"To sip, perchance to savor, to experience the sensual pleasures of this most scintillating elixir is but our humble goal. We marvel at its color, are seduced by its aroma, raptured by its touch. We love its ancestry, its artistry, its legacy. It can be so many things, and yet only one. Some call it wine, we call it a moment in time." - Anonymous
Adventurous White
2009 Chateau Mas Neuf Grenache Blanc Costieres de Nimes, France Waves of stone fruit hit the palate running and dance all the way down to a grand and glorious finish. Remarkable peach essence with touches of lime waving good bye but not really going away. $17.00 Score: 94
2011 Domaine Cayrou Cotes du Roussillon Cotes du Roussillon, France A princely rogue of a wine that greets you with a seemingly simple sip of peach and then confronts you with spice and grapefruit sings as you swallow. It finally finished with a flourish. Or, was that a flower? $17.00 Score: 92
2008 Granfort Chardonnay Languedoc-Roussillon, France Medium straw hues with a spiced apple nose and a flowing fragrance that captivates all it touches. Generously endowed. $21.00 Score: 92
2011 Gueguen Petit Chablis Burgundy, France A zippy little wine with a fresh, tart green apple flavor and a wink of passion fruit. Very clean and refreshing with a lime peel finish that keeps you yearning for more. $24.00 Score: 92
Adventurous Red
2008 Catalpa Cabernet Sauvignon Mendoza, Argentina Imposing character with bold, unbridled extracts of black cherry and licorice which linger for a seeming eternity. Not for the faint of palate. $13.00 Score: 94
2007 Don Rodolfo Tannat Cafayate, Argentina Can it be all of that and more? Pounding extraction begins the excursion and through the foliage of dense strawberry and currant comes the elegance of near restraint. It may never die. $24.00 Score: 95
2011 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills, Slice of Heaven, California The limpid light focuses clearly on the soft magenta as it beckons you closer. The heady scent of cotton candy and sweet cherry swirl in the glass as it does in you libido. The first sip is the longest, but the last is the longest lasting. $60.00 Score: 98
2010 Broken Earth Tempranillo Paso Robles, California The sun glistens through it's multidimensional prism, sending iridescent beams into the sky. The sweet tart cherry combines with soft leather and hints of sandalwood that swirl unobstructed to every bud. Another sip is warranted. $21.00 Score: 96
2005 Mandolina Nebbiolo Santa Maria, California Plum candy color and the smell of cherry blossom follows through on the palate. Lovely, lilting and uplifting finish. $12.00 Score: 93
2010 Passion Grenache Saint Paul de Fenouillet, France Aptly named for the passion it arouses in the frontal lobes while trying to establish meaning as the adjectives adroitly meander through your consciousness. Not to be confused with mere wine, the plethora of spice and cranberry overtakes your every waking desire. $15.00 Score: 98
2011 Carmine Monicord Merlot and Cabernet Franc Bordeaux, French All the guile and softness of an ingenue with attitude. Sensual, yet serious with a flare for the dramatic. Softness enters, substance exits. Gives pleasure now, more later. $15.00 Score: 95
2011 Clos Monicord Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec Bordeaux, French It is a dark and stormy night. The wind is howling, the wine is silent. Wrapped in a cloak of secrecy its dark color and dense nose signals the secrets from deep within. Yet, it does not disappoint. Intensity is not its middle name, it is its first and last. Honor it. Savor it. Save it. Spectacular. $18.00 Score: 96
2011 Guidobono Nebbiolo Langhe, Italy Quixotic, spicy fruit with smiles and miles of plum and anise. Redolent rose petals and flecks of licorice round out a monumental offering that keeps going long after the liquid has left. $18.00 Score: 95
2012 La Striscia Chianti Tuscany, Italy A swaying melange of tart cherry, clove and roughly hewn earth flecked with tar, all refusing to let go and you're glad they don't. Imposing, ripe finish colors everything in its path. $18.00 Score: 96
Challenging White
2009 Karma Chardonnay Monterey, California This is the good Karma kind of wine with spiced apple showing off hints of caramel and a touch of orange peel. There is no finish. It just keeps coming on and no one complains. $26.00 Score: 94
2013 Carmine Monicord Sauvignon Blanc Bordeaux, French Such power and presence in a wine of scant color? How could this be? But, fortunately, it is. Incredible scents are detected from all points surrounding this elixir. The bright stone of all fruit mingled with the fruit of the grape and the grape of the fruit present a dizzying array of sensations. $15.00 Score: 97
2010 Beach Ball Vinho Verde Vinho Verde, Portugal A pale, sunlit balloon with a lemon drop tinge. Dances on the palate depositing flecks of lime and guava. $16.00 Score: 90
2009 Duck Pond Chardonnay Columbia Valley, Washington Hope springs and rings and sings and makes you want to dance. Pineapple abounds as does the green, red and Fuji apple waiting to be consumed yet not really wanting to be. Your senses are engaged, enraged and finally swayed by the fairy tale finish. $12.00 Score: 95
2008 Kamiak Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley, Washington Stunningly imposing flavors of green and Fuji apple with a spicy edge that screams quince studded with a lime popsicle. The flavors know no limits. You consume it as it consumes you. $20.00 Score: 93
2013 Peralta Pinot Grigio Columbia Valley, Washington Iridescent yellow with spicy undertones, apricot jam, pineapple, white nectarine and a warm, spicy apple pie finish. Not to be confused with a lesser wine, this blockbuster can tackle anything. Long lingering like a bright summer evening $10.00 Score: 96
Challenging Red
2009 Haywood Zinfandel Sonoma, California These grapes weren't picked. They escaped. The almost violent display of strawberry jam in the nose is eminently displayed on the palate. This take no prisoners style of wine offers no excuses, shows no mercy. Be warned. $30..00 Score: 95
2009 Peralta Pinot Noir Napa Valley, California One is left breathless at the possibilities of tasting this wine in five years. It will only continue to enthrall. Heavenly spiced apple only begins the journey passing through cherry and cinnamon and finally resting back in the spice of life. $18.00 Score: 95
2007 Stone House Petite Sirah Mendocino, California Not for the faint of palate or your grandmother. This is a large and lovely wine, but still fits well into the dress. Dark cherry tones fashioned around earth and licorice are as scary as they are luscious. $23.00 Score: 92
2004 Trinitas Mataro Contra Costa, California An elegy to a Mozart piano sonata offering lilting tones and sensuous rifts, yet still staying in a major key. Black grapes and touches of black pepper and black cherry. The color is, well, almost black. $21.00 Score: 94
Foreboding Red
2010 Martin Fierro Malbec Tulum, Argentina Foreboding and dark with enveloping licorice and earth finally giving way to an endless plethora of blackberry jam, currants and, gaspingly, tobacco. Not for the faint of heart. $22.00 Score: 93
2009 Cat Amongst the Pigeons Syrah Barossa Valley, Australia This cat is big game in my book. It's animalistic tendencies extends beyond the bounds of mere wine into Zeus-like presence that can only be experienced in the glass. Full and profound game and earth scents follows through to reveal blueberry and chocolate as though they couldn't exist without each other ever again. $20.00 Score: 95
2011 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County, Psi Clone, California A forward and more imposing Pinot than most, but still with the air of culture and unbridled enthusiasm for its delicate roots. Sweet rhubarb, cherry and earth combine in a dance that goes on long after the music has ended. $60.00 Score: 96
2007 Long Gamma Zinfandel/Syrah Alexander Valley, California Luscious combo that we never thought of, but glad someone did. Just think of a basket of strawberries invaded by a basket of blueberries and doused with cocoa. It's close. $23.00 Score: 94
2005 Silver Stone Syrah/Mourvedre Central Coast, California I stare upon its brooding mix of deep crimson and dark plum. It stares back. Without warning comes the waft of blueberry and red grape scents followed by its twin flavors and finishes with the harmony of a Brahms string quartet. I'm guessing Op. 67. $21.00 Score: 90
2010 Colle Petrito Nero di Troia Apuglia, Italy Heavy construction is the order of the day here, packing two bottles of wine into one. Dense black cherry abounds, resounds and mounds on the palate throwing black berries everywhere there is room. $20.00 Score: 93
2010 Villa de Mese Negroamaro Puglia, Italy Engaging hints of a fruit compote next to a spice rack encased in cedar. Languished cherry, a redolent grape and piquant plum gently stroke the palate as it glides down, depositing sweet tartness at every turn. $14.00 Score: 91
2005 Villa Sonia Chianti Classico Reserva Tuscany, Italy Its mood is as dark as its color. It offers no relief, no release only a repeat of the imposing black cherry and earthy flavors swirling mightily and daring you to swallow. You capitulate and then do so willingly. $24.00 Score: 93
Lilting White
2012 Babcock Pinot Gris Santa Rita Hills, California Like a breath of sea breeze, it enters the mouth and wants to hang around. The white nectarine, citrus and apricot flecks just refuse to be swallowed. Do your best. $25.00 Score: 93
2012 Babcock Sauvignon Blanc Santa Rita Hills, California Glistening straw hides the depth of essences emerging from the glass. Light gooseberry and fresh herbs continue on to the palate and finishes with a flourish. $25.00 Score: 96
2007 Konzleman Pinot Blanc Niagara, California The light, refreshing bounce of a Doris Day draped in the alluring robe of a Kim Novak. Spiced apple trimmed with a hint of clover and peach skin illuminates the tongue and all the senses around it. $14.00 Score: 90
2009 Painted Van Grenache Blanc Paso Robles, California Peach blossom nose wafting into pear and a touch of lychee. The flavor mirrors the nose and adds a touch of lemon peel. It never really finishes as you are left yearning for more. $20.00 Score: 93
2011 Domaine Menard Colombard Gascony, France A veritable fruit stand of flavors much like the carts in Provence. The peach and apple take off and are met by the nectarine and orange zest on a never ending swirl that you pray never finishes. It doesn't. $20.00 Score: 91
2011 Pajot Cotes de Gascogne Gascony, France Like a shy, yet endowed princess with soft lips and a sly smile, she enters softly but becomes more present with her presence. Guava and quince are just the beginning. The ending is yet to come. $12.00 Score: 94
2007 Old River Riesling Rhienhessen, German Oh, the lovely scent of pear blossom, the tingle of lemon zest and the thrill of apricot. So dizzying in its desire to please that it dishes up these profound flavors, an amalgam one can only experience for ones self as words fail to tell. $17.00 Score: 90
2012 Vignarco Orvieto Umbria, Italy Poor Orvieto, living in the shadows of the royal grapes of Piedmont, whilst providing royalty of its own. No less a wine than its peers with the slate and green apple wonder melding into a citrus basket and finally a grand and glorious finish. Hail the conquering Orvieto. $12.00 Score: 94
2008 Castello de Medina Verdejo Rueda, Spain Whirls and swirls of white peach nectar are everywhere. Apple blossom and tiny amounts of lemon drop excite every pore as you pour it down. Can't live without another sip. $22.00 Score: 93
Lilting Red
2011 Babcock Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills, California Soft and enveloping arms as though bundled by a loved one on a crisp, Autumn evening. Lilting, yet penetrating flavors of sweet cherry, cinnamon and clove dance on the tongue as the music plays on. $36.00 Score: 94
2005 Serenity Spotlight Series Merlot Monterey, California Would you like some cherry with your chocolate, coffee with your tea or just chuck it all for the Merlot? It's all there and more along with a healthy dollop of plum and blueberry. $25.00 Score: 93
Quixotic White
2010 Peralta Viognier Mendocino, California An elegantly Asian feature of spice and guava preserve and an imposing finish that lingers longer than the scent of a rose. An endless amalgam of exotic spices fill your senses with no release in sight. You are not released until the long, glowing finish. $12.00 Score: 93
2012 Penalolen Sauvignon Blanc Limari Valley, Chile A pale, summery yellow sparkles in the glass while the senses are titillated by nectarine compote seasoned with a touch of herbs and grapefruit. The lip smacking finish finishes the perfect experience. $21.00 Score: 94
2009 Felines Jourdan Picpoul de Pinet Coteaux du Languedoc, France This wine cannot be equaled. It is simply complex in its simplicity. Lovingly piquant with its white peach and lemon grass while the back end affronts you with melon and pear. Pair it with your last love. $24.00 Score: 95
2010 Tete du Rhone Cotes du Rhone Blanc Cotes du Rhone, France Fanciful courtship of earth and tropical hints which meld together to a mouthwatering finish. Spice and orange peel morph into white peach and lemon zest. $16.00 Score: 90
2006 Waipara Riesling Waipara, New Zealand Oh the slate of tastes to come. Wet granite and tinges of apricot and jasmine exude through every pore. Contemplative, yet aristocratic. $22.00 Score: 90
Quixotic Rose
2013 Carmine Monicord Cabernet Sauvignon Bordeaux, French Like a late afternoon sunset through rose colored glasses, this seductive beauty excites all the senses in a wave of sensual cinema. Sweet berry, tart cherry and all in between present themselves unabashedly. As they should. $15.00 Score: 5
Quixotic Red
2008 Las Nencias Malbec Mendoza, Argentina A massive expression of fruit and anger management sprinkled with heaven and earth. A dollop of black cherry here, a sprinkle of cranberry there and you have an experience to treasure until the next sip. $24.00 Score: 92
2007 Enkidu Sangiovese Napa Valley, California A dizzying display confronts you in the eye, probably the left one, and signals the sweet, strawberry jam that smacks you all over until you scream for more. $25.00 Score: 94
2008 Peralta Pinot Noir Napa Valley, California It breaths new life on your palate. Seductive clove and cinnamon follow the bright magenta and create an endless swirl of sensations. You close your eyes, your tongue dances. $18.00 Score: 94
2007 Pinnacle Ridge Merlot/Zinfandel Mendocino, California A pinnacle of a wine, long on leather and finish with black cherry and blueberry pie filling oozing out of every sip, Can't wait to taste it again and again. $18.00 Score: 91
2008 Lamura Nero d'Avola Sicily, Italy The heavens and the Earth clash majestically in this dizzying swirl of intense black cherry, licorice and leather. It leaves you breathless, yet you can still breathe. Maybe gasp would be more to the point. $19.00 Score: 92
2009 Evoh' Garnacha Aragon, Spain Sprinkles your tongue with kisses of cinnamon and nutmeg, swatches of cherry and plum and finally an almost peach-like finish. $16.00 Score: 93