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Crazy good deals! Close outs! Incredible savings!

1)  Puech-Haut Saint Drezery Prestige Rose 2017, Languedoc:  $20 Super-pale onion-skin colour. A light veil of smokiness over fresh rhubarb. Savory rather than sweet – creamy almonds with a feather brush of nectarine and spice on a palate flooded with morning light. Fine, fine balance. On tiptoe. Hard to pin down … almost diaphanous, and yet there is a tightly wired intensity.’

2)  Innocent Bystander Syrah 2015, Australia:  $21 Innocent Bystander has gained a strong following with their syrah and the 2015 vintage is looking like their best made to date. Lifted aromas of white pepper and mulberry lead into an elegant, mid-weight palate, displaying pure, red berry fruit and supple smooth tannins. Beautifully balanced with spicy complexity, this is an exciting expression of Yarra Valley syrah.  “Steve Flamsteed makes his wines with ‘pinot hands’, so what you get is an epically scented syrah with a buoyant palate unlike any traditional Aussie syrah/shiraz”. Matthew Jukes – wine writer.

3)  Gerard Bertrand Grand Terroir 2013, Cotes du Roussillon Villages Tautavel, Languedoc-Roussillon, France:  $18 Wine Spectator 91 pts. This has a polished texture, with concentrated flavors of cherry tart, ganache and blackberry preserves. A fresh acidity keeps this focused, with a lingering floral-, graphite- and licorice-infused finish. Drink now through 2020.  50% Grenache, 35% Syrah and 15% Carignan.

4)  G. H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne (comes with 2 Champagne flutes):  $44 Exuberant bubbles and a brilliant, golden color testify to the vibrancy of this champagne. Lush aromas of ripe peach, apricot and pineapple cascade from the glass, chased by hints of vanilla and caramel, yeast, dried fruit, and honey. Intense, complex flavors of fresh fruit and caramel that morph into a long, lingering finish.

5)  Cambria Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Santa Maria Valley:  $21Ripe fruit, floral and spice aromas dominate the nose. Pink grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, white peach, citrus blossom, and apple flavors are balanced by a bit of wet stone, oak spice and bright acid.

6)  Mateo Pinot Noir 2014, Santa Rita Hills:  $34.79 Mateo is the fruit of the friendship between two winemakers (José Ignacio Cuenca & Brian Loring), two countries (Spain & the US) and two worlds (the Old & the New). This wine is a unique blend of California’s finest Pinot Noir grapes is dedicated to José Mateo Cuenca Anderson.  Deep ruby color with earthy plum and cherry aromas. Full, rich plum and cherry flavors with baking spice and white pepper notes. Great structure and balance with a long, complex finish. 92 pts Wine Spectator.

7)  Calluna Estate 2012, Chalk Hill:  $75.99 As the flagship of the winery, the Calluna Estate is inspired by the defining wines of Bordeaux’s Left Bank as it leads with Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot along with Cabernet Franc, and to a lesser extent Malbec and Petit Verdot, assist to round out the blend.  “Little evidence of a difficult year; on the contrary, this is supple and sweet, finishing with firm but suave tannins and lingering red fruits.” 92 Points; Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar “The bouquet is simply stunning… On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and supremely elegant, with a great core of sweet fruit, strikingly soil-driven and perfectly balanced, with firm, ripe and integrated tannins, laser-like focus and a very, very long, refined and complex finish. Sheer brilliance!”

From the famous Thomas Rivers Brown of South Carolina and Food & Wine Winemaker of the Year:

8)  Saunter Eagle Summit Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Howell Mountain:  $108.99 This wine is every bit the powerhouse that you’ve come to love. Gorgeous, inky-black color and aromas of réglisse, dark chocolate and floral notes are the first impressions. With smooth and powerful musculature, this opulent, full-bodied wine exhibits rich mulberry, espresso, and cigar box notes with a hint of minerality. Finishing with good acidity, prodigious yet smooth tannins, and a long, concentrated mouthfeel; this wine will drink well for 20+ years. ~ 100 cases produced  94 points WA #234

9)  Saunter Red Head Vineyard Clone 695 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Napa Valley:  $108.99 The elegance of the Saunter Red Head Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon stands out every time. Dark, rich, opaque purple in color, this wine displays a nose of ripe, black fruits and spice box. Voluptuous, fresh and pure with blackcurrant, sweet tobacco, cocoa, well-integrated oak, and a lingering finish with soft, sweet tannins exude an overall harmony and balance. This wine will age beautifully for 15+ years.  92+ points ~ WA #234

10)  Domaine de la Guilloterie Saumur Blanc Elegance 2015:  $19 Wine Spectator 91 pts. This is very energetic, with fennel, star fruit, yellow apple and quince notes carried by filigreed acidity and backed by racy verbena and mineral accents. A delight. Best from 2017 through 2022.

11)  Talbott Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay 2014, Santa Lucia Highlands:  $37.99 Complemented with French oak nuances. A lively minerality adds complexity to flavors of pear, green apple and fleshy nectarine. Rich and luxurious, this Chardonnay finishes silky smooth with a comforting note of cinnamon.   92 pts. WE

12)  Catina Le Monde Friulano 2015, Friuli:  $16 Clean aromas present with scents of fresh florals, green melon, citrus and minerality.   The palate is clean showing bright high acid and balanced fruit flavors of melon, citrus pith and white peach with fresh white flowers, saline and minerality. moderate through the finish.

13)  Neil Ellis Sincerely Chardonnay 2016, South Africa:  $14 Tight lemon and lime aromas with green apple. A focused palate with citrus fruit and an elegant long finish. This Chardonnay is a multi-distinct blend with fruit sourced from Darling, Stellenbosch and Paarl.

14)  Tangley Oaks Chardonnay Lot 11 2014, Mendocino:  $14 WE 88 pts. Aromas like a pastry shop and ripe pear and sweet apple flavors make this wine easy to like. Smoothly textured, it is medium bodied and the balance is rather soft.

15)  Umani Ronchi CaSal di Serra Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2015:  $16 Straw yellow color with golden hints, to the nose it shows intense and persistent perfumes of wild flowers and aromas of yellow pulp fruit such as peach, apricot and golden apple. To the palate it’s rich and velvety with a good dose of freshness and sapidity to balance the great softness. Dry finish, persistent and intensely fruity.

16)  Robert Craig Mt Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2014:  $85.99 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 95 pts. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder comes from a vineyard once owned by the late Robin Williams called Pym Rae (now owned by the Tesseron family from Bordeaux) that sits at an elevation of 1,800 feet. Blueberry, blackberry and cassis are all present in this full-bodied wine that displays the high-elevation bluer fruits that Mt. Veeder can provide. There is a floweriness and full-bodied richness, big extract, but great balance and no rusticity. This beauty should drink well for at least 25-30 years.

17)  Robert Craig Affinity 2014, Napa:  $59.79 Average price online: $70 Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 92 pts.  Their least expensive wine from 2014 is their blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and the rest Petite Verdot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc called Affinity. Delicious black raspberry and blackcurrant fruit, some spice box, licorice and incense are all present in this supple-textured, medium to full-bodied, opulent wine, which is sexy, lush and ideal for drinking over the next decade or more. The color is a healthy dense purple, and the wine full-bodied and textured, with a beautiful finish and real harmony. Drink it over the next decade.

1)   Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2016, New Zealand:  $16 Wonderfully lifted tree fruit aromatics of ripe pear and apple dominate with floral notes and light cloves. The palate is ripe and rich with good oily texture. The wine is well balanced with a touch of fruit sweetness and a relatively crisp finish.

2)  Genesis Meritage 2014, Columbia Valley:  $13 On deal! Merlot brings black cherry fruit and a supple quality to the wine, while Malbec adds full-bodied complexity. Cabernet Sauvignon gives the wine its structure, and Petit Verdot contributes dense, dark fruit. Flavors are of rich black cherry, spicy oak, and a touch of orange zest, with vanilla spice on the finish. Tannins are moderate. Serve with braised short ribs, rosemary-herbed lamb chops, or grilled T-bone steak.

3)  Casas del Bosque Gran Reserva Syrah 2015, Maipo Valley, Chile:  $23.99DECANTER WORLD WINE AWARDS 2018 – PLATINUM 97 pts.: Black olive, roasted meat complexity and intense berry notes on the nose. Lovely juicy savoury style, with a touch of peppery spice and toast.

4)  Banfi Aska 2015, Bolgheri:  $31 Blackberries, cassis, violets, black pepper, licorice, dark chocolate.  Powerful attack on black fruit, excellent balance between acidity and roundness, marvelous quality tannins, long finish with fruit and great elegance. Wine with a great aging potential  90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc.

5)  Steele Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2015, Carneros:  $29 WE 91 pts. From a great vineyard site, this wine does justice to its mountain fruit and coastal acidity, capturing both with ease. Juicy pear, apple, pineapple and a gritty minerality surround big shoulders of body and weight, as aromas of flowers puncture the fruit.

6)  Bodega El Nido Clio 2015, Jumilla:  $45.99 The winery belongs to the Gil Family Estates group. This group is known for the Juan Gil winery, however it is also the owner of other wineries like Atalaya, Ateca and Shaya among others.  Clio is a coupage of Monastrell (70%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (30%) grown on estates that are planted in the vicinity of the winery. The Monastrell variety is grown in a 32 hectare vineyard on old vines, a very low yield, but the grapes are of an excellent quality.  The soil is mostly limestone with a lot of surface stones. Underneath is a layer of sand where the roots can search for nutrients. The harvest is done by hand and the grapes are transported to the winery in small crates that prevent the grapes from breaking. Once at the winery, the grapes are put in order on a sorting table. Clio undergoes a maceration and afterwards a fermentation in small stainless steel deposits and barrels.  There is a malolactic fermentation and then an aging process, which lasts for 24 months, and takes place in new French and American oak barrels. Clio is a great wine, very expressive from D.O. Jumilla. A wine that thrills thanks to its strength and complexity.

7)  Folktale Rose Sparkling Wine:  $29.99 (Usually $39.99) Made using the Charmat method and the best of Monterey County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The rising bubbles bring forth mouth-watering notes of strawberry, kiwi, watermelon, followed by rich flavors or red grapefruit and tangerine. There’s a delicate yeasty quality, balanced by the sweet fruit flavors and bright, clean acidity. Perfect for a day at the beach, enjoy chilled and often.

8)  Robert Mondavi BDX Red Wine 2013, Oakville:  $65 Great buy! A concentration of black cherry, vanilla and sweet spice form the backbone of this intensely dark-fruited, structured wine, with a subtle layer of earthy garrigue (fragrant dried brush of southern France) adding complexity to the full, creamy palate. Focused and harmonious, this is a powerful expression of Oakville in a Bordeaux blend. BX-6

9)  Laurent Gauthier Beaujolais Village Rose 2017:  $15.99 An iron hand in a velvet glove to produce this Rosé wine full of nostalgia: happy times to be shared between family and friends. Perfect with chicken skewers, grilled meat, BBQ, charcuterie and cheese.

10)  Sokol Blosser Chardonnay , Dundee Hills, Oregon:  $28 (Suggested retail: $38) WE 90 pts. This wine’s sharply etched, bright pineapple and under-ripe peach flavors gain depth from aging in 13% new French oak. A touch of honeyed apple and butterscotch lingers on the finish. Drink now through 2022.

I just got a one case allocation of this wonderful wine:

11)  Produttori del Barbaresco Asili Riserva Cru 2013:  $67.79 Wine Enthusiast 97 pts. A hallmark expression of Nebbiolo, Produttori del Barbaresco’s 2013 Rabajà Riserva offers aromas of wild red berry, menthol, Alpine herb, saddle leather and dark culinary spice. The concentrated palate boasts enviable finesse and is practically weightless in the mouth, showing crushed black cherry, juicy raspberry, orange zest, clove and licorice alongside firm, velvety tannins. Bright acidity provides impeccable balance. Drink 2021–2033.   Cellar Selection

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 96 pts.  The 2013 Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà is a gorgeous wine with a dark and penetrating quality of fruit that wraps sensuously over the palate. Our tasting order sees this wine as the sixth sample in a lineup of nine Riservas that were tasted in order of increasing structure and power. Well-exposed and sun-drenched fruit from the Rabajà cru offers dark color saturation and thickness. The high limestone content of the soils means this is a hotter growing site that performs best in cooler vintages like 2013. Those soil types help to concentrate the fruit, and you taste that here in terms of the wine’s broad concentration and vertical delivery of black fruit aromas. This is a complete and seamlessly integrated wine with drying mineral sensations on the powerful finish.

12)  Folktale Brut Sparkling White Wine:  $28.99 (Usually $39.99) ”Light and refreshing, we made our Brut to enjoy on its own or paired with- well, just about anything. This sparkling wine opens with notes of green apple, banana, and tropical kiwi, developing into flavors of peach and tart strawberry on the palate. Enjoy chilled and often.”

13)  Kim Crawford Pinot Gris 2016, New Zealand:  $16 Wonderfully lifted tree fruit aromatics of ripe pear and apple dominate with floral notes and light cloves. The palate is ripe and rich with good oily texture. The wine is well balanced with a touch of fruit sweetness and a relatively crisp finish.  Pair with antipasto, fresh seafood, or Southeast Asian cuisine.

14)  Steele Durell Chardonnay 2015, Carneros:  $29.79 Suggested retail: $30 WE 91 pts. From a great vineyard site, this wine does justice to its mountain fruit and coastal acidity, capturing both with ease. Juicy pear, apple, pineapple and a gritty minerality surround big shoulders of body and weight, as aromas of flowers puncture the fruit.

15)  Bonny Doon Vineyard Le Cigar Volant 2012:  $29.99 Special deal! Cheapest price online:  $39.99 James Suckling 91 pts. Lots of dried berry as well as bramble berry and orange peel undertones. Medium to full body and a fresh finish. A blend of morvèdre, grenache, syrah and cinsault. From biodynamically-grown grapes. Drink now.  39% Mourvèdre, 33% Grenache, 26% Syrah, 2% Cinsault.

16)  Cade Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, Howell Mountain:  $98 Jeb Dunnuck 95 pts. Bottled under screwcap and a blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot all from Howell Mountain, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Estate offers serious intensity and depth in its black, black fruits, scorched earth, charcoal and smoke tobacco-like aromas and flavors. Ripe, concentrated and tannic, it’s one good looking Cabernet Sauvignon that needs forgotten for 4-5 years and enjoyed over the following 15+ years.

17)  Principi di Butera Nero d’Avola 2014, Sicily:  $13 On deal! “Shows intense fruity notes of plum, cherries, and spicy hints.  Dry and medium-bodied, revealing mouthwatering red fruit; hints of wild mushrooms and espresso lead to substantial and polished tannins; beautiful graphite minerals linger on the long finish. Food combinations: Pairs beautifully with aged pecorino cheese and barbecued meats and richly-flavored dishes.”