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Staff Favorites - Ryan Woodhouse

Ryan Woodhouse


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2014 Stolpman "Hecho Por Ruben" Ballard Canyon Syrah
Review Date: 10-17-2018
As much as we talk about soil and climate influencing wine, it's also a very "human" beverage. From cultivating the land to tending the tending the vines and crushing the grapes; the human hand is integral to how a wine tastes through every stage of the process. Few hands are as experienced or as skilled as those belonging to Ruben Solorzano. Ruben has farmed Stolpman's estate for 25 years. He knows every block intimately and is dedicated to the very best farming possible. He is known by everyone in the regions as THE vine whisperer and is respected by all whom know him. Starting in 2008 the Stolpman family encouraged Ruben to step from the vineyard into the cellar and make a wine based on his personal assessment of the many hundreds of blocks he has spent much of his life farming. The result is simply stunning and tangible proof that great wines are truly made in the vineyard!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WE 93

2016 Lucky Rock Wine Co. "County Cuvee" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-16-2018
A mind boggling value in California Pinot Noir. Lucky Rock is made by a couple young guys driven by one singular make delicious and affordable Pinot Noir. There's no pretense or stuffiness here...but there is great raw materials and savvy wine making know how. The fruit is sourced from three highly acclaimed vineyards: Vista Verde Vineyard (Williams-Selyem) Dutton Ranch's Morelli Lane Vineyard (Dumol) and White Sage Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands right next door to Hahn's famed Doctor's Vineyard! Fruit from all of these vineyard sites typically makes its way into $50-$60+ single vineyard wines. However the Inman brothers have used their deep connections in the wine business to secure the fruit and combine the parcels into what it is just a flat out delicious, fruit forward, easy drinking, crowd pleasing Pinot. Oh...and it's less than $15! Get some ASAP.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Dierberg "Dierberg Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-15-2018
Following up on the best selling 2014 Chardonnay this new 2015 Dierberg release, from their home estate vineyard, is simply stunning. Packed with perfectly ripe golden tree fruits, salted butter, rye toast, and saline minerals. A mid-weight wine with lots of flavor intensity and cool climate acidity. The flavors just go on and on. The crystalline acidity is so refreshing and food friendly. It's easy to see why so many of the regions top producers make single vineyard designates from this "Grand Cru" site...most for a lot more money than the winery's own bottling...especially at our super sharp price! Fantastic value for money here.
Top Value!

2015 Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-10-2018
Deal of the Year!? Almost certainly. A ludicrously low price on a Sonoma Coast Pinot from one the most celebrated winemakers in California. Don't ask how we got the price...just load up while you can and enjoy. Wind Gap's 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is sourced from some of the most iconic vineyards in the region including Gap's Crown, Griffin's Lair and Sun Chase. It's a beautifully fragrant wine with deep red fruit, sweet baking spice, bramble, clove and leaf litter. The texture is silky, medium weight with ample ripe fruit intertwined with more complex savory aspects. It slides across the palate perhaps a little too easily (if you know what I mean)...but at least the alcohol is a very modest 12.4%. Brightly fruited, elegant, pure Pinot Noir. This is what the cool Sonoma Coast appellation is all about but we very rarely get to experience that beauty without handing over a LOT more cash than this!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 93

2012 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 10-08-2018
I really enjoyed this release from Muga. It has great concentration and powerful fruit but is also very refined and precise. Nothing is out of place, the fruit is ripe but not overly so, the oak is exotic and spicy but not overbearing, the tannins notable but fine and polished. It's a beautifully composed wine that shows its class through and through.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 92

2017 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige
Review Date: 10-08-2018
A strikingly elegant, playful wine packed with crunchy berry fruit, woodsy spice, leaf litter and sandal wood. Drinks somewhere in between Gamay and least that was my take. Totally delicious and crazily inexpensive.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Buehler Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-06-2018
In a world of ever increasing prices and several vintages of drought influenced low yields, it has become almost impossible to find high quality Napa Valley Cab for under $20...but that's exactly what is in this bottle! For years now Buehler have been a fairly under the radar staff favorite at K&L but the 2015 is better than ever and picked up several 90+ reviews. Our long relationship with this property has allowed us to offer this 2015 beauty at the lowest price in the country. It doesn't get any better than this for Napa Cab at this price.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
VN 91 JS 90

2014 Woodward Canyon "Artist Series #23" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-06-2018
A Washington classic. The Woodward Canyon Artist Series Cab is a perennial benchmark Cab for the region. Sourced from some of the oldest and most celebrated parcels of Cabernet in the state this is a truly legendary bottling. Fruit from Champoux, Sagemoor and Woodward Canyon's old vines (planted in 1977) combine to produce and luxurious Cab with rich, plush fruit underpinned by savory, fine grained tannins and wrapped in exotic, smoky oak. This can be enjoyed now with a good decant or put away for 10-15 years comfortably. There is so much pedigree and quality wrapped up in this bottle is shocking we can offer it at such a modest price.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2015 Framingham Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-03-2018
At this razor sharp hidden price this is probably top of the list for best pound for pound Pinot Noir in the store. We love the Framingham wines here at K&L, they offer some much substance and style at modest price points. This wine is brimming with dark cherry fruit, bramble, all-spice, hints of dried flowers and leaf litter. Medium bodied, silky smooth with super fine tannins and ripe acids. I love that the fruit is so pure and juicy but underpinned by some savory complexity that is rare in Pinot Noir in this price point. 2015 was a great vintage in Marlborough with low yields and lots of concentration. This wine is just hitting its stride and I think will continue to shine for another 3-5 years at least.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 91 RP 90

2017 Orin Swift "Eight Years in the Desert" California Red Blend
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Like the Prisoner of old this wine is sourced from premier Zinfandel vineyards across the state from the Sierra Foothills to West Side Paso. Dave told me he couldn't (or wouldn't) be able to tell me the exact composition as he blends the wine with a strictly imposed double blind tasting process. He doesn't want anything to influence him away from simply making the best tasting California Red Blend he can. The wine comes from some 200+ potential lots, all small individual ferments that he singles out one at a time and incorporates into the master blend. This wine is everything you'd hope it would be and more and is sure to be a top seller this approaching holiday season (if there's any left by then)!
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart

Jonata "La Miel de Jonata" Santa Ynez Valley Semillon - Sauvignon Blanc (375ml)
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Mostly vin de paille style wine made from dried fruit. Unctuous, honeyed, wonderfully complex nutty, sherry-esque notes. I’m looking forward to showing off this wine during the holidays.
Price: $44.95 Add To Cart
ST 93

2014 The Paring (Jonata) Red Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 10-02-2018
So here’s where you can make a very savvy purchase: Jonata estate fruit that doesn’t quite make the cut for the wine above trickles down into this Paring bottling—for twenty-five bucks! 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 10% Petit Verdot. Aged in the very best French oak money can buy, including Taransaud and Sylvain. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. It’s a ludicrous value for the money, mostly intended for by-the-glass pours in restaurants—but we got our hands on some!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Jonata '"El Desafio de Jonata" Santa Ynez Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 10-02-2018
This wine really shows the Screaming Eagle connection. Dominated by 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, this is very serious wine that will age like the very best Cabernet based wines from anywhere in the world. 20-plus years of potential…if you have the patience! Very reminiscent of Left Bank Bordeaux, with tons of black currant, cassis, cedar, tobacco, graphite. Fine but grippy tannins, subtle wisps of oak. Stunning.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
JD 97 RP 93

2015 The Hilt "Old Guard" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-02-2018
This is seriously world-class Pinot Noir by any measure. Sourced predominantly from Sanford & Benedict’s 45-year-old blocks with more wind exposure and leaner soils. Subtle power, presence and structure, intense minerality and sense of place. A Grand Cru bottling.

2015 The Hilt "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Stunning Pinot representing The Hilt’s top-notch estate holdings at Bentrock, Radian and a dollop of fruit from Sanford & Benedict’s 45-year-old Pinot block, the oldest Pinot Noir in the Sta. Rita Hills. Lots of lifted floral and spicy notes, dried rose petals, baking spice, agar wood. The palate is bright and pure with great depth and textural nuance. This was a personal favorite of the winemaker…and it’s easy to see why.

2015 The Hilt "Old Guard" Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-02-2018
A specific selection of old vine parcels makes up the Old Guard. Fruit from some of the very best (if not the best) vineyards in the region in the mix: Solomon Hills, Bien Nacido, Sanford & Benedict and Bentrock. Wonderful, understated power and depth. You can feel the concentration of the fruit and dry extract on the palate. Perfectly ripe baked apples, poached pears, freshly kneaded dough, almond paste, sea salt and wet stone. Rich yet fresh and focused; oak plays a minimal supporting role. I think this will age beautifully. Very serious, top-notch Chard.

2015 The Hilt "Estate" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-02-2018
A perfect reflection of Sta. Rita’s soil and climate, capturing the cool sunlight, saline breezes and white soils. White flowers, crunchy orchard fruit, oyster shell, brown butter, raw almond. Lovely drive and brightness.

2014 The Hilt "Blanc de Blancs" Sta. Rita Hills Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 10-02-2018
The diatomaceous and flint soils in Sta. Rita Hills, plus the cold, ocean-influenced growing conditions seem to lend themselves perfectly to sparkling wines, though you don’t see too many people producing them. This bottling is one to take notice of. Super focused and racy; citrus, quince, rye toast, chalky acid and electric acidity.
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 92

2015 Rusack "El Rancho Escondido" Santa Catalina Island Zinfandel
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Perhaps the coolest climate Zin grown anywhere!? These vines were cuttings from a 120-plus-year-old derelict vineyard on Santa Cruz Island re-propagated on Catalina. Beautifully perfumed, elegant Zinfandel of top quality. This wine really stopped us in our tracks and was the favorite wine of the whole trip for several folks. Classic Zin fruit flavors but only medium-bodied, with juicy acidity and super fine tannins.
Price: $69.95 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 91

2015 Rusack "El Rancho Escondido" Santa Catalina Island Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-02-2018
Grown in clay loam soils in a very cool climate, this wine has ethereal textural softness and elegance. An intensely aromatic wine with crushed rose petals, baking spices, berry compote and wet clay. Medium-bodied with layers of brambly fruit and spice. Light on its feet but packed with flavor. Wow.
Price: $69.95 Add To Cart
RP 95 VN 90

2015 Rusack "El Rancho Escondido" Santa Catalina Island Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-02-2018
The first thing that comes across from this wine is the sense of place…a beautiful salinity, freshness, lightness of touch, oyster shell minerality. Perhaps something in common with the very best Sonoma Coast Chards, but more elegant and linear…Chablis? Pure, refined, delicious Chardonnay that challenges the very best restrained styles from anywhere.

2015 Rusack Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-02-2018
The day before our Rusack visit we had extensively tasted some of the most highly regarded Chardonnays in the region (Tyler, Sandhi, The Hilt, Deovlet). Yet this wine more than held its own. Classic drive and racy quality from the cool sea breezes, lovely spiced orchard fruit, quince, nectarine. Lovely weight and density but never loses focus.

2016 Rusack Santa Barbara County Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 10-02-2018
A precise varietal rendition of Sauvignon Blanc. Beautiful, juicy aromas and flavors of ripe citrus, passion fruit, and lychee. Crunchy and fresh on the palate, ultimately refreshing. Long, shimmering finish with river stone minerals.
Price: $22.95 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-06-2018
I've tasted this wine on several occasions and it never disappoints. It's a beautifully, balanced, authentic expression of Williamette Pinot Noir. The Roserock property combines some of the maturest vines in the region with Drouhin's four generations of grape growing and wine making experience dating back to 1880 when the family domain was founded in Burgundy. It's a mid weight style of Pinot Noir that really captures the seductive side of the varietal. Floral notes lead into wild berries, woodsy spices, underbrush, dried leaves and subtle lavender. The silky, polished texture is just as seductive as the nose. Mouth filling and rich without any over ripeness or unwanted extraction. Very pure and fluid on the palate, with a long layered finish. An exceptional value given the quality and pedigree.

2016 The Crusher California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-05-2018
An outstanding value in Pinot Noir. After my first sip of this wine I put the bottle in a brown paper bag to pour blind for my colleagues...I just wanted to make sure I wasn't losing it...a $9.99 Pinot Noir...that tastes this good! After pouring it blind for a few folks guesses started coming in...Flowers, Patz & Hall, Failla...everyone was guessing $30-50 Pinot Noirs! My palate wasn't deceiving really was a great bottle of California Pinot for under Ten bucks. Lots of fruit, but not jammy, silky tannins, fresh, juicy, easy drinking...varietally correct! Not much more you could ask for at this price point. And they even pour it at AT&T Park!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Felton Road "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 09-05-2018
Always the most coiled and dense of Felton's Pinots but the one that is most sure to provide a decade plus of drinking pleasure. Earthy, dark fruit, wild herbs, thyme and sage. A lovely bramble quality combining juicy, ripe, berry fruits and wild hedgerow notes. Lovely balance of fruit and savory. The tannis are nicely managed but this wine clearly will continue to unfurl and become even more impressive with more years in the bottle.

2015 Raymond "Reserve Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-05-2018
Raymond's Reserve Selection Cab has long been a staple here at K&L. It delivers those big, bold, powerful qualities that put Napa Cab on the map and does it at a price that looks like it's from 1990! I mean how many 2015 vintage, 95 point Napa Cabs can you find for under $30!? Packed with deep, lush valley floor fruit, blackcurrant, ripe plum, bittersweet chocolate and toasted oak. The texture on the palate is velvety smooth and soft (just like the wine's plush label)! There's lots of power and concentration packed into this bottle but it doesn't feel forced or manipulated. Just a bold crowd pleasing style from some great Napa Valley vineyards and plenty of wine making know how. Don't miss this one at a very sharp price!

2015 Eisele Vineyards "Altagracia" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-04-2018
Having tasted many Altagracia bottlings over the years the 2015 is clearly a more refined, site specific expression of this legendary terroir. On a recent visit to the vineyard, General manager Antoine Donnedieu explained how Altagracia now consists of more than 90% estate fruit from four contiguous blocks of the Eisele Vineyard (Tecolote, Piedras, Jardin and Rincon). The fruit is farmed and vinified in the exact same way as the estate's premier bottling. The soils and exposure of these blocks simply lend themselves to a more forward, accessible style of Cabernet and have a different tannin structure than those blocks whose soils are more influenced by the alluvial deposits of Simmons Creek. The wine is simply stunning in its elegance and purity. Whilst the folks at Eisele consider this to be their softer, more open knit bottling; after tasting extensively around the valley on this trip, I found the 2015 Altagracia to be one of the more precise, linear, fine grained expressions of Napa Cabernet I tasted. The intricate character of this storied vineyard is on full show, and the Bordelais sensitivities of its new owners have brought more restraint and refinement to the expression. This is very classy, polished, pure Cabernet that is sure to age beautifully whilst being accessible when young. I tasted it along side 2013, 2014 and 2015 premier Eisele Cabernet bottlings and it showed very well in tough company!
Drink from 2018 to 2018
Price: $139.95 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 94

2016 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Alexander Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 09-04-2018
An absolute stunner from Ridge. The 2016 Geyserville and Lytton bottlings are so good it's staggering that they still sell for under $40. Zinfandel from some of the best Zin vineyards on the planet, made by a winery with arguably more pedigree with the varietal than anyone on earth, with a track record going back many decades. Let's be honest, if this was old vine Cab, from one of the best vineyards in Napa, made by an iconic producer we'd be adding a zero to the price tag. After walking both vineyards recently I truly think this is one of the best modern day values in wine.

2015 Venge "Silencieux" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-30-2018
The quintessential bold, powerful, hedonistic Napa Cabernet. This is one for you folks that love wines such as Lewis Cellars, Pahlmeyer, Caymus, Dancing Hares, Mercury Head. Bursting with decadent ripe fruit, cassis, blackcurrant, boysenberry, toasted baking spice, exotic oak. Round and succulent on the palate with huge intensity of fruit. Ripe tannins are wrapped in generous layers of soft texture and polished oak. Fruit for this bottling comes from some prestigious sites across Napa including Venge's famed Bone Ash Vineyard in Calistoga and their estate block in the heart of Oakville. My first impression tasting this blockbuster wine was that it tastes and drinks a lot like many $100-$500 bottlings of cult Napa Cab.

2016 Hahn "SLH" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-30-2018
Year after year this is an exceptional Pinot Noir in the sub-$20 price point. I don't know how Hahn deliver such beautiful, pure fruited, Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir time and time again for this price! The 2016 bottling has a little extra bounce in its step this year after the severe drought broke and California finally got some rain. The vines were obviously replenished as the fruit here is just singing. Pure red berries, ripe raspberry, cherry, sandalwood, clove. Nice richness, weight and forward fruit on the mid-palate but still very "Pinot" in its expression. Silky, expressive and balanced. Drinks well above its price point. Fantastic party wine or daily drinker; lots of character and class for a very modest price.

2017 Margerum "Riviera" Central Coast Rosé
Review Date: 08-27-2018
One of the most zesty, dry, refreshing rosés this summer. Tart, crunchy red fruits, citrus, lime peel, white blossom. Zippy and fresh on the palate, zero sweetness and plenty of snappy acidity. A rosé you can sip on all day with its very modest alcohol. Reminiscent of the very leanest, driest Provencal styles. Seafood, fresh goat cheese, even oysters work with this crisp profile. Delicious stuff!
Price: $15.95 Add To Cart
WE 92 W&S 90

Tequila Montejima Blanco (750ml)
Review Date: 08-15-2018
My new house Blanco! Lovely floral nose, crystaline quality on the palate, great texture, bright, pure, fresh. Can be sipped straight or mixed. Killer value thanks to Andrew's negotiating skills. Great work!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2011 Roda I Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-15-2018
Interesting that this producer is considered part of the modern wave of Rioja producers. Founded in the late 1980s Roda is a relative baby in a region with a rich history going back centuries. However as Decanter magazine writes: "Roda has become the essence of fine-tuned classicism." Whilst being known for "modern" techniques such as the use of new French oak and detailed, scientific clonal selections of Tempranillo; the wine itself certainly comes across as classic and restrained, even in a hot, dry vintage such as 2011. Dusty dark red fruits, leather, red currant and baking spice. Medium plus bodied with good structure and direction. No easy sweetness, but plenty of fruit and layers framed with a good lick of quality oak. A scorched earth minerality pervades the finish with fine grained tannins suggesting great cellaring potential. Lots to like here and the best is yet to come.
Drink from 2020 to 2020
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 DC 95

2016 Carlisle "Palisades Vineyard" Napa Valley Petite Sirah
Review Date: 08-15-2018
Chardonnay has Le Montrachet, Pinot Noir has Romanée-Conti, Cabernet has the deep gravels of Chateau Latour. If I were to think of the most iconic vineyard for Petite Sirah it would have to be Palisades. I believe this to be the foremost planting of the varietal on the planet. Organic, head-trained, dry-farmed vines planted back in 1968 produce this intense, inky wine. Fragrant lilacs and black roses lift from the glass. The wine is full to the brim with concentrated black and blue fruit, huckleberry, bramble and black cherry. Big saturated texture coats the palate; the tannins are ample but not overbearing or aggressive. This is Petite Sirah you drink not chew! No jammy characters or sweetness, just pure dark fruit and refined tannic power. Very impressive wine. Drink now with juicy smoked brisket or put it away in the cellar for 10+ years.

2016 Substance "Sunset Vineyard" Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-15-2018
A bright, crunchy, mineral infused wine with lots of juicy citrus and white peach. Fresh cut herbs add a very Sancerre inspired green tinge. Lots of drive and vivacity on the palate with lingering oyster shell salinity. Not a fruity tropical style but one much more about restraint, minerality and mouth watering acidity. Great value.

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-09-2018
If this wine were from a top producer in Napa it would easily hold its own at $100. The level of concentration, power, structure, rich fruit and fine but plentiful tannin drinks so far beyond this wines price point it's shocking. Honestly if you run this up against top notch Cabernet from around the world I don't think you'll find a better pound for pound bottling out there. Sourced from a single block of vines planted back in 1972 (one of the oldest, original plantings on Cab in WA) this wine shows its historic pedigree through and through. Packed with blackcurrant, cassis, graphite, shaved cedar, charred oak, cigar box and dried herbs. A full bodied wine with surges of ripe, black fruit, a plush mouth coating texture and lovely fine yet impressive tannins. Explosive and expressive right now but certainly has the stuffing to go another 10-15 years. An absolutely ridiculous value given our deeply discounted pricing...we went all in on this wine after being simply blown away by its quality and price point.

2016 Joseph Phelps "Freestone Vineyards" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-08-2018
A very complete bottle of Chardonnay beautifully representing the balance between richness and restraint, power and elegance. The Freestone project from Joseph Phelps represents an entirely dedicated estate, winery and winemaking team in the hills surrounding the small town of Freestone in the western part of the Sonoma Coast towards Bodega Bay. These fog soaked hillsides produce elegant wines with impeccable balance and purity. This 2016 Chardonnay evokes notes of dew soaked apples and orchard blossom that fills the air in this part of Sonoma. Riper notes of nectarine and poached pear are balanced by saline minerals and subtle toasty oak. Flavorful yet focused and energetic. This has the lovely fruit one expects from Sonoma Coast Chardonnay but with a little finer balance and more detail than most. A very well executed, top level California Chardonnay that I consider a bench mark for the region.

2016 TED by Mount Edward Central Otago Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Year after year Mount Edward deliver some of the best value Pinot Noirs in our entire inventory. The 2016 Ted is no exception. Made from organically grown vineyards throughout a few different sub-regions of Central Otago and hand crafted by the small team at Mount Edward HQ in Gibbston Valley. Brambly notes, wild thyme, juicy dark cherry fruit, Asian spice and clove. Pure fruit, bright acidity and wonderful silky texture. Hard to beat at this price!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2017 Tenuta Roveglia Chiaretto Rosé
Review Date: 08-08-2018
A juicy, quaffable rose from the shores of Lake Garda. Rose water, alpine strawberry, red Jolly Rancher and baking spices. A nice interplay between soft, plush fruit and crunchy acidity. A fuller, fruitier style of rose but certainly still refreshing and infinitely drinkable! Great value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Another stellar value from Capcanes. This Tuesday night drinker is full of dusty, earthy black fruits, leather, dried herbs and spices. Medium bodied with a nice balance of fruit and savory notes. On old vine value that's tough to beat and super food friendly.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JD 92 RP 90

Cutty Sark "Prohibition Edition" Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-08-2018
An exceptional value in brown liquor. This blended Scotch from Cutty Sark ticks a lot of boxes for a minuscule price point. Tasty enough for three finger pour to drink straight...high enough proof to make a great mixed drink. This may have just pushed aside Bank Note as one of my staples in the home bar.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WA 90 WE 90

2010 Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-08-2018
Roederer's vintage Blanc de Blanc represents by far the smallest bottling the house produces. Made entirely from estate grown fruit, from two Grand Cru villages - Avize and Chouilly - this is pretty magic stuff. The nose starts off super fresh and focused with lots of white flowers and citrus notes. On the palate the wine expands with caramelized apple tart, almond paste and saline minerals. Driving acidity and beautiful length on the palate. A very strong showing from Roederer at a fraction of the price compared to the iconic Cristal.

2016 Intrinsic Columbia Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 08-01-2018
Brought to you by the same folks as the Borne of Fire Cabernet, that exploded into a top selling wine last month, comes the 2016 Intrinsic Red Blend. These guys just keep on coming through with rich, bold flavors and screaming values. This time Cabernet Franc and Malbec play the leading role with smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Again extended time on skins has extracted rich exuberant flavors and allowed the tannins to smooth out into silky strands. This blend is jam packed with blackcurrant, ripe plum, black raspberry and cassis. Med-full bodied, soft tannins, lush texture. Has the feel of a much more expensive wine.
Top Value!
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
JS 94 JD 90

2016 Fromm "Clayvin Vineyard" Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-01-2018
Another stunning edition of this iconic wine. Always the most exotic and powerful of the Fromm Pinots. This fruit comes from a prime north facing hillside with heavy clay soils. The vines are planted at a high density and are now 27 years old. Brassy, deep red fruit, some black cherry, Asian spice, warm soil, sweet floral notes. Richly flavored with a fleshy mid-palate but a bright, pure, line of acidity running throughout. Tannins are fine but present in good numbers. Maybe a little more focused and restrained in comparison to some recent Clayvin bottlings; a real vitality an lift to the fruit. This will live a long time in the cellar.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2016 Fromm "Fromm Vineyard" Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-01-2018
I always find this wine the most compact and subtle of Fromm's upper tier bottlings. I'm not sure if it's vine age or the layered alluvial gravel soils that bring about this expression, but it's a beautiful contrast to the more bold, exotic Clayvin release. The 2016 is again all about intricate detail and finesse. A burgundy lovers Pinot. Earthy elements, chanterelles, bramble fruit, high toned floral notes. The tannins are a bit more grainy than Clayvin but I think that actually gives good definition and contrast. A wine that loves air and time in the it over a few hours and it will keep revealing new secrets.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2016 Fromm "Cuvée H" Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-01-2018
The 2nd edition of this homage to winemaker Hätsch Kalberer may even outshine the inaugural bottling and will almost certainly out live it. Stunning focus and purity, bright fresh aromas of ripe raspberry, crushed cherry, dry leaf litter, toasted spice, agar wood and clove. Super fine tannins and an energetic acid line. Whilst totally delicious now, this is obviously a young wine that will unwind and continue to improve for the next decade at least. I love this new notch, world-class Pinot by any measure.
Drink from 2018 to 2018

2017 Torti Pinot Noir Pavia
Review Date: 07-31-2018
A friendly, fruit driven Pinot at a great price. Northern Italy might not be at the top of many people's lists for Pinot Noir but this bottling certainly shows promise and for a very modest price point. Juicy, easy fruit, cherry, sweet baking spice, soft round texture. It's a quaffer for sure!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Cristom "Estate" Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-30-2018
An absolute knockout from Cristom! A rare bottling from them made possible by the exceptional quality of the 2014 vintage that has gone down as one of the best in recent history. This wine is composed of all estate fruit from Cristom's diverse patchwork of blocks in the Eola-Amity Hills. Fruit from these blocks typically goes into their top tier single block releases: Eileen, Jessie, Marjorie, and Louise. However in 2014 they chose to take some of those best barrels and make a wine that faithfully represented the entire estate in one wine; the result is this 2nd ever release of an "Estate" bottling that encompasses all their Pinot Noir blocks. The result is simply stunning. Crunchy forest berries, black cherry, hard ground spice, sandalwood, bramble, dark rose petals and forest floor. The wine has reams of whole cluster derived tannin and beautiful aromatic lift. It still feels youthfully compact and focused but its potential is unfurling by the day. I think it has at least a decade of beautiful drinking ahead of it. On a recent trip to the Willamette Valley I tasted several hundred top Pinot Noirs and this wine made my top three.

2013 Weatherborne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-30-2018
Lovely floral, cherry fruited Pinot Noir with a stony, mineral underpinning. This wine comes from one of the most famed sites in the Sta. Rita Hills - "John Sebastiano Vineyard." Soils here are that magic mix of clay loam over limestone, just like those in the Pinot's ancestral home in Burgundy. The vineyard's aspect is also exposed to coastal breezes both moderating temperatures and building thick skins for concentrated flavors. A few years in bottle have let this wine unwind and show its true colors, softening tannins and developing layers of complexity. It's in a perfect spot for drinking now. A tiny production wine, bought directly from winemaker, Cris Carter - a fantastic price for an artisanal wine like this.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 W&S 91

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