Staff Favorites - Rachel Vogel

Rachel Vogel

Reviews

  
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2011 Proprietà Sperino Lessona
Review Date: 05-24-2017
Hailing from upper Piemonte near the Swiss border, the Sperino Lessona is filled with dense crushed cherry, bold baking spice and savory tobacco on the nose. The small addition of Vespolina helps build those bold aromatics. The wine is fermented with natural yeast and is kept on it's skins for just under three weeks giving it structure and depth. Some lees aging before bottling adds to the full-bodied texture of the wine. It is held to age in bottle for a few years before release to allow the structure of the wine to integrate. When I first opened the bottle the tannins were filled with baking spice and had almost a granulated texture, but when I tasted it a few hours later, the structure was focused and elongated. It is a beautiful wine filled with complex fruit and spice character that is completely delicious now, but could continue to age for the next 5+ years.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WE 96

2014 Antica Masseria di Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria
Review Date: 05-23-2017
The region of Manduria is known for it's hot and dry weather which creates juicy and opulent primitivos. The regional influence mixed with the slightly cooler growing season in 2014 gives this juicy wine more balance and subtlety than expected. The Antica Masseria vineyards are planted on limestone and clay, unusual for the area, which adds complexity and minerality to the softly structured wine. Full of bold purple fruit flavors with the decadence we come love in primitivos and the more balanced acidity mixes together for an integrated and approachable glass of wine.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2011 Sportoletti "Villa Fidelia" Umbria Rosso
Review Date: 05-21-2017
A bold Super Tuscan influenced by the vintage's August heat wave. The warm weather rested on the vines and particularly influenced the delicate Merlot grapes in early ripening bringing intensity, richness and a streamline of deep purple fruits into the bottle. Early harvest and irrigation that was possible from mid summer rain kept all grapes from over ripening and helped them hold onto enough natural acidity to balance the bold wine. The Cab Sauv and Cab Franc keep the wine spicey and softly structured making it layered and ready to drink!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 RP 92

2014 Remo Farina Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso
Review Date: 05-13-2017
While some may have valid concerns of the 2014 vintage in Valpolicella due to heavy rain and hail, the Remo Farina can put those concerns to rest. In addition to the Farina family's vineyards being at a higher elevation, which kept them open to the gentle summer winds keeping the vines dryer than some, meticulous grape selection kept any botrytis affected grapes out of the pack. Their great positioning and hard effort paid off and created an excellent 2014 Ripasso with an expressive cherry cola and mocha nose and elegant richness on the palate. The time in European oak adds structure and spice to the already intriguing wine.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2012 Felsina "Rancia" Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 05-12-2017
While the hot and dry 2012 vintage kept some Chianti winemakers on the edge of their seat, a bit of rain at the end of August brought relief and extended the growing season for the thick-skinned grape. That extra ripening is apparent as the aromatics of the wine jump out of the glass, The wine is structured yet pure with deep and inviting classic Sangiovese plum notes and fresh baking spice. Enjoyably paired with food now and filled with aging potential.

2015 Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 05-12-2017
Don't overlook this crisp and bright Sauv Blanc from one of Marlborough's original producers. Brancott, originally named Montana, was on the scene from day one purchasing some of the best vineyard sites in the area and now they have some of the oldest vines in the valley. All estate fruit, this price-friendly white is filled with those classic notes of fresh green veggies--including chive and tomato vines. Very similar to the beloved flavors from Cloudy Bay. It is layered with hints of ripe tropical fruit and some white stone fruit. Some clean minerality is carried from beginning to end on the palate and the zesty acidity keeps it long and lean. Great with fish, fresh summer veggies or to just sit and enjoy on the porch on a warm summer evening!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
BC 90 WS 90

2008 Fallet-Dart Vintage Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-08-2017
Fresh, zippy, bright--these are some of the terms you will hear us use to describe this enchanting vintage champagne from Fallet Dart, but we wouldn't be doing it justice if we didn't also describe it as complex, with spice and earth, while having depth of fruit from the 30% of Pinot Noir, and its amazing ability age. While this would be a fantastic, refreshing champagne to enjoy during these next few warm summer months, it also is filled to the brim with potential aging characteristics. The acidity will mellow, the spice and fruit will be brought forward and it will continue to be lush and complex. I say get two bottles--one to enjoy soon and one reward yourself with later! At under $40 you won't regret it!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi
Review Date: 05-08-2017
Need a weekday treat for pizza, pasta, or even grilled meats- this bargain Sangiovese dominant Chianti is perfect! Farnetella hits the nail on the head again with earthy, dynamic aromas filled with dried herbs and deep ripe fruit. The palate is fresh and juicy from the small bit of Merlot added to the wine and has a soft, round texture from some time in oak barrels. The elongated Sangiovese acidity extends the palate on the end as it finishes with more of that fresh raspberry flavor.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 05-08-2017
The 50+ year old vines of the Vigne di Catullo are planted at the bottom of the Alps near Lake Garda which provides clay soil rich in mineral salts. Alongside the long growing season (the grapes are picked the second week of October), this contributes to the complexity of the wine. It begins with notes of fresh lemon and lemon pith encompassed by white flowers and soft yellow orchard fruit. It is lively on the palate filled with that citrus pith and floral character along side graceful acidity, minerality and longevity. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel allowing it to show the true character of the region while still bringing a beautiful weight and texture to the medium bodied white wine. Such character and complexity at a stellar price!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Ermacora Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli
Review Date: 04-29-2017
The last vintage of the Ermacora was the first I had tried. It was bright, balanced and clean- an absolutely stunning Pinot Grigio. This vintage is all those things and more. The warmth of the 2015 adds an elegant texture and ripeness to the wine. While the acidity is still very fresh it seems more elegant than the year before and the stony undertone softly glides on the palate. The fruit character is full of ripe lemon that almost extends to yellow apple flavors. Since no oak is used during wine making, the vintage is very balanced. A go-to summer white for me!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$12.99

2016 Domaine la Colombe Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-29-2017
A staff summer favorite from vintage to vintage! The nose is bright and floral with notes of honeycomb. The palate is full of fresh berries and watermelon while still showing its floral side. It is dry with clean minerality and bright citrus acidity reminding me of pink grapefruit. Perfect to enjoy on a warm summer day or at an evening barbecue!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2012 Agostino Bosco "La Serra" Barolo
Review Date: 04-29-2017
While the 2012 vintage kept winemakers on their toes, a few months of high heat brought intensity and boldness to the La Serra Barolo. The nose is layered with leather and dark ripe fruit with just tiny hints of the classic floral as the wine opens up. The strong tannic structure is matched with a higher alcohol than some previous vintages and some gentle acidity to lift the palate. While the wine is currently full of complexity, I think that some of it's potential is masked behind its adolescence. Definitely a wine to be patient with.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 VN 91

2014 Villa Pillo "Borgoforte" Toscana
Review Date: 04-28-2017
Fresh, dense crushed cherry and menthol characters jump off the nose of this value Super Tuscan. The meaty, chewy tannins are met with bold acidity that brightens the deep fruit character. Complex & intriguing- especially for the price!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2011 Poggiarellino Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Both the producer and vintage characteristics add to the full-bodied, plump characteristics of the 2011 Poggarellino Brunello. While the acidity and tannins are still quite young, the depth and boldness of the dark plum fruit creates a more balanced wine than many young Brunellos. The nose is filled with ripe fruit, savory mushroom and spice. A herbal character on the palate adds a layer of complexity and the long finish is filled with a savory plum skin character.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2011 Baccinetti "La Saporoia" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-25-2017
The 2011 Saporoia is filled with classic Baccinetti character. The nose exudes bold spice and fresh herbs with just a hint of ripe cherries and plums. The palate begins with the ripe dark fruit and that herbaceous quality. Woody tannins from time in barrel and the young acidity extend to the savory, plum skin finish. Complex and dynamic- especially for the price!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2011 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 04-25-2017
Like many 2011 Brunellos, the Sesta di Sopra is filled with fresh cherry and ripe fruit complexities both on the nose and palate. The nose starts off soft and hidden but builds and becomes bold, bright and fresh. The savory tannins benefit from decanting by becoming elongated and balanced with the young acidity. It is a beautiful wine to drink now, but one that will age gracefully.

2016 Tatomer Edna Valley Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 04-22-2017
The Tatomer Edna Valley PN rose is gunning for my favorite domestic rose of the season. The bright, aromatic nose is filled with ripe strawberries and a hint of green fruit. It is light bodied with crunchy acidity, dry minerality and that delicious berry flavor. It is fresh, elongated and mouthwatering. Perfectly refreshing for a summer day!
Price: $23.99 Add To Cart

2014 Tornatore "Pietrarizzo" Etna Rosso
Review Date: 04-22-2017
Bold baking spice and bold fresh fruit aromas fight each other for top appearance on the nose. The med/light bodied wine is full of fresh red cherries with a hint of cherry skin. The acidity balances the integrated, savory structure of the wine as it melds with the volcanic minerality. A food friendly wine for anything from cocktails to barbeque.

2015 Tornatore "Pietrarizzo" Etna Bianco
Review Date: 04-22-2017
Being a fan of Etna Bianco wines, I am definitely a fan of this Pietrarizzo! While it is a little more floral and ripe than some of Biancos I have had, the gentle spice and clean minerality often found in the region is apparent in the wine. The slightly more viscous, ripe mid palate of the Tornatore balances delicately with the volcanic minerality and fresh lemon acidity bringing a light to medium bodied wine with a long, smooth finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WE 91

2013 Le Filigare "Lorenzo" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 04-19-2017
If you are newer to Tuscan wines, this Chianti Classico is a great place to start. The riper, fuller vintage of 2013 shows beautifully in the fleshy, juicy fruit of this balanced wine. The dusty tannins and active acidity gracefully lead into a beautiful deep plum finish. A perfect pairing for grilled summer meats!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JS 93

2013 Sportoletti Assisi Rosso
Review Date: 04-10-2017
Looking for a great value red? The Assisi Rosso from Umbria is just that! This Sangiovese-dominant wine is complex to the core. With all the flashy, wine making techniques out there, the winemakers at Sportoletti have allowed the Assisi to be naturally delicious. Allowing that has brought a seriously complex, fresh, full-bodied and balanced wine to our glass. It's outstanding--especially for the price!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Falesco Vitiano Rosso
Review Date: 04-10-2017
Equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create an intriguing, modern Umbria Rosso. While it has some Super Tuscan- like qualities, the wine has softer wood tannins and more fleshy fruit on the palate. The nose is spicy and smokey. The fresh red and black fruit brightens up the palate while the spice elongates the finish.
Price: $9.95 Add To Cart
JS 91

2015 Tenuta Carretta Gavi
Review Date: 04-10-2017
It is difficult enough to make a great Gavi di Gavi, but Tenuta Carretta is spot on. The nose of the wine is full of sweet citrus and meyer lemon. That meyer lemon is mirrored on the palate with fresh acidity and a light body. Perfect for summer sippin'
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 D'Amico NOE Orvieto
Review Date: 04-10-2017
A beautiful, aromatic Orvieto with engaging complexity. It has the fresh acidity and minerality often found from the region with wonderful texture and balance from the warm 2015 vintage. All is tied together with layers of spice and savory elements to create a long, enjoyable finish.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99
JS 91

2012 Castellare di Castellina "I Sodi di San Niccolò" Toscana
Review Date: 04-04-2017
An elegant and pure nose pours into a glass full of fresh red fruit and soft balancing acidity in this Super Tuscan. Allowing the Sodi to open up is necessary for it to become the soft and gracious wine it is. The graceful, long finish is filled with gentle earth character and that classic savory Sangiovese element. Beautiful from beginning to end.

2015 Boekenhoutskloof "The Wolftrap" Red Blend Western Cape
Review Date: 04-04-2017
Wow! I never expected the complexity, character and depth I find in the Wolftrap to come from a $9 bottle of wine! It blends all the wonderful earthy and spicy character of a Rhone wine with the fresh, bright fruit you expect from South Africa. A perfect bottle to enjoy mid week or weekend!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2014 Cantina Terlan "Vorberg" Pinot Bianco Alto Adige Riserva
Review Date: 03-29-2017
I love a good age-worthy white wine and this Terlan Pinot Bianco is just that. The depth and texture of the wine reminds me of a premier cru Bourgogne blanc, making it a wonderful wine to enjoy now, the high elevation of the vineyard site adds acidity making it cellar-friendly. If enjoying now you will find a light aromatics that lead into a beautiful floral and full bodied wine. It is elegant and not overreaching. Stunning from start to finish.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
VN 94 WE 92

2015 St-Michael-Eppan "Schulthauser" Pinot Bianco Alto Adige
Review Date: 03-27-2017
As much as I love a good Italian Pinot Grigio, lately the Pinot Biancos have been getting my attention. The St. Michael Eppan is full of sophisticated aromatics as well as elegances and balance that is carried from nose to palate. The warmth from the 2015 vintage shows through the weight, texture and yellow orchard fruit character on the mid palate. The regional acidity of the Alto Adige softly carries the wine into a long, graceful finish.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 JS 91

2015 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 03-26-2017
The color of this wine always stops me in my tracks. The concentrated gold color comes from the extra time on the vines, not oak. It starts with rich aromatics of fresh citrus and spice that leads into a full bodied, elongated and balanced wine. It has the elegance of an oaked wine with fresh, mineral driven fineness.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 Argiano "Solengo" Toscana
Review Date: 03-21-2017
The word "Solengo" means "lone wild boar," which I think is the perfect name for this austere, meaty, spicy wine. It is full of bold fruit, structure and deep complexity. The deep nose pulls you in with scents blackberry and spice then leads you into a palate of rich dark berries and integrated structure. A backbone of stern acidity carries the wine from start to finish. An elaborate wine to enjoy now or keep.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94

2015 Ronco Blanchis Pinot Grigio Collio
Review Date: 03-14-2017
A bold nose filled with the spice and minerality common from the soil of the region. The palate is long and clean with lifted citrus notes and a long mineral finish. There is also a beautiful weight on the mid palate stemming from the exceptional 2015 vintage that grows and develops with complexity as the wine opens in the glass.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2013 La Monacesca "Mirum" Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva
Review Date: 03-13-2017
With a higher and older vineyard site and a longer growing season (on the vine until late October) than other wines in the region, the Mirum is deeper, broader and has more complex aromatics. The full weight of the wine is paired with fresh tropical and orchard fruit as well citrus peel and baking spice. It is complemented by a lifting acidity and fresh minerality. Balance and complexity will have you returning to your glass.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart
W&S 92 WE 91

2015 Caravaglio Malvasia Bianco Secca Salina Sicily
Review Date: 03-13-2017
While many people expect a sweet dessert style Malvasia when coming from Sicily, this wine steps away form the norm in great direction. The tropical fruit is accompanied by rounded weight and is complimented by salty minerality from start to finish. The nose reminds me of a dry Riesling, full of juicy fruit and floral characteristics. Long lived and easy to love white.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$15.99
VN 90

2015 Lunae Colli di Luni Vermentino
Review Date: 03-12-2017
A stunning bright, clean and linear Vermentino from Northwest Tuscany. Lean and light bodied with bright citrus fruit and driving minerality. Perfectly refreshing to enjoy on a sunny day!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2011 Bodegas Muga "Selección Especial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 03-07-2017
I have a new obsession with Riojas and this Muga is bringing me in deeper. The prominent nose is filled with fresh red fruit, baking spice and dry earth. The smooth but impactful structure is elongated on the side palate with flavors that match the nose. A mix of dried herbs and deep, engulfing fruit adds a vivid strength to the finish. This is a gorgeous food wine that is easily enjoyed now!

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-04-2017
We have found a hidden treasure! I couldn't be happier that more of this incredible vintage was found hiding at the winery. The extra few months on the lees has added complexity, weight and longevity to the bright and lively blanc de blanc. The 2009 vintage is known to be richer and more full bodied than previous vintages, but I've found this champagne to be full of fresh acidity and a younger profile than excepted. An easy wine to enjoy now with the ability to age!
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2013 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-16-2017
A ripe and meaty full-bodied Chianti with fresh black cherry characteristics strong on the weighted palate. It's depth and complexities extend from beginning to end of the glass as the finish streams into the classic savory Sangiovese flavors, dried violets and meaty tannins.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2013 Bibi Graetz "Soffocone di Vincigliata" Toscana
Review Date: 01-09-2017
A deliciously dirty wine. Ripe, plush and vibrant- it is open and inviting with deep flavors of fresh black berries accompanied by lean acidity and balanced with savory, chewy tannins. Its luscious finish is filled with dried violets and herbs.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
JS 91 WS 90

2013 Antinori "Peppoli" Chianti Classico
Review Date: 01-09-2017
A harmonious marriage of cooler region delicacy and freshness, and warmer vintage weight and depth. The nose is graceful and complex with aromas of fresh violets. The palate is lifted, lean, and layered with pretty floral notes a dry finish. Elegance in a glass!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$17.99
JS 92

2014 Baracchi "O'Lillo!" Toscana
Review Date: 12-27-2016
An unrestrained nose of ripe berries and dark fruit with hints of fresh cedar and spice feeds into a medium-bodied wine that is youthful and vibrant. The juicy, energetic fruit adds depth in the glass with layers of red berries to black berries to ripe plums intertwining with flavors of tobacco, earth, and leather. Delicious and intriguing wine that is easy to enjoy!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
JS 93 WS 90

2012 Villa Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 12-06-2016
Fresh cherry, dry earth and savory notes on the nose become integrated and elegant as the wine opens up in the glass. These flavors are complemented on the palate with the polished and light structure of the wine. At first, the ripe fruit is the star of the show but as time progresses the spice really begins to shine. Throughout it all, an underline of classic Sangiovese savoriness gives depth to each sip.

2013 Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva
Review Date: 12-05-2016
Down in the heel of Italy's boot is a small DOC in Pulgia called Salice Salentino. They are best known for dark, deep and earthy wines. The Leone De Castris is no excpetion, but in my opinion, has a little more fineness than expected. While the nose and palate are full of flavors of black plums and figs with a rounded mouth feel from the time in barrel, the acidity is focused and driven and effortlessly helps the palate transition from dusty tannins and earth to rich fruit and woody spices. The best part is the wine can stand up to those big, flavorful braised dishes we all crave during the chilly winter months!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2013 Tenuta Sette Ponti "Oreno" Toscana
Review Date: 11-11-2016
As I admired the beautiful ruby color of this wine the abundant aromatics jumped out of the glass. The perfume was deep, masculine and meaty with lively baking spice and tobacco. The bold flavors on the palate matched the wonderful fragrance of the wine. The tobacco melded with dark cocoa powder and were kings on the palate. The fruit was deep, subtle and streamlined under the lively spice and lifting acid. The wine is complex and gallant without being aggressive. The dusty, chewy tannins and cocoa powder last long in the finish where the dark ripe fruit shows a little more vibrancy.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
JS 97

2012 Prunotto Barolo
Review Date: 11-08-2016
A perfect barolo to drink during the holidays! This lighter style barolo has abundant aromatics of cloves, cardamom and dry herbs such as oregano and thyme. It is elegant on the palate with gentle woody structure that highlights the dry herbaceous quality. It is also not short on any fruit characteristics. Cherry, strawberry and fresh raspberry add youthfulness to the wine and pop on the dry, lifted finish. A barolo to drink while you wait for others to age!
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart
JS 91

2014 Antinori "Cervaro della Sala" Chardonnay Umbria
Review Date: 11-07-2016
A brilliantly intriguing wine. The nose begins with clean, bright citrus aromatics that has a hint of a richness hidden underneath. The first sip begins with great weight and develops into a leaner, crisper wine as it continues. The wine is extremely well balanced. A gentle, but mouthwatering acidity lifts the palate while a light underlining of minerality adds complexity without undermining the full body of the wine.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
JS 96 WS 91

2012 Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 10-30-2016
A beautiful lush nose starts this wine off on the right foot. The palate continues with gracious structure, ripe deep cherry and fig, and a hidden hint of savory dried plums. The finish is long filled with dry earth and gentle tannins. It is layered, intriguing and elegant. You couldn't ask for more!

2015 Belisario "Vignetti del Cerro" Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 10-18-2016
Crisp and elegant, this white wine offers so much! It has a beautiful weight and mouthfeel from the extra time the grapes spend on the vine. It is clean with deep flavors of green apples and pears. It has a slight undertone of salinity giving it an extra layer of flavor. Absolutely delicious white!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Murgo Brut Rosé Spumante Sicily
Review Date: 10-18-2016
A 100% Nerello Mascalese sparkling rose brings all the things I love about sparkling wines and all the things I love about Mt Etna wines to one delicious bottle. The wine is made in the classic method bringing the fineness and character of great champagne to the savory herbaceousness and lean minerality of the region. It is light on the palate but layered with floral notes, fresh herbs, and a hint of red berries.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 92 W&S 90

2015 Torti Pinot Nero Bianco Oltrepo Pavese
Review Date: 10-05-2016
It is always fun to have something a little out of the box, and a still, white Pinot Noir is just that. The nose is full and vibrant and lends to the tremendous flavors on the palate. The wine is rich with red orchard fruit but given a lift on the tongue from the balanced acid. There is minerality on the back of the palate to make the wine even more intriguing. If you are ready to enjoy something new, this is the wine to grab!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2013 Torti Pinot Noir IGP Pavia
Review Date: 10-04-2016
This wine is full of flavor! Great plump, juicy red and purple fruits brought together with a backbone of allspice. The soft tannins bring a sophisticated feel to the medium-bodied wine that last long on the finish. Easy to enjoy with food or on its own !
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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