Banshee Rose 2018$25.00
The decision to shift their vineyard sourcing to Mendocino County and expand the palette of varietals they work with for Banshee Rosé proved to be one of their best. The deliciousness and ensuing popularity of the wine last year was phenomenal, the only problem being that they sold out way too soon. Grenache, including some ancient Grenache Gris, dominates the blend providing complex, red fruit flavors and juicy body. This is reined in by Barbera’s tension with a spine of acidity while Syrah contributes a sense of ballast. The Pinot Noir (from a biodynamic vineyard) blends bright red berries and floral aromatics. White peach, citrus, and apricot blossom aromas unfold onto the palate with blood orange, rhubarb and pomegranate flavors. Lively acidity with great tension and verce with a chalky, saline quality.
Bricoleur “Flying by the Seat of Our Pants” Brut$45.00
Bricoleur | bri · co · leur | French — One who starts building something with no clear plan, adding bits here and there, cobbling together
a whole while flying by the seat of their pants.
Bricoleur Vineyards brings people together to reconnect, savor life’s simple pleasures, and create joyful memories.
The signature Bricoleur “Flying by the Seat of Our Pants” Brut is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that highlights the ripe fruit flavors characteristic of California’s North Coast, and particularly the Carneros region. The cooling marine influence results in grapes with deep complexity, acidity and longer ripening time.
Ripe, full and concentrated, this Brut boasts an intriguing and complex nose of citrus blossom and light berry. Deep and rich, yet thoroughly refreshing on the palate, its creamily textured, multilayered flavors of guava and mango segue into a crisp and refreshing finish. A lovely sparkling wine ready to drink now.
Champagne Palmer Brut Reserve, Reims, France$59.00
Palmer Brut Reserve is based on a selection of wines from the best vineyards in the Champagne region. The Premiers and Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims area predominate and lend their distinctive personality to these wines.
The nose, amazingly clean, is expressed through a rich palette of aromas, including citrus, pear and apricot with some subtle notes of hazelnut and a discreet touch of buttery brioche.
Succulent and substantial to the palate, yet with an unfettered freshness, this wine is eminently seductive: a model of perfect balance.
Chateau Trapaud St Emilion Grand Cru 2015$36.00
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 $36.00l. 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
Domaine Girault Sancerre 2019 Beaux Regards$25.00
France’s most famous region for Sauvignon Blanc is Sancerre in the Loire valley. The region’s rolling limestone hills and semi-continental climate deliver richly textured Sauvignon Blanc wines with ripe gooseberry aromas, bracing acidity, and flinty-smoke flavors. To achieve aromatic intensity, the Giraults press their grapes gently, ferment on native yeasts, and both vinify and age their wines in stainless steel tanks. Redolent of citrus blossom, white flowers and hints of leafy greens, the Domaine Girault Sancerre Beaux Regards 2019 is crisp, wonderfully perfumed and well-balanced with a long, lingering mineral finish.Clear pale gold color. Concentrated nose with notes of citrus and exotic fruits. Aromas full of finesse in the mouth. Fresh and well-balanced final.
Domaines Ott BY.OTT 2019$34.00
Known for its distinctive bottles, Domaines Ott BY.OTT is blended and bottled in the new Château de Selle cellar, where part of the winery is exclusively devoted to its production. The entire process is controlled – from the blending to the storage -, ensuring the perfect quality expected of these wines. BY.OTT is an elegant extension to the Domaines Ott range, and a truly Provençal wine with conviviality and friendship at its heart. Pale and pretty in crystal-clear pink with orange undertones. The nose is delicate and fruity with notes of white peach and apricot mixed with passion fruit and mango. The taste is full, fresh and crisp with echoes of the fruity aroma amplified by citrus zest and sweet spices (cinnamon and cardamom). All of the great Domaines Ott tradition in a friendly and elegant wine.
Ehlers Portrait 2016$65.00
The Ehlers Portrait 2016 wine represents our Estate as a perfect picture of the estate vineyards and its soil diversity. That is why they called it Portrait! Each vintage they strive to capture the essence of the diverse soils, varietals and the unique terroir of Ehlers Estate. With a medium to full body and dark red color, it delivers concentrated aromas of ripe red fruit, raspberries, cherries, cassis, and smoky notes. They use only 40% new French oak, allowing the fruit to shine in the blend. Nice structured acidity; the mouth is dense with vibrant and complex flavors of red berries, smoky spices, and dried herbs. This wine has a long finish with dense silky tannins. 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot and 11% Petit Verdot.
Guilhem Tournier Rose 2018, Bandol$30.00
The Bandol wine region, located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis, is one of Provence’s most internationally recognized wine regions. Built around the village of Bandol, west of Toulon, the Bandol AOC covers the production of 8 communes with silicon & limestone soils. Those soils and the warm, coastal climate are ideally suited for the late ripening Mourvèdre grape which is the major variety of the region. For both the red and rosé wines, Mourvèdre must account for at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use significantly more, with Grenache & Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition.
People brag about drinking “back vintages” of Tempier Rosé for good reason: It’s a cellar-worthy wine that happens to be a rosé.
The same goes for Bandol Rosé from Château Guilhem Tournier. It has garnered a reputation among sommeliers and retailers for its amazing quality and age-worthiness.
Tournier and Tempier have a few things in common, such as being neighbors overlooking the Bay of Bandol.
They also share heritage. During WWII, Tournier’s grandfather and Lucien Peyraud trekked to Beaucastel and Simone for Mourvèdre clippings to restore their vineyards ravaged by Phylloxera and war.
With such prestigious vines and a very small (4 hectares) vineyard, Tournier makes Mourvèdre the centerpiece of his wines.
You could even call Tournier’s dedication to Mourvèdre extreme. He’s one of the few who use more than 60% in their Rosés—Tournier’s goes to 90%—and even fewer who do it successfully. You can see this in Robert Parker’s ratings of 2018 Bandol Rosés.
Few Bandol producers use as much as Tournier does because the variety is finicky and expensive to farm.
And, when they do use a lot of Mourvèdre, it often comes with a much higher price tag. For example: Tempier’s high end Bandol Rouge, Cabassaou, has 95% Mourvèdre and retails for $135–more than double Tempier Bandol (which has 75% Mourvèdre).
Part of Tournier’s success comes from being a farming purist. Organic and biodynamic, of course; horse and plow. And super light touch winemaking: native yeasts, filtering and fining with plant based material—Vegan.
With all that TLC, no wonder Guilhem Tournier Rosé gets top marks from Robert Parker—even higher than the appellation elite.
91 Points – Robert Parker
Lanson Brut Black Label$43.00
This is Lanson’s Manifesto – “In a world of uncertainty that becomes more and more divided each day, we’re among those who believe that the world is better when shared. Those who believe that love for others, is also love of life.
At Lanson, we’re among those who believe in love. Love for the soil, for the terroir, of a job well done, A sustainable love, a love of sharing, of being together, of making people happy.
At Lanson, we will always stand for the values of openness, kindness, humility, authenticity and elegance.Since 1760, we’ve been for those who hold out a hand, who love each other, and prove it. Each in their own way, but always the most beautiful way. Lanson, it’s all about Love.
When you’ve been doing it since 1760 and your efforts are centered on love, you really can’t go wrong.
Le Black Label Brut owes its iconic name to Victor Lanson who gave it in 1937, both as a proof of openness to the world and as a tribute to the Royal Court of England which Lanson has been officially supplying since 1900. This champagne is a balanced alliance of vitality and finesse, freshness and elegance, characteristic of the Lanson Style. Enjoy the bouquet of ripe fruits with citrus notes and a sense of maturity with freshness and lightness as well. 92 Points Wine Enthusiast.
Lanson Brut Rose$56.00
The current release of Lanson Brut Rosé was disgorged in October of 2017 and is composed of a blend of 53% Pinot Noir, 32% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. The wine is a pale salmon color and offers up a bright and nascently complex bouquet of cherries, tangerine, chalky minerality, and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied, complex and nicely zesty, with a good core, fine soil signature, elegant mousse and a long, vibrant finish. The non-malo house style of Lanson really makes their non-vintage Rosé a fine companion at the table. 91 Points James Suckling.
Leonard Muddy Arch Roussanne 2015, Lando Vineyard$35.00
Aromatically bountiful, the Leonard Muddy Arch Roussanne 2015, Landa Vineyard is brimming with Meyer lemon zest, lime rind, mandarin, yellow apple skin, and lightly toasted notes of Brioche fill the nose of this cool climate site situated at the base of the Mayacamas mountains near the San Pablo Bay. The bold vintage does offer a mouth filling, Hercules sized mid-palate. Dark honeycomb flavors and the viscosity of beeswax persist throughout. Each Landa Vineyard release proves succulence is in the site’s DNA.
Seeking a true representation and sense of place is what inspires the folks at Locations. This release of Locations F they incorporated some of the best regions in France, drawing upon their network of growers from Rhone, Roussillon, and Bordeaux. The Locations F is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and assorted Bordeaux varietals. “Lots of dried-berry and stone character to this blend. Plenty of berries and spices at the finish. A delicious, succulent wine with savory sensibility.” 92pts James Suckling.