WINE BY THE GLASS
NV Guy Bossard ‘La Divina’ Mousseux, Loire Valley, France 9 4.50 40
Made in the Champagne method, this refreshing blend shows very persistent sparkle and cool citrus tones.
2008 Theo Minges, Riesling Sekt, Pfalz, Germany 14 7 60
One of the finest sparkling Rieslings made, this envelops the palate with brisk acidity and a plush total feel.
2009 Szigeti, Rosé of Pinot Noir Sekt, Burgenland, Austria 10 5 44
A luscious rosé perfect for summer, with a terrific balance of keen sparkle, cream, and pomegranate.
2009 Jo Landron, Muscadet, Loire Valley, France 7 3.50 32
I adore this classic expression of Muscadet by Jo Landron – it’s extremely finessed, saline, and dry.
2011 Wieninger ‘Gemischter Satz’, Vienna, Austria 9 4.50 40
A stellar, medium-bodied, traditional field blend showing zesty tropicality and gentle spice.
2011 Stobi, Zilavka, Macedonia 8 4 36
The rare Zilavka varietal gives a captivating combination of passionfruit, gooseberry, balsam & cream soda.
2012 Gysler, Scheurebe Halbtrocken, Rheinhessen, Germany 8 4 42 [1L]
We love Scheurebe for its feisty, sassy, spirited expression; this shines with tangy grapefruit and blackberry.
2009 Ermes Pavese, Prié Blanc, Vallée d’Aosta, Italy 14 7 60
This rare, tiny-production, medium-bodied Alpine wine is spicy & satisfying, w/caraway and golden raisin.
2009 Hermann J. Wiemer, Dry Riesling, New York State 9 4.50 40
The Wiemer estate produces the very best Riesling in America. After 5 years in bottle, this vintage is maturing beautifully: taut acidity, green apple, linden leaf, sencha tea, and much more.
2011 Foxen, Chenin Blanc, California 10 5 44
A benchmark California Chenin, clean, brisk and dry on the palate, with oolong, pineapple, & clementine.
2012 Black Star, Chardonnay, Michigan 10 5 44
Complex textures thanks to extended lees aging sets this Chardonnay apart; soft, nuanced orchard fruit.
2010 Montbourgeau, Chardonnay, Jura, France 12 6 52
Savory and nutty – classic for the Jura – with a fringe of spicy cumin, white pepper, and ripe papaya.
2004 Barmès-Buecher, Pinot Gris, Alsace, France 10 5 44
A richly textured, delectable single-vineyard wine, with honeycomb, tropicality, and mild sweetness.
2013 Ameztoi ‘Rubentis’ Rose, Getariako Txakolina, Basque 9 4.50 40
This fresh vintage of our perennial favorite rose Txakoli is just phenomenal right now; enlivened by a slight sparkle, it’s magenta-hued (a touch darker than last year) with an electric flavor profile.
2013 Schnaitmann, Rose of Pinot Noir, Germany 9 4.50 40
A case study in finesse, this lightly-hued rose balances dry persimmon with juicy watermelon.
2013 Clos de la Roche Blanche, Rosé, Loire Valley, France 9 4.50 40
This rare, directly pressed rosé of Pineau d’Aunis is one of the finest in France. A light color introduces a palate of delicious spice, surprisingly firm tannin, and a sense of soulful depth.
2008 Philippe Bornard, Ploussard, Arbois-Pupillin, Jura, France 12 6 52
The color of this fickle, light-bodied wine is fascinating, all pale garnet and Indian red; aromas of cranberry, game, and dried meat tickle the nose, leading to flavors of turmeric, mustard and dried cherry.
2012 Stefano Bellotti ‘Semplicimente Rosso’, Piedmont, Italy 8 4 36
It’s a pleasure to offer this crowd-pleasing, super-drinkable Barbera blend; easy tannin and great acid.
2012 Ollivier Lemasson ‘R12’, Loire Valley, France 9 4.50 40
A favorite blend of Grolleau, Malbec and Gamay; pungent aromas and detailed, palate-flattering textures.
2006 Heinrich Mayr, Lagrein, Alto Adige, Italy 14 7 60
Perfectly mature, with a sexy total feel; fresh goji, dark raspberry, a shade of mocha and great acidity.
2011 Vajra, Dolcetto, Piedmont, Italy 9 4.50 40
We were really taken with this classic at a recent tasting – tart red fruits, generous acid & a persistent finish.
2012 Andrea Calek ‘Babiole’, Ardeche, France 10 5 44
Deeply pure and slightly hazy, with fresh gaminess, cidery acidity and soft herbality.
2012 Elena Walch, Merlot, Alto Adige, Italy 8 4 36
Great complexity for Merlot: red licorice, rye, and woodsy tannin combine and lead to a memorable end.
2013 Fairvalley, Pinotage, South Africa 7 3.50 32
A classic Pinotage for its earthiness, char, and grip, complemented by notes of sweeter blue fruit.
2011 Seven Hills, Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State 10 5 42
Reminiscent of a northern left-bank Bordeaux, with chewy, flinty minerality, dark fruit, and tasty tannin.
WINE BY THE BOTTLE
2009 Jean-Pierre Robinot ‘Les Années Folles’, Loire Valley 100
This deliciously raw old-vine Chenin/Aunis ‘pet-nat’ carries exotic, stimulating flavors and a soft mousse.
2011 Jean-Pierre Robinot ‘Paris la Nuits’, Loire Valley 65
A radical ‘pet-nat’ of Chenin, very dry, with a prickly mousse, rhubarb, pepper & a hint of gueuze. Terrific.
2011 Andrea Calek ‘Blonde’, Ardéche 60
This very natural Chardonnay/Viognier blend is generous & frothy on the palate, with an assured feel, and flavors of peach, banana meringue, light citrus, and a brisk, elegant finish.
2012 Philippe Bornard ‘Tant Mieux’ Rosé, Arbois-Pupillin, Jura 60
Very fine Ploussard ‘pet-nat’, showing cool raspberry fruit, soft sparkle, and just a hint of residual sweetness.
NV Achard-Vincent, Clairette de Die, Rhône Valley 50
Made in the Champagne method, this is the finest of its style; an elegant sense of fizz quickly turns luscious.
NV Camille Saves ‘Carte Blanche’, Montagne de Reims, Champagne 90
Squeaky-clean and very refreshing, with a palate-tickling, tight ribbon of bubbles and a lean mousse.
2011 Chartogne-Taillet ‘Heurtebise’, Montagne de Reims, Champagne 140
This stellar Blanc de Blancs is one of my favorite Champagnes ever – all crunchy savory oystery salinity
2004 Chartogne-Taillet ‘Cuvée Fiacre’, Montagne de Reims, Champagne 180
Chartogne’s ‘Tete de ‘Cuvée’ of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir is perfectly mature; the last word in elegance.
2009 Marc Hebrart ‘Special Club’, Vallée de la Marne, Champagne 150
This beautiful SC is one of Hebrart’s finest wines to date; edgy flavors develop in a fine, complex mousse.
2006 Pierre Peters ‘Chétillons’, Côte des Blancs, Champagne 240
Muscular and polished, with frothy flavors of chalk and mint, and a delicious sense of chartreuse at the end.
NV Paul Bara, Rosé, Champagne, France 140
A powerful, luxury rosé: the mousse is silky, the ribbon of bubbles is firm, and the finish lasts all night.
NV Adami ‘Bosco di Gica’ Prosecco, Valdobbiaddene 45
A very dry and complex style from one of the top 3 Prosecco houses, this is an ideal beginning to your night.
NV Edi Kanti, Spumante, Venezia-Giulia 75
This artisanal Chardonnay / Malvasia blend is light and pretty, with citrus, almond, and apricot.
2010 Ermes Pavese, Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, Vallée de l’Aosta 130
This Champagne-method rarity is surprisingly clean and crisp, with a hint of sassafrass & lively sparkle.
2010 Bisson ‘Abissi’ Spumante, Portofino, Liguria 220
One of the world’s sparkling wine treasures, this is matured for many months on its lees 200 feet under the sea, and is brought up from the water with barnacles and seaweed intact on the bottle. After an initial rush of foam, it quickly settles into a gentle wine of total saline-edged finesse.
2011 Vittoria Bera, Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont 45
This semi-sweet sparkling is the most artisanal Moscato I’ve had, showing charming golden raisin & mint.
2000 Recaredo ‘Turo d’en Mota’ Cava Brut Nature, Penedes, Spain 340
After nearly a decade on lees, this single vineyard Xarel-lo is the finest Cava currently available; don’t miss.
NV Willi Bründlmayer, Rose Sekt Brut, Kamptal, Austria 200 [1.5L]
I’m glad for the chance to offer this thirst-slaking rose from magnum; the perfect start for a night w/friends.
2011 Vincent Tricot, Chardonnay, Auvergne 55
A full-bodied Chardonnay from Central France, with palate-flattering mango, quinine, and chamomile.
2011 Lucien Crochet, Sancerre 60
Crochet is one of the top 5 producers in Sancerre; this terrific bottling shows gravitas & clean refreshment.
1996 Alphonse Mellot, Sancerre 190
This biodynamic wonder is one of the best French whites of the last four decades – just amazing, don’t miss.
2009 Didier Dagueneau ‘Silex’, Pouilly-Fumé 230
If you haven’t tasted it, this indulgent luxury bottling is worth a try; remarkable depth and concentration.
2005 Philippe Foreau, Demi-Sec, Vouvray 70
This is a deep, bass-driven Vouvray, with shiitake mushroom, ripe pear, dark peppercorn & a smoky finish.
1985 Huet ‘Le Mont’ Moelleux, Vouvray 140
Time has enlivened this pristine, tranquil Chenin; strong acidity combines with a trace of sweetness.
2007 Damien Laureau, Savennières 85
This literally took my breath away on first taste; semi-dry, with chestnut honey, cinnamon & wildflower.
2005 Nicolas Joly ‘Clos Sacres’, Savennières 75
From a great year, this is a very accessible wine from Nicolas, all chamomile, raspberry tea, and smoke.
2003 Nicolas Joly ‘Coulée de Serrant’, Savennières 160
One of the world’s legendary wines; its tightly knit textures and earthy evocations require early decanting.
1999 Domaine aux Moines, Savennières 55
At 15 years old, this extremely vibrant, mineralic and saline Chenin is full-bodied, dry and stimulating.
2010 Marc Ollivier ‘Clisson’, Muscadet 120 [1.5L]
One of our favorite Muscadets (and one of Marc’s), this shows glorious, thirst-slaking minerality and drive.
Burgundy and Jura
2009 Billaud-Simon, Chablis 60
A top-tier Chablis, less ‘nervous’ than others, showing surprising cinnamon/apple spice and a rich body.
2010 François Raveneau, Premier Cru ‘Forêt’, Chablis 230
A crisp and steely, citrusy core is fringed with shades of balsam smoke, jasmine, and meringue.
2010 François Raveneau, Premier Cru ‘Montée de Tonnerre’, Chablis 600 [1.5L]
Concentrated Maine oyster meat in December, a note of iodine, zinc-edged lemon zest and intense grip.
2005 Coche-Bizouard, Meursault 90
A delectable style of Meursault from a favorite higher-altitude site – flavors of lemon and ripe comice pear.
2011 Dominique Derain ‘En Vesvau’, Saint-Aubin 85
Dominique is on the cutting edge of a mid-generation of maverick, non-additive producers who are making some of Burgundy’s finest wines from lesser-known appellations. This is showing beautifully just now, with macadamia, talc, vanilla éclair, a shade of gueuze, and a long, lean, arresting end.
2010 Clos Moulin aux Moines, Monopole, Auxey-Duresses 100
From a great year, this killer Auxey is not to be missed: extraordinary finesse and mouthwatering acidity.
2007 Arnaud Ente, Bourgogne 65
Hazelnut, vanilla and macadamia flavors combine in a very wide palate-feel, with a keen tropical note.
2007 Domaine de la Folie, Rully 55
This sinuous, wondrous Chalonnaise Chardonnay reminds one of many wines at once – it has the salty grip of a Manzanilla, the tart grapefruit/toffee of a Tocai, and an Inzolian tone of honey-crisp apple & pecan.
1997 Colette Ferret ‘Menetrières’, Pouilly-Fuissé 190 [1.5L]
This amazing, full-bodied wine from the Mâcon’s best single vineyard is a living work of history; don’t miss.
2010 Domaine Thibert ‘Vignes Blanches’, Pouilly-Fuissé 75
My favorite single-vineyard Fuissé, this shows a keen balance of intense citrus, creamy meringue & mineral.
2008 Jacques Puffeney, Savagnin, Arbois 65
This savory Savagnin from ‘Le Puff’ blew my mind with its combination of peat, cinnamon, and its rich feel.
2011 Houillon-Overnoy, Chardonnay, Arbois-Pupillin 95
From one of the most sought-after and influential producers in France, this remarkable Chardonnay shows almond blossom, quince, pear, and more. Don’t miss.
2004 Berthet-Bondet ‘Tradition’ Chardonnay/Savagnin, Château-Chalons 50
This is aged under a fine veil of yeast (aka flor), giving strong acidity, savory nuttiness & a note of marzipan.
2009 Barmès-Buecher ‘Leimenthal’ Riesling, Wettolsheim 60
Unique for Alsace, this is sourced from a micro-parcel of pure limestone; totally arresting and stimulating.
2002 Trimbach ‘Cuvée Frederic Emile’ Riesling, Ribeauvillé 80
This elegant Riesling defines the Protestant Alsatian style – lean, dry and crisp. A blend of Grand Crus Geisberg and Osterberg, it shows orange pith, nectarine, and bosc pear alongside a shade of smoky petrol.
2002 Marcel Deiss, Premier Cru ‘Burg’, Bergheim 90
“Sumptuous, concentrated. .the spices of Keuper marl: cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.” (J-M. Deiss)
2002 Marcel Deiss, Grand Cru ‘Altenberg’, Bergheim 155
“It’s not a wine, it’s a dream.” (J-M. Deiss) In its way, this creation conveys the multi-faced spirit of the earth.
2004 Rolly Gassmann, Gewurztraminer, Rorschwihr 95
Extremely complex and savory, not as sweet or spicy as others: yellow roses, balsamic/almost soy, keen acid.
2006 Paul Blanck ‘Altenbourg’ Gewurztraminer, Kientzheim 75
A suave, succulent feel and perfectly integrated sweetness; one of the best Gewurztraminers of the vintage.
2004 Weinbach ‘Cuvée Laurence’ Pinot Gris, Kaysersberg 120
One of the loveliest Pinot Gris I’ve encountered, striking you with a full-bodied, tropical, earthy ‘trueness’.
Savoie, Southern France and Corsica
2010 Louis Magnin, Roussette de Savoie 100
This Roussette (aka Altesse) has a rich body of beeswax, dry honey, pineapple & a shade of sweetness.
2009 Clos de la Vierge, Gros Manseng, Jurançon 38
Dry and medium-bodied, this shows a lovely array of pineapple and kiwi & finishes with a cool smokiness.
2009 Domaine Marcoux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape 75
This rarity, from a storied biodynamic estate, is sourced from 2 tiny, very rocky sites; its rich, full-bodied, nutty creaminess is balanced by a surprising citrusy freshness.
2007 Antoine Arena ‘Carco’ Vermentino, Patrimonio, Corsica 70
I retasted this in April 2014 and found that time has brought the acidity into stronger, more mouthwatering focus. Subtle floral aromatics frame a savory body of balsam, verbena, and pithy nectarine.
Elaborated without skin contact
2011 Abbazia di Novacella, Kerner, Alto Adige 40
Kerner ravishes the palate like few other wines; pepper, blackcurrant, wild strawberry, and salty minerality.
2013 Alois Lageder, Pinot Grigio, Alto Adige 38
One of Italy’s most substantial dry Grigios – a delicate lemon zest is crossed with honeysuckle & cinnamon.
2010 Radoar ‘Etza’, Müller-Thurgau, Alto Adige 60
This well-knit delight ups the standard for what Thurgau can be, with zippy grapefruit and lime blossom.
2006 Movia, Rebula, Brda/Collio 65
Several years ago, immediately after its release, I fell in love with this vintage, and held a few bottles back to see how it would age. Time has done it well – it has a real presence – nutmeg, mint, cashew and more.
2012 Vittorio Bera ‘Arcese’ Favorita blend, Piedmont 40
This scintillating Arneis blend has notes of honeyed apricot and fresh green olive in a body of bracing acid.
2009 Bisson ‘Marea’, Cinque Terre, Liguria 60
This traditional blend from Riomaggiore transports you directly to the sunny and colorful Cinque Terre. Extended lees time, a golden color, brushy piney undergrowth, lemon pith… delicious.
2008 Bruna, Pigato, Imperia, Liguria 55
A classic expression of western Ligurian Pigato (aka Vermentino); rich aloe, plantain, and shades of mint.
2010 Carfagna, Ansonaco, Island of Giglio 70
This powerful Ansonaco (aka Inzolia) from the rugged Giglio isle shows dry golden raisin and cashew.
2011 Tami’, Grillo, Sicily 30
With a touch of tropicality, medium acid, and a hint of spice, this lively white is a great food pair.
Elaborated in contact with skins: ‘orange’ wine
2006 Paolo Bea ‘Arboreus’, Umbria 125
This fabulous wine is sourced from a unique, highly-trained set of 120-yr. Trebbiano Spoletino vines. After 21 days on its skins, months on lees, and no sulfur added, it enlivens the palate like few others. Decant early.
2006 Vodopivec, Vitovska, Venezia-Giulia 135
Fermented 6 months in Georgian amphora (aka qvevri), this is darkly colored, yet really quaffable, all red rooibos tea, pear cider, and lavender.
2000 Radikon ‘Fuori dal Tempo’, Oslavje, Venezia-Giulia 260
After 35 days with its skins, 3 years in barrel, and 9 years in bottle, this Chardonnay/Sauvignon is a new release, and one of the finest examples of its style I’ve ever had. The layered, melismatic textures strike the palate as polyphonic music does the ear; an unforgettable succession of independent melodies.
2003 Gravner, Ribolla Gialla, Friuli 230
Hazy in color, finely tropical and lipid in flavor, this amphora-aged wine quickly develops great complexity.
2002 Castellada, Bianco, Collio 130
A gorgeous amber/golden hue introduces flavors of salty papaya, rosemary, and young green tea.
2010 Knoll, Federspiel, Wachau 70
Knoll crafts full-bodied, multi-dimensional wines of salinity and power, combining here with cool citrus.
2005 Nikolaihof ‘Vom Stein’ Smaragd, Wachau 90
Nikolaihof’s ‘Vom Stein’ bottling is one of their ‘meatiest’ and most rugged; this ’05 is stellar right now.
2007 Prager ‘Wachstum Bodenstein’ Smaragd, Wachau 75
Positively kaleidoscopic, this experimental, dense, mineral-driven, dynamic dry Riesling is unforgettable.
2003 FX Pichler, Smaragd, Wachau 70
This rich ‘03 from Franz Xavier has a sapphire purity and fire beneath its wide-open verbena and citrus.
2012 Loimer ‘Lois’, Kamptal 30
This bright Grüner is a terrific introduction to the varietal, with classic kiwi fruit, citrus & white pepper.
2008 Rudi Pichler ‘Kollmütz’ Smaragd, Wachau 75
An intense, powerful expression of Grüner, with salty wet minerality, verdant foresty moss & killer spice.
2012 Bernhard Ott ‘Qvevre’, Wagram 200
This gorgeous rarity spent 8 months in underground amphora on its skins, but isn’t amber-hued; instead, it has a shocking liveliness and clarity, and is one of the most unusual and essential Grüners you’ll encounter.
1993 Nikolaihof ‘Vinothek’ Smaragd, Wachau 250
In special years, the Saahs family at Nikolaihof decides to cellar a wine in giant neutral oak cask, and leave it undisturbed for up to 20 years, until it’s ready to bottle. This recent release 1993 is one of only 5 they’ve ever made, and it’s unbelievably pure, with something very essential and life-affirming in every sip.
Roter Veltliner and Furmint
2006 Rudi Pichler, Roter Veltliner, Wachau 85
We love Roter for its spicy, intense, exotic, high-acid torque, and few make it better than our friend Rudi.
1990 Leth, Roter Veltliner, Wagram 170
Proof positive that Roter is built to age, this delight is smoky and briny and umami-ey, w/bonito & mango.
2012 Heidi Schrock, Furmint, Burgenland 60
My vote for the finest Furmint in Austria today; intense floral aromatics, exuberant & clean tropical fruit.
2012 Clemens Busch ‘Low Sulfur’, Mosel 45
This new bottling from Clemens Busch has great clarity thanks to minimal sulfur; keen mineral & pear.
2012 Leitz ‘Eins Zwei Dry’, Rheingau 30
A delicious dry Riesling from our friend Josey Leitz, showing stonefruit, medium acidity, and a cool finish.
2009 Koehler-Ruprecht, Pfalz 40
This is a ‘statelier’ wine of its style, with real gravitas, palate-coating textures, and gentle tropicality.
2012 Keller, Grosses Gewachs ‘Kirschspiel’, Rheinhessen 100
True to its site, this jaw-dropping ’12 from Keller exhibits a killer combo of dark red fruit & iron minerality.
2012 Immich-Batterieberg ‘Escheburg’, Halbtrocken, Mosel 45
At long last, we’re able to offer Immich’s amazing Rieslings in Chicago. This has a clean, serpentine clarity.
2001 Hexamer ‘Hochgewachs’, Halbtrocken, Nahe 65
Beautifully mature, this superior-quality QBA has integrated sweetness alongside citrus and malt.
2007 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofsberg, Halbtrocken, Saar 70
A half-dry wine of taut acidity, this is one of Germany’s very best, with lemongrass, ginger, and lime.
2006 Dönnhoff, Norheimer Kirschheck, Nahe 85
Surprising flavors of red raspberry sorbet and bing cherry sound out in this elegantly structured delight.
2005 Dönnhoff, Oberhäuser Brücke, Nahe 90
From a monopole of kaleidescopic soil complexity, this is rich and fairly sweet, with guava and kumquat.
2010 Willi Schaefer, Graacher Domprobst, Mosel 85
From the steep Domprobst site, this shows a very harmonious sweetness and a graceful mineralic drive.
2003 Kerpen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Mosel 60
A beautifully mature wine; the initial sweetness has settled out into pristine harmony with mild acidity.
2004 Robert Weil ‘Estate’, Rheingau 75
A rich and powerful Spätlese from the upper, flatter part of the river, showing date, kiwi, and Anjou pear.
1999 Balthasar Ress, Rudesheimer Berg Rottland, Rheingau 70
From Ress’ best, steepest site, this impeccably aged, semi-dry Auslese captivated us with its power & grace.
1995 Max Ferd. Richter, Graacher Domprobst, Mosel 115
This very fine, steely Auslese shows like a halbtrocken, with apple, cinnamon, and a hint of acacia honey.
2012 Burgans, Albariño, Rias Baixas 32
Classic, textbook Albariño, with flavors of pear soda, fresh peach, lychee, and a touch of crème fraiche.
2009 doFerreiro ‘Cepas Vellas’ Albariño, Rias Baixas 70
This legendary old-vine wine represents the apogee of Albariño’s potential; finessed, saline, and silky.
2011 A Coroa ‘200 Cestos’ Godello, Valdeorras 70
The finest Godello in Spain today, from a site of extreme exposition, combining bold fruit and nuance.
2010 Viña de Martin ‘Os Pasás’ Treixadura blend, Ribeiro 60
This family-grown, artisanal Ribeiro white has flashy primary fruit and a subtle shade of delicate spice.
2003 Lopez de Heredia ‘Gravonia’, Rioja 50
Rather full-bodied, this is one of the finest ‘traditional’ whites from Spain today; cedar, plantain, and more.
1981 Lopez de Heredia ‘Tondonia’, Rioja 160
Stunningly alive: ripe Alhambran oranges, white birch smoke, a meadow of dewy lavender and sage.
2011 Mendall ‘Anfora, All-In’, Tarragona 190 [1.5L]
This very natural, slightly hazy, amphora-fermented wine is surprisingly mid-bodied, even slightly Alsatian.
2011 Broc Cellars, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, California 55
Chris Brockway is redefining our expectations for California; this 2011 shows loads of crisp mineral charm.
2008 Belle Pente, Chardonnay, Willamette Valley, Oregon 65
One of Oregon’s best Chardonnays to date, with a rich palate feel, nutty complexity and very clean acidity.
2005 Littorai, Chardonnay, Sonoma, California 130
An elegant and evocative American Chardonnay, with brisk meyer lemon, manzanilla olive, and more.
1992 Eyrie, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley, Oregon 140
1992 was the hottest season in Oregon’s 50-year wine history, and Eyrie’s earliest harvest ever; their recorked library selection Pinot Gris captivated me with its elegant floral nose, and a palate of light honey that slowly gives way into a light, gentle butterscotch & minty hawthorne tone, while the acidity is firm and satisfying.
2009 Ambyth Estate ‘Priscus’ Grenache Blanc blend, Paso Robles, California 90
This Rhône-style blend, led by Grenache Blanc and Roussanne, was one of the favorite discoveries of our California trip of September 2013 – it’s showing a rich, dry, succulent body, and a savory finish.
2008 Felton Road, Riesling 55
Half-dry (9.5% alc), picked at Spätlese ripeness, this has stunning clarity and weight, with a long finish.
2008 Pegasus Bay, Riesling, Waipara 70
A powerful, very dry Riesling (14% alc.), showing lush flavors of guava, dried apricot, petrol, and honey.
2010 Pyramid Valley ‘Lion’s Tooth’ Chardonnay, Canterbury 100
From one of New Zealand very finest producers, Mike Weersing, this gorgeous Chardonnay has all the complexity of the finest Grand Cru Burgundy; biodynamic viticulture & hands-off vinification provide for an intensely pure, memorable impression.
2012 Millton ‘Crazy by Nature’ Chenin Blanc, Gisbourne 38
This ‘entry level’ Chenin from biodynamic pioneer James Millton is citrus-driven, clean, and refreshing.
2008 Conrad Caloz ‘Les Bernunes’ Heida-Paien, Valais, Switzerland 80
Heida-Paien (aka Savagnin) shows beautifully here, lean and refreshing, with juniper, watermelon & mint.
2007 Cave des Tilleuls, Fendant de Vetroz Grand Cru, Valais, Switzerland 50
The native varietal Fendant (aka Chasselas) beautifully expresses the Valais; dry, crisp, mouthwatering.
2007 Cotar, Vitovska, Kras, Slovenia 65
The Vitovska grape (believed to be a cross of Malvasia and Prosecco) is unique to Slovenia; Vasja Cotar makes one of the finest wines from it that I’ve ever tasted. With just a few days of skin contact, native yeast ferment, and over a year in mostly used oak, this is slightly ‘orange’ and terrifically refreshing: mandarin orange, melon, gueuze, dry Sicilian honey, fine tannin.
2011 Spiropoulos, Moscofilero, Mantinia, Greece 30
Begins with bright citrus and rose petal; a welcome sting of thyme and nettle awakens the midpalate.
2012 Clos Cibonne, Rosé of Tibouren, Côtes de Provence, France 45
Unique for Provence, this is aged for months under flor, and gives a remarkably layered palate feel.
Frank Cornelissen ‘Susucaru #5’ (2012), Etna, Sicily, Italy 60
This arresting, hazy-colored blend combines tension and restraint with a mid-palate of lush fruit.
2011 Grosjean, Prëmetta, Vallée d’Aosta, Italy 60
We only receive a few bottles of this stunning ‘rosé’ every year; deeply colored, full-bodied and luscious.
2012 François Dhumes ‘Minette’ Gamay, Auvergne 50
From a 1.6 hectare parcel of vines in the center of France, this deeply expressive and thirst-quenching Gamay tastes similar to a still Lambrusco, with flavors of dark olive, mulberry, and a hint of sassafrass.
2010 Domaine de la Petite Marie ‘Galluches’ Cabernet Franc, Bourgueil 45
From flinty soils similar to Pomerol’s, aged in giant casks, this delight has lean fruit & a hint of salinity.
1994 Catherine & Pierre Breton ‘Les Perrières’ Cabernet Franc, Bourgueil 140
What a treat to be able to offer this mature library selection; the purity of fruit and supple feel is unforgettable. Retasted in January 2014 as vibrant and lively, with a core of sapid, delectable fruit.
2004 Clos Rougeard ‘Les Poyeux’ Cabernet Franc, Saumur-Champigny 130
One of the top reds in all of France. Vinified organically from a single plot of 40-60 year old vines, partially fermented in used barrels from Haut-Brion, matured for years in a very cold cellar. A benchmark.
Burgundy and Jura
2012 Domaine Montanet-Thoden ‘Garance’, Bourgogne 60
Valentin Montanet of Domaine de la Cadette crafts tiny amounts of this terrific Pinot in the far northern Burgundian village of Vezelay, and we’re happy to offer it here. It’s on the medium-to full-bodied side, with a deep color, dark fruit confiture, a note of game, and a surprising line of spice.
2008 Claude Dugat, Bourgogne 80
From Gevrey, Claude consistently crafts superlative wines; this ’08 shows strong acidity & graceful tannin.
2008 Ghislaine Barthod, Chambolle-Musigny 95
This masterpiece, from a brilliant year, is both delicate and intense; its complexity deeply stirs your emotions. It begins tart, with flavors of underripe cherry, and develops softness and nuance in the glass.
2011 Domaine de Chassorney, Volnay 160
Fred Cossard at Chassorney is one of Burgundy’s finest ethical growers; his Volnay is utterly soulful.
2007 Benjamin Leroux, Premier Cru ‘Aux Thorey’, Nuits-St.-Georges 130
From a favorite NSG producer and a great 1er Cru – succulent fruit and amazingly balanced acidity.
2008 Bruno Clair, Premier Cru ‘La Dominode’, Savigny-les-Beaune 135
From a miniscule, sunny site and a great year, this favorite is powerful for an ‘08; plum, cumin, and more.
2011 Danjean-Berthoux ‘Meix au Roi’, Givry 45
From the Côte Chalonnaise in southern Burgundy, this is vibrant and elegant Pinot Noir with keen acid.
2010 Julien Labet ‘Les Varrons’ Pinot Noir, Rotalier 60
Gorgeously perfumed, this is a very pretty wine, lean and lithe, with bright passionfruit and cherry.
2012 Michel Gahier ‘La Vigne du Louis’ Trousseau, Arbois 65
Michel works with meticulous care in his vines and cellar; his wines have become some of the finest in all of eastern France. The vines for this wine were planted by his grandfather (Louis) to a subsoil of heavy gravel and limestone. It has more body than most other Trousseaus, with meaty fruit surrounding a delicate core.
1994 Château Cos d’Estournel, St.-Estèphe 180
Simply outstanding – full bodied, rich, with notes of berries, cedar and tobacco that fill the palate.
1996 Château Batailley, Pauillac 190
A benchmark ‘96, bold cassis flavors belie a dazzling restraint; fresh-turned gravel and slow-smoked meats
2004 Château du Jaugaret, St.-Julien 140
This uniquely artisanal Bordeaux was crafted by one man from a tiny plot that’s been in his family 350 years. Aged in used barrels for 30 months in a very cool cellar, it has an overt saltiness on the nose, and a body of amazing cut and precision, with flavors of gravel, cedar, and subtle cherry.
2010 Château Respide-Medeville, Graves 60
Medeville has become a favorite Graves estate; this ’10 is showing aristocratic structure and vivacious fruit.
Beaujolais, Northern Rhône, and Savoie
2006 Paul Janin ‘Clos du Tremblay’, Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais 50
Iron-rich and mineral-driven, this is nearly Rhône-esque for its spicy game and fine-boned, tasty tannin.
2009 Bernard Burgaud, Côte-Rôtie 120
This allocated, small-production, traditional wine will knock your socks off; gamey, dark, unforgettable.
1998 Paul Jaboulet ‘La Chapelle’, Hermitage 175
Sixteen years out, this is showing beautifully: licorice, spicy raspberry, iron & granite minerality, and more.
2004 Bernard Faurie, Hermitage 250
Faurie works with a tiny set of very fine rows on the steep Hermitage hill. His wines are treasured by connoisseurs and can be hard to find even in France; we’re very fortunate to be able to share our small allocation. Tasted in December 2013, this stands as the single finest Hermitage I’ve had; like liquid rock.
2008 Dard & Ribo, Crozes-Hermitage 70
This unique wine shows a different side of Crozes – it’s lean and evocative, with a long, soul-stirring finish.
2011 Pierre Gonon, Saint-Joseph 95
Gonon has become a northern Rhône favorite; this combines terrific grip with a warm, haunting charm.
2008 Franck Balthasar ‘Chaillot’, Cornas 85
This just turned a corner, and is starting to taste delicious and fine; a rare approachable side of Cornas.
2008 Theirry Allemand ‘Reynard’, Cornas 210
Theirry’s bottling from older vines (some 90 years old) planted to decomposed granite, this is a mesmerizing wine wrested from a difficult vintage – supple and savage by turns, with immense drinkability.
2011 Domaine de Vens-le-Haut, Mondeuse, Savoie 95
Labeled a ‘Micro-Cuvée of Exception’, this stunning Mondeuse is sourced from two tiny sites, totaling 3 hectares, of black sandstone and limestone clay. In the glass, it takes a few minutes to get up on its feet, but then shows about 45 minutes of sheer delight – a little ‘rude’, a little edgy, it doesn’t flatter the palate as much as nudge it into greater receptivity. I’m fairly sure 19th century esthetes would class this as ‘le beaute du diable’: tart cranberry combines with pomegranate and hazelnut, shadowed by a sliver of tannin.
Southern France and Corsica
2011 Gramenon ‘La Sagesses’, Côtes-du-Rhône 65
This utterly pure Grenache is singing just now; supple fruit and edgy, sanguine minerality.
2010 Moulin de la Gardette ‘Cuvée Ventabren’, Gigondas 85
This favorite begins immensely dark, brambly and inky, and then gains great restraint, poise, and herbality.
2009 Domaine de Sang des Cailloux ‘Cuvée Azalais’, Vacqueyras 65
An exotic, spicy, mineral-driven, urgent wine; w/red grapefruit, black cherry & licorice, it flatters the palate.
2010 Leon Barral ‘Jadis’, Faugères 80
Deliciously rustic and ‘barnyardy’, with savory notes of bacon, beef jerky, birchwood and raspberry seed.
2006 Mas de Daumas Gassac, Vin de Pays de l’Herault 90
Sensual and thought-provoking, this famous and mature wine shows great speed and direction on the palate, starting spicy and sappy then moving to mulberry, white sage and oregano.
2011 Abbatucci ‘Ministre Imperial’, Taravo Valley, Corsica 200
Not just incredibly delicious, this is one of the rare wines I regard as historically significant. Jean-Charles Abbatucci crafts this from a wide range of varietals, most of ancient origin, which he and his father saved from extinction. It’s important wine, opening a window onto a past and future. Succulent and fine.
2006 Antoine Arena ‘Carco’, Patrimonio, Corsica 80
This rare Niellucio (aka Sangiovese), crafted by one of Corsica’s most talented winemakers, has an impact on the palate that you’ll never forget: fine, taut acidity, persimmon, strong tannin, and notes of ink and salt.
Northern Italy and Valpolicella
2011 Danilo Thomain, Petit Rouge, Enfer d’Arvier, Vallée d’Aoste 70
From a tiny 2.4 acre vineyard in an almost forgotten corner of Italy, this rarity is lean, edgy, and memorable.
2011 Grosjean, Pinot Noir, Vallée d’Aoste 55
One of those Pinots that nudge the palate into greater receptivity; cranberry, rhubarb, cool mint.
2010 Ar. Pe. Pe. ‘Rosso di Valtellina’, Valtellina 70
From our favorite Valtellina producer, this is gorgeously lithe and alive, with an agile purity of fruit.
1999 Ar. Pe. Pe. ‘Grumello Buon Consiglio’ Riserva, Valtellina 150
One of the single finest Nebbiolos I’ve had in my life, this pristinely aged wine utterly flatters the palate.
2006 Triacca ‘Sassella’, Valtellina 50
Don’t miss this chance to taste a mature, affordable Valtellina, dark tannin combines with clovey spice.
1991 Cantine Conti, Boca 150
This mature marvel from one of the best non-interventionist estates in the region is absolutely stunning: a brilliant combination of fine acidity and elegant texture. We only have 3 bottles. Go for it.
2010 Foradori ‘Sgarzon’ Teroldego, Dolomite Mountains 200[1.5L]
After 8 months in amphora, this single-vineyard delight is all silk on the palate, with mirabelle and sumac.
2007 Foradori ‘Granato’ Teroldego, Dolomite Mountains 110
The best vintage of this famous Teroldego yet; tannic, yes, but its savory core teases out in the glass.
2006 Ca’ la Bionda ‘Vigneti di Ravazzol’, Valpolicella 55
From a great vintage, and perfectly aged, this mid-bodied Valpolicella is one of the top 3 reds from the zone.
2006 Monte dall’Ora ‘Saustó’ Ripasso, Valpolicella 80
A lush, powerhouse Ripasso whose classic flavors of black raisin and carob are underlined by clean acidity.
2012 Brezza, Freisa, Langhe 35
Fresh and clean, this light-bodied Freisa stimulates with fresh cranberry, red-curry spice and more.
2012 Revello, Dolcetto d’Alba 40
A decidedly fuller-bodied, ‘meatier’ style of Dolcetto, with notes of venison tartar, cassis, and solid tannin.
2007 Giacomo Conterno, Barbera d’Alba 80
Roberto Conterno, Giacomo’s grandson, is one of the most talented winemakers in Italy today; the powerful floral aromas on his ‘07 Barbera introduce an intense palate of keen plum, quince, and sassafrass.
1999 Borgogno, Barolo 160
1999 was a glorious vintage in Barolo, famous for its elegance and precision. This is a wine of kings, made in enormous old casks to age forever: dark cherry, toasted pomegranate, fresh chestnut, and marjoram.
2005 Brovia ‘Villero’, Barolo 350 [1.5L]
This single-vineyard Barolo is just starting to turn a corner; all spicy chai tea, balsamic, licorice, and more.
Tuscany, Umbria, and Central Italy
2005 Isole e Olena ‘Cepparello’, Toscana 120
This famous Sangiovese is often referred to as the benchmark for the varietal, thanks to its grace & power.
1998 Villa di Capezzana ‘Ghiae della Furba’, Carmignano 110
Blended with a touch of Cabernet, this mature Sangiovese is packed w/black fruits, spicy oak & wild herb.
2006 Riecine, Chianti Classico 65
2006 is a personal favorite Tuscan vintage, and this wine shows why; generous tannin and evenly ripe fruit.
2008 Palmucci ‘Poggio di Sotto’, Rosso di Montalcino 130
This elegant masterpiece is among the best Montalcinos I’ve ever had. The detailed, entrancing aromas stimulate the imagination, while the lean, athletic palate conveys layer after layer of nuanced flavor.
2006 Sesti, Brunello di Montalcino 125
Sesti’s gutsy, powerful, clove-driven style showed particularly well in 2006; totally harmonious structure.
2005 Paolo Bea ‘Rosso de Veo’, Umbria 95
From young Sagrantino vines, this naturally crafted treasure is one of Umbria’s very best: dazzling purity.
2007 Napolini, Sagrantino di Montefalco, Umbria 80
Aged in mostly giant Slavonian oak casks, this traditional Sagrantino is inky, juicy, spicy and terribly alive.
1982 Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 380
The Pepe estate is one of the world’s finest. Their wines are crafted to age for generations with utterly traditional methods: everything is done by hand, the vineyards are biodynamic, natural yeast fermentation in glass-lined cement, no sulfur… When they decide to release a vintage, they decant each bottle individually to guarantee its quality. 1982 was one of their very best years; we only received 2 bottles. Don’t miss.
2011 Arianna Occhipinti, Frappato, Ragusa 70
Arianna is a great friend and a leading light in the ‘natural’ world; her Frappato is pure & soul-satisfying.
2010 COS, Cerasulo di Vittoria, Ragusa 65
My favorite vintage of this classic, for its agility and ‘lightness’ – the flavors are vivid, yet it’s almost ethereal.
Frank Cornelissen ‘Munjebel #6’ (2008), Etna 110
Restless and deliciously raw on the palate, this Nerello Mascalese stands on the fringe of non-additive winemaking; notes of Flemish Red Ale frame a core of fresh raspberry tea; the acid is particularly fine.
Frank Cornelissen ‘Contadino #7’ (2009), Etna 65
This wide field blend based on 2009 has aged gorgeously – very alive, it’s gained stability and poise w/time.
2004 Tenuta della Terre Nere ‘Guardiola’, Etna 75
A very serious Nerello Mascalese, with powerful tannin, tones of volcanic earth, oak, and bold cassis.
2010 Gobelsburger, Zweigelt, Kamptal 35
I’m so glad to offer this beautiful Zweigelt here. Light spice, clean fruit, edgy texture; sheer goodness.
2008 Wallner, Blaufränkisch Reserve, Südburgenland 60
This sensational new arrival is one of the best of its kind I’ve had; delectable, nearly Burgundian complexity.
2007 Meinklang ‘Konkret’ Saint-Laurent, Burgenland 65
This famous biodynamic St.-Laurent was fermented in concrete eggs to accentuate its purity. Retasted in June of 2014, it’s showing remarkably well; medium-bodied, with sumac, pomegranate and goji.
2005 Keller ‘Cuvée Felix’ Pinot Noir, Rheinhessen 150
Germany’s premier Pinot Noir. A special selection from a Grand Cru site, this is energetically complex, balancing rich, beefy gaminess, a pinpoint, filigreed acidity, and unctuous, dark, ripe fruits. A marvel.
2009 Gysler ‘Unfiltered’ Pinot Noir, Rheinhessen 75
One of the finest German reds I’ve had, this moves along the palate at a slow and stately pace, as flavors of saffron, carob, sassafrass, licorice, and dark cassis slowly unfurl.
2005 Lopez de Heredia ‘Cubillo’, Crianza, Rioja 50
Heredia is the standard-bearer for the taste of traditional Rioja wine. Lean, extremely elegant and fine.
2009 Abadia Retuerta, Sardon de Duero 55
A favorite Tempranillo blend for its unique expression of limestone minerality and sanguine spiciness.
2010 Ventura ‘Viña Caneiro’, Ribeira Sacra 45
From one of the most extreme vineyard sites in Spain (Caneiro), this Mencia shows keen minerality.
2010 Venus la Universal ‘Dido’, Montsant 50
This cool Garnacha/Merlot/Cab blend from Sara Perez & Rene Barbier shows full-bodied heat and spice.
2000 Monje, Listan Negro Reserva, Tenerife, Canary Islands 120
This mature Canary Islands wine comes across like a left-bank Bordeaux; all gravelly tannic complexity.
2011 Marques de Montemor ‘Tinto’, Alentejo 30
I was taken with the vividness of this biodynamic, native yeast Aragonez blend; ripe blue fruit & soft tannin.
2004 Muxagat, Douro 60
From a new favorite Portuguese estate; tarragon, black olive, white pepper, rich textures and dark fruit.
2010 Niepoort ‘Twisted’, Douro 50
A polished, more ‘modern’ style of Douro red from master Dirk Niepoort – plush and jazzy by turns.
2009 Passadouro, Douro 45
From an estate that works with old vines and fidelity to tradition, this is world-class; herbal, dark & smoky.
2012 Brooks, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 45
Benchmark OR Pinot: evocative perfume, bright bing cherry fruit, and an elegant, fine, persistent finish.
2010 Willakenzie, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon 60
Willakenzie’s wines show a leaner, edgier, more savory expression for OR; this 2010 is one of their best yet.
2011 Copain ‘Tous Ensemble’ Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California 55
From a challenging vintage, this is surprisingly lean on the palate, with notes of elderberry and concord.
2011 Firelands, Pinot Noir, Isle of St. George, Ohio 35
Our first wine from Ohio is also one of the best Pinots from the Midwest; light-bodied and very complete.
2010 Arnot-Roberts, Cabernet Sauvignon, Clajoux Vineyard, Sonoma, California 170
Sourced from just 12 rows of vines in a rocky, volcanic, cool-temperature site in the Mayacamas, this is a masterpiece for Cabernet: essential, memorable flavors unfurl in a slow development on the palate.
2009 Laurel Glen ‘Counterpoint’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California 70
A great vintage of this Sonoma classic, showing graphite, earl grey tea, and evenly ripened fruit.
2005 Seven Hills ‘Reserve’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, Washington 90
2005 was a superlative year for Casey McClellan; this Cab shows an utterly remarkable balance and depth.
2012 Broc Cellars, Carignane, Alexander Valley, California 45
At his urban facility in Berkeley, Chris Brockway is quietly redefining our perception of what’s possible for California wines. Made with partial carbonic maceration, his new vintage of Carignane has a pretty floral nose, followed by a boisterous palate of tart cranberry, wild strawberry, cinnamon and spearmint.
2007 AmByth, Rhône blend, Paso Robles, California 85
Rockin’ cool, this spicy, biodynamic red is worthy of its Rhône cousins, with lavender, currant, and smoke.
2010 Villa Creek ‘Avenger’ Rhône blend, Paso Robles, California 100
A real blockbuster, this bold and outsized wine explodes w/dark licorice, black raisin, and a touch of mocha.
2010 Edmunds St. John ‘Rocks and Gravel’ Rhône blend, Sonoma, California 50
Sourced from Unti, this terrific, naturally made Syrah blend shows tarragon, thyme, and blackcurrant.
2007 Peay Vineyards ‘Les Titans’ Syrah, Sonoma Coast, California 85
From a cool, ocean-influenced site, this gem from a great family shows impeccable finesse and balance.
2007 Joseph Swan ‘Mancini Ranch’ Zinfandel, Russian River Valley, California 55
One of the purest, most quaffable Zins I’ve had, with terrific stony earthiness, a hazy color, and cool spice.
2009 Porter Creek ‘Old Vines’ Zinfandel, Sonoma, California 65
Phenomenal concentration and power in this biodynamic Zin; licorice, cumin, and brambly blackberry fruit.
2010 Turley ‘Dogtown’ Zinfandel, Lodi, California 110
This perennial powerhouse is dark, inky and palate-coating, with mocha, caramel smoke, and raspberry.
1993 Eyrie, Pinot Meunier, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Jason Lett at Eyrie recently reviewed his father’s entire library collection (the only one of its kind in Oregon), and recorked only the best bottles (no cork taint, no bottle variation). I believe this is the finest example of Pinot Meunier you’ll ever taste; an extraordinary combination of lithe and rustic textures, and mature fruit.
2010 Burn Cottage, Pinot Noir, Central Otago 95
Not only is this one of the finest Pinots made in New Zealand today, from one of its pioneering biodynamic estates, but our good friend Carl had a hand in crafting it; it’s finely voluptuous and fiercely elegant.
2006 Rippon, Pinot Noir, Central Otago 100
This mature Pinot from one of NZ’s best biodynamic producers is really starting to come into its own; the tensely wound acidity is relaxing into a memorable harmony with the keen plum and mulberry flavors.
2008 Quartz Reef, Pinot Noir, Central Otago 70
From a steep single vineyard of volcanic basalt, this remarkable Pinot has dark attitude and fiery spice.
2010 Mission Estate, Syrah, Hawkes Bay 65
One of the finest Syrahs from NZ to date; high-flown fruit balances with gentle spice & iron minerality.
2007 Brokenwood, Shiraz, Hunter Valley 70
Outstanding Aussie Shiraz – very spicy, yet also incredibly clean on the palate, with a long, suave finish.
2010 Luke Lambert, Syrah, Yarra Valley 125
My single favorite wine from Australia just now, this shows a Northern Rhône-esque elegance and precision, thanks to balanced alcohol – the nuanced spice is especially memorable.
2011 Susana Balb0 ‘Signature’ Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 50
This classic Malbec showed rich and powerful in 2011, with dark chocolate, a hint of molasses & soft tannin.
2011 Ricardo Santos, Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina 45
A giving and drinkable Malbec, whose medium body conveys all the smooth fruit the varietal is known for.
2007 Errazuriz ‘Don Maximiano’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Aconcagua, Chile 150
The flagship wine from this iconic estate is one of the most complex Cabs in the Southern Hemisphere.
2009 Hamilton Russell, Pinot Noir, Walker Bay, South Africa 70
Terrific SA Pinot, like a Pommard with smoky venison notes & a terrific drive of cranberry-toned acidity.
2007 Domaine Mercouri, Refosco blend, Letrinon, Greece 40
This lovely blend is a staff fave; cool aromatics introduce a palate of orange, cinnamon, and pekoe tea.
2009 Romain Papilloud, Cornalin de Vétroz, Valais, Switzerland 115
Cornalin is the leading noble varietal of the awe-inspiring Valais, near the source of the Rhône, and Romain’s may be the finest I’ve tasted. To my palate, it gives Nebbiolo-like impressions like rosepetal and clove, alongside über-ripe goji, shades of saffron and sexy pomegranate.
2012 Serge Roh, Pinot Noir, Vétroz Grand Cru, Valais, Switzerland 80
One of the leading Pinots in Switzerland today; juicy elderberry, cedar, a rich midpalate and fine tannin.
2006 Zlatan Otok, Plavaç Mali, Island of Hvar, Croatia 70
Plavaç Mali, a close relative of Zinfandel, shows wonderfully here: gentle oak, spicy caraway, black cherry.
2001 Château Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 130
This legendary wine, Musar’s flagship, is sophisticated and finely structured, all of its parts in harmony.
5-Year Marco de Bartoli ‘Vigna Miccia’ Marsala Superiore Oro, Sicily, Italy 10
This young wine from the famous artisanal Marsala producer is all almond essence and bright citrus.
Bodegas Grant, Amontillado Sherry, El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain 8
Impressive finesse for Amontillado, with delicate tones of young pu-ehr tea and cinnamon.
Gonzalez Byass ‘Apostoles’ Palo Cortado Sherry, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain 12
One of the finest old Cortados currently available, with dark raisin, hawthorn, and a hint of sassafrass.
Mauro Vergano, White Vermouth, Piedmont, Italy 10
An artisanal, opinion-changing dry moscato-based vermouth, with flavors of sweet marjoram and acacia.
Carpano Antico, Red Vermouth, Piedmont, Italy 8
A legendary vermouth, still made by the original 1786 recipe; a rich mid-palate gives way to a dry end.
Vilmart & Cie, Ratafia, Champagne, France 12
It’s rare to see this caliber of Ratafia in the States; based on Pinot Noir, it has strawberry-toned sweetness.
Paul-Marie & Fils ‘Fut #6’ Pineau des Charentes, France 11
A richly-textured, deeply colored Charentes; succulent sweetness, dynamic mid-palate, persistent finish.
Cappellano, Barolo Chinato, Piedmont, Italy 14
The original style of this famous digestif shows intense clove, cinnamon, quinine, and a hint of carob.
10-Year Tawny, Quinta do Infantado, Douro, Portugal 10
Tawny Port of impeccable harmony and drinkability, with balanced flavors of raisin, almond and licorice.
BEER BY THE BOTTLE
KÖLSCH: Sunner, Germany [5.4%, 500mL/16.9 oz] 9
Perfumed, pretty, pitch-perfect Kölsch – and dangerous too. Thirst-quenching summertime brew.
HEFEWEIZEN: Ayinger ‘Brauweiss’, Germany [5.1%, 500mL/16.9 oz] 8
Top-fermented beer with distinct hints of banana; a flowery, yeasty head with a golden yellow hue.
WIT: Unibroue ‘Blanche de Chambly’, Canada [5%, 355mL/12 oz] 6
Made with wheat and barley malts; notes of dry hay and a strong, clean finish.
HELLES: Alpirsbacher ‘Spezial’, Germany [5.2%, 500mL/16.9] 8
This Helles won ‘World’s Best Muncher Lager’ in 2013; white flower and straw aromas, and a perfect balance of malt sweetness and slightly bitter hops. A classic.
AMERICAN PALE: Victory, Pennsylvania [5.1%, 355mL/12 oz] 6
Bright and crisp American Pale, with tart hops and a note of grapefruit.
UK PALE: Mikkeller ‘#2 English Style’, Belgium [6.4%, 355mL/12 oz] 12
Foamy head; yeasty, citrus aromas; amber-colored, with a balance of tropicality and malt.
FARMHOUSE: Fantome ‘Saison’, Belgium [8%, 750mL/24.5 oz] 30
Complex, dynamic, ‘fizzy’ textures frame an elegant, refreshing palate, both sour and tart at once.
STRONG PALE: Caracole ‘Saxo’, Belgium [8%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 9
Active carbonation, but soft on the palate; notes of fresh banana and just-ripe mango.
STRONG PALE: DuPont ‘Moinette Blonde’, Belgium [8.5%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 9
This classic blonde ale is dry and balanced, with spicy floral hops and a soft finish.
STRONG PALE: St. Feuillien ‘Grand Cru’, Belgium [9.5%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 10
Bottle conditioned with Champagne yeast, this is intense and complex, with assertive hops and just a hint of malty sweetness. A new release from one of our favorite breweries.
SPICED: Brasserie Dieu du Ciel ‘Hibiscus’, Canada [5.9%, 345mL/11.5 oz] 8
Bright and refreshing, not overly herbal, thanks to just the right balance of carbonation and biscuity malt.
FRUIT LAMBIC: Boon ‘Kriek’, Belgium [5%, 375mL/12.7 oz] 12
Stellar, essential cherry lambic, with a real purity of flavor and a texture with satisfying grip.
GUEUZE LAMBIC: Cantillon ‘Classic’, Belgium [5%, 375mL/12.7 oz] 18
Cantillon crafts the gold standard for the gueuze style. This is über-complex and deliciously sour.
FLANDERS BROWN: Bockor ‘Vanderghinste’, Belgium [5.5%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 9
A traditional West Flanders brown, and my personal favorite: only slightly tart, with a real malt drinkability.
FLANDERS BROWN: Liefman’s ‘Goudenband’, Belgium [8%, 750mL/24.5 oz] 20
Made with a nearly extinct recipe, this is a taste of a former time – a gorgeous combination of braised meat, earthy grassiness, and very ripe bing cherry. A delight.
ALTBIER: Uerige ‘Doppelsticke’, Germany [8.5%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 9
Darkly colored, with a smoky-sweet nose; a touch of carmelized pineapple and pronounced hops.
DARK LAGER: Valdensteiner ‘Landbier’, Germany [5.4%, 500mL/16.9 oz] 9
Medium-to full-bodied, with notes of dried cherry, roasted malt, and a touch of smoky char.
BOCK: Einbecker ‘Dunkel Ur-Bock’, Germany [6.5%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 8
Classic bock, with a golden amber hue, and a rich, heavy body, finishing with a spiced hop character.
TRAPPIST DUBBEL: Westmalle, Belgium [7%, 330mL/11.2 oz] 10
Perhaps the world’s best Dubbel; refined and refreshing, with spice, dry caramel, and tasty maltiness.
MILK STOUT: Left Hand ‘Nitro’, Colorado [6%, 355mL/12 oz] 6
Brewed with lactose sugar, this balances roast & sweetness on the nose; all cookies & cream on the palate.
APPLE CIDER: Virtue ‘Nouveau 2013’, Michigan [6%, 750mL/24.5 oz] 30
Tart and funky, brightly carbonated young cider made with the first and freshest apple harvest.
BEER ON DRAFT
LAGER: Atlas Brewing, Chicago [5%] 6
A well-knit, classic lager: smooth textures, even carbonation, and just the right balance of tasty hops.
GOSE: Cisco Brewing ‘Island Reserve’, Massachussetts [4.4%] 8
Very complex and lively, with bright citrus, coriander, salty herbs and a touch of stimulating spice.
SAISON: DeProef ‘Raspberry Rye’, Belgium [6.5%] 10
Brewed in collaboration with Windy City for Chicago Craft Beer Week 2014, this rarity is a great summertime pour. Pale ruby in color, this shows a very soft expression of raspberry and caramelized rye; the finish is soft-pedaled, not too tart; an initial lively carbonation integrates rapidly.
THE AMERICAN ACCENT 10
Redemption Rye, Byrrh, Zucca Amaro, Orange Zest
LANI GOES TO LONDON 10
Hibiscus-infused Gin, Simple Syrup, Lemon, Charged Water, Orange Zest
HUMA PICANTE 10
Mezcal, Spiced Tamarind Water, Mole Bitters, Lemon Juice, Cherry Garnish
STONE FENCE 10
Rum, Virtue Cider, Scrappy’s Bitters, Lemon Wedge
FRENCH PRESBYTERIAN 12
Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Ginger Syrup, Sparkling Wine, Orange Zest
Broker’s ‘London Dry’, England 7
Hendrick’s, Scotland 8
Letherbee, Chicago 8
Ketel One, Holland 8
Watershed, Ohio 10
Tequila and Mezcal
Zapopan, Blanco, Mexico 7
Tonala, Reposado, Mexico 9
Clase Azul, Reposado, Mexico 14
Fortaleza, Añejo, Mexico 10
Miña Real ‘Silver’ Mezcal, Mexico 6
El Dorado, White, Guyana 6
Smith & Cross ‘Pot Still/Navy Strength’, Jamaica 8
Whiskey and Bourbon
Redemption, Rye 8
Rittenhouse, Rye 8
Templeton, Rye 10
W.L. Weller, Wheated Bourbon 8
Bulleit, Bourbon 7
Buffalo Trace, Bourbon 8
Elijah Craig, Bourbon 10
Booker’s, Bourbon 12
Rowan’s Creek, Bourbon 10
Willett’s ‘Pot Still’, Bourbon 10
Van Winkle ’12 Year’ Bourbon 18
Bushmill’s, Irish Whiskey 6
Avelleda ‘Adega Velha’ Old Brandy, Portugal 10
Gonzalez Byass ‘Lepanto’ Brandy de Jerez, Spain 12
Emilio Lustau ‘Solera 1940’ Brandy de Jerez, Spain 10
Navazos-Palazzi ‘Oloroso Cask’ Brandy de Jerez, Spain 30
Cognac and Armagnac
A.E. Dor, VSOP, Cognac 10
Park XO, Cognac 14
Glemet 1992 Cognac 12
Boingnères 1993 Folle Blanche, Bas-Armagnac 18
Dupont ‘Vieilles Reserve’, Pays d’Auge 10
Roger Groult ‘Venerable’, Pays d’Auge 15
Lemorton 1978, Domfrontais 30
Auchroisk 12 Year, Speyside 14
Glenfarclas 12 Year, Speyside 12
Mortlach 1994, Speyside 14
Highland Park 15 Year, Highland 10
Hazelburn 12 Year, Campbeltown 15
Scapa 11 year, Isle of Orkney 12
Talisker 10 Year, Isle of Skye 12
Caol Ila 12 Year, Islay 14
Laphroig 1999, Islay 12
Bowmore 11 Year, Islay 14
Lagavulin 16 Year, Islay 12
Fernet-Branca, Italy 6
Luxardo ‘Bitter’, Italy 6
Zucca ‘Rabarbaro’, Italy 8
Santa Maria al Monte, Italy 8
Vallet, Angostura Amargo, Mexico 9
Absinthe Verte, Vieux Pontarlier, France 10
Pernod, France 6
Massaya, Arak, Lebanon 8
Green Chartreuse 12
Stoupakis, Mastiha of Chios, Greece 10
Metté, Pear Eau-de-Vie, Alsace, France 10
Letherbee, Malört, Chicago 12