Staff Favorites - Blake Conklin

Blake Conklin

Reviews

2015 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 02-12-2018
The Cuvee Christophe from Domaine Des Remizieres is one outstanding bottle of syrah. The flavor profile is dark fruited, robust, yet still kicking with a nice amount of acidity and structure. It's a perfect example of what syrah should taste like. Definitely worth a whirl, especially at the price point.

2016 Jules Taylor Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 02-06-2018
Talk about a great bang for your buck. Perfectly balanced, not too oaky, and definitely not overwhelmingly buttery. The Jules Taylor Chardonnay is easily one of the best Chards we carry in the store for under 20 bucks. Definitely worth a whirl. I could also see this Chard pairing very well with oysters.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
DC 93

2015 Austin Hope Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Big, robust, jammy and fruit forward. If you love Cab that matches Robert Parker's palate, this may be the wine for you. From the makers of Troublemaker, here's another wine you can definitely get into trouble with, as it is very easy drinking and approachable. Paso Robles is proving once again that it's an American Viticulture Area that stands on it own.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WE 97

2016 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage Blanc
Review Date: 01-26-2018
Floral and slightly fruity on the nose, the Cuvée Christophe is well rounded, and perfectly balanced with great minerality and acidity. The 2016 vintage definitely carries the very essence of what a Rhone white should taste like. I couldn't help but think of how many oysters I wanted to eat with this wine. Here's to another fantastic year in the Rhone Valley with the 2016 vintage.

2016 Stolpman "Para Maria" Santa Barbara County Red Blend
Review Date: 01-26-2018
After spending my first three years working all over Napa and Sonoma County in the wine industry, one could say my palate is slightly burnt out on Napa and Sonoma wine; however, I still love seeking out new and exciting wines from the Central Coast and Santa Barbara, and the Para Maria from Stolpman is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Fruit forward, yet well balanced with acidity, for under 20 bucks, this wine is a very pleasant experience. Want to bring something nice to a dinner party without breaking the bank? Look no further. The Para Maria is an outstanding red blend, truly showing just how good Santa Barbara wine is.

2015 Ferraton Père et Fils "Les Miaux" Hermitage
Review Date: 01-18-2018
While this bottle still needs some serious decanting, and/or much needed time in the cellar, it's definitely worth it, once you do decide to open it. Elegant, and super pretty, this is the bottle for Hermitage drinkers. After decanting for three hours and letting sit in the bottle for a full day, it was finally ready to drink, and the beautiful tannic structure was still lingering, showcasing wonderful flavors of nutmeg, black currant, and cinnamon. Easily one of the nicest bottles I've had from Northern Rhone.

2015 Cécile Chassagne Gigondas
Review Date: 01-18-2018
There's something really special and unique about Cecile Chassagne's 2015 Gigondas that sets it apart from other Gigondas wines I've had from various producers. This is definitely one of the prettiest Gigondas blends I've had, and one of my personal favorites that we carry in the store. Beautifully balanced acidity, and flavors of raspberry make this blend a very pleasant experience, even for those who normally don't drink wine every day. I opened this bottle up with my roommate who's not a wine guy, but he thought this was one of the best bottle of wines he ever had. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 - 92

2016 Domaine de Marcoux Cotes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 01-18-2018
Domaine De Marcoux is slowly turning into one of my favorite Southern Rhone producers, and their 2016 Cotes Du Rhone is an outstanding Southern Rhone blend. Mildly zesty, and subtle flavors of strawberry twizzlers on the palate, this wine delivers a good mouthfeel, mild tannins, and great structure. Dinner party wine for sure.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Roger Sabon "Rhone by Roger Sabon"
Review Date: 01-18-2018
While we do have a rather vast selection of fantastically affordable Cotes Du Rhone in the store, the Rhone by Roger Sabon is clearly one of the best bangs for your buck and easily one of my new favorite every day values. It's rustic, and slightly fruit forward, however it's never overbearingly so. Well balanced, and packed with flavors of plum, boysenberry, and some nice earthiness, this heavy blend of Grenache with slight touches of Syrah and Cinsault is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Top Value!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Liquid Farm "Golden Slope" Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-11-2018
The Golden Slope from Liquid Farm is not only a really well made wine, it's also quite possibly one of the best tasting chardonnays I've had from the Sta. Rita Hills. It's rich, full bodied, and the natural malo ferment makes it a true pleasure to drink. Give it some air for a good 30 minutes or so and enjoy.

2016 Donkey & Goat "Ramato" Pinot Gris Anderson Valley
Review Date: 01-11-2018
My problem with natural wine tends to be that I end up drinking more bad ones than actual good ones. Fortunately, everything I've had from Donkey and Goat has always been really good, if not fantastic. The Ramato Pinot Gris is beyond exceptional. If you're trying to find a great orange wine, I strongly recommend this one. The finish is dry, and apricot-esque. Definitely worth a whirl.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-04-2018
As far as our portfolio of direct imports go, I'm personally a huge fan of everything Fallet Dart has released, and the Grande Selection is definitely one of my all time favorites. If you need a good house champagne, look no further. Grande Selection delivers on so many levels. It's well balanced, the acidity is damn near perfect, and it has a nice toastiness to it like no other. Try it with pizza. Trust me.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-04-2018
2014 is really starting to show itself as a fantastic vintage for Napa Cabernet, and the Calistoga Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateau Montelena is a great example. Packed with flavors of plum, dark cherry, tobacco, and leather, the 2014 Vintage is a classic text book example of what a Napa Cab should taste like and it helped remind me why I even fell in love with the varietal many moons ago, and just under $50 bucks, it also proves to be a fantastic value as well. Definitely worth a whirl, if you're looking for a nice cab to bring to dinner with you.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
VN 92

2015 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-04-2018
Every previous vintage of Patz & Hall I've had has always delivered on a level of consistency like no other, and the 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is no exception. This bottle delivers a bright level of acidity, and mellow subtleties of strawberry, raspberry and slight bell pepper. Did this wine go through a little bit a whole cluster fermentation? I'm not sure, but if it did, great! The 2015 Sonoma Coast Pinot is fantastic regardless.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
WE 93

2016 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-27-2017
Looking for a nice fun, easy drinking white? Well, look no further, Domaine Petroni's Corse Blance may be the answer. The acidity on this wine is bright and well balanced. Crisp and packed with a light tropical finish. You don't want to miss out on this one.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2014 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-09-2017
Faust has always been a special wine to me, as it was one of the first wine labels I really got into during my early days of working in the wine industry in Napa Valley. The 2009 and 2010 vintages of Faust were my go-tos, whenever I got invited to dinner parties and occasional barbecues. While I haven't had the last several vintages, I am delighted to say that Huneeus Vintners is at it again, with the 2014 vintage of Faust, a full-bodied Cabernet packed with intense flavors of blackberries, plum, and black cherry. Ripe and heavily concentrated, the 2014 Faust is a perfect wine for the holidays for the Cab lover on your shopping list.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 RP 90

2015 Domaine Lafage "Bastide Miraflors" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 10-05-2017
I think I just found my new favorite every day drinking red. Seriously, the Bastide Miraflors is spectacular. The nose is packed with aromas of blueberry, cherries, and dark chocolate. The wine finishes smoothly with a great mouthfeel and well balanced acidity. For the $13 dollar price point we sell it, this blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah is definitely one of the best bangs for your buck that we have to offer. Trust me when I say you don't want to miss out on this one.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Oncle Vincent"
Review Date: 09-29-2017
The Oncle Vincent is currently my favorite, best-value white Burgundy on the shelf. And let me tell you, this bottle is fantastic. With notes of butter, star fruit, a little bit of oak, the Oncle Vincent's acidity is well balanced, and overall, this Chardonnay is a great time.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Taken Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2014 Red Blend from Taken Wine Company is a bold, yet well balanced red with nice flavor profiles of dark stone fruit, and tobacco. The finish is smooth and velvety. A fantastic buy for the red blend lover.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Carpe Diem Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-28-2017
The 2014 Vintage of Carpe Diem is very well balanced, and a perfect expression of Anderson Valley Pinot. Tasting this bottle reminded me of what I loved so much about Anderson Valley in first place. With notes of cranberry, cherry and a touch of cinnamon, this bottle should go perfectly with any dinner scenario for the light bodied red drinker.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 WE 91

2015 Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc "Les Sétilles"
Review Date: 09-28-2017
While I haven't tried previous vintages from this producer yet, I have to say I am definitely becoming a fan of Olivier Leflaive. If you want a nice easy drinking white burgundy, the Les Setilles is filled with citrus flavor, light and pineapple, and bright acidity.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château de L'Ou "Ipso Facto" Côtes Catalanes Rouge
Review Date: 09-14-2017
The Ipso Facto is a blend of Syrah coming from three different soil types on the estate of Chateau de L'Ou and a damn fine expression of what it's capable of producing. The tannins are slightly grippy but not overbearing. The nose is surprisingly beautifully executed with subtle notes of vanilla, and raspberry licorice. This bottle of Syrah is definitely a bottle you got to have a nice meal with, and not just a simple New York cut of steak. Throw some filet mignon on the grill, and enjoy with the Ipso Facto.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart
JD 97 RP 97

2016 Jean-Michel Dupre "Vignes de 1940" Beaujolais Villages
Review Date: 08-28-2017
The 1940 is light, easy drinking, fun and fruity! The flavor profile consists of a lot of cherry, blueberry, and it makes a perfect party wine. I actually probably enjoyed this bottle more than I should. It's great with food or by itself. And for the price point, you seriously can't go wrong with this.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2009 Puygueraud, Côtes de Francs
Review Date: 08-25-2017
Considering the age, the quality, and the overall value, this Bordeaux is a steal. With Merlot being the dominant variety in this blend, this bottle is easy drinking, approachable, and fantastic for beginners who are willing to explore more from the region. Definitely give this bottle a whirl!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92 RP 90

2015 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-25-2017
For nearly four decades, Shafer has proven time and time again that it's quality over quantity. This Chardonnay is rich, well balanced, and filled with notes of apple, spice, and apricot. This is honestly one of the best quality California Chardonnays I've ever had.

2016 Kalinda Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-25-2017
After living in Sonoma County for two years, and drinking plenty of wine from the region, you could say I've definitely had my fair share of Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The Kalinda 2016 Chardonnay is not only a great value, it's also a fantastic Chardonnay coming from California, packed with apple and citrus notes. The acidity is well balanced and near perfect. If you're the type who usually doesn't like California-style Chardonnay (possibly because it's too oaky, or even buttery) I'd say give this bottle a try, as it is the complete opposite of what we all come to know and expect from a typical California Chard. And for the price, you really got nothing to lose.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$11.99

2014 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 08-19-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
What an outstanding bottle of sparkling rosé, and what a fantastic price point as well. You honestly can't go wrong with this one. The finish is very citrusy, grapefruit being the most prominent flavor. Great for any party!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Te Mata "Coleraine" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 08-18-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
I never would have imagined New Zealand to produce a solid Bordeaux blend, and this bottle definitely changed the way I look at New Zealand wines now. This blend is earthy, bold, and has a good flavor of spices on the finish.

2016 Pascal Berthier "Esprit de Séduction" Saint-Amour
Review Date: 08-18-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
This beaujolais is killer. Easy drinking, fruit forward, and best served chilled. This beaujolais makes a great party wine or even an every day night cap. I love this bottle.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Rudi Pichler Riesling Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 08-17-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
This Riesling is pure in every way, yet it still has a lot of power and weight. Nice citrus finish, a nice summer wine.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberg Riesling Kabinett Mosel
Review Date: 08-17-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
While I generally prefer my Rieslings in Trocken (dry) style, occasionally I like to try some on the sweeter side, and this Kabinett is beyond exceptional. The finish is very tropical, with hints of mango, and pineapple, this Riesling really is a treat.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "La Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-11-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
Nice subtle sweetness, and overall a fun bottle of Champagne.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 91

2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
Smooth, easy drinking, and definitely a nice tasty wine to be poured at dinner parties, and it even makes a nice night cap. With the price and the overall quality of this wine, as far as I'm concerned, this is a 100 point wine right here.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
Quite possibly the driest of the dry, I've had when it comes to champagne. The Ultra Brut from Laurent Perrier is unique in it's own right and worthy of a try to the Champagne lover.

Trudon "Rosephile" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
I love how this champagne is Pinot Meunier dominant, as I feel this bottle is a perfect expression of how tasty and greatly fruit forward this grape variety could be in a nice bottle of Champagne. Worth a try, especially if you're a single varietal nerd like myself.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2008 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
The 2008 vintage for champagne is tasting really amazing right now, and this 2008 Grand Vintage Brut should be on your list, if you're looking for a fantastic bottle of vintage champagne. Smooth and fresh, this champagne has an outstanding minerality that I often look for in most white wines, and I absolutely love the chalky presence on it's finish.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
You probably won't find a good quality champagne at this price anywhere else, and on top of that, this champagne is actually fantastic! You want to bring champagne to a party, celebration, or dinner party, but don't wanna spend more than 25 bucks? Then this is the champagne for you!
Top Value!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
The primary presence of chardonnay leaves this champagne with a creamy texture, bright acidity and subtle flavors of apple and pear on the finish. I absolutely love this bottle, not only is it a great value for Champagne, it's also just a genuinely good bottle as well.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

Michel Arnould "Grand Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
Well balanced, rich, but not overbearingly so. Who knew we'd have so many fantastic Grand Cru champagnes at such a fantastic price, and this here is no exception. This champagne finishes off with a nice toasted hazelnut finish, that simply makes this grand cru irresistible!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Charles Ellner "Grande Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
This champagne is great and complex on every level. The palette is toasty and loaded with acidic citrus and apple notes. The Charles Ellner NV grande reserve is exceptional to any dinner party, and it's at a great price. Definitely worth checking out, if you love bubbles.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2009 La Rioja Alta "Viña Arana" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-07-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
What a marvelous Rioja at a great price. I'll admit, I don't drink a lot of Rioja's usually, and this one specifically is a great introduction. With 8 years of age currently, this Rioja is smooth, slightly fruit forward, and overall a nice drinking experience.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2010 Camerano Barolo "Cannubi"
Review Date: 08-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
This Barolo is in a league of it's own. Only six years old, and it's still maintaining it's tannic structure perfectly. Scents of prosciutto and/or salami on the nose, and a deeply complex palette. The Cannubi truly is incredible.
Price: $58.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine du Petit Coteau Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 08-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
Don't let the cartoony frogs on the label dissuade you. This Chenin Blanc from Vouvray is beyond exceptional. Crisp, clean, bright, and acidic, this Chenin makes a perfect summer white. You want a nice white to have with oysters? Look no further. This wine is great!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cicada by Chante Cigale Méditerranée
Review Date: 08-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Empty image
What a fun wine, and perfect price point for the every day consumer. This blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan really shows just how tasty and easily approachable Rhone blends can be. Bring to a party, or share amongst friends, I'm sure no one will be disappointed.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2013 Château de Montfaucon "Baron Louis" Lirac
Review Date: 08-03-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
If you're a big fan of Rhone blends, be sure to add this one to your list. Grenache is by far my favorite Red Rhone grape varietal, and the 55% they use in this blend really shows it's true character on how incredible and complex Grenache can be. It's a perfect dinner wine, and also great to enjoy by itself.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99
WS 90

2015 Mas de Sainte Croix "Passion d'Une Terre" Côtes-du-Rhône Villages Valreas
Review Date: 07-27-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
This blend of Grenache and Mourvedre makes an outstanding every day drinking wine. Medium bodied, well balanced, and packed with many complex flavors on the palette.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2014 Domaine Baud Chardonnay l'Etoile Blanc
Review Date: 07-26-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
I've been growing very fond of the Jura region of France recently, and Domaine Baud in particular. This Chardonnay is very unique. While it is buttery, it doesn't taste like any other Chardonnay I've had before. Definitely worth checking out!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Baud "Ancestral" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 07-26-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image
Once again, another winner from Domaine Baud. Definitely give this bottle a little room to breath--when it starts to open up, it gets more and more enjoyable. The 30% Pinot Noir I believe also helps let this Trousseau-heavy blend come alive.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Cabirau "Serge & Nicolas" Maury Sec
Review Date: 07-26-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
What a tasty, tasty blend, and at a fantastic price. The smaller percentages of Syrah and Carignan give this Grenache-heavy blend perfect balance and structure.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2016 Weingut Fürst Elbling Mosel (1L)
Review Date: 07-14-2017
Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Full image Glass Half image
I wasn't aware of German varietal Elbling until I tried this bottle, and let me tell you, I was in for a treat. Clean, slight mineral notes, and well balanced acidity, this 1L bottle is probably the best bang for your buck around. Perfect choice for any summer wine party, and pairs brilliantly with oysters.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart