WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's
UPDATED AS OF July 17, 2018
MANNI NÍSSING'S 2016
N÷ssing says the Kerner vine is a "sugar factory" and
making this wine is not easy.
His is, we think, a bit of a reference point for this grape.
It's a crossing of Riesling and Trollinger.
A perfect summer white...don't miss it!
MOCCAGATTA BARBARESCO "Bric
long been fans of the Minuto family's "Moccagatta" Barbaresco wines.
Here's one with a few years of bottle age and it's offered at a special price.
Their wines have typically shown a bit of oak as they use French oak barrels,
but the wines tend to develop quite handsomely and when they are mature,
you'd never imagine the wine had been in new wood.
THE TERRACES 2014 CABERNET
Crull's "The Terraces" estate is located in Rutherford near the
His red wines have routinely been excellent, but the small production level
has kept the wines from gaining greater recognition (unless you're in the know
and shop at Weimax).
It's blended with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petite Sirah...
19 months in French oak, 35% new.
Very showy. Less than 500 cases made.
Autran family produces some really good reds...
We feature their excellent Sablet as it's good quality and well-poriced.
Also worth trying is their terrific Gigondas.
We're pouring the 2014 today.
TRAMIN 2015 "STOAN" White
Wine Blend $3.60/taste
A delicious blend based on Chardonnay, but it's
the Sauvignon Blanc that
really sings here.
The wine sees some large wooden tanks and it's beautifully aromatic.
Don't miss it...everyone who has tasted this has given it a
WOODSIDE VINEYARDS 2013 CHARDONNAY $2.50/taste
Forty years ago Woodside Vineyards was
one of the few "cult" wineries in California.
Today they're relatively unheralded, but if you like a creamy, mildly oaked, dry
Chardonnay, come taste this one from Santa Cruz Mountains fruit.
SAN FEREOLO 2009
the Dogliani area of Piemonte, south of Barolo, comes this
old school, traditionally-made red.
While Dogliani is famous for Dolcetto, this is made
The wine is made in a style that might actually be mistaken
for a Nebbiolo, though.
Large wood aging for a couple of years and then it spends
a few more in bottle before being released.
This is a 2009 and at 7+ years of age, is showing handsomely.
L'HORTUS "LE LOUP DANS LA
BERGERIE" FRENCH RED $1.10/taste
Grenache and Syrah like a good Rhone red, but it comes from the
The Orliac family uses younger vines for this and a shorter
maceration than for their "fancy" wines.
It is bright and exuberant, with lots of red berry notes and a hint
It's one of the best buys in our shop.
FLYING B 2015 WALLA WALLA CABERNET
bought a bottle of this from the distributor to include in a blind tasting of
Washington State Cabernets. Two of the eight wines were our favorites and
they were remarkable similar.
We put this wine in second place behind the other...which turned out to be
$100+ bottle from the same winery!
This is their second wine and at about half the price and 95% of the quality
of the other, choosing this was an easy decision.
Its wood treatment reminds us of many top, expensive
Bordeaux, but it's $59.99 price tag makes this an
VIDON Oregon PINOT NOIR $5/taste
been a while since we've had Vidon Pinot in the
shop. but we are delighted to note the return of
"an old friend."
In tasting through the current line-up, we picked
this Clone #777 bottling.
Good Pinot Noir fruit and it's nicely balanced.
VALENTI'S ETNA BIANCO "ENRICO
from Sicily's Etna region...you might peg it as a white wine from
Alsace as it has aromatics which are fragrant along the lines of
We included this in a recent blind-tasting of Etna white wines and found this to
BINZ 2016 MORIO MUSKAT
This is a small production
from our friends at the Binz winery in Germany.
It's intensely aromatic and fragrant, with a touch of sweetness but ample
acidity to balance.
You'll find this wine only at our little shop here in Burlingame (or at the
know, these days so many Chateauneufs are made to impress and bowl
over those people who taste wine for a living and assign a numerical
score to each.
We are much less enthralled by the wines with 15% or 16% alcohol as
these are overpowering and don't taste good as a meal-time beverage.
Maybe they are impressive to people who sniff, sip and spit but we
actually enjoy DRINKING wine and pairing it with food.
If you want to sample an old school Chateauneuf-du-Pape that doesn't
taste like mouthwash, come give this a try.
RAMEY 2013 Russian River Valley
One of our favorite California Chardonnays, this is a wine made with
an astute awareness of French White Burgundies, but with a
decidedly California accent. Very fine.
Sonoma Coast PINOT NOIR
We've usually found the
Martinelli wines to be a bit over-the-top in terms
of alcohol and while this is not shrinking violet, the wine does manage
to show greater balance and charm than we've usually found.
HART'S DESIRE 2016 VIOGNIER $1.80/taste
John Hart has a good
vineyard source in Sonoma and
makes a wonderfully peachy
dry white which captures the essence of Viognier.
CHATEAU KSARA BLANC
a pleasant surprise!
Chateau Ksara is a famous estate in the Middle East and they've
been making some good wines for many years.
This is a great bottle to brown-bag and serve blind to your
wine connoisseur friends.
There's Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon in this blend.
We find the Sauvignon component to be most easily identifiable.
Lebanon. Bekaa Valley.
CI┘ CI┘ 2016
example of the Pecorino grape...certainly this will appeal to you if
you're enchanted by crisp, non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs.
can easily taste that the 2015 vintage produced wines which are a shade
riper than normal. Still good though.
SMITH MADRONE 2014
Spring Mountain CABERNET SAUVIGNON $5/taste
entire crew gave this the thumbs up.
Spring Mountain Cabernet.
Lots of red fruits and an almost floral tone.
Balanced tannins...drinkable now and it can be cellared a
decade, or so.
Spanish RED 80-cents/taste
many shops offer wines costing less than ten bucks.
We're well-known for having a good selection of good values;
wines that taste more expensive than their price tag
Here's a good one, though it does have a silly label (which
we are usually allergic to) and a dopey name: Wrongo Dongo.
The label and the name of the wine may be "wrongo" but the
wine is well-made and inexpensive.
This comes from Spain and it's made of what they call
Monastrell. The French call it Mourvedre. Some people know it
tangy, stony, minerally and bone dry...no oak.
Classic Sancerre at a rather modest price.
Ask Gerald to tell you
the story of how he
was instrumental in creating the blend of wines
which comprise this special bottling that's sold solely
PAVESE BLANC DE
grape is Prie Blanc and it's grown in the shadows of what the
French call Mont Blanc. The Italians know it as Monte Bianco.
Italy's Valle d'Aosta is a tiny wine region perched in the mountains.
You won't find big, expansive vineyard sites, just little patches
of vines which are more like a small garden.
Pavese's winery is tiny and they make a terrific, bone dry,
stony, crisp white wine...no oak.
TE MATA Hawkes Bay SAUVIGNON
This is quite different from the typical Sauvignon Blanc from
New Zealand. It's much closer in style to a dry white
Bordeaux than classic Kiwi Sauvignon.
The wine has 10% Semillon and 3% Sauvignon Gris. The juice
is fermented in small oak, a bit of the cooperage being new.
Quite a serious bottle of wine!
SUMMERS NAPA CHARBONO
Jim & Beth Summers make our favorite California
with blackberry & blueberry fruit...mild tannins...fairly full-bodied.
LEDE 2015 Napa SAUVIGNON BLANC $2.70/taste
Leap-area winery is making some lovely wines.
Good, dry, light Sauvignon Blanc. Mildly citrusy
VENICA 2016 Friuli SAUVIGNON $2.50/taste
The Venica family make some exceptional dry whites in
northeast Italy...Friuli. Mildly herbal/grassy.
We perused the wine list at a famous San Francisco
restaurant and were surprised they didn't have any
But they had Venica's Sauvignon and that was a
very good alternative.
Trocken RIESLING $2/taste
people consider the Robert Weil winery to be the top estate in the
Rheingau...their entry level dry Riesling is a great Twenty-Buck white wine.
SELENE SAUVIGNON BLANC
is a small production of Sauvignon Blanc made from grapes
grown in Napa's Carneros region.
It's a special clone called Sauvignon Musque...more aromatic.
Winemaker Mia Klein has a special technique for fermenting this,
initiating the fermentation with one yeast and finishing it
A portion of the batch sees a barrel and the rest is done in
Quite a showy California Sauvignon.
2015 Margaret River CHARDONNAY $4.20/taste
Margaret River region in Western Australia...
They make three Chardonnays...this is the middle tier bottling and it's
Smoky, leesy and toasty...you have to taste it.
Russian River CHARDONNAY $4/taste
California Chardonnay by an old master...
Tom Dehlinger makes some stellar wines, but he's a graybeard now...no longer the
"new kid on the block," so his wines are sometimes overlooked.
But they remain amongst the best of California.
COTO DE IMAZ 2012 RIOJA RESERVA $2.40/taste
Rioja has routinely been pretty good, but this vintage it's
more striking than usual.
It's made from the Tempranillo grape and matured about a year and
a half in small American oak barrels.
If you enjoy California Cabernets and want something showy
with a reasonable price tag, be sure to taste this.
WINES OPEN TODAY:
QUINTA DO NOVAL 2011 VINTAGE PORT $10/taste
The most recently-declared Vintage is offered today for
tasting...quite showy now and it
will repay cellaring handsomely.
CHATEAU HAUT-MAYNE 2010 SAUTERNES $3.80
You're not alone...nobody knows this fine little domaine...
JM da FONSECA 20 YEAR SETUBAL (Moscatel) $6/1 ounce pour
Hugely famous in Portugal and around Europe, they're a mystery to most
wine consumers in the US. Remarkable wine, though.
STONY HILL 2010 Napa S╔MILLON DU SOLEIL $4.50/taste
A sort of Napa Valley "passito" made of Semillon.
SMITH WOODHOUSE 2003 LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO $3/taste
Savvy wine buyers know this brand from the Symington Family (Graham's, Warres,
for its killer LBV Port...If you have taste for hundred buck bottles of Vintage
Port and are
on a budget, check out this delicious Porto!
LA MAGENDIA Juranšon $3.60/taste
From master winemaker Jean Bernard Larrieu comes this stellar sweet wine
balanced by laser-sharp acidity.
CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2005 SAUTERNES $3.50/taste
A second wine from the famous Chateau Rieussec, this is nicely honeyed and
PIETRI GERAUD 2005 BANYULS $3.30
France's answer to the question "Port?"
EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL $2.20/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.
From the Republic of Georgia, there's a remarkable
dessert wine...claimed to be comprised of more
300 different grape varieties! It's along the lines of Port/Madeira, but