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Staff Favorites - Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith
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Tom Smith


Reviews

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2014 Maison Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru "Sous le Puits"
Review Date: 11-13-2019
There's two things I want to put right out there before I review this wine. First, I'm a sucker for Puligny Montrachet. Everyone has that one bottle of Burgundy that totally changed the way they feel about wine, that makes you obsess over a particular region or style, and that you may spend the rest of your days chasing, hopelessly trying to repeat. That wine, for me, is Puligny Montrachet. Second, and more simply put, I'm a total sucker for 2014 White Burgundy. The cut of acid, the clarity and focus, the beautiful, clear expression of site are all factors in what make this unanimously the best wine burgundy vintage in recent memory. With that said, this wine is awesome. The aromas intermingle light touches of citrus zest, white flowers, touches of honey, and poached pear. In following, this wine drinks spectacularly on the palate. Nimble and full of finesse, this balances rounder fruit tones where honey crisp apple and lemon curd come into full focus while keeping that characteristic Puligny lightning-in-a-bottle electric acidity. There's still freshness here, but the added complexity from bottle condition make it evident that this wine is drinking perfectly right now. This is one of those wines that is perfectly suited to my palate and tastes. This is proper wine.

2017 Oakridge "Henk Vineyard - Block 864" Pinot Noir Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-13-2019
Oakridge Winemaker David Bicknell is Australia's master of Pinot Noir. His local vineyard series concentrates on sourcing small parcels of fruit from exceptional family-farmed vineyards. The Oakridge 864 is sourced from a small Pinot Noir block in the Upper Yarra Valley, Australia’s most recognized site for Pinot Noir. The Henk 864 showcases Bicknell’s exceptional hand with Pinot Noir, creating a wine that bridges power and focus with intricacy and detail. Black Cherry, strawberry and cranberry compote with delicate nuances of baking spice and flowers on the nose create a profile that is full of complexity detail and death. But this merely foreplay. This leads to a palate that is a tour de force of richly layered black and red fruit. Velvety and weighted, it manages to stay bright and balanced due to a laser sharp acid line that screams down the palate. The dynamics of this wine are just nuts. This is one of Australia’s very best offerings in Pinot Noir and a testament to the world class wines being crafted by Bicknell.

2017 Oakridge "Original Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 11-06-2019
Yarra Valley Cabernet is a rare find on US shelves. In an ultra-cool pocket of Australia more known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, only a handful of producers make Cabernet well, but when they do, it is absolutely stunning. Take a second and try to think of new-world, cool-climate Cabernet. There’s not many of them. Ridge and Mount Eden are the two that come to mind and equally they were the first thing I thought of when I first opened the Oakridge Cab. This is aromatic Cabernet at its best. Elements of mint, dry herbs, mocha and cherry liqueur abound on this. The palate hits you like a missile. Streamlined. Rich fruit. Smooth, softened tannin. An essence of pure Cabernet. Clean and bright, powerful and yet elegant, this is a stunning wine at its price that you absolutely can’t miss.

2014 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-06-2019
I love how classic this wine is. If you’re looking for traditional, handmade wines that absolutely and clearly speak to the place from which they are made, you can’t get any closer than Baricci. On the nose, there is depth like a 100 foot well. You can’t help but be pulled into this glass. Notes of wild, dried herbs, wet stone, and subtle fruit aromas demand attention and showcase the its complexity. The palate is powerful and concentrated, with sizzling tannin and hints of leather on the finish. It already feels well on its way, but a couple more years of age on this, and you’ll have something incredibly special. There are few wines made this honestly, and even fewer that deliver in spades like Baricci.

2016 Podere Donna Nera Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-06-2019
Rosso di Montalcino continues to be an excellent value for Italian wines drinkers--especially when you consider the strength of the ‘15 and ‘16 vintages. Here, you’ll find soft tones of maraschino cherry and spice on the nose. On the palate this there is rich concentration, and prominent but pleasurable tannin. This punches way over its price and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
DC 92

2010 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Selección Especial Rioja
Review Date: 11-06-2019
Rioja doesn’t get more legit than this. You can definitely feel the complexity from its maturation in bottle. The American oak on this is extremely well done, with lots of vanilla, cedar and allspice in the forefront with darker tones of blackfruit and savory meatiness lurking in the background. On the palate the wine is nicely softened, with even more savory tones punching through to a bright, crisp finish. Excellent concentration and great power.

2017 Susana Balbo "Brioso" Uco Valley White Blend
Review Date: 11-06-2019
This wine has one of them the most compelling and interesting aroma profiles I’ve come across in a long time. There is an aspect of candied grapefruit peel and toasted honey crisp apple, and I swear, a lemon shaved ice. If my descriptor are a little uncommon, its because the wine itself is exceptional. Linear, svelte, incredibly bright and intensely refreshing.This has everything I like about torrontes, and nothing I don’t. This is a delightful surprise in every way.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 92

2012 Domaine du Haut Bourg "Origine" Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu
Review Date: 11-06-2019
Yes, this is muscadet, but with the volume turned waaaaaay up. Incredibly aromatic, jasmine and white flowers along with creamier, weightier notes soar from the glass. Bigger and rounder on the palate with touches of mandarine orange, it still possess that biting acidity and beautiful minerality. The lees contact is obvious here, but incredibly well done. Substantive and forward, this is a must-try for fans of muscadet.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-06-2019
I absolutely adore this wine, year after year. Offbeat but still beautifully crisp and delicious, Corsican wines always have the ability to surprise and impress. Full of bright nectarine, honeycomb, and lemon zest, this particular vintage shows greater weight and texture than years past--and is all the better for it. This is a hall-of-fame under $15 white for me.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
JD 92

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-04-2019
If you were to ask me what wine I am most excited about at K&L right now, it would be this. Hands down. Matt Connell is an incredibly talented winemaker who has dedicated his career to crafting transcendent Pinot Noir. Having honed his skills winemaking at Elk Cove in Oregon and Akarua in New Zealand, Matt struck out on his own under his eponymous label, which has been seeing big scores and is quickly gaining recognition as the next big thing in New Zealand Pinot. His 2018 Rendition Pinot Noir is a perfect example of what I love about his wines. Beautiful and crafted from 100% destemmed fruit, the nose is intensely perfumed and complex with Bing cherry, subtle spice and fresh cranberries, while the palate has incredibly softened tannins and bright, crackling acidity. What I really appreciate about this wine is that despite having all the necessary elements to age--this is drinking perfectly right now. If you want a head-turning, stunner of a Pinot Noir that will impress everyone at the table, this it.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2018 Helen's Hill "Ingram Road" Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 10-28-2019
Helen’s Hill continues to be one of our best-value producers. What I love about them is the fact that even their under $20 wines have all the same care and attention to detail that you’d find in some finest wines out there. All the fruit is sourced from their Ingram Road Estate vineyard. Grapes are hand-harvested, and barrel fermented with 100% native yeast. The nose here is soft and supple elements of lemon curd and stone fruits. On the palate, the wine is full and rich with just a hint of soft spice. The acidity has drive all the way to the finish, creating a full bodied, but incredibly balanced chardonnay. This is an impeccably crafted wine that is an absolute steal. With Burgundian inspiration, but new world character, serve this at a party and everyone will be raving.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94

2017 Domaine des Rémizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 10-25-2019
One of the areas I focus on collecting is wines of the northern Rhone, and the Remizieres Crozes is a staple of my collection. The '17 is dark and brooding with an earthy profile displaying tar, smoke, and blue fruits. This is everything I like in a Crozes-Hermitage. Fully concentrated on the palate with and tannin that drips down the palate. Look elsewhere for Crozes that is plump and obvious, the 2017 Remizieres is proper Crozes-Hermitage from a perennially awesome producer.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2017 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 10-21-2019
Rudi Bauer is one of the original five winemakers in Central Otago, and his Quartz Reef wines represent some of the best in New Zealand Pinot Noir. Entirely biodynamic, these wines have had a cult following among our customers for years, and I’m so excited by the 2017 in particular. When I talked to Rudi over the summer, he explained that it was a difficult vintage that gave them a ton of challenges, but ended with a small crop with incredible intensity. It shows in the glass. Dark fruited with elements of blackberry and black cherry, it is muscular and powerful. Its almost impossible not to draw comparisons to Cote-de-Nuits, but truly this is its own wine. Bright acidity along with a quiet tannin profile that gracefully rests along the palate, this is seamless pinot noir at its perfection.

2017 Moulin de la Gardette "Tradition" Gigondas
Review Date: 10-17-2019
Moulin de la Gardette is always my benchmark for Gigondas. And as for Gigondas itself, it’s a wine I’m drinking a lot more of these days. As prices in Chateauneuf creep higher and higher, I have found myself fleeing to Gigondas. The cepage is typically similar, but the aromatics, structure, and the fact that these are still humble, regional wines that deliver huge on quality are all a big draw for me. As for Gardette, their wines are simply the best of the pack. Black fruited with layers upon layers of blackberry coulis, iron, and depth like the bottom of a well. On the palate more charcoal and smoke intermix with fruit, well-set with structure. A big wine that shows off the excellence of Gigondas.

2016 Castello di Romitorio "Toro"
Review Date: 10-16-2019
The nose comes off a touch spicy, but with a beautiful level of depth. I found elements of Iron, spicebox, blackfruit. But whatI really admire about this wine is the structure. The tannin is softened, but hits every corner of the palate. This shows a tremendous amount of skill, and gives the fruit both presence and power. Really nice wine.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart
RP 95 JS 92

2016 Agostino Pavia Barbera d'Asti "La Marescialla"
Review Date: 10-16-2019
This is clearly a bigger, bolder style of barbera. Wow. Big and plush. Beautiful cherry liqueur-like fruit.To me, this is almost like Italy does Priorat--but with more acid and structure than I typically find from grenache. Its big, ripe, and round with this incredible purity of fruit that sits right on the center of the palate. Bigger, richer style pastas will kill with this. I would call this one hell of a statement wine. This is the wine that’s going to win your next dinner party.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2016 Fratelli Barale "Serraboella" Barbaresco
Review Date: 10-16-2019
Beautifully perfumed. Almost like dried orange peel and clove on the nose, just a nudge of wildness. It’s tough to express how beautiful the nose is on this wine is--its the sort of aromatic profile that has all these little details, but perfectly meld together. But this is Nebbiolo, and it is still heavily built with lots of power and a lot of structure. There are plenty of red fruits: punchy strawberry and bing cherry sing above a lower, earthier drive.

2017 Coriole "Dancing Fig" Mourvèdre-Grenache-Syrah McLaren Vale
Review Date: 10-16-2019
When we first got our hands on the the Coriole wines to sample, the Dancing fig was the star of the show. This blend is big and round, the grenache adding brilliant strawberry flavor while, the mourvedre brings savory, meaty notes and the syrah lending just a touch of structure. Without even a hint of residual sweetness this is a fantastic food pairing wine with great acid and forward fruit that is no-brainer at $15.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 94 JS 90

2016 Coriole "Estate" Shiraz McLaren Vale
Review Date: 10-16-2019
The Coriole “Estate” Shiraz is sourced from the Lloyd family’s original estate vineyard as well as the vineyard they planted when they first purchased the property in 1967. The soils here are classic Austrlian Terra Rosso over limestone and likewise, the estate Shiraz is classic McLaren Vale. Bigger and richer than their Sparta Shiraz, it has plenty of ripened black cherry and savory elements along with a delicate bouquet of spice notes. There’s just a touch of softened, fine tannins that give additional weight and power to the glass. When you consider the fact that this wine is only made from heritage vines that are 50 to 100 years old, and the end result is $20 beautifully handcrafted wine, its difficult to see this as anything other than absolutely amazing value.

2014 Trinity Hill "The Gimblett" Bordeaux Blend Hawke's Bay (Black Label)
Review Date: 10-13-2019
I continue to shout our the unbelievable quality of Gimblett Gravels Bordeaux blends from the hilltops. I have to. These wines show incredible quality for the price, and a distinctiveness, and refinement, that is unheard of at these price points. I could tell from the first sip that the 2014 Trinity Hills was going to be incredible. It shows all of that characteristic density that is so clearly related to Gimblett. The nose shows blackberry, chocolate, clove, and baking spices. The palate is rich and decadent, with black, black fruits, and piercing acidity that gives the wine balance and fineness. Plenty of tannin gives the wine structure, but it's remarkably accessible. Let’s be honest, at $25 this is an absolutely ridiculous wine. For anyone who is drinking modern-style Bordeaux or Napa Cabernet, you need to check out what’s happening in Hawke’s Bay.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
BC 95 SK 95

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Goutte de Rose" Chinon Rosé
Review Date: 10-02-2019
Soft and beautiful nose with strawberries and cherries over creme fraiche. On the palate there’s plenty of crisp, refreshing acidity, and resonating cherry tones. Airy and soft. I’m tempted to call the texture on this “fluffy.” Perfect for anyone looking to branch out from our perennial Provence rosés.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2018 Domaine de la Noblaie "Le Temps des Cerises" Chinon
Review Date: 10-02-2019
The 2018 Domaine de la Noblaie manages to walk an absolute tightrope between Old World and modern styled Chinon. The nose on this is clean and full, with plenty of dark fruits and touches of bell pepper. On the palate, the fruit definitely delivers, but there are also more interesting elements deeper in the glass. There’s a wet slate component. There’s a touch of earth and forest floor. And just enough tannin and structure to give it some heft. This is a perfect dinner party wine. Interesting and fun, but well enough within the standard wheelhouse, so that everyone will be pleased.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Alvear "1927" Pedro Ximenez Solera Montilla-Moriles (375ml)
Review Date: 10-02-2019
One whiff of the nose on this wine, and I’ve got butterflies in my stomach. You can call it what you want: golden raisins, molasses, candied fruit--but that’s not what’s important. It’s that moment where you tip the glass and just hold on tight. Man, this wine is so good. There’s a purity to this that I don’t often see, along with tons of complex moments: everything from tobacco leaf, to truffle, and concentrated honey. There’s a surprising lightness and agility here that only serve to enhance the pleasure of this. It’s rare that I find a fortified wine, much less a dessert wine, that I could drink through dinner well until the early hours of the next morning--but there you have it.

2015 Calera "Bien Nacido Vineyard - 40th Anniversary Edition" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 10-01-2019
Overheard in the staff tasting room: “This wine shouldn’t say Calera on it. This wine shouldn’t say Bien Nacido on it. But oh my god, is it incredible.” I have to second that. Calera isn’t one of those producers I associate with Bien Nacido, nor is Bien Nacido a vineyard I associate with Calera. But Good lord this one turned my head around backward. Soaring nose with tropical notes that range passion fruit, banana, from wet slate to rich, roasted honeycrisp apple. The acidity is really punchy, probably a touch more than you would expect, but absolutely perfect for my palate. Elements of nuttiness and earth on the finish. What a ridiculously awesome find this is.

2016 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 10-01-2019
For years we’ve been selling the wines of Monacesca as an alternative to Chardonnay. It’s a full bodied, broad shouldered white that checks many of the same boxes that customers are looking for. And if you’re into that---great. But honestly, having worked my way through four vintages of Monacesca at this point, I really think its so much more. It really deserves its place as one of the absolute best verdicchios in the store. Rich and creamy, with a viscous center, candied lemon and pineapple notes along with poached pears. It continues to amaze me how dense and rich this wine can be, but still has an acidity that brings levity and lightness. An absolutely wonderful wine.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2018 Tenuta Roveglia "Limne" Lugana
Review Date: 10-01-2019
The Limne by Tenuta Roveglia is one of my most beloved wines. Whenever there is a concert in the park in San Mateo, you’ll find me with this tucked away in my cooler. Ethereal and light, you’ll struggle to see the color on this, but the palate is melon, honey, and plenty of citrus drive. This wine is about both the balance and finesse. My classic go-to, grab-without-a-second-thought wine that will always perfectly compliment my evening.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2015 Fattoria del Cerro Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Review Date: 09-24-2019
The nose ear is earthy, full of brambly notes and soft red fruit expression. At a taste, it really shows off its character. Wildly intense, the acid, brightness of fruit and a tannin structure that seems to sizzle on the back palate all play out in dynamic fashion. There is plenty of delicious fruit to be had, but still shows off its old world charm. This is would make a brilliant wine to pair with roast chicken and winter vegetables.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Sidewood Shiraz Adelaide Hills South Australia
Review Date: 09-11-2019
My first introduction to Sidewood came with their 2016 Pinot Noir, which is jaw-droppingly fantastic: light and ethereal, intensely aromatic with tons of acidity. My response was disbelief: "Wait. This is from South Australia!?" What’s so surprising about Sidewood is the effect of its unique, high-altitude, cool-climate site on the style and quality of their wines. Take for instance, their 2016 Shiraz. The nose has elements of cherry liqueur, charcoal, and savory elements with just a faint touch of mint. Fragrant, pretty, and elegant. When was the last time you heard anyone say that to describe a Shiraz? The palate has plenty of acidity, medium weight, beautiful fruit expression. There’s not an ounce of excessive weight on this--it's lifted and incredibly bright. There’s been a lot of press this year about “New Australian Wine,” i.e. Australian wines that are moving to a style that is more balanced, acid driven, and lower in alcohol. I can’t think of a better example of what’s going on in Australian wine right now than this. Open it up an hour ahead of time, and you'll be gladly rewarded.

2016 Black Slate "Porrera" Priorat
Review Date: 09-11-2019
I love the concept of identifying single vineyard sites within Priorat. It makes perfect sense to do this. When tasting the single-site wines of Black Slate together in a lineup, each has their own nuances, and characteristics that speak in a detailed way to the place in which it was grown. The Porrera has always been my favorite of the single vineyard sites. The nose is gamey and untamed. There’s a clear wild strawberry note to the aromas, along with deeper richer notes that you’d sooner spot in a glass of well aged port. On the palate, there is this big wave of soft fruit, sweetness, and bare traces of of tannic structure with plenty of acid to help bite through the rich palate. One of those remarkable Priorats that keeps you returning to your glass again and again.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
JD 94 RP 92

2017 Susana Balbo "Signature" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 09-11-2019
Incredibly elegant nose with black fruits, spice and sour plum. The palate on this is full and rich, soft and plush with just a hint of sweetness. Clean, powerful and velvety smooth this is a totally sexy glass of wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2018 J. Bouchon "Canto Sur" Red Blend Maule Valley
Review Date: 09-11-2019
Touches of green bell pepper on the nose, offset with brighter fruitier red cherry and strawberry elements on the palate. Good, crackling structure, and clear clean fruit expression, this is a heck of a lot of full-bodied red wine at its price. I would drink this in a heartbeat.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2017 Viña Zorzal Garnacha Navarra
Review Date: 09-04-2019
Full disclosure: I’ve loved this wine for multiple vintages now. I bought a ton of this a few years ago while I was going through a cool climate syrah phase (still happening). This appeals to me for a lot of the same reasons that I love cool climate syrah. There’s a savoriness, there’s a black pepper note, there’s a rigid but accessible tanic profile, and plenty of acidity. So distinctive. So unique. This is a beautifully crafted, supremely aromatic wine with body and power. Malbec? Argentina? Who cares. This wine is killer and one that I regularly pull out of my cellar.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2018 Bodega Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 09-04-2019
This is always the first red wine of the new vintage in the door, not only because it’s from the Southern Hemisphere, but because this wine is all about freshness and vitality. Floral and bright, this is raspberry and flowers all the way. Slightly savory undertones give it a wild quality, along with just a tug of tannic structure to even out all the fruit. A super unique pinot noir, but one that anyone will gladly appreciate, this is one of the benchmark natural wines in the store, and is a great place for anyone looking to explore these wines.
Price: $35.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2018 Aurore Dezat Sancerre
Review Date: 09-04-2019
The aromas on this wine are so intense. This is dripping with wet cobblestones. Texturally, the fruit is round and soft with an acid line that pierces right through the middle. Plenty of tart honey crisp apple and gentle lime notes with a touch of chalk towards the back palate. It ends with a clean finish, that slowly unfolds with echoes of the palate. This is classic Sancerre that definitely punches above the under $20 crowd.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2017 Quivira "Alder Grove" Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Review Date: 09-03-2019
I’ve made my opinions known in the past that with the exception of a few key producers, Napa Sauvignon Blanc is not really my thing. I think the quality and value in places like Sonoma and Santa Ynez trump Sauvignon Blanc from the Napa Valley nearly every time. Case and point: Quivira from Dry Creek. Explosively aromatic, there’s plenty of bright Meyer lemon, classic grassy notes, and it just hints at Bordeaux blanc character. Bright and citrusy on the palate, this is lean, zippy, and angular. Complex, there’s plenty to explore here--it keeps you coming back to the glass again and again.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2015 Peake Ranch Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-03-2019
The nose on this is just beautiful. Soft, creamy tones. Touches of spice. The fruit on the palate is absolutely penetrating. Lemon curd and zest above touches of marzipan with a texture that is somehow weighted and serious, but lively acidity keeps it light on its feet.
Price: Hidden View Price
JD 94

2017 BOLD Wine Co. Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-03-2019
What a nose on this. Gorgeous notes of cranberry, cherry, and strawberry come raging out of the glass here, along with great fruity followup on the palate. Incredibly smooth, soft and supple while gushing with red fruit, this is a lot of great Pinot for the price.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
WE 93

2017 Xanadu "Exmoor Drive" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-23-2019
Named for the road that borders the vineyard and leads to the village of Margaret River, the Exmoor Drive sees less new oak than the estate Chardonnay (only 5%) yet still has a creamy texture and tons of pear, citrus, and melon, and a bright, crisp finish.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JH 92 W&S 91

2018 Xanadu "DJL" Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-23-2019
With a blend consisting of 63% Sauvignon Blanc, 35% Semillon, and 2% Muscadelle, you might expect the 2018 Xanadu “DJL” to have more of an Old World sensibility. But that notion is turned entirely on its head by its sheer vibrancy and brilliance. Clean, bright and focused, this white Bordeaux blend showcases passionfruit, flint, and lime, with stunning length of finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Bilancia Chardonnay Hawke's Bay New Zealand
Review Date: 08-23-2019
Warren Gibson and Lorraine Leheny have developed this small label, Bilancia, as a side gig to Warren’s day job as winemaker at Trinity Hill in Hawke’s Bay. The 2015 Bilancia Chardonnay is sourced from vines planted at La Colline, Bilancia’s own vineyard that is terraced across the slopes of Roy’s Hill, above Gimblett Gravels. This Chardonnay does not undergo malolactic fermentation, and is racy, bright, and focused. With a mix of citrus and stone fruits, and lifted, airy texture, this wine is full of minerality and tension. This is an incredible display of New Zealand Chardonnay.

2017 Mount Edward Chardonnay Bannockburn Central Otago
Review Date: 08-23-2019
Sourced entirely from Morrison Vineyard, located in the Lowburn subregion, the 2017 Mount Edward Chardonnay Bannockburn has nectarine and almond on the nose, and a palate that is light-bodied, with an invigorating texture. The tension, focus, and linear character of this wine perfectly displays Central Otago’s terroir.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 93

2017 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 08-23-2019
If anyone understands the distinct regions of Marlborough, it’s Astrolabe winemaker Simon Waghorn, who has spent his career focusing on distinctive sub-climates. From nine vineyards, each presenting a unique expression of Sauvignon Blanc, his 2017 Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough interweaves parcels from the Wairau, Awatere, and Kekerengu Coast seamlessly, creating a wine of balance and power.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RC 92 WS 90

2018 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago
Review Date: 08-23-2019
Hands down, this is my favorite rosé wine of the 2019 rosé season. 100% direct-pressed Pinot Noir from one of the best vineyards in Central Otago, this is bone dry, pale in color, and incredibly sophisticated. With its soft strawberry tones on the palate and beautiful floral aromas, this is light and delicate. It’s elegant rosé at its best. This is a must-try wine for anyone who loves rosé.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 Yering Station Estate Chardonnay Yarra Valley
Review Date: 08-23-2019
The Yarra Valley is Australia’s Burgundy, known for cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Yering Station was the first vineyard and winery there, and was originally planted in the 1850s. This Chardonnay is acid-driven, with bright citrus elements and flinty minerality. Weighted and rich, creamy, yet racy, this is a gorgeous Chardonnay that dramatically performs above its price.

2014 Leeuwin "Art Series" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-20-2019
Leeuwin continues to produce one of the best Australian Cabernets year after year. The 2014 Leeuwin Art Series Cab is the most elegant rendition of this wine I have had to date. Filled with soft aromas of subtle mint, faint touches of nutmeg, along with whifs of cinnamon, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine is broad and full. Bright acid pushes cassis, blackberry, and black cherry elements to the forefront. In the background there is plenty of minerality that gives the flavor palate definition. This is so well balanced and nuanced. Every minute this wine is in my glass it is getting better. So many complex elements of when you look at it closely, but an equally delicious drinking experience that anyone will love.

2015 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 08-13-2019
It’s not often you can find a benchmark Cabernet producer whose wines keep getting better and better, yet still has a price like this. Year after year Leeuwin’s Prelude Cabernet continues to be one of the best values in Cabernet, not just from Margaret River, but from anywhere. The nose on this is incredibly masculine. Full of black fruit, charcoal and cassis. After 5 minutes in my glass, the wine just blooms into spicy black cherry, mint and graphite. The way this wine opens and evolves in the glass over a short time is nothing short of remarkable. On the palate, there’s more blackberry, black raspberry and cassis notes. The tannin profile here is just perfect: it hits you right at the mid palate, and just dissolves through the finish. Incredibly well balanced with a great mix of both fruit and earth, this wine is absolutely captivating.

2018 Skouras Moscofilero Péloponnèse Greece
Review Date: 08-13-2019
Clear as glass, this shows melon, mint, and faint creamy notes along with more forward touches of stone fruit. The body of this wine is medium weight with just a subtle hint of sweetness. The acid here is fierce, but I don’t mind it all--actually, I think it’s perfect. This wine is so in my wheelhouse its crazy. I want this with cheese. I want this with pizza. I want this with everything.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 RP 90

2015 Kir-Yianni "Ramnista" Naoussa Greece
Review Date: 08-13-2019
As sold as I am on Greek white, we see a lot less Greek reds day to day around here.. Enter: Ramnista. The aromas in this wine absolutely suck you in. There are elements of dark fruits, plum intermingling with mushroom and other earthy components. You smell the wine in the glass and there’s something about it that says, “hold on, this is going to be intense”. Explosive on the palate components of sarsaparilla, and mocha framed by bright acidity, and rigid, rustic tannin. This is an excellent example of Greek red at its best. Ultimately, this is a really compelling wine that is true to its place, and shows it off in the best light. Lamb shank anyone?

2016 DeLille "Chaleur Blanc" Columbia Valley White Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 08-06-2019
I'm a sucker for good Bordeaux blanc. The brilliance, the complexity, the richness and the power all collide into a perfect storm for me. And typically, I tend to be a little skeptical of domestic white wines that parade themselves as Bordeaux blanc. With the Delille Chaleur Blanc, not the case. Minerality, passion fruit, and savory undertones are all in force here, along with beautiful build and release. It's a touch more fruited, but every bit better for it. I could drink this over and over and over.

2016 Xanadu Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 07-31-2019
Since 1962, the Melbourne Wine Show reviews thousands of wines submitted from across Australia, and after several rounds of eliminations, awards the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy to the best wine in the competition. In 2018, this was that wine. Named for the Melbourne wine legend who helped revolutionize fine wine in Australia, these wines typically sell out across the country overnight after winning. I’m so thrilled we were able to secure an allocation of this incredibly sought-after wine. As for the wine itself, there is a level of focus and intensity that is, by far, the best I have ever tasted from Xanadu, and possibly Margaret River. There is mint, smoke, cassis, black fruits, and graphite, seamlessly interwoven into a gorgeous, full, and complex palate. Slightly more fruit-forward, this is a big, powerful Cabernet with racy acidity that perfectly supports the fruit. The tannin is fine, giving structure while allowing the wine to be open and drinking beautifully now. What a stunning achievement. This is a Margaret River Cabernet for the record books.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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