Featured Wines

2012 Colomé Estate Malbec, Argentina

In the last 10 years, the United States wine marketplace has exploded with the importation of hundreds of Argentinean imports, most of which are varietal Malbec. This lesser-known grape from the Bordeaux region of France has flourished in the mile-high steppes of the Andes mountain range. High quality and low prices have made this a popular everyday red. This wine is a glass-staining, opaque purple/black color. The nose delivers boisterous aromas of fresh blackberry, boysenberry, and pomegranate fruit, followed by notes of sandalwood and polished leather. In the mouth, it shows a medium-full body, with fine-grained, integrated tannins. Argentineans love to grill and char their red meats, and this wine is perfectly suited to pair with these entrées.
MSRP: $30 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 McIntyre Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Lucia Highlands

The Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, on the east-facing side of the mountain range in Monterey County, has developed a reputation for being a world-class region for Burgundian varietals. This wine is a translucent dark coral/ruby color, hinting at the concentration and extraction in this bottling. Fresh berry scents are upfront in the nose, leading to darker cherry cola and chocolate impressions, followed by a kiss of clove. It is light, boisterous, and juicy in the mouth, showing an elegant, silky texture. At the end, some earthy, youthful grip pops up.
MSRP: $42 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2013 McIntyre Estate Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands

Although this is a young wine, all the flavors and aromas have already melded together in harmony. It’s a full-throttle California Chardonnay, exhibiting rich nose impressions of smoke, toast, spice and butter, all wrapped around light scents of nectarine, sweet lime, and tropical fruit. Despite its bigness, this white shows a refinement more associated with Old World Burgundies. It is delicious on its own, but would also be a marvelous foil for a seafood pasta with Alfredo sauce.
MSRP: $36 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2012 Fulcrum Petite Sirah, Landy Vineyard, Russian River Valley

One of the most misunderstood grape varietals is Petite Sirah. Brought to California in the later 1800s, its deep color and tannic backbone made it a perfect addition to the typical field blend reds of the time. These same drying tannins made varietal bottlings hard, astringent, and generally disagreeable. Modern winemaking technique has learned to tame the tannic bite, resulting in deeply hued reds that are plush and soft enough to enjoy with grilled red meats and sharp cheeses.
This example shows many of the common descriptors for modern-day Petite Sirah. It is an opaque, inky black in the glass, with scents of dark flowers, restrained aromas of blackberry and blueberry fruit, pencil shavings, and licorice root. It is full and palate-coating, yet the tannins are refined and velvety. Time will tell how much of the tightly-wound core of fruit blossoms with several years in the cellar. Everything is in balance for a long lived wine – this red can be enjoyed now with smoked red meats or can be cellared a decade or more to appreciate the secondary aromas and flavors of a mature wine.
MSRP: $42 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 90

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2012 Fulcrum Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

One of the lesser-known wine producing regions in California is the Anderson Valley, located above Sonoma County and tucked into a bucolic valley a dozen miles west of the 101 Highway. It isn’t easy to get to – a long, winding, one-lane road is the only way in or out from the south — but, for those wine enthusiasts who choose to take the road less traveled, the area is rich with fabulous wines from many wine grape varieties. Unarguably, the most famous grape varietal from the Anderson Valley is Pinot Noir.
This one is quite impressive, announcing it is Pinot Noir with a nearly transparent coral/ruby color. At first whiff, smoke-tinged aromas of spiced black cherry and red berries rise from the glass. There is a smooth, feminine entry to the palate, with a light, refined grip towards the finish. A nice thread of acidity keeps it juicy and invites the next sip. After a few hours of aeration, the fruit mellows and sweetens up while picking up additional notes of pencil shavings. Drink now and over the next decade.
MSRP: $55 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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2012 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Nearly opaque dark crimson color. Lush aromas of fleshy black cherry, blackberry, roast coffee, pencil shavings, and vanilla rise from the glass. In the mouth, the fleshy black fruit spreads out, coating the palate and picking up notes of black licorice. The rounded, fine-grained tannins make this an easy red to enjoy now, but it has the balance and concentration to go another decade. Enjoy it with roast duck breast with a cherry reduction.
MSRP: $38 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2010 Sequoia Grove ‘Cambium’ Red Table Wine, Napa Valley

Cambium is an interesting word to name this wine. It refers to the actively growing layer of a plant or tree between the inner wood and the outer bark. Essentially, these are stem cells in plants — cells from which all other, more differentiated cells will arise. In other words, the building blocks of a grapevine. This is a proprietary blend of the best building blocks — er, barrels — of Bordeaux red varietals produced in a vintage at Sequoia Grove. The 2010 vintage’s opaque deep crimson hue lightly stains the glass. Its uplifted, floral nose (from a large dollop of Cabernet Franc) shows dark flowers, mocha, graphite, and minerality, all cloaking the tightly wound black and blue fruit. This is a wine that would benefit from mid-term cellar aging, allowing the fruit to bubble to the surface. Patience will be rewarded in a decade or so.
MSRP: $140 (February 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 94

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2011 Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

In the glass, it shows an opaque, deep crimson color. The nose is already integrating the fruit and wood components, with a nice interplay between the polished leather, mocha, clove and cedar from the oak and the boisterous red cassis and raspberry fruit. The fruit carries through on the palate, showing all soft and velvety, before fine-grained tannins poke through near the finish. This wine is a delight to drink now, and should provide pleasure over the next eight to 10 years.
MSRP: $38 (February 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 91

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2013 Sequoia Grove Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Ah! Our noses and palates took a trip down memory lane with each sniff and sip of this wine. It is delightfully perfumed and aromatic, mixing together sweet, almost honeyed, impressions of tropical fruit and pear with notes of butter, brioche, and vanilla. Showing a nice balance in the mouth, these flavors carry through to the finish and persist. Think of this as a fine Burgundy, but with the plumpness of California fruit. A perfect foil for snow crab legs dipped in butter.
MSRP: $28 (February 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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2011 Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, Small Block Reserve, Napa Valley

Opaque purple/black color. Who says you couldn’t make great Cabernet in the Napa Valley in the challenging 2011 vintage? This is an impressive effort. Aromas of roast coffee, polished leather, fresh cassis, boysenberry, black cherry, and licorice entice the nose and promise much. That promise is kept on the palate, where ample fleshy fruit has a velvety texture. After mid-palate, medium-grained tannins apply some youthful grip. There is enough going on here in the bottle to provide drinking pleasure over the next decade and beyond. For now, splash decant this wine for at least an hour prior to serving.
MSRP: $100 (March 2015)
Wine Lines rating: 92

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