The lowest prices— even better than the big box stores.
Marie herself will help you choose the perfect wine for a gift, a dinner or any special event.
Huge selection of wine—enjoy a glass of wine while you shop!
What is Sauer Grapes all about?
I love wine. I love learning about special vintages, discovering new labels, finding gems that no one else knows about, and most of all, I love sharing my knowledge of wine!
At Sauer Grapes, we always have one dry still rose, three sparkling wines: one Champagne, one rose and one something else, five whites and five reds on the menu—always a $4 glass, $6-9 glass and a $10-14 glass—and the menu changes weekly. The more expensive glasses are always still very great deals! You can also pick any bottle off the shelf to open. If you don’t finish it, State law lets you take it home. There is a $4 corkage but I beat everyones’ prices so you can’t drink cheaper anywhere!. We also offer great craft beers, delicious tapas plates, and a variety of unique specialty foods to take home.
You’ll find I am a huge advocate of Grower Champagne. The Champagne region in France is dominated by a handful of brand names and they produce a mass-market commodity. By contrast, Small Growers, or “récoltant-manipulants,” handcraft their limited quantities of Champagne from individual villages and parcels where the inherent qualities of the vineyards imprint themselves into the wines. These winemakers are brave souls in an industrialized age: growing vinifying and bottling their own Champagne and offering it to the world as their lives’ work.
Latest wine deals! 6/15/16
1) The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings Red Wine 2013: $45 New price! $10 less! The Wine Advocate – 91 pts. “The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Cuttings is a Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated wine, but blended with some Petite Sirah and Syrah as well as a touch of Zinfandel. This is outstanding wine, and there are 5,000 cases of it. The Cabernet comes from top sites such as the Inkgrade Vineyard that Les Behrens made well-known. The wine offers plenty of blackberry and cassis fruit as well as some licorice, truffle, and lead pencil shavings. It is full-bodied, again very opulent (a hallmark of all of the wines from The Prisoner) and finishes authoritatively. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.
2) The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Lodi: $16 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, then Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Syrah and Sangiovese. Aromas of blue/black fruits (blackberries, blueberries) and cinnamon. Good density, firm tannin structure, and a long, smooth finish
3) Archery Summit Vireton Pinot Gris 2014, Willamette: $18 Average price online: $24 The bouquet exhibits enticing aromas of honeysuckle, ripe cantaloupe, citrus blossom, lemongrass and flint. Opening with juicy notes of Asian pear, Key lime and honeydew melon, the palate exhibits a lively, fresh mouthfeel. Subtle undertones of citrus, spice drops and a distinctive minerality linger on the clean, lasting finish.
4) Anthill Farms Peters Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014: $49.99 The 2014 Pinot Noir Peters Vineyard is an attractive Pinot that veers towards the lighter end of the spectrum. Crushed flowers, dried cherries, mint and anise are all nicely lifted in the glass. This is a very pretty Pinot but readers should expect a lighter style. Because of its chemical composition, Peters often yields a naturally cloudy Pinot, but winemaker Anthony Filiberti prefers to leave the wine untouched, which results in a quirky Pinot. Anthony Filiberti crafts Pinots and Syrahs endowed with real personality at Anthill Farms. That said, my sense is that Filiberti would rather be in the vineyard than in the cellar, something that was reinforced by the numerous unsolicited comments I heard from other producers raving about the quality of his farming. As always, the Anthill Pinots see a good bit of whole clusters (50% for the Peters and Tina Marie and 30-40% for everything else) and are aged in mostly neutral oak, with no racking until bottling. Filiberti describes 2014 as a vintage that was nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. Of course, 2015 followed, and it was even earlier! (AG)
5) Anthill Farms Tina Marie Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014: $49.99 93 points Vinous “The 2014 Pinot Noir Tina Marie Vineyard is one of the most expressive wines in the lineup. Intensely aromatic and layered, the 2014 fills out its frame with striking perfume and layers of deep, fleshy fruit. Bright saline notes add energy, while savory overtones add lift. This is a strong and very complete Pinot from Anthill Farms. The whole clusters are evident, but not obtrusive. Anthony Filiberti crafts Pinots and Syrahs endowed with real personality at Anthill Farms. That said, my sense is that Filiberti would rather be in the vineyard than in the cellar, something that was reinforced by the numerous unsolicited comments I heard from other producers raving about the quality of his farming. As always, the Anthill Pinots see a good bit of whole clusters (50% for the Peters and Tina Marie and 30-40% for everything else) and are aged in mostly neutral oak, with no racking until bottling. Filiberti describes 2014 as a vintage that was nearly three weeks ahead of schedule. Of course, 2015 followed, and it was even earlier! “
6) Brandini Barolo 2010: $43 Bastianich project: Perfume: very fine, spicy and then fruity, with floral notes of roses and currants. Flavor: responds with good body and smoothness followed by lively young and persistently lingering tannin. Clean, uncomplicated finish.
7) Torii Mor Pinot Blanc 2014: $19 Aroma of wild flowers and honeysuckles. On the tongue you taste a light sweetness with bright acidity, with floral notes framed by citrus fruits, predominantly lemon. The texture of the wine is round and sweet and a juicy acidity in the aftertaste. The finish is long, full of citrus and similar floral notes.
8) Torii Mor Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette Valley: $23 Has toasty oak and dark cherry notes, with touches of vanilla and spices. There are also notes of dark berries and vanilla-spice all the way through. The flavors are carried with good tannins, and a rich mouthfeel, with a dry touch. Enjoy now with decanting or bottle age for a truly delicious and spectacular wine.
When you have two of the best people in industry at the helm, you can only expect the best of the best. Philippe Melka (winemaker) and Jim Barbour (vineyard manager extraordinaire) have turned the old Long Vineyards (remember this great vineyard site from some years ago?) into a top notch Cabernet producer. Gandona (humble man in Portuguese) is rooted in tradition and a passion for transforming land into something extraordinary. It’s born from an estate that rests upon a sloping hillside high above the beauty of Napa Valley and Lake Hennessey – its vineyards, carved from the steep terrain and planted in four blocks, each possess their own distinct personality. See the next 2 selections:
9) Gandona Encosta Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Estate Prichard Hill, Napa: $84.99 Average price online: $94 Encosta (slope) originates from the steeply terraced hillsides of the Gandona Estate and its terra cotta-colored, volcanic soil. The 2013 vintage is a wine celebrating the very soul of hillside fruit capturing the essence of the vine’s interaction with earth and sun. It opens with aromas of bright red cherry and cranberry with underlying notes of cassis and tobacco. On the palate, the wine shows a juicy, full mouth feel reminiscent of fresh black and ripe cherries. Rounding out the mid-palate are finely grained, sweet mountain tannins that reveal a beautiful marriage between them and well integrated oak. The lingering finish is laced with nuances of rich cocoa powder and supported by a strong acid backbone demonstrating a wine worthy of aging.
10) Gandona Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa: $207.99 Opens with black plum and Kirsch cherries, exhibiting superb depth and richness. Bakers chocolate, anise and spiced mandarin rind are underpinned by violets and cherry blossoms. The mint, sage and garrigue add classical hillside character. Endless layers of cocoa nibs, black raspberry and red currants, edged by freshly ground white pepper are on the palate and carried by supple and generous tannins. Finely textured, the pronounced minerality creates focus which follows all the way through the impressive finish.
And I have 2 bottles of the 96 pt. 2012 for $180!
11) Andrew Will Winery Sorella 2012, Horse Heaven Hills: $78.99 96 pts. Wine Advocate: “A wine that I think rivals the 2007 Sorella, the 2012 Sorella comes all from the Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA and is made from 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 13% Cabernet Franc. Aged 18 months in 35% new French oak, it has smoking notes of blackcurrants, black raspberry, toasted bread and spice-box to go with a full-bodied, awesomely concentrated, yet layered, balanced profile on the palate. There’s a lot of tannin here, so short-term cellaring is advised. This beauty will have 2-3 decades of longevity and will stand toe-to-toe with some of the greatest Bordeaux blends out there.”
12) Andrew Will Winery Two Blondes Vineyard 2011: $60.99 The Wine Advocate – 92 pts. “2011 was a difficult vintage in general for Washington, yet the wines excel here, with solid depth and richness, and surprising concentration. Made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2011 Two Blondes offers first rate complexity, as well as classic Cabernet character. Sweet red and black fruits, wild herbs, tobacco leaf and hints of violets are just some of the nuances here. The wine is medium-bodied, pure, focused and elegant on the palate. In short, it’s a classic Washington Bordeaux blend to drink over the coming decade. “
13) Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval Vineyard 2012, Red Mountain: $60.99 The Wine Advocate – 95 pts. “Possibly even better, the 2012 Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard (50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) gives up smoking notes of creme de cassis, lead pencil shavings, spice and toast in a full-bodied, layered and elegant profile. The purity of this site really shows here, and it also has superb underlying concentration and structure.”
14) Waris Hubert Grand Cru Chardonnay Brut Zero NV: $42 (Special price!) The nose is fairly intense and conveys a floral and spring like tone, with some vegetal notes of lime blossom, mint and freshly-mown grass. Mixed in with aromas of white fruit and fresh mirabelle plum, notes of Viennese pastries and brioche then emerge. The overall effect is one of elegant complexity.
In the mouth, there is a full and rich attack, then the wine mellows pleasantly. Firm and powerful, it is dense in the evolution phase, with lively lemon notes. This Grand Cru presents a minerality whose finish is further evocative of citrus fruits.
Elegant, expressive on the nose, this wine embodies the purity and elegance of the Chardonnay grape, vinified with meticulous care.
15) Galerie Naissance Sauvignon Blanc 2014, Napa Valley: $22 ($30 MSR) 92 pts. WE Beautifully balanced and elegant, this is made by one of the winemakers at Cardinale and inspired by the Loire Valley. It offers equal parts fruit, weight and minerality, tasting of fresh-squeezed lime and wet stone, with a layering of viscous vanilla. Medium-sized in terms of texture, it dances on the palate, refreshing throughout.
16) Torii Mor Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette: $23 Toasty oak and dark cherry notes, with touches of vanilla and spices. There are also notes of dark berries and vanilla-spice all the way through. The flavors are carried with good tannins, and a rich mouthfeel, with a dry touch. Enjoy now with decanting or bottle age for a truly delicious and spectacular wine.
17) Shafer Merlot 2013, Napa: $55.99 Vinous / Antonio Galloni – 92 pts. “A rich, explosive wine, the 2013 Merlot races across the palate with dark red and blue fruit, graphite, smoke, tobacco and menthol. Today, the 2013 is unusually firm, but it should start to soften with more time in barrel. White flowers, spices and plums are laced into the super-expressive finish. What a gorgeous wine this is. A splash of Petit Verdot rounds out the blend.”
18) Domaine Lombard Brezeme Grand Chene Cotes du Rhone 2014: $24 The nose is upfront, firing now – it gives a generous air of blackberry and some nutty notes, is curvaceous and appealing. The palate expresses fluid, smooth gras richness, has a superior quality, and well-inset sève (vinous oiliness) – testament to the quality of the old vines. Has a true, good, truffly, earthy finish. Serious wine.19) Quintarelli Giuseppe Primofiore 2012: $61.99 A ripe, low-production vintage in the Veneto, 2012 gave the Quintarelli estate limited but very healthy berries for its wines; this expressive, satisfying, weighty and accessible Primofiore embodies the velvetiness and opulence of the year. Juicy, succulent red and black fruits dance with notes of cola, cigar wrapper, spice, dried rose petals, and fruit compote in this elegant, rich wine. Full-bodied and voluptuous, the estate’s Primofiore is a blend of 50% Corvina, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Cabernet Franc, which all finish ripening in wooden boxes before fermentation and aging in Slovenian oak. Primofiore, which means “first press,” gets the runoff juice of the first-run Amarone, adding depth and complexity. The rich ’12 Primofiore allows enthusiasts a first taste of this banner vintage.
20) Giovanni Rosso Barolo La Serra 2011: $77.99 ($16 off regular price!) At the sight it has a garnet-red, concentrated and bright. At the nose you feel a bouquet of violet and rose overtones, with black fruit characteristics and hints of coffee and licorice. In the mouth it has taste of show dense tannins and a typically precise, long finish.21) Valenti Norma Etna Rosso 2013: $17 This wine is fine, elegantand very fresh; it is the idea of Etna wine that can satisfy even the most demanding consumers who is looking for the typical aromas of Nerello Mascalese.
22) Snowden Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch 2013: $39.99 Special buy! Average price online: $49 Vinous / Antonio Galloni -93 pts. “Snowden’s 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch is bold, delicious and juicy. Black cherry, plum, licorice and smoke all meld together effortlessly. The tannins could use another year or two to soften, but the Ranch Cabernet is going to drink well with minimal cellaring next to most wines of the vintage.” 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot.
23) CMZ by Three Red Wine 2013, Contra Costa County/Napa: $39.99 Hardly any of this yummy red blend! By one of my favorite winemakers: Matt Cline. “The CMZ zone is where the preeminent grape varietal from Napa Valley meets the best grapes from our traditionally dry-farmed vineyards in Contra Costa County. Cabernet Sauvignon (39.4%), Mourvèdre (12.2%), and Zinfandel (36.2) are the predominate varietals for this non-traditional California red blend. This wine is also supported by Petite Sirah (4.7%), Carignane (4.3%), and Cinsault (3.2%).”
24) Commanderie de Peyrassol Cotes de Provence Rose 2015: $23.99 A classic Rosenthal import! A lovely fruit blossom nose and finishes crisply dry with a stony touch that gives it class and elegance. The Roses of Peyrassol are made from the direct press method. The grapes undergo cold maceration before being pressed. This gives them their beautiful watermelon pink color. The fermentation takes place under controlled temperatures and is exceptionally long, resulting in roses that are both lively, fresh and full-bodied.
25) Rose Rock Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir 2014, Eola-Amity Hills: $35 WW 91 pts. – “I guess it was just a matter of time when Domaine Drouhin Oregon would extend their turf and produce wines from other parts of the Oregon countryside. It must be a Burgundy think: always searching for fine Pinot Noir sites. The nifty and elegant 2014 Rose Rock is a Pinot Noir that simply expresses the pure varietal and the sanctity of the site. Pair this one with lightly grilled salmon. Light to medium garnet color; lively red fruit aroma, focused and uncluttered; medium bodied, zesty on the palate, moderate tannins; dry, fine acidity, well balanced; pristine red fruit flavors, with a note of savor; crisp aftertaste (Tasted: March 3, 2016, San Francisco, CA USA)”
26) Flora Springs Trilogy Red Wine 2012, Napa: $63.99 ($75 at one of the largest retailers in the nation) Wine Enthusiast – 93 pts. “Chalky tannins and subdued fruit and tannin weight make this an inviting, food-friendly wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with smaller amounts of Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Made from estate vineyards, it’s rich in black cherry and dark chocolate, concentrated and layered. It ends in a spicy back note of pepper. Cellar through 2022. Cellar Selection.”
27) Pine Ridge Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley: $44 Great price! 93 points James Suckling “Very attractive aromas of blackberry, black currant and lavender follow through to a full body with big velvety tannins that remain polished. Fresh, bright and savory at the finish. Drink or hold.”
28) Flora Springs Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley: $39 Opaque and densely purple, this is a rich, beautifully extracted Cabernet Sauvignon offering an opulent nose of blackberries, crème de cassis and roasted espresso beans. The palate unfolds with a lush core of black fruit and black licorice accompanied by warm, spicy notes of clove, sandalwood and a hint of cedar. Supple tannins frame the full-bodied mouthfeel of this classic Napa Cab, which leaves a lasting impression of fruit and spice. Blend: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot.
29) Flora Springs Merlot 2013, Napa Valley: $21 Bursting with big black cherry, juniper berry and black licorice flavors, easing into notes of cardamom, cinnamon, and gentle vanilla creme. There’s an intriguing granite minerality to the wine along with a toasty, sweet oak profile in the finish. This is a wonderful stand-alone wine, but can be paired with a variety of dishes. It’s forceful personality make it a good match for almost anything a Cabernet would be paired with, a favorite steak dish for instance, yet the wine’s tannin structure is soft enough to pair with eggplant parmesan or your favorite chicken dish.
30) Darioush Merlot 2012, Napa Valley: $58 Wine Spectator – 92 pts. “Impressive for the plush texture and complex, well-focused structure. Aromas of red currant, mocha and spice combine with rich flavors of black cherry, orange zest and bay leaf. Ripe tannins firm up the finish. Drink now through 2022.”
31) Flora Springs Chardonnay 2013, Napa: $23 Rich aromas of juicy green pear and candied ginger with a hint of crème fraiche and vanilla bean. The palate is bright and crisp, bursting with juicy Granny Smith apples and lemongrass. An underlying creaminess – reminiscent of fresh baked brioche – adds warmth to this crisp, refreshing Chardonnay, which finishes with spicy notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.
32) Flora Springs Merlot 2013, Napa: $21 “The 2013 bears a red fruit bouquet of Bing cherry and red currant mixed with white chocolate, light cedar and acacia flowers. The mouth has a dense core of purple fruit, reminiscent of kirsch liqueur, and the wine’s velvety tannins melt away on a sweet vanilla note.” – Winemaker’s notes
Hope to see you soon!
Latest wine deals! 6/22/16
1) Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2014, Napa: $52.99 Vinous / Antonio Galloni – 93 pts. “Energy and focus the two elements that stand out in Shafer’s 2014 Chardonnay Red Shoulder Ranch. Lemon peel, white pepper and floral notes are some of the signatures. The 2014 is shaping up to be another jewel of a wine from Shafer.”
2) By.Ott Rose 2015, Cotes de Provence: $21.99
Domaine Ott has been a pioneer in rosé since 1912. This graceful blend is 75% Grenache and 25% Cinsault and Syrah. From the winemaker: “BY.OTT is a new wine produced with all the savoir-faire of the Domaines Ott team in the newly constructed cellar of Château de Selle. It is a refined and elegant wine for any rosé enthusiast. The blends originate from select vineyards in Cotes de Provence that have been chosen to ensure that the wine is characterized by fruit and freshness with added finesse and complexity.”
3) Camino de Navaherreros 2014, San Martin de Valdeiglesias: $14.99 “Full of spicy raspberry and cherry, with a bright rose petal accent on the nose. On the palate, racy red fruit, spice, mineral, and brisk acidity meld together into a beautiful expression of no-frills, old-vine Garnacha…year in, year out, this tiny boutique winery produces some of the most sought after Garnacha in the country. It sells out quickly, so definitely a wine to buy by the case while you have the chance!”~Distributor Notes
And now for one of my crazy deals:
4) Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque 2007: $89.99 (Average price online: $150) Wine Enthusiast – 95 pts. “For Perrier-Jouët the symbols of the Belle Epoque are the house calling card. This prestige cuvée, in its stylish flowered bottle, has been released with good maturity, offering toast as well as fruit and a crisp, tight and mineral backdrop. There is an elegant style to the wine, fresh and with poise.”
5) L’Ecole No 41 Ferguson Vineyard 2013 Estate Grown, Walla Walla Valley: $61.99 Ferguson’s flavor profile is distinctly influenced by its basalt soil. With complex aromas this wine offers bold dark fruit, espresso and tobacco with flint and iron minerality. Intricate layers in the mid-palate are buoyed with balanced, natural acidity leading to a robust, persistent finish. “Our newest and exclusive Ferguson Vineyard continues to deliver astonishing fruit quality – well beyond our expectations. And as many of you know, this was affirmed when our first 2011 vintage was named Best Bordeaux Blend in the World by Decanter World Wine Awards in 2014. I’m often asked what makes our Ferguson wine so special and, of course, the answer starts with the vineyard. The vineyard site elevation is 1350-1500 feet, one of the highest in the Walla Walla Valley. Vines are rooted in fractured basalt rock from 15-million-year-old ancient lava flows, overlaid with a thin layer of wind-blown, glacial loess. We believe we have optimized the potential of this vineyard through our stewardship and commitment to sustainable farming.
6) Pride Cabernet Franc 2013, Napa: $65 Pure ripe blueberry, blackberry and plum are elevated by subtle frankincense, exotic spice and white flower notes. On the palate, this wine rivals some vintages of our Reserve Cabernet, while somehow still maintaining the ethereal character that we all love in our Cabernet Franc. The blend includes 10% merlot from our Rocky Top vineyard block (the first block of merlot to be harvested, in late September of 2013) which adds richness to the wine and 7% cabernet sauvignon from our Rock Arch vineyard block (the backbone of our Reserve Cabernet) which allows the finish to stretch on and on.
7) Pride Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa: $68.99
Super-concentrated nose of blackberry, kirsch, moist tobacco, subtle incense and sandalwood really light up the senses. The 2013 equally delivers on the palate, with density, persistence, structure and superb concentration of flavor. This is a prodigious wine, one of the best cabernet sauvignons I can recall us making. The stuffing on this will allow it to age beyond any of our lifespans. Nonetheless, the considerable tannins are velvety and the wine pleasurably rolls around the mouth even at this young age (bottled in July 2015). Classic Pride Mountain flavors of dark ripe berries, a range of baking spice nuances, cedar and mocha. Winery Notes
8) Pride Merlot 2013, Napa: $58.99 “While we often describe our Merlot as a Cabernet-lover’s Merlot, this vintage takes that description to another level. The wine is packed full of stuffing, with flavors of chocolate, plum, strawberry, wet shale, crushed rose petal and za’atar spice.”
Thanks for being great people and for being great customers! Hope to see you soon! Marie
Latest wine deals! 7/18/16
1) Truchard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa: $30.99 Rich aromas of plum, cherry, and cassis; highlighted with cedar and vanilla. The mouth is layered with jammy flavors of raspberry, red currants, and black cherry. Ripe tannins focus the palate and provide a lengthy finish of spice and red fruit.
2) Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Mt. Veeder: $59.99 Average price online: $73. The 2012 growing season was near perfect, with ideal spring bud break and warm, steady days balanced by cool nights. The steady weather continued into the fall, resulting in optimal ripening conditions at harvest. Our 2012 Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon opens with notes of blueberry, rose petals and violets, which are balanced by a cleansing minerality and silky tannins. Appellation: Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley. Composition: 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec.
3) Don Melchor 2011, Chile: $83.99 Regular: $104 MSR: $125 Decanter – 95 pts. “With 99% Cabernet Sauvignon and some drops of Cabernet Franc, this comes from the traditional Tocornal Vineyard, planted in the mid-1970s. A cold vintage reveals its herbal, spicy, flavors, but above all a crunchy, vivacious acidity and pungent tannins that need time in a bottle. A brilliant version of a classic. ”
4) Ricasoli Brolia Campo Ceni del Barona Toscana Rosso 2009: $16 Clean, vinous, fruity with scents of cherry, black cherry and prune. Velvety palate, delicate and sweet tannins, full-bodied and rounded.
5) Longboard Cabernet Sauvignon Mavericks 2012: $45.99 $65 online. This Cabernet from a hillside vineyard in alexander Valley is only made in excetional vintages. Rich and bright in blackberries and cherries, this 100% Cabernet is, in a word, delicious. The fruit stars front and center, supported by soft, complex tannins and an overlay of smoky new oak.
6) Longboard Merlot “Dakine Vineyard” 2012: $25.99 Dakine Merlot is lush with black currant, violet and blueberry aromas with a signature note they like to describe as ripe olive. The generous mid-palate is full of sweet-tasting tannins, and dark chocolate flavors. As always, this is a favorite to pair with a rare filet mignon or a beef carpaccio. Blend: 86% Merlot, 14% Malbec.
7) Longboard Pinot Noir Russian River 2013: $27.99 This wine will show a lot of bright fruit character when young (plum, strawberry and cherry) and will slowly develop a rose petal aroma. The slight smoked meat character from the Burgundy-sourced barrels will integrate into the mid palate and meld with a dark cherry note on the finish.
8) Longboard Syrah Dakine Vineyard 2010: $36 89% Syrah, 3% Malbec, 2% Carignan, 2% Zinfandel, 2% Petite Sirah, 2% Grenache. WS 92 pts. “Refined and well-focused, with black raspberry and smoky licorice aromas and complex rich flavors of black cherry, smoked black pepper, and orange zest.” Drink now through 2027.
9) Michel-Schlumberger Maison Rouge 2011, Sonoma: $17 Deep ruby. Cherry, plum, black currant, with spice notes. Cherry and plum flavors, rich mouthfeel and well-structured tannins.
10) Robert Biale Founding Farmers Zinfandel 2012: $37.99 Killer price! Wine Spectator – 90 pts. “A big Zin, ripe and briary, with toasty dark cherry and bitter chocolate aromas. Offers dense, youthful flavors of blackberry, licorice and peppery dried herb. Needs time. Best from 2016 through 2021.”
11) Dusted Valley Petite Syrah 2012: $33.99 Special deal price! From the winemaker: You are welcome and encouraged to “stain your teeth” on this big bad boy. From the beginning this Washington Petite Sirah seemed to have a life force of its own. It is a dense, firm and expressive effort from Stone Tree vineyard – one of the warmest vineyards in Washington State. It offers up chewy black plum and blueberry flavors that linger easily against those big refined Petite Sirah tannins. This wine starts big; stays big; finishes big. Blend: 80% Petite Sirah, 20% Syrah.
12) Leonetti Sangiovese 2011, Walla Walla: $65 Special pricing! I sell the 2012 for $75 and that’s a good price! “Offering plenty of black cherry, cedar plank, spice box and hints of chocolate, the 2011 Sangiovese is beautifully ripe, layered and has excellent mid-palate density. It’s certainly an outstanding bottle of wine and should be approachable on release and drink nicely for 10-12 years.”
If you buy 6 bottles of the next wine, I’ll give you a Riedel decanter! You can’t find these wines for sale. The Jackson Estate wines are all made for on-premise accounts only.
13) Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013: $8 91-94 points, Robert M. Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate, Oct 2015 “The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Jackson Estate Series is a small cuvée of 7,000 cases and a really impressive wine. The mountain vineyards seem to dominate the wine’s character, with moderately high but sweet tannin, briary blackberry and cassis fruit, and a crushed rock minerality present. The final blend was 94% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest the other Bordeaux varietals. This wine was about ready to go into the bottle right after I tasted it.”
14) Patricia Green Freedom Hill Dijon Clone Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette: $36 Great price! 40% whole cluster fermented, at once more structured and ethereal than either of the other Freedom Hill bottlings. Whole cluster derived spice/herb accents render both the aromas and flavors here subtly more complex. This wine has exceptional evolutionary potential, as there was an every shifting subtle complexity here that will be a delight to see unfold.
15) Patricia Green Old Vines Pinot Noir 2013: $34 Vinous / Antonio Galloni – 92 pts. “Brilliant ruby-red. Vibrant mineral- and spice-accented aromas of red berries, incense and fresh flowers, with a hint of smokiness building with air. Shows excellent focus and power in the mouth, offering juicy raspberry and cherry-cola flavors and a subtle touch of spicecake on the back half. Closes sweet and very long, with supple tannins and strong floral persistence.”
16) Patricia Green Olenik Wadenswil Pinot Noir 2013, Willamette: $34 Vinous / Antonio Galloni – 91 pts. “Vivid ruby-red. Powerful but focused cherry pit and floral scents pick up a smoky mineral nuance with aeration. Chewy and concentrated, with intense dark fruit and spicecake flavors lifted by a sexy floral note on the back half. This rich yet lively Pinot finishes with strong thrust, sneaky tannins and a lingering suggestion of allspice. This wine was made from fruit grown in a block planted to the Wadenswil clone.”
17) Maison L’Envoye Two Messengers Pinot Noir 2014, Willamette: $26 Fresh red fruits aromas, light floral accents and notes of Asian spices. The palate is mouth-filling and lush with juicy primary fruit such as cherry and pomegranate balanced with an earthy complexity. Vibrant acidity and supple tannins support the flavors through a long, satisfying finish. Sometimes the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
18) DeSante L’Atelier White Blend 2015, Napa: $23 A blend of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sauvignon Vert. Wildflower and lemon blossom aromas take one outdoors into the spring evening. The full mid-palate seems to contradict the 12.5% alcohol, but makes sense from vineyards that are dry-farmed and organic. Exotic Mandarin citrus and white pineapple flavors zing along to a finish that refreshes with gooseberry and mineral flavors lingering. Only 8 barrels produced.
19) Pride Mountain Vineyards Viognier 2015, Sonoma: $42 I ordered 2 cases from the winery! “2015 was an absolutely stunning vintage for our Viognier. Four years of drought and some inclement weather during bloom collaborated to naturally thin this variety and the quality of the resulting fruit was superb. After hand harvesting, we elected to ferment 100% of the wine in neutral French oak barrels (more than five years old and devoid of the flavor compounds that contribute to “oakiness”), while in the past we have done 40 – 60% stainless fermentation. This choice was made because for several years we’ve preferred the barrel-fermented lots and the roundness that aging on the lees contributes to the palate. The intense aromas of nectarine, jasmine, lemon curd and lavender are all classically viognier. The palate is unctuous and luscious, but retains a lightness that comes from maintaining the grape’s acidity through prevention of malolactic fermentation.”
20) Neyers Merlot Neyers Ranch Conn Valley 2011, Napa: $26 Great price! “The lovely 2011 vintage confirms that feeling. This Merlot might be our best ever. After a cool summer, we entered the final stage of ripening in September with small clusters of a balanced crop showing great potential. We ferment our Merlot with the native yeast that is trapped on the skins during ripening, so the process is long and slow, normally 45 days or more of skin contact. The result is greater complexity, and a smoother wine – lower in alcohol, and more likely to stabilize naturally without need of artificial fining or filtration. The finished wine is dark in color and beautifully aromatic, with hints of wild cherry, crushed rock and lavender. All of the grapes are from the certified organic vineyards that surround our home in Napa’s Conn Valley.” 85% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon.
21) Inman Family Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2012: $26 Vinous / Antonio Galloni – 91 pts. “Pale gold. Aromas of ripe pear, orange and honeydew are enlivened by chalky mineral and jasmine qualities. Offers intense orchard and citrus fruit flavors that show a silky texture and become spicier with air. A smoky nuance builds on the finish, which is incisive, sappy and very persistent. No excess fat or butteriness here.”
22) Jackson Estate Chardonnay Camelot Highlands 2013, Santa Maria Valley: $22 (Should easily be $30!) The Wine Advocate – 93 pts. “Other Chardonnays include the more mineral, Meursault-like 2013 Chardonnay Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands from Santa Maria. This shows notes of hazelnuts, caramelized citrus fruit, a hint of matchsticks and wet rocks. It is a complex, Burgundian style of Chardonnay that is completely different than the other wines from Kendall-Jackson.”
23) Francois Millet Bue Sancerre Blanc 2015: $22 Perfumed and expressive on the nose, with aromas of green apple and flinty, mineral notes. Ripe and lifted with an alluring aromatic character. Classically Sancerre on the palate, with crisp, fresh acidity, bright verdant fruit flavours and subtle herbaceous flavors all dovetailing beautifully. Very well-balanced, and very drinkable.
24) Jackson Estate Pinot Noir 2014, Anderson Valley: $26 Distinct cherry cola aromas arise from the glass, followed by blueberry and high notes of sandalwood and cedar. In the mouth, the blueberry flavors dominate, picking up a tart edge. Varietal sleekness and silkiness carries through to the juicy finish. Impressive now in its youth, it should continue to provide pleasure through 2024.
25) Anaba Pinot Noir 2012, Sonoma: $28.99 Pinot Report – 94 pts. “Medium-deep ruby color; rich, ripe, cherry aromas with forest floor notes; deep, bright cherry flavors with earth and forest floor notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep, complex, earthy Pinot with terrific texture.”
26) Anaba Chardonnay 2012, Sonoma: $24 The Wine Advocate – 93 pts. “The impressive 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast displays delicate honey, white peach and floral notes followed by a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay with good freshness, excellent purity and fine texture. This cleanly made, beautifully crafted, well-balanced 2012 should be consumed over the next 5-6 years. ”
27) Zeni Valpolicella Ripasso Marogne 2013: $18 A fine example of why Ripasso is such a popular style, this wine provides lots of dark fruit and cherry with nice touches of spice and cocoa notes. It’ll be a real crowd-pleaser at your autumn barbecue. Corvina/Rondinella/Molinara.
28) Les Champs Clos Sancerre Rose 2015: $24.99 Pale pink in color, nice fresh nose, morello cherry, red currant, floral edge, light citrus taste, well balanced, medium body, fruity and fresh on the finish.
29) Big Table Farm Laughing Pig Rose 2015: $27.99 Notes of strawberry and spice on the nose. The mid -palate has a perfectly balanced weight of cherry pie and a bit of umami, which is followed by a zing of acidity that waters the mouth ready for another sip or whatever food is at hand. Versatility is the name.
30) Big Table Farm Pinot Noir 2014, Willamette: $41.99 From the winery: “Green peppercorn and savory herbs are apparent immediately on the nose. The fruit here is perfectly balanced by the stems and structure. The sweet toasted oak really polishes the edges of the wine making it glide across the palate. This wine strikes a perfect balance with red grapefruit and orange zest aromatics supporting the generous cherry and red currant flavors. Drinking perfect and ready to satisfy.”
31) Broc Cassia Grenache Rose 2015, Mendocino: $26 Fascinating wine, pale and perfect, made of 100+ year-old Grenache Gris from Gibson Ranch in Mendocino county. Wispy, peachy florals and blood orange on the nose, with flavors of fresh raspberries, tart and silky citrus oils, musk melon, cherry pits, fresh acidity, and mineral length. A special bottle of wine, on its own or alongside shrimp, squid, or cured pork products.
32) Regusci Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Stags Leap District: $53.99 Notes from the Winemaker:. Aromatics:. Bright cassis, cherries, chocolate covered strawberries, smoked bacon fat, pencil shavings, wet earth, hints of dried bay leaves, cardamom, fennel and finishes with accents of floral aromatics. On The Palate:. Flavors of sweet red fruits, smoke, cigar box, dried spice rub, anise seed, cinnamon and other baking spices with loads of dark chocolate on the end. Being a classic Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine is very plush with great density and layers of richness across the finish.
33) Cliquot La Grande Dame 2006: $129.99 Great price, $10 less than anyone! Wine Spectator – 94 pts. “Bright and graceful, this seamlessly knits a subtle streak of smoke-tinged minerality with flavors of almond financier, poached pear, candied kumquat and crème de cassis, focused by vibrant acidity and a refined, creamy mousse. Disgorged January 2014. Drink now through 2030. ”
34) Cliquot Vintage Rose 2008: $89.99 The first nose is dominated by elegant aromas of red berry (red currant, blackcurrant) and firm fruits (wild strawberry, red plum, cherry). Fragrant hints of violet and lilac evoke the scents of springtime and autumnal notes (dried fruit, Spanish membrillo and dried fig) gradually come to the fore, together with a light touch of ground coffee or cocoa. The palate is clean and dynamic. The wine is full and textured with a long, mellow finish (honey and almond). It combines a distinct structure with strikingly fresh flavors (liquorice, aniseed).
35) Paradigm Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Oakville: $76.99 This release from Napa Valley stalwart Paradigm is bold and beautiful. It’s 96% Cab, with a touch of Merlot and Petit Verdot to round out the blend. Though it has yet to be reviewed, the winemaker (Heidi Peterson Barrett–of Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle, etc.) is raving about it: “My First comment tasting this wine is ‘wow!’ It’s delicious; our flagship wine at Paradigm and it delivers. Dense, deep, ripe aromas of black berry and black cherry-like fruit layered with caramel and toastiness from a nice mix of French Oak barrels. Flavors coat the palate with matching notes in a classic Cabernet Sauvignon presentation. One of our best Cabs to date!”