Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

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2015 Outlier "Noiro" Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-21-2018
Derek Rohlffs was in a previous life an executive in the gaming industry, which gave him the opportunity to explore and taste a bounty of high-end wines with moneyed clients. Realizing soon that a row of grapes on the vine was far more alluring than three elusive cherries on a slot, he decided to seriously pursue fine winemaking and today makes both the Bravium and Outlier wines on Treasure Island, just outside of San Francisco.The Outlier Noiro delights with aromas and flavors of fresh plums, strawberries, cherry cola and kitchen spice, balanced by good acidity and a great finish. Nice to discover an attractively priced Pinot Noir with such personality and charm, so it's, um, hardly a gamble.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Chateau Lagrezette "Seigneur de Grezette" Cahors
Review Date: 02-14-2018
Pop Quiz? What do Lou Reed, David Lynch, Elton John and former Prime Minister Tony Blair have in common? They all spent a night or more at Chateau Lagrezette, a massive, imposing fortress built in the fifteenth century and magnificently restored in the twentieth, now home to one of the finest properties in Cahors. The stellar, deeply-hued Malbec-based wines of this estate are almost as imposing, unfurling redolent aromas and signature flavors of blackberries, wild raspberries, violets, chocolate and smoke. Mellowed by a bit of Merlot, decant this wine for an hour or more and serve with a rich cassoulet. Not quite a 'walk on the wild side', but pure, lovely and delicious.....
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Domaine Lafage "Tessellae - Old Vines GSM" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 01-31-2018
"...my love, it's very late, 'til morning comes let's tessellate." These lyrics by alt-J, an English indie rock band, were probably more about seduction than some nocturnal tiling project, but the words reminded me of just how much this tuneful blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre continues to charm and seduce vintage after vintage. A revelation of ripe raspberries, blueberries and black cherries fills the glass with enticing aromas, and the sumptuous flavors carry over with spice and floral notes on the round, lavish and sweetly rich palate. The only instrument you need to employ to fully enjoy this harmonious wine? A corkscrew......
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2013 Domaine Dugois Trousseau "En Grevellière" Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2018
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As I grow more august my tastes are often inclined to distinctive wines of character and finesse, so it is only natural that the delightful wines of the Jura AOC would find an audience with my palate. This Trousseau is a lovely red wine with immense personality that will captivate those who relish Morello cherry and wild strawberry fruit with a touch of earth and game on the rich, expressive finish. Great with a dish of grilled sausages and roasted red potatoes.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Dugois Ploussard Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The Domaine Dugois Ploussard is a true charmer of a wine, pretty and ruby-hued with delicately spicy aromas and flavors of cherries and red plums. Delicious with a plate of charcuterie and Morbier cheese.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Dugois Savagnin Arbois Blanc (Sous Voile)
Review Date: 01-15-2018
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The Savagnin grape undoubtedly reaches its apotheosis in the beautiful Jura region of Arbois, and this enthralling version exhibits lively oxidative aromas and provocative flavors of green walnut, hazelnut, stone fruit and minerals, imbued with a spine of crisp acidity. Pair tonight with a spicy chicken curry or Moroccan dish for an exotic, soul-satisfying dinner.
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2014 Château Haut-Monplaisir "Prestige" Cahors
Review Date: 01-15-2018
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When most people think of purchasing a bottle of Malbec they invariably seek out the lush, full-bodied, fruitful red wines of Argentina. Not to argue, but it’s easy to forget if they ever remembered, that Malbec’s true home has always been in Southwest France, in the misbegotten wines of Cahors, where it flourished for centuries until the phylloxera bug and devastating frosts almost annihilated it. We’re forever thankful that it survived, as Haut-Monplaisir has defined in almost textbook fashion what this grape will give you in temperament, pleasure and finesse when grown on the soils of its native land— luscious, aromatic blackcurrant fruit augmented by licorice, vanilla and spice, with a silky suppleness and weight that poured itself with aplomb into the glass. Stunning Malbec, and I guess if the bottle could speak it might say ‘don’t cry for me Argentina’!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2013 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-15-2018
The amazing Tannat-derived wines of Madiran could almost be thought of as ‘medicine’, as they contain the highest levels of cardiovascular-enhancing anthocyanins—think resveratrol— of any wines. Take heart, as they also possess the added appeal of being absolutely delicious. Peyros is an aromatic, deeply-structured wine, replete with flavors of black plums, cocoa powder, spices and fresh roasted coffee, with plenty of stony minerality to boot. Being primarily Tannat, tannins are still present, but with a few years behind it, this wine is crushed velvet on the finish. Uncork and enjoy with a soulful, wintry beef stew!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2015 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 01-10-2018
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Not surprising that Banshee, the Sonoma winery that takes its name from a mythical Irish demon, would name one of its deadly delicious wines after a voracious raven of Scandinavian folklore. And this Zinfandel, crafted from ancient dry-farmed vines, is something of a throwback style, before so many Zins became synonymous with something you spread on an English muffin! There is of course an array of delicious fruit: blackberry and red raspberry flavors, complemented by refined notes of licorice, graphite and spice. A superbly wrought Zinfandel to charm and enthrall your own ravenous palate....
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Year after year we've offered this extraordinary sparkling wine from Southwest France to our fortunate customers, and the Eugenie never fails to bring a welcome smile to office parties, holiday gatherings, birthdays, or any occasion calling for a great bubbly! With its enticing citrus, white flower and brioche notes, characterized by an elegant mousse and bright acidity, how can you gone wrong? An absolute stunner, for half the price of an entry-level Champagne.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Don't be confused with the tasty, dried pumpkin seeds found in most natural foods aisles, this wine is named after Pepita, the daughter of the late, great Pablo Harri and his wife Claudia Ferrero, an accomplished winemaker in her own right. Graced with a unique blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano and Alicante, each undergoing separate fermentation in stainless steel tanks before aging for a year in barriques, this youthful, vigorous blend possesses lavish aromatics and arresting flavors of black cherry, plum, potpourri, spice and leather, with a nice structure to the lengthy, polished finish. So much wine, so little time!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tormaresca "Neprica" Super Puglia
Review Date: 01-10-2018
Thrice loved the 2013 vintage of this super-priced, effortlessly enjoyable blend from Tormaresca, and the 2014 is perhaps even a notch above, with more body and structure behind the well of pure fruit and spice. A wonderful wine to open and pair with virtually any Mediterranean or Adriatic-inspired dishes. Drink long and deeply!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2014 Chante Cigale Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 12-05-2017
Some cicadas spend up to 17 years nestled underground in a state of asocial, arrested development, and when they finally emerge, boy are they ready to party! Blessed with powerful membranes that beat like miniature kettledrums, they are perhaps the loudest insects on earth, and spend the rest of their fleeting lives clinging to trees and singing their tiny hearts out to attract a mate. Humans adopt other methods, like opening a bottle of this lustrous Chateauneuf-du-Pape, aptly named for the little 'Pavarottis' that thrive in the region. Redolent with attractive, well-ripened black and red fruit aromas, this luscious wine expresses the warmth and enticing spice, garrigue and harmony of the Southern Rhone, and like the friendly song of the cicadas, is impossible to resist!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-27-2017
Th Corsican grape Niellucciu may be a bit of a challenge to wrap your tongue around, but the wines blended from this lusty, robust variety require little effort to enjoy! A distinct, island variant of Sangiovese, plantings in heavily maritime-influenced Corsica are a product of the unique microclimate, mountainous terrain, and abundant sunlight (more than anywhere on the French mainland), ensuring perfectly ripe, beautifully-structured wines with bursting aromas and flavors of purple plums, raspberries, black pepper and a melange of minerals. Succulent and lingering, and at under $13 a great holiday giveaway, but be sure to keep a case for yourself!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Château de L'Ou Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 11-13-2017
Severine and Philippe Bourrier have generated incredible excitement and enthusiasm from our entire staff for their extraordinary range of finesse-driven wines from the Roussillon region. This bright, friendly and appealing red, brimful of spice and luscious plummy fruits, displays far more aromatic complexity and freshness than expected for its very modest price point. Pair with a cheese and mushroom tart or Mediterranean cassoulet, or add it to your table at Thanksgiving. A winner all round!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 88 - 90

2014 Domaine de Verquière Côtes du Rhône-Villages Sablet
Review Date: 11-08-2017
The Southern Rhone is veritably bursting with vibrant, beautifully cultivated fruit, and some of the finest red values are to be found in Villages wines from Rasteau, Seguret and of note, the picturesque little town of Sablet. Crafted from organic fruit grown on well-draining clay and limestone, this is a pitch-perfect blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre: round, full-bodied and satisfying, with notes of black cherry, spice and licorice. Another wonderful wine from the remarkable Verquiere estate. Pair it with a thick cheeseburger slathered in mushrooms.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Chêne Bleu Vaucluse Rosé
Review Date: 10-25-2017
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Our good friend Nicole Rolet has surpassed herself with a new rendition of her unforgettable Rosé. A sophisticated blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Rolle, this wine succeeds as a pure evocation of captivating fruit and floral elements, generous proof that Rosé can possess both finesse and gravitas. Superb!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-04-2017
"Astonished, amazed, stunned, overcome, overwhelmed" are all good words to describe something, anything, that makes you put down your smartphone, look-up-stand-up and take notice, but I prefer the more colorful, old word "flabbergasted" to express my complete wonder at this intrinsically indispensable wine. Jean Marc Lafage and his wife Elaine must have a direct line to the wine gods, as the 2015 effortlessly melds ripe, expansive red fruits and floral notes to subtle spice and chocolate elements. Beautiful structure and a persistent finish complete the total experience. A prediction: this excellent wine will soon sell out, and disappear faster than you or I can say "flabbergasted"...
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Réserve d'O" Terrasses du Larzac
Review Date: 10-03-2017
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With her down-to-earth warmth and embrace of non-interventionist winemaking, Marie Chauffray of Domaine De La Reserve d’O manifests the abiding ethos of the Vinifilles, an accomplished coterie of amazing women winemakers in the Languedoc-Roussillon. She and her husband relinquished their safe life as owners of a wine shop, and spent a decade scouring the rugged countryside for the perfect site to grown their own. They found it in the high, windswept Terrasses du Larzac appellation, where her biodynamic, terroir-driven wines, grown on poor clay and calcareous soils are uniquely defined by their refreshing aromatic profiles and intense flavors. Her 2015 La Reserve d’O is a compelling blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, with alluring black fruit aromas leading to an expansive palate of blackcurrant, cherries, licorice, cocoa and baking spice. Certainly one of the most harmonious wines I've tasted this year.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2014 Olivier Riviere "Ganko" Rioja
Review Date: 09-27-2017
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Funny, when I saw this wine's stark black and white label my brain ran through reels of old Japanese monster films from the 1950s, those fabulous Toho Production classics like Rodan vs. Gamera or Ganko Fights Godzilla. OK, I know "Ganko" didn't really fight Godzilla, but it turns out the word means "stubborn," a nickname that winemaker Olivier Riviere acquired from his clever Japanese importer. Olivier inhabits his own skin, and like Ghidra or Godzilla, is not one to waver, but fortunately his singular Rioja wines are anything but abrasive or indelicate. Grown at altitude on very old vines, the result is a wine of veritas and virtue, brimful of lustrous, high toned fruit--pomegranates, red berries, minerals and lovely potpourri spice. Hardly a kaiju behemoth, but all the better for that! And yes, the ending is guaranteed not to disappoint. Astonishing performance from a cast, er, bottle of one...
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Sophie remains a strong advocate for her native Carignan grape, believing that if properly cultivated and kept to low yields it can make extraordinary wines. And the evidence is there, for year after year her Carignan-based wines engage with their superb fruit, delineation and charm. Her 2015 Lolo de l’Anhe is a blend of Carignan, Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Direct, appealing and honest, with bright, enticing notes of raspberry, violets, wild thyme and kitchen spice, this is a wine for the picnic basket or by the grill.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Dimanches" Corbieres
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Sophie remains a strong advocate for her native Carignan grape, believing that if properly cultivated and kept to low yields it can make extraordinary wines. And the evidence is there, for year after year her Carignan-based wines engage with their superb fruit, delineation and charm. The 2015 Clos de l’Anhel Les Dimanches, her “Sunday wine,” is fashioned from a precious parcel of 80-year-old Carignan vines blended with Syrah and Grenache. Almost opaque in color, with devastating black fruit aromas and enchanting overtones of ripe cherry, plum, cocoa and spice, balanced by a solid core of velvety tannins, this is a lavish wine that will merit a few more years in the cellar.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Envie" VDF
Review Date: 09-25-2017
When conditions are spot-on, Sophie makes an extraordinary single-variety wine, and the 2015 Clos de l’Anhel “Envie” truly lives up to its name. Made from selected Grenache fruit, it shimmers in the glass like a handful of rubies, and captures all the spirit, exuberant spice and generous red-fruited character of that effusive grape.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2009 Latour-Martillac, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 09-25-2017
Cultivated on textbook gravel and clay ridges over limestone, this very attractive Cru Classe des Graves continues to evolve in the glass, offering one the opportunity to savor the complex aromas and deep palate of charred earth, ravishing black fruits and well-built, sinewy tannins. A wine that will unravel its charms over the next fifteen years, but I wouldn’t deny a large ribeye the experience of today!

2015 Chateau de la Font du Loup "Le Puy Rolland" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-24-2017
Let's see...in the year 1905 a young German physicist named Einstein published a paper on the "Special Theory of Relativity," while a few hundred miles away in France a winemaker named Melia planted Grenache vines in the earth at La Crau. It would be immodest to compare the timely planting of grapevines to a scientific theory that forever changed the world as we know it, but all things are relative, right? Better just enjoy the results, as the fruit of those vines have evolved into something quite remarkable over their 112-year lifespan. The Le Puy Rolland is a special wine of ineffable fragrance and charm, quite unlike its more robust cousins throughout Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Perhaps it's the nature of the sandy soils beneath the pebbled surface that give this wine its purity and sense of finesse, a graceful nod to the ancient fruit that rises from each uncorked bottle, delivering flavors of cherries and cranberries and orange peel and warm earth, finishing smooth and silken. Makes me wish I could travel back in time and open a 2015 bottle for a young Albert Einstein. Expect miracles.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JD 91 RP 91

2015 Domaine de Marcoux Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 09-23-2017
A superstar at our recent Saturday Rhone tasting, where it more than held court with wines double in price. No surprise really, as this bottle of Marcoux was cultivated and raised under the careful tutelage of Sophie Armenier and her sister Catherine, whose family roots, as one of the first inhabitants in Chateauneuf, extend back to the 10th century. Aged for the most part in concrete, with a specific regimen of small oak barrels for the Syrah and Mourvedre, this cuvee mirrors the innate quality of the 2015 Rhone vintage, with gorgeous aromatics and a mélange of alluring red fruits, floral elements, suave spice, and refined tannins…more than the sum of its parts, and a true classic in the making.
Top Value!

2016 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "La Reserve d'O" Saint Guilhem le Desert Blanc
Review Date: 09-23-2017
Marie Chauffray of Domaine Reserve d'O relishes the opportunity to create signature wines of great charm, finesse and brilliance. Her artisanal talents are very much on display in this unique, declassified white wine, made from co-harvested, co-fermented Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. Unoaked, fresh-fruited and utterly distinctive, with floral and citrus aromas and a roundelay of rich yellow and stone fruits, embroidered with lovely acidity. A rich tapestry of a wine, and a tribute to a woman who unerringly follows her own path through the vineyards and beyond.
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Chateau de L'Ou Chardonnay "Infiniment" Côtes Catalanes Blanc
Review Date: 09-20-2017
The lovely equipoise and limpid purity of this Chardonnay is revelatory, and, as its name translates as ‘infinite or immeasurable’ I may run out of oxygen to describe it, but I’ll try...in the hands of an excellent winemaker like Severine Bourrier, balance and prismatically clean fruit come to the fore. This Chardonnay is redolent with notes of white peach, Fuji apple, delicate pastry, cut wildflowers and summer hay, and will pair well with grilled scallops or a rosemary-roasted chicken. An extraordinary wine for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a comparable domestic Chardonnay or white Burgundy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Chateau de L'Ou "Velours Noir" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-20-2017
Looking out over the well-cultivated vineyards to the not too distant snow-capped Pyrenees, one can wonder that the Roussillon is regarded one of the warmest and sunniest regions in France. The efforts of Severine Bourrier and her husband Philippe are a consummation of terroir, tenacity and talent, as they bring everything to the table in the creation of their remarkable wines. The Velours Noir gathers its fruit from black schist soils higher up in the estate, and possesses arresting aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and dark cherries, with a rich,structured palate caressed by new oak, peppery spice and hints of wild mint. Sumptuous, ageworthy Syrah that could rival many from the Northern Rhone!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 94

2014 Turnbull Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-05-2017
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Selecting the correct Napa Cab out of the long lineup in our stores can be about as daunting a task as those menacing scenes in crime movies where witnesses try to pick the right suspect, going from face to face, agonizing, hoping for subtle tics or nervous giveaways. Well, fortunately our wines are not nearly as furtive and have pretty solid alibis, not to mention pedigrees. And given the opportunity, they're ready to spill everything! This irresistible bottle can hardly resist confessing its sources, with historic home vineyards high overlooking Calistoga and spreading down in Oakville, where together they create a wine of impeccable balance, prodigious fruit and integrity. To say the least, this wine is not one of the usual suspects, but an upstanding Cabernet and a treasure to the community of those who appreciate compelling wines. Case dismissed.....

2016 Saint Jacques d'Albas "La Chapelle en Rose" Minervois Rosé
Review Date: 09-02-2017
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During the last fourteen years of his life painter Henri Matisse, all but confined to his bed by serious illness, created some of the most powerful and liberating works in modern art— papiers découpés, or paper cutouts, brightly colored organic forms that echoed tropical flowers, luxuriant gardens, the harmonious beauty and breadth of the natural world. What does all this have to do with a wine note, you might ask? Well, wine too is an evocation of the natural world, and all that is learned in the field and contemplated in the cellar leaves its distinctive impress in the bottle and ultimately, in your glass. And since our rosé selection is pretty extensive, a gentle nod toward this one or that one might help. La Chapelle en Rose is an exceptional, limited cuvée dry rosé honoring the 11th century chapel that looks over the vineyard, an homage, according to the winemaker, to the soft pink hues picked up by the stonework as the sun descends. Nothing shy here though, as this provocative rosé has lovely freshness and precision in its wild strawberry, lush apricot and scintillating, mint-enhanced flavors. Pair with savory crab cakes or a seafood aioli for an unforgettable delight! Old Matisse would look up from his colorful cuttings and salute you with a smile!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lamothe Castera, Bordeaux
Review Date: 08-30-2017
Grown on well-drained gravel and clay soils, this attractively crimson-hued Bordeaux is a mouthwatering blend of 45% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Cabernet Franc, delivering delightful aromas and supple, round flavors of cherry, blackcurrant, vanilla and toast, with smoothly-defined tannins. Pair with a grass-fed burger and swiss cheese, this is an excellent everyday Bordeaux value from a fine vintage.
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$8.99

2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 08-28-2017
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Whether strange coincidence or amazing prescience, the elegant label on this bottle depicts a full solar eclipse, and the imposing, layered wine within evokes as much rapt attention and held breath as that phenomenon. To be expected I suppose from a legendary Bordeaux producer as Jean-Michel Cazes. Compromise or half-measures are hardly his game, and when he chose to make wines in the Languedoc, he selected the Minervois AOC, where the exposed warmth of the vineyards is amplified by a vast geological amphitheater of limestone and marl. The sheer integrity of the beautiful fruit in this wine, with a core of blackcurrants, fleshy plums, vanilla bean, subtle spice and wild lavender....eclipses my palate. Truly a remarkable wine today that will evolve into a memorable wine tomorrow.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Tempranillo Rioja
Review Date: 07-31-2017
Rioja is home to some of the most magnificent, age-worthy wines on earth, as well as many that display in their youth all the convivial charm and vibrancy that attracts the immediate consumer, the spontaneous gathering, the sitting on the deck with a good read, wines that are friendly and engaging and delicious, and so well-priced in the bargain. Such is the Alesanco, medium-bodied and oozing with flavors of red cherry, plum, savory tobacco, iron and clove, with delicate acidity on the smooth finish. A welcoming, amiable wine to open with a saffron-infused paella of poultry and chorizo.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2005 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 07-17-2017
Like an artist applying thin washes of color to build depth and complexity into a painting, a seasoned winemaker scents, tastes and blends to achieve a desired play of aromas, flavors and textures that will contribute both to a wine's immediate enjoyment and long term pleasure. Arriving in pristine condition from a near perfect vintage, the 2005 Baron Louis expresses all the character of a great Chateauneuf without the high price— complex layers of blackberry, cassis, aged fruitcake, mocha and tobacco leaf interplay upon the palate, striking a well-wrought balance between power and finesse, panache and precision. A classic Southern Rhone red to relish and enjoy at its peak of performance!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Clos de l'Anhel "Les Terrassettes" Corbières
Review Date: 07-03-2017
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Sophie Guiraudon, the engaging force of nature behind Clos de l’Anhel, belongs to an affiliation of savvy women vignerons in the Languedoc, “The Vinfilles”, who consent to being “adepts of the pleasure and richness of their profession, beautiful, rebellious, active, greedy, friendly, sociable and dynamic.” All of the above. When we had the opportunity to meet Sophie last year, she poured her latest wines and enthralled all with her deep knowledge of the,Corbieres region and its amazing tapestry of soils and microclimates. The Terrassettes satisfies on many levels, as a great everyday red of course, but like many of her wines, has the structure and balance to mature over several years. Rich and robust plum, raspberry, earth and spice flavors meld beautifully on the firm palate, with polished tannins and splendid acidity. All of the rebellious, sociable and friendly qualities you could ask for in a wine!
Top Value!
Price: Hidden View Price

2016 Domaine de l'Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rosé
Review Date: 05-30-2017
The uniquely high iron content of the stony gravel and pebbly soils, coupled with the proximity to the Mediterranean creates wines of greater depth and concentration that would be expected in a region that straddles both the Rhone and Languedoc. After discovering the remarkable value found in the Ermitage Rouge for several vintages, the rosé proved just as delectable, flavorful and vibrant, framed with notes of ripe peach, strawberry and spice, with enough luscious acidity on the crisp, inviting finish. Open this delightful rosé on a picnic with cold roast chicken or a mouthwatering paella!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 E. Guigal Côtes du Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 05-10-2017
Unfortunately I missed the rare opportunity to meet Philippe Guigal during his recent visit to Los Angeles, as my work and pleasure lie to the north in our San Francisco store. But I can attest to the phenomenal range and excellence of his wines, from humble Cotes du Rhone blends to his incomparable, world-class Cote-Roties. And the 2015 vintage has left many folks searching for superlatives to describe near perfection, a year that turned out wines of incredible aromatic charm, finesse and balance. Hold that humility: the Blanc resonates with elegant notes of ripe stone fruit--juicy apricots, white peaches, glistening pears, enlivened by flamboyant acacia and honeysuckle aromas. A super wine to be enjoyed with any number of dishes, extravagant in every way except the price!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-26-2017
Be forewarned: Do not don one of the unwieldy medieval helmets shown on the front label while attempting to drink this robust Rioja, as it's far too tasteworthy to waste a single drop! Attired in deep red hues, this forward-drinking, effusive Reserva spent 18 months in both American and French oak. It resonates with fragrant aromas of black cherries, vanilla and raspberries, revealing a layered palate of riper dark fruits embellished with a tinge of earth and char. Enjoy this now or over the next decade.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Viticole "Malmont" Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Winemaker Nicolas Haeni has much in common with the good folks to the north at Clos de la Bonnette, as his elevated, heavily terraced vines demand the same fervent energy and fortitude to achieve his vision of a quintessential Rhône red. This wine is a skillful blend of Grenache and Syrah, with beautifully harmonious fruit that delivers structure, power and concentration without over-amping any element.
Price: Hidden View Price

2012 Château Peyros Madiran Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 01-17-2017
Ouch! The vineyards of Peyros are built upon gravelly soils covered with large stones deposited by glaciers during the last Ice Age, which created a surfeit of sore feet for any herd of woolly mammoths that galumphed upon them. Hm, might explain their extinction....but the mammoth loss is your gain, as these scattershot stones also retain heat that gracefully ripens the grapes on these old vines, leading to wines of impeccable power, warmth and depth. High-toned aromatic black fruits lift from the glass, revealing a lush viscosity with notes of dark cherry, black plum, pepper, menthol and smoke on the rich, velvety palate, finishing long and lovely. A veritable "mam-mouthful" of wine!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
DC 94 WE 92

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2016
We carry a few champagnes in the under-$50 range that flat-out scintillate and astonish--the Launois Cuvee of course...and now you can add to that one of our newest direct import bottlings, the Charles Ellner Carte D'Or, an inspiring rendition, replete with wonderful flavors of white nectarines, citrus, red cherries and fine pastry dough. The perfect bubbly to celebrate the New Year or any occasion calling for a classic, well-articulated champagne. Enjoy!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 VN 90

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Valravn "Old Vine" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-29-2016
Born and bottled in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, this rustic, dry-farmed ancient vine Zinfandel reminds me of why I moved to California almost forty years ago, in search of those intangible truths that can only be found in the cultivated company of rare friends over a good bottle of wine. Zinfandel is and always will be a grape that expresses itself with passionate intensity and it’s such a pleasure to discover that some folks (the Banshee guys) are still making it like I remember it from the 1970s, those special wines of character, purity and harmony that leave their imprint on the mind as well as the palate. And reading up on the mythological origins of the 'Valravn' can chill one's bones, as it depicts a monstrous raven who scours the bloody battlefields of Danish lore in search of fresh meat. Never thee mind, all this delicious wine does is slay your mortal thirst, my ravenous friends!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
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A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

2015 Domaine de l'Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 11-28-2016
Gravelly soils and a panoply of pebbles describe the lovely lay of the land in this relatively unexplored spot that straddles both the Rhone Valley and the Languedoc regions. Enveloped by a deep robe of purple, this joyous, uber-friendly wine benefits from freshly inviting aromatics and a smooth, mouth-filling palate of blackcurrant, plums, and violets, with touches of tobacco and peppery spice on the round, pleasant finish. With a wealth of generous, festive fruit, this makes the perfect, well-priced holiday red to accompany all your decking and frolicking. Cheers!
Top Value!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 05-26-2015
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Zero is my favorite number, or rather ‘un-number’ when it comes to most sparkling wines, as I prefer the naked, pure, crystalline fruit unadorned by added dosage, and the sheer raciness and zing of this stainless fermented bubbly from Limoux answers the call with laser flavors of green apple, lemon and white pear. Bring on a platter of fresh raw oysters or mussels mariniere and watch the shells pile up. Gotta love it!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-02-2013
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Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.
Top Value!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
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As Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant (1698), Berry Bros. and Rudd should know a thing or three about the traditional making of gin. Their No. 3 English Dry Gin is an unabashedly pure blending of fruits and spices selected and distilled in traditional copper pots in Schiedam, Holland. Made from Italian Juniper, Spanish oranges and grapefruit peel, with added spices including angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamon pods, this exquisitely crafted yet assertive gin remains, with its distinctively aromatic nose and prolonged finish, a highly-recommended personal favorite. The ideal suitor for a dry Martini or classic Gin and Tonic.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

Fleury "Cuveé Robert Fleury" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-01-2012
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If you're searching for a non-vintage Champagne with generous texture, abundant freshness, depth of character and a distinctive aromatic profile, search no further! This stunning barrel-fermented assemblage of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc....yes, I said Pinot Blanc, an odd wine out in most of Champagne, is a triumphant display of everything one can discover in a fine bottle of bubbly- sparkle, effervescence, layers of brioche, chalk, herbs, toast and lemon, ever-evolving complexity, with a lengthy, lingering finish.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

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