Reader Appreciation Day: Here’s a Tip: Jump on this Retailer Sale


Thank you to all readers, distributors, winemakers, retailers, writers, and friends for your thoughtful feedback and kind words about this website.  We try our best, although travel and book writing and day jobs can sometimes get in the way.  As a token of my appreciation, I thought I’d give a tip to all readers of the site: a retailer in suburban New York (Zachys; is blowing out wines at $10-$15-$20 price points, some of which have been reviewed here.  I believe they ship everywhere in the U.S. where permitted, but you’ll have to follow up with them for the details.  Anyhow, here are some suggestions of wines that you might want to purchase, with my thoughts:

Vocoret Chablis 2009:  My original review of this wine was a bit stingy.  I probably rated it around 86 points.  Fact is, this is the only wine of which I’ve purchased 2 cases in the past year.  Just bought another case this morning.  It’s an honest Chablis, with good minerality.  What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in acidity and precision.  This is not going to displace Raveneau or Dauvissat any time soon at the top of the quality hierarchy, but it’s a great every day sipper at $15 a pop on sale.  Perhaps what I love best about this wine is that you and your spouse can nearly finish a bottle with a meal, and you don’t feel the least bit intoxicated. 

Halos de Jupiter Costieres des Nimes 2008: Costieres des Nimes fared better than most other regions in the Rhone in 2008.  The vines are not far from the Mediterranean, and the wine tastes infused with cool ocean air, and a pleasant hint of brine/seaweed.  If you like the Arnot-Roberts Syrahs, you’ll probably love this wine.  I adore it wine for its balance, honesty, and aromatic complexity.  Again, a wine that you can sip with a meal and feel none the worse for wear.  Whoever said Phillipe Cambie only makes one style of wine is utterly uninformed.  Oh yeah, I picked up a couple more of these today for $10 a bottle.

Domaine Mas du Bouquet Vacqueyras 2009:  Probably the best red wine one can find for $10 a bottle in 2012.  This bottling exemplifies the classic dark fruit, spicy aroma, and tannic grip of wines from Vacqueyras.  I think I bought about 6 bottles of this today for $10.  Great to pair with meats and rich sauces.

Chateau Peybrun Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2009:  This is a red Bordeaux blend from the Cadillac area, which is not far from Barsac and Sauternes.  A really classy wine, from an ancient site that is organically farmed.  66% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Cabernet Franc, this shows nice cherry/red currant flavors that are edged with notes of cedar, plums, and pine.  This wine takes it back to a time when all any vigneron ever wanted to do in Bordeaux was make a balanced wine.  Best thing about this wine: it improves over the course of 3 days, without gassing it or sticking it in the fridge.  On sale now for $15.    


John Bernard Dawson

Deux Montille Bourgogne Blanc 2009


Deux Montille Bourgogne Blanc 2009: Clear yellow with a brass tinge.  Offers a focused, restrained nose of hay, lemon, and ginger.  Fresh, with great acidity on the palate, this is clean, lithe, and mouthwatering.  The flavors are equal parts mountain spring water, lemon-lime, and moss.  $28  Drink now-2013.  (89)

Bookster Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009


Bookster Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2009: Nearly opaque, with a black-violet hue.  Ripe Cabernet aromas reminiscent of blackberry jam, cola, and cassis are set off by a hint of eucalpytus and toasted bread.  Full-bodied, dry, and tannic, this is mouthpuckering on the intense finish.  The waxy black fruit flavors need time to integrate with the tannins and substantial alcohol, but this should come together with time in the cellar.  Drink 2013-2018.  14.8% alc.  $55  (90+)

David Duband Nuits St. Georges 2009


David Duband Nuits St. Georges 2009:  Pale ruby, nearly clear at the rim.  Savory notes of pan-seared beef, black pepper, clove, cinnamon, and sesame seeds swarm the nose, while the palate is awash in concentrated flavors of black and red fruits, spice, and dusty earth.  Medium-bodied, with good acidity.  The tannins should meld with the fruit more seemlessly in a year or two.  $60  Drink now-2015.  (88+)

Pierre Boisson Bourgogne Blanc 2009


Pierre Boisson Bourgogne Blanc 2009:  A ripe bouquet dominated by fragrant scents of lily and honeysuckle leads to aromas and flavors reminiscent of lemon jelly candies, poached pears, ginger, and rock dust.  Comes across fat and wide on the palate, like a baby Meursault, and should begin to uncoil within the next few months.  $27  Drink now-2014.  (89+)

Clos Chanteduc Cotes du Rhone 2009


Clos Chanteduc Cotes du Rhone 2009:  Inky violet robe.  Showcases an electrifying nose of crushed red cherries, raspberries, allspice, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves. On the palate, the wine is drier and more stoic than a federal judge, with equal measure of concentration.  After 20 minutes in the glass, notes of kirsch, rosemary, thyme, anise, and autumn leaves come to the fore in a delicious blend of fruit, spice, and wood.  Truly delicious and fun to drink, although the hint of warmth on the back end leads to a slightly heady finish.  Pair this with a lamb chop and enjoy the ride.  $17  Drink now-2015.  (91)

Block 7 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2010


Block 7 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2010:  Ruby.  Inviting aromas of sweet red berries, vanilla, and sassafras lead to a soft-textured, decidedly smooth wine in the mouth. Medium-bodied, with fresh berry flavors and more flesh than structure.  Pairs extremely well with salmon.  File this under “pleasure-driven wines” and enjoy it over the next two years.  $25  Drink now-2013.  (90)

Benovia Winery 2009s: Another Winner from a Glorious Vintage

Benovia Sonoma Mountain Grenache 2009:  Ruby.  Cherry-lavender aromas have a hint of salt, kirsch, and animale. Intensely concentrated, the round and ample fruit flavors are initially bright and generous, but become more sophisticated, darker, and more nuanced on the finish.  Full-bodied.  A great wine for leg of lamb. Drink now-2016.  (91+)