Staff Favorites - David Driscoll

David Driscoll
David Driscoll  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
David Driscoll likes to drink alcohol when he is not working at K&L. His main interests include wine, beer, and distilled spirits. Before he worked here he went to college at a decent school, got a masters degree from an OK school, worked as a waiter and taught elementary school in Chinatown. He decided to get into the wine business after reading a few books about wine and realizing that one cannot seriously learn about wine solely through reading. His career goals include: trying to convince K&L customers that he does know something despite his youthful appearance, and learning everything about everything about every single wine ever made.


Reviews

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2014 Mount Peak "Sentinel" Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-18-2017
The fine and rather dusty tannins of the Mount Peak Cabernet should soften up rather quickly, giving short-term cellar fans something they can pop and pour before the end of the decade. Made primarily with fruit sourced from the Sentinel block of Monte Rosso vineyard, a shield-shaped section that marks the entrance to the property, the wine is dark and decadent, but never overtly oak or extracted. I think the big surprise of all three Mount Peak wines is how balanced they taste in the face of their huge alcohol levels. While I know most drinkers will gravitate to the highly-pointed red blend, the Cab is definitely the sleeper here. This could really open up down the line into something quite generous.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 92

2014 Mount Peak "Gravity" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 08-18-2017
When a wine gets 95 points and a massive applause from Mr. Robert Parker himself, there's generally not much need to say anything more, but for the sake of context I'll add in a few more notes here. I was shocked by the restraint of this wine, which sounds ridiculous when talking about a massive 15+% CA red wine. The palate was fleshy, textural, brimming with black fruit, and full of concentration, but it was never too sweet, too oaky, or too much for me to handle. The blend was aged for 14 months in both French and American oak barrels, but only 30% of them were new and that's important because the fruit is what's on full display here, not the wood. For those who like big California flavor without sickeningly saturated or extracted profiles, this is great find. It's a more serious wine than something like Orin Swift's Prisoner and it's definitely going to make quite a few friends with its huge press and reasonable mid-range price.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2014 Mount Peak "Rattlesnake" Sonoma County Zinfandel
Review Date: 08-18-2017
Having been the spirits buyer at K&L for almost a decade, I'm quite familiar with the idea of reopening "lost" distilleries, as well as the return of old brands that has been quite the fad over the last few years. However, I had yet to hear about an ancient California wine producer coming back to life until tasting the new releases from Mount Peak, a "ghost" winery that has been resurrected by Gallo (who have been busy in the boutique world, nabbing historic brandy CA producer Germain-Robin as well). While I was surprised by the history behind Mount Peak, I have to admit I was more surprised by the combination of power, potency, and finesse in all of the wines. Normally 15+% ABV wines are not my cup of tea, but these babies had gusto. The Rattlesnake zinfandel is bursting with berries, vibrant spice, and a silky, softly-textured body that coats the palate with massive concentration.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2009 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-18-2017
It's great to see how this wine has come around over the years. We've been getting shipments of the 2009 Coufran since the vintage was released in 2012 and I've been slowly tasting bottles throughout the years, watching what was once a merlot-driven and supple wine from a ripe vintage mature into a savory, complex, and serious bottle of mature Bordeaux. Tasting it today, it's at its most profound position yet. The wine is much leaner than it was a few years back and has shed some of that baby fat, now resembling something with age from St. Emilion or Pomerol. For the price its tough to beat, especially when stacked up against some of the other $20 bargains we have in the store. Few, however, show as much evolution as the Coufran. This is a Wednesday night steak frites wine at its finest.

1989 l'Arrosée, St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-17-2017
I really enjoyed getting the chance to taste older vintages from the Right Bank, especially from properties that no longer exist! L'Arrosee was purchased in 2013 by Haut Brion who merged the vineyards with Tetre-Daugay and called the new estate Quintus. Those who like their old school Bordeaux, both in historical and flavorful sense of the word, will really dig this. The flavors are savory with plenty of secondary development and soft tannins that flesh out on the finish.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

1989 Lacoste-Borie, Pauillac
Review Date: 08-17-2017
The 1989 Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste has a reputation for superb quality, so in typical K&L fashion we went right after the property's second wine: the Lacoste Borie. Named for the Borie family, of Ducru Beaucaillou fame as well, the second wine lives up to the hype of the vintage. Still showing fruit after almost three decades, the tannins are soft, integrated, and the palate is like pure silk. Those looking for underrated value from Bordeaux should take note.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2014 Haut de Poujeaux, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 08-04-2017
If I were to summarize my tastes as a booze professional, I'd say I like "classic" flavors. I like Bourbon that tastes like Bourbon, Scotch that tastes like Scotch, Chablis that tastes like Chablis, and most importantly Bordeaux that tastes like Bordeaux. While 2009, 10, 15, and 16 get all the hype due to their fleshy fruit flavors and supple mouthfeels, 2014 is a "classic" Bordeaux vintage and what's great for people who like "classic" flavor is that "classic" is considered less exciting these days. Everything has to be the "vintage of a lifetime" or no one cares. Fine by me!!!!! I'll gladly take 2014 Haut de Poujeaux for sub-$20 pricing if "classic" claret is no longer desirable. This is an absolutely delicious Bordeaux (that tastes like Bordeaux!) with a complex and aromatic nose of oak, earth, and spice. After ten minutes in the glass there's a hint of red currant, but it's modest. The wine's strength is in its simple typicity - it's a Wednesday night claret that I would be happy to bring to dinner on Saturday evening. There's an old story about how Baron Rothschild mistook the 1953 Poujeaux for Lafite. If I would have tasted this blind, I would have easily mistaken the 2014 Haut de Poujeaux for a much more serious Bordeaux. For fans of classic, true-to-form Bordeaux with texture and nuance, this is a fantastic deal.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Paranubes Oaxacan Aguardiente de Caña Agricole Rum (1L)
Review Date: 07-14-2017
The Paranubes Oaxacan aguardiente de caña is one of, if not the, best agricole rhums I've ever tasted and it beautifully balances a smooth and fruity character with the grassiness and the intense cane flavor of something like Neisson. What it removes is the funk, the earth, and the sometimes bitter notes that send some people running for the hills. The aromatics are absolutely stunning—there is a pure and unflinching note of raw cane that absolutely explodes from the bottle. At 54%, the rum is no slouch. But it's clearly distilled with a master hand because it's incredibly polished despite all that intensity. I could drink this straight out of the bottle, neat in a glass, on the rocks, in a cocktail, or simply with soda. I can't get enough of it—it's that good.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Rustenberg Chardonnay Stellenbosch South Africa
Review Date: 07-13-2017
There are two wines from South Africa that I swear by, both for myself and for all customer recommendations. One is the Rustenberg John X Merriman cabernet. one of the best thirty dollar wines in the world, and the other is the Rustenberg Stellenbosch chardonnay, which tastes like high-end, balanced, and well-made California chardonnay or white Burgundy for a fraction of the price. In the 2015, you get the whole package: ample fruit, subtle vanilla from the oak, and plenty of acidity to balance out the two aforementioned elements. Not only is this chardonnay absolutely mouthwatering, it's versatile. You can drink it now, put it away until next year, or cellar it for an additional five. It's got the stuffing for the long haul, but it's approachable now. All that for less than twenty bucks. If you only drink one South African wine this year, the Rustenberg chardonnay is a great pick and its indicative of the great quality we've come to expect from the region as a whole.

2013 Yalumba "Triangle Block" Shiraz-Viognier Eden Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-26-2017
Yum! All the juicy flavor of real syrah/shiraz with none of the cloying, overly-sweet, ridiculous ripeness that made most of the genre impossible for me to drink for nearly a decade. This is balanced, savory, perfectly-finessed Northern Rhone style wine with smoked meat aromas and a peppery finish, all for a price that allows daily drinking. I'd recommend anyone with a bias against Aussie shiraz to try a bottle and free their mind. The secret is Eden Valley's higher elevation and cooler climate versus the hotbox that is Barossa. Go deep on this one if you like value and true Rhone style syrah.
Price: Hidden View Price
W&S 93 VN 90

2015 Chateau de la Charriere Santenay Blanc 1er Cru "Beauregard"
Review Date: 06-22-2017
This is once of the better white wines I've ever tasted from Cherriere, one that is richer and rounder than any of their Chassagne Montrachet wines I've had in the past, despite the fact it's from Santenay. There's a gorgeous bouquet of stonefruit and plenty of ripeness on the palate, but the acidity is balanced and lip-smacking on the finish. This is top notch chardonnay, folks!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Pernot-Belicard Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 06-17-2017
The freshness of the 15 Burgundy whites is the most surprising part of the ripe vintage. Exhibit A is this lovely Bourgogne blanc from Pernot Belicard, brimming with fresh stonefruits on the nose, and a soft acidity that accents the medium bodied weight and fleshiness. Give this to someone who loves central coast wines from California and watch their eyes light up!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Jean-Michel Giboulot Savigny-lès-Beaune
Review Date: 06-17-2017
The standard Savigny les Beaune from Giboulot is the most traditional of the 2015 bunch, with grittier tannins and more meaty flavors of earth and licorice. The ripeness of the vintage is still there, but it's much more restrained which allows the secondary flavors to shine through. Great for a simple dinner or roasted chicken.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Copper & Kings American Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-13-2017
One thing to know about the C&K American dry gin is that it's made on the smallest pot still in the facility, which according to Joe only yields about 120 bottles worth of gin per batch—exactly the amount we ordered in our initial ten case purchase. Smelling my first glass of the newly arrived hooch, I can already sense the differences from the bottle I originally brought back from the distillery this past Spring. There's a bit more apple must on the nose and the finish is creamier and tangier in profile. My point in mentioning that is: this is real small batch gin, in that it will taste a little bit different each time we order it. Joe is making it especially for us each time, so while the recipe will remain the same, the subtle nuances of the apple brandy base will vary from batch to batch. Other than the wildcard of a base material, the C&K American dry gin drinks much like a classic London dry style. Bright juniper notes, lifted by the coriander, with a fresh and spicy finish. In a gin and tonic, it's absolute heaven. It's also my new favorite gin in the store. I highly, highly recommend getting one.
Price: Hidden View Price

Highland Park "Valkyrie" Isle of Orkney Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-09-2017
Highland Park's new Valkyrie edition, much like its previous releases, is long on viking mythology and short on specifics, but that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. I did a side by side comparison with the 12 and 18 year this week and felt that—as a middle ground between the two—the whisky holds up quite well for the $70 price. More importantly, it tastes like the best parts of both. While the 12 year is light and fruity, the classic 18 year is remarkedly more sherried. With the Valkyrie, you get the malty, lightly-peated texture of the 12 with some of the rancio, cakebread, and richness of the 18. From what I understand, about half of the barley used in the Valkyrie was peated, which is higher than what's used in the 12 and 18. That extra kick helps to mask any rawness from the whisky's younger components and was clearly a good move. What I appreciate most here is that the Valkyrie delivers its finest work on the nose and the finish, rather than on the mid-palate. These are two elements of whisky appreciation I appreciate more as I get older: how it teases my nostrils and how it comes together as a unit on the back end. There's a robust sherry aroma right out of the bottle, and sweet, concentrated hit of Oloroso richness on the finish that dries out a bit with the smoke, but clearly makes itself known. While Highland Park went heavier on Orkney's viking heritage this time around, they didn't do so at the expense of the whisky.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2015 Jax Vineyard "Y3" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-17-2017
Jax is our local winemaker of choice here at K&L with the owners living nearby our Redwood City store and the tasting bar just down the street from our SF store. The wines have always represented top quality for the money, and the Y3 Chardonnay is another example of how Jax is sourcing serious fruit, making serious wine, and turning up the heat on other California producers in this price point with knock-out expressions. The 2015 is a perfect balance between classic CA richness and the fresher, cleaner style foodies tend to look for today. There's a ripeness of fruit, but a clean and refreshing finish. I'm so happy to see these guys taking off because no one deserves it more.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Suntory Hakushu 12 Year Old Japanese Peated Single Malt Whisky (limit 12) (750ml)
Review Date: 05-08-2017
Personally, I’ve always been surprised how much more popular the Yamazaki 12 is compared to its sibling the Hakushu 12. To me, the Yamazaki has always been a fine whiskey, but the more dynamic malt is easily the Hakushu, which as pretty much the same delicate and light-drinking flavor profile as the Yamazaki, but with just the faintest touch of smoke. It's so ethereal straight out of the glass, but I feel like it tastes even better with ice (I know that's tough for some people to handle). The subtle peat is like a ghost that moves slowly around every part of my palate, brushing it with hints of earth and phenolic goodness after coating it with sweet grains. With our new pricing, this is a can't miss deal. It's nice to have some real quantity again!
Price: $99.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 91
Limit of 12 per customer

Suntory Toki Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 05-08-2017
When the Suntory Toki first launched at $45, it was a bit of a stretch because of how hot the market was for Japanese whisky. I'm much more comfortable selling this in the mid-thirties, however, and with our new pricing we can do that. While you sip on your bottle of Yamazaki or Hakushu, you pour this one on the rocks, add some soda water, and make yourself a real mizuwari--the great whisky soda that dominates Japan's drinking culture. The fruitiness on the nose really blossoms with the addition of bubbles, so don't be shy here. Do Japanese whisky right and drink it how it's intended!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tapiz "Alta Collection" Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza
Review Date: 04-15-2017
I think the shocking part for me about the Tapiz Alta Cabernet is how subdued and Bordeaux-like it is. Normally when we see highly-pointed, bargain-priced Cabernet from the Southern Hemisphere it's in a fruit bomb style or it's oaked to holy hell. This wine is neither. At 13.9%, this is a lower alcohol, cooler climate style of Cab that drinks like something in between St. Estephe and Napa. Rarely do I say to customers "you should buy that fourteen dollar Cabernet to lay down in your cellar," but in the case of the Tapiz this is honestly a sub-$20 bottle that should only get better. Right out of the bottle you can feel the structure on your gums, the hints of earth and tobacco that penetrate through the soft and supple texture of the wine. Fans of both the old and new world styles should be pleased. Fans of inexpensive Tuesday night meatloaf Cab will want to load up big.

2014 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 04-07-2017
The secret of the 47 hectare Lilian Ladouys property is its bevy of high-density old vines, roughly forty to sixty years of age, that form concentrated berries full of intensity. The result is a supple and sweet-fruited palate full of blackberries and spice, plump from the merlot, but balanced by the 40% of cabernet sauvignon that adds just enough grip to all that ripeness. This is one of my new favorite mid-week Bordeaux options. Personally, I've been allocating all my extra cash to 2014 Bordeaux as the prices are going to look even better once the big 2016 numbers start coming out in the near future. Load up while you can!

Lagavulin 8 Year Old Limited Edition Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-06-2017
This 8 year version of Lagavulin is even more quintessentially Islay than the 16. It's fresher, livelier, peatier, and simply more dynamic on the palate. I also love that Lagavulin paid homage to the classic whisky travel book "The Whisky Distilleries of Scotland" by Alfred Barnard, a writer who visited all 150 active distilleries in the UK back in the late 19th century. He specifically mentions an "exceptionally fine" Lagavulin 8 year expression, and it's clear from tasting the modern rendition why he felt so strongly. It's a lovely whisky and it very much speaks to the strength of what may be Scotland's top producer.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2015 Les Frères Perroud "Amethyste" Brouilly
Review Date: 04-05-2017
Of all the Beaujolais producers we've begun working with directly over the last year, I'm most smitten with the Perroud bothers. Not only is their portfolio a dynamic and diverse one, all of their wines seem to simply burst with freshness, concentration, and simple charm. The "Amethyste" is a plump and dark fruited Beaujolais that really speaks to the quality of the Perroud family's Brouilly hillside vineyards and the organic and sustainable viticulture they practice. Put this side by side with any other "cru" Beaujolais in the same price point and I think the difference is pretty clear. The "Amethyste" is deeper, darker, denser, and more complex than just about any of its peers. This is quite the find for our Burgundy department.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 VN 90

2013 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-04-2017
I strongly and passionately feel like Australia is the future of cabernet sauvignon, mainly because it has all the youthful drinkability that California wine lovers appreciate, but with the complexity and depth that we have generally have to wait for with Bordeaux. Because of that dichotomy, the best wines from Margaret River are often compared to the top growths of the Medoc, but as you can see with the Xanadu Estate cabernet here the prices are much, much more affordable (like a fraction of what fine Pauillac would run you). I've tasted this wine about five separate times now and each time I've been taken aback by the concentration of fruit and the subtle accents of earth, spice, and leather. The wine is silky, yet nuanced. It's polished, but in no way sweet or overtly airbrushed. It's just a slam dunk bottle of cab with style and gusto, from a serious plot of land, for a reasonable price, and with a screw cap to boot. It's everything I love about Australian wine right now: panache without pretense.

2015 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 02-27-2017
I've seen great pinots from the southern hemisphere for under twenty bucks over the last year, but not estate-grown pinot noirs. The fruit at Helen's Hill is meticulously cared for by Allan Halder, a guy who is as passionate about viticulture as anyone I've ever met. The Ingram pinot is not only full of pure pinot flavor, it's fresh and lively on the palate in a way that I wish more Bourgogne rouge value options were. If you're looking for that great bottle of village level Burgundy but don't feel like spending $20+ for an unknown, this is as close to a sure thing as I've ever seen at K&L. I'm thrilled to be working directly with Helen's Hill and I think were on the verge of something very big with this initial release.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 BC 90

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-23-2017
This a fantastic new entry to our DI Champagne program that offers fresh and clean flavors balanced and buoyed by riper apple notes. It's both refreshing as an aperitif and satisfyingly full on the palate like I would expect from a fine cuvee. What's most important to note, however, is that the Neuville "Authentique" stands out from the pack of K&L selections I've grown accustomed to drinking over the years. It's snappier than the Aspasie Carte Blanche, fruitier than the Bonville Blanc de Blanc, and more complex than the Baron Fuente Grand Reserve; generally my three go-to bottles. I'm now adding the Neuville into that line-up as the fourth horseman as it's just so versatile. Also intriguing is the wine's origin from Sezanne; a part of Champagne I know nothing about, so it scratches an intellectual itch as well. A great find by Gary.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2013 Fuenteseca Huerta Singular "El Maguey" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
I'm not sure what I'll need to do to communicate the importance of this tequila in my staff review. SHOULD I WRITE IN ALL CAPS? Should I gush in a never ending river of superlatives and praise? There's never been a tequila like this before at K&L. Never has one producer made dozens of different distillates from various agave fields on various properties, in search of the ultimate single-site (or huerta) blue tequila expression, but that's what this blanco edition of Fuenteseca represents. Enrique Fonseca's quest to find singularity and terroir in tequila, but for the purpose of heightened quality, not some silly modern marketing gimmick to capitalize on locavore fashion. It's what the monks did a thousand years ago in Burgundy. It's what Champagne growers and Cognac distillers have done for centuries. For all this time, producers of fine wine and spirits in Europe have located their top sites and made individual expressions to showcase the heightened quality of those particular parcels. Why is it that no one in Jalisco has thought of doing this? You'll see single vintage tequila, or single estate tequila every now and again, but the reality is that these producers aren't actually choosing between agave fields. They only have one field at their disposal, so there's nothing really special about it. But Enrique Fonseca is the largest single landowner of agave in all of Jalisco! He has more agave fields than any other tequila producer in the business, so it means all the more coming from his vast holdings. The result is nothing short of spectacular. It ranks among the best tequilas I've ever tasted, and it's probably the best blanco expression I've ever had. This is the future of tequila, folks. It's not about extra anejo, or cask strength, or various types of cooperage. This isn't whisky. Enrique has clearly shown here that a tequila's quality can be heightened simply by carefully selecting special harvests of agave. This 2013 edition of Fuenteseca is all the proof you need (and it's proofed at a higher than normal 45.7%, which adds lift). It's been resting in stainless steel for years, waiting for the right moment to unleash its beauty. Now it's finally here and you simply, positively, absolutely must buy a bottle.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Old Forester "1920 Prohibition Style" Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2017
This was my favorite single Bourbon release of 2016 and I'm thrilled we were able to get another large allocation of it. Regardless of whether you want to get wrapped up in the story about how this was based on the Prohibition era recipe, there's no doubt about it: this is a delicious bottle of American whiskey and it easily stands out from the crowd of currently available options. There's a weight and a richness that coats the palate and the 115 proof brings plenty of punch with a flurry of baking spices. I love the graham crackery goodness as well. I don't taste a lot of Bourbons these days that really have a deeply concentrated flavor of dark grains. This has it in spades. Add this to your short list of new and exciting Bourbons right now.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2015 D'Arce, Côtes de Castillon
Review Date: 01-20-2017
I love this wine from the Garcin family, the folks behind Barde-Haut and L'Eglise on Bordeaux's Right Bank. It's a perfect expression of everything I enjoy about the 2015 vintage in Bordeaux. The flavors are delicate and fruit-driven, but they're pretty rather than punchy. The red fruits are pure, accented with mineral notes and a core of clean acidity, and the tannins are elegantly structured. We tasted this with Helene Garcin at the property this past Spring and I loved it then, but the wine is really showing its splendor right now. Not only is it delicious, it's also versatile. It's rich enough to pair with beef, but juicy enough for chicken and pork as well. It's a wine I could drink everyday for the price, yet also one that tastes serious enough to bring to a dinner party. It's the type of Bordeaux I never want to be without and it's a fantastic preview of what's to come from 2015. For those of you who want to get your feet wet in the genre, this is a classically-styled wine that delivers serious bang for the buck.

2004 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 12-28-2016
This is currently my favorite Bordeaux in the store. We rarely get aged Right Bank wines this good for this good of a price, but the 2004 Barde Haut is a great example of a merlot-based wine in its absolute prime. The fleshiness of the fruit is still apparent on the palate, but it's bolstered by potent flavors of mushroom and soy sauce; so much so that I can't imagine drinking this again with a giant portobello or a steak covered in sauteed mushrooms with a soy glaze. It's rich and layered through the mid-palate with soft tannins and plenty of body, and the finish is complex with accents of earth and dark plum. This is simply an outstanding bottled of mature St. Emilion and it's something I'd like to see more of around here. We bought these directly from Helene Garcin at the Barde Haut estate this past April. I hope there's more.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

Siembra Valles "Ancestral" Blanco Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-22-2016
For serious agave nuts, this is as close as Tequila will ever get to mezcal in that David Suro's team used many Oaxacan production methods to make this spectacular expression. In fact, in order to help consult on the project Suro brought up a number of Oaxacan distillers to help explain the process to the Tequileros. He said to me, "It brought a tear to my eye; seeing mezcaleros and Tequileros working side by side." This is a historic Tequila, but it's also an unbelievably delicious one. Huge notes of roasted agave, citrus, and spice coat the palate. At 50.1% there's a little kick on the finish as well. This isn't for people who want smooth. It's for people who want maximum flavors at all costs. In this case, David Suro paid the costs for that flavor. He spared no expense.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2013 Vidal-Fleury Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 09-14-2016
Here's a Cotes du Rhone for people who appreciate restraint and nuance. The fruit is there, but this isn't a big, sweet, juicy, full-bodied Rhone from a ripe vintage. This wine has acidity, and hints of crushed violets, and dark, tart blackberry. There's a bit of that blueberry note on the finish, but it fades quickly under the earthiness and delicate tannic structure. Good wine for a good price!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Siran, Margaux
Review Date: 08-31-2016
2015 will not only be remembered as the vintage that brought sanity back to Bordeaux pricing, it will be remembered by enthusiasts as the year Margaux dominated the communes. Just about every wine we tasted from the region was balanced, beautiful, and elegant. When the combination of great pricing and great quality comes together, it only adds to our initial excitement. Just like the Malescot before (a Margaux wine we sold TONS of), the Siran showcases everything we loved about the vintage but at an even lower price. The difference here is the Merlot dominance, but the grace is still there under all that dark fruit. The wine is alive and kicking, plush on the palate, and loaded with drive and panache. It's also less than thirty bucks. I'd say: go for it.

2015 Ducru-Beaucaillou, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This wine, along with the tremendous Vieux Chateau Certan, would be at the very, very top of my list for best of the vintage. In my humble opinion, Ducru outshined the entire pack of first-growths, the big players of Pomerol, and the mineral-rich wines of the Graves. It was both elegance and refinement defined. Sensual and perfectly ripe fruit with seamless integration and a precision that moved from front to back in perfect balance. We all left the chateau simply mesmerized by the experience. I'm hoping everyone who buys a bottle of the 2015 has a similar epiphany by the time they open it. Not to be missed.

2015 Haut-Brion, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This wine absolutely knocked our socks off when we tasted at the château. It's not just about the seamless fruit or sensual texture at Haut-Brion, it's the mineral notes, the smoke, the hint of black olive. It's a symphony of complexity.

2015 Montrose, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-13-2016
With the weather in St. Estephe a bit rainy and wet compared to other Left Bank appellations, the cabernet-heavy 2015 Montrose doesn't show any signs of waterlog. This is easily the best Montrose I've tasted in my young career and the most lush on the palate. The black fruits are rich and mouthcoating, the structure firm and foreboding. An old school claret worthy of second-growth status.

2015 Pichon-Lalande, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-13-2016
One of the best wines of the vintage for me. Gorgeous aromatics, lush fruit, finesse and beauty through and through. A wine that holds up great vintages of the past.

2015 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-08-2016
The 2015 Haut Bailly was another serious stunner from a property whose star seems to shine brighter each vintage. The minerality of Pessac Leognan was wholly perceptible underneath gorgeously lush fruit and fine tannins that cloaked the wine with elegance and finesse. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing 2015 Bordeaux because the wines are so pretty. It applies entirely and perhaps most applicably to the Haut Bailly.

2015 Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-08-2016
The 2015 Lynch Bages was the first wine we tasting on the morning of the third day in Bordeaux, so our palates were fresh and ready. The aromas were full of dark fruit and oak, the fruit was ripe on the palate with plenty of power as a counterweight. Behind that power was finesse on the finish; the iron fist in a velvet glove analogy we like to use so often. This is one of the more powerful wines I tasted from the 2015 vintage, easily capable of long-term maturation.

2015 Branaire-Ducru, St-Julien
Review Date: 06-07-2016
One of my favorite wines of the vintage--period. This wine was supple and rich on the palate with seductive fruit and a finish that just went on forever. I left the property with a skip in my step, bugging my colleagues with: "Wasn't that wine just incredible?" I'll be buying plenty of this for myself.

2015 Smith-Haut-Lafitte, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
I consider anything above fifty bucks to be a splurge bottle, but with Bordeaux anything that drinks as well as the 2015 SHL for less than a hundred dollars is a hot deal! This wine was right there with the Pape Clement for me personally. It's a complex wine--all about the relationship between the fruit and the potent minerality. The tannins are soft and round on the palate and the wine is silky on the finish. Finesse is a word you'll hear a lot when describing the 2015 Bordeaux vintage. There are few better examples than this wine here.

2015 Larcis Ducasse, St-Emilion
Review Date: 06-03-2016
We tasted this wine multiple times at the chateau on our trip and every sip just got better and better. There's a pop of plump fruit on the initial sip and then it moves into beautiful notes of violets and dark earth before enveloping itself in its own tannic structure. This is a great cellar wine and one of my favorites from our St. Emilion selections.

2015 d'Issan, Margaux
Review Date: 06-03-2016
Always one of my favorite properties, the 2015 Chateau d'Issan is classic Margaux flavor for a hot price. The nose is brimming with pretty aromatics, the wine soft on the palate, and the finish is long and elegant. I've bought plenty of Issan in the past as a slam dunk value for the relative vintage and 2015 won't be any different. Highly, highly recommended.

2015 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-03-2016
One of the most complete "value" wines we tasted during our recent trip to Bordeaux, a few of us have been waiting with baited breath for this wine to release. The 2015 Malartic Lagraviere showcases the fresh, pretty, and elegant fruit of the vintage along with supreme balance of Graves minerality with added complexity from spice and earth on the finish. Alex and I had this in our top ten of the vintage. The price should get you very, very excited.

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin 750ml
Review Date: 05-28-2016
The Navy Strength gin is not simply a higher proofed version of the Rare Dry from Four Pillars, but rather an entirely different formula. This one uses finger limes for a different citrus tone, but the balance of spice and botanicals is what ties both gins together. This is a bolder, brighter, more intense experience, but it's obviously made by the same team because the same attention to detail is prevalent. This is a world class gin of the highest quality, pure and simple.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 05-28-2016
Bow down to the new king of gin: Four Pillars. A group of gin crazy Aussies put together one of the most focused and high-quality gin distilleries in the world in the Yarra Yarra Valley and now we're fortunate to get a taste of that goodness here in the U.S. The Rare Dry gin simply explodes with citrus, a burst of fresh orange, but it still packs a lovely balance of juniper and spice with the most delicate and graceful of mouthfeels. This is high quality gin, pure and simple. It tastes like it was fussed over, formulated and retooled until it was perfect. I can't stop talking about it nor drinking it. I'm just so happy we have it.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 05-18-2016
This is a dark and decadent wine with lush black fruits and oak influence that turn into earthier elements and tannic structure on the finish. It's also a powerful wine with a massive finish compared to its 2015 counterparts. There's a flurry of pepper and herbs on the finish that come out to play once the fruit fades away. Could be the wine of the vintage for those in search of big, structured, cellar-worthy wines.

2015 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-13-2016
One of my top ten wines of the vintage--at any price! This was such a lovely wine when we tasted it at the property. Maybe it was the scenic view or maybe it was Helene Garcin herself swaying me towards that mindset, but I have to say that the 2015 Barde-Haut is just a delicious Bordeaux wine. It's plush, full of concentrated fruit, still fresh with acidity, and complex on the finish. The silky tannins make it so very approachable in its youth, but this wine is the PERFECT 3-5 year cellar candidate with the stuffing to last much longer. For the price, it's a no-brainer. There's been nothing this good that's been released so far at a sub-$40 price.

2015 Malescot-St-Exupéry, Margaux
Review Date: 05-10-2016
This is an absolutely beautiful wine with a nose of chocolate and cherries, followed by a lush fruit on the palate and a graceful run to the finish. There are plenty of firm tannins on the back end, meaning the wine should have great potential for the cellar, but it tastes so darn good right now I think most people would have a tough time keeping their hands off of it. The Malescot sums up the 2015 Margaux vintage perfectly: it's a wine of beauty, finesse, and elegance. For the price, it may be the best value we see from the appellation. I'm expecting this and Issan to be the vintage's top bargains for those who (like me) cannot afford to buy wines like Chateau Margaux proper.

2015 Pape Clément, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-09-2016
We all said to each other at the chateau while tasting this: "If Pape Clement comes out under $100 it will be one of the best values of the vintage." Sure enough we're under $90 now for the pre-order price and that means grab it while it's here. The 2015 Pape Clement is an elegant and refined marriage of 56% Cabernet and 40% Merlot (with 4% Franc) that is incredibly pleasant from the first sip. The fruit is fresh and concentrated, the tannins are fine and supple, and the finish is long and graceful. Some of us had this as a top 10 wine from the entire 2015 Bordeaux vintage. It might be one of the only that comes in under $100.

2015 Berliquet, St-Emilion
Review Date: 05-04-2016
Soft and sweet-fruited with lush cherry and other red berries notes. This will probably taste great no matter when you open it!

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