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Staff Favorites - Greg St. Clair

Greg St. Clair

Reviews

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2016 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine lets you know it is something special, focused, dense, with waves of spice and fruit. On the palate the wine has a supple power, the concentrated focused middle gives one a tubular sensation of polished richness. The flavors are nascent, brooding and developing in the glass. A long finish with just hints of barrel spice but remarkable power and palate persistence. A Blockbuster wine capable of long aging but with an hour or four of decanting now this wine will knock your socks off.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Cantina Terlano Terlaner Cuvée Alto Adige
Review Date: 12-03-2019
From their first vintage in 1893, Cantina Terlan’s over 100-year-old tradition of blending 60% Pinot Bianco, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc has truly stood the test of time. The nose shows lots of floral aromatics; right now the Sauvignon shows a little more. On the palate the Pinot Bianco is the backbone of the wine, giving it the structure balance and longevity while the Chardonnay adds a supple layer of richness. Fermented in stainless, the wine is then aged 20% in large oak barrels and 80% in stainless for 6 months, then blended together. Exceptional palate presence and finish. The Terlaner Classic has become a staple here at K&L over the last couple of decades. You should give it a try.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2017 Akitu "A1" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Black Label)
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine shows lots of ripe, dark complexity in the fruit. On the palate the wine has a bit of grippy tannin but it's just part of the overall structure and isn't obtrusive. The wine isn't a California fruity styled Pinot but it does have lots of intrigue, spice and depth, for me it would definitely be served with a richer meal.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2012 Château Montus Madiran
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine drags you into the glass, you can feel the power it's almost like gravity sucking you in. On the palate the wine's tannic structure is surrounded by a thick, spicy, layer of unctuous fruit that softens and eases the tannin's punch. This is Cellar Selection and one can see why unless you're really into cold nights with lots of Cassoulet! Very solid wine, just a big boy
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine shows lots of spice and delicate fruit. On the palate I was expecting the usual Madiran grip but this wine shows real balance and expression, and while it does have tannin it is wonderfully balanced and I fine it is one of the most inviting Madiran I've tried.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Les Vignerons de Tautavel Vingrau "Silex" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Tautavel
Review Date: 12-03-2019
Lots of dark fruit in the nose, yet elegantly restrained not the flamboyant sweetish type one sees all to often. On the palate the wine shows a depth of flavor and a supple, polished texture that is supported by a tannic framework, that is there but just holds the wine together and isn't in the way. This is a wine with lots of depth, flavor and intrigue, very, very solid in this price range.

2017 Jeff Carrel "Lilac" Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine is full of aromatic fruit, plum and cherry but suggests a ripe, fleshy body that isn't as ripe and fleshy as the nose portrays. On the palate the wine has loads of ripe and flavorful dark fruit the wine shows a bit of tannic structure but in general this is a lot of wine for the price point.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Silla Il Piaggione Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-03-2019
The nose of this wine is fascinating, waves of wild cherry, Tuscan herbs and leather. On the palate the wine shows an additional range with lots of soil character, iron, spice and sweet earth. While this might sound like a real traditional styled wine it actually is sort of midway between classic and more modern. Wonderful finish, long and spicy with lots of lift and a bit of grip.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Thistle Ridge Pinot Noir Waipara Valley North Canterbury
Review Date: 12-03-2019
Vibrant flavors, lots of dark cherry fruit, spice and has a good level of ripeness. On the palate you see immediately that this is a wine that comes from limestone soil, the lift and length are so evident, and they accentuate the fruit bringing it to a new level. The finish is long, clear and brings back the dark cherry fruit from the nose. This is a wine clearly playing above its’ price range and shows a real vibrancy, this is not a soft, smooth, easy wine it’s a bit challenging but a perfect food wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 12-03-2019
.The nose of this wine shows some serious quality fruit, bright while still showing depth. On the palate this wine shows weight and a bit of stemmy grip to give the wine some structure and resonance. The finish is a bit condensed but still shows lots of character for a wine of this price-point carrying through a lot of fruit and earth

2015 Fratelli Revello Barolo
Review Date: 11-13-2019
I love the nose of this wine, so full of spicy fruit, hints of earth, wisps of smoke and leather. On the palate the wine says Barolo but in a really forward and fruit filled way, the richness of the 2015 vintage comes through and makes this wine a really drinkable Barolo. The lushness of the wine is balanced by framing tannins that are soft but give structure. This may not be the wine you're looking to lay down for 20-30 years but if you'd like to drink one this Holiday Season I think you'll really enjoy this wine!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-05-2019
The nose of this wine is full of smoky, wild herbs with dried wild cherries and bits of sweet earth finishing up. On the palate this wine shows a supple richness with tannins that frame the center rather than define it. The flavors are from the soil, wild herbs, porcini, smoke and showing a plumy center accented by cinnamon, cardamom, anise and leather. The finish on this wine is long, inviting and although not a “big” wine it shows a wonderful plump balance. This wine should be decanted for an hour to open the aromatic spectrum.

2017 Clos Saint-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 10-08-2019
The nose of this wine isn’t a vision of effusive, super ripe fruit; it’s restrained, and shows lots of dark fruit in a focused, more linear manner. On the palate the wine has some tannin, but shows a broad richness accented by a vibrant acidity. Definitely not a over-ripe year for the Rhone. The flavors are concentrated, centered, and show more dark fruit, garrigue, herb and spice. The finish is long, showing lots of dark spice and shows good balance. Not a short term wine but this wine will do very well with some cellaring.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Le Temps des Cerises" Chinon
Review Date: 10-01-2019
The nose of this wine is so inviting, layers of black pepper, currant and touches of garrigue. On the palate the wine shows wonderful richness and excellent balance carrying those same black pepper and currant flavors with a supple yet forceful palate presence. The finish has real lift and energy while luxuriating in a secondary richness, I really like this wine, one of the best drinking Chinon I’ve had in some time.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Goutte de Rose" Chinon Rosé
Review Date: 10-01-2019
The nose of this wine is bright, very tight with hints of forest fruits. Very pale in color while on the palate the wine shows breadth and a bit of grip, almost Tavel like, while the flavors have more fruit in the back end than up front. The wine shows very good acidity and excellent length I think an excellent wine for food this isn’t a poolside sipper, it’s more serious.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 10-01-2019
Matelica is my favorite DOC for Verdicchio, the inland Apennine valley full of marine sediments that has a true continental climate and always gives wines with verve, bright burst and...richness. The nose of 2016 Monacesca Riserva Mirum is full of spice and ripe stone fruit, layered and flowing. On the palate the richness of the vintage is obvious, but the balance of this wine is what is so evident, focused brightness encased in a supple, texture filled body. What makes this wine so unique is that it isn’t harvested until the third week of October this allows the grapes to achieve total physiological ripeness of flavor without losing balance. That leads to the deeper aromatics, that show more complete flavors, less green and more complex fruit on the palate. A very long and vibrant finish continues and on. The amazing thing is that even with the ripeness this wine has great acidity and real aging ability. Superb drinking now, I love this wine with Halibut or Sea Bass.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2018 Tenuta Roveglia "Limne" Lugana
Review Date: 10-01-2019
Just to make things perfectly clear, I LOVE this wine and every year I have the same feeling, it is my go-to house white, OK that was just to show you I have no personal prejudice in looking at this wine. The nose is full of white flower and freshness with deeper stone fruit aromatics lying in the background. On the palate it shows immediate weight and density but with excellent acidity and balance. The flavors are open, showing lots of subtle fruit, bits of spice and poached Bosc pear enveloped in a creamy flow. Great finish, showing lift, elegance and not giving up its’ density. I was at the winery in April and tasted the 1996, you’d think this might be a one off but this wine ages incredibly well I’ve had at least a dozen wines from the 00’s and 90’s and they’ve still been going strong. I can’t seem to buy enough not to drink them all young however.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Fortuna "Magnus" Sant'Antimo Rosso
Review Date: 09-24-2019
The nose of this wine is powerful, and extraordinarily inviting, it’s full of a wild cherry brightness that progresses into a broad curranty boldness. The wine is 40% Sangiovese and you can feel the focus and linear character it gives to the wine on your palate, layering a central point with vibrant acidity and wild cherry intrigue. This is followed by a deeply textured, plumy density that shows the 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Petit Verdot portion of the blend. The Bordeaux varieties add a robust density and weight to the wine but all balance on that linear Sangiovese framework. Add to that it is from the incredible 2016 vintage in Montalcino, you’ll hear about that soon enough, and a superb value. This wine drinks very well right now but will age for a decade easily.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 BOLD Wine Co. Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-27-2019
The nose of this wine is fresh, bright with an earthy, stemmy aromatic that serves as complexity. On the palate this wine shows medium plus body, lots of richness and lives up to the label in Boldness. This isn’t a sweet, fruit filled Pinot, this wine is for those who are looking for more savory, earthy character and with that it delivers beyond its’ price point. Good tannins, power, and lots of intrigue if you want to get out of the sweetish California Pinot Parade, this is your wine.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2015 Peake Ranch Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-27-2019
The nose of this wine greets you with a big, toasty, brioche filled aromatic that harkens back to a more distant era. On the palate the wine has a medium plus body that just exudes creaminess, supple, soft, smooth carrying on that toasted brioche flavor. The finish shows some lift and balance in the end for a broad, smooth ending.
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 08-27-2019
The nose of this wine shows more herbaceous notes than I’ve seen in a California SVB in some time, I look on that as a positive. Lots of white flower mixed with herbal hints accent the medium full palate that shows lots of texture but is brightened by a good acidity. The finish accents the herbaceous notes again but then segues into a bit of figgy richness. A good balance and freshness a very good wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2018 Sesta di Sopra Sangiovese Toscana
Review Date: 08-23-2019
If you’re looking for that Tuesday night introduction to this property, just something to drink with your mac and cheese, then the 2018 Sesta di Sopra Sangiovese is your wine. This wine comes from the younger vines on this tiny estate. It’s got crunchy, cranberry-like flavors, shows hints of leather, earth, and dried herbs, and has a luscious, supple texture—perfect even for Wednesdays.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Sesta di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-23-2019
If you don’t want to pop for the Brunello right off the top, you should try the Rosso di Montalcino. All Sangiovese, and from one of the region’s best vintages of all time, it is stunningly good. The nose of Sesta di Sopra’s Rosso just jumps out at you. Spicy, complex, with wild cherry fruit, salted plums, and hints of sage and leather, it’s intriguing, seductive, and inviting. On the palate the wine is broad, full-bodied, and rich, yet not heavy. It has an elegance, is supple yet forceful, and it is savory, not fruity. It tastes like you should be having it with a meal, like veal shank or just a big hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 08-23-2019
This has the classic Sesta di Sopra nose of earth, sage, and leather, with hints of complex earth, stone, and plum notes. It is a supple, aromatic, pretty wine, lively on the palate, that has weight and persistence. If you’re in Montalcino, it’d be a perfect match for your lunch or dinner, which undoubtedly would include wild boar.

2018 Antonelli "Trebium" Trebbiano Spoletino
Review Date: 08-23-2019
Trebbiano is an odd grape. I’m sure you’ve all had some less than inspiring versions, but it actually isn’t a grape at all—it’s a family of similarly named grapes that are all very different. I know, it’s Italy—it’s confusing. There is no confusion with this wine, however. The Trebbiano Spoletino is sensational, with a nose full of spice, and on the palate, power, weight, definition, tremendous focus, and great acidity. This is a must try!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2018 Tenuta Roveglia Chiaretto Rosé
Review Date: 08-23-2019
When you think rosé, does French rosé come to mind first? But that’s not the only wine in the game! If you haven’t had an Italian rosé, this is a good time to start. Tenuta Roveglia comes from the shores of Lake Garda, where pink wine, Chiaretto in this region, has been around for over 200 years. On the palate the wine is dry and crisp, with lots of fruit and excellent minerality, and a long and complex finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2017 Guy Farge "Terroir de Granit" Saint-Joseph
Review Date: 08-21-2019
The nose of this wine is deep, and it shows a bit of earthy character and some spice. On the palate the wine has a crunchy tannin, but not bitter, it’s just crunchy but followed up with a very polished, supple mouthfeel, and long. While there is a background of fruit, this wine doesn’t show overt fruit, it’s not a blackberry, raspberry vehicle it is more subdued. The finish is supple, tannins couched appropriately, long and it does have a bit more soil character, some edgy mineral character. Overall I like this wine, drinkable now but in 3-5 years much more interesting.

2018 Domaine Vincent Carême "Spring" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 08-20-2019
The nose on this wine really captivated me, wild, saline intrigue followed by lemon meringue…OK that doesn’t show up in most tasting notes but it really is appropriate here. On the palate the wine has vibrant acidity with a full body to accompany it, long, supple and vibrant with great lift in the finish. I really like this wine, I had sort of lost interest in Vouvray over the last few years with wines that seemed a bit too gamey, this one is buttoned up tight and is really good.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Alpha Estate "Hedgehog Vineyard" Xinomavro Amyndeon Greece
Review Date: 08-20-2019
I’ll be honest I am still trying to figure out Xinomavro, I’ve got the pronunciation down, but it is a wine I haven’t been able to categorize in my mind. On the nose it shows lots of leather, spice, grit and hints of fruit compote while on the palate it shows a bit of grippy tannins with a replay of the nose. The finish seems to accent the tannins, they’re not big and powerful but evident. This is a wine that you need some rich, heavy, textural food to have this with, while obviously Moussaka seems the choice I think you’re better served with a good’ol American lasagna.

2015 Kir-Yianni "Ramnista" Naoussa Greece
Review Date: 08-07-2019
The nose on this wine is full of Mediterranean scrub brush, mixed with dried fruits and some campfire aromatics as well. On the palate one sees that this is not the wine for someone looking for California Pinot Noir, this is a wine with and edge, personality, a bit gruff and curmudgeonly yet with some inherent intrigue behind it. This is a wine that definitely needs a food accompaniment whether it be a spicy Pork souvlaki grilled over Mesquite or a heavy, dense Moussaka!

2015 Massolino Barolo
Review Date: 08-07-2019
One of the real Hallmarks of the 2015 vintage is drinkability and wineries such as Massolino whose Serralunga roots usually predict an undrinkable period, long cellaring and then glorious results have produced a wine that can do both. The nose is ultra-inviting with warm, open fruit, layers of cherries intermingled with smoke, earth and umami depth. On the palate is where the real shock is, this Barolo is supple, round and smooth, a drinkable Barolo from Massolino at this stage is almost unthinkable, yet this wine delivers. There might be comparisons to the very approachable 2000 vintage but 2015 is a much more structured vintage with real holding power. The wine has a tannic border, but those tannins are sweet and act as a frame rather than a cage holding the wine in. The finish is long, balanced and shows lots of expressive fruit now, but I do envision a period of Adolescence for this wine while it develops. An extraordinary deal for one of Barolo’s great producers.

2015 Elio Grasso "Ginestra Casa Matè" Barolo
Review Date: 08-07-2019
Having just tasted this wine I think most of the reviewers got this wine in a juvenile, closed phase because this wine is singing! The delight of the 2015 vintage is the rich, sweet fruit that comes with the ripeness but there’s no hint of over ripeness, this wine is perfectly balanced. I do find it is always hard to taste these wines together because one always feels the need to say this one is better than that one, they really are both amazing but in really different ways. The nose of this wine is so inviting, it’s not a typical closed in Barolo behemoth it is enticing, full of dried figs, smoke, porcini…I could go on. The really enticing portion of this wine was on the palate, you might have had experience drinking Barolo where that first palate presence is shocking and makes your cheeks want to turn inside out, but not this wine OMG it is amazing. Supple, sweet tannins frame the outside of this wine allowing waves of flavors, a savory, umami rich roll starts it, then more forest floor, then smoke and truffle and back to the dried figs, I can’t think of another flavor for that than dried figs. Super balanced, exceedingly long, and incredible finish, yet all the talk of balance, supple and drinkable might make you think this wine is a short term wine but Oh No, this is a Barolo’s Barolo, long term, it is really special and is going to last a long, long time.

2015 Elio Grasso "Gavarini Chiniera" Barolo
Review Date: 08-06-2019
If you haven’t read the glowing review I wrote about Elio Grasso’s glorious 2015 Barolo Ginestra “Casa Maté,” you should. Yet with as many magnificent things that I wrote about it, and rightfully so, it was sooo obvious that, given all of the power, depth and longevity in the Ginestra, it is not quite as much as in the Gavarini. This wine just reeks of Barolo. It has a similar aromatic profile to the Ginestra, but every portion of it is saturated, deeper, with an added layer of complexity at every turn, yet it has more of the tar and roses character to it, the traditional Barolo profile. On the palate you can feel more intensity and structure but it still doesn’t come across as rigid or grippy; the tannins are still sweet, yet they’ve intensified. The same is true of the flavors. Everything here is just intensified, there’s just more there there. Buy one and drink it now and drop a bunch in the cellar--this wine is stunningly good.

2016 Cantina Terlano "Vorberg" Pinot Bianco Riserva Alto Adige
Review Date: 08-06-2019
The nose of this wine is divine: swirling aromatics full of white flowers, hints of bergamot, a saline breeze, spice, and depth immediately. On the palate the wine shows incredible size and richness, a powerful statement of the vintage. Then ripe pear emerges to blend with stone fruits and salted plum; just a wide variety of flavors. The finish once again shows the size, density, and weight of this vintage stretched over a spectacular frame. I love Vorberg and this is one of the best vintages I can remember. These wines will last a long, long time. I’ve had versions out of the 1950s that have been wonderful at 50 years old. This is a vintage to stock up on. I am doing so.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-06-2019
The nose of this wine is very complex, full of menthol, camphor, eucalyptus and green olive coupled with a bit of earth and spice. On the palate the wine is medium bodied yet very balanced, those same aromatics are slightly muted while more earth and hints of cassis emerge. The finish is very balanced, long and I finally understand these Margaret River wines, they have more of a Bordeaux bent than a new world angle, they don’t have the sweet fruit of Napa but they do have that supple, smooth body, a delight to drink if you’re doing up a spicy flank steak on Friday nights.

2018 Skouras Moscofilero Péloponnèse Greece
Review Date: 08-06-2019
The nose of this is wildly aromatic, but not in a fruity sense, it is more white flower, quince compote, with more savory leanings, I love it. On the palate a true saline character is the initial bracing then a medium body with lively acidity takes over with more stone fruit character. A solid, weighty feel gives the wine a supple roundness, but it’s still pierced by lively, refreshing acidity. I really like this wine and can see it being an excellent aperitif or for vegetable dishes or even linguini with clams, you should try it.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-30-2019
The nose of this wine is aromatic, not fruity, it’s far more complex it reminds me of the old Sonoma style Cabernet Sauvignon, more green olive, leather and spice mixed with a lot of complex violet and lavender and a touch of cassis in the finish. On the palate the wine is balanced, shows excellent length and is supple, with smooth tannins, easy to drink wine. Less Napa, more savory perfect match for food, and for those who are Anti Fruit-Bomb!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 La Massa "La Massa" Toscana
Review Date: 07-30-2019
The nose of this wine is focused, layered and shows lots of complex herb, wild brush, leather and rosemary but behind that is a core of intense fruit. On the palate the wine shows structure, balance and excellent length. The hallmark of the 2016 vintage is a concentrated center and it is readily evident here adding a real depth and intensity. The flavors show a savory aspect more than a fruit forward character adding in that umami like soy, mushroom and salty tang while the fruit comes up in the back. While this wine sounds like it’s big and bold it is exceptionally well balanced and while it does have size it is so in harmony that you can drink it now or age it for another 7-10 years. This is the best La Massa that I’ve had, powerful, supple, smooth tannins, very complex this is one to stock up on. Bravo Gianpaolo!

2015 Santoleri "Vignaladra" Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
Review Date: 07-24-2019
When you hear that a winery started their switch to organic agriculture in 1981, their vineyards lie above 1100 feet and were planted in 1968 and 1972, in a calcareous soil with a south, southeasterly exposure and only 13.5% abv, you might well sit up a bit and take notice. The problem is always: Oh…it’s a Montepulciano. But it shouldn’t be this way because Montepulciano is really a great varietal and can produce wines of great depth, complexity and structure. Well, the stats I listed above are for the Santoleri “Vignaladra” Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. You should love this wine. The Vignaladra has a savory intrigue full of smoke, porcini dust and sweet earth that adds to the vibrant dark cherry and plump berry aromatics. It doesn’t hurt that it’s from the superb 2015 vintage as well. Try it with grilled meats or a hearty pasta.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$24.99

2014 Jonata "Todos" Ballard Canyon Santa Ynez Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 07-23-2019
Todos is right! I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect from this wine, but what I got wouldn’t have been a guess for me to begin with. The nose of this wine is far more savory than fruity. It doesn’t seem like your normal California “red blend,” as it’s a lot more precise. While "Todos" has real density and richness, it doesn’t resort to fat and squalor, it has good acidity without sacrificing richness, and the flavors are all over the board, very hard to categorize, because there’s not really anything else like this wine! Having said that you won’t be able to categorize it, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Tt’s delicious, balanced with a hint of tannin, long finish, and a perfect accompaniment to rustic, grilled meats.

2018 Massican "Annia" Napa Valley White Blend
Review Date: 07-23-2019
If I told you I thought this wine smelled and tasted like Tocai Friulano and Ribolla Gialla…that probably wouldn’t be much help for most of you, but I will anyway. As the Italian buyer for the company I was impressed with the varietal correctness. The nose was classic white flower and on the palate the wine showed the richness Tocai Friulano can give a wine and it was coupled with the riveting acidity that Ribolla Gialla can give. Excellent balance, no oak flavors. This is a really good bottle of wine.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2014 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-23-2019
This is a fascinating wine. The nose was wildly aromatic, full of tar, spice, igneous intrigue with wild brush and some deep, brooding, unspecified, dark fruit. I know that sounds a bit mysterious, and maybe even hard to understand, but it was really fascinating--maybe just not what you might be expecting from a Cabernet. On the palate the wine was supple and perhaps a little less mysterious, it showed good weight and savory components, definitely not a fruit bomb. The finish was long, buoyant and had submerged tannins creeping in on the end. A really fascinating wine you should try.

2018 Villa Maria "Taylor's Pass" Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 07-23-2019
The nose of this wine caught my attention immediately. I was expecting more of the classic jalapeno-laden, kiwi character that one finds regularly in New Zealand. This wine was a revelation--the nose was so much deeper, more complex, savory, and saline, and couldn't be pigeon-holed, as new aromatics emerged with every swirl. On the palate the wine shows decisive richness, supple power that gave one the sense of Chardonnay weight, but with a complex array of Loire-like flavors. It reminded me of Francois Cotat Sancerre, it had that kind of allure. The finish was long, persistent, and very complex. I'm going to buy this myself.

2016 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 07-23-2019
The nose is full of ripe aromatics, sweetish with just a hint of wood. However this wine has no sweetness to it, there’s just a mouthful of richness, broad, powerful and a kaleidoscope of flavors. I generally am not a Syrah fan but this wine doesn’t have the negative portions of Syrah I don’t like. This wine is pure, balanced shows real power without any flab; this isn’t a "secret" anymore, this wine is sensational.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Château de L'Ou "Compartir" Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge
Review Date: 07-23-2019
The nose of this wine is full of baking spices, crushed flowers, a dark berry compote, just wildly aromatic. On the palate the wine is very well balanced but feels ultra-plush, it’s a texture that says cold winter nights but here in San Francisco that could be a summer afternoon. I really want to use the word "hedonistic" for this wine, but I don’t want it to get mixed up with the Robert Parker meaning for the word--this wine is clean, focused and really vibrant….it’s just wearing a fur coat.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Cantina Terlan "Porphyr" Lagrein Riserva
Review Date: 07-23-2019
Many of you might not be familiar with Lagrein as a varietal, and I always get asked: is it more like Cabernet or Pinot Noir? Well it’s really more like Lagrein, it has its own identity. More often than not, I find Syrah-like characteristics, yet not enough to say this is like Syrah. The wine’s aromatics are a smoldering mix of smoke, meat, brandied cherries, tobacco and … well you get the picture--it's not like anything else. Cantina Terlan’s Porphyr is one of the region’s best illustrations of this varietal, and in this vintage perhaps one of its best examples. On the palate the wine is soft, supple, seductive, filled with complex, fruit, earth, spice, and truthfully a category I label as “exotic aromatics” because I’m not really sure what they are, but they are captivating. I remember having a previous vintage of this wine with gnocchi with a wild boar ragu--simply a thrilling match, but every time I’m in the Alto Adige I surrender to goulash, that paprika kick just bonds with Lagrein in a way that takes my breath away every time. If you like wine you owe it to yourself to try this; it is an experience you won’t regret.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Westward "Single Barrel #B-236-11" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Single Barrel American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is full of caramel and orange rind, and some stone fruit in the background. On the palate for me...ok I had to add some water to this 131 proof was a bit too powerful for my delicate palate, but then a lot more intrigue, more honeyed than caramel character came forward with some elder-flower. Powerful, decisive spirit with real depth and persistence.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Lafage "Fundacio" Cotes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is full of intrigue, a combination of savory, salty, spicy but not the overtly fruity character I had been expecting. On the palate the wine is broad, richly textured and the flavor spectrum shows a bit more ripe fruit, but a bit is the highlight there this is a savory wine. Lots of black pepper, green olive and savory herbs end up in the finish that are framed by elegant tannins. A very good wine that I would love to drink.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 DeLille "Chaleur Blanc" Columbia Valley White Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 07-16-2019
The nose is delicate and doesn't come across too herbal for the 68% Sauvignon Blanc and 32% Semillon blend. On the palate the wine shows restraint in a classic White Bordeaux style however with less obvious wood. A medium bodied, very clean example of this category, my guess is that it will actually be better in a couple of years but a very solid wine.

2015 Keller Estate "La Cruz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-16-2019
I felt this wine was a bit of a throwback style without the overwhelming oak of the last century. The nose is a bit restrained but it is full throttle on the palate, a luscious, fleshy, full-bodied Chardonnay that does have a clean finish as the acid pops up and lifts it in the end. All and all for an under $20 Chardonnay you're getting a lot of meat on the bone here without the annoyance of being overly oaked. Solid wine for the price point.
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