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SAY TODAY'S SECRET WORD "SERGIO" (winemaker in Serralunga d'Alba) AND WE'LL POUR YOU A TASTE OF SERGIO'S DELIGHTFUL 2015 BAROLO.....


UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 17, 2020

ETTORE GERMANO 2015 BAROLO  $49.99  $5/taste
The Barolo region has numerous top-flight winemakers and included in that crowd would be
Sergio Germano.

With vineyards in the Serralunga region, the eastern portion of Barolo, Germano made a brilliant
2015 vintage.  

It has a somewhat traditional vinification, spending three to four weeks "on the skins."
This is a normal time frame of maceration for Nebbiolo.  Germano then matures the
wine in a variety of sizes of cooperage to tame the inherently tannic Nebbiolo.

Though this wine can be cellared for a decade or two, it's certainly enjoyable now
while it displays lots of red fruit tones.







 

 

 

 

PARADIGM 2015 Napa CABERNET $8/taste

Heidi Peterson makes classic, old-school wines...no grape concentrate and
she doesn't leave residual sugar in her Cabernets.

She works for a number of wineries and her Cabernets at Paradigm have
been quite good.  The 2015 is maybe a tad softer than previous vintages.

Very fine for immediate drinking and it'll cellar handsomely.





 

 

 


 

 

 

 

CHARLEUX 2016 SANTENAY 1er CRU  $3.60/taste

Charleux is a father & son team making some exceptional Burgundies in the southernmost
part of the Côte de Beaune.

Santenay is perhaps their most regal red wine and the 2016 is very fine.  
We like the dark cherry fruit and this is framed by a mildly woodsy note from
its maturation in small oak barrels.


 

 



 

 

 

PEWSEY VALE 2013 "CONTOURS" RIESLING  $3.70/Taste
Pewsey Vale's special Riesling called "Contours" is one of the most enjoyable
Rieslings in the shop.

It's typically released when it's had some time in the bottle to develop, so if you like
those floral and petrol notes of nicely matured Riesling, don't miss this.

We paired two vintages with homemade Crab Cakes recently...we had a bit
of chili pepper spiciness in the crab mix and the wine was superb in this 
context.

One of our guests, a prominent New Zealand winemaker, was absolutely 
delighted to see this on our menu that evening, saying it's her all-time
favorite Riesling.

This is dry and crisp, too, by the way.


 

 

ERIC KENT 2017 Sonoma CHARDONNAY $4.20/taste
We can't quite call winemaker Kent Humphrey an old-timer, but
he's been at it for more than a decade.

His wines are routinely good and this 2017 Chardonnay is very fine.
It comes from two vineyard sites in Sonoma...they made just
169 cases...

1 KM West is its "title" and, as usual, features marvelous art on the distinctive label.

Happily the wine is even more artistic.

 

 

 

GREEN & RED 2015 Napa "Chiles Mill" ZINFANDEL $3/taste
Winemaker Jay Heminway passed away in 2019, but his daughter is carrying on in his foot-steps.

They are famous for this gentle style of Zinfandel...it's fairly smooth and has dark berry fruit with
some brown spice notes.





 



 

 

 

 

ALTA MORA 2018 Etna Bianco  $3/Taste
Carricante is the grape...and it can make a remarkably good bottle of wine in the right hands.

Some of these are tight, lean and cellarworthy.

The Alta Mora is immediately showy...crisp, bone dry, mildly stony/minerally...you can sense
its volcanic "terroir" right from the start.

No oak.  
Doesn't need any.









 

SHAFER 2016 RED SHOULDER RANCH Carneros CHARDONNAY  $5/taste
The Shafer family have been making a spiffy Carneros Chardonnay for decades.

The wine is vinified in both barrel and stainless steel...it doesn't undergo
a secondary, malolactic fermentation and retains an element reminiscent
of tropical fruits with some toasty notes from the wood.

Most people regard Shafer as a top red wine specialist, but they do a
good job with this showy dry white.



 

 

SHEA WINE CELLARS 2016 Willamette Valley PINOT NOIR $4/Taste
You'll see the Shea vineyard designation on numerous top bottlings from Oregon,. but the wine
bearing their own label is some of the best.

The 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot is newly-released and showing beautifully.







 

 

 

TREFETHEN 2016 Napa CABERNET SAUVIGNON $4.50/taste
Trefethen's vineyards are in the Oak Knoll district of Napa, a slightly cooler region.

 

This makes for a nicely elegant rendition of Cabernet, beautifully balanced.

Trefethen has been making good Cabernet for decades.
This 2016 is a cut above their normal efforts.













 

 


NAUTILUS ESTATE New Zealand SAUVIGNON BLANC   $1.80/taste
The Hill-Smith clan owns this terrific New Zealand estate.

They make a relatively low alcohol, crisp, tangy Sauvignon Blanc which
is really snappy and fresh...heck, it ought to be: it's fresh out of the
fermentation tank...this is a 2018 vintage!

This is a crisp, delicious cocktail white and it's dynamite
with seafood, dim sum and other Asian-styled dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROPER 2014 Washington State SYRAH  $4.80/taste

A few wine aficionados from Colorado launched this artisan Syrah production made from fruity
grown in Washington State's Walla Walla region.  

We have been impressed by several vintages as the wine captures the spice notes we find
in benchmark bottlings from France's Northern Rhône.

There are some Walla Walla wineries making seriously expensive Syrahs of impressive quality.
We might say that Proper is properly priced.





 

 






 

 

HEITZ 2013 Napa "TRAILSIDE" CABERNET SAUVIGNON  $11/taste
The new owners at Heitz Cellar have bumped the price of the Trailside Cabernet by
a few bucks.

The 2013 is exceptional, coming from the old Shown & Sons vineyard which is located
along the Silverado Trail in Rutherford.

As usual, this displays an exotic and complex nose.

It's supposed to go for about $130-$135.
We've got it sale-tagged presently at $109.99.

Come have a taste!

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOALHEIRO ALVARINHO  2.50/taste
The 2018 has just rolled in.

This is routinely one of our favorite, off-the-beaten-path dry white wines.
We brought a double magnum of the 2016 to dinner during the
San Francisco International Wine Competition and it was a hit with the
judges (from all over the world, too).

We brought this vintage recently to dinner with some friends at Dumpling Time in
San Francisco...thoroughly delicious!



Stony, nicely fruity with a hint of a spice note...


 

 

 






GREYWACKE 2016 Marlborough PINOT NOIR  $4/taste
In a recent blind-tasting of New Zealand Pinots, Kevin Judd's was my top pick.
It's beautifully intense with lovely dark cherry fruit and just a hint of sweet oak.
Very showy and easily comparable to top Sonoma Pinots.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAMIN 2017 "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 
"thumbs up."



 

 

TUFO ROSSO Tuscan Red Wine  $1.30/taste

From Tuscany's Maremma district southwest of Chianti comes this remarkably delicious
and well-priced red wine.

Carla Benini farms her vineyards organically and the blend for this charming wine
has evolved over the years.

This vintage is based on, as always, Sangiovese.  But it has a fair bit of a red grape more 
normally found in her home region of Trento: Teroldego.

It's a unique blend and displays lots of cherry-like fruit.

Very fine and yet very affordable.


 

 

 


TRES PICOS Spanish GARNACHA  $1.70/Taste

From Spain's Navarra region where there's a lot of old Grenache vineyards
comes this medium-bodied, mildly oaked, smooth red.

It spends a few months in new French oak, so there's a touch of sweet
wood spice to this wine.  

Raspberry fruit notes and that hint of vanilla spice from the oak makes for
a delightful, easy-drinking red.






 

SUMMERS Napa Valley CHARBONO   $2.50/taste

We are big fans of this charming Napa Valley red made of the scarce Charbono grape.

It's gentle like a Pinot Noir but fairly full-bodied.

Lots of blackberry and blueberry fruit.

There are maybe a dozen California wineries producing Charbono and Summers, for us, is
the best and most sensibly-priced.

Sad to note that after the untimely death of Jim Summers, his wife Beth has
decided to close the winery.


.



 

PETER DIPOLI 2015 SAUVIGNON BLANC "VOGLAR"  $2.80/taste

Peter Dipoli is a bit of a legend in his home region of Italy's Alto Adige.

He makes a Bordeaux blend and a Sauvignon Blanc called Voglar.

The wine is a bit intense and perhaps a tad rustic in today's squeaky clean world
of winemaking.  We're trying to say this is not for everyone,
but if you're on the same wavelength with the wine, you'll find it
to be quite satisfying.

Everyone in the Alto Adige knows Dipoli and they all speak
reverently about him and his wines.

We visited his cellar in March of 2018 and he shared some older bottles
with us...Voglar ages quite handsomely and each vintage is reflective
of the growing conditions of its birth year.


 

MICHAEL JAMES 2013 Napa "Howell Mountain" CABERNET SAUVIGNON $6/taste
Less than 200 cases of this Cabernet Sauvignon were produced...
The fruit comes from the Beatty Ranch on Howell Mountain east of St. Helena.

It's blended with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Matured solely in French oak,
with about half the barrels being brand new.

Just needs a good steak!

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BINZ 2016 MORIO MUSKAT  $1.30/Taste
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 winery).


RAMEY 2016 Russian River Valley CHARDONNAY 3.50/taste
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.

 

 




HART'S DESIRE 2017 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.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 



 

CIÙ CIÙ 2018 PECORINO  $1.60
A fantastic example of the Pecorino grape...certainly this will appeal to you if
you're enchanted by crisp, non-oaked Sauvignon Blancs.

This is yet another great, flavorful alternative to the "water" that 
many commercial cellars bottle as "Pinot Grigio."



 

 

 

 

 





DAULNY 2018 SANCERRE $2.20/taste
Crisp, 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
in California.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


VASSE FELIX 2016 Margaret River  CHARDONNAY $4.20/taste
From the Margaret River region in Western Australia...
They make three Chardonnays...this is the middle tier bottling and it's dynamite.
Smoky, leesy and toasty...you have to taste it.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 





 

 

SWEET 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.


CARMES DE RIEUSSEC 2014 SAUTERNES   $3.50
A second wine from the famous Château Rieussec...delicious, mildly honeyed...

CASTA DIVA MOSCATEL  "Cosecha Miel"  $5.50/taste
Hugely famous in Portugal and around Europe, they're a mystery to most
wine consumers in the US.  Remarkable wine, though.


BARBEITO 5 Year Old BUAL MADEIRA  $2.40/taste
Not exactly dry but not precisely sweet...a nice 5 year old Madeira from a prestigious, traditional winery.

SMITH WOODHOUSE 2004 LATE BOTTLED VINTAGE PORTO $3.40/taste
Savvy wine buyers know this brand from the Symington Family (Graham's, Warres, Dow's)
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 Jurançon $3.60/taste
From master winemaker Jean Bernard Larrieu comes this stellar sweet wine which is
balanced by laser-sharp acidity.  


FLORIO 2003 "TARGA" MARSALA   $4/taste
A special bottling of Vintage Marsala from the historic Florio winery in Marsala.


EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL  $2.20/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.

DELAS MUSCAT DE BEAUMES DE VENISE  $2.60/taste
From the Rhône Valley in France...this is a simple, aromatic and delicious Muscat.

ALSO:

CRUZ VIEJA OLOROSO SHERRY  $3.80
A well-aged, beautifully nutty dry Sherry...


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All bottles are sparged with Argon, an inert gas. 
This allows us to offer a wide variety of wines
(you won't find any place offering this number of interesting wines on a daily basis!). 



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