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Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

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2015 Vietti "Castiglione" Barolo
Review Date: 03-19-2019
You’ve probably heard that the 2015 vintage in Barolo is special and with the Vietti “Castiglione” it goes even a little further. The heralded ripeness of the vintage does not play out in a “fruit bomb” concept the wine carries its added weight as muscle and structure, but it has no fat, its focused. The nose shows more herb and rose petal and bitter orange blossom initially and then drops into earth, leather hints of truffle and smoke. On the palate the wine shows considerable lift and elegance for such a powerful wine it has textural richness but more as an underpinning than the principal feeling. The flavors are much like the nose with a more savory character and less floral at the moment. The finish is balanced, long, and shows depth, tannins are there but are supple and not harsh. Truly an excellent representation of the vintage from one of the regions best producers.
Price: $52.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 91

2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 03-19-2019
The 2015 vintage shows some ripeness on the nose but is still definitive Monsanto. The nose has the classic earth, leather, spice nose with layers of wild brush, hints of smoke and wild cherry that the Castello di Monsanto historically shows. On the palate the Sangiovese’s length shows immediately and adds lots of structure and balance to this richer vintage. I love Monsanto they’re always a power and precision wine and this vintage is that, the flavors are a mix of earth, spice, this wine is always more savory than fruity but, in this vintage, the wild cherry shows a little more and texturally there is an extra cushion adding to the depth. The finish shows the intertwining of tannin and acids over a long and balanced structure, you can drink this wine now, I’d decant 2-3 hours first but Monsanto’s real power rests in its ability to age. This wine will last 20+ years without any problems and at 10 years from the vintage you’ll be able to get an evolved and mature wine that will lose most of its youthful sassiness. I’m putting this into my cellar you should too.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2013 Les Betes Curieuses Muscadet Sévre et Maine Monnieres-Saint Fiacre
Review Date: 03-12-2019
The nose of this wine is so pure, filled with fresh, Bartlett pears that just flow from your glass. On the palate the wine has a razor edged acidity, which is good because it has a weight to it but the combination is scintillating. The finish just begs for food but even as a cocktail wine I would love to drink this.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 03-12-2019
The nose of this wine is full of spice, shows hints of black pepper and is wonderfully expressive. On the palate I would never have guessed this was Syrah, this wine is so lifted, so balanced, fresh and easy it has to be the soil. The flavors are dark and show a bit of garrigue but they are not the classic black pepper Syrah flavors, but the wine doesn't lack flavor. I really like this wine, it's balance and freshness are superb, I'm not always a lover of Syrah but this and for the price are an exceptional value.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2017 Château de L'Ou Côtes du Roussillon Rouge
Review Date: 03-12-2019
The nose is seductive, simple yet so real, swirling aromatics of fresh fruit, but fresh fruit not candied or cooked. On the palate this wine is just amazingly rejuvenating, so easy, so balanced, so full of flavor it's a pleasure to drink. The finish is balanced, shows lots of bright red fruit....I just noticed this wine is $11.99, OMG, this is way too good for this price point, such a pleasurable experience to drink.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2016 Florent Cosme "Utopie" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 03-12-2019
The nose of this wine is exotic, perfumed, wild and full of intrigue. On the palate the wine shows breadth, there is a bit of residual sugar but I don't find it sweet it just gives a broader texture to the feel. The flavors are multiple types of spiced apples, full of baking spices, caramelized and extraordinarily aromatic. There is a long finish and I mean long, it does show a bit of residual sugar but paired with the right cheese or dish, this wine is dynamite!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 93 WS 92

2016 Scattered Peaks Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-06-2019
The nose is full of dense, ripe, chocolaty currant aromatics that burst out of your glass. On the palate the textural presence is dominant there's just a wave of ripe, dark fruit that fills your mouth with its boldness. The finish is more of the same, bold, dramatic, ripe fruit that shows its supple, smooth richness.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2017 Tensley "Colson Canyon Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Syrah
Review Date: 03-06-2019
The nose is subtle, it isn't a fruit bomb Syrah but a wine that shows more place than wine-making. On the palate the flavors are more savory, wild herbs, mesquite and a grilled meat character but with hints of a plumy character in the back. Hints of black pepper and the savory herbs and wild brush character highlight the finish. Compared to many California Syrah that are bursting out of your glass this wine shows more restraint and more breeding.

2012 Glenelly 'Estate Reserve' Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch
Review Date: 03-06-2019
The nose is full of barrel spice backed up by earth, tobacco and gravel. On the palate the wine shows a supple weight, very smooth but with a linear axis that gives the wine some length and freshness. The finish is more of the earth and spice but the overall character comes across as smooth and supple
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 91 WS 90

2016 Tenuta Sette Ponti "Oreno" Toscana
Review Date: 03-05-2019
The nose is this wine is profound, I've had it several times now over the course of years but it has gone from an effusively if not ebullient fruity wine in its primary years to a more focused, savory and complex wine. The nose has layers of earth, spice and density and while it has lots of fruit underneath it doesn't smell new worldish. On the palate the wine has density, ultra fine tannins that show an exquisite balance between suppleness and muscle. The upfront Merlot gives texture to balance out the Cabernet Sauvignon's structure and the Petit Verdot with a bit of muscle and color. Long, long powerful finish a wine of tremendous aging potential, truly outstanding.

2015 Varner "El Camino Vineyard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-05-2019
The nose is subtle, it doesn't burst out of the glass with wood or fruit aromatics but I find just beneath the surface a more savory bent. On the palate the wine shows a sinewy richness, not just a burst of flesh but a wine whose muscle and power are contained inside. The flavors show more earth than fruit and the faintest hint of barrel but the real show here is the finish. Long, balance and showing of that sinewy richness this wine out performs the category at this price point. It shows more of an old world lean to it than a bold California flavor.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 92

2017 Routestock "Route 121" Carneros Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-05-2019
The nose is full of complex apple aromatics with hints of barrel spice. On the palate the wine has good weight but still comes in at 13.9 abv. The apple flavors become a little more baked apple and add to the complexity. There is lots of textural richness to this wine but it has a sprightly acidity that seems to lift the richness into a brighter finish than I first expected. A solid wine at the price point
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

2014 Wild Horse "Cheval Sauvage" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-05-2019
I enjoyed this wine and wasn't really expecting this style of California Chardonnay at this price point. The wine has a real stony nose, shows more earth almost Chablis like in aromatic but with broad strokes of California richness. On the palate the wine shows depth and that stony aromatic plays out with an less obviously "fruity". The palate does show a lot of rich texture but with focus that really gives you the feeling of power in the wine. The finish is solid, not infinite but really brings the wine together. At the price point this is a steel
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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.

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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 "Larner Vineyard" Grenache Ballard Canyon Santa Barbara
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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
Review Date: 02-19-2019
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 Château de la Negly "L'Ancely" La Clape
Review Date: 02-12-2019
The nose is full of a briar/brambly fruit, subtly spicy with hints of white pepper. This is not a big spicy Syrah based wine it is 80% Mouvedre that gives the wine a more approachable, less tannic (it still has tannin) than a similarly priced Cote Rotie. On the palate the wine is supple, round, shows depth, balance and breeding, the flavors are less fruity than the nose and show a more savory bent accenting earth and dead leaf. The proverbial iron fist in the velvet glove this wine has great potential while still being pleasant to drink now. You should throw a few into your cellar.
Drink from 2019 to 2019

2016 Olema Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-12-2019
The nose of this wine is complex, layered and shows a slightly more savory character rather than a bowl full of ripe berries. While this is not ebulliently fruity it doesn't show the green olive/tomato leaf under ripe character, this is fully ripe and you can see that on its palate presence. The wine has a weight and density to it but it shows great length and lift, characteristics I usually don't find in California Cabernet in this price range. The finish is long, balanced and shows a bit of an umami earthiness, a great deal at the price range.

2017 Olema Sonoma County Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-12-2019
The nose is full of nutmeg and alspice with delicate hints of vanilla. On the palate I was truly surprised by the weight and dimension of this wine at the price point, very well made with a great balance not too much sweet fruit or oak presence. The supple texture and good acidic balance give the wine weight but makes it light on the palate a pleasure to drink.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JD 91 JS 91

2015 Petra Zingari Toscana
Review Date: 12-10-2018
The nose of this wine was captivating from the get go, I had expected a innocuous flow of overripe fruit but this wine has an incredible nose full of vibrant, focused fruit character, you can smell the Sangiovese’s cherry like brilliance, the warm cassis of the Merlot and Petit Verdot and the spice from the Syrah. On the palate I was once again a surprised, excellent balance with a lifting acidity that freshens and focuses the fruit array. The flavors are bold yet restrained and the wine has a supple feel across your tongue. The finish is long and persistent, it really holds the flavors for a long time, an excellent wine at a steal of a price.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

Thierry Thibault Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-27-2018
This is classic Champagne, the nose is tight, clean focused with an apply tartness softened with a bit of brioche while remaining super clean it's a delight. On the palate the wine is very dry, really tart and shows levels of complexity you generally don’t find in Champagne in this price range. It’s really long, focused and that acidity holds your interest as the complex apple and brioche emerges and gently softens. The finish is remarkably long, direct and boldly lets you know there is no hint of sweetness while spotlighting the complex apple character. Line up your Oysters, this is the wine for them!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2012 Tenuta di Sesta "Duelecci Ovest" Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 11-23-2018
This is the first vintage for this wine labeled with a vineyard designate, which translates to “Two Oaks West,” and it was planted in 2001. The nose of this Riserva is layered with subtle bits of leather, iron-rich earth, rosemary and wild strawberry. On the palate the wine shows an understated power, a smooth, regal flow full of spice, earth and wild fruits but it is presented with a particular verve and a lifted finish. Aged for almost three years in 20-hectoliter Slavonian oak, this wine is beautiful now but will age incredibly well for another 15 to 20 years. Only 3,000 bottles made.

2013 Ronchi "Ronchi" Barbaresco
Review Date: 11-13-2018
I love this wine, just to be upfront with you. Why do I love it because it has a classic feel and flavor while still being drinkable at a young age. The nose is full of smoke, truffle, leather and earth but braced by hints of forest fruits, freshening and giving focus. On the palate there is a supple, textural richness that smoothes out the fine grain tannins to a point where you don’t really notice them, while the flavors are once again classic, smoke, leather but with more fruit than earth showing here. The finish is one of balance, depth and makes you want to take another sip, this is a really good wine and for the price exceptional. This is no flash in the pan either it will age well for another decade plus!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2010 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-07-2018
The nose of this wine is full of savory, earthy notes but with hints of a plumy fruit. On the palate this wine has great poise, balance it is perfectly balanced to drink now while it should age well for another decade plus. The flavors are old school, no fruit bomb it has a complex blend of Middle Eastern spice, leather and almost no American oak signature, which for me is huge. The finish is long, intense and highlights what a superbly easy wine this is to drink.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-06-2018
The nose of this wine is seductive, enticing it isn’t one of those candied fruit Pinots this is a wine of distinction, breeding and obviously comes from great vineyards. The fruit character is spicy, shows a bit of earth, stem, leather but enough sweet fruit behind it that you wouldn’t call it earthy. It effortlessly balances on your tongue, just a bit of tannin frames it on the palate and allows the smoky fruit opens up to another level. Lots of lift and brightness in the finish and excellent wine at this unbelievable price point.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2016 Passopisciaro "Passorosso" Etna Rosso Sicilia
Review Date: 11-06-2018
Passopisciaro Passorosso is a stunning wine the nose is full of smoke, strawberry compote, leather, spice and gives you the sensation of having a lot more to give I couldn’t describe everything, it’s just overflowing. On the palate this wine makes a very bold statement, it fills your mouth with a luscious density that is a new dimension for Etna Rosso, so much richer than most, supple, giving yet still showing its structure. The flavors are saturated; waves of sweet, strawberry fruit followed by flows of herb and leather then more fruit and again more fruit. This is superbly balanced, poised and focus. A truly outstanding wine!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WE 91

2016 Fess Parker "The Big Easy" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2018
The nose of this wine is dense, ripe Syrah fruit that rolls out of the glass. On the palate the sweet density is obvious and the tannins are polished and fine while exhibiting touches of vanilla and spice. The finish fills up the middle of your palate expanding in a wide, broad expanding richness. If you're having spicy BBQ'ed ribs this could be your go to wine!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 JD 92

2015 Giovanni Manzone "Il Crutin" Langhe Nebbiolo
Review Date: 10-28-2018
Monforte d’Alba is a village--you can’t really say town because it only has 2,000 or so residents, but it is home to some of the best vineyards in Barolo. Vineyards mostly run from 1,100 to 1,500 feet on steep hillsides and you can run into all of the local winemakers in the village's few cafés. It has a big city feel (okay, I’m kidding a bit)... its center is a crossroads and if you hang out there long enough everyone in town will pass by you. Monforte d’Alba has always been my favorite commune in Barolo. Yes, I like a lot of them, but Monforte d’Alba being more or less the center commune, it is my calibrating tool. The wines in general have more power than La Morra or Barolo and aren’t as earthy and gritty as Serralunga can often be. I visited Giovanni Manzone years ago and what I remember most about the visit was his gentle nature. You could tell by shaking his and that he worked in the countryside...the roughness reminded me a bit of Nebbiolo; it can be a bit rough too. Giovanni has some of the village’s premier Barolo Crus. The family started here back in 1925 and piece by piece added small patches. They now produce three different single vineyard bottlings: Bricat, Castelletto and Gramolere. The Nebbiolo, Il Crutin, reminds me a bit of Giovanni: placid, deep and real. It’s aged in 700-liter barrels for about six months before bottling. The wine is gorgeous--okay, 2015 is a sensational vintage, but this wine almost always thrills me with its aromatics. Did I mention 2015 is a sensational vintage? Okay, you’re going to love this wine’s supple character without giving up any Nebbiolo-ness. I’d drink it with Agnolotti dal Plin.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$16.99

2015 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Year after year as these vines get older Giampaolo Motta’s vineyard work begins to stand out as the truly dynamic portion of this wine. The wine is a delicious blend of 60% Sangiovese, which gives the wine a structural backbone, 25% Merlot, which adds some meat, density and richness, with Cabernet Sauvignon lending authority and direction even at this small amount, while Alicante Bouschet adds some personality, spice and a little bit of nastiness—it kind of reminds me of Giampaolo—and it all seamlessly blends together. On top of this the 2015 vintage is truly stunning, the wine is dynamic, structured and drinking deliciously now.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2017 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige
Review Date: 10-02-2018
I first tasted this wine last April at Vinitaly and was sold immediately just by the nose. It is full of crunchy cranberry, savory, smoky, black pepper, fresh herbs, layer after layer it just seems to go on and on. Yet this is a 12.5% abv wine, there’s no big, muscular density it just seems to float while still being vibrantly flavorful. On your palate the wine is supple, yet has a bit of tannin just to frame the flavors but oh is this wine gorgeous, just flavor after flavor of savory, spicy while still being elegant. Great lift in the finish the wine is fresh and easy, ready to be drunk now but you should drink it cellar temperature with a plate of speck or prosciutto!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Blason Pinot Grigio Isonzo del Friuli
Review Date: 10-02-2018
The nose is full of quince and elderflower, delicate yet vibrant and draws you in with hints of more depth. On the palate the wine has more acidity and minerality than in previous vintages while not having lost any of the textural richness. The finish really displays the minerality and focus and there’s a lot of lift in the finish. For me having tasted every vintage of Blason Pinot Grigio since 2002 this is without a doubt the best version they have produced.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$8.99

2015 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 09-19-2018
The nose of this wine says refined from the beginning, layers of mineral, sweet dark cherry, swirls of vanilla bound from the glass. On the palate you find this is a powerful wine, sweet, polished tannins roll across your tongue blossoming into lustrous rich fruit. I’m not a fan of American oak but this is all French oak and it really gives the wine a polish and elegance without becoming the dominant flavor. Full bodied and focused this wine gives you the best of Tempranillo while adding hints of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. I really liked this wine’s polish, focus and elegant flavors.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2016 Emmanuel Darnaud "Les Trois Chenes" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 09-19-2018
The nose of this wine is powerful, dense yet aromatically open and fresher than I usually get for 100% Syrah based wines. On the palate the wine has power yet it isn’t clumsy or overly tannic it is remarkably balanced and open for a wine of this size and it shows a lot of secondary fruit complexity, earth, spice, pepper. Superb balance while showing a bit of tannin it is just a framework not obtrusive at all. I really liked this wine and will buy some for my cellar, I know… that’s a shocker, me and Syrah but this is sensational wine for the price.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 92 VN 92

Jean de La Fontaine "La Flatteuse" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-19-2018
The nose of this wine is more masculine than its non rosé counterpart, deeper, more complex, more savory flavors and there seems to be muscle lying underneath. On the palate the flavors broaden, show a bit of grip and depth while the more savory Pinot flavors come out. The finish is bold, a real rosé statement of power and flavor and shows a lifted finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Jean de La Fontaine "L'Éloquente" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-19-2018
The nose on this wine is brilliant, clean and full of white flowers it is inviting, I was hooked from the get go. On the palate I’m always interested first in the balance and this wine’s balance is stunning, (I still can’t believe the price/quality) vibrant, long and remarkably persistent. The flavors pick up a bit of brioche to add to a focused, floral center. Long and complex finish this is a stunningly good bottle of wine for the price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2013 Tenuta Roveglia Merlot
Review Date: 08-15-2018
The nose of this wine is savory, a mix of salted plums, dried cherries, hints of leather and dried herbs. On the palate the wine shows a richness that fills your mouth while still being focused, it isn’t fat, it’s just richly textured. The flavors develop showing more plum, cassis followed by a complex blend of savory herbs and bits of spice. While being a seemingly lowland wine it’s harvested in the first week of October allowing the grape to become physiologically ripe not just harvested on the sugar bloom. The finish shows more mineral and earth to go along with the rich but savory fruit and the stainless steel fermentation allows the earth and the fruit to come together without any oak getting in the way.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$11.99

2016 Substance "Sunset Vineyard" Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-14-2018
The nose of this wine was a complex blend of savory herbs coupled with fig, it’s not grassy at all and I find it quite intriguing and truthfully caught me a bit by surprise I was expecting something simpler. On the palate the wine has weight, depth and sorry, substance, showing a truly powerful presence, the flavor is once again more savory than fruity but a touch of Bergamot peel gives the wine even more intrigue. The finish is very lively; the wine has excellent acidity and great lift on the finish. The wine seems to show more terroir, more vineyard site than winemaking and I find it a remarkable wine, it really surprised me with its quality, complexity and balance for its weight.

El Rey Zapoteco Reposado Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 08-14-2018
The nose of this Mezcal is classic Agave but in a very restrained way, I’m used to the overly effusive smoky, herbaceous, campfire nose and those characters are here but not so over the top. On the palate those same flavors show similar restraint but with real definition. It’s very well balanced and a moderately proofed spirit so not too powerful. The finish is once again, focused, restrained yet full of flavor, this is a really solid Mezcal and a really good price too.
Price: Hidden View Price

2011 Roda I Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-14-2018
The nose of this wine is complex, layers of spice, plum and earth flow from the glass but you can tell it’s just a fraction of what’s under the surface. While sniffing the wine I was struck immediately by the lack of American Oak, it’s something I just can’t take and this wine uses all French Oak, and because of that you’re able to see much more of the wine and terroir than just the dill flavored American Oak. On the palate this wine is powerful, deeply textured and structured but never in a gritty or grippy way, just sweet tannins. The finish is telling me this is just the beginning, this is a wine that will have a long life and while you could drink it now the future is where this wine will blossom. Excellent wine.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 DC 95

2017 Vigneti Massa "Terra" (Piccolo Derthona) Timorasso Colli Tortonesi
Review Date: 08-08-2018
OK, I love Timorasso, it is such an incredible grape and offers so much it’s a shame it’s not known better. The Piccolo is the winery’s entry level and it shows lots of inviting Bartlett pear and stone fruit in the nose. On the palate it shows a bit softer edge, round, supple fruit marked by a vibrant central acidity bringing the flavor focus back to the center of your tongue, giving a long lasting finish that shows power and a bit of tannin. This wine would be perfect for a full fleshed fish like halibut or swordfish and at only 12.5% ABV it’s a delight. It’s also a perfect entry wine to understand Timorsasso before you move up the scale to the big boys!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Fromm "Cuvée H" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 08-08-2018
This is Pinot Noir; the nose is full of spicy, wild cherry, layers of an earthy complexity, coupled with dried flowers and hints of herbs. On the palate you can feel the 50% whole cluster fermentation; it adds a frame and focus to the wine letting its natural balance show. The flavors are wild cherry, violet, and show a hint of sauvage then the earthy, spiciness takes hold leaving a more savory character as the dominant personality. The finish is long, showing great balance and lift and the flavors carry on for some time. I’d want to match this wine with duck breast or wild fowl; it has the complexity but doesn’t have any extra fat to need anything bigger.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 08-08-2018
The nose of this wine shows focused fruit, less of the overtly effusive character this wine showed in the past. While there are arrays of fruit aromatics they seemed restrained while showing an assortment of fresh berries rather than any jammy notes. On the palate there is more evident tannin, focusing the textural experience onto the center of your tongue where it gives a more claret like expression. The flavors are restrained, fresher blackberry with a smidgen of leather and hints of wild herb. Overall this is a departure from the past for this wine, more in my palate direction, it seems less over the top fruity, more restrained and balanced.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JD 92 RP 90

2016 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-08-2018
The nose of this wine is bold, toasty vanillin and almost makes me think of Rombauer. However on the palate the wine changes dramatically from my expectations. On the palate the wine shows more freshness and balance than the nose portrayed and hints of apple and spice poke through. The finish is long, intense and shows a lot of the toasty wood but this is no oaky fruit bomb this is a wine that has depth, balance and I think with a bit of age will reveal more underneath its vanilla toasted exterior. Currently a cocktail style wine but I’d like to see this wine again at the end of the year. It really surprised me.

2017 Margerum "Riviera" Central Coast Rosé
Review Date: 08-08-2018
The nose of this wine has a delicate cranberry character with the emphasis on delicate as everything in this wine is. At only 11.3% alcohol this is a delight to find in California, bright acidity, subtle flavors and light on the palate. Very refreshing, clean and bright with a tangy, crunchy finish. I liked this wine, balanced , easy to drink and I could see it as the perfect afternoon picnic wine.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92 W&S 90

2017 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio Alto Adige
Review Date: 08-08-2018
The nose of this wine is really complex, spiced apple, stone fruits with hints of mineral. On the palate the wine is alive, lots of richness with incredibly zippy acidity that really balances out well. The flavors get more complex on the palate with more baked apple spices that emerge and the mineral presence becomes more dynamic. A long and intense finish (I can hardly believe I’m writing that but it really is) gives a vibrant and long aftertaste. I’ve known Peter Zemmer’s wines for a long time but I have to say this one caught me by surprise, it was outstanding, even more so for the price.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2010 Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-07-2018
The nose of this wine shows delicate hints of white flowers followed by a touch of brioche like complexity, intriguingly delicate aromatics for a fairly ripe vintage. On the palate the wine has incredible acidity giving its center the focus of the wine while the brioche flavors expand and show hints of bergamot and white flowers. The finish is incredibly long and nuanced and shows this wine is just an infant. The wine has very good weight but the acidity gives the wine a really dry character. I’d suggest a couple of years in the cellar or if you’re anxious now try some fresh oysters.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

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