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2007 Press Gang Cellars Red Wine Santa Barbara County $18.99
Kyle Knapp is the winemaker of this new project. He started at Stolpman as an assistant winemaker and now currently is assistant winemaker at Beckmen Vineyards. Winemaker notes: “A Ballard Canyon Syrah based blend with a touch of Dornfelder from the Huber Ranch in the Santa Rita Hills AVA. Fermented with 25% whole cluster Syrah in upright 500L french oak puncheon and aged for 30 months in once used French oak. 95% Syrah, 5% Dornfelder. Only 85 cases produced.” A great value Syrah!
2010 Le P’Tit Paysan Petite Sirah Monterey County $19.99
Le P’Tit Paysan means “A country man or woman; peasant; clown; in a country fashion.” The wine comes from two blocks of Pierce Ranch Vineyard in southern Monterey County. Winemaker Ian Brand’s tasting notes: “Aromas of black plum, boysenberry, white pepper, garrigue and dried cherries. Palate is focused on dark fruit with soy sauce/umami tones and a brooding minerality. Finishes with big, juicy boysenberry and black plum fruit, chewy, mouth coating tannins, and white pepper.”
2009 Le P’Tit Paysan Meritage Monterey County $19.99
The 2009 Meritage is produced from three vineyards with very different soils (granitic, shale based and shale and limestone marl) and microclimates to yield a balanced and complex wine. The 2009 Bordeaux blend is great approachable red, but shows good complexity and balance. There are hints of berries with undertones of cedar and tobacco, but the mouthfeel is lively with darker fruit flavors. A great deal at this price!
2011 Calera Wine Company Pinot Noir Central Coast $23.99
Calera Wine Company continues to produce excellent values in the marketplace. This 2011 Pinot Noir is no exception. Winemakers Notes: “Plum, pomegranate, pink rose petal, boysenberry and the slightest hint of watermelon candy dance from this 2011 Central Coast Pinot Noir. It’s full of boysenberry and spicy cherries jubilee character with nice brightness and delightful flavors of black raspberry and sweet oak. A bit of tartness accents the soft, flowing texture and lively finish.”
2009 Kessler-Haak Estate Grown Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills $28.99
With only 150 cases produced, this is easily one of our more exciting finds from Sta. Rita Hills. Winery notes: “Estate grown fruit, made in a style of dry elegance. This young, lovely full bodied Pinot Noir shows rich cherry, pomegranate, cola and mineral flavors with firm tannins.” The 2009 Pinot is a beautiful wine that is a real crowd-pleaser.
2009 Priest Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley $36.99
93 Points Antonio Galloni of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Priest Ranch is quite a bit more powerful and radiant than the 2010, but is also quite reticent today. There is plenty of richness in the glass, but the tannins lack a measure of polish. I am not sure if the 2009 will ever be as elegant as the 2010, but it is almost certain to remain more exuberant in style. Dark red berries, flowers and licorice are all woven into the juicy, expressive finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.”
2011 Paul Hobbs Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley $49.99
Just released and will not last long is the top-selling Pinot from Paul Hobbs. Limited so you’ll need to hurry. Winemaker notes: “Deep violet in color, this lush pinot noir offers aromas of wild berries, rose petals and cola. The juicy wine envelopes your palate with bright raspberry, plum, clove, cocoa and vanilla which seamlessly leads to a long, toasty finish.”
2010 Joseph Phelps Vineyards Cab. Sauv. Napa Valley $59.99
94 Points Antonio Galloni of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon is beautiful. Scents of pain grille, mocha, black currants, spices and plums emerge from this deep, resonant wine. The 2010 possesses stunning textural depth and richness, not to mention phenomenal overall balance. Readers who want to get a sense of the 2010 vintage without spending a huge amount of money may want to start here. This is a dazzling wine, especially within its price range. The 2010 is 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2025.”
2009 Dunn Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain $99.99
96+ Points Antonio Galloni of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Howell Mountain has more energy and focus than the Napa Valley bottling. Iron, graphite, red fruits, dried flowers are some of the many notes that take shape in this deep, complex, powerful wine. I imagine the 2009 will still be spectacular at age 30. For now, it needs at least another handful of years of cellaring to drink well. Huge veins of minerality support the huge fruit, giving the wine much of its pure tension and vitality. This is going to be a fascinating wine to follow over the coming decades. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2039.”