Cellar Notes

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Cellar Notes
8:19 am
Wed January 14, 2015

M.Chapoutier of the Rhone - 1/14/15

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chapoutier "La Ciboise" Luberon Blanc '13 ** $
(Super value in delicious Rhone white; fresh and fruity.)

Chapoutier "La Ciboise" Luberon Rouge "12 **1/2  $
(A running mate with the blanc, superb value in CDR style wine.)

Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Petit Ruche Rouge '12  **1/2  $$
(One of the best C-H's you'll find, made in a stylish and generous manner.)

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Cellar Notes
8:52 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Wine List Recommendations - 1/7/15

 The Whites:

Keuntz Bas Alsace Blanc  ** $    
(Dry, light, supple with fresh slightly woodsy notes.)

Martinsancho Rueda Verdejo  ***  $
(A wine of great classiness, ultra-smooth, rich, food friendly.)

West Cape Howe Unwooded Chardonnay  **1/2  $
(No oak?  Really?  It tastes so lush and rich, it's hard to believe.

Ecole No. 41 Semillon  ** 1/2  $        
(Thank goodness someone is still doing semillon:  delicious!)

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Cellar Notes
11:40 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Delas Wines of Southern France - 12/31/14

Delas Cotes du Rhone "St. Esprit" Rouge '12 ** $
(An unusual reverse blend of 90% syrah and 10 % grenache.)

Delas Ventoux Rouge '13 ** $
(Another syrah-grenache blend, with fresh dark berry flavors.)

Delas Croze-Hermitage "Les Launes" Rouge '10 **1/2 $$
(An exceptionally good Croze, much better than most, at a good price.)

Delas St. Joesph "Sainte-Epine" Rouge '11 **1/2 $$
(Very good wine from a small but important appelation.)

Delas Hermitage "Les Bessards" '11 *** $$$$
(Very pricy, but monumental.  A wine to keep for years and years.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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Cellar Notes
4:37 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

New Year's Eve Bubblies - 12/24/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Gruet Blanc de Noir *1/2  $  
(Surprise value from New Mexico!)

Gloria Ferrer Va de Vi  ** $  
(A touch of muscat makes for a lucious bubbly.)

St. Hillaire Blanquette de Limoux ** $
(Tremendous value at the price.)

Clara C Fiore Rosé Prosecco ** $
(Lovely rosé, easy drinking, and classy.)

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Cellar Notes
8:50 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Holiday Gift List - 12/17/14

• Unoaked Chardonnay:  Chamisal Chardonnay, Central Coast '12  $17

• Chardonnay:  Jordan Chardonnay, Russian River Valley '11  $31

• Bargain Cab Sauv:  Sean Minor Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa '11   $20

• Splurge Cab Sauv:  Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon '11  $50

• Bargain Pinot Noir:  Meiomi Pinot Noir, Sonoma '12  $19

• Splurge Pinot Noir:  Belle Glos, Monterey '12   $46

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Cellar Notes
8:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Cru Beaujolais - 12/10/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Chateau De Jacques Moulin a Vent '11 **1/2 $$
(Brilliant wine from Beaujolais's most distinguished village.)

Chateau de Jacques Morgon '09 **  $$
(Beaujolais's biggest cru wine, a very fruity, mature wine.)

Domaine Franck Besson "Note Blanche" '11 ** $$
(Very rare white Beaujolais, closely related to the standard red version.)

Les Freres Perraud Brouilly, "Vielle Vignes" **1/2 $$
(Tons of bright fruit, cherry and strawberry, great balance and depth.)

Domaine de la Bonne Tonne, Morgon '11  **1/2  $$
(As close to strawberry wine as you can come, informal and delicious.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
5:30 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Merlot - 12/3/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Matanzas Creek Merlot, Bennett Valley 2007  * $$
(Well-made, but underwhelming; fails to impress.)

Cline Estate Merlot, Sonoma Coast 2012 **  $
(Well-made, and captivating, a very good entry level merlot with aspirations.)

Sterling Vineyards Merlot, Napa Valley 2011 **1/2  $$
(Allow one hour for breathing;  intriguing, tasty, likeable.)

Cameron Hughes Lot 356 Merlot, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County 2010 ***  $$
(A superb merlot, bursting with exotic aromas and flavors.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
8:40 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Trimbach of Alsace - 11/26/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Trimbach Riesling (yellow label) 2011 *** $$
(Just a superb Alsatian riesling at a very good price.)

Trimbach Pinot Gris "Vendage Tardive" 2000 *** $$$
(Current release of this great dessert wine, amazingly concentrated.)

Trimbach Pinot Gris "Reserve" 2011 ** $
(Very good price for a reserve quality pinot gris; try with lobster.)

Trimbach Pinot Blanc (yellow label) 2011  ** $
(Light, delicate but complex pinot blanc with real character.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:26 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Wines - 11/19/14

Here's a shopping list for very good Thanksgiving dinner wine choices:

Best sellers:  Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling and Gewurtztraminer  less than $10.

Same idea, only classic:  Trimbach Gewurtztraminer, 2011

Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese, 2012

Two Pinot Noirs:  Meiomi Pinot Noir, North Coast 2013

La Crema Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2012

Al's Favorite, Zinfandel:  Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel, Sonoma Mountain 2011

Ravenswood County Designated Zinfandels (Lodi, Napa, Sonoma)

Fritz Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley 2012

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

Cellar Notes
9:17 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Franciscan Revisited - 11/12/14

Price key:  $=less than $20  $$= $20-40   $$$=$40-60  $$$$=above $60
Quality key:  * = good decent wine  ** = very good wine   *** = superb wine

Franciscan"Equilibrium" White Blend, Napa, 2013 * 1/2 $$
(An interesting blend of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and muscat.)

Franciscan Chardonnay, Napa, 2012 ** $
(Super value in classic Napa Valley chard.)

Franciscan Chardonnay "Cuvée Sauvage" Napa/Carneros 2012 **1/2 $$
(Pricey but worth it, made with wild yeast fermentation.)

Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa 2012 **1/2  $$
(A very consistent winner, everything you could ask for in a good cab.)

Franciscan "Magnificat" Meritage, Napa 2011 *** $$$
(A true reserve quality cab blend with great complexity, texture.)

Many of these fine wines can be purchased at Wine World.

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