This 95-Point Russian River Pinot is "A Reference Point"!

To put it bluntly, if you enjoy balanced, flavorful, and complex Pinot Noirs, then Walter Hansel Winery should be on your radar...plain and simple! Winemaker Stephen Hansel crafts masterpieces year-in and year-out from his family's 75+ acres in Russian River Valley, creating Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that remind us of premier cru Burgundy.

The Russian River Valley is regarded as one of the best regions in the world for growing top notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For that reason, it is not uncommon for prices to exceed $75-$100 for a bottle from some producers...but not this producer. Stephen Hansel knows that if wineries keep charging elevated prices, then people start to look elsewhere. Even esteemed wine critic Antonio Galloni has written that "these are some of the most fairly priced wines readers will find anywhere in the world."

So here we have somebody who makes wines from one of the best regions in the world, doesn't make a lot of them, he gets high scores from the critics, and charges reasonable prices?? Folks, if this doesn't get your attention, then check your pulse, because Walter Hansel Winery has been one of our favorite Sonoma County producers for over a decade, and this Pinot Noir is virtually guaranteed to rock your world!

WALTER HANSEL 2018 PINOT NOIR RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY "SOUTH SLOPE"WALTER HANSEL 2018 PINOT NOIR RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY "SOUTH SLOPE"

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS! – "Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir South Slope has gorgeous aromas of blood orange, cracked pepper, cranberries and red and black cherries loaded with earthy, amaro-like nuances. The medium-bodied palate is silky, fresh and uplifted, its concentrated fruits refreshed by loads of spicy accents, and it finishes long and detailed."

ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS! – "Once again, Stephen Hansel has turned out a gorgeous set of wines. I consider these to be reference point Pinots and Chardonnays that capture the essence of what the Russian River is all about. In some vintages, the wines can lean towards exuberance, but in 2018, that natural Russian River generosity is tempered by the style of a vintage marked by a cool, long growing season. Hansel's long-standing commitment to making first-class wines and keeping prices exceptionally fair is admirable."

"The 2018 Pinot Noir The South Slope Vineyard is a super-classic Russian River Pinot built on textural richness and volume. Ripe red cherry, blueberry, spice, mint and licorice infuse the 2018 with striking layers of nuance. A wine of substance and power, the 2018 is going to need a bit of time to unwind. It is maybe just a bit less refined than some of the other Pinots in the range, but it holds quite a bit of appeal, especially for readers who like big Pinots."

$44.99 750ml [228280] add to cart


Great Scores, Great Price: A Delicious Spanish Red Returns!

For fans of full-bodied, ripe-fruited reds that offer great value without sacrificing quality, we've got the latest release of a classic best-seller that you'll love: the 2016 Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja!

Going all the way back to 1852, the Marques de Murrieta estate of Castillo Ygay has been a benchmark winery for the historic Rioja region of Spain. Lately they've brought things to a new level: the 2010 vintage of their flagship Gran Reserva was named Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of the Year for 2020. But even their humble reserva wine has earned consistent praise with its modern take on Rioja, and is still one of the great values in the world of wine at $21.98!

As is tradition here, they age in American oak, which brings prominent toasty vanilla and baking spice flavors, as well as a polished texture. But aging the wine less than the old school leaves a fresher fruit character up front, along with a firmer bed of tannin for a greater sense of structure. This style, backed by years of experience and recent upgrades in the winery, yields a crowd-pleaser whose quality can easily go up against today's stylish wines that cost more. And at this price, it's an easy choice to impress at your next get-together!

MARQUES DE MURRIETA 2016 RESERVA RIOJAMARQUES DE MURRIETA 2016 RESERVA RIOJA

87% Tempranillo, 6% Graciano, 5% Mazuelo, 2% Garnacha

JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "This is very structured and powerful with a dense and rich palate of ripe fruit and hints of toasted oak. Full and layered. Structured."

WINE ADVOCATE 93-94 POINTS - "I also tasted an unbottled sample of the 2016 Rioja Reserva... it represents the year—2016 was a cooler year, and the wine also goes in that direction... going toward more finesse and subtleness, combined with the natural power. There was a change in the winery in 2016 that was finalized in 2018 with the new winery. The wine is textured and fine, and it's more elegant than the 2015 I tasted next to it. The detail and texture on the palate is different, and the quality of the tannins is completely different... There will be almost 1.1 million bottles of this, which is remarkable, as they have managed to increase quality and quantity."

VINOUS 93 POINTS - "Brilliant violet. Red and black currant, cherry, fresh flowers and baking spices on the highly perfumed nose, along with hints of vanilla and pipe tobacco. Juicy and energetic on the palate, offering bitter cherry, cassis, spicecake and cola flavors that turn sweeter through the midpalate. Successfully blends power and delicacy and finishes very long, smoky and smooth, with fine-grained tannins adding gentle grip."

$21.98 750ml [380422] add to cart


Fantastic 92 Point Bordeaux Value for $10.95!

May appears to be the month of amazing Bordeaux values! After quick sellouts of Chateau Les Peyres and Chateau Bourdieu, we have another fantastic Bordeaux to offer.

Chateau Hyot has been on our radar for years and has always been an exceptional value. Located close to St Emilion geographically, this wine is also similar in style with a richness of fruit which has made the right bank of Bordeaux so famous. Perfectly ripened Merlot lends dark cherry, plum and chocolate notes while Cabernet adds flavors of juicy blackberry and silky tannins.

Critic James Suckling is also a fan giving this wine a score of 92 Points and calling it, "A rich, delicious red from this appellation with berry, plum and chocolate aromas and flavors."

This wine is ripe, ready to drink and possesses the lush fruit profile which make the 2018's from Bordeaux so pleasing. Seventh generation winemaker Amelie Aubert did a fantastic job with the excellent fruit brought in under perfect conditions. The wine is a traditional right bank Merlot-based blend with Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is aged for 20 months in French oak where it mellows and softens.

Importantly, Michel Rolland consults on this wine. You may know Rolland as a tour de force who has advised on such notable California wines as Harlan, Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle. His Bordeaux clientele includes Angelus, Ausone, Pontet Canet, Leoville Poyferre and many more.

CHATEAU HYOT 2018 CASTILLON COTES DE BORDEAUXCHATEAU HYOT 2018 CASTILLON COTES DE BORDEAUX

This is a delicious, crowd pleasing Bordeaux which totally over-delivers. We are thrilled to offer this amazing value for $10.95 per bottle. Enjoy!

JAMES SUCKLING 92 POINTS - "A rich, delicious red from this appellation with berry, plum and chocolate aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with round tannins and a savory finish. Nice tannin ripeness. Drinkable now, but better in a year or two."

$10.95 750ml [354392] add to cart


Crazy 97 Point Bordeaux Steal for $12.95!

We know you have a huge appetite for delicious value-priced Bordeaux as evidenced by your overwhelming response and quick sell-out of Chateau Les Peyres.

Fortunately, we found another fantastic Bordeaux from the same great 2019 vintage at an extremely compelling price.

Chateau Bourdieu is an overachieving estate which continues to produce delicious wines and crazy values. This wine boasts perfectly ripened dark fruit flavors of blackberries and currants along with red and black cherries augmented by baking spices and a touch of vanilla. This wine is also critically acclaimed and received a 97 Point score from Decanter Magazine!

Decanter Magazine's Tasting Panel evaluated more than 8500 red wines from around the world and this wine from Chateau Bourdieu was selected as one of the top wines and designated a platinum award winner!

Finding values off the beaten path in Bordeaux has resulted in some of our best sellers, particularly those that hail from lesser-known appellations near St Emilion.

Located to the north and west of St Emilion, Blaye is on the right bank of the Gironde Estuary. The soil is a mixture of gravel and loam in which Merlot and Cabernet thrives. The Chateau Bourdieu Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux is a blend of 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc.

The vines have an average age of 25 years and the grapes are carefully tended and harvested at optimum ripeness. Strict sorting is made prior to vinification in temperature controlled vats. The result is a delicious and rich yet balanced bottle of wine.

Bordeaux values simply don't get better than this. We are thrilled to offer this wine for $12.95 per bottle. Enjoy!

CHATEAU BOURDIEU 2019 COTE DE BORDEAUX BLAYECHATEAU BOURDIEU 2019 COTE DE BORDEAUX BLAYE

Deep ruby in color. This wine boasts aromas of violets, perfectly ripened dark fruit flavors of blackberries, currants and red and black cherries augmented by baking spices, earth and a touch of vanilla. The wine has nice structure with fine tannins and a long finish.

DECANTER 97 POINTS - "Flamboyant and deep, with ample, lush and fresh forest fruits, bramble and cassis, with cascading sweet spice swifty following. A super, brooding wine which will shine brighter with time."

 

SOLD OUT


Get in on this Value Pick 93-Point White from Tablas Creek!

One of the best white wine blends from California's Central Coast just got even better! Chateau de Beaucastel is one of the most prominent producers in France's Chateauneuf-du-Pape region, and was even named as Wine Spectator's Wine of the Year in 1991. The owners of Beaucastel teamed up with their importer, Robert Hass, and searched up and down California, seeking the appropriate combination of soil and sun so they may produce California's best examples of southern Rhone varietals and Chateauneuf-du-Pape style blends. The partners chose a 120-acre property in the hills of westside Paso Robles for its similarities to Chateauneuf-du-Pape: limestone soils, favorable climate, and rugged terrain.

Tablas Creek's "Patelin" series of wines is very unique. There are several vineyards in the Paso Robles region that were planted with cuttings sourced from Tablas Creek's own selections of budwood. Some of these vineyards had unclaimed grapes, and since the quality was high, Tablas Creek stepped in and began to produce this "hometown" bottling. While past releases of been something to write about, this bottling shows the profoundness of the 2019 vintage in Paso Robles, and has even earned 93 points from Wine Spectator!

The Tablas Creek "Patelin de Tablas Blanc" is a blend of five white Rhône varietals: Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Viognier, Marsanne, and Clairette Blanche. The wine incorporates fruit from six top Rhone vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many white wines from the Southern Rhône, it is based on the crisp acids and rich mouthfeel of Grenache Blanc, with Viognier for floral, tropical aromatics and rich texture, Roussanne and Marsanne for structure and spice, and a small addition of Clairette Blanche for freshness and minerality.


TABLAS CREEK 2019 TABLAS CREEK 2019 "PATELIN BLANC" PASO ROBLES WHITE

Earning 93 points and a "Value Pick of the Week" from Wine Spectator's Insider Weekly, the 2019 Patelin de Tablas white is a final blend of 56% Grenache Blanc, 23% Viognier, 12% Roussanne, and 9% Marsanne, The 2019 Patelin de Tablas Blanc is intensely Rhone-like on the nose, with notes of honeysuckle, orange zest, anise, and crushed rock. In the mouth, it's lush but vibrant with mandarin orange, nectarine, white flowers, and a saline mid-palate. The long, zesty finish shows citrus pith and sea spray minerality, with a lingering orange blossom note. Drink now and for the next 2-3 years.

WINE SPECTATOR 93 POINTS - "Aromatic and complex, with a refreshing thread of acidity weaving in and out among orange blossom, almond cake and Fuji apple notes. Lemon zest and ruby grapefruit details linger on the long, expressive finish. Grenache Blanc, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne and Clairette Blanche. Drink now. 2,380 cases made."

$19.95 750ml [275730] add to cart


Delicious Bordeaux Steal for Under $10.00!

As we greet the last full month of spring on the way toward summer we're very happy to highlight this beautiful Bordeaux to feature as our wine of the month. There's something about classic Bordeaux wines, with glorious texture and mouthfeel, rife with lovely fruit flavors and earthy components, that make them so easy to love-- and drink!

We tasted the 2019 Chateau Les Peyres and didn't know what to expect as we had never tried anything from this producer. After a swirl, sniff and sip, we all smiled in unison. Once we learned the price, we immediately called the distributor and bought every bottle they had. It's hard to believe we can offer this quality for under $10.00 per bottle!

Part of the magic is the killer vintage (looking at you, 2019) and the picture becomes more complete. So hold on-- does a great vintage really affect reasonably-priced wines or just the top end, first growth types? Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, we've found that great vintages do make for better wines across the spectrum of price levels and categorizations. This is a prime example of such.

On to our tasting notes! On the nose, mixed red berries and plums take the lead with ripe cherries in the foreground, as hints of graphite, slate and black tea act as supporting cast. We detected a brief skosh of citrus zest that was quite lovely.

Upon tasting, the red fruits again dominate: fresh and dried cherries, kriek lambic, ripe red plum and redcurrant roll over the tongue with gusto, bolstered by silky tannins and lush mouthfeel as delicate touches of earth and mineral add depth and texture. Both serious and playful, affordable yet rich, the 2019 Chateau Les Peyres is a worthy champion for our monthly wine jousts and the perfect gateway wine to those not totally familiar with Bordeaux blends. For those who know Bordeaux, this is a reminder of how good the wines can be in a great vintage-- and how they do not have to break the bank!

While we may tend to grill year-round, living in the warm climes of Southern California, we also fire up the barbie maybe just a bit more during the warmer months. We were ready for a gruyere cheeseburger for this one, or a nice porterhouse. And this wine will work so well with food or just solo.

CHATEAU LES PEYRES 2019 BORDEAUXCHATEAU LES PEYRES 2019 BORDEAUX

The 2019 Chateau Les Peyres is a delicious wine and an amazing value. The attention to detail and care in winemaking are apparent and this wine is a total steal at under $10.00 per bottle. Enjoy!

"Beautiful clear robe of vibrant ruby color. Notes of perfectly ripened cherries, currants and plums. Lively in the mouth, round and fleshy with silky smooth tannins and a long finish. Enjoy now and for several years to come with roast red meats and hearty stews and various hard cheeses."

SOLD OUT


Awesome "Ghost Ship" Champagne Finally Arrives!

CLAUDE CAZALS 2010 CLOS CAZALS EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCSCLAUDE CAZALS 2010 CLOS CAZALS EXTRA BRUT BLANC DE BLANCS

As you may know, due to the pandemic, all matter of sea-borne wine commerce has been disrupted. Last Christmas there was an unprecedented number of Champagne "no-shows". One of the most lamentable of these "Ghost" shipments was a parcel of 2010 Clos Cazals Champagne. Well, as they say, "better late than never." Actually we are really over the moon that our shipment has finally arrived. What's the big deal? Only that over the years, we have come to believe that Cazals' Clos stands as a worthy rival to Krug's fabled, tres cher Clos du Mesnil. Located behind the village church in the Grand Cru Cote des Blancs village of Oger, this eight and one-half acre parcel was first planted to Chardonnay by Claude Cazals back in 1957. The vineyard's walls produce a wind shield effect that creates a warmer mesoclimate that results in riper grapes with a distinctive Chardonnay character and great depth. Further complexity and texture is accomplished by ten years of cellar aging on the yeast. This 2010 vintage combines the opulence of the 2009 with length and drive that made the 2008 so memorable. Here is regal, golden-hued bubbly with a soft mousse that, at first glance, is decadently broad with subtle strata of pear, bruised apple, vanilla, and nutmeg spice flavors that unwind to reveal a salt-tinged minerality bolstered with firm acidity. Yet another jaw dropping triumph from this very special terrior.

Sale $139.95 Normally $154.95 750ml [379456] add to cart

CLAUDE CAZALS EXTRA BRUT CLAUDE CAZALS EXTRA BRUT "CUVEE VIVE" BLANC DE BLANCS GRAND CRU

While Delphine Cazals's Clos is a stellar example of a single varietal, single vineyard Champagne, her "Cuvee Vive" showcases the blender's art. The current Cuvee Vive is based on the classically cool 2013 vintage. In addition to a small dose from the Clos in Oger, it is composed of three choice Le Mesnil-sur-Oger parcels: "Champ de Tir" (Shooting Field), "Le puit des Gaumes" and the famed "Chetillons". Given the pedigree of these sites, most winemakers would understandably produce a trio of very pricy single vineyard Champagnes. Instead, we are left with a top-shelf Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs that is priced way under the market. Note also that in recent years Delphine has lowered the dosage levels on Cuvee Vive which really emphasizes the brightness of the fruit.

WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "Disgorged in March 2019 with three grams per liter dosage, the NV Extra-Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Cuvée Vive unfurls in the glass with scents of wet stones, iodine, lemon oil, crisp green apple and brioche. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, with a ripe core of fruit, racy acids and a penetratingly chalky finish. This finely balanced bottling is showing very well."

$54.98 750ml [379469] add to cart


Our #1 Biodynamic Wine Wonder!

Meinklang Mulatschak Blanc has been the undisputed champ in our Biodynamic Wine category, by a landslide, at Hi-Time Wine Cellars since June 2019. Without any scores, advertising, or social media, just by word of mouth and repeat customers, this has quietly become our most popular biodynamic wine to date.

The wine country of Burgenland lies on the eastern edge of Austria, bordering Hungary. The Meinklang farm, like this wine, is pretty unique. Owned by the Michlits family for generations, the family homestead has survived being annexed behind the iron curtain, and is now one of Europe's largest biodynamically certified farms. The estate is truly self-sufficient, with animals as well as crops. Some 70 hectares are planted with vines, and the range includes everything from lighter easygoing fare to fairly serious reds, and even beer. They have always worked a fully integrated farm with animals (cows, chickens, pigs, sheep and horses), orchards and grains in addition to grapes. They practice crop rotation, and nothing goes to waste.

Meinklang Mulatschak Blanc is the perfect introduction to Orange wine. It is delicious and chuggable with the added benefit of knowing it is Organic, Demeter Certified and Vegan. Serve chilled.

BIODYNAMIC AND DEMETER CERTIFIED

MEINKLANG 2020 MULATSCHAK BLANCMEINKLANG 2020 MULATSCHAK BLANC

The 2020 edition is a lively and exotically perfumed wine, delighting with floral aromatics of stargazer lily and hibiscus, combined with a palate of lychee, peach, lemon, a touch of cider, guava and passionfruit, ending with a clean, dry finish. This is a dry, “skin contact” and non-sparkling wine made like a red wine, which receives 7 days of skin contact to give this wine more complexity than most white wines. The Meinklang Mulatschak 2020 is made from a blend of 50% Welschriesling, 25% Pinot Gris, and 25% Traminer from biodynamically farmed vineyards. The grapes are crushed into stainless steel where they ferment on skins for three days before being pressed off. After some additional time on lees, the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulphur (25ppm), and a low 11.5% ABV.

$18.98 750ml [333309] add to cart


Post Malone's Rose Maison No. 9 Returns!

POST MALONE 2020 MAISON NO. 9 ROSEAfter an explosive inaugural launch in 2020, we are excited to bring you the 2020 vintage of Post Malone's Maison No. 9 Rose. Post is one of the world's best-known rappers, singers, songwriters, actors and producers.

Post Malone, along with longtime manager Dre London and friend James Morrissey found themselves drinking more Rose in recent years. Maison No. 9 was born from an idea to bring together a best-in-class winery with their love of the Mediterranean lifestyle and rose. Deep rooted knowledge of the entertainment industry, along with a shared hustle mentality and love of wine, gave the business partners confidence that the venture would succeed.

And succeed it did! Last year's launch was one of the fastest selling launches of a wine product in history. The wine sold 50,000 bottles in 2 days and totaled 25,000 cases in 1 month.

Malone's career has grown at an unprecedented level, breaking records with everything he has turned his attention towards. He is a diamond-certified Grammy award nominated artist and made history with the most songs in the Top 20 of the Hot 100 ever. Speaking of making history, he performed a massively popular Nirvana tribute concert on YouTube, raising over $10,000,000 for the World Health Organization in the fight against COVID-19.

The 2020 Vintage of Maison No. 9 is sourced from sun-kissed Provence and is a blend of 45% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, and 15% Merlot. Winemaker Alexi Cornu returns with this new vintage. The result is a clean, refreshing and crisp wine that is wonderfully balanced and round with a texture that is mouthwatering and savory.

The name Maison No. 9 is inspired by Post's favorite tarot card, the 9 of Swords, which represents the daily challenges we all face. Maison No. 9 was created to encourage people to share happiness with friends, stay strong and be positive in life.

This eye-catching Rose is easily identifiable with its "Provencal Pink" color that shines through in the tall, sleek bottle. It also features a medieval sword, which is one of Post's best recognized face tattoos and the custom glass cork represents a medieval tower found at the vineyard.

POST MALONE 2020 MAISON NO. 9 ROSEPOST MALONE 2020 MAISON NO. 9 ROSE

As Post likes to say, "Rose is for when you want to get a little fancy." Enjoy!

Intense and inviting aromas of freshly picked fruit, such as ripe pineapple, pear and strawberry. The clean, dry, crisp finish is balanced and round with a texture that is mouthwatering and savory, perfect for drinking on its own or with a variety of dishes.

$20.99 750ml [343500] add to cart


This 96-Point Napa Cab is "An Absolute Joy"!

Perched on a mountain top just five miles east of St. Helena, Buehler is a fourth-generation vineyard & winery dedicated to honesty, family, and high-quality wines. Many of their neighbors think the Buehlers are crazy, because the prices for the Buehler Family's wines are rather reasonable. Buehler charges around $45 for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, while their neighbors charge 3 or 4 times that amount! For this reason, we say "kudos" to the family for keeping their wine prices modest!

There's usually just one "Estate" Cabernet Sauvignon produced, which they blend from various vineyard blocks: a melding of the different characteristics into one whole wine. However, in 2004, they gave in to the temptation and bottled a very limited amount of wine from Papa's Knoll's vineyard, which historically is only sold directly from the winery or through their wine club.

Named after the landform in front of "Papa's" (The late John Buehler, Sr.) house, this is their oldest vineyard block of Cabernet Sauvignon. The face of the knoll is steeply terraced with an easterly exposure, this three-acre block was planted in 1971, and is the only dry-farmed Cabernet block on the estate. Due to the ruggedness, yields from this parcel are a lowly two tons of grapes per acre. And dry-farming, as well as the light-cropped nature of this block, ensures that it delivers its bounty a full 7-20 days earlier than the other Estate blocks.

BUEHLER 2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON BUEHLER 2018 CABERNET SAUVIGNON NAPA VALLEY "PAPA'S KNOLL"

ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "Buehler is another estate in Napa Valley that doesn't get anywhere near the recognition it deserves. The striking property is perched atop Conn Valley in one of the most idyllic spots in all of Napa. There are three Cabernets, all of them notable. The Papa's Knoll is the most potent of the three, but all the wines are marked by a real sense of finesse that is impossible to miss."

"The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Papa's Knoll emerges from a single block in the estate. It is the richest and most voluptuous of these wines, but it balances that fruit intensity with tons of energy. Ripe red cherry, blood orange, cinnamon, mint and star anise give the 2018 its decidedly exotic personality. Ripe and expressive, with soft tannins, the 2018 is an absolute joy to taste."

$47.99 750ml [206410] add to cart


93 Point Red is a Crazy Value!

"I've raved time and time again about the quality -and value - coming from Domaine Lafage's Jean-Marc Lafage" - Robert Parker

"At this quality, they could charge three to four times the price" (2017 Narassa) - Jeb Dunnuck

The wines of Domaine Lafage are undoubtedly some of the greatest values in the world. The estate has created custom cuvees with its importer Eric Solomon and is producing absolutely gorgeous wines. We previously emailed an offer for Bastide Miraflors which was a runaway success.

Today, we are offering the 2018 Narassa which is a full-bodied, richly fruited wine which is deeply satisfying. We sold a lot of Narassa from the previous vintage and this wine is another success boasting a rich palate of dark fruit! We are able to offer this delicious wine for $17.99 per bottle and it's hard to believe how good this wine is for the price.

Jeb Dunnuck totally agrees and awarded this wine 93 Points. He described this wine as having a "gorgeous bouquet" and as "rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and has a great finish." He has previously stated about Narassa, "At this quality, they could charge three to four times the price."

Narassa is made from a single lieu dit, or vineyard site in the Cotes Catalanes near the village of Maury. It is planted with Grenache and Syrah on black schist soils lending the wine classic notes of black fruit and intense minerality. The wine is hand-harvested, undergoes a cold soak before fermentation and spends its time in a mix of concrete tanks (80%) and wood barrels (20%). The result is a rich, crowd-pleasing style with impressive texture and generosity of fruit.

We really enjoy this wine which has become one of our customer's favorite red blends in the store. As a reminder, Domaine Lafage also produces the very popular French Chardonnay Novellum, which is also in stock.

LAFAGE 2018 NARASSA ROUGE COTES CATALANESLAFAGE 2018 NARASSA ROUGE COTES CATALANES

We really enjoy this wine which has become one of our customer's favorite red blends in the store. As a reminder, Domaine Lafage also produces the very popular French Chardonnay Novellum, which is also in stock.

This is a blockbuster of a wine, which is an absolute steal with amazing fruit flavor and one to buy by the case!

JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Almost all Grenache yet with 8% Syrah, the deep purple 2018 Narassa gives up a gorgeous bouquet of blueberries, kirsch liqueur, smoked game, violets, and lavender. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully concentrated, and has a great finish."

$17.99 750ml [345898] add to cart


Beguiling Brunellos from a Hi-Time Customer Favorite Winery!

Get your senses ready for another captivating experience with the latest Brunello arrivals from the phenomenal 2016 vintage. They come from the Casanova di Neri estate, a well-known name for consistent quality in the Montalcino region of Italy, and these editions are some of the best yet! In their own words, "The 2016 vintage is the perfect balance among elegance, opulence, structure and complexity." That means wines that grab your attention with evocative aromas and a mouthfeel that is both enveloping and bracing.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, this 3rd generation family winery has managed to accumulate a range of vineyards, from their home base in the Northeastern part of Montalcino to the warmer, southern reaches of the zone where the Mediterranean Sea has more influence. Because of the range in character of these vineyards, they can tune their classic "white label" Brunello according to the vagaries of the vintage. The eventual bottling of one of those more southerly vineyards in particular, which is called the "Tenuta Nuova," put them permanently in the upper tier of Brunello producers.

The 2016s are built for the long haul, so if you don't finish the bottle the first day, you just might find it even better the next! For the best showing, we suggest chilling the bottle, then aerating for several hours. You'll be glad you did, as the aromas feature a beguiling array of pure fruit essences, stony minerality, spices, and woodsy balsam notes. The wines will really shine with flavor-intense, meaty dishes like a well-seasoned, grilled thick-cut porterhouse/T-bone steak or wild boar stew, as well as with aged sheep cheeses.

CASANOVA DI NERI 2016 CASANOVA DI NERI 2016 "WHITE LABEL" BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

This is what many refer to as the winery's calling card, the bottle that tells you who they are in the language of wine. Made from a mix of their vineyard portfolio for greater balance and approachability.

JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "...compelling aromatics of cherry liqueur, sweet licorice, cedar, and forested earth. The palate is crystalline and full-bodied, with red plum skin and warming spice. There is a lot to love here, as this wine casts a large net for its versatility. Enjoy some now and lay some down, this is a great value."

WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "The Casanova di Neri 2016 Brunello di Montalcino (or the so-called "white label" Brunello) takes a minute or two to open, and like all these new releases from the Neri family, you're best off opening your bottle five hours before serving them. This classic expression displays raspberry, tar, hazelnut, dried fig, asphalt and some crushed chalk. The wine is streamlined and compact in terms of mouthfeel, giving us an accessible Brunello from a benchmark Montalcino estate."

ANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 94 POINTS - "Casanova di Neri's 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a wine of pleasurable contrasts but also massive structure. Ripe dark fruits and autumnal spices offset savory herbs and hints of animal musk. It enters the mouth silky, cooling and lifted, with a noticeable inner sweetness to its polished cherry/berry flavors, but it then sways more toward inner earth, minerals and grippy tannins. The 2016 urges you to take another sip, as there's so much upfront appeal; yet each time you do, it reminds you once again that it's a painfully young Brunello in need of cellaring. That said, the potential here is incredibly high."

$59.98 750ml [303373] add to cart

CASANOVA DI NERI 2016 CASANOVA DI NERI 2016 "TENUTA NUOVA" BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

From the Le Cetine vineyard in the southern part of Montalcino, this wine did a lot to put them in the list of top producers, earning high praise already from its first release in 1998. It lives on today as one of the iconic, benchmark wines of Montalcino.

JAMES SUCKLING 99 POINTS - "Aromas of blackberries, cherries, violets and bark with mahogany. It's full-bodied and chewy with intense tannins that are layered and focused. The fruit is pure and purposeful, yet not over done. Wonderful strength and purity to this. Class is the word."

WINE ADVOCATE 97+ POINTS - "This is one of my sweetheart wines from Montalcino...offers a long list of aromas on an ever-shifting and fluid bouquet. You get bright cherry, rose potpourri, black truffle, caramel, butterscotch, sandalwood, road pavement and chalky mineral. In fact, each time I come back to this wine, that mineral element seemed to grow in intensity and scope. The wine offers a grounded fruit side that is contrasted nicely against a grounded oak component. The mouthfeel is creamy and long, and the wine shows terrific tannic integration. When you come back hours later, you might find black olive, bresaola and licorice."

$114.98 750ml [305898] add to cart

CASANOVA DI NERA 2015 CERRETALTO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINOCASANOVA DI NERA 2015 CERRETALTO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO

JAMES SUCKLING 100 POINTS - "This is a momentous wine with incredible power and structure that has so much minerality and crushed-stone character to the black cherries and blueberries. Full-bodied and tannic, yet the tannins are layered and polished with a glorious, creamy and juicy texture that coats your mouth. It goes on for minutes. Incredible wine. Try after 2025."

WINE ADVOCATE 98+ POINTS - "Of these new releases from this benchmark estate, the Casanova di Neri 2015 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto is my favorite wine. This Riserva is larger than life with ripe fruit, raspberry, cherry, spice, cola, root beer, mesquite and cedar. The wine offers a flashy and generous quality of fruit that unfolds over time with a multifaceted and multi-layered presentation. One thing that stands out here is the acidity that is bracing and tart at first but then succumbs to an important supporting role, rendering lasting freshness and persistence to the finish. With time, you get a flash of cherry and creme de cassis that seals the deal."

$339.99 750ml [301237] add to cart


Sun's out, Rum's out! Recent Releases From the Carribbean!

R.L. Seale & Co. was founded in 1926 by Reginald Leon Seale, embracing the Barbados tradition of fine aged and blended rums. Currently in operation by Richard Seale, Reginald's great grandson and the fourth generation in the family rum business.

Richard is most recognized by his work as Master Distiller and Master Blender of Foursquare Rum Distillery, re-opened by the Seale family in 1996. Foursquare's Rums have garnered the title of "Rum Producer of the Year" for 5 consecutive years, along with a significant amount of Rum trophies, gold medals, and accolades from both the International Spirits Challenge and the International Wine & Spirits Competition – two of the most respected competitions.

R.L. SEALE'S 12 YEAR BARBADOS RUM 750mlR.L. SEALE'S 12 YEAR BARBADOS RUM 750ml

Distilled and Blended at the Foursquare Rum Distillery in Barbados. Aged a minimum of 12 Years on-site at the distillery, under a tropical climate. Bottled at 46% ABV (92 Proof). No added flavors or sugars. An authentic aged Barbados Rum.

This is such an important bottle that we are glad to have on our shelves. The Exceptional Cask Selections from Foursquare are some of the best rums we have tasted and the awards they have received reflects this. But, they are limited editions-- once they're gone, that's it. Unless you hunt them down in the wild. This bottling of R.L. Seale's 12 year Barbados rum, however, will be a great year-round sipper or mixer, one that reflects its origin point quite well.

The nose of treacle and sassafras, baking spices and incense lead to a palate full of flavor: brown sugar, toasted caramel, hints of baked plantain, mixed spice and spun sugar. Touches of cacao and tropical fruits extend the lengthy, glorious finish.

I imagine this would be lovely in a cocktail-- something perhaps with ginger beer and lime, or falernum, lime and bitters. But I tend to drink my spirits neat. An amazing thing about Foursquare rums, in general, is that even at some pretty heady proofs (think 120+), I've found them to be so balanced that they are perfect-- neat. This rum at 92 proof is right in that gorgeous, silky and lush-across-the-palate sipping zone. So, as I enjoy my limited edition Foursquare releases, I have another quality rum from Barbados to add to the lineup in this R.L. Seale 12 Year!

Sale $43.99 Normally $49.99 750ml [118226] add to cart

CHAIRMAN'S RESERVE LEGACY & 1931
via thefatrumpirate.com

Chairman's Reserve Legacy. Saint Lucia Distillers (SLD) have been very busy these past few years. Rapidly expanding their rum portfolio, especially in the export market. Building upon the Chairman's Reserve name in the shape of a continuous 1931 release, they have also released several single casks and limited edition rums under the Chairman's Reserve banner.

This latest release, Chairman's Reserve Legacy, sets out to commemorate the pioneering work undertaken by former "Chairman" Laurie Barnard – forever RIP.

In the mid nineties Laurie Barnard set about changing the distilleries outlook. "If we are to export our rum we need to be different; to have the tools to make great rum the old way. A column still and molasses is one dimensional."

So began work and a Pot Still was commissioned – the distillery now has three. Around the same time the sugar cane fields, which had lain dormant since 1962, were re-planted so the distillery could use estate sugar cane again. Laurie wanted to see a blender being able to use a variety of different rums from different stills and aged in different types of wood. A palette of rums, if you like. By 1999, Saint Lucia Distillers had such a palette in place and they released a rum which is now enjoyed in over 60 different countries – Chairman's Reserve Finest Saint Lucia Rum.

Chairman's Reserve Legacy is a blend of rums from the John Dore and Vendome Pot Stills and the Coffey Column Still.

CHAIRMAN'S RESERVE LEGACY 750ml 86 PROOFCHAIRMAN'S RESERVE LEGACY 750ml 86 PROOF

On the nose it is sweet and slightly floral with notes of pine cone and sweet soft toffee. This moves into wafts of vanilla, just a touch of hazelnut and some oak spice. It's not a big hefty nose but it's got a really nice balance to it. It's approachable and there is nothing which is off putting. Nice notes of toasted pineapple and a bit of passion fruit also come to the fore.

On the sip, it is reminiscent of Chairman's Reserve Original but it has an extra layer of refinement and complexity. The entry has a spicy, slightly grassy/floral note which again reminds me of pine cones and a touch of potpourri. The vanilla comes through afterward taking you through to a mid palate which has a note of spearmint. It's very fresh with a spicy hit of oak and some tobacco notes. The fruity notes come more in the way of coconut and some banana. Baking spices and notes of sweet shortcrust pastry.

It is more complex than the nose and the intial sip might suggest. It is kind of a hybrid between the Admiral Rodney range and the 1931's. With a bit of Chairman's Original thrown in for good measure.

Further sips I'm getting some winter berries – Blackcurrants and some raisins and sultanas. There is a sweetness there which I think, is from the sugar cane distillate which definitely lifts this rum to another level.

The finish is better than I was expecting with far more depth and complexity. It's long and it fades out really nicely with notes of pineapple, banana and a rich vanilla custard with plenty of nutmeg.

[4.5 out of 5 stars]

Sale $32.99 Normally $39.99 750ml [118241] add to cart

CHAIRMAN'S RESERVE 1931 750ml 92 PROOFCHAIRMAN'S RESERVE 1931 750ml 92 PROOF

Chairman's Reserve 1931 rum from St. Lucia Distillers was made as a tribute to the founder, Denis Barnard, and the year he established the distillery, 1931. The rum marries a blend of both molasses and agricole rum, distilled in both Coffey and pot stills, which are then aged in both bourbon and Port casks. It's quite a varied spread. The complex spirit is then presented in an elegant decanter, complete with wooden stopper.

In the glass the rum is a very dark brown with an orange hue. The nose is familiar and welcoming. Pine cones and forests in full bloom, mingle alongside a slightly briny note. Further aromas of dark chocolate, coffee and caramel put in an appearance as the complexity builds.

Further nosing reveals a slightly bourbon-esque note of charred wood and vanilla. Peaches and raisins are also coming through the more I nose. There is a slightly sweeter note – which I think may be from the agricole style component. A little hint of grassy freshness is definitely there.

Sipped, this is a very complex blend of rums. In the past I have suggested that the 1931's were maybe a little over complicated. This definitely has got the balance right. The flavors are well defined and there is a lot going on but it's all well balanced and each component really makes its mark.

The initial entry is quite herbal with a touch of mintyness. It's bright, clean and fresh. There is a nice burst of cocoa and a touch of tobacco. This moves onto a mid palate which has a nice oaky char resting alongside banana, dark chocolate and caramel.

The finish is long with lots of spicy ginger and charred oak. It's warm and luxurious and you will sip this sparingly to enjoy the long elegant slightly smoky finish.

This is pretty much near the top for me in terms of the 1931 series.

[4.5 out of 5 stars]

Sale $87.99 Normally $94.99 750ml [118240] add to cart


96 Point Best Burgundy Buy in Recent Memory is Back in Stock!

We just received another allocation of an amazing Premier Cru red Burgundy that sold out in a heart beat when we offered it in January. The demand was so high, we established a list for those who wanted to be notified if we received more. It's back and now is the time to grab some!

We at Hi-Time sell a LOT of red Burgundy and really enjoy the compelling balance, complexity and delicious drinkability of wine from the most famous Pinot Noir region in the world.

We first tasted the 2017 Premier Cru from Cellier Aux Moines months ago and absolutely loved it. The purity of fruit, silky smooth tannins and persistence made us sit up and take notice. We immediately purchased as much as we could get and enthusiastically recommended it to our Burgundy afficionados.

Then something pretty cool happened. Decanter magazine reviewed this wine and gave it a jaw-dropping score of 96 Points! The review notes "the wine's brilliance" and also calls it, "immediately expressive" with "aromas that leap from the glass, in a suave and elegant package."

This reaffirmed what we felt about this wine, but unfortunately we didn't have enough on hand to send out in an email offer for our customers. After several months, we were finally able to secure a bit more so we can share this gorgeous wine with a broader audience.

The domaine has a great story to tell and the property has been producing wine since 1130. The 5-hectare vineyard was farmed by Cistercian monks who recognized the quality of the terroir and its favorable southern exposure. The Premier cru "Clos Cellier Aux Moines" is considered the best vineyard in Givry. Specifically, the "Clos" or walled vineyard section where this wine is sourced is the creme de la creme of that vineyard. The clay-limestone geology that is shared by all the great Burgundy vineyards is obviously present here.

More recently, the Pascal family acquired this historic plot and set about farming organically and converting to Biodynamic practices. Their investment also included the construction of a gravity fed cellar to allow for gentler handling of the fruit.

The 2017 vintage in Givry was ideal with a sunny and warm Spring and Summer. The grapes achieved perfect ripeness and balance and were harvested by hand. After careful sorting, they were fed by gravity into oak vats with some of the grapes left in whole bunches. Fermentation occurred using only natural yeasts and the wine was aged 16 to 18 months in oak casks (1/3 new oak).

The resulting wine is flat out gorgeous with impressive depth and concentration showcasing red and black cherry as well as blackberry with earth, forest floor, light florals and a touch of spice.

This is a delicious Premier Cru Burgundy available at an incredible price. It is certainly our best Burgundy buy in recent memory.

Our supply of this wine is limited. When it's gone it's gone!

CELLIER AUX MOINES 2017 GIVRY CLOS CELLIERCELLIER AUX MOINES 2017 GIVRY CLOS CELLIER PREMIER CRU

JEB DUNNICK 96 POINTS - "The 2017 vintage for red Burgundy was Janus-like. Some wines are charming and forward. Others, like this one, have the requisite substance, structure, and balance for the long haul. This was the first year the domaine was almost fully biodynamic, and, that perhaps, explains the wine's brilliance. Immediately expressive, the 2017 grabs your attention. Aromas leap from the glass. On the palate, it combines firm mineral qualities with a Bing cherry-like fruitiness in a suave and elegant package. Fractionally less ripe compared to the 2015, its minerality shines. A hint of bitterness in the finish adds to its appeal. Supple, yet firm, tannins provide perfect support."

$39.99 750ml [353324] add to cart


Bright, Vibrant, Fresh Pinot Noir Under $13!

While Cabernet Sauvignon might be the grape most think of when ruminating about red wines from California, many also hopefully recall the pockets of perfection that allow for the growing of grapes that need something a bit more cool. One famous 'pocket' is Los Carneros, a ninety square mile AVA (American Viticultural Area) on the southernmost foothills of the Mayacamas and Sonoma mountain ranges.

Los Carneros AVA (also known as Carneros AVA) includes parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties in California, U.S.A.. It is located north of San Pablo Bay. The proximity to the cool fog and breezes from the bay makes the climate in Los Carneros cooler and more moderate than the wine regions farther north in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The cooler climate has made Los Carneros attractive for the cultivation of cooler climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

So, we have a great place to grow Pinot Noir but how is this bottling? In a word, lovely! Scents of fresh cherries and rose petals are grounded with touches of light spice and garden loam. Upon tasting, the berries are massively ripe: cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. Background notes of subtle minerality and light spice add complexity. The grip of tannins and scintillating streaks of acidity keep this wine balanced and ideal for the spring table. Think everything from ham to lamb, salmon to tuna, duck to pork. Or try some chèvre and salami with your favorite herb crackers.

And what's up with the owl theme? Barn owls are extremely useful in vineyard management but they do not create their own nest holes. Instead, they frequently use hollow trees or cavities from other birds, and they readily move into open buildings or nest boxes. With the right barn owl box, it is possible to encourage barn owls to become permanent residents in your yard or elsewhere on a larger property.

Many farmers and backyard birders welcome barn owls because these birds are efficient hunters that prey almost exclusively on small rodents such as mice, voles, rats, shrews, and gophers. With hungry barn owls and owlets in the area, less money, time, and effort will be needed for rodent control. Furthermore, because these raptors are primarily nocturnal, they rarely bother livestock or pets. They will not hurt crops or gardens, and they don't require feeders or expensive seed.

OWL BOX 2018 CARNEROS PINOT NOIROWL BOX 2018 CARNEROS PINOT NOIR

Many farmers and backyard birders welcome barn owls because these birds are efficient hunters that prey almost exclusively on small rodents such as mice, voles, rats, shrews, and gophers. With hungry barn owls and owlets in the area, less money, time, and effort will be needed for rodent control. Furthermore, because these raptors are primarily nocturnal, they rarely bother livestock or pets. They will not hurt crops or gardens, and they don't require feeders or expensive seed.

In summation, this is a light, bright, vibrant, fresh Pinot Noir that shows off the beauty of both Carneros and the vineyard protectors, the owls-- and a worthy champion to take our "Wine of the Month" mantle.

$12.98 750ml [274640] add to cart


A Gorgeous 94 Point Red Under $13!

We loved the 2016 release of Solanera and we believe the 2017 is even better! This is a red blend from Southeastern Spain comprised of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Garnacha Tintorera.

Complex, luxurious, harmonious. This is both serious and seriously good wine. It is structured enough to hold up to ribs on the barbecue with enough ripe fruit components and a price point to enjoy every day. There's so much going on regarding olfactory, taste and structure while just being a delight to sip. All this for under $13?? Sign us up!

DOP Yecla is a Spanish Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP) for wines located around the town of Yecla in the northernmost corner of the region of Murcia (Spain) and is completely surrounded by other DOPs: Jumilla to the south and west, Almansa to the north and Alicante to the east. The area is notable for its extensive use of the red Monastrell grape variety, and it is traditionally known as the home of Monastrell in Spain. Monastrell is the fourth most planted red grape variety in Spain.


CASTANO SOLANERA 2017 VINAS VIEJASCASTANO SOLANERA 2017 VINAS VIEJAS

The nose starts with gorgeous violet scents and a midnight garden floral perfume that leads to layers of mixed black fruits, sarsaparilla, dark red fruits and incense. In the mouth, ripe red fruits (cherry, raspberry) lead to spice box flavors, strawberry tea and a touch of herbal. Moderate silky tannins keep this wine balanced and alight. Vibrant fruit and dark spices pave the way to a long, glorious finish.

JEB DUNNICK 94 POINTS - "Beautiful, with lots of cassis, blackberry, graphite, camphor, and acacia flower notes on the nose, the 2017 Vinas Viejas hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness, a layered, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and a gorgeous finish. A blend of 65% Monastrell, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Garnacha, brought up in 75% new French oak, it's the real deal and will keep for 7-8 years, probably longer."

$12.95 750ml [382808] add to cart


95 Point Red Blockbuster is a Crazy Value!

"Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine" - Jeb Dunnuck

"I've raved time and time again about the quality -and value - coming from Domaine Lafage's Jean-Marc Lafage" - Robert Parker

"A round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's one of the finest values out there" - Jeb Dunnuck

The 2018 Bastide Miraflors by Domaine Lafage is unquestionably one of the greatest values in the wine world. We have written several times about how great these wines are and the unbelievable quality to price ratio. It feels as if we are playing a broken record, but the hits keep on coming. We have sold a lot of this wine over the years, but somehow the 2018 manages to take the wine to an even higher level! To be honest, it's hard to believe how good this wine is for the price. This is full-bodied with lush, fully ripened dark fruit flavors which are deeply satisfying.

Noted wine critic Jeb Dunnuck totally agrees and awarded this wine a whopping 95 Points. He described this wine as "a knockout bottle of wine" and called it "one of the finest values out there." We totally agree and love its seamless and silky profile. This is one incredible value that needs to be tasted to be believed.

The 2018 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes is a blend of Syrah and Grenache from the Cotes du Roussillon which is bursting with fruit and enticing drinkability.

Domaine Lafage has created custom cuvees with its importer Eric Solomon and is producing absolutely gorgeous wines. Today, we are able to offer this fantastic, opulent beauty for under $13.00 each! We really enjoy this wine which has become one of our customer's favorite red blends in the store.

This blockbuster of a wine is absolutely a steal with amazing fruit, purity and one to buy by the case!

LAFAGE BASTIDE MIRAFLORS 2018 VIEILLES VIGNESLAFAGE BASTIDE MIRAFLORS 2018 VIEILLES VIGNES

JEB DUNNICK 95 POINTS - "Based on 74% Syrah and 26% Grenache brought up in in a combination of concrete tanks (for the Grenache) and one year old demi-muids (for the Syrah), the 2018 Cotes Du Roussillon Bastide Miraflors is a knockout bottle of wine. It offers loads of black fruits, roasted herbs, peppered meat, violets, and bacon fat as well as full-bodied richness, a round, opulent style, ripe tannins, and a blockbuster finish. It's one of the finest values out there."

$12.95 750ml [350734] add to cart