Sant’Emiliano Barbera D’Asti Superiore 2016$28.00

2016 may go down as one of the best all-time vintages in Piemonte (Barolos and Barbarescos aren't released yet, but all indications are huge). The 2016 juice coming in is enormous, intense and cellar-worthy.

So...this barbera from Asti is a stunning young example. From the best acreage in Asti (Monferatto) and aged in new French oak, this is high-end barbera from a storied Piemonte producer (Rocchetta family). EXPLODING with tart blueberry, pomegranate molasses and crisp balsamic. Carmelized oak and black licorice round out the aromatics, but we reallly won't know what nuances are buried under the thundering acidity, 15.5% alcohol (!!) and intensity of fruit for at least a couple years. A bit too young to drink now (though don't let that stop you lol), but fascinating/exciting to sample and then drop in the cellar for 3-4-10-15 years. Pair with tomato braised short ribs or dishes loaded with fat and acidity. It will hold up (or dominate...) almost anything right now!

Plumpjack Napa Valley Syrah 2018$69.00

Whoa. Just whoa. Plumpjack is known more for their other varietals, but this one shocked me. It's their best wine of 2018. Spicy crushed boysenberries and plums and espresso grinds wrapped in a texture that's at once smooth and toothsome. Almost Cote Rotie in style, with a touch of old Rhone reductivity. Yum.

Paul Lato Zotovich Pinot Noir 2018$78.00

Blown away by this one from Paul Lato. Ripe black cherries and pomegranate with a broad, juicy, mouth-coating attack. So well structured into a 10 second finish.

Laird Jillian’s Blend 2016$38.00

Ripe berries and warm toasty oak (75% new French). But still youthful and feisty. Drink now or hold a few years. 65% cabernet sauvignon with syrah, merlot, malbec and petit verdot. 93 PTS JAMES SUCKLING: 36% below retail: Drinks like $40. JS93

Woodenhead Zinfandel 2015$31.00

Drinking perfectly! Lip-smacking zin

Triennes Rosé$15.00

From a partnership between the owners of Domaines Dujac and Romanee Conti, exactly what you're looking for from Provencal ros? at an excellent price. Dry and bright with a light, mouthwatering, strawberry essence. Simple, refined refreshment.

Chateau Leoube$19.00

From the maker of Domaine Ott's famed (and $$) Provencal ros?s, this is as MINERAL-DRIVEN a ros? as you'll find! Crushed strawberries is the subtle fruit profile, but it's the river water minerality and subdued acidity that make this wine so intriguing. If you like dry ros?, but without racy acidity ripping the enamel off your teeth, give this a try!

Resist Ruche 2010$28.00

What to say about this fabulous "natural" ruch?? A somewhat obscure Italian varietal that's often brambly and harsh, this one has beautiful light-medium weight and elegant, exotic spiciness. So much happening in this subtle masterpiece of "natural" winemaking (and price). Very little volatile pungency here. If you're not a natural wine fan, try this and you might be surprised.

Bin 6410 Pinot Noir$20.00

Hard to find real Sonoma pinot under $20. This one is charming and simple with bright red cherry that's relatively concentrated. Wrapped up in a warm, cinnamon and baking spices. Not super complex, just juicy and ripe and $20!

Fevre-Fevre Chablis Grand Cru Les Preuses$85.00

If you love Chablis and this price isn't scary, just take it.It's perfect. Or if you want to see what grand cru chardonnay from Chablis tastes like?this is an ideal place to start. Superbly balanced with tart golden delicious apple and pear framed by a whisper of toasty French oak. Focsed, elegant intensity like any great Chablis!

Alma de Cattleya Pinot Noir 2019$29.00

Classy little pinot that?s perennially consistent. Lightweight, juicy and elegant. Pair with cedar plank salmon!

Franco Serra Barolo 2016$32.00

Easy calculation here if you like Barolo! Under $35, 2016 vintage, ready-to-drink, well made. All you need to know. Has a bit of everything?you expect from Barolo--dried cranberry, roses, savory tar, sharp structure--but with a pungent juiciness that reminds me of Barbera d'Asti. Pair this with a nice charred steak or salumi pizza and you're in Italy!

Shafer TD-9 2018$59.00

Drinking so nicely right now (9/21). Understated black fruit and smooth elegance, but great tension behind it that will hold up to grilled ribeyes.

Onward Pet Nat$24.00

Here's a very cool, organic pet nat that's deliciously dry and citrusy and earthy, without the pungent offtones you find in so many pet nats.

Shorepounder Red Blend$18.00

Classic Bordeaux blend, but done naturally! So rare for this blend. If you like natural wines this is a must-try for a varietally correct and somewhat surreal version of the classic meritage. This will keep and improve for two days. YES, you read that correctly...a natural wine that likes some oxygen. At this price, just try it!

Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc 2019$15.00

Stock up on this crisp, subtly tropical RRV sauv from David Ramey!

Tatomer Riesling 2018$21.00

Love Tatomer! Lightweight, dry, super-crisp, elegant riesling from Santa Lucia Highlands. Over the last 20 yrs, Tatomer has quietly become one of CA's most respected dry riesling producers. And the prices have stayed really approachable. If you're a dry riesling fan, pick this up OR if?you?loved that incredible Tatomer gruner veltliner earlier this year, absolutely try his flagship varietal!?

Eleonre Extra Brut Cremant d’Alsace 2018$19.00

Exuberant, extra dry sparkling with a fresh, lemony, citrus core. Made with organic grapes by a 300 year-old winery in Alsace, it's 80% pinot blanc, 20% chardonnay. I'm always hunting great cremant (that's what French sparkling wine made like Champagne is called if it's not from Champagne) because it can often represent HUGE value. Also love the packaging here. Perfect by-the-case bubbly for summer parties, weddings, etc. Let me know if you want more!?

Thackrey Pleiades XXVIII$20.00

Here's a red blend that puts a smile on your face and will pair with ANYTHING...intense BBQ, all sorts of pizzas, tomato-y pastas, takeout Chinese. Anything. Just try it. Juicy and tangy with bright black cherry and jammy red fruits. From eccentric winemaker, Sean?Thackrey, maker of?cult-following, limited-production wines, this is a mystery, non-vintage (yep) blend of something like sangiovese, viognier, pinot Noir, syrah, mourvedre, etc. Grab some fun.?

Maldonado Proprietary Red 2016$38.00

Beautifully made blend of mostly cabernet and merlot. Easily competes with $75 Napa blends. Maldonado makes Farm Worker, which is a wine you guys have loved. It's a fantastic every day Napa blend. The Proprietary Red? is his next tier up and, not surprisingly, it's huge value at its price, too.

Like it's little brother, it's got really ripe, succulent juiciness. Think perfectly ripe blackberries. What I love about this wine is that that bright juiciness stays intact all the way through an impressive 8-10 second finish. Clean, fresh, beautifully balanced winemaking. This is just a TON of Napa red juice for my price.

La Bargemone Marina’s Cuvee 2020$31.00

Exceptional rose. I love it. From the best site in Provence. Tastes like ripe summer peaches. Effortless, velvety, finessed, perfectly balanced. You haven't tasted rose quite like this.? Pricy for rose, but worth all the pennies.?

Casasmith “Northridge Vineyard” Barbera 2018$20.00

Barbera (and pizza) fans! Another fascinating Washington wine from Charles Smith up in Washington. This is SO barbera and yet SO NOT from Italy. Outrageously tart and fun with cran-cherry redness, and still supply textured in that barbera sort of way. But totally without Piemonte's herbal, earthy undertones, making for a really fun example of new world barbera! (92JS)

Thurs, October 21 @7pm | Taste of Tuscany$99.00

Tuscan wines evoke lots of passion from travelers and wine lovers for good reason! From hedonistic super Tuscans to quintessential "vino di tavola" pizza wines from Chianti, the region is filled with iconic and revered wines.  Join us as we tour through four wines that beautifully showcase the region.

  • Discover 4 exceptional wines.
  • Learn about and expand your palate
  • Guided, casual, interactive tasting discussion
  • Most of all, have fun and drink beautiful, specially curated wines! 

WHAT'S INCLUDED
4 full bottles of wine. Yes, full! You're tasting fresh bottles. Each box is for a household, so you're welcome to have as many people as you like participate in the Zoom!

HOW IT WORKS
You'll receive the wines prior to the event. (Order at least 10 days prior to event to make sure you get the wines. But if it's less than 10 days away, check with me because it's likely still possible.)

 

TASTING PREP

  • Don't remove any mystery bottles from their bags!
  • Open all bottles a few minutes before tasting 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • 4 wine glasses/person
  • Notepad and pen
  • Glass of water
  • Dry, flavor-neutral munchies, like crackers
  • Fresh palate! Try not to drink black coffee or scalding hot beverages Thursday. Avoid spicy, intense, palate-demolishing foods! 

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE TASTING

  • What are you smelling? (Think specific fruits, veggies, spices, wood, flowers, etc.)
  • What are you tasting? (Same as the smells or different?)
  • What's it feel like? (E.g. smooth, dry, mouth-watering) 

ALSO...

  • Do you have any burning questions about wine (buying, tasting, storing, etc.)? No question is dumb! Let's talk about it!

Haut de Lagarde Bordeaux Blanc$13.00

One of my secret weapon, go-to, by-the-case sauvignon blancs. Remarkable value organic import. So LIVELY and FRESH. Citrus juices and zests along with honeydew melon (from the semillon) and really well supported by grippy structure. Bordeaux blanc with 60% sauv blanc, 40% semillon, this is made from 100% organic grapes, which is really hard to find for a Bordeaux import at this price. The quality farming shows in the fruit's vibrancy. Take it by the case! Exceptionally suited to parties, weddings, bbq's or just affordable weeknight wine.