Staff Favorites - Heather Vander Wall

Heather Vander Wall
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Reviews

  
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2014 Domaine des Remizières "Cuvée Christophe" Crozes-Hermitage
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Truly a remarkable deal in Crozes-Hermitage! This wine is not only priced irresistibly, but drinks remarkably well even at this young age. Elegance and richness play well together here, presenting a wine that is full of open, soft, black fruit, but retains some cut and minerality that keeps the wine from being flabby or over-ripe. Domaine des Remizieres continues to impress at every level, and will no doubt reward some cellar time, if you can manage to hold on to a few bottles.
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 WS 90

2009 Bouscassé "Argile Rouge" Madiran
Review Date: 04-25-2017
For those of you who love bold, full-bodied, dark-fruited wines at a great price point, this is one not to miss! This Madiran from a stellar vintage is perfectly aged, with soft, black plum fruit, well-integrated tannin, and lovely savory, earthy notes on the finish. Madiran may have a reputation for being aggressive and overly tannic, but here is a perfect example of why that stereotype is outmoded. Here is a lovely, silky, smooth and perfectly developed bottle whose tannin is quite well placed, and merely adds to the overall power of the wine.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WS 90

2016 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Rosé Marlborough
Review Date: 04-15-2017
This year's rosé is rather different from last year's, but just as delicious! While the 2015 rosé boasted lighter, classic Provencal style, the 2016 is much darker in hue, made in saignee style from the Rawiri vineyard. The wine shows lovely blackberry and raspberry notes, with some heft and weight. It's still quite dry, but with a peppery spice and richer fruit component that makes this an ideal food wine. Try this with lighter poultry dishes, veggie dishes, and salmon.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2016 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago
Review Date: 04-15-2017
It's always exciting to see the first of the rosés arriving from the southern hemisphere, and as usual, Mount Edward's Pinot Noir rosé is one of the standouts! This is made in a classic French style with very light color, pretty strawberry and cream notes and gorgeous cherry aromatics. Think Sancerre rosé, or classic Provence style with the added elegance and subtlety of Pinot Noir. Although you could pair this with lighter appetizers or veggie dishes, this drinks beautifully on its own.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RC 90 - 91

2016 Framingham "Select" Riesling Marlborough
Review Date: 04-14-2017
Framingham's "Select" Riesling is possibly the best wine in their production. I love this wine--it's a perfect balance and expression of Riesling that is neither too austerely acidic nor too cloyingly sweet. It is made in a "Spatlese" style, with slightly later harvest, and some residual sugars, yet it is still very crisp and fresh, with no botrytis influence. Rather, you have the pure fruit flavors of apricot, candied tangerine peel, and ripe honeydew in the forefront, with clean, stony mineral notes and fresh grapefruit acidity in the backdrop. Perfectly composed, and well-structured for the long-haul in terms of aging.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
BC 97

2015 Giant Steps Chardonnay Yarra Valley Victoria
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Chardonnay is often a controversial varietal: some love it, some hate it, and it can be made in a myriad of styles. The strength that Chardonnay brings is both its delicacy and its transparency: the varietal easily shows the marks both of its terroir and of its wine making, but can easily be overwhelmed by either. This is why Chardonnay with a purity of fruit, and subtle wine making will always impress me, no matter where it falls on the spectrum stylistically. The Giant Steps Chardonnay is an exercise in both subtlety and accessibility. The wine is open and easy to enjoy, with ripe pear and apple fruit, and just the right hint of creaminess from some oak usage, yet it is neither toasty nor astringently acidic, avoiding both extremes of the spectrum.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2015 Elephant Hill "Le Phant Rouge" Red Blend Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 04-13-2017
This is one of my favorite $20 reds in the store! I would be happy to find a Bordeaux style blend of this caliber for under $30, but at this price I'm thrilled. Stylistically, this wine sits at a juncture between a polished, modern fruit-forward expression, and an iconic, structured, traditional take. The wine can appeal to both California Cab lovers, and Bordeaux enthusiasts. However, there's a twist! Elephant Hill also incorporates a small amount of Syrah, which adds just the right amount of black pepper spice to make this an all-around stellar selection for almost any occasion.

2014 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 04-13-2017
I am typically not one to be attracted to bigger, full-bodied wines such as Shiraz from the Barossa, but on occasion I run across one which changes my perspective. Duval's Entity Shiraz is just such a wine. With lengthy experience both at Penfolds and on his own, Duval is a winemaker who truly understands the Barossa, with its particular strengths and shortcomings. His wines are neither too over-blown, nor too restrained, rather they showcase the power and richness of the region in a perfectly balanced way. The Entity Shiraz is dark-fruited, full-bodied and soft, with excellent structure and good spice, but also clean and poised, without being over-ripe or flabby.

2014 Mount Edward Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Central Otago is one of my favorite regions in New Zealand for Pinot Noir particularly. I love the savory yet clean and bright profile that the grape tends to assume in this region. Mount Edward is definitely one of the top examples for Central Otago Pinot. This bottling includes a few key vineyard sites to showcase the power and depth of the area as a whole. Here you have dark, exuberant berry fruit contending with an almost herbal, brambly note and lovely wet clay earthiness. The wine is made with wild yeast, and organic farming, so you have very little manipulation here, allowing the true character of the terroir to shine through.

2014 Elephant Hill Syrah Hawke's Bay
Review Date: 04-11-2017
The Elephant Hill wines from Hawke's Bay have long been a staff favorite, but I think in this 2014 Syrah, the winery has reached new heights of greatness. This is honest, clean and classic in style, but with nice depth and intensity. Stylistically, this reminds me of some of the better northern Rhone wines, with strong black pepper spice, medium body and elegant red berry fruit. Yet there is a generosity and openness here that makes the wine eminently drinkable and delicious without having to stash in the cellar for years. Easily one of our best Syrah values in the store!

2015 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 04-11-2017
Every year I review the new TWR Pinot Noir and attempt to put into words why this wine stuns with every vintage. Perhaps its because this lovely Pinot Noir sits at the juncture of several styles, incorporating boisterous fruit, elegant tannin and acidity, clean purity, and savory spice notes into one wine. Or perhaps it is the fact that this wine drinks beautifully now, yet has the potential to age nobly, or that it drinks perfectly on its own, yet pairs with a variety of foods. In any case, we have another great vintage in stock, and I'd highly recommend picking up a case or two.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2013 Pied á Terre Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-07-2017
It's always a struggle to find a well-balanced California Cabernet that is neither too lush and jammy with surprisingly high alcohol, nor too strict and structured, with a lack of California character, but that will still cost you less than $30. Well, here we have a solution! I tasted the Pied a Terre Cabernet from Sonoma the other day with some of my colleagues, and was immediately impressed with the flawless balance and fantastic depth of the wine, particularly given the price point. I have had beautifully structured, silky Cabernets of this caliber before from California, but the price tag usually contained at least 3 figures. This is a definite steal, and will be a go-to Cabernet for me in the future.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Merlot
Review Date: 04-07-2017
I believe the Ridge Merlot is one of the most understated and possibly under-appreciated wines in the winery's Estate lineup. Wine-drinkers unfortunately often have a stigma against Merlot, especially from California, but it is truly a noble grape with so much potential. This wine reminds me of some of the best Right Bank Bordeaux I've tasted, though with elements entirely its own. The wine is dark, luscious and silky, with velvety tannins and elegant, perfumed aromas. However, it certainly does not lack for structure, and, like its French counterparts, will absolutely benefit from some time in the cellar.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Montes "Classic" Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 04-06-2017
This is an honest and delicious little Cabernet from the Colchagua Valley. Full, rich, dark fruit plays well against that classic peppery spice so often found in Chilean wines. This wine is easy-drinking and fun, with polished fruit and excellent balance, but doesn't lose its earthy, Chilean charm. Great buy for the price!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2014 Ridge "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-06-2017
It seems like only the other day we were all crooning over the 2013 releases from Ridge, yet here is another pristine Cabernet from the "Estate" line. 2014 keeps up the same excellent quality and depth that we have all come to expect from the Estate Cabernets, showing lovely resin, rosemary, and green olive aromas, with excellent, full-bodied dark fruit, lithe tannins, and well-placed acidity that highlights rather than overshadows the fruit. I highly encourage all of you to pick up a bottle or two or six! Always under-rated next to the more famous "Montebello", the Estate Cabernet is quite exquisite, and one not to be missed!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Ridge Vineyards "Geyserville 50th Anniversary" Alexander Valley Zinfandel
Review Date: 04-06-2017
It's Geyserville's 50th anniversary, and the wine is everything you love about Geyserville. Always one of my favorite Zinfandel bottlings from Ridge, Geyserville is full, rich and luscious, without being flabby or sweet. The 2015 is already fairly open and expressive, with boisterous black fruit and subtle pepper spice. I can't wait to see where this vintage goes with a little time, though. There is plenty of structure and elegance here that will certainly make for great aging.
Price: $37.99 Add To Cart

1973 Berberana Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-06-2017
Every once in awhile we come across a great older cellar in Spain, and have an opportunity to buy pristinely aged older Riojas at very reasonable prices. We've recently had another shipment from a new cellar, and this is one of my favorite wines in the lot. The 1973 Berberana still shows surprisingly tenacious fruit, softened and tempered by a long and thorough savory note. The tannins are wholly integrated to the point of having little influence other than a very slight textural nuance, whereas the acidity is still present, working well as a counterpoint to the fruit and meaty qualities. A very long and persistent finish lingers quite pleasantly on the palate .
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2015 Don Rodolfo Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 04-06-2017
We all know Malbec can be a great wine for the price, and here is yet another example! The aromas are exuberant and full of fresh, sweet blueberry and blackberry fruit. On the palate, the wine shows some evidence of sweet oak influence, well-integrated with dark berry fruit and just a hint of fresh ground black pepper. This would be a perfect week-day wine! Perhaps a new Tuesday night staple?
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2011 Bodegas Muriel Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-06-2017
This is a great example of delicious Rioja, drinking beautifully now. Bodegas Muriel makes wine in a darker-fruited style, with a fair amount of body and good sweet spice from the oak aging. On the nose the wine displays gorgeous berry fruit, and gives way to mocha, red earth and baking spice on the palate. The tannins have softened beautifully here, but they still certainly have the structure to age for the long haul.

2016 Ostatu Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 03-30-2017
One of my favorite rose wines has returned, in a strong new vintage! This lovely little rosado is lighter in style, with crisp acidity and a nice dry finish. It is based primarily on Garnacha, so it has lovely floral aromatics and delicate red berry notes. Easy to drink on its own, this would also work well with lighter vegetable dishes or appetizers.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Adegas Valtea "Finca Garabato" Albariño Rias Baixas
Review Date: 03-30-2017
Valtea is one of my absolute favorite new producers from Rias Baixas. Typically I am attracted to tangy, briny Albarino from the coastal regions, but this winery hails from a sub zone a little further inland. This makes for a slightly more robust style of Albarino. In the "Finca Garabato" bottling, the wine rests on its lees for an entire year, resulting in a wine with plenty of depth and texture. The flavors also are more autolytic and savory, as opposed to the more fruit-forward younger wine they produce. But don't be deceived: although this is a richer wine, there is still great freshness and acidity with classic Albarino flare.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Adega Cooperativo Regional de Monçao "Muralhas de Monçao" Vinho Verde
Review Date: 03-30-2017
I am reminded time and again that there is always an exception to the rule, always a wine that defies your expectations of a given region or style. This little Vinho Verde from Moncao is precisely that. In this sub region the predominate varietal is Alvarinho, and the slightly warmer climate promotes a little bit richer fruit in the wines. That said, this is not your classic Vinho Verde: yes, it is still lively and fresh, but there is far more fruit and weight and texture on the palate than is typical in this area. The predominate flavor is beautifully ripe honey crisp apple, with just a hint of white flower and lemon curd in the background.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Ontañon Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-24-2017
A lovely Reserva wine, aged beautifully, and from a great vintage: what more could you want? Bodegas Ontanon's 2005 Reserva is drinking beautifully right now. The very soft, fine tannins are completely integrated, and a persistent note of aged leather and wild mushroom complements the rich black cherry aromatics. On the palate the wine has continued weight, with a game-y umami note coming into play and soft, sweet spice drawing out the long finish.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2012 Castillo de Viñas Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-24-2017
Another immediate favorite from our newest Direct Import (DI), Castillo de Vinas! This Reserva is just beginning to demonstrate some of the more savory secondary elements that come with a few years in the bottle. Nevertheless it still exhibits quite a bit of fresh, full-bodied, dark berry fruit. The whole is tied together with classic Rioja "red earth" and spice notes, resulting in a very drinkable and delicious medium-bodied wine with excellent balance and length.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2014 Boxler Edelzwicker Réserve Alsace
Review Date: 03-24-2017
This is a lovely little Edelzwicker, that showcases the strength of each of the varietals involved. On the nose the wine is wildly hedonistic in its floral aromatics, mostly due to the Muscat (10%), though there is also a very pretty honeydew melon aroma that comes from the Pinot Blanc (60%). The palate shows soft tropical fruits such as mango and papaya, and nice tight, dry structure from the Riesling (30%). Overall, a great example of Edelzwicker at its finest--powerful, exuberant, and many-dimensional.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Gut Hermannsberg Riesling Trocken Nahe (Dry)
Review Date: 03-24-2017
Fantastic value in dry Riesling! Gut Hermannsberg has always been a favorite producer for me, but this 2015 truly outshines my already rather high expectations. The nose is floral and exuberant, with notes of apple blossom, peach flower, and lime zest. On the palate the wine shows surprisingly soft white pear fruit with a long-lasting mineral backbone and refreshing acidity. Definitely one of my top picks for a dryer style Riesling under $20.00!
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Quartz Reef "Bendigo Single Vineyard" Pinot Noir Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Quartz Reef's Bendigo vineyard Pinot Noir is an excellent example of the power and expression of Central Otago. In this south island region, Pinot Noir does particularly well, creating wines that are both full-fruited and bright, with great savory notes and elegant spice. This wine opens with exuberant, round blackberry fruit with plenty of structure and a medium palate weight. On the finish the wine has a long, savory note with wild mushroom and hints of exotic spice coming into play.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 95

2013 Schneider Sankt Laurent Thermenregion
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Looking for a fun new red wine to try? If you are a fan of medium bodied reds with some spice and good aromatics, I highly recommend a bottle of this Sankt Laurent. Beautiful dark plum and cassis fruit with a background of wet stone play on the palate, and an elegant, exotic spice note comes in at the finish. The wine is surprisingly floral and aromatic, while presenting a nice medium palate weight with soft dark fruit.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Birgit Eichinger Hasel Grüner Veltliner Kamptal
Review Date: 03-23-2017
A lovely, well-balanced Gruner that hits all the right notes! This wine has the classic fresh acidity and tangy power that you look for from the varietal, but at the same time there is a lovely creaminess on the palate, and a soft fruit note that pulls the wine together beautifully. With the added complexity of some time on the lees, this is a great example of Gruner with both a soft richness, and a light, crisp style.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 91

2013 Odinstal "Basalt" Weissburgunder Mittelhaardt Pfalz (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-23-2017
If you tend to think of Pinot Blanc as blousy, soft, and boring, this bottle may well change your mind. This is an intensely aromatic wine, with Riesling-like petrol notes, and very stony, focused floral hints. On the palate the wine shows some soft melon fruit, but is completely dry, with a a very strong mineral drive, and just a little bit of texture from the year spent on its lees. Overall a much more exciting and poised version of the varietal!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 André Ostertag "Barriques" Pinot Blanc Alsace (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Do not be deceived by the word "barriques" in the name of the wine, here. This is a lighter, crisper style of Pinot Blanc, with tangy, citrus-driven acidity. However, it is also aged in neutral barriques, to give the palate a nice texture and fullness. Overall a beautiful balance that highlights some of the strengths of the varietal, and carries some weight without compromising freshness.
Price: Hidden View Price

2014 Boxler Pinot Blanc Réserve Alsace
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Pinot Blanc is always an underrated varietal in my opinion, and in the hands of a great producer like Albert Boxler, the resultant wine is outstanding. All of the fruit for this wine hails from the "Grand Cru" vineyard Brand, though unfortunately Pinot Blanc does not qualify for Grand Cru status, hence it is not labelled as such. The wine is subtle, but complex, with almond and honeydew aromas giving way to a palate full of depth and texture, and yet balanced with crisp acidity and lift on the finish. This is easily one of my favorite expressions of the varietal!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Rippon "Rippon" Mature Vine Pinot Noir Lake Wanaka Central Otago (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-21-2017
What an outstanding price for one of the top producers in Central Otago Pinot Noir! We have long been proponents of the serious, incredibly well-made wines of Rippon. Nick Mills, the winemaker has both an phenomenal palate, and a fantastic background of wine making on which to draw. In the 2012 vintage we see a classic Rippon Pinot Noir, well-balanced with medium body, displaying strawberry and blackberry notes intermixed with savory, brambly elements, and plenty of structure to age for the long haul. Both elegant and serious, with a wealth of layered flavors, it is easy to see the quality here.

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden
Review Date: 03-21-2017
This is a great value in Pinot Noir! Don't balk at it's origin! Germany has been producing fantastic Pinot Noirs that tend to slip under the radar for a long time. This lovely wine is lighter in body, with soft, very fine tannin and elegant black cherry notes. Having aged already for a few years, the Pinot is very soft and open, ready to drink without having to decant for hours. This is easily one of the best buys for Pinot in this price range from anywhere in the store.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Castillo de Viñas Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 03-21-2017
This is a phenomenal deal in Crianza from a new producer in our portfolio! Clean, polished, and modern in style, this Crianza bottling has all the elements required in a favorite weekday red! The fruit is round, accessible and pleasant without being jammy or flabby. Likewise, the structure is just soft enough to allow for near-term drinking, without compromising any integrity or balance. Overall, a great deal, and a new K&L favorite!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-21-2017
Consistently one of my favorite wines in our Spanish selection! This small winery in Laguardia is one of the gems that buyer Joe Manekin brings in directly from Rioja Alaveza. Thankfully for us, they have deep cellars, with plenty of older vintages like this 2005 to charm drinkers! 2005 was one of the greatest Rioja vintages in recent history, and this little Reserva wears its bottle age beautifully. The wine is full bodied with dark fruits and softened tannins, the aromas are of leather, exotic spice, and blackberry. On the palate the wine has great length, and still shows fresh vibrant fruit, with just the right amount of softening and mellowing influence from its time in the cellar.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2015 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 03-21-2017
This is exactly what you want in an easy-drinking weekday red. Malbec is known to be a very approachable varietal, and appeal to a number of palates, but you can certainly run across some poor examples of the grape. Here you have beautiful, quality fruit and fantastic wine making, resulting in an effortless, silky, red fruited wine that feels quite clean and carries just a hint of pepper spice to add to the depth of the wine.

2013 Terroir al Limit "Pedra de Guix" Priorat Blanc
Review Date: 03-17-2017
The “Pedra de Guix” is composed of Garnacha Blanc, Pedro Ximenez, and Macabeo, vinified separately in large oak, and blended to taste. A little less exotic in character than the “Terra de Cuques”, this wine has a definite weight and power, with a waxy, honeycomb texture, and beautifully subtle orange flower aromas. This is certainly the most complex white wine I have tasted from Priorat, and among the top few I've tasted from any country.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
RP 94 VN 93

2013 Terroir al Limit "Terra de Cuques" Priorat Blanc
Review Date: 03-17-2017
Terroir al Limit is one of my favorite wineries in Priorat, and their white wines are particularly intriguing. The “Terra de Cuques” is a blend of Pedro Ximenez and Muscat de Alexandria, macerated on the skins for 15 days, and then aged in concrete. The wine certainly has a forward, honeyed-floral aromatic quality, but is very full and textured on the palate, with striking acidity and plenty of weight. This is a very serious white wine, and built to age.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Terroir al Limit "Torroja" Priorat
Review Date: 03-17-2017
The "Torroja" bottling is considered the flagship wine, sourced from a couple of vineyard sites in the village of Torroja. Made from 50% Garnacha and 50% Cariñena, the wine is whole-cluster pressed, and fermented in concrete and large format, neutral oak. The resultant wine is well-structured, with clean black currant and plum on the palate, highlighted by a savory mushroom note.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2015 Domaine André Vatan "Les Charmes" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-16-2017
For such a small appellation, Sancerre can produce very diverse wines. This snappy little white stands at one end of a spectrum, representing the light, crisp and freshest style of wine produced in the region. It opens surprisingly on the palate with a burst of sweet snap pea, and some underlying floral notes. The acidity is quite lively, keeping the wine fresh and vibrant, and the flinty soils contribute a smoky quality to the finish. If you are a fan of Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs, this may well be up your alley!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2008 Stéphane Cossais "Le Volagré" Montlouis-Sur-Loire
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This is an absolutely beautiful wine, and sadly the last vintage from this producer, who passed away suddenly in 2009. The 2008 vintage was still in barrel, but was bottled by his friend, Frantz Saumon after the appropriate aging time. M. Cossais was dedicated to the art of making very high-quality wines, designed to age. This 100% Chenin Blanc was aged on its lees in large, neutral oak for two years before bottling, and shows the stamp of careful wine-making. The aromas are honeyed and floral, with a waxy, full-bodied texture, and layers of flavor, featuring poached pear, honey crisp apple, and mandarin zest. Colossal, and full of structure, this wine is beginning to drink well now, but will certainly continue to age over the next 5 years at least.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2015 Henry Pellé "Morogues" Menetou-Salon
Review Date: 03-16-2017
Often overlooked in favor of its more renowned neighbor Sancerre, Menetou-Salon is a good spot to find characterful wines at a great price point. A recent addition to our Menetou Salon selection is Henry Pelle's "Morogues". I was particularly pleased to taste this bottle, and find it at once complex and refreshingly easy-drinking. The wine presents clean, stony aromas, without any overly-green notes, and on the palate there is a surprisingly full texture to balance out the citrus fruit. An immediate friend to food, this wine is also light and fun enough to drink on its own.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bodega Garzon Tannat Uruguay
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This wine definitely qualifies as one of the best Tannat's I've run across. Its a challenging varietal--hard to make, hard to love, and difficult to age. Bodega Garzon, however, has hit an excellent balance in their Tannat. Dark-fruited and savory, with tobacco and game notes, this wine displays quite manageable, ripe tannin, and integrated acidity. Easy to love right now, this will probably drink well for the next few years, and is a truly stellar example of the varietal.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2016 Garage Wine Co. Pais
Review Date: 03-16-2017
This is a great expression of the Mission or Pais grape! Perhaps one of the more difficult varietals to make well, this grape has a large presence in Chile, and in its best form can be both a powerful and intriguing wine. This bottle shows smoky, meaty aromas, with bright boysenberry fruit. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied, with exuberant young berry fruit, fine-boned tannin, and bright, tangy acidity. Overall a fresher, lighter style of Pais, but with the dark-fruited smokey intensity that marks this varietal's unique expression.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2014 Garage Wine Co. Cabernet Sauvignon "Lot #61" Maipo Alto
Review Date: 03-16-2017
Hesitant to buy a wine from a smaller wine company in the Maipo at this price? Don't be! This is a gorgeous wine with something of the finesse of Bordeaux and the power of Napa combined into a balanced expression all its own. Garage Wine Co. works with small lots of fruit, sourced from the best vineyards throughout Chile, in this case one of the very best high-elevation Cabernet vineyards. Their wine-making philosophy is almost non-interventionist, with a focus on pure translation of fruit into wine. The Lot 61 Cabernet shows very bold, dark fruit, with plenty of structure and notes of green olive, eucalyptus, and cassis. The wine is neither overly pepper-y nor rough, but rather shows a seamless, smooth whole.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2013 Can Mayol Loxarel "999" Brut Nature Rosat Penedes
Review Date: 03-14-2017
Year after year, this is consistently one of my top Rose bubbles in the richer, darker style. Not to imply that this is a sweet wine. It's quite dry, but has great intensity of cherry and strawberry fruit, with a good textural richness on the palate. Recently, Loxarel has begun to vintage date their Rosat as well as their other wines, demonstrating the time in bottle which their wines receive before release. The quality here is fantastic at this ridiculously low price point.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2010 Can Mayol Loxarel "Reserva Familiar" Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 03-14-2017
Consistently one of the best values in bubbles in the store! Loxarel follows the traditional methode champenois, and spares no effort to create some of the best sparkling wines in the area. The Reserva Familiar rests on its lees for over six years, far more than the minimum in most Champagne houses, and with old vine fruit, grown in high-altitude chalky soils, this is a very serious product, which would hold up to the scrutiny of any Champagne aficionado. What I love about Loxarel is that though they follow the methode champenois, they feature classic Spanish grapes such as Xarel-lo, and the result is a thoroughly exciting wine with an exotic and aromatic quality all its own.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2010 Cune Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-10-2017
This is a classic bottling from an iconic producer! I never fail to be impressed by the Cune wines, and this new vintage of their Gran Reserva is a steal at this price! The wine opens with aromas of red berry, plum and baking spices, accented by a subtle game-y note. On the palate the wine still shows plenty of structure and bright berry fruit, though tempered and softened with the time in barrel and bottle. This wine will no doubt age for years to come, but at the same time is opening up rather beautifully just now.

2015 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-08-2017
Another fantastic vintage of Talley/K&L Chardonnay! Perhaps a little leaner than the last vintage, with very focussed and fresh acidity, the wine still has that creamy, soft fruit that marks the refined Talley style. The blend this year includes one barrel aged in new French oak, to add a nice element of spice and toast, but as a whole the wine remains clean an light in feel.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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