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Staff Favorites - Chris DePaoli

Chris DePaoli

Reviews

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2016 Koyle "Cerro Basalto Cuartel G2" Colchagua Valley
Review Date: 06-25-2019
The spice and pepper on this belay the mass of Carmenere, the exotic spice note is really the only clue this is new world wine at all. Everything Koyle makes seems more direct and purposeful than I expect, with a finesse that's a great showcase for the region. A spicy wine for warm nights and BBQ.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
RP 95

2016 Celler de Capçanes "Mas Donis" Old Vines Montsant
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Back up the truck, this is the wine you've been saving the big space in you cellar for. Lighter than the Montsant labeling would have you think, there's still a smokiness, the same found in higher-end Southern Rhones, that layers over the pine needle and blue black fruit that shouldn't let this juice have the delicate structure it somehow still does - Lie about how much you spent, no one will believe you anyway.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
JD 94

2018 Koyle "Costa La Flor" Sauvignon Blanc San Antonio Valley
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Big, juicy Sauvingnon blanc for good times, or at least good food. This is a fun bottle of juice from Vina Koyle. Kumquat and peach and green notes are found with aplomb on the nose and palette, which finishes dry and as long as any bottle comparable. A partner for Sushi for sure.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2018 Los Bermejos Rosado Lanzarote
Review Date: 06-25-2019
Listán Negro maybe isn't the world's most popular grape, but it's definitely one of the most interesting. Grown in one of the least hospitable spots on the globe still capable of viticulture, the berries that make it into this bottle benefit from the hilariously low-yielding vines, and are chock full of character and flavor. This Rosado fills the glass with crazy mineral, young fruit and split stem aromas that bleed together, rolling into a matching palette only fortified by the steely back end and roaring acidity. It makes a good summer sipper, or a phenomenal partner to a spiced, meaty meal.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart

2001 Coufran, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 06-25-2019
The 2001 Bordeauxs have long been overshadowed by the phenomenal 2000 offerings that preceded them, but given time, these bottles have been shown to be some of the best values in the region since the turn of the century: a trend this Coufran happily continues. Hearty, but with the trademark balance of the vintage, the dark fruit stars and is supported by leather and earth and herb. The acid is surprisingly present in a wine almost two decades old, but gives a solid, bracing frame that the tannins softly fill out. A good value at twice it’s price, and an exceptional one as it stands, only get as many as you can drink. Leave me the rest!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2017 Torbreck "Woodcutter's" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 06-04-2019
Dark, big and juicy; This is classic Barossa Shiraz. Cassis and blackberry and plum and pepper. Tobacco and eucalyptus bracing on the sides. A wine for backyards and summer time, classic Barossa Valley juice is a fine companion to classic California BBQ. Get some.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 93

2018 Trians Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 05-28-2019
This phenomenal rose from Provence is rich but clean, with a wonderful shoot of grapefruit through the middle of the palette that's framed elegantly by the firm acidity and currents on the end with a surprising lifted spice throughout. Promising to be a great companion to most meals, this is a BBQ rose if I've ever seen one.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2014 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 05-24-2019
This is an incredible Rioja. Dark Blue fruit somehow topped with bright red that fades in and out through a cover of classic oak and spicy notes. A steal at this price, this bottle can hold it's own against any Reserva out there. This is a phenomenal option for nice steak dinners, or roasted vegetables.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

1995 Charles Heidsieck "Blanc des Millénaires" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Woof. Rich and opulent, with mushrooms matched with lanolin and nectar and a broad, reaching unami that pushes out surprisingly long for a bottling of this age. Truly a treat to taste, this "Blanc des Millenaires," smoky and creamy and wrongfully good, is a phenomenal bottle of juice; and is going to make most food pairings better, but is going to change lives with a salty, fatty dish.

2016 Grand Napa "Master Red" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 05-10-2019
The aptly named Grand Napa winery offering yet another classic Napa bottling here with their "Master" red blend. Heaps of dried red fruit, dominated by strawberry, on the nose matches up well with the same fruit on the palette, where it's joined by red velvet and faint herbal tones that wrap it up nicely through the incredibly long finish, pushed further and further by the fine acidity. Top example from a top vintage.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 93

Dérot-Delugny "Cuvée Fondateurs" Brut
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This bottle hangs its hat on the Pinot Gris construction but its strength lies in it's champagne tendency more than anything else. A whiff of honeysuckle nods at the abnormal grape selection, but beyond that its totally acid and stone, with just small mentions of pom fruit and cream to the end.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Light fresh strawberry and nice round edges, combined wit ha vividly pick coloration make this a seminal rose Champagne. Lifted rosewater and a river stone fade in at the end of the fairly long finish. Top-notch acidity make this a candidate for rich fatty foods.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$34.99

2008 Le Brun de Neuville "Grand Vintage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
A zippy, tight bottle of bubbles, the "Grand Vintage," was enjoyable drinking now but begs to be aged to really open up the teasing meringue and panna cotta living now under the high acid that will round out over time even more. Clean as anything, this almost blanc de blanc has all the chalkiness you'd expect, but a bit more heft that usual, especially for how liner it is, which was really intriguing.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
WE 94 WS 91

Le Brun de Neuville "Authentique Assemblage" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Sur-Lee aged for 5 years, this is a ridiculous showcase of chardonnay minerality juxtaposed over a delicate background of red fruit and light white peach from the Pinot Noir. Not surprisingly a consistent favorite here, the "Authentique Assemblage" is a steal.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 90

2012 Alexandre Le Brun "Cuvée Revelation" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
Alexandre Le Brun has been a favorite producer of mine since I started here. He was the first producer I brought home, and this most recent bottling of his is also the most recent champagne I drank myself! The hallmark mushroom note of the Meunier is definitely present but joined by sweet lemon and custard notes, rounding off the palate in such a way that its richness stays long after the drink itself has left, and the acidity frames the wonderful velvety mouthfeel perfectly. Phenomenal Juice.
Price: $79.99 Add To Cart

Alexandre Le Brun "Tradition" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-10-2019
This is a great bottling of Champagne that is a go-to for a mixed group. It's big and rich enough to hold up to food and pretty enough to drink alone. The perfect split of one third each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier offers a cool comparative option for people exploring champagne styles and the price point we secure by bringing in this producer ourselves allows it to outperform all expectation.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

Fallet-Dart "Grande Sélection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-07-2019
In Champagne, the law of the land processes and a systematic 7 years aging period lets the maddeningly beautiful Pinot Noir heavy Cuvee showcase wonderful toastiness. The palette of poppyseed and plum skin is carried thru a wonderfully soft mouthfeel, only matched but a lightly sweet nose. A great bottle of bubbles at any price really but one that is ridiculous at the cost.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2016 Ridge Vineyards "Estate" Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-03-2019
For as much noise as is made about the "Estate" bottling's origins from the Monte Bello Vineyard and the relative accessibility of the juice, so little is said about just how good this cuvee is year in and year out. The 2016 edition is as good as you would expect from such a generous vintage and is still as easy to drink at release as it has always been, with cleaner lines and more focused notes than many California Cabs. A ridiculously dark purple, the nose is dominated by dark cassis and earl grey tea, both of which are found on the palate along with sage, white peppercorn, and salal. Such a good drink.
Price: $59.95 Add To Cart
JD 94

2016 Robert Oatley "Signature" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Another great Aussie Cabernet! The Margret River region is doing some great things with the grape, Robert Oakley is a consummate producer, and the combination inevitably yields fantastic results. Flavors of blackberry and currants are readily present over dark spice and cafe au lait. Velvety now and easy to drink, it'll grow and change for years to come, it's a wonderfully priced alternative for Napa lovers.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
JH 95 WE 91

2016 Rustenberg Cabernet Sauvignon Stellenbosch
Review Date: 04-27-2019
Cabernet lovers looking for classic style at affordable prices really need to start looking at South Africa sooner rather than later. More and more incredible wine coming from the tip of the continent and at some point people will start to take notice. This bottling from Rustenberg is a great example of what the country's wines can be. Classically structured, with savory herb, tobacco and black fruit notes on the nose. The palate matches the nose with a touch of pink peppercorn emerging and the incredibly long finish belays the price point. The tannins are present but not strong, making this an easy drink now.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Inverroche Classic Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A fantastic bottle of gin, the "Classic" offering from Inverroche doesn't lean to heavily into its designation, with spectacular results. Bright, floral notes bracing in a clean citrus beam that goes in and around the background juniper makes this a super cool G&T candidate, but also something that a cocktail aficionado could really sink their teeth into. The limestone region the botanicals are sourced from isn't super prevalent, but does lend a curious finish that is one of my favorite components of this bottling.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Bodegas Altanza Lealtanza Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A great wine, at this or any price point. The red dried fruit on the nose gives way nicely to the light BBQ tones and fresh raspberry on the palate. Delicate body and great acidity make for a great drink now, for food or on its own.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2015 Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 04-27-2019
A lighter bodied Cabernet, this wine has an elegance that gives way to an exceptional verve at the tail end of the palate. Subdued cassis notes layered way underneath the cooked bay leaf and black olives makes for a really great mid palette that transforms long after you might expect for a wine as fresh and lively as this is. Lower tannin, resulting in a freshness I don't normally associate with Cab but one I could definitely get used to.

2015 Tenuta Roveglia "Vigne di Catullo" Lugana Riserva
Review Date: 04-23-2019
A great, European alternative to California Chardonnay, this Lugana is richer and fuller bodied than some others, but the great acidity makes the ripe orchard fruit notes pop even more. The sweet apple and pear notes and subtle cream make this a phenomenal companion for summer evening cheeseboard and front porch small bites- Easy for most wine drinkers to enjoy.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
WE 92

2017 Jacky Blot Domaine de la Taille Aux Loups "Remus" Montlouis Sur Loire
Review Date: 03-22-2019
The limestone of Montlouis sur Loire is a wonderful tool for a talented winemaker, and Jacky Blot has a well-earned reputation as one of the best. This rich, dense bottling of Chenin is a stirring tribute to the complexity the varietal is capable of. Beeswax and orange oil cut with high acid tones and a cement backing. This bottle tasted fantastic (after a little time open) but will be good for years to come.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JG 90

2017 Florent Cosme "La Motte" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 03-22-2019
This is for the friend who only drinks dry wines, who swears there's not a sweet wine they like in the world. Florent Cosme is an incredibly talented vineyard manager turned incredibly talented winemaker who understands grapes and land and makes wines that express both wonderfully. The marriage of sweetness and acid in this is what sweeter wines are all about, and the rich floral bouquet is a beauty of hibiscus and white pear. Drink now, drink often.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 91

2015 Leeuwin Estate "Art Series" Chardonnay Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 03-12-2019
Clean, Seashell minerality, classic nectarine, orange rind and ginger are abundant and clear in this always wonderful bottling out of Western Australia. Delightful now, but also eminently ageable with blossoming acidity and wonderfully integrated oak, the Art Series is one of the worlds favorite Southern Chardonnays for a reason.

2015 A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines Red Blend Swartland
Review Date: 03-02-2019
Here in the states we don't hear the tasting note "Fynbos" often but if you like wines that showcase their origin and are screaming with character you should definitely be trying more South African wines that carry the taste and smells of the Fynbos, or South African Cape Ecoregion. This wine's got the stereotypical rich floral aromatics mixed with mind and parsley, mixing with the fresh plowed soil and prune. On the palate is a pretty beam of raspberry compote over plum sauce and earth. Great wine from a great producer.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 WE 90

2017 Château de L'Ou Côtes du Roussillon Rouge
Review Date: 03-01-2019
An absolutely delicious bottle of wine, I enjoyed this last night with a group of friends, only after telling them the price. They had all guessed multiples of the actual amount, and it's no wonder with how talented of winemakers they are at Chateau de L'Ou. Rich and supple, but not syrupy, this Cotes Du Roussillon is the answer for rotisserie chicken, or pot roast. Tons of fruit framed by smoke and vanilla, this is my new house wine and is definitely worth taking a chance on.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2016 Schiavenza Nebbiolo delle Langhe
Review Date: 02-26-2019
A wonderful introduction to the region and the producer’s style at a relatively affordable price point, this Nebbiolo has all the hallmarks of the Langhe in it. A salty, meaty main thrust is framed with bold tobacco notes and leather. A classically structured drink, this is the consummate food wine, really reveling in a great pairing, like Polenta or Salami. Definitely a candidate for short term aging, but made with the intention to drink now.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2016 Colombaio di Santa Chiara "Campo Pieve" Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Review Date: 02-26-2019
A classic Italian white we all should be making more time for, Vernaccia is a classic Tuscan variety that has power and structure to spare. With the elegance and finesse of much lighter grapes, Vernaccia is a standout, and this bottling from Colombaio di Santa Chiara is no exception. Awesome, refreshing acidity, braced up against the structured citrus notes and supported by light licorice and smoke, makes this a food wine par excellence, perfect for a special meal. One of my favorite dollar-for-dollar offerings.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2016 Foxen "Bien Nacido Vineyard - Block UU" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-22-2019
Fantastic Chardonnay from Bien Nacido is hard to describe, but this bottle of apple orchard and ocean spray notes is just another example of how good this vineyard can be. The folks at Foxen have enough vintages under their belt to know that letting the vineyard do the expressive work is the truest winemaking, and they let that show in this bottling. The subtle weight on the palette pushes the lemon bar from the back and the long finish opens up finally to the light, charcoally end that will be awesome with cranberry goat cheese or scallops.

2016 Nor'Wester (Omihi) by Greystone Pinot Noir North Canterbury
Review Date: 02-19-2019
Rich dark fruit, silky tannins, verve of acidity and a underbrush finish make this a complete Pinot, and an incredible value to boot. The Nor'Wester showcases the classic Kiwi fruit notes but doesn't let them ride over everything, restraining them with an earthy palette edge and smoke beams racing to a forest floor end. Fantastic food wine that will complement game or lamb especially well

Laurent-Perrier "Cuvée Rosé" Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
A fantastic wine, gorgeously presented by a house that was established before the industrial revolution will always have a place in this world, and Laurent-Perrier's "Cuvée Rosé" is no exception. Luxuriously rich, with strong fruit notes on the nose and a light spice wrapped in creme on the palate, this is a bubbly rose for the special occasion. Pairs wonderfully with food and is a great remedy for the early spring chill!

Bollinger "Special Cuvée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
At the moment Bollinger is my favorite big house and the non-vintage "Special Cuvee" is a big part of that position. Ripe fruit underneath a wet stone wash gives way to a sweeter, almost flan like mid-palate that finishes in a mouth watering citrus zest. A classic for a reason.

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-08-2019
Don't take my word for it. Don't take everyone else's word for it. Try Billecart-Salmon's Brut Rosé and see why it's consistently touted as the creme de la creme. It's subtly full of rosewater complexity and aromatics that dance out of the glass. It's instantly appreciable. It's consistent. This is a slightly bolder style than most rose champagne, due to the red wine added, but it's still pretty enough to be on its own, and merits the attention.

Billecart-Salmon "Brut Réserve" Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This is a true staff favorite. Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve and Lay's potato chips is among my emeritus choices for best food pairing ever, and I'm not alone in that appraisal. Light honey coated pom fruit and refreshing acidity are the understated role players in this incredibly delicate, balanced cuvee. Drink now, drink often.

2011 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Grand Cru Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
It's well known that 2011 was not the best year in the appellation's great history, but if you're looking for a specific style, '11 can offer you some incredible champagne finds. This vintage cuvee has a moderate dosage of 8 grams per liter but still comes off as incredibly dry and steely, perfect for hard cheeses and briny, fatty snacks.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
It's made to be crisp and clean, it should be crisp and clean, and it is crisp and clean, but it also is so much more than that. People ask about dosage all the time as a tell-all reference for sweetness and warmth of champagne, but even with the low dosage of 2 grams per liter, this extra brut has a nice evenness right up to the finish ,which is really where the austerity lies if anywhere. Oysters are the obvious choice here, but most seafood, particularly served cold, would work here. I'm looking forward to this and fish tacos, or even cerviche, if you try it first let me know how it is!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2012 Michel Arnould "Memoire de Vignes" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This is what champagne is all about. Complex, candied, and nutty, on the second and third pass the big black fruit backing comes to the fore, a hallmark of the best Blanc de Noirs. This bottle is eminently ageable, but is fantastic right now too.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

Michel Arnould "Reserve" Brut Verzenay Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This Manhattan-soaked-cherry-dipped-in-hazelnut-creme-and-turned-into-a-drink is a good time bottle, and is an excellent food pairing offering from a region not given enough attention in that arena. Cleaner than one might expect from the 3-to-1 Pinot Noir and Chardonnay ratio, it is still full bodied and ripe, but with a lingering acidity that is pretty surprising the first go around.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

Baron-Fuenté "Esprit" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-05-2019
This stuff is bomb. I like to tell people I'm drinking more champagne recently, but I'm really just drinking more Baron-Fuente, and this offering, age seven full years on the lees, is my favorite of the bunch. A rich and incredibly creamy texture that carries almond danish notes over lemon meringue and dusty minerality that begs you to keep drinking it. Valentine's Day is almost here, and if you already splurged on the other trappings here's a relatively affordable option that can hang with the best of them.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 WE 91

2016 Domaine Faiveley Nuits-St-Georges
Review Date: 01-29-2019
This is a beautiful Burgundy that is leagues above its price point. Black fruit, uncharacteristic for the vintage, bay leaf and white peppercorn all are in play, building from forest floor notes and staying long on the sip. The nose just hints at the complexity of the palate but shows maraschino cherry and light herbal notes. This is a really interesting burgundy for the aficionados but also a great intro for the uninitiated!

2017 Domaine du Petit Clocher Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 01-25-2019
I drink a lot of Chenin Blanc and this is one of the best bottles in the store, especially for the price. You really should drink as much as you can before people realize how good and undervalued the Anjou region is compared to the rest of the Loire. The greystone aromas are followed and an incredibly interesting honeysuckle, pear and citrus palate with a fleshy mouthfeel that awesome to drink by itself. It's not an acid freak, but its balanced enough against that weight in the mouth to do the job. I really can't say enough about this wine but I love it!
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Malmont Côtes du Rhône Villages Séguret
Review Date: 01-25-2019
This is a fantastic Cote Du Rhone. Incredibly to hard to beat at this price point, the Grenache gives it a wonderful red fruit lift, and with the incredible balanced lended by the Syrah it's become a favorite wine to pair with dinner for me. I like to give it a little time to open up, which lets it show off it's more subtle, earthy side.

2016 Domaine Baud "Ancestrale" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 01-15-2019
This Trousseau-Pinot Noir blend from Jura is super cool. Incredibly refreshing, its got awesome cranberry followed by rosemary and sage wrapped up in this flirty, light body that belays the complexity. Let it sit a little longer than you would think for such a light bodied wine and enjoy with duck or even Chinese food!
Price: Hidden View Price

2017 Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough
Review Date: 01-11-2019
As classic as can be, Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc is a great grab at this price. Tropical and grassy and couldn't be better for Spring libations. It's far too easy to finish a bottle of this stuff, mostly since the fantastic acid is incredibly refreshing to the palate, making every drink feel like your first.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 WS 91

2014 Leeuwin Estate "Prelude" Cabernet Sauvignon Margaret River
Review Date: 01-11-2019
Easy, accessible Cabernet that's a great intro to the Margaret River. Grabbing a $20 dollar bottle of good juice is a much easier way to appreciate the area than the forty-two hour drive from Sydney so pop the cap and enjoy!

2015 d'Arenberg "The Dead Arm" Shiraz McLaren Vale South Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2019
D'Arenberg is an incredibly dependable producer and this years Dead Arm is another example of a good value wine in between price points. A touch lighter than in years past, the anise notes really came through along with the plum and blackberry standbys of the McLaren Vale region. This wine has a ton of time on its hands and will age really well if you have the patience. If not be sure to at least afford it some solid time in the decanter and to match it with an equally hearty meal.

2016 John Duval "Entity" Shiraz Barossa Valley South Australia
Review Date: 01-11-2019
John Duval spent years as the head winemakers for Penfold's, and drinking Entity you can see why his expertise and skill are so well known. This is one of my favorite Barossa Valley Shiraz, and it may be the easiest to approach if you're unfamiliar with the area. It's got a stereotypical big body, but the tannins are rounded off well enough, even this young, that it feels ready for you now. Blackberry and dark chocolate are the main notes with a cool herbal background and a meaty nose. I picniced with this wine, pairing it with a meat pie and a Barossa view, but it'll do just as well with a good beef roast or BBQ.

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