Staff Favorites - Jim Barr

Jim Barr


2007 Lanessan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 11-08-2017
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I think of all the vintages from Lanessan, this is the most delicate, less aggressive one. Medium ruby in color, you get that classic cassis and blackberry presentation from this chateau, but with a less assertive characteristic, yet it still shows a powerful dimensional framework. The tannins are integrated, and soft, with fine depth, balance and soft complex, layered flavors. Rusty has informed me that this Gem will be one of our house reds for the next five to ten years, and that I need to bring home serveral caes for our wine cellar. Drink from 2013 to 2020. A REALLY NICE DRINKING VALUE! *****13.0% ABV *****
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Baron Fuente "Esprit" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-09-2015
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Produced from 50% Pinot Meunier and 50% Pinot Noir, this lovely Gem has an incredible perfumed nose of dried rose petals and a ripe field of strawberries. The color is a deep pink tone to the point that I am surprise that it was allowed to be release as a Rosé by the appellation control dudes and not turned down as a sparkling red wine (the French do not allow the Champagne producers to make red sparkling wine. Too bad!). With its very fine, well defined bead, this is a wonderful and an amazing sparkler on the palate. Bright, fresh, and focused, this Gem is complex, with floral notes and excellent fullness, and leaves a long, incredibly satisfying finish. The Bean has ordered me to bring home cases of this Champagne Roeé Gem for our long term consumption. She also ordered all of you to do the same. Great Value! *****12.5% ABV ****
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2014
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It is remarkable to me, and to much of our wine staff, some of the unique, profoundly produced Champagnes from the small producers that Gary Westby, our Champagne Wine Buyer, has discovered over the last decade. Virtually all of these producers, including the Aristons, are making sparkling wine strictly from estate fruit from Grand Cru recognized vineyard sites, and in small lots. As with any small producer, these wines are “hands-on” creations that are given extensive individual attention and long term aging before being disgorged. The Ariston “Carte Blanche’s” exquisite, superb quality is at a mind boggling low price vis-à-vis its style and complexity. Rich and authoritative both on its nutty, doughy yeasty nose and in the mouth, the very fine mousse leads to an amazingly rich, full style brut, with a long, intense finish. Some of you will probably not enjoy this Gem, due to the fact that you have gotten use to flavorless, bulk productions from the international, well-known, simply made name “brands,” but for those of you that seek complexity and profoundness in your Champagne, you will not find one even close in quality to this Gem at this price. The Guys (Rusty, Eby, The Beaner, and Rizzo) have forcefully made this our house sparkling wine forever. Don't be afraid to age this wonderful Champagne; it will only keep getting better. ABV 12%
Drink from 2014 to 2014
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Launois "Cuvée Réservée" Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-14-2013
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Produced from Chardonnay [obviously, since it is “Blanc de Blancs”], this amazing Gem throws tons of yeasty, nutty, creamy fruit at you both in the nose and on the palate, with brilliant complexity, and a lush, broad, and rich finish. The Bean has ordered me to bring at least one case of this home for our consumption in the next one to three-plus years. I will probably bring home more than that. 12.0% ABV
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2009 Pipeau, St-Emilion
Review Date: 10-31-2012
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A great vintage, a wonderful wine that can be consumed now and for the next few years with complete enjoyment, and, according to Rusty, this Gem will be one of our house reds for the next foreseeable future.
Drink from 2012 to 2012

Charles Baur Crémant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 03-04-2009
As our Alsatian wine buyer, Eric Story, pointed out to me, recently: “Most people outside of the region don’t think about Alsace for sparkling wine, but wait until you try this puppy!” He was right both times. Most people don’t know, and I couldn’t wait to have another glass after I tasted the first. This is an impeccably delightful, refreshing Brut rosé, produced entirely from Pinot Noir and bottle-aged on yeast for two years before disgorgement. The resulting wine is a sparkler that shows a lovely pinkish hue, very fine bead, and bright yeasty, strawberry and spicy fruit characteristics on the nose that carries well to the dry, clean, yet abundantly fruity palate. Try it with a grilled salmon dinner or seriously consider it for your next party. Anderson and the girls have informed me that this will be our house sparkler for spring and into summer, if it lasts that long. 12% abv
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart