listrac
Review Date: 11-11-2012
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Loads of ripe plums, black cherry & vanilla oak nuances. A nice, medium body with perky, yet resolved tannins & a streak of acid to balance it out. Finishes on the dry side which should pair perfectly with BBQ burgers tonight! After dinner, more of the tart fruit & minerals showed. The spice component kicked up too, no doubt from the salt from the rub on the burger.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 11-03-2012
Concentrated ruby-purple in the glass. Classic nose of tar & roses. Nice cherry & spice notes with chewy tannins lined by an acidic spine. The finish lingers on ... Would be great to see where this would be in another 5-10 years yet it was delicious tonight with Duccios bison lasagna.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

La Montina Franciacorta Brut
Review Date: 11-03-2012
Light straw, honey gold color ... A little darker inthe glass than I would except. Nice apple, pear, lemon curd notes & finishes with a toasty, brioche note. A nice spice note too. Great bottle of Italian bubbles made in the traditional method.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

1999 Kalin Cellars Livermore Valley Sémillon
Review Date: 10-21-2012
Reviewing this wine will be fun & nostalgic for me since the producer hails from the small Marin County town I grew up in. Showing a very pronounced honey-gold color in the glass. Looks like an aged Sauternes in appearance. The nose is a potpourri of floral & citrus fruits. I get honeysuckle, ginger, orange rind, peach, the faintest hint of neutral oak & fresh mushroom. The palate is equally enticing & is the epitome of unctuous ... Even at this age this hasn't shown any signs of slowing down! Gobs of orange, peach & grapefruit with a perfect string of acidity to balance everything. A little of the savory mushroom comes through as well. This is one of those rare wines that continues to unfold with each glass. It's a red wine drinkers white!
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Angelo Germano "Mondoca Dardi " Barbera
Review Date: 10-13-2012
A gorgeous saturated ruby purple in the glass. Lots of tar, cherry & leather with a hint of spice on the nose. Loads of chunky red & black fruits on the attack. Little to no tannin but plenty of lip smacking acidity! Another excellent Angelo Germano gem.
Price: $27.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Claude Branger "Les Fils de Gras Mouton" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie
Review Date: 09-29-2012
Pale straw colored in the glass. Lots of lemon & wet stone minerality both on the nose & the palate. Nice pleasing acidic spine that balances the fruit. A great summer wine!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Colognole "Collezione" Chianti Rufina
Review Date: 09-22-2012
Nice saturated ruby color in the glass. Lots of dark red fruits, leather, & loads of spice on the nose. Once in the glass chunky red fruits, relatively resolved tannins & a pleasing acidic backbone abounds. This is one of the most enjoyable Chiantis I have had.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Yabby Lake Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula Victoria
Review Date: 09-08-2012
Nice ruby-red color that I would expect from a new world PN. The nose has really mellowed since opening this close to 1 hour ago. I'm picking up strawberries, cloves & a hint of mushroom. Lots of juicy red fruits with only a touch of oak spice & cinnamon. It's great to see a New World region making a PN at 13.5%. You can truly appreciate the fruit & medium structure to this wine without being hit by a wallop of alcohol!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Pipeau, St-Emilion
Review Date: 09-01-2012
Ruby-purple in the glass. The nose is reticent of gorgeous toasty oak, currant, espresso, plums & spice box. Lots of chunky black fruits on this. This being my first go for a young Bordeaux I'm beyond impressed by the 2009 vintage in St Emilion. With that being said, this has plenty of life ahead of it for those with a proper cellar!

2009 Domaine Jean Descombes (Georges Duboeuf) Morgon
Review Date: 08-18-2012
Nice ruby red in the glass. Lots of plums & blackberry & spice on the nose. Telltale Burgundy-Gamay nose of dark fruits with some spice. Lip smacking black & red fruits on the attack with a clear spice note on the lingering, acidic finish. Should be a great food wine!

2007 Joseph Swan "Zeigler Vineyard" Russian River Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 08-04-2012
Saturated Ruby in the glass. So much happening on the nose ... loads of blueberry, blackberry, plum, earth & a hint of pepper being the most prevalent. Built in a decidedly fruity yet not jammy style. There are still plenty of acids to balance out so this one will be great with BBQ chicken tonight! I have been a HUGE fan of J Swan wines for years! This one, as always, does not disappoint.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Bonny Doon "Le Cigare Volant" Rhône Blend
Review Date: 07-28-2012
A nice, saturated ruby-purple in the glass. After having had several dozen Rhone wines I am always struck by how different the "CA Rhone Ranger" wines are from the actual AOC Rhone. When you sick your nose in the glass you are instantly hit with telltale AOC Rhone signals. Strong game notes, followed by plums & dark cherries with a spike of pepper so similar to a Cotes du Rhone. What I love is that all the fruit is rich & forward like a ripe, French vintage rather than a CA fruit bomb. There is a nice spine of acid to keep everything in balance. Delicious juice from Bonny Doon!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Gostolai "Incantu" Vermentino di Sardegna
Review Date: 07-14-2012
This wine is almost amber, honey-gold in the glass. There is a richness on the nose that leads you to believe this will be a bomb with no spine. I was told that the vinification process for this particular Sardinian is leaning towards orange wine due to the extended contact with the skins for a few days. For sure rich, almost like a Napa Chard but the streak of acidity out the back says different. Loads of unctuous honey & melon fruit, structure from the use of oak & a streak of acid to cut through it all to keep it fresh. Ended up being a fantastic pairing for Pesto pasta tonight!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Camensac, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-23-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. For starters ... I love the nose on this! Having had another vintage of Camensac before this brings me right back. Loads of earthy, mushroom, oak, spice, cassis, herbs & minerals abound in this classic vintage Bordeaux. Lots of chunky fruit in the middle. If you are. Lover of claret or Cabernet it would be hard not to love this wine!
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Marguet Pere et Fils "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-11-2012
Light & pale straw in the glass. Loads toasty brioche & apple skins on the nose. The first impression you get is of a rich wine no doubt from the PN content. Tons of toast, peach, white acacia flowers & a finish that won't quit! Exceptional way to toast my 33rd birthday!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Masseria Li Veli "Askos" Verdeca
Review Date: 06-09-2012
Very light pale straw color in the glass. Loads of white flowers & melon on the nose. First of all we're opening this on a 90 degree day in the valley ... This puppy is excellent for quenching your thirst! You'll pick up oak spice, tropical melon fruits, white flowers & a refreshing acidic backbone. Nice complexity for a song ....
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Sarget de Gruaud-Larose, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-27-2012
Ruby-red in the glass. The nose just bursts with smoky, currant notes. Herbs & minerals abound. A medium body wine that still shows a surprisingly backward finish given the age & the fact that this is a second wine which should be drunk sooner than the flagship! Chewy tannins, chunky raspberry, herbs & minerals on the attack. A delicious second wine!
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Sella e Mosca Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva
Review Date: 05-26-2012
Ruby-red in the glass. Gentle, red fruits on the nose. Light & tart smoky red fruits with a pleasing acidic backbone. A simple quaffer set for imminent pleasure!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Fanetti Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva
Review Date: 05-26-2012
Ruby-red with a brick-amber edge in the glass. There is an earthy, bretty funkiness to the nose in this wine. For a wine with 11 years in the bottle this still shows a ton of youthful tannin. There is loads of red cherry fruit, worn leather, earth & oak spice to be enjoyed! A beautiful wine that was easily enjoyed tonight but could use another 5 years in the cellar.
Price: $33.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-12-2012
A Brick, ruby-red color in the glass. Right from the nose this seems like yet another winner from the Lanessan team. This says a lot for me since I have a rule to not repeat the same wine / producer really more than once ... this is my 5th different vintage of this wine! The nose brings a lot of earthy, mushroom, cedar & spice box that is so inviting. Although this hasn't been open for more than an hour there are chuncky gobs of cherry fruit fruit framed by oak spice & a nice, smooth finish. Definitely another winner for me & a no-brainer for easy to like Bordeaux.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Valle dell'Acate Cerasuolo di Vittoria (end of vintage)
Review Date: 05-05-2012
A nice saturated ruby-purple in the glass. The nose brings forth very prominent plum & red fruit notes. A hint of earth & a touch of spice shows too. Lots of chunky, tart red fruits with spice, grippy tannin framed in a medium body define this wine. Delicious & mildly complex!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

Gutierrez Colosia "Sangre y Trabajadero" Oloroso El Puerto de Santa Maria (375ml)
Review Date: 05-04-2012
Here we have my 2nd go with Sherry ... This time on the opposite end of the spectrum from Fino. I love the nose on this! It has a raisin effervescence that reminds me of a tawny port. Then you are shocked ... This is a bone dry wine that hints at sweetness. A lot fuller & rounder in the mouth than the Fino, it shows toasted walnut, caramel & hint of spice most likely from the fortification. This is much more style ...
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

Hidalgo "La Gitana" Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (500ml)
Review Date: 04-28-2012
So far this is my first go with sherry ... There is a distinct iodine flavor that persists & leads you to believe you would be overpowered. As it turns out you taste a light & fluffy dry wine that is delicate & lightly sweet yet totally dry at the same time. Not my ideal wine ... I believe I should try oloroso but not bad by any stretch ...
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Pasetti "Tenutarossa" Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Review Date: 04-28-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. Earthy, mushroom & spicy, blackberry notes on the nose. Chewy tannins still persist with chunky red & black fruits with oak spice. Paired well with BBQ ... Really solid wine for the price!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2007 Mamete Prevostini Grumello Valtellina Superiore
Review Date: 04-14-2012
Light ruby red in the glass. The nose is so much like a grenache based CDR. It has the raspberry & high acids so redolent of a Rhone. Now after a few hours of being open the attack shows red fruits, cherry & cranberry. Some glycerin shows but this wine is packed dense with fruit. Good stuff but could use a few more years in bottle to settle.
Price: $25.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 Larmande, St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-07-2012
Soft ruby-red in the glass. Roasted espresso notes with herbs, minerals & tobacco leaf on the nose. Such a gorgeous wine but it falls just short on the finish. Dark, plum notes & dark fruits on the palate. Slightly austere & tannic on the finish ... This has more life in it but should be wonderful for the table tonight!
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2008 Scott Paul "La Paulée" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-31-2012
Ruby red in the glass. Gorgeous scents of strawberries, clove spice, fresh tilled earth & lavender. A wine wine of medium weight possessing a pronounced red fruit character complicated by a delicate spice. I have not had WV pinot noir in a while ... This is delicious!
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Aglieta "Pomo" Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 03-24-2012
Ruby red in the glass. Lots of tar, leather & dark cherry on the nose. Still austere on the attack yet full of the same cherry fruit from the nose. Some earthy, clay minerality showing before the tannins take grip. Even after almost 2 hours being open I believe this could use almost another 5-10 years in the cellar. Such a delicious wine ...
Price: $31.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Ferraton Père et Fils "Les Miaux" Hermitage
Review Date: 03-18-2012
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Smoke, grilled meats, raspberry & garrigue spice on the nose. Rich, lush fruit dominates the palate with well integrated tannins & a vanilla oak spine. A very soft & easygoing Syrah.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2003 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra "Casa Mate"
Review Date: 03-17-2012
Ruby purple in the glass. Tar, roses, leather, heat, earth & minerals. Lots of cherry, cranberry & leather on the attack. Still a little backward even after 1 hour being open. Tannins are chewy. Looking forward to the pairing with Guinness braised short ribs.

2007 Le Jardin de Petit Village, Pomerol
Review Date: 03-16-2012
Saturated ruby on the nose. Lots of chocolate, blackberries & spice on the nose. Surprisingly light given the nose. The acids lay a spine leading to a dusty, mineral driven finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 La Dauphine, Fronsac
Review Date: 03-10-2012
Gorgeous saturated ruby in the glass with hardly any fade at the rim. The nose is opulent & round with blackberry, cassis, minerals & spice. Lots of dusty blackberry, earthy minerals & gentle acids to balance the fruit. The tannins are soft & integrated. This would not appeal to New World enthusiasts but I sure will enjoy this bottle.
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Argiolas "Costera" Isola dei Nuraghi
Review Date: 03-03-2012
Ruby red in the glass. The nose is bursting with red fruits (raspberry), menthol & baking spices. A smooth, easy drinker with well integrated tannins & bursting with ripe, red fruits. A crowd please for Dave's 25th b-day celebration.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2000 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-25-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. Classic aged Bordeaux notes of mellowed herbs, currants, cedar, minerals & a touch of oak spice. A medium bodied, almost rich wine packed with red cherries, red currants & a nice spice note on the finish. Tannins are light but integrated & there is enough remaining acid that this should pair well with NY steak tonight.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Terre da Vino "Essenze" Barolo
Review Date: 02-18-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. Smoke, tar, roses, red cherry & spice coming off the nose. I've had this open for almost 2 hours & it's just now starting to show. Thank you Ilya for the decanting tip! A lip-smacking, juicy red fruit wine with still very strong tannin. This one could use several years in a cellar to resolve but is very delicious tonight & should be a brillaint companion to bison tri-tip & butternut squash risotto.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

Philippe Gonet "Brut Reserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-18-2012
Pale golden color with millions of tiny bubbles. A medium-full bodied champagne with floral, hazelnut & citrus notes followed by a creamy, toasty finish. I have to say this is one solid glass of bubbles!
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List

2004 Delas Freres "Seigneurs Maugiron" Côte Rotie
Review Date: 02-04-2012
Ruby in the glass. The nose is a mixed bag of dark cherry, roasted espresso, peppery spices & tilled soil. This is rich & chewy with plenty of tannin & acid still evident. I really enjoy these flavors & I look forward to pairing this with BBQ'd pork ...
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Domaine Le Colombier "Vieilles Vignes" Vacqueyras
Review Date: 01-28-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. A very opulent wine on the nose. Very typical Cotes du Rhone scents of raspberry ganache, earthy mushrooms, roasted meats & peppery spices. A very rich @ chewy wine on the palate with a persistent finish. Better than I would expect from such a humble appellation.

2007 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 01-20-2012
Saturated ruby in the glass. Dark, brooding fruit redolent of plums, violets, minerals & spice. Surprisingly light on it's feet for how dark it is & how rich the nose was. Leather
& dark fruits with a smooth, supple finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 01-20-2012
Tons of tiny bubbles. Lots of apples, apple skins & toast on the nose. A rich, full bodied champagne with a creamy toastiness.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2007 Domaine Grand Veneur Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 01-07-2012
Saturated ruby-purple in the glass. Rich, ripe raspberry pie, smoked meats, garrigue & pepper on the nose. You can immediately sense the heat on this wine (it's 15%!). It does show a lot of the fruit from the nose with a finish that won't quit. This should ideally be cellared for several more years but was quite delicious tonight, albeit hot.

Bernard Tornay "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne 375ml
Review Date: 12-31-2011
Sweet almost candied cherry & apple on the nose. A very toasty, yeasty full bodied champagne with a slightly spicy finish. Good stuff!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

2001 La Tour de By, Médoc
Review Date: 12-25-2011
Gorgeous ruby in the glass with little signs of age in the color. Dark fruits & terroir on the nose. Tart, sour cherries & tannins initially showing. May need some air to soften ... Ok, so this had some air now. It reveals soft cherry, cassis & cedar notes. This is simple, old school claret for those who like old Bordeaux.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2009 Cécile Chassagne Gigondas
Review Date: 12-17-2011
Dark ruby in the glass. The nose is a sweet perfume of raspberry ganache, loamy soil & the faintest hint of tobacco leaf & pepper. This is the softest, most approachable Gigondas I have tried. Everything is in balance. Should be an excellent companion for decorating the Xmas tree tonight.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

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