Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
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Joe arrived at our doors in February 2007 from far away, Washington, DC to be exact. Just so no one gets the wrong idea, though, he was merely earning a living in DC; Joe’s cultural identity, as well as his professional sports allegiances and, when he has a few drinks in him, his accent, are all Baltimore through and through. After working on the wholesale side of the business for nearly 4 years, Joe decided that he wanted to work wine retail with the best, so he emailed Cindy Westby at K&L and the rest is history. While Joe is well versed in a number of wine regions, he most enjoys the wines of Europe, though he is growing increasingly interested in the great wines of the Santa Cruz mountains. When he is not at K&L, Joe enjoys cooking, traveling, catching up on The Wire, doing occasional PR, booking and recording work for reggae band JohnStone (www.johnstonemusic.com), and writing for his wine, food and music blog, Old world Old School (www.oldworldoldschool.blogspot.com)


Reviews

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2015 Black Slate "Porrera" Priorat
Review Date: 10-16-2018
Our second, less expensive Black Slate bottling, this is primarily Garnacha blended with Carinena, showcasing the strong, generously structured 2015 vintage, as well as the village of Porrera, with its relatively cooler temperature and decidedly fresher evenings to to its eastern position in Priorat. Aromas and flavors of red plum confit show a combination of richness and balanced bright acidity, as well as a gentle, underlying savory wild thyme quality that speaks to the personality of the Priorat.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 91

2014 d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 10-16-2018
The Dead Arm is always a terrific expression of Shiraz, and this 2014 is no exception. Aromas of blackerries, tar, clove and other baking spices are forward, yet nuanced, deep and layered. On the palate, the fruit is textbook, higher toned McLaren Vale shiraz, with a freshness and structural backbone that makes it so tasty now, but promises a long future ahead for those who prefer to age it.

2015 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 10-16-2018
An expressive, generously fruited Pinot, the relatively warmer 2015 vintage yielded a wine that is wonderfully balanced for drinking now. Open knit, black cherry fruit with warming spices on the palate, this is a delicious Pinot Noir for fans of the grape variety. Tasty!

2014 Ramey "Platt Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-16-2018
This Chardonnay completely took me by surprise; it's a serious, high acid style that seems to just be emerging and beginning to show its stuff. For any long-time fan of Chardonnay and white Burgundy, the fact that a wine from a great, cooler Sonoma Coast vineyard, made by Ramey, is as good as this should be no surprise, but as always tasting is believing and after tasting, I am a believer. Rich citrus fruit show terrific presence, with a cut and brightness that places it on par with very good, comparably priced Burgundy from a more classic vintage. Yes, this is on the level of comparably priced 2014 white Burg (99.9% of which are long gone..) Don't miss out on this one.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 95 WE 93

2014 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 10-09-2018
This Italian white shows lovely, appley and ripe yellow fruit qualities, with a roundess and volume in the mouth which remind me of good Chenin Blanc, though with gentler acidity and a sense of minerality all its own. Pretty cool that the top end Lugana bottling from Teunta Roveglia has some bottle age and still comes in under $20!

2013 Andrew Will "Sorella" Horse Heaven Hills Red Blend
Review Date: 10-09-2018
A terrific example of what old vines (in this case from Champoux vineyard) are capable of in eastern Washington, this Cab blend shows warm aromas of fruit and hints of dried herbs and a structured palate. In terms of the quality of the fruit and tannins this is so different from Sonoma and Napa Cab, with a drier palate impression and a solid structure that betrays its $50 price. A strong cellar candidate for all you Cab fans out there..

2012 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Like other patiently wood aged wines I've tasted recently, the 2012 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino Riserva requires patience in the glass. While it initially shows a wonderful interplay between meaty aromas and sweet cherry fruit along with some underlying spicy wood notes, the first palate impression perhaps shows these elements each in their own space, not yet fully integrated. Taste, swirl, and spend a few minutes with the wine, however, and the fruit comes alive and takes shape, like a polaroid revealing itself. This should continue to improve for at least a decade. A must have for any Brunello afficionado.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
WS 97

2016 Baricci Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Layered, complex aromas of bright red fruits, tobacco and other subtle non-fruit notes promise, and deliver a tasty palate. Baricci always brings a wonderful balance between fruit, savory tones and structure. This particular vintage feels a little softer and lighter, though no less impressive or representative of their take on Rosso di Montalcino. There is a reason that Baricci is the staff's favorite Rosso. Also worth noting: for a humble Rosso, this wine ages terrifically, so be sure to stash some in your cellar to enjoy over the next 6-8 years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini Greece
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Sigalas has become synonymous with top quality on the island of Santorini, which itself has become synonymous with exciting, incredibly mineral, bracing, crisp and delicious white wine from Greece. This 2017 vintage initially feels riper and more forward than normal, but once you reach the mid-palate and consider the wine a bit more closely, all of the typical salty minerality and savory qualities are there, the youthful compactness, fruit and acidity all in admirable balance, though this will continue to improve for quite some time. Serious (and seriously delicious) stuff!
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Casa Castillo Monastrell Jumilla
Review Date: 10-09-2018
There is no producer in Spain that has a track record with Mourvedre (Monastrell) that even approaches that of Casa Castillo. Imagine if Domaine Tempier made sub $15 wine from just outside of the Bandol region; that is the quality and pedigree here. While there is plenty of peppery fruit on the nose, the palate shows great balance and leaves an overall dry impression, with a combination of bright, dark skinned and just a hint of red fruits as well. Terrific value.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Louis Roederer Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Amongst the grande marques, there is no other house bottling vintage Champagnes that are as delicious, affordable, as Louis Roederer. Whether it is their vintage rosé or this 2012, the quality is simply self evident. I think that the Chardonnay here, while not the majority of the cuvee, really marks the wine, with savory and salty fruit. A fantastic, wonderfully expressive vintage Champagne from Louis Roederer.

2012 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-09-2018
In Champagne, as in anywhere else, there are old vine cuvees, and then there are truly ancient old vine cuvees. Here we are dealing with the latter, as the youngest vines comprising this blend were planted back in the 1950´s, and the oldest ones were planted many, many years prior to that. While I have previously sung the praises of top quality Pinot Meunier based Champagnes, this particular bottling from Alexandre Le Brun is truly singular: intense, long, mineral, wonderfully balanced, serious but with an easy to drink quality that I love in my favorite Meunier based Champagnes. Classy and classic, cool and relevant all at the same time, Revelation earns my highest recommendation.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2017 Gaia Estate "Thalassitis" Assyrtiko Santorini Greece
Review Date: 10-09-2018
Call me crazy, but I see lots of value in a $32 white wine (#corkdork), made from indigenous grape varieties that grow on own rooted, decades old vines planted to volcanic soils (#santorini), carefully trained in basket shapes to protect against winds (#islandlife), and then are carefully fermented, aged, bottled and shipped thanks to containerized shipping and distribution (#modernlife), presented to us as an option to buy to enjoy with our favorite grilled and sauteed fish and shellfish (#firstworldproblems). This is a fantastic, stone fruit and salt laden white wine that is perfectly suited for the table, whether living on or off island. Highly recommended.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
RP 95 WE 90

2012 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 10-08-2018
Of all the wines they make, I have to name Muga's selección especial reserva (or if you are in Spain, what is labeled simply 'reserva') as the most consistently exciting, over achieving, and underrated. The 2012 is beautiful: brightly fruited, with pitch perfect, juicy fruit lifted by fresh acidity, subtle floral notes and true Rioja Alta calcareous minerality. This wine is delicious right now (a brief decanting is recommended) but it will reward mid-term cellaring as well. For wine of this price, either to stash in your cellar or enjoy with friends over a nice dinner, this bottling from Muga is currently top of my list.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 RP 92

2016 Felton Road "Calvert" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 09-12-2018
It's always a pleasure to taste through a set of Pinot Noir as delicious, well made and iconic as those from Felton Road. Calvert shows balanced red fruit flavors, terrific presence and an overall balance that maybe makes it the front runner of these 2016 bottlings. At least it did before moving on to the Cornish Point. It's tough to pick a favorite in this strong set of Pinot Noirs, a testament to the quality of work that Felton Road is doing. Highly recommended Pinot Noir.

2015 Raymond "Reserve Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-12-2018
100% Napa on the nose: heady kirsch like aromas are forward yet balanced, with something subtly savory and very true to form for the grape variety. On the palate the flavors are mouth filling, generous, and, just what you want in a $50 Napa Cab - at under $30.

2014 John Duval "Plexus" GSM Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 09-12-2018
There is something about catching a wine right as it's beginning to hit its stride. This is absolutely the case with the 2014 John Duval Plexus, which is juicy, supple and delicious. The brightness of Grenache is a perfect counterpoint to the weight and deeper pitch of Syrah and Mourvedre. A perfect example of the kind ripe yet balanced deliciousness which first put the Barossa Valley on the map.

2016 Hentley Farm Shiraz Barossa Valley
Review Date: 09-12-2018
Textbook to a tee, this is Shiraz that shows dark fruits and melted tar aromas, leading to a wonderful palate with loads of blue and purple skinned fruit flavors. I agree with all the critics' assessments of this wine; it's representative of a top quality Barossa Shiraz, but at a much more affordable price.

2015 Domaine Belle "Cuvée Louis Belle" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 09-12-2018
Yes, now that's what I'm talking about! This is the best northern Rhone Red for under $50 that I have tasted in quite a long time. While 2016 is enjoying its moment, it's probably worth remembering that 2015 was also a spectacular Rhone vintage, and the Domaine Belle Cuvee Louis Belle is a show stopper. Mixed berry aromas with some spicy, cherry fruit leather notes as well lead to a palate that is a bit salty and plummy, with grip, intensity and a sense of place. An impressive (and extremely limited) production.

2016 Emmanuel Darnaud "Les Trois Chenes" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 09-12-2018
Did someone mention that 2016 was a banner year in the Rhone valley? We have been steadily working through our 2016 Rhone reds, and here we have a solid representation from the north in this bottling from Emmanuel Darnaud. Featuring lovely, ripe, softly textured red fruit nicely framed by toasty barrel notes, this is the perfect Syrah to introduce someone to a French rendition of this grape variety, from the fantastic 2016 vintage.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Domaine de l'Amandine Côtes du Rhône-Villages Seguret
Review Date: 09-12-2018
This delicious new direct import reminds me of the sort of wines I first encountered from the Cotes Du Rhone: fresh red fruits, with just a bit of wild growing herbs in the background. Honest, tasty, medium-bodied red for under $14 sounds like just the ticket for Fall, I'm in!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2016 Domaine Calendal "Plan de Dieu" Côtes du Rhône-Villages
Review Date: 09-12-2018
God´s plan - isn't that a Drake song? Anyway...this is good, really good. This appears to be yet another indication that the 2016 vintage in the southern Rhone valley is every bit as impressive as reported by the press. Aromas are forward, effusive, bright, and fresh, with waves of red fruit and a hint of fresh citrus peel. Purely fruited and balanced on the palate - intense and fresh are the two words I'd use to describe the flavors. For any fan of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, buy this wine in quantity to drink and age as you wait for your 2016 CdP's to come around.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 95

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 09-11-2018
The mere fact that this cuvee from Fallet Dart has a whopping seven years on the lees should immediately grab your attention. That said, it's not all about the lees, you need to start with great base wine. This is absolutely the case for this delicious bottle of Pinot Noir based bubbles made an hour west of Epernay. A bright nose loaded with citric fruits leads to a focused, lively, fresh and engaging palate. Compared to their also tasty Grande Reserve, this wine comes across as drier and slightly lower dosage. Fantastic value for money, and a likely selection for house Champagne at our place. If you are inclined to do the same, it will be super affordable at under $35!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bodegas Mas Alta "Artigas" Priorat
Review Date: 09-11-2018
This Priorat, with "un accento francés" (a few famous Rhone valley winemakers produce the wine) is wonderfully expressive in the 2015 vintage, showing the beautiful, heady, exotic fruit of the region, while harnessing the warmth of the vintage to produce something bright and tasty. Intense mixed berry fruits lead to a finish that gains in dimension and freshness, showing minerality and surprising length towards the finish. At under $20 - a tough price point to reach in a region with such scarce production - this is pitch perfect Priorat that won't break the bank.

2015 Hacienda Monasterio Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 09-11-2018
For Peter Sisseck, famous producer of Dominio del Pingus (yes, the $800+ dollar a bottle Pingus), Hacienda Monasterio is actually the winery which first brought him to Spain some 25 years ago. "El Pingus" himself still makes the wines here. This fact combined with the vines' prime location in Pesquers de Duero usually results in very good wines, but in 2014 and now 2015, we have a couple of back to back heavy hitters. The fruit profile, while rich, has the requisite amount of freshness, and a clean chalky quality towards the finish. I'm with the critics on this one: Hacienda Monasterio is definitely one of the Ribera del Duero region's best and most reliable names. Fantastic stuff for Spanish wine fans and, given the richness and polish of this wine, for Napa cab drinkers as well.

2016 Felton Road "Bannockburn" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 09-09-2018
For top quality Pinot Noir, Felton Road is one of the can't miss names in Central Otago. This blend of several of their vineyard sites immediately struck a chord in a recent line-up, for its bright and high toned red fruit, the lovely aromatics, tension, and (I suspect) the well managed addition of some stems in the fermentation process - a minor detail but for the Pinot fans amongst us, one that matters. Great stuff - and a tough to beat Pinot Noir for the price.

2015 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 09-09-2018
In terms of winemaking pedigree, you cannot do much better than to have someone who was responsible for making a $2,500 bottling of wine perfect, year in year out, for 44 years. That is exactly what Jean Claude Berrouet did at Petrus, and what he now does as well at Tapiz. The popularity of Tapiz Cabernet cannot be overstated: last year we sold many hundred of bottles of the 2014, and even in dollar terms it represented our best selling wine of 2017. We feel strongly about the 2015 vintage as well. It has all of the structure of 2014, perhaps with even more depth of flavor and savory Cab complexity. It is very hard to find a better bang for your buck Cabernet Sauvignon out there; this wine is just tough to beat!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 90

2017 Don Rodolfo "Art of the Andes" Pinot Noir Mendoza
Review Date: 09-05-2018
This is tasty Pinot Noir! Crisply styled, with red fruit flavors, lower alcohol and no suggestion of spicy/sweet barrel notes, this is that rare sub $15 Pinot Noir that is true to the variety, nicely dry and well made. As long as you are not expecting pitch perfect Pinot Noir character in this everyday drinker, I think you'll find plenty to like here!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2017 Château de la Negly "La Côte" Languedoc
Review Date: 08-29-2018
A heavy hitter that regularly garners plenty of attention in the press, this entry-level bottling from Chateau de la Negly is chock-full of ripe blue skinned fruits, with the right amount of balance coming in the form of tannin structure and non-fruit notes to keep things interesting and food friendly.

2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-29-2018
A lion of the Aussie Cabernet world, Leeuwin's Art Series Cab absolutely shines in 2013, with an immediate hit of currant confit and cherry fruits that seem to combine intensity of flavor with freshness, purity and acidity that suggests fruit from a very well adapted, nicely mature site. Great Cab for your cellar (if you can resist drinking these bottles in the near term...)

2016 Bodegas Peique "Valle del Cúa" Mencía Bierzo
Review Date: 08-28-2018
Along northern Spain, the famous Camino de Santiago (Pilgrimmage of St James) cuts right through the region of Bierzo, passing through the town of Villafranca del Bierzo where Bodegas Peique is based. I think that lots of us were reminded of the beauty, structure, and serious quality of Bierzo wines several months ago when we offered another over-achieving Mencia in Gregory Perez's Brezo. We found a great example from the region in this bottling from Bodegas Peique. Dark fruited, with a slightly peppery quality and structure for days, especially considering the humble price, this wine straddles the space between the Rhone Valley and top-quality California Rhone blends. Try this with anything grilled!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 08-28-2018
Let me tell it to you straight: Montant is not poor man's Priorat. Rather, it is the millionaire next door's house red! This is because she (our millionaire next door) recognizes quality and value. Perhaps, as well, given her level of savvy, she knows that Montsant generally is not quite as hot as Priorat, has a wider variety of soil types, including lots of sand, clay, and calcareous sections, lending more possibilities for blending as well as fresher wines with healthy levels of acidity. As you have read, Mas Donis has indeed been slightly re-jiggered and it is a very fine value, better than ever. I strongly recommend it.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JD 92 RP 90

2017 Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis
Review Date: 08-27-2018
This has become a go to bottle of everyday Chablis for many of our customers, and given the quality in the bottle this vintage it's easy to see why. Bright appley fruit, with lovely minerality and a freshness that marks the wine in this relatively mild vintage as coming from the northerly climes of Chablis!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2014 Bodegas Palacios Remondo "La Montesa" Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This delicious Garnacha based Rioja is mainly about the fruit: pure, abundant red fruit, ripe yet well balanced with acidity and elegant tannins. It is not surprising that this Rioja is as tasty as it is, since it is brought to us by one of Spain's viticultural, winemaking and branding geniuses in Alvaro Palacios, and comes from fruit grown on a famous vineyard - a Grenache dominated vineyard in higher elevation, nearly pure stone vineyards that resembles Chateaunneuf du Pape perhaps more than Rioja.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 JS 91

2015 Roserock (Drouhin Oregon) Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-21-2018
Drouhin's second Williamette Valley label is notable not only for doubling down on their investment in making great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in Oregon, but also in showing how distinctive the wines are in Dundee vs the Eola Amity Hills further south in the valley. Their 2015 Pinot Noir shows the warmth of the vintage, along with a bright and high toned quality all its own. Plum and berry confit blend with freshly picked wild berry flavors on this delicious Pinot - drink now or over the next 5-7 years.

2013 Felsina Chianti Classico "Colonia" Gran Selezione
Review Date: 08-21-2018
The big boy in the Felsina stable, this newest entrant is like their famous Rancia bottling, but stacked with more intensity, structure and extract. Lots of fruit, but plenty of savory notes as well. The vineyard used for this bottling is in fact located up above Rancia, and apparently delivers a powerful bottle of wine that demands some time in the cellar -I'd love to see how it is drinking a decade from now.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
RP 97 VN 95

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This is fun, easy drinking prosecco, with an effortless balance between ripe appley fruit and fizz. It finishes dry, not bone dry, and is just really easy to drink! Wildly popular bubbles, and with good reason.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2012 Gilbert Jacquesson Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-21-2018
When I first saw the Gilbert Jacquesson wines come in, I was excited to try them and thought to myself that if nothing else, the Jacquesson name is obviously a good one in the region! That said, this 2012 vintage Brut Champagne is fantastic, showing the pedigree of this top quality vintage as well as the intensity of nicely mature, massale selection Pinot Meunier. Bright and red fruited, with plenty of mineral drive and biscuity notes combining in this complete bottle of Champagne. Highly recommended.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-14-2018
A big, old vine driven Cab at a modest $20 price, the Cold Creek Vineyard shows layers of rich dark fruit and savory, scruffy sage brush flavors. While the nose show bright top notes of blue fruit and baking spice from the oak, flavors are definitely dark, chewy, and a faithful representation of Washington's Columbia Valley. I think I can see both long time and newer Cab drinkers getting really into this wine.

Tequila Montejima Blanco (750ml)
Review Date: 08-14-2018
Montejima opens with a clean, salty and straightforward agave driven profile. On the palate, it feels expensive, with a weighty mouth feel that reminds me of several other more famous labels which go for $40 and up. Level up that 'rita or sipping tequila!
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2016 Carlisle "Palisades Vineyard" Napa Valley Petite Sirah
Review Date: 08-14-2018
There is no doubt about the pedigree of Palisades Petite Sirah, and boy does it show in this bottle of wine. Loads of dark and blue skinned fruit aromas, with additional notes of graphite and dried tangerine peel , lead to a palate that is broadly structured, vertical, mineral and stacked. It's a real mouthful of wine that does not lack detail or drinkability - now, later, and many, many years later. Strongly recommended heirloom Napa vineyard based wine for your cellar!

2016 Substance "Sunset Vineyard" Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-14-2018
From the parched mesa of the interior Columbia Valley, this is ripe and structured Sauvignon Blanc. Do not expect gooseberries, grassiness or for that matter anything on the tropical side of the fruit spectrum. There are rich yellow and citrus fruits, along with an underlying lightly toasted oak note which seems to become less prominent in the glass as the wine opens up and continues to reveal this grape's fresh and refreshing attributes. Tasty, original Sauvignon Blanc!

2011 Roda I Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-14-2018
Roda, located one winery up the bend in the road from Lopez de Heredia, has long been at the vanguard of tradition - particularly with their old vine, en vaso trained Tempranillo - and innovation. Theirs are always intensely flavored, aromatic, spicy, densely structured wines. For me, their evolution of late has been to dial back the new barrels and extraction techniques, while not abandoning the focused yet lushly fruited style which continues to make them some of our favorite Riojas. Particularly for those who are used to top quality wines from Napa and the right bank of Bordeaux - where rich, structured fruit bolstered by top quality oak are stylistic hallmarks -Roda's wines will not disappoint. That said, they also have Rioja's thread of chalky minerality and age quite nicely. Roda I is not their most expensive wine, but when well executed as with this delicious 2011, it is my favorite.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 DC 95

2016 Altovinum Evodia Garnacha Calatayud
Review Date: 08-14-2018
Garnacha is often times cited by winemakers and other industry professionals for its similarity to Pinot Noir, for its ability to take on a variety of flavor profiles depending upon where it is planted, when it is picked, how it is vinified and aged, and so on. At its core, though, Garnacha tends to make fresh, light to medium bodied reds that are incredibly food friendly. At the high end, you have something transcendent like Chateau Rayas - by many accounts a top quality Grand Cru Burg like experience (and often better). At the value end, though Garnacha wins over PN, hands down, 6-0 6-0. If it were little league baseball we would need the slaughter rule. Juicy, fresh, generously fruited wine like Evodia is a perfect example of how good it gets, for very little money spent, with this grape variety.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2015 Casarena "Owen's Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 08-13-2018
Here's a little known secret, even amongst Cab lovers: Argentina has some really good stuff. While we have talked up the $10-$15 values, there are some fantastic overachieving examples in the $20-$40 range. Take the Owen's Vineyard, for example, whose Lujan de Cuyo (old vine capital of Mendoza) fruit yields this supple, elegantly fruited Cabernet. Perusing my colleagues' reviews, there are no shortage of mentions of "old school Sonoma valley,"old school Napa," and the like. While it makes for delicious drinking, now, this should age well over a 6-8 year window.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 W&S 93

2013 Negretti Barolo
Review Date: 08-01-2018
I cannot, will not, tire of good Barolo. And given the bounty of 2013 Barolo that has been loaded from winery to port, to Oakland and eventually to us, I am counting myself lucky as a fan of these wines. This latest Barolo arrival from Negretti leads with lovely scents of fennel, turning a bit darker towards licorice, then continuing to open up with scents of blackberries, cherries, almond liqueur, marzipan and top end floral notes. On the palate, the flavors are authoritative, purely and intensely fruity while maintaining great freshness that invites perhaps a slightly larger sip than you might suspect of such a young Barolo. Fantastic stuff.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2005 Tullibardine "The Murray" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-31-2018
At a full cask strength of 56% abv, this beauty manages to be aromatically compelling as well as exquisitely balanced - even before a drop of water is added. Aromas of dried apples, apricots and vanilla pastry cream lead to intense, delicious flavors, featuring plenty of ripe stone fruit that really grip the palate. Without a doubt, this is as original and tasty a highland single malt as I have had in quite a long while. Really good.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Cutty Sark "Prohibition Edition" Blended Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-31-2018
This venerable, BBR (Berry Bros. & Rudd) created brand is back, and at $15 the price for a go to every day bottle of Scotch does not get any better. The quality is good, really good. As I was joking earlier today, I'd like to think of this as the Scotch equivalent of a Werther's original that grandpa grabs out of his pocket: old school, reliably tasty, not necessarily the latest and greatest but absolutely classic and delicious.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WA 90 WE 90

2008 Nicolas Feuillatte Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Like many others out there, we have long extolled the virtues of grower Champagnes. The quality of the vineyard work, transparency of great terroir, and individual stories behind these small, multi-generational houses not only make for easy to tell stories, they often times produce superior wine. That said, I have to hand it to Nicolas Feuillatte, a very large CM (cooperative manipulant) house which produced this delicious 2008 vintage Champagne. All the hallmarks of the 2008 vintage are on full display: intensity of flavor, dry extract, and lively acidity. Coupled with a judicious dosage and appealing underlying yeasty qualities, it makes for a solid value bottle of Champagne. Great vintage bubbles under $45? I'm in!

2015 Felsina "Fontalloro" Toscana
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Shortly after pouring the 2015 Felsina Fontalloro for colleagues and then myself, I nosed the contents of my glass and half listened to the shop talk dispensed around the tasting room. A few minutes later, I was still lost in the aromatics of this beautfiul Fontalloro, and reminded myself that I ought to actually taste it! Macerated wild berries and kirsch flirt together on the nose, which leads to a dense and structured, intensely fruited palate; it's as if Fontalloro and Rancia traded places this year in that the Fontalloro seems like the relative heavyweight whereas I had thought it's typically the other way around? I'm no Felsina expert, but with wines as consistently delicious and rewarding as theirs, I'm happy to continue the work of figuring it all out by tasting. And buying (and drinking).

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