WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's
UPDATED AS OF March 1, 2018
ALMAVIVA "Bordeaux Blend"
from CHILE $10/taste
famous Bordeaux winery of Mouton-Rothschild has teamed up with
Chile's famed Concha y Toro winery to produce a South American version
of Napa's Opus One.
We evaluated a number of prestigious, high-priced South American
Cabernet-based blends and this wine stands out.
It's really exceptional is you're a fan of top Bordeaux.
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.
AALTO Ribera del
Duero Spanish RED $5/taste
of Tempranillo and aged in small oak barrels, this is a
Spanish red you can put on the dinner table in place
of fancy Bordeaux or Napa Cabernets.
TRAMIN 2015 "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 2013 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.
SAN FEREOLO 2009
the Dogliani area of Piemonte, south of Barolo, comes this
old school, traditionally-made red.
While Dogliani is famous for Dolcetto, this is made
The wine is made in a style that might actually be mistaken
for a Nebbiolo, though.
Large wood aging for a couple of years and then it spends
a few more in bottle before being released.
This is a 2009 and at 7+ years of age, is showing handsomely.
BUCKLIN ZINFANDEL, ETC.
vines at Bucklin's Old Hill Ranch are quite old...even Ancient,
It comes from a 12 acre vineyard that has all sorts of wacky
varieties. Planted in the 1880s, Bucklin's wine is based on
Zinfandel, but also has Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Mourvedre and
a bunch of others.
Bucklin points out: 12 acres. 30 varieties. 1 Wine.
And a damned good one, at that.
WOODWARD CANYON 2014 "Artist
Series" CABERNET $5.00/taste
Winemaker Rick Small is one of the leading lights in Washington State's
Walla Walla region. His Woodward Canyon wines are reference points
for Cabernets from the Pacific Northwest.
We've routinely had this Artist Series wine in the shop as it
compares favorably to wines from Napa and Bordeaux while being
priced more favorably for the consumer.
The fruit comes from four top vineyard sites. They've blended in 6%
Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
LIQUID FARM "GOLDEN SLOPE" CHARDONNAY $5/taste
Farm strives to make Old World-styled wines and this
Golden Slope bottling is a delight.
This has a waxy tone with some quince and apple-like fruit.
Oak is well in the background, though.
It comes from Santa Barbara's "Santa Rita Hills" region, a cool
DOMAINE DROUHIN 2015 Oregon PINOT NOIR
French family makes well-balanced, elegant wines in
Oregon's Dundee Hills region of the Willamette Valley.
The new release is showing well and it will continue to
develop and gain in complexity.
VALENTI'S ETNA BIANCO "ENRICO
from Sicily's Etna region...you might peg it as a white wine from
Alsace as it has aromatics which are fragrant along the lines of
We included this in a recent blind-tasting of Etna white wines and found this to
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 2013 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.
Sonoma Coast PINOT NOIR
We've usually found the
Martinelli wines to be a bit over-the-top in terms
of alcohol and while this is not shrinking violet, the wine does manage
to show greater balance and charm than we've usually found.
HART'S DESIRE 2016 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.
CHATEAU KSARA BLANC
a pleasant surprise!
Chateau Ksara is a famous estate in the Middle East and they've
been making some good wines for many years.
This is a great bottle to brown-bag and serve blind to your
wine connoisseur friends.
There's Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon in this blend.
We find the Sauvignon component to be most easily identifiable.
Lebanon. Bekaa Valley.
example of the Pecorino grape...certainly this will appeal to you if
you're enchanted by crisp, non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs.
can easily taste that the 2015 vintage produced wines which are a shade
riper than normal. Still good though.
GROTH 2013 OAKVILLE
CABERNET SAUVIGNON $5/taste
entire crew gave this the thumbs up.
Lots of dark fruit...
Balanced tannins...drinkable now and it can be cellared a
decade, or so.
Northern Rhone Syrah!
You'll find berries and spice along with a mildly
smoky note and a touch of green olives.
tangy, stony, minerally and bone dry...no oak.
Classic Sancerre at a rather modest price.
PAVESE BLANC DE
grape is Prie Blanc and it's grown in the shadows of what the
French call Mont Blanc. The Italians know it as Monte Bianco.
Italy's Valle d'Aosta is a tiny wine region perched in the mountains.
You won't find big, expansive vineyard sites, just little patches
of vines which are more like a small garden.
Pavese's winery is tiny and they make a terrific, bone dry,
stony, crisp white wine...no oak.
TE MATA Hawkes Bay SAUVIGNON
This is quite different from the typical Sauvignon Blanc from
New Zealand. It's much closer in style to a dry white
Bordeaux than classic Kiwi Sauvignon.
The wine has 10% Semillon and 3% Sauvignon Gris. The juice
is fermented in small oak, a bit of the cooperage being new.
Quite a serious bottle of wine!
SUMMERS NAPA CHARBONO
Jim & Beth Summers make our favorite California
with blackberry & blueberry fruit...mild tannins...fairly full-bodied.
LEDE 2015 Napa SAUVIGNON BLANC $2.70/taste
Leap-area winery is making some lovely wines.
Good, dry, light Sauvignon Blanc. Mildly citrusy
VENICA 2016 Friuli SAUVIGNON $2.50/taste
The Venica family make some exceptional dry whites in
northeast Italy...Friuli. Mildly herbal/grassy.
We perused the wine list at a famous San Francisco
restaurant and were surprised they didn't have any
But they had Venica's Sauvignon and that was a
very good alternative.
Trocken RIESLING $2/taste
people consider the Robert Weil winery to be the top estate in the
Rheingau...their entry level dry Riesling is a great Twenty-Buck white wine.
SELENE SAUVIGNON BLANC
is a small production of Sauvignon Blanc made from grapes
grown in Napa's Carneros region.
It's a special clone called Sauvignon Musque...more aromatic.
Winemaker Mia Klein has a special technique for fermenting this,
initiating the fermentation with one yeast and finishing it
A portion of the batch sees a barrel and the rest is done in
Quite a showy California Sauvignon.
2015 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 2012 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.
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 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.
CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2005 SAUTERNES $3.50/taste
A second wine from the famous Chateau Rieussec, this is nicely honeyed and
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.
From the Republic of Georgia, there's a remarkable
dessert wine...claimed to be comprised of more
300 different grape varieties! It's along the lines of Port/Madeira, but