NEW ARRIVALS PART III: DOMESTIC
CALIFORNIA - ABCs (Anything But Chardonnay, Whites)
The Ojai Vineyard Ojai White NV, $24.99
“The NV Ojai White (Riesling, Chardonnay, Viognier) is a delicious white. White peaches, apricots, citrus and flowers flow gracefully from this attractive, tasty wine. The NV White is made up of the various barrels and lots that don’t fit into any of the estate’s other wines. . . . Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.” Rated 87 Points, The Wine Advocate
Villa Creek Paso Robles Roussanne, James Berry Vineyard 2010, $44.99
Half the fruit was fermented on skins and aged in new French oak and the other half fermented on skins and aged in a concrete barrel. This allowed for perfect subtle oak integration and slight oxidation. The wine is a beautiful pale golden color. Aromas of honeysuckle, orange marmalade and tropical fruits captivate. Rich on the palate, the wine maintains focus and freshness with the right amount of acidity. Reminds me of great Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc! An exciting wine.
A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris Oregon 2010, $15.99
The 2011 A to Z Pinot Gris is bright with tropical aromas of lime, kiwi, orange blossom, and tangerine as well as complex aromas of rose, melon and talc. The attack is lively, juicy and pure with wonderful lush fruit and mineral notes. Tangy citrus flavors combine with ripe peach, pear and quince notes to produce a very pretty and seamless mid-palate. The wine has good weight and great length that ultimately ends with a clean, crisp finish.
St. Innocent Pinot Gris Vitae Springs Vineyard Willamette Valley Oregon 2010, $21.99
“There are three white wines beginning with the stainless steel fermented and aged 2010 Pinot Gris Vitae Springs Vineyard. Pear, apple, and floral notes inform the nose of a concentrated, dry, savory wine in which a note of tangerine zest adds a touch of complexity. Drink this vibrant effort over the next 3-4 years. All of these whites wines are outstanding values.” Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate
Orin Swift Cellars Mannaquin White Wine 2010, $35.99
A blend of Chardonnay, Viognier, Semillon, Muscat, and Marsanne. Beautiful shades of deep gold and amber fill the glass letting loose tropical aromas of ripe peach and pear married with subtle French oak. The entry of the wine is fully mouth-coating and offers a viscosity that leads effortlessly into an intense mid-palette with the colorful acidity of fresh pineapple. The finish of the wine is soft and subtle with great length and volume. Hyper limited. Our allocation was only 4 bottles!
Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2010, $29.99
The aromas are fresh and enticing with bright citrus layers supported by subtle undertones of papaya and green mango. On the palate, the tropical notes come to the forefront with rich, lush layers of guava, passion fruit and lychee, as well as hints of herbs and lemon zest.
Frog’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc Rutherford Napa Valley 2010, $22.99
Crisp, bright, refreshing: three words that capture the essence of Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc. Lean and lively, the wine's low alcohol and balanced acid make for a totally engaging and pleasurable experience.
CALIFORNIA - ZINFANDEL
Robert Biale Vineyards Zinfandel Black Chicken Napa Valley 2010, $47.99
Vibrant purple color, spicy aromas, juicy blackberry and red raspberry fruit; baking spices: anise, clove, juniper berry, white pepper, and cinnamon; relaxed tannins and bouncy acidity.
Frog’s Leap Zinfandel Napa Valley 2009, $26.99
It is almost impossible to describe the zesty “fruit bowl” of aromatics: Raspberry? Blackberry? Mulberry? Perhaps razzmatazz berry describes it best. The addition of Petite Sirah underscores the ripe fruit flavors and adds a spicy touch of cardamom and cinnamon. Plush without ever being heavy or harsh, the 2009 Zinfandel is a delicious wine that sets the mind thinking of a myriad of potential food pairings.
Green & Red Vineyard Zinfandel Chiles Canyon Estate Napa Valley 2009, $26.99
“Year's Best Zinfandel—2012 Pam and Jay Heminway started planting their 200-acre estate in the eastern hills of Napa Valley in 1972. They now farm 31 acres in three sites, ranging in elevation from 1,000 to 1,700 feet. Their sensible and sensitive approach to farming and winemaking has made a slightly different version of this cuvee a favorite at Chez Panisse, where it has been the house red for more than a decade. Their 2009 is a violet and black cherry-scented beauty, held in a tannic structure that will reward ten years of bottle age. The freshness is there to enjoy it now—the wine has a way of leaving the mouth feeling clean, a sensation associate editor Luke Sykora described as ‘fresh rain evaporating off a stone.’ Decant it for grilled Quail.” Rated 93 Points, Wine & Spirits
CALIFORNIA - PINOT NOIR
En Route Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Les Pommiers 2009, $43.99*
The 2010 “Les Pommiers” offers aromas of Bing cherry, pomegranate and plum, with an abundance of floral and perfume notes. The wine enters the palate with an initial burst of ripe, dark fruits that give way to lush and coating tannins. As the wine ages, those abundant youthful tannins will develop suppleness and layers. The beautiful, natural acidity of this vintage creates
a mouthwatering finish that leaves one wanting another taste.
Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir Russian River Valley 2010, $49.59*
“The 2010 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is beautiful. It has a bit more depth and darker fruit than the 2009. Sweet spices, new leather and licorice are some of the notes that wrap around the finish. This is a terrific showing. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.” Rated 91-93 Points, The Wine Advocate
Peay Pinot Noir Scallop Shelf Sonoma Coast 2009, $50.39*
“The 2009 Pinot Noir Scallop Shelf Estate is endowed with striking inner perfume and tons of detail in a weightless style that is highly appealing. Gracious and refined, the Scallop Shelf impresses for its length and depth of flavor. This is more of an aromatic style built on minerality and length. Though quite understated at times, there is no mistaking the pedigree of what is in the glass. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate
Breggo Pinot Noir Anderson Valley 2009, $40.99
“Pure, ripe, vivid and structured, this is full-bodied, with a mix of mineral, loamy earth, currant, dried berry, sage and cedar flavors. Very tightly wound, finishing with a wild berry aftertaste. Drink now through 2018. 2,183 cases made. –JL” Rated 92 Points, Wine Spectator
Loring Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Gary’s Vineyard 2010, $42.39*
“Starts with a burst of wild berry raciness, then tames down. Clean, pure, vibrant and vivacious, with the wild berry and raspberry fruit core tight and well-focused. Drink now through 2019. 300 cases made. –JL” Rated 92 Points, Wine Spectator
Talley Vineyards Arroyo Grand Valley 2009, $32.99
“Tight and savory, with firm dried berry, mineral, loamy earth and cedar notes.” Wine Spectator
Melville Pinot Noir Estate Sta. Rita Hills 2009, $32.99
“The 2009 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills makes for an excellent introduction to the wines of this appellation. It is a wonderfully fresh, vibrant wine graced with exquisite finesse and class. Sweet, floral notes reappear on the finish, adding lift and subtlety. This is classy juice. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate
Foxen Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley 2010, $37.99
Aromas of wildflowers and berries, with spice, mineral and just a touch of cedary oak. Taut and focused with a refreshing finish. Should drink well for five or six more years.
St. Innocent Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Willamette Valley 2009, $44.99
“The 2009 Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard displays some herbal notes along with cinnamon, clove, smoke, and black fruits. In the glass it opens to reveal significant but ripe tannin with enough fruit for balance, good concentration, and a lengthy finish. Give it 1-2 years of cellaring and drink it through 2021+.” Rated 91 Points, Wine Spectator
Siduri Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills 2009, $29.99
“The 2009 Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills is a pretty wine. Striking aromatics meld into layers of expressive fruit in this vibrant, beautifully delineated Pinot. This is a gorgeous, accessible Pinot to drink now and over the next few years. The Santa Rita Hills is two-thirds Cargasacchi and one-third Clos Pepe, essentially a selection of barrels that did not go into the vineyard-designate bottlings. The wine was fermented with approximately 25% whole clusters. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Stemmler Pinot Noir Estate Grown Carneros 2008, $39.99
“This aromatic red shows smoke, mahogany and sandalwood notes that carry all the way through the finish. Smooth, rich flavors of black cherry, boysenberry and wild strawberry are expressive, concentrated and refined. Drink now through 2018. 4,000 cases made. –MW” Rated 93 Points, Wine Spectator
CALIFORNIA - RHONE RANGERS AND BLENDS
Jaffurs Syrah Santa Barbara 2010, $32.99
A fragrant mix of blackberry, wild berry and huckleberry fruit, amazing for its purity and freshness. While being full-bodied, it remains vibrant and very tightly focused.
Jaffurs Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard Santa Barbara County 2009, $39.99
“The 2009 Petite Sirah Thompson Vineyard is another dazzling wine, but it needs time, perhaps quite a lot. A massive, broad-shouldered frame provides the canvas for super-expressive blueberries, smoke, mint, licorice and blackberry jam. This shows fabulous depth, richness and power, but it would be a shame to open a bottle until the wine settles down. It may take as long as a decade for the tannin to melt away, although I am optimistic the wine will enter its sweet spot before then. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.” Rated 93 Points, The Wine Advocate
Three Wives Remy’s Red 2009, $19.99
An interesting mix of Lagrein (a northern Italian varietal), Sangiovese and Syrah. Brightly focused and lively, with deep, savory black fruit flavors intermingled with briary raspberry and juicy cherry, along with hints of black pepper.
Tensley Syrah Colson Canyon Vineyard Santa Barbara Country 2010, $37.99
The 2010 has not yet been rated by the wine press, but since 2001 the Joey Tensley’s Colson Canyon Syrah has scored between 90 and 96 points each vintage (with the 10th Anniversary bottling in 2007 receiving a whopping 98 point score). This is handcrafted California Syrah at its best. Deeply fruity and focused, and lavish with ripe tannins and spicy complexity.
Shafer Relentless Napa Valley 2008, $59.99*
“Another thoroughbred in the making is the 2008 Relentless. Full-bodied with sensational extract and richness, its opaque purple color is followed by terrific smoky barbecue notes, full-bodied opulence and tremendous depth, power and richness. This stunning Syrah can be drunk over the next 15-20 years.” Rated 95 Points, The Wine Advocate
CALIFORNIA - CABERNET FRANC
Keenan Cabernet Franc Spring Mountain District Napa Valley 2008, $54.39*
“The 2008 Cabernet Franc (100% Cabernet Sauvignon from estate vineyard planted at a 2000 foot elevation) now represents 524 cases. Cabernet Franc has performed brilliantly at this height, and this is another example of the potential of Spring Mountain. This dense purple-hued wine is richly fruity with a beautiful floral, blueberry, raspberry and black currant-scented nose, good underlying minerality and a gorgeous fruit intensity without any sense of heaviness (14.3% alcohol). Elegant, pure and well-textured, this is a stunning Cabernet Franc to drink over the next decade.” Rated 94 Points, The Wine Advocate
CALIFORNIA - MERLOT
Frog’s Leap Merlot Rutherford Napa Valley 2009, $40.99
Filled with fragrant notes of rich black berry and traces of cocoa powder, the 2009 Frog’s Leap Merlot exhibits a cascading flavor profile of ripened red berries and cherry accentuated by delicate notes of mocha, herbs and spice.
Shafer Merlot Napa Valley 2009, $43.99*
“The 2009 Merlot is an attractive, fleshy wine graced with expressive dark red fruit, flowers, sweet spices and licorice. The wine reveals gorgeous radiance and a supple, inviting personality ideally suited to drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.” Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate
Duckhorn Vineyards Merlot Napa Valle 2009, $47.99
This wine displays all of the benefits of slow, even ripening during a mild growing season. Though there is fullness and a lush character to this Merlot, there is also restraint and elegance. Promising aromas of cherry, red plum, raspberry, and dried herbs lead to a clean fresh entry with impeccably balanced acidity supporting intense red fruit flavors of cranberry, plum and raspberry. Round, supple tannins provide an enticing framework for the flavors and contribute to a lingering finish.
CALIFORNIA - RED BLEND
Ramey Claret Napa Valley 2009, $41.99
“The 2009 Claret is a silky, polished wine very much in the style of the year. Layers of fruit flow effortlessly from this attractive, mid-weight red. Sweet berries, flowers, spices and licorice are some of the many nuances that flesh out on the finish. This is a more feminine, gracious style than the 2008, but there is still quite a bit of heft. In 2009 the blend is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Syrah and 1% Merlot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.” Rated 90-92 Points, The Wine Advocate
Merryvale Profile Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine 2008, $143.99*
“The flagship red wine, the 2008 Profile, is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Petit Verdot, 6% Malbec and 1% Cabernet Franc. Dusty, loamy soil aromas intermixed with graphite, blueberry, blackberry, charcoal and camphor jump from the glass of this complex, inky/purple-colored offering. Full-bodied and backward with undeniable potential, this young red classic Napa blend of Bordeaux grapes should hit its stride in 4-5 years and last for three decades. A compelling wine, it is further evidence of the remarkable progress Merryvale has made over the last decade. Moreover, it is the finest wine they have ever produced.” Rated 96 Points, The Wine Advocate
Opus One Napa Valley Proprietary Red Wine 2008, $175.99*
Graceful and elegant, very understated and delicate, with floral, spice, mint, bay leaf, currant, cedar and tobacco notes that are complex and vibrant. Full-bodied, gaining on the finish, then firming and drying. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Drink now through 2021. 16,500 cases made. –JL” Rated 92 Points, Wine Spectator
CALIFORNIA - CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Meyer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2006, $43.99*
“Firm and concentrated, with a trim beam of black cherry, plum and savory berry flavors that are pure, full-bodied, focused and supple in texture. Drink now through 2015. 2,882 cases made. –JL” Wine Spectator
Elizabeth Spencer Special Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $39.99
Deep magenta in color with loads of flavor. This wine presents with Spencer’s signature aromas of cassis and cigar box, with notes of dried cherries on he nose. The palate is broad and velvety. A black plum entry is balanced by a finish of black cherry and Mexican Chocolate. Balanced natural acidity lends a youthful brightness and indicates that the wine will age gracefully.
Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $71.99*
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a rich, juicy wine loaded with dark fruit, mocha, spices and new leather. This rich, expansive Cabernet boasts tons of class and sheer personality. Mint, licorice and spices add complexity as the dark fruit fleshes out on the finish. This is a fabulous wine for the money. The Cabernet is made from To Kalon, Dr. Crane, Las Piedras, Stagecoach and Hyde, and includes a dollop of Petit Verdot from Stagecoach. It is a fabulous effort from Paul Hobbs. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2021.” Rated 93 Points, The Wine Advocate
Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $63.99*
Though still in its youth, this is a wonderfully aromatic and fragrant wine, with vibrant, lifted aromas of spearmint, blackcurrant, violets, graham cracker crumbs and loganberry. On the palate blackberry and blueberry flavors mingle with cocoa and cola notes. Though the tannins impart a touch of youthful dryness, decanting reveals this wine’s classic Cabernet character, with a lovely structure, generous mouth-filling flavors and a long, satisfying finish.
Corison Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $66.39*
Classic Napa Cabernet. Juicy and forward. It has evolved quickly in the bottle with fruit flavors favoring the plum, cassis and blackberry end of the spectrum. Notes of cocoa and spice add richness. The feel in the mouth is silky and supple.
Lewis Cellars Mason’s Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $56.79*
“This tight red has firm tannins, with dried berry, cedar and tobacco notes. Well-structured and persistent, as the blackberry and wild berry flavors gain presence and dimension, with a spicy aftertaste. Best from 2013 through 2022. 1,200 cases made. –JL” Rated 90 Points, Wine Spectator
Caymus Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $62.39*
“Supple and creamy-textured, with mocha, ripe plum and cherry flavors that show touches of tobacco, espresso and underbrush. Full-bodied, gaining tannic traction on the finish, elegant and readily approachable. Drink now through 2018. 71,690 cases made. –JL” Rated 91 Points, Wine Spectator
Caymus Vineyards Special Select Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $107.99*
“Temptingly rich and layered, with complex mocha, plum and wild berry fruit that's spicy and aromatic. Full-bodied, gaining depth and turning ever more elegant and detailed, with tannins that give this traction. Drink now through 2019. 29,820 cases made. –JL” Rated 93 Points, Wine Spectator
Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa Valley 2009, $111.99*
The 2009 Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon offers aromas of boysenberry and blackberry pie, tobacco leaf, cassis and toasted oak. The wine is chewy on entry, with black cherry fruit supported by warm, spiced oak. Thick and structured, the wine lingers on the palate with flavors of boysenberry, cherry and spice. The wine’s big, firm tannins are hallmarks of great aging potential.
Shafer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon “One Point Five” Napa Valley Stag’s Leap District 2009, $63.99*
“The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon One Point Five comes across as silky and seductive. Ripe red berries, flowers, mint and spices caress the palate in this understated, gracious wine. The 2009 impresses for its seamless texture and long, polished finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate
Tor Kenward Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2009, $65.59*
“Now and then a blend transcends a single vinyeard’s expression as it does here. On the nose you get the cool side of Cabernet with earth/blackberry/cloves and a touch of mint. On the palate this is medium/full weight with just silky smooth tannins. This wine shows its base in Yountville (Beckstoffer To Kalon) with the black side of fruit as well as a slightly more Bordeaux-like profile The addition of some famous Oakville fruit gives it some upfront sweetness and depth. The addition of Cimarossa Cabernet (from Howell Mountain) lends some cool climate spice and slightly firm tannins on the finish. With all three vineyard sources from which we pulled to blend this wine, you may never taste a better example fo a true Napa Valley Cabernet than this with its Yountville/Oakville/Howell Mountain sources.” Tor Kenward. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. 475 cases produced.
Stuhlmuller Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley 2009, $38.99
This wine is dark and voluptuous, with intense Cabernet aromas of black cherry, cassis, blue fruit, black licorice and violets. These elements continue on the palate, where they are supported by soft, fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. The finish is long and creamy with hints of sweet oak and spice.
CALIFORNIA - CHARDONNAY
Rochioli Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2010, $43.99*
“. . . a gorgeous wine. Pears, flowers, spices and almonds are some of the notes that flow from this refined, textured Chardonnay. This is a very pretty entry-level wine from Tom Rochioli that captures the essence of the house style. I loved it. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate
Shafer Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch Napa Valley Carneros 2010, $43.99*
“The 2010 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch reveals a brighter profile than the 2009. Citrus, flowers, crushed rocks and mint wrap around the energetic, focused finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.” Rated 90-92 Points, The Wine Advocate
Far Niente Chardonnay Napa Valley 2009, $49.99*
Aromas of Meyer lemon, toasted nuts and fig are supported by the underlying sweetness of honeysuckle. The entry is honeyed with ripe citrus, light melon and well-integrated nuttiness and a touch of mineral. A rich, full midpalate with balanced acidity draws out into a long finish.
Breggo Chardonnay Anderson Valley Savoy Vineyard 2008, $41.99
Vibrant aromas of lemon curd, marzipan, French melon, brioche, struck flint and toast mix for an especially intoxicating nose. Flavors of lemon grass, grapefruit, and pineapple give way to notes of Asian pear, and quince paste on the finish. The highly textured palate is an exciting interplay between fresh acidity and the richness of barrel fermented Chardonnay.
Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Mountain 2009, $54.39*
Kistler's Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay has that distinctive Kistler character: full-bodied but with balanced acidity and a dusting of minerality to offset its rich fruit. The fruit in the 2009 vintage leans toward peaches and nectarines, with toasty-buttery brioche notes and a subtle undercurrent of white flowers. Bottled unfined and unfiltered for a pure experience.
Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2009, $43.99*
“The 2009 Chardonnay is a gorgeous, polished wine bursting with rich, varietal fruit. Subtle hints of butter and oak frame the finish. This is a great entry-level wine from Paul Hobbs. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.” Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate
Lewis Cellars Chardonnay Napa Valley 2010, $47.99
“This sleek, subtle white displays an elegant mix of Golden Delicious apple, honeydew melon, spice and custard flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with a smooth, graceful finish. Drink now through 2018. 1,200 cases made. –JL” Rated 92 Points, Wine Spectator
Tor Kenward Family Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma Valley Durrell Vineyard 2009, $47.99*
“he 2009 Tor Chardonnay Durell Vineyard exhibits aromas and flavors of honeysuckle, unbuttered popcorn, crushed rocks, tangerines and white currants presented in a full-bodied, wonderfully perfumed, complex style. The wine reveals impressive fruit levels as well as a blossoming complexity. It should drink well for at least 5-6 years.” Rated 92-94 Points, The Wine Advocate
DuMol Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2009, $48.79*
“This medium-bodied white is supple and perfumed, with rich layers of fig, apple, honeysuckle and melon flavors. Clean and persistent, with a delicate aftertaste. Drink now through 2017. 4,330 cases made. –JL” Wine Spectator
Brewer-Clifton Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills 2009, $39.99
“The 2009 Chardonnay is an absolutely gorgeous wine. Understated and classy from start to finish, it shows off layers of ripe fruit, subtle oak and spices. There is plenty of acidity to balance an expression of fruit that is generous, but just short of hitting tropical notes. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018.” Rated 92 Points, The Wine Advocate
Patz & Hall Chardonnay Sonoma Country 2009, $41.99
“Offers good intensity, depth and focus, with a subtle mix of ripe pear, apple, spice and nutmeg flavors. Full-bodied, ending with a complex, layered finish. Drink now through 2017. 8,723 cases made. –JL” Wine Spectator
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley 2009, $43.19*
“Speaking of non-malolactic, the reserved 2009 Chardonnay exhibits delicate pear and honeysuckle notes as well as crisp, fresh acidity, medium body and a steely purity. This is often referred to as the Ric Forman style, but Montelena has been doing it as long as Ric has (as have such legendary wineries as Stony Hill).” The Wine Advocate
NEW ARRIVALS PART II: IMPORTS (CONTINUED)
FRANCE - RED BURGUNDY
Frederic Magnien Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2009, $44.79*
“The 2009 Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes shows off a warm, radiant personality. The finish is weighty and substantial. This is an engaging, open Gevrey to enjoy for the juiciness of its fruit. The Gevrey is made from nine different parcels across the village. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.” Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Joseph Voillot Pommard Vieilles Vignes 2009, $45.59*
“As it typically is, this is more interesting than its Volnay villages counterpart with very pretty, fresh and ripe red currant and earth suffused aromas that complement well the rich, supple and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that are shaped by moderately firm tannins and excellent length. This is worth considering.” Outstanding Top Value, Burghound
Meo-Camuzet Marsannay 2008, $47.99
“A fresh, earthy and very pinot nose of red berry fruit merges into round, delicious and pleasant flavors that are easy to like yet serious enough to be interesting, all wrapped in a mildly rustic, balanced and linear finish.” Burghound
Meo-Camuzet Bourgogne Rouge 2009, $39.99
Incredible purity for this humble appellation. Burgundy is always a case of following the best producers, of which Jean-Nicolas Méo is certainly one of the very best. 2009 being an exceptionally ripe year, this Bourgogne (100%) Pinot Noir show a good deal of ripe, dark cherry fruit and a plump, plush texture.
Phillipe Gavignet Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2010, $22.99
Straight forward style, and convincing clarity of fruit and minerality for this excellent value red Burgundy.
Chateau Thivin Cote de Brouilly 2010, $25.99
“This renowned producer of elegant, finesse-styled Beaujolais has produced a 2010 Cote de Brouilly exhibiting plenty of fresh berry fruit and spring flower garden notes, lively acids, medium body and pure, zesty flavors. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.” Rated 88 Points, The Wine Advocate.
FRANCE - WHITE BURGUNDY
Henri Perrusset Macon-Villages 2010, $19.99
“This is a super Macon displaying good texture as well as lovely honeysuckle-infused fruit with notions of lemon zest and white peaches and surprising flavor intensity. The vintage’s good acids give the wine definition and zestiness. Drink it over the next several years.” Rated 89 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Alain Normand Macon-La Roche Vineuse 2010, $18.99
This comes from roughly five and a half hectares of vines and is made in a distinctly artisan style with native yeast in vat and an extensive upbringing on its fine lees (that spicy zesty quality in the finish of the wine comes from this lees contact). Lots of white peach and ripe citrus fruit and a rich, creamy texture.
FRANCE - RED BORDEAUX
Cuvelier Bordeaux 2008, $9.99
Domaine Grimard Bordeaux 2009, $8.99
Chateau de Taste Cotes de Bourg 2009, $8.99
This trio of modestly-priced Bordeaux offer of tasty, yet elegant drinking. All are made in a friendly, forward style making them ideal for mid-week enjoyment with simple meals, when you want to have something a little more interesting on the table.
FRANCE - WHITE BORDEAUX
Chateau Vignal Entre Deux Mers 2011, $12.99
75% Sauvignon Blanc, 20% Semillon, 5% Muscadelle. Lively, cleanly made, with lots of gooseberry and grassy notes. Crisp and refreshing. Serve with fresh goat’s cheeses, salads, hors d’oeuvres or seafood and white meat.
Chateau Carbonnieux Blanc Pessac-Leognan 2009, $54.39*
“Because of both time and space constraints, I am not able to provide tasting notes for the 2009 dry white Bordeaux, but it is an extremely strong vintage. Most châteaux equaled the dazzling quality of the 2007 dry whites. That said, the 2009s tend to be less classic than 2007, but more exotic, honeyed, and higher in alcohol, with compelling richness. The 2009s will probably have a shorter evolutionary curve, but these wines tend to last a long time, even in a vintage such as this. They are fascinating dry white wines. “Rated 90-92 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
FRANCE - MEDITERRANEAN REDS
Clos Baste Esprit de Baste Madiran 2007, $17.99
“Composed of 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Franc, the outstanding 2007 Madiran Esprit de Baste offers rich black raspberry and chocolate notes intertwined with forest floor and blueberries. Bursting with fruit, it reveals some structure, but it has a sexiness that is unusual for most Madirans.” Rated 90 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Baste Comte Tolosan IGP 2009, $12.99
“50% Cabernet Franc, 40% Merlot and 10% Tannat (the major grape of Madiran, the area in which this wine is produced). It has ripe, friendly red berry fruit and nice herbal character from the Cabernet Franc. Merlot adds some dark plum and briar undertones and the Tannat lends intense color and a touch of its trademark tannin to the finish. The result is a luscious, approachable wine with considerable complexity and good structure, and it is the perfect foil for robust farm table fare like sausages and roast pork”
Chateau de Vaugelas Corbieres Le Prieure 2010, $9.99
35% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 25% Carignan, 5% Mourvedre. This delightfully aromatic wine evokes the South of France, with violet, thyme and rosemary scents.
Chateau Coupe Roses La Bastide Minervois 2010, $13.99
Mountain altitude plus cool nights plus Spartan limestone soils equal excellent acidity, minerality and refined fruit. A delicious Mediterranean blend of Grenache and Carignan with a touch of Syrah.
Domaine la Croix Belle Syrah Cotes de Thongue 2011, $12.99
100% Syrah from the Languedoc region of France. Round, supple and very generous of fruit. Loads of black berry and rich texture. A tremendous bargain.
Domaine la Croix Belle Champ du Coq Syrah/Grenache Cotes de Thongue 2011, $12.99
A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Merlot. A classic wine from the terroir, easy and complex at the same time. Saturated, deep ruby color. Complex nose with black berry fruit and spice aromas. Ample and full-bodied in the mouth with stewed berry fruits and garrigue notes (thyme, rosemary).
La Font du Vent Cotes du Rhone Villages Signargues Notre Passion 2009, $14.99
“The remarkable 2009 Cotes du Ventoux represents a sleeper selection. Composed of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache, it exhibits a deep ruby/purple color as well as considerable black currant and black cherry fruit intermixed with hints of underlying smoke and jus de viande (meat juices). Ripe, heady, rich, and supple, it is much better than what one expects at this price point. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.” Rated 90 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Chateau Lascaux Coteaux du Languedoc 2009, $17.99
“An intriguing, earthy, delicious blend of 60% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 5% Mourvedre, this 2009 offers lots of black fruit, dusty, loamy soil, garrigue and new saddle leather characteristics. Elegant and medium-bodied with silky tannins, it can be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.” Rated 87 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Clos la Coutale Cahors 2009, $16.99
From a blend of 80% Malbec and 20% Merlot. 25 year-old vines planted on clay, gravel and limestone soils. Inky-colored and intense offering a great balance between drink ability and earthy rusticity. A great partner to traditional regional fare (i.e. duck) or with steak and potatoes.
Domaine de la Pertuisane Le Nain Violet Grenache 2009, $29.99
100% Grenache from the Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes in the Roussillon region of France. Super-concentrated, deep, ruby/purple color. A complex set of aromas and flavors including licorice, kirsch, cracked black pepper, and ripe black and red fruit. This wine comes from English winemaker Richard Case who resides in the village of Maury, only minutes inland from the Mediterranean coast, just a few miles north of the Spanish border.
FRANCE - RHONE VALLEY REDS
Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve 2010, $14.99
“As for their other values, the 2010 Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve (70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Cinsault) displays loads of ripe flavors. It is very concentrated for a Cotes du Rhone, and is actually an amazing wine. Classic garrigue, black cherry liqueur, lavender, licorice and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, intense, and rich Cotes du Rhone that sells for a song. This is a sensational effort to drink over the next 4-5 years, although it might last even longer.” Rated 91 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Ferraton Pere & Fils Crozes Hermitage La Matiniere 2009, $18.99
“The potentially outstanding 2009 Crozes-Hermitage La Matiniere (100% Syrah) exhibits lots of red and black currant fruit intertwined with hints of tomato paste, licorice and pepper in a richly fruity, fresh, medium to full-bodied style. With more depth and power than most past vintages, it should drink nicely for 5-7 years.” Rated 88-90 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Domaine Saint Luc Grignan-les-Adhemar Tradition 2010, $12.99
Cotes-du-Rhone from the southern Rhone’s northern-most appellation (formerly known as Coteaux du Tricastin). A blend of Grenache and Syrah offering a supple texture, ripe fruit, and a fresh fruity character combined with hints Provencal herbs.
Domaine de la Mordoree Lirac La Reine des Bois 2010, $37.99
“Domaine de la Mordorée has done such a great job over the last 15 years that winemaker and owner Christophe Delorme and the Mordorée name are essentially synonymous with high quality, whether it's Côtes du Rhône red, Côtes du Rhône white, rosé wines, or their flagship offerings from Lirac and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Even in challenging vintages, Mordorée is usually among the finest wines of the year, a tribute to their meticulous viticulture and winemaking.”
Domaine La Garrigue Vacqueyras 2009, $22.99
“The 2009 Vacqueyras (70% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault) exhibits a dark plum/ruby color, serious density and concentration and classic Provencal aromatic and flavor profiles of garrigue, licorice, kirsch, blacker fruits and hints of earth and truffles. One of the three lots that will go into this wine showed some oak, which does not make sense given the fact that the wine is aged in cement. Perhaps its sappy character was from the old vines. Domaine La Garrigue’s Vacqueyras have a very impressive track record for aging up to 10 years, so I don’t think there will be any problem as they are loaded with density and extract and have good serious structure without being astringent or overbearing.” Rated 90-93 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009, $45.59*
“The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape Tradition is an exact blend of 82% Grenache, 10% Syrah and the rest Cinsault and Mourvedre. Aged half in cement tanks and the rest in foudres, the wine displays some dusty tannins, which sometimes are an issue with this vintage, but soft berry fruit, roasted herbs and plenty of kirsch, lavender and licorice as well. It is a classic Provencal wine to drink over the next 8-10 years.” Rated 90 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Usseglio Panorama Palatte d’Aromes 2010, $18.99
“One of two values from the Usseglio family is their 2010 Panorama, which is 80% Merlot and 20% Syrah. This vin de table is one of the better ones I have tasted, with notes of mocha, black cherry jam, and white chocolate in a plump, corpulent, slightly one-dimensional but richly fruity style meant to drink over the next 2-3 years.” Rated 87 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
Domaine Eric & Joel Durand Saint-Joseph Les Coteaux 2010, $34.99
100% Syrah. Domaine Durand’s wines combine Old-World elements of terroir, with New-world expressiveness of super-ripe fruit, and lavish oak and tannins. Opaque purple color, with aromas and flavors of black raspberries, blackberries, currants, graphite, minerals and violets. Lush textured, and long on the finish. One of the top domaines of Saint-Joseph, earning 1 star in La Revue du Vin de France.
Domaine Eric & Joel Durand Cornas Empreintes 2010, $39.99*
“The 2010 Cornas Empreintes reveals an opaque black/purple color, good acidity and lots of graphite, bouquet garni and black fruits, a full-bodied mouthfeel and noticeable tannin. This “locked and loaded” 2010 needs 5-7 years of cellaring. It should keep for 12-14 years.” 100% Syrah. Rated 90-93 Points, Robert M. Parker, Jr.
FRANCE - LOIRE VALLEY REDS AND WHITES
Bernard Baudry Chinon “Les Granges” 2010, $18.99
100% Cabernet Franc, from 20-year-old vines grown on sand and limestone vineyards just a short distance north of the Loire River. Les Granges Chinon is aged in cement and wood cuves for respectively nine and twelve months. Loads of crisp, herb-tinged black current and bing cherry fruit. Medium-bodied and excellent with pork, duck, veal or steak.
Clos Roche Blanche Touraine Sauvignon No. 2 2010, $18.99
Touraine, a Loire Valley appellation, designates a large viticultural area around the city of Tours. The vineyards of Clos Roche Blanche were planted on the Touraine hills bordering the Cher river by the Roussel family at the end of the 19th century and have remained in the family since. Catherine Roussel took over this 28-hectare estate in 1975 from her father, and was later joined by Didier Barrouillet, who tends the vineyards and makes the wine. Both are enthusiastic proponents of non-interventionist winemaking. The 2010 sports tangy, juicy, nearly fat Sauvignon fruit informing gooseberry and soft herb flavors. Crisp, dry and very pure. A superb expression of Sauvignon Blanc.
Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Haut-Lieu Demi-Sec 2009, $39.99
“The 2009 Vouvray Demi-Sec Le Haut-Lieu smells of pineapple and candied lime peel, sage and lavender, chalk and alkali. The alkaline character and bitterness of citrus rind make for an austerity and pungency that calls out for some sweetness, a call answered here by 23 grams of residual sugar. Reinforced by the wine’s sweetness are notes of caramel, marzipan, and white raisin, conveying the impression of a “little” moelleux – though at 14% alcohol “little” is perhaps the wrong word. This impressively persistent bottling should be worth following for at least 8-10 years. “ Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate
FRANCE - ALSACE
Trimbach Pinot Gris Reserve 2007, $23.99
“Scents of white truffle; candied lime and orange peel; and peach could also be those of a Riesling. Firm, polished, and palpably full of stuffing, yet succulent and downright refreshing in a way Alsace Pinot Gris seldom is, this brings varietally recognizable smoke and lip-smacking saline savor in its finish. As a classic (read: “old-fashioned, dry-tasting”) Alsace Pinot Gris that should drink well for at least 8-10 years, this represents an exceptional value … and if you consider the price of white truffles, it’s a steal!” Rated 91 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2008, $23.99
“Scents of pea tendril, celeriac, and rose petal on the nose of Trimbach’s 2008 Gewurztraminer billow across a juicy, and for its cepage surprisingly buoyant and refreshing palate. A lick of salt adds to the stimulation of the finish. If only there were a dozen or more Alsace Gewurztraminer like this delightfully dry and distinctively delicious, a critical mass might be reached for driving home the message of this genre’s potential versatility. Plan on enjoying this exemplar over the next 3-4 years.” Rated 88 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Trimbach Riesling 2009, $22.99
“There is a combination of sage, white pepper, and chalk dust aromatic pungency and textural bite that certainly claims one’s attention, all embedded in a bright matrix of fresh lime and finishing with lift and refreshment. If a bit of ripeness had to be sacrificed for the sake of refreshment and levity, you won’t get any complaint from me given the context of the vintage, not to mention that this wine is already harboring 13% alcohol. It ought to serve well at table over the next 4-6 years, not that anyone is likely to hold onto bottles for that long.” Rated 87 Points, The Wine Advocate.
Trimbach Pinot Blanc 2008, $15.99
“Apple and sweet corn juicily inform the Trimbach 2008 Pinot Blanc, with a saliva-inducing salinity adding to its appeal and no doubt also to its usefulness at table over the next couple of years.” Rated 87 Points, The Wine Advocate
FRANCE - RHONE, LANGUEDOC, SUDOUEST, PROVENCE WHITES
Chateau Pigoudet Le Chateau Aix en Provence 2011, $12.99
Delightful, crisp, refreshing white made of 90% Rolle (a.k.a. Vermentino) and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. Aromas and flavors of fuzzy yellow fruit culminating in a dry, crisp finish.
Domaine la Croix Belle Grenache Blanc/Viognier Cotes de Thongue 2010, $12.99
Pale yellow colour with green lights. Intense, complex nose. Notes of white fruits (peach and apricot) mingled with floral aromas. Full and harmonious in the mouth. A festive wine that is an excellent accompaniment for grilled fish and fish in sauce (monkfish, salmon), scallops or white meat. Why not try with goats cheese.
Grand Veneur Cotes du Rhone Reserve Blanc 2011, $12.99
Made from 40% Viognier, 50% Roussanne, 10% Clairette. Pale yellow and brilliant color with a green tinge. Aromas of flowers and stone fruit. Fruits dominate on the palate with touches of almond and white peach. A slight liveliness appears on the finish, which creates a perfect balance. Excellent with fish, seafood.
Francois Villard Viognier “Les Contours de Deponcins” Collines Rhodaniennes 2010, $29.99
This from the declassified young vines of the hillsides of Chavannay in Condrieu. Villard, one of the stars of the appellation, has fashioned a Viognier with loads of stuffing, minerality, and tropical fruit intermixed with floral notes. Very friendly, with peach, anise and melon flavors kept lively by a tangy note of green almond. A mineral hint adds length. Excellent pairing with spicy dishes and goat cheese.
SWEET WINES - FRANCE AND HUNGARY
M. Chapoutier Banyuls 2009, 500ml, $27.99
“Chapoutier's 2009 Banyuls does an excellent job of projecting in fortified, sweet format the sorts of herbal elements - fennel, juniper, marjoram - that are characteristically associated in dry red wine with the environmental underbrush or garrigue. Plum and blueberry preserves along with mint chocolate form the principle themes for a soothing wine that - while rather superficially sweet - retains a welcome degree of primary juiciness as well as the aforementioned herbal characteristics that help to offset that sweetness in what is an impressively long finish.” Rated 90 Points, The Wine Advocate
Oremus Takaji Late Harbest 2008, 375ml, $33.99
“Concentrated dried apricot, candied orange zest and lemon drop notes expand with layers of spice, flint and grapefruit pushing through the cream- and spice-tinged finish. Drink now through 2016.” Rated 90 Points, Wine Spectator
Oremus Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu, 500ml, $71.99*
“A rich sweetie, with spicy notes of candied citrus zest, incense and underbrush accenting the notes of dried apricot, date and peach preserves that drive along, as the chalky finish sails on. Drink now through 2022.” Rated 93 Points, Wine Spectator