- Item #: i_200430Bottle Size: 750mlThe Los Alamos Vineyard is roughly 500 planted acres, most of which is on flat bottomland of the Los Alamos Valley that is sandwiched between the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley appellations. The best grapes from this vineyard are found to the north on the gentle slopes of the hills. Au Bon Climat sources grapes grown at the top of the wind-swept slopes of the Solomon Hills. On this hilltop the wind and shallower soils keep the yields low and the grapes struggle to ripen. Even though it is a struggle, the small crop ripens early. This is the first Chardonnay to arrive at the winery for the last 10 years. The small crop on these hardy vines is concentrated.
- Item #: i_209820Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94After graduating from Cal Poly SLO, winemaker Denise Shurtleff worked at a local winery as a lab tech during harvest, and was quickly introduced to the intensity and passion associated with fine winemaking. She worked all aspects at the winery, learning how each and every part of the winemaking process affects the final wine. The sustainably-farmed Tempusquet Vineyard in Santa Maria produces grapes of intense quality, and Denise knows just the methods needed to get the vineyard's best into the bottle.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Syrah Tepusquet Vineyard is the most impressive wine in the range today. Powerful, dense and explosive, the 2015 pulses with both energy. An exotic melange of inky dark fruit, creme de cassis, lavender, black pepper and spice builds as this striking wine shows off its pedigree."
- Item #: i_215510Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 91Jeb Dunnuck: 91 PointsDierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Dierberg sells much of their fruit to other wineries, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections of the vineyard for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones" whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Chardonnay vineyard in California. Last year's 93-point Chardonnay was a huge hit at our store, and this Pinot Noir is a great follow up!
This wine has the personality of many Chardonnay's from Burgundy's Macon region; baked apple, plenty of lively acidity and freshness, good body, and low to moderate use of new oak (about 20%). This is an amazing deal in California Chardonnay, earning 92 points from both Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and Antonio Gallino's Vinous Media...so grab this while it's still here!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard, aged 15 months in 20% new oak, has a nose of honey toast, baked golden apple, wet hay, earth, white peach and almonds plus a tinge of creme fraiche. The palate is medium-bodied with a silky texture, very lively acidity and a long, nutty finish. 2,675 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard is rich, ample and super-expressive. Lemon confit, pineapple, lime and tropical notes infuse this lush Chardonnay with plenty of character. Supple, open-knit and inviting, the 2017 is best enjoyed over the next handful of years."
JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The 2016 Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard (10 months in 30% new French oak) reveals a lighter gold color as well as a terrific bouquet of white currants and orchard fruits, brioche, spice, and hints of toasted bread. With medium body, a rounded, nicely textured style, good balance, and a great finish, drink it over the coming 4-6 years."
- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlDierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Other wineries have sourced fruit from this prominent vineyard and received high scores for their superbly crafted wines. Dierberg still sells much of their fruit, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones"; heritage clones whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Pinot vineyard in California.
- Item #: i_246270Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "The 2018 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is superb. Rich, deep and fleshy, this striking, absolutely delicious Syrah has so much to offer. Blueberry, violet, lavender, chocolate, spice, licorice and black pepper capture the essence of cool-climate Syrah. The 2018 is an irresistible appellation-level wine that punches well above its weight. What a knock-out!"
- Item #: i_232470Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsOwned by Stan Kroenke (who also owns Screaming Eagle), Jonata is located in Ballard Canyon, just south of Los Olivos and is focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah. The entire Jonata property is comprised of sand, with varying amounts of clay. The vineyards are sustainably farmed (herbicides and pesticides don’t even enter the conversation), and the area enjoys very cool nights due to winds coming off the Pacific Ocean, mixed with very warm days during the summer months. This helps to create wines of exceptional structure, intensity, and ageability...and it’s not uncommon for these Jonata wines to earn 97-100 points from the critics!
Jonata’s winemaker is Matt Dees, and he has the kind of resume that makes other winemakers green with envy. Having previously worked at other noteworthy estates such as Staglin in Napa, and Craggy Range in New Zealand, Matt has learned how to coax the best out of several different grapes grown in a variety of climates.
JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "The 2014 El Desafio de Jonata is a baby that needs to be forgotten for 5-6 years. A blend of 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 4% each of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, it offers terrific notes of blackcurrants, lead pencil shaving, licorice, tobacco leaf and roasted meats. Seamless, elegant and gorgeous on the palate, with a phenomenal texture, ultra-fine tannin, and a great finish, it's a tour de force in Santa Barbara County Cabernet Sauvignon. It will keep for 2-3 decades."
- Item #: i_232430Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 97 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvees, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"All the 2015s were bottled just 5 weeks ago. Looking first at the 2015 Fenix, it's probably the best vintage of this cuvee to date and is made from 47% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. Currants, violets, plums, earth and licorice notes all give way to a ripe, sexy, incredibly polished Merlot that has building tannin. It's tour de force that needs 3-5 years of cellaring and will keep for two decades."
- Item #: i_232210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 99JEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata (98% Syrah and 2% Viognier) is a beautiful follow on to the sensational 2015 and has a layered, multi-dimensional, massive profile. Blackcurrants, blackberries, lavender, bacon fat, and spring flower notes all flow to a seriously rich, powerful wine that stays light and graceful, with awesome tannin quality. It's another tour de force that reminds me of the 2007. It shuts down with extended air time (I followed this bottle for two days) and while it can certainly be enjoyed today, it won't hit prime time for another 4-6 years and should keep for two decades or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata is a wine of real substance and depth. In 2016, the La Sangre is distinguished by its red fruit profile, freshness and vibrant, focused personality, all of which should allow it to age gracefully for a number of years. The 2016 is not as overt as some previous versions have been, but that is probably a very good thing for its longer term prospects. Time in the glass brings out the wine's underlying richness and pedigree."
- Item #: i_241050Bottle Size: 750mlOur buyer was visiting/touring/tasting around the Paso Robles region when McPrice Myers was rebranding a few of his wines. Two of the wines were just about to be bottled, and Mac invited our buyer to the winery and taste them, and of course our buyer went (if you've ever had Mac's wines, you know why this was a no brainer). Vis-a-vis their pricepoints, our buyer felt that Mac's "Blue Collar Series" (of which he makes a Cabernet, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Grenache-blend) far exceeded anything else he tasted on that trip!
A blend of 48% Grenache, 24% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 10% Petite Sirah, and 4% Graciano, this has aromas and flavors of macerated cherries, strawberry reduction, sweet spice, spring flowers, plum tart, melted licorice, and fresh herbs. The palate has an exuberant, sweet approach, with a long, mineral-laced finish.
- Item #: i_273320Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Representing a portion of every Syrah block on the vineyard, Estate Syrah best represents Stolpman Vineyard’s soil, methodology, and the Ballard Canyon weather conditions in any given year.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Syrah Estate is a fabulous example of both the estate and everything Ballard Canyon is about. Fabulously deep and expansive, the Estate captures tremendous character. The flavors are dark, brooding and so rich. Black cherry, plum, leather, spice and dried herbs abound. The 50% whole clusters are nicely integrated, but the tannins are equally imposing, so a measure of patience is critical. All of the other Syrahs in this range are compelling, but to me the Estate is the most complete. It's a reference-point wine for the appellation."