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Shiba Sommelier

2010 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Gigondas “Pierre Aiguille”

This wine makes me smile. Lovely nose of red fruit, pepper, olive tapenade, and bramble. Red fruit on the palate with white pepper, green olives, and bramble. Clean style. Great acidity.

4/5 bones

$$

Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre

14.5% abv

Gigondas (Rhône), FRANCE

2012 Mastroberardino Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio

Like a hot day on the Italian Riviera! Golden Delicious apples, Anjou pears, boxwood, thyme, a spritz of lemon, and stone on the nose. A little thin on the palate - lemon dominates with not much more. A little tinny on the finish and a tad out of balance.

3/5 bones

$

Coda di Volpe

12.5% abv

Vesuvio, ITALY

Bodegas As Laxas Sensum Albariño Cava

Guys, this is a sparkling wine made out of Albariño! Rather simple on the nose with mostly lemon and sea salt notes. Maybe a slight sherry-like note on the palate along with lemon, pear, and lots of salinity. Sharp and interesting stuff.

3/5 bones

$

Albariño

12.5% abv

Rias Baixas, SPAIN

2013 Pasqua Vigneti del Sole Pinot Grigio delle Venezie IGT

Enjoying some Pinot Grigio after the rain… Lemon, apple, pear, and white stone on the nose. Lemon and pear on the palate along with Golden Delicious apple flesh yielding to a hint of tarter green apple. For $10, get this, not the expensive stuff! The perfect Pinot Grigio for your mother-in-law. 

4/5 bones

$

Pinot Grigio

12% abv

Veneto, ITALY

2013 Grosset Polish Hill Riesling

Feeling blue today, but not on account of this awesome old vine Riesling from Clare Valley in Australia! Lime, preserved lime rind, petrol, slate, and shale notes on the nose (classic Australian Riesling!). Tight and crisp on the palate with great minerality - steely lime and lime rind. Stark, clean, amazing - like a Swedish living room

4/5 bones

$$$

Riesling

12.5% abv

Clare Valley, AUSTRALIA

2012 Patricius Tokaji Furmint Száraz Dry

Hehe - dare I say this Hungarian wine’s got an almost Asian feel to it? Lots of Asian pear. White florals and white stone notes. Pollen. White tissue paper (!!!). This is some interesting and refreshing stuff - not all that fruity. 

4/5 bones

$

Furmint

12.5% abv

Tokaj, HUNGARY

2001 Château Monbousquet

Having fun with my Vineyard Vines tie! Okay, so this really smells like we’re in Bordeaux! Blackberries, rich ripe cassis, earth, clove, leather, and sanguine/iodine Cabernet Franc notes. Tart on the finish with a hint of cherry. Really nice!

4/5 bones

$$$$

Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc

13.5% abv

Saint-Emilion (Bordeaux), FRANCE

2013 Pio Cesare Cortese di Gavi

I’ll be honest - Gavi’s always been a bit of a snoozer for me. I have yet to come across one that really perks me up. Not very aromatic on the nose - lots of stone, lemon, and a hint of thyme. Simple on the palate - lemon, stone, and pear. Easy drinking. 

3/5 bones

$$

Cortese

12.5% abv

Gavi (Piedmont), ITALY

1995 Champagne Drappier Cuvée du Millénaire 2000 Brut

Vintage champagne is always a treat. This one’s got some oxidized notes of apple cider, button mushrooms, and white nuts. Hints of lemon, brown sugar, and pie crust for a tarte tatin. Nice mousse (bubbles).

3/5 bones

$$$$

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier

12% abv

Champagne, FRANCE

2007 Bodega Benegas Libertad Estate Vineyard “Benegas Lynch” Meritage

Wine made from pre-phylloxera, old vines is always a good bet. Especially when it’s made in fertile Argentina. Blueberries, smoke, cigar box, old leather, anise, mushroom, and jerky on the nose. Smoked fruit, cassis, and blackberries on the palate with spice box, leather, meat, and green pepper on the palate. Velvety soft tannins. Elegant acidity.

5/5 bones

$$$$

Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot

14.5% abv

Mendoza, ARGENTINA