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Staff Favorites - Kirk Walker

Kirk Walker

Reviews

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2017 Susana Balbo "Brioso" Uco Valley White Blend
Review Date: 11-07-2019
This wine thrills the senses and it amazes me how reasonably priced it is. It should not be a surprise being that the great Susana Balbo makes this wine. It is aromatic but it is not perfumed. It has great fruit, enticing texture, refreshing acidity, and a little mineral tang. The wine is familiar and unusual. It also has a presence, but most importantly it just smells and tastes like great wine. It is an unusual blend of Torrontes, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc and no effort nor expense was spared in making this wine. The Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc were aged in oak, a good portion of which is new, the Semillon is aged in concrete, there is both a classical and a modern twist to the winemaking here. The wine presents the best sides of all of those varietals and none of their challenging features. This is the rare white wine that can unite and delight all white wine drinkers. This is an aperitif and a dinner wine. The range of flavors with the mouthfeel and texture make this an ideal holiday white.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 92

2012 Domaine du Haut Bourg "Origine" Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu
Review Date: 11-07-2019
This wine is a kick in the pants. This is one of the most exotic Muscadets that I have ever tried. Come to think of it exotic and Muscadet are two words that do not seem comfortable in the same sentence. That is OK, they are more than comfortable in the glass, in fact they are delicious together. There is fruit and spice and texture to this wine. It has the acid and mineral that you expect but what is on top and before it are really exciting. I am still trying to wrap my mind around it. I love wines that surprise like this.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Selección Especial Rioja
Review Date: 11-07-2019
I was very excited to hear that another version of the Reserva Especial was being released. I loved the 2001, I still have a few bottles left in the cellar! Vina Ardanza is always great, it is the answer to the question, "what is a great affordable Rioja". This wine delivers on the promise of the special naming. The aromas move fruit fresh to dried fruit, lots of spice, earth, and oak. It makes me do one of my favorite things great wines do, catch you off guard that you have spent so much time with the glass up to your nose before it has ever touched your lips. the palate is rich and round with plenty of tannins but they have settled into the periphery of the wine. This wine shines. There are layers to this wine that keep unfurling the longer that it is opened. Ready tonight, but try to save a few bottles, this has long, long term cellar potential.

2014 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-07-2019
This delivers everything that I want from one of my favorite Brunello producers. It is intense, it starts with the aromatics and runs completely thru to the finish. It is savory dusty red fruits with spice and that Montosoli minerality. On the palate, the wine reminds me a little of the 2010 that savory developed quality is there but not quite as pronounced. this is a complex full-bodied wine with great depth of flavor, you just want to keep coming back to it. This is going into my cellar.

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-07-2019
This presents the paradox of Pinot. The nose has volume, the aromas take up all the space that is given to them, but the quality of the aromatics is bright and delicate. There is a real fineness to this wine that is immediately charming. The fruit drives the wine but it still has that fine duty herbal tone but at a very low volume. The same experience follows onto the palate, it has great mouthfeel but without any heaviness. The fruit delicately follows that entry with intensity and lightness. It dances. layers of fruit roll across the long finsh. What a Pinot Noir.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2016 Podere Donna Nera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-07-2019
This could be your next house Italian red. This does almost everything that I want a wine from Montalcino to do. The nose is dark cherries and a hint of Tuscan dustiness. The one thing that it lacks, it does so on purpose, tannins. This is not Brunello, it’s a Rosso. This is an everyday wine, not wine that requires a days braising or 2 inch steak. There are just enough tannins that bolster up that dusty cherry fruit but this wine is easy. Just what you want to sip on when you get home from a busy day and start cooking dinner.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
DC 92

2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-07-2019
I look forward to the new release of this wine. I have always been a fan of Vermentino from Italy but experiencing the Whites from Corsica has swayed me to the other island for Vermentino. It is crisp and enticingly aromatic. It has modest richness, great acidity, and nice extract, especially for this price point. This wine just lingers. What a great deal it is.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

2018 Pinna Fidelis Roble Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 11-06-2019
This is a terrific everyday red wine, for any red wine drinker. There is plenty of of bright fruit, mostly mixed berries and cherries that if framed with a touch of oak and backed with enough tannins to support but not to dominate. A great weeknight dinner red. Pairs with rustic pastas to take out roast chicken. Charming and easy drinking.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Señorio de San Vicente Rioja
Review Date: 11-01-2019
This is a modern Rioja. I know that doesn’t help. This is modern like Super Tuscans are modern. This comes from that period in the wine history when traditional regions in Europe (and the rest of the world) looked to the new wave of Bordeaux and Napa Valley for inspiration. Rich and flashy, new oak and extraction rather that medium bodied and austere. This come from a single estate in Rioja Alavesa, with that magical limestone rich clay soils, planted entirely to organically grown Tempranillo Peluda. An ancient clone of Tempranillo, native to Rioja Alavesa, that was essentially abandoned because of low yields (a quick aside: this varietal makes so much sense now when you hear viticulturalists/winemakers artificially reducing their yields, why not use a variety that does that naturally?). This modern wine sees almost 2 years in new oak, 90% of which is French. This is Rioja that speaks with a French accent. But you never miss that distinctive Alavesa Riojaness to the wine. Tempranillo, regardless of the clone, on those special soils is pitched higher, no matter how extracted it is. There is also that distinctive mineral extract on the finish. The nose is rich and heady with lots of dark rich red fruits that are framed and focused by the French oak and seasoned with the savory mountain herbs of Rioja. The wine is full of lots of intense Tempranillo fruit that is corralled by the oak. The tannins are present and polished. Hiding in the middle is the hint of American oak spice, an embellishment that speaks to the history but really only whispers. What could be the best feature is the finish. The intensity of this wine lingers, the fruit brightens, the mineral tone builds, and you are just left with the desire for one more sip. Note: this is a young wine still. The wine really needs some decanting in order for it to shine. Give it an hour and enjoy.

2015 Marqués de Murrieta "Finca Ygay" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 10-29-2019
This wine wows. I just love smelling this wine. It is lifted with bright and dark tones backed with a warming savory spice and basalm tones, all in perfect balance. It is a wine that is not cerebral wine, it smells great and it tastes even better. But it has the hallmark a great wine for me, I just want to keep smelling it. It is medium-full bodied with an open generous mid-palate, surprisingly so. You expect wines like this to have a firmer structure, but it is almost soft and pliant, almost. It gives the impression of being rich and delicate at the same time. With the fruit, spice and oak tones all effortlessly working to enhance each other. I am just a sucker for wines like this.

2016 Agostino Pavia Barbera d'Asti "La Marescialla"
Review Date: 10-28-2019
I am ashamed that I did not know that this wine existed. I have loved drinking the other two Barbera's from this producer for almost 2 decades! This does everything that a luxury Barbera should, that right luxury, the additional oak that this wine sees polished this wine to a fineness that you normally do not find in the varietal. The oak also softens the acid making the wine full and rich giving it a sense of restrained power. Lots of dark fruits, layers of spice, and hints of earthiness. One sniff and I knew that I would be bringing a few of these home in my near future. I am sorry that I have missed this is the past, but I will now longer make that mistake.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2016 Fratelli Barale "Serraboella" Barbaresco
Review Date: 10-28-2019
Pure and happy, were the first two words that popped into my mind while trying this. Wow, was the third. High-toned, focused with lots of dimensions on the nose, this is what I love about Nebbiolo. It has purity and brightness and an initial lightness then the wine settles in. What seemed to light and delicate has forced you to pay attention to it. There is the classic grip of the tannins that lets you know your are not drinking a simple quaffer. Layers of fruit and delicate spice, earth, minerality and floral whiff, this is an amazing value.

2017 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 10-28-2019
This is everything that I have come to love and expect from the Quartz Reef Bendigo, intense dark cherry fruit with the faint herbal spice that only seems to intensify the fruit. It has to be the site and the farming but this wine has a red fruit character to it that is unique to itself but always speaks to me of the Central Otago. Rich and mouth-filling, for a Pinot, with soft round tannins. The finish is where this wine shines, it explodes with slightly macerated mixed wild berries that just goes and goes.

2017 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas
Review Date: 10-28-2019
This could be the bottling of this wine that I have every tried, I have been with K&L for a while, so I have tried quite a few. If it is not the best, it is definitely my favorite. Lifted dark fruits with spice and earth. On the palate it is spicy and rich without being heavy and has layer and layers of spice and fruit. This is solid and intense with a very nice finish. Not as monumental as last vintages Ventabren, but way more drinkable.

2017 Clos Saint-Jean Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 10-28-2019
Deep, intense yet restrained. This does what I want all great CdP's to do, flirt with power but seduce with complexity. This wine knows just where to stop and start, and makes me want to come back for more and more, and that is without my lips every touching the glass! it does the exact same thing on the palate. Starts rich and full with bold fruit but then lingers with subtle earthiness and muted herbs. This wine has my undivided attention, at least until I finished it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 93

2017 Cooperativa Cristo Del Humilladero "Granito del Cadalso" Garnacha Vinos de Madrid
Review Date: 10-18-2019
There Sierra de Gredos mountain were not on most drinkers wine map a decade ago. The range of mountains is located about an hour west of Madrid. The relatively high elevation and granitic soils and a perfect starting point for delicious Garnacha. Throw in the light touch of winemakers Daniel Landi and Fernando Garcia and the equation is complete. This is a high toned Garnacha with lifted pure aromatics, and hint of mountain herbs. The wine texture and weight of the wine are surprising given the wines delicate hue. A versatile red that also surprises.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

2012 Remelluri Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Remulluri balances the modern and the traditional in a way that few other producers can in this very traditional region. This wine is has modern polish without feeling polished. It carries the Reserva labeling and has spent 18 months in oak to do so but the oak and the time in it do not drive the personality of the wine, the Alavesa fruit does. I do not know if it is the organics or the blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Grasciano and Manzuelo (it has to be both) but the dark red fruit is so distinctive yet finishes so typical. Complex, aromatic, rich, long and pure this is a great bottle of wine.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 93

2017 Herdade do Esporão "Esporão" Reserva Branco Alentejo
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Not all white from Portugal are light and crisp. This wine has a richness and fullness that you would expect coming from the warmer interior on the Alentejo region but that is balanced with a freshness and minerality that must come from the schist and granite rich soils. The wine is made from organically grown Arinto, Antão Vaz and Roupeiro all estate grown in the Reguengos sub zone. Vinified in a mix of oak and Stainless tanks the wine has clean bright fruit, texture and spice from oak and lees aging. This speaks of more famous French wines but with the warmth and openness of its native Portugues accent.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
DC 92 WS 90

2017 Quinta da Saudade "Palato do Coa" Branco Douro Superior
Review Date: 10-18-2019
When you think of the Douro valley you don’t think of white wine. You most likely think of Port and probably not white port. White port can be fantastic, especially with tonic, but that is for another review. White varietals have long been planted here, varietals like Viosinho, Rabigato and Codega do Larinho, which most of us have never heard of, this is one of the things that I love about Portugal. Grown in the yellow schist soils and vinified in stainless tanks this wine delivers the white expression of the valley. It is medium bodied with fresh acidity. It has all of the qualities of the reds the floral, mineral, with fresh fruit and just a hint of something wild.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2017 João Cabral Almeida "Camaleão" Minho Alvarinho
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Minho is the name of the region from which Vinho Verde is located. While Alvarinho is planted in many of the sub regions of the Appellation the most famously grown in the Northern zone nearest to the Spainish border. What is exciting about this bottling is that it hales from the Southern more interior zone of Amarante, where it has the region's famous granitic soils but it is more sheltered for the coastal weather patterns. This wine basks, like the lizard on the label in the sun. It has a little more richness and expressive fruit but all the racy acidity minerality that you expect from Alvarinho.

2017 Luis Seabra "Xisto Ilimitado" Douro
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Luis Seabra is one of the most exciting producers in Valley. His efforts are to capture and express all of the facets that the wines that this region can posses. This wine explicitly express one of the dominant soil type of the valley, schist(Xisto). He balances the floral, bright fruit, wild savory and lingering minerality that fruit grown on that soil is capable of producing. He mixes old school foot trodding in granite lagares with modern stainless tanks and old wood barrels. He and his wines are a bridge from the traditional to the modern without any of the negative connotations that come from either.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 Alvar de Dios "Aciano" Toro
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Toro, the region came to fame in the 90’s making wines that were dark, powerful, extracted and oaky. They were and are impressive wines that make a big impression. Alvar de Dios Hernandez inherited a small parcel in this famed region about a decade ago, a great inheritance 90 year old Tempranillo vines that are ungrafted planted in uniquely sandy soils. Alvar in more interested in elegance and expressiveness so maximum effort goes into minimal intervention. The classic dark fruit is lifted and enhanced and the richness is balance with freshness as opposed to oak.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 94

2017 Sierra de Toloño Rioja
Review Date: 10-18-2019
Made from small parcels of Tempranillo grown in the very foothills that give the winery it’s name. Sandra Bravo wants to make fresh wines that speak specifically of where they come from, Rioja Alavesa. The elevation, the high concentration of limestone in the soil, the cooling winds from the Tolono mountains give the fruit clarity and depth. The spontaneous fermentation and minimal intervention, and less than a year in older french barrels help soften the tannin and focus the fruit into a wine that speaks of the varietal and Alavesa.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2018 Quinta Milu Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 10-18-2019
A small project of winemaker Germán R. Blanco who is actively moving away from the regions winemaking traditions. The fruit comes several smaller plots, all of which are older than 40 years, all located around the village, La Aguilera. Here is where the elevation and limestone soils work to balance the extremes of the regions contental climate. This wine only sees old oak, both French and American but after that is where this wine diverges from modern traditions. The wine spontaneous ferments and he tries to intervene as little as possible. The is deeply colored, just like you think it should be but there is a liveliness and a freshness to it that is unexpected. The flavors are Ribera del Duero but the experience is not.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Alvear "1927" Pedro Ximenez Solera Montilla-Moriles (375ml)
Review Date: 10-04-2019
I’ll admit I am a little biased but this could be one of the best dessert wines that we have for sale, especially for the money. We have sold these wines for years, they are great. But like all things wines, we tend to look for all things new, so we end up forgetting. Then we meet them again, with a few more miles (who am I kidding many more miles) down the road. This wine was a revelation. It smells like dessert. Not the bright fresh fruit of other dessert wines. This is holiday bake sale kind of dessert. Molasses and fudge and spices with toffee and caramel. Rum cakes, sticky toffee pudding with concentrated dates and fig thing too. The kid in me is totally satisfied. Then comes savory intrigue. This is not all sweetness. There is tobacco and dried leaves (it makes me think of jumping in piles of leaves, dried leaves). Just enough to layer all of the goodness that came before it. And that is just the nose! Too many words, I know, stay with me, or skip to the end, there is a twist. On the palate it is sweet, its PX, but surprisingly (not the twist) is that it is not cloying. The aromas make you think that your tongue will be coated in syrupy goodness. It isn’t there is a freshness to this, the acid focuses all those great aromas/flavors across your tongue and leaves your mouth watering for more. Classically drunk by itself after dinner or on top of vanilla ice cream, but I want chocolate pecan pie, a la mode. The twist, here it is, is that what this wine made me think of when tasting it was Amaro liqueurs. This is kind of like a non-bitter Amaro. The complexity and the sweetness balanced with savory tones and the higher alcohol it is not too far of a reach. This has tons of cocktail applications. Being oxidized and fortified sealed the deal for me. This is a dessert wine that you do not have to rush to finish. A little is all that you need and it will not fall apart after you open it. Like I said, this could be the best dessert win in the store.

2016 Byron "Nielson Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-03-2019
Wow. This is a really good CA Chardonnay. This hits all the classic notes one would expect from it but it is cool and effortless. Effortless the perfect word for this wine. Creamy and cool yellow fruits with mineral undertones. The wine rolls on the palate and remains fresh. This will impress all white wine drinkers.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2018 Tenuta Roveglia "Limne" Lugana
Review Date: 10-03-2019
Honey crisp apples, and sea salt. Simple, cool, clean and refreshing with nice persistence. Killer little bottle of white wine.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 10-03-2019
Wow! This is a wine that will make you pay attention to Lugana. It has great aromatics, heirloom apples, citrus and a fine mineral component. This wine is sleek and powerful on the palate. The concentrated fruit bounces off of the lively acidity. This is a dynamic itriguing wine.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2016 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 10-03-2019
I really like this wine. It is ripe and savory, full-bodied, concentrated, with focus and freshness. With dark yellow fruit tones, hints of nuts, herbs, and minerals. This wine pulls in many different directions, yet never pulls itself apart. It a very very good white wine. I would happily put this up against much more expensive white Burgundy's. Serious, delicious wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2014 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 10-03-2019
Hawkes Bay is just one of the best places in the world for Cabernet blends. This is the perfect showcase for what those grapes can do in the Gimblett gravels of this special place. The wine has new world levels of fruit with old-world structure and most importantly to me a unique fine earthiness that you can not find anywhere else. The wine dances on the palate with dark red fruits, mild herbs, a touch of chocolate and enough tannin to let you know that it is there and structure the wine without intruding. This is a perfect K&L wine, we sell a lot of Bordeaux and a lot of CA Cabernet this is both but in one bottle.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2016 Black Slate "Porrera" Priorat
Review Date: 09-14-2019
The educator in me loves these Black Slate wines. The nerd in me loves these wines. The hedonist in me loves these wines. Priorat that smells and tastes like this, how can you not? This aromatic red has sappy dark red fruits and berries jump out of the glass. They are backed by earth and spice and a fine herbal note. There is a sun drenched afternoon scrambling on a scrubby rocky mountainside quality to the nose. The wine explodes on the palate. It is a big impact wine; it plays broad and round but not heavy. There is also a liveliness to it, it is not content to just sit on your palate. The acid helps focus the finish and really brings out the llicorella earthy minerality. This is where the nerd come in. The llicorella or slate soils located around Porrera are some of the oldest soils in the region. The eastern location of the village brings cooling mediterrean breezes. This is where the Vi de Vila system comes in. Let’s dig down into the nitty gritty of this region, why are the villages different, why are certain varietals planted where they are. This series of wines is a crash course in one of the great wine regions of the world and it is affordable The educator, nerd and enthusiast are all happy with this wine..
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 92

2015 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-13-2019
This is always a wine that you have to pay attention to--but it is really hard not to. The nose is great. It is everything that I want a Rioja to do. It is intense, complex, yet restrained. It gives you everything: dark fruit, spice, earth, oak, but it is integrated and settled, in that no one component jumps out in front of the other. It is just a pleasure to smell and to anticipate that first sip. The promise of the nose is delivered on the palate. This is a full-bodied red that is not heavy; it is lively without edges. These are deep and harmonious flavors that continue to roll on the palate during its long finish. I know I am biased, but this is a ridiculously good wine; and it's in contention for the best red in the shop at the price point.

2016 Sidewood Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-11-2019
This is mouth-watering Syrah. I have a Pavlovian response to the aromatics in this wine. The rich, intense, dark fruit that is backed by savory herbal tones and mellow spice makes me immediately think of lamb chops. Once I have grilled lamb on my mind I start to salivate. I am a simple creature. This is primal Syrah for me. It is not the soft pretty mouth full of berries. This is dark cherry, smoke, herbs with really well-managed tannins and a fresh mouth-watering finish, and that is not just me thinking about Lamb. Savory cool-climate Syrah from Australia, I am a fan.

2018 J. Bouchon "Canto Sur" Red Blend Maule Valley
Review Date: 09-11-2019
I love this wine. The easiest way to think about this is like a Chilean Cotes-du-Rhone. But it is so much more than that. This is Chilean. It is not trying to be anything else. Functionally at the dinner table it is a CdR. In every other imaginable way, it is Chilean. Nowhere else in the world would you find these grapes blended together. Nowhere else would it make sense to do so. The Carignan, Pais and Carmenere all bring something to the party and that they all work really well together. The later brings structure while both of the former brighten, round the mid palate, soften the green component of Carmenere and add a delicate spice. Bright fruit, soft tannins and spice. The aromas and flavors are brighter, deeper, more complex and, importantly, different than the French wine that I have been comparing it to. This is a delicious wine that is different yet familiar and though modestly priced 30 minutes in a decanter makes this blossom.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 09-09-2019
I have always liked the wines from Quivira, especially their Sauvignon Blancs. I am very happy to finally be introduced to this bottling this is the next level to their wines but not at the next level price. It is ripe yet restrained. It is medium full-bodied with depth, complexity, and presence. It is refreshing and crisp but not tart. This wine is perfect company. It is easy if you need it to be but if you want more there is plenty to it.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2007 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-06-2019
This wine does everything that you want a Gran Reserva to do, and because it is from our friends at Puelles it is a fantastic bargain. The nose tells it all; it is deep, rich with that perfect combination of berry and oak spice. There is a warmth (note not alcoholic) think warm room after being outside in the cold warmth, warmth like winter holiday warmth. It is just spicy, rich and inviting. The wine in has that “settled in” feeling, everything is just where it needs to be, fruit, oak, soft tannins, spice and a very fine earthy note. This delivers complexity but does not want you to admire it, it wants to liven up the occasion. This is a great follow up to the terrific 2005 vintage.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 Zorzal "Eggo - Tinto de Tiza" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 09-05-2019
This is a kaleidoscope wine. I love this metaphor. I love this wine, maybe a little more than I should, but the wine itself makes me happy and it gave me this new way of looking at wine. This is a completely different way of looking at Malbec. Different in that it is from grapes from the Gualtallary Valley, with its higher elevation, larger diurnal shifts, and (more importantly to this wine), calcareous soils. Different in that it is fermented and aged in concrete eggs (hence eggo). The core of this wine is Malbec, beautiful dark fruit with softer tannins and floral lift. Where it is different is that it is higher-toned, balanced with savory notes and mineral drive. The wine is delicious. This gives me so much pleasure because of the associations that are made. Turn the lens and the fruit, earth, spice, and savory notes make this wine feels Italian. Turn another lens and the fruit deepens and pops at the same time with a fun spice note, and now the wine feels like a cool-climate Syrah. When you focus on the minerality, the chalky note would make a Sancerre (blanc) jealous. This wine is a journey. Every sip and sniff there is something new and different. A kaleidoscope wine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2018 Aurore Dezat Sancerre
Review Date: 09-04-2019
This wine has been charming me over the last several vintages, this could be my favorite. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you want to look at it I have a very low bar for wines from this appellation. I ask for 2 things acid and minerality. If it has those two things, done. I will drink it. I will enjoy it. This is like licking citrus juice off of a piece of Marl; tangy, citrusy with a very fine dusty minerality. It is sooo good! It is so much more than a simple wine, it is elemental. It is definitely worth a case or two.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2018 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 08-13-2019
I love this Pinot Noir. For many reasons, but first an foremost, it is just delicious. This is made with "no sulfur" and before you check out if those are trigger words for you please wait. This is not one of those wines. This is what almost all of those wines wish they were. This is meticulously made Pinot Noir (all Pinot Noir should be made meticulously), this is clean and very characterful but not funky there is a delicious savory note, but it is just a note. I love that this wine has a companion, the "Cincuenta Cinco", both wines come from the exact same vineyard, it is a chance to try two really good wines that showcase the minimal winemaking and the differences that it creates, I love learning oportunities! If you stick with me this wine has almost everything that I want from Pinot Noir; sappy fruit with layers of different colored fruits and berries, the right amount of earth and spice to accentuate and lift the fruit but not to interfere, enough acid to keep it fresh without being tart, a seemless texture that rolls on the palate and finally it tastes like it could not come from anywhere else other than Patagonia. This is special wine.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2010 La Rioja Alta "904" Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Complex on the nose. Effortless on the palate. This is a special wine. My first reaction to this was, "this is really *#@!ing good!" which I said aloud and it drew a few looks from my colleagues but when I told them what I tried, they nodded in agreement. This is great Rioja. There are layers and layers to the nose kind of like looking into a mirror with a mirror behind you, but for your nose, not your eyes! Effortless is perfect for this wine, every component is there, fruit, tannin, acid, oak, spice, earth, herbs nothing standing out, everything working together and what a finish. Way too much effort went into this review, thankfully there is a glass of this wine for me to enjoy now.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 98 RP 96

2017 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 08-07-2019
Susana Balbo is an icon in the wine world. For almost as long as I have worked in the industry her wines have been some of the first that I would recommend from Argentina. Balance and purity are the two adjectives that jump to mind first when thinking about her wines. This could be one of the finest Malbecs that I have ever tried from this Iconic brand. It is aromatic, dark fruits, balanced with really fine oak spices with floral and earthy tones to lift and deepen. This wine is polished but not flashy. The tannins are present but soft and frame along with with the really fine oak the beautiful ripe fruit. There is nothing Sauvage about this wine. It is unmistakeable Mendoza Malbec, but it could be the finest one you have ever tried for the money.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2017 Ceres "Composition" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 07-11-2019
This smells like classic Central Otago, dark cherries dusted with fine savory herbs. Bright fruits with layers of spice, herbs, and earth with just enough tannin to give it presence and enough acidity to give it a cool sleek feel. There is a whole lot of wine here.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
SK 95 DC 91

2017 Seabold Cellars "Olson Vineyard" Monterey Chardonnay
Review Date: 07-11-2019
This is just what I want from California Chardonnay. Bright clean fruit with restrained oak spice and a hint of leesy richness all framed by mouth-watering acidity. It has the fruit that most Burgundian winemakers would be jealous of and the acidity that all Burgundy drinkers look for. I want to see more Chardonnay like this coming from CA.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2016 Koyle "Cerro Basalto Cuartel G2" Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 07-11-2019
Named after Basalt rich soils of the Los Lingues appellation in the Colchagua valley. This is a very exciting blend of Carmenere and Cabernet Franc. These "Bordeaux" varietals are known for their more assertive personalities but when combined together, at least with this wine, I think they rival the more famous duo of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This appealing red is dark, rich and concentrated. There is almost none of the herbaceousness that you would assume to be there with these two varietals. Dark cherry fruit with exotic spices, restrained oak and a lingering fine earthiness, is it the Basalt? I don't know. The G2 is a perfect combination of old world and new world. Structure and earthiness balanced with bright fruit and ripe tannins. Oh and it has a finish that goes and goes. If you stumble upon this wine give it a chance it rivals the great reds of Chile at a third of the price.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Westwood "Legend" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 06-20-2019
This is a show stopper. The nose is mixed berries and spice. The palate is lush and round yet structured. The wine is charming and then I was told it was a Cabernet Rhone blend and I was 100% in. Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet are great dancing partners. The prior soften the later and the Cab gives a framework for the fruit of the prior to play off of. I wish there are more winemakers willing to play with these blends. All they need to do is try this and they will see the light.
Price: $49.95 Add To Cart
WE 96

2016 Rafael Palacios "As Sortes" Godello Valdeorras, Spain
Review Date: 06-20-2019
As Sortes is named after the local term for vineyard plot, “sorte”. Since the early 2000’s Rafael has been acquiring and working with 32 individual plots. This bottling comes from organically grown older vines, 35-90+ years old, some sortes are over 700 meters in elevation. Fermented and aged in 500L French oak barrels with a small percentage being new, this wine is intense. It is mouth-filling and focused, it is concentrated and fine with pure golden fruit, a modest aromatic component and a crazy long finish, it goes and goes and mineral and fruit tones seem to gain intensity as it finishes. This is his Grand Cru bottling and this carries and exceeded all of what that comparison brings with it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Rafael Palacios "Louro" Godello Valdeorras
Review Date: 06-20-2019
The wines from the Valdeorras have enchanted me since the first time I was first introduced to them. How could I not? It is in the name of the appellation, valley of the ores! I know that is incorrect, it is the “valley of gold”, but how can you not want to drink a white wine that comes from the “valley of ores”? Especially if you already love the mineral-rich whites of Europe. How evocative is that? And then give me a new varietal, Godello, my younger self was trapped. Now that was longer ago than I care to admit but I still am entranced by the wines from the “valley of ores”. Now there are even more fissures and crevasses for me to mine in this very old, originally planted by the Romans, relatively new, varietals, producers , wine making techniques and most importantly a deeper knowledge of the vineyards and those varietals. Now we can get past that long-winded intro we get to this wine. A blend of Godello and a little Treixadura, another exciting local varietal, grown in granitic sandy soils. That is what this corner of Spain is all about, relatively high elevation, stony, mineral (remember this is the valley of ores) soils. What Rafael brings to these wines is texture. They are fermented and aged in French oak foudres. These wines see oak but you do not smell or taste it, it is just there soften and round of the edges. He brings his whites with their heavy but not too heavy Galician accent of bright fruit, fresh acidity and pronounce minerality and translates them into Burgundian French which is so much easy for most wine drinkers to understand. Not just any Burgundian accent, think Chablis. This is a wine for almost any occasion, seafood, poultry white meat, but sticking to the Galicia and Chablis thing, mariscos is the call.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2017 Montesco "Agua de Roca" Sauvignon Blanc Uco Valley
Review Date: 06-13-2019
One of the best things about wine is the diversity. All the different varietals and all the different regions, it is so much fun to explore the world through a glass of wine. While I love finding new varietals and new regions, the most exciting diversity can be found with the same varietal grown in different places, that is what makes Burgundy Burgundy. While the same varietals are grown all over the world and in many varied regions most of the time unsurprisingly the wines taste very similar, which can be a good/bad/neutral thing. That is why this Sauvignon Blanc is so exciting, I have never have a Sauvignon Blanc quite like this. Biodynamically grown at high elevation in calcareous soils. The wine was fermented in Stainless and Concrete then aged for a year in concrete eggs. There is pronounced minerality and very high acidity. The fruit is ripe and clean with just a whisper of grassiness. There is just enough texture and body to keep the wine taut but not sharp. I cannot do justice to the intoxicating nature of the aromatics and flavors of this wine. This is a dynamic expression of this classic varietal.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 VN 91

2014 Orben Rioja
Review Date: 06-13-2019
Old vine (60-70 years old) head pruned Tempranillo with a little dash of Graciano all from small, organic vineyard plots that are owned by some of the most famous restaurateurs in Spain, who wanted to create a modern expression of Rioja Alavesa. It had me at old vine, Tempranillo and Alavesa. That is a magical combination in my book. From early on in my career there has always been something magical/romantic to me about the wines from the Basque subzone of Rioja. It could be the limestone, it is the limestone. When done right the precision, the lift, the extract from wines grown in soils with limestone just resonate with me. This wine delivers on that limestone promise. The fruit pops and has focus, there is beautiful core to it that runs straight thru to that fine mineral dustiness on the finish. Now is time to pay quick attention to the label, there is no age designation, there is only the vintage. This is modern Rioja there is enough oak to contributed to the texture, enhance the fruit and also add an exotic balsam aromatic but not too dominate. This wine is an expression of fruit and terroir not of oak and wine-making.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 WS 93

2017 Bodegas y Viñedos Ponce "La Estrecha" Manchuela
Review Date: 06-12-2019
It just happens that it is about 90 degrees in San Francisco today, and shockingly I do not deal with the heat well. Who cares? Right? But it worked out perfectly that we tasted this wine today. Bobal, and specifically Bobal made by Juan Antonio Ponce, could be the perfect summer red wine. Bobal, the thick-skinned, obscure varietal from Manchuela, is best known for its intensity: color, tannin and acid. My earliest introduction to the variety were wines that were ready to go toe-to-toe with any New World Syrah. And while those styles of wines are great for summer, too, my over-heating preference is for a lighter-bodied, higher-acid wine that could handle a slight chill, like Cru Beaujolais. This wine has a texture to it can I can only describe as silkiness. It has a cool silkiness that effortlessly, seamlessly gets drawn across your palate by its freshness. There are literally no edges, the tannin and acidity are there. This wine has substance and body but there are no edges. This wine does what you want Grand Cru wines do. All from a place that most people probably have not heard of. There is more to this than just texture, there are nice layers of bright and dark berries and fruits with a fine herbal dusting that comes out on the finish. This with a slight chill n a day like today would be amazing, it would be amazing with a chill in the dead of winter in the Arctic circle too--that's me wishing for the weather to change but I'm not wrong about that. This is an extraordinary wine. It is made from Biodynamically grown fruit and made with minimal intervention. We sell wines for twice this price from Beaujolais that can boast that and offer a similar, almost, experience as this.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 96

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