Staff Favorites - James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw

Reviews

2013 Silvio Nardi Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-30-2018
Subtle, yet with excellent underlying depth and concentration, the 2013 Silvio Nardi Brunello hits all the marks one expects from this celebrated region. It opens with bright aromas and flavors of Bing cherry, but then quickly shifts to more savory tones of saddle leather, porcini mushroom, dried herbs, and cigar box. Light and dusty tannins add excellent structure, filling the wine out beautifully. Very much crafted with a nod to the Brunellos of old, it also possesses a liveliness that makes it appealing to the modern palate. The 2013s, including this one, are a joy in the near term, but the greatest reward will go to those who cellar for three to five years before opening. There is no doubt this Brunello will blossom into a great beauty. Its super-sharp price only sweetens the deal.

2015 Cap St-George, St-Georges-St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-17-2018
If you are on the hunt for outstanding value, I highly recommend the satellite appellations in Bordeaux. As in many (if not most) instances, the wines from these lesser-known sites offer all the quality and character of their more illustrious neighbors, but for a fraction of the price. Take for example the astonishingly good 2015 Cap St George. This delightful 2015 hails from St.-Georges-St.-Emilion, a tiny area that covers a mere 190 hectares. Situated next to the famed Right Bank plateau, the soils here consist of an ideal blend of clay and limestone, producing wines of exceptional purity. This 2015 is sleek, fresh, richly fruited, and, above all, perfectly balanced. Crafted in an unabashedly modern style, but not overly done, it will appeal to both old-world and new world fans alike. The Cap St George will cellar quite nicely, but who can wait, as it is a pure joy to drink now.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

2017 Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio
Review Date: 08-07-2018
I’ve long had a strong affinity for Peter Zemmer’s wines, but this 2017 is off-the-charts delicious and might very well be their best-ever Pinot Grigio. Riper and rounder than any other vintage I’ve had, it is a bright and dynamic wine with plenty of tropical touches that keep you coming back to the glass. Like a fugue in three parts, it glides seamlessly from one phrase to the next. First, it reveals floral aromatics and then shifts to flavors of green apple, citrus, melon, and papaya. The second section offers up Alto Adige’s tell-tale minerality, which grounds the wine giving it excellent depth and structure. Lastly, the finish closes with a light and refreshing refrain. Regardless of whether you gravitate towards Pinot Grigio or not, this delightful 2017 belongs on your short list. It is an unbelievable value and top-flight effort from a world-class estate.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2015 Labadie, Médoc
Review Date: 08-06-2018
A classic claret at an amazing price! This lovely red is brimming with blackberry, plum, and bing cherry flavors that are joined just the right touch of spice. There's a youthful ebullience that keeps things bright and lively, while the wine's well-integrated tannins offer a lush and supple mouthfeel. Like any good Médoc, a core of minerality gives it excellent structure and definition. Undoubtedly, this is thanks to the clay and limestone soils which surround the chateau. When it comes to affordable reds with a classic old-world profile, the Médoc is the place to be, and of the 2015s Labadie is among the best out there. This is a great value and a wine that you'll want to re-visit again and again.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Domaine Gourt de Mautens Vaucluse Rouge
Review Date: 08-02-2018
Like a great thriller, this gorgeous 2015 takes you on a wild ride with countless twists and turns, culminating in a long, lingering, and immensely satisfying finish. Densely packed with black and red fruits, it could easily be mistaken for a top-tier Châteauneuf (think: Pégaü, Usseglio, or Clos des Papes). High-toned, expressive, and accented with exotic spice it reveals flavors of clove, mint, eucalyptus, and bramble. All of its many parts work in perfect unison. There's ample body and structure for serious long-term aging, but who can wait?! This Vaucluse is a such a delight to drink now, it is impossible to resist. While the price may seem a bit hefty for this lesser known appellation, rest assured it is worth every penny. Pick up a few bottles for now and a few more for ten to fifteen years down the road — you'll be glad you did.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
JD 97

2014 La Chablisienne Chablis 1er Cru "Côte de Léchet"
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Rich, ripe, and wonderfully balanced this gorgeous 2014 is precisely what I look for in a classic bottle of Chablis. It tilts ever so slightly towards the fruitier side of Chablis, but in the best way possible. Accents of pear and green apple are joined by more exotic tones of ginger, quince, and melon. Medium-bodied and with great composure, this is easily one the finest 2014 white Burgundies I've had. Like any top-tier Chablis this premier cru bottling is a delight to drink on its own, but also has the spine and minerality to pair quite nicely with a wide array of seafood dishes. For the price, you simply won't do much better than this absolute stunner.

2015 Château Saint-Roch "Chimères" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 07-25-2018
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

2014 Colgin "IX Estate" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-01-2018
Rich, layered and wonderfully textured, the 2014 IX Estate Vineyard is about a perfect a Napa Cab as you'll ever find. Ripe flavors of black cherry, plum, and cassis greet the palate and are later joined by lavender, sage, and thyme. While it's impossible not to fall hard for the fruit, it's the wine's distinct minerality that steals the show. Powdery tannins make an appearance at the end adding excellent definition and structure. If a wine had a soundtrack, this one would be Beethoven's "Ode to Joy." A spectacular wine from start to finish.

2015 K Vintners "Milbrandt" Wahluke Slope Syrah
Review Date: 05-25-2018
This is a classic K Vintners' Syrah through and though. Bold, concentrated, ripe, and peppery, it is a flashy 2015 that will delight those who love 'em big and rich. The nose offers a mix of red floral tones and ripe berry fruit. These flavors continue in a big way on the palate and are joined by black pepper spice, tapenade, and fresh herbs. Tannins make an appearance late in the game adding a delightful grippy texture on the finish. All of this Syrahs many parts work together in perfect harmony. While you can certainly enjoy the Milbrandt now, it'll be intriguing to see how things develop over the next five to ten years.

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: $11.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

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