Staff Favorites - Anthony Russo

Anthony Russo

Reviews

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2017 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blanc
Review Date: 09-04-2018
Such an incredibly well balanced white blend for the price; when talking about big names, quality fruit, and revered winemaking, not much can come close. Led by Grenache Blanc, this wine contrasts a supple mouthfeel with a perfect drop of acidity. Floral and fruity, this is your new weeknight sipper, either as a cocktail or with a plate of hummus and pita.

2015 Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas" Paso Robles Rhône Blend
Review Date: 09-04-2018
A Rhone-style blend that really highlights the capability of Paso Robles soils. Syrah, the leading grape, provides dark fruit flavors and a touch of depth. Grenache and Mourvedre contribute the meatiness and roundness. The secret weapon here is a touch of Counoise, which provides structure and complexity. At this price, enjoy this bottle with a wide range of foods, from chicken to steak, and your favorite TV show.

2017 Tablas Creek Paso Robles Vermentino
Review Date: 09-04-2018
Vermentino done in a mineral-driven fashion that is pointed, balanced, light on its feet, and shows a wide range of complexities. If you're looking to try something different and a bit more obscure, this is a great route to go because it is not too fruity, but approachable, and structured enough to surprise even the most serious wine drinker. Pair with slightly more acidic foods.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 RP 90

2015 Liquid Farm "Golden Slope" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
If you poured this Chard in the middle of a white Burgundy tasting, I bet most people would not be able to pick it from the lineup. Soft, perfect acidity, rounded edges, with a hint of vanilla oak, this bottle is super food-friendly and super delicious.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
VN 93 RP 90

2016 Liquid Farm "La Hermana" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
I find La Hermana to be a touch riper than the White Hill; that is, the fruit flavors are a touch more tropical. They border on peaches and bruised red apples with a light lime zest. This bottling is soft and silky, perfect for having as a cocktail or with a spicier dish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Liquid Farm "White Hill" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-21-2018
This Chardonnay from Liquid Farm is gorgeously bright; lifted, lean, and delicate, it features just a touch of well integrated oak.Touches of pear and red apples make this the perfect Chard to compliment lighter meals.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2016 Eden Rift "Estate" Cienega Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-21-2018
I really like the nose on this Pinot; SUPER delicate with soft red cherries and hints of wax. It is soft and silky, but has a touch of tannin, lending the wine some "sriousness." Really opens up and unfolds with loads of delicious complexities on the palate. This is your summer time, relaxing evening wine.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-14-2018
Starting with the obvious: a single vineyard Cabernet for a killer price! Lush with ripe plums and black fruits, this deliciously built Cabernet fires on all cylinders. The darkness of the juice is balanced by the bright aromas on the nose and its integral structure keeps all of the flavor elements in balance while letting you know it is (already at 5 years of age) good to drink now or save for a few years down the road.

2016 Silvano Follador "Cartizze" Prosecco Superiore Brut Nature
Review Date: 08-06-2018
This is "next level" Prosecco! Extremely elegant and lean on the nose; it would throw off anyone tasting blind. Classic and delicate flavors of baked pears, cinnamon covered apples, and oranges on the palate make this Prosecco wildly versatile. Good as a cocktail, alongside a salad topped with blue cheese, or with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Bonus points for achieving all of this while being "Brut Nature" (no residual sugar).
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2017 Villa Poggio Salvi "Caspagnolo" Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Bright aromas of strawberries and black cherries with a touch of tobacco and smoke. This wine really opens up with a bit of air and definitely tastes far beyond what the price would suggest. Great structure, balance, and loads of complexities for a killer price.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Domaine Pacory 15 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Domfrontais Calvados (750ml)
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Oh yes, big time! One HUNDRED percent pear Calvados, single cask, from the best region there is. Versatility is the word here, use it as any brandy base in cocktails or pour yourself a glass after a big meal.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2014 Cresta Velia Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
My favorite sub-$150 Howell Mountain cab to date. Bursting with violet flowers, plums, and a touch of warm vanilla, the elevation of this fruit really shows itself off on the nose. Good structure and soft tannins make this bottle a no-brainer for your steak dinner tonight or a Holiday meal further down the road.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2017 Union Sacré "La Gitane" Paso Robles Rosé
Review Date: 07-23-2018
I sometimes find myself getting sick of rose due to the acidity, then I remember this bottle. Sixty-five percent Carignan and 35% Pinot Noir, this wine is raised in neutral oak, which softens the tannin and acidity while retaining it's spice and floral notes. I'm also always a sucker for well-priced domestic wines that turn everybody's heads.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lutum "Gap's Crown" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Sebastopol's finest. Bright and crisp with good acid, the touch of new oak on this chard gives it a uniquely satisfying texture that highlight its special terroir. The real draw of this wine is the mineral spice that gives it so much backbone. You have to try it to believe it!
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WE 93

2016 Sea Slopes (Fort Ross Winery) Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-23-2018
When people want a recommendation for a crisp, not-too-oaky chard for a good price, this is what I hand them. The wine is bright and has the slightest bit of well-integrated oak; the kind that lifts the wine and improves it without masking any flavors. Bring this bottle to a friend's house and drink as a cocktail or pair with Thai food.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 92

2016 MaidenStoen "Lafond Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Riesling
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This was the first wine we tried at a recent staff training and definitely kicked things off right. This is a single vineyard, cool climate Riesling that highlights the versatility of California's wine regions. Although it smells texturous, the wine has some good "zip" to it, showing a riveting bouquet of honey, flowers, and limes. This is a must try for Riesling fans and will convert those who believe the grape belongs solely in Germany.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 Spottswoode Napa-Sonoma Counties Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Texturous and alive, this sauv blanc will make you a believer in white wine from these regions. Production-wise, the wine goes through the whole gamut: stainless steel, cement egg, neutral oak, and a touch of new oak. Refreshing, the flavors burst with guava, pineapples, and a touch of lemon zest/grassiness.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2015 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-23-2018
I was blown away by this Burgundian-style pinot; soft and silky fruit with just the right "pop" of brightness. Dark notes and a touch of sweet spice linger on the palate long after the wine is gone to remind you of the quality behind this label.

2014 Spottswoode "Lyndenhurst" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Tobacco, cocoa, and bruised, peppered plums supported with just the right amount of structure. This is Spottswoode's younger vine bottling, and at this price point, makes for a fantastic option for a high-end selection without breaking the triple digits barrier.

2015 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Roasted berries on the nose, with soft, plush cherries on the palate. This wine sits somewhere between light and medium bodied, is not overly acidic, and can hold up beautifully as a cocktail glass or light dinner pour.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This is a STEAL of a value from an expensive region! Enticingly deep aromas of plums, blackcurrant, and blue berries. "Violet" is what comes to mind while drinking this. Soft and velvety, this wine is approachable for the whole party to enjoy, but with enough tannin to be interesting in years down the road.

2015 Stack House Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-23-2018
This is a great example of a more "toned back" Napa cab; it flaunts the rich flavors that this warm region offers, but with a touch more restraint of fruit on the nose and palate. Lots of finesse and depth, reminiscent of Bordeaux, with edgy tannins and light berry fruit notes.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JD 91

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot
Review Date: 07-23-2018
Summer BBQ wine! Super deep, smoky vanilla, with blackberries and coffee notes. The dark aromas seem to wrap around your nose and pull you down into the glass. Balanced by structure and solid acidity, this is ideal from grilled meats, turkey burgers, really anything with a char! Don't forget about it once cooler temps arrive, either...
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

A. Smith Bowman "Isaac Bowman" Port Barrel Finish Virginia Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 06-18-2018
If you've never had a "Port barrel finished" bourbon, this is a great place to start. If you love whiskey and want to try something new, look no further. What begins as a fantastic bourbon on its own spends the last bit of it's ageing period in ex-Port barrels. Take a big whiff and you'll immediately see the influence: red apple skins, gentle, dried raisins, and fresh cut flowers. On the palate, it is full of complexities, like a layered onion. Just add an ice cube and you're rocking!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Gemstone "Estate - Heritage Selection" Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Super deep wine, yet full and round enough to keep every taste bud interested. Loaded with cigar paper, soft tannins, and the soft flavors of oak, this bottle will age beautifully, but can definitely be enjoyed immediately.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart
WS 94 RP 93

2014 Lagier Meredith Mount Veeder Syrah
Review Date: 06-11-2018
This is the Syrah for your BBQ; peppery strawberries , depth of blueberries, all supported by the brightness of Mt Veeder. A touch of smoked meat on the finish to keep the party going.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 94 RP 92

2016 Ojai "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-11-2018
Not what I was expecting from a California chard; this wine is light, balanced, and elegant. Gentle fruit notes on the palate make this Chardonnay one to try for Chablis lovers.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 94

2016 Ancien "Sangiacomo Vineyard" Carneros Pinot Gris
Review Date: 06-11-2018
This is realllllly good. Super subtle citrus and floral notes on the nose, like someone has a fresh bouquet of white flowers and a margarita in the room next to you. The texture is mouth coating and the palate is delicate, yet expressive. Great for sushi or even swordfish.
Price: Hidden View Price

2008 Tobermory 8 Year Old "John Milroy - K&L Exclusive" Single Refill Butt Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-10-2018
Super fruit forward, almost coconutty, with a touch of oak flavor. I love this bottling because it is simple, yet so fruity. A great summer Scotch or the perfect bottle for the Speyside love who wants to try something new.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2016 Clos du Gaimont Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Vouvray can easily get quite expensive; this bottle makes for a fantastic stepping stone into the wonderful world of French Chenin Blanc! A pretty nose of honeyed table grape followed by a round, slightly oily, and wonderfully balanced palate, this wine is wildly versatile. It's got just the right amount of acidity to pair with slightly acidic foods without clashing. Or enjoy it by itself! The biggest sacrifice between this and a bottle that costs 3x more is a touch of mineraility... I'll take 3 of these over 1 of those all day.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

Jefferson's "Special Wheated Mashbill" Ocean Voyage #15 Aged at Sea Very Small Batch Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 05-21-2018
Been dreaming of a vacation? Maybe some sort of Caribbean cruise? Why spend thousands on tickets when you can get a little taste of the salty sea air, literally, with this fabulous whiskey. Jefferson's Ocean Voyage 15 is all you need for a little stay-cation. Almonds, vanilla, weathered wood, lemon peel, and, of course, delicious brine, all come through in full force on the nose. Smooth and round on the palate, beautifully balanced by a sharp edge, this bourbon feels alive on the taste buds. The wheated recipe, unique to this edition, make for a slightly fruitier and maltier flavor profile. As for the barrels themselves, they are stored on a ship, which exposes them to much more heat and movement (and salty sea air) than they would in a traditional, boring, and immobile warehouse. The result is increased wood to juice contact, creating a full-bodied gem worth going over-board about! And with almost 17 drinks worth in each bottle (according to the standard 1.5 oz shot), you can make the feeling of vacation last!
Price: $82.99 Add To Cart

2013 Castello di Bossi "Berardo" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-14-2018
Depth and intensity of a high end Chianti Classico at a better price point. Deep black cherries, rich earth, and polished leather on the nose let you know instantly. This is a must try for Chianti lovers who want something to stock up on in order to both drink and age.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2015 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Deep earth, black berries, plum, wood, and a touch of leather polish jump out on the nose. The palate is all elegance; the wine has good structure, but these components don't get in the way of all of the complexities. This is one bottle you can pop open and carefully sip and explore for hours.

2015 Cecchi Villa Cerna "Primocolle" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 05-07-2018
Deeply peppery at first, which softens out as the wine receives a bit of air. Behind this spice is good layer of strawberry fruit. On the palate, you can taste a bit more of the oak again, softening the ripe tannins and revealing the good balance of acid. Medium finish.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2015 La Fleur de Boüard, Lalande-de-Pomerol
Review Date: 05-07-2018
What an incredible Bordeaux at this price. Tons of roasted coffee grinds and chocolate on the nose to let you know you've got something special. The wine is a touch softer on the palate, revealing more typical dark fruits like plum. Although still young, the wine is incredibly drinkable. If you have the patience (or space), it will turn into something even more special.

2014 The Paring (Jonata) Red Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-07-2018
You know the wine will be awesome just from the aromas... Big name flavor at a fraction of the price, this blend is super well balanced. Big on the palate and seamless as it his the taste buds, a little bit of white pepper stands out to give a nod to those looking for "food friendly" options. Rounded and smooth, this is truly a great bottle. Get one to try and a case to lay down!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Joël Taluau "Expression" Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
Review Date: 04-23-2018
This is a pretty cool Cab Franc. The nose has much more intensity than the palate, which makes for such an interesting contrast. With a few sniffs, I got chocolate covered raspberries and a touch of rhubarb. On the taste buds, however, the wine is very medium bodied (more of what you'd expect out of the grape), and has just the right amount of tannin to uphold the fruit flavors without being crunchy.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Julien Braud "Forty Ounce" Rosé (1L)
Review Date: 04-23-2018
Frequently, when something has a very cool, "novel" packaging, it is usually to make up for the lack of quality in a product. Not in this case, however. This is a fun bottling of rose that is equally delicious as it is playful. The nose and flavors are very Provence-esque (delicate, pretty, elegant) and the texture itself is very dry and serious. Is it super yummy? Yes. Can you serve it to guests and have a laugh at the packaging, yet truly enjoy the contents? Yes. Am I going to play Edward 40 Hands with it this summer? You bet.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2016 Jacky Preys "Cuvée de Fié Gris" Touraine Blanc Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 04-23-2018
If you're thinking "What the heck is Fie Gris?" don't worry, so was I. Turns out it is another name, often used in the Loire Valley, for Sauvignon Gris. Sauvignon Gris is what Smith Haut Laffite refers to as their "secret weapon." In a blend, this darker-skinned mutation of Sauvignon Blanc adds a little "wildness" to the flavors, a bit of grapeyness, and an intense perfume. Super delicious, but you've got to try it for yourself: intense nose, touch of grapey/leechee flavor, great texture, and perfect supporting acidity. This is a really cool wine to try different food pairings with since it has a similar profile to Sauvignon Blanc, but more texture and intensity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-12-2018
Although technically somewhat of a Bordeaux blend (touches of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Cab Franc), this vintage of Freemark Abbey is amazingly balanced and shows all the beauty of a well made Napa cab. Clove, cocoa, tobacco, blackcurrant; the complexities go on and on and on. Almost 4 years old now, this bottle makes for something great to open with dinner tonight or to hold for years down the road.

Wathen’s Private Barrel #59 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 04-11-2018
The smell reminds me of the crispy center of a Butterfinger bar: peanut-y, butter-y sweetness. Bright and high toned, this bourbon does not feel as "rich" as some others, great for people who want something more elegant than the more "syrupy" spirits. Add a bit of water and the nuttiness pops a bit more, making this super interesting bottle even more intriguing. Delicious!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Knob Creek K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #5851 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-02-2018
A rye to be reckoned with. This barrel found a great balance of dry spice, proof, and texture. Not too sweet with lots of almond flavor, this would make an absolutely outstanding old fashion.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

2011 Bocale Sagrantino di Montefalco
Review Date: 03-24-2018
Fans of balanced Cali Cab look no further! Sometimes you try a wine and you can't help but blurt out "holy (..)!" This is one of those wines that is worth every penny, even in just aroma alone. The Sagrantino grape is pretty tannic, but all of the other attributes round it out beautifully. Lots of deep, brooding fruit in its depth. Ready to drink now or cellar-able.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 RP 90

Compass Box "No Name" Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-13-2018
Here we go, peatier than the Peat Monster. More like a citrus-y peatiness, like throwing an orange into a campfire. Fruity and oily on the palate with some good strength. This would be a great bottle for the fan of Compass Box or someone who swears by the traditional single malts and wants to try something new in the same style.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart

H by Hine Cognac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Dried raisin, vanilla, cherry, an absolutely gorgeous bouquet. Incredibly smooth, no heat at all, which allows the chocolate notes to go on, and on, and on...
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Nikka Coffey Still Japanese Grain Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Light and fruity, slight oily texture, like those fruit cocktail packs you used to get in your lunch in elementary school. A bit of red apple skin, incredibly smooth in the mouth, like a fluffy rum cake, but with a more whisky-like caramel sweetness. Delicious, an awesome intro to Japanese whisky.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart
WA 92 WE 90

Old Overholt Bottled In Bond Straight Rye Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Heck yeah! A delicious, versatile, and AFFORDABLE rye to be taken seriously. Freshly baked sugar cookies, celery salt, kitchen herbs, and wintergreen on the nose. Great palate spice, very dry finish, makes a killer Old Fashioned. Trust me.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

Redemption Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-05-2018
Ideal for someone new to Bourbons or for the classic drinker who wants something a little more refreshing. Fresh cut flowers, under ripe bananas, a touch of vanilla, and orange zest on the nose. Soft sweetness on the palate, super smooth, like drinking a banana smoothie on a hot day. Love it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Writer's Tears Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2018
An Irish whiskey that stands wayyy apart from the others. Surprisingly fruity and floral, like chewing on mango gum next to a bunch of sunflowers. Super smooth on the palate with hints of lemon rinds and apple cider. It even smells smooth with a touch of vanilla from the charred oak. Perfect for the bourbon drinker who wants to branch out or the casual drinker who wants to try something new.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Highland Park 17 Year "The Dark" Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-04-2018
For starters, its not THAT dark; don't expect the intense coffee/flat cola color of some heavily sherried whiskeys. What struck me was how nicely balanced the peat and sweetness factors were. Lots lf dried apricots and peaches soaking in a touch of salty brine. Very smooth, touch of delicious spice on the tongue, and an awesome, long, and complex roasted coffee bean finish. Impressive bottling.
Price: $259.99 Add To Cart

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