Wine Spectators 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 increases 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 wines.  Oxford Liquor Shoppe has done a good job over the years bringing in these wines, most of the time we have these in stock before the list is announced.  This year we thought it might be a good idea to let our customers know what we have in stock in case they are seeking them out.

#90 Bodega Norton 2007 Malbec Mendoza Reserva Score 90 Points Price $16.99

“Very ripe and very primal still, delivering a large core of velvety-textured raspberry, fig and boysenberry fruit that is liberally laced with dark toast, pastis and roasted vanilla. Should settle in nicely with modest cellaring, as the structure is dense, but polished and integrated. Drink now through 2011. 61,000 cases imported.”

#87 Veramonte 2008 Pinot Noir Casablanca Valley Ritual Score 90 Points Price $16.99

“This is mouthfilling, but stylish and focused, offering lush cherry and raspberry fruit that’s layered with additional spice and sweet tobacco notes. Nicely integrated toast frames the finish. Drink now. 9,000 cases made.”

#80 Vina Nora 2008 Rias Baixas Score 90 Points Price$16.99

“Firm, even chiseled, this flinty white delivers focused mineral, almond, pear and kumquat flavors. There’s enough weight for food, but a light spritz keeps this lively. Albariño. Drink now through 2011. 5,000 cases imported.”

#77 Peter Lehmann 2007 Clancy’s Barossa Score 90 Points Price $14.99

“There’s a nice transparency to the dark berry, licorice, smoke and herb flavors, playing out over a medium-weight frame and lingering well. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2013. 8,000 cases imported.”

#63 D’Arenberg 2008 The Stump Jump Red Blend South Australia Score 90 Points Price $9.99

“Light in texture and fragrant with floral, berry and beet aromas, this plays its fresh flavors against refined tannins, lingering effortlessly. Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2013. 5,000 cases imported”

#57 St.-Urbans-Hof 2009 Riesling Kabinett Mosel Ockfen Bockstein Score 92 Points Price $19.99

“Offers enticing peach, apricot, lime, and slate aromas and flavors, with a touch of vanilla cream. Creamy, yet bright and pure, with persistence and a complex finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,800 cases made.”

#47 Castello d’Albola 2007 Chianti Classico Score 90 Points Price $13.99

“This is what Chianti should taste like, with plenty of dark cherry and floral aromas and flavors that say Sangiovese. Fresh and fruity. Drink now. 50,000 cases made.


#18 Hall 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Score 94 Points Price $39.99

“A rich, dense, concentrated style, this is full-bodied, focused and pure, with hints of mocha and black licorice rounding out the core currant, plum and black cherry flavors. Focused and persistent, with a long finish. Drink now through 2017. 18,500 cases made.”

Past Glories

Top 100 of 2009


#28 Brancott 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Score 92 Points Price $17.99

“This is crisp, offering a lively mouthful of peach-accented grapefruit and mineral flavors, all hanging on effortlessly through the long, graceful finish. Drink now. 15,000 cases imported.”

#35 Viticcio 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva Score 93 Points Price $25.99

“Fabulous aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate and flowers follow through to a full-bodied palate, with supersilky tannins and amazing richness and subtlety. Goes on for minutes on the palate. Best from 2010 through 2015. 2,345 cases made.”

#55 Trimbach 2007 Riesling Alcase Score 91 Points Price $16.99

“This subtle Riesling offers a finely woven mix of white peach and crushed pine needle flavors, with hints of brine and smoke. There’s racy acidity, but it’s well-meshed, and a mineral note lingers on the delicate finish. Drink now through 2015. 12,000 cases imported.”

#61 Monte Antico 2006 Sangiovese-Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Toscana Score 90 Points Price $11.99

“Bright plum, dried cherry and flowers on the nose. Full-bodied, with fine tannins and refined berry ad cherry flavors. Drink now. 80,000 cases made.”

#71 Bodegas Bilbainas 2006 Tempranillo Rioja Vina Zaco Score 90 Points Price $13.99

“Black cherry and blackberry flavors are framed by smoky chocolate oak in this modern red, which is taut and focused, with firm tannins and bright acidity. Drink now through 2012. 10,000 cases imported.”

#75  M. Chapoutier 2008 Cotes du Roussillon-Villages Les Vignes De Bila-Haut Score 90 Points Price $14.99

“This muscular red shows concentrated flavors of dark cherry, plum, raspberry tart and grilled fig. The dense finish of dark chocolate is firm and focused, with smoky notes. Best from 2010 through 2014. 15,000 cases made.”

#82 D’Arenberg 2008 The Stump Jump Shiraz McLaren Vale Score 90 Points Price $9.99

“Ripe and open-textured, this is impressive for the way it packs in the cherry, blackberry and raspberry flavors and keeps its foot on the gas pedal through the mineral-inflected finish. Drink now through 2018. 5,000 cases imported.”

#83 Bodegas Juan Gil 2006 Jumilla Score 90 Points Price $16.99

“This polished red shows black cherry, licorice, mineral and tobacco notes, harmonious and deep, supported by firm tannins. Medium-bodied, well-integrated and stylish. Drink now through 2012. 5,000 cases made.”

#84 Chateau Malmaison 2006 Moulis Score 90 Points Price $20.99

“Blackberry and raspberry jam aromas follow through to a full body, with very soft tannins and pretty berry and currant character. This is seamless and well done for the vintage. Best after 2012. 8,330 cases made.”

Top 100 Wines of 2008


#40 Kim Crawford 2008 Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Score 91 Points Price $17.99

“Fragrant and complex, with a refreshing burst of lime, guava, grapefruit and grass flavors. Wet stone, passion fruit and oyster shell accents add interest, with bright acidity highlighting the vivid finish. Another outstanding Sauvignon from a perennial success. Drink now. 175,000 cases made”

#65 Bodegas Muga 2004 Rioja Reserva Score 91 Points Price $39.99

“Focused and balanced, this vivacious red delivers black cherry, mineral, mint and citrus peel flavors, with firm but well-integrated tannins and a fresh, floral finish. Drink now through 2012. 4,000 cases imported.”

#52 Bodegas Lan 2004 Rioja Reserva Score 90 Points Price $16.99

“A silky texture carries expressive flavors of black plum, violet, licorice and smoke in this focused, balanced red. Has good intensity yet remains vibrant and accessible. Drink now through 2012. 50,000 cases made.”

#83 Two Hands 2007 Angel’s Share Score 92 Points Price $29.99

“Big, bold and expressive, with some unexpected transparency to the black cherry, raspberry, red plum and Asian spice aromas and flavors, lingering on the open-textured finish. The aftertaste just keeps coming. Drink now through 2015. 6,300 cases made.”

Top 100 Wines of 2007


#7 Robert Mondavi 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve Score 95 Points Price $102.99

“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.”

#60 Rosemount 2003 GSM McLaren Vale Score 91 Points Price $24.99

“Bright, focused and impressively long and detailed. Offers blueberry, cream and subtle spice aromas and flavors on a frame that’s fleshed out with fine tannins, which let the finish open up gracefully. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2008 through 2013. 6,000 cases imported.”

Top 100 Wines of 2006


#24 Vina Almaviva 2003 Puente Alto Score 95 Points Price $83.99

“Very dense, with loads of raspberry ganache, black currant and fig fruit layered with loam, tobacco, mineral and cedar notes. Lots of grip on the finish, with impressive balance between the tannins, acidity and oak. Built like a Pauillac. Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2007 through 2015. 10,000 cases made.”

Notes on 4 Wines from a Weekend Dinner

Over the weekend I got together with some friends who I see ever once in a while to drink some wine and have dinner. It’s nice to shoot the breeze for a few hours, relax, and talk about old times. I usually bring a bottle or two and I have another friend that works in a restaurant that brings a bottle or two depending on the situation. This time we started off with a little bread and oil, Italian sausage, and manchego cheese.  I had opened up a bottle of wine two days before and I had a little left over so I figured we can finish that off to start things.

2008 Grayson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 10

Dave brought this into the store about a year ago and we have since moved onto the 2009 vintage but this was my last remaining bottle of the 2008. Robert Parker called this one of the best values from California and gave it 89 points. This was very nice the first day I tried it, didn’t lose anything on the second day I tried it, and was stilling going strong on day three. The wine has a medium body and very soft tannins but packs a lot of flavor. I got a lot of raspberry, vanilla and dark fruits from this. I have had $25 bottles that have died the next day so it really is impressive to me that this was still going strong.  Unbelievable value for $10! I gave it 89 points.

2009 In Stock

2005 Kosta Browne Sonoma Coast

I wanted to share something special with my friends so I grabbed a bottle of my favorite Pinot Noir producer, Kosta Browne. I was looking through the drinking windows and I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss them on these. The 2005’s are drinking great now so drink up! The first time I went to Napa we took a day trip to San Fransisco. While there, we visited Alcatraz but we also stopped into this wine shop a friend recommended, California Wine Merchant. It was there I purchased my first bottle of Kosta Browne, a 2005 Sonoma Coast. I bought more after that but this bottle always held a special place with me because it really opened my eyes to California Pinot Noir. This 2005 wasn’t was fresh as it was a year or two ago but it was still very good. A lighter body, it had a wonderful nose of dried cherry, cinnamon, and cola. Th palate was equally impressive with some licorice, sour cherry and other red fruits. Has a fantastic 25-30 second finish as well. I definitely prefer these younger but I have to say that they also do age. I gave it 92 points.

Limited availablity in Connecticut.

2004 Scuola Toscano IGT

My friend brought this bottle and to be honest I really don’t know that much about it. I tried to look it up online and there isn’t too much information out there on it. From what I can get, it’s a Sangiovese blend, although I’m unsure how many grapes it is blended with. One I think is Merlot. Regardless, we let this decant while we were drinking the Kosta Browne. It had a little funkiness on the nose when we first poured it but it blew off after a few minutes. This had a very earthly taste with a touch of cherry and blackberry. It wasn’t bad but at this point we had moved onto the rib eyes my friend grilled and I don’t think this held up to the meat like a Cabernet would. I gave this 87 points.

Available – inquire

2009 Nik Weis Selection Urban Riesling QbA Mosel

We tried this in the store on Saturday and I decided to pick up a bottle myself. Dave was saying supposedly the producer is somehow connected to St. Urbans-of, the producer of some great value Riesling over the last few years. The bottle even kind of resembles one of theirs. This is simply fantastic for the money! Has a great apple flavor with hints of minerality and melon.You can’t find anything at this price point and quality level outside of Germany, Alsace or maybe the Finger Lakes. This was a nice way to end the day and I gave this 90 points.

 

In Stock $9.99

In Store Tasting 11/20: 2009 Nik Weis Urban Riesling

Today, in preparation for Thanksgiving, we are tasting the 2009 Nik. Weis Selection Urban Riesling. We just got this in but they have been around for several years and reviewed by Wine Spectator. This vintage got 89 points and you can see why. It has nice aromas of stone, apple and pear to go with flavors of apple, cream and a mineral driven finish. A steal for the money and gives Dave’s Dr. L a run for it’s money!

In Stock $9.99

6 South American Wines from our Wine Club Meeting

As I have mentioned in the past, Dave and I belong to a wine club that meets four times a year. These meetings typically happen during each season and sometimes revolve around a theme. We usually meet at someone’s house but lately we have been finding some nice BYOB restaurants to go to.  The Fall meeting we decided to have at Anna Donte’s in Naugatuck, CT. and the theme was the wines of South America. I have been to Anna Donte’s a few times now. It’s not anything fancy but the food is homemade, the ravioli is amazing, and best of all its BYOB.  They don’t have a liquor license so all they charge is $1 per glass but we brought our black tasting glasses so we didn’t have to pay anything.  Turns out the black glasses were a waste since everyone brought red wine to the meeting. We serve everything blind, score the wines and unveil at the end. Onto the wines!

The first wine was very tight upon tasting but you could just tell it was a big wine with a lot of structure. I got some nice earth and cherry aromas that went along with cherry, earth and mint flavors. Very Bordeaux like with a long finish. I marked this down for a retaste and when I tried it again it had really opened up into a very nice wine. I had guessed it was a Clos Apalta and gave it 94 points. I thought I came pretty close since Michel Rolland is involved with both.

2007 Cuvelier Los Andes Coleccion (Ranked #1 Wine of the Night)  [2005 Vintage in Stock]

The second wine I kind of got a glimpse that it was the wine I had brought. This, like the first wine, was very tight and needed more time to open up. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with this wine as the other times I have had it. It had a very green nose with some earth and it had a nice cherry flavor with a long finish.  I suspect next time I open one of these I will need to give it a very long decant. The other times I have had it the wine had a lot of nice upfront fruit that was a tad sweeter and very silky. I expected a better showing but still gave it 90 points.

2007 Colome Malbec Estate (Ranked #4 overall)

Wine number three was yet another very nice wine but different from the first two. This didn’t have the tight tannins that the first two had. Again it had similar cherry and earth aroma. This wasn’t as complex as the first or second wine but had some nice flavors of cherry, licorice and red fruits.I gave it 89 points.

2008 Trapiche Malbec Mendoza Broquel (Ranked #5 overall)

The next wine again tasted very familiar but wasn’t tight like the first two wines. It was more integrated and smooth. I got more black fruit on the nose of this wine and again some earth. It revealed flavors of plum, black fruits and licorice. I was kind of impressed with this once it was revealed because it tasted more youthful to me. I gave it 90 points.

2002 Bodegas Catena Zapata Malbec Mendoza Alta (Ranked # 3 overall) [In Stock]

The fifth wine of the night was more like the fourth wine than the first three. This had smooth tannins and was well-balanced with a decent finish. A nice nose of black licorice and cherry, this had a lighter body with lots of red fruits plus a decent finish. I was a little surprised when the bag came off on this one that I didn’t rate it higher although my colleagues liked it and it was the second highest rated wine of the night. I rated it 89 points.

2003 Vina Almaviva Puente Alto (Ranked #2 overall) [In Stock]

The last wine we tried Dave brought along just to make things interesting. The wine was given to him by one of his customers and it’s a homemade wine with grapes from Chile. Surprisingly, the wine wasn’t half bad. It had a weird nose of butterscotch that was a little off-putting but it revealed some decent fruit flavors, although not complex. Most importantly it didn’t have high alcohol which a lot of these homemade wines are just too strong to drink in my opinion. The alcohol overwhelms the wine. This didn’t have that so I could appreciate it. I gave this 82 points

Homemade Wine (Ranked #6 overall)

Overall a very nice meeting and until next time!

2 Wines From a Weekend Dinner

My father-in-law moved into a new house over the Summer. He actually had a housewarming party which I posted notes on but I promised him I would bring over something nice when it was a more intimate setting.  This past weekend he had the family over for beef stew so I decided to break out that special bottle. Back in May when we went to Napa, we got the chance to visit Alpha Omega.  I came away very impressed. They had both red and whites that were great but the highlight were their ERA wines, the flagship bottling. The 2006 was a very nice wine and the 2008 barrel sample we tasted was special.  I decided to bring over a bottle of the 2006.  It needed to decant so while we were waiting for that, we cracked open something else.

My father-in-law broke out a 2007 Joel Gott Cabernet Sauvignon 815.  This actually brought back two things for me. First, he brought this same  Joel Gott to a wine club meeting a while back and it was the surprise of the meeting. Everyone came away impressed and it was the second highest rated wine of the night. The second thing was this reminded me of Napa much like the Alpha Omega did. You see Joel Gott owns Taylor’s Refreshers which is now known as Gott’s Roadside Burgers. The name changed but the burgers didn’t. These are some of the best burgers I have ever had! Plus what Burger joint can you go to and order a burger with a glass of wine? Anyway, Gott also puts out his own wine. I also hear the Zinfandel is pretty good.  The Cab wasn’t as good as the first time I had it but it was still a decent wine no less. It had some nice plum and raspberry flavors but it also had these strong earthy flavors this time that was a little too much compared to last time. Perhaps some bottle variation?  Anyhow, I gave it 87 points.  I believe the 2008 vintage is available if anyone would like to order it.

Now onto the main course! The Era was still a little tight when I first poured it but it slowly opened up while in the glass. It had a nice nose of vanilla, current, and black cherry. The palate revealed a complex wine with blackberry, coffee, and black cherry flavors. This really coated the mouth and had a very nice 30 second finish.  A very well made wine with an understated elegance that I think has many good years ahead of it. I gave it 94 points! I also checked my notes and I liked this a little more in Napa, giving it 95 points. This wine is available if anyone is wishes to purchase it.

After the Era, we wrapped things up with dessert and we had a 2003 Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Port. Certainly a nice way to end the evening.

In Store Tasting 11/6: 2008 Ventisquero Carmenere Reserva

Today we are trying the other lost Bordeax varital, Carmenere.  Argentina has done wonderful things with Malbec and Chile is starting to find it’s niche with Carmenere. It first was mistaken for Merlot because it is so similar but it was discovered it was actually Carmenere.  Today it is pretty rare even in Bordeaux. The Ventisquero has some nice cherry and earthy aromas to go with some nice flavors of cherry, licorice and dusty berry. Great quality for the money!

In Stock $11.99

Some Great Turkey Wines for the Upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday

The holidays are coming with Thanksgiving up first.  The traditional meal on the holiday is turkey of course. Since it is still a few weeks away, I thought it might be a good idea to post a few wines we have in stock that will go great with turkey. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we do carry other wines that will go with the meal but I just wanted to throw out there the three most common that happen to be favorites of mine.

Riesling

Riesling is a very versatile wine. It can either come dry, semi dry, sweet and you can even have it as dessert. Turkey can complement either style. The acidity in the dry wines can bring out the flavors of the meal or the sweet ones can complement them the same way cranberry sauce does. Here are a few we have in stock and I like personally.

2009 Dr. Loosen “Dr. L” Riesling $10.99

This wine falls on the sweet side and there may not be a better deal on the planet! The 2008 was on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2009 and I think the 2009 is just as good. This has some great fruit but a nice acidity as well. From Germany.

Wine Spectator 88 Points – “There’s a snappy acidity to the peach, apple and Bosc pear flavors in this white, which offers plenty of freshness on the finish, with hints of glazed citrus. Drink now through 2014.”

2007 Trimbach Riesling Alsace $16.99

This is a dry style Riesling from France that also made Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2009.  This has the nice acidity I mentioned above but also some nice fruit flavors that won’t overpower the food. If you prefer a tad more elegance in your Riesling then the Trimbach is the way to go.

Wine Spectator 91 Points – “This subtle Riesling offers a finely woven mix of white peach and crushed pine needle flavors, with hints of brine and smoke. There’s racy acidity, but it’s well-meshed, and a mineral note lingers on the delicate finish. Drink now through 2015.”

Wine Advocate 88 Points – “The Trimbach 2007 Riesling – from purchased fruit – boasts unusually high (7.9 grams) acidity that translates into positive brightness of lemon and pineapple, and finishes with invigorating and lasting suggestions of citrus rind bittersweetness, tingling pineapple, and chalk dust..”

Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube 2007 Riesling Kabinett $24.99

This is a little more expensive but the nice thing about Riesling is that for a small jump in price you can find a bigger jump in quality. Not as sweet as the Dr. L but more structured and the flavors sweep over your palate revealing little nuances and complexities. Also from Germany. A joy to drink.

Wine Spectator 92 Points – “Intense mineral and spice notes mark this snappy Riesling, which shows fine clarity and detail, with peach and lime adding interest. Has fine harmony, with a lingering finish. Drink now through 2022.”

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is an easy choice for Thanksgiving and work like the dry Rieslings with the acidity.  Your choice for the meal depends on personal preference as both oaked and unoaked will go nicely.  I am an oak man myself but the acidity in a nice Chablis can be very refreshing. Here are some favorites of mine.

2007 Clos du Bois Russian River Valley Chardonnay $14.99

I have mentioned this wine on the blog before but I really think I need to mention it again. It’s not very often you find a high quality Russian River Valley Chardonnay for only $15. This is my preferred style of Chardonnay, with nice tropical fruit flavors mixed in with some toasty oak.  We tasted this wine blind at our wine club meeting last Summer and it came in first place. Although I did prefer another wine to this one, it was beating out wines two to three times its price. I haven’t found a lot of reviews on this but once the tasting results were unveiled, Dave made sure he got some extra bottles of this.

2007 William Fevre Chablis Champs Royaux $19.99

Dave is a big William Fevre fan and he actually carries a few of their wines in the store.  This particular bottle is their entry-level offering. Very different from the Chardonnay from California above, in Chablis you get no oak so it brings out a more citrus side to Chardonnay as well as a stony minerality you find in some Rieslings. Crisp when young but the best can age as well.

Wine Spectator 88 Points – “Apple, melon and mineral notes mingle in this vibrant, balanced white, which lingers with a Granny Smith flavor and a mouthwatering impression. Drink now through 2012.”

Wine Advocate 88 Points – “A cuvee featured especially in the U.S., coming from purchased fruit and numerous villages, the Fevre 2007 Chablis Champ Royaux showcases luscious, bright lemon and grapefruit in a lively interchange with salt and wet stone. A subtly fusil, smoky aura hangs over this, along with high-toned herbal essences; and oiliness of texture enhances a sense of underlying richness for all of the wine’s brightness. This should drink well for a couple of years.”

2008 Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay $35.99

The Cakebread is similar in style to the Clos du Bois but you get some richer and more complex flavors in it.  The oak is dialed back a bit in this and it has more citrus flavors. If you want to splurge a little more for the holiday then roll with the Cakebread.

Pinot Noir

If you want a red wine for Thanksgiving the most obvious choice is Pinot Noir. It stands up very well to lighter meats like turkey and chicken because it doesn’t need the heavy tannin a Cabernet Sauvignon has to cut through a fatty piece of meat. I have found it difficult to find a nice Pinot Noir that I like for under $25 but I actually have found one recently that is great for the money.

2009 Red Tree Pinot Noir $7.99

James Laube spoke about this wine in his blog last year and I was intrigued. It comes from Lodi and they use oak chips to age the wine instead of oak barrels.  When I heard oak chips I was about to write it off but I really respect’s Laube opinion when it comes to Pinot Noir so I figured I would give it a try if I had the chance.  The 2008 that he was taking about in the article was not sold in Connecticut.  My wife and I had a Christmas party and one of the guests from Boston brought this wine.  I tried it and could not believe the quality, especially for the price.  Connecticut has since started carrying it although they have the 2009 but I have to tell you that I do not taste a difference between the two vintages.  If your new to Pinot Noir, this is an inexpensive starting point and if you’re having a party pick some up.  You won’t be disappointed.

Wine Spectator 88 Points (Review for the 2008) – “Offers baked cherry pie, with rhubarb and blueberry, showing a wonderful fruit profile that’s spicy, elegant and easy to drink. Great balance. Drink now.”

2007 Johanneshof Reinisch Pinot Noir vom Syeinfeld $15.99

I tried this when we first got it into the store and really liked it. Then I brought a bottle home one night and did not think it was as good.  I was able to have it again at a wine club meeting over the Summer and I was a fan again.  I figured out the key to this wine was it needed a good amount of air. At the store, I’ll sample the wine on Saturday every hour to see how it evolves.  The night I brought it home we opened it and drank it pretty quickly. At the meeting it got plenty of air before we even tried it. The style is closer to Burgundy than anything out of California, with plenty of earthy flavors at the forefront and some red fruits in the background. More subtle and graceful. Great with food!

2004 Macrostie Pinot Noir Wildcat Mountain $44.99

The Redtree is a nice entry-level bottling, the Johanneshof Reinisch is more of a classic style Pinot and the Macrostie is your big jammy California Pinot Noir. This was tight when we first got it in at the store but has had a few years in the bottle to settle down and now it’s open for business. I still recommend decanting this one but once it’s ready it has a nice raspberry nose with flavors of cherry cola and dried berry. It also has some well-integrated oak as well with a decent finish. A bottle to splurge on for the holiday.

Wine Spectator 89 Points – “A rich, savory style, with cola, fresh earth, herb and dried berry flavors. Picks up a leathery oak character on the finish. Tight and firm. Drink now through 2011. 595 cases made.”