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Number 59 August 27, 2009

New items

Poderi Colla Barbaresco Roncaglie 2006 Not yet reviewed For the last 3 years, Parker scores 91, 90 & 92

$67.00

Luca Chardonnay Mendoza Uco Valley 2007 $30.00 Robert Parker – 92 The Chardonnay has arguably been one of the 3-4 best produced in Argentina for a number of years and the 2007 Chardonnay is no exception. It was 100% barrelfermented, went through full malolactic fermentation, and was aged for 12 months in 50% new French oak on its lees. Light gold-colored, it has an outstanding bouquet of spiced apple and poached pear, with tropical fruits in the background. Medium to fullbodied, mineral and oak notes emerge on the palate accompanied by lively acidity, layered flavors, and excellent balance. Drink this classy Chardonnay over the next 3-4 years. Luca is the personal project of Laura Catena, M.D., daughter of Nicolas Catena, the founder of Catena-Zapata. December 2008

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Heredad Cava NV $26.00 Wine Enthusiast – 88 Always one of Catalonia’s more elevated cavas, this version opens with spiced dried apple aromas and a bit of yeast and dough. The palate is both sweet and tangy, with tangerine as the lead fruit. And the finish is consistent and moderately deep. A handsome wine with character. December 2007


Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Las Alturas 2007 Wine Spectator – 88 Belle Glos Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Clark & Telephone 2007 Wine Spectator – 82

$44.00

$44.00

Good grief! Belle Glos Pinot Noir with 88 and 82. Good grief. Belle Glos is owned by Caymus. Does anybody think that Caymus would let an 82 out on the market? We tasted all 4 Belle Glos Pinots together, these 2 and the Taylor Lane and Meiomi. For some reason it took most of the afternoon. Just imagine if Caymus made a pinot. That’s what this tastes like. 82 my skinny behind. It’s Back Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha Veraton 2006 $33.00 Robert Parker – 93 The 2006 Alto Moncayo Veraton is the winery’s entry level and is 100% Garnacha sourced from vines ranging in age from 35 to 92 years. It was aged in new French and American oak for 17 months and bottled without filtration. It offers up a sensational aromatic array of pain grille, pencil lead, earth notes, wild black cherry, and black raspberry. Dense, layered, and full-flavored on the palate, this hedonistic effort is balanced enough to evolve for several years but can be enjoyed now. It is an awesome value. Alto Moncayo is a joint venture of importer Jorge Ordonez and bacon baron Dan Philips. The winemaker is the grizzled veteran vigneron Chris Ringland, an imposing team. February 2009

Chris Ringland Shiraz Barossa Valley CR 2007 $20.00 Not reviewed. Yet. 2006 score from Parker – 93 Last year we ran out of this way before everybody had their fill. Just a warning.

Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2007 $30.00 Wine Spectator – 88 Very ripe, pushing toward raisiny, with dark plum and blackberry fruit that's full-blown, intense and concentrated, ending with hints of berry jam. Drink now through 2013. 636 cases made. June 2009


Siduri Pinot Noir Sonoma Mountain Van der Kamp 2007 $24.00 Not Reviewed. 2006 – Wine Spectator 88, Price $42.00 2005 – Wine Spectator 90, Price $42.00 2004 – Wine Spectator 91, Price $42.00 Obviously, this is one of those great deals Star Distributing gets from Adam and Dianna Lee, the owners of Siduri.

Domaine Lafage Cote Sud 2007 $13.00 Robert Parker – 87 Lafage’s 2007 Cote Sud is 80% Grenache with 10% each of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, and comes from three sites and soil types. (Most of the estate’s Cabernet and Merlot were grubbed up seven years ago.) Aromas of ripe tomato and smoked meats lead to a slightly chewy-textured, quite dense palate, mingling beef jerky, pungent herbs, and a sort of stone-licking undertone. There is a lot of finish here for the price, though without the ripe berry character or the purity this cuvee has exhibited in other vintages. It will be worth savoring – especially with meat dishes – over the next 6-9 months (by which time the 2008 will have appeared). June 2009

Sitios de Bodega Con Class Rueda 2008 $13.00 Robert Parker – 88 The 2008 Con Class is 80% Verdejo, 10% Viura, and 10% Sauvignon Blanc aged on its lees in stainless steel. The Verdejo was sourced from organically farmed vines ranging in age from 60-100 years. Aromas of baking spices, melon and citrus are enticing. This leads to a ripe, tasty, balanced wine that will provide pleasure over the next 12-18 months. May 2009

Bodegas Tomas Cusine El Vilosell 2006 $19.00 Robert Parker – 91 No tasting notes given 2005 review: Score 91 The 2005 El Vilosell is composed of 50% Tempranillo, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 9% Garnacha, and 5% Syrah aged for 9 months in new French oak. Purplecolored, it reveals a fragrant array of scents including pepper, spice box, smoke, blackberry, black currant, and blueberry pie. Plush in texture, the wine is full-bodied, with layers of spicy fruit, intense flavors, and well-concealed tannins. Drink this superb value now and over the next 6-8 years. February 2007


Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon Liqueur Not reviewed

$20.00

Camus VSOP Cognac Not reviewed

$40.00

Scapa 16 year old Scotch $76.00 Not reviewed There are only two distilleries on the Orkney Islands; Highland Park, maybe the premier distiller in the world, and Scapa, which is right across the street.

Back from the dead: Amarula Marula Fruit Cream Liqueur $20.00 Spirit Journal 4 Stars We’ve been told that this is the third time Amarula has been in town. Thankfully it’s back. It’s the most requested cream liqueur that we haven’t been able to get. Absolutely delicious.

Svedka Vodka

$11.00 That’s right. $11.00 Everybody has known about Svedka for a long time but it’s new to us. We make mistakes sometimes. Here’s the review. Spirit Journal 4 Stars Good clarity except for insignificant, minor debris; no worries here. The compelling nose at opening and pouring is intensely grainy and mash-like plus it’s almost chalky, which I favorable respond to; the bone dry chalkiness especially continues to unfold in the second pass with air contact; the third sniffing, following eight minutes of aeration, adds a barely perceptible trace of nutmeg-like spice in the background; the final nosing pass highlights the grain mash and chalk; I very much like this aromatic and dry bouquet; true to Swedish distilling tradition. The texture and taste are light and very approachable at palate entry; the flavor is of toasted grain, mostly like Wheat Thins crackers at midpalate. The finish is long, toasty, and grainy. An outstanding value that runs rings around standard, unflavored Absolut on two fronts, pure drinking pleasure and suggested retail price.


Dogfish Head Theobroma $12.55 Straight off of the label: “Ale brewed with natural flavors of honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chilies & ground annatto.� Unusual, in Dogfish Head tradition.

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