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Staff Favorites - Alex Schroeder

Alex Schroeder

Reviews

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1998 Orkney (Highland Park) 20 Year Old "Thompson Bros." K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
I was just calling our Bunnahabhain 30 single cask our best whisky when Andrew plopped a bottle of this in front of me. Now I'm reconsidering. A single cask of 20-year-old Orkney Highland Park that is smooth as milk at 50% abv, with a very bright and distinct apricot, honey & apple core with a very subtle gravelly smokiness enveloping the fruit. I just can't stop nosing it. The Thompson Bros. label is big bonus, too.
Price: $149.99 Add To Cart

1988 Bunnahabhain 30 Year Old "Old Particular" K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-21-2019
This is probably one of the best whiskies on the shelf. Sweet core of bananas/apricots/creme brulee, with whiffs of briny algae and a subtle peatiness that isn't a distinct characteristic but a fully integrated part of the whole. The thirty years this spent in refill hogshead were years well spent.
Price: $349.99 Add To Cart

2016 Kalinda Médoc Bordeaux Red
Review Date: 11-19-2019
Kalinda knocks it out of the park with its very first Médoc offering. The price-to-quality ratio is in line with other Kalinda wines, that is, stellar. This one comes from a Chateau in the northern Medoc, and is made from about 60% Cabernet, 35% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. It has bright berry fruit and baking spice aromas on the nose, with an added savory presence on the palate. The tannins are firm and well-balanced by subtle acidity. Have this with a hearty steak dish, pizza, pastas, mushrooms, even a well roasted chicken.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

1991 Cameronbridge 27 Year Old "Old Particular" Single Refill Sherry Butt Cask Strength Single Grain Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
It's hard to argue with a deal like this. This has the kind of complexity and richness only whisky that has spent two and a half decades in a refill sherry butt can provide. On the nose, cracked wheat, banana flambé and even hints of tangerine fruitiness. The palate is creamy with soft toasty oak underlying a rich honey and fruit melange. The finish is long and lasting with fruits and toast. This is FULL flavored, complex and utterly smooth.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

2017 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 11-14-2019
One of our first 2017s! This Calon Segur owned property always offers outrageous quality to price ratio and this is no exception. Beautiful dark fruits, earth and a touch of spice with a round texture and great purity of fruit.

2016 Le Pape, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 11-14-2019
This property was purchased by the Wilmer family in 2012, and renovations finished in 2015, making this one of the first true Haut-Bailly era vintages for the historic property. The affordable price makes this all the more exciting, because the quality is undeniable. It is rich and elegant, with plush red currants, cherry and a touch of smoke on the palate, but with the classic restraint that helps highlight the Pessac minerals. You can enjoy this today, but it will undoubtedly age with grace.

2008 Pierre Paillard Grand Cru "La Grand Récolte" Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-14-2019
This is my Champagne of the year. Is it any surprise? Vintage Grand Cru Bouzy from one of the best years on record. It has a rich bouquet of fruit and minerals, with laser-like precision on the palate and no signs of tiredness despite the 11 years since the fruit was picked. The balance is superb with richness, elegance, distinct fruit and brisk minerals, all while staying focused and fresh. This is a Champagne I plan to experience many times in the years to come.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 10-30-2019
These are exciting times! We found a brand new direct-import Central Otago Pinot Noir, and if you read about the producer's pedigree above, it is no surprise that the wine is nothing short of spectacular. It is completely destemmed, and has a silky smooth profile with rich raspberry, bing cherry fruit, and a touch of baking spice from the oak. The acidity adds verve and tension, while the light grip from the tannins completes the stellar structure. If you like what's coming out of Central Otago, you should definitely try this.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-25-2019
I had to do a double-take. Single vineyard Aussie Chardonnay for $15!? Aromas of Meyer lemon, vanilla, and toasted sourdough let you know right away that this wine is a far cry from the mass-produced unoaked Chardonnays of the same price range. On the palate, the wine has a lovely lanolin texture and rich fruit, while staying light on its feet and bright from the wonderful acidity. The finish is long, and even has hints of minerals. Unbelievable quality-to-price ratio.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-25-2019
I was skeptical. I usually do not care much for the mass produced value Pinots of the world. Which is why I was stunned when I took a whiff of this one. So bright, expressive, rich, and delicate all at once! Strawberry compote, raspberry, mint with a touch of basil, a touch of toast from the oak. This is a superbly made, single-vineyard Pinot Noir for an astoundingly reasonable $14.99. I'll be keeping a case of this at home for myself.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

2017 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 10-17-2019
The value here really can't be overstated. This is complex, seductive, easy, rich, and refreshing all at once. On the nose, red currant fruit is hoisted by forest floor, violets, a touch of scorched earth and mint. The flavors come together seamlessly on the palate with lightly gripping tannins and the perfect fruit/acid balance for a very pleasant, long finish. Dare I compare it to Grand Cru Burgundy that cost ten times as much? I do, and so should you.

2012 du Glana, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-11-2019
Du Glana, located right across from Ducru Beaucaillou, offers the classic St. Julien experience at a great price. The 2012 is a great example: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon/40% Merlot. Dark cherry, black currants, graphite, with good concentration and fine tannins. Drink now or store for near-to-midterm enjoyment
Price: $32.99 Add To Waiting List

Wine Club

$29.99
JS 90 WS 90

2014 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 10-11-2019
The wines of Gimblett gravels are some of the best deals in luxury Bordeaux blends in the world, and this is a prime example. It has a beautiful supple texture from ripe, silky tannins, rich flavors of red currants, cherry, graphite and smoke and perfect balance between ripe fruit, earthy undertones and balancing acidity. Try this with your next filet mignon.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2009 Sociando-Mallet "Cuvée Jean Gautreau" Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-24-2019
This is a seductive, vibrant and delicious bottle from a top vintage, that is ready-to-drink for a great price. Sociando is one of my favorite properties in any vintage, but that name Jean Gautreau has a Pavlovian effect on me...It is only made in the best vintages, from the best juice and showcases the elegance and power that the winemaker is known for. Plum, blueberries, licorice and herbs with generous, well integrated oak and a seemingly endless finish.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
VN 93

2016 Cantemerle, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 09-24-2019
I've said it many times before, and I'll say again. There is no better value in world-class Haut-Medoc red Bordeaux than that made by Chateau Cantemerle. The 2016 is a prime example. It has a classic profile of fleshy, ripe black currant and plum fruit, graphite and spice with a perfectly balanced oak frame. Even in its youth, the tannins are refined and supple, and the acidity will take it the distance. If you collect Bordeaux, this is a no brainer.

2014 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 09-19-2019
This is an excellent bargain for classic left bank Bordeaux. Lilian Ladouys is owned by the folks at Chateau D'Issan and the winemaking pedigree is evident immediately, with a bright, expressive and rich St. Estephe profile. Cherry kirsch, graphite, smoke and herbs, with bright, lifting acidity that leads to a long lasting finish.

2016 Sidewood Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-10-2019
There's no mistaking the Aussie Shiraz character in this gem! After a couple hours of breathing time, beautiful notes of cherry kirsch, smoked game, eucalyptus, mint, and smoky pepper unfold. Beautiful ripe tannins coat the mouth, purple fruits take the center stage on the palate and the structure and acid lead to a bright, long lasting finish. A top deal in Shiraz!

2016 Kalinda Paso Robles Red Blend
Review Date: 09-05-2019
I was pleasantly delighted by the delicious drinkability of this very inexpensive Paso blend in the Kalinda portfolio. On the nose it has plenty of ripe, fresh red fruit: strawberries, rainier cherries and raspberries with thyme undertones. It is very drinkable with a super smooth texture and just a touch of acidity. This is a very fun wine to keep a case of around!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$8.99

2018 Domaine Begude Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-30-2019
The quality of this southern French Pinot is amazing for this price point. It's richly fruited with strawberries, plums, and violets, and still has a surprising amount of verve and lift from great acidity. It still has a classic French profile, though, with a soft texture and emphasis on balance.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Iteration #24 Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Since 1955, only 23 blends of Grand Siecle have been released until now! The latest is based on 2007 with reserve wines from 2006 and 2004, aged 11 years on the lees! The nose is an intriguing blend of pear, citrus, even tropical fruit, a hint of flinty smoke and cream, and of course vibrant minerals. This is one of the expensive bottles that is absolutely worth every penny.

Laurent-Perrier "Grand Siècle" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
The Grand Siècle (literally “Great Century”), is named after the age of King Louis XIV of France, and represents the awe and splendor that was known under his reign, during which Versailles was built. One of my absolute favorite prestige cuvées, it is composed entirely from Grand Cru sites, blended from three great vintages then aged on its lees for the entirety of a decade. Wow. Made from 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir, it has quince, green apple and citrus fruit with honey, almond and biscuit notes from the long aging. It has delicious toasty yeasty character and vibrancy from the great acid. This should be in every Champagne lovers cellar, ready for that perfect, or any, Champagne moment!

2007 Thiénot "Black Ball" Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
This is a rich, creamy style of blanc de blancs with bright fruit notes of pear and apple, honeysuckle, toast and intriguing notes of spice. This is a great vintage champagne aged to perfection!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2008 Lanson "Gold Label" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Lanson has waited until now to release its 2008 vintage Gold-Label and it’s a good thing they did! They decided not to use malolactic fermentation to soften the edges on this high acid, electric vintage, but 11 years in the bottle should do the trick! This is an incredibly fresh, delicious vintage champagne from a top house with vibrant fruit, a great mineral texture and long, very bright finish. This will continue to age beautifully.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 RP 93

2008 Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
LP has finally released its much anticipated 2008 vintage champagne and it is as delicious as expected! It has beautiful floral elements on the nose, bright pear, green apple and cherry fruit notes, vibrant minerals and the bright acidity that is a hallmark of the vintage. Vintage Champagne collectors won’t want to miss out on this one!
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Oger" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
One of three “terroir-series” Champagnes created as a passion project by Olivier Bonville in light of the stellar 2012 vintage on the Cote de Blancs. “Oger” displays a particularly chalky mineral texture alongside the incredible, bright pear and apple fruit, notes of spice and a long, electric finish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 WE 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Mesnil" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
Another in the “terroir-series” passion project of Olivier Bonville. The value on these single-vintage, single-varietal, single-village Blanc de blancs can’t be overstated. These were executed perfectly so that the terroir of each village is distinctly displayed in the wines. If you are looking to go down the Champagne terroir rabbit hole, this is a great place to start. “Mesnil” really showcases the kimmeridgian minerals alongside ripe, bright citrus and apple fruit with an intriguing line of saline, and great acidity from the stellar vintage.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 93

2012 Franck Bonville "Pur Avize" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-09-2019
The highly anticipated results of Olivier Bonville’s 2012 passion project have finally arrived and they are fantastic. Each showcases the unique terroir of three different villages nestled on the eastern-facing Cotes de Blancs. “Avize,” (also Olivier’s hometown) showcases powerful, open-knit pear and apple fruit flavors with accenting floral and spice notes, minerals and a bright, stellar finish.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 RP 92

2018 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 08-07-2019
Rich, vibrant fruit, stony minerality, refreshing acidity and a long finish make this one of the bet Sauvignon Blanc deals in the store. Killer Sancerre for under $20?? Yes please!
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tongue in Groove "Cabal Vineyard" Pinot Noir Waipara Valley
Review Date: 08-07-2019
You’d be hard pressed to find a better value than this in Pinot Noir. Made from the famous Cabal Vineyard on the North facing slopes of the Waipara Valley, this has rich aromas of crushed strawberry, cherry and cola berry with a touch of savory scorched earth. It has a lovely combination of lush, soft texture and fresh, lifted, vibrant aromatics. Truly World Class Pinot at a great price!

2016 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 07-18-2019
This is a seriously impressive display of the finesse, power and complexity that can be achieved with New Zealand Pinot Noir. The nose is beautiful with fruity aromas of cherry and mulberry with lifted aromatics of lilacs and violets with a touch of smoke and earth. The palate is well balanced, with beautiful tension between the silky texture, ripe but grippy tannins and vibrant lifting acidity.

2007 Haut-Bailly, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This is the best price on a great classic Pessac powerhouse that I’ve seen. It has an intoxicating nose that includes red cherry, cigar box, dusty minerals, smoke and cedar. Sweet cherry kirsch comes out on the palate along with silky tannins and a wonderful integration of flavors. This will continue to age gracefully.

2007 Rieussec, Sauternes
Review Date: 06-26-2019
The Lafite group took Rieussec to the next level in 2007. Rich and layered with notes of dried honey, lemon citrus, apricots and white flowers, it definitely has great sweetness but also lift and vibrancy from the acidity. This is definitely one of the most enjoyable Sauternes on our shelves right now.

2007 Raymond-Lafon, Sauternes
Review Date: 06-26-2019
Rich, lush and sweet with honeycomb, dried apricots and tangerine notes, and great acid/sweetness balance. This is a remarkably on-point, aged Sauternes for $29.99
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 93 WS 92

2007 Branas Grand Poujeaux, Moulis
Review Date: 06-26-2019
From the famed Grand Poujeaux vineyard in Moulis, this merlot-dominant left bank blend has plenty of ripeness! It boasts rich red fruit with just hints of tertiary leather and smoke. It has thus far aged very well. The tannins are big and ripe and coat the mouth, keeping the sweet red fruit on the palate for quite a long time. This is a very good wine for the price.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2016 l'Avocat Rouge, Graves
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This is already drinking great. It is very expressive with loads of fresh berries, cranberries and a hint of orange peel on the nose. The fruit is fresh with just a pleasant hint of vanilla from the oak. It is bright, ripe and fresh with great acidity and balance.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2004 l'Avocat "Cuvée Speciale", Graves
Review Date: 06-26-2019
This made using the painstaking “Vinification Integrale” process, where the hand-picked fruit is macerated on the skins inside the barrel for three weeks, then aged in new oak for 18 months. After 15 years, this wine is one seriously sexy sipper for $29.99. It has a rich dark fruit core framed by toasty oak, with hints of smoked meats and aged leather. The tannins are round and silky smooth, and the wine is overall still very fresh and vibrant. As the resident Bordeaux expert Ralph Sands put it after tasting it blind, “We thought it was Margaux, Margaux.”
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Canon, St-Émilion
Review Date: 05-24-2019
This is a nicely concentrated claret, with a robust perfume of dark peppery fruit, minerals, black currants and smoke. It's elegant and velvety on the palate with firm yet smooth tannins. It has a subtle balancing acidity and a long dark fruit-driven finish framed by pleasant herbal notes.

2018 Léoville-Poyferré, St-Julien
Review Date: 05-17-2019
On the nose, very concentrated notes of dark fruit and earthy graphite. On the palate, however, very elegant and round, with great acid and nice grippy tannins. This should be a fantastic wine to age in the cellar.

2018 La Gaffelière, St. Emilion
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This was the star of St. Emilion during the 2018 en primeur campaign. The addition of excellent Cabernet Franc vines shone through with aromas of roses, peppery red fruit and graphite on the nose. The texture was very elegant already with wonderful concentration of fruit and tannin on the palate, and wonderful acidity that lends to a long, fresh and balanced finish.

2018 Malartic-Lagravière, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This is opulent with dark, purple, plummy fruit, toast and notes of licorice, mocha and herbs. The tannins are soft and elegant up front and then become more grippy on the finish, adding to the structure given by the balancing acidity. Great graphite and minerals underscore the ripe fruit.

2018 Capbern, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 05-17-2019
This is the best value in St. Estephe. Made by the same winemaking team from Calon Segur, from terroir adjacent to much more expensive properties, it has spicy black fruit, mocha, and licorice on the nose. On the palate, it is very fresh and bright while remaining dark and concentrated at its core. It has very elegant, firm tannins, with nice herbal notes on the finish.

1995 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2019
This is aged Sezanne Champagne at its finest! Rich notes of dried lemons and apricots, oloroso sherry notes, hazelnuts, smoke and beautiful earthy minerals all combine perfectly integrated under the bright acidity of the vintage for an incredibly rare experience for an incredibly rare low price.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

1995 Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millénaires" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-16-2019
Nothing makes my eyes widen and mouth water more than a bottle of this gem about to be opened. It has rich toasty aromas that surround a beautifully taut core of green apples and citrus meringue, with added notes of hazelnuts and smoke. The aging process has imparted perfect integration and balance, and the acidity has preserved the wine from any signs of tiredness. This is the kind of Champagne I could waste an entire evening simply smelling. On the palate the acid is still vibrant and vivacious, and the mineral texture is a marvel unto itself. This is an experience well worth the price of admission.

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 05-15-2019
This is a very rare, and very delicious 100% Pinot Gris-based champagne. The pinot gris leaves a clean, floral, mineral-laden bouquet on the nose, but on the palate the strength and power of the fruit are striking: pear and green apple, white flowers and a touch of lemon zest are amplified by serious acidity, and a long, focused finish of minerals and lemony goodness. This is Champagne like you’ve never experienced!​
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2008 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
Bright and poised pear, apple and lemon zest fruit flavors with a voluptuous mid-palate texture and just a hint of red fruit from the Pinot Noir on the back end. The acidity, like every vintage 2008 Champagne I’ve had so far, is electric and stimulating, amplifying the fruit flavors for an almost never-ending finish. Incredible value from this grower champagne from what is quickly becoming a legendary vintage. Amazing value on an '08 vintage champagne!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 WS 91

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
In a direct import program that boasts hundreds of stunning grower-producer Champagnes at incredible values, the “Authentic Assemblage” from Le Brun de Neuville belongs near the top of the list not just in terms of value for the price but in overall quality. It boasts a rich, decadent style that comes from aging on its lees for five years under cork instead of bottle cap, a practice still used by only a tiny percentage of producers in Champagne. This allows for micro-oxygenation, which gives the wine a rich, rounded texture that perfectly balances out the crisp chalky minerals and the rich flavors of nectarine, honeysuckle, brioche and clove. The fact that it is available for such a low price is a miracle.

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
I instantly fell in love with LeBrun de Neuville’s “Authentique” Rosé. The blend, two thirds Chardonnay and one third Pinot Noir, has the best of both worlds: rich and vibrant red fruit flavors along with soft delicate notes of flowers and stone fruit. The acid keeps the blend energetic and the chalkiness of the Sezanne area it is grown in is undeniable.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2012 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
This is amongst the best Blanc de Noirs in the store. It’s made entirely from a very old plot of massale-selected Pinot Meunier vines, and sees time in french oak barrels. It has an amazing bouquet of baking spice, pear, honey suckle and herbs. On the palate, the fruit profile is electrifying and complex, and leads to a long, yeasty bright finish. It has the brightness and concentration of fruit with the precision and cleanliness only the best champagnes display.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
This is one of the smallest production Champagnes in our portfolio. Made from a third each of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, it offers a delicacy and prettiness you usually have to pay much more for. The fruit profile is of apricots, lemons and toasty lees with a delicate spice from the barrel aging. You will be hard pressed to find this kind of value for the money on a traditional Champagne like this.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-15-2019
Olivier Bonville carries on the tradition of his grandfather, Franck, producing wines of incredible richness and complexity from his estate vines in the Grand Cru villages of Avize and Mesnil on the picaresque Cote de Blancs. It has the rich flavors of Anjou pear, Meyer lemon, white apricots and a touch of delicate spice. The real magic is in the chalky minerality and zippy acidity that the Cote de Blancs is famous for. When you consider that similar offerings from the Big Houses cost three to four times more, this becomes a must-buy for anyone who loves Champagne.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

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