OF THE WEEK
Some fellows from Champagne Bollinger passed through town this week and
brought lots of bottles of Champagne.
They were showing off the newly-released 2004 R.D. Champagne, a Bollinger
specialty that's given extended aging on en tirage (On the spent
yeast). R.D. stands for récemment dégorgé (or recently
disgorged). The disgorgement is when they remove the dead yeast cells from
the bottle by freezing the neck of bottles that have been placed, eventually,
upside down so the yeast collects on the closure of the bottle. The bottle
is then plunged into an ice bath so that yeast "plug" freezes. Upon
opening the bottle, the pressure inside the bottle pushes this "plug"
out and the Champagne or sparkling wine is then topped up with wine and perhaps
a bit of sugar to balance the high acidity of the wine.
We were shown the Bollinger 2002 R.D. They wanted to demonstrate how the
wine changes with some aeration, so one glass was poured immediately and a
second, from the same half-empty bottle, was poured 20 minutes later. Yes,
there was a bit of difference, but perhaps being poured from a freshly-opened
bottle would have more effectively made the point.
Then there were three incarnations of the just-released 2004 R.D.
Bollinger's Deputy Chef de Cave Denis Bunner had specially disgorged two
non-standard bottles, leaving one with Zero Dosage and the other with 8 grams of
residual sugar. Tasters were asked to pick their favorite and then queried
as to the sugar levels in each sample.
(Our favorite was the Non-dosage bottle, but we'll gladly drink the
"normal" R.D. which had three grams of sugar.)
The sample with 8 grams of sugar, a sort of normal amount for a Brut Champagne,
was a bit less elegant than the drier versions.
Two "mystery" bottles were then poured.
We were asked to identify the vintages and comment on the wines.
The first bottle was gloriously mature and very toasty. The second was
intensely toasty, dry and creamy. We wondered if the wines were from the
1990s...more tart, we thought, than 1997. Maybe the 1996? But what
about the second bottle???
Could it be the 1985?
Perplexing, for sure.
Then we recalled a stellar bottle of Ruinart we consumed with friends in Italy
this past month...it was much more complex than a normal bottle of Ruinart as
the wine had been disgorged several years ago and now had time "on the
So we guessed this might possibly be the same wine as the first mystery
Champagne, but disgorged a few years earlier.
Could it be???
And, in fact, the wines were both 1996 R.D. Champagnes, with the first one
having been disgorged in November of 2017, while the "older" wine had
been disgorged in May of 2012.
This was a great lesson in knowing the disgorgement date of a bottle of bubbly
(not very many producers note this information on the label).
It also pointed out the value of buying sparkling wine and saving bottles for a
few years if you enjoy those toastier, yeastier notes.
A big Thank you to Denis Bunner and Bollinger's US Commercial Director Cyril
Delarue for organizing such an educational and informative tasting.
So often the week is filled with tasting dozens of perfectly standard,
unexciting wines in hopes of discovering something new and compelling to share
with Weimax customers.
This week, though, we found a number of really wonderful wines!
There's a Spring Mountain Cabernet that sings brightly of its origins.
We found a new vintage of a dynamite White Burgundy from the below-the-radar
Maranges appellation. Being below-the-radar means, happily, it's
well-priced (under $30) for a magnificently toasty French Chardonnay that's
comparable to far more famous wines.
We found a glorious Napa Valley Petite Sirah (they only made two barrels).
Our San Francisco tasting group surveyed Washington State Cabernets. We
had two of the eight wines battling for first place and it turns out they were
made by the same winery. One was their main bottling at $120, while the
other is their second label going for a relatively bargain price of $60.
That wine will soon be in the shop.
A friend brought a "mystery" wine to dinner the other night. We
were expected to taste and guess. We tasted and guessed it to be a noble
Bordeaux from the Saint Julien appellation. It wasn't as floral as Margaux,
not quite as strong of Cabernet as a Pauillac and more elegant and not as tannic
as a Saint-Estèphe.
Well, we were close: It was a 1992 Château Lafite-Rothschild.
This was a magnificent bottle, but from a year described by critics as very
And yet, lo and behold, this bottle was delicious!
It's another reason we suggest burning your vintage chart.
Stop by the shop...there are all kinds of wonderful discoveries to be made and
we're happy to share them with you!
GIFT CARDS AVAILABLE...
Lots of interesting wines to taste today, as well.
The list has been
updated, so stop by and check it out.
Had a nice
mention in the Wall Street Journal's 2016 story about wine store signage:
The Most recent mention, September of 2017, is this one...Things
Wine Shop Owners Detest...
Australian Wine Writer Jim McMahon wrote
a nice article published on the web site of the New South Wales Teachers
Did you see the article in the local newspaper, by the way?
It was printed
just before New Year's Eve...
"Quality first" is our mantra.
As professional wine scouts, we navigate the vast ocean of
offerings to find exceptional wines and exceptional values. We look
for good wines which have "soul." Given that so many
consumers are willing to settle for mainstream, mass-produced wines, our
selections often come from off-the-beaten path locales and, we suppose,
are not for everyone. But if you have taste for good wines, stop by
the shop! They start at about five bucks and go up from there.
We take the guess-work out of buying wine.
By the way, the four of us here are not "on commission."
Some stores offer incentives for the sales staff.
We work for you!
PEOPLE KNOW THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING AND THE VALUE OF NOTHING
dinosaurs in the wine business. Weimax has been open since 1961
and Gerald has been in the business long enough to remember when young,
upstart wineries such as Caymus and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars opened
their doors and charged all of $3.75 a bottle for Napa Cabernet!
If you buy wine because it has a cute label or was given a 90-point
score by someone, we're probably not your wine outlet.
If you think you're really getting a deal buying a second bottle of some
over-priced plonk for a nickel, we're probably not your wine outlet.
If you're impressed by a huge selection featuring hundreds of
factory-made wines of mediocre quality, we're probably not your wine
If you think you're really getting a deal at the grocery store with
inflated prices on their wine to give you a hefty percentage discount,
we're probably not your wine outlet.
On the other hand...
If you like wines made by the winemaker and not marketing department
geniuses, we have some interesting bottlings for you.
If you're looking for wines which "taste more expensive" than
they cost, we have many discoveries to share with you.
If you're interested in broadening your enological horizons, stop by and
have a chat!
If you're a fan of wines "made for adult" palates, please
This site is a "work in progress." It is updated regularly.
We are wine lovers and write this for wine lovers.
We offer a large selection of wines for
Monday through Saturday in The Tasting Room. We also
organize formal, blind-tasting comparisons. There is a growing archive of
tasting results, so you might check that out while you're viewing this site.
Here To Take A Peek of the Tasting Results
of legal drinking age are welcome to peruse this site.
Taste Before Buying.If you're looking for numerical scores of wines, you won't find them
We do not purchase wines on the
basis of favorable reviews by various publications.
Unlike about 98% of Wine Shop sites, we write our own copy based on
personal opinion and first-palate tastings.
This is a
Parker-Free and Wine Spectator-Free Zone.
We hope this site will encourage you to
stop by our shop and peruse the incredible selection of wines in store.SHIPPING
ALONG THE WEST COAST.
We make every effort to assure the accuracy of availability and pricing, but as
we are only human....
$9 for the Box (12 bottles) , $23 for UPS. $5
handling per box for gift orders.
No Shipments to Utah, Massachusetts or New Jersey, please.
Additional Fine Print:
Non-California residents are responsible for determining whether they may
lawfully import alcoholic beverages into their state. We make no representation
relative to your right to import wine or spirits into your state. Each state has
its own rules about alcoholic beverages. Better check before calling us with an
We are not responsible for shipments damaged due to weather. Next day air
or 2nd Day Air shipments are routinely handled with more care, so you may wish
to request those services.
We are not responsible for the weather (like, duh!), so shipments to places with
extreme temperatures are a risk. We will not assume that risk.
DELIVER LOCALLY...CHECK THIS PAGE FOR INFO
ON GIFT DELIVERIES
WE ARE: <click here!> 1178 Broadway, Burlingame, California
Check out the current newsletter.
We Gift Wrap, too.
and we'll pour you a free taste of
The MINUTO FAMILY BARBARESCO
CALLED "BRIC BALIN."
Print: One free taste per household...one free taste of a
particular wine per person.
You must be 21+ years of age.
HEY! We were listed amongst Food & Wine Magazine's 125
"Favorites" in the October 2003 Issue.
Thanks, Food & Wine!
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For: General Information, Comments, Queries, etc.,
Contact the Chief Cook & Bottle Washer, Web-Mister & Wine Meister.
- WEIMAX WINES & SPIRITS
Burlingame CA 94010
We built this site
ourselves using Microsoft's Front Page.
their noses at Gallo.
We "upgraded" to a new Microsoft program called Expressions...big
While FrontPage was intended for novices, the new program is
intended for "experts" and programmers. Most "experts"
view Microsoft with derision, much like wine drinkers look down
Now we know why.
We have been informed that
Netscape's Navigator doesn't present this format quite exactly as it is
intended. Sorry about that. We have also noticed it appears
differently on our browser than it appears as we've built it! Go figure...
"UNCLE BOB" GORMAN
Bob was in reasonably good shape in his later years.
In 2012 he had a bout of Bells Palsy in late Spring...
In early November he had a "dizzy spell" but said the hospital tests
were all fine.
Two weeks later he apparently suffered a stroke or seizure and ended up in the
A series of further setbacks ensued and Bob passed away on Thanksgiving Day of
He was a bon vivant, world traveler and gourmand.
He appreciated art and photography, was a mushroom hunter and good cook and genial
Bob wrote a book on California wine in the 1970s, a series of nice essays on
various varietals, with commentary on various wines and various food affinities.
Bob was especially proud that his book had been panned by The Wine Spectator,
while garnering good reviews from Gourmet Magazine's wine guru, Gerald Asher.
Julia Child also had been a fan of Bob's book, apparently.
He is greatly missed by Weimax regulars and his colleagues behind the counter in
Jon Bonne, of the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote a nice article on
"old" wine books.
The March 2014 article featured a photo of a bunch of Jon's favorites, topped by
Jon's article by CLICKING HERE.