Our featured wines have been a staple and focus for over 35 years. The nine reds and whites identify the best of a growing region or grape variety without breaking the bank. Eric Asimov, New York Times wine writer recently wrote that wine that represents a place of origin and quality starts around $20 per bottle. We agree but when we started it was a lot lower.
Rouge, Tinto, Reds
2017 Domaine de la Janasse Cotes-du-Rhone, Southern Rhone Valley, France $15.99
The 2017 Cotes du Rhone contains just 40% Grenache. There's 20% each Mourvèdre and Syrah, with the balance a mix of Carignan and Cinsault. it's a juicy, mouthwatering mixed bowl of blueberries and cherries that should please most palates. Medium to full-bodied, it features a plump, appealing texture and silky tannins. 91 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2018 Cantina del Pino, Langhe Nebbiolo, Piedmont. Italy $19.99
I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Renato Vacca at just 51 after a long-term ailment. I had the pleasure of meeting and tasting his wines a few years ago at his estate in Barbaresco. Painfully shy and introverted, Vacca crafted gorgeous wines that capture all the pedigree nestled within the striking hillside vineyards of Barbaresco. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him and all those who his wines touched.
2018 Jean-Marc Burgaud, Morgan Grand Cras, Morgan, Beaujolais, France $16.99
100% Gamay “aromas of rose petals, raspberries, cherries and licorice introduce the 2018 Morgon Grands Cras, another superb wine from Burgaud that's medium to full-bodied, layered and enveloping, with a fleshy core, ripe acids and a long finish” 93 pts The Wine Advocate
2016 Marietta Arme Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast, California $18.99
The 2016 Armé is another superb wine from Marietta. Fresh, savory and super-expressive, the Armé has a lot going on. Black cherry, sage, lavender, menthol and licorice give the wine
striking savory nuance to play off the dark Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. More than anything else, though, the Armé is a superb value in California Cabernet. 93 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2018 Alvaro Palacios, Camins del Priorat, Priorat, Spain $19.99
35% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 20% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot Youthful
violet color. Assertive aromas of black/blue fruit preserves and candied violet are complicated by suggestions of licorice, smoky minerals and peppery spices. Slow-building tannins frame a long, supple finish that leaves a resonating floral note behind.
2015 La RIoja Alta Vina Alberdi, Rioja, Spain $18.99
Viña Alberdi is a blend of Tempranillo from different vineyards with a classical fermentation. There are some toasted aromas of sesame, with marked toast from the American oak with a good combination of fruit and spice, tradition and modernity. The 2015 vintage is wonderful.
2018 Siduri Santa Barbara, Central Coast $19.99
The 2018 Siduri Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir comes primarily from the vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills. Upfront aromas of dried cranberry, Black Mission Fig, Chinese Five Spice and black plum, along with eucalyptus, white pepper, cumin and nutmeg. The flavors include fresh raspberry, black plum and blueberry followed by a smooth, broad texture with medium acidity.
2016 Marietta Christo, North Coast, California $17.99
60% Syrah, 22% Petite Sirah, 14% Grenache and 4% Viognier. The 2016 Christo, Marietta's Syrah-based blend, is terrific. Black cherry, chocolate, leather, licorice and spice give the wine much of its dark, brooding feel. Powerful and intense, but with good freshness, the 2016 is wonderfully complete and absolutely delicious. 91 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2017 Catena Zapata Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $18.99
Bright ruby-red. Expressive aromas of dark raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, licorice, violet, tobacco and herbs, plus a whiff of leather. The palate delivers lovely pure dark fruit flavors at moderate alcohol, with hints of peppery herbs and minerals giving the wine very good cut and lift. Finishes classically dry and long. A lot of wine for the price. 90 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2016 Gracciano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy $17.99
The Tenuta di Gracciano is one of the oldest estates in the Montepulciano area, a beloved region of Tuscany. Comprised of mostly Sangiovese, or Prugnolo Gentile as it's called locally, Gracciano's Vino Nobile shows the true power, elegance, and pleasure of the varietal. If you've ever thought to yourself "I just want to drink something that tastes Italian, and reminds me of Italy", this is the perfect bottle for you.
2016 Double Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington $19.99
Aromas of ripe cherries, sweet berry liqueur and loamy soil. On the palate, it's medium-bodied and generous, with an ample core of ripe fruit, good balancing acids and ripe but youthfully chewy tannins. Very Good
2015 La RIoja Alta Vina Ardanza Selection, Rioja, Spain - $32.99
2010 was a great vintage in Rioja in general and seems to be exceptional here, with a 2010 Viña Ardanza Selección Especial. The wine is expressive, aromatic, very elegant and clean, with classical Rioja aromas of long aging in barrel and slow oxidation through the years in wood. The palate is polished and sleek but shows plenty of energy, with very fine, mostly resolved tannins and very good harmony and persistence. There is great complexity, and you could start smelling spice and smoke to move to earthy tones, hints of beef blood, cherries in liqueur, curry, diesel, old furniture and forest floor. 95 pts The Wine Advocate, 94 pts Wine Spectator
2018 Seghesio Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California - $17.99
Plump and supple, with soft raspberry, toasted spice and licorice flavors that glide along a silky finish. Drink now through 2023.
91 pts Wine Spectator
2015 Seghesio Old Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California - $28.99
Medium to deep garnet-purple, the 2015 Zinfandel Old Vine offers a beguiling nose of crushed blueberries, Black Forest cake and crème de cassis with hints of dried roses, licorice, incense and tilled soil. Full-bodied, rich and with wonderful purity, it has an amazing frame of ripe, grainy tannins and plenty of freshness, finishing long and perfumed
94 pts The Wine Advocate, 93 pts Wine Spectator
2018 Torbreck Woodcutter’s Shiraz, Barossa Valley, Australia - $18.99
It's another successful vintage for this wine, which gives consumers a taste of the Torbreck style at a reasonable price. The 2018 Woodcutter's Shiraz offers raspberry and mulberry flavors, a full-bodied, plush, supple palate and savory hints of mocha and black olive on the finish. 91 pts The Wine Advocate
2017 St Innocent Village Cuvee Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon - $21.99
Dark red. Spice-accented cherry and raspberry aromas show very good clarity and pick up a suave floral accent with air. Juicy and focused on the palate, showing very good energy and lift to its subtly sweet red fruit and spice cake flavors. Nicely concentrated but lithe in character, finishing long and smooth, with rounded tannins making a late appearance.
91 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
Blanco, Bianco, Whites
2018 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast, California $17.99
The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma County contains 4% Sémillon and opens with loads of stone fruits: white and yellow peaches, apricot and quince, with wet stone, gooseberry, cut grass, lime pith and an underlying spicy layer. The palate is light to medium-bodied, gregarious and energetic—full of flavor and with tangy acidity to lift the long, mineral-driven finish. I love the bright personality of this wine! 91 pts The Wine Advocate
2018 Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adiige, Italy $17.99
This is a pure and naked expression of the Kerner grape that has few parallels in northern Italy. The Abbazie di Novacella 2018 Alto Adige Valle Isarco Kerner is silky and long with pristine aromas of white flower, honey, latex rubber and more polished, glossy aromas to follow. An enthusiastic food pairing would involve some sort of Thai dish with cilantro or lemongrass flavors. 91 pts The Wine Advocate
2018 Elk Cove Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon $14.99
The 2018 Pinot Gris contains small touches of Muscat and Gewürztraminer and is especially expressive this vintage, with inviting scents of Bosc pear, white peach, elderflower, green apple and crushed stone with a baker’s yeast hint. It’s medium-bodied with fresh fruits, a slightly rounded texture and juicy acidity, finishing long and flavorful. 91 pts The Wine Advocate
2018 Nigl Gruner Veltliner, Freiheit, Kremstal, Austria $16.99
Marjoram- and black-pepper and roasted lentils dominate on the nose and palate. Fresh apple supplies desirable crunch and juiciness en route to a ringingly clear, invigorating, refreshing finish. With food Think spice. Grüner Veltliner is crisp and a perfect palate cleanser for richly flavored foods.
2015 Trimbach Gewurztraminer, Alsace, France $16.99
Good full yellow. The strongly floral nose also hints at smoky bacon and exotic fruits. Then almost austere and straightforward; a very strong saline bent frames the delicate tropical fruit and honeyed flavors. Tactile but also very pure on the long finish. Lovely, lighter-styled Gewürz. 90 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2018 La Crema Russian River Chardonnay, Russian river, Sonoma Valley, California $19.99
A perennial favorite, juicy, offering nectarine, green apple and lemon tart flavors. Lively acidity lingers into the finish, with hints of dried mint and lemongrass.
2018 Dog Point Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand $17.99
The 2018 Sauvignon Blanc is on the tropical end of the spectrum, with hints of guava, pineapple and nectarine—a real fruit bowl. It's medium-bodied and silky in texture, with a long, flavorful finish. 91 pts The Wine Advocate
2017 Chamisal Chardonnay, Monterey County, California $19.99
The 2017 Chardonnay Monterey County opens with notes of gunflint and toast over baked apples, yellow pears, popcorn and a tropical tinge. The palate is medium-bodied and rounded with an über spicy, fresh fruit profile lifted by mouthwatering acidity, and it finishes long and toasty. This has an appealing yin-yang of savory and bright citrus character.
91 pts The Wine Advocate
2018 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre La Baronnes, Loire Valley, Sancerre, France $19.99
The unique soils, a mix of clay, chalk, and old ocean bed, help make Sancerre one of the best growing regions in the world for Sauvignon Blanc. The Bourgeois family's 'Les Baronnes' balances the flinty, vivacity of chalk soils with the lime and apple of clay soils to bring a wine that is crispy, fruit driven, and totally refreshing. Sauvignon Blanc doesn't get much better than this, no matter where it's from.
2017 Saladin “Per El”, Cotes du Rhone Blanc, Southern Rhone Valley, France $22.99
Marsanne, Bourboulenc , Viognier, Clairette, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc. the apricot, tangerine and ripe citrus-like aromas and flavors to go with a medium-bodied, supple, textured and mouth-filling style. It’s beautifully made and will drink nicely for 2-3 years.
“Per Èl” was created by Louis Saladin for his wife, Annick. “Per Èl” means ‘For Her’ in Provencal. Wine is ‘Agriculture Biologique’ (Certified Organic) by ‘Ecocert.
2018 Colterenzio Pinot Bianco Berg, Alto Adige, Italy $19.99
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the winery several years ago and was struck by the beauty of the area and the high quality of their wine. Alto Adige is in northern Italy, surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Dolomite mountains and Alpine lakes. Being a popular tourist attraction, the land is very valuable, this is where the winery of Colterenzio is helping to preserve the area. Colterenzio it is a cooperative of 300 members who individually are too small survive on their own. Without the cooperative the vineyards would have been replaced by vacation homes. Straw-green. Pristine, lemon, mint, underbrush, apple and beeswax aromas and flavors. The long, high-acid but harmonious finish hints at white flowers. 90 pts Antonio Galloni Vinous Media
2015 Arygle Brut, Willamette Valley, Oregon $19.99
In 1987, Argyle was founded by pioneering vintner Rollin Soles, with a belief that the cool climate of Oregon’s Willamette Valley was ideal for producing world class sparkling wines. The 2015 Brut is blended of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay.
“Polished and elegantly focused, with pretty appeal and flavors of brioche and spice, lingering on the finish.” 90 pts Wine Spectator
2019 Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rosé, Provence, France $18.99
Between Avignon and the sea there is the very heart of Provence, Les Baux de Provence, where the garrigue perfumes the air. Here’s where you find Mas de Gourgonnier, a family-run estate that’s been organic as long as anyone can remember. 60% grenache, 22% cabernet sauvignon, 12% mourvedre, 6% cinsault. Light salmon color, lively freshness, orange-blossom bouquet and wonderful tangy wild strawberry fruit. Dry
2019 Saladin Tra-La-La Cotes du Rhone Rose $17.99
Sisters Elisabeth and Marie-Laurence are the latest Saladin winegrowers. The family are first recorded as growers here in 1422! Their wine is ‘Agriculture Biologique’ (Certified Organic) by ‘Ecocert.’ Old Cinsault and Grenache Noir by ‘saignée’ (draining) Pure red fruit aromas of raspberry and strawberry. The palate is round but balanced with good acidity and the finish is long with pretty red fruits continuing at the end.
2019 Argyle Rose, Willamette Valley, Oregon $17.99
Argyle has been making sparkling wines since 1987 and use that expertise to make a rose using a traditional Champagne technique; adding a small a of amount of Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were de-stemmed together for a cold, 48-hour co-maceration, while the Pinot Meunier underwent the same maceration technique all on its own. After gentle pressing, the wines undertook long, cool fermentation in neutral wood barrels and aged on the lees for 6 months. The resulting rosé is leap out of the glass watermelon, red cherry, and fresh cut spring flowers, while the refreshing acidity is woven together with subtle lees texture and mineral length.
2017 Ángel Rodriguez Vidal, Martínsancho Rueda, Castilla Leon, Rueda, Spain $16.99
The emergence of Rueda as a prestigious white wine region is the story of a unique grape called Verdejo. Although among only a small handful of truly noble Spanish white varieties, it was in danger of extinction by the early 1970s due to pervasive planting of more prolific producers such as Viura and Palomino. Angel Rodríguez saved the shy-bearing, thick-skinned Verdejo through loving refusal to uproot his 17th-century vineyard, Martínsancho. For his untiring efforts in favor of reestablishing Verdejo's prominence in its region of origin he was officially honored by King Juan Carlos. Light gold. Ripe citrus and pit fruits, herbs and honey on the perfumed nose. Sappy and concentrated, offering bitter lemon pith and pear flavors and a touch of tarragon. Finishes broad and smooth, with notes of anise and peach pit.