|Zink, Paul & Philippe 2009 Riesling, Alsace Grand Cru Eichberg||$30||Best Splurge Wine!|
Medium lemon-gold color. On the nose, a hint of petrol, lemon curd, a whiff of honey, green apple-ginger chutney, apricot and spice, suggesting a hint of botrytis. Just off-dry with nice flavor intensity and a clean finish that even has a slight grip to it. A robust, concentrated, drier style of Riesling. 13.5% abv.
|Ghost Pines 2010 Merlot, 71% Sonoma, 29% Napa||$21.00||Best Splurge Wine!|
Opaque ruby throughout, displaying pronounced aromas of toasty oak, cocoa, black olive, sweet spice, and liqueur-like black plum and black cherry. Very ripe and expressive Merlot fruit here, just lovely concentration. Oak and ripe fruit is well-integrated and the palate is rich and silky; a polished style. 14.5% abv.
|Rancho Zabaco 2011 Zinfandel Sonoma Heritage Vines, Dry Creek Valley||$17.99||Best Wine!|
97% Zinfandel, 3% Petite Sirah. Opaque ruby-purple. Concentrated aromas of blackberry, black raspberry, quite ripe but not raisined. Loads of toasty oak and sweet spice, but meshes with the fruit just beautifully. Of course, it’s high in alcohol but all in check. Intense flavors of boysenberry, blackberry, and blueberry preserves with a long finish. Stylish, inherently pleasant. Made for barbecued ribs. “Sexy, voluptuous.” (WD) 14.9% abv.
|Standing Sun 2010 S & M Red Blend, Santa Barbara, Ca.||$34.00||
Best Splurge Wine!
Medium to deep ruby core with a pale ruby rim. Pretty aromas of dark crushed violets, black pepper, wild strawberry and raspberry jam, sage and thyme. More acid structure than tannic structure but a lovely, soft viscosity and those aromas come shining through on the palate with excellent persistence. Purity of fruit is the focus. A lip-smacking wine to please all palates! 14.6% abv.
Bagrationi 2007 Brut Reserve Georgia ***1/2 $26, Respectable Sparkler!
Chinebuli, Mtsvane, Tsitska. Méthode Champenoise. Bright medium lemon. Yeasty, waxy nose. Toffee, butterscotch, lemon curd, freshly roasted Brazil nuts. Creamy, rich, balanced acidity, and texturally pleasing. Persistent butterscotch finish. 13% abv.
Lange Twins 2011 Moscato Clarksburg, CA Estate Grown **** $16, Best Wine!
Pale straw color. Intense rose perfume, orange blossom, white peach, unripe blood orange, fresh ruby grapefruit zest. A very distinctive, unforgettable style. Stands out. Off-dry but with quite high, bright acid for balance, interest, and lift. A still wine, not pétillant like the other Moscatos. 11% abv.
Standing Sun 2011 Le Blanc Santa Barbara **** $24, Great Splurge Wine!
45% Grenache Blanc, 35% Viognier, 20% Roussanne. Medium gold color. "This
wine intrigues me." (WD) Aromas of browned butter, toast, honey, nectarine, apricot, caramel, and gingerbread spice. Full bodied, moderate acid, but balanced, fresh. Hedonistic style. Tasted @ 55°F yet surprisingly fresh and balanced, with well-integrated alcohol and oak. 14.3% abv.
Standing Sun 2011 Rosé Santa Barbara ****1/2 $20, Best in Class, Best Splurge Wine!
100% Grenache. Deep, bright pink. Wild strawberry jam, candied raspberry, tinges of herbs and white pepper. Incredibly true to varietal and style. Full bodied, with additional flavors of tangerine peel and a very long, fresh finish. "One of the best rosés I've tasted all year" (WD) "That's a hoss." (NF) 14.3% abv.
Ravenswood 2010 Zinfandel Napa, Ca. **** $16, Best Wine!
Bright medium ruby. Pronounced nutmeg aromas with black pepper, black berry fruit, effusive, potent, well-structured. Needs a juicy, peppered ribeye. Bright finish keeps it real. Hint of licorice. Hold 1 year for oak to integrate. Excellent quality. 14.5% abv.
Dry Creek Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon "The Endeavor" Dry Creek Valley, Ca. ***1/2
"The Sexpot" (WD) Driven by fresh, nicely ripe red and black currant and berry fruit. Good integration of oak on the palate. Sexy, pronounced nose. Big, sweet tannins. Complex, minty, Fernet Branca aroma. A potent, massively appealing wine. 14.5% abv.
Matarromera Riserva (2006) $48 ****
A deep dark ruby colored wine. Delicious scents of vanilla with cherries,
dark chocolate, espresso with a leather finish. Aged for 18 months in French
and American resulting in an elegant, fine wine.
GREAT SPLUGRE WINE!
Matarromera Rento (2005) $60 **** 1/2
Old world classic, with an unfiltered color- very dark opaque.
Rich ripe, full-bodied with great balance. Smooth scents of roasted coffee
with a sweet fruit finish.
Matarromera Prestigio (2005) $70 *****
One of our highest scoring wines of the year!
Beautiful dark ruby color. Tastes of dark chocolate covered cherries with
light minerality. Aged for 19 months in French & American Oak. Smooth with
no edges and soft tannins. A fully integrated, amazing food wine. www.grupomatarromera.com/usa.html
BEST WINE! BEST SPLUGRE WINE!
Matarromera Emina Verdejo Prestigio (2011) $17 ****
Not your typical Verdejo. A great summer sipper! Straw gold color, great
acidity, an intense and bright wine. Grassy, citrus fruit with deep
minerality & pleasant aromatics.
Matarromera Crianza, Ribera Del Douro (2008) $28 ****
A macho wine! Deep Dark Purple. Lovely nose with subtle fragrances.
Tastes of light leather, cigar box, cedar with a touch of vanilla. A
well-balanced, elegant wine with hints of espresso. Pair with lamb or stews.
Zonin Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore (2009) $18 ****
Dark ruby color, nice fruity nose with rich earthiness. A well-balanced
wine, with lightly flinty flavors, with black cherries and plums. Lots of
acidity and tannins.
Petroni Vineyards 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma $24*****
Star bright yellow straw color. Ripe citrus fruit with flavors of grapefruit and white peaches. Hints of slight oak and aged oak. A complex, fruit driven wine that has depth and roundness. An intense and lingering finish make this wine stand out from all others. Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown on a volcanic hillside estate in the Mayacamas Mountains. Aged in old French oak barrels for 8 months. BEST VARIETAL, BEST WINE!
Petroni Vineyards 2005 Brunello di Sonoma $60 *****
Made from grapes that were grown on the proprietors 30 year old vineyards, planted with Sangiovese cuttings from Montalcino and UC Davis. Twenty months in new and used puncheons and French Oak Barrels. A concentrated earth driven wine with flavors of sweet tobacco, tea, tart cherries, crab apple and red apples. Complex and rich, this is the best Sangiovese we have tasted from California!
BEST VARIETAL, BEST WINE!
Artezin 2009 Artezin Zinfandel, Mendocino, $18****
Bright ruby color with nice clarity. A soft and feminine style Zin, that is not overdone. Aromas of black pepper, cinnamon and all spice. Lush mouthfeel with smooth tannins.91% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 1% Carignan. Elegant and well crafted wine. www.hesscollection.com/
Hess Select 2008 Hess Collection SU'SKOL, Napa Valley, $22 ****
Excellent color. Creamy, juicy with great well integrated oak finish. 20% aged in New French Oak. Honeysuckle & Asian pear aromas. Not your typical Chardonnay. This wine has an old style quality with minerality. Pair with chicken, roast cauliflower or raw oysters! www.hesscollection.com/
STANDS OUT FROM THE CROWD!
Merry Edwards 2009 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, $30 ****
A vineyard blend, with more than 42% of the grapes coming from vineyards that over 30 years of age. Nice lemon color, great intensity on the nose, gooseberry, herbaceous with grapefruit! Barrel fermented in French Oak Barrels.
BEST VARIETAL, BEST SPLURGE WORTHY WINE!
Merry Edwards 2008 Olivet Lane Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, $60 ****
Wonderful deep ruby color. Intriguing nose with exotic, spicy and earthy flavors. Layers of complexity with dark cherry, orange rind and cured meat. Hold for 5 years! Great with duck confit, pate or roasted chestnuts.
BEST SPLURGE WORTHY WINE!
Lander-Jenkins 2009 Chardonnay, California,$15 ***1/2
Classic bright lemon color. Nice intensity with great citrus and peach flavors. Creamy mouthfeel with a long finish. Made from a blend of grapes from Lodi, Trinity and Napa Valley. Blend: 95% Chardonnay, 5% Muscat Canelli
Lander-Jenkins 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, California,$15 ****
The second vintage for Lander-Jenkins cab contains a blend of grapes sourced from Paso Robles, Napa Valley and Other California regions. 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 2% Zinfandel, 2% Barbera. Light ruby color. Floral flavors, roses, red currant, cheery and mint flavors. Full-bodied with strong tannins and lingering finish.
William Hill Estate Winery 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay,$25 ****
Nice deep color with a sophisticated nose. Hints of hazelnuts, toast and biscuit. Butter and brown spice with elegant acidity. Very intense and worth the price.
Scott Family Estate 2008 Pinot Noir, Arroyo Seco, $39****
Ruby red garnet color. Nice Pinot Noir nose with with hints of roses, mushrooms and forest floor. Great aromatics and acidity. A true Burgundian classic that shows its = terroir. Pair with game, beef or veal tenderloin. This is a very food friendly wine.
2009 Castello di Borghese Estate Riesling, North Fork Long Island,$25 ****
Great pale lemon color. Excellent minerality on the nose, slight petrol scents, with a distinctive aroma of fresh baked bread and Granny Smith apple. Barrel aged. High acidity with a nice dry finish. Pair with pork roast & sauerkraut.
BEST VARIETAL, BEST SURPRISE WINE!
Seven Hills Winery 2008 Merlot, Columbia Valley,$28****
Great deep ruby color. Aromas of blackberry, black cherries, plums and spice cake. Excellent structure and tannins. Soft feminine, lingering finish. Pair with most weeknight fare.
VERY DRINKABLE-A CROWD PLEASER!
Alamos 2008 Alamos Sellecion Malbec, Mendoza $20****
Dark ruby almost opaque color. Bold aromas of raspberry, boysenberry and
coffee. Rich mouthfeel with a lingering finish. This is a "Big Red" total
capable of pairing well with juicy steaks or pork chops.
Banfi Toscana 2009 Banfi Le Rime Pinot Grigio,$9****
Nice green hue. Medium bodied, nice on the nose. A classic example of finely made Pinot Grigio.
Bella Sera- IGT Veneto 2009 Pinot Grigio, $11***
Pale straw color, taste of bruised apple, neutral, low acidity. Light fruitiness. Excellent summer sipper!