Even though the majority of our inventory hits that sweet spot of $10-$25 a bottle, we've really been finding some excellent wines for our "Indulge" corner over the past few weeks. Because like everything in the store, it takes time to find the right wines to fill our shelves and I think we've got some stellar selections right now. And even though I don't buy based on scores, as I did research on some of the bottles for this post I found a few great reviews out there that I thought I'd share with you. So indulge me for a moment please and look over the list or peruse the corner on your next visit; you never know when a special moment is going to call for a special bottle...Let me know if you see anything that interests you, but I'll warn you that none are under $40. Of course there is very special case pricing available. :)
2010 Radio-Coteau Pinot Noir la Neblina, WA Rating: 93
The 2010 Pinot Noir La Neblina is a gorgeous wine laced with expressive dark red cherries, flowers, licorice and sweet spices. It shows gorgeous depth and radiance in its fruit. Bright floral notes and an underpinning of vibrant minerality give the wine considerable lift and brightness. Freshly cut flowers, mint and sweet roses frame an energetic finish layered with distinctly saline notes. This is a fabulous showing. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.
2007 Marcarini Barolo Brunate, WA Rating: 94
The estate’s 2007 Barolo Brunate sweeps across the palate with endless layers of expansive fruit. The Brunate shows fabulous intensity and depth in an uncharacteristically rich, opulent style for Marcarini. Despite the wine’s richness there is plenty of Brunate character, particularly on the finish, where menthol, pine, resin, spices and a host of other balsamic notes speak with great eloquence. Marcarini harvested Brunate on September 24 and 25. The wine saw 15 days of fermentation, followed by another 42 days of contact with the skins. The wine then spent two years in large, neutral casks prior to being racked into steel to rest before being bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027. These are some of the finest Baroli I have ever tasted from Marcarini and proprietor Manuel Marchetti. The warmth of the vintage has given the wines an extra level of generosity in the fruit that acts as a wonderful counterpoint to the firm tannins that are generally present in this estate’s young Baroli.
2009 Domaine Gerard Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape, WA Rating: 95
The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape (which tips the scales around 15% natural alcohol) is a great example of traditional Chateauneuf du Pape winemaking. A dense dark ruby color is followed by a sexy nose of raspberries, ground pepper, spice box, damp earth, kirsch and dark currants. Full-bodied, complex, elegant and already irresistible as the tannins have completely melted away, it can be drunk now and over the next 15+ years. Beautifully made, traditional wines emerge from Laurent Charvin’s estate in the northwestern sector of Chateauneuf du Pape, where the family owns 20+ acres of vines.
2009 Haut Bergey Bordeaux, WA Rating: 94
Deep color. Decidedly sweet nose is attractive with notes of cassis, black raspberry, leather, spice, green pepper, and smoke. Relatively large-scaled in the mouth. It’s chewy, chunky, concentrated, and tannic; a wine with superb structure and depth. This youthful wine will require some cellaring, but already shows the pedigree of serious success. Long, consistent, penetrating finish. Outstanding value and highly recommended.
2006 Allegrini Amarone Classico, WA Rating: 94
The 2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is the finest young vintage I have ever tasted of this wine. The 2006 is a beautifully balanced Amarone with great intensity in its dark fruit and the accompanying structure to support many years of cellaring. Hints of smoke, tar, licorice and incense linger on the tightly wound finish. The freshness, clarity and vibrancy are first-class. This is an exquisite Amarone from Allegrini. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2026.
2009 K Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon Stoneridge Vineyard, WA Rating: 92
Like its Merlot counterpart, unblended, and matured in barrel for more than two years, Smith's 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Stoneridge, nonetheless, gives a very different account of itself, featuring juicy, downright tart-edged cassis and elderberry fruit that more than rides out the wine's underlying tannin. Wild plum and fennel as well as pronounced salinity and alkalinity make it impossible for me not to imagine myself near an ocean. The combination of bright, sappy fresh berry intensity and mouthwatering salinity makes for an irresistible urge to take the next sip even before the long finish has faded. Look for at least a decade of delicious fascination.
2010 Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune White Clos St.-Landry, WS Rating: 91
Almost viscous in texture, this honeyed white sports peach, apple and lemon flavors. Both ripe and lively, this ends with accents of honey and mineral. Drink now through 2020. 150 cases imported.
2007 Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino, WA Rating: 95
The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is a gorgeous wine that brings together the richness of the vintage and the house’s continuing move to a more traditional style. Sweet red berries, flowers, mint, spices and anise are woven together beautifully in this large-scaled, generous wine. The wine gains volume and depth in the glass as the flavors built to a huge crescendo. The 2007 was aged exclusively in cask. This is a great showing from Fuligni. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.
2010 Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Clay Court, WS Rating: 93
Light and sleek, with raspberry, cherry and delicately meaty flavors, mingling effortlessly against a light veil of tannins as the finish lingers. Drink now through 2018. 352 cases made
2008 Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto, IWC Rating: 91
Good full ruby. Deep, youthfully brooding plum and red cherry on the nose, with strong sweet spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg building in the glass. Sappy black and red fruit flavors are complicated by pepper and sweet spices. Finishes long, with youthfully dusty tannins and tangy mineral notes. This has considerable potential, and is much more complex than the immediately charming Le Difese. Insiders know that Guidalberto, first made in vintage 2000, is often an excellent wine and a really smart buy, even if it's much less famous than Sassicaia. Depending on the vintage, about 20% of declassified Sassicaia finds its way into the Guidalberto.
2007 Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino, WA Rating: 94
The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino bursts from the glass with freshly cut flowers, spices, rose petals and sweet red berries. The 2007 impresses for its poise and fabulous overall harmony, especially in the way expressive aromatics and fruit are woven together. I very much admire the wine’s feminine, gracious personality. This is a terrific showing from Collosorbo
Also many notables that don't have reviews like the Daniel Rion & Paul Garaudet wines from Burgundy, the Mara, Caldwell, White Rock and Vending Machine wines from California, Ca'Marcanda and Castiglioni del Bosco wines from Tuscany, Saint Cosme and Eric Texier wines from the Rhone, Gaja and Paolo Scavino from Piemonte, Terre Nere and Salvo Foti wines from the Etna, Tedeschi from the Veneto, Moises, Brittan, Lumos and J. Christopher wines from Oregon and many more...It is a fun section of the store to spend some time in if you never have.