Last day of March...and all its madness! Deals kept popping in! I thought I drank a lot in Mexico at the beginning of the month...these last two weeks rival that...tried 8 bottles yesterday at Mr. Wok's, think most days this month were like that!!
Check out some of the deals we had. There is some new pricing on several wines as well as a few new wines you might not have seen!! Take advantage. And if we have filled your cellar, send list to your friends....and then go help them drink!!!
All the best, Michele & Rex
2015 Pazo de Senorans Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain
6 bottles $19.50 per
This Albarino is unoaked and low alcohol ( 12.5 and 13% ). It is a sensational patio wine which find a whole new degree of seriousness when served with food- and is under twenty dollars. Albarino is the grape varietal. These Albarino vineyards are found in the Rias Baixas region on the northwest coast of Spain. This wine is a stony combination of white peach , apricot, apricot pit, Mandarin and lemon zest with an enticing mineral composition dancing throughout its structure. Though dry the mid palate is very well defined and becomes lush when paired with food. I tried it with tamales and chili at one point, and the wine jumped up and wrapped around the pork and spice. The finish is long and then crisp. The Pazo de Senorans is exceptional with seafood, Asian, pasta primavera and a great wine to have around the grill for chicken, ribs and sausage. The 2015 is not yet rated but has a history of 90 plus point scores and was singled out by "the best sommelier" for 2017 as excellent.
2015 Marcato La Giareta Pinot Grigio Veneto
11 bottles, $14.50 per
Michele immediately said it tasted like Chablis,and it does. There are serious indications of both the chalk and volcanic soil of Chablis in this Pinot Grigio, because both of those aspects of soil composition exist in this region of Veneto. This Pinot Grigio is a combination of refreshing pear combined with lemon flavors. There is kumquat and apricot pit at the center with a granite, wet stone finish. $14.50 ( tastes well beyond this price point
I hate to say this, but I am not a fan of Pinot Grigio. This one changed my mind...this wine is perfect for the spring and it really drinks at least twice the price...very impressive!! This is one of those wine you buy by the case!! If you blind tasted it, you could fool a lot of people. Silly....but the label is pretty cool too.
2015 Rochioli Estate Grown Chardonnay
3 bottles, $53 per
Golden-honey colored, this wine has toasty toffee oak and full-bodied richness, with a stark layering of citrus and baked apple. Concentrated and thick, it shows its youth and should benefit with time in both the glass and in the bottle. 91 points Wine Enthusiast
The 2015 Chardonnay offers notes of spiced apples, warm peaches and honeysuckle with a touch of ginger. Medium-bodied, it has an elegant palate with some savory characters and a lively backbone, finishing with a pleasant herbal lift. 2,089 were cases made. 90 points Robert Parker
2013 Staglin Family Estate Chardonnay Salus
6 bottles, $45.00 5% off 6, 10% off 12
RELEASE PRICE: $75
We have tasted Staglin Chardonnay Salus Estate various times over the years, but not year in, year out. It has not always been readily available. Staglin makes a highly structured style of Chardonnay, both cellar worthy and sophisticated, and never over-oaked. We are now in the annual distributor push towards spring vintage changes, consequently, this wine has been highly discounted. Interesting enough, the 94 point Parker review below has just been published
Staglin has turned out a magnificent 2013 Chardonnay Estate that tastes like a hypothetical blend of the tropical, honeyed fruit of California interwoven with the minerality and crispness of a grand cru Chablis from France. This beautiful white wine offers hints of delicate peach, pineapple, honeysuckle and citrus blossom. There is fabulous fruit on the attack mid-palate and finish. Full-bodied with a subtle touch of oak, this beautifully concentrated Chardonnay should drink well for 3-4 years. 94 POINTS ROBERT PARKER
2016 Stolpman Rose
4 bottles, $19.50 5% off 6, 10% off 12
100% Grenache, Total Production: 1950 cases
Pure fresh strawberry and watermelon give way to a touch of stone and earth. Sweet tart candy with an alluring freshness. In the mouth, a touch of saline and flint add a savory edge to the soft, voluptuous texture
2012 Domain Livera Gevrey Chambertin En Champs Premiere Cru Vielles Vignes
2 bottles $99 per
I attended a distributor tasting last Friday where I tasted 2012 Domain Livera Gevrey Chambertin En Champs Premiere Cru Vielles Vignes. This is a 118 case production from vines in excess of 100 years old. Cost is usually $100-$130 per bottle. There was literally over 50 importer tables at this tasting, but I spent much of my time writing up this En Champs. Only 2 bottles left at $99.00. The wine is amazing!
( cellarable 15 years )
2011 Sojourn Rodgers Creek Pinot Noir
9 bottles, $35 per
From the Pinot Report: 94 points. Deep ruby color; big, complex earthy and forest floor aromas; deep, complex, cherry flavors with layers of forest floor and earthy notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Big, complex, earthy Pinot that screams for a dish with mushrooms.
2013 Fess Parker Pinot Noir, Ashley's Vineyard~Santa Barbara
6 bottles, $49.00, 5% off six, 10% off 12
There's a feral quality to this single-vineyard bottling, with dried rose petals, damp pine needles, dehydrated shiitake mushrooms and touches of violet, potpourri and dried ginger on the nose. The mouthfeel is velvety, with lilac and lavender decorating a base of cranberry and boysenberry fruit. 92 points Wine Enthusiast
"The 2013 Pinot Noir Ashley's is one of the more overt wines in the Fess Parker range, with generous, resonant fruit and an open-knit personality to match. The style is juicy, opulent and forward, with plenty of character. Sweet red cherries, flowers, spices, mint and French oak are laced into the voluptuous finish. Today the oak is a bit prominent, but that should be less of an issue with time. The 2013 spent 18 months in French oak, 42% new. 91 points Vinous / Antonio Galloni
2013 HESS COLLECTION Mount Veeder, Estate Grown Cabernet Sauvignon
6 bottles, Average $61, Today $45 per
Hess Collection's signature Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon comes from our estate Veeder Hills Vineyard. The elevation of this vineyard ranges from 600-1,120 feet, and its steep slopes and sedimentary clay and shale soils restrict root growth, resulting in Mount Veeder's hallmark small berries with intense fruit flavors.
"For the past several years we've been replanting some historic blocks here on Mount Veeder, and the figurative and literal fruits of our labors are beginning to elevate the quality of the wines from our mountain home. It's honestly, simply, exciting. A touch more Malbec this vintage sets the stage for a classic mountain Cabernet led by aromas of wild mountain raspberry and Bing cherry. Malbec trends toward blue fruit, and nothing is quite so luscious as blueberries framed by hints of vanilla, cassis, creamy milk chocolate caramel and oak spice. We watch our Cabernet age in the old barrel chai visitors first see as they walk toward the winery, and the nearly two-year wait in barrel is proving once again to be well worth it." - Dave Guffy, Director of Winemaking
JUST REVIEWED!!! The Wine Advocate - "Another sensational effort and probably one of the best wines to emerge from Hess in the last 30 years is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Mt. Veeder, a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon and 18% Malbec. This is sensational wine with fabulous aromatics of white flowers, licorice, roasted coffee, blueberry and black raspberry liqueur, with pen ink and graphite making an appearance. It is a full-bodied, rich and a compelling effort from Hess. The good news is there are nearly 10,700 cases of it." 94 POINTS ROBERT PARKER
2013 Corison Cabernet~Napa
6 bottles, $89.00 5% off 6, 10% off 12
I had opportunity to taste the 2013 Corison Napa Cab two weeks ago at their distributor tasting ( Victory) . The wine had not yet arrived. We have a history with Corison. We have done several vertical tasting with their reps and our clients over the years. Last night we received a call that the wine has arrived and that we have been offered very favorable pricing to us for our clients through the end of the day Monday.
I would first like to point out that Decanter rated Corison as one of the top five wines of the vintage. Screaming Eagle, Schrader, Bond, Harlan and Dominus were the others. Other than the Corison, the wines on the Decanter list range from $200-$1200 per bottle. I would like to further point out that 2013 is considered by many Napa winemakers, the best overall vintage they have ever worked with, "flirting with perfection".
About the wine; The Victory tasting was held at City Place. There were 56 importer and winery tables. Each table showed a minimum of 5 wines, consequently I first circled the room in order to decide which tables i would visit. I did not see a Corison table. I tasted and took notes for 3 hours, about 65 wines, when Ray Rainey ( wine buyer for Kings since forever ) came up to me and said that Corison had finally arrived and the wines were open. Well I did not even know Corison was going to be there, but that is not the point. The point is that by the time I tasted the Corison I has already tasted a mammoth amount of wine, and yet upon first taste I immediately knew it was special. Blackberry, blueberry and raspberry are explosive. There is a haunting mix of California greatest mocha component and Bordeaux's greatest tobacco. The finish is of great length and transitions from blue to red fruit and then back again endlessly. This wine is elegant and exceptional, the kind of wine which rarely happens. - Rex
2012 Corison Kronos Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon - average price is $181
3 bottles, $149.00 per
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Kronos presents a more intensely mineral and savory profile than the Napa Valley, with the opulence of the vintage pushed more into the background. Dried flowers, iron, spice, leather and mint add nuance. Ideally readers should give the 2012 at least a few years in bottle. Although attractive, today the 2012 appears to be going through an awkward phase in which it is less expressive than it was at the outset. With time in the glass, the 2012 starts to open up, but it needs more time in bottle. The 2012 is a big wine, but it is also quite vivid, full of detail and nuanced. Rating: 95+"
James Suckling - "Beautiful aromas of lavender, rosemary and black currants follow through to a full body with very pretty integrated tannins and a savory finish. It's cool, calm and delicious." 94 points
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Corison's flagship Cabernet from the Kronos Vineyard garners style points galore and proves that complexity and richness are not at all dependent on blustery ripeness. It leads with layered, deeply constituted aromas of cassis, cream and a touch of root-beer-like sweetness and follows with exquisite, wonderfully well-composed flavors that speak with quiet authority. It is moderately full-bodied but is graceful and impeccably balanced from entry to finish. Winery devotees who prize the estate's signature traits of refinement simply could not ask for more, and those who are unfamiliar with the Corison name are enthusiastically encouraged to make its acquaintance." 93 points
2011 Jack Quinn Cabernet
3 bottles, $99 per
We received some very rare 2011 Jack Quinn, Agave Rose Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford. There are only 196 cases produced. This wine is mailing list only and French Laundry gets an allocation. We tried a bottle this weekend. Amazing over the top raspberry and blackberry for days. Spicy French Oak and endless finish. This wine is quickly moving to cult status and probably price. $89.00 which is well below value. I recommend that if it is only one bottle you try this one while you can. Happy Spring! R and M
Michele's take: We got to taste the 2011 Jack Quinn Cabernet on Friday night....we saved a tidbit in the bottle so we could revisit the next day. Michael Byington who is more of a pinot drinker, did several double takes. He gave his highest marks even though a Cabernet. My sister's comment was I could drink this all day (and proceeded to drink the rest without sharing with Marty, her husband), which to me makes a 5 star wine...one that drinks great with or without food. Both red and black fruit, long velvety finish....Gorgeous. Hear it is becoming one of top new CULT wines.
I was told we MAY get more, but it is mainly mailing list. The wine retails $109-$119.
Always a solid, delicious, and consistent Napa Cabernet, we are pleased to offer the 2011 Jack Quinn, Agave Rose Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford!
The Agave Rose Vineyard, located on the north end of the Rutherford Bench off Zinfandel Lane, is a micro vineyard of just over one acre. The Zinfandel Lane vineyard property, formerly known as Melrose Farm, was originally developed by Jacob Greer, a Norwegian ship-captain and early Napa grape grower. Greer died in a shipwreck in the 1890's in a storm off Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. Jim and Molly Larkin purchased this vineyard and the old 1883 farmhouse property where they reside today and in 1999, with the help of vineyard manager Jim Barbour, replanted the vineyard to Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2004, Napa winemakers Andy Erickson and Benoit Touquette used the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from Agave Rose Vineyard to make the inaugural release of Jack Quinn Cabernet. The wine is named in honor of the Larkin's two young sons, Jack and Quinn. Benoit Touquette, who assisted in developing the 2004 Jack Quinn Cabernet, has taken the reins for the vintages 2005 through 2011 Jack Quinn Cabernet Sauvignon. Benoit is a star in knowledgeable Napa winemaking circles and the Jack Quinn Cabernet out of Agave Rose Vineyard on the Rutherford Bench is one reason why. Touquette's background studying and making wine in Bordeaux combined with modern Napa Valley viticulture and soil has created a wine that is both reminiscent of old world and new work Cabernets.
2009 Monteventrano Colli do Salerno
4 bottles, Was $49 per, Today $39
Tasted the 2009 Montevetrano. The wine is fresh and lively. I would never have guessed it was an 09. Black fruit, plums and cedar mixed with tobacco on the perfumed nose. The mouthfeel is soft and round, very velvety. The Anglianico adds depth reminiscent of a gorgeous Hermitage (something I am partial to). Rex says this is what is bringing out raspberries. We got a great deal which lets us sell at $49. Release price was $80....still sells on the net $56-$75. Reviews are below
"The 2009 Montevetrano is quite possibly the most accessible young vintage of this wine I have ever tasted. I am accustomed to Montevetranos that are tight and austere, but not in 2009. In 2009 Montevetrano is open and radiant, with layers of dark fruit and a polished, well-articulated finish. The 2009 is likely to be an early drinker, but that doesn't necessarily mean the wine will age quickly. A complete vertical tasted last year and published in Issue 190 found the wines in great shape, including all of the earliest vintages. Montevetrano is approximately 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Aglianico that spent 12-14 months in French oak, 50% new. It remains a benchmark in southern Italian oenology. - 92 Points -Antonio Galloni (June 2011)
"Concentrated and polished, with a compact core of fresh crushed black cherry, blackberry and cassis. Silky tannins lead to layers of wild flowers, ash and iron that are slow to unfold on the long, focused finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Aglianico. Best from 2013 through 2023. 2,500 cases made." - NW (Nov 15, 2011) 92 Points - Wine Spectator Magazine
"Montevetrano is an impressive blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot and Aglianico that shows the enormous potential of red wines from southern Italy. It will age 10 years or more, and it already shows deeply sophisticated flavors of tobacco, dry fruit and spice." - M.L. (2/1/2013) 92 Points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine
2010 Val Di Suga Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio Al Granchio
6 bottles, $79.00 per 5% off 6, 10% off 12
The 2010 vintage of Brunello was heralded as possibly the best of the last 100 years. There was an immediate run on the market when the 2010 Brunello's were originally released, consequently we were surprised when we met with the Val di Suga import rep ( Robert Dillon of Palm Bay Imports ) and realized that it was indeed a 2010 single vineyard Poggio al Granchio which he had brought for our consideration.
" Sure we will be happy to consider your highly touted Brunello-PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POUR SOME".
This is a highly layered Brunello. The nose is red fruit filled with brambly aspects and hints of dust. The front palate is brandied cherries which are distinct and infused with spice. The back palate becomes darker with length until you finally realize blueberry flavors have emerged. There is a hint if dust in the back palate which is reminiscent of Inglenook Cask Reserve or other high dollar Rutherford Bench Cabernet.
We tasted the Val di Suga again last night with steaks, then open 3 hours the flavor profile stayed the same, just bigger, spicier and the tannin layer became very velvety. This wine was excellent with aged cheddar and incredibly sensational with my highly charred t- bone. While writing this I (Rex) am tasting the final bit left in the bottle, which has been open now for 30 hours. The fruit is still bright and the wine is still highly structured which leads me to believe that Parker is right, this wine will drink well for another 15 years( review below) . Palm Bay gave us special pricing.
This is austere, with a dense matrix of tannins supporting cherry, tobacco, stone and leather flavors. Stays fresh, featuring a coating of dusty tannins on the finish. Best from 2018-2032. 93 points Robert Parker
2014 GAJA Ca'Marcanda Magari-new price, lowest in country!!
Was $57.50, Today $49.00 one case only
The 2014 Bolgheri Rosso Magari opens to a dark garnet color and pretty ruby highlights. I really love the crispness, acidity and linearity of this vintage that stands so far away from the more opulent and robust editions of the past. Angelo Gaja has interpreted the 2014 vintage very nicely in his beautiful property on the Tuscan Coast. Instead of looking for power and thickness, he strives for finesse and crispness. Yes, the vintage was cooler and wetter, but his skill in obtaining these qualities should not go overlooked. This is a different kind of Gaja wine (made with Merlot and Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc), but a very worthwhile expression nonetheless. I will give it a shorter drinking window, however." 92 points Monica Larner - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"Magari means 'if only it were true!, an expression used often in Italian to express desire, hope, and a vision of a bright future. The soil is made of loam and clay-rich terre brune, brown earth, ideal for the cultivation of wines with pronounced minerality. With its lush Merlot fruit and its spicy Cabernet character, Magari expresses the essence of Bolgheri, rich and well-rounded, with an elegant, silky finish. The 2014 vintage was an overall small crop due to the challenge of a very cool and rainy year. However, the wine is pleasing, expressing intense and mineral flavors." -Importer
2012 Stolpman La Croce
3 bottles, $69.00 per, 5% off 6, 10% off 12
50% Syrah/50% Sangiovese, Total Production: 750 cases
For such a massive wine, the nose gives off a whimsical red berry fruit aroma atop a core of new leather and lush forest floor. As the young, primary wine opens, attractive cocoa appears and the wine becomes more inviting. In the mouth, pulsating red fruit on top of Right Bank earthiness wows the un-indoctrinated - this is serious wine. The red fruit seems alive, as if still hanging on the vine. Well integrated with soft tannin bonded to a long fruit finish, and just when the wine seems over, one more intense pop of fruit resurges. Tasting library vintages of La Croce, I note an anise component that I only pick up in top notch Bordeaux-varietal wines. This dark bordelaise character signifies the uniqueness of this co-fermented field blend.
2014 Burgess Cellars Topography
Found one lone case!! Was $45 per, Today $35 per
Bright red fruit, cherry, raspberry, floral, bramble and tea leaf, cherry cola, hint of vanilla, great flavors and well balanced acidity. A classy and quafable wine with valley suppleness and a mountain core. Vineyard Notes: Haymaker - An eastern-facing mountain vineyard, located in a frost free zone between the valley floor and mountain top with ancient marine sedimentary soils. Triere - Our valley floor Oak Knoll district vineyard is located at 100' elevation with soils that consist of Cortina stony loam coupled with Yolo clay loam that provide excellent drainage. Production Notes: With mountain character and valley suppleness, this is a dynamic and authentic wine. Topography matters. Style matters. We craft this wine to enjoy immediately and with food. Production: 3,509 Cases 62% Merlot - 20% Malbec - 10% Petit Verdot - 8% Syrah
2013 Domaine de la Charbonniere Vacqueyras
7 bottles, $34.oo per, 5% off six, 10% off 12
We conduct a monthly lecture tasting at The Classic Café. That tasting was last night. Because this tasting series has become popular and generates good sales, we often get approached with impressive wines at very favorable price points, hence the price of this southern Rhone. The 2013 Charbonniere is all wild berry flavors, red, black and blue. This wine is spicy. Saffron, cinnamon and finally black pepper are obvious throughout this big bodied red . The tannins are very integrated and appealing. Vacqueyras in general is known for great character and spice due to the rocky soil in which it must survive. Domaine de la Charbonniere is considered one of the top producers in the area that shows through. This Vacqueyras is a harmony of explosive flavors. Rex ( lamb, game, roasts, great with BBQ sauce ).
Brilliant ruby. Black raspberry, lavender pastille and peppery spices on the fragrant nose. Powerful, deep red fruit flavors are lifted and focused by zesty acidity. Sweet, silky and energetic. Vacqueyras, with a spine of dusty minerality adding structure and gaining strength in the glass. Finishes floral and long, with gentle tannins adding shape to clinging red berry flavors. Josh Raynolds, Vinious May 2015 90- 92 points
2001 Izarbe Rioja Gran Reserva
6 bottles, Was $43.50, Today $37.50
We have purchased the last of the 2001 Izarbe Grand Reserva. This was easily one of the most compelling connoisseur level wines in our previous portfolio. We considered it an extreme value.
From our last review in 2016..
Fruit is bright and vibrant like a young wine. The spice is amazing and there is no funk to this Rioja it is polished and elegant. You would never guess this was a 2001!!
100% Tempranillo - This generous red is round and expressive, yet remains structured, with grip and depth. The plum, tobacco, sanguine and mineral flavors are harmonious and linger on the savory finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,500 cases made. -TM 93 points Wine Spectator - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
2012 Chateau Bauduc
12 bottles, $18.00 PER or $16 per on the case
100% Merlot. Wonderful plummy fruit and liquorice and leather scent. Soft, feathery tannins and just the right amount of mid weight. Not hugely complex, but presses all the right buttons for this level of Bordeaux. Very pleasurable claret. Richard Hemming MW