The Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a ripe, rich, layered, yet elegant wine. It has a dark, ruby color and a complex nose of cassis jam, mocha, violets and nutmeg. On the palate, the wine has a delectable berry-laden entry and a rich, mouth-coating mid-palate. The tannins are beautifully integrated and the wine has a long, satiny finish. Given proper cellaring, this wine should give drinking pleasure through 2032. $110
This new Bourbon comes from a family of ranchers and uses only Wyoming grains from the Big Horn Basin. They grow their corn, wheat and barley in Kirby, Byron, Thermopolis and Riverton. Knowing that your whiskey is only as good as your water, they use water from the Madison Formation limestone aquifer. This small batch bourbon whiskey is medium amber in color with a moderately fruity and floral nose that hints of caramel, vanilla, and oak. The body is medium with vanilla, caramel, sweet fruit and slight oaky flavors and a mild, smooth finish. $49.99
The summers in Ojai are hot and, therefore, a perfect location to grow and drink dry Riesling. Unlike their semisweet cousin, this wine is similar to Rieslings from Austria and Germany which are suprisingly food friendly and versatile.
The grapes come from a small vineyard just west of the town of Los Alamos, California; the area is particularly well-suited for Riesling and produces a wine that is dry and strikingly unlike other California Riesling with it's beguiling lemon peel aroma and fresh, crisp minerally flavors. A perfect pairing would be fish tacos, pad thai or goat cheese and crackers. $24
This Pinot Noir from Belle Pente Estate vineyard is an example of wine where the total is more than the sum of the parts. The parts (in this case grapes) come from 12-year old vines, about half were newer Dijon clone selections and one third Pommard with the balance Wadensvill. By mixing these "old" and "new" clones the resulting wine is a complex, complete wine regardless of vintage. This pinot strikes a balance between accessibility and ageability, showing well in it's youth but with enough structure to age at least several years.
The Pinot is fresh, focused, and persistent with ripe plum and blueberry flavors and aromas. Accents of fresh herbs and flowers frame the fruit. The wine is medium-bodied with smooth, silky tannins and a crisp, clean finish. Only 785 cases produced. $35
95 points Wine Enthusiast *Editor's Choice*
Shows the ripe voluptuousness that this vineyard always brings to Pinot Noir, as well as near-perfect balance. So rich, so delicious, it’s hard not to drink the whole bottle. Waves of raspberry and cherry preserves, date-nut bread, white pepper, brown sugar, vanilla and toast are wrapped in a silky texture, with gorgeous acidity and smooth tannins. Drink over the next six years. $48
Viña Los Valles was the first organic wine from Bodegas Vinícola Real, launched in 2000. It is also our first "official" staff pick! Vinicola Real uses only organic, natural farming practices thus preserving the natural cycles of the earth, and letting the soils recover and recycle themselves using ancestral agronomical methods. This attenion to the ecosystem results in genuine, natural, honest wines which respect and reflect their terroir.
90% Tempranillo and 10% Garnacha, the grapes are harvested manually in 15-kilo tubs from vines with an average age of more than 25 years. “Deep ruby red with complex aromas of spices and forest scents. Powerful on the palate, with a good structure and hints of soft tannins and spices on the long, elegant finish”. $13.99
“Pentimento” is named for the memoir written in 1973 by outspoken New York playwright and farm owner Lillian Hellman, in which she revealed profound insight regarding the importance of the people and events that shaped her life. The estate is situated at the very top of the Montagne – Saint Émilion AOC, which benefits from persistent airflow and strong breezes.
Michele D’Aprix, a protégé of Stéphane Derenoncourt, joined the owner of Château Beauséjour, Pierre Bernault, in 2008 for the inception of her label, “Pentimento”. Michele and Pierre make a selection from the vineyard each year for this wine, which illustrates on its front label the soil’s profile in its molecular formula: Montmorillonite Clay and Limestone (Michele went to Davis and happens to like soil chemistry).This wine did not happen overnight. It is the result of many years of hard work, collaborative ideas and patience of many people. As it is the first, proprietary label Michele has made, the name is given as a gesture of gratitude to her professors, professional mentors and most importantly, her fellow bartenders. By getting all those shifts covered she was able to travel and learn how to make great wine. She considers this to be “the coolest job in the world.” $25
Mercat Cava aims to evoke the same spirit of community, liveliness, and tradition as seen at Barcelona’s Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria. The Cava is made using traditional methods in the cellars of El Xamfra, where Francisco Dominguez hand crafts every bottle with the utmost attention and care. The Mercat Cava spends a minimum of 18 months aging on its lees and is finished with a very low dosage, allowing the chalky soils on which the old indigenous vines are grown, to shine through on the palate.
Unlike Champagne, the DO Cava designation is defined by a specific practice of winemaking, rather than a region where wine is made. There are over six regions with the DO Cava status, though over 90% of production is from the Penedes region. The town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is the unofficial Cava capital in the heart of Penedes, home of many top producers, including El Xamfra. The Macabeo, Xarel.lo & Parellada grapes are vinified in the traditional method and aged for 18 months (twice the minimum for the DO). The vines are about 15-40 years old, planted on calcerous and clay soils.
In the glass, this sparkling has a delicate bead and a soft golden color. The nose bursts with rich pear, green apple and hints of cream. On the palate, the wine shows great finesse and balance with notes of papaya and pear rounded out with hints of hazelnuts, finishing with crisp acidity and freshness. $16.99
This Verdicchio di Matelica is made of grapes grown on vineyards that have a Jurassic period raised sea bed, near salt water springs called "le salse" (from "sale" which means salt). The raised and unique North-South mountain valley blocks off tempering coastal winds to cause extreme diurnal temperature differences resulting in this racy, mineral driven wine. Notes of tangerine and green apple. $15.99
The Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace is made by the strictest "méthode traditionnelle" with the second fermentation taking place in the bottle. Made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes, the grapes are hand-picked and whole cluster pressed, hence the pale salmon color. With flavors reminiscent of fresh strawberries and wild cherries, there is a touch of richness on the mid-palate. Best served as an apperitif or as an accompagnement to fruit desserts. $19.99