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Staff Favorites - Mari Keilman

Mari Keilman

Reviews

2014 Caduceus "Anubis" Arizona Red Blend
Review Date: 07-31-2018
The 2014 Anubisis akin to his version of a Bordeaux style blend, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petite Sirah from 100% Arizona vineyards. Previously, Keenan blended grapes from other AVAs, sometimes even out of state, but his goal has been to have the Caduceus wines come solely from his Northern Estate vineyards outside of Cornville, AZ. The Anubis is the epitome of a big, bold, dense, meaty red wine that has enough stuffing to sink your teeth into and satisfy all those with a big Cali Cab palate.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2017 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro-Alvarinho Vinho Verde
Review Date: 07-31-2018
Hands down, the Aveleda is the best Vinho Verde we've ever carried in this store. Fresh, sparkling and refreshing. Packed with great citrus flavors of lemon, tangerine and lime. Absolutely delicious and the perfect porch pounder for your warm weather festivities!
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart
W&S 91

2015 Martin Ray Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-10-2018
The nose and palate are loaded with an abundance of kirsch, plum and currants and hints of sweet toast and coca-cola on the finish. Super silky with integrated tannins and a velvety mouth-feel, the Martin Ray Cab is the perfect crowd-pleaser with its smooth body and toasted marzipan finish.
Price: $24.95 Add To Cart
JS 91

2016 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 05-29-2018
It's no secret that the Spellbound is one of our best selling chardonnays and with a name like Mondavi behind it, it's a no brainer as to why! But this domestic chardonnay is more than just the name. In the past, customers kept coming back for the big, massive oak bomb that would explode of the palate but this vintage takes it to the next level. Texture is the key word for the 2016 because the lush yet glycerol mouthfeel helps keep the toasted oak in check and helps to elevate the stone and clean tropical fruit notes that emerge on the mid palate. This stainless steel and barrel fermented chardonnay blend is an absolute must have at every festivity!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-03-2018
​I'll be the first to admit it; I really don't know as much about Freemark Abbey as I should. Being in the industry for as long as I have, driving by the property everyday as I drove to wo​rk in St Helena and enjoying their wines for more than a decade, one would assume that I would be a expert on anything and everything that is Freemark Abbey, but for so many years, this historical winery has alluded me. I won't regurgitate the monotonous legacy that seems to follow most wineries and their early beginnings, but it was a pleasant surprise to discover that Freemark Abbey (or Tychson Cellars as it was originally named) was the home to the first recorded female vintner and owner. While the winery and estate may have a historical past, the real story of this proprty is how the wine has continued on the legacy vintage after vintage. Every time I open a bottle of Freemark Abbey Cab, I know I'm getting one of the greatest values from Napa Valley. Even though the 2014 is still young, this Cab is already exhibiting an elegant yet structured palate and mouthfeel that is full of beautiful texture yet desired tannins. The palate opens up to a showy display of both black and red currants with accents of crushed violets and roses. The nail in the coffin is the long, persistent finish loaded with notes of savory herb and subtle anise that are perfectly framed with a bright and vibrant acid structure​ that helps elongate the quenching pleasurable juiciness of this fun yet ageable Cabernet!

2016 Rickshaw California Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-13-2018
For all those who are looking for a classic, elegant Pinot Noir that won't break the bank, Rickshaw is your pick. This wine has an extremely supple and smooth mouthfeel of black cherry. The rich red fruit and ample acidity on the finish make this the perfect wine to sip alone and to have with dinner.
Price: $14.95 Add To Cart

2015 Tyler "La Encantada" Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Review Date: 10-31-2017
​​I remember the first time I tasted the wines from Tyler Winery. It was about six years ago and during the time when big, bombastic "Parker" wines were all the rage. But here was this fresh, young winery that was making high acid, structured, Old World style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Even I have to admit that initially I wasn't quite mentally prepared for such a racy style coming from a Santa Barbara county producer but I reveled in knowing that this wine would shut down the Francophiles who were always dogging Santa Barbara wines. The Tyler wines are focused, vivid and pure. For everyone that has ever doubted whether Southern California wines could rival Old World wines, the Tyler wines are a must!
Price: $56.99 Add To Cart
VN 94

2015 Martinelli "Grace Nicole - Zio Tony Ranch" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-17-2017
I love the contrast between the Bondi Home Ranch Pinot to the Zio Tony Ranch Pinot. While the Bondi is more savory and lifted, the Zio Tony is dense and brooding. Aromatic blue fruit and violets jump out of the glass accompanied by fresh molasses and blackberry notes. The real difference between the two single vineyards is in the weight; the Zio Tony is rich, concentrated and full bodied (for a pinot noir). I always try to steer away from the classic rib-eye steak and cali cab pairing and this pinot noir is the ideal replacement to pair with any steak dinner!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart
VN 96 RP 93

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 10-12-2016
In my humble opinion, the most underrated sparkling on the market is the Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine ($24.00). There’s a touch more Chardonnay in the rosé than in the brut, and the Chardonnay clearly shows itself in the soft, creamy texture and elegance of this cuvee. The Pinot Noir helps round out the rosé with a delicate berry fruitiness that is balanced with a zippy blood orange finish. And while this elegant and delicious rosé is the perfect sparkling wine to bring to any holiday occasion, be prepared to bring two because it will go fast!

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine (1.5L)
Review Date: 10-12-2016
After tasting the Roeder Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine, it’s hard to believe that it is a domestic sparkling and that it only costs $21.99! What sets this domestic sparkling apart from the rest is how dry it tastes. I always have a problem with how high the dosage levels are in domestic sparkling wines but not with the Roederer Estate Brut. The nose is bright and lively with fresh pear, tangerine and clean bread yeast notes. And while the palate is friendly and accessible with riper pome fruit and clean melon flavors, this domestic brut finishes precise and focused.

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 10-12-2016
After tasting the Roeder Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine, it’s hard to believe that it is a domestic sparkling and that it only costs $21.99! What sets this domestic sparkling apart from the rest is how dry it tastes. I always have a problem with how high the dosage levels are in domestic sparkling wines but not with the Roederer Estate Brut. The nose is bright and lively with fresh pear, tangerine and clean bread yeast notes. And while the palate is friendly and accessible with riper pome fruit and clean melon flavors, this domestic brut finishes precise and focused.

Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine (375ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2016
After tasting the Roeder Estate Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine, it’s hard to believe that it is a domestic sparkling and that it only costs $21.99! What sets this domestic sparkling apart from the rest is how dry it tastes. I always have a problem with how high the dosage levels are in domestic sparkling wines but not with the Roederer Estate Brut. The nose is bright and lively with fresh pear, tangerine and clean bread yeast notes. And while the palate is friendly and accessible with riper pome fruit and clean melon flavors, this domestic brut finishes precise and focused.

Franck Bonville "Belles Voyes" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-18-2016
Opting to barrel ferment the fruit that goes into the “Belles Voyes”, it showcases the complexity that comes from the almost 100 year old vines. The rounded texture due to time spent in barrel helps elevate the complex aromatics of asian spice, orange zest, lemon meringue and a touch of brioche. The Bonville “Belles Voyes” is a tete du cuvee that can compete with the best of them but is also a pure example of the Cotes des Blancs terroir.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 WE 90

Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-18-2016
The Franck Bonville Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs is crisp, refreshing and vibrant with just the perfect balance of green apple and lime on the nose and palate. This cuvee sets itself apart from other Blanc de Blancs with how the Bonville family is able to create a creamy, full-bodied palate in conjunction with the bright and zesty flavor profile. They were able to achieve the harmonious balance between the acidity, the elegance, finesse and balance in this entry level cuvee.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Launois "Cuvée Reserve" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 05-18-2016
From the first sniff of the Launois Cuvee Reserve, the Grand Cru Cotes des Blancs minerality is upfront and present. The Cuvee Reserve can be enjoyed in its youth with notes of clean chalk, bright meyer lemon and a surprisingly long finish of toasted brioche.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
Stylistically, Laurent Perrier is one of my favorite Grand Marques. I gravitate towards their bright, vibrant house style and that's exactly what you get in the Laurent Perrier "Cuvee Rose" Brut Rose Champagne​. While the rose is 100% Pinot Noir and macerated with full skin contact, this rose is surprisingly lifted and understated for receiving such a heavy-handed treatment. The nose and palate are loaded with copious amounts of red berry fruit with ripe strawberries taking center stage supported by a backdrop of clean minerality. The refreshingly tart finish of cranberries and pomegranate make this rose the perfect accompaniment to any special occasion.

Jean-Jacques Lamoureux "Réserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 04-01-2015
Gary has hit the ball out of the park with his latest DI offering! The Lamoureux Reserve Brut is sure to please every palate at the party. Elegantly toasty with notes of ripe pear and apple up front, this cuvee continues its decadent journey with a sumptuously sinful palate loaded with white nectarine and exotic starfruit. Couple this with a ridiculously creamy, full-bodied texture and ultra fine bead and you have a true 5 star Champagne!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Cepages d'Antan" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 03-31-2015
How can you put a price on tasting rare, almost extinct varietals from champagne like Petit Meslier, Arbanne and Pinot Blanc? Especially when they taste as amazing as the Ariston Aspasie Cepages d'Antan! When first popped the nose is quite subtle and delicate. After a little time in the glass, the Pinot Blanc begins to dominate with aromas of white nectarine, star fruit and orange blossoms. With even more time in the glass, the native varietals begin to express themselves with strong notes of chalky minerality and a hint of savory herb. Top this off with a strikingly long finish of limestone chalk and you have a champagne that is unlike anything you'll find on most wine store shelves.
Price: $99.00 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-03-2015
Since their beginning in 1794, Ariston Pere et Fils has been the true epitome of a “grower-producer” Champagne house. The Ariston family has worked together for 5 generations to harvest and gently press the grapes in their own cellars to obtain the balance and finesse that represents their signature house style and terroir. What’s remarkable when tasting the Ariston Blanc de Blancs is that you can truly smell and taste the fossil rich soil. You can close your eyes and envision the steep hillsides drenched in sunlight as the grapes surrounding you ripen to a golden apple flavor.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-03-2015
The rich, deep, golden yellow color of the Ariston Aspasie Carte Blanche is a tiny hint at the expressive, and explosive purity fruit that lies within this cuvee of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir and 30% Meunier. Very few Champagnes have the amount of chalky minerality that is present in the Carte Blanche, let alone a cuvee that is priced less than $30! What’s even more impressive than the amount of minerality is the broad, rich texture that lets everyone know how perfectly this Champagne with pair with foods of all fairs.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

Bruno Michel "Assemblée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 08-28-2014
Such an amazing champagne for such an extraordinary price! This champagne is one of my favorites regardless of how low the price is, but when you factor in how beautiful this wine is for only $34.99, you wonder if its too good to be true!!! So incredibly delicate and elegant with such subtle layers, you wonder if its too sophisticated for everyone to understand.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Tequila Fortaleza Reposado Tequila (750ml)
Review Date: 11-08-2013
I'm not much of a tequila drinker and when I do partake it's usually in the form of a margarita, but this tequila is a game changer for me. The Fortaleza is incredibly complex with earth and agave spice notes but is so incredibly balanced that even I can enjoy it neat.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

Krug Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 09-03-2013
Krug really doesn't need any extra validation from lil' ol me but I'm going to give it because they're just that great! This Krug rose is truly transcendent. Both sweet and savory at the same time, the Krug rose delivers with beautiful rose petals, sweet orange citrus, toasty lees and intense red fruit.

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 02-28-2013
How can you not love a bottle of Bubbles from the Loire Valley that only costs $13 and tastes this good?!?!? Loaded with tons of fresh berry fruit and copious amounts of tiny, delicate bubbles.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

San Venanzio Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut
Review Date: 07-31-2012
This new direct buy is filled with delicate high tones of floral on the nose and an abundance of upfront pear and peach on the palate. Just found my new BBQ bubble bottle.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
DC 91

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 05-31-2012
Michel Arnould's wines are the most harmonious juxtaposition between tension and balance, broadness and precision, elegance and power. The Verzenay Brut with its elegant texture, refined bead and sweet citrus and wild berry palate, lends perfectly for pairing with an eclectic and diverse menu. The Verzenay Brut has a playful nature with the ripe fruit bouncing off of the bracing acidity.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

Fleury Brut Rosé de Saignée Champagne
Review Date: 03-30-2012
Capt Kirk hit the nail on the head..."like drinking sparkling red burgundy"! I love the contrast between the elegant pinot noir berry fruit and that little hint of herbaceousness that transports you to Beaune.

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
Review Date: 07-29-2011
So refreshing...so crisp...so clean...so perfect for those al fresco summer dinners. Or maybe a romantic dinner with a plate of oysters is your cup of tea...
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

La Petite Marquise Crémant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 12-29-2010
This is the quintessential bottle of bubbles one is required to always have in the fridge. Done in a zippy blanc de blancs style, the Deligeroy Cremant de Loire offers up aromas of sweet lemon and light apricot followed my an aggressive palate of tiny racy bubbles. Perfect for toasting the New Year's!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2010
The Ariston Aspasie rosé ($32.99) is such a richly impressive, full-bodied rosé made up of 50% pinot noir and 50% pinot meunier. 12% vinified still red pinot meunier is added to give this rosé its beautiful salmon color. What makes this rosé stand out amongst the crowd of trendy charlatans is the 5 years it is aged on its lees. The complexity, the richness, the layers of berry fruit balanced by vibrant acidity and lazy bubbles is matched by only a few lone standouts in a rosé world full of so many imposters.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Delamotte Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2009
I had the wonderful opportunity to taste the Delamotte Brut in a blind tasting of six wines, and this stood out as one of my favorites. My notes were riddled with adjectives like zesty, fresh and zippy, which can be attributed to the Le Mesnil Chardonnay fruit. There is also an amazing balance of stone fruit, Meyer lemon and a touch of toast on the finish.

Franck Bonville "Prestige" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 08-05-2009
I had this champagne on my birthday and it was the perfect bubbly for the occassion! Bright and fresh with tons of blanc de blanc fruit, it is also incredibly rich and creamy due to its extended lees contact. It was the ideal champagne to toast the beginning of the festivities and continued its perfection as it paired beautifully with all the food for the evening.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-20-2008
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A pinot noir-dominated blend that immediately after opening, has a distinctive leesy, slightly oxidated nose. This is no doubt from the reserve wines that are fermented in oak barrel and then aged in magnums under low pressure. This also lends to the full-bodied, richness of the wine. After several minutes of aeration, the sweet smell of ripe, sun-soaked apples begin to emerge. The predominance of estate fruit (approximately 70% of the assemblage) lends to the broad, rich and intense flavors. Fresh and toasty on the palate with a slight touch of hazelnut, the Special Cuvee has a long finish with a hint of exotic spice at the very end.