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Our New Favorite Pinot- Keller Estate

Aug 8, 2012 4:19:06 PM

So far this year we have tried about 350 Pinot Noirs and very few of them leave us with the "WOW" factor. The 2009 Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir was among those few.

The winery is located in Petaluma Valley in Sonoma County a region know as the Petaluma Gap. Fruit from the Petaluma Gap is known to go into some of the finest Pinot on the market. ( Kosta Brown, A.P. Vin and Sojourn)

The 2009 Keller La Cruz Pinot has a deep red, with complex notes of tea, cinnamon, blackberry and rose petal. A full body Pinot that has layers of berry and spice intertwined to perfection with a lingering finish. So far everyone that has tried a bottle has been back to stock up. It has been one of our fasting selling Pinot's this year. So don't miss out and get yourself a bottle to try! 

93 Points Wine Spectator- Deep, with rich, well-defined blueberry and raspberry flavors that are floral-scented, spicy and layered, ending with fine-grained, black tea-laced tannins. Drink now through 2021.

2009 Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($32.99)

Highly Recommended! The Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Pinot Noir is the wineries flagship Pinot Noir because of its quintessential balance of structure, fruit, and minerality from the estate. The 2009 Pinot Noir is all about balance, elegance and finesse. This is the best expression of the wineries estate’s terroir; red fruits, rose petals, spice, mineral and earth mingle in a richly textured wine.

Tired of the Same Old Orange Label

Jul 31, 2012 1:36:44 PM

Charles Ellner has always been at the forefront for my celebratory Champagne selections!

Charles EllnerThe current Cuvee De Reserve Brut offers a wonderful minerality. The finish shows true quality as its presence lingers smoothly on the palate for some time.  The brut reserve offers great versatility, which can pair well with light appetizers or simply have a glass on its own while relaxing.  This wonderful producer has a knack for great consistency and has always produced a great and undervalued bottle of bubbly.  Charles Ellner has a rich family tradition that has always been appreciated amongst myself and my piers.

 The Wine Stop has been long time supporters of Charles Ellner, and will continue to introduce their collection of champagne to those who are unfamiliar with them.

Charles Ellner Cuvée Reserve Brut Champagne (39.99)

92 Points Wine Spectator- A baked apple pie flavor--with all the ripe apple, pastry crust, nutmeg, anise and cinnamon notes--runs through this well-meshed Champagne, which is enlivened by fresh, almost lightly chalky acidity and good cut overall, with a smoky finish. Drink now through 2016.

A Spring Gem From Olabisi

Mar 29, 2012 10:37:02 AM

From what I consider to be one of the great values in California Chardonnay from a fairly small producer, the 2008 Olabisi Ceja Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay is once again very impressive!  I enjoyed the wine a few days ago along with my wife, with a light shrimp pasta and a fresh caesar salad.  The Chardonnay was the perfect compliment to a flavorful meal and a great day with the sun shining bright.  Serving the wine slightly chilled, it appearded in the glass as a beautiful golden-straw color and aromatics that left my mouth watering! Beautiful notes of white roses, key lime, and zesty lemon soon took over my senses.  On the palate the wine expressed great balance with a silky refined structure and depth that seemed endless.  The toasty Chardonnnay was extremely well layered and rich with a finish that lasted well into our evening.  Over the years I have enjoyed many great Chardonnays from all over the world, however, Olabisi has been a standout in my mind and has set the standard for California Chardonnay under $40.  Pick up a bottle for yourself and try it today, not only in the Spring, but all year-round! With a limited time offer from The Wine Stop, please redeem a special coupon code for Olabisi 2008 Ceja Carneros Chardonnay and save big!

Coupon Code: Ceja08       

0 Comments | Posted in Wines What We're Drinking Staff Picks By Harry Johal

Knockout Pinot Noir (A Must Have)

Mar 28, 2012 1:26:32 PM

Before leaving work yesterday I was handed a 2009 Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir to try out. Once I was home I prepared a small plate of salami, cheese, Italian olives and bread to pair with my Pinot Noir. The 2009 growing season was noted as one of the top vintages for pinot noir to ever hit the state and they have been flying off our shelves. Thomas Fogarty has been one of my long time favorite producers in the Santa Cruz AVA. Excitingly, I poured myself a glass! The color was a beautiful garnet, the nose was deep cherry, fig, and hints of soft spices. On the palate the wine was rich, complex, fruit forward with mountain cherry and great balance on the finish. I was certain this pinot was in the $40 price point. When I arrived to work the next day the first thing on my mind was to see the price on the Fogarty pinot. In utter shock I couldn't believe my eyes the price tag read $23.99, one of the biggest steals I have seen for a pinot noir in a long time. If you are a Pinot Noir fan this is absolutely worth having a few bottles.

Top Ten Picks For February 2012

Feb 4, 2012 2:09:32 PM

Every month is a battle among the staff to choose 10 of our best picks for the month. There are some real standouts for this month that are exceptional values. Philip Togni, formerly the wine maker at Chappellet who departed in 1981 to start Philip Togni Winery, has produced wines that have been some of our favorites and they over deliver every time. Switchback Merlot is a breathtaking wine that contains more of a cabernet profile rather than a merlot. When we talk about California chardonnay, very few producers can make a classic and well-rated chardonnay like the Varner brothers. One of the surprises in the line up is the Ch. Pesquie Quitessence with such vibrant fruit and depth, the wine will age beautifully. 

2008 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Maipo Valley ($9.99)

90 Points Robert Parker: "Fragrant aromas of /Asian spices, incense, pencil lead, blackcurrant; some complexity, lengthy."

Color is deep violet-ruby-red. Aromas are elegant, sophisticated, and complex, with fruity notes that blend cherries, prunes, tobacco, and roasted coffee. On the palate Well-rounded and very well structured, with ripe tannins and plenty of texture. Long finish.

2010 Evodia Garnacha Calatayud ($8.99)

90 Points Robert Parker: "Altovinum’s 2010 Evodia is 100% Garnacha sourced from the highest elevation vineyards of Garnacha of any DO in Spain. It offers up a slightly exotic nose of earthy minerality, mocha, black cherry, and black raspberry. Savory, concentrated, and with a forward personality, this great value will deliver pleasure over the next 3-4 years."

2010 Les Vignerons d'Estezargues Domain de Fees ($12.99)

90 Points Robert Parker: "The newest cuvee is from a single estate, located just to the west of Lirac, called Domaine des Fees. Bottled separately, there are 1,000 cases for the US market and this blend of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, aged completely in concrete tanks, is stunning. Gorgeous notes of roasted meats, Provencal herbs, sweet black cherry liqueur, and licorice as well as spice jump from the glass of this dense, ruby/purple-tinged wine. Fresh, full-bodied and juicy, with a velvety texture, it is a beauty that would be best drunk over the next 3-4 years. Think of it as a Chateauneuf du Pape wearing a Cotes du Rhone mask."

2009 Château Pesquié Quintessence Côtes du Ventoux ($21.99)

93 Points Robert Parker: "The 2010 Terrasses actually eclipses their top cuvee, the 2009 Quintessence, which has just been released. This is a serious wine on its own, and certainly capable of lasting a decade or more, but the vintage quality of 2010 has produced remarkable fruit, with the best concentration and purity of fruit that I have seen in the southern Rhone since 2007, which remains the single greatest vintage I have ever tasted from that region. This blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, aged in barrels for 12 months (40% new and 60% two years old) and bottled unfined and unfiltered, has a dense purple color and deep licorice, graphite, black currant and black cherry notes with hints of earth and spice as well as some pepper and meat juice in a dense, medium to full-bodied, slightly more tannic style than the 2010 Terrasses. To reiterate, it should last for at least a decade."

2007 MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir ($28.99)

95 Points Wine Enthusiast: "MacRostie’s Pinots from this vineyard on the edge of the Sonoma side of Carneros always are big, ripe, powerful and ageable. This ’07 shows the fat, ripe character of the vintage, offering luscious raspberry, cherry, cola, red currant liqueur, bacon, anise, spice and sandalwood flavors. But it’s balanced enough to change in interesting ways over the next 5–7 years. Really a glamorous wine for your best meals. Editors’ Choice."

2009 Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Russian River Chardonnay ($38.99)

95+ Points Robert Parker: "A selection of the finest barrels, the 2009 Chardonnay Cuvee Alyce (named for Stephen Hansel’s mother) is fashioned from both the old Wente clone and the newer Dijon Clone 95. This Chardonnay possesses all the same characteristics as are found in The North Slope, but more structure, restraint and possibly more aging potential. This intense 2009 reveals that overwhelming elegance that is a hallmark of this vintage. The most backward of these estate Chardonnays, it should last for a decade."

2009 Varner Home Block Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay ($42.99)

95 Points Robert Parker: "The 2009 Chardonnay Home Block is fabulous. It is rather inward and reticent, but the wine’s personality is impossible to miss. Ash, minerals, earthiness are some of the notes that add complexity to the intense fruit. This is another sweeping, totally elegant wine from Varner. I find the Home Block a little less mineral than the Amphitheater. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2019."

2009 Philip Togni Tanbark Hill Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($38.95)

93 Points Robert Parker: "The 2009 Tanbark Hill is a rich, voluptuous wine graced with layers of expressive fruit, smoke and tobacco. It shows quite a bit of depth for this bottling. Licorice, crushed flowers, spices and mint wrap around the plush, inviting finish. This is all elegance and class. In 2009 one-third of the production was bottled as Tanbark Hill. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019." -Antonio Galloni

2009 Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Napa Valley Merlot ($54.99)

A Wine Stop Favorite!!! This wine is brought to you by the talents of Robert Foley (Paloma, Pride Mountain, Hourglass, etc.)! Delicious raspberry and blackberry fruit. Sweet, rich mid-palate, with ripe fruit and espresso, leads to even, mouth-coating tannin. Densely packed and good grip in the finish. Very Cabernet-like.

2009 Achával Ferrer Finca Bella Vista Malbec Mendoza ($89.99)

98 Points Robert Parker: "The 2009 Finca Bella Vista was sourced from a vineyard planted in 1910 giving a miserly yield of 0.75 tons per acre. It displays slightly blacker fruit, a bit more depth and opulence, and a finish that seems endless. Give it 5-6 years of cellaring and enjoy it from 2016 to 2029+."

0 Comments | Posted in Wines Great Value Wines Staff Picks By Harry Johal

The Most Iconic Cabernet in America

Aug 19, 2011 11:05:21 AM

What makes Silver Oak the Most Iconic Cabernet in America? Several reasons why we make this bold statement: It has always been an anticipated release for consumers and retailers, Silver Oaks dedication to superb cabernet sauvignon since 1972 when Ray Duncan and Justin Meyer established the label and most of all the quality Silver Oak can deliver year after year regardless of the vintage being great or inferior.

As many have heard the 2007 Vintage in California was another outstanding year for the growers and many compare the vintage to the 1997. The 2007 Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99) is the one of the best Silver Oak wines we have had in the last 5 years. The color is a dark ruby with magenta edges. As soon as you go in the fruit slams your nose with ripe blackberry, plum, and spice. The wine on the palate is much richer then the 2006 vintage with full bold flavors of blackberry pie, hints of cinnamon and vanilla, which is a common characteristic when using American oak barrels. The wine has fine tannins and fabulous finish that will hold up for another 15 years no problem.

If you have been a Silver Oak fan from the beginning you don't want to pass on this vintage.

Well worth the price tag for only $59.99   

Shop Silver Oak Wines 

0 Comments | Posted in Wines New Arrivals Holidays By Harry Johal



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