Few Wines at Tequila Revolucian in Fairfield, CT

A few of us got together for some authentic Mexican food at Tequila Revolucion in Fairfield. A more casual spot, they served up some nice fair. We brought some killer wines to drink though and brought our own glasses to drink everything with.

The 3 whites of the tasting.

2014 Scholium Project Blowout – USA, California
Nose of apple, salt and slate. Flavors of grapefruit, star fruit and sour Beer almost. Ends with a 15+ second finish. This is very sour. It’s not bad. Just sour. I ended up dumping this wine because I just could not finish it. The Scholium Project wines I have had are very hit or miss. The one thing I will say though is that the guy likes to push the envelop and whether I like them or not, they are interesting to try. (87 pts.)

2009 Dom Pérignon Champagne – France, Champagne
Aromas of slate, lime, mineral and hint of nut. Flavors of lime, slate, some citrus note I can’t identity and mineral. Ends with a long finish of 25-30 seconds with mineral notes. Not creamy but mineral driven with citrus notes. A very nice Dom but nothing like the 2002, my favorite recent vintage. (94 pts.) Available

2002 Louis Roederer Champagne Cristal Brut – France, Champagne
Aromas of sour apple, mineral, bread dough and slate. Flavors of slate, bread dough, splash of citrus, mineral and a lime note on the finish that goes on for 35+ seconds. Totally different style of wine from the Dom. This had much more weight to it and was expansive on the palate. The Dom was more edgy and crisp. The Cristal is a very exquisite wine for sure. (96 pts.) Other vintages available.

The 3 reds of the tasting.

2004 Château Palmer – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux
This was decanted 2.5 hours before serving. Aromas of earth, blackberry, currant, black cherry and hint of smoke. Flavors of iron, earth, blackberry, currant and smoke. Ends with long iron and smoke driven finish of 30+ seconds. I liked this more than some of the other people. They complained it had no structure but I did not share that compliant. I will say that this still needs more time to come together in my opinion. A very solid wine from a less renown vintage. (94 pts.)

2012 Dominus Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley
Opened but not decanted at 3PM. Aromas of currant, blackberry, iron, mineral and cherry. Flavors of cherry, currant, blackberry, iron and earth. Ends with a long, long finish of 40+ seconds with blackberry and iron notes. This is still a baby and could have used a long decant. Tasting this after the Palmer was interesting because it wasn’t all that different in style but just a bigger, better wine. (97 pts.) Other Vintages available

2009 Schrader Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Oakville
I decanted this for 4 hours before serving. Aromas of blackberry, currant, black cherry, plum and touch of iron. Flavors of cherry, currant, blackberry, grape and touch of earth. Ends with a large, long finish of 45+ seconds with blackberry notes. Had this last because it’s huge. It was an interesting evolution of styles, starting with the 04 Palmer, the 12 Dominus then this. I had this neck and neck with the Dominus. Schrader is always reliable to delivery a great wine drinking experience. (97 pts.)

Always a pleasure getting together with this group. Some great wines tonight!


Tasting Notes on 6 Wines from our Winter Wine Club Meeting

Our Winter Wine Club meeting had some very solid wines. The meeting had no theme so everyone could bring whatever they wanted. We also had some delicious food on hand with burgers, a fine selection of cheeses, smoked salmon, homemade chicken cutlets and homemade chocolate chip cookies for desert. Onto the wines!

Photo of the wines for the winter wine club meeting.

  • 2016 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
    Tasted blind. Aromas of stone fruit, peach, lychee and a touch of honeysuckle. Flavors of tangerine, passion fruit and a really nice stony minerality. Ends with a mineral driven finish of 20+ seconds. Second meeting in a row we tasted this wine. Don’t think that has ever happened before. I gave this 91 points and it finished 6th on the night. (91 pts.)
  • 2011 Francois Protheau & Fils Meursault – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    Tasted blind. Aromas of baked brie, honeysuckle and stone fruit. Flavors of mineral, star fruit and a touch of honey. Ends with a mineral and star fruit driven finish of 15-20 seconds. I was worried this might have premox because it was so inexpensive but showed no signs of aging. Was off on my guess though. Thought it was a Godello from Spain. I gave this 90 points and it finished 5th on the night. (90 pts.)
  • 2000 Château de Pez – France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Estèphe
    Tasted blind. Upon tasting this initially I wrote down that it needed more time to open up. Was served too cold as well. When I came back to it, it really paid off. Aromas of cherry, touch of leather, currant and a little bit of funk. Flavors of currant, blackberry, cherry and leather. Got some notes of leather and blackberry of the 25-30 second finish. I gave this 93 points and it finished 2nd on the night. (93 pts.)
  • 2017 Daou Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles
    Tasted blind. Stark contrast from wine #3. Big nose of plum, cherry, blackberry and touch of earth. Flavors of plum, vanilla, cherry and blackberry. Ends with a cherry and plum finish of 20-25 seconds. I guess the Intrinsic Cab from Washington but I was wrong. This is definitely more jammy than the 2015, which has a bit more structure. A big wine for sure. I gave this 91 points and it finished 4th on the night. (91 pts.) 2015 in stock!
  • 2016 Château de Cornemps – France, Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur
    Tasted blind. Aromas of cherry, currant, touch of leather and blackberry. Flavors of currant, blackberry, eucalyptus and a touch of iron. Has a pleasant cherry and mineral driven finish of 25 seconds. I still guessed a Bordeaux on this but it was more youthful for sure than the first one. I gave this 91 points and it finished 3rd on the night. (91 pts.)
  • 2012 Bodegas Alvarez de Toledo Bierzo Senorio de la Antigua Finca Cabanela – Spain, Castilla y León, Bierzo
    Tasted blind. Aromas of currant, blackberry, roasted herb, olive and balsamic. Flavors of cherry, roasted herbs, olive and something like game. Ends with a big finish with cherry and herb notes that lasts about 40 seconds. The shock of the night. I had this pegged for a Chateauneuf-du-pape but I should have known better. The flavor profile didn’t really match. The few Mencia’s I have had were very earthy and I found unpleasant but this was quite good. I gave this 94 points and it was the wine of the night! (94 pts.)

While I was thrilled the Meursault I brought was not flawed and tasted young even, the real shock was the Mencia. Will need to explore this grape a bit more to get a better read on it.

Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of the Year at Oxford Liquor Shoppe!

At the end of every year, Wine Spectator comes out with their Top 100 Wines of the Year. Once the wines are announced, there typically is a mad dash to obtain these wines. The Wine of the Year instantly becomes very hard to find and goes up in value. Some people say it might be a little over-hyped and there are plenty of good wines not on the list but one thing that can’t be denied is the wines on the list are all high quality. The list contains a nice variety of red wine, white wine, sparkling wine and dessert wine as well as a good balance between imported wine and domestic, including selections outside of California. Oxford Liquor Shoppe has done a good job over the years bringing in these wines, most of the time we have them in stock before the list is announced. For the last few years we have been posting what wines we have in stock from the current year’s list as well as wines we may have from a previous years list.

Top 100 Wines of 2018

Le Vieux Donjon 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pap

#8 Le Vieux Donjon 2016 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Price $69.99

Wine Spectator 95 Points

“This offers a blitz of bay leaf and juniper notes out front, followed by a racy and tightly coiled core of red and black currant, damson plum and cherry fruit flavors. Lots of brisk iron and garrigue accents rifle through the finish. Clear, precise and streamlined, this should age wonderfully. Best from 2020 through 2040.”

nv roederer estate brut

#27 NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley Price $23.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“Seamless and silky, showing an almost effortless sense of complexity, with notes of lemon and pear paired with toasty brioche, fresh ginger and hazelnut details. Drink now.”
Bodegas Breca 2015 Garnacha Aragon Old Vines
#29 Bodegas Breca 2015 Garnacha Aragon Old Vines Price $14.99

Wine Spectator 92 Points

“Round, smooth and dense, this red shows harmony and balance. Plum and blackberry flavors mingle with black olive, toast and mineral notes, supported by well-integrated tannins and fresh acidity, leaving a lovely floral finish. Drink now through 2027.”

#40 Cline 2016 Zinfandel Ancient Vines Price $14.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Lively and supple, with floral raspberry and fresh pepper aromas and sleekly appealing cherry and licorice flavors that glide lightly along the finish. Drink now through 2022.”

Hamilton Russell 2017 Chardonnay
#57 Hamilton Russell 2017 Chardonnay Hemel-en-Aarde-Valley Price $33.99
Wine Spectator 93 Points
“Melon, yellow apple, white peach and quince flavors give this an opulent feel, harnessed by honeysuckle and quinine accents through the finish, showing refinement and length in the end. Drink now through 2021.”
joel-gott-2017-sauvignon-blanc
#62 Joel Gott 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Price $13.99
Wine Spectator 90 Points
“Juicy pear, peach and citrus flavors are bright and smooth, with a touch of dried chamomile and lemon verbena lingering on the finish. Impressive for the focus and aromatic detail. Drink now.”
tiefenbrunner-pinot-grigio-2017
#67 Tiefenbrunner 2017 Pinot Grigio Vigneti delle Dolomiti Price $15.99
Wine Spectator 90 Points
“This balanced, light-bodied white offers a lively mix of peach, passion fruit, floral and pink grapefruit zest notes, with tangy acidity and a floral finish. Drink now through 2021.”
Landmark_2016_Overlook_Chardonnay
#78 Landmark 2016 Chardonnay Overlook Sonoma County Price $19.99
Wine Spectator 91 Points
“Well-built and rich, with a solid core of apple pastry, fig and guava flavors that offer a creamy texture. Nutmeg and clove notes show on the spicy finish. Drink now through 2022.”
Past Glories Still Available

Top 100 Wines of 2017

2015 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

#29 2015 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva Price $12.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Dark plum and dried red berry flavors dominate this muscular red, with plenty of minty and savory accents. Medium-grained tannins support chocolate and cream details on the finish. Drink now through 2021.”

Sidebar 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

#32 2015 Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc High Valley Price $19.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Focused and precise, with detailed lemon meringue, orange blossom and lime zest flavors that are intense, fragrant and harmonious on the long, crisp finish. Drink now.”
2014 Spring Valley Federick
#39 2014 Spring Valley Frederick Red Blend Price $64.99
Wine Spectator 94 Points
“Refined and impeccably structured, with floral black cherry and dusty dried spice aromas, and complex plum, olive and mocha flavors that glide toward polished tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Drink now through 2023.”
2016 Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

#40 2016 Matua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Price $10.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Succulent, fleshy peach and nectarine flavors are accented by Key lime, mango and ruby grapefruit notes. Shows nice intensity on the long, expressive finish. Drink now.”
2015 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino

#46 2015 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino Price $19.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Bright, delicate and vibrant, with berry and floral flavors. Accents of earth, tobacco and spice add interest as they linger on the finish. Well-rounded and long. Drink now through 2023.”
2016 mason sauvignon blanc
#57 2016 Mason Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Price $17.99
Wine Spectator 90 Points
“Clean, smooth and crisp, offering a lip-smacking mix of pear, melon and Key lime flavors, with plenty of intensity on the finish. Drink now. 4,900 cases made.”
2015 the Calling Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

#67 2015 The Calling Chardonnay Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Price $34.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Ultra rich and extracted, offering a firm core of pear, apple, melon and spice flavors. A truly impressive effort, with depth and dimension. Drink now through 2022.”

Top 100 Wines of 2016

korbel-brut-organic-grapes

#73 NV Korbel Brut California Organic Grapes Price $14.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Crisp and luscious, this is a winning bubbly for a big party. Aromas of cinnamon, ginger and citrus lead to creamy flavors of pear and blanched almond. Drink now.”
2014-vina-godeval

#75 2014 Bodegas Godeval Vina Godeval Valdeorras Cepas Vellas Price $16.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Pear, peach and quince flavors mingle in this expressive white, while notes of mineral, tangerine and ginger add complexity. Shows depth and focus, with a clean, juicy finish. Drink now.”

Top 100 Wines of 2015

#16 2009 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Port Price $22.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“Dense and rich, with amply spiced flavors of ripe dark plum and cherry compote. Mineral notes emerge midpalate, leading to a lush, chocolate-filled finish. A fresh and engaging style. Drink now.”

#78 2012 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Price $29.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Exhibits ripe and juicy yet firm flavors of currant and blackberry amid a gravelly earthiness before finding focus on the finish, where the tannins are chewy, revealing a licorice touch. Drink now through 2025.”

Top 100 Wines of 2014

#16 2012 Two Hands Shiraz Bella’s Garden Price $79.99

Wine Spectator 95 Points

“Utterly seamless, focused, powerful and elegant, layered with cherry, boysenberry and red plum fruit, revealing glints of coffee, jasmine and cardamom that add extra nuances. Delivers complexity without extra weight. The finish won’t quit. Drink now through 2022.”

Top 100 Wines of 2007


#7 Robert Mondavi 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve Points Price $102.99

Wine Spectator 95 Points

“Weaves together a complex array of ripe, rich currant, anise, smoky oak and black cherry. Dense, concentrated and persistent, with great depth and focus. Ends with an amazingly long, richly flavored finish. Best from 2008 through 2018.”

Top 100 Wines of 2002

#37 Rosemont 1999 Syrah McLaren Vale Balmoral Price $32.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“A bit more aristocratic than most Aussie Shirazes, this one strikes a beautiful chord of rich blackberry and currant fruit, hinting at anise and pepper. Has a fleshy frame, with sweet spicy notes darting in and out through the long, harmonious finish. Drink now through 2010. 10,000 cases made.”

4 Tasting Notes from Our Fall Wine Club Meeting

SEYMOUR WINE CLUB MEETING 11/17/18

The fall meeting proved to be an interesting one for sure. We only had 1 red wine, which is probably a first when no theme is scheduled. The wines all seemed to be very close in quality. We also had some great food with stuffed clams from Stowe’s in West Haven, pheasant marsala, crab cakes and mushroom ravioli with truffle oil.

  • 2016 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Pouilly-Fuissé
    Tasted blind. Aromas of grape, petrol, slate and mineral. Flavors of pear, mineral, slate, star fruit and anise. Ends with a mineral driven finish of 25+ seconds. I had this pegged for a Alsatian Riesling. I’ve seemed to have trouble with identifying Pouilly-Fuisse in previous blind tastings if I remember. I gave this 92 points and it finished 3rd on the night. (92 pts.)
  • NV Charles de Cazanove Champagne Brut Rosé – France, Champagne
    Tasted blind. Aromas of cherry, raspberry, mineral and toast. Flavors of cherry pit and raspberry tart. This didn’t have a wide range of flavors but must admit I have never had such cherry flavor come through in a Rose sparkling wine before. It was quite interesting. Ended with a cherry finish of 20+ seconds. I nailed this one and gave it 91 points. Finished 4th on the night. (91 pts.)
  • 2008 Louis Jadot Meursault – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
    Tasted blind. Aromas of almond, vanilla and a bit of buttered popcorn. Nose was a touch closed down in the beginning. Might have been a little too cold. Flavors of vanilla, slate, apple, mineral and a touch of nut. Ends with a nice 25+ second finish that touched on the primary flavors. I nailed this as a White Burgundy so I was happy with that. Wasn’t over the hill or anything but could taste and see it was aged. An interesting wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2012 Concrete Zinfandel Old Vine – USA, California, Central Valley, Lodi
    Tasted blind. Aromas of blackberry, currant, cherry and earth. Flavors of blackberry, mint, currant and touch of iron. Ends with a 25+ second finish with currant notes. I again was wrong as I had this pegged as a Sonoma Cabernet. Was a bit surprised when it was a Zin, but I have had some trouble with some funkier Zins in the past. Was surprised to see this was 15.5% alcohol because it wasn’t heavy or hot at all. I gave this 92 points and it was the wine of the night. (92 pts.)

5 Great Wines for Thanksgiving Dinner

While Christmas gets all the attention for trees and presents, the Thanksgiving holiday focuses on food. And as you know if there is food, a bottle of wine can’t be far behind. Here are 5 great selections currently in stock at Oxford Liquor Shoppe that will go perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner.

1. Pannier NV Champagne Brut Sélection $29.99

Pannier NV Champagne Brut Selection

Sparkling wines may be the best wine to pair anything with and turkey and gravy are no exception. But this can go anywhere in the meal or even be served first as a aperitif. $30 is basically the price of entry these days for Champagne and this delivers for the money. Some great notes of ginger, lime, slate and shortbread goes with a nice mineral driven finish.

2. De Wetshof 2016 Chardonnay Limestone Hill $16.99

2016 De Wetshof Chardonnay Limestone Hill

Most people shy away from this wine because it is from South Africa but I’d be willing to put this in a blind tasting and most people would think it’s a Chablis. They don’t call it Limestone Hill for nothing. Not a touch of oak is in this and for people who appreciate minerality in wines will love this. Don’t be fooled though, the fruit sings with lime and Fuji apple notes. It’s just more old world than new world.

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“A fresh white, with a quinine edge giving the core of green fig, yellow apple and white peach flavors extra zip through the floral-edged finish. Drink now through 2018.”

3. Weingut Tesch 2015 Laubenheimer Karthäuser Riesling $19.99

Riesling is the perfect wine to match with Turkey. Turkey is not a fatty meat so white wines pair very well with it. Riesling, sweet and dry, both work. The sweet works because the sugar works in the same way cranberry sauce does. The dry works because the turkey is lean so it doesn’t need the tannins of a big red wine to pair with the fat. The Tesch is a dry Riesling that has some great smoke and mineral notes. The acidity on this just washes over your palate, begging you to take another sip.

Wine Advocate 92+ Points

“Subtle, pure and flinty on the nose, the 2015 Laubenheimer Karthäuser Riesling Trocken intertwines ripe, but very precise and fresh white fruit aromas with a spicy flavor. On the palate, this is a very intense but also racy, vital, firm and salty Riesling. It has remarkable elegance and complexity. It is quite powerful and has a very good potential to age. Keep this wine for at least another four years.”

4. Chanson Pere & Fils 2015 Bourgogne $19.99

chanson-pere-fils-le-bourgogne-pinot-noir-burgundy

2015 is a great year in Burgundy. They say in the great years buy the entry level wines and bad years by the top wines. This Bourgogne is entry level but delivers very high quality with textbook notes of cherry and mushroom.

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“This has some density to the cherry, berry, spice and smoke flavors, but remains ripe and charming. Firms up on the finish, where earth and spice notes mingle. Drink now through 2023.”

5. Borgo Scopeto 2015 Chianti Classico $13.99

2015 was also a great year for Chianti and this wine from Borgo Scopeto is an insane value! Heavy enough to please the hardcore red wine drinker but light enough to pair well with the Thanksgiving meal, this Chianti Classico will leave you wanting more! All this for only $14! You will not be disappointed!

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Bright cherry, strawberry, floral and earth aromas and flavors are the hallmarks of this elegant red. Firm and balanced, persistent on the finish. Give this a year to integrate. Drink now through 2028.”

 

Tasting Notes on 6 Wines from our Summer Wine Club Meeting

SEYMOUR WINE CLUB MEETING 8/11/18

Our Summer meeting we decided to do Rose. Figured it would be nice in the Summer weather but we could not have picked a worse day to have the meeting. It was pouring outside. So much for grilling and having the meeting on the deck.

We did not let the weather keep us down though. We tried some interesting Rose’s and had some great food. We started off with a great selection of cheeses I picked up at Bon Appetit in Hamden and had a great shrimp dish in a slightly spicy marinade. We also had a great beef dish called Bulgogi with rice, a potato salad specifically to pair with Rose and a selection of sliced, cured meats. But the real stars of these meetings are the wines.

Picture of the bottles from the Summer Wine Club meeting

  • NV Scharffenberger Brut Rose Excellence – USA, California, North Coast, Mendocino County
    Tasted blind. Nose wasn’t giving up much. All I was really getting was strawberry. The palate made up for it though with flavors of strawberry, raspberry and lime. Ended with a rather short finish and seemed to loose it’s bubbles quite quickly although I did not receive a huge pour. A nice easy drinking wine but just shy on complexity. This wine finished tied for 2nd and I gave it 89 points. (89 pts.) In Stock
  • 2017 Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel – France, Provence, Côtes de Provence
    Tasted blind. Nose was badly corked although it wasn’t showing up on the palate yet. Tried to do the saran wrap thing. Brought the corked nose down a notch but it was still really bad. NR (flawed) In Stock
  • 2017 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel – France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Tavel
    Tasted blind. This was my favorite wine of the night. Had some great aromas of watermelon and strawberry that lead to flavors of watermelon, strawberry and cherry. Ends with a great finish of about 20 seconds with strawberry notes. To me, this wine showed the most complexity on the night and just edged out wine #4 with a slightly better finish. This finished 1st on the night and I gave it 91 points. (91 pts.)
  • NV Roederer Estate Brut Rosé Anderson Valley – USA, California, North Coast, Anderson Valley
    Tasted blind. Aromas of strawberry, mousse, lime and slate. Flavors of strawberry, raspberry and lime. This also had a nice strawberry finish that wasn’t quite as pronounced as wine #3. Bit surprised this was the Roederer because I thought it was French. Guess they have done good replicating their operation in California. This wine finished 5th and I gave it 90 points. (90 pts.) In Stock
  • 2016 Francis Ford Coppola Sofia Rosé – USA, California, Central Coast, Monterey County
    Tasted blind. Got some strawberry on the nose but this was even more shut down than wine #1. Some simple flavors of cherry and strawberry on the palate and ended with a rather short finish. My least favorite wine of the night and my score was probably a little generous. This wine finished tied for 2nd and I gave it 88 points. (88 pts.)
  • 2017 Bieler Père et Fils Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé Sabine – France, Provence, Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
    Tasted blind. Aromas of strawberry, watermelon and cherry on the nice. One of the more fragrant noses on the night. Flavors of strawberry, watermelon and lime. Ends with a decent 15 second finish. This is a nice, easy drinking Summer sipper. This wine finished 4th and I gave it 89 points. (89 pts.) In Stock

Overall another successful meeting. One thing I will say is the wines we had tonight were a lot more similar than different. Lot of the same flavors and aromas with only a few differences here or there. Would be interested to find a Rose that offered more in terms of complexity.

Tasting Notes On 6 Wines From Our Spring Wine Club Meeting

SEYMOUR WINE CLUB MEETING 4/21/18 – Home of the Alapatt’s (4/21/2018)

We had another interesting meeting. For food we had a few different types of breads, a selection of fines cheeses, shrimp cocktail, chicken pot pie and a few other things I can’t remember at this point. The wines were stellar as always but we had a ringer thrown in that really stumped everyone.

  • 2007 Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard – USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
    Tasted blind. Aromas of dried raspberry, dried cherry, spice and pepper. Flavors of boysenberry, raspberry, blueberry and tomato. Ends with a boysenberry and blueberry infused finish of 25-30 seconds. I guessed a Turley Zin and got it. Still had some nice fruit although not as vibrant as these can be in their youth. Kind of surprised this was holding on so well. I gave this 92 points and it finished 3rd on the night. (92 pts.)
  • 2015 Maysara Winery Pinot Noir 3° – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, McMinnville
    Tasted blind. Aromas of mushroom, earth and cherry led to flavors of cherry, mushroom and earth. Ends with a nice finish of about 25 seconds. This improved as the night went on. Nice value for $20. I gave this 90 points and it finished 5th on the night. (90 pts.)
  • NV Tisdale Vineyards Chardonnay – USA, California
    Tasted blind. Aromas of kiwi, grapefruit and lychee led to flavors of lychee, pear and kiwi. Finish lasted 20 seconds and I compared it next to the other white that night, the Chanson, and it had a longer finish. I guessed a Viognier, others guessed Gewurztraminer. Only one person pegged this a Chardonnay. Did not taste anything like one in my opinion. A perplexing wine and would be lying if I said I didn’t like it. Could be one of those wines that after a glass it becomes undrinkable. I gave this 90 points and it came in 2nd on the night! (90 pts.) In Stock
  • 2013 Bocale Montefalco Rosso – Italy, Umbria, Montefalco, Montefalco Rosso
    Tasted blind. Aromas of cherry, earth. Nose was a tad shut down, especially compared to the other wines. Flavors of cherry, earth, touch of tar and a touch of iron. Ends with a 25 second finish of cherry and earth. I gave this 90 points but it came in 6th place on the night.
  • 2006 DuMOL Syrah Jack Robert’s Run – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Tasted blind and decanted for 1 hour. Aromas of cherry, game, raspberry and flowers. Flavors of cherry, raspberry, coffee and earth. Finished last 35 seconds with cherry and game notes. This tasted so young. Never would have guessed it was 12 years old. This, for me, was by far the best wine on the night. I gave it 94 points and it finished 1st. (94 pts.)
  • 2015 Chanson Père & Fils Viré-Clessé – France, Burgundy, Mâconnais, Viré-Clessé
    Tasted blind. Aromas of nut, kiwi and sweet banana. Flavors of pear, nut, lychee. Had a great acidity to it but a shorter finish than all the other wines. I guessed a Godello but was wrong. I gave this 89 points and it finished 4th on the night. (89 pts.) In Stock

 

5 Great Wine from our Winter Wine Club Meeting

This past weekend we had our Winter wine club meeting. It was an open meeting so everyone could bring whatever wine they wanted to bring. The wine was great of course and we also had some delicious food. We had some short ribs cooked in the crock pot, perogies, three different pies from Roseland Pizza and a blueberry pie for dessert. Onto the wines!

The wines of the meeting

The wines below were all tasted blind and are listed in the order tasted.

  • 2007 Shea Wine Cellars Pinot Noir Homer Shea Vineyard – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Tasted Blind. Aromas of dried cherry, mushroom and earth. Flavors of dried cherry, mushroom and dried strawberry. This still had quite a bit of fruit in it and really opened up over 30 minutes. Ends with a beautiful 30+ second finish. I was surprised because of the quality of the vintage overall and the previous 07 Shea’s I have had have been so so. I gave this 93 points and it won wine of the night. (93 pts.)
  • 2011 Pago de Vallegarcía Syrah Vallegarcía – Spain, Castilla-La Mancha, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla
    Tasted blind. This had a lot of matchstick on the nose when it first opened up but slowly wore off. Also had aromas of plum and grapefruit, which was strange. Flavors of plum, cherry and raspberry lead with way. Predominately dark fruits on this. Ends with a 25-30 second finish. I guessed a grenache blend from Chateauneuf du Pape. This wine finished 3rd on the night and I gave it 92 points. (92 pts.)
  • 2012 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel Estate – USA, California, Napa Valley, Calistoga
    Tasted blind. This one was a tad shy on the nose with aromas of cherry and strawberry. Flavors of cherry and mulberry. Did not like this as much as the others on the night although it was not a bad wine. Ends with a 20+ second finish. This wine finished 5th on the night and I gave it 89 points.
    Note: the next day this really improved. More fruit started to come out and could really see the Napa pedigree. Score above reflects night 1 only. (89 pts.) Available
  • 2012 Grgich Hills Chardonnay – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Tasted blind. Aromas of nut, lime and beeswax. Got some flavors of shortbread, lemon and mineral. Ends with a nice 25+ finish. This was very Burgundian and I guessed White Burgundy. I have had Grgich Chardonnay before and have never been impressed but this was pretty nice. I gave this 92 points and this finished 4th on the night (92 pts.) Available
  • 2014 Joseph Phelps Chardonnay Freestone Vineyards Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Tasted blind. This had some great stone fruit, slate and mineral on the palate. Flavors of sour apple, bread dough and some subtle tropical fruit. Ends with a 30 second finish. As this got warmer it got fuller and better. As Grgich got warmer, it wasn’t as good. I gave this wine 93 points and it finished 2nd on the night. (93 pts.) In Stock

 

Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2017 at Oxford Liquor Shoppe

At the end of every year, Wine Spectator comes out with their Top 100 Wines of the Year. Once the wines are announced, there typically is a mad dash to obtain these wines. The Wine of the Year instantly becomes very hard to find and goes up in value. Some people say it might be a little over-hyped and there are plenty of good wines not on the list but one thing that can’t be denied is the wines on the list are all high quality.  The list contains a nice variety of red wine, white wine, sparkling wine and dessert wine as well as a good balance between imported wine and domestic, including selections outside of California. Oxford Liquor Shoppe has done a good job over the years bringing in these wines, most of the time we have them in stock before the list is announced.  For the last few years we have been posting what wines we have in stock from the current year’s list as well as wines we may have from a previous years list.

Top 100 Wines of 2017

nv roederer estate brut

#25 NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley Price $23.99

Wine Spectator 92 Points

“A voluptuous and expressive sparkler, with floral red apple, brioche and cinnamon spice aromas and rich, vibrant flavors that finish on a luxurious note. Drink now through 2018. 80,000 cases made.”
2015 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva

#29 2015 Santa Ema Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva $16.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Dark plum and dried red berry flavors dominate this muscular red, with plenty of minty and savory accents. Medium-grained tannins support chocolate and cream details on the finish. Drink now through 2021.”

Sidebar 2015 Sauvignon Blanc

#32 2015 Sidebar Sauvignon Blanc High Valley Price $19.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Focused and precise, with detailed lemon meringue, orange blossom and lime zest flavors that are intense, fragrant and harmonious on the long, crisp finish. Drink now.”
2014 Spring Valley Federick
#39 2014 Spring Valley Frederick Red Blend Price $64.99
Wine Spectator 94 Points
“Refined and impeccably structured, with floral black cherry and dusty dried spice aromas, and complex plum, olive and mocha flavors that glide toward polished tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Drink now through 2023.”
2016 Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

#40 2016 Matua Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough $10.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Succulent, fleshy peach and nectarine flavors are accented by Key lime, mango and ruby grapefruit notes. Shows nice intensity on the long, expressive finish. Drink now.”
2015 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino

#46 2015 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino Price $19.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Bright, delicate and vibrant, with berry and floral flavors. Accents of earth, tobacco and spice add interest as they linger on the finish. Well-rounded and long. Drink now through 2023.”
2016 mason sauvignon blanc
#57 2016 Mason Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley Price $17.99
Wine Spectator 90 Points
“Clean, smooth and crisp, offering a lip-smacking mix of pear, melon and Key lime flavors, with plenty of intensity on the finish. Drink now. 4,900 cases made.”
2015 the Calling Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

#67 2015 The Calling Chardonnay Russian River Valley Dutton Ranch Price $34.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Ultra rich and extracted, offering a firm core of pear, apple, melon and spice flavors. A truly impressive effort, with depth and dimension. Drink now through 2022.”
Past Glories Still Available

Top 100 Wines of 2016

2014-vina-montes-cabernet-sauvignon

#42 2014 Vina Montes Cabernet Sauvignon Colchagua Valley Classic Series Price $9.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“There’s minerally freshness to the ripe dark plum, blackberry and cherry flavors, with peppery hints. Well-structured and crisp midpalate, featuring Asian spice and black fig notes on the finish. Drink now through 2020.”
2013 kung fu girl

#45 2015 Charles Smith Riesling Kung Fu Girl Price $12.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Tangy and zingy, with lively acidity that balances against gobs of ripe pear and apricot flavors, carrying through the long, lime-accented finish. Drink now through 2020.”

2014-ravines-riesling-dry

#70 2014 Ravines Riesling Finger Lakes Dry Price $16.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“A taut, dry style, with pure lime, kiwifruit and pippin apple flavors backed by a slate note that gives the finish good tension and length. Very solid. Drink now through 2017. 5,475 cases made.”
korbel-brut-organic-grapes

#73 NV Korbel Brut California Organic Grapes Price $14.99

Wine Spectator 90 Points

“Crisp and luscious, this is a winning bubbly for a big party. Aromas of cinnamon, ginger and citrus lead to creamy flavors of pear and blanched almond. Drink now.”
 2014-vina-godeval

#75 2014 Bodegas Godeval Vina Godeval Valdeorras Cepas Vellas Price $16.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Pear, peach and quince flavors mingle in this expressive white, while notes of mineral, tangerine and ginger add complexity. Shows depth and focus, with a clean, juicy finish. Drink now.”

Top 100 Wines of 2015

#16 2009 Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Port Price $22.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“Dense and rich, with amply spiced flavors of ripe dark plum and cherry compote. Mineral notes emerge midpalate, leading to a lush, chocolate-filled finish. A fresh and engaging style. Drink now.”

#21 2014 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Price $29.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“Stylish and generous, exhibiting a complex array of flavors, from white grapefruit and lemon curd to candied ginger, lemon verbena, honeysuckle and lime zest. Achieves elegance, power and refreshment in lovely harmony. Drink now.”

#35 2013 Rombauer Chardonnay Carneros Price $38.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“A creamy-textured, charming style that’s easy to drink yet is deceptively complex and layered, with a mix of vanilla-scented oak and vibrant peach, nectarine, honeydew and apricot flavors. Long on the finish. Drink now.”

#78 2012 Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Price $29.99

Wine Spectator 91 Points

“Exhibits ripe and juicy yet firm flavors of currant and blackberry amid a gravelly earthiness before finding focus on the finish, where the tannins are chewy, revealing a licorice touch. Drink now through 2025.”

Top 100 Wines of 2014

#16 2012 Two Hands Shiraz Bella’s Garden Price $79.99

Wine Spectator 95 Points

“Utterly seamless, focused, powerful and elegant, layered with cherry, boysenberry and red plum fruit, revealing glints of coffee, jasmine and cardamom that add extra nuances. Delivers complexity without extra weight. The finish won’t quit. Drink now through 2022.”

Top 100 Wines of 2007


#7 Robert Mondavi 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve Points Price $102.99

Wine Spectator 95 Points

“Weaves together a complex array of ripe, rich currant, anise, smoky oak and black cherry. Dense, concentrated and persistent, with great depth and focus. Ends with an amazingly long, richly flavored finish. Best from 2008 through 2018.”

Top 100 Wines of 2002

#37 Rosemont 1999 Syrah McLaren Vale Balmoral Price $32.99

Wine Spectator 93 Points

“A bit more aristocratic than most Aussie Shirazes, this one strikes a beautiful chord of rich blackberry and currant fruit, hinting at anise and pepper. Has a fleshy frame, with sweet spicy notes darting in and out through the long, harmonious finish. Drink now through 2010. 10,000 cases made.”

7 Great Wines from our Wine Club Meeting

Our Fall wine club had some great wines and delicious food. There was no theme so people could bring whatever wine they wanted. For food, we had stuffed breads (eggplant and pepperoni) smoked salmon that was caught in Alaska by one of our members, shrimp scampi, some breads and cheeses and blueberry pie for dessert. Overall it was a really fun meeting. Quite the diversity in wines but they were all quite good!

  • 2015 Hartford / Hartford Court Zinfandel Old Vine – USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
    Tasted Blind. Aromas of huckleberry, raspberry, pepper and licorice. Flavors of raspberry, blueberry and wild cherry. Upon first tasting this it was still a tad tight but when I re-tasted 30-45 minutes later it had really opened up so I raised my score. Ended with a great 25-30 second finish. This really packs a lot of flavor in there without any heat. My wine of the night and the Group’s #2. (94 pts.)
  • 2011 Ponzi Vineyards Chardonnay Reserve – USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
    Tasted blind. This nose was really closed down upon my initial tasting. Believe it was served too cold. Once it warmed up it started to show aromas of mineral, lime and flowers. Had flavors of graham cracker. Touch of oak on there was quite nice. Had this pegged for a White Burgundy. I had this tied for 3rd and it was the group’s 5th wine of the night. (92 pts.) In stock!
  • 2015 Dark Horse Wines Chardonnay The Original Dark Horse – USA, California
    Tasted blind. Aromas of kumquat, mineral and tropical fruit. Flavors of tropical fruit, lime and slate. Had a nice finish of 25 seconds. I had this pegged as a Viognier because it was cold and that’s what it really tasted like. Certainly not a Chardonnay. I had this tied for 3rd and it was the group’s 4th favorite of the night. I tasted this after the big reveal when it had some time to warm up and it changed quite a bit. Definitely not a Viognier at that point and would have dropped my score. So the secret here is to keep it really cold and this can be a really nice, inexpensive wine. (92 pts.) In stock!
  • 2014 Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon – USA, California, Napa Valley
    Tasted blind. This has some big aromas of blackberry, plum and current. Got flavors of blackberry, currant, cherry, touch of earth and a touch of green pepper. Ends with a nice 30+ second finish. This is a big wine in the style of Caymus but leaves a little to be desired in structure. Still, for those that like the style this is considerably cheaper than Caymus and in the same ballpark. I guessed a Malbec because of the big fruit on this. This was my 2nd favorite wine of the night and the Group’s wine of the night. (93 pts.) Available
  • 2010 Cantina Terre Del Barolo Barbaresco – Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Tasted blind. Aromas of rosewood, tar and flowers with more tar, cherry and earth on the palate. I guessed Chianti because I did not get big overwhelming tannins on this so figured it could not be Nebbiolo but I was wrong. Ended with a 25+ second finish. I did enjoy this wine but the group rated it 6th on the night. (91 pts.)
  • 2015 Cherry Pie (Hundred Acre) Pinot Noir – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
    Tasted blind. Aromas of mushroom, leaves and toast. Flavors of cherry, mushroom, strawberry. Lots of cherry on this. Big wine but not incredibly complex. Finish last about 25 seconds. I had this pegged for a Oregon Pinot Noir because of the earthiness but was shocked to see the Cherry Pie. This has always been a good value. I had this in 6th and it was the group’s 3rd wine. (90 pts.) Available
  • 2000 Di Meo Fiano di Avellino Selezione Erminia – Italy, Campania, Fiano di Avellino DOCG
    Tasted blind. Aromas of mint, mineral and crushed rock. Flavors of mineral, stone and a touch of slate. Ends with a 20 second finish. Certainly a unique wine but certainly not the 95 points Wine Advocate gave it. I had this tied for 6th and the group had it tied for 5th. (90 pts.)