Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino Wine List Review

Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino

10330 N. Wolfe Road

Cupertino, CA 95014

P: 408.446.2222

www.alexandersteakhouse.com

Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino Wine List Review

 We have been to this restaurant 20+ times since it opened, and we have never walked away disappointed. We even sat next to Jerry Rice on New Year’s Eve a few years ago, and watched him drink a bottle of the 1996 Dom Perignon, Rose ($350 at Premier Cru in Berkeley).  We are transplants from NYC so we have eaten at a few steakhouses, but Alexander’s is as good as any steakhouse we have ever been too.  Yes it is expensive, but it is worth it.

Here is an insider’s tip if you are taking your spouse / partner and you don’t want to break the bank: Order the 20oz Prime Rib and ask them to split it.  They will be more than happy to do so and it is delicious.

Our recommendation is to start your evening with the 2007 Dehlinger, Chardonnay ($50) or the 2010 Gary Farrell, Sauvignon Blanc ($54), and follow it up with the 2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie, Brunello di Montalcino ($64) or the 2008 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Noir ($78).

Alexander’s has an extensive wine list, but the focus of this review is to point out the best values on the list for wines that sell for less than $100 a bottle.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail (2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio | $34 | 2.0x | This translates into a retail price of $17).

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES UNDER $100 A BOTTLE 

White Wines

120+ selections that range in price from $34 to $1,085

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio | $34 | 2.0x

2010 Ceretto Blange, Langhe, Arneis | $38 | 2.1x

2010 Willakenzie, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Gris | $50 | 2.5x

2001 Vina Gravonia Crianza Rioja | $66 | 2.4x

2006 Dr. Loosen, Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel, Spaltese, Riesling | $60 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2008 Domaine des Baumard, Clos du Papillon, Savennieres, Chenin Blanc | $82 | 2.4x

2007 Schloss Goberlsburg, Renner Kamptal, Gruner Veltliner | $88 | 2.2x

 

2010 Honig, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $36 | 2.5x

2007 Efeste, Columbia Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $38 | 2.4x

2009 Kathryn Kennedy, Sauvignon Blanc | $44 | 2.2x

2010 Capture, Tradition, California, Sauvignon Blanc | $48 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $54 | 2.0x

2010 Gary Farrell, Redwood Ranch, Sonoma County, Sauvignon Blanc | $54 | 2.2x

2010 Spottswoode, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $72 | 2.0x

 

2007 Dehlinger, Unfiltered, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay | $50 | 1.5x | TOP PICK

2009 Domaine Louis Pinson Chablis | $52 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2009 Figge, Pelio Vineyard, Monterey, Chardonnay | $56 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2008 Mer Soliel, Santa Lucia Highlands, Chardonnay | $60 | 2.0x

2009 Beringer, Private Reserve, Chardonnay | $60 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2009 Dominique Cornin, Les Chevrieres, Pouilly-Fuisse | $62 | 2.2x

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay | $76 | 2.2x

2009 Walter Hansel, Cahill Lane, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay | $82 | 2.1x

2010 Diatom, Kodo, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay | $88 | 2.1x

2009 Far Niente, Chardonnay | $88 | 2.0x

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $94 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Red Wines

 350+ selections that range in price from $38 to $2,250

2010 Haden Fig, No. 52, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir | $38 | 2.2x

2008 Zotovich Family Vineyards, Estate, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $70 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2008 Ken Brown, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $74 | 2.2x

2009 Emeritus, Hallberg Ranch, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $74 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2007 Joseph Swan, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $76 | 2.5x

2008 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $78 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2007 Domaine Jayer-Gilles, Hautes Cotes-de-Nuits | $82 | 2.0x

2009 Domaine Drouhin, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir | $88 | 2.5x

2008 Peay Estate, Pomarium, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $94 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2008 White Rose, Dundee Hills, Pinot Noir | $94 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2003 Morey-St.-Denis, Domaine Heresztyn, Les Millandes | $98 | 1.2x | TOP PICK

2009 Louis Jadot, Moulin a Vent, Beaujolais | $44 | 2.2x

 

2008 Elizabeth Spencer, Sonoma Coast, Syrah | $40 | 1.1x | TOP PICK

2006 Surh Luchtel, Page Nord Vineyard, Napa Valley, Syrah | $50 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2006 Tir Na Nog, Old Vines, Mclaren Vale, Grenache | 450 | 2.0x

2009 d’Arenberg, Derelict Vineyard, Mclaren Vale, Grenache | $52 | 2.1x

2009 Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage | $62 | 2.1x

2008 Chateau Gigognan, Vigne du Regent, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $70 | 2.3x

2009 Domaine Roger Perrin, Vielles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $82 | 2.5x

2009 Peay, La Bruma, Sonoma Coast, Syrah | $98 | 2.1x

2008 Waters, Pepper Bridge, Walla Walla Valley, Syrah | $98 | 2.3x

 

2007 Joseph Swan, Zeigler Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Zinfandel | $58 | 2.1x

2009 Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs, Sonoma County, Zinfandel | $75 | 2.5x

2009 Turley, Pesenti Vineyard, Paso Robles, Zinfandel | $76 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

2009 Vietti, Barbera d’Asti, Tre Vigne | $38 | 2.0x

2008 Mauro Veglio, Angelo, Langhe Nebbiolo | $46 | 2.3x

2005 Castello di Volpaia, Riserva, Chianti Classico | $50 | 2.0x

2007 Terrabianca, Campaccio, Toscana Rosso | $62 | 2.5x

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie, Brunello di Montalcino | $64 | 1.3x | TOP PICK

2008 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses Priorat | $78 | 2.2x

2003 Boroli, Cerequio, Barolo| $94 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

 

2009 Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, Merlot | $44 | 2.2x

2008 Selene, Frediani Vineyard, Merlot | $80 | 2.0x

2008 Lang & Reed, Two Fourteen, Napa Valley, Cabernet Franc | $86 | 2.4x

2009 Beringer, Knights Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $44 | 2.4x

2007 Petit Manou, Medoc | $45 | 2.4x

2008 Stone Edge Farm, Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon | $50 | 2.3x

2008 Kathryn Kennedy, Lateral, Bordeaux Blend | $60 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2005 Chateau Petit-Bocq, St. Estephe | $60 | 1.8x | TOP PICK

2008 Laird Family, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $64 | 1.7x | TOP PICK

2005 Rosati Family Winery, Mendocino County, Cabernet Sauvignon | $72 | 2.4x

2008 Kathleen Kennedy, Small Lot, Cabernet Sauvignon | $74 | 2.2x

2007 Simi, Landslide Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 2.3x

2008 Honig, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $78 | 2.2x

2008 Tyrus Evan, Claret, Ciel du Cheval, Washington, Cabernet Sauvignon | $84 | 2.3x

1999 Chateau Bourgneuf-Vayron, Pomerol | $84 | 2.5x

2008 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $86 | 1.6x | TOP PICK

2009 Snowden, The Ranch, Cabernet Sauvignon | $88 | 2.5x

White Wines

120+ selections that range in price from $34 to $1,085

 

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio

Retail Price: $17 at Backroom Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $34 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

Description from Back Room Wines:  Our “house” Italian Pinot Grigio. And a heck of a good one at that! Sourced from hillside vineyards in the Veneto and Friuli Dry and exceedingly fruity. Smell and taste peaches, pears and apples. Good “snap” of acidity. Touch of lemongrass and coriander is pleasing on the palate. As good by itself as it is with food.

2010 Ceretto Blange, Langhe, Arneis

Retail Price: $18 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $38 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: Arneis, a native grape to Piedmont, produces a very fruitforward wine with hints of pears and apples. Ceretto Blangè Arneis is a luscious wine brought into balance with careful winemaking to preserve its acidity. Alcohol 12.5%.

2010 Willakenzie, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Gris

Retail Price: $20 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

88 points Wine Spectator: There’s a spicy edge to the pear and balsamic flavors in this savory white. Drink now. 3,771 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: The yellow-golden hued 2010 Pinot Gris exhibits an evolved nose of red apple and young coconut intermixed with wet stones and white pepper on the nose. With fresh kiwi and citrus notes on the palate the flavors start soft and build to a crisp finish. The pronounced acidity is complemented by notes of honeysuckle, lemon sherbert, toasted bread, candied pear and tart pineapple on the finish. With great acidity and energy we think this wine will pair best with something fresh like prociutto e melone, or even a bright, creamy squash soup. Serve well chilled. Alcohol 13.5%.

2001 Vina Gravonia Crianza Rioja

Retail Price: $27 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $66 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: “This old-school white is a faded beauty, evoking visions of candles and lace. Gentle, harmonious flavors mingle dried apple, rose petal, beeswax and vanilla, with just enough acidity to keep it balanced. Drink now.” (09/11)

2006 Dr. Loosen, Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel, Spaltese, Riesling

Retail Price: $32 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK

91 points Wine Spectator: Some carbonic gas gives this white a more severe profile. Racy and sleek for the vintage, with lime, peach and mineral flavors. It gets richer with air, with good texture and length. Drink now through 2026. 250 cases imported. –BS

2008 Domaine des Baumard, Clos du Papillon, Savennieres, Chenin Blanc

Retail Price: $34 at JJ Buckley

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $82 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

92 points Wine Advocate: The Baumard 2008 Savennieres Clos du Papillon has a hard act to follow given the quality of the vintage’s “standard” bottling. Pronounced nutty piquancy and wet stone in the nose as well as on the palate here mingle with smoky snuffed candle wick and black tea; quince and white peach. Like the corresponding regular bottling from the Clos St.-Yves, this displays a lighter touch and drier taste than its 2006 and 2007 counterparts, here with an almost austere combination of peach kernel, crushed stone, and graphite mineral messages in its finish. I personally prefer the relative delicacy and refreshment of the former bottling today, but this Clos du Papillon grips so authoritatively and combines such a sense of stuffing and stone without becoming heavy or bitter than it must also be counted a singular success, likely to keep well for a decade and perhaps beyond. Indeed, these are the finest Savennieres that I can recall having tasted from this address.

2007 Schloss Goberlsburg, Renner Kamptal, Gruner Veltliner

Retail Price: $40 at Back Room Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $88 at Alexander’s Steakhouse | 2.2x

Description from Back Room Wines: Renner Vineyard rests at the base of a hillside. Meager soils, southwest-facing (toward the setting sun) and shielded from the wind, the grapes get good lots of strong, warm sunshine. The result is a big, complex white not unlike White Burgundy (!). Smell & taste melons, quince paste, rocks, parsnips, grapefruit. This is a strong wine to pair with oily fish, winter stews and garlic-y pastas.

 

 

2010 Honig, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $14 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 88

$35 at Boulevard | 2.5x

$36 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

88 points Wine Advocate: This Loire Valley-styled 2010 Sauvignon Blanc exhibits an attractive green-ish hue along with notes of melons, white currants, figs and a hint of citrus oil. Made in a refreshing, medium-bodied, crunchy style with excellent purity, there are 48,000 cases of this popular Sauvignon. Enjoy it over the next 1-2 years.

2007 Efeste, Columbia Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $16 at K&L Wines

Rating: Stephen Tanzer 90

  • $38 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

90 points from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar: Medium yellow with green highlights. Wild aromas of lemon grass, Thai basil and ginger, with suggestions of soft citrus fruit. At once glyceral in texture and dry, with brisk, firm-edged flavors of wild herbs and slightly bitter citrus pith. Finishes with sneaky length. This idiosyncratic sauvignon, fermented with wild yeasts and aged in neutral French oak, should make a fascinating-and different-food wine.

2009 Kathryn Kennedy, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $44 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Description from K&L’s site: Here’s a fresh new Sauv. Blanc perfect for a more conscious consumer looking for wines that can compliment thier family’s green lifestyle. Reflective of a New Zealand style, this new release is sensibly priced and luxuriously flavored. Organic grapes make more delicious wine! Refreshing, vibrant, approachable and very versatile; able to match well with seasonal foods and especially fresh shellfish. 

2010 Capture, Tradition, California, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $30 at Vinfolio

Rating: Wine Spectator 89 

  • $48 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.6x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Spectator: Crisp and vibrant, displaying a terrific blend of peach blossom, lemon meringue, honeysuckle and juicy, mouthwatering lemon flavors. Impressive for its focus and refreshing quality. 

2010 Duckhorn, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $27 at K&L Wines

Rating:  See comments below 

  • $49 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $50 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.8x
  • $54 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x
  • $60 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

Description from K&L: Duckhorn’s 2010 Sauvignon Blanc reflects the winery’s passion for Bordeaux style blends, integrating 25% Semillon, fermenting a small amount of the wine in barrel, and aging sur lie. The result is a Napa Valley SB with a New World-meets-Old World charm. Tropical fruit aromas and flavors are supported by accents of flint, lees and spice. It’s round on the mid-palate, but with refreshing acidity, too. Try it with a fig or date salad with goat cheese and mizuna.

2010 Gary Farrell, Redwood Ranch, Sonoma County, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $24 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $54 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Winemaker’s notes: The Sauvignon Blanc shows a straw to pale gold color with light intensity and bright clarity in appearance. The nose shows medium plus intensity with a youthful development and aromas of lychee, pineapple, candied banana, melon and gooseberry. The palate is dry with medium plus acidity, body, flavor intensity and length, showing additional notes of grapefruit, green apple and honey. The lively, refreshing acidity and expressive fresh fruit in this wine should complement a variety of seafood dishes, as well as fresh salads and rich cheeses. This Sauvignon Blanc pairs beautifully with shellfish, especially Dungeness crab. Alcohol 14.1%. 

2010 Spottswoode, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $35 at Artisan Wine Depot, Beltramo’s & K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Boulevard | 1.4x | TOP PICK
  • $72 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Our Sauvignon Blanc represents what we believe to be the highest expression of this varietal—a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Musque, and Semillon from our Estate and from a handful of like-minded growers. We strive to create a vibrant, lovely, flavorful wine that pairs well with food. Due to its very limited production, this wine is offered only to our mailing list customers and to select restaurants around the country.

The 2010 is alive with vibrant, fresh acidity and perfectly balanced plush fruit characteristics. A very perfumey, floral nose with heady aromas of citrus and stone fruit is highlighted by wild sweet orange, apricot and ripe summer peaches. The beautifully integrated oak adds sweet cinnamon, honey and beeswax notes. A rich, fruit-filled palate with mineral expression and a soft, silky texture gives way to a lingering finish. Lovely, complex and smooth—simultaneously lush and lively!

 

 

2007 Dehlinger, Unfiltered, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $33 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 89+

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.5x | TOP PICK

89+ points Wine Advocate: From an old Wente clone, the 2007 Chardonnay Estate (which was aged in one-third new oak) is one of Dehlinger’s bigger cuvees, with just under 1,800 cases being produced. Although closed at present, it reveals plenty of bright citrus and nectarine notes intermixed with hints of white currants and pears. Elegant and medium-bodied with a distinctive minerality, but playing it close to the vest, this wine should open up and prove to be outstanding with another 8-12 months of bottle age. Feb 2010. 

Winemaker’s Notes: Positioned on a variety of exposures in Goldridge series soils, our Chardonnay vines were planted between 1975 and 1988. Careful leafing allows dappled light to reach the clusters and thinning to balances the crop load. The wine is aged in French oak barrels and undergoes full malolactic fermentation.

In recent years, we have bottled an “Estate Chardonnay” and a “See’s Selection Chardonnay.” The Estate Chardonnay is composed primarily of the Wente Clone, which produces small clusters and berries and has a notable minerality with an almost oily viscosity. The See’s Selection bottling showcases the stonefruit and lovely floral aromatics of a portion of our Chardonnay vineyard.

2009 Domaine Louis Pinson Chablis

Retail Price:  $30 at JJ Buckley

Rating: See comments below

  • $52 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino – 1.7x | TOP PICK

A deft hint of wood does not suppress the expressiveness of the mildly exotic dried yellow fruit and oyster shell nose that marries into delicious and succulent medium plus weight flavors that possess ample amounts of dry extract as well as a more linear, citrusy and energetic finish than most ’09s.

2009 Figge, Pelio Vineyard, Monterey, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $35 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $56 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.6x | TOP PICK 

Winemaker’s Notes: This is a young vineyard dominated by the “Coastal Influence”, with temperatures mainly in the upper 40’s at night and mid 70’s during the day throughout the growing season. This leads to a long hang time without the stress of sugar accumulation and a persistently high amount of acid in the wines. Alcohol 14.1%. 

2008 Mer Soliel, Santa Lucia Highlands, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

Description from K&L’s site: Mer Soleil is the project of Charlie Wagner, son and protégé of Caymus founder Chuck Wagner. The winery’s Central Coast Chardonnay comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the sea and the sun work in consort to create a wonderful environment for the varietal. A California-style chardonnay with lots of up front tropical fruit, spice and a buttery-rich mid-palate.

2009 Beringer, Private Reserve, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $35 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Spectator 93 & Wine Advocate 93

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.7x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Spectator: #40 WS Top 100 of 2011. A very classy wine that combines rich, layered, complex fruit with a sense of delicacy and finesse. Full-bodied, but not heavy, offering detailed fig, melon, apple and spice. What’s most impressive is the texture and length, with flavors continuing to develop. Drink now through 2015. 12,500 cases made

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Private Reserve, which comes primarily from Napa’s Gamble Ranch site, is a bigger, richer, more nutty-styled Chardonnay revealing tropical fruit, butter, brioche and hazelnut characteristics. They backed off the oak in this cuvee, which results in more fruit, interest and personality.

Winemaker’s Notes: Gamble Ranch is a vineyard that consistently delivers rich, ripe fruit flavors. Aromas of butterscotch, lemon curd, and toasted almonds evolve into rich tropical flavors. The rich, luscious mouthfeel is perfectly balanced by bright citrus notes. Alcohol 14.9%.

2009 Dominique Cornin, Les Chevrieres, Pouilly-Fuisse

Retail Price: $28 at Beltramo’s

Rating: See comments below

  • $62 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Description from Beltramo’s Site: “Les Chevrières” vines are located at the top of the hill in the village of Chaintré, clinging to thin clay soil, rooted in hard limestone stratums. This is why its name evokes knights and royalty! It comes as no surprise that these big-hearted “Chevrières” wines are always elegant and distinguished. Floral and fruity notes, balanced and lasting, compete with mineral accents to gain the king’s favour as well as your senses! Pleasure ensured with poultry and shellfish-the perfect match for this wine’s complex palate…especially after a few years of patience. Dominique Cornin

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $35 at K&L wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $76 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x 

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay is an absolutely gorgeous wine. Understated and classy from start to finish, it shows off layers of ripe fruit, subtle oak and spices. There is plenty of acidity to balance an expression of fruit that is generous, but just short of hitting tropical notes. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018.

2009 Walter Hansel, Cahill Lane, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $39 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $82 Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Cahill Lane (from the old Wente clone off a vineyard in front of Hansel’s house) is a deeper wine offering notes of white peaches, pears, white currants, unbuttered popcorn, hazelnuts and subtle smoke. It is a perfumed, medium to full-bodied white that admirably showcases the purity and elegance of this vintage for Burgundian varietals The outstanding 2009 Chardonnays are all perfumed and French in style. All of them go through malolactic fermentation and are aged in approximately 40% new French oak with lees stirring and minimal clarification if possible. 

2010 Diatom, Kodo, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $41 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $88 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Chardonnay Kodo comes across as round, sweet and lush in its apricots, minerals and flowers. It shows considerable depth and a round, generous finish. I especially like the wine’s sensual, inviting personality. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016

2009 Far Niente, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $43 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $88 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

92 points Wine Spectator: The best Far Niente Chardonnay in some time. This delivers very complex aromas and flavors, with subtle tiers of ripe pear, honeydew melon, fig and apricot, as well as hints of toasty, vanilla-scented oak. Drink now through 2018.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Far Niente Chardonnay offers aromas of Meyer lemon, honeysuckle and melon layered with toasted hazelnut and nutmeg. The entry is oily, long and silky with clean, bright acidity and fresh, tropical fruit flavors supported by sweet toasted oak. Alcohol 14.3%.

2009 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $56 at Napacabs

Rating: See comments below

  • $92 at Harris’ Restaurant | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $94 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.7x | TOP PICK

Winemaker Notes – Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrels unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees, has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, generally, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age. Our low-yielding (pruned and thinned to yield about two tons per acre).

 

Red Wines

350+ selections that range in price from $38 to $2,250

 

2010 Haden Fig, No. 52, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $17 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $38 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: In our commitment to pushing the envelope of natural winemaking-we took organically and biodynamically grown fruit from Johan Vineyard, fermented it in a large wood fermenter (fermenter no.52) and handled it minimally. The result is a wine that reflects old world character with tart cherry, violet and Asian spice. 

2008 Zotovich Family Vineyards, Estate, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $38 at The Los Olivos Wine Merchant

Rating: See comments below

  • $70 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Deep red. Sexy aromas of red and dark berry preserves, cola and oak spice, with a sneaky floral quality that gains strength with air. Juicy and palate-coating raspberry and blackberry flavors are energized by tangy acidity and given a bitter edge by a touch of cherry pit. Big but lively, with very good finishing cut and clarity. 326 case production.

2008 Ken Brown, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $74 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x 

Description from K&L’s site: Sourced from the warmer Rio Vista (68%) and cooler Rancho La Viña (32%) vineyard sites in the Santa Rita Hills, only 359 cases were produced of this enticing Pinot Noir. Aged for sixteen months in 36% new French oak barrels, this wine offers ripe, dark cherry fruit and earth spice in the nose, leading to a smooth, rich palate with an ultra-velvety mouthfeel. The wine’s dense palate is framed by fine-boned acidity and finishes with a kiss of toasty spice. There is an immediacy to this wine’s plush fruit that makes it hard to resist now, but it has the substance to withstand a few years in the cellar for further development in bottle.

 2009 Emeritus, Hallberg Ranch, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $44 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $72 at Boulevard | 1.6x
  • $74 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.7x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: The cold 2009 spring caused the vines to set a smaller–than–normal crop, but the subsequent cool growing season was ideal for Pinot Noir. We saw flavors develop slowly, in balance with tannins and sugar, resulting in more medium–bodied wines than the 2008s, with less alcohol than any of our previous wines. The wine has great depth, dark crimson color, and notable intensity —reminiscent of our 2007s. Overall, we are pleased with the deep colors, variety of flavors, great balance, elegant style, and rarity of the wines. It is rich without being heavy, and embodies what I am looking for in a Pinot: power and finesse. Dare I say iron fist in a velvet glove.

2007 Joseph Swan, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 86

  • $76 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

86 points Wine Spectator: A lighter, medium-bodied style, with subtle cherry, plum and wild berry notes that are appealing, clean and complex, if on a modest scale. Drink now. 560 cases made. –JL

2008 Etude, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $40 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Advocate 91

  • $78 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK

91 points Wine Advocate: The least expensive offering, the 2008 Pinot Noir Estate exhibits copious aromas of forest floor, strawberries, black cherries and hints of Allspice and herbs. Medium-bodied, beautifully textured and complex, it is ideal for drinking now and over the next 5-6 years.

Winemaker’s Notes: True ruby in color, the 2008 Pinot Noir bottling offers aromas of strawberries and sous bois mingled with aromatic woods. Hints of sandalwood and cedar on the nose are followed by elegant fruit flavor on the palate. Berry, plum and a cherry core introduce the wine. The saturated cherry and confiture notes are rounded out by brown spice, clove and oak toast on the finish. A lushness arises from the warmer growing season, creating a lively and defined Pinot Noir with freshness and length. Alcohol 14.1%.

2007 Domaine Jayer-Gilles, Hautes Cotes-de-Nuits

Retail Price: $40 at Kahn’s Fine Wines & Spirits

Rating: See comments below

  • $82 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Rich aromas of slate and minerals emanates from this Jayer-Gilles Hautes Cotes de Nuits, which also displays pear flavors and a fleshy, persistent personality. 

2009 Domaine Drouhin, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $35 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $88 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

90 points Wine Spectator: Firm in texture, with a grip of tannins around generous red berry, tobacco and floral flavors, which persist into the lively, deftly balanced finish. Drink now through 2017. 10,490 cases made. –HS

2008 Peay Estate, Pomarium, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $53 at K&L Wines

Rating: Stephen Tanzer 93

  • $94 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK

93 points Stephen Tanzer: Saturated red. Redcurrant, cherry-cola, cocoa, potpourri and star anise on the nose. Velvety, layered and intense, with a seamless texture to the sweet red berry and exotic floral flavors. The fruit becomes spicier on the sharply focused, impressively long finish. Very sexy, and balanced to age.

2008 White Rose, Dundee Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $70 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $94 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.3x | TOP PICK

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Pinot Noir White Rose Vineyard proffers a multi-dimensional nose of sandalwood, Asian spices, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry that leaps from the glass. Rich, layered, and already complex, this spicy offering has superb volume and concentration, impeccable balance, and a lengthy, fruit-filled finish. It merits 3-4 years of additional bottle age and will have a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2023. My first visit to White Rose Estate was an eye opener. Owner Greg Sanders is in love with whole cluster Pinot Noir and 2008 was a perfect vintage to express his vision. Congratulations to Greg Sanders and his staff for taking full advantage of the great 2008 vintage. (Oct. 2010)

2003 Morey-St.-Denis, Domaine Heresztyn, Les Millandes

Retail Price: $80 at Vinfolio – Auction

Rating: Burghound 87

  • $98 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.2x | TOP PICK 

87 points Burghound: As it usually is, this is wonderfully elegant with less earth nuances and more emphasis on fine and small red berry and cassis aromas but the precision and elegance the flavors displayed from cask are no longer present and instead, the flavors are now borderline heavy and while complex and sappy, this is no where near its usual level. In short, this is still interesting but particular. 2010+

 

2009 Louis Jadot, Moulin a Vent, Beaujolais

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines – SOLD OUT

Rating: Wine Spectator 90

  • $44 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

 90 points Wine Spectator: #94 Top 100 Wines of 2010. Graphite and vanilla aromas mix with the pure raspberry coulis, fig and ripe cherry fruit in this bright, lively red. There’s a sublayer of smoke and iron notes, with a lightly chewy finish. Drink now through 2014

Winemaker’s Notes: The Louis Jadot Moulin à Vent is a full, robust Beaujolais, with a fleshy, almost fat texture and greater longevity than any other Cru of the Beaujolais. The exceptional quality of its structure preserves a fruitiness which becomes mellow with bottle age.

It may be enjoyed after cellaring for 10 years or more (in good conditions of temperature and humidity). Then it will be perfect with red meat or game.

2008 Elizabeth Spencer, Sonoma Coast, Syrah

Retail Price: $35 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $40 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.1x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Dark magenta in color. Aromas of blackberries and plum. Notes of black cherry and apricots are subtle and delicate on the entry. The 2008 Syrah has serious structure and finishes clean with persistent flavors and tannins

2006 Surh Luchtel, Page Nord Vineyard, Napa Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $28 @ the Winery – SOLD OUT

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2006 Syrah has mostly similar features to the 2005 Syrah with a few differences.  It has more of a blueberry, blackberry, almost floral components and less strawberry.  It is still dark, opaque, purple with inviting sweet aromas of blackberry, cherry, current and toast.  Its texture is lush with medium weight. The flavors run from blackberry, blueberry, licorice, kirsch, and black pepper.  This is fruit driven, not oak, like our Cabernets.  The fruit is well-defined, balanced with lingering finish.  This is probably the most restrained Page Nord Syrah we have made and yet with the most amount of fruit.  It would accompany many foods exceptionally well from braised meats, grilled food, lamb and of course anything with bacon.

2006 Tir Na Nog, Old Vines, Mclaren Vale, Grenache

Retail Price: $25 at Napa Valley Wine & Cigar

Rating: Wine Spectator 91 & Wine Advocate 90

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

91 points Wine Spectator: Lithe and distinctive for its orange peel¿accented black cherry and licorice flavors, lingering harmoniously on the fine-grained finish. Drink now through 2012. 550 cases imported.

90 points Wine Advocate: The purple-colored 2006 Old Vines Grenache reveals an attractive perfume of Asian spices, cedar, and black cherry. Smooth on the palate with no hard edges, this tasty Grenache is nicely layered and lengthy. Drink it over the next six years. (Feb 09)

2009 d’Arenberg, Derelict Vineyard, Mclaren Vale, Grenache

Retail Price: $25 at Wine.com

Rating: Stephen Tanzer 91

  • $52 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

91 points Stephen Tanzer: Bright ruby. Ripe cherry and plum on the nose, with complicating notes of mocha and dried rose. Round, fleshy dark fruit flavors show very good depth and pick up smokiness with air. A brighter note of redcurrant arrives on the long, sappy, floral-accented finish. I like this wine’s focus and bite.

Winemaker’s Notes: The nose is an inviting swirl of flowers, spice, earth and red fruits including strawberries and mulberries. The palate is a textural wonderland, slippery graphite then grainy, gritty fruit tannin flows into earthy grip betraying its old-vine concentration. All the while the ripe red fruits dance about, keeping everything fresh and zingy. This is an intense, structured Grenache worthy of aging to build upon its already complex character. This is real Grenache, at its best. Alcohol 14.5%.

2009 Alain Graillot, Crozes-Hermitage

Retail Price: $29 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 90

  • $62 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

90 points Wine Advocate: Denser, with more blackberry fruit such as well as hints of licorice and cassis, the medium to full-bodied, wonderfully pure, dense 2009 Crozes-Hermitage is a winner and a big-time sleeper of the vintage. This rich, full, multi-layered wine should drink well for 10-15 years. 2009 is Alain Graillot’s finest vintage since 1990.

2008 Chateau Gigognan, Vigne du Regent, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $30 at Woodland Hills Wine Co

Rating: Wine Advocate 85

  • $70 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

85 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape Vigne du Regent exhibits loads of fruit, medium body, but not the depth, power, or length of the 2007 version. Drink it over the next 5-6 years.

2009 Domaine Roger Perrin, Vielles Vignes, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $33 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 87

  • $82 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape (72% Grenache and the rest mostly Syrah with some Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise and Vaccarese) offers pleasant garrigue, peppery, black cherry and strawberry fruit and good freshness. While lighter than I remember last year, it is an attractive wine to drink over the next 4-5 years.

2009 Peay, La Bruma, Sonoma Coast, Syrah

Retail Price: $47 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $98 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x 

Winemaker’s Notes: All of our 2009 wines are fairly open in their youth and show the fruit, exuberance and promise of a knobby kneed, loose elbowed, teenager. The 2009 La Bruma Estate Syrah hints that this teenager will evolve into a mature, complex lad who will turn heads and demand attention. The aromas in the nose include huckleberry, orange, plum and acai berry. La Bruma is always the more floral syrah and shows the classic hi-toned lilac and antique rose scents. Underlying the top fruit and floral notes lie spiced beef, blood, caramel and spicy cinnamon and licorice notes. The mouth is not as exuberant as the nose and emphasizes flavors of blood, lead and flint like a good steak tartare. It is medium bodied with a sharp and focused attack that carries all the way to the back of the palate finishing with great length and crisp acidity. Age for at least 5 years and enjoy for the next 1-2 decades.

2008 Waters, Pepper Bridge, Walla Walla Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $43 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Stephen Tanzer 88

  • $98 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

88 points Stephen Tanzer: Medium ruby-red. Sexy, expressive aromas of dark cherry, gunflint, pepper and iron, complicated by floral and gamey nuances. Sweet but quite firm, with candied berry and cherry flavors firmed by an edge of acidity. Turns slightly tart and a bit unyielding on the finish

Winemaker’s Notes: A nose of creamy dark cherries, baking spices and a hint of toast and coffee. Sweet and tart rhubarb, coupled with dark fruit on the front palate and minerality on the back. The tannins are focused and intense, alongside bold acidity.

 

2007 Joseph Swan, Zeigler Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $27 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $58 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

Description from K&L’s site: Only 166 cases were produced of this classic old vine Swan Zin from the Zeigler vineyard. It’s got that signature black pepper, black raspberry/blackberry/pomegranate nose, and the palate explodes with ripe, juicy fruit with spicy complexity. There’s ample fruit to be pleasurable young, but like the classic Swan Zins from the early 70’s, optimum ripeness in fruit and tannin–a mark of the 2007 vintage–makes this a worthy cellar candidate. Stored in the proper conditions, a Zinfandel of this caliber will age for decades.

2009 Ridge Vineyards, Lytton Springs, Sonoma County, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $30 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 95

  • $74 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

95 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Lytton Springs is the biggest and most structured of these 2009 Zinfandel-based reds, largely owing to the earthier soils and the presence 23% Petite Sirah. Black fruit, plums, tar, licorice and smoke are some of the notes that flow from this generous, inviting red. The Lytton Springs is fairly structured, and can definitely benefit from another year or two (perhaps more) in bottle. The blend is 74% Zinfandel, 21% Petite Sirah and 5% Carignane. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2029.

Winemaker’s  Notes: Ripe black cherry/raspberry nose, with notes of pepper, licorice, chaparral, and tobacco. Rich black fruit on the palate. Full and viscous. Well-coated tannins and a long, layered finish. Alcohol 14.5%. 

2009 Turley, Pesenti Vineyard, Paso Robles, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $48 at Sherry-Lehman

Rating: Wine Advocate 91 – 93

  • $76 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.6x | TOP PICK 

91 to 93 points Wine Advocate: The broad, structured, mineral-dominated, deep plum/purple-colored 2009 Zinfandel Pesenti Vineyard is made from head-trained old vines planted in pure limestone. It possesses copious notes of pepper, flowers, black cherries, black currants and a hint of chalk. With more structure and tannin than most of its siblings, it will benefit from 6-12 months of bottle age, and should keep for 5-6 years.

 

 

2009 Vietti, Barbera d’Asti, Tre Vigne

Retail Price: $19 at Wine.com

Rating: See comments below

  • $38 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Ruby purple color with ripe red cherry aromas with hints of mineral and vanilla. A dry, medium bodied red wine with refreshing acidity (making it perfect to pair with food) and soft tannins, the Barbera d’Asti Tre Vigne is well balanced with good integration of oak, good complexity and a finish of more red cherries. Alcohol 14.0%.

2008 Mauro Veglio, Angelo, Langhe Nebbiolo

Retail Price: $20 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits

Rating: See comments below

  • $46 at Alexander’s Steakhous Cupertino | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: Fresh aromas of roses and red fruits, medium bodied, round and delicate, uniting the complexity typical of  nebbiolo with the pleasing freshness that results from the brief time in bottle and wood.

 2005 Castello di Volpaia, Riserva, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $25 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine & Spirits 90

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

90 points Wine & Spirits: Fully mature, there’s a clean, gentle sense fo sangiovese at the center of this wine, softened by age to a round, plum-tomato smokiness. An autumnal wine, this is ready to drink with salumi. 

Winemaker’s Notes: The characteristic of 2005 year was the alternation of dry and hot periods with wet and relatively cold ones. The ripeness of grapes occurred slowly with a good development of aromatic components. The harvest was late, compared to the previous years, but a strict and rigid selection of bunches of grapes gave us the opportunity to bring in the cellar healthy and ripe grapes that enabled a regular fermentation. This brought the result of wines with a good aromatic character and a good balance between acidity and alcoholic concentration. Now it is too early to give a judgment for 2005 wines, but we can say that we can expect wines that will evolve well and that will be very enjoyable.

The Chianti Classico Riserva has a ruby red color with a trace of garnet. The nose is elegant, displaying hints of spice and fruit. This is a well-structured wine with smooth tannins and a long finish. Alcohol 13.0%.

2007 Terrabianca, Campaccio, Toscana Rosso

Retail Price: $25 at Cellar Collections

Rating: Wine Advocate 92 

  • $62 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino – 2.5x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Campaccio is beautifully ripe and succulent in its dark, extroverted fruit. In 2007, Campaccio veers on the edge of overripeness but there is just enough acidity to keep things in check. French oak, smokiness, new leather and licorice add depth to the rich, creamy finish. I am not sure how the 2007 will age, but it should provide highly pleasurable drinking for at least another decade. Campaccio is 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022. (Oct 2010)”

2004 Casanuova delle Cerbaie, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $49 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $64 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.3x | TOP PICK

Casanuova delle Cerbaie’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous in this vintage. A firm, structured, Brunello, it offers up attractive scents of smoke, grilled herbs, (French oak) and leather. Today the wine comes across as needing bottle age, as the elements aren’t quite woven together as finely as they will be with some time. Still, there is a lovely persistence and depth to this wine that augurs well for the future. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022

2008 Alvaro Palacios, Les Terrasses Priorat

Retail Price: $35 at Beltramo’s Wine and Spirits

Rating: Wine Advocate 92

  • $78 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino – 2.2x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Les Terrasses Vinyes Velles is the same blend as the Camins cuvee but is aged for 12 months in 20% new French oak. It offers greater complexity both aromatically and on the palate. Smoothly-textured, intense, plush, and spicy, it opens up nicely in the glass with floral (lavender), mineral, pepper, and black cherry notes reappearing in the robust finish.

2003 Boroli, Cerequio, Barolo

Retail Price: $57 Average Price via wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $94 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.6x | TOP PICK

88 points Wine Spectator: Shows strawberry and cedar on the nose. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a fresh finish. Delicious already. This is a new single-vineyard wine from Boroli. Best after 2007. 500 cases made. –JS

 

2009 Freemark Abbey, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $44 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: The color is a deep, rich ruby-garnet. With forward spicy sweet oak, there are layers of flavor composed of black cherry, raspberry, dark plum, dark chocolate and spices such as cinnamon, clove and vanilla. The entry and finish are very smooth with integrated fruit resembling black cherry and Santa Rosa plum. The velvety texture coupled with the richness of flavor provides a profile that delivers from initial sip, one that continues on the palate for a very long finish… enjoy.  Blend: 80.2% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.2% Petit Verdot and Syrah 0.6%.  Vineyards: Keyes, Stage Coage and Beckstoffer, among others. Alcohol 14.4%.

2008 Selene, Frediani Vineyard, Merlot

Retail Price: $40 at Beltramo’s

Rating: Wine Spectator 92

  • $80 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x

92 points Wine Spectator: Sleek yet layered and complex, with rich aromas of red currant and toasty mocha, followed by lush flavors of black cherry and spicy, toasty oak, with hints of roasted herb and cedar. Tannins sneak in on the finish. Drink now through 2016. 378 cases made. –TF

2008 Lang & Reed, Two Fourteen, Napa Valley, Cabernet Franc

Retail Price: $36 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $86 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: Medium to dark garnet in color, this wine smells of chocolate, lightly vegetal green bell pepper, and violets. In the mouth velvety tannins wrap around a silky concoction of cherry, chocolate, and wonderfully floral qualities. Dynamic and complex, with an underlying earth tone, this is a beautiful wine. Nice acidity and a long finish. 14.5% alcohol.

  

2009 Beringer, Knights Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $18 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

$44 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

91 points Wine Spectator: A lot of Cabernet at this price. Combines ripe, plump, plum, black cherry and black berry flavors in a rich, smooth, polished style, full bodied and firming nicely on the finish, where the tannins have a minerally edge. Drink now through 2021.

Winemaker’s Notes: Aromas of cherry, anise and cocoa are followed by abundant flavors of dark cherry and a hint of spice. The soft, mouth-coating tannins are highlighted by the blend’s juicy fruit core. Alcohol 14.3%.

2007 Petit Manou, Medoc

Retail Price: $19 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $45 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x 

Description from K&L’s site: This is the second wine of Clos Manou, and like its sibling, it is made in a new wave, decidedly garage style with tons of ripe raspberry fruit and smooth, silky tannins. Owners Francoise and Stephane Dief are passionate newcomers to the wine world, and their enthusiasm shows in this value-priced crowd pleaser. Blended from 44% merlot, 56% cabernet sauvignon aged for 12 months in one-year-old barrels (50% American and 50% French oak) and bottled without fining or filtration, this heady unctuous red is ready to drink now.

2008 Stone Edge Farm, Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $22 at Beltramo’s and $25 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $50 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Surround Cabernet Sauvignon has forward aromas of black cherry and chocolate. The color is an opulent deep red, hinting at the lush, full-bodied flavor and long finish. Our 2008 Surround Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of lots from our Estate vineyards (Stone Edge Farm and Mount Pisgah), the Coco Bean Vineyard in the eastern foothills of Sonoma, and the Moon Mountain Vineyard high in the Mayacamas Mountains. All of the vineyards are farmed organically by Phil Coturri and meticulously groomed to produce small crops of intensely flavored grapes.

2008 Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $28 at Bounty Hunter

Rating: Wine Spectator 87

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.1x

87 points Wine Spectator: Pleasant loamy earth, dried herb and cedar notes shadow dried currant and savory herb flavors. Full-bodied and complete, if shy on extra facets. Drink now through 2018. 26,000 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: To the eye the wine displays a deep ruby red. The aromas include bold cassis with ripe layers of black plum and dark cherries, complemented with complex notes of clove, molasses, bay, and vanilla. On the palate, the wine has a full and dense mouthfeel with rich, velvety tannins. Flavors of blackberry, cocoa, tobacco, mocha, and cassis fill the palate with generous body and supple texture. Alcohol 14.5%.

2008 Kathryn Kennedy, Lateral, Bordeaux Blend

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK 

88 points Wine Spectator: Presents the herbal side of dried currant, tobacco, herb and cedar. For all its tannic flex, this full-bodied red ends with a lingering, detailed finish. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2019. 2,700 cases made. –JL

 2005 Chateau Petit-Bocq, St. Estephe

Retail Price: $33 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 89 to 91

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.8x | TOP PICK 

89 to 91 points Wine Spectator: Blackberry and currants follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a fresh, fruity aftertaste. Score range: 89-91 –JS

2008 Laird Family, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $37 at Napacabs

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $64 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.7x | TOP PICK

91 points Wine Spectator: A smooth, graceful, polished style, with complex, lively currant, spice, tobacco and cedar flavors. Full-bodied and appealing for its suppleness and focus. Drink now through 2020. 1,500 cases made. –JL

2005 Rosati Family Winery, Mendocino County, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $30 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: See comments below

  • $72 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: This medium bodied wine with ruby clarity is lush with lively dark fruit. It was aged 18 months in French Oak. Aromas of blackberries and spice fill the bouquet. It is an earthy wine with hints of chocolate. The smooth tannins create a wine that is elegant, balanced and approachable. For years to this wine will age gracefully.

2008 Kathleen Kennedy, Small Lot, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $33 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $74 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

Description from K&L’ site: This esteemed producer’s knowledge of the Santa Cruz Mountains enables them to have access to the best fruit from superior small vineyards in the appellation. These growers include residential homeowner whose grapes arrive at the crush pad in very small lots. Limited in production, the 2008 was vinified using the same small scale techniques employed for Kathryn Kennedy’s other great wines. In the hands of a seasoned Cabernet specialist like Marty Mathis, the results are extraordinary. Look for classic Santa Cruz Mountains blue and red fruits with woodsy spice accents, mineral highlights over a dense core of fruit on the palate, and an elegant bearing with well-defined tannins.

2007 Simi, Landslide Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $34 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Enthusiast 88

  • $78 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

88 points Wine Enthusiast: This is a good, full-bodied, dry Cabernet that delivers with plenty of varietal personality. Shows very ripe, concentrated blackberry, cherry and currant flavors, with plenty of sweet oak, and is tannic enough to develop over the next 4–6 years. Easy to find, with 12,000 cases produced.

Winemaker’s Notes: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot, 1% Tannat. Deep, dark and nearly opaque with a ruby edge, the 2007 Landslide offers up evocative aromas of chocolate laced with cinnamon, blackberry, plum, black cherry and exotic wood spice. On the palate, a velvety entry is followed by concentrated black cherry and red plum fruit accented with toffee. It finishes with a hint of roasted coffee. Supple tannins add depth and length. This Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with filet mignon with Cabernet mushroom sauce or pan-roasted chicken with Swiss chard, pancetta and onions in creamy polenta.

2008 Honig, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $35 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

Rating: Wine Spectator 91

  • $78 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.2x

91 points Wine Spectator: Firm and well-structured, delivering a tight, focused core of mineral, dried berry, spicy mocha, cedar and oak. But what’s most impressive is the balance of texture, flavor and weight. A fine Cabernet. Drink now through 2018. 15,000 cases made. –JL

2008 Tyrus Evan, Claret, Ciel du Cheval, Washington, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $36 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: See comments below

  • $84 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: Even great Pinot Noir winemakers need a break from the finicky, noble grape once in awhile. Ken Wright, known for his highly-rated, single-vineyard Pinot Noir, introduced a new label in 2003, Tyrus Evan, producing Claret, Syrah, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The production of the Tyrus Evan line will always remain small which is bad news for consumers as quality just keeps getting better and better. Ripe, round and generous with its plum, currant and cherry fruit, this is brushed by tar, cola and decaying leaf notes before the fruit emerges on the finish to linger beautifully against grippy tannins. Every sip shows a different facet.

When wine experts consider Washington State’s great vineyards, one name that consistently appears near the top of any list is Ciel du Cheval Vineyard in the Red Mountain AVA. Famed for the elegance and complexity of the wines it produces, Ciel du Cheval and its owner Jim Holmes have become near-legendary exemplars of what Washington wine is all about. When asked how he accounts for his vineyard’s success, the two ingredients that Holmes feels are critical are “Dirt and climate, climate and dirt.” 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 25% Merlot, 20% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc, all from Washington’s Ciel du Cheval Vineyard.

1999 Chateau Bourgneuf-Vayron, Pomerol

Retail Price: $34 at Aabalat Fine & Rare Wines

Rating: Wine Advocate 87

$84 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

87 points Wine Advocate: This wine is dark ruby-colored, with notes of scorched earth intermixed with Provencal herbs, plums, and chocolate. This medium-bodied wine is spicy and dense, with astringent tannin in the finish. If the tannin becomes better integrated without a loss of fruit, it will merit its excellent rating and last for 12+ years.

2008 A. Rafanelli, Dry Creek Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $52 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $86 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Luscious black cherry fruit and oak sweetened cassis implode on your palate.  As our vineyard manger said, “just pull the cork and enjoy!”  This is our classic Cabernet full of flavor and perfectly finessed.  But don’t drink it all now, because it is only going to get better with time.

2009 Snowden, The Ranch, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $35 at Artisan Wine Depot

Rating: Wine Advocate 93

  • $88 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.5x

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon The Ranch bursts from the glass with masses of dark red fruit, tobacco, licorice and cassis. The wine shows marvelous depth and texture as the aromas and flavors build effortlessly to the dramatic, sweeping finish. This is a superb effort, and certainly one of the very finest Napa Valley wines available for the money. This is a big and hugely delicious wine. In 2009 the blend is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18.2% Cabernet Franc and 6.8% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

VinoServant’s First Growth Wine Values

 

2004 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Retail Price: $490 at Saratoga Wine Exchange, $520 at Belmont Wine Exchange & $539 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Robert Parker 93 | 2015 to 2045

  • $595 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 1.1x
  • $600 at Meadowood

 

Vintage Description from the Wine Spectator 89 – Drink or Hold: Northern Medoc shines in a less than ideal vintage.

1999 Chateau Margaux

Retail Price: $475 at Belmont Wine Exchange, 499 at K&L Wines & $588 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Robert Parker 94 | Now to 2017

  • $595 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino
  • $1,180 at The Village Pub

Vintage Description from the Wine Spectator 87 – Drink or Hold: Fruity and balanced; some wines slightly green.

1996 Chateau Latour

Retail Price: $850 at Sherry Lehman, $899 at K&L Wines & $1,081 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Robert Parker 99 | 2015 to 2050

  • $1,495 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino
  • $1,500 at Spruce
  • $1,820 at The Village Pub

 

Vintage Description from the Wine Spectator 91 – Drink or Hold: Wet August, yet Cabernets still excellent; firm.

1994 Chateau Haut Brion

Retail Price: $450 at JJ Buckley & $453 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Robert Parker 93 | 2002 to 2025

  • $525 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino

 

Vintage Description from the Wine Spectator 85 – Drink: Medium-bodied, with good fruit and firm tannins.

1988 Chateau Haut Brion

Retail Price: $450 at JJ Buckley & $493 via Wine-Searcher

Rating: Robert Parker 92 | Now to 2025

  • $695 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino

Vintage Description from the Wine Spectator 93 – Drink or Hold: Racy, fruity wines, with firm tannins and typical structure; best in Pessac-Leognan, Pomerol and Pauillac.

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