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“Being the domestic buyer for the store sometimes just sucks!! As we huddle in the staff tasting area with Jim, the import buyer, and Lance, the Italian buyer, many conversations are about another exceptional value from Spain, or Italy, or France, or even South America, but for the most part America is left out. Sometimes I just scratch my head wondering how another $7 wine from Europe got another 90+ score from the press. The press has been so one-sided, that many customers refuse to look in our American wine selection for great values. Here is a list of domestic finds that will not break the bank and please your palate.” – Glen Knight
2010 Columbia Crest H3 Red Wine Les Chevaux Horse Heaven Hills $9.99
Yeah 90 Points Wine Spectator: “Supple and spicy, with a plush-textured, dark-hued, blackberry-rich mouthful lingering against creamy oak notes on the long and polished finish. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.” One of top selling wines in the store! Take that Italy!
2011 Jack Hammer Pinot Noir Central Coast $12.99
One of the hardest things to do in the wine world is making great value Pinot Noir! The first vintage last year was awarded LA Times Wine of the Week and we haven’t been able to keep in stock ever since. This lively little pinot with hints of cherry and cola is already a star. Enjoy!
2011 A to Z Wineworks Pinot Gris Willamette Valley $12.99
One of Oregon’s fastest growing wineries since 2002, A to Z has continued to kick out great wines year after year. They make Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and of course our best selling, the Pinot Gris. It is bright with tropical aromas and has good weight and great length.
2009 CC: Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley $16.99
Master Sommelier Richard Betts created this brand to let people know his motto of “wine as a grocery, not a luxury” and making a wine to be enjoyed everyday. This is the third vintage of CC: and every customer who has tasted this cabernet has come back for more.
2011 La Follette Pinot Noir North Coast $17.99
Greg La Follette is one of great winemakers in Sonoma. His new label and price point has caught on very quickly. The staff loves selling this excellent pinot. Greg builds this blend barrel by barrel to achieve a rich mouthfeel and purity of fruit. A superb wine for the price.
2010 Lioco Chardonnay Sonoma County $17.99
LIOCO a dream between Matt Licklider (a seasoned wine import specialist) and Kevin O’Connor (wine director at Michelin Two-Star Spago-Beverly Hills) about whether California could produce a true “wine of origin.” Winery notes: “One taste explains it. Lemon curds and crushed up stones dominate, while a palate-cleansing acidity keeps the wine taught. At 13.5%, this is as gulpable a California Chardonnay as you will find.”
2010 Renwood Winery Zinfandel Old Vine Amador County $17.99
New ownership last year and a new label, but coming out of the gate with a LA Times Wine of the Week doesn’t suck! S. Irene Virbila of the Los Angeles Times writes: “…These intense, almost syrupy wines aren’t for everyone, but if you love them, you’ll love this example from Renwood in Amador County in California Gold Country. Renwood is a specialist in Zin, making half a dozen different bottlings. The Premier Old Vine is the least expensive and a bargain for the quality.”
2009 Pappas Wine Company Pinot Noir Willamette Valley $17.99
Pappas Wine Company is naturally crafted by Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas. Their motto is “Vibrant, fresh and delicious Pinot for the People!” This 100% Pinot Noir cuvee is a ‘field blend’ grown by the best vineyards across Oregon’s Northern Willamette Valley, including Shea, Cherry Grove and Stoller.
2010 Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc North Coast $19.99
In 1996, John and Tracey Skupny launched Lang & Reed Wine Company. They are nicest people you’ll ever meet, and they make some of the best Cabernet Franc in the country! The 2010 North Coast Cabernet Franc has a bright, clear violet blue color. The aromas display firm red berry, gentle lavender and licorice overtones.
2010 Walter Hansel Winery Chardonnay Russian River $19.99
One of the best values in Sonoma! The Walter and Stephen Hansel have been growing grapes in Sonoma for over 30 years. Since 1996, they have been producing some great value-driven Pinots and Chardonnays. Russian River fruit for under $20, is hard to find period! Limited!