- Item #: i_207840Bottle Size: 750mlA blend of 93% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot, this wine has a dark garnet core, with brilliant clarity in the glass. Intense, effusively luscious flavors of ripe red berries with caramelised notes of fig, cherry, and plum, elegantly woven together in barrel. Long-finishing and tannically vivid, yet with a remarkably soft palate.
- Item #: i_202630Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 95If you have ever thought about venturing into Oregon Pinot Noirs, now is your time! And if you are an Oregon Pinot Noir zealot, now is your time! 2015 is going down in the record books as one of the best vintages in the history of the state, with warm weather throughout most of the growing season, and the sun shining bright during harvest. The wines are forward, inviting, complex, and nuanced. Located in the Ribbon Ridge sub-region of the Willamette Valley, Beaux Freres is planted on steep, contiguous southward facing hillsides of Willakenzie soils, comprised of old marine sediment. With a focus on biodynamic farming, the vines are planted at high density and some vines on the property are 30 years old, with several being own rooted!
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 95 POINTS - "Brilliant ruby. Intense red and blue fruit, floral and spice qualities on the highly perfumed nose, along with hints of cola and licorice. Juicy and precise, offering concentrated raspberry, boysenberry and floral pastille flavors that take on a five-spice-powder nuance with air. Plays power off delicacy with a sure hand and finishes extremely long and silky, with polished tannins framing lingering red fruit and candied rose notes. 45% new oak."
- Item #: i_202780Bottle Size: 750MLWine Spectator: 94WINE SPECTATOR 94 POINTS - "Polished, rich and impressively structured, with rose petal and raspberry notes that build toward a sleekly dynamic finish and refined tannins. Drink now through 2029. 1,730 cases made. — TF"
- Item #: i_214500Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Along with Richard Sanford, Steve Beckmen has been one of the leaders of organic and biodynamic grape farmers in the Santa Ynez Valley… and he has the quite the bevy of high scores to show he’s doing things right! The Beckmen family have two properties in Santa Barbara County, but their Cabernet comes predominantly from the estate surrounding their winery. The gravelly, well-drained soil and warm climate is a perfect match for Cabernet Sauvignon. Planted on the hilltops and slopes of the property where there is the least amount of topsoil, the vineyard is planted with higher density to moderate the amount of fruit each vine has to ripen. Also, the vineyard is planted with three great Cabernet Sauvignon clones each adding to the complexity of the finished wine.
2018 has turned out to be one of the best vintages the Central Coast has seen in over a decade! Couple the quality of the vintage, along with this wine’s sub-$30 price point, and the 94-point score from Antonio Galloni, and you have a wine that is making wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Paso take note to what the Beckmens (and Santa Ynez Valley) are doing right!
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon (Santa Ynez Valley) is rich and explosive out of the glass. Inky dark fruit, grilled herbs, leather, licorice and a host of earthy notes flesh out in an expansive wine endowed with tremendous depth and complexity. This is such a gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon."
- Item #: i_214560Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 92ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2019 Sauvignon Blanc is a gorgeous wine that melds together expressive, varietal aromatics and a good bit of texture to back it up. Lemon peel, sage, mint and crushed rocks all race through this expressive, inviting Sauvignon Blanc from Steve Beckmen. This is such a classy, polished wine."
- Item #: i_204170Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 91It’s easy to say that Morgan Twain-Peterson was born into the wine industry… so let’s start there. Morgan is the son of legendary Ravenswood winemaker and Zinfandel legend Joel Peterson. At the age of 5, Morgan was able to distinguish Merlot from Zinfandel, and being the son of Joel, that made for some early learning of winemaking basics and eventually the essential techniques for fine winemaking. But Joel didn’t stop there. He went onto other wineries and regions to learn other methods, like working in the McLaren Vale region of Australia, and even working as a visiting winemaker at Château Lynch Bages in Bordeaux. Oh yeah…and he passed the Master of Wine exam!
Morgan only works with high quality fruit from high quality sites and ferments them in open top redwood and stainless steel fermenters then ages them in the sexiest French barrels from the coldest forests. The results are tremendous wines that range in style from opulent to elegant, yet taste exceptionally balanced!
ANTONIO GALLONI 91 POINTS - "The 2018 Zinfandel Old Vine is bright, floral and beautifully perfumed. Crushed red berries, flowers and sweet spice give the 2018 a very pretty sense of lift. In 2018, the Old Vine is especially gracious and light on its feet. The blend incorporates fruit from a number of top sites, including Bedrock, Teldeschi, Esola, Pagani, Papera, Evangelho and Pato."
- Item #: i_208450Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 95WINE ENTHUSIAST 95 POINTS - "Sinewy, earthy and full of spice, this well-made wine is lush and sumptuous, with firm, focused tannins and integrated oak. Black cherry, cinnamon and nutmeg meld on the structured, fullbodied palate, with a graceful hint of dark chocolate on the finish. This will do well in the cellar; enjoy 2025–2030."
Many years of farming and crafting Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley across appellations as diverse as Oakville, Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District and St. Helena, has helped the Nickel Family to intimately know the very best sites — each with its defining characteristics — from which to create Bella Union Cabernet.
Upon first sip, Bella Union offers exuberant plum and black cherry aromas, signature notes of the Bella Union Vineyard. The wine is luscious with supple tannins that provide a framework for longevity. The finish lingers with persistent fruit flavors and notes of toasty oak, black pepper and espresso bean.
- Item #: i_204050Bottle Size: 750MLClark and Telephone Vineyard, located near the corner of Clark Avenue and Telephone Road in the Santa Maria Valley, is cooled by wind and fog that snakes in from the Pacific Ocean along a channel of the Santa Maria River. Established in 1972, the Clark and Telephone Vineyard was planted "own root" to the Martini clone. This heirloom clone of Pinot Noir, one of the first to grace the California coastlands, has become something of a lost treasure.
In the winery, the clusters were de-stemmed and the must underwent a cold soak. Fermentation began with the inoculation of yeast strains matched to each lot of grapes. The maceration process during fermentation consisted of a combination of punch-down and pump-over techniques, each day the techniques would be reassessed to ensure that we were riding the line between over extraction and under extraction. The wine was aged in French oak (60% percent new) for nine months and was racked once upon completion of malolactic fermentation and again upon blending.
Scarlet in color; bursting with aromas of cinnamon, caramel and hints of ginger-spiced tea. On the palate, the plush weight coats the mouth with more brown spice and sweet oak flavors, layered into the deep blueberry and strawberry base. The viscosity paired with the flavors and lively acidity lead into a long finish with supple tannins.
- Item #: i_275130Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 90Wine Spectator: 90Jeb Dunnuck: 91JEB DUNNUCK 91 POINTS - "The entry-level 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon lacks the intensity and depth of the Lynch Family Vineyard, yet has attractive blackcurrants, blueberries, cedarwood, and graphite aromas, medium to full body, supple tannins, and outstanding balance. It's a beautiful wine to drink over the coming 10-15 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "Deep purple-black in color, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a little closed at this youthful stage, giving notions of black and red cherries, black plums and blackcurrants plus wafts of mossy bark and spice box. Medium-bodied, it has a good amount of uncomplicated flavors in the mouth, framed by rounded tannins and finishing spicy."
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "A ripe and polished style, with cocoa-edged plum and blackberry preserve flavors carrying through a tobacco- and toast-filled finish. Drink now through 2024."
- Item #: i_204350Bottle Size: 750mlThis wine was made with grapes grown with certified sustainable farming methods. Benziger's sustainable philosophy promotes natural vineyard management, restoration of the land and biodiversity on the estate. Benziger's Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is very inviting with aromas of black olive and savory, dark fruit. Its well weighted structure and integrated tannins add a light chalkiness to the palate. Flavors of black currant, Bing cherry and juicy plum endure from start to finish, as hints of tea and cocoa help support the mid-palate.
- Item #: i_204330Bottle Size: 750MLFor those of you who are familiar with the Benziger line, you know by now that this family produces some of the best values from Sonoma and are fanatics amongst the wine world’s Green movements. In fact, the Benziger Family has been for years working on converting their vineyards to organic practices and recently has recieved for many of their vineyards “Certified Sustainable” designations.
- Item #: i_275444Bottle Size: 750mlWine Spectator: 91WINE SPECTATOR 91 POINTS - "Precise and well-structured, with raspberry, dusky spice and black tea flavors that persist toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2024. 5,000 cases made."
- Item #: i_277886Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 95+Jeb Dunnuck: 97JEB DUNNUCK 97 POINTS - "I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 95+ POINTS - "Containing the tiniest splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of plum preserves, baked blackberries and cassis with hints of menthol, sandalwood and chocolate box. Full-bodied with soft, seductive tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous, ripe, opulent fruit, it has a decadent spiciness and great length."
- Item #: i_205310Bottle Size: 750mlBeringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region with the award of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
This approachable and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon is a generous Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins and a plush, full mouth-feel. Although this wine is built to age and develop further complexity, the generous and juicy upfront fruit makes it extremely enjoyable in its youth. Aromas of dried herbs, lavender, fresh boysenberry and lanolin join flavors of dark fruit led by figs, black cherry, and currants. The pronounced oak spice notes work well with the more traditional Knights Valley tones of black olive, wild sage and mocha. The wine is well-balanced with good acidity, structured tannins and a superbly elegant finish.
- Item #: i_275937Bottle Size: 750mlJeb Dunnuck: 94People in the wine world always want to talk about the "new kid on the block", but what needs to be remembered is there are a few of the "old guards" that will go toe-to-toe with those "young guns" and give them a run for their money! For decades, Beringer has been making phenomenal, world-class wines utilizing time-honored techniques that are still used today by virtually all the high-quality producers…even by those "young guns"!
Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay highlights the richness and complexity of this varietal and has been one of the benchmark Chardonnays since its first vintage in 1978. Just to give you an idea of the quality, let's take a look at the scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate for the past few years:
2017 Vintage - 93 Points
2016 Vintage - 90-92 Points
2015 Vintage - 91 Points
2012 Vintage - 93 Points
2011 Vintage - 95 Points
2010 Vintage - 87 Points
2009 Vintage - 93 Points
2008 Vintage - 94 Points
2007 Vintage - 92 Points
2006 Vintage - 92 Points
These are scores that most producers receive every so often…but not with this consistency. This is one of the reasons why Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay is such in demand. And how do they do it? Well, winemaker Laurie Hook ferments the juice in French oak barrels to enhance the natural richness in the wine. Weekly lees stirring enhanced the toasty notes, and integrated the oak flavors for an overall balance. All of the wine was put through malolactic fermentation to encourage a lush creaminess. After 9 months aging, Laurie chose the most expressive lots and blended them to create this richly layered wine.
JEB DUNNUCK 94 POINTS - "The classic Napa release from this estate, the 2018 Chardonnay Private Reserve has lots of beautiful golden apple, caramelized citrus, toasted nut, and hints of acacia flowers. With a rich, textured style, it still stays beautifully fresh, balanced, and layered. It's a brilliant effort."
- Item #: i_202860Bottle Size: 750MLWhile this is typically a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated blend, Merlot stole the show in 2012, so this year's blend is comprised of 52% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Very deeply-colored, the aromas exude beautifully ripened red fruits accented by subtle spice notes. The mouthfeel is very soft and full expressing delicious flavors of ripe cherry and plum. The finish is well structured with soft tannins promising a long life for this superb bottle, similar to a fine Bordeaux.
- Item #: i_208720Bottle Size: 750mlThe Wild Bee! The Wild Bee represents a shift in Big Table Farm's Chardonnay program. This wine takes the place of their Willamette Valley Chardonnay – only in name, label and price! Same vineyard sources, same winemaking, same barrels. The Wild Bee is a combination of all 6 sites of Chardonnay that they work with and is a fantastic representation of Willamette Valley Chardonnay for 2019.
At first blush this wine's aromatics offer up lemon custard and stone fruit. This is a clean bright expression of Chardonnay. It has a persistant white floral note that leads into warm toast and hazelnut – this all shows off the perfectly developed golden grapes that finish like a bite of perfectly ripe pear. The acid is fine and complex without any hard edges giving this wine tension to help you appreciate it's subtleties.
- Item #: i_202640Bottle Size: 750mlFor Pinot Noir, the cream really does rise to the top. Pinot Noir is such a transparent grape that any faults or follies in the growing and winemaking process are amplified in the finished wine. Therefore, when we find a Pinot Noir that shines above the rest, and at the same time doesn't break the bank, we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't let you know about it. And let us say, we've done our homework on this one to bring you a fantastic buy!
Bishop's Peak wines are handcrafted by Talley Vineyards to capture the varietal and regional diversity of San Luis Obispo County. The grapes for the wines come from small vineyard sites in Arroyo Grande Valley, Edna Valley, and Paso Robles. Some of these sites are owned by the Talley family while others are owned by growers who share the family's commitment to quality. This wine shows many of the similar qualities, nuances, and complexities of Pinot Noirs that sell for more than $25 a bottle, but seeing at this sells under $15 a bottle, this is one heck of a bargain!
- Item #: i_202670Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 90ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 90 POINTS - "(aged in a 50/50 combination of French and American oak, 35 percent of it new) Inky ruby. Ripe cherry, dark berries and a hint of vanilla on the perfumed nose. Sweet, seamless dark fruit, mocha and spicecake flavors put on weight and gain energy with air. Rich yet lively; a peppery element adds cut to the long, focused finish, and fine-grained tannins add grip."
- Item #: i_202680Bottle Size: 750MLVinous Media: 90This is the second label for Talley Vineyards. The goal with the Bishop's Peak Chardonnay is to produce wine that reflects the distinct aroma and flavor of cool climate Chardonnay in the purest way possible. Consequently no new oak barrels are used for fermentation or aging. The 2016 vintage was produced entirely from Oliver's Vineyard in the Edna Valley, predominantly in stainless steel with some neutral French oak barrels. The 2016 vintage of Bishop's Peak Chardonnay is light straw in appearance and reveals aromas of lemon, white peach, and jasmine. On the palate, intriguing notes of orange creamsicle, pear juice, and lime zest are enhanced by a chalky minerality. Try pairing this refreshing chardonnay with oysters on the half shell or linguini with clams.
ANTONIO GALLONI'S VINOUS MEDIA 90 POINTS - "(raised in a combination of stainless steel tanks and neutral French oak barrels) Limpid yellow. Fresh pear, melon, orange zest and a hint of chamomile on the nose; a subtle hint of leesiness emerges slowly. Juicy and round on the palate, offering ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors accented by a smoky nuance. Silky and focused on the finish, which shows good lift, spicy cut, and very good, floral-driven persistence."