Julia James Pinot Noir 2016
Sourced from a few of California’s best Pinot Noir regions: Russian River, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey, Julia James is crafted by a veteran winemaker using sustainable farming methods in the vineyards. ‘How is it possible to make a California Pinot this good at this price? This baby looks like a Pinot, smells like a Pinot and tastes like a Pinot – there’s bright acidity fresh cherries, darker fruits, a light footprint and no oak overkill. My guess in a blind tasting would be that this is a $40 Willamette or Anderson Valley Pinot.’ forbes.com ‘20 best reds under $20’
Château-Roc-de-Minvielle Bordeaux 2015Growing grapes since prior to the French Revolution, this estate has been owned by the Gadras family since the 1800’s. Today it is Pierre Gadras taking care of the vines, thinning leaves for maximum sunshine on the grapes and pruning back for fruit concentration. Planted to mostly Merlot with Cabernet Franc, this is exactly what we look for in a lovely petit château Bordeaux. Look for ripe, plump aromas of blueberry, cassis, licorice, plum and bing cherry. Fresh and alluring, this exudes grace versus power and has wonderful flesh and charm.
Castello di Monsanto Monrosso Toscana 2016This is an extraordinary value for an estate-bottled Super Tuscan with a very high pedigree. Aldo Bianchi, a native of San Gimignano, left Tuscany before the Second World War to seek fortune in the North of Italy. In 1960, he came back to the area for a wedding and was enchanted by the view from the terrace of Castello di Monsanto. It was love at first sight which made him buy the property within a few months. But if Aldo was bewitched by the landscape, Fabrizio, his son, immediately fell in love with the wines he found in the cellar. Thanks to a passion for wine handed down to him by his grandmother, who came from Piedmont, and to an innate entrepreneurial spirit, Fabrizio, together with the untiring help of his wife Giuliana, started to plant new vineyards and convert the numerous farmhouses. In 1989, Laura, Fabrizio’s daughter, started to work in the company and gradually learned the land, the people who worked it and her father, the marvels and difficulties of the natural evolutive process which transforms grapes into wine. This is a red Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Château-Siaurac Lalande de Pomerol 2015Ch â teau Siaurac is one of the most famous properties in Lalande-de-Pomerol, which is a satellite appellation of Pomerol. The family is oriented toward quality in order to produce wines with great expression and typicity of the terroir . The Ch â teau has been certified Organic since January 2009; they conduct grassing between rows, grapes and leaves removal, hand harvesting and double sorting by hand. The average age of the vineyard is between 25 and 30 years. Siaurac has been made by an exceptional team as well: the technical director from Chateau Latour, Penelope Godefroy, has worked with, Jean-Claude Berrouet, who was the winemaker at Petrus for 40 years. A blend of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, this tastes rich, velvety and pure with notes of cherry, mocha, licorice & rose petals.
Chateau Moulin de Mallet Bordeaux 2015Château Moulin de Mallet is owned by the quality-driven Serge Couderc and his son Julien, who have worked tirelessly to constantly improve and modernize the nearly 100 acres that constitute the estate. Situated in the town of Pujols, a rocky outcrop overlooking the Dordogne River, facing the slopes of St Emilion in the far southeast corner of the Bordeaux region, this lovely vineyard enjoys beneficial clay-limestone soils, with old vines averaging 30 years. Made of 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, we found a lovely bouquet evoking ripe red fruits, vanilla and licorice. In the mouth, this has admirable concentration and silky tannins. Serve with chicken and pork dishes, or with cheeses and charcuterie. A stunningly good buy tasted and approved by our staff.
Melville Estate Pinot Noir 2014Owned by father and son Ron and Chad Melville, Melville is an estate driven winery, which focuses upon Burgundy and Northern Rhone style wines. Located in the heart of Santa Rita Hills, in Santa Barbara County, the estate has 85 acres planted to vineyards. Winemaker Greg Brewer makes Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Viognier for the family. After having owned vineyards in Napa, Ron Melville came to Santa Rita and never looked back. Calculated composting, complex cover cropping practice and deficit irrigation, matched with a tremendous amount of crop reduction and canopy management are the critical components to Melville’s strength as wine growers. This is 100% Melville fruit from Melville's Sta. Rita Hills estate, and is a collection of 16 pinot noir clones. 40% of the fruit was fermented as whole-clusters with 60% gently de-stemmed in small (1.5 ton) open-top fermenters. Total skin and stem contact averaged 30 days (7 day cold soak, 2 + weeks of fermentation and 1 + week extended maceration). From the press, the wine was transferred directly into neutral barrel (old French oak), where it remained sur lie without sulfur until June, when it was gently racked for the first time and prepared for bottling in August. Yields were 3.6 lbs/vine (3.3 tons/acre).
Raymond Cabernet Sauvignon 2015The Raymond family arrived in Napa Valley in 1933 and became connected to the Beringer family via marriage in 1936. Roy worked as winemaker for Beringer from 1933-1970, when in 1970, he and his two sons set out on their own with the 90-acre estate property in Rutherford where the winery is located. They released their first commercial wine under the Raymond Vineyards label in 1974 and never looked back. Today, the Raymond winery is owned by Boisset Family Estates. Jean-Charles Boisset serves as president of Boisset, one of the world’s leading family-owned wine companies, with wineries in Burgundy, Beaujolais, the Rhone Valley, the South of France, and expertise in French sparkling wines. Boisset’s August 2009 purchase of Raymond Vineyards expanded the company’s footprint in the New World, which already included properties in Canada and California’s Russian River Valley, making it one of the top twenty-five producers in the US.
Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva 2012Tasted and loved by our staff, Marques de Murrieta has a long, meaningful history at the Bottle Shop. When we were first learning about wines, it was very important to our dad for us to know the best, most classic wines of every great winemaking region in the world. In Spain, Marques de Murrieta was at the top of his list. We had the opportunity to taste old wines from Murrieta from vintages such as 1968 and 1959 with him while we were still in the infancy of our wine training. The estate is very much a traditional estate in style. While rich and deep in flavor, the fruit is multi-layered but not 'New World jammy'. Red and black fruits, cedar, leather, hints of spices, even hints of tar are revealed. We would pair this with Spanish-inspired cuisine, especially pork or lamb dishes. WINE ADVOCATE reports: 'Yes, this is one of the oldest wineries in Rioja, created back in the 19th century, and they keep their traditions, but now but each wine is selected from specific plots, something that they have done since the year 2000, a year that marked a big change in the winery. I feel more balance and better integration of the oak with the wine in recent vintages. I really liked the wines I tasted and was very excited to be shown a tank sample of the 1986 Castillo de Ygay Gran Reserva Blanco. Yes, you have read it correctly, it was a tank sample which is waiting to be bottled after almost 21 years in wood and 6 years in tank that will be released sometime in the future. I simply loved it.'
Montes Classic Series Cabernet Sauvignon 2016This Cabernet has been a huge success at the Bottle Shop. Made of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot, this was aged for 6 months in French oak, and has good body with cassis, black cherry, mint and spice complexities. Made from grapes grown in Chile's Colchagua Valley, which has become famous for good Cabernet's, this is one of the greatest value in Cabernet in the market. Winemaker/Owner Aurelio Montes was named "Winemaker of the Year" by Wine Spectator in the years 2002 and 2006. Montes and his partners run a great, quality-driven operation in both Chile and in Argentina at Kaiken.
Carpineto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2012Named for the Renaissance town of Montepulciano, the term nobile has historical roots in the original practice of reserving this wine exclusively for the aristocratic families of this area of Tuscany. Carpineto’s Vino Nobile is produced from fruit harvested exclusively from their Montepulciano Estate. The ethereal bouquet shows elegant notes of violet and toasted oak nuances. Bold fruit flavors envelope the palate with a velvety, elegant texture and long finish, it is dry and full in style. This Riserva benefits from extensive aging in a combination of Slavonian and French oak barrels for 18-24 months, followed by 12 months in bottle. TOP 100 WINE OF THE YEAR 2016
Hess Allomi Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015The Allomi vineyard lies in the gently rolling hills of northeastern Napa Valley, where the combination of long, warm growing seasons with well-drained soils create the optimal ripening conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon. The 210-acre vineyard is sustainably farmed and grows 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones. In 1978 Donald Hess arrived on Mount Veeder , acquiring his first land on Mount Veeder. Although he purchased 900 acres to develop vineyards, he set aside 600 acres as undeveloped land to support wildlife corridors, fish friendly farming practices and biodiversity. He believed that vineyard development begins with the direction to “nurture the land and return what you take.” Fast forward to 2008, and the Hess Collection was among the first ten wineries to receive certification as a Napa Green Winery. “Earthy flavors enhance the fruit flavors in this wine, especially with foods such as herb roasted chicken, grilled pork, caramelized onions, eggplant, sautéed greens, roasted potatoes or vegetables and aged Jack and Gouda cheese.” – Chad Hendrickson, Executive Chef at Hess
Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016In 1971 Charlie and Lorna Wagner asked their young son Chuck if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery and he leapt at the opportunity. They produced their first vintage in 1972, consisting of 240 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon and they continue to focus their efforts on top quality Cabernet Sauvignon to this day. Caymus Vineyards remains 100% family-owned by the Wagners. Charlie, Lorna Belle, and Chuck worked together as a remarkable team for over 30 years building Caymus Cabernet. Today, Chuck, his two sons, Charlie and Joe, and one daughter, Jenny, have joined the family team. Farming grapes remain the priority with the family farming about 350 acres of prime Napa Valley land. The Wagners took the name Caymus from the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, given to George Yount in 1836, which encompassed what eventually became the town of Rutherford and much of the surrounding area. Caymus Vineyards produces two Cabernets Sauvignons - a "Napa Valley" and the venerable "Special Selection". Both Cabernet bottlings have aromas and flavors which can only be achieved through "hang time" - a technique which chances the loss of crop if early winter sets in. Leaving the fruit to "hang" on the vine unusually long develops suppleness, increases color, and matures the tannins of the grapes. The wines are abundant in textural tannins yet soft as velvet. Crop thinning, allowing measured sunlight to reach the vine's fruit zone, and waiting for increased ripeness are all part of our viticultural practices. Caymus Cabernets offer a wide array of aromas and flavors including cocoa, cassis and vanilla.
Chateau Tour Saint Christophe Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015The Tour Saint-Christophe estate in Saint Emilion boasts a beautiful terraced vineyard which looks upon Barde-Haut from the other side of the valley. Owned by Peter Kwok, one of the first Asian investors in Bordeaux in 1997 with the purchase of Haut-Brisson, Tour St.-Christophe is typically made of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc (although this vintage is 85/15). Kwok, who lives in Hong Kong but was born in Vietnam, owns 40 hectares of vines with Chateaux Tour Saint Christophe, Haut-Brisson and Tourans in St Emilion, plus Enclos Tourmaline and La Patache in Pomerol, and Enclos de Viaud in Lalande de Pomerol.