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Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

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Westward "Single Barrel #B-236-11" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is full of caramel and orange rind, and some stone fruit in the background. On the palate for me...ok I had to add some water to this 131 proof was a bit too powerful for my delicate palate, but then a lot more intrigue, more honeyed than caramel character came forward with some elder-flower. Powerful, decisive spirit with real depth and persistence.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Lafage "Fundacio" Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is full of intrigue, a combination of savory, salty, spicy but not the overtly fruity character I had been expecting. On the palate the wine is broad, richly textured and the flavor spectrum shows a bit more ripe fruit, but a bit is the highlight there this is a savory wine. Lots of black pepper, green olive and savory herbs end up in the finish that are framed by elegant tannins. A very good wine that I would love to drink.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Alexana "Terroir Series" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is a swirling amalgam of earth, mushroom coupled with a wild fruit compote with hints of cinnamon and sage, pretty unique. On the palate the wine has a broad, rich and fleshy feel to it yet has a very central focus to the acidity that lifts the wine in the finish. Easy to drink but better suited for veal or roasted chicken meals.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2016 DeLille "Chaleur Blanc" Columbia Valley White Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is delicate and doesn't come across too herbal for the 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Semillon blend. On the palate the wine shows restraint in a classic White Bordeaux style however with less obvious wood. A medium bodied, very clean example of this category, my guess is that it will actually be better in a couple of years but a very solid wine.

2015 Keller Estate "La Cruz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-16-2019
I felt this wine was a bit of a throwback style without the overwhelming oak of the last century. The nose is a bit restrained but it is full throttle on the palate, a luscious, fleshy, full-bodied Chardonnay that does have a clean finish as the acid pops up and lifts it in the end. All and all for an under $20 Chardonnay you're getting a lot of meat on the bone here without the annoyance of being overly oaked. Solid wine for the price point.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Rodney Strong "Reserve" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-04-2019
A bold, expressive nose full of toast and smoke greets you from the glass. On the palate the wine has lots of barrel spice and a fair amount of tannin, for an elegant wine. This wine shows more of the Alexander Valley elegance and size than power, yet it finishes with a sturdy grip.

2017 Seabold Cellars "Olson Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-02-2019
The nose of this wine is full of spicy barrel toast, refreshingly not overwrought while on the palate the flavors show freshly baked apple, with a judicious amount of sweet toasty flavors. There's very crisp acidity in this wine and the body is actually fairly elegant, no extra weight or fat. Very bright finish with a refreshing lift.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Raul Perez "Ultreia St-Jacques" Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 05-28-2019
My previous experiences with Mencia Bierzo had always been filled with over-ripe and sweetish wines...I really was not looking forward to tasting this, but WOW was I surprised. The nose of this wine is filled with complex fruit, earth and spices not enough to list separately but as one they are wonderful. This wine shows incredible depth, spine and layers of character. You're getting I think this wine is really good? Well developed palate presence, long, long finish…this is a superb wine for the price.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 05-28-2019
While the critic's notes of ripe and chocolaty might make you think this wine is fat...it's not. The nose is complex, for me there's more herbal, spice and leather than sweet fruit. On the palate I first thought this is one of those ultra-polished winemaker wines but then the acidity popped up with a bit of tannin and I was quite surprised by the verve and lift in this wine. The flavors, while showing some complex berry character, mostly replayed the aromatics, lots of earth, spice, leather and carried into the finish. The finish was surprisingly long, I have to admit I didn't expect a lot out of this wine but it had exceptional balance and a intriguing flavors
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Cantina Andrian Trentino-Alto Adige Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 05-07-2019
I love this wine’s nose, it is a complex blend of apple blossoms and nutmeg, some stone fruits and wisps of crushed stone. On the palate shows richness but not without a superb central acidity. Slowly the flavors grow more complex cooked apple and nutmeg are the predominant flavors. The finish really seems to show size and depth with a truly persistent character. Generally, and it might seem strange coming from the Italian Buyer, I’m rarely impressed by Pinot Grigio and rarely ever buy one personally, but this wine is an eye opener, you should let it open your eyes as well!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

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

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 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

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 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

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

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.

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 08-01-2018
I was stunned by the superlative quality in this vintage of San Venanzio: 2016 has been just an exceptional vintage across Italy and most of Europe and it didn’t skip Valdobbiadene. The fruit in the nose of this wine is so pure, clean and vibrant it outgrows the appellation, the wine has so much minerality, clean focus yet still retains that Prosecco elegance and balance. Sensational finish!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-31-2018
The nose is full with layers of wild cherry and dense dark fruit while porcini, saddle leather adds to the complexity. On the palate this wine is a blockbuster, powerful, structured yet the fruit richness is still the dominant character as once again the wild cherry and porcini emerge. A long, powerful finish, balance and structured gives this wine a superb life ahead. Tiny Poggiarellino is one of Montalcino’s best-kept secrets, we discovered them in the 2000 vintage and ever since they’ve been a dominant presence at K&L..
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2017 Torti Pinot Noir Pavia
Review Date: 07-31-2018
The nose of this wine is full of strawberry compote, laced with a bit of spice and leather. On that palate this wine has a lushness that just flows across your palate but it is sparked by a balanced acidity and hints of tannin, it’s supple but with a backbone. The flavors carry on the strawberry flavors but the wine begins to show more savory character, hints of leather, and the tannins focus and lift. The wine has an eminent drinkability that immediately makes you want to just sit down drink the entire bottle by yourself, but you should resist and share, it will make your friends happy and think you’re a Sommelier!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Tenshen Central Coast White Blend
Review Date: 07-17-2018
The nose is full of ripe, melony fruit with more behind it than simple fruit, it has complexity there’s depth to the aromatics. On the palate the wine is broad, supple and for fans of rich California Chardonnay you’ll be thrilled, but for folks like me who want more balance and freshness the wine has that as well, it’s really well done and there’s no obvious remaining oak signature. The Viognier, Roussane and Grenache Blanc is not your everyday blend and for me and I had trouble at first categorizing the wine so that I could professionally think about it. The key to this wine is not to think about it, it will come to you after a while and it is just a real pleasure to drink. Easy enough to cocktail or if you have a fish dish that has a spicy vegetable medley to go with it this is your wine.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Mount Langi Ghiran "Cliff Edge" Shiraz Victoria
Review Date: 06-19-2018
The nose of this wine is bold and gives you a sense of ripeness but at the same time it’s not over the top. I was a little surprised by its balance, I’m not a fan of thick, heavy lifeless Syrah but this wine has some verve and snap to it. Don’t misunderstand this is still a highly polished, supple, warm and round wine it’s just that it does have some lift and energy to it. I was surprised that the alcohol was only 13.8%, not that it seemed higher but it would be hard to get a California wine to that level these days. Excellent wine-making and good fruit, bold grilled meat would be a nice accompaniment.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2013 Caprili Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 06-03-2018
The nose of this wine is full of a wild, gamey intrigue, whispers of garrigue, leather and spice flow from the glass. On the palate it’s broad, rich and supple while still retaining a taut freshness, a savory expression of Sangiovese with soy, umami and Tuscan dust. The wine finishes a bit more delicately than the richness of the palate would predict but it’s long, complex and decidedly focused. I really like this wine.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

Baron-Fuenté "7" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-16-2018
I must admit that these bubbles puzzled me at first, it was obviously Champagne, I read the label, it came in a Champagne bottle but there was something different. It took me about 10 minutes to figure it out, this wine just has a more vinous complexity to it, and the 7 years on the lees really changed the dynamic of the wine. Yes there were bubbles and it seemed like a regular Champagne on your tongue but the flavors were not so simple. I really liked this wine the more I tried it, the super dryness almost flinty on your palate then slowly the layers of brioche, spice and mineral emerge. The more I tasted it the more it seemed like Chablis with bubbles, so strident, focused and lemony tartness with bits of baking spice complexity, all it needed was the right dish to pair with it. Oysters immediately came to mind but I’m thinking lobster and butter is what this bubbly needs, the richness of the lobster and the vibrant focus of the Baron Fuente 7, wow, a perfect match.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2013 Bersano "Mantico" Barbaresco
Review Date: 01-09-2018
The nose is full of leather, earth, cedar, cinnamon and hints of red fruit, although this is a subtle wine, more classically Piemontese it isn’t ebullient fruity, it’s subtle, hidden and above all shy. On the palate you see this is Nebbiolo, and old school Nebbiolo at that, gritty, astringent, did I say shy? Yet the wine has a center that shows a bit more weight, it is balanced, has depth but is inherently reticent. Once on the palate this wine begins to expand shows a bit of that earthy, gritty, leathery character comes out with hints of smoke and mushroom. The more time this wine spends in a decanter or a glass it opens exponentially, adding little twists and turns, more grit and then wafts of violet and rose. This isn’t a Gaja Barbaresco at $20 a bottle, it’s a $20 Barbaresco but it has real intrigue and character and for me would be great with a wild mushroom risotto.
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-22-2017
I've always been a fan of this wine since we started bringing it in way back in 2001. It's always been the top price performer for the price point, but when I tasted the latest batch I did a double take. I had to ask Gary Westby if he had poured me the right wine, and he nodded at me and said ya, you figured it out, this batch is out of this world! There isn't a Champagne around that can compete at this price point with the Carte Blanche, layers of complex brioche, wonderful aromatics...wow.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

2016 Treves Petite Arvine Val d'Aosta
Review Date: 09-05-2017
I’m tasting this wine as it is just arriving in the country and the nose wine shows some juvenile character of simple apple, this happens with wines just arriving and shortly thereafter they usually blossom, just as this wine does, it quickly shows a more savory complexity, tarragon, star jasmine and quince. On the palate you immediately see this is a wine that has amazing depth. There is a dense viscosity that is palate coating yet in the same moment this wine is so light, so elegant it doesn’t seem possible to have that concentration. Then the minerality begins to crystallize on your palate, a textural phenomenon that seems gritty like I imagine quartz dust would. Experiencing this wine on your palate is amazing the fruit begins to emerge and it is more spiced quince than apple, then highlighted by the focused minerality it begins to coat your palate in this viscous yet gripping finish. Amazing wine, best with richer fish dishes, Lobster, Sea Bass, Halibut or Monkfish.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2014 Provenance Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-05-2017
The nose on this wine lets you know that it is underplaying, yes it's from Napa but there isn't any over the top sweetness to it. There's a subtle mix of earth, spice and fruit, none dominating another. On the palate the wine has a balanced, fresh feel it still has weight and texture but doesn't come across heavy. The finish is clean, balanced with lots of complex flavors, an excellent choice for a Napa Cab in this price point.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Ca de Medici "Remigio" Sorbara Lambrusco
Review Date: 08-27-2017
The nose is full of strawberry in an easy, vinous way that jumps from your glass. On the palate the wine is vibrant, lots of fruit with excellent balance, for the most part you'll feel this wine as dry although there is a hint of sweetness. Perfect for salumi and cheese!
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Amara Sicilian Amaro d'Arancia Rossa (750ml)
Review Date: 08-27-2017
A confession, I love Amaro, there’s a huge trend toward Amaro, vermouth and bitters but this one is really unique. The Sicilian orange peel just dominates not only in the aromatics but it is the signature flavor throughout. I frequently find Southern Italian Amaro too sweet for my taste this one is impeccably balanced. I love it over ice with a sprig of rosemary, sometime I add a splash of soda.
Drink from 2017 to 2017
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart

Casa Dragones Joven Sipping Tequila (750ml - ships as a 1.5L due to bottle shape)
Review Date: 06-15-2016
It’s not often I review Tequila but this one is I have to. This is a really unique product, the color makes you think that is an inexpensive, simple, un-aged spirit, but the nose immediately ends that train of thought. The nose is not one of those explosive, overpowering bolts of aroma that singe your nostrils the aromatics are really pure, intense and penetrating. It was enough for me to just smell this Tequila for a couple of minutes it was so fascinating while totally engaging and easily accessible. On the palate the depth of the aged flavors comes forward, wave after wave of cured Agave sweep across your tongue, no bite, no burn yet not fat just perfectly balanced. The finish….I can still taste it as I write this 10 minutes later, long, intense yet lifting. Superb spirit, not often you get to taste something like this.
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $274.99 Add To Cart

Montechiara Prosecco
Review Date: 04-20-2016
You can't find a better Extra Dry Prosecco at this price point, clean, richly textured, fresh, crisp so easy to drink with a wonderfully balanced mousse! This is the perfect afternoon refresher, just as you finished gardening or if you love Aperol Spritz this will be your companion mixer! Friends coming over before dinner aperitif, everyone loves a little Prosecchino!
Drink from 2016 to 2016
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-a-Box) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 10-07-2015
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While visiting Giovanni Blason in we spied some odd boxes stacked in a corner. I asked Giovanni, “What the hell are these?” He responded, “You won’t want any of those; you Americans like bottles.” I responded, “On the contrary we Americans like bargains, how much is that 3-liter box.” An answer, some brief calculations on my part and I said, “Okay, we’ll take 'em"! $19.99 for 3 liters (that's four 750ml bottles). Crisp, clean, refreshing with a elegant fruitiness, touch of tarragon and a hint of mineral. If you don't want to do the math that’s $5 a bottle! Giovanni tells me it lasts for more than 3 months in the refrigerator, I told him that couldn’t happen in mine! The wine is made predominantly from Friulano
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $28.99 Add To Waiting List

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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I love the smooth nature of this Champagne, that subtle richness of the mousse, just a creamy texture yet backed up by an excellent acidity, crisp, light and refreshing--the best of both sides. Such a deal, buy two!
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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Do I really have to encourage you to buy this? Wow... one of the few barrel fermented Champagnes left. So good, focus, texture, etc., etc. Damn, that's good.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
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A broad, creamy, texturally rich Champagne, lots of leesy complexity, yet remarkably well balanced, and for a song of a price. Only because we import this directly can you get prices like this with quality as well!
Drink from 2015 to 2015

Sorelle Bronca Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry
Review Date: 05-13-2015
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Valdobbiadene is the heart of Prosecco for me, perhaps not geographically but certainly stylistically. Here the wines have more soul; they vineyards are extraordinary, splattered over a maze of steeply sloping hills, not one big mass but a conglomeration of hundreds of small growers. It is here that the Bronca Sisters (Sorelle Bronca) make their Extra Dry Prosecco DOCG, theirs is an excellent expression of soil, sun and fruit, superb balance and incredibly refreshing, the hallmarks of great Prosecco.
Drink from 2015 to 2015
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2010 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 04-20-2015
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One of Chianti Classico's most important wineries and their most important Chianti. I love the Rancia's richness, structure and captivating aromatics and persistence. However what really sets this wine apart is its aging potential. If you've been lucky as I have to taste many older vintages this wine blossoms into something truly special. It is at this stage the wine's pedigree shows and its tremendous complexity. Then this is the 2010 vintage....it's great! Don't wait.
Drink from 2015 to 2015

Canard-Duchêne Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-26-2013
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Rich, complex, with great central focus, a hint of biscuity aromatic, supple on the palate at this price an outrageous steal!
Drink from 2013 to 2013
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth (1L)
Review Date: 07-09-2009
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If you have never tasted this product you must. If you think you know what vermouth is think again; this will absolutely blow you away. Inordiately complex, so full of spice, balanced...it is really good. Try it on the rocks with a twist and a splash, straight up or in a Manhattan.
Drink from 2009 to 2009
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

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