October 10th – Another Year

On October 10th, the shops will celebrate 36 years in business. Thanks to all of you who make this possible!

Deal Of The Month

We were in awe when we tasted the 2013 Carpe Diem Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2013 vintage in California has a great reputation, but if this wine, the third wine for Christian Moueix’s Dominus, doesn’t send you to heaven with the first sip… serious juice at a price that recalls pricing in the 1980’s—when we opened the Ravenna shop.

2013 Carpe Diem Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 27.00 22.41VS

The Weekly Tasting


LIOCO is the partnership between Matt Licklider, a former import specialist at North Berkeley Imports, and Kevin O’Connor, the former wine director at Spago in Beverly Hills. Inspired by traditional European wines, they sought out vineyard sites with hard-to-work soils and old vines, and the result are California wines that taste of “their place”. Come in and meet Matt Licklider and taste his wines on Saturday, October 29th at both shops.

2014 LIOCO Chardonnay Sonoma County 23.00 19.09VS

2014 LIOCO Chardonnay ‘Estero’ Russian River Valley 38.00 31.54VS

2014 LIOCO Chardonnay ‘Hanzel Vineyard’ Sonoma Valley 63.00 52.29VS

2014 LIOCO Pinot Noir ‘Laguna’ Sonoma Coast 40.00 33.20VS

2014 LIOCO Pinot Noir ‘Cerise Vineyard’ Anderson Valley 55.00 45.65VS

New Arrivals


The 2014 Guardian Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Newsprint’ is very easy to read. Take Red Mountain fruit, blueberries and boysenberries, and a dose of fine French oak, age the wine for about a year, and presto—you have a delicious, ready to quaff big Washington red that is perfect for serving to families at Thanksgiving.

2014 Guardian Cabernet Sauvignon ‘Newsprint’ Red Mountain 25.00 20.75VS


The 2013 Doubleback Syrah ‘Stolen Horse’ is made with 100% Syrah from Leonetti Cellar’s Loess Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley and Echo Ridge Vineyard in Columbia Valley that was aged in 31% new French oak for 16 months. A bold expression of Syrah, this is the first time it has been offered to us. There is lots of raspberry, rose petal, and a slight hint of vanilla and cinnamon. The palate is generous, showing elegance and complexity.

2013 Doubleback Syrah ‘Stolen Horse’ Walla Walla Valley 58.00 48.14VS

Staff Picks


It is not every day that we come across a set of wines as special as the new Clarendelle offerings. As a guarantee of quality, all the Clarendelle wines are made and aged by oenologists from Domaine Clarence Dillon (Château Haut-Brion, Château La Mission Haut-Brion, and Château Quintus). That is quite some pedigree for wines that sell at $18. The 2015 Clarendelle Blanc is a blend of 49% Sémillon, 45% Sauvignon Blanc, and 6% Muscadelle that recalls the magic of Château Haut-Brion Blanc, (although it has been a very long time since we have seen those wines in the market). The 2012 Clarendelle Rouge is a blend of 57% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Cabernet Franc. There is stoney mineral quality that recalls the wines of Graves. These wines are due to arrive in late October.

2015 Clarendelle Blanc (by Clarence Dillon) Bordeaux 17.99 net

2012 Clarendelle Rouge (by Clarence Dillon) Bordeaux 17.99 net


Cool weather in August slowed the growth of the vines in 2013 in Tuscany. But a long, sunny harvest season afforded slow ripening of the fruit that kept acidity levels fresh and promoted tannin maturation without excessive sugar levels. Alcohol levels are lower than usual, and the wines are deliciously fruity right at the outset.

2013 San Felice Chianti Classico Castelnuovo Berardenga 14.99 net

2013 Félsina Chianti Classico Castelnuovo Berardenga 22.00 18.26VS

2013 Isole e Olena Chianti Classico Barberino Val d’Elsa 25.00 20.75VS