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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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2012 Comptche Ridge Estate Mendocino County Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Robert Cash | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
There is just so much going on in this bottle. The 2012 Comptche Ridge Estate Pinot Noir is an insane value! A delicate and inviting nose of red berries, cigar box, and forest floor. On the palate, it is elegantly layered and smooth, offering earth, smoke, and spice with an element of chewiness mid-palate and a super long finish. Everything is integrated seamlessly, with elegant texture. Spectacular wine for the price. Stock up because this won't last long!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 94 ST 92

2018 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Helllloooo clean! This is one clean, lean, fighting machine! My favorite Sauvignon Blanc features are all here in this wine....grapefruit and limestone with a minerality that is almost lush. It is softer on the finish than in the forefront, so it isn't an acid monster throughout. It is very civilized and yummy!

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
I have been a fan of TWR for many years and this latest Pinot Noir does not disappoint. It is a bit lighter in style (which is good for me!) with bright red fruits and cranberry notes. On the palate, sour cherry and cranberry fruit, with a long, clean finish. Simply put, just delicious! Super versatile!

2017 Quarter Acre Chardonnay Hawke's Bay
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Now, normally, I do NOT write up Chardonnay, rather than Burgundy. I know that sounds snooty but, I just love higher acid, cleaner white wines. However, this is the exception. It has a classic Chardonnay nose of yellow apples and toast. In the mouth, it also has golden apples and a certain richness with a slight buttery overtone. It has everything that I usually don't like! Golden, somewhat rich fruit, butter and toast. So, just WHY do I like this wine so much? BALANCE! It is balanced! The oak and acidity meld together to make this wine interesting, tasty and quite wonderful. I nearly fell off my chair.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
SK 94 RC 90

2016 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Another great release this season from Mount Edward. A generous cherry nose with Ludens cherry fruit and baking spices. Brighter, with more acidity and brighter cherries on the palate. Finishes richly with a spicy finish. Another great effort from this vintner.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99
JS 94

2017 TED by Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
This little gem is relatively dark, with a lush nose of boysenberry and pepper. It is even richer on the palate with dark cherry and black raspberry fruit. A great crossover wine fro those of you who want to branch out from CA Pinot Noir and don't want to spend a fortune to do so!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Moss Wood "Ribbonvale" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Three words come to mind with this wine...chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! It's on the nose and in the mouth. Big, black, fruits with solid tannins and, surprise, quite the linear finish. Yum! Drink it or introduce it to your cellar.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2004 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
This is has far more fruit than one would expect given the vintage but as it eases into middle age the structure has melted away perfectly leaving an array of round and juicy flavors that are just beginning to become burnished with hints of cedar and touches of leather. The wine is bold, deep and rich but with no edges and a sweet, lingering finish.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182" Marlborough Syrah
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
TWR does it again! A Syrah that isn't really Syrah-like (read "juicy and extracted"). Cigar box and black fruited nose with hints of roasted meats. Black fruits and generous white pepper on the palate. Very, very, structured! A great wine for foods like pork and game bird.

2018 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "M" SV5182 Marlborough Riesling
Reviwer Picture By: Scott Beckerley | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
This is, just simply, GREAT Riesling! A very pretty jasmine scented nose with apricot and orange. On the palate, bright, Mandarin orange, tangerine and cherry. Simply delicious and tasted drier than the label indicates (M=Medium dry). Just lovely!

2016 Tenuta di Sesta Rosso di Montalcino
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Here is a Rosso that will remind you of a much more expensive Brunello. There is plenty of fine structure hiding under the overt elegance and a sophistication not usually seen at this price point. The fruit flavors lean more toward the red spectrum (think cherry and strawberry) but there are already hints of leather poking through the earthy finish of roasted herbs. Decant one hour at least.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2014 Site Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
For those of you interested in a more serious, full-bodied red need look no further than this opulently styled Syrah from Jeremy Weintraubs Site Wines. The fruit is sourced exclusively from the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard; the pride of Santa Maria. I can imagine giant slabs of tri-tip cooking over the open fire in preparation for a feast. This Syrah is built for just that occasion. The wine is sexy, juicy, and fully-fruited. It will not leave you wanting. Jerry has a natural feel for Rhone varietals and coxing the most out of his very selectively chosen vineyard “Sites”.

2017 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Classic Loir Valley Sauvignon Blanc but without the Sancerre price tag. This is clean and crisp with citrus undertones and chiseled minerality on the finish. Here is a palate cleansing, bracing and food friendly bargain.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tormaresca "Neprica" Super Puglia
Reviwer Picture By: Steve Bearden | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
This best selling bargain is fantastic year after year. This is husky, earthy and ripe (not too ripe) with a savory tone to compliment all the dark fruit. This is very food friendly so drink it any time you would reach for a more expensive Super Tuscan.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bodegas Norton "Privada" Family Blend Mendoza
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Argentina has firmly staked its reputation on producing stylish bold reds at seemingly impossibly low prices. The Privada bottling from Bodegas Norton is a perfect example of that. Sourced from their oldest vineyards, where the vines range in age from 50 – 90 years, this Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot blend can easily compete with wines twice its price. I love how it glides across the palate leaving a trail of red berries, cocoa powder, and just a touch of mint. I would strongly recommend this wine to anyone who’s looking for a full-bodied red without hard or edgy tannins.

2016 Sans Liege "The Offering" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Kaj Stromer | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Curt Schalchlin has produced the prototypical American Rhone-style blend. He’s managed to capture all that luscious California fruit that informs you where the wine is from while somehow keeping it deceptively light on its feet. Curt’s reputation precedes him as one who creates singularly-styled wines sourced from top quality vineyards throughout the central coast. “The Offering” is the perfect representation of his vision. Intriguing aromatics of dark ripe berries, roasted herbs, with spice box and cigar wrapper rise from the glass. On the palate the wine surprises you as it makes landfall on your tongue. There’s a wave of complexity and richness that skates across your palate while somehow maintaining impressive freshness and lift.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94

2018 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Made from Pinot Noir grapes from one of Mount Edward's most esteemed vineyards, Muirkirk, this is our first 2018 Rosé into the store! This block is picked specifically for Rosé (no saignée here) and is light, delicate, and refreshing in its acidity. Not meant to be sweet or fruity, this has a beautiful light color and sophisticated, smooth texture. Rosé makes a great food-pairing wine any time of year and this offering form Mount Edward is no exception. Mount Edward is one of our most exciting Direct Imports and winemaker Duncan Forsyth is one of the first winemakers in the Central Otago region. The unique continental climate of Otago combined with the higher than average sunshine penetration create grapes that are physiologically ripe without becoming overly sweet. The schist soils build an incredible line of acidity making this Rosé lip-smacking and undeniably delectable.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 90 - 91

2016 Bishop's Peak Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Generally speaking Paso Robles is know for bigger, jammier styles of Cabernet but that is not the case with Bishop's Peak. The fruit is sourced from the much cooler sub-AVA of Santa Margarita Ranch in the very south western tip of the region, close to San Luis Obispo. Here the cooling ocean influence is much more pronounced and the wines tend to be a little more elegant and structured. This bottling from Talley / Bishop's Peak is very classically styled with mulberry, cigar box, red currant, crushed rocks, and graphite. Medium plus bodied, with notable but refined varietal tannins. Stony minerals, mingle with cassis and plum with a subtle whiff of oak spice. Classy stuff...top value.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 VN 90

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Talley's wine are among my favorites in all of California and their Bishop's Peak range of wines give people everyday drinkability without having to sacrifice quality. As the label states - hand-picked, hand-crafted and aged in French oak. This is seriously great Chardonnay at bargain basement pricing. Sourcing from their own vineyards and neighbors, these wines are from the same stable as the 96 point Rosemary's Chard, made by the same winemaker Eric Johnson...and the pedigree is clear to see or rather taste! Bright, flinty aromas of orchard fruits, pie crust and white blossom. The palate is focused and mineral intensive with salinity and verve. A juicy, generous texture fills in without masking any of the subtle complexities. Beautifully judged. Crowd pleasing but also refined and detailed. Drinks WAY above it's modest price point.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WE 90

2016 Margerum "M5" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
A simply stunning Rhône inspired red blend…for sure one of the best $20 wines I have ever tasted from anywhere. Period. This wine really illustrates the ability of California's Central Coast...especially Santa Barbara County... to produce knockout Rhône varietal wines at exceptional values. Everything melds together so seamlessly in this wine. It's rich without being heavy, structured without being harsh. It has beautiful length and balance on the palate. A very complete wine that is absolutely singing right now but will continue to do so for 5+ years for sure.
Top Value!

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
Wonderfully fresh and fruity, the Bishop’s Peak Chardonnay uses no new oak barrels in the fermentation process. Sourced from coastal San Luis Obispo County, the fruit gives off flavors of crisp melon, citrus and pear. Great buy for a refreshing California Chardonnay!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WE 90

2015 Bodegas Norton "Privada" Family Blend Mendoza
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
While Mendoza is known for their single varietal Malbec, this bottling shows they can do a pretty killer red blend with the varietal as well. Rich in style, but with a healthy backbone of structure and acid for balance, I was impressed with the layers in this wine. The Malbec gives spice and dark fruits, the Merlot adds some softness, and the Cabernet gives a little kick of tannin to give a longer finish. This will make a great crowd-pleasing Bordeaux blend.

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
There is a lot of fruit in this Pinot, but the medium weight body means the fruit is delicate and lifted, not overly ripe and flat. Bishop's Peak is one of my favorite values in Domestic wines and offers a lot of complexity for the price. This would be a fantastic choice for a house red or a party as it is easy-drinking and sure to please everyone.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
I've always found the Bishop's Peak wines to offer a surplus of flavor for the cost. This Chardonnay is bright and fresh, with an uplifting amount of acidity and truly a lot of intricacy. San Luis Obispo is offering a lot of value and is a great alternative from the ever-increasing prices of NorCal wines.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WE 90

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
One of the Best Buys for under $20 in the store! This is a silky smooth and very drinkable Pinot Noir that would best be described as a “crowd-pleaser”! The red fruits, spice and savory flavors linger on the finish and seem to melt into your mouth. This is a great pick to go with lighter fare or even just as a cocktail before dinner.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Bodegas Norton "Privada" Family Blend Mendoza
Reviwer Picture By: Trey Beffa | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
The 2015 Norton Privada is made from a selection of the wineries best barrels of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine shows lots of “New World” characteristics. Rich, opulent and toasty, this wine shows a wonderful core of dark, spicy fruit. Hints of olive and sweet herbs add a layer of complexity. This wine is ready to enjoy now but will also develop nicely in a cellar over the next 5-10 years.

2016 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
The wine has one major flaw...it's just way too good for the price. Seriously...I think this wine would be taken much more seriously if it were twice as expensive and it definitely would hold it's own on the quality front. The Varner brothers have been crushing it with their Foxglove label for years now but this release is a notable step up in quality in my humble opinion. Lovely purity, perfectly ripe fruit, saline / coastal minerality and just the right textural weight without any new oak. This is the definition of a wine punching above its weight and I'm just thrilled to see some of the country's top critics recognizing that and shouting it loud and clear.
Top Value!

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/20/2019 | Send Email
From acclaimed Greystone winemaker Dom Maxwell comes this pure and precise take on Pinot Noir, equal to any Old World site in terms of quality. This wine is made from small batches of Pinot all fermented using wild yeasts, aged in French oak barrique for ten months, and bottled unfined and unfiltered to maintain complexity and texture. Greystone winery takes great care to gently handle the fruit and to ensure only the highest quality is released. Recently named "Winemaker of the Year" in Gourmet Traveller, Dom Maxwell is pioneering new techniques and gaining fast recognition. With the help of viticulturalist Nick Gill (of Tongue in Groove pedigree), Nor'Wester is displaying itself to be one of the most interesting and friendly wines on the shelf. Dusky tannin, delicate earth notes, dark cherry, with a medium-body and a great line of acidity are the markers of this wine from one of the most under-rated areas in New Zealand.
Top Value!

1988 Cambus 29 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Honey and grain notes dominate the nose at first which alternately reminds me of a light dessert but then also the over-sweet breakfast cereal I loved as a kid, such as Sugar Smacks. (Luckily, there's nothing so cloying going on here, but it's fascinating the ways that olfactory hues can trigger vivid memories of childhood.) Continuing to sniff down the trail, I get whiffs of creme brulee, light gooey caramels, and syrupy peaches... yet somehow the aromas display a certain lightness and restraint. Funny thing, that. On the palate there are flavors of vanilla cream, soft wood, and a bit of leather along with some gentle citrus notes. The flavors keep coming back to the grain and the honey though. And I keep getting sweet reminders of my childhood and Saturday morning breakfast cereal. Funny thing, that.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Reviwer Picture By: Neal Fischer | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Initial nosing displays a wine that is light and earthy, so there are welcome Burgundian tones to this Pinot Noir. In short time, though, more fruit note emerge to round out this New Zealand wine. Sour cherry, blackberry, and damson reveal themselves with a touch of pepper and a soft floral quality. Tart berries burst on the palate including not-yet-ripe blueberries and lingonberry sauce with just a little leafy green herbaceousness.

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Reviwer Picture By: Chris DePaoli | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Rich dark fruit, silky tannins, verve of acidity and a underbrush finish make this a complete Pinot, and an incredible value to boot. The Nor'Wester showcases the classic Kiwi fruit notes but doesn't let them ride over everything, restraining them with an earthy palette edge and smoke beams racing to a forest floor end. Fantastic food wine that will complement game or lamb especially well

2016 Domaine Frederic Esmonin Gevrey-Chambertin "Les Jouises" Vieilles Vignes
Reviwer Picture By: Sharon Kelly | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
I really love the nose of this wine which is wonderfully scented with cherries but it's really the intoxicating aromas of wild underbrush that draws me in. It's youthful and rustic on the palate with a firmness and intensity typical of Gevrey-Chambertin, but with some time in the cellar it will show its more complex aromas and flavors. For immediate enjoyment, let this loosen up in a decanter or pour a glass and let it sit while you cook dinner. I enjoyed this with mushroom and truffle flatbread and a simple green salad. Delicious.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Clos du Mont" Brut Champagne (2004)
Reviwer Picture By: Muriel Sarik | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
This is a very special champagne from one of my favorite producers. I still can't believe the quality for just $79.99. It drinks like a fine Puligny-Montrachet only more acidic and with bubbles. This is my celebration champagne, because it's a special bottle but doesn't break the bank. It's also great to drink with whole meal.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2014 St. Jean du Barroux "La Pierre Noire" Côtes du Ventoux
Reviwer Picture By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
A more serious offering the 2014 La Pierre Noir is a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Syrah with a nose of lead, pepper and black fruits. The palate bursts with spices and an array of berry fruits that run the spectrum from boysenberry all the way to black currant. The finish here is stupendous, with a soft echo of spice and black fruits that lingers on the palate for 45+ seconds before slowly disappearing from the back of the tongue. Bravo! This is a wonderful homage to the heights that can be achieved in Ventoux.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
DC 96 JD 95

2015 St. Jean du Barroux "La Source" Ventoux
Reviwer Picture By: Alex Pross | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Saint Jean du Barroux is in the top 2-3 producers in all of Ventoux one of the up-and-coming regions in the Cotes du Rhone. The 2015 La Source is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Carignan and 5% Cinsault which results in an earthy, briary nose of pipe tobacco, spice, black tea and animal notes. The palate is electric with notes of black and ripe red fruits perfectly accentuated with lively acidity and crunchy tannins. This is an insanely good red wine and has the complexity of a wine 3-4 times its price. A great introduction to the wonderful wines coming out of the Ventoux.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JD 93

Small Hand Foods Passion Fruit Syrup (8.5oz)
Reviwer Picture By: Adam Winkel | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
I've made passion fruit syrup from scratch in the past for my Sidewinder's Fang, and it's so much work to extract, boil, and strain all of those little arils. I was stunned by the quality and concentration of this artisanally bottled product. It's tropically fresh and delicious and I can actually fathom the piles of fruit that are generously reduced into this little bottle. It only seems like a splurge until you know what's in it and how much work it took to get it in there. This little bottle goes a long way.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose if full of wet stone, earth and stem with hints of spicy fruit coming in behind. On the palate the wine shows a medium structure and is a bit tart, but eventually opens and shows some weight. A long coiled finish shows lots of savory flavors.

Ferrand Dry Orange Curaçao (750ml)
Reviwer Picture By: Adam Winkel | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Mixing to the highest tiki standards, I picked up a bottle of this to make the classic mai tai and zombie. I had always kept a bottle of Grand Marnier on hand to round out my margaritas, but when I ran out of Grand Marnier I substituted this Ferrand concoction in my margarita instead and I liked it even better... a small measure brings a complex bass note without the candied sweetness. I also don't miss those squat Grand Marnier bottles hogging shelf space in my liquor cabinet so I can pour 3/4oz now and then. They shall not return. Ferrand's dry curacao is my one-stop orange liqueur now.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine shows a bit of earth with delicate, dark, Pinot fruit that is in the background. While on the palate the medium body shows a lightness with a tangy delicacy. The finish is savory, delicate and shows hints of earth and spice.

2014 Site Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is an intriguing blend of wet stone and spice and currently shows a bit of reticence in releasing all its aromatics now. On the palate the wine is surprisingly fresh, it has a supple, textural weight to it but isn't a thick, heavy example of California Syrah. The finish shows a bit of wet stone and a fair amount of structure, decant for an hour before drinking.

2014 Site Wines "Larner Vineyard" Grenache Ballard Canyon Santa Barbara
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is dark, yes it smells dark too, powerful, bold fruit bolts out of your glass enough that I was glad I was sitting down. On the palate the wine is tightly wound and the bold dark fruit, it's so coiled up that it's hard to distinguish individual flavors at this point, but they are bold. The finish looks to future promise, if I was sitting down to drink this wine I would have decanted it a couple of hours ago or done some quick power decanting. I'd like to come back to this wine in a couple of years and watch its evolution.

2014 Site Wines "Larner Vineyard" Red Blend Ballard Canyon Santa Barbara
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
In the glass this wine is dark, brooding and made me think it was going to be monolithic, that's why color is so misleading this wine is super fresh and balanced! In the nose aromas are fresh, lots of dark fruit without being over-ripe. On the palate a freshness of fruit dominates, focus intrigue and spice add to the dark fruit. The finish shows lots of lift at the back end that gather the wine together and make it a really intriguing blend. Very solid wine.

2016 Sans Liege "The Offering" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine grabs your attention immediately, bold, flashy, spicy in a somewhat sexy way, not too sweetish but really vibrant. On the palate you don't take a step back at all, the same flashy fruit accented by a briary like tang lifts the wine off your palate. The finish is balanced, focused and shows the same flavors throughout, very nice wine and a Bargain for California pricing.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose is very expressive, it says Pinot Noir in a more savory, earthy way that's more complex than a tutti frutti version. On the palate the wine shows good weight and structure coupled with a more Old World fruit, not over-ripe or under-ripe and flavors more akin to stem contact. Very good balance with some real lift in the finish an excellent bottle of wine for the price point.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Greg St. Clair | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The nose of this wine is filled with a delicate stone fruit with hints of sweet vanilla that gracefully frame the wine. On the palate it shows mid weight but has a supple textural richness accented by a nice acidic balance. The finish is standard but perhaps very good for $15 California Chardonnay, all in all an excellent value that shows character beyond a dose of toasty oak.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WE 90

2016 Aquinas North Coast Cabernet Sauvignon
Reviwer Picture By: Thomas Smith | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
I can be a little jaded when it comes to California cabernet values. There’s typically a crowded playing field between $10 and $15, which are all sourced from dubious origins, and taste of oak chips and dull, boring fruit. With that said, I was pleasantly surprised by the Aquinas Cabernet. It exceptionally walks the line between earthy and fruit, slightly savory and fruity. Plenty of density with black cherry, and blackberry, and a nice subtle tannin structure that brings balance to the glass, while keeping the wine upfront an enjoyable. I found myself going back to the glass again and again, finding new things and becoming totally entranced by this wonderful cabernet. This is an absolutely solid find that I thought we were retailing for a much higher price. At $15? It's an absolute steal.
Price: $15.95 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Foxglove Central Coast Chardonnay
Reviwer Picture By: Thomas Smith | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
Full confession: I’ve known Bob and Jim Varner for a while now. They’re regular visitors to the Redwood City store, and Bob got me my first job in wine production a few years ago. Regardless of how much we love the winemakers in Redwood City, we love their wines even more. Without a doubt, Foxglove is the best domestic value Chardonnay, period. They meticulously choose their vineyard sources for fruit that has brilliant natural acidity and bright fruit character so the wines can forego oak treatments and barrel aging. The result is a stunningly beautiful chardonnay that blows away anything even remotely near its price point. Here’s the kicker: the 2016 is the best vintage of this mainstay I have ever had. Racy and aromatic, with a creamy weight behind pure, chardonnay flavors of lemon and apple blossom. You deserve to have a case of this hanging around the house for a weeknight dinner, or whenever an unexpected guest drops by--I’m sure they’ll be impressed.

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Champagne
Reviwer Picture By: Shaun Green | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The quality of the Egrot Brut based on 2008 isn't as surprising when you consider that it is almost all Grand Cru Ay fruit (80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chard)and benefits from the wonderful talents of the Egrot team. The small does of Mutigny fruit provides a lovely texture and creamy notes layered over a nicely chalked minerality. Superb!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Reviwer Picture By: Ryan Woodhouse | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
The return of a best seller with a new name and package! The Nor'Wester from Greystone / Grey's Peak is basically a declassified bottling from their top notch, organically farmed estate in Waipara Valley. We had this wine omce before under the Thistle Ridge label. Winemaker Dom Maxwell is a highly regarded talent producing some of the countries most highly rated wines. Our long relationship with the team and Grey's Peak allowed us first dibs on this highly scored bottling. The wine delivers authentic Pinot Noir varietal characters of berry fruits, sous bois, smoke, clove, freshly turned earth. Medium bodied with food friendly acidity and fine tannins. Lovely length and balance of fruit vs savory elements. A very complete wines for the money thanks to our direct import program. Don't miss it.

2012 Glenelly 'Estate Reserve' Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch
Reviwer Picture By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | Review Date: 2/19/2019 | Send Email
I'm always excited to find wines from producers who venture out beyond their own backyard to across the globe, because it means they are so passionate and believe that wine region to be so good, they will go to great lengths to make wine there. This exquisite bottling is one such example of that, with May de Lencquesaing of Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande fame, leaving behind Bordeaux to explore the growing South African wine industry. She has taken her years of expertise in Bordeaux and has translated that to this powerful and intricate red blend in Stellenbosch. Anytime someone makes the move from one of the most renowned wine regions in the world to invest in a place she finds to be more exciting, I sit up to take notice of what drew this person to their new passion. This bottling is a delicious blend of classic Bordeaux flavors of cedar, black fruits, and leather, with some quintessentially South African flavors of dried herb, tobacco, and blackberry. The addition of Syrah adds nice softness and fruit and provides a needed contrast to the powerful structure and savory characters of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. If one of the leading ladies of the wine industry thought this was a wine worth making, I am certainly excited to get it into as many hands as possible.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 91 WS 90

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