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September Newsletter

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September Newsletter
Wines of the Month North American Report Champagnes Wines of France
Spirits Sake Beer Smoke Shack
Wine Bar Schedule and Events 2009 Brunello di Montalcino

New Zealand: Pure, Intense, Diverse

New Zealand is a land like no other. New Zealand wine is an experience like no other. The special combination of soil, climate and water, the innovative pioneering spirit of the good folks who live there and their commitment to quality-- this all comes together to deliver pure, intense and diverse experiences. In every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery.

New Zealand extends (1000 miles) from sub-tropical Northland (36° S) to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (47° S). Vineyards benefit from the moderating effect of the maritime climate (no vineyard is more than 80 miles, from the ocean) with long sunshine hours and nights cooled by sea breezes.

When looking at the wines of a region, it is important to learn about the foods they eat. This can give insight into why they make certain wines or why their style of a particular wine is made the way they make it. The cuisine of New Zealand is more varied than many may think-- while the sheep-to-people ratio is down to 7-to-1 (from 20-to-1; there are around 30 million sheep to about 4.5 million people as of 2011), lamb is still very important to the Kiwis.  Seafood, naturally, given their locale, works well, also, and is a major part of their collective national menu as well as an important export.

English cuisine (moreso Scottish) was probably overall  the most influential (for the non-Māori population) on New Zealand until the late 1980s when immigration was opened a bit, seeing more people arrive from East Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia, bringing their foods and traditions with them. These foods, in time, have been adopted and added to the overall cuisine of the land. And how do they match with the wines?

As Sauvignon Blanc is king, the main grape and wine grown and made in NZ (73% of all white wines grown in NZ are Sauvignon Blanc; they grow more whites than reds by more than a 3-to-1 ratio), the familiar sea foods as well as 'newer'  more Asian-influenced selections pair quite well with the native white wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling follow Sauv Blanc in the grapes grown category). New Zealand is also known for their cheeses, both for consumption and export, as well as excellent fruits and veggies-- with their temperate climate they can grow more than world-class grapes!

For the reds, Pinot Noir is the boss (70% of all NZ reds), followed by Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec/Cab Franc. With all those sheep, you need a bit of Pinot around. New Zealand wine is distinctive for its purity, vibrancy and intensity. The long ripening period - a result of cool temperatures - allows flavor development whilst retaining fresh acidity, a balance for which New Zealand wines are renowned.  While many of these wines are excellent to enjoy solo, by looking at the foods they enjoy with these wines, we find a great blueprint for fantastic future meals. (Oh, by the way, lobster is their top seafood export, mussels not too far behind... see SAUVIGNON BLANC!).


The Brajkovichs are nationally recognized as a founding family of the New Zealand wine industry who brought wine making knowledge with them from their native Croatia.  The current generation is internationally recognized as producing world-class Chardonnay. They produce a Burgundy-influenced style of Chardonnay that features indigenous yeasts, extended lees aging and malolactic fermentation. The Kumeu River Chardonnay and the Matés Vineyard Chardonnay, are arguably the best in New Zealand and have been named in the Top One Hundred Wines of the world by the Wine Spectator on more than one occasion.   Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator magazine wrote, “Kumeu makes the best, most long lived Chardonnays in New Zealand.”



Kumeu River Chardonnay is drawn from six different vineyard sites in the Kumeu Region.  The Chardonnay from this vintage is ripe, rich and beautifully concentrated.  Delightful peach, yellow apple and hazelnut aromas along with a silky texture are characteristics of this wine. This wine will pair well with fish and shellfish.

$16.98 750ml [380620] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



The “Maté's” Chardonnay is a rich, complex, full-bodied wine with delicious flavors of citrus, lemon, honey and butter.

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - “The 2010 Maté’s Vineyard Chardonnay is also a bit closed, displaying a chalky, lemon / lime, orange peel and jasmine  nose with a hint of honeyed toast. It has a tightly knit texture with layers of citrus and mineral flavors, lifted crisp acidity and a long finish. Medium-bodied, it is built for the long haul and should drink from 2014 to 2021+.”

INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR 92 POINTS - “Pale, bright straw-yellow.  Musky pear, apricot, apple, lemon oil and a hint of smoky minerality on the nose.  Juicy, smoky and dry, with lovely citrus lift giving the middle palate a perfumed quality.  Silky-smooth, broad and very concentrated.  Finishes ripe and long, with a firm spine of citrus fruits and minerals.  This showed more structure and acidity with 24 hours in the recorked bottle, along with an intriguing saline complexity.  A terrific New Zealand chardonnay.”

$39.98 750ml [378862] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Tiki Estate Wines

Tiki is a relatively new boutique producer making estate wines with vineyards in Marlborough and Waipara. Tiki’s estate vineyards are all farmed sustainably with the wines strongly reflecting the varietal character of the grapes.



100% of the fruit for this wine was sourced from Tiki’s Rewa Vineyard in the Upper Wairau Valley in Marlborough.  Aromas of honeysuckle, melon and quince meld together to create the nose of this wine which is further enhanced by a lovely, perfumed bouquet.  Essence of pear and quince reward taste buds that are further tantalized by the wonderful weight and structure of this wine.  Full flavored and rich, the palate delivers a fantastic combination of ripe fruit flavors with delightfully balanced acidity and hint of residual sweetness which enhances the length.

$18.95 750ml [382997] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Ideal weather led to an excellent harvest with ripe, fresh fruit.  The cool night temperatures helped maintain refreshing acidity and maximize the flavors of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  On the nose, ripe tropical and passion fruit aromas interact with gooseberry and herbaceous notes.  The palate displays a refreshing, zingy wine with fine acidity, which complements the aromatics and leads to a mouthwatering finish.  This wine would pair well with seafood, shellfish and goat cheese.

$14.95 750ml [382928] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Loveblock is the project of Kim Crawford who helped transform the New Zealand wine industry and make Sauvignon Blanc a household name around the world.  Kim Crawford’s Sauvignon Blanc continues to be a huge hit with our customers.  For his new Loveblock wine, Kim Crawford purchased land and planted vineyards on the hilltops overlooking Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. His aim is to create the best wine to express this extraordinary place. New Zealand’s signature varietal tends to be bold and big with pungent aromatics. The Loveblock wine focuses more on texture and finesse, while retaining nice acidity.  It has beautiful aromatics of white peach, melon and subtle herbaceous notes. On the palate, the mouth feel is generous with nice lift, refinement and minerality. Hints of stone fruit and citrus linger on the long finish. This wine is complex and subtle. Think of it as Kim Crawford dressed up for a night on the town.

$19.98 750ml [383090] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Named after one of the peaks near the vineyard where The Ned's grapes come from, this is a personal project for Marlborough native Brent Marris, proprietor and winemaker, that showcases the Waihopai Valley and fresh, clean flavors that made NZ Sauv Blancs famous. The nose  reveals passionfruit, lemon grass, lime citrus  and a note of plantain/banana.  The palate is viscous and full but streaked through with ample acidity as flavors echo and build upon the scents: citrus, saline minerality, lime blossom, pear, chalk. Enjoy this with fresh fish, chips, lemon wedges. Even better? Do so at your favorite beach.

$12.95 750ml [381001] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



The Ned's Pinot Noir vines are planted in the deep clay loams of the Southern Valley, regarded as the finest Pinot Noir terroir in Marlborough. The vines are cane pruned and meticulously tended to achieve a naturally balanced crop of intensely flavored fruit. Sourced from the renowned Benmorven and Slopes vineyards, the 2013 vintage was naturally low yielding, with a long ripening period that has ensured optimal fruit expression and tannin ripeness. The nose is a pleasant mix of red fruits and brown spices, ripe cherry and strawberry with sarsparilla and earth. Cherry and cranberry fruits, a mixture of foward sweetness and ample acidity, merge with darker red fruits and a hint of peppery spice, black tea, leading to a nicely resolved, fruit-filled finish.

$17.98 750ml [381029] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994. Their Pioneer Block wines are made from small parcels of outstanding fruit from specialist vineyard sites prized for their individual terroir characteristics.  "Snap Block" or "Block 18" was originally an apple orchard growing the Snap variety on the fertile and free-draining soils of this site-- which produce extremely healthy vines.  With their maritime climate, this is a cooler area with a longer ripening season. The nose is rife with citrus, gooseberry, minerality, herbs and a drop of cream.  It's brash, bold and beautiful.  The palate leaps with fresh fruit and vibrant acidity, citrus, hints of herbaceous grass and mixed tropical fruits, whipped clover honey and another hint of cream, all within a lush framework kept aloft by the intense, intrinsic acidity.  This will easily cut through and pair with shellfish quite well.

$21.98 750ml [378281] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Greg Melick wasn’t sure which was worse: his Mum finding out that as a young lad he’d gambled and won at Werribee race course or – that he’d subsequently spent his winnings on wine…  and so began Greg’s love affair with wine.  Greg and Francis Douglas had been interested in acquiring or establishing a vineyard for many years. In 2002 Greg finally found the ideal site, in the cooler southern Tasmania, which consisted of approximately 14 hectares of grazing land on well-drained north east facing slopes, with cracking clay over a calciferous base. The site was also frost free.  Robert Drew was contracted to establish the original vineyard for planting – which has now been planted with 2.9 hectares of Riesling and 3.8 hectares of Pinot Noir. The nose on this Tasmanian Riesling is lush and inviting, an attractive blend of ‘Mosel meets Down Under’, with notes of mixed stone fruits intertwined with streaks of mineral and a hint of camphor/diesel. The palate counters rich viscosity and a touch of sweetness (R9 references the just-under 9 grams per liter of sugar) with scintillating acidity and minerality: superb balance. Flavors combine spring florals and white peach with  tropical lime and river rock.
Note: We know Tasmania is not part of New Zealand-- but this wine is too good not to include whilst our eyes are focused down that way...

$34.95 750ml [381630]



It all began in the early 1990s, when the owners of five newly-planted vineyards in Bannockburn, Central Otago, shook hands and decided to work together to produce wine under one label, Mt. Difficulty. The handshake bound the owners of Molyneux, Mansons Farm, Verboeket Estate and Full Circle until 2004 when Mt. Difficulty Wines Ltd was formed, and the majority of the individual vineyards passed into the ownership of the company. As a result, Mt. Difficulty Wines Ltd now owns some of the oldest vineyards in the Bannockburn sub-region of Central Otago in New Zealand's rugged South Island. The vine age gives these wines, particularly the Pinot Noirs, extra complexity and concentration. The Bannockburn area is internationally recognised as one of the few places in the world outside Burgundy where the pernickety Pinot Noir variety has found a home. Parts of New Zealand and cooler areas on the western seaboard of the United States are the only other regions where Pinot Noir seems to truly flourish.
The nose is filled with bright fruit, sweet cherries and mixed red fruits, light spice, leather and a background floral perfume.  The bright red cherry fruits are tempered nicely on the palate with excellent acidity and richer flavors: pomegranate, cherry tobacco, black tea, dark spices and plums.  Very drinkable, enjoyable Pinot.

$19.98 750ml [377999] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Set majestically in the rugged mountainous beauty of Central Otago in the South Island of New Zealand, this privately owned producer is committed to enhancing the environment with both their organically certified estates and winery and their ‘hands on‘ involvement in the conservation of New Zealand’s native birds, the Saddleback and Mohua. Passionate wine producers and estate owners, Lindsay McLachlan and Greg Hay, have a philosophy of producing wine that is truly representative of the Central Otago region, drawing only the very best hand-picked fruit from 11 sites around the Lowburn, Bendigo and Gibbston sub regions.  In its short history it has been an impressive high achiever, with its wines winning numerous prestigious awards and trophies around the world. Kiwi Burgundy. The nose is filled with smoky plum, cherry reduction, a touch of bramble wood, grilled fig, cola berry. In the mouth, raspberry, strawberry, pomegranate fruits lead the charge. Touches of fig, dried spice and cigar box fill the corners as uplifting acidity and silky tannins bind and complete the wine. Complex yet approachable, balanced and extremely tasty, share this and be the hero.

$28.99 750ml [303907]

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The North American Report


The new vintage of Harper Voit Pinot Blanc is here. For the fans of the 2012 the new vintage will not disappoint. Drew Voit is the former winemaker and vineyard manager of Shea Cellars. Drew is now focusing on his own wines, making small amounts of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. There are only 300 cases of the new Pinot Blanc. With a little over 200 acres of Pinot Blanc planted in the Willamette Valley there is not a lot of Pinot Blanc around. Drew sources fruit from two vineyards: Amity Vineyard in Eola Amity Hills and Meredith Mitchell in McMinnville. The wine is barrel fermented in used French oak and aged surlie. Pinot Blanc will not blow you away with a powerful nose (like a Chardonnay or Viognier), but they can be exceptionally aromatic and very interesting.  Reflecting the beautiful vintage, the fruit quality of the wine is bright, accompanied by laser-like acidity, honeyed aromatics, a savory, complex mid-palate showing good stone fruit, and a lengthy, saline, crisp and clean finish.

$17.98 750ml [228510] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



While the Twomey wines were started by the owners of Silver Oak, Twomey was fast-tracked to create its own identity.  Well, judging by the fact that we have sold out of their wines each and every year, we think it’s a success!  In our opinion, the Pinot Noirs have been the highlight of each year’s release, and with 2012 being a vintage of amazing quality, we don’t expect this to be around for long!  The fruit comes from Twomey’s own Momument Tree Vineyard, as well as Ferrington Vineyard.  Both vineyards have naturally low yields and are sustainably farmed!  Aged in 50% new French oak for 12 months, this is a complex wine that combines the bright acidity of western Anderson Valley with the riper fruit characteristics of Boonville, showing a dark cherry-red color and a nose of rose petals, very ripe strawberries, cut hay and toffee.  It has a juicy entry followed by a creamy texture and a hint of minerality on the finish.  With proper cellaring, this wine will give drinking pleasure through 2023.

$42.98 750ml [275022] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Each and every year, Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon is regarded as one of the finest red wines to come out of Napa Valley.  Their wines are held in high esteem and are sought after by many collectors, connoisseurs and sommeliers-- and last year’s released earned a perfect 100-point score!  Organically farmed for more than a quarter century, Spottswoode’s Estate Vineyard lies on the western side of St. Helena, in the northern part of the Napa Valley.  The soils are alluvial clay loam, and provide good water drainage, which makes the berries smaller and concentrates flavors.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Spottswoode’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon is beautiful, immediate and impeccable in its balance. The 2011 doesn’t have the layered, explosive personality of some of the iconic vintages, but it isn’t too far off that level. Spottswoode fans should drink the 2011 relatively early, while some of the more powerful, structured vintages age. I will not be surprised if the 2011 turns out to be one of the jewels of this vintage. The medium-bodied structure argues for early drinking, but there is more than enough energy and acidity to suggest the 2011 will age gracefully for a number of years. Incidentally, the 2011 is the first Spottswoode Cabernet under 14% in a decade. Once again, the winemaking team led by Aron Weinkauf has done a fabulous job. The 2011 is 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petite Verdot. Drinking window: 2015 - 2026.”

$150.00 750ml [277490] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
$315.00 1500ml [262615] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Last year, Prisoner Wine Company released two new wines, one of which was a Cabernet Sauvignon-based red named Cuttings.  That 2011 was absolutely a tremendous success, and we are pleased to announce that the 2012 has just landed!  Made from the same vineyard sources as last year, this year they added fruit from Stagecoach Vineyard, one of the more sought-after properties in the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley!  Aged in 40% new oak for 14 months, the wine has an intense and alluring aroma of ripe plum reduction layered with baking spices, hints of cocoa powder and cigar box.  The palate is velvety and dense with flavors of black cherry, cola and freshly roasted coffee beans.  Soft tannins evolve into a plush and lengthy finish.

$54.95 750ml [245010] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Back in 1978, Ric Forman made the decision; that decision was to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay in amounts small enough so that he could personally be as meticulous as he felt necessary, without anybody getting in his way.  Pretty much since his first vintage, his wines have been hard to get, with the majority of his wines being sold directly off his mailing list.  We have typically received a small allocation, and this typically sells out within a few months, but before it does, we felt the need to let you know about this gem, even if it will be gone in a short amount of time!  A passion for a more austere Chablis style from this noble grape has been Ric’s goal for more than 36 years.  This Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed and exclusively fermented in Burgundy barrels.  Left sur lie for 7 months (aged on the dead yeast cells, common in Burgundy), the wine is only racked once during its 9 months of barrel aging, with the secondary fermentation intentionally inhibited.

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - “Ric Forman’s 2012 Chardonnay jumps from the glass with bright lemon, mint, crushed rocks, citrus and slate. As always, the Forman style is all about cut, focus and energy. At times, the Chardonnay is Meursault inflected, with tons of white stone fruits, pears, crushed rocks and pure energy. Readers who enjoy bright, chiseled Chardonnays will adore the 2012. The 2012 spent seven months on its lees, and the malo was blocked, in classic Forman style.”

$41.98 750ml [262605] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Linne Calodo & Slacker

Back in the mid-1990s, there were a few young bucks that were about to do their part to put Paso Robles into the limelight that this region so justly deserved.  One of these people was the forward-thinking Mat Trevisan.  He grows grapes, makes wines and fosters an environment that shies away from traditional rigidity that can be the norm for other wineries.  All his wines are blends, and while there is a certain preference for each wine’s individual style, he is not afraid to change the blend when he feels it will make the wine better.  In any given year, Matt crafts seven to ten blends using a myriad of varietals: Rhône, Zinfandel as well as other esoteric varietals from around the world.

The winery’s name of Linne Calodo comes from the specific type of soil on the property, which defines the percentage of limestone and chalk in the soil.  The Linne Calodo wines are driven by four factors: vineyard location, uncompromising viticultural practices, minimalist winemaking and the desire to learn from experience. The vineyards are farmed sustainably and the crop loads reflect the natural balance of the vine.  Linne Calodo believes in harvesting at the peak of ripeness to produce wines that are rich and concentrated in both flavor and texture.

In addition, they have now introduced a new lineup of wines called Slacker!  In 2003, Linne Calodo’s first vintage of Slacker was born and through 2010 continued to be a portfolio staple until they totally slacked and forgot to make it again.  The ethos of Slacker was always described by winemaker Matt Trevisan as, “wine representing not only the winemaker, but the idea that wines should be fun and relaxed.”  Forever akin to the Slacker lifestyle, they decided to bring back the Slacker name in a much more appropriate way.  Now its own label, Trevisan crafted two fun blends that showcase his ability to constantly keep creating and pioneering the exciting possibilities of the Paso Robles wine region.  These are small production wines that sell out quickly each and every year, so get on it fast! 



A blend of 47% Syrah, 38% Grenache, and 15% Mourvedre, the 2012 Professional Slacker is a Hero wine.  Delicate notes of cinnamon, allspice, and West Paso sage lead to a flavor explosion of bright plum encased in slightly toasted pie crust.  The subtle acidity of this wine makes it refreshing and enjoyable in a variety of situations.  Pull a cork at the end of a hard day; pull a cork to cheer up your SLACKER friends.  This wine is anything but a SLACKER!

$47.95 750ml [265800] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



A blend of 38% Tempranillo, 28% Grenache, 22% Mourvèdre, and 12% Tannat, the 2012 Slacker Stereotype is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  The first Tempranillo-driven wine that Linne Calodo has produced, this wine is rich and lush.  This wine has a velvety palate with hints of boysenberry jam, a deep ruby color, and a charismatic presence.  While the blend is an homage to the magnificent Spanish blends, this wine is entire Californian in style!  Enjoy with your friends and see if they can pick the varietals; there is nothing STEREOTYPICAL here!

$47.95 750ml [265810] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



A blend of 77% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 11% Grenache, this is a gorgeous wine that tells the story of pursuit. A 100% estate wine that starts its life in concrete, whole cluster Syrah is co-fermented with Grenache and Mourvèdre. Left on the skins for 35 days, the wine exhibits dark complexities of fig, licorice, cassis, raspberry, boysenberry, cure meats, and dried sage.  Rich, juicy, full-bodied, and definitely full-throttle, this is only the second vintage of this wine, and Matt believes it’s a wine with this structure will last for a decade or more!

$67.95 750ml [277950] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Red wines are the primary focus for Linne Calodo, but contrary to popular belief, Linne Calodo does produce an amazing white wine.  There’s just so little of it that it usually sells out before it hits the shelf!  Here, Matt sticks with white Rhône varietals, blending together 57% Grenache Blanc, 20% Picpoul Blanc, 14% Viognier and 9% Roussanne.  The first two varietals bring fresh, lively, and zippy notes, while the Viognier brings aromatics, and the Roussanne weight.  You end up with a wine that’s got more body than a Sauvignon Blanc, but it’s not quite as heavy as a Chardonnay.  This wine is extremely aromatic, with a bouquet and flavors of honeysuckle, acacia flowers, pears, flint apple, and citrus.  Medium- to full-bodied, yet fresh, clean and amazing, this might be one of the best white wines to come out of Paso Robles!

$47.95 750ml [277930] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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Wine of the Month


Founded in 1962 as a growers’ co-operative, Bodegas San Alejandro (BSA) is located in the tiny town of Miedes, about 55 miles north of Madrid in the province of Zaragoza. Today, over 350 local growers farm nearly 3,000 acres of vineyard in the Calatayud winegrowing region to supply the grapes they use for Las Rocas. Primarily Garnacha (Grenache), with Tempranillo and Syrah, this red blend is a powerful reminder of how well these grapes can thrive in northeastern Spain and how good the wines made from them can be when in the right hands. This is the exact type of wine we constantly look for when it comes to our wine of the month program: the quality and value are both very high, the cost is quite reasonable. That’s pretty much it, in a nutshell.

The nose is rich and multilayered, with lots of dark fruit scents, blackberries, dark plums, meshed with Dutch licorice, graphite, earth, exotic florals, cigar box and peppercorn. Black fruits dominate on the palate but are balanced with good acidity. The mouthfeel is lush but not over-the-top, as the fruits play with baking spices, earthy minerality and a soupçon of black pepper. The mid-length finish reverberated with the dark fruit theme, receding gently. Perfect late summer, early fall wine-- get away one more weekend, or keep the grill handy for that last barbecue as this wine will help the sun shine just a bit longer.

9.95 750ml [381403] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Wine of the Month 2


Since 1936, the Palamà family has been making wine on their small estate in the warm climes of the deep South of Italia, in Puglia. This wine (A blend of 80% Negroamaro and 20% Malvasia Nera) is expressive, rich, and robust on the palate, with an elegance that comes only from small productions and expert craftsmanship.

The nose is lucious and fruit-filled with notions of dark red fruits, black raspberry, boysenberry, pomengrante and red plum; spice and dark florals complement the fruit nosings. Upon tasting both the lush palate weight and excellent acidity manifest quickly-- flavors of strawberry tea, earthy, fresh-tilled soil, and dark spices persist nicely, riding a mixed fruit mélange wave toward a lengthy, tasty finish.

$11.95 750ml [382062] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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This past July we conducted an enlightening tasting at the Wine Bar called “Low Dosage Champagnes: Fad or Fabulous?”  The decisive verdict was that all ten bottles were fabulous in their own right and bore little resemblance to the anemic and painfully acidic non-dosed Champagnes that plagued the market just  a decade or so ago.   Notably absent at this tasting were the Champagnes of Benoît Tarlant who is arguably Champagne’s leading proponent of sugar free fizz.  Always a bit outspoken, Tarlant asserts: “I am not a cane sugar or beet sugar maker, I produce grapes.”  He contends that dosage masks the terroir of his Champagnes which he labors so hard to capture.

Omitting Tarlant’s Champagnes in our Wine Bar event was simply due to the fact they have been unavailable to us in recent years.  Thankfully things have finally changed and the firm has secured a quality importer for California.  Though our experience with Tarlant dates back to late 1990s, we must say these latest releases are their best yet.   While global warming may be playing a role, the real key to this improvement is the family’s relentless tweaking of their farming and winemaking practices.  Great zero dosage Champagnes require pristine grapes that are picked considerably riper than the Champagne norm.   At Tarlant, viticulture is conducted with respect for the environment firmly in mind, and no chemical pesticides or fertilizers are ever used.  Benoît’s father, Jean-Mary, implemented working with cover crops between the vine rows back in 1996.  Another one of Benoît’s prime goals is, “to show the wine naturally with its natural acidity”, so malolatic fermentation is always avoided.  To harmonize the malic acid without relying on dosage, Tarlant employs several alternative strategies such as using barrel fermented wines in his blends for textural richness.  Batonnage (lees stirring) was conducted on these barrel fermented wines imparting additional mouthfeel while helping them complete their first fermentation.  Extended aging on yeast after the second (bottle) fermentation contributes further roundness and depth.  These, and a host of other techniques, have given birth to this impressive trio of bone-dry Champagnes that dazzle the palate with an uncommon precision, intensity and refinement.



This, Tarlant’s signature cuvée, is a tri-lateral blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay composed of 55% 2007 harvest (fermented in stainless steel) with barrel fermented reserve wine from 2006 (15%), 2005 (15%), and 2004 (15%).  Champagne authority Peter Liem tasted this Champagne in 2012 a month after disgorgement with the following comments:  “While this is full-bodied and rich in flavor, it’s driven by a vibrant, racy undercurrent of malic acidity, enlivening the aromas of apricot, pear, guava and fig.  It feels tense and linear, particularly since it was only disgorged in September of 2012, yet it also appears exceptionally complete for a non-dosé, its fruit flavors complicated by a savory, earthy minerality.”  Our sample, which was disgorged in September of 2013, and had benefited from nearly a year of cork aging, was not at all austere.  We were most taken with its perfectly meshed orchard fruit, citrus and chalk flavors that were deliciously accented by undertones of cinnamon and other savory brown spices.  A tremendous ultra Brut that still has room for improvement.

$49.98 750ml [379506] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Tarlant is one of the few producers in Champagne with the courage and expertise accept the challenge of making a non-dosé rosé.  As Benoît says, “The question with zero dosage rosé was how to get the acid and tannin to live together.” One of his secrets is to blend in fully physiologically ripe Pinot Noir possessing soft, mature tannins.  Once again Peter Liem’s comments are from a freshly disgorged bottle.  He writes:  “For the first time, Tarlant has included a portion of Pinot Noir in the base blend of the Rosé Zéro, vinified as white wine. This accounts for about 20 percent of the white portion of the wine, with the rest Chardonnay, and about 13 percent of the total blend is composed of red wine made from both Pinot Noir and Meunier. As expected for being based on 2008, this is brisk and racy, showing tart, high-toned notes of cranberry, redcurrant, lemon peel and grapefruit pith. It remains pervasively citrusy throughout the long, stony finish, kept tense and focused by bright acidity.  Give it some time to settle down, or else serve it alongside fatty foods to bring out more harmony. Last tasted: 11/12.”  Our sample bottle, which was disgorged in June of 2013, delivered effusive aromas of wild strawberries, Swiss Miss Cocoa and vanilla curd while the palate crackled with raspberry and strawberry sensations that eventually morphed into lemon-kissed carob notations in its gentle, long tapering finish.

$59.98 750ml [377481] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Tarlant’s tête de cuvée, Cuvée Louis, is simply a stunner.  This is a prodigious, broad-shouldered wonder that earned a near perfect score on our tasting sheets.  It is named for Benoît’s great-great-grandfather, Louis Tarlant, who began estate-bottling Champagne after the First World War.  It’s a 100% barrel-fermented, single-vineyard Champagne crafted from vines over 50 years old in Les Crayons, a chalky parcel in in the village of Oeuilly near the Marne River that’s planted with a 50/50 mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Anotnio Galloni tasted this current incarnation of “Louis” back in May inking this rave:  “Apricots, dried pears, spices, flowers, honey and hazelnuts meld together in the NV Cuvée Louis.  Warm, toasty and resonant to the core, the 1999 is built on gorgeous breadth and pure volume. Readers who like rich, oxidative Champagnes will love the Cuvée Louis.  This release is based on the 1999 vintage, with 15% reserve wine from the previous release (1998, 1997, 1996), equal parts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  94 Points.”  This bottle was disgorged in February 2014 with a scant 2 grams/liter dosage.

$84.98 750ml [325831] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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2009 Brunello Di Montalcino:
Partake and Enjoy!

Weather was a key factor for this Brunello di Montalcino vintage, the summer heat in particular, as we saw similar conditions across most of Europe.  While too much heat can be problematic and affect the wines negatively, there are many postives that can work with what nature gives you: vine age and winery practices (i.e. organic/biodynamic farming, gentle extractions) being the most obvious.  Having an experienced winemaker and team are the other key factors to making great wine, regardless of conditions (within reason).

So, overall, many of the 2009 Brunellos are very approachable now and will drink well over the next couple of years, perhaps while waiting on the fantastic 2010s (as well as the powerful 2006s and 2007s) to mature.  They are rich in fruit, fleshy, with soft tannins.  For those who are not into cellaring wines, this is your vintage.  Partake and enjoy!



WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “Vincenzo Abbruzzese’s 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a dense and full-bodied rendition that delivers an enormously floral bouquet of crushed rose petal and dried potpourri with background tones of cinnamon stick, root beer and caramelized brown sugar. Past vintages of this wine have shown great power and structure in the mouth, but the 2009 vintage is veiled and nuanced instead. There’s a silky and tight quality to the tannin backed by a long, polished feel. The wine never feels bulky or dense. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but if you don’t want to wait, it can also be consumed in the near-term. Drink: 2016-2024.”

$89.95 750ml [301488] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “From vineyards in the southern part of the appellation, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova does show some of the hallmarks of the warm vintage. Compared to the base Brunello, the aromas here are slightly less delineated and you do get whiffs of overtly ripe raspberry and blackberry that intermingle with exotic tones of Asian spice, licorice and incense. In the mouth, the wine’s fabric is lush and rich with sweet tannins and opulent consistency. It needs a few more years to flesh out. Drink: 2016-2025.”

$64.99 750ml [381823] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - “An open, resonant wine, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino impresses for its supple personality and gorgeous overall balance. Sweet tobacco, dried flowers, red cherries and menthol wrap around the palate in a deep, fleshy wine loaded with character. Readers will find plenty of near and medium term appeal here. The 2009 finishes with striking aromatics, sweet red fruit and gorgeous, subtle herbal overtones.”

$59.98 750ml [301611] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 92+ POINTS - “From the Colle al Matrichese location east of Montalcino’s city walls, the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino shows a rich fabric that is woven tight with evident strands of black fruit, mesquite smoke, crushed black pepper, licorice, rosemary oil and root beer. The wine leans away from the sweet side of Brunello to the savory side and that is ultimately what makes it so attractive. It is put together thanks to masculine and muscular touches with evocative shadings of smoke and mineral that shift and change as the wine opens in the glass. This bouquet is a moving target that keeps your fixed attention for as long as you have the wine in front of you. And, considering the general quality here compared to many of its peers, that won’t be very long at all. The mouthfeel feels a bit shorter than past vintages and that’s why this wine didn’t score higher.”

$59.98 750ml [302998] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a standout expression with long and polished notes of dried fruit and tobacco presented in a smooth and seamless fashion. It shows good structure and balance but an even prettier nose with ethereal balsam herbs, tar, licorice and pressed violets that emerge as the wine evolves in the glass. The wine hints at a greater evolution to come. Drink: 2017-2022."

$54.98 750ml [303269] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere is aged in both small barrel and larger oak casks. This combination of wood stands up nicely to the natural density and thickness of San Filippo’s fruit. This is one of the wines of the vintage, not just for its sheer confidence and personality, but moreover for the elegant nuances it offers at the back. As the wine evolves in the glass, it slowly imparts dark cherry, campfire, smoke, licorice, root beer and balsam herb. It shows the powerful side of Brunello with ample inner grace. Drink: 2016-2026”

$52.99 750ml [303484] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a classic rendition that is layered high with dark fruit, plum, grilled herb, licorice, cola and pressed flowers. The effects of those aromas are long-lasting and persuasive especially as they wrap sensually around the palate. With 30 months in large oak casks, the wine also shows impressive balance for the vintage with a touch of heat that is offset by the brightness of the fruit and a cleansing touch of acidity. It is a good candidate for drinking over the next five to ten years. Drink: 2016-2024."

$47.98 750ml [303520] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as lush and concentrated with bold fruit tones that wrap smoothly over the palate. The wine is well-balanced and really doesn’t show overt signs of the hot 2009 vintage. In fact, the bright crispness, backed by sharp aromas of chopped mint and blue flower, show the quality of fruit that comes from this historic estates from one of the southern-most and warmest points of the appellation. This is a beautiful effort that will award those who wait a bit longer. Drink: 2017-2025."

$47.99 750ml [303700] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - “The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a fleshy and meaty wine that carries its weight and concentration with grace. The wine oozes personality with a long succession of fruit, herbal and dark spice sensations that leave a lasting impression. Fruit is harvested from the Castelnuovo dell’Abate area and is aged in oak for 36 months. Drink: 2016-2025.”

$44.99 750ml [303510] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



We’ve carried Camigliano Brunello for many years—it’s always a terrific value in this category. With the release of the 2009, we got an early taste in February months before the wine arrived—it was truly delicious and the estate seemed to perform in another ear in the sunny and generous 2009 vintage.

INTERNATIONAL WINE REPORT - “The 2009 Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino opens up nicely as it sits in the glass, bringing aromas of cherries and plums followed by earth, leather, dried floral and hints of spice. It has a medium-full body, which is well balanced. The lovely soft, silky texture makes a seamless transition into the clean finish where berry and spice flavors linger. Best 2015-2026.”

$39.98 750ml [302477] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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Wines of France


A Hi-Time Favorite is back in stock!

WINE ADVOCATE 88-90 POINTS - “Space limitations did not allow complete tasting notes for this Cru Bourgeois, but 2005 is the finest vintage for these wines since 1982. The range of scores for these wines should give readers an idea of just how consistent this vintage is at this level. Given the style of the vintage, most of these wines should be accessible young yet evolve for a decade or more because of their concentration and tannic structure.”

$34.99 750ml [306559] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Phillipe Chavy

Philippe Chavy is the epitome of Burgundian charm. Wise, funny, incredibly modest and utterly approachable, one can easily imagine spending the afternoon chatting with him while enjoying a bottle of his expansive, rich and structured Pulignys and Meursaults. Philippe’s instincts are not solely based on tradition, nor are they based on innovation. Rather, he straddles the line between the two philosophies with a strong sense of pragmatism and a relentless desire to question. While his research and experiments in biodynamic farming are proving to be successful, he is no fool when it comes to understanding the challenges of the Burgundian climate, and he believes ...“one must always remain open to whatever comes,” even if that means compromising ideals to save a crop. That said, Philippe is a natural seeker, and his passion continues to push him to new heights. One walk through the tiny village of Puligny and one is likely to cross several members of the Chavy family! Brothers, sisters, cousins and second cousins grace the name of many a label. However, Philippe’s family domaine was originally founded by his grandfather, Henri Chavy, who began by purchasing his own vineyards throughout Puligny. By the 1950s, Philippe’s father, Albert, began to replant. When Odile Ropiteau of Meursault’s famous Ropiteau family married Albert, she brought her own vineyards to the domaine from Meursault, changing the domaine’s name to Chavy-Ropiteau. For decades, the Chavys sold most of their finished and aged wines to the négoce Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune. Very limited supply!

PHILIPPE CHAVY 2011 BOURGOGNE BLANC $26.99 750ml [333767] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
PHILIPPE CHAVY 2011 PULIGNY MONTRACHET LES CORVEES $89.99 750ml [333769] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
PHILIPPE CHAVY 2011 MEURSAULT NARVAUX $74.99 750ml [333768] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
PHILIPPE CHAVY 2011 MEURSAULT LES CHARMES 1ER CRU $114.99 750ml [333770] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Fashioned from 100% Chenin Blanc grapes planted primarily on schist soil from a variety of plots including Savennieres, Angers and Samur from vines ranging from 20-70 years old. The fruit aromas flavors of this still wine are more muted than some of their bubblies (as one would expect) but over time this white opens nicely to reveal hints of nectarine, white peach and pippin apples on the nose. In the mouth this wine is taut, yet well textured with an old-vine density with leads to a long inter play of juicy orchard fruits and deep seated mineral flavors on the back palate. A serious, yet versatile wine for summer’s lighter fare.

$19.99 750ml [333577] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



ROBERT PARKER 91 POINTS - “Blacker-colored and more broodingly backward, the 2006 Cornas Billes Noires exhibits a touch of toasty new oak in its full, layered, concentrated, stunningly long personality. This is a superb quasi-modern style of Cornas that should be ready to drink in 2-3 years, and last for over a decade. Proprietor Matthieu Barret is another member of Cornas’ younger generation of producers who have embraced the use of smaller barrels as well as more sanitary vinification techniques. The results are wines imbued with good purity, sweeter tannins, appellation typicity, and more approachable styles that retain 15 or more years of aging potential.”

$59.99 750ml [322164] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Southern France

Here are two more wines from one of our favorite importers of French wines, Aliane Wines. They do an amazing job of finding great wines for great prices. Other selections include Patrick Piuze, Pascal Marchand, Pithon Paille and Phillipe Chavy (from Burgundy wines above).



Blending in stainless steel tanks before aging for 10 months in fourdre casks before bottling. Light or no filtration depending on vintage. No fining. Deep blue red color. We find blackberries and the typical regional garrigue (sage and lavender) on the nose. Intense black fruit provides weight and structure, balanced with freshness from the grapes grown on Northern exposure. We find fine tannins on the lingering finish. A great food wine!

$15.99 750ml [333604] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Blending for 2 to 3 months in stainless steel tanks before aging for 18 months in fourdre casks before bottling. Light or no filtration depending on vintage. No fining. Deep red color. We find black fruit, licorice, mint and truffle on the nose. Black cherries burst in your mouth. Intense on the palate. Rich and complex with the weight of the mourvedre balanced with freshness from the grapes grown on Northern exposure. Lingering finish has hint of mint.

$29.99 750ml [333010] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - “Puech-Haut’s 2009 Coteaux du Languedoc Saint-Drezery Quercus – named for a prominent oak tree at this spot in their vineyards, not for oak employed in elevage – represents their exploration of pure Grenache, vinified without de-stemming. Violet and rose petal mingle with scents of strawberry and black raspberry preserves, whose sweet juices richly and caressingly coat the palate, tinged with tamarind and licorice and underlain by a saliva-inducing impression of salted roast meat pan drippings such as I would more have expected from a Syrah- or Mourvedre-dominated cuvee. What’s more, there is a faintly but insistently tart edge to the berries here that offers a sense of excitation. That said, these virtues have to work against considerable sense of alcoholic heat in an otherwise luxuriant finish, even though we’re dealing here with a grape in general notoriously welcoming of high must weights. It should be fascinating to see how this develops over the next several years, but I’m not going to try to handicap it beyond then until I see for myself.”

$53.99 750ml [311138] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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Journeys through Belgium: Dupont
by Trayce Holliday


A classic tale… Of a farmhouse brewery that has been producing world-class Saison under the Dupont name since 1920. The brewery is completely family run and there is a Fromagery as well. Dupont beers are full of life and notable for their rustic “Saison style” and big hop character. They have a huge, rocky, creamy head; a sharp, firm, refreshing attack; and a long, dry, illustrious finish. They are beautifully balanced, complex examples of truly artisanal brewing. Dupont produces fourteen beers (8 of which are avail in the U.S). The beer that would most define their flagship, and my personal favorite is the “Vieille Provision” or simply know as Saison Dupont (item #400095 $8.49). Made entirely of pilsner malt at a gravity of 13.5 plato, the beer is hopped twice with Goldings & Styrians; fermented with the very attenuative house yeast; filtered & re-yeasted with the same strain; primed with sugar; and bottle-conditioned for 6-8 weeks at 73-76 degrees Fahrenheit. It emerges at 6.5% alcohol and has a bold, earthy and slightly lemony nose. It is grassy, dry and complex on the palate with hints of grapefruit and black pepper. The finish is long, dry and refreshing. Once produced only in the winter for summer consumption, the beer had become a cult favorite amongst Belgian farmers until finally imported in the late 80’s by Vanberg & Dewulf, Hallelujah! You may enjoy this crackling, old-world Saison with virtually any kind of food year round. However, if you are looking for sweeter, maltier, higher alcohol beers for the up and coming winter months, then try these delicious Dupont expressions as well:

MOINETTE BRUIN - Sweet and delicious with hints of chocolate, raisin and burnt toffee. Bottled at 8.5% abv.
$8.97 [400078] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

BIERE DE MIEL - Traditional ale flavored with honey. Sweet & rich with mead like character. Bottled at 8% abv.

$11.47 [496881] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Cathan's Corner
by Cathan Cokas

Farmhouse Ales...
From the farm to your house
Imagine yourself as a 19th century farmer in the region containing both French and Belgian influences... winter has arrived and your supplies need to be rationed and used accordingly for the tough months ahead.  Through farm to farm trading, you have accumulated a large surplus of barley and wheat after trading away your overload of rye and decided it is time to brew your annual ale to last you for the year. This is the starting point of the style of ale that was nearly extinct until recently when a major revival, led in part by American craft brewers, brought these historic ales back to forefront of beer drinkers’ palates.  Even Webster’s and Britannica struggle to be able to directly define exactly what comprises farmhouse ales. The most famous style, the Saison, is one that started out in France as a beer brewed in the winter and then stored to be enjoyed in the hot summer months. In those times, beer that was cellared in your barn would be a lot more accessible and palate-pleasing then that of the hard-to-reach well water and fresh water from the local springs.  The tasting notes of saisons and really any farmhouse ale in general is a very eclectic palate-tingling style of beer. The flavors can range from that of spicy seasonal winter ale, fruity dry-hopped pale ale, or a dry rustic saison with the notes of hay and that 'barnyard' essence from where these brews originate from.
In the more modern era, American brewers have taken the traditional “un-defined” style that is farmhouse ales and have drastically introduced their own unique twists that morph this old world style into a modern brew that has seized the craft beer world by storm. Breweries like Boulevard, Prairie, Mystic, Upright, Jolly Pumpkin, Stillwater, Anchorage and a gaggle of others, have started to create their own unique brews that have become some of their flagship lines of beers. There is no real way to say how each beer is similar but it actually is easier to define these beers by their differences. Like that of an artist, each brewer creates a unique style and portrays their own flavor strokes of herbaceous ingredients to create their own masterpieces. No two brews are the same and that is the beauty of the farmhouse ales. The title “farmhouse” encompasses hundreds of different beers that only together in combination can fully define the style for what it is. Come on in and either ask our worldly traveled beer expert Trayce or any of our beer staff and we can show you our full array of farmhouse ales for your end of summer enjoyment!

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Breweries that Distill - Ballast Point, San Diego, CA

True precision. It’s something you can taste. Just ask the people who seek out the venomous Fugu fish, the world’s most methodically prepared delicacy. Ballast Point's Fugu Vodka is no less the result of meticulous attention to detail. Distilled from some of the world’s finest grains and filtered 15 times. Because anything less than perfection is a mortal sin. In San Diego, they have some of the freshest, most authentic Mexican cuisine north of the border. So to flavor these Fugu vodkas, they took inspiration from the tastes served up at their local, neighborhood taco shops: spicy habanero peppers, creamy horchata, and aguas frescas with sweet Jamaica hibiscus or juicy pineapple. The result: three world-class vodkas, infused with local flavor.

BALLAST POINT FUGU VODKA $18.99 750ml [100956]
BALLAST POINT FUGU HABANERO VODKA $18.99 750ml [105175] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
BALLAST POINT FUGU PINA VODKA $18.99 750ml [105176] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button
BALLAST POINT FUGU JAMAICA VODKA $18.99 750ml [105177] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button


The Torrey Pine. Unique to the semi-arid shores of San Diego, but strangely reminiscent of the Juniper tree that embodies the London Dry style. This Old Grove Gin blends the best of both worlds—crafted from freshly cracked, earthy and bold juniper berries, with subtle hints of fragrant rose and locally sourced coriander. For a drink that’s pure and proper, yet anything but contrived.

$23.99 750ml [167695] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Sunshine, ocean breezes and an ice-cold cocktail. Easily one of life’s perfect combinations. Our Three Sheets Rum stirs things up a bit. Crafted from pure cane sugar, rather than molasses, and distilled in a hybrid pot-and-column still, this smooth silver rum is perfect for enjoying straight or mixed. At sea, or on shore.

$24.99 750ml [168872] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



They say everything gets better with age. This rum is no exception. We age our white rum like a bourbon for two years in virgin American oak barrels, introducing hints of toffee and caramel that give way to flavors of vanilla and tobacco. This rum can hold its own in any whiskey cocktail, but we like it served neat. And sipped slowly.

$28.99 750ml [169321] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Beach culture’s quintessential cocktail seems to never go out of style. Our Ballast Point Mai Tai Mix serves up a refreshing twist on this Tiki classic. We start with the essentials—pineapple, lime and other citrus—then add a splash of guava for an extra burst of tropical flavor. Simply mix with some Ballast Point Three Sheets Rum and ice, add garnish, then take it easy.

$6.99 750ml [103507] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

Rogue Spirits, Oregon

Established in 2003, Rogue Spirits creates award winning multi-ingredient small batch spirits, artisan distilled in traditional hand-crafted copper pot stills. No chemicals, additives or preservatives are used.



With over 100 pounds of fresh, hand-peeled cucumber in every batch, Spruce Gin is created using fresh Oregon spruce and 10 other natural botanicals and spices. Rogue Spruce Gin received the Platinum medal and was named the “World’s Best Gin” at the World Beverage Competition in Geneva, Switzerland.

Tasting Notes - Spruce Gin opens with aroma of fresh juniper blossoms and subtle citrus notes. With light-to-medium body, the fruity-yet-dry flavors of cucumber and tangerine transform into a distinct spruce finish. 12 Ingredients: Spruce, Juniper Berries, Ginger, Fresh Cucumber, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Tangerine, Grains of Paradise, Angelica Root & Coriander & Free Range Coastal Water. 90 proof.

$34.99 750ml [101856] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Pink Spruce Gin is Rogue’s Platinum award-winning Spruce Gin aged in Oregon Pinot Noir barrels for 4 – 6 months.

Tasting Notes - Pink Spruce Gin, with a slightly more robust body and mouth-feel, highlights the best of Spruce Gin’s already fruity esters and adds smooth, yet restrained flavors of vanilla, oak and tannins. 12 Ingredients: Spruce, Juniper Berries, Ginger, Fresh Cucumber, Orris Root, Orange Peel, Lemon Peel, Tangerine, Grains of Paradise, Angelica Root & Coriander & Free Range Coastal Water. 90 proof.

$35.99 750ml [100094] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Oregon Single Malt Vodka is made using 100% Risk™ malting barley grown on the Rogue Farm in Oregon’s Tygh Valley Appellation. At the brewery, Rogue Brewmaster John Maier brews the Single Malt wort and ferments it by adding their proprietary Pacman Yeast. After fermentation, at the nearby Rogue Distillery, the Master Distiller distills the Single Malt wort to create Oregon Single Malt Vodka.

Tasting Notes - Oregon Single Malt Vodka is exceptionally smooth and balanced with a unique, characteristic sweetness from the Rogue Farms Risk™ Malt. 3 Ingredients: Rogue Farms Risk™ Malt, Free-Range Coastal Water & Rogue’s Proprietary Pacman Yeast.

$49.99 750ml [103025] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Rogue’s Dead Guy family has a whole new spirit—Dead Guy Whiskey is distilled from the same three malts as Rogue’s Platinum medal-winning Dead Guy Ale. Dead Guy Whiskey, ocean-aged by both the Pacific Ocean and nearby Yaquina Bay.

Tasting Notes - Dead Guy Whiskey has a fresh orange citrus aroma with a delicately sweet, rich malt complex. Medium-bodied, flavors of oak and honey give way to a clean vanilla finish.

$34.99 750ml [100092] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Hazelnut Spice Rum is handcrafted using 100% Cane Sugar and fresh toasted Hazelnuts, grown by Kirk Family Filberts - a family-run orchard located adjacent to the Rogue Farm in Oregon’s Wigrich Appellation. After distilling, it is ocean-aged in Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrels.

Tasting Notes - Hazelnut Spice Rum instantly reveals sweet aromas of toasted hazelnut and brown sugar. Medium-bodied, a sweet blend of vanilla, cinnamon and clove set the stage for an oaky, vanilla and bourbon-like finish. 10 Ingredients: 100% Pure Cane Sugar, Toasted Oregon Hazelnuts, Orange Peel, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and Clove; Champagne Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

$29.99 750ml [103310] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Dark Rum is handcrafted with 100% Cane Sugar in small-batch and aged in used Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey barrels.

Tasting Notes - Dark Rum starts off with crisp aromas of toffee and brown sugar. Medium-bodied, the nose immediately transitions to distinct flavors roasted nuts, spice and sweet oak. 3 Ingredients: 100% Pure Cane Sugar; Champagne Yeast & Free Range Coastal Water.

$32.99 750ml [165015] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Brewmaster John Maier begins by brewing Rogue’s platinum award-winning Chipotle Ale. They distill the ale in small batches using Rogue’s traditional copper pot still, then individually hand-bottle the finished spirit. Chipotle Spirit offers a true taste of the ingredients used to create both the spirit and beer. It is perfect for Cinco de Mayo, beer cocktails or a Bloody Mary.

Tasting Notes - Chipotle Spirit has a sweet, citrus aroma with subtle spice. Light-bodied, the unaltered clear spirit has a lush malt sweetness with lingering flavors of smoked jalapeno from the chipotles used to brew Chipotle Ale. 7 Ingredients: 2-Row & C40 Malts; Crystal & Horizon Hops; Chipotle Peppers; Free Range Coastal Water & Pacman Yeast.

$38.99 750ml [103133]


Anchor Distilling, San Francisco, CA

Anchor Distilling Company (ADC) is part of the newly formed umbrella company, Anchor Brewers & Distillers, an amalgamation of Anchor Brewing Company, Anchor Distilling Company, Berry Bros. & Rudd and Preiss Imports. They are dedicated to carrying out Fritz Maytag's vision of creating very small batches of traditionally distilled spirits at their San Francisco Distillery, based at the historic Anchor Brewery.



Hophead Vodka is distilled entirely from two types of hops from Washington’s Yakima Valley, the same hops used in the creation of some of Anchor’s legendary beers. HOPHEAD vodka captures the fresh, aromatic character of hops without the typical bitterness.

Tasting Notes - Delivers all the delicate fragrance of the hops without the bitterness. 90 proof and unfiltered to maximize the flavor delivery and strength. Highly versatile and performs like a gin when sipped chilled or in a martini. Recommended as the base for a San Francisco Bloody Mary or a San Francisco Vesper, or serve as a chilled shot with Anchor Liberty Ale.

$23.99 750ml [102471] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



This release was distilled in a small copper pot still at the Anchor distillery on San Francisco's Potrero Hill, from a mash of 100% rye malt. Rye was the grain of choice for America's first distillers, and using a mash of 100% rye malt produces a uniquely American whiskey.

$59.99 750ml [162550] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



These releases were distilled in a small copper pot still at their distillery on San Francisco’s Potrero Hill, from a mash of 100% rye malt. Rye was the grain of choice for America’s first distillers, and using a mash of 100% rye malt produces a uniquely American whiskey.

$69.99 750ml [162549] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



Genevieve is a re-creation of the earliest gins, which came to be known as “genever”. The basis of the spirit is a grain mash of wheat, barley, and rye malts, which is distilled in a copper pot still with the same botanicals as the modern “distilled dry gin,” Junípero Gin.

$43.99 750ml [166705] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button



San Francisco's Original Craft Gin, since 1996. Junipero Gin is made by hand in the classic “distilled dry gin” tradition, utilizing more than a dozen botanicals in their natural state, in a small copper pot still at our little distillery on Potrero Hill in San Francisco. The history of gin goes back at least to the mid-1600s in Holland, but its true antecedents are much earlier, those first experiments in the ancient and mysterious art of distilling in the presence of herbs and spices. The predominant flavor and aroma of a modern gin will always come from juniper (dried berries of the “common juniper,” Juniperus communis). But the wonderful challenge for the distiller is in selecting and blending from a wide variety of additional, exotic botanicals in order to impart a uniquely satisfying, balanced character to his gin. At Anchor Distilling they have taken delight in the adventure of researching and experimenting with many such botanicals. The final formula must remain a secret, but most likely you will agree that they have achieved a distinctive, intriguing complexity in theirJunípero Gin: light and crisp and clean, combining a deep and mysterious spiciness with subtle delicacy.

$23.99 750ml [162548] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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By Trayce Holliday


Yamahai is a classic style, typically characterized by big, gamey, funky aromas and flavors. This award-winning sake contradicts the classic style by being mellow, well-balanced and low in acidity. It is loose and relaxed on the palate with notes of roasted chestnuts, brown butter and honey. It can be enjoyed at a range of temperatures from gently warmed to slightly chilled. It pairs well with hearty food like steak, stew, pork belly and funky cheese. Yamahai is a traditional way of making the yeast starter for Sake. Instead of taking 7 days, it takes 30 days to develop the yeast starter when using the Yamahai method. Kampai!

$28.99 720ml [365810] Hi-Time Wine Cellars add to cart button

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The Smoke Shack



The Padron 1964 Anniversary Series line was introduced in 1994 to commemorate Padron’s 30th year of making some of the best, well-respected and top rated cigars in the world. The Padrons released this extremely limited production cigar which is made from the top tobacco harvested from their Nicaraguan farms. The Anniversary lines are some of the rarest and hard-to-find cigars in the world. As one of the larger boutique brands in the cigar world, the Padrons limit the quantity of cigars produced every year, insuring that these cigars are of the highest quality. These box-pressed, medium- to full-bodied beauties are packed with the finest Nicaraguan tobacco aged a full four years.  This aging process creates a very smooth, yet complex flavor. With outstanding flavor from the first light, to the last puff, Padron 1964 is a smoke enjoyed by those who enjoy the finest cigars.

$19.99 [101972]
$19.99 [117552]
$79.99 [109785]



La Anitguedad (the antiquity) is the Garcia’s second project after the highly successful Flor De Antilles cigars. Blended with the same Cuban art authenticity and historic value as Flor De Antilles, La Antiguedad is crafted by master blenders Jose ‘Pepin’ Garcia and Jaime Garcia using super premium Nicaraguan tobaccos. La Antiguedad is a delightful medium to full bodied blend consisting of Nicaraguan binder and filler, finished with a Habano Ecuadorian Rosada wrapper. To ensure the exceptional quality these box pressed delights go through a three and a half year curing process. A fantastic smoke from beginning to finish, get yours now!

$7.99 [105384]
$9.99 [105387]
$9.75 [105386]
$8.99 [105385]
$23.99 [164524]



Grupo De Maestros and the Plasencia family, in collaboration, have created a Montecristo that combines the knowledge of centuries, the expertise of growing superior tobacco and the art and passion of hand crafting the finest cigars. Meticulously harvested and made entire of specially aged vintage tobaccos by the Plasencia family, Espada by Montecritso offers a rich, majestic, complex and deeply satisfying smoke with an even draw and beautiful burn. Espada by Montecristo a cigar of pure taste and true elegance.

GUARD - $12.49 [105388]
$12.49 [105391]
$13.49 [105390]
$43.99 [164524]


The Jetline touch features a state of the art piezo electronic quartz crystal instant ignition system and a powerful wind resistant blue torch flame. Use the Jetline Touch on the go: Whether you are boating, hiking, driving down the coast, on the golf course, or just taking a walk, you’ll get a fast, reliable flame every time you need it!

$87.99 [105398] ***FULL LIFETIME WARRANTY!!!***

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