Alexander’s Steakhouse SF Wine List Review

VinoServant Mobile @ http://m.vinoservant.com

 

Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco

448 Brannan Street

San Francisco, CA

P: 415.495.1111

http://alexanderssteakhouse.com

 

 

Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco Wine List Review

Our Top Picks at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco have been entered into our mobile site http://m.vinoservant.com for easy viewing on your smart phone. You can also view our mobile site on your desktop / laptop computer.  If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer you might have some problems, so be sure to view our mobile site with a different browser.

Be sure to check out the excellent prices on the Chateau Margaux, Mouton and Lafite.  The Lafite is priced below retail, and Parker gave it 100 points.

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 (2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, Sonoma County | $67 | 2.4x | WS 91). Mark-up of 2.4x translates into a retail price of $28 a bottle, and Wine Spectator rated this wine 91 points.

 

International Wine Cellar – IWC | James Suckling – JS | VinoServant Top Pick – TP |

Wine Advocate – WA | Wine Enthusiast – WE | Wine Spectator – WS | Wine & Spirits – WSS |

 

VINOSERVANT’S TOP WINE VALUES AT ALEXANDER’S STEAKHOUSE SAN FRANCISCO

 

Sparkling Wines

33 selections that range in price form $50 to $625

 

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, Sonoma County | $67 | 2.4x | WS 91

Louis Roederer, Brut Premier, Champagne, Non-Vintage | $96 | 2.4x | WS 90

Ruinart, Rose, Champagne, Non-Vintage | $125 | 1.9x | WS92 | TP


White Wines

52 selections that range in price from $40 to $425

 

2010 Willakenzie, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Gris | $45 | 2.2x

2010 Medlock Ames, Alexander Valley, Sauvignon Blanc | 54 | 2.0x | TP

 

2009 Domaine Chandon, Carneros, Chardonnay | $40 | 2.0x

2010 La Follette, North Coast, Chardonnay | $45 | 2.2x

2010 Cep (Peay Vineyards), Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay | $55 | 2.3x | TP

2009 Etude, Carneros, Chardonnay | $60 | 2.1x

2009 Kistler, Sonoma Valley, Chardonnay | $100 | 1.2x | WA 96 | TP

 

Red Wines

225+ selections that range in price from $42 to $850

 

2010 Cep (Peay Vineyards) Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $55 | 2.1x

2010 Ghostwriter, Santa Cruz Mountains, Pinot Noir | $60 | 2.0x | IWC 89 | TP

2008 Domaine Aurelien Verdet, Cotes de Nuits | $60 | 2.0x | TP

2010 Rex Hill, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir | $65 | 2.2x

2008 Bouchaine, Carneros, Pinot Noir | $65 | 2.2x | WS 87

2009 Gary Farrell, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $65 | 1.8x | TP

2009 Emeritus, Hallberg Ranch, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir | $72 | 1.6x

2009 Bruno Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet | $80 | 1.8x | WA 90 | TP

2009 WillaKenzie, Pierre Leon, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir | $90 | 2.5x

2008 Au Bon Climat, Talley-Rincon Vineyard, Arroyo Grande, Pinot Noir | $95 | 2.4x

2009 Flowers, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir | $95 | 2.1x | WSS 93

2009 Domaine Joseph et Phillipe Roty, Marsannay, Champs St. Etienne | $115 | 2.3x | Burg 89

2009 Sea Smoke, Southing, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir | $147 | 1.8x | JS 92

 

2009 Cep (Peay Vineyards), Sonoma Coast, Syrah | $55 | 2.4x

2009 Holus Bolus, Santa Barbara, Syrah | $55 | 2.4x | TP

2009 Gilles-Robin, Cuvee Alberic Bouvet, Crozes-Hermitage | $60 | 2.1x | WS 92 | TP

2007 Domaine Phillippe Faury, Saint-Joseph | $65 | 2.0x | WS 92

2008 Holus Bolus, Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Syrah | $70 | 2.3x

2008 Holus Bolus, White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Syrah | $80 | 2.0x | TP

2008 Piedrasassi, Santa Barbara, Syrah | $85 | 2.0x | WA 93 | TP

2007 Bernard Burgaud, Cote-Rotie | | $120 | 1.9x | WS 92

 

2005 Marques de Murrieta, Reserva, Rioja | $54 | 2.4x | IWC 91

 

2007 Geggiano, Riserva, Chianti Classico | $65 | 2.0x | TP

2005 Felsina, Berardenga, Riserva, Rancia, Chianti Classico | $85 | 2.1x | WS 91

2004 Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino | $125 | 1.9x | WS 91

2005 Sesti, Brunello di Montalcino | $150 | 1.9x | WA 92

 

2008 Burgess, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon| $62 | 1.8x | TP

Cain Cuvee, NV8, Napa Valley, Cabernet Blend | $62 | 2.1x

2008 Beaulieu Vineyard, Tapestry, Cabernet Sauvignon  | $90 | 2.4x | WS 91

2008 Faust, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $100 | 2.3x

2005 Chateau Ormes de Pez | $100 | 2.4x | WA 86

2007 Anakota, Helena Montana Vineyard, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon | $110 | 2.4x | JS 94

1998 Chateau Margaux | $500 | 1.1x | WA 91 | TP

1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild | $600 | 1.2x | WA 94 | TP

1981 Chateau Margaux | $600 | 1.6x | WA 91

2003 Chateau Lafite Rothschild | $850 | BELOW RETAIL | WA 100 | TP

 

Sparkling Wines

2008 Schramsberg, Blanc de Blancs, Sonoma County

Retail Price: $28 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $67 at Alexander’s Steakhouse SF | 2.4x

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. Alcohol 12.7%.

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.

Louis Roederer, Brut Premier, Champagne, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $40 at K&L Wines

  • $96 at Alexander’s Steakhouse SF | 2.4x

90 points Wine Spectator: A delicate Champagne, with spring blossom, smoke, yellow apple and anise flavors set on a fine-grained texture. The moderate finish is fresh and juicy, with the smoky note lingering. Better than previously reviewed. Drink now through 2019.

Ruinart, Rose, Champagne, Non-Vintage

Retail Price: $65 at K&L Wines

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse SF | 1.9x

92 points Wine Spectator: A firm rosé, more about its elegant texture and streak of minerality than the flavors of wild strawberry, white cherry, grilled plum and graphite. Hints of spice and fleur de sel accent the finish. Drink now through 2020. Alcohol 12.5%.

The wine is a brilliant orange-yellow rose petal colour with a very fine, profuse and sustained mousse. The nose is characterized by small red berries, mainly currant. On the palate the wine is vigorous and well balanced. A fine, fresh, fruity wine with well-integrated tannins and a hint of spice on the lengthy finish.

Ruinart Rosé is produced from a blend of 55% Pinot Noir and 45% Chardonnay from the best of recent vintages. All of the fruit is from premiers crus vineyards. Grapes from the estate vineyards in Sillery and Brimont (ancestral home of the Ruinart family) are joined by carefully selected grapes from other premiers crus vineyards in the Côte de Blancs and the Montagne de Reims. The grapes for Ruinart are selected basket by basket at the source, and only the finest premiers crus are used.

White Wines

2010 Willakenzie, Willamette Valley, Oregon, Pinot Gris

Retail Price: $20 at Wine.com

Rating: Wine Spectator 88

  • $45 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

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%.

2010 Medlock Ames, Alexander Valley, Sauvignon Blanc

Retail Price: $27 at SF Wine Trading Company

  • $54 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Very bright with gooseberry-spice, meyer lemon, kumquat, orange blossom and racy acidity. Drinking well now.

2009 Domaine Chandon, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $20 at Hi-Time Wine Cellars

  • $40 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: The wine opens with inviting aromas of fig, white peach, ginger and orange blossom as flavors of pineapple, Meyer lemon zest and vanilla bean grace the palate. With creamy texture and a lingering finish of citrus and pears, this wine showcases the Carneros region. A light touch of oak combined with balanced acidity accentuate the complexity of this Chardonnay.

 

 

2010 La Follette, North Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $20 at K&L Wines

  • $45 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Intensely perfumed with honeysuckle, fresh pineapple and melon, this effusive Chardonnay unfurls in the glass to reveal underlying tones of pine needles and vanillin … with just a touch of muskiness. The focused mineral-laced entry leads to mouthwatering acid and fresh citrus flavors on the palate. This wine finishes long, with lime peel and an echo of tropical fruits. Both elegant and energetic, our North Coast Chardonnay is decidedly coastal in structure.

2010 Cep (Peay Vineyards), Sonoma Coast, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $24 at K&L Wines

  • $55 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.3x

Description from K&L Wines: It is indeed rare to find a second label of such quality and breeding as Cep, the “offspring” from the exceptional Peay Vineyards. A source of both fantastic value and for winemaker Vanessa Wong to have a little fun, the Cep wines are made from barrels that didn’t make it into the Estate bottlings. The 2010 Cep Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from fruit from “declassified” Peay estate fruit combined with fruit from neighboring Campbell Vineyard for a restrained, elegant style with bright acidity and very moderate alcohol (only 12% abv). It offers a mineral-driven, lemony citrus nose, which leads to a racy palate with a creamy mouthfeel framed by focused acidity. Only 550 cases were produced of this classic cool-climate Sonoma Chardonnay. It is just aching to be paired with fresh oysters!

2009 Etude, Carneros, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $29 at Berkeley Wine Company

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x

Winemaker’s Notes: Delicate aromas of lemon curd, stone fruit and quince begin the nose of this inviting Etude Chardonnay. Honeydew, melon and pear along with subtle floral notes of jasmine comprise the aroma which represents a broader spectrum in recent vintages. On the palate, the wine has fullness and present minerality. This vintage features acidity leveraged for aging and demonstrates distinctive complexity of flavors that will evolve in the bottle, and the glass, as well as on the generous finish.

2009 Kistler, Sonoma Valley, Chardonnay

Retail Price: $86 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $100 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.2x

96 points Wine Advocate: The 2009 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard, on the other hand, bursts onto the palate with endless layers of white peaches, apricots and white flowers. The deep texture turns delicate and haunting on the finish. There is an exotic, floral note that is very much unique to this bottling that Steve Kistler ascribes to the Mt. Eden and Wente selections planted on this site. This is a marvelously complete, stunning wine. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

Red Wines

2010 Cep (Peay Vineyards) Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $26 at K&L Wines

  • $55 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x

 

Description from K&L: It is indeed rare to find a second label of such quality and breeding as Cep, the “offspring” from the exceptional Peay Vineyards. A source of both fantastic value and for winemaker Vanessa Wong to have a little fun, the Cep Pinot is made from barrels that didn’t make it into the Estate bottlings. Perfumed and vibrant, the 2010 opens with classic cool-climate Sonoma Coast bright red cherry and cranberry fruit in the nose, underscored by earth spice and hints of clove. With air, flavors of just-ripe strawberry come forward, along with hints of anise, cedar and vanilla. On the palate, bright acidity provides balance and nerve as it draws you toward a lingering, complex finish.

 

2010 Ghostwriter, Santa Cruz Mountains, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wines

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

89 points IWC: Vivid red, Aromas and flavors of strawberry and raspberry show good clarity and offer zesty straightforward appeal. Shows a smooth, seamless texture and a sneaky note of candied flowers on the refreshingly brisk, persistent finish.

 

2008 Domaine Aurelien Verdet, Cotes de Nuits

Retail Price: $30 at Bevmo

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

Aurelien Verdet, whose home vineyard is in the Hautes Cotes itself, is a young, talented vigneron who makes, among others, wonderful first growth Burgundies from Nuits-St-Georges, presents to us—and to you—a very nice, fruit-filled pinot redolent of cherries and darker fruits with pretty full mouth feel and suprising length—all at a very affordable price.

 

2010 Rex Hill, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 at Wine.com

  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

Winemaker’s Notes: Beguiling aromatics of Bing cherries, ripe raspberries, huckleberries, pomegranate, violets sandalwood, earch and wood smoke develop into deeper notes of coffee, tobacco, cloves, black fruit and soft leather. The palate intrigues with red, blue and black fruit flavors, appealin spice and minerals framed by delicate, ripe tannins. The wine’s structure builds gradually through the mid-palate reflecting its intensity balance and potential for longevity. This wine is pure example of Oregon Pinot Noir from a classic vintage. Alcohol 13.0%.

2008 Bouchaine, Carneros, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $30 Release Price

  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.2x

87 points Wine Spectator: This trim red is focused on gravelly, pebbly dried berry fruit that’s complex and vibrant. Medium- to full-bodied, ending with a minerally aftertaste. Drink now through 2017. 8,704 cases made. –JL

 

2009 Gary Farrell, Russian River Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $35 at Napacabs

  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.8x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2009 Russian River Selection, from yet another strong vintage, possesses bright clarity and medium intensity in appearance with a dark ruby color. Intense aromas of dried dark cherries, plums and raspberries are matched with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. An earthy note of leather adds complexity to the nose. The palate shows medium plus acidity, flavor intensity, body and length with a seductive texture leading to a balanced finish. This wine will continue to reward for years to come! Alcohol 14.2%.

 

 

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

Retail Price: $44 @ the Winery

Rating: See comments below

  • $72 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.6x
  • $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.

2009 Bruno Colin, Chassagne-Montrachet

Retail Price: $45 at Wally’s

  • $80 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.8x

90 points Wine Advocate: This has a well-defined, tight citrus-driven bouquet with a touch of smoke and oyster shell. The palate is well balanced with a touch of walnut on the entry, dried fruit and a touch of nectarine towards the finish. Well-crafted and good value to boot.

87 points Burghound: The supple, generous and easy to like flavors are of ripe yellow fruit with a resin suffused nose. “This very forward effort should drink well almost immediately

2009 WillaKenzie, Pierre Leon, Willamette Valley, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $37 at JJ Buckley

  • $90 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.5x

90 points Wine & Spirits: Scents of graham cracker and soy lead to ripe black cherry flavors, while oak defines the finish with mocha notes melding into the sweet, dark fruit. This has the depth for spice-rubbed pork loin.

Winemaker’s Notes: Deep cranberry red in color, with sweet black fruit and carnation on the nose. The palate showcases red plum, red currant and red cherry, as well as unmistakable earth, nutmeg, star anise, and kirsch notes. It is a seductively plump style of Pinot Noir, with structure that builds in the mouth, yet eases gently into a smooth wood spice finish. This wine delightfully surprises with ripe fruit, which is typical of the vintage, and well-balanced acidity. Its elegant profile and balance lead us to believe this wine will age well for 7 to 10 years. Pair with Chateaubriand, or pork tenderloin with plum sauce. Alcohol 14.4%.

2008 Au Bon Climat, Talley-Rincon Vineyard, Arroyo Grande, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $40 at Wally’s

  • $95 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

Winemaker’s Notes: Like a big, raw-boned colt that will grow into a sleek racehorse, this Pinot has tremendous potential. There’s only one problem, even though you know it needs time to evolve, the broadly textured, yet intense black fruits scented with earthy spice already envelop the senses with pleasure. Your reward for having the will power to save some for a few years will be the evolution of the delicious to the sublime.

2009 Flowers, Sonoma Coast, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $45 at K&L Wine Merchants

Rating: Wine & Spirits 93

  • $65 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.4x | TOP PICK
  • $95 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x

 

93 points Wine & Spirits: This is consistently on of the most restrained and delicate pinots you’ll find in California. A blend from far-coast sites, in 2009 this is 30 percent from Flower’s Sea View Ranch, plus fruit from the DZ and Peterson vineyards and other western Sonoma sites in the Sebastopol and Occidental areas. It’s long on strawberry- and cranberry-scented fruit, layered withe the complexity that far-coast pinot can attain, a complexity that seems to be tied to the acidic, ridge-top soils where conifer forests once thrived. The structure leaves room for food, like grilled fennel sausage.

Winemaker’s Notes: Bright ruby color with violet hues on the rim. Blackberry and briar patch come forward in the initial aromas and evolve into high-toned cherry and bergamot orange. Flavors of dried black cherries and savory herbs complement the bright acidity and supple tannins which frame a lingering and silky finish. Alcohol 13.6%.

2009 Domaine Joseph et Phillipe Roty, Marsannay, Champs St. Etienne

Retail Price: $50 at The Wine House

$115 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.3x

89 points Burghound: Here the expressive nose is a bit more elegant with very pretty, indeed even lightly perfumed red and dark pinot fruit that is laced with earth and humus hints. The rich, full-bodied and impressively voluminous flavors possess a seductively sappy mid-palate but culminate in a firm, serious and solidly persistent finish. This is worth considering as it offers fine quality for its level.

2009 Sea Smoke, Southing, Santa Rita Hills, Pinot Noir

Retail Price: $80 at Napa Valley Wine & Cigar

  • $110 at Waterfront Restaurant | 1.4x
  • $147 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.8x

92 points James Suckling: Pretty aromas of ripe strawberries and citrus character. It shows a beautiful purity of fruit on the palate with very fine tannins and a long silky finish. Pretty acidity too. Firm. Better in 2014.

2009 Cep, Sonoma Coast, Syrah

Retail Price: $23 at K&L Wines

  • $55 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

Description from K&L Wines: Have you been hearing about the exceptional cool climate Pinots and Syrahs from Peay Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast, but haven’t had the funds or the opportunity to try them yet? Well, here’s your chance. Cep is Peay’s second label, and the Syrah is made using the same exceptional estate fruit as its big brother, just the barrels that don’t make it into the final blend. The 2009 is VERY good, with charcuterie, lavender and spicy black pepper aromas supporting bright blackberry and pomegranate fruit. It all follows to the palate, blending seamlessly with added saddle leather and blue fruit notes. This medium-bodied wine is lower in alcohol than a lot of gangbusters California Syrahs, with clean acidity and a lingering finish.

 

2009 Holus Bolus, Santa Barbara, Syrah

Retail Price: $23 at K&L Wines

  • $55 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

Description from K&L: Yup, we are fans of the Holus Bolus Syrah, a joint project of Chad Melville, Jim Knight, Sashi Moorman (winemaker at Stolpman Vineyards) and Peter Hunken (assistant winemaker at Stolpman) and we’re not the only ones – the 2008 was an LA Times Wine of the Week in March of 2011. Fruit for the 2009 Syrah comes from two vineyards in the Los Alamos Valley of Santa Barbara County, Watch Hill (alluvial soils) and nearby Los Tres Burros, which has since been purchased by Manfred Krankl (Sine Qua Non) so 2009 marks the last vintage for this source for Holus Bolus. The wine was aged for fourteen months in year-old French oak barrels. It exhibits red and spicy black fruit aromas and flavors, supported by hints of smoked bacon, cracked pepper, mocha, and sage. Like the 2008, it is full-bodied and flavorful, with spicy tannins and a long finish. 500 cases produced.

2009 Gilles-Robin, Cuvee Alberic Bouvet, Crozes-Hermitage

Retail Price: $28 at Beltramo’s

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x

92 points Wine Spectator: Ripe and fleshy, but invigorating from start to finish, with racy, iron-tinged acidity carrying the delicious mix of blackberry, plum and fig fruit. The long, tar- and white pepper-tinged finish has nice grip. Drink now through 2014. 1,958 cases made.

2007 Gilles-Robin, Cuvee Alberic Bouvet, Crozes-Hermitage

Retail Price: $30 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $60 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

91 points Wine Spectator: This juicy red delivers a focused beam of mulled cherry and currant fruit laced with sweet tobacco notes and a hint of iron. Very pure on the finish, with solid length. Drink now through 2011. 280 cases imported. Alcohol 13.5%

Winemaker’s Notes: This wine shows a deep ruby colour. The nose is an explosion of black fruits: cassis, blackberry and jammy red fruits, then leather and tobacco notes. On the palate, liquorice comes first and shows the young age of the wine, then come the aromas that we found on the nose added to slightly oaky notes, baked toasts and smoky aromas. Concentrated with a nice acidity, this wine has silky and round tannins which show a promising ageing potential. A Crozes Hermitage with a beautiful ageing capacity which is already pleasant now at its lovely fruity stage. Alcohol 13.5%

2007 Domaine Phillippe Faury, Saint-Joseph

Retail Price: Release Price $32

  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

92 points Wine Spectator: Perfumy, with alluring espresso, violet and warm ganache notes, this stays pure and racy on the palate, with additional graphite and sanguine hints and mulled currant fruit. The long, stylish finish smolders. Drink now through 2012. 292 cases imported.

 

 

2008 Holus Bolus, Watch Hill Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Syrah

Retail Price: $30 at Black Sheep Finds

  • $70 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: Our vines at Watch Hill Vineyard lie in a separate block apart from the main planting. This block lies just one ridge over from the well known Thompson Vineyard in Los Alamos Valley. “Block 2,” as it is known is a stand alone planting (monopole) of 1.75 acres of Syrah, clone 383. We helped over see the initial development and planting of this vineyard in 2003 and have worked with grapes every vintage since. It is a steep south-facing hillside with a mix of sandy and rock soils. Harvested in the third week of October, the grapes were fermented with 10% whole clusters. Aged for 22 months in 300 liter French oak barrels. Bottled without filtration, 75 cases produced.

2008 Holus Bolus, White Hawk Vineyard, Santa Barbara, Syrah

Retail Price: $40 at Black Sheep Finds

  • $80 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: In 2008 we decided to start bottling small amounts of Holus Bolus Syrah from single vineyards. In an effort to highlight particular qualities of places and vineyards that we think are unique we offer three distinct wines: White Hawk, Watch Hill and Rim Rock. The White Hawk vineyard is located in Los Alamos Valley in northern Santa Barbara County. It is planted on sandy soils between 900 and 1000 feet in elevation and receives a somewhat cool maritime influence. The vines are farmed sustainably and organically in most vintages. The grapes are from a selection of the old California Estrella clone, vine age approximately 10 years old. Aged for 18 months in 300 liter French oak barrels, bottled without filtration, 75 cases produced.

2008 Piedrasassi, Santa Barbara, Syrah

Retail Price: $42 at the Winery

  • $85 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

 

90 to 93 points Wine Advocate: The 2008 Syrah, from a number of vineyards in Santa Barbara, is a strikingly pure wine graced with dark red fruit, smoke and flowers. It comes across as more approachable than the Rim Rock in a style that showcases marvelous purity all the way through to the long, dazzling finish. Bright, floral notes add lift on the close. This is a blend of fruit sourced from Rim Rock, White Hawk, and Harrison Clarke vineyards. It is Moorman’s vision of a Santa Barbara appellation bottling inspired by the great wines of the northern Rhone, where blending across vineyards sites is still practiced. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.

 

2007 Bernard Burgaud, Cote-Rotie

Retail Price: $62 at Solano Cellars

  • $120 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.9x

92 points Wine Spectator: Very grippy, with mouthwatering tobacco and olive notes leading the way for damson plum, crushed red currant and mulled spice. Shows perfumy hints flittering in the background, with anise and violet checking in on the finish. Best from 2011 through 2021. –JM

2005 Marques de Murrieta, Reserva, Rioja

Retail Price: $22 at K&L Wines

  • $54 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

91 points IWC: Bright red. Fresh red berry and spice aromas suggest a higher percentage of garnacha. Suave, energetic red berry flavors stain the palate, nicely braced by tangy mineral and spice qualities. The finish repeats the red fruit note and hangs on tenaciously.

Winemaker’s Notes: Made from 84% Tempranillo, 13% Garnacha and 3% Mazuelo, this wine embodies ripe fruit qualities with a perfect balance of acidity and supple roundness on the palate, and a hint of new oak. Our Red Reserva is a traditional Rioja with the classic Murrieta signature and enjoys all the benefits of modern winemaking philosophy, equipment and techniques.

The Marqués de Murrieta Red Reserva pairs well with red meats and cured ham as well as grilled fish and dishes with rich sauces. We recommend you decant the wine half an hour before serving it at 16º to 18º C. Alcohol 14%.

2007 Geggiano, Riserva, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $32 at Solano Cellars

  • $65 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.0x

Winemaker’s Notes: Rich intense ruby coloured. Slighty reserved bouquet at the beginning but with swirling rich Cherry fruit with very pleasing complexity emerges together with some Pepper. On the palate it’s rich and round with nice and velvet fruit, tannins are quite smooth and well balanced by fruit and wood, a very persistent finish.

2005 Felsina, Berardenga, Riserva, Rancia, Chianti Classico

Retail Price: $40 Average Price Wine Searcher

 

  • $85 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x

 

91 points Wine Spectator: Exhibits pleasant fresh blackberry, citrus and cedar character on a medium body, with a clean fruit and mineral finish. Clean and tasty, with a long, succulently fruity aftertaste. Subtle and delicious. Drink now. 3,000 cases made. –JS

 

2004 Le Chiuse, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $65 at The Jug Shop

  • $125 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.9x

91 points Wine Spectator: Very ripe plum and strawberry aromas follow through to a full body, with soft and silky tannins and a long finish. Sweet juicy fruit on the finish. Best after 2010. 1,200 cases made. –JS

 

2005 Sesti, Brunello di Montalcino

Retail Price: $79 at Solano Cellars

  • $150 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.9x

92 points Wine Advocate: Sesti’s 2005 Brunello di Montalcino is a tightly wound, focused offering imbued with scorched earth, smoke, licorice and red cherries, all of which flow from an authoritative, powerful frame. It remains one of the firmer wines of the vintage, but there is a lot to like. Suggestions of smoke and tar reappear on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

2008 Burgess, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $34 Average Price Wine – Searcher

  • $62 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.8x

Winemaker’s Notes: 79% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, 4% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Malbec. This vintage was reduced because of a frosty spring. Our mountain vineyards are normally void of this problem; however there was some slight damage. The wine shows the concentration caused by frost and the flavors are quite rich with forward aromas. This 2008 Cabernet will complement all meats and like all of our Cabernets will continue to gain complexity with cellar aging.  14.5% Alcohol.

Cain Cuvee, NV8, Napa Valley, Cabernet Blend

Retail Price: $30 at K&L Wine Merchants

  • $62 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.1x
  • $68 at Spruce | 2.3x

Description from K&L: In Cain’s multi-vintage, multi-vineyard NV8 blend, a foundation of Merlot provides suppleness and body, while mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc lend structure, power, and aromatic complexity for a well-balanced wine that can be enjoyed young but has the stuffing to age gracefully. The most approachable and affordable of Cain’s production, the NV cuvees possess a certain kind of “old world” rustic charm not usually found in wines from the Napa Valley today. For a Bordeaux-lover branching out to California wines, or a California connoisseur seeking something different than your go-to Cab, the NV8 is well worth a try.

 

2008 Beaulieu Vineyard, Tapestry, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $38 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $69 at Bobo’s | 1.8x | TOP PICK
  • $90 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

 

91 points Wine Spectator: Blends ripe, fleshy plum and black cherry flavors with a subtle backbone of acidity and tannins. Slow to unfold, but does so gracefully, revealing dusty earth, cedar and black licorice in an elegant style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2018.

Winemaker’s Notes: Weaving together five classic varietals, our 2008 Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry begins with deep, briary blackberry and cassis character from Cabernet Sauvignon. Velvety black-cherry character comes from a generous blending of Merlot, while Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot add violet, licorice, forest loam and graphite nuances, as well as deep hues and texture. Tapestry elegantly demonstrates the art of blending varietals to create a wine that combines multilayered flavors with supple, graceful tannin structure.

2008 Faust, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $43 at K&L Wines

  • $79 at Bobo’s | 1.8x
  • $100 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.3x

Winemaker’s Notes: The 2008 Faust is a worthy successor to the highly lauded 2007 vintage in Napa Valley. The wine opens with aromas of red and black cherries, hints of violets and warm spices. A lush, full entry on the palate with blackberry, cassis, nutmeg and dark chocolate flavors leads to a plush, supple mouthfeel. A complex finish lingers with dark fruit and plenty of richness. 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 14.2%.

2005 Chateau Ormes de Pez

Retail Price: $42 at Wally’s

  • $100 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

86 points Wine Advocate: A somewhat monolithic, one-dimensional effort from one of my favorite St.-Estephe estates, the medium-bodied, fruity 2005 Les Ormes de Pez exhibits sweet black currant, damp earth, and fresh mushroom-like characteristics. It should be consumed over the next 7-8 years.

 

2007 Anakota, Helena Montana Vineyard, Alexander Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon

Retail Price: $45 at Artisan Wine Depot

  • $110 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 2.4x

 

94 points James Suckling: Some jam but lots of spices and currants on the nose. Very stylish. Full bodied, with a beautiful purity of fruit and super silky tannins. Good acidity, very focused, and pinpointed flavors. A nice combination of richness and finesse.

1998 Chateau Margaux

Retail Price: $450 at JJ Buckley

  • $500 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.1x
  • $695 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino
  • $1,250 at Gary Danko

91 points Wine Advocate: The 1998 Margaux’s color is a dense ruby/purple. The wine is tannic and austere, but elegant, with notes of asphalt, blackberries, acacia flowers, and sweet, toasty oak. Subtle, rich, nicely-textured, and medium-bodied, it is built for the long haul. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2030.

Winemaker’s Notes: We came very close to making a great vintage. It was a question of a few showers at the beginning of the harvest… From the beginning, the wines, whether Merlot or Cabernet, had astonishing concentration, recalling the 1995 and 1996 vintages. At first, they tended to be a little firm and austere, but with barrel ageing they gained a lot of roundness and harmony. Today, Château Margaux 1998 displays aromas of great freshness, in which fruit, particularly red berry fruit, is to the fore, and in which lingering hints of vanilla and roasted coffee beans mingle slowly into the wine. The impression on the palate is of great power with fresh, firm but fat tannins, which give this wine a very classic dimension. 1998 is undeniably a long-ageing wine, which will only come out completely in fifteen years’ time. However, it can be drunk now, out of curiosity, since it has nothing aggressive about it. (May 2006)

1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Retail Price: $495 at Vinfolio

  • $600 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.2x
  • $995 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino

94 points Wine Advocate: This estate’s staff believes that the 1996 Mouton-Rothschild is very complex. I agree that among the first-growths, this wine is showing surprising forwardness and complexity in its aromatics. It possesses an exuberant, flamboyant bouquet of roasted coffee, cassis, smoky oak, and soy sauce. The impressive 1996 Mouton-Rothschild offers impressive aromas of black currants, framboise, coffee, and new saddle leather. This full-bodied, ripe, rich, concentrated, superbly balanced wine is paradoxical in the sense that the aromatics suggest a far more evolved wine than the flavors reveal. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2030. By the way, the 1996 blend consists of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc.

1981 Chateau Margaux

Retail Price: $380 at Premier Cru

Rating: Robert Parker 91 | Now to 2015

  • $600 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | 1.6x
  • $895 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino

91 points Wine Advocate: In weight and texture, the 1981 Margaux is closest in style to the 1979. It is an outstanding wine, even in the company of the monumental wines of 1982, 1983, and 1986, although it does not have the power and weight of these vintages. It is still very dark ruby/purple-colored. The aromatics suggest ripe cassis fruit, spicy vanillin oakiness, and violets. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, concentrated, tannic, and extremely long. It is just beginning to open and evolve. Anticipated maturity: Now-2015. Last tasted, 12/96.

2003 Chateau Lafite Rothschild

Retail Price: $1,000 at Premier Cru

  • $850 at Alexander’s Steakhouse San Francisco | BELOW RETAIL
  • $1,295 at Alexander’s Steakhouse Cupertino
  • $2,150 at The French Laundry

100 points Wine Advocate: A modern day version of the 1959 Lafite, the 2003 Lafite Rothschild was bottled in mid-May, 2005 after achieving 12.9% natural alcohol – hardly an astonishing figure given the vintage’s weather conditions. A combination of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot, it represents a ripe version of the essence of Lafite-Rothschild. Dense purple-colored, with classic notes of graphite intertwined with melted licorice, creme de cassis, smoke, and flowers, it reveals extraordinary richness, opulence, power, purity, intensity, and viscosity. Whether this wine will close down or not is questionable as it is somewhat atypical given its sweetness and softness. Analytically, there are extremely high tannins, which I suspect will assert themselves in the future. Production in 2003 was less than half of normal. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050.

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