2012 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay, Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara Counties, CA, $26.99/Sale $21.99: With fruit sourced from the some of the finest vineyards in California, primarily from Sonoma, this full-bodied, Chardonnay spends 10 months in small French oak barrels. Buttery and rich, Wine & Spirits gave this 90 points.
2012 Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc, Central Coast, CA, $22.99/Sale $20.99: Chris Broc is the “poster boy” of the “new California style” of winemakers who believe in making wines in a more traditional method with less extraction and lower alcohol. This Cabernet Franc exhibits so much terroir…a little barnyard funk in the nose melded with tart cherry and cranberry fruit. There’s no heat from excessive alcohol. Nuances continue to unfold while it’s in your glass. The consensus on this wine was unanimous from our staff…it’s really good.
2012 Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CA, $18.99/Sale$16.99: Spring is coming and with it the spicy, red berry and black cherry fruits of Klinker Brick’s Old Vine Zin. This is rich, old school Zinfandel, from 85 year old vines- add this Brick to your barbecue!
2012 Christopher Michael Red, WA, $13.99/Sale $11.99: This is without a doubt one of the best 12 dollar wines we’ve had in years. Predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon with Malbec, Merlot and Petite Verdot, there is dark berry fruit complemented by a structured core of smoothly textured tannins. This is a gem without any rough.
2013 Saint Cosme Côtes du Rhône, France, $17.99/Sale $15.99: Chateau St. Cosme is the leading producer in Gigondas and one of the finest in the Rhône Valley. It is the oldest estate in Gigondas dating back to 1416. Primarily Syrah, this Côtes du Rhône has some depth with darker flavors…it’s not the bright fruity style of some Côtes du Rhones. Definitely one to try!
2012 Château Bourbon La Chapelle, Médoc, France, $17.99/Sale $15.99: We love finding classic Bordeaux at a great price! This is a special selection from the vineyard of Chateau Castera in the Medoc. Made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, it has a touch of earth in the nose and the somewhat restrained fruit typical of traditional Bordeaux. This is a great value.
2013 Chateau Bousquet, Graves Blanc, France, $15.99/Sale $13.99: If you like Sauvignon Blanc, you should try this wine even though it’s made from only 5% Sauvignon Blanc with the other 95% being Semillon. Generally, Semillon has a rounder mouthfeel …but not this one. This wine is fresh and lively with citrus and apple flavors. The grapes are gently pressed under a blanket of inert gas to prevent oxidation which may contribute to its Sauvignon Blanc-like character.
2012 Domaine des Rempart Bourgogne, Côtes d’Auxerre, France, $16.99/Sale $15.99: It’s not easy to find reasonably priced Bourgogne Rouge that’s good. They are often thin and lacking personality. That’s why we were so pleased when we tasted this one. It’s pretty with expressive dark cherry flavors that are gentle, intricate and delivered with finesse.
2012 Argum Tempranillo Cabernet, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla, Spain, $11.99/Sale $10.99: We’re starting to see more wines from this region that has some marvelous old vineyards. We feel that the reserved flavors of this wine indicate the maturity of its vines. It has notes of raspberries, blackberries and cherries that meld gently together for an immensely quaffable wine.
Dolin Genepy Des Alpes-Savoie, France $29.99: This legendary herbal liqueur has long been sought-after, but only recently became available in the U.S. The flavor profile falls somewhere between modern absinthe and chartreuse. While exhibiting profound sweetness, its herbal quality keeps it nicely balanced. Serve with tonic water, on the rocks or in your favorite classic cocktail.