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- Item #: i_204930Bottle Size: 750mlWith all the strangeness in the world as of late, the seasons continue to change, the sun still shines, the grapes still grow. So finding a particularly delicious rose such as this 2019 Aerena is like a cool ocean breeze hitting the desert: refreshing, welcome and, one might even say, needed!
The nose is filled with scents of fresh fruits, peach and strawberry and other orchard fruits, with a streak of creamy lanolin, spring garden and sea air. In the mouth, the wine is lush and rich but uplifted by a good streak of acidity. Orchard fruits again revel: peach and pear in the lead with a touch of mango, sea salt and creamsicle on the lengthy, tasty finish. This is a beautiful rosé: impeccably balanced, refreshing and delicious.
At 12.9% ABV, this wine is not too big for a little backyard daytime drinking as the sun starts to stretch out the days. Blackbird Vineyards’ winemaking duo, Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno, are the artisans behind Aerena and we have featured their wines before as they offer tons of value for the entry price and this rosé is no different.
A blend of Carignan and Mourvèdre, this is a Vin Gris rosé where the juice is bled off the (dark) red wine grapes (similar to how they make blanc de noirs in Champagne), removing the grape skins from adding color or flavor compounds to the finished wine. Where the wine comes from is worth mentioning-- the del Barba vineyard is in the town of Oakley, within the San Francisco Bay AVA, an area that encompasses a historic California wine-growing region. Planted in the late 1800s in the sandy banks of the Bay Delta, Tom del Barba is the fourth-generation farmer who tends these organically-farmed 135-year-old Carignan and Mourvèdre vines. The climate is moderated by the cool evenings enjoyed by proximity to where the San Francisco Bay meets the Sacramento River Delta. According to Aaron Pott, the del Barba vineyard allows him to “fulfill all of his Rhône and southern Italian fantasies at the same time.”
Bring on the heat, we'll ready the rose!
Winery notes: "ARENA Wines' 2019 Rose is a youthful pale pink Vin Gris. Enticing aromas of white peach, orange zest, acacia flower and sugar cookies on the nose. Peach, melon, and guava delight the mid-palate with wonderfully bright acidity. A soft, silky finish of plum, brown sugar and melon."
- Item #: i_383270Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93WINE SPECTATOR INSIDER 93 POINTS 'WINE OF THE WEEK' - "Stylish, generous and intense, featuring lemon curd, apricot and lime sherbet flavors that are vivid and mouthwatering, accented by details of matcha green tea, white pepper and passion fruit. Delivers terrific follow-through on the finish. Drink now."
ABOUT THIS WINE: "Pioneering Marlborough winemaker Allan Scott helped plant some of the first wine grapes in Marlborough in the 1970s, and then established his eponymous brand as one of the first independent wineries in the region with his wife, Catherine, in 1990. Now their children are working in the family business, with son Josh as chief winemaker. The wines have never skipped a beat, and this wine is a stunning example of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, bursting with intense flavor and lingering long on the finish. Scott harvests and presses grapes in the cool of the night to preserve aromatics, and this wine shows the hallmark of a warmer 2019 vintage, with fruit flavors veering toward the tropical, with a hint of passion fruit." - Wine Spectator
- Item #: i_381415Bottle Size: 750mlThis amazing Garnacha (Grenache) with the eye-catching label offers so much for so little. The fruit is bright and fresh, the palate is silky smooth, and there is surprising complexity for a wine at this price-point. Enticing flavors of raspberry liqueur, black cherry, licorice, and exotic spices reveal themselves with each sip. Bodegas Ateca Honoro Vera is made by the Gil Family Estates who also make the famed El Nido Clio amongst other top values from Spain. They source grapes from the estate’s 60 year old Garnacha vines in Calatayud, Spain and the results speak for themselves. The quality-to-price ratio for the Honoro Vera Garnacha is off the charts and represents an incredible value in the world of wine. Delicious!
- Item #: i_232390Bottle Size: 750mlOwners John and Michelle (JaM) Truchard have created quite a following in a relatively short amount of time. With the name of their wine label being called JaM, they employed the help of winemaker Rob Lloyd to produce a rich, jammy style of Cabernet. Well, that wine was a huge hit, and since Rob knew a thing or two about making Chardonnays, it only made sense that this white wine should be called "Butter". As the name implies, this is a rich, buttery style of Chardonnay laced with aromas of baked lemons and mandarin oranges mingle with a hint of spice and smoke. The palate begins with crisp pineapple, bright citrus and ripe melon while a soft creaminess rounds out the finish. This Chardonnay is ready for immediate enjoyment and is suited to a wide variety of foods including white fish, smoked salmon and creamy pasta dishes.
- Item #: i_207600Bottle Size: 750mlChardonnay grapes grown in the bottom half of the valley tend to produce rich, ripe, elegantly structured wines that are delicious on release, but also age well in the bottle; this gem is no exception! And while 75% is fermented in French oak, only 11% goes through malolactic fermentation in order to produce a full-bodied wine that's food friendly. The nose offers vivid, creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of beeswax and mineral. Full-bodied and vibrant on the palate, with bright, intense, apple, citrus and melon flavors, Cakebread's 2018 Napa Valley Chardonnay is remarkably persistent on the palate, culminating in a long finish showcasing pleasing spice, yeast and mineral tones. Released soon after bottling, it will hit its stride after 6-8 months and reward 5-7 years' aging.
- Item #: i_210510Bottle Size: 750mlIt’s not always easy to find a fantastic California Cabernet Sauvignon at such a reasonable price-- but, it’s our goal every year for our December Wine of the Month. Once in a while, however, if we’ve been very good and Elf On The Shelf has nothing but positive comments to pass along to Santa, we find the right wine at the right time. This is that wine and we are completely besotted with it--- and believe you will be, too!
The nose is filled with cherry and red berry fruits, scents of rose petal and mixed florals with a touch of cigar box and earth. The fruit smells perfectly ripe! Upon tasting, the fruit flavors are clearly reiterated as more cherries and red berries dominate, bolstered by ample acidity and moderate tannins keeping the wine light on the tongue, uplifting, refreshing. California dust, mild earthiness and a soupçon of cured meats lend depth to the sweet fruits and moderating tannins and acidity. Extremely tasty and enjoyable with depth and flavors drinking way above its price point, this is certainly a holiday gift for all Cab lovers-- buy and enjoy with confidence!
About the Winery - Proprietor-négociants Chris Nickolopoulos and Elijah Pfister, through their parent company Nine North Wine Co. out of Napa, work with a handful of California’s most respected grape growers and wineries selecting the finest rows, plots, barrels and lots from each vintage. They strive to blend these selections into finished wines which carefully balance ripeness and acidity to achieve both regional typicity and unique, expressive flavor profiles. This is a story of two friends who started a wine company over many barbecues and countless bottles of wine.
“I grew up in a multi generational farming family. In 1974 at the age of five, I began to follow my grandfather every day on the family farm as he tended to his ranch. Over the years he taught me a lot about farming but more importantly about life. Then one day in my late teens, he told me it was time to get off the ranch and ‘go chase lions.’ I never asked him what he meant by that, because something inside me already knew. It’s been over 20 years now since he passed and I have been chasing lions ever since.”
For this unique blend, Chris and Elijah have been sourcing Cabernet and Merlot from the same vineyard sites for the last three years. When they first found the lot of Cabernet they thought, “Wow – that’s really good Cab from the central valley!” But they both felt it needed a little something to knock the dust off the fruit. They found a lot of Merlot (from Monterey County no less!), and blended in just a small percent. When they put their noses in the glasses, they knew they had a winner. Enjoy this crowd-pleasing wine with grilled hanger steak, burgers and grilled red meats.
- Item #: i_353335Bottle Size: EACHJeb Dunnuck: 93 Points"These are serious wines, at great prices, and readers need to jump on these before the prices catch up with the quality" - Jeb Dunnuck
"One of my all-time favorite producers in France" - Robert Parker, Wine Advocate
"This family-run estate is unquestionably one of the reference point estates for the Ventoux appellation" - Jeb Dunnuck
We just brought in an incredible value that is a great choice as a daily drinker. We were able to make a special purchase on this deeply fruited Rhone blend which is very satisfying with its array of perfectly ripened fruit. This is yet another jewel from importer, Eric Solomon who specializes in sourcing amazing wines at reasonable prices. Rhone loving wine critic Jeb Dunnuck gave Chateau Pesquie Edition 1912 a score of 93 Points calling it a "ripe, sexy, yet concentrated wine."
Dunnuck also writes, "I continue to sing the praises of Chateau Pesquie, which is one of the leading estates in the Ventoux region and is run by the talented brothers, Alexandre and Frederic Chaudiere. Don't let the prices fool you, these wines are the real deal." We completely agree!
Named for the elevation of Mont Ventoux (1912 meters above sea level), Edition 1912M is a cuvee made from about 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah with small additions of Cinsault and Carignan. As with most of the southern Rhone, this area is bathed in intense sunshine which allows the grapes to achieve optimal ripeness. This wine demonstrates the freshness and vibrancy that Ventoux is capable of achieving due to its elevation and its unique microclimate provided by the nearby mountain. The result is a supple and rounded style that's ready to drink and so easy to like.
Chateau Pesquie's 1912 is a delicious wine and an amazing value. Buy this with confidence as an easygoing daily drinker to share with family and friends.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "A new cuvee that’s from higher elevation vineyards, the 2016 Ventoux Edition 1912M is made from 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah that I suspect was brought up all in tank. It’s a ripe, sexy, yet concentrated wine that offers lots of black cherries, violets, lavender, raspberry and mineral-driven aromatics. Clean, medium to full-bodied, and with rock-solid mid-palate depth, it’s going to drink beautifully for upwards of a decade, although there’s absolutely no need to delay gratification.
This family-run estate is unquestionably one of the reference point estates for the Ventoux appellation. These are serious wines, at great prices, and readers need to jump on these before the prices catch up with the quality."
- Item #: i_353137Bottle Size: 750mlWe are excited to announce our Wine of the Month for March. We tried numerous wines before selecting the crowd-pleasing Clos des Lumieres Cotes du Rhone. This is a fantastic wine and amazing value, boasting stunning purity with oodles of fruit in a medium to full-bodied frame. The Grenache brings a lovely round, silkiness to the red-fruited character while the Syrah brings gentle spice and darker fruits into play. This is a joy to drink with absolutely no hard edges!
A classic blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah, Le Clos des Lumieres delights both nose and palate and is a great fit for this month as we move from Winter to Spring. As the days begin to grow longer and our menus move from heartier to fresher and more vibrant fare, we like a wine that can handle both-- something to sip during the still-chilly nights with rich foods while being equally at ease for sunny Sunday brunches. This is it!
Domaine le Clos des Lumieres is a 50-hectare family farm founded in 1946 by the grandfather of the domaine's current vigneron, Gerald Serrano. The ambitious and talented winemaker is solely responsible for the recent ascendance of this estate - Prior to taking things over in 2003 Gerald's father was selling all grapes on the estate to the local cooperative. Having grown up on the property, Gerald is intimately familiar with the terroir here. The oldest vines now edge 60 years in age and this land really seems to "pack the character in."
Clos des Lumieres is a delicious wine and an amazing value. Buy this with confidence as an easygoing daily drinker to share with family and friends.
The nose is rich and layered with dark red fruits leading to citrus, earth, incense, spice and sweet red plum. The mouth is viscous and rounded with soft acidity and balanced tannins that bolster the flavors of mixed red fruits and berries (red plum and blueberry stand out), light earth and Rhone-y spice, pepper, garrique and a finish of salted plum and kirsch. Very comfortable in its skin and offering quality that's way out of its price point, Lumieres is certainly a bright spot on the wine landscape and easily deserves the spotlight this month.
- Item #: i_214800Bottle Size: 750mlFamily owned and operated, DAOU is committed to producing collectible, world-class wines to rival the most respected appellations in the world. Situated on a 212-acre hilltop estate in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles, their remarkable geology, favorable microclimate, and high elevation were once described by renowned California winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff as "a jewel of ecological elements." As stewards of this beautiful terroir, DAOU's goal is to make unique fine wines that honestly and accurately reflect the potential of the estate and to craft wines that combine Old World tradition with New World techniques.
The 2018 vintage shows characteristics that are rich and sophisticated on the nose with currant, black cherry, cedar and eucalyptus, and displays undertones of briary blackberry and wet gravel. Ancillary aromas of coffee and cocoa are rounded out nicely with notes of crushed sage and baking spice. Full bodied and formidable on the palate, offering enticing and juicy wild blackberry, Oregon blueberry and crisp black cherry flavors. Hints of plum and mulberry are accentuated with fig, black olives and fine leather. Excellent structure and harmony between the pure fruit core and firm, supple backbone of polished tannins. Finish is surprisingly elegant for a wine of such power. Silky and smooth, ending on lovely notes of sweet cherry and boysenberry.
- Item #: i_365596Bottle Size: 720mlWINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS The medium dry Asahi Shuzo NV Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo should be one of the lowest Seimaibuai (23%) sakes in Japan. It is pure and clean, with light but complex scents of white flowers, cherry, strawberry, banana and fresh rice. On the palate it is broad and smooth with a clean spicy finish. Rice: Yamada Nishiki. Alcohol: 16%.
Dassai 23 - Dassai blends the best ingredients with old-fashioned experience and cutting edge technology. Polished to an unprecedented 23% polish ratio (a process that takes 4 days), Dassai Junmai Daiginjo is super-refined. The nose shows off with lots of berry fruit and candy-like yeast aromas. Hints of pear, cotton candy, violet and the undeniable taste of yamadanishiki rice linger on the palate. The finish is lush and tropical, yet dry. Silky smooth on the palate, this is very special sake to be enjoyed on a special occasion.
Dassai 'Migaki Niwari Sanbu' JUNMAI DAIGINJO
Since 2011, all DASSAI products have been Kosher certified each year by "Chabad Tokyo Japan".
- Item #: i_164000Bottle Size: 750ml **Celebrated in exclusive cocktail bars, restaurants and nightclubs, the iconic Don Julio 1942 Tequila is the choice of connoisseurs around the globe. Produced in small batches and aged for a minimum of two and a half years, Don Julio 1942 Tequila is handcrafted in tribute to the year that Don Julio González began his tequila-making journey.
- Item #: i_163121Bottle Size: 750MLEagle Rare is probably one of the boldest bourbons on the market today. Buffalo Trace Distillery has won over 30 medals (more than half of which being Gold!) for Eagle Rare alone since 2001 and it’s no mystery as to why. This is a whiskey that is magnificently bold and complex with flavors which range anywhere between sweet honey, to dried herbs, spicy tobacco, leather, rich vanilla, toasted almond, cacao nibs, and the list goes on. That being said Eagle Rare 10 Year Old Single Barrel Bourbon is about as masculine as they come and is no whiskey for the faint at heart. This is a whiskey that begs to be enjoyed neat with maybe a single ice cube or a splash of water if you must.
- Item #: i_378972Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 98We just got in the latest Chardonnay from the phenomenal Argentinian winery, El Enemigo, and it's certainly not "just another Chardonnay!" The aromas are absolutely enticing, swirling among notes of ripe pears and peaches, marcona almond, with toasted notes and subtle vanilla. In the mouth, the satiny, full texture glides in and is ushered along by a beautifully balancing acidity. The flavors are a complex melange of very ripe apple or pear and succulent peach, nougat (vanilla & nuts), a saline thread, along with subtle savory yeast lees and toasted oak accents. The finish rides a delicate line, neither sweet nor bone dry, but a succulent/savory sendoff that beckons another taste.
It shouldn't be too surprising that the wine is so good, as El Enemigo has the pedigree: it's a collaboration between Adriana Catena and the chief winemaker for Catena Zapata, Alejandro Vigil. The winery was named to represent their irreverence for the status quo ("the enemy"), and their Chardonnay certainly lives up to that, as it's made in a style that breaks from the norm!
In a unique twist for most Chardonnays, El Enemigo's is aged almost completely under a "veil" of yeast that serves as a barrier between the wine and oxygen, a common technique in the Jura region of France (a more dramatic form is used in making many styles of Sherry). Such partially exposed wine contributes subtle, slightly oxidative aromas and flavors like bruised fruits and nuts, and the contribution of the yeast adds some floral aromas and a savory sensation; there is often a "saline" quality to such wines. Along with that are those fresher fruit flavors of a classic Chardonnay grown in the intense sunlight of the high-altitude Gualtallary region of Mendoza, Argentina.
On the heels of their monumental 2014 "Gran Enemigo" Cabernet Franc (with a 98-point score from Wine Advocate), their 2017 Chardonnay is another win, with a 98-point score from James Suckling!
JAMES SUCKLING 98 POINTS – "A tight and beautiful white with a dense palate of beautiful, ripe lemons and apples. Layered and refined with phenolic tension. Complex yeast and hints of oak and flor. Full body. Great length. 80 per cent flor-growth in barrel. Drink now."
- Item #: i_219930Bottle Size: 750MLAlways the "darling" of Chardonnays, Far Niente Chardonnay is a blend of superlative Napa Valley vineyards, many of which are located in a little-known area called Coombsville: a cool growing region nestled in the rolling hills east of thecity of Napa. While entirely barrel-fermented, it doesn't go through the typical secondary fermentation, thus keeping itsrefreshing acidity. Perhaps this is why it appeals to such a broad spectrum of consumers!
Classic Far Niente style with aromas of grilled citrus, melon and honeysuckle with hints of white fig, gardenia and toasted hazelnuts, background of mild toasted oak that adds supportive warmth and richness. A silky entry builds on the palate with a rich texture that continues to evolve. Possessing great structure and length, a sweet core of melon and citrus is supported by white floral and toasted vanilla and baking spice notes. The broad mid palate comes back together with a long bright finish.
- Item #: i_226710Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 93It's not often that lightning strikes twice, but it has in this instance. Hot off the heels of their 94 point Cabernet Sauvignon that was featured on our very own "Top Cabernet" list comes another incredible wine from Tom Gamble!
Some people think that Sauvignon Blanc is just a warm-weather wine, but those of us in the industry (buyers, sommeliers, critics, etc.) will tell you that this wine is fantastic all year long, as it pairs beautifully with a wide variety of foods, and offers a refreshing citrus quality that sometimes Chardonnay just can't do. Last year's Sauvignon Blanc was one of our favorites, and Gamble Family has outdone themselves with the newly-released 2018 vintage. In fact, this wine ties for the 2nd highest scoring California Sauvignon Blanc reviewed by Wine Spectator in the last two years!!
This wine comes exclusively from the Gamble Family's vineyard in Yountville, and was aged in a combination of new oak, used oak, and stainless steel. The twelve-acre Gamble Vineyard sits at the northerly edge of the Yountville Appellation in the geographic center of Napa Valley. This superb site, framed by rugged mountains to the east and west and bound by two rivers, is warm enough to develop Sauvignon Blanc's tropical fruit flavors, yet cool enough to retain its natural fruit balance and crispness. The fruit is hand-harvested cold, in the early hours of the day, and taken directly to the press to preserve fruit and flavor integrity. The Gamble Family's winery and vineyards are certified Napa Green and certified by Fish Friendly Farming.
WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Offers intriguing, distinctive notes of candied ginger and marmalade, with a whiff of beeswax up front, leading to a mouthwatering, fresh mix of Asian pear, white grapefruit and peach flavors. Appealingly precise, with deft acidity imparting focus. Refreshing finish. Drink now through 2029. 1,900 cases made."
- Item #: i_111610Bottle Size: 750MLThe Glenlivet 12 Double Oak
This whisky has been called a lot of things in its time: smooth, fruity, complex, sophisticated, entertaining, classic. The Original Malt Whisky Almanac says: “A first-class malt. One of the most popular malts in the world – deservedly so.” Representing The Glenlivet’s signature style, this classic malt is first matured in traditional oak, before spending time in American oak casks which impart notes of vanilla and gives the whisky its distinctive smoothness. The mineral-rich water that comes from Josie’s Well helps form the flavors during mashing and fermentation, whilst the specific height and width of the copper stills add a delicate yet complex character. Keep a bottle on hand for every occasion.
Color - Bright, vibrant gold
Nose - Fruity and summery
Cask - Traditional and American Oak
Palate - Well-balanced and fruity, with strong pineapple notes
Flavor - Delicately balanced with strong pineapple notes
Finish - Long, creamy, smooth
- Item #: i_311555Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 90 PointsGuigal is a reference point estate for the Northern Rhone Valley whose name is synonymous with quality. This quality extends from their entry level wines all the way up to the single vineyard Cote Rotie's.
The value priced Cotes du Rhone Rouge and Blanc are amongst our best selling wines as they consistently over-deliver.
Most Rhone red blends are Grenache dominant, but Guigal is based in the Northern Rhone where Syrah is king. This delicious wine is comprised of 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre. It is rich, full-bodied and made in a crowd-pleasing style. The red received a 91 Point Score from Wine Advocate which called it a "ripe, silky wine that should bring pleasure to thousands of consumers."
At the sale price of $12.99 each, it is a good time to stock up on this delicious daily drinker.
WINE ADVOCATE 91 POINTS - "There are an impressive 4.5 million bottles of the 2016 Cotes du Rhone, a ripe, silky wine that should bring pleasure to thousands of consumers. Cherries and raspberries mark the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate adds nuances of cola, tree bark and spice. Often available at retail for under $15 per bottle, it represents a terrific value."
JEB DUNNUCK 90 POINTS - "As with the white, the quality of the basic Cotes du Rhone is more than noteworthy, especially when you consider the quantity produced. From a great, great vintage for the Southern Rhone, the 2016 Cotes du Rhone shows an upfront, sunny style as well as Provencal notes of spiced red and black fruits, ground pepper, and garrigue. Drink this medium to full-bodied, ripe, sexy effort over the coming 4-6 years. It will evolve even longer."
- Item #: i_228290Bottle Size: 750mlThe Hahn Family has been farming in the Santa Lucia Highlands area since the late ‘70s with land purchased to graze livestock. It didn’t take long for Nicky Hahn to see a much greater potential for his acreage and by 1980 had produced his first wine. The region’s climate was unique from surrounding areas and over the next 8 years it gained its status as an AVA thanks to Nicky Hahn leading the charge. Over the years the family has acquired additional Vineyards in the region totaling 650 acres all sustainably farmed and family operated.
- Item #: i_162036Bottle Size: 1.75LAwarded 98 Points from Cigar & Spirits Magazine (September/October 2014) and voted the #1 Best Selling Vodka by Drink International’s 50 Best Bars Brand Report – 2016, Ketel One is a vodka appreciated by many.
Using carefully selected European wheat and a combination of modern and traditional distilling techniques, we produce an exceptional product, both crisp to taste and soft on finish. Here, the 4Fs – Fragrance, Flavor, Feel and Finish – help to define what makes Ketel One Vodka so unique.
- Item #: i_325558Bottle Size: 750MLLamarca is a sparkling wine made in the Treviso area of northern Italy from the Prosecco grape. It shows delicate fruit and flora aromatics, a low level of alcohol and a friendly mouth feel. Wine maker Fabrizio Gatto has truly created a top drawer Prosecco at a most agreeable price.
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A delicate, well-balanced Prosecco, showing a good blend of baked apple, sour lemon and grapefruit, with a lightly creamy mineral texture on the palate. Medium froth, with some body and a pleasant lemon and mineral finish."
- Item #: i_370710Bottle Size: 750MLThe grapes for this basic cuvée of Sancerre are sourced from the vineyards in Bué, Vinon and Crézancy. After harvest, fermentation is done in stainless steel cuves at temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. As with all the whites at the domaine, this wine sits in contact with the fine lies for a considerable period of time with the racking being done late in the spring following harvest. The first bottling occurs no earlier than July and frequently does not occur until September of the year following harvest.
- Item #: i_305793Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 94Vinous Media: 97 PointsJames Suckling: 95Decanter: 97 PointsWe recently tasted the 2016 edition of Mazzei's "Ser Lapo" Chianti Classico Riserva and found it impressive enough to alert our fellow wine lovers! It's a delightfully modern take on Tuscan tradition by which Decanter Magazine and James Suckling were also greatly impressed, awarding it 97 and 95 points, respectively!
The 2016 "Ser Lapo" makes an immediate impression, offering a distinctive and expressive collage of well-defined aromas and a bold, engaging mouthfeel. The perfume combines a spicy, woody, and resinous perfume (balsam) with ripe cherries, Seville orange peel, and a touch of plum, making for an exotic and warming nose. In the mouth, the brightness lifts the mouth-filling sweet & spiced fruit into a juicy counterpoint to the moderate level of fleshiness from the skins. Along with the medium-full body and slightly rustic chewy tannins, this all makes for an ideal pairing for dishes like moderately aged cheeses and thick-cut salami, Florentine style steak, or citrus-marinated pork loin with an herbed sour cherry sauce.
The Mazzei family has a long history dealing with vines and wines. In fact, the name "Ser Lapo" is an homage to their ancestor by that name whose 1398 sales contract (reproduced as a wrapping for the bottles of the "Sero Lapo" wine) serves as the earliest reference to a wine as being from the region of Chianti!
The wine is made from 90% Sangiovese with the remainder being mostly Merlot, and aged for a year in smaller French oak barrels (half of them new). While enjoyable now, this is a wine that will be even better in 3-5 years, so be sure to pick up some to age!
DECANTER 97 POINTS - "This is a stunning wine with a complex cherry, prune, herbal, leather and balsamic bouquet. Excels on the concentrated and succulent palate, with lovely mouthfeel and lots of spicy, smooth, fleshy tannins, superfine acidity and great length. A classic gourmand style per eccellenza perhaps but remarkable from any angle."
WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "A vibrant yet brooding red, with bracing acidity driving the cherry, currant, iron, tobacco and almond flavors. Complex and intense, this needs a few years to absorb the tannins. Delivers fine presence and length. Sangiovese and Merlot. Best from 2022 through 2043. 10,000 cases made, 1,500 cases imported"
JAMES SUCKLING 95 POINTS - "Bright aromas of sliced cherries and hints of strawberries with some orange peel. Full body and super fine and ripe tannins. They melt into the wine. Delicate yet energetic. Crisp finish."
- Item #: i_333309Bottle Size: 750mlBIODYNAMIC AND DEMETER CERTIFIED
A delicious orange-rose-colored wine with a bouquet and palate of lychee, hibiscus and white flowers. The grapes are Pinot Gris and Welschriesling and Traminer, and receives 10 days skin contact. This is a still wine. Crown cap. Serve chilled. Natural wine. Vegan.
- Item #: i_376488Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90JOHN GILMAN 92+ POINTS-"The new release of Moutard Grande Cuvée is made from one hundred percent pinot noir and does not undergo malolactic fermentation, prior to being aged on its lees for three years prior to disgorgement. If my math is correct, the new bottling is based primarily on the 2010 vintage, and the wine offers up a simply superb bouquet of apple, a touch of quince, fresh-baked bread, incipient notes of almond skin, marvelously complex soil tones and a gently floral topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, focused and still quite youthful, with a superb core of fruit, very refined mousse, excellent balance and fine grip on the very long and youthfully complex finish. This does not quite have the same early mid-palate generosity of last year’s version (based on 2009 fruit), and I would opt for giving it a year in the cellar to start to really hit on all cylinders. A stellar bottle of non-vintage Brut."
WINE ADVOCATE 90 P0INTS - "I was quite taken with the wines I tasted from Moutard this year. The NV Brut Grande Cuvee (Pinot Noir) emerges from the glass with high-toned notes of Mirabelle plums, kirsch, crushed flowers and sweet herbs. There is an exotic quality to the Grande Cuvee that is totally beguiling. Intensely aromatic and layered through to the finish, the Grande Cuvee impresses for its delicate, feminine personality and overall balance. This release is based on the 2009 vintage with the addition of 30% reserve wines. Dosage was 10 grams per liter. Disgorged July 2012. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015."
Moutard is a small, family-run estate located in Buxeuil, in the heart of the Cote des Bar (Department of the Aube) about sixty-five miles south of Epernay. The families of Champagne Moutard have been living in Buxeuil since the mid 17th Century, and have a long tradition of grape farming and Champagne production. The Cote des Bar's mix of clay and limestone soils is particularly well suited to Pinot Noir production and this Grand Cuvee makes perfect poster child for the area. It is a 100% Pint Noir blend that was vinified in stainless steel without malolactic in order to preserve its fruit character and cut.
- Item #: i_303489Bottle Size: 750MLWine Advocate: 92Now more than ever, a bottle of wine with dinner can help counteract the stresses of being at home full time. With Le Volte dell'Ornellaia, your weekday wine can also be a window into one of Italy's (and the world's) greatest estates.
Le Volte dell'Ornellaia combines a Mediterranean expression of generosity with structure and complexity, reflecting the philosophy of Ornellaia. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet and Sangiovese, it provides rich, dark fruit with a serious backbone, making it a fantastic match for any meal.
Ornellaia has established itself among the iconic wine estates in Italy (and beyond). The estate is dedicated to producing charming and opulent wines, full of Mediterranean character and finesse, reflecting the estate's unique terroir in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast. The combination of Bolgheri's unique soils and growing conditions, and what can only be characterized as a total obsession with excellence, result in the world-class wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc that so many wine lovers across the world have come to cherish.
WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Lots of big, dark fruit and a lack of water in the grapes define the unique personality of the 2017 Le Volte dell'Ornellaia. This is a highly extracted and succulent expression that delivers abundant fruit sweetness. The key to this vintage was waiting for proper ripeness, says estate manager and winemaker Axel Heinz. "The grapes continued to get smaller throughout the summer," he says. That lack of water resulted in very concentrated fruit, giving this entry-level wine a rich and modern feel as a result."
- Item #: i_380039Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 93Hand-harvested from the Capçanes highest mountain vineyards, this blend of 65% Garnacha, 15% Merlot, 10% Cariñena and 10% Syrah from D.O. Montsant in northeastern Spain, is beautifully balanced and ideal for the heartier fare and chillier weather we’re facing in the first year of the new decade-- and Happy 2020 by the way!
Scents of sweet fruits, spice and balsa wood exude from the glass. White pepper, mixed red fruits (red plum, persimmon), wildflowers and hillside flora fill the nose. The palate is rife with flavors of redcurrant, raspberry and cherry fruits with a touch of cocoa and dusty earth. This wine is very comfortable in its own skin-- it’s a dry wine but not austere. The ample tannins and acidity are tempered by the bright, sweet berry fruits. Great finish redolent with berries and cherries.
And talk about value! This wine drinks way over its price point and will brighten and balance your January-- whether you’re tailgating, firing up the barbecue or relaxing in the hot tub after a day on the slopes, this Potente is fantastic wine at an amazing price.
JAMES SUCKLING 93 POINTS - "Very attractive nose of black cherries, sage and chocolate. Ripe and generous with nice, warm tannins that fill out the full body very nicely. Long and very harmonious finish."
ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 90 POINTS - "Bright violet color. Spice-accented red/blue fruits on the nose, along with a suave floral overtone. Lively and incisive on the palate, offering mineral-inflected boysenberry and raspberry flavors that show a Pinot-like light touch. Silky tannins add subtle grip to the finish, which leaves a zesty red berry note behind."
"Garnacha, Cariñena (Samsó), Syrah, Merlot. Aged for 9 months in new up to five years old French and American oak barrels, 300 Liters.
FOOD PAIRING - Chili con carne, barbecued beef with dry marinade, duck salad with strawberries, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce, mixed grill of beef, sausage and chicken, rib-eye steak with parmesan and salad, moussaka.
- Item #: i_255200Bottle Size: 750mlThe fruit for this wine comes from vineyards in the Carneros region owned by the Rombauer family and select growers including the Sangiacomo family, long-term grower partners who have farmed this land for three generations. The grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed while the fruit was still cool. The juice was pumped to tank to cold-settle overnight before it was racked to barrel for primary and malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred every two weeks to give the wine rich flavors and a creamy texture.
Enticing aromas of vanilla, peach and mango are layered with apricots, creme brulee, butter and a slight minerality. Those scents are echoed as flavors on the creamy, rich palate, along with peach, pie crust and baking spices. The long, smooth finish is marked by mouthwatering acidity.
- Item #: i_375045Bottle Size: 750MLLimoux, the city in Languedoc in southern France, is believed to be the birthplace of sparkling wine, with local historians asserting that monks from the abbey at Saint-Hilaire brought this certain 'pop' to wine in 1531 AD. Closer to home in locale and temporality, the last inventory of Thomas Jefferson's wine cellar listed 49 bottles of Blanquette de Limoux.
The nose reveled in hints of pastry dough, citrusy notes of tangerine and lemon and a touch of peach melba and sea air. The palate is an enchanting melanage of more citrus , touches of honeysuckle and vanilla bean with a cleansing layer of minerality coursing throughout, like a glacial stream galloping seaward.
- Item #: i_275116Bottle Size: 750mlSilver Oak's 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is comprised of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12.6% Merlot, 3.6% Cabernet Franc, 2.4% Petit Verdot and 0.4% Malbec. It was blended in early 2016 and aged for 24 months in 85% new American oak and 15% one-used American oak barrels from their Missouri cooperage, The Oak. Early blending assures a balanced core and allows all components to achieve a seamless harmony during barrel aging. It was then aged for an additional 20 months in bottle before being released in February of 2020.
This 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep, rich red color with a purple rim. A robust wine with an assertive and alluring attack, it has notes of strawberry, cigar and tea leaves with a touch of black pepper and clove. A mouthwatering mid-palate of raspberry is followed by an expressive and bright finish. With lush and silky tannins, this ageworthy wine will show beautifully through 2038 given proper cellaring conditions.
- Item #: i_166295Bottle Size: 1.75LTito's Handmade Vodka is produced in Austin at Texas' first and oldest legal distillery. It's made in small batches in an old fashioned pot still by Tito Beveridge (actual name), a 45-year-old Geologist, and distilled six times.Tito's Handmade Vodka is designed to be savored by spirit connoisseurs. It is micro-distilled in an old-fashioned pot still, just like fine single malt scotches and high-end French cognacs. This time-honored method of distillation requires more skill and effort than modern column stills, but it's well worth it.Our handcrafted technique offers more control over the distillation process, resulting in a spectacularly clean product of incomparable excellence. Only the heart of the run, the nectar is taken, leaving behind residual higher and lower alcohols. The vodka is cleansed of phenols, esters, congenersand acids by filtering it through the finest activated carbon available. Tito's Handmade Vodka won the prestigious Double Gold Medal having prevailed over 70 of the world's best premium vodkas, as the judges' unanimous Gold Medal choice, at The World Spirits Competition in San Francisco California.
- Item #: i_317750Bottle Size: 750mlJAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS-"This famous Yellow Label is is in great shape with a really fresh and complex integrated feel to it from head to toe. The nose has plenty of lemon and grapefruit citrus, as well as lightly toasted hazelnuts and ripe, summery fruits. On the palate it has the trademark assertive style, some useful cut and plenty of lemon biscuit flavor. A great all-rounder: Drink now. (11/16)."
- Item #: i_311155Bottle Size: 750MLGrenache, Rolle, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre.Grapes harvested in crates, only in the morning.Sorted-out twice.Maceration at 10-12°C to extract aromas.Vinification in stainless-steel vats.Temperature controlled.Bâtonnages.This assemblage has been made withoutbarrel fermentation to keep the freshnessand all the fruit flavors.
- Item #: i_333220Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 90WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "Clean and balanced, this white offers white peach, apple and floral aromas and flavors. A hint of mineral graces the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2023."