Zuni Cafe Wine List Review

Zuni Café

1658 Market St. (b/w Page St. & 12th St.)

San Francisco, CA

P: 415.552.2522

http://www.zunicafe.com

Zuni Café Wine List Review

This is an update to our review from March 15, 2012. We love this wine list!  Consisting of wines from the United States, France and Italy, it is concise, to the point, and there are a number of great options under $80 a bottle.  On the other hand, if you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, then sample a few of the white and red burgundies on the list.

As with all VinoServant reviews, you will see the price at the restaurant followed by the mark-up over retail, and if applicable, a rating from one of the publications listed below (2009 Cantina del Taburno, Taburno, Falanghina | $34 | 2.0x | WS 88 | TP). Mark up of 2.0x translates into a retail price of $17 a bottle, Wine Spectator rated this wine 88 points and it is one of our Top Picks at Zuni Cafe.

Burghound – Burg | Connoisseurs’ Guide  – CG | James Suckling – JS | VinoServant Top Pick – TP | Wine Advocate – WA | Wine Enthusiast – WE | Wine Spectator – WS |

 

VinoServant’s Top 25 Wines at Zuni Cafe

 

Sparkling & White Wine

Veuve Fourny & Fils, Brut Rose, 1er Cru, Vertus | $78 | 1.6x

 

2010 Domaine Roland Schmitt, Alsace, Pinot Blanc | $35 | 1.7x

2009 Cantina del Taburno, Taburno, Falanghina | $34 | 2.0x | WS 88

2010 Kelly Fleming, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $52 | 1.5x

 

2010 Domaine de la Cadette, Bourgogne, Vezelay La Chatelaine | $42 | 1.7x

2010 Copain, Tous Ensemble, Anderson Valley Chardonnay | $48 | 1.9x | WA 89

2008 Domaine Robert-Denogent, La Croix Vieilles Vignes, Pouilly-Fuisse | $62 | 1.6x | WS 90

2009 Sandhi Wines, Sanford & Benedict, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay | $64 | 1.4x | WA 90

2008 Stony Hill, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $65 | 1.5x

2009 Domaine Cherisey, Hameau de Blagny, 1er Cru, Puligny-Montrachet | $92 | 1.1x

 

Red Wine

2009 Freestone Vineyards, Fog Dog, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir | $60 | 2.2x | WE 93

2009 Domaine A. et P. de Villaine, La Digione, Cote Chalonnaise | $62 | 1.6x | Burg 88

2008 Meo-Camuzet, Fixin 1er Cru, Clos du Chapitre | $76 | 1.3x | WA 89

2008 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Pinot Noir | $88 | 1.8x | WS 91

1999 Domaine de l’ Arlot, 1er Cru, Nuits-Saint-Georges | $122 | 1.3x | WA 92

2006 Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint Georges, 1er Cru, Aux Boudots | $138 | BELOW RETAIL | Burg 91

 

2008 Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph | $54 | 1.9x | IWC 88

2008 Baker Lane Vineyard, Estate Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah | $60 | 1.7x

2007 Domaine Richaud, Cairanne, Cotes-du-Rhone | $60 | 1.7x | WS 89

2008 Domaine Jean Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, Rhone Valley | $80 | 1.4x | WS 90

 

2008 Querciabella, Chianti Classico | $55 | 1.8x | WS 88

2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco | $78 | 1.6x | WA 92

2009 Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove, Bolgheri Tuscany | $82 | 1.7x | JS 90 & WA 92

 

2008 Robert Craig, Affinity, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $75 | 1.9x | WA 89

1986 Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac | $235 | 1.1x | WA 94

 

 

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT ZUNI CAFE

Sparkling Wines

14 selections that range in price from $40 to $220

 

Veuve Fourny & Fils, Brut Rose, 1er Cru, Vertus | $78 | 1.6x | TP

2004 Pierre Moncuit, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger | $90 | 1.6x | WS 93 | TP

Henriot, Brut Blanc, Souverain, Reims, Non Vintage | $92 | 1.8x | WA 91

Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose, Mareuil-sur-Ay | $125 | 1.8x | WA 90

1995 Charles Heidsieck, Blancs des Millenaires, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Reims | $180 | 1.1x | WA 90 | TP

2003 Dom Perignon | $220 | 1.6x | WA 94 | TP

 

White Wines

 44 selections (15 US, 21 France & 8 Italy) that range in price from $32 to $195

 

2009 Navarro Vineyards, Anderson Valley, Gewurztraminer | $32 | 1.4x | TP

2010 Domaine Roland Schmitt, Alsace, Pinot Blanc | $35 | 1.7x | TP

2010 Cold Heaven, Santa Ynez Valley, Viognier | $40 | 2.0x

 

2010 Piero Mancini, Sardinia, Vermentino | $32 | 2.2x

2009 Cantina del Taburno, Taburno, Falanghina | $34 | 2.0x | WS 88 | TP

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio | $36 | 2.1x

2010 Vietti, Piedmont, Arneis | $45 | 2.2x | WA 89 | TP

 

2010 Hall, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc | $34 | 1.9x | WE 91

2010 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy, Loire Valley, Sancerre | $50 | 2.3x

2010 Kelly Fleming, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $52 | 1.5x | TP

 

2010 Domaine de la Cadette, Bourgogne, Vezelay La Chatelaine | $42 | 1.7x | TP

2010 Copain, Tous Ensemble, Anderson Valley Chardonnay | $48 | 1.9x | WA 89 | TP

2008 Domaine Robert-Denogent, La Croix Vieilles Vignes, Pouilly-Fuisse | $62 | 1.6x | WS 90 | TP

2009 Sandhi Wines, Sanford & Benedict, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay | $64 | 1.4x | WA 90 | TP

2008 Stony Hill, Napa Valley, Chardonnay | $65 | 1.5x | TP

2010 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Clos de la Crochette, Macon Chardonnay | $66 | 2.1x | Burg 91

2009 Domaine Roulot Bourgogne Blanc | $68 | 1.9x | Burg 86

2010 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $75 | 1.3x | TP

2009 Domaine Cherisey, Hameau de Blagny, 1er Cru, Puligny-Montrachet | $92 | 1.1x | TP

2008 Domaine Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet, 1er Cru, Boudriotte | $128 | 1.8x | Burg 90

 

Red Wines

 61 selections (22 US, 28 France & 11 Italy) that range in price from $34 to $235

 

2009 Freestone Vineyards, Fog Dog, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir | $60 | 2.2x | WE 93

2009 Domaine A. et P. de Villaine, La Digione, Cote Chalonnaise | $62 | 1.6x | Burg 88 | TP

2007 Joseph Swan, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $65 | 2.2x | WS 86

2008 Meo-Camuzet, Fixin 1er Cru, Clos du Chapitre | $76 | 1.3x | WA 89 | TP

2008 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Pinot Noir | $88 | 1.8x | WS 91 | TP

2009 Domaine de Montille, Premier Cru, Beaune, Les Sizies | $88 | 1.8x | Burg 89

1999 Domaine de l’ Arlot, 1er Cru, Nuits-Saint-Georges | $122 | 1.3x | WA 92 | TP

2007 Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Grand Cru, Corton-Bressandes | $122 | 1.7x | Burg 90

2008 Domaine Michel Gros, Clos des Reas, 1er Cru, Vosne Romanee | $132 | 1.5x | WS 88

2006 Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint Georges, 1er Cru, Aux Boudots | $138 | BELOW RETAIL | Burg 91 | TP

 

2010 Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, Beaujulais | $50 | 2.0x | WA 92 | TP

 

2005 Domaine Bunan, Moulin des Costes, Bandol, Provence | $50 | 1.9x

2008 Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph | $54 | 1.9x | IWC 88 | TP

2009 Qupe, Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard, Edna Valley, Grenache | $54 | 1.8x | WA 88

2008 Baker Lane Vineyard, Estate Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah | $60 | 1.7x | TP

2007 Domaine Richaud, Cairanne, Cotes-du-Rhone | $60 | 1.7x | WS 89 | TP

2003 Cold Heaven, Second Sin, Santa Barbara, Syrah | $64 | 2.0x

2009 Domaine La Bouissiere, Gigondas | $72 | 1.9x | WA 90

2008 Domaine Jean Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, Rhone Valley | $80 | 1.4x | WS 90 | TP

2008 Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe, La Crau, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $98 | 1.8x | WS 92

2008 Thierry Allemand, Cornas Reynard, Rhone Valley | $138 | 1.4x | WS 93 | TP

 

2007 Sky Vineyards, Mount Veeder, Zinfandel | $58 | 2.1x

2007 Scherrer Winery, Alexander Valley, Zinfandel | $60 | 2.1x | WS 90

 

2010 Elio Altare, Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont | $45 | 2.5x | WA 90

2008 Querciabella, Chianti Classico | $55 | 1.8x | WS 88 | TP

2008 Occhipinti, Siccagno, Nero d’Avola, Sicily | $68 | 2.3x

2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco | $78 | 1.6x | WA 92 | TP

2009 Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove, Bolgheri Tuscany | $82 | 1.7x | JS 90 & WA 92 | TP

2007 Vietti, Castiglione, Barolo | $88 | 2.2x | WA 93

2007 Casanova di Neri, Brunello di Montalcino | $88 | 1.8x | JS 91 & WA 93

 

2009 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Loire Valley, Chinon | $48 | 2.1x | WS 91

2008 Robert Craig, Affinity, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $75 | 1.9x | WA 89 | TP

2009 Shafer, Napa Valley, Merlot | $75 | 1.6x | WA 90 | TP

1985 Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien | $210 | 1.4x | WA 91

1986 Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac | $235 | 1.1x | WA 94 | TP

 

 

Sparkling Wines

 14 selections that range in price from $40 to $220

 

Veuve Fourny & Fils, Brut Rose, 1er Cru, Vertus

Retail Price: $48 at Arlequin Wine Merchant

  • $78 at Zuni Café | 1.6x

 

Description from Kermit Lynch: 85 % Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Noir (Rouge de Vertus, still red wine that is vinified separately in barrel then blended into the Chardonnay). 50% of this cuvee is raised in barrel. It is aged in bottle for two years before release. Vertus is known for its red wines. This NV bottling has a fairly dark color due to the high percentage of still Pinot added and the wood aging gives a decidedly Burgundian touch. A very classy rosé with great balance and complexity, ripe berry fruit and an elegant profile.

 

2004 Pierre Moncuit, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Le-Mesnil-sur-Oger

Retail Price: $55 at Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

  • $90 at Zuni Cafe| 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

93 points Wine Spectator: Vibrant and well-balanced, with a finely meshed texture subtly woven with flavors of ripe apple, dried pineapple, tangerine, ginger and fleur de sel. It’s all focused by a streak of minerality that shows on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2024. 208 cases made. –AN

 

Henriot, Brut Blanc, Souverain, Reims, Non Vintage

Retail Price: $50 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits & $60 at K&L Wines

  • $92 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

91 points Wine Advocate: The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs is a beautifully balanced, harmonious wine. There is just enough roundness and generosity to balance the focus of the Chardonnay in this accessible, harmonious Champagne. Hints of butter, smoke and spices wrap around the generous finish. This is Lot L1107221010. Disgorged October 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.

 

Billecart-Salmon, Brut Rose, Mareuil-sur-Ay

Retail Price: $70 at JJ Buckley, $75 at Artisan Wine Depot & K&L Wines

  • $125 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

90 points Wine Advocate: The NV Brut Rose emerges from the glass with the essence of freshly cut flowers, berries and minerals in a mid-weight, gracious style. It shows gorgeous inner perfume, along with persistent notes of chalkiness that frame the long, sublime finish. Year in, year out, this estate’s NV Brut Rose is one of the most consistently outstanding wines in the region. This is Lot 337014 -3671A. Disgorged June 30, 2010. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015. This is a fine set of new releases from Billecart-Salmon. I admire these Champagnes for their trademark crystalline purity and exceptional sense of balance. – Antonio Galloni (12/2010)

Winemaker’s Notes: The production secrets and the vinification method of this cuvée go back to the origins of the House of  BILLECART-SALMON and have been handed down for seven generations. The Brut Rosé is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier  and Pinot Noir vinified as red wine.

Appearance: Its pale and bright pink colour is adorned with warm glints of gold and its delicate slowly rising bubbles give it  a persistent mousse.

Aroma:  This cuvée unveils a subtle aroma leading to an elegant, delicate bouquet of fine notes of red fruits and zest of citrus fruits.

Palate: Its special method of vinification gives this cuvée a light, elegant flavour, followed by a fresh finish with a taste of raspberry.

Serving: This rosé champagne is an ideal partner as an aperitif and can also accompany a dish of wild salmon or sushi. For  dessert, it will add a sublime touch to red fruit flavours.

  

1995 Charles Heidsieck, Blancs des Millenaires, Blanc de Blancs Brut, Reims

Retail Price: $160 at Wine.com & $190 at Wally’s Wine & Spirits

  • $180 at Zuni Café | 1.1x | TOP PICK

 

90 points Wine Advocate: Hiedsieck’s 1995 Blanc des Millenaires is gorgeous in its expression of honeyed apricots, roasted nuts, brioche and flowers. This mid-weight Champagne offers plenty of persistence with perfumed, sweet notes that linger on the finish. This is Lot 61012 11919, disgorged in 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018.

 

Winemaker’s Notes: This exceptional Blanc de Blancs is one of the most celebrated champagnes in the world. Made with five of the best growths from the Côte des Blancs — Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger, Vertus, Cramant and Avize. This exquisite wine is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes, only produced in small quantities in years of exceptional quality.

On the Eye:
Silvery with a delicate shimmer.

On the Nose:
Elegant notes of fresh bark lead to spices and macerated fruits.

On the Palate:
Charming, smooth and serene. Dry, slightly candied finish with fleshy notes of marrons glacés.

 

2002 Dom Perignon

Retail Price: $135 at Artisan Wine Depot & $150 at K&L Wines

  • $220 at Zuni Café | 1.6x

94+ points Wine Advocate: Unfortunately there is only one new release from Dom Perignon this year. The 2003 is one of the most unusual Dom Perignons I have ever tasted, going back to 1952. Readers will remember that 2003 was a torrid vintage across northern Europe, especially during the critical month of August, when temperatures remained very hot for well over a month. The harvest was the earliest on record, until 2011, that is. I suppose its not that surprising Chef de Caves Richard Geoffroy chose to make a 2003 Dom Perignon, given his penchant for risk-taking, an approach that has yielded so many memorable wines that stretch the perception of what big brand Champagne is and can be. The 2003 Dom Perignon is a big, broad shouldered wine. It does not have the seductiveness of the 2000, nor the power of the 2002. It is instead very much its own wine. In 2003 Geoffroy elected to use more Pinot Noir than is typically the case, and that comes through in the wine’s breath and volume. The 2003 is a big, powerful Champagne that will require quite a bit of time to shed some of its baby fat. The trademark textural finesse is there, though. I expect the 2003 to be a highly divisive Champagne because of its extreme personality, but then again, many of the world’s legendary wines were made from vintages considered freakish at the time. The 2003 is an atypically, rich, powerful, vinous Dom Perignon loaded with fruit, structure and personality. It is not for the timid, but rather it is a wine for those who can be patient. No one has a crystal ball, but personally I will not be surprised if in 20 years’ time the 2003 is considered an iconic Champagne. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2038.

 

White Wines

 44 selections (15 US, 21 France & 8 Italy) that range in price from $32 to $195

 

2009 Navarro Vineyards, Anderson Valley, Gewurztraminer

Retail Price: $22 @ the Winery

 

  • $32 at Zuni Café | 1.4x | TOP PICK

 

Winemaker’s Notes: The fruit nurtured in the vineyard dominates with tropical flavors of lychee, ginger and citrus. Cold harvest nights insured good acidity and our cellaring regime in oak casks resulted in a dry, crisp, yet rounded wine with hints of yeast.

 

2010 Domaine Roland Schmitt, Alsace, Pinot Blanc

Retail Price: $20 at Mad Wine

  • $35 at Zuni Café | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Winemaker’s Notes: 100% Pinot Blanc. The soil is gravelly limestone, which provides perfect drainage during wet periods, reflects the sunlight well during cool, sunny weather, and remains moist in dry spells. The Schmitts vinify their wines in the traditional style. This means a cool fermentation of a handpicked harvest in stainless steel vats with very little, if any, residual sugar left in the wines. They believe that the combination of ripe fruit, exceptional terroir and good acidity produces wines which show remarkable character without being heavy-handed.

 

 

2010 Cold Heaven, Santa Ynez Valley, Viognier

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

Rating: See comment below

  • $40 at Zuni Café | 2.0x
  • $44 at Wayfare Tavern | 2.2x

About the Winery: Cold Heaven Cellars has been producing dreamy, balanced Viognier wines from cool climate vineyards in the Santa Barbara County since 1996.  Pinot Noir & Syrah  were added to the cellar in 2002 to further showcase these cool climate treasures.

 

2010 Piero Mancini, Sardinia, Vermentino

Retail Price: $14 at Premier Cru & $15 at K&L Wines

  • $32 at Zuni Café | 2.2x

Description from K&L:Delicious, lively and very aromatic! Gallura is a peninsula on the northeast corner of the island of Sardinia that specializes in Vermentino (the grape is also grown on the coast of mainland Italy, on Corsica and in the south of France under the name Rolle). Mancini’s version of the grape is very fresh and forward, with no oak or malolactic fermentation aromas, just grapejuice fermented at low temperature in stainless steel for the aromas. Drink either as an aperitif or with seafood (prawns with pasta?) Finishes with a delightful touch of orange.

 

2009 Cantina del Taburno, Taburno, Falanghina

Retail Price: $17 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

 

  • $34 at Zuni Café | 2.0x | TOP PICK

 

88 points Wine Spectator: A light white, showing solid cut to the white peach and melon notes, with hints of chalk and spring herbs accenting the zesty finish. Drink now. 50,000 cases made. –NW

 

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio

Retail Price: $17 at Backroom Wines

Rating: See comments below

  • $34 at Alexander’s Steakhous Cupertino | 2.0x
  • $36 at Zuni Cafe | 2.1x

 

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 Vietti, Piedmont, Arneis

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  • $45 at Zuni Café | 2.2x | TOP PICK

 

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Arneis shows terrific intensity in this vintage. Sweet floral notes wrap around the fruit from start to finish in this engaging Arneis. The 2010 impresses for its textural depth and fine overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2013.

 

 

2010 Hall, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $18 at Napa Cabs & $20 at Wine.com

  • $34 at Zuni Café | 1.9x

 

91 points Wine Enthusiast: Another in a string of great Sauvignon Blancs from Hall. The wine is richly textured in citrus, green apple and peach flavors, with a zingy hint of gooseberry. Acidity is crisp, and the finish is cuiously dry and sweet in honey at the same time.

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2010 HALL Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a focused reflection of its vintage and vineyards: vibrant, balanced, and fragrant. The 2010 growing season was one of the coolest on record and leaves its signature imprint by lending finesse, structure and polished minerality. The resulting wine delivers a cleansing palate with soft, ripe fruit and expressive tree blossom and mineral notes on the finish. Alcohol 14.8%.

 

2010 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy, Loire Valley, Sancerre

Retail Price: $22 at Napa Cabs & $23 at Beltramo’s

 

  • $50 at Zuni Café | 2.3x

 

Description from Napa Cabs: Hippolyte Reverdy is one of Sancerres top producers, always consistant and elegant. Look for notes of pear, lime and herbs along with bright citrus notes. The palate is tangy and fresh with more zippy bright citrus notes.

 

2010 Kelly Fleming, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $34 at Dean & Deluca

  • $52 at Zuni Café | 1.5x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: True to the Sauvignon Musque vineyard sources, the floral (jasmine, honeysuckle, daphne) and tropical notes (pineapple, papaya, guava) create an aromatic landscape full of imagery. Hints of vanilla and orange zest provide base notes of complexity. The mouth feel is crisp an focused, with pineapple, beeswax, bright green pear and crisp apple flavors lingering. A light touch of oak is evident in the finish of this delicate yet complex Sauvignon Blanc.

 

2010 Domaine de la Cadette, Bourgogne, Vezelay La Chatelaine

Retail Price: $24 at Martin Wine Cellar

  • $42 at Zuni Café | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Winemaker’s Notes: A wine which comes from our vineyards on the south slopes of Vézelay’s hill.Fermentation 80% in wine vats and 20% in barrels.

2010 Copain, Tous Ensemble, Anderson Valley Chardonnay

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

  • $48 at Zuni Café | 1.9x | TOP PICK

 

89 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Chardonnay Tous Ensemble is a gorgeous wine laced with lime, pastry and white flowers. Exotic aromas and flavors meld into mineral notes as the wine opens up in the glass. This entry-level Chardonnay is made entirely in tank. Best of all, it is a terrific value. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2014.

Description from K&L: Wells Guthrie founded Copain in 1999 with the intent to produce Pinot Noir and Syrah in styles inspired by his travels and experiences in France, where he was influenced by producers in Burgundy and the Northern Rhone. It took ten years for Copain to release a Chardonnay, the first vintage of which was 2009. As with his Pinot Noir, Guthrie aims for a Burgundian expression with the 2010 Tous Ensemble Anderson Valley Chardonnay. Very limited use of oak and “hands off” winemaking results in a clean, bright Chardonnay that is balanced, food-friendly, and made for immediate enjoyment.

 

2008 Domaine Robert-Denogent, La Croix Vieilles Vignes, Pouilly-Fuisse

Retail Price: $39 Release Price

 

  • $62 at Zuni Café | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

90 points Wine Spectator: This white is marked by oak, yet there’s substance underneath, along with ample peach, apple and grapefruit flavors that show a touch of fennel. Fine persistence. Drink now through 2016. –BS

 

2009 Sandhi Wines, Sanford & Benedict, Santa Rita Hills, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $45 @ the Winery – SOLD OUT

  • $64 at Zuni Café | 1.4x | TOP PICK

 

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict opens with a burst of rich, explosive fruit, then turns decidedly more mineral and inward on the mid-palate and finish. It is a striking wine in every way, with just enough fleshiness to support an intense, focused expression of Chardonnay. The Sanford & Benedict was aged in French oak barrels (30% new) for 12 months followed by an additional 6 months in concrete. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

 

2008 Stony Hill, Napa Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $42 @ the Winery

  • $65 at Zuni Café | 1.5x | TOP PICK

 

Winemaker’s Notes: As always, our Chardonnay is pale straw in color, and once you put your nose to the glass and inhale the aroma of pure Chardonnay fruit, you won’t be able to put it down! With the first sip you’ll taste a complexity of flavors dominated by citrus and green apple with an underlying current of earth and stone, which we call minerality. Winemaker Mike Chelini says, “Wow, that’s a mouthful! A couple more years and it will be a big, rich wine.”

 

2010 Les Heritiers du Comte Lafon, Clos de la Crochette, Macon Chardonnay

Retail Price: $32 at Premier Cru

  • $66 at Zuni Café | 2.1x

 

88 to 91 points Burghound: A very fresh nose of high-toned lemon rind, white flower and pear aromas complements well the racy, intense and beautifully well-detailed flavors that possess lovely underlying tension on the balanced, dry, clean and solidly persistent finish. This is lovely and there is clearly better material here. Drink: 2012+. (Oct 2011)”

 

2009 Domaine Roulot Bourgogne Blanc

Retail Price: $35 at Beltramo’s

  • $68 at Zuni Café | 1.9x

 

86 points Burghound :A very fresh nose features notes of straw, pear and citrus that leads to racy and vibrant middle weight flavors that exhibit a touch of minerality on the persistent if not particularly complex finish. To be fair, and clear, this is delicious and well-made, just not especially deep. Drink: 2013+

 

 

2010 Kistler, Les Noisetiers, Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $58 at Pismo Wine Shop

Rating: See comments below

  • $75 at Zuni Café | 1.3x | TOP PICK

Winemaker Notes – Les Noisetiers gets its name from the consistent toasted hazelnut characteristic this wine displays vintage after vintage. A combination of specific lots from within vineyards located in far western Sonoma County. An austere, low pH, high acid wine driven by mineral characters as opposed to fruit, and is a natural complement to food

 

2009 Domaine Cherisey, Hameau de Blagny, Premier Cru, Puligny-Montrachet

Retail Price: $83 at Solano Cellars

  • $92 at Zuni Café | 1.1x

Description from Kermit Lynch: All of the de Chérisey vines are premier cru, are at least 60 years old, and they encircle their ancient cellar in the Hameau de Blagny. Their Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Hameau de Blagny is from vines on the south side of Blagny, level with the village, just above Puligny Truffières. It is a wine that combines the power and richness of Meursault with the ethereal finesse of Puligny.

 

2008 Domaine Ramonet, Chassagne-Montrachet, 1er Cru, Boudriotte

Retail Price: $71 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $128 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

90 points Burghound: This is really quite floral with hints of mildly exotic yellow and white fruit, including lychee nut, that introduces juicy and attractively textured medium-bodied flavors that possess good power yet this is not an inelegant wine as it sometimes can be. A lovely combination of reasonable refinement and muscle.

 

 

Red Wines

 61 selections (22 US, 28 France & 11 Italy) that range in price from $34 to $235

 

2009 Freestone Vineyards, Fog Dog, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $25 at Wine House & $30 at Wine.com

  • $60 at Zuni Café | 2.2x

93 points Wine Enthusiast: Distinctly Sonoma Coast in the forest berry fruits and feral, earthy notes of anise, balsam and Dr. Pepper cola. Fine and silky in the mouth, with modest alcohol and a burst of cool-climate acidity. A more feminine style of Pinot, which is not to understate its power. Could easily develop over the next six years, but it’s pretty compelling now.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Fogdog Pinot Noir is loaded with vibrant red fruit, tangerine peel, wild chanterelle mushrooms and crushed violet aromas. It has great energy, given its freshness and lively acidity, and simply bursting with red raspberry, plump red cherry and rhubarb. During the Fogdog selection process, we look for wines that boast expressive, wild fruit characteristics in addition to texture and acidity that are approachable upon release without extended bottle aging. Alcohol 13.5%.

 

2009 Domaine A. et P. de Villaine, La Digione, Cote Chalonnaise

Retail Price: $37 at Sherry-Lehman & $40 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $62 at Zuni Café | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

88 points Burghound: Rustic with a very earthy and moderately sauvage nose of dark berry fruit and pinot liqueur aromas that merges into rich, full, intense and entirely serious middle weight flavors that possess ample amounts of dry extract and fine length. This is an excellent and more obviously structured Bourgogne that should age well.

 

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

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

Rating: Wine Spectator 86

  • $65 at Zuni Café | 2.2x
  • $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 Meo-Camuzet, Fixin 1er Cru, Clos du Chapitre

Retail Price: $60 at Sherry-Lehman

  • $76 at Zuni Café | 1.3x | TOP PICK

 

89 points Wine Advocate: Ripe blackberry and an even more prominently sweet and earthy beet root character than exhibited by the corresponding village bottling characterizes Meo-Camuzet’s 2008 Fixin Clos Du Chapitre Frere et Soeur. Hints of horseradish give the palate a tart, borscht-like aspect that won’t be every pinotphile’s cup of soup, but I find it delicious. The brightness here contrasts sharply with the harmonious richness of the 2006 rendition, but each offers its unique and excellent opportunity to experience Fixin that doesn’t conform to the tough, stolid stereotype that one too often finds confirmed by examples even from quite talented vintners. A smoky-sweet machine oil-like note emerges in the nose as this opens to the air, and fruit bit piquancy further underscores its concentration in a sustained finish. This should be interesting to follow for at least the next 6-8 years.

 

2008 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $48 at Echelon Wines

  • $88 at Zuni Café | 1.8x | TOP PICK

91 points Wine Spectator: Fragrant, delicate plum and black cherry fruit is pure, focused, complex, elegant and full-bodied. Very Burgundian in its weight and purity. Drink now through 2018.

Description from K&L: Due to the soils in the vineyard, the Estate Pinot Noirs’ elegant, transparent style is more Burgundian than Californian, emphasizing wild strawberry, earth, blueberry and dill varietal characters. Cellaring the wine from five to twelve years pays handsome rewards.

 

2009 Domaine de Montille, Premier Cru, Beaune, Les Sizies

Retail Price: $50 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $88 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

89 points Burghound: An elegant and ultra-pure nose of essence of pinot fruit, violets and rose petal that is liberally laced with wet stone and attractive spice nuances. The equally pure, refined and generous medium-bodied flavors possess fine balance and length…

 

1999 Domaine de l’ Arlot, 1er Cru, Nuits-Saint-Georges

Retail Price: $95 at Vinfolio Auction Bottle

  • $122 at Zuni Café | 1.3x

 

89 to 92 points Wine Advocate: The aromatically expressive, medium ruby-colored 1999 Nuits-St.-Georges Clos Des Forets St.-Georges has a nose of black currants and licorice. It is medium-bodied, dense, and has an outstanding depth of fruit to its blackberry, cherry, and oak-laced personality. This wine is satin-textured, rich, and persistent in the finish.

 

2007 Domaine Tollot-Beaut, Grand Cru, Corton-Bressandes

Retail Price: $70 at Sherry-Lehman

  • $122 at Zuni Café | 1.7x

 

90 points Burghound: A nose that is fine and certainly very pure complements detailed and intensely mineral suffused flavors that are focused, complex, persistent and balanced.

 

 

2008 Domaine Michel Gros, Clos des Reas, 1er Cru, Vosne Romanee

Retail Price: $90 at Premier Cru

  • $132 at Zuni Café | 1.5x

88 points Wine Spectator: Iron and char accents revolve around a core of cherry and cranberry in this sinewy red. There’s sweetness at its center, with a firm, dry finish. Best from 2013 through 2021. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 1,030 cases made. –BS

 

2006 Meo-Camuzet, Nuits-Saint Georges, 1er Cru, Aux Boudots

Retail Price: $169 at The Old & Rare Wine Company

  • $138 at Zuni Café | Below Retail | TOP PICK

 

89 to 91 points Burghound: Noticeable toast aromas serve to highlight the spicy red and black fruit aromas nuanced by hints of earth and smoke that can also be found on the delicious yet entirely serious big-bodied yet textured, forward and relatively refined flavors, all wrapped in a finish that is both powerful and impressively long. This is robust but not rustic and finishes with just a touch of austerity.

 

2010 Marcel Lapierre, Morgon, Beaujulais

Retail Price: $25 at SF Wine Trading Company

 

  • $50 at Zuni Café | 2.0x | TOP PICK

92 points Wine Advocate: The irreplaceable and virtually irrepressible Marcel Lapierre succumbed to unrelenting melanoma just after the 2010 harvest was completed and will be sorely missed among us. His son Mathieu, who had been assuming an increasingly important role at the domaine in recent years, has admirably advanced their labors in this vintage, resulting in wines that display the levity and _digestabilite_ as well as textural caress and subtle complexity that one has long associated with the crafts of this domaine. Lapierre picked from September 20 through the first week in October and achieved normal crop levels. Mathieu Lapierre might refine his father’s methods but it seems unlikely that he will deviate from them in fundamental ways, and he believes that “we in Beaujolais are in danger of losing our vinous identity” thanks in part to the ambitions of growers who take their inspiration and methods from the Cote d’ Or. Mathieu Lapierre believes that the prolonged, relatively cool carbonic maceration he favors promotes natural antioxidants so that a wine like this has impressive stability from the open bottle despite its absence of sulfur. If you have a cold cellar, try to save a portion of this for 4-6 years.

 

 

2005 Domaine Bunan, Moulin des Costes, Bandol, Provence

Retail Price: $26 at K&L Wines

  • $50 at Zuni Café | 1.9x

Description from K&L: The terraces of the Moulin des Costes, overlooking the Mediterranean, are an inspiring and crazily beautiful site. The vineyard is planted with Mourvèdre and Grenache vines that are 45 years old. This red Bandol offers a powerful bouquet with a delicate woody nose, and predominant aromas of red fruit, mulberry and raspberry. Full bodied, well balanced with rounded tannins the palate hints of pepper, licorice and violet. 13.5% abv.

 

2008 Domaine Faury, Saint Joseph

Retail Price: $25 at The Wine House & $32 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $54 at Zuni Café | 1.9x | TOP PICK

88 points International Wine Cellar: Bright purple. A complex bouquet offers red and dark berries, cherry, violet and Moroccan spices. There’s a lively, spicy character here that’s very attractive. Taut and focused, with zesty black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and good spine. The finish has gentle tannins, good clarity and repeats the spicy note.

 

 

2009 Qupe, Sawyer Lundquist Vineyard, Edna Valley, Grenache

Retail Price: $30 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $54 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

88 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Grenache Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard emerges from the glass with sweet scents of tobacco, licorice, spices, plums and dried cherries. It is an attractive, mid-weight Grenache, but some elements of fragility prevail, suggesting the wine is best enjoyed sooner rather than later, before the fruit fades. The blend includes 13% Syrah, and the estate used whole clusters for a portion of the Grenache, which adds aromatic complexity. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2014.

 

2008 Baker Lane Vineyard, Estate Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $36 at Pismo Wine Shop

  • $60 at Zuni Café | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Winemaker’s Notes: This is our fourth Estate bottling and the cool even growing season allowed our vineyard to achieve optimal ripeness. The wine’s intense, savory and broadly aromatic fruit character is a signal expression of the flavor thumbprint that marks our hillside site. It was aged 18 months in 450 liter Kadar puncheons, 20% of which were new.

 

2007 Domaine Richaud, Cairanne, Cotes-du-Rhone

Retail Price: $35 Release Price

  • $60 at Zuni Café | 1.7x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Spectator: Very ripe, with rather primal dark boysenberry and blackberry fruit offset by a bright anise note. Slightly perky acidity holds the fleshy finish together. Should settle down with brief cellaring. Drink now through 2011. –JM

 

2003 Cold Heaven, Second Sin, Santa Barbara, Syrah

Retail Price: $37 at Pismo Wine Shop & $35 at K&L Wines – SOLD OUT

  • $64 at Zuni Café | 2.0x

 

Description from K&L: This is Cold Heaven’s Rhone red and the future of Syrah in California. It has been said when you don’t follow fashion and remain true to the subject, then you create something timeless. I believe this wine embodies these words. This is a syrah with elegance, finesse, and a bit of youth to create something with longevity.

 

2009 Domaine La Bouissiere, Gigondas

Retail Price: $32 Average Price Wine – Searcher & $43 at Wine.com

  • $72 at Zuni Café | 1.9x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Gigondas (70% Grenache and 30% Syrah aged in both tank and 1- to 3-year-old barrels) exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with lots of berry fruit intermixed with crushed rock and spring flower notes. Elegant yet solidly constructed with silky tannins and impressive purity as well as length, it should drink well for 7-8 years.

 

 

2008 Domaine Jean Louis Chave, Saint-Joseph, Rhone Valley

Retail Price: $55 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $80 at Zuni Café | 1.4x | TOP PICK

 

90 points Wine Spectator: Nicely plush for the vintage, with tangy iron and white pepper notes melded into the damson plum and black cherry fruit. There’s a lingering perfume on the finish. Drink now through 2013. 200 cases imported. –JM

 

2008 Domaine de Vieux Telegraphe, La Crau, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $55 Wine House

  • $98 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

92 points Wine Spectator: Still tight, with the core of cherry and red currant fruit held in check by a mix of lightly firm sandalwood, spice, licorice root and warm stone flavors. Mulled fig and cocoa notes check in on the grippy finish. A rare backward style 2008 that will need some cellaring to round into form. Best from 2013 through 2020. Alcohol 14.5%.

 

 

2008 Thierry Allemand, Cornas Reynard, Rhone Valley

Retail Price: $95 at The Rare Wine Co.

 

  • $138 at Zuni Café | 1.4x | TOP PICK

 

93 points Wine Spectator: Tannic, but fresh and driven, with a sappy kirsch and plum core laced with singed bay leaf, tobacco and tapenade notes. The long, structured finish has excellent flesh for the vintage. Drink now through 2019. 134 cases imported. –JM

 

2007 Sky Vineyards, Mount Veeder, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $27 at Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop

  • $58 at Zuni Café | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2007 is a more forward and juicy wine than our past releases. This is due to the fact that our young vines, that were planted in 2000, are finally making up most of the blend. The wine still showcases the Sky spiciness and flavor profile, just in a more forward style. There are still some of the old vines and they provide the structure and backbone that will make this wine a good one for aging.

 

2007 Scherrer Winery, Alexander Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $28 at K&L Wines

  • $60 at Zuni Café | 2.1x

90 points Wine Spectator: “Supple yet complex, with black raspberry and loamy licorice aromas and layered plum, cherry and spicy vanilla flavors. Drink now through 2014

 

2010 Elio Altare, Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont

Retail Price: $18 at Varmax

  • $45 at Zuni Café | 2.5x

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 Dolcetto d’Alba is a gorgeous wine with the trademark Altare richness, plenty of varietal character and fabulous depth. Blueberries, currants, spices and licorice stain the palate on the intense finish. Year in and year out, Altare’s Dolcetto is one of the best in the region, as it is again in 2010. The Dolcetto is often one of my favorite Altare wines. It also ages far better than most people might expect. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015. 

 

2008 Querciabella, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $30 at Sherry-Lehman

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $55 at Zuni Café | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $60 at Kokkari | 2.0x

 

88 points Wine Spectator: A juicy, rich wine, offering lots of fruit. Full and velvety, with sliced plum and chocolate flavors. A big Chianti Classico. Needs a little time to mellow. Best after 2010. 11,665 cases made. –JS

 

2008 Occhipinti, Siccagno, Nero d’Avola, Sicily

Retail Price: $30 at Woodland Hills Wine Company

  • $68 at Zuni Café | 2.3x

 

91 points Fine Wine Review: Arianna Occhipinti is one of the natural wine crowd, most importantly, eschewing use of sulfur until just before bottling. The Siccagno is dark in appearance and with dark berry and dark plum fruit with a medium/medium-light weight texture, smoothness, and good purity. The wine can be described as Burgundian — something a decade or two I might never have imagined for a wine of Sicily (even if three or four decades ago Sicilian wines made up a portion of some wines from other areas bearing more expensive labels). 13% stated alcohol. (Issue #134; 2012)

 

2007 Marchesi di Gresy, Martinenga, Barbaresco

Retail Price: $44 at Sokolin & $50 at Wine.com

  • $78 at Zuni Café | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barbaresco Martinenga emerges from the glass with a delicate expression of fruit that in essence defines the house style. The 2007 is a wonderfully open, expressive Martinenga laced with ripe red berries, flowers and spices, all of which come together on a weightless frame of notable class. This is a fabulous effort from Marchesi di Gresy. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019.

 

Winemaker’s Notes: The Martinenga Barbaresco, without a doubt, is our most important wine. It is a wine which carries an elegance that comes from its vineyard. On the nose, it offers sensations of sweet tobacco, leather and spice. It is fresh and jammy, rich in structure with good backbone and great harmony. Martinenga is a Barbaresco is a fine wine with meat, poultry, and aged cheeses. Alcohol 14.5%.

 

 

2009 Ornellaia, Le Serre Nuove, Bolgheri Tuscany

Retail Price: $49 at JJ Buckley

  • $82 at Zuni Café | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

90 points James Suckling: Lots of dark fruits and spices, with milk chocolate and berries. Hints of currants. Powerful and rich, with great backbone. Why wait?

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia is a gorgeous, fleshy wine that shows the radiant personality of the vintage. Mocha, espresso, raspberry jam and spices are some of the aromas and flavors that flow from this pliant, accessible red. This is all silk and polish. Stylistically, the 2009 is close to the 2007 for its early approachability but appears to have less overall stuffing. It is a gorgeous, rewarding wine to drink now and over the next 8-10 years. Vintage 2009 was a strange year. A dry hot summer led to an early harvest for Merlot, which is typically precocious, but rain in mid-September slowed down the maturation cycle for later-ripening grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2009 the blend is 54% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot and 5% Cabernet Franc. The 2009 Serre Nuove spent about 15 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. —AG

 

2007 Vietti, Castiglione, Barolo

Retail Price: $50 at Wine.com

  • $88 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

 

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Barolo Castiglione deftly balances the open, radiant personality of the vintage with considerable underlying structure. Warm, dense and full-bodied, the 2007 Barolo Castiglione flows effortlessly across the palate with generous fruit and fabulous overall balance. The wine was even better when I tasted it from bottle a few months later. It is another overachieving wine from Vietti and a bottle that is exceedingly fairly priced. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.

 

 

2007 Casanova di Neri, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $50 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $88 at Zuni Café | 1.8x

91 points James Suckling: Dark berries and sliced lemons on the nose. Full body, with juicy fruit and lightly toasted. Delicious finish. Best in 2014.

93 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino bursts from the glass with freshly cut flowers, violets, leather, licorice and black cherries. Firm underlying tannins lend vibrancy to the voluptuous fruit. The Casanova di Neri straight bottling – sometimes referred to as the “white label” – is made from some of the estate’s cooler sites. In 2007 the wine has more depth, fruit and overall harmony than is typically the case. Bright acidity frames the long, polished finish. In short, this is a fabulous wine from Giacomo Neri. Along with the 2006, the 2007 is one the best and most complete vintages I can remember tasting in some time. Most importantly of all, though, it is flat-out delicious. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2027.

Winemaker’s Notes: Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri is characterised simply by its white label, to the point where it has now been renamed “White Label.” This “Etichetta bianca” is born in vineyards that look to Montalcino from the east, at an altitude which varies from 350 to 480 metres above sea level, very close to our cellar. The main characteristics of this wine are elegance, finesse and longevity.

 

2009 Bernard Baudry, Les Granges, Loire Valley, Chinon

Retail Price: $20 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $48 at Zuni Café | 2.1x

 

91 points Wine Spectator: This dense red delivers succulent plum and cherry flesh joined by taut plum skin and briar flavors. This shows plenty of stuffing through the finish, with dark tobacco and tapenade notes, all offset by a brisk, chalk edge. One for the cellar. Drink now through 2016.

 

2008 Robert Craig, Affinity, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

  • $75 at Zuni Café | 1.9x | TOP PICK

89 points Wine Advocate: Robert Craig’s 2008 Affinity, which is a blend of 82% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot, and the rest Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, has a dark plum/ruby color, a very evolved and forward nose of spice box, cedar, black plums, and sweet cherries. It is medium-bodied, elegant, and ideal for drinking over the next 7-8 years.

2009 Shafer, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $47 at K&L Wines

  • $75 | 1.6x | WA 90 | TP

 

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Merlot is an attractive, fleshy wine graced with expressive dark red fruit, flowers, sweet spices and licorice. The wine reveals gorgeous radiance and a supple, inviting personality ideally suited to drinking over the next few years. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.”

Winemaker’s Notes: The purity of aromas and flavors is focused and alive – this is unmistakably Merlot. Predominately you will find delicious red fruit with a core of lush black fruit – red cherry, red plum, spice and berry with hints of eucalyptus, earth and smoke. There’s lots of flesh here held together in a structure of fine, ripe tannins. Blend: 92% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec. Alcohol 15.1%

 

1985 Chateau Gruaud Larose, St. Julien

Retail Price: $150 at JJ Buckley

  • $210 at Zuni Café | 1.4x

 

91 points Wine Advocate: Fully mature, the dark garnet-colored 1985 exhibits notes of tapenade, earth, sweet berry and black currant fruit, and possibly a hint of black truffles. The wine is lush, medium to full-bodied, and fleshy, with no hard edges. Sweet fruit, plenty of glycerin, and a very seductive style make for a very sumptuous, complex, fully mature Gruaud-Larose. Anticipated maturity: Now-2008. Last tasted, 8/02.

 

1986 Chateau Lynch-Bages, Pauillac

Retail Price: $220 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $235 at Zuni Café | 1.1x | TOP PICK

 

94 points Wine Advocate: The 1986 is finally emerging from the dormant stage that many of the wines from this vintage (especially the Medocs) have been going through. It is a full-bodied, still backward wine that will appeal to classicists and old line traditionalists given its firm structure and austere tannins. Nevertheless, the color is a healthy deep garnet and the wine exhibits wonderful freshness along with notes of underbrush, damp earth, black currants, cedar and new saddle leather. Well-balanced with good depth, medium to full body, and a tannic (although not excessively so) finish, this may not be the most finesse-styled, elegant Lynch Bages ever produced, but it is an interesting Pauillac that will benefit from another 3-4 years of cellaring. While it may never hit the peaks achieved by great Lynch Bages vintages, it will be one of those rare wines that will last 40+ years.

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