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Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

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2016 Black Slate "Porrera" Priorat
Review Date: 09-14-2019
The educator in me loves these Black Slate wines. The nerd in me loves these wines. The hedonist in me loves these wines. Priorat that smells and tastes like this, how can you not? This aromatic red has sappy dark red fruits and berries jump out of the glass. They are backed by earth and spice and a fine herbal note. There is a sun drenched afternoon scrambling on a scrubby rocky mountainside quality to the nose. The wine explodes on the palate. It is a big impact wine; it plays broad and round but not heavy. There is also a liveliness to it, it is not content to just sit on your palate. The acid helps focus the finish and really brings out the llicorella earthy minerality. This is where the nerd come in. The llicorella or slate soils located around Porrera are some of the oldest soils in the region. The eastern location of the village brings cooling mediterrean breezes. This is where the Vi de Vila system comes in. Let’s dig down into the nitty gritty of this region, why are the villages different, why are certain varietals planted where they are. This series of wines is a crash course in one of the great wine regions of the world and it is affordable The educator, nerd and enthusiast are all happy with this wine..
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 92

2015 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-13-2019
This is always a wine that you have to pay attention to--but it is really hard not to. The nose is great. It is everything that I want a Rioja to do. It is intense, complex, yet restrained. It gives you everything: dark fruit, spice, earth, oak, but it is integrated and settled, in that no one component jumps out in front of the other. It is just a pleasure to smell and to anticipate that first sip. The promise of the nose is delivered on the palate. This is a full-bodied red that is not heavy; it is lively without edges. These are deep and harmonious flavors that continue to roll on the palate during its long finish. I know I am biased, but this is a ridiculously good wine; and it's in contention for the best red in the shop at the price point.

2016 Sidewood Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-11-2019
This is mouth-watering Syrah. I have a Pavlovian response to the aromatics in this wine. The rich, intense, dark fruit that is backed by savory herbal tones and mellow spice makes me immediately think of lamb chops. Once I have grilled lamb on my mind I start to salivate. I am a simple creature. This is primal Syrah for me. It is not the soft pretty mouth full of berries. This is dark cherry, smoke, herbs with really well-managed tannins and a fresh mouth-watering finish, and that is not just me thinking about Lamb. Savory cool-climate Syrah from Australia, I am a fan.

2018 J. Bouchon "Canto Sur" Maule Valley
Review Date: 09-11-2019
I love this wine. The easiest way to think about this is like a Chilean Cotes-du-Rhone. But it is so much more than that. This is Chilean. It is not trying to be anything else. Functionally at the dinner table it is a CdR. In every other imaginable way, it is Chilean. Nowhere else in the world would you find these grapes blended together. Nowhere else would it make sense to do so. The Carignan, Pais and Carmenere all bring something to the party and that they all work really well together. The later brings structure while both of the former brighten, round the mid palate, soften the green component of Carmenere and add a delicate spice. Bright fruit, soft tannins and spice. The aromas and flavors are brighter, deeper, more complex and, importantly, different than the French wine that I have been comparing it to. This is a delicious wine that is different yet familiar and though modestly priced 30 minutes in a decanter makes this blossom.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 09-09-2019
I have always liked the wines from Quivira, especially their Sauvignon Blancs. I am very happy to finally be introduced to this bottling this is the next level to their wines but not at the next level price. It is ripe yet restrained. It is medium full-bodied with depth, complexity, and presence. It is refreshing and crisp but not tart. This wine is perfect company. It is easy if you need it to be but if you want more there is plenty to it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2007 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-06-2019
This wine does everything that you want a Gran Reserva to do, and because it is from our friends at Puelles it is a fantastic bargain. The nose tells it all; it is deep, rich with that perfect combination of berry and oak spice. There is a warmth (note not alcoholic) think warm room after being outside in the cold warmth, warmth like winter holiday warmth. It is just spicy, rich and inviting. The wine in has that “settled in” feeling, everything is just where it needs to be, fruit, oak, soft tannins, spice and a very fine earthy note. This delivers complexity but does not want you to admire it, it wants to liven up the occasion. This is a great follow up to the terrific 2005 vintage.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 Zorzal "Eggo - Tinto de Tiza" Mendoza
Review Date: 09-05-2019
This is a kaleidoscope wine. I love this metaphor. I love this wine, maybe a little more than I should, but the wine itself makes me happy and it gave me this new way of looking at wine. This is a completely different way of looking at Malbec. Different in that it is from grapes from the Gualtallary Valley, with its higher elevation, larger diurnal shifts, and (more importantly to this wine), calcareous soils. Different in that it is fermented and aged in concrete eggs (hence eggo). The core of this wine is Malbec, beautiful dark fruit with softer tannins and floral lift. Where it is different is that it is higher-toned, balanced with savory notes and mineral drive. The wine is delicious. This gives me so much pleasure because of the associations that are made. Turn the lens and the fruit, earth, spice, and savory notes make this wine feels Italian. Turn another lens and the fruit deepens and pops at the same time with a fun spice note, and now the wine feels like a cool-climate Syrah. When you focus on the minerality, the chalky note would make a Sancerre (blanc) jealous. This wine is a journey. Every sip and sniff there is something new and different. A kaleidoscope wine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2018 Aurore Dezat Sancerre
Review Date: 09-04-2019
This wine has been charming me over the last several vintages, this could be my favorite. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to look at it I have a very low bar for wines from this appellation. I ask for 2 things acid and minerality. If it has those two things, done. I will drink it. I will enjoy it. This is like licking citrus juice off of a piece of Marl; tangy, citrusy with a very fine dusty minerality. It is sooo good! It is so much more than a simple wine, it is elemental. It is definitely worth a case or two.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 08-16-2019
What has really jumped out to me about Malbec is how pretty it can be. My earliest exposures, like almost everyone else, were to the simple, ripe, maybe a little oaky, maybe a touch reduced, with a little spice, everyday bargain Malbec. I know that I have changed since that introduction, but so has Malbec. The varietal is super charming, with bright fruit, floral notes, easy tannins, and just a hint of that spice. This wine is that reminder. Showing dark berry aromas that have an almost violet-like floral lift, it is medium-full bodied, with richness, but it is not heavy. The lifted fruit is balanced with enough tannin and just a hint of earth and spice. Easy but not simple. A great everyday red, with enough oomph to partner with a rich meal but easy enough to sit and enjoy with nothing more than good company.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2018 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 08-13-2019
I love this Pinot Noir. For many reasons, but first an foremost, it is just delicious. This is made with "no sulfur" and before you check out if those are trigger words for you please wait. This is not one of those wines. This is what almost all of those wines wish they were. This is meticulously made Pinot Noir (all Pinot Noir should be made meticulously), this is clean and very characterful but not funky there is a delicious savory note, but it is just a note. I love that this wine has a companion, the "Cincuenta Cinco", both wines come from the exact same vineyard, it is a chance to try two really good wines that showcase the minimal winemaking and the differences that it creates, I love learning oportunities! If you stick with me this wine has almost everything that I want from Pinot Noir; sappy fruit with layers of different colored fruits and berries, the right amount of earth and spice to accentuate and lift the fruit but not to interfere, enough acid to keep it fresh without being tart, a seemless texture that rolls on the palate and finally it tastes like it could not come from anywhere else other than Patagonia. This is special wine.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2017 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 08-07-2019
Susana Balbo is an icon in the wine world. For almost as long as I have worked in the industry her wines have been some of the first that I would recommend from Argentina. Balance and purity are the two adjectives that jump to mind first when thinking about her wines. This could be one of the finest Malbecs that I have ever tried from this Iconic brand. It is aromatic, dark fruits, balanced with really fine oak spices with floral and earthy tones to lift and deepen. This wine is polished but not flashy. The tannins are present but soft and frame along with with the really fine oak the beautiful ripe fruit. There is nothing Sauvage about this wine. It is unmistakeable Mendoza Malbec, but it could be the finest one you have ever tried for the money.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2015 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-11-2019
It was good to see this old friend on the shelf. My first introduction to the microclimates of the Napa Valley. What was better to see that it still delivers the great value that it did way back in the '90s. This is a complex structured Cab that is great on its own built old school, it wants to be enjoyed at the dinner table. Dark Cabernet fruits with a little tobacco, oak spice and the dustiness that you should get if it says Rutherford on the label.

2017 Seabold Cellars "Olson Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-11-2019
This is just what I want from California Chardonnay. Bright clean fruit with restrained oak spice and a hint of leesy richness all framed by mouth-watering acidity. It has the fruit that most Burgundian winemakers would be jealous of and the acidity that all Burgundy drinkers look for. I want to see more Chardonnay like this coming from CA.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2016 Koyle "Cerro Basalto Cuartel G2" Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 07-11-2019
Named after Basalt rich soils of the Los Lingues appellation in the Colchagua valley. This is a very exciting blend of Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. These "Bordeaux" varietals are known for their more assertive personalities but when combined together, at least with this wine, I think they rival the more famous duo of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This appealing red is dark, rich and concentrated. There is almost none of the herbaceousness that you would assume to be there with these two varietals. Dark cherry fruit with exotic spices, restrained oak and a lingering fine earthiness, is it the Basalt? I don't know. The G2 is a perfect combination of old world and new world. Structure and earthiness balanced with bright fruit and ripe tannins. Oh and it has a finish that goes and goes. If you stumble upon this wine give it a chance it rivals the great reds of Chile at a third of the price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This is an amazing cross over wine. Previous vintages of this I have happily given to anyone looking for a Cotes du Rhone or a value priced Rhone blend from any region in the world. If you asked for one of those I also told you about this wine. This vintage is different, this wine is more intense, darker, more concentrated than any previous vintage. You come looking for a Gigondas or Chateauneuf recommendation, you will also be told about this. Ask for a Priorat, you'll be told about this. Rhone from Paso Robles, I almost feel bad about the QPR difference. I might be exaggerating, but not really. This wine will exceed expectations, and we have it just in time for summer.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2016 Westwood "Legend" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 06-20-2019
This is a show stopper. The nose is mixed berries and spice. The palate is lush and round yet structured. The wine is charming and then I was told it was a Cabernet Rhone blend and I was 100% in. Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet are great dancing partners. The prior soften the later and the Cab gives a framework for the fruit of the prior to play off of. I wish there are more winemakers willing to play with these blends. All they need to do is try this and they will see the light.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
WE 96

2016 Rafael Palacios "As Sortes" Godello Valdeorras, Spain
Review Date: 06-20-2019
As Sortes is named after the local term for vineyard plot, “sorte”. Since the early 2000’s Rafael has been acquiring and working with 32 individual plots. This bottling comes from organically grown older vines, 35-90+ years old, some sortes are over 700 meters in elevation. Fermented and aged in 500L French oak barrels with a small percentage being new, this wine is intense. It is mouth-filling and focused, it is concentrated and fine with pure golden fruit, a modest aromatic component and a crazy long finish, it goes and goes and mineral and fruit tones seem to gain intensity as it finishes. This is his Grand Cru bottling and this carries and exceeded all of what that comparison brings with it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Rafael Palacios "Louro" Godello Valdeorras
Review Date: 06-20-2019
The wines from the Valdeorras have enchanted me since the first time I was first introduced to them. How could I not? It is in the name of the appellation, valley of the ores! I know that is incorrect, it is the “valley of gold”, but how can you not want to drink a white wine that comes from the “valley of ores”? Especially if you already love the mineral-rich whites of Europe. How evocative is that? And then give me a new varietal, Godello, my younger self was trapped. Now that was longer ago than I care to admit but I still am entranced by the wines from the “valley of ores”. Now there are even more fissures and crevasses for me to mine in this very old, originally planted by the Romans, relatively new, varietals, producers , wine making techniques and most importantly a deeper knowledge of the vineyards and those varietals. Now we can get past that long-winded intro we get to this wine. A blend of Godello and a little Treixadura, another exciting local varietal, grown in granitic sandy soils. That is what this corner of Spain is all about, relatively high elevation, stony, mineral (remember this is the valley of ores) soils. What Rafael brings to these wines is texture. They are fermented and aged in French oak foudres. These wines see oak but you do not smell or taste it, it is just there soften and round of the edges. He brings his whites with their heavy but not too heavy Galician accent of bright fruit, fresh acidity and pronounce minerality and translates them into Burgundian French which is so much easy for most wine drinkers to understand. Not just any Burgundian accent, think Chablis. This is a wine for almost any occasion, seafood, poultry white meat, but sticking to the Galicia and Chablis thing, mariscos is the call.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2017 Montesco "Agua de Roca" Sauvignon Blanc Uco Valley
Review Date: 06-13-2019
One of the best things about wine is the diversity. All the different varietals and all the different regions, it is so much fun to explore the world through a glass of wine. While I love finding new varietals and new regions, the most exciting diversity can be found with the same varietal grown in different places, that is what makes Burgundy Burgundy. While the same varietals are grown all over the world and in many varied regions most of the time unsurprisingly the wines taste very similar, which can be a good/bad/neutral thing. That is why this Sauvignon Blanc is so exciting, I have never have a Sauvignon Blanc quite like this. Biodynamically grown at high elevation in calcareous soils. The wine was fermented in Stainless and Concrete then aged for a year in concrete eggs. There is pronounced minerality and very high acidity. The fruit is ripe and clean with just a whisper of grassiness. There is just enough texture and body to keep the wine taut but not sharp. I cannot do justice to the intoxicating nature of the aromatics and flavors of this wine. This is a dynamic expression of this classic varietal.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 91

2014 Orben Rioja
Review Date: 06-13-2019
Old vine (60-70 years old) head pruned Tempranillo with a little dash of Graciano all from small, organic vineyard plots that are owned by some of the most famous restaurateurs in Spain, who wanted to create a modern expression of Rioja Alavesa. It had me at old vine, Tempranillo and Alavesa. That is a magical combination in my book. From early on in my career there has always been something magical/romantic to me about the wines from the Basque subzone of Rioja. It could be the limestone, it is the limestone. When done right the precision, the lift, the extract from wines grown in soils with limestone just resonate with me. This wine delivers on that limestone promise. The fruit pops and has focus, there is beautiful core to it that runs straight thru to that fine mineral dustiness on the finish. Now is time to pay quick attention to the label, there is no age designation, there is only the vintage. This is modern Rioja there is enough oak to contributed to the texture, enhance the fruit and also add an exotic balsam aromatic but not too dominate. This wine is an expression of fruit and terroir not of oak and wine-making.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 93

2017 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "La Estrecha" Manchuela
Review Date: 06-12-2019
It just happens that it is about 90 degrees in San Francisco today, and shockingly I do not deal with the heat well. Who cares? Right? But it worked out perfectly that we tasted this wine today. Bobal, and specifically Bobal made by Juan Antonio Ponce, could be the perfect summer red wine. Bobal, the thick-skinned, obscure varietal from Manchuela, is best known for its intensity: color, tannin and acid. My earliest introduction to the variety were wines that were ready to go toe-to-toe with any New World Syrah. And while those styles of wines are great for summer, too, my over-heating preference is for a lighter-bodied, higher-acid wine that could handle a slight chill, like Cru Beaujolais. This wine has a texture to it can I can only describe as silkiness. It has a cool silkiness that effortlessly, seamlessly gets drawn across your palate by its freshness. There are literally no edges, the tannin and acidity are there. This wine has substance and body but there are no edges. This wine does what you want Grand Cru wines do. All from a place that most people probably have not heard of. There is more to this than just texture, there are nice layers of bright and dark berries and fruits with a fine herbal dusting that comes out on the finish. This with a slight chill n a day like today would be amazing, it would be amazing with a chill in the dead of winter in the Arctic circle too--that's me wishing for the weather to change but I'm not wrong about that. This is an extraordinary wine. It is made from Biodynamically grown fruit and made with minimal intervention. We sell wines for twice this price from Beaujolais that can boast that and offer a similar, almost, experience as this.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 96

2017 Torbreck "Woodcutter's" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-11-2019
This wine delivers. It delivers delicious Barossa Shiraz without any baggage. Is big? Yes. Is there a lot of fruit? Yes. Is there spice? Yes. Is it over the top?...... No. It is medium full bodied with lots of dark fruit, spice, enough tannin to square up against the fruit but not enough to dominate a burger. What time of year is it? Summer. What are you doing for a dinner? Grilling. What are you drinking? This.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 93

2016 Liparita Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-11-2019
Sometimes I find it best not to ask questions, this is one of those occasions, but the question that I am not looking for an answer for is “Why are these wines priced this way?” First the Yountville now this Oakville. This is an Oakville wine, I have no personal experience with Liparita, but one sniff and you know that the fruit that this wine was made from came from Oakville. This is a big, dark fruited (for me that classic cassis), mouth-filling, rich Cabernet. Who cares why it’s priced this way, I am still curious, but this is a wine for everyone who loves big Napa wines to take advantage of.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine Lafage "Cuvée Centenaire" Côtes du Roussillon Blanc
Review Date: 06-07-2019
This is a great alternative to the ABC crowd when you don't want a Sauvignon Blanc, or really anyone who wants an interesting easy to drink white. It is medium-bodied, round but not heavy, crisp but not tart, floral but not perfumed. This wine lives in that delicious middle ground where it goes with just about everything.

2017 Escarlata Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 06-04-2019
This is a Chilean twist on an everyday Bordeaux. While not a classic blend, there is a little Syrah in the mix, this wine over-delivers on the promise of almost all the under $20 Bordeaux in the store. It is structured, complex, with layers of fruit, a touch of earth and tobacco. Where it over-delivers is the clarity and intensity of the fruit. Like any Bordeaux, this wine needs a little time to open up, decant for 30 minutes and watch this wine blossom.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2017 Raul Perez "Ultreia St-Jacques" Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 06-03-2019
Wow! There is a whole lot of wine here. Raul Perez is one of the most esteemed winemakers in the region. His knowledge of the vineyards in the region gives him access to lots of old vine fruit and his minimal intervention winemaking still lets all that fruit shine thru. This is not the flashiest introduction to Bierzos wines but it could be the deepest and the purest. Lots of dark fruit tones underpinned with subtle herbal and spice notes. You can say it is built either like Loire Valley Cabernet Franc or Pinot, whichever you like best. But it does have softer tannins fresh acid bright savory fruit and intrigue. This is a ridiculously good bottle of wine for less than $20.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
DC 93 RP 93

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 05-31-2019
This is good honest Cabernet. It is medium-full bodied with classic dark berry Cassis fruit with just a hint of spice and herbal tones. There are enough tannins to give it heft and size and enough acid to bring everything into focus. It drinks as easily as it flashier NorCal cousins but at a fraction of the price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 90

2017 Ferrero Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 05-31-2019
This is an ideal Rosso di Montalcino. It is medium bodied, with high toned red Sangiovese fruit, a floral hint that is offset with sotto bosco, and a soft minerality. It is delicious. It is a wine that works for all occasions. Most importantly, for me, it scratches enough of a Brunello itch that I keep my hands off the Brunello so they can really develop in bottle, an ideal Rosso.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 05-31-2019
This easily is the best vintage of this wine that I have tried. It is a "super" delicious everyday Tuscan red. The aromas and flavors are dark without being heavy. It is fresh without being tart. There are a fine spice element and moderate tannins. It is a really fun blend where you can sense all of the components but none of them stand out. I have a feeling that this will sell out fast.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Broadley "Shea Vineyard" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-31-2019
This is beautiful Pinot Noir, something that Broadley excels at. The nose has layers of delicate mix berries and fruit, spice, and a touch of earthiness. The palate is medium-light bodied, elegant and long. It gives all of those aromas a canvas to play out over and over. This wine delivers everything that I want from a Pinot.

2014 Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese
Review Date: 05-28-2019
A super Valpolicalla Ripasso deal. That makes this wine way more complicated than it truly is. This rich Valpolicella Ripasso with the intrigue of Bordeaux. The fruit is all Italian, dark and rich and the secondary elements of savory olive, chocolate and spice are from Bordeaux. This is an effortless wine that is very drinkable.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2018 Bodegas Parra Jimenez "Friend & Farmer" White Spain
Review Date: 05-25-2019
Bright, fresh, light and easy but exceptionally well made from very clean grapes. This is a serious cheap and cheerful white. Think Sauvignon Blanc but less pungent. There are lots of subtle tropical notes and a real fun background nopales? tone. Lots of fun and party priced.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2018 Edetaria "Via Terra" Garnacha Blanca Terra Alta
Review Date: 05-21-2019
This is a very exciting Garnacha Blanca value. This hints at the depths that the grape can take you, especially in this corner of Spain! It starts off a little shy, but Garnatxa Blanca is like that sometimes, with a chance to open up the wine blossoms. Honey Crisp apples, sultanas, a little pear skin spice, a savoriness that keeps the fruit in check as well as a pulverized mineral dustiness over everything. It is medium light bodied with a round mid-palate and a crisp but not tart finish. The flavors are an intriguing blend dried apple, and sultana with a slight nutty element, yet vibrant and fresh. It has nice length where the fruit freshens and brighten along with a pleasant almost salty minerality. It is a wine that you can’t quite put your finger on it, which makes, at least me, going back for more and more. This is a house white that will not overstay its welcome.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Casa Castillo "Las Gravas" Jumilla
Review Date: 05-21-2019
Decadent is the first adjective that comes to mind when I smell this wine. It is the spice, there are layers and layers of very fine sweet and savory spices. The spice is present but not domineering, it gives great depth and brings intrigue to a region and varietal that do not necessarily have a reputation for those things. There is a lot of that classic dark rich Monastrell fruit for all of that spice to play off of, but oh that spice! It is just a decadent on the palate as the nose. This is full and round with lots of plush polished tannins. There is an inverse to the aromas to the flavors on the palate; there are less spices and more fruit and also savory earthy tone that builds on the finish. The fruit reminds me of mixed dark berries and pomegranates. This is a little indulgent, but we deserve that sometimes, and definitely at this price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 93

2016 Joan d'Anguera "Finca L'Argata" Montsant
Review Date: 05-11-2019
This is a world class wine at a ridiculous price. It easily tastes like a wine that retails for twice what we are asking for. Made from biodynamically grown old vine garnatxa from limestone-rich soils that is then vinified in the same way as some of Burgundy's greats. This is not the deeply colored extracted wine that you would expect to find in Montsant's neighbor Priorat. This is a lightly colored, beautifully high toned red wine it looks more like a Burgundy than Chateauneuf. But once you smell it, it is all Grenache(Garnacha). Dark cherry, Kirsch, Sauvage herbal undertones, there is also a slight hint of cured meat. The palate is Rhone, it is rich and structured, really structured. The savory dark cherry fruit pops over limestone minerality but it is framed by fine but substantial tannins and vibrant acidity. The wine has tremendous length where the fruit and a minty limestone minerality lingers and lingers. Note: This is a young wine of surprising structure this is definitely a food wine. It is reductive at the moment, this wine needs decanting and a lot of air right now. Forethought and patience will be rewarded. It is a wine that with a few years in the cellar will be the most ridiculously good bottle of $20 wine that you have.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2017 TED by Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir
Review Date: 05-08-2019
Everyday Mount Edward, what more could you ask for? This is a $20 bottle of Pinot that puts almost every other Pinot in the store at that price point on notice. Dark cherry fruit, subtle spice, and a whiff of that Central Otago thyme. Supple and fresh with its generous fruit balanced by good acid and just enough tannin.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2016 Ata Rangi Pinot Noir Martinborough
Review Date: 05-08-2019
When I think of when Martinborough this is the first winery I think of. There are many great Pinots coming from New Zealand and most of them seem to come from the Southern Island so it could be easy to overlook the wines from this small appellation. After you try this you will never forget. This is a classic for me. Beautiful dark red fruits, a touch of exotic spice and a delicate herbal savory element that makes everything else pop. Medium bodied with good texture, fresh acid, and just enough tannin to give it presence. Drink tonight but put it in your cellar, next to your Burgundy, and you will be rewarded.

2017 Terra Santa Ile de Beauté Blanc Corsica
Review Date: 05-08-2019
Corsica is the perfect bridge between France and Italy. This is a wine to prove that point. It is half Macon and half Southern Italian. On the lighter side of medium bodied, this wine has the mid-palate of a Macon with the expressiveness of a Campanian white. Crisp with cool fruit tones and a subtle mineral element, this is a summer sipper for sure.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2018 Arca Nova Rosé Vinho Verde
Review Date: 04-27-2019
This is Spring-Time in a bottle. Light, fresh and zippy with freshly crushed strawberries, raspberries, currents with a hint of lime zest on top! A mix of Espadeiro and Touriga Nacional, this wine should be in the fridge next to your milk. It goes with everything but right now think about anything off the grill. No frills and party priced, it is lip-smacking good.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2016 Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 04-25-2019
This is a charming expression of Tuscany; ripe cherry, a touch of floral lift, earth, and leather. It is medium bodied with generous fruit up front, that classic Sangiovese acid but it is not tart nor tannic. This is a house Red if there ever was one. What's for dinner?
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Giuseppe Cortese "Rabaja" Barbaresco
Review Date: 04-17-2019
You can get lost in the nose of this wine. It is not effusive but it is seductive Nebbiolo at its best. As you try to wrap your mind around the fruit, there are layers and layers of superfine spices, the word foliated comes to mind. I knew I was going to like because I spent so much time with the aromatics; the palate is fruit and spice and floral notes over and over. This is Rabaja, it is structured and very long. If you drink it in the near term think rich food if not please wait. This is a wine that will repay your patience.

2017 Laventura Garnacha Rioja
Review Date: 04-14-2019
Their most recent vintage of this stunning Grenache comes from parcels 600 meters above sea level made up of rocky sandstone soils in Rioja Baja. After spending one year in 600-liter oak barrels, this lighter-bodied red features exotic floral aromas and bright red berry flavors. Cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, and cherry paint a vivid picture, with fine details of toasted brioche, vanilla, and cinnamon around the edges. The texture is at once lush and finely pointed. This is truly a delight to all of the senses.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 MacRobert & Canals (Laventura) "Barranco de San Ginés" Rioja
Review Date: 04-14-2019
This exquisite wine is made from a single vineyard 600 meters high that was planted in 1935. The white limestone soils of Laguardia in Rioja Alavesa grow some of the finest grapes in Laventura’s portfolio. Aged for two years in wood, this wine develops magnificent depth and tannic structure that makes it ideal for aging. Dark dense berries, bramble, and black currant form a decadent base upon which layers of toasted oak and rich figs build. Undercurrents of forest floor and savory earth form an elegant counterpoint with a mouthwatering finish. With sufficient time in a decanter, this is a treat now, but bottle age will only improve on its already remarkable complexity.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 93 RP 93

2014 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-14-2019
This is a modern re-interpretation of a classic Reserva. There is a restrained opulence to this wine. The fruit is ripe, dark and lush… it basically jumps out of the glass. The new oak enhances the full-bodied yet very accessible palate. Underneath are layers of oak spice, subtle coffee, fine leather, and iron-rich mineral tones. This wine does everything you expect a Rioja to do but with more volume and more generosity. This is a wine for now or much later.

2012 Glenelly "Estate Reserve" Bordeaux Blend Stellenbosch
Review Date: 03-09-2019
The secret to this South African Cabernet blend is the Shiraz, and other Southern Hemisphere producers know this, too! Those two varietals work magic together. This has the structure and savory aromatics that I love from SA Cabs, but with more texture and depth of fruit. This is a delicious red that offers complexity, texture at a reasonable price. The extra bottle age doesn't hurt as well.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

Launois "Quartz" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
It is hard to choose a favorite Launois wine. All of them are so good. What makes the Quartz stand out, other than it being unique in that it has few ATM's of pressure in the bottle, is the brightness of the fruit. There is a dazzling purity that make you want more and more! The mousse is soft and you couldn't guess that there is less pressure, and the finish is terrific. Grab some while we still have it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Clean pear fruit backed with a hint of minerality. There is way more wine in this bottle of bubbles than you would expect from a Prosecco at this price point.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 91

2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Spring in a glass. This is a cool and refreshing white with soft floral, cool tropical, lychee and stone fruit on the nose. Medium light on the palate, it is crisp but not lean there is surprising texture to this wine. This is a wine that will brighten any occasion.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2014 Amici Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2018
Classic Napa cab with the wonderful openness of the '14 vintage. Rich berry fruit backed with restrained use of oak and polished tannins. Drink or hold, but it will be hard to do the later.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 WE 91

2015 Catena DV "Tinto Histórico" Mendoza
Review Date: 03-29-2018
I am really enjoying what Catena is doing right now. I am totally fired up with the appellation releases that they have done. I think that the time is right for us in the US, and elsewhere, to really dig into the dirt of Mendoza, and Catena is giving us a master class at a really affordable price. While this wine is not digging into the soils of Mendoza it is looking at the roots of the industry. Bonarda and Malbec were and are the pillars that Argentine wines stand on. It is delightful to see them blended together like they used to be. There is a real synergy here. The aromas are heavy but lifted with dark fruits, a floral note, and a savory almost grilled meat tone. The palate is rich but not heavy build around pleasantly aggressive tannins and more of that dark, pretty fruit. A hearty yet friendly wine that is easily enjoyed by itself but it really wants you to have something rich and meaty so it can help you wash it down.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 DC 91

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