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- Collector's Corner: Yes
- Item #: i_350102Bottle Size: 6LWine Advocate: 94+eROBERT PARKER 94+ POINTS: "The 2005 Alion has a captivating perfume of smoke, pencil lead, violets, truffle, cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is medium to full-bodied, firm, sweetly-fruited, layered, and splendidly balanced. It has several years of aging potential and will offer prime drinking from 2013 to 2025."
- Item #: i_200580Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "Only the second time this cuvee has been 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 ERA is a blend of all the single vineyards and what Jean considered the best wine. I can't argue with him. This wine offers awesome notes of crème de cassis, crushed violets, crushed rocks, hints of mountain scrub brush, and lead pencil shavings. Deep and full-bodied, it has sweet tannins, no hard edges, and a great, great finish. There are 900 cases of this brilliant wine which will benefit from 2-3 years of bottle age and cruise for two decades."
- Item #: i_200340Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Located in an ancient volcanic zone in the Sonoma County, Knights Valley (pictured above) offers incredibly unique and diverse soils with a climate perfectly suited to Bordeaux varietals, as demonstrated by the delicious wines made by Peter Michael, Keplinger and Beringer. Anakota is one of Knights Valley's stars that produces wines that personify the rustic elegance and spirit of this volcanic area. With Mount St. Helena looking down upon the vineyard, prevailing westerly winds pass over a large, cold pond and blow uphill, parallel to the rows of vines. These cooling breezes slow down the ripening of the grapes and result in wines that are packed with elegance, complexity and finesse. The wines are crafted by Pierre Seillan, whose deft hand has also created 100 point wines at Verite!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Helena Montana Vineyard (100% Cabernet Sauvignon) comes from a vineyard that contains more volcanic rock. Deep purple-black in color, it reveals slightly tarry notes to begin, soon opening out to beautiful black cherry, black berry and warm cassis scents with hints of cigar box, charcuterie, licorice and Indian spices. The palate is medium to full-bodied, with a rock-solid frame of grainy tannins and wonderful freshness supporting the densely packed earth layers, finishing very long and savory. This needs time! 920 cases produced."
- Item #: i_201230Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "Arietta's 2014 Merlot Hudson Vineyards is gorgeous. Surprisingly, it is also richer, deeper and more pedigreed than the Quartet and Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage. Exquisitely layered and supple, the 2014 possesses striking depth to match its creamy, inviting personality. Layers of plum, black cherry and mocha built into the supple, inviting finish. Naturally, the 2014 is quite young. It can be enjoyed today, but readers who appreciate the complexity that develops only in bottle will have to be patient."
- Item #: i_203380Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "This estate blend from Howell Mountain was formerly known as "Obsidian." Composed of 74% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot and 4% Malbec, the 2015 Proprietary Red Estate gives a deep garnet-purple color and aromas of spiced blackberries, fruitcake and plum pudding with suggestions of Indian spices, earth and underbrush, plus a touch of violets. Packed with rich, opulent fruit in the full-bodied mouth, it has a solid, fine-grained backbone and plenty of freshness, finishing long and multilayered. 500 cases were made."
- Item #: i_201600Bottle Size: 750mlLast year we attended the inaugural Sonoma County Barrel Auction. This was an event where wineries from throughout Sonoma County gathered to showcase wines that they have not bottled before, and to keep their wines unique, they don't plan on bottling them again! Last week we showcased the unique Pinot Noir from Patz & Hall, perhaps the best Pinot Noir they have ever made. This time, it's an amazing Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon blend from one of our favorite Sonoma County producers...Arrowood!
Arrowood Winery is pure Sonoma. The winery's influence in the region endures since the first wines were made three decades ago. Created exclusively for the Sonoma County Barrel Auction, Winemaker Kristina Weerner selected the top lots from the vintage to craft a unique blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Syrah comes from the Russian River Valley's acclaimed Saralee's vineyard. It is not uncommon for Arrowood's Syrah from this vineyard to score in the "outstanding" range with famed critic Robert Parker, and the Syrah for this blend was co-fermented with Viognier, which actually makes the wine darker and gives it more aromatics and texture. With that, they blended in 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Smothers-Remick Ridge Vineyard, a phenomenal property that sits roughly 600 feet above the valley floor in the northern Sonoma Mountains. It features 18 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon divided into 11 distinctive blocks that mirror the terroir. Known for its small, flavorful berries, this mountain site produced balanced wines with refined tannins. In the end, Kristina decided the best wine was blended of 70% Syrah and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon...and that's what we have here!
Only 10 cases were bottled, and you can't get this wine at the winery, even if you're a member of their wine club! This is a gorgeous red blend, and it displays a lovely ruby/garnet color with aromas of freshly crushed cherry, raspberry, red currant, strawberry shortcake, vanilla, and hints of oak. After a short bit of time to breathe, aromas of smoke, Asian spices, and grilled meat begin to emerge. On the palate, the subtle hints of spice continues, along with black fruit, black cherry, a briary quality, cured meat, and plum. The finish is fairly long, with pronounced tannins that give a nice frame to the wine. Absolutely delectable, this is a wine that can easily be enjoyed now, but will continue to develop nicely in the cellar for another 7-10 years!
- Item #: i_102127Bottle Size: 720mlWINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS This medium-sweet NV Dassai Migaki 23 Enshinbunri Junmai Daiginjo is too clean, with untraceable floral and fruity scents. To me, the first impression is more like a glass of mineral water. Enshinbunri means filtering by a centrifuge machine, and Asahi Shuzo is said to be the first company in Japan to use one. It seems that almost nothing is left in this sake, but if one wants to understand clean means for Japanese sake, just try this one. Clean and delicate on the palate, it is the purest sake I have ever tried. Rice: Yamada Nishiki. Alcohol: 16%.
The nose on this limited released New Year’s Nama is an amazing array of honey dew melon, cherry, and soda pop aromas. This is an extremely expressive and wonderful sake and everybody should taste this brew at least once in their life. Basically it is the raw or unpasteurized version of their 23% milled Daiginjo that is so very layered and fun. Talk about smooth but with a sneaky tingle, which means it’s alive! Juicy, bright and elegant this sake drinks like a festive occasion. There are bright fruit elements of cherry and melon mixed with powder sugar and vanilla hints. Each sip is a palate dance and the rhythm of this sake is so bright and so fun. If you can dig deep enough look for a nice yeasty vein that reminds you that this sophisticated sake is unpasteurized and super duper premium!
- Item #: i_200830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "CIX stands for 109, because this was originally called "Parcel 109" when Aubert bought the vineyard. Planted in 2008 to Montrachet clone, the 2018 Chardonnay CIX Estate slips sensuously from the glass with beguiling scents of apple blossoms, honeysuckle and orange peel over a core of ripe Bosc pears, coriander seed, white pepper and shaved almonds plus a touch of talc. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has seamless freshness and the most beautifully perfumed personality, finishing long and fragrant."
ANTONIO GALLONI 94-97 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay CIX Vineyard is a seamless, gorgeous beauty. Orchard fruit, mint, white pepper and floral notes all run through this super-expressive, alluring Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. In the glass, the CIX is understated and nuanced rather than overt. I find it absolutely mesmerizing."
- Item #: i_200700Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99" POINTS - "Eastside is a warmer site in Russian River that is composed of very rocky, gravelly soils and planted to Montrachet clone. It is usually harvested second, after Sugar Shack. Wow—the 2018 Chardonnay Eastside has a truly compelling hazelnut/praline character with a core of spice cake, apple pie, peach preserves and clotted cream plus suggestions of cloves, allspice and brioche. Full-bodied, the palate is a powerhouse of savory layers, lifted by fantastic freshness and allowing the beautifully pristine apple and peach flavors to kick in on the long, long finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-98 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Eastside Vineyard is a total stunner. Rich, ample and phenolic in feel, the 2018 possesses tremendous resonance in all of its dimensions. Orange peel, spice, mint, toast and hazelnut all build in this creamy, super-expressive Chardonnay. Today, the Eastside Vineyard just dazzles."
- Item #: i_200845Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "One of the last vineyards picked, this section of Hyde vineyard in Carneros is planted to Corton Charlemagne clone on St. George rootstock. The 2018 Chardonnay Larry Hyde and Sons leaps from the glass with vivacious fresh grapefruit, lemon peel, orange blossoms and lime cordial notes with nuances of fresh ginger, hay, sea spray and chalk dust. The full-bodied mouth explodes with the whole citrus-fruit flavor spectrum—lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruit on steroids—complemented by loads of spicy sparks and lifted by amazing freshness, sporting a provocatively creamy texture and finishing long."
ANTONIO GALLONI 93-96 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Larry Hyde and Sons is the result a larger-than-normal crop. Hyde Chardonnays are typically exuberant, but in 2018, the wine is subtle, nuanced and wonderfully understated. I don't think I have tasted a Hyde Chardonnay with this much precision. Lemon confit and bright floral notes perk up this beautifully expressive Chardonnay from Mark Aubert. The 100% new oak is already integrated. In 2018, the Hyde Chardonnay is just sublime. What way to start this tasting."
- Item #: i_200620Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98-100ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 98-100 POINTS - "Mark Aubert notes that this is a complex vineyard. It is planted to four different clones: two Old Wente clones, Mount Eden and Corton Charlemagne. The 2018 Chardonnay Lauren Estate explodes effortlessly from the glass, emitting flamboyant crystalized ginger, cinnamon stick, green tea and lime cordial notions with suggestions of applesauce, lemongrass, honey-roasted almonds and paraffin wax plus a touch of cedar chest. Full-bodied, the palate is wonderfully earthy/savory, delivering a beautiful oiliness to the texture juxtaposed by spine-tingling purity and freshness, finishing with epic length."
ANTONIO GALLONI 95-98 POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard, from vines planted in 1993, is the wine that, for me, brings together all the best elements of the Aubert style. Nuanced and silky, the 2018 is pure class from the very first taste. Lemon oil, white flowers and mint accents add complexity, but there is something about the wine's textural feel that just elevates it."
- Item #: i_200610Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-99 POINTS - "The second vintage of this wine, the 2018 Chardonnay Powder House comes from eight acres of what are now estate-owned vines planted in 2013, to Hyde Old Wente and Mt. Eden clones on Goldridge soils. The vineyard is located in downtown Forestville, right across from the high school. The nose bursts from the glass with notes of lemon meringue pie, lime curd, tangerine peel and candied ginger plus touches of lightly browned toast, cashews and a waft of cedar. The full-bodied palate starts out gentle and floral, expanding into a citrus explosion on the finish, featuring a wicked backbone of freshness and loads of compelling savory sparks that will keep you coming back for more."
- Item #: i_200870Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97-99ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97-99 POINTS - "Produced from Montrachet Clone vines (what Mark Aubert calls "the citrus circus clone") grown in Rutherford AVA, the 2018 Chardonnay Sugar Shack comes bounding out of the glass with a sit-up-and-beg nose of candied lemon peel, green mango, guava and lime leaves plus hints of honeysuckle, toasted almonds, crushed stones and nutmeg. Full-bodied, the palate is electric with concentrated citrus and tropical fruits and the most amazing tension, featuring a satiny texture and very long, pristine finish."
- Item #: i_200615Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96-98+ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96-98+ POINTS - "The 2018 Chardonnay UV-SL comes across as a little shy compared to the Napa Chardonnays, slowly unfurling to reveal oyster shells, peach blossoms, honeysuckle and brine notes over a core of lemon marmalade, creme brulee and pink grapefruit plus a touch of key lime pie. Full-bodied, the palate is like a tightly coiled spring with loads of tension between the racy acid and all the taut fruit, finishing very long and very minerally. This should be very long-lived!"
- Item #: i_202630Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 95If you have ever thought about venturing into Oregon Pinot Noirs, now is your time! And if you are an Oregon Pinot Noir zealot, now is your time! 2015 is going down in the record books as one of the best vintages in the history of the state, with warm weather throughout most of the growing season, and the sun shining bright during harvest. The wines are forward, inviting, complex, and nuanced. Located in the Ribbon Ridge sub-region of the Willamette Valley, Beaux Freres is planted on steep, contiguous southward facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils, comprised of old marine sediment. With a focus on biodynamic farming, the vines are planted at high density and some vines on the property are 30 years old, with several being own rooted!
WINE SPECTATOR 95 POINTS - "Combines structure with verve, offering richly expressive raspberry, violet and orange peel flavors that take on polish and complexity toward wellbuffed tannins. Drink now through 2028."
- Item #: i_277886Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "Containing the tiniest splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of plum preserves, baked blackberries and cassis with hints of menthol, sandalwood and chocolate box. Full-bodied with soft, seductive tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous, ripe, opulent fruit, it has a decadent spiciness and great length."
- Item #: i_208830Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 96ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "As it often is, the 2014 St. Eden is a showy, racy wine. A rush of dark red cherry, plum, mocha, espresso and grilled herbs gives the wine its opulent, flamboyant feel. Even so the St. Eden shows the natural restraint and mid-weight structure of the year."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 96 POINTS - "Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2014 St. Eden offers up expressive crème de cassis, black cherry compote and blueberry pie notes with hints of cedar chest, baking spices, menthol and pencil lead. Full-bodied, tightly packed, taut and muscular, it has a solid structure of firm, grainy tannins and lovely vivacity coming through on the long, earthy finish."
- Item #: i_204460Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Vinous Media: 96Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "Another gem in the lineup, the 2015 Melbury has a more feminine, elegant, seamless profile that certainly doesn't lack for fruit. Loaded with notions of cassis, blueberries, flowers, and violets, it's ethereal and elegant on the palate, with sweet fruit and opulence galore. It picks up ample tannins as well as mid-palate depth with time in the glass, is perfectly balanced, and has another 3-4 decades of longevity."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "The more time passes, the more I think Melbury may turn out to be one of the most complete wines in the BOND range. The 2016 and 2015 both make a very strong case for that view. Tasted from bottle, the 2015 is exceptionally beautiful and vivid. Blood orange, mint and floral notes add nuance to an unbelievably polished, refined Cabernet Sauvignon. Put simply, the 2015 Melbury is a total stunner and every bit as captivating as it was last year."
ROBERT PARKER 97 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the 2015 Melbury is deep garnet-purple colored with beautiful redcurrant jelly and creme de cassis notes with savory notions of tobacco, black olives and smoked meats plus a waft of lavender. The palate is full-bodied, firm and grainy, with a lively line lifting the perfumed, savory layers, finishing long."
- Item #: i_208870Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 100Vinous Media: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 98 PointsROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 100 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the 2015 Pluribus is deep purple-black colored with minted cassis, pencil shavings and tobacco over a core of black plums, black berry preserves and mulberries plus hints of Chinese five spice and dried lavender. Big, rich, bold and decadent, it has a firm line of super ripe, grainy tannins and fantastic freshness lifting the generous flavors to a long finish."
JEB DUNNUCK 98+ POINTS - "The 2015 Pluribus comes from the highest elevation vineyard in the lineup, located halfway up Spring Mountain on a southeast facing parcel of volcanic and Aiken soils. Classic Spring Mountain conifer and bay leaf notes are balanced by loads of sweet blue fruits, lavender, and exotic flower nuances. As with all the 2015s, it's full-bodied and beautifully textured, with a seamless, pure, layered style that carries the sexy vibe of the vintage beautifully. Drink it any time over the coming 30+ years."
ANTONIO GALLONI 98 POINTS - "All the elements come together beautifully in the 2015 Pluribus, a wine that captures all the best this challenging vintage had to offer. Inky red/purplish fruit, lavender, rose petal, blood orange and mint are some of the many notes that take shape. Powerful and beautifully layered in the glass, the 2015 has more than enough fruit and overall richness to play off the structure that is such a signature of this Spring Mountain wine. Complete, multi-dimensional and stunning in its beauty, the 2015 Pluribus is a fitting conclusion to this flight of 2015s from BOND."
- Item #: i_208800Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsANTONIO GALLONI 97 POINTS - "The Quella is somber and brooding in 2015. Dark cherry, plum smoke, tobacco, leather, spice and scorched earth give the 2015 distinctive baritone inflections. There is quite a bit of density and textural resonance, but at the same time, the Quella is not particularly expressive. Perhaps bottling has affected the Quella more than it has the other wines in the range, as it was quite showy from barrel. I have seen Quella go through a period of reticence after bottling, so I won't be at all surprised if all it needs is time."
JEB DUNNICK 97 POINTS - "The 2015 Quella is a darker, more mineral-laced wine and offers a classic Quella bouquet of black fruits, black truffle, tobacco, and dried earth. It's full-bodied, deep and layered on the palate, with ripe, present tannins and terrific elegance as well as purity. It has the balance and texture to shine today, yet the class to evolve for 20 years or more."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 97 POINTS - "Bottled in early 2018, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Quella gives aromas of blackcurrants, black cherries and mulberries with touches of tobacco, new leather, iron ore and truffles plus a hint of tree back. The palate is full-bodied, muscular and laden with earth and mineral layers, finishing with persistent savory notes."