Q: What’s better than a bottle of bubbly? A: FOUR bottles of bubbly.
Pol Roger is a classic true Champagne. Beloved by Winston Churchill and served at the royal wedding of William & Kate, Pol Roger brims with aromas and flavors of vanilla, toast, stone fruits, and honey. Dry, elegant, perfection in a glass. 59.00
Gosset Brut Excellence is another classic Champagne with a tradition going back over 400 years. Gosset uses only the highest quality fruit and no malolactic fermentation. Instead, they rely on extended aging on the lees (the yeast and solid particles collected at the bottom of the barrel.) GBE gets lots of 90pt ratings. Look for pear, honey, and a long creamy finish from this beauty. 49.00
Charles Sparr Cremant Rose is made using the traditional method–it just happens to be produced in the Alsace region rather than the Champagne region. Never mind that–this sparkler is a gem. A rose made with pinot noir, Sparr comes across with crisp citrus and a hint of vanilla. Great bang for the buck. 19.00
Lamberti Prosecco comes from the mountains of Northeast Italy. Lamberti is light (11% abv) and refreshing with its pleasing acidity and hint of residual sugar. Great value from a great little wine. 14.00
Robert Mondavi Reserve Wines are Napa classics. While the Mondavi name is out there on a lot labels, their Reserve wines just speak for themselves. If you had to pick a series of wines representing some of the best Napa has to offer, Mondavi Reserve wines would have to be on your list.
Robert Mondavi Reserve Chardonnay, 2015 comes out of Carneros with mouthwatering fruit and enough weight to keep it hanging on your palate long after your first sip. 57.00
Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir, 2104 is 100% Carneros Pinot Noir. Rich cherry and berry combine with complex spice/herb in this beautifully balanced Pinot. 67.00
Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 is the sort of Cab you’d serve overseas guests–just to show them what Napa can do. Sourced from prized To Kalon property in Oakville, this is Napa fruit at its finest and Mondavi has given it the royal treatment–including over nineteen months in 100% new French oak. Sublime. 125.00
Landmark Vineyards has assembled the outstanding Overlook Pinot Noir, 2015 with lush fruit sourced from Santa Barbara County, Sonoma County, and Monterey County. Expect elegantly balanced rich red fruit with some spice–finishing with delicate tannins. 20.00
Landmark specializes in hand-crafted premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir without the hefty price tags so common with high end wine real estate. 20.00
Clever devils, those New Zealanders. Matua, out of New Zealand’s famed Marlborough wine region, have not only produced a killer rose of Pinot Noir in only their second vintage–
they have packaged it with a clever “Chill Check” label. When the wine is chilled, and reaches its optimum serving temperature (45-46F), the snowflake icon on the side of the label and the Ta Moko symbol (a sacred Maori tattoo) change to a dark color. Call it a gimmick, but I think it’s cool–no pun. Of course the main thing is the wine and that’s cool, too. 100% Pinot Noir,, the blokes at Matua knew what they were doing and they were doing it with sumptuous local fruit. It would be hard to find a nicer rose at this price: 12.00
Mumm Napa sparkling wines–simply outstanding. Year after year, the Mumm California sparklers amaze me–and quite a few others, judging from the reviews. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (NV) is the flagship bubbly of Mumm’s California production. Made in the traditional Champagne method–and blend of 45% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 10% Pinot Meunier/Pinot Gris–Brut Prestige comes across with bright, crisp acidity complimenting flavors of citrus, apple and toasty honey. But the real proof of quality is in the rich, lingering finish. You could pay more than twice this much for French Champagne–I’d rather have two bottles of the Mumm and pocket the change. 22.00
Mumm Napa Brut Rose combines 80% Pinot Noir with 20% Chardonnay to produce citrus and berry flavors and a rich mouth-feel. A vibrant body and clean fruit character Napa Brut Rose makes it a perfect choice for foods with complex flavors. Or drink it all by itself… 24.00
E. Guigal is one of the most recognizable Cotes du Rhone labels in America. Since 1946 they have been producing some of the most impressive wines in the Rhone Valley. Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc (13.00) and Costes du Rhone Rouge (16.00) are a great place to start experimenting with “Rhone Style” wines. Rhone wines are generally blends–in the case of reds, the key players are Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvedre. In the case of whites, it’s often Clairette, Grenache Blanc, and Viognier.
Expect rich, complex flavors in an Old World style (in other words, no butter balls or fruit bombs.)