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Staff Favorites - Will Blakely

Will Blakely

Reviews

2014 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-11-2019
Truly an astounding expression of the 2014 vintage, it begins with aromas of fresh-baked four berry pie and potpourri. Flavors of marionberry, raspberry and plum meld effortlessly with silky tannin and cocoa nibs. There is an incredible umami about this wine, born of clean earthy tones and healthy salinity. The oak is ever-present, but it lifts the profile; adding volume and texture, it enhances the subtle flavors rather than overpowering them. With such sophisticated poise and balance, this wine is an easy choice for most any occasion. I find myself wishing I had picked up a second bottle already.

2017 Collier Creek "Front Coach" Lodi Chardonnay
Review Date: 04-04-2019
Easily one of the most delightful discoveries from California of late. Papaya, guava and fresh lime burst from the glass and dance across the tastebuds. Crisp, vibrant and insanely affordable, I was impressed to find out that Collier Creek's wine is certified sustainable. I cannot find fault with this wine, except perhaps a touch of residual sugar that you won't find unless you're looking. Exceptional quality and endlessly fun, this is one to buy by the case.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2005 Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky 750ml (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 03-27-2019
Balblair has been a consistent favorite of mine among highland malts for some time. Even the lower-proof distillery bottlings boast impressive quality and feel very much worth the price they command. This cask strength offering delivers some of the best flavor I have had from their line, and for under $100. Creamy toffee envelops banana, pear and apple, belying a persistent, nutty undercurrent. Ample spice compliments the rich sweetness, with nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla vividly framing the dense flavors and adding dimension. The structure here is immaculate, and even with a splash of water, the flavor remains absurdly dense. This is a truly special bottle, and I encourage any fan of classic Highland Scotch to pick up a bottle for themselves and other connoisseurs in their whiskey circles.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

1987 Fitte et Laterrade 31 Year Old "Domaine Le Chaou" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-22-2019
Remarkably bright and fresh by comparison, the fruit and acid show more in this bottle than in its 1988 counterpart. Dates, dried berries, cinnamon and a pleasant herbal whiff paint a more complex and nuanced picture here, still supported by strong vanilla and barrel spice. The oak feels less intense, though by no means delicate. There is simply more to appreciate in this bottle. Apricot and citrus are ever-present, but the finish is less bitter and feels more deft. Truly an impressive bottle, and hard to believe they would part with such marvelous brandy for such a low price.
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

El Caballito Cerrero "Agave Chato" Destilato de Agave Blanco (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2019
This bottle is a must-try for agave aficionados - a perfect example of the complex, rustic flavors of a properly made agave-driven spirit. Earthy, vegetal aromas create a dramatic first impression that quickly develops secondary characteristics of bright acid and tropical fruits. The palate is marvelous, marrying grassy herbs, saline and roasted peppers in a voluptuous, mouthwatering texture. The finish is remarkably clean, carrying an impressive mineral quality and a more meaty flavor than "proper" blue weber tequila. The chato displays a wonderful umami that I rarely see in the other steam-cooked spirits coming out of Jalisco. I wish we could see more products like this, rather than the homogenized recipes created by some of the stricter regulations in the state.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1988 Fitte et Laterrade 30 Year Old "Domaine Le Chaou" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2019
These surprising Armagnacs are a bourbon-drinker's delight. Crashing waves of oak bring vanilla and ample spice to the forefront, followed closely by robust flavors of nuts and caremlized sugar. Savory earth and fragrant citrus peel create a firm structure that supports the dense flavors. Figs, leather and toasted oak show the maturity that develops from 30 years in barrels. The lingering spice and toasted oak finish make this a treat for anyone craving a strong wood influence and a drier-style of Armagnac. Definitely outside the norm for this region, but a stunning bottle for the price.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

Knob Creek Single Barrel Select K&L Exclusive Barrel #7995A (Distilled 10/14/04, Warehouse L, Floor 5, Rack 21) Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-21-2019
We are so fortunate to be graced with another well-aged barrel from Knob Creek. This one was bottled just shy of its 14th birthday, but is by no means less mature than the last batch. Rich oak is among the first things I noticed, but with a mellow cornflower aroma behind it. Salted caramel, nuts and toffee coat a brilliant fruit profile including golden raisin and ripe persimmon. The flavor is hedonistic - intense but gorgeous - lifted by honey and sweet grass tones that offset the buttery, savory finish. It is hard to imagine finding another bottle of this quality for $50, let alone a better one.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2009 Caol Ila 8 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive Single Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-16-2019
For fans of Islay, Caol Ila should be a consistent feature in a well-stocked cabinet. This bottling is a singular example - an unadulterated expression of everything the distillery has to offer. The peat here is perfectly integrated, combining smoky mesquite wood, sea air and mossy earth. There is a subtle sweetness, with green fruit and vanilla wafting above a firm structure. A dose of water reveals further depth, with iodine and herbs entering the smoky fray balanced by ocean brine and a hint of lime essential oil. The flavors here are indelible and inseparable. An exquisitely expressive dram.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

Mortlach 16 Year-Old "Distiller's Dram" Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-10-2019
This is a much more serious bottling than the 12 Year Old, to be sure. The wood influence is ramped up considerably, leading to mature and complex flavors. Layers of dried fruit, cocoa, red berries, savory herbs -- thyme and fennel -- precede dense oak and ample spice, finishing with a meaty salinity and lingering notes of flaky pastry. The 16 Year packs a lot of sherry and malt character into a surprisingly affordable package.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart
WA 91

Mortlach 12 Year Old "The Wee Witchie" Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml (ships like a 1.5 L bottle due to shape)
Review Date: 03-06-2019
This makes for a fantastic introduction to the Mortlach line, showcasing vibrant fruit while retaining that savory, meaty character that fans of the distillery know and love. A youthful nose promises good, balanced acid while teasing orchard fruit. The palate delivers ripe apple, golden raisin, toasted oak and vanilla. There's a nuttiness here that rounds out the profile, providing umami throughout the whole experience. Overall, this is a fun and tasty dram for a great price.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1998 Chateau de Vacquié 20 Year Old Unfiltered Haut-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-06-2019
Perhaps more poised and restrained than the decadent 1991 vintage bottling, this Armagnac is by no means lean or lacking in flavor. Instead, it is a powerhouse of caramel, plums and raisins with mouthwatering spice and bright acid. As I tasted more, crumb cake and coffee followed poached pears, countered by vanilla and a hint of pepper. Truly a mind-boggling value from a part of Armagnac few aficionados have ventured. Hats off to Bruno and this magnificent brandy.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

1991 Chateau de Vacquié 27 Year Old Unfiltered Haut-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-06-2019
When I heard the story of Vacquie from our buyer, I didn't know what to expect. Haut-Armagnac is seldom talked about in the domain of high-end spirits, so I braced myself for the first foray into this 100% ugni blanc juice. I was rewarded with one of the most impressive and mouthwatering Armagnacs I've ever had the pleasure of sampling. Extraordinarily rich and surprisingly youthful, this boasts a brilliantly floral and slightly tropical nose. The flavors are full and approachable yet refined and complex. Dried dates, sweet syrup and fruit cobbler play beautifully alongside tremendous spice and a firm but dynamic structure. I was shocked to find this comes in just under $100, fully expecting something in the $120-$150 range. The finish is extraordinarily long, leaving a sense of faceted flavors in a gem-like structure. I couldn't help but pour myself a little more to savor the taste a little longer. I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2016 Mas Codina Cabernet Sauvignon Penedes
Review Date: 03-03-2019
One of our favorite Cava producers, Mas Codina dabbles in a diverse selection of grapes on the side. This Cabernet is impossibly good for the price, boasting ripe blackberries, soft tannins and a dynamic core of earth, mocha and peppery herbs. It is a dream with food or on its own, and an easy choice for dinner parties. Yet another testament to the tremendous value offered in Spanish wines.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$8.99

2016 Viña Olartia Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 02-28-2019
I was struck immediately by the dense, beautiful color - almost like a polished gem. Whiffs of fresh-tilled earth, black olive and exquisite floral tones further delight the senses and entice you toward your first sip. On the palate, blackberries and dark cherries ride a plush, velvety texture through a charming midpalate complete with vibrant acidity and subtle cocoa nibs. Toasted oak and pleasant earth create a firm backbone that holds this wine together beautifully. You would be hard-pressed to find a better bottle for this price.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Wathen’s Barrel Proof "Barrel #40 Los Angeles" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 02-21-2019
These Wathen's barrel picks are completely unlike anything else on the bourbon market today. Whiffs of banana and nut give way to fresh cut grass and sweet cereal. The complex taste features salted caramel, praline, ripe banana and ample barrel spice. Butterscotch and toasted wood linger on the long finish. A few drops of water add brown sugar and nutmeg to the fruit and highlight the vanilla and oak that were initially hidden just beneath the surface. One might balk at the price, but it's definitely worth it for something so unique.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2010 Caol Ila 8 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 02-21-2019
One of my favorite aspects of Caol Ila is how the smell evokes a sea breeze on a cloudy but eerily beautiful coastline. Moss, salty air and fragrant barley make for a friendly introduction to the dram. What follows is perfectly integrated smoke and raging spice. There's a hint of bell pepper there, accompanied by smoked meat and sweet orchard fruit. With water, the softness of the grain really shines through, bringing ripe pear and golden apple. The finish is long and savory compounded by subtle cocoa and a tinge of pine. This barrel really shows what Caol Ila is all about.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2017 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-21-2019
The folks at Talley have been making some of our favorite Chardonnay in the area for quite a while. While their Bishop's Peak line sees less oak, it undoubtedly delivers the same quality and value of their main brand. This wine brims with tropical fruit - guava, passion fruit and melon - and finishes brisk and clean. The subtle oak adds texture and a longer finish, but sits more in the background, letting the fruit and acid shine. At this price, it may become your go-to everyday Chardonnay.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WE 90

2016 Sans Liege "The Offering" Santa Barbara County Rhône Blend
Review Date: 02-21-2019
A killer bottle from one of my favorite winemakers in the central coast, The Offering seamlessly blends juicy, fleshy fruit with healthy herbs and spice. Superbly extracted with solid barrel influence, it reminds me of certain Orin Swift wines, but not quite as heavy. Though the fruit is plush and the flavors are intense, there is a finesse about it that I find impressive and refreshing. Make no mistake; this is a serious wine at an incredible price.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 94

2015 Bodegas Norton "Privada" Family Blend Mendoza
Review Date: 02-21-2019
This is a lot of wine for the price. From first pour, alluring aromas of violets and dark berries offer a suggestion of modern Bordeaux. On the palate, however, this distinctly new-world wine explodes with black and red berries, plum and a healthy dose of spice. Backed up by gravelly earth and rich mocha, the profile feels bold yet balanced. The tannins here are firm but not aggressive, making it a dream to drink. You might find yourself questioning whether the price is correct. I have good news: it is.

2016 Chateau de la Charriere Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune
Review Date: 02-03-2019
These wines are always such a pleasure to drink. Cherry blossoms and underbrush on the nose. Ripe cherry and juicy cranberry give way to flavors of deep earth and subtle spice. The finish is long and satisfying. Exquisite wine for a reasonable price.​
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Maker's Mark 46 "K&L Exclusive Barrel #906" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 02-03-2019
One of the most rich and dense barrels of Maker's I've had the pleasure of tasting. First whiffs evoke mocha and spice with just a hint of vanilla and leather. The taste of rich, candied fruit is balanced nicely by rye spice and well curated heat. But that's not all - there's tons of vanilla, caramel and fudge throughout. The finish brings a buttery sweetness and warming cinnamon. I highly encourage you to pick one up before they're gone.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 01-23-2019
Being 100% Pinot Gris makes this an oddity, but it is certainly not a gimmick. This is serious, world-class champagne. Vivid aromas of ripe apple and citrus blossom fly out of the glass, and the complexity therein is immediately apparent. Apples, pears and nectarines strike the palate accompanied by bright acid and further wake the senses. The finish brings crisp limestone and a supple, mouth-coating texture. One of the most unique bottles for the price, and its quality is unquestionable.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Baud Poulsard "En Rougemont" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 01-17-2019
When I first saw the wine's color - diffuse garnet or dark amber - I was concerned that it would lack concentration. This wine made a fool of me in seconds, and I am so grateful for it. The texture is crisp and fine, but the flavors are vivid and intense. Juicy, tart strawberries, cured meat and rich earth coalesce into something impossibly fresh and deceptively complex. I cannot recommend this highly enough, especially to fans of the funkier parts of Burgundy.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Rouge
Review Date: 01-17-2019
A classic Cabernet Franc at an affordable price, this wine was an instant favorite for the staff. Pepper, herbs and underbrush merge seemlessly with dark berries, mouthwatering acidity and firm tannins. The finish is remarkably light but long. I can see this pairing perfectly with grilled poultry, pepper-crusted meat, or just an evening spent under a blanket escaping the winter weather.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2016 Domaine de la Chaboissière Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 01-17-2019
Such an expressive wine is a triumph for the minimal intervention movement. I was immediately struck by the gorgeous citrus tone on the nose. That character continued on the palate with the addition of green apple and a slightly creamy texture. The wine remains lithe and refreshing through the finish, where you get a definite sense of the lees it sits on in tank. The acid here is perfect - energetic but not overbearing - and along with the impressive mineral backbone, makes this wine a dream with oysters.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2000 Velier Caroni 17 Year Old "High Proof" Trinidad Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 01-10-2019
This Caroni is truly one of the most special bottles I've had the pleasure of tasting, and it's yet another example of how varied and insanely good rum can be. It drinks like a similarly aged whisky, but with aromas and flavors malted barley just can't produce. On the nose, passionfruit, persimmons, ginger and spice dance an elegant ballet with just a hint of rubber. The texture is gorgeous, filling the palate with fruit, savory wood and well integrated spice. A dash of water explodes the aromatics and softens the edges. Banana leaves, citrus flowers, pineapple and meat - all mingling perfectly inside a structure of toasted oak and just a touch of smoke. Whether you're trying to transition from whisky to rum, or you just need your next rum fix, this bottle is definitely worth your time.
Price: $199.99 Add To Cart

2016 Quinta da Boa Esperança Vinho Regional Lisboa
Review Date: 01-05-2019
Yet another reminder that Portugal offers some of the best wine values in the world. Cool and crisp, this makes a perfect pairing with seafood dishes or cheese and charcuterie. Peach, cantaloupe and lemon zest washes over the palate, balanced by satisfying salinity and stony minerals. The finish, though remarkably long, evaporates with a refreshing flourish and entices you to drink more. I would compare this favorably with albariño for twice the price.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Westward American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
The gorgeous and effusive nose indicates this whisky has nothing to hide. White peach, sweet apricot and soft, pale wood paint a delightful picture of what you're going to taste. The sweetness of the malt is balanced by a hearty savory quality and sufficient salinity. Fruit, sage and perfectly integrated oak create something undeniably approachable and uniquely American. Truly a delight to taste.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Anejo Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
This single barrel shows so much more depth and nuance than typical Anejo. Mint, lively spice, and sublimely integrated oak make this rich and full without feeling flabby. Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon and toasted wood delight the palate with a nutty finish. The texture is perfectly pleasant rather than mouth-coating or overly buttery. This would make a fantastic gift, but be sure to pick one up for yourself as well; this barrel won't last long.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
From Larceny to Weller, David Nicholson to Pappy, wheated bourbon has always put a smile on my face. McKenzie's bottled-in-bond offering makes an impressive addition to the list. Alluring aromas of nuts, bananas and roasted corn make a pleasant enough first impression, but tasting this reveals a plethora of tropic fruits and soft spice. The sweet cereal grain is contrasted nicely by citrus peels and bright acid. With a good body and relatively long finish, this should fit nicely into any whisky collection.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Còdigo 1530 K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Rosa Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-29-2018
When I first heard of the Rosa, I was suspicious; red wine barrel aging sounded like to me like a gimmick, but the wine and the wood add a lot here. A touch of grape must and pepper on the nose immediately separates this from Codigo's Blanco, and the palate is quite a bit richer. Red berries and currant compliment the agave fruit beautifully. Capped off by a pleasant herbal finish, this makes for a fun and unique gift as well as a great bottle for the home bar.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

1996 Linkwood 21 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-24-2018
This 21 year boasts tremendous integration of sherry and malt. Dried fruit and a meaty backbone are the most prominent features at first. After opening up with air and water, however, this whisky really comes alive. Fresh green apple, golden peach and pear leap from the glass, but the structure does not falter one bit. Such a pleasure to drink - I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

1997 Hector Macbeth (Glenfiddich) 21 Year Old "Hepburn's Choice" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-24-2018
There is a lot of life in this bottle for a whisky that is old enough to drink itself. Orange blossom and pleasant salinity on the nose make for a gracious, friendly introduction. There is also a subtle whiff of nutmeg and marmalade. Honeyed biscuits, creamy orange and a touch of cocoa envelop the palate in an exquisite texture that lingers indefinitely. With a few drops of water, the aromas explode from the glass, and the heat from spices surprisingly increases on the tongue, though is offset by sweet cereal and fresh mandarin. This packs a lot of delicate flavor into every drop without ever sacrificing balance or lift. Easily the best expression of Glenfiddich malt I've ever tasted.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2008 Mortlach 10 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2018
Mortlach is definitely one of the more unusual and less known Speyside distilleries, but its pedigree is irrefutable. This 10 year single barrel shows all the characteristics of top tier Speyside Scotch. Savory spice and pleasant salinity frame a lively core of fruit and ginger. With a splash of water, this whisky shows its true colors. Impressively light despite intense flavors of green and tropical fruit, it finishes with impeccable freshness and a touch of citrus zest that begs you to revisit and pour yourself another glass.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2008 Clynelish 10 Year Old "Signatory" K&L Exclusive 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2018
Though typically used in blends, Clynelish always impresses me with its single malt releases. Even on the nose, the waxy quality that is exclusive to this distillery is readily apparent. It does not, however, overpower the delicate aromas of orchard flowers, citrus zest and honey. At first, the taste is primarily beeswax and stone fruit, wrapped in savory dough and dusted with almonds. But once you introduce water, the flavors expand miraculously - apples, peaches, pears and white pepper with a sweetly lingering finish. Truly a one-of-a-kind bottle.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2017 Tenuta Roveglia "Limne" Lugana
Review Date: 10-18-2018
Our favorite Italian white is back with another vintage. Absurdly complex for the price, the Limne has something for everyone. White peach, green apple and tropical fruit mingle with brilliant acidity and gorgeous minerality. The late harvest for these Verdicchio grapes allows for optimal ripeness, providing ample body and delicate floral aromas. The finish brings a hint of savory almonds, but the fruit and flowers remain present throughout. Impress your friends by bringing this to dinner or a party.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Compass Box Story of the Spaniard Blended Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2018
This latest release from Compass Box reflects the mastery of their blending techniques in a bottle everyone can enjoy. Cozy scents of sea air, marzipan and apricot greet you immediately, imploring you to sit and savor the dram. Though relatively light in body, it provides impressive concentration of flavor. Its complex charactger pairs candied citrus and salty caramel with delicate spice and a savory finish. I consider myself fortunate to sample such a friendly, generous whisky; I encourage you to treat yourself to a taste.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2015 Black Slate "Porrera" Priorat
Review Date: 10-18-2018
True to its name, the Black Slate opens with dark, dense aromas - mocha and cassis. On the palate, however, it shows supple texture and plush fruit, in addition to well-integrated tannin and spice from the oak influence. Boasting tremendous conentration for a wine at this price, it should please the palate of new-world wine drinkers while still offering classic Priorat richness balanced by savory tones from the Cariñena. Overall, a tremendous value for a wine with exceptional pedigree.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JD 93 RP 91

Jean de La Fontaine "La Flatteuse" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 10-18-2018
Another gorgeous wine from an exceptional producer in the Marne Valley, the Flatteuse rosé pampers the palate. Red fruit and candied citrus sing beautifully alongside counterpoint from gravelly minerals, a touch of salinity and a note of savory wood. In an usual step, they vinified this wine in oak rather than steel, but you can't argue with the results. This boutique style of winemaking, with its forward thinking and unmistakable quality, makes me excited about the future of Champagne.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Jean de La Fontaine "L'Éloquente" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-11-2018
I fell in love with this producer the instant I tried L'Éloquente. Fresh and fun, soft and approachable, delicate and deft - it compels you to enjoy it and turns any occasion into a party. The lively acid provides ample lift and structure without being harsh, and the fruit is so friendly you may find yourself reaching for a second bottle without a moment's hesitation. I cannot recommend this highly enough, and I see it overshadowing bubbles in a similar style for twice the price.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2017 Succes Viniciola "Experiencia" Parellada Conca de Barbera
Review Date: 09-27-2018
Chalk this one up in the "win" column for the natural wine craze we are seeing right now. Made from Parellada, one of the blending grapes used in Cava, it is a prime example of how expressive and wild these wines can be. After a muted and shy opening, gorgeous flowers and savory herbs explode from the glass, ensconced in tropical fruit. Passionfruit and citrus take the front seat at first, but an underlying umami flavor gives the wine depth and texture. An unbelievable match for sweet and savory pork dishes, it is also immensely enjoyable on its own - practically a meal in and of itself. If you're curious about natural wines or looking for your next bottle, don't miss this one. Just give it 15-30 minutes of air to get the full experience.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2016 Casa Smith "Vino Rosso" Cabernet Sauvignon Blend
Review Date: 09-27-2018
A powerhouse for the price, this unique blend definitely delivers quality well above what you would expect for under $20. Fruit-forward and food friendly, it exudes dark plums and berries supported by a core of soft, spicy tannins. Despite its weight, however, the wine remains fresh and approachable thanks in part to healthy, playful acidity. The Sangiovese here serves to enhance the earthy leather tones and form a perfect backdrop for the dense fruit. A triumphant endeavor from the folks at Casa Smith, it should be the new favorite table wine for any fan of big, flavorful reds.
Price: $10.95 Add To Cart
JD 90

2012 Quinta da Saudade "Palato do Côa" Reserva Douro
Review Date: 09-08-2018
A little-known gem from a notable vintage in Portugal's Douro valley, this wine is a must-try for any fan of big California Cabs. Ripe plum and fig burst from the glass, with soft baking spice following shortly behind. After 14 months in French oak, the luscious blackberry fruit marries with toasted vanilla and caramel, held together by voluptuous tannins. Treat yourself to a bottle with a big, juicy steak.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2012 Gilbert Jacquesson Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-23-2018
Underneath a bemusing nose lies a true gem from Champagne's miracle vintage. Despite low dosage, this 100% Pinot Meunier shows tremendous fruit atop light toast with a touch of salinity. Quince and kumquat play beautifully with roasted nuts in a delicate, luxurious texture. Whether accompanying cheese or a night with friends (or both), this splendid wine is a must-try. Snag one (or several) before they're gone.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine de Verquière Vacqueyras
Review Date: 08-16-2018
Vacqueyras is one of the most underrated appellations in southern Rhone. For those in the know, its name is synonymous with quality wines that come at fractions of the price of Chateauneuf du Pape. This particular offering from Domaine de Verquière showcases marvelous tension holding lush berries and lovely violets in perfect harmony. The smell of stones and pebbles from the soil in which the grapes mature serves to offset the slight sweetness on the finish, giving the wine unparalleled finesse for this price range.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JD 89 - 92

2017 Domaine Tabordet "Le Champs des Vignes" Pouilly Fumé
Review Date: 08-16-2018
A sauvignon blanc that, like most old world wine, gives a strong sense of the place it was made. The slight smokey aroma from the flinty soil that gives Pouilly Fume its name tells only part of the story. Grapefruit zest and tart nectarine ride a wave of vibrant acidity that washes over the palate with firm, stony minerals. Whether on its own or accompanying fish, poultry or cheese, the wine compels you to drink until its gone. Over the course of an evening, however, it evolves to show characteristics of a ripe peach - supple and delectable. Ultimately, this is more than a captivating alternative to wines from neighboring Sancerre; it's an expression of how complex the grape can be, as well as a case study on the influence of terroir.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Auchentoshan Three Wood Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 06-22-2018
The Three Wood beautifully showcases the movement away from age statements and toward creative cask finishes. On the nose, it immediately offers enticing aromas of dried fruit, orange peel, caramelized sugar and ample spice. On the palate, it tastes full and complex despite its three distillations. Vanilla and dry sherry dominate at first but give way to soft tones of toffee and raisins. Typical of lowland malts, the finish brings a lingering nutty sweetness, but with a hint of charred wood. Altogether, it makes for an endlessly enjoyable dram that satisfies most any palate. I highly recommend this bottle for fans of bourbon or Irish whisky trying to break into Scottish single malts. It's also a great pick for scotch drinkers looking for something new in a sherry-focused style.
Price: $56.99 Add To Cart
WE 94