To compliment the cuisine, an extensive selection of French wine varietals – handpicked from Sonoma County wineries are sold by the bottle and by the glass. We select wines from small producers to highlight some of the best of what is coming from local winemakers. We have over 25 wines by the glass and we also have a wine club and we sell our wines at a retail price.
We take great pride in the offerings of the local wineries and are thrilled to be able to feature the traditional grapes of France grown and made on Californian soil. Our seasonal beer menu will also highlight local craft breweries who are brewing food friendly French and Belgian style ales which pair perfectly with the cuisine.
Our Happy hour from 3:30pm – 5:30pm daily offers a limited menu of wines by the glass for only $7 each, all of our draft beers and Happy hour appetizers are $6.
Allagash ‘Curieux’ $13
Portland Maine 11%
A tripel ale aged in bourbon barrels for six to eight weeks, which is then blended black in with a fresh batch of the tripel. The result is a rich golden ale with notes of coconut and vanilla with just a slight hint of bourbon.
Oskar Blues ‘Mama’s Little Yella Pils’ $7
Longmont Colorado 5.3%
An uncompromising, small batch version of the Czech Pilsner. Rich with czeched-out flavor with gentle hopping make it a luxurious but low dose refresher.
Modern Times ‘Fortunate Island’ Hopped Wheat $8
San Diego California 5%
This beer shares the characteristics of an uber-hoppy IPA and easy drinking wheat. A mild, nutty malt backbone and restrained bitterness.
Mike Hess ‘Solice’ IPA $9
San Diego, California 7.5%
Every Batch is a unique San Diego style IPA- hop forward, bone dry, light colored and sure to satisfy fans and hop heads.
Wind Gap, Apple Cider $10
Sebastopol, California 6%
This cider shows you what the apple is really capable of. This cider is refreshing, dry, crisp and extremely gulpable.
Maredsous, Tripel Abbaye Ale $12
Breendonk – Puurs, Belgium 10%
Maredsous Tripel is malty with a slight hint of caramel. It’s sour, sweet and bitter tastes are blended beautifully. Clearly high in alcohol, slightly fruity, full in the mouth, and subtly bitter. It is brewed in accordance with the Benedictine tradition of the community of Maredsous Abbey.
3 Disciples ‘Magic Paddle’ Belgian Style IPA $11
Sebastopol, California 8.3%
This is their salute to the unique, yet timeless style of the Belgian brewing tradition – with a west coast twist. They searched far and wide for the perfect Belgian Abbey yeast strain and combined it with traditional Pilsner malts, then infused it with Columbus hops and copious amounts of amarillo. Then, for good measure, they generously dry hopped it.
I0I North ‘Naughty Aud’ Imperial Stout $10
Petaluma, California 8.5%
A cross hatch of molasses, mocha and caramel malt, imbued with soft luminescent aromas of smoked bourbon and vanilla
Bottles & Cans
Lager, Blonde & Golden
Two Tales Bohemian Grapefruit larger 330ml $14
Praha, Czech Republic 3.5%
The fruity aroma & crisp citrus flavor of grapefruit is blended with local. Czech hops and the world’s finest Barley and wheat malts to create this uniquely lively, mildly bitter, unfiltered brew.
Monkish ‘Ninja Star’ Belgian Style Blonde Ale 750ml $32
Torrance, CA 5.3%
Incredible Belgian ale from Monkish brewing, the Ninja Star is a golden hued that has a mixed palate of spice and fruit, resulting in a unique drinking experience. Aromatic and crisp, there are notes of apple, pear, pepper, pistachio, and hops in every sip.
Lost Abby ‘Devotion’ Belgian Blonde 750ml
San Marcos, CA 6.3%
A lighter bodied beer that immediately makes an initial hop impression followed by a brief thinning layer of malt which is swallowed in the driest finish.
Mikkeller San Diego ‘Shapes’ Blonde 22oz
San Diego, CA 5.6%
A pale Belgian ale with a golden color and white head. It has a fruity flavor finished by a strong hoppy taste. The light-bodied beer is malty and satisfying. It has some mild earthy notes, too, such a fresh grass and pine.
Saison / Farmhouse / Biere De Garde
Amager/ Prairie ‘Tulsa Twister’ Farmhouse 500ml $25
Made with citrusy simcoe hops, this beer is funky, hoppy and balanced with a hint of brett.
Almanac, ‘Mandarina’ Tart Farmhouse 12oz $8
San Francisco, California 4.3%
Made with the two row malt and three hops, this is a tart farmhouse ale brewed with tangerine and oranges.
Monkish, ‘Soul Foudre’ Aged Biere de Garde 750ml $32
Torrance, Ca 7.6%
This Biere de Garde has been fermented twice and aged for 16 months in a white oak barrel. It is a tart, dry, oaky, earthy and fruity with hints of caramel.
Propolis Brewing ‘Gardin’ 2014 750ml $34
Port Townsend, WA 7.5%
Amber Saison brewed with Sage, Hyssop and Thyme. Cabernet barrel-aged with Brettanomyces. Flavors of peach, tangerine, and plum with moderate acidity and tartness, finishes with a dry herbal linger.
Propolis Brewing ‘Beltane’ 2015 750ml $34
Port Townsend, WA 7.5%
Saison brewed with elderflowers and brett. Earthy spring floral nose with a golden straw hue. Tastes of tangerine, pineapple and tropical fruit with a creamy body. A gold medal winner at the Great America Beer Festival.
IPA & Pale Ales
Oskar Blues, Dales Pale Ale 12oz $6
Longmont, Colorado 6.5%
Delivers a hoppy nose and assertive but balanced flavors of pale malts and citrusy floral hops from start to finish.
Mike Hess, ‘Habitus’ Double IPA 16oz $10
San Diego, California 8.0%
Earthy and spicy notes from both the hops and the rye malt are perfectly complimented by the floral and piney aromatics, resulting in a delicious and very drinkable IPA.
Stone, ‘Go To’ Session IPA 16oz $8
Escondido, California 4.8%
Embracing the obsession of hop in a new way, funneling an abundance of bitterness into a session IPA delivering all of the fruity, piney characters of a much bigger IPA.
Pizza Port, ‘Swamis’ IPA 16oz
Carlsbad, California 6.8%
With a more traditional hope profile, this beer is the quintessential example of a west coast IPA. It showcases the fresh bitterness of citrus peel and pine.
Drakes, ‘Denogginizer’ Double IPA 12oz
San Leandro, California 9.75%
Big, bold beer hopped with an abundant amount of simcoe and summit hops.
A balanced hop assault.
Ciders & Sours
Wandering Angus, ‘Bloom’ Cider 12oz $12
Salem, OR 6.9%
Originally grown heirloom cider apples renowned for complexity. This authentic medium sweet cider offers an aromatic nose and a bright clean finish.
Prairie, ‘Funky Gold Simcoe’ Dry Hopped Sour 500ml $16
Tulsa, Oklahoma 7.5%
A sour dry ale dry hopped with simcoe hops, the results are tropical, sour and an all around new beer drinking experience.
Mikkeller, ‘Spontanframboos’ Raspberry Sour 12oz $20
Spontaneously fermented in alliance with raspberries and aged in oak barrels, creating a truly unique and distinct sour beer.
3 Fonteinen, ‘Intense Red’ Oude Kriek 375ml $21
Beersel, Belgium 6%
3 Fonteinen Oude Kriek is a traditional, sour, cherry- flavored lambic aged in oak. It is generally considered to be one of the best sour kriek beers in the world.
Brown & Dark
Boulevard ‘Sixth Glass’ Quadruple 12oz $9
Kansas City, MO 10.5%
A brown colored, full bodied beer with a complex fruity, estery aroma. A rich, sweet, caramel malt flavor containing notes of dark fruit and a low to medium hop bitterness and flavor.
North Coast, ‘Old Rasputin’ Russian Imperial Stout 12oz $9
Fort Bragg, California 9%
Loaded with chocolate and coffee aromas, some toasty notes and ready yeast. It’s a rich mouthful, sweet, even luscious, but nicely balanced by the hops.
Maredsous, Tripel Abbaye Ale 750ml $28
Breendonk – Puurs, Belgium 9%
Maredsous Tripel is malty with a hint of caramel. Its sour, sweet and bitter tastes are blended beautifully.
Clearly high in alcohol, slightly fruity, full in the mouth, and subtly bitter. It is brewed in accordance with the benedictine tradition of the community of Maredsous Abbey.
Stone, ‘Crime’ Aged Ale 16.9oz $26
Escondido, California 9.6%
This is a barrel of Lucky Bastard ale which has been loaded with a variety of chili peppers. It is very hoppy in spite if the barrel aging, with a lot of malt and oak notes. The long finish reveals layers of rock, vanilla, bourbon and malt that synergistically combine to produce complex caramel flavors, with peppers adding pleasant tamarind and subtle tropical fruit flavors, and of course, significant heat.
Jousset, ‘Excile’, Rose Petillant, Loire 2014 gl $12/ btl $48
One hundred percent ecocertified organic by the E.U, the 2014 100% Gamay sparkling wine has a lovely rusty red rose color with deep raspberry highlights and a wonderful bouquet that is savory, rustic and sweet. The perfect mid-afternoon sipper, this wine comes from plots in the Loire-et-Cher region that were exclusively harvested by hand and fermented with wild native yeasts in a combination of large eight-year-old-oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. Left on the lees for 1 year to add character and depth.
Donkey & Goat ‘Lily’s Cuvee’ Pet Nat gl $14 btl $66
A lightly sparkling white made from 33-year-old, originally farmed Chardonnay with an addition of 10% Rousanne. The juice is fermented spontaneously in stainless steel and bottled when nearly dry. After fermentation completes in bottle and the yeast settles, the bottle is disgorged and the pressure reduces to gentle fizz.
Gregory Leclerc, ‘Nid de Guepes’ Chenin Blanc Pet- Nat VDF gl $11 btl $42
Planted in soil of mainly limestone and clay. The grapes are harvested by hand and a base wine is fermented. The wine ages for one year in a barrel, then is combined in bottle with unfermented grape juice which contributes the necessary sugar and yeast to complete the fermentation.
Fleury, ‘Fleur de l’Europe’ Brut, Champagne gl $18 btl $84
Champagne Fleury is a biodynamic producer from Courteron, a small village in Champagne which is closer to the Northern Burgundy region of Chablis than it is to Reims. Fleury’s winemaking philosophy is more Burgundian too, focused on creating great wine in the vineyard and less in the cellar. It emerges from the glass with hints of dried pear, hazelnuts, dried flowers and spices. It is rich, creamy and expressive.
Cruse Wine Co., St Laurent Pet- Nat, Ricci Vineyard, Carneros 2016 $63
This wine is insanely delicious. Made from the red St. Laurent Grape, it is fresh and citrusy with a light berry aroma and a savory undertone. The bubbles are delicate and soft with a perfect balance of acidity. Just plain tasty and perfect with all food…or no food.
Charles Heintz, Blanc de Blancs, Sonoma County 2010 $120
This collaboration between Charles Heintz and Michael Cruse is simply magnificent. It has a prominent nose of orchard fruit and blossoms while the palate is influenced by lees and a light minerality. It is bright and complex, yet rich and luscious. A labor of love between two people who understand the importance of perfect farming, character of fruit and technique and time needed for this creation. This 2010 vintage is the first, and was just released in very limited quantity. Drinking these bubbles is a privilege.
Ultramarine Blanc de Noirs, Sonoma Coast $86
This cult wine is extremely hard to get your hands on and we have a very limited amount in stock. Made by Michael Cruse, he treats this wine with a respect that is shown in the flavor; each bottle is riddled, bottled and disgorged by hand. The color is rich and the nose is lively. Notes of red apples, honey suckle and citrus, moderate acidity and medium body, with floral hints. Spectacular. Don’t pass up an opportunity to try this wine. You will make all of your wine geek friends jealous.
Pinks & Chilled Reds
Domaine De Terrebrune, Bandol Rose 2015 $55
It’s aromas are of great finesse; dominance of citrus on a dried apricot background and lightly buttered. The mouth is full and complex with flavors of spices and shows great natural freshness with minerality without aggressive acidity.
La Pitchoune, Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2016 gl $10 btl $40
This wine is made using the traditional saignee method, exclusively utilizing grapes from their Sonoma Coast Vineyards. once fermented, the wine is then aged in neutral French oak for 6 months which helps give it that unique texture and mouth-feel that has made this style of wine so famous.
Bedrock Wine Co., ‘Ode to Lulu’, Old Vine Rose gl $9 btl $34
Morgan Twain- Peterson may be one of the most talented young winemakers in the United States. His wines are thoughtfully crafted, small production bottlings from old vines in “heritage” vineyards throughout California. Hard to come by, these Bedrock wines already have a loyal and rabid following that just keeps growing year after year. This mourvedre dominated rose is picked at low sugar and vinified with native yeasts producing a young and graceful wine.
Domaine de Fontesainte, Gris De Gris, Corbiéres 2014 gl $11 btl $38
A rhone-style blend with 70% Grenache Gris and Grenache Noir, and the balance equal parts of Mourvédre, Carignan, and Cinsault, this fruity and delicious rose offers up aromas and flavors of fresh-picked strawberries and cherries, with tropical fruit accents.
La Clarine, ‘Jambalaia Rouge’ Red Blend, Sierra Foothills ’15 gl $11 btl $44
This wine is absolutely delicious, this wonderful plot of mourvedre, grenache and marsanne sits on volcanic loam and each grape variety needs its own perfect detail to it’s particular need. Each year this wine is unique and takes a lot of experience to read the tea leaves and get it just right. It is a natural wine, unfiltered and intended to be served chilled – unless you tell us otherwise.
Brendan Tracey, ‘Gorge Seche’ Red Blend, VDF 2014 gl $11 btl $42
This wine is for when your throat is parched and you are craving a natural light red that will satisfy your thirst. Chill it and well, just drink it. Gorge Seche features direct pressed Pineau d’Aunis, with support from malbec and gamay, which sees a short carbonic maceration. The gamay Brendan uses here is an old variety of tinted gamay that has red juice, which gives the wine extra rusticity and oomph.
Kuentz-Bas, Pinot Blanc, Alsace 2013 gl $10 btl $40
More than 2 hundred years of tradition and vineyard pedigree have made these wines perennial favorites. The wine maker puts a strong emphasis on both terror and accessibility. bright and racy with a hint of effervescence.
1263 Pinot Blanc, Mendocino 2015 gl $9 btl $36
Two tones of pinot blanc were hand harvested in the early morning hours of September 26, 2015 from Greg Graziano’s ranch on the North side of Lake Mendocino. It was fermented in a combination of concrete and neutral french oak and aged sur lies for 11 months. Naturally, the wine was allowed to complete malolactic fermentation. This wine was racked off the lees and bottled unfiltered, unfined. The wine is a pure expression of old world style pinot blanc. Aromas of green apple, meyer lemon and crushed white flowers give way to crisp acid, backed by pinot blanc’s signature round mouthfeel.
Robert Sinskey ‘Abraxas’ Vin de Terrior, Carnesros 2013 btl $52
The structure, texture and style is reminiscent of the old world with a bright, tight knit mineral quality. It is a primarily Alsatian blend which provides a nice weight in the mid-palate with flavors that mimic the aroma with the addition of crisp peach, lime and a hint of melon rind. The flavors and textures magically come together for a satisfyingly long finish. Delicious.
Radio Coteau, ‘Platt’ Riesling, Sonoma Coast 2013 btl $58
A harmonious balance of fruit and floral tones. Where fruit ends floral begins, with a bouquet of freshly trimmed honeysuckle and fruit blossoms. These aromas are enhanced by the strong mineral character of the wine granted by the high acidity, ever deepening the overall complexity of the wine. No longer being made, this is great opportunity to try something spectacular.
Domaine Ostertag, Riesling, Alsace 2015 btl $45
Wonderful notes of ivy leaves, citrus peel and conifer greet the nose. The aromatic inspiration leads into a slender, dry and fluid palate that still seems tightly coiled and closed. However, those subtle aromatic hints and a concentrated, stoney palate promise future pleasure as well as immediate drinking.
Arbe Garbe, Friulian Blend, Sonoma County 2015 btl $48
45% malvasia bianca, 30% old vine tocai friulano, 25% ribolla gialla. 24 hours of skin contact for the malvasia, 12 hours for the tocai and ribolla, followed by light pressing and native fermentation in 20% new puncheons. This wine is absolutely gorgeous. Sweet, floral aromatics lead to apricot, lemon confit, jasmine and mint. beautifully perfumed throughout, this vintage offers a compelling interplay of exotic fruit, lifted aromatics and pliant texture. Being one of only two wines on our list which are not French varietals, this wine is all class.
Jolie Laide, Trousseau Gris, Russian River 2015 btl $50
These rare, near extinct vines produce unusual, yet fascinating fruit. In turn, the wines made from them are equally unique, wholly unknown and deliciously enchanting. Wild pomelo, melon and quince, white tea and tarragon. Some skin contact adds an electric coral pink color, breath of palate and subtle tannin.
Halleck, ‘Little Sister’ Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River 2014 gl $14 btl $54
The Little Sister Sauvignon Blanc is made like a crisp, but rich Sancerre, in French style. It displays classic neutral citrus notes, with a floral nose that has a hint of sea breeze. The palate yields bright acidity, offering a mid palate of flinty minerality, a hint of tart passion fruit and the long lingering, yet crisp finish for what Halleck Vineyard wines are noted.
Joel et Sylvie Cirotte, Sancerre 2016 gl $14 btl $54
This 100% sauvignon blanc is fermented in tanks after being predominantly hand harvested. The resulting wine is a perfect expression of Sancerre with a nose of citrus, peaches, yellow fruits and a hint of smoke. The palate has a beautiful roundness with a long fresh finish.
Thierry Chardon, Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine 2015 btl $30
Delicate with lovely floral aroma, this wine is crisp and aromatic, well balanced and gives lasting freshness to the palate. Zesty minerality.
Brendan Tracey, ‘Rue de la Soif’ Sauvignon Blanc, VDF 2015 btl $36
This Sauvignon Blanc is not for the weak, coming in at a powerful 14.5% ABV. The vines used are 40-50 years old and the wine is fermented in 50% neutral oak and 50% stainless steel. It spends a full year on the lees and there are no sulphites added, no fining and no filtration, so expect to see some sediment in the bottle. Inspired by the f*#k all attitude of California punk in the 70’s, Brendan abandoned a career as a DJ and moved to France to make wine, and making wine from organically farmed fruit he see’s himself as a humble assistant to nature. The aromatics shift from stone fruit cooked in brown butter to wild dill and back again. The curvy mouthfeel makes it really fun to drink.
Chateau Graville Lacoste, Graves, 2015 btl $34
This wine is a very different from others in the appellation with a high blend of Semillon with a splash of Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc creating a rich, full, aromatic mid-palate to compliment the clean finish.
Manior de la Tete, ‘Tete d’Ange’, Saumur 2014 gl $11 btl $44
This 100% chenin blanc is as expressive of the grape varietal as it is to the soil in which Saumur is so famous for. This particular vintage was hit with a bit of nobel rot right before harvest giving the wine a slight concentration, hints of honey followed by a beautiful minerality and an exquisite dry finish.
Forlorn Hope, ‘Nodosaur’ White Blend, Calavaras County 2014 gl $12 btl $48
the Nodosaur is a vineyard blend of fruit grown on the estate Rorick Vineyard at 2000′ elevation. This vintage is a blend of picpoul, verdelho, albarino and a dash of muscat. All of the fruit was hand harvested; a portion of each was foot tread prior to pressing to increase aromatic depth and textural intensity. Brightly aromatic and fiercely structured, it bears the cut and definition that have been hallmarks of wines grown on limestone and schist soils.
Rootdown Cellars, Grenache Blanc, Russian River 2015 gl $10 btl $38
Rootdown Wine Cellars is an individually owned wine brand focusing on subsoil and watershed influenced vineyards. This grenache blanc has a balance of minerality and green apple and hints of grapefruit and pear. One man show Mike Lucia is extremely talented and we love this wine!
Luc et Denis Lattard, Viognier, VDF 2014 gl $10 btl $38
This fermentation is exclusively in oak barrels, new or recent (less than 3 wines). The aging is 10-11 months on lees, bringing a lot of finesse to this viognier. It reveals nose aromas of white fruits, subtly mixed with the toasted almonds of the barrel. It also has the classic hints of light menthol. The mouth is long with a touch of acidity.
Julien Pilon, Viognier, Condrieu 2014 btl $108
This is a beautiful expression of viognier, in fact, one of the best. The nose is rich, obviously so, with glazed brown sugar, creme brulee, hints of apricot, a sense of pineapple chunks and hints of vanilla from the 20% new oak. The palate starts broadly, is based on cooked pear with a little stone fruit, musky spicing and the grip of orange marmalade. Fantastic wine which develops as you enjoy it.
Buronfosse, ‘Les Belemnites’, Savagnin, Cotes du Jura 2012 btl $62
Hand harvested, fermented with wild yeasts and aged for 3 years before release. The result is a delicious wine, not oxidated, but distinctively of Jura, almost seems to be so. With a nose of baking spices, clove and cinnamon, a light bodied palate of baked apple and pear, with the lean lightness and high acidity of cool climate whites. Showing the complexity of wines with a few years in the bottle, it has under-notes of banana and pear, with even a touch of fruitcake, all laid over a refreshing minerality and acidity.
Buronfosse, ‘Varron’ Chardonnay, Cotes du Jura 2014 btl $50
This is 100% Chardonnay. Fresh. Fine. So French. A beautiful and singular expression of chardonnay grown in cold climate at the base of Rotalier Mountain. There is something about mountain wines from a great vigneronne. They hit all the notes with absolute clarity. This wine is aged in neutral barrels for about nine months.
Scribe, Skin Fermented Chardonnay, Sonoma 2015 (500ml) btl $44
Like many of their wines, the skin fermented Chardonnay started as an experiment . Fermented on the skins for three months in concrete, this traditional (and resurgent) winemaking process adds the necessary color, texture to create a delicate balance against the particular clone’s pronounced floral, tropical fruity notes.
Domaine Valette, Macon – Villages 2014 btl $58
A gorgeous, textured, multifaceted and unexpected chardonnay. Displaying the elusive combination of rich fruit and structural acidity, it shows yellow apple, bartlett pear, baking spice and a touch of butter. Uniquely delicious and complex.
Vini Viti Vinci, Bourgogne Cote d’Auxerre 2015 gl $10 btl $40
This completely natural wine is 100% chardonnay. The grapes are fermented in barrels and in vats and then clarified by racking. This appellation only authorizes the use of chardonnay and yet, in mouth, it is hard to believe. It is lively & nervous and while astringency and acidity are present, it is also very dry.
Domaine Barat, Cote de Lechet, Chablis Premier Cru 2013 btl $48
Ludovic Barat manages the vineyard of 100% chardonnay grapes using organic, herbicide free fertilizers and viticultural practices, as well as green pruning. Nicely balanced with just enough oak. Great flavors of citrus and vanilla.
Louis Jadot, Meursault 2009 btl $49
The 2009 Meursault is a gorgeous wine. It shows marvelous harmony in a round, supple style well suited to near term drinking. A ripe but classic nose of hazelnut and fresh white orchard fruit aromas compliments rich, full and naturally sweet middle weight flavors that possess fine depth and length for a villages level wine.
Les Faverelles ‘le nez de Muse, Bourgogne Vezelay 2015 btl $38
‘Muse’ is the small dog that lives on this estate, and the wines are picked when the dog decides that the timing is just right. She knows by the smell when the ripening is just right and she can even tell the difference between organic and non. This wine is 100% chardonnay and due to the stainless steel fermentation, it is light and refreshing with just enough tropical fruit notes.
La Pitchoune, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2014 gl $15 btl $60
Hand crafted using old world techniques and style, it is barrel fermented in 100% French oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered, this wine excudes impeccable balance. Aromas of lemon curd and orange blossoms intermingled with croissants and wet stones. Flavors of Mirabelle plums, blood orange zest and gravenstein apple heightened by a hint of anise and salty minerality. The crisp, persistent finish carries through to the next sip.
Cruse Wine Co., ‘Rorick Vineyard’ Chardonnay, Sierra Foothills 2015 btl $59
The vine age, elevation, and the extremely rocky soils on this unique site create low yielding vines with the tiniest of clusters. The grapes received a short overnight soak on skins and then went directly to the press. Juice was transferred to neutral barrels and fermentation occurred spontaneously. The wine received a bit of sulphur in the late spring and again at bottling. The wine has a nutty, wet stone nose, and a weighty palate of lemon oil, crushed rocks, with just a bit of pastry cream. Yummy.
Le Grain de Seneve, ‘Roue Libre’, Beaujolais VDF gl $9 btl $38
Herve works biodynamically and plows his steep slopes with the help of his horse (hilariously named “Reggae Nights”). The grapes are harvested with the help of friends and family and fermented whole cluster in concrete without any additives and then pressed via a massive, 100 year old press in the winery that’s attached to the house. In a world where the top wines of Beaujolais seem to becoming more extracted and dense, Herve’s wines have a transparency and purity, while still maintaining the varietal character of Gamay.
Fabien Jouves, ‘Tu Vins plus aux Soiree’, VDF 2016 btl $47
This is a staff favorite all around. This “cult” wine is round, fruity and spicy, and it drinks WAY to easily! This delicious wine is a blend of cabernet franc and malbec, the perfect Cahors marriage and is a sure crowd pleaser, in fact, I have never met someone who didn’t like it.
Ryme, Pinot Noir, Las Brisas 2014 btl $50
This wine is produced from the swan clone and the Beaujolais clone of pinot noir. The former is spicy and savory, the latter is neither gamay nor Beaujolais but is a selection of pinot noir that was very popular decades ago. It is very juicy and makes up the textural core to the wine and compliments the elegancy and delicacy of the swan clone.
Domaine de Pre Semele, Sancerre Rouge 2014 gl $14 btl $52
Dark color, this red Sancerre is a beautiful showcase of cold climate pinot noir. A nose full of red fruits. It is intense and elegant, the palate is rich and supported by well integrated tannins. A wonderfully balanced wine.
Domaine Maume, Cevrey-Chambertain 2009 $162
An assemblage from parcels of vines which normally makes 3 cuvées, including this wine. A spiced-bread nose with nits of dark cherry. The flavor is serious and beautiful example of burgundy.
Radio- Coteau, ‘Terra Neuma’, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2012 btl $110
A lush site expression showcasing ripe red and black fruits including fresh strawberry, ripe black plum and black cherry. A leaner note of dried cranberry on the palate counter balances the fruit intensity. Amongst a bevy of spices – the most identifiable being nutmeg and anise, tea leaf provides a transition from the fruitier elements to those more earthen – as an understated savory, sous bois weaves through the lengthy palate.
Heintz, Swan Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2013 btl $75
Heintz Swan Pinot Noir grows at the lowest elevation of Heintz Ranch. This 2 acres of Swan vines thrive in cool temperatures while receiving special attention and manicuring for low yield. This wine has intense flavors of fresh red fruit, dried cranberries, baking spices and vanilla with an impeccable balance of acid and tannins.
Calera, ‘de Villiers’ Pinot Noir, Mt. Harlan btl $98
Calera’s vineyards soar at an average of 2200 feet above sea level and are cooled by the direct flow of cold marine air off the Pacific Ocean through the Monterey Bay coast. This pinot, made by the pioneer of this region is showy and forward with chewy and juicy fruit character, and a rich, lush round mouth feel.
Banshee, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County 2014 gl $12 btl $44
A blend of 4 different Sonoma County vineyards, the 2014 strikes a beautiful balance between both red and blue fruits, notably bing cherry and asian plums. Interwoven with the fruit characteristics is coastal moss, fresh wild mushrooms and spice. The wine has good carry through from front to finish, with lively acidity to keep it light on it’s feet.
Palmeri ‘Uncle Ted’s’ Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2014 btl $42
Shows notes of cranberry, red cherry, crushed rose petal and Moroccan spices. The mouth is expansive and bright with a powerful and seductive core of cherry.
La Folette, Pinot Noir, Manchester Ridge, Mendocino 2012 btl $72
Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Oak kissed deep red and well spiced cherry aromas. Crisp and elegant with an appealing dark cherry core, lashed with plenty of oak driven notes of toast and coffee. A lot of presence of oak, but crafted well in it’s style. A gorgeous and large expression of pinot noir.
Rhys, Pinot Noir, Bearwallow Vineyard, Anderson Valley 2012 btl $80
This 2012 from Bearwallow is distinctly different than their Santa Cruz releases. Full layered and supple, with more mid-palate flesh than would be expected from this region. This beauty gives up lovely notes of passion fruits, wild herbs (thyme, rosemary, lavender), eucalyptus and spice. Medium to full bodied, layered and multi-dimensional on the palate, with a brilliant texture, this impeccably balanced beauty will age gracefully for another decade or more, or could be enjoyed now.
Forlorn Hope, ‘Ost-Intrigen’ St. Laurent, Carneros 2014 btl $60
A dark skinned, aromatic enigma. Grown by Dale Ricci in his Carneros vineyard, the 2014 Ost-Intrigen is filled with the swirling sights and sounds of a medieval trading post on the frontier between old Europe and the Orient; strange beasts, exotic incense, wrought metal, redolent spices. It carries the soul of Bugenland, but at it’s heart is distinctly Californian. 100% whole cluster fermented; aged in neutral barrique for 10 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Philippe Bornard, ‘Le Ginglet’ Trousseau, Arbois Pupillin 2015 btl $81
This light, lovely red wine is as easy to drink as Le Ginglet tag suggests. However, this is not to say that it is a simple wine – there is quite a lot happening in this glass. You can Discern the influence of the limestone and marl soils in this wine and there is a hint of spice on the finish making it perfect as a food wine. This is a delightful example of what can be achieved with this delicate, little known grape variety. It has an absolutely gorgeous rose petal-y texture and is soft and open with warm, generous red fruits, sweet cherries, cranberries and herbs. A natural wine which is warm, expressive and pretty from start to finish.
Skinner, Grenache, El Dorado 2014 gl $11 btl $44
100% Grenache, this is a true expression of this varietal. It has a signature elegant and supple mouth feel, and yet a subtle brightness. It has aromas of cherry, dried cranberry, plum and strawberry, coupled with hints of sage, fennel seed and dried rose petals.
Wind Gap, Old-Vine Grenache, Scales Vineyard, Sonoma 2014 gl $13 btl $50
These Grenache vines have been dry farmed for nearly 100 years. Spicy stem aromas and bright crystalline fruit quality that elevate all of the components together. On the palate the depth of fruit and old vine concentration are evident as the wine slowly reveals spicy tannins.
Pax, Grenache, Castelli-Knight, Russian River 2012 btl $68
Notes of sage, rosemary and dark stone fruit. It is layered and voluptuous on the palate and it is striking for its volume and textural finesse. It is a hybrid with 85% grenache and 15% syrah, and beautifully balanced.
A Tribute to Grace, Grenache, Shake Ridge, Amador County ’13 btl $125
100% grenache. This legendary vineyard has only 33 rows of this beloved clone of Grenache, 362. There are large lumps of rose-quartz crystal throughout the block, literally reflecting the sunlight up to the grapes. The wine is foot tred, natively fermented and 50% whole cluster. The result is a beautiful, highly aromatic expression of Grenache with notes of Damascus rose, rainier cherries and holly.
Fabien Jouves, ‘You #%$& My Wine?’, Jurancon, 2015 gl $12 btl $47
Made from 100% Jurancon Noir, a grape that was once a staple of Cahors (AOC now mandates Cahors to be Malbec based). Jouves seeks to bring this forgotten grape into the spotlight with the obscenely named “You Fuck my Wine?”, a title which conveys how the winemaker feels about the AOC laws. Medium bodied with plenty of spice, fruit, juicy acidity and freshness, this easy drinking red is rustic enough to stand up to summertime fare such as barbecue, but it will also be delightful on your Thanksgiving table in the fall. Farming and production of this wine goes beyond organic, with biodynamic farming in the vineyard and minimal intervention in the winery.
Le Briseau, ‘Les Longues Vignes’ Pineau d’Aunis, VDF 2012 gl $11 btl $42
A capital example of Pineau d’Aunis, this wild Loire grape that possesses flavors of cracked pepper, ruby red grapefruit, cedar box and graphite. This wine is singularly unique and made 100% biodynamically.
Frank Cornelisson, ‘Contadino’ Sicilian Blend, Sicily 2014 blt $50
One of only two non French varietals on my list and for good reason. There is not a better way to describe this wine, than simply bomb. 85% nerello mascalese, nerello capuccio, minella nera, allicante bouschet and minella bianco, this Sicilian field blend smells like fancy cheese plate with cherry chutney. It tastes like smokey, spicy, juicy, rhubarb umami. Complex but light bodied, you can’t keep your mouth off it. It seems easy and yet is elaborate, light and effortless.
Domaine Benjamin Taillender, ‘Laguzelle’, Minervois 2014 gl $9 btl $32
Full of flavor but lighter and fresher than other wines from this region. “Laguzelle” translates to “to guzzle” and this wine has a liveliness and lightness that stands up to the name.
Idlewild, Carignan, Testa Vineyard 2014 gl $14 btl $55
Naturally fermented via native yeasts and bacteria and allowed to evolve in neutral barrels. Aromas of mulberry, black pepper, sage and coffee are bound with driving tannin and vibrant fresh acid. There is a touch of plush mid palate with hints of warm spice.
Sainte Croix, ‘Le Fournas’, Corbieres 2014 gl $13 btl $58
Le Fournas is named after a syrah vineyard hidden in the hills. The name comes from a lime furnace which operated in the 19th century, the ruins of which can be seen in the Garrique scrub. Old vine carignan Noir (45%), Grenache (25%), Syrah (23%) and Mourvedre (7%). Bright purple, morello – cherry red. Rich aromas of blackcurrant fruits and dark leaves, damsen, loganberry and red current. A medium-bodied wine with much depth of flavor, Le Fournas shows cassis, plums, wild red fruits on the palate, supported by fresh acidity, a flinty minerality and soft tannins, with a long aromatic finish.
Franck Balthazar, Crozes-Hermitage 2015 btl $89
Balthazar is dedicated to the traditional ways of his predecessors and respect for land which bequeathed him, he even still plows his holdings with a horse. His approach in the cellar is just as “old school”. His time honored regime includes whole cluster, native yeast fermentation in concrete vats; manual cap punching; and aging in old, neutral demi-muid barrels without fining or filtration. The agin in these larger demi-muid rather than the smaller piece is fundamental to Franck’s philosophy of producing wines with the most classic, honest, expressions of syrah and the Cornas region, rather than the far more common luxury of fine oak.
Brunier, ‘Le Pigeoulet’, Vaucluse, Southern Rhone 2015 gl $9 btl $36
Intensely site driven, displaying vibrant color and aromatics, sturdy tannins and natural acidity. It’s electric ruby quality associated with great balance and energy in fruit and undeniably unique to it’s roots.
Campesino, ‘Baybos’ Rhone Blend, Sonoma Valley 2013 gl $15 btl $58
This Rhone blend is made up of 40% grenache, 30% syrah and 30% mourvedre. It is deep ruby red with purple and has light red fruits on the nose. It has a mild toastyness and moderate acidity. It is an elegant and light Rhone blend, refreshing with hints of cinnamon and of course, more red fruit. Its long perfumy finish has some welcome savory undertones.
Cruse Wine Co., ‘Monkey Jacket’ Red Blend, North Coast 2016 btl $54
This blend is extremely easy drinking. It sits somewhere between the lightness of a pinot noir with the tannins of a cabernet. Tart black and blue fruit with a bright yet tannic finish. Completely full of flavor without being overpowering. I am unsure of the exact blend of this wine, but I do know that the base is valdiguie with some tannat and the rest is a field blend.
Petrichor, ‘Les Trois’, Rhone Blend 2012 btl $80
A blend of grenache and the 877 and 470 clones of syrah from vines densely planted in volcanic soil at 110 feet on redwood hill, yielding only 15 barrels. It is a stunning 50/50 blend, elegant and balanced with a distilled minerality. Opaque, masculine and funk forward. Rich aromas of flavors of earth, iron filings and chalky tannins.
Domaine Les Paillieres, ‘Les Racines’, Gigondas 2013 btl $81
Made from vines which have average age of 75 years, the wine has aromas of violets and loganberry and a fulsome palate with fruit and tannin nicely balanced with notes of liquorice and bay leaf.
Domaine De Beaurenard, Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2013 btl $88
Highly concentrated wine of great finesse, elegance and minerality. This is the true signature and pedigree of the local soils, which makes Beaurenard wines suited to lengthy aging. They can also be drunk young, to procure an intense, lush pleasure. Very fruity with minerals & spicy notes. A charming wine that will both delight and age.
Banshee, ‘Mordecai’ Red Blend, California 2014 btl $45
For the 2014 blend, Cabernet, Syrah and Zinfandel lead the pack, giving Mordecai it’s hallmark full-bodied weight and intensity. With less fruit being available due to low yields, they let these headliners do most of the work, adding bits of chocolately merlot, tarry carignan and spicy cabernet franc and cinsault to round out the blend. This blend is reminiscent of some of my favorite hot and dry regions in Europe. Think ripe red and blue fruited Cotes du Rhones, with their scents of dried herbs and blackberry liqueur. but the wine remains distinctly Californian with it’s comfortingly familiar wild summer berry plushness.
Palmeri, Haikil Hill Vineyard, Syrah, Dry Creek 2014 btl $48
Created from fruit grown above 1000 ft elevation. Hand selected from just 13 acres, the wines embody the luscious boldness of these renown cool climate hillside vineyards, delivering a distinct “yummy” factor for great dining.
Piedra Sassi ‘PS’, Syrah, Santa Barbara County 2013 (500ml) btl $65
Fruit forward nose gives to some famine high notes; while in the mouth there is energy, uplift, and definition- a Syrah of great tepidity from one of California’s best appellation for classically styled wines. Delicious and compelling.
Bedrock Wine Co., North Coast Syrah, California 2015 gl $12 btl $44
Morgan Twain-Peterson may be one of the most talented young winemakers in the United States. His wines are thoughtfully crafted small production bottlings from old vines located in “heritage” vineyards throughout California. This syrah is inky blue and purplish, with notes of bacon fat, licorice, smoke, exotic spice and black pepper. A huge, richly textured wine, the 2015 North Coast Syrah offers unreal quality for the money. The 50% whole clusters are pretty much buried by the sheer intensity of fruit.
Jolie Laide, ‘Halcon Vineyard’ Syrah, 2014 btl $75
This vineyard is an extreme, high elevation, rocky site at 2500 ft in the Yorkshire Highlands that would have been seen to be believed. The epitome of epic, this dramatic site produces syrah with both the power and finesse of the benchmark Northern Rhones. Layered, textured and expressive, violet, olive, peppercorn and rock.
Dirty & Rowdy, Familiar Mourvedre 2015 btl $65
Let’s start at delicious. On the nose there are dark tones of bark, blood orange, raspberry, fresh parsnip, cinnamon and volcanic rock. It hits the palate with blasts of fresh strawberry, limestone, granite and a fine latticework of tannin and acid. The finish is persistent with acid supported fruit, carbon and ozone. It is both though provoking and rump shaking.
Dirty & Rowdy, Mourvédre, Antle Vineyard, Chalone 2014 btl $68
Dignified and bon a fide. Aromatics of cinnamon, herbs, dried leaves, pipe tobacco, and waxed cotton. A vein of red and black plum strikes through subterranean layers of limestone and granite.
Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley 2007 btl $98
The flagship Musar Bottling, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan is lush and almost port-like, save for the gust of spice that comes in on the acidity and brightens the finish. It’s wild and warm, a Mediterranean red with a forest floor complexity that keeps it engaging for hours.
Manior de la Tete, ‘Bagatelle’ Cabernet Franc, Saumur 2015 gl $12 btl $48
This manor was built in 1649 at the foot of Le Puy Notre Dame. It is an important piece of the history in this small vineyard dwarfed by a majestic eleventh century Collegiate Church. Guillaume Reynouard purchased this property in 1995. This is 100 percent Cabernet Franc aged in 100% concrete, never see’s oak and spends 15 days on the skin.
Domaine Bobinet, ‘Amateus Bobi’, Cabernet Franc, Saumur 2014 btl $48
Originally from a 65 year old single parcel of clay and limestone, the wine has been enriched over the years with additions from some of the finest plots in the domaine. The grapes are de-stemmed, macerated for 4-5 weeks with regular cap punching to allow a soft extraction. The wine is then aged in barrels for a year, without being marked by woody flavors. This is a structured wine with smooth and delicate tannins and a lively nose displaying real complexity. So mineral it cannot deny it’s terrior.
Domaine Bobinet, ‘Ruben’, Cabernet Franc, Saumur-Champigny 2012 btl $60
First made in 2011 after the domaine aquired some new vineyards. It’s the first wine Emeline and Sebastian made together. Ruben is aged for 7 months in barrels; it’s delicately structured, deep, and has plenty of freshness. A juicy, fruity cabernet franc with velvety tannins that tempt you to pour another glass.
Charles Jogeut, ‘CUVEE TERRIOR’, Chinon 2014 btl $36
A blend aiming to highlight the harmony of Chinon’s terriors. The sandy alluvial soils offer fruity and supple wines to drink in their youth. Flavours of ripe fruits, supple and fine tanning. It is a wine with great freshness.
Domaine Guion, ‘Cuvee Prestige’, Bourgueil 2014 btl $30
This wine is also 100% cabernet franc and has some oak treatment (old oak barrels, never new oak) and is produced from older vines which are up to 80 years old. This is a fine, savory wine with lovely tannins and good length on the palate. There is a streak of acidity running through the wine that will ensure that it will last for many, many years. It represents excellent value for money and is currently drinking very well, but will also last for a considerable time in the cellar.
Palmeri, ‘Sweetwater Saddle’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Dry Creek btl $58
This sweetwater saddle vineyard cabernet sauvignon is a deep garnet on the rim and near inky black towards the middle. The wines shows classic Cabernet with notes of juicy plum and cedar with animated notes of cherry pipe tobacco and cassis. The mouth is dense guided by dark cherry and blackberry punctuated by soft, yet attentive tannins and a long sophisticated finish.
Aperture, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, Sonoma 2014 gl $16
Believe it or not, at this price, this wine is a steal, soft and elegant, this is not your typical California cabernet. Aromatic flowers and plum leap out of the glass. A full bodied wine that has layers of dark plum and berry fruit. Hints of mocha and refined cedar, add to the complexity and leave you yearning for more. This is a small production wine, so don’t wait to get your hands on it.
Cruse Wine Co., Tannat, Alder Springs, Mendocino 2015 btl $84
Certainly 100% Californian. It is an unexpected wine – not tannic or dark, but light on it’s feet, fruity and structured. It is from Alder Springs and tastes of place. The fruit was destemmed, fermented in concrete, pressed off early, and aged in barrel.
Y. Rousseau, Tannat, Russian River Valley 2014 gl $12 btl $48
Originally from the Southwest of France, tannat is only planted in a few vineyards in the US. This Gascon winemaker was able to source grapes from the Russian River Valley to realize his long time dream of producing tannat in the US. It is bright and focused with a distinctive nose of tannat, filled with pure black fruit – wild berries and black currants, as well as violets, black pepper and a whiff of sandlewood and cinnamon stick. It is juicy, vibrant and well structured with refined tannins and a good balance.
Chateau Gombaude-Guillot, Pomerol 2008 btl $102
Winemaker Claire Lavel is intent on preserving the terrior of her estate through meticulous care in the vineyard and winery. There’s an excellent balance of fruit here, with a touch of woody tannins and a silken finish.
Chateau Pimpine, Bordeaux 2013 btl $68
Deceptively soft up front with fresh strawberry and raspberry immediately apparent, with hints of spice. The instantly give way through density and concentration of flavor as the tannins and acidity come into focus.