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Staff Favorites - Ivan Diaz

Ivan Diaz


2011 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 12-07-2017
The 2011 is creamier and a bit richer than the 2010, though maintaining the dry, linear features that give this wine its unique character. Flavors of apple, lemon, and stony/chalky minerals gain extra roundness from the extended time (six-plus years) on the lees. Instead of crunchy green apples, the profile here shows more ripened, baked golden apples, hints of baking spice, and moussey bubbles. This profound and versatile wine will pair perfectly with the same foods you might pair with Champagne, from creamy Mahon cheese to fresh yellowtail crudo, or even buttermilk fried chicken. Enjoy!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes
Review Date: 12-07-2017
This wine gains its gorgeous ruby color by blending 60% Xarel-lo Vermell and 40% Pinot Noir. While it shows more fruity richness than the Refugi, this is still a Brut Nature and is utterly, refreshingly dry. Restrained strawberry, dried cranberry, tart citrus and orange peel all wash across the palate with a bracing acidity and tickling bubbles.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2011 Viña Real Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-30-2017
Defined primarily by its ripe, luscious fruit profile, this Gran Reserva deserves a decadent meal for accompaniment (perhaps duck breast with a cherry compote). Medium to fuller bodied and rather voluptuous on the palate, it reveals raspberries and cherries, buttery pie crust, cinnamon, cocoa, and a hint of leathery earth, all without ever veering to closely to sweetness.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 95 W&S 92

2008 La Rioja Alta "Viña Ardanza" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 11-30-2017
The 2008 Ardanza (one of my favorite bottlings from one of my favorite producers) is brighter and leaner than the riper, juicier 2007, and is all the better for it. Dried, sour cherries waft from the glass, mingling with clove-y spices, cedar, tobacco, and that dried, autumn leaf quality I always get from the best Rioja. The medium-bodied palate continues to showcase the lifted, almost tart cherry while revealing more rustic, earthy tones. After almost ten years of ageing before release this is a great wine today, but has potential to age another ten.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
DC 95 RP 93

2016 Domaine des Remizières Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 11-16-2017
The newest vintage of this super-affordable Syrah is a decidedly young but perfectly representative bottling of everything that makes me such a nerd for Northern Rhone Syrah. The woodsy cedar and sawdust on the nose, accompanied by a dusting of white and black pepper, all folded into the layers of brambly raspberry, blueberry, black currants, roasted herbs, and subtle dark cocoa. Medium-bodied with extremely comfortable, seamless acidity, this is a highly versatile wine that, with a couple hours of decanting, will be gorgeous with anything from Thanksgiving turkey to Christmas beef roast.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-09-2017
The wine in this bottle is aged on the cork, a rather uncommon method of aging Champagne that imparts unique flavors otherwise absent from other bottles that don't incorporate this technique. What comes through is round, baked apple hugged by salted, honeyed nuts, graham cracker, and shades of briny minerality that vaguely resembles dry sherry. At this price point, this grower bottling is one of the best and most unique Champagne values in the shop... or anywhere.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 90 WS 90

2014 Greywacke Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 10-26-2017
Greywacke is consistently one of the best producers in Marlborough, crafting reasonably priced top-tier wines with beautiful purity and delineation. Vivid strawberry, fresh cherry, and pie crust greet the nose, followed by a subtle, smoky characteristic to dissuade any notion of sweetness. Silky smooth tannins reveal warm tobacco and baking spice notes, followed by a dose of fresh minerality. Seamlessly integrated acidity lifts the fruit and keeps it ever-present, especially during the long, deeply satisfying finish.

Mezcal de Leyenda "Reserva de la Biósfera" Tehuacán Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2017
This is a super funky, utterly different mezcal with a flavor profile unlike anything else out there. Definitely smokier and spicier than the Montana, the Reserva de la Biosfera shows lots of spicy herbs, tree bark, foresty woods, black pepper, and an unexpectedly pretty floral note. This ridiculously small batch is a blend of Marmorata and Macrocantha agaves, ultra-rare varietals that present a flavor profile which, like the Montana, is difficult to summarize. I have a feeling I'll be spending lots of time with these exceedingly complex mezcales simply to acclimate my palate and gain deeper understanding of the magic happening in these bottles.
Price: $299.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal de Leyenda Unicos "Montana" Tamaulipas Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2017
Perhaps my favorite of the Leyendas, the Montana Tamaulipas is an extremely layered, complex mezcal unlike anything I've ever tasted before. There is a loamy earthiness that confronts the nose upon introduction. Further investigation uncovers chalky minerality, black pepper, roasted herbs, subtle banana, flowers, tree bark, a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and a spicy kick of a finish. The smoke here is admittedly rather restrained, allowing the flavors of this particularly esoteric agave varietal to show through. There's something hard to place about this one, something very compellingly bizarre and utterly unique, and I spent a long time trying to articulate it before simply succumbing to the intense expressiveness and gorgeous rusticity. If you're a collector of mezcal and can stomach the price point, do not let this one slip by.
Price: $499.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal de Leyenda Grandes Leyendas "Don Anastacio" Tehuacán Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2017
This is probably the most balanced selection from Mezcal de Leyenda; a superbly built bottling that drinks with such superior harmony that the price point actually seems a little low. There is more orange zest, lemon, and sweet agave here than the others, but these flavors are lovingly wrapped in woodsy smoke, warm spices, herbaceous earth, and a ribbon of comfortable acidity seamlessly threaded through the creamy texture.
Price: $219.99 Add To Cart

Mezcal de Leyenda "Cementerio Mezcalero" Michoacan Mezcal (750ml)
Review Date: 10-18-2017
Fans of particularly smoky mezcal will get their money's worth with the Cementerio bottling, perhaps the smokiest and spiciest of the Leyenda series. There is particularly intense campfire on the nose and hot gravel on the palate. Lots of rocky, chalky minerality, spicy herbs, and white and black pepper dominate the palate. This bottling utilizes a blend of agaves as opposed to a single varietal, so the agave flavor is rather more background here, prizing the intense smokiness instead. This one is for the die-hard mezcal collector.
Price: $249.99 Add To Cart

2015 DuMol Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 09-28-2017
There's a reason Dumol is considered one of the best producers of Russian River Pinot, and this bottling is a perfect example. First, it is strikingly "of its place," showing richness and density without becoming too full or heavy, maintaining an effortlessly light touch - a defining trait of the best RRV Pinot. Second, the deep red and blue berries are ripe and vivid, but never too center-stage, allowing the layers of complexity underneath to rise to the surface. Some chamomile tea leaf, warm baking spice, and a hint of coriander round out the palate while the full malolactic fermentation renders a mouthwatering note of buttery pie crust. The acidity is streamlined and tannins are fine, making for a beautifully delineated, elegant Pinot Noir.
Price: $68.99 Add To Cart

2015 DuMol Russian River Valley Syrah
Review Date: 09-28-2017
Dumol produces very little Syrah, but their offering in the category is an exceedingly vital contribution to the category. This bottling has more in common with Cote-Rotie than it does with other California Syrah, showing rather restrained at the moment, with loads of promise in the cellar. Dark, brambly blackberries and blueberries, a dusting of finely ground black pepper, savory roasted herbs and an earthy, clay-like minerality all contribute to the stunningly classic flavor profile. It is exceptionally well-structured; the tannins and acidity strike an interwoven harmony that deftly binds everything together without coming off as too "grippy" or "tight". This is enjoyable now with a few hours of airtime, or in 5-7 years with some lamb sausage.
Price: $58.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 CG 90

Jefferson's "K&L Exclusive" Reserve Very Old Small Batch Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 09-23-2017
Our exclusive bottlings from Jefferson continue with the Very Old Small Batch, a richer, deeper effort for more seasoned bourbon drinkers. This one provides a deeper impact, not only with a slightly higher alcohol content, but a more robust flavor profile to boot. Raw vanilla, maple, warm clove-y spices, barrel toast, cedar, and compellingly savory salty notes lend this utterly smooth bottling layers of complexity and depth. Perfect for cocktails in warm weather, or served neat during chillier months.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Jefferson's "K&L Exclusive" Very Small Batch Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 09-21-2017
A real treat from Jefferson, purveyor exceptionally velvety bourbon, is the newly exclusive K&L Very Small Batch bottling. A little lower in alcohol and a bit lighter-bodied on the palate, this one offers up vanilla bean, sweet oak spice, caramel, and sea salt, finishing with a subtly tart, briny citrus note. Silky smooth from front to back.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Krug "Grande Cuvée" 164 Ème Édition Brut Champagne
Review Date: 09-07-2017
What a treat it is to work in the wine industry and taste new bottles of Krug on a random Thursday. After tasting at work where it showed crisp, clean flavors of crunchy red apples and fresh minerality, I was lucky enough to take the bottle home where it continued to reveal all the depth and complexity expected of this legendary producer (and then some). With some air time, this wine offers ripe pears and white peaches, honeyed almonds, toasted brioche, subtly funky beeswax, and a pretty floral tone giving the impression of lithe elegance for such a full-bodied, voluptuous Champagne.
Price: $159.99 Add To Cart
VN 97 JG 95

2016 Domaine Dragon Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire Rosé
Review Date: 09-07-2017
Perhaps my favorite rose from the bountiful 2016 vintage is this bottling from Sainte Victoire, a small Cru appellation within Cotes de Provence producing a rather viscous, ripely-fruited style of rose that sacrifices nothing in the way of minerality or freshness. Saline and flinty qualities mingle with sweet strawberries. Subtle peppery, herbal accents bring depth and variety, while the perfectly integrated acidity maintains the laser-like focus and clarity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2015 Bodegas Henri Lurton Chenin Blanc Baja California
Review Date: 09-07-2017
Incredible Chenin Blanc from Baja, Mexico. Although not super "traditional" as far as Chenin Blanc goes, this bottling still shows plenty of juicy pear and honey, while offering rather unusual qualities including surprising notes of red berries like strawberry and cranberry (very uncommon in white wine). Pretty floral accents never threaten to dominate, avoiding the dreaded "perfumy" descriptor. The acidic cut and refreshingly dry minerality close out the palate. Unfortunately, too many people will pass this by simply because its Mexican. They do not know what they're missing.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine L'Ostal Cazes "Grand Vin" Minervois La Livinière
Review Date: 09-01-2017
Minervois is perhaps my favorite up and coming southern French region. Traditional Rhone varietals (70% Syrah, 15% Carignan, 10% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre) are the building blocks here, providing a juicy core of red and blue berries. The cedar and black pepper of the Syrah stands forward, while the high-tone acidity of the Grenache provides a mouth-watering texture that finishes with a touch of spicy tannin. Excellent value.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
DC 95

2014 Valderiz Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 08-10-2017
Deep and powerful, the 2014 release from Valderiz is classic Ribera that, for $30, drinks with a quality well beyond most Cabernet for the same price. This is staggeringly aromatic wine showing stewed black cherries, steeped plum, spice cake, cloves, mint, cedar, pine, and dark cocoa. Rich and velvety on the palate with pleasant spice and sweet tannic grip on the finish, this is beautiful and luscious on its own, or a perfect compliment to seared lamb.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2016 Bodegas Chacra "Sin Azufre" Pinot Noir Rio Negro
Review Date: 07-06-2017
Light to medium bodied, this Patagonian Pinot Noir is an exceedingly graceful package. Fresh, crunchy red berries with subtle blueberry, purple flowers, black pepper, and vein of savory salinity. This continues to open in the glass, revealing subtle baking spices and deeper, earthy complexities. From top to bottom this is incredibly earnest Pinot, striking that rare balance between simply pretty and deceptively complex.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 97 RP 92

2015 Noemia de Patagonia "A Lisa" Malbec Rio Negro
Review Date: 07-06-2017
I was very impressed by the overall freshness, low alcohol, and dryness of this beautifully balanced Malbec. No dominating oak factor, no super-extracted purple fruit, just soft and refreshing strawberry and blackberry, subtle spicy accents, sturdy but seemless structure, and restraint. I have a feeling this would develop really well with some air but it was gone before I had the chance to find out. Very well-done.

2011 Ferrer Bobet "Vinyes Velles" Priorat
Review Date: 06-29-2017
Perhaps the oldest and most well-developed "affordable" Priorat in the shop right now is this 2011 bottling from Ferrer Bobet, a wine that way over-delivers for the price. One doesn't expect to find so many layers of brambly black and blue fruits, sweet licorice, black pepper, coffee, cocoa, and cedary tree bark for only $25 a bottle. Nor does one anticipate such a grippy, tannic backbone that, at the finish, gives way to juicy acidity and lingering notes of mocha. Pick it up now and pair with just about any hearty dinner, but especially a Spanish lamb ragu.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 92 WS 91

2014 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 06-15-2017
At a measly $15 a bottle, this gorgeous blend from Limoux (a region with an older sparkling wine tradition than even Champagne) is more compelling than countless over-priced bottles from the more famous region. The fineness of the bubbles lend a mousy texture and the flavor profile offers crunchy strawberry, orange rind, watermelon, a pretty floral nuance, and terroir-driven minerality that reveals why this unsung region for bubbles is actually one of the best kept secrets of France's wine industry. Perfect with turkey, no matter how you prepare it on Thanksgiving; roasted, fried, or smoked, this will be a refreshing and perfectly-calibrated companion.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Puelles Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 06-01-2017
Puelles continues to release traditionally aged, beautifully crafted and developed wine with their Gran Reserva 2005, a classic Rioja with simultaneous depth and lift. Classic, if slightly darker, almost Bordeaux-like flavors abound: cherries, plums, crushed flowers, anise, olive tapenade, tea leaves, woodsy spice, tree bark, and graphite all kept afloat by the weightless acidity and wrapped in soft, dusty tannins. I'm hard-pressed to think of another $20 wine in the shop that comes close.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 06-01-2017
Banshee consistently makes impressively concentrated Pinots at disproportionately low price points. For under $25, the entry-level 2015 is a seriously focused Pinot with the power, complexity, and simultaneous finesse that defines excellent California Pinot. Showing great complexity at the entry level, it delivers a vivid core of tart cherries and black raspberry, pie crust, subtle herbs, dried flowers, warm spice, and subtle pepperiness. Acidity is integrated and bracing while silky tannins keep the finish persistent. Deeply enjoyable, especially for the price!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
VN 90

2015 Talley "Rincon Vineyard" Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-25-2017
The Rincon bottling (from vines planted in 1984) is a bright, refreshing style with an abundance of nuances that continue to unfold as the wine opens in the glass. Starting off with crunchy apple and bright lemon, it then reveals subtle notes of honey, almond, and hazelnut, along with a wave of of tropical pineapple and pear. Mineral notes of flint and stone make an appearance toward the back end, providing the finish with beautiful freshness, salinity, and an invitation for another sip.

2015 Talley "Rosemary's Vineyard" Arroyo Grande Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-04-2017
Of the 2015 Chardonnays I tasted while visiting the Talley estate this past March, The Rosemary's vineyard stands as the most deeply felt, fully realized offering. The house style seems to value the mineral expression of the terroir and a dedication to quality fruit, producing some incredibly linear, focused, and fresh wines. The Rosemary's however, shows a bit more depth and leesiness with its nose of honeyed nuts, subtle coconut, baked apple, and sea salt. While the palate is rounder and richer than the other bottlings, with hints of buttercream and warm spice, there is still piercing acidity and quenching textural tension from the chalky, salty minerality. This is gorgeous Chardonnay for any occasion, but perhaps paired best with a flaky white fish in brown butter.

2013 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Big, brambly red fruit takes center stage here, along with a creamy ribbon of cocoa that tracks from the nose to the finish. Rounding out the edges are warm spices (cinnamon, clove) and a hint of savory eucalyptus in the background, all wrapped in sweet, velvety tannins that make this one go down way too easily. Perfect pairing with herb-crusted short ribs either off the grill or sous vide.

2014 Marietta "Angeli Cuvee" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 04-27-2017
Almost never has such an unexpected blend delivered such a classic flavor profile. The components are Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignan, but it drinks like young Bordeaux, despite the absence of all Bordeaux varietals. This guy is big and rich, but never over-the-top, showing raisins, cassis, fig, toast, and rounded out by dried flowers and savory herbals that linger on through the finish. A great, off-the-beaten-path candidate for your cellar (5-7 more years ought to do it).
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2015 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville" Alexander Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 04-20-2017
In Ridge's 50th year, they are still proving why they are considered some of the best Zin producers in California. The Geyserville (70% Zinfandel, 15% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, and 3% Alicante Bouschet) is a gorgeously dark and balanced example of what they do so well, showing warm baking spice, black and white pepper, and melted licorice on the nose, while the velvety strawberry and blackberry flavors coat the palate. The tannins are sweet but not without grip, and there is a vein of mouth-watering acidity that keeps things lifted. Incredible value.

2014 Seabold Monterey Pinot Noir
Review Date: 04-20-2017
A beautifully delineated bottle that exhibits all the ripe but focused qualities of Monterey Pinot, this one manages to show velvety black raspberry and blueberry, warm spices, chamomile, and buttery pie crust. The flavors here, while rich, are not over-the-top, nor are they uncharacteristic of Pinot. Fresh acidity and minerals cut the richness beautifully, finishing this wine with grace and elegance. Pair with a slightly nicer-than-average cedar-plank salmon or duck breast.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1996 Glen Moray 19 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
For cask strength Scotch, this is exceptionally smooth and caramely on the palate. Fully-realized after 19 years, it balances sweeter flavors of vanilla and orange peel with warm spices (coriander, allspice) and compelling brininess. While soft and creamy on the palate, this finishes with savory saltiness and woodsy spice for a complete Speyside experience.
Price: $79.99 Add To Waiting List

2015 Don Rodolfo Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 03-26-2017
We've been utterly spoiled lately by the influx of flavorful Malbecs for under $10 a bottle with qualities way beyond what their price-points suggest. Don Rodolfo continues this trend with aplomb, offering a bottle with richness, structure, and integrity for only $9, and over-delivering on each count. A waft of fresh herbs meets the nose first, along with a spicy Worcestershire note. On the palate, sweet tannins wrap the bold, ripened red berries and spice notes together on the mid-palate while subtle cocoa lingers on the finish.
Price: Hidden View Price
JS 90

2014 Montes "Classic" Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Montes' "Classic" label is one of the most reliable sources for big, flavorful, and super inexpensive reds. The 2014 vintage of Cabernet is seriously built, offering structure and flavor quite rare for Cab in this price-point. Big berries like cherry and black currants pour forth immediately, followed by spicy bell peppers and cedar. The peppery qualities offer some savory characteristics but its the ripe, forward fruit and sweet, velvety tannins that take center stage and make this a true crowd-pleaser. This is bound to become a staple back porch red as grilling season kicks off.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Clos Saint-Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 02-09-2017
The new vintage of a classic producer's Old Vine bottling is a vibrant example of Chateauneuf-du_Pape that is at once traditionally structured, and more modern in its plush, fruit-forward character. This is surprisingly open-knit right now; brambly red and black raspberries coat the palate with the help of some chewy but surprisingly sweet tannins. Melted licorice, roasted herbs, and warm spices round out the robust palate, finishing long and rich. Pair with all things slow-cooked or pepper-crusted.

2014 Pike Road Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 02-02-2017
One of my favorite Oregon producers, Elk Cove, makes the Pike Road Pinot Noir as a second, super affordable label, and it happens to be one of the best values in the store. In a world where good Pinot is almost impossible to find under $20, the Pike Road is here to provide all the elegant red fruits, tea leaves, fresh herbs, and round, integrated acidity typically found in bottles twice the price. Pair with your next herb-crusted pork loin or salmon.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

Mas Codina Cava Brut Reserva Penedès
Review Date: 02-02-2017
For my money, Cava like Mas Codina stands head-and-shoulders above more popular, expensive, but less polished sparkling wines. The bubbles are finer, creating a mousse-y texture on the palate, while the flavors of nectarine, baked apple, and subtle flowers are balanced and restrained in a way that avoids any cloyingness. At only $12.99, this is an incredible value with truly romantic expression perfect for any intimate occasion.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Writer's Tears Pure Pot Still Irish Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 01-26-2017
My first ever review on a spirit is for this beautiful, round, exceedingly smooth Irish whiskey that captivated me from the moment my nose met the aroma. This lovely, "Prohibition" style whiskey is soft and caramely with slightly briny accents and a woodsy finish that goes down warm and easy. Do not miss while this is still available.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2013 Holus Bolus Sta. Rita Hills Syrah
Review Date: 12-09-2016
With a creamy texture and rich, vibrant flavors, Holus Bolus produces some of the most delectable Syrah of Sta. Rita Hills. Mocha, cedar, brambleberries, black pepper, and vanilla fill out an impressive flavor profile and silky, but powerful texture. Pair this with roasted lamb for a perfectly hedonistic dinner.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2014 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-17-2016
These guys are always impressing me with their restrained touch and cohesive structure. Whereas most Zinfandel from Central Coast exhibits jammy, over-ripe, and alcoholic inconsistencies, this one walks the line deftly and ends up sporting flavors of raisin, raspberry, licorice, and warm spices. The tannins are pronounced but velvety while a ribbon of fresh acidity threads from start to finish.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club


2004 Charles Ellner "Prestige" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-28-2016
One of the very best Champagnes I've tasted this year, Ellner's 2004 "Prestige" bottling is indeed a stunning example of its namesake. With some significant bottle age, this small-production beauty gains enormous complexity while maintaining a rather lithe framework. The flavors are both lavish and restrained, boisterous and polished, showing caramel apple, lemon mousse, brioche, savory minerality, and cleansing acidity. Most interestingly, it picks up a rather nutty, briny, Sherry-like note toward the mid-palate which lasts throughout the compelling finish. This is a bizarre balance of crowd-pleasing richness and funky esoterica that pulls it off gorgeously. Do not miss!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 WE 91

Jean Josselin "Cuvée des Jean" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-04-2016
It's hard to find good Champagne for under $35, so I was suspect of this affordable bottling until I tasted it for myself and found my new favorite NV. This one is crisp, refreshing, and loaded with juicy apple and white peach flavors while maintaining a dry, tense profile that will pair with countless dishes from sushi to chili. Throw it on ice and enjoy your evening.
Price: Hidden View Price

2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-11-2016
The 2006 vintage of Taittinger's flagship "Comtes de Champagne" is a fabulous wine coming from a top-notch vintage. It has all the rich, creamy character that has come to define this bottling, showing ripe, white peach, raw honey, hazelnut, and buttercream on the nose. But this vintage yielded quite a lot of mineral flavor across the region, helping to provide focus among some of the more decadent flavors. Chalky minerals and laser-like acidity incorporate to give the impression of a gravity-defying tight-rope walk between acid and fruit, mineral and oak, complexity and purity. The length is surprising with its lingering notes of fig and apricot, providing an extremely pleasurable finish. Excellent.

2009 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Grand Cru Champagne
Review Date: 02-04-2016
Quick! Before the masses find out about this fine, grower producer and send the price point soaring, make sure to pick up a bottle (or twelve) so you can say you owned it back when it was only $40 a bottle. Made from a vintage blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, this handcrafted bottling is bright but silky on the palate, showing ripe citrus and white peach flavors alongside compelling minerality and buttery, brioche-y richness.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Pierre Paillard "Les Parcelles" Grand Cru Extra Brut Bouzy Champagne
Review Date: 10-15-2015
Simultaneously delicate and well-structured, this Grand Cru Brut stands head and shoulders above a mountain of clumsy, overly sweet non-vintage Champagne. Balancing pears, lemon curd, gentle minerality, creamy texture, and saline acidity, this certified organic bottling is the roundest, cleanest entry level Champagne to impress my palate in a while. A perfect pairing with almost anything, from duck liver mousse to fried chicken.
Price: $48.99 Add To Cart
ST 91 RP 90

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 08-10-2015
With a decade of age, it is remarkable how much complexity and depth has developed in this decidedly underpriced bottling from Rioja. Maybe it's the excellent vintage, or maybe it's the traditional winemaking technique of the producer, but either way, this is a phenomenal effort that continues to reveal its layers of flavor (red currants, dried cherry, fennel, mushroom, and thyme to name a few) by the minute. While this could easily age another 5-7 years, it is in a superb window right now for pairing with lamb or Spanish morcilla. The price point is just stupid - it might be the best $20 wine in the store right now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 04-02-2015
Almost Chablis-like in its austerity and crispness, the Blanquette shows flavors of Granny Smith apples, seashell minerality, and Meyer lemon. The Brut Nature designation assures us that there is no additional sugar dosage in this wine's production. Perfect warm-weather quaffing, and a perfect pairing with oysters, ceviche, or whatever fresh seafood tickles your fancy.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2011 Araujo "Altagracia" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 03-05-2015
Velvety and rich, the 2011 Altagracia is surprisingly approachable. Though it packs plenty of muscle, the edges are refined and the texture is creamy with sweet tannins, for an extremely satisfying drink. Loads of red and dark berries greet the nose up front, wrapped in vanilla and mocha, finishing with some baking spice and comfortable acidity. While it's expressing itself very nicely right now, this is also a great candidate for your cellar, 10-15 years.

2007 Bodegas Puelles Rioja Reserva
Review Date: 01-17-2015
This is one of the world’s only regions that ages wine FOR you, ensuring its quality upon release. This traditional technique means current releases can sometimes be 7-8 years old (such as this one) or more, and it shows in the vivid flavors. Dried red fruit, tea leaves, licorice, tobacco, soft acidity and persistent tannin make this ideal with lamb shank, Spanish sausages, or pork medallions!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 90