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$51.00
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.
Domaine Girault Sancerre 2018 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 2018 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.
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.
Locations French Rose$27.00
Locations sourced the fruit for the French Rosé from a vineyard in the south of France, opting, this time, to produce a rose from 100% Grenache. Sourced from vineyard blocks that cling to granite and schist slopes; these 50-year-old dry farmed vines produce very low yields of perfectly concentrated fruit. Fermented at very cool temperatures in stainless steel tanks; this wine displays both a delicacy and vibrancy characteristic to the maritime influences of the Medateranian sea. A perfect wine to enjoy dining alfresco on a warm summer evening. The entry is fresh and supple with a raspberry foundation that is accentuated with tangerine and strawberry notes. The finish is a sprightly one thanks to flinty, stony details and bright tones of acidity.
Monthelie Blanc Cuvee Miss Armande 2015$38.00
Wedged between Volnay and Meursault, Monthelie produces vastly more red than white, making the 201 Chardonnay that much more unique and impressive: It is close to Meursault in both place of origin and style, showing serious power, perfume, and classic structure. Adding to the already considerable charm of this wine is its fantastic backstory. The name “Cuvée Miss Armande” refers (and pays tribute) to Armande Douhairet, who for many years helmed this family domaine. She had no heirs, and took the extraordinary step of legally adopting André Porcheret—a grown man and well-known Burgundy winemaking figure to boot—so that she could leave the domaine to him (she passed away in 2004).
In the glass, the 2014 “Cuvée Miss Armande” is a deep, reflective yellow-gold with slight hints of green at the rim. The nose is an assertive mix of Asian pear, apple blossoms, white flowers and Meyer lemon followed by notes of toasted hazelnut, white mushroom, beeswax, and even a hint of drawn butter (calling classic Meursault to mind). There’s a level of richness and accessibility that is perfectly framed by acidity, suggesting many years of positive evolution ahead. We’re intrigued to see what this wine becomes after 3-5 years more cellaring; my bet it that it will outperform lots of much-more-expensive competition. Enjoy this—it’s a truly fabulous Burgundy bargain!
Roederer Cristal 2008, France$259.00
Created in 1876 for Tsar Alexander II, Cristal was the world’s first Cuvée de Prestige. Crafted from Grands Crus from the Montagne de Reims, the Vallée de la Marne and the Côte des Blancs, and the result of a unique savoir-faire and devotion, this rare champagne is the jewel in the Louis Roederer crown.
Symbolic of the perpetual quest for excellence that define Roederer today led by Frédéric Rouzaud, Cristal is also radically different to any other champagne on the market.
At Louis Roederer, the appearance of new vintages gently marks the life of the Champagne House but does not transform it. However, the unveiling of Cristal 2008 last night at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris opens a new chapter in the fascinating life of this flagship cuvée.
As the Cristal 2008 showed impressive personality, Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Cellar Master, decided to extend its ageing to ten years. This has endowed this vintage with remarkable maturity and contributed to its surprising and exacting temperament.
Taittinger Brut La Francaise NV, Reims, France$71.00
Taittinger Brut La Française is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from at least 35 villages. The high proportion of Chardonnay (40%) is unique among fine nonvintage Champagnes. The presses are located in the vineyard for immediate pressing of the fruit after the manual harvest, and the resulting must is cold fermented under temperature-controlled conditions. After resting until the end of winter, the wine is blended, and then the final cuvée undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle in Taittinger’s cool cellars. The aging of Brut La Française on the lees for almost 4 years more than doubles the legal minimum of 15 months. This extra time in the cellars allows the wine to reach the peak of aromatic maturity, and the result is a delicately balanced Champagne, known for its consistently excellent quality. This wine has a subtle, pale gold color with fine, persistent bubbles. It is delicate, with aromas of peach, white flowers, vanilla pod, and brioche on the nose and flavors of fresh fruit and honey on the palate. 91 Points Wine Spectator.