Tuesday, December 8, 2009






This is a clean, smooth, and fruit forward Cabernet displaying flavors of cherry, black currant, and a hint of tobacco. Liberte consists of 95% Cabernet, 4% Malbec, and 1% Petite Syrah displaying aromas of red fruit, smoke and sandalwood. The fruity character comes from the extended hang time of the grapes from Paso Robles. This Cabernet pairs well with beef brisket sandwiches, hamburgers, and chicken masala. At $9.99 this wine is a great value.



TJ’s Reserve Zinfandel comes from the heart of Zinfandel country, Dry Creek Valley. This Zinfandel reveals aromas of raspberries, ripe strawberries, and oak. Flavors of raspberry, blackberry and pepper are enhanced with a lingering smooth finish. This Zin is a treat from start to finish. Private labeled for Trader Joe’s this is a steal at $9.99. This wine would sell for $19.99 elsewhere

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir

Robert Stemmler Nugent Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2006 vintage, $19.99 (suggested price $35)

This is our second single vineyard pinot noir this fall and this one is even better than the last. The grapes come from the prestigious eleven acre Nugent Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The pinot grapes are Dijon clones that are hand sorted and, after fermentation, aged for eleven months in French oak barrels.

The aromas you will get off this lovely wine start with blackberry, cherry pit and tanned leather. The initial flavors are fruit oriented with intense, ripe black cherry and a hint of tobacco smoke. The wine enjoys a graceful but very dry finish with lingering hints of citrus and raspberry.

Up until today I felt that the Davis Bynum had been the best Pinot Noir we had tried this year. Not now! This intense and complex but subtle wine is truly spectacular and the perfect wine for any of those robust fall dinners you are going to be enjoying this month. But don’t wait! There are fewer than 600 cases of this wine and I can promise you that it will fly out of here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fife Sonoma Zinfandel, 2007 vintage

Fife Sonoma Zinfandel, 2007 vintage, $6.99 (suggested price $28.99)

Fife’s consulting winemaker, Alison Crowe, really shows her talent for creating elegant and complex classic California styled wines with these new arrivals. The excellent 2007 Sonoma Zinfandel, a blend of 91% Zinfandel and 9% Carignane, gives us a nice chance to drink a 90’s style California classic.

The wine’s aroma is punctuated with strong hints of pepper while the initial fruit is a robust combination of cherry cola, dried cherry, cloves and well-balanced oak. There is a nice long lingering finish with enough tannin to suggest that this beauty will age for at least five to seven years.

We sampled this with the new goat and cranberry log and a warmed crusty ciabatta loaf sliced very thin but there is certainly enough spice and body in the wine to make for a good pairing with a pork tenderloin in a reduction sauce with new potatoes and green beans.

Fife Max Cuvee, 2007 vintage

Fife Max Cuvee, 2007 vintage, $6.99 (suggested price $22.99)

We were lucky enough to get a batch of older Fife wines back in the Spring and any of you who were fortunate enough to have tried them or saw the “feeding frenzy” on the sales floor when we wheeled them out know what an opportunity it is to get more of this delicious juice. This offering was still in the barrels back then but now that is in the bottle and ready for drinking you get another chance to taste some of the last superb wines from a winery that has gone out of business.

My personal favorite, the 2007 Max Cuvee, is a Rhone-like blend of Petite Verdot, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Grenache and Carignane. The resulting wine is a very well developed complex combination of flavors that reminded us of a Chateauneuf-du-Pape but without the earthy overtones. The wine shows huge, youthful fruit with layers of black cherry, tobacco and woodiness. It finishes with a crisp finality but there is still enough of a hint of tannin to promise decent aging for a couple of years.

Previous vintages of this wine were selling for $22.99 on release at the winery so that $6.99 price tag makes this an excellent buy. Try it with a nice roasted or deep fried turkey and you’ll be a happy camper on November 26!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mount Veeder Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon $24.99

Mount Veeder Winery 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

These bold grape come from Mount Veeder located in Napa Valley. Mount Veeder is known for growing some of the best Cabernet grapes in the world. This complex, big and bold Cabernet has a deep ruby appearance with aromas of blackberry, red plum, and dark forest fruits. You may also notice hints of chocolate and coffee on the nose. Sweet oak notes compliment the vibrant fruit, and a long finish is coated with cocoa, cassis, and earth. This powerful and complex wine is a great value at just $24.99. Enjoy now or hold for many years. The varietal composition is 82% Cabernet, 15% Merlot, and 3% other red varietals.

Alexander and Fitch Cabernet 2004 $5.99

Alexander and Fitch Cabernet 2004

This medium to full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon comes to us from Alexander Valley. Located to the north of Sonoma County, the warmer temperatures and less fog make ideal conditions for growing Cabernet. This wine displays flavors of black plum, coffee, leather and a hint of dark chocolate finishing with silky tannins. Alexander & Fitch is a smooth, easy drinking Cabernet with a lot of fruit. This wine is great for food pairing. Try it with a flat Iron Steak. A great buy at just $5.99.