Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse

Reviews

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2014 AXR Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-14-2018
This is a wine of pedigree. Made by Jean Hoefliger the winemaker of celebrated Napa winery Alpha Omega. This dynamic Chardonnay sits stylistically between a rich, powerful white burgundy (think Corton ish) and a more restrained California expression of Chardonnay. It has powerful concentration with baked orchard fruit, nectarine, quince, cornmeal, and spiced apple pie. There is some classy French oak present but playing a supporting role to the fruit, never interrupting. The wine has a beautiful acid line adding tension and retaining focus into the long, persistent finish showing beautiful clarity. If this were Burgundy...you could expect to pay at least twice this price...maybe significantly more.
Top Value!

2016 Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-13-2018
This delivers everything you could ask for in a classic Sonoma Pinot Noir at a ridiculously low price. Our longtime partners at Martin Ray have simply packed this wine full of juicy, brambly, spicy red fruit. Hints of warm earth, baking spice and summer berry compote fill the palate. Fruit forward and crowd pleasing, yet with enough restraint and fresh acidity to appeal to lovers of more restrained Pinot also. The fruit comes from some of the most highly regarded vineyards in Russian River and Carneros. I'm not sure how they made such a dynamite Pinot for this price point...but I'm certainly not complaining!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2010 Calera "de Villiers" Mt. Harlan Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-13-2018
I'm just ecstatic to be able to offer this bottling direct from the winery and in pristine condition. I've long been a fan of Calera and the true magic of these wines often takes time to reveal itself. This 2010 release of De Villiers is drinking beautifully at 8 years of age with a captivating nose just staring to show some secondary aromas of dried mushroom, forest floor and leather. On the palate the wine is still concentrated and vibrant. Lots of dark berries, dried fruits, meaty elements. Plush and rich in texture, with beautifully resolved soft tannin. Decant for 30 mins to let the wine unfold and you'll be delighted by how many layers this has to show off.

2015 Best's "Bin No.1" Great Western Victoria Shiraz
Review Date: 06-06-2018
Classic cool climate Aussie Shiraz. Bright, vibrant, succulent blue fruit, notes of violets and ground spice. Medium to full bodied but energetic and fresh rather than jammy or stewed. Some more savory, cracked peppercorn nuances shine through with air adding a nice umami character to the wine. There sure is a lot to love about this bottle - not least the incredibly modest price tag!
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
JS 96 JH 95

2015 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 06-06-2018
Could this be the best ever Mount Edward Pinot Noir? It's fairly early to say but it might just be! This is showing beautifully right out of the bottle; a perfect varietal mix of bright, floral, perfumed, exotic fruit combined with wild thyme, brambles and earthy nuances that are utterly seductive. Central Otago Pinot Noir almost always has great fruit but very few have the layers and complexity this wine possesses. On the palate the texture is silky and svelte; fresh, juicy and expressive as a young wine but clearly packed with character and intrigue that will continue to unfold for many years to come. Mount Edward has long been a staff favorite and perennial best seller here at K&L and this wine will no doubt cement that position - it's rocking wine I couldn't be happier recommending.
Top Value!

2014 Ramey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-05-2018
Another stellar release from this Napa Valley stalwart; Ramey's 2014 Napa Cabernet is yet again an immaculate rendition of what makes this valley so special for growing Cabernet. Packed with deep, brooding, smokey dark fruit; plum, cassis, dried herbs, graphite, embers and cedar shavings. Full bodied but dry and nicely structured around well defined tannins. Nice purity of fruit with a nod back to a time of more classically styled wines; it shows a lovely combination of ripe fruit and generous texture without becoming jammy or over the top. At our special hidden price this is a Napa Valley classic you don't want to miss!
Top Value!

2016 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-04-2018
A brisk nose of salt air, chamomile, quince paste and rye toast. This is a racy, bright wine beautifully the expresses the cool, coastal influenced position of Bien Nacido Vineyard in the foggy Santa Maria Valley. The palate has drive and verve with stony minerals and bright yellow tree fruit. Some savory stone ground flour like notes add complexity. A swipe of citrus acidity tingles on the palate. Focused and poised but with ample layers and depth from the old vines. The wine is notably devoid of oak influence allowing the sense of place to take center stage. A very faithful and delicious rendition of this legendary vineyard.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
RP 94

2016 The Burn "Borne of Fire" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-23-2018
What a first release of this wine! Pure Cabernet flavors of blackcurrant, cassis, loganberry, freshly picked mint and dusty earth tones. Medium bodied with fantastic purity and grace. The tannins are fine and silky keeping this lively wine flowing across the palate. Mouth-filling and satisfying yet not at all sweet or jammy. Subtle oak, moderate alcohol and 13.5%, this wine really lets the purity of fruit do all the heavy lifting. An unbelievable value given the quality.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2015 Robert Craig Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-17-2018
This stunning release from Robert Craig reinforced to me once again that Mt. Veeder is my favorite sub-region in Napa for Cabernet Sauvignon. Cool breezes from the pacific ocean and poor, rocky mountain soils bring forth a classic, balanced, structured expression of the grape. The aromatics boast briary, dark red fruit, pipe tobacco, shaved cedar and dry spices. The palate is powerful, but quite linear and focused. Nothing jammy or sweet about this flavor profile; instead it's much more restrained and savory then many modern expression of Napa Cab. Redcurrant, plum, mulberry and dried fig. The tannins are long and polished and acidity beautifully integrated with the fruit. All the components are beautifully tuned and working in unison; an effortlessly powerful wine with regal pedigree. Don't miss this last of an era Pym Rae vineyard Robert Craig release, it's quite a swan song.

2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 05-16-2018
One of the finest examples of this varietal to grace our shelves here at K&L. This is a truly spectacular expression of Syrah regardless of place or price point. The purest nose of crushed violets, mulberry, seared steak and ground spices. On the palate the wine is beautifully focused, elegant and vibrant. The tannins are notable but not at all aggressive or astringent, instead they are perfectly refined to give length and grip that will assure a long life. With time in the glass the wine unfurls showing off layer after layer of black and blue fruits, exotic spices, floral high tones and meaty, smokey bass notes. The real deal. I'm so glad to see the folks at Halcon getting the critical acclaim they have long deserved.

2015 Smith Story "Pickberry Vineyard" Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-04-2018
This Cabernet comes from a cool, northeastern facing aspect high on Sonoma Mountain. The vines, now just shy of 40 years old, have deep roots in the rocky, gravelly soils bringing a powerful minerality to the wine. The fruit is wild and brambly with blackberry, brairy notes, thyme, mint and freshly turned earth. Quite an old school flavor profile with bright acidity and varietal correct tannin structure. What a fantastic release from the Smith Story. All of us here at K&L were excited to see how this new endeavor would go for Eric and Ali (both K&L Alums) and it's so satisfying to see them rewarded with top notch press from the best wine writers in the land. Congrats guys on a sunning wine!
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart
VN 95

2017 Brander Rosé Los Olivos District
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A bit of an outlier among our rosé selections that are dominated by Pinot Noir and Rhône varietals but nonetheless delicious! This Merlot (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) based rosé comes from Brander’s Los Olivos estate and Mesa Verde vineyards, both in the Los Olivos District of Santa Ynez Valley. The fruit was grown and picked specifically for rosé production and picked early for bright flavors and acid retention. A crunchy, zesty wine with white strawberry, lemon, cranberry and spearmint, this is also a very versatile food wine for alfresco dinners this summer season.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Tyler Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A tart, crunchy take on Pinot Noir rosé showing some of the more savory, sultry elements of the varietal, this is made from the free-run juice that collects in the picking bins as the clusters of Pinot get squeezed under their own weight. A patchwork of fruit from across Santa Maria Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills. Very fragrant and floral. Alpine strawberry, bramble, wild thyme and orange peel. The wine also has a distinct saline, mineral quality, maybe from Sta. Rita’s calcareous soils. Super elegant and refreshing rosé.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Vaughn Duffy Mendocino Carignane Rosé
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A very interesting wine from an 80-year-old patch of Carignane near Ukiah in Mendocino County. A focused, dry style with macerated raspberries, citrus zest, baking spice, rose petals and flint. Made by husband-and-wife team Matt Duffy and Sara Vaughn, whose wines continue to impress me across the entire range. Watch out for this semi-under-the-radar brand; they also make dynamite Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc that are not to be missed.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2017 Bedrock Wine Company "Ode to Lulu" California Rosé
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A fantastic edition of this wine, Ode to Lulu pays homage to the great Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier in Bandol, the origin of some of the finest rosé wines the world has ever seen. The 2017 Lulu is composed of 75% Mataro (Mourvèdre) and the rest Grenache, all from very old vines. Light in color but packed with crunchy berry fruit flavors, mulling spice, dusty earth and torn herbs de Provence. Very Bandol-like indeed. Another wine I plan to drink plenty of this summer…at least until the supply runs out.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2017 Copain "Tous Ensemble" Mendocino County Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Another perennial favorite of mine and this year truly fantastic, this subtle salmon pink wine shows aromas and flavors of golden raspberries, melon, peach and brioche. Quite a lees-driven style with some nutty elements adding complexity to the fruit. A soft mouth-filling texture with racy acidity to finish intertwined with stony minerals. Very quaffable.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 05-02-2018
In a few short years Flowers’ rosé of Pinot Noir has quickly become a benchmark wine. Made from some of the finest Pinot Noir fruit the Sonoma Coast has to offer (including a good chunk of their Sea View Ridge estate vineyard). The hand-picked grapes are whole-cluster pressed on a gentle cycle and juice is fermented with native yeast in stainless steel and neutral French oak. Malolactic is partially blocked to keep the acidity zesty and fresh. Aromas of tart alpine strawberry, yogurt, spiced orange peel and bramble leaf. Flavors follow suit. The palate has a subtle creamy feel and then the bright acidity rushes back, drawing out the wine to a juicy, mouthwatering finish. A pure, fresh, aromatic take on Pinot Noir rosé and one that is sure to be a favorite again this year.
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Fine Disregard "Lost Row" Stags Leap District Syrah
Review Date: 05-02-2018
From a single row of Syrah planted to an old Barossa Valley massale selection in Napa Valley’s Stag’s Leap District. The rest of the vineyard has been re-grafted but Mike picks this one row, plus a few other single vines of Sémillon that rejected their re-graft, in order to co-ferment this wine. Hauntingly perfumed with the quintessential violets, cracked pepper and smoked meat that signifies to me that I’m likely in for a treat. Bursting with juicy, purple fruit, dried Provençal herbs, pink peppercorns, beef drippings; mid-weight with lively acidity and appropriate tannins; this is a lifted, elegant Syrah but one that certainly has a serious muscular core and plenty of longevity all but assured.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Fine Disregard "Millhouse Vineyard" Oak Knoll Semillon
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Inspired by his time making wine in Australia’s Hunter Valley, Mike is somewhat infatuated with Sémillon. He strives to make a style purely expressive of its site. This wine is from a special half-acre block in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. Fermented in stainless steel (one-third) and neutral oak (two-thirds), this wine perfectly captures Sémillon’s textural weight and presence plus the searing acidity that ensures it long ageability. White blossom, preserved lemon, key lime and baked bread. The length on the palate is seeming endless. A wine that is sure to age beautifully.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 El Lugar "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Predominantly from old-vine, own-rooted blocks planted in the 1970s with some younger vines from 1999, this is based on Pommard and Martini heritage clones. It’s a brooding wine, showing the more savory side of Pinot Noir. Beyond wild raspberry and dark rose petals is forest floor, rocky earth, dried porcini and truffle. The palate is mid-weight and layered with fine tannins. Very serious Pinot Noir that deserves to be savored.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 El Lugar "Rincon Vineyard" Arroyo Grande Valley
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A fantastically fresh, bright, crunchy Pinot Noir with compelling forest berry fruits, sweet herbs, bramble and mulling spice. The floral, lifted nose is followed up perfectly by the expressive, energized palate. Nothing big or sappy here; this is pure, focused, elegantly proportioned Pinot Noir with drive and vibrancy in spades. Love it. Just 96 cases made.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Ann Albert Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-02-2018
From an old block of Bien Nacido Chardonnay vines planted in 1973. A very concentrated, textural wine. Still tight and refined but with an innate sense of density and power, likely from the old vines, this is more in the baked orchard fruit spectrum: roasted pears, golden pie crust, raw almond and toasted chestnuts. A creamy, lees-derived mid-palate texture is beautifully counterbalanced by bracing acidity that this cool site is known for. A very complete wine with layers and intrigue.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ann Albert Wines "Zotovich Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-02-2018
A beautifully focused, mineral-tinged, mouthwatering Chard that is electric on the palate. The soil here is mostly diatomaceous earth and sand, producing highly aromatic wines with a distinctive saline, oyster shell minerality. Eric’s expression combines this soil-driven character with zesty citrus and crunchy quince. Beautifully pure and unadulterated. Very Chablis inspired. Fantastic crab wine.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Carlisle "DuPratt Vineyard" Mendocino Ridge Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-02-2018
From a high elevation, relatively cool climate vineyard site in the remote Mendocino Ridge AVA, Carlisle’s DuPratt Zinfandel is sourced from 97-year-old vines and provides a different expression of Zin than the big, broad, lush Russian River or Sonoma Valley bottlings most people are more familiar with. While still being very powerful and ripe, there is more “crunch” to the fruit, some savory, briary notes and wonderfully bright acidity. Brooding slate-like minerals and woodsy spices linger. Such a cool wine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 94

2013 Amapola Creek "Monte Rosso Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 05-02-2018
From arguably the most famed Zinfandel planting in the world, a site declared a “first growth vineyard” by the inimitable Robert Parker. These gnarly vines were 123 years old when this fruit was picked! This parcel of fruit was expertly crafted by Richard Arrowood who himself has 50-plus years of vinous wisdom under his belt. I love how it beautifully captures the rich and exuberant fruit that old-vine Zinfandel gives but also retains a drinkability and balance. No over-extraction or excessive residual sugar here. Just pure, brambly, lush old-vine fruit immaculately presented for a very reasonable price, especially when you consider the pedigree of both the fruit source and craftsman!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2015 Vöcal "Bates Ranch" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Old-school Cabernet that harks back to an era (largely) gone by. This wine is more reminiscent of the styles being made and consumed back when these vines were adolescents. Planted in the 1960s, these are own-rooted, dry-farmed, head-trained Cabernet vines in the shadow of Mt. Madonna in the very southeastern corner of the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. The fruit has real “Cabernet” character: that is to say, plenty of leafy, herbaceous notes mingling with huckleberry, plum, graphite and subtle lavender. The tannins are firm but fine and the acidity is markedly present, giving great staying power on the finish and begging for food.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fog Monster "Bedrock Vineyard" Sonoma Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 05-02-2018
Fog Monster is a very cool project from dynamic winemaker Andrea Mullineux. Andrea is better known for her namesake South African-based wines “Mullineux Family” with her husband Chris in the Swartland region north of Cape Town. Andrea was named global “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine in 2016 and is revered by all who know her in the wine world. A native of the Bay Area, Andrea returns to California annually and makes tiny amounts of the Fog Monster wines from unique sites across the state, often experimenting with unusual winemaking techniques. This wine is a very elegant, perfumed, light-touch expression of one of the state’s most highly regarded old vineyards. Planted in the 1880s, this vineyard is a diverse field blend of interplanted varieties. Driven by Zinfandel (60%) and Carignane (20%), the remainder consists of 20-plus mixed grapes.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2015 Precedent "Old Vine White - Wirz Vineyard" Cienega Valley
Review Date: 05-02-2018
From a patch of 60-plus-year-old, organically farmed, dry-farmed Riesling (and some other mixed whites) in the rugged Cienega Valley. The soils here, mixed up by tectonic movement, are a complex mix of decomposed granite, shale and limestone. Raised in neutral oak foudre not for flavor but for the wondrous texture the lees aging gives the wine, it reminds me of some of the best Rieslings out of the famed Morstein vineyard in Rheinhessen…that effortless power and density while retaining a filigreed expression and delicacy.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Philip Togni "Estate" Spring Mountain District Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A wine that was badly affected by the low yields of 2015, with production down by half. What tiny amounts are available are truly special and yet again make my list for potential wine of the vintage. I say “potential” wine of the vintage because this wine’s true colors won’t reveal themselves for a decade-plus…maybe two. The low yields and drought stress, however, have given this wine a little more softness than in some prior years. There is a dark, sweet core of fruit wrapped around the sinewy, firm structure that defines Togni’s Spring Mountain Cab. Gravelly mountain soil minerals and green tobacco notes linger with long-chain tannins and beautifully preserved acidity. A classic.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
VN 94

2015 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-01-2018
Brand new from this Napa Valley icon, the 2015 Cab is simply delicious, super accessible, forward and open-knit. Quite perfumed, floral, with fresh-picked blackberries, liquored cassis, subtle vanillin oak and warm earth. Medium-bodied, with ripe, smooth tannins and moderate acidity. Drinking beautifully upon release but will no doubt provide plenty of pleasure down the road as well.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
JD 92 VN 92

2015 Forman "Château la Grande Roche" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A very classic take on Napa Cab. This wine shows the more restrained side of 2015, as one would expect from Ric Forman. This is very serious, age-worthy Cabernet. More savory tones of pipe tobacco, bay laurel, red currant and bramble here, and then some darker plummy fruit comes through on the palate, with lovely grainy tannins, crushed rock and cedar. Beautiful old-school Cabernet. Drink now with a bone-in ribeye or in 5–10 years with a French trimmed rack of lamb.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Blacksmith "C.L.R.T." Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-01-2018
I was simply blown away by the quality of the Blacksmith wines and couldn’t believe the prices being quoted as I was tasting them. Fruit for the 2015 C.L.R.T. (aka Claret) is predominantly from Oakville. It’s quintessential Napa Valley stuff: loamy earth, ripe plum, cassis, briary notes. The balance is striking, with beautifully refined structure and purity. Drinks way above its modest price point. Also check out Blacksmith’s 2015 Reserve Oakville Cabernet…simply stunning.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Resolute (Aerena) Red Hills Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-01-2018
This tastes like a big, saturated, mountain fruit Cab from some cult Napa producer—except it’s $19.99! Blackcurrant, cassis, mocha, charred oak and graphite. A full- bodied Cab but one that is true to the varietal and an exceptional value.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Arnot-Roberts "Watson Ranch" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-01-2018
This has been a perennial favorite of mine for quite some time. I have always found it to be a compelling California Chard that can stand toe-to-toe with the top-notch white Burgundy that still seems to remain the benchmark for high-quality Chardonnay. This fruit comes from a cool, exposed site in southeast Napa. The soils are quite unusual for the region, being highly calcareous, and it really shows in the wine’s intense minerality. Despite the wine’s very low 12.5% ABV there’s no lack of ripeness and texture. It’s actually quite a rich, dense wine (perhaps from the thick-skinned grapes this windy site produces). Golden orchard fruit, baked pear, dusty white flower and saline mineral tinges linger in the nutty lees-driven finish. Lots of savory umami elements here.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 JG 93

2015 Shea Wine Cellars "Shea Vineyard" Willamette Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-01-2018
I’ve tasted some fantastic Chardonnay from the Willamette this year. I had long known its potential to produce world-class Pinot Noir but had only scratched the surface of what the Chards have to offer. The Shea vineyard is world-renowned for Pinot Noir but this wine shows just how special their Chardonnay can be as well. This wine is from vines planted in 1998 on a hillside of fractured sandstone. It is packed with bright yellow stone fruits, apricot pit, baked bread and grainy minerals. The oak (just 16% new) delicately frames the freshness and energy of the wine. Beautifully judged and very refreshing.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Copain "Les Voisins" Anderson Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A wine that is powerful and restrained all at once. From the famed Ferrington vineyard, replanted in 1996 to heritage clones Robert Young and Old Wente that both give concentrated yet vibrant fruit with phenolic density and bright acidity. The wine has a musky, raw almond type character that reminds me of Meursault, great weight on the palate and intensity of flavor, yet crunchy, tangy acidity that teases out on the long finish. Golden tree fruit, baked apple, toasted rye and a nice citric zest on the back end. Really compelling Chardonnay.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 91

2015 Baxter "Oppenlander Vineyard" Mendocino Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-01-2018
I first tasted this Chardonnay with winemaker Phil Baxter at the Aromatic White Wine Festival in Anderson Valley and was floored by its unique saline minerality and shimmering acidity. Phil makes this wine from just a couple tons of Chardonnay fruit from the Oppenlander vineyard in a remote part of coastal Mendocino. Just eight miles inland from the town of Mendocino, the site is very cool with lots of ocean influence. The vines are planted on their own roots (ungrafted) in a mix of gravelly loam soil. The wine is fermented with native yeast in entirely neutral oak and aged on fine lees. This wine is much more about soil, or terroir-driven nuances than any particular fruit profile; I find it utterly delicious and find new flavors with every visit.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay (375ml)
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A lovely new release from Domaine Drouhin, “Arthur” is named for Dominique Drouhin’s son and comes from mature (30 year old) vines on the estate. The wine was fermented partly in French oak and partly in stainless steel. The two resulting wines were then married together to create what Dominique likens to a Meursault meeting a Chablis. There’s ripe orchard fruit, with honeysuckle and pear blossom floral notes, warm pie crust and stone ground flour. The palate has great texture and weight without being overly heavy or creamy. The wine has fantastic length and purity on the palate.

2016 Hanzell "Sebella" Sonoma Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-01-2018
A very deliberate, fresh, zesty, crisp style of Chard made without the use of new oak and without the wine going through malolactic fermentation (for those uninitiated, malolactic is typically what gives Chardonnay a rounder, creamier feel in the mouth—“buttery,” if you will). Made mostly from younger vines on Hanzell’s spectacular estate plus some parcels from other top growers on the Sonoma Coast, this is a fantastic value given Hanzell’s pedigree and the quality of the wine. Try with seafood like crab, scallops or moules marinières.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Comartin Cellars "Cuvée Cassidy" GSM Santa Ynez
Review Date: 05-01-2018
My affection for California Rhône-style blends runs deep and this dynamite Grenache-Syrah-Mourvèdre from Adam Comartin hits the mark. A lovely combination of pure brambly fruit, wild thyme, loamy earth and a lick of exotic French oak. Packed to the brim with forward fruit but beautifully balanced and fresh. The Syrah adds some depth and a dash of Mourvèdre a savory, brooding edge.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2013 Site Wines "Larner Vineyard" Grenache Ballard Canyon Santa Barbara
Review Date: 04-23-2018
To anyone that knows me it should come as little surprise that this is one of my favorite wines of 2018 so far. I'm just a little bit in love with California Grenache and this stunner from Larner vineyard is one of the most explosive and seductive you'll find. The Site wines are a side project for up and coming superstar winemaker Jeremy Winetraub (whose day jobs is being the winemaker at Adelaida). I truly think the Site wines rival some of the most expensive cult wines of the region such as Sine Que Non and Saxum. In fact this exact parcel of biodynamically grown Grenache from Larner vineyard is the same historical source that produced many of SQN's highly decorated Grenache based wines over the past years. The wine is powerful and lavishly exotic. Deep, spicy red-black fruit, raspberry preserve, clove, star anise, crushed rock and floral tones fill the nose. The palate is full bodied, saturated and silky smooth with layer upon layer of ripe tannins and plush fruit. A very hedonistic experience from arguably the best planting of this varietal in the country, beautifully choreographed by Jeremy. This should not be missed especially at our winery direct pricing.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 91

2015 Venge "Scout's Honor" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 04-23-2018
A wine that is mostly only available direct from the winery or in restaurants. Here's a chance to load up on this decadent Zin based blend from boutique winery: Venge. The family has a long history in Napa Valley and the base of this wine is from a 100+ year old block of Zinfandel in Calistoga. This was then bolstered with a dash of Petite Sirah from a dry-farmed block and some Syrah from the legendary Stage Coach Vineyard on Pritchard Hill! Yep...And all for our to-low-to-show price of...well you get the idea. Lashings of jammy, brambly fruit, ripe, soft tannins, lush texture and exotic oak spice. Big and bold is the order of the day here so go ahead and indulge yourself...this opportunity doesn't come around often.
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 94 RP 93

2013 Site Wines "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Wow! Just Wow. These Site wines from Jeremy Winetraub are simply sensational. Fans of Saxum, Sine Qua Non pay attention. The wines are simply packed with fruit intensity and power. This one of the most amazing expressions of Bien Nacido I have ever tasted and that's saying something of one of my favorite vineyards in all of California. A bigger more concentrated style than many but one that also maintains beautiful balance and rigid structure. Classic aromas of dark rose petal, smoked meat, salted plum, brambles and scorched earth. The palate is luscious, full bodied and intense with juicy acidity and length for days. Toasted spices and dried herbs linger on the finish. What a sensational wine balancing astounding power with deft balance and intricacy. Stunning wine and the first in a line up of amazing vintages for Jeremy. This is one project to watch for sure. Also with our winery direct pricing this sells for 1/10th of the price that many comparable cult wines in the area go for with little to nothing lost in terms of quality.
Top Value!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 92

2014 Marietta "Game Trail" Yorkville Highlands Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Whilst the Yorkville Highlands are not well known to many people, this wine could be the one that convinces people this area is home to world class Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines grow in schist soils at 1,400ft in the mountains that separate Sonoma from Anderson Valley. It is quite similar in many ways to mountain fruit Cabernet from areas such as Spring and Howell Mountain above Napa Valley. Intensely aromatic nose of mulberry, graphite, blackcurrant and Asian spices. A long, linear impression on the palate with beautifully groomed mountain fruit tannins and reams of spicy exotic fruit. Subtle oak frames everything nicely. This wine is certainly expressive and tasting great right now but I have no doubt it will also age beautifully if you're so inclined.
Top Value!

2014 Marietta "Gibson Block" McDowell Valley Syrah
Review Date: 04-23-2018
A big wine with immense depth and power. Coming from some of the oldest Syrah vines in the country, expertly crafted by folks at Marrietta who really specialize in old vine bottlings. Palate staining, inky wine. Dark, smoky fruits, plum, wild blackberry, meaty aromas flow from the glass. The palate is saturated and fleshy but well balanced with savory tannins and earthy tinges. Just begging for grilled meats. An exceptional value.
Top Value!

2015 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-09-2018
A lovely new release from Domaine Drouhin - “Arthur” is named for Dominque Drouhin’s son and comes from mature (30 year old) vines on the estate. The wine was fermented partly in French oak and partly in stainless steel. The two resulting wines were then married together to create what Dominique likens to a Meursault meeting a Chablis. There’s ripe orchard fruit, honeysuckle and pear blossom floral notes; warm pie crust and stone ground flour. The palate has great texture and weight without being overly heavy or creamy. The wine has fantastic length and purity on the palate.
Top Value!

2015 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 04-05-2018
I first tasted this wine at the Yountville Appellation tasting at Premiere Napa Valley and it made a lasting impression on me. In a room positively packed with super high-end Napa Cabs and poured along side of its "Big Brother" the 2015 Dominus; I was thoroughly impressed how this wine held up and even surpassed many of its much more expensive competitors. Hailing from the exact some vines that produce Dominus' "1st wine" - the pedigree is clear to see. Parcels of Napanook destined fruit are selected for their fresher, more approachable flavor profile. I love this wines very classic take on the varietal. This isn't a ripe, over the top wine by any stretch of the imagination. In fact it stood out as one of the more balanced, pure, traditional wines in the room. There is plenty of powerful black and blue fruit, plum, cassis, briary notes, loamy earth, but also freshly picked mint, dry leaves, cigar box and bay laurel. The wine is concentrated but quite linear and bright; drinking beautifully upon release but seems like a wine that will also age quite effortlessly for a decade or so. One of the last true values out there...especially in a great (but low yielding) vintage like 2015.

2015 Mount Veeder Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-28-2018
Mt. Veeder Cab at this price point is almost unheard of. Add the fact that 2015 produced wines of powerful concentration but low, low yields and this price seems even more ludicrous. The wine shows the classic brambly, tobacco laced Cabernet fruit the appellation is known for but with a little more richness, softness and accessibility then one might expect from mountain fruit. This is a killer value for drinking now or in 5-10 years - don't miss it.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 JD 90

2014 Galerie "Pleinair" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-23-2018
A beautifully proportioned Napa Cabernet encapsulating the power and richness the region gives but with a stylistic leaning toward the wines of old when varietal character and minerality was championed over sweet oak and extract. This is real Cabernet complete with deep redcurrant, tobacco, spice box, loamy earth, graphite and briary notes. Medium to full bodied with lovey firm but fine tannins and subtle oak framing. Really delivers the goods for Napa cabernet at a serious competitive price point.

2014 Galerie "Latro" Knight's Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-23-2018
A powerful wine that beautifully reflects it's Knight's Valley origins. Blackcurrant, cassis, plum, shaved dark chocolate, charcoal and spice box. Full bodied, with robust structure and seemingly endless length on the palate. Walks a beautiful line between modern, fruit-driven Cab but retains some more classic savory aspects of the varietal plus line, length and balanced acidity. A fantastic partner to grilled red meat and sure to lay down well in the cellar if you're so inclined. What a deal at this sub-$50 price point!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

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