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2012 Bodega Vistalba “Tomero” Torrontes Mendoza $12.99
“Pale straw-yellow. Very shy aromas of white peach, ginger and quinine. Dry, spicy and sharply delineated, with enticing musky perfume. On the tart side but with no shortage of intensity. Distinctly light-bodied, delicate torrontes.”- Stephen Tanzer
NV Maison Trenel Cremant de Bourgogne Blanc de Blancs “Cuvee Hommage” Ecocert $17.99
“Today, the legacy of Andre Trenel is carried on by director Gilles Maimoun with superb assistance from Herve de Boissieu, Andre’s nephew, Bruno Chambe, and the delightful Laurence Malois. These three have dedicated themselves to upholding Andre’s old motto, “You can only do things well, if you know how to do them well.” This Cremant de Bourgogne is a perfectly dry (zero dosage) 100% Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine. All Chardonnay. And, it’s completely organic and certified biodynamic by Ecocert. Fresh, alive and bursting with fruit, not gassy bubbles.”
2011 Domaine Francois Crochet Sancerre $23.99
The nephew of the famous, Lucien Crochet, who helped put Sancerre on the map for serious Sancerre consumers. Francois is making a great name for himself because of the quality of Sauvignon Blanc he is putting in the bottle and this wine proves that. This wine has wonderful pear fruit, so fresh and lively on the nose. Rich, with a lovely weight, yet still broad and lively. Finely acidic fruits, with citrus and peaches makes this a very refreshing wine.
2006 Domaine des Baumard Quarts de Chaume $29.99 (WAS $59.99!)
“Light gold. High-pitched aromas of lemon, green apple and nectarine, with a floral honey quality that gains strength in the glass. Plump orchard and pit fruit nectar flavors are underscored by tangy citrus and mineral notes that buffer the sweetness and add verve. Plenty sweet but the underlying minerality contributes refreshing cut and extends the floral-dominated finish. I really like this wine’s blend of sweetness and vivacity.” – 92 Points Josh Raynolds (IWC)
2011 Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard Hautes Cotes de Beaune Blanc “Sous Equisons” $34.99
“A very fresh nose of citrus and floral notes leads to detailed and attractively vibrant flavors that possess a slight saline character on the easy-to-like finish. This should drink well immediately.”- Burghound
2011 Domaine Louis Michel Chablis “Montée de Tonnerre” 1er Cru $39.99
“Discreet notes of algae, oyster shell and white flowers slide gracefully into rich, concentrated and overtly muscular middle weight flavors that possess both excellent volume and palate staining dry extract. The sheer depth here is most impressive as is the persistence on the borderline bone dry finish.”- Burghound 91-94 Points
2011 Domaine Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph Blanc Les Oliviers $49.99
(80% marsanne and 20% roussanne): Pale yellow. Intense, mineral-accented aromas of pear skin, peach, quinine and white flowers. Bright and incisive, offering tangy lemon and deeper pit fruit flavors and a touch of anise. Shows a strong mineral quality on the clinging, spicy finish. Pierre Gonon told me that this wine had only recently been bottled and that it should be putting on weight through the coming spring.”- Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar 91 Points
2011 Domaine Jean-Noël Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Chaumées” 1er Cru $79.99
“…There is a fleshy, even succulent character to the medium-bodied flavors that also possess plenty of mouth coating extract that buffers the moderately firm acidity that shapes the clean and dry finish. This is slightly riper than the Chenevottes and offers fine complexity.”- Burghound 90 Points
2011 Bodega Vistalba “Tomero” Malbec Mendoza $12.99
“Good medium red. Expressive nose offers plum, currant, mocha and tobacco, with complicating hints of sandalwood and pepper. Supple, sweet and rich, showing excellent volume and peppery verve to the plum and redcurrant flavors. Finishes with suave tannins, sneaky length and lift, and surprising complexity. Serious and sophisticated malbec for such a gentle price.”- Stephen Tanzer
2011 Bodega Vistalba Corte C Mendoza $12.99
“(an 80/20 blend of malbec and cabernet sauvignon): Bright medium ruby. Complex aromas of kirsch, blackberry, licorice and dark chocolate. Sweet and plush but with lovely inner-palate mineral lift to the dark berry and herb flavors. This tightened up in the mouth as its slightly green cabernet component, substantial dusty tannins and firm underlying structure became more apparent. May yet merit an outstanding rating, but this will need patience. These wines are very reasonably priced.”- Stephen Tanzer
2011 Domaine Lafage Tessellae Old Vines Cotes du Roussillon, Languedoc Roussillon $12.99
“The least expensive offering is the 2011 Tessellae Old Vines Cotes du Roussillon, an intriguing blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre and 5% Grenache Gris, a rare white grape. It was aged 12 months in concrete tanks prior to being bottled unfiltered. It boasts an expansive, intense, complex bouquet of garrigue, strawberries and black cherries intermixed with a hint of spring flowers, a velvety texture and a voluptuous mouthfeel. It made me write in my tasting notes that it was a “$12 Cote Rotie of the south,” although $12 Cote Roties went out of existence about 50 years ago. This beautiful, soft, round, seductive red should drink well for 4-5 years.”- 93 Points Robert Parker
2011 Domaine de la Solitude Côtes du Rhône $13.99
“Dark red. Bitter cherry, raspberry, flowers and a hint of medicinal herbs on the nose. Silky and pliant, offering tangy red fruit flavors that gain sweetness with air. Finishes with dusty tannins, decent persistence and a touch of refreshing bitterness.”- Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
2010 Domaine Michel Lafarge Bourgogne-Passetoutgrains A l’Exception $29.99
“From 85+ year old vines, also made from a 50/50 mix of pinot and gamay. A similar if slightly riper nose slides into energetic, round and utterly delicious flavors that are underpinned by slightly firmer tannins and fine length on the balanced finale. Again, a quality effort for this modest appellation.”- Burghound 85-88 Points Outstanding
2001 La Rioja Alta “Vina Ardanza” Rioja Reserva Especial $39.99
“The 2001 Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial is a blend of 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha from their vineyards in Fuenmayor and Rioja Baja respectively and it represents only the third vintage to be declared after 1964 and 1973. Aged in American cask for 36 months, it has a bucolic, natural bouquet of bright red cherries, balsamic, mint and a touch of dried honey all with superb delineation. The palate is medium-bodied with wonderful delineation and supple, lithe tannins. The acidity is very well judged and it leads to a pert, tense finish of bitter cherry, loganberry and licorice. This is an outstanding wine drinking perfectly now, but it should age effortlessly. Drink now-2030.”- 93 Points Wine Advocate
2011 Domaine Pierre Gonon Saint-Joseph $45.99
“Bright ruby. Fresh raspberry and cherry on the nose and in the mouth. Spicy, mineral-driven and precise, with a sexy floral nuance emerging with air. The finish shows very good clarity and features silky, harmonious tannins. This wine was slated to be bottled in mid-February of 2013 according to Gonon.”- Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar 90-92 Points
2010 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Saint-Joseph $49.99
“The stunning 2010 St.-Joseph ranks alongside the finest wines of the appellation, including Guigal’s l’Hospice and Chapoutier’s Les Granits. It boasts a dense purple color along with scents of kirsch, blackberries, crushed rocks, spring flowers and licorice. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age and should drink well for 15+ years thereafter.”- Robert Parker 93 Points
1987 Cune Rioja Vina Real Reserva $59.99
Absolutely Delicious! This was one of my favorite wines I tasted in a fight of 20 older Spanish wines that I tasted last month. A great price for something with 26 years age on it! There is still plenty of red fruit in this wine that has hints of cigar-box, earth, spice, and soy sauce. It almost smells like a great aged burgundy on the nose. The texture is so silky smooth that it is hard not to finish the bottle by yourself. I also brought in the 1986 Bodegas Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Rioja Reserva at $54.99 that was a standout in this same tasting. It is just so nice to have some aged wine like this and such great prices.
2010 Domaine Michel Lafarge Volnay $69.99
“A more deeply pitched nose features a mix of red and blue pinot fruit with hints of plum, earth and stone. There is fine richness to the round and solidly concentrated medium-bodied flavors where the supporting structure is phenolically mature, all wrapped in a mouth coating, persistent and well-balanced finish of very good if not exceptional depth. This delicious effort should benefit from 6 to 8 years of cellar time.”- Burghound
2009 Alion (Bodegas y Vinedos Vega Sicilia) Ribera del Duero, Castilla Leon $69.99
“This plush red delivers lively flavors of plum, blackberry, nutmeg and toast. Deceptively supple, featuring well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity that imparts plenty of structure. In the modern style. Drink now through 2019.” – 91 Points Wine Spectator