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Hello to all those who Imbibe, With much gratitude we thank each of you for your continued support. It boggles our minds that as we approach this fifth year in business at Imbibe, it is also our 30th year in the wine business. One thing we’re certain of: It’s good to be home in beautiful Bakersfield. We appreciate that so many of you have taken the time to imbibe with us, and for those of you just discovering our business through this catalog, welcome! Along with our staff, Imbibe proudly boasts a combined 174 years experience in retail and hospitality service. What a team we have! Each year, our tasting team compiles, through many tasting sessions, a comprehensive list of currently available, value-driven, over-achieving wines that we think you’ll find interesting. What makes this list work for you is our experience. We taste literally thousands of wines each year and when we find something new and exciting, it really is. Further, before we commit to placing a wine on this list, we require a commitment from the producer that supply will be available to us through at least the first quarter of publication. This year’s list includes mainstream and unusual varietals, blends and bottlings, from both familiar and new regions. Uruguay? Yep, got that covered too. With so many choices, we needed to create an opportunity for you to make informed purchasing decisions. Our annual Top 100 Tasting for 2014 will be on Saturday, January 18th, 2014 beginning at 1:00 pm for VIP ticket holders. Food, wine and buying discounts will be offered to attendees, but tickets are limited, so mark your calendars and purchase your tickets soon. Here at Imbibe, we also love beer (and cigars, and bourbon, and well, you get the idea), so we’ve included a list of 25 of our favorite staples. These beers are always worthy of your consideration. Our beer selection varies with all the seasonal offerings from our favorite craft producers throughout the year. This year’s Top 24 Beer Tasting is on Saturday, January 25th, just in time for Super Bowl party planning, and we’ll be featuring a surprise brewery on hand to pour their current releases. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2014,

David, Tamera and the Imbibe Crew

661.633.WINE (9463)


directory of wines A to Z Wineworks Chardonnay ............................................................................17 Andrew Murray Tous les Jours ................................................................................8 Argento Bonarda..........................................................................................................17 Argento Malbec .......................................................................................................... 16 Artesana Tannat ......................................................................................................... 24 Barrel 27 Right Hand Man .........................................................................................9 Barrel 27 Rock & A Hard Place ...............................................................................17 Beckman Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.............................................................. 26 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Las Alturas ....................................................................... 30 Bila Haut Red Blend ....................................................................................................21 Black Stallion Chardonnay...................................................................................... 16 Blue Rock Red Blend ................................................................................................. 10 Bodegas Maximo ........................................................................................................ 16 Bollig-Lehnerd Piesporter Gold ........................................................................... 10 Breggo Gewurztraminer .......................................................................................... 18 Carne Humana Red Blend ..................................................................................... 30 Chamisal Chardonnay................................................................................................15 Chateau Haut Rian ......................................................................................................21 Chateau Marie Old School Rouge...................................................................... 16 Clos de los Siete ........................................................................................................ 30 Crossing Pinot Noir .................................................................................................. 26 Crossings Sauvignon Blanc .................................................................................... 27 Cryptic Red Blend ..................................................................................................... 20 Daou Cabernet Sauvignon .....................................................................................23 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon ..................................................................................23 Domaine Mt. Eden Chardonnay ...........................................................................13 Domaine Schlumberger Pinot Gris.................................................................... 22 Epoch Red Blend...........................................................................................................11 Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon............................................................................. 25 Forgotten Barrel Lot #5150.......................................................................................13 Frescobaldi Ammarigifa .......................................................................................... 22 Feudo Maccari Saia ................................................................................................... 25 Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites ..........................................................12 Gamble Family Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc ......................................................6 Gateway Vinho Verde ...............................................................................................15 Grey Wolf Zinfandel ...................................................................................................7 Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee ...............................................................7 Guy Saget Marie de Beauregard Chenin Blanc ..............................................13 Hahn Chardonnay ..................................................................................................... 24 Hahn Pinot Noir ......................................................................................................... 29 Hitching Post Highliner Pinot Noir .................................................................... 26 Il Molino di Grace il Volano .................................................................................. 20 J. Wilkes Pinot Blanc ....................................................................................................9 Jenner Pinot Noir .........................................................................................................15 Kiona Red Blend ...........................................................................................................15 Krupp Brothers Black Bart Syrah............................................................................6 Kuleto India Ink............................................................................................................ 10 l’Aventure Optimus .................................................................................................. 30 Ladera Cabernet Sauvignon .................................................................................. 18 Le Pich Cabernet Sauvignon ...................................................................................6 Leviathan Red Blend ...................................................................................................7 Line 39 Pinot Noir ...................................................................................................... 19 Losada el Pajaro Rojo................................................................................................ 14 Lucas & Lewellen Cote del Sol............................................................................ 26 Lucas & Lewellen Goodchild ............................................................................... 29 Margerum M5 .............................................................................................................. 22 Melee Grenache......................................................................................................... 29

Mer Soleil Siver Chardonnay..................................................................................17 Morgan Cote du Crows ........................................................................................... 14 Mount Beautiful Riesling ........................................................................................ 22 Okiwa Bay Sauvignon Blanc................................................................................... 19 Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc....................................................................... 20 Paco & Lola Albarino.................................................................................................23 Paloma Merlot ...............................................................................................................11 Paoletti Bella Novello .............................................................................................. 29 Paraduxx Z Cuvee .........................................................................................................8 Querciabella Mongrana .............................................................................................11 Quinta Noval Black Ruby Port............................................................................. 25 Raymond Reserve Merlot ........................................................................................12 Red Tail Ridge Riesling ............................................................................................. 24 Rhiannon Red Blend ................................................................................................. 24 S. A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr ....................................................................... 28 Saint Cosme Cotes du Rhone .............................................................................. 19 Scharffenberger Brut Excellence ........................................................................ 28 School House Pinot Noir..........................................................................................6 Schweiger Chardonnay ........................................................................................... 27 Sextant Cabernet Sauvignon .................................................................................13 Sextant Chardonnay ...................................................................................................8 Shooting Star Blue Franc...........................................................................................9 Smashberry Red Blend ..............................................................................................21 Steltzner Sauvignon Blanc........................................................................................9 Summers Zinfandel .....................................................................................................12 Susana Balbo Malbec ................................................................................................23 Talbott Kali Hart Chardonnay .................................................................................11 Talbott Kali Hart Pinot Noir................................................................................... 14 Tamber Bey Rabicano .................................................................................................8 Tarima Monastrell...................................................................................................... 28 Tenuta Campo al Mare ........................................................................................... 25 Tenuta Torcalvano Nobile di Montepulciano ................................................21 Terra Valentine Cabernet Sauvignon ................................................................ 18 Terranoble Gran Reserva ......................................................................................... 19 Toscata Malvasia Bianca.......................................................................................... 28 Trinitas Chardonnay ...................................................................................................12 Trinitas Moscato ......................................................................................................... 19 True Myth Chardonnay .......................................................................................... 20 Vistalba Corte B Blend ............................................................................................. 18 Vistalba Malbec .......................................................................................................... 27 Volver Tempranillo ..................................................................................................... 14 WCP Cellars Harmonious Blend ............................................................................7

661.633.WINE (9463)


Taste 100 Wines Enjoy abundant food by Moo Creamery

1/18/14 VIP Entry

Limited Attendance Early Entry 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. $90

General Admission 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. $75

imbibe wine | 4140 truxtun avenue, at empire | bakersfield, ca

TOP 100 WINE TASTING imbibewine.com


1

2 2010

100% cabernet sauvignon

$39.99

6

3 4 2008

2011

98% syrah 2% viognier

$54.99

100% pinot noir

$17.99

$79.99

Le Pich

Krupp Brothers Black Bart

Gamble Family Vineyards

Last year I wrote, “I have never been so excited about our #1 wine”. Well, I’ve gotta say that again this year. Harvesting healthy fruit at peak ripeness, with power but also with freshness, is a balancing act that creates a wine to age, fascinate and excite. This wine has all of this and more! The fruit for Le Pich comes from a variety of top vineyard sites throughout the Napa Valley. Winemaker Julien Fayard (Lafite Rothschild, Quintessa, Lail, Gemstone & Dalla Valle) and Vineyard Manager Steve Matthiasson (Araujo, Spottswoode, Chappellet & David Arthur) make this very special wine. Dark dense, luscious & graceful. Blueberry preserves, red and purple plums, sun dried dates. Smoked herbs, graphite, roasted coffee beans and crushed violets. You can cellar this wine or decant and enjoy with grilled lamb chops. We secured all we could get. Drinks like a wine at twice the price. David

We love this wine for many reasons and it rose to the top because of its balance, fragrant aromatics, Intensity, structure, elegance and finesse. Not only one of the finest vineyard sites in all of America but year after year the Krupp’s are putting out World Class wines. Their fruit is sought after and purchased by Napa Valley’s top winemakers and wineries. Off the beaten path at 1,600 to 1,850 feet above sea level in the eastern hillsides between Pritchard Hill and Atlas Peak. The bulk of their grapes make their way into wines that earn high scores, accolades, press and publication. The Krupp’s keep the best of the best for themselves and have hired world class viticulturist and wine making consultants to gently handle the fruit from vineyard to bottle. Displays a nose of smoked meats, cedar, white pepper and violets. On the palate bold flavors dark fruit, vanilla, blueberry, and toasted oak linger for a long, smooth persistent finish. Robert

There is a huge amount of talent behind this wine. The team of Tom Gamble and Bill Davies, lifetime friends who say they met on the first day of nursery school back in 1965. Gamble has long been one of Napa Valley’s most respected grape growers and Davies is the family who owns Schramsberg sparkling. Half of this vineyard is planted to the highly prized powerful Sauvignon Musque clone. Gamble is such a meticulous farmer that the grapes in this bottle were deliberately picked on four different occasions. But above all, this Sauvignon Blanc speaks of place, “terroir”. This vineyard has hit its stride and it’s reputation for producing pretty much perfect California Sauvignon Blanc. The highest ranked white wine on our list this year, it is focused and tangy with aromas of stone, lemon peel and pear. This is a great match with oysters or osetra caviar; in the summer time match it with some cold cucumber soup. A must try! David

661.633.WINE (9463)

2009

100% sauvignon blanc

School House Spring Mountain This year’s list has what I consider the best Pinot Noir coming out of Napa Valley. I’ve known about this wine for many years; with a lot of work I was successful this year for the first time landing this wine for Imbibe’s wine lovers. Here is the story. In the 1940’s Andre Tchelistcheff suggested to his good friend John Daniel, owner of the famous Inglenook Estate, that he replace his pinot noir vineyard in Rutherford with cabernet which he felt was better suited to that region. Having secured the pinot noir budwood from Burgundy’s Domaine de Romanee Conti, it ended up being planted on Spring Mountain on what is now known as School House Vineyard. Today there are a total of 6 acres planted. The first School House Vineyard Pinot Noir was released in 1957. Many consider this the benchmark for Pinot Noir in Napa. Why not try a bottle for yourself and let us know what you think? David


5 6 2009

35% dolcetto 35% grenache 30% tempranillo

This wine is aptly named Harmonious as it seamlessly blends the floral aromatic intensity of Dolcetto, the bright cherry, raspberry fruit of the Grenache, and the spicy dry finish of the Tempranillo. This wine will satisfy those who enjoy lighter bodied reds with bright fresh fruit flavors and juicy acidity. The Harmonious blend was introduced to us in the fall and the staff here at Imbibe just knew we had a winner. Winemaker Will Persall put together this blend which was sourced from the ING Estate Vineyards located in South Monterey County. The bright sunny days and cool nights of ING Estates create elegant and distinctive fruit, and their minimalist approach offers site expressive quality. Tucked into the Santa Lucia Mountains, the vineyard consists of “Lockwood Shaley Loam,” a well drained, calcareous “chalk-rock” found in only two small areas of Central California. Pair it up with kabobs, pizza or BBQ. Robert

2011

2010

100% chardonnay

$14.91 WCP Cellars Harmonious Red Blend

7 8 $26.91

2010

60% zinfandel 40% cabernet sauvignon

47% cabernet sauvignon 27% merlot 21% syrah 5% cabernet franc

$16.99

$47.95

Schweiger

Grey Wolf Zinful

Leviathan

The Schweigers planted their first grapevines in 1981 when few others were growing grapes on Spring Mountain. For the first 10 years, they sold their fruit to Cafaro Cellars, ZD, Newton and Stags Leap Winery. Jump forward to 1994 when Schweiger became a bonded winery with the help of son Andrew who was working full time at Cain Cellars just down the road. Daughter Diana, who I met early this year, joined the family and is now National Sales manager. Only 871 cases produced. The 2010 vintage is the seventeenth release of Chardonnay; What I like best is the balance between fruitiness and complexity, lots of pear, kiwi, citrus and apricots with a hint of oak and tropical fruit as well. The true nature of Spring Mountain comes through in the mineral character. Reminds me more of a classic Mersault than your typical California Chardonnay. David

Crack this one open with a few friends on a Friday night. This is a wine that doesn’t take itself too seriously, while still remaining seriously good. $16.99 gets you an entry level look at the Grey Wolf Cellars lineup which is outstanding! This Zinfandel based blend leads with rich candied cherries, orange rind and punch-like notes. The mid palate develops with a slight dry vanilla mouthfeel as well as subtle cayenne and white pepper spices on the back end. This is a fun little blend of 60% Zinfandel and 40% Cabernet. The fruit is picked and fermented separately and spends 16 months in a mix of 15% new oak and 85% neutral American and French oak. At 310 cases every last drop is sure to be consumed. Do your taste buds a favor and snag yourself a bottle or two before this small production charmer is history. Jason

There is no mistake; the “Red Blend” craze is as hot as ever and here to stay. Back in the days if you heard ‘red blend’ it was safe to assume it was a Bordeaux style blend or ‘Meritage’ or a Rhone Blend. Some of today’s blends are fun, ripe, approachable, easy drinking wines that we don’t take too seriously, but don’t turn your back on the Leviathan. By definition Leviathan means something unusually large or formidable. This wine is a project by husband and wife winemakers Annie Favia and Andy Erickson. The Favia wines are some of California’s top small production single varieties and blends. Andy’s resume includes winemaking duties at Screaming Eagle, Ovid, Dalla Valle, and Dancing Hares. The end result is a full, rich, layered wine with velvet like texture. Flavors of dark cherry, blue and blackberry fruit explode leaving you with a nose of cigar box and dried herbs on that next swirl. Robert

imbibewine.com

7


9 10 11 12 2010

63% zinfandel 29% cabernet sauvignon 8% merlot

$39.91

8

2012

2010

100% chardonnay

2012

63% cabernet sauvignon 29% merlot 4% cabernet franc 4% petit verdot

$14.99

$42.99

Paraduxx Z Cuvee

Sextant Chardonnay

Tamber Bey Rabicano

The simple definition of a paradox is something made of two opposite things that seem impossible together but is actually true. Dan Duckhorn created Paraduxx to create stylish Napa Valley blends and he has done so with grapes you don’t expect together but the results are wines with bold, expressive character and food-friendly sophistication (bold and sophisticated seem to be a definite paraduxx, I mean dox). A blend of Zin and Cab with a bit of Merlot creates a wine with the inviting aromas of fresh raspberries and blackberries with deep notes of molasses and caramel and lighter touches of vanilla, pepper,and sage. The rich, mouthcoating palate is full of blackberry jam and pie spices. Sixteen months in a mix of French and American oak gives a long, lingering finish full of subtle vanilla notes, bits of tobacco, tarragon, and chocolate covered cherries. Stuart

Owners Craig and Nancy Stoller are great hometown folks from Bakersfield. Devoted to creating unmatchable old world varietal wines by taking full advantage of the ideal grape growing weather of the Central Coast Region, this new release made by winemaker Steven Martell who joined the team in 2010 has taken the wines of Sextant up a few notches. Steve’s talent has garnered numerous 90+ wine accolades. These grapes come from the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation and also MacGregor Vineyard in Edna Valley. Fermented in stainless steel and neural French oak barrels, this wine has great texture and keen acidity. Wonderful flavors of lemon, pineapple and brioche. You will not find a better Chardonnay under twenty bucks. Sextant has built a state of the art winemaking facility with a wonderful hospitality center; check it out next time you’re in Paso Robles. David

Tamber Bey’s estate grown Rabicano (pronounced Rab-ikawno), is a masterful blend. A strong core of Cab and Merlot with hints of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. The floral nose expresses red raspberries and strawberries mixed with incense, sage and a hint of clove. The mouth feel is lush and creamy. The wine shows wonderful flavors of pomegranate and red currant fruit intermixed with spices and smokiness. The finish delivers notes of graphite which you only find in the finest of Cabernet based wines. Tamber Bey is owned by Barry and Jennifer Waitte who I have the privilege to call my friends. Tamber Bey reflects the names of owner Barry’s first two Arabian endurance horses, Tamborina (Tamber) and Bayamo (Bey). To entice your further, you should know we get to offer Tamber Bey Rabicano for $42.99; if you choose to purchase at the winery it’ll cost you over $55. David

661.633.WINE (9463)

100% Syrah

$14.99 Andrew Murray Tous les Jours Andrew Murray has been crafting Syrah for over 20 years after he was introduced to Rhone varieties during family travels in France. The syrah tous les Jours (French for “Every Day”) is a quintessential Syrah. It is bold and balanced, rich and smooth, fruit forward and earthy. The aromas and flavors are dominated by black cherry, raspberry, white pepper, forest floor and toasty oak. This wine is an absolutely unique and special expression of Syrah. It is a style that one can enjoy every day and at this price you can afford it every day. Really a breath of fresh air given its high quality at a realistic, down to earth price. David


13 14 15 16 2012

100% sauvignon blanc

$19.91

2011

2012

100% lemberger

100% pinot blanc

$14.91

$15.91

2011

93% syrah 7% viognier

$17.91

Steltzner

Shooting Star Blue Franc

J. Wilkes

Barrel 27 Right Hand Man

Crisp, dry and utterly enjoyable. This Napa Sauvignon Blanc is one of my personal favorites. The Steltzner Sauv is straightforward yet well made. Clean, grassy and citrus driven. You’ll find dust and limestone on the nose. The citrus nose translates into a tamed grapefruit expression which primes your palate for oysters, rosemary chicken or a creamy alfredo based pasta. Experience the quality winemaking of Bob Pepi and top notch fruit coming from the renowned Stags Leap District. Jason

This wine took the team by surprise when we tasted it at the end of summer. No one said a word, but our silence at the table was indicator that we found a winner. Veteran winemaker Jed Steele was visiting the Austrian wine country in the 70’s where he found the locals enjoying a fresh, vibrant red wine with lots of berry fruit and little tannic harshness. The grape was Lemberger, referred to by the locals as Blau Frankisch, “blue grape from France.” In the 90’s as a consulting winemaker for Columbia Crest Winery in Washington State Jed found that there were significant plantings in Washington and thought it was worth pursuing and coined the grape ‘Blue Franc.’ Aclean, crisp wine with loads of red berry fruit, pepper, spice and cinnamon. Usually sees little or no oak, has a medium body with crisp acidity and medium soft tannins. Blue Franc’s a perfect match with cheeses, hamburgers, pizza, or appetizers. Robert

I will be the first to tell you it is rare to find a standout Pinot Blanc, but this bottling from J Wilkes is out of sight! A small lot gem from Bien Nacido, one of the most famous vineyards on the Central Coast; this is a wine typically reserved for a select few top restaurants. Well, we tasted it and said we had to have it. Very limited and a must try wine! The wine is ideal for sipping with friends or with a meal.

I love everything about this wine every year. The Right Hand Man has all the bells and whistles of true Syrah and reminds me of a miniature Cote Rotie. McPrice Myers did his homework on this grape and has done it justice. Sourced from vineyards situated on the West Side of Paso Robles and in the Santa Ynez Valley. In true Cote Rotie tradition it is a blend of Syrah and Viognier. Whenever you hear me use the phrase ‘bells & whistles’ in regards to a wine that’s just my way of saying that the wine is complex enough and has all the signature components that the varietal and wine are supposed to showcase. This wine displays notes of dark berries, grilled meat and smoky toasted oak along with perfumed violet notes. Flavors of dark plums, cassis and spicy pepper notes are wrapped up in this medium to full bodied wine that finishes with firm but approachable tannins. One of the best wines for under $20 in America. Robert

Some of you may remember the great Pinot Blanc’s from Chalone. If you ever had the opportunity to try one, they were always memorable and made an impression. This wine is clean and fresh with some tart peach, ripe apple. FYI: It is believed that much of the famed Corton Charlemagne vineyard in Burgundy is actually planted (quite illegally) to Pinot Blanc instead of the approved Chardonnay grape. David

imbibewine.com

9


17 18 19 20 2010

52% syrah 48% cabernet sauvignon

$29.91 Kuleto India Ink Kuleto’s India Ink is so easy to talk about because it is so deliciously easy to drink. Let’s start with the wine itself. The blend of syrah and cab result in a wine with a deep, inky purple color and a palate of deep, dark fruit that reflect the rough, rocky terrain of the vineyards. Kuleto’s 83 acres of fruit are divided into over 100 micro-blocks. Each ridge and hillside block is treated as its own vineyard. Kuleto blends grapes at the moment they are perfectly ripe, regardless of the variety or amount of fruit. This practice allows winemaker Dave Lattin to create wines that are deep, lush and complex; showcasing the individualness of the vintage. Deep, dark plums, black berries, crushed rock, and sweet red berries are wrapped up in chewy tannins. A long and juicy finish to a wine that Wine Spectator calls enjoyably chunky. It is a whole lot of wine to talk about but even better, it is a whole lotta wine to love. Stuart

10

2011

2011

100% riesling

100% sauvignon blanc

$19.91

$10.99

Bollig-Lehnerd Piesporter Gold Riesling gets a bad rap. It’s typically written off as too sweet or something hard to pronounce and consequently is is oftentimes overlooked. Do yourself a favor and do not overlook this German Riesling! The Piesport region in Mosel consists of steep, slaty slopes arranged in a dramatic amphitheater-like shape for ideal exposure and has an optimal climate for growing Riesling grapes, giving “true” Piesporter wines a great finesse, a plethora of aromas, and a crisp & exotic finish. Stefan Bollig has been passionate about making exquisitely stylish wine since 1987 and his 2011 Piesporter is proof of that. Characteristically German with solid minerality and hints of petroleum, yet also showcasing ripe pineapple, mango, and chamomile, this wine is rich and succulent. Enjoy with Thai food, or anything spicy for that matter! CiAnne

2011

61% cabernet sauvignon 14% merlot 8% malbec 7% petit verdot 5% cabernet franc 5% syrah

$25.99

Okiwa Bay

Blue Rock

Unsure? Bring this delicate little white to the party. This New Zealand Sauv turns down the flavor profile volume and requests that your tastebuds “listen-up.” Clean and light in style, this white wine provides your palate with sea spray minerality, herbs, lemons and limes. The finish is vibrant and zesty with a creamy, dry aftertaste. Easily drinkable for those who don’t care for wine, and equally complex for those who do. Jason

Here’s a wine that over delivers and drinks for twice its price. The winemaker is Nick Goldschmidt; yes the same Goldschmidt that was our #1 wine last year. The Baby Blue Red is the younger vine blend of Blue Rock Vineyards. Blue Rock is located in the Alexander Valley AVA in Sonoma. The Estate fruit for this wine is sourced from a vineyard adjacent to Silver Oak Winery. The blend is comprised of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec, petit verdot, cabernet franc and syrah. This medium to full bodied red displays a nose of blackberry, black cherry, black currants and spice box. The palate is soft and lush with black and red fruits and a hint of milk chocolate. We feel it’s the perfect ‘go-to’ house red. Robert

661.633.WINE (9463)


21 22 23 24 2010

2010

50% sangiovese 25% merlot 25% cabernet sauvignon

88% merlot 12% cabernet sauvignon

$21.99

$53.99 Paloma

Querciabella comes from the Maremma region of Italy, a blended wine that, in Italy, you will find often costs three times the price. This is the second time this wine has made our Top 100 list.

I have been after this wine for 10 years! Finally, it’s on the shelves of Imbibe. Many of you have heard of Paloma (they were named wine of the year by Wine Spectator). I was privileged to spend an afternoon this year with Sheldon Richards, son of owners Jim & Barbara Richards. I can get a lot of work done over a glass of wine and a fine meal. The 2010 Paloma Merlot is combined with a small amount of cab. The wine is aged a total of three years, 18 months in barrel and 18 months in bottle; what you end up with is a rich, sleek and supple wine with loads of wild berry fruit, oak spice, coffee and chocolate notes. Jim and Barbara found this very special place in 1983 when their good friend Dan Duckhorn called and told them about the property, located at the top of Spring Mountain at over 2000 feet above sea level, and above the fog line. Who knew Merlot could taste this good? David

2010

56% Syrah 26% grenache 11% mourvedre 7% tempranillo

$17.99 Talbott Kali Hart

Querciabella Mongrana

Fermented in stainless steel and cement vats and with a small portion of the wine matured in barriques before being added to the final blend. Mongrana is the quintessential expression of the colors, sights and sounds of the Maremma region. Ranked this year in the “Wine Spectator’s Top 100” as well. The wine has ripe red flavors of cherry and cedar with hints of herb. And we think you will also appreciate the acidity and tannins in this wine which make it a wonderful food pairing wine. Buon appetito! David

2011

100% chardonnay

We all wish for children to be proud of. Robb Talbott has shown his family pride by naming this vineyard after his youngest daughter, Kalin Hart. And just as the young are refreshing and express their every emotion, so too are these qualities the mark of this vineyard. A wonderful Chardonnay in a traditional Burgundian style showing the pure fruit. It begins with an inviting nose with rich notes of inviting tropical flavors, guava, passion fruit and hibiscus flowers. The refreshing expression of flavors continue with pineapple and honeydew melon. The fruit is all estate grown and is aged in mostly stainless steel with a small amount in French oak. Just as watching the next generation play and be themselves is a joy, so is sitting and enjoying this juicy and flavorful wine. Stuart

imbibewine.com

$39.99 Epoch This is the first wine to be three for three on our top 100 List. WOW! We taste thousands of wines each year and to get on the list is an accomplishment, but three for three, that is saying something really special. Winemaker Jordan Fiorentine joined Epoch after stints at Araujo and Chalk Hill Wineries. Epoch’s famed Paderewski Vineyard produces some of the best syrah, grenache and mouvedre in the state. This wine is a beautiful blend of all three with some tempranillo added. The wine is ripe with plush flavors of red plum, leather, savory meat, roasted herbs and hints of chocolate. I love this wine and I think you will to. With all the new wineries opening in Paso Robles, be sure to check out the wines of Epoch. They should be on your radar. David

11


25 26 27 28 2010

88% merlot 14% cabernet sauvignon

$22.99 Raymond Reserve Raymond Vineyards has been producing nice wines since 1970; they were one of Napa Valley’s wine pioneers. Today Raymond is inspired by the vision of Proprietor JeanCharles Boisset. With this new ownership and energy, the wines coming from Raymond have never been finer. This is one of the better Merlots coming out of Napa. I like the minerality of the wine and its rich aromas of black cherry, plum sauce, Asian spices, clove and hints of ground black pepper. This wine is supple with soft tannins. Once you get it to your lips flavors of strawberries and summer berries take over. For the money, this is the best buy merlot in our store. David

12

2008

2011

57% zinfandel 27% syrah 12% charbono 4% petite sirah

$29.99

100% zinfandel

$26.99

Gamble Family Vineyards Heritage Sites Seems like everybody is making a red blend, so what’s special about this one? We say, take this bet, it’s a sure thing! Owner Tom Gamble grew up in the vineyards of Napa Valley and purchased his first vineyard in 1981. Today the Gamble Family Vineyards home is Oakville and their fruit becomes many of the great wines we enjoy from that world class AVA. Heritage Sites red blend is from old vines and old varieties that prior to 1960 were much more familiar in Napa. The gnarly, head trained vines range between 30 to 50 years of age. Due to their old age and absence of drip irrigation yields are very low, so flavors are concentrated into a very small quantity of grapes. The nose is filled with dates, figs, blackberry and earthy strawberry. Big, bold rich flavors of dark fruits, spice, white pepper, and savory meat combine for a wine that is approachable enough to enjoy but serious enough to match up with some heavy meats. Robert

2010

100% chardonnay

$29.99

Trinitas

Summers

We’re always on the lookout for a big, full flavored Chardonnay that delivers without the huge price tag. Trinitas Cellars answers the call with this Carneros Chard. Trinitas Cellars is based in Napa but sources fruit from site specific appellations that suit the varietal. Chardonnay from the Carneros region ranks among the finest in California.

Creating red wines from small estate vineyards in both Knight and Napa Valleys is the passion of husband and wife vintners Jim and Beth Summers. The vines are young by Zinfandel standards, only 40 years old, but full of flavor and character. And a gem fell into our laps when we found a supply of the 2009 vintage still available. The wine is made in small lots and aged in a combination of American and French oak. A soft palate with jammy bits of cherry pie, cedar wood and sagebrush flow seemlessly from the nose of bing cherry, red plums and greenery. The finish is dry and you can sink your tastebuds into the chewy tannins. This is a chance to catch an older vintage Zin that is at its best. Stuart

This is no lightweight Chardonnay; the barrel aging in American oak lends itself to aromas of toasty, sun-kissed straw. Under the toast, subtle hints of bright citrus, vanilla, and toffee will fill your glass. Secondary fermentation creates a mid-palate with rich flavors of creamy butter and caramel. The medium toasted barrels provide the caramel and butterscotch notes. The surprisingly bright finish lingers with hints of baked granny smith apple. That’s a lot of bottle for under $30 bucks. xxx

661.633.WINE (9463)


29 30 31 32 2010

100% chardonnay

$29.99 Domaine Mt. Eden Domaine Eden is a mountaintop wine estate purchased by and near to Mount Eden Vineyards in 2007. Aged twenty months in the bottle, this 2010 is 55% from the Mount Eden Estate and 45% from Domaine Eden. Mount Eden is ground zero for California Chardonnay, and Winemaker Jeffery Patterson is one of the most under-the-radar great winemakers in the world. Mt. Eden Chardonnays, dating back to the 1960’s, have been considered by myself and many in the trade as the benchmark in America. I would pick Mt Eden Chard as our #1 wine if I could get enough to supply the demand; this Domaine Eden is a new wine for them that shows great structure. Refined aromas of lemon zest, anise and sage followed with flavors of hazelnut, anise and lemon. The finish is energetic and long. This is a must try wine if you enjoy Chardonnay. David

2012

2012

100% chenin blanc

75% cabernet sauvignon 8% petit sirah 7% merlot 4% zinfandel 3% cabernet franc 3% mouvedre

$39.99

$20.99

Guy Saget Marie de Beauregard I ask our white wine drinkers to step outside of their comfort zone with this one. The Vouvray region in France is known for making, almost exclusively, Chenin Blanc. With temperamental climates providing varied styles of Chenin from year to year, the wines can range from dry and sparkling in the cooler years to, in warmer, more favorable years, producing a style similar to a Sauternes. Guy Saget’s 2011 Marie de Beauregard is semi-dry with a balance of acidity and sugar. Floral aromas and flavors of peach, nectarine, and a hint of ginger deliver an outstanding wine that would easily cellar for many years to come. Will pair perfectly with braised meats and stews and all of those delicious winter vegetables - butternut squash, sweet potatoes. CiAnne

Sextant Imbibe has long been a friend of Sextant Winery owners Craig and Nancy Stoller, who are Bakersfield natives and have been producing fine wines since 2007. The wines of Sextant have never been better. This 2012 vintage of Estate Cabernet is, in my opinion, one of the finest wines they have ever produced. The wine is concentrated and complex due to all the blending that goes into this wine. Lovely cherries, blackberries and plum flavors with hints of licorice, tobacco and lavender jump out of the glass. I have always loved their Zinfandel’s, but I must tell you... try this cabernet. It is one of the best values of the 2014 edition of Imbibe’s Top 100. David

imbibewine.com

NV

70% zinfandel 30% cabernet franc

$19.99 Forgotten Barrel Lot #5150 Our winemaking pal Paris Driggers who founded the SiKa and Forgotten Barrel labels wanted to create a red blend that was fruity but also had a serious side. The result is a ‘crazy’ blend (hence 5150) of old vine Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc. Bottled as California wine with no designation of where it comes from or from what vintage. But we know that the zin hails from a 90 year old vineyard in the Shenandoah Valley and the cab franc from a 30 year old vineyard in Calistoga. It drinks with a sense of age to it. It is silky on the palate but with intense cassis, berry compote and molasses. Enjoy this wine with intensely flavored barbeque or with stinky cheeses. Robert

13


33 34 35 36 2011

14

2012

2012

55% syrah 45% grenache

100% mencia

100% pnot noir

$13.99

$15.99

$17.99

2010

100% tempranillo

$15.99

Morgan Cote du Crows

Losada el Pajaro Rojo

Kali Hart

Volver

Many Imbibe shoppers will be familiar with Morgan Winery as we have been huge fans of their wines for years. Last year’s Top 100 featured their Twelve Clones Pinot Noir and this year we are excited to include the Cotes du Crow’s, a unique blend of Syrah and Grenache. Dan Morgan Lee is passionate about the Santa Lucia Highlands and crafting the best wine from this region. With Monterey’s warmer daytime temperatures and cool night ocean breeze, a beautiful acidity and balance is achieved in this wine. 2011, being a very cold and wet year, resulted in a smaller crop size but a rich and juicy wine. With flavors of black cherry, dried apricot, and dried herbs, it would make a perfect pair with anything off the grill – steaks, burgers, or even carne asada tacos! Versatile wine and a great value! CiAnne

As long as we’ve been here at Imbibe, we have always featured a number of delicious Spanish wines made from Grenache and Tempranillo. Now we have found a wine showcasing a grape native to northwest Spain: Mencia. It is a thick skinned grape producing wines that are bright and fresh, with a vivid maroon color. The flavors of Mencia have been compared to a soft Pinot or a flowery Cab Franc. The Losada Mencia is a lively red that entices with flavors of dark berries, cloves, vanilla, and notes of licorice. The tannins are light but firm and the crisp acidity helps to make this wine fresh, racy, and shows touches of depth. Stuart

Pinot drinkers know that it can be a challenge to find a well-rounded Pinot Noir under $20. That isn’t to say that they don’t exist, but rather that many of them tend to lack backbone. We’re always pleased to find those rare gems that really over deliver and Talbott’s Kali Hart is one of them. 100% estate grown fruit from the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, south of Monterey, (and named after Robb Talbott’s youngest daughter), this wine is characteristically Californian with it’s bright fruity aromas of cranberry, plum, and currant and crisp red fruit flavors. Kali Hart provides a long finish with solid structure and soft, smooth tannins. The most food friendly varietal, in my opinion, this Pinot Noir could easily be enjoyed with a wide range of food. CiAnne

A bold 100% Tempranillo that delivers plenty of flavor with every sip. Starting with aromas of espresso, black pepper and toasted oak backs up a strong palate of ripe plums, blackberries, cassis, and sour cherries. The bite of the cherry combines with spice notes and touches of sweeter fruit to create a finish that is long and firm. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in the barrel; the barrel program is 14 months of aging in new French oak. The vineyards are in the Mancha region (think Don Quixote) and are almost 2000 feet above sea level, in soil composed of sand, iron rich clay, and a thick layer of chalk. Stuart

661.633.WINE (9463)


37 38 39 40 2012

2012

100% Chardonnay

2011

100% Pinot Noir

$14.99

2012

46% cabernet sauvignon 30% syrah 11% lemberger 10% merlot 3% sangiovese

$18.99

70% trajadura 15% loureiro 10% arinto 5% azal

$14.99

$10.99

Chamisal

Jenner

Kiona

Gateway

Are you a member of the ABC Club (Anything But Chardonnay)? Can’t we all just drink White Burgundy and get along? Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Chardonnay makes a strong case for the unoaked movement. Chamisal was the very first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley appellation in 1973. Grapes for this wine were sourced from a number of coastally influenced vineyards ranging from Monterey to San Luis Obispo. The common theme amongst these vineyards is a cool climate which is required to maintain above average acidity in the grapes, bringing out fresh, crisp flavors. This vintage boasts an aromatic mix of lush tropical fruits and ripe red delicious apples, paired with hints of springtime flowers and a clean minerality. Flavors of ripe pineapple and white peach lead into a full mid palate with clean, lingering acidity. Join the movement and taste the grape! Robert

This wine made our list in 2012 and it’s back again in 2014. Many of you know, but for those of you who don’t, that Jenner Vineyards has a Bakersfield connection: Clayton Fritz, the owner of this winery, is married to a Valpredo. In this town we all know a Valpredo or two or three. We loved the 2010, passed on the 2011, and this vintage of 2012 is another knock out wine. I’m here to tell you that Pinot Noir will become your favorite wine in time. The 2012 Jenner features fragrant aromas of Bing Cherries, red licorice and plums. Based on our experience with past vintages of Jenner: when we get excited about this wine we sell a lot of it - and for that reason it will be gone before you know it. This is an ideal wine with salmon, chicken, turkey, veal and smoked sausage and any dish with truffles or mushrooms. David

This wine should be called The Kitchen Sink! A blend of cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, lemberger, Syrah, and merlot, the folks at Kiona didn’t leave much out.

If you enjoy the crisp spritz of a Perrier water you’re going to want to check out the Gateway Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde is a Portuguese-style white wine. The translation literally means “green wine” and is intended to be consumed sooner rather than later. This bottle is not meant to be cellared. The Gateway Vinho Verde is an unfamiliar blend of Trajadura, Loureiro, Arinto and Azal. In the glass this wine conveys a lively flintiness coupled with pear aromas. On the palate the pear continues with hints of green apple and wet stone. The exit on this wine has a zesty lime tart finish. Enjoy this with lean meats such as fish, or pair it with a salad. Jason

What I am sure of is, this wine rocks for the money! The grapes for this bottling come from several of Washington’s most respected appellations including Red Mountain and the Columbia Valley. This wine yields a perfect amount of blue fruit such as blueberries and boysenberries. Kiona’s first release was in 1980 and like an actor who suddenly comes out of nowhere to wine an Academy Award after years of obscurity; Kiona Vineyards has become a 20 year, overnight success. David

imbibewine.com

15


41 42 43 44 2011

100% malbec

$12.99 Argento Dinner? Or no dinner? That is the question. Let this Malbec bend to your needs as its dynamic style makes it ideal for dinner or casual sipping. Enjoy the velvety tannins and dark fruit presence on your palate as the flavors evolve into nutty oak, lush plum and a hint of spice cake. The Malbec grapes were fermented in stainless steel and spend 4 months in French and American oak. Pick up a bottle of the Argento Malbec and find out why this Bordeaux grape has found its true home in Argentina. Jason

16

2011

2012

90% syrah 10% grenache

100% chardonnay

$13.99 Chateau Maris Old School Rouge Robert Eden established the winery twenty years ago in the village of La Liviniere. The village was the first to be allowed an AOC designation and is the first Cru Classe in the Languedoc. Certified Organic and Biodynamic and the tagline is”By Any (Natural) Means Necessary”. What does that really mean? It means a delicious glass of wine crafted in a very OLD world style. I emphasize old because a lot of the techniques are from the past. The naturally occuring yeast is from the vineyard and the toil is done by Karibi, a Percheron draft horse. So all of these simple, natural doings produce a deep, dark wine that blends blackberry, white pepper, and fresh herbs de provence. Perfectly poured in a glass tumbler and paired with fresh vegetables from your garden and baked chicken. Just add the loaf of bread and thou. Stuart

2011

100% tempranillo

$13.91

$9.91

Black Stallion

Bodegas Maximo

For many years I zipped past this winery off the Silverado Trail. I recognized the winery from many ads in lifestyle magazines and didn’t give it a second thought. In 2010 I stopped in to see what these guys were about. I learned it had been purchased by the Indelicato Family, a leading family-owned wine producer, spanning three generations and more than 85 years. They had figured out their game plan and the wines were sound but nothing to shout about. I decided to keep them on my radar and circle back in a few. Now, it looks like they got it down. We tasted their 2012 Napa Chard and we were all very impressed. Take a swirl and aromas of lemon zest, green apples, creamy notes of crème brulee and butterscotch greet the nose. This wine has enough weight to but has bright acidity to lift the flavors of citrus, pear, and just enough butter. One usually has to drop $25 to $30 bucks for that kind of happy ending. Robert

Just eight spots before this, I told you about another Tempranillo, also from La Mancha, and also delicious but so different. The Maximo Tempranillo spends 6 months in a blend of American and French oak barrels and is fermented in stainless steel. The fruit is the standout characteristic of the Maximo. Starting with aromas of plums and red berries, vanilla, and touches of tobacco. In your mouth the fruit is vibrant, velvety smooth, and just a bit fruity-sweet. Flavors of red raspberry, red cherry, red plum and then deepened with a bit of licorice and spice with a touch of mint appearing on the finish. Beautiful with lamb or a variety of tapas. Stuart

661.633.WINE (9463)


45 46 47 48 2012

100% chardonnay

$14.99 A to Z Wineworks Oregon has made a serious name for itself when it comes to Pinot Noir. However, it remains a bit of a secret that their Chardonnay is equally as stellar! Opposed to a lot of California Chardonnay, which can be big and oaky, Oregon is taking a more delicate and elegant approach. The cool climate lends to a bright, steely edge and firm acidity. A to Z Wineworks has produced just such an enjoyable wine with their 2012 Chardonnay, and at $15 per bottle it is the epitome of value. Aged in stainless steel with intentional blocking of malolactic fermentation, the result is a wine full of vitality and purity of fruit. Aromas of kiwi, tangerine and quince are immediately evident, followed by an inviting palate of pear, toasted coconut and melon with some lingering notes of wet stone. Share the secret of Oregon Chardonnay with your friends and thank me later. CiAnne

2011

2012

100% grenache

100% bonarda

$18.91 Barrel 27 Rock & A Hard Place I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Barrel 27 (AKA McPrice Myers) produce some of the best, big bang for the buck value wines in this country. I dare you to find a grenache that drinks this well and is true to its varietal character for under $20. The fruit for Rock and a Hard Place was originally sourced from a vineyard in East Santa Barbara County, which was extremely rocky and unbelievably hard to get to, hence the name. The hard journey for these grapes paid off. The end result is a wine that is seductive, approachable and complex enough for the most discriminating palate. Aromas of raspberry, cherries, violets, cinnamon and cocoa bean fill the glass. Soft, round and smooth, the palate offers flavors of ripe red plums, dark cherry and mint with a generous finish. Robert

$13.99

2012

100% chardonnay

$19.91

Argento Bonarda

Mer Soleil Silver

What’s in a name? A wine by any other name becomes famous somewhere else. The Bonarda grape is 5 different grapes from 5 different places. The first 3 places are in Italy and are produced very rarely. In California we call it Charbono. In Argentina where it is more widely planted, it is Bonarda and it is wonderful. Argento takes the Argentinian standard of malbec and blends in the Bonarda for a new wine style for Malbec fans (and all the other wine fans too!) Deep ruby red in color, bringing vibrant raspberry, cranberry and plum to the nose. Spice and wood notes follow and then lead you into juicy red fruits of strawberry and raspberry and soft cocoa flavors. In the end, it is a glass of wine that doesn’t matter what it is called, only that you can call for more. Stuart

If you’ve been looking for an approachable chardonnay that doesn’t have the over-the-topoak-in-your-face component, the Mer Soleil Silver is a great place to start. On the nose this chardonnay is bright and lively followed by fresh hay-like qualities. Tropical flavors ranging from pineapple to mango and fresh melon dominate the palate and are summed up by ripe lemon citrus notes. This wine is fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and small Nomblot cement tanks that are imported from France making it a truly unoaked Chardonnay. These tanks are the inspiration behind this very different packaging choice. Grab a bottle for your next shin-dig and nerd out about the unoaked wine making process that is Mer Soleil Silver. Enjoy this Chardonnay with fresh salads, grilled seafood and tomato based dishes. Jason

imbibewine.com

17


49 50 51 52 2011

100% gewurztraminer

2010

$19.99

18

2011

97% cabernet sauvignon 2% petite verdot 1% malbec

86% cabernet sauvignon 5% merlot 4% syrah 5% cabernet franc

$36.99

$24.99

2010

51% malbec 27% cabernet sauvignon 12% bonarda

$25.99

Breggo

Ladera

Terra Valentine

Vistalba Corte B Blend

Two thousand eleven was a cool vintage for Northern California and a great reminder as to why the Anderson Valley is so well suited to grow the varieties of Alsace and Burgundy. Gewurztraminer is one of these varieties that thrive in cool years. This wine is marked by bright acid and great purity of flavor. Gewürztraminer is loaded with beautiful aromatics of rose petal and tropical fruit. Hints of honeysuckle and lychee add depth to the nose. On the palate you will enjoy the pineapple, lemongrass and spice. This is a delicious wine that you would never try until someone tells you about it. I’m telling you “try this wine”. David

If you are a fan of big, bold, rich, earthy, mountain grown cabs then this is where you start. The word Ladera is a term for ‘hillside or slope’. High above the fog line at approximately 1,200 feet Ladera Winery sits atop Howell Mountain. In the year 2000 owners Anne & Pat Stotesbery totally restored this old ghost winery originally built in 1886. Ladera specializes in mountain grown cabs farmed from steep hillside vineyards. As you may already know, when you start talking hillside or mountain fruit the price per bottle usually comes in at the $75 price point and higher. The 2010 Ladera Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a true VALUE mountain Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at under $40. This wine possesses aromas of black cherry, crème de cassis, dark chocolate, and vanilla with bursts of fresh pine. The layered palate is packed with dark plum and sweet oak spice that linger to a long pleasing finish. It just begs to be paired with a ribeye steak. Robert

2011 Napa Valley vintage, yes it was difficult, yes quality is spotty, yes you must do your homework. Here’s what we’ll be preaching when it comes to 2011 Napa Cabs; Site specific, higher elevation mountain vineyards, stick to the pros that put in the hard work. You will find that the quality is still there, you just have to work a little harder to find it. The 2011 Terra Valentine Napa Cab happens to be the only ‘11 cab to have made our list this year. Sitting atop Spring Mountain, winemaker Sam Baxter not only had the benefit of higher elevation vineyards to battle the conditions, but he is one of the pros we look for to make it happen year in and year out. I haven’t even mentioned how great the price to quality ratio is on this wine. The nose displays notes of black cherry, tobacco, cedar and dried herbs. Flavors of bright fresh black fruit and cocoa powder greet the palate ending with a firm but smooth tannins. Robert

The vineyards for this wonderful blend are in Vistalba, a terroir neighboring the city of Mendoza. The vines are at over 3,000 feet above sea level, yet are still just at the foothills of the Cordon Del Plata. Thanks in part to these harsh soils, the vines dig deep for moisture and minerals and that hard work shows in the intensely flavored fruit. The vineyards are over 60 years old and are planted to a density of 6,000 plants per hectare. The denser the planting, the less you are asking the vine to produce; therefore, the more energy into less fruit resulting in more flavor. And what flavor! This blend of malbec, cabernet and bonarda has a palate that begins sweet and has a broad mouthfeel of blackberries and dark fruit. The finish leans toward a fruity, balsamic note. Aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. A very nice compliment and comparision to any Reserve Malbec you may have had before. Stuart

661.633.WINE (9463)


53 54 55 56 2012

100% pinot noir

$8.99 Line 39 We first discovered this wine last summer, and I must say that we rarely find a wine that has this much going on at this pricepoint. The Central Coast of California is where the grapes are grown for the Line 39 Pinot. This area continues to impress the critics with ideal growing conditions and soil for pinot noir and chardonnay. This fruit-driven pinot features delicate aromas of strawberries with rich fruit flavors of raspberries and cherries on the palate. You will look high and low to find a wine with this much going on for this price. An ideal match would be lamb, pork or a pasta dish. David

2012

2010

100% syrah

100% moscato

$15.99

$11.99

Saint Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone Saint Cosme’s Gigondas recently placed 2nd in the “Wine Spectator Top 100”. At $40 bucks that might be too spendy, but this Cotes du Rhone from the same winery is less than half the price, from just down the valley and it’s also a great drink. The Rhone region is located in southeastern France producing some outstanding fruit forward wines often derived from syrah, grenache and Mmourvedre, what we call a GSM blend. This wine is mainly syrah and always gets a best buy from the Wine Spectator. Big, rich round blackberry and espresso notes on the palate. Nice acidity and a lingering finish make this a delicious wine. David

2010

96% carmenere 4% cabernet sauvignon

$17.99

Trinitas Moscato

Terranoble Gran Reserva

Are you throwing a party? Are you new to wine, or know someone who is? Whatever your situation, this crowd pleasing white wine will convert even the non-wine-drinkers of the world into wine enthusiasts. The light bubbly spritz of this hard to hate white will win over even the seasoned wino. The quality of the fruit makes for an uncommonly refined moscato. The weight is not daunting to your palate; but light and lively as it should be. The simple yet enjoyable peach, honey and ripe pear flavors will have your guests talking. Don’t be surprised when everyone says, “what is this, and where did you get it?” Start the party off right with this value driven and well made Moscato. Jason

I must admit that I’ve struggled with Chilean wines over the years. But being in this business, we have to keep tasting through until we find those gems. The staff at Imbibe was unanimous in rewarding this wine a spot on the Top 100 list. The grapes in Terranoble come from the Maule Valley, located at the foot of the Andes Mountains. The winemakers have struck a balance with a modern style of wine that is fruit centered without being over ripe. There is just enough weight and extraction to keep your palate satisfied but it’s still elegant and a pleasure to drink. It displays an intense and deep red-blue color. Strong aromas of fig and ripe fruit mixed with coffee, toasty and spicy notes. The palate provides you with an elegant full-bodied structure and a silky smooth finish. Robert

imbibewine.com

19


57 58 59 60 2012

100% sauvignon blanc

2011

$9.99

20

2012

54% zinfandel 27% cabernet & merlot 19% petite sirah

100% chardonnay

$9.99

$12.99

2010

75% sangiovese 25% merlot

$14.99

Oxford Landing

Cryptic Red

True Myth

Il Molino di Grace il Volano

Pucker up! You’re going to LOVE everything about this refreshingly crisp and tart Sauvignon Blanc. In the glass this Sauv is a pale straw in colour with a vibrant light green hue, it has lifted aromas of gooseberry and fresh cut pineapple with herbaceous nettle notes. The palate displays a lively citrus clarity with an alluring tart passion fruit that creates a mouthwatering experience that will make your mouth pucker. Oxford Landing micro-manages 130 five-acre blocks as separate ecosystems. This allows them to become intimately familiar with each block and allows them to give the grapes exactly what they need. ‘Small vineyard’ techniques such as detailed pruning, canopy management and crop thinning give this Australian based winery ultimate control in expressing the individuality of this beautifully made Sauvignon Blanc. Jason

While the name “Cryptic” may invoke images of foreboding and bad news, the makers of this delicious wine think in terms of ancient cyphers and mysteries of alchemy. Just as using the cypher key to unlock the hidden message, winemaker Alex Cose selects varietals from distinct areas to combine and unlock a blend that is elegant and alluring with notes of red raspberries, blueberries, ripe cherries and touches of vanilla and roasted coffee bean. The primary grapes are zinfandel from Paso Robles and Mendocino, petite sirah from Clarksburg, and Bordeaux varietals from Lodi, the North Coast, and the Central Coast. Again playing the alchemist, Alex vinifies and ages each lot seperately, then selectively chooses his components at bottling time. Fermentation occurs in both oak (12 to 18 months) and stainless steel. Every move and gesture is spun on the cypher wheel that will unlock the final puzzle of this wonderful everyday wine. Stuart

Throughout time myths were used to explain the things in nature could not be explained. Whether it is the Loch Ness monster or fairies or why does this wine taste so delicious, it is up to man to explain the unexplainable. Well, it is easy to see why this wine is not a myth but truly a wonderful Chardonnay. The Niven family has been farming in the Edna Valley for over 40 years and their Paragon Vineyard is anchor for this wine. Aided by famed wine maker Christian Rougenant, the mystery of delicious Chardonnay is easily unraveled. Flavors of pineapple, pear, light touches of citrus enhanced by vanilla and sweet oak from the toasted barrels. The wine is a blend of oak aged and stainless steel fermentation. Just as Tinkerbell is alive from your applause and ‘Nessie” is a simple pet (admittably brought home after too much scotch), True Myth is best explained by the simple phrase, “I like it”. Stuart

Our next fantastic Italian find is from the hills above Lucarelli in the province of Tuscany. Like a number of our other Italian classics, Sangiovese is the basis for this balanced, well structured wine. The addition of Merlot (a 75/25 blend) adds depth to the flavors of cherry, raspberry, licorice, and a complimentary spice. A bright ruby color and enticing aromas start your journey. The wine’s structure allows the fruit and spice to linger through the finish. An easily drinkable, fantastic tasting every day drinker that will be so for another 5 to 6 years. Stuart

661.633.WINE (9463)


61 62 63 64 2010

2012

100% sangiovese

$19.91 Tenuta Torcalvano Nobile di Montepulciano I have always loved Sangiovese for its signature cherry flavors, higher acidity and versatility, from the great wines of Brunello di Montalcino to the $10 Chianti or red blend Toscana found on shelves for everyday sipping. It has been successfully planted, grown and produced here in America and makes for a great ‘cocktail wine’, but has never achieved the greatness that the Tuscan Terroir places upon it. The Montepulciano region lies at Tuscany’s southwest edge. Rich clay soils, high vine density and lower yields combine with late October harvests help to produce grapes with concentration, complexity and a mature, balanced ripeness. In the glass this wine displays a bright ruby red color with a nose of violets, cherries and a subtle hint of tobacco. Flavors of juicy red cherries, plums, mocha and spices are held together with ample acidity and firm tannins. This wine’s a perfect match with any red meat, poultry, game or an Imbibe Flatbread. Robert

2012

60% syrah 35% grenache 5% carignan

40% merlot 30% cabernet sauvignon 30% petite sirah

$13.91

$10.99

2012

60% semillon 40% sauvignon blanc

$10.99

Bila Haut

Smashberry

Chateau Haut Rian

Have you been drinking the same old red? If so, try something new and switch it up with this French blend of syrah, grenache and carignan. In the glass this cuvee displays deep red garnet colors. Dark ripe cherries and a fleshy palate with plenty of fruit highlight the rugged minerality of the Roussillon. On the nose the Bila Haut displays rich red fruits with a backdrop of nuttiness that continues to the palate with soft ripe strawberries, black cherries and plum while still retaining its acidity. The plots for this blend are located on the slopes of the high Agly Valley, where the altitude preserves the acidity that is sometimes lacking in other reds from the south of France. The crop is hand-harvested and the wine is aged in vats before being bottled. Step out of your comfort zone and enjoy the quality, character and drinkability of this wine at an everyday price. Jason

Other reviewers of this wine have said that it is not for the faint of heart. As a comic book fan, anything with the word ”smash” means the Hulk. This is not a hulk of a wine but a juice filled glass of a myriad of flavors that can an enjoyable everyday drinking wine and it compliments a range of every day foods. The blend is merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petite sirah. The petite helps to create a beautiful, deep purple color, with tinges of red and black. The aromas of crushed red fruits, tart sorbet and deeper black fruits combine with hints of spice, vanilla, and flowers. All that fruit comes out in the mouth. Raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, currant and black cherry are chewy through the palate with an underlying oak that gives a medium finish. Delicious, easy going and unstoppable. Think the Hulk in khakis, grilling a steak, and reading the paper. Stuart

If you don’t know about Sémillon, then allow me to introduce you! Sémillon is a rich, viscous, full-flavored, subtly-scented white grape. It is known for its dazzling display when combined with small amounts of Sauvignon Blanc to create Sauternes, one of the world’s most revered and longest-lived wines. Brilliant on the nose with white lily floral, young citrus rind, minerality and a slight hints of nuttiness. Delivers great mid palate acidity and transitions into a long wet stone finish. The general planting ratio of this blend is two thirds old vine Semillon and one third Sauvignon-Blanc. All grapes are harvested in the cool mornings and fermented in stainless steel tanks. This well balanced white is ideal as an aperitif but works equally well when paired with steamed asparagus, artichokes, green salads, and steamed or grilled fish. Get a great introduction into the world of Sémillon with this well priced well made white. Jason

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21


65 66 67 68 2011

100% pinot gris

$16.91

22

2012

2012

43% grenache 41% syrah 9% mourvedre 4% counoise 3% cinsault

100% riesling

$23.99

$16.99

2012

70% cabernet sauvignon 15% cabernet franc 10% merlot 5% syrah

$16.99

Domaine Schlumberger

Margerum M5

Mount Beautiful

Frescobalde Ammarigifa

If you fancy yourself a white wine fan, Alsace is a must for your tastebud travels around the world. Alsace is a region and appellation in France that has been a part of both France and Germany throughout history. Geologically it is isolated from both countries and has also maintained much of its own culture and wine tradition. 90% of the wines produced by Alsace are white wines. So, it’s no question that the Alsacians have figured out how to deliver exceptional white wines, and this Pinot Gris is bottled proof. In the glass this wine is a light golden yellow and fragrant. On the palate the entry of this wine is ample with notes of honey, white peach, pear, stone and ends with a multitude of soft citrus notes. Enjoy this wine with a lightly spiced noodle dish or a balsamic based salad. Jason

We have been a fan of Margerum Wine Company for some time now. This wine will get your attention with their focus on retaining characteristics of the vineyards and producing a wine that is perfectly in tune. Made of five classic grape varietals typical to Chateauneufdu-Pape in France, the fruit for this wine comes from the highest quality vineyards in Santa Barbara County. Red fruit flavors of strawberry and cherry intermix with plum and black currant. Noticeable tobacco, smoke and leather lead the way to a full and rich finish. This wine has both the California fruit and the French finesse. It pairs nicely with grilled meats and hearty dishes. David

This Riesling has spicy cuisine written all over it. With just enough sweet to balance your spicy dish of choice, this New Zealand Riesling is ripe and offdry with ripe apple notes, and a crisp mouthfeel with balanced sugar. The texture is clean yet ripe while the acidity hangs on as the finish lingers. These Riesling grapes are hand-picked for only the best selections. The fruit is whole-bunch pressed and the juice was settled for 24 hours to retain the cloudiness. The juices were cool fermented using aromatic yeast and the fermentation process is stopped once a perfect balance of sugar and acid is achieved. Enjoy this quality Riesling and a more than fair price. You’re welcome. Jason

The Terre More is a careful blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and syrah. It is a rich and intense wine that can be considered New World, yet still expresses the growing area in Tuscany from which it hails so eloquently. The color is a deep, purplish red; bright and showing good legs on the glass. The bright fruity aromas of cherries, blackberries and currants ease into scents of cinnamon spice and licorice. The fine tannins give a softness to the wine’s flavors of dark fruits, touches of plum, and even a hint of meatiness from the Syrah. A wonderful wine with pasta and marinara sauce, thick Chicago pizza, and a grilled, garlic-rubbed steak. Salute! Stuart

661.633.WINE (9463)


69 70 71 72 2011

90% malbec 10% cabernet sauvignon

2012

2011

78% cabernet sauvignon 8.5% merlot 7.5% cabernet franc 6% petite verdot

$21.99

89% cabernet sauvignon 11% merlot

$26.99

2012

100% albarino

$21.99

$17.99

Susana Balbo

Daou

Decoy

Paco & Lola

I must admit, I struggled for many years with the wines from Argentina. There were the great wines of Achaval, Catena that delivered of course but were out of most budgets or the $15 and under one dimensional Malbecs that flooded the market. I waited and waited to be surprised by a wine or wines that could make that leap and keep my palate awake and provide an accurate price to quality ratio. Well Argentina has finally answered that call with many outstanding wines that reflect different price points. My pound for pound champion is the Susana Balbo 2011 Malbec. This wine has a deep violet color with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and violets framed by hints of oak and mint. The palate displays ripe plum, toasty vanilla, and a hint of chocolate and mint. This wine is complex enough to be taken seriously but also approachable enough to be enjoyed effortlessly. Robert

This wine is a three-peat on the Imbibe Wine Top 100. I first met Daniel back in 2007 before he opened his winery, and that first visit made it obvious that his committment level was high. If you have not heard of Daou yet, you will,for it will be synonymous with Paso Robles in the years ahead. Owner Daniel Daou has over 100 acres of premium vineyards located in the Adelaida Mountains. Founded in 2007, brothers Daniel and George Daou are well on their way to becoming the finest cabernet producer on the Central Coast. I would put their reserve wines against anything being produced in America. This 2012 bottling displays great depth and concentration with loads of black currant and chocolate with some baking spice aromas and flavors. On your next visit to Paso Robles this is a must stop. David

This wine comes from Duckhorn Wine Company’s stable of wineries. Decoy benefits from the talent, experience and expertise of all their winemakers, each of whom has a unique area of expertise. This cabernet comes from a mix of Estate vineyards and top growers in the Napa Valley. This wine is full bodied, moderately rich and very well balanced. Wonderful aromas of black currant, red licorice and toasty vanilla. Also look for the Decoy Red in our store - both wines are outstanding. David

Albarino has been a hot varietal for the last few years, and with its balanced and fruity palate and vibrant acidity, there’s really no question as to why. A lovely white from the Rias Baixas region of Spain, Albarino has been one of their workhorse whites for decades, though traditionally a component of a blended wine. The 2012 Paco & Lola Albarino, sourced from the winery’s estate vineyards, is surprisingly aromatic with notes of green apple, lemon and hints of basil. On the palate, exotic flavors of mango and guava with refreshing citrus and mineral accents. The finish really exhibits fine purity to the fruit. This Albarino is incredibly silky and full bodied, pairing effortlessly with sushi, pasta, and seafood, especially shellfish. CiAnne

imbibewine.com

23


73 74 75 76 2012

100% riesling

2011

$15.99

24

2012

81% petite sirah 10% barbera 9% zinfandel

2011

100% chardonnay

$12.99

100% tannat

$14.99

$17.99

Red Tail Ridge

Rhiannon

Hahn

Artesana

Moscato drinkers, take the training wheels off and enjoy this semi dry Riesling! This small-lot stainless steel fermented Riesling will take your senses for a ride with its beautiful aromatics of passion fruit, pineapple, mango and limestone. The pineapple and mango notes continue on the palate while introducing melon and honeysuckle flavors. The sweet tropical components remain balanced by the sour citrus lime and pickled ginger. With only 630 cases produced, this relatively small batch of semi dry riesling won’t last long. Jason

This marks the return to Imbibe of a fabulous wine blend that has been enjoyed by many of our friends. Rhiannon was a Celtic goddess who was associated with the changing qualities of change and steadfastness. For a moment, just think of that. Red blends can change from year to year, utilizing the best graqpes of that vintage. The better ones are always delicious, steadfastly so. Take a look at the blend Rhiannon is made of, so different from other blends. Petite sirah, barbera, and zinfandel combine for a rich blend that is complex, yet approachable enough for both grilled meats and chicken. Bright bing cherry, vanilla and cranberry aromas. Luscious fruit flavors of cranberry, boysenberry and vanilla accompanied by a long, smooth finish. So be like Rhiannon, change what you drink and a have a new choice for everyday. Stuart

What makes the soul of a wine? We believe it is the terroir, soil and climate, and so do Nicky and Gaby Hahn, even back in 1988 when they were first starting to develop vineyards in what is now known as the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH). In fact, Nicky was a pioneer of the movement toward the creation of the SLH appellation. Many will tell you that SLH is one of the finest areas to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir both on the central coast and throughout California. On a visit with the Hahn’s late last year they said it best,“If a plot of land is planted with the right varietal and managed in a balanced way, the quality of the grape coming off the vines is so superior.” This is so true with this wine. You will enjoy the nice aromas of baked green apple and lemon grass with pleasant flavors of pineapple and butter toffee. Great balance and concentration for a wine at this price. David

Score one for the underdog. This overshadowed contender jumped out of our glasses and made us pay attention. Originally from France, the Tannat grape produces rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavors and an exotic spicy character. The Artesana winery in Canelones, Uruguay hand crafts ultra-premium, estate grown wines that express the unique terroir for this grape. Artesana Tannat is smooth and well-rounded delivering complex layers of ripe blackberry, dark chocolate, smoky oak and spice. It ends with a long and generous finish. Pair this wine up with a strong cheese and roasted or grilled meats. Drink outside the box! Robert

661.633.WINE (9463)


77 78 79 80 2011

100% nero d’avola

$22.99

2012

NV

95% vermintino 5% sauvignon blanc

touriga nacional touriga franca tinta roriz tinta cao

$15.91

2011

97% cabernet sauvignon 3% petit verdot

$21.99

$8.91

Feudo Maccari Saia

Tenuta Campo al Mare

Quinta Noval Black Ruby

Excelsior

I am always pleased to talk about a Sicilian wine. Sicily is the land of my maternal Grandmother and it is a small source of pride for me that these wines are so delicious. Made from Nero d’Avola, indigenous to Italy and an important red grape in Sicily. Flavors from this grape are similar to Australian Shiraz with plums and pepper and sweet tannins. The fruit for Saia was picked from 20 to 30 year old vines and fermented in stainless steel tanks and lined vats. After three weeks of fermentation the wine is blended and barrel aged for 12 to 14 months. It is then blended a second time and bottle aged another six months. All this work creates lush, deep aromas of dark cherries, sour red cherries, spearmint and oak. The velvety, plush palate offers flavors of the dark fruits, concentrated and intense but balanced with a fine acidity and the aforementioned sweet tannins. Enjoy it with hearty stews and full flavored cuts of meat and game. Stuart

If you’ve been searching for that perfect “go to, starter white” to get things going, then look no more. This wine commands your palate’s attention with its brisk acidity, fresh tropical fruit flavors and firm minerality. The Vermintino grapes from this wine come from densely planted vineyards that slope toward the sea in the coastal region of Bolgheri, Tuscany. The coastal climate is moderated by sea breezes which impart a crispness and freshness to this wine. I’ve found this wine to be a great sipper on its own or paired with shellfish, light fish, Mediterranean dishes or hummus and olives. Trust me, be the first person in the group to beat that flabby, over oaked wood juice to the table and start things off right. Robert

How does an Old World port house shake things up and breathe excitement into a wine that conjures thoughts of old men in leather armchairs? By making a delicious, smooth, high-alcohol wine and packaging it in a sleek and modern black bottle, that’s how. Quinta do Noval is one of the oldest port houses in Portugal and has been making notable vintage ports since 1715. “Black” is their new style of port and with lively aromas and incredible freshness, it is unlike that of your vintage style port. Noval Black has flavors of ripe blackberries, orange peel, clove and a hint of pepper. This wine is best enjoyed chilled and is the perfect companion to chocolate or blue cheese. Save those vintage ports for special occasions and enjoy Noval Black on a more frequent basis. CiAnne

This wine comes to us from South Africa with grapes that are hand harvested and aged in both French and American oak. The wine is delicious; crowd pleasing cabernet that is consistently named by Wine Enthusiast a “Best Buy”. This wine delivers serious bang for the buck! It is packed with lip smacking flavors of blackcurrant, black cherry and plum, with subtle hints of dark chocolate and spice. You can spend twice the money for a lesser wine, so why not cut to the chase and give this one a test drive. We’re bringing this wine back - it made our list a few years ago as well. Taste it for yourself and you’ll be glad it made the list again too. David

imbibewine.com

25


81 82 83 84 2011

100% pinot noir

$15.99

26

2012

2011

100% pinot noir

92% cabernet sauvignon 8% syrah

$29.99

The Crossings

Hitching Post Highliner

The Marlborough region at the north eastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand is where this wine comes from. Recognized throughout the world as the source of stunning cool climate wines, this pinot noir is one of a small group of pioneering Awatere Valley winegrowers to come to market. The 2011 is the best pinot to date from Crossings. This wine reflects the microclimates of the Awatere Valley. Planted to Dijon clones which are known for lifted strawberry and red fruit nuances, I especially enjoy the black cherry, soft spice and raspberry that jump out of the glass. I could not tell you a better pairing than rack of lamb. It is always a challenge to find a wine that can provide this much enjoyment for so little money, but there is great satisfaction in getting that job done. David

This is a great story; Hartley Ostini Hitching Post wines are the creation of Gary Hartley and Frank Ostini, friends who began making Santa Barbara wines in 1979. Gary, is a former Alaskan salmon fisherman and Frank, the chef and owner of the famed Hitching Post Resturant in Buelton. Over the years their backyard hobby has turned into a highly acclaimed winemaking enterprise. “Highliner” is one of the best fishermen in the fleet, so the name Highliner is meant to be the best of their Pinot Noir fleet. Hartley and Ostini strive to create handcrafted, flavorful wines that possess poise and balance, successfully complementing the many grilled foods of Ostini’s restaurant. Gary and Frank are two gentlemen from Santa Barbara whose mission is to put a slice of Santa Barbara in every glass and a piece of their soul in each bottle. They have and you will love it. David

$22.99 Lucas & Lewellen Cote del Sol Lucas & Lewellen is dominating our Top 100 this year! With three of their wines making rank, this is a producer that definitely deserves your attention. Nestled in Santa Barbara’s wine country, L&L is working with over 25 varietals under the watchful eye of veteran viticulturist, Louis Lucas, nurturing their fruit into wines of true distinction! Their “Cote del Sol” Cabernet is a very elegant example of this. Bursting with bright, lively, plump fruit, this wine also expresses spice and pepper with roasted flavors and robust but measured oak. Palate consists of dark berries (currant, cherry and blackberry) and a reprise of the roasted notes of spice, coffee and oak. Medium bodied wine with firm but kind tannins and dense fruit flavors makes a meaty and age-worthy offering. Would be delicious with a simple steak or a rustic pasta dish. CiAnne

661.633.WINE (9463)

2012

100% cabernet sauvignon

$21.99 Beckman Estate This wine proves that Santa Barbara County can produce excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. Typically in Santa Barbara, you are Rhone or you are Beaune, farming for syrah, grenache and the like or pinot noir. But Beckmen has been making their estate cabernet since 2008 and frankly, knocking it out of the park. Biodynamic farmer and winemaker Steve Beckmen, is incredibly hands on with all of his wines. With 100% estate grown fruit, the 2012 cab features enticing aromas of blackberry, violet and licorice with supple and sweet dark berry, dark cherry and bitter chocolate flavors. This fruit-driven cabernet shows lovely ripeness with smooth tannins. Enjoy with grilled meats like pork tenderloin or braised dishes such as pot roast or short ribs. CiAnne


85 86 87 88 2012

100% sauvignon blanc

$13.99

2012

2011

2011

100% catarratto

31% cabernet sauvignon 31% merlot 12% cabernet franc 10% zinfandel 4% syrah 3% petit verdot 3% malbec

92% malbec 8% cabernet sauvignon

$13.99

$18.99

$14.91

The Crossings

Donnafugata Anthilia

Are you a BIG grapefruit fan? If you are, then give this New Zealand Sauv a go. Grapefruit jumps out of the glass and continues on the palate, followed by fresh vibrant citrus flavors leading into a ripe and nicely textured mid-palate. Mouth-watering acidity and signature grassy notes persist on the palate. Drink this on its own or enjoy it with a hearty salad accompanied by a tangy dressing. Jason

Lots to take about in this wine. First up, it comes from Sicily and is made mainly of the Catarratto grape variety. Anthilia is the name of the wine that is identified with the ancient territory where it originates. It is the first wine to have been conceived at Donnafugata; today it is one of the most famious and sought after wines of Sicily. This wine is made in stainless steel revealing lots of flowery fragrances of meadow flowers on a mineral background (flint). Hints of white peaches make this an extremely pleasant wine, characterized by a crisp aroma and taste. Perfect when paired with slightly smoked fish, shellfish or a pasta dish. I love this wine and think that you will too. David

Gundlach Bundschu Mountain Cuvee I was excited to see this wine in our top ten because I remember how pleased everyone was with the number one wine from 2012, the Gundlach Bundschu cabernet. This years selection will be equally enjoyed! This is a serious yet easy drinking red blend, sourced primarily from Estate vineyards with additions coming from other top sites around Sonoma. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are big players in the blend and are joined by Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. The lots are processed separately and then blended twice during the fourteen months of aging in predominately French oak. All this leads to loads of black plum, milk chocolate and lush blackberry flavors with touches of black pepper and tobacco. The full, juicy mouthfeel is supported by soft tannins, showing the generous fruit. The long finish gives more berry and cocoa. Wonderful now til the end of the decade. Stuart

imbibewine.com

Vistalba The vineyard is in the High Mendoza River Basin where the soils drain well but the silt loam base has little organic material and fertility. This means that vines are struggling through the soil for moisture and nutrients. The nose of the glass is ripe plum with touches of prunes, lighter pink peppercorns, and the earthiness of mushrooms. The deep burgundy color reveals flavors of plums bursting with juice, voluptuous blackberry, and touches of dark cherry and spice. The finish stays complex with hints of caramel, a lighter flavor than the cocoa that you usually see in a darker colored and flavored wine. Aged in a combination of barrels and tanks for 12 months, the wine also spent an extra 6 months in the bottle to let flavors and tannins blend and develop. The wine has the aging potential to take it to the end of the decade but you can’t wait that long for a wine this good. Stuart

27


89 90 91 92 2011

100% malvasia bianca

$12.91 Toscata New to wine? Even if you’re not, the Malvasia grape is unfamiliar to most and rarely found in our California soils. This sweet, light Italian varietal can more often be found in Umbria and Tuscany where it is native. In the glass this wine is lively and surrounded with soft flower petals and ripe citrus notes. On the palate apricot, peach and mango characteristics deliver a flavor that most new wine drinkers will enjoy, while maintaining a light pleasing weight. Don’t be afraid to try this unfamiliar varietal, you might be pleasantly surprised. Jason

28

2010

NV

100% riesling

2011

66.6% chardonnay 33.3% pinot noir

$29.99

100% monastrell (mourvedre)

$16.91

S. A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr

Scharffenberger Brut Excellence

Calling all Riesling nerds! The Prüm family has roots in the Mosel region of Germany dating back as far as 1156, making it one of the Germanys pre-eminent winemaking dynasties. Their reputation for making exquisite Riesling is international, and this bottle is a prime example of why. On the nose this Riesling is toasty and nutty which I find utterly intriguing and continues to mingle with pear and lily notes. The famed grey slate soils of the estate vineyard produce the pear-like qualities on the palate while ushering in flavors of peach, minerality, apricot and crisp apple. Sip this one on its own and ponder the beautiful complexity of Riesling. Jason

If you are anything like me, having a bottle of sparkling wine in the refrigerator is reason enough to celebrate! Situated in the heart of California’s Anderson Valley, Scharffenberger Cellars has been producing consistently outstanding sparkling wines since 1981. Anderson Valley is perfect for growing sparkling wine varietals, as it is one of the coolest growing regions in the state, giving grapes that extra time on the vine. I love this Scharffenberger Brut. Made using the traditional champenoise process and blended with two-thirds Pinot Noir and one-third Chardonnay, it is fruit-forward with aromas of strawberry, raspberry and plum and tropical flavors of pineapple and some sweet pear. Nice creamy bubbles provide an enjoyable texture and offer a rich, complex wine with a round, lengthy finish. Under $17 dollars? I will cheers to that! CiAnne

661.633.WINE (9463)

$8.91 Tarima Tarima Monastrell is one of the best value red wines for under $10 bucks that you will find. What we identify as the Mourvedre grape, the Spaniards have called Monastrell for centuries. Tarima comes from the town of Pinoso just off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. This wine is made for immediate drinking pleasure and does not require any ageing in your cellars. In the glass, the nose emits fragrant aromas of red and dark fruits, spices and herbs. Flavors of dark plums and red raspberries are freshly wrapped up in this fresh, medium bodied wine. There is a subtle minerality or chalkiness that is a signature component of this grape that I love. Do yourself a favor, grab a case of this this wine because it drinks better than any $10 red you’re thinking of trying out. Robert


93 94 95 96 2011

2012

95% grenache 5% syrah

2010

100% pinot noir

$29.91

93% cabernet sauvignon 7% cabernet franc

$19.99

$22.99

Melee

Hahn

Paoletti Bella Novello

Are you longing for rich Californian fruit but you still want a French spin? Winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer began collecting Rhone style grenache after a visit to the south of France. His obsession with grenache allowed him to pinpoint vineyards reminiscent of the Rhone style he had grown to love. Tuck happened upon an unlikely Grenache vineyard located in central California comprised of shale, limestone and iron rich soils. After years of waiting Tuck was finally able to purchase the previously contracted fruit. The iron rich soils of the grenache vineyards create a rich multilayered presentation of plum, ripe strawberry, dried herbs that ends with a touch of mild cola. The texture of this wine is luxurious and velvety soft - making it effortless for any palate to enjoy. The lumbering bottle, eye-catching label, quality fruit and craftsmanship make this a fantastic gift for just about anyone. Jason

This Hahn Pinot showcases all that is exceptional about Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH). Fresh raspberry and black cherry scents are intense and concentrated. This wine is rich and vibrant. A sip reveals a full bodied pinot noir with intense flavors of ripe red plums and allspice. A perfect partner to a variety of fish, poultry and pasta dishes. You can also try it with a traditional pairing of grilled salmon. Estate grown by Hahn Estate, we have secured a deal on this wine that in my opinion makes this wine the best buy on our list.

This outstanding cabernet is named after owner Gianni Paoletti’s mother. Novello is her maiden name. This wine comes from the Paoletti Estate located in Calistoga. First planted in 1994, the vineyards of Paoletti produce some outstanding cabernets and some super tuscan blends. The vines that produce Novello are 20 years old. This wine is full bodied with nice tannins that are balanced with great structure, power and weight. And always highly reviewed by the wine critics. Loaded with currant, blackberries and other dark fruits. If you’re ever traveling into Napa Valley this is one beautiful place to visit. David

Winery price is $35, and although that is a fair price for this wine, we our offering it for only $19.99. Pick up a case - you will be glad you did. David

imbibewine.com

2011

100% pinot noir

$22.99 Lucas & Lewellen Goodchild Good Central Coast pinot noir does not have to be expensive. This Santa Barbara pinot remains sturdy and crisp with acidity. You’ll find no winemaking tricks or cover-ups here. The flavors are uninterrupted with aging in neutral French oak barrels for up to nine months. The neutral oak allows the two estate selected lots to show themselves with a non-boisterous display of bright red fruit, savory shrubs and black slate minerality. Pop this cork to satisiy your pinot fix at a price that makes sense. Jason

29


97 98 99 100 2011

50% syrah 33% cabernet sauvignon 17% petit verdot

$44.99

30

2011

2012

40% petite verdot 30% petite sirah 10% zinfandel 10% Syrah 5% Cabernet Sauvignon 5% Charbono

100% pinot noir

$29.99

l’Aventure Optimus

Carne Humana

The Latin meaning of the word Optimus is ‘one of the best’ or ‘member of the ruling class’. The 2011 L’Aventure Estate Cuvee garnered an astonishing 98 point score from Robert Parker; their estate blend is truly part of a dominant class of wines. For about half the price, and at a 94 point Robert Parker score, Optimus gives you more than a glimpse of the fruity power, rich complexity and focus that L’Aventure is known for. This blend is dark and present on the palate with vibrant rich red cherries, rightly ripe raspberries and dried tobacco leaf. Spending 14 months in 70% new French oak this wine remains powerful and balanced with structure that will support itself until 2020 or longer. Jason

This wine is not for the faint of heart. If you’ve been held ‘Prisoner’ by a soft, over ripe, hollow, Hawaiian Punch-type wine, please stop reading now. In 1841 General Mariano Vallejo granted Edwin Bale territory in what is now upper Napa valley. Bale, a lover of the bottle and a bit of an eccentric, named the land Rancho Carne Humana. His reason for the macabre title remains a mystery. Today, much of California’s best wine comes from this region. I love this wine for the fact that the blend is a total reversal of most of the status quo blends out there. The color of this wine when you pour it in the glass reveals the lopsided blend with its Opaque purplish-black color. Give it a swirl or two and embrace the fragrant nose of floral black fruits. Savor the smooth, rich flavors of plums, blackberries, dark cherries and espresso. Only 60 Barrels produced for the world, quality not quantity, Cheers. Robert

$39.91 Belle Glos Las Alturas The goal of Belle Glos wines is to express the genuine uniqueness of each vineyard. Last year we loved the Clark & Telephone bottling. This year the Las Alturas Vineyard from SLH in Monterey County sings to us. The Spanish term “Las Alturas” means “the heights”, and this vineyard is located on one of the highest grape growing benches within the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. It produces small berries with very thick skins, giving it intense color and concentration. The wine is robust, opulent and full flavored pinot noir. On the palate it is dense with a concentrated color. Dark berry fruits and rich flavors jump out of the glass. Aromas of raspberry, wild blackberry and a slight earthiness before a rich meatiness of ripe plum, currant and black cherry coat your mouth. This is a cabernet lover’s pinot noir. David

661.633.WINE (9463)

2010

53% malbec 18% cabernet sauvignon 17% merlot 11% syrah

$14.99 Clos de los Siete Clos de los Siete is the result of a venture undertaken by a group of French winegrowers associated with the most renowned Grand Crus worldwide. One of the globe’s top enologists, Michel Rolland conceived this project and recruited the founding members. Michel consults for many top wineries around the globe and a handful of top boutique estates in Napa such as Ovid and Dancing Hares. The winery is located at the foot of the Andes mountain range, in the heart of the Uco Valley. The 2010 Clos de los Siete is a blend of malbec, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah. It is packed with dark blackberries, plums, cassis, a hint of black pepper and toasted coffee notes. Try it with grilled meats, roasts and stews. Robert


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Imbibe Wine's top 100 wines for 2014