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Staff Favorites - John Majeski

John Majeski

Reviews

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2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Blanc (Corsica)
Review Date: 11-19-2019
Have yet to visit Corsica, but fortunately Corsica has paid multiple visits to our shores, at least in the guise of its delightful, highly evocative wines. Domaine Petroni might give a classical Latin scholar pause, but it has nothing in common with Gaius Petronius, the famous Roman author of the Satyricon, except perhaps for the lusty nature of its luscious fruit. Petroni’s own classic, straw-hued Vermentinu, planted in sandy and clay soils within proximity of the sea, has inviting aromas and a vivacious palate of saline, acacia blossom, white peach and citrus fruits, with mouthwatering minerality. Pair with grilled sea bass, shellfish or pesto pizza for a perfectly lovely dinner. You will be seduced!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine de Verquière Rasteau
Review Date: 11-19-2019
The terroirs of Rasteau contain a kaleidoscopic admixture of soils from marls and pebbles to clay-chalk and gravels, each contributing to the complex profile of the wines. Thibaut Chamfort of Domaine Verquiere invests the accumulated experience of four generations of winemaking in every glistening bottle that leaves the cellar, and his wines have proven to be an irresistible favorite with our customers. Youthfully vibrant fruit unveils aromas of blackcurrants, cherries and baking spices with exuberant flavors of ripe black plums and blueberries and a balanced scaffold of tannins on the pleasurable finish. Excellent paired with a wintry cottage pie of grass-fed beef, sharp cheddar, peas and carrots smothered in mashed potatoes.
Top Value!

2017 Coudoulet de Beaucastel Côtes-du-Rhône
Review Date: 11-18-2019
If you love Chateauneuf-du-Pape reds as much as I do, but would prefer not to spend fifty plus dollars for it, I have a suggestion. Chateau de Beaucastel annually produces one of the most sought after Chateauneufs in the Rhone Valley, and any remaining wine often ends up in their second bottling, the Coudoulet de Beaucastel, a deeply-hued, richly aromatic wine that manifests much of the complexity and elegance of its big brother at roughly one third the price. Layers of ripe cherry, brambly dark fruits, licorice and spice play upon the palate, with a distinctive dry mineral aspect that expresses the structure and seriousness of this wine. An absolute must for anyone who appreciates the intrinsic quality and beauty of the Rhone Valley and its wines.

Montechiara Prosecco
Review Date: 11-10-2019
Prosecco is the Italian sparkler universally admired for its appeal as both aperitif and cocktail 'fizzer upper,' but Glera, the primary grape variety from which it is made, may have actually originated in Croatia or Slovenia. One legend reported by Ian D'Agata (Native Wine Grapes of Italy) has Glera as the source grape for 'pucinum', the famous wine adored by the Empress Livia Drusilla, wife of Emperor Octavian Augustus. Ok, enough long-winded history, the best way to enjoy Prosecco is not with your head buried in a dense though excellent wine book, but with wonderful friends and loved ones during the holidays or any day that calls for a festive, crisply delicious citrus, pear and apple inflected sparkler!
Top Value!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2018 Matt Connell "Rendition" Pinot Noir Central Otago
Review Date: 11-04-2019
Alone at my coffee-stained wooden desk at the stroke of midnight, eyes transfixed on the rotary phone whose somber black color reflected my mood… waiting… waiting for it to ring, even though Detective Garamendi knew that Rita had likely skipped town with the cash and was halfway to Rio by now. Wait a minute, this was supposed to be about Pinot Noir, not Film Noir ... when suddenly the mauve curtains exploded and Rita came at me full throttle with a raised bottle. I grabbed her slender wrist in midstrike, snatched it and told her to just sit down. I reached behind the liquor cabinet, grabbed two glasses, poured and swirled. Rita always had better taste in wine than men, so I knew this would be good. First sip, no slips. This satiny textured Central Otago number danced like Astaire on the tongue, with lithe acidity and a lovely core of black cherry and raspberry, nutmeg and chocolate orange peel, caressed by smooth tannin. Soft moonlight played off the jewel-like wine label as Rita and I polished off the bottle, and still had time to catch the red-eye to Rio.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Xavier Vignon "SM" Côtes du Rhône (2016)
Review Date: 11-02-2019
This special wine is an iconoclastic blending of the superb 2015 and 2016 vintages. A brilliant rhapsody between northern Rhône Syrah, with its peppermill, olive, and roasted black plum aromatics, and hearty Grenache from the southern Rhône, with its capricious dark cherry and spicy notes, this wine generates a rondo of rich, bold flavors that envelops the palate and rewards the senses. 94 JD, 93 RP
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 Banshee Sonoma County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-30-2019
The wonderful coastal Pinot Noirs from Banshee have developed quite a following with our faithful over the years, so much so that I've affectionately named them 'Bansheestas!' And the latest lusty incarnation of their handpicked, destemmed Sonoma County Pinot leaves little doubt that their refined approach works to extract every aromatic atom possible from each cluster of grapes. By selectively choosing fruit from 18 vineyard sites, they ensure that the wine delivers both superb depth and the savory, ravishing character produced from brambly, perfectly ripened fruit. Modestly priced for the quality borne!
Top Value!
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart

2016 Xavier Vignon "Cuvée Anonyme" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 10-15-2019
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Xavier Vignon has, over several decades, advised, consulted with and built formidable relations with some of the finest names in the Southern Rhone and this provocative, nameless wine is a superb expression of what can be achieved with creative barrel treatments, consummate knowledge of terroir and magisterial blending. Aromas of violets, plums and blueberries followed by a lavish crush of dark fruits, kirsch and exotic spices flood the palate, with silky tannins entwined throughout the bravura finish. Drink up!

2015 Xavier Vignon Lirac
Review Date: 10-15-2019
2015 was yet another superb vintage in the Rhone, and this savory blend is uncommonly dominated by 80% Syrah, with the rest Grenache. A resoundingly luscious cavalcade of plummy ripe fruits, ballasted by garrigue, black olive and peppery notes that reveal the finesse and seductive richness inherent in all of Vignon’s wines. A textbook Lirac, displaying balance, power and inimitable charm.
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Lirac Rouge
Review Date: 09-25-2019
"At first taste, it promised and withheld itself; it lay trembling upon the tongue, begging the reassurance of a kindly palate; this granted, it gently opened, responding to the new, internal intimacy..."- John LeCarre. A stolen quote from a far more word-gifted gentleman about a different wine, but the sentiments are true, as this excellent domaine produces, in addition to their much sought after Chateauneuf-du-Pape bottlings, one of the greatest wines from Lirac, a scant stone's throw across the Rhone River. What I found memorable about this Lirac, apart from the laughably low price, was the sheer dimension of winemaking, the unbridled, plush aromas, resplendent fruit and fresh acidity that burst forth like a sleek thoroughbred upon the palate, ran the course and finished smooth and elegant. Right out of the gate I knew this was a winner!

2017 Diatom "Katherine's" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-25-2019
This captivating Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay takes its name from the microscopic, elegantly blown-glass shaped diatoms that floated freely in our oceans millions of years ago, and gave up the ghost, leaving literally zillions of tiny fossils that helped form our beautiful coast. The lemony vibrancy and chalklike minerality of this crystal-pure, marine-influenced white wine can thank their humble sacrifice. Richly evocative, this wine unwinds beautifully in the glass, and it would be difficult find a finer example of unoaked Chardonnay in California.

2015 Marqués de Murrieta "Finca Ygay" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 09-24-2019
The birth of traditional winemaking in Rioja can be traced back to 1852, when Luciano Murrieta established his historic winery in the town of Logrono, and built Finca Ygay, an impressive chateau inspired by those he'd visited while study abroad in Bordeaux. Now grown to over 300 hectares, the winery went through extensive modernization during the 1980s, and continues to turn out textbook Rioja wines. The 2015 Reserva displays elegant notes of well-ripened blackberries, dried orange peel, pastilles, and baking spices. An admirable, well-integrated blend of Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, and Garnacha that will pair nicely with grilled lamb and roasted vegetables.

2018 Domaine Petroni Corse Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 08-18-2019
This scintillating Corsican rose is blended from three varieties, right? Everyone knows Grenache of course. But unless you study wine with due diligence you might not know, or recall from your memory blanks, that Niellucciu was originally brought to Corsica from Pisa in the 12th century, and is actually Sangiovese, or that Sciaccarellu is an ancient aromatic grape first grown in Tuscany, where it is better known as Mammolo, from its memorable scent of ‘viola mammola’, or violets. Now that we know all that we can better appreciate the true beauty and personality of this crisp and delightfully fragrant rose, redolent of orchard fruits, cherries wild maquis and hmm…violets. Enjoy!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2017 Château de L'Ou "Compartir" Cotes du Roussillon Villages Rouge
Review Date: 08-17-2019
Voluptuous, from the Latin 'voluptus. meaning 'full of pleasure, a word often given to qualities of a ripe Rubenesque nature, but in vinous parlance voluptuous translates as pure delectation of the fruit as unveiled in the glass, sensual. arresting, attractive and complete. As 'Compartir' means to share, this resplendent Roussillon blend is meant above all to be shared, nothing held back in the vineyard, the winemaking or the final bottle that finds its way to your table. A gorgeous, full-bodied union of perfectly ripe Grenache and Syrah, this seductive wine exudes floral notes of wildflowers and violets, red and black berries, wet earth and dark chocolate. In a word, voluptuous.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2018 Les Roches Sauvignon Touraine
Review Date: 08-17-2019
This joyful, mineral-inflected, citrus-infused Sauvignon Blanc is grown on clay and frangible tuffe soils near the marriage of two rivers, the Cher and Loire. I could work a pun in by remarking how ‘sunny’ the Cher beams during the heights of the growing season, but I’ll restrain myself. Suffice to say that this refreshing white doesn’t hold back on flavor, but flaunts its fruit with textural whiffs of lemon, grapefruit and pineapple. Try it with batter-fried calamari for a light summer brunch!
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2018 Quinta das Arcas "Arca Nova" Rosé Vinho Verde
Review Date: 08-12-2019
Most of you are probably familiar with Touriga Nacional, Portugal's noble red variety, but have you ever heard of Espadeiro? Native to both Spanish Galicia and the Minho region in northwestern Portugal, this late-ripening, low sugar variety thrives on granite soils in the moist, cool climate of Vinho Verde, and traditionally was planted as a tree climbing vine to increase the canopy and lower its productivity. Darker tinted than most roses, with aromas of grapefruit. blood orange and strawberry, this possesses all the vitality, freshness and verve you'd expect from a Vinho Verde, with more fruit expression and immediate vinous pleasure. A wine to open and relish throughout the extended summer months.....
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

2017 Lamouroux Blanc, Graves
Review Date: 07-29-2019
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Haven't reviewed a Bordeaux Blanc from Graves in awhile... scratch, scratch wonder why, especially since I find them to be some of the most scintillating, elegant and vibrantly alive white wines anywhere. This captivating version hails from Cerons and exemplifies the labors of an industrious Tuscan gent who undertook extensive modernization of the cellar, and brings years of experience to these wines. Eight months in stainless with lees contact, delivering pleasant flavors of fresh citrus, summer melon, white flowers and mineral nuances, this luscious white wine will pair well with raw oysters, sea bass or a rich bouillabaise. A stunning achievement, especially at this lovely price!
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Angels & Cowboys Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 07-29-2019
"You can tell where a working cowboy is from by the crease in his hat." Never knew this factoid about the cowboy way, but of course there are plenty of cowboy factoids that have evaded me in my mundane city-slicker life. I may not know the difference between las chaparreras (aka 'chaps') and chapstick, but I do know something about wine, and would hit the trail with a bottle wrapped in a bedroll of this supple as a worn saddle red any day of the week. Born of all the right stuff, brambly Zinfandel, spicy Syrah, robust Carignane, plush Petite Sirah and velvety Malbec, one smooth sip might spur you on to drink more! Time to round up all your friends.....
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart

2017 Domaine du Somail "Vin de Plume" Minervois
Review Date: 07-17-2019
If you happen to be in the quaint canal village of Le Somail you might need to seek some shade, so why not visit the private Hat Museum, a place straight out of Dr. Seuss, where you curious cats can admire over 6000 hats from every era and around the world. Afterwards, a stroll to a quayside cafe where you can plop down with a bottle of this glistening red wine, redolent with blackberries, leather, earth notes and a scent of herbs, a beautiful evocation of rustic Minervois fruit, mostly Mourvedre, with Syrah to add ever more nuance to the blend. I'll finish by saying "Hat's off!" to a truly marvelous wine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2018 Maritma "The 4 Old Guys" Sangiovese Toscana
Review Date: 07-10-2019
Take a Pizza bubbling hot from the oven, slathered in piquant tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, onions, black olives and mushrooms, or any combination of toppings that you desire, as pizza is that most democratic of dishes. Now grab a fresh bottle of 2018 Maritma "Four Old Guys" Sangiovese. uncork it and pour yourself a glass. My review of the last vintage paid loving homage to Fellini, Monica Bellucci and Borsalinos, but I'll just cut to the quick while the pizza is still hot. Mouthwatering dark plums and black cherry fruit caressed by Tuscan dust and vibrant acidity, this bright, polished Sangiovese is the perfect savory companion to that bubbling pie catching your eye. Bevi!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Pinna Fidelis Crianza Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 06-30-2019
It's common knowledge that poor soils make great wine. Vines under stress send their roots deeper into the soil, and lacking sufficient hydration, generate smaller, more intensely concentrated fruit. Consider the general growing conditions in Ribera del Duero, where days can be blisteringly hot and nights soothingly cool, an ideal predicament for producing powerful, structured wines with abundant fruit, rich tannins and high acidity. Pinna Fidelis, founded in 2001, is a relatively new producer in the region near Penafiel, but their fine wines are already noteworthy for their youthful exuberance, showcasing bold, robust aromas and flavors of tar, leather, dark chocolate and blackberry. Decant for an hour and enjoy with grilled meats or a lusty paella .
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2018 Château de Montfaucon Lirac Rosé
Review Date: 06-23-2019
Our consummate faith in the extraordinary wines of Chateau de Montfaucon just hit a new dazzle with the introduction of this high-toned rose, a harmonious medley of Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Carignan and Clairette. Reminiscent in hue and style of the finest wines of nearby Tavel, this fleshy, complex rose is suffused with voluminous flavors of cherry, wild strawberry and garrigue. Pair with an abundant platter of buttery, garlicky grilled shrimp for a delicious meal.
Top Value!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Lilian Ladouys, St-Estèphe
Review Date: 06-01-2019
This historic property underwent a renovation some years ago, consolidating the best parcels of vines grown on gravel and clay-limestone soils. This also involved a complete modernization of the production facilities and installation of over 1,000 select oak casks for optimal aging. A blend of roughly 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc, revealing notes of cassis, cranberry, and dark chocolate, held together by complex tannins, this wine can be enjoyed now but will age for another decade.

2016 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 05-29-2019
Contrary to popularly-held belief, sparkling wine originated with Benedictine Monks in the Limoux region of southern France, over a century before Dom Perignon was a babbling bubble in his mother's arms. Antech is a family-owned winery dating back six generations, and has perfected the production of deliciously affordable sparkling wines grown in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Pale rose-tinted and without dosage, the Emotion delivers crisp, subtle notes of red berries and delicate spice, a delightful aperitif on its own or happy to complement everything from Hamachi sushi to a platter of deep-fried calamari.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2017 Joan d'Anguera "Altaroses" Montsant
Review Date: 05-29-2019
With the recent separatist vote for independence from Spain igniting both controversy and international headlines, Catalonia remains a distinctive, semi-autonomous region with its own unique language,colorful flag and ancient culture. Fortunately this hasn't imperiled the brilliant wines that flow from the area, or the vision of those who pour their intimate knowledge, acumen and passion into each bottle. Just opened the newest release of Altaroses from Celler Joan d'Anguera in Montsant, This has been one of my favorite Garnaxta wines for several vintages, perhaps because it reveals the immaculate purity and integrity of the low-yield, biodynamically grown fruit with such elan and grace, Fermented with whole clusters and native yeasts, and aged for one year in neutral oak, this bright, exuberantlt juicy Catalan red is an evocation and a tribute to the beautiful land and independent people of its birth.
Top Value!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 04-30-2019
Nestled near the magnificent southern shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy, the Lugana DOC is home to fragrant, distinctive white wines that mirror the pure lacustrine breezes that flow through the vineyards, lengthening the growing season and adding structure, textural finesse and complexity to the fruit. Tenuta Roveglia was founded by Federico Zweifel, a Swiss emigrant who first planted vines in Lugana in the nineteenth century. Over time the estate grew to cover 250 acres, many of which were planted to the obscurely named Turbiana grape, better known as Verdicchio, one of Italy’s great white grapes. Riserva wines in Lugana are required to age two years prior to release, and this straw-colored wine, named for the sensualist Roman poet Catullus, is animated by rich and evocative flavors of ripe orchard fruits, meadow flowers, lemon meringue and melon, with lingering almond notes on the slightly saline finish. A wine to inspire the poet, cook and lover in us all…..
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 E. Guigal Saint-Joseph Rouge
Review Date: 04-27-2019
The elegant, well-crafted wines of Guigal never fail to inspire and enthrall. Saint-Joseph's signature granite soils lend focus and tension to this classic Northern Rhone Syrah, revealing a harmonious mid-weight texture and suave aromatic profile, with savory notes of leather, dried cherry, raspberry, licorice and peppery spice. Tannins are well-integrated and supple, leading to a long, pure thoroughbred finish. A great value from a spectacular vintage.

2016 Domaine Petroni Corse Rouge Corsica
Review Date: 04-23-2019
“I could spend the rest of my life sitting on a hill in Corsica, eating goat cheese and drinking wine and having my enemies killed by remote control." —Anthony Bourdain . Impossible to resist injecting the wonderfully sardonic voice of the late, great Mr. Bourdain into a conversation, and it was equally hard to resist guzzling (think cormorants) this captivating Corsican red, a wine of such irresistible personality that the price we're selling it for must be a misprint, but it isn't. I could yada yada 'ad noiseum' about flavors reminiscent of sun-ripened black plums, baked stones, melted licorice, wet violets and freshly tilled earth, but I won't... so... just pop a bottle of Petroni with some of that Corsican goat cheese or whatever moves your kindred soul, and drink long and deep. Anthony Bourdain would probably emit a cosmic chuckle.
Top Value!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2016 Florent Cosme "Utopie" Vouvray Demi-Sec
Review Date: 03-31-2019
Chenin Blanc is a capricious grape, depending on how long it is allowed to hang on the vine and unravel its mutable charms. We recently discovered Florent Cosme, a new winemaker in the heart of Vouvray who grew up in the region and is highly attuned to the personality of this versatile grape. His biodynamic-certified wines are all about the purity and integrity of the beautiful fruit, and he achieves remarkable results, as clearly evident in his evocative Utopie Vouvray Demi-Sec, born from 70 year old vines grown on clay-silex soils. Aromas and flavors permeate and inspire, from fleshy pineapple, to white pear, apple, quince and persimmon, and the finish resonates a gentle sweetness held in thrall by fine acidity. A wonderful wine to complement dishes from Thai to Tempura. And to be honest, an incredible value as well.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2017 The Fableist Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-30-2019
Most of you are familiar with the Aesop's fable The Ant and the Grasshopper, but turns out the original story starred a slovenly cicada who fiddled away the long hot summer while the frantic ants worked on their little ant abs, lifting grain and whatever edibles they could carry back to the colony. A revision of the fable involves the herculean ants even storing fallen grapes in their cellar until they fermented, providing beneficent drink throughout the winter, enough even to share with the not-so-merrymaking, near-freezing cicada.....of course their drink was hardly as refined as this warming, full-bodied, embracing Cabernet Sauvignon blend, the tale of two imaginative winemakers who were definitely not fiddling around! Drink up!
Top Value!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2015 Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva
Review Date: 03-20-2019
When a wine strikes my palate like a micro-meteorite, pinging and sending waves of pleasure straight to my olfactory receptors, I look up to the sky and give the stars a thank you, well knowing that those twinkling points of light really had nothing to do with it, that wine is a joyfully delicious earth-born substance, and that it is good. And believe me, the Monsanto is very good, and over the next few years will be even better. With a Mars Attack, excuse me, marvelous attack of bright, resplendently ripe fruit- morello cherries, dark plums and blackcurrants, framed by laserlike tannins, harmonizing acidity and savory spice, this classic Chianti has the components to jettison it well into the future. Not out of this world, only because it's of this world! Enjoy.

2017 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 02-24-2019
What wine serves as both a great party aperitif and the perfect poolside antidote to the sweltering days of summer? The answer? Av an Aveleda, certainly one of the best-selling, well-priced whites in our store for the last decade or more, alive with a vibrant spectrum of tropical and orchard fruits and bursting with clean, crisp acidity. Pair a bottle or two with everything from light, creamy pastas to grilled fish to lemony chicken, or just uncork and drink this delightful Vinho Verde all by its unlonesome.
Top Value!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2016 Haut-Vigneau, Pessac-Léognan
Review Date: 02-24-2019
This property, adjacent to Carbonnieux, underwent substantial replanting during the last decade of the twentieth century, and is today evolving nicely. The wines are youthfully taut and packed with attractively stylish blackcurrant and cherry fruits, laced with firm tannins and pleasant acidity, creating a harmonious ensemble that will develop well over the next few years.

2016 Scattered Peaks Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-09-2019
With a winemaking pedigree as renowned as Beaulieu vineyards Joel Aiken, the Scattered Peaks Cabernet has attained incredible press and demonstrated that Napa Valley can still produce excellent red wines for under $50. Brimming with rich aromatics and supple, round flavors of blackcurrants, ripened black plums, licorice, vanilla and shaved dark chocolate, this wine envelops the palate and delivers abundant pleasure for its modest price.
Price: $29.95 Add To Cart

2017 Abbazia di Novacella Schiava Alto Adige
Review Date: 01-09-2019
Ian D'Agata, writer of the magnificent Native Wine Grapes of Italy, informs that the word 'Schiava' originated in a group of native northern Italian grapes that our Roman ancestors believed to be of superior status, and were thus tied to poles 'cum vineis sclavis', or 'with vines enslaved." However they were bound, my best advice is to free this winsome, nuanced wine from the bottle to liberate the range of holiday spices and bright red-berried fruit that will immediately captivate, if not capture, any palate. A real gem this one!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2016 Château de L'Ou "Secret de Schistes" Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 12-10-2018
Vine whisperers like Severine Bourrier of Chateau De L'Ou know that vineyards speak a rather earthy vernacular, if we could only hear them: "Quit taking my grapes for granite."....“Why should I root for you, you have a heart of clay!“ .. “Oh yeah, that wasn’t very gneiss of you! I think you’re full of schiste.” “l take that as a compliment, especially coming from you....besides, why should I gravel beneath your opinion?” Ok, you get the tone.... low vigor vines have to conserve their energy, in that a great bottle of wine is the best response to all that thrown dirt. And putting the name of your soil on the label certainly takes pride of place, as Severine's magnificent Syrah powerfully attests. One swirl, one sip and you will know....a symposium of dark fruits, perfumed with violets, sumptuous pepper spice, harmonious woodland notes and supple tannins. A generous wine to slate, excuse me, slake your thirst, from the good earth.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-28-2018
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Champagne imbued with both a vibrant sense of presence and authenticity, as the name implies, is almost impossible to find for under seventy-five dollars, but here it is, a beautifully focused laser beam of elegant, pure stone fruit and citrus flowers with a taut mineral texture, all held together by a skein of fine acidity. This is a remarkably sophisticated Champagne that will reward drinking throughout the holidays and beyond. Highly recommended!
Top Value!

2014 Lateral Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-13-2018
A deft blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc from premium organic vineyard sites throughout Napa Valley, the Lateral was first created by owner and winemaker Marty Mathis over twenty years ago as a "Right Bank" wine with California panache. Droves of satiated wine lovers have since proved him right, as this most recent vintage again delivers provocative aromatics and abundant flavors of black cherries, blackcurrant and ravishing plums with whispers of eucalyptus, graphite and orange peel, followed by pliant tannins and a smooth, rounded finish. Drinking window? Open and enjoy n-o-w.....
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-04-2017
In trying to get my head around the physics behind all those tiny bubbles in a bottle of Champagne l discovered a wonderfully fascinating little book called Uncorked, by Gérard Liger-Belair. Apparently gravity drives the velocity of the bubbles in a flute of Champagne, so the best spot in the solar system to achieve the absolute tiniest bubbles would be on… you guessed it— Jupiter, with about 100 times the gravity of our own sparkling blue orb. Pack your bags, but before you go flying off into space, try a bottle or two of this incredible direct import. Created from superb Pinot Noir cultivated in the renowned Le Riceys terroir near Aube, the “Reserve” harbors a panoply of rich flavors ranging from citrus fruits to fleshy pears, apples, nectarines and beyond, embodying an elegant, creamy mousse and miniscule, dare I suggest, ‘out of this world’ bubbles. Now prepare for takeoff!
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois Pinot Noir Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-31-2016
Poised upon the glistening foothills of the Pyrenees, far from the grandiose heart of Champagne, the immaculate, low-yielding, organic vineyards of Jean Louis Denois continue to produce superlative wines for a third the price of their uppity northern cousins. Bright, fleshy and expressive, this Brut rosé is the embodiment of charm and merriment, with red fruits and berries that open lavishly upon the palate and finish clean and crisp and dry. A wonderful sparkler at a great price, guaranteed to deliver and entice!
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 11-29-2016
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A prime illustration of what can be achieved in a Champagne with long aging on the lees, in this case seven full years, all to elaborate and define the essence of brioche, hazelnuts and toast that are characteristic of such extended contact. Even more remarkable is the generously modest price for this patient waiting game, a sparkler that expresses ‘’esprit to the core’, with resplendent notes of crisp lemon, bosc pear, cherry and chiffon cream, a sophisticated Champagne created for any and all occasions that involve fine food, the spirit of celebration, friendship and joy.

Jean-Louis Denois "Tradition" Extra Brut Reserve
Review Date: 04-30-2016
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Whether in art, film, literature or wine, I've always been strongly attracted to iconoclasts, those who forge their own path through life's coombs and brambles, basing their decisions on an intuitive feel for what fits and arriving at a place where they know they belong. Call it 'sense of terroir' or what have you, but Jean-Louis Denois exemplifies this philosophy of place as well as anyone I've met in the wine world. The dust on his boots are the embodiment of his long journey from his native Champagne to Burgundy to South Africa and back again, and finally to the southwestern corner of the Languedoc, where he planted his vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees to create his signature red and sparkling wines. Keeping to the rhythms of nature have led him to adopt both organic and biodynamic precepts in the vineyards, and his brilliant sparkling wines express this with clarity and exuberance— the 'Tradition' Extra Brut is a fifty-fifty blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, created in a refreshingly crisp and lightly toasted style, with notes of red apple, orange blossom and brioche, the perfect sparkling for all festive occasions and dining without the high price of a Champagne. Stock up on this one for the long summer and beyond, it will never let you or your thirsty guests down.
Top Value!
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

Jean-Louis Denois Blanc de Blancs Cremant de Limoux Brut Nature (Sans Soufré)
Review Date: 04-30-2016
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A delectably succulent, unsulfured blend of Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, exhibiting flavors of white pear, figs, juicy apples and zwieback toast, with plenty of racy acidity to cleanse the palate. Remarkable quality in a thirst-quenching, elegant sparkler for half the price of its northern cousins. Jean-Louis Denois is one of the most brilliant winemakers in our corner, and it's always a pleasure to share his glorious wines with our discerning customers. Bon Appetit!
Top Value!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 05-26-2015
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Zero is my favorite number, or rather ‘un-number’ when it comes to most sparkling wines, as I prefer the naked, pure, crystalline fruit unadorned by added dosage, and the sheer raciness and zing of this stainless fermented bubbly from Limoux answers the call with laser flavors of green apple, lemon and white pear. Bring on a platter of fresh raw oysters or mussels mariniere and watch the shells pile up. Gotta love it!
Top Value!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-02-2013
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Vines have been cultivated on this tiny property in the hamlet of Brouillet for five generations, and it has remained a customer and staff favorite here for several years. Yeasty, full and complex, the Carte Blanche exhibits a fine intensely-focused bead with lively notes of tart apples, dried hazelnuts, vanilla and toast, all in all a remarkably well-built Brut that will compare well to cuvées at double the price. It is perfect for entertaining.
Top Value!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Berry Bros & Rudd "No. 3" London Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2012
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As Britain's oldest wine and spirit merchant (1698), Berry Bros. and Rudd should know a thing or three about the traditional making of gin. Their No. 3 English Dry Gin is an unabashedly pure blending of fruits and spices selected and distilled in traditional copper pots in Schiedam, Holland. Made from Italian Juniper, Spanish oranges and grapefruit peel, with added spices including angelica root, Moroccan coriander and cardamon pods, this exquisitely crafted yet assertive gin remains, with its distinctively aromatic nose and prolonged finish, a highly-recommended personal favorite. The ideal suitor for a dry Martini or classic Gin and Tonic.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Einstök Icelandic White Ale, Iceland (12oz)
Review Date: 04-30-2012
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With summer fast approaching we're all in need of a super thirst-quenching beer to alleviate the effects of absorbing too much solar energy on our bodies while we flare up the grill for a swirling smoke-athon (ok, admittedly I'm not Mr. Weber, more like one of the guys who stands around getting hot smoke in his face while acting like it doesn't matter).... anyway, just discovered a fantastic antidote to insurmountable thirst in the Icelandic Einstok White Ale, like melting an iceberg slathered in freshly-ground coriander and orange peel. Well, to be truthful, it's a witbier brewed with the same ingredients and tastes absolutely awesome. Beer here now. And in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the ill-fated Titanic, pouring an iceberg down your throat might be a good tribute.
Price: $2.19 Add To Cart

Fleury Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-03-2011
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In his unwavering maxim that "we leave the earth to our children," Jean-Pierre Fleury was the very first winegrower in Champagne to adapt strict biodynamic principles and techniques in his steeply-sloping, calcareous vineyards near the northern village of Courteron. His exquisite Blanc de Noirs is an homage to the perfectability of Pinot Noir under his meticulous stewardship, and certainly one of the finest, long-lasting champagnes we carry at any price. Hand-crafted from select vintages, the Carte Rouge is emblematic, dry and complex, with a well-developed gamut of flavors from brioche and beeswax to cherry and acacia. Hard to say what 'not' to drink this with, but I guarantee you will be reaching for another glass after tasting this redolent, rewarding sparkler.

2008 Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
Review Date: 06-28-2011
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My advice? If you have a few extra Benjamins lining your well-oiled wallet and are of the mind to buy a beautiful bottle or two of Bordeaux that will, when it eventually reaches full maturity around the time your same vintage 2008 son/daughter celebrate their 21st birthday (and will generously share it with you), then this is the wine for you! A superbly structured, absolutely pitch-perfect Pauillac, reflecting the august gravel and limestone terroir from which it was born.
Drink from 2020 to 2020

Quartz Reef "Methode Traditionelle" Brut Central Otago
Review Date: 12-31-2010
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Carefully blended from 76% Pinot Noir and 24% Chardonnay from the estate vineyard in Bendigo, this sparking wine first captivates the eye with its pale yellow highlights, and then flamboyantly seduces the palate with tightly-polished bubbles entranced by lively citrus fruits, crisp brioche and luscious cream. An alluring, wonderfully-harmonious champenoise sparkler for an amazing price!
Top Value!

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