WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's
UPDATED AS OF November 14, 2015
2012 Stags Leap CABERNET SAUVIGNON $8/taste ($79.99/bottle)
The winemaker at Cliff Lede worked at Colgin
and, previously, at Cain.
The Colgin Cabernets, when you can find them, cost $300-$600 a bottle.
Why not taste this terrific Cab from Cliff Lede which we think is a big
POLIZIANO 2012 VINO NOBILE $2.80/taste
Federico Carletti was the
head of the Consorzio of Vino Nobile producers and his wine
is a bit of a reference point for us. We skipped the 2011 which was a bit
light but this
2012 has the intensity we like in his previous vintages.
VIETTI 2013 ARNEIS $2.40/taste
The latest vintage of Arneis from Vietti is another benchmark
Dry, no oak and perfect for summer aperitivo service and seafood dishes...
Linguine con Vongole, anyone?
JELLY JAR Lake County ZINFANDEL $2.40/taste
Made in Napa but the fruit comes from an old vineyard in
Lake County...lots of red fruit notes to this charming Zin.
2013 MORGON $1.60
From an old-timer in Beaujolais comes this terrific example of
Cru Beaujolais. Delicious!
BURGESS 2011 Napa CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Burgess took over the old Souverain winery
back in 1971-1972 and they've been
making good Cabernets for decades. The 2011 is beautifully elegant and
cedary. It's a delicious Cabernet for immediate drinking or short-term
GINGLIN 2011 ST. EMILION $3.70/taste
American sommelier named Richard Betts wanted to find some seriously
good Bordeaux at a sensible price. He's been helped by some of the
Thienpont family in this endeavor. The French say "glinglin" as
a term for
"when the cows come home" or, in more extreme instances,
"When Pigs Fly."
The notion of an affordable, top quality St. Emilion is such a
miracle, you'll notice the winged pig on the label. It's been a rather
popular wine in the shop, so why not have a taste and see if
you find it to be to your taste?
CHATEAU LESTRILLE Entre Deux Mers $1.20/taste
Estelle Roumage took a page out of the New Zealand winemaking
she interned while in wine school) and brought it back to her family's estate in
Bordeaux. If you know of a superior wine to this that's anywhere close to this
please let us know. We've looked and haven't found it.
ROBERT WEIL 2014 Rheingau RIESLING $2/taste
Weil is a famous winery in Germany's Rheingau and they make a
"Trocken" (dry) Riesling. It's fruity and fresh with snappy
acidity and a dry, clean
CHALK HILL 2014 SAUVIGNON BLANC $2.30/taste
So many California wineries over-crop the hell out of their Sauvignon
resulting in wines which have little varietal character.
To their credit, Chalk Hill makes a Sauvignon that sings "Sauvignon."
Herbal, grassy, passion fruit...dry & crisp, too.
FEL Anderson Valley PINOT NOIR $4/taste
The Cliff Lede winery purchased a vineyard in Mendocino's Anderson
and they've made a couple of good Pinots. We prefer the less costly,
blend. Nice red fruit notes and a touch of oak...very good.
SUMMERS NAPA CHARBONO $2.30/taste
Jim & Beth Summers make our favorite California
with blackberry & blueberry fruit...mild tannins...fairly full-bodied.
PAZO BARRANTES 2013 ALBARINO $1.90/taste
The Marques de Murrieta winery in Rioja owns this little enterprise
Spain's west coast in Galicia. It's a marvelously elegant little dry
LA RIOJA ALTA 2005 VINA ARDANZA $3/taste (Sale $29.99)
Here's a fabulous Spanish red that is matured in a lot of new American oak
and then given substantial bottle aging before it's released.
How many California wineries offer relatively matured, nicely aged red
at a reasonable price?
UMATHUM 2013 Austrian SAUVIGNON BLANC $1.60/taste
Most wine-knowledgeable wine drinkers know Austria's Steiermark
region as a
source of good Sauvignon Blanc, but Burgenland winemaker Josef Umathum
also does a fine job in making an herbal, grassy dry white with plenty of
CLOS HENRI SAUVIGNON BLANC
A New Zealand Sauvignon with a French accent....
HONIG 2013 Napa SAUVIGNON BLANC $1.40/taste
Delightful Napa Sauvignon...well-priced, nicely citrusy white wine.
HUDSON Carneros CHARDONNAY $6.50/taste
The Hudson vineyard name is found on some impressive bottles of
Chardonnay. Lee Hudson launched his own label. Big.
TOKARA DIRECTOR'S RESERVE $3.70/taste
A top South African estate, we have both the red and white Reserves
The white reminds us of Smith Haut-Lafitte from Pessac-LÚognan...the red is a
magnificent Cabernet-based bottle...
THE FORAGER CHARDONNAY $1.90/taste
Susan and Jonathan Pey offer a couple of remarkably good wines under
label. If you don't like this, you probably should not be drinking
JAYSON North Coast CHARDONNAY $5/taste
They pick the best barrels for the Pahlmeyer label and charge a hefty
The Jayson wine represents most of their production and it's routinely a
very flashy, lavishly oaked, high octane wine. Despite the relatively high
level of alcohol, the wine tastes balanced. Not sure how they do that!
OAKVILLE ZINFANDEL $2.50/taste
From the only Zinfandel Vineyard in Oakville...very charming
Zinfandel with nicely
berryish fruit and a touch of wood.
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.
CHATEAU HAUT-MAYNE 2010 SAUTERNES $3.80
You're not alone...nobody knows this fine little domaine...
JM da FONSECA 20 YEAR SETUBAL (Moscatel) $6/1 ounce pour
Hugely famous in Portugal and around Europe, they're a mystery to most
wine consumers in the US. Remarkable wine, though.
STONY HILL 2010 Napa S╔MILLON DU SOLEIL $4.50/taste
A sort of Napa Valley "passito" made of Semillon.
SMITH WOODHOUSE 2001 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.
CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2005 SAUTERNES $3.50/taste
A second wine from the famous Chateau Rieussec, this is nicely honeyed and
BARBADILLO 30 YEAR AMONTILLADO SHERRY $5/taste
When we pour a taste of this stellar Sherry, its perfume permeates the entire
and very fine with an after-taste which lingers for a very long time.
NIEPOORT 1988 COLHEITA PORTO $5/1 ounce Pour
Dirk Niepoort is a leading light in Portugal and he makes some top Colheita
(single vintage tawny) Ports. Here's a nicely aged bottling...old,
but not too old and not too young...
PIETRI GERAUD 2005 BANYULS $3.30
France's answer to the question "Port?"
EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL $2.20/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.