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Staff Favorites - Joe Manekin

Joe Manekin
Joe Manekin  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
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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2012 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-11-2018
We have stocked Lealtanza's wine in the past, and have found the quality to be high, so it's perhaps not a surprise that this wine was the only platinum medal winner in this Fall's Decanter Asia Wine Awards. Produced from 100% Tempranillo, the fruit in this wine is lovely: primarily red, with a combination of fresh and dried fruit profiles on the nose, made more complex by the sort of savory, meaty notes which Rioja invariably picks up after some time in bottle. With its relatively lighter weight tannins and fresh palate profile, this is a Reserva for drinking now and over the next several years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2016 Bodegas Aleanna "El Enemigo" Chardonnay Mendoza
Review Date: 12-11-2018
As I´m sure I have mentioned previously, wines that are scored very highly, particularly relative to their price point, are wines that I inherently judge critically, with a natural skeptic's perspective. That said, two highly enthusiastic reviews here piqued my curiosity, and I must admit...the wine is good. While I'd personally rate it somewhere between the two lower reviews, I do think this is very good Chardonnay for a few reasons: 1.) It's rich, structured and generous but 2.) has plenty of brightness and minerality and 3.) Has the flor factor. It reminds me of my early experiences with Chalone Chardonnay, which is a good thing! Must be something about limestone and decomposed granite (soil types that both Chalone and El Enemigo share..)

1995 Loch Lomond ("All Malt") 22 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
This has got to be one of the most supple, easy to drink, and dare I say it, single *malt* like single grain scotch whiskies I have ever tasted. I admit that single grain whiskies - with their individualistic, spicy, armagnac meets rye like qualities - are not often my favorites. That said, I love this Loch Lomond for its creaminess and light, drinkable, yet far from simple, qualities. It delivers the goods, and over delivers on price. Highly recommended.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2004 Fettercairn 14 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
Have a soft spot for unadorned, ex bourbon, workhorse single malt? Not at all candied, just a bit grainy and deliciously balanced, old timey stuff? Then I would suggest ye olde Fettercairn. I first encountered this whisky my first year working at K&L, and ever since then whenever we have scored a cask I have yet to be disappointed. Fettercairn is great scotch whisky. It's not showy, it's just impeccably made and always hits the spot.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2006 Isle of Jura 12 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
I have fond memories of Isla of Jura's distillery bottled 12 year old single malt, from about 5 or so years ago now. I remember the nicely burnished color, the intense but not over the top sweetness balanced by a subtly savory chewy quality. Our Old Particular bottling delivered on my expectations for this distillery, and then some. Showing a honeyed quality with more persistence and depth of flavor than many other 10-12 year old single malts, there is also an appealing saline quality towards the finish that sets Isle of Jura apart. Tasty and likely to become a go to for many folks. Anticipate what you need now, it won't likely stick around our inventory much longer.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

1995 Craigellachie 22 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
Dried fruit aromas combine with gently roasted nuts, leading to a simlilarly classy Oloroso sherry influenced profile on the palate. Subtle medicinal hints add to the authenticity of this elegant, Sherry butt aged single malt. Water brings out a touch more brine, and does not detract from the spirit, but certainly is not essential. Very good stuff.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

1996 Auchroisk 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
This is an example of a cask strength whisky that is surprisingly supple, balanced, rich and showy, just a complete tasting single malt, before any water is added. In fact, I don't think you need to play around with water on this one, it simply tastes great and gives so much right out of the gate. Soft and a hint tropical, with suggestions of manila mango on the nose, this is an easy to drink, delicious single malt for under $90.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1996 Tobermory 22 Year Old "Old Malt Cask" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-05-2018
This is a phenomenal value in aged single malt. It has an original, nearly tropical fruit profile on the nose, with a supple and very easy to drink quality on the palate. 22 year old single malt for well under $100? Yes, and good single malt at that. Recommended.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2015 Eric Kent "1 KM West" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 12-05-2018
If you are a fan of Chardonnay with some toast, plenty of fruit, and the richness that typically can only be gained by just a little extra time ageing in bottle, then this Eric Kent bottling is for you. Bold yellow fruits and apples on the nose lead to a forward, juicy palate with good flavor intensity and volume. Acidity and minerality do not propel this wine, rather they are components that keep the weight and oak in check. In other words, this would make the ideal holiday party Chardonnay! It should please plenty of Chard drinkers and certainly tastes more expensive than $20.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 92

2016 Chateau de L'Ou "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 12-04-2018
Loaded with red fruit flavors and spice, this is an easy drinking, expressive, crowd pleasing Syrah from the Cotes Catalanes in the south of France. Wonderfully fragrant, the wine's fruit and structure seems to lean predominantly towards the front palate, with supple and carefully built tannins on the back end. So this is a wine to enjoy now and for the next 5-6 years, no need to stash these away for years in your cellar!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2016 Domaine de Verquière Rasteau
Review Date: 12-04-2018
Verquiere has been a go to source for honest, super tasty sub $10 Cotes du Rhone for us for several years. That said, their village bottlings such as this Rasteau are absolutely worth a look as well. Clean cut, darker fruits are featured on this 2016, with notes of ground black pepper on the nose, some black licorice on the palate, and all in a medium weight wine that is crowd and food friendly as well. I strongly recommend that this go into your regular rotation if you are a fan of Rhone reds.

2015 Black Slate "La Vilella Alta" Priorat
Review Date: 12-04-2018
If the name "black slate," which refers to the predominant soil type of the Priorat, sounds familiar, it is probably due to our having emailed about a few other tasty, but very different bottlings from this producer. As delicious as the other two, single village bottlings of Black Slate were, we have one more for you this year, and the La Vilella Alta bottling just might be the most open knit, expressive, juicy and delicious Priorat we have featured all year. Loaded with blackberry fruit and subtly floral characteristics, balanced by a fresh line of acidity, this if terrific Priorat, and a real treat to have such a wonderful intro to the wines of this region for under $17.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 90

2012 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-28-2018
Though it is priced as an entry level offering, there is so much more personality, as well as house style and village typicity, in this $20 bottle than most. Primarily Tempranillo, mostly planted in the 1970's, all of it from 2-3 different vineyards in the prized Rioja Alta village of Briones, think of this as the Riojano equivalent of a village level Gevrey-Chambertin. Serious red and black cherry flavors show warmth and spicy, savory richness, as well as clean chalk and balanced acidity - no mean feat in this vintage. Drinking great now, you can stash some away for mid-term cellaring as well. This is easily my favorite bottling of everyday Rioja in the store.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2012 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-28-2018
A terrific vintage of the reserva bottling, this shows a deeper, more brooding quality, with more savory nuances than the entry level Vitola reserva. Flavors show dark cherry, with the savory meatiness following the nose, and a decidedly chalky minerality which is so typical of good Reserva level Rioja in general and Miguel's top quality, Briones sourced reservas in particular. A fine example of the quality you can find amongst the small grower, single village producers of Rioja.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-28-2018
Though they produce one of our most popular rosés, Domaine Petroni also makes tasty, expressive Corsican red. Red and dark fruits on the nose combine with something spicy, nearly cola like but without the sweet notes. Medium bodied on the palate, the flavors are fresh and the tannins provide just enough grip to keep it all balanced. Terrific value for the money in an authentic Corsican red.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2016 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "Hissez O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 11-28-2018
Their highest end, Syrah dominant bottling, Hissez O hits on all cylinders in 2016! I loved the nose, with its pure red fruit, tangy dried fruit nuances and Syrah spice. In terms of flavor, freshness, and feel, with its firm, but not over-reaching tannins, this is top quality Syrah, through and through. I cannot think of a better Syrah dominant blend in the store for under $40, let alone under $30. My highest recommendation for this fine wine from the good folks at Domaine de la Reserve d'O!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 - 94

2016 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 11-28-2018
Aromas show plenty of generous, gently warmed berries, but with layers and nuances that keep you returning to the glass. Forward on the palate, with the Syrah in particular standing out, this is a ripe, yet honest expression, with tasty flavors and good grip on the finish. The good folks at the Domaine de la Reserva d'O are great examples of the type of talent and originality you can find these days in the Languedoc!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Domaine Les Pins Bourgueil Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 11-28-2018
You can tell from the deeply pitched black cherry nose that this comes from a warmer Loire Valley vintage. That fact combined with the older vine material make this surprisingly approachable. That said, there is also the refeshing complexity on the nose and palate, the whiff of a forest following a soaking rain, hints of grape pips on the palate in addition to the berry fruit. All of these provide refreshment and nuance, which are arguably a few of the best aspects of Cabernet Franc. Grab some for now and a few more to age several years in the cellar.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Domaine de la Fruitière "Gneiss de Bel Abord" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 11-28-2018
Few wines of any type are as easy to drink, and so readily hit the spot, as good Muscadet. Whether as an aperitive or a perfect foil to a lighter meal, Muscadet is absolutely the ticket. This one is all bright, juicy citrus fruit, with a pleasingly round texture. Given that it's the season for braises and pan sauces, this white is also a classic "some for the pot, some for the chef" type of wine.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2015 Te Mata "Cape Crest" Sauvignon Blanc Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 11-28-2018
I have long been a fan of Te Mata for their wonderful red wines: their justifiably famous Coleraine, the savory and classic Awatea, and the original and delicious Gamay. That said, this Sauvignon Blanc is reminding me that I should not forget their whites; they are equally memorable and full of character. Very good Sauvignon Blanc appreciates some bottle age, and here we have an example, a wine that opens with expressive fruit aromas made more complex by hints of fresh shelling beans. On the palate the wine shows citrus fruits, with a pleasant greenish snap and softening texture thanks to the time in bottle. Not your run of the mill Sauvignon Blanc offering, which is no suprise as Te Mata keeps us all on our toes with their suprising range of tasty Hawke's Bay bottlings.

2017 Julien Schaal Kastelberg Grand Cru Riesling Alsace
Review Date: 11-20-2018
For fans of nervy, tense, mineral laden white wines, have we got a Grand Cru for you! I'll be the first to admit that it's easy to take the Grand Cru copy to the people and say you're offering something special, when in fact it's just kind of meh. Not so here. Julien Schaal is an up-and-coming producer working in Alsace, a region that has largely steered clear of the market influence of collectors and still presents some of the best value in top quality, cellar worthy whites. His Kastelberg opens with a blast of citrus and fresh ginger on the nose, leading to a crisp, explosively energetic, slightly spicy palate that should slowly blossom and begin to strut its stuff within the next couple of years and continue to do so for some time. I cannot think of a better deal in classic and classy French white wine right now.

2017 Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia Greece
Review Date: 11-14-2018
Greece - so well known for its numerous diverse, beautiful islands - is also a prolific producer of a variety of island wines. Cephalonia is one of the islands and Robola a very rare white variety which grows on it, producing a wine with delicious fruit, crispy acidity and a mouth watering, tingly, salty aspect as well. Roasted sardines, grilled calamari, or even your favorite poke bowl recipe would all be fantastic with this one of a kind island Greek isle white.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Domaine Nerantzi Assyrtiko Serres Greece
Review Date: 11-14-2018
Cool stuff! Round stone fruits show a bit more phenolic intensity than the norm for this grape variety, which is often described as flinty like a Loire valley SB, but with a unique minerality and saltiness all its own. There is a richness to the golden color of this wine that either suggests the extra year in bottle, some difference in winemaking, or a combination thereof, when compared to some of the other Assyrtiko based Greek wines we have enjoyed telling you about. Try this well cured and/or salty cheeses, roasted sardines, garlic and thyme, fried smelt...anything savory, salty and or of the ocean should pair wonderfully with this terrific Greek white.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
W&S 94

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 11-14-2018
This is arguably the most serious in the line-up of honestly crafted, staunchly old school Grenache based wines from Domaine de la Jaufrette. Here, there are no grapes picked at 16% potential alcohol, there are no consultants, no steady influx of wine critics and journalists lavishing praise and perfect scores for wines from perfect vintages, no mentions of any "tour de force in winemaking." Got it? This is simply a rustic, earthy, salt of the earth type CdP, well made, made for food, and destined for greatness, as long as your definition of "greatness" doesn't involve perfection.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Vacqueyras
Review Date: 11-14-2018
I had to chuckle when reading our product description for Jaufrette's wines, comparing them to the unapologetically traditional Riojas of Lopez de Heredia. There used to be a time where I had to compare those wines to similarly old school Italian and French producers to attract interest. These days, however, the old school and its emphasis on transparency, quality, and time tested techniques (and terroir) is back, and back with a vengeance. This Vacqueyras steps up the intensity, structure and black fruit when compared with the Cotes du Rhone. It's two years older, but tastes more than two years younger, due to the quality of the vintage and terroir. Intense black fruit and a pleasing salt licorice quality combine with structured tannins and a savory complexity that are beginning to show so much interest now, but will reward patient cellaring as well. A true original from the southern Rhone valley.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2012 Domaine de la Jaufrette Côtes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 11-14-2018
Fans of old school southern Rhone wines, rejoice! Your prayers for a delicious, authentic, traditionally styled Grenache based wine - the likes of which are so rarely made these days - have been answered. In addition to the appealing bottle age of Jaufrette's CDR, we have the opportunity here to taste the dusty, earthy, savory qualities of old school Grenache, to perceive the grip of the grape's tannins, and enjoy a truly delicious food wine, ideally with a simply prepared, tasty meal (try stewed beef or lamb and a root vege/potato mash with the meat's natural juices as gravy). Add a green salad and cheese plate, et voila. Instant gratification - old school French bistro style.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bodegas Palacios Remondo "La Montesa" Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-14-2018
There is a depth and complexity of fruit on the nose that not only places this Rioja as best in class, but probably in the running for best in show at under $15. Mixed berry and red fruit aromas show the warmth of the zone and the Mediterranean qualities of the vintage, but also the sparkle of good quality, clean grapes, carefully harvested, skillfully vinified and aged by one of the Spanish masters. Fresh, plump, spicy and downright delicious on the palate, this is undoubtedly the best vintage of La Montesa ever made - drink it up!

2006 Craigellachie 12 Year Old "Sovereign" K&L Exclusive Single Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-12-2018
This is undoubtedly one of our single malt values of the season. To find a cask strength, 12 year old single malt of any type - let alone one of this quality for this price - is extremely difficult, bordering on impossible. Opening with sweet aromas of brown sugar, molasses and the typical array of dried fruits you find on Oloroso and PX sherries, the palate does not disappoint. As at least one of my other colleagues mentioned, a few flicks of water really helps to open up this whiskey, exposing nearly tropical fruit notes and a lovely salinity as well. Incredible stuff.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2016 Passopisciaro "Passorosso" Etna Rosso Sicilia
Review Date: 11-07-2018
This wine has been notably improving over the years. Whereas in a few past vintages I have found the wine a bit too forward and obvious, there is more nuance, earth and character evident this year. In terms of flavor, think Pinot Noir like fruit, but a bit drier and chewier, Barolo like structure but not quite as austere. Delicious Etna wine for your seared ahi tuna or marinated grilled swordfish.
Price: $31.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2013 Ronchi "Ronchi" Barbaresco
Review Date: 11-07-2018
A powerful wine, the Ronchi is young Barbaresco that vies for your attention as soon as you nose the glass and catch the strong whiff of blackberries and tar - lots of tar. Classic Nebbiolo aromas lead to a grippy palate that obviously wants some time to soften but should develop nicely over the years. Tasty fruit and solid structural bones make the Ronchi a classic Piemontese cellar candidate.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2013 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-07-2018
Intense red fruited aromas and flavors are typical of La Fortuna, one of our terrific DI Brunello producers. The difference on this 2013 is the intensity, structure and flavor authority that comes with a strong vintage, something that is notable following a few tasty, albeit softer, wines from them in 2012 and 2011.This is a Brunello you should be adding to the Italian section of your cellar, to cellar in the mid-term. Very good stuff from one of our favorite Brunello producers!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 92

2016 Farnetella Lucilla Toscano Rosso
Review Date: 11-07-2018
Red fruits combine with an earthy quality on the nose - you can tell that this is an honest Tuscan wine made well, to be enjoyed with some food. The flavors also deliver, with freshness and crispness, but interestingly for a sangiovese blend at this price point, minimal rusticity or bite. It's just a well balanced wine that will serve you well for charcuterie, pizza, pasta, or mashed potatoes topped with sauteed mushrooms and garlic.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 MWC (McPherson Wine Co.) Shiraz/Mourvèdre Victoria
Review Date: 11-07-2018
MWC focuses on value wines, and judging by this Shiraz Mourvedre blend ,the effort has more than paid off. Mixed berries, creosote and menthol notes on the nose lead to a supple, forward and brightly fruited palate in this easy to drink red. Subtly spicy barrel notes and hints of dark chocolate present themselves as well, but are secondary to the delicious fruit on full display.

2017 Clos Henri "Petit Clos" Marlborough Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-07-2018
Showing off bright plum and cherry fruits, balanced acidity and a round, juicy quality, it's nearly impossible to find fault with this well produced Pinot. For a Thanksgiving or seasonal Pinot Noir pick, the Clos Henri fits the bill nicely, and should please a wide range of palates heading into the holidays.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2017 Mt Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury
Review Date: 11-07-2018
This SB is not from Malborough, but rather North Canterbury (located a bit further south), and as such distinguishes itself from the pack with a delicious, ripe stone fruit driven profile, with great intensity, minerality and length. For $15 I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the best SB I've had this year, because it is! If you're a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, by all means give this one a try.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
W&S 93 WS 90

2011 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-01-2018
For fans of rich and spicy Rioja, it does not get any better than Gran Reserva level wines, which in this case gets an added boost from a sun filled, warm vintage in 2011. I have found the best wines from 2011 to be delicious and precocious, having come close to reaching what Miguel calls "cruise altitude" at this relatively early stage. That said, this will age nicely in the mi-term as well. Some of my most memorable bottles of Miguel Merino wines have invariably been his richly styled, delicious Gran reserva bottlings.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Miguel Merino "La Loma" Rioja
Review Date: 11-01-2018
As Miguel Merino continues his quest to produce some of the finest single village Riojas around, he has entrusted his son (also Miguel) with the winemaking for their first single vineyard bottling, La Loma. First planted in 1946, La Loma is a vineyard that yields spectacular quality fruit, on full display in this beautiful wine. There is a layered, focused intensity of flavor in this wine, without some of the more typical spicy notes of oak which frame the rest of the Miguel Merino range, and with an added tension from higher acidity. Delicious now, but capable of longer term ageing, this is a tremendous first effort in producing what is likely to become their most highly coveted bottling. A delicious expression and a current take on the great wines of Rioja.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 92

2010 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Does it get any better than the Reserva bottling from Casa Juan? In the top quality 2010 vintage, I don't think that it does. Our favorite old school Rioja producer (and to this day, still one of Spain’s best kept secrets) knocked it out of the park with the fantastic 2010 Reserva. Delicious pitch perfect fruit and savoriness for now, some years later, and beyond.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 11-01-2018
This primarily Syrah driven blend is fantastic - I strongly suggest trying a bottle. Aromas suggest freshly cracked black pepper and licorice, as well as a forward, juicy "carbonic" aspect which, without getting too much in the weeds, simply refers to how the wine is made and the fact that it is more fresh and refreshing than most California Syrahs out there. To that point, this wine seems to take the forward quality of California fruit and balance it out with some old world, refreshing refinement. Dare I say it reminds me of a well made Bierzo (Spanish) red? Kudos to the Stolpmans for this cool project and for producing another delicious red wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 - 95

2015 Xanadu "DJL" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Cabernet does not need to be a heavy handed, oaky, tannic red. Nicely contrasting this style, the Xanadu shows class and sophistication - lots of both, in fact - with fresh fruit aromas; nosing it reminds me of a visit to one of Swanton's U-pick berry farms. On the palate there are juicy, fresh red fruit, hints of eucalyptus and supple tannins. An impressive Cab that delivers significantly more than you might expect for $15.

2015 Xanadu Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Serious Chardonnay! Opening with scents of beautiful winter citrus - tangerine and meyer lemon in particular leap out of the glass- this is a wine that is bright, energetic, expansive, and under $20! Chardonnays that taste this good usually cost at least 30, maybe even $40. Great stuff.

2016 Domaine Clos de Sixte Lirac
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Lirac is lovely. At its best, there is a crisp, bright quality to the fruit which is sometimes tougher to come by in sun drenched, warmer climes. Here the aromas show blackberry and a candied violet quality, leading to a palate full of fresh, mouthwateringly tasty fruit. Given the wine's brightness and overall sense of balance, it would work easily well with a slow braised pork shoulder as it would a piece of grilled ahi tuna or even a lighter meal. Another great value in the fantastic 2016 southern Rhone vintage.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 JD 92

2015 Nelle Wines Central Coast Syrah
Review Date: 10-23-2018
This is a big, brawny Syrah, with spicy notes of dark fruits on the nose, opening up to brighter blueberry and huckleberry fragrances as the wine breathers. The same happens on the palate, which is initially quite spicy and savory, with smoked meat and peppercorn flavors giving way to red and dark fruits. While this is a heftier expression, it is not all fruit and bluster, as some fairly classic Syrah characteristics combine to make this a very well put together, serious bottle of wine!
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
RP 94 WE 92

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

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

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