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20 buck French Chardonnay, Killer Chianti, 95 Point Cornas and more

(a.k.a. Virtual Meursault)
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE

So, when was the last time you had Meursault for 20 bucks? Trust us, you will have it here. A visit to Guy Bocard is akin to going to Meursault School with the lesson one receives on the minute differences between the sites and terroirs within this famous village. Cerebral, yet pleasurable as all get-out, the new arrival of Bocard's 2010 Bourgogne Chardonnay rings Meursault's bell big-time! Non-stop aromas of lemon/orange, smoked hazelnut cereal, anise, flint and mineral virtually send you into orbit. Without any presence of intrusive new oak the texture is pure, suave, harmonious yet with ample chime. Penetrating, palate-pleasing and with a shimmering, above the norm long finish, this wine does as it usually does, highly exceeds expectations. Many of you have experienced Guy's wines in the past and with the terrific quality of the kickass 2010 vintage, we highly urge you to experience more and if you haven't tried it, well, you're in for a treat! Enjoy with sautéed scallops in a beurre blanc sauce, roasted chicken or fresh crab.

One of the differences between this version and many others labeled Bourgogne Chardonnay is that like many of the finest producers, the grapes for this wine are all from the Cote D'or, specifically in the limits of Meursault just below the vineyards that are designated for the bigger wines. Starting with the 2012 vintage, all growers who make Bourgogne solely from Cote D'Or fruit will be able to label it as "Bourgogne Cote D'Or", hence discerning it from the likes large negociants and others who are pulling in fruit from Macon, Chalon and elsewhere in Burgundy to blend into their Bourgogne Chardonnays. Not necessarily a bad thing or bad wines, but all too often they don't achieve the levels of wines such as this.

$23.99 BTL./$287.88 CASE

Over the last several years we have been very enamored with this Walla Walla producer's wines on all levels. Managing Partner/Winemaker Tom Glase has had extensive training by working at L'Ecole No. 41 among other luminaries in Walla Walla. The entire line-up of wines are of sterling quality and impressively priced given the complexity, substance and especially the love that goes into making them. Little new oak is utilized in the production of these wines so the wonderful red earth tones of Washington are permitted to shine with the classic warm and inviting fruit. In recent times, it has seemed as though the Merlot grape was sent into exile, but in reality it never disappeared. Lately we have been seeing and tasting plenty of Washington versions and vintage 2010 has aided in provided some terrific smooth and sensual Merlots. The Balboa is all from the PepperBridge in the southern reaches of the Walla Walla region.

Savory, luscious aromas of blueberry, cassis, underlying earth. Creamy, buxom and with deceptive backbone and succulence. Mineral and slight exotic spice tones sneak in on the lingering and pleasurable finish. No doubt this is an easy wine to feel good about drinking, it will also age nicely for several years as well.

$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE

In Chianti Classico, a quality wine at this price doesn't come along very often! The reason is that this small family winery operates without an expensive marketing department. They also export directly, sans paying an Armani-clad suit who charges lots of money for watching it come and go through customs. Enough preaching, but it's important to emphasize that the wine has incredible fruit and complexity for under $20!

As a sturdy-styled Chianti, it's loaded with blackberry, black cherry, licorice, sage, leather, and black pepper. The wine also shows a dense core of fruit along with firm but approachable tannins. Drink over the next 4-5 years with a great big veal chop, coated with Tuscan herbs and grilled over a smoky fire. A match made in heaven!

$31.99 BTL./$383.88 CASE

If you were ever in the mob and ratted on your friends, you might find yourself in the Witness Protection program working as a carnie operating a Ferris Wheel. Not all is lost, though. Since your pasta dish would essentially be egg noodles and ketchup you're gonna have to make an upgrade on the red wine and drinking COS's Cerasuolo di Vittoria would make you reminisce about loan-sharking or whacking someone. COS was and still is at the forefront of the Cerasuolo di Vittoria region in SE Sicily not far from Siracusa. Early on, these friends established their vineyards and wines which aided the recent Southern migration of Italian wine lovers to Sicilian wines. Made with native Sicilian varietals, 60% Nero D'Avola and 40% Frappato, this sumptuous red is gorgeously fragrant.

If roses are spicy, then this is it! Alluring tones of potpourri, roasted earth, tangy Italian spices and smoky mineral. In the mouth it is lavish, smooth and very savory with plenty of depth and personality. Deceptive spine and backbone are present which will allow it to age for 4-6 more years, however once you taste it is pretty tough to keep your hands off of it. Loaded with vibrant fruit and persistence on the firecracker of a finish.

$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Quinta de la Rosa is a fine Port house that also happens to make seriously delicious dry red wines from the Duoro region utilizing the same grapes that go into their sweet wines. Made from Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca and revealing hearty aromas of pronounced chocolate-covered strawberry that co-exist handsomely with Moroccan spice, finely placed oak and sneaky minerality.

Bountiful and very stylish flavors captivate the palate with an almost-Italian plum-like quality before advancing through to the arousing finish that brings it all home. Enjoy with lamb, grilled sausage or a hearty stew.

$9.99 BTL./$119.88 CASE

A lovely little 10 dollar number from Spain's Navarra region. 70% Tempranillo, 30% Garnacha and your favorite barbecue wine even though you probably haven't tasted it yet!

Lavishly toned wild strawberry jam scents play off savory herbs, spices and licorice following into a texture that is supple and mouth-coating, but possesses plenty of the nice peppery tones that Garnacha brings. Serious BPH (bottles per hour) factor here. Order by the trunkload!

$49.99 BTL./$599.88 CASE

The now retired Alain Voge and Alberic Mazoyers his partner at Domaine Voge and former enologist at Chapoutier, are 2 guys that live, eat, drink and breathe the passion that is Cornas. There is total reverence and admiration between the two men and the wines are and always have been stunning. Greatness came in 2010 and the results at this address are magnificent. Quickly the critics have now taken note and we are fortunate to have some of these available to us.

The Les Chailles Cornas is from several different parcels from vines that are 30-35 years old. When visiting the Domaine last year, Bryan's notes were definitely not PG-13 when describing this monumental, Grand Cru Syrah. Here is the "edited content" take: Immediate profound nose; rock-star quality. Very Grand Cru. Nose teases with black plum, black cherry and alluring smoky tones. Unyielding balance and sans compromise, the texture is classic Voge with caressing tones with lots of deceptive power and spine. Goes a bit introverted on the youthful finish, but wow, this shoots out very far and sticks around for what seems to be an eternity. At this point, this is where the real Rated NC-17 notes commenced regarding this great wine, but we'll leave those to your imagination! This promises to be legendary Syrah. Hold and then drink from 2014 – 2025.

If you like scores, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate scores it 95 from the Dec. 2012 issue.