Avenales Ranch Petite Sirah 2017$40.00
The Avenales Ranch Old Vine Petite Sirah 2017 is sourced from the heritage block (Jane’s Block) planted on its own roots in 1972. These are the same grapes that have made world class Petite Sirah for some of the finest wineries in California for decades. The vineyard is planted on a gentle hillside beneath limestone cliffs in a climate that is ideal for this fruit; hot days and cool nights.
The 2017 vintage saw great weather for fruit development and this wine really shows it. Recently winning a gold medal and 92 points from Sunset Magazine this old vine Petite Sirah has deep blackberry notes with dark purplish color with a shimmering rose zircon edge and a well rounded balance of tannin and acidity.
Enjoy with roast beef, lamb, hearty bolognese pasta, or a chocolate dessert.
Banshee “Mordecai” Red Blend 2018$28.00
All of the elements of this wine are made with the house philosophy (think: bright flavors, focus, energy, good with food), with the overreaching mandate that it is absolutely delicious. The very rough and unscientific formula is this: about a third Bordeaux varieties, about a third Rhone varieties, and about a third other varieties dominated by Zinfandel with a bit of of this or that peppered in to add interesting accent notes. Carignan sourced from a 45-year-old, organically farmed vineyard in Redwood Valley continues to expand its influence in Mordecai, acting as a bridge between the Rhone and Bordeaux lots. The 2016 Mordecai has an enticing nose of pepper, violets, cigar and cassis. On the palate it is a mouthwatering mélange of red berry and plum flavors backed by earthy tones of herb roasted meat and fresh black trumpet giving way to a spice-laden finish.
Red Blends are what it's all about with this great combo of Rabble Red Wine, Hook and Ladder Station 10 and William Knuttel Petite Sirah! All 3 are great red blends from different appellations. Rabble is from Paso Robles, Hook and Ladder is from Russian River and William Knuttel is from Dry Creel. Great way to enjoy your grilled steak!
Bonny Doon Cigare du Volant 2017$55.00
Starting in late 1954 people throughout France began reporting UFO sightings. The sightings were popularized by heavy media attention, and became a concern for the citizens of France. The most common shape of the crafts reported were cigar shaped, called “Cigare Volant.” The people of Chateauneuf du Pape were so concerned by the sightings and the effects the UFOs may have on their wine, that the mayor banned the UFOs from landing in their vineyards. Tipping his hat to this story and the famous wine, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards named his Chateauneuf style wine Le Cigare Volant. The 30th Anniversary release of this, their flagship wine. A beautiful wine—dark and mulberry in color as in nose. One scents cool loamy earth with suggestions of raspberries and Damson plums. I do so love the largely Grenache vintages of Cigare; there’s an unmistakable spiciness to them—orange peel, cinnamon and black pepper. Grenache is not just about fragrance however; any synesthete worth his/her Maldon salt will know that the scent of Grenache is in part highly textural—soft and velveteen. And sure enough, on the palate the wine is also an essence of velours. “Exceptional” – Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences | “The classic Rhone-ish expression of Randall Grahm's fascination with wines of personality, the blend here is 55% grenache, 25% syrah, 16% mourvèdre, 4% cinsault. I have tasted many older versions of this wine and this one is set up to age a long time.” 93 Points – Wine Enthusiast.
Brandini Filari Corti Nebbiolo Langhe 2016$34.00
The Langhe Nebbiolo is the finest and most elegant expression of this grape variety. An intense, garnet color, it anticipates a structure and a tannin that are typical of Nebbiolo. Aromas are fine and deep, with scents of rose, violet and mint. The land of La Morra, with its sandy soils, reveals the most feminine nuance of this wine, giving a silky tannin and a good persistence in the mouth.
Brutacao Family Vineyards Quadriga Red Blend 2016 Mendocino County California USA$32.00
To celebrate their Italian heritage, Brutacao Family Vineyards created a wonderful proprietary blend of 45% Sangiovese, 33% Primitivo, 11% Barbera & 11% Dolcetto. With aromas of spice cake, boysenberry and blueberry, this unique blend exhibits white pepper & dark fruit flavors followed by a long satin finish. Reminiscent of traditional Italian field blends, but with richer, brighter and more fruit-forward flavors, the velvety smooth texture of delicious wine pairs well with everything from casual dining to your fanciest meals. 900 cases produced.
Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2015$60.00
The grapes are cultivated on selected terrain after careful clonal experimentation in order to produce the Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2015 with unparalleled elegance. Great wine with intense aromas and balanced tannins that is able to express all the characteristics of the “terroir” in quality and typicality in the selection of clones in addition to the choice of the sunniest terrain with the best location. A classy wine that promises an interesting evolution that will extend over time. A wealth of fruit yet remains fresh and vivid with blueberry and black cherry character. Some bark and dried earth. Full body, integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. The elegance and harmonic body of the wine permit its combination with many complex and complicated dishes such as red meat, feathered and furry game also accompanied by mushrooms or truffles.
The Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2015, in addition, is excellent with cheeses: aged tomes, parmesan, Tuscan pecorino. It also makes an excellent combination with meat dishes of international cuisine or with complicated sauces. Because of its characteristics, Brunello is also a pleasant meditation wine. 94 Points – James Suckling.
Capo Creek Songwriter Red 2018$34.00
Also from Capo Creek – the Songwriter Red Blend 2018. The Capo Creek Songwriter Red Blend 2018 has written a perfect tune! A blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah, this selection has notes of boysenberry, black raspberry and dark cherries on a complex background of woodland, graphite, smoked meats, and leather corset cuffs! The tannins are beautifully integrated resulting in a smooth rich fullness on the palate. Try pairing with short ribs and polenta. 219 cases made
Chateau Trapaud St Emilion Grand Cru 2015
Written by a former buyer for K&L Wines, “When I was an assistant Bordeaux buyer at K&L many years ago, I was so fortunate to learn from the best, Clyde Beffa.
My friends would say, “you call tasting Bordeaux work?” Yes, it was — we’d taste 50+ samples in a day. Finding a Bordeaux that met Clyde’s standards for quality and price was like finding a needle in a haystack.
So when I started importing, I knew I was lucky to find Ch. Trapaud St.-Emilion Grand Cru. This is one of those rare needles-in-a-haystack, offering head-turning quality for only $39.00. And the 2015 vintage, which just landed, is their best yet.
The French have recognized Trapaud’s quality for many years — you’ll see some of the French retailers on wine-searcher with library vintages going back to ’64.
Reviewers are starting to notice, too. James Suckling rated Trapaud ’15 on par with Ch. Les Grandes Murailles, Ch. La Clotte, and Ch. Grand-Mayne, each of which retails for roughly double.
Behind Trapaud’s rising stardom is the extraordinarily talented and quietly persistent Beatrice Larrabiere, who has been winemaker since winning her father’s confidence in 1997.
She’d worked in Australia and Napa before coming home, and brought a conviction for organic farming even though it was rarely practiced in Bordeaux.
Finally after 10 years as Trapaud’s winemaker, she convinced her father that organic conversion was the right thing to do and she did it. (Certified in 2012 vintage.) That makes Trapaud all the more compelling — being woman-led and organic in Bordeaux’s ultra conservative community is a big deal.
The estate is in the hilly, south-eastern section of St-Emilion, just a mile from Valandraud. Estate plots are all contiguous, a huge farming advantage and somewhat rare in Bordeaux.
So there we have it: Women-led, organic, famous neighbors and incredible value.”
Chateau Trapaud St. Emilion Grand Cru 2015 is 65% Merlot, 25% Cab Franc, 10% Cab Sauv;
25% vinified in cement, 75% in stainless;
unfined and filtered with clay; Vegan
“Impressive concentration here; this smells of dark-berry pastries, plums and fresh cedary wood. Slick and flavor-packed palate with blueberry and deep set plum fruit flavors. Drink or hold.” James Suckling – 92 Points
Conundrum Red 2018$34.00
Caymus started making Conundrum Red in 2011. A rich, dark red, it offers aromas of ripe berries and plums, warmed by a hint of cocoa. Dried fruit and the taste of chocolate-covered cherries come through on the palate, while a wisp of smokiness makes this wine – created from dark red varietals including Zinfandel and Petite Sirah – the perfect complement to grilled meats and full-flavored dishes. Pizza anyone?
Cuttings Cabernet Sauvignon 2018$58.00
Inspired by the age-old method of using cuttings from idyllic sites for the propagation of new vines, the Cuttings Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 showcases some of our favorite hillside vineyards. Cuttings combines the deep, intense flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon with the structure and richness of Petite Sirah and Syrah. A small amount of Zinfandel adds a nice layer of complexity and spiciness.
Deliciously smooth with flavors of blueberry, dark cherry, and cocoa. Aromas of fresh roasted coffee, black currant, vanilla bean, brown spice, and wild berries.
80% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% Blend of Petite Sirah, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
Daou Cabernet Sauvignon 2019$39.00
Standing alone at an elevation of 2,200 feet, the Daou mountain rises from the heart of the Adelaida District in the rugged coast range west of Paso Robles.
It is a terroir of symmetry, power and purity. Here, the Daou brothers’ vision is to produce California “first-growth” wine, fulfilling the Adelaida District’s destiny as the world’s next benchmark for Bordeaux varieties. The Daou Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 reflects the true character of the 2019 vintage. It is a full-bodied wine that is highly concentrated yet still offers aromas of chocolate, plum, black fruit and hints of a cigar box. Reflecting the beauty of the vintage, the combination of flesh and fat make this wine rich and voluptuous.
94-96+ points, Jeb Dunnuck
93-95 points, Robert Parker