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Staff Favorites - Gary Norton

Gary Norton

Reviews

2014 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-14-2019
2014 is the most underrated Napa vintage of the decade. Having been sandwiched in between two highly lauded, and successful campaigns, the '14s never took off like they should have. The reality is that 2014 was an incredible year - perhaps there was just too much noise surrounding the neighboring vintages - and Dunn's Howell Mountain bottling is a shining example of the heights that the vintage quietly achieved. Loaded with plush notes of blackberry, creme de cassis, cedar, and a hint of graphite, this wine perfectly encapsulates everything that makes 2014 the sleeper vintage that it is.

2016 Allram Grüner Veltliner "Renner 1ÖTW" Kamptal
Review Date: 11-27-2018
Allram's 2016 Renner is an absolute rock star. It hits the palate with a crisp line of acidity yet possesses a certain roundness that allows for near-term enjoyment. Notes of Meyer lemons, Bosc pears, white pepper give way to a slightly minerally, and lengthy finish. Drink this lovely Gruner anytime over the coming ten to fifteen years.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 97 JS 92

2015 Chalk Hill "Estate" Chalk Hill Red Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2018
The aromatics are spectacular and the palate is seamless. It's a rich, opulent red blend that perfectly encapsulates the 2015 vintage in Sonoma. Blue and black fruits, creme de cassis, dried tobacco, and a hint of wood on the finale. Its full-bodied and multi-layered, and is the perfect companion to your next prime-rib roast.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2016 Chappellet "Signature" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-01-2018
Early reports suggest that 2016 will trail only 2013 for the strongest Napa vintage of the decade and this year's release of Chappellet's Signature appears to confirm those rumblings. It's open-knit and drinkable now, but also has the scaffolding to age gracefully for another 10+ years. Highly pointed, top vintage Napa Cabs for less than $100 are virtually extinct these days. Savvy buyers will grab a case of this one.

Wathen’s Private Barrel #3597 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2018
Aromas of peanut brittle, cloves and caramel lead into rich, malty flavors of toasted pine and citrus peels. For under forty bucks it's a versatile libation that you can enjoy neat, with a rock, or blend into a cocktail. I'm not sure what this one proofed out at, but it has the chops to take on a rock or two without falling apart.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Martin Ray Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Notes of dried black cherries, elderberry compote, crushed blackberries, cola and a hint of Porcini hold together wonderfully within this gorgeously rich and seductive Pinot Noir. The fact it carries a sub-$20 price-tag only compounds the upside to this stunning bottle. Go big on this one, trust me, it won't be here for long.
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart
JS 94

2014 Colgin "IX Estate" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-01-2018
The IX Estate Vineyard is a site that can be described as a viticultural masterpiece and, unsurprisingly, it produces some of the most viscerally thrilling wines I have ever had the pleasure to taste. The range of flavors runs the spectrum - the nose and palate are anchored by dark red fruits, blackberries, iron and dried herbs and the experience tapers down with wildly polished tannins to round everything out. The impeccable quality of this wine is clearly the by product of a first-growth caliber vineyard and an insanely talented winemaking team. Kudos!

2016 The Burn "Borne of Fire" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-24-2018
This is the perfect wine to introduce yourself to high-quality Cabernet from Washington state - an under-appreciated region that undoubtedly represents the strongest QPR in domestic Bordeaux varietals. This one offers a stemmy mix of red and dark fruits, dried herbs and mocha to round it out. A great little weeknight sipper for less than twenty bucks.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 W&S 91

2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 05-15-2018
Halcon has been on a qualitative roar for some time now and this bottling is no different. With qualities akin to top-vintage Cote Rotie or Hermitage, it boasts massive concentration, great purity of fruit and full-bodied richness - all for less than thirty bucks. Dried violets, game, black olives, blackberries and hints of leather, this one truly has it all. Pull the cork tonight or let it develop for a decade plus - totally up to you.

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-28-2018
This lovely wine features an expressive nose of white flowers, ripe citrus, mango and baking spices. The palate is clean and sharp, yet subtly rich at the same time, adding more notes of citrus and pit fruits towards the back-end. Finishes long - a great wine for the money. Drinks more like Chassagne Montrachet than Aussie Chardonnay.

2013 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2018
I reviewed the 2012 vintage of this wine nearly a year ago and my adoration of the property has only magnified since then. A perennial over-achiever, this gem has the chops to withstand a few decades of cellaring and at the price-point, there isn't much to compare it to. This beauty shows classic Margaret River structure and notes of dried herbs, menthol and dark fruits. There's a very good reason Robert Mondavi was mulling over the notion of purchasing the estate back in the '70s - as it produces world-class wines with each passing vintage. This one is a no-brainer. Drink now and over the next twenty years.

2016 Domaine Lafage "Novellum" Chardonnay Pays d'Oc
Review Date: 11-20-2017
Hands down, this is one of the best pound-for-pound Chardonnays in the store right now. Boasting notes of grapefruit, white nectarine, chamomile and a touch of oily richness - there is no reason that this value white should not be featured on your Thanksgiving dinner table. It's the perfect dinner companion for any occasion really, but especially those coming up in the next few months!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Red Stitch "Sierra Mar Vineyard" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-31-2017
Easily the best SLH Pinot Noir I've tasted this year - it's rich, expressive and dark-fruited. Great entry weight on the palate and flavors of black fruits, dark berries and rose-hips come together gracefully to form one of the most complete wines I can remember tasting from the AVA, ever. It's a mid to near-term drinker so pull the cork on this micro-production Pinot before the season ends and enjoy it until the last pitch.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Maison L'Envoyé "The Attaché" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-11-2017
A tremendously serious wine for thirty bucks, that's for sure. The wine shows notes of fresh purple fruits, baking spices and a smokey, almost syrah-like characteristic that comes in on the mid-palate. It's a wildly intriguing Pinot Noir that should age gracefully for another 5 to 8 years.

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-03-2016
This is a fantastic non-vintage bottling from Michel Arnould. The blend consists of a heavy dose of Pinot Noir (75%) and the rest Chardonnay, which creates a wonderfully delicate and floral nose that leads into heaps of red fruit and red berries. The finish is clean and citric. A truly special bottle of bubbles.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 09-08-2016
There's good reason as to why this wine is a perennial staff and customer favorite. It's a dark fruited, earthy, intense Bordeaux blend (50% Cab, 30% Merlot & 20% Cab Franc) at a very approachable price point. Pair this wine with a juicy hamburger or red meat of your choice. This is an absurdly serious wine for less than fifteen bucks.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-06-2016
My personal favorite of our current Westland lineup. Aromas of Fig Newtons, toasted pecan, mocha and dried yellow fruits to cap it off. It isn't too oily or sweet, it's an honest, lively whiskey that begs to be had neat, or with a single rock.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

Westland Peated American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-06-2016
In the spectrum of American single malts, Westland is at the apex of my list. Each and everything they offer is of incredible quality and reasonably priced. Their peated whiskey, priced at $69.99, rivals most Scotch whiskeys that command upwards of $100.00. It's rich, focused and balanced, showing notes of smokey creme brulee, vanilla, pie crust and scorched orange peel. Easily one of the best American whiskeys on the market today.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Westland American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 08-05-2016
Westland's American Single Malt is truly a show stopper. It houses very pure single malt Scotch-like characteristics (reminiscent of a classic Speyside) while adding some additional notes of vanilla extract, espresso bean and dried Medjool dates. This could be a game changer for you, come scoop a bottle and you'll understand what I'm talking about.
Top Value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2015
This is a fantastic non-vintage bottling from Michel Arnould. The blend consists of a heavy dose of Pinot Noir (75%) and the rest Chardonnay, which creates a wonderfully delicate and floral nose that leads into heaps of red fruit and red berries. The finish is clean and citric. A truly special bottle of bubbles.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 11-12-2015
With no dosage added, this is the driest of the Antech line. Always crisp and refreshing, it's my opinion that Antech produces the highest quality value-driven sparkling wine on the market right now. The perfect bottle for a wedding, party, or just another Tuesday night.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Louise Brison "L'Impertinente" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-13-2015
These bubbles are derived from 100% Pinot Noir and emit wonderful fragrances of cassis, wild strawberries and a tinge of minerals. Upon entry, this sparkler is crisp and light, while continuing to show a tenacious amount of strawberries, red fruit and toast. Enjoy these bubbles with a grilled pork loin, a sunset and good company!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart