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Staff Favorites - Cameron Hoppas

Cameron Hoppas

Reviews

2016 La Fortuna "Magnus" Sant'Antimo Rosso
Review Date: 12-02-2019
I popped this bottle when I was making Pizza at home a few nights ago and it was phenomenal. We made the mistake of opening it while we were cooking. It went down so easy, we wished we had more for the pizza. It delivers beautiful dark fruit profile, medium bodied with silky tannin and classic Italian acidity. It was a good thing I loaded the Pizza with sausage, mushrooms and caramelized onions, because this wine had structure that every day Italian table wines do not. If you're looking for a nice weeknight red wine, this is a no-brainer.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Oakridge "Original Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 12-02-2019
Oakridge is putting out some stellar wines. The "Original Vineyard" shows the beautiful elegance of Yarra Cabernet, with all the full and dark Cabernet character. Sweet, dark fruit, vanilla spice and dark caramel are pronounced on the nose. This silky medium bodied Cabernet has beautiful texture, juicy acidity and freshness that defies arcane stereotypes of Australia. The dark fruit, elegant tannin and and juicy acid ring true to Yarra valley's cool climate. If you enjoy elegant and complex Cabernet's that are showing well now, this is a phenomenal find.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 11-26-2019
Wow. The power and structure of this wine is just phenomenal. Sweet fruit aromas, with rich tannin and beautiful zippy acidity. Super Tuscans like this — 55% Cabernet, 40% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot — show all the best of California's rich fruit profile, Bordeaux's tannin structure, and Italy's vibrant acidity. We can drink this wine young, but should decant it. Instead, we really ought to be drinking this wine for the next 20 years. The problem is, it won't last long enough.

English Harbour "Rumbustion Society of Smuggler's Cove" Single Barrel Antigua Rum (750ml)
Review Date: 11-26-2019
Stunningly elegant aromas for such a high proof rum--vanilla, burnt banana, light caramel, sweet tropical floral tones with warming spice and round texture on the palate. The purist in me thinks it is a crime to put this level of rum into a cocktail. If you've spent as much time at a bar stool in Smuggler's cove as I have, you know how much of a difference a truly great rum can elevate even a simple Tiki drink. This rum has the depth and complexity to be sipped and savored, but the richness and intensity that will make it stand out and improve your favorite cocktail. The only problem with a bottle like this in my bar, is that I'll need another before long.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 La Massa "Carla 6" Toscana Rosso
Review Date: 11-26-2019
Sangiovese is one of my favorite grapes, and this wine is a tremendous example of why! Hailing from the town of Panzano in the hills of Chianti Classico region, the Carla 6 lives up to the great Super-Tuscan's of this famed region. It's structured, medium bodied with complex aromas and wildly delicious. I've had older vintages of this wine that have aged beautifully, but 2015 was an even better year. This is a wine to cellar and savor.

1995 Clynelish 23 Year Old "Signatory Vintage Black Label" K&L Exclusive Single 2nd Fill Sherry Butt #11239 Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
This scotch has Gravity. In nosing my glass aromas of burnt sugar, butterscotch and sweet warm cereals. In sipping, the spirit has mouth filling round texture. It's incredibly smooth, if not a bit powerful and weighty at full strength. With a little drop of water the aromas open up beautifully welcoming you back into the glass. It's with this little drop of water that the complexity of the spirit comes through. It feels less heavy and reveals the true density and complexity of the spirit itself, even at a lower proof, you taste it more. This is a serious bottle of whiskey.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

2017 Oakridge "Henk Vineyard - Block 864" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-04-2019
I really enjoy this wine. Lovely, sweet fruit profile with delicate florals and subtle spice. Elegantly structured, with juicy acid and silky texture, this surely is a very well put-together wine.

2018 Unti Dry Creek Valley Grenache Blanc
Review Date: 10-01-2019
Grenache blanc is one of my absolute favorite grapes. It offers the full body of chardonnay, aromas of a mediterranean white, and crisp acidity. Unti's Grenache Blanc is done concrete tanks, which enhances texture and preserves intense aromatics. If it's possible for a wine to be both fresh and delicate, but also structured and dense, this wine does it. It has acidity and minerality to pair with oysters, or fish dishes, but the structure and intensity to pair with roasted chicken, mushrooms, and cheeses. A perfect alternative to Chablis, and perhaps the closest thing to it from California.
Price: $26.95 Add To Cart

2017 Angels & Cowboys Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 10-01-2019
You could make the argument that a zinfandel based blend is the prototypical californian wine. And if the success of brands like Ridge, the Prisoner, Bedrock, Orin Swift can tell us anything, it's that they're perhaps some of California's most adored wines. The Angels and Cowboys Red Blend follows in that California tradition offering big fruit, rich mouthfeel, and warms spice. It's a delicious wine at a killer bargain.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2018 Bedouet "Cogito" Vin de France
Review Date: 10-01-2019
In Muscadet, producers have traditionally used the Sur Lie technique to enhance the texture of their crisp white wines. Yet lately, around the world, many producers are experimenting with using skin contact for white wines to achieve similar ends--more aromatic and textural extraction. Bedouet's Cogito finds an elegant balance between sur lie and skin contact to make a wine with fresh aromas, weighty texture and bright acidity. A very elegant and well executed wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bedouet "Expression du Pallet Vieilles Vignes" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Review Date: 10-01-2019
Bedouet's Expression Du Pallet delivers your classic muscadet experience, mineral and fresh, with a squeeze of citrus. It's bright acidity accents the sur lie texture that you'd hope to expect from Muscadet Sur Lie. Yet, this wine also delivers a slightly more densely textured wine with more intense aromas that you would expect to find find the Vielle Vignes designation. This wine is complex and very gratifying. It shows well now, but it has the structure and complexity that I expect this wine to age well.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2018 Bedouet "Clos des Grands Primos" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 10-01-2019
The wines from Bedouet have been incredibly satisfying. Both classic in style and exceptional in quality, the Clos Des Grand Primos delivers the crisp mineral driven wine accented with slight green apple skin, green citrus oil and aromas of fresh wet river rocks. While muscadet is often celebrated as a warm weather and seafood wine, it's a tremendous pairing for a wide range of dishes like fried chicken, korean flavors, wild mushrooms, or any combination of potatoes and garlic.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Le Temps des Cerises" Chinon
Review Date: 09-24-2019
Deep dark and brooding. This wine has plush tannins, dark black and blue fruits with deep earthy aromas. Full bodied and aromatic, this wine is a bit plusher than Noblaie's other offerings, certainly a great stepping stone for fans of full bodied cabs but are interested in what the Loire Valley can offer.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de la Noblaie "Les Blancs Manteaux" Chinon
Review Date: 09-24-2019
The nose of this wine shows red and dark fruits and lovely dried florals--typical of Chinon's aromatic red wines. On the palate the wine is medium/full bodied, dark and rich showing red and black fruit on the palate as well, but also acomandied by dark savory spice, faint hint of fennel, leather, black currant and dried mint. Pair this wine with slow roasted meats with plenty of roasted garlic and you're all set for a lovely meal.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de la Noblaie "Les Chiens-Chiens" Chinon
Review Date: 09-24-2019
This medium bodied wine is delicious. All crunchy red fruit, stoney minerality and dried florals on the nose. Perhaps a red wine that you could chill on a warm evening, but definitely a great paring with mushrooms, grilled meats, and just about anything with garlic.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Chante le Vent" Chinon Blanc
Review Date: 09-24-2019
Although Chinon is perhaps more famous for their Cabernet Franc, on the rare occasion I've been able to try less common Chinon Blanc I've been blown away by just how delicious they are. This is a serious wine. Crisp, medium bodied with zippy acidity and powerful aromas, this wine shows intense mineral personality, but with tart green fruits--apple skins, green grape skins, kaffir leaf and wet rocks. This is a perfect pairing for sushi, spice dishes or cured meats.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Goutte de Rose" Chinon Rosé
Review Date: 09-24-2019
This wine is a delight for warm fall evenings we have here in California. It's a delicate wine with subtle stone fruit (yellow cherries and under-ripe peaches) and elegant dried floral aromas. This wine is a dry, crisp and elegant way to celebrate the end of summer as well as anticipating our delicious Dungeness crab season just around the corner!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Sidewood Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-10-2019
Deep aromas of burnt cocoa, smoked meat, menthol and dark chewy fruit lead into plush, chocolatey tannins on the palate. There is a welcomed lift of mouthwatering acidity. This wine offers big flavors straight off the bat, but as it opened it became apparent just how much more this wine has to offer. This is what Aussie Shiraz is all about.

2015 Massolino Barolo
Review Date: 08-06-2019
Drinking Barolo is always a tough game of delayed gratification, waiting for its tannins to soften. It's a bit like staring at the pot waiting for the proverbial water to boil. But perhaps one effect of more frequent warm growing seasons in Piemonte is giving producers like Massolino an opportunity to capture the sun and deliver wines with classic Barolo punch, but in a riper and sexier package. Best of all, this wine is drinking well NOW. It has powerful fruit, candied rose petals and round tannins with the lingering finish of black licorice and tar that is so typical of the Serralunga Commune. Pop and pour with rich meat dishes, mushrooms and umami forward flavors. Delay gratification no more!

2016 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-29-2019
This wine is stunning. The perfumed nose of ripe, dark fruit, sweet herbs, and warm leather tones shows beautifully right out of the bottle. The texture is incredibly elegant. Silky fine tannins delicately coat the palate as quickly as the fresh acidity washes them away--giving the impression of a dense wine that's light on its feet. The Merlot (25%) and Cabernet (10%) play their supporting roles expertly, giving density and structure to Sangiovese's bright and aromatic personality. This is a wonderful wine that's sure to please wine drinkers already acquainted with Italian wines as well as those just dipping their toes into Italian waters.

Bardstown Bourbon Company "Discovery Series #1" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-24-2019
I love Four Roses for its minty and spicy aromas, but this brand-new release from Bardstown may just become one of my new favorite whiskeys. It is wildly delicious. With juice between 5-13 years old (90% is 10+ years old), the whiskey is dense and aromatically complex. Cool mint leads on the nose, with orange zest, coriander, and spiced nuts. On the palate it has an interesting spicy caramel with dried cherry and candied orange peel, but all built on a delicate and subtle, yet dark and earthy foundation. This is certainly my favorite style of whiskey, expertly crafted and blended. If this is the future of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, I'm glad I'm here to taste it.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cantina Terlano "Vorberg" Pinot Bianco Riserva Alto Adige
Review Date: 07-23-2019
What incredible aromatics! Sweet floral aromas with ripe pear and a hint of warm spice. On the palate, the wine is full and round with mouthwatering acidity that brings lightness and lift to such a powerful wine. This is my first time tasting this wine and it won't be the last.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cantina Terlan "Porphyr" Lagrein Riserva
Review Date: 07-23-2019
Absolutely delicious! I love Lagrein. Blackberry and dried blueberry fruit marry well with smoky, meaty aromas that always tease northern Rhone to me. However, Lagrein is wholly its own animal (pun intended). It can make really nice fresh styles of table wines, or it can be Porphyr: A powerful, elegant, complex wine. It has firm grippy tannins, soft ripe fruits, dark spice, a dense core to a round and full body. This is a complete wine that's only missing one thing: a rich meal centered around a slow cooked meat dish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

The 86 Co. Ford's Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 07-22-2019
It's no secret amongst the staff here that I drink a lot of gin. Whether it's g+t's by the pool, classic martini's or my endless variations on the negroni, Gin is a staple in my bar at home. It's easy to be enamored by modern style gin's with bold unique botanicals, however, my go to is always a classic London Dry. Why, you may ask? Because it's the most versatile gin in my bar. It's great for ALL of my favorite gin cocktails. Leading with juniper and backed by subtle and balanced citrus and spice, it is fresh and balanced with bright aromatics. Ford's Gin delivers everything that I want in a gin at an unbeatable price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Barrell Bourbon "K&L Exclusive" 14 Year Old Cask Strength Single Barrel #E522 Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-19-2019
This is a sophisticated cask strength bourbon. While it carries classic big bourbon aromas, it's incredibly well integrated and smooth--dark, rich and woody. The foundation deep aromas of cereals, burnt sugar, and licorice, with pretty delicate aromas of dried brush, sweet spices and fresh mint. It has a dense weighty body and concentrated flavors that match up to the cask strength ABV. Powerful, smooth, and elegant.
Price: $109.99 Add To Cart

2018 Le Casematte "Peloro" Bianco Sicila
Review Date: 07-16-2019
Most all of my colleagues and friends know that I love Mediterranean whites. And most of them know it's because I love crisp white wines with salty minerality. That's precisely why I love this wine. Both Grillo and Carricante are characteristically mineral driven, Grillo perhaps to a lesser extent with a little more fruit. As a blend of the two, this wine tastes like a someone scooped a generous splash of the Mediterranean sea right into the bottle, followed by a little sprinkle of local herbs. Perfect for pairing with some of my favorite briny foods--small fish, capers, olives and cured meats--drink this wine with any of these and you'll know just why I love these wines.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2018 Massican "Annia" Napa Valley White Blend
Review Date: 07-16-2019
It's hard to believe that I can now say that I've been drinking Massican's wines for years. Dan Petroski is perhaps better known for his talents producing some of Napa's highest regarded Cabernet's at Larkmead. However, Massican is his own little passion project for expressive Mediterranean whites. The Annia is both their flagship wine and my favorite. A unique blend (at least in Napa) of Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Chardonnay, this wine has effusive and complex aromas and rich structure supported by it's mouth watering fresh acidity. This is the type of complete wine that doesn't have to sacrifice in structure in favor of fresh and complex aromas. It has it all--both equally refreshing on a a warm summer evening, as satisfying as part of an elegant dining experience.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2018 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-15-2019
Astrolabe is dedicated to making truly hand crafted wines that express a unique sense of terroir. Their attention to quality starts in sourcing grapes from the top vineyard sites in Marlborough. What ends up in the bottle is something that is noticeably more refined than the simple fruity white wines of Marlborough's past. The nose is characteristically tropical and fruity--but delicately and elegantly so--with the faintest hint of sweet herbs--mint or sweet basil maybe. On the palate, the wine is dry, crisp, salty and savory, with mouth watering acidity and silky round texture. This is a sophisticated wine that truly expresses something in Sauvignon blanc that cannot be found elsewhere in the world.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Kaiyo "The SHERI" Mizunara Oak Finished Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 07-14-2019
Big, rich, and sherried. This Japanese whisky is incredibly smooth, likely with help from the little bit of sherried sweetness. It's dense and round with nice caramelized apricot and spice aromas. The sherried elements certainly are the star in this whisky, but the best part for me is the way the sherried butterscotch sweetness interplays with the sandalwood spice of the Mizunara oak. A clean, rich and smooth whisky that's all to easy to keep sipping on.
Price: $129.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Villages Rouge
Review Date: 06-18-2019
Bordeaux move over! This Anjou-Village shows all the dark fruit with rich and supple tannin of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) and earthy aromas of Cabernet France (40%). This wine has the all the structure that I'm betting it will open up over the next few years, but best of all, it's showing absolutely great now! Give me a pepper steak and mushrooms and put me to bed.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 06-18-2019
This is one of my favorite producers in the store. Chenin makes such great white wine, and Anjou consistently provides some of the best valued wines in the loire. The Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc has ripe, fleshy fruit, with rich and supple texture and bright fresh acidity. Arriving just in time for summer, this is the perfect white to pair with tangy or creamy cheeses and cool melon.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

McKenzie Bottled-in-Bond Wheated Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-04-2019
A delicious bourbon. I love the rich texture and sweet cereal aromas that the wheat offer. Dried apricot and citrus come through the butterscotch and vanilla notes. Mild soft baking spices, and caramelized wood round out the finish. This whiskey tells a story with beginning middle and end. Either sipping straight or in classic Old Fashioned, this whiskey is a pleasure unto itself.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

1995 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-07-2019
What a treat this wine is! 22 years on lees has truly done something wonderful here. The wine shows a deep honied color and complex earthy aromas of mushrooms, beeswax. On the palate it has a salty nuttiness that fills the mouth. The taste is intense and complex. Indeed, this is not a wine that I would pour for a cocktail hour, but perhaps served with a savory course centered around wild mushrooms or foie gras.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2012 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-07-2019
I love drinking Pinot Munier champagnes, but rarely do you see 100% Munier. Le Brun grows these grapes on two small lots in his backyard--one planted in 1950 and the other in 1902! Barrel aged in old burgundy barrels, this wine is rich and structured. The finish is long revealing a deep and complex wine. As Champagne continues to evolve I have to imagine that more high quality producers turning to Munier in hopes of making wines like this.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2018 A.A. Badenhorst "Secateurs" Chenin Blanc Swartland
Review Date: 05-06-2019
This wine is killer. Rich chalky texture and juicy acidity support the wafting aromas of tangy stonefruit and wild herbs--apricot, kaffir, fennel. While this fresh but structured wine has no overt oak, but has plenty of body and texture on its own. While a wine like this is quite versatile for food pairing, it may be perfect for meaty fish like halibut or cod, roasted or grilled, with garlic and lemon for the tame or mango mint salsa for the adventurous!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Raul Perez La Vizcaína "Las Gundiñas" Bierzo
Review Date: 04-09-2019
There's something incredibly compelling about Mencia. There's a dark, earthy spiciness to this wine. But what is most compelling comes out after the wine opens up in the glass, even after just a few minutes. The profile shows graham cracker, cinnamon pastry, with subtle dark fruit fruit, and a wet gravelly earthiness reminiscent of desert rain. This is all supported by a surprisingly dense structure, chalky tannins and fresh acidity. With somewhere between a light to medium body, this wine is perfect for salty, crispy tapas--jamon Iberico, olives, cured or crispy snacks and Spanish cheeses.
Price: Hidden View Price

Glenmorangie "Allta" Private Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-18-2019
At first whiff, I thought I was picking up something vinous, but I'm thinking now, its a combination of delicate fruit aromas I normally associate with wine. On the nose, fresh stone fruit and citrus floral's lead with a dusty earthiness not far behind. On the palate, I pick up a little more brown sugar, buttery creaminess and vanilla spice. On the finish, some darker baking spice and rich orange oils become more pronounced. I love this scotch for it's seamless marriage of delicate and elegant aromas, with rich deep texture and complexity.
Price: Hidden View Price

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
Seven years on lees does magical things to champagne. The bead is incredibly fine with a mousse that tickles the palate. Of course this wine also offers lovely brioche-y and red apples, with a lingering flavor of apple skin, reminding you to go back for another sip.

Baron-Fuenté "Grande Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This champagne over-delivers. With three years on lees, The Baron-Fuente "Grand Reserve" is perfect for the champagne aficionado constantly pursuing a soft creamy texture. Frankly, this highly refined wine is an incomparable value.