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Staff Favorites - James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw

Reviews

2017 Domaine du Vissoux (Pierre-Marie Chermette) Moulin-à-Vent "Les Trois Roches"
Review Date: 09-10-2019
Chermette is a name you'll want to put on your radar if you haven't already. I tasted this charming 2017 blind and was immediately taken by its compelling, aromatic, and fruit-forward approach. In many ways, it is reminiscent of a top-tier Southern Rhône red with its floral tones and earthy undercurrent. However, on the palate, and especially upon opening up, it is 100% Moulin-à-Vent. This 2017 has a sultry and seductive approach that makes it infinitely drinkable. This is an amazing wine in its youth, but there's little doubt it will only gain in complexity in the coming years. Add this gem to your collection and enjoy it again and again over the next ten years.

2017 BOLD Wine Co. Monterey County Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-26-2019
This 2017 Monterey Pinot offers the perfect blend of sweet, cherry fruit and savory tones. Its modest nose belies the broad range of flavors this Chris Miller charmer delivers. Bay leaf, dark chocolate, smoke, and Porcini mushroom all make an appears and to pleasing effect. Perhaps most captivating is its smooth and supple delivery with the wine gliding with ease across the palate. There's a distinctly Burgundian quality, adding a level of gravitas not commonly found in a wine at this price. This is easily one of the finer value-priced Pinots on the market.
Price: $19.95 Add To Cart
WE 93

2017 Chateau de la Maltroye Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 08-15-2019
This is hands down the best Bourgogne Blanc I've had this year. If tasted blind, it could very easily be mistaken for a Premier Cru Chassagne-Montrachet. Citrus, mineral, and subtle herb all join for maximum effect. Its bright acidity makes it a very quaffable wine, but give it some time in the glass, and a whole new array of flavors emerge. This is the very reason why I enjoy white Burgundy so much. For the price, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better rendition of Chardonnay. Maltroye has done an excellent job with their 2017s, starting with this exceptional Bourgogne Blanc.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2017 Chateau de la Maltroye Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru "Chenevottes"
Review Date: 08-15-2019
While still youthful, there's no shortage of things to love about this charming 2017 Chenevottes. Bristling with energy, it offers up a tantalizing array of floral, citrus, and tropical fruit notes. There's a subtle richness while remaining infinitely refreshing. Like any classic Chassagne in an excellent vintage, it has the body and acidity to warrant serious time in the cellar. Only good things can be expected five, ten, fifteen years down the line. Best of all, you don't have to shell out over $100 for the experience. Count me a big fan of Château de la Maltroye!

1998 Domaine Tortochot Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru
Review Date: 08-02-2019
Don't let the vintage fool you; this wine is still going strong and likely will for another ten years at least. I remember when the 98s were first released and being confident they would have a long life ahead—this Charmes-Chambertin proves that theory correct. Depth and extract are vital components that make this Burgundy so unique. Yes, you'll find elements of dried herb, saddle leather, and a hint of baking spice, but it is the deep, rich fruit that holds the center. This is a wine to enjoy throughout a long evening and follow its evolution. A genuinely terrific Charmes for the price and well worth adding to your collection.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Gran Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 07-12-2019
This is among the finest Gran Reservas from Rioja I have ever had the pleasure to taste—full stop. A drop-dead gorgeous red, this 2005 is a pure delight from the first sip to the last. A chorus of red fruits burst from the glass and are accented by delightful savory touches of mocha, clove, baking spice, fresh herb, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, but at the same time remains infinitely refreshing. Dollar for dollar, you won’t find a better bottle of Rioja. After savoring our last glass, my wife asked, "You can get more of this, right?" Thankfully, the answer is "yes," but I imagine not for long once folks catch wind of just how spectacular a wine it is. Seriously, this is one red you don't want to miss
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

2016 Musso "Pora" Barbaresco
Review Date: 06-18-2019
This is one of those rare wines where the nose alone is worth the price of admission. Elegant, subtle, and nuanced, it has all the characteristics I look for in a classic bottle of Barbaresco. Red fruits predominate and are graced with an excellent counterpoint of savory herbs, saddle leather, and exotic spice. Its tannins make a late appearance, adding grip and structure to an already very compelling wine. It will be hard to resist opening this 2016, but a few more years in the bottle will surely lift the Pora into an ethereal realm. It's hard to believe a wine so suavely sophisticated can be had for under $50. The value here is nothing short of astounding. This is one to buy by the case and visit again and again.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart
DC 97 WE 97

2017 Wines Of Substance Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-19-2019
For true Cab flavor at an unbelievable price, look no further! This gorgeous 2017 is brimming with fruit and spice while remaining wonderfully restrained. Ready to drink now, it shows a classic Columbia Valley profile of wildflowers, cassis, pipe tobacco, vanillin, along with a hint of savory herb. K Vintners has served up another blockbuster red value. Go ahead and load up, as this is the perfect pick to come back to again and again.

2016 Domaine La Barroche "Signature" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 03-09-2019
This wine is pure deliciousness. Beautifully composed, harmonious, concentrated, and expressive, this 2016 has everything going for it. Like the best 2016s, it is ready to go straight out of the gate but has enough acid, tannin, and structure to last another twenty years. The wines from La Barroche have always shown exceptionally well (if a tad on the rustic side), but this 2016 takes things to another level. Sleekly styled and modern without being too modern, there's not a single flaw to detect. Pick up a few bottles for the near term and a few more for down the line—it is sure to delight at every stage of what is certain to be a long, illustrious life.

2014 Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-14-2019
I had the good fortune to taste this gorgeous 2014 at the property. While such experiences tend to color one's impression of a wine, I can say with confidence that this Howell Mountain Cab would show equally as well from a Dixie cup at a truck stop—it is just that good. In my humble opinion, Dunn crafts THE benchmark for Howell Mountain Cabs. It is big and burly, while at the same time at sophisticated and refined, offering everything one could want from a classic Napa Cab. Dark berry fruit is wonderfully accented by notes of cedar, pine, baking chocolate, and fresh herbs. Still very youthful, its tannins are pronounced, showing the promise of a very long life. Anyone who appreciates the best in Napa Valley will definitely want to pick up this epic red. A tour de force if there ever was one.

2016 Domaine Pierre Usseglio Lirac Rouge
Review Date: 12-18-2018
Now, this is my kind of Lirac! Luscious, ripe, fruit-driven, but not without accents of slate and stone, this 2016 is a cheerful red from start to finish. Boysenberry, wild cherry, and raspberry coulis flavors dominate at the outset and are later accented by touches of baking spice, floral tones, and the aforementioned slate. For all its concentration, it is surprisingly lithe and lively. You could lay it down and drink it five to ten years down the line, but it's so delicious now, doing so would be an incredible feat of self-control. My recommendation: buy a case and drink it now with abandon!

2015 Barde-Haut, St-Emilion
Review Date: 11-09-2018
After reading the excellent critical reviews, I was excited to try the 2015 Barde-Haut for myself. Well, it one-hundred percent lives up to the hype. It is loaded with ripe blue and red fruits, but the notes of mint and eucalyptus raise this St-Emilion to another level entirely. For those who love a modern style of Bordeaux, this Barde-Haut delivers in spades. Give it a chance to open it up as the wine just keeps evolving with baking spice, tea, and slate flavors emerging. This 2015 is ready to drink now and I wouldn't be surprised if it continues to develop for another 20-plus years. That this bold and dashing red can be had for under $50 makes it all the more appealing. Barde-Haut is at the top of their game and this glorious red makes the case that they are among the most exciting properties in the Right Bank today.

2017 Julien Schaal Riesling Grand Cru "Sommerberg Granite"
Review Date: 10-30-2018
It truly baffles the mind that a wine of this quality can be so affordably priced. Elegant and refined, it is graced with a wonderful perfume of lilac, Meyer lemon, and wet slate. The palate is multidimensional and wonderfully evolved for such a young wine. Bright citrus flavors are accented by modest touches of orchard fruit and a slight hint of mango. Racy with bright acidity it is zips from the first sip to the last. This historic property has really hit its stride in recent years and has risen to the level of Weinbach, Trimbach, and Zind Humbrecht—making its modest price all the more remarkable. If you are a fan of Riesling (or any world-class white for that matter), you owe it to yourself to give this spectacular 2017 a spin.

Wathen’s Private Barrel #3597 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-12-2018
This single barrel bourbon is packed with personality. Walnut, hazelnut, and wood spice greet the nose, while the palate takes a dramatic, fruit-driven turn. Valencia orange, banana, and crystallized lemon all make an appearance and are joined by notes of spice box, vanilla bean, and nutmeg. Its smooth approach is followed by a body-warming blast of heat, but never too over-powering. This very well could be my favorite Wathen's to date, and there have been some pretty spectacular bottles over the years. A true bargain for what you get in the bottle.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2014 Kapcsándy "Estate Cuvée - State Lane Vineyard" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 09-19-2018
What a gorgeous wine from start to finish. Blackberry compote, vanilla, mocha, Asian spice, and graceful floral tones all join in perfect harmony. While it possesses a distinctly Napa profile, it's hard not to think of the top Bordeaux like Pichon-Lalande or Latour. Youthful, vibrant, and with excellent tension, it glides from strength to strength. Its tannins are seamlessly integrated, but there's no doubt this 2014 has the scaffolding to age gracefully for decades upon decades. But, perhaps most important, the Estate Cuvée is a pure joy to drink. When it comes to wines of this caliber, this is hands down one of the finest buys going, as it stands shoulder to shoulder with wines that are three times the price.

2015 Cap St-George, St-Georges-St-Emilion
Review Date: 08-17-2018
If you are on the hunt for outstanding value, I highly recommend the satellite appellations in Bordeaux. As in many (if not most) instances, the wines from these lesser-known sites offer all the quality and character of their more illustrious neighbors, but for a fraction of the price. Take for example the astonishingly good 2015 Cap St George. This delightful 2015 hails from St.-Georges-St.-Emilion, a tiny area that covers a mere 190 hectares. Situated next to the famed Right Bank plateau, the soils here consist of an ideal blend of clay and limestone, producing wines of exceptional purity. This 2015 is sleek, fresh, richly fruited, and, above all, perfectly balanced. Crafted in an unabashedly modern style, but not overly done, it will appeal to both old-world and new world fans alike. The Cap St George will cellar quite nicely, but who can wait, as it is a pure joy to drink now.

2015 Labadie, Médoc
Review Date: 08-06-2018
A classic claret at an amazing price! This lovely red is brimming with blackberry, plum, and bing cherry flavors that are joined just the right touch of spice. There's a youthful ebullience that keeps things bright and lively, while the wine's well-integrated tannins offer a lush and supple mouthfeel. Like any good Médoc, a core of minerality gives it excellent structure and definition. Undoubtedly, this is thanks to the clay and limestone soils which surround the chateau. When it comes to affordable reds with a classic old-world profile, the Médoc is the place to be, and of the 2015s Labadie is among the best out there. This is a great value and a wine that you'll want to re-visit again and again.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$13.99
JS 90 RP 90

2016 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 05-18-2018
Alsace continues to be among the best regions anywhere for bright, fresh, aromatic whites. Take for example this temptingly priced 2016 "Gentil" from Hugel. For a sub-$15 bottle, it offers a surprising level of depth and range. Its vivacious delivery offers up scrumptious notes and tones of yellow fruit, apple, peach, fresh herbs, and ginger. Clean and with excellent focus, it is infinitely refreshing, making it an ideal wine to sip on its own. Harmonious and exceptionally well balanced, it is one of those wines that you find yourself coming back to again and again. Hugel really knocked it out of the park with the dazzling 2016.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
VN 90