WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's
UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 12, 2019
"Signature" NAPA CABERNET SAUVIGNON $66.99 $6.70/taste
is an "old timer" these days and we've been offering their wines since
early 1970s. The 1973, by the way, remains embedded in our memory as being
This 2016 is right up there, too.
The wine carries a Napa appellation and the winery tech sheet refers to their
vineyards, but we believe they use grapes from around the Napa Valley for this
It's 79% Cabernet with 12% Petit Verdot and 9% Malbec.
There's dark berry fruit notes here and some mildly woodsy tones.
It's one of the most showy Cabernets we've tasted the past few months.
PEWSEY VALE 2012
"CONTOURS" RIESLING $3.40/Taste
Vale's special Riesling called "Contours" is one of the most enjoyable
Rieslings in the shop.
It's typically released when it's had some time in the bottle to develop, so if
those floral and petrol notes of nicely matured Riesling, don't miss this.
We paired two vintages with homemade Crab Cakes recently...we had a bit
of chili pepper spiciness in the crab mix and the wine was superb in this
One of our guests, a prominent New Zealand winemaker, was absolutely
delighted to see this on our menu that evening, saying it's her all-time
This is dry and crisp, too, by the way.
CASTELLO DI NEIVE BARBERA
D'ALBA "Santo Stefano" $2.50/taste
Neighbors said he was crazy when he planted Barbera on the famed
Santo Stefano hill
in Barbaresco. He had been selling Nebbiolo grapes to the legendary Bruno
and those bottles of wine sold (and still do) for several hundred dollars.
Why plant Barbera?
"Because I like it." responded Signor Stupino.
Well, this new vintage is a wonderful bottle of Barbera.
Come and taste it for yourself.
SHAFER 2016 RED SHOULDER RANCH
Carneros CHARDONNAY $5/taste
Shafer family have been making a spiffy Carneros Chardonnay for decades.
The wine is vinified in both barrel and stainless steel...it doesn't undergo
a secondary, malolactic fermentation and retains an element reminiscent
of tropical fruits with some toasty notes from the wood.
Most people regard Shafer as a top red wine
specialist, but they do a
good job with this showy dry white.
CAGGIANO 2016 FIANO DI
is located right in the town of Taurasi in Italy's Campania.
Aglianico is their claim to fame, though in recent years Caggiano's white wines
have been tremendously showy.
Fiano is really good...there's a floral note and some melon-like
Far more complex than the watery Pinot Grigio that is sold everywhere.
STORYBOOK MOUNTAIN ZINFANDEL
decades ago Dr. Jerry Seps began making Zinfandel in the northern part of
the Napa Valley.
The old cellar was once owned by the brothers Grimm, but they abandoned the
ages ago. There was a horrific fire in 1964 which torched the vineyards.
Seps and his wife Ingrid purchased the property in the 1970s and set about
Zinfandel with the advice of Napa winemaking legend Andre Tchelistcheff.
With eastern exposures and careful vineyard management (organic farming,
Storybook Mountain is a far cry from the flat, flabby Zinfandels that get so
attention these days.
You'll find this to be elegant and with a particular spice note.
CH┬TEAU TOUR DE MIRAMBEAU
Bordeaux "CuvÚe Passion" $2.70/taste
Despagne family makes some terrific and well-priced Bordeaux wines.
This has long been a Weimax favorite as it's of top quality thanks to
careful vineyard management and new oak barrels in the cellar.
Merlot and Cabernet.
Cedary, woodsy oak.
Balanced tannins, to it's drinkable in its youth.
NAUTILUS ESTATE New Zealand SAUVIGNON BLANC $1.80/taste
Hill-Smith clan owns this terrific New Zealand estate.
They make a relatively low alcohol, crisp, tangy Sauvignon Blanc which
is really snappy and fresh...heck, it ought to be: it's fresh out of the
fermentation tank...this is a 2018 vintage!
This is a crisp, delicious cocktail white and it's dynamite
with seafood, dim sum and other Asian-styled dishes.
2017 has just rolled in.
This is routinely one of our favorite, off-the-beaten-path dry white wines.
We brought a double magnum of the 2016 to dinner during the
San Francisco International Wine Competition and it was a hit with the
judges (from all over the world, too).
The 2017 we brought to dinner with some friends at Dumpling Time in
San Francisco...thoroughly delicious!
Stony, nicely fruity with a hint of a spice note...
BANNERET CH┬TEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE $5/taste
is a tiny estate of 3.5 hectares. It is an old-school ChÔteauneuf-du-Pape,
not one of those stupidly high alcohol wines made specifically to
impress some of the so-called experts who find high octane to be the
equivalent of high quality.
Banneret's wine is a blend of all thirteen grape varieties permitted
in the Southern Rh˘ne.
It's a soulful red and showing beautifully now. You can cellar this, too.
THE TERRACES 2014 CABERNET
Crull's "The Terraces" estate is located in Rutherford near the
His red wines have routinely been excellent, but the small production level
has kept the wines from gaining greater recognition (unless you're in the know
and shop at Weimax).
It's blended with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah...
19 months in French oak, 35% new.
Very showy. Less than 500 cases made.
TRAMIN 2016 "STOAN" White
Wine Blend $3.60/taste
A delicious blend based on Chardonnay, but it's
the Sauvignon Blanc that
really sings here.
The wine sees some large wooden tanks and it's beautifully aromatic.
Don't miss it...everyone who has tasted this has given it a
WOODSIDE VINEYARDS 2014 CHARDONNAY $2.50/taste
Forty years ago Woodside Vineyards was
one of the few "cult" wineries in California.
Today they're relatively unheralded, but if you like a creamy, mildly oaked, dry
Chardonnay, come taste this one from Santa Cruz Mountains fruit.
OUTPOST 2016 Howell
Mountain ZINFANDEL $5/taste
Howell Mountain appellation is planted primarily to Cabernet $auvignon
as the area is quite well-suited to that expensive grape.
Outpost has been making top Zinfandel from Howell Mountain vineyards
and their wine captures the Zin spice and "terroir" of the region.
It's remarkably elegant, too.
been said the Traminer grape may have originated in Italy's Alto Adige.
Heck, there's a town near Bolzano called "Tramin."
Castelfeder is a small, family estate and they seem to have
GewŘrztraminer dialed in. We've usually touted the wine from Cantina
as they make a top bottling from a single vineyard site.
This is less than half the price and of similar quality and
Castelfeder's is beautifully aromatic and it's dry...
We are certain most winemakers in France's Alsace, where GewŘrz is
a specialty, would be proud of this wine.
CONDE DE HERVIAS RIOJA $4.50/taste
big fans of Spanish reds and one of our favorites is this
Conde de Hervias bottling from the Rioja region.
It's from old vineyard parcels, some 80 years of age and some
said to be 140 years.
The wine is predominantly Tempranillo and it's matured for about
a year in French and American oak.
Medium+ to full-bodied.
ISOLA DEL SATIRO Sicilian RED $1.00/taste
d'Avola is a grape and wine that's gaining in popularity and it comprises about
70% of this wine. The rest is the unknown Perricone grape.
Here's a good, simple, easy-to-drink Spaghetti Red.
Not complex or profound, but to accompany a pizza or bowl of Spaghetti &
it's a winner.
PETER DIPOLI 2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC
Peter Dipoli is a bit of a legend in his home region of Italy's Alto Adige.
He makes a Bordeaux blend and a Sauvignon Blanc called Voglar.
The wine is a bit intense and perhaps a tad rustic in today's squeaky clean
of winemaking. We're trying to say this is not for everyone,
but if you're on the same wavelength with the wine, you'll find it
to be quite satisfying.
Everyone in the Alto Adige knows Dipoli and they all speak
reverently about him and his wines.
We visited his cellar in March of 2018 and he shared some older bottles
with us...Voglar ages quite handsomely and each vintage is reflective
of the growing conditions of its birth year.
FLYING B 2015 WALLA WALLA CABERNET
bought a bottle of this from the distributor to include in a blind tasting of
Washington State Cabernets. Two of the eight wines were our favorites and
they were remarkable similar.
We put this wine in second place behind the other...which turned out to be
$100+ bottle from the same winery!
This is their second wine and at about half the price and 95% of the quality
of the other, choosing this was an easy decision.
Its wood treatment reminds us of many top, expensive
Bordeaux, but it's $59.99 price tag makes this an
KIVELSTADT 2014 Sonoma SYRAH
is a really good little winery that makes some terrific wines.
They certainly fly below the radar unless you're a serious
We're fans of their red blend called "Father's Watch," but it's this
killer Syrah that really hits the mark.
They do a modest percentage of whole clusters in the fermenter which
seems to give a particularly charming and complex element to the wine.
There's also a splash of the white grape, Viognier, in the mix as they
took a page from the French winemaking handbook.
You'll pay nearly $50 a the winery...we have it sale tagged at
Don't miss this.
BINZ 2016 MORIO MUSKAT
This is a small production
from our friends at the Binz winery in Germany.
It's intensely aromatic and fragrant, with a touch of sweetness but ample
acidity to balance.
You'll find this wine only at our little shop here in Burlingame (or at the
RAMEY 2015 Russian River Valley
One of our favorite California Chardonnays, this is a wine made with
an astute awareness of French White Burgundies, but with a
decidedly California accent. Very fine.
HART'S DESIRE 2017 VIOGNIER $1.80/taste
John Hart has a good
vineyard source in Sonoma and
makes a wonderfully peachy
dry white which captures the essence of Viognier.
HILL FAMILY ESTATE
may be the best Napa Valley Merlot you've never heard of!
The Hill family (not
Gallo's William Hill, by the way) have a vineyard management
company and work with Duckhorn and Silver Oak, to name a couple of wineries.
They own some acreage of their own and make some good wines.
We're fans of this Merlot...lots of nice plummy fruit and a touch of
CI┘ CI┘ 2017
example of the Pecorino grape...certainly this will appeal to you if
you're enchanted by crisp, non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs.
This is yet another great, flavorful alternative to the "water"
many commercial cellars bottle as "Pinot Grigio."
tangy, stony, minerally and bone dry...no oak.
Classic Sancerre at a rather modest price.
Ask Gerald to tell you
the story of how he
was instrumental in creating the blend of wines
which comprise this special bottling that's sold solely
2016 Margaret River CHARDONNAY $4.20/taste
Margaret River region in Western Australia...
They make three Chardonnays...this is the middle tier bottling and it's
Smoky, leesy and toasty...you have to taste it.
Russian River CHARDONNAY $4/taste
California Chardonnay by an old master...
Tom Dehlinger makes some stellar wines, but he's a graybeard now...no longer the
"new kid on the block," so his wines are sometimes overlooked.
But they remain amongst the best of California.
COTO DE IMAZ 2013 RIOJA RESERVA $2.40/taste
Rioja has routinely been pretty good, but this vintage it's
more striking than usual.
It's made from the Tempranillo grape and matured about a year and
a half in small American oak barrels.
If you enjoy California Cabernets and want something showy
with a reasonable price tag, be sure to taste this.
WINES OPEN TODAY:
QUINTA DO NOVAL 2011 VINTAGE PORT $10/taste
The most recently-declared Vintage is offered today for
tasting...quite showy now and it
will repay cellaring handsomely.
CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2014 SAUTERNES $3.50
A second wine from the famous ChÔteau Rieussec...delicious, mildly
CASTA DIVA MOSCATEL "Cosecha Miel" $5.50/taste
Hugely famous in Portugal and around Europe, they're a mystery to most
wine consumers in the US. Remarkable wine, though.
BARBEITO 5 Year Old BUAL MADEIRA $2.40/taste
Not exactly dry but not precisely sweet...a nice 5 year old Madeira from a prestigious,
SMITH WOODHOUSE 2003 LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO $3/taste
Savvy wine buyers know this brand from the Symington Family (Graham's, Warres,
for its killer LBV Port...If you have taste for hundred buck bottles of Vintage
Port and are
on a budget, check out this delicious Porto!
LA MAGENDIA Juranšon $3.60/taste
From master winemaker Jean Bernard Larrieu comes this stellar sweet wine
balanced by laser-sharp acidity.
FLORIO 2003 "TARGA" MARSALA $4/taste
A special bottling of Vintage Marsala from the historic Florio winery in
EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL $2.20/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.
DELAS MUSCAT DE
BEAUMES DE VENISE $2.60/taste
From the Rh˘ne Valley in France...this is a simple, aromatic and
CRUZ VIEJA OLOROSO SHERRY $3.80
A well-aged, beautifully nutty dry Sherry...