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WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's

SAY TODAY'S SECRET WORD, "BETTY" and we'll pour you a free taste of BETTY O'SHAUGHNESSY'S Howell Mountain Cabernet...2017.....

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

Tasting Hours are 12pm until 5:45pm.

 

UPDATED AS OF October 14, 2021

O'SHAUGHNESSY 2017 Howell Mountain CABERNET SAUVIGNON SALE $99.99  $10.00/taste
Betty O'Shaughnessy and her husband Paul Woolls have substantial acreage in Napa...Howell Mountain...Mount Veeder
and Oakville.  Their just-released 2017 from Howell Mountain captures a bit of the rugged nature of
Cabernet from that special area in the eastern hills of the Napa Valley.

Winemaker Sean Capiaux tamed some of the tannin typical of Cabernet from Howell Mountain.

The wine offers dark fruit and a touch of a woodsy note in the background.

We should mention this small endorsement of O'Shaughnessy's Cabernet:  
A Napa Valley vintner who shops at Weimax periodically saw we had the
O'Shaughnessy wine on display and mentioned at their family's winery
they do comparative blind-tastings of their Cabernet with others from
Napa.
"I liked the O'Shaughnessy better than our own." they embarrassingly confessed.

We were not surprised, though.  This is an elegant and traditionally-styled Cabernet
along the lines of those made by Heidi Peterson-Barrett, Cathy Corison and the 
Dunn family.


 

 

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.






 



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.

 

 

 

 

GEIL 2019 SCHEUREBE Kabinett  $2.20/taste

The Scheurebe grape is a German variety approximating the wine you'd have with blending
good Riesling with good Sauvignon Blanc.

Geil's is slightly sweet but with bracingly crisp acidity to balance...

Very fine and nice exotic!

 

 

PEREZ PASCUAS 2009 RIBERA DEL DUERO  $3/Taste
Here's a remarkably good bottle...

Tempranillo from Spain's Ribera del Duero where the grape is known as Tinto Fino.

Perez Pascuas matures this both French and American oak barrels...we detect more 
the American barrels.

It's from the 2009 vintage, so it's had a fair bit of bottle aging and yet
the wood is quite fresh and cedary/spicy.

Medium bodied.

$29.99 makes this a veritable bargain.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HUNGARIAN (!) PINOT NOIR  $2.20/taste
This is one of the most popular wines in the shop, as once people have tasted it, they're hooked!

It comes from an unlikely source but damn!  It's really charming and delicious.

And the price is difficult to beat.

 

Mildly cherryish with a suggestion of some wood notes...medium-bodied.












 

 

DOMAINE ZIND-HUMBRECHT 2018 RIESLING "ROCHE GRANITIQUE"  $5/taste

Winemaker Olivier Humbrecht is not only a skilled vigneron, he is one of the
very few winemakers who's attained the status of "Master of Wine."


His wines are remarkably well-balanced and exceptionally good as he focuses
on the notion of "terroir."  His wines reflect the parcels from which they're
made.

This is a particular bottling coming from granitic rock and it's actually
grown, we're told, from the Grand Cru hill called "Brand."

It's kind of a declassified bottling and it comes from younger vineyards.
In this case, 36 year old vines, so they're certainly mature and then some.

The fermentation took close to a year to get the wine to dryness and then
Humbrecht left it for 18 months on the yeast sediment.

You'll find it's a rather noble Riesling and there are stony notes accompanying
the floral Riesling character.

 


 

 

 

 

MOVIA 2018 RIBOLLA   $3.30/taste
This is likely not listed on the tasting board, but there's a bottle presently in the 'fridge, ready to taste.

It's made of the Ribolla grape and they give it a bit of skin contact during its fermentation creating, essentially, an 
"orange wine."  
There is even an organization of vintners trying to promote wines made of "Rebula" or "Ribolla" and all the
vintners give their wines some measure of a skin contact.  This can be a short period or an extended maceration of a month
or so.

Many of these are made by producers who embrace everything of former times and so some turn their backs on
protocols commonly employed to produce what we consider to be well-made wines.
As a result, there are numerous "orange wines" which we consider to be greatly flawed, showing elements of
spoiled wine.

This is a long-winded way of simply saying this wine avoids those flaws and Movia's wine is surprisingly good in this
category of wine, but not surprising for a Movia wine.

 


 

 

 

CRISTIA 2018 CH┬TEAUNEUF-du-PAPE  $3/taste
We had this amongst a line-up of expensive ChÔteauneuf-du-Pape wines a few months ago.

The expensive bottles on the table were high in alcohol and it seems this is mandatory
if you're looking for a high numerical score.
We did not find those expensive bottles to be particularly interesting and they were
not especially drinkable, either.

And yet this lower-priced bottle danced rings around those other wines!

It's exuberantly berryish with some mild spice notes.

This Cristia ChÔteauneuf doesn't need substantial bottle aging to be enjoyed 
at the dinner table.  It's likely best in its youth.

And for a mere $29.99, this was really good.

 












 

 

 


 

VON WINNING 2017 RIESLING "PARADIESGARTEN" TROCKEN $3.50/taste

Von Winning makes some exceptional wines.  We've long been fans of their Sauvignon
Blanc as it is mind-blowing in that nobody expects such a wine to come from Germany.

But they make some wonderful Rieslings and most are dry.

We tasted this 2017 from their Deidesheim site called Paradiesgarten and it is
at a wonderful stage of its evolution.

The wine was fermented in wood and left on the lees for a while in an effort to make it
more complex.  And that's why you will find here.

We were smitten by this in June when we had a taste and we brought a bottle of dinner
with friends at an Asian place.  It was preceded by a very good bottle of Ott's GrŘner Veltliner
and then this really sang!

It's showing a hint of a petrol note which is a bit odd for consumers who are unfamiliar with
aged Rieslings.  But if you appreciate that element in Riesling, you will be enchanted by this, too.

 




ANTHILL FARMS 2019 Sonoma Coast PINOT NOIR   $3.30/taste

Three guys who "graduated" from the University of Williams-Selyem started their own
brand called Anthill Farms, as with all their scurrying around, someone described them as 
resembling an anthill.

Having made a number of Pinot Noirs at Williams-Selyem, we should not be surprised that
Pinot Noir is the focus at this new enterprise.

We've had several vintages of various bottlings from Anthill.

This 2019 is a blend of vineyard sites in the Sonoma Coast appellation and it's comprised of 
several clones of Pinot Noir.

They use a small percentage of new oak and we find just a touch of a woodsy note here with
bright, classic Pinot Noir fruit on the nose and palate.

Someone requested a pour Tuesday and we had a sniff...damned good!  In fact, it was even a little
better than we remembered from a few weeks ago.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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 2019 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...

 

 

 

 




 

 

TITUS 2018 Napa Valley CABERNET SAUVIGNON  $5/Taste
We had this wine in two blind tastings of Cabernets the past few months 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.

 

 

 


TERLAN 2019 TERLANER  (Italian White Blend)   $2.70/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.  


 

 

 

SADDLEBACK 2019 Napa Valley ZINFANDEL Old Vines $4/taste
Old vines in Calistoga and an old winemaker in Oakville make for a rather exceptional
Napa Valley Zinfandel.

We've known winemaker Nils Venge since the 1970s and first met him as he was making
wine for Villa Mount Eden and then Groth.

These days, aside from his various consulting jobs, he makes his own wines.

Especially charming is this amazing Zinfandel.  It's beautifully berryish and sports
a little bit of wood.  The wine is rather gentle, too, being smooth and approachable
in its youth.

This is a great choice for a backyard barbecue featuring ribs or burgers, yet it can
pair beautifully with chicken, too.




 

 

 


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.









 AALTO 2018 RIBERA DEL DUERO $5.50/taste
The new vintage of this well-regarded Spanish red has finally arrived.

It's Tempranillo from the Ribera del Duero region and made by the fellow
who had been the winemaker for several decades at the famous Vega Siclia winery.

You'll find this to be a candidate to pair with Cabernet Cuisine...

It's mildly woodsy and shows a lot of dark fruit.

 

 

 


 


LANGE WINERY 2020 ROS╔ of PINOT NOIR  $2.20/taste
The Lange RosÚ spent about 2 days in contact with the skins, so its color is a bit deep, but the
fragrances of Pinot Noir fruit are beautifully intense.

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.












 

 


HUDSON 2019 Carneros CHARDONNAY  $6.50/taste
You'll see the Hudson vineyard-designation on expensive bottles of Chardonnay
from Aubert, Kongsgaard, Kistler and Ramey, but they've been making a
smallish quantity of their own wine, too.

Lee Hudson planted the Wente Clone of Chardonnay, by the way.

It's from four vineyard sites owned by Hudson and the juice is barrel-fermented
in French oak (60% new) using native yeasts.
This spent 14 months in barrel and was bottled without fining or filtering.

We like the intensity of Chardonnay aromas and its mildly toasty oak character.

The wine is dry, as it should be and mildly acidic.   Hudson's 2019 is a showy California Chardonnay that tips its cap to
French white Burgundy winemakers.

 

 

SOALHEIRO ALVARINHO  $2.50/taste
The 2020 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).

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...


 

 

 



 

 

CI┘ CI┘ 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!

SANDEMAN 10 Year TAWNY PORT   $3/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
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Wine Tasting Today

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