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Staff Favorites

If you’re going to have Robert Parker or Stephen Tanzer over for dinner, selecting a wine they’ve rated highly will be a nice choice. However, when you’re buying wines for yourself, we’d love to see you find wines that match up your unique palate and pocketbook. We have a large staff of friendly and knowledgeable wine professionals that taste hundreds of wines each week. They can put you in touch with bottles that you are likely to love, often at a much lower cost than the highly-rated gems that often see a run-up in price and frequent availability issues. Like any great group of opinionated professionals, our staff has varied tastes themselves. Often our customers will find a particular staff member with a style that corresponds to their own. That concept works extremely well in our retail stores, and this section is our effort to bring you the same online. Don’t get us wrong, we love the highly rated wines from the press and will continue to offer them, but we think you’re missing out if you’re not augmenting those selections with picks from our excellent staff. Here are their favorites. (Click on a name to see their other selections - or to drop them a line.) Cheers!

Reviews

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Damien Hugot Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 8/8/2020 | Send Email
This is no ordinary brut sans année. I tasted this with Damien at the maison in March, and I was impressed by the generous, creamy, white fruit character of the wine. It is composed of 70% Chouilly Grand Cru and 30% Cramant Grand Cru, with 30% reserves from his solera style foudre of older vintages. The back end has not only the chalk that one would expect, but also a very nice chestnut flavor. This is top class blanc de blancs, and no one that enjoys this style should miss it given the extraordinary price.
Top Value!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2019 Bodega Chacra "Cincuenta y Cinco" Pinot Noir Rio Negro Patagonia
Reviwer Picture By: Chris DePaoli | Review Date: 8/8/2020 | Send Email
Elite. I've claimed more than once this is my favorite producer in South America, and I see absolutely nothing to change that opinion based off this stellar edition of their "Cincuenta Y Cinco." This bottle has become a benchmark for Pinots anywhere near this price point in my book and this vintage is a showstopper, with the classic, dark, desiccated cherry notes bundled up with ceder and sweet twig tones that are embellished by a touch of oak. The firm tannic profile rounds the palate, pairing with obvious, high-elevation induced acidity to provide framing. Marrying Old World finesse with New World power, this is the crème de la crème.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Damien Hugot Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 8/8/2020 | Send Email
Twenty-five generations of history with the Hugot family in Champagne indicate why this Blanc de Blancs is so very good! It has a pretty nose of light minerals and lemon cream. On the palate, it is quite a bit richer with some mineral "tang" on the finish. There are flavors of whipped cream, lemon curd, (light) nuttiness and a little chalk. Rich, but, not overly so! The deep rooted vines in his vineyards help to bring up the acidity from the soil, resulting in a lingering (and balanced) minerality on the long finish. I plan on buying a magnum, myself!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2018 Occidental (Kistler) Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 8/7/2020 | Send Email
Here's a rare opportunity to get your hands on some truly spectacular, world-class Pinot Noir from one of the world's most heralded estates. Steve Kistler's Occidental Winery is a fairly new project with the sole focus of producing the highest quality Pinot Noir in California. The new 2018 release is simply stunning. Beautifully focused, elegant, refined Pinot Noir that is flat out delicious. This wine really shows the precision and energy of the vintage with its high-toned floral aromatics and pristine forest berry fruits interwoven with subtle woodsy spices. Reminds me of top flight Volnay, very aromatic, pure, finessed. We've been personally recommending this wine to our customers since its release but the recent publication of two huge scores from The Wine Advocate and Vinous prompted us to take as much as we could get and sharpen the pencil on the price.
Price: Hidden View Price

2019 Laberinto "Cenizas de Laberinto" Sauvignon Blanc Maule Valley
Reviwer Picture By: Chris DePaoli | Review Date: 8/7/2020 | Send Email
I've seen this movie before, but rarely done as well. Wines with round rich noses and this much focus and precision on the palette are usually disjointed at best, but this bottles takes that asymmetry and rides it to a complexity that distances it from lesser productions. Not so much challenging the Loire at it's own game as riffing off the catalog of the great Sancerres and Touraines with a new tune, this has a long, mineral, incredibly dry finish that lingers with stony, briny notes pushing around the classic grassy tones this grape always brings. The nose brings the New World credentials, with a warmer lemon and lychee melange that serves almost as an Apéritif to itself. Incredibly interesting wine that's also really, really good.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Reviwer Picture By: Kirk Walker | Review Date: 8/7/2020 | Send Email
I was very excited to see the Fromm back in stock. This is an estate that always delivers and it is foundational to my understanding of the New Zealand Pinot Noir. This wine just smells like New Zealand Pinot should. Dark red fruit with just a hint of savory herbs. It is complex and intriguing on the palate with a herbal laced macerated cherry thing that is framed with a slight hint of oak. It is long, fresh and fun.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 El Coto "Coto de Imaz" Gran Reserva Rioja
Reviwer Picture By: Shelby Griffiths | Review Date: 8/6/2020 | Send Email
El Coto holds a special place in my heart. It was a wine from this producer that found a lost, food obsessed, 20 something in Spain, and ignited the spark to start my journey in the wine industry. I have always felt a well made Rioja can be an ethereal experience for those who find it, and El Coto has a talent for crafting incredibly expressive, traditional wines from the area. This Grand Reserva is still so vibrant and youthful. It now shows, ripe cherries, dried cirtus peel, mocha powder, hints of coconut, dusty leather, sweet herbs with fine tannins that will continue to seamlessly integrate even further over the years. It is hard to not open and enjoy this now with a little air, but this will definitely cellar for a number of years to come. A fantastic value to add to your cellar.

2012 El Coto "Coto de Imaz" Gran Reserva Rioja
Reviwer Picture By: Will Blakely | Review Date: 8/6/2020 | Send Email
Despite its years aging in bottle, this wine presents an uncanny, youthful vitality indicative of strong cellaring potential. With an incredibly inviting nose of Valencia orange peel, bright cherry and sweet strawberry, it effortlessly commands your attention from the first pour. The remarkably structured palate shows all the dusty tannin and oak character of well-crafted Rioja along with an array of ripe fruits and some flavors that may be a bit less traditional. I could swear I got boysenberry and hibiscus on one pass, mocha and merguez on the next. With some air, it softens and broadens, yielding truly mouthwatering acid and backed up by savory earth and floral vanilla. For an exceptional wine it comes at an unbelievably low price, and I urge everyone to get theirs while supplies last. Very excited to see how this develops.

Hombo Shuzo Mars Shinshu Komagatake "Limited Edition 2019" Single Malt Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Will Blakely | Review Date: 8/5/2020 | Send Email
I will never forget the first time I tasted a Komagatake. Like most people, up until that point my exposure to Japanese whisky centered around Suntory and Nikka, and I had only recently seen Mars' Iwai label hit shelves. That first bottle changed my perception of Japanese whisky forever, and I am so happy to reacquaint myself with this line. Looking at the label, you can immediately see this is something special, and the liquid inside truly lives up to the expectation. A striking nose of lemon oil, cut hay, peach blossom and pine sets the tone. The palate presents a refined and fully realized amalgam of gorgeous flavor- grilled peach, marzipan, creamy vanilla, nutty toffee, mountain herbs and barrel spice, all beautifully intermingling with a whisper of smoke and black tea. The craft is evident in how these components come together, perfectly integrated, to create something almost deceptively simple, yet intricate and delicate and complex. These bottles are always a special treat, and I implore you to plumb its depths, savor its full array of flavors, and experience the tranquility that can only come from this divine facility tucked into the mountains.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

2019 Château d'Aqueria Tavel Rosé
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/5/2020 | Send Email
Tavel is the only appellation in the Southern Rhone valley that is, by law, dedicated to rose production. Grenache is the dominating grape, the color of the wine is darker and the body fuller because of the longer skin maceration time. It is not sweet. This is rose with substance! Flowers, strawberries and orange zest jump out of the glass and coat the palate. Gorgeous. Enjoy with charcuterie, hard cheese or a hunk of fresh bread swathed in salty french butter.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Damien Hugot Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Diana Turk | Review Date: 8/5/2020 | Send Email
By bringing this grower-producer into the fold of our Direct Import Champagnes, buyer Gary has completed a vision of K&L carrying Chardonnay from nearly every Grand Cru village in the Côte des Blancs – an incredible feat! Damien Hugot grows this prized varietal on 50 year-old vines from just eight hectares in the northern villages of Chouilly and Cramant, with vineyards that include the renowned Mont-Aigu. This racy Blanc de blancs will age beautifully and reward patience. Drinking now, there is the expected chalky minerality but also a richness through the palate that belies its 7g/L, with brioche notes and a hint of nuttiness. Impressive.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ravenswood "Icon" Sonoma County Red Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 8/5/2020 | Send Email
Last year we did an offer on the 2013 Ravenswood Icon and it sold out almost instantly. Customers and staff alike asked me time and time again if it was coming back but we had sold everything that was available. Well, here we go again with the 2015 release of this incredible wine and once again at a HUGE discount. The “Icon” bottling from Ravenswood is a true testament to ancient vineyards and historic winemaking. The fruit in this blend comes from the very best old vine vineyards in Sonoma including: Old Hill Ranch, Bedrock, and Teldeschi, all planted well over 100 years ago. This field blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane, Alicante Bouchet and other “Mixed Blacks” are woven together to produce a wine that is the finest expression of a given vintage. Winemaking legend Joel Peterson knows more about these vineyards and blending techniques than anyone on the planet, and is known throughout the wine business and the Godfather of Zin. The wine is powerful with lashings of red and black fruit, scorched earth, bramble, toasted spices, cracked peppercorn, and nutmeg. The lovely, exotic, ripe fruit of the old vine Zin is balanced by the powerful structure and spice of Petite Sirah, fresh, bright acidity of the Carignane and layers of complexity are added by the numerous other varietals that compose this captivating elixir. I love this wine and others like it not only for the pure hedonistic delight of drinking them but also for their important role in California’s vinous heritage. Old vine field blends of these varietals are unique to California and evolved over many decades and many generations of grape growing. I’m super excited to be offering this wine again and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Cave de Tain "Grand Classique" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
The Cave de Tain is one of France's greatest cooperative ventures. The winery sits at the foot of Hermitage in the village of Tain l'Hermitage. The Cave has worked for generations with local growers to produce some of the best and most affordable wines in the region. We recently stumbled across the 2015 Crozes Hermitage Blanc and were struck by its beautiful evolution. The wine hits the right harmonious notes of grilled peaches, baked apples and marzipan. Made from 100% Marsanne, it has reached that sweet spot where the variety begins telling its story from a new perspective. If you haven't tasted a Marsanne with a little bottle age, this is the perfect intro - and at such and affordable price!
Price: Hidden View Price

2019 Château Saint Jacques d'Albas "Petit Saint Jacques" Coteaux de Peyriac Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
Bright and refreshing, the new Petit St-Jacques has undergone a slight label change for fans of the Domaine bottling from last year. Still the same great mineral driven white from the south with layers of nectarine, yellow apple and white flowers. Great balance and a perfect warm weather sipper.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Chaboissière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Reviwer Picture By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
Christophe Hallereau makes beautiful mineral driven Muscadets. Traditionally made in underground glass-lined concrete vats, the wine spends about 8 months on the lees before bottling. When I tasted the new arrival, a note of salty air filled the glass making my mouth water. On the palate, the sinewy frame was loaded with crisp apple fruit, wet stones and lemon peel. I declared this the best young wine I have yet tasted from Mr. Hallereau! A perfect compliment to shellfish, oily fishes and creamy cheeses. Even makes a great aperitif!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Del Maguey Tobala Mezcal (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
The Tobala is an incredibly rare agave the grows best in the shaded areas of the Oaxacan highlands. This producer is known to use tropical fruit in addition to agave to get the right balance for this spice fruit forward mezcal.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Reviwer Picture By: Chris DePaoli | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
We've been bringing in Fromm directly now for a number of years and there's the obvious reason why: they make really good juice. Big dried cherry notes mix it up with a oak spice that pumps the herbal tones overlapping the whole thing into overdrive, trailing off the fruity open into a softer, savory finish that is carried leagues by the solid tannic structure. Solid as always.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Moussé Fils "L'Or d'Eugene" Perpétuelle Blanc de Noirs
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 8/4/2020 | Send Email
I loved the expressive, open character of this wine on the nose and in the mouth. Cinnamon and I had it with pork rillettes as a little starter and it was fabulous. The wine has lovely honey bread toast, comes across full bodied and rich but snaps into focus on the back end, which is quite dry. It made a great match for the rillettes, and I think would also be great with any manner of pate or cheese based starters. It is the mix of bready breadth and mineral tension that had me coming back for more.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2019 de Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan Rosé
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/3/2020 | Send Email
I am more excited about rose when it is from a region that is off the radar, and not typical Provencal or Loire. How often do you find rose from Bordeaux? This is Cabernet Sauvignon from one of the finest producers in the Pessac-Leognan region of Graves and it is fabulous. It has what I call stuffing - dry with plenty of bold fruit, structure and a gentle presence of tannins, all of which make it stand up to meat, foie gras, and scallops. This is serious style of rose, one to consider your new "vin gastronomique". This is not made every vintage so get some while you can.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2018 Kumeu River "Kumeu Village" Chardonnay Kumeu
Reviwer Picture By: Thomas Smith | Review Date: 8/3/2020 | Send Email
There are few wines in New Zealand that shatter expectations like Kumeu River. This three-generation winemaking led by Michael Brackjovich has been crafting jaw-dropping Chardonnay that competes with the best Chardonnay anywhere. Although their single-vineyard Chardonnay’s like “Mate’s Vineyard” and “Hunting Hunting Hill” Vineyard often steal the show, their 2018 Kumeu River “Village” is the best rendition of their entry-level wine to date. With the core of this wine comes from Kumeu’s top-tier estate vineyards along with a touch of fruit from their Hawke’s Bay property, Michael asserts this is the best rendition of their “Village” they have every produced. Bright, and mineral driven on the palate with fresh lemon, citrus zest, and touches of white peach, what I love about this wine is its clean, and acid-driven palate that shows off Chardonnay as its most pure and transparent self. Vinous’s Neal Martin says it best when looking at Chardonnay prices elsewhere “you are left scratching your head as to why Kumeu River is not uttered in the same breath as Leflaive, Ramonet or Marcassin.”

2016 Accendo Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviwer Picture By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 8/2/2020 | Send Email
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Bart Araujo has continued his fine wine production-he just moved south a bit in the valley. His great Araujo Eisele wines from 1991-til 2010 are legendary. They were all made in the Calistoga region of the Napa Valley-a soft spot in my heart because I have a house in Calistoga. :-) Since 2013 he has been producing fabulous Cabernets under the Accendo label. Now the winery is located on Zinfandel Lane (you should visit it) and the juice for the Cabernets comes mainly from the Oakville region of the Valley. This 2016 is stunning-Toasty oak and cassis aromas follow to the palate. Very elegant and refined with no hard edges-round tannins and lingering finish. Very Bordeaux like. Bravo!
Drink from 2021 to 2021

2018 Accendo Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Reviwer Picture By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 8/2/2020 | Send Email
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Everyone knows I love Sauvignon Blanc from most any country. This is one of the best I have tasted this year. Perfectly balanced wine and not clumsy like so many California SBs are. Fine acidity and tons of ripe citrus like flavors. Some richness on the palate with a long, lingering, refreshing finish. You just want to drink the whole bottle-especially on a warm summer evening. Should be perfect with some shellfish or even a barbecued chicken-heck its great alone by the pool also. A must try.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2018 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Reviwer Picture By: Clyde Beffa Jr. | Review Date: 8/2/2020 | Send Email
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One of the finest Sancerres on the market today. I met Franck and Betty Millet in Beaune on Easter Sunday 1995 where they presented me with their first vintage. I loved the wine and the rest is history. K&L was their first customer in the USA. The Insolite is their top cuvee and is packaged in a wooden box of six with a couple of the stones from this famous vineyard. Though 2018 was a warm vintage in the Loire, this wine has retained its great minerality and it has fine acidity to balance the richness of the fruit. Some lime notes and white flowers-clean and crisp and delicious. A must buy for Sauvignon Blanc and Sancerre lovers.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Alexandrine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
This unusual 100% chardonnay comes from the Ardennes, where pinot noir is king. At first, it is all brioche, green and golden apple, and a faint hint of spice. As it opens up, poached pear and bright minerals with a touch of key lime come into play. This is a wonderful quality vintage and this wine has Vivien Lamoureaux's high quality standard. Did I mention fried chicken? This is the perfect pairing for it!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
It is the end of an era. This has been the best blanco tequila in the store for over 3 years. If you've talked to me in person about tequila since this first landed on our shelves in 2017 I have certainly implored you to purchase this bottle before. I have no doubt the several bottles I've stashed away will be the best blanco in my spirits collection for years to come. In terms of flat out quality - it's one of the best bottles of any wine or spirit I've laid my hands on. A one off - distilled in 2013 and rested for years in tank until it was perfect. Enrique Fonseca - the largest agave farmer/owner in Jalisco - has quietly identified his best fields and singled them out to produce this elixir. This has been done for centuries in wine making (Burgundy anyone??) and nothing like this has been done with agave - arguably an even more terroir expressive plant than the vinus vinifera. The flavors are nearly impossible to describe and words will not do it justice. The nose is tropical fruit mingled with zesty citrus, crushed sea salt, flowers in full springtime bloom, and of course, cooked agave. If you ever have the luxury to bite into cooked agave before it gets mashed and distilled, your palate will be forever changed. It's a remarkable flavor - honey sweet and endlessly complex. The higher than usual ABV of this bottle provides tremendous lift and a backbone from which everything else hangs neatly. The finish can only be classified as ultra long - it lingers for minutes if you let it. If you're sick of the adulterated crap that gets passed off as tequila in today's market - stock up, because we are at THE END of the greatest 10,000 bottle run ever produced.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chateau de Vaudieu "Val de Dieu" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Reviwer Picture By: Lauren Seward | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
The Val de Dieu ("Valley of God") is an extremely elegant, richly-styled CDP from one of the greatest southern Rhone vintages of all time. It is dark cherry red in color with a scarlett rim, and impossibly thick in color. Aromas of cigar smoke, graphite, garrigue, and vanilla bean are luscious and generous, and prepare the palate for notes of red and dark berries, baking spices, additional garrigue, and sweetened fruit. A quick burst of acidity greets you early on the palate, then the wine mellows and finishes quickly. While this is lovely to drink right now, it could only do better with a few more years of age.

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Heather Vander Wall | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
I mostly do wine, not spirits, BUT when there is something so unique and compelling like this single plot tequila from renowned Fuenteseca, I am all in. Very pretty aromas on this tequila of mandarin rind, guava and other tropical fruits. It's clean and polished with hardly any burn. The palate is all smooth, elegant fruit with a hint of spice--gorgeous! The best Blanco I've had in years.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2006 Daftmill "Summer Batch Release" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
I feel very lucky to have visited the good Mr. Cuthbert at his farm and distillery in the Summer of 2016. The beautiful and tiny distillery is hidden behind barley fields and built inside a gorgeous old stone farmhouse. Francis was in the distillery taking measurements, a truly hands on distillery owner. He seemingly does everything, although one must assume there are others helping, there's no question that this tiny production distillery is a labor of love. We tasted several casks together all around 10 years old and while I thought they all tasted pretty good, he brushed off the idea of bottling them saying unequivocally that they weren't ready. This man knows barley and we've waited with bated breath to see these barrels meet his high standards for bottling. Now after waiting almost 4 more years, we finally have access to this excellent and unusual single malt from one of Scotland's smallest and most watched distillers. The color is white wine. The nose starts restrained, but obvious complexity hides right behind the initial austerity of first nosing. As it opens, we start to notice vibrant stone fruits: apricots, plums, peaches. Then a mineral element and some citrus, lemon oil components. It's got a very old school feeling that isn't really available from any other modern distiller. A drop of water and a bit more time and we're being delivered truckloads of various fruits tropical and continental, some poached and drizzled in vanilla sauce. Creamy and luscious on the palate with wisps of white pepper and perfect clean American oak. This stuff is just lovely in every sense of the word. It's a new old-style malt unlike so many of the modern new distillers who are trapped between the science and art of single malt distillation. Without a visionary like Francis to make the crucial decisions, any new distillery will be relegated to the second tier and never truly cI feel very lucky to have visited the good Mr. Cuthbert at his farm and distillery in the summer of 2016. The beautiful and tiny distillery is hidden behind barley fields and built inside a gorgeous old stone farmhouse. Francis was in the distillery taking measurements, a truly hands on distillery owner. He seemingly does everything-although one must assume there are others helping, there's no question that this tiny production distillery is a labor of love. We tasted several casks together all around 10 years old and while I thought they all tasted pretty good, he brushed off the idea of bottling them saying unequivocally that they weren't ready. This man knows barley and we've waited with bated breath to see these barrels meet his high standards for bottling. Now after waiting almost 4 more years, we finally have access to this excellent and unusual single malt from one of Scotland's smallest and most watched distillers. The color is white wine. The nose starts restrained, but obvious complexity hides right behind the initial austerity of first nosing. As it opens, we start to notice vibrant stone fruits: apricots, plums, peaches. Then a mineral element and some citrus and lemon oil components. It's got a very old school feeling that isn't really available from any other modern distiller. A drop of water and a bit more time and we're being delivered truckloads of various fruits tropical and continental, some poached and drizzled in vanilla sauce. Creamy and luscious on the palate with wisps of white pepper and perfect clean American oak. This stuff is just lovely in every sense of the word. It's a new old-style malt unlike so many of the modern new distillers who are trapped between the science and art of single malt distillation. Without a visionary like Francis to make the crucial decisions, any new distillery will be relegated to the second tier and never truly compete with the big boys. Of course, the price is no trifle but it’s a small price to pay for immediate access to the future history of modern single malt.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
This fun whisky from Arran is now more or less extinct at least in this package. We are forever in search of a great malt that can properly described as "somewhat peaty." Despite what many might believe, there are very few in between malts. Almost everything that's readily available is either 30+ parts or zero. Yes there are a few exceptions. Oban, Balvenie, Dalwhinnie, but in general these don't really cross the threshold to really feel the peat in a big way (Oban is probably the closest). There's of course a few exceptions, but the options are extremely limited. So when we came across the Machrie Moor at the very reasonable 20 ppm, we were intrigued. Now add that this small batch is not colored and bottled at cask strength and that's a recipe for something special. The color is pale gold. The nose is extremely focused with an obvious ocean quality, but not the Laphroiag slap that some peat lovers might be craving. Instead, the smoke is lingering in the background with salinity and crystalline malt coming through. Clean and gentle, yet not boring by any means. ON the palate some smoldering peat and some green earthiness. Green apples skin, crushed oyster shell, bits of citrus and . This is NOT a lightly peated whisky, but it's a balanced medium peater, which is really very rare in our world. Bottled at cask strength it's delicious, but this guy loves water too so don't be afraid to hit it with a few satisfying splashes of water. It develops some interesting character at the slightly lower proofs, offering more citrus, more fruit and a bit of the salted fish character that we all love so well.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Arran "The Bothy" Quarter Cask Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
The Arran is an excellent distillery and each release seems to get better and better. This 3rd batch of the Bothy is the best we've had and so we snagged a bit of the old stock before the new importer took over. Here we've got the use of new American oak quarter casks, which if not done with restraint could be a problem in my view. Luckily Arran is extremely careful and knows that each batch must be just right in order to keep building their reputation. The color is deep gold. The nose is full of fresh oak, but in a lively and not obtrusive way. It's got some citrus peel, tangerines and Seville, plus plenty of vanilla and a bit of coconut. On the palate the wood takes a back seat, thankfully, and let the malt come through offering up some nice caramel candy, toasted cereal and hints of mocha. With water we really start to open up bringing some fresh spices and sweet herbs on the nose. These play nicely with the continued orange peel notes and a bit more sweetness now. On the palate it's more viscous now and loses some of the roasted quality in favor of more fruit and spice. A totally delicious example of how to properly use new oak in single malt production.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2019 Fabien Collonge Beaujolais Rosé
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 8/1/2020 | Send Email
New vintage, same great rose. For the most part, 2019 was very sunny and dry, except for late August when the region was hit with frost. As a result. yields were low but the quality of the carefully sorted fruit remained high. I love this rose every year for its succulence and vibrancy. The color is a darker pink hue and no, it's not sweet. It is dry and it has a personality that leaves a lasting impression - like that stranger that shows up to the party alone and the next thing you know they have the whole room captivated by their wit and charm.Yes way, Gamay.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Poggio Scalette "Il Carbonaione" Alta Valle della Greve
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/31/2020 | Send Email
This classy Sangiovese hails from Greve and delivers on the promise of well textured yet bright wine from galestro soil. I love the combination of tart cherry fruit, clean earth and very well integrated oak in this top class bottle. With so many Super Tuscan's coming in at high alcohol these days, it is wonderful to have one like this at 13.5%. The balance is perfect and the wine is very long... I can't wait to get it home and pair it with a double thick pork chop!
Drink from 2020 to 2020

2012 Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Alexandrine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Diana Turk | Review Date: 7/31/2020 | Send Email
This bright Blanc de blancs feels luxurious: subtly toasty with a delicately creamy mousse, plus plenty of nervy energy and cut. Crafted from a single vineyard, "Alexandrine" hails from miracle vintage 2012 and showcases true Chablisienne character, tucked into a little pocket of the Aube. Lemon-lime and green apple fruit provides lift, while brioche notes from the longer lees aging adds depth. Powerhouse winemaker Vivien Lamoureux has deftly crafted something elegant and hedonistic at the same time, balanced and crisp, with stunning complexity for the price.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Bohème "English Hill Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 7/31/2020 | Send Email
I have limited experience with Kurt Beitler's wines but this single-vineyard, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir has made a believer out of me. Kurt comes from a long line of wine royalty; Chuck Wagner (Caymus) is his uncle. But Kurt stands on his own far out on the Sonoma Coast wilderness sourcing fruit from top vineyard sites. I savored this bottle over a three night period and the wine just got better and better with each taste. It is exceptionally complex on the nose with a bouquet of black cherry, green leaf, forest floor, and a touch of wood smoke. There's flesh on the palate accompanied by an intensity that just doesn't quit. Ultimately, that leads to a long, lingering finish that it most pleasing. This is a very limited production Pinot Noir and we're able to offer it at a very attractive discounted price. I'm confident this will sell out in short order.
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2018 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Reviwer Picture By: Diana Turk | Review Date: 7/31/2020 | Send Email
Staff and customer darling "Insolite" Sauvignon Blanc is back and better than ever with the lively 2018! There's incredible minerality thanks to chalky limestone soil (that Franck Millet ships to us with the wine!), plus vivid citrus and tropical fruit, a broader-than-expected palate and super crisp finish. This iteration has more of a pithy bite than previous vintages but stays as easygoing as ever. Complex and bright, "Insolite" is a bargain for sophisticated Sancerre and perfect for alfresco dining.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Reviwer Picture By: Alex Schroeder | Review Date: 7/31/2020 | Send Email
Fromm is a producer in the top of its class, and there is no better exhibit to that fact than this entry level Marlborough Pinot Noir. Their single vineyard bottlings are amazing too, but the value for price on this is just out of the ballpark. It has a beautiful bouquet of cranberries, cherries, currents and savory underbrush. The texture on the palate is both silky and luxurious but also firm and structured. The finish is pure, bright and long. You can't do much better for Pinot Noir for the price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
This is a great earthy Pinot Noir offering out of New Zealand. On the nose I get dark berries, cherry, pleasing sulfur notes, lilac, salted fruit, and a green component that likely comes from the partial whole-cluster pressing.The palate is floral with a wonderful forest floor character, gun powder, and tart cherry. Great to enjoy now, this will be a fantastic Pinot to age as well.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Fromm Pinot Noir Marlborough New Zealand
Reviwer Picture By: Gary Westby | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
What an outstanding value in Pinot Noir! This wine has a beautiful dark ruby color and is extroverted and savory on the nose. The flavors are exactly what fans of New Zealand Pinot- or any Pinot- want; dark brambly fruit just kissed by barrel spice. The back end is refreshing and the oak does not get in the way of the minerality on the finish. A great direct buy!
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Alexandrine" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Stephanie Vidales | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
This is a remarkable bottle of Champagne at a very attractive price point. Lamoureux's Alexandrine is from a single vineyard that contains Chablis like soil which gives this wine a fantastic chalky mineral edge. The palate expresses grapefruit, lime, lees and peach with a very long finish. This wine is tasting fantastic now but also has great aging potential. Don't sleep on this one.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2019 de Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan Rosé
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
This delicious refresher from some of the finest terroir in all of Bordeaux opens with faint scents of rose petal and well water. The mid-palate is filled with ripe watermelon and dusty cherry flavors that feel a bit creamy despite the bracing acidity. The impeccable balance and precise finish make this an absolute delight to taste.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2002 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
This wine from a good vintage for Merlot starts out quite earthy with aromas of dark plums, damp soil and herb. The middle is filled with black cherry fruit that has balancing acidity which keeps the medium-bodied wine fresh and lively. The clean finish has an intriguing hint of clay and mineral.
Price: $20.99 Add To Cart

2019 Vignoble Dragon "La Belle Helene" Côtes de Provence Rosé
Reviwer Picture By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 7/30/2020 | Send Email
Helene Dragon is a fourth generation winemaker making some of the best Provencal rose from one of its most desirable regions – Sainte Victoire. In the shadow of the Montagne Ste-Victoire, one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the south of France, this limestone monolith looms large in the background. Technically a mountain, it is more a series of fractured limestone plates pushed up over millions of years that look more like a cresting wave than a mountain. Famous for the way it captures and reflects light, Cezanne painted it continuously and in several of his masterpieces. I digress. Fanning away from this mountain lies some of the greatest terroir in all of Provence, the shed limestone and clay from the Montagne. This soil produces roses of tension and nerve such that the region has warranted its own Cru sub-appellation. Helene’s vines sit on these soils and she is crafting her best wines to date. The 2019 vintage is a strong one, providing much more clement and consistent weather than the more complicated 2018. Her wine is a beautiful pale pink, with notes of clementines, white flowers and blood oranges. This will drink so well in these warmer months and should be even more graceful as we approach 2021. Comparable producers are often priced twice this price, but our direct relationship with Helene has provided us some of the best Provencal rose pricing on the market.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

Inverroche Classic Gin (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
Drawing on the fynbos that are endemic to the coastal limestone rich hills and cliffs on the Cape, Inverroche's classic gin sets an extremely high bar for the lineup. It drinks like a more exotic London Dry. It's decidedly junipery with a fresh grassy cut when tasted neat. This blends perfectly with any quinine heavy tonic. The fynbos provide a unique floral component that is painted with a set of colors no other artist or landscape can copy. Citrus and rose petal begin to describe the combination - but by no means capture it. There is too much spice and verve to leave it at that. While I've been to Cape many years ago, I must admit my experience with fynbos remains nil. They are so unique it's impossible to capture their essence in words. It is captured in this gin.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Nao Spirits Jin Jiji India Dry Gin (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
From time to time a new gin blows you away in flavor. In our world of $40+/btl gins, it is rarer still for that same gin to then take your breath away in affordability. For just 25 bucks, Jin Jiji checks all the boxes. From the spiritual homeland of the G&T comes a gin that feels like a traditional London Dry but brings so much more to the table. The complexity of black tea marries perfectly with classic ingredients like juniper and coriander while at the same time highlighting a slight savory component of cashew nut and basil. It's refreshing on its own (read: perfect for a bone dry martini) and yet so easy to mix. Try it with the Fever Tree Citrus Tonic for an added blast of zip in your next G&T or pair with the myriad aperitivi and vermouth available in your next Negroni. I've already tried several combinations and I'd be shocked if you can find one that doesn't taste delicious.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Oka Kura "Japanese Bermutto" Japanese Sake Vermouth (720ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
This is insane - while not technically a vermouth because it doesn’t use wine, it’s basically Japanese sake based vermouth. It drinks like a less sweet blanc vermouth, but not quite dry. It’s got all the lift and bright aromatics of sake taken to 11 by the addition of Japanese citrus’ like Yuzu and Kabosu and made even still more complex by peppercorns and mugwort along with a host of other bitters and spices local to Kumamoto. Try it in a martini or just on the rocks with a twist. It’s exceptional.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Hellyers Road 15 Year Old Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
A stunning whisky. The nose peaks in a glorious bouquet of citrus flowers and fresh squeezed juice. The mouth feel is much broader than expected, cereals fill the palate rich, earthy, and nutty all at once. The aftertaste is sweet and lingering with a piquant sense of ginger and lemon grass. It's buttery and wholesome and all around delicious.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

2006 Daftmill "Summer Batch Release" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
This is as close to the roots of whisky as you can get. A true farm distillery making it the way it would have been done 200+ years ago. You get two crops of barley a year - shortly after harvest, you make whisky, then you tend to the other issues on the farm for the rest of the year. The estate nature of this whisky is quite romantic, but more importantly, the whisky taste spectacular. At 12 years of age it is decidedly mature, but in the way of a precocious child - it drinks beyond the years of a young distillery, yet shows how much more there is still to come as it continues to grow. Wildly exciting and filled with promise. The whisky is a blend of 7 first fill bourbon barrels filled at the end of their first summer season (September, 2006). It's delicate and light, but with an intensity of flavor that is unmatched. There is a complex nose of florals, sweet cream, candied ginger, vanilla, and fine brown sugar and zest. The palate is spicy and difficult to pin down. It feels alive on the tongue jumping between citrus, ginger, pound cake, and caramel candies. The finish shows fresh cut summer grasses and lots of stone fruit. With only 1680 bottles produced in this summer release it's sure to be a collector's classic for those that can keep their hands off of it. For those that drink it - a splendid example of what whisky must have been.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: David Othenin-Girard | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
Agave is the magical near mythical thing. No other product (save for the ultra expensive European Eau-de-Vie) can be superlatively good without any intervention or additions from the distiller. What other white spirit with no flavorings or additives is as delicious or complex? A challenge you to find my anything comparable. And within that frame work no product exhibits more purity and expressiveness of terroir than this incredible single field tequila. Rested for several years before bottling, the result is an absolutely unparalleled experience, which extorts the senses and boggles the mind. I'm not going to bother trying to describe how this tastes, but if you love spirits and don't own a bottle you will eventually regret it!
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Arran Machrie Moor Cask Strength Peated Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Andrew Whiteley | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
The color of dried straw and with a nose of smoldering peat, the cask strength Machrie Moor gives us a brief glimpse into what we might expect from the Lagg distillery in a number of years, albeit on a different set of stills. Rather than being very heavily peated, the Machrie Moor clocks in at 20PPM peat levels, just enough to shine against the light and fruity background of Arran without overwhelming it. It's really a perfect summer time peater. Fresh and salty with tons of sweet citrus. Dusted in cocoa powder and redolent with caramelized almonds. The peat hangs like the air after a forest fire is put out - warm and heavy.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2018 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Reviwer Picture By: Keith Mabry | Review Date: 7/29/2020 | Send Email
Another stunner from Franck and Betty Millet, the hardest working duo in Sancerre! The Insolite is all from the limestone parcels of their holdings and that minerality really shines through. Chalky notes are quickly embraced by grapefruit peel, white flowers and roasted pineapple. The 2018 has a more lift and even more generosity than the 2017. Now a year in bottle, it is exquisite drinking right now with several more years ahead of it. Our best Sancerre, right now!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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