Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

 

STORE HOURS

CURRENT HOURS:
Mon-Sat 9am-6pm


The Tasting Room has
Reopened!
Please be Double-Vaxxed!


Closed Sundays

 

SONOMA SAUVIGNON
ARTISTRY

NEW VINTAGE OF SONOMA CHARDONNAY

PORTUGUESE $11 RED

SANGIOVESE DI ROMAGNA,
Not Tuscany

NEBBIOLO LANGHE
BARGAIN

SALUMI-WORTHY
FIZZY RED LAMBRUSCO

AROMATIC PIEMONTESE RED: RUCHÈ

CRU BARBARESCO FROM A NEWISH WINERY--Sale Priced

NEW, SINGLE VINEYARD
SANCERRE

BEST BUYS
Good Wines for $5-$15

CAPOVILLA
OUTSTANDING GRAPPA

CABERNET VALUE

AMAZING ALBARIÑO

SURPRISINGLY GOOD TEN BUCK MERLOT

BIGFOOT CABERNET

CHAMPAGNE DE
MERFY

A FIESTA OF A TEMPRANILLO

OBSCURE ITALIAN RED

CIÙ CIÙ
PECORINO

COOL VERDEJO

ELEVEN BUCK
AMADOR ZIN

STYLISH WASHINGTON MERLOT

STELLAR NEW ARTISAN RIOJA

NICE LITTLE PINOT $9.99

CASTELÃO BARGAIN

STELLAR BLAUFRÄNKISCH ESTATE

COLORFUL ZIN

WHITE BURGUNDIES OF NOTE

MARSANNE BARGAIN

CHERRYISH TUSCAN RED SALE $12.99

PROSECCO FOR ADULTS

BILLIONAIRE'S WINES UNDER $30!

BARGAIN WHITE BORDEAUX

TOP OF THE LINE
CREMANT

RESERVE QUALITY RIOJA

BARBERA OF NOTE

PIEMONTE'S GRAND VIN BIANCO?

GREAT GRUNER VELTLINER

FLOWERY, CURIOUS RED

OLD PATCH RED
ZIN BLEND

MONCUIT'S GRAND CRU CHAMPAGNE

HONEYED MUSCAT

Napa Valley Grape Info
2002

2010

Amazing FRENCH CIDERS

FIZZY LAMBRUSCO

 

 

HOME PAGE

AMERICAN WINES

CALIFORNIA PINOT NOIRS

RHONE WANNABEES

ZINFANDELS

SAUVIGNON BLANCS

MERLOTS

OREGON WINES

CALIFORNIA CHARDONNAYS

CALIFORNIA CABERNETS

RIESLING & GEWURZ

WASHINGTON STATE

CANADIAN WINES

Adventuresome  Wines

ROSÉS !!

FRENCH WINES
ALSACE
BEAUJOLAIS
RED BORDEAUX
WHITE BORDEAUX
RED BURGUNDY
WHITE BURGUNDY
RHÔNE VALLEY
THE FRENCH ALPS
SOUTH OF FRANCE

LOIRE


CHAMPAGNE

 

ITALIAN WINES
PIEMONTE

VALLE D'AOSTA

NORTHERN ITALY

CENTRAL ITALIA

TUSCANY

SOUTHERN ITALIA

SARDINIA

SICILIA


SPANISH WINES
Spanish Sherry
& Other Delights


PORTUGUESE WINES

SWISS WINES

GERMAN WINES

AUSTRIAN WINES

ARGENTINA

CHILE

AUSTRALIA

NEW ZEALAND

SOUTH AFRICA

OBSCURE WINES

DESSERT WINES

CHAMPAGNES

HALF-BOTTLES

SPIRITS

CIDERS

BEER
Even Real "Bud"!

OTHER STUFF

WINE TASTING

WHAT'S OPEN


UPCOMING TASTINGS

TASTING RESULTS
  
NEWSLETTER

SHIPPING INFO

ETC.

 

TASTING REPORTS

HOW TO ORGANIZE A BLIND-TASTING

BLIND TASTING ARCHIVE

MY 2013 EURO WINE ADVENTURE BOOK

CHATEAU MONTELENA "DREAM TASTING"
January 2018

CHATEAU MONTELENA
VERTICAL


ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2007

ALBA WINES EXHIBITION 2008

SCHRAMSBERG vs THE FAMOUS FRENCH

German Wine "Master Class" Tasting

UNIQUE VERTICAL TASTING OF VOLLRADS RIESLINGS
1945-2015


S & M FOR WINETASTING GEEKS

TEAR-WAH
TASTING

2020 COVID
SF INTL WINE
COMPETITION

2019 SF
INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2018 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2017 SF
INTERNATIONAL
WINE 
COMPETITION

2016 SF
INTERNATIONAL
WINE COMPETITON

2015 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2014 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2013 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2012 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2011 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2010 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2009 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION

2008 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
Periodically Amazing

2007 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION
The Nose Knows!

2006 SF INTERNATIONAL  WINE COMPETITION.
SPIT HAPPENS

2005 SF INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION.

2004 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING

The 2003 SF WINE COMPETITION

2002 SF WINE COMPETITION TASTING 

A Vertical Tasting of Nalle Zinfandels

 

 

ETC.

RANTINGS & RAVINGS

WINE ROADS of EUROPE

Food/Wine/Friends
A Photo Gallery

MASTER OF WINE ESSAY TOPICS

Old Bottles: A TASTE OF HISTORY

Bob's Venetian Diary

Bob's Paris Notes Updated Spring 2007

Wine Writer's Confession

NEW "CULT" WINERY

Some Restaurant Reviews

HOW TO SELL WINE.
Info For Brokers and
Wine Distributors.

HOW TO HOLD A TRADE TASTING

$100,000 WORTH OF WINE MARKETING ADVICE:  FREE!
Mainly for Foreign Vintners

MOLDY CORKS

Study Reveals Experts Taste More Than What's In the Glass!

OKANAGAN VALLEY WINE TOUR-2010

BRIAN'S 2005 SUMMER VACATION WITH UNCLE

Gerald's Tour de France 2006

GERALD'S TOUR DE FRANCE 2008

A TOUR OF PORTUGAL-2009

HOW TO SPEAK BETTER ITALIAN

PEDRONCELLI
90th ANNIVERSARY

PONZI'S 40th
ANNIVERSARY

VINITALY

ROOSEVELT'S 2005 CHILI COOK-OFF

ROOSEVELT'S 2007 CHILI COOK-OFF

Grape Goddess

Ross Bruce Birthday

ALESSIA DALL'U

FRANCESCA & CAROLA
CALLIGARO


CCIV

FAQs

BURLINGAME

Links

WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's

SAY TODAY'S SECRET WORDS "JULIA and KAROLINE," The Names of the daughters of ELENA WALCH and we'll pour you a FREE SIP of their Terrific LAGREIN......

We are pleased to welcome adults who've been Double-Vaxxed to our reopened Tasting Room.

Tasting Hours are 12pm until 5:45pm.  Monday through Saturday.

 

UPDATED AS OF May 13, 2022

 

ELENA WALCH 2020 LAGREIN  $2/taste
Lagrein is such a cool grape...it can be made along the lines of a Beaujolais or styled like a
Pinot Noir or, if properly-farmed for such a wine, as big as a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Producers in the Alto Adige used to over-crop their vineyards, making wines which were
good enough to sell to bus-loads of German and Swiss tourists, but not good enough to
export.
Now, much more enlightened about making high quality wines, the region is a treasure trove of
good bottles.

Elena Walch bottles a young Lagrein which has the charm and allure of a delicious 
Pinot Noir.  The 2020 just arrived and it's a medium-bodied, gentle red wine with
bright red fruit character and a suggestion of a wood note (well in the background).

This is such a good red and it's just $19.99 a bottle.

You can put it on the table in place of entry-level bottles of Pinot Noir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POE 2019 PINOT MEUNIER   $3.80/taste

Poe is a tiny winemaking enterprise powered by a young lady who's been fascinated 
with ravens and the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

The fruit for this light red comes from the Van der Kamp vineyard in Sonoma and
it's entirely Pinot Meunier...light in color as you can see.

The aromas are decidedly different from Pinot Noir, but this is as light and 
supple on the palate as a Pinot Noir.

Tiny production...limited.







 

 

LALÙ 2019 Langhe NEBBIOLO  $5/taste

Two young ladies met at the Slow Food University near Barolo in Italy's Piemonte.

Working at different Barolo wineries, they teamed up to launch their own micro-winery,
Lalù (Lara Rocchetti and Luisa Sala).

They made something like 200 cases of this lovely Nebbiolo...young vines in the Barolo
appellation, part in Monforte and part from La Morra.

It was matured for less than a year in Austrian oak.












 

 

 

COLTERENZIO 2019 "LAFÓA" SAUVIGNON BLANC   $4.30/taste
The Lafóa label is used by Colterenzio for their premium bottles from a special
vineyard site near the winery in Italy's Alto Adige.

Half the juice was fermented in stainless steel tanks and the other half
saw its vinification in barrels and puncheons.  

This is a remarkably intense, complex Sauvignon Blanc, made of some French
clones and produced along the lines of top French white Bordeaux.

It's an exceptional dry white.

Don't miss it.

 


 

 

LA BASTIDE SAINT DOMINIQUE 2019 CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE  $4.50/taste
From a smallish family estate, this property is now run by Eric Bonnet whose parents founded the property 
with but a scant few hectares pf vineyards.

These days they cultivate about 50 hectares of vineyards.

The 2019 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a delight, avoiding the over-ripe, dehydrated fruit aromas and
flavors of so many wines from the Southern Rhône.

This is predominantly Grenache with 10% Syrah, 7% Mourvèdre and 3% Cinsault.

We like the red berry fruit and the underlying spice and herb notes.









 

 

 

LA RIOJA ALTA 2014 VIÑA ARANA    $4.50/taste
La Rioja Alta is an old-school Rioja estate making darned good wines at
selling them at sensible prices.

We have their entry level bottling at $21 and a few higher-tier wines,
too.

This one is in the middle and it's an elegant rendition with the classic
bouquet of American oak.

The 2014 vintage was a challenge and so the fruit that usually goes into
the more expensive bottlings went into this.

Five percent Graciano and 95% Tempranillo...several years in American
oak and then some years in bottle...this 2014 is a recent arrival.







 


PATZ + HALL 2018 SONOMA CHARDONNAY  $3.60/taste

From an old-timer in Sonoma, winemaker James Hall barrel-ferments Chardonnay
using a modest percentage of new oak barrels.

His wine is a delight!  Toasty, creamy and full-flavored...

Lots of Granny Smith apple fruit and creamy, vanillin notes from
the French oak.

Very fine.

 














 

 

VILLEIN 2019 Russian River SYRAH  $5/taste

From the Walker Station vineyard in a cool-climate site in Sonoma, this is a
most enchanting young Syrah which, if given sufficient bottle aging, will rival
seriously good French, Northern Rhône Syrahs.

It's but a small percentage of California Syrah wines which make the cut 
here, as so many are from warmer regions where they lose that
special character of the Syrah grape.











L'ECOLE 41 2018 Columbia Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON  $3.00/taste

It's been a decade since we've had a Cabernet from L'Ecole 41 in the shop.

The winery is one of the early producers in Washington State's Walla Walla region.

It's made entirely of Cabernet Sauvignon and was matured in about 25% new oak barrels.

This is showing quite handsomely and it's one of the best buys for Cabernet
from West Coast vintners.





 

DELILLE Washington State CHALEUR BLANC  $3.50/taste
We loved the white Bordeaux from Smith Haut Lafitte, but now that it's north of $100/bottle
(closer to $150 these days), we've looked for alternatives.

The crew at Delille are also fans of Bordeaux wines and their Chaleur Blanc often hits the mark.

The 2020 is exceptional and displays the herbal notes we like in Sauvignon Blanc and the texture
of the Semillon.  They use a fair bit of new French oak so there's a rather woodsy
character here, too.

Very showy white wine...

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

GROS VENTRE El Dorado/Sonoma Coast "HIGH COUNTRY RED  $3.00/taste
Gros Ventre is a small winery in Sonoma's town of Windsor.

They make a cool red blend called High Country Red and this is based on
Gamay from El Dorado County in the Sierra Foothills with Pinot Noir
from Sonoma.

This is a good blend that in France's Burgundy is called Passetoutgrain.

The modest percentage of Pinot Noir seems to dominate on the nose,
displaying the classic cherry-like notes of that grape.
It's a medium-light to medium bodied red.

We have it sale-priced at $29.99 (most places as $33-$35).




 










 


 

 

THE OJAI VINEYARD 2020 Santa Ynez Valley SAUVIGNON BLANC $2.50/taste

The Ojai Vineyard has sourced its Sauvignon Blanc from the McGinley
Vineyard for close to 20 vintages.
Instead of buying grapes by-the-ton, winemaker Adam Tolmach pays
by-the-acre and then directs the farming to focus on grape
quality rather than a bountiful yield.

Less is more if you're farming for quality.

Ojai's Sauvignon Blanc is vinified in seasoned French oak barrels and 
they capture melon-like fruits with a hint of lime.

It's dry, of course.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOODWARD CANYON 2018 Artist Series CABERNET  $5.00/taste
Washington's Woodward Canyon winery is another Walla Walla pioneer
and they routinely make some exceptional wines.

This is their 28th "Artist Series" bottling.

It's 80% Cabernet with 10% Merlot, 7% Petit Verdot and 3% Syrah.

They aged this in 28% new oak, so the woodsy notes add a bit of
complexity to the blend.

Full-bodied.

Just needs a good steak!


 

 

 

 

 


PEJU 2018 Napa Valley MERLOT  $3.50/taste

We had routinely found the wines from Peju to be perfectly ordinary...technically 
well-made but lacking the excitement factor.

When we tasted their current line-up we asked the winery rep if they had, perhaps,
hired a new winemaker.
He laughed and explained the second generation is now running the show and they
have unshackled the winemaker and, voila!  

Their Merlot is particularly good and we are presently able to offer for a price
well below the $60 cellar door cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST SCRIPTUM 2019 Douro Valley RED BLEND  $2.50/taste

Here's an exceptional vintage of the Portuguese red made by the
Symington Family (Graham's, Warre's, Dow's, Cockburn's, etc.) and
Bruno Prats (formerly of Château Cos d'Estournel in Bordeaux).

They make a high-end bottling called Chryseia which goes for 
close to $100/bottle.

Then there's this remarkable bottle called Post Scriptum
which is sale-priced at $24.99.

The 2019 is a recent arrival and this is exceptional.

It pairs with Cabernet Cuisine but you'll have trouble finding
a Cabernet or Bordeaux of this caliber for $25.







 

 

 

 

LE PETIT DURCU de DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU   $5.00/Taste

They had been labeling this as "Lalande Borie," but this vintage chose to
rename it as "Le Petit Ducru," a secondary bottling from the famous
Château Ducru Beaucaillou.

We included the 2018 in a blind-tasting of 2018 Bordeaux and it was
our first place selection.

This is 60% Merlot with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon.

It's quite dark in color and the black fruit elements are terrific.

 





 



 

COCHON 2019 Russian River Valley PINOT NOIR  $3.00/taste

Light garnet in color, the fragrances of this wine leap out of the glass
and are easily identifiable as Pinot Noir.

Bright cherry fruit and a touch of sweet oak make for a wine of
great complexity and yet it's well-priced.

They claim to have made less than 10 or 11 barrels of this 
Dutton-Perry Ranch bottling.

Don't miss it.










 


 

 

 

BUEHLER 2018 Russian River CHARDONNAY  $1.50/taste
Here's a nice little Sonoma white from our friend John Buehler
and his family up in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley.

The wine is a bit of a throwback and there's a hint of wood
and the wine is dry and appley.

We have it sale-tagged at $14.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LLOYD 2020 Carneros CHARDONNAY $3.50/taste

The 2020 vintage from winemaker Rob Lloyd is a classically
Californian take on Chardonnay.

Barrel fermented in American oak, it's a big, full-throttle,
creamy, nicely oaked Chardonnay.

Many fans of Rombauer have enjoyed Lloyd's wine and
this 2020 is a showy, flashy wine.













 







RUNQUIST Amador ZINFANDEL  $2.50/taste

Wines from this small cellar in the Sierra Foothills have long been favorites
here.  Winemaker (and Giants' fan) Jeff Runquist produces a remarkable
array of red wines.

We often see them when judging the San Francisco International Wine Competition
as there are often one or two in the Sweepstakes Tasting on the final day
of the judging.  His Lagrein was selected as the Best Red Wine of the tasting this
past year.

His Zinfandel is a delight...dark in color and intensely berryish.  There's a modest
amount of oak spice and sweet fragrances from this wood aging.

It remains well-priced, too.









 

 

TITUS 2019 Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON  $5/Taste
We had the 2018 of this wine in two blind tastings of Cabernets last year and this was
our top wine in both.

Phil Titus and his brother have vineyards in and around St. Helena and they make
a nice range of wines.  His day job is that as winemaker at the Chappellet winery on
Pritchard Hill.  

It's a really inky red wine, with youthful purple tones and plenty of dark fruit.
There's a nice bit of oak here as it was matured in French and Hungarian barrels.
Something like 60% of the barriques were brand new.

This goes for $62 at the winery.

We sale tag it at $49.99.

The 2019 is equally showy...dark fruit, teeth-staining and yet easily drinkable in its youth.

 

 

 


TERLAN 2019 TERLANER  (Italian White Blend)   $3.20/taste
The Terlan co-op winery in Italy's Alto Adige makes some pretty damned good wines.

They distinguish themselves with their work incorporating Pinot Bianco.

We visited the cellar a few years ago and they still had a tank of 1979 Pinot Bianco that is a
"work in progress," awaiting bottling one of these years!

In early June we splurged and bought a bottle of their "Rarity" Pinot Bianco...2007 vintage and
it's fairly recently bottled.

This was a magnificent wine, but it's price for its scarcity: $180/bottle!

A few days later we popped the cork on a few wines we'd bought in hopes of making a
discovery and this 2019 "Terlaner" was exceptional.  Not only that, we can buy more than 
six bottles of this compared to one of the Rarity!

The Terlaner appellation is a bit obscure, but it's a white wine blend based on Pinot Bianco
with Chardonnay and, in this case, Sauvignon Blanc.

It's mostly fermented in stainless steel, but about 20% of the juice is vinified in large wood to
add a bit of complexity.  Happily, the wood is not prominent here and the wine displays the
bright, appley and peachy notes of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay.  


 

 


ZAHEL "ORANGE T" Austrian White from Vienna $1.90/Taste
The Zahel winery is located in the Vienna area and it is the reference point for a rather curious and
obscure grape variety called "Orange T," or Orange Traube.

Don't confuse this with the category of white wines vinified with the skins which are known as
"Orange Wines."  Those can be all over the map in terms of grape varieties and styles, with 
some being rather odd and tannic.

The grape called Orange T has typically been incorporated into the popular field-blended white 
wines known as Gemischter Satz.  Zahel thought it has an interesting personality and began 
vinifying it on its own.  

Today Zahel's Orange T is a benchmark for the grape.

We currently have this 2019 vintage in the shop and it's a delight.  We liked the 2018, too,
but Ellen noted this one is more intensely fragrant and beautifully crisp and dry.












DOMAINE WEINBACH 2018 GEWURZTRAMINER  $3.70/taste
Weinbach is an elite domaine in France's Alsace region and the Faller family put this place on
the map in the 1970s and 1980s.

The wines are routinely a statement in elegance and balance.

This 2018 is beautifully aromatic and fruity...there's a hint of sweetness but it's only a 
mere hint.















 

 

SOALHEIRO ALVARINHO  $2.50/taste
The 2020 has been wildly popular...everyone who tastes this buys a bottle (or two)!

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).

We brought this vintage recently to dinner with some friends at Dumpling Time in
San Francisco...thoroughly delicious!



Stony, nicely fruity with a hint of a spice note...


 

 

 



 

 

CIÙ CIÙ 2020 PECORINO  $1.80
A fantastic 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" that 
many commercial cellars bottle as "Pinot Grigio."



 

 

 

 

 





FORTIFIED & SWEET WINES OPEN TODAY:


PFEIFFER Rutherglen TOPAQUE (Muscadelle)   $4.00/taste
Here's a really delicious Australian "Sticky" that used to be sold as a "Tokay."
Beautifully sweet!

CASTA DIVA MOSCATEL  "Cosecha Miel"  $5.25/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, traditional winery.

GRAHAM'S 2006 "MALVEDOS" VINTAGE PORTO $6.50/taste
The Malvedos bottlings from Graham's are routinely very good and this is showing beautifully!

GRAHAM'S  10 Year TAWNY PORT   $3.30/taste
Nicely nutty and sweet!


FLORIO 2003 "TARGA" MARSALA   $3/taste
A special bottling of Vintage Marsala from the historic Florio winery in Marsala.


EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL  $2.10/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.

 

ALSO:

CRUZ VIEJA OLOROSO SHERRY  $3.80
A well-aged, beautifully nutty dry Sherry...


wpe96.jpg (3645 bytes)

All bottles are sparged with Argon, an inert gas. 
This allows us to offer a wide variety of wines
(you won't find any place offering this number of interesting wines on a daily basis!). 



j0199296.jpg (8137 bytes)Wine Tasting Notes & Results


Upcoming tastings
--None--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

winepour.gif (12696 bytes)

Wine Tasting Today

TO INQUIRE ABOUT A WINE:  gerald@weimax.com
 
Copyright © 1999    WEIMAX    May 21, 2022