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Staff Favorites - Diana Turk

Diana Turk

Reviews

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Michel Arnould Verzenay "Brut Tradition" Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 01-27-2018
Bright cherry fruit really comes through on the nose of the Michel Arnould "Brut Tradition" half bottle, which lent an almost Northwest vibe when I paired it recently with salmon. Although there is structure and that hallmark hazelnut toastiness unique to Verzenay, this is a refreshing, crowd pleasing option, with a crisp finish. Clean, but with a richness that almost defies its stainless and enamel aging, Michel Arnould has delivered a creamy, picnic-ready Champagne. The great price, especially for Grand Cru fruit, makes this little beauty go down even easier.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
The decadent, complex Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut is the creamiest of their lineup, featuring a toasty hazelnut note and a crisp finish, which balances well with the richness and bright cherry fruit of the palate. Although not technically a vintage release, this is from the warmer 2009 harvest, making it instantly accessible, with weighty texture and just the right amount of lift. North-facing slopes in Verzenay ripen Pinot Noir beautifully but maintain a snap of acidity that pairs well with sushi, and the raciness here cuts through anything with ponzu sauce. This is easily one of my favorite Pinot-based Champagnes in the store, and a killer value.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Clear lemon fruit on the nose, with a stream of salinity through to the finish, the Michel Arnould Extra Brut is based on the 2010 harvest, a vintage celebrated for creating more linear Champagne. Although this is 100% Pinot Noir and Blanc de blancs is typically the favored suggestion for fish, the Extra Brut is a natural with sushi, especially yellowtail and snapper, which benefits from the sharper acid and low dosage. As a bonus, the Extra Brut's crisp yet easygoing style (it is still a berry-scented Pinot) not only works with food, but as a lively pre-dinner drink if you’re not-so-patiently waiting on delivery.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-24-2018
What a gem! Surprisingly green on the nose, with pepper notes and subtle mocha through the palate, Silverado is a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that somehow showcases classic Napa style while feeling reminiscent of Bordeaux. In fact, we sneaked it into a lineup of Left Bank new arrivals and it held its own! This is still California though: dark berry fruit shines through, with a welcome structure to the finish. Grip, elegance, and all estate fruit for barely 40 bucks – the 2013 Silverado will impress Napa fans and beyond.

2016 Franck Millet Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 01-02-2018
An amazing, minerally rosé from a favorite producer, Franck Millet’s lean Rosé of Pinot Noir is crisp and sophisticated, with watermelon notes and an easygoing quality that pairs with everything from BBQ to spicy takeout. 2016 was a colder vintage, and you can feel that in this vivid release. While Sancerre is always a refreshing choice in the summer, this Direct Import has the longevity to drink well into the holiday season and beyond.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 01-02-2018
I can't believe this is under $20! Delicious and elegant, this paper-wrapped Champagne is a departure from the searing acid of Blanc de blancs and instead shows golden apple fruit up front, followed by toastiness and a luxurious mouthfeel. Though there is a crisp backbone of minerality from the fossil-rich soil, this is a slightly unusual offering in that it’s 100% Chardonnay, but with a creamier spin. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making exceptional value Champagne, and there’s no doubt he’s accomplished that here. Aspasie Blanc de blancs is textured and age worthy, but in a smaller, more portable size.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-02-2018
Delicious and elegant, this paper-wrapped Champagne is a departure from the searing acid of Blanc de blancs and instead shows golden apple fruit up front, followed by toastiness and a luxurious mouthfeel. Though there is a crisp backbone of minerality from the fossil-rich soil, this is a slightly unusual offering in that it’s 100% Chardonnay with a creamier spin. The current release is from a single vineyard and spends over five years on the lees. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making exceptional value Champagne, and there’s no doubt he’s accomplished that here. Aspasie Blanc de blancs is textured and age worthy, and I love turning savvy drinkers on to this family-owned favorite.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 01-02-2018
Party perfect! Just when I thought I couldn’t love Aspasie more, they charm us at the annual Champagne Tent Event AND make improvements to their production facilities that send their wines over the top in elegance and quality. An unusual offering for the Aristons in that this is 100% Chardonnay, but with a creamier spin. The current release is from a single vineyard and spends over five years on the lees. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making exceptional value Champagne, and there’s no doubt he’s accomplished that here, especially given the celebration-ready magnum format. Aspasie Blanc de blancs is luxurious and age worthy, and I love turning savvy drinkers on to this family-owned favorite.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 12-26-2017
Half-bottles are not always the most economical option for Champagne, but Aspasie's 375 mls prove to be an incredible exception. Holiday-ready, the current release of Carte Blanche still spends five years on the lees, and has the biscuity notes to prove it, but shows even crisper acidity. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making high quality entry level wine, and there’s no doubt he’s accomplished that here. A traditional cépage of 40% Chardonnay and 30% each of Pinot Noir and Meunier, the Carte Blanche shows apple and crunchy pear fruit, tempered by underlying chalky notes, mousse texture, and a toasty finish. This is a bright spot in our DI Champagne line up – both figuratively and stylistically – and I'm happy to turn savvy drinkers on to this value.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-26-2017
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Aspasie more, they charm us at the annual Champagne Tent Event AND make improvements to their production facilities that send Carte Blanche over the top in elegance and quality. The current release of Carte Blanche still spends five years on the lees, and has the biscuity notes to prove it, but shows even crisper acidity. Paul-Vincent Ariston is committed to making exceptional entry level wine, and there’s no doubt he’s accomplished that here. A traditional cépage of 40% Chardonnay and 30% each of Pinot Noir and Meunier, the Carte Blanche shows apple and crunchy pear fruit, tempered by underlying chalky notes, mousse texture, and a toasty finish. This is a bright spot in our DI Champagne line up – both figuratively and stylistically – and I love turning savvy drinkers on to this value-driven, family-owned favorite.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine du Vieil Orme Sauvignon Touraine Blanc
Review Date: 12-07-2017
Amazing new staple wine with the longevity to get you from summer to New Year’s! If you love the bright minerality of Sancerre but not the expense, try the Domaine du Vieil Orme Sauvignon Blanc. Exquisitely crafted, refreshing, and at a price that far belies the incredible quality, this is party perfection in a bottle. Crisp and crowd-pleasing, the Orme showcases Touraine's dazzling rocky terroir while maintaining easy drinkability and layered texture. One of our best Loire whites of the 2016 vintage - sophisticated, complex, and most importantly, delicious.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2010 Louis Roederer Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-05-2017
Biodynamically farmed and sourced from the celebrated Grand Cru Chardonnay villages of Avize and Cramant, this focused Blanc de Blancs is a sparkling powerhouse from a great vintage. Bottled at a slightly lower pressure than most Champagne, Roederer’s 2010 release has more delicate bubbles and a subtly coating mouthfeel through the palate. It was dosed at 9g/L and feels like it, with heady golden fruit and supple texture, but still shows all the bright acid and coveted chalkiness of a killer high-end Brut Champagne.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 12-05-2017
It’s hard not to gush about any release from favorite producer La Rioja Alta, but the 2008 "Viña Ardanza" Reserva is especially gorgeous. Cherry fruit, reminiscent of the most classic Tempranillo, shines from the glass immediately, with hints of smoke and heady spice followed by leather notes. There’s lifted acid indicative of the colder vintage and brighter-than-expected red fruit, but this still drinks with all the deeper, old world elegance of serious Rioja. It’s both focused and luxurious in texture, and will age beautifully. Perfect for the holidays and well beyond.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 RP 93

Pol Roger "White Foil - Extra Cuvée de Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2017
An exceptional, value-priced offering from a house with clout, “White Foil” is subtly smoky and weightlessly creamy, with rich apple fruit balanced by enough acid to maintain focus through to the snappy but long finish. Pol Roger is the Champagne of royalty, and the care that goes into this cuvée is apparent. Aged 48 months on the lees and based on key spectacular vintages, this shows hints of toastiness, despite seeing no oak, and – like all Pol Roger releases – is still hand-riddled. This is one of our most requested Champagnes in Hollywood, and for good reason.

Jardesca California Red Aperitiva (750ml)
Review Date: 11-28-2017
Surprisingly nimble and not at all cloying, Jardesca Red is a welcome addition to this California producer’s lineup, and was the hit of a recent customer tasting. Rounded and rich with enough body to stand up to a variety of additions, this Zinfandel-based apertif is a mixologist’s dream for the holidays: festive color, crowd-pleasing drinkability, and infinite versatility. Try it with a twist of orange or a cinnamon stick for seasonal take.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Kavalan Solist "Sherry Cask - K&L Exclusive" Cask Strength Single Barrel Taiwanese Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-25-2017
Powerhouse Kavalan Solist feels like Oloroso immediately, with caramelized sugar on the nose, black walnut notes and baking spice through the palate. This is a luxurious sherried whisky that hits a bit harder than expected on the finish, in the best possible way. There is a focus here, but the texture is decadent and the quality is undeniable. Add that to the fact that we hand-selected this barrel, and you have another Asian spirit to add to your wish list.
Price: $209.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-17-2017
Petroni's minerally rosé has always been a summer staple, so I was excited to finally try their take on a red blend. I was not disappointed – the Rouge is a complex, value-driven stunner! Black plum fruit up front, with plenty of lift from the Niellucciu (a clone of Sangiovese), this is earthy through the palate with a peppery kick to the finish. Corsican wine feels like rustic Italian wine made with French sensibilities, and the 2015 demonstrates that beautifully.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Russell's Reserve K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #089 Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2017
What a cool experience in the glass #089 is! Concentrated herbal nose gives way to softer caramel and brown sugar on the palate, with an underlying woodsy character and satisfying peppery finish. While this doesn’t need much water to develop, it just gets more complex as the ice melts, if that’s your preference. I’m happy to have so many bottles of this gem on hand here in Hollywood.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

Russell's Reserve K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #550 Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-11-2017
Possibly my favorite of our Russell’s barrels, although they’re all so great, it’s tough to pick a clear standout. #550 is fruity and subtly aromatic up front, but develops more intense spice and woodsy character through the palate. This feels the richest in body, with heady honey notes and a long, soothing finish, plus just enough kick. A decadent bottle at a killer price.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2006 Bollinger Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Not to be confused with the pricier Grand Annee rosé, this limited edition release – sourced entirely from the stellar 2006 vintage – is special. Aged on the cork and 100% barrel-fermented, it’s leesy and subtly oxidative, with toasty richness, yet also precise with linear minerality. Pinot Noir-driven, it showcases serious berry fruit, a hit of racier orange, and a luxuriously long finish. This powerful Champagne is ready to drink now, and will work beautifully with food.
Price: $119.00 Add To Cart
DC 94 JG 92

2009 Louis Roederer "Cristal" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-07-2017
There’s a real purity of fruit to Cristal’s 2009: apple shines through, with lovely sweetness tempered by bright acid and a delicate finish. This is an easygoing vintage, so much so that Roederer pushed it ahead of the more structured 2008, and there’s a lot to love about this layered release: creamy roundness, subtle leesy character, and for the first time, all organic, Grand Cru vineyard sources! 40% Chardonnay from chalky soil adds freshness, while the remaining 60% Pinot Noir lends accessibility. Cristal is always a treat, but the complex, age-worthy 2009 overdelivers.

2014 Domaine Tourbillon "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 11-07-2017
The first thing to jump out about this spectacularly-priced gem is the color: clear cherry, with the fruit to back it up. There is an almost syrupy mouthfeel through the palate, reminiscent of kirsch, but enough bright acid to keep it lively. Earthy, herbal brush notes and black pepper spice help balance, and there’s subtle yet defined structure through the finish. A classic, gorgeous Châteauneuf-du-Pape that showcases this coveted Rhône appellation’s traditional style while still feeling modern, Tourbillon is a holiday stunner.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 - 93

2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-27-2017
Bright with golden apple and leaner citrus fruit, plus more lift here than the easygoing 2009, 2010 Louise Brison Brut Champagne feels aligned with the crisp 2008, pairing vivid acid with accessibility. This showed beautifully at our Champagne Tent Event, where we were charmed by the story of the family’s matriarch and brand namesake, and impressed by the quality of this DI release. This is bargain-priced Champagne, and in stock just in time for a season full of celebrations – cheers!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2008 Louise Brison "Cuvée Tendresse" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 10-27-2017
What a fascinating new addition to our Louise Brison lineup! While their other cuvees lean to the fruity side thanks to 50% Pinot Noir, this sharp beauty is 100% Chardonnay coupled with the cooler 2008 vintage, resulting in a racier option with long term aging potential. This is crisp, while still singing with rounded citrus and bitter almond notes and a clean finish. This release is elegant and lean, but with an accessibility that will only increase as it’s cellared. The fact that the team from Louise Brison charmed us all at our Champagne event is only a bonus reason to support this Direct Import.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2012 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 10-26-2017
Alain Brumont is making some amazing moves in Madiran, enough to earn him acclaim as a star winemaker, and this sophisticated red proves why. The nose is aromatic – perfumed yet just herbal enough to keep things interesting – with hints of licorice and a surprisingly silky mouthfeel for Tannat. The 2012 Château Bouscassé is more elegant than previous powerful vintages: textured and layered but not as intensely tannic as Madiran can be. In fact, this feels more velvety and open, with generous fruit and just enough satisfying structure through the finish to age well. A killer value, here just in time to pair beautifully with rich holiday meals.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Louis Brochet 1er Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-27-2017
While all of Brochet’s wines impress, my favorite is probably the complex Premier Cru Brut, composed of 75% Pinot Noir, 20% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Meunier with over 50% reserve wines. The cépage reflects the varietal makeup of the family’s 32-acre vineyard in Écueil, and the larger percentage of Pinot Noir makes this release especially aromatic. Beeswax on the nose with apple and stone fruit through the palate and a super-creamy mouthfeel, the elegant Brut opens up to reveal earthier umami flavors. It’s sumptuous but finishes refreshingly dry and subtly herbal. Aged over two years on the lees and only recently disgorged, it’s cellared for as long as the house’s two oenologists deem optimal. The quality for the money here is remarkable.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Louis Brochet 1er Cru Extra Brut Champagne 375ml
Review Date: 09-26-2017
Incredible value in an adorable half bottle, Brochet’s Extra Brut is a crisper option, singing with lemon and bright white floral notes (the winemakers specify acacia). Nimble acid is balanced by a richer, elegant mouthfeel and a tiny bead typically only seen in Champagne twice this price. Citrusy up front, with a distinct red berry hit from the 75% Pinot Noir, this steely wine is surprisingly toasty through the palate, and feels rounder than its five grams/L dosage implies. A sure bet for seafood, the food-friendly Extra Brut has plenty of lift and razor focus, and makes even weeknight takeout feel luxurious.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 164 Ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-10-2017
Krug never fails to impress, and the racy 164 Ème release – based on the cooler, dazzling 2008 vintage – is destined for greatness, although right now is just a baby. Upon first sip, it lacks the rounded, easy accessibility of the 163rd, instead presenting sharp minerality that showcases the special chalky soil of Krug’s vineyard sites. This is a bottle to cellar, and I have no doubt will reward you with the classic Krug brioche, pear fruit and almond complexity after a few more years of age. Drink the 163 Ème for your next celebration, and save this gorgeous 164th edition for the future.

2009 Château de Chambert Cahors
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Beautiful deep berry color and a woodsy nose serve as the first impression of this seriously structured Cahors. The tannins are vividly apparent but the finish is surprisingly soft, and there’s a brightness to balance the juicy plum fruit. Château de Chambert is a lively Malbec with backbone and freshness, drinking well now, and considering it already has some age on it, a steal for under twenty bucks.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90

2013 Groth Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-20-2017
Old school in style with incredible drinkability, Groth Cabernet Sauvignon is an icon of Napa Valley, showing currant and cherry fruit, with subtle smokiness and substantial structure, and finishing with silky tannins. With its depth, elegance, and purity of fruit, the 2013 is an easy go-to for California fans and Bordeaux drinkers alike.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 93 WE 91

2007 Bollinger "Grande Année" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 06-13-2017
Green almond on the nose, with vivid citrus and hints of rounder stonefruit fruit through the palate, this Grande Année feels significantly sharper than the 2005 – thanks to a cooler 2007 vintage – but keeps the honeyed, vinous character Bollinger does so well. This is a substantial Champagne with a structured backbone of acidity, while the delicate mousse keeps it lively and elegant. Fresh-drinking for now but with real aging potential, this bright release was a hit at the last customer tasting, and is a worthy addition to any cellar.

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Riper berry fruit thanks to the healthy 2015 vintage, but with plenty of traditional green notes of brush and savory olive, plus blue floral aromatics, this is classic Cabernet Franc that shows lift and earthiness without sacrificing superior drinkability. Domaine Les Pins is an easy intro to Bourgueil, and if you’re not interested in exploring Loire Valley appellations, "Les Rochettes" is a bright, delicious, unbelievably-priced addition to your summer red lineup.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 06-06-2017
Puelles is a classic Spanish producer that in previous releases has straddled the line between modern, fruit-forward drinkability and more traditional dusky Rioja. The 2005 – a killer vintage – feels like a throwback to the older style, more restrained than the powerful 2004 but just as enjoyable. There is balance here, with a distinct savory quality, but Tempranillo’s bright cherry fruit still shines through, with hints of tobacco and leather on the finish and noticeable (though well-integrated) oak. Puelles is a Direct Import that truly is a crowd pleaser: a rich but easy going Gran Reserva that sings with quality, unbelievably only $20.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2016 Les Roches Sauvignon Touraine
Review Date: 05-30-2017
Back in stock for spring, the bright Les Roches is a crisp, picnic-perfect value from Loire's Touraine region. This customer favorite somehow shows complex Sancerre sensibilities for under ten bucks. While the last celebrated vintage was a hit, 2016 is even flintier, displaying an intense, classic nose of cut grass, tropical fruit and lemons, with plenty of minerality, sharper than 2015 but just as drinkable. Super refreshing, 2016 Les Roches Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for parties, alfresco dining, or just to make weeknights more enjoyable.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2016 Pollerhof Grüner Veltliner Weinviertel (1L)
Review Date: 05-30-2017
A new favorite liter-size Grüner is here! This ticks all the boxes for what I want in a summery white wine, but the quality far exceeds what's expected of a value-format bottling. The 2016 Pollerhof is mineral-driven and crisp, with that classic Grüner white pepper lift and subtle, but apparent, arugula notes. Plus the estate rescues chickens! Delicious, fresh, and philanthropic: Pollerhof Grüner Veltliner is finally back in stock with a stellar new vintage, and ready for all your warm weather needs. You don't even have to pack a corkscrew.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-24-2017
This is the dark horse in Bonville’s lineup: it’s sophisticated with a steely, chalky backbone, yet soft and accessible enough to for non-Champagne drinkers to appreciate. Yeasty with caramel notes right from the top, "Millesime" Brut showcases the house’s mineral-driven style, with the bonus drinkability of a rich, easygoing vintage. While the additional time on the lees really comes through (surprising even Bonville – this was accidentally left in the cellar an extra 2 years!), this still a bright Blanc de Blancs with tiny mousse, lemon and green apple fruit, and a clean yet lingering finish. I planned to be impressed with this practically priced offering (Grand Cru! Avize!), but this release, especially magical in magnum format, will elevate expectations of just how special your celebration can be.
Price: $84.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (1.5L)
Review Date: 05-23-2017
This might just be my favorite Champagne that we carry, and drinking it out of a magnum is especially luxurious. Whether you’re looking for a generous gift or just selecting something incredibly special for yourself, Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne should be on your radar. It drinks like Krug and the distinctive bulbous bottle adds glamour, especially in this striking 1.5 liter size. This release is sourced exclusively from the already-accessible 2009 harvest and is 100% Chardonnay from Bonville’s tiniest vineyard in Oger. Belles Voyes easily outshines exponentially more expensive options, showing apple brightness and intense floral aromatics, plus leesy complexity, brioche notes and a heady, indulgent texture balanced by racy minerality. The perfect celebratory investment.
Price: $139.00 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 05-23-2017
Now featuring the new labels! Bonville’s delicate, visually-stunning brut rosé is delicious and elegant, but also substantial: this feels like important Champagne, with quality that far exceeds its price point. Featuring 8% Pinot Noir from celebrated Grand Cru village of Ambonnay, this crisp rosé features vivid red fruit on the nose but finishes fresh, with the linear snap expected of 92% Chardonnay, mostly from the colder 2011 vintage. There is electric acidity on the palate but also a plusher component thanks to a luxuriously fine bead. Luxurious, dry, and easydrinking – this is a favorite rosé for not only celebratory occasions, but to make any day special, and the smaller size is picnic-perfect.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-13-2017
Vivid and enticing immediately upon opening, this is a connoisseur’s Champagne that is still super accessible. Gorgeously floral on the nose, hits of honeysuckle and white flowers give way to tart green apple and lusher pear fruit and a subtly creamy mouthfeel. The acid is apparent but not overpowering: just enough to showcase the colder 2008 vintage’s more bracing minerality. Fallet-Dart is always a budget-friendly option, but this vintage Direct Import is an especially complex, sophisticated offering at an astounding price... I can already tell I'll be turning to this powerhouse all summer.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-25-2017
With a dramatic bottle shape and sometimes limited-edition packaging, Laurent-Perrier’s tête de cuvée is a prestige Champagne that feels like it. Aged ten years on the lees, Grand Siècle is sourced from 100% Grand Cru vineyard sites, and is a multi-vintage blend: the latest release includes reserve wines from 1997, 1999, and the coveted 2002 harvests! Light straw yellow in color, this is bright with vivid stonefruit, and although undoubtedly fresh, the most notable quality is the honeyed, leesy depth – you can feel its storied age. Grand Siècle is sumptuous and yet still nimble, effervescent and easy-drinking. While I’d feel confident laying this down, my guess is you won’t want to; I received a bottle as a birthday gift, and though I tried to hold out for a "Grand" occasion, LP turned out to make an ordinary lazy Sunday special.

2014 Valle dell'Acate "Tenuta Ibidini" Nero d'Avola Sicilia
Review Date: 03-29-2017
Dusty on the nose, with that unmistakable licorice note that only comes from Nero D’Avola, "Tenuta Ibidini" opens with concentrated dried currants followed by dark berry fruit – both blue and black – and lively acid. I paired this fruit-forward Sicilian red with a garlicky penne arrabiata and it balanced the heat beautifully.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2015 Don Rodolfo Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 03-28-2017
Impressive and sophisticated, the 2015 Don Rodolfo opens with an almost old world feel, presenting a dusty nose and hints of spice, but rings true to Argentinean Malbec’s black plum and dark, bold berry fruit through the palate. There is structure and some pepper to the finish, but overall this is a supremely drinkable, juicy option at a surprisingly low price.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

Pierre Paillard "Les Parcelles" Grand Cru Extra Brut Bouzy Champagne
Review Date: 03-14-2017
Bouzy Grand Cru superstar! Such brilliant purity of fruit here – the nose is classic red berried Pinot Noir, while the bright acidity of Chardonnay shines through the palate. “Les Parcelles” is surprisingly juicy for the low dosage (3.5g!), and although the linear minerality shows up in a big way, this is easygoing for racy Extra Brut. Add its delicate bead and lingering finish and you have incredible quality non-vintage Champagne with the muscle to age well while drinking beautifully now. I indulgently paired this Pierre Paillard with weeknight Thai takeout and it was one of my happiest meals of the year.
Price: $48.99 Add To Cart
ST 91 RP 90

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-28-2017
Bright but also mushroomy, earthy and slightly oxidative thanks to aging five years on the cork – an intensive process normally reserved for Tête de Cuvées of big houses (Bollinger Grande Année comes to mind) – this is an incredible value that encompasses (seemingly) conflicting qualities, all in the same glass. Creamy but lively with elegant acid, rounded yet crisp fruit, plus chalky undertones and a subtle nuttiness, the “Authentique Assemblage” nevertheless drinks cleanly through to the finish. This multifaceted Direct Import is a high-quality Champagne from a talented winemaker: Le Brun de Neuville was one of the biggest hits at our Los Angeles Champagne Tent Event, and after taking home a bottle, it’s easy to see why.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2012 Giacomo Fenocchio "Bussia" Barolo
Review Date: 02-21-2017
Black tea on the nose, with lifted fruit and hints of tar and licorice, this Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo is classic and complex, sourced from perhaps the best part of the renowned Bussia vineyard, and treated to extended maceration – nearly 40 days on the skin! The earthy 2012 will benefit dramatically from more time and air but is still drinking beautifully now.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 JS 93

Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-14-2017
Elegant with citrusy fruit and a saline edge, the Extra Brut is one of my favorites in Billecart-Salmon’s impressive line up. Exuberant with a superfine bead and gorgeously searing acidity, this still shows creaminess on the palate and a longer – albeit crisp and mineral-driven – finish. Age worthy.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Reserve" Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 02-14-2017
Aged 36 months on the lees, the Brut Reserve is clean and vivacious, with rich stone fruit and honey, plus that classic chalky finish. Billecart-Salmon is my go-to Champagne when looking for a crowd-pleasing yet sophisticated sparkler. It has just the right amount of house name recognition while staying true to quality, and the brighter house style is both refreshing and elegant. An easygoing, impressive favorite that never disappoints, plus it's an incredibly reasonable price, especially for a half bottle.

A.D. Coutelas "Cuvée Louis Victor" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-07-2017
Bright green apple shines on the nose, followed by more exotic fruit through the richer palate. There is a subtle sherry quality to this complex Champagne, but despite that lush feel, the finish is snappy and quite dry, with pleasing chalkiness. Coutelas’ delicious "Cuvée Louis Victor" always sells out quickly, and given the price for such a well-made offering, I can see why.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Reserve" Champagne
Review Date: 01-24-2017
Aged 36 months on the lees, the Brut Reserve is clean and vivacious, with rich stone fruit and honey, plus that classic chalky finish. Billecart-Salmon is my go-to Champagne when looking for a crowd-pleasing yet sophisticated sparkler. It has just the right amount of house name recognition while staying true to quality, and the brighter house style is both refreshing and elegant, at an incredibly reasonable price. A favorite that continues to impress!

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 01-24-2017
This sets the bar for spectacular brut rosé! Gorgeous rose petal and delicate white peach on the nose, followed by pure strawberry fruit gleaming on the palate, this showcases the bright house style while adding the sophistication of mousse texture and a minerally finish. There’s freshness throughout, plus substance – this would be a great wine to pair with heartier meals, although its elegance makes a glass equally at home with caviar. Tiny creamy bubbles and lovely color only enhance the drinking experience. And while Billecart-Salmon uses all three big Champagne varietals, they have traditionally championed Pinot Meunier and the result is a delicate, nuanced wine with depth. And not that it's necessarily indicative of quality, but the 375ml bottling is especially adorable, using the same bulbous shape as the full 750. It's a consistently special treat, just the right size for a tiny victory.

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