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Staff Favorites - Jeff Garneau

Jeff Garneau
Jeff Garneau  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
Jeff has been a member of the sales staff in our Redwood City store for the past four years. His first introduction to wine was as a waiter in an upscale Italian restaurant in Hanover, NH more years ago than he likes to admit. He slowly made his way west to wine country, working his way across the US as a graduate student in geography, a public sector researcher in regional economic development, and briefly, in the wake of the Anderson-Enron scandal, a records management coordinator for one of the remaining Big Five accounting firms. Finally, surrendering to the inevitable, he accepted a position in the wine business here at K&L. His goals for the next four years include drinking more wines from Italy and France and trying to limit the number of open bottles on the dinner table on any given night to fewer than six.


Reviews

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2014 Haut-Médoc de Beychevelle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-07-2018
4th Growth Château Beychevelle is situated at the southern end of St-Julien with some of its vineyards lying beyond the jalle, or stream, that defines its southern border. These are designated AOC Haut-Médoc. The grapes there are vinified separately, and we currently have in stock the 2014 Haut-Médoc de Beychevelle, Haut-Médoc. This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, aged in barrels previously used for the grand vin. Sweet black fruits with a hint of toast. A terrific value in the St-Julien style from one of the top producers in the appellation.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart

2016 d'Yquem "Y" Bordeaux Blanc
Review Date: 05-07-2018
The Ygrec, or “Y” from Château d’Yquem is a curiosity – a dry white wine from what is perhaps the most famous producer of sweet wines in the world. Admittedly, it’s a bit of an upstart. The history of Yquem goes back over four and a quarter centuries while the first vintage of the “Y” was barely fifty years ago. The dry white represents about 10% of the estate’s total production annually. The blend is typically about three quarters Sauvignon Blanc to one quarter Sémillon. The Sauvignon grapes are among the earliest picked to preserve acidity, the Semillon from among the last so that a botrytis element is always present in the wine. It is unlike any other dry white Bordeaux. The 2016 vintage is a masterwork of precision and balance, lively and refreshing with superb tension yet with a richness, even opulence that belies its weight. Not an inexpensive wine, but a unique expression of the terroir that more than merits your attention.
Price: $169.99 Add To Cart
WS 96 RP 91

2016 Clos Floridène, Graves Blanc
Review Date: 05-07-2018
The entire wine world was shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of owner Denis Dubordieu in July of 2016. Winemaker, consultant, professor of enology, no other single individual had as great an impact on the quality of white wines being produced in Bordeaux today. He is survived by his wife, Florence, and his two sons, Fabrice & Jean-Jacques, who preserve his legacy of making spectacular wines of great depth and character. The 2016 Clos Floridene, Graves Blanc is no exception. Bright, fresh, intensely aromatic, with notes of stone and citrus fruits. Lovely weight and texture with just a hint of pain grillé. A blend of 56% Sauvignon Blanc and 44 % Sémillon. Aged in barrel (25% new) for eight months with regular batonnage. Drink or hold. Perhaps our best overall value in a white Bordeaux, and a great introduction to the style.

2015 de Chantegrive Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 04-25-2018
A substantial Chantegrive that positively flaunts the strength and character of this spectacular 2015 vintage. Loads of ripe fruit and toasty oak (50% new) framed by firm tannins. A terrific value from one of the best properties in the Graves region.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 JD 91

2014 Amici Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-28-2018
K&L Wine Merchants has sold the Amici Cellars wines since the winery was first founded back in the 1990’s. Over the past couple of decades Bob Shepard has become a good friend to K&L, and like any good friend, he always has a bottle of wine in hand whenever he drops by. I am sure he was smiling when I first had a chance to taste the 2014 Amici Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. “This is really good!” I said. “Yeah,” said Bob. Hints of oak spice, gorgeous, bright tropical fruit. Lovely weight. The quality at this price point is nothing short of miraculous. And if you don’t believe me, just ask Bob.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 92 WE 90

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 02-28-2018
Terrasses du Larzac is a relatively recent addition to the list of Languedoc appellations, having achieved AOC status only in 2005. Domaine de la Réserve d'O, too, is a relatively recent addition to the portfolio of wines K&L imports directly from France. The 2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac is only the fourth vintage of the wine we have sold here, but it is by far my favorite. There is a certain generosity here, an appealing richness. The exceptional 2015 vintage offers plenty of ripe fruit, complemented nicely by exotic spice and savory elements.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 91 WS 91

2016 Ribbonwood (Framingham) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Many of our best values in Pinot Noir come from NZ these days, a product of our direct import program, a favorable exchange rate, and the frankly unbelievable quality of the wines being produced there these days. A superb example is the 2016 Ribbonwood Marlborough Pinot Noir from Framingham. Generous red and black fruits with a savory/smoky edge and a hint of oak. Delicious.
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Oakridge "Over the Shoulder" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 01-31-2018
This value-priced label from Oakridge showcases the exceptional quality of these wines, at every price. The Chardonnay is one of the best we offer under $20, regardless of region of origin, however winemaker David Bicknell makes the most of the Yarra Valley's cool climate to produce a perfectly poised wine that combines generous fruit with lively acidity, full-bodied yet fresh in style.
Price: Hidden View Price
JH 93

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-31-2018
Subtly smoky on the nose with hints of iodine and earth. There's a slightly honeyed topnote that is quite intriguing. Sweet and fruity with notes of honey and stone fruits. A melange of gingerbread spice. There's a rush of smoke on the finish that builds and builds. Damn fine Islay whiskey, and a pretty good argument for blended scotch...so long as someone as talented as John Glaser is behind the mix.
Price: Hidden View Price

2012 Clairault "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia (Black Label)
Review Date: 12-30-2017
There is just so much good Cabernet coming out of Western Australia these days at such good prices that no Cabernet lover can afford to ignore it. The 2012 Clairault Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Black Label offers classic appeal with a hint of mint on the nose and ripe, sweet red and black fruits. Superb balance and fine tannins make this eminently drinkable and approachable Cab the perfect choice to accompany dinner tonight.

2010 Galland Clark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-30-2017
If your preference in Napa Cabernet is for a big, full bodied wine with liqueur-like ripeness, this is NOT the wine for you. Don't get me wrong. The 2010 Galland Clark Napa Valley Cabernet, at 14.5% alc, is plenty full-bodied. But it also comes with a hint of violets on the nose, and yes, a bit of - my goodness - green pepper. Very fresh and lively in the mouth with notes of fresh blackberry and licorice, this is honest damn Cabernet you can enjoy tonight.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Savigny-lès-Beaune
Review Date: 12-05-2017
The wines of Savigny-lès-Beaune are some of the most affordable in all of Burgundy, as well as open-knit, charming, and accessible. They are the perfect choice for anyone just beginning to explore the region. This wonderful villages bottling from Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot is an excellent example. As vintages go, 2015 is among the best, and the quality really shines through here. Notes of clove and cinnamon spice on the nose, along with a hint of violets. On the palate, a mix of red and black fruits, cherry and raspberry. There is ample ripeness here with good concentration, lively acidity and fine tannins. A superb effort, and a terrific value. Drink now, or over the next one to three years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 D'Archambeau, Graves
Review Date: 11-17-2017
Chateau d’Archambeau is an estate of 20 hectares which lie at the southern end of the Graves region between Barsac and Cérons. Owned by the Dubourdieu family for several generations, it has been under the direction of Jean-Philippe Dubourdieu since 1975. The 2015 d’Archambeau displays all of the ripeness of this very successful vintage. Big and round with sweet red and black fruits, lively acidity and fine tannins. The blend is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. While the majority of the 2015’s won’t be released until next year, this is the perfect opportunity to preview this remarkable vintage.

2014 Les Tourelles de Longueville, Pauillac
Review Date: 11-02-2017
Few wines express more clearly the incredible quality of the 2014 vintage in Bordeaux than this estate label from Chateau Pichon Baron in Pauillac. No longer strictly a second wine with the introduction of “Les Griffons” in 2012, most of the fruit for “Les Tourelles” comes from a single plot. The blend is weighted more to Merlot than Cabernet, producing a more accessible style that is meant to be drunk sooner than the Grand Vin. Elegant and polished, of obvious pedigree, the wine offers sweet, ripe red fruits lightly seasoned with oak spice. Well-balanced and marked by lively acidity and fine tannins. Exceptional quality here. A true value.

2012 Plaisance "Cuvee Alix" Côtes de Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-31-2017
From the portfolio of wines of Bernard Magrez, owner of Chateau Pape Clement. Chateau Plaisance is not in Pessac-Léognan but in the Entre-Deux-Mers region, producing red wines under the appellation Côtes de Bordeaux. The 2012 Plaisance "Cuvee Alix" is a blend of 75% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc aged 9 months in a combination of tank and barrel, 50% of which are new. Generous, forward fruit here with lovely mid-palate weight and fine tannins. Very true to the ’12 vintage. A perennial customer favorite in the sub $20 Bordeaux category.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lafont-Fourcat, Bordeaux Rouge
Review Date: 08-31-2017
When he is not consulting for the likes of Chateau Ausone, La Mondotte, or Yquem, Paul-Marie Morillon makes wine on his own property of Lafont-Fourcat, as he has done since 1993. The estate consists of 8 hectares of vineyards in the village of Pujols in the Entre-Deux-Mers region, just across the Dordogne River from Castillon-la-Bataille. Jean-Luc Thunevin, owner of Chateau Valandraud and infamous “garagiste”, distributes the wines. Thunevin says of the winemaker, “Alors, voilà, Paul-Marie, il faut soit faire plus de vin, soit avoir moins de talent.” (…you have to either make more wine or have less talent…) Those talents are on display with this 2015 Lafont-Fourcat, Bordeaux. The blend is mostly Merlot with a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Given the ripeness of the ’15 vintage, there is plenty of youthful fruit here seasoned with a bit of oak spice. Lots of mixed red berries and red currant notes. Bright and lively – very fresh – with firm, fine tannins. Solid value.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2016 Pichon-Baron, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-08-2017
A classic in the making, the 2016 Pichon Baron is the very definition of Pauillac – powerful, concentrated, focused. One of the latest harvests ever at the chateau, this is a vintage for Cabernet lovers, one that rivals even 2009 and 2010. At 85% of the blend, this Deuxiéme Cru attains nearly the level of Cabernet Sauvignon in most First Growths in 2016. Superbly structured with great underlying acidity and fine tannins, this will make a great addition to any cellar. I have no doubt the 2016 will eventually take its place among the great vintages of this century.

2016 Brane-Cantenac, Margaux
Review Date: 06-06-2017
It’s hard for me to be completely objective about the wines of Brane-Cantenac. It’s one of my favorite properties from the appellation and my “go to” wine when I really want to drink Margaux. I have quite a few vintages in my cellar starting with 2000 and it seems to me that the wines just keep getting better and better with each passing year. The 2016 Brane-Cantenac may be one of the best I have ever tasted. Classically floral with generous ripe, sweet fruit. There is good depth here. Layered, complex, with firm, fine tannins. Still a relative bargain for a Deuxième Cru as the improvement in quality continues to outpace any increase in price.

2016 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Year on year, Leoville Barton continues to deliver wines that are firm, structured, and uncompromisingly tannic in their youth. The 2016 is very much on point with substantial, though very fine, tannins. What is particularly striking is the sheer intensity of the color, from palate-staining purple to nearly inky black. Loads of black fruit here as well. Superbly ripe with notes of fresh blackberry and hints of richer cassis. Like many of the Left Bank wines in 2016, Cabernet Sauvignon very much takes the lead here. Patience will be required but this ought to age magnificently.

2016 Margaux, Margaux
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Commenting on the extreme weather conditions of 2016 – from the heavy spring rains to the late summer drought – the good folks at First Growth Chateau Margaux characterized the year in typically understated fashion as “a singular vintage”. If it was a vintage to test the mettle of vineyard manager and cellar master alike, then Margaux passed with flying colors. This 2016 Margaux, Margaux is very much a wine of the vintage. Notable acidity, very fresh and lively, with a mere 13% alc. Hugely tannic but so very fine it was easy to taste even out of barrel. At 94% of the blend this is a vintage for Cabernet lovers. While yields were slightly up here in 2016, the selection for the Grand Vin was quite strict, a mere 28% of total production, down from 35% the year before. Where 2015 was opulent, the 2016 is precise. This is a sleek greyhound of a wine, a marvel of focused intensity and restrained power, a wine of great finesse and elegance.

2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-30-2017
If it’s true that the best wines are made in the vineyard, this 2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay couldn’t hope for a better pedigree. Lupe Maldonado has over three decades of vineyard management experience under his belt, and it shows. Fermented partially in stainless steel and partially in French oak, this is a crisp, focused effort that nevertheless offers plenty of ripe, sweet fruit.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-30-2017
The 2016 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan would seem to be swimming against the current. In a vintage where most wines are dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, it is instead Merlot (at 56% of the blend) that takes the lead here. Cabernet Sauvignon is the junior partner at 37.5% of the blend. Cabernet Franc makes up the remainder at 6.5%, though this grape did less well in 2016 and mostly went to the second labels. Very lively and fresh in keeping with the vintage. The tannins, too, here are quite firm. Overall this is reserved in style, quite powerful in its own way, but marked by restraint. Very fine indeed.

2016 Duhart-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-16-2017
The 2016 Duhart Milon is ripe and concentrated, dense, dark and black-fruited. Plays to the strengths of the vintage with a blend of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon to one-third Merlot. Tannins quite fine here. Deceptively easy to taste. Terrific effort here in 2016. A great success.

2016 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-15-2017
One of the great properties in Pessac-Léognan, historic, renowned, a near neighbor of Chateau Haut-Brion. In recent years, the estate has been moving towards a more terroir-driven style, taking full advantage of its exceptional position in the northernmost part of the appellation. The 2016 Pape Clément is a nuanced effort, complex and layered with good concentration and length. Deeply colored, intense. Lovely weight with perfectly ripe, sweet fruit and fine tannins. Deftly seasoned with spicy oak that enhances rather than overwhelms the wine. Very well done.

2016 Pape Clément Blanc, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-15-2017
Remarkably bright and fresh with terrific focus and intensity. Sweet, ripe fruit adds richness supported by admirable underlying tension and length. A balanced effort worthy of the cellar.

2016 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-15-2017
The 2016 Montrose is a marvel—intense, concentrated and brooding. Inky, dark, palate-staining color. Wildly aromatic nose with notes of lavender and oolong tea. A big, powerful wine with perfectly ripe, sweet fruit. Solid, structured, with vibrant acidity and ultra-fine tannins. This is Montrose as it is meant to be, at its very best, a wine of precision and refinement rather than blunt force. Unequivocal quality here. Not to be missed.

2016 Meyney, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-15-2017
Consistently one of the best values in Saint-Estèphe. Situated on the Gironde River immediately north of Chateau Montrose. Typically black fruited in style with perhaps a bit more richness than its peers. That difference has been accentuated with the arrival in 2013 of consulting oenologist Hubert du Boüard, owner of Chateau Angelus in Saint Emilion. A worthy successor to the excellent 2014 vintage, the 2016 Meyney is lushly textured with ripe, sweet fruit and very fine tannins. Still too early perhaps to see how Boüard’s influence will affect the winemaking here. If greater consistency can be achieved without sacrificing typicity, the potential here is enormous. This is a property well worth keeping an eye on.
Top Value!

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Chateau Cantemerle was classified a Cinquième Cru in 1855, one of only five chateaus designated “Haut-Médoc” to be awarded cru classé status. With nearly 100 hectares of vineyards it is one of the largest estates on the Left Bank, and all I can say is, thank goodness. Even with yields slightly above average, I worry there won’t be enough of the 2016 vintage to go around. 2016 is a remarkable vintage in many respects, but one of its most compelling features is the tendency to bring out in the very best wines something quintessential, a perfect expression of terroir. I think the 2016 Cantemerle is one such. It brings together all of the best aspects of the vintage – an extraordinary intensity of color, wildly expressive aromatics, lively acidity and very fine tannins. And the fruit? As a child, I used to spend the summers in Maine, and I used to go blackberry picking with my grandmother. She preferred to go early in the morning before it got too hot. The berries would still be cool with a bit of the morning dew still upon them. Even under my grandmother’s watchful eye, not every berry made its way into my pail. I still remember quickly popping them into my mouth and that astonishing all at once burst of tartness and sweetness. Tasting “fresh-picked blackberry” in this wine made me smile with the memory it evoked. And I have no doubt that 2016 will be remembered as one of the great vintages for Cantemerle. 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 4% Petit Verdot. Tasted twice with consistent notes.

2016 d'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 05-11-2017
Côtes de Castillon continues to be a source for some of the best values on the Right Bank. Many top producers in Saint-Emilion and Pomerol have invested in properties within this neighboring appellation, making wines which are nearly equal in quality to their best labels at a fraction of the price. Hélène Garcin, owner of Chateau Clos l'Église in Pomerol and Chateau Barde-Haut and the new Poesia in St-Emilion, now owns Chateau d’Arce in Côtes de Castillon. 2016 is only her third vintage, but certainly the best vintage yet. The quality is already apparent here. Loads of bright, sweet fruit. Very fresh with fine tannins. Terrific balance. Exceptional value.

2016 Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-11-2017
A very successful vintage for Clerc Milon, this 2016 simply exudes class and character. Classic Pauillac, with great presence and weight. Ripe, sweet fruit. Very lively and fresh. Lush in texture with very fine tannins. A supremely polished effort. Superb. Tasted three times during en primeur week with consistent notes.

2016 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-05-2017
A near neighbor of Chateau Lafon-Rochet, this is a property that in the past few years has become a customer favorite due to its combination of quality and price. The 2016 Lilian Ladouys will no doubt both delight existing fans of the wine as well as win over many new Bordeaux lovers with its generous fruit and overall balance and character. Beguilingly aromatic, a bit floral and a bit spicy. Good underlying structure – lively acidity and firm, fine tannins. Top quality, and very true to the vintage.

2016 Potensac, Médoc
Review Date: 05-05-2017
Consistently one of the very best properties in the Médoc, Chateau Potensac has been owned for many years by the Delon family of Leoville Las Cases in St. Julien. The quality of the wine can be attributed both to the superb character of the terroir and to the additional resources made available due to its long association with a top Deuxième Cru. It can be difficult to properly judge this wine when tasting at the Chateau, since you are obliged to evaluate it alongside the more prestigious Clos du Marquis and Leoville Las Cases itself, but more than in any other vintage I can recall this 2016 Potensac more than held its own. Even in such august company the quality was readily apparent. The wine showed exceptional concentration. Bright and lively in character, very fresh, and with loads of sweet, ripe fruit and fine tannins, very much in line with the vintage as a whole. One of the most intriguing things about this 2016 Potensac is the higher than usual percentage of Cabernet Franc. One theme we heard over and over again during en primeur was that due to the extreme conditions of the vintage – from very wet to very dry – the oldest vines faired best. The vineyards at Potensac include a parcel of Cabernet Franc vines more than 80 years old. The grapes from these vines in 2016 were of such a quality that they were among the best the estate produced and formed a key part of the blend. You may tire of hearing this regarding the 2016 vintage, but, truthfully, I have enjoyed many vintages of Potensac over the years, but this may be the best I have ever tasted.

2016 d'Armailhac, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-04-2017
My personal favorite among the wines we tasted at Chateau Mouton-Rothschild this year, possibly the finest d'Armailhac I have ever tasted. The wine makes an immediate impression in the mouth, demonstrating obvious class and polish. It is rich and lushly textured with generous ripe, sweet black fruits but retains great freshness and a very moderate 13.4% alcohol. Cabernet Sauvignon takes the lead here at nearly two-thirds (62%) of the blend. The remainder is mostly Merlot (28%), with smaller amounts of Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (2%). In 2016, the extremely dry conditions that prevailed throughout the mid to late summer and early fall yielded a crop of small, thick-skinned berries. Fair but cooler weather in autumn with warm days and cool nights meant that the grapes could be picked at the peak of ripeness and maturity. The result is a wine of great intensity and depth of color, and tannin levels that rival even the vaunted 2010 vintage but are much finer overall. This is classic Pauillac, as good as it gets – big, brash, self-assured – but with a warm and friendly manner that puts you immediately at ease. If this wine were running for office, it would definitely have my vote.

Cappelletti "Sfumato Rabarbaro" Amaro (750ml)
Review Date: 05-03-2017
This wonderful Amaro from Cappelletti is smoky and earthy, sweet and classically bitter. Try it on its own as a digestivo to end a hearty meal or get creative with some of your favorite cocktails. Personally, I am a huge Negroni fan. I have been looking for some time for an Amaro I could pair with Mezcal. As soon as I tasted the Sfumato Rabarbaro Amaro I knew I had found the secret ingredient for my Negroni Sfumato (I thought “Smoke & Mirrors” would be a fun title as well but the rest of the staff seem set on "Smoky Negron"). Try equal parts Sfumato Rabarbaro Amaro from Cappelletti, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and your favorite mezcal. I used the Mezcalero "Los Nahuales" Special Edition Sierrudo-Cuishe Mezcal from Los Danzantes. Amazing!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2016 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-03-2017
Chateau Capbern, formerly Capbern-Gasqueton, was acquired along with Chateau Calon-Segur by its current owners in 2012. Judging from the quality of this 2016 vintage, the property has surely benefitted from some upgrades and improvements in the intervening years. Spice and floral notes leap out of the glass. The fruit is ripe and sweet and perhaps a bit more forward than some wines from the vintage at 14% alcohol. Combined with lively acidity and very fine tannins, however, the wine exhibits perfect balance, and should require a bit less patience than some of its fellow in St-Estephe. This property is fast becoming a customer favorite for its combination of quality and price. I imagine many will choose to drink this wine sooner rather than later, but it has sufficient structure to make a superb near term cellar candidate.
Top Value!

2016 Mauvesin Barton, Moulis
Review Date: 04-29-2017
I sometimes wonder if the Barton-Sartorius family, owners of Langoa-Barton and Leoville-Barton, acquired Chateau Mauvesin in Moulis in 2011 as much for the quality of its stables as for its vineyards. Daughter Mélanie Barton-Sartorius is an avid equestrian in addition to being a trained oenologist. Whatever the reason, they have certainly spared no expense in developing the property. The old cellars have been restored and new capacity added; the vineyards have been expanded and replanted. Today they have 50 hectares of vineyards planted 45% to Merlot, 36% to Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% to Cabernet Franc, and 2% to Petit Verdot. The 2016 Mauvesin Barton is quite true to the vintage, very pretty with bright red fruits and a hint of spice. Merlot takes the lead here so a bit more ripeness is evident in the rich, textured mid-palate. The finish is understandably firm though quite fine. An admirable effort, very reasonably priced, and a suggestion of even better things to come.

2016 Clos de Boüard, Montagne St-Emilion
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Formerly Chateau Tour Musset, acquired by the de Boüard family of Chateau Angelus, and rechristened Clos du Boüard for the inaugural vintage of 2016. The estate consists of 30 hectares of vines in Montagne Saint-Emilion on clay-limestone soils, and lies near the border with Saint-Emilion near the commune of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes. The 2016 is a blend of 85% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Sweet and ripe. Very polished with fine tannins.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 - 93

2016 Les Grands Chenes, Médoc
Review Date: 04-25-2017
From the stable of Bernard Magrez, owner of Pape Clement in Pessac-Leognan. This cru bourgeois from the Medoc is made in the signature Magrez style, ripe and forward with a notable generosity of fruit. Very sweet with notes of kirsch and creme de cassis. Good underlying structure with lively acidity and firm tannins.

2016 Doisy-Daëne, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-25-2017
One of the top wines from Barsac in 2016 and a close second behind the great Chateau Climens. The wine makes a powerful and immediate impression. A wine of quality and class, striking that essential balance between freshness and opulence. Wonderfully rich with notes of citrus and spice. Complex botrytis character. Extraordinary length and persistence here as well. Superb.

2016 Doisy-Védrines, Sauternes
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Always reliable, and consistently one of the best values in Barsac. While perhaps just a step or two behind the best of the recent vintages from here - 2011 and 2014 come to mind - this is very good. Honeyed and rich with brighter notes of candied citrus peel and lovely botrytis development. A notable effort.

2016 Les Pagodes de Cos, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Technically similar to the Grand Vin, but with half the new oak and considerably less Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend, closer to 50/50 Cab and Merlot with a very small addition of Petit Verdot and a soupçon of Cabernet Franc. Intended for more immediate consumption but will still require some patience.

2016 Cos d'Estournel, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-25-2017
I have wonderful memories of the great vintages of Cos d’Estournel from the 1980’s. These were some of the wines that shaped my earliest impressions of Bordeaux. Yet, sadly, I feel as though sometime in the past decade or so we sort of lost touch with each other. I remember tasting the 2009 and finding it much riper than I expected, much bigger and grander in style. I thought, well, things change. I silently wished the property well and thought, at least I still have my memories of a shared past, a simpler time. Imagine my joy, then upon tasting the 2016 vintage en primeur. Mon vieux! The unique conditions in 2016 yielded a wine that will rival the great vintages of decades past. This is a wine heavily dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, which makes up 76% of the blend. It is a miracle of the dry conditions and the very warm days and cool nights of July and August. The wine is deeply colored and intensely aromatic with great presence and persistence. A marvel of perfect ripeness, lively acidity, and very fine tannins, and all with a mere 13% alcohol. Structured, yet refined. Exquisitely balanced. A more definitive expression of terroir I have rarely seen. Classic. A triumph.

2016 La Patache, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-22-2017
From a total of 3.18 hectares spread over nine plots west and north of the main plateau of Pomerol on clay and fine gravel soils. Six parcels around the Chateau itself near Chateau Rouget, Clinet and Latour à Pomerol, and an additional three near Chateau Montviel and Clos René. The 2016 vintage is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Very sweet fruit, ripe and richly textured. A full-bodied effort, at the higher end for the vintage at 14.5% alc. 30% new oak adds a bit of spice. Fine tannins frame the finish. Terrific value.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 - 94

2016 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 04-18-2017
From 113 hectares of vineyards on gravel soils in Cussac-Fort Médoc, just south of Saint Julien-Beychevelle, planted to 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. The 2016 Beaumont, Haut-Médoc displays an admirable ripeness of fruit, but one balanced by lively acidity and fine tannins. Very true to the vintage, very fresh, very precise. Ample proof that the quality in 2016 runs from top to bottom.

2016 Haut-Brisson, St-Émilion
Review Date: 04-11-2017
22 hectares of vines in a mix of clay limestone and sand and gravel soils. Major improvements here recently to bolster the already high quality of the wines. Vinification is by parcel in small, conical steel tanks. Barrel aging with 35% new. 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. Rich and round with very sweet, ripe fruit. 14.5% alc. Finishes very fine.

2016 Enclos Tourmaline, Pomerol
Review Date: 04-11-2017
From a mere 1.2 hectares of vineyards in three small parcels in the very heart of the Pomerol plateau – one near l’Église Clinet, one near La Fleur Petrus, and the third lying midway between Trotanoy and Le Pin. Made entirely of Merlot and aged in 100% new oak barrels. There is incredible intensity here. The wine is deeply colored and wildly aromatic. Very rich in style with ripe, sweet fruit. A bit riper than the vintage on average at 14.7% alcohol but you would never guess. The wine remains very fresh with lively acidity and fine tannins.

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-25-2017
La Maison Le Brun de Neuville is one of the top producers in the Côte de Sézanne. This lesser known region of Champagne is sometimes dismissed as merely a southward extension of the Côte des Blancs, but to do so is to ignore the unique character and exceptional quality of these wines. The Le Brun de Neuville Authentique Assemblage is aged under cork for five years, a practice that requires manual disgorgement using a centuries old technique. The result is Champagne that is rich in style with an ultra-fine bead, opulent yet focused, creamy in texture yet very fresh and lively. Rarely available in the US. Don’t miss your chance to sample the best of this remarkable region.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 02-08-2017
The very first wine I bought for my cellar from this historic 2010 vintage. The 2010 Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc embodies everything that is great about the vintage - astonishing depth of color and flavor, big fruit, profound structure. One of the rare Haut-Medoc chateaus to be included in the classification of 1855 this cinquieme cru is one of Bordeaux's great values. Don't miss a chance to add some to your cellar.

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
When David Driscoll, our spirits buyer, shouts “grab a glass, Jeff, I need you to taste something” as he heads for the tasting bar with an open bottle of booze in his hands, I waste no time in doing as he says. I have learned through good experience over the years that whatever he is pouring is going to be amazing. Today he surprised me with the new Fuenteseca Huerta Singular El Maguey Blanco Tequila. I have been an admirer of Enrique Fonseca ever since we started offering his anejos and extra-anejos. His masterful marriage of agave spirit and wood opened my eyes to the possibilities of the anejo style. And yet suddenly here I was with a glass of his Blanco in my hand. But this was no ordinary tequila. This was unlike any I had tasted before. I have had great blanco tequilas made from agave grown at higher altitudes that had impressive concentration and a sweet, fruity character. I have had blancos made from agave grown at lower altitudes that were wildly aromatic with a more savory quality. This new Fuenteseca Blanco seems to combine the best of both along with a slightly roasted note that somehow brings the whole thing together. There is more concentration and depth here, more sheer complexity, than I have ever tasted in a blanco-style tequila. If you believe that only wood-aged tequilas are worthy of sipping on their own, it’s only because you have yet to try the Fuenteseca Huerta Singular El Maguey Blanco Tequila.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 01-31-2017
From 10 hectares of vineyards on the banks of the Dordogne River, about 15 km from the city of Bordeaux itself, 3rd generation vigneron Jacques Meynard produces this incomparable Bordeaux Supérieur . I have found it to be remarkably consistent vintage to vintage, quite good even in years when the weather is less accommodating. Given the very favorable conditions of the extraordinary 2010 vintage, however, this little vin ordinaire is a surprisingly substantial wine! At first showing only ripe fruit with a slightly savory component, the wine – decanted – really opened up over the course of an hour. Sweet, ripe, almost jammy red fruits tasting of cherry preserves combined with a delightful note of fresh mint. A typical Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet really takes the lead here. This is a big, full-bodied effort with lively acidity and firm tannins. Greatly outperforms the price point.
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

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