WINE TASTING ROOM-Completo's
We are pleased to welcome adults who've been Double-Vaxxed
to our newly reopened Tasting Room.
Tasting Hours are 12pm until 5:45pm.
UPDATED AS OF June 24, 2021
PALLADINO 2015 BAROLO del
Commune di Serralunga SALE $49.99 $5/taste
Barolo wines from Serralunga are prized for their cellaring potential.
The Palladino family has been making wine in this town in Barolo since
The wines have routinely been good, but we think they've improved nicely over
the past decade, or so.
This bottling comes from 5 vineyard sites, including the prestigious Ornato,
Parafada and Gabutti crus.
Following its fermentation and maceration on the skins for about a month,
it's been matured in large French oak and big Slavonian oak vats.
We find it rather showy already and this can be cellared for about another
DOMAINE ALBERT BOXLER
is a highly-respected winemaker in France's Alsace region.
The estate has vineyards in the Niedermorschwihr area...
We recall a visit from a prominent vintner from Alsace who saw we had some
Boxler wines on display near theirs.
"Oh, I buy these whenever I see them in France. I love Boxler
Well, there's some praise.
We've been Boxler fans since the 1980s and have visited a number of times.
We hope to return soon, but until then, we can enjoy their wines here in
LAURENT COMBIER 2019
new vintage of Combier's "purple label" Crozes-Hermitage is a winner.
We've often had this wine in the shop, though we did skip a recent vintage we
we found to be a bit quirky.
The 2019 is spot-on, though and if you'd like to taste a classic French Syrah
from the Northern Rh˘ne, come get a pour of this.
The wine is dark in color and displays beautiful black fruit fragrances and some
DELILLE Washington State CHALEUR BLANC $3.50/taste
loved the white Bordeaux from Smith Haut Lafitte, but now that it's north of
(closer to $150 these days), we've looked for alternatives.
The crew at Delille are also fans of Bordeaux wines and their Chaleur Blanc
often hits the mark.
The 2019 is exceptional and displays the herbal notes we like in Sauvignon Blanc
and the texture
of the Semillon. They use a fair bit of new French oak so there's a rather
character here, too.
Very showy white wine...
TITUS 2018 Napa Valley CABERNET
had this wine in two blind tastings of Cabernets the past few months and this
our top wine in both.
Phil Titus and his brother have vineyards in and around St. Helena and they make
a nice range of wines. His day job is that as winemaker at the Chappellet
It's a really inky red wine, with youthful purple tones and plenty of dark
There's a nice bit of oak here as it was matured in French and Hungarian
Something like 60% of the barriques were brand new.
This goes for $62 at the winery.
We sale tag it at $49.99.
TERLAN 2019 TERLANER
(Italian White Blend) $2.70/taste
Terlan co-op winery in Italy's Alto Adige makes some pretty damned good wines.
They distinguish themselves with their work incorporating Pinot Bianco.
We visited the cellar a few years ago and they still had a tank of 1979 Pinot
Bianco that is a
"work in progress," awaiting bottling one of these years!
In early June we splurged and bought a bottle of their "Rarity" Pinot
Bianco...2007 vintage and
it's fairly recently bottled.
This was a magnificent wine, but it's price for its scarcity: $180/bottle!
A few days later we popped the cork on a few wines we'd bought in hopes of
discovery and this 2019 "Terlaner" was exceptional. Not only
that, we can buy more than
six bottles of this compared to one of the Rarity!
The Terlaner appellation is a bit obscure, but it's a white wine blend based on
with Chardonnay and, in this case, Sauvignon Blanc.
It's mostly fermented in stainless steel, but about 20% of the juice is vinified
in large wood to
add a bit of complexity. Happily, the wood is not prominent here and the
wine displays the
bright, appley and peachy notes of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay.
SADDLEBACK 2019 Napa Valley ZINFANDEL
Old Vines $4/taste
vines in Calistoga and an old winemaker in Oakville make for a rather
Napa Valley Zinfandel.
We've known winemaker Nils Venge since the 1970s and first met him as he was
wine for Villa Mount Eden and then Groth.
These days, aside from his various consulting jobs, he makes his own wines.
Especially charming is this amazing Zinfandel. It's beautifully berryish
a little bit of wood. The wine is rather gentle, too, being smooth and
in its youth.
This is a great choice for a backyard barbecue featuring ribs or burgers, yet it
pair beautifully with chicken, too.
ZAHEL "ORANGE T" Austrian
White from Vienna $1.90/Taste
Zahel winery is located in the Vienna area and it is the reference point for a
rather curious and
obscure grape variety called "Orange T," or Orange Traube.
Don't confuse this with the category of white wines vinified with the skins
which are known as
"Orange Wines." Those can be all over the map in terms of grape
varieties and styles, with
some being rather odd and tannic.
The grape called Orange T has typically been incorporated into the popular
wines known as Gemischter Satz. Zahel thought it has an interesting
personality and began
vinifying it on its own.
Today Zahel's Orange T is a benchmark for the grape.
We currently have this 2019 vintage in the shop and it's a delight. We
liked the 2018, too,
but Ellen noted this one is more intensely fragrant and beautifully crisp and
PETIT AOUT "UN DE CES JOURS"
CÚpage ESPANENC $2.50/taste
Agostini's family is of Italian heritage and so with the name
"Agostini," or "little August,"
his French friends call his "Petit Aout."
He's got a small production of various grape varieties, some of which are quite
Espanenc is one of his specialties and we understand he makes something like 400
of this cool, little red wine.
There were maybe 300 hectares of this grape in 1968 and by 2011 we're told there
were but 18!
Most of those precious grapes are sold to a little co-op cellar in the Hautes-Alpes,
but a few years ago Agostini
vinified some and made 200 bottles. He started a crowd source funding
campaign and now the production
has grown, but it's still tiny.
The wine is a light, "mountain red," with the weight, let's say, of a
The perfume is that of red berries and you'll not find oak influence here.
There's a spice note here, too.
Quite a rarity!
LANGE WINERY 2020 ROS╔ of
PINOT NOIR $2.20/taste
Lange RosÚ spent about 2 days in contact with the skins, so its color is a bit
deep, but the
fragrances of Pinot Noir fruit are beautifully intense.
TREFETHEN 2018 Napa CABERNET
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 2018 is drinkable now and it should age nicely.
Its price-tag remains sensible.
ROLAND SCHMITT 2019
Schmitt brothers are making some terrific wines in France's Alsace!
Their current bottling of Gewurztraminer is a gem as it beautifully captures the
spice notes of the grape without being heavy, sweet or ponderous.
Here's a great candidate for Asian-styled foods and it's mighty good as a
HUDSON 2019 Carneros CHARDONNAY
see the Hudson vineyard-designation on expensive bottles of Chardonnay
from Aubert, Kongsgaard, Kistler and Ramey, but they've been making a
smallish quantity of their own wine, too.
Lee Hudson planted the Wente Clone of Chardonnay, by the way.
It's from four vineyard sites owned by Hudson and the juice is barrel-fermented
in French oak (60% new) using native yeasts.
This spent 14 months in barrel and was bottled without fining or filtering.
We like the intensity of Chardonnay aromas and its mildly toasty oak character.
The wine is dry, as it should be and
mildly acidic. Hudson's 2019 is a showy California Chardonnay that
tips its cap to
French white Burgundy winemakers.
2020 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...
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"
many commercial cellars bottle as "Pinot Grigio."
FORTIFIED & SWEET
WINES OPEN TODAY:
PFEIFFER Rutherglen TOPAQUE (Muscadelle) $4.00/taste
Here's a really delicious Australian "Sticky" that used to be
sold as a "Tokay."
CASTA DIVA MOSCATEL "Cosecha Miel" $5.25/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,
GRAHAM'S 2006 "MALVEDOS" VINTAGE PORTO $6.50/taste
The Malvedos bottlings from Graham's are routinely very good and this is
SANDEMAN 10 Year TAWNY PORT $3/taste
Nicely nutty and sweet!
FLORIO 2003 "TARGA" MARSALA $3/taste
A special bottling of Vintage Marsala from the historic Florio winery in
EXCINDRE MUSCAT DE MIREVAL $2.10/taste
Terrific Muscat from the south of France.
CRUZ VIEJA OLOROSO SHERRY $3.80
A well-aged, beautifully nutty dry Sherry...