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Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski


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2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
Have yet to visit Corsica, but fortunately Corsica has paid multiple visits to our shores, at least in the guise of its delightful, highly evocative wines. Domaine Petroni might give a classical Latin scholar pause, but it has nothing in common with Gaius Petronius, the famous Roman author of the Satyricon, except perhaps for the lusty nature of its luscious fruit. Petroni’s own classic, straw-hued Vermentinu, planted in sandy and clay soils within proximity of the sea, has inviting aromas and a vivacious palate of saline, acacia blossom, white peach and citrus fruits, with mouthwatering minerality. Pair with grilled sea bass, shellfish or pesto pizza for a perfectly lovely dinner. You will be seduced!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

2017 Domaine de Verquière Rasteau
Review Date: 11-19-2019
The terroirs of Rasteau contain a kaleidoscopic admixture of soils from marls and pebbles to clay-chalk and gravels, each contributing to the complex profile of the wines. Thibaut Chamfort of Domaine Verquiere invests the accumulated experience of four generations of winemaking in every glistening bottle that leaves the cellar, and his wines have proven to be an irresistible favorite with our customers. Youthfully vibrant fruit unveils aromas of blackcurrants, cherries and baking spices with exuberant flavors of ripe black plums and blueberries and a balanced scaffold of tannins on the pleasurable finish. Excellent paired with a wintry cottage pie of grass-fed beef, sharp cheddar, peas and carrots smothered in mashed potatoes.
Top Value!

2017 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 11-18-2019
If you love Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds as much as I do, but would prefer not to spend fifty plus dollars for it, I have a suggestion. Chateau de Beaucastel annually produces one of the most sought after Chateauneufs in the Rhone Valley, and any remaining wine often ends up in their second bottling, the Coudoulet de Beaucastel, a deeply-hued, richly aromatic wine that manifests much of the complexity and elegance of its big brother at roughly one third the price. Layers of ripe cherry, brambly dark fruits, licorice and spice play upon the palate, with a distinctive dry mineral aspect that expresses the structure and seriousness of this wine. An absolute must for anyone who appreciates the intrinsic quality and beauty of the Rhone Valley and its wines.

2016 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-11-2019
I'm always bemused by the fanciful fact that Senor de Lesmos never existed, but the wine, ah the wine, thankfully is very real and expresses all the generosity and character of traditional winemaking in Rioja. Rooted in the yellowed clay soils of Rioja Alavesa, the lustrous fruit for this wine consists mostly of Tempranillo, with a smattering of Mazuelo. Gently harvested clusters are rushed to the bodega, destemmed and then fermented in concrete tanks for almost a month before assembling in older barrels for aging. Upon release, this Crianza is beguiling and alluring, with notes of red and black fruits, spicebox, saddle leather and sweet tobacco. Ready to take on tapas, lamb skewers or a paella, this is a welcome and versatile wine for any occasion.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Montechiara Prosecco
Review Date: 11-10-2019
Prosecco is the Italian sparkler universally admired for its appeal as both aperitif and cocktail 'fizzer upper,' but Glera, the primary grape variety from which it is made, may have actually originated in Croatia or Slovenia. One legend reported by Ian D'Agata (Native Wine Grapes of Italy) has Glera as the source grape for 'pucinum', the famous wine adored by the Empress Livia Drusilla, wife of Emperor Octavian Augustus. Ok, enough long-winded history, the best way to enjoy Prosecco is not with your head buried in a dense though excellent wine book, but with wonderful friends and loved ones during the holidays or any day that calls for a festive, crisply delicious citrus, pear and apple inflected sparkler!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-04-2019
Alone at my coffee-stained wooden desk at the stroke of midnight, eyes transfixed on the rotary phone whose somber black color reflected my mood… waiting… waiting for it to ring, even though Detective Garamendi knew that Rita had likely skipped town with the cash and was halfway to Rio by now. Wait a minute, this was supposed to be about Pinot Noir, not Film Noir ... when suddenly the mauve curtains exploded and Rita came at me full throttle with a raised bottle. I grabbed her slender wrist in midstrike, snatched it and told her to just sit down. I reached behind the liquor cabinet, grabbed two glasses, poured and swirled. Rita always had better taste in wine than men, so I knew this would be good. First sip, no slips. This satiny textured Central Otago number danced like Astaire on the tongue, with lithe acidity and a lovely core of black cherry and raspberry, nutmeg and chocolate orange peel, caressed by smooth tannin. Soft moonlight played off the jewel-like wine label as Rita and I polished off the bottle, and still had time to catch the red-eye to Rio.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

Xavier Vignon "SM" Côtes du Rhône (2016)
Review Date: 11-02-2019
This special wine is an iconoclastic blending of the superb 2015 and 2016 vintages. A brilliant rhapsody between northern Rhône Syrah, with its peppermill, olive, and roasted black plum aromatics, and hearty Grenache from the southern Rhône, with its capricious dark cherry and spicy notes, this wine generates a rondo of rich, bold flavors that envelops the palate and rewards the senses. 94 JD, 93 RP
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 93

2017 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-30-2019
The wonderful coastal Pinot Noirs from Banshee have developed quite a following with our faithful over the years, so much so that I've affectionately named them 'Bansheestas!' And the latest lusty incarnation of their handpicked, destemmed Sonoma County Pinot leaves little doubt that their refined approach works to extract every aromatic atom possible from each cluster of grapes. By selectively choosing fruit from 18 vineyard sites, they ensure that the wine delivers both superb depth and the savory, ravishing character produced from brambly, perfectly ripened fruit. Modestly priced for the quality borne!
Top Value!
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

2018 Bonpas "Dames de Bonpas" Côtes du Rhône-Villages Plan de Dieu
Review Date: 10-15-2019
Imagine there must be a gilded portrait or magnificent tapestry of the 'Dames' hanging within the walls of the medieval bastion of Bonpas, so I'll lift a glass of this ruby-inflected Villages wine in gracious tribute and gratitude. A co-fermented blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre holds forth with inviting aromas of red cherry, olives, and leather carried over into a flavorful palate imbued with stone fruits, subtle spice and herbal notes, framed by velvety tannins. Awarded 95 points by Decanter, this youthful red is effortlessly enjoyable and highly drinkable now. Better stock up before it flies.....
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2016 Xavier Vignon "Cuvée Anonyme" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 10-15-2019
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Xavier Vignon has, over several decades, advised, consulted with and built formidable relations with some of the finest names in the Southern Rhone and this provocative, nameless wine is a superb expression of what can be achieved with creative barrel treatments, consummate knowledge of terroir and magisterial blending. Aromas of violets, plums and blueberries followed by a lavish crush of dark fruits, kirsch and exotic spices flood the palate, with silky tannins entwined throughout the bravura finish. Drink up!

2015 Xavier Vignon Lirac
Review Date: 10-15-2019
2015 was yet another superb vintage in the Rhone, and this savory blend is uncommonly dominated by 80% Syrah, with the rest Grenache. A resoundingly luscious cavalcade of plummy ripe fruits, ballasted by garrigue, black olive and peppery notes that reveal the finesse and seductive richness inherent in all of Vignon’s wines. A textbook Lirac, displaying balance, power and inimitable charm.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Lirac Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2019
"At first taste, it promised and withheld itself; it lay trembling upon the tongue, begging the reassurance of a kindly palate; this granted, it gently opened, responding to the new, internal intimacy..."- John LeCarre. A stolen quote from a far more word-gifted gentleman about a different wine, but the sentiments are true, as this excellent domaine produces, in addition to their much sought after Chateauneuf-du-Pape bottlings, one of the greatest wines from Lirac, a scant stone's throw across the Rhone River. What I found memorable about this Lirac, apart from the laughably low price, was the sheer dimension of winemaking, the unbridled, plush aromas, resplendent fruit and fresh acidity that burst forth like a sleek thoroughbred upon the palate, ran the course and finished smooth and elegant. Right out of the gate I knew this was a winner!

2017 Diatom "Katherine's" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-25-2019
This captivating Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay takes its name from the microscopic, elegantly blown-glass shaped diatoms that floated freely in our oceans millions of years ago, and gave up the ghost, leaving literally zillions of tiny fossils that helped form our beautiful coast. The lemony vibrancy and chalklike minerality of this crystal-pure, marine-influenced white wine can thank their humble sacrifice. Richly evocative, this wine unwinds beautifully in the glass, and it would be difficult find a finer example of unoaked Chardonnay in California.

2015 Marqués de Murrieta "Finca Ygay" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-24-2019
The birth of traditional winemaking in Rioja can be traced back to 1852, when Luciano Murrieta established his historic winery in the town of Logrono, and built Finca Ygay, an impressive chateau inspired by those he'd visited while study abroad in Bordeaux. Now grown to over 300 hectares, the winery went through extensive modernization during the 1980s, and continues to turn out textbook Rioja wines. The 2015 Reserva displays elegant notes of well-ripened blackberries, dried orange peel, pastilles, and baking spices. An admirable, well-integrated blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, and Garnacha that will pair nicely with grilled lamb and roasted vegetables.

Launois "Veuve Clemence" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 09-22-2019
"I serve Champagne to my real friends and real pain to my sham friends." Attributed to Irish-born artist Francis Bacon who, when he wasn't nocturnally torturing the canvas with his brush, held court at the Colony Room Club, a louche drinking establishment fashionable for writers like William Burroughs, royalty (Princess Margaret), and later rock stars (David Bowie). But my own preference of course is 'Champagne for all, friend or foe!', for what better way to generate goodwill than the sound of popping corks? And what better choice than this coveted Grand Cru from Launois, a stylishly dry rendition that rested a full four years on the lees before its release, promising notes of lemon curd, apples, chalk, wildflowers and brioche, brilliant and pure and seductive enough to charm your own coterie of sophisticates, aesthetes and artists.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 08-18-2019
This scintillating Corsican rose is blended from three varieties, right? Everyone knows Grenache of course. But unless you study wine with due diligence you might not know, or recall from your memory blanks, that Niellucciu was originally brought to Corsica from Pisa in the 12th century, and is actually Sangiovese, or that Sciaccarellu is an ancient aromatic grape first grown in Tuscany, where it is better known as Mammolo, from its memorable scent of ‘viola mammola’, or violets. Now that we know all that we can better appreciate the true beauty and personality of this crisp and delightfully fragrant rose, redolent of orchard fruits, cherries wild maquis and hmm…violets. Enjoy!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Château de L'Ou "Compartir" Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge
Review Date: 08-17-2019
Voluptuous, from the Latin 'voluptus. meaning 'full of pleasure, a word often given to qualities of a ripe Rubenesque nature, but in vinous parlance voluptuous translates as pure delectation of the fruit as unveiled in the glass, sensual. arresting, attractive and complete. As 'Compartir' means to share, this resplendent Roussillon blend is meant above all to be shared, nothing held back in the vineyard, the winemaking or the final bottle that finds its way to your table. A gorgeous, full-bodied union of perfectly ripe Grenache and Syrah, this seductive wine exudes floral notes of wildflowers and violets, red and black berries, wet earth and dark chocolate. In a word, voluptuous.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 96

2017 Luis Seabra "Xisto Ilimitado" Douro
Review Date: 08-17-2019
Whether as a customer or staff, I customarily scope out the Portuguese wines on our shelves, as they often promise flavor profiles distinct from the 'path well beaten' Cabernet/Merlot/Pinot Noir universe, coupled with salutary drinking pleasure. Kirk Walker, our insightful Iberian buyer, was working nearby and didn't hesitate to point to this cool Douro field blend, made from a medley of vines planted on yellow schist soils at high elevation. Natural yeast fermented in a traditional stone lagar with foot pigeage (I said traditional!) and racked to neutral wood for about a year, this wine oozed aromas of wild cherry, lavender scrub and mulberry, with notes of pomegranate, cherry and violets on the lavish palate, framed by luscious acidity. And Xisto? My guess it is pronounced 'Zheesto', so I will close by playfully calling this wine IrreXistoble! Ok, I know.....
Top Value!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2018 Quinta das Arcas "Arca Nova" Rosé Vinho Verde
Review Date: 08-12-2019
Most of you are probably familiar with Touriga Nacional, Portugal's noble red variety, but have you ever heard of Espadeiro? Native to both Spanish Galicia and the Minho region in northwestern Portugal, this late-ripening, low sugar variety thrives on granite soils in the moist, cool climate of Vinho Verde, and traditionally was planted as a tree climbing vine to increase the canopy and lower its productivity. Darker tinted than most roses, with aromas of grapefruit. blood orange and strawberry, this possesses all the vitality, freshness and verve you'd expect from a Vinho Verde, with more fruit expression and immediate vinous pleasure. A wine to open and relish throughout the extended summer months.....
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine Jean-Michel Dupre "Le Grottier" Morgon
Review Date: 07-30-2019
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Put simply, agricultural fruit juice is the basic component of all wine, and the general rule is, the better the juice, the finer the wine. Of course there are other components like cultivated or wild yeasts that play their part during fermentation, but it all starts with good juice. And some of the best, truly juiciest juice comes from the village vineyards in Beaujolais. This lovely Morgon wine even takes its name from the French for ‘sour cherry’, Griottier, and although hardly ‘sour’, carries the cherries in its flavor profile to new heights. Grown on decomposed volcanic schist and blue granite, it displays a wonderful, warm wreath of red fruits and mineral notes, delivering structure and subtly textured tannins that always exemplify a Morgon wine. Highly recommended with a plank of cheeses and charcuterie, this is an amazing value as well!
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

JS 94

2017 Lamouroux Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 07-29-2019
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Haven't reviewed a Bordeaux Blanc from Graves in awhile... scratch, scratch wonder why, especially since I find them to be some of the most scintillating, elegant and vibrantly alive white wines anywhere. This captivating version hails from Cerons and exemplifies the labors of an industrious Tuscan gent who undertook extensive modernization of the cellar, and brings years of experience to these wines. Eight months in stainless with lees contact, delivering pleasant flavors of fresh citrus, summer melon, white flowers and mineral nuances, this luscious white wine will pair well with raw oysters, sea bass or a rich bouillabaise. A stunning achievement, especially at this lovely price!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Angels & Cowboys Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 07-29-2019
"You can tell where a working cowboy is from by the crease in his hat." Never knew this factoid about the cowboy way, but of course there are plenty of cowboy factoids that have evaded me in my mundane city-slicker life. I may not know the difference between las chaparreras (aka 'chaps') and chapstick, but I do know something about wine, and would hit the trail with a bottle wrapped in a bedroll of this supple as a worn saddle red any day of the week. Born of all the right stuff, brambly Zinfandel, spicy Syrah, robust Carignane, plush Petite Sirah and velvety Malbec, one smooth sip might spur you on to drink more! Time to round up all your friends.....
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2016 Ferrero "Pepita" Rosso di Toscana
Review Date: 07-28-2019
Winemaker Pepita Harri poured the warmth of her personality and inherited talent into this charming namesake Rosso, showing her innate ability to bring out the distinctive character of each variety and evoke the bright red-cherry, floral and black fruited flavors that are emblematic of this suave, impressive Tuscan. Uncorked this bottle with bubbling 'hot from the oven' baked Penne and spicy Italian sausages. Just a suggestion, as this generous red will pair with virtually anything from the boot....
Top Value!
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine du Somail "Vin de Plume" Minervois
Review Date: 07-17-2019
If you happen to be in the quaint canal village of Le Somail you might need to seek some shade, so why not visit the private Hat Museum, a place straight out of Dr. Seuss, where you curious cats can admire over 6000 hats from every era and around the world. Afterwards, a stroll to a quayside cafe where you can plop down with a bottle of this glistening red wine, redolent with blackberries, leather, earth notes and a scent of herbs, a beautiful evocation of rustic Minervois fruit, mostly Mourvedre, with Syrah to add ever more nuance to the blend. I'll finish by saying "Hat's off!" to a truly marvelous wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2018 Maritma "The 4 Old Guys" Sangiovese Toscana
Review Date: 07-10-2019
Take a Pizza bubbling hot from the oven, slathered in piquant tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, onions, black olives and mushrooms, or any combination of toppings that you desire, as pizza is that most democratic of dishes. Now grab a fresh bottle of 2018 Maritma "Four Old Guys" Sangiovese. uncork it and pour yourself a glass. My review of the last vintage paid loving homage to Fellini, Monica Bellucci and Borsalinos, but I'll just cut to the quick while the pizza is still hot. Mouthwatering dark plums and black cherry fruit caressed by Tuscan dust and vibrant acidity, this bright, polished Sangiovese is the perfect savory companion to that bubbling pie catching your eye. Bevi!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Pinna Fidelis Crianza Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 06-30-2019
It's common knowledge that poor soils make great wine. Vines under stress send their roots deeper into the soil, and lacking sufficient hydration, generate smaller, more intensely concentrated fruit. Consider the general growing conditions in Ribera del Duero, where days can be blisteringly hot and nights soothingly cool, an ideal predicament for producing powerful, structured wines with abundant fruit, rich tannins and high acidity. Pinna Fidelis, founded in 2001, is a relatively new producer in the region near Penafiel, but their fine wines are already noteworthy for their youthful exuberance, showcasing bold, robust aromas and flavors of tar, leather, dark chocolate and blackberry. Decant for an hour and enjoy with grilled meats or a lusty paella .
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2018 Château de Montfaucon Lirac Rosé
Review Date: 06-23-2019
Our consummate faith in the extraordinary wines of Chateau de Montfaucon just hit a new dazzle with the introduction of this high-toned rose, a harmonious medley of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Carignan and Clairette. Reminiscent in hue and style of the finest wines of nearby Tavel, this fleshy, complex rose is suffused with voluminous flavors of cherry, wild strawberry and garrigue. Pair with an abundant platter of buttery, garlicky grilled shrimp for a delicious meal.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2004 Château Tirecul la Gravière "Cuvée Chateau" Monbazillac (500ml)
Review Date: 06-05-2019
'Godzilla vs. Monbazillac!' Nope, sorry that one will not fly as yet another summer blockbuster in the long line of Godzilla vs. the Universe flicks, as Monbazillac is hardly a ferocious Japanese monster, but a wondrously sweet wine hailing from the Bergerac region of France. Meticulous handpicking in several passes ensures that the fruit achieves uniform ripeness, and like Sauternes, this wine is exposed to the Botrytis cinerea fungus that shrivels the skins, allowing the juices to concentrate into a beautiful yellow nectar. Monbazillac is actually an assemblage of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle, and in its youth exhibits a brisk and vivacious personality that over time develops greater color, texture, and finesse. The Chateau Tirecul La Graviere has evolved aromatically for over a decade and positively sings with lyrical notes of peach, honeysuckle blossom, beeswax and apricot. Serve with a complementary fruit tart or my favorite, a chunk of St, Augur blue cheese.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2015 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-01-2019
This historic property underwent a renovation some years ago, consolidating the best parcels of vines grown on gravel and clay-limestone soils. This also involved a complete modernization of the production facilities and installation of over 1,000 select oak casks for optimal aging. A blend of roughly 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, revealing notes of cassis, cranberry, and dark chocolate, held together by complex tannins, this wine can be enjoyed now but will age for another decade.

2016 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 05-29-2019
Contrary to popularly-held belief, sparkling wine originated with Benedictine Monks in the Limoux region of southern France, over a century before Dom Perignon was a babbling bubble in his mother's arms. Antech is a family-owned winery dating back six generations, and has perfected the production of deliciously affordable sparkling wines grown in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Pale rose-tinted and without dosage, the Emotion delivers crisp, subtle notes of red berries and delicate spice, a delightful aperitif on its own or happy to complement everything from Hamachi sushi to a platter of deep-fried calamari.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Joan d'Anguera "Altaroses" Montsant
Review Date: 05-29-2019
With the recent separatist vote for independence from Spain igniting both controversy and international headlines, Catalonia remains a distinctive, semi-autonomous region with its own unique language,colorful flag and ancient culture. Fortunately this hasn't imperiled the brilliant wines that flow from the area, or the vision of those who pour their intimate knowledge, acumen and passion into each bottle. Just opened the newest release of Altaroses from Celler Joan d'Anguera in Montsant, This has been one of my favorite Garnaxta wines for several vintages, perhaps because it reveals the immaculate purity and integrity of the low-yield, biodynamically grown fruit with such elan and grace, Fermented with whole clusters and native yeasts, and aged for one year in neutral oak, this bright, exuberantlt juicy Catalan red is an evocation and a tribute to the beautiful land and independent people of its birth.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
RP 88 - 90

2018 Domaine de Fondrèche Ventoux Rosé
Review Date: 05-27-2019
Mont Ventoux, often shrouded in mists, rises like a sleeping giant... wait, that's a tired metaphor. How about this: Mont Ventoux, during the valiant onslaught of determined racers, gasping and climbing and clamoring for purchase during the Tour de France, looks like a sleeping giant attacked by a line of frenzied ants. Better. right? Take heart, this famed ridge, the "Giant of Provence', is also known for growing grapes, mostly reds and a smaller percentage of roses and whites on its southern slopes. Domaine de Fondreche, seeking harmony with the idyllic environment, produces a superb range of low-sulphur, organic wines. The rose, a lovely blend of 50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache grown on sandy silty soils, possesses lovely, vibrant fruit inflected by notes of red currants, summer melons and citrus, with crisp acidity that pairs well with Burmese, Thai foods and sushi. And just think, you don't have to scale a sleeping giant to get it!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 04-30-2019
Nestled near the magnificent southern shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy, the Lugana DOC is home to fragrant, distinctive white wines that mirror the pure lacustrine breezes that flow through the vineyards, lengthening the growing season and adding structure, textural finesse and complexity to the fruit. Tenuta Roveglia was founded by Federico Zweifel, a Swiss emigrant who first planted vines in Lugana in the nineteenth century. Over time the estate grew to cover 250 acres, many of which were planted to the obscurely named Turbiana grape, better known as Verdicchio, one of Italy’s great white grapes. Riserva wines in Lugana are required to age two years prior to release, and this straw-colored wine, named for the sensualist Roman poet Catullus, is animated by rich and evocative flavors of ripe orchard fruits, meadow flowers, lemon meringue and melon, with lingering almond notes on the slightly saline finish. A wine to inspire the poet, cook and lover in us all…..
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2018 Domaine la Colombe Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-29-2019
Summer is on schedule to arrive once you see our shelves overflowing with beautiful rosés, with tints ranging from the palest, delicate flush of pink in Provence to the almost ruby hues of Tavel. The Coteaux Varois lies at some altitude and is home to Domaine de la Colombe, year in and year out one of our most popular everyday rosés, brimming with attractive, mouthwatering fruits- watermelon, red cherry, peach, and strawberry, with plenty of crisp acidity to keep you coming back. Ideal for parties, picnics, and barbecues, or as a wonderful aperitif all by itself. Lovely as a midsummer sunset.
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2015 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph Rouge
Review Date: 04-27-2019
The elegant, well-crafted wines of Guigal never fail to inspire and enthrall. Saint-Joseph's signature granite soils lend focus and tension to this classic Northern Rhone Syrah, revealing a harmonious mid-weight texture and suave aromatic profile, with savory notes of leather, dried cherry, raspberry, licorice and peppery spice. Tannins are well-integrated and supple, leading to a long, pure thoroughbred finish. A great value from a spectacular vintage.

2016 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge Corsica
Review Date: 04-23-2019
“I could spend the rest of my life sitting on a hill in Corsica, eating goat cheese and drinking wine and having my enemies killed by remote control." —Anthony Bourdain . Impossible to resist injecting the wonderfully sardonic voice of the late, great Mr. Bourdain into a conversation, and it was equally hard to resist guzzling (think cormorants) this captivating Corsican red, a wine of such irresistible personality that the price we're selling it for must be a misprint, but it isn't. I could yada yada 'ad noiseum' about flavors reminiscent of sun-ripened black plums, baked stones, melted licorice, wet violets and freshly tilled earth, but I won't... so... just pop a bottle of Petroni with some of that Corsican goat cheese or whatever moves your kindred soul, and drink long and deep. Anthony Bourdain would probably emit a cosmic chuckle.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2016 Florent Cosme "Utopie" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 03-31-2019
Chenin Blanc is a capricious grape, depending on how long it is allowed to hang on the vine and unravel its mutable charms. We recently discovered Florent Cosme, a new winemaker in the heart of Vouvray who grew up in the region and is highly attuned to the personality of this versatile grape. His biodynamic-certified wines are all about the purity and integrity of the beautiful fruit, and he achieves remarkable results, as clearly evident in his evocative Utopie Vouvray Demi-Sec, born from 70 year old vines grown on clay-silex soils. Aromas and flavors permeate and inspire, from fleshy pineapple, to white pear, apple, quince and persimmon, and the finish resonates a gentle sweetness held in thrall by fine acidity. A wonderful wine to complement dishes from Thai to Tempura. And to be honest, an incredible value as well.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 93 WS 92

2017 The Fableist Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-30-2019
Most of you are familiar with the Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, but turns out the original story starred a slovenly cicada who fiddled away the long hot summer while the frantic ants worked on their little ant abs, lifting grain and whatever edibles they could carry back to the colony. A revision of the fable involves the herculean ants even storing fallen grapes in their cellar until they fermented, providing beneficent drink throughout the winter, enough even to share with the not-so-merrymaking, near-freezing cicada.....of course their drink was hardly as refined as this warming, full-bodied, embracing Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the tale of two imaginative winemakers who were definitely not fiddling around! Drink up!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 03-20-2019
When a wine strikes my palate like a micro-meteorite, pinging and sending waves of pleasure straight to my olfactory receptors, I look up to the sky and give the stars a thank you, well knowing that those twinkling points of light really had nothing to do with it, that wine is a joyfully delicious earth-born substance, and that it is good. And believe me, the Monsanto is very good, and over the next few years will be even better. With a Mars Attack, excuse me, marvelous attack of bright, resplendently ripe fruit- morello cherries, dark plums and blackcurrants, framed by laserlike tannins, harmonizing acidity and savory spice, this classic Chianti has the components to jettison it well into the future. Not out of this world, only because it's of this world! Enjoy.

2017 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 02-24-2019
What wine serves as both a great party aperitif and the perfect poolside antidote to the sweltering days of summer? The answer? Av an Aveleda, certainly one of the best-selling, well-priced whites in our store for the last decade or more, alive with a vibrant spectrum of tropical and orchard fruits and bursting with clean, crisp acidity. Pair a bottle or two with everything from light, creamy pastas to grilled fish to lemony chicken, or just uncork and drink this delightful Vinho Verde all by its unlonesome.
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91

2016 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-24-2019
This property, adjacent to Carbonnieux, underwent substantial replanting during the last decade of the twentieth century, and is today evolving nicely. The wines are youthfully taut and packed with attractively stylish blackcurrant and cherry fruits, laced with firm tannins and pleasant acidity, creating a harmonious ensemble that will develop well over the next few years.

2016 Scattered Peaks Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-09-2019
With a winemaking pedigree as renowned as Beaulieu vineyards Joel Aiken, the Scattered Peaks Cabernet has attained incredible press and demonstrated that Napa Valley can still produce excellent red wines for under $50. Brimming with rich aromatics and supple, round flavors of blackcurrants, ripened black plums, licorice, vanilla and shaved dark chocolate, this wine envelops the palate and delivers abundant pleasure for its modest price.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2017 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige
Review Date: 01-09-2019
Ian D'Agata, writer of the magnificent Native Wine Grapes of Italy, informs that the word 'Schiava' originated in a group of native northern Italian grapes that our Roman ancestors believed to be of superior status, and were thus tied to poles 'cum vineis sclavis', or 'with vines enslaved." However they were bound, my best advice is to free this winsome, nuanced wine from the bottle to liberate the range of holiday spices and bright red-berried fruit that will immediately captivate, if not capture, any palate. A real gem this one!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 12-10-2018
Vine whisperers like Severine Bourrier of Chateau De L'Ou know that vineyards speak a rather earthy vernacular, if we could only hear them: "Quit taking my grapes for granite."....“Why should I root for you, you have a heart of clay!“ .. “Oh yeah, that wasn’t very gneiss of you! I think you’re full of schiste.” “l take that as a compliment, especially coming from you....besides, why should I gravel beneath your opinion?” Ok, you get the tone.... low vigor vines have to conserve their energy, in that a great bottle of wine is the best response to all that thrown dirt. And putting the name of your soil on the label certainly takes pride of place, as Severine's magnificent Syrah powerfully attests. One swirl, one sip and you will know....a symposium of dark fruits, perfumed with violets, sumptuous pepper spice, harmonious woodland notes and supple tannins. A generous wine to slate, excuse me, slake your thirst, from the good earth.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JD 95 RP 91

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-28-2018
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Champagne imbued with both a vibrant sense of presence and authenticity, as the name implies, is almost impossible to find for under seventy-five dollars, but here it is, a beautifully focused laser beam of elegant, pure stone fruit and citrus flowers with a taut mineral texture, all held together by a skein of fine acidity. This is a remarkably sophisticated Champagne that will reward drinking throughout the holidays and beyond. Highly recommended!
Top Value!

2016 Bishop's Peak San Luis Obispo Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-27-2018
For over thirty years, Talley Vineyards has exemplified the finest in Central Coastal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and in 2016 they exceeded their reputation. Produced from both purchased and estate fruit, the Bishop's Peak Pinot Noir is a second wine in name only, with expressive cherry and tea leaf aromas followed by polished notes of strawberry and pomegranate, framed by sedate tannins and a silky finish. The perfect, welcoming everyday Pinot that will enhance both holiday parties and festive meals.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 VN 91

2017 Marrenon "Roséfine" Luberon Rosé
Review Date: 10-01-2018
Given that the time and place for drinking rosés has little to do with the calendar anymore, but rather the availability— just look around the store, they’re still there in abundance— it comes down to a matter of choice, and the dictates of style, price and desire. For those seeking a mouthwatering, flavorful rosé with luscious orchard fruit notes— strawberry, melon and white peach, balanced by a note of minerality and a fresh, satisfying finish, look to this Syrah-driven version from the Luberon. With any luck this one will last through the holidays, as it whispers ‘festivity’ with each sip!
Price: Hidden View Price

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-04-2017
In trying to get my head around the physics behind all those tiny bubbles in a bottle of Champagne l discovered a wonderfully fascinating little book called Uncorked, by Gérard Liger-Belair. Apparently gravity drives the velocity of the bubbles in a flute of Champagne, so the best spot in the solar system to achieve the absolute tiniest bubbles would be on… you guessed it— Jupiter, with about 100 times the gravity of our own sparkling blue orb. Pack your bags, but before you go flying off into space, try a bottle or two of this incredible direct import. Created from superb Pinot Noir cultivated in the renowned Le Riceys terroir near Aube, the “Reserve” harbors a panoply of rich flavors ranging from citrus fruits to fleshy pears, apples, nectarines and beyond, embodying an elegant, creamy mousse and miniscule, dare I suggest, ‘out of this world’ bubbles. Now prepare for takeoff!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
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A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.

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