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2018 Castle Rock
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2018 Castle Rock "Old Vine" Lodi Zinfandel

Located 2 hours east of San Francisco in the San Joaquin Valley, Lodi does not exactly spring to mind as a California wine region. Yet Lodi has had vineyards since the 1850s and currently accounts for 25% of all wine grapes produced in California and 40% of California Zinfandel. Of course, Lodi produces a lot of bargain-priced supermarket wine. But as Lodi’s many old vine vineyards are being shifted away from producing bulk wine, the region’s reputation for bold, full-bodied, and delicious Zinfandel has been growing ever higher. According to the winery, the Old Vine Zinfandel “has aromas of ripe bing cherry, anise and boysenberry jam. On the palate it has rounded tannins, carries a note of raspberry, and finishes with a hint of caramel. It provides an excellent accompaniment to grilled chicken, steak or lamb and most pasta dishes.”

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¥2,530 (incl. tax)
2020 SeaGlass Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
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2020 SeaGlass Santa Barbara County Chardonnay

Seaglass Santa Barbara Chardonnay is sourced entirely from the Los Alamos Vineyard, named for its location in the Los Alamos Valley. Like Santa Barbara County’s two more famous valleys, Santa Maria to the north and Santa Inez to the southeast, the Los Alamos Valley funnels cool air in from the Pacific Ocean, making it ideal for varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Unlike those other two valleys, the Los Alamos Valley has yet to be designated as an American Viticultural Area (AVA), and so wines made from its vineyards must be labeled as Santa Barbara County. In order to highlight the coastal terroir, this Chardonnay is made in stainless steel without aging in oak barrels and without undergoing malolactic fermentation. These practices help emphasize the qualities of pure Chardonnay: stone fruit aromas as well as fresh flavors of green apple and zesty citrus. The refreshing acidity and vibrant texture make this wine a perfect complement for light pastas, grilled fish or summer salads.

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¥2,640 (incl. tax)
2021 Shannon Ridge
2021 Shannon Ridge
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2021 Shannon Ridge "High Elevation" Chardonnay

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¥3,190 (incl. tax)
2020 Shannon Ridge
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2020 Shannon Ridge "High Elevation" Petite Sirah

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¥3,190 (incl. tax)
2020 Shannon Ridge
2018 Blacksmith Dry Creek Valley Merlot
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2018 Blacksmith Dry Creek Valley Merlot

Fans of Blacksmith Cellars should be pleased with this new addition to our list: yet another great value in the form of a fabulously well-crafted wine from a beautiful vineyard in a top AVA. Like the Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, this Merlot comes from a single vineyard on the eastern side of the valley, where soils are thin and rocky. The winery’s notes on this wine say, “More suggestive of red currants than black in both scent and taste with a mannerly bit of grip, this Merlot is blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon which escorts it to a point where the blend is a balanced, nicely contained offering of medium weight. It is not a huge and intimidating wine, but it stays in focus with a clean fruit profile that is layered with a modest amount of supporting sweet oak that helps it on its way to a lingering, gently tannic finish, and it will competently turn the trick as an affordable partner to steaks and chops now and for the coming three or four years.”

 

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¥4,180 (incl. tax)
2020 Trefethen
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2020 Trefethen "Eshcol" Napa Valley Chardonnay

Eshcol Chardonnay provides all the beauty and charm of Trefethen’s signature Chardonnay but at a lower price - so feel free to load up and serve it anytime you need to scratch that itch for a yummy Chardonnay. Keep in mind that this is no typical second label sourced from “nearby” growers or distant appellations. 100% of the fruit was sourced from Trefethen’s Main Ranch. The difference between Eshcol and Trefethen’s top-of-the-line Chardonnay is that only 17% was fermented in barrel (as opposed to 60%) and only 5% (versus 12%) was aged in new oak. More of the vineyard blocks are more recent plantings, too. This is a fresh, well-balanced wine that emphasizes fresh green apple and citrus flavors with only a minimum of oak notes. 

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¥4,290 (incl. tax)
2014 Bodkin
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2014 Bodkin "The King's Ransom" White Dessert Wine (375ml)

For lovers of sweet wines – indeed, all lovers! –  here is a golden elixir to accompany a special dessert or evening. This late harvest white wine, like a Sauternes in some respects, is a blend of 51% Sauvignon Blanc from Rogers Vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, 34% Muscat Canelli from Sandy Bend Vineyards in Lake County, and 15% Chardonnay from the Sinclair Ranch in Dry Creek Valley. The grapes – “moldy raisins!” – might have looked unsalvageable, but this mold was botrytis cinerea, aka "Nobel Rot," the secret ingredient to many of the greatest dessert wines. At harvest, the average Brix (sugar concentration) was 35 - i.e. potential alcohol at dryness of 23%! Pressing the raisins took effort, but then the juice was left to ferment without intervention until it stopped naturally after 5 weeks. The resulting wine, with 10% residual sugar and 16.5% alcohol, was aged in French oak from the Alain Foquet cooperage, which is widely used in Sauternes. States the wine maker, “Melon, apricot, candied hazelnuts, orange blossom, honey and pear compote all show themselves in both the nose and palate of the wine. In the mouth, the viscosity of the wine is a liquid-gold baby maker.”

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¥4,290 (incl. tax)
2021 Clay Shannon Betsy Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
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2021 Clay Shannon Betsy Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

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¥4,290 (incl. tax)
2021 Clay Shannon El Coyote Chardonnay
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2021 Clay Shannon El Coyote Chardonnay

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¥4,290 (incl. tax)
2019 Clay Shannon Long Valley Ranch Pinot Noir
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2019 Clay Shannon Long Valley Ranch Pinot Noir

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¥4,290 (incl. tax)
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