EPIC Roasthouse Wine List Review

EPIC Roasthouse

369 The Embarcadero

San Francisco, CA

www.epicroasthouse.com

 

 EPIC Roasthouse Wine List Review

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 This is an update to our review from March of this year.  EPIC’s wine list is comprised of 380+ selections. Below is a summary of the best values on the current list (May 20, 2012) based on a combination of the retail price, ratings and producer.

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 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $48 | 2.0x | WS 88 | TP). Mark up of 2.0x translates into a retail price of $24 a bottle, Wine Spectator rated this wine 88 points and it is one of our Top Picks at EPIC.

Burghound – BH | Connoisseurs’ Guide – CG | International Wine Cellar – IWC |

VinoServant’s Top Picks – TP | Wine Advocate – WA | Wine Enthusiast – WE | Wine Spectator – WS

 

VinoServant’s Top 8 Wines Under $75 a Bottle

Domaine Carneros, Pompadour Rose, Carneros, Non-Vintage | $48 | 1.4x | TP

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $48 | 2.0x | WS 88 | TP

2008 Miura, Monterey County, Pinot Noir | $48 | 1.6x | TP

2006 Delas Freres, Domaine des Grands Chemins, Crozes Hermitage | $40 | 1.1x | WA 90 | TP

2008 Samsara, Ampelos Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills, Syrah | $71 | 2.0x | WA 91 | TP

2007 Rancho Arroyo Grande, Mouvedre | $73 | 1.2x | TP

2008 Quinta do Vesuvio Pombal do Vesuvio, Duoro | $50 | 2.0x | WS 90 | TP

2005 Analog, St. Helena, Merlot | $55 | 1.6x | TP

 

VinoServant’s Top 8 Wines Over $75 a Bottle

2000 Dom Perignon, Brut | $212 | 1.5x | WA 94 | TP

2010 Arietta, California, On the White Keys, Sauvignon Blanc | $86 | 1.3x | WA 87 | TP

2006 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chardonnay | $101 | 1.7x | WS 96 | TP

2009 Kutch Wines, McDougall Ranch, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $99 | 1.7x | WA 90 | TP

2007 Chateau Rayas, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $453 | BELOW RETAIL | WA 97 | TP

2008 Ravenswood, Old Hill, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel | $100 | 1.8x | WE 95 | TP

2006 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon | $85 | 1.7x | TP

2008 Beringer, Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon | $180 | 1.8x | WA 89 & WS 92

 

Sparkling Wines by the Bottle

18 selections that range in price from $48 to $616

 

Domaine Carneros, Pompadour Rose, Carneros, Non-Vintage | $48 | 1.4x | TP

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, North Coast | $72 | WS 91 | 2.5x

2002 Veuve Clicquot, Ponsardin, Brut Rose | $140 | 1.7x | WS 89

2000 Dom Perignon, Brut | $212 | 1.5x | WA 94 | TP

 

 

White Wines by the Bottle

 104 selections that range in price from $29 to $190

 

2010 Halter Ranch, Paso Robles, Sauvignon Blanc  | $42 | 2.0x

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $48 | 2.0x | WS 88 | TP

2010 Domaine Laporte, Les Duchesses, Pouilly-Fume, Loire Valley | $48 | 2.0x

2009 Chateau de Sancerre, Loire Valley, Sancerre | $55 | 2.5x | WS 88

2009 Prescott Ashe Estate Winery, The Palace, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | $56 | 1.9x | TP

2010 Arietta, California, On the White Keys, Sauvignon Blanc | $86 | 1.3x | WA 87 | TP

2007 Robert Mondavi, To Kalon-I Block, Napa Valley, Fume Blanc | $127 | 1.7x

 

2009 Leojami, Arroyo Seco, Cedar Lane Vineyard Viognier | $30 | 1.4x

2010 Cowhorn, Spiral 36, Applegate Valley, Viognier | $48 | 2.4x | WS 90

2009 Rubicon Estate, Napa Valley, Blancaneaux, Rousanne, Marsanne & Viognier | $82 | 1.7x | TP

2009 Elizabeth Spencer, Special Cuvee, Mendocino, Chenin Blanc | $35 | 2.3x

2009 Couly-Dutheil, Les Chanteaux, Loire, Chinon, Chenin Blanc | $50 | 2.3x | WS 90

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio | $40 | 2.3x

2008 Terrazas de los Andes, Salta, Argentina, Torrontes | $40 | 2.2x | WS 87

2007 Koonowla, Clare Valley, Riesling | $40 | 2.2x | WA 87

2008 Donnhoff, Nahe, Kabinett, Oberhauser, Leistenberg, Riesling | $58 | 1.7x | WS 90 | TP

 

2008 Bruno  Rocca, Cadet, Langhe, Chardonnay | $57 | 1.9x

2009 Domaine Drouhin, Arthur, Dundee Hills, Chardonnay | $66 | 2.2x

2009 Paul Hobbs, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay | $90 | 1.9x | WA 93

2008 Bruno Colin, Chassagne Montrachet | $100 | 2.2x | WS 89

2006 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chardonnay | $101 | 1.7x | WS 96 | TP

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Mount Carmel, Chardonnay | $110 | 2.0x | WA 90

 

Red Wines by the Bottle

266 selections that range in price from $30 to $2,300

 

2008 Miura, Monterey County, Pinot Noir | $48 | 1.6x | TP

2009 Emeritus, Hallberg Ranch, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $68 | 1.5x | TP

2009 Mongeard-Mugneret, Domaine Savigny Les Beaune | $87 | 2.3x

2006 Solena, Yamhill-Carlton District, Pinot Noir | $96 | 2.1x

2009 Kutch Wines, McDougall Ranch, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $99 | 1.7x | WA 90 | TP

2009 Hirsch Vineyards, San Andreas, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $128 | 2.3x | WA 92

2009 Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills, Evening Land Tempest, Pinot Noir | $137 | 1.6x | WA 92+| TP

 

2006 Delas Freres, Domaine des Grands Chemins, Crozes Hermitage | $40 | 1.1x | WA 90 | TP

2009 Domaine Georges Vernay, Saint-Jospeh, Terres d’Encre | $40 | 1.0| WS 91 | TP

2008 Hesketh, Usual Suspects, Mclaren Vale, Shiraz | $40 | 1.8x | IWC 87 | TOP PICK

2008 Halter Ranch, Paso Robles, Syrah | $54 | 1.9x

2009 Neyers, Old Lakeville Road, Sonoma County, Syrah | $60 | 2.2x | WA 91

2009 Emiliana, Coyam, Colchagua Valley, Syrah | $70 | 2.3x | WS 90

2008 Samsara, Ampelos Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills, Syrah | $71 | 2.0x | WA 91+ | TP

2009 Pierre Jean Villa, Preface, Saint Joseph | $73 | 2.1x

2007 Rancho Arroyo Grande, Mouvedre | $73 | 1.2x | TP

2007 Chateau Mont-Redon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $99 | 2.2x | WS 90

2009 Tablas Creek, Espirit de Beaucastel Rouge | $100 | 2.2x | WA 94

2007 Chateau Rayas, Chateauneuf-du-Pape | $453 | BELOW RETAIL | WA 97 | TP

 

2008 Unti, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel | $58 | 2.3x

2008 Amapola Creek, Monte Rosso Vineyard, Sonoma County, Zinfandel | $77 | 2.3x | WS 89

2009 Bedrock Wine Co., Dry Creek Valley, Lorenzo’s Heirloom, Zinfandel | $79 | 2.2x

2008 Ravenswood, Old Hill, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel | $100 | 1.8x | WE 95 | TP

 

2008 Quinta do Vesuvio Pombal do Vesuvio, Duoro | $50 | 2.0x | WS 90 | TP

 

2005 Analog, St. Helena, Merlot | $55 | 1.6x | TP

2007 Northstar, Columbia Valley, Washington, Merlot | $66 | 2.2x | WS 91

2007 Twomey, Napa Valley, Merlot | $75 | 1.9x | WS 84

 

2006 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon | $85 | 1.7x | TP

2007 Hess, Mount Veeder, Cabernet Sauvignon | $88 | 2.2x | WS 92

2007 Domaine Georg Rafael Pere & Fils, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $90 | 2.2x

2008 Beringer, Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon | $180 | 1.8x | WA 89 & WS 92

2000 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou | $360 | 1.5x | WS 95 & WA 95 | TP

 

 

Sparkling Wines by the Bottle

 18 selections that range in price from $48 to $616

 

Domaine Carneros, Pompadour Rose, Carneros, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $35 at Wine.com

  • $48 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.4x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé is a wine of great balance, emphasizing fruity and floral characteristics to a greater extent than evident in the Brut or Le Rêve. It is made strictly with artisan attention to quality, with sourcing exclusively from Carneros and the use of time-honored Champenoise methods of production. A blend of 58% Pinot Noir, 42% Chardonnay, the Brut Rosé is meant to be enjoyed at a fairly young age, when the fruity character is still predominant yet there is enough age to make the wine round and balanced.  The wine’s aroma has hints of wild strawberries and roses with notes of peach Although a pale pink in color, Brut Rosé is not sweeter than our other wines. It is a true Brut.

 

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Noirs, North Coast

Retail Price: $29 at Wine.com

  • $72 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.5x

91 points Wine Spectator: Sleek and vibrant, with floral apple and lemon aromas and crisp, complex flavors of pear and yeasty cinnamon that linger toward the minerally finish. Drink now through 2015.

Winemaker’s Notes: Fruity aromas of fresh lime and Granny Smith apple are accentuated by nuances of juicy pineapple and lemon grass, and are completed by warm honey and delicate hazelnut from the two-plus years of aging en tirage. On the palate, the 2008 Blanc de Blancs enters crisp and tangy with flavors of lime, pineapple and exotic tropical fruits, followed by delicious, layered flavors of lemon custard and fresh-from-the-oven brioche. The palate finishes with a delicate sweetness and generous acidity that is long and quenching. Alcohol 12.7%.

2002 Veuve Clicquot, Ponsardin, Brut Rose

Retail Price: $82 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $140 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x

89 points Wine Spectator: Shows attractive watermelon, strawberry and peony flavors, with a firm chalky feel underneath. Perhaps there’s not the finesse of some rosés, but this lingers. Drink now through 2018. –BS

 

2000 Dom Perignon, Brut

Retail Price: $135 Belmont Wine Exchange & $150 at Fine Wine House

Rating: Wine Advocate 94

 

  • $212 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.5x | TOP PICK

 

 

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2000 Brut Dom Perignon is a gorgeous, seductive wine that floats on the palate with remarkable grace. Toasty aromas meld into freshly cut flowers, apricots and pears, with sweet notes of mint and licorice that linger on the long finish. This perfumed, inviting Dom Perignon is elegance personified, and in this vintage the wine fully merits its lofty reputation.

 

Winemaker’s Notes: According to winemaker Vincent Chaperone there is only one disgorgement date for the first release of Dom Perignon, and the 2000 was disgorged over a period of weeks in March and April, 2007, 2007. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2018. Alcohol 12.5%.

 

White Wines by the Bottle

105 selections that range in price from $29 to $190

 

2010 Halter Ranch, Paso Robles, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $22 via Wine-Searcher and $21 at Halter Ranch

  • $42 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x

Winemaker’s notes: The 2010 Sauvignon Blanc is brimming with fresh citrus, honey dew melon, coupled with grapefruit, and mineral flavors. Enjoy now as an aperitif or paired with vegetarian dishes, poultry and tangy goat cheeses. Fresh and delightful on release, it will fully blossom over the next 18-24 months.

 

 

2009 Grgich Hills, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $23 at Wine.com

  • $48 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x | TOP PICK

 

88 points Wine Spectator: Bright and racy, featuring clear lemony flavors supported by sweet pea, lime zest, passion fruit and grapefruit notes. Appealing for its intensity and mouthwatering finish. Drink now. 14,008 cases made.

Winemaker’s Notes: Relying on naturally-occurring yeasts, we fermented 80% of the grapes in 900-gallon French oak casks, called foudres, with the remainder in previously-used small French oak barrels. We then aged the wine six months on its lees (the spent yeast) in neutral barrels. These techniques add body while showcasing the wonderful fruit, not masking it behind new oak. The wine’s crisp, elegant flavors of passion fruit, lemon grass and a hint of mineral at the end of the long finish are perfect with a green salad topped by Chèvre cheese, grilled seafood or sautéed chicken breast.

2010 Domaine Laporte, Les Duchesses, Pouilly-Fume, Loire Valley

Retail Price: $24 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $48 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: With a golden hue with hints of green, this “grand vin” of the Loire has aromas of citrus and flintstone. On the palate, a clean attack is followed by a well balanced roundness. With bottle aging, Pouilly develops its famous aromas of smoke (“fumé”). This wine is wonderful with smoked fish, seafood and white meats.

2009 Chateau de Sancerre, Loire Valley, Sancerre

Retail Price: $22 at Artisan Wine Depot

$55 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.5x |

88 points Wine Spectator: Fresh and forward, with a bright core of lime, green apple and flint notes that stays bouncy on the finish. Drink now. 22,000 cases made. –JM

 

2009 Prescott Ashe Estate Winery, The Palace, Napa Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $30 at Prescott Ashe Estate Winery

  • $56 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.9x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: This standout white wine is modeled after the style predominant in the Graves region of France’s Bordeaux–barrel fermented, aged sur lies, and blended with sauvignon musque–complementing the traditional crisp acidity of Napa Valley sauvignon blanc with the structure and fuller body imparted by French Oak. Bright, juicy, aromas of fresh pineapple, honeysuckle, perfumed apricot, nectarine and beeswax jump from the glass on this fruit-forward sauvignon blanc. A touch of vanilla adds the base notes here. On the palate, the entry is broad and bright, soft yet with plenty of crisp acidity to add freshness. Flavors feature pineapple and Myer lemon notes, along with a touch of floral jasmine and lemongrass flavors at the finish. Alcohol % 14.3.

 

 

2010 Arietta, California, On the White Keys, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: Release Price $65

  • $86 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.3x | TOP PICK

 

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2010 On The White Keys is a Sauvignon/Semillon blend laced with green apples, pears, flowers and sage. This is an attractive white, but some angular contours remain. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.

 

2007 Robert Mondavi, To Kalon-I Block, Napa Valley, Fume Blanc

Retail Price: $75 at Calwine

 

 

  • $127 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2007 vintage of this Fumé Blanc is a focused and evocative expression of the I Block’s venerated terroir and old-vine intensity. Lacey aromas of mandarin citrus and white peach bridge to a concentrated palate of pure fruit flavors, stone, and lemon oil mingled with floral notes and Turkish figs. Bright, balanced acidity establishes the heights of the flavor profile while an elegant texture and weight define the wine’s profound.

 

2009 Leojami, Arroyo Seco, Cedar Lane Vineyard Viognier

Retail Price: $22 Release Price Wine Enthusiast Magazine

 

  • $30 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.4x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: Cedar Lane Vineyard is a fully sustainable vineyard positioned on a sandy, rocky bench above the Arroyo Seco River in Monterey County. The grapes for this wine are grown on single and double cordon. Special attention is given to canopy management and the slow development of elevated aromatics which are the hallmark of incredible Viognier.  The Vintage
The weather in 2009 was exceptional. Arroyo Seco was blessed with a slow warming spring and just enough rain to set a healthy canopy. Flowering was even and the fruit came to ripeness in early October.

2010 Cowhorn, Spiral 36, Applegate Valley, Viognier

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  • $48 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.4x

90 points Wine Spectator: Polished, silky and effusive in its expression of spicy pear, flowers and lemon meringue flavors. Finishes with style. Drink now.

 

2009 Rubicon Estate, Napa Valley, Blancaneaux, Rousanne, Marsanne & Viognier

Retail Price: $47 at Woodland Hills Wine Co. & $52 at Sherry – Lehman

  • $82 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

Description from Sherry – Lehman: Blancaneaux is a blended wine (32% Roussanne, 42% Marsanne, 26% Viognier) for all the right reasons. Most importantly, the blend is greater than the sum of its parts. Taken individually, the components appeal to simple pleasures. Blancaneaux reveals a complex personality with more depth of both flavor and aroma than any single variety. 
Frances Ford Coppola’s very fine twist on Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc.

 

2009 Elizabeth Spencer, Special Cuvee, Mendocino, Chenin Blanc

Retail Price: $15 at State Line Liquors

  • $35 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

 

 

2009 Couly-Dutheil, Les Chanteaux, Loire, Chinon, Chenin Blanc

Retail Price: $26 at Columbus Circle Wines & Spirits

  • $50 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

 

90 points Wine Spectator: Round and fresh, with delightful melon, peach and almond notes backed by a lingering salted butter note on the rounded finish. Drink now through 2011. 1,400 cases made. –JM

 

2010 Scarpetta, Pinot Grigio

Retail Price: $17 at Backroom Wines

  • $34 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino | 2.0x
  • $36 at Zuni Café | 2.1x
  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

 

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.

2008 Terrazas de los Andes, Salta, Argentina, Torrontes

Retail Price: $18 at Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors

  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

87 points Wine Spectator: Stylish for a Torrontés, with white peach, chamomile and mineral notes that linger through the tangy, lengthy finish. Drink now. 700 cases imported. –JM

 

2007 Koonowla, Clare Valley, Riesling

Retail Price: $18 at Discount Wine Buys

  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

87 points Wine Advocate: The 2007 Riesling is light straw-colored with green overtones. It offers an excellent perfume of lemon-lime, spring flower garden, and grapefruit. Crisp and dry on the palate, guava and pineapple emerge to add complexity. The wine has good balance but could use a bit more depth. Drink it over the next several years.

 

2008 Donnhoff, Nahe, Kabinett, Oberhauser, Leistenberg, Riesling

Retail Price: $33 via Wine-Searcher, Release Price $34

  • $58 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x

90 points Wine Spectator: “Ripe apple, sweet corn and grapefruit flavors mark this pure, delicate Riesling. The vibrant structure keeps this fresh and focused on the piquant finish. Drink now through 2020.” –BS

 

 

 

 

2008 Bruno  Rocca, Cadet, Langhe, Chardonnay

Retail Price:

  • $57 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.9x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: Color: Bright straw-yellow Nose: Very complex, with aromas of spices, followed by a sweet and floral nose showing acacia honey, melon and exotic fruit. Flavour: round, luscious and well-balanced with spicy, sweet tobacco.Great mineral character on the long finish.

 

 

2009 Domaine Drouhin, Arthur, Dundee Hills, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

 

  • $66 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Arthur has surprised me in so many ways. I expected it to be more like 2006 because of the similar heat accumulation through the year. But it seems that 2009 takes the best of 2006 (ripe, lush, round fruit) and the best of 2008 (bright acidity and sharp structure), and combines them in a most enjoyable way. The gently honeyed texture and trademark range of white flower aromatics is delicious. Enjoy now and for the next several years!

 

 

2009 Paul Hobbs, Russian River Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $46 at K&L Wines

  • $90 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.9x

93 points Wine Advocate: 91-93 points Robert Parker: “The 2009 Chardonnay Russian River possesses tropical fruit, honeysuckle, cinnamon and subtle oak notes in a nicely etched, medium to full-bodied style. The irrepressible Paul Hobbs fashioned a beautiful portfolio of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in both 2008 and 2009. His style of Chardonnay comes directly from the Burgundy handbook, meaning cool vineyard sites, full malolactic fermentations, lots of lees contact and the use of well-established clones, such as the old Wente and occasionally some of the newer Dijon clones. The 2009 Chardonnays are slightly more perfumed as well as lower in alcohol/

 

2008 Bruno Colin, Chassagne Montrachet

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wines

  • $100 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

89 points Wine Spectator: Well-oaked, yet with citronella, peach and mineral flavors underneath. The vivid structure corrals them, gathering them neatly on the lingering, spicy finish. Best from 2012 through 2019. 100 cases imported.

 

2006 Mount Eden Vineyards, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $58 via Wine-Searcher & $48 Release Price

Rating: Wine Spectator 96 | Drink now to 2016

  • $101 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

 

96 points Wine Spectator: Simply delicious, a rich, buttery style, delivering ripe, vivid, delicate peach, pear and honeydew melon fruit that’s complex, concentrated and full-bodied. Offers excellent length and depth. Creamy oak adds a touch of smoke and vanilla. The texture is silky. Drink now through 2016. 2,387 cases made. –JL

Winemaker’s Notes: This is a subtle wine with hints of toasty lees, lanolin, lime zest in the nose and high natural acidity with lively herb, citrus, mineral flavors on the palate. Burgundian in style, it is somewhat contrasting with 2004 and 2005 which are more flamboyant. As expected, the finish is rich, long and mysterious. Given the slow evolving nature of the 2006, expect further improvement for the next four to five years and a drinking plateau for at least another ten.

2009 Brewer Clifton, Santa Rita Hills, Mount Carmel, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $55 at JJ Buckley

  • $110 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x

 

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Mount Carmel comes across as quite intense and deep. Layers of expressive tropical fruit fill out the wine’s broad shouldered frame nicely. Here, too, I miss some of the refinement of the best Brewer-Clifton Chardonnays. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2015.

Red Wines by the Bottle

266 selections that range in price from $30 to $2,300

2008 Miura, Monterey County, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $29 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $48 at EPIC Roasthouse |1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Nestled between the dry creek beds and hills in the southern Santa Lucia Highlands are the vines at the Pisoni Vineyard. Intensely monitored by Gary Pisoni and his family, this arid, though not particularly hot, vineyard faces east to southeast, soaking up morning and afternoon sunshine. The vines are planted in gravely sand soils that, combined with exposure, generates the concentrated, balanced fruit the vineyard has become known for. Miura winemaker Emmanuel Kemiji has the fruit transported to the winery in refrigerated trucks, keeping the grapes cool, who then sorts the fruit and moves them to small open-top stainless fermenters. The wine is made using wild yeasts and some whole clusters then aged for 12 months in 65% French oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered. The resulting wine is wonderfully complex with earthy tannins, sweet, ripe fruit and fabulous complexity.

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

Retail Price: $44 @ the Winery

  • $68 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.5x | TOP PICK
  • $68 at Kokkari | 1.5x | TOP PICK
  • $70 at Frascati | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $72 at Boulevard | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $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.

2009 Mongeard-Mugneret, Domaine Savigny Les Beaune

Retail Price: $38 at Abalat Fine & Rare Wines and $40 at JJ Buckley

  • $87 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

Description from JJ Buckley: The soil of Savigny-lès-Beaune is ideally suited to growing vines and is also comparatively deep. The wines from this village are moderately intense in colour. They have an elegant, fairly powerful bouquet, dominated by Morello cherries, blackcurrants, raspberries, modulating over the years towards strawberries and hints of woodland undergrowth.

Subtle, with discreet tannins, and a low acid content, they have a light, open structure which gives them a feminine image. Perfumed and mellow, they have a rich bouquet. They have fire and strength, but above all it is their exquisite delicacy and finesse which makes them so appreciated by wine-lovers.

2006 Solena, Yamhill-Carlton District, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $45 Release Price

  • $96 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: It is exciting to see our Estate Domaine Danielle Laurent Vineyard mature. The 2006 is the third vintage from our estate and displays the hard work and dedication we have put forth in the vineyard. As the vines get older the wines seem to become more complex and inviting. I can see the benefits that biodynamic farming are having in our vineyards. 

The wine displays aromatics of clove and flint that lead to a palate of concentrated dark cherry and blueberry compote. A hint of barrel toast flows seamlessly into the long soft finish. An elegant vineyard selection that has enough structure and concentration to age to perfection. This wine would benefit from eight to ten years of cellar aging.

2009 Kutch Wines, McDougall Ranch, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $57 Average Price via Cellar Tracker

  • $94 at Zuni Café | 1.6x | TOP PICK
  • $99 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Pinot Noir McDougall Ranch is richer, deeper and fleshier than the Falstaff. Exotic spices, tangerine, crushed flowers and red berries are some of the notes that wrap around the finish in this juicy, expansive Pinot. The finish reveals gorgeous depth and plenty of harmony. Kutch used 50% whole clusters and aged the wine 17 months in French oak barrels, 30% new. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.

Description from Wineanorak:13.9% alcohol, 288 cases made. 40% whole cluster used, with 50% new oak. Fresh, assertive cherry fruit nose with some fine spicy notes, as well as a pleasant hint of greenness. Fresh and taut on the palate but with firm structure and nice spiciness, perhaps from the stems. Power and elegance combined. Nicely fresh and savoury, showing some sweet cherry and plum fruit. Dry, tannic finish. Quite serious, with potential for development.

2009 Hirsch Vineyards, San Andreas, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $55 at Zachys

  • $100 at Frascati | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $128 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault comes across as quite introverted, yet it boasts considerable energy that needs further bottle age to fully emerge. There is tremendous depth to the fruit in this muscular Pinot. Clean, saline notes frame the highly expressive, vibrant finish.

 

 

2009 Sandhi, Santa Rita Hills, Evening Land Tempest, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $85 at Zachy’s

 

  • $137 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.6x | TOP PICK

 

92 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Pinot Noir Evening Land-Tempest flows across the palate with gorgeous bright red fruit. Expressive aromatics are woven throughout, adding to an impression of elegance and classiness. A linear, pointed vein of Gevrey-like fruit frames the highly nuanced finish. The Pinot was vinified with whole clusters and aged in new French oak barrels. I came back to this wine several times over the course of an afternoon, and it never failed to impress. This is a dazzling effort from Sandhi.

2006 Delas Freres, Domaine des Grands Chemins, Crozes Hermitage

Retail Price: $35 at K&L Wines

  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.1x | TOP PICK

90 points Wine Advocate: Delas’ newest offering, the 2006 Crozes-Hermitage Domaine des Grands Chemins, comes from a 25-acre domaine they now own. Classic aromas of creme de cassis, licorice, tapenade, new saddle leather, and spice jump from the glass of this elegant, deep ruby/purple-hued effort. Sexy, aromatic, and complex with outstanding concentration and length, it should be enjoyed over the next 7-10 years.

2009 Domaine Georges Vernay, Saint-Jospeh, Terres d’Encre

Retail Price: $39 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.0 | TOP PICK

91 points Wine Spectator: Dark currant, roasted fig and mesquite notes are tightly wound and nicely focused, with ample flesh. Distinctive black tea and singed wood notes linger on the finish. Drink now through 2014. 583 cases made. –JM

2008 Hesketh, Usual Suspects, Mclaren Vale, Shiraz

Retail Price: $22 at Bedford Wine Merchants

  • $40 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x | TOP PICK

 

87 points International Wine Cellar: Deep ruby. Red berry preserves and spicecake on the nose, along with a subtle white pepper nuance. Slightly jammy raspberry and cherry flavors are supple and seamless, with a late note of bitter cherry adding grip. Very fruity and easy to drink, if not the last word in complexity.

 

2008 Halter Ranch, Paso Robles, Syrah

Retail Price: $28 at Morro Bay Wine Seller

  • $54 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.9x

 

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2008 Syrah captures the taster’s attention with its opaque purple color and intense aromas of sweet boysenberry, Olallieberry and violet. The wine’s lush, fruit flavors are complimented by ripe tannins culminating in a long, sumptuous finish.  This opulent red will make a delicious accompaniment to hearty foods like pepper steak, barbecued ribs, grilled spicy sausages and cassoulet. Enjoy over the next 7-10 years. Alcohol 15.4%.

 

2009 Neyers, Old Lakeville Road, Sonoma County, Syrah

Retail Price: $27 at Artisan Wine Depot & $28 at K&L Wines

  • $60 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x
  • $65 at The Village Pub | 2.4x

 

91 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Syrah Old Lakeville Road has lots of smoky lard, bacon fat, blackberry and cassis, a dense purple color, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, elegant, soft flavors, and a delicious finish. This wine is already showing complexity and should continue to drink well for 7-8 years. (02/11)

2009 Emiliana, Coyam, Colchagua Valley, Syrah

Retail Price: $30 at JJ Buckley

  • $70 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

 

90 points Wine Spectator: Dark and muscular in style, with loam, roasted coffee and dark fig notes backed by more tar, tobacco and black cherry. Shows solid depth, with nicely buried acidity driving the finish. This has range and character. Syrah, Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Mourvèdre and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2012. 13,000 cases made. –JM

 

2008 Samsara, Ampelos Vineyards, Santa Rita Hills, Syrah

Retail Price: $35 at Solano Cellars

  • $71 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x  | TOP PICK

 

91 points Wine Advocate: A beautiful effort, the opaque ruby/purple-hued, Mediterranean-styled 2008 Syrah Ampelos Vineyard exhibits a meaty, spicy, peppery personality revealing lots of roasted herb notes. Fleshy and medium to full-bodied, it should improve with another year or two in the bottle, and keep for at least a decade.

 

2009 Pierre Jean Villa, Preface, Saint Joseph

Retail Price: $35 at K&L Wines

  • $73 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.1x

 

Description from K&L: In 2009 he started his own domaine from scratch. Stylistically, his wines are, in the best sense, modern: clean, pure, deep, mineral and elegant. They emphasize depth of fruit without any heavy-handed oak or extractive treatment. Préface is the first red cuvée of the domaine, a rich wine with an excellent core of Syrah fruit, and sets the tone (hence its name). At roughly 1,000 cases, it’s the largest production. This is made in a mixture of 225-liter and 600-liter barrels and if possible is bottled without fining or filtration.

 

2007 Rancho Arroyo Grande, Mouvedre

Retail Price: $60 @ the Winery

  • $73 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.2x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: The nose on our 2007 Mourvedre is wonderfully earthy with notes of sage, cedar, forest floor, prunes, Eucalyptus.  The wine has a soft tannin structure with very nice acidity and mid-palate flavors of sandalwood, black and red fruits and fresh mushrooms, and finishes slow, long and rich.

2007 Chateau Mont-Redon, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $44 at Sherry-Lehman

 

  • $79 at Bobo’s | 1.8x
  • $99 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

 

90 points Wine Spectator: This has a core of dark plum and fig fruit, but it’s pushed by a slightly high-toned black cherry and floral note, with hints of anise and black licorice checking in on the finish. Tangy for the vintage. Drink now through 2019. 2,000 cases imported. –JM

2009 Tablas Creek, Espirit de Beaucastel Rouge

Retail Price: $45 at Artisan Wine Depot & $50 at K&L Wines

  • $100 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

94 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Esprit de Beaucastel, tasted from foudre, is very, very young. The wine literally explodes on the palate with a rush of dark fruit enshrouded within a wall of muscular tannin. The 2009 is a dark inward Esprit that will require patience, but when the wine opens up it will be a jewel. Actually, it already is. In 2009 the blend is 40% Mourvedre, 28% Syrah, 27% Grenache and 5% Counoise. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

2007 Chateau Rayas, Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Retail Price: $547 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $453 at EPIC Roasthouse | BELOW RETAIL | TOP PICK

97 points Wine Advocate: I had previously written that I thought the 2005 was the greatest Rayas Chateauneuf du Pape made after 1995, but I think the 2007 may eclipse it. Perhaps it is a stylistic thing as the 2005 is a sturdier, more masculine style, and the 2007 is an opulent, voluptuous wine that is more reminiscent of the 1990, while the 2005 is similar to the 1995. The 2007 possesses a dark ruby color, silky tannins, sweet fruit, and enormous quantities of kirsch, licorice, black raspberries, and incense notes. Even though I tasted it shortly after bottling, it was exceptionally dense and pure. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2032+.

2008 Unti, Dry Creek Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $25 at K&L Wines

  • $58 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

Description from K&L Wines: Unti’s Dry Creek Zin is made primarily with fruit from the winery’s Primitivo clone vineyard–which, with its thicker skins, fared much better in the late August heat in 2008 than other clones, allowing Unti to pick fully ripe Zin with sugars that weren’t out of control. Combined with 18% Petite Sirah, this is a dark, dense Zin with slightly lower acidity than previous vintages, but delightlful black fruit, spice and savory herbs. While it’s structured enough to age a couple of years, it’s so good now, it’d be a shame to wait. Alcohol 14.5%.

2008 Amapola Creek, Monte Rosso Vineyard, Sonoma County, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $33 Average Price via Wine – Searcher

  • $77 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.3x

89 points Wine Spectator: Shows the focus and structure of a Cabernet, but the fruit remains reticent. Still, this offers appealing black currant, earthy loam and spice flavors. Should bloom given time. Tasted twice. Best from 2013 through 2017. 293 cases made. –TF

2009 Bedrock Wine Co., Dry Creek Valley, Lorenzo’s Heirloom, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $35 at Napacabs

  • $79 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Bright red. A complex nose offers briary red berries, smoked meat, dried herbs and a hint of flowers. Lively and precise in the mouth, with flavors similar to the aromas. Bright but ripe and not at all heavy, with an intriguing element of candied flowers on the back half.

2008 Ravenswood, Old Hill, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel

Retail Price: $56 at Wine.com

  • $100 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x | TOP PICK

95 points Wine Enthusiast: A tremendous Zinfandel, Ravenswood’s most expensive, and while you might quiver at the price, it’s easily a very great wine. This is Zinfandel on steroids, a monster of wild summer berry, tobacco, currant and spice flavors, wrapped into significantly thick tannins. Yet despite the power, it never quite loses elegance and balance. The winery’s 2007 was their greatest Zinfandel ever, and this one isn’t far behind.

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Old Hill is a wine that is refined, but assertive. Powerful ripe aromas of mint, cedar, vanilla and dark chocolate are underpinned by the full fruit character of Bing cherries and black raspberries. Big and rich on the palate, the dark fruit and spice flavors persist in a long finish enveloped in delicious vanilla and toasted almond flavors infused by the judicious use of French oak aging. This is an extremely alluring wine that is attractive now but, as most past vintages from this vineyard have demonstrated, will continue to get more interesting for many years. Alcohol 15.0%.

2008 Quinta do Vesuvio Pombal do Vesuvio, Duoro

Retail Price: $25 at Wine House

  • $50 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.0x | WS 90

90 points Wine Spectator: Red violet aromas and flavors are firm and focused. Plum and cherry chime in as well, with plenty of cream and spice. The plush finish is filled with with rich notes of mocha and truffle. Drink now through 2016. 300 cases imported. –KM

2005 Analog, St. Helena, Merlot

Retail Price: $35 at Analog Winery

  • $55 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.6x | TOP PICK

Winemaker’s Notes: Floral notes of lilies, violets, and roses; chalky / gravelly minerality; black plum, blueberry, nectarine, kirsch, anise seed, Thai basil, cocoa nib.  Texture: Rich, elegant, but firm tannins; full, satiny mouthfeel; palate cleaning acidity.  Finish: Satin tannins give way to a clean finish with medium acidity as well as plum, soy, savory-herb and vibrant mineral qualities. Alcohol 14.5%.

2007 Northstar, Columbia Valley, Washington, Merlot

Retail Price: $30 at Napacabs and $40 at Wine.com

  • $66 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

91 points Wine Spectator: Dense and chewy, featuring a sweetness and suppleness that make the earthy cherry and blackberry flavors weave through the tannins, emerging on the long finish with finesse. Best from 2012 through 2016.

Winemaker’s Notes: 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% petit verdot. Well balanced with a nose and flavors of raspberry, plum, and cherry, leading into notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice on the palate. Lots of structure and balanced tannins make this a great wine to pair with food. Alcohol 14.7%.

 

2007 Twomey, Napa Valley, Merlot

Retail Price: $40 at JJ Buckley and $45 at K&L Wines

  • $75 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.9x

84 points Wine Spectator: Aromas of tomato leaf, cedar and cherry lead to firm, modest flavors of red currant and lead pencil. Drink now through 2016. 8,500 cases made. –TF

Winemaker’s Notes: Our 2007 Twomey Merlot is a beautiful example of what this noble variety can achieve in an excellent vintage: suppleness, complexity and great expression of berry fruit. It has a dark ruby color and a nose of fresh, ripe black cherry and blackberry, dark chocolate and what the French call “torifaction”, the alluring smell of roasting coffee. On the palate, it has an attack full of explosive fruit and violets prolonged by plenty of umami, the savory fifth taste. It has a long finish echoing berry fruit and chocolate and grainy well-integrated tannins that promise excellent cellaring potential. This Merlot will continue to give drinking pleasure through 2022. Alcohol 13.9%.

2006 Paradigm, Oakville, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $50 at Woodland Hills Wine Co. & $58 at Artisan Wine Depot

$85 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.7x

Winemaker’s Notes: From the first smell, this wine is open and enticing. Beautiful aromas of ripe berries and toasty spicy oak. Soft and silky across the palate with classic Paradigm finesse. Flavors are of ripe black cherry, blackberry, cedar and sweet vanilla. Rich and lush in the mouth with lots of flavor and elegance. The wine is very enjoyable right now and will last 10 years or more.

2007 Hess, Mount Veeder, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $40 at The Cellar Online

  • $88 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

92 points Wine Spectator: Bordeaux-like in its aroma, structure, weight and range of flavors, this is tight, with cedary cigar box and tobacco scents. Dry and savory, with dried currant, mineral and gravel notes, ending with subtle flavor nuances. Drink now through 2022.

Winemaker’s Notes: Complex and alluring flavors of wild mountain blackberry, black cherry, currant and sweet molasses, accented by underlying flavors of graphite and cedar box. Hints of vanilla and toast are imparted by the new French oak barrels. The addition of Mount Veeder Malbec – with its distinguishing characteristics of dark chocolate and boysenberry – adds a heightened intensity to the fruit and lends texture to this wine, while softening and balancing the tannins for a long elegant finish.

2007 Domaine Georg Rafael Pere & Fils, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $40 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $90 at EPIC Roasthouse | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: The color is a characteristic deep ruby purple. Classic black currant aromas make an initial greeting followed by loads of blackberry and some tobacco and licorice. Blackberry, cherry and vanilla flavors abound on the first taste. Repeated visits reward the palate with additional layers of complexity. Blackberry jam highlights the long and pleasurable finish. Well-balanced and structured while being soft and approachable.

2008 Beringer, Private Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $100 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $180 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.8x

89 points Wine Advocate 89: The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a complete, layered wine. An open, expressive bouquet leads to dark red cherries, savory herbs, minerals, graphite and menthol. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame the long finish. This, too, could use additional bottle age to come together. The fruit was predominantly sourced from the Home Vineyard in St. Helena. The final blend includes a touch of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

92 points Wine Spectator 92 Patience required for this taut, dense, focused effort, with layers of mineral, cedar, dried berry, black licorice and espresso. Shows great structure and focus, yet this is very tight and backward now. Best from 2013 through 2023. 1,211 cases made. –JL

2000 Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou

Retail Price: $234 via Wine Searcher & $105 Release Price

Rating: Wine Spectator 95 | Best after 2010

  • $360 at EPIC Roasthouse | 1.5x | TOP PICK

Vintage Description from Wine Spectator 99 Points – Hold: Postmodern classic; benchmark Bordeaux.

95 points Wine Spectator: Fantastic aromas of blackberries, wild berries and minerals. Extremely aromatic. Full-bodied and very tight, with big, silky tannins and a long, caressing finish. Superb. A muscular Ducru. Best after 2010. 17,500 cases made. –JS

 

95 points Robert Parker: A stunning wine from Ducru Beaucaillou which showcases its great terroir, this elegant but substantial 2000 has a dense purple color that has hardly budged since it was first bottled. Displaying a floral note, with hints of boysenberries, black raspberries, black currants and a touch of background oak, the wine has superb concentration and density, but still has some substantial tannins that are not yet fully resolved. I originally predicted that it should be drinkable from 2010-2030, but I would modify that now to 2015-2035. (06/10)

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