Staff Favorites - James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw


2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Alsace continues to be among the best regions anywhere for bright, fresh, aromatic whites. Take for example this temptingly priced 2016 "Gentil" from Hugel. For a sub-$15 bottle, it offers a surprising level of depth and range. Its vivacious delivery offers up scrumptious notes and tones of yellow fruit, apple, peach, fresh herbs, and ginger. Clean and with excellent focus, it is infinitely refreshing, making it an ideal wine to sip on its own. Harmonious and exceptionally well balanced, it is one of those wines that you find yourself coming back to again and again. Hugel really knocked it out of the park with the dazzling 2016.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Château Saint-Roch "Chimères" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 05-18-2018
What a great southern French red! Fresh, expressive, and with excellent purity, it greets the nose with wonderful aromas of wildflowers, raspberries, and wet slate. A full-bodied Roussillon, it carries its weight well thanks to a solid core of acidity that keeps things lively from the first sip to the last. On the palate, it reveals flavors of bramble, raspberry, anise seed, and a hint of red pepper spice. When given a chance to evolve in the glass secondary flavors of earth and porcini mushroom emerge rounding out an already beautiful presentation. In the under $20 category, you simply won't do much better than this gorgeous, ready-to-drink 2015.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Halcón "Alturas" Yorkville Highlands Syrah
Review Date: 05-16-2018
With a deep garnet rim and dark purple center, you can tell from the color alone that this is going to be a powerful, concentrated red. The nose is a heady melange of wet stone, ripe red fruits, and raspberry coulis. These flavors are very much repeated on the palate with added touches of blueberry liqueur, Asian spice, saddle leather, black peppercorn, and cedar. Lush and inviting on the front, the mouthfeel becomes more grippy towards the finish thanks to some nicely integrated, powdery tannins. This 2016 is an utter delight in every possible way. While there is ample power, everything remains well in check. Evenly balanced, with great richness and depth, it's easy to see why the critics are drawing parallels to top-tier Northern Rhône reds. This is an excellent bottle to enjoy now, but there's enough structure here to warrant another 10 to 15 years of aging. Halcón is clearly on a roll and this is one wine you don't want to miss.

2016 Delas Freres "Saint-Esprit" Côtes du Rhône Rouge
Review Date: 01-02-2018
If you haven't had a 2016 from the Rhône yet, this is the perfect place to start. Priced right and delicious from beginning to end, this is a go-to red if there ever was one. Offering up lush, expressive red and black fruit, a solid backbone of acidity, and engaging notes of mocha, espresso, and a suggestion of tobacco, it's hard to believe it can be had under the $10 mark. For those who love easy-going, soft, and plush reds with a velvety delivery, the "St-Esprit" is right on the money. Go ahead and buy a case, as this is a 2016 to return to again and again.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Arboleda Chardonnay Aconcagua Costa
Review Date: 08-10-2016
$16, really? It's hard to believe Chardonnay this well made can sell at such a fantastic price. This bottle trumps so many of my preconceptions. There's a lot of fruit going on here, but not the tropical flavors I was expecting — rather there's plenty of green apple, lime, and white peach. What comes across the most is a beautiful slate character — it's the minerality that really sets this bottle apart from other Chilean Chardonnays in the range. There is some body and richness from the malolactic fermentation, but it's wonderfully balanced against the fruit and acidity. I'm duly impressed.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 JS 93